June brought heat to the table and we fought back fire with fire. June was an incredibly exciting month for us and a lot went down. There was E3, the announcement of the SNES Classic, our first free game code review, reaching 50k hits, and our first fan art. What are we waiting for? There’s much to talk about so let’s jump into our summary right quick!
Our contributors really made this month a success. We welcomed two new co-authors in June, the Five More Minutes Mage (gamegato.wordpress.com) and the Moronic Cheese Mage (Mr. Wapojif of professionalmoron.com) who penned reviews on The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Ori and the Blind Forest, respectively. Two contributing veterans returned to the fore with the Midnight Mystic Mage (Sublime Reviews) and his take on Blades of Time with its interesting time-looping mechanic, followed by the Evergreen Sage Mage (wakalapi) bringing the wistful nostalgia for arcades and face-to-face gaming community with Tekken 7. I hope I’m not out of place in saying but Sage Mage recently mentioned he won’t have the time for his blog upkeep anymore, but I’ve consoled myself in knowing that The Well-Red Mage now has exclusive wakalapi content for all to enjoy!
We’re ecstatic to have attracted the talent of such incredible wordsmiths like these to our team. Recent outreaches via Twitter to see if any others would like to join our magical ranks have yielded a few more volunteers, so stay on the look out for three more contributory mages coming soon! I don’t know where this is all leading (webzine?), but I’m glad I’m along for the ride with such a crew of adventurers.These friends helped carry the blog through days when I couldn’t get content out. Writing that 9,373.5 word review on The Last of Us kept me busy for quite a while! Cranking out the marathon was worth it though since it generated 150 views in less than 24 hours and also got the discussion: the game itself creates strong opinions.
From an incredible film in Wonder Woman to the passing away of a true icon in Adam West, DC comics was on my mind once again. It was a great month to talk about the wonderful movie that can hopefully revive a sinking DCEU, as well as revisit an old favorite in the classic Batman ’66. A lot has changed since the 1960’s but DC is an entertainment constant.
E3 was also big news in the gaming world and this is the first year where I’ve tried to watch as much of it as I could. I believe I only missed out on the EA presentation, but from what I hear it wasn’t too special anyways. Highlights for me were not myriad, and it seemed like very much a “playing it safe” kind of a year. The items I’m looking forward to and enjoyed most from E3 can be read about in a little article called “Arcane Ludological Cognizance at E3 2017, or how to use big words to make your opinion sound more important”. I didn’t necessarily get the spirit of competition in full that I wanted from E3 and the big three but it had its moments.
While we’re on the subject of E3, I was delightedly surprised at the warm reception for a post called “Stepping on Dreams: Remembering the Humanity behind Game Development“. Evidently, this is a subject and concept which a lot of people were already thinking on. That moment at E3 when I saw a lead developer brought to tears at the fruition of what would normally be a pretty dismissable game was for me unforgettable, and it’s changed the way I approach reviewing, now with the heart and soul of other human beings behind the games in mind.
There was also a post that pitted modern gaming against retro gaming and some of the commenters really saw my point. Gaming isn’t perfect and it’s come a long way, and there are great games in every era so there’s no need for 8-bit or HD snobbery. Snobbery of any kind is uncalled for. I believe that something I like is more deserving of criticism, not less. Seeing the industry as it is and was with its pros and cons is a part of it moving forward. And no, random person on Twitter who mistook my intentions, I was not grading games on the basis of their graphics in this article. Check it out and don’t miss my sneaky point!
One of the biggest surprises (sort of) of June had to be the sudden announcement of the Super Nintendo Classic Edition! This is my favorite console and I could argue for days about how it’s objectively the greatest console of all time, a history-defining masterpiece. Everybody wants one. This has been said a bazillion times, but Nintendo just needs to figure out how to get this example of one of the best gaming products ever into the hands of the people clamoring for it.
And last but not least… we all got sexy for a celebratory swimsuit calendar.
Okay okay so this was the culmination of a long-running gag but it IS summer, after all, and we needed a way to celebrate reaching the milestone of 50,000 views. Thanks to the mages who had their… err likenesses… revealed for the camera. Thanks to our readership for propelling us this far!
My recommendations from this month begin with me saying you need to immediately go out and see Wonder Woman. I also highly, highly recommend Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. You (probably) won’t regret either of those experiences. The Last of Us, I’ll say, was also very much an experience to remember, for less than savory reasons. Even if you don’t subscribe to my take on it, there are a plethora of commenters who shared their thoughts as well, some in great detail.
Tomorrow begins a new adventure with our Elemental Challenge at the ready for July. A lot of great bloggers and personal friends have decided to participate, so we’ll see you mañana when our community event begins!
-The Well-Red Mage
Ranked best to worst:
Tekken 7 (2017) 7.3