Sonic the Hedgehog Title Screen

This week Sega announced that a bunch of old Master System and Sega Genesis games are being re-released for the Nintendo Switch. The only confirmed games are Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, and Thunder Force 4, but they’ve said there will be more than 15 titles being released under Sega Ages (that’s what they are calling the re-release of these games). Now, I’ve played Sonic the Hedgehog, but when I read the announcement about the retro Sega games being released on Switch I was glad to have those games join the Nintendo Switch’s ever growing library. Especially Phantasy Star.

Phantasy Star Title Screen

Sega also announced that they are going to release a mini version of the Mega Drive to celebrate it’s upcoming 30th anniversary. AtGames, who has made previous retro consoles for Sega and Atari has said they are involved, but that they are leaving all the announcements about features to Sega; which I assume includes game announcements. I was surprised that after being happy to have more retro games on the Switch that I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of a mini Mega Drive. I don’t know if it’s because I just don’t have as much nostalgia for the Sega consoles or if it’s because pervious retro Sega consoles haven’t been so great, but I do know a big part of it is because I just want those games on the Nintendo Switch.

Mega Drive Mini

I know, Sega used to be a big player in hardware, I still have my Game Gear, but I’ve really enjoyed their software more since they stopped making hardware and focused on making games. And that is why I want them to release those retro games on Switch, but I don’t really care about the Mega Drive mini, at least not right now. Maybe they’ll announce some really cool features, or the North America release will include some games that never got released over here, but unless that happens, I’ll gladly buy the retro games being released on Switch and pass on a mini Mega Drive.

What are your thoughts on Sega Ages and a mini Mega Drive?

Merry Christmas! We’ve made it yet again to the day we celebrate friends, family, and the birth of Jesus. Whether you are spending today gathered around a tree with your family, driving to visit family and/or friends, or you are in a hotel room as I am we all have something to celebrate today.

And because I’m in such a giving mood this time of year, I’ve decided to go ahead and finally join Instagram. Now you might be thinking, “I already follow you on Instagram…” Well, if you followed the amount that was originally set up for The Weekly Flare, then yes, you do already follow me on Instagram. Since that show ended early this year, the Instagram account has been left in limbo and it was going to stay that way.

That is until last night, when I rescued it from drifting endlessly through cyber-space and revived it under my own name for posting all the pictures I don’t take but think I should. So perhaps, more I’ll take all those pictures and fill your life with all the joy and humor that can only be had by following me on Instagram.

So Merry Christmas and head on over to my Instagram and follow me:

Have you ever been sitting somewhere, just minding your own business and you unintentionally over hear someone’s conversation? I don’t mean if you are out people watching or stop what you are doing with the intention of listening in on someone’s conversation. I mean truly just minding your own business but the conversation is so loud, and the participants are so animated that you, and everyone around you, can’t help but notice?

I remember one such moment while in college. To set the stage, my first year or so in college I really didn’t spend much time on campus, so the fact that I was sitting in the cafeteria when this all took place is amazing in its own right. And then that I wasn’t wearing headphones to block out all the noise is another miracle, but I digress. So, there I was sitting in the cafeteria. I honestly don’t recall what I was doing or why I had decided to eat on campus that day but I do know that the short conversation I heard that afternoon made it all worth it.

So, here is the short, but amazing conversation that took place between three people. As best I could tell the premise of this conversation was this guy and girl explaining to their friend how they met. I could be way off, but for the sake of the story, lets go with that. And so we pick up at the end of the conversation, where for some reason, unknown to me, I suddenly found myself captivated by what was unfolding before me.

Guy: “Its the red hair right?”

Girl: “First time he walked by he kept going so I did this…” *flips hair a couple times* “…Now we talk a lot.”

Guy: “I did like a triple take.

And then, just as quick as I found myself captured by this brief moment, I no longer could make out any of the conversation and moved on with my day.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is here, and I can’t stop playing it. There isn’t a great way to check how much time one has spent on an Android app, but I’ve easily put in 6 hours over the last few days (maybe it is a good thing there is no timer for how long you’ve played).

If after playing Super Mario Run and Miitomo you were worried that Nintendo would not figure out how to make Animal Crossing work on a mobile device, you’ll be happy to know that from the moment you launch Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp you’ll feel right at home if you are familiar with the Animal Crossing series. For everyone else, the game does a good job of getting you in the game and quickly explaining that you’ll be spending your time collecting furniture and helping the visiting animals. The tutorial is short, explains everything you need to know about the game, and has the right amount of direction without feeling overbearing or slow.

But I’m not here to tell you about the game. Instead, I’m here to tell you that I can’t stop playing the game. It is exactly what I wanted when Nintendo announced a free-to-play Animal Crossing was coming. The game has the right balance of letting you do everything without spending any real money, but always reminds you that you could speed up the time it takes to craft by using some leaf tickets (which are reward for leveling up or you can purchase). The fruit from the trees can only be harvested every 3 hours, but if you need more, you can always check if any of your friends have some fruit for sale.

2017 has turned out to be a great year for Nintendo with the release of the Switch, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, a steady stream of 3rd party support from AAA and indie developers, and now the release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Here’s to hoping that they can keep this pace going next year.

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