The JoBuilt Trashmaster in all of its pungent glory.

I know it sounds far-fetched, but if you indulge me, there is a greater than zero percent chance that it could be true. Let me introduce you to the JoBuilt Trashmaster. According to GTA Wiki, the vehicle manufacturer JoBuilt was introduced to the GTA series in 2008 with Grand Theft Auto IV. A few years earlier, in 2005, I interviewed for a job in Quality Assurance at Rockstar NYC. The interview process had me at their office at least twice, once for a standard interview and then again for a full trial day of work. I got to play a still-in-development build of The Warriors on PlayStation 2 to look for bugs and other issues. These pieces of information may seem inconsequential at first, but when you take into account my real name, Joe Bilt, you may start to see the connection.

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Like the Super Nt that came before it, the Analogue Mega Sg was such an incredible piece of tech. They’re built really well, are simple to use, and are just all around great devices. It allows you to play Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games upscaled to 1080p on modern televisions over HDMI. You can even play Master System games with a provided cartridge adapter. From time to time, Analogue will release firmware updates to add features, fix bugs, and improve performance so you’ll want to know how to update.

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If you tuned in to yesterday morning’s Nintendo Direct Partner Showcase, you saw the more than 25 Switch games presented—over 30 if you count each entry in a collection. Some of them we have seen before, but many were new and surprising. It was a good mix of new IPs and some ports, collections, and remasters. The most surprising ones for me were Megaman Battle Network Legacy Collection and Portal: Companion Collection.

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This morning, Nintendo announced they will be holding a Nintendo Direct mini tomorrow, focusing primarily on third-party Nintendo Switch games. Nintendo themselves, as well as individual publishers, have already shown off a lot in other presentations this summer. Seeing what they might have in store for this one will be exciting. Is it too much to hope for all the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters in a single Switch collection? Check it out tomorrow on the Nintendo YouTube channel.

Pick up the Xbox Wireless Headset from a coffee table and prepare to play a game.
Xbox Wireless Headset photo from the Microsoft Store

I was one of the lucky ones during the Xbox Series X launch and scored a console on launch day. It did everything Microsoft promised, like higher-resolution graphics, near-instant load times, backward compatibility, and more. After laughing at a note from my delivery driver, I put the console through its paces. But it wasn’t until the launch of the Xbox Wireless Headset a few months later that I noticed one glaring omission. Audio would play simultaneously out of the speakers and the wireless headset when you had it connected. I had gotten accustomed to the PlayStation family of consoles, where the speakers would get muted. It made playing at night, or any time when you were trying to be quiet, rather challenging.

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Octopath Traveler and my 8BitDo SN30

Octopath Traveler is an RPG developed by Square Enix and Acquire, released in 2018. It had a unique art style that Square called HD-2D, which utilized pixelated 2D character sprites in a 3D world. Visually it reminds me of early PlayStation RPGs like Breath of Fire III and Dragon Quest VII. The game received pretty favorable reviews, currently holding an 83 on Metacritic. Square has plans to re-use the art style in many upcoming games, including Triangle Strategy, which should be coming out this Friday.

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Yesterday marks two whole years since I launched this website. And that doesn’t account for all the time I spent planning, building, and being nervous about releasing it, so I stalled for a very long time. I’ve published 32 articles in the time since. Not as many as I would have liked but a decent effort. It’s been a tough two years, to say the least, so I cut myself some slack, as we all should. It’s been great to have this outlet for me when I needed it or had something to say.

I’m really looking forward to the next few years. Hopefully, I can get into a more regular cadence and post more often. I’d also like to share other types of content (videos and podcasts, perhaps?), so stay tuned.

Thank you to anyone who has so much as read even one single word I’ve written. I appreciate you.

Gleamlight Launch Screen

Moving on from The Elder Scrolls: Blades, we find ourselves at the ninth game in our list, Gleamlight for the Nintendo Switch. Gleamlight is a game that had difficulty climbing out from the shadow of its poor first impression. When it was first shown off, there were a lot of comparisons to Hollow Knight, a near-universally praised game. The art style and gameplay were clearly derivative. Gleamlight averaged a score of 42 by reviewers on Metacritic. Let’s see why it’s so bad!

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Alphen, one of the main characters in Tales of Arise

I just beat Tales of Arise this month, and it is the first Tales game I’ve beaten since the original Tales of Destiny when it was released on the Sony PlayStation way back in 1998. Sure I’ve played others—I own quite a few of them—but I never really played all the way through. While Arise served as a great reintroduction to the series, a few things held it back from being truly exceptional in my book.

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Genki Shadowcast Device and Packaging

The Genki Shadowcast is a product I truly wanted to love. A tiny, affordable device for getting your video game console’s output onto your PC or Mac. Maybe my expectations were just a little too high, but it didn’t quite deliver on them.

The purpose of the device is to use your laptop instead of your television to play console games. I saw this and immediately thought of live streaming and video capture. It would be amazing to have this super portable capture card, smaller and cheaper than a CamLink, that you could use for streaming on the go.

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