Sunday, November 8, 2015


I have been posting on this blog on and off for four years. I never had an exact theme or plan for the blog which has led to its own mediocrity. I have enjoyed writing little blurbs here, but I think it is time to move to something with a bit more of a purpose. In October 2015 my girlfriend and I began a blog called Game and Read. Our goal is to pair books with video games and discuss the two in scheduled videos. I have really enjoyed the project so far, and I am curious to see where it may lead.
I will be leaving up this site for personal nostalgic purposes.

You can see anything that do at the following places:
Twitter: @nerdintheworld
Instagram: nerd_in_the_world

Thanks for reading!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Thing of Interest! BitBoy + Gameboy Camera Review

There were many material things I wanted as a child. Of these things I desired, few have lasted to my adulthood. One that has stuck around is my wanting Gameboy Camera to take all the great 8-bit lo-fi photos I can. Until recently, I had no reason to get Gameboy Camera,  as uploading them to a computer was a roundabout process. However, with the recent limited release of the BitBoy, I indulged in ordering a camera with the ability to quickly put them on my computer and online.

A photo posted by Peter (@nerd_in_the_world) on

There isn't much to review with the BitBoy,  it works well by emulating a printer for the camera. It puts the photos on an SD card which is easy to empty onto a computer. It is easy to use and works as expected. It is a little pricey for it's functionality, but it seems to be the only thing on the market that can do this task with ease.

The Gameboy Camera is as weird as it ever was. I can take these hard to shoot photos that range from halfway visible to completely unreadable. I then can stamp goofy things on them, including select Pokemon Red/Blue sprites, and add a frame. It does about as much as you'd expect for that era with a little bit more.

A photo posted by Peter (@nerd_in_the_world) on

If you're looking for a cool lo-fi camera, you can pick up everything you need for around $100, but you'll have to wait and see if there is a second batch of BitBoys coming.

5 out of 5 pixelated stars.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thing of Interest!: Quick Review of Chibi-Robo! Ziplash

I recently found myself in the Toys R' Us of Elyria, Ohio. A copy of Chibi-Robo! Ziplash was staring me down in the video game section. I was on weekend trip to Cleveland with my folks and I was in a mood to splurge on a new game to play on the drive home to Chicagoland. I opted to try the game, complete with an adorable Chibi-Robo Amiibo that could not be used with my model of 3DS. My purchase cost $42.14.

I enjoyed the game, but I can't say it was worth what I paid. Whipping yourself around as Chibi-Robo takes some getting used to, and I often found myself on the losing end of targeting mechanic issues. You can only whip to certain glowing panels and often what looked like a good shot would be just a little bit off at the very last minute, leaving me to fall to my death. Other points while playing as the little robot were tedious when a skilled whip was needed with little warning, leaving me upset that I could not react unless I knew ahead of time what was coming.

On the positive side, the game has a cute and fun aesthetic, mostly enjoyable platforming, and it kept me playing. There are plenty of collectibles on levels and I'm sure the completionist set could find that appealing. Overall, it was fun, but not in the way that I had hoped for $30 Nintendo game. Unless you are certain you want this game, or you can find it for under $20, I can't recommend Ziplash.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

On a Nerd to Know Basis: Game & Read

I'm have started a new project with my girlfriend Erin. We have started making YouTube videos for a channel and blog called Game & Read. Our goal is to pair books and video games together in interesting ways and discuss our appreciation of both mediums. Erin is a big reader and will gladly spend a few hours intent on knocking out a library book. I will play games until my eyes ache and knuckles creak. Together we recommend books and games for one another and try our best to keep them on theme. We have posted our first discussion video, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon & Rooms by Lauren Oliver, along with a couple of extra videos. You can check out our blog for updates at and our YouTube channel here.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Thing of Interest!: Armada by Ernest Cline Complete!

I finished Ernest Cline's Armada last week. Here are some quick thoughts:

  • I really enjoyed Cline's first novel, Ready Player One. I liked Armada but found it to be a little bit of a sophomore slump.
  • The concept, video games+space+conspiracy, is pretty nifty and not too similar to other stories with a similar concept like The Last Starfighter.
  • The pacing was a little off putting. There was a lengthy exposition, and there wasn't much in the way of resolution after a succinct climax. There were some big revelations in the last 10 pages and not too much in the way of actually discussing it.
  • Unending references doesn't make for the wittiest dialogue, and I think they could have used some more subtlety.
  • Based on the ending, I wouldn't be surprised if Cline writes a sequel, but I think Ready Player One has a better world for exploring in  sequels.
  • I hope the eventual Ready Player One movie is good.
  • Review over, 3/5 stars.

Critically yours,


On a Nerd to Know Basis: Anxiety and Completing Games

I have a long held problem with completing video games. It stems from what may seem like an odd source, my own anxieties. While games are generally considered to be a pastime that is about enjoyment and relaxation, I have always found certain aspects to be major sources of stress in my life. I remember being terrified that the sharks in Banjo Kazooie were going to get me. The sin spawn battles in Final Fantasy X made my heart race faster than any nine year old's should. Fighting Master Hand in any Super Smash Bros. can give me an ulcer. And, even in Mario Kart, if I am in front of the pack at the last leg of the race, I am doing a hail Mary, hoping I don't get hit with a shell.

Stress and emotion are part of the fun in most games. Enjoyment is an emotion, the happiness of beating a challenge is incredible,  and I don't want games that lack those feelings. However, for my entire life, to this day, certain mundane challenges have a very strong effect on me. That effect has prevented me from completing numerous games that I ha
ve wanted to finish and it stops me from trying certain games I would probably like.

In an attempt to break down what sets me off, I thought back to popular games that I was familiar with, but didn't play through. A common theme is a 3D environment that is typically some kind of adventure. In my childhood it was games like Banjo Kazooie, and in recent times it's games like the Arkham Asylum Series and Bioshock. These games give little in the way of safe spaces in game that give my video game brain a break to recuperate from the last thing I just faced. I will often avoid games that look like they'll have this effect on me, and on the occasion that I begin one of these games, I routinely find myself dropping out early and never trying it again.

In more open world 3D games, like Skyrim or Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, I have fewer problems with getting stressed out. I have more control over what I do in the game. I can backtrack to easier spots and complete everything in an area I  am comfortable with before moving on. While I play them for long chunks of time, I can stop at any small task without this push forward by the game. These games have acted as a bit of a gateway to me playing through more intimidating looking games, as I have inched my way into more stressful situations.

2D platformers and things of that nature have never given me any issues. The action seems so distant that it doesn't seem to trigger any real emotion from me other than fun and challenge. Additionally, turn based games have worked out pretty well. While I got stuck in FFX, I never had problems with the early Final Fantasy games, Pokemon, or Civilization. Any anxiety I feel seems to stem from a realistic-ish environment with problems that must be faced head on.

While certain moments in games will still stress me out beyond comfortable levels, I have gotten better and have enjoyed playing through some older games I couldn't handle when I was younger. I don't think I would ever enjoy a survival/horror game, but if I ever do, I'll be ecstatic, and probably pretty scared.

White Knucklingly yours,


Friday, September 25, 2015

Thing of Interest!: Plague of Shadows Complete!

I completed the Plague of Shadows DLC last night. Here are some quick thoughts on the pseudo-sequel to Yacht Club Game's first game.

It's a really cool take on the world of Shovel Knight. It takes place at the same time as Shovel Knight's journey to defeat the Order Of No Quarter and the Sorceress. Plague Knight has ulterior motives and in many ways turns against the order while sticking to the story of Shovel Knight.

The platforming in this adventure is a very different take on the game. Plague Knight, when used effectively can jump through large areas using jumps, explosions and a couple extra tricks he has. Additionally, combat is much more customizable with multiple effects to choose from, once purchased. The downside to that gameplay is learning to jump in and out of the pause menu, but it is a small bump in the long run.

The overworld is identical to the previous adventure, but interacting with certain places is vastly different since you are this loathed little weirdo who likes bombs. Finding armor, shops, etc. is all different.

Overall, this was a great expansion, especially for the $0 price tag. It reminds me of the second quest idea from The Legend of Zelda where players were treated to extra adventure content if they input a certain character name. Considering the very retro feel of Shovel Knight this callback is not a surprise.

Check out Plague of Shadows on your copy of Shovel Knight or go get it! It's a good value.

Plague-ingly Yours

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Video Game History Editorial: Is Kingdom Hearts Good?

Short answer: It's pretty good.

Long Answer: It is a interesting concept with fairly playable gameplay and a story so convoluted that after multiple hours of research, I am not entirely sure who is good, bad, and what anybody's intentions are. Now, there are plenty of wonderful games that have a similar situation. Are the ghosts really that bad in Pac-Man? Why must these brothers smash each other? But, a game with a very involved RPG style plot should hopefully be a little coherent. I have played a couple of KH games, read wiki articles, and watched three youtube videos with minimum 45 minute length about the story. I am lost. There are to many X names, nobodies make no sense and i'm not even sure what the situation is going into the much awaited KH3. However I still like the game series overall. The battles are a little chaotic at times. The way to improve your character changes some between games and doesn't always make the most sense, but I have fun when I play them and I like the weird JRPG+Disney idea. It may be my favorite way to consume Disney schtick.

My real problem with KH stems from how much I will put up with before I decide I don't like a game. I like the concept of Kingdom Hearts, I like the battles for the most part, and I like the idea of a weird overarching plot connecting Disney movies and Japanese video games. But, the lack of a coherent plot, awful side features, and really shitty movement I find myself questioning when I draw the line on a game or games. If KH games were something else, I may put it down and consider it crap forever, but I can' bring myself to hate on the KH series. I probably am this way with so many other games too. It's created a bit of an existential crisis for me. What if all the games I like have major flaws but they caught my interest enough to ignore the problems. Perhaps most games are like that and it just comes down to preference.

I choose to end the thought here before all games are ruined for me, by me. None of this matters. The end.

Incoherently yours,