Hello friends of USgamer. Welcome to the weekend. I've had a great week: I got a tooth pulled, and my cat stepped on my keyboard, hit my power switch, and cost me a lot of work because it's 2017 and apparently I think saving my work often is for babies.
Well, let's start settling down for two days of R and R. I need it, you need it, dogs need it.
News was a bit all-over-the-place this week, so you won't find too many common threads in our top headlines and features. There's still plenty to flip through, however, so I hope you enjoy!
- Kat bemoaned the current state of retro game controller repros on Monday. That's what happens when you spend your weekend eating pizza and playing Ninja Turtles for the NES. Beware of nostalgia poisoning.
- Speaking of retro stuff, someone got the Nintendo PlayStation CD drive to read data, and the news made me pine for the Secret of Mana prototype developed for the doomed add-on.
- Mike reviewed Prey earlier this week. You can finish the game pretty fast, if you know what you're doing.
- On the topic of fast stuff, Baby Park in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, man.
- We've got our first leaks for Assassin's Creed Origins! Expect this story to go full-on open faucet by the time E3 comes around.
- The new BioWare IP, however, is still far away from a reveal. It's been a rough week for BioWare in general: The Mass Effect property is on hiatus until further notice, and EA shuffled some staff around.
- Kat previewed Fire Emblem: Shadows of Valentia and outlined how it differs from other modern Fire Emblem titles. She and I talk about the game in this week's Axe of the Blood God podcast.
- Other topics covered on Blood God: Nier is great, and contrary to what certain lists insist, Skyrim is not the best RPG of all time.
- Square-Enix put IO Interactive, the studio behind the excellent Hitman series, up for sale despite record earnings. Ouch. Well, at least there's a Final Fantasy XV bug that lets you fly around the world map. That's … kind of a nice thing, right?
- Minecraft for the Nintendo Switch is excellent. Speaking of Minecraft, which version is the best one? I weigh 'em up over here.
- Jeremy Parish kicked off a new Design in Action series, and it's a good one: Shovel Knight. Steel thy shovel-blade.
As for this week's ending music: Sonic the Hedgehog 3! I choose you!
After years of rumor and speculation, we finally received confirmation last year that Michael Jackson composed parts of Sonic 3's soundtrack. Jackson reportedly asked not to have his name put on the soundtrack because he was unhappy with how his compositions wound up sounding on the Genesis.
I've long said that while Genesis games' soundtracks hold a very distinct charm, about 75% of games for the machine sound like they're made of farts and rubber bands going "twang twang." Michael's talent is evident in Sonic 3's playlist, however. Apparently, he was happy enough with his Sonic 3 work to re-appropriate its ending credits for 1995's Stranger in Moscow.
Or maybe Stranger in Moscow came first? No idea. Both songs are great, anyway.
Oh, tons of internet people have mixed the two songs together, of course.