Review: SNES Classic Mini (EU Version)

Nintendo’s second throwback console features the best of the 16-bit era while improving on some of its predecessor’s shortcomings.

Manufacturer: Nintendo | Year: 2017 | Price: $79.99 | Buy from Amazon

I got the NES Classic earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed discovering classic games I’d never got a chance to try. But all but a couple of those games haven’t aged so well, and it was more of a historical time-capsule than a legitimate console you’d recommend to you friends. The Super Nintendo era is different. There’s a reason many modern indie games like Stardew Valley and Undertale find widespread success emulating the 16-bit style. The early nineties were a time when home video games started to distance itself from the arcade as a separate, valid entity, and as a result many of these games are lengthy, rich experiences.
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Review: Conklin Duragraph

Manufacturer: Conklin | List Price: $55.00 | Buy from Amazon

Conklin is one of the oldest manufacturers of fountain pens in the United States, having started producing fountain pens in 1898. However, in 1955, when ballpoints had largely replaced fountain pens in widespread use, the company ceased operation. The Conklin name was revived in 2000, and in 2009 the brand and designs were purchased by Yafa Companies, who continue to make pens bearing the Conklin name.
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Review: Persona 5

Developer: Atlus | Year: 2017 | Price: $59.99 | Buy from Amazon

The Persona series of Japanese role-playing games started in 1996 when Revelations: Persona was released for the PlayStation. Persona is a spin-off of the larger Megami Tensei series, whose games are often set in the present-day and feature darker themes. Persona was a pretty standard dungeon-crawler, and the well-loved Persona 2 duology was pretty similar gameplay-wise, but starting with Persona 3, released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, the series started to incorporate certain visual novel elements, allowing the player to alternate between a high-school life simulator by day and dungeon crawler to monsters at night.

Note: This review contains early-game story spoilers as well as details of various gameplay mechanics. 
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Listen: Garmarna

GarmarnaSince the band’s founding in 1990, Garmarna have been one of the most prominent names in Swedish folk music. Their modern take on traditional Swedish folk tunes and ballads led them to moderate success in Sweden throughout the ’90s. However, they — and the Scandinavian folk scene as a whole — have remained relatively unknown elsewhere in the world. I discovered Garmarna completely by accident, during one of my frequent escapades down the YouTube rabbit-hole. I’ve become a pretty big fan of their music since, and today I thought I’d do a little spotlight on three of their albums: VittradGuds Spelemän, and Vedergällningen.
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Review: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Developer: CD Projekt Red | Year: 2015 | Price: $42.99 | Buy from Amazon

tw3coverWell, it’s finally over. After nearly four months of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt dominating my outside-of-army life, I’ve finally gotten to the end credits. I bought it right after I got my PS4 in May, but before I’d done my finals, so I actually wasn’t allowed to play it until a month later, when I moved to Singapore. In the six weeks I spent waiting for my enlistment into the army, I played Wild Hunt obsessively, often well into the small hours of the morning (although that was probably also a product of jet-lag!). Since enlistment I’ve had to slow down my progress, as I’m only allowed out of camp on weekends and have lots of other things to accomplish during that time. But last weekend I made a final 7-hour-long push to the finish and defeated the game’s final boss. And I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it, so cop a seat and enjoy the ride!
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