Samuel McConnell

Games commentator

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.

Though he spends a great deal of his time at his day job helping people with their computer troubles, he carves out as much time as he can to play video or board games, or to tinker with his home cinema.

Labels that apply to Samuel: Gamer, nerd, geek, techie, trekkie, whovian, cinephile.

Ways to Connect

courtesy Fireshark

This commentary originally aired August 13, 2015.

Here in Wichita, we have access to what is, as far as I know, a completely unique gaming experience.

Fireshark Gaming is a gaming center where you can play a game that takes place all around you, and even underneath you. The game is played in a 33-by-20-foot room with up to 10 people. On the ceiling are a bunch of projectors, pointed both at the walls and the floor.

Growing up, my favorite video games were the Sonic the Hedgehog series. And one of my favorite parts of the series was the music. It was always catchy, but the series had its musical pinnacle with Sonic 3. The game had 6 credited composers, but it’s very likely that there was one high profile musician who went uncredited.

One of my favorite video games when I was younger was the Super Nintendo game Earthbound. It was a role-playing game like Final Fantasy, but instead of being set in a fantasy world with swords and magic wands, it was set in modern times with baseball bats and yo-yos. The game had quirky writing and endearing characters that set it apart from any other games of its time.

This year has been a fantastic year for gaming, but there have been a few games that have really captured my attention.

I’m excited about the new Star Wars movie coming out tonight. And, although Star Wars is primarily a movie series, there have been dozens of games set in the Star Wars universe.

 

Telltale Games

Minecraft is one of the most surprising hit games in recent memory. The game was developed initially by a single person, and had an incredibly simple design. When you started the game, you were dropped into a randomly generated world built out of 3D cubes, and you could remove and replace these cubes to build whatever you wanted. Later, crafting, enemies, villages, and multiplayer were introduced to the game, but the basic premise of gathering resources and building with them remained unchanged. The game has no narrative or characters to speak of.

bagogames / Flickr / Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and with that, the biggest shopping season of the year. This is typically when all the biggest games are released.

The Xbox One has a few big exclusives this holiday. Halo 5, which I talked about a few weeks ago, and the sequel to 2013’s fantastic reboot of the Tomb Raider series. The new game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, is a cinematic adventure with a story that should be at turns tragic and uplifting, but with the tight, responsive gameplay the series is known for.

'Halo' Is Back

Nov 5, 2015

The Halo series is big business. Really big. Almost every release in the series has broken sales records. Up through 2012’s Halo 4, the series had sold nearly $3.5 billion worth of games, not counting tie-in novels, toys, soundtrack albums, or a ton of other licensed goods.

bagogames / Flickr / Creative Commons

I’ve always enjoyed the music in video games. It's often an important part in setting the tone, whether it’s a happy, jazzy anthem in Sonic the Hedgehog, or an ambient, moody piece from Silent Hill.

There’s a new game on the horizon that is so big that, in all likelihood, it will never be fully explored. The game is No Man’s Sky, and it is literally bigger than our galaxy.

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