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

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is the biggest video game industry trade show of the year. Last week at the Expo, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all showed off the games they’ll be releasing in the next 12 months.

Sam McConnell

There are some games that I’ll almost always buy, simply because of the name. Super Mario. Street Fighter. The Legend of Zelda. Pokémon. Final Fantasy. Mario Kart. It isn’t just because of brand loyalty, but rather that the quality of these games is always of such a caliber that I’ve never felt disappointed. So when Mario Kart 8 came out last week, I didn’t wait for a single review before I rushed out and bought it.

supergiantgames.com

Last year, way back when I was at PAX East, I played an early demo of a game that I got very excited about. The game, called Transistor, came out on Tuesday and I’ve had a chance to spend a little time with it.

In this game, you play as a fiery-haired singer named Red who narrowly escapes her would-be assassins, called The Process.

Fletcher Powell / KMUW

I play games on my Nintendo 3DS pretty often. Some games are better suited to portable systems, and the 3DS has a few features completely unique to it.

Maybe my favorite of these is called StreetPass. When your 3DS is off, in your pocket or backpack or wherever, it periodically sends out a ping using its wireless radio. If there is another 3DS in range, it will receive that ping, the two systems will exchange data, and a little green light on the top of the 3DS will light up to tell me I’ve StreetPassed with someone.

Bart Brunscheen

I’ve talked a lot about board games here, but, you know, board games are expensive. Some of the games I’ve mentioned cost upwards of $50. And some other games I’ve played, with all of the expansions added, cost well above $100.

This is comparable to video games, sure, but finding copies used or deeply discounted can be a problem. Many board games simply fall out of print instead of being sold for less than the asking price. For many people, they’re simply unaffordable.

Jon Reynolds

Many people are at least sort of familiar with what Dungeons & Dragons is - a role playing game that a group of friends play together using dice and books, rather than a TV and a controller. I love playing D&D, but the games are long, and finding people that aren’t so busy that they can’t play these long campaigns for hours at a time, weeks in a row... well, that’s difficult.

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

I’ve been a fan of the Metal Gear Solid series since the first one in 1998. Since then, I’ve played them all and followed the story of the two main protagonists, both code-named "Snake."

The latest, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, was released last week.

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

I don’t play many games on my smartphone. I don’t normally want to sacrifice the battery life, especially if I have a dedicated gaming portable like my Nintendo 3DS with me. But sometimes, smartphone games grab me, especially if they play quick and have a social aspect to them.

The Shifted Librarian / Flickr / Creative Commons

Last week, I asked a friend to introduce me to some lesser-known games that don’t take very long to play. He immediately pulled out a game called Dixit. When he told me that it’s a game about telling short stories, I didn’t really understand how short he meant.

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

Normally, furniture isn’t something I’d be talking much about on a segment dedicated to gaming. But where you play can be just as important as what you play.

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