Blog Posts by Justin Mikos - www.GameInformer.com
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  • Metroid Samus Returns Review

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    A few weeks ago I finished Metroid Samus Returns, a reimagining of the original Game Boy game Metroid II, and I can’t stop thinking about it. While there have been plenty of Metroid inspired games throughout the last decade, it has been over 10 years since Metroid Prime 3 Corruption and 15 years since the last original 2D installment, Metroid Fusion. Samus Returns isn’t Metroid 5, but it is far more than just a remake as the map and mechanics have been completely overhauled. With such a dramatic reinvention surrounding a humble foundation, not every element is in perfect sync, but I’m glad to see just how much of a success Samus Returns is. More

    I've been thinking about Samus' latest adventure ever since I completed it and I wanted to share my thoughts on why it is such a successful remake. Here is my review of my Metroid Samus Returns.

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  • My Top 25 Games At 25

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    I've been playing games for nearly 25 years and there is one question that I've routinely found difficult to answer even though it sounds so simple: "what is your favorite game of all time?" I often answer that question by listing a handful of my favorite games and leave it at that since the games I hold in the highest regard are so outstanding that ranking them doesn't always make sense. Regardless I've always wanted to share a ranking of my favorite games of all time so I decided I'd try to make one for a list for a major milestone. If you ask me about this list in the future I'm not sure how fully I'd stand by it, but at this moment, as I just turned 25, here are my top 25 favorite games I've played to date! More

    Since I just turned 25 I wanted to share my top 25 games I've played to date. Check it out!

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  • What I Want From The Nintendo Switch Six Months After Launch

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    I've been enamored with the Nintendo Switch since my dreams of a hyrbid console or a shared ecosystem began to align with leaks of its true nature leading up to its official reveal. Two years ago following Dragon Quest XI's announcement as the first Switch game, I wrote a blog about why I thought creating a hybrid console or a shared ecosystem made the most sense for Nintendo. Not only would it cut down on redundant releases, such as altered 3DS versions of Wii U games, but it would benefit Nintendo's less prominent franchises because Nintendo's console and handheld fans would be unified in one ecosystem. Following the big reveal event in January, I made sure to stay up late to secure early preorders for the Switch and Zelda. Today I wanted to talk about how I feel about the system since its been out for six months and what I want to see from the console going forward. More

    As a Switch owner since launch, here are my thoughts on the system and its growing library of games after the first six months.

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  • Eight Games I Played At Anime Expo 2017

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    For the sixth year in a row, I journeyed up to Los Angeles on the 4th of July weekend for Anime Expo. As always I had a thoroughly awesome time. In addition to concerts and panels and buying merchandise, a core pillar of my annual AX experience is trying out as many games as I can on the show floor. This year I managed to play eight games and I wanted to share my thoughts on each of them. After that, I also want to share some of my highlights from this year's show, so let's get started! More

    Here are my thoughts on all eight games I played at Anime Expo 2017 including Dragonball Fighter Z, Under Night In-Birth Latest, and Ys VIII, as well as some of my AX highlights!

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  • Justin's Last Minute E3 2017 Predictions

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    E3 snuck up on me this year, but now that it is here it is hard for me to contain my excitement for gaming's most significant show of the year. For the past two E3's I've shared my biggest E3 predictions here on my blog and I definitely wanted to continue the tradition for E3 2017. While many games have their announcements ahead of E3, there is still plenty of room for surprises since some can make far bigger impacts on stage or during the show. More

    These are my seven last minute predictions for E3 2017. Check them out!

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  • My Top 10 Favorite Games Of 2016

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    2016 was a rough year on many fronts, but thankfully there was a shockingly large amount of top tier games to play by the year's end. While it wasn't as tough for me to put together my top 10 list this year since I had been constantly keeping track of all the games I beat on my phone, I was amazed by how many games I thought would make it earlier in the year drop off as even more amazing games released.

    This is my sixth time sharing my top 10 games of the year on Game Informer and the rules of my list remain the same. In order to be eligible for my top 10 each game had to release in 2016 (so no simple HD remasters or ports are allowed) and, if applicable, I also needed to have finished them. Furthermore, as my top 10 favorite games of the year they aren't necessarily primarily ranked by their quality, but by how much they resonated with me. More

    I'm excited to finally share my top 10 favorite games of 2016! These are the ten that I most enjoyed and are the ones that truly resonated with me.

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  • My Nine Favorite Games I Played At The 2016 PlayStation Experience

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    This past weekend, I traveled up to the Anaheim Convention Center for the 2016 PlayStation Experience. This was my second PSX and I had an absolute blast. It was awesome being in the same room as so many amazing industry people, getting to say hi and catch up with friends, attend the amazing keynote and four cool panels (which included Uncharted The Lost Legacy, Death Stranding, The Last of Us Part II, and a live PS I Love You XOXO), and of course checking out some incredible upcoming games. More

    I recently attended the 2016 PlayStation Experience and played a ton of awesome games including Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Heart Forth Alicia. Here are my detailed thoughts on my nine favorite games of PSX plus brief thoughts on all of the rest.

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  • My Top 15 Favorite Original Vocal Songs In Games

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    When I think about video game music in general my mind immediately jumps to instrumental music, whether it be old chiptune songs or modern orchestral music. I enjoy listening to a ton of instrumental game music and I often buy limited editions or go on iTunes to purchase the soundtracks for games I love. While I often listen to instrumental music when I'm writing, video game or otherwise, there are a lot of activities like driving and exercising where I prefer listening to songs with vocals.

    Recently, an upcoming game I'm interested in, Akiba's Beat, released its full opening video that features an original song from my favorite J-Pop band ClariS. Hearing the song, Again, made me start thinking about my favorite original video game music with vocals. More

    I wanted to share some of my favorite original vocal songs in video games so I decided to rank my 15 favorites. Check it out!

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  • Why I Love Falcom's Trails Series

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    For a long time now, I've wanted to write a blog post or feature dedicated to one of my favorite video games of all time, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. While I've written about the game and its sequels frequently across various articles I've written over the last five years, I've never written an entire post fully focused on just how much I love it and why it is so special. On two separate occasions, I've written rough drafts that ultimately went unfinished. This time however, I'm armed with far more experience with not only the original game, but the franchise as a whole. Since my last attempt a year ago, I've fully replayed Trails in the Sky, have finished two of its sequels, and I'm well on my way through the latest game in the franchise. With all of this extensive experience under my belt, I'd like to share not just why I love Trails in the Sky, but Falcom's Trails series as a whole. More

    Falcom's Trails series is my favorite modern RPG series and I love it deeply. Here's why.

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  • My Top Ten Most Anticipated Handheld Games

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    I've always loved dedicated handhelds since the original Game Boy and for the past few months especially most of my gaming has been on the 3DS and Vita. I've been enjoying playing a mix of new games such as BoxBoxBoy!, Kirby: Planet Robobot, and Zero Time Dilemma (my current game of the year contender) as well as some games I had been sitting on including Professor Layton Versus Ace Attorney and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel.

    While console gaming dominates the Fall and there are plenty of titles I'm looking forward to, I wanted to call out some of the dedicated handheld games I'm most looking forward to this year and beyond to give them some extra attention. More

    There are a ton of exciting games coming out for dedicated handhelds this year and beyond. Here are my top ten handheld games I'm most anticipating.

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  • Five Games I Played At San Diego Comic Con 2016

    Last weekend, I went to my fourth Comic Con ticketless. While I had a lot of fun, it was a bit underwhelming compared to previous years since the lines for outside events were considerably longer than in the past which limited how many things I could check out. Regardless, I was able to play some exciting games at Comic Con this year and I wanted to share my experiences playing them. More

    I recently attended my fourth Comic Con ticketless and played five games while I was there. Check out my impressions of Kingdom Hearts 2.8, Final Fantasy XV, Metroid Prime Federation Force and more!

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  • The Ten Games I Played At Anime Expo 2016

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    Over the 4th of July weekend I went to Anime Expo for my fifth time and had an absolute blast as always. While I thoroughly enjoy going to AX every year, I've never written a whole blog dedicated to any of my trips there on Game Informer largely because while I do try out new video games at AX I either do not play enough games to justify writing a full blog or with the games I do demo I'm often unable to have substantial experiences with them.

    At Anime Expo 2016 however, not only did I try out a large amount of new games, I was able to play a substantial amount of practically every single game I tried. More

    Over the 4th of July weekend I went to my fifth Anime Expo and played 10 exciting, upcoming games. Here are my experiences playing BlazBlue Central Fiction, Yakuza Zero, Bloodstained, and more as well as some of my Anime Expo 2016 highlights.

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