Anthony John Agnello

    Associate Engagement Editor, Streams Producer

    Anthony is a writer living in New York whose work has appeared in The A.V. Club, The Gameological Society, Edge, and Fast Company. He has been writing about video games for 28 years. Only seven of those years have been professional writing. The previous 21 years were primarily private stories about spending time with Mega Man. He owns two beaches, likes long walks on cats, and is eternally grateful for the love and patience of his wife.

  • JXE Streams: Talking 'No Man's Sky' with Hello Games

    Another E3 has come and gone. This one was particularly spectacular. We got to play Volume with Mike Bithell. We got to talk about Yooka-Laylee with legendary Rare composer Grant Kirkhope. We even got to bask in the announcements of seriously unlikely sequels like Shenmue 3 while simultaneously reveling in brand new games like ReCore. E3 2015 was amazing, but we're not done! We have one more developer stream in store for you. Join us on Twitch.tv/Joystiq at 12PM ET/9AM PT while we discuss No Man's Sky with Hello Games.

  • E3 Streams: 'Volume,' 'Fortnite,' 'Elite: Dangerous,' and more!

    Onward into E3 2015! Our week in Los Angeles has left us wild and crazed. We interviewed the director of the Final Fantasy VII remake. We played Star Fox Zero. Now we're going to give you a chance to talk to the developers of some of E3's biggest games right here on JXE Streams. Join us starting at at 12:30PM ET/9:30AM PT on Twitch.tv/Joystiq for a chance to chat with developers like Epic Games, Elite: Dangerous creator David Braben, and a special early look at Volume with Mike Bithell.

  • E3 Streams: 'Divinity: Original Sin' and 'Cosmic Star Heroine'

    We're at the halfway point of E3 2015 and the hits keep coming. We've got an awesome interview with Sony's Shuhei Yoshida covering everything from Morpheus to Shenmue 3. We even chatted with Keiji Inafune about ReCore, his new Xbox One exclusive. That's cool and all, but wouldn't you like the chance to talk to the creators at E3? JXE Streams has your back. Join us starting at at 2:30PM ET on Twitch.tv/Joystiq for a chance to chat with the developers behind Divinity: Original Sin and Cosmic Star Heroine.

  • 'Just Cause 3' let me create my own ballet of destruction

    "We're not really into subtlety," says Roland Lesterlin, the director of Just Cause 3, as he and another developer from Avalanche Studios blow up an offshore oil rig in the game. He's really describing the whole Just Cause series. Avalanche's adventures tend to marry the openness and freedom of Grand Theft Auto with a litany of explosions. Even with that history, though, it's hard to do justice to the destruction set off by Rico Rodriguez, Just Cause 3's hero, within just seconds of this stage demo at a pre-E3 event. Lesterlin says his team wants players to "always be laughing" while playing Just Cause 3. Indeed, my time with the demo certainly had me chuckling at the game's seemingly boundless capacity for chaos.

  • E3 Streams: 'The Long Dark,' 'Yooka Laylee,' and more!

    E3 2015 is officially underway and the gaming world's been set ablaze. Xbox One backwards compatibility! A Final Fantasy VII remake for PlayStation 4! There's also a metric ton of brand new games. JXE Streams is giving you the opportunity to chat directly with the developers from the E3 show floor starting today at 1PM ET. We're going to have the devs behind The Long Dark, Zodiac, The Banner Saga 2, and Yooka-Laylee live on Twitch.tv/Joystiq.

  • 'Battleborn' seduced me with arcade spirit and role-playing style

    Battleborn looked like it would be my kryptonite. When Gearbox Software showed the game to a group of reporters at a pre-E3 event, the roster of 25 characters looked like League of Legends clones, all of them clashing like a teenage anime enthusiast's backup Tumblr. That the studio emphasized a 5-vs.-5 competitive mode, where players would hit and shoot each other in online matches, only further entrenched its cosmetic similarity to that game. What's more, Gearbox promised that playing Battleborn would be all about the "ding" moment, when you level up your character in each match; again just like League of Legends. All those signifiers on top of a name that made it sound like an off-brand He-Man playset, and Battleborn came off like everything I detest about modern gaming. Then I played a co-operative story mission with four other people and never wanted to stop.

  • JXE Streams: Welcome to the 'Jurassic Park' extravaganza

    Some people saw the trailer for Jurassic World and thought, "That looks stupid. Andy from Parks and Recreation riding a motorcycle alongside a team of velociraptors? What's become of our beloved movies about dinosaurs trying to eat Jeff Goldblum?" That's not what we thought here at JXE Streams. We thought, "That looks stupid. Stupidly awesome." Unable to contain our excitement for the new movie any longer, we're streaming two old-school Jurassic Park games back to back starting at 3PM ET/12PM PT.

  • JXE Streams: Come revisit 'Fallout 3' after the 'Fallout 4' bomb

    When the Fallout 4 trailer dropped on the world last week, irradiating ravenous explorers anxious to return to the series' wastes with fresh hope, it drove something home: Fallout 3 was awesome. Has it really been seven years since Bethesda reimagined the post-apocalyptic satire as a modern, first-person adventure? Has it been so long since Liam Neeson raised us in a post-nuclear war underground vault? Most importantly: does it still hold up? In order to answer that final question, we're streaming Fallout 3 today at 3:30PM ET/12:30PM PT.

  • 'Abzu': a scuba diving game that's part Zen, part 'Journey'

    Abzû, the debut game from game development house Giant Squid, may as well have the subtitle Journey 2 or maybe even Flower 3. Studio founder Matt Nava, the former thatgamecompany art director of those aforementioned art house gaming touchstones, is making yet another emotionally bald, deeply pretty game about communing with nature through fluid controls here. In playing Abzû, though, any cynicism born out of its similarity to Nava's past work floats away like so much foam on a wave. This undersea adventure is immediately familiar, clearly of a piece with Journey's nomadic wandering and Flower's breezy environmentalism. Even in just a brief demo session, though, Abzû is equally transcendent. Of all the games from E3 2015 I got to play at early events, Abzû is the one I didn't want to stop playing. Even in a pre-alpha state, Giant Squid's game makes you feel like you're somewhere else.

  • JXE Streams: 'Façade' celebrates 10 years of awkward sexual advances

    Façade turns 10 in July. Archaic as Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern's interactive drama is after a decade, it remains one of the most distinctive experimental video games ever made. Even with scores of dramatic indies and more technologically advanced games filling the intervening years, Façade remains discomfitingly human. The premise is simple: you walk into a couple's apartment for a dinner date. They are on the verge of complete relationship collapse. Whatever happens next -- what you talk about, what you do -- is entirely in your hands as the artificial intelligence reacts. It's like Siri via Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? We're going to revisit Façade to see just how awkward it can get on JXE Streams starting at 3:30PM ET/12:30PM PT.

  • 'Fortnite' would be a fun game, if it weren't so complex

    When Fortnite started teaching me how to build a fort, its gentle tutor voice told my pickaxe-wielding warrior to never forget this simple rule: Remember to make a door. When you build forts in Fortnite -- in addition to about a billion other activities -- you want to make durable fortifications protecting a glowing portal from ravenous zombies that want to destroy it. That fort is no good if you can't get out of it or re-enter it to make improvements on the fly. Still, Fortnite creator Epic Games doesn't appear to follow the game's own advice. While a brilliantly simple, edifying puzzle of collaboration and creativity lies within, it's buried beneath myriad layers of confounding busy work and mechanical complexity. Right now, Fortnite doesn't have a door.

  • JXE Streams: Blending 'Advance Wars' and 'Hearthstone' in 'Duelyst'

    Keith Lee and his partner Emil Anticevic have some serious gaming cred on their resumes. Lee was one of the project leaders on Diablo 3 and Anticevic is responsible in part for the cloud based technology that makes League of Legends work. Together they formed Counterplay Games, the studio currently developing an intriguing mashup called Duelyst. Halfway between Final Fantasy Tactics and Hearthstone, Duelyst blends card gaming with the spatial manipulation of tactical role-playing and tops it off with some truly fetching art. At 3:30PM ET/12:30PM PT we're going to stream an alpha version of Duelyst alongside Lee himself on JXE Streams.

  • 'Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection' brings Naughty Dog's trilogy to PS4

    After Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was pushed into 2016, PlayStation 4 owners hungry for supernatural-tinged archaeological adventure, adequate gunplay and roguish quips were braced for a disappointing year. Then with the easy charm of a cad with his shirt only half-tucked in, Sony made a reassuring announcement on Thursday. Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection will bring all three PlayStation 3 games in the series to the new console with a bevy of technological upgrades this fall, making the wait for Uncharted 4 that much easier.

  • JXE Streams: 'Metal Gear?!' We're playing the 1987 original

    Can love bloom on the battlefield? Metal Gear elicits more questions like these -- from both players and its characters -- than it ever answers. In the wake of Konami's recent public relations meltdown and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's impending release at the end of summer, Hideo Kojima's bizarre war drama is looming large our world. Next week, Engadget will bring you some early impressions of The Phantom Pain. Today at 3:30PM ET/12:30PM PT, though, we're going to the very beginning to stream the original Metal Gear.

  • 'Lego Dimensions' has the toys, but 'Disney Infinity' is a better game

    The toys came to life, and it was cool when they did. Almost four years after Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure let kids place action figures on an NFC device to make them playable in a grand adventure game, what seemed like a goofy idea turned out to be a great one. There's something undeniably wonderful about seeing your toy come alive. That idea is also an absolute gold mine. The Skylanders series broke $2 billion in 2014, just weeks after Disney Infinity became its first major competitor. Now Warner Bros. is releasing Lego Dimensions, a massive mash-up of different pop culture icons rendered as little toys to use in one of Traveller's Tales popular Lego game series.

  • Why 'Rock Band 4' got the gang back together

    Walking onto the roof of the Shangri La Hotel in Santa Monica, California, I was nervous and curious to see Rock Band 4. After all it had been five years since Rock Band 3. Would it still feel good? Is this really the right time to bring back Harmonix's brilliant karaoke video game, with its comfy plastic instruments and catalog of songs? After playing it and then talking with Greg LoPiccolo, one of the creators of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band, my fears were laid to rest. Under a thick smear of sweet rock and roll, of course.

  • The producer of 'Splatoon' on how to make a Nintendo original

    If you're a fan of Nintendo, chances are you're also a fan of Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami, although you may not know it. Nogami joined the famed Japanese video game giant in 1994 and has been an essential member of EAD, the first-party development studio responsible for some of Nintendo's most beloved games, ever since. Early in his career, Nogami worked primarily as an artist at Nintendo, designing some of the iconic imagery in games like Yoshi's Island and Super Mario 64.

  • JXE Streams: Join us for some 'Affordable Space Adventures'

    KnapNok Games gets what Richard Branson doesn't. Of course people want to hang out in space, but they definitely don't want to pay top dollar to do it! So rather than drop $200,000 on a Virgin Galactic reservation, why not fire up your Wii U for some Affordable Space Adventures? The game simulates the existential nightmare of getting trapped on a foreign planet as well as makes novel use of the console's unique tablet controller. It's win-win! Join us at 3:30PM ET today for a live tour of the game on JXE Streams.

  • 'Batman: Arkham Knight' is a fun distraction, but it's not Batman

    Neon green and red lights flash as Batman maneuvers the Batmobile through loop de loops in a gaudy underground racetrack. On the streets of Gotham, giant, bulbous tanks strafe around each other shooting at the speeding Bat-vehicle as it tries to escape. Onscreen, a computer-animated Alfred appears and gets snippy with master Bruce. This is a description of the things I did in a demo of Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Knight, due out this June on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. And if any of the above sounds a whole hell of a lot like the camp film Batman & Robin, well, that's because it's eerily similar. If you were a fan of that Joel Schumacher-directed 1997 nipple fest or the open-world distractions of the 2011 video game Arkham City, then that gameplay might sound pretty awesome. But for a fan of Batman: Arkham Asylum like myself, however, this sample of Arkham Knight was disconcerting.

  • JXE Streams: 'Splatoon' seduces us with squids and squirt guns

    I couldn't resist Nintendo's Splatoon when I saw it for the first time at E3 2014. Squids with squirt guns locked in a summery battle to cover skate parks in neon ink? With a premise so weird and wonderful all on its own, I probably would have loved it even if those early demoes weren't fun as hell. Splatoon will finally be available to purchase this week but JXE Streams is going to give you one last early look at its single and multiplayer modes as well as its wee amiibo on today's show at 3:30PM ET.