Richard Mitchell

    Reviews Content Director

    Richard serves as Reviews Content Director and is ultimately responsible for overseeing Joystiq's critical content. He has contributed to Joystiq since 2006. Over the years he has founded Joystiq's first podcast, produced dozens of videos, covered major trade shows and penned numerous reviews.

  • Here's a video

    We've been debating publishing this video for weeks. Now, as imaginary armed men pound on the fictional doors of Joystiq's nonexistent office, we have precious little time to debate any further. So here it is, a video of Satoru Iwata set to the theme of Sanford and Son. It was created my Mike Suszek in a fit of madness and giggles. We present it here, without context, because it's our last chance. Please understand.

  • Games of a Lifetime: Richard's picks

    After more than ten years devoted to video games and the people who make them, Joystiq is closing its doors. We won't be reporting on the best games of 2015, so join us for one last hurrah as the Joystiq family reveals their Games of a Lifetime. This is killing me. It's absolutely killing me. I haven't been able to write a thing since rumors of Joystiq's closure began circulating. I had plans. Grand plans of writing something eloquent and final. As usual, Ludwig has already done a better job of that than I could ever dream, so I'll leave the goodbyes to him (you'll read it soon enough). Suffice it to say that Joystiq has been my home since July of 2006. I was married two months later, a fact I point out to emphasize the following: I've been with Joystiq for my entire adult life. A year out of college, at the young age of 23, I began a career that seemed impossible. I would write about video games, and in return I would be paid by a company located hundreds of miles from my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was too good to be real, and it still is. But the job isn't what I'm going to miss the most. Honestly, I could do without another 2:00AM review embargo for the rest of my life. What I will miss are the people I work with every day. I've met some amazing human beings over the last eight and a half years, but it is the Joystiq crew as it was in 2014 that has earned my undying love. I've always striven to do the best work I can, but work isn't what defines me. These wonderful people define me, and that's what tears me apart. A job I can lose, but how do you say goodbye to a piece of yourself? With that in mind, maybe you'll understand why I've chosen the games I have. I've certainly spent plenty of alone time with some incredible games, but the ones that stand out in my memory are the ones that I've shared with others. I wish I could say that Joystiq isn't really closing down, that we've all just stepped into some ethereal version of Ludwig's San Francisco apartment for a TowerFall break. Like the schmaltzy ending to your favorite sitcom, we revel in victory and agonize in defeat. We clink glasses, punch thighs, pump fists. Before long, the credits roll and the sounds of our revelry grow quieter until everything finally fades to black. The show is over, there will never be another episode, but in your mind's eye we've never stopped. We'll carry on playing TowerFall forever (or Mario Kart, or Smash Bros, or...). I'd like to imagine that's what really happened, and so I will.

  • How to make a game in an hour, no experience required

    For many, game development seems like an unreachable dream. We envision a world where we can come up with an idea, hunch over a laptop, bang out some code and – voila – video game. Tom Francis, creator of Joystiq favorite Gunpoint, is putting together a very handy Game Maker tutorial and, while it won't make things quite as easy as they are in your dreams, you'll have a working prototype in about an hour. The tutorial is published as a series of videos on YouTube (here's the playlist) and all it requires is a free download of Game Maker, which you may recognize as the engine that powers games like Spelunky, Hotline Miami, Risk of Rain, Gods Will Be Watching, Nidhogg and many, many more. You can download the free version of Game Maker Studio right here. Even better, the tutorials require no programming or game creation experience whatsoever. If you can follow instructions, you can follow these tutorials. After the first two lessons, clocking in at a total of 50 minutes or so, you'll have a character that moves with the WASD keys and shoots in the direction of your mouse pointer. As noted by Francis himself: If you can shoot, it is officially a video game (also it's pretty easy to program). Don't take my word for it though. Just check out the trailer for my upcoming indie-developed blockbuster, World of Shoo(ting). If you want to do more than just shoot, of course, you'll have to watch the rest of the tutorial series.

  • Moon Chronicles DLC episodes touch down on 3DS February 5

    After releasing its first episode last May, Renegade Kid's Moon Chronicles is finally ready to receive episodes two, three and four. Creator Jools Watsham revealed on Twitter that Nintendo has approved the episodes and "it's looking like" all three will hit the 3DS eShop on February 5. A "season pass" will be available for $9 to purchase every episode or, according to Nintendo's Moon Chronicles page, individual episodes can be had for $4.50 apiece. The first episode, which also includes special VR missions, remains $8.99. For those who missed its debut last year, Moon Chronicles is a remake of Renegade Kid's DS first-person shooter, Moon, with improved visuals and 3D support. Also, as Watsham points out, the DLC arrives a week before the launch of the New 3DS, which should give players a reason to use that fancy C-stick. [Image: Renegade Kid]

  • Alien: Isolation: One million sold, scared

    Publisher Sega and developer Creative Assembly are indirectly responsible for one hell of a laundry bill, as it was announced today that Alien: Isolation has officially sold one million copies worldwide. Accounting for at least one million players, and factoring in regular sessions with Alien: Isolation's precision engineered terror, we're talking millions of soiled undergarments. We're not aware of any spikes in detergent sales, but it seems like a given. We're rather fond of Alien: Isolation here at Joystiq, where the game stealthily crept into our top ten games of 2014.

  • 'Her Story' FMV crime fiction game coming from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories designer

    The latest game from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories designer and writer Sam Barlow is a little different. It's not survival horror, it doesn't have motion controls and ... it's entirely full-motion video. Entitled Her Story, the game revolves around a police database containing several taped interviews with a female subject, concerning the disappearance of her husband. Rather than interacting directly with the game, players "type search queries and the database returns clips of the answers where the woman speaks those words." Barlow claims, "If you can Google, you can play Her Story," elaborating that, while the search mechanic is simple, it "quickly reveals its richness and complexity." Non-linear storytelling seems to be the game's hallmark, with Barlow himself calling it "a sculptural way of viewing a story." We're still not clear on exactly how it will work, whether players will directly affect the narrative or solve the mystery, or just soak in a unique, interactive crime fiction story. Either way, it certainly sounds different. Her Story is set to arrive early this year on PC, Mac and iOS, and it's currently listed on Steam Greenlight. [Image: Sam Barlow]

  • Nintendo Direct wrap-up: New 3DS on Feb. 13 and more

    Today's Nintendo Direct dropped some huge news for both the Wii U and the upcoming New 3DS. The biggest announcement is that the New 3DS, which features a second analog stick, faster processor, amiibo support and a number of other improvements, will arrive in North America on February 13. The basic bundle, available in red or black, will retail for $199. Nintendo also revealed special Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Edition and Majora's Mask bundles, the latter of which is apparently already sold out at GameStop. Friendly reminder, these bundles do not include an AC adapter, presumably with the expectation that early adopters will be upgrading from the current 3DS models. In other big news, Wii games are coming to the Wii U eShop starting today with Super Mario Galaxy 2. Each game will be available for half price ($10) during its first week of availability. To put that another way, you can snag Metroid Prime Trilogy on January 29 for the ridiculously low price of $10. Find a breakdown of all the Nintendo Direct news, as well as a heaping helping of trailers, after the break.

  • Joystiq isn't scoring reviews anymore, and here's why

    Ever since we started publishing reviews here at Joystiq, we've striven to deliver the most timely and definitive critiques we can. The word "definitive" is important in this conversation, because things don't get much more definitive than a review score. The very purpose of a score is to define something entirely nebulous and subjective – fun – as narrowly as possible. The problem is that narrowing down something as broad and fluid as a video game isn't truly useful, especially in today's industry. Between pre-release reviews, post-release patching, online connectivity, server stability and myriad other unforeseeable possibilities, attaching a concrete score to a new game just isn't practical. More importantly, it's not helpful to our readers. For that reason, above all others, we've decided that Joystiq will no longer score its reviews. Don't worry, we'll still give you a reason to scroll past the review before actually reading it (it's okay, we all do it), but the information you'll find will be more helpful and meaningful than a handful of stars. I've been mulling over this decision for several months and, after discussing it with the rest of the Joystiq staff, we decided that the new year was the perfect time to flip the switch. For a rundown of why 2014 was the year that broke the critic's back, and exactly how our new system will work, read on.

  • Clock Tower successor 'Project Scissors' becomes NightCry, gets live action teaser

    The spiritual successor to the Clock Tower survival horror series, Project Scissors, has a new name and a new live action teaser. The game is now called NightCry, and the trailer is definitely creepy, if a little light on information. One thing that Clock Tower fans will be sure to notice, however, is the presence of big, bloody scissors. Or, to put it more accurately, big scissors that appear to be made of blood. The teaser is directed by Takashi Shimizu, director of the Ju-On horror film series and its American counterpart, The Grudge. Shimizu was revealed to be a part of the game project last year, along developer Nude Maker, which is led by the director of the original Clock Tower games, Hifumi Kouno. NightCry is planned for iOS, Android and PlayStation Vita. [Image: Nude Maker]

  • Joystiq Top 10 of 2014: Bayonetta 2

    ATTENTION: The year 2014 has concluded its temporal self-destruct sequence. If you are among the escapees, please join us in salvaging and preserving the best games from the irradiated chrono-debris. Bayonetta 2 is exactly the game I needed in 2014. While major developers and publishers seem to cram more and more into every project – giant maps, hundreds of objectives, skill trees, systems, sub-systems, meta games, companion apps – Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U is an eye-opening, high-heeled kick to the teeth. It drops you headfirst into its bizarre world, where the bombastic war machinery of Heaven and Hell collide, your only real task being the gleeful destruction of it all. The titular witch, Bayonetta, is as perfectly posh as ever and just as deadly, with a healthy supply of imaginative weaponry to dispose of holy angels and vile demons alike.

  • Best of the Rest: Richard's picks of 2014

    ATTENTION: The year 2014 has concluded its temporal self-destruct sequence. If you are among the escapees, please join us in salvaging and preserving the best games from the irradiated chrono-debris. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter The best thing about The Vanishing of Ethan Carter might be that it tells its story in a way that only a video game can. Other games aspire to emulate other forms of media, to be more like movies or books. Ethan Carter, on the other hand, embraces the interactivity of the medium in a wonderful way, with an awareness of a video game's ability to let you live through a moment, rather than just witnessing it. At first, Ethan Carter feels like a typical paranormal mystery, and its investigation mechanics are cleverly implemented, asking you to put the events of the past in the correct order to reveal the truth behind a series of murders. The mystery elements turn out to be just a small part of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, though, and you soon find yourself pulled into some of the greatest moments of pure fantasy that I've ever seen in a video game. I won't say another word, for fear of spoiling anything. If you appreciate a good mystery, and you believe in the transportational power of games, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

  • PSA: December 31 marks Wii U Digital Deluxe promo deadline

    This is it, folks. Time to make those holiday gift cards count. If you're an owner of the 32GB Wii U Deluxe console, you've got one more day to earn bonus eShop credit in Nintendo's Deluxe Digital promotion. The promotion rewards Wii U Deluxe owners with credit for making purchases on the Wii U eShop. Specifically, owners can get 10 percent of their purchases back in eShop credit. If you've been waiting to make any eShop purchases, or if this is the first you've heard of the promotion, tomorrow marks your last day to earn points. Points earned via the promotion can be exchanged for eShop credit until March 31, 2015. You can find the relevant details on the promotion's website. [Image: Nintendo]

  • Game Boy Tetris leaving eShop on New Year's Eve

    Shall old acquaintance be forgot And days of breaking lines Shall old acquaintance be forgot And Nintendo is pulling Tetris from 3DS eShop on New Years Eve Maybe it has something to do with Ubisoft. Okay, so it's not as catchy as Auld Lang Syne, but it might make you just as weepy. Nintendo has confirmed via its UK Twitter account that the Game Boy version of Tetris, a game that helped define Nintendo's handheld and portable gaming in general, will be pulled from the 3DS eShop on December 31. It appears that Tetris Axis for the 3DS is also being pulled, according to an image from the 3DS eShop news section posted on Twitter. Nintendo of America has yet to make a similar announcement, and the US eShops make no note of either game being removed, so it's possible that this applies only to the UK. As for why Tetris would be removed from the eShop, it may have something to do with Ubisoft's Tetris Ultimate, which was recently released on 3DS. We've contacted Nintendo of America to confirm if the US version is to be removed as well. If you'd rather not take your chances, the Game Boy version can still be had for $3.99. Unless, of course, you've somehow managed to keep your old Game Boy in working condition all these years. [Image: Nintendo]

  • Chaos Reborn summons single-player mode

    Chaos Reborn, the latest turn-based strategy game from original X-COM creator Julian Gollop, now has a single-player mode. The new mode allows human players to take on AI wizards, or to play "hotseat" with other players, or a combination of both humans and AI. The update also includes a number of balance tweaks, a new spell that let's you "summon a pack of mutant, giant rats" and, in the spirit of the season, special Christmas themed graphics. If you're in the festive mood, keep in mind that the Christmas graphics will only be available for a limited time. On a recent live stream of Chaos Reborn with Joystiq, Gollop discussed plans for other single-player content as well, specifically what sounds like a fairly complex campaign. You can hear him discuss it, and watch him beat the tar out of Joystiq's Alexander Sliwinski, right here. Chaos Reborn is available via Steam Early Access now. [Image: Snapshot Games]

  • KOTOR finds the Androids you've been looking for

    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare's beloved RPG, is now available on Android devices. To mark the occasion, developer Aspyr Media has slashed the usual $10 price in half (with a lightsaber, presumably). You can snag it from Google Play right now, so long as your device is up to snuff, of course.

  • Uhh, Shovel Knight is in Road Redemption

    Is it weird that Shovel Knight is now a playable character in Road Redemption, the spiritual successor to Road Rash? Like, really weird? Yes, of course it is. It is also, however, kind of awesome to see our beloved, blue-suited hero smacking people with a shovel at unlawful speeds. If Croaker were around, he might call the whole situation a cycle of violence. Road Redemption is currently available via Steam Early Access. [Image: Dark Seas Games]

  • I only play Hotline Miami 2 on vinyl

    There's this game coming out called Hotline Miami 2. You probably haven't heard of it. Anyway, I found out you can get this sweet collector's edition with the soundtrack on vinyl. It's, like, sixty bucks and comes with three discs – all of them 180 gram, colored vinyl, of course – and it features 28 different tracks from the game. You also get a Steam download code for the game, printed on a special "phone card," which is, like, what old people used before smartphones or something. You probably haven't pre-ordered it yet. I mean, I heard about it months ago, but it's cool if you like it now, or whatever. [image: Devolver Digital]

  • Duck Hunt flocks to Wii U Virtual Console on Christmas

    As the turkey takes the prominent spot at your dinner table this Christmas, Nintendo has another bird in mind for your TV. The Wii U Virtual Console edition of Duck Hunt, announced earlier this year, will hit the eShop on December 25. Once you're stuffed to the gills, why not take aim at a few virtual ducks? Or, if you need to cater to Grandma's delicate sensibilities, you can always blast a few clay pigeons instead. Here's hoping the Wii Remote makes a decent stand-in for Nintendo's classic Zapper light gun. [Image: Nintendo]