Samuel McConnell

Volunteer 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

In the mid '90s, there was a Burger King on East Kellogg. I was 12 or 13, and although I didn’t have any great love for the food there, very often it was where I wanted to go for lunch after church. The reason was a single, red and white arcade cabinet tucked into a corner. Of course, back then you could find arcade machines in any manner of place, including gas stations and laundromats, but this machine was special.

Twitter / Universal Studios Japan Official

One of these days, we’ll all be able to feel comfortable going to places like theme parks again. While today is not that day, it seems like it’ll be soon. And for when that is the case, Nintendo has been working on something special at Universal Studios.

A port of 2013’s Super Mario 3D World was recently released on the Nintendo Switch console. This is one of my favorite Mario games ever, but the fact that it was originally released on the Wii U meant that very few people had the hardware to play the game. Now, it’s on a much more popular console.

The first Street Fighter game, released in 1987 by Capcom, was mostly unremarkable.

In early 1991, before Sonic the Hedgehog was released on the Sega Genesis, several magazines received a cartridge with an early version of the game. All the media coverage of Sonic before it came out was from this prototype, which had several big differences from the final version of the game. Most of these cartridges were returned to Sega, and for decades, this version of the game was lost.

Bethesda Softworks

In 1983, George Lucas founded Lucasfilm Games, a video game development company to work alongside his Lucasfilm production studio. Although Lucasfilm is obviously known primarily for its Star Wars movies, the rights for making Star Wars games were in the hands of various other third parties.

2020 is nearly over - thank goodness for that. And despite everything, it’s been a pretty good year for video games. We got the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X... well, some of us got them. We got Cyberpunk 2027 after eight years of anticipation, and Final Fantasy VII Remake after five. 


But the biggest game of the year for me and my family was Animal Crossing New Horizons. Going back decades, Nintendo has had this knack for making games that people who don’t normally play video games still want to play. 

Cyberpunk 2077 is awesome. It’s a triumph of game engineering, features a huge, lively worlds, and is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played. It will certainly land on many peoples’ Game of the Year lists.

That is, unless you’re playing on the original Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

The hottest Christmas gifts this season are the new round of game consoles from Sony and Microsoft - the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, respectively. At least, I assume they are, considering every time they go on sale, they’re snatched up instantly.

Last Sunday, the Nintendo Entertainment System celebrated its 35th anniversary. On October 18th, 1985, the system went on sale in New York City, with a nationwide launch in the fall of ‘86.