Your Move

Board games. Video games. Anything but mind games. KMUW commentator Sam McConnell explores the latest (and the time-tested) world of games.

Your Move can also be found on iTunes. Listen or subscribe here.


In the mid-‘80s, Square was a Japanese video game company with no real successes. One of its employees, Hironobu Sakaguchi, had been wanting to develop a role-playing game for a while, but the company had been mostly making money on shooting action games. However, with the huge success of Dragon Quest in Japan in 1986, the market for RPGs suddenly opened up, and Sakaguchi got his wish. The next year, Square moved to a new office and Sakaguchi officially started development on the company’s first RPG, Final Fantasy.

Back in 2013, Capcom released a remake of their fantastic 1989 game, DuckTales. The game was greeted with positive reviews when it was released, with reviewers praising the faithful recreation of the show and balanced gameplay.

But after today, if you haven’t bought the game, you’re out of luck.

Back in 2015, I spoke about Super Mario Maker, a game where you get to create your own levels for Super Mario Bros. I called it “more of a tool than a game”. I had a ton of fun with it, even though I never really made anything I thought was good enough to share. Now, its sequel, Super Mario Maker 2, has been released for the Nintendo Switch.

For a home game console, the Nintendo Switch is tiny. Mine sits atop my Xbox One like an oxpecker on a rhino. But compared to previous portable game systems, it’s a behemoth. I could fit the Nintendo 3DS or Game Boy Advance in my pocket. I need a bag to safely carry around my Switch, and with the detachable controllers on the sides, it feels like the whole unit could shatter if I dropped it.

Pokemon Go launched nearly three years ago, and was an instant hit for its developer Niantic. Niantic just launched their next game, but this time based on the Harry Potter universe.

Every year, all the huge video game companies announce their next big things at the Electronics Entertainment Expo, or E3, and this year’s E3 just ended today in Los Angeles.

This commentary originally aired on August 10, 2017.



In 1993, a landmark movie was released. Sure, Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List were important, but what could have more cultural resonance than Super Mario Bros? Of course, a movie based on the most successful video game franchise in history up to that point would be a smash hit. Add in Bob Hoskins, the star of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and Academy Award nominee Dennis Hopper, and you couldn’t fail.

Except you could, because the movie was an unmitigated disaster. 

If Final Fantasies VII and VIII were bold steps forward for the series, Final Fantasy IX was a nostalgic look back.

In comparison to its predecessor, 1999’s Final Fantasy VIII is a divisive game. It came after the most popular entry in the series and changed the mechanics of the series’s trademark gameplay more radically than any game prior.