Wiki Stories #9 – The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone

Back to writing about The Witcher 3 already? While the summer of 2015 was almost entirely Witcher coverage, the release of the first big DLC Hearts of Stone kept me on the beat well into the fall. It helped tip the scales of pay just over a grand and let me stay in the lands of Novigrad and Velen a smidge while longer.

I was (and still am) concerned with writing about the two DLC expansions that I worked on. When I write so extensively on the base game, I’m worried how much is actually left for me to explore with the DLC in these letters. These games can blur together in the throes of writing. Tack on seven years of separation and it becomes difficult to parse out what were the base game assignments and what were the DLC tasks


Wiki Stories is a 25-week limited run newsletter where I’ll be sharing my stories from my five years as a video game guide writer. You can read today’s letter in full here. You can sign-up for free. If you prefer a good ol’ fashioned RSS feed, there’s a link for that too.

Wiki Stories #8 – Until Dawn

The last letter kicked off by mentioning the new Witcher game announcement. Seems fitting that Supermassive announced a new teen slasher game dubbed The Quarry when I’d be writing about Until Dawn. Dying Light 2 and spin-off sequel to a Borderlands just came out. Seems like I waited just the right amount of time to dig back into my wiki work.

I’ve been dying to share the story of this guide in its full gory detail. This one was unique out of all the guides I wrote. It was a fusion of my work up to that point: There were gobs of collectibles (Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze), branching narrative paths (Tales from the Borderlands), and plenty of “winging it” (all guides past and future). I was also provided a rare opportunity to have the game substantially early, something that only happened twice in my five years


Wiki Stories is a 25-week limited run newsletter where I’ll be sharing my stories from my five years as a video game guide writer. You can read today’s letter in full here. You can sign-up for free. If you prefer a good ol’ fashioned RSS feed, there’s a link for that too.

Wiki Stories #7 – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

It’s ironic that a brand new Witcher game was announced last week. The announcement is not a surprise in the slightest; even the move from CD Projekt Red’s proprietary engine to Unreal Engine 5 didn’t stun me. The infusion of Epic’s money and technical support will help the Polish team push their western open-world game design, which was superb at the launch of Witcher 3 in 2015. The buzz before, at, and after the launch of Wild Hunt was humming so loud that I volunteered as tribute to help IGN’s wiki team.

Dying Light helped me wade into the pool of open world guides. The Witcher 3 was a wave-making cannonball


Wiki Stories is a 25-week limited run newsletter where I’ll be sharing my stories from my five years as a video game guide writer. You can read today’s letter in full here. You can sign-up for free. If you prefer a good ol’ fashioned RSS feed, there’s a link for that too.

‘A Delayed Game is Eventually Good’ Miyamoto Quote not a Miyamoto Quote

I will legit give $100 to the person who can find the origin of Shigeru Miyamoto’s quote ‘A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.’
I’m not looking for articles who quote it. I’m looking for the ORIGINAL thing. – @JavedLSterritt

Speaking of delaying a game—a Nintendo game no less—the Miyamoto quote about delaying a game was flying all around Twitter. A few weeks prior I noticed this thread sparked by Javed Sterritt of Good Blood. A fascinating dive (with sources!) that shows how a quote morphed over the decades. It is vital for journalists to source quotes. I always report with sources, links, etc. Sometimes pop culture takes over and leads to fun stories like this though.

The Sequel to Breath of the Wild is Delayed

Launch Timing Update for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel

My own stance on my 2022 prediction for Zelda:

1. The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launches in 2022.
2. Game Boy (GB/C/A) games join Nintendo Switch Online.
3. A new Donkey Kong game is released on Nintendo Switch.

I actually don’t believe my own first prediction. Zelda games always get hit with delays. But I am playing for points here! If I think Nintendo will delay the game (zig), then I need to say they will release the game on time in 2022 (zag). For points!

So I thought the zig was delaying. But Nintendo knew I’d assume the wrong zig, therefore giving me the wrong zag! Regardless, I knew the delay was going to happen. I find it funny that the gap between Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild was six years. Plenty of folks thought since this new game was using the same assets, the development time would be shorter. Now the gap between the Wii U’s swan song (and Switch’s debut) and its sequel is six years. Take all the time you need Nintendo. There are too many games coming out now anyway.

Wiki Stories Letter #6 – Dying Light

When I started Wiki Stories, I knew I would hesitate approaching Dying Light. I thought this letter was going to be “scary” to write. My memories of Dying Light are sort of like looking at emails and documents in a spy movie. There are big blotches of text blacked out, REDACTED stamped across the pages. For seven years now, I have looked back at Dying Light as a slog of an indoctrination into the world of guide writing


Wiki Stories is a 25-week limited run newsletter where I’ll be sharing my stories from my five years as a video game guide writer. You can read today’s letter in full here. You can sign-up for free. If you prefer a good ol’ fashioned RSS feed, there’s a link for that too.

Wiki Stories Letter #5 – Tales from the Borderlands

I have been waiting to dig in to this letter. My wiki writing career entered the big leagues with my first paid gig for Tales from the Borderlands. Like I mentioned in last week’s letter about Captain Toad, my first guide was nearly Dragon Age: Inquisition. I had not (and still have not) played a Dragon Age game. Honestly, at that point in my life, I had never played a massive open-world RPG. Sure, I had played Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry 3, but I never delved into the open-world fantasy game or a BioWare title. I’d enter that sort of world later in 2015 with The Witcher 3


Wiki Stories is a 25-week limited run newsletter where I’ll be sharing my stories from my five years as a video game guide writer. You can read today’s letter in full here. You can sign-up for free. If you prefer a good ol’ fashioned RSS feed, there’s a link for that too.

On Writing Thoughts & Impressions

Last month I read Stephen King’s On Writing for the first time. It’s been on my periphery for some years now, but I decided to dig in now. The Talk Show with John Gruber Episode 339 “2006: Hard Work” reminded me that this draft has been in my 2022 posts folder waiting to be turned into a real article.

On Writing is clear cut. Makes sense given one of Stephen King’s cornerstones is to leave out the bad parts. King’s directness is as obvious has the forehead smack of a V8 commercial.

Another bit of advice that hit home was to write, you need to read, read, read. I used to read all the time as a kid. When I wrote Chasing the Stick, I was reading research and for fun with an insatiable appetite. Then it petered out, probably to play games, watch movies, and tweet my time away, which has no doubt shrunk my attention span. Stephen’s decree has whetted that craving for reading. I’ve already ripped through Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club. I essentially read it twice because I’d reread sentences, savoring and digesting her memoir.

One other tidbit I care to mention here is putting away a first draft for six weeks after finishing it. In journalism, that’s not possible. But my writing here at Max Frequency has no master to answer in regards to timeliness. Again I think back to Chasing the Stick. Right after publishing that history of Naughty Dog in June 2020, I began preparing to dive into a second expanded revision. The burnout came swallowed me whole. Further fueled by rejections, I’ve touched squat of this idea. Now, two years is far, far longer than six weeks. But the lesson of taking space from your work sounds vital to future success.

On Writing is, as far as I am concerned, essential reading for writers. I’m not trying to write like Stephen King, but the lessons he wrote down have merit and are applicable to the craft on the whole. Next time I read it, I’ll listen to the audiobook. King reads it himself. I already bought it.

The Model Citizens Show has Been Revived

Model Citizens Show Ep. 1- “We’re Back!” – YouTube

Murderers always return to the scene of the crime. The boys and I have decided to resurrect The Model Citizens Show.

Back in 2017, Logan Moore, Michael Ruiz, Mario Rivera, and myself undertook launching our own podcast network—Model Citizens Media. The flagship show shared the name, dropping “Media” for “Show.” The network included four shows; said flagship with the four of us, Millennial Gaming Speak with Logan and myself (which I restored last year), Reeling in the Years with Logan and Mike, and Behind the PixelIt wasn’t long for the world.

We would shut down the network a year later. I often get the shoulder of the blame, dubbing me the podcast killer. It is all in jest, but burnout between most of us lead to a mutual agreement to wind it down. Of course, we didn’t stop talking. We see each other once a year and talk every day. In the passing years, jokes on reviving the show have come and gone, but for some reason this time it stuck.

The show is taking a monthly approach. We’ve added a fifth “citizen” with Grant Callahan. I have monthly homework now. 

The show will soon have its own audio feed and the video version will live on the Point in Progress channel, courteous of Mario. We should be uploading all the old episodes to that new audio feed too, once again resurrecting one of my old shows. Welcome back model citizens.

Wiki Stories Letter #4 – Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

This is one of the odder guides I worked on. Not the game or work itself, but the circumstances surrounding it. I was never hired for working on this game, but ended up doing the entire video walkthrough. Instead of it being published on IGN, the near 100 videos were (and still are) uploaded to my own YouTube channel. I’ve got no record of working directly with the hired freelancer, Eric Campbell, but feel like there was some form of communication. Whatever it may have been, it’s lost…


Wiki Stories is a 25-week limited run newsletter where I’ll be sharing my stories from my five years as a video game guide writer. You can read today’s letter in full here. You can sign-up for free. If you prefer a good ol’ fashioned RSS feed, there’s a link for that too.

Wiki Stories Letter #3 – Hitman GO

It’s strange and exhilarating to go back through my early work. Without a journal to actually keep track of that period in my life, I’m left to trawl the sea of my memories in hope nuggets come up from the murky depths. The emails I sent that summer seem to be the only concrete documentation I have from my time working on Hitman GO in the muggy August of 2014…


Wiki Stories is a 25-week limited run newsletter where I’ll be sharing my stories from my five years as a video game guide writer. You can read today’s letter in full here. You can sign-up for free. If you prefer a good ol’ fashioned RSS feed, there’s a link for that too.

The PS VR2 Headset is Revealed

First look: The headset design for PlayStation VR2 by Hideaki Nishino for PlayStation.Blog

I rarely embed images directly into a post here on Max Frequency, but this seemed appropriate. The four cameras have a spider-like look to them. Inside-out tracking is going to make this headset far more accurate and versatile.

PlayStation is very excited about the vent design, which I believe can be seen in the profile shot. Vents are essential in a VR headset. I only hear them on my Quest 2 when installing a game. Thanks to wearing over-ear headphones, fan noise is a nonissue.

The back headband is likely where the haptic motor is located. At the base of the skull, I am curious about the physical sensation it will provide. The back is also where the lone cable protrudes from. I am curious how long the cable will be. My gut check says 16 feet.

PlayStation says devs have their hands on dev kits. I take this as a great sign for the product. Hopefully, we see games in action this summer before release. Heck, I really hope release is this Fall.

Uncharted (The Movie) Thoughts and Impressions – They Did It

What an amalgamation of the four main line Uncharted games. Bits and bobs from each Nathan Drake game were stitched together to turn the Hollywood-inspired game series into a game-series-inspired blockbuster. Sitting in the theater, I noticed these connections. My wife on the other hand, did not. I don’t think time with the games enhanced the viewing experience. We both left having a fun time. 

Sully is a bit more greedy and less loyal for it. Mark Wahlberg just isn’t old enough for the Victor Sullivan fans know; even the Uncharted 3 flashback version. The movie acts like a sort of Sully origin story. Some scenes feel remnant of when Mark was cast as Nate himself, like the funny encounter in a fine pizza establishment.

On the flip side, Chloe was much closer to her PlayStation counterpart. Clearly capable, crafty, and loves a treasure hunt. I do wish she was more sarcastic and could have shown off her driving skills. She had a meaner, darker streak à la Uncharted 2. If and when there is a sequel, I hope they can lean more into Chloe’s character in the later games.

Where on Earth was Elena? I hope she shows up in the future.

For all the pieces lifted out of the source material, the villains were not. Some character traits and motivations were, but these baddies were original. I was surprised and delighted to see that play out.

As for Nate himself, there were some missing elements. First, he did not straight-up murder enough people. This was an origin story and I suppose every mass murderer starts somewhere. Some quips landed and others did not. Hopefully, they can dial more Nate-isms in down the road.

For all my doubts about casting Tom Holland as a young Nate, there was the moment near the end where he slung on a gun holster with a half tucked shirt. He swung into a fight as the theme from the games swelled in the background. At that moment, I believed Tom was Nate.

I only saw the original trailer, meaning I had no idea about the climactic set piece of helicopters flying pirate ships. That was an Uncharted set piece. Naughty Dog should steal it. I want to play that.

Uncharted (the movie) is a fun ride, through and through. I couldn’t believe it when the credits rolled. My bar may have been set too low, leading to this surge of praise. The real proof was how much fun my wife had with the movie. She was laughing and grinning and caught up in the thrill. To me, that proves that they nailed the spirit of Uncharted.

Also, I was the only one that cheered when Nolan North appeared.