Big Three Predictions 2020

I love predictions. They are an annual highlight for me before E3 every summer and amp up Apple event hype whenever those come around. There is a rush in nailing a prediction, gut-busting humor in the wild ones, and fan-created disappointment when big corporations don’t do what is thought to be obvious.

In the past, I’ve tweeted out predictions or recorded them on podcasts. I usually keep a list in the Notes app on my phone. As some Apple 2020 prediction podcasts episodes hit my head this week, I had the idea to share my video game predictions for the record. Then I can look back in 2021 to see how wrong I was.

I’ll write out three predictions for Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox for the year of 2020. I will likely do the same for E3 2020 with predictions focused on the event itself. It will be an exciting year with new consoles coming out from both PlayStation and Xbox. Heck, a new Switch is rumored too. Here are my predictions for the three major platform holders for the year.

Nintendo

  1. The next 3D Mario game is revealed and released in 2020.
  2. Switch revision with more power is announced. Switch lifetime sales will surpass 70 million units.
  3. The next Mario Kart game announced.

PlayStation

  1. PS5 will be fully revealed in a Wired article with a press event around E3 that reveals price and date. Backward compatible with all systems, including PS3 and Vita.
  2. Horizon Zero Dawn sequel will be launch window title for PS5.
  3. PS VR 2 will be mentioned by Sony.

Xbox

  1. Series X will be the only “next-gen” Xbox available this holiday shopping season.
  2. While Halo Infinite will be a lunch title, it will have some differentiating feature from the Xbox One edition of the game, despite being cross-generational.
  3. The Initiative’s first game will be revealed.

A few final thoughts and comments for my predictions. I modeled the format after Connected and their “Rickies,” specifically no half points and everything written done has to come true for it to count. I think that keeps my hype in check. But to let some of that hype loose, I’ll mirror my friend Peter Spezia and his tradition of an outlandish prediction he dubs “Kiefer” predictions (referring to the announcement that Kiefer Sutherland would voice the legendary solider Snake in Metal Gear Solid V). And because Nintendo announcements excite me the most…

The next 3D Mario game will be Super Mario Odyssey 2 and will launch this summer, while Nintendo’s big fall game will be the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

This is most assuredly wrong, but if it isn’t, you read it here first. Here’s to 2020! 

Welcome

Max Frequency is a website for my ideas to find a home. 280 characters is not always enough. Writing for other sites provides pressures to output articles at an expected, often accelerated pace. Max Frequency solves both those problems for me.

Over the past year, I’ve ventured outside my typical news and gaming consumption and discovered podcasts, websites, and (most importantly) people I care to listen to. Starting a new job in 2019 with a total commute of 10+ hours a week, encouraged me to find a flood of staggered weekly podcasts. My commutes are often the highlights of my week thanks to my new discoveries of shows like Connected, The Talk Show, Giant Bombcast, and Accidental Tech Podcast.

This influx of podcast consumption has led to more reading of blogs and seeking multiple perspectives on the news I care about. And all of this has kicked my various ideas in a note on my phone into a reality. I’m stubborn though and hate starting projects without a name: And I find that naming something is the hardest part of any project.

I like what I came up with—Max Frequency. It communicates the identity of the blog quite well, I think. It’s me at my frequency. No pressures for deadlines, no list of required news. Only articles that I want to write or share. It also opens up the possibility for audio content if I ever get behind the mic again. Plus, it is a pun.

I hope you enjoy what I write here. I’ve never owned a website before. I think having skin in the game will motivate me. I want to thank my wife Abby for encouraging me to make this and having my back the whole way. I love you.

Apple’s Ad-entity – Go Left Gaming

Apple’s Ad-entity – Go Left Gaming:

This was the first article I wrote about Apple. I’d like to do more writing about Apple outside of Twitter, so I figured I would repost it here.

Almost 10 years later, the entire landscape of the company has changed. The iPhone was only one year old at the time of the “New Soul” ad. At the beginning of 2017, the iPhone made up 69.5% of Apple’s revenue and having sold 1.2 billion units in its lifetime. The iPad wouldn’t be out for another two years. Needless to say, the face of Apple has changed over the last decade: and lately, I’ve begun to notice a shift.

It is funny to see most of Apple’s official videos that I linked to in the original post be removed from their YouTube page. I’m curious if they can be found on their official press site or if Apple actively wipes old product ads away from their media facing history.

The History of Breath of the Wild – Go Left Gaming

The History of Breath of the Wild – Go Left Gaming:

I wrote this history back a week before the worldwide launch of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

It has been a long, winding journey just to get to the game’s launch on March 3, 2017 though. Zelda fans love timelines, so I thought it would be worthwhile and interesting to look back at the history of the development of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is easy to forget where a game has come from and exactly what it took to get to a launch.

I am sharing this here for two reasons:

  1. To test reblogging/sharing posts from other sites.
  2. I’m proud of this piece and like it quite a bit.

Lara Croft GO Review – PlayStation Insider

Originally published on PlayStation Insider on January 6, 2017. PlayStation Insider is no longer active, so I have republished the review here for myself. If you would like to see the original post, check out the Web Archive.


I am a huge proponent of quality, mobile games. If a game is up to snuff and cost a few bucks, I think the developer should have their share. A popular genre on mobile platforms are puzzle games. Titles such as Threes, Monument Valley, and twofold inc. are gems on my iPhone that I go back to regularly. Three years ago, Square Enix announced that its Montréal studio would be making mobile games. It was not the company’s first foray into mobile gaming, but the results immediately caught my attention. 

I am a huge fan of Hitman GO and was stoked that it made its way to Vita with a platinum trophy. After playing Hitman GO on Vita, I could not wait for Lara Croft GO to make its way to PlayStation. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long. Lara Croft GO is here on PS4 and Vita, with new levels in tow, and was worth the wait.

Lara Croft GO is a natural evolution from Hitman GO. Square Enix Montréal found a core turn based puzzle mechanic and then applied a given Square Enix franchise to it (please give me Kingdom Hearts GO). The board game vibe of Hitman GO perfectly suited the franchise in an oddly delightful way. For their second title, Square Enix Montréal adapted their formula to the Tomb Raider franchise. They ditched the board game diorama design from Hitman GO in favor of a fuller aesthetic. Lara Croft GO sports dense jungles, buried ruins, and hidden caverns that give the levels life. Colors are imaginative with warming oranges and soothing blues blending all together. The modern polygonal graphics tie it all together for a visually captivating game, whether you play on Vita’s OLED display or your HDTV.

My favorite visual elements come from the way Lara moves. Generally, she moves in a standard forward fashion. When climbing off a ledge or going backward, she somersaults with a striking fluidity. Even when I would swipe quickly to speed up the level, I would make sure to stop to watch the graceful animations.

Gone are the specific challenges on each board like Hitman GO. Replacing the challenges are collectibles scattered throughout the levels. Tap the jars to collect gems and statues that unlock different outfits for Lara. Their placement can be blatantly obvious, while some are deviously hidden behind platforms and moving objects. The level select screen shows you how many per level you have collected. This makes completing your collection and pursuing the platinum trophy an addictive delight.

When concerning the actual puzzles, Lara Croft GO is engaging by introducing new mechanics in a well paced manner. I learned the skills I needed in early levels of each chapter. Over the course of the game, it became up to me to master the rules of the game. 

For example, one type of enemy is a snake. If you step in front of the snake, it will kill you. Approaching a snake from any other side or using a spear to throw from a distance, allows you to kill it and progress. By the end you are navigating boards with five or more snakes and pitfalls with only one spear. 

Puzzles may have occasionally stumped me, but for no longer than 5 to 10 minutes. When I finally solved the puzzle, a clear click of a light bulb coming on sounded inside my head. This lead to a satisfying sense of accomplishment and kept me going for just one more level.

A surprise to myself was the visual storytelling packed into Lara Croft GO. The entire main campaign revolved around Lara exploring an ancient place with a big, ol’ spooky snake following her around. It fit into the world and gameplay without bogging down the game itself. It all wraps up in grand fashion and was a load of fun to tackle. The final levels are worth talking about because of just how much fun they are to play. The whole narrative thread is icing on the cake.

Lara Croft GO isn’t without its frustrations, unfortunately. The port to Vita, the platform I played on the most, has egregious load times. 40 to 50 seconds just to load some levels. I found myself catching up in my Twitter feed, looking back at my Vita and the level would still be loading. Anytime you die or restart a level, lengthy load times accompany it.

On PS4, the game loads instantly. Once you play on PS4, it’s hard to go back to the Vita version. The home console port does have some funky stuttering, particularly when collecting items or moving too quickly. It is a shame though, because the touch controls on Vita make navigating less frustrating than its dualshock counterpart. Plus, being able to chip away while on the go is nice. Thankfully, automatic cross save is enabled. Any time you boot up the game, it syncs with the server to give load the latest save.

This port to PlayStation systems isn’t without something new and shiny. A whole new chapter has been developed by Ko_op. Titled “The Mirror of Spirits,” these new levels sport one of the series’ best puzzle mechanics: mirror paths. On one side of the level is the Lara avatar you have used the entire game, and on the other is a spirit Lara that mimics your movement. The challenge of navigating two characters through two different puzzles kept me on my toes. This level pack provided some of the best puzzles in the entire game, which was a welcome treat to someone who had already played Lara Croft GO on iOS.

Lara Croft GO is a captivating puzzle game. It excels at what made Hitman GO so great and shines with the Tomb Raider IP. Square Enix Montréal should keep bringing their iOS games to PlayStation as far as I am concerned. They fit right in on the ecosystem (particularly the Vita). The new expansion is the best in the game, so much so that I would argue it is worth the price of entry even if you have already played the game on iOS. Lara Croft GO is everything I wanted in the next GO game and is an absolute must play puzzle game.

7.5/10