About

Hey everyone! This is a new endeavor for me. Below you’ll find a lot of information about what I hope to accomplish with Shinobi Speaks and an overview of the content I hope to bring to you. I hope you stick with me on this journey and have as great a time as I do!

Game Developer Insights

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In Game Dev Insights, I’ll be chatting with a large variety of professionals from folks working on game design to game journalism. This includes animators, managers, designers, artists, journalists and everything in between!

I’ll be digging into their brains on what they love about games, what goes into making games, their personal journeys and history into the industry and much more.

Thoughts

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There’s so many things happening in the games industry on any given day that keeping up with it all is a monumental task. This won’t be a “gaming news” section or area where you’ll find the latest on every big controversy or event going on in the world of video games.

If I had a dime for every time someone on Twitter or elsewhere asked me “Shinobi, what do you think about x, y, and z?”, I’d be a rich man indeed. To be frank though, I’m incredibly humbled each and every time I’m asked what I think about a certain game or news story within the industry. Thoughts is the place for that and where most of the content will go into.

I’ll be jotting down my “thoughts” and feelings on a wide range of gaming goings-on here. Topics will include anything from game design to storytelling, narrative, opinions on retro games, issues with game publishers, social ideas in games, representation, industry trends, and much more.

Game Reviews

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Here I’ll be posting my honest feedback on games that I’ve played throughout the year when time permits.

I don’t approach video games with the idea of breaking down their individual parts. Games represent an “experience” to me. Whether it’s the gorgeous visuals and production value of a AAA blockbuster to more measured and nuanced expressions of indie titles, each stirs certain feelings in me. That’s what I love about games. I don’t like to overly nitpick on whether a certain cutscene’s lip sync is off or line of dialogue out of place.

That’s not to say I don’t notice things like that, I certainly do, and will bring them up. However, after having understood just what goes into developing a video game and the visions and goals of game creators, my mindset views them in a different light. How did this particular cutscene make me feel? What about this character enlightens me? What is it about this certain environment or level that captures my imagination so much? I take things in a holistic way and I feel that allows me to appreciate games so much more.

I won’t be ranking games on a number scale, star system or similar grading style. Rather I’ll simply conclude whether a game is, in my mind, something that should be experienced or not and to what degree.

All that being said, please understand that I work full time outside the scope of this website and with a family of my own, won’t have a ton of time to review everything. Please stick around and see what tickles my fancy!

About Me

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And finally, hello there. Nate here.

It’s shinobi602. Yes, that shinobi602 you may or may not have seen on places like Twitter. You’ve heard this a million times before, but I really am your average joe who loves video games. A native of the wackiest state of them all, Florida, I have a wife and kids and when I’m not spending time with them, I’m playing, learning and talking about games. Video games are an experience to me. When I turn on a system and boot a game up, I sit back and just “experience” whatever the game’s creator intended for me. I go in with little to no expectations and no points of comparison. This has shaped the way I view games and not to sound too corny, life in general.

I’m a strong, strong believer that each video game has its own merits by which it stands on. One game can provide a thrilling, cinematic AAA roller coaster ride while another could be an interactive novel and yet another could be a quiet, nuanced, philosophical experience. All can have merit and provide enjoyment and I appreciate the work creators put into them.

Over the years, I’ve spent much of my time online discussing this medium. I started out in places like GameFAQS and Gamespy and eventually found my way onto NeoGAF. I frequently created threads and points of discussion surrounding gaming news and games in general until I decided hey, why not join Twitter while I’m at it?

So join Twitter I did. I’m so thankful and humbled that I made many, many friends and acquaintances from all walks of life. And yes, I won’t deny that after a great many leaks later, gained an audience that I appreciate every day. However, this isn’t the place for that. If you’ve come here seeking the next big scoop, you won’t find it. That’s not what this is about.

Shinobi Speaks is a side project and hobby of mine. I created this website to be able to channel my thoughts about everything that interests me about video games. And hey, if it grows into something more, I’m all for it!

I’ll be discussing and including:

  • What aspects I enjoy about video games
  • My thoughts on upcoming games
  • My feelings on retro/older video games
  • Social issues and lessons within games
  • Occasional reviews
  • Interviews with a variety of developers
  • and much more…

As a father and husband working full time, I won’t be able to dedicate 100% of my time to this, but as a passion project, I’ll be sure to do the best I can! Thank you so much for sharing your interest in games with me.

With warm regards,

Nate