Nintendo Platform RSS Feed | Nintendo RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Zelda's Breath of the Wild Season Pass is Setting a Dangerous Precedent for Nintendo,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/x/p/expansion-bf555.jpg u2erm/zeldas-breath-of-the-wild-season-pass-is-setting-a-dangerous-precedent-for-nintendo Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:58:06 -0500 Angelo De Bellis

Poor Nintendo.

It's the company fun to hate on for fans and commoners alike, the outlier of the gaming giants, and often the most endearing despite its apparent lack of control as of late. All these qualities have been bumped up a notch now that their new console is but days away, and all eyes are on Nintendo to do everything right.

An emblematic move of this hot mess of a modern Nintendo, with its questionable messaging activities, comes by way of the recent announcement of an expansion pass for the highly anticipated Zelda title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a first-ever for the series known for its beefy puzzles and clever game design. It's easy to simultaneously dismiss the move as yet another Nintendo foible and grasp it with the unwavering praise of a fanboy.

Poor Nintendo.

It took a leaked video to show us what the Switch UI looks like.

To save ourselves from the pity game and the endless ocean of haters and apologists, let's take a slight step back and assess the announcement of the DLC from a little more of a critical perspective. We're better than those forum crawlers looking to pick an argument, aren't we?

Now, before we go back to greeting Reggie with pitchforks, let's outline both the positives and negatives of Nintendo's new stance on DLC. Then my opinion will be revealed on how Nintendo is or isn't extracting dollars from our Switch-devoured wallets.

A look at Nintendo's DLC history

In the past Nintendo have taken a clear stance on adding paid content to games. Simply put, the games company would never hold content back from a game, to then release it later as DLC. These motives were clear and well-adhered to.

To the best of my knowledge, there haven't been tons of games that have had turbulent DLC plans. All the DLC that Nintendo has created for 3DS and WiiU games -- titles like Mario Golf: World Tour, Pikmin 3, Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS, Mario kart 8, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 -- has been cautiously delivered thus far.

Unlike the traditional DLC or season passes you'd find from today's triple-A studios, it is hard to pick out a Nintendo title that offered ridiculously priced or unfairly marketed add-on content -- a few of them made you pay for silly things like skins or ability buffs. Yes, Nintendo has always been judicious about its delivery of DLC, and to pick on a particularly good piece of content, Mario Kart 8 boasts probably their best effort at DLC, from its fair price to its quality of content to its delivery of the announcement.

The Mario Kart 8 DLC, though not the same content type of what will come out for Zelda, is what sticks in my mind as a formidable piece of Nintendo DLC. With a measly $12, you'd be treated to four additional cups in the game and a bunch of new characters and karts.

To this day, I am still surprised at the generosity in this offering; it amounted to a big chunk of the game for a fraction of the cost. The DLC courses were not poorly designed either -- some of the entirely new tracks are my favorite in the game! Certainly no one could say they were afterthoughts conjured to exploit our wallets.

Source: Attack of the Fanboy

Something I don't think enough people think about is how the announcement of DLC is delivered. It's an important thing to acknowledge as it sets the tone for whether or not we think a company is trying to pull a fast one on us. What made the Mario Kart 8 DLC so special was that we knew enough about the contents, without having the look and layout of the tracks spoiled.

That is, at the time, we knew the overview of what we were getting, but we didn't know exactly what it was. We knew that it would be beefy enough to warrant our purchase -- so that we didn’t feel ripped off. The feeling of not being ripped off was known as the DLC was announced months after launch, which points to Nintendo developing this DLC after completing the base game.

A positive outlook on Zelda's Expansion Pass

But what does all this say about the recent announcement of the Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass? Well, speaking from a positive perspective, I’m sure we can agree that given Nintendo’s past, we are in for a treat.

If we overlook the first two pieces of content, there seems to be content on offer that will be well worth the price of admission. An entire dungeon and a new original story is promising, and knowing Nintendo, it will be of high quality. We have no reason to believe it won’t be.

Again, if we continue to assess the final piece of Zelda DLC based on the model used for Mario Kart 8, I'd say that it's priced generously at $20. And the good thing about the announcement is that an outline was given for the release plan of the DLC.

Though a little shaky, the second piece of DLC -- the one that includes the new modes and the map feature -- has the potential to be something else worthwhile. It by no means seems like something I'd be willing to pay $20 for without the final piece of content, but as an addition it's not a terrible proposition.

So by ignoring the first piece of DLC, which is merely a bonus for buying the Expansion Pass, we can see that Nintendo isn't tacking on content that should have been released day one. Though it's arguable whether or not a hard mode or a new Cave of Trials challenge really requires all that much time to produce, it's likely that the two content packs in discussion are not taken from the base game.

A negative outlook on Zelda's Expansion Pass

Now that we've established the promising things about the Expansion Pass, including the price and development cycle, what is it that is upsetting?

Well, most of the bad is in the messaging of Nintendo’s plans -- did you notice how I dodged the day-one DLC in the previous section? I’m not going to suggest that we ease up on the established organization that has operated for over a century, but we must take into consideration the fact that Nintendo is trying to veer the company in a different direction and did recently suffer from the loss of their previous president.

So perhaps that sheds some light on some of their current difficulties, but that doesn't mean it acquits them from learning from the messaging mistakes of other games companies, and realizing that they handled DLC more competently in the past (Nintendo need to ensure they do learn from messaging mistakes).

Unlike the announcement of the Mario Kart 8 DLC, what is particularly troublesome about this announcement is that it was timed just before the release of the title. The content that came to Mario Kart 8 was announced so late after launch that players couldn't argue that they were being asked to pay more on launch day.

Not only is it befuddling that the $20 spent now won't yield the brunt of the content until it's released near the year's end, but it's rather jarring that the so-called bonus isn't just given out for free. The content is useless and serves as nothing more than a pre-order bonus, and that sets a dangerous precedent for this future Nintendo.

Nintendo knows that you are really plunking down the cash for the new dungeon and story, but they want your money now, so they figure that by giving you a bit of throw-away content, you'll be willing give them more cash upfront. This is what feels the most un-Nintendo.

Source: Polygon

Even though it's true that Nintendo offered a similar bonus to those who pre-ordered the Mario kart 8 DLC, at least the game was already in our hands for some time and the pre-order option landed consumers a discount.

It's important to note that, because the Zelda content was announced before the actual release of the base game, we can't appropriately gauge what its contents are. It's quite obvious what additional tracks are in a Mario Kart game or what more links mean for a Mario Golf title, but dungeons and a story have a high rate of variability. We can only assume that the dungeon will be as robust as the ones from older titles, and we can't at all narrow a guess about what the new story will be.

For as good as it was that we didn’t know exactly what to expect from the Mario Kart DLC, we at least knew how robust the contents would be based on the contents of the base game. We don't have that advantage this time.

Now to sheathe the Master Sword

Surely Nintendo has been the topic of discussion for many a gamer as of late. From the announcement of an annual subscription for online play devoid of any proper outlining of all its features, to releasing new hardware with scant details about certain sought-after features, Nintendo struggles to embrace the slick modernity of current games hardware while balancing their history of quality, unmatched fun.

That being said, we must take caution not to combine all of Nintendo's curious functions into one potential disaster after another. Specifically, when discussing the Expansion Pass for Breath of the Wild, I'd say that their track record means they shouldn't be dismissed as just another greedy publisher looking to profit from DLC.

We can somewhat safely assume that the content will be robust even though we don't have much to go by; we also know that Nintendo has done a great job in the past in delivering content that very much exceeds their asking price, and we know enough about the Zelda universe -- and the expansiveness of the latest title -- to accept that the main two DLC offerings are not simple additions that were cut out of the original game.

However, what should frustrate us is the vague messaging, the timing, and the overt means to get our money early... too early. 

If we take all this into account, I'd say that the bold direction of offering Expansion Passes is good for Nintendo and good for fans, but only if they continue their trend of delivering excellent content and improve their future messaging tactics. I'm confident that they will pull through on making the $20 worth it for the Expansion Pass, but my confidence wanes when it comes to their somewhat aggressive attempt at getting our money early. And that makes all the difference in setting the mood.

5 Wii & Wii U Games You Need to Play Before the Switch Takes Over,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/i/wii1-41ab3.jpg itfc3/5-wii-wii-u-games-you-need-to-play-before-the-switch-takes-over Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Rob Kershaw


There are plenty of other wonderful games we could have listed here. In truth, both the Wii and Wii U were home to a number of excellent titles, and some of the best ones -- including Mario Kart 8 and Rayman Origins -- will be getting a deserved re-release on the Switch.


However, we're hoping that Nintendo's new console fares better than the last one, and that third-party developers get on board early. The dearth of software that sounded the Wii U's death knell is completely avoidable. Nintendo know the mistakes that were made, so there's really no excuse to repeat them on the Switch. But in the interim, take a look at the last decade of releases -- you'll be surprised at how many gems you'll find.


What were your favorite Wii and Wii U games? Do you think the Switch will become home to similar classics? Let us know in the comments!

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

One of the darkest entries in Link's canon, Twilight Princess HD took the original Wii game and gave it a coat of high-def paint for Nintendo's follow-up console. Along with the graphical upgrade, the Wii U version added extra support for Amiibo, a new dungeon, and a super tough Hero mode.


However, the real benefit came from the gameplay tweaks, as Nintendo addressed many of the criticisms of the original, such as fast-switching to the Wolf version of Link, increasing your wallet, and streamlining a couple of the tougher side quests to make them easier.


For fans, it remains as divisive as ever, but for those looking for a more mature vision of Hyrule, Twilight Princess HD is hard to beat.

Super Smash Bros. (Wii U)

Following up a critically acclaimed game like Super Smash Bros. Brawl was never going to be an easy task. Yet the Wii U was the perfect console to host this party brawler, doubling the amount of possible players to eight, and offering up a staggering 51 characters to pick from (with another seven available to download). The eight-player Smash could have been a disaster but it actually worked perfectly, with the screen panning out to ensure that none of the mayhem was lost.


What could have presented itself as an incoherent mass of characters actually turned into a tactical triumph of mini-battles, each player working singly or with others to pick off potentially weak fighters, before turning on each other. Ferocious, colorful and always manic, it was also released on 3DS, but the Wii U version remains the one to pick up.

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

The plumber had a number of fantastic outings across both consoles, but Mario's first 3D foray on the Wii remains one of the best in the series, as well as one of the best 3D platform games ever created. Super Mario Galaxy took everything you knew about the characters and the world they inhabited, and ported them into space. The result was a dizzying and spectacularly well-designed platformer, spanning 42 galaxies, with no fewer than nine different power suits to aid you in your task (collecting stars, obviously).


The level design was near perfect, the pacing sublime, and the graphics stretched the capabilities of the Wii, but without any loss of fidelity or frame rate. The use of gravity added a new dimension which bolstered everything great about its mechanics, but without making it confusing. A technical triumph, which the sequel built on even further.

Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)

While the Wii U spent much of its life churning out iterations of classic Nintendo franchises, it also managed to score a few great exclusives. Bayonetta 2 was one such title, and PlatinumGames followed up their wacky original with a hack 'n' slash that cranked everything up to frenetic levels of madness.


Better still, they addressed the criticisms of the first game, resulting in a seamless mesh of slick fighting, ridiculous combos, and a combat system that needed significant mastering to fully appreciate the attention to detail on show. It didn't shift the number of units needed to help the Wii U, but that didn't stop Bayonetta 2 from becoming one of the best reasons to own the console.

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

It was a toss-up between the 2011 original and its Wii U follow-up, but Xenoblade Chronicles edged it thanks to its sheer wow factor -- no-one was expecting the open world extravaganza that arrived on the Wii in its ailing years.


That it was a JRPG which proved to be huge and accessible took gamers by surprise, and while its graphics paled somewhat in comparison to the other consoles at the time, it was still lovely to look at and also boasted a killer soundtrack. It proved that the Wii was capable of more than just party games, but it unfortunately came too late in the console's life to cause a surge of similar titles. It was re-released on the 3DS in 2015.


We're less than a fortnight away from the Switch release, and a new generation of Nintendo games. But before we say farewell to the Wii and the much-maligned Wii U, it's worth looking back at their respective catalogs and reminding ourselves that, yes, there were actually a number of decent games on both systems.


So, dust off your consoles, and take a look at the games we'd really recommend playing before you move into the Switch era.

Ever Wondered What Pokemon Would Look Like If They Were Real?,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-joshua-dunlop-squirtle-watermarked-a6dc0.png nh32p/ever-wondered-what-pokemon-would-look-like-if-they-were-real Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 ESpalding

I've often wondered what my buddy in Pokémon GO would look like in real-life as it follows me around the park looking for more Pokémon to catch. An artist called Joshua Dunlop in London, UK, has obviously been thinking something along the same lines, as he has created some amazing artwork based on this idea.

In a project he calls "Pokémon Zoology," Dunlop has taken some of the most recognizable Pokémon from the original 151 and given them lifelike fur, features, made them anatomically correct, and proportionally accurate to their original artwork.


Since putting his pictures up on the showcase website, ArtStation, Dunlop's work has gained much momentum, and has now moved into the realm of Patreon with a hope to start a Kickstarter campaign in the not so distant future -- to help fund his website project. As well as doing the artwork, he hopes to write content for the website.

Here are a few more of Dunlop's creations but you can check out more on his website, or you can head to his Patreon page and consider giving him a hand with his funding!

Sweet little Oddish

Everyone loves an Eevee

Bulbasaur was the first image he created for the project

Anyone who is a Pokémon fan has their favorite critter so which one would you like to see this artist recreate? For me, it would definitely have to be one of the legendary birds. I could imagine that Zapdos would look amazing in this art style!

Coming Soon in 2017: NIS America Reveals Their Biggest Line-Up Yet,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/y/s/v/ysviii-keyart-8c568.jpg revhg/coming-soon-in-2017-nis-america-reveals-their-biggest-line-up-yet Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:51:42 -0500 asilris

NIS America held their annual press event in San Francisco. There, they announced five brand-new titles.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA

Platforms: PS4, PS Vita, Windows
Scheduled Release: Fall 2017
Eight years have passed since a new Ys game. NIS has partnered with Nihon Falcom, resulting in the game featuring dual audio (English/Japanese) and in-game text in both English and French.

Culdcept Revolt
Culdcept Revolt

Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Scheduled Release: Summer 2017
A collectible card game, board game and strategy game all rolled up into one. Culdcept Revolt boasts a variety of strategy potential with over 400 unique cards to collect.

RPG Maker Fes
RPG Maker Fes

Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Scheduled Release: Summer 2017
The popular game maker is coming to the 3DS this Summer. Users can use this app to create characters, stories, events, combat and so much more.

In addition to the physical game, NIS America is also bringing RPG Maker Player to the Nintendo eShop. It will be available as a free downloadable app, which will allow you to play RPGs created by others.

Touhou Koboto V
Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle

Platforms: PS4, PS Vita (digital), PS VR
Scheduled Release: Summer 2017
In this 1v1, 3D action fighting game, you'll have a variety of popular Touhou characters to choose from. Unleash bullet-hell everywhere and delete your enemy's life bar!

Tokyo Tattoo Girls
Tokyo Tattoo Girls
Platforms: PS Vita, Windows
Scheduled Release: Fall 2017
Taking place in Tokyo after a series of devastating events, you will choose a companion to defeat Tokyo's 23 wards and the Union. Level up your companion by giving her tattoos, and escape the city.

In addition to all of these newly announced games, NIS America also revealed official release dates for some of their upcoming titles:

Danganronpa V3
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

Platforms: PS4, PS Vita
Scheduled Release: September 26, 2017 (NA), September 29, 2017 (EU)

Disgaea 5 Complete
Disgaea 5 Complete

Platform:  Nintendo Switch
Scheduled Release: May 23, 2017 (NA), May 26, 2017 (EU)

Cladun Returns
Cladun Returns: This Is Sengoku!

Platforms: PS4, PS Vita (digital), Windows
Scheduled Release: June 6, 2017 (NA), June 9, 2017 (EU)

Operation Babel
Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy

Platforms: Windows (Steam)
Scheduled Release: May 16, 2017

Operation Abyss
Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy

Platforms: Windows (Steam)
Scheduled Release: March 27, 2017

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness

Platforms: Windows (Steam)
Scheduled Release: April 24, 2017

Silver Case
SUDA51 also appeared at the press conference to announce two brand-new chapters for The Silver Case on PS4. "YAMI" takes place several months after the game's last chapter and "White Out Prologue" occurs after the time leap. It also links The Silver Case with The Silver Case: Ward 25.

SUDA51 also announced two new tracks and 12 remixes by Akira Yamaoka, Erika Ito and the Grasshopper Sound Team are coming soon.

The entire press release event is available on Twitch.

Which title are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the Comments!

Horizon Zero Dawn's Release is an Unfortunate 3 Days Before Breath of The Wild,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horizon-zero-dawn-screen-ps4-03oct16-c2908.jpg ttvxm/horizon-zero-dawns-release-is-an-unfortunate-3-days-before-breath-of-the-wild Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:27:02 -0500 Bryantcpereira

The next two weeks will see the release of two highly anticipated titles -- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn. The former is releasing alongside a brand new console, the Nintendo Switch, as well as the Wii U, while the latter is set to grace one of the fastest selling systems of all time -- the PS4.

These two exclusive franchises may not appear to be direct competition at first glance, but the similarities between the two can almost guarantee some cross-over (or hard decision making) for gamers.

Nintendo is aiming to make its most ambitious Zelda title to date. Harkening back to the days of the first game in the series, Breath of the Wild boasts a massive, explorable open world nearly twice the size of that featured in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.

Fusing elements of survival and role-playing games with the classic puzzle-heavy dungeons the series is known for, the newest game in the series is geared to change everything we know about 
Zelda. Regardless of exclusivity, Breath of the Wild still ended up being the most talked about game during E3 2016.

Nintendo fans have proven time and time again that they are extremely loyal, and when a new 
Zelda title as promising as this one is set to release, you can bet that fans will be lining up for its release.

Horizon, on the other hand, is starting off with a fresh slate. Although sequels are known to generate mass amounts of revenue, Horizon could easily follow the footsteps of popular new games like the original Titanfall or The Division, both of which sold marvelously for new IPs. In a world where annual releases are becoming more common, gamers all over are itching for something new and original.

does an excellent job of making itself stand out from the rest of the competition. Featuring a female protagonist, a uniquely futuristic, yet primitive post-apocalyptic setting, and an intersting open world, the new franchise is gearing up for success.

Watching a short clip of either game will make the two appear drastically different in terms of gameplay. However, both of these action-RPG titles share some distinct similarities:

  • Both titles feature an open-world with unprecedented freedom
  • Both heavily emphasize bow and arrow combat
  • Both feature survival elements like crafting
  • Both heavily focus on resource gathering, whether to increase your character's health or simply create stronger items
  • Both share similar weather systems, where clouds roll and storms kick up depending on the temperature of the area.

Regardless of the similarities, however, the two heve their own distinct features that set them apart. Right off the bat, 
Horizon is clearly a more scripted, story-heavy narrative game, whereas Breath of the Wild focuses more on exploration and letting the story unfold through travel.

Horizon’s skill tree splits into three upgradable, chaining categories that emphasize stealth, combat, and health and resource acquisition. Although the game also features a variety of weapon types and armor, Breath of the Wild features an array of weapons found in the environment that break and must be replaced as time goes on.

The physics engine in
Breath of the Wild is what really stands out. Link can climb virtually any surface, start fires to create an updraft for flight, and surf on sand with his shield. These mechanics change the way the combat plays out -- and are dramatically different when compared to Horizon, which is a far more action-oriented game.

Graphically, the two games cater to different audiences. Horizon caters more toward realistic, adult focused gamers, while Zelda has a more light-hearted, stylized art style that works better for both the hardware it’s on and the audience to which it's targeted. 

The biggest factor that will play into sales for each game will be the hardware. The PS4 has already sold more than 50 million consoles since release, while the Wii U managed to only sell a measly 13 million consoles during its whole life cycle.

And although Nintendo Switch pre-order numbers are high, Nintendo has a tendency to limit console production, so the system may not be as easily accessible as most would hope. With a much larger install base, 
Horizon appears to be the game that will easily sell the most.

However, the Switch is looking to appeal to a much wider audience than the Wii U did, and fans who are looking forward to playing an already established franchise (and that skipped the last system) will be able to start fresh with the Switch. Buying a new console is a serious investment, meaning that even gamers who are planning on buying both games at $60 will most likely have to wait until they recuperate their spending before doubling down.

At the end of the day, both games look fantastic and both have received a plethora of praise during previews, meaning that we as gamers are the real winners here.

Zelda fans will be as loyal as ever, and Breath of the Wild will likely have one of the highest attach rates for a console. Due heavy investments, this will definitely take away a number of potential sales from Horizon. However, with the PS4 selling better than ever, and Sony really emphasizing on marketing Horizon, this will not deter the game from being a commercial hit.

So whether you end up spending all of your money on the Switch and buying Horizon later down the line during a sale, or you plan on waiting until the Switch has a bigger library to grab Zelda, 2017 is looking to be an excellent year for gamers of all kinds.

Rumor Mill: The Nintendo Switch's Innards Have Been Outed!,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/g/u/8gu53th-2b75f.jpg dvac9/rumor-mill-the-nintendo-switchs-innards-have-been-outed Sun, 19 Feb 2017 16:41:21 -0500 David Fisher

Nintendo has kept its cards very close to their chest when it comes to the Nintendo Switch. Information on its hardware, OS, and sometimes even its software has been hard to come by. Even after multiple Nintendo Switch consoles got delivered early -- and were eventually revealed as stolen merchandise -- we still don't know that much about the system!

Now, a Chinese site known as Taobao has claimed that they tore apart a Nintendo Switch console, and have released the images to the world. Keep in mind: this is still just a rumor until confirmed by multiple sources. As such, one should take our analysis of these images, as well as the images themselves, with a hint of skepticism at all times. The legitimacy of these images can range from a knockoff console to a prototype console, after all.

With that said: let's take a peek, shall we?

The Part Everyone Wants to Know About

First up is the part that everyone has been wondering about: the processor. Our resident tech-guy (and associate editor) looked into the code on the chip, which has been printed as "UDNX02-A2." This code bears a resemblance to those of the Tegra X1. However, the most interesting thing to note is the "A2" part of the code. This would mean that this is a second revision of the Tegra X1, making this a newer chip than ones already on the market.

Does this mean that the Nintendo Switch is running on Pascal tech? Probably not. At the very least, we know that the Switch will be running on a newer revision of the X1, and hopefully, that will be enough to ease the minds of fans who are hoping for a more powerful console.

Until someone X-Rays the chip -- or at the very least uses a razor and microscope -- this is about as accurate as the information will get for some time. Assuming that this is legitimate, of course.

Other Good Stuff

The Battery

As if it hasn't been confirmed enough times, the Nintendo Switch found on the Taobao site had a non-replaceable battery. While this means that the rumors and official sources were telling the truth, it will be some small comfort to hardware junkies that the battery can still technically be replaced. All it will take is some wiring know-how -- and the gall to risk damaging your system.

The Fan

The fan found in the Nintendo Switch console is quite sizable, taking up at least 1/7 of the space inside the device. Those who followed my hands-on coverage of the device at the Toronto event already know that the console was very efficient at remaining cool while switching to -- and playing in -- handheld mode. The fact that this leak uses a stronger fan typically found on nVidia devices lends credit to the legitimacy of this leak.

Dedicated Audio Card

As expected, the Nintendo Switch (or at least this alleged Switch) has a dedicated audio card for both speaker playback, as well as the headphone jack seen on the bottom-right of the chip. This can only be a good thing as this means we will get higher quality sound playback, even while the device is not in console mode.

Other Images...

The following images were also included on the Taobao site, but creative liberty was taken while assigning their purpose due to the unconventional shape of the pieces, and my lack of ability to read Chinese.

Most likely the SD card reader, at least based on the lack of visibility on the initial -- mostly still built -- image...

Without a doubt, the main motherboard. Note the CPU/GPU in the middle, as well as the connections for other parts and hardware.

Possibly the Nintendo Switch card reader? The black bit at the top right might be where the cartridges connect. Otherwise, I'm at a loss...

Could this be a type of low grade SSD, or SD card soldered to the board? EMMC being on the board indicates it could be where the OS is stored?

That's all folks!

So we now (possibly) know more about the Nintendo Switch than before. We still don't know if this A2 version of the Tegra X1 is the rumored "Pascal" architecture that people thought was being put into the console, but at the very least we know that it's a newer Tegra family processor.

As for the rest, we now know that the battery is at the very least removable -- if not traditionally replaceable; and we also know that there is enough fan power to ensure players won't get toasty hands while playing.

So what do you think of this new release of information? Got any guesses as to the parts that we couldn't figure out? Leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments section below!

5 Mascot Platformers You Need to Pay Attention To This Year,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-capture3-989dd.jpg gd4g9/5-mascot-platformers-you-need-to-pay-attention-to-this-year Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:12:41 -0500 DannyPTP

1. Crash Bandicoot: The N Sane Trilogy

Crash was the perfect mascot back in the early PlayStation days and it's an absolute joy to see him come back just in time for his 20th anniversary.


Developed by Vicarious Visions with assistance from Activision, The N Sane Trilogy is a remaster of the original three games (Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, Warped) originally developed by Naughty Dog.


Vicarious Visions are handling the games with TLC, making sure that they stay true to Naughty Dog's original "vision"


New features are minimal, with new animations and time trials that were originally introduced in Warped, making their way to the first two games.


Crash Bandicoot: The N Sane Trilogy launches June 30 for PS4.


Are you looking forward to these games and will you be picking them up? Let us know!

2. Sonic Mania

Why yes, I am mentioning Sonic again.


Sonic Mania is the perfect love letter to fans of the classic games, featuring the high-speed gameplay the series is known for.


Developed by Headcannon and PadogaWest Games with assistance from Sega and programmers Christian "Taxman" Whitehead and Simon "Stealth" Thornley, (Both known for the enhanced ports of Sonic 1, 2, and CD) the game allows players to adventure through classic "remixed" stages such as Green Hill Zone and new stages like Studiopolis Zone.


The game will also feature the classic elemental shields and giant rings, first seen in Sonic 3.


There's even a reference to SegaSonic Popcorn Shop, an obscure arcade machine from back in the 90s, in Studiopolis Zone.


With the inclusion of classic stages, it'll be interesting to see what other stages we will be revisiting. (Ice Cap Zone from Sonic 3 please!)


Sonic Mania releases in the Q2 2017 for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC

3. Yooka-Laylee

Yes, I'm cheating, but since this is technically a spiritually successor to Banjo-Kazooie, I feel it deserves a place here.


As this is being developed by the original developers of Banjo, I'm sure we can expect the same treatment of love and care that went into the original and Tooie.


With how successful the game's Kickstarter was and how much talk it has generated, it wouldn't surprise me if the game becomes a series in its own right and finally gives people an even bigger reason to go out and try even more platformers like this.


I imagine it would also allow people to (Re)discover what once made Rare great by playing Yooka's spiritual older brothers.


Yooka-Laylee releases in April for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. 

4. Project Sonic 2017

While we don't know much about one of Sonic's upcoming titles, we can guarantee that there will be platforming featured within.


Announced as part of Sonic's 25th Anniversary, the game's setting looks extremely dark, with Sonic witnessing an onslaught from Dr. Eggman/Robotnik's Death Egg robots.


What's more, Sonic is joined by his classic counterpart. Tails, once again. The last time they were seen together was in 2011's Sonic Generations, which was created to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary and was received well by critics and fans.


It's speculated that Classic Sonic will retain his 2D gameplay style that was seen in Generations while Modern Sonic will deal with the 3D side of things.


While more mature Sonic storylines have been received with mixed receptions, here's hoping that this game will deliver something great.


Project Sonic 2017 is expected in Q4 2017 on the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

5. Super Mario Odyssey

A new Nintendo console, a new Mario. Makes perfect sense to me!


For the few of you who may have missed the news, Super Mario Odyssey is taking the franchise into new territory, leaving behind the Mushroom Kingdom and heading to locations based on the real world (New Donk City is the new New York City).


Looking at the game's logo, perhaps we'll be travelling around the world to new a different locales. It'd be great to see worlds based on the likes of Australia, Italy (for obvious reasons), and Scotland (Giant Loch Ness inspired Yoshi please!)


You can expect the usual flair from Mario: wall jumps, triple jumps, that sort of thing. What is new is the ability to throw Mario's hat and utilize it to cross large gaps or reach higher portions of each map, making not only level traversal more interesting, but level design more interesting, too. 


It'll be exciting to see what other mechanics will be implemented into the game, especially with Mario's new hat abilities.


Super Mario Odyssey is expected Q4 2017 for Nintendo Switch.


2017 seems to be the year of the platforming genre! Over the past few months, we've witnessed a great resurgence of beloved mascots. From Mario to Sonic the Hedgehog, each is coming back with new or reimagined adventures and quests for the modern era. And while many of these will bring a hefty dose of nostalgia with them, each is looking to redefine themselves for a new generation of gamers in some way, shape, or form.


Some releases we have come to expect, while others have come completely out of nowhere (we're looking at you, Crash Bandicoot). 


Here are the platforming games that you should be looking out for this year!

3 Answered Questions About the Switch UI In Leaked Video,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/68193aa40bc96c34995c3ee41723bc7a.jpg ypdie/3-answered-questions-about-the-switch-ui-in-leaked-video Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:35:37 -0500 Tinh Nguyen (Tinhn778)

Many of us are eagerly waiting for the Nintendo Switch, with just two more weeks to go until it launches. But a lucky someone in the public got his hardware two weeks early, and leaked the Switch OS in a video.

Neogaf user “hiphoptherobot” got his hands on the Switch early and showed off the UI and menus for the console. Up until this point, we didn’t know much about the UI except seeing some in the trailers. But this video goes more in-depth with the UI than anything we've seen, and answered a lot of questions that fans were asking.

So what did we learn?

You Will Definitely Need A Memory Upgrade

At the Switch reveal, Nintendo stated that the console will have 32GB of storage and will be able to support mini-SDXC cards. A lot of fans were worried about storage space, because many of them make digital purchases rather than opting for physical copies their games. And this video shows that they definitely have something to worry about. 

It shows that the actual memory storage, after the installation of the UI, is a total of 25.9GB -- not much at all. If you plan to get Breath of the Wild and opt for a digital download, then more than 50% of your onboard storage space will be used by its 13.4 GB file size. There won't be many games we can download before we'll have to upgrade to more memory.  

Personalization Options are Limited 

When I heard that the themes in the Switch’s UI can be changed, it got me thinking about how customizable I can make the UI to add my personal touch to the console experience. Though the leaked video didn’t show many options to change the UI, there was an option for a dark or light theme as the defaults settings.

It’s too bad that there isn’t much else to personalize, but I’m hopeful that Nintendo will add other fun and colorful themes in the future as more games launch and the console takes off.

The Main Menu is Clean (But Can We Customize?)

The main menu is where I will spend most of my time when I'm not in game. And I would love to be able to move applications and customize the main menu so it's easier for me to navigate. The default main menu looks simple enough to use, but adding a personal touch can go a long way.


It’s crazy that we get to see the Switch UI for the first time like this, instead of Nintendo showing us how it works. Neogaf “hiphoptherobot” did everyone a favor with his video, we now know more about the Switch thanks to it.

Do you still have unanswered questions about the console? Let me know in the comments!

Nintendo Switch OS Leaked (Screenshots & Video),h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-536d8.jpg 5txvv/nintendo-switch-os-leaked-screenshots-video Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:51:11 -0500 Bryantcpereira

An anonymous user leaked a video today briefly showcasing the operating system of the upcoming Nintendo Switch on The video consists of someone turning the console on and navigating through the basics of the OS, filming everything through their cell phone. In less than an hour, the video racked up over 300,000 views.

Turning the system on for the first time greets users with the Switch logo along with a bright and cheery jingle. After selecting your language and region, the system will automatically begin searching for a network to connect to. The system then prompts to connect to a TV and follows up by showing how to detach the joycons. Lastly, before getting to the meat of the system, it asks users to set up their accounts and icons, up to eight of which can be on a system at a time.

Navigating through the different options on the operating system is seamless -- taking less than a second to load after each click. The main menu has empty spaces for cartridge and downloadable games, along with six smaller icons on the bottom. These consist of news, e-shop, album, controllers, system settings, and sleep mode. The main menu is simple and pleasing to the eye, lacking any unnecessary clutter or advertisements.

The news panel open up with cute Nintendo sound effects and vibrant images displaying news and information. As time goes on the tutorials like “Take Screenshots! Show Your Friends!” and “Where Do I Put the microSD Card?” will most likely be replaced with game announcements and update notes. The eShop is inaccessible without a system update, so it was not shown. And the album section is quite bare without any actual screenshots. The controller menu shows a “Change Grip/Order” button along with the option to pair new controllers.

The system settings contain most of what you would expect -- brightness, parental controls, internet options, and more. The Data Management section shows that out of the 32GB of internal storage, 6.1GB are used for the operating system itself. Amiibo support allows users to delete game data and reset their amiibos, like in the Wii U and 3DS.

One nice feature is selecting themes, which hopefully will be updated with more than just basic black and white. The TV settings are as basic as possible, but uncover that the display can output a lower resolution at 480p.

The last section of the video shows the Switch going into sleep mode and turning back on. The system can either be manually put into sleep mode through the main menu, or be set to automatically enter sleep mode after a certain amount of time has passed. Interestingly, there is an option to “suspend auto-sleep while playing media content” -- hinting at the future release of applications like Netflix and Hulu.

The leaked video didn’t unveil any ludicrous secrets or hidden features, but it did show a smooth operating system that appears responsive and clean. Seeing the touch screen in action gives the impression that it’s more reactive than the Wii U, and the sound effects and jingles really give off the Nintendo feel. The Nintendo Switch releases on March 3rd and will hopefully answer all of our questions about Virtual Console and actual system specifications.

Check out the full video below: 

Ultimate Chicken Horse Is Coming To Consoles in Q3 2017,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/c/h/uch-d0aed.png 7dfrt/ultimate-chicken-horse-is-coming-to-consoles-in-q3-2017 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:14:40 -0500 Rob Kershaw

Clever Endeavour Games has just announced that Ultimate Chicken Horse will be hitting consoles in Q3 2017.

The self-styled "party platformer" was successful upon release for Steam back in March last year.  Porting it over to the living room seems like the next logical step.


Your goal is to take it in turns to build a level as you run through it, adding more and more obstacles as you go. If you can screw over your friends and cause them to fail while you succeed -- for example, by causing them to jump into a buzz saw or take a crossbow bolt in the face -- you'll win. 

Make it too easy for your buddies to reach the end of the level, and no-one wins. It's a precarious balancing act of deviousness and agility and its release on console will certainly make your social area a more interesting place...

The release of the console version will also see an extension to Free Play mode, which will let players create fully functional levels, rather than just building them as they go. This update will be rolled out to PC gamers too, in order to maintain parity between versions. 

Ultimate Chicken Horse will be releasing on  PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch this fall.

Is Splatoon 2 Nintendo's Full Court Press For eSports?,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a96c6f0be9499de8267519bb06f34253.jpg 7yjh0/is-splatoon-2-nintendos-full-court-press-for-esports Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:06:54 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

With the pending arrival of Splatoon 2 this summer, Nintendo has released some new details regarding the title -- and they suggest that the game will be very viable for eSports.

The first feature, explained via their Tumblr and Twitter accounts, is LAN connectivity. "LAN Play" will allow connections between up to eight docked systems using a wired LAN setup. This will let players to create local co-op battle tournaments without an internet connection.

The other feature revealed is Private Battle Spectator. This allows two non-participants to view a private battle. These two act as camera operators in order capture all the action. (This is, of course, in addition to the 8 players who fight in the Private Battle.)

With the spectator mode, you can view the entire map and not just the players. This will allow a spectator to be able to analyze player's actions -- and we all know that analysis is a key part of the commentating that comes in every pro stream.

For the purposes of eSports, there are two factors that will play into the experience and whether or not it's viable for a competitive scene. The first is the ability to play anywhere -- which will invite players of all skill levels to participate. The other is the viewing experience for fans, which needs to be reinforced with knowledgeable and engaging commentators if the scene is going to gain any traction. 

These features seem imply Nintendo may in fact plan for Splatoon 2 to be an eSport. Fans of action shooters can expect more details coming soon. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to launch Summer 2017 for the Nintendo Switch.

12 Of The Best Japanese RPG Intros,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-c7bcb.jpg avzhv/12-of-the-best-japanese-rpg-intros Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Suikoden III

Suikoden 3 continues the series legacy of the 108 Stars Of Destiny and its near perfect yet mature storytelling and character development.


The opening for Suikoden 3 is a favorite of mine just slightly edging out FInal Fantasy VIII. The music is by Japanese band Himekami and the song is called Exceeding Love. The animation and the music really help show the game's different protagonists, characters, races and it's serious tone. Showcasing conflicts of war and love it captures the mood of the series perfectly.


Do you have a different opening cinematic which you consider the best? If so let me know below.

Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VIII is when Squaresoft really started to show a mastery of the CGI cinematics we first saw in Final Fantasy VII. It still holds up well today and showcases the flair and the art style the developers became known for.


Perhaps what the opening is better known for the is music. The Latin choral piece is called "Liberi Fatalli" that translates to "fated children" remains one of the most recognisable pieces of music from the Final Fantasy series and is still played regularly on the Distant Worlds orchestral tours to this day.

Suikoden II

Suikoden 2 is without a doubt one of the best RPG's ever made, the story is full of betrayal and loss, and the music is amazing. The villain Luca Blight is one of the most evil, bloodthirsty and sadistic antagonists you'll see in any game.


The intro for this game is quite basic in its animation showing more or less static images of some of the key characters with Luca Blight in particular standing out. There is some CGI animation and it carries quite a bit of impact in line with the beautiful music that tells as much of tale the scenes on the screen. There's a standout scene that symbolises hope in amongst all the ruins of a war at around 1.15 seconds. Beyond the great intro Suikoden 2 is a game every RPG fan young or old should play.

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

The dark and gothic Shadow Hearts series started back on the original PlayStation with Koudelka but the real stand out title was Shadow Hearts: Covenant it was set after the events of the first Shadow Hearts game and takes place in an alternative earth during the early days of the first World War.


The opening reintroduces us to the protagonist Yuri who is a Harmonixer in demon form fighting off soldiers there to exorcise him. The cinematography is really well done, and has a really filmic and cinematic feel to the entire scene, and sets up a fantastic story full of twists and turns in an original setting. It also gives you a glimpse of the the most interesting protagonists the JRPG genre.


Xenogears is an intelligently told science fiction JRPG that deals with different religious practices particularly Gnostic spirituality. The plot relies heavily on the philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Psychological issues such as dissociative identity disorder also play a major role in the game's plot. If this makes the game sound complex and way ahead of its time back in 1998, it's because it was.


The intro here is a stunning mix of CGI and anime which gives you a small but intriguing taste of what is to come in the journey ahead in this sci fi universe.


The Xeno name lives on in Monolith Soft's current Nintendo series Xenoblade and the Xenosaga trilogy prior to that on Playstation 2.

Lost Odyssey 

Lost Odyssey was a dream team collaboration that was written and directed by the father of Final Fantasy Hironobu Sakaguchi at his own development studio Mistwalker. The soundtrack was by the famed Final Fantasy composer Nobou Uematsu, and Feelplus was also brought in for the gameplay mechanics. Feelplus were made up by a large part of the original Nautilus team that worked on the Shadow Hearts series, and was a true traditional Japanese RPG in every sense of the word. For many fans it was a Final Fantasy game in all but the name.


The opening cinematics in the game showcase an absolutely epic battle sequence that give the player a idea of what the lead character Kaim is capable of and the kind of a warrior he is. Similarly to FF7 you're thrust straight into that action about 3 minutes into the sequence.


Lost Odyssey for me was one of the reasons to own an Xbox 360 but it was unfortunately doomed to obscurity on a platform that was once only associated with space marine shooters in the West. As a result many gamers missed out on a game that I can't recommend enough. If you're a fan of traditional JRPG's then you owe to yourself to play this game.

Final Fantasy VII 

Final Fantasy VII marked a new era for the FF series and helped push JRPG's into the mainstream. Like many others it was the first game in the genre I had ever played and I love the JRPG as much now as I did back then.


This introduction still gives me nostalgic goosebumps; it provided the player with a sense of scale and that you were about embark on a huge journey. As the camera slowly pans out showing the massive world around you -- something we saw again in the FInal Fantasy XV intro. During the intro we get a first glimpse at Aeris/Aerith as the flower girl and the bustling cyberpunk metropolis of Midgar, before it thrusts you straight into the action as the hero Cloud.

Final Fantasy Tactics: War Of The Lions 

Final Fantasy: Tactics is a tremendous tactical JRPG, and the remaster on the PlayStation Portable War Of The Lions really showcases what kind of great storytelling Square-Enix is capable of. The events take place in Ivalice the same setting Final Fantasy XII and Vagrant Story the game is full of twists, turns and political intrigue.


The beautifully cell shaded opening cinematics look like they've been hand drawn which helps set the game apart from other games in the FF series. The cinematics provide you with a great opening and show you glimpse of some of the characters you encounter in the game.

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete Complete was remastered from the Sega CD original with added characters and scenes it was then ported again to the Sega Saturn and the PlayStation. It's a light hearted tale but at it's center is a story of love, heroism and adventure.


The amazing introduction sequence has certainly stood the test of time from its 1992 origins and shows a good glimpse of what to expect from the game's story and overall themes -- this is especially true for the relationship between Luna and Alex. The character designs and video sequences were by Toshiyuki Kubooka and rightly received a lot of praise from critics and fans alike.

Chrono Cross 

Chrono Cross was developed as a spiritual successor to Chrono Trigger, where instead of time travelling we're given a new direction with parallel worlds instead and it does a great job of intertwining the world's events and stories.


Chrono Cross has one of the most beautiful opening cinematics, and contains some of the most stunning music that really hits all the right emotional notes. The cinematics do a great job of introducing all the lead characters within the game.

Grandia III 

The Grandia series has been on my favorite series lists ever since I played the first one on the original PlayStation, and its sequel on the Dreamcast. The stories really drew me in and the battle system was one of the best I'd seen in a turn based RPG. While Grandia 3 didn't quite have the great the storyline of the first two games it was still a fun fairytale in its own right and did a fine job of taking you on a rather grand adventure. It's battle system was definitely more refined.


The introduction to Grandia 3 is rather beautiful from a visual perspective and the song is extremely catchy, so be warned it may play around in your head for a while afterward. The cinematics give you a good idea of what to expect from the game, especially with the protagonists ambitions to take flight.

Tales of the Abyss 

Tales Of The Abyss is one the best games in the series, and had an excellent story that pulls the player in from its early stages with it's great cast of characters and cutscenes.


This beautiful anime introduction really helps to set the tone of the game, and expectations for what is come. It's fun, exciting and introduced you to the heroes of the story who grow and develop greatly throughout the massive story. None more so than the main protagonist Luke, who starts out as quite an unlikeable and overly privileged brat but is in a way broken down as character and is rebuilt as a hero who learns how to put others before himself.


Final Fantasy XV's opening theme is memorable for all the right reasons, it definitely sets the scene and the tone of the game. You immediately get that it's a roadtrip tale of brotherhood and friendship. If you look very closely you'll see a subtle nod or two to the past games introductions too.


The opening cinematics in the JRPG's especially during the PlayStation 1 and 2 eras of RPG's became a tradition with many being memorable enough to still make us nostalgic and strike the right emotional chords 20 years later.


Here I have listed some of the more memorable cinematic openings that still have the emotional impact today as they did back then.

Romance in Pokemon: From the Games to the Anime,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/m/kimono-89d14.jpg v8xh7/romance-in-pokemon-from-the-games-to-the-anime Tue, 14 Feb 2017 19:51:04 -0500 Unclepulky

Pokemon is a series which appeals to people of all ages. However, even with the world-wide phenomenon that was the first month of Pokemon GO's existence, the franchise's target demographic is still young boys.

Perhaps that's what makes it so interesting that romance has played such a large role in the series' history.

Since the earliest days of the franchise, romance has been in the air. Before many kids even knew what shipping was, they were shipping Ash and Misty from the Pokemon anime. So, with many of us thinking about love this time of year, I thought it would be fun to look over some of the franchise's canon relationships, and even some popular ships.

(Also, the "relationship" between Ash and Latias in Pokemon Heroes will not be addressed here. That was just weird.)

Ash and Misty

The original Poke-ship. Ash Ketchum, the eternally 10-year-old protagonist of the anime, has had many traveling companions through the course of over 900 episodes, but its hard to argue that any are more beloved than his first friend, Misty (or maybe Brock).

While Ash has gotten emotionally close with all of his female companions, Misty is one of only two for which there is any evidence at all that there were romantic feelings between the two.

It's well known that the two were always very passionate with each other in the anime itself, and in the English dub of the movie, Jirachi: Wish Maker, the way Ash talks about Misty during a brief interaction with Max has a very strong romantic connotation.

However, the biggest fuel for Pokeshippers came in the movie, Pokemon 2000.

Throughout the film, there's a subplot about one-shot character Melody being interested in Ash, and thinking that she's making Misty jealous. This leads to Misty repeatedly proclaiming that Ash is her friend, but not her boyfriend.

While in real life, we could go by Misty's word, in the realm of fiction, when someone says that a character is just a friend, it means that they have secret feelings about them. On top of that, the two have a plethora of intimate moments throughout the movie.

Whether or not their feelings were romantic, Ash and Misty clearly loved each other. That's something we can all appreciate.

Ash and Serena

See that image?

Yeah, Ash and Serena kissed.

I don't care that it happened in Serena's last appearance. I don't care that we didn't even get to see the kiss itself. I don't even care that the relationship will likely never be referenced again.

It. Happened.

And, while it would have been interesting to spend a season with Ash and Serena as a couple, what we got was still rather sweet.

While Ash and Misty developed a real bond -- whether romantic or not -- the relationship between Ash and Serena was more like puppy love. The two met as kids, instantly taking a liking to each other. And, while Ash moved on from their brief encounter, Serena never got over everyone's favorite Pokemon Master (HA!).

Once the two met up again, they develop a very sweet and genuine connection. Serena didn't have the fiery temper of Misty, the drive of May or Dawn, or the hair of Iris (DID Iris have a personality?). No, in Serena, we got a schoolgirl with a crush.

While definitely a departure from the strong personalities of the previous female companions, not including Iris, Serena and Ash still had a lot of great moments together. After all the build up we got what was, quite frankly, a really touching farewell.

Flint and Lola

Continuity is a funny thing. Sometimes, it allows for really clever references, or even interesting plot developments.

However, it can also cause some problems.

In the case of Pokemon, there's the problem of Brock's parents.

When Brock was first introduced in the anime, he was taking care of an abundance of siblings all by himself. This was because his father, Flint, was a deadbeat and a failed Pokemon trainer, and in the English dub, his mom, Lola, had passed away. Now, in the original Japanese, it's just said that she left Flint.

However, either way, it makes it pretty odd to see the two of them as a loving couple later on in the series.

So, ignoring this instance of inconsistency on the part of the writers, we're left with two different versions of this couple. There's the horribly dysfunctional couple consisting of a selfish deadbeat and an uncaring mother... and then there's the boring "lovey dovey" couple.

For being more interesting and (sadly) more realistic, I prefer the darker version of these characters' relationship.

Pokemon and Each Other

I may not like the idea of Ash having a romantic relationship with Latias, but that doesn't mean I have a problem with Pokemon getting it on with each other. After all, where would the series be without breeding?

Well, the competitive scene would be barren, and the lovable creatures would have a lot less fun.

Since Pokemon Gold and Silver, players have had the ability to take two Pokemon, leave them at a daycare center, and, if the two are comparable, they'll make an egg.

Whether you look up compatibility charts or just breed everything with your omnisexual Ditto, breeding is an excellent way to either get more competitively viable Pokemon, or even try to get shiny Pokemon.

Breeding seems to be a purely sexual relationship between the Pokemon, but even if neither party is capable of expressing their emotions, deep down, they may just be there.

Or not. Either way, YOU reap the profits!

Tonio and Alice

Going back to the anime once more, we have a couple from one of the most popular Pokemon movies of all time: The Rise of Darkrai.

Tonio and Alice met when they were young, and they have been close ever since. Throughout the film, their relationship is put to the test by... well, nothing.

Really, they introduce a rival character for Tonio in the form of Baron Alberto, but he's actually just a comic relief character. The truth is that their relationship, while not lacking chemistry, is a bit flat. They love each other at the beginning of the film, and they love each other at the end of the film.

This would be a rather sour note to end this look back on Pokemon romance on. Thankfully, I've saved the best for last.

Professor Kukui and Professor Burnet

So far on this list, we've had: soul mates, puppy love, a weird combination of a somewhat overly in love couple and a couple that created a broken home, pure animalistic feelings, and a couple who are pretty much best friends.

The relationship between Professor Kukui and Professor Burnet is very different: they are partners.

These two are equally intelligent and have perfect chemistry. Just through their fairly minimal dialogue in Pokemon Sun and Moon, we get to know each of their individual personalities, and see first hand how much they love each other. 

One studies Pokemon attacks, and the other studies the Dream Radar. They both have their own professions, and yet they assist each other in all of their endeavors.

Kukui and Burnet are a perfect couple -- something all of us can hope to achieve.

Get Ready For Splatoon's Beta on These Dates,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/f/a/jfanvwbdo1tkdevlf5kygp2qvfniacfk-1382b.jpg gnexi/get-ready-for-splatoons-beta-on-these-dates Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:15:01 -0500 Bryantcpereira

Early adopters of the Nintendo Switch system will be able to participate in a “Global Testfire” for Splatoon 2 from March 24-26. Players can download a demo version of the game to play in short, one-hour bursts across the three days the beta is available.

The Testfire event is Nintendo’s way of giving players a sneak peek at the new features available in the game, along with stress-testing the servers for stability. The original Splatoon also had a series of Testfire events before release.

Splatoon 2 Beta Dates & Times (US)

March 24
  • 12:00 - 12:59pm PST / 3:00pm - 3:59pm EST
  • 8:00 - 8:59pm PST / 11:00 - 11:59pm EST
March 25
  • 4:00 - 4:59am PST / 7:00 - 7:59am EST
  • 12:00 - 12:59pm PST / 3:00 - 3:59pm EST
  • 8:00 - 8:59pm PST / 11:00 - 11:59pm EST
March 26
  • 4:00 - 4:59 am PST / 7:00 - 7:59am EST

Nintendo’s squid experts announced that players will be able to test four different main weapons, including the new Splat Dualies and remixed versions of the Splat Roller and Splat Charger. Additionally, a Private Battle Spectator View mode will be available, which allows up to two non-players to spectate as “camera operators” to watch matches from different angles.

The first Splatoon was met with great reception and proved that Nintendo has the capability to excel in the competitive shooter genre. The sequel will feature local Private Battle tournaments through LAN, along with Amiibo support. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to release over the summer as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass Announced -- And It's A Little Odd,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/t/botw-logo-33e46.png l6c97/breath-of-the-wild-expansion-pass-announced-and-its-a-little-odd Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:25:47 -0500 Rob Kershaw

Eiji Aonuma, the producer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, has announced the release of an Expansion Pass. It will be on sale beginning March 3rd, for $19.99, and will be identical on both the Switch and the Wii U.

For that price you will receive two portions of additional content, which are being released in two parts -- once in summer, and once at the end of 2017.

The first pack will include a new challenge, a "hard mode", and an unspecified map "feature".

The second pack, released at the end of the year, will include even more challenges, an extra dungeon, and a "new original story".

Buyers of the pass will also benefit from the contents of three different chests scattered around the Great Plateau, containing exclusive clothing -- and possibly more.

The full announcement video is below.

The announcement has raised plenty of questions.

Firstly, why are Nintendo charging for an extra difficulty level, rather than shipping it with the game? While DLC historically ranges from aesthetic additions to full-on extra missions and stories, what Nintendo appears to be doing here is charging for actual gameplay settings.

Secondly, what is the "map feature"? One would assume they aren't talking about simply adding a new mountain and some birds to the overland map. But since they have separately talked about a "dungeon" in the second tranche of DLC, it's unlikely to be that either.

The other elements are a little more straightforward -- if equally vague. The challenges and story DLC may make the purchase of the pass worthwhile, but with no firm details on either, a price tag of twenty bucks on top of the main game may be a little hard to swallow for many fans.

Nintendo Switch Will Bring Back the Wired LAN Party with Splatoon 2,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/2/5/225323-detail-34407.jpg v67o4/nintendo-switch-will-bring-back-the-wired-lan-party-with-splatoon-2 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 14:30:34 -0500 Unclepulky

The release of the Nintendo Switch is fast approaching. And yet, we're still getting news about the new console and informing the public on the inner workings of the system.

This past weekend, during the announcement of a Splatoon 2 "Global Testfire" event, Nintendo also announced that the Switch will have a wired LAN mode.

As stated in Nintendo's press release:

In addition to this, a new feature called LAN Play will be added to Splatoon 2, allowing up to 10 docked systems—eight players and two spectators—to connect via wired LAN. This feature allows players to create local Private Battle tournaments without the need for an Internet connection. Local wireless play is perfect for your regular gaming get-togethers, but LAN Play is where it’s at when you want to organize a serious tournament event with your fellow players.

While this sounds interesting, we must also remember that unlike the PS4 and the Xbox One, the Switch does not have an ethernet port on its TV-connected dock. So, to make use of this feature, you'll need to purchase a separate USB-to-Ethernet adapter.

The last time Nintendo truly embraced the LAN party was during the Gamecube era. Back then, via LAN cable, you could connect up to eight Gamecubes together, and have a lot of mutiplayer fun with games like Mario Kart: Double Dash.

The Switch will also feature wireless LAN capabilities. In its portable mode, up to eight consoles can be connected -- two less than is possible with a wired LAN connection.

We don't know yet whether or not other games will support that many docked and connected systems, or whether games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will have LAN support at all. But we'll be sure to keep you updated as more details are released!

The Avengers Project Better Not Be as Bad as These 10 Marvel Trainwrecks,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e94dd75cb876e3ed9118c582d0b920ad.jpg jvpw7/the-avengers-project-better-not-be-as-bad-as-these-10-marvel-trainwrecks Fri, 10 Feb 2017 11:45:19 -0500 sknau002


As we stated before, Square Enix isn't known for dropping the ball too often. We're really hoping this new Avengers Project marks the end of the crappy tie-in/barely tried era of Marvel video games.


There are growing pains involved in video games. Some eras are best left in the past (I'm looking at you, entire 32-bit era) but it's good to reflect upon them so that they don't ever happen again. 


Another thing this list has taught us: stop giving Sega video game publication rights to movie series! At least Activision was hit and miss, Sega was throwing darts at the dartboard and hitting the kid across the street.


Iron Man and X-O Manowar In Heavy Metal (1996)


What a long title that brings up a lot of questions. Why not just Iron Man and X-O Manowar? What's this game about? What does the X-O stand for? Who the heck is X-O Manowar anyway?


Go search YouTube videos of this game, and all you'll find is gameplay of Iron Man because nobody even really knew who Manowar was. It suffers from that same problem Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga suffered from--  with being in that awkward teenager year of going from 16-bit to polygons. But it does get one, and I mean ONE, praise: it's not nearly as terribly animated as those two games.


This game feels like it tried to be more than it was, but lost something in development. There were some cool features, like enemies being in the background and being able to attack them without it being a true 3D game. But the repetitive spamming of repulsors and complete lack of story makes this title truly throwaway. Which is a shame for everyone's favorite X-O Manowar... Okay but seriously, who is he? Why is he in this? He's not even a Marvel character!


The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga (1996)


How hard is an Incredible Hulk game to make? Punch dudes, break stuff, go home. Apparently The Incredible Hulk: The Pantheon Saga missed that note by being incredibly boring and horrid to look at.


Remember the Fantastic Four title from earlier? This game has the same pit-falls. It's 3D for 3D's sake, and by that I mean a blotchy, badly animated mess. Remember that time in the comics when the Hulk punched a guy with his right hand over and over, then did the same to the guy next to him? No? Well that's what you're gonna get here.


The sound quality was terrible as well. Everything sounds like it was ripped from a sound effect website. 1997 might have been a long time ago, but around the same time, the earlier mentioned Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems released as a 16-bit game that looked much cleaner, controlled a lot nicer, and actually had impressive fighting animations. And hey, the Hulk was even in it!


Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (2005)

Electronic Arts

At least with Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, they told you right in the title that this game was less than perfect. This 2005 fighting game actually might kick X-Men: Destiny up a couple pegs because it did what X-Men did, but worse. 


So X-Men: Destiny lets you pick from three new characters we don't care about, right? Well six years earlier, Rise of the Imperfects outdid that by creating eight new characters. Instead of adding a few new faces and then putting some iconic characters into the mix, EA apparently decided it would be a good idea to start its own fighting game series, stop half way, then shove some Marvel heroes into it to pad it for release. 


Maybe that's not exactly what happened, but it sure felt like it. The story actually follows an arc in the comics and the gameplay actually takes note from games like Power Stone, which needs to happen a lot more in the fighting genre. But it did so in a game that didn't know what it was.


The Imperfects fell into obscurity after one out-of-continuity miniseries -- and much like this game, was never heard from again.


X-Men: Destiny (2011)


Oh X-Men: Destiny, the game we never asked for. Remember the X-Men Legends games? They eventually expanded into the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series. The last one of those titles came out in 2009 in the form of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. It was an awesome game that many wanted to see a sequel from.


So what did Activision do in 2011? Tripped all over themselves and released a game nobody actually wanted.


What was the main pull for Marvel Ultimate Alliance? The characters, of course! Playing as iconic Marvel superheroes in a comic book-like battle against evil was hard to resist.


Well if you like that, then Activision has the game for you. It stars generic, made-up mutants that you get to pick from! You'll get helped by iconic characters from the X-Men comics -- but don't worry, we've barred you from playing as them so you can focus on the one-dimensional character you chose in the beginning!


I get what they were going for here. They wanted something new and exciting from the X-Men franchise, but they were completely tone deaf to what the audience wanted. The gameplay was also lackluster and full of button mashing. All we really wanted was Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3... Or X-Men Legends 3... Or literally just anything besides this.


The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)


Look at those graphics! Those mechanics! So why wasn't The Amazing Spider-Man fun or interesting? I'm asking you, Activision. 


Remember the Spider-Man games on the original PlayStation? At the time, they were amazing. Even going back, they may not hold up, but you can feel the heart put into them.


But it seems like Activision put a ton of money into graphics and forgot to hire a good story writer and level designer. The streets of New York were devoid of life and the beautiful looking playground was boring once you got past the fun of web-slinging around town.


What about the story? It feels like they hoped you watched the movie and that would be enough to get you through the generic plot instead of giving it its own life.


Also, because Activision had movie tie-in rights at the time, they forced out a sequel with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which was somehow worse.


Thor: God of Thunder (2011)


Isn't that image really cool looking? Take a minute to breathe it all in... because it's the only cool thing about this title.


To be honest, the rest of the game looks like garbage. This image just gets Thor in a good light, because Thor: God of Thunder for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 actually looked like Chinese knock-off action figures.


The controls were slippery, the animation was generic, and the game was riddled with bugs -- which took away from the few cool powers it offered.


The fact that stings the most is that Matt Fraction actually wrote the story for Thor: God of Thunder. Matt Fraction is usually god-tier when it comes to writing, but this... Matt, what were you getting yourself involved in? Why don't you just go back to writing Hawkeye? We loved that series.


To be fair, the story wasn't what was wrong with this game. Basically everything was. 


The Punisher: No Mercy (2009)

Zen Studios

When you think about a superhero game, what kinds of things do you want to do? At any point during this exercise, did you imagine a generic first-person shooter? 


Probably not, because that's a bland idea. But that didn't stop Zen Studios from creating The Punisher: No Mercy -- a hum-drum first-person angst machine. Remember the Punisher's iconic left glove? No? That's a shame, because that's mostly all you see of him except when he dies and ragdolls while saying something a 13-year-old would consider edgy.


There's also no real single-player mode. It's just multiplayer but with bots. It's like they didn't even try with this title. I imagine the dev meetings went something like this:


"Hey, should we make an engaging Punisher story filled with cool characters, vengeance, and all those things The Punisher is known for?"


"Nah, Let's make it Call of Duty and call it a day."


X-Men - Mutant Apocalypse (1994)


Some of you 90's kids may take offense to this one making it on this list. But there's something you may have forgotten about this game. So if you have it, go dust it off and plug it in. I'll give you about five minutes. By that time you'll remember that this game was garbage.


Okay, welcome back. Do you remember now? THIS GAME WAS IMPOSSIBLE. The mechanics were fun, if a little floaty, the looks were classic 90s iconic, and even the midi-bass riff music was gnarly. But the game was just too hard.


Yes, we all know games were hard back then, but this one was impossible. Players had to clear every character's level to progress through to the next mission, but failing even one would give a game over. You had far too little health and not enough pick-ups to combat it. Capcom hard is one thing, but there were too many cheap health-eaters in this game.


A few years after this monster, Capcom released a new game, Marvel Super Heros: War of the Gems -- and it was awesome! It was still hard (so hard that I don't remember beating it as a kid), but I do remember beating more levels than in X-Men Mutant Apocalypse. There was more combos, better health management, and you actually felt like a super hero beating regular bad guys instead of a punk who should have just stayed home.


Fantastic Four (1997)

Acclaim Entertainment

First of all, I would like to say that you're welcome. Instead of a video, I have provided a still image instead. A video preview of this game would make grown men cry, particularly because the animation is so god awful. 


Fantastic Four (1997) was a side-scroller beat-em-up -- which sounds pretty great at first, but Acclaim made sure to dash those hopes by making this game. The animation is near comedic, as this was the time where developers thought 3D was better than anything they could do in 2D. So instead of having a sprite of the Thing throwing punches, the tied it to a very archaic 3D model and had him throw his fists like nobody had ever taught him how the human muscle system works. It featured terribly animated versions of the entire Fantastic Four team (and She-Hulk... for some reason) and could even be played in four-player co-op.


I remember renting this game as a child and getting stuck on the first boss. You literally can't seem to damage him. I wasted my entire week's rental trying to defeat him. I thought maybe it was just because I was young, but upon researching it for this article, I found a video of a person recording the game who also gives up on the boss and ends the video. Has anyone actually ever gotten to level two on this game?


Iron Man (2008)


Do you like Iron Man? How about feeling incredibly barfy with janky camera controls? Lucky for you, the Iron Man game from 2008 has you covered!


Loosely based on the first Iron Man movie, this games succeeds at failing on every level. It looks muddy and gross, especially in the desert levels, and the gameplay is completely boring. You know how in the movies, Iron Man swoops in, fires off some repulsors, then flies away to do something else heroic, almost like he's a jet? Nah, not here. Let's sit in the middle of the arena and just fire away until things die.


There's also very little dialogue to carry the story along, making the game that much more boring. But perhaps the worst atrocity this game committed was convincing the publisher that a sequel was warranted.


Behold, the new Avengers Project. Looks awesome right? We're pretty excited about it, because Marvel Entertainment and Square Enix are teaming up to make this new title happen.


Square Enix is known for making good AAA titles and not shovelware, which is unfortunately where most Marvel video games have been for the past 10 or so years. From Activision, to Sega, to random unknown publishers, the Marvel franchise has been abused for far too long. But can that be turned around? We sure hope so.


This new Avengers Project better not be a trainwreck like this list of past Marvel games....

Netflix's Castlevania: DO's and DON'Ts,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/i/aria-8b88e.jpg 7g0ay/netflixs-castlevania-dos-and-donts Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Unclepulky

Castlevania is one of the longest running franchises in all of gaming, dating back to 1986. While its popularity has dipped in recent years due to a slew of mediocre titles, the series is set for a resurgence, following Netflix's announcement that an animated Castlevania series is in production.

We know almost nothing about this series at the moment, save for the identities of the people in charge of the series, the fact that it'll be coming out in 2017, and that it will be an adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.

We have no way of knowing exactly what kind of series this will be, but, as fans of the series, we know that there are some things that most definitely should be aspects of the series, and some things that don't belong in this world.

DO: Embrace the Lore

There's a lot more to the Castlevania series than just "Simon Belmont whips Dracula to death." There's a deep well of developed characters and intricate stories that this new show can tap into.

From the morally conflicted Alucard to the animal controlling Maria Renard. From Soma Cruz's battle to stop Dracula's resurrection in the future of 2035, to Eric Lecarde and John Morris's quest to stop Dracula's niece during WWI, the possibilities are endless.

Most likely, we're not going to get to see every aspect of this universe explored. As I said earlier, the first season of this series will be an adaptation of Castlevania III, meaning the protagonist will be Trevor Belmont. And yes, the series likely will focus on the Belmont family as a whole. However, that doesn't mean that everything else needs to be completely ignored.

DON'T: Insult the Material

The co-producer of Netflix's Castlevania is Adi Shaknar.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it's because he was the executive producer of excellent films such as Dredd and The Lone Survivor. However, he was also the director of the short film, Power/Rangers.

The short film was made as a parody of dark and gritty Hollywood reboots of popular properties. Even understanding Shaknar's mentality and reasoning for making the film, as a fan of Power Rangers, I found my watching of the movie to be a downright unpleasant experience.

Now, Castlevania is much darker source material than the majority of Power Rangers seasons. But seeing this quote from Shaknar...

“Breaking News: I’m producing a super violent Castlevania mini-series with my homies Fred Seibert and Kevin Klonde. It’s going to be dark, satirical, and after a decade of propaganda it will flip the vampire sub-genre on its head.”

...I'm more than a little worried. Like all fans of the series, there's a lot of things I want to see happen in the series.

What I don't want to see is Trevor Belmont doing a whole bunch of drugs and killing innocent people. I don't want to see Grant be filled with nothing with angst over his dead family, and I don't want to see Alucard, one of the series's most beloved characters, simplified to the point of being unrecognizable.

DO: Have High Production Values

The above still is from the fight against Dracula in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Do you see how crazy this is? Because, for those not in the know, the entire series is just as off-the-walls.

For this series to succeed, the animation needs to be crisp, and the art design needs to be both detailed and imaginative. One of the immediate appeals of any Castlevania are the creature designs and backgrounds. For this to be a good adaptation, it needs to be able to match the games in this regard.

While I'm talking about the production side of things, I'll also say that the producers should search out and hire the best voice actors they can. Yes, this is a series infamous for its bad voice acting, but that's one aspect that shouldn't transfer over to the show.

They shouldn't get celebrates. And they shouldn't just get Tara Strong and Crispin Freemen (although I LOVE them), because they're in everything. They should cast the VA's best suited for the roles.

 DON'T: Change the Core Plot

For this one, I'm mainly talking about the first season of the show.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is the earliest game in the series's timeline, save for Lament of Innocence. If they make changes to the story here, they could potentially impact all future seasons.

And really, despite being an NES game, Dracula's Curse doesn't have a bad story at all.

In the year 1476, Trevor Belmont, hailing from the feared Belmont family, is called in by the Church to kill a risen Dracula. Along his quest, he meets a pirate transformed into a demon named Grant, a young sorceress named Sypha, and Dracula's half-human son, Alucard.

While the plot is simple, this set up allows for plenty of action and, more importantly, the potential for character arcs for the four protagonists. This can be a show focused on the action and the characters; there don't need to be random tangents. There don't need to be extra quests or anything; just plain old, simple character development.

And Lastly


While horror elements have always been a part of the Castlevania series, they've been consistently goofy.

And that's just fine! Because, you know what? This series is cheesy.

It's over the top in just about every way. Over the top stories of cosmic battles between good and evil, over the top sweeping scores, over the top boss designs; subtlety is not a word which should be anywhere near this production.

I'm not asking for Gurren Lagann or Asura's Wrath or anything, but the 'cheese factor', as I call it, needs to be strong with this series.

Are you excited for this series? What do you think is important in its production? What other games should get season long adaptations? Let us know in the comments!

Three Neediest Lovers in the Mass Effect Franchise,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/4/2/54253ef657ace9fc8141d6c7ab2ec834-d14d2.jpg sgklt/three-neediest-lovers-in-the-mass-effect-franchise Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Jack/Subject Zero

On the outside Jack portrays herself to be like rabid uncaged animal lashing out physically and verbally at anyone within arms reach. She is a very complex character though, and easily one of the most well developed in the series. Jack is often just looked at as the punky, tattooed, aggressive and rebellious archetype but if you stick with her she reveals herself to be so much more.


Her need to act out in an aggressive manner, be the most dominant, and the most dangerous character in the group is her way of hiding the real vulnerability and fear of betrayal and abuse. She portrays herself as hating human contact yet definitely yearns it by getting a short quick fix through brief and short sexual encounters.


Her pushing others away through aggressive, violent and sometimes sexual means will eventually give way to the need to belong and feel a part of a community. Through Shepard helping and caring for Jack with no means of an agenda, she slowly learns how what trust means and comes to the eventual realisation that she wants Shepard to be her Alpha and belong to his/her pack.


It is through needing Shepard's guidance and leadership that she eventually realises that she can belong and begin trusting others and more importantly herself by becoming far more than the persona she began with.


Do you think other characters in the Mass Effect universe were just as needing or had as much development as characters?


Tali is one of my favorite characters in the Mass Effect universe, and she developed well beyond her "damsel in distress" archetype. When we're first introduced to her we see how much she doubts and questions her own abilities as a leader and even going as far as admitting she feels more comfortable as a follower as opposed to a leadership role.


Her respect and total admiration for Shepard is revealed throughout the course of the series, and more so when it is revealed in recordings found in the game where Tali is making her own leadership decisions by "guessing what Shepard would do if he/she were there."


Her need and potentially developing feelings for Shepard helps Tali grow into a far more confident and interesting character. As her confidence increases she begins to show a good level of humor, sarcasm and a more assertive side in contrast to the shy and reserved character she started out as. Depending on romance options, this new personality was shown in verbal back and forths with Ashley or Miranda during missions. Tali needed Shephard's positive influence to become stronger and more independant.

Jacob Taylor

Jacob can appear to be quite a generic one dimensional space marine type with his typical boy scout demeanor and a need to protect those weaker than him. He is quite a difficult character to like because of these traits, he appears to have no shades of grey.


He does hide a needy interior and loves being in service of Shepard and is in complete of awe of his/her military prowess. There is a certain side of him that needs validation of achievement through the protection of others. Through the course of the game though, he has shown himself to be quite conflicted -- as he only pretends to love the fast lifestyle of being single, and serving a military life there can be a certain level of bravado to his character.


Deep rooted father issues which are revealed in his companion mission shows that while he tries to be smooth with the women, he clearly needs to feel wanted even just for a brief moment in time. This is a reflection of why he cheats and sleeps around. Jacob eventually reveals that he would love get serious and start a family.


His romance options aren't the most fondly revered amongst fans though and is perhaps more memorable for his comparisons to the "old spice man" and his remarks about a certain "prize."


Everybody needs someone, and while the term "being needy" is often associated with being a negative personality trait. I don't feel this is the case because in life we need people to develop as individuals, whether that's our parents, friends, mentors, husbands and wives. Other people's influences throughout our lives can help a person grow and develop as a human being. This influence in our lives is something happens all the way through our lives from childhood to adulthood as we put ourselves through college, work and other social necessities in life.


BioWare games have always put a strong focus on character interaction, and no where more so with companion relationships. With the promise of more natural relationship progression in Mass Effect: Andromeda, I look at three of the past characters that could be considered needy -- or rather needed guidance -- and revealed more layers as characters than their initial RPG archetype and therefore developed more naturally over the course of the series.

Has the Evolution of the JRPG Come to a Grinding Halt?,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/f/r/afrojack-91f97.jpg 9keaa/has-the-evolution-of-the-jrpg-come-to-a-grinding-halt Fri, 10 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Bryantcpereira

The JRPG genre is one that is fueled by nostalgia, and most fondly regarded through older titles like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 7. Once remembered as the dominant, most progressive type of game, the genre has seen better days in terms of sales and popularity.

The past two home console generations have seen a much smaller number of AAA games in the JRPG genre than previous ones, as it has mostly shifted towards the handheld market.

Ask nearly any JRPG fan what their favorite game is, and you will almost always garner an answer from before 2006. The last generation saw a few successful hits like Final Fantasy XIII, Tales of Vesperia, and Xenoblade Chronicles, but other than that the PS3/360/Wii era saw very few JRPGs. While Final Fantasy XIII evolved the formula the most, it was met with backlash from the community and mixed reviews due to linearity. Tales of Vesperia received stellar reception but followed many of the standard JRPG tropes found in previous entries in the series.

While JRPGs were stumbling to make an impact on the home console scene, the handheld market was a thriving ecosystem for those types of games. Bravely Default mixed classic JRPG elements like job classes and random encounters with a brand new battle system and engrossing story. Etrian Odyssey 4 was the best-selling game in the series, despite playing very similarly to previous entries in the series. The 3DS and Vita show that interest in old-school JRPG titles is thriving, and the low-cost for developing on these systems makes it the best environment to do so.

Some console games, like I Am Setsuna and Tales of Berseria, exemplify JRPG gameplay are still in high demand, but that doesn't mean there's no room for advancement. Final Fantasy XV is the best example of a rooted franchise expanding past what it’s known for. A pioneer of JRPG gameplay, the Final Fantasy series continues to break the mold and redefine the genre. Just like Final Fantasy VII did in 1997 with its jump into 3D and introducing the Materia system, Final Fantasy XV changes the way JRPGs are meant to be played. The game mixes action RPG elements along with deep character progression through skills and experience. The game also pushes Square Enix’s reputation of bringing cutting edge graphics to the next level, with stunning character models and a vast detailed world.

Other than a few key titles here and there, the JRPG formula remains mostly untouched. Protagonists are still mysteriously being struck by amnesia, a huge world-ending twist is almost guaranteed in these games, and grinding continues to be hugely prominent. JRPG developers could take a lot of cues from western RPG games like The Witcher 3 and Mass Effect that are booming right now. These western RPG games generally have more open-ended stories, impactful decisions, and thriving living worlds.

Luckily, JRPG games are by no means doomed. The handheld market keeps the market alive, and with huge games like Persona 5, NieR: Automata and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coming out, there are many opportunities to evolve the genre. The original Xenoblade Chronicles showed that JRPGs don’t have to follow a specific formula to be successful. The Wii game has no random battles, a completely unique combat system that mixes real-time with MMO-style commands, and a completely non-linear explorable world. The game was adored by JRPG fans along with people who don’t normally play those games.

Games like I Am Setsuna and the recently announced Octopath Traveler emphasize the demand for SNES-era JRPG games. Nostalgia has proven time and time again that it sells, and developers like Square Enix will continue to release remasters and remakes of games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy as long as they keep printing money. However, the JRPG genre is not completely trapped in the 90’s. As developers see success through games like Xenoblade Chronicles and Final Fantasy XV, they will continue to evolve to meet customer expectations. Money talks -- and as long as developers are profiting from ambitious titles like the upcoming NieR: Automata and Persona 5, the genre can prosper with new ideas and execution.