Animal Crossing: New Leaf Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Animal Crossing: New Leaf RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network International Dog Day 2019: The Goodest Video Game Doggos That Ever Was https://www.gameskinny.com/myr2o/international-dog-day-2019-the-goodest-video-game-doggos-that-ever-was https://www.gameskinny.com/myr2o/international-dog-day-2019-the-goodest-video-game-doggos-that-ever-was Mon, 26 Aug 2019 13:27:19 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

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Your Dog — Harvest Moon

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You can’t find a video game dog more like a real dog outside of Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Stardew Valley.

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He or she has a lovely little dog house outside for those cool mornings and lazy evenings, and there’s always a place ready to snuggle down for the night inside your house. All that’s really needed to make them happy in life is a smile and a good head pat, though snacks are most welcome of course.

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You’ll frequently see your four-legged friend wandering about the farm, casting an eye over the crops and keeping the other animals in line, occasionally wandering over to make sure you’re okay.

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It’s getting your dog that really makes the farm first seem like home, too. Before that, you’re a newcomer to a strange place, with a massive farm to look after and a big, empty house to exist in. Add a dog, and just like in real life, you’ve got an instant home, a bright spark of life that makes the future seem good after all.

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Unlike your other animals, you technically don’t have to feed your dog either, so pointing to your canine caretaking abilities in Harvest Moon et al probably isn’t the best way to convince someone you can care for a real dog.

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Still, in those early days when times are tough, resources are scarce, and crops are slow to grow, it’s a great comfort knowing your dog is perfectly happy eating air.

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It's not really an exaggeration to say none of these games would be quite the same without their fabulous canines.

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No matter what your favorite video game dog is and why you love it so much, though, make sure to take some time today and every day to give your real dog some snuggles, snacks, and playtime.

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Oh, and if we had to make a list of honorable mentions, it would be: 

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  • General Pepper (Star Fox)
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  • Dog (Dragon Quest: Origins)
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  • Hewie (Haunting Ground)
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  • Poppy (Samurai Shodown)
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  • Caesar (Wargroove)
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  • Vigilance (Skyrim)
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  • Chop (Grand Theft Auto V)
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  • Riley (Call of Duty: Ghosts)
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Let us know which good doggos you would add by sounding off in the comments below! 

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Amaterasu — Okami

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Most dogs in video games are your friends, your sidekicks, or your pets. But in Okami, you are the dog — or, more accurately, you are the white lupine representation of the sun goddess Amaterasu on the mortal plane.

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Okami is all about Amaterasu and her truly epic journey to preserve creation in the face of Orochi’s impending onslaught of darkness. It’s drawn straight from Japanese legends, though naturally, with some changes and embellishments for game purposes.

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Being an almost all-powerful goddess, Ammy, as her villagers call her, is able to change the world around her using a mechanic that makes the game shine as a unique experience almost as much as it is a unique game. You’ll use Ammy’s powers to solve puzzles, bring objects into creation, interact with and change the environment, and take on foes throughout the gorgeous watercolor world.

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Amaterasu’s story might be beautiful, but it isn’t always a happy one. She’s tested to the end of her abilities and faces defeat and despair more than once. At her weakest point, though, when all seems lost, she transforms into her true self and suppresses Orochi’s darkness for all time, before ascending to the Celestial Plain.

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Now, most dogs aren’t going to have lives quite that active, and hopefully, yours won’t have a face-off against the lord of darkness. But Amaterasu’s actions still embody the essence of being a dog — putting everything on the line for the ones that need them most and trying their hardest to make sure they don’t let anyone down.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/l/bill-grey-bf8f6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/l/bill-grey-bf8f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201268","description":"

Bill Grey — Star Fox

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Bill Grey is the quintessential guard dog. Data for Bill existed in the scrapped Star Fox 2 game for the SNES, but he didn’t make a proper debut until Star Fox 64. He’s one of Fox McCloud’s oldest friends, with the two having grown up and attended pilot school together.

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In 64, Bill takes charge of Corneria’s defensive squadrons, aptly called the Husky and Bulldog squads because duh. He also makes an appearance in the often-overlooked Star Fox Command, also on a defensive mission with Falco, and then he returns yet again to defend Katina once more in the ill-fated Star Fox Zero.

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No matter what he does, Bill is always looking to protect the things that mean the most to him.

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He might not be as visible in the series as General Pepper, but he’s certainly got something Pepper doesn’t. Where the General barks orders and maintains a definite distance from the rest of the squad, Bill is right there in the space-trenches alongside everyone else, sharing their burdens as one of the team.

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Unfortunately, Bill still manages to be the one left out of the big picture. He gets no special ending in Command and doesn’t have as much chance for character development as a certain frog, falcon, and donkey.

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While we hope, one day, Bill gets some more attention, maybe even part of a full-blown adventure like Star Fox Adventures, he serves as a good reminder to give credit where it's due to all the goodest watchdogs in our lives.

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Dogmeat — Fallout

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What’s the one thing you need if you’re struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic world that's reeling from the effects of nuclear disaster? Food, radiation protection, and survival gear are all wrong answers because a dog is what you need.

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Fortunately for our Fallout hero, a dog is what they get in the form of Dogmeat.

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Dogmeat’s appearance isn’t uniform across the Fallout games. He’s sometimes a large black dog, a wolf-like dog, or a German Shepherd, but the basic gist remains the same across the series.

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At some point during your travels, you get the chance to find and recruit Dogmeat by helping him out and taking an interest in his wellbeing.

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Typically, his owner died sometime in the past, or he just didn’t have one. Though initially spending his days guarding his territory and terrorizing anyone who comes near, he eventually takes up with you and joins your journey for survival as a party member.

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Unlike other party members (and JRPG dogs), Dogmeat can’t equip gear or use weapons that you couldn’t normally fit on a dog, but he still holds his own in combat with no trouble, so long as you make sure to look after him.

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In return, Dogmeat looks after you, alerting you to the presence of enemies, helping you find items, dealing huge amounts of damage in combat, and generally just being your best friend, especially in Fallout 4.

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The world might be dark and deadly in Fallout, but Dogmeat is a good reminder that a loving dog by your side makes every day just a bit easier.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/r/persona-koromaru-d8dbd.webp","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/r/persona-koromaru-d8dbd.webp","type":"slide","id":"201265","description":"

Koromaru — Persona 3

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Koromaru is the Persona 3 version of the famous Greyfriars Bobby in Scotland. Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known throughout the city of Edinburgh during the late 1800s; after his owner died from tuberculosis, Bobby remained in the cemetery for 14 years, faithfully waiting to see his master again.

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Koromaru once lived at a shrine on Iwatodai Island with his owner; Shadows killed his owner, but Koromaru stayed at the shrine nonetheless, waiting faithfully, until the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (S.E.E.S.) comes along and adopts him.

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Unlike Bobby, though, Koromaru isn’t real. That key difference means his strength of heart lets him summon a Persona — Cerberus, of course — to take the fight to the Shadows.

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He’s one of the only party members with a natural defense against dark magic, has high speed, and lands critical hits often, which lets you get that sweet, sweet “One More” extra attack. Like Repede, Koromaru wields a knife in his mouth.

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But more importantly, he wears an unbelievably adorable pair of tiny wings and a T-shirt.

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His floofy cuteness actually plays an important role in the story as well. Koromaru keeps Shinji Aramaki from being the stereotypical gruff character with no depth, as he’s the only one Shinji opens up to and acts like a normal human around.

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That’s a very important point to note later on, before the very bad thing happens ,and you learn more about Shinji, Akihiko, and Ken’s intertwined past.

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He also helps you raise Social Link points with others by taking him for a walk at night. Truly, no one can resist Koro-chan’s charms.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandy-c450d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandy-c450d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201259","description":"

Sandy — Dragon Quest XI

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Sandy doesn’t get much screen time in Dragon Quest XI, but what she does get makes her a top-notch canine companion.

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The first thing you have to do in the game is climb Cobblestone Tor for a ritual that proves you and your childhood friend Gemma have grown up. The problem with this particular tradition is that the Tor is crawling with monsters. Gemma, grown up though she may be, is no fighter. That leaves Hero to fend off the creatures alone.

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He’s not entirely alone, though. Good ol’ Sandy comes to the rescue and joins the party, with some powerful attacks to help see you safely through your trials.

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Doing a regular mode run, that might not seem like much of a big deal. This is the first dungeon, after all, a time for extended tutorials and enemies no tougher than pudding.

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Take on a Draconian Quest, and it’s a different matter entirely. Without Sandy, these early-game monsters would kick your rear right off the Tor with no effort at all.

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Sandy doesn’t play a direct role in the plot, but she’s still important. Hero grows up with Sandy, and like all good dogs, she’s part of everything in daily life — until that fateful day when their world changes.

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Thinking about Sandy and Cobblestone like that makes the first gut-punch hurt that much worse and sets a distinctly different tone for Hero’s adventures from that point on.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/i/zeit-78399.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/i/zeit-78399.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201266","description":"

Zeit — Trails from Zero, Trails of Azure

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You’d be hard pressed to find a dog or wolf that’s more of a contradiction than Zeit is in The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails of Azure.

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He’s at once massively important to the plot, themes, and backstory, but simultaneously doesn’t have a big role to play in the plot thanks to an exception in a certain contract he has. (Yes, a wolf has a contract. It’s a thing.)

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Zeit is a legendary divine wolf who watches over the land known as Crossbell. After one of the mafia groups from Crossbell City starts wreaking havoc in the countryside, the divine wolves get blamed until the Special Support Section of the Crossbell Police steps in to put things right.

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Despite being huge, divine, and legendary, he acts like a normal dog from then on, protecting the SSS headquarters, and generally letting the city’s kids do whatever they want with him.

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Outside some indirect combat support, it initially seems like that’s what Zeit’s role is — big, loveable pooch.

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As Azure gears up for its final chapter, though, that notion changes in a very big way as you learn about Zeit’s past and his connection with Crossbell. Among other things, you can take control of Zeit as a playable party member, and you quickly find out he can basically end the world with a swipe of his paw.

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Yet whether you’re worthy or not, and despite his own circumstances, he chooses to be your friend and help you when times get tough.

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It’s a subtle underscoring of the games’ “true bonds” theme — and pretty much what dogs do in our lives every day.

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Repede — Tales of Vesperia

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Games in the Tales of franchise typically have some sort of animal sidekick. While Mieu in Tales of the Abyss is one of the better ones thanks to being a barometer measuring Luke fon Fabre’s character development, Mieu isn’t a dog.

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Repede from Tales of Vesperia is a dog — and one with impeccable style and presence. He carries a pipe in his mouth and swaps it out for weapons during combat, both of which make for a pretty hard act to beat.

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Repede doesn’t necessarily have much story significance in Vesperia, other than being a reminder of how difficult protagonist Yuri Lowell’s past has been. Beyond plot necessity, though, he's a genuine friend to the isolated Yuri, with all the loyalty and affection we'd expect from the best dogs — and all that in spite of what Yuri did in the past to Repede's father.

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Repede's also a true beast in combat.

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He’s one of the first party members you get, and also one of the rare examples of using a “pet” as a full-time party member — outside Breath of Fire III, at least.

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While he might not be much of a magic user, Repede is speedy and strong, with powerful technical Artes attacks and the ability to strike and retreat with haste. Add his theft ability on top of that, and he’s a character you’ll want to regularly keep on the field. 

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Repede is exactly what all good dogs are: invaluable and adorable.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/g/angelo-4a8b9.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/g/angelo-4a8b9.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"201267","description":"

Angelo — Final Fantasy VIII

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Angelo is the very definition of loyal. She’s Rinoa’s dog in Final Fantasy VIII and takes things a big step further than Interceptor. For one, she’s always by Rinoa’s side. Always. Whether it’s at school, in battle, or even after that spoilery thing happens and Rinoa is incapacitated for a while, Angelo is there, offering her support.

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Rinoa’s comment about learning so much from Angelo isn’t just cute dog talk either. Unlike Interceptor, Angelo plays a more defined role in combat.

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For one thing, she’s Rinoa’s Limit Break, which is obviously the series’ best Limit Break. Rinoa and Angelo start with four basic attacks, but she/you have to read dog magazines to learn new abilities as an improved dog trainer.

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Depending on circumstances, Angelo can even help heal an ailing party member or perform a hard-hitting attack at just the right moment to turn the tide.

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She gets a biscuit for her troubles during battle, which is sweet. But the endgame is what serves as a perfect metaphor for how our relationships with our dogs usually go.

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After staying by Rinoa at all times, saving the party’s skin on countless occasions, and generally just being perfect, what does Angelo get? More biscuits? Head pats?

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No. She gets left behind while Rinoa has a moment with Squall.

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Whatever.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/mega-man-rush-960d7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/mega-man-rush-960d7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201258","description":"

Rush — Mega Man

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Rush is Mega Man’s loyal robo-dog friend in the Mega Man series and spinoffs, starting with Mega Man 3 and staying by the Blue Bomber’s side ever since.

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It’s not just one Rush, either. The robo-doggo takes on a wide variety of different forms as the situation calls for it.

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The most familiar one is probably spring-mode Rush, aka Rush Coil, where he transforms into a giant springboard and propels Mega Man to greater heights. It’s a lifesaver in certain situations and absolutely necessary if you’re playing spelunker and want to get everything a stage has to offer.

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But Rush’s trick repertoire doesn’t end there, and it’s arguable that as the mainline Mega Man games started to lose their luster, Rush himself started getting even better.

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Over the course of his long career, he’s mastered the art of turning into the Rush Marine submarine, carrying Mega Man through space as Rush Space, flying through the air as jet-powered Rush, and doing all the things you’d expect from a robotic dog with near-endless capabilities.

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Rush’s loyalty is a bit different from most dogs, though. It’s hard to say he had a choice in the matter of staying by Mega Man’s side, when his creator, Dr Light, programmed him to be (Mega) man’s best friend.

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But he goes above and beyond to fulfill his duties nonetheless, like the good boy he undoubtedly would be — y’know, if he could make his own choices.

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Interceptor — Final Fantasy VI

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Final Fantasy VI boasts one of the biggest casts of playable characters in the series, and though Interceptor the dog is just a sidekick to one of those characters, he plays an interesting role in and out of combat.

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Interceptor’s master is Shadow, the Ninja. Like all Ninjas in Final Fantasy, Shadow is actually pretty fragile, despite his relative strength. Even though he’s a master of stealth, enemies tend to target him rather often during combat.

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Fortunately, Interceptor randomly jumps in and, well, intercepts the attack; he blocks like shields do, only more often. He also randomly attacks an enemy for Shadow, though it’s more adorable than effective in most cases.

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Outside of combat, though,  is where Interceptor gets really interesting, and it’s possible to completely miss how his story unfolds. At a certain spot before the game’s halfway point, the party meets Relm, a precocious young artist with a strange affinity for Interceptor, a dog who usually just tolerates Shadow and can’t stand other people. Relm lives with her grandfather and never knew her parents.

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You can probably put two and two together from that information. But whether you see it play out in the game depends on a choice you make.

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If you’re heartless and leave the Floating Continent without Shadow, his story ends (because he dies, spoiler alert). If not, and you make sure to speak to him at specific points, you learn about his previous relationships and roles in life.

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And it’s all because of Interceptor, bringing people together like a good boy.

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Isabelle — Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Being an animal-centric game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf naturally has lots of lovely doggos to choose from; if you want to be technical, Tom Nook is even a dog, thanks to the whole Tanooki = racoon-dog thing.

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Isabelle stands a cut above the rest for a few reasons, though. Apart from having a distinct personality separate from the rest of the villagers, she always says nice things and doesn’t try to get money from you. That last one alone is worthy of a top ranking.

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But it’s Isabelle’s unfailing positivity and optimism that really make her so loveable and charming. Isabelle is almost always happy — and happy to help.

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She helps you settle into your new village and pick a spot for your house, always organizes special events and attends big public works unveilings, and even shoulders your mayoral duties for years on end when you forget your village exists.

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Of course, that cheerfulness makes seeing Isabelle so capably beat the stuffing out of Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate just a bit disconcerting, but it just helps underscore how amazing she really is.

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Whether she’s keeping an entire village running or sweeping up the competition, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more amazing dog than Isabelle.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/g/dog-day-header-52994.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/g/dog-day-header-52994.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"201256","description":"

Whether it's International Dog Day or just a regular afternoon of playing games with your pooch, the most pressing question we have any time a new game is revealed — or when a new trailer is shown  that also includes a dog is, "But can you pet the doggo?"

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It's a testament not just to how much we all love dogs, but to how often they show up in our favorite video games. Some, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, are pretty much there just for show, keeping the world alive and digging up stuff for you if you feed them.

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These dogs are great and all, but they don't always play a substantial role; some of them can't even be pet, no matter how fluffy and oodgie-woodgie they look.

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Others play a much bigger part in a game or entire series, though, and some are even the backbone of entire plots.

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In honor of International Dog Day 2019, we're taking a look at those dogs playing a starring role in the world of video games.

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Whether they're helping you out on the farm, hurling you to new heights, or swatting your enemies away like so much annoying dust, these dogs are versatile, loving, loyal, and everything that makes dogs wonderful in real life.

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New Horizons is The Best — and Only — Direction for Animal Crossing https://www.gameskinny.com/gu8v3/new-horizons-is-the-best-and-only-direction-for-animal-crossing https://www.gameskinny.com/gu8v3/new-horizons-is-the-best-and-only-direction-for-animal-crossing Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:02:56 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

E3 finally gave people their first glimpse at the upcoming Animal Crossing Switch game, titled Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The good news is it looks amazing. The bad news is we can't get our hands on it until next year.

That's okay, really. Not only does it mean the dev team gets to be real humans with a work-life balance, but it also means they have the time they need to really make this a stand-out game. And it looks like it's going to be a stand-out game.

Past titles have played it safe with innovations and doing new things, striking a balance between innovation and safety that sometimes leans a bit too far towards the latter than the former. However, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is making a big step forward for the series, even bigger than New Leaf, and it's exactly what Animal Crossing needs to keep it fresh and appealing for years to come.

Tried and True

Animal Crossing's debut was much like Harvest Moon's: it was a completely different kind of game that shattered all traditional notions of gameplay. You were completely free to do whatever you wanted, interact with townsfolk as much or as little as possible, and even live in a dingy 4x4 house for your entire game if you felt like Tom Nook needed to find other sources of revenue.

Yet that innovation and its popularity put the series in a bit of a difficult place. On the one hand, changing things up too much could potentially alienate players who loved the formula first used; on the other, making future entries too similar to previous installments means there's little incentive to play.

It's a position Animal Crossing grappled with for a while and not always with successful results. The developers focused more on the multiplayer aspects when making changes for Wild World and City Folk, taking advantage of wireless communication and trying to implement more activities people could enjoy in their friends' towns.

Changes for single player mode were conservative at best and regressive at worst. WW ditched the major holidays in favor of drawn-out affairs the player couldn't participate in. However, it did expand villager conversation variety and add new request types, along with new furniture. The world became rounder, but smaller as well.

Other major changes included Celeste's observatory and the ability to see the sky; the latter might sound mundane, but it adds a special sense of wholeness to the town.

Rather than being a big step forward, it was more like a refinement that tried to recapture the same sense of of the original, but for new audiences. With a goal like that, it's understandable the team would be careful how much they changed.

Urban Stagnation

City Folk suffered from that approach, only with the Wii as the platform — and by exactly the same approach, to a fault. It's still a charming game, but apart from having all the special characters in one place and an upgraded aesthetic, there isn't much new in a positive way.

What it did do was severely pare down villager interactions . No longer could you shoot the breeze with your favorite animals or pester them for requests until at last they remembered that video tape they loaned out. Instead, you had no communication options and had to deal with a few responses on repeat for an hour.

The disappearing grass function was a strange innovation as well. Presumably meant to create paths in the town, it resulted in a lot of brown instead and some very thin grass. That might not seem like a big deal, but in a game where the goal is making your town as beautiful, or as whatever, as you want, punishing you for walking around said town doesn't seem very beneficial. (It's worth noting the New Horizons trailer shows you making paths specifically, so huzzah; your grass is safe forevermore.)

Overall, none of these negatives are really all that bad, though. The games are still incredibly fun, and it's easy to sink a ton of time into them. The problem comes when you look at them and realize you could get largely the same experience regardless of which title you chose.

Election Time

New Leaf came and changed all of that with a simple mechanics change. Making the player the mayor initially came off as a gimmick, but it opened up a vital aspect of living in an AC town: making it completely your own.

The Town Ordinances addressed a long-standing problem for fans who didn't have a school-based schedule by letting stores open earlier or close later. The sheer convenience of making villagers focus on town beautification can't be overstated either and saved those poor flowers from neglect.

More important was the introduction of Public Works Projects. These special, sometimes wacky, items could be placed anywhere — well, almost — in any combination, and there were a ton to unlock. They also gave players something to work towards other than repaying a home loan, which goes far in providing incentive to keep playing.

It also introduced the start of something new with furniture: customization and new placement options. The series has always been about living your fictional life your way, and New Leaf finally started to make that possible.

It couldn't really be replicated, though. Many fans and critics lamented City Folk's recycling of Wild World. There's no way Animal Crossing could have directly continued what New Leaf started without repeating that situation, getting stuck by just adding new Public Works Projects, some new furniture and ultimately displeasing consumers.

Communal Island Paradise

So it doesn't try to. New Horizons makes a clean break from previous Animal Crossing concepts, taking the major, most enjoyable features from the series and doing something new with them.

Moving the game out of a traditional town and into an exotic new location is, like many positive changes in the series' history, minor on the surface. After all, E3 interviews with the game's director confirmed most of the town building aspects will remain recognizable. However, it creates an atmosphere of new beginnings (hence the game's name) that, recognizable progression or not, does make even familiar tasks seem fresh.

The main feature of populating an island greatly contributes to that as well. With New Leaf, the focus was firmly on you. Even though you can determine where your neighbors live, it seems like this is meant to be a more cooperative outing.

You're all in the same boat, held under Tom Nook's merciless iron thumb until you pay back your loans and can move out of your tents. Plus, unhappy villagers will leave the island, and it looks like fellow islanders will contribute a lot more to the community's well-being, if their gardening activities in the trailer are anything to go by.

In other words, not only are you taking part in village/island life per usual; you're all working together to make that life. It's basically the fully realized fulfillment of the original Animal Crossing's promise all those years ago.

New Horizons borrows from Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp in what looks like highly effective ways as well. The half-grid placement makes a return from HHD, and it seems as if you can use it to plant tightly knit garden projects, among other things.

But the more exciting feature is placing furniture and items outside.

Your Island, Your Way

This time, your town really can be your own, and you can change it however you want, whenever you want. Public Works Projects are great, but they're specialty items mostly, like the Jungle Gym, or classic buildings like the Lighthouse. New Horizons lets you create a temporary campsite, as we've seen, but assuming there are no limits to what you can place outdoors, the possibilities will be limitless.

One thing I'm most excited about, though, is the item crafting. Pocket Camp introduced us to it in a sense, and New Horizons is taking it to greater heights. Nook Miles rewards are sort of like the Meow Coupons add-on in New Leaf, tasking you to complete certain quests to get rewards. But not having every item or piece of furniture you want available immediately provides an even more compelling reason to keep playing.

You're trying to earn or find recipes, or items to make something new. Sure, you're probably going to get stuck trying to find a certain recipe, just like waiting for years on that one piece of furniture Nook never seemed to stock. However, searching them out, finding the ones you want, and making your island community into something unique puts the focus more firmly on players than even New Leaf's mayor feature did.

Multiplayer was never Animal Crossing's strong point. There just wasn't enough to do, and the chat functions weren't quite up to snuff, unless you liked playing right up against your TV thanks to the Wii Speak's obnoxiously short cord.

Yet it seems like New Horizons will be a step in the right direction for multiplayer as well. Obviously, most of its multiplayer features are still under wraps, but we did get a glimpse at something the series has needed for so long: playing with friends and family at the same time.

Because Animal Crossing's multiplayer offerings were so limited, it never made sense you couldn't at least play with the other people living in your own town and work together. Well, okay, I'm sure it does make sense from a technological standpoint, but it was a huge bummer nonetheless.

---

New Horizons is an appropriate name not just because the game takes place on a new island over the horizon.

This looks like this is the first time Animal Crossing will really give you the reins in your town and finally add greater purpose to all that item and furniture hoarding... er, collecting. It's a completely new outlook for the series, even while it retains its beloved roots — and it's hopefully setting a pattern of innovation for future entries as well.

]]>
Can't Get Enough Harvest Moon? Check Out These Other Farm Sims https://www.gameskinny.com/ebre1/cant-get-enough-harvest-moon-check-out-these-other-farm-sims https://www.gameskinny.com/ebre1/cant-get-enough-harvest-moon-check-out-these-other-farm-sims Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:44:00 -0500 Sarah Elliman

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These are our top farming simulators similar to Harvest Moon, but there are many more out there! Explore and enjoy the fantastic and diverse gaming genre that was bought to prominence by Harvest Moon.

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What did you think of our list? Do you have any favorite farming sim games that we left out? Let us know in the comments below.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/r/farmforyourlife-2013-072a8.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/r/farmforyourlife-2013-072a8.png","type":"slide","id":"175693","description":"

Farm for Your Life (PC)

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Farm for Your Life is an incredibly quirky take on the farming simulator genre as you still plant crops as you would with Harvest Moon, but you also must build up your defenses to stop zombie attacks. It is an intriguing combination of Plants Vs. Zombies and Harvest Moon with many funny and intriguing experiences to be had. Farm for Your Life adds in a survival element to the tried and tested formula perfected by Harvest Moon.

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Farm for Your Life offers a variety of gameplay aspects, from tower defense to farming simulation and time management. Combining all these aspects, you create an incredibly fun game that becomes addictive faster than you would think.

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Farm for Your Life is available through Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/3/5/235a297657446fb.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/3/5/235a297657446fb.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175692","description":"

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

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Everyone is aware of this adorable simulator full of cute animals running around and asking for your help. Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the perfect game to get into casually, especially with the release of the mobile version. You get to set up your house however you want it while being able to fish and collect various objects around the world. Animal Crossing is a perfect addition to your simulator games without being too taxing.

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Animal Crossing is a calm game that follows the real passage of time and allows for a high level of customization throughout the game. Although this doesn’t have any farming aspects, there are still many activities to take part in and enjoy the community present in the world.

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf is available on Amazon from $28.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splash-9e88c.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splash-9e88c.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175691","description":"

Wild Season (PC)

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Wild Season is incredibly similar to Harvest Moon and has a very similar aesthetic as well. The game has roots in the visual novel and RPG genres and promises to deliver on a fantastic story as well as being a great farming simulator. Considering that Wild Season focuses on the story element surrounding the simulator, building and maintaining relationships with townspeople is now more important than ever.

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If you’re looking for a very similar gaming experience to Harvest Moon, then Wild Season is your ticket. It doesn’t venture as far out of the genre as the other games that have been mentioned, but it does breathe new life into the genre.

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Wild Season is only avaliable through PC, and you can buy it here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/6/1/c61fdfe41d1ac013b6a6c7295e54ca4a-original-35498.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/6/1/c61fdfe41d1ac013b6a6c7295e54ca4a-original-35498.png","type":"slide","id":"175690","description":"

World’s Dawn (PC)

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World’s Dawn is a beautifully designed game that introduces extensive farming simulator elements that go beyond the original Harvest Moon. World’s Dawn shares similar functions as those of Stardew Valley, with you being able to farm, hunt, and fish as well. There are over 30 NPCs to interact and build relationships with, so you will always be keeping busy with this one.

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World’s Dawn builds upon the foundations set by Harvest Moon and tries to expand them into new territories. You’ll be able to achieve a truly fantastic experience when exploring all the features that World’s Dawn has to offer.

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You can purchase World's Dawn through Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/playstation-49177-11355184102-a4c50.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/playstation-49177-11355184102-a4c50.png","type":"slide","id":"175689","description":"

Shepherd’s Crossing 2 (DS)

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Shepherd’s Crossing 2 is an open-ended sandbox that gives you the opportunity to play the game the way you want to. There are aspects of the farming simulator that you can ignore entirely, giving you greater customization within your game. Shepherd’s Crossing 2 combines all the wonderful aspects that were perfected by Harvest Moon -- relationships and farming -- and then allows you to shape your world the way you want to.

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Furthermore, Shepherd’s Crossing 2 is considered a much more difficult game to work through than Harvest Moon. So, if you're looking for a challenging farming simulator game, then Shepherd’s Crossing 2 is the right one for you.

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Sheperd's Crossing 2 is incredibly hard to get hold of online, unless you want to pay over $200 for it. You can always check eBay and local stores for the game. If you like the sound of Sheperd's Crossing, then the first game is available on PS2 for $19.99 on eBay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/u/n/runefactory41018131280jpg-884630-1280w-08213.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/u/n/runefactory41018131280jpg-884630-1280w-08213.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175688","description":"

Rune Factory 4 (3DS)

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There are many installments to the Rune Factory franchise, and each title is a perfect homage to Harvest Moon that instills fantasy RPG elements. You don’t just farm or build relationships in Rune Factory -- you can explore dungeons and craft weapons or armor among other common RPG activities.

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Farming simulators like Harvest Moon are great role-playing games to start with, and Rune Factory builds on this and mixes it up. If you love fantasy games and farming simulators, then Rune Factory is perfect for you.

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Rune Factory 4 is available from Amazon for $29.99.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-stardewvalley-image1600w-c41e1.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-stardewvalley-image1600w-c41e1.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"175687","description":"

Stardew Valley (Multiple Platforms)

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I know you expected this one, but how could we create a farming simulator list without Stardew Valley? Upon its initial release in 2016, Stardew took the gaming world by storm, with both critics and gamers issuing overwhelming praise for the farming simulator. The world of Stardew Valley is expansive, and the story, combined with the interactions with NPCs, makes Stardew Valley one of the best games out there.

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Build up your home and your farm the way you want to. Before you know it, you will have sunk hours into the game while still having more work to do. Stardew Valley is not just a must-have farming simulator but also a must-have game in general.

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Stardew Valley is available to purchase from multiple platforms; you can buy the PC version here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-16120635575-1ccb608c81-6f91f-ab4a2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-16120635575-1ccb608c81-6f91f-ab4a2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175686","description":"

Since the Harvest Moon series first made its way onto the gaming scene in 1996, its extensive installments and gameplay variety have made it a force to be reckoned with.

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Harvest Moon isn't the only farming simulator out there, however; there are numerous games with similar mechanics that offer a fresh take on the farming gig. We’ve picked out seven fantastic games similar to Harvest Moon that you won’t be able to keep your hands off.

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These Nintendo IPs Need to Get Attention This E3 While the Switch Hype Is High https://www.gameskinny.com/2xf4c/these-nintendo-ips-need-to-get-attention-this-e3-while-the-switch-hype-is-high https://www.gameskinny.com/2xf4c/these-nintendo-ips-need-to-get-attention-this-e3-while-the-switch-hype-is-high Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-7e91e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-7e91e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154121","description":"

Or maybe we'll see an entirely new IP?

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In a world with a bunch Marios, Zeldas, and Pokémon games, it's refreshing to know that Nintendo isn't afraid to treat to an entirely brand new premise game that that they have in the works; just look at Splatoon as an example.

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E3 will start at June 14th this year which is just a little over a month away. The Switch's library is slowly growing, and if the big N wants to reassure us that the same issues that plagued the Wii U won't happen to this fancy new machine, they'll have to step it up, and I think they know that more than anybody else at this sensitive stage of the Switch.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-b5b76.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-b5b76.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154120","description":"

Super Mario

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What kind of Nintendo console would it be without an exciting new Mario game? Still, the Plumber has gone to the Islands, traveled in space, and yiffed it up to save some fairy pals from evil turtle dragon; what else could he possibly do?

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Hmmm (*watches Odyssey trailer repeatedly), oh, OK, so there’s that; Mario is going to juxtapose his carton-ass self against realistically proportioned human beings, and visit Mexico during the Day of The Dead -- neat.

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The reveal of Super Mario Odyssey definitely left us more questions than it did answers, but the promise of an Open-world game is an especially promising one when you factor in the incredible job that was done with Breath of the Wild. From what we can gather, Mario will have his own personal airship for travel, he’ll be able to explore a variety of environments that are inspired by real-world locations like New York, and the South American jungle. He also has a weird new sentient hat that he can use as a projectile for improvised platforming during tricky jumps, and that he’s going to crash Bowser’s wedding with Peach.

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The wait for the holiday may not be that long, but that could change once Nintendo spills more of its guts on this Open-World Mario adventure at this year’s E3.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-2146f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-2146f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154019","description":"

Metroid

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Ahh Metroid, this franchise is a bit of a touchy topic considering the uproar the last entry Federation Force caused when it released last year. Leading up to that release, the intergalactic bounty hunter has had a spotty record between an absurdly limited run of releases for Prime Trilogy, and the awkward stint that was Other M, leaving all hope that a true return to form for the franchise is all but lost at this point.

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But it doesn’t have to be…

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Like many of the other proposed choices for Nintendo to consider on this list, the Switch might just be the franchise’s second chance to flourish onto Switch units with a sequel that can be presented in just about any adventure-oriented format. Imagine a brand new side-scrolling Metroid game, one that wouldn’t be another Metroidvania game it would be THE Metroidvania game, one that would feature the most expansive 2D Map seen in the sub-genre that would leave your head spinning faster than Breath of The Wild ever did.

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Hell, we could even get another first-person sequel that’s modernized with all the present day polishes from today’s First-Person Shooter with Metroid’s sprawling level design. Dare I say it, we could even try at another 3D action take in the vein of Other M, only without all the flaws and dumb design decisions, and misogynistic undertones.

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There’s a lot of gas left in Samus’s tank (I don’t really know if this counts as a  pun, and I wasn’t trying to make it one so take that as you will) and Nintendo isn’t blind to the shade that they received over their treatment of the franchise thus far. There’s a future for the property and Nintendo would be smart to sow the seeds of the promise as early as they can with this year’s E3, and signs are pointing to this actually happening when you see how quick they were to shut down the fan project AM2R.

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Just keep hope you guys, the last Metroid is surely not in captivity, it’ll be back.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-c2aa9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-c2aa9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154018","description":"

Captain Rainbow

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I always found it strange that for a company that was never shy about getting weird with its games, that they dropped the plans to bring over Captain Rainbow for the Wii over to the states, on the count of it being too weird itself.

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How though -- how was there a game that was just simply too bat-shit nutso-butso for Western audiences when we’ve already been treated to the likes of WarioWare, and Muscle March? Well, if you guys aren’t already familiar with the Capn’ then let me rap a little about the prism hero’s game for y’all.

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In Captain Rainbow you travel to an island where you can bail Birdo out of jail, help Little Mac lose weight, and become friends with the devil -- literally all those things can be done exactly as they sound. The Action Puzzle game sadly never made it over due to translation issues, and localization obstacles, because as it turns out, a lot of Captain Rainbow’s appeal has to do with its raunchy humor, and the display of such crass could’ve endangered Nindy’s family oriented image here.

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The Switch changes that paradigm though, as Nintendo has been marketing the machine to younger adults over kids since it was first unveiled, and Captain Rainbow would be right up the demographics’ alley. All it would take are some tweaks to motion control engine, an addition of a touchscreen interface for a handheld mode, and voila -- you have a potential watercooler discussion among Switch fans come E3.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-78478.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-78478.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154017","description":"

F-Zero

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I’m about to be THAT guy and just say the thing that we were all thinking the moment we saw Fast RMX on the eShop storefront; “Huh, that looks neat, but man do I wish Nintendo would just bring back F-Zero already.”

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Another staple out of the Big N’s first-party offerings that’s been conspicuously missing, F-Zero’s last appearance on a screen was that of a Wii U Gamepad in form of a bogus mini-game that was available to play on NintendoLand... seriously, that was the last time any of us saw it.

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Nintendo may be filling that racing gap within the Switch’s library with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe sure, but the promise of an F-Zero title that’s capable of delivering even faster speeds on a system that has more processing power is an alluring draw that Nintendo would be remiss to ignore. Add on the promise of Online Multiplayer and combat modes, or a handheld mode that can shift through horizontal or vertical positions during gameplay and you’ve got yourself a modernized return to form for the futuristic racer.

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Here’s an even weirder, most likely impossible thought for you: what if Nintendo announces a spin-off of the series that starred Captain Falcon in a third-person shooter? I mean, it’ll never happen, but I think when F-Zero does become relevant again, that prospect along will wash the bad taste that the NintendoLand mini-game left in my mouth.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-793c8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-793c8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154016","description":"

StarTropics

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Keeping that second chance train going, another present day trend that we haven’t seen Nintendo mess around with much is ARG features with their games; and I feel like there’s one prime candidate for them to experiment with in time for E3.

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I’m talking about StarTropics, an old NES series of games that were unique in a variety of ways that were really ahead of their time. The first Nintendo IP to be developed with exclusive Western and European distribution in mind, and it pushed the boundary of puzzle design through elaborate questing and exploration, or even soaking a packed-in prop letter until it gave you the answers you needed to move past a particularly troublesome area.

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Instead of it being a Zelda-lite venture, the revamped take on Mike’s quest to save his Uncle Jones can play out like a narrative Point 'n Click that can incorporate an NFC scavenger hunt that doesn’t necessarily have to Amiibo related. Nintendo has dabbled in NFC trading cards with Animal Crossing and Mario before so why not something with StarTropics, or even a special page that you can scan out of an issue of Game Informer (that one is a stretch I know but hey, it isn’t completely farfetched when you think about the company we’re talking about here.)

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There’s a lot of charm still left in that Sci-fi island adventure, and I think Nintendo would be remiss to neglect the recent nostalgia that it generated for the game after it was recently bundled with 29 other games on the NES Classic that they released late last year.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-5b2a2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-5b2a2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154015","description":"

Advance Wars

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Super Smash Bros. Melee may have introduced the West to the craze that is Fire Emblem, but there was another Strategy title that won our hearts over on the littlest widescreen that could, and that games was Advance Wars.

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The IP has been quiet for nearly ten years, with absolutely no hint from Nindy on whether or not the franchise will ever make a comeback.

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Advance Wars Was Intelligent Systems’ other tactical game that specialized in multiplayer combat, offering a number of ways for groups of players to interact with matches between themselves, and AI giving up to 8 people the chance engage each other at one time. Combat would range between direct engagements, to conquering territory, and undertaking reconnaissance missions, all of these done over different terrains that’re subject to numerous weather condition that can affect the tide of the battle.

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All it takes is for Intelligent Systems to notice what SEGA is doing what the Valkeryia games, and apply a similar touchup to Advance Wars for the Nintendo Switch. Fingers crossed for if that does happen that the studio won’t go with Battalion Wars aesthetic from the console versions of the series, because man was that visual style just lame -- here’s to hoping that this series can make an appearance at Nintendo’s upcoming presentation!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-9177d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-9177d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154014","description":"

Sutte Hakkun

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In a lot of ways, the Switch is more than just a new system to get excited about, it’s a second chance to make up for the shortcomings of its predecessor, the Wii U. It’s the kind of sentiment that permeates hope that Nintendo will give some other IP’s a second chance as well, and while there are plenty of deserving ones, there’s a particular cult classic from the days of the Super Famicom that’s worth mentioning.

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Sutte Hakkun was a puzzle-platformer that was episodically released on the Sattellaview service in the late 90’s before it ended up getting its full-fledged cartridge release on the iconic 16-bit machine in 1999. Players would take on the role of a Hakkunn, a stylized chibi take on the golden age Dipping bird toy, as he traveled to various islands solving color-based physics puzzles through series of levels that get more challenging than the last,

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The concept of Sutte Hakkun isn’t too different from the modern day indie puzzle platformers that are available, but it’s certainly another chance for Nintendo to capitalize in that market off the heels of Snipperclips with a franchise that can take full advantage of the Switch’s capabilities.

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Imagine a four-player cooperative take on Sutte Hakkun’s mechanics with the JoyCon controllers, assigning each player with a specific color power that only then can use, encouraging some heavy duty teamwork among everyone involved. How about, regular DLC updates containing loads of new levels much the original Satellaview version, or even better: a Sutte Hakkun Amiibo -- the amount of potential is staggering here folks.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-210db.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-210db.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154012","description":"

Animal Crossing

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Animal Crossing was taken to new heights when New Leaf dropped back in 2012, and can still be seen plugged into a 3DS even today (I’ve got the street passes to prove it). The thrill of visiting your friends towns, and ruling over the townsfolks with an iron grip is a rush that would fit right at home on the Switch, and there’s plenty of potential for the series to shine on the new system.

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Think back to when Nintendo originally released Miitomo on the Apple and Android Marketplace: the company was able to deliver a social experience that was able to work off asymmetric interaction successfully, giving players a channel to network through personalized exchanges and questionnaires with each other.

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Miitomo isn’t currently commanding screen time on smartphones the way it did when it first launched, but that doesn’t mean it was on to something. If the Big N found a way to adapt the dynamics of Miitomo within the framework of Animal Crossing onto the Switch, then I can tell you that’ll be a pretty safe bet that the property will see another commercial hit that could even surpass the impact of New Leaf.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-03791.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-piece-03791.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154011","description":"

Pokémon

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21 years and seven iterations be damned because Sun/Moon is still on fire! Even after 4 months since its release, the Pokémon fever is still running high with the latest generation selling 13.03 million units and counting -- as of February of 2017. Despite Game Freak’s uncanny talent at finding even more ways to polish the tried and true monster catching formula more and more each sequel, the series has managed to struggle with a white elephant in their room full of success and money -- there’s never been a bona fide console entry to the main lineup of the franchise.

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The powers behind the critter catching phenomenon have consistently maintained the view that the only way to authentically deliver the Pokémon experience is on portable hardware, because it’s a platform that can accentuate the same kind of excitement that comes with being on a journey.

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It would seem that the Switch would finally be able to call the Studio out on their stance, as it’s a machine with plenty of horsepower that can actually leave the confines of a living room.

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It would only make sense for Nintendo and company to green light Pokémon’s inaugural console release onto the Switch while the hype is still strong; the studio could even bring back the traditional “third version” option that’s been strangely absent the last few generations with the Sun and Moon iteration, and get even more mileage out of the Alola region.

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Let’s hope so at least, because as much as I like Sun and Moon, it’s clear that the 3DS can’t do the series with the technical limitations that it has to work with -- I can’t be the only one who thinks that the 3D engine in the more recent entries are looking ugly as all.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-banner-e9c76.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-banner-e9c76.jpg","type":"slide","id":"154008","description":"

While the jury is still out on whether the Nintendo Switch will maintain the strong sales momentum it launched with through 2017, there’s no denying how white-hot the machine is right now across all gaming demographics. New Mario and Zelda games can only carry their platform so far however; which is why the Big N is going to need to pull out all the stops at the industry’s most important presentation.

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This may actually be the corporation’s biggest E3 in years, and Nintendo is banking that the console-portable hybrid may finally be the platform that has the goods to deliver on the accessibility that they’ve been so desperate to push onto gaming public -- here are ten franchises that should be included in the showcase to prove that they mean business!

"}]]]>
Animal Crossing: New Leaf Still Racist, Even After Update https://www.gameskinny.com/fulcb/animal-crossing-new-leaf-still-racist-even-after-update https://www.gameskinny.com/fulcb/animal-crossing-new-leaf-still-racist-even-after-update Sat, 05 Nov 2016 13:32:51 -0400 Jackson Ingram

On November 2nd, Animal Crossing: New Leaf released a major downloadable update, freshening up the popular slice-of-life sim four years after its initial release. As the subtitle suggests, the Welcome Amiibo update means New Leaf now supports amiibo cards and figures. This brings in a swarm of new features along with it including furniture from previous game Happy Home Designer, 50 previously discontinued villagers, an entirely new RV campsite area, and a whole lot more. One thing it didn't touch? Racial diversity. Despite darker skin tones already being optional in Happy Home DesignerNew Leaf's human residents only come in one flavor: creamy, homogeneous vanilla.

You can be anyone (as long as you're white)

Representation matters. This should not really be up for debate, but if you disagree, I'll give you 30 seconds to google how the dearth of diversity in entertainment reflects back onto society. From First Lady Michelle Obama to academic journals like Communication Research, more and more sources are coming to the same conclusion; the way racial and gender groups are portrayed in media affects the consumer's real-world perception of those same groups. This is especially critical with video games, in which we take control of an avatar, in a sense, literally becoming that character. What kind of message does it send that the heroes we're meant to embody are all white men?

It's easy to say, "I don't care if my identities are represented in video games," when you're already being represented in video games. Kudos, I guess, to the cis, straight, white men who have no problem with playing as Faith in Mirror's Edge. Don't worry. You can always get back to being Gordon Freeman, or Nathan Drake, or Mario, or any of the countless brown-haired, scruffy white guys completely saturating the mainstream video game industry.

Games like Mirror's Edge, while indicative of progress, are not the norm and should not be treated like the blanket solution for sexism and racism. When marginalized identities do make an appearance on-screen, they're almost never the main protagonist and usually play out one or more stereotypes in the periphery. Looking at you, inFAMOUS. And the token minority side characters of [PROTOTYPE] and Final Fantasy. And the small army of damsels in distress at the end of most RPG dungeons. And the "muscular, Black man party member" stereotype. And like every 20 seconds of Grand Theft Auto.

Games like Animal Crossing -- in which you can customize your player character -- should be a reprieve from the onslaught of protagonist hegemony, finally letting players see themselves in the starring role. In terms of gender, while far from perfect, the series has taken great strides in the right direction. Whether you choose to represent your Mayor as "male" or "female," you can dress them however you want to. The freedom to choose from a variety of wardrobe and hairstyle options helps players immerse themselves more comfortably in a gaming experience that, for many, can be a coping strategy for daily stress and also provides a virtual space for transgender players to temporarily escape gender dysphoria.

Image from Tiny Cartridge

I feel that I am well-represented by my Mayor. Like me, they wear a lot of flannel. Unlike me, their hair is blue, but that's just one of many cool ways for me to explore self-expression through them as proxy. But I'm also white. I have never felt alienated by my Mayor's light skin, but I know many players who have. It is a privilege for me not to be confronted with racial exclusion every time I boot up my town.

Literally why hasn't this been fixed yet?

The most frustrating part of this issue is that the mechanics for darker skin tones are already built in, but still have not been made a freely customizable feature. Tanning, which was first introduced in City Folk, darkens players' skin naturally if they spend enough time in the sunlight. Unfortunately, this only works in the summer months and can take up to five hours of continuous sunlight. And you can't be wearing a hat. And it wears off.

Image from Animal Crossing Wiki

To give Welcome Amiibo a sliver of credit, it does change the skin tone of players' arms and legs to match the Mii mask, if you choose to wear it. Previously, if you had a dark-skinned Mii mask, your arms and legs would still stay pasty pale, making it seem like you're wearing an all-white bodysuit. So that's a start, but let's be real, Mii masks are hideous. They look completely out of place among Animal Crossing's art style and by existing as the "solution" to choosing skin tone, they further exclude players of color.

These "loopholes" are unrealistic and unfair for players who want to see themselves represented in the game. The fact that Nintendo would invest so much time and money into an entirely new RV aspect of gameplay, but neglect to patch their own racism is ridiculous and insulting, especially since the possibility for a greater variety of skin tones is clearly already present in the code.

Many have argued that Nintendo shouldn't be "catering" to an audience outside of their ethnically homogeneous home country of Japan, whose customer base, while certainly not white, can identify with the lighter skin available in the games. I bring this up not to undermine the rampant whitewashing inflicted upon Japanese media products by American adaptations -- which has too-often been justified by erroneously interpreting Japanese characters as white -- but instead to point out that Animal Crossing being inclusive towards Japanese and white gamers does nothing to combat the exclusion of dark-skinned players.

I'd also point out that New Leaf is a global product. In the United States alone, it sold 1.36 million copies. People of all racial identities are playing this game that focuses so heavily on customization and expression. So why hasn't this been fixed yet?

My argument is not a new one. Since New Leaf's release, many writers of color (Kotaku, ClockworkWorlds, and Polygon) have addressed the issue of exclusively light-skinned player characters. But with the new update doing almost nothing for racial diversity when it had every opportunity to do so, it is more important than ever for white gamers to support the voices of people from all racial backgrounds in the gaming industry, and pressure Nintendo to do better. Animal Crossing is supposed to let you create, as their website advertises, "the perfect place to live," but a white-only town simply isn't that place. It's about time the developers extend this opportunity to everyone, without forcing them to compromise on racial representation. But, thanks for letting us sit on rocks now I guess.

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Creator Spotlight: Egyptianruin https://www.gameskinny.com/it15a/creator-spotlight-egyptianruin https://www.gameskinny.com/it15a/creator-spotlight-egyptianruin Thu, 27 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 Glitchieetv

Egyptianruin, Owner of Cute 'N Kitschy

This week's creator spotlight goes to Egyptianruin, owner of Cute 'N Kitschy, an Etsy store filled with small items, often geek related. While there are more than just video game pieces in the shop, the work presented and the vast selection are what drew me to Egyptianruin's work. The items are handmade and range in size from smaller than a quarter to the size of the palm of their hand. The following selections are just a few of the products offered, so take a look at the shop for the full collection. 

Animal Cross New Leaf Charm Bracelet

Animal Crossing New Leaf has a large fan following. This small charm bracelet is customizable, with the purchaser choosing which characters to include. 

White Xbox 360 Controller Pendant

For the Xbox lovers, this white acrylic pendant is perfect. Modeled after the Xbox 360 controller, it is super recognizable, with all the pieces amazingly crafted.

Sans and Papyrus Undertale Earrings

Sans and Papyrus from indie game Undertale have a wide fan following. These earrings are super cute. Great as a present for the Undertale obsessed in your life or for yourself, show your appreciation of the skeleton brothers.

N64 Controller Pendant

Ahhh, the N64. An iconic, classic piece of gaming history. Wear the retro controller in a variety of colors, such as gray, blue and red. Again, perfectly constructed at such a small size, the craftsmanship is astounding.

With such mastery over the creation of tiny, geeky items, it is no wonder Egyptianruin has a successful Etsy shop. Check out the other items listed, purchase some custom items, and let her know we sent you.

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Super Mario Blunder Leads to 2DS Color Swap https://www.gameskinny.com/apawm/super-mario-blunder-leads-to-2ds-color-swap https://www.gameskinny.com/apawm/super-mario-blunder-leads-to-2ds-color-swap Thu, 06 Oct 2016 00:43:12 -0400 Joshua Harris

Due to Luigi's blunder at the Nintendo 2DS factory, the conventional color of the systems will be changed. The old look, as most people may remember, included a back front with either red or blue sides. But, because Luigi 'entered' the wrong manufacturing code, the red and the blue will now be on the front. Along such monumental moments like sliced bread or human flight, the new colors will take their place in history. Being Mario approved, the new color-swapped 2DS will be hitting shelves sometime this November.

The system will still be priced at $109.99 like its predecessor, and will be shipped with Mario Kart 7 pre-installed in "specially marked passages" (so make sure you look out for that mark to get Mario Kart 7). The 2DS comes with built-in entertainment options, photo and video applications,  and wireless access to the Nintendo eShop. They will still  be able to play 3DS games and almost all Nintendo DSi and DS games as well. There is also an ongoing promotion for 'Nintendo Select' games, such as Tomodachi Life, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf to name a few.

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New Nintendo Selects Announced For Wii U And 3DS https://www.gameskinny.com/ygeu3/new-nintendo-selects-announced-for-wii-u-and-3ds https://www.gameskinny.com/ygeu3/new-nintendo-selects-announced-for-wii-u-and-3ds Thu, 11 Aug 2016 04:37:05 -0400 Dustin Frisch

Nintendo of America posted on their Twitter page today that there are new Nintendo Selects for the 3DS and the Wii U. There are five 3DS games, and 3 Wii U games that are on the list. If you have a 3DS and Wii U, I am sure you'll enjoy what's on it.

It seems like it has been a while since we have last seen any Nintendo Selects titles being announced for either game system. I am glad to present the new games you're going to be able to pick up for $19.99. 

For the 3DS you have the following new titles added:

  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon 
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Tomodachi Life
  • Lego City: Undercover
  • Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle & New Friends

And now for the Wii U, you again only have three titles to choose from, but they still seem like they're worth a try for $20. Anyway, here is the list!

  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
  • Lego City: Undercover
  • Nintendo Land

There is not much for the Wii U, but I would highly suggest Wind Waker HD out of the Wii U list. If you have a 3DS, I would suggest Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.  Below is the tweet that was posted by Nintendo of America.

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5 Plushies Every Gamer Needs https://www.gameskinny.com/n86kr/5-plushies-every-gamer-needs https://www.gameskinny.com/n86kr/5-plushies-every-gamer-needs Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:05:33 -0400 Jordan DiPirro

Every child's bedroom was filled with stuffed animals. Their beds were covered in their little friends. Now as we get older they aren't friends anymore, but ways to decorate and show off our personalities. Or sometimes they are just too cute to resist. For me personally, I can't resist a plushie that's based off of a game I love. If you are like me, these are some must haves.

Animal Crossing Isabelle Plush - $17.99

Isabelle is no longer confined to the town hall when you buy this plush on Amazon. You can take your assistant with you wherever you go. I'm not sure who will watch out for your town while you're gone though. But rest assured Isabelle will have all your affairs in your room taken care of. I'm sure she'll even throw the occasional ribbon cutting ceremony.

Leauge of Legends Amumu - $44.99 

Amumu searches the world in League of Legends for a friend. You can make his suffering end by giving him a good home! Sure he has an ancient curse to be forever alone, but in his defense they didn't have Tinder back in his day.  Be careful, this sad little mummy's puppy dog eyes may have you grabbing your credit card. 

Tetris Cushions - $99.99 (currently on sale $69.99)

Yes, this is a cushion and not technically a stuffed plush. What's the difference though?! A cushion is just a bigger version of a plush that you can put your head on. $69.99 seems pricey, but you are getting five cushions for that price. That is only $13.99 per cushion. They are fairly big too. When your friends sleepover each could use one as a pillow or you could combine them to make a giant cushion.

Pokemon Lapras - $16.99

As a Lapras lover, it's hard to find merchandise. It's easy when you love Pikachu, but a Lapras is so much more difficult. Please note this Lapras isn't big enough to ride on when entering Team Aqua's hideout. However, it's the perfect size to take with you when playing Pokemon Go.

DOTA 2 Sniper - $39.99 (Currently on sale $29.99)

This little guy even comes with an unlock code for "Imbued Lockless Luckvessel" in DOTA 2. Despite his gun being loaded, he's adorable. He's also very squishy. Be warned. If you hear, "You got peep'd" in the middle of the night, it might be coming from your newest stuffed animal.

All of these stuffed animals are so cute, you don't have to just pick one. Just as in the movie Toy Story, every toy needs a friend when you are away. Get all of these plushies for a maximum number of friends.

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5 Excuses to Give People When You Want to Keep Playing Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/6sa0p/5-excuses-to-give-people-when-you-want-to-keep-playing-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/6sa0p/5-excuses-to-give-people-when-you-want-to-keep-playing-video-games Wed, 25 May 2016 06:01:06 -0400 Jordan DiPirro

We all have told some little white lies so that we can continue to be introverted and spend time playing games. Let’s just admit it -- this is a place without judgment. And because we're fellow introverts, we're going to help you be more introverted. In case you’ve run out of excuses to hole up and keep playing games, we’ve thought of some for you.

"I can’t right now; I have to attend to my mayoral duties."

You can’t leave when the town needs you. You have a very busy schedule. I’m sure you’ll have at least one ribbon cutting ceremony to attend. Isabelle can’t cut the ribbon by herself. She doesn’t even have opposable thumbs to use the scissors.

"I’m in the middle of a battle! My team needs me! I’m the general I can’t leave my team behind!"

Battles are life and death situations. What can be more important than that?! If you leave your team now, Pikachu will definitely turn his back on you. You thought he was a diva before...well wait until you leave him high and dry in the battlefield.

"Mom, I just pulled all the weeds in my town. The least you could do is do the backyard."

 

For real, it’s the least she could do. I mean you pulled the weeds for the entire town! Does she think your town is going to get a perfect town rating with weeds in it? Even mayors have to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work in this town.

"My Sim is about to get married. I’m the maid of honor/bride/flower girl/mother. I can’t miss this!"

 

Seriously though -- you can’t after spending five hours building your house, you really just got started playing the game. A true friend will know that playing Sims means you will be gone all day…or all week. Oh, and if it’s the latest version, you’ll be gone all month.

"Hang on, I can’t save right now."

 

This excuse is a classic, but a good one. You just repeat this mantra for the next few hours. Normally the person gives up by then, unless that person is your mother. Parents have amazing patience. (Though I recommend actually saving when the neighbors can hear their voice.)

Be careful when selecting which excuse you give. Depending on the situation, you may get a scolding from your parents. I’ve said all of these to my mother, and have yet to get in trouble. Lucky for me, my mom thinks I’m funny. Select your excuses wisely and get back to your game.

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Break the lease: Gaming's worst places to live https://www.gameskinny.com/y6oxy/break-the-lease-gamings-worst-places-to-live https://www.gameskinny.com/y6oxy/break-the-lease-gamings-worst-places-to-live Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:01:32 -0400 katlaborde

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Don't leave yet! Berserker promises it will take care of your cat while you're on vacation!

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Have anything to add? Did I leave out one of gaming's finest crap holes? Feel free to let me know in the comments. 

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All insults and mindless ramblings will be handled by the Berserker.

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Image source: Giant Bomb

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Sera (Gears of War series)
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I hope you like to live EXTREME because that's what you will be doing a lot of in Sera. 

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If you're worried about the giant lizard men, don't worry! The COGs have it taken care of! Of course, they sometimes screw up and their Resonators don't exactly resonate, but they really do try hard!

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But for your EXTREME side, Sera has the most EXTREME weather! Instead of getting golf ball sized hail like on sissy little Earth, Sera gets RAZOR HAIL! It's like Earth's hail but only like 100% more EXTREME and I'm assuming it hurts like hail (get it?). 

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Image source: Gears of War Wikia

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Spira (Final Fantasy X)
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Now you can't possibly go wrong with Spira. I mean, look at their view! Absolutely breathtaking, isn't it?

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Too bad a giant, hulking monster comes every so often and wipes out entire cities of people!

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Did I say that out loud? Whoops!

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Image source: Final Fantasy Wikia

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Lordran (Dark Souls series)
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There is certainly lots of variety to Lordran. You have dark and dank, even more dark and dank, and SUPER dark and dank!

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But don't worry, Lordran is pretty safe. There aren't many dangerous things around here-

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Oh you're dead, already? Just wander your soul back here, pick up all your orbs, and start again!

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Image source: Kanobu.net

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Rapture (Bioshock series)
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It's easy to get to Rapture. Just go to that lighthouse in that ocean and hop into the submersible. Make sure to look through the window to take in all of Rapture beauty before you enter the city. Because it all goes down hill from there!

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Of course, Rapture probably once was a really cool place to live. It really seemed like a happening place filled with rich socialites and amazing decor. But you know, times can be hard and people can so easily nowadays get addicted to ADAM, causing them to rip each other apart. 

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Yeah, Rapture has a little trouble, but I definitely think it can make a turnaround.

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Would you so kindly sign the lease?

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Image source: Bioshock Wikia

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Mother Base (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)
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If you arrived safely at Mother Base, then good for you! Sometimes when people are forcefully relocated here, the balloon attached to their unconscious body can often be damaged during inclement weather leaving them stranded at sea. You are one of the lucky ones!

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If you still are unsure about wanting to live at Mother Base, Kaz and Ocelot will beat you senselessly until you can't even remember your own name! After you have sworn duty to some guy called Big Boss, you will be forced to work on such awesome and exciting projects such as developing the perfect cardboard box.

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There are bonuses to living at Mother Base, too. During down time, you can creepily watch Quiet take a shower.

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Image source: Metal Gear Solid Wikia

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Everywhere (Katamari Damacy series)
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If you like color and have a square-shaped head, then taking residence in one of the cities featured in Katamari Damacy will work well for you. 

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On first glance, you might think the citizens of these cities are messy. I mean, their items are just thrown about anywhere and everywhere. But, no! They just like to make sure everything has its own space. 

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In addition, the cities are safe! There is no need to worry about hurricanes or earthquakes... oh that? Yeah, that's just a giant ball of random crap and people coming our way. Don't mind that, I'm sure he won't come this way.

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Image source: Auscillate

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Your Village (Animal Crossing series)
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City life, not for you? Then you'll definitely want to hop that train or take a cab to start a new life in a quaint little village. Of course, the village is filled with animals. But who doesn't love animals, right?

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Once you arrive, just speak to Tom Nook. He'll set you up with your own home, setting you on the path towards massive debt. Once you pay off your debt, don't worry, Nook will lure you into more by forcing you to upgrade your home!

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Also, your animal neighbors might need a few things from time to time. It's just a few odds and ends like a piece of fruit from a tree or a very specific and rare fish from the local river. 

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It's the perfect place for fine small town living!

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Image source: Animal Crossing Wikia

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/7/5/375a1e581652992e414e29008233d890.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/7/5/tiny_375a1e581652992e414e29008233d890.jpg","type":"slide","id":"83728","description":"
City 17 (Half Life 2)
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Do you love the architecture and landscapes of Eastern Europe? It's quite breathtaking isn't it? Then, City 17 is just for you! 

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Of course, there are some very minor issues. First of all, you'll likely be harassed and possibly beaten up by the Combine, the city's police force. But if that really upsets you, you can always risk your life and rise up against them with the other citizens!

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Face it. It's either this or getting your head munched on by a Head Crab. I think you'll decide this is the better option!

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Image source: Weesk

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/6/6/b660ee3abb6c53ad4df4dd573c64c97f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/6/6/tiny_b660ee3abb6c53ad4df4dd573c64c97f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"83727","description":"
Raccoon City (Resident Evil series)
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Before 1998, Raccoon City could have been a very happening place. Perhaps it had a great music scene or maybe had a reputation as a party town. However, after 1998, the entire city died. Literally!

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Yes, the zombie outbreak during the events of Resident Evil 2 did not do this city much favors. Undead citizens roamed the streets taking over the town for themselves.

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In fact, not much stands of Raccoon City today. It was vaporized by a nuclear missile in Resident Evil 3 in an attempt to clear out the undead.

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Hey, at least rent is probably cheap!

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Image source: Just Push Start

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/2/0/520c09c27e99cfecf520cbb6353d05f2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/2/0/tiny_520c09c27e99cfecf520cbb6353d05f2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"83726","description":"
Silent Hill (Silent Hill series)
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Face it, if you're in the town of Silent Hill, you're likely some crazy looking monster or someone facing their own internal demons. Regardless, I hope you enjoy fog, lots of fog. 

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However, don't forget the excellent night-life Silent Hill has to offer! Once the siren sounds, the town truly comes to life. Every part of the town melts away revealing its hellish underbelly with tons of rusted gates and demonic imagery for decor!

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If you move quickly, maybe you can share a sweet two-bedroom condo overlooking the amusement park with famous local, Pyramid Head! 

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Image source: Guide 2 Games

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/e/7/3e78b14904941ee97f42fbe63986383b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/e/7/tiny_3e78b14904941ee97f42fbe63986383b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"83725","description":"
Megaton (Fallout 3)
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So you're living in the post-apocalyptic wastelands of Washington, D.C. which already provides for less than favorable living conditions. You think to yourself, "Maybe there's a nice town somewhere where I can feel safe away from the mutants roaming the lands." So, you move to Megaton. It's certainly a small-knit community with shacks crammed close together allowing for minimal privacy. You can live with that.

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Then you notice the giant atom bomb sitting right in the middle of the town. Your neighbors inform you that Sheriff Simms has it covered, he's getting a Vault Dweller to disarm it. You might feel a sense of relief until you remember how Vault Dwellers usually have frequent morality crises for the sake of a few bottle caps.

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Maybe getting a place in the Ghoul community was a better idea after all.

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Image source: Gamefaqs

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/4/3/5437f7a2dde3cf272e0e614b367ecdf5.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/4/3/tiny_5437f7a2dde3cf272e0e614b367ecdf5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"83724","description":"

Do you live in an apartment with an upstairs neighbor who dances every night in clogs at 3 in the morning? Or perhaps you're a home owner who just recently found out your house is haunted?

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Regardless of your problem, it's not so bad! Trust me! It could be a lot worse. You could be a resident of these fictional video game towns. 

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Image source: Nintendo Nerds

"}]]]>
Top 10 best video game dogs https://www.gameskinny.com/s573v/top-10-best-video-game-dogs https://www.gameskinny.com/s573v/top-10-best-video-game-dogs Thu, 03 Sep 2015 12:30:15 -0400 Andrea Koenig

Everyone loves furry companions, especially in video games. What better to connect more with your game than to add a canine friend that you can pet vicariously through your main character? Or dogs that help kick butt at your side? Become the dog yourself?

Dogs and wolves alike, canines are in video games as loyal, useful, and powerful additions to your adventures. These are a few that gamers tend to think of the most today.

Rush (Mega Man)

Mega Man's robotic dog Rush transforms into useful contraptions, flies, heals, and ultimately can fuse with Mega Man to create Super Mega Man. Why wouldn't a robo-hero need a robo-dog like this?

Dogmeat (Fallout series)

Dogmeat is the affectionate companion of Fallout. He warns of raiders, collects supplies, and fights alongside you in the Wastelands. Dogmeat is one of the most loved video game dogs, earning an instant ovation upon appearance at the Fallout 4 announcement at E3 2015.

Dog (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

 

If you decide to befriend one of the many Skyrim dogs, they will follow you into battle. Some even have special attributes like tracking enemies and summoning thugs. Even the Dragonborn needs a furry friend.

K.K. Slider (Animal Crossing series)

See K.K. Slider perform Saturday nights in your town. He serves no other purpose than to collect each game's songs and forces you to re-watch the credits, but we all love him anyway. He is a necessary NPC to any Animal Crossing game.

Your dog (Fable 2 & 3)

The video game dog you can name yourself, making them that much more loveable. They find buried items, level up skills, and find enemies. Their good/evil alignment also changes their breed in Fable II, and you can pick the breed in Fable III. They really are the dog that you make your own.

Wolf-Link (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

There's no better companion than you! Talk to animals, use stronger senses, and travel through small spaces. Put the sword away, and rip apart enemies with your teeth. Give the Hero of Time a thirst for blood.

Repede (Tales of Vesperia)

Repede is the dog that might as well be a human character. He limits his circle of trust, carries around mementos of his former owner, and wields a blade and other "people" weapons. In his downtime, he refuses to be pet and smokes a pipe. As you do.

Amaterasu (Okami)

You say dog lead in a video game, everyone looks to Okami. Fight enemies and solve puzzles, all while looking like you just came off the calligraphy paper of a traditional Japanese artist. No better canine to play than one that is fierce and powerful but looks gorgeous while doing it.

Dog (Half-Life 2)

First, there was the dog. Then, the robot dog. Now, the giant robot dog. He's quirky, happy, and has a Zero Point Energy device fused into one of his hands so that he can pick up and hurl heavy objects across the yard. Whose turn is it to fetch, again?

D.D. (Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain)

With the big release of Phantom Pain this week, everyone's canine hype is all over D.D. here. Big Boss got himself the cutest hobbling, chirping stuffed animal that turns into a fierce, eye-patched war dog. He'll sniff out enemies and items, distract, and attack on command like a true Diamond Dog.

These are but a few of the possible canine friends or hero[in]es you can find in video games. Did your favorite make the list? If not, be sure to share them in the comments.

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Goodbye North America's Club Nintendo - Shuts Down Today, June 30th https://www.gameskinny.com/xudt8/goodbye-north-americas-club-nintendo-shuts-down-today-june-30th https://www.gameskinny.com/xudt8/goodbye-north-americas-club-nintendo-shuts-down-today-june-30th Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:16:16 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Today in North America, we say goodbye to a six-year old loyalty program that Nintendo developed for the gamers to enjoy.

It's sad to see you go

It's very sad to see this loyalty program being shut down. The program gave the Nintendo fan-base an extra incentive when purchasing games - because when purchased "New", they came with that special Club Nintendo code. I for one have saved up tons of coins over the past six years, and bought some collectible posters for A Link Between Worlds and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. After 11:59 PDT this evening all accounts and coins will be deleted, so if you haven't had the chance to use yours up, better get to it. 

Club Nintendo's Final List

Club Nintendo has added many exclusive games to the rewards list, where you can spend virtual coins for them. Among this list includes many Nintendo Wii U, Wii, and 3DS games. 

Some of the popular Wii U games include:

  • Super Mario World (200 Coins)
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (200 Coins)
  • Wii Fit U (600 Coins)
  • Wii Party U (600 Coins)

A few of the Wii games are:

  • Super Smash Bros. (250 Coins)
  • 1080 Snowboarding (250 Coins)
  • Paper Mario (250 Coins)
  • Star Fox 64 (250 Coins)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (250 Coins)
  • Mario Kart 64 (250 Coins)
  • Super Mario 64 (250 Coins)

Lastly, some Nintendo 3DS games included:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (250 Coins)
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (600 Coins)
  • Star Fox 64 3D (700 Coins)
  • Super Mario 3D Land (600 Coins)

For a full list of all games available, please refer to the Rewards Catalogue on Club Nintendo. Let's all give Club Nintendo a great send off after their six-year gift to the gaming community.

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10 3DS games you should not go without https://www.gameskinny.com/iixut/10-3ds-games-you-should-not-go-without https://www.gameskinny.com/iixut/10-3ds-games-you-should-not-go-without Sat, 20 Jun 2015 04:39:10 -0400 SwordandSorcery

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Given there are so many 3DS games out there, a selection of just 10 cannot possibly cover every worthwhile game. A small search on the eShop or through Nintendo's list of games may reveal some other gems.

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What are your favorite 3DS games? Are there any we missed that you think should be here? Let us know in the comments below!

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Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

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For those unfamiliar with Smash, it is a fighting game that throws together characters from different Nintendo universes, as well as a few from other companies' franchises such as SEGA's SonicSmash also incorporates a great deal of items, including the Smash Ball, that can change the entire pace of the game. Items flying everywhere and gravity-defying physics make for a certain degree of hilarity.

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The sheer chaos that often ensues during a 4-player stock fight (that does not even consider how chaotic it could be with 8 players) is not only amusing but also allows for replayability, as you are rarely going to have the same experience twice.

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This new version adds a few new characters, stages, and items, as well as cartridge-specific trophies. There are also a few DLC characters, as well as character customization. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS also introduces Smash Run, in which you travel a maze and collect power-ups for a free for all battle ahead.

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Overall, it is something worth having around even if you are just playing solo against the game itself.

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Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

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This installment to the Professor Layton series brings a whole lot of story to the table, following up on some of the previous games. As usual, it's still jam-packed with puzzles, some of which are necessary to finish the game and others which are completely optional.

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There is plenty of exploration to be done, and little mini-games to be played throughout. Part of the appeal of these games is finding that hidden puzzle or hint coin. Furthermore, there is a great satisfaction to being able to solve a puzzle without in-game hints, let alone help from the Internet.

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Though I have not finished this game for myself, I have yet to meet a Professor Layton game I did not like.

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Pokémon X and Y

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The sixth generation of Pokémon games brings in lots of changes to the series. The games introduce the Fairy type, which counters dragon types. The type system has also been rebalanced. Pokémon X and Y boasts completely updated graphics and includes Mega Evolutions, a sort of in-battle power-up that changes the ability, appearance and stats of Pokémon.

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The GTS was vastly improved, allowing you now to search for Pokémon that you haven't seen yet.Your character is also customizable to a degree. And of course, there are lots of new Pokémon to catch.

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Longtime fans of the series have every reason to add one of these games to their collection. X and Y may even appeal to newcomers. There's a lot of replay value, too, given that once you have finished your quest to be the Champion, the games will still keep you quite busy.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

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The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series games are not just lawyer simulators. They are dramatic visual novels with riveting plot lines.

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Admittedly, not all is as it seems in this game, as often witnesses lie. Some even say that in past cases evidence has been fabricated. Thus it becomes your job to find the truth, both by investigating crime scenes and by questioning witnesses and defendants in the courtroom.

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Dual Destinies introduces a new system called the Mood Matrix that allows you to tune into the emotions of a witness to see if there is a contradiction in what they are saying and what they are expressing (for example, in the tone of voice). The game also introduces the "Revisualization" system, which helps players to form new conclusions about the case by linking together what they have learned.

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Being able to work out who actually committed the crime, especially in cases where the truth gets absurdly tangled in a web of deception and lies, is immensely satisfying. Dual Destinies is really worth the investment, especially if you enjoyed previous titles in the series.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/9/3/293ec9842de24e8b2aefc833534ec110.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/9/3/tiny_293ec9842de24e8b2aefc833534ec110.png","type":"slide","id":"70199","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

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Ocarina of Time is a classic, and Ocarina of Time 3D improves upon the original with lots of little updates. Having a handheld version has its own benefits, like portability, but there are some other things as well. For example, once you beat the original game, you then have access to the remastered Master Quest version, in which all the dungeons are remixed and mirrored. This previously was not available to most Zelda players, as Master Quest was only available on some GameCube copies of the game.

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The Sheikah stone near Link's childhood home was added (but not in Master Quest) to help players along who have lost their way. Other than general graphical improvements, and also the very rare change to the original dialogue, a small addition to the game was made in the form of being able to relive boss battles, either singly or in a boss gauntlet, by sleeping in the bed in your home.

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Ocarina of Time has aged remarkably well, and the story and music are still all worth as much as they were when they were originally released.

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Mario Kart 7

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Mario Kart 7 is a racing game, with many of the well-loved features of previous Mario Kart titles, though there are some new features here and there.

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Mario Kart 7 gives the player the ability to assemble their own vehicle, selecting the body, the wheels, and the glider. The glider is also a new feature, used when launched into the air to fly over chasms or select areas of the course.

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New courses were also added, and the little item blocks are still on each course to help out players who are lagging behind (or to help that first placed player stay there). If anything, the game is worth your time for the replayability, because no race will be exactly the same (even if you are just racing against the computer).

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/7/f/87fd17a14abe49672c4c4fe3eb207936.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/7/f/tiny_87fd17a14abe49672c4c4fe3eb207936.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70197","description":"

Kid Icarus: Uprising

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Kid Icarus: Uprising is an action-packed game that pits you, a heroic angel named Pit, against the forces of the Underworld. When not dodging the occasional joke made at your expense from the divine peanut gallery, you are slaying monsters, picking up cool gear (that you can use to forge into better gear, or turn into a source of currency), or collecting hearts, the game's currency.

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Every chapter of the game is capable of being set to a difficulty level of your choosing (ranging from 1-10), though often you must make a currency bet to reduce or increase the difficulty. Higher difficulty means better rewards, however.

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The story takes you on a whirlwind journey and is not to be missed. Though the humor (and there is a ton of it) is a bit hit-or-miss depending on your personal sense of the subject, a lot of people find the conversations in each level hysterical. There are even a ton of "achievements" to earn and also little figurines to collect that you earn in-game.

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Even if you aren't into Kid Icarus: Uprising's brand of humor, then you will likely at least enjoy it for the challenges it presents.

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Fire Emblem: Awakening

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Simply put, Fire Emblem: Awakening is a turn-based strategy game. But a lot of its charm comes not from the engaging gameplay, or compelling storyline, but off-the-battlefield interactions between characters. Strangers evolve into friends (even begrudgingly), and sometimes marry (by Fire Emblem: Awakening's strict definition of 'marriage'), eventually ending up with a child or two.

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The little scenes between characters are pretty amusing, and it's physically impossible to see all of them in one game. There is even arguably a strategy to choosing what abilities you want characters' children to have, and as such (somewhat frighteningly), who they should marry. Thus there is a lot of replayability to this installment in the series, beyond just completing the game on the different difficulty settings that Fire Emblem: Awakening provides.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/f/90fb1485ca3170518ffd11e0d8e8568b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/f/tiny_90fb1485ca3170518ffd11e0d8e8568b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70195","description":"

Bravely Default

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Bravely Default is fairly similar to a lot of Final Fantasy games in the way it functions. However, the game introduces a few mechanics that can actually make or break a fight. "Brave" and "Default," are the main mechanics, two actions that have been added to the standard action bar provided during an encounter. In a nutshell, Brave allows you to take turns early, and Default allows you to build up those turns to use later.

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There are also a few other mechanics such as sleep points and the Bravely Second ability, but neither are necessary to complete the game. The game itself is humorous and full of little twists and turns that make it worth buying if you enjoy story rich games, or even just a slightly different RPG.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/2/c/62c9e11b889913dd4086b4e086754a55.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/2/c/tiny_62c9e11b889913dd4086b4e086754a55.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70194","description":"

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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The Animal Crossing games are sort-of life simulators, but they can hardly be compared to The Sims franchise, as Animal Crossing is so unique. While the most obvious goal is to pay off a debt that you have been saddled with, there are so many other things that can be done in Animal Crossing.

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In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in addition to this goal, you are placed in the role of mayor and expected to develop and improve the town with trees, flowers, monuments, buildings, and one select ordinance.

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While you attend to your duties as mayor you can collect seasonal fish and bugs to donate to the museum (as well as fossils and paintings), befriend neighbors, decorate your home, or become a miser with a massive stash of money sitting in the bank. This hardly scratches the surface of what you can do with your time in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

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Make your town flourish, or let it rot. If you enjoy having an exciting world in which what you do with your time is up to you, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is an excellent choice.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/0/8600462d887f8912225e7ac36300e8ff.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/0/tiny_8600462d887f8912225e7ac36300e8ff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70942","description":"

As of June 2015 there are 879 3DS tiles.

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With so many to choose from, one is bound to get lost in the sea of video games. There are definitely some that should be passed on, but there are also some that should not be missed. As such, here are 10 3DS games that it would be a shame to miss out on:

"}]]]>
How Animal Crossing helps manage depression and anxiety https://www.gameskinny.com/ugd0a/how-animal-crossing-helps-manage-depression-and-anxiety https://www.gameskinny.com/ugd0a/how-animal-crossing-helps-manage-depression-and-anxiety Thu, 04 Jun 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Jackson Ingram

Living with a mental illness can feel like being trapped in a cage of your own thoughts and impulses. Countless people use video games as a coping mechanism to escape into another world, a simulated haven where they can get out of their own heads for a while and into someone else’s. For many, that haven is Animal Crossing.

The player is surrounded by villagers for a bridge-opening ceremony in Animal Crossing New LeafThe game is designed to create a sense of a community. You move into a new rural village populated with friendly anthropomorphic animals. And they all love you! Okay, maybe not unconditionally, at least not at first. They tend to send you on an errand every chance they get. But maybe that’s the beauty of it. Fatigue and difficulty concentrating are both symptoms of depression. Sometimes being given simple, manageable, familiar tasks is enough to help afflicted individuals reengage. And after only a few short days of buying medicine, delivering packages, and burying time capsules, your villagers will treat you like family.

Though it might sound silly, it can be a great comfort to have someone, even a virtual someone, say something sweet like “I’m going to compliment you until you puke on Saturday” or just tell you that you are appreciated or even threaten to beat up the person they think was messing with you after a bee attack.

And when you’re not being wooed by your adorable villagers, you can do whatever you want. That’s kind of the point of the game. You literally can’t lose. You can’t starve to death. You can’t go bankrupt. You can’t fail.  The pressure is off! After an exhausting day of depression and anxiety tag-teaming you, telling you that you can’t do anything right, it’s nice to go to a place where you can’t do anything wrong. Want to spend the day fishing? Go forth and park it on the beach. Ran out of bells? Sell some fruit and then treat yourself at the hair salon. Want to design a bombin’ dress? Rock it. You are fab.

Players of all gender identities can dress their avatars in a way that makes them the most comfortable.

Speaking of which, New Leaf has taken great strides in letting players create and customize a safe space by breaking down the rigid gender binary that once dominated the Animal Crossing fashion scene. Female-bodied characters can wear pants now. Male-bodied characters can wear skirts and dresses. Players of all gender identities can dress their avatars in a way that makes them the most comfortable. Considering how transgender individuals are more prone to mental illness than cisgender individuals, it is especially important for games with character customization to allow their players to present themselves however they wish.

Animal Crossing’s most important gift is simply making its players feel at home. The village is a safe space in which you can slow down and be yourself. And while it certainly shouldn’t be used as a cure, Animal Crossing can make living with mental illness just a little bit easier.

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The top 5 multiplayer games for 3DS https://www.gameskinny.com/nodcm/the-top-5-multiplayer-games-for-3ds https://www.gameskinny.com/nodcm/the-top-5-multiplayer-games-for-3ds Fri, 29 May 2015 05:46:54 -0400 Michael Slevin

The 3DS has one of the best handheld libraries ever. Fire Emblem: Awakening, Pokémon XY/ORAS, and my personal favorite, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, among plenty other great games.

But out of the wonderful 3DS library, what are the best multiplayer games? Here are what I think are the five best (in no particular order).

1. Pokémon XY/ORAS

You need to have Pokémon if you own a 3DS. There is no better feeling than combing through the Pokédex, assembling your team, and battling your friends to decide who the real Pokémon master is. Online and local wireless play are available, providing one of the best multiplayer experiences the Nintendo 3DS has to offer.

2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is perhaps the most addicting game I've ever played. Playing as the mayor of your town, you get to build a unique town through public works projects and town ordinances.

What makes the multiplayer so great is that you can visit your friend's town via local wireless. Plus you can check out each other's houses, providing a very personal touch.

3. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Ahhh the thrill of the hunt. The name is in the title! You get to go out with other hunters and take down incredible beasts, earning materials to forge new weapons and armor. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is actually the first handheld title in the series to offer online multiplayer, with previous games on PSP and 3DS only offering local multiplayer.

[Related: Check out GameSkinny's Monster Hunter 4 Guides]

4. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

This one is a no-brainer. It is Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, the game in which beloved Nintendo characters duke it out on classic Nintendo stages. Local and online multiplayer are available, but if I could make a recommendation, there is nothing like four grown men or women sitting in a room together screaming simultaneously while playing Smash Bros.

5. Mario Kart 7

Our fifth game is another Nintendo multiplayer classic. Mario Kart 7 offers so many ways to play, including local multiplayer if each person owns the cartridge, as well as online multiplayer.

But wait, there is more! Mario Kart 7 also offers download play, meaning that your friend does not even need to own the game to play with you locally, just so long as they own a 3DS system.

So, that wraps my list up. I know for a fact that I missed several great multiplayer experiences available on 3DS, so let me know in the comments what you think of my list, as well as what games I missed.

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Top 10 Great Video Games Well-Suited for Short Bursts of Play https://www.gameskinny.com/4wdu1/top-10-great-video-games-well-suited-for-short-bursts-of-play https://www.gameskinny.com/4wdu1/top-10-great-video-games-well-suited-for-short-bursts-of-play Sun, 17 May 2015 13:30:01 -0400 Autumn Fish

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Of course, there are plenty of other games out there that are good for short sessions. Mario Kart 8 is another Wii U game that features short, fun races, each one lasting around 2 minutes.

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The entirety of the rogue-like genre would also be a safe bet. Ziggurat, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and Rogue Legacy are all great examples, though Isaac is a bit harder to progress in.

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What games do you like playing when you're low on time?
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We'd love to hear about the games you play when you're pressed for time and want a quick-fix! Make sure to let us know in the comments below.

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Super Smash Bros. 4 (3DS, Wii U)

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Settle it in Smash!
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Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Wii U

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Average Match Time: 2 - 6 minutes

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Find It: Website, Nintendo eShop (3DS / Wii U)

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Super Smash Bros. 4 is among the greatest entries in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, and has finally made itself accessible to gamers on the go with the 3DS release!

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is one of the best 3DS games you can have if you need to cram your playtime into short, less-than-10-minute matches. There is even a unique mode in the 3DS version that mixes up the game a fair bit and takes no more than 8 minutes to complete an entire round! There's nothing like a quick round of Smash.

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Unreal Tournament 2004

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Cult Classic Futuristic FPS
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

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Average Match Time: 5 - 30 minutes

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Find It: Steam, Website

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Despite its age, Unreal Tournament 2004 manages to keep an active playerbase even 11 years after its release. Unreal Tournament 2004 is a first-person shooter that defined the genre years back, and is somehow completely age-defying.

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The graphics may look outdated, but the gameplay is just as fun as you'd remember it. Unreal Tournament 2004 is a great example of a game that aged well. Hop in and play for a round or two when you have the time, and see if you can round up some of your friends to play with! UT04 will never get old!

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Mirror's Edge

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Cityscape Free-Runner with Action Sprinkled In
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Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Phone, iOS

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Average Chapter Length: 25 minutes

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Find It: Website

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Mirror's Edge is a great platforming action game, but it can get a tad repetitive at times and is best digested in segments rather than a full sitting (the story runs for about 4 hours). Play a chapter or two and put the game down - chances are you'll appreciate it more than if you just blundered through.

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Games with shorter campaign lengths often benefit from segmented and short play sessions, so long as the story isn't so complex that you'll forget it all by the next time you want to play again. And Mirror's Edge fits the bill. 

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Crypt of the Necrodancer

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Rhythm Rouge-Like Groovy Dungeon Crawler
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Platforms: Windows, Max, Linux

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Average Zone Length: 12 minutes

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Find It: Website

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Crypt of the Necrodancer is a unique take on the rogue-like genre that sends you down the Crypt to the beat of a spectacular soundtrack. Not to mention, Crypt of the Necrodancer has the most expertly crafted features ever seen in a rogue-like game.

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Each and every character you can play in Necrodancer has their own unique play-style that often drastically changes how you play the game. Each character also has their own background, and the lore behind Crypt of the Necrodancer is the best we've ever seen from the genre. The zones don't take too long to complete, especially if you end up dying a lot, and it has endless hours of fun just waiting to be had (a few lunch breaks at a time).

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Borderlands

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Treasure-Hunting RPG FPS
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

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Average Play Time: Any

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Find It: Website

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Borderlands, despite being an interesting mix of first-person shooter and RPG, is actually really easy to jump into and play for just a short while. No matter what you do - whether you're clearing simple quests, taking on the main mission, or just doing some character grinding - it always feels like you've made progress.

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Too much Borderlands in one sitting honestly could make you sick of the game, but it's perfect for short bursts of play where you just want to knock out a couple of objectives and move onto something else.

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Trine: Enchanted Edition

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3-Character Fantasy Action Puzzler
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Platforms: Windows, Max, Linux, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360

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Average Level Time: 30 - 45 minutes

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Find It: Website

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Trine: Enchanted Edition was a huge upgrade from the original Trine game, and it wasn't just the graphics that got updated either. Trine Enchanted Edition takes Trine 2's engine and puts it into Trine 1, making the game a hundred times more accessible than ever before.

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It doesn't matter where in a level you quit the game. You will reappear in the exact spot you left off when you come back. That way, you can play your three character puzzle-platformer without worrying about saving early to leave on time! Happy adventuring!

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Limbo

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Eerie Puzzle-Platforming Adventure
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Platforms: Windows, Max, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, iOS

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Average Play Time: Any

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Find It: Website

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Limbo is a silently charming game following the journey of a boy through this land of shadows, where everything is open to interpretation. This critically-acclaimed future classic has carved its own unique place in the gaming world, and most certainly deserves a spot on this list.

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No moment in this game feels dull, and overcoming each obstacle is incredibly rewarding. Best of all, it doesn't matter where you leave off, the game will pick itself back up from the same place when you decide you want to play again. Huzzah for no back-tracking!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/e/a/beaae3fc9132389673a600f1333f159a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/e/a/tiny_beaae3fc9132389673a600f1333f159a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"66304","description":"

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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3DS Village/Life Simulation Game
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Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

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Average Play Time: 1 hour

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Find It: Website

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the newest and most well-received game of an already classic Nintendo franchise. Not only do you get to move into a town full of animals and customize your home like the previous Animal Crossing games, but you stumble upon the time right when they are in desperate need for a new mayor.

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Who better to fill the shoes of mayor than the next person to step off the train (a.k.a. you)? Animal Crossing is a great game that goes at the pace of a peaceful, day-to-day life. There's never a whole lot of things to do in one day, so it's hard to play for much more than an hour, unless you're really good and finding something to do out of nothing.

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Pour your heart into your very own town in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and make it anything you can dream of. It's your world, make it what you will.

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Multiplayer TCG w/ Smart Phone Support
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Andriod, iOS

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Average Game Time: 10 minutes

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Find It: Website, Google Play, Amazon Apps, App Store

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play Trading Card Game (TGC) by Blizzard Entertainment that features simple gameplay in the form of short, turn-based battles with digital collectors cards.

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The goal of Hearthstone is simple: drop your enemy's health to zero before they can do the same to you. Use a combination of the cards in your deck and your Hero's abilities to wipe out your opponent and come out victorious.

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While Hearthstone may let you pay to get a little bit ahead of the game, there's nothing you can pay for that you can't obtain just by playing the game a bit more. Hearthstone is a fantastic choice to kill 15 minutes, even if all you have with you is your smart phone.

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Team Fortress 2

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FPS Team Multiplayer Lobby-Based Shooter
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

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Average Match Length: 20 - 40 minutes

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Maximum Match Length: 1 hour

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Find It: Website, Steam

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Team Fortress 2 is a free-to-play lobby-based first-person shooter for PC (via Steam), PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. You pair together with other players online to form two separate teams, RED (Reliable Excavation & Demolition) and BLU (Builders League United).

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Team Fortress 2 is the biggest free-to-play first-person shooter on the PC, and it's no wonder why. There are a plethora of game modes to play in, such as Arena, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Special Delivery, Territorial Control, and more with plenty of maps to play them all on.

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Each match can last up to an hour, but that's about it. Most in-game matches last around half an hour and are good for a quick play session!

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There's nothing quite like immersing yourself in a fantastic game. That feeling you get when you set down the controller and peek at the clock to find you've been playing for 12+ hours is completely unmatched. Having copious amounts of time like that in 2015 is becoming increasingly difficult, and the demand for games that are easy to pick up and play in short bursts is staggering.

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With so much going on in our daily lives, it can be hard to find more than an hour at a time to play games anymore. Some games — infamously RPG and open world games — make it hard to get the satisfaction of progress without dumping an absurd amount of time into each title.

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If you're looking for something to play that will satisfy your gaming fix without taking up more than an hour of your time, then you've come to the right list! One of these games is bound to give you the satisfaction of progress no matter how little time you have to play.

"}]]]>
Several New Cameos Announced for Latest Monster Hunter https://www.gameskinny.com/yqij1/several-new-cameos-announced-for-latest-monster-hunter https://www.gameskinny.com/yqij1/several-new-cameos-announced-for-latest-monster-hunter Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:36:13 -0400 Brian Crimmins

Monster Hunter is a very popular series in Japan, so it's no surprise that numerous franchises want to get involved. Several cameos have been announced for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the latest title in the series.

First is Sonic the Hedgehog armor, strangely enough. It's made specifically for Felyne characters (Felynes being a race of anthropomorphic cats). No doubt this was made to achieve maximum resemblance to the blue hedgehog.

However, this is not the only costume the Felynes will receive. In another crossover deal, Felynes will also receive costumes based on Animal Crossing favorites Isabelle and Mr. Resetti.

The final cameo piece is not a costume for Felynes. Instead, it is a type of hammer based on Capcom's Taito Drum Master. Unlike the Sonic armor, this hammer bears a very strong resemblance to its source material.

A crossover trend?

What makes this announcement especially interesting is the timing. Around the same time as this announcement, Phantasy Star Nova was announced as having sevral cameos from tri-Ace games, like Valkyrie Profile, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and Resonance of Fate. We should also remember Hyrule Warriors' upcoming release, and Atlus' continuing development on Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem.

This could be part of Japan's general trend toward crossovers in games, which could itself be the industry's response toward rising development costs. After all, what better way to increase sales than to combine two fanbases?

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is set to release in Japan this October for the 3DS. It's expected to release in America in 2015.

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A Beginner's Guide to Animal Crossing: New Leaf https://www.gameskinny.com/4pdg8/a-beginners-guide-to-animal-crossing-new-leaf https://www.gameskinny.com/4pdg8/a-beginners-guide-to-animal-crossing-new-leaf Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:22:04 -0400 Stephanie Tang

From time to time, you find yourself buying a game simply because you've heard it was good. Don't deny it, we all do it. When it happened to me, these are the facts as I knew them:

  • A person I barely knew would play it while waiting between turns in a game of Civ V and it would make funny noises.
  • It was on flash sale from $34.99 CAD down to $19.99.
  • I had Amazon store credit.

But what are you supposed to do?

As a player of RPGs, MMOs, and various FPSs, being dropped into an ultra-polite small town setting without any idea of what to do or even a bush to chop down for rupees comes as a bit of a culture shock.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a life sim, one populated with cutesy anthropomorphic animals who live out their small-town life cycle by sleeping, walking around town, shopping, singing, X-ray-visioning your pockets, asking you for favors, and telling you about their insecurities. The point of the game is to live your simulation life, collect everything, and improve your small town. 

If you think this sounds boring... I promise you that somehow it manages not to be.

Here are some things you should know.

What time is it?

The opening scene in Animal Crossing is your character creation, done in the form of a conversation rather than a series of menus. When he asks you the time, it will automatically show the time set in your 3DS clock.

You can choose this option, but remember that the game runs in real time. Some of the downsides to running real local time for most gamers are:

  • NPCs get up and go to sleep at "normal hours."
  • Shops are not open all hours.
  • Enacting a Town Ordinance to make the town run later into the evening is costly and cannot be done immediately. (Requires 100 Mayor Points.)

For those players who can only play during the evenings, it is recommended to adjust the game clock to maximize viable play time.

Everything is worth money.

Your town is littered with trees covered in fruit and beaches covered in shells. This is your earliest and easiest source of cash when you first arrive in town. With this in mind, when you get your hands on a shovel:

  • Plant more trees to increase the number of fruit you have to sell.
  • Try to plant fruits different from your town's local variety, they sell for a higher price. (E.g. If your town has lots of orange trees and someone gives you a pear.)

When your pockets are full, make your way over to Re-Tail which has the highest selling prices in the game. Sell small items like fruit and conch shells directly to her, but the retail space in her shop is also open for you to sell items directly to the townfolk at ~4x Reese's asking price.

These spaces should be used for selling higher-price items like clothing, furniture, and items that can be displayed in your house. If any of the townsfolk are wandering around Re-Tail when you come in, you have the opportunity to encourage them to buy that item. 

Tools are incredibly useful.

There are several tools that can be used in the game:

  • Shovel: dig up star-shaped holes in the ground for buried treasures
  • Watering Can: water brown and drying flowers to perk them up
  • Fishing Rod: use to catch fish in the rivers and ocean which can be donated to the museum or sold
  • Bug Net: sneak up on bugs and catch them during the summer months which can then be donated to the museum or sold
  • Slingshot: shoot down balloons flying past tied to mystery presents
  • Axe: cut down trees or hit rocks

All of these items will help you amass more money, bigger collections, and bring you closer to a perfect town. These show up randomly in shops which you can purchase, or can be given/sold to you by Isabelle, your assistant at City Hall when you ask her for advice.

Normal versions of these tools will break after a certain number of uses, but you can earn Silver and Gold tools by completing certain tasks in the game.

Others things you can do?

Improve and upgrade your house.

Your first resident is an empty tent. It will cost you, but you can upgrade to a small house which will replace your tent by 6AM the next day. This amount can be paid off over as long a period as you want but keep in mind that only when you pay it off can you continue to add new upgrades to your house.

There are many things in the game that you can use to decorate your house with. Collect and experiment! Look at the other citizens' houses and see what you like about them. As you continue playing, new areas will open up for you, and allow you access to more items. It's up to you if you want to collect them all!

Donate to the museum's collection. 

In the beginning, the museum is a very sad, empty building. It's in your power to fish up new sea and river creatures, catch interesting bugs, collect art, and dig up fossils to fill the halls with your findings in order to help improve your town.

Having your fossils examined will also net you a higher price at Re-Tail if you decide not to donate it to the museum, or have already donated an identical fossil. 

Change the town the way you want it!

As you continue playing, new characters may move into your town, and old ones may express the desire to leave. You will also have the power (if you have the money!) to add new Public Works to beautify the town and impose Ordinances to change how the town will run. New shops will continue to open up, and the selection in each of them will continue to change every single day.

Once you know how to get started, Animal Crossing is an adorable time-waster and absolutely unskippable for anyone who has the collecting bug. If you have any other questions about what to do to get things started, just leave a comment below!

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Club Nintendo Updates for February - New Games! https://www.gameskinny.com/4aoey/club-nintendo-updates-for-february-new-games https://www.gameskinny.com/4aoey/club-nintendo-updates-for-february-new-games Mon, 10 Feb 2014 11:07:58 -0500 Courtney Gamache

Club Nintendo has updated their rewards website page to accommodate some Wii/Wii U and 3DS fans. Four new games, and hopefully some more goodies in the future.

Games available until March 9th

  • Donkey Kong Jr. (Nintendo 3DS)- Mario has finally trapped Donkey Kong in a jail

    scene, and it's now time for Donkey Kong Jr. to come around and help save the big ape. You'll be moving up and down vines and collecting keys and fruit to help unlock his cage. In this four-world game you'll have to avoid many foes to rescue your father. (Currently $4.99 from the Nintendo eShop, or 150 Club Nintendo Points)

  • Art Style: PiCTOBiTS (Nintendo 3DS) - In this NES nostalgia game, you'll be goingthrough puzzles to help 'build' your old favorite characters. You can progress through the game to harder levels as you collect coins. (Currently $4.99 from the Nintendo eShop or 150 Club Nintendo Points)
  • Punch Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream (Nintendo Wii U) - It's time to play as Little Mac and start boxing your way through this arcade style game. There are 14 matches and opponents that you fight, and it's your turn as the under dog. (Currently $4.99 on the Nintendo eShop or 200 Club Nintendo Points)

  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Nintendo Wii and Wii U) - In thisfantasy adventure, Mario and Bowser team up for the first time to face a more deadlier foe. This game has a deep RPG gameplay never seen before with Mario and Bowser teaming up. (Currently available on the Wii for 800 points, or 200 Club Nintendo Points) *Requires Classic Controller
What other goodies does Club Nintendo have?

Other then the newly available games, Club Nintendo hasn't updated their gear that you can get. The newest one at the moment is still the Animal Crossing: New Leaf poster featuring all the characters and townspeople. Hopefully soon they'll update and give us more rare gear.

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