Chrono Trigger Articles RSS Feed | Chrono Trigger RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Chrono Trigger Composer Yasunori Mitsuda Joins Sea of Stars Team Tue, 07 Apr 2020 12:47:04 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Sea of Stars, the latest project from Sabotage Studios, already has a lot going for it, but it just got even better. Composer Yasunori Mitsuda, famous for his work on Chrono Trigger, announced he's joining the project and will contribute new, original pieces to the soundtrack for the upcoming Messenger prequel.

That would be pretty incredible news for any game, but it's even more so considering Sea of Stars is an indie title taking inspiration in part from Chrono Trigger.

Mitsuda provided a statement on the game's Kickstarter explaining why he decided to contribute, saying, "Without knowing why, 'I want to write music for this game' was the feeling I had while seeing it convey the nostalgic golden age of the 90s."

He also said it's about more than nostalgia. Sabotage's efforts with The Messenger, combining new ideas with classic formulas, is what really made their work stand out.

Impressed by the respect they show for past games while at the same time giving players new ways to have fun, I found myself wanting to make a game with everyone at Sabotage Studio. Please look forward to an exciting adventure.

Sabotage's creative director, Thierry Boulanger, said:

Mitsuda’s music has carried me for years. I still listen to his work every week while working at the studio. He has been such an inspiration for so many of us, we couldn’t be more honored that some of his music will be added to our game.

It’s exactly what Sea of Stars needed to feel truly whole.

Sea of Stars' Kickstarter campaign is getting pretty exciting. It reached the base funding goal in under 10 hours and smashed three stretch goals, bringing a sort of co-op mode with Single Player+, bonus dungeon, in-game cinematics, New Game+, alternate ending, and behind-the-scenes documentary to the package.

As yet, there's still no solid release timeframe for Sea of Stars, but stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Sea of Stars updates as they develop.

Chrono Trigger's PC Port Receives Graphics-Overhauling Patch Tue, 10 Apr 2018 15:31:57 -0400 Zach Hunt

After releasing what many consider to be a muddy-looking PC port of beloved RPG Chrono Trigger, Square Enix announced today the first in a series of planned patches aimed at rekindling the good will of disheartened Chrono fans in the PC community.

Featuring a number of graphical overhauls intended to realign the game's visual presentation with its classic look, the new patch offers the option to play with "original graphics" (even setting this as the default mode) as well as updated fonts and dialogue windows. The opening animated scenes have also been reordered so as to more closely match the original Chrono Trigger experience.

Square Enix promises additional changes to the PC port in the near future "to enhance the PC play experience," but aside from some UI updates, it's not yet clear what all is in store.

What are your thoughts on this patch? Did Square Enix go too far with the original graphical overhaul of Chrono Trigger on PC? Are you more willing to check out the PC version now that its faults are being addressed? Let us know all about it in the comments below, and be sure to stick with GameSkinny for all things Chrono Trigger.

The 20 Most Hilarious Arby's Video Game References Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:25:43 -0400 Ty Arthur


It's a good bet we'll continue to see new anime and gaming references pop up in the months ahead, as this is an ad strategy that seems to be working, and there are plenty of games and shows they haven't covered yet.


I'm actually surprised we haven't seen a Secret Of Mana post yet, considering how they have been on top of the re-releases of classic games in recent months.


What was your favorite Arby's gaming reference, and what box art creation do you hope to see come up next? Let us know in the comments!




Game: Doom


Is there ANYTHING this crew can't do with those damn boxes?!? It doesn't even look like they had to paint on the red lower sections but just used the colored portions of the sandwich holders to make it fit perfectly. The only way they could have made this better is if it was an ultra-fast moving video with a chainsaw at the end.


Goomba Squad! Moooove out!!!


Series: Super Mario Bros.


Those classic Goombas 'n Boos will always hold a hallowed place in gaming history, even as the series expands out and drastically alters the gameplay with newer iterations like Super Mario Odyssey. That adorable cardboard Goomba has got me thinking a weekend family art project may be in the works!


He's the symbol this town needs


Game: South Park: The Fractured But Whole


I don't think anyone expected the South Park series to hit its stride with an RPG, but what started with Obsidian's Stick Of Truth and continued with Ubisoft's take in The Fractured But Whole may well be the best games in the franchise. The paper cut-out style of the TV series also clearly lends itself well to cardboard box art!


You've come a long way, baby


Series: Fallout


I'm calling it -- fast food sauce packet art is going to become a recognized thing. I mean, if Vincent Castiglia can paint with blood, why not Arby's sauce?


This saucy rendition of the Fallout stat system also just reminded me that I'm 95 hours into Fallout 4 but still haven't actually finished the main storyline after getting side tracked by all the DLC. Nobody ruin the ending for me.


The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night


Series: Castlevania


Considering you can eat burgers, mushrooms, and even whole turkey legs throughout this series, the idea of Simon's Lunch isn't too far fetched. The best part about this whole thing (other than the box whip), is that one genius fan immediately commented with this exchange:


"Fry monster! You don't belong in this world!"

"It was not by my hand I was again made fresh. I was ordered by humans who wish to fillet me tribute!"


How's your grip strength?


Game: Shadow of the Colossus


The wisdom of eating a tower of meat that size is definitely in question, but this is an absolutely perfect mixing of game and fast food imagery to get an idea across. It's clear just from a glance that he's about to fight a colossus, and now I'm kind of wondering if I have what it takes to tackle the meat mountain.


You might call this a post for 90's gamers, but we think of it as millennial fare


Game: Chrono Trigger


Featuring dancing robot Gato from the millennial fair, this Chrono Trigger-based caption was pure genius, and it immediately took me back to Saturday afternoon game sessions from my childhood.


The sad, cash-grab PC port might be garbage, but the original SNES version is still one of the best RPGs of all time, and I'm absolutely about to load up ZSNES and replay it tonight.


Sure, you've seen it before, but now it has Aqua.


Game: Kingdom Hearts 2.8


How can there be so many games in this series, yet none of them have managed to be Kingdom Hearts III yet? This post was kind of torture for the fans who have been patiently waiting for the next real sequel, although it did hilariously spur on a slew of photo responses in which diners set their keys next to a sandwich.


Lunch is Strange


Game: Life Is Strange


How do you say so much with so little? Even without the caption, it would have been clear what was happening here. Although sadly, the reference did leave the post wide open to all sorts of comments about wanting to rewind time back before eating that meal.


Overcome the impossible


Game: Gravity Rush


This Vita title wasn't exactly well known to the masses at large, so it was sort of surprising to see a sideways image of Kat pop up in the Arby's feed, but clearly the fans were happy to see this lesser-known action-adventure title get a little fast food love. If you remember this game and want to see more, be sure to leave a comment!


9929 years in the future …


Game: Nier Automata


This inexplicably awesome (and constantly genre-hopping) game managed to shake up the GOTY expectations early in 2017 with its combination of androids, giant swords, and killer robot enemies.


The swords and drones are spot-on here, although I'm kind of wondering if 2B as a "shake" is supposed to be a reference to her exposed behind throughout the game....


Which is it, wark or kweh?


Series: Final Fantasy


Obviously it's kweh, you uncultured swine! OK, I guess it can be both. Seriously though, that sandwich box chocobo is a thing of beauty. I shudder to think of the amount of work that had to go into crafting this guy, and I'm a little disturbed by the connotation of the chicken sandwiches next to him.... Maybe one day we'll get a saddled Chocobo creation in a Final Fantasy Tactics style?


Understand, understand, the concept of love.


Game: Jet Set Radio Future


Whoa, they are going old school and fairly obscure with this one, as the original game came out in 2000, and Jet Set Radio Future came out in '02. I'm hoping the resurrection of interest in this series from the social media posts might spur on some news soon, as Sega has been showing some proclivity towards resurrecting older IPs.


Beefy AND portable. We dig it.


Console: Switch


Speaking of the Switch, you had to know this one was coming, right? I never would have thought "Nintendo console = roast beef sandwiches," but somehow they made the connection with the beefy/portable comment. Those adorable little Switch Joy-Con buttons are also kind of amazing.


The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.


Game: Metroid


Another totally classic and retro reference, this one takes us way, waaaaay back to the NES days of the earliest Samus adventures. Not only does this post successfully make me want some curly fries, but now it's got me wondering: When is that Metroid Prime 4 finally going to show up for the Switch?


So glad he crashed the party. 


Game: Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy


For a generation that grew up with Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, news of the remastered N.Sane Trilogy was like a breath of fresh air, and it didn't take long for word to spread on social media. The TNT boxes are fine and all, but it's really the cardboard sleeve gloves that push this one over the top and show off the level of detail.


It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.


Game: The Legend Of Zelda


While Breath of the Wild might be the only thing Zelda fans care about right now, it's the classics that will always be remembered. They didn't even have to make a cardboard sword for the reference to work. Three triangles tells us Triforce, and in this case, a pretty darn tasty one made out of fried potatoes!


As one adventure begins, another waits in the shadows. She's one tough cookie!


Game: Tomb Raider


The cookie causing the eclipse just brings this one together (but who goes to a fast food place for the cookies?). With the pickaxe in hand, this is clearly meant to evoke the newer reboot series that the new movie is based off, rather than original tank top and shorts Lara Croft.


Rally the crew; we're going after the big ones


Game: Monster Hunter World


You ever look at that really artistic spray paint wall graffiti and wonder, "How in the hell did they do that and get such amazing can control?" Yeah, now I'm trying to figure out how someone has such amazing Arby's BBQ sauce packet control to create the Monster Hunter guild symbol! Just one slight twitch of the wrist and this could have been a disaster.


Sneaking into that Mobile Beta


Game: Fortnite


The reigning Battle Royale king Fortnite landing on iOS devices is the current talk of the town (with Android users more than a little jealous), so of course Arby's jumped on that immediately.


This one has it all -- the bush that players love to be while sneaking around the map, and a reference to the difficulty in actually making it into the mobile beta at this point!


You'd usually think of Taco Bell or Mountain Dew as the gaming champs, but a certain roast beef-obsessed fast food chain is creeping up and taking over with a marketing department that clearly loves anime and gaming culture.


Social media marketing is a vital part of any company's advertising strategy, and Arby's made a conscious choice to change tactics away from "buy this meal for this price" posts to much more engaging and organic images that people actually want to share.


Every new post features a hilarious composition of reliable comment types -- a few clueless people trying to puzzle out what that reference means, super fans who are in heaven, a call for the team to get a raise, and backlash from the bored Facebook and Twitter crowds who are upset people are talking about video games for some reason. Every now and again, cheers of joy will erupt in the comments when pop culture references show up that a wider range of people actually understand, such as ClueAliens, or Discworld.


Despite going really obscure with some of the video game references, the Arby's team has created an advertising juggernaut here because they perfectly meet at the intersection of gaming, nerd culture, and crafting fanatics. Some of these posts ahead are truly works of art that clearly took an absurd amount of time to construct out of Arby's boxes, bags, and even sauce packets!


Note: All photo rights belong to Arby's -- we're just appreciating these perfect references. 

Chrono Trigger's Recent PC Port Has Fans Very Upset Sat, 03 Mar 2018 12:24:12 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

Just a few days ago, out of absolutely nowhere, the classic JRPG from the "golden age" of Squaresoft, Chrono Trigger, was released on Steam by Square Enix. This seems like a logical step to make at the moment, seeing as how the HD remake of Secret of Mana was released recently, and Chrono Trigger comes form the same era of SNES RPG's that defined a great time for Square. While many people were excited to see the beloved RPG staple make its way to PC, that enthusiasm didn't last for most people for very long, as after starting the game up, they began to realize what sort of port this was.

The recent Steam release of Chrono Trigger is actually a near 1-to-1 port of the mobile version of the game that released a few years ago for iOS and Android, with very little changed. The basic-looking interface, lesser framerate, and poor sprite filtering were all complaints directed at the original mobile port of the game, and unfortunately these issues -- among others related to the presentation of the game -- are still present in the PC port.

Additionally, there are no graphics options aside from resolution, and compared to the original, the sprites are much less defined, and the colors in many places look dimmed or washed out. It unfortunately seems as though this port of Chrono Trigger isn't as worth people's time as others. Perhaps if word spreads enough, Square Enix could port a more direct version of the game to PC instead of this version that fewer people favor.

5 Games with the Best Soundtrack Wed, 28 Feb 2018 13:51:14 -0500 buymymixtape123

Music in gaming plays a big part in my enjoyment of a game and I'm sure many others feel the same way. A good soundtrack can really set the mood, and can add to the overall enjoyment of the game. Here are five games that I believe have the best soundtrack that really set a clear atmosphere for the game, and are great pieces of music to listen to outside of their respective games too. 


Persona 5

Persona 5's soundtrack is what the standard of video game soundtracks should be. It is smooth and is similar to house music when you are in a calmer moment of the game, and then it fast and rockish when you're facing a strong enemy in a Palace. The starting theme,Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There, really brings you into the game and makes you want to hear more from this excellent soundtrack. I remember when nearing the end of the first Palace, and Life Will Change started to play and it pumped me up to deal with the final moments in the Palace. This is a game changing soundtrack that other games will have to try to live up to.

the witcher 3

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3's soundtrack blends traditional Polish music with the sounds of rock, and it is beautiful. The Polish band Percival - who is actually named after a character in the The Witcher books - did most of music for the game and even tours around Poland playing it. Two of the songs that really stood out to me from this game are Fields of Ard Skellig and The Wolven Storm, and they both stood out to me because of the emotions they bring out when you first hear them. Riding through the beautiful environment of Skellige while hearing the sounds of that beautiful tune almost brings you to tears. An amazing soundtrack to such an amazing game.


Final Fantasy X

The Final Fantasy series had to be on this list one way or another because of the timeless music that this series has given us. From the haunting ballad in Final Fantasy VII's One Winged Angel to the soothing tones in Final Fantasy IV's Theme of Love; Final Fantasy is a staple of video game music. With that being said, I believe the Final Fantasy with the best soundtrack is Final Fantasy X. The game's intro starts you with one of the deepest piano ballads ever - called To Zanarkand - and it makes you think I don't even know the characters on the screen yet, but I am connected to them because of the music and atmosphere. The music in Final Fantasy X is timeless and the peak of Final Fantasy's music. Songs like: Yuna's ThemeSuteki Da Ne, Fight With Seymour and A Fleeting Dream all fit the setting they are played in and are beautiful pieces of music you can listen to even when you're not playing the game.


Chrono Trigger 

Chrono Trigger is one of the greatest RPGs ever and has one of the greatest soundtracks I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. The games have the greatest theme I have listened to throughout my time gaming; with its bombastic sounds that get you ready for the long adventure to come, what's not to like? The music in this game is so well done that it was sampled into rap songs, with Secret of the Forest being sampled on Wiz Khalifa's Never Been part II, and Memories of Green being sampled on Hodgy Beats' Memorex CDs. This soundtrack is probably the most catchy and memorable on this list with songs that I have remembered and probably hummed for many years and many more to come.

wind waker

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

I love the Legend of Zelda, so finding one game was an incredibly difficult choice. Zelda games are known for their brilliant soundtracks, for example the original NES Zelda theme being almost as well known as the Super Mario Bros theme. This led me to decide between The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's or The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker's soundtrack, but ultimately Wind Waker took the prize. Wind Waker's soundtrack just has so many songs that I listen to still, even though it has been a while since I have played the game. Songs like the Title theme of the game, Grandma's Theme, Dragon Roost Island and the classic Princess Zelda's Theme make up this amazing soundtrack that will immerse fully within the game.

These are the five soundtracks I think are the best throughout gaming history. Some honorable mentions must go out to: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Journey, DOOM, Halo 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Be sure to check out any of the soundtracks listed and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 






Video Game Canon: Is There Such a Thing? Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:58:15 -0500 Allison M Reilly

When you hear the word canon, you probably think about what lore from a particular book, story, movie, or video game actually contributes to the larger narrative. For example, in the Super Mario universe, Mario and Luigi are brothers. They’re not lovers. They’re not father and son. They’re brothers. Although there’s room in the canon to conjecture on some things, like what Luigi does when Mario goes on all his adventures, Mario and Luigi’s familial ties have much less room for interpretation. And this familial tie helps inform our thoughts on the characters. For instance, we know they are brothers so that excludes the possibility that they are lovers. 

But the canon of truth is not the only type of canon. In a literary sense, "canon" is defined as, "a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works." This is usually used to describe books that define a genre, a time period, an author, etc. If you want to be well-versed in early American literature, for example, then there is a set of books you must read in order to begin to be considered "well-versed." The canon for Shakespeare isn't difficult to imagine.

The canon of “good” is much more than whether or not a title is quality or popular. It encompasses whether or not a video game is crucial to the development or the understanding of a genre, which I’ll explain further in a bit. It includes the game’s impact on video game history and/or development. It considers whether or not a video game is one all gamers should play or is defining the video game medium as a whole.

But, is there such a thing as video game canon? If so, then what games are part of that canon? Does it need to be broken down by its publisher, system, generation, and/or genre? Sure, there are lists like the 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die and the Top 100 SNES Games of All Time. But thinking of great video games and arguing why they are great is only half of the picture. A video game can be excellent, but is that enough to make it canon?

Looking to RPGs for Guidance

I'm pulling out RPGs because, earlier this year, Game Informer released its list of the Top 100 RPGs of All Time. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim took the top spot, to the ire and confusion of many. There's no denying that Skyrim is amazing. But the best of all time? And more importantly, is it video game canon? Is Skyrim representative of RPGs? If you had to introduce someone to 5 or 10 video games so that they understood what the RPG genre is about, then would you include Skyrim on that list?

To answer the last question, probably not. If I had to pick an Elder Scrolls game, then I'd likely choose Morrowind for its wide variety of weapons, armor, and spells to illustrate role-playing in a world teeming with choices.

I would include Chrono Trigger due to the large number of endings, where the player has to play different roles and make different choices to see all of the endings.

The Pokemon series showcases role-playing in a fixed setting very well. You're a Pokemon trainer and you train Pokemon. The player can't deviate from that role, however, the role-playing is in the team you set up versus the character you create or the story you follow.

Early titles like Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior (now known as Dragon Quest) helped translate the stat-driven affair that is Dungeons and Dragons into a palatable experience you could boot up on your home console.

And the Mass Effect trilogy, despite its lackluster ending, displays the ability to tell a large story that involves choices while remaining focused on a central narrative.

This is where things get tough. We already have at least 5 games-- assuming you count the Mass Effect trilogy as one game-- and that's while having largely left PC based RPGs untouched (Ever heard of this game called Wow?). Oh, and which Elder Scrolls game do you choose? Which Pokemon? Should we use Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior? And which Final Fantasy, or other RPG, first truly displayed the storytelling potential of the genre? What place do hybrid games, like action and strategy RPGs, have in the canon, or should they have their own canon?

There are no easy answers to any of these questions. In fact, we could fill up many forum boards just trying to answer the few above questions. But the good news is that's okay because...

Video Game Canon is Brand New

I think video game canon and all its sub-categories is still very much in its infancy. Not only are video games a young medium compared to books and movies, but video games have also undergone a ton of technological change during its relatively short tenure. The video games of 2017 do not look anything like the video games of 1977, and the consoles and computers they run on certainly don't look the same either. The changes do make creating and settling upon video game canon difficult since there's argument for a Sega Genesis canon or a Gameboy Advance canon.

The definition of video game canon may also change as the technology changes because it gets harder over time to play older games on the original technology. For example, Asteroids came out in 1979 in a giant arcade console. Although you can play Asteroids now through an emulator or through a retro game bundle on Steam, playing the game on a computer is not the same as playing it on the giant arcade machine. Moreover, there are many games that have been lost to time thanks to their original cartridges deteriorating. And while emulators are incredibly helpful for keeping older games available for new generations, they not only fail to capture the original context of the game, but all games have not been emulated.

Video Game Canon Will Constantly Change

Overall, it's not enough for a game to be popular or to be fun and memorable years and years after release. But the other "things" a game would need hasn't really been defined. The titles included in video game canon will be a fascinating discussion in the years to come. As more and more games are developed, more and more games also become a part of history and pop culture. The definition of being "well-versed" in video games will emerge as that history and discussion happen.

Now it's time for you to join the conversation. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with Skyrim's place in video game RPG canon? What games do you think constitute video game canon as a whole? Let us know in the comments.

4 Fantastic Games That Should Have Been on the SNES Classic Mini Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:41:29 -0400 Will Dowell

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) has one of the best libraries in classic games history. Whether it be the challenge of Contra 3: The Alien Wars or the sense of adventure in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, these games capture players and keep them coming back for more.

Capitalizing on the quality of the SNES and the nostalgia that comes with it, Nintendo will set upon the world the SNES Classic Mini. With this plug-and-play console, you can immediately access 22 SNES games, including the unreleased Star Fox 2. While the 22 SNES games are high-quality romps through gaming nostalgia, there are few fantastic games not on the SNES Classic Mini.

These 4 games provide interesting adventures and are well worth your time. LEt's jump in and see what they are. 

Chrono Trigger

One of the best RPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger presents an engaging tale full of time travel and action, where players follow Chrono and his party as he saves the world from the catastrophic Lavos. While the large-scale plot is engaging, the details turn the game into something special. With multiple subplots flowing throughout Chrono Trigger, each party member faces their own individual challenges, growing in the process.

Tying the story together is an engaging turn-based combat system. Similar to the ATB system in Final Fantasy, combat becomes a combination of time management and strategy. These fights become more engaging with the addition of Techs, special abilities in which party members can combine turns into one move.

All in all, saving the world in Chrono Trigger is an adventure that no gamer should miss out on. 

Final Fantasy II 

Speaking of RPGs, while the SNES Classic Mini contains Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy II is nowhere to be seen. With one of the best character arcs present in the 16-bit era, Final Fantasy II shows the struggle of a group just trying to do what's right. Experience a tale of redemption as the knight Cecil turns away from his past and fights to bring peace to the land. Every character has a story and will grow alongside Cecil throughout this adventure.

Final Fantasy II innovated upon the Final Fantasy battle system with the addition of the ATB system. Face against your enemy -- and even time itself -- as you command your party members to victory. Final Fantasy II is endearing and one of the best Final Fantasies of all time.

Super Bomberman

One of the best local-multiplayer games on the Super Nintendo, Super Bomberman used the Multi-Tap to bring four players into the fun bombing foray. While it was the first four-player game on the SNES, Super Bomberman takes the added players and creates chaotic matches full of frantic combat. With the simple premise of blowing up your competition, each map layers the gameplay with new strategies revolving around the power ups and layouts.

For players searching for a cooperative or solo mode, Super Bomberman contains a simple, yet enjoyable, set of stages that will send you through multiple worlds. Sadly, it doesn't have a save system, instead relying on passwords to continue your progress. However, these passwords are readily available online and are relatively short. If you want some explosive action, Super Bomberman is for you.

Legend of the Mystic Ninja

Combining ninjas with quirky platforming, Legend of the Mystic Ninja provides a fun co-op experience for the SNES. While the overall story is simple, everything from enemies to items are lighthearted and fun. As you fight through Japan, levels are split between exploring towns and 2D platforming stages. Light RPG elements make exploration enjoyable, but the true engagement of the game is the 2D action.

These 2D levels turn from challenging adventures into co-op madness when you decide to bring a friend along for the ride. Not only is the difficulty alleviated due to the added lives, but creative players can bypass difficult sections by working together.

Of course, you'll also run into the chaos of having two players scrambling as they take down challenging boss fights. But even when the game gets intense, its lighthearted nature provides many laughs with your struggles. Legend of the Mystic Ninja provides a fun co-op adventure rarely seen today.


The Super Nintendo is a fantastic system, and hopefully the SNES Classic Mini can show a new audience the wonders these classics have to offer. While the NES Mini introduced players to the classics on the NES, production issues limited the reach the NES Mini had. If Nintendo can properly supply the SNES Classic Mini, it can reintroduce the games that helped shape the gaming landscape of today.

5 Most Loving and Compassionate Mothers in RPG History Tue, 02 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Marc Hollinshead


There you have it. Each of these gaming moms have shown us something different in what it means to be a mother, but all of them are portraying the same thing -- the love they have for their children.


Mother's day is coming round once again, so with that in mind, why don't you take the words from the picture above and say them to your mom. I think it's fair to say that we often don't say them enough, and this time of year is a great reminder of everything they do for us. If a person in a game is able to resonate love more so than we do in the real world, then we need to step up! I challenge you all to give your mother a hug today. Go on, do it.


Are there any mothers in games that you love? Heck, you may just want to tell everyone how much you love your own mother. Sound off in the comments, and happy Mother's Day!


Bonus: Jun Kazama - Tekken Series


Jun may be from a fighting series rather than an RPG, but that doesn't make her any less of a great mother, so she manages to sneak in at the end of this list as bonus entry -- yes I know I've cheated a bit, but she is a bonus mom.


At face value, Jun plays an extremely minimal role throughout the series, as she only appears in one canon game -- Tekken 2. However, this role portrays who she was as a person and what she meant to her son, Jin.


The Mishima/Kazama saga throughout the fighting franchise has been one of hatred, evil plotting, bloodshed and devil related mishaps. Both Jin and Kazuya have been plagued by the devil gene for the entire duration of the series, but sadly Jun, the only ounce of purity and goodness in the family, died, or at the very least, disappeared.


Jun was determined to guide Jin and Kazuya through their struggle with the demonic gene. So much so that her very presence kept it at bay. As a character she is wildly juxtaposed to her family as a nature loving, calming influence.


A lesson to be learned here is that amidst the chaos of our lives, a mother can sometimes be the only source of happiness in our lives. Don't take that for granted.


Allie - Ni No Kuni


Allie is an example of a mother who puts her life in extreme danger for the sake of her son.


Spoilers incoming. Although she ultimately dies from a heart condition, Allie is quick to rescue Oliver from a river before he drowns at the start of the game. For a mother to put her own life on the line and do something like this is the ultimate sacrifice. It's a personification of the love that they have for their children.


Throughout Oliver's adventures, although Allie is not physically with him, she is what keeps him going. He may not see her, but on a transcendental level, she has never left. It is this that makes Ni No Kuni a truly touching story.


This game teaches all of us an important and heartfelt lesson. Even when our mothers might not be with us, the legacy they leave behind always lives on. It sounds cheesy, but it's most definitely true. Through our memories and abundant love for our mothers, they will always remain close.


Lara - Chrono Trigger


Lara is a mother who, while not doing much herself, indirectly represents a loving mother through the actions of her daughter, Lucca.


Once Lucca is able to time travel with her friends, the option to revisit her mother in a heartwarming side quest becomes available. Lara is a paraplegic who unfortunately became paralyzed after a tragic incident with a sewing machine but Lucca is able to erase any memory of this happening if you are quick enough.


This quest in Chrono Trigger will take you back before the moment occurred, and if Lucca enters a specific password (L-A-R-A, for the record -- how touching), history will be rewritten and her mother will be forever cured of paralysis, or rather, it will have never even happened.


For a child to go to lengths such as this to help their mother is proof enough that they love her to pieces. Going back in time to save our mothers from something is probably out of the equation, but doing something to relay that love will always be received with adoration.


Ness' Mother - Earthbound


Whereas a mother's love is able to keep the mother herself going in King's Quest VII, it is also what keeps the child going, as Earthbound alludes to.


Ness' mother, who has no name, will regularly feed Ness' favorite food and give him a place to sleep so that he can be fully rejuvenated for the next fight. It's the simple stuff that counts, am I right?


Better yet, if Ness doesn't come by and say hello to his mother enough, either through visiting or a by calling her, he will eventually become homesick. This can occasionally cause him to miss a turn in battle, so it just goes to show that a child needs their mother in order to keep enduring the hard times. 


Without our mothers, we aren't a strong as we should be. They can do a world of good for all of us, so just remember, if your mother makes you some food, be sure to thank her for it afterwards.


Valanice - King's Quest VII


Queen Valanice was proclaimed as a compassionate soul to just about everyone she met. Her loving heart relayed to her own daughter, and when she was sadly kidnapped, Valanice leaped into action to save her in King's Quest VII.


Being the protagonist of the seventh entry in the series, Valanice braves harsh climates and environments in order to be reunited with her daughter. A face of beauty couldn't quite cut it when going up against giant scorpions and other nasties, but Valanice's sheer love and desperation to see her daughter again won the day.


It's a clichéd term, but love does conquer all. In Valanice's case, it allowed her to courageously venture across dangerous lands for the sake of her child. Would your mother do that for you? You may be inclined to say no, but when push comes to shove, you'd be surprised at what a mother would be willing to do to keep their child out of harm's way.


Lirum - Lost Odyssey


Now we're moving on from Flemeth and going right to the other end of the spectrum. Lirum is a shining example of a mother who loves her children unconditionally despite having a truly hard life.


After being separated from her parents when she was only a young child, Lirum spent almost her entire life searching for them so she could be with them once more. In that time, she bore children, Cooke and Mack. The quirky twins may have opposing personalities, but they both love their mother more than anything else.


Once Kaim was able to be reunited with his daughter, it was too late to conventionally cure Lirum from the condition that she had been stricken with. Get ready for some gut wrenching spoilers here... In her final moments, Lirum wearily addresses her loved ones saying how much of a joy they were to her, before passing away in front of them.


If this isn't enough to have you crying yourself to sleep, then do yourself a favor and go and tell your mother how much you love her. Seriously. Do it right now. Lirum's final moments in the Lost Odyssey compels you to!


Dishonorable Mention: Flemeth - Dragon Age Series


As a bonus before we begin, let's take a lot at a mother who acts as a very bad role model for every child-bearing parent across the globe.


Morrigan's life was made much harder thanks to this witch. The not-so loving Flemeth literally absorbs the souls of her daughters in order to extend her own life. That right there is not a compassionate act of motherhood. 


Morrigan fortunately escaped her, much to our delight, and then sees her somewhat estranged mother once again in Dragon Age: Inquisition. She isn't too thrilled with this reunion, and spares no expense in showing her disgust but Flemeth toys with her nonetheless.


We still have to give Flemeth a little credit. She recognizes Morrigan's potential and isn't villainous to her outright, but if you're looking for a mother brimming with compassion, this isn't the lady you should be seeking.


Who doesn't love their own mother?


The very person who brought all of us into this world is someone we should always look up to. A special bond between mother and child is something to be cherished and with Mother's Day just around the corner in the States, it's something that should be on many people's mind right about now.


Although it may not be seen as important in the world of gaming, RPGs throughout the years have given us a glimpse into the (sometimes harsh) reality of being a mother and how their love for their child resonates with other characters, whether it's through their words or actions.


To get us into that Mother's Day spirit (not that we should need it anyway), here is a list of 5 mothers in RPGs whose love for their children is too big for words.

5 JRPGs That Should Get the Final Fantasy Tactics Treatment Sun, 26 Feb 2017 23:25:21 -0500 Will Dowell

Final Fantasy Tactics is considered a cult classic and a premier turn-based strategy RPG. It took the overwhelming wealth of fantastical material from the Final Fantasy franchise and created a truly magnificent game. Final Fantasy Tactics set the precedent of how to make a proper spin-off from a strong JRPG.

However, very few JRPG's have created a spin-off similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. With Pokémon Conquest being the only exception, developers have ignored the strategy RPG sub genre used in Final Fantasy Tactics and instead focused on more action-oriented gameplay. While not all JRPGs are suited for these types of spin-offs, those that are will benefit greatly from creating them. Here are a few JRPGs that should get the Final Fantasy Tactics treatment.

Breath of Fire

To create a strategy RPG battle system that stands out from the rest, you must either create unique mechanics that change the way a player perceives combat, or create characters that allow the player to devise new strategies in battle. Breath of Fire already does both with its combo system and cast of anthropomorphic characters. Players can create new tactics depending on the abilities in each character's arsenal.

Breath of Fire does not have the following to support a proper Final Fantasy Tactics like spin-off, however. The last game in the series, Breath of Fire VI, was a free-to-play online RPG that earned the scorn of longtime fans. Breath of Fire VI is still only available in Japan and has been considered a critical flop. Even with those challenges, Breath of Fire could still create a worthwhile strategy RPG.


Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Chronicles may not seem fit for a strategy RPG spin-off, but the unique world and interesting lore can build multiple games from different genres. For example, take the war between the Mechons and the Homs. That war alone can span a full series of strategy RPGs that would lead up to the beginning of the first game.

The player can follow a small group of soldiers led by the previous Monado users. Since they are engaging in a much larger conflict than themselves, each battle can fit into an overarching goal for the game. It is imperative story wise to focus on the soldiers and how they deal with the stress of constant battle. A strong

Gameplay wise, the use of the stagger system and Monado would change how players strategize in each battle. You can encourage continuous onslaught with the stagger system, while giving the players time to react with the Monado's ability to see the future.

Regardless, Xenoblade provides interesting mechanics and deep lore that are perfect for a strategy RPG.

Source: Mynintendonews

Shin Megami Tensei 

What's better than controlling a party of demons? Controlling an army of demons. While Shin Megami Tensei already has a strategy RPG spin-off series, the scope can easily be increased. Combining a large customizable army with the brutal difficulty famous in Atlus games creates an absorbing strategy game.

This is easily the most likely to occur as there has been strong support for the previous Devil Survivor games. Introducing more strategies and demons will allow players greater control on the battlefield. Fighting Hell's army would be both challenging yet so much fun.


Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross

While most players would rather have a new Chrono Trigger game, a strategy RPG would still be fun. The sheer quality of the two games sets high expectations for any future title, spin-off or otherwise. If a strategy RPG would be created, it would need to be extremely well-polished and fulfilling to the fans.

Besides the high expectations, the biggest challenge to a Chrono strategy RPG would be the combination of customization and fleshed out characters. Chrono Trigger has amazing characters that are well defined and experience personal growth. Final Fantasy Tactic shas a few good characters and a bunch of blank slates. This simply doesn't fit into the style of Chrono Trigger. Luckily, creating a balance is possible, it will just take a lot of work on the developer.

For combat, the technique system seen in Chrono Trigger could encourage synergy between party members. Using the progression system in Chrono Cross could properly flesh out challenge and alleviate grinding. Just make sure it doesn't overly restrict the player's strategy. Any Chrono game would be awesome at this point and a strong strategy RPG would be icing on the cake.


Dragon Quest

Considered a direct competitor for Final Fantasy for years, it is only fitting for Dragon Quest to get in on the turn based action. Combining a strong class system, great customizability, and a huge amount of lore, Dragon Quest is perfect for a strategy RPG spin-off.

This would likely be the most direct adaptation of Final Fantasy Tactics in terms of gameplay. Players would use a vast array of classes to engage in challenging battles that test your intelligence. While the classes and abilities will be different, the combat will remain similar to Final Fantasy Tactics -- without any major twists. That isn't a bad thing, however, as it allows the developer to polish something that works and create a strong product.

Story-wise, the depth of Dragon Quest's lore is strong and can create countless tales. The focus will still be on creating a strong set of characters, but Square can fully realize an engaging world. All in all, a Dragon Quest spin-off would be awesome.


Remember that Final Fantasy Tactics was successful because it showed Final Fantasy in a different light. It was darker than the main series and provided a gameplay style uncommon to this day.

These games can also pull off an amazing spin-off, but it will require breaking away from Final Fantasy Tactics. Strategy RPGs are amazing, and these spin-offs would truly be awesome.

5 JRPGs You Should Play Instead Of Tales Of Berseria Fri, 27 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 BizarreAdventure

Tales of Berseria is finally out in the west. Why should that stop you from playing other games though? Here's a handful of games to play instead!

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is the mac daddy, big papa, that cool kid in High School, some other phrase or such to delineate that this game is the utter best. If you make a list about JRPGs to play this one should always be there. Seriously, this game does just about everything right. Great story, characters, solid gameplay and amazing technical achievements for its time.

It's almost not fair that this game is a thing. It was pretty much destined to be amazing from conception. Seriously, some of the guys who worked on it include Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of Final Fantasy, Yuji Horii, creator of Dragon Quest, and Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball. These three dudes just decided one day "Hey, want to make one of the best games ever?" Then they did. If you haven't played this game just do it, go, now.

Kingdom Hearts

I'm one of those twenty-something year olds whose taste in games was heavily influenced by this one. Did I know that something that combines Final Fantasy with Disney was going to be the thing that did it? Hell no. But it did and here we are. If you haven't played this series you're in for a doozy. It's got tight action rpg combat, a wonderful (albeit cliche at times) story, big shoes and a cast of new and known characters that all mesh together wonderfully.

Which is one of the weirdest things about the series. Never would I have thought that I would be so engrossed into a series where Donald Duck says, and I quote: 

"Look Sora, it's Sephiroth!"

This is also the same series where Mickey Mouse goes on a murderous rampage after believing Goofy to be dead via falling boulder. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, I completely understand. But if you're at all on the fence I highly encourage you to give them a shot.

I do have to admit one thing though, the original Kingdom Hearts is lacking in the tight combat department as well as the "gummi ship," mechanic used to travel between worlds and the second in the series Chain Of Memories is very, very niche.  But hey most first games in series have a bit of roughness to them and sometimes developers take gambles on game design and they fail. Every game beyond that one though is absolutely fantastic.


This is in my oh so humble opinion, the best Sci-Fi JRPG you can play.  It's a massive space opera that takes you on a journey filled with aliens, androids and enough Christian themes to make the Pope blush. Don't let that deter you though if it would. As I said they are just themes, the game isn't trying to convert anyone or anything. At it's heart it's a story about humanity's fight against the alien race known as the Gnosis.

It's not much of a fight though more of a slaughter, because the Gnosis can phase through all physical objects and rip your soul right from your body. So humanity has to develop a way to truly fight them. This comes in the form of an android named KOS-MOS which can create a field that makes the Gnosis tangible. Without going too deep this puts you in the shoes of Shion, the Chief of the department developing KOS-MOS and her fight for survival.

That fight comes in the form of a classic turn based RPG style with some impressive strategic elements. For instance each character can charge up to 6 action points. Each character has 2 different basic attacks available (square and triangle) and a special attack (circle). These attacks can range from basic hits, to elementally charged moves that hit enemy weak points. Saving action points allows you to perform combos as well. This is how you deal big hits in one turn. Chaining together multiple attacks and finishing off with your special attack for massive damage.

Combine all of the above and you've got yourself a really solid JRPG series.

Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

What can I say about this game? Story wise it's one of the most finely crafted games I've ever seen. The combat is quite easy, but never unenjoyable. Requiring nothing but a basic understanding of a slightly more advanced rock, paper, scissors elemental weaknesses chart.

But that's not the draw of this game. You can spend hours going through a single town reading every bit of dialogue for every character and feel engaged, or at least I did. This isn't just a world revolving around your main characters. This is a world where every NPC is living a life just as your playable characters live theirs. You can talk to the woman in the first town who owns the shop for instance and find out that her son is single. Talk to the son and you find out that he's friends with your main characters and annoyed that his mother is always trying to find him a girl. After you progress through the game a bit, the mother has left the town to find a daughter-in-law in a neighboring town. With no luck she gets on the airship back and meets a woman whose dream is to run a shop. You might be able to allude what happens next.

That's just a vague recollection of one of the many side stories too. The game is filled with them and it's world building is so much richer for it. So give this one a shot if story driven games are your thing.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

This one might not be truly considered a JRPG, but I believe it takes a lot from the genre and makes it it's own. Which is a wonderful game with JRPG elements.

Princess Peach is missing again and it's Mario's job to go find her. Like the title says though, this isn't your favorite plumber in 3D. No, once again he's made of paper. The only lead he has for the Princess though is a map she left behind. With this map, Mario embarks on a journey to find seven crystal stars in hopes that they will lead him to his end goal, the Princess.

The overarching premise isn't what drives this game to be on the list though. It's the wonderful sub-plots, humor, mechanics and simplistic yet enjoyable combat that make this title so good. On your quest to get the stars you encounter all kinds of enemies known throughout the series as well as allies. Some of them including a girl Goomba with a thirst for adventure, or a Bob-omb who was once a famous sailor, but has since vowed to never sail again.

With your motley crew in tow you traipse around whimsical world doing battle, making use of various abilities and items that reward you with proper timing. Or solving paper based puzzles that may require you to fold yourself into a paper airplane or simple turn to slip through cracks in walls. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, it's always enjoyable.

 These are just a handful of my recommendations, take them how you will. If you think something else should be on the list, let me know in the comments!

The Upcoming RPG Seventh Rebirth: What Happens When You Mix a FFXI Producer and Chrono Trigger Composer? Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:23:01 -0400 Janette Ceballos

Final Fantasy XI producer Hiromichi Tanaka, Chrono Trigger composer Yasunori Mitsuda, and publisher GungHo Online Entertainment have worked together to create the smartphone-based RPG, Seventh Rebirth. Tanaka has previous experience with this genre as the producer of Square Enix’s first MMORPG, FFXI, while GungHo has been publishing mobile games since 2002, making for a good combination.

The first video trailer has been uploaded to YouTube with information on the story of the game. Every thousand years, the world undergoes a great destruction and rebirth, with this game beginning in the seventh cycle. The main character is a young mayor adventuring to build and protect their village.

While the video shows no actual gameplay, Tanaka promises a relatively traditional RPG, saying in a recent interview that, “it is basically being made to be a very orthodox RPG. Instead of something shiny, we’re making it into a fun and fleshed out game.”

The game will be free to download, but will contain in-app purchases.

A pre-registration campaign in Japan has been ongoing since October 19 in preparation for the 2016 autumn release. The campaign is a tier-based system where a threshold number of people joining determines the in-game bonuses players will receive when they download the game. These bonuses include villagers and weapons or attacks based on previous GungHo games such as Puzzle and Dragons, Divine Gate, and Princess Punt.

Seventh Rebirth will be available in Japan for Android and iOS this fall with no word as to whether there will be an English release.

Video Game History - 40 Years Of The RPG Genre Tue, 20 Sep 2016 05:43:14 -0400 Ty Arthur

Although having a computer on your desk or attached to your hip at all times is just a given now, in the grand scheme of things, the digital revolution is still a relatively new phenomena in human history.

That being said, there's been a solid four decades of computer gaming now, with a whole generation of kids being raised having no clue what life was like before all the PC and console options.

That's right -- the RPG genre kicked off 40 years back in 1976 with the text-based Colossal Cave Adventure (also known as just plain old Adventure). 

While the original game was the definition of a primitive text experience, with a user inputting short commands and seeing what happened, this classic title has been adapted and expanded many times in the intervening years (with some adding in limited imagery along the lines of early Wizardry games).

 This is how it all started!

The First Steps Of A New Genre

Everything from Bard's Tale to the King's Quest series to much more recent iterations such as Necropolis or Dragon Age owe their existence (to some extent) to William Crowther taking up programming.

It could be argued that we'd never have western RPGs like The Witcher or ARPGs like Diablo if a dad who played D&D and enjoyed exploring caves hadn't decided to tinker around with programming so his kids would have something to play with.

D&D is a critical name in the history of computer games, as digital RPGs mirrored the rise of tabletop gaming. Chainmail – the war game that would one day become Dungeons and Dragons – arrived all the way back in '71 and strongly influenced the programmer who would go on to create Adventure. While Gygax's name might be more widely known, Crowther's deserves to be said with as much reverence by modern day gamers.

 Thanks for this, Bill!

Evolution doesn't always mean there's no room for the original species to remain, and while gaming has gone way beyond typing "north" or "south" to move, text adventures continue to thrive with a staggering number of MUDs, MUSHs, and MUCKs still available online.

Accessing the text-based MUD Shadowlands through Telnet was one of the earliest experiences I personally ever had with PC gaming. While it sadly appears to be dead and gone now, I'll never forget those memories of dual wielding sticky pacifiers picked up from the dwarven daycare and then slaughtering crystal spiders by the dozens to quickly level a new character.

Jumping Ahead... Sort Of

While there were a smattering of games in a similar style that predated it, Rogue is easily the most well known of the bunch and really the next stage in RPG evolution. Although it had a map to move around, it could be argued Rogue was still very much a “text-based” game, as everything was “drawn” with regular old keyboard characters.

Where it shined was in its entirely unforgiving nature - instituting one of the first instances of permadeath -- and an influential mechanic way ahead of its time: procedural generation of the game world.

 Baby steps to the modern 3D RPG

The next big jump took place with Richard Garriot and the start of the Ultima series, taking the ideas from the so-called Roguelike games and catapulting us from basic ASCII characters to... a bunch of dots saved in tile patterns!

Seems simple and silly now, but this was kind of a big deal at the time, and led to the first dungeon crawlers like the Might and Magic series, Wizardry, Dungeon Master, and so on.

 Well, it is technically an improvement...

Diverging Console And PC Branches

There were definitely earlier RPGs, but among the most notable events in console history was the original Final Fantasy coming to the NES.

While the releases always lagged in North America, taking an extended period of time to make it over from Japan, there's no question this series had a huge impact on the popularity of RPGs around the world on the console front.

While opinion will of course differ from fan to fan (and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the Sega Genesis had some very solid entries), this era of pre-3D RPG history is generally recognized as hitting its crescendo on the SNES with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6.

Just simply chronicling the history of Final Fantasy is an article all its own, so for a more in-depth look there, check out our complete run down of the final fantasy series here.

 Yep, at one time this was groundbreaking for both gameplay and graphics

For computer enthusiasts in the '80s to early '90s, the Gold Box D&D games served the role filled by Final Fantasy on console, with Pool Of Radiance and its follow-ups absolutely dominating and inspiring a generation of game developers.

Frankly there's enough different games covering a huge range of styles pulling from the D&D ruleset throughout the years that multiple articles could be devoted to that series' history (in fact, we even once tried to undertake the mammoth task of ranking them all).

The one major turning point in all that history that simply must be mentioned was when two medical doctors decided to switch careers and make the definitive D&D computer game experience, Baldur's Gate. Around the same time and making just as big a splash in a post-apocalyptic setting was of course the groundbreaking Fallout, which is still getting gamers all riled up for sequels nearly 20 years later.

 Now we're starting to get somewhere.

In the mean time while all this was going on, the MMORPG spin-off genre was taking faltering steps from Meridian 59 to Ultima Online. It wouldn't be until much later in 2004 that MMORPGs really hit their stride with the still-dominant phenomena that is World Of Warcraft.

While massively multiplayers continue to be pumped out with surprising regularity, the player bases on older games has begun to bottom out, with some closing entirely. Sadly the genre is in a bit of a rut now and in need of shaking up.

From Pixels To Polygons

In the time just as consoles were switching from cartridges to CDs (actually pioneered by Sega, and not by the relative latecomer Playstation) there are a host of forgotten gems sadly hidden by the sands of time.

Titles like Vay for the Sega CD and Albert Odyssey: Legend Of Eldean for the Sega Saturn were some of the true swan songs for pixel-based games, now long out of print and never re-released.

 A whole generation of gamers missed out on this one as kids

Advancing technology eventually allowed for huge leaps in graphical capability and a changing focus on the genre, with first person games like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind featuring massive game worlds.

Of course the increase in graphics wasn't always matched with stories or characters on the same level, as the beautiful-but-vapid Neverwinter Nights can attest.

 Innovative gameplay and graphics... abysmal single player campaign

Springing from that point, the genre diverged into radically different directions, from sci-fi games like Knights Of The Old Republic to the kingdom-running Fable series and a slew of real-time or turn-based strategy games with heavy RPG elements.

From there it was just a hop, skip, and a jump through to modern classics such as Skyrim or The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.

What's Old Is New Again

Perhaps in a backlash to those games with gorgeous graphics but a lack of personality and memorable characters, or maybe just out of a sense of nostalgia from an aging fan base, there's been a retro renaissance in RPGs this decade.

Games that return to a bygone era - while still using certain modern elements - have dominated, especially due to the crowd funding revolution. Pillars Of Eternity, Wasteland 2, and Legend Of Grimrock are just a handful of critically acclaimed entries that evoke an earlier time in RPG history. 

 The nods to Baldur's Gate are clear... as are the more modern elements

Looking Ahead To The Future

Remember how D&D was such a huge name in early RPG history? That iconic name has now been eclipsed by Pathfinder, which dominates on the pen and paper front.

Unfortunately due to restrictions with the open game license and a doomed MMORPG that never got off the ground, Pathfinder has yet to make a dent on the digital gaming front, let alone dominate as its predecessor did. It remains to be seen if Paizo can have the same impact on computer gaming as TSR / Wizards Of The Coast managed to have.

On PC and console, the genre has gone myriad directions over the last 40 years, from the classic JRPG to turn based strategy games to fast-paced action RPGs. While retro is dominant now, it won't be forever, with the next big innovation likely to be VR, potentially allowing for even more immersive roleplaying experiences than ever before.

Where do you think the genre is set to go next, and what's your prediction for what will be the next big thing in role playing?

10 of the Greatest RPG Normal Battle Themes Mon, 12 Sep 2016 05:01:17 -0400 ThndrMge

The RPG is a genre in which you spend a lot of time battling enemies as you adventure through some of the most fantastic worlds and inspiring stories. One way to make a battle more intense and more dynamic is to pump up your player with a great tune to get them into the fighting spirit.

Many games are praised for their soundtracks, and often times we lift up the composers who came up with the musical beats we're listening to throughout our journeys. Below are just a few of the greatest examples of RPG normal battle themes, the songs that play during the majority of mundane encounters with monsters and minions alike.

The Man With the Machine Gun

Final Fantasy VIII

Uploaded by Cloud183

Final Fantasy VIII is one of the least popular entries in the series when you discuss gameplay and story. No one seems to enjoy the Draw system -- which had you spending hours in combat repeatedly using the same command to steal magic spells from enemies -- but there are two things players seem to agree Final Fantasy VIII did right: card games, and Nobuo Uematsu's music.

"Man with the Machine Gun" is the battle theme for the duration of the time which you play as Laguna, a secondary protagonist of sorts. It's upbeat and energetic, it matches well with the eternal optimist that Laguna tends to be. I remember spending hours battling enemies in the caves of the Centra Excavation Site just so I could listen to this fantastic battle theme.

The War Bell Tolls

Bravely Second: End Layer

Uploaded by EightGiratina

Random encounters are generally a lackluster event in an RPG, typically lasting no more than a minute late into the game. However, in Bravely Second you'll find that with this battle anthem at your back, you're going to want to spend a lot more time in battle. The quick tempo, wailing guitar, and operatic vocals give every battle a feeling of urgency and heroism. 

Spending time grinding EXP for your favorite jobs, or hunting for specific items is much less tedious when you have something great to listen to, and this song delivers. A small nod must be made to the amazing way the song will fade back in after using special attacks, which will cause a temporary song to play based on which character performed the attack. You may have the option to turn off Bravely Second's random encounters, but you might not want to if you really enjoy this song.

Battle! (Team Plasma)

Pokemon Black & White

Uploaded by RadiantMiku

Pokemon games have a ton of different battle themes spanning generations of games. One of the best is when you encounter a Team Plasma Grunt in Pokemon Black or Pokemon White. The electronic style, the hyped-up intro, and the sinister tone of the song all give battles with Team Plasma a very villainous feeling.

From the moment you encounter a Grunt and that pulse-pounding intro begins, you'll be in it to win it against the enthusiastic yet misguided Pokemon Rights group who are attempting to "liberate" your Pokemon from you. I even used this song as my ringtone for a year or so, it was just that good. Next time you're adventuring in Black or White's Unova region crank up the volume and enjoy the music when you encounter Team Plasma.

Mass Destruction

Persona 3

Uploaded by Bosquez88

Baby baby baby baby! Persona 3's battle theme is sort of meme status among the fandom. The rock-pop tune that plays whenever you enter battle against generic shadows is one of the most enthusiastic and positive things in the game. The blaring horns and the driving vocals, particularly during the chorus and bridge, are memorable and after a few fights, you'll find yourself singing along and humming this tune for hours after it gets stuck in your head.

Series composer Shoji Meguro is well known for his thematic soundtracks, which are strikingly different with each game and constantly changing musical genres. This jazzy song just feels like it belongs in Persona 3 and quickly became one of the greatest and most well-known battle themes in RPG history.

The Arrow Was Shot

Tales of the Abyss

Uploaded by terribletomato

In a game that has a lot to do with Hymns and music, this tune is an upbeat and inspirational romp as you battle your way through countless enemies. While the Tales series features a ton of great music from series composer Motoi Sakuraba, this one stands out a bit above the others.

The combination of electronic harmony over the rhythmic drums and low guitar gives it a very heroic feeling. Even listening to this I can hear the sounds of battle in the back of my head as the heroes perform their various Strike Artes and Magic Artes, calling out names and shouting one-liners. It's a particularly catchy tune that'll have you tapping your toes the entire time.

Normal Battle

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Uploaded by Merhawk102

Despite having a simple name, this battle theme from Nocturne really has a strangely eerie vibe to it. It really does a great job of emphasizing the unusual and unnatural situation the protagonist is in, wandering a demon-infested version of his home, Tokyo. 

The strange lyrical chanting over the looped electronic buzzing in the song adds to the creepiness, but in contrast, the guitar and drums really pump you up for what is most certainly going to be a tough battle, considering the difficulty of the game. Get ready to engage in some odd conversations with the demonic entities you come across and bargain with them to join you or just leave you alone.

Fight Against Monsters

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Uploaded by GilvaSunner

Mario has a long line of RPGs to pick from now, between the Paper Mario series or his adventures on handhelds with his brother in the Mario & Luigi series. However, back in the Super Nintendo era the first Super Mario game to feature the mustached plumber in turn-based combat was aptly titled Super Mario RPG.

It was an instant classic, and this battle theme was born from it. It oozes that Mario vibe, from the drum roll at the beginning to the horns and melodic bridge. Each beat of this tune just feels right at home in the Mario series of games, and it has only gotten more iconic as time goes by.

Battle! (Isaac)

Golden Sun

Uploaded by Magnus619666

Another example of a battle theme that really makes you feel heroic as you battle your way through the various monsters and baddies you encounter. Golden Sun really hits the mark with this song, the instant a battle begins and you hear that build-up at the beginning of the song you're nodding along to the beat and eager to unleash your favorite attacks on whatever unsuspecting creature has challenged you.

Fluctuating from amped-up synth instruments over the drums to beautiful flute melody into low synth tones and finally mixing it up string instruments really gives this song variety and makes it memorable. Isaac's battle theme is easily one of the greatest in the series and the entire RPG genre.

Battle 1

Chrono Trigger

Uploaded by TheOSTcorner

This is another one of those songs with an unimaginative title, but are we really going to question Yasunori Mitsuda? If you're a fan of the game it's easy to see the mental image of Crono and the others bouncing in their combat stances to the smooth beat of the drums and bass in this song. 

The quick beat is sure to get you bouncing your head to the rhythm in seconds as you're selecting the various Tech commands in whatever age you might be adventuring through at the time. The timeless tune -- pun very much intended -- really accentuates the style of the game, feeling right at home no matter what kind of monsters you're fighting or what visual setting the game throws at you. Thanks for this gem, Yasunori Mitsuda.

Deep in Coma ~ Battle in Japan

Shadow Hearts: Covenant

Uploaded by TheOstFan

Like many of the other songs I've shared with you, Shadow Hearts: Covenant's "Deep in Coma" is a perfect example of thematic tune. The eerie chanting over the guttural bass guitar and hectic drums really gets you unnerved in this horror RPG.

The unusual rhythm and tribal beat are fitting for a game where you can transform into a demon at any given moment. Despite this, however, "Deep in Coma" does a great job of making battles feel exciting and breaks the norm at the same time, making it a very memorable song. As I wrote this article, I couldn't help but want to pop Shadow Hearts into my PlayStation 2.

These are just ten examples of great RPG battle music. There are plenty of other amazing tunes out there to discover and listen to. Did your favorite make the list? Let us know over on Twitter!

5 Amazing Retro Video Game Tattoos Thu, 01 Sep 2016 12:50:25 -0400 Glitchieetv

Tattoos are one of the ways people use to express their love for something. With many of the millennial generation growing up with some of the first video games and consoles, it makes sense that many of them would show their love for fond childhood memories with ink. Below are five amazing tattoos inspired by retro video games.

Chrono Trigger-Artist Unknown

Chrono Trigger first released in 1995 on the SNES. An instant hit, it sold more than 2 million copies within two months in Japan. It also met with critical success in North America, where it has been a classic. This tattoo of the Chrono Trigger logo is well executed, an excellent homage to an RPG-staple.

The Legend of Zelda-Artist Unknown

The Legend of Zelda is a timeless retro game. With multiple titles in the series, the story that began in 1986 has continued to ensnare hearts. These tattoos, done in an 8-bit style, are a cute couples tattoo that captures the romance between Link and Zelda. 

Spyro the Dragon-Artist Unknown

Spyro the Dragon first charged through enemies in 1998 on the Sony PlayStation. With top of the line graphics and lovable characters, Spyro made a home for himself with gamers. This Spyro tattoo captures all of the dragon's fighting spirit.

Retro Themed Tattoo-Artist Unknown

This tattoo does not simply pick one retro game to exhibit. Inside, this composition showcases symbols from Mario, Tetris, and Pac-Man all revolving around the original Nintendo Entertainment System controller. 

Retro Gaming Totem-Artist Unknown

Here is another example of a tattoo that chose to feature multiple games instead of just one. Including Pong, Frogger, and Megaman this totem of Retro games is a creative take on expressing ones love for them. 

Do you have any amazing retro video game inspired tattoos? Let us know in the comments? Know any of the artists or people who own the tattoos? Let us know so we can credit them!

Best retro gaming buys: Best SNES games of all time Wed, 17 Aug 2016 07:00:01 -0400 kate.farrow

Last week’s post gave you the hardware. Today’s post will give you the must-have games for your Super Nintendo. The best SNES games don’t come cheap, but these tried and true titles are worth it. Part three of this series includes the best SNES games of all time.

Part One: SNES games under $50.

Part Two: SNES games under $100.

Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen

Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen - from $104.98 to $139.00

Reportedly one of the best strategy RPGs for SNES. Only 25,000 copies were released for North America so this is a higher ticket title.

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger - from $65.00 to $155.50

If you already own this game, consider yourself a lucky, lucky human. Chrono Trigger has been called “one of the best video games of all time”.


EarthBound - from $49.00 to $260.43

If you’ve never played EarthBound, you need to. EarthBound is an all-time favorite with great replayability. The character, Ness, who you may know from Super Smash Bros, originated in this series. This particular title is known as Mother 2 in Japan, and was the first in the series to release in North America. Definitely one for the retro enthusiast. Fun fact: Former Nintendo President and CEO, Satoru Iwata, worked on this game.

This article concludes the "Best retro gaming buys: SNES games" series. Stay tuned for more great gaming articles!


I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at

5 Cats That Look Suspiciously Like Video Game Villains Mon, 08 Aug 2016 04:59:25 -0400 QuintLyn


This cat who's probably really pissed his owners dressed him up as Bowser

Mario everything

For decades, Bowser has been causing trouble for Mario, Peach, and the gang, and it's still nothing equal to the amount of problems this cat is likely going to cause just to get revenge.  Cats are notoriously un-fun when it comes to things like playing dress up, and there's no reason to believe this one will get over having to wear that shell any time soon... In fact, we're certain this cat is plotting its owner's deaths as we speak.


Kitty will get his revenge. 


For his humans' sake, we'll hope kitty doesn't start constructing bridges over lava pits....


And there you have it, five -- probably harmless -- kitties that look like they're ready to inflict some real evil upon the world. And they will probably succeed too... some day. In the mean time, they've done cat-kind proud and are perfect examples of why their kind deserve their own International Cat Day.


If you'd like more sweet cat action for ICD, then be sure to check out our post on the 9 purrrrfect feline characters in gaming.


This terrifying cat as Lavos

Chrono Trigger

This kitty may not completely resemble the alien parasite that is Lavos, but he has that same evil look in his eyes that the final boss of Chrono Trigger has in its.  That is the look of a creature willing to do anything to get what it wants -- either that or someone really surprised him.


Lavos created havoc all across the timeline in Chrono Trigger. We're willing to bet this cat can cause mayhem equal to or worse than that, given a chance. Of course, he'll likely spend most of his time trying to keep people convinced he's harmless, but CT players know the truth... This cat's out to get ya.


Any Chimera-cat as Two-Face

Batman: Arkham series

When it comes to recognizable villains, Batman offers more than a few. After all, Arkham Asylum is filled to the gills with some pretty stand-out characters -- although perhaps few as sad as Harvey "Two-Face" Dent. Originally a man of honor and Bruce Wayne's best friend, Dent found his life changed after being permanently disfigured on one side of his body. Now, rather than fighting for the people of Gotham as a lawyer, he's one of the biggest baddies in the city.


Luckily for chimera cats, their story isn't so sad. Instead of an accident, their looks are the result of a stray genetic trait. In some it's a nearly perfect split face. In other's it's not quite as defined. That said, we can all be assured that these cats' goals are pretty much he same as Dent's, and Gotham will soon be theirs.


(It's also possible these cats could double as Harley Quinn, seeing as they share similar taste in fashion.)


This bearded cat silently judging you as Comstock 

BioShock Infinite

Cats, like people, can be super judgmental. Apparently some -- like the grey cat above -- can also grow epic beards worthy of fanatical city leaders. That beard, combined with the knowledge that (much like Comstock) this cat has pretty much condemned you to hell without even knowing you, make it the perfect candidate for supreme leader and prophet of Columbia. 


Perhaps the citizenry will get lucky and fluffy here will be a kinder, gentler dictator of the floating city in the sky -- although that might make for a completely different BioShock game.


Savannah Cat as Kefka Palazzo

Final Fantasy VI

I know what you're thinking... "This cat looks nothing like Kefka!" Well, bear with me for a minute and take a good, long look at that cat again. Okay, so their eye makeup only kind of matches, but look at that face. So demanding, so regal, so prepared to cause you physical harm if need be, but also pretty pleased to just play puppet master. 


Much like Kefka, who hides his true villainy behind the guise of a court jester -- flamboyant and regal at the same time, the Savannah cat hides its natural cat villainy behind the facade of a flamboyant and elegant creature. Kefka spent much of Final Fantasy VI pretending not to be the evil overlord he truly is. This is not an act cats are unfamiliar with. They spend a lot of time keeping humans unaware of their evil plans.


So you see, this cat resembles Kefka in more than a few ways. In fact, when all is said and done, someone might be surprised to see this cat morph into an ultimate form, complete with a wingspan.


Cats... They've intervened in human history for as long as any of us can remember. Worshiped as gods by some, feared by others, and reported to be the primary source of power for the Internet...cats are a force to be reckoned with. Hell, they've even managed to convince us to give them their own special day, International Cat Day -- which is a bit like Mother's day, only for cats.


Of course, as awesome as cats may seem, it's the foolish who don't recognize them for the evil they are. Some are so evil, in fact, that they even look like video game villains -- or, at least resemble them a bit.


Here we've compiled some cats that remind us of some of our favorite video game villains. Whether by straight physical appearance or visible attitude, these cats have just that special blend of evil built in.  

5 Nintendo DS RPGs That Stand the Test of Time Thu, 30 Jun 2016 08:18:10 -0400 cactusjudy

Radiant Historia 

Radiant Historia might be the least-known title on this list, but that doesn't make it any less memorable. The game, produced by Atlus and featuring largely the same staff as Persona 3 and Etrian Odyssey, follows intelligence officer Stocke who works for the kingdom of Alistel in their war against the neighboring country to the West.


After becoming severely injured in an ambush, Stocke discovers he has the power to enter a land called Historia and travel into the past and along different timelines. Using this power, Stocke jumps between different branching timelines in a quest to save his world from desertification, gaining different skills and meeting unique characters in each branch. 


Radiant Historia requires that certain events in Stocke's history be revisited and their outcomes changed before he can continue in his story, like preventing character deaths, gaining new information, and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. The game's cast is diverse and dynamic, with character interactions and relationships changing dramatically between the different timelines as Stocke's choices and his alliances shift. 


Radiant Historia's combat follows a "Grid System" where enemies are placed on a 3x3 grid. Enemies closer to the character's party will take more damage but also inflict more, making the placement of characters in each battle highly important. Enemies can be moved to different spaces on the grid by various special attacks, and party members can switch turns with one another and with enemies in order to pile on combos and do more damage, though switching also makes the character more vulnerable to future attacks. 


Ultimately, Radiant Historia is one the most fleshed-out games on this list, as its unique nonlinear, time travel gameplay and diverse cast of characters make for an original and enthralling experience. The game more than deserves its spot on this list as an RPG that is worth breaking out the old DS for.


Good RPGs are truly rewarding games, offering fun and challenging gameplay alongside unique, deep plots with charming characters. The 5 games on this list represent the best of the genre, elevating the Nintendo DS to one of the best gaming systems ever created. 


What do you think of the RPGs on this list? Are there any great DS titles that I missed that still hold up to current titles? Let us know in the comments below! 

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness and Explorers of Sky

A children's game and a Pokemon spin-off might seem an odd choice for this list. Nevertheless, years after its initial Western release in 2008, Explorers of Time still stands as not only one of my favorite DS RPGs, but one of my favorite DS games period.


The gameplay is pretty standard for a dungeon-crawler, with the player controlling a team of Pokemon as they traverse dangerous dungeons catching Pokemon criminals and helping innocents in need. Battling also follows standard rules of turn-based combat, with each team member selecting an attack to perform on an enemy (the attacks replicating those found in mainline Pokemon games), choosing to defend, or use an item.


What really sets Explorers of Time and Darkness, and its expanded-story companion Explorers of Sky, above the rest though, is its excellent plot and endearing cast of characters.


The games follow a Pokemon (one of 16 species, decided upon by a personality test at the beginning of the game) who has lost all of its memories, remembering only that it used to be a human. The main character and their partner (one of 13 Pokemon species, chosen by the player at the beginning) join the Wigglytuff Guild, a group dedicated to exploring dungeons and protecting vulnerable Pokemon and lead by a quirky Wigglytuff and his overworked assistant Chatot. The characters soon find themselves chasing down a rogue thief Grovyle, who is stealing the world's Time Gears. Yet, Grovyle and his goals aren't all what they seem to be, and the plot proves darker and more complex the more the story goes along.


Mystery Dungeon may have unfortunately repetitive gameplay, but its gripping plot and lovable characters are sure to keep players gripped to their dual screens. And if you haven't shed a tear or two by the end of the game, then you're probably heartless. I highly recommend this game for any and all Pokemon fans, as well as anyone looking for an RPG with a heartwarming, emotional story. (And it's a fun spinoff game to play while you wait for Sun and Moon.)

Chrono Trigger

Originally released for the SNES in 1995, 2008's DS port made this heavily-acclaimed game accessible for a new generation of gamers. Chrono Trigger is considered one of the best video games of all timeand as such it more than deserves a spot on this list despite the DS versions port status. 


Chrono Trigger follows a cast of six party members from various points in time as they travel through history in a quest to save their world from future destruction. Gameplay consists of turn-based combat wherein the space between each character's turn is decided by a timer based on their speed stat. Players can use regular physical attacks or special and magical attacks called "Techs" that are more powerful and can be used in conjunction with other characters' Techs, but deplete the character's MP (magic points). 


Chrono Trigger's seemingly simplistic plot and gameplay belie a highly memorable story full of lovable characters, side-splitting humor, and important character choices that lead to one of 13 different endings. Given its entertainment value and comparatively easy gameplay, Chrono Trigger is a great choice for newer RPG fans, or those who simply want to focus on the narrative experience instead of wasting hours in grinding levels. 

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

Almost any of the DS Dragon Quest titles could have made this list, but Sentinels of the Starry Skies stands out as the best-received and first to reach international acclaim. The game sold more than 4 million copies in Japan and 1 million internationally in its first year of release, received a perfect score in Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (only the 10th game to ever do so), and revolutionized the use of passerby connections in gaming, leading to advances in this function on the 3DS.


In fact, Dragon Quest IX is considered one of the catalysts for social interaction in gaming. Thousands of fans set up real-life meet-up locations, and eventually opened up a new destination in Akihabara (Tokyo's electronic district and anime mecca) in order to exchange special treasure maps.  


Sentinels of the Starry Sky isn't just included on this list for its revolutionary multiplayer capabilities, though. The game features a 50+ hour story, challenging gameplay, character customization, and intriguing plot and characters that together make for a truly enjoyable experience.


The story follows a young Celestrian (angel) who falls from the heavenly Observatory down to the Protectorate below, the land of mortals. The main character must help out human beings in order to gain benevolence and earn their way back to the Observatory. The plot grows more complicated as it goes along, and eventually leads to the main character and their party of 3 human beings (fully customizable) on a mission to save both the mortal world and the heavens. 


Gameplay is similar to other Dragon Quest titles, with the main difference being the significant increase in difficulty. Players engage in turned-based combat in order to defeat enemy monsters, stacking up damage by performing consecutive attacks of the same type. Different character classes (thief, priest, etc.) use different skills and attacks, and each character's class can be changed or upgraded when meeting certain conditions. 


In all, Dragon Quest IX is an excellent RPG that effectively utilizes challenging combat, an engaging plot, and a quirky cast of characters in order to deliver a top-notch gaming experience that I would highly recommend to any RPG fan looking for a bit of a challenge. 

The World Ends With You

Released in 2008 by the same team behind Kingdom Hearts, Square Enix's The World Ends With You has become a cult classic, praised universally for its challenging and unique gameplay and intriguing story arc.


The game follows an antisocial young man named Neku Sakuraba who finds himself in an alternate version of Tokyo's Shibuya district called the Underground (UG). He is entered into the Reaper's Game, wherein chosen deceased individuals can sacrifice their most treasured possession in order to be entered. The prize is either resurrection or transcendence to a higher form of existence.


Each game lasts a week, and the winner is the one who best completes the tasks set out by the game's Composer and demonstrates the worth of humanity. While completing the tasks, contestants must team up with other players in order to defeat creatures called "Noise" that exist simultaneously in two separate "zones." The World Ends With You follows Neku for three consecutive Reaper's Games as he connects with new individuals and tries to uncover his memories and the circumstances of his death.


Confused? Don't feel too bad; it's a complex game, with an even more confusing (and challenging) battle system. Called the "Stride Cross Battle System," combat utilizes the DS' dual screen capabilities in order to conduct two battles at once, one with Neku and the other with his partner.


The two players are synchronized in battle, with the effectiveness of each player's attacks dependent on whether the player possesses the "light puck" that passes back and forth between Neku and his partner. The character with the "light puck" will be able to perform more powerful attacks, and the speed at which the puck travels between the two characters can be affected by the team's "sync ratio" and equipped clothing. Equipped pins also affect what moves can be used, and whether the character can self-heal. 


It's a weird system to be sure, but also one that can be seriously fun and exciting. There's a reason why The World Ends With You was named IGN's DS Game of 2008, and has a critical score of 88 on Metacritic. If you're at all intrigued by the odd plot or complicated gameplay, be sure to check it out! 


RPGs have long been a vital part of any system's library, drawing in classical game fans, Japanophiles, fantasy nerds, and children alike. Every gaming platform has had its share of great RPGs, some of which stay popular far beyond the platform's original lifespan.


This rings especially true for the Nintendo DS, whose fun, engrossing RPGs continue to ring in sales and bring in new fans. If you have any interest in RPGs, and are looking to dust off your old DS (or play some old DS games on your 3DS), then look no further than this list of 5 DS RPGs that continue to engross gamers to this day.

Top 12 Greatest Cats of Video Games Sun, 05 Jun 2016 08:06:34 -0400 Anthony Pelone


And so ends this list. Yes, that is a cat cuddled up with a copy of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. That's Fukurashi, the cat of Masahiro Sakurai (Kirby, Super Smash Bros.) and whose hilarious adventures are cataloged in these two Twitter albums. In case you're hopping mad your favorite gaming kitty didn't show up, I'd highly recommend checking them out to soothe your soul.


Did your favorite feline miss the cut? Let us know in the comments below!


12. Crono's Cat (Chrono Trigger)

Imagine a sunbaked morning, with your head buried beneath the warm covers as your fur baby is curled up within your arms. Granted, Crono's Cat chooses to rest beside a nearby waste bucket, but he still represents the ideal cat: a loving companion who'll never leave your side. Just look at how he follows Crono around the house!


Crono's Cat is hardly seen throughout the game, yet its role is potentially the biggest of the game's cast. It influences Chrono Trigger's default ending, and winning a certain game at the Millennial Fair will win you more cat food...which attracts more cats. If the mischief of various cats throughout the game are any indication, looks like those sunbaked mornings are about to get a lot more lively for Crono.


11. Meowth (Pokémon)

Meowth, that's right! Several cat-inspired Pokémon have debuted throughout the years, but none are nearly as iconic as Meowth. Just look at his resume: he's the Team Rocket poster child, is one of the few talking Pokémon, had his own GameCube tech demo (Meowth's Party, where he rocked out with a groovin' guitar), is a PokéBall summon in Smash Bros., the list goes on. Granted, half of those come from the anime, but it's helped propelled him into stardom, regardless.

Meowth's signature attack, Pay Day, comes quite in handy for Pokémon Trainers in need for cash. In what are probably the funds its gathered from its nightly prowls, Meowth showers the opponent with coins, some of which go to the player's wallet. Whoever said cats can't make money?


10. Toro and Kuro (Sony)

These two cats aren't from a specific game, but they operate as Sony mascots for their gaming platforms. Toro Inoue, the white one, tries his best to act like a human, while Kuro, the black one, is his bully of a rival rival with something of a perverted streak. Their follies aside, taking just one look at their faces will give you the warm fuzzies

These mascots mainly function as such in Japan, but we've seen them several times in the Western sphere. Pictured above is their playable appearance in Street Fighter x Tekken; not a game loved by many, but their theme song is just too cute. 


9. Nago the Cat (Kirby's Dream Land 3)

Yes, that is a cat! His one and only Kirby appearance lies in Kirby's Dream Land 3 for the SNES, where he's one of many animal buddies that aid the puffball's quest. Some get a bit creative with how they accompany Kirby; in Nago's case, he rolls him along like a ball.


Animal buddies can channel Kirby's Copy Abilities to concoct devastating attacks, and Nago is no exception. So, what can he do? Well, in the case of Spark, he paws Kirby with enough static electricity that it is dangerous to the touch. Then there's Clean, where Kirby turns into a cloth and Nago slides on him to plow into enemies. And, my personal favorite: Stone, where he picks up Stone Kirby and repeatedly slams him into the ground with earthquake-level force. It's great. 


8. Judd (Splatoon)

Everyone can't get enough of the kids and squids of Splatoon, but us cat lovers know who the real star is: the referee, Judd. The corpulent kitty oversees the Inklings' Turf Wars, raising and dropping flags in stupefied awe to whoever, respectively, won or lost. But when he's not busy judging, you'll find him in Inkopolis Plaza doing what every cat does best: napping.


In this world of aquatic-human hybrids, it's refreshing to see a full-blooded mammal within Splatoon's colorful cast. But why is that the case? The answer may lie in the Sunken Sea Scrolls, which imply a past that'd make any cat owner's heart break...


7. Katz (Tales of Symphonia)


This one might be cheating, although we never learn what exactly Katz are. In any case, they're a pot-bellied cat-like race who occupy nearly every town in the world of Tales of Symphonia, offering treasure hunting services and mini-game fun. There's even a hidden Katz Village in the far corners of Sylvarant, serving as a cozy little hamlet full of goods.

Racism is quite the heavy theme in Tales of Symphonia, as citizens of both Sylvarant and Tethe'alla fall prey to anti-Half-Elf propaganda. Thankfully, it would appear Symphonia's world is populated with cat lovers, as they embrace the mysterious nature of Katz with open arms. Just look at how touched they are when they help rebuild Luin! 


6. Cat Goomba (Super Mario 3D World)

I'm sorry, I know Cat Toad is the cutest of Super Mario 3D World's catfolk, but in my heart I know Cat Goomba is the greatest of them all. They're not just cute; their newfound jumping prowess is so fearsome that even Luigi is too panicked to fight back! 


...But that's just Luigi; actually, if he musters up the courage to fight back, he'll discover they're still defeated in one stomp. But they still try hard with their new feline persona, and that melts my heart enough to make me want one of my own. Seriously, why haven't they made a Cat Goomba plushie yet? 


5. Jibanyan (Yo-Kai Watch)


Paws of Fury! Jibanyan, the mascot of Level 5's Yo-Kai Watch series, is one of the first ghostly Yo-Kai you'll come across. A fire-breathing, two-tailed kitty, Jibanyan was once a cat named Rudy in a past life, until he was fatally run over by a truck. But a kitty's grudge runs deep; even now, he tries to challenge the truck that killed him, but fails every time. Why exactly does he go to such lengths? I'd tell you, but I'm getting chocked up just thinking about it...


Yo-Kai Watch has been gradually gaining momentum since it launched in Western territories last year, but apparent reports of its slowing down in Japan have dispelled any notions of Jibanyan taking down Pikachu. Whatever the case, I just can't get enough of his dancing animation while charging his Soultimate. It's so purrfectly adorable. 


4. Tangy (Animal Crossing)

Is there any cat in all of Animal Crossing more fascinating than Tangy? As much as I remain amused by Rover's stalking train hopping, all it takes is one look at Tangy's head to start asking questions. What's with all pores? The leaf sprouting between her ears? Was she actually born as a half-cat, half-orange hybrid, or was it plastic surgery gone horribly, horribly wrong?


I realize I'm asking this in a series where villagers can be robot frogs and mummy dogs, but those have logical answers: Ribbot was just built that way, and Lucky might've had a terrible accident. We get no such answer from Tangy, but in any case, she might want to watch out: villagers with the "lazy" personality are known to get pretty hungry, reeOWR.


3. King Tom (Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch)


That's Your Meowjesty, to you! Reigning over the province of Ding Dong Dell, this third-person-speaking cat was a great wizard in his heyday, but you wouldn't know it when we first meet him. Indeed, he's one of the many Other World residents who's fallen under Shadar's Brokenhearted spell, and so we first encounter him lounging about lazily in his throne room. Typical for a housecat, but not so much for a king. It's not until Oliver and Drippy cure his broken heart that he repays his debt by handing Oliver his old wand, setting his first real step as a full-fledged wizard.


By the way, they say every Other World denizen has a soulmate in the Real World, like two sides of the same coin. Could Oliver know King Tom's counterpart back in Motorville? Possible, but as seen above, Ding Dong Dell has something of a rat problem, so it's best not to linger on that...or is it?


2. The Cat Who Swims on the Ground (EarthBound Beginnings)


Ninten meets a number of enigmatic figures in the mystical Magicant, be it evil tree stumps, a legendary bard, a forgotten man...and yes, swimming cats. You can spot a couple swimming in the enchanted realm's waters, but it's The Cat Who Swims on the Ground that captivates us. Just how did it master the art of swimming through Magicant's cloudy landscape, and is it as blissful as it looks?


Even more impressive is how it can swim with only one paw above the ground, and so it engages Ninten in a guessing game: what does it have in the paw below? Rumors say it'll only give a prize to a girl, though. 


1. Palicoes (Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate)

The Felynes of Monster Hunter have never been afraid to hunt down meownsters, but their role as Palicoes in last year's Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate touched our hearts. Palicoes accompany the player right from the beginning, and can be customized with a wide variety of weapons and costumes. There's nothing quite as cathartic as being accompanied by a talking, fighting cat while on the prowl.

Oh, did I mention the existence of Sunset Isle, a Palico paradise where Felynes can engage in mini-games? Best of all: they can equip armor borrowed from famous video game characters via DLC. I mean, let's face it: who doesn't love dressing up their cats?


Last year, we had not one, but two Top 10 dog lists here at GameSkinny. To balance things out, here's a list featuring gaming's very best of what's really the greatest animal out there: cats, the stars of YouTube videos and meme images all across the internet.


And you can forget posers like Big the Cat or Bubsy the Bobcat; we're going to discuss the true feline stars of gaming. Who ranks among the greatest of gaming cats? The cutest? The fuzziest? The weirdest? Join us to see which cantankerous kitties made the cut.

Chrono Trigger Director Hopeful For New Version Of Classic Game Fri, 03 Jun 2016 07:21:28 -0400 Justin White

In a conversation with Game InformerChrono Trigger director and Final Fantasy VI  lead designer Takashi Tokita was quoted saying he would, "love to see a high-quality, high-end version," of the classic and beloved Squaresoft RPG for the Super Nintendo. 

Tokita says after the Final Fantasy VI development team finished with the sprawling RPG, they jumped right into building Chrono Trigger:

"At the end, we had a couple hundred working on the game at the same time. It was kind of like a grand festival – it was really fun. [Tetsuya] Nomura was actually creating the environment background pieces in Chrono Trigger – like the courthouse scene, that was created by him. But everyone probably enjoyed how we were able to do things we’d never done with Chrono Trigger. That was the most exciting part.”

But was careful to note that despite ravenous fan interest in a sequel, prequel, or reboot, and his own desire to revisit the classic game in some way, that Chrono Trigger in many ways represents lightning in a bottle and may be off-limits since Square and Enix became one. 

“It’s probably considered sacred since the companies merged,” he says. “It was essentially a dream mix between Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest; creating or exceeding what it was in its original form is a very difficult feat.”

We can still keep our fingers crossed for the future.

The best and worst moms of gaming Fri, 06 May 2016 09:30:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


These were only 10 of the absolutely astounding number of gaming mothers, and there's plenty more we could have looked at that deserved to be nominated for "best," "worst," or even "most insane."


What did you think of our picks, and who would you choose for the best and worst moms in gaming?


The Absolute Worst Mom Of Gaming: The Mom From Binding Of Isaac


Somehow even more visually terrifying than Alma and Queen Brahne put together, Isaac's mom is the epitome of bad motherhood. Much like Abraham, this parent hears god's voice telling her to kill her child... and she listens to it.


Whether by stabbing, stomping, or crushing, she's hell-bent on ending her own offspring in a very unpleasant way. Even if he lives, Isaac will forever have those fleshy leg-folds branded into his memory!



Dahlia Gillespie Silent Hill


A fanatical cultist, Dahlia is more concerned with what her daughter Alessa can offer their religion than with her daughter's actual well-being.


She tries to use Alessa as an incubator to birth an evil god, and when Alessa is terribly burned, Dahlia keeps her alive despite the extreme pain - not out of love, but out of a desire to keep her mad plot going.


Fortunately, the tables are turned at the end of the first Silent Hill. Of course, in the movie adaptation, Dahlia is a much more sympathetic character rather than an outright villain.



Deadbeat mom: YOU


It absolutely doesn't matter how hard you try, you're going to end up a deadbeat parent in any Fable game. All that adventuring and real estate buying will always have you leaving your spouse and kid at home, wishing you'd come around more often.


Divorce seems inevitable, unless you really put in a lot of time at the dinner table. Fable 3 in particular lets you be pretty terrible on the parenthood front... by allowing devastating child labor to continue to run rampant in your home city.


Since the Fable series lets you keep marrying and having more children as often as you'd like (in fact, some achievements require you to be polygamous or kill previous spouses!), you can end up with a ridiculous number of children, as seen below.



Living Through Your Children: Flemeth


If you want to be a powerful apostate witch who can shapeshift and sling spells, then Flemeth is a great mom... until you reach a certain age. Turns out Flemeth is so exceedingly long-lived because she keeps overtaking the bodies of her daughters to start life anew. Still, up till the whole “killing you” part, it seems like she'd be a useful mom to have.



Not Around Enough To Be Awful: Jimmy's Mom


Not only does this parental figure from Bully commit crimes against fashion, but she's not a great mother either. On the up side, she's as distant and uncaring as they come. Normally that would be a bad thing, but when you consider some of the other mothers on this list, essentially staying out of Jimmy's life isn't nearly the worst thing that could have happened.



A Thousand Lifetimes And Never Learned Parenting Skills: Sarah Sisulart


Both of the immortal moms in Lost Odyssey aren't going to be contenders for any “mother of the year” awards. Seth turns her son onto the criminal path, raising him as a pirate, and then abandons him for years (decades? It's not clear). The fact that he calls her “Maaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” as a middle-aged man is also of concern...


Sarah sort of takes the cake though. Thinking (erroneously) that her daughter has died, she becomes an evil witch haunting a mansion and kills anyone who comes inside – even attacking her own husband! Since she's immortal, the death of her child during her lifetime was a foregone conclusion and would have happened down the line anyway, so this was always going to happen.


After being talked down from psycho witch mode, she goes on incredibly dangerous adventures... with her two underage grandchildren. That's just bad parenting all around. I shutter to think of how nuts she'll go when they eventually die.



Pretty Awful But Sorta Redeems Herself: Queen Brahne


Definitely giving a run for her money on the “most horrifyingly obese mother” front, Queen Brahne from Final Fantasy IX was once kind and benevolent but was turned wicked and greedy after the death of her husband. She's pretty much every wicked stepmother ever, but taken to an even higher degree.


Nearly everyone hates her by the time she finally gets her comeuppance, having conquered a huge swathe of the world, turning on anyone who aided her, and even trying to kill her own adopted daughter, Garnet.


In her dying moments, she does admit all her wrongdoing and seeks forgiveness. Too little, too late?



Totally Up In The Air: Chrono's Mom


There are a couple of contenders on the mom front to be found in the hallowed RPG classic Chrono Trigger, from Lucca's disabled mother to the diabolical mother brain boss fought in the far future.


Chrono's unnamed mother is easily the most iconic, however, with her “Good morning Chrono!” line forever etched into the memories of kids who grew up in the '90s.


Despite giving her kid the only bed in the house and watching his cat while he goes on extended adventures, she's actually pretty inattentive, not seeming to realize or care when he's gone for months at a time. She does manage to finally ask about his whereabouts once... after he's been killed by Lavos.


In one ending, she foolishly chases a cat into a time portal that will never re-open, at which point Chrono strikes his victory pose, apparently happy with the turn of events.



Somehow The Best AND Worst: Alma


Whether Alma is an amazing mom or a terrible one is definitely up for debate. She's not happy that her children have been taken from her, and goes on a murderous revenge rampage against those who took them – although she goes more than a little overboard on that front.


She just wants her boys to get along, even if that means they have to become proficient killers together, and she's so enamored with being a mother that she rapes Becket at the end of F.E.AR. 2 to become pregnant again.



Totally The Best Mother: Mrs. Chu


This totally badass mom from Sleeping Dogs works hard to help her son in everything he does – including becoming a better criminal! When her son is killed, she tortures people with her meat cleaver to find out who was responsible.


When the real perpetrator is brought to her, she makes the murderer eat human meat and then viciously dismembers him. Now that's dedication to your kid's memory! How many kids can really say their mom would go that far to avenge their deaths?



With all the hardened soldiers, fantasy world saviors, and ace starship pilots across gaming, you might not expect "moms" to be a big character category, but you'd be wrong on that front.

There's hundreds of memorable mother characters across every genre of gaming, from loving and nurturing caregivers... to homicidal maniacs intending to eradicate their own offspring.


In honor of the impending Mother's Day celebrations, we're going to count down the best and worst moms of gaming, and even look at a few that blend those two extremes.