Fable 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Fable 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 5 Essential Things We Want From Fable 4 https://www.gameskinny.com/9gb7d/5-essential-things-we-want-from-fable-4 https://www.gameskinny.com/9gb7d/5-essential-things-we-want-from-fable-4 Fri, 31 Jul 2020 16:11:42 -0400 Daniel Hollis

When a new Fable got announced last week, many fans, including myself, cheered and rejoiced at the prospect of a new entry finally being delivered. After the wave of excitement faded, however, then settled in the feeling of trepidation: would the game we’ve waited a decade live up to our hopes and dreams?

Since the reveal, numerous rumors have emerged about the game being an MMO and not being the Fable 4 we all prayed for. According to a report by Windows Central, inside sources have confirmed this is not the case and the game will follow a more traditional Fable experience.

But what will that "traditional" experience contain? Or more importantly: what do fans want to see from a new Fable installment?

It may be easy to think that a simple fantasy setting and a ton of quests can appease the series' thousands of fans, but Fable is more than that. There’s a special formula running through the series and one that developer Playground Games will hopefully use to infuse their own ideas into the classic brew. 

Here's what we hope that looks like. 

5. Side Quests

While any open-world RPG can stuff a world with quests and NPCs taskmasters, there's an undeniably beautiful charm to the world of Fable. The series has very rarely delivered objectives such as "go here and kill X number of enemies". Instead, the Fable has evolved in each installment, adding more in-depth and carefully curated quest design to each subsequent entry.

I'm not talking about the main quest, which often expands in wonderful and strange new ways. Instead, I'm referring to the side quests that are often the star of the show, and the series has been home to some elaborate stories to delve into.

Fable 2 involved reanimating a corpse because a scientist wished to bring his dead girlfriend to life; it ended with hilarious results. On the other hand, Fable 3 involved stumbling across a Dungeons & Dragons-esque board game, where players were shrunk to jump into the adventure. 

Each game has been home to engaging excursions such as these, and we can only hope that Playground Games can dream up more memorable stories in which players can get lost. 

4. Humor

One thing most players recognize off the bat is that the Fable series is VERY British. It features a cast of characters with voice work from many British legends, such as Stephen Fry, Ben Kingsley, and James Corden. Each has made the world of Albion brim with life and personality.

Outside of the requisite accents, each game is incredibly funny, maintaining a tongue-in-cheek approach in each and every quest, side quest, and plot point. Sure, the narrative knows when to maintain its quintessential approach and jump into darker territory, but the rest of the game remains charming nonetheless.

Having that humor carry the player throughout enriches the overarching plot with many surprises, twists, and turns, something the lack of a serious narrative for, giving the developer freedom to go in any direction they want.

Maintaining that feeling will be a key component for the upcoming Fable — and one that the trailer confidently showcases.

3. Deeper Decisions

Each entry in the Fable series has played with the idea of making decisions; Fable 3 even placed players in the shoes of a king and allowed them to make impactful decisions on the kingdom at large. However, for the most part, these choices have felt shallow, detouring to the same ending.

With a new entry in the series and games in the past decade truly embracing split narrative threads throughout their stories, it's a concept that needs to be fully fleshed out in this new entry. 

Fable has always revolved around morality and how players' decisions determine whether they're bad or good, but there's never been much of a grey area. Having a sense of moral ambiguity will ensure that decisions are more impactful and resonate with players more throughout their adventure.

Also, having all those decisions lead to a dynamic conclusion will go a long way in making "Fable 4" stand out.

2. A Natural Open-World

Areas in previous have been highly detailed and carefully crafted, meaning that each is segmented, rather than playing as part of a larger open-world. Technical limitations have no doubt prevented crafting a world with the same scale of Skyrim, but now technology has caught up to those concepts and is ready to be implemented.

Playground Games have prided themselves on creating a beautiful open-world in the Forza Horizon series. Despite being primarily a world filled with cars, each entry feels alive, begging for exploration. Implementing that same feeling into the new Fable will be a key element for its success.

Fable 2 introduced the orb mechanic, which meant you could see other online players in the world as a small floating orb. Forza Horizon adopts something similar with its Drivatar mechanic. Merging the two could bring a deeper connection between the player and the world. 

Fable doesn't need a massive open-world filled with question marks to investigate or hundreds of mediocre quests and side quests. In fact, the world doesn't need to be massive at all. What it does need, however, is to be detailed and filled with the fairy-tale charm the series is known for, creating a world that is begging for exploration.

1. The Dog

Honestly, the dog in Fable 2 was pure genius, and it created a spectacular bond between the world and the player. Not only was it used in heartfelt situations, the dog was also a useful mechanic throughout the game.

They would sniff out treasure, dig spots, attack enemies, and assist in puzzles. It could have been easy to make each game feel like one giant escort mission, but the dog was smart enough to hold its own and was brimming with personality.

A new entry without a canine companion would feel like blasphemy at this point and completely eradicate a fan-favorite element from past entries. Implementing the dog in the newest Fable could make for dozens of brand new interactions and develop a more intense bond as graphics have evolved over the past 10 years. Honestly, Playground Games, make it happen!

What do you want to see in the new Fable? Let us know over on Twitter!

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Fable 4: Right These Wrongs & Revitalize the Franchise https://www.gameskinny.com/0vjpd/fable-4-right-these-wrongs-revitalize-the-franchise https://www.gameskinny.com/0vjpd/fable-4-right-these-wrongs-revitalize-the-franchise Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:26:43 -0500 Ty Arthur

Well, the cat's pretty well out of the bag at this point. What was first a rumor started by an offhand tweet is now gaining traction and being reported as legitimate news -- Fable 4 is coming!

An official announcement is expected soon that Playground Games -- the developer behind the Forza Horizon series -- is now taking up the Fable franchise after Microsoft shuttered Lionhead Studios back in 2016.

This is huge news for fans of the franchise, who were either bummed by the cancellation of asymmetric, free-to-play entry Fable Legends or just simply felt that was the wrong direction to take the franchise in the first place.

While we've had the Fable Fortune CCG to keep us occupied with a fun (if overly familiar) card game experience, frankly, it hasn't gained a large enough  base to be worthwhile for many players, and the game definitely failed to fully capitalize on the major elements of the Fable universe.

Although not everyone agrees, personally I can't wait for a Fable IV release date to be revealed, so long as we see some changes to the formula that don't stray too far from what makes Fable unique.

 Ready to don your chicken outfit once more?

Time For Updates ... Within Reason

There's always a gamble when a long-running series changes hands, and right now, much of Fable 4 is a gigantic question mark. 

Take Microsoft's other big series, for example. Gears Of War 4 changed studios and came out mostly great, keeping intact those things that people loved (horde mode, chainsaw duels, cover system) while adding in some new and innovative systems.

There were elements that longtime fans didn't love, but overall it was a solid entry in a strong franchise. The same can't be said for disasters like Dungeon Siege 3 or The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, however, where those franchises saw baffling changes in style that left fans scratching their heads (or flipping up their middle fingers).

Hopefully we don't see as radical a departure as with those botched series, but at the same time, we need a Fable overhaul. Now I'm going to admit something here that may put me in the minority, but ... I actually loved Fable III.

It was an extremely fun game with hours of hilarious entertainment. I couldn't get enough of tracking down evil lawn gnomes who berated me mercilessly, running a kingdom while wearing a purple chicken outfit, discovering the wonderfully bumbling Sam and Max during their misadventures mucking about with the Normanomicon, and so on.

That being said, there were flaws, and some big ones, that really need to be rectified during the development of Fable 4.

 Pro-tip: don't cast spells that bring inanimate objects to life.

Navigation

This is probably the first and biggest gripe any longtime fans of the series will bring up. Making the pause / menu / equipment screen into a separate area called the Sanctuary didn't make a lot of sense when a standard menu screen would have been a better option.

Having to go through a loading screen to enter the Sanctuary and then another loading screen to enter the armory to pick a different sword was just bad design, plain and simple.

The world map in the Sanctuary was also such a hit-or-miss affair. Sometimes using the magnifying glass for fast travel would plop you right outside the area you wanted to go ... and sometimes it would throw you at the far edge of the map so you had to trudge through yet another round of wolves and skeletons to get to your destination.

This got particularly frustrating when doing dozens of the exact same friendship missions to fetch or deliver something for every single NPC you wanted to like you. While we don't necessarily need to be led by the hand with the glowing trail, we also need a smoother way to navigate the world of Albion in Fable IV.

    Welcome to the worst menu screen ever

Don't Oversimplify Albion

Fable III went out of its way to simplify many of the elements from the previous games to cram more in, and that frequently backfired. The Road To Rule system was significantly too dumbed down, and frankly, not a good way to express RPG leveling.

Character development isn't the only area that could benefit from a bit of a spruce up, however. We really need to see more life given to the denizens of Albion. Fable's NPC interactions are the heart of the game, and Fable 4 needs to better distinguish the various villagers.

Romancing Carla the tavern wench should be a different experience than romancing than Phil the blacksmith, rather than just a copy/paste scenario where you choose slightly different expressions.  

On that note, an expansion on the the expression system is in order, which was simplified and toned down for Fable III. Pulling out most of the game menus and only giving extremely pared down options on which expression to use in a conversation felt like a big step backwards.

Albion as a whole could benefit from a scaling up by an order of magnitude into something more open -- think GTA, Skyrim, or Breath Of The Wild in scope -- which could really put Fable over the top and into the hallowed halls of gaming history.

In an open world, that annoying dog who only digs up paltry amounts of gold could become a faithful mount companion that plays a much bigger role.

 Who's a good boy? Honestly, not really you.

Story And Pacing Tweaks

Gaining allies and building up an army to topple a kingdom are standard fantasy fare that can be crafted into an epic and unforgettable story if presented in the right way.

Sadly, the second "half" of Fable III (which was really more like a quarter) plummeted off a cliff and went by far too fast. The ending was also fairly anti-climactic, as the final shadow invasion really didn't feel that dangerous and could have been significantly more epic.

The whole Fable experience could really be extended out with a bigger focus on post-story content to keep building up (or destroying) your empire and exploring the game world. Buying a mansion, having a family, and starting a real estate empire feels like it should be the start of an epic journey, and not the conclusion.

Fable Decisions and Consequences

What happened to the the transformation the main character undergoes when choosing good or evil options, and why doesn't it ever actually match what you see on the box art for the game? Fable III was sorely lacking on that front.

The series as a whole is supposed to be all about choice, so Fable 4 developer Playground Games needs to give us more. While it was fun (if perhaps totally out of place in the context of the story) to suddenly become significantly more evil and callous than the evil king you'd just deposed, the extremely binary good/bad choices at the end of the previous game really felt like they needed more nuance.

Why weren't there any middle-of-the-road options, and why couldn't you choose to do other things completely to solve those problems? Likewise, the game needs to display more reaction and consequences to the actions you take.

 Deciding between an orphanage or a brothel doesn't have much in-game effect

Improving And Expanding The "Fable-isms"

There are reasons people were excited about the first game, and promises of those same elements kept them coming back, from physically changing to match your alignment to the ability to buy real estate and marry anyone you want.

These options need to be brought back full force, and improved and expanded on. While Fable is one of the few games that lets you be a deadbeat mom or actually be there for your kids, it feels like the marriage and parenting systems need to be expanded in some meaningful ways that are less of an afterthought.

Likewise, the game's core mechanic of choosing between melee, ranged, or spell combat needs an overhaul. Shooting with a rifle was just objectively more powerful in Fable III than swordplay or waiting for a spell to power up. Combat as a whole has felt frequently too easy. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see Fable go the route of Dark Souls, but the combat could use some major tweaking.

Fable 4 Release Date 

While we don't know the release date yet, there are plenty of reasons to be excited for the impending Fable IV announcement

Playground Games is reportedly bringing on a very large team to tackle this "unnamed" RPG project, and while the developer's previous titles may not seem to lend themselves to the Fable style, having an established team with ample resources at hand suggests we might finally get something worthy of the series name.

The question is just what type of game should we expect? We know from developer interviews that Lionhead wanted to create a darker Fable 4, but was instead tasked with the games-as-a-service model with Fable Legends. While the humor has felt part and parcel to the series for a while now, I wouldn't mind seeing a grittier, more steampunk-y Albion more along the lines of Dishonored -- but if Playground goes full throttle into the humor instead, I can't say that would be a bad thing.

What do you think Fable 4 needs to do to succeed, and when do you think we'll finally get our hands on this long-sought game?

   ...and we're willing to wait a long time so long as the end product is worth it!

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Keep Your Memories: We Don't Need Fable 4 https://www.gameskinny.com/7bcm8/keep-your-memories-we-dont-need-fable-4 https://www.gameskinny.com/7bcm8/keep-your-memories-we-dont-need-fable-4 Thu, 04 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 ReverendShmitty

This article was originally published in 2017. With a potential Fable 4 reveal just around the corner, we take another look at why we might not really need another entry in the franchise. 

With the Fable series seemingly abandoned after the cancellation of Fable Legends, and the developer responsible for it shuttered, I'm left wondering why we're even talking about the fantasy franchise. Moreover, I'm particularly confused as to why Phil Spencer, head of Xbox for Microsoft himself, has hinted at the series having new offerings in the future.

Why am I confused? Allow me to explain.

What Fable Was Way Back When

Back in 2004, Lionhead Studios and their satellite company, Big Blue Box, developed Fable, a whimsical RPG set in a fantasy world called Albion. It was full of action with sword fights, magic, and monsters, all brought to life with a fantastic orchestral score and art style.

The game was praised for its setting, humor, and feeling of free will, and sold over 600,000 copies in its first month alone. It eventually surpassed 3 million sold and spawned two direct sequels: Fable 2 and Fable 3.

In 2008, Fable 2 largely followed the formula of its predecessor, added features touted for the first title -- such as the ability to have children -- and received overall great reviews. The game went on to sell over 3.5 million copies and was the Xbox 360's best selling RPG for years.

Unfortunately, in 2010, Fable 3 followed the formula for game aspects that needed innovation, while renovating other parts that would have been better off left alone.

Although Fable 3 received generally positive reviews, it was also heavily criticized for the lack of innovation prevalent throughout the title.

After this, the Fable series was pulled back and put into a period of silence while developers mulled over what to do. This eventually led to the reveal of Fable: The Journey in 2011 at E3.

Released in Fall 2012, Fable: The Journey was an on-rails action-RPG that required the Kinect to play. The game was a sharp turn away from the series' roots, and received divisive reviews for its pivot to a casual shooter-esque magic game.

Deciding to shake it up again, Lionhead created Fable Heroes, a beat-em-up brawler that garnered largely negative reviews, leaving the franchise's future uncertain.

In 2013, Lionhead teased Fable Legends, a a free-to-play online co-op RPG, meant to have a 5-10 year life cycle. The game featured an open beta and would be the first in the series to be cross-compatible with Windows 10. Then, in December 2015 the game was delayed to the following year, where it was cancelled only three months later.

One month later, Lionhead Studios was shut down.

Would Fable Even Work Today? 

With rumblings from Phil Spencer about a potential sequel in the series being handled by Microsoft, we're left wondering one thing: why?

The very studio that created it is no more, and half the series has been less than stellar. The last three titles were all deviations not just from the original formula, but the genre as a whole. The core gameplay of the series was missing from Legends, Heroes, and Journey, with them largely being Fable installments only in name.

Even the games that were great had flaws that were never fixed.

The combat has always been too easy, with no aiming needed. Likewise, magic and ammunition were infinite in both Fable 2 and 3, meaning melee combat was not only unnecessary but also underpowered. Similarly, the games lacked story arcs in their side missions, and had little depth beyond the main story -- which was often incredibly short.

In the third game, simple things like inventory management, using the map, and giving gifts were all delegated to the "Sanctuary", which was cumbersome and required additional loading screens. The game was also prone to frame drops, and most areas were cut into small portions that had to be loaded in, leading to even more loading screens

NPCs had little to say and were delegated largely to just emotes, which left the game feeling empty despite the population. New additions to the series such as co-op and weapon morphing were both heavily limited by DLC, and the hero's child was randomly named and spawned without any player input.

Even the classic 'Good versus Evil' -- which the original game became famous for -- is now outdated.

Games like Mass Effect pushed the Renegade and Paragon options for three titles then abandoned it for Mass Effect: Andromeda to create a more compelling and realistic narrative. The Witcher series has been highly praised for its outstanding narrative which exists entirely in shades of grey.

Other titles that came out in the same years as Fable titles, such as Oblivion, Skyrimand The Witcher 1 and 2, all had much deeper progression and stories.

Reviving a core Fable installment in this day and age would require so much reworking that the teams involved would be far better off creating a brand new title unfettered by the shackles of the game's lore, history, and reputation. This is even more pertinent now that developers such as CD Projekt Red have gone on to make massive hits like The Witcher 3, which truly show what a proper RPG is capable of, both in story, gameplay, and graphics.

The very core of the game is simply outdated and doesn't need to be reinvented. We can appreciate what it was without trying to resurrect it and make it into something it isn't. The series will always be remembered fondly for its early installments when the concepts they introduced were new, but that doesn't mean we need them now.

Classics are classics not for what they are but for what they were.

Microsoft has a lot of great studios who can make something new and exciting from the ground up. Something we haven't seen and played before. Something to truly compete with today's outstanding RPG catalog. Something Fable, for all its fond moments, will never be.

But if you're really hankering for some Fable action, you can play the HD-remake of the original and Lost Chapters expansion: Fable: Anniversary.

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5 Best Animal Companions in Western RPGs https://www.gameskinny.com/rty72/5-best-animal-companions-in-western-rpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/rty72/5-best-animal-companions-in-western-rpgs Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:00:01 -0500 Emily Parker

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/w/2/bw2-creatures-3f959.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/w/2/bw2-creatures-3f959.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148287","description":"
While not an RPG, An Honorable Mention to the creatures from Black & White 2
\n

It was tempting to venture outside of the Western RPG genre, as there are plenty of creatures in all types of video games that leave a lasting impression. From our favorite Pokemon to the one and only Epona, video games are a wonderful medium to replicate the bond between animals and humans.

\n

For those of us that always prioritize our in-game animal companions -- here's to hoping the trend to include them in RPGs never fades. Who is your favourite?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/9/5/495883b77687839.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/9/5/495883b77687839.png","type":"slide","id":"148286","description":"
World of Warcraft Vanilla -- Echeyakee
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As you can see, Sanchez is still by my side 10 years later in "Legion."

\n

A skilled hunter and their pet could get quite a lot accomplished in Vanilla WoW, or could be a total disaster. Choosing a pet was both a declaration of your play style and a way to set yourself apart from the rest of the players out there. There was no wrong choice, but some pets held more clout than others.

\n

One of the first rare pets to become available was Echeyakee, or White Mist. He required a horn from a quest to summon, so if you tamed him your quest would remain incomplete. This particular pet model was only available one more time for a much higher level quest, so if you wanted a white-maned lion, it was best to get Echeyakee and level him with you.

\n

Though there was nothing that set him apart stat-wise from any other cat in the game, putting in that extra effort to tame him -- and his flashy white mane -- will make us remember him for years to come.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowmere-a9eb9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowmere-a9eb9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148284","description":"
Skyrim - Shadowmere
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Shadowmere is the real deal and consequently takes quite an effort to obtain in Skyrim. If you were looking for a quick way to get around Tamriel -- that simultaneously will tank any foe you get in a scrap with -- this horse is well worth your effort.

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Shadowmere has quite a bit more health than normal horses, and she even has faster health regeneration. While she doesn't do much damage, it's pretty easy to start relying on this demon horse on your adventures, especially those that happen outside of dungeons.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/b/fable2-22203.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/b/fable2-22203.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148281","description":"
Fable II - Dog
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Fable II was a game meant to pull at your heartstrings, and a great way to accomplish that was the early introduction of your dog companion.

\n

With upgradeable stats, tricks and a constantly full affection meter, it was hard not to bond with your Dog. As your character became good or evil, so did your faithful doggo. Such loyal.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/d/med-1433441100-image-e649a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/d/med-1433441100-image-e649a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148274","description":"
The Witcher 3 -- Roach
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The Witcher has an interesting relationship with his mares. Each is named Roach, which loses a bit of its charm in translation. It is meant to be a kind of pet name, after a common fish.

\n

Roach can be fearful, stubborn and easily distracted -- which only adds to her charm. Geralt agrees, "A witcher's horse isn't a normal animal. Constant contact with magic beverages and signs must have left a mark."

\n

For some serious information on the development of Roach in The Witcher 3, check out this video.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/g/dogmeat1-e1114.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/g/dogmeat1-e1114.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148271","description":"
Fallout 4 -- Dogmeat
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Thank you, Bethesda, for continuing to improve and include Dogmeat in the Fallout 4 universe.

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A steady companion to the Sole Survivor in Fallout 4, Dogmeat remains totally loyal, regardless of a player's decisions. He's also a huge asset to your crew. Dogmeat fights along side you, helps locate loot and enemies and is essential for quite a few tracking quests in the wasteland.

\n

Best of all, he can be outfitted with collars, bandanas and even a helmet. Who's a cute Dogmeat?!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowmere-creathor4005-d670qc4-10272.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowmere-creathor4005-d670qc4-10272.png","type":"slide","id":"148264","description":"

A journey's not a journey without a faithful companion at your side. And if you have to have the very best animal companions by your side during your RPG escapades like me, then this list is for you.

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For some players, it's difficult to bond with an artificial creature. For others, it's a priority. While this last group of people can usually manage in any game, we really appreciate it when a title makes it easy on us. 

There have definitely been some animal companions that stood out for us throughout the years. Here's a list of the 5 best animal companions in Western RPGs.

"}]]]>
Great Concept, Poor Implementation: Why I Won't Be Switching To The Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/muac3/great-concept-poor-implementation-why-i-wont-be-switching-to-the-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/muac3/great-concept-poor-implementation-why-i-wont-be-switching-to-the-switch Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:00:01 -0500 TL Bickler

I have lost interest in Nintendo consoles. Like many people my age, I grew up on Nintendo and I keep hoping they will learn from their mistakes; but with each new console they repeat the same mistakes. Here’s a recap of Nintendo's failures that have led me to spend my money elsewhere.

It all started with the Nintendo Wii’s revolutionary remote control design that peaked the interest of even the most casual gamer. It was the first controller that made you get off your butt (what a thought!) and move your body. That is until you realize you could achieve the same results with a flick of your wrists. But no matter your level of laziness, Nintendo had something special with their new system and the world was waiting to see how they would use it.

Sadly, Wii owners were rather disappointed when Nintendo didn't utilize what they had. Nintendo cut themselves off from most of the bigger titles due to their own uniqueness and failed to provide much in the way of unique titles for their system. The Wii remote made RPGs and most other games about as enjoyable as a three day road trip with your kid sister. The glitchy controller made play frustrating as fans cursed their Wii's and urged it to just point at the right spot, or to register the flick of their wrist before their character died.

With people flocking (or in some cases fleeing) to the PS3 and Xbox 360’s better graphics and wider variety of story driven RPGs, Nintendo had to do something to keep up. That’s when we got the Wii U and its rather bulky new controller.

While better than its predecessor, Nintendo still gave the world a limited console and the same few games. Nintendo’s unique interface restricted game developers from converting their bigger titles -- like Tomb Raider and Skyrim -- to Nintendo’s system. Thus leaving Nintendo with the same problem as the Wii and still no solutions.

A Ray Of Sunshine

I know I’ve spent the past few paragraphs bashing Nintendo, but I am still a fan of their games. I just refuse to buy into their poorly designed systems. It still looks like Nintendo is focusing too hard on being different and not enough on implementation. Even so, the Switch looks promising, but there are still a few key things I’d need to see before I ever invest in a Nintendo console again.

Stop Changing Your Systems Like a Woman Changes Her Mind!

Nothing is more frustrating than investing your hard earned money on a system that is outdated the next year. Or if it’s not the system, it’s a new controller you have to buy to play the latest Zelda game (which if we’re honest, Zelda is the real reason people buy a Nintendo console). If I were to keep up with Nintendo’s constant system and controller changes, I’d end up on a street corner holding a sign to pay for my meals. But hey, I'd have the latest Nintendo equipment to look at as I sat in my new cardboard house!

Better NEW Games

Nintendo wasn’t made great due to their graphics, so the lack of graphical power isn’t what keeps me from buying a Nintendo console. What would make me spend my paycheck on their new system is if they produced games that made me want to buy them. Sony ripped out our hearts with The Last of Us and Microsoft sent us on an adventure with Fable 2. The Wii U gave us another Zelda game and the ability to play with eight people in Smash Bros (nice touch but I’ll hold onto my wallet for now).

What?! Zelda isn’t enough for you?!

Nope. Not when I can enjoy plenty of Zelda titles on my Wii (which includes GameCube games) and my N64. If they came out with something new, preferable an RPG that plays without the glitchiness of the old Wii remote, then I might consider purchasing a Switch. Since their new controller can switch to a traditional controller, I am hopeful. But Nintendo still added in the problematic motion controls to their new Joy-Con, and I’m a little skeptical. The past two motion based controllers have failed us; why would a third be any different?

A Bigger Memory

I have to admit; I like big games and I cannot lie. The Switch will release with only 32GB of storage. This is sad when both of the competition's cheapest systems come with 500GB. Imagine installing a large file game like Skyrim on a pathetic 32GB! While I know the memory is expandable, I still prefer to start with a decent sized base. 32GBs is acceptable for a cell phone storage space, but is not an acceptable game console storage space.

While I took one look at the Wii U and knew I’d never buy one, the Switch has potential to change my mind. They finally have a unique system that might keep up with the competition. But it will depend on if they can release games that are current (and not five years old) and free of annoying motion control glitchiness. I guess only time will tell if Nintendo has learned from their past consoles or if their mistakes will finally drag them under.

]]>
My Top 7 Video Game Soundtracks https://www.gameskinny.com/8ke7k/my-top-7-video-game-soundtracks https://www.gameskinny.com/8ke7k/my-top-7-video-game-soundtracks Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:14:10 -0500 DannyPTP

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And thus, the list has come to an end. What video game soundtracks do you enjoy? Is there a particular piece of music that you adore? Comment below and I'll give it a listen!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7bd113455f6a31c17889e021a6988850.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7bd113455f6a31c17889e021a6988850.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10140","description":"
1. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
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Composers: Jeremy Soule, Julian Soule
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Hands up who saw this coming!

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While Skyrim had a fantastic soundtrack, I feel that Oblivion takes the sweet roll in almost every way!

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The story of Oblivion's soundtrack is an interesting one. Composer Jeremy Soule had been in a car accident, while he escaped unscathed, he has said that it had a profound experience on Oblivion's soundtrack, saying that he wanted 'to comment on the human condition and the beauty of life.'

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There's definitely a sense of beauty and wonderment to the game's soundtrack, from the relaxing string compositions that you may hear while exploring a town, talking to the many NPCs you run into, to the eerie and slow compositions heard while exploring a dungeon, waiting for an enemy to jump out at you from a dark corner.

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Soule has captured the essence of how an adventure should be, giving us a sense of potential safety when in a city and to be ready for anything once you step out those gates into the open world.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/6682c19b236a95e56d3797e95cf3dff0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/6682c19b236a95e56d3797e95cf3dff0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10138","description":"
2. Kingdom Hearts II
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Composers: Yoko Shimomura, Kaoru Wada
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The Kingdom Hearts series has given us some brilliant music over the years, but for me, Kingdom Hearts II is still my favourite in terms of soundtrack, with original music like "The Encounter" and remixes of classic Disney songs such as "He's A Pirate" (Pirates of the Caribbean) and "Under The Sea" (The Little Mermaid) all composed by the legendary Yoko Shimomura.

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Since most of the game's worlds are represented by Disney, you can expect many happy and bouncy tunes but when the game calls for a serious moment, the music delivers exceptionally well, a fine example is the track "Sinister Shadows" which plays in a few battles including 'The 1000 Heartless Battle' among others.

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Also a wonderful piece of music is the song "Sanctuary/Passion" sung by Utada Hikaru, whom also provided vocals the song "Simple And Clean/Hikari" in Kingdom Hearts.

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With more games on their way, it's going to be interesting to see what Shimomura and Hikaru have in the pipeline.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f57a4845755c97046eff679636adc850.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f57a4845755c97046eff679636adc850.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10135","description":"
3. Rayman
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Composer: Remi Gazel
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Here comes that wave of nostalgia again!

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Rayman is an absolute gem when it comes to music... there's even a world based around musical instruments!

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Composed by Remi Gazel, each track used in the 5 worlds presented in the game, represents them perfectly, such as birds and woodland creatures heard while exploring the Dream Forest to the wind howling while surviving the treacherous Blue Mountains.

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Some tunes are bouncy, others peaceful and happy, while some have you taking careful steps to make sure you survive that next jump. Trust me folks, Rayman may look cute and innocent, but deep inside is a game that's going to take no prisoners. Be prepared before you set foot into this game!

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But we must learn to appreciate the work of art that is the soundtrack, because when a game is kicking us about, at least the music helps make it that bit sweeter once you beat a level.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8b75ab45c4fb68e6fed369cab05780de.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8b75ab45c4fb68e6fed369cab05780de.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10134","description":"
4. Silent Hill 2
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Composer: Akira Yamaoka
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Silent Hill 2 gives you a sense of wonderment in every sense, from gameplay and characters, to story and soundtrack, which have you questioning every moment in the game.

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Akira Yamaoka gives his all in this game, with music that can grip your heart and either tear it from your chest or twist it, making it hard to comprehend what's happening as you solve puzzles and avoid monsters making your way through darkened and rusted corridors solving the mystery of how your dead wife sent you a letter.

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As shown above "Magdalene" offers a sense of loss and confusion, making you wonder how you can go on and continue, while the track "Betrayal" uses a clanking sound to go along with the music to deliver a notion that it's time to realise what you've been fighting for and face up to it with no backing down.

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An absolute masterpiece of a soundtrack should never go unrecognised and this will stand the test of time for years to come.

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5. Spyro 2: Gateway To Glimmer/Ripto's Rage
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Composer: Stewart Copeland
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Ah... the waves of nostalgia have crashed over me and they're delightful!

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The first four Spyro games music scores were composed by Stewart Copeland, ex-drummer of The Police and the man can certainly compose.

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Spyro 2 has the most nostalgia music for me as it was the first game in the series that I owned and one I can come back to again and again.

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Here Copeland offers excellent scores which he composed by playing through the levels first, to get a feel for how the music should fit into each world.

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You can certainly hear the wintery tones in Winter Tundra, the excitement of being in Sunny Beach and the tranquil tones that are perfectly captured in Aquaria Towers.

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Each theme offers a sense of adventure that excels in presenting what Spyro should be about; freedom to be able to explore to your heart's content.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/363071f621e31e2ef78b3c74f61c6993.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/363071f621e31e2ef78b3c74f61c6993.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10128","description":"
6. Fable 2
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Composers: Russell Shaw, Danny Elfman
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While not the greatest game to grace the Xbox 360 market, Fable 2 still held it's own in the music department, offering beautiful set pieces and choirs to fit in with the era the game is set in. (Colonial for those interested!)

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Composed by Russell Shaw with additional help on the main theme by none other than Danny Elfman, each musical piece perfectly fits with each area you explore from the hustle and bustle of Bowerstone Market witnessing NPCs going about their daily business, to the creepy, dark and depressing manner of the swampy, banshee filled Wraithmarsh, which also has elements of Oakvale (From Fable) making the player question what caused the town to become so run down the first time they set foot into this dreary place, before finding out exactly what happened during the main quest later on.

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The game also has a touching tribute to a developer whom had worked on Fable: The Lost Chapters, The Movies and Black & White 2. Heard behind a Demon Door in Fairfax Castle is the song "Marcus' Memorial", a peaceful and relaxing song that itself is a re-master of "Avo's Temple" from the original Fable, which can also be heard in Fable II's pause menu. A simple, but lasting tribute, something that can be appreciated by all.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/21ba2e22afba1e78ba50c2ef3cffab0c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/21ba2e22afba1e78ba50c2ef3cffab0c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10127","description":"
7. Devil May Cry 4
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Composers: Tetsuya Shibata, Kento Hasegawa, & Akihiko Narita
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While I'm not the biggest Devil May Cry fan, having only played this and DmC, I can definitely appreciate the work put in by primary composer Tetsuya Shibata, as well as Shusaku Uchiyama, Kota Suzuki, Akihiko Narita, Rei Kondoh, Chamy Ishikawa and Shinichiro Satoh whom also contributed.

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With hard rock/heavy metal tones for battle scenes giving the perfect scenario to beat down any demon in any way you like to dark and gothic overtones for an incredible atmospheric approach to exploring areas and wondering how to solve a puzzle efficiently to gain that SSS ranking at the end of a section.

\n

The game I feel, has something for a lot of people. The main theme "Out of Darkness" is a beautiful, operatic opening which greatly shows off the vocal talents of Aubrey Ashburn, as well as describe the connection between Nero and Kyrie and the battles they face to be together.

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The music definitely suits the atmosphere of the game and delivers on the demon slayer aspect.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/n/link-playing-ocarina-ocarina-time-64da8.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/n/link-playing-ocarina-ocarina-time-64da8.png","type":"slide","id":"146468","description":"

Ah music. How it can influence us. From getting us pumped up for the day ahead to making us sit in silence, thinking about what life has brought us and to what lies ahead, music has impacted everyone in more ways than they realise.

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Video games can also impact us in different ways, from story and gameplay elements, to that plot twist you never saw coming, and with the right music to accompany each moment, there's always something that makes you feel ready to defeat the next boss or take your time as you explore a newly discovered dungeon to find the wonders within.

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Here's the soundtracks that please my ears each and every time I hear them.

"}]]]>
Someone Shit in My Sandbox: When Open World Games Don't Deliver https://www.gameskinny.com/1kbia/someone-shit-in-my-sandbox-when-open-world-games-dont-deliver https://www.gameskinny.com/1kbia/someone-shit-in-my-sandbox-when-open-world-games-dont-deliver Fri, 25 Nov 2016 03:00:01 -0500 chopchamen

Open world sandbox games, the magic of Skyrim, the wonders in Red Dead Redemption, The craziness of Saints Row. These companies know how to do it! A giant map with loads of activities to do, taking any approach you feel for your current objective. 

By definition a sandbox game would be a game where you can go anywhere you want, and take a situation in any way you see fit. So what about those companies that failed to do that?

Like Bungie, talking about Destiny at a presentation saying "All that stuff, if you ran out there, it's all playable terrain" while they were looking at places outside of the map where you cannot traverse, even to this day. Destiny would be a completely different game had it allowed you to traverse those huge wide open spaces, and it probably would have steered them in a different direction concerning the enemies you might encounter, or the events that would happen. Imagine having to fight a giant monster as part of an event (Like Oryx on Kings Fall raid kind of big.)

Or there is the case of Fable II, which claims to be open world. While it can be seen that way, it's also very linear, only offering you a few routes to take in between objectives.

And as much as I enjoy Metal Gear Solid V, I have to admit it's also this way in certain areas. As infinite as the tactics seem on this game, why wouldn't you be able to snipe from the cliffs in the maps? They already have the limitations on the outskirts, I don't see why you cant climb a cliff with some sort of tool.

If you could have access to every part of the map entirely, it would add much more depth to planning your approach, effectively increasing the replay value, or at the very least appease someone who enjoys sniping.

While these are just my opinions, I feel like these games could be much better if they didn't have these limitations. What do you think? Do you have anything to add to this subject? Let me know in the comments!

]]>
1995-2016: Top 5 Conferences in the History of E3 https://www.gameskinny.com/tt26c/1995-2016-top-5-conferences-in-the-history-of-e3 https://www.gameskinny.com/tt26c/1995-2016-top-5-conferences-in-the-history-of-e3 Fri, 17 Jun 2016 05:34:49 -0400 Phil Fry

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E3 2016: Present Day Hype 
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E3 2016 has come a long way since the '96 conference of the N64.

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This year's conference is on this list for several different reasons. Admittedly, I may be letting all of the hype influence this listing -- but thus far, this year's conference has been full of exciting developments and showcases. 

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One of the dominant features that has many gamers talking is Nintendo's latest Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildThe gameplay footage that we have seen so far illustrates that the game is taking a turn away from the conventional aspects of the series and placing more emphasis on exploration and player choice akin to the original NES game. Link is able to jump on command, mountains can be scaled, and environments manipulated. 

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Furthermore, the vastness of the new Hyrule has been said to be far more expansive than any previous iteration of the series, and as a long-time Zelda fan, I am hyped to play this game. The first 20 minutes of gameplay shown left me impressed and much more excited than I honestly expected to be.

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But Zelda alone is not the only hype-worthy game from this year's conference. Bethesda's Dishonored 2, which involves Emily Kaldwin as a playable character, promises to further develop the story of the Empire of the Islands. Bethesda also showcased their reboots of Prey and Quake -- and announced an HD remake of their popular Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, which is also allowing console users access to mods for the first time. 

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Double Fine's Psychonauts VR gameplay was shown utilizing PlayStation's VR,  BioWare's Mass Effect Andromeda made an appearance, Gears of War 4, We Happy Fewand Microsoft's new project Scorpio are just touching the surface of the kinds of announcements we've seen so far, making this year's conference one of the most noteworthy in recent history. 

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Which conferences do you remember the most? What announcements left you in awe? What are some of your favorite E3 moments of all time? 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/4d71fd930f2fcd2dd322a98d37570173.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/4d71fd930f2fcd2dd322a98d37570173.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8885","description":"
E3 2013: Long Awaited Sequels 
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E3 2013 was a conference in which many gamers saw sequels that had been, and in some cases are still, long-awaited. Perhaps one of the biggest sequels announced was Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts 3. The series had not seen a true sequel since Kingdom Hearts 2 back in 2005, 8 years prior to the 2013 conference. Countless fans rejoiced at the announcement. 

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Despite the Kingdom Hearts series containing numerous handheld games that enriched the game's story and characters, and HD remakes, many gamers had been anxious for a Kingdom Hearts 3 for the entirety of a console generation. 

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[image via My Nintendo News]

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Nintendo gave the announcement date ofPikmin 3, another sequel that was long-awaited for a whole console generation. 

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DICE's reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront was first shown, another highly anticipated sequel, after the popular two games from two generations ago were left in limbo. 

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Other notable sequels of this E3 conference included: Final Fantasy XV, The Witcher 3, and Dark Souls II. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/676967366849e3e0606cad182ec7fc53.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/676967366849e3e0606cad182ec7fc53.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8859","description":"

[E306 - Halo 3 trailer from The Microsoft Briefing]

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E3 2006: A New Generation 
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The 2006 conference is on this list for several different reasons. Primarily, it was the conference in which the first line-up of memorable last generation console games were shown and discussed. 

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Microsoft had a particularly notable conference due to Halo 3, which was highly anticipated at the time and saw gameplay innovations like Forge mode, and the ability to save gameplay footage in Theater mode. During the game's first 24 hours of being released, more than one million players were on the game with Xbox Live. Halo 3's multiplayer was finely tuned, and the game holds a special place in my memories because of the individuals I met playing the game and the community experience that revolved around it.  

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Microsoft also showed a trailer for Lionhead's Fable 2, another anticipated sequel -- the first Fable being a notable RPG for its utilization of player choice in the story. 

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Nintendo's conference set a release date for the innovative Wii, with fantastic games like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Super Mario Galaxy. At the 2004 conference, many remember the first unveil of Twilight Princess, with Shigeru Miyamoto coming on-stage wielding Master Sword and Hylian Shield to the rallying cries of fans. This Zelda game featured innovative motion controls, arguably some of the best boss fights in Zelda history, and a darker story in nature the series hadn't seen since Majora's Mask. 

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Apart from Zelda, Super Mario Galaxy featured a new take on 3D platformers, allowing Mario to traverse planet-like platforms through space in full rotation. The game also featured a fully-orchestrated soundtrack that's almost reminiscent of Studio Ghibili style sounds. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/cb2e259b385bf55d492e36d1e2911064.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/cb2e259b385bf55d492e36d1e2911064.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8857","description":"
E3 2001: Developments in Competitive Gaming 
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At the E3 conference of 2001, Nintendo's GameCube first made its appearance, Microsoft's initial Xbox game line-up was unveiled, and Sega's Dreamcast made its last appearance. 

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Nintendo's games included titles like: Super Smash Bros Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, Pikmin, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, and Luigi's Mansion. 

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Melee alone sparked the formation of competitive Smash Bros communities across the United States and Japan. The fighting game scene centered on Melee saw a history of technique developments like Wave Dashing, Dash Dancing, and the overall development of character play-styles. Player names like Mew2King, Mango, Leffen and Armada were (and are) widely known names in the Smash Bros community for their high level of play. To this day, Melee remains a highly competitive game that is featured in MLG events such as Anaheim. 

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Another major event of the 2001 conference was the Microsoft conference that featured the first installment of the critically acclaimed Halo franchise.

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[via Halo Nation]

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The FPS Halo: Combat Evolved, which gave rise to the machinima style series Red vs Blue, was innovative in the development for split-screen and multiplayer experiences, and went on to release incredibly popular sequels like Halo 2 and 3Halo 2 would be the primary feature of MLG's Pro Series in 2006, which was the first televised video game console league. 

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[Nintendo 64 U.S. Unveiling @ E3 '96 in Los Angeles, California]

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E3 1996: 3D Interactive Environments 
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At the second ever E3 conference, there were several revolutionary developments showcased. Starting with what is arguably the most prominent of the conference, Nintendo's 64-bit and first 3D console, the N64, made its premier appearance at the '96 E3. The game shown alongside it was the widely-known Super Mario 64. The game's innovative interactive 3D environment, the N64's analog control stick, and the ability to change camera angles in-game, surely blew the minds of many gamers of the day.

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For myself and gamers of my generation, the N64 was the first console we owned (I still own mine), and became the console of our childhoods. The N64 went on to see games like Super Smash Bros, Star Fox 64, Kirby 64: the Crystal Shards, Pokemon Snap, and countless other titles that defined a new generation of gaming -- and that's not even mentioning all of the classic Rare games on the console as well. 

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Besides Nintendo, this 1996 conference saw the reveal of Square's (Now Square Enix) Final Fantasy VII, which won countless gaming awards in 1997, and has gone on to be considered one of the greatest games ever made. 

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[via Wikipedia]

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Other games featured at the second conference included Naughty Dog's Crash Bandicoot, Blizzard's StarCraft, Tomb Raider, and Capcom's Resident Evil. Pretty big year.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logo-cf85b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/g/logo-cf85b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"122458","description":"

E3 2016 is finally coming to an end. With each day of the conference new and exciting games were unveiled -- and the hype is real, especially after Nintendo's gameplay footage reveal of the highly-anticipated Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I know that I have been thoroughly impressed with the footage I've seen of the game, and I think it's safe to say that many longtime Zelda fans and gamers are very interested in playing the game. 

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Since E3's beginning in 1995, there have been conferences in which certain games have received similar levels of hype. And in this article, we are going to look at 5 of the best E3 conferences based on the games or consoles that were revealed during that year, and often times the historical developments of gaming these specific games contributed towards. 

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This list was difficult to make, particularly because at each conference there is typically at least a few major games announced, and what I may consider a substantial reveal may not be what someone else considers significant. But in the history of E3, these are my top 5 conferences. This list is not ordered in terms of one conference holding more significance than another, but instead goes from earliest to latest conference year. 

"}]]]>
10 Decisions That Suck No Matter Which Side You Choose https://www.gameskinny.com/nup9p/10-decisions-that-suck-no-matter-which-side-you-choose https://www.gameskinny.com/nup9p/10-decisions-that-suck-no-matter-which-side-you-choose Tue, 24 May 2016 06:58:49 -0400 Justin White

Games and media in this day and age are all about choice and the moral grey. Is this the right decision? Is it the wrong decision? Is it neither--with a negative outcome either way? This top ten list explores those latter types of decisions and choices, like having to choose which member of your squad will live or die, or whether or not to side with a particular group in a dispute--either way, the outcome will suck for somebody.

WatchMojo.com's top 10 list of the hardest gaming decisions they've had to make will contain spoilers for the following games:

  • Dragon Age II
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Fable II
  • Mass Effect
  • Infamous 
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Deus Ex
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • L.A. Noire
  • The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series

Which choices you had to make haunted to you?

]]>
Microsoft Shutters Lionhead Studios https://www.gameskinny.com/5fe6m/microsoft-shutters-lionhead-studios https://www.gameskinny.com/5fe6m/microsoft-shutters-lionhead-studios Sat, 30 Apr 2016 04:38:28 -0400 Capt. Eliza Creststeel

In March of this year, Microsoft pulled the plug on Fable Legends and announced a "proposed closure" of their award-winning developer Lionhead Studios.

"After much consideration we have decided to cease development on
Fable Legends
, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK."

Today, they made it official.

The released Microsoft statement reads:

"We can confirm that after much consideration over the six-week consultation period with Lionhead employees, we have reached the decision to close Lionhead Studios. We have nothing but heart-felt thanks for the team at Lionhead for their significant contributions to Xbox and the games industry."

The statement goes on to say that Microsoft is still committed to other development communities in Europe and the UK. This would include such companies like Moon Studios (Ori), Remedy (Quantum Break) and Rare, Ltd., which is currently developing Sea of Thieves.

Lionhead's last project, Fable Legends, had been in development since 2012. Though a closed beta started in October of 2014, the game stagnated until April 13th of this year -- when it was officially shut down. Customers who had made in-game purchases will be refunded.

The 'consultation period' was likely a formality due to UK law regarding company closures. The company's website has been closed as well, but staff members are posting goodbyes on various social media outlets, including the artwork seen above.

Lionhead's Founder and somewhat controversial figure Peter Molyneux had left the company in 2012 to start a new firm 22Cans, with former Lionhead CTO Tim Rance. Molyneux had often come under fire for being overly enthusiastic and embellishing on features in developing titles, which would often disappoint or underwhelm upon release.

Lionhead Studios received numerous accolades over their 20 years, including 3 BAFTA Awards for Black and White, The Movies and Fable II. Fable also won the Play Magazine Best Overall Game of the Year in 2005, IGN's Best Original Score (2004) and 1UP's Best RPG (2004). 

]]>
Remembering the 360: The Must-Have Xbox Exclusives https://www.gameskinny.com/zo1iq/remembering-the-360-the-must-have-xbox-exclusives https://www.gameskinny.com/zo1iq/remembering-the-360-the-must-have-xbox-exclusives Thu, 21 Apr 2016 10:56:00 -0400 Ian Ilano

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Conclusion

\n

Like few consoles before it, the Xbox 360 managed to redefine gaming to a growing generation of gamers. It did the unfathomable — the impossible. It managed to completely change the way games were meant to be played.

\n

It wasn't just about the single player experience anymore. The Xbox 360 successfully connected us all to one another. It was the first console that really pioneered the multiplayer experience.

\n

And with it came:

\n
    \n
  • online achievements
  • \n
  • virtual avatars
  • \n
  • a direct messaging system
  • \n
  • and an online store
  • \n
\n

It's a sad day indeed, when one of the generation's most defining consoles comes to an end. But it was bound to happen eventually. The 360's legacy will live on in the future consoles that follow.

\n

Rest in peace, Xbox 360. You'll be missed.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/5/9/2590223-8539926026-23463-2004d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/5/9/2590223-8539926026-23463-2004d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113020","description":"

Halo 3

\n

And now we come to the "must-have" out of all "must-haves." The epitome of everything Microsoft and Xbox 360. The game that we all know and love — Halo 3. 

\n

The Halo series is arguably Microsoft's most successful video game series. And it makes sense. The setting is amazing, the story is rich, and Master Chief is a total-badass as usual. Halo 3 managed to capture everything we loved about the Halo series and condense it all into one game.

\n
It looked great, it played amazing, and it was fun, both online and offline.
\n

From its memorable multiplayer experiences to its interesting and rich single player storyline, Halo 3 continues to represent everything great the Xbox 360 had to offer. 

\n

The beauty of Halo 3 is that we can all relate to it.

\n

We all have that one game that just made a huge impact on our lives. And to some, Halo 3 is that game. 

\n

\n

Just looking at the picture brings back memories of the better times...

\n

While I did enjoy the single-player experience, playing with online was the big selling point. I remember spending countless hours just messing around in custom lobbies -- connecting with friends and new people, all over some random game. Even now, when I've played more recent and more modern online games, none are able to capture the exact feel and uniqueness present in Halo 3.

\n

Xbox Live servers are still up, and if anything, the multiplayer experience is reason enough to pick it up.

\n

And if it isn't, rest assured that you'll be following Chief in one of the most compelling stories you've experience. It ties in some of the loose questions so perfectly. It's why it's the number one exclusive.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/forzahorizon-screen-5df92.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/r/forzahorizon-screen-5df92.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113018","description":"

Forza Horizon 2

\n

Imagine a life where you're not held back by money. You can buy whatever car you want, customize it, and take it out for a spin with your friends.

\n

That's your life in Forza Horizon 2.

\n

The game is just amazing in every single way.

\n
    \n
  • First off, it's visually appealing. The graphics are nothing short of amazing. Every visual, every particle effect is just so crisp and nice. 
  • \n
  • Second, the level of customization is insane. You're free to do whatever you want with your car. You want to keep it tuned to stock standards? Go ahead. Do you want to create a complete eye-sore? Be my guest.
  • \n
  • Third, it's open world. You can take your car from one end of the map to the next, or you can spawn directly onto key locations on the map. The map is, quite literally, your playground.
  • \n
\n

\n

I'm not a fan of the car, but the graphics are something else.

\n
    \n
  • Fourth and lastly, you can cruise alongside friends. It takes racing to a new level. It's all fun and games when you're racing on the track, but things get a bit more personal — and intense — when you hand-build the car yourself. 
  • \n
\n

I spent my days grinding away on Trackmania and Need for Speed. I thought Burnout Paradise was the ultimate open-world car game, but I was wrong. I have since accepted Forza Horizon 2 as my lord and savior, the ultimate car game that is second to none. Thank you Turn 10 Studios.

\n

Thank you.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/a/gears-war-wallpaper-c6a3a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/e/a/gears-war-wallpaper-c6a3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113019","description":"

Gears of War 3

\n

Now we've come to the "big boy" exclusives. First up comes a game that needs no introduction, a game centered around humanity's last struggle against a horde of mutant humanoid creatures -- Gears of War 3.

\n

Met with critical acclaim upon release, Gears of War 3 successfully wraps up one of the Xbox 360's most recognized series. The game itself brings immersive action and stunning visuals. Seriously, the game looks amazing.

\n

\n

Most games can learn a thing or two from these armor sets.

\n

And one of the most defining elements was its multiplayer. While not as huge as another noteworthy Xbox exclusive, the game's multiplayer experience was indeed fun. I remember the first time I found a Boomshot. I never put the game down after that.

\n

It's stunning graphics, immersive combat, and fun multiplayer make this one of the top exclusive titles.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/b/fable2new1-a70ab.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/b/fable2new1-a70ab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113016","description":"

Fable 2

\n

Fable 2 is an action role-playing game developed by Lionhead Studios. Players will take control of the Hero of Bowerstone, set on a journey to prevent an evil lord from controlling the Spire. 

\n

First things first — which one is better, Fable or Fable 2? It's an age-old debate, and I'm going to end it today.

\n

Fable 2 is better, and here's why it's a must-have exclusive:

\n
    \n
  • a lot more content than the previous game. Fable 1 did not have as much content as this one did. 
  • \n
  • a better story-line. Fable 1's story was very basic and linear. If you wanted a more compelling narrative with interesting character, Fable 2 is the game you should get. 
  • \n
  • better graphics. The visuals are stunning in Fable 2. While I'm a strong advocate against using graphics as a sole reason to buy a game, you can't argue with a comparison shot.
  • \n
  • challenging. If you're more interested in challenging combat, the second one is for you.
  • \n
\n

\n

Would you look at that? It's gorgeous.

\n

Fable 2 is a game that every proud Xbox owner should have in their collection. The game will take you on a cute and whimsical storyline — the likes of which you've never seen before.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/l/tales-vesperia-xbox-360-c27e2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/l/tales-vesperia-xbox-360-c27e2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113013","description":"

Tales of Vesperia

\n

Japanese RPGs are some of the greatest games you'll ever play. The music, the gameplay, and the story-line — all of these characteristics are typical of a well-developed JRPG, and make western games pale in comparison. 

\n

Tales of Vesperia is one of the games that has it all.

\n

Developed by Namco Tales Studio, Tales of Vesperia features:

\n
    \n
  • an extremely memorable soundtrack.
  • \n
  • a refreshing combat system.
  • \n
  • and one of the best stories that I've ever experienced.
  • \n
\n

\n

The combat is very dynamic. You're not just staying in one place the whole time.

\n

One of the hardest parts about playing a Japanese RPGs is the appeal. Sometimes, it just doesn't appeal to gamers. Luckily, Tales of Vesperia does it's best to appeal to the western market. It is the first game of the series to offer complete dialogue in English, and feature elements of western RPGs. 

\n

It's one of the games every Xbox 360 owner should buy. You won't regret it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halowars-1438711884638-1280w-c38ed.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/halowars-1438711884638-1280w-c38ed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113011","description":"

Halo Wars

\n

Because it was completely different from the series' previous installments, the announcement of Halo Wars initially worried some people. Traditionally, it would be a bit weird to find a real-time strategy game on a console. The genre just doesn't work out like it does on a PC. Surprisingly, Halo Wars did.

\n

I'd go as far as to say that Halo Wars is the best RTS game available for a console.

\n

\n

Now, that's an angle I know you haven't seen before.

\n

Ensemble Studios succeeded in creating a game that "felt at home on the console." Halo Wars had solid gameplay, responsive controls, and an entertaining story-line. The game even brings its very own, epic Halo soundtrack.

\n

It's both visually appealing and immersive, and it paints the Halo Universe in a way that we haven't seen it before. All in all, a solid choice.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/7/207359-image10-full-76e97.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/7/207359-image10-full-76e97.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113023","description":"

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

\n

It's funny. Geometry Wars was originally developed as a small project to test out the 360's controller, and now, it turned out to be one of the most addicting games available.

\n

The core concept is simple. Players control space ships and are tasked with avoiding violent polygons hurling towards them. They use the left analog stick to move, and the right to shoot. The goal is to survive for as long as you possibly can.

\n

However, it's not the concept that makes this game stand apart from others, it's how polished it is. Geometry Wars was a decent title, but Bizarre Creations improved all the right areas in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2.

\n

\n

Take that you filthy abhorrent shapes!

\n
    \n
  • The movement and controls felt so fluid. It just felt "right" in your hands.
  • \n
  • The camera followed you around perfectly. For a game that's so fast-paced and intense, camera placement is crucial.
  • \n
  • The development team included a whole array of game modes. This is for players, like me, who ever got bored of the standard game mode. There was a whopping selection to choose from.
  • \n
\n

Currently, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 holds the title as "The Best Xbox Live Arcade Game," and while I'm not going to argue with that, I think a better — and more fitting title — would be, the "Best Stress Reliever."

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/20110218011358172637-604e1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/20110218011358172637-604e1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113010","description":"

Viva Piñata

\n

Do not be fooled by its childish visuals. Though it initially looks like it caters specifically to kids, Viva Piñata can be a great and memorable experience if you're willing to give it a try.

\n

The game starts with you constructing a farm on an island. As you develop and improve your farm, you soon find the island's fluffy inhabitants flocking to you. The goal of the game is simple: collect as many pinatas as you can. 

\n
Essentially, it's Neko Atsume: Cat Collector on steroids.
\n

One of the best things about this game is the gameplay. It's not an ordinary simulator. You have to cater and watch over the piñatas who come to your farm. They can fight, they can get angry, and some piñatas are so dang picky that obtaining them is near impossible. 

\n
And the best part about it?
\n

There are over 70 unique piñatas to discover. Their uniqueness and individuality is so refreshing that it's incredibly satisfying when you do discover one. People of all ages can enjoy collecting them.

\n

Viva Pinata

\n

A great person once said, "It's so fluffy, I just might die."

\n

Viva Piñata stands as one of those, "hit or miss" type of games. Some will enjoy it, some won't. But it's worth picking up if you ever get the chance. You may be kidding yourself from a great experience otherwise.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/s/castle-crashers00-c90b6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/s/castle-crashers00-c90b6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113009","description":"

Castle Crashers

\n

What's a game driven only by the primal desire to hack and slash your way through enemies? A game void of meaningful content and dialogue, but filled to the brim with action-packed adventures and comical sword-play?

\n

Well, the most appropriate answer to that question would be Castle Crashers.

\n
It's nothing short of the ultimate "beat 'em up."
\n

Created by Dan Paladin and Tom Fulp, Castle Crashers closely resembles a modernized 2D arcade game.

\n

If you're looking for a game to kill some time, look no further than this.

\n

Castle Crashers

\n

The environment isn't the only thing visually appealing, look at that monster!

\n

There's no dialogue, and there's barely even a story. Yet still, the action is enough to keep your attention for a good while. Mindless killing alongside friends and family? Come on, what's not to love about that?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/g/fight-930x52400-08d0f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/g/fight-930x52400-08d0f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113014","description":"

Jade Empire

\n

When you ask someone to name a game made by BioWare, they'll typically jump out and recite one of the usual big three: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, or Dragon Age. Very few will mention titles like Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate, and even fewer are familiar with Jade Empirea game that I feel deserves more recognition than it was given.

\n

Released in 2005, Jade Empire is a role-playing game that offers players a glimpse into the eastern world. The game itself takes place in ancient China, and it features:

\n
    \n
  • a compelling narrative.
  • \n
  • an interesting and memorable cast of companions.
  • \n
  • and a fun, albeit clunky, combat system.
  • \n
\n

\n

For its time, the game has aged pretty well.

\n

If you're a fan of role-playing games,  it's worth going back and giving Jade Empire a shot. Just don't set your expectations too high. In the end,  it still has its flaws. Regardless, I consider it a classic RPG, definitely worthy enough to stand alongside BioWare's other great works.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/x/b/o/xbox-360-logo-81383.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/x/b/o/xbox-360-logo-81383.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113008","description":"

Today is a huge moment for all of us.

\n

Microsoft just announced their plans to retire the Xbox 360. As of now, support for Xbox Live services and servers will continue, but the production of additional console units will come to a permanent stop.

\n

It's a bit sad. Last November marked the console's ten year anniversary, and since it was released, it has had a huge impact on gamers everywhere. As a tribute to the console's long and enduring legacy, I have compiled a list of the top Xbox exclusives that I have personally enjoyed. The list will be composed of some of the best games the console has to offer.

\n

So, if you're looking to pick up an Xbox 360 while supplies last, consider the following titles your "top priority" to play on it. 

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

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

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

Rush (Mega Man)

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

Dogmeat (Fallout series)

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

Dog (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)

 

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

K.K. Slider (Animal Crossing series)

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

Your dog (Fable 2 & 3)

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

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

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

Repede (Tales of Vesperia)

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

Amaterasu (Okami)

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

Dog (Half-Life 2)

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

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

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

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

]]>
10 of the best video game dogs https://www.gameskinny.com/zqbyl/10-of-the-best-video-game-dogs https://www.gameskinny.com/zqbyl/10-of-the-best-video-game-dogs Sun, 12 Jul 2015 13:30:01 -0400 Sam Yoo

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Silent Hill 2 - Mira

\n

While she is technically not a canonical character, Mira deserves a special mention since she is both a Shiba Inu and an evil mastermind.  

\n

Mira has appeared only in joke endings.  Her debut was in the 'Dog Ending' of Silent Hill 2.  (It is unlocked with the Dog Key, found in a dog house beside Jacks Inn).  She also appears in the 'UFO Ending' of Silent Hill: Origins and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, as well as in Silent Hill: The Escape and Silent Hill:  Book of Memories.

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In the case of Silent Hill 2's Dog Ending, it reveals that all the events of the game were the work of Mira, a dog sitting in a control room, pulling various levers.  The protagonist, James Sunderland, falls to his knees in shock at this revelation.  Mira simply walks over and licks his face.

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Mira has been credited with playing the guitar of Waiting For You alongside Yamaoka Akira.  She was also credited for making the screenplay of the Silent Hill: Downpour trailer.  Obviously she is very talented and is recognized by the developers as one of the most important characters in the Silent Hill series.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/a/2/aa2b90f0871b94cd301e0d4321f55bcd.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/a/2/tiny_aa2b90f0871b94cd301e0d4321f55bcd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74743","description":"

Okami - Amaterasu

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Technically, Amaterasu is a wolf.  However, in Japan dogs and wolves are pretty much interchangeable.  In some areas of Japan, wolves are referred to as 'yama-inu' which literally translates to 'mountain dog'.  (This accounts for why every character in the game thinks Amaterasu is just a white dog).

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Amaterasu is, in Shinto myth, both goddess of the sun and universe.  In Okami she is the protagonist, incarnated as a white wolf.  (This taps into a conflation of meaning here:  'okami' can mean 'wolf' and also can translate to 'great god').  

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Amaterasu, nicknamed 'Ammy' by Ishaku and Isshun, is a friend to all living creatures.  All throughout the game she tries to help every living creature she can.  One major game mechanic is a Praise system: every time she earns the belief of those that she helps, through completing quests, sidequests, and by feeding animals she meets, she becomes stronger.  

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/1/d/01df1026400177cf60059ee2fec71975.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/1/d/tiny_01df1026400177cf60059ee2fec71975.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74742","description":"

Persona 3 (FES, Portable) - Koromaru

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Koromaru is an albino Shiba Inu and is modeled after the famous Hachiko, the loyal dog who waited for his owner to return, even years after his owner's death.  Koromaru is a rare example of a non-human that has the strength of spirit and ability to summon a Persona (Cerberus).  As a result, Koromaru joins your party in its fight against the Shadows and other apocalyptic enemy forces.

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In Persona 3 Portable, you are able to establish a proper Social Link bond with Koromaru which really shows you how loyal he is.  As you strengthen your bond with him, he comes to really trust and care about you and you will get to see the extent of how gentle and wonderful this dog is.

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The 'social simulator' aspect of Persona results in the best kind of payoff with your interactions with Koromaru since, as you interact with him and gain his affection, he will bring you things and snuggle you.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/2/8/3286ddbf6d4a23bc18ee28f438346387.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/2/8/tiny_3286ddbf6d4a23bc18ee28f438346387.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74736","description":"

Fallout 3 - Dogmeat

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Dogmeat is an Australian Cattle dog, a potential companion and ally that can be found in the Scrapyard.  He is an homage to the Dogmeat from the first Fallout game.  

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Dogmeat is unwaveringly devoted and is a powerful asset in a fight.  However, while he is very resilient, he can be killed.  This has motivated players to take advantage of the 'Puppies!' perk that enables Dogmeat to be reincarnated as a puppy upon death.  

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Chris Avellone, Chief Creative Officer of Obsidian Entertainment and creator of the Fallout Bible said:

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For many reasons, Dogmeat is arguably the most successful NPC companion ever.

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/b/8/9b8b91937416fb764455add1bb1c91b8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/b/8/tiny_9b8b91937416fb764455add1bb1c91b8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74741","description":"

Fable 2 - Dog

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You meet the dog at the very beginning of the game during the protagonist's childhood.  You (the protagonist) and your sister Rose rescue the dog from a bully.  The dog follows you home and becomes a part of your family, staying by your side through thick and thin. 

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Game mechanics wise, the dog helps you locate chests, quest objectives, etc.  Most importantly, the dog is directly influenced by your moral choices as the player.  Over the course of the game, as the protagonist's alignment shifts to either 'good' or 'evil', the dog's appearance will change to reflect that.  

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    \n
  • 'Good' alignment - The dog will appear happy and receive praise and affection from townspeople.  Children will want to pet the dog.  
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  • 'Evil' alignment - The dog will develop glowing red eyes and an aggressive attitude, quick to growl and bark.  The dog will also be hated by the townspeople; kicked and shooed away.
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A good deal of your dog's life will be deeply affected by your decisions in-game, further down the line.  

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/c/8cc4df3515644b1ea9920f2eb25aaaba.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/c/c/tiny_8cc4df3515644b1ea9920f2eb25aaaba.png","type":"slide","id":"74738","description":"

Haunting Ground - Hewie

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Hewie is a White Shepherd that protagonist Fiona Belli saves from captivity.  In gratitude, he becomes her steadfast ally, aiding her in her attempts to escape Belli Castle.

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Like a real dog though, Hewie should be both well trained and taken care of in order to maintain a good relationship between him and Fiona.  Fiona has to praise or scold Hewie when he obeys or doesn't obey commands.  He also should be praised and/or healed when he is injured.   This increases Hewie's friendship level with Fiona.  Repeatedly mistreating Hewie will result in him ignoring or outright attacking her.  The level of their friendship is very important as it will affect which game ending the player gets.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/3/ef3e1fa6d7a88c5467f7c8113e44c1eb.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/3/tiny_ef3e1fa6d7a88c5467f7c8113e44c1eb.png","type":"slide","id":"74740","description":"

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Riley

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Riley is a German Sheperd military working dog and part of the US Special Operations unit that is featured in the game, the Ghosts squadron.  He is based on a real Navy SEAL trained K9 named Ruger (motion-capture).  

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Riley can sniff out explosives, and assists the player in combat.  Riley can even take down low-flying enemy helicopters by jumping into them and getting at the pilot.

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According to the developers, Riley was added because the developers wanted to assure that the players felt emotional attachment to the central cast.  This definitely worked; Riley was a huge hit with the fans.  

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/8/3/f8308dc99fbb893a2e8ed72f4c09eea5.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/8/3/tiny_f8308dc99fbb893a2e8ed72f4c09eea5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74737","description":"

Dead to Rights: Retribution - Shadow

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Shadow is a Malamute dog, partner to Dead to Rights: Retribution protagonist Jack Slate.  

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When Shadow was just a puppy, he was rescued by Jack's father, Frank.  Shadow was put through the K-9 program.  He was considered to be too vicious, however, and was failed out.  Frank instead brought Shadow to the 87th Precinct of Grant City, where Shadow helped Frank and Jack solve cases.  

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After Frank is killed, Shadow fights alongside Jack.  Shadow can sneak around and can do silent kills from behind, ripping out throats.  As he is basically made of pure muscle and ferocious loyalty, he can also charge in and bowl over enemies.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/f/30f3da0d6ff4284475db99b6f5706140.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/f/tiny_30f3da0d6ff4284475db99b6f5706140.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74735","description":"

Dragon Age: Origins - The Mabari Hound

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The Mabari Hound sidequest, upon completion, earns you the undying loyalty of this pureblood Mabari hound whose default name is 'Dog'.  

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Not only is Dog a powerful ally in battle, he also loves you unconditionally.  One of the mechanics of Dragon Age: Origins is an 'approval' system that will cause you to either gain or lose allies.  In the case of Dog, it doesn't matter what you do, he will always stay by your side.  

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/c/6/bc61767378efd55f7c65ea62ffa888dc.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/c/6/tiny_bc61767378efd55f7c65ea62ffa888dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74739","description":"

Tokyo Jungle - The Pomeranian

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The pomeranian is the first non-DLC predator available by default at the beginning of the game.

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It is very small, and as a result has rather low base stats, which makes it difficult to use.  However, this also means it requires fewer calories to survive and 'level up', developing into a formidable predator.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/5/6/e56ea6cd6742093eddf99644e21ec28b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/5/6/tiny_e56ea6cd6742093eddf99644e21ec28b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74825","description":"

It is slightly difficult to compile a list of 'the best dogs in video games', since dogs are basically the greatest animals to ever exist in the history of mankind and every dog is the best dog.  

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However, just in case you are also someone that would play a game just because a dog plays a major role in it, here is a list.

"}]]]>
Ten Ridiculously Overrated and Overhyped Franchises https://www.gameskinny.com/kxgy7/ten-ridiculously-overrated-and-overhyped-franchises https://www.gameskinny.com/kxgy7/ten-ridiculously-overrated-and-overhyped-franchises Thu, 19 Mar 2015 19:18:03 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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Disagree with my selections? Feel I left some deserving ones off the list? 

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Let me know in the comments. Just keep it civil please. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/31e25f7dcf94b0162f1e13845664e3b7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_31e25f7dcf94b0162f1e13845664e3b7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61354","description":"

Half-Life

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Whoa now! Let’s put down those pitchforks, stop typing your angry comment, and hear me out. The Half-Life series is a great series. The games have been hugely influential on the game world and launched Valve to the astronomical heights where the company now sits. Since the release of Half-Life: Episode 2 in 2007, players have been eagerly anticipating the next release in the franchise, be it an episode or core release. It has been eight years now, and Valve is still holding their hand close to their chest. To say the next entry in the series is anticipated is an understatement. Every year, rumors swirl like a mysterious fog on the shore. Maybe this year we will finally hear some news from Valve but to no avail.

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Don’t get me wrong, I want to see the next entry in the series too, but the hype for this will probably backfire. When a game gets hyped to ridiculous heights, the game usually fails to meet expectations. So can we forget about Half-Life until Valve makes an announcement please? 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/999424ecb667411673a22e9b33182c6b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_999424ecb667411673a22e9b33182c6b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61353","description":"

Fable

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You had to know this was coming. Honestly, every franchise Molyneux has worked on since the closing of Bullfrog could be on this list. At the end of the day though, Fable has to be the most deserving of a spot. The first Fable was one of, if not the most, anticipated games of its generation. Molyneux worked his magic filling our heads with grandiose dreams of acorns which would fall from a tree and then grow into tree themselves. Players should have been more skeptical, especially after Black & White, but the hype train could not be stopped. Surprising no one, many features Molyneux promised were nowhere to be found in the game after launch. Say it ain’t so!

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Molyneux has continued to get the hopes of players worldwide to astronomical heights for each subsequent release in the series, only to disappoint. Jim Sterling is one of a few who has the gumption to call him out on his shenanigans he has perpetuated for years now. Each release has been missing features and more which were promised beforehand. On top of Molyneux’s self-perpetuating cycle, the games are also just basic ARPGs at their core with elements of The Sims. Let’s put an end to this cycle eh?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/783ccd1d1746aea682024836b638c7c2.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_783ccd1d1746aea682024836b638c7c2.png","type":"slide","id":"61352","description":"

Five Nights at Freddy’s

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A relative underdog in this sea of AAA overhyping, Five Nights at Freddy’s is an odd choice but deserves its place on here. This is the only series on this list not subject to hype from the press but rather the fans. Let me be clear here. I am a metalhead; I play Magic the Gathering; I play and write about video games; I read comic books. But Holy Toledo Batman! This fan base is the most rabid and fanatical one I have seen yet, and I have seen bronies.

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I like Scott Cawthon. He is a nice guy and is open about his faith, something you rarely see in this industry. The reason we have FNAF is because Scott took some criticism about one of his games and decided to listen to what the criticism said and improve, rather than lashing out or acting infantile. The results have paid off tremendously for him, and I applaud his success. I stand by my assertion about this overrated series though. Also, the games are not scary. They are good for putting me to sleep after a long day though.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f3f2ec691f69ea422672263f0433cd6d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f3f2ec691f69ea422672263f0433cd6d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61351","description":"

The Elder Scrolls

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Imagine there is a pool fifty miles square but only one inch deep. It would be a terrible pool right? The Elder Scrolls series is that pool: a gigantic Tolkien influenced fantasy world with less depth than a papercut. On top of shallow mechanics and poor leveling systems, you lucky players also get atrocious, floaty combat! You lucky people! I have had staring contests with my googly-eyed plants that were more intense than the combat in these games.

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I like a good sandbox game, but when every texture, house, and dungeon looks the same, things get monotonous fast. I’ve written before about how Elder Scrolls needs to evolve past a shallow, generic fantasy sandbox or just do something different for crying out loud. If players want their sandbox unchanged (because we know how much players love change) then fine, let the series stay as it is. However, the press should stop over hyping this series, and players should not lose their collective mind when the tiniest tidbit gets announced. Seriously, please just stop. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/84ebc528a630242db0551085c1eeb2af.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_84ebc528a630242db0551085c1eeb2af.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61350","description":"

Gears of War

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Ah Gears of War. I remember renting the game with a friend and blasting through the co-op. To our fifteen year-old selves, the game was absolutely amazing. It was visceral, action-packed, gory, and had flipping chainsaws on assault rifles! Until this point, third person shooters had been rather middling affairs (with some exceptions). The series reinvigorated the third person shooter and has spawned countless imitators.

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However, the series digressed into self-infatuation and taking itself WAY too seriously, no mean feat given how serious the first game took itself. I understand the series wanted to tell a dark tale of humans struggling against a merciless invading force, but it is hard to take the series seriously in any way given how the dialogue and character models were ripped from the 80’s and 90's beefcake film universe. At least those movies had a sense of self-awareness in some cases, or they went all out bonkers. Gears of War is a good action shooter in some regards, but as a gripping tale of human survival? Please. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d01844edec9182ab936d071395fc4836.jpeg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_d01844edec9182ab936d071395fc4836.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"61349","description":"

Assassin’s Creed

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Assassin’s Creed blew us away at launch showing what the 360 and PS3 were capable of achieving, and we had only seen a fraction of what these powerful, new systems could accomplish. Despite being more bug-infested than the Capital Wasteland, players enjoyed the then unique premise and setting. The sequel improved upon the first by leaps and bounds. Then Ubisoft decided to be Ubisoft and the yearly releases started.

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For perspective, since releasing in 2007, the series has seen nine titles, not including spinoffs. The Metroid series, which first released in 1986, has had the same amount of core release in twenty nine years. 29! Yet again, each release in the Assassin’s Creed series is eagerly anticipated. Despite the underwhelming and astonishingly buggy Unity, players are already talking about the next entry in the series. Unity had perhaps the biggest hype train of any game in the series and failed to meet expectations or playable standards on launch. It’s time to be skeptical of the series if you weren't already.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e6a1a63d7dd756d235f1192c77a625f9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e6a1a63d7dd756d235f1192c77a625f9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61348","description":"

Grand Theft Auto                                                                   

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The Grand Theft Auto series has had an impact on the gaming world like few other franchises have or ever will. GTA 3 revolutionized the sandbox genre and showed what the Playstation 2 was capable of achieving. San Andres and Vice City were by all accounts great games, so what happened with GTA 4 and GTA 5? I tried to play GTA 4 sometime after its release and was utterly dumbfounded at its myriad issues. Both GTA 4 & GTA 5 are among the top ranked games for their systems on Metacritic. All I can ask, is why?

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The series has seemed to become more interested in attempting some smug stabs at satire instead of a game franchise. The games have issues with sloppy mechanics, but even worse is that they are simply boring. Yes, boring. Anything you can do in a GTA game has been done elsewhere much better. Despite being as boring as watching grass grow, the series continues to be catapulted into the stratosphere on the hype/overrated train. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go surf a jet liner in Just Cause 2. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/700a42b5e3013a2663bdd463691f4744.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_700a42b5e3013a2663bdd463691f4744.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61347","description":"

Call of Duty

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The Call of Duty series has had some great entries. For better or worse, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has completely reshaped the way the FPS multiplayer is designed and played. However, the series has been treading water for some time now. For every decent or good entry, there is a weak entry in the franchise. Even the weaker entries receive a hype train some developers would love to have for their game. Players and the press complain of stagnation, yet continue to dole out heaps of praise, coverage, and money onto the series. My amazement never ceases at the hype each yearly release incurs. Can we give it a rest?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/264a974525bca06fd7c36d81feb75f2a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_264a974525bca06fd7c36d81feb75f2a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61346","description":"

Borderlands

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The Borderlands series is a battered, one-trick piñata with only a single, fragile leg to stand on. The main hook of the game was a “bazillion” or so guns and co-op play. The series really has several key flaws. The game worlds are as barren and lifeless as the surface of the moon. The gun mechanics are not only underwhelming but also poorly designed. The games tout themselves as some sort of action RPG/ shooter hybrid, but no self-respecting ARPG would limit the players to one skill. Yes, ONE skill. Sure the skill can be upgraded, but the upgrades are more underwhelming than my rare book collection. The game has more grinding than a gear manufacturing factory set in a JRPG. The best thing about the series was the writing of Anthony Burch in Borderlands 2 and the voice cast used to bring the script to life. 

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I mean really, ONE skill??

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/915f2114eb1cd4d2468382c7d7f35877.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_915f2114eb1cd4d2468382c7d7f35877.jpg","type":"slide","id":"61345","description":"

Uncharted

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Ugh Uncharted. Where to start? The poor shooting mechanics? The haphazard game design? The extremely unlikable main character? Or maybe the lack of respect for the player? The series has all of this and more.

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Uncharted 2 though is where I really questioned the appeal of the series. Sure, the train sequence was a gripping and well-done opener, but the rest of the game is just, bad. Is the game, like some think, the worst ever? No, but it is nowhere near deserving the amount of praise and awards heaped upon it. Uncharted 3 proved Naughty Dog put story second to gigantic spectacle set pieces; you know, kind of like a Michael Bay film. On a perfect day in an alternate, perfect universe, the series would be considered average at best. With Uncharted 4 looming on the horizon, the hype shows no signs of stopping or even slowing down. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ba3860cc98bed2aee1b07c7986805e2d.jpeg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ba3860cc98bed2aee1b07c7986805e2d.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"61344","description":"

First things first, I am not claiming any of these series are bad (except one or two maybe), merely overrated and overhyped. Secondly, I am not singling out individual games or this slideshow would never end; instead, I am giving you ten of the most overrated franchises in gaming. With that out of the way, let's proceed!

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Oh hype, where would the game industry be without you? Without those exclusive cover stories, in-depth previews, and bold, attention-grabbing headlines, which games would we know to build our hopes up for? The hype industry is a key part of the game industry, but sometimes the hype and overrating stays around long after the game’s release. Long after. Sometimes the hype and overrating follows each entry in a series, like a faithful puppy.  These ten franchises have the most loyal of puppies. 

"}]]]>
[Interview] Kayla DeLancey Discusses Her Life as Gamer and Model https://www.gameskinny.com/0hb7w/interview-kayla-delancey-discusses-her-life-as-gamer-and-model https://www.gameskinny.com/0hb7w/interview-kayla-delancey-discusses-her-life-as-gamer-and-model Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:27:48 -0400 Chris_Lemus

The gaming culture includes followers that participate in activities from cosplay to indie development, but a professional model from Tampa, Florida is looking to make her own way into the community while posing for the camera.

Kayla DeLancey has 90,000 followers on Instagram, but she joins an online world with millions of gamers when picking up the controller, some of whom refusing to welcome her with the same reception fans of her photo shoots have.

“A lot of people are rude,” DeLancey said. “Some people are rude often, which is what I want because I know there are pretty girls that play.”

She has been called “tush-tastic” by The Chive and was featured on the Tosh.O blog for her aesthetic appeal, but DeLancey is serious when taking on gamers who challenge her on social media.

“I don’t want to post my gamer tag for 90 thousand people,” DeLancey said. “But I do just to prove them.”

The professional model has been gaming since her childhood, being introduced to video games by her mother.

“She played the ridiculous ones like Spongebob and Shrek,” DeLancey said, “but I got more in-depth with the role-playing ones. She’ll watch me play some of them, which is cool too.”

By high school, DeLancey was playing games such as Fable II, Mass Effect, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords is pretty much my all-time favorite game,” DeLancey said. “I’ve beat it about 10 times.”

In addition to gaming, she modeled for her grandmother’s photography until DeLancey turned professional in 2009. Since then, she modeled for companies such as Boutine LA, BirkSun, and Skinny Fox Detox.

Modeling is DeLancey’s focus, but she said she sees herself pursuing opportunities in the gaming industry. She has been approached by a startup gaming company for a spokesperson role, and she is also considering the professional gaming circuit.

For right now, she hopes to see the gaming community change its attitude on female gamers. The professional model said she received insults while gaming that reference topics such as body weight.

The criticism also occurs on social media, where she is met with backlash for her gaming-related posts.

“They don’t believe me,” DeLancey said. “They think I’m just doing it to put myself out there and be cute, but I actually spend more than half my day playing video games.”

DeLancey is one of the 48 percent of female gamers, according to the latest Entertainment Software Association report. Of the players who buy video games, which is evenly split amongst males and females, the highest reported factor when deciding to purchase a title is its storyline.

This reason is the same factor DeLancey gave when saying why she plays video games.

“Competition is definitely one (reason),” she said. “But a lot of it for me is story mode, unlocking things, opening up new worlds, and the stuff to explore. It keeps me playing.”

DeLancey continues to game in a community that does not have every member welcoming her, but she still pursuits the idea of combining her modeling and gaming from what she sees in the culture.

“Going to Comic Con and seeing everybody role playing is a lot of fun,” DeLancey said. “I kind of want to get the gaming side and modeling put together.”

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List of the Best 9 RPGs I Have Ever Played https://www.gameskinny.com/s9vkk/list-of-the-best-9-rpgs-i-have-ever-played https://www.gameskinny.com/s9vkk/list-of-the-best-9-rpgs-i-have-ever-played Sat, 19 Jul 2014 11:53:35 -0400 zoLo567

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Final Fantasy VIII

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Final Fantasy is easily my favorite game series. It was the series that got me into RPGs, and has easily consumed the most of my time out of any series. While many of the Final Fantasy titles are amazing titles, the one I hold dearest to my heart has to be Final Fantasy VIII.

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Final Fantasy VIII stands out from the other titles in the series through the Junction and Draw systems. Summonings are equipped to characters, and magic is stockpiled rather than having a traditional mana pool. Abilities are given to characters through the equipped summonings, and magic can be applied to the characters stats, giving them much needed boosts. This helps Final Fantasy VIII stand out from the rest, and gives the game its own character.

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Maybe it is the romantic in me, but I also love the story that Final Fantasy VIII presents. It is a love story first and foremost, and helps lead to some awesome set pieces. Overall, this is an amazing game, and has always been one that stands out to me among all other RPGs.

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"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e06c1701c591ff0807fafbd4ddc845e5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e06c1701c591ff0807fafbd4ddc845e5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"48601","description":"

Persona 4 Golden

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Persona 4 Golden surprised me. I had heard of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series before, but had never played the series. I went in not knowing what to expect, as I picked up the game looking for a new title for my PS Vita. What I jumped into was one of the greatest gaming experiences I have ever had.

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The story, the characters, the battle system, and the music all shine through, creating a tight game that has a lot to offer. Being the "Golden" edition, much is added from the original version of the game, and helps to create a more solid title.

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The story is a great murder mystery, which will take a few twists along the way. All the characters have their own quirks, and are all likable. The music is poppy, yet fits the many different moods that you will come across in the game. Those moods are also refreshing, as the game lets players take breaks from the seriousness and have some lighthearted fun.

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With characters you care about, a story you want to see through, and a battle system that keeps fresh and entertaining throughout, Persona 4 Golden is one of the better RPGs from the last decade, and a must own title for all Vita owners.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6b7e8e9b3bb9a17405efc3815c24b3ca.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6b7e8e9b3bb9a17405efc3815c24b3ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"48679","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

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I have played a good number of The Legend of Zelda series. While they are all great games, none stood out to me like Twilight Princess has.

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Everything about The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is amazing. The art style, combat, music, and the story all scream great, and can be considered some of the best of the past console generation. The ability to become a wolf stands out from the rest of the Zelda series, and leads to some great segments.

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The story itself also shines in its own right, and helps push the game along at a great pace. The atmosphere for this game is a bit on the darker side, separating it apart from most of the other Zelda titles. I would consider Twilight Princess to be the star of the Zelda series, and an amazing experience for those looking for a great RPG, or a great game in general.

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Mass Effect 3

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Few game series get progressively better with each entry, with the newest game passing over its predecessors. Mass Effect is one of those few series.

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Mass Effect 3 took everything from the previous Mass Effect games and improved on them. The combat was refined, and feels tight and entertaining. Anyone who loves shooters will find that combat matches that of other action games, while differentiating itself with the use of powers and great use of third person.  Game play is almost flawless, and anyone can jump in and be able to enjoy the action going on.

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While the ending was controversial, the rest of the story is great. Your choices do have weight; events will play out differently and character's fates will change depending on the actions that you take. This can make you think, as you try to keep everyone alive, or try kill off the characters that you do not like. Mass Effect is a great series for RPG and shooter fans alike, and Mass Effect 3 is definitely the best of them all.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6d355e73cfe116fe34cd74127d2fcfdb.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6d355e73cfe116fe34cd74127d2fcfdb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"48681","description":"

Kingdom Hearts II

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I was curious when I heard that Square Enix was making a game that combined both the Final Fantasy series and the Disney universe. The result was Kingdom Hearts, a series that definitely stands out above all the rest.

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While Kingdom Hearts is a great series, Kingdom Hearts II is the best entry so far. Just about everything in this game is amazing. Combat is deep and rewarding, and the story is great. Kingdom Hearts takes a lot from Final Fantasy and Disney, yet keeps its own personality.

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The story finds a way to work its way into many different Disney worlds, yet stays on track and moves at great pace. The music is also great, with some memorable pieces, and the characters keep their respective personalities from their established franchises. Kingdom Hearts II is an amazing game overall, and appeals to more than just Disney and Final Fantasy fans.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/af990f455c167a4e0b208b320ff79527.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_af990f455c167a4e0b208b320ff79527.png","type":"slide","id":"48670","description":"

Pokemon Red/Blue

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I remember first picking up my first Pokemon game. It was a gift from a friend, and it became one of my favorite handheld titles.

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While the mechanics of the series have evolved over the years, I consider Pokemon Red and Blue the best in the series. Back then, I had no idea what to expect from the game, and everything that I discovered felt more and more magical.It is what established what has become one of the greatest franchises ever, and is a game that every Pokemon fan should experience at least once in their gaming career.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e0b000464b09040ede9f8d2d9106c3b3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e0b000464b09040ede9f8d2d9106c3b3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"48677","description":"

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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When I think of big games these days, I always think of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. With a huge open world and so much content, it is hard to complain that you cannot find anything to do in this game.

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While the story is intriguing, I found myself lost in the huge world that is Skyrim. From raiding dungeons, battling dragons, and taking the long way to a destination, there is a lot to do. Along with a great battle system and game mechanics, Skyrim is a solid game. It is hard to say that you have done everything in this game, and many will not have a problem with that.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a2ffbfffb9aec5e95ad505f1cd68813a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a2ffbfffb9aec5e95ad505f1cd68813a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"48678","description":"

Tales of Graces F

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I picked up Tales of Graces F because I liked the overall art style. Sometimes when I do this I am left a little disappointed, but that was not the case with this game.

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Of course, the art work is great, but the game offers much more than just that. This is especially true of the combat system. Combat is where Tales of Graces F shines through, and while seemingly simple, can be deep and rewarding.While the story does start slow, it picks up, and moves along nicely. This is especially after the prologue, which picks up steam at the end of that segment.

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Tales of Graces F is a solid RPG for those who want a great JRPG to play.

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Fable II

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I had picked up Fable II on a whim. I had heard of the first Fable, and decided to give the second game a chance. What I got was a RPG that I felt was both deep and enjoyable.

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There is a wealth of content in this game. There is much to see, jobs to perform, families to raise, and missions and quests to undertake. There is a lot to find, and it can take awhile before you see everything. The story follows the "chosen hero" path, yet fits in some great moments and twists that keep the story from feeling too cliche.

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There is also a lot of player choice. Your actions will affect the appearance of your character, as a noble hero will be fair with a clear complexion, while a corrupt hero will be pale with a flawed complexion. Even your stats will effect how your hero looks, allowing you to twist and shape your character even more. It also effects the people around you (such as your dog companion), and can encourage you to go down a certain path.

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"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6ca716d0d4be8162a8a31700a963933f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6ca716d0d4be8162a8a31700a963933f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"48653","description":"

When it comes right down to it, RPGs are my favorite video game genre. I have been playing them for as long as I can remember, and many of my greatest gaming memories come from these games. From the characters, the music, the stories, and the game play, I love everything about RPGs.

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This is a list of what I consider to be some of the best RPGs that I have played, and are titles that I would recommend to anyone looking to get a RPG fix.

"}]]]>
Fable Trilogy Bundle to Release February 4th On Xbox Marketplace https://www.gameskinny.com/d6rj2/fable-trilogy-bundle-to-release-february-4th-on-xbox-marketplace https://www.gameskinny.com/d6rj2/fable-trilogy-bundle-to-release-february-4th-on-xbox-marketplace Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:41:04 -0500 Mary Yeager

Xbox 360 owners who are fans of Fable will only have a little longer to wait for the release of the Fable Trilogy. According the Xbox Marketplace, the launch date for the trilogy is February 4th, 2014. Fable Anniversary, one of the three titles in the trilogy, has the same release date as the trilogy.

The titles included in the Fable Trilogy are:

  • Fable Anniversary (the HD remake of Fable)
  • Fable II
  • Fable III

While a spokesperson for Microsoft has confirmed the trilogy is in development, they also said that more details will be announced on Lionhead.com.

The page listing the Fable Trilogy on Xbox.com does come with some warnings for owners. One item Microsoft wants purchasers to know is that the games in the bundle are the same as the individual games. This means that you already own an individual copy of Fable II, the copy you have is the same as the copy in the trilogy bundle. You will not end up with two copies.

Customers who have already purchased a copy of any of the games can not get a discount off the stated purchase price.

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