Fable 3 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Fable 3 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 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.


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!

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.

Is Now the Time to Be Getting Hyped for Red Dead Redemption 2? https://www.gameskinny.com/d8trm/is-now-the-time-to-be-getting-hyped-for-red-dead-redemption-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/d8trm/is-now-the-time-to-be-getting-hyped-for-red-dead-redemption-2 Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

As we all have heard by now, Red Dead Redemption 2 has been announced by Rockstar Games. I classify Red Dead Redemption as one of the absolute best games to come out on the Xbox 360/PS3, and the best game that Rockstar has put out to date. I've spent countless hours in that game and in the Undead Nightmare DLC that they brought out for it. Knowing this, one would think that I would be ecstatic for this new game, right. Sadly, I can't say that I am. 

Now, I would be lying if I was saying that I have no excitement for a new Red Dead game. There is a small bit of excitement I have, but in the recent months, there have been plenty of places to be burned after being hyped. Let's look at a few of the games that have come out recently that were highly anticipated but came out in states that no one wanted them to be in.

Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Batman Arkham Knight

I think it's safe to say that Batman: Arkham Knight was one of the most anticipated games to come out last year. With Rocksteady returning to the helm after taking a break from the series, there was plenty to be excited for. But, after bugs that seemed to be rampant through the game, a PC port that is still broken with no official intent to be fixed, and a game that, when it did work, as a whole was just okay (in my opinion), Batman: Arkham Knight felt like it was to be the poster child for reasons to not buy into the hype machine of games marketing.

As someone who is a giant Batman fan, I felt extremely burned by this game. I had played Arkham Asylum and Arkham City numerous times and absolutely adored them. Arkham City is hands down my favorite Batman game ever made. When Arkham Knight came around, I was so hyped. I couldn't wait to see how Rocksteady was going to end an amazing series that I had no problem supporting. I even had a copy of the game that didn't have a serious bug problem and I still felt let down by that game (the Batmobile was the worst thing to happen to that game). I still have not finished the story of the game and have no desire to do so. My copy of the game now lives in the floorboard of my car because when I went to trade it in at my local game shop, I was told that they had so many copies already that they couldn't accept any more.

No Man's Sky (Hello Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

No Man's Sky

By now, everyone and their mother knows about the issues with No Man's Sky (heck, I've even written about it), but if we're talking about games that exemplify the problems with overhyping a game, it would be foolish not to mention it.

No Man's Sky is easily the most hyped game I have seen in my life. The hype around it made news on numerous occasions (remember the death threats?). If there was ever a game to point to about reserving your excitement, No Man's Sky is the perfect example.

The promises made about that game were huge and honestly unattainable especially for an indie studio who had only made Joe Danger, but the marketing around that game, the interviews with Sean Murray leading up to the game and the evangelists that came from the gaming community built that game up to basically be the second coming of Christ. When the game came out though, we all learned what mistakes the community had made by putting all their eggs in one basket.

Mighty No. 9 (Comcept/Inti Creates)

Mighty No. 9

Oh Mighty No. 9, where do I start with you? Mighty No. 9 was a game that got funded through Kickstarter after original creator for Mega Man proposed a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series. Promising a game that would feel like the Mega Man games of old, people flocked to throw their money at the Kickstarter. The game was funded in only 2 days. Originally slated for release in April of 2015, the game was delayed on numerous occasions and finally released in June of 2016. The game people received, however, was not what they were expecting. The game had many bugs and other technical issues that seemed to clog the gameplay making for a pretty mediocre experience.

This game is interesting to talk about here, because recently we've seen a fair few spiritual successors to games that are classics. Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night are two other games that have been funded on Kickstarter that are pretty hyped at the moment. The difference between those games and Mighty No. 9, is that Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night seem like they are being handled in a way that will live up to the expectations they have set for themselves. Mighty No. 9 falls short because it seems to have been clearly mismanaged. On top of that, people rightly expected a working game and didn't get that. The game is littered with many different issues, from level design to graphical issues. This game shows to not only to reserve your hype, but to also be wary when putting your money behind a game that is being crowd funded.

These are only 3 games out of a growing list that have not lived up to their expectations. Spore, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Fable III, Duke Nukem Forever are other games could easily be talked about here. As gamers, we have to be vigilant about what we spend our hard earned cash on. We can't continue to forget about games that didn't live up to the huge expectations that we give them. If we continue to forget how we've been burned, this industry won't learn from its mistakes and continue to take advantage of us.

While I'm not saying, "you shouldn't trust Rockstar." Of the big game developers today, Rockstar can easily be one of the most trusted. Their games are almost always hits, and usually release without a lot of massive issues (GTA IV and San Andreas PC versions excluded). I'm just saying that as we have over a year until Red Dead Redemption 2 is supposed to be released. I think it's safer to reserve my excitement, for now.

The best and worst moms of gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/6vd2z/the-best-and-worst-moms-of-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/6vd2z/the-best-and-worst-moms-of-gaming Fri, 06 May 2016 09:30:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


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


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


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


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


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



Dahlia Gillespie Silent Hill


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


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


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



Deadbeat mom: YOU


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


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


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



Living Through Your Children: Flemeth


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



Not Around Enough To Be Awful: Jimmy's Mom


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



A Thousand Lifetimes And Never Learned Parenting Skills: Sarah Sisulart


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


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


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



Pretty Awful But Sorta Redeems Herself: Queen Brahne


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


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


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



Totally Up In The Air: Chrono's Mom


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


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


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


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



Somehow The Best AND Worst: Alma


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


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



Totally The Best Mother: Mrs. Chu


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


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



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

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


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

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). 

7 games where you get to pet the dog https://www.gameskinny.com/qfv55/7-games-where-you-get-to-pet-the-dog https://www.gameskinny.com/qfv55/7-games-where-you-get-to-pet-the-dog Fri, 18 Sep 2015 11:46:26 -0400 Clint Pereira


Still itching to read more about dogs? Start by checking out our list of 10 best video game dogs.


Or just leave your favorite video game dog moments in the comments. Sometimes it helps to talk about our issues.


1. Undertale


On second thought, maybe don't pet dogs forever. As Undertale proves, you can take it a little too far. A little petting is fine. Too much petting and you'll break reality.


It's possible that you may have a problem.


2. Nintendogs


Drag your dumb cartoon hand all over a puppy's face. Who's a good dog? Answer: all the dogs. Pet every dog forever.


3. Pokémon X and Y


Dogs are not Pokémon, but some Pokémon are dogs. In Pokemon Amie, you can pet your favorite dog Pokémon like this Lillipup here. D'aaaw!


 4. Valiant Hearts: The Great War


Move over, Call of Duty dog. Here comes Walt the medic dog. You can pet his back or his belly and you even get an achievement for it! He also saves your life on many, many different occassions. What a sweet dobie!


5. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


D.D. from MGS 5 is, without a doubt, one of the most adorable dogs in video game history. Snake's a little awkward at petting, though. Maybe not pet with your prosthesis, Snake? Snake?




6. Fable 3


Is petting your dog not enough? Do you want to pick it up off the ground and french kiss it? Uh, okay. If that's really your thing, Fable 3 has you covered. I don't know why it would be, exactly, but this is also a game where you can go around farting on everyone, so yeah...


Thanks, Peter Molyneux?


7. Final Fantasy VIII


Sant' Angelo di Roma, or just Angelo, is Rinoa's dog in Final Fantasy VIII. Activate Rinoa's limit breaks to summon the faithful pooch. When Angelo is done healing the party or being used as a dog-powered cannon, Rinoa will reward her with a treat or a pet on the snoot.


Out of the few games with dogs, there are even fewer where you get to interact the animal. In some games, you play as a dog. In others, you use the dog as a tool. Either way, it's agonizing to know that there's a puppy on your screen and you can't give it love.


To help you cope, here are 7 of the best games where you can pet the dog.

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.

Twelve games undeserving of their critical praise https://www.gameskinny.com/574ei/twelve-games-undeserving-of-their-critical-praise https://www.gameskinny.com/574ei/twelve-games-undeserving-of-their-critical-praise Sun, 16 Aug 2015 18:39:02 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

We’ve all been there before. We have been playing a game that was showered with critical acclaim, and while we don’t think the game may necessarily be bad, we wonder, “Why is this getting so much praise?” While this thought may not occur during play time, the thought may have crossed your mind after the end credits roll.

To clarify, I am not claiming these games are awful; some of them are pretty good. This list is a collection of games that caused me to question their critical acclaim while playing them.  With that in mind, let’s get to the good stuff!


I have to give credit where credit is due: Bethesda is great at creating gigantic virtual sandboxes for players to muck about in. The problem is they rarely fill those sandboxes with anything interesting. While Oblivion had many of the same issues as Skyrim, I found Skyrim the more boring and uninteresting of the two. With constantly repeated dungeons, floaty combat, shallow game mechanics, and an overall boring world, Skyrim is more repetitive than the Dick and Jane book series.   

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I love a good turn-based strategy game; I’m slightly addicted to them. When I heard the venerable XCOM series was receiving a reboot, I was ecstatic. The original games have not aged well; so being able to play an XCOM game with modern design and sensibilities was a tantalizing prospect. While Enemy Unknown was not bad, it had several design issues and a lack of depth found in other turn-based strategy games.

The game can be easily completed by keeping your squad in a phalanx formation and simply abusing Overwatch like it's no one’s business. Once you get your soldiers promoted, they essentially become all-powerful demigods who laugh at the enemy invaders. A combination of individual classes can make most of the game a breeze. The lack of depth was also noticeable.

I celebrate a game becoming more accessible for newcomers, but there are ways to add depth for those who want it without alienating newer players. It’s far from a bad game. I like the veteran series being thrust into the limelight once again, and now we are getting more, but hopefully the forthcoming sequel will rectify some of the issues found in Enemy Unknown.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

To the time of writing this, I have completed nearly every game I have started. I rarely start a game I do not finish unless the game is awful or just drab in every way. Brotherhood is one of those games.

I endured the uneven first game due to the unique setting and experience (Middle East during Medieval times = awesome!), and Assassin’s Creed 2 improved upon the first game in so many ways, giving me what I enjoyed from the first game with less of what I didn’t. So why in the world was Brotherhood so boring? The game doesn’t introduce many new or interesting ideas; the story was snooze worthy; and the game was just monotonous as a whole.

Uncharted 2

I debated including this one. However, after the lovely comments on my last piece where I dared accuse Uncharted 2 of not being as great as people think it is, I couldn’t help but include it here!

Yes, Uncharted 2 in NO way deserves the amount of critical acclaim it has received.

Half-Life 2

I’ve really lost it now, haven’t I? (I assure you I haven’t, or maybe I never had it.) Before you discount this thought, though, let’s talk. Half-Life 2 is a good game, but it is nowhere near the perfection people claim it to be. It’s a small game wrapped in a large tech demo. The game was a vehicle to show what the Source engine could do, and at the time of release, it was impressive. Now, though, not so much.

There are some great moments in the game. Ravenholm was tense and dripping with atmosphere. Experimenting with the gravity gun was satisfying. The upgraded gravity gun was even more satisfying. Between all of those moments, though, there is a lot of filler. The game is filled with a glut of boring vehicle sections, some tedious puzzles, and unnecessary fluff which the later episodic release rectified. It’s still a good game, but there’s a reason many fans are still talking about the original Half-Life over the sequel.

Bioshock Infinite

I’ve argued the case for Bioshock 2 before, but I still find people who think BioShock Infinite is the better game because they like to pretend Bioshock 2 does not exist. Bioshock 2 had large locales to explore, gripping combat, depth of gameplay, and was also fun to play. BioShock Infinite was a corridor shooter that quickly devolved into a monotonous slog towards the endgame.

I almost didn’t finish the game due to how boring and predictable the gameplay and design had become. The story was the only thing keeping me invested in any way.

At least it had great art design!

Fable III

The entire Fable series is built upon a foundation of unfulfilled promises and disappointed players. That said, the first two games managed to be enjoyable, even if they came nowhere near the heights they were projected to reach. With Fable III, Lionhead went one step forward and three large steps backwards.

The most egregious change was the abandonment of a menu system in favor of a hub-like area to access your inventory and such. The result was a confusing and ultimately unnecessary system. The also had a ridiculously simple and unfulfilling combat system that was as shallow as it was bland. A bevy of technical issues and a pointless section towards the end add up to one undeserving game.

Grand Theft Auto 4

It’s boring. Hmmm. Is that not enough? Alright, alright, here ya go!

GTA 4 is full of uninteresting characters populating a dull world with failed attempts at social critique, plagued by poor controls and gameplay. Just play Saints Row instead: the controls are better, it is far from pretentious, and it’s just plain fun to play - something the GTA series has yet to learn.

Arkham Knight

Honestly, this one is a matter of principle. Yes, Warner Bros. should NOT have knowingly released such an obviously unfinished PC port. They are completely at fault for pushing this sorry excuse for a game out the door. But why in the world was the game positively reviewed almost everywhere while an entire section of the playerbase couldn’t even play the damn game they bought?

The shady tactics of WB releasing the now infamous PC port should have affected scores overall. After all, Metacritic scores are one of the only ways to get these AAA publishers to pay attention, listen, and learn from their mistakes.

Telltale Games

I really enjoyed The Wolf Among Us. The Walking Dead: Season One affected me on an emotional level only two other games have. Tales from the Borderlands is shaping up to be a solid surprise too. So why are Telltale’s games on this list? Because of The Walking Dead: Season Two and Game of Thrones.

The Walking Dead: Season Two is the very definition of a disappointing sequel. With weaker writing and plot design coupled with brain-dead character decisions and forced confrontations, the game left a lot to be desired.

As a fan of the books who was interested to see what Telltale would do, I am disappointed Game of Thrones has such a poor design base and is just so uninteresting. So far the game has been extremely predictable and plagued with poor design. Now if they would only start from scratch…

Gears of War 3

Marcus and company land on this list with a, you guessed it!, insipid entry in the beefcake versus meat slabs series. While the entire series could be on this list, I managed to somewhat enjoy the first two titles and complete. Gears of War 3 on the other hand, remains one of those games on my “Do not want to finish list.”

With minimal to no evolution in any way over previous entries, failed attempts at gravitas and drama, and lame firefights, the acclaim heaped onto GoW 3 is puzzling.


Checklist for a "meh" game:

  • Repetive gameplay and embodiment of a Skinner box: Check!
  • Bland and lackluster gameplay: Check!
  • Story that reads like a thousand chimps' attempt at a space opera: Check!
  • Inflated expectations due to misleading ads, coverage, and such: Check!
  • Greedy business practices and insuting comments from the devs: Double Check!

And so it goes.

No doubt you completely agree with my list. However, if by some small chance you do not agree with my choices, sound off in the comments! Have I missed a game that in no way deserves the critical acclaim it has received? Make your voice heard as well!

Now go play some better games!

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


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


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




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.


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? 




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!


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?


Five Nights at Freddy’s


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.


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.


The Elder Scrolls


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.


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. 


Gears of War


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.


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. 


Assassin’s Creed


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.


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.


Grand Theft Auto                                                                   


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?


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. 


Call of Duty


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?




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. 


I mean really, ONE skill??




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.


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. 


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!


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. 

17 Awesome Video Game Moments and Memories https://www.gameskinny.com/j8r7o/17-awesome-video-game-moments-and-memories https://www.gameskinny.com/j8r7o/17-awesome-video-game-moments-and-memories Thu, 06 Mar 2014 20:20:36 -0500 MandieM

Uncharted 2 : Among Thieves Intro

My favorite thing about this opening scene is pretty much everything. This is an awesome combination of high-adrenaline cinematics and bad-assery. This is exactly why video games are so fun for me; I can do things I could only dream of doing in real life.

Megaton Nuke + Aftermath

Oh, Fallout 3. How I love thee. 


Don't try to claim you didn't blow Megaton up at least once. I know you'll be lying because even those of us who play pure good 100 percent of the time have done it at least once. Because explosions are fun, and let's face it; Fallout encourages us to blow things up. I'm not sure what's more fun here, the explosion or seeing your "friend" afterward.

Walking Dead: Clementine and the Salt Lick

This is really short, but it's my favorite scene from the game. It's subtle, but breaks up the endless death and dying quite nicely, giving a good chuckle. 

Harvest Moon Animal Parade: Wedding with Harvest Goddess

I am a well-known Harvest Moon addict. It's just nice to get a break with a game that's not all shoot-y, kill-y, and stabby once in a harvest moon, pun entirely intended.


Of all the scenes I've encountered throughout all of the Harvest Moon games, this one was easily the cutest. Kissing sprites? Adorable.

Katamari Forever - Rolling Up...Well, Everything

Katamari is generally one of the most underrated game franchises out there, at least in my not-so-humble opinion. What can be said that's bad about rolling up the entire universe?


Never mind that you roll up a black hole. Katamari's not about logic.

Vanilla WoW in a Minute by Wowcrendor (World of Warcraft Machinima)



Everything in Vanilla Wow. Need I say more? Oh Vanilla Wow, where for art thou?





Mega Man 2- Intro

For an older game, the Mega Man 2 intro was pretty inspiring. As you climb up the tower, it seems simplistic at first. But the intro gives a feeling of anticipation that the game carries throughout it.

God of War 2 - Kratos and Zeus

Battles don't get much more epic than this. Many gamers thoroughly enjoyed this battle. It stuck in the minds of gamers both for its storyline depth and beautiful graphics. The scene with Gaia is also pretty incredible.

Red Dead Redemption - First ride into Mexico

Although this took my breath away and continues to do so to this day, it's just another day at work for Rockstar Games. The expansiveness and intricacies found in this area are breathtaking.

Journey - Sand Surfing 

Journey is an incredible game anyway, particularly story and graphic-wise. This specific area was easily one of the most captivating.

Yoshi's Island Ending

Awww, and so our twins were reunited, and the Yoshi's lived happily ever after. Yoshi's Island was surprisingly popular, considering the serious lack of violence and plethora of cute it held. Almost makes me feel bad for dropping Yoshi down holes to save my own life.

Dragon vs Mammoth vs Giant vs Sabre Cat vs Me!

This situation from Skyrim isn't so much a moment as it is a regular occurrence. Every so often, you'd stumble upon a crazy, logic-bending fight. This particular video is a good way to showcase that ecological madness.

Final Fantasy XII - Summon Ultima

Few people can forget the first time they summoned Ultima. The sheer power drawn down from the heavens was staggering and quite breathtaking. 

Fable III - The Ultimate Decision 

This is easily the biggest "omg" moment when you first start playing Fable 3. It's equal parts heartbreaking and horrifying. To make matters worse, this decision on whether to kill peasants or your true love is timed. If you don't do anything, they both die.

The Last of Us - Giraffes!

This scene from The Last of Us made many people smile. In the words of Ellie, "So F***ing cool."

Portal 2 Turret Opera

Often a quoted favorite of Portal 2 fans, the end of the game treats you to a wonderful turret opera that's almost as engaging as the game itself. It's totally OK if you did a little ballet dance the first time watching it. It's even encouraged that you act like a conductor.

Super Mario Bros. Ending

Just about everyone felt that they had achieved something great when they finally beat the last stage of Super Mario Bros. Some of us were clearly brighter than others, and beat it in short measure. Others, (totally not me) may or may not have beaten the game for the first time eight years later when it was a relic. (So not me.)

Peter Molyneux: "Fable 3 Was a Trainwreck" https://www.gameskinny.com/cyknj/peter-molyneux-fable-3-was-a-trainwreck https://www.gameskinny.com/cyknj/peter-molyneux-fable-3-was-a-trainwreck Tue, 25 Feb 2014 16:09:10 -0500 Lauren Puga

It’s pretty uncommon for a game designer to openly trash their own work, but in a recent interview with Develop, that’s exactly what Fable creator Peter Molyneux did.

At this month’s Casual Connect, Molyneux discussed with the publication why he’d never be able to create his perfect game - using the Fable series as an example. Molyneux said in the interview: 

“In my mind, as a designer, whenever I’m making a game I have this perfect jewel in mind.”

“Fable for me was this beautiful, incredible, amusing, funny, artistic, wonderful gem of a game that anyone could play, that tugged on the heartstrings and that was instantly engaging.”

The end result however was not the “perfect jewel” the designer had in mind. While he didn’t think the game was bad, Molyneux found the game flawed and strove for improvement in future installments.

Looking back, he considers Fable 2 a "step in the right direction,” but isn’t so eager to defend Fable 3.

"I think Fable III was a trainwreck."

"It was built to be much bigger than what it was constrained to be and eventually ended up as... If I had my time again, I'd take the advances we made from Fable I to Fable II, I'd make the same advances from Fable II to Fable III and spend another entire year working on Fable III. But would it be that perfect gem that's in my mind? No."

While Molyneux may have been disappointed with the game, he seems to be in the minority.  Fable 3 received generally positive reviews since it's release in 2010 – far from the train wreck he perceives it as.  

[UPDATE] 33% - 93% Off; Xbox Live Sales And Specials For February https://www.gameskinny.com/c69oa/update-33-93-off-xbox-live-sales-and-specials-for-february https://www.gameskinny.com/c69oa/update-33-93-off-xbox-live-sales-and-specials-for-february Tue, 18 Feb 2014 04:42:08 -0500 Coatedpolecat


Dust: An Elysian Tail is a 2-D platformer that revitalized my interest in the genre. This combo-driven gameplay is complimented with a wonderfully written game and score. Complete with a talking sword and a flying rat, you're getting a bargain at only $2.99.


Photo found here.


Rock Band Blitz is a controller based music rhythm game. You can tap your way to fun with this discounted game at $4.04.


Photo found here.


Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale is a hack-n-slash adventure. It brings the 4th rule set of D&D to life for only $1.99.


Photo found here.


Guardians of Middle Earth is Xbox Live's first true MOBA experience. When the game released it had some server issues, but they have seem to ironed them out now. You can play as your favorite LOTR character for only $1.04.


Photo found here.


Alan Wake's American Nightmare takes place in the same fiction and story-line as the original game. This is simply a separate DLC, which doesn't require the original game to play. For only $2.99 this is one nightmare you don't want to wake up from.


Photo found here.


Motocross Madness makes use of your Avatar as you navigate multiple terrains in the arcade dirt-bike racing game. For only $1.99 I guess it can't hurt to eat some dirt.


Photo found here.


Batman: Arkham City got awarded several 10/10 scores and is still a highly regarded entry into the recent reboot of the Dark Knight. For only $4.99 you can thwart evil doers until the break of dawn.


Photo found here.


Fable III is a very popular action-RPG that focuses on decision that alter the story, how people interact with you, and changes your characters appearance. This great adventure is yours for only $7.49.


Photo found here.


Driver San Francisco is a character story-based urban racing game. Though you're on a manhunt, you don't have to search too far to find a great value at $6.59.


Photo found here.


DiRT 3 is a well polished arcade racer. For only $4.99 you can get plenty of smiles per gallon out of this bargain.


Photo found here.


Asura's Wrath is an underrated action game that consists of a plethora of quick time events. This game costs only $7.59 and both its DLC are discounted to only $1.99 a pop.


Photo found here.


Mass Effect is a great series and the very first of the trilogy. If you've wanted to play the beginning of this stellar story it's on sale for only $3.74. There is no discounted DLC for this iteration.


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Portal 2 is a physics-based puzzler with a single player and co-op campaign. Venisia with GameSkinny wrote a great review about the game. The price of the game is $9.89 with the free Peer Review DLC.


Photo found here.


The following games will be on sale until February 25th, 2014 and are part of "the Ultimate Games Sale." Hurry before it's too late.


Dragonball Z Budokai HD is along the same lines as the slide prior to this one. This game is based on a different part of that story and actually precedes Tenkaichi and will cost you another $30.


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Dragonball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is on sale for $30. The game is based on the TV cartoon series, and with that you get another fighting game included in this sale.


Photo found here.


Hot Wheels: World's Best Driver will set you back $20. Having not played or heard of this game - nor could I find a site that reviewed it - I can only imagine that price should be a little lower.


Photo found here.


Zumba Fitness Core is $30 for the rest of the month. Now to find the energy and motivation.


Photo found here.


Killer Is Dead was written by Suda; those who are a fan of his work would find this game very familiar in style. In the action-packed game, you're a cyborg that wields a sword. The title is priced at $30 until the end of the month.


Photo found here.


From the creators of Mortal Kombat comes Injustice: Gods Among Us. This stunning brawler will cost you $40 in this month's sale.


Photo found here.


NBA 2K14 is just about the only basketball simulator. In addition to the RPG elements during an optional campaign, this sports franchise's gameplay and textures are top notch--and the game is only $40 until next Tuesday. This sale is now over.


Photo found here.


As of Tuesday (2/11/2014), Xbox Live is having a decent sale on select games. NBA 2K14 is the deal of the week, while the rest of the games highlighted here are discounted throughout the rest of the month. Enjoy!


[UPDATE - starting on slide 9] According to Major Nelson's website there are some pretty awesome deals right through February 25th. Stay tuned for the daily updates that are supposed to take place as well.

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.

6 Hardcore Games Ruined By Casual Gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/ynmi6/6-hardcore-games-ruined-by-casual-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/ynmi6/6-hardcore-games-ruined-by-casual-gamers Thu, 25 Jul 2013 22:48:42 -0400 MirandaCB

I think it's reasonable to start by defining, at least loosely, what a "casual gamer" is and what kind of habits this type of person has. When someone is referred to as a casual gamer, the branding typically brings to mind the image of a person who does not often play video games.

However, when they do go digital, their desired experience is often one of quick joy that doesn't take a great deal of thought or persistence. For games like Candy Crush and The Sims, this is the perfect expectation. However, casual gamers often hold the majority of the gaming audience and this can influence other games that were not necessarily meant for the casual audience.

Here are six games or franchises affected by this demographic:

6. League of Legends

Where the effect is present in LoL is in the "balancing" of characters. Many green players, who get absolutely rocked by a character with skills considered too powerful, complain and demand that they get nerfed. In reality, that character is so totally NOT broken, the offending player just happened to handle the character with more skill than you can understand. Granted, there are times when characters just have cheap abilities, but devs are quick to adjust. The point is, people that don't spend the time it takes to get better, whine and generally get their way.

5. The God of War Franchise

The early games were the bomb, and somewhat educational with all the violent mythology lessons. Countering, dodging, and battle tactics were the bread and butter of the games before people considered all that too difficult. Now it's button-mashing nonsense where two hits equal a demolished beasty who, in first game, would have taken at least a few minutes to take down. 'Make it easier and they will come,' someone somewhere apparently said--and some bigwig publishers adhere to this.

4. Diablo 3

Diablo 3 is beautiful eye candy and had so much potential. In its attempt to pack as many "improvements" as possible into the game, they became mistakes. The qualities of the previous game were ignored. What Activision should have done was to see what keeps the hardcore gamers involved, because Diablo 3 has experienced a declining player base. Going to console was a reaction to that situation. The beauty of Diablo is that casual gamers can go as far as they want, try as hard as they deem necessary, click, click, click, and let their character sit. The more dedicated players have the option to continue and really wring the game dry of its great content, but they didn't put that alluring content in.

3. Call of Duty and Other Shooters

Enough with the Call of Duty games already. Repackaging the preceding game does not a great sequel make, let alone eight. In general, any casual gamers jumping into more competitive matches can throw off the balance of the team, (same thing happens with LoL), but sometimes it's just newer players trying to get involved. What happened to building on the best qualities of the first game to satisfy seasoned gamers as well as inviting the new ones? Changing races and adding zombies doesn't really count.

2. The Fable Franchise

The first Fable was a great RPG and people are stoked for the HD remake, myself included. However, the series has declined in quality. The success of the previous games led the way for cutting corners, tedium, crap story and character development, and a level of juvenility that baffles anyone with a medulla oblongata. What happened? Filler and farts. 

1. World of Warcraft and Other Mainstream MMOs

In the early World of Warcraft days (vanilla WoW to most) the act of creating and evolving a character throughout the game experience was a very deeply involved process. With extensive talent trees and unique abilities that served as counters to other abilities, the process of crafting an elite character took time and planning. For the early adopters and hardcore players alike, this system was perfect because it was something that they could get lost in and really dive deep. However, once the game became massively popular and all walks of gamers picked it up, people went in with tons of different expectations and the game was only equipped to serve a few.

As the game progressed through its life, the developers (Blizzard) tried their hardest to appeal to an ever broadening audience of people. Unfortunately, no one can please everyone. With the latest expansion installment, many of the deep and involved features such as the talent tree have been reworked to appeal to a less involved demographic known as the casual gamer. In my opinion, once compromises like these are made for the sake of wider appeal, the experience is spoiled for the truly dedicated fans. 

This type of spoiling is very common in video games, particularly recently because the rise of the casual gamer is upon us. Now anybody with half a brain and a computer can boot up the newest MMO or shooter and be able to play it and influence its evolution in a similar fashion to the dedicated fans who offer valid solutions to truly better the game experience.

The major problem with casual gamers is that they don't get invested in a game. Whether it's the story or the character creation/development, the shear difficulty and challenge, or something else, casual gamers often lack the ability to appreciate these nuances. These nuances are really what make a game difficult and involved, and they also make the game less accessible for casual gamers. So they complain and the game is changed to support those gamers. Unfortunately, this tends to alienate the dedicated fan base.

There are three groups of gamers: the noisy market, which consist of the casual gamers that bigger developers believe are their main audience; the silent market that is off actually playing those games; and the hardcore minority that vigorously plays the games and voices their opinions. We shouldn't resent casual gamers because they are simply looking for a fun experience. I place blame on the developers for not sticking to their guns. What it comes down to is wanting to reach more people to get inside their wallets. The problem is they just ignore their dedicated fans and look at the audience as a whole, just some numbers on a balance sheet.

Of course there are more games out there subject to this sort of influence. Which ones aren't on the list? Let us know in the comments!

Xbox: Games with Gold Free Games Arriving on the 1st and 16th! https://www.gameskinny.com/yduaw/xbox-games-with-gold-free-games-arriving-on-the-1st-and-16th https://www.gameskinny.com/yduaw/xbox-games-with-gold-free-games-arriving-on-the-1st-and-16th Fri, 21 Jun 2013 13:00:00 -0400 GabrielKross

Microsoft has shed more light on the Games with gold promotion. Starting with Fable 3 on June 10th, Xbox Live Gold members will be able to download free games between now and the end of 2013. How this works is each new month will get 2 games scheduled for free download. The first will be available on the 1st - 15th and the second from the 16th to the end of the month. These are special, limited time offers so make sure you keep an eye out as to what is coming out when!

The Next set of Free Games

July will see the popular titles of Assasin's Creed 2 and Halo 3 getting listed for free. July will be the first month to actually see 2 games, since June only saw the release of Fable 3 for free. All these games were big names upon their release but have been out for some time now. I'm not sure if that is the criteria for the unannounced upcoming games for the remainder of 2013 or just a coincidence. All I can say for certain is I will be keeping a close eye on future updates on this promotion. I just hope they don't start out big and go small.

Xbox Live: Fable 3 is Free On Xbox Live Marketplace! https://www.gameskinny.com/saq99/xbox-live-fable-3-is-free-on-xbox-live-marketplace https://www.gameskinny.com/saq99/xbox-live-fable-3-is-free-on-xbox-live-marketplace Tue, 11 Jun 2013 15:36:22 -0400 ZevHadar

If you are an Xbox Live Gold member, drop what you are doing and download Fable 3 for free! 

When searched, Fable 3 shows up in Games On Demand for FREE! The only real cost is the 6 GB of storage the game occupies. This discovery comes very shortly after Microsoft announced that every month there are going to be two free games available to Xbox Live Gold Members, titled Games with Gold

What's even more exciting for those gamers abroad is that this benefit isn't just localized to the States. The free download of Fable 3 was tested on an Xbox 360 in the United Kingdom and it still worked. 

There has been speculations as to why Fable 3 isn't the beginning of the new Games with Gold program and instead a glitch in Microsoft's servers. One being the fact that no one has yet to find the second free game on Xbox Live's Games on Demand services. Second, Fable 3 was found (to be free) very shortly after Microsoft announced the Games with Gold program. Although the whole point of the Games with Gold program is to reward those who are Gold Xbox Live Members. A fellow gamer, who had a Silver Xbox Live account went on to download Fable 3 and it still cost him money. 

Is this the beginning of Microsoft's new reward program for Gold Members or were they just being nice?