Fable Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Fable 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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Microsoft Conjures Up New Fable Trademark, Social Account https://www.gameskinny.com/klkfr/microsoft-conjures-up-new-fable-trademark-social-account https://www.gameskinny.com/klkfr/microsoft-conjures-up-new-fable-trademark-social-account Thu, 02 Jul 2020 12:07:49 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Rumors of a new Fable game have been going around for years, but there's good reason Fable rumors are picking up again. Not only does Microsoft has an intriguing Fable-related social media placeholder account up and running, but they've also renewed Fable trademarks recently with "intent to use" them.

The trademark news comes from IGN, while Tom Warren of The Verge spotted the social accounts earlier in the week.

The social media account in question is on Twitter, with "Placeholder" as the name and "Fable" as the tag. Warren noted an Xbox employee was the only follower for the account as well. But Microsoft responded and said fans shouldn't get their hopes up because the company routinely creates placeholders for its IP.

The day before Warren found the Fable Twitter account, Microsoft submitted a new trademark application for Fable. It's not a game trademark, though. This new Fable trademark is for accessories like speakers, headphones, and chargers. It's currently set to "no" for use, but "yes" for intent to use.

In other words, unlike those "cover your bases" trademarks we often see, Microsoft apparently has plans to put this trademark in effect at some point in the future for Fable-related merch.

Hopefully, we'll know if a new Fable game is in the cards later this month during Microsoft's big Xbox Series X showcase — the one where we'll see actual gameplay instead of snazzy cinematics only.

The original trademark story is on IGN if you're interested.

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Microsoft Is Bringing Back Fable https://www.gameskinny.com/wqvr4/microsoft-is-bringing-back-fable https://www.gameskinny.com/wqvr4/microsoft-is-bringing-back-fable Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:53:32 -0500 Nilufer Gadgieva

Two years after the shutdown of Lionhead Studios, Microsoft is bringing back the nostalgic, long-awaited Fable as an Xbox One exclusive. It has designated the task to British developer Playground Games, who was also behind Forza Horizon 3. According to Eurogamer, Microsoft is said to have been inspired by none other than the PS4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn, more for its single-player, open-world concept than anything else.

While it's still in early development, with Playground Games having hired more than 200 people to work on the game, it's been said to be an open-world, story-driven RPG. Thus, the hype is growing among fans everywhere.

The Fable series became something of a hit back in 2008, when Microsoft released Fable II through the hard work of Lionhead studios, and it went on to become one of the biggest RPG bestsellers for Xbox 360. Although it had been a rather plot-less, incoherent game, what it lacked in story it made up for with the fantastic world in which players found themselves.

Unfortunately, Lionhead Studios was closed down by Microsoft in 2016, while the developers were knee-deep in Fable Legends and conceptualizing Fable 4. Rumors from Kotaku UK claimed that Microsoft had refused to sell the rights of the franchise to potential big-name investors of the studio, and therefore shut it down, canceling both projects abruptly.

Now it seems Microsoft wants to do some good for the Xbox One community, and what better way to achieve that than by bringing die-hard fans back to the platform to explore Albion once again.

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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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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.

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5 Best Classic RPG Battle Systems https://www.gameskinny.com/t6tey/5-best-classic-rpg-battle-systems https://www.gameskinny.com/t6tey/5-best-classic-rpg-battle-systems Wed, 24 Aug 2016 05:05:56 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

There are tons of ways to design a battle system, and it can make or break a game. For years, many RPGs have been pushing what makes a great battle system and what can work in tandem with the story and feel of the game. Some flop; some rise to the top. Here’s a list of the best RPG battle systems from the SNES to the PS2.

Earthbound

Earthbound is definitely a classic. First released on the SNES in 1995, Earthbound was ported to the Wii U Virtual console in 2015. While the game has a very simple turn-based battle system, it had one feature that made it great: the rolling HP counter. In most games, once you’re hit, the damage is definite. You take the hit, then you do damage control by using potions. In Earthbound, the HP counter rolls down, so, if you’re fast enough, you can heal party members before it stops moving. This is especially helpful when one of your party members is near death. With quick action, you can turn a whole battle around near the end.

The Shin Megami Tensei Series

The Shin Megami Tensei series adds more gameplay mechanics in almost every game which enhance the battles and flow of the game. One of the best battle mechanics is the extra turn system. It goes by different names, but it’s usually the same thing: if you hit the enemies’ weakness, you get an extra turn. This can potentially go on forever and, in some games—most noticeably Persona 3 and 4—you can perform team attacks and deal out massive damage. However, it’s a double edged sword. Enemies have the same advantage. This gives battles an extra challenge. Going into a boss battle, you never know what party members to bring, lending to the eerie feeling of the games.

Tales of the Abyss

Easily my favorite game in the Tales of series, Tales of the Abyss adds the Field of Fonons (FOFs) to its battle system. As an action RPG, Abyss doesn’t have a turn-based battle system. It’s real-time, and was the first Tales of game to add the ability to free run about the battlefield instead of just towards and away from the enemy you were locked onto. In addition to this, the FOFs allowed for characters to mix their Artes, or skills, with different elements, unleashing massive damage on enemy forces. This allowed for another level of co-op gameplay as well. It made players strategize with their friends to lay down the correct FOFs to deal extra damage to tough enemies.

Fable

 

While Fable is remembered most for its alignment system, the combat was also fun and engaging. The mechanics behind the combat were the best part of this battle system. Each time your Hero leveled up, you gained points to spend on a variety of attributes, including: Speed, Accuracy, Guile, Physique, Health, Toughness, Attack Spells, Surround Spells, and Physical Spells. Because there were so many options, the combat felt different for every different character you made.

There was also the combat multiplier, which changed the amount of experience you received based on your hit rate. The more you hit the enemy, the more experience you got, but the more the enemy hit you, the less you got. This system encouraged players to not just swing blindly, but it was still entirely possible to do. Fable was about choice, and this extended into the combat as well.

Breath of Fire IV

Another turn-based RPG, Breath of Fire IV combined 2D sprites with a fully 3D environment. Battles are viewed from overhead and can feature any number of enemies versus only three party members at a time. However, more party members can be in the back row for reserves. While in the reserves, characters cannot take damage or contribute to the fight, but they gain back their HP and magic. While a simple addition, this allows for players to switch characters in a pinch in order to restore their stats.

Also, Breath of Fire IV implemented a Combo System. This allowed for two characters to use specific moves back-to-back to create a stronger attack, such as two fire spells making a much stronger one.

There are plenty of other battle systems that are amazing in their own right. As time goes on, more and more RPGs push the envelope to create better systems to enhance gameplay. Don’t see your favorite system on this list? Go ahead and comment why you love it!  

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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). 

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Michael Forgey, Executive Producer at Monolith Games, passes away https://www.gameskinny.com/uas89/michael-forgey-executive-producer-at-monolith-games-passes-away https://www.gameskinny.com/uas89/michael-forgey-executive-producer-at-monolith-games-passes-away Sat, 05 Mar 2016 07:50:04 -0500 BlackTideTV

The gaming industry has lost yet another great player to cancer. Michael Forgey, executive producer at Monolith games, passed away Thursday, March 3rd after a long battle with brain cancer.

In May of last year, Mike visited the doctor for a simple migraine, but was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare and highly aggressive form of brain cancer. After being rushed into surgery, doctors discovered that his primary tumor was inoperable.

Forgey underwent several experimental procedures and even saw improvement with doctors noting a reduction in tumor size before his sudden passing. Through the use of a YouCaring campaign, Mike's family managed to raise over $127,000 from 625 donors to cover the costs of treatment, therapy, and other family expenses.

Michael is responsible for several blockbuster video games including, but not limited to: Middle Earth: Shadow of MordorGears of War I II, and Fable. He will be sorely missed in the community.

 

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Lionhead Studio Posts Image for #NationalCleavageDay, Fans Question Taste https://www.gameskinny.com/qsynk/lionhead-studio-posts-image-for-nationalcleavageday-fans-question-taste https://www.gameskinny.com/qsynk/lionhead-studio-posts-image-for-nationalcleavageday-fans-question-taste Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:31:06 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Lionhead Studios, the team behind the Fable games,  has put out its own image for #NationalCleavageDay. The image, which went out over their official Twitter account, is of a voluptuous young woman holding two pints of alcohol, with the words "The Foaming Jugs" overhead. Her cups runneth over.

The image has garnered some controversy for fans, many of whom commented that they had to make sure this was the official Twitter account for the studio (it is). 

In response to several comments claiming this post was insensitive due to the current climate in games (especially in regards to the representation of women) the account posted this image: 

The accompanying tweet read: 

Just to be clear, we don't descriminate...[sic]

Both images are "from the archives," at Lionhead; the Foaming Jugs sign is a pub sign from Fable 2 and the "bum one" is from Valentines Day a few years ago.

Within an hour of posting, all images and references were removed from Twitter. 

Lionhead Studios next title is Fables Legend, an upcoming Free-to-Play game for the Xbox One. 

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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? 

\n

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

\n

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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Five Games That MUST Reappear on PS4 or Xbox One https://www.gameskinny.com/3phev/five-games-that-must-reappear-on-ps4-or-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/3phev/five-games-that-must-reappear-on-ps4-or-xbox-one Sat, 19 Oct 2013 00:10:43 -0400 Brian Armstrong

As the next generation of consoles creeps closer, it's time to look back at some games from the past and decide which ones absolutely must make a massive entrance on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Some of the games below are one-offs that blew us away, and others are long-running series that have been consistently great over the years. Regardless of how long they've been around the following titles are key to making the next generation one to remember.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us was a massive success for the PlayStation 3, and while we can only assume it will be brought to the next generation in some form, there hasn't been any official confirmation. The game looked beautiful on the PS3, and was able to squeeze every bit of graphical power the console had left. The game already looks beautiful, but bringing a sequel to this game to the PS4 could potentially be one of the best looking games on any console.

 

Gran Turismo

Again, another game we can assume will make an appearance on PS4, Gran Turismo 6 is currently only confirmed for PlayStation 3. Rather than porting that game to the next generation, imagine how good GT7 could look. Gran Turismo games have long been known for their beautiful graphics (not to mention their incredible attention to detail). If GT7 made an appearance on the PlayStation 4 in three or four years, it could give Forza 5 a real run for its money. DriveClub, which was intended to be a PS4 launch title but was delayed, will likely be a beautiful and fun game; but long-time racing fans will be itching to see exactly how good GT can look on a new console.

Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto V is another game that has been rumored for a port to next generation consoles, and this would surely sell really well, but many gamers will be curious to see exactly how big, beautiful, and crazy GTA VI could be. GTA V is already a huge game with hours upon hours of content, but for my money, I can’t wait to see what the team at Rockstar can do with next generation consoles. How much bigger can the world be? How much better can the cities look? It's hard to say GTA V needs to improve upon anything, but it's hard to deny that the power of Rockstar combined with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 could produce epic results.

Fable 4

I know Microsoft is touting a new Fable game called Fable: Legends, but this is not the game long-time Fable fans were hoping to hear about. After Fable 3 failed to impress like the first couple games, fans are itching for a return to what made the first game so great: character development and having real consequences for any decisions you make. The long-rumored Fable MMO would even be a welcome addition, but more than anything, Xbox One needs to see a new Fable game that returns the series to its roots. Open up the world to more exploring, thanks to the power of Xbox One, and give players hundreds of hours of content to explore, similar to the open-ended world found in Elder Scrolls games.

Elder Scrolls VI

Speaking of Elder Scrolls, The Elder Scrolls VI absolutely needs to hurry up and land on next generation consoles. Sure, The Elder Scrolls Online is coming out next year and will  be great, but long-time Elder Scrolls fans are pretty particular when it comes to their single-player Elder Scrolls RPG, and there is a legion of fans that will be anxiously awaiting the next numbered game in the series.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was already one of the most beautiful games of the last generation, which has fans salivating at the possibilities for how the game could look in the next gen. With faster processors, more RAM, and better GPUs, the next Elder Scrolls game could be more open-ended, realistic, free, and beautiful games to ever be made.

Now It's Your Turn

So there you have it, five games that simply must make their way to next generation consoles in a big way. I'd say it is likely we will see all of these games in some form or another at some point on the new consoles, but we never know for sure.

Consoles have always had their flagship games that have defined the gemeration (Mario, Zelda, Banjo Kazooie, Halo, etc), so getting familiar games like these to the new generation as soon as possible will be important to helping the new consoles sell.

What games are you itching to see on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? 

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How Will Sony Fall Short of Next-Gen Victory https://www.gameskinny.com/uyqqk/how-will-sony-fall-short-of-next-gen-victory https://www.gameskinny.com/uyqqk/how-will-sony-fall-short-of-next-gen-victory Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:54:00 -0400 Max Jay

With the launch of the PS4 and the Xbox One right around the corner the words on the lips of every gamer are akin to, "Who do you think will win next-gen?" Well let me answer that for you: Microsoft. 

**Can't we all just be friends?**

If you go to any hardcore gamer and utter that statement you'll be met with a resounding silence and a facial expression reserved only for the most disturbing of sociopaths. The hardcore have their finger firmly planted on the pulse of the industry; they know what's coming and are prepared to do their research to ascertain the best possible experience. Yet a downfall of the hardcore is that they often forget that the casual and semi-casual market makes up far more of the consumer base. For every hardcore player that preordered a PS4 there are 10 casual players that will see an Xbox One on Black Friday and pick it up on a whim. 

But Why is That?

For those of you who are familiar with my writing, you know that I have a random obsession with how products in the industry are marketed – and let me just say: This all comes down to marketing. 

**Called that number (don't ask) and got Xbox Live tech support.**

Of the two industry giants one markets their products like a Vegas hooker: They show the best stuff, and leave out the fact that the may have herpes (or worse, DRM). The other just doesn’t market – which to the hardcore is seen as humble and appealing, but to everyone else seems like the company isn’t confident or proud of their box.

I guess you can say that Sony only markets to the hardcore, the most loyal of fans for sure, but far from the greatest monetary demographic. Sony’s mission statement is that they are looking to make the best gaming machine ever (PCs excluded). But Microsoft is coming out guns-a-blazin’ fireworks and buzzwords, giving Microsoft access to a market that Sony is by-and-large ignoring. 

**It's a game machine, a DVR, a decoder ring, a washing machine and sock (All in One)**

A Game System (Also Everything Else)

While Sony is touting they’re quintessential gaming machine, Microsoft is saying that they’ve created the perfect storm of any machine ever. Sony is not making a DVR or a cable box; it is 100% a game system.

The Xbox One wants to enter your home and be planted firmly at the center of the living room. It's not just a game box - it's an entertainment powerhouse. Want to watch some T.V.? You can do that. Play a game? Pop right in and have at it. Check the sports scores? Pause the game and tell Kinect - it shall be so. The new Xbox is aiming to replace every box sitting under your television all at once - including your PlayStation. This is a message that will cut right through to the general public; a mass that is always looking for more convenience.

Sony however is saying that the PlayStation 4 is first and foremost a machine made for gamers and game developers of all shapes and sizes (even cubes). The PS4 has easy options for indie developers and development powerhouses alike. Sure, you can watch Netflix and Amazon rentals on the PS4 - but more casual gamers already have all of that on a million devices.

Bringing it Back to Marketing (Sorry Guys)

How many really amazing exclusives can you rattle off for the Xbox?

Halo, Gears, Fable on a good day.

Three.  

**Halo 4 probably outsold all of these combined.**

Sony has dozens, but no one outside of the more religious gamers have heard of them. Sure, everyone knows the name Uncharted – but if you go out on the street and ask a 20-something person if they’ve played any of the Uncharted games I’ll bet well more than half would say no. But anyone that has ever entered a dorm has not only played Halo, they’ve tea-bagged their roommate “Chudz” and “totally fragged this chick on Live.”

Sony spends millions on their first-party games coming out of their 12 privately owned studios, but when the games are nearing completion the average consumer has no idea (The Last of Us being the exception to that rule). Sony just lets their games flop out on to the market and sell meager numbers, when titles like LittleBIGPlanet and inFamous could have sold millions more than they did.

**Farnsworth here wants you to get it together, Sony. Also he wants your food.**

Prove Me Wrong (Please)

Over the past few months I’ve been a big supporter of how Sony has been handling their business as we bravely enter into the upcoming generation. For the most part they’ve been humble, and have made an emphasis on giving the consumer what they want. I pre-ordered a PS4 not because of the extremely marginal step up in power it has compared to the XBO, but because they aren’t treating their supporters as though they are doing us a huge favor by existing. They treat us like clients.

Unfortunately the various fiascos revolving around the Xbox One’s DRM business and forced Kinect will probably not make that much of a difference after the first few months of launch – simply because Microsoft is getting its message out more effectively to a wider audience. Hopefully following TGS Sony will make an epic push to get the word out, but if they don’t they’ll likely fall into a niche market again, similar to the fate of the PS3 and Vita.

But I wasn’t a marketing or e-con major, so what do YOU (yes, you) think? Will Sony come out on top in the long run, or will the company have to enjoy the 4-6 months of supremacy before the Xbox One takes off. Sound off in that comments down below and maybe I’ll sing you a Sony themed lullaby to the tune of Uncharted’s theme – you know what I’m talking about.

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10 Great Games You Should Be Playing Right Now https://www.gameskinny.com/kdbpe/10-great-games-you-should-be-playing-right-now https://www.gameskinny.com/kdbpe/10-great-games-you-should-be-playing-right-now Fri, 06 Sep 2013 23:52:07 -0400 Brian Armstrong

I've been doing a lot of writing about console gaming lately, and it's a little unsettling, as for the last few years I have considered myself primarily a PC gamer. Not that it matters, because as a gamer, I pride myself on not being a fanboy of one console or platform over another. That gets you nowhere. There are many great games and experiences on all formats that you'll miss out on entirely if you let fanaticism plague your mind. So it was this thinking that inspired me to create the definitive guide to the top (exclusive) games that you should be playing right now.

These are not necessarily new games, and they're net necessarily old either. Some of them may have been reviewed poorly, and some of them won every award there is. But what I wanted to highlight here was how allowing yourself to experience games on multiple platforms, you open yourself up to a world of opportunities. Just for the record, I have included games from the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PS Vita, as these are the systems I have currently. If I owned a Wii U I would certainly have included them here as well. But I can only go with what I know, so without further ado, let's begin!

SimCity (PC)

Might as well start the list off controversially, right? SimCity is pretty much a love it or hate it kind of deal. Launch issues plagued its release last year, and many gamers never forgave EA for their always-online stance. It's their loss though, because what waits on the other side of an internet connection is a fantastic city-building experience. Yes there are issues. For example, I am still not a fan of having to choose from little plots of land scattered across the map. I want to be able to build anywhere and everywhere on that map. I don't like the limitation. There are other minor quirks, but if you can get past these issues, the game is incredibly deep with a wealth of options to help you build a beautiful, jam-packed metropolis.

The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

This is one of those games that will earn a "No duh," from many readers, but this is absolutely not only a contender for my favorite game of the year, but perhaps all time. Its gripping story, beautiful graphics, and fun and engaging gameplay make for an incredible ride that begs to be replayed. If you don't own a PS3, this game is absolutely worth the purchase price alone. And I don't say that lightly.

Bioshock: Infinite (PC)

I know, I know... this game was not console-specific, but it shines brilliantly on the PC. With incredible graphics and its intense action, Bioshock: Infinite harkens back to a time when first-person shooters were just as much about the story as the action (Half Life). If you don't have the gaming rig capable of cranking up the graphics, I can attest that it still looks great on either Xbox or PlayStation, so don't hesitate to pick up whichever copy you can immediately.

Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)

The game I'm looking forward to the most from the early lineup of next generation games is Forza Motorsport 5. But the 4th version of the game is no slouch either, and if you haven't played it, there's no better time than now. The Forza series rapidly caught up with (and in my opinion passed) Sony's Gran Turismo franchise. The cars are beautiful, the races are fun, and the customization is addicting. This is a game that you'll want to just keep playing and playing, even if it's way past your bedtime.

MLB 13: The Show (PS Vita)

The Madden and NBA franchises have received most of the attention when it comes to sports games, but the Sony exclusive The Show franchise is probably the best of the bunch. Incredible graphics, smooth gameplay, and an amazing career mode with seemingly unlimited customization options make this game endlessly playable. The thrill of starting out a player in the minor leagues and working your way up the ranks until you eventually land with a major league club is addicting. I've singled out the PS Vita version of this game simply due to the portability factor. The game looks better on PS3, but it's tough to beat the pick-up-and-play functionality of the Vita. And depending on how you have your games set up, a game can last as little as five minutes, so it really makes squeezing in some gametime during your lunch breaks feasible.

Fable (Xbox 360)

Before anyone yells at me, yes, I know Fable was released on the original Xbox. But a while back I picked it up through the Xbox Live store to play on the 360, and as you may also know, Lionhead Studios is re-releasing the game in an anniversary form later this year. So I'm counting this as an Xbox 360 game. Even though it's nearing a decade in age, this game has an appeal that I can't resist. Whether it's building an evil menace that kicks chickens and swoons all the girls, or a knightly hero that does his best to make all the right decisions, Fable offers a level of freedom that wasn't seen much at the time. It's a little dated today, but I am hoping the anniversary edition breathes some new life into the game. I spent hours in this game upon release, and I still return to Albion in my free time today, and you should too.

Lord of the Rings Online (PC)

I'll start off by saying I'm not even close to max-level in this game yet, but I have really enjoyed every moment I've spent in LOTRO. Living out my character's adventures in Tolkien's world is so much more rewarding than any other MMO I've overplayed, simply because of where it's based. I can run through the Shire, I can retrace the Fellowship's route, and coming soon, I'll even be able to visit Helm's Deep. Good Lord that is some epic stuff. Better than all of that, it's free-to-play, so you can try it out for yourself and never spend a dime!

Infamous (PlayStation 3)

Perhaps my favorite game on PS3 is Infamous, thanks to the open-world, parkouring, super powers, and fun story. Being able to make decisions that ultimately shape your story is a great touch, and makes for a game that is replayable even after you've played through it exhaustively once. I continue to return to this game to find the hidden items, do lightning strike landings when jumping from tall buildings, and to slide across power lines between buildings. It's crazy, it's unbelievable, and it's pure fun.

Dragon Fantasy, Book 1 (PS Vita)

Much like MLB 13: The Show, I am picking the Vita version of this Final Fantasy-style game for its portability. With a great story, humorous and memorable characters, and nostalgic gameplay, Dragon Fantasy is a great game to play on the go. The game even features cross-save, meaning even if you do want to switch over to the PS3 version at some point, simply save your game to the cloud and load it up from your PS3. I got my start on RPGs playing Final Fantasy on the original; Gameboy, and this game on the Vita brings me back to those simple days instantly.

Total War: Rome II (PC)

This game just came out, but I can tell already it will be sucking my life away. The long-awaited sequel has ramped up the graphics and sheer size of the game, giving players an endless selection of ways to enjoy battling through the Roman Empire. It's a daunting game at first, and it has a pretty steep learning curve, but it is rewarding, and players who stick it out will be hooked on a game that shows what makes real-time strategy games on the PC one of the best genres in the industry.

What are the "must play" games for your console of choice? What games are out there for systems you don't own that you're itching to get your hands on? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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PAX Prime Wouldn't Have Been the Same Without You https://www.gameskinny.com/4cvom/pax-prime-wouldnt-have-been-the-same-without-you https://www.gameskinny.com/4cvom/pax-prime-wouldnt-have-been-the-same-without-you Wed, 04 Sep 2013 00:07:29 -0400 Brian Armstrong

I went to PAX Prime in Seattle with The Quest Gaming Network, and saw a lot of cool stuff. There's a lot of great games coming out and some incredible new technology on the horizon, but one of the best things about PAX Prime was the people.

Granted, there were too many of them. There were WAY too many people in there for the size of the venue, which was the Washington State Convention Center. Trying to make your way through the masses of sweaty, smelly, yet altogether awesome people was tricky, especially when I wanted to work my way through individual booths. Sony, for example, was so jam packed that I got stuck in one spot for about three minutes waiting for people to clear out enough for me to be able to continue moving. Lines were long, but the worst part was how long they actually took to wade through. It's not like at a theme park where you have long lines for a two minute ride, so it moves fairly fast. In the case of The Elder Scrolls Online, the line peaked at a two and a half hour wait for a 25 minute demo. So 25 minutes with the game would have been pretty good, but two and a half hours hardly ever moving in a line would not have been.

So yes, there were too many people, it was too jam-packed, and there was a fairly significant odor almost everywhere I went (come to think of it... maybe it was just me?). But what a treat it was to interact with other fans, game developers, and celebrities. I met IGN's Greg Miller (my industry hero), IGN's Mitch Dyer, Destructoid's Jim Sterling, and Dragon Fantasy creative director Adam Rippon. I spoke with the people who make Chivalry, inFamous: Second Son, Strife, and Forza Motorsport 5. And while waiting in line for Titanfall I was able to geek out with another gamer in a lengthy discussion about Fable. It was these moments, not necessarily the actual gameplay itself, that made PAX Prime such an amazing experience.

Not to mention the fact that I was there with two friends, Joe and Evarwyn from QGN, who helped make it a great weekend. Together, we cruised the exhibit halls, crashed parties, got on stage to play Infinite Crisis, interviewed some of our gaming heroes, had some great food, and went home completely exhausted. Throw in some next generation gameplay time, and it was an experience so fun and exciting that it may be hard to top.

My overall impressions of PAX Prime are that there were too many people in too small of a venue, and it was way too loud inside. But thanks to my friends, and all of those people who were there that helped make it such a great time, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being yourself, for feeling free to come to a convention like this and dress up as your favorite character, geek out over Hatsune Miku: Project Diva, and make me feel like I'm not alone.

You're the best. Game on!

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Sex in Video Games: How far will it go? https://www.gameskinny.com/5bjcl/sex-in-video-games-how-far-will-it-go https://www.gameskinny.com/5bjcl/sex-in-video-games-how-far-will-it-go Tue, 20 Aug 2013 22:43:08 -0400 Courtney Gamache

We've all seen it in most video games, that 'M' for mature. But how far will the games go at displaying sexual activities? A few games that come to mind for myself include the Sims franchise, God of War, Fable Series, and a bit in Assassin's Creed: II.

So parents, I know that M is rateable for blood and gore as well as sexual content, but you might want to take a better look at what games your children are playing. God of War for example, is definitely full of blood and gore, but also has sexual themes in specific parts, which don't terribly affect the game story.

Harmless Fun

A great example of harmless sexual presence in a game would be Assassin's Creed: II. In the opening scene, you see a man coerce a woman. It doesn't show anything but I think we all know what's going on. This scene just starts out the story of Ezio Auditore, and is found as very harmless and not so out-there. A way it can be seen as harmless is due to the fact it's not optional. It's a story-mode.

Another game that has a tiny bit of sexual themes includes the Fable Series. Although you become a great hero or villain, you have the choice of selecting someone to marry and have a child with. It is just harmless, yet pretty uncomfortable, flirting. Unlike The Sims, the game doesn't evolve in such way, and it's more of an achievement type activity, than any for game-value.

Seriously, why is this even here?

A game in which sexual themes don't really matter would be God of War. An optional part in the beginning of the game is to jump in bed with a few women, and although the game doesn't view the activity, you can hear the noises in the background. My question would be, why include this within the game? It doesn't particularly add to the story, it's more of an easter-egg type of feature that only a few would find if they were curious enough.

Where sex matters

Some games out there count on sexual themes to separate them from the herd. One to name in particular is The Sims. The game is based around living the life of a person, and sexual themes are bound to come up. They can censor it as much as they want, but it's become a key activity in the game. Meet a Sim you like, court them for a while, then do the dirty deed. Not only does that make a key factor in the game, but it also counts on the idea of family, and that requires reproducing (unless you plan on Sim-adopting).

Why does sexual content matter?

Personally I don't have a problem with games that include this material, but I wouldn't distribute it out to my younger family members. I find that they can sometimes take a great game and smack that M rating on it for silly choices, that don't per say affect the game's story or goals.

A funny video comes to mind that I found on YouTube, Warning: Sexual Content, named La Vie Sexuelle des Jeux Vidéo (Sex in Video Games), by Suricate. It slyly mocks games that have sexual actions. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. What games do you think share this useless nonsense, or do you think it heightens the game? Comment and share your opinion.

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Fable to be Re-Released in Glorious HD https://www.gameskinny.com/heju3/fable-to-be-re-released-in-glorious-hd https://www.gameskinny.com/heju3/fable-to-be-re-released-in-glorious-hd Tue, 04 Jun 2013 10:43:09 -0400 Max Jay

Come with me on a journey, if you will, to 2004. I was just a young lad, obsessed with Morrowind and hearing whispers of the next great open world RPG: Fable.

All of my decisions would have consequences, and there would be no walls to stop my exploration. Then it released… and I was disappointed. It’s hard being compared to Morrowind.

Now, I remember Fable and somewhat of a console fantasy visionary. In true Molyneux fashion, Fable was oversold. Nonetheless the game was a huge success; it was clever, entertaining and challenging (sometimes).


**I really think this should be on the Xbox One though. Just saying.**

So get ready folks, because it’s coming back! Microsoft has announced that Fable: Anniversary will be released later this holiday season for the Xbox 360 only (it’s a great idea to not put it on their new system… right?).

IGN confirms that the new features include: new lighting, new facial animations, new cutscene animations, updated textures and particle effects and “much, much more!”

Are you excited for Fable: Anniversary? Let me know in the comments down below! While you're down there tell me about your memories of the original Fable and maybe I'll give you a hot stone massage!

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