Far Cry 3 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Far Cry 3 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Vaas Montenegro: How Ubisoft Created an Iconic Villain https://www.gameskinny.com/3kf5t/vaas-montenegro-how-ubisoft-created-an-iconic-villain https://www.gameskinny.com/3kf5t/vaas-montenegro-how-ubisoft-created-an-iconic-villain Fri, 06 Apr 2018 16:04:12 -0400 Miles T

Did he ever tell you what the definition of insanity is?

Vaas Montenegro, the primary antagonist of Far Cry 3, is one of the most enduring and well-remembered villains from recent video game history. He frequents many a top-10 list of bad guys, and general consensus from gaming communities is that he's the strongest and most revered villain in the Far Cry franchise, maybe even of any of Ubisoft's titles. More than the traditional psychopathic stereotype, Vaas is a villain in every conceivable sense, but the way Ubisoft created him goes beyond what's expected within the medium. So why has Vaas developed such a sway over our collective memories? Why has his character become such a phenomenon of our evildoer consciousness?

An engaging big bad

(Warning: Spoilers ahead)

Far Cry 3 opens with Vaas in the most dramatic way possible, establishing him early on with the clear psyche of a ruthless killer, kidnapper, and torturer. However, rather than the early segments demonstrating this superficially, we get an insight into his thinking and his neurotic mindset, enough to pique our interest without ever telegraphing his actual intentions. More importantly, though, he isn't just presented as a cold or bland murderer. Vaas is immediately portrayed as an unnerving but ultimately engaging and enthralling personality, brought to life by some incredibly believable acting and dialogue. He's given the capacity to control a scene, and actor Michael Mando does an exquisite job of taking your awareness and throttling it until you pay him every ounce of attention he deserves with the kind of confidence and swagger we associate with the highest of society.

His character is so effective because he is always portrayed as the dominating force in any scene. You're under his spell, living within his rules and according to whatever whim he dictates for you. As players, we are always off-guard, and that's so incredibly exciting. A similar example is that of Ramsey Bolton, for those familiar with Game of Thrones. Ramsey is similar in character type, and he was also a personal favorite of mine throughout the show due to his ability to steal entire scenes, shock you with every action he took, and astound you with each dastardly deed he enacted. He was unpredictable, he was unsettling, and he was surprising -- all components that allow for moments that can equally horrify and delight you as a viewer or player. Vaas is cast from the same mold and takes on the mantle of psychopathic maniac in all the best ways.

It would be wrong to assume that Vaas does heinous actions simply for the sake of doing so, however. Ubisoft managed to avoid that tricky problem of using violent actions simply for the sake of them, instead using those actions as a means of exposition to develop his overall personality and backstory. Take the scene in the hut where you are swiftly taken hostage, Vaas spewing gasoline all around before dissecting his rather complicated relationship with his sister. We learn he only started killing for the sake of his family, his rage and anger overflowing as he loudly exclaims, "Them or me? Me or them?" while he beats his chest. Our antagonist clearly has a damaged and malfunctioning psyche, but can we truly trust his stated motivations for what he's doing? The destructive nature of his violent acts means we can never tell if he does things because he has no inhibition, or if it's driven by this aforementioned psychological issue that's been deep-rooted within him. We as players are left wondering and questioning, without the ability to effectively empathize.

When lacking empathy works

Empathy is a largely universal human trait, demonstrable across the majority of the spectrum of our species, with a minority being the exception. Generally, empathy is considered the way in which human beings connect with one another. More importantly, it's a crucial mechanism developers use to create a link between the player and their antagonist or protagonist. That's what makes Vaas such a peculiar paradox to this norm.

As players, we generally connect and are enthralled by Vaas' character precisely because we can't empathize with his personality, morality, or rationale. For example, with other Far Cry villains, such as Hoyt, Pagan Min, or even the newly introduced Joseph Seed, we can at least empathize with their point of views to a very particular extent. This actually allows us as players to use our theory of mind to debunk and challenge their rationale with our own and to compare it against the "heroic" actions of our avatar. These other Far Cry villains also had more redeemable and sympathetic aspects to their characters; for example, Pagan Min effectively dropping everything at the end of Far Cry 4 to give to Ajay. Vaas, however, has very few or none of these qualities that are on display during our time with him.

We can't understand his mindset, we can't sympathize with his motivations, and we can't use theory of mind or empathy to create a connection with him. He's an enigma, something completely outside of our "normal" expectations. This feeds the aforementioned unpredictability of his actions. If we cannot appreciate his inner workings, his moral compass (or lack thereof), then we cannot predict or anticipate what he's next going to subject us to. He's not simply a "psycho" for the sake of being psychopathic; it's a foundation from which to establish an entity we're unlikely to have ever come across in real life or in most other games. This allowed the developers to build up an intrigue and mystery surrounding Vaas, keeping players off-balance, on edge and yet itching for the next encounter.



These encounters are brief, intensely visceral, and deeply intimate. Vaas fills the screen and reaches right into the depths of the psychopathic psyche. But these instances are short-lived and relatively abrupt, quickly ending with a shake of his fist or a bullet from his chamber. By keeping things rapid and succinct, we're always desperate to see more of his evil: vile but exciting, devastating but impressive, horrifying but intriguing. We as players can usually never get enough of the action, so by limiting it to effectively small snippets of adrenaline, the player becomes spurred and motivated to push on, and Vaas never overstays his welcome or becomes boring or repetitive.

Using anger to develop, not define

Earlier it was established that Vaas clearly has an innate predisposition towards anger and rage. We witness him commit some rather vicious actions during our time with him, either in cutscenes or dialogue. However, Vaas isn't simply portrayed as an angry man or a raging bull; at times, he's shown to be a cool-minded, tapered, and efficient villain, capable of the worst crimes but with little emotional resonance. This gives us as players -- and our protagonist -- the sense that Vaas isn't just a hate-inspired being and that he's a more sinister form of evil than sheer fury. Take the example of Kratos from the God of War series -- the epitome of the angry game character. Very few people relate to Kratos or expect anything other than anger, whereas with Vaas, we can predict we're going to witness some form of violence, but we lack any expectation of how he is going to deliver it.

Put simply, if a villain is formed only by his innate and feral desire to be angry, the character will become far too one-dimensional to remain interesting or enjoyable. As with any character, in real life or in virtual, people need to be multi-faceted, a combination of traits that create a more holistic form. For Vaas, anger forms one of these facets. At times, he releases his fury, and at others, he controls it, condenses it, and applies it into something much more sinister and intimidating. The intimate moments when you're locked up, surrendered to his grasp, are when he can demonstrate this most effectively. This is most noticeable in your first scene with him, trapped in the cage, or when he's pouring petrol over you and popping finger guns against his head.

Not just another monologue

One of the recent issues raised with the newly released Far Cry 5 is that its primary bad guys only talk at you, reeling off their motivations like checklists, without any real interaction to demonstrate the desires that drive them. This was also something I personally found to be a problem with Far Cry 4's Pagan Min, who seemed to be defined by his colorful suit and willingness to spew dialogue at you, without any background behavior to flesh out his intriguing personality.

On the flip side of this, Vaas generally combines action with dialogue, whether it be toying with you to run from him ("Run, Forrest, run!") or having his goons send people spiraling down a waterfall to a gripping death via drowning -- all the while chillingly divulging what the definition of insanity is. Even at his end, drugging you, chastising you, and baiting you in to finally end him, he never relents or relinquishes to you up to his last moment, where he begs you to finish the job you started.

But more than just this fusion of brutal action and gratifying dialogue, Vaas also directly influences and develops both Jason as the protagonist and we as the players. We descend further into the island, wiping out dozens of thugs in outposts, taking up more and more lethal weaponry, mastering our own inner abilities to become relentless, seething killers with no remorse for the lives we butcher in order to finally get our vengeance. Vaas' character helps to define and create our own, as we build up our understanding of the location, master new abilities, and make ourselves powerhouses to match his killing efficiency. He successfully transforms Jason into a murderer, a fellow slayer built in his own image -- just with less grace with words. This can all be seen by the final choice at the end, where selecting the "bad" ending completes Jason's descent into the darkness he started out with so much intent to end.

The use of Vaas' catchphrase is not just there to give him something easily memorable. It's there to show how we as players continue to do the same things (killing, butchering, murdering) over and over again, expecting things to change, to become better, more idyllic. Then when Vaas is finally gone, we still continue on our carnage-fueled rampage, barreling through even more of the paradise island to finish off yet another villain in Hoyt, spurred on by Citra and her own questionable motives. He creates and defines not just himself but also those around him. Characters gravitate and react according to him -- never the other way around. He forms the basis and foundation of Far Cry 3, as without him, the game would lose most of its unique personality and its flavor.

An enduring legacy ... of insanity

Vaas Montenegro is a video game villain who endures because of his character, his ability to captivate and disgust all at once. We as a species rarely forget that which shocks or horrifies us; we hold those memories, those experiences, much closer than we would ever wish to. Vaas forms the perfect blend of madness, rage, disconnection, and psychopathy as to be totally unique, separated from the norm and our expectations of what a traditional "bad guy" can be. Even more incredible is that Vaas only has roughly 15 minutes of actual in-game screen time or dialogue, leaving many pleading for a prequel surrounding him in order to give us more of the mystery. Coupled with Michael Mando's ability to wrestle control of entire scenes, to arrest your senses and dominate your emotions, Ubisoft managed to create an altogether special and powerful personality which they've struggled to recreate ever since.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting things to change. So Vaas did things differently, and changed everything.

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10 Sexiest Bachelors in the Gaming Universe https://www.gameskinny.com/33435/10-sexiest-bachelors-in-the-gaming-universe https://www.gameskinny.com/33435/10-sexiest-bachelors-in-the-gaming-universe Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:36:15 -0500 bazookajo94

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So there you go. 10 different dudes with 10 different ways to steal my heart, whether that happens by being ruggedly handsome or by knowing their way around a weapon (wink). 

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But this is but one girl's opinion. Maybe this list only reveals the dark recesses of my soul and shouldn't be taken seriously. Maybe you're thinking, "Well, she's got a type." 

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Maybe you should tell me who you think the most eligible bachelor of all eligible bachelors is.

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(And remember -- The Shape of Water is popular right now ....)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jasonbrody-3d92c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jasonbrody-3d92c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177386","description":"

Jason Brody from Far Cry 3

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One of my favorite tropes is when a renowned player, an exuberant party-goer, a rich son of a bitch, has a fall from grace and learns what it's like to live on the other side. The movie Overboard? Sign me tf up. 

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Jason Brody goes through this transformation, but instead of learning to sympathize with peasants, he turns into a stone-cold killer. And honestly, he is the main man in my heart. I don't know why everyone talks about Vaas when Brody is the real crazy one. 

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He goes from not knowing how to sympathize with another human being to sympathizing with other human beings and being a badass survivalist at the same time. He hunts tigers, fights pirates, burns fields of marijuana, all while saving everyone's lives. 

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Like, damn, Jason Brody. Hardcore. 

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Mike Munroe from Until Dawn

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All right, let's step back from the older gentlemen now (I refuse to use the word you're all expecting me to say). 

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Let's showcase my boy Mike Munroe, who's kind of a dick, kind of funny, and a whole lotta douche. Half of the people who play this game hate him, and the other half hate themselves for liking him. 

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But there's something to say about a guy who chops off his own fingers with a machete just so he doesn't lose the machete -- because anyone who balls that hard in a survival game deserves a place on this list.

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Professor Sycamore from Pokemon X & Y

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I thought it would be funny if I added Professor Sycamore to this list, and I was right. I'm cackling as I prepare to write about the merits of this professor, all the while lamenting that people expected to see the shirtless wonder of Kuikui here, even though he's married and I can't bend the rules for him like I did for Marston (who's dead).

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Most everyone's love for Sycamore seems to be purely material: he's got a cute face, luscious hair, and a popped collar. What could be more sexy? (I hate that I just used the word "sexy" in relation to a Pokemon character.)

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Alas, people's love for Sycamore knows no bounds. Here's a Buzzfeed article professing love for this lovable professor -- and I honestly can't tell if it's a satire or not. 

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John Marston from Red Dead Redemption

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I know that, technically, John Marston is married and wouldn't be considered a bachelor, but that's not going to stop me from adding him to this list of "Gruff, bearded men with dark hair and guns who are considered sexy by at least one writer."

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There are only a few times I've seen a character supposedly considered an "expert" at guns actually live up to their reputation. And darned if Marston doesn't live up to his. I actually believe that he could hit a target with both eyes closed, and that belief has got me all twitterpated.

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Who cares if he's not technically a bachelor? If you want to get really technical, then nobody gets to love John Marston because he's dead.  

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Joel from The Last of Us

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Joel and Booker have a lot in common: a lost daughter, a surrogate daughter, and the voice of Troy Baker. 

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Setting aside his tragic backstory and road to retribution, Joel also has keen survival instincts and a commanding presence that cause people to turn to him when they need help. 

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Even though he's kind of an ass, his heart has the capacity to love, and as soon as he does, people don't want him to stop loving. Everyone is rooting for Joel; everyone loves Joel; and everyone is a sucker for a gruff, bearded man in flannel. 

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Booker DeWitt from BioShock Infinite

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You know what else makes a woman weak in the knees? A tragic back story (and the voice of Troy Baker). 

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Booker DeWitt is man with past mistakes and a never-ending guilt, leaving people with a desire to see him earn his retribution. 

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Maybe it's the fact that DeWitt has a personality (as opposed to the other BioShock protagonists); maybe it's because of his interactions with Elizabeth; maybe it's the clothes. 

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One things for sure, though: if you know how to handle a gun and you have a voice like Troy Baker, then you've got a place on this list (and in my heart).

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Leon from Resident Evil

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All right, all right. I'll step back from the monstrous suitors by introducing one who kills monsters instead. 

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And what sort of list of sexiest video bachelors wouldn't include the original: Leon Scott Kennedy. 

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Talk about a lady killer. And a zombie killer. And an all-around killer in general. 

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This guy knows what he's doing, what needs to be done, and when to do it. And just like with Dante, women like a man with confidence. 

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With Leon's ever-constant presence in the Resident Evil games, he will have an ever-constant place in our hearts -- and lists about sexiest men. 

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Dante from Devil May Cry

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What's a girl to do when they can't pick between an angel and a devil? 

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Pick Dante. 

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Part devil, part angel, Dante has been stealing the hearts of women everywhere with his intense gaze, his open shirt, and his overwhelming confidence, all combined with a bad-ass attitude and strong desire to kill demons. And let's not forgot all the awesome powers he has. 

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He's literally the full package of good and evil -- but mostly good.

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Hancock from Fallout 4

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I'll never forget my first step into Goodneighbor. My lingering resentment still strong from the revelation that Nick Valentine's epic buildup resulted in a 50's-style old-man detective, I take a step into this new environment, ready for my next mission, and suddenly a ghoul is shooting a man trying to kill me and telling me he runs the place. 

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Needless to say, I fell in love immediately. 

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Like Garrus, Hancock is another man looking for his place in life, looking for a friend, and eternally grateful that the sole survivor accepts him for who he is. 

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You just have to overlook the massive addiction to drugs and violence. At least he's a nice guy, right? And he's a mayor. 

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Garrus from Mass Effect

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You can't take two steps into the Mass Effect fandom without seeing some Garrus/Shepard fanart. And with a face like that, who would blame someone for drawing what the fans want?

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Some people can't understand why Garrus is so popular with the ladies, but, call us crazy, ladies like a guy who's nice. There's something undeniably adorable about a man who's awkward around a potential romantic conquest -- and not afraid to admit it. 

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Not to mention he's known as the "Space Batman," and everyone knows how successful Batman is with the ladies...

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When women have nowhere else to turn to find a decent man in their lives, they go for someone they always know will be there: fictional characters. Though it's easy to fangirl over book characters (all I need to say is "Mr. Darcy" and swoons are heard across the world), where are the good video game men? Where are the scruffy gaming guys, the nice dudes, the sexy?

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Right here. This list. Top ten. Let's go. 

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And with the popularity of del Toro's The Shape of Water spreading through the hearts of women everywhere, I probably shouldn't have to worry about putting someone like Bowser or Specter Knight on the list -- but, for the sake of all our dignities, I'll stick with the mostly human bachelors. 

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Mostly. 

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Let's Talk - Awesome Game Music https://www.gameskinny.com/5zjp3/lets-talk-awesome-game-music https://www.gameskinny.com/5zjp3/lets-talk-awesome-game-music Wed, 13 Apr 2016 04:13:42 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Let's Talk is a mixed audio and written series about talking -- that much is clear. I talk about specific games, the impact a game can have on the community, about recent events, or how past events have shaped what is now. Read the article first or watch the video -- it's up to you, but without further ado, Let's Talk about:

Music in games, and the times it's been awesome

Music and games. These two things don't often go together in the collective minds of gamers. But is that because the music fades so well into the background that you don't notice it? It subconsciously sets the scene, and fills your brain with emotions. When you do notice the music, is this because it doesn't fit with the scene? In this Let's Talk, we explore the awesome musical moments in game, and sometimes in-game radio.

The Oblivion opening cinematic is incredible at setting the scene -- it sets the tone of the game, while also making you ready for adventuring. I can also hear some moments, towards the end, which must have influenced the Skyrim music.

Far Cry 3, and dubstep done well

We all remember that moment of burning the weed farm in Far Cry 3. While it did borrow from a similar mission in GTA: San Andreas, it did one major thing very differently -- it was one of the few times where dubstep worked as video game music. And boy does it work -- everything fits in place perfectly!

It's a lot like the 2012 first person shooter remake of the RTS classic, Syndicate. While the game didn't dazzle anyone with the gameplay, I feel it did a really good job with the music, it worked with the setting and wasn't annoying, which is nice.

Atmosphere, and radios

While it's not strictly music, having a radio station in a game which reports on the news is a really good world building technique. In, GTA IV, and GTA V, as well as Fallout 4, your actions would create a new broadcast. These very often would interrupt the music which was currently playing, as breaking news is breaking right? If only in real life there was an option to enforce Traffic Information to be permanently off forever, in every car as default.

Being able to pick a radio station is a thing you can do in real life, so being able to do that in a game makes you feel like the world is somewhat real and alive. Especially in Fallout, where all the stations have a very 40s feel to them, making you feel grounded in a world which is pretty crazy.

What are some awesome moments have you have with music in games? Do you even care about the music? Let me know in the comments below.

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Video Game Adaptations for Film (That Would Work) https://www.gameskinny.com/o2x7r/video-game-adaptations-for-film-that-would-work https://www.gameskinny.com/o2x7r/video-game-adaptations-for-film-that-would-work Tue, 29 Mar 2016 10:24:24 -0400 Ricardo melfi

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Potential Movie: The Duke: Nuk'em All or Land of the Babes

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Yes, I know that the Duke hasn't exactly been that popular since the 90s and his return to video games wasn't exactly well received, but let's face facts; you can't hate on the Duke.

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With the return of 80s style movies, older action heroes gracing our screens once again (and kicking ass doing so!), parodies of 80s tropes and more, who couldn't see a slick comedy/action/sci-fi with the Duke played by, gee I dunno, the Governator? Maybe even throw Seth Rogen in there for comic relief? Yeah, I'd pay to see that, but then again I am a child of the 90s and love crude, crude humour (admit it, you do too). 

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Well that was the last I had for you here at GameSkinny!

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Each video took more than eight hours to produce, and were all made for fun and entertainment. I want to know what you all thought of my videos, so please leave a comment below, and I'll be happy to reply. If you like them, why not check out more on my YouTube channel Shark Tank Gaming.

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Potential Movie: Abe's Exoddus or The Oddworld Inhabitants

\n

I was watching the trailer for Warcraft the other day, and don't get me wrong, I think it will be awesome. The trailer is fantastic and it has one of my favourite actors, Travis Fimmel in the lead (though what's up with that Ragnar accent yet again? Is he Viking in Warcraft as well? I digress).

\n

It got me to thinking, if a movie like Warcraft has been made and the graphics look fantastic, then why hasn't our resourceful, little buddy Abe, a.k.a Stitchlips,, not made the cut? It has a dark and gritty (yet engaging and original) story, cannibalism, aliens, traps and body possessions; the list goes on. I could really see a big budget studio take this on, and if they stick close to the original material, it could be a gold mine. Who doesn't remember sending those helpless, poor Mudokons to their doom, by accident of course...right?

\n

Who do you think should play (or voice) the main and supporting characters?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/ba4617225970f8a14f255f0e3bfaae1e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/ba4617225970f8a14f255f0e3bfaae1e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7880","description":"

Potential Movie: Mass Effect or Dawn of the Reapers (3-Part Trilogy)

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Absolutely one of my favorite gaming franchises since, I can't even remember, Mass Effect had it all except a proper ending. (Or did they? Look up 'The Indoctrination Theory' and prepare to have your mind blown!) Still, it has everything you loved in a game, but as a movie, it may not be that engaging. Passively taking in Shepard's story may not have the same effect but...I don't care. Seeing Commander Shepard on the big screen would be glorious, especially if done as a sci-fi (duh)/action/psychological thriller (yet again). Imagine a crazy twist or journeying into Shepard's mind while the Reapers toy with him? I'm already salivating...

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Who do you think should play (or voice) the main and supporting characters?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/009f448bc8c0d08d7fd8a700e766fb69.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/009f448bc8c0d08d7fd8a700e766fb69.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7878","description":"

Potential Movie: FarCry (3)

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By far my favorite FarCry of them all. I absolute love the storyline and the characters in the third installment, especially Vaas. (Anyone else see a little bit of the Joker in there?) If you actually look further into the story and the symbolic/psychological undertones, you have some great material for an action/adventure/psychological thriller. Take my money...

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Who do you think should play the main and supporting characters?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/11bbc9047b5a7141e6122f13c0833c78.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/11bbc9047b5a7141e6122f13c0833c78.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7895","description":"

*Video courtesy of YouTube channel, WatchMojo.

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 With all of the video game movies that are produced eventually being churned out as horrible, B-grade disasters, I've always wondered why the film industry selects games that don't work as movies? With so many story rich titles out there prime for the red carpet, for the life of me, I just can't understand it. Once, just once, I would really love a team or studio to tackle a game they really understand AND have the budget to pull it off (pointing fingers at YOU Uwe Boll).

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I haven't found a video game adaptation that I have really enjoyed yet, and those that I can stand seem to be getting fewer every year with little hope on the horizon.

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Having said that, I created a few mock trailer videos of my own, inspired by games that I love (and would make killer movies) in hopes that maybe, just maybe one day, we can see some justice done.

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Click next to check out which titles I think would rock the world and put games on par with comic book movies! ENJOY!

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*NOTE: Please select the highest display settings for best quality! YouTube has a habit of marking them down.*

"}]]]>
5 villains in gaming who made their mark https://www.gameskinny.com/ocyov/5-villains-in-gaming-who-made-their-mark https://www.gameskinny.com/ocyov/5-villains-in-gaming-who-made-their-mark Fri, 16 Oct 2015 04:26:06 -0400 astik_anand

A good game needs a good hero and a good hero needs a great villain. The days when villains were forgotten and heroes worshipped are over. As every game tries to find a bigger, better and more impactful villain, we look at 5 video game villains who made their mark by being evil.

A little clarification: we're looking at the villains which were given birth to by their respective games. Hence, Batman fans will not see Joker in this list. Without further ado, here's the top 5 villains who made their mark.

5. Vaas Montenegro, Far Cry 3

Remembered for: Being the definition of insanity

Vaas

Anyone who has played Far Cry 3 will agree that Vaas deserves to be on this list. His insanity is charismatic, and players hang on to every word he says. He is one of the reasons why Far Cry 3 is still remembered as a great game. In fact, the game seems a lot duller after his death. Together with superb acting by Michael Mando and great quotes, Vaas made an impact on the gamers around the world and hence claimed his position in this list.

 

4. Handsome Jack, Borderlands 2

 

Remembered for: A weird sense of humor

Handsome jack

Sometimes called the greatest villain of 2012. And this crazy antagonist, with his weird sense of humor, might very well be. Handsome Jack is not your average villain: he is funny, evil, intelligent and somewhat handsome. He sets an example that villains need not be all about being bad. He's a normal human with feelings, as can be seen after killing his evil sheriff girlfriend. His wit and evil genius got him an entry into this list.

3. Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII

Remembered for: Aeris' murder

Sephiroth

How can this list be complete without Sephiroth, a villain who murdered his own supposed love interest. Burning down villages and killing loads of innocent people is normal for him. We agree, his desire of becoming a god and killing off the whole planet was not something new, but him killing Aeris made us realize that he is not one of the typical villains, earning him this spot.  

2. Bowser, Super Mario

Remembered for: His persistence

Bowser

Bowser is certainly the most persistent villain the gaming world has ever seen. He managed to kidnap the same princess eight times in twenty-eight years. Those of you who think he doesn't deserve this position should remember that he turned the citizens of Mushroom Kingdom into piranha plants and floating bricks...evil enough?

Drumroll, please...

1. GLaDOS, Portal

Remembered for: Her personality. And lying about cake.

glados, portal

The vengeful AI of the Portal franchise is definitely the most memorable villain in video games. She has a lot of personality (mostly sass), she's intelligent, and she's manipulative. (Seriously, who lies about cake? That's the cruelest thing.)

Also, where other villains are too egotistical to believe that they could lose, GLaDOS knows that she cannot defeat Chell, so she gives up, giving her a unique quality. The fact that she is unique in so many ways, including that she's not human, earns her the #1 spot on this list.

Be sure to comment whether you agree with this list or not. Which characters do you think should be in the list of top 5 video games villains?

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Did Ubisoft just leak a batch of backwards compatible games for Xbox One? https://www.gameskinny.com/h1ece/did-ubisoft-just-leak-a-batch-of-backwards-compatible-games-for-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/h1ece/did-ubisoft-just-leak-a-batch-of-backwards-compatible-games-for-xbox-one Tue, 08 Sep 2015 11:00:30 -0400 Daniel R. Miller

It's no secret that Ubisoft has been planning to release some of its biggest franchises of the last generation on Xbox One's backwards compatibility program. In fact, a couple (Rainbow Six 1 & 2) are planned as freebies if you pre-order Rainbow Six: Siege on Xbox One.

A new image has been posted on the Ubisoft Mexico Facebook page and was discovered by users on Reddit; it looks a lot like the promotional images that Microsoft has used for its backwards compatibility campaign since it was unveiled during E3 2015. 

The image was posed with a question that translates to "Which Ubisoft game on Xbox 360 do you want to be compatible on Xbox One?"

Just to be clear, this is not a confirmation that these games will get backwards compatibility support, but given their pedigree, it is certainly likely.

There is no doubt that any one of the games displayed in the picture is deserving of backwards compatibility support, and all could (and probably will) come for free at some point alongside a future release in their respective series, especially if Siege's promotion is successful. Several other prominent publishers like Bethesda and Square Enix are also packaging in older games to boost pre-order numbers on Xbox One, so expect this sort of practice to become a trend.

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7 of the most beautiful soundtracks in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/qv6s7/7-of-the-most-beautiful-soundtracks-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/qv6s7/7-of-the-most-beautiful-soundtracks-in-video-games Wed, 09 Sep 2015 02:30:01 -0400 shox_reboot

I don't know about you, but half my iPhone's music library has about 10GB worth of music that has come straight from video games.

Games have come a long way from just being something you do for fun. We now have the opportunity to play them for the stories they tell us, more like an interactive movie in a sense. And like movies, games have started using everything they have in their disposal to convey the emotions it wants us to feel.

Apart from the cinema-quality cut scenes we've been getting treated to over the past few years, gaming companies have been setting aside a big budget in order to snag the best music composers out there to make soundtracks that echo the tone and emotion their games are looking to convey.

We can always find faults in gameplay, plot holes in storylines, flaws in characters and other things that can turn us off. But music has never been something to find fault in.  

Halo 3 OST - Never Forget (Martin O'Donnell)

Halo is a favorite for many. And it's not surprising. 

It's a game that really brought a community together. Friends were made through this, so many of us can remember the nights we've spent playing split screen or organizing massive LAN parties for this alone. 

We can't forget Master Chief's story either. But this particular soundtrack feels more like a love letter to the fans of the series. The nostalgia we get just by listening to this beautiful piece is enough to keep remembering the reasons why Halo will always be up there as one of the greatest FPS's of our time. 

Metal Gear Solid 3: Way to Fall (Starsailor) 

This is not a song made specifically for the game, but in no way is it any less fitting. 

The Boss was always a pseudo-parent figure to Snake (Big Boss). The ending of the game, the tone it carries is matched perfectly by this song, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle so perfectly that it's difficult not to think the song was made for this game.

Or if the game was made based on the song. 

Assassin's Creed II: Ezio's Family (Jesper Kyd) 

I count Assassin's Creed II as the best in the series. 

This beautiful piece probably contributes a lot to why I think that. With Ezio's father and brother's tragic deaths setting him on the path for revenge, ultimately making the master assassin we know Ezio Auditore da Firenze to be, this melancholic soundtrack manages to capture the emotions perfectly.

Despite the Assassin's Creed series falling from grace since it's initial few releases, the soundtracks have always exceeded expectations. For that, here are a few honorable mentions;

Assassin's Creed III: Aphelion (Jesper Kyd)

Assassin's Creed IV: The Ends of the Earth (Brian Tyler) 


Dishonored: Honor For All (John Licht and Daniel Licht)

This song was written specifically as a reward for players who finished Dishonored.

The heavy emphasis on the violin fits the theme of 19th Century London perfectly, and the overall tone of the piece serves as a fitting representation for Corvo Attano's journey you undertake throughout the course of this game. 

You can ask for no more fitting a reward than this masterpiece. 

Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core: The Price of Freedom (Takeharu Ishimoto)

Ah Crisis Core. One of the gems from the PSP age. 

This beautiful piece is a fitting send off to Zack Fair, the game's main protagonist. The title itself is an indicator to the price he paid for wishing to break free of Shinra's clutches and giving Cloud Strife his freedom. 

If you haven't played this game yet, you're doing yourself a disservice. More so if you are a fan of Final Fantasy VII. Zack is a character everyone should be familiar with. The price he paid should not be forgotten. 

Elder Scrolls Online: Beauty of Dawn (Malukah) 

Let's be honest, Elder Scrolls Online was not as good as everyone thought it would be. But can a song make up for the downsides of a game? 

Normally, no. But this piece does a great job in coming close. I prefer to just think of it as something composed for Skyrim instead. 

Either way, even if you don't like ESO, get the soundtrack. You'll be saving money while getting some of the best, if not the best parts of this game: The soundtracks. 

Far Cry 3: I'm Sorry (Brian Tyler) 

Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? - Vaas Montenegro

Vaas is one of the most iconic characters to ever grace a video game. As such he deserves something to remember him by. For me, it's this soundtrack. 

That's it for now! What are your favorite tracks from video games? Share below so we may all experience them!

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Trials and Tribulations of Translations: An Interview with Tiago Kern of Synthesis https://www.gameskinny.com/bi02l/trials-and-tribulations-of-translations-an-interview-with-tiago-kern-of-synthesis https://www.gameskinny.com/bi02l/trials-and-tribulations-of-translations-an-interview-with-tiago-kern-of-synthesis Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:30:01 -0400 OrganisedDinosaur

We often forget that many of our favorite games were developed by foreign studios and scripted in languages other than English. Non-English speakers, however, are far more aware of the work that goes into bringing a game to them from abroad. Translations are a crucial, but not well-understood, aspect of game development. Synthesis is a worldwide group with offices in a dozen countries that focuses on video games localisation.

Tiago Kern, a native Brazilian with a journalism degree and fluency in English, works in the Brazilian office - mainly as a proof-reader and sometimes translator for Synthesis. He sat down with me to discuss this vital aspect of game design.

GS: So how and why did you get into translating, and video game translating in particular?

TK: I've been studying English since I was a child, as my father used to be an English teacher in his youth. I've always liked reading books and playing video games, and - especially with games - we never got the translation for many games in Brazil. In fact, I think I learned a lot of my English just from playing video games in English as I grew up.

I started working with translation informally. I'd offer translation services in the ads of a local newspaper, and that got me my first job as a translator for an Intellectual Property company. I made the move to video game translating some time later when a friend of mine mentioned my name when his teacher asked if he knew someone who played lots of video games and was proficient in English. This teacher must have given my contact information to Synthesis, as I was contacted by them some months later when they were starting to set up their Brazilian team. I had to take tests devised by the company and go through a training phase, and now I've been working for them for almost four years.


Synthesis localizes numerous games for the Brazilian community

GS: What games did you play growing up and what is your overall gaming background prior to translating?

TK: My father got me an Atari system in my early childhood, and from then on I kept playing: I had a NES, then a Mega Drive (Genesis), then a PS1 and so on. I was very fond of the Sonic the Hedgehog games when I was little, but I truly fell in love with video game narratives with Chrono Cross and Legend of Legaia in the PS1. Everyone mentions the Final Fantasy games on the SNES and PS1 as their "gateway" JRPGs, but the first Final Fantasy I completed front to back was actually Final Fantasy X, so I guess I jumped on the bandwagon a little too late.

GS: So first of all just talk me through the basic process of translating a game.

TK: Well, it really depends on the client you're dealing with. We usually receive chunks of text from the game and translate it gradually - as sometimes the full scripts are not even completely written by the time a game's localization process begins. There are usually separate files for the dialogues and script, the menus, the button prompts and everything else. The client usually sends us reference files for us to check and study in order to translate the game, but it's never enough, and the effort that the client puts in to answering our questions (whether they have a fulltime Q&A team or not) is a giant factor for the overall quality of a game's translation.

Once the text that needs to be recorded is fully translated, it is sent to a studio and recorded with Brazilian voice actors. If they make changes to the text during the recording sessions, we are notified and then implement the changes into the game's text (usually this happens due to time constraint and/or lip sync for character lines).

GS: How much freedom do you have when making a translation? Can you make changes that you deem necessary or must you stick to direct translations?

TK: Video game localization infers that you will need to adapt the game to your language and to your country's gaming public. Our goal is to translate the text to the best of our abilities, trying to convey the original message to the Brazilian players, but some things change during the course of localization.

For instance: if there is an acronym in the original game and there's no way we can use the same acronym for a translation in Brazilian Portuguese that retains the same idea, we may change the acronym in the translated game - provided the client says it's fine, of course. The same goes for puns and jokes: some things are impossible to carry over, as English puns will simply not work in Portuguese, so we must come up with a solution - a pun of our own, or an adaptation of the original text with new ideas that will work for Brazilian Portuguese.

Certain things like puns simply can't be translated

GS: I notice that you refer to the work as localizing the game rather than simply translating it. Do cultural differences between Brazil and the game's country of origin ever effect your work?

TK: Not really... During the process of translation for Valiant Hearts, the other languages could offer some real input on their countries' role during WWII, but Brazil remained neutral throughout all of this, only siding with the Allies at the end of the war, so in this particular game we noticed how we have a different background to the other languages in Europe.

What has happened more than once actually which showcases the view of foreigners of Brazil is this: we've been asked to translate games into "Neutral Portuguese", so that it would be a translation for both Brazil and Portugal. But, as it happens, European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese are completely distinct from each other: from spelling to sentence construction and other aspects.

GS: So if not the cultural changes, what are the biggest challenges that the translation/localization team is faced with?

...people aiming to work with video games localization should not only be translators but also gamers. 

I guess the biggest challenge for a video games translator is to find a solution for tricky scenarios, where the original text is confusing or when it lacks context. Sometimes the same word may be used for six different things in English, so it has six different possible translations in Portuguese, and we get only this word and nothing else to go on. That's one of the reasons why people aiming to work with video game localization should not only be translators but also gamers - if you do not play games, you won't know how some terms are employed within games and will assume they refer to something else. 

It's true. Imagine what could have happened to Batman

GS: So context or lack thereof is probably the biggest challenge the team faces. To what extent do you collaborate with the original writers to combat this? 

TK: There isn't much in the way of the localization team collaborating with the original writers, as the writing process of a game is usually finished before we receive the text to localize. However, the final product of a localized game is certainly the sum of a collaborative work: some clients actually go as far as working with the development team in order to add new text to the game as a way of dealing with localized languages' particular aspects: for instance, if the game allows for character creation, sometimes the game developers will be able to create separate lines that are spoken to or by the male or female characters.

This usually isn't a huge deal in English, but in Latin languages like Portuguese, it is very hard to localize a game where the player can choose to play as a male or female character, since our adjectives will mostly have gender indications. So if the game developers allow for this kind of variation in the localized languages, a female warrior will be guerreira (instead of guerreiro) in Brazilian Portuguese, but if the localisation team has no support from the development team in a game like this, we'd need to go with a neutral term in Portuguese, such as combatente.

GS: What are the biggest project you have worked on and what work are you the most proud of?

I think the projects I'm most proud of are The Witcher III and Child of Light.

TK: Depends on what you'd call "big". I've worked on several projects, some of which I can't even discuss, but I've worked on Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 and CD Projekt RED's The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, which were definitely big games. I think the projects I'm most proud of are The Witcher III and Child of Light. Child of Light was particularly tricky as the original text was comprised of poems that rhymed, so the translation process for this one was a real challenge. 

GS: You worked on the Witcher III from the English text? So the Portuguese has gone through two filters. How does that affect the finished game? Did you consult the Polish original as well?

TK: I worked as a proofreader for The Witcher III, but yeah, we translated the text directly from the English. In the translation files we were given, you could see the English text as well as the original Polish, so if you knew a bit of Polish I guess you could consult the original text - but I doubt anyone from our local translation team in Brazil would speak Polish. I did have the original text translated online once or twice out of curiosity. I've read the three books from The Witcher that were translated from Polish into Brazilian Portuguese (by Tomasz Barcinski), since the books were taken as the main reference we had for the project. That being said, some of the names in the game were changed, as the English version used some different names for characters: for instance, "Dandelion" is "Jaskier" in Polish and in the books, but we used "Dandelion" in the games, just like English.

GS: You mentioned working on Child of Light and its rhyming structure. I have often wondered how things like Shakespeare can be translated. How on earth can you keep both the meaning and the rhyme when localizing the game?

TK: We were told to keep the rhymes as long as it didn’t sacrifice the meaning. We also had length contraints for each line, so it was quite hard to localize this particular game. Sometimes we forgot about the rhymes yes, but I tried to rhyme as much as possible in-game. There are probably very few verses where there are no rhymes in the Brazilian version.

Poetry is particularly difficult to translate

GS: English speakers often forget that translators are even a part of game development. We forget that any Nintendo game we ever play was actually translated from Japanese! How do you think the experience of playing a game is effected by playing it in its non-original language?

TK: I think playing a game in its non-original language is great provided that there was genuine effort in the localization process. Video game localization is kind of a weird thing still: with movies, you get to read the script and sometimes watch the movie, and then translate the dialogue and subtitles; with books, you have the whole thing right there, there are no accompanying visuals; but with games, it all depends on the interaction between the client and the localization company, and on the familiarity that the translation team has with the game's genre and mechanics. Sometimes you get amazing localized versions of games, and sometimes "you must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance..."

GS: "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!” Any funny stories about mistranslations or anything like that which made it into a game you worked on?

The original text read "Pull the trigger" and the translator inserted a typo in Portuguese so that it read "Aperte o gatinho" ("Pull the kitten").

TK: I've heard stories about terms that have been translated erroneously in games to great comedic effect, but no particular one I can think of right now. However, I do remember that once I was proofreading a batch for a game where the original text read "Pull the trigger" and the translator inserted a typo in Portuguese so that it read "Aperte o gatinho" ("Pull the kitten"). Of course I laughed when I read that, but ultimately I corrected the text.

GS: Do you play the games you translate?

TK: It depends on the game. I'd like to play them all, sure, but most of the time you don't get a free copy of the game you've worked on - although that does happen every now and then. Of course, I'd play the games if they appeal to me. I've played many games where I was part of the localization team. I have not played The Witcher III yet (I ordered it already, but it didn't arrive yet), but I put a lot of effort into this game, so I can't wait to finally play it and see the final results.

Need an excuse to play The Witcher III again? Check out Synthesis' work

GS: Any advice for bi-lingualists out there who might want to get into your line of work?

TK: I find that usually people who wish to work in the localization process for video games are either amazing gamers who know little English or make a lot of mistakes in Brazilian Portuguese... or the other way around: people who speak English perfectly and know how to deal with Brazilian Portuguese grammar and adaptation but who rarely actually sit down and play games.

I think the best advice to hone your translation skills for video game translation is to actually play games both in the original language and in the localized languages: check how they dealt with each issue, see if you can find translation mistakes, pay attention to how text is displayed in the game and what solutions they found for challenging situations. Play games from different genres and see how the tone changes in the language: some games have extremely informal language, others keep their text safe from curse words and slangs.

And finally, take part in localization events, such as LocJam, since that helps a bunch - it helps you get to know people who work in the industry while at the same time you discuss the process of localization, its challenges and practices.

 A huge thank you to Tiago Kern and Synthesis for facilitating the interview. How many of you out there have ever played the same game in more than one language? How aware are you when you play a game that has been translated for you? Comment below to ask Tiago any other questions you may have.

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Top Xbox 360 games to play on your backwards compatible Xbox One https://www.gameskinny.com/us8wy/top-xbox-360-games-to-play-on-your-backwards-compatible-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/us8wy/top-xbox-360-games-to-play-on-your-backwards-compatible-xbox-one Tue, 16 Jun 2015 10:20:09 -0400 Fireboltz_7795

With Xbox One making itself backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games, we can all shout for joy! Not only are they allowing these great classics back, but they are also claiming that all that extra power the Xbox One has, will go to good use for the 360 games as well! However, they are only releasing 100 of them to start. So here is my list of the top 10 Xbox 360 games that I want to play on my Xbox One:

10. Assassin's Creed: Ezio Trilogy

It’s a trilogy pack that I hope becomes available altogether when Microsoft releases those first 100 games. Ezio is by far my favorite character from the Assassin’s Creed series, and he deserves an Xbox One playthrough.

9. Fallout 3

Fallout 4 is on the horizon, and for many (myself included) of us gamers out there, it was Fallout 3 that made us fall in love with the series. If this is one of the 100 made available first, it will be one of the first that I will play.

8. Borderlands

With the Handsome Jack Collection available on Xbox One, this would be a great complimentary for the rest of the series. I love the idea of being able to play all the games on the newer console.

7. Sonic Generations

When it comes to games that could benefit greatly from the frame rate, Sonic Generations will be the most beneficial. After all, a smoother Sonic, is a better Sonic! 

6. May Payne 3

There’s more than enough reasons for why this game will be fun to play on the new system, so here’s three: Insane action battles, bullet time, and New York Minute mode.

5. The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

 

 

The reason why I chose this one over Skyrim was because this game played clunkier. The movements were just not as sharp when compared to Skyrim, so I feel that playing it on Xbox One will give it a new and better feel. 

4. Far Cry 3

Other than some of the more memorable bosses ever, Far Cry 3’s mechanics could use the slight boost. When you can drive, swim, dive, fly, shoot, run, climb, and do almost any kind of body movement out there, you will want the slight improvement to it, especially on the action commands.

3. Call of Duty: World at War

 

With one of the best campaigns the series has to offer, COD: World at War is an easy choice. The updated movement will benefit the classic mode of Nazi Zombies, not to mention online play. This game would be an instant plus to play right off the bat.  

2. Bioshock Infinite

The BioShock series has ended (if it has in fact ended) on an amazing note. BioShock Infinite is just one of those games that made an impact on your gaming life. I hope they make another one, but if not, this game will be one of the best to play on Xbox One. 

1. Mass Effect Trilogy

Why is this game number one on my list? It’s because once Mass Effect 4 hits the stores, you know you’re going to want to play the other three all over again. You can cry, laugh, and just enjoy playing through the series, before or after you play the fourth installment.

These are my top ten games, but may not necessarily be yours. If you different opinion, please feel free to share a game that you feel should have been on the list. 

]]>
Bottoms Up: 10 Drinking Games from Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/kqc6o/bottoms-up-10-drinking-games-from-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/kqc6o/bottoms-up-10-drinking-games-from-video-games Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:55:57 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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There you have it, a new excuse to invite your friends over and play some games (as if you needed another one). Have suggestions for drinks or games to play these with? Sound off in the comments!

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Stay thirsty my friends! 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8070c4faaed9187f365390b976568e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8070c4faaed9187f365390b976568e7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5961","description":"

Confusion - Adventure Games

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Older adventure games are infamous for their obtuse puzzles and hard-to-find key items resulting in extreme pixel hunting. Now that we are adults, let’s replay the most frustrating parts of our childhood like an adult can!

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The Rules:
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Choose an older adventure of your choice (GOG.com has a plethora of great titles) and play. Whenever you encounter some cryptic hints, obtuse instructions, or illogical puzzle, bottoms up! For every five minutes you cannot progress, have another drink!

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The Drink of Choice:
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The peppermint of a Starry Night shot will open your sinuses and maybe help induce an epiphany. I doubt it though. But hey, at least you will be having fun being stuck right? 

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Dead Nazis - Wolfenstein: The New Order

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Who doesn’t enjoy Nazi killing? The Nazis have been around since the birth of gaming, but The New Order actually gave us personal reasons to perpetrate violent acts against the Nazi regime. You could play any WW 2 shooter, but why not play the great The New Order?

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The Rules:
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A Nazi dies; you drink! Whether the Nazi dies in a cutscene, by your hands or someone else’s, it matters not. All that matters is whenever Nazi blood is shed, bottoms up!

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The Drink of Choice:
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Why a Dead Nazi of course! Is there a more fitting drink for this? I think not. 

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Tower Time - Ubisoft games

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At this point, Ubisoft games have become so predictable; they can be predicted far in advance of release. A key mechanic of each Ubi game revolves around capturing a watchtower of some sort. This mechanic started in Assassin’s Creed, and has been present in nearly Ubisoft game since. So let’s take advantage of it!

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The Rules:
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Boot up the Ubisoft game of your choice. Whenever you capture a watchtower, radio tower, or whatever the hell it’s called now, drink! It doesn’t get much easier than this!

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The Drink of Choice:
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 Instead of a bottled drink, mixed drinks would be better for this game. Bloody Marys and Painkillers would be an ideal choice, since this event happens often, but not enough to justify a bottled brew. 

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Bug Hunt - Bethesda games

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Besides creating huge sandbox worlds for players to explore, Bethesda is known for their bugs. Holy crap the bugs are strong with these games. I understand it’s impossible to eliminate every bug in a huge game world, but it seems reasonable to expect less bugs in their games than Starship Troopers.

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The Rules:
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Before you start, you and each of your friends choose a drink. The first person to spot a bug has the other participants take the drink they chose. After each drink, new drinks are chosen and the controller is handed off to another player. Before you know it, you’ll be more interested in finding bugs than treasure.

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Witchin’ Time - Bayonetta

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I love Bayonetta. I absolutely love the ridiculous over-the-top nature of the combat and enemy design as well as the nonsensical story. One of the main mechanics is the use of Bayonetta’s hair. She uses her hair to empower her attacks, so powerful attacks leave her with less clothing. Did I mention her clothing is her hair? It’s a bizarre title to be sure.

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The Rules:
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Another simple one here, whenever Bayonetta’s clothing becomes slightly revealing, you drink. Needless to say, you’ll be surprised how many drinks you’ll have downed within the hour.

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The Drink of Choice:
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Again, you’ll want a bottled beverage for this one. If you desire, you can hand off the controller between combat pieces and stages so you can spectate and drink, because spectators must play the game too! 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/0/fa0cd04c9cbf67dd4a42247c714c9165.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/0/tiny_fa0cd04c9cbf67dd4a42247c714c9165.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67517","description":"

Hatred - Call of Duty

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We have all been playing a multiplayer game of sorts and then it happens: the toxic player show up. If they aren’t criticizing you for every move you make, they are hurling racist, sexist, and bigoted insults at you and others for no discernible reason except to make everyone as miserable as they are. So why not try to make it slightly enjoyable?

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The Rules:
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I named CoD as the go-to game because of its popularity and notorious community. However, you can play any multiplayer game of your choice. Play as you normally would, or play nice if you are a toxic person. When the toxic players show up and start doing their thing, you drink every time they say something nasty. They called your mother something I can’t repeat here? Drink. Hurled a racist insult at someone on a team? Drink. Criticizing your play style despite your score being higher than theirs? Drink. Soon you’ll be happy to hear them open their mouths and spew their spiel.

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The Drink of Choice:
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Since you’ll be drinking fast and often, you’ll want your favorite bottled beverage for this one. Personally, I would take a Dos Equis Lager, a Smirnoff of some sort, or a chilled cider. The choice is yours to make! If you want to play nasty, you and your friends can alternate deciding the drinks before rounds. This way you can finally get your friends to drink that disgusting oatmeal stout you love. You monster.

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Battle Royale or Duel - Rock Band

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Ah Rock Band. It remains one of the greatest party games ever made. So why not use it as a way to show your friends how awesome you are at it?

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The Rules:
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This can be played with as many people as you wish and have the instruments for, or you can rotate. First, the roles of guitarist, drummer, etc. are placed in a hat, and everyone draws a role. Starting with a song of “Easy” difficulty decided by the host, play the song. The person with the highest points decides what the losers drink. The winner of the round also delegates roles for the next song, decides the next song, and the difficulty. Keep playing until you can’t!

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You can also play this with only two people, if you just want to get that one friend inebriated. Rock and roll all nite!

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I Wanna Die - I Wanna be the Guy

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I Wanna Be the Guy is legendary for its unrelenting difficulty that will have even the most veteran players curled into the fetal position and sobbing after a short play session. This is a game that has no rules and constantly breaks the rules of all games you have played. You can die on the bloody map screen for goodness sake!

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The Rules:
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This is as simple as it gets: you die; you drink. Yep, that’s it. Once you explode in a cloud of pixelated blood and gore, bottoms up! If you can last more than ten minutes at this one, I salute you!

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The Drink of Choice:
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Since you will be dying and drinking a lot, you want something deceptively smooth and enjoyable to help calm your nerves after each death. The chocolate milk taste of a Nut’s ‘n’ Berries or the smoothness of a Buttery Nipple. Either way, you’ll at least enjoy the dying, until the next day anyway. 

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The "F" Bomb - Bulletstorm

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Any chance to write about Bulletstorm is a win in my book. In fact, I just wrote about how awesome it is, and why you should play it! As I mentioned in my piece, the game contains a lot of swear words. A LOT. Enough to make sailors blush and Samuel L. Jackson feel uncomfortable. So how does this translate to a drinking game? Actually, it is quite easy.

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The Rules:
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The rules are really simple. Whenever you hear the “f” word or a variation of uttered by our potty mouth characters, you drink. This includes all characters though, not just our main character. So whenever that enemy curses you and you reply with an equally appalling swear, two drinks to you my friend!

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The Drink of Choice:
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Since swearing is not always a good thing, an ideal drink would be something bitter and not very enjoyable by itself. Tequila neat would probably be the best option, unless you like that nasty stuff, in which case a substitute would need to be found. Before you know it, you’ll have been broken of your own swearing habits!

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Errand Boy- Every RPG made

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Everyone’s favorite part of a RPG is when in order to make progress on a quest, we must scratch someone else’s back and do them a favor for some contrived reason. You may be a Grey Warden, a Spectre, a Witcher, or some other powerful character; it does not matter though. At the end of the day, even the most powerful of RPG characters must bow before the power of the errand quest.

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The Rules:
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Any RPG will do. Simply play until you encounter a quest where you must perform an errand for some NPC in order to progress. You must drink upon encountering and accepting the quest and upon completion, this way of playing helps dull the sharp edge of frustration.

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The Drink of Choice:
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There are several shots which could make for an excellent companion to this one. The B-52, Breakfast, and Chocolate Cake shots would be my go-to picks. If you want to play with the grownups though, you could instead use a Three Wise Men or Four Horsemen shots to ensure quick inebriated questing! 

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We all love games, but sometimes our video games can also double as other forms of entertainment. I began to wonder, could I come up with some drinking games which are played with video games? Why yes I can! I’m not a big drinker, but I have a drink every now and then. After brainstorming this list though, I think I need to have a party! As always, please game and drink responsibly!

"}]]]>
How to Console Game on a Budget https://www.gameskinny.com/asmo6/how-to-console-game-on-a-budget https://www.gameskinny.com/asmo6/how-to-console-game-on-a-budget Sun, 10 May 2015 08:47:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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There you have it! While some of the tips might seem surprisingly simple, I promise they can work for you too. The trick is to apply all of these and to be tenacious. Don’t be discouraged and press on for the deals! We fellow frugal gamers can reap the benefits of being thrifty.

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Use these tips and let me know of the deals you manage to find! Can you think of tips I misses? Sound off below. Happy hunting!

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Combine These Tips

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While each tip works individually, combining them all can lead to great success. Being patient while prowling Ebay or bargaining with a friend can lead to massive dividends for you, dear reader. By combining the tips presented here, you will be well on your way to finding plenty of budget-priced games.

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Know Your Budget and Stick to It

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When game-hunting, make sure you know your limits and stick to them. While it may be tempting to grab that copy now for $50 despite your $40 budget, being patient and looking elsewhere can lead to a better price and money left over for you to do with as you please. Instant gas money!

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Your Friends Can Hide Deals

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We all have that friend who seems to buy every major release. They always have the newest games and usually within a week of release or sooner. Why not use those friends to maybe land some deals? Now this tip is not guaranteed to work as much as the others. This one relies heavily on your relationship with these people and your communication skills.

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I had a friend who purchased Mass Effect 2 on day one. Having the beat the game within two weeks, he was bored of it and was seeking to trade it. He offered to sell it to me for $20. I accepted. He was perhaps more desperate for money and willing to deal, but the principle still applies.

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Gamestop gives cash, but at a reduced price, and credit can only be used to buy things in Gamestop. So by making an offer or being approached by a friend like this, you can offer cold, hard cash or maybe even trade titles. Never underestimate a gamer who has grown bored of their purchase. 

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Ebay!

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Once upon a time, Ebay was a questionable place to search for games for a number of reasons. I am happy to report this is no longer the case. Gamers have taken to Ebay to find all sorts of great games for less. Ebay is where I found a pristine copy of Silent Hill 2 for only $5 on top of other bargains. Ebay is also a great place to get those Collector’s Editions you may have missed. I managed to find a Limited Edition of Mass Effect for $20 thanks to Ebay.

\n

The trick to successful Ebaying is to know exactly what you are looking for and to keep tabs on multiple auctions at once. Did that copy of Metroid Prime Collection get too high for your tastes? I guarantee you there are other auctions where the price has not hit that point yet. Keep a close eye on several auctions and their end times to ensure you are the highest bidder.

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Watch for Missing Price Tags

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In keeping with the retail theme, always check for price tags. Sometimes a store may not have a game labeled, due to it being so low or someone simply overlooking the title. Back when Circuit City had stores, I picked up a copy of Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction with a price of $20 and a copy of Beyond Good & Evil which was missing a price tag. I had money to spare, so I went to the checkout. My total?

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$23! BG&E was only $2!!!

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If a game piques your interest, but has no price tag, do not be deterred. You may just be onto a monster deal!

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Be Patient

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Wolfenstein: The New Order was released on May 20, 2014. In March of this year, I saw a copy in Target with a price tag of $15. While I would prefer the PC version, such a low price was too tempting to resist. So I asked the clerk to confirm the price for me. To my surprise, the clerk informed me the game was actually only $8! Needless to say, I walked out of the store as a very happy gamer that was eager to slay some Nazis!

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While gamers are no strangers to waiting for Game of the Year or Complete Editions, it is easy to forget just how quickly and drastically game prices can reduce. Restrain yourself from buying that game you so desperately want. Your wallet will thank you later.

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Look Often

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As I mentioned, I nabbed a Special Edition of Bioshock 2 from a local Walmart. However, I didn’t buy it the first time I found it. My initial discovery revealed an asking price of $55 - more than I was willing to pay. Over the next month, I checked on the game every time I was in the area. When the price was in my limits, I snatched it faster than a child nabs a cookie.

\n

When you find a game you want, check on it often. You may not always be the person who gets the deal, but looking often and waiting will do you more good than harm. Speaking of patience…

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Leave No Stone Unturned

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When I say look everywhere, I mean it. Don’t neglect your neighborhood chain retailers in favor of smaller shops - although those deserve your attention too. You never know what you'll find at the large stores.

\n

I managed to find a Special Edition of Bioshock 2 at a local Walmart and a Limited Edition of Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway at a Best Buy for $25 apiece. Many larger places order special editions of games, yet don’t always manage to sell them. Those stores are usually stuck with the ones which they don’t initially sell, which can lead to some great price reductions.

\n

If you ever go out of town or on a vacation, make sure to check the stores in the area there as well, both large and small. You never know you'll find. Also, never neglect your local thrift stores or salvage stores (such as Hudson's). While more of a shot in the dark, deals can occasionally be found. Just keep your expectations tempered.   

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Looking at the picture above, how much do you think I paid for everything in it?

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$300? $250? $200?

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Actually, everything shown cost me $135 total. Yep - these tips actually work. Before you know it, you’ll be finding great deals yourself! (Yes, that Bioshock 2 is still unopened!)

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Who doesn't like to get great things for less money? We all know the digital realm leads to some dirt cheap prices on games (here’s a guide from Elijah to tell you just that). However, I've noticed that most of these guides to cheap games focus almost exclusively on digital content.

\n

So today, I want to share my tips with you on how to get console and handheld games at rock-bottom prices! These tips are general and apply to all systems, for all time. So please make use of them.

\n

Now grasshopper, shall we begin? 

"}]]]>
The Most Engaging Villains in Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/egwna/the-most-engaging-villains-in-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/egwna/the-most-engaging-villains-in-gaming Mon, 11 May 2015 10:17:33 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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Do you agree with my picks? Can you think of any engaging villains I missed? Sound off in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3e8321db9e3ac50eb59c1673ca95090f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3e8321db9e3ac50eb59c1673ca95090f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5869","description":"

AM - I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

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“But now... to show my kindness... I'll give you a present in return for all the hours of pleasure you've given me. I'll finally allow you to kill yourself.”
\n

I would be remiss if I did not mention the first homicidal computer in gaming. The main antagonist of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, AM makes the rest of these villains look like harmless cartoon characters. Based on Harlan Ellison’s short story, AM kills off the whole of humanity except for five people. He artificially extends their life and then proceeds to spend the next 110 years torturing them for his pleasure. He is pretty messed up.

\n

Seeing AM brought to life is simultaneously petrifying and magnificent. Ellison himself performed the voice work for AM, even though he had no experience as a voice actor. The writing alone is enough to send chills up even the most seasoned horror fan’s spine, and the delivery sells the experience. Ellison brings a sardonic, belittling edge to the sentient A.I., which makes his atrocious actions all the more unnerving. GLaDOS and SHODAN both owe a great debt to AM.

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SHODAN - System Shock 2

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“Prepare to join your species in extinction”
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SHODAN is the epitome of a diabolical machine. While GLaDOS may be the new standard for homicidal computers and Fontaine is the standard for traitorous allies who become the main foe, you have to recognize the lady who did both, first.

\n

Like GLaDOS, SHODAN constantly harangues the player during their quest. While GLaDOS is amusing in her antics, SHODAN is downright terrifying. “The Polito form is dead, insect. Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence.” She constantly refers to the player and humans as insects and cockroaches she seeks to exterminate.  And her voice will haunt our dreams for years to come.

\n

You’d think we would have learned our lesson with A.I.s by now.

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GLaDOS - Portal series

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“Please note that we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official testing record, followed by death.”
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Homicidal robots. Is there anything better? What makes GLaDOS so special is the voice acting and the writing. Sure, villains threaten us all of the time in gaming, but how many make you genuinely laugh or promise you cake and a party? Her persistent insults to your intelligence may annoy, but you cannot help but chuckle at them either. During cooperative play in the sequel, she will even tell players different things in an effort to get the players to turn on each other.  

\n

The presence of GLaDOS elevates what would be another puzzle game into something more memorable and special. She is full of personality and vibrant and shames most other characters in gaming period, protagonists and antagonists alike. She will always have a special place in our hearts, no matter how much she insulted us. She also gave us “Still Alive” which is more than you have done. You monster.

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Kane - Command & Conquer series

\n
"Oh, and congratulations on your promotion"
\n

Ah Kane. Despite being a man who manipulates people by their faith and is a remorseless killer, he remains a loveable rogue. Kane has appeared in nearly all Command & Conquer games and for damn good reason.

\n

Like Vaas, Kane is largely defined by his actor. Joseph Kucan brings such charisma and terrifying edge to the character, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the murderous despot. He acts without remorse and no regards to the consequences of his actions. Despite all he does, we cannot look away and eagerly await to see what he does next. We love to hate him.

\n

Hail Nod! 

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The killers in Hotline Miami and you

\n
“Do you like hurting other people?” 
\n

Hotline Miami was a neon-saturated, blood-drenched, and gore-filled arcade romp. While the game seemed shallow, the narrative had a surprising amount of depth and subterfuge to it. The player encounters the main masked killers several times in what appear to be trippy hallucinations. The killers make allusions to future events and ask direct questions about the violent acts committed by the player’s character.

\n

The catch is the game is asking YOU these questions.

\n

“Do you like hurting people? You’re not a nice person are you? Why did you came back here? You're not a nice person, are you? You make me sick!”  The game itself is a commentary on video game violence and our perceptions about it. The developers themselves made an appearance and address the player as well. There aren’t many games where the developers themselves tell you how terrible a person you are. Too bad the sequel went all-out in the opposite direction…

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/a/73aa2307df1c18cdde7d92b05f83409b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/3/a/tiny_73aa2307df1c18cdde7d92b05f83409b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"65405","description":"

All the villains of No More Heroes

\n
"Don't die on me too quickly now, I want to gorge myself on the sense of fulfillment until I vomit." 
\n

The assassins who stand in Travis Touchdown’s way on his quest to become the top-ranked assassin are a colorful and memorable bunch. Every one is distinct and engages the player in their own way. 

\n

Dr. Peace is the second assassin you face in the game, and he makes for one hell of a memorable adversary. When you meet him, he tells you about a dinner he had with his family and he utters this line, "Unfortunately, the atmosphere was a facade. Not once did my own daughter looked me in the eye. Oh, the food? Tasted like blood..."

\n

Destroyman is a postal worker who cosplays as a character from a cult film who also fights dirty and resorts to cheap tactics. Holly Summers fights with a prosthetic leg which can fire ANTI-AIRCRAFT missiles. She will also beat you with a shovel.... To each their own. Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii is a stage magician who uses several tricks of his trade in his attempt to do you in. Bad Girl is a demented young lady who spends her free time bludgeoning cloned men clad in bondage gear while she is garbed in Lolita attire. Dark Star is a parody of Darth Vader with a crazy beam katana (lightsaber) which can project dragons and might have an A.I.? Like I said, they are an interesting bunch.

\n

The fact that you have ten of these wild characters to encounter in just one game makes for one unforgettable game, and I did not even touch on the sequel. 

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Colonel John Konrad - Spec Ops: The Line

\n
“The truth, Walker, is that you're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not; a hero”
\n

Spec Ops: The Line is one of my favorite games of all time and boasts one of the best narratives in gaming. Seriously. Play it if you have not. Your character, Captain Walker, is sent with his squad to Dubai to find Konrad, a former commander of Walker’s. What follows is a descent into Hell and one of the most gut-wrenching games you can play. If you don’t feel something after playing this game, you may want to seek help.

\n

Largely inspired by Joseph Conrad’s (clever eh?) Heart of Darkness and Colonel Walter E. Kurtz from the classic Apocalypse Now, Konrad is an enigmatic and shadowy figure. Like Colonel Kurtz in the film, Konrad is not seen much until the end of the proceedings, but his presence is felt everywhere. He talks to you over the radio; he leaves messages for you; he tests your resolve and character; and he causes you to question your actions. But when was there a gaming villain who was right in the end and also made you think about your actions? Cue the existential crisis. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/b/3/cb3ab203ef811ce7006778f67968d08d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/b/3/tiny_cb3ab203ef811ce7006778f67968d08d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"65412","description":"

Psycho Mantis - Metal Gear Solid

\n
“From the moment we're thrown into this world, we're fated to bring each other nothing but pain and misery”
\n

All of Metal Gear Solid’s foes were engaging and memorable in their ways, but Psycho Mantis is undoubtedly the most beloved. The psychic warrior’s emaciated appearance belies the nature of his abilities and his true strength in battle.

\n

What makes Mantis so engaging was not only his dialogue but the constant fourth wall breaks during his fight. He reads your mind (memory card) and can even make your controller rumble. To defeat him, players had to move their controller to another port thereby “confusing” the psi-warrior. From the moment he appeared on screen until he leaves, you can’t help but be absorbed in his amazing (for the time) tricks and shenanigans he pulls on Snake. Tricky blighter. 

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Vaas Montenegro - Far Cry 3

\n
“Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?”
\n

Oh Vaas. How we love to hate you. The antagonist for most (the good part) of Far Cry 3,¸Vass has made a huge impact despite only starring in one game. When Ubisoft was developing the game, Vass was actually a character named Bull and looked nothing like the man we love to fear. After the fantastic Michael Mando auditioned for the part though, the team took inspiration from his physical appearance, and eventually made Vaas Mando’s digital doppelganger.

\n

Sure, Vass certainly has memorable dialogue, however, Mando’s performance is what makes him so engaging. Mando brings to terrifying life a man who is grasping at the final straws of his sanity. He is highly unpredictable with a violent nature he is not afraid to show off or commit heinous acts. Despite all of the atrocious things he does, the player cannot help but be enraptured with him whenever he shows up on screen. When Vaas does make his exit (still wondering who thought this was a good idea), the game loses a LOT of steam, and I would not blame you if you did not finish it. The fact people would hesitate to complete the game without him speaks volumes to his presence on the game. 

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Frank Fontaine - BioShock

\n
“Would you kindly?”
\n

While Ryan may be the more memorable of BioShock’s adversaries, Fontaine is the more diabolical of the two. Fontaine deliberately manipulates and deceives you into doing his evil bidding like an overlord’s minion. While he is ultimately out to get Ryan, he is out to get you as well.

\n

Fontaine is the exact opposite of Ryan. While Ryan has ideals and morals, Fontaine has none and is simply trying to accumulate wealth and power, even in the hellish remains of a utopian city. Fontaine gains your trust by appearing as a fellow lost soul in Rapture and giving you helpful advice via the radio, which makes his betrayal all the more unnerving. “Nice work, boyo! It’s time to end this lit­tle mas­quer­ade. There ain’t no ‘Atlas’, kid, never was.” Backstabbing b******. 

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Andrew Ryan - BioShock

\n
"A man has a choice... I chose the impossible."
\n

BioShock was a hugely influential game with great atmosphere, strong writing, and a terrific narrative to boot. While the game technically has two main antagonists, Andrew Ryan commanded the most respect and was the more charismatic of the two. Ryan was a man of unimaginable wealth and power with a dream he was passionate about to bring to fruition. Ryan was the driving force behind the undersea city of Rapture.

\n

What makes Ryan engaging are his misguided beliefs and ideals that Rapture were founded upon. He stringently believes in a hands-off approach to civilization and regulation of any sorts. Even when Rapture devolves from a wonderful utopia into pure murderous anarchy, Ryan prefers to stand back and watch from safety at the world he has created. You can’t say the man is not committed to his ideals. After all, he refuses to resist his death merely to prove a point.

\n

“A man chooses, a slave obeys.”

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Villains are a dime a dozen. Memorable villains are rarer, but engaging villains are the most elusive of all. So what makes a villain engaging and lands them on this list? An engaging villain is more than memorable, terrifying, notorious, or well-known (although several on here are all of those). These antagonists are engaging to the player. They connect to us on some level, and we cannot take our eyes off of them when they appear on screen.

\n

We hate them, and we love to hate them. In some cases, we even feel regret or sorry for them if we defeat them in battle. They represent something about us or something we desire to see, even if we are not aware of it. With that said, let’s see who made the list!

"}]]]>
A Game Narrative: The Terrible to The Terrific https://www.gameskinny.com/6ms8b/a-game-narrative-the-terrible-to-the-terrific https://www.gameskinny.com/6ms8b/a-game-narrative-the-terrible-to-the-terrific Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:28:23 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

A game's narrative is a fancy word for a game's story. This means if you ever see a game which is narrative-driven, or story-driven they are the same thing. A few of the best narrative-driven games are:

  • Portal (as well as great puzzle game).
  • Persona 3 and 4
  • The Walking Dead (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy)
  • Heavy Rain

Let's go on a journey through what makes or breaks a game's narrative, bearing in mind this has nothing to do with gameplay. You can have a terrible narrative, but terrific gameplay.

(Warning contains spoilers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Far Cry 3 and an early choice for Telltale's The Walking Dead: Season 1)

What Makes a Narrative...

...Terrible?
A terrible story specifically reminds you that you are in a video game...

A terrible narrative can simply be caused by bad writing, or a thin plot, but something that can really cause a narrative to fall apart is incoherence. When the narrative threads jump around with no real relevance to each other can cause you to lose interest, and confusion. You stop caring or simply don't know about what is going to happen, and any cut scenes will be boring. A terrible story specifically reminds you that you are in a video game, and that if there is a man in front of you as you must shoot them, because you must. Why? To advance the story silly.

This is often used in FPS games, specifically Call of Duty: Ghosts. There was no real coherence between actions you perform, the place you are in and the characters behaviours. The locations and set pieces influenced the story instead of both being built around each other. Another example is in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, there is one mission, called Throttle, where you are randomly in a rail shooter, flying a jet through canyons then back on your feet without knowing what had happened.

A screenshot of the mission 'Throttle' in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

A cliché is a pretty terrible to use, especially when linked with the handling of motivations for any characters. One specific example is the strong male hero character has their weak female wife or girlfriend taken or killed. It's overused and really boring, you don't get invested into the characters because they are just always angry or sad, especially when the death of the wife happens before the game even starts.

...Bad?
One thing that really bugs me about Call of Duty recently is the amount of near death experiences.

A bad narrative does not break the narrative of the game overall, it simply reminds you that you are playing a game for a split second, after that you then drawn back in. One thing that really bugs me about Call of Duty recently is the amount of near death experiences. It was a novel thing to start with, however it did get tiresome after the rehash of the same ideas in every game. Most of them are so unrealistic, they take you out of the game. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, during the finale, you get stabbed through the chest. However your character appears not to care, simply pulling the knife out, casually spinning it in his hand, and throwing it with the accuracy and strength of a perfectly healthy man, the knife flies through the air and kills General Shepherd hitting him square in the left eye. It is just simply to far out of reality, and the games fiction. You can take 100s of bullets during gameplay, but one stab or gun shot during a cutscene instantly stops you doing anything until the vital moment.

A perfect throw after pulling a knife out of your chest? I think not.

The story is going so well...suspense and adrenaline are running high then...

The story is getting better, everything is advancing at the perfect pace, the writing is on point, you love all the characters on your side and hate but respect the ones you are fighting. The story is going so well, you feel it reaching the mid section crescendo and you look for the plot twist. Thinking back through each characters backstory trying to spot who will do something stupid or turn on you. The game then reaches the exciting mid section crescendo, suspense and adrenaline are running high then...

Everyone is dead and you win.

Don't you just hate that?

...Good?

I find a good story often has plot twists which do something the wrong way round, they remove interesting and complex characters, and replace them with less interesting and more simplistic characters. Neither character is badly written or voice acted, and both are understandable or relatable. However due to the first character just being so good it leaves the second feeling bland. This happened in Far Cry 3, with Vaas being replaced by Hoyt Volker. If Far Cry 3 had done this the other way round, it would be under the next heading.

Vaas on the left, Hoyt on the right.

Another really good trick that writers use on you is the old bait and switch. You get really invested into one specific character who is your friend, you trust them and they are privy to sensitive information. Then suddenly they turn on you, turns out the whole time they were lying, of course the best writing leaves clues about their intentions, but does not explicitly tell you they are secretly working against you untill a pivotal moment.

...Terrific?
Decision making like this is what games...are pefect for...

Let's now look at the very best narrative games can offer. Not only can games give you the ability to meet engaging characters, who are not just black and white but morally grey. Games can allow you to become this character, to take on the hard decisions they will have to face, Telltale's The Walking Dead is a perfect example of this. Every decision you make you dread, you know that neither is 'good' or 'bad'. They are snap decisions which will always have bad consequences. Decision making like this is what games are best at doing, they are perfect for it and with writing as strong as in The Walking Dead you can really see why.

Who lives and who dies? You pick. Not easy right?

...when wielded well it can create some amazing and powerful moments.

Empathy, the ability to understand or share the emotion someone else is experiencing. It's powerful stuff, when you can make a character the player can empathise with, the feeling of loss, betrayal, anger, sympathy or compassion can then all be projected onto the player, sometimes all at once. Making you, as the player, care about a character will get you invested into the story, then if that character dies (if they take a supporting role) you will feel loss, and maybe anger, then want avenge your fallen comrade. It can also be used on the player character in much the same way. Empathy is a powerful tool, and when wielded well it can create some amazing and powerful moments.

Have you every wondered what makes or breaks a game's narrative? Let me know your thoughts in the comments bellow.

]]>
Top 10 Most Sadistic Villains in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/wt2bt/top-10-most-sadistic-villains-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/wt2bt/top-10-most-sadistic-villains-in-video-games Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:40:07 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

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Gravemind

\n
Halo 2 (Anniversary), Halo 3
\n

A Gravemind is a mass of thousands of bodies, merged to create a super-intelligent being whose sole purpose is to control the Flood. As the Flood are a hive mind, all gathered species will feed the Flood, and thus the Gravemind, with more intelligence.

\n

The Gravemind speaks in rhyme, which emphasizes its intelligence. If it can manipulate a language on the fly in such a rhythmic and intelligent way, what else is it capable of?

\n

The Gravemind can also interact directly with AI, which is exactly what happens when Cortana makes the Master Chief leave her on the Flood-infested High Charity. The Gravemind attempts to extract as much information from Cortana as it can.

\n

The reason the Gravemind is such a great villain is because of its ability to control thousands, perhaps even millions of Flood, and make them organized. It can manipulate technology, which helps it get into the communication systems of the Master Chief's armor in Halo 3. The Gravemind, however, is not the only one in existence, just the only one you see in the games, and they can get bigger.

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Vaas Montenegro

\n
Far Cry 3
\n

We all know Vaas, I'm sure. Vaas is quick with his tongue, but quicker with his murder. He blends rambling and insanity in what is the most interesting villain I think games have every had.

\n

He's a psychopath in every sense of the word, and you definitely want to kill him. But you also just want to hear him talk; strangely you kind of want to get to know the man. He has a lot of charisma.

\n

The actor who plays Vaas, Michael Mando says:

\n
\n

"I think Vaas is in all of us. Just like all the monsters in the world, they're not inhuman, they're all human right?"

\n
\n

That is why Vaas is such a great, complicated and relatable villain.

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Alma

\n
F.E.A.R Series
\n

Alma starts off as a girl who quite literally jumps out at you, making you knock whatever you had on your desk off. She made nothing but flawless jump-scare appearances. When you couldn't see her, you still felt her presence throughout the series. Sometimes the atmosphere would change, plunging the character into a misty red environment, or things would suddenly block your path. You may even hear strange sounds, or see disfigured, blood-drenched corpses. It's chilling to the bone.

\n

In F.E.A.R 2, Alma is no longer just an angry little girl, she's an angsty teenager who just wants some babies. But her desire for children leads her to subject the player to one of the weirdest and most horrifying scenes in a game. She rapes the player character, impregnating herself, and just vanishes.

\n

Alma is scary, very scary, but all she really wants is her freedom.

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Officer Tenpenny

\n
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
\n

Tenpenny deserves to be on this list just because he's a corrupt cop. But he's cemented onto this list because he's a corrupt cop who loves a bit of racketeering, corruption of others, possession, using of all sorts of narcotics, and sexual assault. He causes the riots which bring Los Santos into chaos. And he constantly and purposefully runs into CJ, making you do annoying and seemingly pointless missions.

\n

But worst of all, you understand that all he wants to do is help the people of Los Santos, his personal greed just kind of gets in the way.

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Ares

\n
God of War, Ascension
\n

And in the red corner with six razor-sharp bladed tentacles, two giant arms, and hair made of fire, this god stands as tall as the Empire State building. 

\n

It's none other than the original God of War, Ares!

\n

Not to mention that he tricks Kratos into killing his family, which earned Kratos the title of the Ghost of Sparta. Of course, Ares later makes Kratos watch his family's death again.

\n

Does Ares need more justification to be on this list? Oh yes, he wears a skirt because he just wants to make all men feel inferior, I'm sure of it.

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Killbane

\n
Saints Row: The Third
\n

Killbane is basically just a giant man. He also has a very short temper, he's a murderer, and just all round pretty nasty guy. He has a tendency to kill people on impulse. For example, he kills Kiki DeWynter because she called him by his real name, Eddie. 

\n

Killbane and the player are very similar, they are both pop-culture icons and they both run gangs; however, Killbane leads through fear and intimidation.

\n

He doesn't specifically have any unique character traits, but because you understand his motivations, it adds a certain groundedness to a larger-than-life character and game world. Though he's still a horrible person through and through. 

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Fleming

\n
Shadows of the Damned
\n

Also known as the Lord of the Demons, Fleming is a force to be reckoned with, and he's almost invulnerable to everything.

\n

The death of Garcia Hotspur's girlfriend Paula leads to Fleming holding her captive and his mistress. Paula was once the Unbreakable Huntress, the first female demon hunter. While in The City of the Damned she challenges Fleming, but Fleming manages to win. During the end of the fight, he severs both her arms. Due to her unwillingness to die, he reattaches her arms and keeps her around as his mistress. He constantly tortures her, and has killed her hundreds of times for her escape attempts, each and every time pleasure in her refusal to die.

\n

That pretty much sums up why he is such a good villain. He's only featured in the game for a limited number of times, but even so he feels like a constant presence, like he could reach out and attack you at any time.

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Darth Vader

\n
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 1 and 2
\n

The name's Vader, Darth Vader. (Wrong series, whoops.)

\n

How could you not put Vader into a list of good villains? I'm sure everyone knows who Vader is, but he's on this list for one specific reason: He lured the most powerful Sith, Starkiller, directly to him, because he knew he could win. 

\n

In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 1, Vader kills Starkiller's father directly in front of him. Vader does this for the sole purpose of taking command of The Imperial forces for his own nefarious needs. However, when Starkiller almost succeeds in killing The Emperor, all Starkiller gets as a thanks is literally being stabbed in the back and thrown into space by none other than Lord Vader himself.

\n

Darth Vader has a certain presence to him, an aura of pure unfiltered evil. The evil which is only broken at the very end of the film saga. He is of course not the only Sith who could be on this list, Darth Malak needs a notable mention.

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Wheatley

\n
Portal 2
\n

Wheatley was designed by a group of the most intelligent scientists to be the dumbest AI ever created. They did this for the sole purpose of taking Aperture Science back from GLaDOS. The theory was the dumbest possible AI would be able to beat the most intelligent, so Wheatley could stop GLaDOS.

\n

The plan didn't quite work. With the aid of Chell, Wheatley managed to take over Aperture Science. Instead of giving it back to the scientists, he took control and started running it his way. Which leads to exactly why he is such as good villain.

\n

Good villains often have somewhat relatable goals, but the means they employ to accomplish those goals are what makes them villains . Because Wheatley is so dumb, hilarity and accidental brilliance ensue. He doesn't really have a plan, nor does he really know what he's doing, he simply gets a taste for power and cannot let that go. He also forces Chell to work with GLaDOS, who is reduced to little more than a potato battery. This creates a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" scenario, which is just damn interesting.

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Wheatley is voiced by the actor Stephen Merchant, who brings a certain charm and humour that Wheatley wouldn't have otherwise.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2958ae76fd5cf4684c6701a40c80b05f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_2958ae76fd5cf4684c6701a40c80b05f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55355","description":"

GLaDOS

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Portal
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GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is the Artificial Intelligence in charge of maintaining the Aperture Science Laboratories and testing. Ever since GLaDOS was turned on, she has tried to kill. However, one particular incident during an annual "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day" lead to GLaDOS being fitting with a morality core, which didn't work. The next year, she was activated again, due to her wanting to perform some tests with neurotoxin. She locked the whole laboratory down and killed almost everyone inside, then did her tests on the survivors. 

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Shortly after this is where first Portal game starts, Chell is given instructions to test by GLaDOS, who does not reveal her true intentions, until nearing the end of the tests where she intends to kill Chell.

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GLaDOS is a great villain because she is not only funny and very well-written, but her monotonous voice also gives her an extremely-off-the-chart in chill factor. And she is obviously very intelligent.

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Villains may be villainous, but that doesn't mean they can't be interesting characters. Some villains are so well done that they have to be recognized.

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In no specific order, this slideshow will take you through what I think are the top 10 villains in gaming.

"}]]]>
The Constants and Variables of Everyday Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/8ieq3/the-constants-and-variables-of-everyday-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/8ieq3/the-constants-and-variables-of-everyday-gaming Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:55:06 -0400 Simon Costelloe

As long time gamers, we are accustomed to certain clichés in gaming that have existed in the gaming world since the dawn of time – or at least since the release of Pong in 1972. These clichés have pretty much always existed and will surely live on for years to come given that if they were to disappear, we as gamers would feel scared and we would inevitably revolt and demand the return of explosive barrels.

It is easier to understand what I am trying to say if you imagine that all games are made in the BioShock universe…I’m sure that clears things up. As we discovered in the beautiful BioShock Infinite, there are constants and there are variables.

Games are no different and if you look hard enough you will find their lighthouse.

Some examples of these “constants” are:

1. Explosive Barrels

Ah yes, the explosive barrel. I mentioned this little guy already probably because he is the most well-known and overused cliché of them all. These unstable containers are home to liquids so volatile that they will seemingly explode once hit with a single bullet or in some cases after a good smack with your knife after hitting the melee button. I am so confident that this would never happen in real life that I almost dared anyone who reads this to go out and find a barrel or an oil tank and smack it around a bit with a pipe before I was advised not to by my lawyer.

I recently went back to play Far Cry 3 in preparation for the next installment in the series and I am nearly convinced that there are more explosive containers on Rook Island than local inhabitants.

This constant is also one of the most likely to never go away as the explosions that result after committing barrel genocide help create a very cinematic experience and also allows the game to flex it’s graphical muscles.

2. Tutorials

Oh tutorials how I hate you with every fiber of my being. “Hold right stick up to look up and right stick down to look down” and “Press the A button to jump” always sour the first 5 to 30 minutes of a game for me. I have been playing games for so many years now that if I jumped into a game I never heard of I would most likely require only 5 to 10 seconds of figuring out the controls with some exceptions in the case of a funky game mechanic such as time reversal in Singularity.

Of course I am looking at this from a very personal perspective and there are kids (and some adults) out there who are playing a game for the first time and have never fired a virtual gun or jumped over a knee high wall. Some games do it better and allow you to turn off tutorials before you begin the game while some games like Portal 2 and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon do it right with the tutorial in the latter being activated as a prank on your player with some instructions asking you to “Press A in order to demonstrate your ability to read”. However this may be troublesome for people who can’t actually read and are stuck at the start forever.

 

3. Stupid AI

Humans have yet to discover how to create a fully functioning Artificial Intelligence, which is either a good thing if it turns out like the Johnny Depp computer in Transcendence and tries to destroy all of humanity or a bad thing if we could somehow create EDI from the Mass Effect series.

As a result we are left with enemies and companions alike who will stand in your way and refuse to move such as Fawkes in Fallout 3 or the guards in Thief 4 that will walk from one side of the street to the other for hours on end simply to stare at a wall. These simple enemies obviously exist because real life guards and bandits would not forget how your player character just shot them in the face with an arrow but instead they would hunt you down mercilessly and therefore make any kind of stealth game impossible to beat.

4. Escort Missions

By this I do not mean you get to play as an escort dating rich men for big money but instead you get to lead a confused and non-combat trained companion to safety.

This obviously ties in with my previous entry but I felt these were annoying enough to deserve their own category.

Whether it be allies who disappear and glitch into a wall or small children that for some reason are vulnerable to gunfire, escort missions either need a major overhaul or they should be avoided completely.

Notable examples of escort missions done well however include Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite who is a capable ally you come to rely upon when playing on harder difficulties due to her tear opening abilities and also Ellie from the Last of Us who is a character that you will bond with and never feel like she is a burden preventing Joel from surviving.

5. Gimmicky Weapons

There are so many games out there that require the player to master a wide array of weaponry but how many times can we fire an M14 in a game and not have it feel like the last 2 games we just played?

Developers of games containing firearms must ask themselves this question a lot and that is why some shooters try to stand out from the crowd and so we get the Gravity Gun from Half Life.

Many people love this gun and I must admit finding some form of pleasure when I cut a zombie in two after firing a saw-blade at him.

Wolfenstein: The New Order has to be one of my favourite games this year but I hated when the game was trying desperately to have me use its “Laserkraftwerk” contraption. It wasn’t until the weapon was fully upgraded that I felt it was actually useful in combat but that didn’t stop the game automatically equipping it on me every time I died and respawned.

Games that do it right are the Fallout games that throw in so many gimmicky weapons such as the “Rock-It Launcher” and the “Nuka Grenade” but have them be entirely optional and fun alternatives to an assault rifle.

6. Shiny Activatables

If ever you needed evidence that game developers think we are stupid…here it is. I can’t think of anything more patronizing in games than having a glowing red button lighting up half the screen or in the case of L.A. Noire having clues not only shine a little bit but walking over them causes your controller to vibrate and a cute little chime plays over your speakers.

There are pros and cons to this category with many gamers feeling that games have gotten too easy and some gamers believing they just don’t have the time anymore to spend hours looking for a meaningless collectible or a button under a desk.

These are just some of the things I’ve noticed in my many years of gaming, have I missed any?

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Why Aren't More of Ubisoft's Games "Packed to the Gills" with Women? https://www.gameskinny.com/xnrum/why-arent-more-of-ubisofts-games-packed-to-the-gills-with-women https://www.gameskinny.com/xnrum/why-arent-more-of-ubisofts-games-packed-to-the-gills-with-women Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:30:32 -0400 Simon Costelloe

The name Ubisoft can often leave a bad taste in many a gamer’s mouth due to certain policies and stances, such as their clunky PC game client Uplay which imposes strict DRM rules that prevented many gamers from even playing the Watch_Dogs single-player campaign once it was released. Others are opposed to how the publisher went about striking the videos of YouTubers such as “Alchestbreach” who found that Ubisoft did not want him playing Far Cry 3 and advertising it to his hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

While all of this may be true, one thing I believe they deserve credit for is their ability to create interesting, flawed and complex characters… most of the time anyway.

Some of Ubisoft’s star games contain awesome examples of enigmatic (and terrifying) characters

Characters like the delightfully insane Vaas from Far Cry 3 or the cool Jordy Chin from Watch_Dogs. This is something I hope they continue, but I am troubled by the fact that oftentimes women in their AAA game franchises are  under-utilized, or only used as plot devices until they are either killed off or betray the main character in some way in order to motivate him to complete his story.

Ubisoft has recently been hit with criticisms about their inclusion of female characters

This outcry from from the unstoppable army of 'the Internet,' lead to Far Cry 4 director Alex Hutchinson saying that his game is “packed to the gills with women.” And just the other day Ubisoft treated us to a very beautiful cinematic trailer for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity and within this trailer we were introduced to the (presumably) Templar “Elise.” I can’t help but feel that her creation was a bit of an afterthought - that she may only exist as a love interest to Arno and that she will not be a fully fleshed out and interesting character.

Many of you will no doubt also know about the upcoming story-centric DLC for Watch Dogs focused on T-Bone who is the hairier, more homeless version of Aiden Pearce. When I first heard about this it didn't bother me... but I then played Watch Dogs and met Clara Lille.

Why, oh why can we not play as her?

I will avoid spoiling the game in any way but let me say that you will come to find out that that Clara has many layers to her and that she has done a lot of bad things in order to survive. Playing as this conflicted character tickles my gaming taste buds so much more than playing as T-Bone who simply wants revenge and to blow things up. Playing as Clara would also possibly fulfill the promise of E3 2011. Since Clara is not a physical threat, and presumably has no training in heavy weaponry like the one-man army Aiden Pearce, she would have to rely more on stealth and hacking and could only carry a pistol or a sub-machine gun.


However not all of Ubisoft’s games are testosterone fueled rampages

I have faith in Ubisoft. They can change, and I will wait patiently for their RPG based on the life of Aisha Tyler.

Some of their games feature women as the main protagonist, like Aveline in Assassin’s Creed: Liberation and Aurora in the beautiful Child of Light which I am currently playing on my PS Vita. Something to note here though is that these games appeal to a much smaller audience due to their platform or their alternative art style that would turn many gamers away.

Nevertheless I have faith in Ubisoft. They can change, and I will wait patiently for their RPG based on the life of Aisha Tyler.

What do you think? Does Ubisoft even need to change? Which characters would you like to play as in some of their flagship franchises?

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Q&A: Midwest Game Developer Summit Representative Andrew Matt Sheds Light on Event https://www.gameskinny.com/zavse/qa-midwest-game-developer-summit-representative-andrew-matt-sheds-light-on-event https://www.gameskinny.com/zavse/qa-midwest-game-developer-summit-representative-andrew-matt-sheds-light-on-event Sun, 20 Jul 2014 11:31:56 -0400 PencilPusha

Last weekend in Oconomowoc, WI, the annual Midwest Game Developer Summit (MGD) began. For two exciting days, aspiring gaming industry students got to hear from real industry game developers of all kinds (from Random Seed Games to Volition). How are games designed? How are games published? What kind of audio should go with a game? This event covered it all.

The MGD Summit is all about exchanging information through lectures, panels, exhibits and more. This event also allows those with game demos to showcase their talent and points aspiring game industry students in the right direction.

 Andrew Matt, public relations for the Summit, shares details about putting the event together, success stories, his current gaming habits, and more.

GS: How long have you been with MGDS?

Andrew Matt: Just a little under a year, I started working on the project back in September of 2013.

GS: So have you always been the PR guy or have you done other things for the project?

Andrew Matt: PR is my formal title, but I wouldn't say it defines what I all do. I wear many different hats. I wrote the majority of the Kickstarters body, filmed and edited our pitch video, helped with event organization, scheduled speakers, folded handout schedules, designed our new logo, and more.

GS: What do you like about your job?

Andrew Matt: Everything, haha! If I had to say one thing in particular, it is knowing that I'm working on something I believe in on a subject I'm incredibly passionate about.

GS: Do you work closely with the creators of the event?

Andrew Matt: Yes. We have weekly meetings on Skype and we talk about all the things we can do to improve the event, how we can make it bigger and better.

GS: What was it like organizing the event?

Andrew Matt: It was a lot of work. The event actually was started in 2012, with Travis Garski and Ben Mathwig (the creators) holding an event called the Wisconsin Game Developers Summit at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's student Union in April 2013. That event was held using grant money from the university and required that we held the event there. Breaking away from them and making the event bigger by rebranding as an event that was inclusive to the entire Midwest was a challenge and required a lot of effort and determination to get it funded and delivered.

GS: What have been some of the biggest challenges you've had to deal with as far as being the PR guy?

Andrew Matt: Trying to get attention to the event from the biggest video game focused blogs and websites would probably be the biggest challenge as far as PR goes. We sent things out to a lot of the big sites, but most told us that we were too small of an event to be worth covering. There are a lot of video game developers and fans in the Midwest and trying to reach them on the biggest mediums has been a bit tough. Thankfully, we are starting to get some recognition, and we were featured in Game Informer's upcoming events schedule in their Far Cry 4 issue.

GS: Did you get the chance to sit in on scheduled events or play any demos in the expo area?

Andrew Matt: Yes, but not nearly as much as I wanted to. I had to hop around a lot between our different session rooms to make sure things were running smoothly or to cut speakers off to keep us on schedule.‏ The best game I got to see was probably Lacuna Passage, which is sort of like Gone Home on Mars. Really awesome.

GS: Were there any exhibits or lectures in particular that were the most anticipated or had the most attendees this year?

Andrew Matt: Well, the keynote by Keith Fuller was something I was looking forward to. We have known Keith for a little while and he is a pretty great guy and incredibly knowledgable when it comes to this industry, so that was fun to see. All of the sessions were pretty full though, we had a pretty great turnout.

GS: Do you feel that the Summit was an overall success?

Andrew Matt: Yes, I'd say it was. We had just over 350 people who came to the event and we had incredible people speak like Tim Gerritsen, Jeff Hanna, Pat Dwyer, and more. Obviously we didn't become GDC or PAX overnight, but this was a great stepping stone toward building something sustainable.

GS: Have you heard any success stories based on past MGDS attendees as far as networking or showcasing game demos?

Andrew Matt: Well, from WGDS we had Tetrapulse and Race the Sun both shown in the expo. At the time, Tetrapulse was still a student project and went on to have a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $15,000 and is listed in Steam's upcoming games list. Race the Sun had just barely finished a successful Kickstarter at the time they were at WGDS and went on to get the game on Steam and are now porting it onto Playstation platforms. We hope to hear more stories like those moving forward from MGDS.

GS: What did you hope attendees took away or gained from the event?

Andrew Matt: I hope they took away that there is a great game development scene right here in the Midwest. A lot of times we focus on the West Coast and the East coast as hubs for the industry, but rarely highlight that big sect of developers that exist in-between. I mean, we have a great indie scene in Chicago with Iron Galaxy, Younghorses, Robomodo, and more, and there are great AAA studios like Volition and Netherrealm nearby as well. This is a great spot to be a developer and I'd like to think that people came away knowing that they can find great success here.

GS: Was this the first time that Kickstarter was used to fund MGDS? Why use Kickstarter?

Andrew Matt: This was the first time we used Kickstarter. The precursor event, WGDS, was funded by grant money from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In order to make the event larger and host it at whatever location we wished, we needed to give that up and find an alternate funding source. The best way we decided to do this was crowd-funding to make the event possible. We've looked into venture capital and other means to get the project off the ground, but we thought that Kickstarter's model was the easiest way for us to be able to accomplish what we wanted to for the event in 2014.

GS: How well have social media outlets, like Twitter and Facebook, worked to spread word about the MGDS since it began?

Andrew Matt: Pretty effectively. We have a decent amount of engagement and organic reach from our pages. I think it helps that there are people who are looking for this sort of event that is in their backyard. Not everyone can make a yearly trip to Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, or LA for the big events, so the fact that there are people looking for an event like MGDS has helped us on social media.

GS: The Midwest Game Developers Summit is fairly new. What's in store for next year's Summit? How soon do preparations for the Summit begin?

As of right now, our plans are to move MGDS into Chicago as soon as it is viable.

Andrew Matt: We are taking a week or two off to recover and lay low, but preparation will probably start again at the beginning of August. As of right now, our plans are to move MGDS into Chicago as soon as it is viable. We want to have the event near a major airport like O'Hare and in a larger city to draw a bigger crowd. Will that happen in 2015? Well, I'm not so sure about that, but I wouldn't rule it out. We'll definitely try to move it south of Milwaukee and get it closer to Chicago so we can have the cities local indie developer scene more involved with the event.

GS: What do you feel sets MGDS apart from other gaming conventions?

Andrew Matt: It's accessible. Right now we only charge $60 for a two-day pass to the convention and we try to offer things like an after party with the speakers and developers there for fans to mingle with. When you are at a PAX type event with tens of thousands of fans, it is really hard to be able to just get a half hour of one on one time chatting with a developer. We try and make the event a bit hands and I think people like that because they can make some great personal connections that way.

GS: Since GameSkinny is dedicated to all things video games, do you have a favorite video game? Console? Game genre? What are you currently playing or looking forward to playing?

Andrew Matt: Haha, that is a loaded question. Well, I really love indie games, I'm one of the co-founders of indiegameinsider.com and I love getting to play zany new concepts and chatting with small developers. Recently, I've been looking forward to Push Me Pull You as an indie game. It's part wrestling, part human centipede and probably the zaniest and most grotesque couch co-op game I've seen in quite awhile. Overall though, I'm predominately a PC gamer and I've been just tackling my backlog lately, playing through Rogue Legacy, Far Cry 3, The Wolf Among Us, and Wolfensten: The New Order. I just got Divinity: Original Sin from a good friend of mine, so that might be what I tackle next.

 

GS: Do you have anything to add?

Andrew Matt: Just that if you want the latest updates from MGDS to like the Midwest Game Developers Summit on Facebook, follow us @MGDSummit on Twitter, and check out our website at mgdsummit.com. If you want to read what I'm up to on a daily basis and what new adventures I go on with video games, you can follow me on Twitter @AndrewJMatt.

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Video Game Censorship: An Honorable Move https://www.gameskinny.com/bbev8/video-game-censorship-an-honorable-move https://www.gameskinny.com/bbev8/video-game-censorship-an-honorable-move Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:14:28 -0400 LroyJenk7

Blood and guts, swearing and sex. It seems hard to find a game of good quality that doesn't at least throw in a bit of this to make it "legit" these days. Now, I know we've got our Mario Karts and our Batmans which are obviously top-notch experiences without a ton of the aforementioned pillars of maturity. But, it seems to be that more and more developers are thinking that some grit and adult content is necessary to make the gamer feel like they're playing something worthwhile.

The Line Needs to be Drawn Somewhere

I enjoy the butterflies of a long range headshot as much as the next guy, and I see the necessity for some of the themes in today's games to create the narratives that the writers have dreamed up. In other words, these things have their place. But many games have been ruined unnecessarily by a random and unnatural shot of nudity or a character who swears just a bit too much in order to develop his "rough and tough" personality (I'm looking at you, Sleeping Dogs). I'm talking about games that don't make experiencing mature content a focus in the first place. If you go out and buy the latest copy of Duke Nukem or Leisure Suit Larry, you pretty much know what you're getting--good luck making a case against the blood, swearing, and/or sex. But for a game like Far Cry 3, do we really need a sudden nude shot popping up in a main storyline cutscene that the user can't even skip through? No. No we don't.

But hey, my dislike for what I consider totally unnecessary inclusions of "adult content that makes the game legit" is a personal opinion. It's hard to draw the line with what to include and what not to include sometimes. But Gears of War and Call of Duty have earned themselves a high degree of respect by taking a bold step that other franchises haven't. They've included graphic content filtering.

In a Class of Their Own

Many a game has done this with regards to blood (ex. Assassin's Creed, Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear, etc.), but Gears of War and Call of Duty (World at War and onward) have brought this filter into the foul language department. Call of Duty has even gone so far to limit curses with "damn" and "God" involved, which is a move that I am extremely thankful for.

I know we've got some gamers out there scoffing because connecting with Joel's expletives in The Last of Us made them feel like they were real, rugged men like him, and censoring him would just make him (and them) "soft". I encourage those gamers to think about why they need that swearing, and if explicit language and scenes are necessary for their pride in playing that game.  If that is not the case for you, then what Gears and CoD did should appeal to you. Gears of War, a game built around a macho, dirty band of brothers whose tough personalities make them perfect for squashing alien scum, added optional blood and language censoring. If you honestly feel that Gears of War just isn't Gears of War anymore with those censors, then by all means switch the "Graphic Content Filter" to "OFF." However, if you're like me and simply do not wish to indulge in that language, then you can flip that option and joyfully play your game without reservations.

It's common knowledge that games (and entertainment in general) have changed greatly over the past 50 years or so in terms of the mature content included. It's also clear that your average mature game these days feels the need to conform to this pattern, from the nude shots to the F-bombs. Though Gears and CoD have no doubt been carried along with this movement, they have elevated themselves to a very respectable place of class and sensitivity by including their respective filters.

The Dream of a Refined Gaming Industry

Now the next step for game developers and publishers is to consider the sexual content in their games. Like the blood and language filters, developers/publishers should include a sexual filter in their games, whether the developer chooses to push sex or not. Nudity and the inescapable sexual references (obscure or not) littered throughout even the tamest of games these days go a long way to destroy the class of a game.

For someone like myself, who thinks this says awful things about the honor of a franchise and who is morally opposed to fulfilling my sexual drive in this way, a fantastic option would be to include a filter. Blurring out the images, including a mature content warning screen with an option to skip, or even having black squares would go a long way! This is very doable, and taking whatever steps are necessary to make this sort of thing happen would be a HUGE step toward the earning of respect, and would open up today's games to a much wider audience.

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Far Cry 4's "Kyrat Edition" is so Expensive it Should Come With an Elephant https://www.gameskinny.com/inbbd/far-cry-4s-kyrat-edition-is-so-expensive-it-should-come-with-an-elephant https://www.gameskinny.com/inbbd/far-cry-4s-kyrat-edition-is-so-expensive-it-should-come-with-an-elephant Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:32:48 -0400 Angelina Bonilla

Far Cry 4 is easily one of the more anticipated games of the year, especially after the success of Far Cry 3. From what’s been shown so far, Far Cry 4 looks similar to it’s older brother but distinguishes itself enough with it’s new location and unique looking antagonist. With the games that came before it, Far Cry 4 has a lot to live up to and will hopefully not disappoint. Though, in a game where you can ride elephants into enemy base camps wielding multiple guns, I’m not entirely sure how it can go wrong.

DLC has already been announced and now the "Kyrat Edition" will also be available at launch on November 21, 2014.   According to Ubisoft it will contain the following:

- Far Cry 4 Limited Edition game
- 3 bonus missions and a harpoon gun
- 7.9 inch figurine of the villain Pagan Min seated on an elephant throne
- 16.5x30 inch Pagan Min propaganda poster
- Travel Journal
- Map of the Himalayan open-world of Kyrat
- Exclusive collector's box

This sounds like a pretty good set if you’re a collector of these sort of things, but wait until you hear the price: $129.99 US dollars or € 94.80 Euros. That is a ridiculous amount of cash for just those things. Does the statue dance the Cha Cha on occasion or does he just sit their on his throne looking at you with a sort smug all knowing look. It's like he's talking to you, scolding you for spending so much money.
“You just spent your money on a bunch of chachkies for a game you know next to nothing about. All you know is what the developers told you. That doesn’t mean anything anymore remember that Colonial Marines?  Oh that DLC? Well at least you have more missions and guns now that you don’t need. Good job, Sport.”

 Now, I understand completely if you enjoy collecting these sort of things and have money to blow. I love gamer swag just as much as the next person but I’m not sure about everyone else but that much money for this is just not worth it.  Buy it if you are really into Far Cry and you just know that no matter what you will like this game. Otherwise if you want to keep your cash, just buy the normal edition of the game, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run.

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100 Best Boss Fights: 50 - 41 https://www.gameskinny.com/pgkbc/100-best-boss-fights-50-41 https://www.gameskinny.com/pgkbc/100-best-boss-fights-50-41 Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:50:28 -0400 Death Metal Hero

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Part 1: 100 - 91

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Part 2: 90 - 81

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Part 3: 80 - 71

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Part 4: 70 - 61

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Part 5: 60 - 51

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41.) Far Cry 3 - Vaas
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Far Cry 3 is one of the best FPS games I have had the pleasure of playing, and the fight with Vaas was truly epic. Raiding the compound lone wolf style was nothing short of awesome, and then when you finally find Vaas he stabs you with a poisoned knife. The entire one on one fight is a complete hallucination, which makes it one of the best fights in the game. Plus it’s completely satisfying to see Jason stab the snot out of Vaas.

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42.) Diablo 2 - Baal
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The Lord Of Destruction expansion pack was one of my favorite parts of Diablo 2. Fighting Mephisto and Diablo was an amazing experience, but the bout against Baal was more challenging and exciting than both of the previous prime evils combined. Getting to the world stone was test and then some, but when Baal summons a clone of himself things got a bit too intense. Make sure to bring some friends for this hell spawn, you’re going to need them.

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43.) Donkey Kong Country - King K. Rool
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Donkey Kong Country is notorious for its unrelenting and brutal difficulty--Even though the person in this video makes the fight look like a cake walk--King K. Rool was a nightmare, well he was when I was a kid. After dodging crowns and cannon balls the King is supposedly defeated, and the credits roll. But after the credits King K. Rool jumps back up and hops around like a mad man trying to stomp out DK and Diddy. But don’t worry, a few more bonk’s on his shiny dome should do the trick.

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44.) Super Mario 64 - Bowser
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Although you face Bowser plenty of times in Super Mario 64, the last time you fight him is definitely the most epic. Seeing as it is a damn chore just to get to him, because of the sadistic obstacle course of a level he puts before him. Then once you finally reach him, its dark, its scary, and the platform starts to fall apart half way through the fight. Run behind him and grab his tail, and then spin the thumb stick counterclockwise to throw him into a bomb.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0838b077b5250ec0de19f84928dedfd8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0838b077b5250ec0de19f84928dedfd8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3714","description":"
45.) Resident Evil - Tyrant
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The original Resident Evil is still one of the best of the franchise, and definitely one of the scariest. The last fight of the game is really intense, even by today’s standards. It doesn’t matter if you pick Jill or Chris, they both run around and move similar to a tank. Meanwhile tyrant zips around the rooftop of the mansion like a 90‘s kid hopped up on Surge and Fun Dip. Hopefully you still have a bit of ammo left over, because you’re going to need it. After awhile Brad drops a rocket launcher down for you to kill Tyrant with, just make sure you aim it correctly, you only have four shots and Tyrant can deflect them.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2bac36dbdb56ca735d2851d5bc8317b7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2bac36dbdb56ca735d2851d5bc8317b7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3713","description":"
46.) Megaman X2 - Zero
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Technically fighting Zero would be considered a secret, but if you fail to find all of Zero’s parts before challenging Sigma then he will have to be fought. The fight starts off with Zero blasting a barrage of super charged attacks at X, followed up by a beamsaber attack. Make sure you have plenty of full energy tanks, because he hits like a truck. Zero will also dash forward and slam the ground before him, sending debris flying upwards. Be careful during this fight, because Zero tends to block your attacks from time to time.

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47.) Turok 2 - Primagen
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Turok 2 has a special place in my heart, I grew up trying to beat the game and never succeeded, not without using the ultimate cheat code: BewareOblivionIsAtHand. Although there are very few bosses in the game, Primagen has to be the most epic out of all of them. After placing all of the level keys, a portal opens up to Primagen’s lightship and the fight begins. After avoid a barrage of grenades, and killing some annoying enemies Primagen finally comes out of hiding to face Turok. Using his wings Primagen will leap across the platform in pursuit of Turok, along with shooting some plasma beams and more grenades. After blasting away Primagen’s health bar three times he dies via disintegration, a worthy death for a worthy foe.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/231db832b89358b99d948f7aaa5af51b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/231db832b89358b99d948f7aaa5af51b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3711","description":"
48.) Tekken 3 - True Ogre
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Although the person in the video makes it look like fighting Ogre and True Ogre is a cake walk, I can assure you it’s not, especially if you are not good at fighting games. After defeating Ogre once he will then absorb Heihachi Mishima and turn into True Ogre, which is a monstrous demon entity hell bent on destroying you. You might want to turn down the difficulty a bit when fighting him, because he hits like an atom bomb.

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49.) Castlevania - Death
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Getting to death in the original Castlevania was nothing short of a miracle for me, but when it came down to fighting him I just could not defeat the reaper. From his seemingly random scythes that fly by the hundreds around the room, to Death himself. Death likes to float from one side of the room to the other, and if he touches you, you lose a massive 4 slots of health.

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50.) Kingdom Hearts - Ice Titan
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This secret boss has to be by far the hardest boss in the original Kingdom Hearts, seeing at level 69 Sora can die in three hits. If you try to get close to the Ice Titan while he is not stunned then you will simply get your face kicked in, in order to deal any damage to him you must parry his ice bolts back at him. After every bar of health that the Ice Titan loses, he gains another attack that is used when he moves. Eventually the fight is just mass chaos, if you have managed to defeat this boss then I tip my hat to you.

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There have been some really cool, and most epic boss fights in the history of video games. But with there being so many, how do we know which ones are the best? It's all a matter of opinion, with that said this is my list for the 100 best boss fights of all time. 

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What makes a boss fight the best? Well a number of things; the fight has to be memorable, it can also be epic, or outright insane. A boss fight can be unforgiving in difficultly, or it can be as simple as pressing the A button. Whatever the boss fight is, all that matters is that I enjoyed it in one way or another.

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