Fire Emblem Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Fire Emblem RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Best and the Worst of the Fire Emblem Series Examined https://www.gameskinny.com/cumwg/the-best-and-the-worst-of-the-fire-emblem-series-examined https://www.gameskinny.com/cumwg/the-best-and-the-worst-of-the-fire-emblem-series-examined Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:16:03 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

While Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation and Treehouse Lives didn't give us all that much information about the upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Big N offered enough of a taster to get a good idea about what to expect.

From a series-busting change in the combat system to a massive cast of characters, mysterious enemies and a continent at war, the trailer showed off a lot of new content. Most important was revealing the game isn't just a school story and includes a time-skip partway through. It looks like FE:TH is set to be one of the better Fire Emblem games in a long time.

Of course, that designation begs the question: "What makes a good Fire Emblem anyway?"

The answer would likely vary greatly depending on who you ask. Here we're going to go over some of the key facets of the series and highlight the titles that did it best and worst. Certainly, not all Fire Emblem titles are created equal.

The Story Aspect

Any Fire Emblem lives or dies by its story, and the series is definitely a case where story is greater than or equal to gameplay.

The mechanics might be spot-on, but it's difficult to put a lot of time and work into a game that doesn't make you care or want to find out what happens after that chapter. Make no mistake: Fire Emblem games tend to require a fair bit of work, unless you break them of course.

Best Fire Emblem Plots

The Tellius Saga

Fortunately, most FE stories are good, even the very basic ones like the first game, titled Shadow Dragon in North America. Yet there are some that stand above the others as the best Fire Emblem plots.

It's pretty difficult to split Path of Radiance from Radiant Dawn in terms of story because the one isn't complete without the other. They do stand strong on their own, but together, their overarching story is dramatic, grand, and compelling.

One of the most interesting features is the conflict between Beorc and Laguz. In PoR, it seems like a unique side story that adds background and makes the world seem deeper. It isn't until you near the end of Radiant Dawn that you find out it's the source of the entire arc's conflict, that fighting and prejudice between two groups of different appearance and heritage reached the point where it threatened to destroy all of civilization.

It's helped along by some storytelling flair as well. Playing from different perspectives was nothing new to the series at that point. However, Radiant Dawn's splitting the narrative into three parts that eventually come together created a compelling sense of tension. It centers everything around the many, many problems plaguing the land and how they were affecting characters you either knew from the first game or became acquainted with in an earlier part of this one.

That the stories are fraught with betrayal and rife with surprise reveals about certain characters' backgrounds, like Soren, Greil, and a certain bishop, means both games easily retain the player's interest throughout the 70+ hour combined story — which is good, since neither is exactly a cakewalk.

Worst Fire Emblem Plots

Fire Emblem: Fates

The Fates games get a lot of flak from series fans, and, well, it's deserved in terms of plot. After chapter 6 and The Big Decision, it just doesn't really go anywhere. The middle chapters in all three branches are basically variants of "We must defeat Opponent X, and to do so, we shall travel — a lot."

There aren't any major plot twists, except ones the games telegraph loudly from the beginning, e.g. who the traitor is. No minor antagonists really stand out either, unlike, say, Sonia from Blazing Blade. It doesn't change in Revelation, either.

That's not from lack of material. The unnamed continent has what seems like a rich history to explore, particularly the relationships between the various subgroups that live there and the two main powers. Then there's the resistance movement, the concept of the Faceless, how the conflicts affect others — plenty of interesting areas to explore.

The problem is Fates is a concept-based game that relied too much on the idea of branching paths at the expense of making those paths interesting.

Map Design

Map design is up there with story in terms of importance. It's pretty difficult to get immersed in a game when the stage maps are dull, uninspired, or just plain easy; it is supposed to be a strategy game, after all.

Unlike story, not all FE games sport quality maps, and even the good games in this category still have some that turn into a slog. The maps that are good stick with you for a long time as part of the overall experience — how they tested you, what strategy worked after failing 50 times, how it was fine until X unexpectedly showed up.

Best Fire Emblem Maps

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

Known just as Fire Emblem in the West, the 7th title in the series boasts a number of quality maps that test he player's ability and often require a few retries until you learn exactly how they work. The Peddler Merlinus and The Dread Isle are shining examples. Darkness and fog of war, respectively, are added on top of already difficult maps, crippling your vision and making the sense of relief at finishing with everyone alive tangible.

Then there's Cog of Destiny, which looks deceptively simple, but forces you to use every character wisely to defend against hordes of reinforcements.

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

Conquest easily wins out over the other two Fates games in this regard. Not only does it bring back conditional victories, like in Eternal Stairway and Unhappy Reunion, but it throws all kinds of obstacles up at almost every turn. Cold Reception is an early case of this, and it's especially interesting because you can technically make it easier on yourself by not trying to visit each house. Bitter Intrigue is another one that punishes you for trying to charge through too quickly, even while you have a limited number of turns.

Voice of Paradise is probably the best, though. Not only is the setting completely unique to the entire series, but the method of progression is as well. There are ways to completely cheese it, which is still difficult, or you can buckle up and try to fight your way over the boats; bottlenecks are usually your friend in FE, but here is another story entirely.

Worst Fire Emblem Maps

Fire Emblem: Awakening

First, let me say I like Awakening on whole, but even I can't deny its maps aren't that great. They're largely linear affairs, with very few obstacles except in some stages like Emmeryn and... well, that's it actually.

The rest of them except a few towards the end tend to be full of open spaces. You can patiently move your entire army from one end to the other, gang up on the boss, et voila. Mad King Gangrel is one of the worst offenders here, with Naga's Voice being another.

It's not that these aren't challenging; they can be. It's just there are only so many times you want to deal with the same basic, open map style. The Paralogues are where the more interesting designs are, but it's a problem when the most dynamic designs in a game are relegated to its side stories.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

It might seem a bit unfair to put Sacred Stones under the bad category.

Many of its maps, like Phantom Ship and Victims of War, are quite good. The problem is they don't really do much different from Blazing Blade, with a few exceptions. Refining what works well is by no means a bad thing, but some changes in environment, style, or even just obstacles would have improved.

The other issue is how most of the maps turn into slog-fests, Scorched Sand, Darkling Woods, and Two Faces of Evil in particular. There's nothing like taking 20 turns just to trek across the map to the objective for ruining immersion.

Supporting Casts

One of Fire Emblem's biggest strengths has almost always been its dynamic supporting casts and the accompanying relationships players can build between them.

To test this claim, just play Shadow Dragon and then a more modern title. The difference is immediately noticeable, because the older titles didn't develop other characters as fully.

Despite being called "supporting" casts, these can make or break a game. Good characters with depth or fun personalities make you want to spend time in the game, learning about them and developing their skills. In other words, they make you want to play Fire Emblem.

Best Fire Emblem Support Casts

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Issues with map design and some narrative indecision aside, Awakening has a stellar supporting cast, helped along by some excellent localization from 8-4.

Each character almost pops off the screen — and no, that's not a 3D joke — with their own quirks, fully developed personalities, and most importantly, interesting stories. It's all made even better with the game finally opening up support conversations so almost everyone can have a chat with, well, almost everyone else.

Obviously, there are characters more appealing than others; Gaius, the cheeky, candy-obsessed thief with a heart, Morgan the oblivious, and the wannabe Lothario Virion. The list could basically include the entire cast. 

That's because even the tired trope characters have at least one scene or characteristic that makes them feel fresh. Ricken in particular stands out. He's the usual "boy who wants to be grown up." Despite, or maybe because of, his overall immaturity, his interactions with Panne and Maribelle demonstrate a higher level of emotional awareness and compassion than many of the other characters.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Sacred Stones makes up for its recycled map concepts with a pretty strong cast of supporting characters. Some might not be quite as dynamic or entertaining as the Awakening cast — Moulder, for instance.

However, they compensate for amusing quirks with more meaningful interactions between each other, interactions that make the player want to find out more or keep using those characters. For example, Neimi and Colm's relationship makes you want to keep them together, Cormag needs to be rehabilitated, and Marisa's and Tethys's backgrounds are awfully mysterious.

The game does still have its stand-out characters, though. L'Arachel and her retainers easily steal the show, and Lute is a strong follow-up for Serra whose interactions with Artur create an entertaining foil for the more serious characters.

Worst Fire Emblem Support Casts

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

Birthright really got the short end of  the stick with its supporting cast. For whatever reason, the Nohrian side has all the interesting and bizarre characters, from Charlotte and Benny, to Arthur, Odin, and, of course, Peri the bloodthirsty madwoman.

The Hoshidans get arguments about who serves their lord better — two separate sets, in fact: Hana and Subaki, then Oboro and Hinata. Hayato is Ricken revisited, only without many redeeming qualities, the ninjas don't say much (not altogether surprising), and Rinkah just falls short.

The reason? They don't have anything going for them. Setsuna and Azama are the only ones with unique personalities, along with Orochi, though the latter only gets some depth with Kaze, Corrin, and Saizo. Even many of the support convos seem forced and stretched out to get to that A or S-rank mark, because there isn't anything to say. It's odd and frankly disappointing.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

If you've played Radiant Dawn, then this needs no explanation. The game doesn't let you get to know the supporting cast at all. In a bizarre turn of events, the game did away with regular support conversations in place of very short, non-essential speech snippets that are supposed to be like bonds of some kind. They offer battle benefits — and little else.

It's a huge missed opportunity, too. The cast is full of promise, especially given the wildly varying settings that shape their experiences. The Dawn Brigade is one of the most rag-tag band of companions in the series, and then pretty much every playable character and some extras get thrown together towards the end.

Maybe at the time, it was a logistics nightmare coming up with all those possible conversations, or it was an innovation gone wrong. Either way, it makes for a very bland experience outside the main story and fails to deliver on the promise of the unique cast.

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With Treehouse Live keeping much of the plot and gameplay hidden for now, so close to release date, it's too early to say whether Three Houses will exceed in any or all of these categories.

In the end, though, all of this is pretty subjective, because a series made up of so many intricate components is bound to appeal to different people in different ways. What to me might be the worst map design in the series could be someone else's favorite — and that's okay.

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses Preview Covers Plot, Provides New Details https://www.gameskinny.com/hvvas/fire-emblem-three-houses-preview-covers-plot-provides-new-details https://www.gameskinny.com/hvvas/fire-emblem-three-houses-preview-covers-plot-provides-new-details Wed, 29 May 2019 12:30:14 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu recently published a new preview for Fire Emblem: Three Houses providing a heaping helping of information about the game's plot and mechanics, among other things. The translation comes from Twitter user BlackKite

The plot of Three Houses revolves around the continent's church — the Church of Seiros — and its dark secrets. There's a rebellion of some sort against it, too. It's similar to the plots of Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, something the series hasn't really done since.

Famitsu also divulged some tidbits about two of the game's main villains: the Death God Knight (pictured below) and the Flame Emperor. The former kidnaps people by night, while the latter apparently commands bandit troops and orders them to attack the academy and its students.

Certain events will be different depending on which of the game's titular three houses the player chooses to align with at first, and certain bonding benefits like motivation won't be available for students not in the player-professor's house. However, the main story beats and battles will largely be the same regardless of choice.

Much like Persona and Trails of Cold Steel, series Three Houses borrows liberally from, each story segment is broken into months, with the primary conflict coming at the end of each month.

Battles carry over many features from previous games while adding a few twists. For example, the combined attack mechanic from Awakening and the Fates games makes a return and provides evasion and strength bonuses if other linked units are in range of the targeted enemy. There's also a more powerful Link Strategem players can use a set number of times per battle.

The game offers a lot of content during the rest of each month as well.

Building support relationships happens on the battlefield as usual, but they can also be developed at the academy. Players can strike up conversations with students and fellow teachers, and choosing the correct response during these conversations can help improve relationships.

The dining option, shown off in earlier screenshots, allows players to invite two students from their own or other houses and provides support bonuses for those students.

Nintendo has already revealed players can train their students and improve skills via tutoring. However, it appears the players can have other teachers train themselves too.

In addition to a variety of other activities, including fishing, the academy offers a quest board. Players can take on a variety of quests, from visiting certain locations to clearing battles, and earn special rewards unavailable elsewhere.

Should players wish to skip the academy content, though, Three Houses lets them choose to fast forward to the next major event, and the game automatically completes lessons and other similar tasks for them.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is shaping up to be a massive game, and with E3 on the horizon, chances are, there's yet more to come.

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Fire Emblem Heroes Introduces New Characters and New Event https://www.gameskinny.com/nyqj1/fire-emblem-heroes-introduces-new-characters-and-new-event https://www.gameskinny.com/nyqj1/fire-emblem-heroes-introduces-new-characters-and-new-event Mon, 18 Feb 2019 21:09:51 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Fire Emblem Heroes, Nintendo's mobile entry in the long-running Fire Emblem franchise, regularly receives content updates with new characters and events.

One such update is taking place on February 20 at 11:00 pm PDT (or February 21 at 2:00 am EDT), and it introduces four new characters plus a new story event featuring those characters.

During this summoning event, players get the chance to summon certain characters. This go around, the event focuses on the Wolfskin and Kitsune characters from Fire Emblem Fates — Keaton and Velouria from Conquest and Kaden and Selkie from Birthright.

Like all heroes in FEH, these have different artwork from their original games and additional voice acting.

They each also have a new moveset with different skills.

Keaton

  • Wolfskin Fang — Attacks twice and reduces speed by 5. If Keaton isn't around human allies, he transforms, get +2 Attack, and deals +10 damage when Specials trigger
  • Draconic Aura — Boosts damage by 30% of Keaton's attack
  • Special Spiral 3 — If special triggers before or during combat, grants Special cooldown count -2 after combat
  • Beast Valor 3 — All beat units get 2x SP while Keaton remains alive (doesn't stack)

Velouria

  • Wolfpup Fang — Grants unit +3 Speed. On turn 1, also grants Special cooldown -2 for the unit and any support partners. If Velouria isn't around human allies, she transforms, get +2 Attack, and deals +10 damage when Specials trigger
  • Luna — Treats foes' Defense and Resistance as though they were reduced by 50%
  • Close Def 3 — If a foe attacks the unit and inflicts weapon or stone damage, the unit gets +6 for Defense and Resistance
  • Ward Beasts — Grants +4 Defense and Resistance to beast allies within 2 spaces of the unit

Kaden

  • Kitsune Fang — Grants +3 to unit's Defense. Also grants Attack, Speed, and Defense bonuses to units within 2 spaces equal to existing stat bonuses. If Kaden isn't around human allies, he transforms, gains +2 Attack, and when initiating combat, inflicts -4 Attack and Defense on foes, preventing them from moving as well.
  • Pivot — lets unit move to the other side of the targeted ally, range of 1 space
  • Speed/Resistance Link 3 — If a movement assist skill, such as Pivot, is used by the unit or targets the unit, it grants +6 to Speed and Resistance to the unit and target ally, or the unit and the unit targeting the ally for 1 turn
  • Goad Beasts — Grants +4 to Attack and Speed for beast allies within 2 spaces.

Selkie

  • Foxkit Fang — Grants +3 to Resistance. If the unit's Resistance is greater than an attacking foe's Resistance, and if that foe uses weapons or a stone, it grants the unit a boost to all stats  equal to 50% of the difference between the Resistance stats. If Selkie isn't around human allies, she transforms, gains +2 Attack, and when initiating combat, inflicts -4 Attack and Defense on foes, preventing them from moving as well.
  • Iceberg — Boosts damage by 50% of the unit's Resistance stat
  • Attack/Speed Bond 3 — If unit is adjacent to an ally, grants +5 to Attack and Speed during combat
  • Sabotage Atk 3 — At the start of a turn, if any foe's Resistance is less than or equal to the unit's minus 3, and if that foe is adjacent to another foe, the skill inflicts -7 to that foe's attack for its next turn.
  • Even Res Wave 3 — At the start of even-numbered turns, the skill grants +6 Resistance to the unit and adjacent allies for 1 turn. The unit gets the bonus, even if no allies are around.

The new story chapter is titled "A King's Worth," though nothing else was revealed about it in the event announcement trailer.

Will you be taking part in the upcoming Fire Emblem Heroes summoning event? Let us know in the comments, and check back with GameSkinny for more FEH news and discussions!

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Fire Emblem -- Music and Its Place in an Ever-Changing Series https://www.gameskinny.com/ivgsx/fire-emblem-music-and-its-place-in-an-ever-changing-series https://www.gameskinny.com/ivgsx/fire-emblem-music-and-its-place-in-an-ever-changing-series Sun, 24 Dec 2017 17:00:01 -0500 Kengaskhan

We know basically nothing about the upcoming Fire Emblem title besides the fact that it’s a Nintendo Switch exclusive -- but that sure isn’t stopping the community from speculating about it.

In a way, this speculation lets the Fire Emblem community reflect on past games, looking back at the evolution of the series in search for a hint of what’s to come.

Most of the discussions surrounding the upcoming Fire Emblem are focused on its gameplay and character design -- two things that have changed drastically for the series over the past few years, leading to a somewhat divided community, with people wanting different things from the new game.

However, one thing that I haven’t seen a lot of conversation about is Fire Emblem’s music. The topic may not be as controversial as changes in gameplay or character design, but the music has definitely changed over the years, and it’s something that could very possibly change yet again in the new game.

The Music of GBA-era Fire Emblem

Obviously, it’s safe to say that the new Fire Emblem will feature its own unique soundtrack, but the way combat music has been handled in the series has changed over the 15 years since the release of the first Fire Emblem game for the Game Boy Advance -- and it could change again with the new game.

The GBA-era Fire Emblem games (Fire Emblem and Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones) are probably how the vast majority of veterans in the Western Fire Emblem community were introduced to the series. For the most part, the music in those games was handled a lot like it is in your typical JRPG -- you had your overworld/exploration/map music that would switch to battle music when you, well, got into a battle.

Although the overworld music would change as you progressed through each game, the battle tunes would remain the same (one player battle theme, and one enemy battle theme), with a few unique boss fight tracks here and there.

The Music of Console-era Fire Emblem

After The Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance was released for the GameCube, and it’s probably safe to say that the return to console allowed for a larger library of music, since there were not two but four battle themes -- two for the player, two for the enemy! That may not seem like much, but once you hit chapter 18, the game replaces the first set of combat tracks with the second: “Clash” becomes “Decisive Attack,” and “Defensive Battle” becomes “The Enemy Draws Near.”

This (permanent) change in music reinforced the sense of progression in Path of Radiance’s story, as chapter 18 begins right after Ike promotes from Ranger to Lord and becomes the leader of the Crimean army.

Radiant Dawn, the direct sequel to Path of Radiance, does things a little differently. The game is split up into multiple acts, each featuring different factions/nations that you both play as and fight against. Each faction (both player and enemy) has their own battle theme -- the Daein army has “March,” the Greil Mercenaries have “The Devoted,” bandit enemies use “Waves of Discord,” and so on.

In Radiant Dawn’s case, the combat music is used to solidify each faction’s identity, which is important because there's a lot of jumping around in the story. Also, the combat music finally flows continuously between battles, meaning you don’t have to hear the first 10 seconds repeated over and over again.

The Music of 3DS-era Fire Emblem

Like with the series’s gameplay and characters, the 3DS Fire Emblem games (Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates) made a very drastic change to the way battle music is handled. When you enter combat, the overworld music in a given chapter will dynamically crossfade into its combat arrangement, which features an identical melody and rhythm, but a different instrumentation.

Here are two examples from Fire Emblem Fates: “Dusk Falls” & “Dusk Falls (Fire)” and “Past Light” & ”Past Light (Storm).” (Just hit the play button at the bottom and mess around with the volume slider of the video on the right to have the combat track fade in and out.)

The adaptive soundtracks of the 3DS Fire Emblem games lend each chapter a very strong sense of continuity, which helps to maintain the drama of the rising and falling action that comes with each battle.

In fact, Fire Emblem Fates takes things a step further by getting rid of enemy phase music, using only a single track (and its combat variation) for the entirety of each chapter.

The Future of Music in Fire Emblem

Personally, I'd like to seem them expand on what they had with Fire Emblem Awakening and Fates by recording even more variations for each map theme. For example, Fates had a battle theme that replaced the regular one when an allied unit in combat was at risk of death. It'd be cool if they were able to include that, as well as the chapter's boss theme, as variations of the map melody in addition to the combat one.

Or, they could record a single, adaptive battle theme, dynamically adding different instruments and layers to the piece depending on which character is participating in the fight or on which weapons they're using or ... anything, really.

However, as with the series's gameplay and characters, it's hard to say in which direction the next game will take the soundtrack. While most players probably see Path of Radiance's and Radiant Dawn's approach as an upgrade from the GBA games because of the variety of tracks they offer, many players probably saw the dynamic cross-fade approach of the 3DS games as a step back from Radiant Dawn for the same reason -- there's less musical variety in a given chapter.

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Theorycrafting in the Fire Emblem community is a pretty common way to spark gameplay discussion and analysis -- heck, creating tier lists is practically a pastime for them.

While speculating about the upcoming Fire Emblem game may not involve any number crunching, I like to think that it creates just as much to talk about, because it's a chance for us to reexamine the series, looking back at its gameplay mechanics, its characters, its story, and in this case, its music.

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Has a New Fire Emblem Anime Been Revealed? https://www.gameskinny.com/fucq4/has-a-new-fire-emblem-anime-been-revealed https://www.gameskinny.com/fucq4/has-a-new-fire-emblem-anime-been-revealed Mon, 04 Sep 2017 16:00:42 -0400 Rena Pongchai [Kazurenai]

Fire Emblem has only seen one anime adaption in the years, having a two-part OVA in 1996, based on a small chunk of Marth's storyline. You can check it out on YouTube here.

But since then, despite having so many entries that would be perfect for an anime, Nintendo has kept the series in the shadows. It didn't help that the game was largely unknown up until the last 4 years, with the release of Awakening (2013). 

Since then, the series has garnered many new fans and even a mobile game which, despite not having much news surrounding it, has a large fan-base and regulars who play the game.

And it is that mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, which has revealed not only new official character art - but also, a bit of good news regarding an anime series.

Lucina game art

The art in question, is featured above - of Lucina's upgraded design with her wielding a spear, instead of the Falchion. At a normal glance, apart from her new design, there doesn't seem to be any hint of any thing.

But a Redditor on the Fire Emblem subreddit posted that they had flipped and translated the text on Lucina's spear, which is written in an ancient language used in Awakening

Image taken from Reddit thread.

This image seems to be verified from a variety of Fire Emblem fans, and honestly, having the language translating to those exact letters can't be a coincidence. So if this does turn out to be true and Nintendo did plan for this - then kudos to them, because it was a heck of a clever way of doing it. 

Even then, even if it is true, the problem then lies on whether it'll be a good adaption - as many adaptions of games are always used to capitalise on their trending popularity and end up being terrible. But that's a whole other issue. 

What do you think? Do you believe in the rumours? Would an anime adaption intrigue those who watch - or don't anime?

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Let's Rank All Fire Emblem Games From Worst to Best https://www.gameskinny.com/1yj6b/lets-rank-all-fire-emblem-games-from-worst-to-best https://www.gameskinny.com/1yj6b/lets-rank-all-fire-emblem-games-from-worst-to-best Wed, 31 May 2017 11:20:12 -0400 Sergey_3847

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Fire Emblem Awakening (2012)

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The 11th game in the series happened to be so well-designed that both old fans and new players could enjoy the game on an equal playing field. The attention to detail, the gameplay mechanics, and the characters turned Awakening into an international hit.

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It also has the highest number of game awards and nominations and is listed in multiple Top 5 lists as one of the best 3DS games of all time. As a result, it has become the most popular and best-selling title in the series, which is a great indication that Fire Emblem is set for an even more amazing future.

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What is your personal favorite Fire Emblem game? Do you agree or disagree with these choices? Leave your feedback in the comments below.

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Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 (1999)

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Of all the FE titles, Thracia had the poorest sales numbers. But those who are well familiar with the series regard Thracia as the most accomplished game of them all.

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One thing that stood out was the immense level of difficulty. No other FE game was as hardcore as Thracia, which really shows why the game wasn't extremely popular at the time of its release. Not every kid could put in the punch and deal with some of the most annoying enemies in the series.

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But if you take some time, and dig this one up, you will be rewarded with some of the best map design and gameplay in the entire FE series.

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Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation (2016)

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Revelation is the final chapter in the Fates story arc, and it is rightfully considered to have the best endgame. Sure, it was filled with all sorts of unnecessary gimmicks (e.g. shoveling snow), and at times, the story didn’t particularly keep you on the edge of the seat, but it had many other great things in it.

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The postgame of Revelation offered the best PvP element of any installment in the franchise, especially with all its unit diversity. This is also the last game of the main series, so it requires special reverence.

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Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest (2016)

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The second chapter in the Fates trilogy mostly shines in the gameplay department -- not its story. In fact, that element could be ignored completely. 

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However, the game is a classic: with diverse objectives and engaging map design, enemy AI and combat that felt completely fair, and a difficulty curved that felt just right, Conquest just felt really smooth and polished to its finest.

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All in all, the chapters in Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest took players on an upward trajectory that felt completely rewarding. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fed986f40982bc56de20c2b0669b7353.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fed986f40982bc56de20c2b0669b7353.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10996","description":"

Fire Emblem (2003)

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FE7 is an iconic game with a long, deep story and memorable characters. It served as the prequel to The Binding Gate, which was basically the prequel to the first game in the series. This means that FE7 is a perfect game for anyone who wants to start playing the series.

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The only drawback of the game is its slow start, but since this was the first FE game to go outside the Japanese market, Nintendo had to find a way to introduce new audiences to game's mechanics and world without overwhelming them.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/06f239fe0521143acde148c9c44710e6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/06f239fe0521143acde148c9c44710e6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10995","description":"

Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (2002)

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The Fire Emblem community has a love, hate relationship with Binding Blade. Some consider it a masterpiece, while others bash it as being even worse than Shadow Dragon game). But in reality, Binding Blade is a really good game -- trust me. 

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The map design is excellent here and requires quick thinking; if you hesitate and don't take action immediately, you're going to have to rethink your strategy. It doesn't mean that you have to stop considering your next steps, but you'll be rewarded for not taking too long to make the right decision.

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Since Binding Blade is a re-imagining of Shadow Dragon, it is understandable why so many people automatically dislike it. But give it a second chance, and you will change your mind.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e6393016b2b3b9c799f63ce3d152c7c1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e6393016b2b3b9c799f63ce3d152c7c1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10994","description":"

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright (2016)

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The difficulty level in this recent installment in the Fire Emblem franchise is, well, high. Some of the enemies are so hard to beat that focused strategy is the only way to claim victory in many of the game's battles.

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But that in now way means the game is bad. In fact, the game was heavily praised by the fans of the series as a return to form, especially after a few less than exciting games adapted for Western audiences. The grinding element also makes a return, and honestly, it makes the game just a bit easier in return. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/569b92992c5bc1ed71fb6f7274de39d1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/569b92992c5bc1ed71fb6f7274de39d1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10993","description":"

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (2005)

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Path of Radiance has one of the best stories in the series, and the overall atmosphere is presented incredibly well. The main protagonist of the game, Ike, is also one of the best-written characters in the Fire Emblem franchise.

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In Path of Radiance, Nintendo introduced a new XP system to the series, too. Here, players could distribute bonus XP points to other units, which brought balance to the character progression mechanic. And although certain parts of the game might seem a bit too slow, the overall game has stood the test of time well. You can easily play it today if you manage to find a GameCube copy, of course.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5968a865a99a060c8bb8946aad0f445f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5968a865a99a060c8bb8946aad0f445f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10992","description":"

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (2004)

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Sacred Stones is often cited as the starting point for many players in the Fire Emblem series. And that's not surprising. This installment is easy to play even for complete beginners. The enemies aren’t terribly hard to beat and the story is simple yet exciting enough to keep you moving forward.

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On top of that, Sacred Stones introduced grinding to the series, helping beginners better develop their characters from the outset. With all this, the game became one of the most popular FE titles in the West.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/75ca12b1a1a5d26b8a6cba1c6b73738c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/75ca12b1a1a5d26b8a6cba1c6b73738c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10991","description":"

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994)

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Mystery of the Emblem is undoubtedly the most successful vintage Fire Emblem game. This entry was released after Gaiden, but it was more of a sequel to the first game than the second one, which was unique in its own way. It even used the same textures as Shadow Dragon, but on a new SNES system, they looked much better. Also, it had dragons. And dragons are just cool no matter what. 

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However, the difficulty wasn’t balanced well, and some of the characters were slightly underdeveloped (Palla, Catria, and Sirius, specifically). A small drawback for such a classic as Mystery of the Emblem, but a drawback nonetheless. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/13108ac9fc5498a1548a8cc305a927fa.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/13108ac9fc5498a1548a8cc305a927fa.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10990","description":"

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (2007)

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Out of all modern console Fire Emblem games, Radiant Dawn is the one that looks the worst: its graphics and visuals are mediocre at best. Even prior games on the GameCube looked better than Radiant Dawn. (Maybe it was due to the limitations of the Wii?)

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And although the game preserves the traditional Fire Emblem gameplay with an excellent story and characters, the difficulty level is punishingly high, so new players should look for another series entry (e.g. Shadows of Valentia) if they want to start playing the series without a steep learning curve.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e12afcf80c3cfd496a54029ca1da4900.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e12afcf80c3cfd496a54029ca1da4900.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10989","description":"

Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996)

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This is the fourth game in the Fire Emblem series, and it’s a long and hard game. Spanning 11 chapters in total, it takes several hours to complete each chapter, (which was unheard of at the time) making this installment in the franchise one of the longest. 

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The combat system was completely redesigned in order to align the game with other RPGs of that era, making it more flexible than previous entries. On top of that, players could choose between different tactical decisions on how to approach each of the challenges presented.

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At that point, the Fire Emblem series confidently set its foot in the RPG genre as one of its most iconic representatives.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3611171509cd76be0ded228fd07d2672.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3611171509cd76be0ded228fd07d2672.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10988","description":"

Fire Emblem Gaiden (1992)

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Gaiden improved on everything from the original, from story elements to gameplay mechanics (e.g. class evolution). This made Fire Emblem Gaiden a much more enjoyable and accessible game than the first one. One of the most welcomed changes came in the departments of character animation and overall graphical design, which came in the form of a much more elegant presentation.

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Another thing that made Gaiden a unique game was its original soundtrack, one that is considered one of the best in the series even today. But unfortunately, the original game didn’t stand the test of time too well, so Nintendo commissioned the Shadows of Valentia remake.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d895cd81d83b4afb1e6c9337b749b84f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d895cd81d83b4afb1e6c9337b749b84f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10987","description":"

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light (1990)

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The RPG genre wasn’t all that new in 1990 Japan, but Shadow Dragon still managed to surprise everyone with its innovative gameplay mechanics and unique story elements. However, that is where the list of positive things ends. The first Fire Emblem was a critical disaster and was mostly panned for having terrible graphics.

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At first, audiences didn’t understand the rules of the game, and the story seemed convoluted, with only a few well-developed characters. But as time passed, it became clear that Nintendo might be holding a series of great potential in their hands, and the much better sequel was eventually put into production.

"},{"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/f/i/r/fire-emblem-red-wallpaper-achiii030-d7rnbmg-4596e.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/f/i/r/fire-emblem-red-wallpaper-achiii030-d7rnbmg-4596e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160454","description":"

Earlier this month, fans of JRPGs, and especially those of the Fire Emblem series, could finally put their hands on the remake of the classic Fire Emblem Gaiden from 1992, titled Fire Emblem: Echoes - Shadows of Valentia.

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This is one of a few marketing and development strategies by Nintendo to respond to the ever-growing popularity of the Fire Emblem series, which include Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android, and two more upcoming games for Nintendo Switch, which are scheduled for release in 2018.

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And with a new game just released and more on the horizon, now is a great opportunity to remember all the main titles of this most excellent series of JRPGs -- and rank them from their worst to best. So let’s begin!

"}]]]>
The 8 Video Game Villains Who Deserve Their Own Solo Game https://www.gameskinny.com/7f040/the-8-video-game-villains-who-deserve-their-own-solo-game https://www.gameskinny.com/7f040/the-8-video-game-villains-who-deserve-their-own-solo-game Mon, 08 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

Certain villains in recent gaming history certainly left their mark on gamers and left us wondering why there isn't a solo game from their perspective. The protagonists in video games always rise to victory, and even anti-heroes get their moments to be a badass for good causes.

The one underserved market in video games, especially in series, is where the villain's point of view is fully seen and respected. So with tons of iconic video game villains, which deserve their own path on the way to victory with gamers at the helm?

Let's find out.

Lusamine

From the game Pokemon Sun and Moon, Lusamine is the president of the Aether Foundation which pledges to protect Pokemon, but their plans are actually much different. Lusamine actually wanted to own Pokemon and gain their power. This extended directly to Pokemon called Ultra Beast; which are legendary Pokemon who reside in another dimension called Ultra Space.

How the deceptive leader came to be is a story that remains unknown, but her rise to power and desire to capture the legendary Pokemon would be quite the adventure for players. A solo game could even explore what would happen during another scheme to create her own version of a Pokemon Utopia as she gains more power, slowly spinning further into wickedness.

Eredin

The Witcher series introduced gamers to the kidnapping King of Aen Elle, Eredin. As the main antagonist of the series, his journey encompasses all three games, and most likely future ones. It wouldn't be hard to imagine a game focused entirely from his perspective due to his presence in each game. Playing as someone called the lord of nightmares would certainly add its' own air of dark deeds that might be uncomfortable at times, but in the world of Witcher, there are plenty of unsavory deeds and challenges to conquer.

The Joker

The infamous villain has certainly appeared in a ton of different media, but in the Arkham series he remains a constant threat, even in death, to the Batman. When players were briefly able to use the Joker in the last series installment, Batman: Arkham Knight, it was a mere taste of what a solo Joker game would look like.

Further, having a game like this would finally answer how he and other villains can set up these elaborate schemes, but still be foiled in the end. While this would be another villain whose dark mind would tempt some gamers to stray away from the game, we can't deny how awesome it would be to play as the clown prince of crime.

Pagan Min

The leader of the Kyrat region in the game Far Cry 4, Pagan Min is an entertaining and, when necessary, ruthless leader. His panic as the players protagonist liberates the region from Min's rule allows for funny moments as he assures his people that all is well. Though the story and action of the game may be more predictable, Min shines as a dynamic villain with origins that were only briefly covered.

A solo game exploring his childhood and upbringing, and ultimately his rise to power, would be a story gamers could enjoy without feeling too guilty about their actions along the way. Similar to the Joker, there would be plenty of witty commentary with Min as the lead.

Rafe Adler

Treasure hunter and Jake Gyllenhal look alike, Rafe first appeared in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, and would have been an even better villain if his character was more fleshed out. While the most recent antagonist in the Uncharted franchise, his motivations are not unlike main character Nathan Drake's, but take a bitter turn due to revenge.

A game following Rafe's own treasure hunting could be very similar to the main franchise's take or even similar to the upcoming spin off involving Rafe's one time partner Nadine. Playing as a scorned Rafe before or especially after the events of the last game would be one of a vengeful and greedy man, showcasing the other side of treasure hunting in the world of Uncharted.

Dušan Nemic

Appearing in Watch Dogs 2 Dušan Nemic is the head of Blume and controls CTOS 2.0 in the game. A masterful manipulator, he acts as the perfect alternative to the main protagonist Marcus as he uses technology to invade the lives of people without their knowledge. Though he may appear to be the average jerk, Nemic has immense control over the operating system that the protagonists group Dedsec want taken down.

Getting to play as this villain would showcase the duality of technological invasions of privacy best seen in the Watchdogs series. Like Marcus, Nemic is talented, smart, and resourceful and players would be able to see the other side of things while getting to play as him. Further, a solo game would offer a rare glimpse at how the average tech we use in real life can be manipulated by a team of talented individuals for evil.

Steve Haines

For lists like this, choices usually revolve around villains who prove that sometimes it's good to be bad. Unlike those other entries, playing as FIB agent and reality show star Steve Haines from Grand Theft Auto V would prove the good guys aren't always who they appear to be. Haines is a cruel agent who wants results and while he appears ruthless, and sadistic will cower at the first sign of possible defeat.

While players may not have fallen in love with this villain, it's undeniable that the most real and pressing evil is that of lawful evil. The GTA series never lets players dive into the other side of things and focus on a law enforcement perspective. Allowing players the choice to do what's right even though "necessary evils" would be a fun twist on the game, never seen before.

Nergal

Re-released on the WiiU in 2014, Fire Emblem The Blazing Blade, introduced gamers to the dark druid Nergal. A former good guy himself, Nergal created small golden eyed beings to search for power and return it to him for absorption. While a more basic plan for a villain, the character himself is what gives him a place on this list. Through successful completion of side quests, Nergal's true story of trying to save his children as the reason for his initial desire for power are revealed. Sadly for him however, he was lost amidst the darkness and became the classic villain we know today.

An updated game starring him would be centered around his amazing origins and a series of choices that led him down the path to darkness. The solo story could also fill players in on some backstories of popular series characters like Athos and Nabata, who Nergal met before he was evil. 

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While we can agree that sometimes it is good to be bad, video games don't always allow that to shine with their protagonists. Giving the characters listed here a chance to shine in their own game will not only flesh out more of their backstory and motivations, but would be a fun experience for players to see a unique story.

Liberties can be further taken with some villains if they live on as their next plot could always be improved upon after their initial defeat. Gamers would love to not only see things as the hero, but what exactly makes it worth it to be the villain.

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Fire Emblem Heroes Available Now! (Updated: Not Available for NA Players) https://www.gameskinny.com/qxvq8/fire-emblem-heroes-available-now-updated-not-available-for-na-players https://www.gameskinny.com/qxvq8/fire-emblem-heroes-available-now-updated-not-available-for-na-players Thu, 02 Feb 2017 04:39:40 -0500 Kris Cornelisse (Delfeir)

Time to polish up on your weapons triangle knowledge; Fire Emblem Heroes is now available for iOS and Android on their respective app stores. The game is free to play, but like many mobile games will come with optional in-app purchases.

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Update (2/2/2017, 3:26 PM EST): Fire Emblem Heroes is currently unavailable for North American players. Although it's live in the App Store, it's not available for install. Players can only pre-register at the game for this time. While we don't know why this has happened or when the issue will be resolved, Nintendo is offering 10 free orbs to NA players, which they can redeem by following this link after the game becomes available for install. 

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Announced in the Fire Emblem Direct in mid-January, Fire Emblem Heroes is the first of the numerous Fire Emblem games slated to be released in the coming months. This is Nintendo's second foray into mobile gaming after the well-received Super Mario Run launched for iOS in December.

At present, the game has just started rolling out and coming online in some countries, though there are still some reporting that it's not available in their area. If so, worry not -- it shouldn't be too far behind!

Nintendo has released a short video showing off the gameplay:

We'll be sure to have more information on Fire Emblem Heroes (including guides) in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Looking forward to playing? Still holding out for the more traditional Fire Emblem Echoes to be released later this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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4 Reasons DLC is Better Than Old Fashioned Expansion Packs https://www.gameskinny.com/ln5tq/4-reasons-dlc-is-better-than-old-fashioned-expansion-packs https://www.gameskinny.com/ln5tq/4-reasons-dlc-is-better-than-old-fashioned-expansion-packs Mon, 30 Jan 2017 15:43:09 -0500 Will Dowell

DLC has gotten a bad rap over the years. Publishers have exploited the goodwill of gamers by releasing divisive and exploitative DLC under the guise of support. Expansion packs are still held in high regard due to the large amount of content they add to the base game.

However, DLC does have its advantages. Developers have released worthwhile content to create truly amazing games with DLC. Here are 4 reasons DLC is better than expansion packs.

DLC can be Free

Nothing in this world is free, except for the occasional free DLC. Sometimes considered large scale updates, free DLC provides additional content at no cost to the player. This may be to encourage purchases or introduce a DLC model to a new game gracefully. The 3DS Fire Emblem series introduced their DLC model with a few free maps and items. Fire Emblem Awakening in particular had a large variety of maps and characters up for purchase. It created replayability and encouraged further purchases.

Expansion packs will always cost money. They contain too much content to be released for free without breaking the bank. This alone gives DLC an edge in investing the player in future content.

DLC is Cheaper

Most expansion packs are about a third to half the price of the base game. StarCraft: Legacy of the Void for example, costs thirty dollars, while a Super Smash Bros. character costs five. The content difference is massive, but the price difference is as well. Each piece of content is priced to encourage a quick spend when wanting more to play.

This difference in price allows DLC to give players instant gratification. With content being only a few bucks, players are encouraged to buy when they feel like it.

DLC is Faster

Speaking of instant gratification, DLC is released very shortly after the main game. While expansion packs take months to be released, DLC is available almost right after launch. Players don't have to wait; they can buy the new content immediately.

Day one DLC is the extreme example of this, and while it is commonly abused, it is still a valid method of selling content. Most DLC practices that are considered anti-consumer, are actually fine in theory. They just get abused by publishers who try to wring every penny out of their product. The time itself just allows players to experience more content.

DLC has More Options 

While the idea of publishers giving options reminds players of exploitative practices such as micro transactions, DLC actually gives players the ability to choose what they want. You can choose what you buy and customize your game to suit your needs. If you only want characters in a fighting game, you can just buy the characters.

Expansion packs give you a large amount of content, but are highly priced and can contain unwanted items. Even if you want only a few quests, you still have to buy an expansion pack. DLC gives you the freedom to make a variety of purchases.

The line between DLC and expansion packs has blurred with the creation of fully digital marketplaces. Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC can be considered an expansion pack, but is marketed as DLC. Both have a place in this market and it's up to the developer to decide what is best for their product.

What do you think of DLC and expansion packs? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

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6 JRPG Series' With Unique Game Mechanics https://www.gameskinny.com/irmig/6-jrpg-series-with-unique-game-mechanics https://www.gameskinny.com/irmig/6-jrpg-series-with-unique-game-mechanics Mon, 06 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Rena Pongchai [Kazurenai]

JRPGs are a complex genre as they can span a variety of subgenres within them. However, the most common ones often have the same gameplay with random encounters and a similar story about needing to save the world. This can get too repetitive because of the constant grinding and turn-based battles. Not to mention, while you are a hero travelling the lands to save the world, sometimes the world is just a bit too big that you may need to consult a walkthrough or your characters will probably roam the earth until they die.

The time travelling mechanic in Chrono Trigger, despite not being a series, definitely deserves a special mention.

However, there are some JRPGS that have proven to have a solid theme and gameplay that have managed to span several entries into their series that'll keep you not only entertained, but have your RPG craving filled until the next entry hopefully comes out. While they may still have their grinding and turn-based battles, they provide some new gameplay mechanics that bring something fresh and unique only to their series.

The games in this list not only provide interesting gameplay mechanics, but also, a considerable amount of entries in their respective series so that you can play to your heart's content (if you wish).

Fire Emblem

Personal favourite entry: Fire Emblem (2003)

I'm sure many people have played or heard of Fire Emblem by now. Coming into prominence with Fire Emblem: Awakening, it has since become one of the most popular games in Nintendo's lineup, releasing not one, but four games within the next two years.

The first mechanic I want to mention is Permadeath. It's common knowledge in strategy games that "every move counts." And that is emphasized in Fire Emblem by how once your characters die -- they're gone for good. While the newer entries added a casual mode to make it easier for new players, it should still be acknowledged it was still one of the game's defining features and it really created that extra importance in planning your moves. Even now, you're not truly playing if it's not with permadeath on.

The second mechanic, which has become one of the main appeals for the newer entries (to the dismay of longtime fans) is the Support System. The whole point of having supports between characters would be to build up their stats when they were in close proximity with one another in the battlefield, but also to reveal backstories between different characters and thus add some characterisation. However in Awakening, they took that one step further by having characters support increase the chances of tag-teaming or shielding one another from attacks. But in addition to that, characters who've achieved full support can lead to marriage, and then even have children with combined stats of both the parents, leading to incredibly overpowered units in the game.

In addition to the mechanics, the game provides class changes aswell which allow for alot of replayability and customization for your units. With an expansive lore for each story and different difficulty levels to suit your needs, Fire Emblem has hours of fun for both casual and hardcore fans alike.

Atelier 

Personal favourite entry: Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (2013)

You've probably never heard of the Atelier games if you aren't a big fan of JRPGs but the series has been quite popular, releasing 18 titles (13 localised for the west) showing that that it is a solid contender among JRPGs.

The Atelier series is surrounded on the concept of Alchemy as you spend your time either crafting up new items or exploring dungeons for new ingredients and recipes.

Certain entries in the series give the player a time limit in which they must complete a task in order to advance the main storyline (or even continue the game at  all) so management is a big key in the game. To get items such as weapons and armor, you need to synthesise the required items which you need to explore dungeons to find -- and to get even better items, you need to find raise your alchemy level to do so, making it integral that you don't just fight your way through dungeons, but explore them thoroughly.

Despite the battle mechanics bringing nothing new to the genre and can be a bit of a grind, this is forgiven due to the intriguing plot and charming characters that  bring a new twist on the old RPG formula.

Monster Hunter

Personal favourite entry: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (2013)

Monster Hunter is definitely the epitome of "Role-Playing." The feature of the game is explained in the title itself. You hunt monsters in the game, but it is no easy feat. You can't just hack and slash them, you need to learn the way they work such as their movements, their attacks, their weak spots. When you defeat them, you then skin and take their parts in order to create better weapons and armors to power yourself up. (There is no leveling up, you simply improve with your own skill.)

This always keeps the game fresh and exciting as you always have to be on your feet and while some monsters are easy, some monsters -- no matter how strong your armor or weapon is -- if you just rush in, you're gonna get a good beating even from a monster you already beat.

Even if you somehow expertly defeat all monsters, there are also a variety of weapons to choose and master, even if you get a strong weapon, its effects may be inferior to a weaker weapon you have. Work with what you're comfortable with.

It also encourages multiplayer too, as not only are the monsters sometimes impossible to defeat without friends, but also the streetpass players you get can be sent on missions to get freebie items. Despite being a fan of turn-based systems (because I basically suck at playing real time), this game really brings that sense of adventure and fun that you really want to be looking for in a RPG.

Rune Factory 

Personal favourite entry: Rune Factory 4 (2012)

Rune Factory is a spin off of the Harvest Moon games. The main mechanics are to fight monsters and farm. This game is more focused on the social aspect as the plot is focused on the player talking to the citizens and saving the world. As a spinoff to the popular Harvest Moon series, farming is fun as its one of the ways you earn income in the game. Of course if you want, you can just go to the dungeons outside of town and hack and slash your way and gather stuff.

Outside of the plot, there is an array of things to do and absolutely no time limit. You can farm, you can fight, you can craft things, you can even tame monsters and either get produce from them (milk/wool/honey) or even use them to work on your farm or as companions. Also, there is no limit to which monsters you can interact with. Want to ride a giant tomato monster into battle? No problem! Want to raise your affections with your giant turtle monster? Just pet and brush them everyday!

In a way this game pokes fun at the RPG game, breaking the boundaries such as growing giant fruit, the in jokes, and absurdity of the character portrayal in the game. And the best part is, there is no end-game. Even when 50 years have passed and your character is married with a child, you can play the game forever. There's also a debate regarding what the maximum level your character can achieve is, with the most I've seen being 600 but apparently some have said you can go up to 30,000 (I've only gone up to level 40...)

 Suikoden

Personal favourite entry: Suikoden 2 (1998)

I'm sure you may have heard that Suikoden 2 is one of the "best" JRPGs you need to play. But the reason I included the series in this list is that all the plots, while connected to its prequel or not, all revolve around the 108 stars, which are characters you need to collect in the game. While some are generic and you can miss some, this doesn't change the fact that there are 108 characters to recruit. It really brings that personal experience into the game and there is a variety of combos and parties you can play, not to mention the characters and the conversations you may also miss out on. As part of the plot, you manage your own castle in which your party members reside, so it's pretty fulfilling to see your army getting bigger.

The game also allows you to have 6 party members, yet the battles are fast-paced and require you to think about both the speed of your characters (which determine who attacks first)and the combos and group attacks that you can do (depending on the characters you have in your team). But the most interesting mechanic I find about battles is that, no matter if human or monster, you can bribe them to flee from battle. (Which I would say is weird but then again, you get gold from monsters when you defeat them so... actually it makes sense.)

Disgaea

Personal favourite entry: Disgaea 4 (2011)

To be perfectly honest, I have never completed a Disgaea game before. But I had to include it into the list because of how well done the battle mechanics are. In particular, the introduction of Geo Symbols, which control the field and can change anything from stat effects to completely disabling your character's moveset. Geo Symbols can only be destroyed by using your turns to move your characters across the field to remove them. This, along with being able to throw items and characters, and group attacks can make for some intricate strategy tactics.

The game's most defining feature is that due to the multiple endings that can be acquired, the game offers new game+ and the ability to carry over characters and items, which can lead you to bring your characters to the maximum level of... 9999. Yes, if you so may wish, you can raise your characters to be level 9999, leading to a lot of game time. The game also has a "complicated" gameplay mechanic during battles as your environment can affect your character's abilities leading to quite some thinking.

The party can be entirely customized also, as you can choose plot characters or create your own based on the available characters you have. I would say this game is for the hardcore players who love tactical strategy RPGs, as there are countless of missions, both storywise and optional, to get through -- you also have multiple ending depending on choices you have made.

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In the end, these are just my own personal favourite JRPGs and I am in no way claiming they are the best. Have you tried any of these game series out? Do you have any others you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Three Best Things from the Fire Emblem Direct https://www.gameskinny.com/jtr26/the-three-best-things-from-the-fire-emblem-direct https://www.gameskinny.com/jtr26/the-three-best-things-from-the-fire-emblem-direct Thu, 19 Jan 2017 04:45:45 -0500 Bryant Pereira

The Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct on Wednesday surprised fans everywhere with their big plans for the esteemed franchise. After the Nintendo Switch presentation last week, one would assume the majority of the direct would be about the recently announced Fire Emblem Warriors.

Instead, Nintendo decided to blow away fan expectations by announcing three additional Fire Emblem titles -- Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia for the 3DS, Fire Emblem Heroes for mobile platforms, and an untitled game for the Switch.

Other than rewarding fans with a ton of new content, here’s the three best things from the Direct.

Art and Sound

 


Hearing the familiar Fire Emblem melody gave me chills, and as soon as the first illustration appeared, I was already impressed. The hand-drawn art in the Fire Emblem series always stood out to me. Intelligent Systems even outsourced some of the animation for Fire Emblem: Echoes to Khara Studio, known for the Rebuild of Evangelion films. The vibrant cutscenes give the game an artistic feel found only in Japanese anime.

For a series with such an immense cast, it does an excellent job of making each character unique and shining with personality. In addition to the writing, this is done with excellent character design.

Seeing the character portraits for warriors re-drawn for Fire Emblem: Heroes was enough to sell me on the game. The attention to detail in each character makes them instantly recognizable. The chibi-style character models in the mobile game are cheesy enough to make me slightly uneasy, but the portraits absolutely make up for it.

Although Fire Emblem: Warriors was only briefly shown, it features familiar character models, and the classic battle animations the series is known for.

Fire Emblem: Echoes will also be fully voice acted, which for fans of Japanese games who enjoy hearing characters speak in English, this is big news.


Serious Fan Recognition


For a long time, Fire Emblem had a very small but loyal fanbase in the West. The series was exclusive to Japan until the 7th game, released for the Game Boy Advanced as Fire Emblem. Unfortunately, the games were never hot system sellers.

However, Fire Emblem: Awakening gave Nintendo a whole new perspective on its IP. The game sold more units than any game before it and was supposed to be the last game in the series. The success of Awakening prompted Nintendo to keep supporting its franchise.

With the Switch on the horizon, Nintendo is still releasing two Fire Emblem titles for the system that brought the series to popularity. Echoes - Shadows of Valentia is exclusive to the 3DS and Fire Emblem: Warriors will also be ported to the handheld. This is especially important because although the Switch will be Nintendo’s main focus very soon, it shows that they still care about the 3DS fans who might not switch to the new system so soon.

Echoes is especially heartfelt due to it being a remake. The game is based off Fire Emblem: Gaiden, released for the Famicom system in 1992. Nearly every Japanese Fire Emblem game has multiple fan translations, and Gaiden is generally considered the most offbeat game in the series, adding multiple features not included in later entries. Western fans have been waiting years for official releases of past Fire Emblem games.

Although Fire Emblem: Heroes is catered to a larger mass audience, Intelligent Systems made sure that its core fanbase is in control. They are giving fans the opportunity to pick which heroes from past games they want to be featured in it. This feature even includes official translations of all characters in the Japanese only games, and an official subtitle for the series’ western debut -- Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. Hopefully, after everyone picks Hector, we can move on to adding more beloved characters into the game.


The Bright Future of Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem has been around longer than most people think, and after seeing the recent Direct, we know it’s not going anywhere for a long time.

Releasing a mobile title isn’t meant to cater to Fire Emblem’s hardcore fans. Those fans will continue to buy new games as long as they keep coming out. However, Nintendo knows that simplifying games for mobile devices can draw new fans into their IP.


Pokemon GO was a cultural phenomenon, Super Mario Run was downloaded millions of times, and as long as people find out what Fire Emblem IS then the potential for a whole new audience is there. Out of all of Nintendo’s popular IPs, Fire Emblem is not one many people are familiar with. If fans enjoy the mobile title, then they might become interested in the more advanced games in the series.

Nintendo further expands this by branching into completely different types of games with its IP. Hyrule Warriors plays nothing like a traditional Zelda game, but it was a game that fans of either series could enjoy, and helped expand the interest in both franchises. Fire Emblem Warriors is geared to do the same and shows that the series is not exclusive to strategy RPG games.

Although not official, the titling of Echoes is suspiciously similar to Fire Emblem Fates, which had three different versions. Unlike the way Pokemon games are released, each version of Fates features its own story and unique gameplay. If Echoes is successful, it could branch off into a separate series of games based on entries previously unavailable outside of fan emulators.

Needless to say, the Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct brought a multitude of unexpected announcements, new ways to play, and one minor disappointment. I’m still waiting for the day Nintendo honors the best Fire Emblem character, Hector, with DLC for Super Smash Bros. Sadly, I’ll have to patiently wait for his debut in the inevitable Smash Bros. for Switch.

What were your favorite parts of the Nintendo Direct? Which title are you most excited about? Was there anything missing you would have liked to see? Can we please keep talking about Hector? Sound off in the comments below!

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5 Games Which Will Make the Nintendo Switch a Success https://www.gameskinny.com/pdeog/5-games-which-will-make-the-nintendo-switch-a-success https://www.gameskinny.com/pdeog/5-games-which-will-make-the-nintendo-switch-a-success Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:00:02 -0400 Unclepulky

Regardless of whether you love the Wii U, like me, or hate the Wii U, like the majority of civilization appears to, there's no denying that the console was a commercial failure for Nintendo. While the company isn't in any real danger thanks to their intermittently great 3DS and software sale numbers, the Switch will have to do a lot to regain the faith of the gaming community. And now that the system has been shown off, I've gotten to thinking about some ideas for games which would attract people to it. Here, I will be discussing five ideas for titles which I believe will make the Switch a much more successful system than its predecessor.

5. Metroid- Prime Style

From the moment is was revealed, it was clear that no matter how good it ended up being, Metroid Prime: Federation Force was going to be a flop. After all, it just wasn't what people wanted, especially after going years without a Metroid game.

And even more years without a GOOD Metroid game.

So, to appease Metroid fans worldwide, I propose that Nintendo remakes the original Metroid. While it is true that the game was already remade once as Metroid: Zero Mission, my idea is quite a bit different. In this imaginary game, the simple story of the original Metroid would be retold, but with the gameplay and presentation of a Prime game. While of course the story of the series should move forward, I think for the moment it would be best for Nintendo, who clearly don't know what to do with the series, to go back to the past.

4. Fire Emblem Warriors

In recent years, the Fire Emblem series has possibly gained more new fans than any other long running Nintendo franchise. Subsequently, in 2014, Nintendo teamed up with Koei Tecmo to create Hyrule Warriors, a crossover between the Legend of Zelda series and the Dynasty Warriors games.

See what I'm getting at here?

The world and mechanics of Fire Emblem could easily be transferred over to a hack n' slash. The rock paper scissors mechanic for weapons could be implemented, the different types of magic could serve as each of the characters' elements, and speaking of characters, there are dozens, if not hundreds of candidates who could be made playable.

Nintendo already has the blueprints for this one. They just need to use them.

3. Bayonetta vs. Devil May Cry

Hideki Kamiya: Creator of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta

I absolutely love the Bayonetta games, Bayonetta 2 being in my top 5 favorite games of all time. The fantastic sequel also proved to be one of the most acclaimed games the Wii U had to offer. And while I'm not a big fan of Devil May Cry myself, I know a lot of people would love to see this hack n' slash crossover happen.

The games are fundamentally similar in terms of gameplay, but the gameplay doesn't need to be anything completely new for this. Both games have fantastic combat systems which could theoretically be used for this crossover.

No, the real reason this crossover needs to happen is twofold. For one, the story would be the most absolutely over the top, crazy thing the gaming world has ever seen, and it would be glorious. The other reason is for the character interactions.

We could see Trish torturing Enzo, Rodin and Virgil bonding over drinks, and the highlight of the whole event, Bayonetta and Dante trying to out flirt each other.

2. Overwatch

Yeah. Just, Overwatch.

Overwatch is one of the most popular games of 2016, and there's no reason it shouldn't be able to find a place on the Switch. After all, Nintendo loves games which are bright and colorful, and the kids they try so hard to appeal to love shooters. Sounds like a perfect fit.

This is one of the few shooters which I can really recommend to anyone. It has a fantastic cast of characters, beautiful presentation, and nearly flawless and hopeless addictive gameplay.

Not everyone has a gaming PC, Xbox One, or PS4, so putting this on the Switch would be a great way for more people to experience this masterpiece.

1. The Pokemon MMO

You want it. I want it. Everyone wants it.

And now, with Pokemon the most popular its been since the days of Red and Blue, this is the perfect time to finally make the Pokemon MMO. Hardcore Pokemon fans would eat it right up, paying month after month to keep playing, and with all of the Pokemon Go fans out there now, there's a good chance a lot of them would pick up the Switch just for this.

It isn't just a system seller. It's a system seller which would result in Nintendo making more money from it each passing month. The only caveat I have is that this is a title which should take all the time it needs to be perfected. This means that for this game to be as successful as possible, Nintendo would have to keep the Pokemon Go craze going.

Will they be able to do this? I don't know for sure. But what I do know is that the Nintendo Switch seems like it's going to be a great system, and I can't wait to pick one up in March, 2017.

Be sure to let me know what you think of these ideas, and what your own ideas for Switch titles are, in the comments.

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Sacrifice or Start Over? A Discussion of Permadeath in Fire Emblem https://www.gameskinny.com/3sdjr/sacrifice-or-start-over-a-discussion-of-permadeath-in-fire-emblem https://www.gameskinny.com/3sdjr/sacrifice-or-start-over-a-discussion-of-permadeath-in-fire-emblem Wed, 17 Aug 2016 11:58:12 -0400 Kris Cornelisse (Delfeir)

Permadeath has been a staple of many video games for a very long time now. While it’s often attributed to roguelike games and other randomly generated romps, one could say that running out of lives in a game like Super Mario Bros and having to start over from scratch is a similar concept. The threat of punishment dangling over one’s head like a swinging pendulum blade is often the motivation to rise to the challenge and overcome the obstacle, which has been the core element of games since the dawn of time.

Despite this, permadeath is more prevalent in certain genres than others. The aforementioned roguelikes usually have this is a cornerstone, where each new run of the game is from the beginning and how your adventure shapes is procedurally generated on the fly. There may be more recent games which grant you bonuses or unlock new elements to the procedure from previous runs, such as The Binding of Isaac or Rogue Legacy, but death remains permanent and has you starting over each time.

This is rarely the case in games that have more of a narrative focus and defined characters, but there is one exception that I want to talk about: Fire Emblem.

In the vast majority of RPGs on the market, death is rarely permanent unless it’s tied to cutscenes or plot development.

You might go down in battle, but you’ll still be kicking for the next one, and this is usually to keep the narrative consistent. It would make little sense for a plot relevant character to die to random monsters and thus end the story entirely.

But Fire Emblem is different. While the main character dying is usually an exception and will trigger a game over, a character that dies in a Fire Emblem game dies for good. This has been a series constant from the original iteration on the NES all the way to the most recent titles (though the series has started to include the Casual difficulty setting which removes this permadeath -- more on that shortly).

The interesting thing about this is that most of the characters are actually unique and individual characters. They will have their own personalities and quirks, which often are revealed through dialogue either during missions or in conversations made in between chapters. From the third game (Mystery of the Emblem, SNES, 1994) onwards, the Support system has seen characters that fight together in battle develop friendships and even relationships, gaining stat bonuses in battle. This led to support conversations occurring from the sixth game (The Binding Blade, GBA, 2002 - the one with Roy in it!) onward, and was compounded even further in the most recent titles: depending on who forms relationships with who, their children will enter the battle and gain specific stats and traits based on their parents. A rudimentary form of the child characters was even in the fourth game in the series -- it’s named Genealogy of the Holy War (SNES, 1996) for crying out loud -- so it’s fair to say that it’s always been a staple of the franchise.

As such, I find it quite surprising that it’s completely possible for these characters to die in the course of a standard mission and be gone for good. Sure, the support conversations and interactions are largely optional fluff and will rarely impact the plot - not to mention that some plot important characters are merely injured and remain on set for cutscenes while unable to fight -- but it still feels strange that such large attachments can come to developed characters only for them to be cut short.

When compared to a game like XCOM, which is arguably one of the closest in terms of strategy style to Fire Emblem, the threat of permadeath makes more sense. Each individual unit on an XCOM squad may be more important to successfully clearing missions and winning the campaign, but they rarely if ever have any plot relevance or personality at all.

Any attachment the player has with their squad is built up entirely from gameplay experiences, such as when the sniper got a lucky crit and saved three members in a bad situation, or with the heavy who has been present and unhurt in a dozen straight missions. In fact, it’s quite rare for a standard XCOM game to not feature a character that the player will eventually have an interesting anecdote for, but this is once again less related to their plot relevance and more about how they became snake food.

In XCOM, beating the mission and advancing is the primary reward of the game. In Fire Emblem, this is still the primary reward of the game, but there’s also the secondary reward of getting to see the characters and their stories or relationships develop further. It’s a big allure for many players, myself included.

So the characters die. You can still continue on without them, right? Sure, but… you’ll find that very few people actually do. It’s more common for a player to make a mistake, lose a character, and then simply restart the chapter over and try again without losing them. In the most recent games, in-battle saves have been built in to make this smoother and minimize lost turns, but in the older games you’ll be forced to start the entire chapter over. In particularly long and grueling missions, this could mean an hour or more lost if a mistake is made too close to the end of the level.

And sometimes it isn’t even a mistake that causes permadeath. Again, like XCOM, Fire Emblem’s combat is entirely determined by dice rolls. Individual character stats, levels and weapons may game the system in your favor, but a 5% chance for an enemy to hit and kill your unit will still happen occasionally. A near guaranteed hit will fail and leave your flank exposed. Over the course of a long campaign with many missions -- like the games tend to have -- this will add up more than you’d expect.

Ask just about any Fire Emblem player and they’ll have a story of the dreaded 1% chance to crit that nonetheless wiped out their best unit and forced a restart…

There’s other gameplay reasons why losing a unit is usually cause for restarting a level, too. In all but a handful of games in the series, experience for leveling up units is a precious and limited commodity. With only a finite amount of missions and resources, not every character can be used to the maximum, and a player will usually develop a core roster to challenge most missions. Losing one of these core members can be a huge loss of total experience and leave a particularly underleveled unit taking their place. If you consider that even stats gained at level are also randomly generated, a particularly bad string of luck can see you getting completely screwed. Few people will take the chance to not restart.

Despite all of this, permadeath is still the default setting in Fire Emblem. For all the character development and attachment, both in narrative and gameplay sense, all of it can still be lost in one single mistake or unlucky mishap and force a player to discard their time and effort and try again.

At this point, it’d be fair to say that the inclusion of permadeath in Fire Emblem is largely tradition.

It’s been present since the beginning of the series, which was released when permadeath was fairly standard in games and such punishment was the norm. Quite a few trends in video games have changed since then, even within the series itself, but this one remains firmly entrenched.

While one could argue that it could stand to be removed entirely, this would likely make a lot of series veterans angry at the change. The added challenge of having to execute your strategy perfectly and hoping that luck doesn’t destroy you is a core element to numerous players who are drawn back to the series with each new game. If only to placate longtime fans, it’s unlikely that permadeath will ever be completely removed from the series.

Still, more and more features to counteract this have been added to more recent titles. Game twelve in the series (New Mystery of the Emblem for those keeping score, DS, 2010) saw the first appearance of the Casual mode setting, which sees defeated units return again in the next chapter. This appeared in both games hence, and was accompanied by Phoenix mode in the recent Fire Emblem Fates, which sees defeated units return only a turn later (and is only available on Normal difficulty).

While the absence of the threat of permadeath makes the game significantly easier, it can still be used in conjunction with higher difficulties to provide a reasonable challenge, and means any punishment doesn’t come from losing massive time, gameplay, and personal investments.

Of course, there’s also numerous players who criticize the inclusion of this mode, claiming it removes any satisfaction or challenge from the game while citing the Dark Souls mantra of “get good” to those who use it. But it’s a valid and supported way to play it nonetheless. Everyone has their own preferred way of playing, and having more options is usually far better than have less.

The continued presence of permadeath in a somewhat uncharacteristic genre is an interesting point to consider, I feel. What do you guys think? Feel free to share your viewpoints and preferences in the comments.

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The Top 5 JRPGs For Beginners https://www.gameskinny.com/wmjwr/the-top-5-jrpgs-for-beginners https://www.gameskinny.com/wmjwr/the-top-5-jrpgs-for-beginners Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:19:54 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

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Persona 4 (on easy)

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The last game on this list is Persona 4 on easy mode. Persona 4 is a turn-based JRPG with tons of Japanese mythology and history crammed into its story and characters. While this could alienate a beginner, I think it can also just enhance the experience.

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This game also has a nice blend of humorous and serious tones, and the gameplay is super simple. The most difficult thing in this game is the strategy in battle and the grinding while waiting for the rainy days to fight the bosses. While you fight, you have to maintain your school life and relationships.

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Even if this sounds boring, give it a try! The meat of the game is still the fighting and the plot and these other things just help pad it out a little bit more. It helps you get invested in the characters and know more about the world around you.

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Persona 4 is an all-around cool experience and a must-play for anyone just getting into JRPGS.

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These are just my suggestions. There are plenty of other JRPGs to check out, so don't limit yourself to the ones on this or any other list. Beginner is a relative term, so if you're feeling up to it, just pick a game and start playing! 

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Fire Emblem (on casual)

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The Fire Emblem games on the 3DS are a great introduction to the series. They’re not as plot-heavy as some other games and are pretty easy to get into, even without knowing the plot to the past games. Characters drop hints of previous plots that definitely enhance the story, but aren’t necessarily needed to enjoy the game.

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The gameplay can be complicated, but you can get by with just knowing the basics. And, the games are just fun. They have a good blend of humorous and serious moments and the gameplay is easy to follow along with. The main problem a beginner would probably have with Fire Emblem games is when your characters die, they’re dead forever. Therefore, I suggest playing the game on casual the first time because you can keep your characters alive.

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The Tales of Series

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The Tales of Series is the only game on this list that isn’t turn-based. Some people cannot play and enjoy turn-based games, and that’s okay. The Tales of Series does away with the turn-based system, but is still a pretty good introduction into JRPGs. The games have relatively simple controls and some of the later ones go out of their way to make sure players know what they’re doing, with tutorials accompanying every new game mechanic that gets introduced.

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Something that may turn off beginners is the plot. Every Tales of game has an extensive plot -- and unless the player is into that, they may feel overwhelmed and need to step away from it for a while. I would suggest Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss, or Tales of Phantasia as a starting point.

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The Disgaea Series

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For those who want a little more depth for their first go at the genre, the Disgaea series could be the way to go. There’s a story that has some connect from game to game, but it’s a loose one at best. At worst, it’s nonsensical and I love it. The Disgaea games are strategy RPGs at heart. They’re wacky, even with the more serious themes. So if you’re into weird games, this might be the one for you. From the weird weapon descriptions to the main character being physically hurt by “sexy ladies”, it’s a weird adventure. Each game adds more functions, so I would suggest starting with the first one, but it’s definitely not necessary.

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Pokemon

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With the new craze of Pokemon GO, more people than ever have probably heard of Pokemon. So why not start simple? While the newer games are trying to be more complex for more savvy Pokemon players, they’re still a user-friendly introduction into the genre. It’s simple; it’s turned-based; it’s a classic. There’s no ongoing story, so anyone can jump in at any time without missing out on key plot points. Speaking of the plot, it’s super simple. If I could follow along with Pokemon Red when I was 6, anyone can follow along with it. The game mechanics are just as easy to pick up on, so just jump right in.

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JRPGs are some of the best and weirdest games I have ever played. I grew up on basically anything my dad could find at the flea market or bargain bin, so I played some pretty unique ones. I’m still playing them today though, so that probably speaks to their credit, right?

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Getting into JRPGs when you’ve never played on can be a task, especially with all the different ones floating around. So, I thought I'd compile the top 5 JRPGs for beginners to help ease those new to the genre into the process. These are in no particular order because I love them all.

"}]]]>
15 Great Amiibo-Themed Cosplays https://www.gameskinny.com/bpnmi/15-great-amiibo-themed-cosplays https://www.gameskinny.com/bpnmi/15-great-amiibo-themed-cosplays Mon, 01 Aug 2016 05:36:21 -0400 Donald Strohman

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo19-a7f08.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo19-a7f08.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128336","description":"
WWWELCOME! 
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by Unknown
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(Click image to enhance size)

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Some people buy amiibos for the sole purpose of selling them on the Internet for a substantial profit. So what better way to encompass the scumbag amiibo re-seller by mixing him with the mysterious seller from Resident Evil 4? Could you just imagine Leon picking up three Ryu amiibos while fighting his way through a horde of zombies? Maybe the chainsaw guy has a soft spot for Jigglypuff?

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Do you have a particular cosplay you are proud of? Feel free to share photos of your past cosplay with GameSkinny at leads@gameskinny.com . We just might feature them in a future article!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo111-b652e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo111-b652e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128344","description":"

The Squid Sisters

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by Cospatio
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A grand success in fandom out of Japan, the Squid Sisters from Splatoon have been getting numerous fans adapting their own version of the characters into costume. But these two women from Japan do an especially great job of making the characters come to life!

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/a/a/aaaa1-483c2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/a/a/aaaa1-483c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128548","description":"

Lady Ike

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by CPP Creations
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Gender swapping characters can sometimes lead to the most unique of costumes, and this female rendition of Ike from Fire Emblem is no different! With its vast attention to detail, it's only a matter of time before a real amiibo is made out of her.

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(Click image to enhance size)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo12-daa38.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo12-daa38.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128341","description":"

Vintage Peach

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by MandyNeko
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Every wondered how the world of Super Mario would fair in the olden days? This clever recreation of the Princess Peach outfit could be the closest thing we ever get to a Victorian era Mario game. (Unless you're reading this Nintendo, in which case wink-wink, hint-hint, make this happen.) 

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(Click image to enhance size)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo1-cd820.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo1-cd820.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128312","description":"

Villager and Little Mac - BRAND NEW!

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by Maxime Chow
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Every amiibo collector's dream is finding all of their favorite figures brand new in the box. But dressing up as your favorite video game character and sealing yourself within a box? That doesn't sound crazy at all...

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo4-05436.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo4-05436.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128340","description":"

Fuzzy Yoshi

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by kyramil
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Nintendo may be fond of pouring out yarn Yoshi Amiibos, but perhaps they should be investing in Fuzzy ones too? And considering the fact that knitting together a Yoshi costume would probably take forever, it makes this fuzzy interpretation of Mario's loyal companion all the more impressive. 

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(Click image to enhance size)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo18-a5134.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo18-a5134.png","type":"slide","id":"128334","description":"

Big, Bigger, Biggest!

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by d-slim
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A side by side comparison with the amiibo figure and an action figure helps illustrate the detail that's been put into this Samus suit cosplay. I just hope there's some sort of waste disposal system, as I'd imagine trying to use the bathroom with this costume on would not be fun. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/a/a/aaaa2-0ce73.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/a/a/aaaa2-0ce73.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128547","description":"

Tennis, Anyone? 

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by CPP Creations
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We haven't seen any Mario's Tennis amiibo just yet, but if Nintendo were to get a hold of this picture, I'm sure they'd be inspired to make a whole line of figures. Just you wait, it's bound to happen. 

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(Click image to enhance size)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo10-ad7e7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo10-ad7e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128308","description":"

Super Smash Bros Cosplay

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by AMENOKITAROU
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There's a reason Super Smash Bros has remained a Nintendo staple since its birth on the N64. Satisfying the inner masochist in all of us, we just love seeing our favorite Nintendo characters battling it out with one another, and these cosplay costumes perfectly summarize the nostalgia running through its fans' veins. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo16-e3538.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo16-e3538.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128335","description":"

Cuddly Charizard 

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by HaruDesu88
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Have you ever wondered what Charizard would be like if, instead of rough skin, we was made of felt and you could hug one without running the risk of catching fire? No? Well, apparently someone did, as this young woman managed to create what could be the softest Charizard in the history of nerd-dom. 

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(Click image to enhance size)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo3-57c31.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo3-57c31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128306","description":"

You're a Squid Now!

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by RainaTraina
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The popularity of Splatoon has spawned numerous amiibo figures for die hards to collect, including a recent Squid Sisters pack. This woman's rendition of the game's iconic Marie is freaky accurate -- let's just hope her hair doesn't consist of genuine squid. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/a/a/aaaa-f2123.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/a/a/aaaa-f2123.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128544","description":"

Rosalina

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by CPP Creations
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Being a powerful figure in the Mario universe, Rosalina happens to be one of the most interesting female characters the Mario games have ever offered. So, it comes as no shock to see plenty of female cosplayers dressing in her image. (Is it also weird to think that costume would make great pajamas? Seriously, how comfy do those look!?)   

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(Click on image to enhance size)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo11-de394.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo11-de394.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128315","description":"

Wii Fit Fighter!

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by LeapingLizardCosplay
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Being a master of yoga and the definitive icon of Nintendo fitness games, might sound easy, but bring the Wii Fit trainer into a brawl and she's bound to knock your lights out. Or help you lose weight, whichever comes first. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo13-b1df9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo13-b1df9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128339","description":"

Personal Toy Shelf

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by Unknown
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Talk about dedication to your collection. Why dress up as your favorite Nintendo, Disney, or Skylanders character when you can just bring all of them with you...attached to your body?

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It's not an obsession, I swear. 

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(Click image to enhance size)

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo5-da3c3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo5-da3c3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128302","description":"

Family of Samus

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By d-slim
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Samus may be one of Nintendo's most badass heroines, but she probably has family issues like the rest of us. After all, if you had this many sisters to deal with, who wouldn't prefer fighting aliens over dealing with unnecessary drama (Cough Metroid: Other M, cough cough.) 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo2-24634.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/i/amiibo2-24634.jpg","type":"slide","id":"128291","description":"

Nintendo has been striking pure gold within its own nostalgia. Despite sitting on this gravy train for decades, it wasn't until recently that the video game company decided to officially license amiibo figures based off their popular gaming franchises.

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And with the craze surrounding these little toys far from over, it comes as no surprise that fans would draw inspiration from the figures to create their own costumes based on them. From a fuzzy Charizard to a late era Princess Peach, these fifteen amiibo-inspired cosplay costumes are just plain awesome.

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"}]]]>
Why Nintendo should remake Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War https://www.gameskinny.com/7jau3/why-nintendo-should-remake-fire-emblem-genealogy-of-the-holy-war https://www.gameskinny.com/7jau3/why-nintendo-should-remake-fire-emblem-genealogy-of-the-holy-war Sun, 12 Jun 2016 16:49:13 -0400 cactusjudy

It's no secret: Nintendo's had a rough past few years. With Wii U sales continuing to crawl and the financial failure or postponement of new installments in many of the company's bestselling series, few things seem to have gone right since the launch of the latest console generation. However, one of the best recent success stories of Nintendo is also one of its most unlikely: the revitalization of the once-fringe franchise, Fire Emblem.

Fire Emblem burst onto the mainstream gaming scene with the commercial success of Fire Emblem Awakening in 2012. Originally intended to be a final throwback to the original Fire Emblem game, Awakening went on to sell more than 1.9 million copies worldwide, saving the series and establishing Fire Emblem as one of Nintendo's central franchises. The newest title in the series, Fire Emblem Fates, has continued its predecessor's success, and is so far one of Nintendo's bestselling games of 2016. Nevertheless, few newcomers realize just how old and varied the series is; since the release of the first Fire Emblem in 1990, Nintendo has produced 14 Fire Emblem titles, not including spin-offs. However, the first six games were released exclusively in Japan and have never reached Western shores (with the exception of the first, which was remade and localized as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon). Given the poor reception of the first two remakes (for the first and third games) in both Japan and the West, it is understandable that such remade titles were abandoned in favor of brand-new games. However, with the new-found popularity and commercial success of Awakening and Fates in the West, it would now make sense to remake and localize older Fire Emblem games, starting with the series' fourth title, Genealogy of the Holy War. 

Why Genealogy of the Holy War? Because it's the game that's most likely to appeal to new and old Fire Emblem fans alike. First released on the Super Famicom in 1996, Genealogy has developed a cult-like following among fans for its dark, detailed plot and politics, and its morally ambiguous characters -- particularly its villains. Genealogy is considered by many to have the most intriguing story in the series, something that many seasoned fans have found lacking in Awakening and Fates. Players find themselves thrust into the middle of a politically-charged and historically-rich continent called Jugradal, which is divided between eight different kingdoms, many of which are furthered divided into various provinces and duchies. The story follows the young Lord of one such province, Sigurd, as he finds himself embroiled in a cross-kingdom conflict that has much more frightening roots and harsher consequences than he could ever imagine. Sigurd is joined by various lords, princes, and common-folk from the various kingdoms as he attempts to restore peace to the land and defend his friends and family.

Nevertheless, Genealogy also offers many of the gameplay developments that newer fans find most enjoyable, such as the expanded support system and the ability to marry units and produce offspring. In fact, Genealogy's entire plot rides on the player's ability to successfully pair-up units, for the second half of the game follows the fruits of the first generation's couplings, headed by Sigurd's son, Seliph. Seliph's story runs parallel to Sigurd's as he travails the continent fighting for freedom, though any more details here would be spoiling. And with the simple writing and inclusion of support conversations between characters outside of battle, Genealogy could very easily be remade and improved with an Awakening and Fates'-style support system. 


How Awakening really saved the series

Genealogy of the Holy War is truly an engrossing Fire Emblem experience, with fantastic and familiar gameplay mechanics, lovable, unique characters, and a significantly improved plot. Furthermore, Nintendo released a Wii U port of the game in Japan as recently as 2013, demonstrating the game's continued relevance. So, what's holding back localization?

Unfortunately, Genealogy has a few central plot elements that might prove too distasteful for Western audiences, such as incest and organized child-killings. Nintendo is known for being hesitant to introduce anything to the West that might disturb young gamers or their parents, particularly within Fire Emblem and its spin-offs. Additionally, the incredibly long and large maps of Genealogy might be off-putting for fans used to the smaller skirmishes of Awakening and Fates, though it is important to note that Genealogy at least includes the ability to save at the start of each player's turn, decreasing the amount of time players will waste rage-quitting after losing a unit. Nonetheless, I think Nintendo could pull it off if they were simply willing to take more of a risk, reinforcing the fact that the game's plot-mandatory incest is very, VERY bad while downplaying some of the other squicky character relationships. And although sacrificial child killings and murder-by-fire are both disturbing (don't look either up if you don't want to be spoiled!), Fire Emblem's graphics aren't really, well, graphic enough to worry about permanently scarring The Children. 


The maps are legit crazy, IF BY CRAZY YOU MEAN CRAZY AWESOME

Despite a few problematic elements, Genealogy of the Holy War has proven its worth and acclaim over the years. Fire Emblem is poised to become one of Nintendo's most important franchises, and soon more and more fans will clamor for the release of localized older titles. It is in Nintendo's best interest to capitalize off the growing popularity of the Fire Emblem franchise, and while we wait for the series' next installment and the announced mobile game, a remake and localization of Genealogy of the Holy War seems the perfect way to please fans new and old. 

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Dragon Age creators looking to create a 'Dragon Age Tactics?' https://www.gameskinny.com/r9um0/dragon-age-creators-looking-to-create-a-dragon-age-tactics https://www.gameskinny.com/r9um0/dragon-age-creators-looking-to-create-a-dragon-age-tactics Sun, 21 Feb 2016 03:15:48 -0500 Nick Harshman

It seems that BioWare may have a new idea for the Dragon Age franchise. Posting on Twitter, Dragon Age Executive Producer Mark Darrah polled fans as to whether they would want a 'Dragon Age Tactics' game. 

Mr. Darrah clarified his question by alluding to Fire Emblem and XCOM as examples. As of this moment, over fifty percent have said yes, while twenty-three percent say no. A decent amount of voters have said they would like to make it exclusive to the PC (sounds selfish to me).

Mark was also asked if the game would include romance options, a staple of the Dragon Age franchise, to which he replied with a 'likely.' 

He was also sure to point out that a tactics style game would not take the place of a major release, but serve as a side project to keep fans busy. 

What do you guys think? Would you play a Dragon Age Tactics? Let us know down below.

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Gamer Gift Guide: Custom Handmade Merchandise https://www.gameskinny.com/ekl8p/gamer-gift-guide-custom-handmade-merchandise https://www.gameskinny.com/ekl8p/gamer-gift-guide-custom-handmade-merchandise Wed, 11 Nov 2015 03:17:33 -0500 Gabriella Graham

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/4/9045be8b86e723c9df9fac19e4010476.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/4/tiny_9045be8b86e723c9df9fac19e4010476.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91292","description":"

Dresses, Cosplay Outfits, and Accessories

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Where to Buy: Darling Army from darling-army.goodsie.com

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Price: $10 for bows; $70 and $80 for hooded caplets; Dresses, skirts, pinafores, and kimonos range from $65 to $165

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Bonus: Custom orders available.

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Bonus #2: Gift certificates available.

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Our last entry admittedly appeals very strongly to one gender - sorry about that! Darling Army advertises itself as a cosplay pinafore and kimono hot spot, but the shop features plenty of dresses and skirts the gamer girl can wear any day. Accessories add on to to the extensive list with bows and adorable hooded caplets. Female renditions of male characters fill the store as an added bonus to the frustrated cosplayer.

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The beauty of this gift transfers easily to Darling Army gift certificates, allowing your gift to cover some of the costs while letting your gamer fill in their order. You can even recommend a few of the shop's gamer items to show off your incredible gift giving expertise.

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This shop's themes include:

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  • Legend of Zelda
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  • Kingdom Hearts
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  • Fallout
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  • Metroid
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  • Assassin's Creed
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  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
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  • Pokemon
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  • Mario
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  • Minecraft
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  • Half-Life
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Do you know of any handmade gifts or shops that didn't make this list? Let me know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/a/a/baa0991c02cde31755643ef136684b41.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/a/a/tiny_baa0991c02cde31755643ef136684b41.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91289","description":"

Box Shelves and Wall Organizers

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Honorable Mention: SpeakGeek on Etsy

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Store Rating: 5/5 stars (70 reviews)

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Price: $39 - $89 (Add $5 if you'd like to personalize the item!)

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Bonus: The store donates a percentage of all sales to Joyce Meyer's Hand of Hope.

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Bonus #2: Custom orders are available!

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The SpeakGeek shop on Etsy presents the hand-painted, three compartment solution to a gamer's organizational woes. Box shelves and jewelery hangers/wall organizers come in a wide range of colors and themes to compliment any room, making this gift practical, thoughtful, and downright awesome. Themes include:

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  • Pac-Man
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  • Mario
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  • World of Warcraft
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  • Halo
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  • Mass Effect
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  • Assassin's Creed
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  • Legend of Zelda
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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/5/0/15010d93dd50eabed32cd4f84e068307.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/5/0/tiny_15010d93dd50eabed32cd4f84e068307.png","type":"slide","id":"91288","description":"

Hand-made Plushies

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Where to Buy: Animinis on Etsy and Animinis.com

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Store Rating: 5/5 stars (9 reviews)

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Price: Base price is $35. (For commissions, price could rise depending on amount of detail and materials.)

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Bonus: Custom orders available!

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While Pizzaro sells embroidered patches and stickers in her Animinis shop, her real specialty lies in handmade felt dolls. No contorted faces, mismatched eyes, or oddly misshapen bodies here. Animinis takes all the horror of mass-produced dolls and gives customers a real treat to add to any fandom collection. The shop adds new themes all the time, but currently it's already featured:

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  • Fallout
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  • Fire Emblem
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  • Professor Layton 
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  • Legend of Zelda
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  • Pokemon
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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/8/f/b8f5064b2a4da9e437782c361f786475.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/8/f/tiny_b8f5064b2a4da9e437782c361f786475.png","type":"slide","id":"91285","description":"

Glassware

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Where to Buy: NexusGlass on Etsy

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Store Rating: 5/5 stars (937 reviews)

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Price: Ranges from $22.50 to $32.50

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Bonus: Items can be personalized with up to 20 characters at no additional cost. (Longer names cost extra.)

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Bonus #2: Custom orders available.

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Bonus #3: Multi-order discounts and combined shipping also available.

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The NexusGlass shop on Etsy offers hand stenciled designs on restaurant-grade glasses. The glass is all freezer and dishwasher safe to boot, thanks to the shop's stenciling process. This negates all the disappointment of cheaply made glasses whose designs rub right off and face destruction in any dishwasher. In addition to glass mugs, the shop offers:

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  • shot glasses (singles and sets)
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  • flasks
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  • growlers
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  • champagne flutes
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  • pint glasses (singles and sets)
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Video game themes include:

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  • World of Warcraft
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  • Legend of Zelda
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  • Tetris
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  • Resident Evil
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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/f/b/6fbfa3265320138813c8142be9c810dd.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/f/b/tiny_6fbfa3265320138813c8142be9c810dd.png","type":"slide","id":"91145","description":"

Throw Pillows

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Where to Buy: JHTY, Choco-Minto, Alice X. Zhang, and Randy C on Society6

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Store Rating: N/A

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Price: Ranges from $20 to $39, depending on cover, case + pillow combo, size of the cover, and indoor or outdoor style

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Bonus: If you see a design you like, there's a good chance the shop offers it printed on a large variety of other mediums, such as mugs and iPad cases.

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This gift combines style and practicality. Everybody needs pillows. I've included four shops for this slide to offer a taste of the variety out there while making your gift shopping just a touch easier.

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    \n
  1. JHTY offers a faceless style of heroes from Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Pokemon, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, and Sword Art Online.
  2. \n
  3. Choco-Minto presents a unique chibi style of art with themes that include: Mass EffectDragon Age, Splatoon, and Bioshock.
  4. \n
  5. Alice X. Zhang sells a gritty, dark design with Last of Us and Tomb Raider options.
  6. \n
  7. Randy C's shop only features Pokemon themed pillows, but every print pictures your favorite Pokemon wearing a costume for their final evolution with tons of different options from multiple generations to choose from.
  8. \n
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/1/b/d1bb5e73efa3ed6527780b2228347911.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/1/b/tiny_d1bb5e73efa3ed6527780b2228347911.png","type":"slide","id":"91290","description":"

Bags, Wallets, and 3DS Cases: Part 1

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Where to Buy: BlueRobotto on Etsy and BlueRobotto.com

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Store Rating: 5/5 stars (324 reviews)

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Price: $13 for wallets, $17 for 3DS cases, and $45 to $50 for bags

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Bonus: This same shop offers Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon pin and brooch sets that range from $5 to $18. You can dress up old bags if your gamer doesn't need a new one!

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From messenger bags to duffels to lunchboxes to 3DS cases, Doug Berdu's BlueRobotto shop has everything your gamer needs, no matter their gender or age. Themes include:

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    \n
  • Pokemon
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  • Legend of Zelda
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  • Animal Crossing
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  • Video game controllers
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  • Splatoon
  • \n
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Added Suggestion: Here you could combine the patch gift idea with a new bag to give a gamer something that plays off multiple interests while demonstrating your wonderfully thoughtful capabilities.

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Bags, Wallets, and 3DS Cases: Part 2

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Honorable Mention: SpeakGeek on Etsy

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Cost: $25 and $32 for Wii U gamepad covers, $32 and $34 for 3DS XL covers

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This shop comes up again later, but I thought it was worth a mention in this category as well. SpeakGeek offers very console-specific bags or covers for the Nintendo fan. Themes include:

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  • Pikmin
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  • Animal Crossing
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  • Legend of Zelda
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  • Mario
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  • Pokemon
  • \n
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/1/4/414b7b6b8b3ffc73e2bd53d8f01fedc2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/1/4/tiny_414b7b6b8b3ffc73e2bd53d8f01fedc2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91112","description":"

Artistic Prints: Part 3

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Where to Buy: Jessica Smith on Society6

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Store Rating: N/A

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Price: Ranges from $15 to $20 for prints, $32 to $37 for framed prints, and $85 to $150 for canvas prints

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Jessica Smith sells gorgeous prints on Society6, featuring a Legend of Zelda theme for gamers. The theme draws from all different installments in the franchise with a wide array of color schemes and locations featured. Her pieces can be ordered with frames if you'd like your gift pre-prepared for hanging or as canvas prints for an extra touch of originality.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/3/a/03abab697627f9f53e6d522a99be8430.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/3/a/tiny_03abab697627f9f53e6d522a99be8430.png","type":"slide","id":"91127","description":"

Artistic Prints: Part 1

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Where to Buy: Kayadesign on Etsy

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Store Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (98 reviews)

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Price: $7

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This item touches on a bit of home decor. Add a nice frame and you've got yourself a downright classy gift. I've collected a few options to start your hunt for the perfect print.

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First in this category is Kayadesign on Etsy. This shop offers newspaper prints, setting beloved characters in front of vintage dictionary backdrops. The game section of her shop offers a large variety of themes including:

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    \n
  • Kingdom Hearts
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  • Final Fantasy
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  • Metroid
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  • Legend of Zelda
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  • Mega Man
  • \n
  • Star Fox
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  • Persona
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  • Mario
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  • Catherine
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  • Punch-Out!!
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Artistic Prints: Part 2

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Where to Buy: Loft817 on Etsy

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Cost: Ranges from $8.50 to $26

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Bonus: Currently features a buy 2, get 1 free deal!

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Using a similar dictionary theme and adding pop art to his gallery, Kris Keefer, owner of Etsy's Loft817 shop, adds some extra variety to the list. In addition to Final Fantasy, Mario, and Legend of Zelda, Keefer's shop also boasts Pokemon and Planet Terror prints. His own game section features some pop art pieces that can be purchased in different sizes and without the dictionary print background, though these options cost more ($20 to $26, depending.)

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/f/b/9fb25b0475a273cdc6ac77352f97159e.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/f/b/tiny_9fb25b0475a273cdc6ac77352f97159e.png","type":"slide","id":"91284","description":"

Patches and Stickers: Part 1

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Where to Buy: FandomCSN on Etsy

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Store Rating: 5/5 stars (17 reviews)

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Price: $5.99 for single patches, $8.99 to $19.99 for patch sets

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Bonus: This shop also features gaming belt buckles for $10.99.

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Patches and stickers make for great stocking stuffers or a little something extra to slip in with a gamer's Christmas card. They don't have to be hole-in-the-jeans exclusive either. These dress up a gamer's luggage, backpack, or purse, as well as their work or school lanyards and hats. The many uses for these small items make them a great and versatile gift for the gamer(s) in your life.

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Micah Thomas, owner of the FandomCSN shop on Etsy, offers embroidered patches in two sections of his shop. Descriptions under each patch explain exactly how to apply the patches as well. His video game themes include:

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    \n
  • Fallout
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  • Resident Evil
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  • Halo
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  • Call of Duty
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  • Metal Gear Solid
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  • Legend of Zelda
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  • Mario
  • \n
  • Angry Birds
  • \n
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Patches and Stickers: Part 2

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Where to Buy: Animinis on Etsy and Animinis.com

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Cost: $4 to $8 for patches, $3 to $12 for stickers

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Jessica Pizarro, owner of the Animinis shop on Etsy, offers a wide selection of Monster Hunter patches in addition to two World of Warcraft patches and a bonus Five Nights at Freddy's "Let's Eat!!!" patch for the die-hard fan. These embroidered pieces come with sew-on or iron-on options to suit the individual gamer's needs.

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Animinis ups the stocking-stuffer game with stickers celebrating some of gamers' favorite YouTubers. Pizarro sells handmade Game Grump and Markiplier sticker sets, as well as offering individual options.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/3/8/b38718673d75539acc9c8381e23ca8d7.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/3/8/tiny_b38718673d75539acc9c8381e23ca8d7.png","type":"slide","id":"91388","description":"

Let's be real: finding the perfect gift for the gamer(s) in your life can be a struggle and a half, especially when they've gone out and bought most of the games on their wishlist themselves. Even when this isn't the case, it isn't as if we have every gamer's library tucked away in our memory somewhere. The solution to this problem? Build off the gamer's favorites by adding merchandise to their collection.

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I'm going to take this solution one step further. Mass produced video game merchandise tends to run on the shoddy side of things, not to mention the hit your wallet will take with big brand names standing behind every product. Purchasing custom-made products negates this, supports artists, guarantees hand-made quality with a bit of research, and adds a touch of original thoughtfulness to your gift giving venture. Luckily, as far as research goes, I've done that work for you.

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Here's a gift guide to custom merchandise every gamer can enjoy, roughly arranged from least to most expensive.

"}]]]>
Queens of Blades: Top 10 sword-swinging divas https://www.gameskinny.com/00ti1/queens-of-blades-top-10-sword-swinging-divas https://www.gameskinny.com/00ti1/queens-of-blades-top-10-sword-swinging-divas Wed, 02 Sep 2015 02:30:02 -0400 David Fisher

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This brings us to the end of our top 10 list of sword-swinging divas. I have got to admit... unlike the Girls with Guns list I did last week, this list was actually quite difficult to come up with. It's great that there's a decent selection of swordswomen, but the problem is that not many of them are well known or playable.

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I guess this is where I leave it to you, readers! What other sword-maidens can you come up with? Where would you put them on this list? Do you disagree with my placements? Leave your opinions and ideas in the comments section below!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/5/4/654a6cd6108f895fd781a5d13e816cc6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/5/4/tiny_654a6cd6108f895fd781a5d13e816cc6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"81876","description":"

#1: Nariko - Heavenly Sword

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When people think of swordsmen with a god complex, over-the-top fighting, and twin chained blades they often think of God of War's Kratos. When angry feminist extremists ask me why there isn't a female "God of War", my answer used to be the most obvious: "Athena's Revenge" doesn't exactly fit the character. However, ever since 2007 I've been able to avoid getting slapped across the face by pointing at this beauty here.

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Nariko is the oppressed heroine of Heavenly Sword, a character who has literally spent her entire life being belittled by her clan on the grounds that ever since her birth she "should not have been." Everyone believed Nariko to be a curse, a portent of doom, and she eventually accepted this as truth. However, this would not stop Nariko from becoming the savior of her people by wielding the Heavenly Sword, fully aware of the fact that it would consume her soul as a result.

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Aside from essentially being a copycat in terms of gameplay to Kratos from God of War, Nariko is one of the strongest female protagonists in the history of gaming. Why? Because she literally takes the place of the male hero without any modifications for the sake of gender roles. When she says that a deity "would be reborn, in the body of a mortal man" she is quite literally quoting the archetype of a Kratos-like hero. As such, she is the embodiment of the female power fantasy.

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Nariko - to date - is the only female character who does this without a love interest, without losing a loved one, nothing. She doesn't even have the tired cliché of a woman using her cunning or agility over brute strength. She slaughters her enemies with brute force alone, and does this because it is her duty as the hero. Nothing will stand in her way of saving her people. Plain and simple.

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Since Nariko is such a stellar representation of what a warrior lady should be like, she earns the spot of #1 on this list.

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#2 Bastila - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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If Darth Revan is the most powerful Jedi in the history of the Star Wars universe, then Bastila Shan is the most powerful female Jedi. Why? Because she was the one who took Revan down during the Jedi Civil War.

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Bastila Shan is by definition one of the most force talented Jedi in the Star Wars franchise. Able to use the power of Battle Meditation, Bastila is capable of micro-managing entire armies while simultaneously demoralizing their enemy. On top of that, Bastila is a skilled Jedi Sentinel, capable of adeptly wielding force powers while combining them with various lightsaber techniques.

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While fighting alongside her commander - and later lover - Revan, she is an unstoppable force. To this day, she is considered one of the greatest Jedi of the Old Republic. Her legacy has continued on for generations, survived by Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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Considering the fact that she is arguably the second most powerful Jedi in the Star Wars universe, Bastila Shan earns the place of #2 on our list of female warriors.

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#3: Sonya - Heroes of the Storm/Diablo III

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While the Barbarian's official name in Diablo III can range from 5up4h_S14y3r to Barbie thanks to the name-your-own-hero system, her canonical name is found in Heroes of the Storm as Sonya.

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Sonya is a simple barbarian. She sees demon, she hits it until it is dead. Sonya's dream date consists of hunting demons, collecting legendary items - usually only to smelt them at the armory later, and killing the Lord of Terror, Diablo. Her other interests include: smashing boxes, destroying tombstones, and defiling sacred temples... or maybe that's just my play-through.

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In any case, Sonya definitely gets my seal of approval for being a stand-up kind of gal. With a huge list of abilities used to smash, decapitate, and otherwise mangle demon hordes, I can't imagine a better candidate for the 3rd on this list.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/7/c/d7c42bbf5b8f42838fdd65a724c74540.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/7/c/tiny_d7c42bbf5b8f42838fdd65a724c74540.jpg","type":"slide","id":"81896","description":"

#4: Rayne - Bloodrayne

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7 years before we got the sexy power-trip video game that was Bayonetta, we had Rayne of Bloodrayne origin.

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With Rayne, what you see is what you get. Besides her obvious sex-appeal design, Rayne is a confident, sarcastic, intelligent, and somewhat deadpan character. A dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) brought up as an assassin, Rayne's number one talent is killing absolutely everyone in the most brutal way possible. This means tearing people in two, spinning them around on her blades and cutting them up into pieces, or simply taking a bite into her prey and drinking their blood. She is not your professional assassin type though, for constantly flirting or taunting her opponents is basically second nature to her.

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As a result of her dhampir blood, Rayne has a number of vampiric abilities such as feeding on her enemies, enthralling opponents, super-high reflexes, and a number of strength enhancements.

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With this repertoire of skill and power, Rayne earns a spot at #4 on this list.

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#5: Momohime - Muramasa: The Demon Blade

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Momohime is the female protagonist option for Muramasa: The Demon Blade. According to the instruction manual, Momohime is a "princess of Narukami who has been possessed by a demon", the demon in question being Jinkuro. A talented warrior, Momohime's abilities are only enhanced after she is possessed by the spirit of Jinkuro - a fallen demon warrior who seeks to reclaim his demon blade.

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Over the course of her journey, Momohime slays countless hordes of Japanese mythological creatures and warriors using the Oboro Style of fighting. With a demon blade of her own, she is a nearly unstoppable powerhouse of destruction. However, she does lose some points due to the fact that her personality - outside of her fusion with Jinkuro - basically boils down to protecting her betrothed, and others she loves.

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As such, Momohime gets the 5th spot on this list.

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#6: Hildegard von Krone - Soul Calibur IV

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Hildegard stands as one of the most respectable characters on this list. Unlike the greater portion of female characters in the Soul Calibur series, Hilde is not sexualized in the least, choosing to wear gratuitous amounts of armor instead. Not only that, but Hilde uses a unique fighting style in the game that blends together quick swordplay and a spear. Hilde is also one of the few newcomers to the Soul Calibur series that has fought both the Soul Calibur veterans, and the newcomers since Soul Calibur IV was the last game to feature many of the original cast members.

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Oh, and she's technically fought Ezio Auditore, Yoda, Darth Vader, and Starkiller too... so I guess there's that.

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This set of accomplishments places Hildegard von Krone at #6 on this list.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/92bbf39cabaf65f64a7162a515788fd0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/92bbf39cabaf65f64a7162a515788fd0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6730","description":"

#7: Impa - Hyrule Warriors

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While Princess Zelda displays her skills with a sword in Hyrule Warriors as well, it's Impa who best represents women in a battlefield setting. Cool, collected, and able to effortlessly wield a sword almost twice her size, Impa is the toughest of the tough. In Hyrule Warriors, Impa is constantly on the vanguard against Ganon's forces. Whether it be the fire-breathing King Dodongo, The Imprisoned, or even Ganon himself, Impa is ready to take them down.

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Since Impa usually takes the back seat in Legend of Zelda games, I'm glad to see what Team Ninja did to her character in Hyrule Warriors. This iteration of the classic Legend of Zelda character gets the spot of #7 thanks to her over-the-top delivery of enemy horde desolation.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/1/9/e19a1cbafec03c2b184f530f909df180.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/1/9/tiny_e19a1cbafec03c2b184f530f909df180.jpg","type":"slide","id":"81897","description":"

#8: Ciri - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, the Lion Cub of Cintra (ain't that a mouthful?) is the secondary protagonist of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and is a talented sword-fighter, much like her adopted father, Geralt. She tends to prefer a faster-paced style of combat, dashing between enemies before striking them with her two-handed sword, making her a lethal foe to face. However, her abilities are somewhat limited as she only has the ability to quickly teleport around.

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I could go on to rant about her backstory, but it is so convoluted that I probably wouldn't be able to do it justice. You can, however, check it out on this wiki or, you know, play the game yourself.

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Considering her limited skills, and her somewhat basic concept design, Ciri gets the spot of #8 on this list.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/e/8/fe8ae522e5942ed766e2a7ad7098c4f4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/e/8/tiny_fe8ae522e5942ed766e2a7ad7098c4f4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"81878","description":"

#9: Lyndis - Fire Emblem 7

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If I had to choose a swordwoman to best represent the females in Fire Emblem, I would have to choose none other than Lyndis. While Lucina is the fan favorite nowadays, Lyndis is much better, and for a number of reasons at that.

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Let's talk about her character first. Lyn is a 15 year old young woman from the plains of Sacae. While living there, Lyn has fought off numerous bandit attacks after her mother and father were slain. It was not until a wandering tactician came about that she eventually learned that she is the granddaughter of the Marquess of Caelin (basically the king). In her time traveling across the war-torn landscapes of the Fire Emblem world, Lyn has fought numerous assassins, archers, knights, and even a dragon! That's quite the rep for someone who's younger than her fandom rival, Lucina.

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Then there's the matter of plain old statistics. While Lucina has a slightly higher luck and resistance rating at level 10, Lady Lyndis pretty much doubles or at least surpasses all of Lucina's other stats at the same level. These differences only get further separated once the two become great lords at which point Lyndis actually triples Lucina's resistance while everything else gets doubled. When equipped with the Mani Katti, Lyn's critical hit ratio would rise so high that she would basically make minced meat out of Lucina before she even had the chance to blink.

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Besides, who could possibly turn down a girl with this awesome critical hit animation?

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All of this lands Lyndis at #9 on the list.

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#10: Wonder Woman - Injustice: Gods Among Us

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In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Wonder Woman is both the bad guy, and the good guy. Depends on which world, I guess. What is constant, however, is that she kicks butt. Hard.

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Wielding a sword and a shield, Diana is able to take on just about every other superhero in the game. In fact, she is such a great warrior that she is the only one the alternate world Superman could possibly imagine replacing his long-time love interest Lois Lane with. Considering her abilities are almost identical to the Man of Steel's, who can blame him?

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Considering the fact that Wonder Woman is a superhero (meaning she's just about invincible thanks to plot armor) there might be some questioning as to why she doesn't rank higher on this list. There are two simple reasons: the first is that she's not technically a video game character, and second is that she is better known for fighting with her fists. Want to argue against me on that? Go ahead. But this Amazon is only getting the position of #10 on this list.

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Honorable Mention: Sarah Kerrigan - Starcraft

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Okay, so technically Sarah Kerrigan doesn't use blades in game. In fact, she rarely uses them at all. But we do know two things about Kerrigan: when Narud takes on her form to fight her, he uses a Psi-Blade, and when she is the Queen of Blades she uses her exceedingly sharp claws to cut through the tough armor of enemy tanks. While these don't necessarily count as "swords" or "blades" per se, Kerrigan gets an honorable mention on the grounds that if Wolverine can get on a list with sword masters, then so can she!

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Besides, what kind of list about the "Queens of Blades" would this be if the Queen of Blades herself wasn't on it? Huh?

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(Tough crowd...)

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/6/e/26ef4a7892928093e88fdab5d8060a32.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/6/e/tiny_26ef4a7892928093e88fdab5d8060a32.jpg","type":"slide","id":"81908","description":"

Last week I did a top 10 list of gun-totting women in video games, but after a bit of research I found an even less represented group of females: sword maidens! Just about every top-10 list about masters of the blade in video games has a slew of beefed up males. Few of them - if any - have women! Seriously guys, women with swords are awesome too, right?

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So today I'm going to fix that void, and fill it up with this top 10 list of sword-buckling heroines! To fit the criteria of this list, the character must rely on some form of bladed weapon during combat (excluding daggers), and be able to take on at least one enemy twice their size or multiple enemies at once.

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With our criteria set, let's take a look at the Top 10 Video Game sword-swinging divas!

"}]]]>
The 5 Nintendo franchises we wish were coming to Wii U https://www.gameskinny.com/pfon6/the-5-nintendo-franchises-we-wish-were-coming-to-wii-u https://www.gameskinny.com/pfon6/the-5-nintendo-franchises-we-wish-were-coming-to-wii-u Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:38:00 -0400 Michael Slevin

Nintendo has a vast selection of properties to choose from when it comes to games.

The problem Wii U owners face, however, is that many of Nintendo's finest properties have not gotten titles on the system. With abysmal sales numbers along with the NX on its way, I can't help but fear that many great Nintendo franchises will not get new titles for Wii U. Here are the five Nintendo franchises that we wish would come to Wii U.

F-Zero

As someone who loves racing games, F-Zero seems like a perfect candidate for this list. Fast-paced, high-octane racing has been the series' trademark and the F-Zero courses in Mario Kart 8 have only made me wish for a true F-Zero title.

With the Wii U ushering Nintendo into the HD era, I feel that an F-Zero with stunning graphics and aesthetics would be right at home on the system. And before you even think it, yes I am aware of Fast Racing Neo and my rebuttal is that there is no Captain Falcon. I rest my case. 

Metroid

This one is another no-brainer. A gorgeous HD Metroid game would make me so happy. When the opening cut scene in the beginning Smash Bros. Wii U goes to Samus, I just like to pretend that there isn't a void in my heart where a Metroid game for Wii U would go.

I am imagining another Metroid Prime game, however, I would love a side-scrolling Metroid as well. Just give me Metroid.

Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem is great as a handheld franchise, however it has had strong home console entries and the GamePad could be a great tool in Fire Emblem gameplay. I am actually a little surprised that this hasn't happened because I feel that Fire Emblem could be a game that shows us why the GamePad is so great.

That said, Fire Emblem Awakening was set to be the final game in the series, so that may explain the absence of a Wii U entry.

Mario Baseball

This one might be a bit of a niche pick, but Mario Super Sluggers is actually one of my favorite Wii games. It's really fun, and if you haven't played it I suggest picking it up. Mario Super Sluggers was a staple in my dorm room the past two years, and I can't say that there are many games that I have had more fun with.

The game is just complex enough to require some skill in playing and selecting your team, but not so complex that a new player can't enjoy it. Maybe I'm the only one, but I love the Mario Baseball series and would be thrilled to have a new title on Wii U. 

Punch-Out

Although the Wii's Punch-Out!! came to Virtual Console, it isn't the same. I feel like now is actually a good time for Nintendo to make another Punch-Out game. Many people (like me and my friends) who didn't really care all that much about Little Mac now have a new appreciation for the character, and his franchise, thanks to Super Smash Bros.

Like Marth and Ness before him, perhaps Super Smash Bros. will give Little Mac the exposure he needs to get more focus from Nintendo and their fan base.

What do you think of my list? What game franchises did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

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