Legacy of Kain Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Legacy of Kain RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network PlayStation Classics That Need a Remake, Remaster, or Sequel on PS5 https://www.gameskinny.com/pgvbi/playstation-classics-that-need-a-remake-remaster-or-sequel-on-ps5 https://www.gameskinny.com/pgvbi/playstation-classics-that-need-a-remake-remaster-or-sequel-on-ps5 Fri, 17 Jul 2020 15:36:58 -0400 Ethan Anderson

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Legacy of Kain

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Legacy of Kain is, depending on who you talk to, one of the more obscure entries on this list. It's a series of action-adventure games dating all the way back to 1996.

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At the time, these games were praised for their storylines and gripping gameplay. Kain is a vampire out for revenge, and he didn't exactly meet the conventional standards for a protagonist at the time.

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Yet again, we have another classic PlayStation franchise that isn't available on PS4. It's long overdue for an upgraded version for fans to sink their teeth into.

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None of these games listed are guaranteed to get remasters, remakes, or sequels, but a little bit of hope can go a long way. Trust me. As a Spyro fan, I know the struggle well.

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What classic PlayStation franchises do you want to see remastered or completely remade? Let us know over on Twitter

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Tenchu

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Tenchu was one of the most notable stealth-focused games on the PS1, alongside Metal Gear Solid. In fact, they both released in 1998 in Japan.

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The duo's stealth mechanics are where most of the similarities between the two end, though, as Tenchu incorporated ninjutsu, Japanese fantasy, and martial arts elements throughout the series. Metal Gear Solid is, well, Metal Gear.

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FromSoftware President Hidetaka Miyazaki actually stated that Sekiro could have been a new entry in the Tenchu franchise, but plans changed. That confession alone should give fans hope for a Tenchu comeback.

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Suikoden

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Suikoden is an RPG series that honestly, didn't always sell well. Despite this, critics and fans alike have continuously praised the early games.

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Suikoden 2 is the brightest of the bunch, being hailed as one of the best non-Square Enix console RPGs of all time. Unfortunately, none of the games made it to the PS4 in any capacity.

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Even if a sequel or full remake seems unlikely at this point, we can still keep our fingers crossed for a remaster of the long series' most enjoyable titles.

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Sly Cooper

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Okay, so there are a few platformers on this list. They're all classics, though. Like Jak and DaxterSly Cooper is another PlayStation franchise that gained most of its popularity during the early- to mid-2000s.

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The latest entry came out in 2013 on the PS3, and at one point, there was even a movie in development, yet no signs of another sequel.

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Unlike Jak and Daxter, the Sly Cooper games weren't made available on PS4 at all. Sly's band of thieves missed out on an entire console generation, but it might be just the right time to bring the series back.

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Twisted Metal

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Twisted Metal started out as a classic PS1 game, and it just so happens to be the oldest entry on this list. The first game launched in 1995, while the latest game was a reboot released for PS3 in 2012.

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It'd be interesting to see just how the PS5 could improve upon Twisted Metal's chaotic demolition derby gameplay.

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The high-octane action needs to be experienced once more, and now would be the perfect time for a victory lap, especially considering the popularity of games like Rocket League.

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Jak and Daxter

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Naughty Dog has been a big name in the video game industry for a long time. Before The Last of Us, there was Uncharted. And before Uncharted, there was Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter on the PS1 and PS2.

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The Last of Us 2 has been on a lot of players' minds for a few weeks now, but it wasn't too long ago that Jak and Daxter could arguably be called Naughty Dog's best work. It was one of the very best action-platformers around in the early- to mid-2000s.

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The series has been brought to PS3 and PS4 with upscaled ports, which is nice, but Jak and Daxter is a franchise that deserves more. 

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It'd be a dream come true to be able to see more of the amazing story, fun combat and platforming, and loveable characters in a Crash Bandicoot-style remake or sequel.

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Silent Hill

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The Silent Hill franchise defined survival horror games with its first few entries on the PS1 and PS2. In fact, some would even say that Silent Hill 2 is one of, if not, the best game in that genre.

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The creepy, mind-bending narratives stuck with players for years to come. This is even true for the demo for the canceled Silent Hill entry, P.T.

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If anything on the level of P.T. gets released as a true sequel in the series for next-generation consoles, fans would absolutely lose their minds in the best way possible. Because of that, rumors of new entry have stalked the series for years, and iconic villain Pyramid Head has even made a recent appearance in Dead by Daylight

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Ape Escape

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The first Ape Escape came out back in 1999. It quickly became one of the console's must-play platformers. Exploring the diverse environments while catching all of the escaped apes never got old.

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Fast-forward a few years, and we have the latest mainline entry in the series. "Latest" may not even be the right word since Ape Escape 3 was released in 2005 on the PS2.

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With its insane number of spin-offs, it's genuinely surprising that a real Ape Escape sequel hasn't been made in 15 years.

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There are ways to play some of the games in the series on PS4, but nothing close to a true remaster, remake, or sequel. Here's to hoping that these apes are let loose once again on PlayStation 5.

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The next generation of consoles is right around the corner, but sometimes it's hard to leave old favorites in the past. Sometimes, players want a bit more than upscaled ports. But which games deserve that coveted remaster, remake, or even a sequel?

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Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot made nostalgia-infused comebacks as remakes recently, which feels like a ray of hope for fans of PS1-era games. Crash is even getting a brand new sequel, coming this year.

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With the PlayStation 5 arriving this holiday season, it's time to take a look back at some PlayStation classics that need to make next-gen appearances.

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Why was Legacy of Kain cancelled? https://www.gameskinny.com/umlrw/why-was-legacy-of-kain-cancelled https://www.gameskinny.com/umlrw/why-was-legacy-of-kain-cancelled Sun, 29 May 2016 07:35:00 -0400 Noor Sami

With this year’s cancellation news of the critically-acclaimed action-adventure series Legacy of Kain’s anticipated spin-off, Nosgoth, people are starting to wonder: what happened to the once-great vampire series?

Square Enix’s Legacy of Kain series was once highly popular, praised for its visuals and storyline. The franchise followed the vampire Kain through a dark fantasy setting and explored moral themes. In 2009, development began at Climax Studios for a reboot of the series, set some time in the future under the codename “Black Cloth" and later named Dead Sun. Meanwhile, the online multiplayer game Nosgoth was set to be released alongside it. Square Enix has since cancelled both games -- the former in 2012 and the latter just this year.

Square and Climax had high hopes for Black Cloth. It would have followed the story of an entirely new character, and had been designed to appeal to the masses rather than the niche fan base of the original series. They wanted a game that was gritty and real, modeled off the style of HBO series like The Sopranos and Game of Thrones.

Some say that was part of the problem, and Climax’s vision for the game was too ambitious for their budget and staff number. Other games of a similar style that were doing well at the time, like Assassin’s Creed, had a staff number of about 800 -- whereas Climax had 100 people working on Black Cloth. Square also held concerns on how well the game would do. They ran a service that predicted a Metacritic score of 80 for Black Cloth, when they had hoped for 85. Plus, the genre of the Legacy of Kain series itself was no longer selling as well as it once did.

Other staff who worked on the game blame Square Enix’s poor management. Square wanted the game to be easy enough that brand new gamers would have no trouble with it; but Climax staff believed it was unlikely that any new gamers would pick up the game to begin with. They faced constant criticism from Square over small things they believed were not problems at all. On the other hand, Square maintained that the game was low quality. Developers point to Square’s lack of clarity on what they actually wanted the game to be like, which made it difficult to please them.

Financial concerns also played a huge role in the ultimate cancellation of the game. Square continuously held unrealistic sales expectations for its games that it failed to meet with three games in 2012, the year Black Cloth was cancelled. Square expected a budget of about £15 million for the game, but as its development progressed, it seemed like Climax’s vision had grown too big and the cost would rise to £30 million. This, coupled with low sales overall for Square, may have been the deciding factor for cancellation.

Nosgoth was cancelled under similar concerns, although its cancellation was more focused on the audience. Square no longer believed there was enough of an audience for the series to justify spending so much money and time on it.

Ultimately, it seems that a mix of financial issues, lack of audience, low game quality, and bad management led to the cancellation of Legacy of Kain. Square Enix says there may still be hope for the series, but it’s unclear how much of a chance there is for future installments. We can only hope that the series won’t die off completely.

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There should be more shared universes in video games https://www.gameskinny.com/gq16x/there-should-be-more-shared-universes-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/gq16x/there-should-be-more-shared-universes-in-video-games Wed, 19 Aug 2015 08:09:47 -0400 mrivera269

Hollywood is hitting a golden age of shared universes on the big screen. Disney's Marvel Studios kicked started the movement in 2008 and bolstered a catalog of twelve movies with ten more planned in the next four years. Warner Bros.' owned DC Comics are also getting a slice of the shared universe pie with Batman V. Superman. Even TV shows like Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow are also all sharing the same universe. 

Unfortunately, in the video game industry there is a lack of compelling shared universes. Nintendo is a slight exception; they do have the Super Smash Bro. Series and Donkey Kong is somewhat in the Mario universe, historically. But there's nothing as compelling as movies intertwining within each setting up for the next. 

 

Mario and Donkey Kong is the original gaming shared universe in video games.

Besides, there have already been some enjoyable universes in video games, even outside of Nintendo. The Legacy of Kain is a great example of how well a shared universe can work in video games. Soul Reaver and Blood Omen were incredible games introducing characters that intertwined in each others stories.

The best thing about a shared universe is how much the narrative of a story enhances.

Kain and Raziel from Legacy of Kain

A game series that could benefit greatly by a shared universe is the Arkham series. There are a plethora of DC characters that could be added to the game or have their own spin-off games: Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Arrow, and many more DC properties.

Can you imagine an Arkham Justice? Rocksteady could expand upon their franchise and create a shared game universe for DC to add to their movie and television catalog. 

A shared universe doesn't have to be applied to an existing series.

New IPs can be launch amazing stories and characters for gamers to invest in. So what do you guys think? Could the video game industry benefit from more shared universes? Sound off on the comments below. 

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Ten awful games from good developers https://www.gameskinny.com/hi6h8/ten-awful-games-from-good-developers https://www.gameskinny.com/hi6h8/ten-awful-games-from-good-developers Sat, 08 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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So there you have it: some truly dreadful games from otherwise awesome studios. Agree with my picks? Think of any I missed? Sound off in the comments! 

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Alien Vs. Predator (2010)

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Developer: Rebellion
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Rebellion has been around since 1992 and has produced some decent to great games. The reason AvP makes this list is because Rebellion already released two good games in the AvP franchise. One was released in 1994 and the other in 1999. The 1999 version is considered by many to be a classic and the pinnacle of the series.

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When news came Rebellion was developing a new installment for (then) current-gen consoles, fans were enthusiastic, especially since the franchise had been dormant since Alien Vs. Predator 2 in 2001. Needless to say, the game failed to meet expectations. Poor controls, more bugs than Creepshow, an awkward melee system, and mechanics that fly in the face established franchise lore (humans can easily knock xenomorphs back with melee attacks….. wut?) added up to a game better left alone. Unfortunately, the game was a commercial success, and Rebellion has mentioned the possibility of another title. Keep beating that horse guys…

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Dragon Age II

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Developer: Bioware
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Another game I have a tenuous relationship (at best) with, Dragon Age II is still a divisive game among the Dragon Age fanbase. Some enjoy the game. Some don’t. Many of us naysayers share the same complaints: extremely repetitive environments, the focus on a small, uninteresting city, uninteresting combat, and a story that never seems to pick up steam. After all of the amazing games BioWare has delivered, this one is a definite disappointment. 

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Stormrise

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Developer: The Creative Assembly
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This one is truly dumbfounding and defies explanation. The Creative Assembly has made their mark by creating some of the best strategy games one can play. So how on Earth did they make one so god-awful?

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Stormrise had an interesting idea or two, but any good ideas or concepts were instantly negated the minute you played. Bad controls? Check! Poor graphics that impede gameplay? Check again! A fundamentally broken RTS foundation in a RTS game? We have a winner!

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Here’s hoping they don’t bugger up Total War: Warhammer. 

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Kane & Lynch (series)

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Developer: IO Interactive
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Here we have not one, but two games which are appallingly awful and remain a blight on the developer’s record. IO Interactive is known for the delightful Hitman franchise and the woefully overlooked Freedom Fighters (it has a flipping nailgun mode people!). Kane & Lynch: Dead Men was released in 2007 and somehow a sequel was greenlit, developed, and released in 2010. That’s too much Dead Men IO.

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The worst part is the central core of the game could be interesting. The idea of playing as a mentally unstable and psychotic character that would experience and see different things from his cooperative partner could be compelling. The final game was a mess though with faults that overshadowed any positives. Add to that the controversy of Jeff Gerstmann allegedly being fired for his review of the game, and everyone was left with a bad taste in their mouth.

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The sequel ensured the bad taste not only stayed but became worse by adopting a shaky-cam visual style and by having the two main characters run around in their birthday suits with only a small pixelated blur saving us from further trauma. Let the nightmares commence…

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Rogue Warrior

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Developer: Rebellion (again!)
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Sigh. Why Rebellion why? You just had to show up again didn’t you? With your worst and creepy friend to the party too! Don’t act like you don’t know! Your ole pal there drops the “f” bomb more than Randy Pitchford spouts drivel; they also control worse than my great, great, great grandmother driving a forklift while drunk; and worst of all, Peter Dinklage has toes longer than him. Go home Rogue Warrior, you’re a broken pile of garbage that makes Junkion look like a vacation hotspot.

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The real kicker? Bethesda was unsatisfied with the work the original developers Zombie Studios were doing. They tossed the game down the drain and brought Rebellion in to make an all-new game. Makes you wonder what about the original form didn’t fit Bethesda’s vision. Maybe there weren’t enough bugs and glitches…

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Anything Released Post-2008

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Developer: Rare
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Oh how the mighty have fallen! I was honestly torn between Rare and Sonic Team. However, Sonic Team has become a running gag in and of itself and is already the focus of plenty of scorn. So let’s look at Rare instead!

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Rare is responsible for great memories for many of us. Whether it be Killer Instinct, Blast Corps, Goldeneye, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and many more, Rare has delivered some timeless classics. After the release of the polarizing Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts failed to meet sales expectations, Rare was put on a strictly Kinect shovelware diet, a far cry from their heyday. It’s telling when people are more excited for a compilation release of a studio’s older games over any new projects they are developing. 

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Too Human

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Developer: Silicon Knights
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You developed a well-received game which becomes the basis for a fan-favorite series. Next, you make one of the most original and downright best horror games of all time. You follow this up with a complete remake of Metal Gear Solid. You then regurgitate your game which has been in development hell for nine years onto an unsuspecting public because that is always a great idea. Hmmm. One of these does not belong.  

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If John Romero was prideful with his Daikatana hype, Denis Dyack was the embodiment of unabashed arrogance when hyping Too Human. This is a game that was planned as a trilogy as was also set to receive a three part fictional documentary series all before the game had even released. The game was finally plopped onto stores shelves after innumerable delays and an estimated $60-100 million had spent to make it. Poor combat, awkward controls and questionable design and mechanics made for one uneventful and rather dreary experience. Don’t forget all the legal issues where Silicon Knights sued Epic Games and lost and were then ordered to recall and destroy all unsold copies of their games using the Unreal engine.

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Silicon Knights also cursed us with the horrid X-Men: Destiny. Double thanks Denis!

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Haze

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Developer: Free Radical
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Oh, Free Radical, how did you lose your way? After delivering some of the best FPS games of all time and the criminally underrated Second Sight, you went and released this… abomination. Now I know it isn’t completely your fault. Some game press outlets had labeled Haze as a “Halo-killer” (like we haven’t heard that one before), but you still managed to release a game with an asinine plot, shoddy level design, caricatures for characters, and filled it all to the brim with countless bugs and technical issues. I would just like to know how in the world you managed this Herculean feat.

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Thankfully, Free Radical (now Crytek UK) has been working on good games since the release of the abominable Haze. While the fate of TimeSplitters 4 is up in the air, rest easy knowing we will never see another Haze. The world can only tolerate so many bad games.

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Uncharted 2

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Developer: Naughty Dog
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My relationship with Uncharted 2 is spotty at best, and I have said a thing or two about it before, but I can’t help but mention it again. After all, Naughty Dog is the studio that brought us Crash Bandicoot (awwww yeah!), the Jak series, and The Last of Us. Clearly, they know a thing or two about making games, which is why Uncharted 2 is so baffling.

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The first Uncharted was no masterpiece, but it had competence in its mechanics and design. The second one was awful all around: paper-thin characters ("characters" is a generous term), a bumbling plot, weak game design, one of the most unlikable and undefined main characters in gaming, and a complete disrespect for the player made for one dismal experience.

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Maybe Uncharted 4 will be different, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Daikatana

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Developer: Ion Storm
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How could the same developer who made the legendary Deus Ex also make one of gaming’s most legendary stinkers? With the (then) respected John Romero (co-founder of iD Software and designer for many of their classic games) attached to the project, expectations were understandably high. Romero's name was dropped more than a baby’s toys.

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Then the game released, and despite what that now infamous ad promised, Romero did not make anyone his bitch.

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There was atrocious A.I. for enemies and companions alike, dated graphics and art design, and a limited number of saves. The game itself is just plain dreadful.

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When we add together Romero’s huge ego, the ridiculous amount of coverage the game received (Time cover anyone?), in-studio conflict, and the controversial ad campaign, we get a massive and potent cocktail of dreck. The game to this day remains a lesson in uncontrolled hype, and how not to run a PR campaign. Somehow though, Ion Storm managed to release three more games after Daikatana that were actually good! Play Deus Ex or Anachronox instead.

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Stay far away from this colossal turd. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/f/6/af6837974ec1db074d87c81c5beaca15.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/f/6/tiny_af6837974ec1db074d87c81c5beaca15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77980","description":"

Let’s face it: no one is perfect (not even me, but I am damn close), not even our favorite developers. Several developers have made some colossal blunders over the years and developed games that made us ask, “What were they thinking?” For your twisted pleasure and amusement, I present ten games guaranteed to dredge up painful memories.

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Strap in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. 

"}]]]>
Nine Celebrity Video Game Voice Actors You Missed https://www.gameskinny.com/puoff/nine-celebrity-video-game-voice-actors-you-missed https://www.gameskinny.com/puoff/nine-celebrity-video-game-voice-actors-you-missed Sat, 25 Jul 2015 17:30:01 -0400 Elijah Beahm

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While gaming struggled many years for recognition and acceptance, every day we see more proof of how mainstream it has become. As games become more commonplace, so do celebrity appearances in games. Got a favorite celebrity appearance in a video game? Let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e37bba8116e22736370bb85d9df3c50d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e37bba8116e22736370bb85d9df3c50d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6418","description":"

Phil Collins -- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

\n

While technically Phil Collins only says a few brief lines, there is an entire mission built around his in-game concert in this PSP/PlayStation 2 spin-off of Vice City. You have to stop some bombers with your bare fists, all while keeping Collins and a movie director safe. Your reward after preventing the heinous attack? An entire song performed by Phil Collins, in-game. As mission rewards go, this is a pretty rock solid one.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/f/d/9fddd553f2afd5c2320ca924a1c575c1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/f/d/tiny_9fddd553f2afd5c2320ca924a1c575c1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76640","description":"

Sean Bean -- Kholat

\n

Sean Bean must be very tired of dying, which is probably why he agreed to narrate the indie horror title Kholat. Not only does he get to be the voice players hear at every turn, but he gets to live by virtue of not being present. This is equally fitting, seeing as Bean's only other video game role was as the bastard son of the reigning emperor in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The lack of assassination attempts likely is very refreshing.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/d/2/2d204d97615d7feedcb06277e754eab1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/d/2/tiny_2d204d97615d7feedcb06277e754eab1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76639","description":"

Ray Liotta -- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

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You might be able to take the gangster out of the real world, but he'll still be looking for trouble. Ray Liotta's profilic movie career is full of action and mobster films, so it seems only fitting that his two appearances in video games are as gangsters. He not only appeared back in 2012 as one of the cast in Mob of the Dead for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but is the star of his own Grand Theft Auto game.

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Taking place in the middle entry of the PlayStation 2 GTA trilogy, Liotta plays Tommy Vecetti, a loyal gunman with an ax to grind. While many of the same ideas present in Grand Theft Auto III were present in Vice City, one of the biggest shifts was the greater focus on story. By bringing Liotta in, the series began a trend of voiced protagonists with real motivations. Vice City heralded a turning point for the franchise that would later lead to the further complex stories in GTA IV and GTA V.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/0/f/f0ff0c32bc806c6b2f867686876c099e.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/0/f/tiny_f0ff0c32bc806c6b2f867686876c099e.png","type":"slide","id":"76638","description":"

Elijah Wood -- The Legend of Spyro

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One does not simply become the lead actor in two epic fantasy franchises, but Elijah Wood pulled it off anyway. Not only did Wood get to play the iconic Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings, but was also brought on board for Krome's reboot trilogy of the Spyro series.

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While the games themselves had a middling reception (leading to Activision rebooting Spyro into Skylanders), the story and voice acting were highly praised. Not to be deterred, Wood has taken on other gaming related projects, including playing one of the lead antagonists in Season 10 of Roosterteeth's Red vs. Blue.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/3/a/d3a466c2dd0556f1184e40f23c504fc0.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/3/a/tiny_d3a466c2dd0556f1184e40f23c504fc0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76635","description":"

Chloe Grace Mortez -- Dishonored

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Most people remember first seeing Mortez break onto the scene as Hitgirl in Kickass. She packed a surprising amount of punch for such a young actress, but she actually has done far more subdued roles. Take for instance her role in Dishonored, as the heir to the throne, Lady Emily Kaldwin.

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Mortez not only had to portray the character, but handle two completely separate voice overs due to the branching narrative. As a result, she played Emily as both a malevolent ruler to be, and as a peaceful idealist. Not an easy job for anyone, but Mortez brings something genuine to Emily that many young characters in video games lack. While Emily's looking all grown up in Dishonored 2, it's not confirmed if Mortez will continue voicing her or not.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/2/f/62f907bc16a3c782869294c7d29b13a1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/2/f/tiny_62f907bc16a3c782869294c7d29b13a1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76637","description":"

Tony Jay -- Legacy of Kain

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Tony Jay remains one of the few actors who can say he acted in one of the original hand-drawn Disney films and in several iconic video games. From The Hunchback of Notredame to Fallout, he's voiced dozens of characters for gamers and moviegoers alike.

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What remains one of his most iconic roles is the Elder God in Crystal Dynamic's Legacy of Kain series. His baritone voice carried great weight in every role, but he made Elder God truly titanic, mocking series protagonist Raziel's struggle. While he sadly passed away in 2006, his voice lives on for generations of fans through his prolific work.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/b/e/bbe78659a5cd1bcbbc940bc0cd40d5b8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/b/e/tiny_bbe78659a5cd1bcbbc940bc0cd40d5b8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76633","description":"

Christopher Walken -- True Crimes: LA

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While old school adventure game fans remember Christopher Walken's iconic appearance in Ripper, most gamers don't realize he's also the voice of George, a character from Activision's True Crime series. Walken not only voices the character, but narrates both the game's intro and outro sequence. What makes his inclusion particularly odd though is how subdued he is by comparison to his usually flamboyant performances.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/1/9011a7294c1c9ab57941bb37f0d292c1.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/0/1/tiny_9011a7294c1c9ab57941bb37f0d292c1.png","type":"slide","id":"76641","description":"

Ashley Burch -- Aliens: Colonial Marines

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Yes, right after Ashley Burch of Hey Ash Watchya Playin'? got her big break in voice acting as Tiny Tina for Borderlands 2, she voiced a very (let's call it "unique") Gearbox production. In Aliens: Colonial Marines, Burch plays the red headed, by the book pilot Lt. Reid. Reid often comes into argument with the lower ranking members of the cast, including ordering them to leave a marine behind at one point for the sake of the mission.

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What's most impressive is that it's actually hard to identify that it's Burch in the role until you read the credits. While more recent projects such as Life is Strange have highlighted Burch's range, this was one of the few times most gamers heard her do a far more serious voiceover. Sadly, neither Burch nor anyone else of the star-studded cast (including Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn) could save the game's dismal story.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/c/3/bc33a0c04048e85304748046e5105a43.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/c/3/tiny_bc33a0c04048e85304748046e5105a43.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76636","description":"

Kristen Bell -- Assassin's Creed

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It has been many years since the tragic twist ending of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, but that doesn't mean fans have forgotten about former series mainstay Lucy Stillman. What those same fans might have realized is that Lucy was played by none other than Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars fame. Bell played Lucy through each entry in the series, going from a side role to being one of the lead protagonists.

\n

Assassin's Creed is not Bell's only dip into video game voice acting. She also reprises her role as Cora from Astro Boy vs. The Junkyard Pirates in Astro Boy: The Video Game and as Anna from Frozen in Disney Infinity.

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Voice acting in video games is one of those professions that has its own stars, like Dee Bradly Baker (pictured above), Troy Baker, Tara Strong, and Nolan North. However, that doesn't take away the excitement when a movie, web, or TV actor takes their step out onto the digital stage. Sometimes though, they slip by us. Here are nine celebrity voice overs you probably didn't realize were in games.

"}]]]>
There are real problems with remasters https://www.gameskinny.com/qj7lr/there-are-real-problems-with-remasters https://www.gameskinny.com/qj7lr/there-are-real-problems-with-remasters Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:28:19 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

Remasters are all the rage nowadays and show no signs of going away anytime soon. This E3 brought news of even more remasters, and we still have more of E3 to see. You can just look here at GameSkinny to see a number of articles concerning the topic of remasters posted within the past month alone. However, of these articles, only one by Elijah has expressed any qualms with the remaster practice, and he even urged players not to buy the new Uncharted Collection (an attitude I heartily echo).

Let me be frank, I have no issues with the idea of remasters or re-releases in general. However, like anything that is remotely profitable or good, in theory, it has been abused by the AAA world to the point of saturation. Right now, there are four main issues with “remasters” which I will delve into here:

 

  1. Most “remasters” are simply re-releases with the bare minimum of work invested into them pushed by greedy publishers eager to make a quick buck.
  2. Many of these “remasters” change bugger all from the original release, ship with missing content, or are inferior to the originals.
  3. Most “remasters” are being sold at ridiculous prices.
  4. The games that are getting the “remaster” treatment. 

 

 

1. “Remaster” is a false moniker

The process of remastering has its origins in the music world where new master recordings of songs are made in an effort to improve the quality of the sound. This was great for landmark albums released on vinyl or cassette or otherwise hard to track down, allowing fans new and old to experience albums which would otherwise be lost to the passage of time. With games, we have something completely different. Most games released under the moniker of a “remaster” are simply a re-release instead of an actual remaster. 

What exactly do I mean? Well if you go by the musical standard, most of these remastered games have the bare minimum of effort invested into them. They are usually a simple upscale in the resolution and framerate released onto the new consoles. That’s it.

Most games released under the moniker of a “remaster” are simply a re-release instead of an actual remaster.

There is no special treatment to these games being ported to a new console; they just make it playable in 1080p resolution and finally allow you to have 60 fps framerate on a console (took long enough).

 

The Last of Us Remastered was a game with an increased framerate and resolution. Yes, some additional content was added but was the game truly remastered? Not really.

Now let’s look at Homeworld Remastered Collection, this is an example of an actual remaster. If you compare the original game to the remaster, the difference is staggering.

So much of an upgrade it's hard to even tell it's the same game.

You can see the improvements made by the developers in bringing this classic to the modern age. They didn’t just make it look like a modern game though. They also improved the UI, gameplay, and multiplayer.

The team actually worked on this, and as a result, it is a substantial release able to compete with anything on the current market instead of a greedy cash grab.

2. This is even a remaster? 

This is perhaps the most egregious practice with the remaster craze: content missing or the remaster being inferior in quality to the original. The most infamous example of this is the Silent Hill HD Collection, and for damn good reason.

The SH Collection was not only inferior to the original games; it was also a dreadful release in its own right. The only code Konami only provided the developers was an unfinished build of games, resulting in all sorts of technical issues plaguing development and release. In fact, the issues were so prevalent, the game was so broken, and player outcry was so overwhelming that Konami actually came up with a replacement program for players who purchased this pile of drek. 

Another recent blot on the practice of re-releases is the Heroes of Might and Magic III: HD Edition. Not only does this release have plenty of its own technical issues, but it does not include the expansion packs.

Now, yes, expansions are not considered part of the main game, but considering this game is available on GOG.com with all of the expansions for less money than the HD version, this is a severe problem since the expansions add a lot to the experience.

 

What is the point of releasing these games if they are missing content or add nothing to the experience?

Again, like The Last of Us: Remastered bugger all was added to the experience. Sure some maps were added and an unnecessary Photo Mode was along for the ride, but was there anything that different between the original game and remaster? Elijah has already pointed out the Uncharted Collection will be shipping without the multiplayer and some other content found in the original games. What is the point of releasing these games if they are missing content or add nothing to the experience?

3. You want how much for this??

Another issue occurs when remasters are sold at the full retail price of $60. This is especially egregious when you consider missing content or bare additions to the original releases. The Uncharted Collection is selling for $60. $60 for a rehash of highly linear campaigns you have likely already played with no cooperative modes or multiplayer with the exception of the limited multiplayer beta for Uncharted 4.

So what in the hell are you paying for here? 1080p resolution? A 60 fps framerate? The Uncharted 4 beta? None of these justify the pricing of $60, especially when you look at remasters that are done correctly, like Metro: Redux.

 

Consider Metro Redux. 4A Games revisited Metro 2033 and not only brought the game up to date visually, they also added numerous fixes and gameplay improvements found in the sequel Metro: Last Light. For all of their work and improvements made, the Redux version of the games are being sold for $30 apiece and go on sale for quite a bit less. How can you justify asking $60 for an incomplete game with minimal effort invested when developers like 4A are actually pouring time and effort into a remaster and put an asking price of half that?

The same thing applies to Homeworld Remastered Collection. The developers completely remade not one, but two games, included the original, unaltered games as well as multiplayer and only asked $35 for their efforts. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a complete, ethical remake of one of the most beloved games of all time and is being sold for $20.

If a greedy publisher wants to push a shell of an experience for $60, then by all means, please do. As consumers though, we need to speak with our wallets and not allow these hollow, over-priced products to be rewarded with success.

 

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty set the bar for remasters. 

4. Can we at least remaster games that deserve it?

Let’s be honest, most of these games released as a remaster do not deserve the re-release. They may be good games or even great games, but do we really need a re-release of the Uncharted series (which is rubbish) or Dishonored (which was good, but so recent)? This E3 has brought news of Gears of War also receiving this treatment as well as Darksiders II.

What about the games which are classics or will be lost to the passage of time unless we set about preserving them?

 What about the games which are classics or will be lost to the passage of time unless we set about preserving them?

The release of the Silent Hill HD Collection and Heroes of Might and Magic III HD should show how important it is to preserve classic games. Both of these remakes suffered because the source code could not be found. Remasters could be a way to prevent this problem by preserving the original experience as well as bringing classics up to speed for modern gamers. Forget Borderlands, Uncharted, and Gears of War, why can’t we get more remasters of things like Thief, Legacy of Kain, or Day of the Tentacle?

 

I understand there are licensing and rights issues that stem from these projects.

However, we have seen remasters of Homeworld, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, and Grim Fandango. Classics games can and should be preserved for generations to come. The recent P.T. debacle has shown the problems with a digital distribution system where a publisher can revoke our access to a work of art if they please. Remasters could prevent this problem, but we should be remastering classics instead of rehashing games that have yet to be potty trained, much less hit puberty.

 The recent P.T. debacle has shown the problems with a digital distribution system where a publisher can revoke our access to a work of art if they please.

At the end of the day, I like the idea of remasters, and game preservation is important to keep classics that could be lost to the passage of time. Like all good ideas though, we have seen this great idea used by greedy publishers to make a quick buck and constantly rehash properties. Games are being released with no effort invested or in broken states. These practices are unacceptable and should not be encouraged. Instead of buying the Uncharted Collection or Gears of War Ultimate Edition, we should support worthy remastering projects such as Homeworld and Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty. Until we show we won’t support these practices, they will continue.

Now how about some Legacy of Kain & Soul Reaver in HD, eh?

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Legacy of Kain - Nosgoth https://www.gameskinny.com/ubfj6/legacy-of-kain-nosgoth https://www.gameskinny.com/ubfj6/legacy-of-kain-nosgoth Wed, 19 Mar 2014 05:32:39 -0400 KeepTheBrain

So the guys from Square Enix have decided to give us another great title to be excited about. The studio behind this game is Psyonix, California-based Unreal Engine experts.

After Legacy of Kain: Dark Prophecy and Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun were cancelled, as few other Legacy of Kain titles have over the years, this one is more than promising.

What I am talking about is Nosgoth, or War for Nosgoth as known to some. A few months back, there was an article about hints Square Enix left for us by registering a domain name WarforNosgoth.com. The domain name was changed to Nosgoth.com, and is now a fully functional website where you can apply for closed beta.

It's safe to say that what we are getting is not what was expected of next Legacy game, but even though it is a spin-off, and some of the reception was not the greatest when the game was announced in 2013, it will make enjoyable standalone title.

Nosgoth is a free to play multiplayer action game centered on two races: Vampires and Humans. Vampires are more hack and slash orientated, while humans go for third person shooter style. Teams are switching between rounds and the fighting continues.

Release for Microsoft Windows platform is yet to be announced, and distribution will be digital.

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10 Cancelled Legacy of Kain Titles Discovered https://www.gameskinny.com/0dfzz/10-cancelled-legacy-of-kain-titles-discovered https://www.gameskinny.com/0dfzz/10-cancelled-legacy-of-kain-titles-discovered Tue, 18 Jun 2013 14:24:53 -0400 DemonicSkies

The Legacy of Kain games have not been at a standstill. Today, the remnants of 10 cancelled Legacy of Kain titles have been unearthed.

The series has lain dormant for years since its last title, Defiance, appeared back in 2003. Now, with a new multiplayer title, War for Nosgothon the way, the series seems set to make a grand comeback to hungry fans.

And yet, an intuitive NeoGAF user revealed today that development on Legacy of Kain games has been anything but dormant. In an expository post, user Mama Robotnik details ten Legacy of Kain titles cancelled at various stages of development, some of them near completion.

The NeoGAF post includes details of each, and also lists the surprising number of developers and publishers that have been involved throughout the years.

Industry players tied to this franchise include  Square Enix, Activision, Crystal Dynamics, Climax, Silicon Knights, Eidos and Ritual Entertainment.

Fans of the series are highly encouraged to visit the original post on NeoGAF. It contains gameplay screenshots and concept art from the ten cancelled titles, and details the intricate politics that inhibited the franchise.

The series did not begin with its 1996 release of Blood Omen. It originated in 1994, as a cancelled 3DO game titled The Pillars of Nosgoth, and now comes full circle to the upcoming War for Nosgoth by Square Enix.


Original artwork for the first title.

The Complete List of Legacy of Kain Titles
  1. Pillars of Nosgoth (cancelled 1994)
  2. Blood Omen (released 1996)
  3. Blood Omen Enhanced - Sega Saturn(cancelled 1996)
  4. Sirens (cancelled 1997)
  5. Kain II (a) and Kain II (b) (cancelled 1997)
  6. Shifter (cancelled 1998)
  7. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (released 1999)
  8. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 - PS1 (cancelled 2000)
  9. Chakan II (cancelled 2000)
  10. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 (released 2001)
  11. Blood Omen 2 (released 2002)
  12. Legacy of Kain: Defiance (released 2003)
  13. Legacy of Kain: Dark Prophecy (cancelled 2004)
  14. Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun (cancelled 2012)
  15. War For Nosgoth (released TBA)
An Ugly History

The Legacy of Kain series suffered incredible setbacks, lack of faith and constant cancellations. Rising hostility between its initial developers Silicon Knights and Crystal Dynamics resulted in disrupted projects, cancelled games and wasted effort. The epitome of this occurred around the production of Kain II, the sequel to Blood Omen.

Activision, who took on the project, tasked Crystal Dynamics to develop a concept, but was unsatisfied. Then Silicon Knights was asked to create another, but the developer claimed Crystal Dynamics tried to disrupt its progress. In the end, neither of the titles ever came to fruition, nor were they mentioned again. All that is known about Crystal Dynamics’s version is that it was not Soul Reaver.

Recycled Concept Art and Ideas

The concept art and stories of cancelled games often made reappearance in proceeding Legacy of Kain games. Blood Omen 2, for instance, borrowes heavily from its predecessors. It utilizes the leftover progress from Chakan II and Sirens, resulting in the jarringly inconsistent feel of the game as compared to previous Legacy of Kain titles.


Daemons from Sirens (left) inspired Hyldens in Blood Omen 2 (right).

The Future of Kain

Square Enix’s upcoming multiplayer, War For Nosgoth, wasn't the only attempt to revive the series after years at a standstill. Another game titled Dead Sun was slated to be the single-player counterpart to Nosgoth. The game set in the far future long after the events of Soul Reaver. Tragically (a notion familiar to this series) Square Enix felt that it wouldn't achieve expected sales targets and cancelled it well into development.

Luckily for Legacy of Kain fans, the publisher doesn’t feel the same way for its upcoming multiplayer title.

With its history of reusing plots, graphics and ideas from past games, it is likely that the latest game will display remnants of its dead predecessors. You may well see something of Dark Prophecy or Dead Sun in a future installment. For now, however, all that progress remains lost.

 Image 1
Gameplay Screenshot from War For Nosgoth

Were those cancellations redundant or truly necessary? Tell us what you think.

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5 of Gaming's Most Legendary Blades https://www.gameskinny.com/b09v4/5-of-gamings-most-legendary-blades https://www.gameskinny.com/b09v4/5-of-gamings-most-legendary-blades Thu, 30 May 2013 12:20:18 -0400 Alan Bradley

Weapons in video games are an industry unto themselves.  The BFG 9000, the Quake rocket launcher, the wrench from Half Life—these are often discussed with as much (or more) passion and reverence than our favorite characters or most enduring moments.  It makes sense, then, that video games would be host to some of the coolest edged weapons ever imagined, and we thought it high time we cataloged some of the standouts.

5. Masamune (Final Fantasy series)

Named for Japan’s most legendary swordsmith, the Masamune appears in varying forms in almost every Final Fantasy game, and is very often the most powerful weapon available.  In most incarnations it’s a katana, as in the first game where it’s the strongest blade available, though it has taken other forms.  In Final Fantasy VII the Masamune is carried by Sephiroth and is a giant Nodachi which, purportedly, only he can wield.  It has also appeared as a weapon in the hands of the summon Gilgamesh and as a pair of katana fused at the hilt, and in many cases is enchanted with the boon of speed, granting the ability to cast haste or act first in combat.

4. Frostmourne (World of Warcraft)

 

In terms of sheer badassery, it’s tough to beat a weapon infused with the undying soul of an ancient Lich King.  Frostmourne is just that, pulsing with the wicked nether energies of its undead inhabitant and limned with killing frost.  When paladin-prince Arthas Menethil draws the legendary rune blade from its seat in the Frozen Throne, he merges with the Lich King and becomes one of Warcraft’s most powerful baddies.  Frostmourne deserves recognition because it’s not only an incredible weapon, it’s also a living being, and played a critical role in the rich, convoluted lore of Azeroth.

3. The True Dragon Sword (Ninja Gaiden series)

 

Once upon a time, in the Ninja Gaiden canon, the Divine Dragons, guardians of the fabric of existence, were betrayed by their youngest sibling and eventually destroyed.  Before they succumbed, however, they imbued one of their fangs with all of their spiritual essence and power, and thus was born the Dragon Sword, passed down through generations of Dragon Lineage ninjas and currently wielded by Ryu Hayabusa.  While the Dragon Sword is itself a powerful weapon, its true potential is only unlocked after the Dragon Eye is inserted into its hilt, at which point it becomes the True Dragon Sword and one of the most potent weapons in existence.  It is so strong, in fact, that if not wielded by a person of pure conviction and ultimate skill, it threatens to consume their very being.  Talk about a double-edged sword, am I right?  

...

MOVING ON.

2. Soul Reaver (Legacy of Kain series)

 

Forged by the vampire lord Vorador and originally known simply as the Reaver, the Soul Reaver began its remarkable, complicated journey through history when it consumed the soul of the wraith Raziel.  While a blade that can devour souls and is possessed by a powerful wraith is pretty impressive, that’s only the tip of Soul Reaver’s awesome iceberg.  The blade also has the unique ability to tear rifts in space-time or even spin out whole new timelines when it encounters previous versions of itself or Raziel, and is the only weapon capable of destroying the Legacy of Kain universe’s ultimate bad guy, the Elder God.

1. Master Sword (The Legend of Zelda series)

 

A blade that needs no introduction and another sword with a powerful spirit dwelling within it, the Master Sword is one of gaming’s most iconic weapons, edged or otherwise.  Created by a goddess and then reforged into its current state by one of her most powerful servants, the Master Sword is commonly the only blade that can defeat the evil sorcerer Ganon, font of malice, princess abductor, and generally bad neighbor. 

 Like other sentient blades, the Master Sword has some agency in deciding who wields it, often only selecting great heroes that have undergone intense trials and suffered through setback and tribulation.  We also suspect it has a strong affinity for heroes dressed in green.

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