Medal of Honor Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Medal of Honor RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network WWII Series That Developers Should Definitely Bring Back https://www.gameskinny.com/vl9nu/wwii-series-that-developers-should-definitely-bring-back https://www.gameskinny.com/vl9nu/wwii-series-that-developers-should-definitely-bring-back Mon, 08 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Azreen_Azmi

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Now that Call of Duty and Battlefield are taking the series back to the past, it could lead to a renaissance of World War I and World War II era games. Hopefully, we’ll see developers bringing back some of these awesome series to the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One generation.

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Are there any series that you would like to see make a return? Share it in the comments below!

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Honorable mention:

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Company of Heroes
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An honorable mention goes out to Company of HeroesMedal of Honor and Call of Duty may have occupied the shooter genre, but Company of Heroes made its mark in the real-time strategy genre.

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Known for its gameplay mechanics that are both in-depth and addictive, the first Company of Heroes was often cited as one of the best RTS games of its time and received numerous awards and acclaims. While a sequel was released in 2013, plenty of fans and reviewers felt that Company of Heroes 2 was more of expansion rather than a full-fledged sequel.

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Hopefully, the renewed interest in World War II games would entice Relic Entertainment to churn out another Company of Heroes.

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The Saboteur

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While it’s common to see a shooter or a real-time strategy game based on the WWII-era setting, it’s rare to see it as an open-world adventure game. Pandemic Studios took on that challenge with The Saboteur, one of the few games that take the world war 2 setting beyond the trenches.

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Taking place during the Nazi-occupied Paris and certain parts of Germany, The Saboteur uses a unique gameplay mechanic whereby areas that players have not liberated are in black and white and will regain color as they weaken the Nazi’s control of the area.

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With its distinct sense of style and a different take on the WWII setting, The Saboteur deserves another sequel or a spiritual successor on modern platforms.

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Brothers in Arms

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A majority of the WWII shooters released back then were often focused on the minute-to-minute gameplay or epic storylines. Brothers in Arms, however, chose the tactical shooter route and stood out for it.

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Instead of the typical run-and-gun combat, Brothers in Arms wanted players to focus on the teamwork that’s needed in a world war setting. This was further emphasized by the developers intentionally reducing the accuracy of guns to exemplify the difficulty of shooting moving targets.

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The series was often lauded as one of the best World War II gaming experiences and if Gearbox were to bring it back, it would definitely make the hardcore fans of the series happy.

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The Commandos

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World War II games more often than not, puts you in the boots of a soldier who’s going through the front lines of war. The Commandos, however, puts you behind enemy lines and forces players for a more stealthy approach.

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The Commandos series was an isometric real-time tactics game where you play through missions that are loosely based on historical events during World War II. The Commandos had a cult following that lead to multiple releases but its last release saw the developers changing the series into a first-person shooter, which did not resonate with fans.

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A return to form with the real-time tactics and stealth approach towards gameplay is the series to be back in the forefront.

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Medal of Honor

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Back in the heyday of World War II shooters, Call of Duty was the go-to choice if you wanted action-packed gameplay. But if you wanted a WWII game with a solid storyline, then Medal of Honor was the game for you.

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The Medal of Honor series was known for its strong storylines, particularly in the first three games, as it was written and envisioned by Steven Spielberg. If EA can bring back Steven Spielberg to helm a new Medal of Honor, it would definitely be able to compete with Call of Duty in terms of epic storylines.

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After months of rumors and speculations, it’s finally official. Call of Duty will be making its return to the World War II era with Call of Duty: WWII. While Call of Duty was known for being the World War II shooter, they weren’t the only one making World War II games back then.

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So, before developers start jumping on the bandwagon of World War II games, here are a few World War II series/games that should definitely make a comeback on current-gen platforms.

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5 Times the Mass Media Mistook Video Games for Real Events https://www.gameskinny.com/0b3hr/5-times-the-mass-media-mistook-video-games-for-real-events https://www.gameskinny.com/0b3hr/5-times-the-mass-media-mistook-video-games-for-real-events Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Sergey_3847

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The game developers should be proud of their work -- it looks so real at times that even mass media can’t figure out what’s real and what’s not. Everybody remembers the mistake of the Danish news channel from years ago that showed a screenshot from Assassin’s Creed that was supposed to be the Damascus’ skyline.

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On the other hand, websites do these kinds of mistakes all the time. For example, Yahoo posting a screenshot from Destiny video game in a scientific article about Saturn’s largest moon; or an LA-based hotel’s website using pictures from GTA, as if they were shots of the real LA. So you can find this kind of thing almost anywhere.

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Do you know of any other accidents involving video game footage? Let us know in the comments below.

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GTA IV on Turkish TV
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This must be the funniest one. The journalist of the Turkish news channel AHaber tried to reveal the secret passwords of the military coup organizers last year. However, if you look closely -- those are exactly the same cheat codes used in GTA IV.

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Many Turkish users on Reddit confirmed that the channel messed up, and it is actually known for faking news in the past as well. AHaber is one of the biggest TV channels in Turkey that somehow makes this story a little bit sad.

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Halo on BBC One
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In 2012 another British channel, this time BBC One, confused the logo of the United Nations Security Council with the fictional logo of the United Nations Space Command from the Halo series of video games.

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The news report commented on the ongoing conflict in Syria and criticized UN for getting involved in it. But since the UNSC doesn’t have an actual logo, it was easy to make such an error. So the editors that prepared the broadcast mistakenly used the logo from Microsoft’s highly successful franchise without knowing this important detail.

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Arma II on Irish TV
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In 2011 ITV showed a documentary film, titled “Gaddafi and the IRA,” depicting alleged connections between the Irish Republican Army and the Libyan dictator. However, one of the editors working on the film decided to include footage of a helicopter attack from ARMA II.

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In 2012 the British TV regulator, Ofcom, began an investigation on the matter (read the full report here). It turned out that this was the result of a simple human error. The creators of the documentary film simply used a video from YouTube believing that it was real, but never tried to check if it was fake or not.

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Medal of Honor on Iranian TV
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Iranian TV decided to make a hero out of a non-existing Hezbollah sniper, who allegedly killed 6 ISIS members in the 2016. It turned out that the news channel showed footage from Medal of Honor (2010).

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The best part about the reveal is that you can see symbols appearing on the bottom of the screen -- the same symbols used in Medal of Honor. This indicates that this was indeed just a video game footage, and it had nothing to do with reality.

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Fallout 4 on CNN
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Everybody remembers the recent events surrounding Russian hacking attacks during the presidential elections in the US.

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CNN broadcasted a video reel highlighting the events, but in the course of the video you can notice a familiar shot from Fallout 4 -- a command line displayed on one of the game’s monitors.

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The Reddit user Poofylicious screencapped the CNN broadcast, and proved that the famous news channel used the footage from the Bethesda’s game in his post here, instead of the actual footage, which they never had in the first place.

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Unfortunately, these days mass media is not the most trustworthy source when it comes to news highlighting the events around the world. In desperate attempts to show anything, the news channels use footage that exists only in one world -- in the world of video games.

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Sometimes it’s just innocent mistakes, but on other occasions journalists are really trying to turn fake news into a sensation. You need to know about these incidents, so that you pay more attention next time; when you watch more news on TV.

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5 Sequels to Classic Video Games That Didn't Match Expectations https://www.gameskinny.com/2etln/5-sequels-to-classic-video-games-that-didnt-match-expectations https://www.gameskinny.com/2etln/5-sequels-to-classic-video-games-that-didnt-match-expectations Thu, 16 Jun 2016 07:05:04 -0400 Mike Jones_2353

Game sequels and reboots are great. They usually manage to add a brush of color to the original games. Unfortunately, sequels are like a double-edged sword: they can either be great, totally managing to revamp an entire series, or they can be awful. Note that not all sequels have to be bad. In fact, there are some classic game reboots which are actually better than the original games. (Looking at you, Tomb Raider.)

Here’s our list of five game sequels that should have been good, but something went completely wrong in how they were developed and received. 

Duke Nukem Forever

Everybody knows and loves Duke Nukem -- the intergalactic hero who saves the day while eating pizza and gulping down a plateful of steroids. The best game in the Duke Nukem series apart from the platformers is undoubtedly Duke Nukem 3D.

In fact, it had all the stuff it needed to pass for a great shooter: stunning graphical system, way ahead of its time, great gameplay and an awesome plot. Plus, there were Duke’s humorous remarks that added that kick to the game.

Well, long story short, the developers wanted to revamp the story of the King of all Heroes, who loves pizza, booze, steroids and…“companionship”. The result: a not so witty remake entitled Duke Nukem Forever that was filled with gritty jokes, bad voice-acting, predictable boss battles, more booze, more steroids and more oversexualized female companions that are willing to do anything for Duke.

Duke Nukem Forever should have been the comeback of a classic, but, unfortunately, it managed to make players believe that what is dead should stay dead and buried.

Black Mesa, Half-Like 1 Remake

Half-Life One was undoubtedly one of the wittiest sci-fi first person shooters ever made. You don’t play Half-Life One for the graphics, you do it for the amazing story and gameplay. And with everyone going berserk over the upcoming Half-Life 3, Valve has begun to feel the pressure.

What to do to appease the fans of the franchise? Reboot the original Half-Life, of course. Long before Black Mesa hit the market, the developers boasted that the game is more than a reboot.

Black Mesa should have been a sequel to the original series, acting as a middleman on behalf of Half-Life One and Half-Life 3. The game should have answered a couple of questions regarding what happened to Gordon before he escaped Black Mesa.

Well, it seems that Black Mesa ultimately defined itself as an HD remasterization of the original game and nothing else. We have the same dialogues, the same episodes, puzzles, weapons, and foes. Nothing has changed.

It’s great to play an HD version of a classic game, but how about a little something for the fans of the franchise? Needless to say that there are players who are more willing to wait for another year or two for Half-Life 3 or play the original game, rather than download the remastered version.

Medal of Honor 2010

Medal of Honor was, without a doubt, one of the most stunning World War 2 inspired games franchise. Regarding gameplay, Allied Assault and its expansion packs were quite good, because unlike the COD franchise, players had to put some effort into completing the missions.

MOHA fans will surely remember the frustration behind the sniper assignment or all those missions where you had to use stealth.

The 2010 version of the MOHA was supposed to be the cornerstone of the entire franchise. This means that the player will not be stepping into the boots of a runt armed with a Garand rifle, but in the boots of a modern soldier, armed with all sorts of crazy weapons, who operates in all kind of war theaters.

MOHA 2010 was indeed disappointing in any aspect conceivable: poor graphics, no optimization, short mission, bad voice-acting, incredibly inefficient HUD display system, tough controls and the list goes on.

Wolfenstein 2009

On the subject of Word-War 2-related video games, we cannot go any further without talking about the Wolfenstein franchise. Wolf 3D was, in many regards, way ahead of its time. You name it; Wolf 3D had it all.

As it happens, the tale of B.J Blaskovitz was far too awesome to let go, and so Return to Castle Wolfenstein was born. Regarding gameplay, story and graphics, we can clearly state the RCW was as fresh and original as the first game.

And then came the 2009 sequel. Why was it so disappointing? Because an open-world approach is not always a recipe for success. And the Veil? Harnessing power from the other side? Mutants? Monsters? We think the developers could’ve done a better job.

War for the Overworld

Remember the Dungeon Keeper franchise, aka the game that actually let you played the role of a vicious underworld ruler? Strategy games were always a good niche, but Dungeon Keeper went well beyond than strategy.

Up till now, DK 2 is probably the only game out there that managed to horse around with multiple genres and style which, surprisingly could have combined.

And then came War for the Overworld -- or what happens when the evil ruler wanted to extend its reach to the surface. The game could have been great in every regard. Instead, we are stuck with a rip off after the DK universe, which utterly fails to recapture that gritty atmosphere. 

What other sequels didn't live up to your expectations or gave a bad name to their classic franchises? Let me know down in the comments.

[Image sources: 1(header), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

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Iranian Media Mistakes Medal of Honor Sniper Footage for Real War Footage https://www.gameskinny.com/vktcm/iranian-media-mistakes-medal-of-honor-sniper-footage-for-real-war-footage https://www.gameskinny.com/vktcm/iranian-media-mistakes-medal-of-honor-sniper-footage-for-real-war-footage Mon, 22 Feb 2016 05:26:19 -0500 Alec Pearce

In a hilarious blunder by Iranian television, a video that shows gameplay from Electronic Arts 2010 reboot of Medal of Honor has been mistaken for actual war footage. 

French news network, France 24 were the first to recognise the mistake stating that the video was not, in fact, a crack Hezbollah sniper killing several IS militants. Their article noted that Iran's news networks were:

...awash with titles like "Hezbollah sniper kills Daesh combatants", "Hezbollah sniper hunts down Daesh brutes” and "Six Daesh combatants are killed in 2 minutes by a Hezbollah sniper.”

France 24 also stated that Mizan News, which is closely associated with the Iranian army, added details that the "alleged Hezbollah commandos were using the Arash, a 20-calibre anti-material rifle made in Iran."

It is clear from the footage that the video is a fake as it is easy to spot the tell-tale signs of MoH's HUD and the 'Headshot' symbols that pop up when you snipe an enemy in the game. The only thing that was changed from the game footage was the contrast.

This is not the first time something like this has happened either. In 2015, an Egyptian news agency utilised Apache: Air Assault gameplay to show the effectiveness of Russia's air power against IS militia.

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PlayStation Vs. XBOX: How The Tables Turned https://www.gameskinny.com/qvh3d/playstation-vs-xbox-how-the-tables-turned https://www.gameskinny.com/qvh3d/playstation-vs-xbox-how-the-tables-turned Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:44:57 -0400 Curtis Dillon

If you'll indulge me for a few moments, I'd like to start off by explaining my history with both PlayStation and Xbox. You see, I was born in Ireland in 1992, and growing up my brother and I had a variety of consoles - including the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Genesis, SNES, N64, and the PS1. Some of my earliest gaming memories are of playing Beavis and Butthead on the SNES.

Back then I didn't care what console I played on, I just played games. That being said, I do recall my brother playing Syphon Filter and Duke Nukem on the PS1 and not liking them. They were too mature for me at the time, so I stuck with Banjo Kazooie. Eventually I began playing the PS1 more and more because my brother preferred it. Fast forward to 2001-ish, and my brother gets a PS2.

Before The Stick of Truth, Beavis and Butthead made farts cool

Once again the games were just too mature for me, he was playing GTA III and Metal Gear Solid 2, and I was dumbfounded. So I rebelled and got a GameCube. I mostly opted for the GameCube because it had Mario Kart and Super Mario Sunshine. To be completely honest, I stand by my decision, because the GameCube was an amazing system with great games.

However, I always found myself returning to the PS2. It was there I eventually began playing Grand Theft Auto, Jak & Daxter, Dragon Ball Z, Tony Hawk, Medal of Honor, Crash Bandicoot and Metal Gear. So by the end of the generation I was totally a PlayStation guy. However, I made the same mistake again when the PS3 and Xbox 360 came out. I got a 360.

Once again I turned my back on PlayStation and opted for the competitor. I chose Xbox because it came out a year earlier and it had 2 games that fascinated me, Dead Rising and Gears of War. So I got my first iteration 360 and played the heck out of the aforementioned games, as well as Saints Row. Then, somewhere around 2007, disaster struck....the red ring of death. So long story short, Microsoft fixed it twice, it broke a third time and they refused to fix it, saying it was my fault. It was at this time when my brother decided to get a PS3. Hallelujah.

Three frickin' times

So we got a PS3 and I played everything on it. I mostly stuck to third party games for a while, but at that time I had no idea what a first or third party was. Anyway, after a couple of years I got my own PS3 and with it I began playing more first party stuff. This was also around the time I started following the games industry and listening to shows like Podcast Beyond.

So my knowledge of gaming improved vastly and I suddenly realized how amazing the PS3 library was. I mean, if you didn't like shooters then you were out of luck on 360, whereas the PS3 had Uncharted, Infamous, God of War, Heavy Rain, Ratchet and Clank, Resistance, MGS 4, Killzone, and Little Big Planet, to name but a few diverse titles. I well and truly fell in love with the PS3.

Nothing the Xbox 360 offered was interesting to me. I could not understand my friend who had a 360. I couldn't wrap my head around why you would have a 360 when PS3 has so many games to offer. I quickly became part of Team PlayStation and would proudly state that the games were more important than sales figures. And that's still true.

Then the PS3 and 360 wound down and the new consoles emerged. I won't belabor the history of those 2 consoles - we're early enough in the gen that everyone remembers. But I will say I learned my lesson and stuck with PlayStation. Now you might think this article is leading to my revelation that Xbox One is now the better system but it's not, I am more than happy with my PS4 and don't regret it at all.

The best place to play

However, somewhere along the way, the PS4 has become more like the Xbox 360, and the Xbox One more like the PS3.

This theory was proven 100% correct to me when PlayStation showed off Call of Duty on its E3 stage this year. No offence to the COD series or fans, but that series epitomized the divide between PS3 and 360 - the PS3 had the amazing titles that flew under the radar, the 360 had little to no exclusives and focused on third party support. This has become the marketing strategy of the PS4 and it's a little worrying.

Both systems have had some amazing exclusives, but neither have had killer apps just yet. That being said, I do think the PS4 library is better than the PS3 library at the 2.5 year mark. So while the PS4's marketing is reminiscent of the Xbox 360's, it's good to see that Sony is still producing exciting new IP like Bloodborne, The Order 1886 and Horizon Zero Dawn. But it's also great to see that Microsoft learned its lesson and has concocted a new exclusive-heavy mindset for the Xbox One, with games you would never have seen on 360 - Sunset Overdrive, Sea of Thieves and Recore.

So both consoles are fighting for supremacy and we the gamers are benefitting the most.

That being said, it's undeniable that the PS4 has a fairly sparse line-up this fall, when compared to Xbox One. Now, I personally don't think this is a big deal when we have massive third party games coming out from September 1st right through to late November. Sony President Shuhei Yoshida said himself that Sony was in no rush to put out an exclusive this fall and let it die amongst the third party behemoths.

Indeed it seems fairly illogical of Microsoft to release Rise of the Tomb Raider on the same day as Fallout 4Also, PlayStation rather ingeniously aligns itself with games like Arkham Knight, Destiny, Call of Duty and Star Wars: Battlefront, getting exclusive content and therefore advertising the game as "Only on PlayStation". So the lack of first party games this fall does not matter. And yet it matters to shareholders.

Right now perception is that Xbox One has more exclusives. The facts are thus: the PS4 has 49 console exclusive games, the Xbox One has 34 exclusives. 8 of those are AAA....on both consoles. So the truth is both consoles have had 8 AAA exclusive games, while PS4 has 15 more digital exclusives. Now this isn't a d$*k measuring contest, so it really doesn't matter, nor am I attempting to justify the PS4's exclusives, which I don't think need justifying. My point is that the perception of both consoles has changed and reversed since the PS3/360 days.

Perception Isn't Always Reality

As mentioned before, PS3 fans boasted about the amazing games that were on the console, whereas 360 fans made jokes about the system's sales and poor running of Bethesda games. By the end of the generation, PS3 fans had the last laugh; the system had a vastly better library of games and even sold more! Then the PS4 and Xbox One were revealed and Microsoft did exactly what Sony did with the PS3 launch. It assumed that it had the core gamers in its pocket and attempted to expand, which just pisses off the core. PS4, however, emerged the clear leader in mindshare and pre-orders.

 That initial mis-step by Microsoft has  proved a hard one to recover from,  with the PS4 outselling it by a 2-1 margin. The  public mindshare has been  completely PS4 since launch, and  that's a hard thing to change. So  PlayStation is coasting right now,  with double the sales, and it's doing  so without any upcoming games.  Sony is aligning itself with huge 3rd party games and relying on that to sell the system. Xbox One, however, is trailing far behind, but with a lot of great games on the immediate horizon. The tables have well and truly turned. The good news for PlayStation fans is that the PS4 is not as barren with exclusives as the 360 was.

So truth be told, this generation has just pushed Microsoft to become a lot more experimental and frequent with exclusives.

Competition is best for everyone, most of all, us, the gamers! Rejoice and let the companies continue to wage war for our hard earned money!

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Remembering World War II (Video Games) https://www.gameskinny.com/ukx87/remembering-world-war-ii-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ukx87/remembering-world-war-ii-video-games Sun, 07 Jun 2015 13:30:01 -0400 Matt Amenda

There is an unholy trinity of video game bad guys. They appear in some incarnation in just about every game. Not only are they copy-pasted by the thousands, but they also die really easily. And they can be killed in any number guilt-free.

One is slimes. One is skeletons. And one is freakin' Nazis.

Since Modern Warfare came out, World War II games have kind of gone out of style. But for much of gaming's history, Nazi-killing was as common as treasure chests. They're the perfect bad guy, really. They were historical, way scarier than fantasy bad guys like goblins, and they were evil/alien enough that you could mow down masses of them and never feel bad about it. And because they were so into the occult and weird science stuff, you could put Nazis into all sorts of awesome scenarios.

So naturally, WW2 games permeated every genre imaginable, from shooters and flight simulators to RTS titles and interactive novels. We killed Nazi zombies, Nazi werewolves, cyborg Nazis, time-traveling Nazis, more Nazi zombies, and lots and lots and lots and lots of regular Nazis. They're too evil to be allowed to live, and so much fun to kill.

Origins

The ancient-looking game above is the first example of a WW2 game I could find: Castle Wofenstein, for the Apple II, 1981. Not to be confused with id Software's Wolfenstein 3D, Muse Software's Castle Wofenstein was an action/stealth game where you were supposed to infiltrate the castle, kill the Nazis, and blow it all up. Yes, Wolfenstein 3D ripped them off and became the legendary landmark game while this one was forgotten. Yes, Metal Gear was lauded as a "progenitor of the stealth game genre" when it came out 6 years after this one. Technically 005 is older, but I think it's safe to say that Castle Wolfenstein is the true granddaddy of all stealth games and WW2 games. Shame that more people don't remember it.

A year later, Sid Meier released his first major project, Spitfire Ace, in 1982 on the Atari 400/800 and other 8-bit home computers. Not satisfied with letting the player just kill Nazis on the ground, Sid Meier made several simulators and strategy games throughout the '80s that allowed for wholesale pixel-Nazi slaughter by air, land, and sea. It's nice to know that before he became world-famous for his Civilization series, Sid put down roots in about 40 cubic feet of jackboot guts. Good start.

But of course, it was Wolfenstein 3D that really got the ball rolling.

It's no great surprise that the world's first FPS was all about killing Nazis.

Who else could you have gotten away with graphically gunning down by the hundreds in 1992? I might be a little peeved that the game piggy-backed on Castle Wolfenstein's idea, but regardless, Wolfenstein 3D is influential and legendary for a reason. This is the game that paved the way for decades - literally decades - of WW2-themed FPS titlesCall of Duty, Medal of Honor, Battlefield, Brothers in Arms...all of those series owe this game about 20 years-worth of Father's Day neckties. And thanks to this game's popularity, all other genres under the sun jumped on the WW2 wagon.

While nowadays cyber-robotic-future-style warfare is more in vogue, let's not forget that WW2 games have been there at every step of video game innovation, even back to the beginning. Never has there been a war more romanticized, more easily reduced to a timeless battle between good and evil. What better war could there possibly be to adapt to video games than that? Even well into the 21st century, it will be a long time before we ever get truly tired of murdering Nazis.

What's your favorite WW2 game? Got any veteran's tales? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top 5 Video Game Franchises That Scream "Reboot!" https://www.gameskinny.com/g8j4q/top-5-video-game-franchises-that-scream-reboot https://www.gameskinny.com/g8j4q/top-5-video-game-franchises-that-scream-reboot Fri, 21 Mar 2014 06:12:34 -0400 Xavier's

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This can be interpreted as a metaphor for the rise and fall of great original first person shooters that have lost momentum for the likes of Call of Duty or Battlefield. Although those franchises do have their own merits, old school Medal of Honor set in WW2 was really the first time you could truly immerse yourself into to a gripping historical epic. Without those remarkable moments we would not have our blockbuster shooters today. Medal of Honor should come back as that classic WW2 shooter that could bring out that sense of wonder from you like its predecessor did in the olden days.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/53b1bba2117df9adfbe9404b1f943022.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_53b1bba2117df9adfbe9404b1f943022.jpg","type":"slide","id":"36083","description":"

Werewolfs, Weredragons, need I say more? Altered Beasts is a brilliant concept concocted by Sega in the bit wars and has since carried over to the ps2. Tragically it has been forgotten by the masses by its lack of any installments. What a gold mine it would be if someone would just give this game a next gen facelift? Weredragons alone would sell copies for this imaginative license.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7c7cf4e774598433ff7db3a7cd878baf.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7c7cf4e774598433ff7db3a7cd878baf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"36082","description":"

What in the world has Capcom done to their IPs? No series has gotten more neglected by the company than Dino Crisis. Although some may dismiss this underrated suspense-fest as simply "Resident Evil with dinosaurs," anybody  who has experienced   Dino Crisis and especially Dino Crisis 2 knows that this franchise kicks ass with its awesome storylines, ominous soundtracks, and action packed velociraptor skirmishes. We need to see more adventures in these Jurassic epics, and as long as the end result isn't Dino Crisis 3, than I hope someone can reinvigorate the franchise.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5ce8ef227ec254f167cfc656736c8c11.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5ce8ef227ec254f167cfc656736c8c11.jpg","type":"slide","id":"36081","description":"

Viewtiful Joe is a cell-shaded masterpiece that has spawned its own line of merchandise and even a show. However, despite its extraordinary fanbase, the series has seemingly died down with no new installments as of late. Although some may argue The Wonderful 101 is a spiritual successor, we need  some other companies take on this early 2000 classic for a new generation of fast punches and wicked outfits.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2471b6621786228226c1e8d7f21a9f5b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_2471b6621786228226c1e8d7f21a9f5b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"36080","description":"

If there was any game that desperately warranted a sequel, by god it was Tim Schafer's masterpiece Psychonauts. With incredibly charming characters, a unique art style, and an enticing story, It would be a great success for any company to revive this fallen gem and all of its IP glory now that the original has developed such a cult following.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c0ffd75273f86bc7790e4d4fef16a0e9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_c0ffd75273f86bc7790e4d4fef16a0e9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"36085","description":"

With the recent success of Tomb Raider, and the incoming reboots of Wolfenstein and Doom, doing a game a different path seems to be the popular path throughout gaming. These are my top 5 game franchises that I would love to see brought back to life on our new gaming machines!

"}]]]>
Bigger Game Worlds Aren't Always Better! https://www.gameskinny.com/vxi4u/bigger-game-worlds-arent-always-better https://www.gameskinny.com/vxi4u/bigger-game-worlds-arent-always-better Tue, 17 Mar 2015 05:26:55 -0400 StayNoLonger

It seems that a lot of developers are using a rather flawed idea: "make the map as big as we can!" 

This often seems the case with a lot of the Indie Early Access games found on Steam. A lot of them are survival games that offer you massive worlds for you to explore! Although the only experience I have had from DayZ, for example, (this was the mod for Arma 2, not the standalone version), was running away from zombies for 45 minutes in the dark until I found an axe only to get shot by a sniper through a window. I never actually met up with the friend I planned on playing with because we had spawned on opposite sides of the map. 

Problem with Large Worlds

The big problem with large maps is that you need to fill them with content. Games like Skyrim and Fallout both have large maps, although they did not seem as big as you always come across things to do, such as going into a cave full of bandits or coming across Tenpenny Tower.

The only thing is that a lot of games with big maps only go big to show off that the engine can handle the rigorous demands; this usually leaves the world feeling hollow. You may have a massive terrain to explore, only there isn't anything to do there. A lot of the open world survival games like Rust seem to have a lazy design, making it feel like they have given you a basic world and then set you to work to make content.

Instead of giving you a world and content, then setting you out to find more and more things to do. It is obvious in some cases that they are trying to create the next Minecraft, which is an unbelievable goal. Not even Everquest Next Landmark has been able to do this, and Landmark has Sony Online Entertainment developing it. (One thing they need to do is ditch the patch idea and allow people to use the entire map to build greatness!)

It is no way near as hard to create game worlds as it was a number of years ago. 

There are now tools that allow you to generate areas to use after just inputting a few numbers, or even allow you to simply mold the terrain with in-engine sculpting tools. By making it easier for people to create games and the introduction of Steam Greenlight, which doesn't seem to have any consistency or quality control whatsoever, allows people to develop empty games. These then sometimes get put up for retail with only promises of what the game might contain if developer is able to finish it. We're seeing this a lot: early access or Kickstarter games have run out of money or even just motivation, and the developers have stopped developing the game.

It's a lot like filling a cup with water, the bigger the cup the more water you will need, if you pour the contents of a smaller cup into a bigger cup it won't fill it up.

Problem with Smaller Worlds

One of the biggest issues of using smaller worlds is that it is hard for a developer to allow the player to break from the chains and do what they want. Most games with small maps are very linear and don't allow you that much choice in what you experience. A good example of a game using small maps is Medal of Honor: Warfighter. This game holds your hand and objectives are so much of a checklist that at one point the game asks you to bomb a building that a sniper is hiding in, if you try to move on even if you shoot the sniper you get killed instantly.

TotalBiscuit (CynicalBrit) talking about linear aspects of Medal of Hono(u)r: Warfighter

Advantage of Large Worlds

The big appeal of large worlds is that the size allows you to break out of the linear boundaries of some the smaller maps from games like in Call of Duty and Battlefield. This gives the player the chance to go where they want to go, rather than feeling like the game is holding their hand and showing them where the developer wants them to go.

It is a lot easier to really connect to a world that is big enough to give you the freedom to roam around the map throughout the game. A great example of this is the Mass Effect Universe, this combines lots smaller areas into one big open world game. To this day, I would say this is the series I have had the most attachment to. 

Advantage of Smaller Worlds

Obviously the potential content of smaller worlds is greatly reduced; sometimes this could be a good thing. It is much easier to fill a world with content if it has smaller scale. Then there are some genres that are more suited to it, such as platformers.

Not every game wants to copy games like Skyrim. Look at Thomas Was Alone, it has small levels and only takes 2-3 hours to complete. This is great for a game like this because if it had been any longer it would start to get boring, thus losing its charm. A long playtime would probably lead to most people not finishing the game.

It is still in Alpha on Steam Early Access, but H1Z1, the zombie survival game from Sony Online Entertainment, uses a smaller game world to that of its counterparts. From what I have heard it benefits from this, other than a few misconceptions which got blown out of proportions on Reddit, people's experiences with the game are positive.

As the map is not so big as games like DayZ, you can meet up with your friends quickly rather than having to travel for nearly an hour to meet up with someone. That is, if you even managed to get to the correct place or if they told you the right one.

Sometimes games with smaller worlds can benefit from this, take RTS games like Warcraft 3, you have lots of small maps which you navigate your forces around to complete objectives. If you were to make the maps much larger, it would start to become a pain maneuvering while keeping an eye on what the enemy is doing. This franchise evolved into World of Warcraft, the most successful open-world MMORPG ever made. It still has a higher number of players than any other game in the genre, and this is over ten years after its original release in 2004.

In conclusion

Large open world games are great and I would hate to see them disappear, although I feel that having a big game world just for the sake of it, causing players to get bored whilst traveling through a vast emptiness. One of the first things developers should question themselves when creating a world is "can I fill it?" If you don't believe you can, maybe you should think about making it smaller so that you don't have expanses where there is nothing to do.

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EA Humble Bundle raises $10.5 million https://www.gameskinny.com/3ji7q/ea-humble-bundle-raises-105-million https://www.gameskinny.com/3ji7q/ea-humble-bundle-raises-105-million Sat, 31 Aug 2013 12:26:18 -0400 Chai Chien Liang

Closing on 28th of August, the EA Humble Origin bundle brought in a grand total of $10.5 million from the sale of more than 2.1 million bundles.

Humble Bundle announced on Twitter that the bundle had made Humble Bundle history with its sales. These staggering statistics make it the most successful Humble Bundle by far with more than double of the previous best-selling Humble Bundle.

Nearly all of the $10.5 million will go to charities such as the Human Rights Campaign, Watsi, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, American Cancer Society, and American Red Cross.

Gamers only had to pay a minimum of $1 for Dead Space 3Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, Crysis 2: Maximum Edition,Medal of Honor, and Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box.

Paying more than the average entitled gamers to Battlefield 3,The Sims 3: Starter Pack, as well as the standalone expansion pack for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising and the classic god game Populous.

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Origin and EA Launch Humble Bundle https://www.gameskinny.com/5jd47/origin-and-ea-launch-humble-bundle https://www.gameskinny.com/5jd47/origin-and-ea-launch-humble-bundle Wed, 14 Aug 2013 15:28:51 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Eschewing the traditional "indie" route in Humble Indie Bundle (it honestly feels a bit dirty), the folks behind the HIB have just released an EA/Origin bundle. 

The bundle does include an interesting mix of games. In the "Pay What You Want" version, you can get:

  • Dead Space
  • Burnout Paradise: the Ultimate Box
  • Crysis 2 Maximum Edition
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Dead Space 3
  • Medal of Honor   

Additionally, if you pay over the average, you can unlock Battlefield 3 and The Sims starter pack. And no matter what you pay, you can get the sountracks to the two "premium" games. 

If you're not a fan of Origin, fear not. Most of the games in the basic version of the bundle are accompanied with Steam keys. However, the above the fold titles Battlefield 3 and the Sims are Origin only. 

The whole endeavor seems to run counter to the humbleness of the Humble Bundle, but at least EA/Origin are donating their share of the proceeds to a variety of pretty good charities: 

As always with a Humble Bundle, you can choose where your  money goes. Want to donate it all to Humble? Or maybe you like the American Cancer Society more than the other charities? You can choose to donate the majority of the proceeds to one charity over the other. 

While traditionally Humble Bundle games are both independent and DRM free, at least EA is using this as a way to donate to charity. And right now the average donation is around $5, so you can get some pretty big, still pretty expensive titles for about the cost of a Venti Frappucino. 

Check out the Humble Bundle here.

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Top 20 Themes in Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/nvq7z/top-20-themes-in-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/nvq7z/top-20-themes-in-gaming Sun, 21 Jul 2013 14:24:43 -0400 Jeni Harrison

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Special Mention:
Saints Row 2 – South Street – Call in the Debts

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We both love this song, not only is it independent rock, but we love the lead singer, as he is DAN_HERE!!!’s  cousin, (and kicked his ass once) and South Street have some amazing singles. Sadly no longer together as a band, we miss their gigs at local bars and pubs. 

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World of Warcraft: Elwynn Forest Theme

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I (JeniHarrison) remember taking my first steps into addiction pit known as World of Warcraft 7 years ago. I was a Human Priest, starting fresh-faced in Northshire Abbey. Once I'd done the first few quests and murdered enough bandits and wolves to satiate my unrelenting blood-thirst, I finally stopped to listen.

I heard leaves rustling in the trees. I heard the banter of the guards, bored on duty. I heard the bells of the Cathedral of Light ringing in the distance of the great Stormwind City. But, over all of that, I heard the music. And it was beautiful. I've played WoW for about six years now, and still, no music in any game has ever matched Elwynn Forest for me. I just love it that much. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6664e34cca63de7f20aaf5b7f2c3b9a7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6664e34cca63de7f20aaf5b7f2c3b9a7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1558","description":"

Tetris

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The twinkly of those notes gives me an instant smile, and I have employed it in many aspects of my life. Filling the freezer with too many groceries, trying to pack a suitcase with too many clothes or even just trying to fit one more thing in my handbag (JeniHarrison).

All of these less than monumental life events receive the treatment of me singing the Tetris theme, much to the amusement and annoyance of anyone in the general area.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e79b9c0b65ec11a5ab0be3b5e4b3b54a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e79b9c0b65ec11a5ab0be3b5e4b3b54a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1557","description":"

Dead Island

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Aw, man. Once you've seen the amazing trailer for Dead Island, you simply can't forget it. It's moving, beautiful and incredibly unnerving all at the same time. It follows a little girl (looks no older than nine) as she dies in reverse. Crumpled on the ground, she begins to lift up, moving through a window high up in a hotel where her parents are getting torn apart by zombies. Never, in all my years of gaming has a trailer made me feel so much (DAN_HERE!!!).

Unfortunately the game turned out to be a bit of a buggy mess, but at least we've always got the trailer and this unbelievable score to go along with it.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/52284dce6745298e546957727daf7559.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/52284dce6745298e546957727daf7559.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1556","description":"

Super Mario Bros

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This was basically the soundtrack of my youth (DAN_HERE!!!). I don't think a day has gone by since I picked up my first NES controller that I haven't heard this theme in my head or on TV or hell, just coming out of the NES I have in my back room (I like to plug it in and play the old school way every now and again).

Absolutely no top game themes list should be without this classic.

I could have posted the original theme here, but to be honest, I prefer this version from the GameCube’s fantastic Super Mario Sunshine. Also, I am a total sucker for acappela music. 

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Sonic The Hedgehog (Green Hill Zone)

Ah so many childhood memories. The first console I ever played on was my uncles Sega Mega Drive (Genesis to you Americans), and the amazing first Sonic the Hedgehog game (JeniHarrison). I was never able to get more than a few levels in, and almost always ended up playing Green Hill Zone every 20 minutes or so when I'd have to start all over again.

Mix it in with the noise you get for the power up and the elation you feel when freeing all the baby critters it is firmly lodged in my head as one of my fondest young memories. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5811be05a8fcf98a6365b60243aad5d9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5811be05a8fcf98a6365b60243aad5d9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1554","description":"

Medal of Honor: Frontline

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And when I get to Heaven,

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To Saint Peter I will tell,

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One more soldier reporting sir,

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I've served my time in Hell”

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A very moving verse to the start of an amazing WWII shooter; while nothing could ever match the feeling of actually taking part in a war, this game did it's best to make you feel as if you where a soldier during one of the worst conflicts in human history.

Though it's quite tame in comparison to some of today's WWII shooters (World at War springs to mind), back in the day it was truly ground breaking, and has a theme to match. With a couple of instruments and a choir singer, this theme really does give you a sense of loneliness in the face of danger. It's almost haunting.
Still, a beautiful piece that DAN_HERE!!! still finds himself humming to this day.

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Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (The Great Sea music)

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Once you find a sail for The King of Red Lions, your adventure is truly under way, and personally, we can't think of a better theme to give you a sense of adventure and exploration in a world that you've never seen before.

It really does a good job of setting the tone for the rest of the game and makes you truly feel that it's just you (and your talking boat) versus the world! It's the kind of tune that makes you feel that you can go anywhere you want, and once you get a hold of the fabled Wind Waker that the game is named for, you basically can. Albeit you have to have complete the story in a certain order. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/41f8a03fbcbc0cc1e06bfc8fe3532712.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/41f8a03fbcbc0cc1e06bfc8fe3532712.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1552","description":"

Portal (Still Alive)

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Right, straight off the bat we have to admit that personally we’re not fans of the Portal series... I'll just wait patiently while the collective internet is finished murdering us and desecrating our corpses... All done?

Good, maybe we can move on now. While we can see why people do like it, it's just not personally for us, the humour is a little too dry and obvious and the whole cake thing just seems a bit too out-there. BUT, saying that, it does have one of the best ending songs ever heard in it, so I guess that kind of makes up for it. Here it is now, enjoy it. Sorry......

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0fc531672c41cc0cfb1e87e0960d371d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0fc531672c41cc0cfb1e87e0960d371d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1551","description":"

The Secret of Monkey Island

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Another childhood favourite of mine (DAN_HERE!!!), this here is the re-mastered version released in 2009. Though it still retains everything that made the original theme an absolute classic, with its chirpy, happy and generally upbeat sound to it; it really sets you in the right mood for the game, which is a quite light-hearted piece of computer game history that is clearly not going to take itself too seriously.

The Secret of Monkey Island is one of my favourite games of all time (you can read an interview about it here) and with good reason. It’s fun and still takes a degree of skill (if you can't play through it with your eyes closed like DAN_HERE!!! can, anyway) and has a great musical score.

What more could you want?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4aa5e4fb4ba40ed56620b8851489ee21.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4aa5e4fb4ba40ed56620b8851489ee21.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1550","description":"

Final Fantasy 8 (attack on Dollet)

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This theme to me is perfect for a do-or-die situation, which is sort of what Squall and co. are placed in during the epic raid that is the Attack on Dollet. To add more pressure to the poor guys, it needs to be successful for them to pass the SeeD exam that they've been training for nearly their whole lives!

I hope for their sake that you know what you're doing because you're going to need your wits about you to make it to the top of the tower, then outrun the robotic nightmare-crab that chases you all the way back!

And for God sake make SURE you save that poor dog!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/002f24703afe3e3930aa338793d3f669.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/002f24703afe3e3930aa338793d3f669.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1549","description":"

GTA: Vice City (Opening Credits)

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Ha! I should be about five years too young to remember this (DAN_HERE!!!), but I can.

I can remember ducking out of last lesson at school to rush to my mates and play it before his parents got home from work.

I remember hearing it and thinking I'd never heard something so eighties in all my life (I was only young at the time, a wee laddie of 15). The pink on blue writing, the cut-out camera angles, the Hawaiian shirt.... All it really needed was shoulder pads and it would be complete.

Awesome theme to go with an awesome game: I love it.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/db77b4ed6ed9f106749fd08ce69992ae.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/db77b4ed6ed9f106749fd08ce69992ae.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"1548","description":"

I Made a Game with Zombies in It

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How often does the title of a game sum it up so perfectly? Basically some guy made a game where you shoot zombies (and amorphous blobs and faces to be fair) and that's it.

You compete for high scores. It's pretty cool and very reminiscent of the old Robotron games in the arcades. Well, as straight forward as the title is, the song is even more upfront, basically thanking you for buying it, detailing the plot (Some guy made a game where you shoot zombies) and explaining how much it cost.

It's catchy and about zombies - Doesn't get much better than that in my opinion.

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Metal Gear Solid

OK, so this game is basically about breaking and entering (albeit to stop nuclear war, but still...) and I loved it.

Taking up the role of Solid Snake once again, you really needed to feel you where the best. And this theme did a damn good job of convincing you that you where one man. One man, but you weren't alone. You had a lifetime of training.

This theme is awesome. There's nothing else I can really say about it, it just gives you that feeling that you can do it. You're out-gunned, out-numbered and pretty much doomed…

But, dammit, you're Snake. And Snake would do it.....

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Halo - Combat Evolved

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Picture it: The year is 2552, humanity is under attack from a seemingly unbeatable collective of alien species known as The Covenant. They've already wiped out the second planet humanity has colonised, annihilating millions of human lives in the process. You're one of the only survivors of a space ship crash on an uncharted ring-planet and possibly humanities last hope for survival. What do you need to accomplish your mission? (aside from a two trillion dollar exoskeletal suit and a life time of military training, not to mention bio-augmented upgrades delivered directly to your central nervous system via a series of incredibly painful injections when you where a child?)

That's right, a theme as badass as this one! Get military and finish the fight!

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Soviet Strike

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Ah, the STRIKE games... Who could forget them? I still remember my dad buying Soviet Strike in the shops and us racing home to play it... My cousins had Jungle and Urban Strike on the Mega Drive (Genesis for the American market) so we couldn't wait to see how this one panned out.

I still remember saving Nick Arnold from the Soviet firing squad by flying in armed with Sidewinders and Hellfires... Good times man, good times...

But the best thing was popping the disc in a CD player and hearing this blast out at you. It's just perfect for the game. It's military, adrenaline pumping, awesomeness. Give it a listen and thank me later.

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Street Fighter 2 Turbo

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Have you ever heard a piece of music more likely to get you psyched up for a fight in a playground?

Sure it's short, but it's not about length or anything like that, it's about what it was to be able to listen to the music and know, really know,what you where about to get into.

You were going to be the World Warrior and nothing was going to get in your way, Not M. Bison, or Sagat, or Balrog or not even Tommy Spinson in the grade above you was going to stop you. And if he was foolhardy enough to try, all you needed was this tune, a handful of mud and rocks and the ability to shout “SONIC BOOM” while throwing it at his face.

You should probably watch out for teachers before you do that though.... seriously.

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Tunnel B1

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My dad bought this game with the PS1 back on launch day (or near enough) and ironically, I remember it being quite a forgettable vehicle based FPS. I think I played about two or three levels in before never wanting to play it again, but the one thing I absolutely loved about it was the opening cinematic.

The scene itself was cool and set you up for what you thought would be quite a good gaming experience, but if you watch it I implore you not to fall into the trap. The music for the scene however, was awesome. It was very action oriented and written by the great Chris Huelsbeck (of Turrican fame) so you know it's worth a listen.

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Resident Evil (Typewriter Room)

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If the Tomb Raider piece mentioned feelings of fear, then this Resident Evil music is the complete polar opposite. Opening a door in that game and hearing this calm, soothing music meant you knew that you where safe, if just for a moment, from the unrelenting horror monsters that you faced in the Spencer Mansion.

It should be noted however, that typing your name and what time it is into a typewriter will absolutely not bring you back from the dead if you enter a mansion full of unrelenting horror monsters and get killed in real life. You have been warned.

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Tomb Raider (T-Rex attack theme)

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The first time I heard this I knew. I just simply knew something big was coming. However I had no idea just how big it would be until, seconds later, Lara's limp, lifeless corpse was hanging by its legs in the mouth of a massive T-Rex that had just proceeded to completely ruin my day. Thankfully, when I restarted the level (and finished screaming in abject terror) I managed to keep my wits about me long enough to defeat it.

Every time I go back to that game though, the hairs still stand up on the back of my neck when I hear that piece.

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Lemmings (Can-Can Music)

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LETS GO!!

Catchy music and surprisingly challenging gameplay abound in this awesome oldschool puzzler from DMA Design (better known now as Rockstar North) released back in the '91.

There were lots of cool tunes to pick from for Lemmings (and lots that I still nonchalantly whistle to myself) but for me it just had to be The Can-Can. The music differed for each port and I have fond memories of my cousin having it for the old Amiga 500 and definitely think it's the best version of them all, so that's the one I'm including here.

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Top Themes in Gaming

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Victor Hugo said “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent”. Music has the power to enrich our lives, and bring to life any game. Both me and my fiancé hum game music more than what is in the charts, so we (DAN_HERE!!! and myself) have compiled our top 20 themes in gaming, this list is not exhaustive and could have easily run to 100. 

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Medkits and Other Powerups That Make No Real World Sense https://www.gameskinny.com/meo6o/medkits-and-other-powerups-that-make-no-real-world-sense https://www.gameskinny.com/meo6o/medkits-and-other-powerups-that-make-no-real-world-sense Tue, 16 Jul 2013 21:49:02 -0400 Mat Westhorpe

The human body is a marvel. When damaged, it is capable of amazing feats of recovery. When threatened, it is able to supercharge itself with adrenaline to imbue greater strength, quicker reflexes and heightened awareness.

But just how far beyond believability are these abilities exaggerated in order to facilitate entertaining gameplay?

A Narrative Tool

One of the key attractions to playing games is to empower players, giving them extraordinary abilities and the chance to interact with impossible environments in challenging circumstances. Obviously, suspension of disbelief is required – real soldiers wouldn't take on entire armies alone and they certainly couldn't carry on after taking several bullets. I'm pretty sure plumbers don't take on over-sized wildlife and long journeys without at least a $200 call-out fee either.

In most cases, these reality-compromising game design choices are made to enhance playability. If games were ultra-realistic we'd probably die screaming on the first level and then never be able to play again, due to a bad case of perma-death.

Here's a quick look at common devices used to heal and “buff” player characters and just how plausible they are...

 

Battlefield Medikits & Healthpacks

As seen in: Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Battlefield and countless other FPSs

Retreating from overwhelming numbers, our plucky soldier has absorbed a hail of bullets, depleting his health bar, making his heart beat loudly and producing a fuzzy visual effect. Thank goodness he's carrying a medikit. Simply opening this little box of miracles instantly restores our hero to full fighting fitness and he heads straight back into the fray.

How plausible is this in reality? Not in the slightest.

Although entry wounds may appear deceptively minor, the sheer ballistic force dissipated by the passage of a high velocity bullet through the torso causes catastrophic internal damage (cavitation), which would almost certainly incapacitate our hero. Even if no vital organs are affected, the large exit wound would leave him with another potentially life-threatening problem.

Modern battlefield dressings are effective at stemming blood loss and morphine would help mask the crippling pain, but neither addresses the actual damage inflicted by the gunshot. This would require nothing less than a skilled surgeon (and they tend to complain if you try stuffing them into a medikit).

The Call of Duty series deserves a special mention as the soldiers there have now evolved entirely beyond the need for even these miraculous medikits, with only a moment's respite bringing their health bar back to full, as if the last barrage of hot lead had just winded them.

Plausibility Factor: 2/5 - Undeniable proof that it's just a game.

 

Painkillers

As seen in: Max Payne

In the short-term, strong pain relief could mask the distracting pain of a serious injury, but it would not allow the use of a shattered limb nor prevent internal blood loss.

If the painkillers were administered in an appropriate case where the injury did not cause disability and pain was the main impairment, it is unlikely that they would be of much help. There is a tendency for the most commonly used painkillers, opiates (the family of analgesics which includes codeine, morphine and heroin) to significantly slow mental and physical responsiveness.

Although the resultant slow heart rate and lowered blood pressure would help to reduce blood loss, being away with the fairies is generally not very helpful it the middle of a pitched battle.

In fact, in extreme circumstances, due to the fight-or-flight response, the body becomes flooded with neurotransmitters and hormones which act as a natural painkiller with the added advantage of being all fighty and flighty.

In any case, removing the pain isn't going to extend life or overcome injury.

Plausibility Factor: 2/5 – Drugs are bad, m'kay?


Magic Potions

As seen in: The Elder Scrolls and other fantasy realms

Mysterious health-giving phials of brightly coloured liquid are hard to quantify. After all, magic, by definition, is unexplainable. If you explain it, it becomes science and it's no longer a magic potion.

As sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke said, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

We'll get on to Mr. Clarke's sufficiently advanced technology shortly, but for now, we're probably just going to have to accept that whatever power it is that makes tiny metal bikinis as effective as full plate armour also has the ability to dramatically accelerate the body's healing process.

Of course, it could just be the placebo effect. The human (and possibly elf, but we're getting out of my area of knowledge there) mind is a powerful thing and fostering a belief that treatment is effective can have very positive results. The reverse is also true, with curses and hexes working by power of suggestion, with the recipient allowing themselves to be convinced.

What's in the mysterious gloop isn't as important as what's in the imbiber's head. With that in mind, anything's possible.

Plausibility Factor: 3/5 – If Gandalf tells you to drink his magic juice, dare you argue?

 

Future Technology

As seen in: Halo, Crysis, DUST 514 and other sci-fi settings

Sci-fi has got it covered. If ever there was a viable explanation for the sudden repair of a seemingly manstopping injury, it's nanites.

An army of microscopic nano-surgeons who can mobilise instantly to repair tissue, disintegrate foreign bodies and reconstruct organs is a -ahem- bulletproof narrative device for instant healing. This, more than any other trick, provides a plausible explanation for self-regenerating health bars.

The addition of self-contained power-suits as seen in Crysis and DUST 514 make a host of superhuman feats perfectly acceptable without any need to gloss over glaring gaps in logic. Healing guns as seen in Team Fortress 2 could be explained by nanites riding on a light-beam and even instant resuscitation is plausible, as this description of a “nanite injector” from DUST 514 suggests:

“The nanite injector delivers an active helix directly into the bloodstream of the downed victim, whereupon individual subunits work to suppress the pain response, repair tissue and organ damage and re-establish regular cardiac rhythm. If administered in time, first-phase resuscitation (defined as ‘minimum-essential combat functionality') is typically achievable, though some psychological trauma is to be expected.” - DUST 514 wiki

Plausibility Factor: 5/5 – Because of midichlorians/nanites/the spice melange.

 

Mushrooms, Shells & Stars

As seen in: Mario and Sonic games and countless other platformers

Aside from the questionable messaging behind encouraging young players to eat mushrooms found on the ground, throughout Mario's many adventures, he's long been stuffing his face with funky fungus, turtle shells and other random objects for the many benefits they provide.

It could be argued that some of the effects are plausible at a moderate level – a “spring mushroom” (Super Mario Galaxy) could give off a hormone which might enable him to jump a little higher and a “blue koopa shell” (New Super Mario Bros.) might contain a stimulant which empowers him to swim a little faster.

But let's be honest.

If ever there was a game series that was a thinly-veiled glorification of the hallucinogenic effects of various naturally-sourced substances, it's Mario and Luigi. They're basically Cheech and Chong for the digital generation. Aside from their obsessive pursuit of mushrooms, are you going to tell me that Super Mario Bros. 3's “super leaf”, which grants the power of flight, is entirely innocent?

One day, Nintendo will release the very last Mario game which will end with a scene of Mario and Luigi waking up on a urine-soaked, filthy couch in a dilapidated apartment, revealing that the entire series of Mario games, from Donkey Kong onwards, took place in their minds after they binged on special mushroom pizza and a few “super leaf” roll-ups.

Plausibility Factor: At face value, 0/5. If we accept it's all part of a drug-fuelled hedonistic dream-state, 5/5.

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Video Game Awards Premiers Friday on Spike TV https://www.gameskinny.com/nqt9v/video-game-awards-premiers-friday-on-spike-tv https://www.gameskinny.com/nqt9v/video-game-awards-premiers-friday-on-spike-tv Mon, 03 Dec 2012 08:07:40 -0500 Imayen Etim

Spike TV is hitting game enthusiasts with their tenth annual Video Game Awards this Friday, December 7.

The show will be emceed by perennial badass and four-time VGA host Samuel L. Jackson. He will be supported by other past hosts to mark the ceremony's tenth anniversary presentation. Included in that number are Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion...I don't know what he wants to be called anymore), Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black, and Zachary Levi.

Jack Black will be pulling double duty, as he will be performing with Tenacious D. Linkin Park, whose "Castle of Glass" (Medal of Honor: Warfighter) is nominated for Best Song in a Game, will also perform.

Assassin's Creed III, Dishonored, Mass Effect 3, The Walking Dead: The Game, and Journey are in the running for Game of the Year.

On this tenth show, the Advisory Council will also present the Game of the Decade award. Appropriately, ten titles are in the running:

  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • Half-Life 2
  • World of Warcraft
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Wii Sports
  • BioShock
  • Portal
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Batman: Arkham City

Bangin' list, no? I don't even have a favorite because each of them have their merits, from the innovation and influence of Wii Sports to the awesomeness that is Portal

VGA TEN will also feature premier trailers from the next installments of the most epic game franchises. Prepare for debut footage of Gears of War: Judgement, Bioshock Infinite, Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington, Tomb Raider, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.

Did that whet your palette enough? The Game of the Decade category has me stupid hype.

Hop on over to the official site for more info and to vote for Most Anticipated Game and Character of the Year.

Catch VGA TEN on Spike TV or one of the many simulcasts (MTV2, MTV Tr3s, Xbox LIVE, Spike.com, or Gametrailers.com) on Friday, December 7, 9PM Eastern, 6PM Pacific. 

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