Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Trophy Dilemma: When Striving for Platinum Derails Enjoyment https://www.gameskinny.com/f68ce/the-trophy-dilemma-when-striving-for-platinum-derails-enjoyment https://www.gameskinny.com/f68ce/the-trophy-dilemma-when-striving-for-platinum-derails-enjoyment Wed, 04 Apr 2018 14:17:21 -0400 Miles T

Ding! Another bronze trophy pops up in the top-left of my TV screen, coupled with the usual sensation of satisfaction -- or is it more like mundane acceptance?

Choice or fixation?

Collecting and hunting trophies has been a very time-intensive hobby of mine since they were first introduced by Sony, building upon my already established eagerness to plow dozens of hours of my life into the virtual world and generally into video games. More recently, though, I've started to wonder if my desire to hunt trophies and hoover up those elusive platinum figures has been something I've actually wanted to do, or whether it's been driven by a more habitual, routine, or automatic instinct. Basically, I've been wondering whether I still do it because I enjoy it, or just because it's something I've become so used to doing that I don't know how to play any other way.

Early satisfaction, initial buzz

Following my dearly heartbreaking yellow light of death on my first PlayStation 3 (RIP Borderlands disc), I picked up a slim PS3 and had to create a new account, spawning a fresh start for my gaming obsession. The first 14 games I played on the new console were devoured by my attention and focus, and for each one I achieved Every. Single. Trophy -- including particularly rare platinums of Aliens vs Predator, Red Dead Redemption, and Alpha Protocol. Over the years, this trend continued, passing over into the PS4 era and into the present day, where I currently stand with 114 platinum trophies, and almost 9,000 total.

                       

Each time I heard that compulsive ping of the trophy sound, each time I saw that little gray icon, each time I worked towards getting that full blue or white bar on the trophy screen, I found myself getting excited, becoming notably enthused and experiencing a surge of motivation to keep playing and pushing forward. At the time, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the games I played (though not you, Brink; you were awful), and gathering up trophies felt like a rewarding way of showing my willingness to earn their completion, gleefully informing my school or college friends whenever I hit another milestone in my collection.

Indeed, trophies for me then were something to feel proud about, and I excelled at earning them like very few others around me at the time. I hadn't discovered PSNProfiles, trophy guides, or any of the related sites that are now so popular in people demonstrating their greater pull with the mini, virtual statues. Despite the allure of trophies, I still would play games I enjoyed simply because I enjoyed them. I fell into a roughly 360-hour abyss of MGS4's Metal Gear Online mode (and finished its campaign roughly 18 times, even earning Big Boss rank!), I had 6 days of play time on Modern Warfare 2, once getting an 81-0 record in a match. My point is, I remember those moments and single experiences more so than I do most of my recent trophy successes. Before, I could become wrapped up in an experience, whether it was good or shockingly terrible (looking at you, Stormrise).

Where did it all change?

Fast-forward to the current day, however, and my affinity for Sony's reward system has changed quite dramatically. No longer do I go into a game without having first consulted its trophy list, no more do I play through a game without having a consistent nagging feeling in my mind about a potential miss-able trophy. Within about five minutes of concluding and gobbling up all available trophies for the last two games I played through, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, I had purged them from my hard drive and was 75% through installing the next game on my backlog. I couldn't feasibly achieve Wolfenstein 2's "Mein Leben" trophy without dozens of hours of practice, and The Evil Within 2's platinum would require another three playthroughs for me to achieve. As such, I disregarded and ejected them from my console and my mind, despite me thoroughly enjoying them! In fact, I'd have rated The Evil Within 2 as one of my favorite games of 2017, and Wolfenstein: A New Order is one of my top-rated FPS games of all time, but its sequel didn't even get a second thought of another playthrough.

                 

Of course there are exceptions, notably The Last of Us and more recently, Nier: Automata, both of which I rate incredibly highly in my personal favorite video games. Ditto that for the entire Metal Gear Solid series, games where I've played and experienced every inch of their content, without even so much as a fleeting consideration of a trophy. Is it a coincidence that I remember these experiences so much more fondly and vividly than those in games like Star Wars Battlefront 2, where the excessive and ridiculous grind to its platinum actually soured my entire experience with the game? 

Conversely, the opposite has also been true for some of my trophy exploits. I definitely wonder whether I would remember the aforementioned The Last of Us as fondly as I currently do had I not bothered to replay the game twice more to earn the rest of trophies, or delved into its surprisingly enthralling online multiplayer. In this case, and in the more recent incidence of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the trophy list actively encouraged me to dive back into the game, immersing myself in its world all over again, honing my skills or giving me the opportunity to spot the details I may have missed the first time around. Unfortunately, this is also countered with a game like Tekken 7, where I put the bare minimum into the game to achieve its platinum, then deleted it before I even tried to master a character or any of the mechanics that were available. All of this was despite me being incredibly excited to play Tekken. But the trophy motivation wasn't there, so I moved on.

Just move on?

The solution seems to be fairly obvious: Simply stop caring about trophies. Go back to my old self, and focus on the experience rather than an artificial "reward" system, which doesn't actually offer any achievement other than personal pride (here in the UK anyway).

In some aspects, I've done so. I regularly play Rocket League with a friend; I purchased games like A Way Out and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice not with trophies in mind, but the overall package and what they could offer me in terms of an experience; and I would add I have never bought a game with the sole purpose of earning its trophies. Unfortunately, the pull of wanting to achieve their platinums was still there throughout, nagging away as a persistent annoyance and source of some minor frustration.

                          

I spent some time considering how this bothersome feeling was maintaining itself in my mind, noticing the frustration when a platinum proved out of reach, too time-consuming or just generally being too difficult to achieve. I don't have the time and the opportunity to play through games as much or as many times as I could when I was younger. Maybe this has also been coupled with the sheer ridiculous number of games released in 2017 and early 2018 that I wanted to pick up and enjoy, of which I still have about 10+ to play. My enthusiasm for gaming is clearly still present and accounted for, but maybe the expectation to earn each games trophy list has proved far too high to reach. Maybe this acceptance that I can't attain 100% completion or every platinum I want to is what's souring my experience of now earning the ones that I do.

A trophy still worth striving for

There are still times despite all of this when I very much value and appreciate those trophies that require my full skill set as a gamer or that test my abilities in order to prove I've earned the right to own them. The euphoria of earning both the Injustice 2 and Mortal Kombat X platinums was palpable. Finally disarming the nuke to pop the last bronze on Metal Gear Solid 5 to earn my first MGS platinum after being a fan for years was fantastic. Those moments make earning trophies genuinely exciting and serve as a reminder that letting the excitement and motivation drive me to earn them, rather than the other way around, is the best way to get the most of its positive reinforcement system.

Perhaps this experience I've recently gone through with trophies is simply a change to my lifestyle, reflecting that I can't neglect my responsibilities and my time like I used to as a teenager. That I can't expect some virtual, artificial statue to provide me with the enjoyment and satisfaction that the game itself is offering, instead of expecting the reward in isolation to provide that enthusiasm.

                          

Time to lower expectations

Trophy hunting has become something of a big deal -- a quick look on PSNProfiles or other trophy-related website forums can testify to that. I'm no longer the top trophy earner of the people I know. In fact, I'm actually relatively low on trophy leaderboards, and that's all right. Perhaps it's time for me to return to actually enjoying earning those satisfying noises and blips on the screen, not enjoying the fleeting and passing moment of them popping. Time to get back to actually enjoying the games, and letting the trophies pop themselves.

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Xbox Game Pass Game Titles For November https://www.gameskinny.com/emegg/xbox-game-pass-game-titles-for-november https://www.gameskinny.com/emegg/xbox-game-pass-game-titles-for-november Sat, 28 Oct 2017 12:26:38 -0400 Sarah Elliman

Microsoft have recently announced the titles they plan to add to their gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass. The new titles will be arriving on November 1 and will be adding to a roster of more than 100 games.

Xbox Game Pass is a gaming subscription service that gives you unlimited access to titles in their roster for $9.99 a month. New titles will be added every month to the Xbox Game Pass for you to experience. The pass is only available on Xbox One, but will feature many classic Xbox 360 titles to play. 

Some of the titles that will be included are Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Halo Wars and Resident Evil HD. They will be added to a library that already boasts popular titles such as DmC: Devil May Cry, Fable 3 and Gears of War. Additionally, due to the update from November 16, if you’re a member of the Xbox Game Pass then you will also be able to pin the software to your homepage which makes it simpler to get to the games you want to play.

Nadella, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer has praised the service and what it has done for Microsoft overall. The service is still new, but the executives have high hopes for the Xbox Game Pass. 

“We now have a subscription offer with Game Pass that’s off to a good start, very good start…able to essentially (be) a Netflix for games.”

- Satya Nadella

The success of the Game Pass could mean to more and more titles being added over time and an increase in the quality of games received in the subscription.

You can find out more about Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service here.

Are you excited for the new games coming to the Game Pass? What games would you like to see Microsoft add in the future? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

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3 Enigmatic Geniuses Who The Gaming Industry Just Wouldn't Be the Same Without https://www.gameskinny.com/sx4s1/3-enigmatic-geniuses-who-the-gaming-industry-just-wouldnt-be-the-same-without https://www.gameskinny.com/sx4s1/3-enigmatic-geniuses-who-the-gaming-industry-just-wouldnt-be-the-same-without Mon, 14 Nov 2016 07:41:34 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

There are a lot of game developers out there. If you pull up the Steam store's front page, you'll see games being released on a daily basis. With crowdfunding, early access, and a number of other avenues for devs to create games, it seems that everyone these days is putting out their own playable vision.

But in this ever-expanding industry, there are a select few who are masters of their craft. These developers could very easily be called geniuses, or prodigies. But what classifies them as such? Some would say it's their ability to write a story. Others would say that the systems and mechanics they implement into their games to make them function flawlessly.

Whatever it is that puts them echelons above the rest, these developers have left a lasting impact on the gaming industry. And gaming will never be the same because of them.

Satoru Iwata

Last year, we lost what many considered one of the gaming industry greatest minds. Satoru Iwata was the President of Nintendo -- and if you look back through this man's history, you can see why someone would call him a genius. Stories about his work date back to before the release of Nintendo's FamiCom system.

Satoru Iwata was such a force for Nintendo that when the president of the company was about to retire and needed a successor, he appointed Mr. Iwata even thought it meant breaking the family-held nature of the company.

The history of Satoru Iwata has many stories that define him as a genius. I think my favorite of these stories is from the era when Pokemon: Gold and Silver were being developed. Iwata was able to create tools compress the entire game map from Pokemon: Red and Blue onto a GameBoy cartridge for Gold and Silver just under one megabyte.

One of the best moments from playing Gold and Silver was finding out that you had a whole second game ahead of you after beating the first set of gyms and beating the Pokemon League for the first time. So to learn that this was done by a man who truly had a passion for creating things for people to enjoy is amazing to me. Mr. Iwata, you will be sorely missed.

Hideo Kojima

The only Kojima game I have ever played is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I know that this is probably shocking to hear, as I am someone who is tasked with writing about video games and being pretty knowledgeable about them as well. But even though I haven't played any of his other games, I know his legacy. Hideo Kojima is known for making some of the biggest budget games ever and creating stories that people have adored for years.

There's something to be said about a man whose exit from a company and the supposed scandal around it was mainstream news for weeks. The controversy between Kojima and Konami was everywhere, and lots of fans thought it would be the end of Konami as we knew it. 

Almost every serious gamer knows what sort of greatness to expect from a Kojima title. Perhaps the most enigmatic developer in the industry today, Kojima is hailed for his captivating dialogue and incredible storytelling. Nearly every title he's ever produced has been iconic in some way -- the Metal Gear Solid series, for example, is the pinnacle of what gamers look for in stealth games. 

Not only did Kojima revolutionize MGS and carry Konami on his shoulders, but he made his fans lose their minds over a single conceptual trailer when he announced his solo title Death Stranding at this year's E3. He's so good -- and so widely respected -- that his fans support him no matter where he goes. It will be interesting to see what he does now that he's struck out on his own and doesn't have to answer to Konami's wishes.

Hidetaka Miyazaki

I've talked before about how the Dark Souls series is one of the most satisfying games I've ever played. What seems like the true gauntlet of hardcore gaming is actually one of the most accessible games I've ever played. And all of those games (well except for Dark Souls II) were directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki.

I put Miyazaki on this list because of what he has done for FromSoftware. When Miyazaki came to FromSoftware, he was just a programmer. He worked on the Armored Core series but then found out about the (then failing) Demon Souls franchise. At the time, Demon Souls was not resonating with its Japanese audience. Miyazaki used this to test out his own ideas for the game -- saying that even if his ideas failed, there wasn't much backlash to be had as the game was already on the rocks.

But as you probably know, his ideas worked and worked well -- because when I think of today's iconic games, the Souls/Borne series sits among the best ever made. And without Miyazaki, we wouldn't have any of these and the ideas they presented.

And that's it! There several are people I could have included on this list that many others would have agreed with. But these three gaming geniuses are the ones that spoke most to me. Even though they've done some pretty brilliant work already, it will be interested to see what else develops going forward, and who else steps onto the scene as an enigmatic gaming icon. If I was to put my money on where to look, it would definitely be the indie gaming scene. But until then, two of these will be interesting to watch and see what they put out next.

What do you think? Who else should be included in the list of gaming geniuses? Let me know in the comments!

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Top 10 Most Savage Moments In Gaming [SPOILERS] https://www.gameskinny.com/ex77u/top-10-most-savage-moments-in-gaming-spoilers https://www.gameskinny.com/ex77u/top-10-most-savage-moments-in-gaming-spoilers Sat, 29 Oct 2016 10:42:31 -0400 chopchamen

Video games over the years have presented us with some pretty bad moments, some were gruesome, some gave you a choice of doing good or bad. Some have faced controversy, while others people stared at with tossed stomachs.

Below are 10 of the most savage, if not morally twisting moments in gaming history. Warning: some images might be disturbing to some viewers.

10. Red Dead Redemption: "Dastardly" achievement

In order to get this achievement or trophy, you had to tie a woman up with a rope, take her to some train tracks, and lay her over them, then you had to wait for a train to come run her over, only to see her explode into a cloud of blood. This was kind of surprising, as someone who was expecting the NPC to kind of just ragdoll along the locomotive.

9. Resident Evil 4: The Chainsaw Man

Upon arriving at a village near the start of the game, you are attacked by the villagers there, after running into a house for safety, you see one particularly angry villager with a chainsaw. After the cutscene, if the chainsaw man got close to you he would go right for the neck, swiftly cutting your character's head off as his body drops to the ground.

8. Fallout 3: Blowing up megaton

After offering your service to Sheriff Lucas Simms to disarm the dormant bomb in the middle of the settlement, you can head up to Moriarty's Saloon where you are approached by a man named Mister Burke, who offers you 500 caps for rigging the bomb for detonation. After you do this, you go to a location he previously disclosed to you, and you are granted the act of flicking the switch to destroy Megaton. Destroying an entire settlement with a dormant nuke? Who would do such a-- Okay, yeah i did it.

7. Fallout 3: The Pint Sized Slasher killing spree

This one also being from Fallout 3 is a bit on the gruesome sideyou infiltrate Vault 112, and enter Tranquility Lane. There you have to talk to a girl named Betty, who asks you to do a series of task that will lead you down the bad path, eventually she will ask you to acquire a mask and knife, and kill off everybody in Tranquility Lane. It's kind of like getting to be a miniature Jason Vorhees.

6. Grand Theft Auto V: Trevor's torturing scene

In this mission you had to play as Trevor and Michael. Michael's objective was to snipe a target, while Trevor had to torture a man you had previously kidnapped for information regarding the target's appearance. In the process of torturing him you can waterboard him, hook jumper cables on his nips, pull out one of his teeth with a set of pliers, or go for the knees with a big ol' wrench.

5. Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2: No Russian mission

This mission takes place in an airport with a lot of people about, doing their business. You play as Joseph Allen under the alias Alexei Borodin. You have to earn the trust of the Villain, Makarov as you are an under cover agent. In the first part of the mission, you walk out with 4 other gunmen, as they open fire on the civilians. You continue to follow Makarov through the airport as they kill every civilian in sight, and then later on you have to fight off the police. This mission has caused some major controversy, and has even caused the developers to put in an option for the players to skip the mission entirely.

4. Heavy Rain: finger amputation scene

In this scene your character, Ethan is trying to follow the orders of the origami killer in order to save his son, he has no choice but to remove the top section of one of his fingers, to do this you have to prepare with painkillers, disinfectant, and one of the many sharp objects laying around the apartment. He gets ready to cut off the part of his finger, only to slice or scissor down on his finger with whatever you chose, causing him to scream in agony.

 

3. Metal Gear Solid V: Quiet's rampage scene

On one mission you have to go rescue Quiet as she had let herself get taken captive as prisoner. There are a a few times Quiet makes you want to cringe, but never as bad as the time one of her captors tried to drown her and have his way with her. The moment she realizes this, she jumps up and gets around him, breaking his neck then goes on to attack the other captors. She even goes so far as to bite off one soldier's ear and stab another soldier in the privates several times.

2. Until Dawn: Buzz saw scene

In this scene, you play as Chris who had waken up after being knocked out by a mysterious masked man. Chris tries searching for his love interest, Ashley only to find her, and his best friend Josh tied up in front of a buzzsaw. A voice comes on over an intercom, telling Chris that he must choose which one of them to save, and which one to kill. After choosing, the buzzsaw goes down course, cutting through one of their waists, the camera focuses heavily on the separation, showing their intestines falling out.

1. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes: Paz's surgery scene

At the last mission of Ground Zeroes, you have to save Paz, and Chico from captivity, only to find out that Paz has a bomb inside of her, With little time, they have to hold her down and cut her open without any anesthetics. It actually shows intestines being pushed out of the way by the paramedic's hands as he grabs the bomb, after a grueling minute and a half, they finally get the bomb out, and close her back up.

What do you think? Do you feel these moments were savage? Do you have any moments to top these? Let us know in the comments!

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Does Metal Gear Survive Taint the Series' Legacy? https://www.gameskinny.com/1ikgy/does-metal-gear-survive-taint-the-series-legacy https://www.gameskinny.com/1ikgy/does-metal-gear-survive-taint-the-series-legacy Sat, 20 Aug 2016 10:14:56 -0400 Jeremy "Digit" Brown

Konami's latest installment in the acclaimed Metal Gear franchise, Metal Gear Survive, is the first installment to be made after the departure of series creator, Hideo Kojima. It takes place immediately after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, when Big Boss leaves a destroyed Mother Base and four random soldiers of his are sucked into a wormhole to another dimension.

These four characters are four players, working together in online co-op in this horrific new setting that forces them to fight demented zombie-like beings. Konami states this is part of the complete MGSV experience. 

Pardon my French, but this is horse crap. I've been a fan of Metal Gear for a long, long time. Everything important about Hideo Kojima's world can be found in the incredibly complex story, the bombastic boss fights, and the thrill of infiltration. These three core things are what make a Metal Gear game. This new game, Survive, is a slap in the face to everything that makes a Metal Gear game, well, Metal Gear.

Yes, Konami has stated that the new game will have stealth, and thankfully they are not calling it a new Metal Gear Solid game, otherwise my fanboy side would probably be too hotheaded to write even the most opinionated of articles. 

But think about it- this game is 4-player co-op against a bunch of zombies. That's the game idea we have here at its core. With this gameplay foundation, the game isn't anything like the series fans love. The game whitewashes a time-vortex scenario so half-assed, the creators might as well be outright telling us - no, this isn't Metal Gear. But would you have bought anything else from Konami?

And it's true! I wouldn't buy anything they throw at me after not letting Kojima finish Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with the awesome ending he had intended. I love this series, it pains me to see that they're merely using the famous franchise as a lifting off point for a game that, from what we can see, has nothing to do with Metal Gear. 

Even if Survive is a good game in its own respect, it pains me to even see it as a game. When I look at it, I have the same feeling I did with Metroid Prime: Federation Force, A Good Day to Die Hard, and Rainbow Six: Siege. They use a title to get the name out there, but they don't carry the weight, the content, or the heart of what made their franchises so great. Maybe this is a way to help me - and many other livid fans - understand that Metal Gear is truly over.

What do you think? Is Metal Gear Survive worth having the name of the franchise, or should it have been a standalone title? Leave a comment with your thoughts, and as always, thanks for reading.

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David Hayter is satisfied with his run as the voice of Solid Snake https://www.gameskinny.com/61ct5/david-hayter-is-satisfied-with-his-run-as-the-voice-of-solid-snake https://www.gameskinny.com/61ct5/david-hayter-is-satisfied-with-his-run-as-the-voice-of-solid-snake Sun, 27 Mar 2016 07:28:39 -0400 Mark Elgie

David Hayter may have been annoyed by the "Metal Gear 5 debacle," as stated in Game Informer's recent podcast on the inside story of recording Metal Gear Solid, but he's still satisfied with his run as the voice of Solid Snake.

He may have no love for Hideo Kojima, but he's still grateful he got the chance to voice the main protagonist of the Metal Gear series.

Hayter was the voice of Snake up until Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, in which Kiefer Sutherland of 24 fame provided the voice, and Hayter suddenly found himself out of another job. But it's nothing he hasn't seen before.

In addition to being a voice actor, Hayter is also a screenwriter, famous for, among other things, the screenplay for the first X-Men movie.

"It's horrible, and it's humiliating, but I work in Hollywood, and I'm a screenwriter so, I kind of get-- I mean I get fired from every job I get. I mean, that's just the nature of the business."

Hayter talked about a painting he once tweeted of a baby wolf, dead after being shot by an arrow, lying in a pool of blood. "The old me," it says above it. Next to it stands an adult wolf, back riddled with upwards of 20 arrows. Bleeding. Teeth bared. "Me now," reads the text above it.

"That's kind of how you get with these things. I mean, it was annoying to me because I felt like I'd given a lot to the series, and I'd really helped promote it and been a big cheerleader for the whole thing. But at the same time, I genuinely feel that the run I had as Snake was remarkable, and if you get that once in your career, that's amazing."

That being said, Hayter does believe that the whole thing could have been handled better, perhaps more respectfully, earlier in the podcast recounting an encounter he had with a series producer.

"I said 'so I understand you're gearing up for Metal Gear.' He was like 'Yeah.' I said 'Okay, well do you need me to do anything? Should we discuss the deal?' He was like "No, we won't be needing you at the moment. So we'll let you know if anything changes.' That was basically it. So then I talked to Kris Zimmerman, and she said 'Yeah, we're going forward, but it looks like they're going to try to replace you.' So I was like 'Okay. Well, let me know if that--' Because they tried to do that before, and it never worked. They tried to get voice matches and that never happened so, I said 'Okay, well let me know if that doesn't work out, and I'll come back.' And if not, I guess that's a pretty good run."

 

 

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It's Groundhog Day: Here are the games you could play over and over again https://www.gameskinny.com/5jsk2/its-groundhog-day-here-are-the-games-you-could-play-over-and-over-again https://www.gameskinny.com/5jsk2/its-groundhog-day-here-are-the-games-you-could-play-over-and-over-again Tue, 02 Feb 2016 04:30:01 -0500 Justin Andress

As most of us know (or are learning throughout the course of this sentence), this Tuesday is Groundhog Day, the day on which all of America crowds into a small town to scare the crap out of a poor giant rodent. It’s one of the nation’s grandest traditions for some reason. Also, whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not absolutely, totally has a real impact on the weather. 

At any rate, the best thing to come out of the silly non-holiday where we don’t even get the day off is a 1993 comedy masterpiece starring Bill Murray. Groundhog Day is the story of a selfish jackass who gets stuck reliving the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over and over again.

So, it’s in that spirit, in celebration of the twenty-third anniversary of Harold Ramis’ seminal comedy, that we present our list of the games you can play ad nauseum. Enjoy!

Fallout IV

Fallout IV screen cap

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

To be totally honest, every Bethesda entry in the Fallout series — Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout IV — as well as any of the Elder Scrolls you can get your hands on. We only chose Fallout IV specifically because it’s the newest and, therefore, shiniest (unless you believe all those naysayers on Reddit).

Pretty much no matter how you like to play your video games, Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls or Fallout series are designed to be played the way you want them. First person? Third person? Running and gunning? Sneaky like a shadow? Sword and board? Liquidating everything that moves? It’s entirely your choice how you approach any of Bethesda’s incredibly detailed open worlds; your imagination is the limit.

Threes!

Threes screen cap

Platforms: iOS, Android, Browsers

Because it’s entirely possible that you’re stuck in the office today, you may be in need of a good mobile game. Or, if you’re the daring type (or you’re lucky enough to have a cubicle jammed in a corner somewhere), there’s always Threes! The exclamation point is part of the title, but I probably still would have added it.

The best part about Threes! is that it’s available for free in a browser, even though it’ll cost you if you want to play it on mobile. Totally worth it, though.

It’s simple: you move the cards around the board using the arrow keys or swipes, depending on your platform. Ones and twos make threes(!), threes and threes makes sixes, sixes and sixes make twelves, and so on. After the ones and the twos, only identical cards can be smashed together to make a larger number. The goal is to make as large a number as possible before your board fills up. It’s easy. It’s also incredibly difficult. In other words, it’s addictive as a game gets.

NBA 2K15

NBA 2K15 screen cap

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android, PlayStation 3, iOS, Microsoft Windows

Even if you’re not a huge fan of sports games, there’s something about 2K’s annual basketball series that will still get its hooks in you. The challenging, strategic gameplay is challenging, but fair, and you’ll find yourself feeling less like a player on the court and more like a general on the field as you guide your team to victory after victory.

For the customizer, NBA 2K15 has MyCareer mode, which allows players to create a single player and guide them through their career. Of course, when you’re on the court, MyCareer doesn’t give players complete control of the team; instead, you’re responsible for making your player a valuable contributor while the series’ simply incredible player AI makes you feel like a real member of a team. It’s tense, it’s powerful, and it’ll keep you coming back.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto 5

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

Why wouldn’t you want to spend hours and hours on end just kicking around the state of San Andreas? Whether you’re boosting sports cars in downtown Los Santos or hunting down some meth in the decayed trailer parks of the Alamo Sea, the world of Grand Theft Auto V is one that’s never quite done revealing its secrets.

On the off chance you actually manage to scour every square inch of San Andreas, the game’s story provides several branching options that will provide at least a few new hours of gameplay each go round. Beyond that, Grand Theft Auto V’s mission structure is at its best in this iteration, which makes repeated playthroughs a joy, not a chore.

If you run out of all that, you can jump on Grand Theft Auto Online, design your own gangster and rise through the ranks. Don’t have new GTA money? Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas may not have the graphical shine of the newest iteration, but it’s a masterpiece that stands the test of time. Trust.

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein The New Order screen cap

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, IBM PC compatible

There are lots of first person shooters out there, a lots of them have some multiplayer you can get down on. Call of Duty, Battlefield, all those games provide something of a rush to gamers across the world. And that’s good for them, but running forward and shooting at people gets real old, real fast… unless you’re dual-wielding automatic shotguns and mowing down wave after wave of enhanced Nazis.

For new iterations on the story — if not the gameplay — there are diverging paths in BJ Blazkowicz’s story that rely on the player’s choices, and the story itself really is worth paying attention to (a real rarity in the FPS universe). The real replay value, however, comes in the different manner of gameplay styles that players can use to murder the Nazis in their path. Stealth or straightforward, the number emergent gameplay possibilities are surprising, and no two playthroughs come out quite the same way.

1010

1010 Screen cap

Platforms: iOS, Android

Are you a fan of Tetris? For most gamers, that’s pretty much like asking, Are you a fan of oxygen? If you’ve been unable to find a solid Tetris clone for your mobile device, well, 1010 isn’t it. What it is is a game that takes the basic concept of Tetris — using geometric shapes to create complete lines on a board — and turns it on its ear.

In 1010 (which is free, by the way), nothing is falling. Instead, players have the freedom to place their random shapes anywhere on the board they see fit. However, a wider variety of shapes and sizes and the burden of total control make for a fun, addictive gameplay experience that’s perfect for a commute. It’s easy to learn but challenging in a way that’ll have you humming “Korobeiniki” like the good old days.

Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker screen cap

Platform: Wii U

If you have a Wii U, you can build your own Super Mario levels, share them with other players, play other people’s levels, etc.

If I have to explain why that’s awesome, if you’re not currently considering dropping $300 on an otherwise useless console, you need your gamer credentials revoked.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid 5 screen cap

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows

I don’t know what the heck was going on with the plot of Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, and I suspect there’s a larger number of people out there who are on my team than will freely admit it. The game’s story was weird, unrewarding, and annoying for any series newcomers.

But, man, was Metal Gear Solid V fun to play. Once you get the opening series of whatever that was out of the way, it’s just a matter of getting the hang of things before running missions through the huge militant playgrounds of Afghanistan and Zaire are a blast, no matter if you like to remain unseen or you really like to blow crap up. It’s like Rambo: The Video Game.

Rocket League

Rocket League screen cap

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS

What do you get when you cross a demolition derby, soccer, and multiplayer competition? You get a soccer game that involves insane acrobatics, bone-crunching car destruction, and the kind of endless desire to succeed that can only come from that magical barbecue sauce of rage and adrenaline.

It’s easy to pick up, but tough to succeed, and the variety of players behind the various wheels are generally just a good bunch of people there to play soccer Mad Max-style. Obviously, there are, you know… those players. But Rocket League is a special mashup of game styles that’s worth a few a-holes.

XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM Enemy Within screen cap

Platforms: Android, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS

As the world prepares for the inevitable goodness that will be XCOM 2, take a visit to the previous entry in the series, the DLC-enhanced XCOM: Enemy Within. The original release, XCOM: Enemy Unkown, tasked players with fending off an alien invasion with a minimum of resources (and a maximum amount of skepticism from your funding countries). 

As the leader of a small international military force, you’ll meet the enemy on the ground in a series of procedurally generated levels, you’ll research new technology, train your soldiers, and endure permadeath when your leadership fails. It was an unforgiving joy in which victory was won in inches.

Then, Enemy Within came out and added a competing agency, mechs, and super humans to the whole swirling mix. You know, just in case dealing with budgets, new tech, base expansion, and soldier advancement wasn't enough. Even better, these days XCOM: Enemy Within can be played on pretty much every platform under the sun. If you’re a fan of turn-based combat and a game that reinvents the levels on each new play through, then XCOM is the game for you.

Okay, So What Did We Forget?

forgetfulness

Across genres, there are games that provide hundreds of hours or gameplay, games that require multiple choices, and games that have simply perfected the perfect gameplay loop. 

So, which ones did we forget, and exactly how upset are you that we were so thoughtless?

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2015's biggest gaming scandals https://www.gameskinny.com/xb93s/2015s-biggest-gaming-scandals https://www.gameskinny.com/xb93s/2015s-biggest-gaming-scandals Fri, 11 Dec 2015 03:49:25 -0500 Ty Arthur

Jack Thompson may have been disbarred and the media hasn't flipped out about incredibly tame quasi-sex scenes in a Bioware game lately, but there's still plenty of scandals to be found across the industry.

Unfortunately, many of them are caused by us – the collective gamers of the world - being lame to each other instead of sticking together as a community of fans. Other scandals this year came about by both developers and publishers making some seriously bone-headed decisions that caused major backlash in the digital realm.

Metroid Prime Federation Force

Some of this year's most notable scandals didn't come from leaked photos, bad online behavior, or even potentially offensive content – the issues that riled gamers up most frequently came from unexpected changes in gameplay styles. On the one hand we demand innovation and changes, and then on the other when something actually changes we typically don't take it well.

That was most definitely the case with the announcement of Metroid Prime Federation Force, which caused a much bigger ruckus than expected. With nary a Samus to be found, this is essentially a spin-off series despite the name. Changing both to a chibi art style and to first-person co-op gameplay did not go over well with fans.

As of this writing, the game's trailer has 82,000 downvotes and 9,000 upvotes. Yikes. People are so upset a that a petition was launched asking Nintendo to cancel the game entirely and start over with something else. 23,300 people so far have signed the petition, which explains its position with this statement:

"With the release of the Wii U and its greater technological capabilities thousands of fans were expecting a new and improved Metroid game. What we got however is a disgrace of a game with the name Metroid slapped on the title.

"It has no elements at all of what Metroid is about and its a disrespectful manner to old and new fans of the series of showing them that the Metroid franchise is not dead after all. This is not the Metroid we asked Nintendo to make. We should let Nintendo know what we really think of the game and make them actually LISTEN to their fans for once. Help us stop this atrocity of a game from bearing the beloved Metroid franchise name and make Nintendo halt production on it."

Obviously gamers are passionate about their franchises of choice, but not everyone jumped on the flip-out train. Some of our readers and contributors don't get the hate at all and have called for a calming down and cooling off.

This is apparently not what Metroid fans had in mind...

FF7 Remake Goes Episodic

If you thought Metroid changing styles was a big deal, then you weren't prepared for the shockwave of rage that crashed through the Internet when it was revealed the Final Fantasy 7 remake would not only be episodic in nature, but would also be ditching traditional turn-based combat.

Has there every been a faster instance of a full-speed-ahead hype trail immediately derailing? FF7 went from the most anticipated thing coming out in the near future to the most despised, and all in a matter of seconds!

You never know, Square Enix could reverse course on this, but for now it seems like those who can stomach the changes will be buying another portion of the game every few months while hacking and slashing through Shinra soldiers, rather than politely waiting for a gauge to fill before summoning the Knights Of The Round.

Hideo Kojima Banned From Game Awards

The not-so-secret feud between Hideo Kojima and Konami boiled over this year and managed to burn gamers across the globe when Silent Hills was canceled out of the blue. In an insane move to apparently kill any good will anyone in the world had left towards them, Konami reportedly banned Kojima from attending the 2015 Game Awards at all.

There was some pure, unadulterated hate splattered across any Konami-related social media page that night when Keifer Sutherland had to accept the Best Action/Adventure Game award for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in Kojima's place.

Gamergate Rears Its Ugly Head...Again

It's the scandal that just won't die and keeps bringing out the worst in everyone. Every time you think it's over, it comes back again, recently culminating in threats of violence against the annual SXSW convention in Austin, Texas.

In a response to the ongoing Gamergate debate and intense vitriol spread across various gaming forums, two panels were planned for SXSW 2016 to discuss sexism in the industry and harassment from gamers.

Fellow human beings expressing opinions in “Save Point: A Discussion on the Gaming Community” and “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games” was just apparently more than some people could handle, as SXSW initially canceled the panels after death threats were called in.

When major organizations announced they were pulling out of SXSW entirely due to that decision, the organizers of next year's festival immediately reversed course, and now there will be a whole day dedicated to the issue of harassment in the gaming industry. That hasn't put a lid on the issue though, as some are still upset about the inclusion of speakers who have been accused of harassing women in the industry.

Reading all the back and forth and vicious attacks that have come from both sides, all I can think is: seriously, can't we just enjoy games and not be pricks to each other? Why is that such a tall order?

Undoubtedly a low point in the history of gaming

Valve's Mod Charging Fiasco

In one of the quickest turnarounds of recent memory due to instant and unrelenting negative backlash from the gaming community, Valve and Bethesda implemented paid mods for Skyrim and then removed the feature only days later.

On the one hand, allowing passionate gamers who put in the time to make mods get some compensation for their efforts is actually a good idea, as it could easily lead to higher quality mods across the board. Unfortunately it became clear that wasn't the driving force behind the decision when it was revealed the actual content creators were only getting 25% of the cut of the sales, with the remaining 75% going to Valve/Bethesda. It reeked of more unnecessary cash-grab microtransactions, and fans weren't having any of it.

The statement Valve released about why the feature was reversed was surprisingly candid and deserves some props though:

"We've done this because it's clear we didn't understand exactly what we were doing. We've been shipping many features over the years aimed at allowing community creators to receive a share of the rewards, and in the past, they've been received well. It's obvious now that this case is different.

"To help you understand why we thought this was a good idea, our main goals were to allow mod makers the opportunity to work on their mods full time if they wanted to, and to encourage developers to provide better support to their mod communities. We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. We wanted more great mods becoming great products, like Dota, Counter-strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor, and we wanted that to happen organically for any mod maker who wanted to take a shot at it. 

"But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop. We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating. We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there's a useful feature somewhere here."

Of course plenty of other gamers were just as adamantly opposed to the idea on the grounds that they would now have to pay for something they previously got for free, so essentially no one liked the idea. With the way the industry is going in terms of DLC and microtransactions though, it's a good bet this idea is going to return sooner rather than later in a modified form.

That sure didn't last long.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's Tiered Pre-Orders

Again we have to throw some congratulations towards the publishers and developers of the game industry even while reporting on their scandals: this was a year in which companies actually listened to their customers!

Pre-orders are a point of contention among gamers these days anyway, and many aren't happy with how different regions or even different retailers get varying content depending on which version of a game you pre-order. Making that issue even more convoluted was a tiered pre-order system setup for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in which you chose from different rewards at each tier, with new tiers unlocking as more people pre-ordered.

The bottom line is that essentially everyone hated the idea, so Square Enix relented and canceled the scheme altogether, offering all the various options to everyone who pre-ordered instead. This is again an issue that's not going away though – various PC game pre-orders from other companies are still using this setup, and it's a good bet others will continue to do so in the future.

Arkham Knight Pulled From Steam For Bug Fixes

Echoing the ill-fated release of Assassin's Creed: Unity, the latest in the Arkham series of Batman games was an epic flop due to a horde of game-breaking bugs. This is a problem that's become more widespread recently, especially for AAA PC games, as publishers rush to get a game out the door on specific schedules rather than allowing developers to actually finish them first.

The numerous issues were so bad that Arkham Knight was actually entirely pulled from Steam due to a relentless barrage of negative reviews. After various fixes were implemented, the title finally returned to Steam along with the serious mea culpa of Warner Bros. giving away free games to anyone who had previously bought Arkham Knight.

With the amount of money publishers and developers are losing out on after releasing unfinished and buggy games, we can only hope other companies will look at the disasters experienced with Assassin's Creed and Arkham Knight and vow to polish off their games before releasing them in the future.

The caped crusader had a serious failure to launch this year

Afro Samurai 2 Erased From Existence

 Even going a step further than Warner Bros. did with Arkham Knight, publisher Versus Evil entirely pulled the epic flop that was Afro Samurai 2 from all retailers permanently, with no plans to fix any issues and re-release. In a move that's almost unprecedented, the publisher is even refunding the purchase price to anyone who bought this universally reviled game, apparently realizing how badly they'd messed up. Versus Evil issued this statement explaining the decision:

"Versus Evil strives to create great products and valued relationships with our partners and customers. Despite our best efforts, Afro Samurai: Revenge of Kuma Volume One did not meet the quality standards that we require. As a result, we have decided to voluntarily refund the purchase price of the game and its associated Trilogy pack with our sincerest apologies. We have also decided to cancel all future Afro Samurai episodes.

"Depending on the retailer you purchased your game through; your purchase price will either be refunded automatically or may require you to request a refund. As you can imagine, this has been a difficult decision for Versus Evil, but creating great games is our highest priority. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and look forward to a continued, long-term relationship."

While both Versus Evil and Afro Samurai 2 developer Redacted Studios will no doubt take a hit from this fiasco, there's something to be said about a company owning up to its mistakes plainly and publicly without making any excuses. Hats off to you guys for doing the right thing.

Farewell forever Afro Samurai 2

Cynthia Bunnay's Online Feud With MVG

As eSports become more widely accepted by the mainstream, we will unfortunately start to see some big scandals just like we occasionally do in the regular sporting world. It's already started with the flame war that erupted earlier this year between Super Smash Bros sponsor Most Valuable Gaming and former employee Cynthia Bunnay.

The very public drama was a breakup in more than one sense of the word as personal and professional relationships got all intertwined -- and for some reason had to be splashed across Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter for all the world to gawk at. If you missed that whole debacle, an overview of the mess can be read here.

That would have been enough negative attention for eSports as it was, but unfortunately events took a nasty (and potentially illegal) turn when somebody - apparently not connected to Most Valuable Gaming - decided to throw fuel on the fire by engaging in “revenge porn” and leaking nude photos of Bunnay across the web. It doesn't get much more despicable than that, and if eSports want to be taken seriously, this entire drama-fueled adventure is one that shouldn't ever be repeated.

What did you think was the biggest scandal of the year that you hope to never see repeated? Sound off and let us know!

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Sony's 12 Deals of Christmas, Metal Gear Solid V half-off https://www.gameskinny.com/xxng0/sonys-12-deals-of-christmas-metal-gear-solid-v-half-off https://www.gameskinny.com/xxng0/sonys-12-deals-of-christmas-metal-gear-solid-v-half-off Tue, 01 Dec 2015 07:55:12 -0500 Samantha Wright

Sony's 12 Deals of Christmas sale started yesterday, and there are already some great deals for some of the best games. Each deal only lasts 48 hours, though, so you're going to have to jump on them quickly.

There is also a deal titled "Games Under 15 Euros for Christmas" (running until December 24) which allows you to purchase classic PS3 and PS Vita titles at low prices.

The first deal, which ends tomorrow at 11:59 GMT, is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for 50% off for both the PS4 and PS3. If you're in the UK, that is 34.99 for the PS4 edition and 29.99 for the PS3 edition. With such a great deal, be sure to pick it up quickly.

The games for under 15 Euros for Christmas deal also has some great bargains that you may want to check out. Though the list of everything on sale is very long, some of the most notable are:

  • Assassin's Creed (50% off)
  • Assassin's Creed 2 (50% off)
  • Assassin's Creed 3- Gold Edition (60% off)
  • Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (36% off)
  • Assassin's Creed Revelations (30% off)
  • Batman Arkham Collection (50% off)
  • God of War Collection (PS3) (25% off)
  • God of War Collection (PS Vita) (40% off)
  • God of War HD (47% off)
  • inFAMOUS Collection (40% off)
  • Jak and Daxter Trilogy (PS3) (40% off)
  • Jak and Daxter Trilogy (PS Vita) (25% off)
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (47% off)

However, there are plenty of other deals available, including many Lego games (from 25% off to 50% off), Ratchet and Clank, and a variety of other games you may be interested, so be sure to check out the full sale listing on Sony's blog to see if anything else interests you. Since the deals change every 48 hours, don't forget to check back to see what new deals will be available after the current one for Metal Gear Solid V passes!

If you don't have access to your PS4, PS3, or PS Vita, you can also purchase any of these deals at Sony's online store.

What will you be picking up this holiday season, if anything at all? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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How to get the new MGSV Nuclear Disarm Mission https://www.gameskinny.com/rqaha/how-to-get-the-new-mgsv-nuclear-disarm-mission https://www.gameskinny.com/rqaha/how-to-get-the-new-mgsv-nuclear-disarm-mission Tue, 01 Dec 2015 05:32:25 -0500 Andrea Koenig

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, players must use nuclear weapons to deter other players from invading their stronghold and stealing their loot. The longer your stronghold lasts, the more points you rake in, while the opposing players that don't make it out alive go out in a flame of nuclear glory.

Konami has confirmed the new "Secret Nuclear Disarmament" mission, making it not so secret anymore. This mission will allow for you to disarm other player's nukes.

If this sounds like something you want, then listen up.

4 Prerequisites to Access the Event:
  1. Mission 31 must be completed.

  2. You must not own or be currently developing any nuclear weapons. Dismantle any nukes you may have in stock.

  3. Complete the conditions related to nuclear proliferation for your gaming platform's regional server.

  4. Your gaming platform's regional server must have a nuclear weapon count equal to zero. All nukes on the server that correspond must be dismantled.

That's it! Once these for qualifications are met, the event will automatically be triggered. All you need to do is return to Mother Base to for the automatic trigger to occur, or complete a main mission.

Players will also be able to trigger the event multiple times. Should you decide to build nukes after triggering the events once, just dismantle them again to meet all four qualifications. It will automatically trigger again.

Nuclear weapons owned by platform are dropping as you read this. The Metal Gear Official Twitter account for English speakers @metalgear_en has been giving daily updates for the number of nuclear weapons owned by platform:

Phantom Pain has received high praise since it's release. If you haven't gotten it yet or what to grab a copy for a friend, its sale for Steam users ends midday December 1.

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Gamer Gift Guide: Fool-proof games from 2015 that will make you look good https://www.gameskinny.com/mr8ul/gamer-gift-guide-fool-proof-games-from-2015-that-will-make-you-look-good https://www.gameskinny.com/mr8ul/gamer-gift-guide-fool-proof-games-from-2015-that-will-make-you-look-good Sun, 22 Nov 2015 10:51:17 -0500 Daniel R. Miller

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And those are the games that will make you look good this holiday season. Are there any I missed? Let us know in the comments below and Happy Holidays to you all!

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4

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Rating: 4.5/5 (605 Customer Reviews, 93 metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $49.99

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The best may very well have been saved for last. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the ultimate Witcher experience; a dream come true for series fans and a testament of incredible world building and exploration. To say the game is huge would be an understatement. Wild Hunt comes packed with 150 hours of content plus 16 free pieces of DLC, among a number of other goodies if you buy a physical copy of the game. There's currently an expansion, Hearts of Stone, that adds on at least another 10 hours that you can buy for $10. There is also another one, Blood and Wine coming Q1 2016, that is due to add another 20 hours.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is currently the favorite to land the award for Game of the Year at the Game Awards, and is nominated for a number of other categories. Whether you are buying for yourself or someone else, Wild Hunt deserves a spot in any gamer's library. 

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The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition

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Platform: PS4

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Rating: 4/5 (8 Customer Reviews, 88 metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $49.99

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The Talos Principle snuck in the back door of 2014 as a PC exclusive (which can be found on Steam) but was re-released in a Deluxe Edition exclusively for PlayStation 4 that also included the game's DLC, Road to Gehenna. The Talos Principle is a brain-busting first-person puzzle game with a unique narrative that ponders the notion of existence. The Deluxe Edition is the best value you can get for the game and a real find for that PlayStation gamer than seemingly has every game.

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Super Mario Maker

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Platform: Wii U

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Rating: 4.5/5 (400 Customer Reviews, 88 metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $59.99

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Super Mario Maker appeals two types of gamers, those looking to create, and those looking for the most bang for their buck. Long time Nintendo fans finally have a platform to lay down all of the creations they have had in their head for the last 20 years and the with the shear amount of community driven content there is, the game will keep you busy for a long time to come.

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Super Mario Maker is another nominee for the Game of the Year award, and is undoubtedly the best game to come out on Wii U this year.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

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Platforms: PC, Mac

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Rating: 4.5/5 (24 Customer Reviews, 88 metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $39.99

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is the last entry in the StarCraft II trilogy and ends the overarching StarCraft narrative that began with the original game back in 1998. Legacy of the Void's campaign focuses on the Protoss race and their leader, Artanis, as they battle to defeat an ancient evil that threatens the existence of life in the universe. It's an epic conclusion that will help to keep StarCraft II relevant to Strategy gamers for years to come.

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Ori and the Blind Forest

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Platforms: Xbox One, PC

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Rating: 4.5/5 (50 Customer Reviews, 88 metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $19.99

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Ori and the Blind Forest is meatier than it appears on the surface. What looks like a relaxing adventure is actually a demanding, Metroid-vania platformer that expects its players to be skillful and attentive. It's art style and soundtrack are also top notch, and the game has been nominated for Best Independent Game this year at The Game Awards.

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/d/3/4d354f01be97cd0ddb721ec375a4acf7.jpeg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/d/3/tiny_4d354f01be97cd0ddb721ec375a4acf7.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"92958","description":"

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

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Rating: 4.5/5 (599 Customer Reviews, 93 metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $59.99

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By now, everyone knows about the Konami/Hideo Kojima drama but what's actually important is the game the two sides came together to make a reality. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the definition of open world stealth and has pushed its genre further than any game released this year. Sure the story may not make a lick of sense most of the time, but if you can find a way to get on its wavelength, you're in for a treat.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is currently one of the favorites to win Game of the Year and is a culmination of quality game design and cinematic prowess that has grown and evolved over time as a series that has always been at the forefront of both.

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Fallout 4

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Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4

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Rating: 3/5 (180 Customer Reviews, 85 metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $59.99

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Fallout 4 is a post-apocalyptic wanderer's dream world. It's filled with danger to face, dilapidated dungeons to dive into, loads of customization options, and amazing community driven mod content. Fallout 4 is a true evolution of Fallout 3 in nearly every sense of the word, and fans of the series will not be disappointed.

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Fallout 4 is another one of the Game Award's five contenders for Game of the Year, and if history is any indication, Fallout 4 has a pretty good chance at taking the title.

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Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition

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Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4

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Rating: 4.5/5 (19 Customer Reviews, 89 Metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $59.99

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Divinity: Original Sin started as a Kickstarted PC exclusive that released back in 2014. This year, it made its way to consoles in the form of Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition that seamlessly translated the keyboard and mouse controls to work with game pads. PC players were automatically upgraded to the Enhanced Edition via a free upgrade.

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Divinity: Original Sin is role-playing personified, targeting fans of old school RPG's. The game throws you into world of near limitless customization with combat that forces you to carefully consider your options before executing them.  Divinity: Original Sin demands your time as it is quite a meaty experience, but if you are a fan of the genre, you are doing yourself a disservice by missing out on this game.

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Bloodborne

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Platform: PS4

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Rating: 4.5/5 (1,045 Customer Reviews, 92 Metascore)

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Buy: Amazon

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Price: $29.99

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Bloodborne initially released as a PS4 exclusive back in March of this year to widespread critical acclaim. Inspired by the Souls' series, Bloodborne builds on the successful foundation laid down by its predecessors, and tweaks it in a way that rewards offense and careful aggression. The game's DLC package, The Old Hunters, was later revealed at the Tokyo Game Show and will be packaged with a Game of the Year Edition starting November 27.

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Bloodborne is currently one of five candidates for Game of the Year at the Game Awards this year, so if you are looking for a game that embodies death and insanity while maintaining a high level of quality, you can't go wrong with Bloodborne.

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Brand loyalty. It's a big deal and a huge crutch for businesses all over the world. In gaming, we associate series' with past accomplishments which plays on our nostalgia each time a new iteration of our favorite game comes out.  Unfortunately, reality is not the same as nostalgia and just because one company makes one great game in a given series doesn't mean every game they make after that will retain that same level of quality.

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The point of this guide is to point you in the direction of top notch games that anybody for an eye for quality can appreciate.

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Metal Gear Solid V MGO December update revealed https://www.gameskinny.com/bcidu/metal-gear-solid-v-mgo-december-update-revealed https://www.gameskinny.com/bcidu/metal-gear-solid-v-mgo-december-update-revealed Mon, 16 Nov 2015 08:26:21 -0500 Robert Sgotto

A Japanese broadcast on Famitsu's Nico Nico Channel revealed the big highlights of the next Metal Gear Online update that is headed our way this December. Here's what's in the update.

Forward Operating Bases or FOB's will be getting a special mode for placing cameras and land mines.

Raiden will now be a playable character, and will be able to use wormholes and special weapons.

Skulls can be on the security teams now, but it's isn't apparent how yet.

Challenge tasks have been added, with rewards for completing them. Friend connectivity has been enhanced to allow friend supporters including infiltration.

Host Migration, the big one everyone's been asking Konami for is on its way. If a host leaves a match in progress, one player in the room will be selected to become the next host and the match will reset. All players will earn the matches experience points, except for the host who left. *(instead of the match just ending and kicking everyone out when the host leaves.)

Match condition search filters, walker gears ON/OFF, weather, and room names are conditions that can be used for filtering rooms in search.

This is just what we've heard about the update and there may be even more surprises before it's in our hands. Until then, looks like a pretty nice Metal Gear Online update!

If you could update Metal Gear Online, what would you add?

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Metal Gear Solid 5 update reverses plot point and tweaks FOB https://www.gameskinny.com/pakh9/metal-gear-solid-5-update-reverses-plot-point-and-tweaks-fob https://www.gameskinny.com/pakh9/metal-gear-solid-5-update-reverses-plot-point-and-tweaks-fob Wed, 11 Nov 2015 04:36:08 -0500 astik_anand

The latest update for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain tweaks FOB, PF ratings, gears, and much more. The update also reverses a major plot point (not discussed in the official patch notes, of course).

A major part of the update focuses on online FOB missions. New security devices for your bases are now available, and so is the anti-reflex research. Apart from these, minor tweaks have been made to the game's story and PF rating screen. All the details of the update can be found below.

PF Rating

The update features changes to the user interface of the PF Rating screen. Revised displays of the factors contributing to your PF’s overall strength will give better understanding of your PF's status.

Grade 8 gear and new Online Development Items: 

Players will now be able to develop Grade 8 equipment as opposed to the previous grade 7 upper cap. Grade 8 equipment is classified as new online development items, which are items that continue the development process even when you're not playing the game.

New FOB security devices:

The update brings gun-cam defenders which are guns attached to cameras. The security devices are all online development items.

Anti-Reflex research:

This will narrow the amount of time an invader's Reflex Mode is active and is available as a Medical Team unit function. The higher your Medical Team’s level gets, the shorter an invader’s Reflex Mode time will be.

Stealth Mode in FOB: 

While infiltrating a rival’s FOB, using Stealth Mode will cause your Predicted field of movement to disappear from the defending player’s iDroid. The defending Intel Team will also be unable to search out your general location.

Third FOB: 

An option to build a third Forward Operating Base has also been added, resulting in major increases in max. staff capacity.

New rookie and beginner functions:

Obtaining the 'Chicken Hat' and 'Lil’ Chick Hat' is now easier. A 'Rookie Assist Function' is added to Espionage Ratings, preventing rookie players from losing Espionage Points when they fail at FOB invasions or defenses.

Miscellaneous Tweaks:
  • The top rankings for PF Rating and Espionage Rating will now be displayed.
  • Resources in your online inventory, from now on, can also be sold.
  • The issue with certain DLC uniform equipment not having its advertised effect is now fixed.
  • In-game notifications of events and other news have been improved.
The update also reverses a major plot point.

Due to obvious reasons this has plot spoilers and if you've not yet finished the story, proceed with caution.

[Spoiler Below]

Towards the end of MGSV's story, Quiet leaves the motherbase and disappears into Afghan deserts never to return. The update now gives you a way to get back your sniper buddy to assist you on your missions. Reddit user Brotigan posted that playing the mission 'Cloaked in Silence' seven times brings her back to your motherbase. This will change the name of the mission to '[Reunion] Cloaked in Silence.'

[End of Spoiler]

The game was released on September 1st and received positive reviews. The game is also remembered as a turning point in Konami's history, as series creator Hideo Kojima is said to have left the company after the game's release.

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How do open world games need to change? https://www.gameskinny.com/lqvkl/how-do-open-world-games-need-to-change https://www.gameskinny.com/lqvkl/how-do-open-world-games-need-to-change Wed, 11 Nov 2015 03:53:23 -0500 Bryyo003

With the success and improved technology from last generation consoles and the continued innovation of next generation gaming, we have seen many open world games. Despite the fact that they offer us beautiful worlds packed with content, is there a need for change in our open world framework? Without change, the open world template stands to become generic and, ironically, quite linear in its structure. Here are a few ways in which open world game developers could break the habit and create something more refreshing and innovative. Let's take a look at some of the biggest flaws in open-world titles and how different games have handled them. 

Side Missions

We have all encountered time-killing and soul-destroying optional missions. Kill this, investigate that, collect those and, of course, fetch quests. (ARGH!) You are immersed in a fantastic world; stunning and rich with lore, all glued together with a gripping and engaging story. However, these ridiculous side missions have been around as long as gaming; old relics that need to be discarded, or, at the very least, changed and improved.

Worst Offender – Dragon Age: Inquisition

Although DA:I may not be the worst culprit, it was certainly the most disappointing. It was one of the first open world RPGs on the next-gen scene and boasted a world you could lose yourself in for hours...as long as you got lost doing boring side quests.

Benchmark – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Yes, The Witcher 3 has over 250 side missions, but this game does a fantastic job at disguising them and driving them with rich characters and a unique story for every single one. Although this doesn't solve the problem, it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

Frame Rate Issues

It doesn't matter if the world is vast, gorgeous and full of secrets to explore; if the frame rate drops, the experience is ruined. Developers brag about how massive their world is, but wouldn't we much rather a smaller world with better frame rate mechanics? That way you can lose yourself in a more enthralling and consistent world, rather than literally getting lost and then getting annoyed because the game won’t keep up.

Worst Offender – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Yes, The Witcher 3 again. The number of frame rate drops, glitches and bugs in this game far surpass any other next-gen title. The Witcher series has nearly perfectly brought the books to life and kept much of the lore and story. But it is difficult to enjoy that when you get start stuttering whilst tearing away on horseback from an enormous monster.

Benchmark – Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain

A truly exceptional game; a visual feast for the eyes; brilliant missions and characters with personality, yet not a single drop in fps (at least not in my experience). Hopefully Kojima has set a trend by creating a rightly unforgettable experience and, hopefully, many will follow in his steps by giving us quality over quantity.

Completionism

There are many of us out there that must complete every story mission, side mission, collect all legendary equipment and full level-up every character. But then again, who has the time these days? Developers boast that a game will take over 100, 200 or even 300+ hours to complete. If you have a 9-5, pay a mortgage, and maybe have kids, then this is simply not a realistic goal. It tarnishes the experience of the game, knowing from the start that you will NEVER fully complete this game. Yes, it is great to find out that a great game is also going to be a long one, but once your quest list gets bogged down, your inventory is officially full, and you can’t be bothered to even fast travel anymore, then what is the point?

Worst Offenders – Mass Effect Series

(I couldn’t select The Witcher 3 again…could I? …No better not).

The Mass Effect series is gigantic, with great character progression, immersive landscapes and fantastic story-based decisions. But unless you’re a diehard fan, when are you going to find the time to complete it all?

Benchmark – Batman Arkham Series

Undoubtedly the most popular superhero based video games of all time, the Arkham series shows us that a great game does not have to be inordinately gargantuan. This series really does prove that bigger is not always better. Don’t get me wrong, Arkham City and Arkham Knight are large games with plenty of content, but it is still realistic that one may complete all the Riddler’s riddles and every other side mission available.

These are only a few issues that need to be addressed for the sake of next generation open world gaming. Hopefully, we'll see a shift in the genre that makes developers value the quality of the world over the scale. But in the meantime, let’s enjoy the titles that have nailed the open world scene.

Do you agree with this list? Share your thoughts in the comments on what you would like to see change/not change.

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Konami shuts down Studio LA, the team behind Metal Gear Online https://www.gameskinny.com/93ykx/konami-shuts-down-studio-la-the-team-behind-metal-gear-online https://www.gameskinny.com/93ykx/konami-shuts-down-studio-la-the-team-behind-metal-gear-online Tue, 03 Nov 2015 05:37:13 -0500 astik_anand

Konami's Los Angeles Studio, the team behind Metal Gear Online, has reportedly been shut down. Rumors of the closure first surfaced last night on Twitter from developers, including 3D Realms co-founder George Broussard.

"Rumor tells me that Konami has shut down the Kojima Productions LA studio, taking with it approx 35 jobs, just before Xmas", George tweeted last night.

Eurogamer reported the rumors to be true after confirming it from sources close to the matter. According to the website, over 20 jobs were lost in the process.

LA Studio was started in 2013 by Konami as a division of Kojima Productions to help with the development of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and its multiplayer component, Metal Gear Online. The studio employed over 50 staff members at its peak. In recent months, the studio saw a drop in this number.

After the well-known dispute between Konami and Kojima Productions, the LA studio was renamed Konami Los Angeles Studio, parallel to the removal of Hideo Kojima's name from the cover art of MGS V. Silent Hills, a collaboration between Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro, was also cancelled as a result of the dispute.

Kojima reportedly left Konami after Metal Gear Online was released on October 6, though Konami has denied these reports and are still calling it a "vacation". 

According to Eurogamer, staff of the studio were notified of the closure yesterday. Konami, however, has yet to give an official statement.

What do you make of this news? Is it another act of boycotting Kojima? Be sure to let everyone know what you think. Comment Below.

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Hideo Kojima has officially left Konami https://www.gameskinny.com/raatu/hideo-kojima-has-officially-left-konami https://www.gameskinny.com/raatu/hideo-kojima-has-officially-left-konami Mon, 19 Oct 2015 12:31:44 -0400 Michael Slevin

A report from The New Yorker states that Hideo Kojima has left Konami, with October 9th having been his last day. 

The New Yorker states that "the departure ceremony, according to one of the hundred or so guests who attended, and who asked that I not use his name, took place at Kojima Productions."

This departure was described as "a rather cheerful, but emotional goodbye," according to The New Yorker's source.

This news comes as no surprise, as reports and evidence of Hideo Kojima and Konami having a falling out have been quite evident over the several months leading up to the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Kojima Productions was shut down this past July and Kojima's name was removed from Metal Gear Solid V's box art.

Kojima, creator of the critically acclaimed Metal Gear Solid series, will likely continue to develop video games. Whether he creates his own studio or heads up an already existing one, we will be sure to update you as soon as we know what Hideo Kojima plans to do in the future.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Guide - How to Get Rid of Blurry Textures on Max Settings https://www.gameskinny.com/s41k8/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-guide-how-to-get-rid-of-blurry-textures-on-max-settings https://www.gameskinny.com/s41k8/metal-gear-solid-v-the-phantom-pain-guide-how-to-get-rid-of-blurry-textures-on-max-settings Mon, 05 Oct 2015 20:41:59 -0400 Stephanie Tang

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a beautiful game. It's a beautiful game on console - any console - and that goes double if you're playing it on PC because the dev team has pulled out all the stops on this one: no 60 FPS cap, simultaneously rendered dynamic lighting, complex effects, the list goes on. 

You can check out some of NVIDIA's comparison screens comparing PC to the PS4 (the most technically-advanced version you can get on console) here and here

With that said though, it begs the question that many, many high-end PC users are asking: why are so many people seeing so many blurry/muddy textures while playing on the highest settings?

http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/388790936723368695/4E11287AAF56CE7C37D7F44994E28C744EBEB107/

This problems seems to persist most prominently when trying to view certain chracters - particularly Snake himself.

That's the whole game!

The quickest and simplest solution for this problem is to turn down Screen Filtering and set it to High instead of Very High. This should get you crisper textures without sacrificing any other high-end PC settings.

If that doesn't work for you, you're probably experiencing different, but very similar issues with graphics. 

Anti-Aliasing

it could also be due to FXAA from Post Processing. Post Processing in MGSV:TPP actually covers a number of features (e.g. lens flare, bloom, reflections, motion blur, ambient occlusion, etc.) and is one of the main reasons why your game looks as good as it does - and also one of the things that impacts your performance the most. 

For most PCs, keeping Post Processing at Medium or even High should be sufficient and the best balance between good looks and processing power. Extra High can be used if you have top-of-the-line PC hardware.

If you turn it off (either with a mod or through in-game settings), your textures will look a lot sharper... but of course, if you turn off FXAA, you're turning off your anti-aliasing and you'll return to the usual problem of "jaggies".

 

One Steam user suggests to keep in-game FXAA anti-aliasing but to use a mod like universal SweetFX Shader Suite and apply LumaSharpen (strength 0.65 - 1.0 max)

Screen Resolution

With regards to tweaking your graphics just right, but aside from the above-mentioned issues with bad textures, it should be noted that you should play using your monitor's native resolution. 

If you are playing on a monitor with a 21:9 aspect ratio, MGS:TPP doesn't officially support support it - but all hope isn't lost if you happen to be playing on NVIDIA hardware. Check out their Custom Resolution Utility which can be found here. Open NvidiaCP and select your resolution.

Hope this helps!

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MGSV mugshot is real, mugshot is litteral https://www.gameskinny.com/sipcm/mgsv-mugshot-is-real-mugshot-is-litteral https://www.gameskinny.com/sipcm/mgsv-mugshot-is-real-mugshot-is-litteral Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:44:39 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Without giving away any spoilers, at a point in MGSV you nab yourself an engineer. Engineers like their tea right? So the above short clip, thanks to Tom Francis, shows off perfectly how they like their tea. With one of the strangest pieces of camera work I think I've ever seen in media to this day...

So, I present to you, the truest form of the mugshot.

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Looking back on Metal Gear Solid https://www.gameskinny.com/vyxjw/looking-back-on-metal-gear-solid https://www.gameskinny.com/vyxjw/looking-back-on-metal-gear-solid Sat, 19 Sep 2015 16:27:15 -0400 Austin Widmyer

Since he took over the Metal Gear series, Hideo Kojima has brought us tactical espionage action and a story that makes us laugh, think, and weep. Not many games bring the tears that Metal Gear Solid 3 did. Metal Gear Solid combines campy, cheesy dialogue with intense philosophical concepts and sacrifices that bring grown men to tears. In this article, we take a look at where things all began and how the games evolved into what they are today.

*SPOILERS FOR EVERY METAL GEAR SOLID GAME LIE IN THIS ARTICLE*

Metal Gear Solid - 1998

 

It was clear from the original Metal Gear games that Kojima wanted to tell a cinematic story, and with Metal Gear Solid being released during the dawn of 3D gaming, he got to do just that in an avant-garde manner that no one had yet attempted. Although a significant amount of plot was packed into Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid serves as a fine starting point for the series.

We are given background that the player character Solid Snake is a legendary soldier who is back for one final mission to recover the remains of Big Boss, who was killed in Metal Gear 2. After sneaking through Shadow Moses with betrayals and conspiracies and plot twists, we had played a game that not only provided a fun, immersive experience, but also touched on controversial topics such as eugenics, nukes, biological weapons. Although the cutscenes had us staring at boxy faces whose mouths did not move, Metal Gear Solid was one of the first games to attempt having the cinematic cutscenes that many games have today.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - 2001

This image sums up this game more or less

Konami and Kojima had hyped this game up for months with the idea of playing as the legendary soldier Solid Snake in a new, graphically improved setting with tons of new features. After playing through the first level, however, players learned that was not the case at all.

We were completely caught of guard by the fact that we now had to play through the entire game as Raiden, who serves as the antithesis of everything that Solid Snake was. He was effeminate, immature, whiny, and full of teenage angst. Players eventually learned that their experience on the Big Shell was entirely planned by Solid Snake, and nothing that Raiden or the player was experiencing was real. This left a bit of an issue in continuity by the time Metal Gear Solid 4 came out (but who cares? We'll just retcon that!).

All of the issues aside, however, Metal Gear Solid 2 is still the most philosophical entry in the series. It touches on concepts such as memes (no, not the funny pictures you found on the Internet) in such a way that even movies had not attempted at that point. Few moments can contend with the amount of confusion, fear, and intrigue players felt when Colonel Campbell started to glitch as he began talking about censorship, consciousness, and reality as we perceive it.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - 2004

Metal Gear Solid 3 is considered by many fans to be the best entry in the series, and its praise is well-deserved. The world is so fleshed out that to this day, players still discover new features they didn't know existed - such as disabling a guard's ability to radio for help by shooting the speaker on his chest.

This game is a favorite not just to Metal Gear fans, but stealth fans everywhere. The camouflage system was far ahead of its time, and the ways that you could go about remaining undetected - such as distracting guards with porn magazines or cardboard boxes - were both hilarious and amazing.

As far as story goes, Snake Eater is the king of camp. I still laugh every time Revolver Ocelot meows at you before spinning his revolver a million times. Then after you've fought him, he spins them a million times more and actually spins them so fast that he kills BEES that swarm him and Naked Snake when The Pain interrupts their showdown. The most important thing that Snake Eater did with regards to Metal Gear Solid  was that it gave depth to such an essential character, Big Boss.

The name "Big Boss" itself sounds like a one-dimensional boogeyman, and up until this game, that's really all he was. He was just a legend that players knew Solid Snake was cloned from. Players had no reason to feel sympathy for the man that they killed twice if they played the first two Metal Gear games. With this game, however, we see just how much pain he endured. Suffering what seemed like a betrayal from his mentor, and then having to kill her, knowing that she did what she did and made herself into a villain...for him.

I'd give my life. Not for honor, but for you

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots - 2008

This game served as the definitive chronological end for the Metal Gear Solid series. With so many characters and plots to wrap up, many people consider the story for this game to be a convoluted mess, and a long one at that. Metal Gear Solid 4 had a whopping eight hours of cutscenes, leading many players to make jokes that it's more of a movie than a game. People had issues with plot holes and deus ex machinas - such as Big Boss coming out of nowhere and resolving everything, while putting to rest his enemy and former comrade, Zero, in front of Solid Snake.

There was also the problem of retcons. Almost none of the events in Metal Gear Solid 2 seemed to have an effect on the world. Raiden magically became a cyborg ninja out of nowhere. And it turned out Ocelot was never possessed by Liquid Snake. He was just pretending the whole time.

Despite all the problems with its story, Metal Gear Solid 4 was a beautiful game that allowed for dozens of new ways to approach missions - such as buying weapons, customizations, and a stealth suit. And it also featured a fun but short-lived online mode that was so popular that it was brought back for Metal Gear Solid V. Whether you like it or hate it, this game is how Metal Gear Solid ends.

"This is good, isn't it?"

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker - 2010

I hope these guys know what they're doing, 'cause I can't see down this gun

Peace Walker is a unique game because it was originally released for the PSP, but after how well-received it was and players' requests, it was eventually released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

Peace Walker begins with Big Boss, going by his preferred code name, Snake, is running his own private military company alongside Kazuhira Miller. Snake recruits children such as Paz Ortega and Ricardo "Chico" Valenciano Libre to help him uncover secrets of an unknown army that has occupied parts of Costa Rica

This game is the beginning step for Snake the hero becoming Big Boss the villain, as Snake essentially kidnaps enemy soldiers and convinces them to join his PMC that eventually becomes a nuclear deterrent. Peace Walker introduced the Fulton Recovery System, which allowed Snake to kidnap enemy soldiers via a giant balloon and send them to his and Kaz's Mother Base.

While this was a cool mechanic that allowed players to unlock new weapons and diversify gameplay, not everyone wanted to have to grind to progress further into the story. If players did not have the necessary weapons for certain missions, they could not beat the level and therefore not progress further into the story. The game ends with Paz, who is revealed to be an agent of Cipher (The Patriots), trying to blackmail Snake into surrendering to Zero or be made a terrorist group to the world. Snake defeats her in Metal Gear ZEKE, and she is thrown into the ocean, believed to be dead.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain - 2014 - 2015

Since this game is without a doubt Kojima's final entry in the series, it had to go out with a bang. This game had been teased since 2012 with a trippy hospital trailer than had all the signs of being a Metal Gear game but lacked the title or the studio. This game was eventually revealed to be Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in 2013. With that E3 trailer alone, hype levels were off the charts.

Just to show how much work was being put into The Phantom Pain, Kojima gave them a taste of what it would be like with Ground Zeroes, which served as a prelude to The Phantom Pain. In Ground Zeroes, we saw just how different this was from any Metal Gear game. The game played like a more polished version of every third-person stealth game such as Splinter Cell, and cool new features such as the reflex mode, which allowed players to neutralize a guard in three seconds, and the iDroid.

In Ground Zeroes we learn that Paz survived her fight with Snake, and she had been taken to Guantanomo Bay, with Chico being captured as well. Chico and Paz were tortured, raped, and forced to rape, and they were compared to the trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two anarchists who were made an example of and executed for a crime they did not commit.

From this game, which has been criticized as being a "forty dollar demo," by players who felt that it did not offer enough plot-based gameplay, we learned that The Phantom Pain was indeed going to be a very dark game unlike any other Metal Gear game. Ground Zeroes ended with Big Boss and Miller learning that Chico and Paz were meant to distract Big Boss so that Skull Face, the mysterious man who held them captive, could destroy Mother Base. His men had planted a bomb inside Paz's stomach and (implied) her womb. After the medic on board Big Boss' helicopter removed the first bomb, Paz threw herself out of the helicopter in an attempt to save them, but the blast still damaged Big Boss and Kaz, leaving the series on a cliff hanger until The Phantom Pain was released in 2015.

The Phantom Pain began with Big Boss waking up from a coma that he had allegedly been in for nine years, and the doctor had told him that he would have to have facial reconstructive surgery so that his enemies would not know who he is.

Players created their own avatar and then watched as the doctor wa strangled by Quiet, an assassin working for XOF, but he is saved by a bandaged man named Ishmael, who appears to have been a hallucination by the end of the prologue, when Revolver Ocelot finally rescues him.

The Phantom Pain was sparse with story compared to other Metal Gear games, but what it lacked in story it made up for by having the best gameplay in the series, with an open world full of missions and side ops that could be tackled stealthily. There were also loud, online modes, and an open Mother Base that improved the Fulton system implemented in Peace Walker. The Phantom Pain received immense critical praise for giving players the most fun they could have in a Metal Gear game.

The only thing that was a minor letdown was that at the end of the game, players learned that they were in fact not playing as Big Boss, but the medic who was in the helicopter in Ground Zeroes. A bait and switch similar to Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2, some fans were disappointed that they did not get to play as a their beloved Big Boss in the final entry in the series. That being said, The Phantom Pain brings the story of Metal Gear full-circle if not for a few gaps, and it remains an amazing game.

Kojima has wanted to end Metal Gear for a long time, and he finally has. His story will remain in the hearts of players for the rest of their lives, and they will be remembered as one of the pioneers of stealth games and storytelling in video games.

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Dear Hideo Kojima, why isn't "Love is a Battlefield" in MGSV? https://www.gameskinny.com/lyzxr/dear-hideo-kojima-why-isnt-love-is-a-battlefield-in-mgsv https://www.gameskinny.com/lyzxr/dear-hideo-kojima-why-isnt-love-is-a-battlefield-in-mgsv Wed, 16 Sep 2015 05:27:18 -0400 Amanda Wallace

In case you've missed it, cassette tapes are one of the more interesting collectibles inside Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. There's nothing like stealthing around a corner to Fulton away a tank while blasting Europe's "The Final Countdown."

If you're looking for the location of the cassette's in MGSV, we have a guide for that.

But something is missing. A song so important, so obvious that I can't imagine why it's not there. 

Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield"

You might be thinking "oh, Pat Benatar's ode to youth and rebellion probably came out years after the fictional chronology in Metal Gear Solid V."  Well, you'd be wrong, for a couple of different reasons. 

"Love is a Battlefield' actually came out in 1983, and the Phantom Pain is set in a slightly fictitious version of 1984. That means that Pat Benatar would've been rocking out "heartache to heartache" for almost a year on top of the US and Australian charts before Venom Snake was stealthing his way through Afghanistan. 

Metal Gear Solid V features a bunch of songs from 1983 -- from the Midge Ure cover of "Man Who Sold the World" to Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell." But they miss one of the most perfect fits for the game -- "Love is a Battlefield." 

Because IT IS a Battlefield

I mean, MGSV is on an actual battlefield of sorts set in the late Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. People are being brutally shot all around you. While Benatar's battlefield was arguably more about pimp exploitation and teen rebellion, it's still talking about the elements of warfare ("we are strong/no one can tell us we're wrong"). 

Ok, it might be a bit too on the nose. But it's definitely accurate. 

With that in mind, there's the idea that Metal Gear Solid isn't really a war-fighting series the way that a lot of other games are. In their book about Metal Gear Solid, Anthony and Ashly Burch write: "Kojima came up with an idea for a military video game that, unlike all the other military games of its time, wasn't about fighting people." So, maybe MGSV isn't a battlefield. 

Well, in that case, it's definitely a love story

Wait, did you think I was talking about Quiet? I'm definitely not talking about Quiet. Let's never talk about Quiet and her photosynthesis-directed nakedness ever again. 

I'm talking about Snake and Miller. Or Snake/Ocelot. However, you ship 'em. 

Ok, so this is a model swap, but it's too cute not to include

This game isn't quite as queerbaiting as say, X-Men First Class, but there's definitely some homo-erotic tension going on there. And there's nothing quite like '80s Benatar singing: 

You're beggin' me to go then makin' me stay
Why do you hurt me so bad
It would help me to know
Do I stand in your way, or am I the best thing you've had
Believe me, believe me, I can't tell you why
But I'm trapped by your love and I'm chained to your side

All while watching Snake and Miller get a bit too close on that first mission. Or the sheer amount of butt staring that takes place in this game in general. It's a little bit about love. 

It's Damn Catchy

In spite of it's rather strange opening, "Love is a Battlefieldis pretty catchy. It's the kind of song that you're probably humming right now, even though all I did was mention it and drop some choice lyrics. 

It belongs right next to "She Blinded Me with Science." It's the perfect cassette addition to MGSV and for some reason, it didn't make the cut. 

So tell me, Hideo Kojima. Where is "Love is a Battlefield" in MGSV? 

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