Metal Gear Solid Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Metal Gear Solid RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Sony Reveals Full Games Lineup for PlayStation Classic https://www.gameskinny.com/6z4sn/sony-reveals-full-games-lineup-for-playstation-classic https://www.gameskinny.com/6z4sn/sony-reveals-full-games-lineup-for-playstation-classic Mon, 29 Oct 2018 10:18:32 -0400 William R. Parks

In 2016, Nintendo proved that there was a strong market for officially released, standalone emulators dedicated to retro gaming, and other companies have followed suit.

This includes Sony with the PlayStation Classic, set for release on December 3.

This morning, the company revealed that their emulator will come with 20 pre-loaded games:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr. Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director's Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

The PlayStation Classic is currently available for pre-order, and will come with two controllers.

How do you feel about the lineup? Are there any omissions you were hoping would be included?

Personally, I would love to have seen Castlevania: Symphony of the NightFinal Fantasy Tactics, or Resident Evil 2 make the cut.

Let us know in the comments below.

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Feast Your Ears on the Fascinating Audio Commentary in These 11 Games https://www.gameskinny.com/t06i8/feast-your-ears-on-the-fascinating-audio-commentary-in-these-11-games https://www.gameskinny.com/t06i8/feast-your-ears-on-the-fascinating-audio-commentary-in-these-11-games Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:56:02 -0500 Sergey_3847

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Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

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Alas, Hideo Kojima, the creator of the famous Metal Gear Solid series, never took to the task of recording a single line of developer commentary on his games. However, the fourth game in the series, Guns of the Patriots, includes such a commentary by Ken Imaizumi, the game's producer, Aki Saito, Konami international product manager, and Sean Eyestone, one of the writers.

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This audio commentary is available in the game on Snake's iPod. So if you haven't had the chance to listen to it yet, maybe now's the time.

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What's your favorite developer commentary track? Let us know in the comments below!.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adb4162f1b7ddef3d37effc39e7af946.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adb4162f1b7ddef3d37effc39e7af946.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11647","description":"

Grim Fandango Remastered

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Tim Schafer is one of the world's most renowned and consistent game designers. His titles have garnered huge fan followings, and his new games are anticipated by millions of gamers everywhere every year.

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Grim Fandango is definitely one of his finest moments. That's why Sony decided to release a remastered version of the game just a few years ago. It was a great decision to include the developer commentary, too, as it reveals the massive amounts of talent Tim Schafer wields.

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Fortunately, the entire commentary has been leaked online, so grab a pack of popcorn and immerse yourself in the world of mesmerizing game development of Grim Fandango.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1bf53f22b06f1d8d2243b8e5b26fd8dd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1bf53f22b06f1d8d2243b8e5b26fd8dd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11646","description":"

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut

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The Director's Cut of the first Deus Ex introduced a number of revamped gameplay elements, a fantastic series of developer commentaries, and a whole documentary showcasing the behind-the-scenes creation process.

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Even if you've never played the game or have no interest in the Deus Ex series but want to know what it takes to develop a modern AAA title, then be sure to check the entire audio commentary section of the game. Be warned, though, it's long. Seven hours long.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1470bf62141850fb708aab406e612e00.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1470bf62141850fb708aab406e612e00.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11642","description":"

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2

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This survival horror franchise from Valve was another massive success for the company. So it's no surprise that the dev team opted to provide audio commentary in the same fashion as both Half-Life 2 and the Portal franchise: as interactive nodes that could be activated by players during the gameplay.

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The sequel, which came out only a year later, had the same team record their thoughts on the development process, too, making it one of the most encompassing game design commentaries you will ever hear.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e229b73427633b86113de39933bebd5b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e229b73427633b86113de39933bebd5b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11640","description":"

Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour

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Here is another cult title from the 90s -- a true blast from the past: the one and only Duke Nukem 3D. The upgraded version of the original title was released just a year ago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series.

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Allen Blum and Richard Gray, the original designers of the game, return to their progeny and not only deliver additional content to the original game, but also discuss what went into the process of reviving the old files from the ashes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73e684a627a75d5b479876590a9a61c8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73e684a627a75d5b479876590a9a61c8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11639","description":"

Tomb Raider: Anniversary

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The very first game that launched the epic Tomb Raider series was released in the mid-90s. Ten years later, Crystal Dynamics released a remastered version of that first game based on the new Legend engine.

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Fast forward to the Tomb Raider: Anniversary bundle, and you'll find game developer commentary featuring Jason Botta, the creative director of the remastered version, and Toby Gard, the original game's lead designer. 

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They discuss each segment of the game as you play through it, and reveal why certain decisions were made in the process of the creation of those particular levels.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/650e4e9b2569990c9d64861e4bf6c3d4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/650e4e9b2569990c9d64861e4bf6c3d4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11638","description":"

Firewatch

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Firewatch offers a developer commentary as a part of its free DLC, which adds an Audio Tour mode to the game. It's designed in such a way that allows players to pick up audio players in the beginning of the prologue, and then pick up audio cassettes that are placed in special spots throughout the game.

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Each cassette contains a recording from a Firewatch development member who discusses how that particular part of the game was designed. The best thing about this approach is that the recordings are relatively short and don't distract from the actual gameplay too much.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9ba0b6685d94b0eac63400c18a07d19b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9ba0b6685d94b0eac63400c18a07d19b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11637","description":"

Portal & Portal 2

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After the smashing success of Half-Life 2, Valve released another title that is considered to be one of the most original game concepts ever devised -- the Portal series.

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As usual, Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve, was joined by the development team behind the Portal games and recorded an accompanying audio commentary for the series. In order to access all of the commentary episodes, players must first complete the game. Afterward, the developer commentary mode will be unlocked, offering over a hundred audio segments for your listening pleasure.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7d48afc345565016508d915419a79886.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7d48afc345565016508d915419a79886.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11636","description":"

The Last Of Us Remastered

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The Last of Us was a PS3 exclusive and international hit. A year later, it was remastered and ported to the PS4 -- bringing with it developer commentary by Neil Druckmann, creative director, Troy Baker, who plays Joel, and Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie.

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This commentary can be accessed through an in-game menu, which shows all of the game's cutscenes in succession -- with audio commentary on top -- making the experience very similar to watching films with director commentary. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d2a7ef130bd09d5e35b1e70af8c97014.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d2a7ef130bd09d5e35b1e70af8c97014.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11633","description":"

Half-Life 2

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Half-Life 3 is undoubtedly the most anticipated sequel to any game ever released. The first two games have set the bar of the quality so high that it will be hard to achieve the same level of intrigue as before.

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However, if you want to know how the development of this incredibly popular series began, then be sure to check the developer commentary of Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 & 2.

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Unfortunately, the development team didn't record commentary for the first game, but there is more than enough material to study from the two episodes of the sequel. Commentary includes anecdotes and behind the scenes stories from team members such as Gabe Newell, Greg Coomer, Jay Stelly, and many more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e4257f866fcd4cdbc8352e18b3b7fec7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e4257f866fcd4cdbc8352e18b3b7fec7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11632","description":"

BioShock: The Collection

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Every fan of the BioShock series simply ought to have BioShock: The Collection. Not only does it inlcude the remastered versions of all three games, but it also adds to the experience an exciting commentary track from Ken Levine, the series' creative director, and Shawn Robertson, the lead artist. 

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Interestingly, the commentary for Bioshock: The Collection is part of the franchise's world. Throughout each of the stories, players are able to find collectible items that activate new episodes where the developers discuss the design process behind the series.

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The commentary uncovers many previously unknown details about the risks and challenges that the development team had to take in order to deliver one of the most praised video game franchises in history.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/unt-e303b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/unt-e303b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173797","description":"

While audio commentary from directors and filmmakers is typical for most Hollywood movies, commentary from video game developers discussing their creative process on a separate audio track attached to your favorite game is relatively new.

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It took some years before game developers decided to adopt the same approach as their Hollywood counterparts. The first game that appeared with such developer commentary was 2000's Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo.

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After that first experiment, other developers also wanted to share their experiences with gamers, and many games followed suit. Here you will find 11 of the most inspiring video game developer commentaries that will not only let you see the the machinations behind your favorite games, but also what drives your favorite developer to keep making great games. 

"}]]]>
Crazy Video Game Cameos -- Game Characters Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/ay7p0/crazy-video-game-cameos-game-characters-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/ay7p0/crazy-video-game-cameos-game-characters-edition Fri, 07 Apr 2017 20:00:02 -0400 Shark Tank Gaming

Whenever you're playing a game and you see a character inside from a different game, it really gets your juices flowing. After noticing how many celebrity cameos have been seen in games over the last 20+ years, we noticed that there are even more cameos from other video game characters. Cue the second part of our issue.

Welcome back to the second part of Crazy Video Game Cameos. Earlier, we covered movies and celebrities which appeared in a multitude of video games. In this issue, we will be taking a look at all the video game characters that have appeared in other video games!

Duke Nukem - Blood & Bulletstorm: Full Clip

The Duke, and his developers 3D Realms, have pulled no punches when they decide to make fun of other video games, so it's only fitting that the Duke cops some insults of his own. Play long enough into 90's shooter, Blood, and you'll find a secret entrance. Continue down this path and there's poor, old Duke. Hanging upside down and horribly mutilated but it's him, no doubt. Hit him enough times and your character will steal Duke's line, "Shake it baby!"

For another (current), weird cameo, the Duke is appearing as a playable character in cult classic, Bulletstorm: Full Clip. Check out the trailer below!

Mega Man- Dead Rising Series

Capcom love to throw characters from other universes in their games. Evident throughout all the Dead Rising games, every protagonist can eventually find Mega Man's outfit and become the titular hero himself. Sure, it may just be a costume that you put on but we still get to act like Mega Man, arm rockets and all. Poor guy... it seems he always finds himself in apocalyptic situations. I'm pretty sure you can find a Blanka outfit too (from the Street Fighter series).

Creepers - Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 is a great game full of inside jokes and some very crude humor. With the success and popularity of Minecraft (even so many years later), the developers must have thought, "Ah, f**k it. Let's throw a creeper in as a bad guy." Either that or they were running out of enemy creation ideas. While making your way through some of the mines in this game, you will eventually come across a few block built, familiar characters. A nice little touch. A least they didn't throw griefers in there...

Jill Valentine & Nemesis- Under the Skin

Body snatching sim, Under the Skin, is a novel little piece to play. Similar to Destroy All Humans, this game has you playing as a blue little alien sent to cause as much chaos on earth as possible. At a certain level, you'll notice that it is called Raccoon City. Well, you get to play as Jill and the Nemesis in this level, set with locales from the first two Resident Evil games. Suffice to say, this was enough to get me to play the game.

Claire, Leon & Zombie Cop- Trick N' Snowboarder

Yes, another game that sees cameos from one of the biggest franchise of video game history. Look, it was the 90's and Resident Evil was a global smash, with everyone talking about Raccoon City and the T-Virus. It only makes sense that not so great games tried to pick up on their success, by including certain characters as unlockable players. Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy reporting for snowboarding duty, dude. The developers even threw a zombie cop from Resident Evil 2 in there, just for good measure.

Doom Marine - Duke Nukem 3D

One of those moments in a Duke Nukem game where 3D Realms just couldn't help themselves. With Doom being much more successful than Duke Nukem 3D, they decided to take a jab at the shooter that started all shooters. Get far enough into Duke Nukem 3D and you'll come across a hell-like portal, complete with inverted crosses. At the base of this portal, you'll find the torso of a mauled Doom marine. Guess he didn't have the guts...

Chun Li - Breath of Fire

Timeless RPG, Breath of Fire, by Capcom threw in yet another one of their famous characters somewhere they don't belong. During one of your quests, you meet a master who talks about an amazing fighter. Someone who can kick at the speed of light. Sound familiar? If you thought of Street Fighter alumni, Chun-Li then you'd be correct. Sure, you can't play as her and it's only a 10 to 20 second cameo but it still counts!

Lara Croft & TMNT - Shadow Warrior

Doom and Duke Nukem rip-off, Shadow Warrior, is your average cult classic, FPS. Run around, kill some monsters, blow s**t up. Pretty simple, until you come across a cameo from Tomb Raider's very own, Lara Croft. The protagonist actually mentions that, "She won't be raiding anymore tombs." Nice touch but continue further on into the game and you can find another cameo from 90's sensations, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Dead, but still a cameo.

Spider-Man - Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series has always had fun with including random cameos in their games but none stands out more than the web-slinging, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Neversoft could have just used a normal character dressed as the titular hero but I love them for going the extra mile. Definitely the best skater in the game, Spider-Man web slings, flips, and does whatever a spider can while racking up hundreds of thousands of points. I might jump back on after writing this article...

Donkey Kong - Wii Punch Out!

 In the Wii remake to Super Nintendo's, Super Punch Out!, there's a new boss character that you have to take on and boy, is he one of the most difficult! In Wii Super Punch Out!, you don't have to take on Mike Tyson anymore. Now you have to take on a 900 pound gorilla with boxing gloves. Don't be fooled as Donkey Kong is the hardest character to fight in the game. Good luck, it was nice knowing you...

Wesker, West, Marcus & Dom - Lost Planet 2

Mega cameos are starring in Capcom's sci-fi, 3rd person action-shooter, Lost Planet 2. An average game when it was released and unfortunately lost the test of time, this entry had a few cool cameos as unlockable players. Up to four different universe characters appeared to play with, being Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago from the Gears of War series, Albert Wesker from the Resident Evil series, and Frank West from the Dead Rising series. The game didn't change much but being one of these bad-asses sure made me think so.

Scorpion, Reptile, Sub-Zero & Raiden - NBA Jam

Not content with throwing in one of the most powerful, political couples of the time (Bill and Hillary Clinton), Midway decided that they wanted to see what b-ball skills some of the Mortal Kombat roster has. Including Raiden, Reptile, Sub-Zero and Scorpion into the fold made for some pretty awesome basketball games. The only problem was arguing with your friends over who would play as Team Netherealm.

Tanner - GTA III

One of the biggest franchises of the time, Grand Theft Auto, decides to take the mickey out of another large franchise of the time. Everyone remembers Driver,  one of the best driving games to ever come out on the original PlayStation. Well so do the developers at Rockstar, when one of your missions has you dealing with a detective who 'runs funny' and also drives a muscle car. Now they don't ever say his name but the running funny and muscle car part? Definitely a rip on Tanner and his later installments when he has the ability to get out of his cars.

Heihachi & Xiaoyu - Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2

Heihachi has appeared numerous times in a number of different games but who knew the billionaire CEO could use a racket? It seems that when he isn't planning on killing his son and ruling the world in Tekken, he's working on his serves. First time cameo for Ling however, which makes me wonder why they included her and not, say, Kazuya or Jin? The Mishimas could put their rivalry to the side for a few doubles games...

Solid Snake - Evolution Skateboarding

One of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater imitation rip-offs, Evolution Skateboarding was pretty much a simple, skateboarding game. Complete with challenges, time limits, decent graphics, and an amalgam of different tricks to pull off, this game wasn't so bad when you got into it. Unfortunately, the THPS franchise completely overshadowed any skateboarding game that tried to release. One way to put your game on the map is to include a cameo as a playable character. None other than 90's stealth-hero, Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid.

Samus & Link - Super Mario RPG

In the 90's, RPG attempt at putting Mario in a genre he definitely didn't belong, Super Mario RPG was a surprisingly great game. Taking on RPG roots, a level-up system, and turn-based battles, this game happened to also include some cameos from other Nintendo icons. In one part of the tavern/inn, Link can be found sleeping in one of the beds. Approach him to try and talk and he will just sing one of the iconic Legend of Zelda songs. Samus from Metroid is also sleeping in a bed but this time it's in the Royal Mushroom Castle, where she lets you know that she is "Resting for Mother Brain." We'll just leave you both there until your game time comes around.

Altair Ibn-La'AHad - The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

You wouldn't expect to see it in a serious RPG like The Witcher 2, but it does give you a small hint in the game's title Assassins of Kings. Approaching one of the destroyed barns in one of the towns will have you come across a broken hale bay cart. You even notice a dead person in a white, hooded outfit, so you move in for a closer look. At this point, it's 100% clear who the developers are trying to mock. It seems Altair (from Assassin's Creed) was attempting to assassinate one of the kings in the game but failed to land one of his famous eagle drops correctly. Oh yeah, you know he's dead.

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Proving that video games and cameos are a fantastic mix, even when it doesn't make sense at all, cameos are the stuff of much conversation. I hope you enjoyed and probably even learned about some cameos you didn't know where there. Thanks for reading our latest listicle!

So what did you think? Did I miss any major video game character cameos you think should have been included? Don't forget to leave a comment below!

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The Science Behind it: How Voice Actors Sound Different From Game to Game https://www.gameskinny.com/cbzvs/the-science-behind-it-how-voice-actors-sound-different-from-game-to-game https://www.gameskinny.com/cbzvs/the-science-behind-it-how-voice-actors-sound-different-from-game-to-game Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:00:01 -0500 Caio Sampaio

We all have our favorites characters in the video game industry -- the ones we learned to admire and cherish dearly in our minds. Characters like Solid Snake, Commander Shepard, Samus Aran, and Master Chief are some of the memorable protagonists the medium has produced. But bringing those characters to life is no easy task.

Animators, writers, modelers, and many other artists dedicate their time and skill to creating the people inside the fictional universe of a video game. But there's another professional who is crucial in dictating whether the audience will resonate with a character -- the voice actor.

Late last year, we published an article addressing the current state of voice acting in video games. In it, we discussed the issue of game developers relying on Troy Baker and Nolan North for the majority of the male protagonist roles in the industry. 

As these two actors continue to be used for several projects, they face the challenge of altering their voices in order to prevent two characters from sounding the same. 

Voice acting requires years of practice to master the science behind the art. In the topics below, we will explore some of the techniques voice actors use to constantly change their voices and bring a large cast of characters to life.

The Falsetto

This is a technique mostly associated with singing, but actors use it in their work -- as the voice actor Brian Hull comments in the video above, in which he teaches how to sound as Mickey Mouse:

"All voices are kind of like music. Every voice has a melody. It is important to realize what those notes are and how they work."

The intention of the falsetto is to increase the pitch of the voice. In singing, this is the technique often employed when male singers use female-like voices. But in acting, it can serve various purposes.

For instance, an actor with a naturally deep voice who is playing a character that is young may be asked to perform a falsetto, in order to add some pitch to his voice and sound more juvenile. 

It is important to note, however, that doing a falsetto does not imply making an entirely female voice. An experienced actor will know how to use this technique to reach a vast range of tones, as opposed to going to the extreme. 

A question still lingers; however. How does the falsetto actually work?

The Wikipedia article about this technique reads:

"Production of the normal voice involves vibration of the entire vocal cord, with the glottis opening first at the bottom and then at the top. Production of falsetto, on the other hand, vibrates only the ligamentous edges of the vocal folds while leaving each fold's body relatively relaxed. Transition from modal voice to falsetto occurs when each vocal cord's main body, or vocalis muscle, relaxes, enabling the cricothyroid muscles to stretch the vocal ligaments"

"With the vocalis muscles relaxed it is possible for the cricothyroids to place great longitudinal tension upon the vocal ligaments. The tension can be increased in order to raise the pitch even after the maximum length of the cords has been reached. This makes the vocal folds thin so that there is negligible vertical phase difference. The vocalis muscles fall to the sides of the larynx and the vibration take place almost entirely in the ligaments."

So the falsetto allows actors to add pitch to their voices. But there is another technique that lets them take their voices in the opposite direction.

Guttural Growler (Vocal Fry):

This is a technique used to reach a deep voice and it is often used in villains. The Wikia All The Tropes explains:

"A character who speaks with a deep, throaty rasp. This style of speaking gives the character an ominous or solemn tone, so it's usually the domain of Anti Heroes, protagonists of Darker and Edgier works, and villains."

In gaming, this technique is mostly known for the protagonists of the Metal Gear franchise, Solid Snake (right) and Big Boss. Its technical name is "vocal fry", according to the aforementioned Wikia page.   

The Wikipedia entry for "vocal fry" clarifies the science behind this technique:

"It is produced through a loose glottal closure which will permit air to bubble through slowly with a popping or rattling sound of a very low frequency. During this phonation, the arytenoid cartilages in the larynx are drawn together which causes the vocal folds to compress rather tightly and become relatively slack and compact. This process forms a large and irregularly vibrating mass within the vocal folds that produces the characteristic low popping or rattling sound when air passes through the glottal closure."

This technique is often used in characters that need to withstand pain and/or scream, as shown in the video below from Metal Gear Solid, where Solid Snake speaks in the torture room.

[Warning: Spoilers for Metal Gear Solid]

This technique can be also used to make a character sound older than the actor.

Putting Both Techniques Together

It is important to note that the universe of voice acting consists of enough techniques to fill a book  -- and through this article, we've only covered the basic principles of two of the most common ones.

Falsetto allows to create a high voice, whereas Vocal Fry emits a deep sound. But to make tens or even hundreds of characters come to life, an actor must know how to use the proper amount of both techniques to create a vast range of different voices.

This requires immense focus from the actor, to deliver the voice the developer wants and also to maintain the same voice through lots of hours of recording in the booth. Becoming a voice actor requires more dedication and focus than most people would imagine. 

It is not about just speaking on a microphone. 

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Six Things That Would Make Me Give Up on the Video Game Industry https://www.gameskinny.com/7u1v6/six-things-that-would-make-me-give-up-on-the-video-game-industry https://www.gameskinny.com/7u1v6/six-things-that-would-make-me-give-up-on-the-video-game-industry Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:17:26 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Throughout my life, I had the pleasure of being involved with different forms of entertainment. I studied playwriting in High School, worked as a film critic in my first year of college and now I am immersed in video games, a passion that started late in my life, at the age of 17, but only blossomed as the years went by.

When I first experienced interactive storytelling, I realized video games hold great potential to become the ultimate platform for narrative-driven experiences, in both depth and meaning, surpassing films and books. The prime example to support my reasoning is Ken Levine developing a story that can only be told through video games.

Moreover, games, through interactivity, can engage their users in a way that no other form of entertainment can. With this in mind, game designers have started to use their skills, in order to create experiences that motivate individuals to tackle real life problems.

Games can be a powerful tool for social change, as Jane McGonigal detailed in her New York Times bestselling book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World. The future for gaming seems bright in various fronts.

This industry continues to become more sophisticated each year, developing deeper and more engaging experiences and as the development curve for video games remains steep, the revolutions we are witnessing today are only the beginning.

While I love video games in their current form, the future of this medium is what excites me the most about it and also what makes me place games above all other forms of art.

However, as in any relationship, I may have to reevaluate my judgment over video games if certain expectations are not met in the long run. 

With this said, I compiled six future scenarios that, in conjunction, would make me give up on placing the video game industry on top of my priority list.  

Reason #1 - Lack of meaningful innovation:

As technology continues to grow in an exponential rate, new gadgets and novel ideas are created each day and the time spam between the development of one innovative product and another is getting shorter, due to a principle known as Moore’s Law.

This concept states that technology doubles its processing power every two years, as seen in the graphic below, designed by Singularity University.

Video game studios keep a close eye on the technological market, in order to spot opportunities to implement new technologies in their productions and gain an advantage on the competition. The current example of this process is the expansion of Virtual Reality.

I fear; however, for a future in which the time between the arrival of one revolutionary product and the other continues to get shorter, to the point that developers will not have enough time to fully explore one technology, before moving on to the next "big thing”.

If this scenario comes to fruition, it will hurt the innovation this industry can deliver, as developers will not be able to explore a technology to its limits.

Considering that I place the gaming universe on top of my priority list due to what the future holds. Lack of significant innovation is a scenario that could make me shift my focus towards other mediums.  

eita

Reason #2 - Lack of focus:

The Final Hours of Portal 2 (above) is an e-book written by the video game journalist Geoff Keighley, in which the author details the development process of Valve’s Portal 2.

Therein, Geoff reveals the story behind the origins of the game, and how the initial concept diverged from the final product we all go to know. The original premise of the game featured a counterintuitive concept.

In an attempt to innovate in their design, developers at Valve produced an early version of the game that did not feature portals and included a much different story. The codename of the project was F-Stop. 

The development team; however, realized it had moved too far away from the essence of the franchise. Acknowledging its mistake, Valve restarted the design of the game and Portal 2in the form we all know, was born.

With acclaim from both critics and fans, scoring 9.5/10 on Metacritic (PC version), Valve managed to transform its bad start into a masterpiece, but not every developer can accomplish this feat. A prime example is the Call of Duty franchise.

Through the years, players complained that the series had become too repetitive and when the minds behind it decided to alter their formula, the fans reacted negatively to the change.

I am referring to the latest entry of the series, Infinite Warfare

Enthusiast asked for change and when they received it, they complained. This may seem as a paradox, but the issue was not the change itself, but how it was delivered.

It was so drastic; that the essence of the franchise fell into oblivion and this resulted in a lesser product in the eyes of the players. Without following the identity of the series, it was not a surprise that the sales were 50% down from Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

In the years to come; however, this issue might not be exclusive to Call of Duty. The problem of lack of identity might spread in the video game franchises of the future. 

As developers have at their disposal an increasingly large set of technological tools to work with, the problem of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may affect the video game industry as a whole in the future.

In tandem with Reason #1, I fear for a future when developers attempt to harness the potential of several technological innovations at once and by “shooting at every direction”, the essence of long-standing franchises might be lost. Resulting; therefore, in a less engaging experience, which aspires to be many different things at once. However, it ends up pushing too hard towards innovation and failing to preserve what made it special in the first place.

Reason # 3 - Lack of focus (on writing):

Video games have delivered masterpieces in regards to writing, The Last of Us, BioShock and Mass Effect, to name a few, but these are the exceptions, unfortunately.

The overall standard for writing in this industry is considered low, if compared to other forms of entertainment, such as films and books.

The video above, from the YouTube channel Extra Credits, gets into further detail as to why the gaming industry often delivers poor narratives, but the biggest factor is the working conditions under which writers operate.

In many games, developing a narrative comes as one of the last steps in the development cycle, which means the writer needs to construct a story for a game that has essentially been already built.

With this said; video game writers usually need to face the frustration of having their imaginations limited by the constraints of the project, needing to adapt their ideas to a game that has been presented to them. This scenario limits the artistic freedom of writers and hurts the quality of their work.

The most notable example of writers delivering poor narratives as a consequence of the constraints of the project is the original Mirror's Edge game.

In 2011, the writer of the game, Rhianna Pratchett, spoke to the website ActionRip and commented on the reason why Mirror's Edge lacked a compelling narrative.

"DICE was a great company to work with, but Mirror’s Edge was a challenging project and an important learning experience for me. Unfortunately, because of the timing when I was brought in and a large amount of the script being cut (due to the late decision to remove level dialogue) the narrative wasn’t what I would’ve liked it to be. Thankfully, I got the chance to remedy this a little bit in the Mirror’s Edge comic series with DC. The story in those was much more along the lines of what I would’ve liked to have developed for the game."

This is the opposite of the working circumstances in other mediums, such as television and film, where the emphasis is in the narrative and all of the rest is built around that.

This trend in gaming is changing; however.

Some studios now have full-time writers as part of their design teams. These include BioWare, Ubisoft and Valve (above) and they aim to develop the narrative of their games since the initial concept, finding the best methods to combine storytelling with gameplay, in order to ensure both work together and deliver an optimal experience.

This shows a commitment from these companies to deliver compelling narratives and it represents the recognition that a good story is a fundamental piece to make a game be successful.

It is my hope to see more studios adhering to this modus operandi of placing more emphasis on writing and holding it as a crucial element of the experience.

Narrative design is a key component of the game’s design, after all, but whilst this industry has improved significantly from its roots, there still is plenty of room for improvement.

Developers are still discovering the language of video game narrative and this process of attempting new techniques, especially in the indie scenario, excites me, due to its potential to deliver more compelling and emotionally provoking experiences.

Considering the potential video games hold for storytelling, and given my passion for the art of telling stories, if the development curve in the evolution of video game narratives cease to be as steep as it is now, this will demotivate me to keep my excitement over the future of this industry.

Reason #4 - Lack of self regard:

Video games have come a long way since their conception, but they still have a long way to go. In order to improve the experiences of today and perfect the ones of tomorrow, we must learn from the past.

For this purpose, case studies have been created around games that are the best this industry has to offer to date, in order to understand what made them so special, but not everyone agrees that we should study games in depth.

Two years ago, I watched a video posted by the YouTube channel Extra Credits titled “Art is Not The Opposite of Fun” (above). As video games continue to become more complex, a worrying trend also emerges.

A portion of gamers believes that making a deep analysis of the products of this industry will make them worse. They claim video games are meant to be fun and studying them, in order to craft deeper experiences and develop their potential as a form of artistic expression, would hinder the fun they deliver.  

People perceive art as something boring or weird and some gamers fear that making games become more artistic will lessen their fun.

I must say, unfortunately, that I have witnessed this trend occur with my friends. In many occasions, when trying to talk about a game in a deeper sense, my peers would simply say, “it is just a game”, in an urge for me to stop “overthinking” about it.

If I speak about the potential games have to deliver experiences of art, people automatically assume I wish to make games become as boring and weird as people perceive art to be.

The image below portraits the reactions I get when I mention the development of games as a form of art.

“It is just a game”, this assumption needs to go.

We cannot demand better experiences if we, as a community, are not willing to mature along with this industry. The games designers create are a mirror that reflects us. They want us to buy their games; therefore, they create products to suit our needs.

With this said; if we are to ask for better content, we must grow together with the industry and attempt to discuss our games in a deeper level and that means embracing the possibility of having games as an artistic product.

Creating more artistic games; however, will not be easy. As Reason #2 stated, players can react negatively if games change in a way that makes them loose their essence, as happened with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

With this said, the trick to making games mature as a form of art, without making them lose their fun, is ensuring that developers do not deviate entirely from what makes games special today.

Aiming for the future, whilst staying true to the past of games should be the goal of developers, so they may deliver productions with great artistic value, that are still fun to play.

But as the video from Extra Credits explains, there is a hidden reason as to why many gamers vilify those who study video games in depth.

They do not want games to change.

Many gamers love their favorite titles so much that they want them to remain as they are forever and as developers study new ways of delivering experiences through gaming, some gamers fear that the aspects they cherished dearly in their favorite titles will be a part of the past, buried seven feet under.

Whilst this is a comprehensible concern, we as an industry must acknowledge the potential video games hold for the future and unfortunately, techniques from yesterday may not entertain the audiences of tomorrow.

We must learn from the past, but never copy from it. We shall adapt what made games great today to the new reality of the future that is yet to come, but in a careful manner, so we do not lose the essence of gaming. We must evolve from where we stand, rather than creating something new.

This will be achieved through discussions on the topic, among professionals from AAA companies, indie studios and gamers, who should not think that games are “just games”.

AAA studios spend time and resources, in order to learn as much as possible about the art and science of game design. but if their target audience continues to diminish their efforts and they do not make a significant impact in revenue, studios may downscale these researches and progress in this industry may become stagnant.

Given that the biggest factor that compels me to video games is the prospect they possess, if this scenario occurs, I may have to reconsider what my favorite form of entertainment is.

Reason #5 - Lack of cultural plurality:

According to Newzoo, the top ten list for largest video game markets in the world looks as follows:

It is possible to see that the top ten rank is populated exclusively by countries from Asia, North America and Europe and it is no surprise that the major AAA studios in this industry are located in these continents, but other contenders are appearing quickly.

India, Brazil and Russia are examples of emerging markets in the video game industry and their indie scene is growing rapidly. Due to the expansion of the middle classes in these nations, more people have gained the financial resources to afford a computer and work on a game with their peers.

If you do not live in an emerging economy, you may ask - “Does this affect me?”

Yes, it does and a lot.

The emergence of these economies can bring plenty of benefits to the video game industry. The countries mentioned herein have cultures that differ vastly from the nations that dominate game development.

Individuals from these emerging markets have a different perspective over the world, due to a different culture, and this influences the products they create.

The different culture and set of beliefs from these developers in emerging countries makes them tackle different themes and explore new ideas, because they look at games through a different set of lenses.

Every gamer benefits from this, because this growth of the industry in emerging nations will allow players from all over the world to enjoy new experiences, themes, ideas and a more culturally rich industry.  

The best example of cultural plurality benefiting the video game industry as whole was the development of games in Japan and how they differed from the games designed in the United States.

The video game industry in American soil develops mostly FPS games, in which the gun is seen as a tool to empower the player against the foes. In Japanese productions, on the other hand, a gun is perceived as an extension of the character and used as a mean to escape from a situation where everything went wrong. In Japan, the gun is a last resort.

This occurs due to a difference in culture. In the United States, guns are seen through the lenses of soldiers, whereas in Japan, they are perceived under the philosophy of the samurai.

With this reasoning, Japanese developers created games such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid (above), each of these productions representing a revolution in the industry.

If Japan had not invested in video games, many contributions of this country to this industry would not have happened. Now, imagine if more countries start to emerge and establish video game studios.

In the future, we may see several revolutions in this industry, as developers from various part of the worlds, with different cultures, would look at games in a different manner, as happened with Japan.

The biggest concern for this future; however, is politics. In emerging nations, unfortunately, corruption rates are very high, as seen in the map below, presented by Transparency International.

In the emerging countries, a corruption scandal can suddenly become public and change the entire governmental structure. Despite living in the USA for a period of my life, I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I currently reside.

Our former president, Dilma Rousseff, lost the presidency after a political scandal, being accused of improper use of government money. After the current president, Michel Temer, took control, the direction of the country changed drastically.

As everything may change with the blink of an eye in developing countries, due to the corruption levels thereat, the promising landscape of the middle class and the video game industry in these locations may shift suddenly as well and not for the better.

With few unfortunate moves, a government may wither the development of the video game industry in its soil, by halting the social progress done in the last few years.

It may happen in Brazil, as Michel Temer promises to cut social programs, which were intended to allow the population to raise above the poverty line. This can happen in Russia, India and any other developing country, where instability rules.

The middle class in these nations progressed quickly, but it might go the other way around just as fast, depending on which way the wind blows in the government.

I dream of a future in which the plurality of cultures making video games increases significantly; however, the political scenario might shift in a manner that stops the progress of the gaming industry in developing countries.

If this occurs, we may never see the cultural diversity they would bring to this industry and this lost potential could demotivate, because the future I envision would not happen.

 

Reason #6 - Lack of social engagement:

If you are reading this article, it means you have an interest in the video game industry and there probably has been people in your life who have claimed that gaming is a fruitless activity; a waste of time.

Luckily, not everyone adopts this reasoning. Some individuals recognize the superb job video games have done to retain the attention of their users. Some people even go further and reckon that video games have potential to save the world.

In your job or at school, you have probably felt at some point that you could not clearly see the reason as to why you are performing certain tasks. You perhaps felt demotivated to go on.

If you felt this way, you are not alone. According to Forbes, most Americans are unhappy at work. The reason varies from not seeing the impact their jobs have, to a detachment from the mission of the company. 

Video games; however, are on the opposite side of the trend, as they continue to become increasingly more engaging, but playing a game consists of completing tasks, as in a real life job. With this said, what makes people become attracted with doing virtual work, whilst they become more dissatisfied with their real life jobs?

In a video game, players feel empowered. They relate with the objective of the experience and most importantly, they receive a clear an immediate feedback upon completing a task. They see how their actions influences the virtual universe around them. They have a clear sense of progression. This motivates players to continue.

In real life, there is no such thing. Reality is broken.

In her book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World, Jane McGonigal tells how we can craft a better world through gaming.

In her piece, she shares the techniques game designers use, in order to motivate players to become engaged in a video game. Her objective is to apply these techniques to real life situations, so they become more interesting and people become happier with their endeavors.

Using concepts from game design in non-game contexts is known as Gamification and it can be used to motivate people to engage in various activities, including those that can help others and save the world.

In 2007, McGonigal released an Alternate Reality Game, called World Without Oil. It was an experiment in which users needed to imagine themselves in a world suffering from a sudden oil shortage.

Players needed to work together, in order to create practical solutions to adapt to this new reality. The data gathered in this game has the intent of saving the world one day, as its Wikipedia article states:

By playing it out in a serious way, the game aimed to apply collective intelligence and imagination to the problem in advance, and create a record that has value for educators, policymakers, and the common people to help anticipate the future and prevent its worst outcomes. ”

We can see examples of video games causing positive impact even when they do not have the intention. The prime example is Pokemon Go stimulating sedentary individuals to go for a walk and sometimes even aiding to treat depression.

The potential video games have to retain the attention of users can be used to benefit society as whole, in various fields, including social change, happiness at work and even education, as the video below, from Extra Credits, explains:

The trend of using gaming for social good may help the video game industry to cleanse its reputation of “fruitless”, whilst actively changing the world. This premise should excite every gamer, but if it fails to continue, it might demotivate me to stick with this industry.

Conclusion:

It is my sincere wish to see the video game industry thrive, for I believe it holds enormous potential in the areas mentioned herein and many more, which I did not cite in this article for the sake of its length.

While I enjoy the games of today, what makes me place video games on top of my priority list is the bright prospect of this industry. If for some reason, the brilliant future of gaming does not occur, I will continue to play, but my perception of this field as the ultimate entertainment platform will most likely change. 

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Gift Guide: 10 of the Best Winter Hats for Gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/yv52h/gift-guide-10-of-the-best-winter-hats-for-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/yv52h/gift-guide-10-of-the-best-winter-hats-for-gamers Fri, 11 Nov 2016 10:00:01 -0500 SarahKel

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So there it is everyone, 10 of the most amazing retro gamer hats that are currently on the market - enjoy them, love them, buy them.  We love them all too!  We hope that this list inspires you for the retro gamer in your life, or equally for you!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/3/0/6/306252-285x255-6ebc9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/3/0/6/306252-285x255-6ebc9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139966","description":"
Metal Gear Solid Cap Foxhound
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: 18.98EURO

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Buy It: Game Legends

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This Metal Gear Solid hat is a unusual hat, more like a military hat, which would be great with a pair of New Rocks and a long swishing coat. It is a hat that fits snugly onto the wearer’s head and is does provide quite a smart look for most occasions. The Foxhound logo is a great embellishment on the hat too!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/space-invaders-hat-7be9c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/a/space-invaders-hat-7be9c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139963","description":"
Space Invaders Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: $14.94

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Buy It: Amazon

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This adorable hat lines up the aliens from the Space Invaders game. It appears to have a slightly snugger fit than other beanies, the shape is designed to ensure that the wearer stays warm and is a little more robust than other hats.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/i/c/e/ice-climbers-cc714.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/i/c/e/ice-climbers-cc714.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139961","description":"
Ice Climbers Beanie Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: $13.61

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Buy It: Amazon

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Probably one of the most winter themed games out there, it's a really well themed hat for winter! A simple design, with 8 bit decoration of 2 characters and a heart from the game is perfect to keep the wearer warm, but the soft material means it feels lovely too.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-d80c8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-d80c8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139959","description":"
Nintendo Mario Bros 8 Bit Fair Isle Pom Beanie
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: $22.90

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Buy It: Amazon

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The 8 bit styling on this hat is pretty amazing, Mario leaping in the air throughout the hat, almost like he's jumping for the knitted snowflakes - what could be more wintery than that?  Great colours on its too and the pom pom on top is a great feature.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/n/sonic-hedgehog-ski-beanie-hat-spines-640x640-491b1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/n/sonic-hedgehog-ski-beanie-hat-spines-640x640-491b1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139958","description":"
Sonic the Hedgehog Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: £14.99

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Buy It: Gamerbilia

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Disclaimer, this hat will not make you go faster, nor will gold coins appear whilst you’re wearing the hat and walking about! But it is so lovely and has the Sonic spikes so is really distinctive and the plaid danglers do make a really unusual twist to this type of alpine hat.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/c/pacman-22847.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/c/pacman-22847.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139957","description":"
Pac Man Ghost Crochet Hat
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: £16.48+

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Buy It: Etsy

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These hats are so adorable. It does feel like the eyes are watching you, they are handmade crochet hats and the variation is quite clear on the website, but this is a complete bonus as it does add to the quirky nature of the product. This is a really lovely quality item and recommended as it differs significantly from the usual Pac Man merchandise.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/e/v/eevee-hat-13b3b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/e/v/eevee-hat-13b3b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139956","description":"
Eevee Fleece Hat
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: £20.60

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Buy ItEtsy

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This is such a great hat, it is totally handmade too, so even if two people had the same hat, they’d slightly differ which is lovely and quirky. The fleece lined hat is perfect for the coldest of days and perfect for both original Pokemon players and those who’ve jumped on board due to Pokemon Go.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/starcraft-ed9ca.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/starcraft-ed9ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139955","description":"
Blizzard Store Starcraft Abathar Hat
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Rating: 10/10

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Price: $34.00

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Buy ItBlizzard

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The store with the most appropriate name for winter hats, has of course the most elaborate hat, Abathor from Starcraft. The best thing with this hat, is that it’s not just a hat, it doubles as a plushie too, woohoo, two gifts in one! And come on, who can’t resist those tentacles!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/s/yoshi-ski-beanie-hat-green-420x420-9a5c6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/s/yoshi-ski-beanie-hat-green-420x420-9a5c6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139951","description":"
Yoshi Ski Beanie Hat
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Rating: 9/10

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Price: £14.99

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Buy ItGamerbilia

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Such a great product, it’s fun and honestly, a woolly hat that relates to Yoshi’s Woolly World is such a great tie-in, it really is. A cute ski hat, with pom poms and a smiley proud Yoshi is literally the cutest hat. It is Yoshi green colour, so wearers are easily identifiable, even on a dark night!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gametee-hat1-77f56.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gametee-hat1-77f56.jpg","type":"slide","id":"139946","description":"
Hero of Time Embroidered Beanie
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Rating: 8/10

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Price: £12.99

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Buy ItGametee

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It’s a Zelda hat! From the Ocarina of Time. A fairly plain hat, with an embroidered golden triforce, it is a really good choice, without being elaborate, great price too and Gametee is renowned for their quality items. Ideal for a Zelda fan and also a great warming wintery hat.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-ce84b.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/g/g/ggg-ce84b.png","type":"slide","id":"139941","description":"

Welcome to your essential gift guide for Christmas 2016 and we’re talking hats.  No, not top hats or trilbys, but gamer hats specifically ones where buyers can proudly display their love for their favourite games.

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But with a huge amount of amazing games out there, we can afford to be really, really choosy in regards to merchandise.  Quality is a large factor too, no shoddy generic gamer hats, but true gamer hats made for gamers.

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The hats in this gift guide hats are largely focussed on retro gaming, not just because they are such darn amazing games, but often cause the most finger points, shout outs and comments, because, you know that’s the ultimate kudos!

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So, I’ve narrowed down the best 10 gamer hats out there and remember people they are gifts for others, or you know, keep a beady eye on them for yourself!

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4 Games That Wouldn't Be the Same Without SAG-AFTRA https://www.gameskinny.com/68mc0/4-games-that-wouldnt-be-the-same-without-sag-aftra https://www.gameskinny.com/68mc0/4-games-that-wouldnt-be-the-same-without-sag-aftra Sun, 30 Oct 2016 13:00:01 -0400 Unclepulky

As many of you may be aware, members of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) have gone on strike in response to a new contract which would lower the pay and working conditions of voice actors.

Although they're often forgotten or taken for granted, voice actors are a crucial part of any story or character driven game. And they deserve better than what they're getting. To see why, all you have to do is look back at some of the games that SAG-AFTRA members brought to life. 

The following games all feature such voice actors. While some of these games are more well known than others, the performances in them all display proof that quality voice acting can majorly impact a game, a franchise, or even the industry as a whole.

4. The Metal Gear Solid Series

While the baffling decisions of Konami have killed the franchise, there's no denying the impact that the Metal Gear series has had on the industry. It practically invented the stealth genre in the 80s, and then revolutionized it a decade later. And it was one of the main reasons why the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 sold as well as they did. Then in 1998, Metal Gear Solid proved that games could be just as cinematic as movies.

While the stunning writing, directing, and choreography done by series creator Hideo Kojima contributed to this greatly, one can't deny the impact the voice acting had in this game's success. 

With voice acting veterans such as Rob Paulsen, Troy Baker, and Doug Stone, it's easy to see why players were so captivated. The voice of major character Dr. Naomi Hunter was done by Jennifer Hale, who is currently one of the major voices in the strike.

Of course, the series would have been nothing without its leading man, and David Hayter magnificently portrayed both Solid Snake and Big Boss. Consistently amazing throughout the series, his best performance can be found in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It's a performance so good, it has brought people to tears.

And, as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain showed, he was not replaceable. Kiefer Sutherland did his best voicing Big Boss, but he just wasn't up to snuff. The lack of Hayter's presence is one of the major reasons many agree MGSV is the weakest Metal Gear Solid game, gameplay aside.  

Like Hale, Hayter is a major voice in the ongoing strike -- and we can only hope the best for him.

3. Tales of Symphonia

While Namco-Bandai isn't one of the companies voice actors are on strike against, it has previously enlisted the talent of several striking VA's. And Tales of Symphonia is one example.

Tales of Symphonia was the first game in the Tales series to really resonate with Western audiences. While kids playing the game may not have noticed, the gameplay was rather slow and clunky -- especially compared to the more modern Tales games.

But it wasn't the gameplay that won the west over; it was the characters and the actors who voiced them.

Scott Menville lead the charge as protagonist Lloyd Irving. Other talents such as Colleen Villard, Jennifer Hale, and the woman of 1,000 voices, Tara Strong, all played major roles. And now, many of them are on strike as members of SAG-AFTRA.

If this game hadn't been as much of a success as it was, the West may not have gotten the superior Tales games which came later, such as Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Xilla. And again, the gameplay alone would not have cut it.

To all of the voice actors in this game, thank you for allowing everyone to be able to experience this fantastic series. 

2. Catherine

All the other games on this list are hugely popular, or at least heard of by most. And while Catherine is by no means obscure, it's more of a cult hit.

Unlike Tales of Symphonia, the story and characters aren't the sole reason to play Catherine, but the desire in the player to see what happens next serves as a motivation to get through what, for the most part, is an incredibly difficult puzzle game.

This title is filled to the brim with big name voice actors. The titular Catherine is voiced by the lovely and talented Laura Bailey. Protagonist Vincent Brooks is voiced by Troy Baker, and Katherine is voiced by Michelle Ruff. Other talents in the game include Liam O'Brien, Yuri Lowenthal, and Travis Willingham.

Catherine's story is a dark one, but it's also a very well told one. The game is proof that even if a game isn't going to sell millions of copies, the voice actors in it will still do their best. 

Or at least, they will if their (admittedly reasonable) demands are met. 

1. The Last of Us

One of the most acclaimed titles of the decade so far, The Last of Us is a game that people have been saying should be adapted into a movie since before it came out.

The reason for that is quite simple: this game's story is one of the best in video game history. The atmosphere is rich, the tension builds slowly over the course of the game, and the protagonists (Joel and Ellie) feel like they could be real people.

While there are plenty of other talented VA's present in the game, it really is the performances of Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, as Joel and Ellie respectively, which carry this game.

You'll be scared with them, you'll cry with them, and at certain moments, you'll be genuinely pissed at them.

If video game companies think that performances like these can just be replicated by anyone, and that it doesn't matter who voiced their characters, then they are sorrily mistaken.

What are your thoughts on the strike? Which of these games are you personally a fan of? And who's your favorite voice actor? Let me know in the comments! #Performancematters

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Why Can't Developers Make Classic Franchises Great Forever? https://www.gameskinny.com/u47en/why-cant-developers-make-classic-franchises-great-forever https://www.gameskinny.com/u47en/why-cant-developers-make-classic-franchises-great-forever Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

Mega Man. Sonic the Hedgehog. Final Fantasy. Resident Evil. Silent Hill. These are just a small number of franchises that helped define my personal gaming history. And they're also franchises with fans who react to new titles with less "oh, great!" and more "ugh, not again."

This is kind of an inversion from the earlier days of gaming; I remember that there was once an unofficial rule that movie sequels were always terrible while game sequels were always good. In several of the above cases, the franchises even have provided some great games along the way, but they're also games that didn't connect with the long-time fans who would have been eagerly awaiting the next installment.

So why aren't older franchises evergreen? Why do the games you loved two decades ago not lead to more games in the same style now? The answer is that there are a lot of reasons why classic franchises aren't great forever, and it's helpful to understand why that's the case.

The people responsible have left...

When people start listing the great Silent Hill games, they always include the first three, usually including the fourth with a bit of a grudging nod, and pretty much never include the later games. Incidentally, the first four games were the only ones developed by Team Silent at Konami, with each subsequent installment developed by a completely different team.

Does that surprise you? It shouldn't. The creative team behind a game can really inform a lot of what goes into the actual game, and that goes beyond just saying that the original designers are always the best at designing a franchise. Teams that work together and develop multiple games can often produce games that feel very similar to one another in a positive way, but once people move on or new people come on board, the games they produce often feel very different even if they have the same core ideas. When Inafune left Capcom, that didn't stop the publisher from making more Mega Man games... but it also meant that the original creator wasn't there any longer, and that was after several staff and platform changes.

You can't just hand off tasks to an endless series of different people who don't necessarily understand the appeal of the original games. Watching a team really nail a franchise for multiple installments is a thing of beauty; witness the past few Persona titles, for example. But it's never permanent.

...and they might not have the spark left anyway

Here's a fun fact: Hideo Kojima wanted to leave the Metal Gear franchise after every single title. Why does Metal Gear Solid 2 end with such a bizarre, nonsensical cliffhanger? Because Kojima never intended to resolve it. He didn't want any lingering cliffhangers after the first Metal Gear Solid, he wanted to make that and be done with it. But he kept getting pulled back for another one, resulting in an ongoing contest of wills in which the franchise just would not die.

It's not just a matter of spite, though; playing through Mighty No. 9 repeatedly made me think that maybe Inafune needed to hang up his hat, that he just didn't have any more Mega Man in him. The reality of that, is that it's fine. Games are art like any other form, and it's fine to hand off the reins to someone new after a while. It just means that you are going to see a different sort of game, probably one that doesn't exactly resemble the originals.

The franchise has evolved past your memory

Final Fantasy was Hironobu Sakaguchi's last game ever. That was the plan. He made a game he never expected to sell as a wild experiment, so he could leave the field happy. Instead, it wound up becoming a huge success, resulting in a long-running series that has always brought on a wide variety of different developers and storytellers to make a series of games that are not meant as direct sequels to one another.

When people complain that, say, Final Fantasy XIII feels so different from classic Final Fantasy games, it stands out simply because most of those classic games also feel so different from one another. The franchise is built on doing something new with every single installment, and while some of the conceptual walks are further than others, you'd be hard-pressed to find a single pair of games that feel like the same game with a different set of wrappers.

The bright side is that it means that each new title is something fresh and different. The down side is that if you buy Final Fantasy XIII expecting Final Fantasy VI but new, you're going to be disappointed. The exchange for a franchise never getting stale is that it doesn't maintain the same shape indefinitely.

The environment has changed too much

You could not release Resident Evil today as a brand-new game without the weight of the franchise behind it. The game's awkward controls and pre-rendered backgrounds worked in no small part because of when it was released; if it was launched today it would be panned for bad acting, bad storytelling, weak gameplay, and poor graphics.

All that is fine. But there's an attached point that's easy to overlook: every new release in a franchise is the first release for someone. Yes, you've been playing Sonic the Hedgehog since the oddly stutter-stop motion of the first game in the series, but to someone out there, the most recent game starring a blue hedgehog is the first one they've ever played. And the fact of the matter is that these franchises need to evolve, simply to continue marketing themselves against legions of other games who have been inspired and influenced by these originals.

This is particularly true of older games that marketed themselves on punishing difficulty designed to artificially extend the game by eating up quarters. (Even if you didn't actually have quarters.) No one is willing to buy a new game for $60 that you can blow through in an hour but takes you time to beat because you just keep getting killed consistently. That means that designers need to bulk out the game in some way, and in the case of franchises that traditionally work on the basis of straightforward smashing sequences, it means that the core needs to change to account for the new gaming environment.

There's no longer a market

It barely needs to be said that the gaming market and environment is very different now compared to where it was in, say, 1990. And yes, some of that is as simple as the fact that video games are no longer exclusively sold in the back reaches of department stores who might put one or two on the shoe racks if they find the box, but it goes much further than that. The availability of gaming devices, the ways we engage with games, the budgets of big titles... everything is different.

This means that even old franchises need to adapt and change, as mentioned above, but it goes beyond bulking out games. Our patience for some features has evaporated, while our patience for others has increased. When Blizzard first launched StarCraft, online play was a novelty that was essentially just a bonus; when StarCraft II came out, it was a major component of the game.

Unfortunately, it does mean that some of the stuff you loved from back in the day just doesn't stick around. But on the bright side, it means that there's a neverending stream of new things. We live in a world with such a maddening surfeit of gaming options that even if your favorite franchise goes in a direction you no longer care for, there are still so many new games out there. You can almost certainly find something that appeals specifically to you.

Or you can just play Pokémon. I mean, let's be real, that gameplay isn't changing much until the heat-death of the universe.

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Hideo Kojima Reveals New Details About "Death Stranding" https://www.gameskinny.com/bkqm1/hideo-kojima-reveals-new-details-about-death-stranding https://www.gameskinny.com/bkqm1/hideo-kojima-reveals-new-details-about-death-stranding Wed, 14 Sep 2016 05:30:20 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Hideo Kojima revealed new details about the enigmatic project he is working on with PlayStation, Death Stranding, earlier this week. While he did answer some questions raised by the game's bizarre cinematic trailer, he also raised a few new ones at the same time, as Kojima is sometimes known to do. 

Kojima announced at this year's Tokyo Game that Death Stranding will be an open-world action game framed by a story akin to those he is known for in his other titles. Unfortunately, there was still no word on an official release date.

Although he also briefly discussed the game's online play, although in a manner that has evidently confused some people, saying:

"At the end of the day I want to offer an action game where people get connected with different elements, not just clubs,".

Visual representation of what Kojima hopes to accomplish with online play. 

While his metaphorical statements regarding the gameplay weren't very straightforward, it seems that Kojima is trying to explain that the online will be both cooperative and competitive, given his reference to ropes and sticks.

Hideo Kojima is on of the most well-known names in the entire gaming industry, being chiefly responsible for the genre-defining and boundary-pushing Metal Gear Solid series. Death Stranding will be the first game that both he and his studio, Kojima Productions, will have made since his separation from Konami.

If you're interested in Death Stranding, you can look at the game's mystifying reveal trailer below, and join in on the confusion. (Although we have some ideas on what might be going on.)

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The Best Pick-Up Lines From Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/tcw89/the-best-pick-up-lines-from-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/tcw89/the-best-pick-up-lines-from-video-games Tue, 21 Jun 2016 19:06:01 -0400 Brandon Morgan

Okay, chances are no one is actually going to use the cheesy pick-up line they heard in a video game while trying to woo their potential significant other. Honestly, if you said some of this stuff on a first date the other person may just laugh you out of the restaurant, so be wary of what escapes your open mouth.

With that general warning aside, if you do have a significant other who is deeply into video games or is as cheesy as you, then by all means start tossing out some video game pick-up lines. Hey, maybe one of them will work tonight!

The Smoothest, Cheesiest, and the very Best Pick-Up Lines:

"Maybe I'll let you do a strip search on me."

Okay, this one seriously goes against everything a doctor would stand for in real life. In Metal Gear Solid, Snake is offered the chance to receive a very sensual striptease from a certain long-haired doctor - Naomi - with a few proclivities on her mind.

Snake, being the total player that he is, responds, "I'll hold you to that, doctor." The rest is history, as some would say.

"I already checked you out, Commander."

This one could be taken as a harmless comment, but come on! Being the commander of a massive army in StarCraft: Brood War is supposed to be an attractive concept. The sultry medic within the game often spurts out lines like this one in her smooth, jazzy voice. 

If you take it too far, though, she will mock you and inquire into your need for yet another full physical.

"I would gladly cut my belly for you."

Sure, this one is a tad bit creepy and unsettling, but back in the ancient times of Way of the Samurai 4, this pick-up line probably worked on all of the dangerous women who carry large swords.

When it comes to wooing a female character in the game, your options are almost limitless. Basically, you can go as far as telling her to "open her borders" for you. It's a bit creepy, a tad bit raunchy, and totally worthy of mention.

"I see a strong, passionate man. With a great ass."

The relationship between Commander Shephard and Ashley in Mass Effect 3 is one worthy of an entire romance novel. There are plenty of romantic gestures and lines used throughout the game, but this one stands out the most.

In this particular scene, Shephard asks Ashley, "Is my rank all you see when you look at me?" Ashley, being the smooth criminal she truly is, responds, "No, I see a strong, passionate man. With a great ass." She couldn't make things any clearer for the Commander.

"The only music I'm interested in is creakin' bed-springs while I take you for a magic ride on my purple submarine."

Leisure Suit Larry is packed to near explosion with cheesy, horrible pick-up lines that are hilarious, but should never be used in the wild. Read the above if you think we're joking whatsoever. This particular gem of a line hails from the Box Office Bust title, which contains even more raunchy lines that come across as cringe-inducing.

Larry is a dirty bird, for sure.

"Is there a thief in the Vault? 'Cause you stole my heart"

Simple, straight to the point, and beyond cheesy. Fallout Shelter is just a pure wonderland for pick-up lines if you keep an eye on the residence room. Whenever two dwellers come together, the lines just flow with such ease. This one is just a sample, but it is actually quite elegant once you really read it. It's a bit sweet, too!

These are just a few of the odd pick-up lines hailing from various video games. It is up to you whether or not to make use of them in the real world.

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Fans outraged over Metal Gear Solid Pachinko game https://www.gameskinny.com/dpcz5/fans-outraged-over-metal-gear-solid-pachinko-game https://www.gameskinny.com/dpcz5/fans-outraged-over-metal-gear-solid-pachinko-game Fri, 03 Jun 2016 04:31:21 -0400 Stan Rezaee

In what has been considered adding insult to injury, Konami has recreated key moments from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater using the Fox Engine for a Pachinko machine.

The announcement adds more friction to a tense relationship between the publisher and the gaming world. Konami has been the center of controversy following its open dispute with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima.

Many in the gaming community were expecting some kind of a casino game after rumors emerged that Konami had filed a trademark for a Pachinko machine called "Big Boss". Still, it was a great shock when Konami unveiled Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater, which recreated several memorable moments from the iconic game using the Fox Engine.

The announcement has already been met with a massive backlash from fans of the series and the gaming media. The trailer has received over 22,000 dislikes and only 700 likes on YouTube, making it more unpopular than the trailer for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Back in 2015, Konami had a vicious dispute with Hideo Kojima that ended with him departing to establish a new studio. News of the dispute became public back in May when Kojima Studios was removed from all promotional material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain followed by the controversial decision to cancel Silent Hills.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released on November 17, 2004 for the PlayStation 2, and it has been praised as one of the greatest titles of the Sixth Generation console era. It was a prequel to the series follows Snake as he needs to prevent a major war by assassinating his mentor, The Boss, after she defects to the Soviet Union.

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Metal Gear Solid Pachinko Machine Revealed https://www.gameskinny.com/x7o31/metal-gear-solid-pachinko-machine-revealed https://www.gameskinny.com/x7o31/metal-gear-solid-pachinko-machine-revealed Sun, 05 Jun 2016 07:10:43 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

Acting as the first game since Hideo Kojima left Konami last year, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater (not to be confused for the actual Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater) will be released as a pachinko machine game for Japanese audiences later this fall. The game is being made by KPE, the slot machine game makers at Konami. The game will run in 32-HD screens and character models redone with the update Fox Engine that ran last years Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. You can Watch the trailer down below.

KPE fileda trademark for "Big Boss," the name of a Metal Gear franchise character, in the field of games on September.

The last Metal Gear Solid game, The Phantom Pain, was released on PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 last year on September 1st to critical acclaim, winning numerous awards, including game of the year from various outlets. The game shipped over 6 million copies.

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Solid Snake Stealth Camouflage Nendoroid will be Available at Anime Expo 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/a19wh/solid-snake-stealth-camouflage-nendoroid-will-be-available-at-anime-expo-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/a19wh/solid-snake-stealth-camouflage-nendoroid-will-be-available-at-anime-expo-2016 Thu, 02 Jun 2016 04:13:56 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Anime Expo is one of the largest anime conventions in North America. The convention is home to many booths where patrons can purchase anime and video game related merchandise. Today, an employee from the Good Smile Company, known as Himouto Mamitan on Twitter, tweeted that an exclusive Solid Snake Nendoroid will be available at Anime Expo 2016.

The figurine is a light green color and is slightly transparent. Like with other Nendoroids, the figurine will likely include different props and a variety of face plates and limbs to pose the character in any way you please. Mamitan also hints that Good Smile will have a booth set up at the convention where patrons will be able to purchase the Nendoroid. This figurine is an exclusive Stealth Camouflage version and will be in limited supplies at Anime Expo. 

Anime Expo is held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California from July 1 to July 4. If you’re in the area, a fan of the Metal Gear Solid series, or just a fan of anime, you can purchase your tickets at the Anime Expo Website.

[Source Image: Solid Snake Original Nendoroid ]

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Face-swapping our favorite video game characters https://www.gameskinny.com/dzw1l/face-swapping-our-favorite-video-game-characters https://www.gameskinny.com/dzw1l/face-swapping-our-favorite-video-game-characters Wed, 11 May 2016 03:35:27 -0400 Sergey_3847

Face-swapping was expertly introduced to the world of media in the 90s after the release of the film “Face/Off” with Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. That was an ultimate face-swap and it worked great in the movie.

Later the same technique was used for commercial album covers, of which the best representative was the seminal electronic EP by Aphex Twin “Windowlicker.” Since then, internet memes evolved to unseen heights. And now face-swapping has reached critical mass on social media.

But how many face swaps of your favorite video game characters have you seen? Not that many, isn’t it? Here’s our take on the world of gaming with a few thoughts to accompany this shameless swap-fest.

Solid Snake & Geralt of Rivia

Solid Snake vs. Geralt of Rivia

The two iconic video game characters – Solid Snake and Geralt, The Witcher – always looked like it the same person, just in different outfits. They look especially similar in the latest installments of Metal Gear Solid and The Witcher series.

Now, all the modders need to do is make Geralt wear OctoCamo in the outskirts of Skellige, and make Snake put on some medieval armor with a couple of swords in the middle of Afghanistan. Nobody will even notice the difference.

Trevor Philips & Nathan Drake

Trevor Philips vs. Nathan Drake

Trevor is probably the most violent character in the history of video gaming, but it looks like he has a chance of finally becoming a good guy in the guise of Nathan Drake.

Meanwhile Nathan should just quit his majestic endeavors and settle down in some provincial southern town, at least that’s what his new look hints on.

Darth Vader & Batman

Darth Vader vs. Batman

Batman needs to somehow utilize Vader’s mask in his suit, as it does look totally horror-inducing. Maybe a new series of comic books or an animated film would do justice to this mad cross-over.

It’s time for a new Batman – the one that has no empathy or sense of duty, but who is just a merciless hunter of the night.

Vaas & Pagan Min

Vaas vs. Pagan Min

The last two installments in the Far Cry series of games had some excellent villains, who were both well-written and acted. Now, what would happen if these characters switched their faces in the "Face/Off" style? Well, the result would be hilarious and not as nearly dangerous as with their original looks.

Joel & Aiden Pearce

Joel vs. Aiden Pearce

Joel from The Last of Us must be the most humane character ever presented in video games thus far.

Unfortunately, you can’t say the same about the Watch Dogs protagonist, but despite a lack of depth, Aiden Pearce works well for the type of story Ubisoft decided to tell.

And now, something a bit special for Nintendo fans…

Super Mario & Pikachu

Super Mario vs. Pikachu

You know that something great should happen when your Mario turns into a Pokemon.

Bayonetta vs. Princess Peach

Bayonetta vs. Princess Peach

Bayonetta origin story coming soon…where she fights hordes of monsters as a cute girl with really, really big and innocent eyes.

If you can show a few face-swapping experiments of your own, then don’t hold back and share them in the comments section.

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Top 10 Myths and Facts About Armor in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/3k4a8/top-10-myths-and-facts-about-armor-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/3k4a8/top-10-myths-and-facts-about-armor-in-video-games Sun, 17 Apr 2016 07:55:54 -0400 Sergey_3847

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Myth #10: Helmets are useless
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How many times did you see a character in the game wear tons of armor, but with no helmet on? This is a common thing, since you can't show an emotional reaction if a character has a darn helmet on. Fortunately, we have Halo.

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But let’s be serious, helmets are super important. If you wear a headgear, then be sure that you can at least take one headshot and stay alive. Helmets saved millions of lives throughout history, so if you can wear one in the game – do so!

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Keep in mind that while all these myths obviously have nothing to do with reality, the purpose of this article was to show how far away modern video games still are from real life. Although, many developers are trying to narrow this gap and will hopefully manage to do so.

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What other myths about armor in video games can you share? Write about your observations in the comments section below.

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Myth #9: Too much equipment
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Most video games completely ignore important elements like weight. For some reason, characters can carry an incredible amount of equipment in their backpack. Only a few games actually let the factor of weight influence the gameplay (e.g. Dark Souls).

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No soldier can carry more armor and auxiliary equipment than what their physique allows. Current British and US soldiers use the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment system, also known as MOLLE. It was specifically designed to help soldiers define the necessary amount of equipment they could carry during their missions without overburdening themselves.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/8/008-13005.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/8/008-13005.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112459","description":"
Myth #8: Bright colors and flashy design
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Almost every online first-person shooter (Call of Duty, Arma, CS:GO) offers custom armor and weapon skins for your characters. Usually, those skins look like they were made by street graffiti artists – they’re way too flashy and colorful.

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Any Special Ops operative would tell you that no one in their right mind would want to wear this sort of armor on the real mission. The purpose of any armor is not only to protect, but also to hide the presence of the wearer by using colors that would help them merge with the background and not the other way around.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/7/007-39cf1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/7/007-39cf1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112458","description":"
Myth #7: Permanent full-body armor
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Some video games make you think that its characters wear their highly advanced full-body armor 24 hours a day. Excuse me, but how do they handle their biological needs?

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Well, in real life these types of costumes have either the corresponding openings that are easy to access or even have a full life-support system integrated inside the costume. This makes wearing this kind of armor a bit easier, but still not too comfortable.

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Obviously, fictional video game characters don’t need any of that, but it wouldn’t hurt if developers could explain how the full-body armor works in their games - it would help players immerse themselves into the worlds of their favorite games even more.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/6/006-72491.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/6/006-72491.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112457","description":"
Myth #6: Extreme shoulder protectors
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Villains in video games enjoy wearing shoulder protectors on a naked torso. Do they really think it’s a good idea? As a matter of fact, it’s a terrible idea, as shoulders are the least affected area of body. This means that your enemies don’t care about your shoulders… at all.

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In reality shoulder protectors are sometimes a necessary accessory, but that’s it. They are never used on a naked upper body as the only part of your armor, unless you are a cosplayer.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/5/005-91475.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/5/005-91475.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112456","description":"
Myth #5: Full Metal Jacket
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We are all familiar with full metal power armor from Fallout and OctoCamo costume from Metal Gear Solid series of games. This particular type of armor is made of smart particles that is both resistant to damage and is as flexible as normal cloth. Additionally, it can activate mimic mode, thus becoming invisible to the enemies.

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Obviously, if this type of armor existed now it would be a dream come true for modern soldiers. However, nanotechnology is still in its early stage of development, so we probably won’t see anything similar in the near future.

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Today you can see something like full-body bullet-proof costumes that consist of many metal plates covering different parts of the body, but these things are extremely heavy and hardly anyone is capable of wearing them in the battlefield.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/4/004-3cdd4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/4/004-3cdd4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112455","description":"
Myth #4: Spiked armor is better
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Armor with spikes is often used in post-apocalyptic RPGs, such as Fallout. You could also see its implementation in the last year’s Mad Max game. When looking at them it almost makes sense – they protect the owner of the armor from external damage. Then why don’t we see spikes on any type of the modern armor?

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Well, the reason isn’t obvious, but there is one – all these spikes serve as useless extra weight. In the Middle Ages some warriors did attach spikes to their armor, as it made sense at the times when swordfights made two opponents face each other. But today this is not the case and nobody uses swords or spikes anymore.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/3/003-0c422.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/3/003-0c422.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112454","description":"
Myth #3: Capes are important
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No doubt that capes look extremely cool on any type of hero, whether they’re from the future or the past. Two of the most famous superheroes both have capes – Superman and Batman. But the truth is that capes don’t make much sense in real life.

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In the past, before the industrial revolution, capes were used to protect oneself from the strong winds and burning sun, but were absolutely useless on the battlefield. On the contrary, they were a great obstacle and limited the movements of the wearer.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/2/002-d73b0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/2/002-d73b0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112453","description":"
Myth #2: Sexy bikini armor
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This trickery goes even farther than Myth #1. How about a bikini-sized armor and high heels? Well, designers don’t care – again, they just want to make their strong female characters look as sexually appealing as possible.

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This one, of course, makes no sense in reality, as any armor serves to protect five of the most important inner organs: brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. If you manage to strike any of these organs, then death is almost always either instant or just a matter minutes away.

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There is a possibility of creating a new type of armor made of both very strong and at the same time very light materials, but nobody really knows when we'll have that technology.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/1/001-d9650.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/0/0/1/001-d9650.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112452","description":"
Myth #1: Female vests with breast pockets
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In a lot of games you can see female characters wearing armor that is clearly designed to fit and visibly accentuate the shape of their breasts. The reason for doing this from a design standpoint is absolutely clear – ladies always have to look sexy, no matter how much armor they wear.

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However, you will never see anything like that in real life. Female vests with breast pockets simply don’t exist . This is not a matter of aesthetics, but of practicality. Modern bulletproof vests would be way less effective if there were any cavities in their metal plates. It’s simple physics – deformed metal is less durable.

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In the Middle Ages, women-warriors ordered custom-made armor to fit their body shape, but those were extremely rare cases. On top of that, the armor was usually so heavy that women simply couldn’t wear it. Even men had to bring assistants along who would help them get up from the ground, if they happened to fall down.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-5b12b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-5b12b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"112451","description":"

Do video games have to be realistic? If yes, then how realistic should they be? Distributors and game designers look at these things differently. Marketers want to sell as many copies of the IP as possible, which makes them inclined to believe that games don’t have to be realistic as that will bore the audience and hurt sales. But on the other hand realism becomes a more and more prevalent factor in many modern games, such as Kingdom Come: Deliverance and For Honor.

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Today teams like to showcase the realism of in-game gear and armor in the developer diary videos. This includes the move sets of the characters, which suddenly makes the realistic approach an excellent selling point.

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Let’s look at the history of games and specifically at the way the armor was portrayed in comparison to how things take place in real life.

"}]]]>
The voice of Solid Snake to lend his talents to Metal Gear Solid fan project https://www.gameskinny.com/vvkg2/the-voice-of-solid-snake-to-lend-his-talents-to-metal-gear-solid-fan-project https://www.gameskinny.com/vvkg2/the-voice-of-solid-snake-to-lend-his-talents-to-metal-gear-solid-fan-project Wed, 06 Apr 2016 16:40:46 -0400 Scott Simpson

Following the cancellation of the planned Metal Gear Solid HD fan remake, Shadow Moses, (and assumed legal pressure from Konami) the developer behind it has started work on a new project -- and it seems like they have some star power behind it.

David Hayter, the man who provided the voice work for the Metal Gear Solid series' main protagonists up until the most recent installment, where he was disappointed to learn he would be replaced by Kiefer Sutherland, appears to be lending his talents to The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid, a virtual museum dedicated to the series.

The developers behind the project announced their intentions in a post on their Facebook page:

The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid is a first-person experience allowing fans the opportunity to revisit some of the most emblematic MGS levels in the form of a virtual museum. There will be no need for stealth this time around.

The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid will feature many pieces of amazing fan art from devoted lovers of the series and our collaborators. As an unofficial, non-profit production, the project is a gift, from the fans, but also addressed to the fans; to share our affection for the seminal franchise.

The team intends to make it available to download for PC users in May and confirmed that it will also have VR support. Of course, it could well be the case that this attempt to make something from the ashes of the Shadow Moses project may also run into similar legal troubles.

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Metal Gear Solid fan project cancelled https://www.gameskinny.com/axufo/metal-gear-solid-fan-project-cancelled https://www.gameskinny.com/axufo/metal-gear-solid-fan-project-cancelled Sat, 05 Mar 2016 06:39:37 -0500 Nick Harshman

Metal Gear Solid is one of the most beloved games of all time and some enthusiastic fans wanted to honor it with a remake using Unreal Engine 4. That project, titled Shadow Moses, has been unceremoniously cancelled.

In a post on their Facebook page, the Shadow Moses team stated the following: 

Hi guys!

We have an important announcement to make today:

We have to cancel the Shadow Moses Project for reasons beyond our control. 

We would like to thank everyone for the tremendous support we have received.

Shadow Moses team.

The team had previously stated that a "huge" announcement was coming on the 13 of March, so this news is disappointing to say the least.

This situation should really come as no surprise, however, as the creators acknowledged the problems they were bound to face from day one. Copyright issues were the biggest hurdle, so it won't be surprising to discover that Konami insisted that they stop the project. At this time, however, the reason for their sudden cancellation is unknown. 

What do you guys think? Are you disappointed by the news? If you don't know anything about the project, you can head here to see in-game videos and screenshots.

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We put 15 of the most iconic game characters through that dumb What-Dog site. You're welcome. https://www.gameskinny.com/1k9b2/we-put-15-of-the-most-iconic-game-characters-through-that-dumb-what-dog-site-youre-welcome https://www.gameskinny.com/1k9b2/we-put-15-of-the-most-iconic-game-characters-through-that-dumb-what-dog-site-youre-welcome Fri, 12 Feb 2016 09:56:48 -0500 Ty Arthur

The Internet just discovered a whole new way to waste time with Microsoft's What-Dog site, which lets you determine what kind of dog any given person would be just by uploading a photo.

You should have guessed by now we already tried this out with every video game hero and villain we could think of, and it is eerie how spot-on some of these are.

The face recognition sadly isn't perfect, and I was pretty disappointed it couldn't find anything for either Mario (and yeah, I tried the live action version) or Leisure Suit Larry, but then again perhaps that's for the best...

"Soap" Mactavish

Would you send your Labrador Retriever to plant some claymores by the door?

Sephiroth

I'm never going to look at that beautiful mane of silver hair the same way again...

Cortana

Do you think she'd agree with the assessment?

Kefka

I can't stop laughing at this one!

Kratos

If only it had said "loves his family."

Lara Croft

The many, many, many mercenaries I killed in the Tomb Raider reboot would likely agree!

Link

I'm now going to always see Link with a dumb grin and his tongue hanging out, but "surprisingly strong body for its size" is so accurate!

Marcus Fenix

Yep, I can see it. He doesn't take kindly to orders either.

The Arbiter

Well, they nailed the neck and body type!

Max

Somehow I feel like this describes Max from Life Is Strange a lot more than Kefka!

Scorpion

Who's a cute little Scorpion? Yes you are, yes you are!

Solid Snake

I lost it entirely at "intense stares."

Tiny Tina

Definitely vocal, energetic, and eager to prey on small animals... or bandits, whatevs.

Elizabeth

That description is amazingly accurate for the character, even if the image doesn't quite match.

Captain Price

Could you ask for a better jogging partner through a snowy base in Siberia or a dusty airplane graveyard?

Let us know what hilarious combinations you come up with you give What-Dog a try!

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The original Metal Gear Solid gets a gorgeous remake by a fan https://www.gameskinny.com/cwsav/the-original-metal-gear-solid-gets-a-gorgeous-remake-by-a-fan https://www.gameskinny.com/cwsav/the-original-metal-gear-solid-gets-a-gorgeous-remake-by-a-fan Mon, 18 Jan 2016 07:13:27 -0500 shox_reboot

Reporting about this is a double edged sword. On one hand it feels like it's only right that more people know about this project in order to give it (and its creator) the attention it deserves, but on the other it could (and likely will) backfire. Calling attention to this fan project only alerts Konami that much faster.

The creator, Airam Hernandez, probably knows this but has still posted a trailer on YouTube and set up a page on Facebook, so I guess we should all bask in the wonder he's created for now and forget about the real world. 

Here it is, a glimpse of what Metal Gear Solid would be in Unreal Engine 4.

Pretty sure I'm not the only one experiencing nostalgia bombs one after the other. Metal Gear Solid was the one that started it all and to see it with a modern spin, well...it's certainly something special. The closest we ever got to this was in Metal Gear Solid 4 (I know its been a while but I'm not spoiling it for anyone who doesn't know) but even that's still just not the same. 

Hats off to the Hernandez for this. For him, what started out as a small project has become a huge endeavor of remaking the entire game after popular demand. He does mention having a helper, Dan Meadowcroft, who in addition to being in charge of the music, is dealing with Konami. 

We can only hope that they manage to convince Konami to let this happen.

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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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