Metroid Articles RSS Feed | Metroid RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Retro Studios Still Hiring Metroid Prime 4 Artists Mon, 11 May 2020 13:48:11 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Retro Studios is still hiring for Metroid Prime 4's production, a year after Nintendo completely restarted the game's development process. This time, Retro is bringing a number of well-known artists on board.

These include Adad Morales (of cancelled Star Wars Ragtag and StarCraft fame) as visual effects (VFX) lead. That's the person in charge of making sure all the booms boom and the bangs bang, as Video Game Chronicles tells us in the original story.

Retro is also bringing in a whole visual effects teams, it seems. Along with hiring Morales as the VFX lead, Retro has hired Nicholas Wilson, former Gearbox artist who worked on Borderlands, and Bryan Erck, VFX lead for Shadow of the Tomb Raider; Wilson and Erck will be in senior roles.

What this means for the Metroid Prime 4 release date is basically don't expect it anytime soon. VGC notes Retro still has a number of vacant positions, and a quick skim of the Retro jobs page on Nintendo's website shows these range from environment artists to AI designers and art coordinators. Whether these are all part of Metroid Prime 4's development or some other, as-yet-unannounced Retro game is unclear, though.

Whatever Nintendo decides to do or not to do this year, between the Summer Game Fest and those rumored Super Mario Switch ports, we probably won't hear anything else about Metroid Prime 4. We're still holding out hope for the Metroid Prime Trilogy on Switch, though.

The original story is on Video Games Chronicle. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Metroid news and Nintendo news as it lands.

Top 10 Most Badass Video Game Characters of All time Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:40:44 -0400 Edgar Wulf



Devil May Cry 3 (2005)

Twin brother of the game's main protagonist and a highly skilled swordsman, Vergil's movement of his katana, Yamato, is so fast in Devil May Cry 3 that he can deflect incoming bullets with it and, just like his brother, he possesses the ability to transform into a demon form, further improving his speed and strength. These qualities make Vergil a formidable foe in the numerous encounters against him.




This concludes the list. Do you agree with any of the entries? Who would you add? Let us know in the comments below.


If you can't get enough of badass video game characters, then check out this follow-up list. And for more fun compilations such as this one, stay tuned to GameSkinny.


Samus Aran

Metroid (1986)

A bounty hunter best known for providing one of the biggest surprises in gaming history, Metroid's Samus traverses a fictional universe, exploring uncharted planets and tracking down space-pirates. She uses a powerful arm-cannon as her primary weapon and can turn herself into a morph-ball to evade incoming attacks or reach otherwise inaccessible locations. Whenever she defeats a particularly powerful foe in combat, she is able to gain its ability or improve an existing one.



Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999)

Once a vampire and a lieutenant to the most powerful among them -- Kain -- Soul Reaver's Raziel is sent to his death after being considered too threatening to Kain's position in the hierarchy. Stripped of his flesh and aesthetics, Raziel is resurrected by an old god, and now, in a wraith form, his thirst for blood has been replaced by consumption of souls. He's determined to exact revenge on his former comrades and on Kain himself, claiming their powers as his own.


Lara Croft

Tomb Raider (1996)

This young lady needs no introduction; Tomb Raider's Lara is one of the most recognizable characters in gaming. Known for her athleticism, smarts, and signature dual pistols, she has been raiding tombs, uncovering long-lost artifacts, and breaking men's hearts for over two decades. She is skilled at translating ancient scripts and activating complex contraptions, and during combat, she relies on dexterity and stealth rather than brute force.



God of War (2005)

While not exactly the most likable character, God of War's Kratos deserves a spot simply by being a Greek-god-killing machine. His biggest asset is his unquenchable anger, and the many weapons he uses act mostly as stress-balls for him -- something to grip tightly. Should he ever find himself disarmed, he will tear the opponent's head off with his bare hands, which he actually did with Helios'. For Kratos, it was just a normal Monday.


Isaac Clarke

Dead Space (2008)

Not your typical superhero, Dead Space's Isaac Clarke is an engineer who, along with a small crew, finds himself stranded on a seemingly abandoned starship after following its distress signal. Initially armed with nothing but a plasma cutter and, quite possibly, the coolest-looking suit ever made, he must battle through hordes of Necromorphs and uncover the source of their origin, acquiring military-grade weaponry as he traverses the dismal halls of the ship.



The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, or simply Ciri, is a carrier of powerful elder blood and, much like the The WItcher 3's protagonist, Geralt, a trained witcher, which makes her a skilled sword fighter. She commands a unique blink ability, which allows her to teleport quickly around enemies and strike from behind. Due to her supernatural abilities, she is being pursued by The Wild Hunt, a group of elves whose intent is to take possession of her powers. Despite the odds, Ciri is able to overcome seemingly insurmountable adversaries, often all on her own.



Final Fantasy X (2001)

An experienced warrior and a guardian to summoner Yuna, one of Final Fantasy X's protagonists, and formerly to her father. Auron carries an oversized katana in one hand and only unsheathes his other arm during combat to add more power behind each strike, which makes him command an intimidating presence even against the most formidable foes. The liquid in his flask, which is probably booze (definitely booze), is often used to ignite the katana for certain special attacks.


Albert Wesker

Resident Evil (1996)

Killed by a tyrant whom he himself helped create, Resident Evil's Wesker survives thanks to a prototype virus circulating in his veins. As a result, he becomes the series' super-villain, possessing incredible speed and strength, and an even greater ego, the combination of which, apparently, allows him to catch incoming missiles with his hands. He never misses an opportunity to mock his opponents and is only willing to spend no more than seven minutes of his precious time to deal with them.


Adam Jensen

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)

After being killed by members of a black ops team during an attack on the company he works for, Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Adam Jensen is brought back to life via advanced body augmentations (even though he didn't ask for it). Armed with resolve and powerful new tools at his disposal -- including various vision enhancements and the ability to turn himself invisible or punch people through walls -- he sets out to uncover the truth behind the attack and take revenge on the group that destroyed his life.


(this is Part 1 of the compilation; for Part 2 follow this link)


The world of games is saturated with varied characters. There are brave, cute, intelligent, strong characters, and then there are badasses -- characters who stand out, whether due to their physical or mental attributes, their manner of speech, or their unique appearance. Regardless, they usually don't require the assistance of others to succeed and can conquer hardships all by themselves, should the need arise. This list features 10 of the most suitable characters in the category, and it was assembled based on the following criteria:

  • Only one character per franchise
  • \n
  • The character must be playable at any point in the particular series or be part of a playable party
  • \n

Each entry will contain the name of the character, the game they first appeared in and its release year, as well as a brief description. Click through to view the characters in alphabetical, not necessarily numerical, order.


Disclaimer: The writer's opinions herein are his own and might not coincide with those of the other 7+ billion people living on Earth.

The 20 Most Hilarious Arby's Video Game References Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:25:43 -0400 Ty Arthur


It's a good bet we'll continue to see new anime and gaming references pop up in the months ahead, as this is an ad strategy that seems to be working, and there are plenty of games and shows they haven't covered yet.


I'm actually surprised we haven't seen a Secret Of Mana post yet, considering how they have been on top of the re-releases of classic games in recent months.


What was your favorite Arby's gaming reference, and what box art creation do you hope to see come up next? Let us know in the comments!




Game: Doom


Is there ANYTHING this crew can't do with those damn boxes?!? It doesn't even look like they had to paint on the red lower sections but just used the colored portions of the sandwich holders to make it fit perfectly. The only way they could have made this better is if it was an ultra-fast moving video with a chainsaw at the end.


Goomba Squad! Moooove out!!!


Series: Super Mario Bros.


Those classic Goombas 'n Boos will always hold a hallowed place in gaming history, even as the series expands out and drastically alters the gameplay with newer iterations like Super Mario Odyssey. That adorable cardboard Goomba has got me thinking a weekend family art project may be in the works!


He's the symbol this town needs


Game: South Park: The Fractured But Whole


I don't think anyone expected the South Park series to hit its stride with an RPG, but what started with Obsidian's Stick Of Truth and continued with Ubisoft's take in The Fractured But Whole may well be the best games in the franchise. The paper cut-out style of the TV series also clearly lends itself well to cardboard box art!


You've come a long way, baby


Series: Fallout


I'm calling it -- fast food sauce packet art is going to become a recognized thing. I mean, if Vincent Castiglia can paint with blood, why not Arby's sauce?


This saucy rendition of the Fallout stat system also just reminded me that I'm 95 hours into Fallout 4 but still haven't actually finished the main storyline after getting side tracked by all the DLC. Nobody ruin the ending for me.


The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night


Series: Castlevania


Considering you can eat burgers, mushrooms, and even whole turkey legs throughout this series, the idea of Simon's Lunch isn't too far fetched. The best part about this whole thing (other than the box whip), is that one genius fan immediately commented with this exchange:


"Fry monster! You don't belong in this world!"

"It was not by my hand I was again made fresh. I was ordered by humans who wish to fillet me tribute!"


How's your grip strength?


Game: Shadow of the Colossus


The wisdom of eating a tower of meat that size is definitely in question, but this is an absolutely perfect mixing of game and fast food imagery to get an idea across. It's clear just from a glance that he's about to fight a colossus, and now I'm kind of wondering if I have what it takes to tackle the meat mountain.


You might call this a post for 90's gamers, but we think of it as millennial fare


Game: Chrono Trigger


Featuring dancing robot Gato from the millennial fair, this Chrono Trigger-based caption was pure genius, and it immediately took me back to Saturday afternoon game sessions from my childhood.


The sad, cash-grab PC port might be garbage, but the original SNES version is still one of the best RPGs of all time, and I'm absolutely about to load up ZSNES and replay it tonight.


Sure, you've seen it before, but now it has Aqua.


Game: Kingdom Hearts 2.8


How can there be so many games in this series, yet none of them have managed to be Kingdom Hearts III yet? This post was kind of torture for the fans who have been patiently waiting for the next real sequel, although it did hilariously spur on a slew of photo responses in which diners set their keys next to a sandwich.


Lunch is Strange


Game: Life Is Strange


How do you say so much with so little? Even without the caption, it would have been clear what was happening here. Although sadly, the reference did leave the post wide open to all sorts of comments about wanting to rewind time back before eating that meal.


Overcome the impossible


Game: Gravity Rush


This Vita title wasn't exactly well known to the masses at large, so it was sort of surprising to see a sideways image of Kat pop up in the Arby's feed, but clearly the fans were happy to see this lesser-known action-adventure title get a little fast food love. If you remember this game and want to see more, be sure to leave a comment!


9929 years in the future …


Game: Nier Automata


This inexplicably awesome (and constantly genre-hopping) game managed to shake up the GOTY expectations early in 2017 with its combination of androids, giant swords, and killer robot enemies.


The swords and drones are spot-on here, although I'm kind of wondering if 2B as a "shake" is supposed to be a reference to her exposed behind throughout the game....


Which is it, wark or kweh?


Series: Final Fantasy


Obviously it's kweh, you uncultured swine! OK, I guess it can be both. Seriously though, that sandwich box chocobo is a thing of beauty. I shudder to think of the amount of work that had to go into crafting this guy, and I'm a little disturbed by the connotation of the chicken sandwiches next to him.... Maybe one day we'll get a saddled Chocobo creation in a Final Fantasy Tactics style?


Understand, understand, the concept of love.


Game: Jet Set Radio Future


Whoa, they are going old school and fairly obscure with this one, as the original game came out in 2000, and Jet Set Radio Future came out in '02. I'm hoping the resurrection of interest in this series from the social media posts might spur on some news soon, as Sega has been showing some proclivity towards resurrecting older IPs.


Beefy AND portable. We dig it.


Console: Switch


Speaking of the Switch, you had to know this one was coming, right? I never would have thought "Nintendo console = roast beef sandwiches," but somehow they made the connection with the beefy/portable comment. Those adorable little Switch Joy-Con buttons are also kind of amazing.


The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.


Game: Metroid


Another totally classic and retro reference, this one takes us way, waaaaay back to the NES days of the earliest Samus adventures. Not only does this post successfully make me want some curly fries, but now it's got me wondering: When is that Metroid Prime 4 finally going to show up for the Switch?


So glad he crashed the party. 


Game: Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy


For a generation that grew up with Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, news of the remastered N.Sane Trilogy was like a breath of fresh air, and it didn't take long for word to spread on social media. The TNT boxes are fine and all, but it's really the cardboard sleeve gloves that push this one over the top and show off the level of detail.


It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.


Game: The Legend Of Zelda


While Breath of the Wild might be the only thing Zelda fans care about right now, it's the classics that will always be remembered. They didn't even have to make a cardboard sword for the reference to work. Three triangles tells us Triforce, and in this case, a pretty darn tasty one made out of fried potatoes!


As one adventure begins, another waits in the shadows. She's one tough cookie!


Game: Tomb Raider


The cookie causing the eclipse just brings this one together (but who goes to a fast food place for the cookies?). With the pickaxe in hand, this is clearly meant to evoke the newer reboot series that the new movie is based off, rather than original tank top and shorts Lara Croft.


Rally the crew; we're going after the big ones


Game: Monster Hunter World


You ever look at that really artistic spray paint wall graffiti and wonder, "How in the hell did they do that and get such amazing can control?" Yeah, now I'm trying to figure out how someone has such amazing Arby's BBQ sauce packet control to create the Monster Hunter guild symbol! Just one slight twitch of the wrist and this could have been a disaster.


Sneaking into that Mobile Beta


Game: Fortnite


The reigning Battle Royale king Fortnite landing on iOS devices is the current talk of the town (with Android users more than a little jealous), so of course Arby's jumped on that immediately.


This one has it all -- the bush that players love to be while sneaking around the map, and a reference to the difficulty in actually making it into the mobile beta at this point!


You'd usually think of Taco Bell or Mountain Dew as the gaming champs, but a certain roast beef-obsessed fast food chain is creeping up and taking over with a marketing department that clearly loves anime and gaming culture.


Social media marketing is a vital part of any company's advertising strategy, and Arby's made a conscious choice to change tactics away from "buy this meal for this price" posts to much more engaging and organic images that people actually want to share.


Every new post features a hilarious composition of reliable comment types -- a few clueless people trying to puzzle out what that reference means, super fans who are in heaven, a call for the team to get a raise, and backlash from the bored Facebook and Twitter crowds who are upset people are talking about video games for some reason. Every now and again, cheers of joy will erupt in the comments when pop culture references show up that a wider range of people actually understand, such as ClueAliens, or Discworld.


Despite going really obscure with some of the video game references, the Arby's team has created an advertising juggernaut here because they perfectly meet at the intersection of gaming, nerd culture, and crafting fanatics. Some of these posts ahead are truly works of art that clearly took an absurd amount of time to construct out of Arby's boxes, bags, and even sauce packets!


Note: All photo rights belong to Arby's -- we're just appreciating these perfect references. 

Rumor: New 2-D Metroid in Development Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:34:42 -0500 Steven Oz

On the heels of a Nintendo Direct, a new rumor has spread about the future of the Metroid series. Spotted on the ResetEra forum and then linked to the Nintendo Switch Reddit:

"AFAIK, there's an unannounced 2D Metroid game on development on a really early production state. Can't say the studio though, don't want to jeopardize my source."

The Resetera user who has started the rumor is Mocolostrocolos. This user is no stranger to reporting, and his posts on the forum have proven to be true in the past. For instance, Mocolostrocolos leaked 100% accurate details about Metroid: Samus Returns before the game was ever mentioned by Nintendo. 


As with most rumors, you have to take some of this with a grain of salt. The user seems to have some inside sources and has secured Metroid info before. Is Mocolostrocolos spot-on with his latest rumor as well? 

5 Games That Need to Be On the Gameboy Mini Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:40:01 -0400 Allison M Reilly

With the Classic SNES Mini out now and the just revealed SNES-styled New 3DS XL coming shipping on Cyber Monday, rumors are circling about the development of a Gameboy Mini. Recent news about the rumored handheld and a recently registered trademark by Nintendo suggests it is, in fact, in development.

And although I don't know if the Gameboy ought to be any smaller, I do love the idea of a Classic iteration of the handheld featuring the best Gameboy games that were ever made. If a Classic Gameboy Mini ever does see the light of day, these are the five must-have games we want included. 


What would a Classic Gameboy Mini be without Tetris? This puzzler was the pack-in title for the original Gameboy and remains one of the most well-known block busters of all time. It's certainly the one and only video game my mother will play.

What makes Tetris spectacular is that the game hasn't needed much updating or re-imagining over the years. Sure, there've been games that try to mimick it, like Puyo Puyo, but nothing comes close to the original's panache. It was awesome in 1984 and it's still awesome in 2017.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Link's Awakening originally started as a prototype for the Gameboy, one meant to demonstrate all that the handheld was capable of. But as all great stories about great video games go, it ended up being fun, too. So it was ultimately released to great fanfare.

That's why Link's Awakening has Yoshi and Chomp Chomps in it and ultimately, doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the Legend of Zelda franchise. Nonetheless, because of the game's role in the handheld's history, this installment ought to be included in any Classic Gameboy Mini that releases.

Super Mario Land

Much like Link's Awakening, Super Mario Land is also a departure from what we know and love about the Mario universe. It doesn't take place in the Mushroom Kingdom. There's no Bowser, Luigi or Toad. And it introduced us to Princess Daisy (for anyone who wondered how she suddenly appeared in Mario Tennis).

Overall, Super Mario Land was pretty, well, super. And it quickly became a staple for Gameboy owners back in the day. All the more reason why it should be a no brainer for the Gameboy Mini.

Metroid II: Return of Samus

The true sequel to original Metroid and prequel to Super Metroid, Metroid II is the only game in the franchise to come out for the Gameboy. Some say Metroid II is the weakest game in the franchise, but when compared to other Nintendo games, the title is often highly praised.

It was also influential in the development of future games in the series, as Metroid II introduced new abilities and methods of exploration that are hallmarks of the series today. So although it doesn't quite get the hype and attention the way the NES and SNES games do, Metroid II was (and still is) an amazing game. 

Kirby's Dream Land

Kirby's Dream Land introduced players to one of the most lovable video game characters of all time -- and led to plenty of sequels across several consoles. It was also a fantastic game for both younger, less experienced players and well-seasoned gamers.

We don't learn of Kirby's signature pink color and copy ability until later games, but none of that would've happened without Kirby's Dream Land and its success. Overall, the game was well-received and something would be missing if the Classic Mini Gameboy did not have Kirby's Dream Land. The game started "it all" in so many ways.


What are some of your favorite Gameboy games? Would you purchase a Classic Gameboy Mini if it came out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

E3 2017: Nintendo Predictions Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:20:08 -0400 Curtis Dillon


Well, there you have it, our predictions for Nintendo's E3 2017 Spotlight. As has become customary, Nintendo will not be hosting a live showcase like Sony or Microsoft, but a Direct video that will come to us at 12 p.m. EST on June 13.


The E3 Spotlight will be followed by a Treehouse stream, in which Nintendo will showcase the games coming in the near future. This could be a huge E3 for Nintendo; the company will look to give Switch owners plenty of reasons to be excited for the next 6-12 months, and also give potential buyers a reason to dive-in and see what all the hype is about.


The E3 2017 briefing will focus largely on Super Mario Odyssey, which is going to be Nintendo's big fall game. That alone is reason enough to get excited about E3, but we should be getting at least a few more announcements.


Let us know in the comments your wildest dreams and what you think is actually going to happen! Don't forget you can find more of our E3 predictions on GameSkinny by following the links below:


Metroid On Switch


Nintendo has said this current E3 will focus on games coming this year, but I expect one surprise to come at the end -- and that's a new MetroidMetroid is one of Nintendo's longest-running and most mishandled franchises. Some gamers will argue that point but the fact of the matter is Nintendo has neglected the iconic series and it's struggling as a result.


Of course, we know Metroid doesn't sell well. Every time you hear someone question why we don't get more Metroid games, the reason is pretty simple: it doesn't make enough money. Contrary to popular opinion, Metroid is not as big of a franchise as people think, at least not in regards to sales numbers. The highest-selling entry in the franchise is Metroid Prime on GameCube, which sold 2.82 million copies. Wii Music sold better.


All that being said, I do think there is ample reason for Nintendo to make a Metroid game on the Switch, and I believe the company has been doing just that. Nintendo isn't deaf and the company heard the community the second it announced Metroid Prime: Federation Force at E3 2015. The backlash to the 3DS title was severe and, if they hadn't already known it, the bigwigs at Nintendo would've quickly realized how beloved the series was.


With that in mind, it seems inevitable that Nintendo would have commissioned a full-blown Metroid title for the Switch. This is a perfect opportunity for Nintendo to shed all of the baggage that comes with Metroid and make a fresh start; a new story, a new setting, even a new protagonist.


Of course, that's just one idea. The new Metroid could also be a sequel to Other M or Prime 4.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2


Xenoblade Chronicles released on the Wii in 2011, and it received critical acclaim. The pseudo open-world RPG blew expectations out of the water and proved itself to be more than just a Monster Hunter/Final Fantasy clone.


A follow-up wasn't expected when it appeared back in January when the Switch was revealed, especially considering Xenoblade Chronicles X only released two years ago on Wii U. To say the least, it was a nice surprise.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was also a sight for sore eyes because it was another huge open-world title for gamers to look forward to after Breath of the Wild. Beyond Zelda, there haven't been a lot of big titles for Switch gamers to sink their teeth into, but Xenoblade can give them exactly that. 


I would expect Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to sell very well on the Switch, so Nintendo will want to heavily promote it. The game is due for release sometime this year, so we should be seeing a lot more of it at E3.


SNES Classic Mini


Another poorly held secret, the SNES Classic Mini seems destined to be fully revealed at E3 and released later this year.


Last year, Nintendo revealed the NES Classic, a mini version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, equipped with 30 built-in games. The system was marred by constant demand issues -- whether real or manufactured by Nintendo -- before being discontinued after five months and selling 2.3 million units. The system was not only a complete shock to everyone but quickly became the most sought-after toy of the year!


With all that in mind, a follow-up seems inevitable. Pretty much the second the NES Classic Mini was announced, gamers were calling for the Super Nintendo to get the same treatment. An SNES Mini -- surely with a longer controller cable or even a wireless controller -- could also come with 30 built-in games, including Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, A Link To The Past, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy III, and Super Mario Kart. That short list of games alone would be worth the price tag!


We can expect a reveal of the SNES Classic Mini at E3, along with a price tag, release date, and hopefully a lot more stock than the NES Mini.


Super Mario Odyssey


Super Mario Odyssey came as a surprise to many when Nintendo revealed it back in January. Not because we weren't expecting a new Mario title, but because the setting took everyone off-guard: New Donk City, pitting our hero in a realistic location for the first time.


Seeing Mario run around a New York-style city was weird but awesome -- although it was jarring to many. But that was only part of the reveal, which then showcased a variety of beautiful locales, including a vast desert and a lush forest, keeping with the theme of real-world inspired locations.


Odyssey is the first open-ended, exploration-based Mario game since Super Mario Sunshine way back in 2002! That's incredibly exciting because both Sunshine and Mario 64 are two of the best video games of all-time, and it's been far too long since we've gotten such a Mario game. 


This is Nintendo's next big game, and we can expect it to take center stage during the E3 Spotlight. We will hopefully get a lengthy gameplay demo as well as a specific release date!


Wii U Ports


Before Nintendo gets to the big guns, I believe the company will announce a few more Wii U ports. Since the Nintendo Switch released, it has become a haven for overlooked games seeking a second life. Many games released on the Wii U to zero fanfare, no matter how good they may have been.


One such title I would expect to see is Xenoblade Chronicles. We're getting a spiritual successor to the 2011 Xenoblade on Switch, so it only makes sense for the majority of the Switch adopters to get a chance to play the original.


The same could be said for Super Mario Maker, Yoshi's Wooly World, Bayonetta 2, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. There's a lot of games that Nintendo could justifiably port from the Wii U, not to mention older titles like Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2. So don't be surprised if a chunk of thNintendodo Spotlight is devoted to games you've already seen or played!


Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle


Now for the worst kept secret heading into E3 2017 -- well, not counting Assassin's Creed: Origins.


Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle had been rumored for several months before it was leaked back in May -- and it is a dead lock for E3. The game, which is being developed by Ubisoft, supposedly features turn-based combat, two-player local co-op, and, predictably, a ridiculous sense of humor. Also, despite what the title suggests, Mario won't be the only playable character, as you'll also get to take control of Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, and Rabbids dressed as the aforementioned icons.


Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is reportedly coming this fall to the Nintendo Switch, making it one of Nintendo's biggest holiday releases. With that in mind, we can expect a full reveal, with gameplay and a release date, during Nintendo's Spotlight. This will likely be a fun title but not the Mario game everyone is desperate to see.


Breath of the Wild DLC


This one is a no-brainer. We already know that DLC packs are coming (we even know what's in the packs), but it seems obvious that we will get a real look at them here.


DLC Pack 1 will come with new armor, a new challenge mode titled Trial of the Sword, a hard more, Hero's Path Mode (which allows you to track your path throughout the world), and a Travel Medallion that allows fast travel. I wouldn't be surprised if this was briefly discussed, then announced to release then and there.


The second DLC Pack is the more interesting of the two, as it comes with a new dungeon and new story content. Nothing more is known about this DLC pack as of now, but following the release announcement of DLC Pack 1, I would expect a trailer for DLC Pack 2. This would give fans a reason to go back to Breath of the Wild, as well as stay excited for the title for the remainder of the year.


Our E3 2017 predictions are rolling on today, with the focus on Nintendo!


Nintendo has seen an amazing turn in fortunes and public perception this year with the release of the Nintendo Switch. Even though the Nintendo Wii sold insanely well at first, its sales also basically fell off of a cliff around 2008/2009, meaning the company had almost a decade of negative mindshare and poor sales. There was even a worry amongst gamers, myself included, when the new system was revealed at a terrible event that had all the hallmarks of old, stuck-in-the-past, stubborn, Nintendo.


All of that changed, however, when the Nintendo Switch released. Once gamers finally had the hardware in their hands, it no longer mattered what silly things Nintendo's reps said or did at a press conference; the tech was fantastic, and we had Breath of the Wild to go with it. All was well in Nintendoland for the first time in too, too long.


So, with all this momentum and good will, Nintendo will look to capitalize and produce a memorable E3 showing. If everything on this list comes to fruition, Nintendo will stand a good chance of winning E3, as it were. So, let's put on our hype hats and get started!

3 Franchises Nintendo Needs to Touch On This E3 Thu, 04 May 2017 15:00:01 -0400 Erroll Maas

E3, the biggest video game event of the year, is right around the corner. Microsoft, PlayStation, and Bethesda have already announced the dates, times, and some featured content for their conferences, but what about Nintendo?

Now that their new handheld hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch, is released and is selling extremely well along with some of its  games-- such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 DX-- not to mention plenty of already available and upcoming indie titles, what else does Nintendo have to show us? There are 3 important franchises from Nintendo's past which they should touch upon this E3, and they are the following:

1. Metroid

There hasn't been a proper Metroid game since 2007's Metroid Prime 3: Corruption,  even last year during the 30th anniversary of the franchise, so the series is due for another title which even the biggest Metroid  fan will be able to enjoy.

The last game to be released in the franchise was the Nintendo 3DS game, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a cooperative first person shooter which bared little resemblance to the Metroid series and seemingly had the name tacked on. The game received mixed to negative reviews after release, and most fans haven't been very fond of it ever since it's initial announcement. Producer Kensuke Tanabe hoped the plot of Metroid Prime: Federation Force would lead to a future Metroid Prime game focusing on the relationship beween Samus and Sylux, a character introduced in Metroid Prime Hunters who followed Samus and the end of Metroid Prime 3, with some added involvement from the Galactic Federation.


The developers of the Metroid Prime series, Retro Studios, has been working on a new game--not yet announced--for awhile, so lets hope it's a brand new and true Metroid game for the Nintendo Switch, and a true successor to the Metroid Prime series.

For a Metroid game on the Switch, they could even add a multiplayer mode similar to Metroid Prime Hunters as an extra feature, which may help interest those who aren't as enthusiastic about the series.

2. Super Smash Bros.

After the release and success of Mario Kart 8 DX, the fastest selling game in the Mario Kart franchise, this should be a no-brainer. Nintendo could even call it Super Smash Bros. DX if they wanted to.

Like its kart racing counterpart,  Super Smash Bros DX would feature all previous DLC characters and stages, as well as a few balancing tweaks.

The definitive version of the Nintendo crossover game would also feature a few new stages and characters. The new characters could be Bomberman, an older video game character--although a bit younger than Pac-Man-- who has recently made his return after a few years of absence, on the Nintendo Switch with Super Bomberman R. Inkling Girl and Boy --as a skin swap for the same character-- from Splatoon, and either Spring Man or Ribbon Girl from upcoming Nintendo fighting game, ARMS, would be the other 2 new characters. Each new character would also help add a new stage based on their respective games.

Obviously there are plenty of other characters and stages Nintendo could add to their definitive version of Super Smash Bros., but these three seem to be likely contenders.


3. Pokémon

The seventh generation of mainline Pokémon games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, only came out last year, but players need to know which rumors, if any, are true. The third, updated version for the seventh generation of Pocket Monsters, possibly called Pokémon Stars, has been heavily rumored for awhile now. In addition to this, dataminers have found files with certain unused assets, such as walking Pokemon sprites akin to those in Pokémon Heartgold and Pokémon Soulsilver versions, the fourth generation DS remakes of the second generation games, Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions for the Game Boy Color. Just recently, there has also been speculation that Nintendo may be starting to tease the existence of Pokémon Stars with their new "Look Upon the Stars" line of merchandise exclusive to Japan. Junichi Masuda, composer, director, producer, designer, and producer of Pokémon previously tweeted a moon right before the reveal of Pokémon Sun and Moon, so fans should keep an eye out for more hints leading up to E3.

Pokémon Stars may not be the only future Pokémon game, however, as there is also a possibility of remakes for the fourth generation of games, Pokémon Diamond, Pokémon Pearl, and Pokémon Platinum versions. This is due to the numerous references in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon which reference different things from the fourth generation including: Sinnoh Elite Four Champion, Cynthia, being an opponent at the Battle Tree, notes in the dimensional research lab on the Ultra Beast which mention the Pokémon Giratina, Palkia, and Bronzong, and a lab in the Aether Paradise area which contains files about the development of Type: Null, a seventh generation Pokémon based off of Arceus from the fourth generation, which claim that materials for development were collected from the Canalave library, as well as a few less notable references.

One other possibility for the next Pokémon game, which would be a bold move and probably not as likely, would be full HD remakes of the original games but featuring some Pokémon from every region in addition to the original 151. In Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, the main character and their mother are originally from Kanto, Red and Blue make an appearance at the battle tree, and at the end of the games story the characters Lillie and Hau go on separate adventures to the Kanto region.

In addition to these in game references, the Pokémon anime is getting an alternate movie reboot this summer with Pokémon I Choose You!--titled after the first episode of the anime series, which features new characters as well as Pokémon from later generations not originally present in the first series. So, why not have a game based off of that same concept? It may not be as likely of a game to exist as the other choices, and it's possible they could just add the Kanto region to Pokémon Stars, but a full HD remake is definitely still a possibility as well. With a few different options on the table, Nintendo's bound to mention at least one of them.

Those are 3 important franchises Nintendo should touch on during this years E3. The date and time of Nintendo's presumed digital event is yet to be announced, but news should be coming soon with E3 right around the corner. Be  sure to tune in and keep an eye out for these 3 franchises.

Do you agree with these 3 choices? What franchise do you think Nintendo should touch on this E3? Let us know in the comments!

Why Hasn't Konami Remastered Its 2D Castlevania Backlog? Thu, 06 Apr 2017 17:42:10 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Konami has made some odd decisions in recent years from top to bottom. From all the drama surrounding the Metal Gear series and its now-independent creator Hideo Kojima, to the whole fiasco with Silent Hills getting cancelled, the company has been subjected to a lot of criticism from its fans. 

But there's another influential IP that Konami hasn't quite been treating well lately -- Castlevania. With the industry's recent influx of reboots and remasters, a lot of fans are wondering why the heck we haven't seen some Castlevania games coming to modern devices. 

In the last few years, Konami has decided to restructure its company to be more mobile-focused, while largely forsaking the franchises that made them successful. It drove away Metal Gear Solid’s creator, Hideo Kojima, in an epic display of giving zero f*cks about what he brought to the company. The Silent Hill reboot also fell to the same fate since it was under Kojima's name. 

Konami has since announced a Kojima-less entry in the MGS series that's really more of a zombie spinoff. And aside from that, the company seems more concerned with making mobile games, pachinko machines, and ruining beloved childhood TCGs than it does with revisiting any of its iconic Castlevania games. 

A little history...

The last Castlevania game was Lords of Shadow 2, released 3 years ago in February of 2014 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Before that, there was Castlevania Mirrors of Fate for the 3DS -- which despite being a 2.5D side scroller, was still an action-oriented game in the same vein as Lords of Shadow.

To find the last Metroidvania-style Castlevania game, you have to go back almost a decade 2008’s Order of Ecclesia. It had a killer style and top-notch bit art that earned it glowing reviews upon release. But in spite of its success, we never really saw another game like it. 

Where's My Castlevania?

Not Around Here (Not Anytime Soon, At Least)

There are two questions begging to be asked here:

  1. Why haven't there been any new 2D Castlevania games?
  2. Why haven't any of the older Castlevania games been remastered?

With the rise of mobile gaming on smart devices, the continued popularity of handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS, and the recent release of a hybrid console like the Switch, it seems like the perfect time to revisit a style/genre of game that was basically made for handheld play. The Switch provides an especially lucrative opportunity to bring those much-beloved classics into the modern day. Nintendo is doing it with many of its exclusive fighting games, so why shouldn't Castlevania get the same love?

Just imagine having Symphony of the Night and all six handheld-based Castlevania games available for one system. Heck, with all the advancements we've made in terms of storage, you could probably fit multiple games on one disc or cartridge and sell it as a bundle. 

Sure, the first two GBA Castlevania games -- Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance -- were released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2014. But the Wii U isn't exactly a super successful console, so making those games available there doesn't make them available to their whole audience. Symphony of the Night is also available for digital download on PSN and Xbox Live, but even then it's not currently available on current-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One. 

The Market Has Spoken!

Konami might be justifying the lack of new or remastered Castlevania by saying that there simply isn't any consumer interest in it. But a quick Google search will prove that's patently untrue. 

If you Google "metroidvania games", you get a massive list of modern games that are trying to emulate what Castlevania did back in the day. And it just keeps going and going and going. 

The case for Konami revisiting its Castlevania titles only gets more compelling when you look at how much the market wants more Metroidvania games. Not only does the market want them, but a lot of those that have been released in the last several years have been very successful. Here are some examples:

  • Axiom Verge
  • Guacamelee
  • Rogue Legacy
  • Owlboy
  • Apotheon
  • Salt & Sanctuary
  • Steam World Dig
  • Shadow Complex
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Recent Shantae games

Hell, just recently Hollow Knight was released and has been getting great reviews across the board.

Some of these games play very close to the vest with the Metroidvania formula, while others innovate and only loosely utilize it. But the consistent theme is that the formula holds up and people love it. Chances are that you've heard of at least a few of these games, and maybe have even played (and enjoyed) some of them yourself.

This isn’t even considering the fact that the man behind the Castlevania formula, Koji Igarashi, secured $5.5 million worth of funding for his Metroidvania game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, via Kickstarter.

There’s very clearly a market for these games. And it doesn’t have to be a triple AAA, high-risk venture. Konami could make a game with a smaller scope, or at least test the waters by porting older games in the series to see if the interest is still there.

Their whole purpose is to make money, just like any other company. And their rationale for the recent treatment of many of their IPs -- the Castlevania series included -- is that they can't make money off those games or genres anymore. But that's clearly not true if you look at the indie development scene and how thriving the Metroidvania market still is. They could profit off of that while pleasing their fan base. It's a win-win.

Metroidvania even has its own "tag" on Steam!

I want more 2D Metroidvania style Castlevania games. And for now, I'd be willing to settle for ports and remasters on current gen consoles or the Nintendo Switch. And I know I'm not the only one -- there are a lot of avid Castlevania lovers out there who miss the days of old.

We know you can do it, Konami. If Capcom has done a halfway decent job of porting the Mega Man games, surely you can give Castlevania a shot. After running your fans through the wringer with Silent Hills and the Kojima kind of owe it to us. 

The 16 Best Fan-Made Short Films Based on Video Games Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Sergey_3847

Hell of a DayZ

People that play DayZ know that the worst enemies in the game are not zombies roaming the wastelands, but the humans, or simply other players. This is also the main plot point of the short film based on DayZ that tells a story of two companions.


The film clearly shows what usually happens in the world devoid of any honor and conscience, which is probably the best lesson one can get.


On that note, let's wait and see what else 2017 will bring in terms of video game fan-films, so expect another selection later this year.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Shadow

Here’s another dark re-telling of the familiar story. This time Link meets his dark twin -- the Link’s shadow. The film’s got a few bloody scenes and the whole theme suggests that the bright world of Zelda is not that bright after all.


It was made by the same team that shot Shadow of Mordor, so there is a certain style to their work -- lots of action in a fantasy-based world. We hope they do more of this stuff in the future ‘cause it does look great.

Metroid: The Sky Calls

The Sky Calls is the true successor of such great sci-fi films like Alien and Space Odyssey. It has that undeniable aesthetics of the grim, open space that is as dangerous as it can get.


There is a lot of CGI in the film, but it’s done very well, and the special saturation effect that resembles the Kodak film strip used in the 70s and 80s makes everything look extra cool.


If you are a fan of oldschool sci-fi movies, then definitely watch Metroid: The Sky Calls.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Instead of letting a real actor play the part of Sonic, the creators of this fan film decided to go with a full animated character, and probably for the best. The animation looks neat and it blends naturally into the live setting of planet Mobius.


The film doesn’t try to take a Sonic into some new direction, but shows it the way this character is meant to be -- fast and funny, if even silly at times. However, the danger is real and the stakes are high, so there is more to the story than it seems at first.

Super Mario: Underworld

Super Mario in a horror movie? How is this possible? Well, Nukazooka made it possible! It’s a tale with morale that warns all the young kids about the dangers of missing a jump in Super Mario Bros. game, because if that happens, then Mario will go to the most terrifying place -- the Nintendo underworld.


Anyhow, it’s a really cool concept, it is actually so good that could spawn an entire fan-made video game, but we all know too well that Nintendo will never allow that... but we can always dream, right?

Portal: No Escape

No Escape simply cannot show all the aspects of the original game from Valve, but it does tell a short story from a life of a female prisoner who finds the miraculous handheld portal device.


It is a very well made short movie, which isn’t surprising, since the creator of the film is Dan Trachtenberg -- the same guy who directed 10 Cloverfield Lane from last year. If you want to see how he came up with his own style of filmmaking, then definitely check out his Portal film.

Tomb Raider: Croft

The story of Lara Croft is not only one of the longest-running video game series, but also a movie franchise that spawned two features with Angelina Jolie in the main role and the upcoming reboot with Alicia Vikander.


Although not a massive undertaking as the above-mentioned Hollywood blockbusters, this fan film is nothing short of amazing. It was inspired by the game that was released in 2013 and incorporates all the stylistic features of it, such as the new look of the main heroine, grim atmosphere, bow and arrows as the main weapon, etc.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Human Revolution is not a usual fan-made short film -- it’s got a relatively huge budget, it took two years to film... and it looks impressive. The slick design of the game is preserved to a T and the action sequences are perfectly choreographed.


The actor who plays Adam Jensen, the main protagonist, also served as the editor, writer, and director of the film -- his name is Moe Charif. He is currently working on his full feature film “Exile” that should be out sometime this year.

The Splinter Cell

Ubisoft has two tactical shooters that should make their way into the big cinema sooner or later -- Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon. None of them have been actually seriously considered yet, but this fan film made by Atomic Productions is simply staggering.


The cinematography in the film is mind-blowing and at times even trumps those big Hollywood flicks.

BioShock: The Brothers Rapture

BioShock series is a perfect candidate for being turned into a few high-budget Hollywood blockbusters with some nice plot. At one point such a movie was greenlit, but due to financial problems and artistic differences it was put on a halt indefinitely.


Fortunately, there are some really cool short films based on the iconic game. One of them is The Brothers Rapture created by film students from Canada. It tells the story of two brothers who work in the Rapture City and how their experiments lead to some horrific results.

The Last of Us: No Escape

Pocketsquare has made two short films based on The Last of Us thus far, and it looks like it’s not their last one, especially with the announcement of the sequel to TLOU video game.


The 13-minute long film captures the atmosphere of the game incredibly well. Some of the scenes are gripping and convey a true sense of despair. The sound design plays a huge role in it, and it is clear how much attention the creators paid to the ambience -- these people know what they do.

Fallout: Nuka Break

The original short film based on Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas became so popular that the team behind the project decided to turn it into a full-fledged web-series. The first season got huge online very quickly and the Kickstarter campaign was launched to finance Season 2.


Not only fans were amazed by the quality of the original film and the series, but the representatives of Bethesda themselves gave them two thumbs-up. Later on the Nuka Breaker weapon has been released through a DLC, which was a direct homage to this fan-film.

Red Dead Redemption: Seth's Gold

Seth’s Gold is a true fan-film made with the money gathered on IndieGoGo from 87 backers that managed to bring in over 8,000 Euro. Although it is based on the RDR video game, the shooting style was inspired by the old westerns, such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West.


The people behind the film are two young Spanish filmmakers -- Guillermo de Oliveira and Javier Esteban. They have a few other cool shorts on their YouTube channel, so check them out.

Watch Dogs

Ubisoft has in plans of releasing a feature film based on Watch Dogs, but after the flop of the Assassin’s Creed movie, we should all expect more delays and rewrites. There is hope if the production team tries to really ground everything down, instead of imitating the unrealistic approach that works only in video games.


The good example is the short film presented here that received tons of positive reviews from the community. It was created by Infectious Designer right after the release of the first game, which even spawned several sequels.

Shadow Of Mordor

This little movie was made in 2014 by Sam and Niko from Corridor Digital with financial support of Warner Bros. Games. The film shows an episode from the story of ranger Talion, who is being chased by a bunch of orcs.


It features high standards of production, including top-notch make-up, excellent acting, fighting choreography, and some very well-done CGI. The only drawback is the main character’s synthetic wig that looks really cheap, but other than that it’s totally worth a watch.

Grand Theft Auto: RISE

There isn’t much story wise in RISE, but the chase scene that takes the two thirds of the film is more than impressive. Gevorg Karensky, the writer and director, created a style that combines both live and video game footage.


The film was so well accepted by the community that it was immediately snatched for the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. Sam Gibs from Gizmodo UK said the following about GTA: RISE:


"It blows every other fan-made project I've ever laid eyes on completely out of the water."


In the last 20 years dozens of Hollywood filmmakers tried to make movies based on video games that would be well-received by the audiences. Unfortunately, only a couple have managed to bring something decent to the world cinemas -- there is a feeling that movies based on video games are cursed.


The very first game character that was brought to life on a blue screen was Super Mario in 1993. The latest one was Assassin’s Creed, which failed both domestically and globally. On the other hand, there is an entire community of amateur filmmakers that make their own short films of video games -- and it is way more successful than you may think.


This selection offers some of the best examples made in the last five years, including fan-made films based on GTA, Watch Dogs, Fallout, The Legend of Zelda, and many, many others. You can watch them all right here without the need to visit the cinemas.

Has Nintendo Forsaken Metroid? Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:17:19 -0500 BizarreAdventure

This week, we were all gifted with more knowledge about Nintendo's newest console, the Nintendo Switch. Between all the hardware demos and meme-level videos, we also learned a lot about what titles we'll be seeing with or near the console's launch.

Obviously, everyone is excited for the new Legend of Zelda and Mario Odyssey. But there's one series we haven't heard about in a long (long) time, and that series is Metroid. It was nowhere to be seen at the event. This raises the question of whether or not Nintendo has forsaken the beloved franchise.

With the last big release in the series since, the not so well received Other M, being released seven years ago in 2010. Many people are wondering when, and if, we'll see another game in the series any time soon. Reggie Fils-Aime did tease that there might another Metroid game, when asked about the series in an interview with Gamespot at the Switch event in New York.

“But we are aware that there are some key IP that consumers just can’t wait for the next true installment in that franchise’s legacy. Suffice it to say, we’re aware of it, and talk to me in a year and let’s look back and see what’s happened.”

I think many people, myself included, are waiting for the next beautifully crafted world for Samus to explore. No matter the form the series took, it always blew me away with its alien worlds to explore. Each one filled to the brim with secrets to be found and enemies to be defeated. It doesn't matter if the game is old or new, each Metroid game is an experience.

Whether the next iteration is a 2D platformer, returning to the series roots. Or another action packed first-person shooter like the extremely well received Metroid Prime trilogy. The space faring bounty hunter could really use some love on modern consoles. What ever form this new games takes, an argument can be made for both the platformer, or the shooter.

If it's a 2D platformer

Going back to the "glory days" of Metroid. The last one we've seen is Metroid: Zero Mission on the Game Boy Advance back in 2004, and that was largely a remake of the original. The last completely new one was Metroid Fusion two years prior. Personally I would like something more along the lines of Zero Mission. Everything about the game felt tight. Each new upgrade felt like it added some new worth while gameplay. Even the lackluster parts played well enough. That's not to say Fusion is bad, it's just got some rough parts, which I would like to see being steered clear from -- like the forced stealth sections.

If it's a first person shooter/platformer

Keeping in line with the more recent games, we could get a 3D, first person platformer. These are the games I have a bias towards, as I have memories renting the original Prime and playing it for an obscene amounts of hours. It was probably one of the first games I completed fully, despite not having achievements or anything.

Nothing has given me that same kind of experience. Running around an alien planet, having to jump and find paths to get to my objective. All while being assaulted by the local wildlife and other threats. Each new addition to the series added a fun and challenging new mechanic too. The second Prime game, Echoes, took notes from A Link to the Past and put you on a planet divided between light and dark. Every time you have to journey to the dark side it brings with it this heavy feeling of dread. The amount of polish the series has is amazing and hopefully it can be brought back, along with an interesting new mechanic.

Personally, I would like to see another iteration along the lines of the Prime trilogy. Recently we've had an abundance of top notch 2D platformers like Shantae or Axiom VergeHaving another fast paced shooter like Metroid Prime is something I haven't seen much of recently. Alternatively if the next iteration is 2D I would love to see Nintendo take the time to flesh out the story. Metroid is a series with some pretty interesting lore that hasn't been used to its fullest.

For now we'll have to wait and see. If there is an announcement for another Metroid game, the earliest we'll see it is at this years E3.

Bayonetta: The Greatest Female Role-Model in Video Games Mon, 09 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Unclepulky

Bayonetta was originally released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2009. Following its moderate commercial success, the game received a cult following and in 2014, a sequel on the Wii U. This game stars the titular Bayonetta, an Umbran Witch who uses her magical hair, gun-heels and a variety of other weapons to slaughter angels and occasionally save the world.

Now, upon reading the title of this article, you may have wondered how Bayonetta could possibly be a positive role-model. After all, the common consensus is that she's a sexist character. Evidence for this claim includes the game's camera frequently focusing in on her butt, breasts or crotch, and the fact that she takes her clothes off while she fights.

Bayonetta is most definitely a sexual character, but is she really sexist?

No. Not at all.

Bayonetta is a character who is in complete control of her sexuality. She flaunts it, she uses it and she is completely comfortable with it.

The creator of Bayonetta's design was Mari Shimazaki. She didn't draw her the way she did so she could be ogled by horny teenage boys, but rather, she designed her in way that she'd be empowering to women

In the politically correct world we live in, people could stand to be a bit more like Bayonetta, and be OK with who they are.

In the book, The Ways of Seeing, by John Berger, he says this:

"To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others, and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude. Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. To be naked is to be without disguise."

Bayonetta fights like a dancer. Dancing is a form of self-expression. And taking off her clothes is part of that self-expression.

Continuing on from that, Bayonetta is just a very confident character all around. She knows she isn't perfect, but she doesn't care. She loves who she is, and doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. It's a good message for those who suffer from low self-esteem, who are trying to get comfortable in their own skin.

Other traits which Bayonetta possesses are her fun loving attitude, her snarky mouth, and between both games, it’s clear that she has a great deal of compassion towards kids, and her Umbran sister, Jeanne, showing that she’s far from being your stereotypical ice queen.

Of course, like all great characters, she has weaknesses. Not so much in Bayonetta 1 in which I can only really remember one or two moments where she showed any real weakness, but more so in Bayonetta 2.

Here, with her memory fully restored, Bayonetta clearly has some parental issues. And how could you not when your mom was killed in circumstances caused by your dad. Only for you to get to see your mom again and then WATCH her die again. Then befriend a past version of your dad, and then have to say goodbye to your dad as he sacrifices his free will to an evil god, resulting in all of this happening in the first place.


I never said that these games made much sense. I'm just saying that Bayonetta clearly wishes she could have her family back.

Bayonetta is also a very intelligent character. There are a few brief moments where she displays her intuition, and Shimazaki gave her glasses specifically to emphasize her brain power. Funnily enough, everyone in the game ended up getting eye wear of some kind because the higher ups at Sega didn’t like the glasses.

Now this next point is entirely hypothetical, but maybe she has something more than just a friendship with Jeanne, showing people that it’s okay to be any sexual orientation. For me, that’s just the vibe I got off of them based on their interactions with each other.

However, throw in the fact that they’re living together and the fact that in the page “Taboo” we see a picture of Jeanne, and how it talks about a loved one being taken away, and my theory has more credence. Plus, Jeanne is a school teacher, and it makes sense that as she is as an intellectual person, she’d be attracted to a smart woman like Bayonetta.

In 1987, Film Studies and Women’s Studies Prof. Jackie Stacey published an article entitled “Desperately Seeking Difference: Desire Between Women in Narrative Cinema." A major point made in this article is that the homosexual pleasures of viewers are generally ignored. If I’m right, and Bayonetta is bi- or pan sexual, than her detractors should remember she can be found sexy by both men and women.

Above all else though, possibly the most important lesson Bayonetta teaches girls and women alike is that you don’t have to sacrifice your femininity to be strong. She provides a nice balance of the two extremes that gives us a happy medium. Bayonetta is very much a girly girl, but at the same time, she can beat up you, as well as everyone and everything around her. Anyone, regardless of  personality, can be strong.

Now, let's talk about what usually makes a good role model. Generally, people consider a role model to be someone whom others aspire to be like. This means, above being talented, attractive, or intelligent, the most important thing about being a role model is to be an admirable person in some way. You can be successful beyond belief, but still be an awful human being.

That's not to say those other traits aren't just as germane to this topic. A role model should bring something to the table to be admired, whether it's their intelligence, their body of work, their personality, how they approach life or for some, even their looks. However, it should be noted that you can admire someone who did things in their life that you don’t agree with if what you admire is their work or other actions rather than the actions that can be viewed as reprehensible.

Also, kids aren't the only ones who have role models. Everyone has someone whom they look up to, whether or not it’s a good idea to do so.

Among the best real life female role models are people like Rachel Carson, a renowned environmentalist, Madeleine L'engle, an excellent author and Gail Simone, possibly the most influential woman in the comic book industry.

These women are great because they embody the traits we mentioned before. However, you have to remember that even today, we live in a society that isn’t always the most friendly to females, so for female role models, it’s important that they show woman to be proud of who they are, and to excel at whatever they want.

At this point, I hope that at the very least, the majority of those reading this have come around to see that Bayonetta is far from just being eye candy, and is, in fact, an excellent person to emulate.

However, the question still remains: Is she the best female role-model in video games?

Personally, I'd say yes.

To justify this opinion, I'll compare her to the two figures most usually regarded as gaming's greatest heroines... and explain why Bayonetta is a better role-model in every way.

Samus Aran and Lara Croft are known by many as two of gaming's premiere leading ladies. However, more often than not, these characters fall into a trap very common in fiction.

Often, writers try so hard to make their female characters powerful that they forget to make them, well, characters. They have no weaknesses, no flaws, no struggles; all of the essential things to make a three dimensional character. I like to call these characters “strong independent women.”

Both Lara and Samus are hailed as icons to look up to, but in reality there's isn’t much to them. Lara is a smart and sassy treasure hunter but outside of several moments in the first attempt at a series reboot, she doesn’t show a lot of character.

Samus is a stoic bounty hunter who does show a lot through her body language and her actions, but unlike Lara, isn’t given as many opportunities to express herself because she needs to be “strong” for the audience. There's nothing to them other than them being strong, and you shouldn't be looking up to someone for just that reason.

There is an exception for each of them though. The 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and Metroid: Other M gave Lara and Samus more personality than we'd ever seen either of them with. Ignoring the obvious difference in overall quality between the games, it's fascinating to me that these portrayals have come under fire for having weak protagonists, just because the developers had the audacity to make them human for once.

Samus and Lara Croft are not good characters, and it's clear that the people don't want them to be good characters. Players just want them to be a method of enacting their power fantasies.

In contrast to them, Bayonetta, as I've established, is filled with personality, and traits worth emulating. Plus, for those of you who do think that strength alone is worth admiring, Bayonetta is quite possibly the physically strongest woman in any video game.

So yes, Bayonetta, is the best female role-model in video games.

NOTE: This article was written in collaboration with Red Angel.

Nostalgia and Nintendo: Why Old-School Gamers Can't Let Go Mon, 31 Oct 2016 02:00:02 -0400 Angelo De Bellis

Whenever rumblings of a new Nintendo console come out, and a stream of delicately planned news follows, I find myself rooting for the next Nintendo runaway success, a point in time when I can take a proud stand in front of all the Nintendo pessimists. This is our time; the Nintendo of old has returned.

My mind rummages through sequences of childhood pleasure from playing a 3D Mario adventure, squeezing the B button just that much harder to get DK to roll onto the next Kremling, and listening to the deep pounding sounds of the soundtrack in the Facility level from Goldeneye. I begin to think back on Nintendo’s rich history as a games company, a hardware producer, an artisan software maker, and an expert at crafting fun.

But, should I temper these expectations? For years now Nintendo hasn’t really appeased its old-school fans, just led the games industry forward without necessarily leaving a trail of the magic it once had in its wake. What if us old-school Nintendo fans, those who experienced the Nintendo of the ‘80s, ‘90s, and the early 2000s, are just holding onto something that was, and continue to blindly expect the best, no matter how many disappointments are had after the initial boon of a departed Nintendo.

I suspect that these expectations aren’t something felt by younger gamers who grew up during Nintendo’s Wii era -- they never felt the resounding success and ubiquity of the Nintendo brand as one touted by core gamers.

With the recent news of Nintendo’s next console, The Switch, I am certainly excited for the new direction taken by the company's fresh president, but I think it’s important that us old-school fans take a step back to ponder why it is that we can’t let go of our first love. We should explore this inability to let go of a past that may never return, a folly on our part that is driven by the hopes of a second coming.

Source: A.V. Club

The Plain Truth

To begin, old-school Nintendo fans are purists. We know what we like, and we know when a piece of Nintendo hardware or software delivers it. The best word to describe that certain je ne sais quoi that Nintendo wields is magic -- the beloved company poured what is known as Nintendo magic into our youthful years. Nintendo has a certain magic about it that is hard to describe, but when a product of theirs has it, we know it.

And because of that sensitivity to Nintendo's magic, we demand it all the time. Yes, it is often argued that one of Nintendo’s greatest shortcomings is that they deliver games that aren’t a part of a new IP, they just resemble and refine old experiences. But then we turn around and lose our overalls when a new Zelda game is teased. Tell me, if Retro Studios announced a new, expansive Metroid game in the Prime universe, wouldn’t we all lose our minds? I'm hard pressed to believe otherwise.

Nostalgia is funny that way. It drowns us in thoughts of what could be and what we hope to be, and measures it against what once was, leaving a mark of anxiety if our longing is not fulfilled. Yet, no matter how many foibles Nintendo may face, we always sit around waiting for the Japanese company to come home. But what happens if it’s moved on a long time ago with few intentions to return? What if we simply can’t muster the strength to let it go.

That’s the difficulty when it comes to feelings that deal with familiarity. We get comfortable with what we grew up with, and we'd do anything to get it back, to feel that same sense of wonder we had when playing Nintendo games.

Like many growing Nintendo fans, I recall running  home from school to play Nintendo games, talking about them non-stop in the school-yard, and developing a culture wholly dedicated to Nintendo entertainment. We were once comfortable with our hardware choice -- I never thought to play games from competitors because I felt at home playing on the devices headed by Super Mario.

Source: IGN

We were once the elites of gaming culture. Our palate for games was the most refined and our thumbs the most dented from countless hours playing our lauded Nintendo experiences.

Today we sit closer to the margins, apologizing for Nintendo’s shortcomings, but secretly cheering on the sidelines for our favorite to make a welcome resurgence. And the trickle of Nintendo games that release with that old-school magic -- Mario Galaxy, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8 -- make it hard not to believe that a renaissance is on its way, perhaps if Nintendo revolutionized gaming like it once did. 

The Nintendo Revolution

Although we are purists when it comes to sitting down with games that don the easy-to-understand but hard-to-master mantra, we also can’t let go of the old Nintendo because it provided us with many of the standards we enjoy today, both in terms of software and hardware.

As one of the very first handheld gaming consoles, the Nintendo Game Boy set the precedent for fun gaming experiences on the go. The Game Boy was so successful that it led to the development of multiple other handhelds with a similar namesake, and to this day Nintendo remains the king of the dedicated gaming handheld market. The Game Boy gave gamers the chance to play games from their favorite series, like Mario and Zelda, while away from home. And, of course, it’s with the Game Boy that we received our very first Pokémon title.

Much like what the monochrome handheld did for changing how we think about the venue for playing games, Super Mario 64 took us by the hand to acquaint us with changes to how games were designed. During the formative years of 3D gaming, Nintendo brought us Super Mario 64, an adventure that opened the Mario universe by allowing us access to cleverly-crafted levels accessed via paintings in Peach’s castle.

Though I can’t personally attest to the impact it left on the populous of gamers at the time, the Mario adventure is categorically known as one of the fathers of the 3D mascot-era platforming games. Just the main hub world provided enough freedom to get a sense of what a Mario game would feel like in an unshackled 3D space.

Source: Gamerbolt

Aside from the awe of the technological feat, it was astonishing how Nintendo took the side-scrolling challenge of typical Mario titles and somehow delivered a three-dimensional experience that melded the platforming challenge and the complexity of exploring open environments all in one experience.

Moving away from the 3D revolution, we learn that Nintendo created and popularized some exciting functional gaming hardware that many likely take for granted today. I’m talking about the Rumble Pack that was introduced with Star Fox 64 and the cross-shaped D-pad that dates all the way back to the Game & Watch.

It’s hard to imagine modern gaming without rumble, and whenever it’s removed -- as with the early days of Sony’s PlayStation 3 -- fans demand it be put back. It has become a common little device that pervades most all gaming controllers, and that's because it provides a palpable response of haptic feedback when it comes to experiences like racing on uneven surfaces, crashing into hard edges, and shooting weapons. Just that little bit of extra immersion makes all the difference.

As for the D-pad, Nintendo’s patented cross-shaped design is unmatched by its competitors. The undivided directional arrows provide input precision like no other pad of its kind, and is the reason for all the spotty thumbs of veteran Nintendo fans. I miss the days of mastering challenging areas of a Nintendo game, areas that leave satisfying perpendicular outlines on your fingers.

Source: Two Button Crew

With these remarkable software and hardware introductions, it's no arduous task to see why the lot of us old-school fans get excited about new Nintendo hardware. With the coming of a generation, follows an opportunity for the possibility of new standards to arise and software to flourish. Perhaps the next shift in hardware engineering is just around the bend. But hardware is merely a well-tailored suit for the software it plays.

The Familiar Faces

It seems that with all of it’s motion control, exponential control configurations, and hardware drawbacks, Nintendo has clouded some of its old ways. The Nintendo philosophy has always been to create software that will sell hardware, and, of course, that much is easy to establish when thinking of the likes of Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Metroid titles on consoles like the NES, N64, and GameCube.

But when it comes to the newer consoles like the Wii and Wii U, I struggle to find many examples of games that prove the worth of the hardware.

Take some of my favorites like the Mario Galaxy series or Pikmin 3: these games didn’t need motion control or a secondary controller. Mario Galaxy would have inspired gamers with its anti-gravity level design without the need for waggle to make Mario spin; likewise, Pikmin 3 didn’t necessarily need a map screen to make it the strategic hunt-and-gather real-time strategy game it is.

I think we can all agree that we just want the fun, unadulterated Nintendo games we used to get, and we want more of them. It is sometimes hard to prove the worth of a console if its distinct control methods make the gameplay more obtuse than it needs to be.

Source: Gamespot

Though the Wii and the Wii U sport some heavyweight experiences, some of the company’s most beloved franchises seem to have been omitted, left by the wayside for years. Where is that clever puzzle-ridden open-world Metroid game we all want? What ever happened to the sports games like Mario Golf or Mario Strikers? Why wasn’t the competitive Battle Mode in Mario Kart 8? Will the Nintendo Switch finally satisfy the itch for a 3D Mario game akin to 64 and Sunshine, which don’t rely on a fixed camera?

Maybe you don't agree with my franchise choices and my particular taste for Nintendo games, but the sentiment remains: many successful Nintendo games have been left out in the cold, or mistreated in ways that cause some to doubt the future of the franchises.

The Unscathed Place in Time

I hope a handful of these questions and disturbances are silenced with the coming of the Switch. After all, it's very hard to let go of a bright past that brought us endless conversations with friends, new hardware and unmatched hardware design, and countless hours of fun.

But I’m constantly reminded that I’ve thought this way before about a Nintendo homecoming, in fact, anytime I think about the future Nintendo. It’s the promise of a Nintendo that takes us back to a time when one console is all we needed, a Nintendo that innovates in ways that don’t impede on the enjoyment of contemporary games, and a Nintendo that produces software in line with our stubborn purist tendencies.

Once again we return to the wistful ponderings that dress our thoughts with a past that may never be -- It’s funny how nostalgia pushes us to expect the past out of the future.

We’ve obviously grown and our gaming tastes may have widened, but no matter how much the gaming industry has matured since we were young and in awe of the developing culture, I am confident that leagues of us do want to see the day that a unanimous, gamer-certified Nintendo exists. However, I'm just not sure that that Nintendo of yesterday, the Nintendo with the magic, has grown along with us.

5 Games Which Will Make the Nintendo Switch a Success Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:00:02 -0400 Unclepulky

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

5. Metroid- Prime Style

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

And even more years without a GOOD Metroid game.

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

4. Fire Emblem Warriors

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

See what I'm getting at here?

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

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

3. Bayonetta vs. Devil May Cry

Hideki Kamiya: Creator of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta

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

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

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

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

2. Overwatch

Yeah. Just, Overwatch.

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

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

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

1. The Pokemon MMO

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

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

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

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

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

Nintendo: A History In Ten Minutes Or Less Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Joshua Harris

Nintendo has not always been the insurmountable gaming tycoon that it is known as today, the company owes its humble beginnings to the late Meiji era where it began as a simple playing card company. 

A Luck of the Draw

In its genesis in 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi breathed life into the precursor to the modern Nintendo, Nintendo Koppai. The business focused on manufacturing hanafuda cards, a game better known as flower cards. With the goal to complete card suits, the number value assigned to each type of card was arbitrary. As their popularity grew, Yamauchi sought the help of assisstance to mass produce these cards to keep in check with the overwhelming demand. Without a son to continue his patrilineage, Yamauchi passed the torch to his son in law, Sekiryo Yamuachi, in 1929. 4 years later, Sekiryo merged with a second company to form Yamuachi Nintendo and Co. 

Seeking a more effective mode of distribution for his hanafuda cards, Sekiryo created Marufuku Co., Ltd., along with several other brands of cards that Nintendo has inserted into the mainstream market. Following his predecessors suit, he went on to adopt his son-in-law Shikanojo Inaba (later changing his surname to Yamauchi after being marrying into the family). Unfortunately, he did not take over the company because he had abandoned his family. Shikanjo's son, Hiroshi, who was raised by his grandparents took over the company instead of his absentee father. 

The Birth of a New Era

Having left school to take over Nintendo after his grandfather died, Hiroshi Yamauchi changed the name of "Marufuku C. Ltd." to "Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd." In 1953, Nintendo forged its way into the future by becoming the first company in Japan to manufacture playing cards from plastics. 

Following the success of going into business with Disney a decade later, Yamauchi began to extend Nintendo's reach from taxi companies, food companies, and even to selling vacuum cleaners. 

The Advent of Electronic Gaming

Following the rise and fall card playing games, the late 70s Nintendo broke its way into the the new gaming scene via the Magnavox Odyssey who's light gun accessory owed its existence to Nintendo. Far before Famicom systems were even an inkling of an idea, the "Color TV Game 6" and "Color game 15" were the company's first home gaming systems (the number at the end of the titles denoted how the amount of games each console had). Eventually, Nintendo made its way into the arcade gaming circuit with EVR Race. However, in 1981 they developed, with the help of Shigeru Miyomoto, one of the most iconic games in history. 

From Monkeys in a Barrel to a Can of Worms

 With the birth of the 80s came with it an new era for Nintendo and gaming. Donkey Kong burst into millions of arcades across the world ushering in the oncoming golden age of the multi-million dollar company we know and love today. The Game & Watch series along with Nintendo's response the failure of the Atari franchise, the Nintendo Entertainment System, hoped to revitalize a dying gaming economy in the mid 80s. Later that year, the Super Mario Brothers was released in Japan and became a resounding success. Much of today's acclaimed titled were some of the first games slated for the American release of the NES in late 1986 such as Metroid and Super Mario Brothers 2

The Birth of a New Age

The 90s created modern gaming as it is known today; the Gameboy and Super NES were crucial in driving the market for home and mobile gaming. Their successors, the Gameboy Color and the Nintendo 64, were released on September 29, 1996 in America. Classic titles such as Pokemon were released in Japan that same year. The franchise would later prove to be the success that Nintendo required to become a gaming giant again. Two years later, the Gameboy color would be released in Japan with America and Europe  following suit a month later. 

As the millennium broke the horizon, Nintendo made its way into the CD market by introduced the GameCube on November 18, 2002. The handheld side of things maintained its commitment to cartridge gaming when it introduced the Game Boy Advance a year prior to the GameCube release. 

In 2004, the Nintendo DS made its debut, bolstering two screens as its selling point. Although it could conjure 3D graphics, the hardware at the time prevented the system from filtering the graphic properly, which lead to more pixellated graphics than the N64. Along with an improved version of their most recent handheld, the DS Lite, Nintendo released the Wii in November 2016. It would be roughly six years before the gaming giant would introduce their next generation consoles. 

The Right Touch

On February 26 and March 25, 2011, the Nintendo 3DS made waves in the industry by introducing parallax barrier autostereoscopy, a technology allowing them to create a 3D for their consumers without having to prompt the use of 3D glasses. It was not until a year later until the Nintendo WiiU came out that the company created a controller that could be used in conjunction to either function as the remote, or as the screen the system, could thereby project itself onto should the player need to delegate television use elsewhere. The controller also included features such as an accelerometer, camera, NFC, and a gyroscope. 

Looking Ahead

It is unclear as to where Nintendo is headed, little is known about its next generation system codenamed "Nintendo NX". What we know for sure is that the NX will run games from cartridges, a feature not seen since the Nintendo 64 (and its handheld systems). At this point, the only information available is speculation as Nintendo will not release any information other than the system's release in March 2017. 

What Makes Resident Evil So Great, and Whether Or Not Its Future is a Problem Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:00:01 -0400 Rettsu Dansu

E3 2016's Resident Evil 7 trailer is a fantastic example of what I love about that expo. It's the reveal of a game that no one was expecting but are nonetheless excited for -- in such a way that it absolutely blows your mind. Barely anyone expected to see that title at the end of the trailer. The realization that everything you just saw was the new Resident Evil, a main entry in the series that goes back to horror in a way that we want it to, was a fantastic feeling.

Or is it? One of the reasons it was so unexpected was because the type of game shown off in that trailer -- and in the demo. It isn't quite Resident Evil. Despite major changes throughout the whole series, it's always been about biological monsters, not whatever we have so far. Arguably, we could have a situation like in Resident Evil where the enemies are sort of human, before their heads fall off and giant centipedes come out.

What's more important though is the way in which the first part of that trailer, and the demo, present horror. The classic Resident Evils (1, 2, 3, 0 and Code Veronica) create horror through resource management, environment, and atmosphere, while the direction for RE7 seems to be one that focuses on the mystery and the unknown. It's not bad, not bad at all, but it's not what Resi fans want. Capcom has promised that the tone of the demo wasn't particularly representative of the full game, however the second trailer is incredibly similar and hasn't cleared anyone's doubts.

But it's Not All Bad

That being said though, there are a number of things the demo has shown us that I think people don't seem to have noticed. These things connect Resi 7 to previous titles in the series, design wise. So, if you haven't played the demo yet or just haven't noticed them, I'm here to explain to you what these things are.

First, however, I'll need to explain what makes the classic Resident Evil formula so great, to give you an understanding of why it's important that these aspects return.

Dodgy Controls


Yes, I just said that. Resi's control scheme is a large factor in how scary it gets, however most people focus on how frustrating it can be.

The original RE games use 'tank controls'. Unlike most games in which you point the joystick in the direction you want your character to move, your character is instead controlled much like a tank. Basically, pushing the stick forward moves your character forward, and pushing sideways rotates your character. You have to first rotate your character before you begin to move.

Now, I could argue that once you get used to it, the controls aren't that clunky, but the obvious question would be 'why can't we just you just have normal controls?'. In my opinion the slightly higher level of concentration required to control your character means that if you get stressed or scared the controls can start to get in the way. Thus increasing your level of stress and fear. However, there is a much more important reason.

Knowing Where You're Going


Resident Evil was born in an era in which video games were still figuring out how to give players control over the camera in such a way that movement in 3D works perfectly (arguably, we still are). However, Capcom decided to completely ignore it and gave the player absolutely no control over the camera at all.

Resident Evil's world is portrayed to the player through an interconnected string of static camera angles. The camera rarely moves, however as soon as the player moves out of view the camera changes to a different one somewhere closer to the character.

Tank controls are required in this situation to prevent the player from being disoriented. Consider how this camera would work where the player is allowed the usual control scheme.

Say the player moves left across the screen, the camera angle changes and suddenly 'left' is a completely different direction  in relation to the player. The character would immediately change direction. If you don't understand what I mean, play the first Devil May Cry and you'll find out. In the tense, claustrophobic situations Resi presents, this could ruin things. With  tank controls, forward always means forward no matter what direction we're looking in, and it's easier to determine your character's movements.


Enter the Film-Like Horror

So why do we need this type of camera? We need it for horror.

A good horror film creates fear through 'sensory deprivation'. We fear what we can't truly understand, so when a film removes our ability to see the danger it forces us to use all of our senses and focus our attention on the scene in an attempt to figure out what's going on. When we begin to realize that it's difficult to determine where the danger is, where it could come from, or even how dangerous it is, that's when fear starts to settle in.

Resi's camera angles achieve a very similar affect. Enemies usually come from outside of your viewpoint. You can hear them, sometimes even see their shadows, but you aren't allowed to move the camera to see them. It creates this haunting atmosphere that the player becomes immersed in simply because they need to concentrate on every clue the environment offers that danger could be around the corner.


Holding Long

However the film techniques used in the original Resident Evil's don't end there. Here's one of my favorite examples:

There's a technique in film called holding long. This term is used the director doesn't end a scene as soon as we think it would. For example, a character leaves a scene and we're left watching the same spot. It causes us to concentrate on the scene and wonder in suspense about what could be happening.

There's a cinefix video that explains this quite nicely.

The remake of the first Resident Evil actually manages to utilize this technique. Not just through a cutscene, but through the gameplay itself.

We have been taught through thousands of films that when important events stop occurring the scene changes. This is why holding long on a shot is effective. Throughout the first couple minutes of Resident Evil we are taught that when we walk out of view, the camera changes. Which is why when this happens, it's weird.

To give you some context, at this point in the game you've seen your first zombie. You're unable to kill it yourself so you feel quite weak. As you explore more of the mansion, you hit a dead end and find a knife. You pick up the knife and turn back, however for some reason you walk right off the screen and nothing happens.

Now this doesn't have quite the same effect, as a gamer would probably assume that the game has some lag or it's frozen. What's really important is what happens next.

Without the player's control, Jill walks backwards into view. This causes the player to question the entire situation, until they see the hand appear from around the corner and they understand what has happened.

This combination of suspense and then release is the essence of horror, but the addition of a disconnect between the player and the game makes you feel helpless and confused. It adds to the suspense as suddenly the game doesn't work how we were taught it should.

What's even better is that this scene has three main purposes: The first is to teach you how to use the knife, it's not easy to get out of there without being grabbed by the zombie and having to use the melee weapon. The second is to teach you that the game will sometimes pull this type of thing on you. The third however, is the most important.

You Are Never Safe

The reason why the appearance of a zombie in that location is truly confusing is the fact that we were backtracking. The player had already been through that hallway, had seen that there were no zombies in the area, and had probably assumed that they were safe.

But a zombie turned up anyway.

Resident Evil is a game about exploring a mansion, hence the term Resident Evil. As you explore you'll be returning to places you've been before in order to solve puzzles. Unlike games like Castlevania Symphony of the Night or Metroid enemies don't usually respawn once you leave the area. Once an enemy is dead, it stays dead. Unless you don't burn the body, in which case you're screwed.

Again, we're taught to think a certain way. Surely when I return to an area I've been to, it should be safe because I killed all the enemies. But no, certain interactions trigger certain events to occur in certain areas.

For example, you defeat a snake boss and pick up a key. You go to use the key somewhere else, returning to a previously explored area. However, this time the windows smash and some more zombies jump in. You never know what could set off an area to have more enemies, and this creates an environment where you feel like anything could come at you at any time.

And this is all emphasised by music. If you never understood how music could create emotion, then play Resident Evil. The safe room music is so superbly done that even though its the safest place in the game, you still feel afraid that something could break in. It's mainly soothing music, but with this creepy undertone that reminds you that while you're safe now, you have to go back out there at some point.

This feeling would mean nothing if Resi's gameplay didn't fit. The areas you explore in each game are metroidvania-like, in which you scour the mansion for things to find, meeting locked doors and enemies along the way. Eventually you'll find a key that allows you to unlock certain doors, requiring you to go back to each area and see where that key works. Let me just say that this is really fun, the feeling when you find a key is like no other. It's a feeling of endless possibility... until you get that message that says the key has no more use and you throw it away.

This design encourages backtracking, which allows the constant fear of danger to take full effect. If we were constantly moving forward then there wouldn't be too much to be afraid of.

However, none of what I just said would be scary if it wasn't for the way that Resident Evil deals with death.

The Death Penalty

I could write an entire article about how video games should penalize you when you die, because in my opinion it's something that's really hard to perfect.

Every fear portrayed in a film usually connects to death. What truly scares us is either being so immersed that it feels like it's happening to us, or that we don't want those characters to die.

This doesn't work in a video game, the developers can't just have you die and end the game altogether. So any fear of the death of your character is immediately removed once you die the first time, and see your character come back to life afterwards. There are only a few games where permanent death works.

Fearing death in a game helps to make the game more immersive. It allows tense situations to be tense for the player. Really, any game could be improved with a proper death penalty. However, horror games require them, because horror games need to generate fear.

So this asks the question of how we penalize the player when they die. The obvious answer, which is what most games use, is to cause the player to lose progress. Either pushing the player back to a checkpoint (pretty ok), back to the start of the level (pretty mean), or back to the last save (even meaner). Dark Souls has its own rather unique method of punishment in which you lose your unused exp, however this doesn't avoid the major problem.

Losing isn't Fun

We play video games to have fun, arguably, and this is where death penalties create issues. There's almost no way to take something away from the player and have them actually enjoy it, it just doesn't work.

The more you take away from the player, the more tense the situation is. Therefore it's almost impossible to create an incredibly tense situation in which the player doesn't feel terrible once they end up dying.

Unless You Cheat

Resident Evil takes the incredibly mean route and forces you to load your last save when you die. This isn't always great because you could forget to save and end up losing hours of progress. What's even meaner, however, is that saving in Resi requires you to use a finite resource, and it isn't too common either. This means that you have to spread out your saves so you don't run out.

Basically, if you die in Resi you have quite a lot to lose. Or do you?

Resident Evil is a game about learning, as I've said before. It's about finding items and using logic (and sometimes just guessing) to find out where you need to use those items. A player who knows what they're doing can finish the game in a couple hours.

What this means, is that even if it was 2 hours since your last save, if you die it would only take you about 10 minutes to get back to where you were. Most of that time you just lost was spent finding where the items are used, now that you have that information you don't waste that time. Not only that, but you know where all the enemies are so there's no need to be cautious.

This -- in a way -- is the best of both worlds. When you're being attacked by enemies, in the heat of the moment all you can think about is the amount of time it's been since your last save, so it's tense. But if you eventually die, it doesn't sting so much because you begin to realize that all you need to do is run to a couple of specific rooms and you'll be back.

This doesn't work for all games, because not all genre's can have this puzzle style implemented. We can't really learn from RE in this retrospect. However, Dark Souls has a similar situation, in which you learn your enemy's patterns and learn how to deal with them better. So perhaps this is just an aspect of good game design.



In my opinion, the way that Resident Evil deals with death is integral to creating fear while playing it. There are a number of things that I haven't mentioned that other people might think are just as important, such as resource management, atmosphere, or zombie dogs. But I don't think any of them would be scary if we weren't actually worried about the death that came along with it.

This is exactly why I think that RE contains examples of good jump scares. It's quite popular recently to hate on jump scares, and with good reason. They're an easy way to make people scared, but they're usually used way too often and with not enough thought put into them.

Here's the problem, a jump scare isn't particularly a "scare", it's more of a simple reaction. It's your body reacting to possible danger by waking up all the muscles, and it's unpleasant. You could argue that it's possible to "fear" a jump scare, but I would say that that's more like the way one would act when they're about to experience pain. This is the same feeling the people abuse to make people go insane through torture.

This could explain why we enjoy watching people play games with jump scares in them, but there isn't as much enjoyment to be had when you play one yourself.

When a jump scare is used in a well directed film, or Resi, it makes us jump, but also creates fear because they have some weight behind it. The appearance of a monster in this fashion is scary because it means that the characters could get killed by it. In RE's case, you yourself have to actually point your gun at them and shoot them. The player jumps not just because the brain is waking up, but because they themselves need to be awake to act.

If a monster enters the shot and leaves for the sake of making you jump, it doesn't really have the same effect.

Onto the Future

2000 words later, let's go back to Resident Evil 7

So RE7 has a lot of fans rather skeptical. The demo and it's trailers appear to give off an atmosphere of general creepyness, cooking pots full of cockroaches, weird men appearing out of nowhere, and a creepy run-down house. This kind of horror is something similar to Silent Hill or a number of horror indie games. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, other than it becoming rather cliche recently. However, it isn't what makes the Resident Evil series unique. But let's look at a number of ways Resi 7 could be returning to the original formula.

First of all, it's rather difficult to tell how RE7 will deal with death. Since the only way to die in the demo is to finish it, there's no way to find that out. However, there's one thing that's rather important that we need to consider.

Welcome to the Family, Son

The first thing you do in the demo is find a tape player, with no tape. Then you progress in the house and find a cupboard, which is locked by a chain. You then reach the end of the house and find pliers.

You use the pliers on the chain, which unlocks the cupboard revealing a tape, and you then use the tape on the tape player.

This might seem really simple, but this means a whole lot. What this indicates is a style of gameplay in which items must be found, and we must backtrack in order to use those items. It's an incredibly simple progression, you simply move forwards then backwards, but if the demo is in any way indicative of the full game, I think this means we'll have that same puzzle style of game with items and exploration.

And This is Really Important

If we have a game that focuses on exploration, then this creates a format for a number of the horror aspects I talked about before. It allows for random enemy placement, and replacement, that creates constant danger. This is something I'm sure other people have picked up on, but it doesn't get the focus it deserves when discussing the game.

And that previous scene isn't even the only hint towards items found through exploration, there's a hidden fuse that opens a door if you do things in a different order. Players have also found an incredibly hidden, albeit useless, axe hidden deep in the demo. This type of gameplay is what truly made Resident Evil for its first five games, and when they dropped it for RE4, that's when the series began to be more and more action focused. To me, the resurgence of this mechanic is what could make Resi 7 more Resident Evil. However, fans do still have their worries.

The First-Person Camera

RE7 is the first main series title to be in first person, and this does create some issues if Capcom really is trying to return to formula. With a completely controllable camera, you lose the camera angles that made the original games so cinematic, and loses an integral part that made the games truly scary.

So how much of an impact will this have on the game? Well it depends on how well Capcom can design the game for fear. There are still ways to create horror with a controllable camera, and there are more ways to create horror in a game than just utilising film techniques.

But this is what made Resident Evil unique. In our current era, there are so many horror games that use the same techniques. Any currently thought of design to make horror has probably already been done to death. Resident Evil is probably the only one to make horror in such a way, and even if it's not the most successful at least it's unique.

So Why Can't we Just Use the Old Way

The obvious reason for why Resi 7 is first person is because it's going to be in VR, third-person games just don't work. But there is a bigger issue.

The majority of people don't like tank controls. They just can't be bothered to wrap their head around a needlessly complex control scheme. In this day and age, when we want Resident Evil to be relevant again, we need to it to appeal to as many people as possible. I know quite a few people who, even though they'd probably love RE, just get frustrated by tank controls.

But as I said before, tank controls and the camera angles work hand in hand, you can't have one without the other. If we remove the tank controls, we have to remove static cameras.

This is exactly what happened with Resi 4, tank controls were removed, and a different camera control scheme was designed. The over the shoulder, 3rd person, camera definitely worked, but it lead towards an action focus. Now, Capcom is probably trying a third time to make this work, with the only camera system they have left to try.

Will it Work?

I'm not particularly at liberty to say, but I think it could work. We haven't truly lost the same sensory deprivation as before. There aren't many enemies in the demo, but you can still hear footsteps and creaks in different rooms as you progress. This is mostly used to creep you out, but it could hint to a later use of sound to indicate the presence of enemies in the full game.

There's also the scene in the demo where one of the characters calls your attention, and you look over to him. Once he's done talking, you look around and realise that the other character, Andre, has dissapeared.

You can still control the camera and watch the other character leave, but a first time player will get distracted and believe that Andre has just mysteriously been taken. It's this kind of design that makes me feel hopeful, as Capcom has used events to move the player's attention, and effectively forced a camera angle in a certain direction.

Most games would probably remove control from the player to show them what they want you to see. This way feels more fluid and immersive, because in a way, it is the player's choice to look in that direction.

The Story

The story is probably the biggest thing people complain about. The generic, Silent Hill-esque atmosphere and the lack of connection to previous games.

There's certainly some slight connection to the series: an umbrella logo in the game, on a helicopter, in a picture, in a hidden room, accessed by playing the demo a second time, and activating a secret (little bit of a stretch).


As I stated before, Capcom has said that the plot and tone of the demo isn't representative of the full game. However, despite the first trailer being mostly for the demo, there are some things shown in that trailer that are nowhere to be seen.

There's a montage of clips at the very end that has a certain atmosphere. There's this creepy music and a bunch of unsettling shots of forests and other things. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly the tone is, but I don't feel that it's the same cliche-creepy that we get a lot. It's actually the part of the trailer that intrigued me the most, even before I knew it was Resident Evil 7.

There's also a number of shots where things seem to deteriorate quickly, such as the wolf head. This seems to me like some kind of connection to biology, it might be a stretch, but for me this is what gives me the idea that they won't be ditching Resident Evil's biological roots.

There are a number of things in the second trailer, however, that seem a lot less biological and that create a cliche-creepy tone. The being said, it barely shows us anything. It's possible that this is just an early stage in the game where we first see the enemies we're fighting.

The monster that attacks the player could turn out to be a product of the bio-organic testing Umbrella does, but there's really no way to tell. From what I hear the character in the trailer is one that the player is trying to rescue in the full game, so perhaps the tone of helplessness is only portrayed because that character is truly helpless.

I don't think this is a representation of how the game will turn out, but a representation that Capcom doesn't know how to make trailers.

So Should We Be Worried About Resident Evil 7?

The short answer: probably not.

I mean, we shouldn't be sitting around wondering if a future game will be as good as we want it to. There's better ways to spend our time. There's absolutely no way that we can tell exactly what kind of game Resident Evil 7 will be until we can play it for ourselves, who knows what the entire experience could be like?

But as to whether or not we can predict Resi 7's quality, I think the community's current predictions are a bit too exaggerated. Resident Evil fans have been burnt too many times to be hopeful, and overhyped games have been so frequent recently that any depiction of what your game could be is not going to convince anyone anymore.

I myself am hopeful that Resi 7 will return in some ways to the original formula. It would be nice to see those things return.

Is it a problem that some things are different?

Well, I'd like to say it isn't. We're in an era currently where plenty of developers are trying to return to what their games once were (New Super Mario Bros., Ratchet and Clank), but they aren't trying to improve on that original formula at all. So instead of returning to glory, we get something we've already gotten.

It's actually quite interesting to see Capcom attempt to bring back aspects from the past, but also try to improve on them for a general audience.

And if it turns out to be just like P.T., well then we'll finally get Silent Hills.


Happy 30th Anniversary, Metroid! Sat, 06 Aug 2016 14:37:12 -0400 David Fisher

 Today is August 6th, and sadly not many outside of the dedicated Metroid fan sites and forums seem to remember that today is Nintendo's renowned space franchise's anniversary. It's not just any birthday either. Today marks Samus's 30th anniversary!

Fear not, Samus. Even though I've had my grievances with your series in days past, this GameSkinny writer has not forgotten about you or your struggle against the evil space pirates!

It's been awhile since Samus Aran's most recent adventure, Other M, but at least it won't be much longer until Metroid Prime: Federation Force arrives on store shelves - August 19th to be precise. Sadly, neither game has received particularly good attention as Other M suffered from a weak plot, despite arguably having good gameplay. Meanwhile, Federation Force appears destined to face a similar fate before it is even released.

The lack of a popular Metroid title in the last six years makes these two Amiibo the most popular entry to the Metroid series since Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and they were designed for Super Smash Bros.!

It's hard to believe nowadays that the Metroid series is actually one of the more important video games out there. After all, it is the founder of the "Metroidvania" genre - despite Castlevania trying to get in on that name. So while Nintendo seems to have forgotten about it, and fans are too busy bashing on the next game, let's take a moment to remember what Metroid has done for video games.

Up and Down and All Around!

Fun fact! Metroid was actually among the first - if not the first - to actually implement all four directions at the same time in a side scrolling video game without a set goal in mind. This meant that those who played the original Metroid on the NES were among the first people to experience this kind of freedom in a side scroller.

Nowadays we take this kind of freedom in a side scroller for granted. It's easy to forget that games such as Super Mario Bros. only moved from left to right, or that Kid Icarus moved from bottom to top. This innovation actually made a few things possible that weren't before, namely a new form of gameplay known as...


Super Metroid was undoubtedly a great game. While I have my own reservations over the title due to some of the less well-aged sections of the game, it did innovate the side-scroller adventure genre by introducing something we couldn't dream of not having: a large interconnected map and interchangeable upgrades.

That's right. Believe it or not, Super Metroid was the first title to fully implement this style of gaming. While we had maps and upgrades for a while at that point in history in video games, Super Metroid innovated the gaming industry by providing a fully interconnected map with a map system.

Metroid and Metroid II both had large maps,  but no game at the time had matched the scale of Super Metroid in a side scrolling environment. This was in part accomplished by the notorious elevators that are laced around Planet Zebes, locking together multiple worlds that would otherwise be expected to be connected by a HUB world.

Interchangeable upgrades were also a new feature as most video games at the time had players simply replace their old weapons with a new superweapon. Super Metroid was different in that there were no straight upgrades when it came to suit upgrades. While you could certainly play the game with all upgrades activated, shutting down certain upgrades actually helped the player in certain sections - namely due to boss enemies being unaffected by certain beam types.

An Icon of Female Empowerment

When the first Metroid title released on the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, the concept of a playable female character on a home console was unheard of. Sure, we had Ms. PAC-MAN and the rarely heard of "Kissy" from Namco's Alien Sector, but Samus Aran was by far the first to be easily recognized.

As such, it was a safe assumption at the time that players were playing as a robotic warrior or a spaceman in a suit. Even the official instruction manual referred to Samus as a "he". It wouldn't be until players beat the game in under 5 hours that they would learn that underneath the powered suit was actually a female protagonist.

Underneath the Armor...

While her dimensions and general appearance have changed over the years, Samus has always been one of Nintendo's biggest butt kickers. After all, she does maintain the highest kill count of any Nintendo franchise, literally annihilating entire planets - approximately 4 of the 12 she has visited. Technically this is a terrible thing to do, but unlike archvillains such as Bowser or Ganondorf she does it for the forces of good so that counts for something, right?

Despite being a primarily silent protagonist outside of Metroid: Fusion and Other M, Samus is often cited as being one of the strongest female role models in gaming. She is also somewhat of a rarity among the gaming genre as she is one of the few characters who not only sports the title of "strong female character" but is still an attractive character who does not have a copped-out "butch" personality for the sake of being "boyish".

In fact, through the visual and narrative storytelling in Metroid II, Metroid: Fusion, and Metroid: Other M we have learned time and time again that Samus is actually a very caring character. While some might send me to the gallows for saying this, even the earliest of Metroid titles have often shown a softer - more insecure - side to Samus. This can often be found in her respect for Adam Malkovich or her inability to simply vaporize the last defenseless metroid in Metroid II.

This makes Samus an indispensable character to the video game industry, and hopefully Nintendo will bring her back soon.

As for the Future...

(Comic courtesy of Double-Xp)

The future looks fairly bleak for the Metroid series. Admittedly, I believe that at this point I am holding an unhealthy level of hope for Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Maybe it's just my mind finally caving in to the hate bandwagon for the game, but it's been so long since we had a main series Metroid title that it gets somewhat depressing to think about as a fan of the series. As someone who actually didn't mind going through Other M, I can only imagine what it feels like for those who don't believe there has been a worthy title since 2007 (or even earlier if they weren't a fan of the Prime sequels).

As Corley and Crandall have parodied in their comic, Samus Aran is quickly becoming "that hot chick from Smash Bros." which is disappointing considering the history the series has. While the prospects of a new main series title are low for the time being, hopefully we'll soon see Samus blasting aliens again. After all, Metroid: Other M and Metroid: Fusion left some seriously big questions about the Galactic Federation that need some serious answering - preferably at arm-cannon point!



How the NES Classic Edition (mini NES) is over a $650 value Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:21:43 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The hype surrounding Nintendo's upcoming NES Classic Edition (also known as the mini NES) is real for those aching with nostalgia for more simple gaming times. While dedicated retro gamers may look down their noses at the swarms of people looking forward to the 30-in-one package deal, its release is a win-win for anyone interested in the included games.

The NES Classic Edition will be coming with 30 games -- no more, no less -- packaged in its humble $59.99 package. That in itself is an amazing deal, as we're going to see below, but that's not the only benefit to be found in Nintendo's all-in throwback.

This nifty little piece of hardware will also support HDMI output for televisions that are oh-so-modern compared to those of 30 years ago, as well as new "suspend points" where players can suspend the games to come back later. So while the NES Classic Edition is aiming to bring back these older titles authentically, it's giving the modern time-starved gamer the option to take it a bit easier. Though that option is not mandatory.

Along with all of the above, the mini NES will support the new NES Classic Controller ($9.99 MSRP when bought separately) as well as Classic Controllers and Classic Controller Pros that many Wii U owners already have.

How good of a deal is the NES Classic Edition?

If you don't collect retro games, chances are you have little to no idea how the retro game market works nor how inflated and volatile it tends to be. I bet you wouldn't believe actually buying physical copies of all 30 of these games would cost around $650.

Many NES games today are over $20, and that is without the box and manual. Getting fully intact NES games is both a time-consuming and wallet-devouring process -- and let's not even get into the prices of pristine copies.

The 30 titles included in the NES Classic Edition are some of the best-known games on the console, and they certainly printed enough copies back when the Nintendo Entertainment System was still relevant, but that doesn't stop these babies from mostly being over $20 each when purchased physically. And it doesn't stop them from costing $5 each on the Nintendo eShop, either.

The games are listed below in alphabetical order and mention both the average price (at the time of writing) for a physical copy without the box and manual, as well as its eShop Virtual Console price. If you bought all of these games for the Virtual Console, it would still cost $150.

Would you rather pay $650, $150, or $60 for this set of games? Unless you're a hardcore collector, you already know the answer to that.

Balloon Fight
Physical copy estimate: $22
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS)

Bubble Bobble
Physical copy estimate: $22
Virtual Console price: $5 (Wii 500pts only)

Physical copy estimate: $33
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS)

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Physical copy estimate: $18
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Donkey Kong
Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Donkey Kong Jr.
Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS)

Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Physical copy estimate: $13
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Dr. Mario
Physical copy estimate: $10
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U)

Physical copy estimate: $15
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U; Wii ver. 500pts)

Final Fantasy
Physical copy estimate: $30
Virtual Console price: $5 (Wii 500pts only)

Physical copy estimate: $16
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Ghosts 'N Goblins
Physical copy estimate: $19
Virtual Console price: $5 (Wii 500pts only)

Physical copy estimate: $10
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Ice Climber
Physical copy estimate: $20
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Kid Icarus
Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U; Wii ver. 500pts)

Kirby's Adventure
Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U; Wii ver. 500pts)

Mario Bros.
Physical copy estimate: $30
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Mega Man 2
Physical copy estimate: $38
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Ninja Gaiden
Physical copy estimate: $16
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Physical copy estimate: $12
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U; Wii ver. 500pts)

Super C
Physical copy estimate: $25
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Super Mario Bros.
Physical copy estimate: $14
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Super Mario Bros. 2
Physical copy estimate: $20
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Super Mario Bros. 3
Physical copy estimate: $20
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Tecmo Bowl
Physical copy estimate: $20
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

The Legend of Zelda
Physical copy estimate: $32
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Physical copy estimate: $20
Virtual Console price: $4.99 (Wii U, 3DS; Wii ver. 500pts)

It's really not hard to see how good of a deal the mini NES actually is. It's $650 (or $150, if you don't care about physical copies) worth of games for $59.99 -- not to mention the cost of buying an actual NES console if you wanted to go the physical route.

It's going to be a while until the NES Classic Edition comes out -- it's not even out until November 11 in the United States. But plan your purchase now. It may be hard to get during the holiday season with the amount of attention Nintendo has been getting this year, and the amount of celebrity attention the mini NES itself has been getting since its announcement. A great deal is a great deal.

Nintendo Classic Mini - NES coming November 11th Thu, 14 Jul 2016 05:22:27 -0400 Anthony Pelone

For American and European audiences comes the Nintendo Classic Mini - NES, a reproduction of the beloved 8-bit console that's arriving November 11th. While it doesn't use cartridges, it comes installed with 30 different games for the price of $60. The game list is as follows:

Balloon Fight
Bubble Bobble
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Jr.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Dr. Mario
Final Fantasy
Ghosts n' Goblins
Ice Climber
Kid Icarus
Kirby’s Adventure
Mario Bros.
Mega Man 2
Ninja Gaiden
Punch-Out!!  Featuring Mr. Dream
Super C
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.  2
Super Mario Bros.  3
Tecmo Bowl
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Also packed with the system is a NES Classic controller, which as the name implies is a replica of the original controller. These will also be sold separately for $9.99, and can be compatible with NES VC games on Wii and Wii U when connected to a Wii Remote. Wii Classic Controllers and Wii U Classic Controller Pro can also be used with the system.

To further capitalize on the nostalgia, it'll also come packaged with an AC adapter; however, a HDMI cable has also been confirmed to arrive with the system. No trailer was accompanied with the announcement, so we'll have to wait to see how these retro games are enhanced via HD.

Finally, each game will allow for numerous save states, so you won't have to rely on annoying passwords to continue your game -- though assume you can still use them if you want.

We'll keep on eye on more related news as the Nintendo Classic Mini - NES nears its release date. In the meantime, you can check out the amusing press release here.

Are you excited for this NES reproduction? Let us know in the comments below!

Metroidvanias You Can't Miss! Tue, 28 Jun 2016 07:48:52 -0400 Austin Katz


Where there any Metroidvanias I missed? What is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! Hopefully we will see more Metroidvanias in the future that will really challenge us and remind us why we love this genera so much.


Kirby & The Amazing Mirror ($6.99)


This adorable fluffball never fails to entertain. However, this is the only entry in the Kirby series that is considered a Metroidvania because of its map, which allows you to take different paths at any time. In this entry, you can summon a yellow, red, and green Kirby to help you on your quest. Plus, if you get sick of the base game, there are minigames such as Speed Eaters and Kirby's Wave Ride guaranteed to spice up gameplay.  


Shantae and the Pirate's Curse ($19.99)


In honor of the Shantae: Half-Genie Hero announcement, I thought Shantae: and the Pirate's Curse should be on this list. Having lost her genie powers in the previous game, Shantae uses various pirate-themed weapons scattered throughout the game, and of course uses her signature hair attack.


This game was also developed by WayForward, a studio known for their Metroidvania titles. Like the other entries in this series, you will go platform though worlds, gaining new powers which will allow you access to new areas. Plus, the retro style artwork puts a bow on this must-play game. 


Guacamelee! ($14.99)


What do you get when you cross Mexican culture and a non-stop action-packed beat em up? You get Guacamelee!, the epic game on Steam. Guacamelee! was released by DrinkBox Studios, whose most recent game came out last April. The game is filled with references to Zelda through a light and dark world, and classic Mario platforming -- all of which comes together to create a unique gameplay experience. 


Adventure Time: Hey Ice King Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! ($19.99)


Adventure Time's first video game came with some pretty big expectations. Developers were tasked with capturing Adventure Time's vast world, colorful characters, and humor into a game -- and fortunately they succeeded. Hey Ice King is developed by WayForward Technologies, which is best known for the Shantae series. Hey Ice King took heavy influence from Zelda II's top down and 2D side-scroller perspective, in addition  to the many dungeons this game has to offer. This game has a ton of Adventure Time easter eggs to keep even the biggest fans satisfied. 


Rex Rocket ($4.99)


This Kickstarter-funded, old-school 2D platformer takes heavy influence from the Mega Man series. Each level will challenge you and keep you on your feet as you make your way though an expansive world.


This game is the first game developed by Castle Pixel, LLC -- and it was a success. Rex Rocket pays homage to the classic platformers and breathes new life into the genre. So it was a good thing this game was funded. Hopefully Yooka-Laylee will have a similar success. 


VVVVVV ($4.99)


While it looks simple from the outside, VVVVVV is anything but. With challenging and addicting gameplay and a simplistic art style, VVVVVV will have you sucked in for hours on end. It was created by the studio Nicalis -- though most of the work fell specifically Terry Cavanagh, who designed the game with Adobe Flash. This game takes you back to the trials of old school gaming, so you better have a great amount of patience and expect to fail a lot.


Metroidvanias borrow the best features from two classic games, Metroid and Castlevania -- and they usually come with the high standard that both games set. These games are characterized by a large interconnected map with areas inaccessible without certain power-ups. Throw in shortcuts, secrets, easter eggs and a heavy emphasis on exploration, and you got yourself a great Metroidvania.


This list contain some epic Metroidvanias that are guaranteed to keep you on your toes and entertained for hours. 

Awesome Metroid Fan-Made Anime Short Gives The Series The Love It Deserves Wed, 08 Jun 2016 05:42:44 -0400 Cody Drain

The most recent entry in the long-running Metroid franchise, which turns 30 this year, was 2010's Metroid: Other M, an uncharacteristically lackluster game in a series filled with quality titles. Six years later, as E3 looms on the horizon, the only Metroid title Nintendo has announced (so far) is Metroid Prime: Federation Force, which for the first time seems to shift the emphasis away from series heroine Samus Aran. But even if Nintendo hasn't given the series much attention recently, one fan on YouTube is doing it justice.

YouTube user Rabbit MACHINE's anime short, entitled "METROID short animation," is a fantastic tribute to Samus and her adventures. Clocking in at only 55 seconds, the video starts with the bounty hunter's iconic gunship landing at an outpost on a desolate planet. She finds a previous inhabitant (perhaps a soldier belonging to the Galactic Federation) slain before being ambushed by laser fire.

True to form, Samus dashes into the fray (with a rendition of the Metroid Prime main theme playing in the background), holding off several attackers through a combination of hand-to-hand combat and her trusty arm cannon before finishing the last attacker with what appears to be a Super Missile. The video ends with Samus coolly walking away from the billowing flames in her own personal "cool guys don't look at explosions" moment.

Rabbit MACHINE's video is stylish, and it serves as a quality tribute to the franchise. Hopefully Nintendo will go back to showing Metroid this kind of attention again soon.