New Super Mario Bros U Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com New Super Mario Bros U RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Tencent Will Distribute Nintendo Switch in China https://www.gameskinny.com/uei9g/tencent-will-distribute-nintendo-switch-in-china https://www.gameskinny.com/uei9g/tencent-will-distribute-nintendo-switch-in-china Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:31:09 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Nintendo Switch will be making its way to China's console market thanks to a partnership with Tencent. The news comes in a recent report by Bloomberg, which also details how the decision affected stock prices.

The development was confirmed by a posting on the Guangdong provincial culture and tourism department website and by a Nintendo representative who said Tencent had applied for the sale of Switch hardware. Current reports state the system would ship in China with New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, though it's possible other games would be included as well.

Following the news, Nintendo's share prices increased by 14%, which is the largest single increase since Pokemon GO debuted in 2016.

Companies who publish on the Switch also saw increases in their share prices, with Bandai Namco and Konami each seeing 3% increases.

The reason is twofold. China's console market is infamously difficult to break into because Chinese gamers tend to play more free mobile and PC games; there are even PC gaming cafes where consumers can rent a gaming unit.

Piracy is another issue that prevents consoles from being as successful there.

However, analysts say Nintendo could potentially be the first major game and hardware company to change this trend. Demand for Microsoft and Sony never rises very high, partly because content that sells well overseas, such as Grand Theft Auto, isn't allowed in China.

Nintendo is mostly family friendly and at the very least has a wider range of offerings that would be acceptable to publish in China.

The other is its partnership with Tencent, a company which, though loathed by some in the West, acts as a sort of gatekeeper for China's gaming market.

Though some speculate moving into the Chinese market would help Nintendo boost lagging Switch sales, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa remains realistic in his outlook:

Although the market for games in China is incredibly huge, the market for dedicated video game platforms is small. So even if we were to enter into China, the challenges we would face there certainly would not be simple ones.

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Nintendo Celebrates Mario Day with Switch Promotion and Mario Game Discounts https://www.gameskinny.com/8ef3n/nintendo-celebrates-mario-day-with-switch-promotion-and-mario-game-discounts https://www.gameskinny.com/8ef3n/nintendo-celebrates-mario-day-with-switch-promotion-and-mario-game-discounts Fri, 08 Mar 2019 16:35:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

For several years now, Nintendo fans have celebrated all things Mario on March 10, dubbing it Mar10 Day, or the more formal Mario Day.

This year, the Big N itself is getting in on the celebration with several promotional deals and discounts. Among other things, My Nintendo members can spend their points to redeem some unique Mario Day themed items to hold their own celebrations.

The flagship deal in the promotion is a Nintendo Switch system plus one of five Mario Switch games for $329.99. That amounts to 50% off the selected title, which is noteworthy for being the steepest discount Nintendo has offered on its own Switch titles since the system launched.

The games to choose from are:

Most major retailers are taking part in this promotion, including:

  • GameStop
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Best Buy

Those who already own a Switch can still join in the fun, though. The digital versions of the five games listed above will be available for $39.99 from the same retailers, except GameStop.

These promotions begin March 10 and run until March 16.

There are other ways to celebrate Mar10 Day as well. Nintendo has added new My Nintendo rewards in honor of the day, and fans can redeem points for Mario-themed wallpapers and a Mario March calendar.

Also on offer are Mario-themed invitation cards and bingo sheets for those planning their own Mario Day gathering. Special Mario envelopes are available as well.

The Switch recently celebrated its second birthday and has succeeded beyond what many thought possible. Mario Day is a good way for Nintendo to celebrate that milestone and spread the message about its latest system to an even wider audience.

Doug Bowser, currently the Senior VP of Sales and Marketing (and future NoA president) said:

What better way to celebrate Mario Day than by playing some of the most popular Mario games on Nintendo Switch. This promotion is a great option for consumers who want to pick up Nintendo Switch and some hit games at a value price.

Looking at the list of games above, Bowser is right. Super Mario Odyssey redefines the platformerMario Kart 8 does the same for the kart racing genre, and while Mario Tennis Aces has a few drawbacks, it's the best Mario Tennis offering in years.

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10 video game baddies that really just need a hug https://www.gameskinny.com/h2u9f/10-video-game-baddies-that-really-just-need-a-hug https://www.gameskinny.com/h2u9f/10-video-game-baddies-that-really-just-need-a-hug Sat, 09 Jul 2016 17:02:49 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Sometimes we all need a hug. Maybe you had a bad day at work or perhaps you just spilled a fresh cup of Starbucks all over your new pants. Those are moments that require hugs. I imagine that bad guys have those kinds of days too. Here are 10 video game baddies, in no particular order, that really just need a hug.

Nemesis -- Resident Evil

Yes he's scary. Yes he's kind of gross, but c'mon folks the guy just needs a hug. He's just doing what a humanoid bio-weapon is supposed to do. I'm sure he would of made better choices if he only had more opportunities as a baby Tyrant. 

King Pig -- Angry Birds

King Pig has no arms, no legs, and definitely no wings. He can't fly around like those mean Angry Birds. All he has are googly eyes and a stupid crown. Maybe that's why he cries so much. Poor guy. Give him a hug! 

Bowser -- Super Mario Brothers

Bowser is mean and evil and I used to think he was beyond redemption -- until I met his kid. Being a parent myself, I can definitely understand where the anger and frustration comes from. If my kid was anything like Bowser Jr., I'd need a hug too... and maybe a stiff drink. 

Wario - Warioland

I've got nothing here. Hug him if you like, but he's just awful. I bet he smells funny and what is up with those shoes? Seriously though, I don't like him. He did take out Rudy the Clown once though. I guess that's worth a hug. 

Sephiroth -- Final Fantasy VII

Good or Bad? Angel or Devil? Whatever. I'm hugging this guy and I'm first in line okay. I've been camped out in the "Hugs for Sephiroth" line all night. Seriously who wouldn't want to hug this hunky guy with his black leather and really long... sword. 

Wheatley -- Portal 2

Wheatley is a mess, but I probably would be too after being stuck in storage for as long as he was. Fortunately he did help us through the first four chapters of Portal 2 before that awful elevator shaft incident. Maybe a hug will make him a little smarter?

Tom Nook -- Animal Crossing

 

He's fuzzy and cute. I would definitely hug him if I didn't know what a money grubbing monster he really is under that awful sweater vest. What does he do with all the money? He doesn't invest in fashion, that's for sure. He doesn't even have hands, how does he count it all?

I will say this -- if nothing else Mr. Nook is teaching our children valuable lessons about the evils of revolving credit. For that, he gets a hug!

Goro -- Mortal Combat

All I'm saying is that he has 4 arms. That's twice the hugging power people! Twice! Hug the guy already. 

Little Sister -- Bioshock

 

She. Is. So. Cute! Look at those evil glowing eyes, that pasty skin, the blood stained dress, how could anyone not want to just take this little girl home and keep her forever? You know what, I'm going to give her a hug right now. Come here little girl... wait what's that noise? 

Purple Tentacle -- Day of the Tentacle

This is the guy, err... tentacle that started it all. He was doing it Sheldon J Plankton style long before Sponge Bob was even a twinkle is his mommy's eye. He's evil and he's purple and don't forget that sweet, sweet midi soundtrack. I'll probably stick to him with all those sucker things, but I'm going in for the hug anyway.  

I think all of these baddies deserve a hug for something they've done. Yes they did lots of evil, but no one is all bad. You'd be surprised what a hug can do. Hug a baddie today or hug someone you love. Heck, you can even hug a stranger if you think you can get away with it. Watch out for pepper spray. That definitely cuts down on the hugging appeal. Consensual hugs with strangers. That's the way to go. Yeah. Err... anyway you get the point. Go forth my minions and hug!  

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Nintendo Breaking Conventions: First Zelda, Mario next? https://www.gameskinny.com/b0vit/nintendo-breaking-conventions-first-zelda-mario-next https://www.gameskinny.com/b0vit/nintendo-breaking-conventions-first-zelda-mario-next Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:14:46 -0400 Phil Fry

The newest Zelda game isn't the only series Nintendo is looking to break conventions, because in an interview with IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto hinted at a Mario game of a new kind. 

"We're always challenging ourselves to create something new, so hopefully you'll see a new kind of Mario in about a year or two." 

[via IGN] 

Miyamoto noted that the conventions of Mario are more difficult to challenge because accessibility to a large audience is something Mario games are known for.

The Wii U saw Mario games like Super Mario Maker, and although this title was classic Mario platformer, the game did allow for players to create their own levels-- something innovative and convention challenging. New Super Mario Bros. U was also in classic Mario style. Super Mario 3D World, however, was a great installment and re-imagining of Mario tropes. 

The Wii U did not see a 3D platformer Mario game in a style such as Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy, so perhaps Miyamoto could be hinting at the development of a full scale 3D Mario game that could break conventions like Zelda is doing. 

[Image from Wikipedia

There is still little known about Nintendo's NX, so maybe we will see something groundbreaking for Mario games on the system. Something of Galaxy's caliber would be amazing to see. 

What kinds of conventions would you like to see Nintendo break? Should Nintendo continue the trend of convention breaking for their games that are known for their classic styles? 

[Source image courtesy of Independent

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Games for Grandparents and Grandchildren: Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks https://www.gameskinny.com/fw6is/games-for-grandparents-and-grandchildren-old-dogs-can-learn-new-tricks https://www.gameskinny.com/fw6is/games-for-grandparents-and-grandchildren-old-dogs-can-learn-new-tricks Tue, 03 May 2016 06:16:58 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

“I just don’t understand those, whatchamacallit? Damgummed vidja games you play. They don’t make any blasted sense to me.”

One of my grandparents once told me something not too far removed from that sentence. My cousin and I were sitting down playing my brand-new copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on my still shiny, purple Gamecube. (Oh yeah, I am going wayyyy back to 2002.) My cousin and I did our best to explain video games to the bewildered, older person, but our eleven-year-old selves couldn’t convince the grandparent that games were anything other than the preconceptions they held.

You tell those young whippersnappers!

You tell those young whippersnappers!

Just fourteen years later, I have met several grandparents and older adults who either play video games with their younger family members or have expressed an interest in the idea. With that in mind, here's a list of somewhat recent titles that might be starting points for grandparents who want to play games with their grandchildren. Who knows? Maybe you will be playing one of these games and it will catch your grandparent’s eye like no Bingo game ever could.

This is a varied list. Some of these games will be more difficult to play than others, and some of these games are aimed more at mature players than others. I've included descriptions with each entry so you have an idea of what the game is before scurrying off to entice your victim loved one to play.

Let’s get started!

 

Juju 

Available on Steam, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes 

Control complexity?  Minimal

Juju is an extremely cute platformer ( a game where you navigate obstacles and collect floating, shiny things) starring a pink panda bear and his best friend Peyo, who just so happens to be an anthropomorphic snake. (Because video games okay?) Juju and Peyo get into some trouble and wind up releasing an evil bat that kidnaps Juju’s dad and places some dark magic on Juju’s home forest. It’s up to Juju and Peyo to save the day!

The gameplay is almost as simple as the plot for this one. Players control their choice of the two characters, and their partner controls the other. Players navigate levels filled with obstacles, enemies, and tons of floating, shiny objects to collect! The game goes out of its way to entice newcomers to play. The character of Peyo has skills Juju does not, and he is also less targeted by enemies, allowing his player to simply enjoy the game.

The controls in Juju are also simple. You control your character and have buttons to jump and perform an attack. There are five buttons used at most, making this ideal for all newcomers.

Juju’s novice-friendly design makes it a great choice for either enticing grandparents or younger grandchildren. If you want more information about the game, I actually wrote a review about it here! (Shameless self-promotion for the win!)

 

Yoshi’s Woolly World  

Available on the WiiU.

Can two players play at the same time?  Yes

Control complexity?  Minimal

Much like the aforementioned Juju, Yoshi’s Woolly World is a platformer where you navigate obstacles, defeat enemies, and collect shiny objects. What separates the two is the degree of difficulty and art style. The world of Woolly (the full title is a mouthful) is presented as living yarn, and yes, it is as adorable as it sounds. The art style makes the game appealing to players of all ages and can bring a smile to the face of the most cynical of players, such as myself.

The cute is strong with this one.

Players have the options of four different controllers for playing this one. You have the option of the Wii U Gamepad, the Wii U Pro Controller, the Wiimote, and the Classic Controller. As with Juju, there are essentially five buttons used in gameplay. When playing with another person, both people can also use different controllers, depending on their preference.  

 

Woolly is also more difficult than Juju. If Juju’s difficulty was rated at a 1 on a scale from 0-10, Wooly would fall somewhere between a 2 or a 3. Just something to keep in mind for newer players. The game allows two people to play simultaneously, so grandma can help you snag all of those collectibles!

 

Katamari series

Available on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Can two players play at the same time? Depends on the game from what I can gather. 

Control complexity? Moderate

The Katamari series is an example of simplicity done beautifully. The objective of the game is to roll around large environments and collecting everything into a large ball of, well, everything. There is some story about replacing the stars, but all you need to know is you can collect virtually anything into your giant roving ball of objects. It’s a game that is simple to grasp and enjoy.

Here’s the game in action.

 

The controls are slightly more demanding than the previous titles mentioned, but they don't take long to become comfortable. The controls are similar to controlling the treads on a tank. If you want to go forward, you move both sticks forward. If you want to turn, you push the stick forward on the side you wish to turn. It's slightly more complicated, but not enough to completely alienate people. You can see more of the controls here.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band  

Available on Playstation 3&4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Depends on your difficulty and instrument, but minimal to difficult.

The Guitar Hero and Rock Band series are unique as they can provide an enjoyable experience for newcomers and experts alike. The Rock Band games have modes where you cannot fail, and instead, can simply enjoy the music and your attempts to play it. If your grandparents don’t have the dexterity for the guitar, let them beat the drums to death. If drums aren’t their thing, give them a mic and have them wail to the classics they know and love!

The controls complexity depends on the difficulty you decide to play. Each difficulty adds a new button for the guitar and drums. For singing, it makes some notes harder to hit and adds more difficult pitches and sections. There's a reason these games have become hit party games though. There is a difficulty level for all players to enjoy!

With a large library of songs included with the base game and a huge selection of songs available to download, there’s bound to be some songs your grandparents enjoy. These games can provide an evening of fun for the whole family to enjoy. Before you know it, you’ll have a garage band and participate in the local battle of the bands.

 It may or may not make your grandmother a badass metalhead.

 

Mario series

Available on the WiiU

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Minimal

Gaming’s most iconic mascot has been the star of countless games that have entranced beginners and veterans alike for years. His newest games are no different. The newest titles on the WiiU are a step up in difficulty from the prior entries on this list, but they also have various modes for beginners and support for more than two players. Now grandma and grandpa both can get in on quashing Bowser’s plans!

 The Mario series is one of the longest-running and most iconic game franchises of all time, yet has managed to retain its charming simplicity throughout all of the years. The controls are simple to learn and easy to master, using six buttons at the most. The challenge comes not from the controls but being precise. However, the series has always been friendly for newcomers and remains welcoming to all.

 

Super Smash Bros

Available on the Wii U

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate

Now this might be a confusing entry. The Smash series is known for its depth, and the skill displayed by pros at tournaments is mindboggling. The game still remains inviting for newcomers. I have hooked several unbelieving friends with a few rounds of Smash. The game is more complicated and has more controls than some entries here, but it remains a simple one to learn and enjoy.

This is easily the most complex game mentioned here in regards to controls. The game only uses about eight buttons (no matter which of the four controllers you choose to use), but there are multiple uses for many moves tied to these few buttons. Despite that, the game remains a frantic and enjoyable experience, even if you aren't sure exactly what is going on onscreen (which is me when playing most fighting games).

With all of the sheer chaos occurring onscreen, you may not be exactly sure what just happened, but you know it looked awesome and can’t wait to continue playing. The game allows up to eight people to play, and players can customize the amount of zaniness in matches and adjust things accordingly as needed. Just don’t complain when Great-grandma Anita wipes the floor with you.

 

Madden games

Available on anything. These games are literally available everywhere on every platform.

Can two players play at the same time? Two and more!

Control complexity? Moderate 

Now before you question this choice, hear me out. During some summers, I would visit my cousin, and we generally ending up playing video games. One day my uncle expressed interest in playing. Giddy with excitement, we naturally started him with the worst possible choice, Mass Effect. He called defeat with a few short, but oh so hilarious, minutes.

Next, we tried Call of Duty, he fared a little better, but he could not grasp the concept of operating two joysticks simultaneously. After my cousin met many a death at the hands of his dad’s grenades, we admitted defeat. My uncle then laid his eyes on Madden and being the football fanatic he is, asked to give it a whirl. My cousin and I decided it couldn’t be any worse than the other games, so we gave it a shot. We have regretted it ever since.

My uncle’s knowledge of football outweighed his lack of gaming skills, and he managed to defeat us over and over again. Things got to the point where he was asking us to play him because he wanted to try more advanced tactics.

I mention this story because you never know which games newcomers will do well when first introduced to gaming. If your grandparent has any interest in football, give Madden a shot. The controls are relatively simple, and the commands are usually posted on the screen for quick reference. Plays are assigned to a button so you know which play you are picking. Actions such as running, stiff-arm, and juking are all tied to individual buttons which are usually displayed before the ball is snapped. Each receiver is also assigned a button, so you know which receiver you are throwing the ball to with every play. 

You can also play the game together on the same team to help ease newcomers into the game. It’s a great idea for those who love sports, and an excellent starting point for the world of games.

 

There are plenty of games grandparents can play with their grandchildren, or can be used to entice your grandparent to give the world of gaming a shot. Star Fox Zero for the WiiU has an invincibility mode for newcomers. Pikmin 3 for the WiiU allows two captains to cooperate and attempt to salvage their spaceship to escape a hostile planet. Rocket League is a more advanced title, but for those who want a challenging and entertaining cooperative experience, look no further. For the truly awesome grandparents, look into Portal 2 for some cooperative, puzzle-solving goodness!

All of these titles I’ve mentioned are barely a drop in the ocean of family/grandparent-friendly games available.  Give these titles a shot, and see what happens. You never know. Maybe your grandparents have mad player skills waiting to be unleashed! After all, I can count the number of times I have beaten my uncle in Madden on one hand. Do not underestimate your opponent!

Do you have any games you play with your grandparents or grandchildren? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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The best co-op games to play with your sweetheart on Valentines day https://www.gameskinny.com/j33d2/the-best-co-op-games-to-play-with-your-sweetheart-on-valentines-day https://www.gameskinny.com/j33d2/the-best-co-op-games-to-play-with-your-sweetheart-on-valentines-day Sat, 13 Feb 2016 12:21:56 -0500 Emily Speight

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It might not be romantic in the traditional sense, but we’re sure that a day or night spent with some of these games is time well spent with your partner. Happy Valentine’s Day!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steamworkshop-webupload-previewfile-122474054-preview-5fdbe.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steamworkshop-webupload-previewfile-122474054-preview-5fdbe.png","type":"slide","id":"103337","description":"

For the couple who just got back from seeing Deadpool: Killing Floor

\n

Killing Floor leaves the fourth wall fairly firmly intact, but it’s definitely cut from the same cloth as Deadpool. The Merc with a Mouth would probably enjoy a few rounds of this well-regarded co-op shooter. But the real question is which one of you gets to play as the Pyro, and which one as Harold Lott -- an homage to Harry Enfield’s LOADSAMONEY act.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/new-super-mario-bros-5e255.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/new-super-mario-bros-5e255.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103336","description":"

For the couple who want to test the strength of their love: New Super Mario Bros U

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“True love can conquer anything,” say couples who have never found themselves in shouting arguments over a platform in New Super Mario Bros U. Test the depth of your relationship with this bright, happy-go-lucky divorce simulator.

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For the couple who build blanket forts: Terraria OR Minecraft

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If you’re dating somebody who’s irrationally afraid of spiders, maybe skip over Minecraft in favor of Terraria. Both of these building/survival games deliver similar experiences in 2D and 3D respectively, so your choice is largely left up to taste here. Know that no matter what you pick, you’ll probably both blink and realize you’ve played it all night long.

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For the couple who love a challenge: Risk of Rain

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Risk of Rain is a genuine challenge. Crash land on an alien planet and use items scavenged from your downed ship to subdue the world’s wildlife. Play as one of twelve characters with your co-op partner and be ready to be taunted over and over by the game’s death messages.

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For the couple who high-five in the bedroom: Double Dragon Neon

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Plug in your controllers and get ready for a deluge of synth-pop; Double Dragon’s been remade. It’s exactly as over-the-top and totally radical as you’d expect. High-five to power up and to split life and take on one of Skeletor’s college roommates… IN SPACE! It’s as brainless and fun as it sounds.

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For the couple who don’t mind a bit of a mess: Magicka

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And Magicka is an absolute mess: a glorious, bug-ridden, incredibly fun mess. Plug in a controller for your partner, make sure that friendly fire’s enabled, and have a blast killing everything between you and your goal… whatever that goal is. Saving the kingdom? In all the time I’ve played, I’ve honestly never known, and if you told me by this point, it would probably diminish the experience.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/n/dont-starve-togetherpromo-623a4.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/n/dont-starve-togetherpromo-623a4.png","type":"slide","id":"103330","description":"

For the couple who still watches Survivor after 31 seasons: Don’t Starve Together

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It’s still in beta, but don’t let that deter you from the standalone multiplayer version of Don’t Starve. Sadly, there’s no couch co-op, but Don’t Starve Together will happily run on laptops and over LAN.

In spite of the two negatives upfront, Don’t Starve Together is a truly excellent experience -- and one that will suck away all your time.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/8/2483712-diddy-kong-racing-95b1b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/8/2483712-diddy-kong-racing-95b1b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103329","description":"

For the couple who love retro: Diddy Kong Racing

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Enter “JOINTVENTURE” on the cheats menu and you’ll be able to play this game’s single player adventure in co-op. “DOUBLEVISION” will save fights over who gets to be T.T.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-05cb9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-05cb9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103328","description":"

For the couple who got into gaming only recently: Portal 2

\n

If either of you have only recently taken up gaming as a hobby, then you need to have a run through Portal 2’s co-operative campaign. Challenging, fun, and full of the wit and humor that has endeared the series to fans, you’ll enjoy learning to think with Portals.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saints-row-644e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saints-row-644e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103327","description":"

For the couple who are spending the day apart: Saints Row 3

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Sadly, there’s no couch co-op options for Saints Row: The Third. If you’re spending the day apart, however, you might be able to sink some time into this sillier take on the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Sure, Saints Row 2 is probably better -- but with no servers supporting it, setting a game up can be a hassle.

And besides -- Saints Row: The Third is the game that debuted The Penetrator, everybody’s favorite weaponized dildo.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/c/necrodancer-5ab2c.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/c/necrodancer-5ab2c.png","type":"slide","id":"103326","description":"

For the couple who never got around to those dance lessons: Crypt of the Necrodancer

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Never played Crypt of the Necrodancer? Then you missed out on one of 2015’s most original games. Blending roguelikes with rhythm games, this fantastic romp offers an oft-overlooked co-op mode.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-42204.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-42204.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103339","description":"

An elaborate, romantic evening is great on Valentine's Day…if, of course, you’ve got the money and the time machine you’ll need to still book anywhere nice by this point. If you don’t or if that’s not your style, we’ve got the skinny on some great co-op games to snuggle up and play with your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

"}]]]>
The 5 things I want from Super Mario Maker https://www.gameskinny.com/sn0mw/the-5-things-i-want-from-super-mario-maker https://www.gameskinny.com/sn0mw/the-5-things-i-want-from-super-mario-maker Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:56:11 -0400 Michael Slevin

Super Mario Maker is becoming one of the most anticipated games of the year, and I have some expectations. The game will be all about the community creating levels and making it great, so here is what I want:

1. Top 10 Levels of the Week

It can be top 5, or top 20, but I want to be able to have a playlist set up where the top-rated levels from the week are readily available. Again, this is dependent on the community consistently creating levels, but I think it's a reasonable request.

2. Recreating classics

This can come from either Nintendo or the Super Mario Maker community, but I want the classic Mario games remade via Super Mario Maker. Imagine getting to play any level from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, or Super Mario World! Let's make it happen.

3. Save the levels!

I really hope that you can save your favorite levels, or even download them. It would be a bummer if you had to search for a level in order to replay it. Hopefully there will be playlists that you can create to have your favorite levels readily available. We know that players will be able to follow creators and favorite levels, so one must assume that this request will be granted in some form.

4. Miyamoto-made levels

With 100 levels being packaged with the game, I have to assume that some of them will be designed by Shigeru Miyamoto himself. It would be super cool if they distinguish which levels were designed by Miyamoto, as well as other designers. This probably won't happen, but I really hope it does.

5. Consistent updates and designer-made levels

I hope that Nintendo consistently updates the game, giving creators more and more options so that they can create the craziest, best levels possible. I also hope that some of the design geniuses at Nintendo continue to add their own awesome levels.

Super Mario Maker releases for Wii U worldwide on September 11th. These are the five things that I really want from Super Mario Maker, but what do you want from the game? 

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Developers Can End the DLC War https://www.gameskinny.com/o14fy/developers-can-end-the-dlc-war https://www.gameskinny.com/o14fy/developers-can-end-the-dlc-war Fri, 15 May 2015 02:30:01 -0400 GamingGuru

The Underlying and Ongoing Controversy of DLC

If you want to set the Internet on fire, simply pop into a gamer forum and state your opinion on DLC, or downloadable content. It really doesn't matter if you address it in a general context or focus on a single title that employs what you feel is "unfair"; someone will disagree with you. With strong stances on either side of the coin on what's fair and what's not, the question is, what can developers do to make people "feel better" about DLC? One word: transparency.

Since DLC's quality and value are subjective at best (when people aren't outright punching each other out over it), it can be taken as a warning sign that developers need to clearly state what value their DLC provides and how much it will cost. In the mobile gaming realm, transparency is severely lacking, with purchase options made available with little context as to why and sometimes outright stopping gameplay until the user makes a choice.

The tiniest X in existence.

When DLC Isn't So Good...

In regards to console/handheld gaming, DLC is not always clearly communicated when a game hits the eShop. One recent example I experienced is Mighty Gunvolt, released August 29, 2014. When I first came across this title, I noticed that it was on special for only $2.49. Reading the description, I bought the game on the premise that I was getting a "full" game. It wasn't until after I downloaded it that I discovered that it was first available as a free download for those who purchased Azure Striker Gunvolt from the eShop and that it only had 5 levels, with the rest available as DLC.

Mighty Gunvolt? I love you, man, but...

In the end, I walked away feeling somewhat cheated, even though I truly enjoyed the game. Yeah, I could have replayed the game as another character, but the differences are so mild that it's hardly noticed. The characters offer different attacks, but the enemies continue to show up in the same places and boss fights lose their luster after you learn their attack patterns. In short, I felt that the game was artificially short (one could argue that the price matched the content) and that the rest of the content was hidden behind paywalls that didn't necessarily belong there. Others on Metacritic tend to echo this sentiment, as well.

What made this even more jarring is that it was not stated on the eShop page that the game had DLC and didn't provide a clear enough description of what people would be buying if they hit "Download". Had I known that I was only going to receive 5 static levels to play, I may have reconsidered my choice to buy it. As a gamer, I felt cheated; as a buyer, I felt misinformed. Bottom line: I feel that Mighty Gunvolt is a great game that would benefit from providing all of its content on download (which I would gladly pay $9.99 for), or offering the content as unlockables gained through in-game achievements.

DLC Can Be Good

Granted, not all DLC can feel or appear "janky" or criminal. For example, New Super Luigi U was offered as downloadable content on New Super Mario Bros. U. For anyone who's played New Super Luigi U, they quickly realized that it was not a gimmick, but almost a whole game within itself...without Mario! The eShop price point is currently $19.99, and offers: 1) greater difficulty, 2) Luigi's unique jumping mechanics, and 3) 82 new courses. For $19.99, this would be considered a great bargain, but was not a requirement to enjoy the original New Super Mario Bros. U to its full extent and gave players the option to experience the core game in a new, exciting way.

If you haven't checked this out, it's totally worth it!

So what makes DLC "good"? I would personally say that anything that: 1) adds a comparable value for what's being charged, and/or 2) offers an extension of the full, core game. I, and others, feel that games like Mighty Gunvolt failed in this aspect because the game felt too short (even if the content matched the price), but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't buy the full game at a higher price point with the option of buying DLC post-release as it rolls out.

Prosperity and Success for All

Another gripe for disenfranchised gamers who may not be able to necessarily afford all of the DLC offered in-game is that they cannot grind fast enough for resources to compete with paying players. World of Tanks offers players the ability to purchase premium tanks that gives them a distinct advantage over "free" players. For example,  the TOGII are literal "tanks" in that they can take an insane amount of damage and in a 1v1 situation, a Tier 6 "heavy" would eventually be worn down by a Tier 6 TOGII in a battle of sheer attrition. The skill level of the "free" player almost doesn't matter when going against a TOGII.


So Strong!

Another advantage available to premium players is "gold rounds", which have 25% better armor-penetrating capabilities than those available to "free" players. This may leave a sour taste in the mouth of "free" players who have to virtually grind for hours to earn enough in-game currency, but for "premium" players who may not have the time to invest in obtaining in-game buffs naturally, it's a fast way to improve their capabilities with real-world money.

One game that has attempted to bridge this gap in a fairer manner is ArcheAge. Patron, or premium, players do obtain labor points at a faster rate of 10 labor points per 5 minutes, with a 5,000 point cap than free players, who obtain 5 labor points per 5 minutes with a 2,000 point cap. Labor points are required to do anything in-game that is considered "crafting", whether it's building a house, gathering a harvest or planting trees.

Sounds fair to me.

But what makes ArcheAge so awesome is that patron players can still receive certain advantages, such as owning a plot of land and earning more labor points faster than free players, but free players can still enjoy the game and not feel like their being punished for not paying. Treating free players fairly and still giving them value is an important aspect of creating brand loyalty, as well as encouraging free players to "ante up".

Developers Can Help Bring Cohesiveness

So how can developers help? Simply communicating the purpose and value behind their DLC is a good starting point. As a buyer in almost any other realm of life, gamers want to know what they're buying into if they choose to do so. By simply writing a detailed description of the DLC's content, setting a fair price (it's market value determined by comparable products), and adding it in a manner that extends the experience of the game post-release would do wonders for an industry divided.

To help drive this point home and entertain at the same time, I've written a haiku that would serve well to be posted above every developer's workstation:

Devs, Listen, Take Heart 

Transparency is Crucial

Good Content Sharing

Whether their platform is Steam Greenlight, Twitter or Facebook, developers have an almost endless number of platforms where they can engage and inform their customers. Just like in the all other facets of consumer goods, people like to know what they're buying before they jump in and above all, not feel forced to do so. In short, developers would do well to be aware of their's and others' emotions so that they can interact effectively and clearly with their customers to help reduce confusion and boost their brand's image.

During this entire last week, I've learned just how divided the gamer base is in regards to DLC. I've had multiple discussions with other gamers in all walks of life, and the only conclusion I can draw at this time is that this derision can be effectively fixed at the source. Instead of fighting among each other, developers can do much to bring us all together by practicing transparency.

]]>
Autism Spectrum Disorder: How Video Games Can Help https://www.gameskinny.com/zlcyr/autism-spectrum-disorder-how-video-games-can-help https://www.gameskinny.com/zlcyr/autism-spectrum-disorder-how-video-games-can-help Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:00:41 -0400 T.W. Francis

Video games can be a source of improvement and a source of danger for those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

It is a general term for a group of complex brain disorders.  Many people diagnosed with ASD have varying degrees of difficulty in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors.

All forms of Autism merged into this single term in May of 2013.

How can video games help with ASD?  

Video games are the preferred type of play for children with ASD.  There are legitimate concerns that some children with ASD can become overly involved in games, but the same can be said of any child.  Experts recognize that video games are beneficial for children with ASD.

children with autism video games

Dr.s Finke and Hickerson recently conducted a study on the perception of parents who have children with ASD about their children's video game usage. The study showed that over 50% of parents in the study had generally positive attitudes about their children with ASD playing video games. They found that parents believed that video games help improve social skills, fine motor skills, language skills, reading and writing skills, and critical thinking abilities in their children. 

They said that say that they think it is a good indicator that parents would be supportive of the use of video games to help their children learn new skills.

“We believe this is a good indicator that parents of children with ASD would be supportive of the use of video games in educational and therapeutic contexts to help their children learn new skills. It encourages us to continue to explore the potential of video game play for learning for children with ASD.”

As a parent with a child that has ASD, I have often wondered how my son's playing online games affect his behavior. In the game environment, he can get away from a world of too much stimulation.  He goes in his own world and unwinds in his own way. With online games he can have social interaction; granted, some of that interaction can be negative, that is why as a parent I need to limit what he sees and does in small ways.  How much time he plays is also a factor.  He needs to play the games but at the same time he shouldn't play for hours without some sort of break.  His break time needs to be filled with activities that meet the needs he finds in the game.

A few recommended games for children with ASD

I am finding that few games are designed for people with ASD, but many games help promote skills of self-awareness, flexibility, and self-control. These are all important skills that are often areas of difficulty for those diagnosed with ASD.  Some of the popular games that can help people with ASD are:

  • Minecraft - A safe setting in which people with ASD can practice social interaction. The game encourages cooperation and communication.  It can also help with self-control, how their action affect others and themselves, goal setting, and flexibility.  This game is for Android, PS3, PS4, Playstation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS.
  • If... - This game helps children exercise their social and emotional learning skills and the in-game lessons are easily translated to the real-world.  The outcome of the story depends on the child's choices that make inside the game. This game is available on the iPad.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U - This game uses the console's motion sensor peripherals.  It exercises the child's motor skills, and it challenges players to work cooperatively to complete the given tasks.  It is available on the Wii U.
  • Portal 2 -  This game is like Minecraft in a way that it helps encourage experimentation and flexibility.  It has a cooperative play feature that offers the players the opportunity to exercise communication and social skills, self-awareness, and self-control. This game is available on Mac, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and Linux.
  • Draw Something 2 - This is a mobile game that uses touchscreens.  It is ideal for fine motor skill development.  The game is similar to Pictionary, and it challenges players to draw the terms, phrases and references that they are given.  They need to draw it clearly so their partners can answer correctly.  It is available on Android, iPad, iPhone, and iPod.

As a parent, I need to mention that parents should be actively involved in their children's gaming.  It doesn't matter if they don't have ASD.  If you take part in the games they play and play with them, they will have a much more enjoyable experience and be able to learn a lot more than they could on their own.

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Super Mario Bros. Redesigned As Modern 2D Illustrations https://www.gameskinny.com/l4ibk/super-mario-bros-redesigned-as-modern-2d-illustrations https://www.gameskinny.com/l4ibk/super-mario-bros-redesigned-as-modern-2d-illustrations Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:34:43 -0400 Elijah Beahm

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4592acfd82e3f5f7362ccb4baeed45db.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4592acfd82e3f5f7362ccb4baeed45db.png","type":"slide","id":"60915","description":"

These are but a taste of Bonny John's designs. Be sure to check him out here, and you can follow him on Twitter. After that, why not take a look at some of GameSkinny's other Culture pieces? If there are any designs in particular you like, let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7dac557eac7582938f4671581fdef216.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7dac557eac7582938f4671581fdef216.png","type":"slide","id":"60914","description":"

Yoshi

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Yoshi has been given a serious upgrade, turned into a mix of We're Back's T-Rex and the lovable Yoshi of yesteryear. I'd be wary of any flames that come flying out of his mouth now, that's for sure!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/40c7873b4b209a92604def42bc44c60f.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_40c7873b4b209a92604def42bc44c60f.png","type":"slide","id":"60913","description":"

Toad

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TOAD! You're... a human being! And what's more, his mushroom head is now an ornate turban.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7f79558baf525a48f932aff20ab41577.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7f79558baf525a48f932aff20ab41577.png","type":"slide","id":"60911","description":"

Bowser Jr.

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Junior's grown up since we last seen him, and he's going through a moody punk artist phase currently. With an evil magic paintbrush, maybe both Mario and Epic Mickey better watch out!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8135f0f507c071b8f88fb0a1ce330171.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_8135f0f507c071b8f88fb0a1ce330171.png","type":"slide","id":"60906","description":"

Bowser

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The King Koopa has gone near-full Ganondorf now, with sword and armor giving him a villainous yet regal appearance. He also looks more than ready to strike fear into the Mario brothers!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6f42dec3106525529083740fa54ee6ba.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6f42dec3106525529083740fa54ee6ba.png","type":"slide","id":"60905","description":"

Princess Daisy

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On the flipside, Princess Daisy has been toughened up a lot, turned into a warrior princess. The cute little Luigi pendant shows a soft spot to help balance it out.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/55a7dbe853c8cb72410549442e47f54d.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_55a7dbe853c8cb72410549442e47f54d.png","type":"slide","id":"60904","description":"

Princess Peach

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Not much is changed other than the new art style, but she still looks excellent in the new style.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/04e6f4a33a91761a4a67a019c796fd34.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_04e6f4a33a91761a4a67a019c796fd34.png","type":"slide","id":"60901","description":"

Luigi

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Contrary to his usually nervous and terrified demeanor, Bonny's Luigi is a dapper fellow of composure with a neat little bow tie. He looks prepared to help his brother save the mushroom kingdom.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8071246008b2cd10706e60f830858cc2.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_8071246008b2cd10706e60f830858cc2.png","type":"slide","id":"60899","description":"

Mario

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Now both an electrician and plumber, Mario has a fair amount of tools at his disposal to save the day. The cute little mushroom patch job on his overalls is a nice touch as well!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4793ad42c78a3d137f6ce74e9b5236c8.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4793ad42c78a3d137f6ce74e9b5236c8.png","type":"slide","id":"60887","description":"

Artist Bonny John took it upon himself to redesign all of the cast of Super Mario Bros. From a tough Princess Daisy to a warlord Bowser, the new direction is bold yet familiar.

"}]]]>
The 5 Most Anticipated Video Games of the 2014 Holiday Season https://www.gameskinny.com/94veu/the-5-most-anticipated-video-games-of-the-2014-holiday-season https://www.gameskinny.com/94veu/the-5-most-anticipated-video-games-of-the-2014-holiday-season Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:03:07 -0400 AJ_Labate

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1)Destiny

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How isn’t the video game at the center of the video game universe at the moment not be number 1 on this list? Since its release on September 9th, Destiny has pulled in more than $500 million worldwide, making it the best-selling new video game franchise of all time.

\n

The open world sci-fi first person shooter has gained notoriety for having several MMO like characteristics, such as classes and changeable armor. If you do not already own Destiny, I’m sure it will be number one on your holiday list, that is if you aren’t naughty.  

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ee88d2ff03621ac86120532b85f69038.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ee88d2ff03621ac86120532b85f69038.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4652","description":"

2) Super Smash Bros. U

\n

The critically acclaimed Super Smash Bros. series is set to deliver again this year with its 4th installment of the series. With dream matchups of Mario vs. Megaman and Sonic vs Pacman ready to be fulfilled in the nostalgic minds of people of all ages. Nintendo's cross-franchise fighting game will launch on 3DS on Oct. 3, but it's the console version that is generating the most interest. Most of the regular cast is returning as well, such as Samus, Link, Donkey Kong, and Kirby, but the most curiosity surrounds around the aforementioned additions of Megaman and Pacman. This holiday season, many people will want to smash their days away.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f2cd12d5acd1a5cf03eea6ee92ed4db8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f2cd12d5acd1a5cf03eea6ee92ed4db8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4651","description":"

3) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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It seems like every year the new Call of Duty game is usually a hot commodity during the holiday season, and this year is no different. Created this year by Activision and being released on November 4th, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. I mean, how many first-person shooters feature a 2-time Oscar winner in a starring role? Kevin Spacey plays the head of the world's largest Private Military Corporation in the not-too-distant future, which also means that you should own this game in the not-too-distant future as well.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3c19cc514150abd65fe17ebdba13bf25.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3c19cc514150abd65fe17ebdba13bf25.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4650","description":"

4) The Evil Within

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The Evil Within is essentially what will be the resurrection of survival horror games. The x-factor for this game is the director Shinji Mikami, who just so happens to also be the creator of the greatest survival horror franchise of all time: Resident Evil.  That should be enough of a reason to add a little bit of horror to your holiday season. With the recent drought of survival horror games as of late, The Evil Within seems to be setting itself up to bringing back the genre with a vengeance. If you haven’t seen any gameplay I advise you watch some, with the lights on of course. The Evil Within will be available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bc78364981d4acfec1734da92c5c8e9f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bc78364981d4acfec1734da92c5c8e9f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4649","description":"

 5) Hyrule Warriors

\n

Hyrule Warriors is a hack and slash action video game by Nintendo that features everyone’s favorite pointy eared warrior. Released in North America on September 26 for the Wii U, it brings a new dynamic to Hyrule, in a kind of game that resembles none of the classic Zelda games. Although the main emphasis of other Zelda games is on the puzzles and the journey, this game emphasizes on the combat with Link’s entire repertoire specialty moves. The game has very similar elements to the Dynasty Warriors combat system as well, which will certainly bring a new dynamic to Hyrule never seen before.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4c1cad480b367d25315778728e8e4755.gif","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4c1cad480b367d25315778728e8e4755.gif","type":"slide","id":"52342","description":"

With the summer over and stores actually beginning to pack out their Christmas cheer, let’s take a look at the top 5 video games that people will want to see under their trees this year.

"}]]]>
Taking a Look Back: Koopa Kids https://www.gameskinny.com/wgw5o/taking-a-look-back-koopa-kids https://www.gameskinny.com/wgw5o/taking-a-look-back-koopa-kids Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:13:48 -0400 TumsST

Mario has always battled Bowser, King of the Koopas. However, even Bowser needs some help from time to time. The year was 1990, and Super Mario 3 hit store shelves--and with it, one addition to the Koopa Troop. I'm talking about the Koopalings, Bowser's kids. Join me in taking a look back at some of the gaming moments the Koopa Kids have been a part of.

The First Time

Like I said before, the year was 1990 and my favorite game, Super Mario 3, came out in the United States. The game brought us the likes of the Pipe Maze and the Tanooki Suit. It also brought us an addition to the King Koopa family, the Koopalings. The Koopalings took over each of the seven areas of the Mushroom Kingdom, and terrorized the kingdom and the king. They include: Lemmy, Iggy, Ludwig Von, Roy, Wendy O, Morton Koopa Jr, and Larry. They were named after popular rock and roll personalities of the time. They were also a major part of the cartoon series based on Mario 3. Mario 3 is one of, if not my favorite, game in the Mario franchise.

The Super Nintendo Days

Late in August of 1991, Super Mario World was released and in it, the return of the Koopalings. Dinosaur Land was King Koopa's next desired land for conquest, and the Koopa Kids were put in charge of a castle in the seven locations in Dinosaur Land. The battle styles varied among the Koopa Kids, though them had similar attacks. The game also had an animated series based on it, which didn't last long, but I liked it. Super Mario World brought the world Yoshi, and we're grateful for that. It also brought Mario into the 16-bit era, and he hasn't skipped a beat since.

Modern Times

It was quite a long time between games for the Koopalings, but they were brought back in New Super Mario Brothers Wii as part of the Koopa Troop again. They were in charge of a different land that Mario, Luigi, and the Toads had to beat to defeat the Koopa Troop. Mario Brothers Wii brought Mario into the multiplayer platform realm, and it worked well for Mario.

It was a pleasant surprise to see the Koopalings back in the Mario-verse, and Nintendo must have agreed since the Koopa Kids were in the Wii U New Super Mario Brothers U, and will be part of the new Mario Kart 8 for Wii U as new Drivers. As a fan of the Koopalings, I can't wait to see what they have in terms of driving; like how weights will be distributed for each Koopa Kid.

Now I know what you're thinking, "What about Bowser Jr.?" I know that some feel Bowser Jr. is one of Bowser's kids. Time to check history. The first sighting of Bowser Jr. was Baby Bowser in Yoshi's Island. He was just Bowser as a baby to go along with Mario and Luigi as babies. Then some time passed, and Bowser Jr. was his own character different from Baby Bowser. That would make Bowser Jr. a different character as well and one of Bowser's kids, separate from the Koopalings. I think the only thing I've come up with from this is that I'm thinking way too much into this.

To conclude, the Koopalings are part of the Koopa Troop and a part of Bowser's family. It's hard to comprehend at times because you never see a Mrs. King Koopa, but now I know I'm thinking too much. From Giant Land to Dinosaur Land and everywhere inbetween, the Koopa regime is seen all throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario, Luigi, and Company have their hands full at times, but they get the job done. Now how will the Marios deal with the Koopalings while driving go-karts? Only time will tell!

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A Pimp's Guide to Saving Nintendo https://www.gameskinny.com/stcu2/a-pimps-guide-to-saving-nintendo https://www.gameskinny.com/stcu2/a-pimps-guide-to-saving-nintendo Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:04:08 -0500 B. Chambers

A pimp is nothing if not resourceful. I would argue that they are masters at minimizing expense while simultaneously maximizing profit. Dismiss the negative connotation for just a moment and consider a pimp's role in business.

Pimps, or Madams if you want to be politically correct, are expert recruiters. They find the best talent in their sphere of influence and 'encourage' them to work for their enterprise. Pimps and Madams are quite possibly one of the most prominent examples of CEOs that maximize revenue while limiting their output. Their employees carry the brunt of the workload while the Pimps and Madams look for new talent in new regions.  

To thrive (and to save the struggling Wii U), Nintendo needs to think like a pimp in their approach to business. No, they don't need to overwork their employees or send them out on the streets to turn tricks. They need to look at the gaming industry as a hotbed of opportunity and employ a sense of hustle in the areas their company has begun to atrophy.

Nintendo Pimp

Nintendo Partners with Sony

In our most recent Flawed Logic Podcast, my good friend Patrick and I discussed his ideas for a partnership between Nintendo and Sony. You'd think the coming together of two prolific Japanese companies would be a match made in heaven. Over the last 10 years, one of Nintendo's greatest struggles has been to get new, first-party titles to market in a timely fashion. The Wii U is over a year old and we still don't have a proper next-gen Zelda, Metroid or Smash Bros. game. Were I in Mr. Iwata's shoes, I'd begin to think strategically about the performance of future Nintendo IPs. I'd bin my games into three categories:

  1. Guaranteed Blockbusters (Think Wii Sports, Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros. U)
  2. Mid-Range Performers  (Think Donkey Kong Country Returns, Zelda Windwaker HD, Luigi Games)
  3. Casual/Experimental Titles (Think Pikmin, Animal Crossing

Why not license all of the Experimental Titles and a significant number of Mid-Range Performers to Sony for development and distrubition on their consoles? This would free Nintendo up to focus on developing their Guaranteed Blockbusters. This approach has three major benefits that outweigh all of the obvious challenges.  

Benefits:
  1. Guaranteed Blockbusters get to market more quickly, leading to an increase in Wii U console sales.
  2. Mid-Range Performers licensed out and kept exclusively also get to market more quickly. This leads to higher software revenue since some of them will launch on four consoles (Wii U, PS3, PS4, Vita) instead of one (Wii U).
  3. Casual/Experimental titles gain a greater audience and see increased revenue since they will launch potentially on four consoles (Wii U, PS3, PS4, Vita).
 Challenges:
  1. More people might be inclined to play The Mid-Range and Casual/Experimental games on Sony machines instead of the Wii U.
  2. Consumers may begin to lose faith that Nintendo will support the Wii U long-term.

A pimp wouldn't waste a ton of time trying to help an under-skilled or under-performing employee perform better in his or her market. They would instead accept them as they are, collect what revenue they can and focus their attention on their stellar performers.

I think the fate of the Wii U is sealed. Current hardware sales are hurting so bad that a potential dip in console sales caused by the partnership with Sony would be negligible when compared with the potential for increased software sales. The Wii U will never be a true competitor for the PS4 or XBO, so it should not attempt to be such. Support the Wii U with your best endeavors to garner favor with your core consumers. Outside of that, let your less stellar performers spread their talents across as many markets as possible to maximize the revenue they can bring to the table. 

Nintendo Mobile Strategy

Mobile Strategy

I don't care what Nintendo says about mobile, they need to start developing for that platform ASAP. And not just commercials geared at selling their wares on their in-house platforms. I'm not suggesting that Super Mario 3D World belongs on tablets and phones. I'm suggesting that Nintendo use their popular IPs as a launchpad to propel new IPs specifically designed for mobile devices. As Patrick said in our podcast, Super Mario 3D World would suck with touch-screen controls. So why not create the next Angry Birds style game using Nintendo characters? It would sell like gangbusters, Mr. Iwata, and you know it. 

The best pimps in the world know how to grow into new markets. Iceberg Slim, for example, didn't just work in Chicago. And after finishing his imprisonment, he realized that he could still make money legally off the enterprise by writing about it (he worked to have several books published). 

Granted, with the newest Nintendo news about jumping into the health and wellness industry, I wouldn't accuse them of not trying to diversify. But the mobile option to me is still a no-brainer.

Prepare for the Future

As I stated earlier, Nintendo does not need to abandon the Wii U. However, they do need to start working on a proper next-gen console. Imagine five years from now when PS4 and XBO start to show their age. Nintendo could bring out a true next-gen console with specs that can outclass Sony and Microsoft's aging boxes. This part is indeed a gamble, but I'm suggesting it based on the fact that I believe PS4 and XBO are Sony and Microsoft's last consoles. Either way, this approach gives the Wii U five more years to grab as much cash as it can before Nintendo can bring a true competitor to the market. And once they do, many people who purchased Nintendo games on PS4 will be intrigued to see what the publisher can do with true next-gen specs. 

Nintendo also needs to also take a page out of Microsoft's book and learn how to build a legitimate online ecosystem. The Nintendo eShop is pretty and well-organized, but if Nintendo really wants to sit at the table in the future, they have to think about collaborative and competitive gaming that is easy for gamers to jump into, find friends and start playing.

Iwatasan

The Bottom Line

Nintendo needs to stop relying on the status quo that's brought them to this point. They always dare to be different. I'm all for that. But, being different only for the sake of being different leads you to put out two inferior consoles over a 10 year period that tank either in software sales, hardware sales, or--in the case of the Wii U--both. 

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How to Fix Nintendo: I'm Here to Help https://www.gameskinny.com/xywlr/how-to-fix-nintendo-im-here-to-help https://www.gameskinny.com/xywlr/how-to-fix-nintendo-im-here-to-help Tue, 28 Jan 2014 13:42:54 -0500 TumsST

Nintendo has always been a company that takes risks.

Sometime, that risk pays off, like going with a Brooklyn Plumber or a group of Pocket Monsters. However for every diamond in the rough, there is also that rough patch that you just can't fix, like the Virtual Boy. Now, It's usually more hit than miss with the Big N, but it's no secret that lately they've been struggling. That's okay - with my help Ninty should be alright when Donkey Kong Country and Mario Kart 8 come out to the masses.

Ready Nintendo? Put these ideas in your "break-in-case-everything's-terrible" glass case. Then find a hammer. 

First: Learn To Launch

Let's look at how Nintendo does business.

They have good first party titles, they have decent marketing, and they have the nostalgia factor. However the Wii U, like several other recent Nintendo systems, didn't have the greatest launch window, game-wise.

That's not uncommon in this day and age, but how the company comes out of that early slow period can show the fans if the company has a plan. The 3DS didn't have the best launch window, but most buyers could hold out for the  Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D even though that didn't come along right away.

For the Wii U launch, it looked like Nintendo was trying to get the audience that the Wii didn't appeal to and hook them. Games like ZombiU and Ninja Gaiden were made for the "hardcore" (and I use that term lightly) gamer that wouldn't even look at a Wii. However, the games weren't the good enough to entice hardcore gamers to make the switch, and those titles scared away the casual player that the Wii grabbed and didn't let go.

This minor history lesson just serves as a reminder of what the Wii U was before the likes of Mario 3D World, and The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker brought the system to "just getting by."

In Theory, the Wii U is an Easy Fix

Step one is to fix/modify the eShop

The eShop should have more classic games on it from the likes of the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and the N64. It should also have more obscure games as well as classic games from Japan. I know the eShop already has imported games but the classic games would be a welcome addition. Nintendo is always trying to bank on the nostalgia factor and bringing back more classic games is the best way to do that. Nintendo could also do what they have done for quite some time, re-release a game again and again. Pokémon with old school Game Boy graphics and Wi-Fi trading sounds too perfect not to do.

Another idea that could work is an Ambassador-type program for the Wii U
Being creative like this is what Nintendo was known for in the old days

This would work a little differently than the 3DS one. You could have Wii U owners from the beginning/certain period be able to download 5 free games of their choosing and that would be it. It would say on their Miiverse profile that they're Ambassadors or they could have access to special Miiverse/Ambassador stamps that only Ambassadors would have. Being creative like this is what Nintendo was known for in the old days. If they didn't, who knows what games we would/wouldn't have? New intellectual properties are tough to master and rarely are giving the time needed to succeed in the market. A prime example of this is the Wonderful 101, new I.P. that was good but wasn't giving the time since it was "different."

Finally: Fix the Marketing

The marketing for the Wii U was terrible.

If people have no idea that the system isn't just a Wii and a tablet, then the marketing department failed miserably. The main idea should have been that the Wii U is totally different from the Wii. The holiday ad campaign did a little better that people could tell that the Wii U was 'different' and the sales were better but you can hang that on the better games that were available during the holiday season.

The launch window, like I mentioned before wasn't the best for the Wii U but it didn't have that one breakout game. New Super Mario Brothers U was a great game but it wasn't different enough to get people to say, I need a Wii U for that game. It also hurt Nintendo that they wanted the system to just be for games and didn't put a DVD player in it, like the other systems. It kept the price down but it could have brought in more business.

How would you fix Nintendo?

There's no use denying it, Nintendo isn't in a great place right now. But gamers have a special place in their hearts for the company, and no one wants to see them on the rocks. 

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Super Mario #103 Just Ain't Cutting It https://www.gameskinny.com/o0r76/super-mario-103-just-aint-cutting-it https://www.gameskinny.com/o0r76/super-mario-103-just-aint-cutting-it Wed, 18 Dec 2013 09:33:59 -0500 TheObscuritan

As one of the people still clinging to the rapidly sinking S.S. Nintendo, I got a WiiU last year for Christmas and a 3DS for my birthday. When I started looking for games, I noticed that all of the best ones (with a few exceptions like Devil Survivor 2) were just rehashings of old Nintendo favourites.

Sure, Pokemon X and Y were great. So were Super Mario 3D Land, Donkey Kong Country, and both of the Mario Galaxy games (although Super Mario Bros. WiiU was less than fantastic). But I think it's time for something new!

Nintendo still knows how to make great games.

They just need to use that talent to come up with another new and exciting concept. Their development team seems to have fallen into this rigid pattern where the biggest games of the year are just the latest installment in their flagship series. I think it's time for another game to stand beside Mario, Pokemon and Zelda. I'd much rather play something fresh and innovative than sit down with Mario Party 17.

Nintendo is still trying to be a pioneer in the gaming world, but they're focusing in the wrong places.

The tablet for the WiiU just seems like a gimmick to me, and I haven't seen any game other than Nintendo Land that uses it effectively. And while visually stunning, the 3D effect on the 3DS starts to hurt your eyes if you play for more than an hour.

All of these concepts are fine, as long as you have content that uses them effectively, but that kind of content just doesn't seem to be here yet. What's more important is to deliver new and entertaining games.

Forget the 3D, motion censors, tablets and touch screens - just give me something good to play.

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Pikmin and Olimar join Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U and 3DS https://www.gameskinny.com/1n3tt/pikmin-and-olimar-join-super-smash-bros-on-the-wii-u-and-3ds https://www.gameskinny.com/1n3tt/pikmin-and-olimar-join-super-smash-bros-on-the-wii-u-and-3ds Fri, 12 Jul 2013 11:22:40 -0400 Max Jay

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He peers into my soul and I'm not okay with it.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/513722f9734d246b3e2634b896736ee2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_513722f9734d246b3e2634b896736ee2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"12215","description":""},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ba430d1a8bb616c4393e1c68fe5ca8a8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ba430d1a8bb616c4393e1c68fe5ca8a8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"12214","description":null},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cb58a6dd994913a808fabd78c66cf545.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_cb58a6dd994913a808fabd78c66cf545.jpg","type":"slide","id":"12213","description":"

His design is seriously questionable.

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I mean - look at him.

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That one with the red eyes is terrifying.

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Sleeping on the job.

"}]]]>