Remember Me Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Remember Me RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Cyberpunk Games to Play While Waiting on Cyberpunk 2077 https://www.gameskinny.com/9eij2/cyberpunk-games-to-play-while-waiting-on-cyberpunk-2077 https://www.gameskinny.com/9eij2/cyberpunk-games-to-play-while-waiting-on-cyberpunk-2077 Fri, 28 Feb 2020 16:27:49 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/y/b/cyberpunk-2077-dev-reveals-insane-amount-content-side-missio-87156.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/y/b/cyberpunk-2077-dev-reveals-insane-amount-content-side-missio-87156.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207262","description":"

What other cyberpunk themed games did we forget about that should have made the list of games to play while impatiently waiting on Cyberpunk 2077? 

\n

Sound off with your top picks below so we have something to do while twiddling our thumbs after the latest release date delay.

\n

In the mean time, we'll just be gawking at the Keanu Reeves guitar-shredding figurines and line of Cyberpunk 2077 Funko Pop figures while dreaming of the day that Cyberpunk 2077 actually hits PC and consoles.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/a/real-bd0b2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/a/real-bd0b2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207274","description":"

Reality's Edge

\n

We couldn't resist just one more genre hop before wrapping up! If your gaming group is more into the combat side than the roleplaying side, then take a look at Reality's Edge.

\n

What you get here is a setting-independent cyberpunk tabletop skirmish ruleset that lets you use whatever minis you want. That makes Reality's Edge much less of a money investment than jumping into a full blown tabletop war game with its own miniature line.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/z/0/bz0kn0r3mc631-3042d.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/z/0/bz0kn0r3mc631-3042d.png","type":"slide","id":"207272","description":"

Cyberpunk Red

\n

In a look at games to play while waiting on Cyberpunk 2077, we couldn't leave out the grandaddy of tabletop RPGs that inspired CD Projekt Red's video game in the first place!

\n

There have been a few different editions of this franchise over the years, and the latest is Cyberpunk Red. If you want to know what to expect from Night City and delve deep into the lore and style before 2077 sees official release, this is the tabletop game to pick.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/l/71l8ddv8wdl-1f9b5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/l/71l8ddv8wdl-1f9b5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207271","description":"

Infinity: The Roleplaying Game

\n

We've covered a huge range of game styles on the digital front, but there's still more ways to experience the cyberpunk style, especially if you like a community aspect to your gaming.

\n

Infinity is a cyberpunk-heavy 2d20 pen and paper RPG from Modiphius. Even if you aren't an avid roleplayer you might be familiar with the name already, as Modiphius has tabletop versions of Fallout, Conan, Mutant Year Zero, and other franchises.

\n

This one actually goes a bit beyond the bounds of typical cyberpunk, as its inspired by a tabletop skirmish game. That means you get sci-fi traditional warfare, electronic info warfare, and social psychological warfare all in one game and the book is absolutely huge to make room for all those rules!

\n

Obviously the hardcover book is on the expensive side, but you can grab a PDF copy through places like DriveThruRPG for half the price.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/capsule-616x353-c0f45.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/capsule-616x353-c0f45.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207276","description":"

Mindnight

\n

Here we go with another radical gameplay shift to show just how versatile the concept of "cyberpunk" can become. Mindnight is a social interaction game of guessing who is for and against you.

\n

Essentially, this is the exact same gameplay as the One Night Ultimate Werewolf card game, except that its online and features hackers instead of werewolves.

\n

While you can jump into multiplayer sessions with randos, Mindnight is signification more fun to play with people you know due to the mechanics of guessing who is doing what.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ae64.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ae64.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207275","description":"

StarCrawlers

\n

We aren't done on our whirlwind tour of wildly different genres in the cyberpunk style, as StarCrawlers offers something you don't typically see. This one takes the classic Wizardy or Dungeon Master style of first person dungeon crawler and converts it into a sic-fi cyberpunk setting!

\n

Rather than plundering those underground dungeons filled with kobolds and slimes, instead your crew is committing corporate sabotage and completing bounties for the amoral megacorps.

\n

If you've played Legend Of Grimrock or Might And Magic X into the ground, StarCrawlers is a great palette cleanser by offering similar gameplay in a  totally different setting.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/capsule-616x353-60c7a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/capsule-616x353-60c7a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207270","description":"

Remember Me

\n

Another blast from the past, Remember Me doesn't require going nearly as far back to enjoy as Snatcher. This one originally hit the Xbox 360 and PS3, although in cyberpunk tech terms, that's basically an eternity.

\n

Although it was sort of panned at launch due to a few issues with repetitive combat, Remember Me has essentially become one of those sleeper hits that's thought of fondly long after its time has past.

\n

The action combat and cyberpunk world on display here is rather surprising considering Remember Me was released by Dontnod before the development team started working on Life Is Strange!

\n

If you don't feel like pulling out and hooking up your old 360, Remember Me is available on Steam now, and its up for grabs super cheap!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-99c31.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-99c31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207268","description":"

Snatcher

\n

Even more old school than Dex, the Hideo Kojima-led Snatcher may be one of the very first graphical cyberpunk games to hit consoles. This forgotten gem was released in Japan back in '88 and then eventually hit North America with a Sega CD port in '94.

\n

Snatcher is basically made of classic tropes, but that's because they were still fairly new at the time. The amnesiac investigator on the hunt for androids who look like humans will make you think alternatively of Terminator or Blade Runner.

\n

On the gameplay front, Snatcher sits somewhere between a point 'n click adventure game and a visual novel but good luck finding a working copy at this point! Your best bets are going to be abandonware sites, trying to get a Sega CD emulator up and running, or just watching full Let's Plays over at YouTube.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/x/dex-88088.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/x/dex-88088.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207269","description":"

Dex

\n

So far every single game in our list of Cyberpunk 2077 replacements has been of a completely different genre, and we're not going to stop that trend now! Dex is a side scrolling, platformer RPG with some non-linear elements that let you tackle events in different ways.

\n

For a bit of variety, the hacking segments spice things up by switching to a twin stick shooter mini game. If you've got need for a nostalgic trip down '90s game design, Dex is the game to pick, and it has a free demo at Steam if you want to try before you buy.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/i/r/6ireol0-8fe13.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/i/r/6ireol0-8fe13.png","type":"slide","id":"207267","description":"

Satellite Reign

\n

Focusing more on combat, Satellite Reign is an anomaly in the realm of squad strategy games because it takes place in real time, rather than going turn-based. That can be a big change to overcome if you're switching from Transistor (which uses both styles) or Shadowrun (which is entirely turn based). 

\n

Here your squad will move through typically neon and darkness-shrouded back streets while dealing with the ever present and omnipotent mega corps. There's plenty of different ways to tackle any given scenario based on your squad load out, and the cyberpunk themes are baked right into the gameplay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrunhongkongboxart-1ea90.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrunhongkongboxart-1ea90.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207265","description":"

Shadowrun Hong Kong

\n

Despite the focus on magic, the Shadowrun series has long exemplified the basic cyberpunk tenets of unrestrained corporate greed and technology merging with human life.

\n

A trilogy of standalone games from Harebrained Schemes kicked off with Shadowrun Returns, and all three of them are worth playing while waiting on Cyberpunk 2077.

\n

While second title Dragonfall probably has the most direct cyberpunk elements, Hong Kong isn't lacking in them and has the best overall gameplay of the three.

\n

Make sure to pick up the missable companion Racter on your playthrough though, and get ready for some mind-blowing discussions on transhumanism and what it means for the species when they merge with robotics. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/a/transistor-nintendo-switch-20180829-800x445-768x427-a68ca.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/a/transistor-nintendo-switch-20180829-800x445-768x427-a68ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207264","description":"

Transistor

\n

While the cyberpunk style tends to be thought of as fairly one note, the differences between Observer and Transistor show that doesn't have to be the case. Despite featuring a totally different color scheme, protagonist, and gameplay style, both are still firmly in the cyberpunk realm.

\n

This is the second main entry from indie darlings Supergiant Games, and sadly many of their later titles haven't been quite as well received as the debut Bastion (the odd football combat mechanics in Pyre didn't do it for me, to be honest).

\n

Transistor still absolutely has the goods though, featuring more options on the combat front, and just as high quality of a soundtrack as its predecessor. Although the sci-fi story is told in a non-traditional (and occasionally obtuse) manner, the journey here is well worth taking from beginning to end.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-4a88d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-4a88d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207263","description":"

Observer

\n

Cyberpunk typically comes in a dystopian setting, and while games like Shadowrun and even the titular Cyberpunk itself flirt with the idea, not many games in this genre explore the full horror of what that really means.

\n

That's not the case with Observer, as paranoia and hopelessness are major themes in a world where unchecked corporations (and technology) run amok.

\n

Rutger Hauer stars as the main character in this exceptionally well executed version of the "walking simulator" horror game. Observer puts a twist on that style, melding in sci-fi detective mechanics as you process crime scenes and jack into the memories of the deceased. Some of those memory runs end up like a fever dream of a Black Mirror episode.

\n

Although Hauer has sadly passed away since Observer was released, Bloober Team has recently been posting teaser material indicating a possible second entry may be in the works.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8fc3a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8fc3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207888","description":"

Following eight torturous years since the initial announcement trailer blew everyone's minds, the unthinkable has happened. Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed, and isn't due to drop for console and PC until September 17, 2020.

\n

That means we've got an extra five months to wait until finally exploring Night City than originally planned. With all that extra time on our hands, why not delve into other takes on the cyberpunk style?

\n

Here we've rounded up the 12 best cyberpunk games covering every genre and platform with a few tabletop options thrown in as well! 

"}]]]>
The Importance of Story-Based Games https://www.gameskinny.com/b7099/the-importance-of-story-based-games https://www.gameskinny.com/b7099/the-importance-of-story-based-games Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:01:43 -0500 Sarah Elliman

Narrative and good storytelling are integral aspects for creating an engaging, high-quality game. There are games where the story is less important, Minecraft for example, but a large number of games rely on writing and story to drive the game. This emphasis on narrative directly involves the player and immerses them further into the world the developers are trying to form. You can interact passively and experience a more linear story like Alan Wake or create your own story out of the choices you have made.

Story is the first thing I look for in a game; graphics, game mechanics, and multiplayer are all secondary. It was the intriguing stories of Assassin’s Creed and Dragon Age that drove me to discover more games and made gaming become a hobby of mine.

However, to some, story is not as important as other aspects of a game, with many believing that stories should be left to films and books if one wants a deep and emotional experience. Ultimately, though, video games are there to tell a story, and even Call of Duty has to have some coherence in its plot to drive the game forward. But violence and other factors take away from the depth of the story, some argue. However, these are minor bumps that can be overcome by truly great games or even made to further the narrative immersion. Not all game stories are created equally, but the stories that remain in our hearts are worthy of being recognized.

Not Just for Point and Clicks

Some believe that the very nature of action video games mean they can't carry a storyline as well as other mediums. The argument goes that powerful narratives should be reserved for point-and-click games or text based games. Far Cry 2's creative director, Clint Hocking, says "that there is a market for narrative games that spontaneously generate stories according to the way they’re being played." Hocking is not alone in this belief, as Guy Gadney, the creator of The Suspect, an interactive thriller, hopes "we are entering a stage, now, where writing shifts from being a monologue to a dialogue."

We are already seeing this shift, with more and more games implementing choices for players to make that directly affect the story. This is most prominent in the success of TellTale’s The Walking Dead.This sort of immersion provides us with something that films and books can’t by putting us directly in the middle of the action. Despite opinions to the contrary, this mechanic is not reserved just for point-and-clicks like The Walking Dead.

Nine months after Gadney's and Hockings's statements, Dragon Age: Inquisition was released. Although far from the procedural generation of Hockings's world, Dragon Age implements multiple choices and different possible endings for the game. To a certain extent, you could experience the story your way and make it entirely your own. Almost a year later, this was further improved on by The Witcher 3. It was a game praised for just about everything, but most importantly, it was praised for meaningful side quests that actually added something to the overall story.

Immersion is important with these games if they are going to succeed, as you are meant to experience the journey with the characters. For example The Walking Dead, wouldn't have been able to make grown men cry if they weren't invested in the story. It's important for developers to try and immerse players, since they are working with fictional worlds. You have to believe the world to enjoy the game, and to do that, you have to feel you are a part of it.

Should We Leave Stories to Books and Films? 

As befits one of the most important and enduring storytelling mediums, novels deal with deep issues and explore every side of humanity. One infamous opinion from Gamespot's forums declared that "novels deal with humanity in all its wonder, flaws and the problems that arise from human relations" but argues video games don’t have that depth. Yet that's not entirely accurate, as Dragon Age and The Witcher show.

Dragon Age

Two of the issues raised in Dragon Age are class and race, important issues that continue to affect the real world. The segregation of the mages and the treatment of the elves is a continuous theme throughout. These are fantasy species and classes, obviously, but they warn us of the issues in our own world. By removing ourselves from the natural prejudices and stereotypes we cast on people in reality, we can begin to see clearly how these attitudes cause great harm, and it does tell us something about the problems within our own relationships to others. After all, when you have no preconceptions of elves, then all you see is the horrific nature of their treatment rather than some attribute or other perceived as a problem.

One reviewer believed that "the ways in which the dialogue and gameplay decisions allow you to express your own views of faith make Inquisition the most personal game in the series." When a game allows you to project yourself that way in the story, it creates an incredibly deep experience. Even the original Dragon Age was praised for it's decision mechanic and its fantastic writing. Kotaku, reviewing the game back at it's release in 2009, expressed this idea nicely by saying "kingdoms rose and fell and important people lived or died based solely on my whims," and this continues to bring players back to replay the game again and again.

There are Dragon Age books, yes, but the books were created after the game and add to the world that was already created. Our ideas of how this world should be and what makes it special come solely from the video game, with all the features that make a good piece of prose work.

The Witcher

The entire Witcher franchise is based on a series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski. Yet most people I have spoken to don’t know the books even exist, and the games convincingly deal with the central problems of power and the soul-consuming search for it. You constantly see kings, sorceresses or sorcerers, knights, and essentially everyone all vying for power, one way or the other. You witness the horror of war that accompanies that search and the devastation it causes for the people. True, the books give you extensive background knowledge of the major players in the story. But those key components that tell--and teach--us something fundamental about human nature translate perfectly into game form, bringing those messages to a wider audience than the books could.

The Witcher was a smash hit, not just with gamers, but developers too. Hajime Tabata revealed that "one of the games my development team played a lot last year was The Witcher 3," stating that they had gotten to know the game really well. Everyone wanted a piece of the series' success, even to incorporate it into their own games, and the story elements were a major part of that. Even reviewers believe that The Witcher captured the essence of the stories. Oli Welsh with Eurogamer said

Sapkowski's universe is built on basic fantasy foundations - dragons, elves and magic in an alternate medieval Europe - but has a distinctive flavour. You'll find the politicking and grim brutality of Game of Thrones here, but also the lusty derring-do of Conan and the creepy allegories of the Brothers Grimm.

In short, the game is a synthesis of all the very human elements that have continued to capture people's imaginations for centuries.

When Games Get It Wrong

When a game's story just doesn't cut it, we all notice--something that couldn't be said if narrative in games wasn't important. Think back to games like Remember Me that held such promise with it's intriguing storyline. Ultimately the game had fantastic concepts, but it's execution was incredibly flat. IGN reviewer, Daniel Krupa believed that:

'Remember Me is brimming with promise. It desperately wants to play up some big ideas...sadly its best ideas don’t really find their way into the gameplay itself,' 

Remember Me is incredibly forgettable, as it couldn't create a cohesive plot that ran through the entirety of the game, even though it had some solid story devices that could have made is great. The frailty of memory and how people's minds can be used for corporate greed are startling and interesting ideas to present in a video game. People are manipulated by the powers above, just as we are today, only it's slightly more subtle in the game. Remember Me could--and should--have pulled from our world more and actually focused on that provocative narrative, integrating it into the action sequences. But it doesn't, and that's what keeps it from being a truly amazing game.

Even though I loved Infamous: Second Son, the story falls flat and doesn't pack the punch it should . Delsin is likeable, in a roguish sort of way, but the other main protagonists, Fetch and Eugene, are boring stereotypes. I also just couldn't engage with Fetch, probably as a result of her being such a static character; she was infinitely irritating, and I hated the missions with her. There were some scenes that should have been more powerful than they were, too. Reggie's death, for example, happens too fast, and you never have time to think about it. It always seems like Infamous  tries to pack a punch with it's story, but it just doesn't know how to get there.  

Films Vs. Games

So where does that leave us? Could we still say, as The Atlantic's Ian Bogost does, that "the best interactive stories are still worse than even middling books and films?" In short, no.

National Treasure got a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it a good candidate for a "middling" film, and I wouldn’t put the narrative's quality anywhere near something like The Last of Us or Banner Saga in terms of engagement, value, or insight into human nature. Games are their story. Otherwise, games like Witcher and Dragon Age wouldn't get game of the year awards. There are examples where a game's story doesn't hold the same power, but this is the same for any art medium. 

Violence Doesn't Solve Anything

One opinion often expressed about how story isn't important in games is that the violence detracts from the story being told. For example,  BioShock Infinite has an incredibly deep and well-thought out storyline, but is interrupted by Booker DeWitt running around shooting ravens at multitudes of enemies. Grant Howitt argued that "BioShock: Infinite’s sumptuous world, fascinating plot and metaplot – and its series of nonsensical gunfights augmented by mad-science superpowers" conflict with each other, with the action sequences throughout the game undermining the strong story.

Basically, the argument goes, the fact that you have to interact with the story is sometimes what stops you from experiencing it. Whether it’s your AI partner running into a wall or a part of the map you can’t get to, these incidents take away from the story.

But if the violence and action scenes take away from the power of the narrative, then it should be true for films as well. For example, one could easily say the exceedingly long runway in Fast and Furious 6 detracts from any presence the story has, though others would say it's part of the story.

It all depends on how the story is carried out. For example, the original Jason Bourne trilogy merged the action scenes with story fantastically because the action and violence make sense within that world. The Last of Us has gut-punching emotional segments in the narrative, where the danger of enemies was imminent, and any violence or suggestion of it made sense within the universe. Carried out well, the interactive action scenes, should, and do, advance the story, rather than hinder it.

As far as the argument that action scenes and violence mean you don’t get the same flowing experience as you would with a film--that’s the beauty of video games. You don’t passively sit and absorb the story; you are part of the story. Even with a less story driven game, such as The Sims, people take joy from creating their own story in the game. You are directly moving the character through the story and in some games making their choices. You’re still experiencing the artists' vision while making the story your own.

---

A lot of gamers want strong story elements in their games, and the power of the narrative cannot be overstated. Games tell a story that will never leave you, just as a favorite book or film won’t. The important difference, though, is you’re in the action--you live the story and learn even more from it as a result.

Do you think the story in a video game is important? What's your favorite narrative-centered video game? Leave a comment below and let us know!

]]>
6 Cyberpunk Games to Play before Deus Ex: Mankind Divided https://www.gameskinny.com/1as0p/6-cyberpunk-games-to-play-before-deus-ex-mankind-divided https://www.gameskinny.com/1as0p/6-cyberpunk-games-to-play-before-deus-ex-mankind-divided Sun, 21 Aug 2016 06:08:09 -0400 Richard Sherry

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/77c487ceb68a7a8346d8c70f174028f2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/77c487ceb68a7a8346d8c70f174028f2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"9398","description":"

Any and all of these games should get you right back into the swing of cyberpunk gaming, just in time for Mankind Divided, which you can pick up on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows this Tuesday 23rd!

\n

What are your favorite cyberpunk games? Let us know what we missed in the comments below!

\n

 

\n

Image Sources:

\n

Shadowrun Returns: https://lh5.ggpht.com/3L-tgJFjoskBjpYoNMUFNcAtkmzU9PkRxciixiXMeuLvwMCJu_5lieMV85S1Tdb-sA=h900

\n

System Shock 2: http://media.moddb.com/images/downloads/1/54/53677/System-Shock-2.jpg 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/y/s/system-shock-5cbf3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/y/s/system-shock-5cbf3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"130830","description":"
System Shock 2
\n

The precursors to BioShock, System Shock and System Shock 2 took to outer space to deliver an intriguing story involving malicious AIs, corrupt oligarchic rulers and corporations covering up illegal activities.

\n

Whilst System Shock is an award-winning classic in its own right, it’s System Shock 2 that epitomizes cyberpunk themes and solidified SHODAN as a cult favorite villain to this day. It has one of the better narratives in the medium and nails the atmosphere and immersion of a creepy infested spaceship.

\n

A first-person action-RPG with intelligent use of horror, System Shock 2 is often praised for having been ahead of its time and having huge influence over the FPS genre. Combining RPG-like classes, abilities and skill upgrades with tight first-person gunplay, System Shock 2 still holds up as a great game today.

\n

The game was first released in 1999 but is still available today via Steam on PC.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/v/invisible-inc-0dfac.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/v/invisible-inc-0dfac.png","type":"slide","id":"130829","description":"
Invisible Inc.
\n

Invisible Inc. (we see what you did there, and we like it) is a turn-based, tactical stealth game that follows a clandestine spy agency as it works to take down mega-corporations through covert missions.

\n

The player must guide their agents through hostile territory, remaining hidden from guards and cameras and collecting resources and intel with which to complete their overarching goals. Beware, though: if an agent dies whilst on assignment, they’re lost for good unless an ally can rescue them.

\n

You can expect a single playthrough of the campaign to last around 6 hours, but with its randomly generated maps and insane difficulty levels there’s plenty of replayability and continuous fun to be had. As you progress, you’ll unlock new agents and face new challenges that can drastically change the way you need to approach levels.

\n

Invisible Inc. boasts a colorful cartoonish art style and provides a suitably tough challenge for even the greatest tacticians.

\n

The game is available to download on PC and PlayStation 4.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/z/rez-00cff.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/z/rez-00cff.png","type":"slide","id":"130827","description":"
Rez (HD)
\n

The original Rez came to PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast in 2001. Rez HD is a remaster of the original -- and is much easier and cheaper to pick up today.

\n

Rez is not your standard cyberpunk fare. Perhaps one of the first ‘games as art’ and also one of the first music games, Rez has a one-of-a-kind style that has been emulated but not equalled since. It’s an on-rails shooter that creates sound effects and manipulates the music based on the player’s actions; it really has to be experienced rather than explained.

\n

So what, I hear you cry, is cyberpunk about any of that?

\n

Apart from some of its weird and wonderful psychedelic designs, it’s Rez’s story that makes it a cyberpunk game. Playing as an avatar of a hacker, the player’s goal is to revive an advanced AI system called Eden which controls a huge computer network of information named Project-K. Under the pressure of too much information and knowledge, Eden has tried to shut itself down after having something of an AI identity crisis.

\n

Whilst the narrative often takes a backseat to the distinctive mix of gameplay and sound, this is a remarkably noteworthy game and a welcome innovation to more generic cyberpunk ideas.

\n

The game also spawned a sequel, Child of Eden, which came to Xbox Kinect in 2011, and Rez Infinite is expected to come to PlayStation VR this October.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/m/remember-a8cc8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/m/remember-a8cc8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"130826","description":"
Remember Me
\n

Remember Me was the first game from Dontnod Entertainment; the company that would go on to create Life Is Strange. Released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in 2013, this futuristic romp through "Neo-Paris" has an engaging and unsettling story involving memory wiping and corporate domination through the controlling of peoples’ memories.

\n

Playing as Nilin, a “memory hunter”, gamers ally themselves with an underground resistance fighting against the corrupt stranglehold of a huge corporation named Memorize. It’s a quintessential cyberpunk story of sci-fi technology and oppressed society, and whilst it is far from perfect it’s an ambitious and entertaining experience.

\n

Unfortunately the general gameplay is a little lackluster. Made up of light platforming and Arkham-style combat, it is generally quite clunky and repetitive, balanced somewhat by innovative “memory remix” segments whereby Nilin can actively change a person’s memories to her advantage.

\n

Remember Me isn’t the most innovative nor the most polished game on this list, but it earns its place for weaving an interesting cyberpunk tale.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/a/transistor-d8ffc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/a/transistor-d8ffc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"130824","description":"
Transistor
\n

Transistor is a stunningly beautiful isometric action-RPG from Supergiant Games, the guys behind the equally awesome Bastion. The game follows a singer named Red as she ventures to reclaim her stolen voice with the help of a giant spirit-infused sword -- the titular Transistor.

\n

Featuring an evil robotic army called the Process and shady figures pulling strings for nefarious gains, Transistor is full of cyberpunk themes. This is combined with atmospheric architecture, cavernous concert halls, entrancing music and sublime hand-drawn artwork.

\n

It’s a relatively short game, but that time is unforgettable for its balance of deep gameplay and intriguing cyberpunk story.

\n

You can pick up Transistor on PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrun-returns-4592a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrun-returns-4592a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"130823","description":"
Shadowrun Returns
\n

Shadowrun Returns is an isometric, turn-based tactical RPG. Based on the popular tabletop game published by Harebrained Schemes. It takes place in a cyberpunk re-imagining of Seattle in a near-but-troubled future. The setup is something of a sci-fi murder mystery but the story soon becomes embroiled in conspiracy, cultism and cyber warfare (there’s even a Matrix).

\n

Like many games on this list, Shadowrun Returns puts a twist on the standard cyberpunk tropes. In this case, this comes through an ingenious merging of fantasy and sci-fi, bringing elves, orcs and trolls into a futuristic but run-down ghetto version of Seattle.

\n

This is all realized through massively detailed backdrops that, whilst limited to linear paths, are a joy to traverse.

\n

You can expect to spend a lot of time in turn-based combat, expending Action Points to move characters, and to perform attacks and an impressive variety of skills.

\n

An excellent expansion pack titled Shadowrun: Dragonfall is also worth playing if you enjoy the main game, and it’s all available on PC, Android and iOS.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-mankind-c1076.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/s/z/rsz-mankind-c1076.jpg","type":"slide","id":"130903","description":"

The cyberpunk genre works extremely well as a premise for video games. Setting up interesting worlds with great technological advancements and societal volatility, cyberpunk games can deliver sci-fi gameplay variety and deep, intricate narratives.

\n

The Deus Ex series is one of the greats when it comes to cyberpunk video games. With the hugely anticipated Deus Ex: Mankind Divided coming on Tuesday, we’ve compiled a list of 6 suggestions of cyberpunk games to get you in the mood over the weekend.

\n

Note that this list will NOT include other Deus Ex games, but it’s highly recommended that you play both the original Deus Ex and 2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution; two highlights of not just cyberpunk but the whole wonderful medium that is video gaming.

\n

With that said, read on for lots of cyberpunk goodness!

"}]]]>
Five songs to get People into Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/xibgs/five-songs-to-get-people-into-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/xibgs/five-songs-to-get-people-into-gaming Tue, 07 Jun 2016 00:01:36 -0400 Sagger Khraishi

Ever wanted to convert a non-believer into a video game playing badass? You might be amiss to thinking you simply get them to play a game, but instead, one of the best ways is actually getting this non-believer to listen to a games soundtrack. With that purpose in mind, here are 5 songs you can use to get your friends or family into playing video games.

5. Remember Me

 

The cool thing about Remember Me is that the music is orchestral but also breaks up into a more digital mix. There is a good reason for that though! When a player first starts the game, you don't have all of your memories intact. As you progress through the game and unlock your memories, the music becomes clearer.

Recommended for: For people who like Aphex Twin's music. Or glitch / trap music.

4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

 

Another orchestral soundtrack that doesn't sound like it belongs in a game, which makes it all the more perfect to lure people into playing games. Imagine something along the lines of, "Hey that's a cool song, where can I hear more of it?" Plus it is a great game to boot.

Recommended for: People who enjoy music while they eat. Or soft vocals.

3. Final Fantasy X

 

Moving away from orchestral and synthetic music, Final Fantasy X has a great music score throughout the entire game. This would probably lean towards appealing to your piano loving friends. If you are familiar with the series, then you can also use other songs from Final Fantasy VII.

Recommended for: Piano lovers.

2. Dragon Age Origins

I love vocals in my music, and Inon Zur is an amazing composer. A friend of mine used the music from this game to bring me into it, which I do not regret. It has started me down a path; from playing the game, to my now ex complaining about how I have a crush on a fictional character (Morgana).

Recommended for: People who enjoy cuddling.

1. Guild Wars 2

 

While the other games belong to single player games, here is something to bring your friends into MMO's. The vocalist for the song empowers it from the orchestral accompaniment. Most people won't believe that you are listening to game music with this one.

Recommended for: Morning alarm ringtones.

Bonus - League of Legends

 

If you want other ideas for music, you should check out League of Legends. It isn't every day that they hire artists to create the music for their characters, and you do not need to be a fan of the game to enjoy the music either.

Recommended for: Punks.

***

While it is not guaranteed to make everyone instantly fall in love with games, music is a powerful way to involve your friends and family into things that they usually wouldn't be interested in -- especially if you find the right tune. You know someone who enjoys Enya? Dragon Age music would be a perfect fit for them. An Avril Lavigne fan might enjoy the League of Legends song "Get Jinxed" (the bonus track just above). And for people who enjoy a wonderful piano composition, they might find their fancy in Final Fantasy music. Just keep an open mind and use your imagination.

]]>
Great games that you've probably never played https://www.gameskinny.com/2gyjg/great-games-that-youve-probably-never-played https://www.gameskinny.com/2gyjg/great-games-that-youve-probably-never-played Mon, 07 Sep 2015 19:00:19 -0400 katlaborde

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/d/9/6d9d2db302f46fd3589b4fb2cd2fbc84.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/d/9/tiny_6d9d2db302f46fd3589b4fb2cd2fbc84.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82658","description":"

Like Buzz Buzz, this article has met its end. 

\n

Did I leave out any of your favorite forgotten gaming gems? If so, let me know in the comments!

\n

Image source: Destructoid

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/8/a/a8ac978ed091389b10a9086e51a96864.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/8/a/tiny_a8ac978ed091389b10a9086e51a96864.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82657","description":"
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 (2010)
\n

For me, the most disappointing entry of this list. 

\n

Developed by Ninja Theory, this action-adventure platformer was a re-imagining of the classic story, Journey to the West. If you don't know the story, its the same story that was used to inspire Dragonball. The player controls Monkey, performed by mo-cap king Andy Serkis, as he and his companion, Trip, must journey across a post-apocalyptic environment.

\n

The gameplay incorporates various elements such as close-combat and platforming traversal. Additionally, the player can occasionally play as Trip in order to solve certain puzzles or get through difficult obstacles.

\n

So what happened?

\n

Despite receiving critical acclaim from critics, Enslaved failed to meet Namco's sales goal of 1 million units. Due to this, a planned sequel was cancelled. Although its 730,000 sold units is admirable, it does not look like we'll see another adventure with Monkey and Trip anytime soon.

\n

Sad.

\n

Image source: Destructoid

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/2/4/72450c03a047baee8edf827caa971cbe.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/2/4/tiny_72450c03a047baee8edf827caa971cbe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82656","description":"
Shadows of the Damned, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (2011)
\n

Developed by Suda51 and his studio, Grasshopper Manufacture, this strange and quirky third-person shooter is highly inspired by horror films. The player controls Garcia Hotspur, a Mexican demon hunter who literally goes through Hell to save his girlfriend. However, he's not alone; Garcia is accompanied by his smart-mouthed, shape-shifting companion known as Johnson.

\n

Shadows of the Damned plays as a standard shooter except with the added ability of Johnson to turn into different weapons on the fly. Also, Garcia must solve various "darkness" puzzles in order to make it through Hell. The game received mostly high praise with its humor and gunplay variety citied as its main high points.

\n

So what happened?

\n

It's no surprise the game only managed to sell 24,000 units in the United States. Often titles, such as Shadows of the Damned, are unfortunately easily overlooked by gamers. It seems Suda51 and his quirky creations have a very niche audience.

\n

Image source: Bloody Disgusting

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/a/f/5af8c895e356129574c542c343375711.jpeg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/a/f/tiny_5af8c895e356129574c542c343375711.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"82655","description":"
Sleeping Dogs, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 (2012)
\n

Developed by United Front Games and Square Enix London, this open-world action game focuses on Wei Shen, an uncover Hong Kong police officer who is attempting to infiltrate the Triads.

\n

The gameplay is similar to Grand Theft Auto in that Shen can procure different vehicles, carry different types of guns, and free-roam the massive city of Hong Kong. However, Sleeping Dogs does emphasize melee combat a la Arkham Asylum. Ultimately, the game was well-received by critics who enjoyed exploring Hong Kong as well as the variety of gameplay elements.

\n

So what happened?

\n

This one is a bit weird. Although the game did sell reasonably well, selling 1.5 million copies in total, publisher Square Enix labeled the game as a flop along with other titles Tomb Raider and Hitman

\n

Perhaps Square Enix was expecting the game make GTA-like numbers, failing to make realistic projections for this title and the others. It's unfortunate as this will likely hinder any possibilities of a sequel.

\n

Image source: Hidden Gem Games

\n
 
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/a/3/4a3db7371e1f55a1fcce60bcec34a703.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/a/3/tiny_4a3db7371e1f55a1fcce60bcec34a703.png","type":"slide","id":"82654","description":"
Remember Me, PC, PlayStation 3, & Xbox 360 (2013)
\n

Developed by Dontnod Entertainment, this action-adventure science fiction game focused on memory hunter, Nilin, as she attempts to recover her lost memories. 

\n

The gameplay consists of a variety of elements including platforming and beat 'em up. Although the gameplay wasn't that highly praised, except for the innovative Memory Remix segments, critics did enjoy the game's story, main character, music, and overall design.

\n

So what happened?

\n

It is likely the lukewarm reviews of this game attributed to its poor sales. Despite this, however, Dontnod is planning a sequel. After completion of their episodic drama, Life is Strange, Dontnod plans to begin work on Remember Me 2. Let's hope they improve on the faults of the original and hold onto the Memory Remix segments.

\n

Image source: Video Game Writers

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/1/4/414b85b1ac1ff157c97401b2761bc160.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/1/4/tiny_414b85b1ac1ff157c97401b2761bc160.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82653","description":"
Bulletstorm, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 (2011)
\n

Developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, this crazy first-person shooter failed to deliver the sales of Epic Games' massive hit, Gears of War. Unlike Gears, the game relies heavily on humor. In fact, the game opens with our hero, Grayson Hunt, drunkenly shooting an enemy spaceship causing the events of the game to be set into motion.

\n

The core of Bulletstorm's gameplay was the "skillshot" system. This system relied on the player to kill enemies in creative ways to garner points to increase their overall score. Overall, the game was a critical success as its innovative "skillshot" system and shooting mechanics were often praised. 

\n

So what happened?

\n

Selling just under a million copies, Bulletstorm failed to turn a profit for Epic Games. In turn, a planned sequel for the game was canned. With the success of Gears of Wars, its unusual how Bulletstorm did not garner the attention of gamers.

\n

Image source: Cinema Blend

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/7/f/77f7bc7292baf873d8e87d2069e83b4d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/7/f/tiny_77f7bc7292baf873d8e87d2069e83b4d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82652","description":"
Armed and Dangerous, Xbox (2003)
\n

Definitely the most overlooked game on this list, Planet Moon Studios' third-person comedic shooter is virtually unknown to gamers. The game centers around a thief named Roman and his group of ragtag thieves known as the Lionhearts.

\n

Although marked down for its linearity, the game received high praise for its hilarious writing, clever weaponry, and use of destructible environments.

\n

So what happened?

\n

It's hard to find a reason as why Armed and Dangerous was not embraced by gamers. The game did receive very little marketing and it is likely the game's British style of humor did not translate well to American gamers, but it still does not explain why this little gem is so unknown.

\n

Image source: IGN

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/d/d/3ddbf36976f14d8c9d46290040ab9639.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/d/d/tiny_3ddbf36976f14d8c9d46290040ab9639.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82651","description":"
Vanquish, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (2010)
\n

Developed by PlatinumGames (yes, the people who made Bayonetta!), this fast-paced third person shooter let gamers assume the role of Sam Gideon, a DARPA agent with a slight resemblance to Solid Snake. 

\n

The gameplay was centered around Sam's Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) which allowed for interesting gameplay mechanics. Sam's suit could slow down time to allow for extra time to kill enemies, boost him quickly across the battlefield, and incorporate different types of weaponry. The game's innovative mechanics awarded it high praise from critics.

\n

So what happened? 

\n

Although its sales were not as disappointing as other titles on the list, Vanquish simply became overlooked by gamers. PlatinumGames' other title, Bayonetta, overshadows this innovative and fast-paced shooter. However, Vanquish was released alongside Fallout: New Vegas which could have allowed for it to fall off of gamers' radar.

\n

Image source: Euro Gamer

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/7/7/1775998283c2e2d42f27af78b85cd8e7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/7/7/tiny_1775998283c2e2d42f27af78b85cd8e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82650","description":"
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, Xbox (2005)
\n

For this title, developer Oddworld Inhabitants, decided to develop a first-person shooter instead of the more familiar puzzle games featuring their mascot, Abe. The game focuses on Stranger, a bounty hunter, on the quest to capture various outlaws for cash.

\n

Much different than its predecessors, Stranger's Wrath focused on its shooting mechanics. In fact, one of its more prominent features was that of live ammunition. Stranger could load crossbow with various weird creatures to inflict different types of damage on his enemies. The game received tons of critical praise citing its impeccable, creative design and fun gameplay.

\n

So what happened?

\n

On initial release, Stranger's Wrath did not sell many units causing the PlayStation 2 version of the game to be cancelled. The creator of Oddworld, Lorne Lanning, citied poor marketing as the cause of this game's poor sales

\n

However, a HD release of Stranger's Wrath was released in 2011 allowing gamers to try out this crazy first-person shooter that they probably missed the first time around.

\n

Image source: Euro Gamer

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/2/8/92826a0e5f3ac8c6c9e87ea1c1f8b927.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/2/8/tiny_92826a0e5f3ac8c6c9e87ea1c1f8b927.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82649","description":"
EarthBound, SNES (1995)
\n

Of course, nowadays a lot of gamers have heard of EarthBound, but how many have actually played it during its initial release? EarthBound is an RPG released for the SNES developed by Ape and Hal Laboratory. EarthBound centers on a group of kids joining together in an effort to save the world from the evil Giygas. 

\n

EarthBound is definitely different from its RPG brethren through its use of quirky writing, humor, and utilization of traditional RPG elements set in a more real world environment. For example, instead of gold, hero Ness must access his bank account to retrieve cash sent to him by his distant dad. 

\n

So what happened?

\n

EarthBound, also known as Mother 2 in Japan, was primed for success with Nintendo providing a $2 million dollar marketing campaign for the game. The campaign reflected the game's quirky sense of humor by boldly proclaiming "this game stinks" and including smelly scratch and sniff cards with each game copy. 

\n

However, despite Nintendo's efforts, EarthBound failed upon initial release selling around 140,000 copies. The bizarre marketing campaign as well as poor reviews from critics, remarking on the game's cartoonish graphics and humor, could have possibly been the cause for EarthBound's initial failure.

\n

Although, the game does now have a strong cult following among gamers. In addition, EarthBound was also recently added to Nintendo's eShop store.

\n

Image source: Game Church

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/3/8/0382e9be98943269d8e6f7e72a0290d2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/3/8/tiny_0382e9be98943269d8e6f7e72a0290d2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"82646","description":"
Psychonauts, PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox (2005)
\n

Psychonauts is a platformer created by legendary video game designer, Tim Schafer and his studio, Double Fine. The game focuses on Raz, a young boy with powerful psychic abilities, who joins a summer camp designed for kids with similar psychic abilities. Of course, not all is what it seems at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, when Raz discovers a mischievous plot brewing in the confines of the camp.

\n

Psychonauts was highly praised by critics for its writing, characters, humor, and highly imaginative design specifically the varying unique themes of each level. It is often cited as one of Schaefer's more memorable creations.

\n

So what happened?

\n

Unfortunately, much like Schaefer's other titles, this one had a hard time finding an audience. Upon initial release, the game had sold fewer than 100,000 copies. However, in recent years, Double Fine has acquired the rights to digital distribution for the game allowing gamers to experience one of Schaefer's best quirky titles. 

\n

Image source: Giant Bomb

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/b/86b4d416322d227a0e759b98f880d226.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/b/tiny_86b4d416322d227a0e759b98f880d226.png","type":"slide","id":"82645","description":"

Sometimes great games can fall under our radar or become overshadowed by the release of bigger, more popular titles. The following is a list of games that were overlooked by most gamers. I've limited this list to commercial releases, choosing to exclude indie games as they already have a limited market. 

\n

Image source: Giant Bomb

"}]]]>
8 Games From Last-Gen You Have to Play (but Never Did!) https://www.gameskinny.com/duji2/8-games-from-last-gen-you-have-to-play-but-never-did https://www.gameskinny.com/duji2/8-games-from-last-gen-you-have-to-play-but-never-did Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:39:04 -0400 Elijah Beahm

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/c/1/5c1c2d30b98b24fffdfec378cedb7a10.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/c/1/tiny_5c1c2d30b98b24fffdfec378cedb7a10.jpg","type":"slide","id":"64127","description":"

Nier -- PS3/Xbox 360

\n

Nier is just such a hard game to describe, even more than Remember Me. It's part Zelda inspired action-RPG, part bullet hell shooter, part dungeon crawler, and even part text adventure. It is amazingly fun, weird, emotionally poignant, and silly. It hits so many "oh Japan" notes yet completely owns it and makes it work.

\n

Sure, there's a snarky talking book, people who wear weird masks, a hermaphroditic swordswoman, and a cursed boy who looks like a character out of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Heck, your first mission requires you practice your combat skills on sheep, after a prologue that had you tearing apart demons left and right. Nier is not for the faint of heart, and you can't help but admire it for it.

\n

This isn't some half-baked, confusing melodrama like Final Fantasy XIII. Nier is like Shadow of the Colossus. It is a game that treats every aspect of the game as a chance to enrich and deepen the experience while still keeping things very simple on an execution level. Firing off super-powered missiles of dark magic happens within hours of starting, but understanding the depth and complexity of everything takes time. The soundtrack is also amazing, harkening to a Celtic-meets-Japanese folk sound and some intensely dramatic battle scores.

\n

If you want to be guaranteed you are playing something different, play Nier. If you want a great story with funny and developed characters, play Nier. If you want to see people in half-dressed armor fight giant monsters head-on that would frighten Nathan Drake or Marcus Fenix, play Nier.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/b/0/2b0b964e18d454fb2b23e43299e5aec3.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/b/0/tiny_2b0b964e18d454fb2b23e43299e5aec3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"64125","description":"

Binary Domain -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC

\n

Binary Domain is a game that, by all concerns, should not be that outstanding a game. It has a voice command system that doesn't really work at all, literally registering "yes" as "no" when critics first reviewed it. It is a Japanese response to Gears of War, made to be silly and weird, with overly long cutscenes and the pacing of an anime. At one point, a story decision leaves 90% of your squad unavailable for several hours.

\n

Yet, when you fight a frigging motorcycle robot twice the size of Optimus Prime on a giant highway.. it all feels worth it. Don't get me wrong, this game is incredibly dumb, but it is the best kind of dumb. It wants to be fun, and it knows exactly how to be the Pacific Rim of third person shooters. This is a game about oversized guns pounding all manner of robots (there's even a chandelier robot boss fight at one point) as you score in-game currency to upgrade yourself and your squad.

\n

Your squad is also surprisingly varied, even if the trust system can be a bit awkward to use with an actual microphone (seriously, just use button inputs). However, it pays off with a branching ending sequence depending on who trusts you and how effective of a leader you've been. You also get access to small perks and improved performance by getting your squad loyal. It's handled far different from Mass Effect, but in a way that begs to be properly explored.

\n

While the game's multiplayer is nothing substantial, the hilarious ride of a single-player campaign more than makes up for it. This is a third-person shooter for everybody out there who is tired of Gears of War rip-offs that are just dull and drained of any personality. Here, Binary Domain goes a step further and asks if we should really consider making J-Shooter a subgenre. Be sure to keep this one in mind when you need something to spice up your action gaming.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/e/4/ce4371f03e0b15ab544efae4c6dbf1cd.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/e/4/tiny_ce4371f03e0b15ab544efae4c6dbf1cd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"64119","description":"

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories -- Wii/PS2/PSP

\n

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is the Silent Hill game almost no one seems to have played. Everyone other than Dan Ryckert loved it, and it got high marks for being a great reimagining of the original Silent Hill. It may have also released on PS2 and PSP (and subsequently got an HD Vita version in Europe), but Shattered Memories is best experienced on Wii.

\n

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories eschews away from the combat focus of past games and instead emphasizes adventurous exploration levels and stealth. The adventure game side of things feels great, with all the puzzles and interactions feeling genuine and giving the world a sense of tangibility.

\n

You feel like you are really pulling nails out of a window or messing with a puzzle device. Your flashlight follows the Wiimote's point, following it elegantly and accurately. Your smartphone lets you take pictures, save your progress, and neatly keeps all of the game's HUD compact and out of view unless you need it.

\n

Every bit of control is built around giving you the most control you could want over what you can do, and even some bonus elements to help add to the atmosphere. Try hitting the A button when you first start walking from the car crash, and you'll see what I mean.

\n

The Otherworld sections are great, making the lack of combat not simply a cheap gimmick but a core element. You can find road flares to ignite and give yourself some breathing room, but they go out and prevent you from carrying your flashlight in the meanwhile. The rest of the time, you'll be hiding, trying to creep in the dark and not get caught by one of the monsters hunting you.

\n

As if all of that wasn't enough, there are also intermittent therapy sessions that influence the Silent Hill world you're playing in. The game's tagline is that it will analyze you and make the world apply to your fears. While I wouldn't say the game did a great job of adding personal fear, there is a fair amount of variability in how characters behave and appear, depending on your choices.

\n

The story, graphics and voice acting are all incredibly high quality here as well. Shattered Memories pushes what a Wii game can do, and for that, it deserves some note as well. The endings are also all very well done and conclusive, giving a nice sense of closure and succinctly explaining the events of the game.

\n

Have you been waiting for a good modern Silent Hill game? Or do you just like horror and happen to have a PSP, PS2, or Wii? Then you should totally look up Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/78844379c2cb6a35dbf2f25fa89ffe76.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_78844379c2cb6a35dbf2f25fa89ffe76.jpg","type":"slide","id":"62100","description":"

BioShock 2 -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC

\n

If there were ever a poster child for under-appreciated sequels, this would be it. BioShock 2 is a perfectly serviceable direct sequel to BioShock. In fact, it does a number of things better than the original, offers a great deal more depth to the original's story, and feels like a much more organic follow up than BioShock Infinite.

\n

You play as the first Big Daddy, resurrected and on the search for your Little Sister. All the while, you contend with the collectivist psychologist Dr. Sofia Lamb, and the remaining survivors in Rapture after the events of BioShock. Along the way, you make or kill new friends, and save or harvest other Little Sisters. You also get to finally play as a Big Daddy protecting Little Sisters, and it feels like a fun new survival meta-mode within the campaign.

\n

Along with this, you get the absolutely excellent multiplayer developed by Digital Extremes (who made another little game called Warframe. Yeah!). BioShock 2: Fall of Rapture incorporates all of the core ideas of the two games, making hacking, clever plasmid/weapon combos, and maze-like levels all work together. The inclusion of playable Big Daddys in multiplayer even gives the game a bit of a Titanfall feel.

\n

Considering the game also has a Protector Trials challenge mode and the highly praised Minerva's Den DLC expansion campaign, BioShock 2 just about offers anything a fan of BioShock could want. The combat's better, the moral choices are better, the storytelling is top-notch, the level design is fantastic -- heck even the hacking game has been made fun. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/7/c/37c6f971845896fb7caba3247c0b13d8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/7/c/tiny_37c6f971845896fb7caba3247c0b13d8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"64116","description":"

Remember Me -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC

\n

Dontnod might be popular now for their mini-series Life is Strange, but before they were exploring high school with time travel, they had a much more ambitious project. Part brawler, part adventure game, with a sprinkling of ideas from puzzle games and third person shooters, Remember Me is a curious combo (excuse the pun).

\n

You can customize your fighting combos to have unique effects: some drastically decrease recharge time for your abilities, do extra damage, or even heal yourself. In between brawls, you hack into people's minds and can remix their memories. It doesn't actually change the past, but the person will believe the memory as being correct, and this leads to some surprising, table turning plot twists.

\n

Remember Me also features some truly amazing sound design and positively gorgeous visual design. The story might be a bit too whimsical for a 'hard core' sci-fi fan, but combined with the almost fantastical-meets-Cyberpunk art direction, it all sort of weirdly clicks. While the sum of its whole leaves some greater depth and replay value to be desired, Remember Me should at least be experienced once. It's a rare beauty with just enough brains to keep you racing through to the game's conclusion.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/f/e/afe88aa49860cce4aabd90b1e6faff4b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/f/e/tiny_afe88aa49860cce4aabd90b1e6faff4b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"64114","description":"

Lost Planet 3 -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC

\n

You know, everyone had every right to be skeptical of Spark Unlimited's Lost Planet prequel. I mean, a studio who is most notable for creating some of the worst rated Call of Duty games ever and a one-off fantasy shooter that went nowhere? How on earth could they make a great follow-up to one of the weirdest launch-era titles for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Well, I'm not sure how, but they did.

\n

Your RIG might not be a gun-toting mech like in past games, but it feels strangely even more powerful. On foot, the game takes a distinctly Dead Space-meets-Lost Planet feel, emphasizing careful movement and observing your enemies. All the meanwhile, the game brings you along for a surprisingly well-told story. The plot itself is as unsurprising as can be, but the core cast are written and acted better than many films.

\n

The level of detail to everything is also impressive. Every new gun unlock has an a unique comment from the Quarter Master, that techie in a hallway will have something new and funny to say every time you pass him, and E.D.N. III's inhabitants feel real. Just as real is how clear the threat and danger of Akrid and flash blizzards can be. As the game's conspiracy unfolds, you can't help but feel genuine concern for Jim and the rest of the colonists working for N.E.V.C.

\n

If you like Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions, Dead Space, Alien, or just want a great sci-fi game, then give Lost Planet 3 a try.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/a/7/aa7e0e3e3dec52d00d108c5c1936b19e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/a/7/tiny_aa7e0e3e3dec52d00d108c5c1936b19e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"64118","description":"

Red Steel 2 -- Wii

\n

Despite basically being a Jedi Knight game on the Wii, with rock solid scores and a lengthy story campaign with challenge mode no less, Red Steel 2 is kind of unheard of these days. It was a genuinely good, hardcore FPS/sword fighting game on the Wii, with a beautiful Western meets anime meets Borderlands art style. It is honestly one of the most literally colorful shooters in years. It also remembers you have ears, and treats them with some utterly stellar sound design, especially for the sword attacks.

\n

As you progress, you fight increasingly complex bosses, and gain special powers, one of which is literally a straight up Force Power, just given a unique name. Toss in some solid gunplay that is finely balanced to encourage you let your sword do the talking, and Red Steel 2 is just a ridiculous amount of fun. This is the kind of game you wished the original Red Steel was at launch, and it makes up for its predecessor in almost every regard.

\n

The only real downside, besides some backtracking and a bit of a grind to unlock all the in-game gear, is a mediocre story. Everything else about Red Steel 2 works amazingly well. The motion controls are the closest to 1:1 the Wii ever had, and it's clear why Red Steel 2 was the game that sold a fair amount of Wiimote Plus attachments. So why not give it a shot? Unpack your Wii from the attic (or turn on your Wii-U), and give it a whirl.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/e/e/3ee08abe40e7e7b1bcc7ce650d076b1e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/e/e/tiny_3ee08abe40e7e7b1bcc7ce650d076b1e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"64123","description":"

Assassin's Creed: Rogue -- PS3/Xbox 360/PC

\n

Yeah, it came out in 2014. You wouldn't know it though, given how hard GameStop and Wal-Mart are trying to sell it. Not only did Rogue finally ask some questions that critics of the titular Assassin order have been yelling for a while, it also featured some drastic new wrinkles to the series as a whole.

\n

By becoming a Templar, you get some crazy new gear like a grenadier rifle, in addition to being able to kill civilians and otherwise break the Assassin code. Assassin's Creed: Rogue also realizes that enemy variety has gotten a bit stale in Assassin's Creed, so it finally gives us some AI Assassins to fight. While far from the online multiplayer of the core series (sadly absent here), Assassin's Creed: Rogue is the closest offline players get to trying out the mechanics and ideas of Ubisoft Albany's masterpiece online mode.

\n

On top of that, you get a larger open world than Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, with more genuinely fun things to do than Assassin's Creed III's wilderness. While the PC price is a bit high for a better frame rate and a few higher graphics options, Assassin's Creed: Rogue is definitely a game worth playing. It is a fitting conclusion to a divisive but nevertheless fun saga in Colonial America.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/2/8/428eee4fde254e7d0fbccdd7ae5ae37a.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/2/8/tiny_428eee4fde254e7d0fbccdd7ae5ae37a.png","type":"slide","id":"64124","description":"

As brand new next-gen-only games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Star Wars: Battlefront, and Batman: Arkham Knight approach, we forget that there are still easily dozens of great games we've missed on last gen. Here are a few old and even fairly recent ones that fell under the radar.

"}]]]>
100 Best Boss fights: 20 - 11 https://www.gameskinny.com/gd8h5/100-best-boss-fights-20-11 https://www.gameskinny.com/gd8h5/100-best-boss-fights-20-11 Wed, 14 May 2014 08:23:39 -0400 Death Metal Hero

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/223be8433a6c2f93e0c969635a54bfa5.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_223be8433a6c2f93e0c969635a54bfa5.png","type":"slide","id":"45171","description":"

Part 1: 100 - 91

\n

Part 2: 90 - 81

\n

Part 3: 80 - 71

\n

Part 4: 70 - 61

\n

Part 5: 60 - 51

\n

Part 6: 50 - 41

\n

Part 7: 40 - 31

\n

Part 8: 30 - 21

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/283acee6943511b454ee025eb2c00cb6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/283acee6943511b454ee025eb2c00cb6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3924","description":"
11.) Darksiders - Tiamat
\n

During the first phase of the fight Tiamat will fly around the outside of the tower never giving War a chance to attack her with the Chaos Eater. Instead War must throw the bomb growths at her, and then light them with the use of the Crossblade. After a few hits Tiamat will land and begin the second phase of the fight where she will face War in close quarters combat. After defeating Tiamat, War promptly removes her still beating heart from her chest, a brutal and epic death.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/77c67844ead948e2105c2b7c0b6d9c22.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/77c67844ead948e2105c2b7c0b6d9c22.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3923","description":"
12.) Bioshock - Frank Fontaine
\n

After the legendary “Would You Kindly?” reveal scene, Jack must face Atlas aka frank Fontaine. Although the fight is fairly basic, it was the build up to this fight that really shocked me. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have not had the pleasure of playing Bioshock, but it is well worth it.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f14f191da3641333b9181755b9947c70.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f14f191da3641333b9181755b9947c70.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3922","description":"
13.) Final Fantasy 9 - Trance Kuja / Necron
\n

Upon defeating Trance Kuja, he will use the ability Ultima which will send the entire party to the Hill of Despair, where Necron is fought. After seeing what has happened to Kuja, Necron decides that all of humanity shall be destroyed and brought back to nothingness, so that they may never experience the pain and suffering that Kuja had to endure. If you manage to defeat Necron he will be impressed with the party’s will and ability to persevere and allows the world to continue on.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/894649737a4828ed7b1f92ecce294446.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/894649737a4828ed7b1f92ecce294446.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3921","description":"
14.) Super Mario RPG - Culex
\n

A secret boss that is found in Monstro Town, Culex comes with 4 crystals--Fire, Water, Lightning, and Earth--and will wipe the floor with your party if you are not near the level cap. Although Culex is not in any other game, he is a reference to the Final Fantasy series, and his master is supposedly the Black Mage.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8b16e30ee1cc6cc8ec11489dfa2e7756.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8b16e30ee1cc6cc8ec11489dfa2e7756.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3920","description":"
15.) Kingdoms of Amalur - Balor
\n

The first major boss in Kingdoms Of Amalur is quite epic, and disgusting looking. The ancient Niskaru lord of destruction, Balor is fought at the final battle of Mel Senshir, where the Fateless One promptly kicks its teeth in. Just be careful for its massive eye beam attack, and its slam attack.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4d801e030c0e5daff98b586f762f9ddb.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4d801e030c0e5daff98b586f762f9ddb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3919","description":"
16.) Gun Smoke - Wingate
\n

Getting to Wingate in Gun Smoke is a challenge by itself, but when you actually face him you need to kill him 3 times. With his enigmatic attack patterns and constant enemies flowing in from all sides, this fight is a nightmare. I tip my hat to anyone who has managed to defeat Wingate in this NES classic.

\n

 

\n

*I am well aware that this is the PS3 version and not the NES version*

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2211153ba4e95eb82ea94d59ab42bb91.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2211153ba4e95eb82ea94d59ab42bb91.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3918","description":"
17.) Cabal - The Submarine
\n

A very old Nintendo Entertainment System game that is a cover-based shooter. But beware enemies can destroy your cover leaving you vulnerable to attacks. The most memorable boss fight in Cabal for me was the Submarine. Upon completing one of the stages, you come to what looks like a lake and a submarine emerges shooting a wall of bullets at you. Use your cover wisely, because the boss can destroy it in about 3 hits.

\n

 

\n

*Skip to 9:49*

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a562958a69c72f571f3523040d83e557.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a562958a69c72f571f3523040d83e557.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3917","description":"
18.) Remember Me - Madame
\n

This fight is really cool and requires you to use every ability at your disposal, never using the same thing twice. This 3 phase fight was brutal for me on the hard difficulty, seeing as it was a learning experience and most of the time I was getting my face smashed. Not only is it challenging in difficulty because of the endless amount of enemies coming at you, but also because of the ever-changing tactics of the fight. Definitely one of the best fights in the game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8b5012701ae6408c11cff10a7b80cd6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8b5012701ae6408c11cff10a7b80cd6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3916","description":"
19.) Twisted Metal 2 - Dark Tooth
\n

Twisted Metal 2 is one of the best Twisted Metal games of all time. After defeating all of the enemies in Hong Kong, Dark Tooth will emerge saying “You killed my son! I want my little clown boy back!” The vehicle itself is nearly 6 times the size of Sweet Tooth and has 2 phases. After finally defeating the massive blackened ice cream truck, the spinning head on top detaches and begins attacking you. I always enjoyed the ending that is shown when you defeat Dark Tooth with Hammer Head. “We want the ability to fly!”

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f7d370fd73b8922cf8c5afcd1a4e189b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f7d370fd73b8922cf8c5afcd1a4e189b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3915","description":"
20.) Super Smash Bros. Melee - Crazy Hand / Master Hand
\n

Getting to Master Hand was an easy task, but if you wished to test your mettle you would try and fight Crazy Hand. In order to do so you need to get to Master Hand in less than 18 minutes and without continuing, only then would Crazy Hand show up to the fight. Unlike Master Hand, Crazy Hand’s movements and attacks are fast and erratic, making the fight a lot more challenging. If you lose all your lives and have to continue, then Crazy Hand will not reappear.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/42c0dafef0d54009be494184457890f9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_42c0dafef0d54009be494184457890f9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"45160","description":"

There have been some really cool, and most epic boss fights in the history of video games. But with there being so many, how do we know which ones are the best? It's all a matter of opinion, with that said this is my list for the 100 best boss fights of all time. 

\n

What makes a boss fight the best? Well a number of things; the fight has to be memorable, it can also be epic, or outright insane. A boss fight can be unforgiving in difficultly, or it can be as simple as pressing the A button. Whatever the boss fight is, all that matters is that I enjoyed it in one way or another.

"}]]]>
Remember Me -- Prince of Deja Vu: The Sands of Random Mechanics https://www.gameskinny.com/jlvu0/remember-me-prince-of-deja-vu-the-sands-of-random-mechanics https://www.gameskinny.com/jlvu0/remember-me-prince-of-deja-vu-the-sands-of-random-mechanics Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:59:28 -0400 Elijah Beahm

There are few things as unpleasant to review as a middle of the road game. There are so many things you want to like about it but also so many things you think hold it back from even being average. It wasn't a terrible or boring slog, nor was it a mastpierece. No matter how you slice it, it's not for everyone, but you loved playing parts of it all the same. Remember Me is very much that sort of game.

A Broken Memory

You are Nilin, an amnesic "memory hunter" in Neo-Paris who can not only claim people's memories, but remix them. The hunter part of that profession also comes in to play when she repeatedly has to deal out near-lethal doses of body blows in brawling sections. She can overload enemies' brains with bits and pieces of memories like spam, and can also, for some reason... shoot memories?



Hardcore science fiction this is not. Memory accessing technology seems to basically allow you to do anything the developers want you to. Is there a puzzle section where you manipulate machines? Use your memory hacking glove thing. Robots? Shoot them apart with... memories. They don't do a great job explaining some abilities and just treat them as granted.

You're better off not thinking about the how as the "Why am I even doing this?" question of the hour comes up a great deal more. There are very poorly executed stealth sections that seem to just be there for show, puzzle mechanics come and go as they please, and the combat starts out ploddingly slow then suddenly gives you a bunch of abilities and runs out of unique ideas not too long after that very fact. Collectibles to find that boost health and your special move bar feel completely out of place. Memory hacking, which is touted as a core mechanic, appears briefly in the beginning but is then absent for a good portion of the campaign.

This isn't helped by Remember Me being another game with a fake climax. I don't want to spoil the plot here as it actually gets quite good for a long stretch after the first act or so, but this sort of "Haha, you thought the game was over didn't you?" fake out is getting old. It wasn't at all welcome in Tomb Raider and it's just as obtusely placed here. It feels more like the original game and a sequel were put end to end in the same package.

Any of the core ideas here could have made a great game. The brawling has its own aesthetic feel all to itself, combined with the combo-customizing Combo Lab. The Memory Remix sequences would work great, and could probably be fleshed out a great deal more if we saw more than four of them total, or at least more variations as to what you could do. It could have been a stealthy platform experience if either platforming or stealth felt like someone spent more than two hours designing each.

Remember Me is more like an on-rails experience. You will be in brawling mode when you are meant to brawl, in puzzle mode when meant to solve a puzzle, etc. Your choice over how to approach any situation is non-existent.

There are so many directions it could have gone, but as it stands, I'm strangely reminded of Tron: Evolution, just with puzzles, far slower but more tactical combat, and more filler platforming instead of vehicle sections. Except the irony is, that movie tie-in had a more coherent melding of ideas (most platforming moves were necessary or at least useful in combat, and gave it a very dynamic feel I didn't even expect).

Remember Me is more like an on-rails experience, despite having the mechanics to be anything but on-rails. You will be in brawling mode when you are meant to brawl, in puzzle mode when meant to puzzle, and your choice over how to approach any situation is non-existent.

A Fractured Looking Glass

So how can a game with almost no sense of direction, grounded in a universe that has no grounding itself, built around ideas not all even fully formed, be worth looking at? Well, because somehow it works on a certain level. Despite its numerous flaws, it carries on very much like a B-movie. You'll never see it hit the high mark it should be reaching, but there are enough good lines, well paced action beats, and a meshing of the various ideas that gives you a hint of what could have been. It can be very bittersweet, but at least there's something to look forward to in Remember Me.

Most of these better sections appear later in the game, revolving around the plot getting to the real stakes and issues instead of the midway station that is your opening objective. Several twists actually surprised me thanks to the developers not blatantly spending every minute hinting at certain narrative threads (something a number of developers could learn from in terms of storytelling). The final twist I put together long before it was officially revealed to Nilin, but even she admits that she suspected earlier on.

One of the most underutilized but satisfying aspects of Remember Me is its idea of a memory sculpted cyberspace. Two boss fights take place here and are some of the most visually arresting areas to set fights. The majority of the combat is still traditional brawling but it's clear you could have something that would give The Matrix a run for its money if you did it right just with these parts of the game. Sadly, like Memory Remixes, they are rare whilst fights with similar groups of enemies tend to appear for a good chunk of Act 3, but Acts 4 and 5 pick up the slack afterwards (also yes, it uses a theatrical act structure over its ten to twelve-hour run time).

Praise also must be given to the game's art direction and sound design. It looks and sounds amazing, almost as if it's a machine opera with bits of Jazz and Trip Hop slipped in to keep the beat shifting.

The game's art direction and sound design are fantastic. It looks and sounds amazing, almost as if it's a machine opera with bits of Jazz and Trip Hop slipped in to keep the beat shifting. The world seems to move with the music at certain points, and integrating certain songs to play during successful combos is a great aesthetic decision. Every song, building, and character looks and sounds completely their own while still keeping in theme with the world they exist in. Plenty of characters you meet look like protagonists from other games in their own right, just stopping by to cameo and wink at the audience. The world of Remember Me is a world I'd love to visit in another game and see more of from a different set of eyes, in addition to more of Nilin's tale.

Praise also must be given specifically for Nilin. While still made to be appealing, she's not a sexed up Barbie doll. She's not a non-participant to the plot and decisions made like Lara was in Tomb Raider, nor is she here to reject something. What starts out as a similar sounding objective turns into a constructive mission to try and restore her former life and the lives of those closest to her.

Nilin kills plenty of foes in her path for peace, but she shows displeasure, she shows an actual inclination towards humanity. She's not a machine who shows emotions when you press the right button, she'll question an order if it crosses a line. Cutscenes of her own introspective monologues feel well placed and give us an idea of where she's thinking and what she plans to do next. Saying anything more would, once again, spoil the plot details, but it gives a fairly clear explanation not only to your amnesia but a vast number of events occurring across Neo-Paris.

Remember You Soon

Remember Me is a very flawed game. When it works, it's actually hard to describe. Everything comes together to feel distinct original despite several ideas like the Combo Lab having been dabbled with in other games. It's a great game in those few hours where it stands tall, but between them lies a vast number of average and mediocre sections that needed more tweaking and polish.

Perhaps if Remember Me hadn't been quite as ambitious, hadn't been quite so outgoing, it might have been able to stay on the path it set for itself. Except then what few solid sections it has might have lost their splendor. It's a complete mixed bag, and definitely not worth a $60 asking price. If you can though, grab it for twenty, or if you're really curious thirty, and give it a try. It's a memorable, if not fully satisfactory experience.

]]>
Games Aren't Getting Easier, They Just Can't Seem to Stop Holding Our Hands https://www.gameskinny.com/cb49h/games-arent-getting-easier-they-just-cant-seem-to-stop-holding-our-hands https://www.gameskinny.com/cb49h/games-arent-getting-easier-they-just-cant-seem-to-stop-holding-our-hands Thu, 27 Mar 2014 08:55:09 -0400 pixmaa

I was playing Dark Souls the other day, and I came to the (very simple) conclusion that I really enjoy Dark Souls.

Then I started thinking: What it is that makes Dark Souls different, why is it so much fun?

Some people might say, that it’s charm lies in it’s difficulty. I have to argue. Don’t get me wrong, I think it IS a difficult game, but it is totally fair. Once you get the hang of it, it is not even that hard. Then it hit me. Most of it’s difficulty comes from letting go of your hand. The game does not tell you about anything, you have to figure it out by yourself, and it is so much more fun that way.

Let me use a playground to demonstrate how some games are handling the player.

Imagine that every game is a big playground.

You are a little kid, going to the playground for some fun, but in every game there is the shadow of your father, who took you to the playground in the first place.... Telling you how to use the slide, warning you not to jump off of that because it will hurt you, literally holding your hand. It ruins the opportunity you had to explore, learn, and discover the playground on your own - just like some modern games do

Let’s start off with one of the most popular, defining modern military shooters.

Yes, I am talking about the Call of Duty series.

In every CoD game, that playground looks like a lot of fun from afar. It is a well constructed playground, with simple, but enjoyable installments in it.

Don’t get me wrong, I think CoD is a nice playground. Your father just won’t really let you get into it.

The problem is that you can not really enjoy it as much as you want to, because your father just won’t let you. He takes your hand and guides you through the whole playground. The only times he lets go of your hand is when you go on one of the toys, but even then he is just standing there giving you instructions on what to do, and if you don’t do what he says, he will get really angry.

You are playing in the sandbox, and accidentally get some dirt on another kid? BAM You are a traitor, start over from the last checkpoint. Your father will take you through the games one by one, limiting your freedom, and your fun. Don’t get me wrong, I think CoD is a nice playground. Your father just won’t really let you get into it.

The most fun I had in a CoD singleplayer was probably the airplaine mission in the original MW game. It was just a bonus mission yet it was one of the most awesome. The game suddenly let go of your hand, and threw a bunch of guys at you. Playing it on the hardest difficulty was surely a challange, but there was one other factor it was different. It was the same every time. It had the exact same guys spawn from the exact same point. It did not have any nonsense like infinately spawning enemies until you advance or anything like that. It was hard, but you could beat it. You could memorize enemy spawns, and rely on the game, that it will play out the same every time.

Dark Souls anyone?

Let’s go to another playground.

It is almost the total opposite of the last one. On this playground there are many-many little installments, and one very big one, that is composed of more sperately enjoyable parts.

I am talking about Skyrim here (Oblivion is exactly the same).

On this playground your father is much nicer. He won’t lurk around for long. He will just take you there, hold your hand for the first few minutes while he shows you around. He will not show you everything, only part of what there it is to see, but he will tell you how to do things. He will arm you with the knowlege of how to play on most of the things there. The he will just sit on a bench and let you play. He will not disturb you until you make the mistake of 'climbing' on the main game.

I loved Skyrim and Oblivion so much, but there is just one thing that annoyed me in both of the games.

Once you start the main story you have to finish it. Once you have closed the first gate in Oblivion, or killed the first dragon in Skyrim they are present in your game. They kind of limit you in your adventure. It’s like once you have started them your father just comes around and says, 'hey get back here and finish the big one first.'

Don’t feel like it yet? Here is a dragon you have to fight. Oh it completely killed a whole village without the chance to talk any of the guys there? Bad luck. It was a limiting factor for me in both Oblivion and Skyrim that once the main quest is on it IS on. Of course once I figured it out, I never actually started the main story. As long as you don’t touch it is okay. Just be careful, because if you do, you are in for a treat.  Luckily the new Fallout games did not force you to complete the main story. I had completed the main story in both new Fallout games. Did not finish it in Skyrim or Oblivion. Simple things.

Then there is Dark Souls.

Basically your father just don’t care. He takes you to the playground and leaves you there.

It’s all up to you to figure it out. You may die in the process, you may get frustrated, but you will never blame the playground. It was your mistake. It is all just skill. Once you get to know your way around the playground you will start to feel awesome. You can defeat most of the things with ease once you played for a bit longer.

Moving on from the metaphors, it just does not feel good when a game thinks I am a child, or that it is the first game I have ever played.

Like in Remember Me.

I will be honest I liked that game. Okey the combat got a bit boring after a while, but playing it on Memory Hunter difficulty, I found it challenging enough to keep me playing. It even had a little bit exploration. Then it started to act like I am playing my first video game ever.

I have a strict rule when playing games, that have exploration: first always find where to go, remember that point, and ONLY go to there when I am done exploring everything. If it is possible I want to go the other way (I found out that this rule was not getting me anywhere in Dark Souls most of the time). So whenever I started exploring a bit, Remember Me just started giving me hints.

'Hey look there!' Oh... he still didn't go there.

'Hey maybe try to shoot that thing!' Dang he must be stupid, he still did not get it.

'Hey, if you point your crosshair there you can go through the door!'

I KNOW. Come on, I know where to go.I just don't want to yet. Sheesh.

I am not a mobile gamer. I am a PC gamer. I am playing games for real. I can figure Dark Souls out, please, I won’t get lost in the obviously constructed environments of Remember Me. Then there are things like sequels. It’s like:

'hey we know that you have probably played the other two games we made that had the same exact mechanics, but you have to learn them again just in case you are suffering from a long-term memory loss.'

Let me play. Don’t interrupt the flow of the game. It is okay to tell me once, but only once. I don't want you to guide me through every single step.

I think this is exactly why rougelikes and rougelites are having a revival.

Games might not be getting any easier today, they are just holding your hand.

Also this is why Dark Souls has became a cult game. It is for us, who still like to play it the old way. Games might not be getting any easier today, they are just holding your hand. It is almost that they want to make a hard difficulty, but on the other hand they really do not want you to die.

No wonder gaming is shifting to the direction of multiplayer only titles, but I want my single player experience. 

]]>
Report: Remember Me Developer Files for Bankruptcy https://www.gameskinny.com/bzanx/report-remember-me-developer-files-for-bankruptcy https://www.gameskinny.com/bzanx/report-remember-me-developer-files-for-bankruptcy Fri, 31 Jan 2014 08:47:10 -0500 Fathoms_4209

Remember Me was one of the most promising titles of 2013. However, it fell short of expectations and as a result, the developer is in trouble.

According to a Factor News report, Dontnod Entertainment is bankrupt and has entered receivership. Their first and only game met with decent reviews, but the moderate praise wasn't good enough to translate to high sales.

Chances are, the team spent a great deal on this project, as Capcom wanted Remember Me to become one of their next big franchises. At the time, some journalists questioned the decision of utilizing an untested developer for such an ambitious title; unfortunately, those questions are now being answered.

The game featured a great concept and had loads of potential. However, as most critics pointed out, it lacked that AAA polish and refinement, and wasn't as dynamic or innovative as it could've been. The mechanics ended up feeling repetitive and not enough was done with the narrative.

So, don't expect a sequel.

A new IP has to be REALLY good

In order to succeed at a high level in this industry,  you have to produce a gem. It's not that Remember Me wasn't good; it's that it simply wasn't good enough. You're competing against established franchises, and you're also competing against games that excel on just about every possible level. If you can't meet that challenge, you will be left behind. It's too bad, but that's competition.

]]>
February PS Plus Free Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/o693q/february-ps-plus-free-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/o693q/february-ps-plus-free-titles Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:52:03 -0500 Nicole Long

Playstation Plus subscribers have a lot to look forward to in the month of February.

Sony announced today,

"Typically when you think of February, your mind goes to chocolates, flowers, and other lovey-dovey things. So we thought we’d celebrate this sappy month by scaring the bejesus out of you with Outlast on PS4.

We also have some great single-player PS3 experiences, including Metro: Last Light... and Remember Me."

Games featured on PS Plus next month include:

  • Outlast
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Remember Me
  • Payday 2
  • Street Fighter X Tekken (PlayStation Vita)
  • ModNation Racers: Road Trip (PlayStation Vita)

Outlast

"As investigative journalist Miles Upshur, explore Mount Massive Asylum and try to survive long enough to discover its terrible secret… if you dare." For an in depth review of Outlast, check out this article.

 

Metro: Last Light

"It is the year 2034 -- the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. Meanwhile, a civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from face of the earth forever. As the Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour…" Check out this article for a better look at what Metro has to offer.

Remember Me

Gameskinny columnist, Alan Bradley, provides an in-depth review of RM. PlayStation describes RM: "personal memories can now be digitized, bought, sold and traded. The last remnants of privacy and intimacy have been swept away in what appears to be a logical progression of the explosive growth of social networks at the beginning of the 21st century. Remember Me is a 3rd person action adventure where players take on the role of Nilin, a former elite memory hunter with the ability to break into people’s minds and steal or even alter their memories."

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=XZZSzEQD01CZCM&tbnid=HzoU1Hfdx_S6xM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.overkillsoftware.com%2F%3Fp%3D1136&ei=PtbqUrgGxfSRB-e4gYAK&bvm=bv.60444564,d.aWc&psig=AFQjCNFjlddbZ9Ef9tAt5N-eTCFj3R4kbQ&ust=1391208372021520
 
Payday 2

"PD2 is an action-packed, four-player co-op shooter that once again lets gamers don the masks of the original PAYDAY crew – Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf and Chains – as they descend on Washington D.C. for an epic crime spree" -PlayStation

 

 
]]>
The Five Best, Forgotten Games of 2013 https://www.gameskinny.com/9l7tj/the-five-best-forgotten-games-of-2013 https://www.gameskinny.com/9l7tj/the-five-best-forgotten-games-of-2013 Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:55:12 -0500 Brian S

2013 was a year of fantastic games. Gamers returned to the streets of Los Santos, they raided some tombs, pillaged and plundered, fought infected with Troy Baker, and visited a floating city in the sky with Troy Baker. Unfortunately, many fantastic games of 2013 were missed, ignored, forgotten, or overshadowed by the big-league games of the year.

5. Saints Row IV

What do you get when you combine the stupidity of Grand Theft Auto, the gameplay of Prototype, and writing that varies between childish and brilliant in the best way possible? You get Saints Row IV.

In Saints Row IV, you, the leader of the 3rd Street Saints, have become President of the United States after literally falling into office. After surprisingly, successfully running the country for some time, the President finds him or herself in the midst of an alien invasion by the Zin Empire, run by a pompous alien named Zinyak. The President then finds themself in a virtual reality similar to The Matrix and is tasked with saving the human race from inside the simulation with the help of the rest of the Third Street saints and their newfound superpowers within the simulation.

Stupidity and fun combine into the funniest game of the year.

The game is as ridiculous and stupid as it sounds, but from hilarious DLC where players can save Santa Claus from the clutches of an evil doppelganger to a gun that literally fires dubstep music, Saints Row IV is the epitome of what it means for a game to be fun from beginning to end. Parents often find themselves decrying Grand Theft Auto for a multitude of things, but Saints Row IV revels in this criticism and not only embraces what Grand Theft Auto claims to do ironically (unsuccessfully), but it also delivers one of the most fun, entertaining, and hilarious video games of 2013.

4. Dead Space 3

Having dealt with enough aliens and death to last him several lifetimes, Isaac Clarke returns in Dead Space 3 to finally put an end to the necromorph threat once and for all and save humanity. Isaac has the help of a new crew of people and a familiar face and enters the frozen world of Tau Volantis, where he faces new foes both human and necromorph alike.

Dead Space 3 thrills from beginning to end.

Many gamers criticized Dead Space 3 straying further into action territory rather than horror, but with a new weapon crafting system that lets you create almost any combination of weapon imaginable, the frantic gameplay of desperately trying to reload in time remains and excels even further than in previous titles of the series. Dead Space 3 may not be the horror game the first Dead Space set out to be, but it thrills, scares, and excites like an action movie in all the best ways, making it one of the most entertaining games of 2013.

3. Resident Evil: Revelations

Resident Evil is, by default, pretty stupid. The series revolves around scientists using zombies for global power because that’s apparently a logical course of action. Nearly twenty years since the first Resident Evil launched on the original PlayStation, Resident Evil: Revelations tells an epic, over-the-top, downright stupid story of bioterrorism that we can only expect from Resident Evil. And every second is fantastic. Unfortunately, Revelations was largely ignored thanks to its initial release on the 3DS and its mostly forgotten HD release on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Revelations is stupid, overly-serious, and over-the-top, but also somewhat self-aware in its stupidity.

Unlike Resident Evil 6’s split campaigns, Revelations tells stories in a style more similar to 24, where players control characters during important moments in the story. The main story centers around Jill Valentine from the first game, with Chris “the Boulder” Redfield showing up too. Revelations is like a good bad movie--it's pretty awful and stupid, but it does it so well that it's difficult to not enjoy it. Once players take off the rose-tinted glasses, they’ll find a fantastic third-person horror game in Resident Evil: Revelations that is similar in quality to Resident Evil 4, but with modern control fixes that make the zombies your enemy, not the controls.

2. Remember Me

Remember Me is arguably the best new IP of 2013.

Remember Me did everything right. It was a new IP, it had strong gameplay, it had a unique story, it had brilliant design, and it had a spectacular soundtrack. Ironically enough, Remember Me was quickly forgotten thanks to the game also receiving poor marketing. The game also created a bit of a stir when Capcom execs told the now bankrupt Dontnod, Remember Me’s developer to change the protagonist from a woman of mixed race to a guy because “You can’t have a female character.”

Despite the shortcomings, Remember Me was a fresh action-brawler that had clear inspiration from Tomb Raider, among other popular franchises. The game was unique, fun to play, and entertaining from beginning to end.

1. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Stealth has always been quickly ignored and forgotten except by the most dedicated fanatics in the video game world. The stealth games of old such as the original Thief and Deus Ex are almost entirely gone, and the sequels of those very games have fallen into modern conventions of fast-paced action that forces players to look for stealth portions.

Blacklist is the pinnacle of action-stealth.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist, however, manages to hold true to both the stealth mechanics of old and the action tropes of modern gaming and combine them in a way that makes Blacklist possibly the best game of the series. Blacklist follows the story of Sam Fisher as he and his team attempt to stop a terrorist group called the Engineers from completing a series of escalating attacks against the United States. Each mission is gripping, the gameplay is top-notch, the stealth is as tense as ever, and the production value is clear. Blacklist also features Perfectionist difficulty, which ups the ante by taking away the win button that Mark and Execute has become and also removing the ability to see through walls with sonar goggles, resulting in an homage to those dedicated fans of stealth games of old like Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid that will test series veterans to their breaking point.

Blacklist didn't succeed as well as expected.

Sadly, Splinter Cell: Blacklist underperformed according to Ubisoft, which puts Splinter Cell’s future up in the air. Ubisoft also changed voice actors, opting for a younger voice actor instead of the refined Michael Ironside, which drove many series veterans away from the game. Despite these issues, Blacklist received almost universal praise, and managed to cater to both the action junkies of modern games and the stealth purists of days past. Action-gamers may not get everything they want in Blacklist, but more open-minded gamers and those who are faithful to the stealth genre will find a deep action-stealth game full of customization, a thrilling story, and intense gameplay.

]]>
A Future Forgotten - Remember Me Review https://www.gameskinny.com/034rs/a-future-forgotten-remember-me-review https://www.gameskinny.com/034rs/a-future-forgotten-remember-me-review Sat, 25 Jan 2014 08:14:53 -0500 Brian S

Imagine being able to forget your worst memories—past mistakes, past failures, past heartbreaks, traumatic experiences—forever. The basic premise of Dontnod’s 2013 (ironically forgotten) action title Remember Me revolves around this premise of memory and what would happen if human memory could be treated in a similar way to computer memory—we’d be able to both delete, reconfigure, and add memories to our liking… or against our will.

Remember Me follows the story of Nilin, a memory hunter on a quest to both regain her lost memories and put a stop to Memorize, the corporation that discovered how to commoditize memories. With the help of the mysterious Edge, whom Nilin knows only through his voice, and other characters, Nilin explores Neo-Paris to put a stop to the dystopian society that has formed because of Memorize.

Nilin can remix memories and alter people's entire perceptions of themselves and the world around them.

Nilin is a rare memory hunter in that she can not only steal memories, but also remix them so the person believes what she wants them to believe. It can turn enemies into allies, or reveal clues about the past. The story has a few bumps along the way, especially with plot holes involving some of the remixed memories, but the core story itself is a refreshing spin on the overdone trope of the protagonist having amnesia while tackling difficult topics of ethics, equality, terrorism, and classism.

The cast of characters is unique and manages to avoid typical tropes.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of Remember Me’s story is how diverse the cast is—the cast is full of men and women of varying races all of whom are multi-faceted and unique, though a few of the antagonists somewhat one-dimensional. Nilin herself is a woman and of mixed race, which is quite substantial considering the state of the industry and how Capcom pressured Dontnod to change her to a male because "You can't have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.” The game’s voice acting was originally recorded in French, so the English voice acting is hit and miss, though generally above average compared to other first-time video games. Edge’s voice varies between being passable and unbearably bad, but Nilin’s voice remains strong and commanding.

Remember Me has two different forms of gameplay within its ten-hour campaign.

The first is platforming, which takes many cues from Tomb Raider. Nilin jumps and climbs from location to location while acquiring gadgets and weapons that allow her to traverse the linear environments in new ways. Some of the platforming holds players hands a bit too much with regards to arrows always showing exactly where to jump, but it’s relatively unoffensive.

Imagine the gameplay of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Tomb Raider mixed together.

Combat involves Nilin fighting numerous enemies at a time using a unique combat system that carries remnants of inspiration from the combat in Batman: Arkham Asylum. Combat uses different combos of just two buttons (or three, if you count the dodge button), but the most important and interesting feature is that of the Pressen System. Pressens are different versions of attacks—punches and kicks, each a respective button—that have unique effects. There are attack pressens that boost damage, health pressens that restore Nilin’s health, cool-down pressens that shorten the time Nilin has to wait before using special attacks, and chain pressens, that link previous pressens together for a greater effect. All pressens do damage to enemies, regardless of the pressen’s function, but the functions make some far more useful than others.

This combat system is impressive and unique.

The true magic of this combat system is how players can create their own combos to suit their own fighting styles. Some may use a short combo for healing only, and maybe a long one for intense damage, and a medium one for cooldowns, or mix them up. It truly makes combat an engaging experience that players can alter when they want. Combat occasionally grows irritating with specific enemies being more of a hassle to fight than they are truly difficult, but it tends to remain fresh and interesting throughout the game. Where the gameplay may be lackluster, the story carries the game along, and where the story may seem uninspired, the gameplay continues the momentum.

The first things you’ll probably notice about Remember Me, however, are the art direction and the sound design, which are among the best of any game within the last few years. The graphics are rather impressive alone, but the way the art direction adds to the visuals is too important to ignore.

The art direction and sound design are phenomenal both by themselves and together.

Both the art direction and sound design are stellar in their own right, but they combine in a way that few games manage to accomplish. The soundtrack is traditional in the sense that it is recorded by an orchestra, but it’s also remixed with fragments of distortion and more electronic noises—like the memories in the story. Remember Me's soundtrack is truly one of the best game soundtracks to come out in years. The art design is almost like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dead Space, but with a lot less... orange and brown. The UI of the world jumps out at you—explained by the use of the Sensen on the back of everyone’s neck, which is how memories are transferred, stored, etc.—in an engaging way that almost makes one want a Sensen. Bright, vibrant colors fill the world, the clothing is practical with hints of ridiculousness, and the world just feels alive, regardless of whether Nilin is in the rich or poor portions of the city.

Remember Me is a refreshing action game if there ever was one. It may be flawed in some aspects and fall into a few easy tropes, but the game excels in many places that few games dare to go and circumvents so many other tropes that it’s a truly remarkable game, especially for a new developer. Those who enjoy a good brawler, platformer, or adventure game would likely feel right at home in the world of Neo-Paris in this unfortunately too quickly forgotten action game.

]]>
The Straight White Guy Industry https://www.gameskinny.com/pdqka/the-straight-white-guy-industry https://www.gameskinny.com/pdqka/the-straight-white-guy-industry Mon, 09 Dec 2013 09:47:31 -0500 Brian S

I am ridiculously privileged. Look at me. I'm a straight white guy. Nearly the entire game industry is built to appeal to me. Sure, there are games for a more general audience, such as Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, and Portal 2, but most of what goes into video games is tailored to get me, or someone else like me, to buy games. Everything from the idolized, macho men who always get the job done being on the game box’s cover, to the objectified, skimpily-dressed female side characters whose only role is their cleavage is meant for me.

Women, LGBTQ+ players, and players of color are often an afterthought, an asterisk, or a footnote.

These people don’t matter until the “core” gamer crowd is addressed. Oh, but don’t worry. Female gamers get Cooking Mama and pet games that end in the letter Z. At least LGBTQ+ players get BioWare games. At least players of color get side characters who get emotional deaths. That Assassin’s Creed spinoff had a person of color as the protagonist, right? Publishers don't owe them (or anyone, for that matter) anything, so why bother? A great portion of people, particularly the more vocal users of the internet who would probably choose a false interpretation of a fedora over any other kind of headwear, complacently believe we live in this mythical post-discrimination society, which simply isn’t the case, and the video game industry is a perfect example of this imbalance.

The problem isn't that there are tropes in gaming, it's which tropes the video game industry has chosen to fixate upon for the past twenty years.

The first popular games with anything resembling stories, such as Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda, followed the typical tropes of “hero rescues princess” and “man saves the day” because that’s how many stories have always been for thousands of years. Tropes such as these are sometimes unavoidable because everything is a trope. A buff macho hero is a trope, a defenseless princess is a trope, and a flamboyant gay man who can't defend himself is a trope, but so is a lead who is a strong lesbian woman who will shoot all opposition in the face while making immature jokes. The problem isn't that there are tropes in gaming—that's unavoidable—it's which tropes the video game industry has chosen to fixate upon and which tropes it has chosen to avoid for the past twenty years.

In a world where movies about Disney princesses who aren’t white make headlines for the character’s ethnicity, it isn’t too surprising that video games that don’t follow the unofficial rules of this straight, white, teenage boy industry are either panned, unsuccessful, or never even made.

Developers had to fight to get the protagonist to even stay a woman–they were directly told that the game would not succeed without a male lead despite nearly half of gamers being women.

Released in early 2013, Remember Me is a dystopian, futuristic third-person action/adventure game with combat similar to the Batman: Arkham series with dashes of Tomb Raider, among other things. The game stars Nilin, a female protagonist who is mixed race. Her race is somewhat unclear, but her name bears Indian origin, but considering a voodoo priest in voodoo-hell was the first black protagonist in a game, Remember Me is a huge step in the name of any sort of diversity in the video game industry.

Sure, there have been characters like Sheva from Resident Evil 5, Isabela in Dragon Age II, Daisy from Bioshock Infinite, and Sgt. Avery "Hold Me" Johnson from Halo, but people of color who are protagonists simply don’t appear  in mainstream video games very often. As it turns out, Dont Nod Entertainment actually had to fight Capcom to get the protagonist to even stay a woman–they were directly told that the game would not succeed without a male lead. This is odd reasoning, of course, considering nearly half of gamers are women, and there are more adult women playing games than there are boys under the age of eighteen playing games.

Another example is the recent Call of Duty: Ghosts. In the entirety of the six-hour campaign, three people aren't grizzled white men: a female astronaut who dies within ten minutes of her introduction, a black soldier who dies within ten minutes of his introduction, and a female pilot whose helicopter presumably gets blown up off-screen after the only level in which she appears. In a game that supposedly involves the United States being crippled by their own weapons, leaving a ragtag group of soldiers, you’d think the resistance would be more diverse than White Guy #1, White Guy #2, White Guy #3, and Stephen Lang.

Bioware received great deal of flak and free press in 2011 for letting players make their characters gay, despite having a history of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans* characters.

Somewhat similarly, when BioWare released Dragon Age II in 2011, they received a great deal of flak (and free press) for allowing players to have their characters be gay, despite same-sex relationships being possible in Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect, and even Knights of the Old Republic (though Mass Effect didn’t allow male same-sex romances until the third game). BioWare stuck by this decision and made same-sex relationships possible in all future titles since, such as Mass Effect 3 (and presumably Dragon Age: Inquisition, which is due for release late 2014). BioWare even revealed characters who were previously thought to be straight as having fluid sexuality, with same-sex relationships now possible for some, such as in Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 3, though some can only be romanced by protagonists of a specific sex despite their orientation.

There’s nothing wrong with BioWare doing this.

Representing gay, lesbian, bi, and trans* characters in a positive light is rather progressive, especially for the video game industry, but only BioWare seems to be doing this. If you were to ask the common gamer to name five games with possible LGBTQ+ protagonists, it would be next to impossible for them to not mention a few BioWare games. Yet another frustrating part of the matter is that nearly every depiction of members of the LGBTQ+ community in games, even in BioWare games, is a caricature of some stereotype inserted for the purpose of comic relief (particularly with the depiction of trans* characters), such as Wade, Haren, and Serendipity.

The most frequently targeted demographic—straight, white guys—don’t even notice any of these issues or tropes.

Possibly one the most unfortunate and easily remedied aspects of this entire situation is that those in the most frequently targeted demographic—straight, white guys—don’t even notice any of these issues or tropes. I recently played Resident Evil: Revelations, a delightful, stupidly convoluted horror game from Capcom. The game mostly stars Jill Valentine, who has been in the series since the first game. Jill wasn’t nearly as sexualized as she could have been, with the biggest issues for her being the unnecessarily low-cut wetsuit and how she wears a wetsuit as opposed to more tactical clothing (though it suits the setting, since the game takes place on a ghost ship) while her male counterparts wears more loose-fitting clothing. She remains as strong a character as always, and is more than capable of killing zombies as effectively as her male counterparts.

Players are used to the hyper-sexualization, objectification, and dehumanization of women in games.

While Jill is slightly excusable, Revelations also features Jessica and Rachel, two hyper-sexualized characters who barely have any depth beyond legs and breasts. Jessica’s wetsuit features a missing pant-leg, all in the name of showing more skin (and high fashion, I guess), while Rachel’s wetsuit is arbitrarily unzipped down to below her bellybutton, revealing cleavage that's more akin to games aimed at teenage boys who are just entering puberty, like Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. At first, I thought, “Well, it’s just Capcom. They’re a bit weird,” but that reaction shows just how used players are to the hyper-sexualization, objectification, and dehumanization of women in games—it's industry standard.

Women are also objectified in games after the developer has already finished them.

A great number of mods for popular titles feature obvious changes to female characters, such as mods that give female characters skimpier armor in Skyrim and Alyx more pronounced features in Half-Life 2, just to name a few. Players also take it upon themselves to change promotion art to make female characters bustier. For the plot, of course.

"But men are objectified all the time. Look at their muscles!"—a somewhat reasonable assessment, though fundamentally flawed. Male characters are generally seen as muscular and resilient, which not all men are. The female characters are sexualized and objectified while male characters are idealized. Gamers are meant to want to be like Master Chief, Adam Jensen, Silent American Soldier #5, and Ezio Auditore. Gamers are meant to want Jill Valentine, Lara Croft, Miranda Lawson, and Chun-Li. Male characters are generally ideals for the gamer while female characters are generally rewards for the gamer.

It's understandable why video games are made this way.

Appealing to the demographic of straight, white, teenage boys is a low-risk way to make easy money. Just look at Call of Duty and Halo—they star macho men who kick the crap out of opposition all in the name of honor, heroics, and badassery, and the games sell unbelievably well. Same with Killzone and Assassin’s Creed. Being a badass sells—nobody is saying it doesn’t (or at least I’m not).

What is perhaps more frustrating, is the gaming community's vitriolic reaction to anyone who addresses this obvious imbalance.
Unfortunately, addressing this inequality is difficult, at best.

Take the release of Grand Theft Auto V, for example. GameSpot reviewer Carolyn Petit criticized GTA V for misogyny throughout the game. She still gave the game a 9/10, stating almost everything positive everyone else has said about it. Despite giving a near perfect score to Grand Theft Auto V and only using three sentences in the nine-minute review to make the point about the female characters, the army of the internet decided that her reasoning was flawed because Grand Theft Auto is obviously infallible, and proceeded to post hateful messages demanding that Petit both be fired for her review and be ignored because she's trans* (both of which are still showing up today). When a community reacts this violently against any sort of dialogue about imbalance, it's no wonder why game publishers are scared to publish anything but the norm.

"But that's the way things are. They won't change."

"But that's the way things are. They won't change." It's an easy conclusion to make, and it's even a justifiable one. If a publisher has the choice between a macho man shooter and an emotional story starring a woman doing anything that doesn't involve her cleavage, it's obvious what will happen. The publisher will spend years working on the shooter and its multimillion dollar ad campaign as it's sold by the millions, and the other game will maybe be a downloadable title, if it ever exists. It's clear which one is more profitable.

If the internet loses its mind over people criticizing Grand Theft Auto or a new MOBA, is it really a wonder why publishers don't experiment with new ideas and stories? They're scared. Considering game critics get as much backlash as they do, publishers and developers would only get more (and they do). The only way gamers can get the games they want, games for the entire gaming community (especially for those not in the straight, white dude demographic) is for publishers to take the financial risk of allowing developers to do something different.

As mentioned above, the recent Call of Duty: Ghosts was about what you'd expect. Women barely show up in the single-player campaign, and it stars a bunch of white dudes fighting against people who clearly hate America. In multiplayer, however, players can actually play as women. The female characters have just as much protection as the men, their hitboxes are the same size as the men, and they are just as tall as the men. The change is purely cosmetic.

Those who play multiplayer will notice a decent number of players sporting female soldiers—not a lot, but some—not because of some strategic advantage, but because they can. If players of what is arguably the most popular video game franchise in history don't bat an eye and actually want to customize their female characters' appearance, it makes one wonder why other franchises don't follow suit.

But gamers can help.
People like me—straight, white guys—don't understand the difficulties of not being appealed to in nearly every medium, platform, business, institution, and community. We probably never will.

It is possible to drown out the furious, men's-rights-screaming cries of the players who get mad when they feel uncomfortable because a male character is hitting on them, when the protagonist isn't a grizzled space marine, or when a female character just refuses to sleep with their own character. In truth, people like me—straight, white guys—may not be the best people to be making these changes—at least not alone. As much as members of privileged groups might like to understand the difficulties of not being the most powerful and appealed-to demographic in nearly every medium, platform, business, institution, and community, they don't, and they probably never will.

Straight, white male players are constantly validated and catered to with the constant flow of white macho men starring in games.

Players of color, female players, and LGBTQ+ players, on the other hand, hardly ever receive anything close to this level of validation, if they even receive it at all, which can be emotionally devastating. When people use the term "privilege," this lack of devastation is what they mean: the privilege to not need to understand because it doesn't disadvantage you. That does not mean that those with privilege should feel guilty for their privilege, but they should be aware of the obvious advantages of being privileged, particularly with their influence in the eyes of game publishers.

This influence is why players who are members of the straight, white guy demographic need to voice that they too want video games to be welcoming to players of every demographic, while players of color, female players, and LGBTQ+ players continue to enter the industry and sound their voices. With this lies the responsibility of privileged gamers to understand that there is a considerable difference between speaking out for the sake of a group and speaking over a group—gamers must work to not unintentionally silence their peers. Silence is simply no longer an option for every member of the gaming community. Gamers of every demographic need to work together with publishers and developers by saying that they want games for a more diverse audience—an audience that wishes to maybe be a mature adult someday instead of a blithering racist on Xbox Live.

An awareness of other demographics and a willingness to not instantly repel those demographics are both necessary to make gaming appealing for all players.
Does this mean that game developers and publishers should have a checklist so each demographic is depicted?

Of course not—no medium should. Making sure that each demographic is represented is well-intended, but also easy to do wrong. This can frequently lead to one-dimensional characters and not address the core of the problem: a lack of effort. Publishers need to develop an awareness of the massive pool of character traits and personalities they can pull from to create diverse casts of interesting, believable characters and actually create these characters. This starts with remotely diverse groups writing the games, so there are less unwittingly creepy, offensive plots that developers almost miss, and more plots that don't outright disgust and repel gamers.

Not every story has a place for a gay character, a woman, a white man, or a soldier, and the subject of diversity is not always relevent to criticism of a game, but a willingness to see what other characters are possible in a given situation is necessary for interesting stories, and this willingness will open up new story possibilities that haven't been explored in games. Today, it is more possible than ever for gamers to get the games they want made—developers will listen and publishers are too scared to go against the gaming community.

It can happen.
The privileged need to actually listen and learn from those who are affected by this discrimination.

But before any rational discussion can happen, those who are privileged need to learn to actually listen to those who aren't privileged. The privileged don't understand what those who are discriminated against go through on a daily basis. They can sympathize to a point, but they probably don't understand and probably won't ever have to. The only way they might ever understand is to actively listen and realize that arguments that attack ideas—ideas that have been reinforced their entire lives—are attacking just that: their ideas, not them as a person. Ask questions. Pay attention. Learn. I consider myself somewhat informed, but admittedly, I'm ignorant and uninformed about many things. I constantly try to learn and understand, and by doing so, I (shockingly) begin to learn and understand, at least to a point. Both sides of the conversation need to actively try to allow an environment of learning and progress to exist. Only then can a productive discussion ever occur.

It’s encouraging to see games emerge that depict women and people of color as strong protagonists, such as Gone Home, Tomb Raider, and Telltale's The Walking Dead, and games with characters of the LGBTQ+ community who aren't obvious caricatures, such as Mass Effect 3, but these games should not be notable for these reasons or be just emerging—they should be standard. Change is coming to the gaming industry. Slowly, but it's happening.

There are obvious differences among everyone in this community—there are men, women, people of color, people who are straight, people who aren't, people who are in between, people who don't care, people who are grandparents, people who are in high school, people who are religious, people who aren't sure, people who only play shooters, people who only play indie games, people who overlap on several different identifiers, and many, many more that I couldn't possibly name. What unites us all, however, is that we are gamers—all of us. Maybe players will eventually live in a world where a character who isn't a white guy starring in a game won’t turn heads or make stock holders panic.

Until that day, you owe it to your fellow gamer to fight for it.

 

* Author’s Note: Some people use different terms for different groups, all of which I couldn’t possibly name. Inevitably, it’s possible that I used incorrect terms or omitted other terms to classify some groups, orientations, races, or identities, for which I apologize if I offended members of these groups. I know that I'm obviously not the ideal candidate for this subject considering my race, orientation, sex, and gender identity. The purpose of this article is to ignite a discussion about the obvious inequalities that exist surrounding the demographics depicted and targeted by video games. If you would like to take part in a thoughtful discussion, please comment below and bring others into the discussion to keep the conversation going.

I'd also like to extend a special thank you to Milo Price, Tracy Sherwin, Amy White, Amy and everyone else from Tumblr, anyone else I'm missing, and especially Chan Benicki for helping me complete this feature. This would not be the work that it is without you. Thanks.

]]>
Gross Scam Tricks Wal-mart into Refunding Over $500 for "New" Games https://www.gameskinny.com/zcx7a/gross-scam-tricks-wal-mart-into-refunding-over-500-for-new-games https://www.gameskinny.com/zcx7a/gross-scam-tricks-wal-mart-into-refunding-over-500-for-new-games Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:24:22 -0400 Alexa Serrano

Michigan State Police are investigating a claim that has been made by Wal-mart in three different cities—Bay City, Saginaw, and Hastings. According to Mlive.com, these scammers are resealing video game boxes to make them look new and are also vomiting on the receipt—or at least telling Wal-mart employees that it's vomit—in order to get away with their scam.

Apparently the suspect is telling Wal-mart employees that the receipt is not readable because it has been vomited on. The service clerk, however, does not inspect the receipt because s/he does not want to be contaminated by it. Yet, they allowed the suspect to return the video games (Masters Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, NCAA Football 14, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Remember Me) for full price. According to the return receipts, the video game returns were made in two stores on August 21. 

The suspect remains unknown; however, the photographs from the incident at Hastings reveal the suspect might be a female and that the suspect to the Bay City and Saginaw store incident might be a male.  The male suspect got away with $529 of return money in one day alone!

]]>
Remember Me eBook: A Look At Nilin's Past, Plus Win A Chance To Read It! https://www.gameskinny.com/8vd8j/remember-me-ebook-a-look-at-nilins-past-plus-win-a-chance-to-read-it https://www.gameskinny.com/8vd8j/remember-me-ebook-a-look-at-nilins-past-plus-win-a-chance-to-read-it Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:30:36 -0400 Jamie K

Remember Me, Capcom's unique futuristic action game about a memory hunter named Nilin, was released in June to some mixed reception. To help players better remember Nilin's past, Capcom has released an eBook which fills in some of the gaps of her memory banks by telling a story set prior to the game.

Written by Scott Harrison, Remember Me: The Pandora Archive weaves a tale of Nilin before you meet her for the first time on your screen. It introduces a series of bomb attacks on Neo-Paris. Former memory hunter Trix Dallaire is implemented in the attacks, all of which are focused on the Memorize Corporation. Trix is tangled up in the group the Errorists, who supposedly have their fingerprints all over these attacks. Nilin, meanwhile, is hot on their trail.

According to the eBook's Amazon summary,

"What follows is a white-knuckle ride through Neo-Paris, full of subterfuge, betrayal and intrigue, as we join Nilin on her destructive search for the truth, and her freedom."

Does this new key to learning the mysteries of memory-hunting and Nilin appeal to you? Well, you're in luck! I have purchased this book, and per Amazon's rules am allowed to 'lend' the book out to 1 person for 14 days.

So, as a little contest please post as a comment a minimum 1 paragraph opinion you had on the storyline for this game, as well as your email address. Email is needed in order for me to send the book to you, so this is mandatory. You will be able to read The Pandora Archive even if you do not own a Kindle. Winner will be chosen by me for best comment!

]]>
Playstation Store Update for June 4th https://www.gameskinny.com/ugqdy/playstation-store-update-for-june-4th https://www.gameskinny.com/ugqdy/playstation-store-update-for-june-4th Tue, 04 Jun 2013 19:53:12 -0400 Aneudys Tejeda

It's Tuesday, so it must be PSN Update!

This week we have a decent amount to sort through. Remember Me is out as a download this week sitting on a mild 7.4 on Metacritic; it's something worth checking out. Another notable release is the run-away success of Limbo. Released exclusively on the Xbox 360 in 2010, it came to PSN last year and now it's available on-the-go for your Playstation Vita. Also, be sure to check out the soundtrack from The Last Of Us for $9.99.

PSN Games
  • Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon ($19.99)
  • Remember Me ($59.99)
Playstation Plus
  • Dues Ex: Human Revolution (Free)
  • GRID 2 (Retail, 10% off for $53.99)
  • Lets Fish! Hooked On (Vita, 50% off for $10.00)
  • Portal 2 (In Motion DLC, 40% off $4.79)
PS2 Classics
  • Alfa Romeo Racing Italiano ($9.99)
  • Ultimate Board Game Collection ($9.99)
PS3 Add-Ons
  • Crysis 3
    • The Lost Island DLC Bundle ($14.99)
  • Deadly Premonition
    • Cat Girl Outfit ($1.59)
    • Chibi Chibi Bang Bang ($1.59)
    • Friday Night Outfit ($1.59)
    • Happy Songkran Suit ($2.29)
    • High Roller Suit ($2.29)
    • Special Ops Suit ($3.24)
    • The Blue GT ($1.59)
    • The Devil’s Red ($1.59)
    • The Green Drifter ($1.59)
  • Dollar Dash
    • Robber’s Toolkit ($1.99)
  • Dust 514
    • Aerial Assault Pack ($9.99)
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory
    • Ghost (FREE)
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
    • Flashpoint Skin ($2.99)
  • Resident Evil Revelations
    • Resistance Set ($1.99)
  • Tomb Raider
    • Adventure Pack ($6.99)
    • Tomb of the Lost Adventurer ($2.99)
    • Survival Pack ($6.99)

Playstation Vita Add-Ons 

  • Paint Park Plus
    • Color Palette ($0.99)
    • Eyedropper Tool ($0.99)
    • Gravity Rush Sticker Set (FREE)
    • Gravity Rush Sticker Set 2 (FREE)
    • Gravity Rush Sticker Set 3 ($0.49)
    • Paint Tool Bundle ($1.99)
    • Special Sticker Pack (FREE)
    • Toro’s Friend Network Coloring Set ($0.49)
    • Toro’s Friend Network Coloring Set 2 ($0.49)
    • Toro’s Friend Network Sticker Set ($0.49)
    • Toro’s Friend Network Sticker Set 2 ($0.49)
    • Toro’s Friend Network Sticker Set 3 ($0.49)
    • Toro’s Friend Network Sticker Set 4 ($0.49)
    • Watercolor Pen ($0.99)
  • Toro’s Friend Network
    • 100 Coins ($0.50)
    • 500 Coins ($2.50)
    • 1100 Coins ($5.00)
    • 2500 Coins ($10.00)
Demos
  • Limbo (Vita)
Vita Games
  • Limbo ($14.99)
  • Paint Park Plus (Free)
  • Quell Momento ($4.99)
  • Toro’s Friend Network (Free)
PSP Games
  • Class of Heroes 2 ($24.99)
Discounts
  • 5-in-1 Arcade Hits (Mini)
  • Blimp: The Flying Adventures (Mini)
  • Foosball 2013 (PSN/Vita)
  • Minisquadron (Mini)
  • One Epic Game (Mini)
  • Portal 2 (Retail/DLC)
  • The Impossible Game (Mini)
]]>
Remember Me - Review https://www.gameskinny.com/02u8x/remember-me-review https://www.gameskinny.com/02u8x/remember-me-review Tue, 04 Jun 2013 09:05:36 -0400 Alan Bradley

Memory can be a tricky thing.  As the primary way by which we interface with our past, it’s critical to determining who we are in the present, and to ensuring that we are capable of progress, of learning from our successes and mistakes.  But memories can also be painful, sometimes brutally so, to the point that we’d want to cut them out of our minds completely.  Remember Me asks, what if we could?  What if we could remove unpleasant memories, alter them to our liking, or replace them with newer, more pleasant experiences?  Or, more importantly, what if someone else could?

It is the year 2083.  Remember Me’s protragonist, Nilin, is a Memory Hunter, prowling the streets, alleyways, and high-rises of Neo Paris corrupting or altering other people’s memories at the whim of her employer the Memorize corporation.  Memorize is responsible for a breakthrough in cybernetic technology called the Sensen, an implant that renders living memory fluid and changeable and allows it to be shared or replicated. 

 

Thoughtcrime

The result is a world where Memorize effectively owns and controls almost all human memory, a situation the dubiously motivated corporation is not averse to taking advantage of.  The majority of people are happy enough with this arrangement given the exquisite pleasures of memory sharing, but the real victims dwell in the slums and dank underground below the city, creatures called Leapers whose memories have been so corrupted that their Sensen have mutated them into monstrous abominations.   

As the game opens, Nilin’s former masters have turned on her, and decided that a complete wipe of her memory is necessary.  She manages to escape their holding facility with the aid of an underground resistance that has dedicated itself to bringing Memorize low, and spends the bulk of the rest of the game recovering her memory, unraveling why her employer finds her so threatening, and in the midst of an escalating civil war.

 

Remember Me’s story is novel and interesting, and reminds us of some of the best dystopian science fiction of the 20th century; the game could believably be based on the work of Isaac Asimov or Philip K. Dick.  It’s a strong premise that boasts some interesting, well-developed characters, and it’s all set against the striking skylines and urban squalor of a beautifully rendered future Paris. 

 

“Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.”

Where Remember Me falters, then, is in its mechanics.  These days, submitting and entry in the 3rd person brawler genre means stepping out onto a pretty crowded dance floor, and while Remember Me seems eager to ape the combo-based combat of Rocksteady’s Batman games, it never achieves that level of polish or fluidity.  Combat animations aren’t as smooth, enemies don’t react as organically, and most importantly, chaining your attacks between enemies is never as crisp. 

The game asks players to design combos from attacks with various properties, like health regeneration or filling a special meter that allows Nilin to unleash special attacks.  While some of these powerful abilities, called S-Pressens, look really spectacular and are highly effective against groups of enemies, they do little to break up the combat, which inevitably becomes fairly rote.  The problem is that executing one of the combos you’ve programmed doesn’t allow you to shift seamlessly from one attacker to another, so you have to work hard to separate opponents from the pack and take them down one-on-one.

 

Hacking the human mind

One of the high points of the gameplay sadly requires very limited interaction on the players end.  There are several moments (though not enough) where Lilin enters the memory of another key character to review and alter their memories, and these sequences are uniformly some of the best in the game.  The presentation inside these memories is superb and the dramatic, immediate consequences of their alteration makes them immensely satisfying (even if all that’s required is a few button pushes). 

Remember Me develops exceptional atmosphere and tells a remarkable story (complete with some late twists and revelations) but ultimately falls prey to chunky, repetitive combat that makes it a test of your patience to get to the next big reveal.  It’s a solid first effort, however, and it’s easy to see a path by which rookie developer DONTNOD could take these rich concepts and flesh them out into a truly exceptional product their next time up at the plate.  An out of the park sophomore effort would help render Remember Me even more forgettable, which might sadly be for the best. 

]]>
A Little Familiar - Remember Me Needs To Work on Sticking in Our Heads https://www.gameskinny.com/a9hmw/a-little-familiar-remember-me-needs-to-work-on-sticking-in-our-heads https://www.gameskinny.com/a9hmw/a-little-familiar-remember-me-needs-to-work-on-sticking-in-our-heads Wed, 01 May 2013 18:52:51 -0400 Lloyd Gyan

Before we start, I just want to say: No, this is not Tomb Raider 2020. It’s not Mirror’s edge with better fighting mechanics, nor is it Deus Ex with boobs on Jensen (although there IS a mod somewhere that could do that probably. I’m not going to link it to you. That would be crazy). And no, it’s not a better looking Dreamfall either, but that’s probably the closest thing so far.

This is Remember Me, a Capcom published platformer set in cyberpunk Neo-Paris, where you play a memory hunting English sounding lady in tight future gear trying to find her memories, and why they were taken from her.

Trailers for this game look sort of promising. Think Deus Ex style of cyberpunk, with augmented reality overlays showing areas. people and important items. Action scenes seem pretty fun, and the combat seems to be, for want of a better term, overloading people’s brains with what they had for dinner two nights before.

There has been quite a lot of talk with about this game, although less from it’s publisher Capcom. A new IP, and a female lead is a bold move, and it’s mechanics have sparked some rather interesting discussion. Partially because its a fresh product created by the Paris based Dontnod.

Partially because it features a character that will not be using actual guns, but instead the memories of her would-be combatants to battle. Oh, and also her gymnastic-style fighting moves.

And partially because it’s a woman.

During an interview with Penny Arcade, the  creative director, Jean-Maxime Moris, was quoted to say, "We had some [companies] that said, 'Well, we don't want to publish it because that's not going to succeed. You can't have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that...'”

This statement, however unfair, is basically true. In a world dominated by testosterone heavy juggernauts as playable characters, male dominance is always supreme. Women in gaming are usually reduced to generally being sidekick characters to their male counterparts (I’m looking at you, Bioshock Infinite) or there to be aesthetically pleasing to their players. How many of you can say you haven’t said, or heard a friend saying ‘If I am going to play a game for a long time, I want to be able to look at the backside of something I like’?

Is this really the reason why this game won’t sell? Our memory hunter Nilin, is not just normal looking lady who kicks all kinds of memory butt and doesn’t spend most of the time thrusting her it into the camera. Hell from what I can gather from the 10 minute footage of gameplay, we see a substantial amount of her ass. 

Maybe the game is coming at a late time. Gunless combat isn’t an issue thanks to it’s Combo Lab innovation, where players can make up new moves based on certain pre-sets that Nilin has stored from fighting enemies or DLC (note - it is said to include a dragon punch). Its argumented reality look so far feels like a mini mix between Watch Dogs footage and Deus Ex, but that cannot really be classified as a bad thing. It borrows from the Arkham Asylum/Assasin’s Creed form of multiple opponent combat with indicators for quick counters, and that’s always cool in any book.

The focus on story seems real - the idea of memories one will be able to take A-la Prototype will impact greatly on how the game is told. the voice acting - so far - isn’t strangulating in the trailer, and it’s platforming looks fairly decent.

But maybe that might be the problem with it. Maybe this game feels like you’ve played it before. Like going to watch Avatar in the cinemas a few years ago, and realising that you could practically identify every single event before it happened, but a bit better.

Now I am not saying Dontnod are copycats - it takes a lot of work to build up and publish a game, and they are to be commended to sticking to their guns and not selling out to make a fresh new male protagonist.

I am just saying that they weren’t ‘out there’ enough. To tell with the conventional platforming and fight scenes. Focus on memory manipulation, and go somewhere different. They almost had it with the no-guns concept, but Batman has been doing that for years. Maybe if this game sells well, there will be a sequel, and they will deliver a product that would change gaming history.

Until then, let’s see what Remember Me is all about next week.

Remember Me will be available on Steam on the 7th of June for $29.99. Prices at other outlets may vary.

]]>
Capcom Releases New Remember Me Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/saax6/capcom-releases-new-remember-me-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/saax6/capcom-releases-new-remember-me-trailer Tue, 09 Apr 2013 14:12:40 -0400 Katy Hollingsworth

Planned to ship this summer, Capcom's Remember Me is catching the tail-end of the current generation console play and will be available for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox.

We follow the female protagonist, Nilin, a 'memory hunter' who doubles as an amnesiac, through the streets of Paris in 2084. The environment is sitting not-so-pretty in a surveillance state, and Nilin's memories have been wiped by her previous employer, Memorize. You're tasked with finding out why they were wiped and how to restore them.

Keep an eye on this title--it looks like it could be something interesting, especially since you can create and customize your own combos.

Slated to release June, 2013.

]]>