Super Smash Bros. Brawl Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Super Smash Bros. Brawl RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Is Nintendo Finally Embracing The Competitive Smash Scene? https://www.gameskinny.com/u26su/is-nintendo-finally-embracing-the-competitive-smash-scene https://www.gameskinny.com/u26su/is-nintendo-finally-embracing-the-competitive-smash-scene Fri, 22 Jun 2018 12:39:04 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Now that the dust has finally settled from Nintendo's E3 presentation and the curtain has been raised on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, we're finally getting a sense of what we can expect from Nintendo's flagship fighting game series when it launches this December.

And oddly enough, the new features, changes, and additions seem different this time around. For a company (and a creator in Masahiro Sakurai) that are infamous for refusing to listen to input from fans, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sure seems like it has been inspired by the competitive community.

Nintendo's History (or Lack Thereof) with the Competitive Smash Community

Ask any competitive Super Smash Bros. player about Nintendo's support of the community, no matter what their game of choice is, and you'll likely get the same answer: They don't care.

And that has held true ever since the original game came out. Nintendo has positioned the Super Smash Bros. series as a casual fighter meant for parties, and has historically been very resistant to the concept that it can be played in any kind of codified professional way. 

Nintendo never hosts official Smash tournaments outside the occasional invitational event. They rarely sponsor major fighting game tournaments either. Nintendo's relationship with people who play Smash competitively has been tumultuous at best, and at worst, outright hostile.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl probably represents the worst of this. After years of refusing to provide financial support to tournaments that featured Melee, Brawl released and was incredibly well-received, but the addition of random tripping and lack of patching meant that Brawl would never be as accepted by the competitive community as Melee was. This was by design. To Nintendo, playing these games competitively was playing the game the wrong way. 

This even continued through the last generation of games. Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS featured online play, sure, but the For Glory mode of play seemed like an afterthought, seeing as team battles were restricted to time mode, and the only legal stages were Final Destination clones.

Adding to this is the fact that Nintendo seemed hell-bent on denying that the Melee competitive scene even existed until the Smash Invitational last week, save for a few grudging (and awkward) appearances from select pro players. It was jarring to see so many Melee players featured in Nintendo's intro video to the Smash Invitational last week because they've avoided the scene until that point.

Fan Complaints

The competitive scene for Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS remains strong to this day, but as a competitive game, pro players have a lot of gripes with it. The game rewards defensive play, staying in shield, and waiting for your opponent to move first. If this sounds boring, that's because it can be.

There are plenty of other complaints too. There are very few stages that are suitable for competitive play, and as more characters got added to the game, that list got whittled down even further by tournament organizers. DLC characters caused controversy as well, even before Bayonetta witch-twisted her way into the top 8 of every tournament. Nobody liked playing against Cloud because of Finishing Touch (which was nerfed, but still). There were tons of arguments about "toxic" characters, and certain regions banned Bayonetta from play altogether, much like Meta Knight was banned in Brawl.

At first, Omega Stages seemed like a concession to the competitive community, but turning a stage into Final Destination didn't really prove to be all that much of a boon unless the normal Final Destination stage gave you eye strain.

In a lot of ways, the Wii U entry in the series seemed like a half-hearted concession to the competitive community. They look like they're going to go the whole nine yards for the Switch entry.

Times Are A-Changin'

All this is to say that Nintendo finds itself in a precarious situation leading up to the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They don't want the skill barrier to be as high as it was in Melee, but they want to reward the competitive community that has spent years learning these games. 

What they've come up with so far seems to be toeing that line beautifully. The return of directional air dodges is a great concession to the Melee community, who will be waiting with bated breath over whether or not wavedashing will be a viable mechanic in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They've made short hop aerials, a popular approach advanced technique, a whole lot easier to perform. They've not only added Omega Stages back, but they've also added Battlefield variants for each stage, and included the ability to turn off stage hazards. (This is already a sticking point for many tournament organizers -- what happens if there are too many legal stages?)

The change that has Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS fans salivating is that they have added a significant penalty for rolling and dodging. They want to foster a more aggressive style of play which will, ideally, lead to more stunning and exciting moments (which will now be highlighted with a short slowdown cutscene). 

Now, of course, time will tell whether or not this represents a change in strategy for the company. There's no guarantee that Nintendo will suddenly start sponsoring local tournaments or hosting their own. Hell, there's no guarantee they'll fix Bayonetta. 

But for now, competitive Smash fans are feeling like Nintendo has given them everything that they've asked for. 

Well, everything except for Geno.

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What is EVO: the Evolution Championship Series? https://www.gameskinny.com/mi3nz/what-is-evo-the-evolution-championship-series https://www.gameskinny.com/mi3nz/what-is-evo-the-evolution-championship-series Thu, 14 Jul 2016 12:13:21 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

This weekend, EVO 2016 will be taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once again, the stage for one of eSports' biggest fighting game tournaments will be set. This year may be the most anticipated, as it'll be the first year Street Fighter V makes its appearance. The tournament has been the marquee event for all major competitive fighting games.

So you maybe wondering what is the Evolution Championship Series(EVO) and what makes it so special?

The What

The Evolution Championship Series represents the largest and longest-running fighting game tournament in the world. Tournaments started as a partnership between the VGO Network and various leaders worldwide within the fighting game community. The series evolved from the experience, collaboration, and expertise of major sites including Shoryuken.com, TekkenZaibatsu.com, GuardImpact.com and so forth.

It all began in 1995. Top players grew quite tired of arguing via message boards who was the best. Then it was decided that they would settle the matter at an arcade on Broadway in New York. The turnout resulted in 40 players showing up to prove their mettle, and the game to play at the time was Super Street Fighter II Turbo. After the first showdown, it didn't really settle the ongoing conversation of whom is the best.

It then became an annual tradition of skill and prowess against the best of the best. The competitions proliferated and took place in Boston, California, and other areas until a decision was reached that Las Vegas should remain the best battleground. Las Vegas featured the best venue overall for players and their side bets.

As the events drew in more numbers of the years, the event became more professionally run. One of EVO's strengths is that it's a purely community run events. Tournament organizers, judges, commentators are all active players within their respective scenes, or were at some point.

The Who

At the core of the event are the very individuals who helped create it. The founding members include:

  • Joey Cuellar (founder of Shoryuken.com and former manager of famous Southern Hills Golfland arcade)
  • Vik Steyaert (founder of Tekken-zaibatsu.com)
  • Tom and Tony Cannon ("the Cannon twins," shoryuken cofounders, and Tony created the amazing GGPO.net)
  • Seth Killian (former Capcom Manager now lead designer at Riot Games) 

Their hard work paved the way into what is arguably one of the best run fighting game tournaments. In an interview with Kotaku years ago, Killian shared some insight as to how he and the co-founders made EVO into what it is.

"It was all completely organic. The structure was born out of "S*** we have way too many people showing up to these things."

So they started introducing more traditional tournament rules, finally settling on double elimination, to help determine who the best Street Fighter was. The annual gathering also grew in reputation, soon attracting gamers from around the world looking to cut their teeth on a tournament known for it's skilled players.

The event had to grow along with the changing video game landscape as well. This did call forth one concern they had to face -- the choice to play on console format from arcade cabinets. The reality was that with the decline of arcade systems in America, it was only logical to start using consoles moving forward. The other issue was whether or not console ports performed as well as the arcade version. But the community was able to meet that challenge like any other and continue to improve.

You would be hard pressed to find that an EVO judge isn't an expert in rules. All the nuances that arise from possible errors are well covered -- i.e. a player accidentally pauses the game, someone forgets to desync a control, and matters of collusion. The rules and how they are followed are iron and built from years of experience. EVO is many things, but a place that allows cheating or a pass isn't one of them.

This also goes a step further with player pools. These elimination rounds are meant to favor no one and are created to be random. A top ranked player must prove herself/himself and whittle down their competition until they reach the top 8.

The Why

EVO's popularity has always been parallel to its main game; Street Fighter. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike was the game of show since its release in 1999. The attendance was still there, but numbers were waning by 2008. The tournament's influence exploded after the release of Street Fighter IV in 2009.

After a decade, a new game on new consoles with online capability had summoned a new wave of popularity. EVO 2009 was a resurgence for everyone -- the fans, the fighting game community, and the world. This was thanks in part to emerging streaming services helping an unreachable audience discover the event. And more importantly, upcoming competitors discovered a new goal to reach for.

From 2009 onwards, the event continued to grow in attendance and the games grew in competition. In fact, EVO's influence also helped solidify fighting games as part of eSports. Prior to fighting games being normally seen alongside titles like League of Legends, it was quite the uphill battle to get the same recognition. The problem was the preconceived notion that the fighting game community couldn't provide entertainment on the same level.

Some other misguided thoughts were included the ideas that fighting game events didn't have the same grand spectacle and professionalism. Many false assumptions were made, unfortunately. But when the opportunity presented itself, the community supported eSports events with performances and professionalism that were undeniable -- and dispelled those myths. 

The When

When these problems presented themselves, what did the tournament series do? EVO lead the way by example -- they asked for nothing but the best from all interested parties. The audience numbers, player performances, and viewership numbers were hard to ignore. Players then began to be sponsored by companies that recognized their efforts and the entertainment value of what they were doing. Finally, more and more game companies over time grew to support the yearly tournament (and others) regularly.

Companies realized that it was a means of goodwill public relations and to show players that they fully supported their efforts. So you could say in a sense, its cultural relevancy that forced the hand of game companies. 

The road to this recognition and support wasn't without its occasional speed bump. In 2013, Super Smash Bros. Melee once again became a game of the show for EVO13. Nintendo actually tried to stop its activities after fans helped its return. The company not only wanted to stop its streams but everything it had in place for EVO. Tournament organizers' hands were tied and they had to comply.

Thanks to Twitter and Reddit, fans gained brought a lot of attention to Nintendo's misguided actions. Recognizing the potential PR nightmare on their hands, Nintendo dropped the issue altogether. What happened the following year? Nintendo became an official sponsor of EVO in support of the Super Smash Bros. community.

Of all the recognition and sponsorships, Capcom's was arguably the longest to come to the table. Despite their games often being the most popular and being the show's number 1 draw, that support fell upon deaf ears at the studio. When fighters began to solidify themselves as an eSport, many began to wonder if Capcom would support them as well.

Eventually, they did provide support, which was in large part due to the ongoing support of Street Fighter IV and its updates. In 2013, they went on to announce the first Capcom Cup. EVO 2013 was used as one of the qualifiers to invite the best players to compete. Capcom Cup then became the now annual Capcom Pro Tour. It has grown to become a series of year long competitions ending in December -- and it wouldn't be wrong to say that EVO hadn't inspired its inception.

EVO, in its relatively short of amount of time, went on to inspire many. If you're a fan or active participant with fighters, you're essentially booked year round. Final Round, CEO, Apex and etc. These events all have the same in common -- competition, attendance, and recognition of all things positive with gaming. All these events continue to build upon the goodwill of the community. 

The Where

The next reason as to why EVO is so special is its representation. EVO (and other fighting events) is a place where you'll regularly see players, commentators, and etc of diverse backgrounds. [Side note: yes, there's an obvious lack of female representation in the tweet above. The community at large is aware and is doing better. There are female professional players and commentators that are in regular participation.]

It's refreshing nonetheless to see experts in these games look like everyone you'd normally see in a day. This has been standard for the event and the fighting game community scene for years. Players choose to compete and travel the many miles for inclusion that may not normally be an option. It's both encouraging and comforting to see you're not in the minority for any event -- video game related or otherwise.

The show is also one where entrants and fans can expect new things to look forward to for the following year. Developers now regularly announce DLC, characters, reveal games, and etc. at EVO. Most recently, last year was the reveal of Street Fighter V and a showcase of its gameplay.

Game companies recognize that it's a place for their target audiences. It would be a series of missed opportunities to not recognize the beacon that is EVO. Certainly there is no better stage to excite the fighting game community than its own meeca.

Let's fight Like gentlemen

Now, an undeniable argument as to why EVO can't be duplicated or imitated? I would say the level of competition. EVO, moreso than any other event, is host to players that have spent the better part of their year to get ready. Why? because thousands of others have done the same. You can watch past performances of any year and can tell players are bringing their A game in spades. This make for an enjoyable show of expertise.

To expand further on the subject of competition, the event encourages players worldwide to visit. The world's top ranked competitors for every game call all sorts of places -- America, South America, Europe, Asia, Japan, South Korea and etc. -- home. From a spectator standpoint it's always interesting to see how regional/national/international play styles do against one another.

Year in and year out, it's some of the best in watching competitive gaming. Even with the large number of high ranked and professional players, the results are never a given. The other aspect of EVO that continues to be encouraging for fans at the show, stream viewers, and players alike is that anyone can win. There's been years of top 8 results with seemingly unknowns from the least likely part of the world.

Are you not entertained?

The final piece of the equation is the presentation of the event. As a 3 day event, EVO operates very much like a show. The organizers are fully aware that millions will be tuning in to watch players show off their best. Last year the entire event, as reported by Twitch, had nearly 19 million views. That's certainly a lot of pressure to produce a well-oiled machine.

Despite this pressure, the staff and the community has continued to deliver the best and provide hours of entertainment. They manage to do this in many ways. Knowledgeable commentators are used to explain a game's most minute nuances to first time watchers. Energetic and experienced streamers are chosen to broadcast the event and handle any technical hiccups that may arise. Last but not least the event's overall production is made possible by passionate individuals.

A lot of this is often taken for granted, but it's very apparent a high degree of work is applied to everything. EVO is many things to many people -- but with its production values, boring is certainly not one of them.

In Closing

The event isn't just merely dedicated to the competition. It has grown into an event that's both entertaining and welcoming for gamers to enjoy. EVO is a celebration of the community and all things positive. Rivalries are cemented, legends are born and ultimately friendships are created. Again, it's not about the competition, it's about the competition on the grandest stage built by the community.

We certainly look forward to EVO16 this weekend. 

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Full Course: Gaming's Most Mouth-Watering Food https://www.gameskinny.com/sfj94/full-course-gamings-most-mouth-watering-food https://www.gameskinny.com/sfj94/full-course-gamings-most-mouth-watering-food Thu, 30 Jun 2016 08:23:23 -0400 Bran Rahl

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Well, I hoped you enjoy my video game full course meal. Drop by the comments below and invite us to your VG Full Course or your favorite video game food! Till next time!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/u/soup2-1a2d8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/u/soup2-1a2d8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"124392","description":"

Honorable Mention: Cook Kirby's Soup

\n
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
\n

Our apprentice chef was cooking up something delicious in the kitchen in preparation for today's meal. But unfortunately, Kirby got a little bit too excited for his soup. Even Mario will tell you that it was a bit too hot, and he throws fireballs!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/94d99999ecdc01937acca142538879fe.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/94d99999ecdc01937acca142538879fe.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"9034","description":"

Drink: Mana Potion

\n
Every Fantasy RPG known to Mankind + More
\n

Ah, how can we forget the drinks? The almighty Mana Potion, found in fantasy RPGs world wide, provides a refreshing taste to supplement your meal, while providing you with that extra MP to strike your enemies down with a well placed Meteor.

"},{"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/d/e/s/desert-5d04a.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/d/e/s/desert-5d04a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"124381","description":"

Dessert: The Cake

\n
Portal
\n

Crafted by a state-of-the-art AI known as GLaDOS, this cake was served to those special few who managed to succeed the Test Chambers at the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. It sounds too good to be true, but the taste is vouched for by Doug Rattmann, who says the it's like "a lie".

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/eca2e0b7f63c2971c6995c5b4e416dba.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/eca2e0b7f63c2971c6995c5b4e416dba.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"9032","description":"

Entree: The Sandvich

\n
Team Fortress 2
\n

While we were planning to serve the Sandvich, I'm afraid our recovery team were all wiped out by a very hungry Heavy. So unfortunately, we're going to have to skip this until the next meal.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/a/meat-b664d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/a/meat-b664d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"124379","description":"

Meat: Well Done Steak

\n
Monster Hunter Series
\n

A staple in the Hunter lifestyle, the Well Done Steak is a delicious addition to our meal. Increasing a Hunter's Stamina and allowing them to keep on fighting, the monster meat is a fine addition that will surely help you survive... I mean enjoy...the rest of your meal (Cause who knows what all these power ups will do to you...).

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/6/5/3/653-4d3ce.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/6/5/3/653-4d3ce.png","type":"slide","id":"124378","description":"

Fish: Magikarp Sushi with Slowpoke Tails

\n
Pokemon Series
\n

Made from a fish that's abundant in the world and contains both the calmness of the sea and ferociousness of the ocean, the Magikarp Sushi is only known to the truly hungry Trainers who have ventured to Lake of Rage.

\n

Accompanied by Slowpoke Tails, a famous delicacy known to reach a price of 1,000,000 PokeDollars, you would have to be an evil organization to not enjoy these.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/u/soup-e1b02.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/s/o/u/soup-e1b02.png","type":"slide","id":"124364","description":"

Soup: Elixir Soup

\n
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
\n

Also recognized as the favorite soup of the Hero of Winds, all other potions pale in comparison to its excellent taste. While it increases both HP and Magic to full, it also wonderfully doubles any traveling warrior's attack strength.

\n

The recipe is known only to a kind and gentle grandmother living in a far away island in the Great Sea -- but the nice lady provided us with two servings for everyone. Isn't she the sweetest?

"},{"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/h/o/u/hourdeover-c261b.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/h/o/u/hourdeover-c261b.png","type":"slide","id":"124357","description":"

Hors d'oeuvre: Assorted Shrooms

\n
Mario
\n

To start off today's meal, we have a wonderful plate filled with assorted delicacies from the Mushroom Kingdom. Known to have miraculous effects, including but not limited to growing in size, reviving the dead, super speed, and even growing an entire propeller suit around your body. Just don't eat every colorful mushroom you see -- only those with Toad's seal of approval.

"},{"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/v/i/d/videogamelastsupper-24764.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/v/i/d/videogamelastsupper-24764.png","type":"slide","id":"124356","description":"

We're all here because we play (or played) video games. And I'm pretty sure that at least once, we've all looked at a video game food and thought: 

\n

"I wonder what the heck that tastes like?"

\n

While we may not be able to bring the flavor to real life, we can honor the delicious foods we've seen in various video games. Get ready for our Video Game Power Up Full Course -- a multi-course arrangement of gaming's most mouth-watering foods.

\n

Let's start our meal, waiter.

"}]]]>
The Best Types of Smash Bros. Items for Chaotic Party Play https://www.gameskinny.com/todqg/the-best-types-of-smash-bros-items-for-chaotic-party-play https://www.gameskinny.com/todqg/the-best-types-of-smash-bros-items-for-chaotic-party-play Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:09:16 -0400 Joe Passantino

Okay, so I can't speak for everyone, but most gamers I've encountered love to get a good game of Super Smash Bros. going. It's the perfect party game: everyone picks their favorite character and battles it out, hopefully with more laughs than ruined friendships.

Many Smash players, though, prefer to play with the items off. They think items ruin the game and remove any semblance of skill involved. My perspective on it is a little different. I appreciate the "For Glory" style and how it tests true Smash prowess. When it comes to a casual night with friends, though, Smash is at its best when characters and objects are flying around as much as possible.

Items, of course, aid in the chaotic process. While I certainly encourage playing with all items on, there are a few types of items in particular that you might want to look for. Using these as your battle boosters will ensure that your smashing is up to par -- even if you had to use a little help along the way.

Helping Items

These are items that you can use to summon characters, who will help you by attacking your rivals. There are few things that shake up the game, like putting a temporary ally on your side. And some can do damage to many opponents at once.

Perhaps the most famous example is the Poké Ball, which contains a Pokémon with a unique ability. You might find an Abomasnow to freeze people or a Staryu to trap them in a line of rapid-fire attacks. Snorlax is my personal favorite: there's nothing like watching the big lug squash whoever happens to be in his way. My only other advice is to hope you don't get Goldeen.

Of course, the Master Ball serves a similar function, except that it summons legendaries, often the very best Pokémon available. If you really want things to get crazy quickly, put these on high and let Mew, Kyogre, and company take over the battle.

Those acquainted with recent editions of Smash will know that they can call upon more than just Pokémon. That is where the highly coveted Assist Trophy comes into play. These were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and are perhaps even more unpredictable than Poké Balls. They can do everything from flip the stage over to block your field of vision. Might make the game harder to play, but results in plenty of "What the?!" moments.

Exploding Items

Yeah. Explosions are cool. And they're certainly cool in Smash, where they can net you a nice few kills. The series features several types of bombs, and even a box, all of which have been designed to blow the unlucky victim to smithereens (or at least off the stage).

Some bombs, such as Bob-ombs, explode on contact. Other bombs latch onto either the ground or even a competitor, and additional contact or time results in their activation. When you want to nail a few foes at once, you can't go wrong with the Smart Bomb, which triggers a huge, expanding explosion, or the X Bomb, which shoots fire in, well, an X.

Then you have the Blast Box, not a bomb by name, but not an item to kick around too much if you plan on surviving.

Rest assured -- if it explodes, it will explode on you (and your friends) at some point. I'd say be careful with them, but that would defeat the purpose of this article. So I'll instead advise that you use bombs as carelessly as possible and hope you come out on the other side.

Bonus: Cucco

This particular fella is only available in the Wii U and 3DS editions of Smash, but man, he is so worth it. Cucco is a chicken-like animal who minds his own business, walking across the stage without doing much to disrupt things. How is that chaotic, you ask? Try disrupting him and see what happens.

If you decide you want to pick up Cucco and throw him at an enemy, it will summon a whole herd of Cuccos to ruthlessly batter that enemy. They come fast and furious, so this is one of the best items to use if you want to really ruin someone's day.

Of course, there's a fine line between hitting A to pick up a Cucco and to kick one, depending on your positioning. If you do the latter, they come after you. So yeah, don't do that. Unless you like being attacked by a herd of angry chickens. I'm not here to judge.

There are many other items that can cause real damage to your opponents. But if you stick to the ones I've laid out, you are guaranteed to have the Smash game of your life. Not in terms of masterful skill, but in terms of having crazy things happen left and right.

None of these are quite ideal for tournament play, but for a fun night with your crew? Bring out the chickens.

Images: Super Smash Bros. Official Website

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Top 5 Nintendo Nappers! https://www.gameskinny.com/c10rc/top-5-nintendo-nappers https://www.gameskinny.com/c10rc/top-5-nintendo-nappers Mon, 14 Mar 2016 10:17:10 -0400 David Fisher

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Bonus: Link

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has perhaps the most dopey, sleepy Link in the entire series. Sure, we got Link's Awakening where Link is pretty much asleep the entire game, but Skyward Sword's Link is the only one who is constantly looking for an excuse to take a nap!

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What about you guys? Have you got any Nintendo Nappers that you'd like to have seen on this list? Leave your opinions in the comments section below!

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#1: Tiki

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Fire Emblem / Fire Emblem: Awakening
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Fire Emblem: Awakening has many...well...awakenings. However, none are as literal as the awakening of the Princess of the Divine Dragon Tribe, Tiki!

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Tiki was originally introduced in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon in the West, and is one of the oldest characters in the Fire Emblem universe (being over 2,000 years old and still looking fine!). Tiki is so well-known for sleeping that her support conversations with the Player Character in Fire Emblem: Awakening are nearly entirely done while she is asleep!

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However, not all of her naps have been about beauty sleep. For several hundred years, Tiki was asleep so that her overwhelming powers would be suppressed. As such, Tiki has developed a sort of distaste for sleeping. This, however, does not seem to have prevented her from sleeping in according to her in-game profile:

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The Voice of the Divine Dragon. While mature, she also has a child-like side. Being a dragonkin, she has lived since days of yore and was friends with the Hero-King, Marth. The most likely to sleep in. Born on February 28th.

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- Fire Emblem Awakening

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For being the longest sleeper in the Nintendo catalog, Tiki earns the spot of #1 on this list of Nintendo's Top Nappers!

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#2: Princess Zelda

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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
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In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Princess Zelda was cursed to sleep indefinitely by the Prince of Hyrule after she refused to tell him the the location of the Triforce. It wouldn't be until our favorite tunic-wearing hero showed up to break the curse that this incarnation of Zelda would finally have her spell broken.

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Considering that there have been several Princesses named Zelda born before this Zelda was reawakened, she certainly earns the title of the first true Nintendo Power Napper!

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#3 Samus Aran

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Metroid: Other M
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After a grueling mission that left the last Metroid dead and the planet Zebes completely annihilated, Samus sure earned herself a Power (Suit) Nap! Upon returning to Galactic Federation HQ, we find Samus awakening from her snooze in the Medical Bay.

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Why does she earn a spot higher than Mario and Yoshi? Well have you seen how she looks after a nap? I'd kill to wake up looking this good and ready for action!

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#4: Mario

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Super Mario 64
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Being nothing more than your average plumber, it's easy to imagine that Mario gets pretty swamped from time to time. In Super Mario 64, weariness catches up to our Red-Capped Hero whenever the player leaves the controller idle for too long. Keep it still for long enough, and you'll get to hear Mario sleep talk about his favorite italian dishes!

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#5: Yoshi

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl
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In the Subspace Emissary mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Yoshi is found peacefully napping on a tree stump in the middle of the woods. Unfortunately, his nap doesn't last very long, as he wakes up to fight off various Subspace goons alongside the legendary Hero of Hyrule!

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Today is National Napping Day, and you know what that means? It's time for a Top 5 list of Nintendo's best nappers! I could go for a nap myself, so let's keep this intro short and sweet -- then I can get back to sleep.

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Without further ado, let's begin!

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Smash Bros. Project M development officially ends https://www.gameskinny.com/u9l2y/smash-bros-project-m-development-officially-ends https://www.gameskinny.com/u9l2y/smash-bros-project-m-development-officially-ends Wed, 02 Dec 2015 05:20:29 -0500 David Fisher

A beloved fan mod that started development in 2010, Project M, officially meets its end after nearly 6 years of updates.

Project M has been seen as the spiritual successor to Super Smash Bros. Melee after the Nintendo release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl failed to cater to fans' expectations. Project M sought to bring back core gameplay elements from Melee while simultaneously changing up characters so that they would be more diverse than in the original games. The mod also re-added characters from Melee such as Dr. Mario, Mewtwo, and Roy.

Project M tried its best to balance characters across the board, changing the gameplay of certain characters such as Roy, Ganondorf, and the Pokemon Trainer's Pokemon to better suit competitive gameplay.

While it is unclear exactly why they stopped development, in an official statement found on the Project M website the development team said the following:

We’ve learned so much in the process of making Project M—accumulating life-changing lessons in communication, team work, professionalism, work ethic, and more—but there’s only so far we can take those skills in a volunteer project. With this in mind, we’ve made a difficult business decision: We’re ready to finish development here and move on to bigger and better ventures.

We realize that this will come as a shock to many of our fans. Please, forgive us. Again, it’s been an excruciating call to make, but it’s been made a bit easier by our satisfaction with the previous and final release, v3.6. We’ve spent six years polishing Project M, and rather than let it drag on through another several years of dwindling development and change-fatigue in the competitive circle, we’re going to consider our work complete.

In the meantime, we plan to be hard at work on new projects, built from the ground up. We can’t spill the beans just yet, but know that we’re looking towards a fresh start with brand new designs. Rather than splitting our focus, many of us want to dedicate ourselves to this new venture fully. In this way, we hope to maintain the level of quality and professionalism you’ve come to expect from us.

- Project M Development Team

Surprisingly, Project M was never shut down by Nintendo. In fact, Project M was so grossly popular that even e-sports groups slowly allowed the mod to be played in tournament environments. I suppose the developers believe that the final version of the mod is as close to their goal as they can get, and for that I respect their decision.

Hopefully, we see more content from the Project M team in the future. While I doubt we will ever hear about another Project M update, perhaps we might see a mod for the current Super Smash Bros. games? Or maybe the team will develop an entirely new game that stands alone and doesn't use Nintendo characters? Only time will tell I suppose...

Did you guys ever play Project M? Are you saddened by the end of its development? What do you think the development team will have in store for the future? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Masahiro Sakurai Breaks Down Clones and Balance in Super Smash Bros. https://www.gameskinny.com/91a5f/masahiro-sakurai-breaks-down-clones-and-balance-in-super-smash-bros https://www.gameskinny.com/91a5f/masahiro-sakurai-breaks-down-clones-and-balance-in-super-smash-bros Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:07:18 -0500 KieraB

New moveset clones and costumes abound in the Super Smash Bros. 4 universe, and creator Masahiro Sakurai sought to clarify the differences between the two.

Sakurai admitted that the Smash Bros. series wouldn't have nearly as much value among its fanbase if all of the characters for every roster were similar. As such, he emphasized the importance of making sure that each character in the roster is unique and playable enough for inclusion.

To illustrate this point, Sakurai made examples of Fire Emblem characters Marth and Lucina, both of whom are included in the Super Smash Bros. title for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. He explained that there were "reasons" for the inclusion of each one, despite the appearance of redundancy.

"Each was originally a color variation, but during development, they were given balanced characteristics. Since their functionality had differences, forms were separated from each other."

Lucina was the first of the clones to be split-off from her muse, since the creative team opted to make Marth's combat moves more standard. As a result, he was made "easy to handle for novice players."

Any differences between her and Marth are made very slight, such as their sizes and the attack power distributed through their sword strokes; however, they were slight enough to have Lucina in her own spot on the roster, becoming a separate character entirely. Super Smash Bros. Melee saw this same occurrence with Roy in Lucina's place, while Ike replaced Roy in Brawl.

Other such clone pairs include Doctor Mario and Dark Pit, who each take after Mario and Pit, respectively.

Unlike the clones' difference in fighting attributes, alternative costumes such as the male Wii Fit Trainer or the Koopalings -- versus the canonically female Wii Fit Trainer and Bowser Jr. -- are confirmed to remain unchanged between costumes. In Bowser Jr.'s case, he would simply be replaced with whichever of the Koopalings the player chooses, and the fight is on.

With Sakurai's insight on how the characters were designed and made to function, players should find experimenting with different fighters )and reuniting with old ones) in this new Smash installment all the more enjoyable and -- dare we say -- smashing. SSB4 is in stores now.

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Apex Founder and Organizer, Jonathan Alex Strife Lugo, Resigns After Death and Rape Threats https://www.gameskinny.com/8nq5d/apex-founder-and-organizer-jonathan-alex-strife-lugo-resigns-after-death-and-rape-threats https://www.gameskinny.com/8nq5d/apex-founder-and-organizer-jonathan-alex-strife-lugo-resigns-after-death-and-rape-threats Tue, 11 Nov 2014 05:52:24 -0500 | Narz |

Apex is one of the biggest tournaments held in New Jersey founded and hosted by Jonathan “Alex Strife” Lugo. The series started in 2009 featuring Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Melle.

Apex had the largest Brawl tournament in 2012 with 400 entrants and, in 2014, Apex hosted the now third-largest Melee tournament with 629 entrants, the second largest Brawl tournament with 370 entrants, and the largest Smash 64 tournament with 157 entrants. In this year it also included the Brawl mod for the first time, Project M, with 382 entrants becoming the largest tournament for the Project M.

Recently, however, Jonathan “Alex Strife” Lugo became the focus of attacks after announcing the tournament would leave out the popular mod title from its lineup. Project M is not an officially licensed Smash title even with its large following.

Fans of the title unleashed their frustration out on the organizer via social media. It quickly escalated into rape and death threats against his family members.

"To those thinking it was just the threats it was not. It was the threats, rape threats on my friends, and certain people who I thought were friends just talk me down. I am just sick of the drama. I do not want to have to get into it but I just wanna say this is my decision and my decision alone. We all have limits. Apex will go on but I won’t. Please do not take it as anything beyond that.”

It is confirmed that Lugo has since then resigned from involvement with Apex leaving supporters in shock. Smash community spearheads quickly commented against the toxic community that lead to Lugo's resignation. Wynton “Prog” Smith, Melee commentator and co-host of the Melee It On Me podcast did not censor his reaction to the ludicrous threats.

done. end it. go play and remember why the fuck you got involved in the scene. have fucking fun instead of starting bullshit.

— MIOM| el-prog (@progducto) November 10, 2014

In support for Lugo, Apex, and 15-year-old game, many fans have begun using the hashtag “#WhyISmash” detailing thousands of stories of what the tight-knit community meant to them.

  #WhyISmash Because I've had nothing but great experiences playing any version of Smash with anyone. Maybe except any Meta-Knight in brawl!- Alex Jebailey Creator of CeoGaming @CEOJebailey

Having a relaxing evening out with @MacDsmash @NME_Xzax @NME_Tyrant @J_Ambition @SkyWilliamsTho & others!  #WhyISmashhttp://t.co/mxruYtaFhT - D1SmashBros Player Esports Commentator @xD1x

The pocket of the community that forces the passionate few to flee are nothing more than disillusioned members with no part in the gaming community for which they so passionately believe to be their's.

This same type of harassment campaign is spilling throughout professional esports scenes, games journalism, and even professional game development. Can there be nothing more than hashtags and tweets to be done to counter these di-illuminati?

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS Character Analysis: Ike https://www.gameskinny.com/za4ly/super-smash-bros-for-3ds-character-analysis-ike https://www.gameskinny.com/za4ly/super-smash-bros-for-3ds-character-analysis-ike Sun, 26 Oct 2014 15:58:27 -0400 jacobgomez1993

Man somebody has definitely been hitting the weights...hard. Ike actually looks the part now - back in Brawl he had a whole man-child thing going on and it did'nt really seem like he could be so powerful. But Nintendo has changed that. The "Hero of Radiant" from Fire Emblem returns for Smash 4, but are his skills as a figher up to par with the size of his chest and biceps?

The answer is yes. Ike is much better than he was in Brawl, and he's actually a threat now - a big one.  His animations are a lot better, so now you actually believe that the sword he wields can do some damage.  He's also a bit quicker. (While it's not by much, it's still a buff from the last game.) His recovery is a bit better too, although he can still be gimped quite easily.

The main change, in my opinion, is how much better Ike's neutral aerial move is. In Brawl, this move was quite bad - it had a lot of start up and landing lag, and if you used it in the air, trying to recover, you were pretty much dead. That's all different and it has immensely improved Ike's game.  Ike's killing power has been slightly depowered, not by much though.  He cannot kill as easily as he did in the last game.  But his agility makes up for that, so it's an even trade-off.  

If the "Hero of Radiant" still piques your interest, then here are a few guidelines. Like many of the people I've seen online, I play Ike rather agressively.

  • You need to learn how to perform a shorthop
  • Ike's neutral air is essential to fighting with him.  The neutral air is quite quirky. It can actually combo into a side tilt and a neutral ground combo.
  • Fighting off the ledge to edge guard can work if you catch the opponent off-guard, but it's very risky.

Of course, all of Ike's move can kill, if you can land them.  Your best friends will be Ike's neutral air, back air, and forward air to finish off opponents.  If power is your thing, then check out Ike. If you don't, you might have to deal with some serious roid rage.

 

Combo Potential: C

Recovery: C+

Killing Power: A-

Overall: B-

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS: There's No Need to Nerf Little Mac! https://www.gameskinny.com/hmpkg/super-smash-bros-for-3ds-theres-no-need-to-nerf-little-mac https://www.gameskinny.com/hmpkg/super-smash-bros-for-3ds-theres-no-need-to-nerf-little-mac Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:13:04 -0400 jacobgomez1993

From a purely positive viewpoint, Little Mac is an unstoppable killing machine.  A lot of his moves have super armor (which means he doesn't flinch) and are incredibly powerful.  Eventually he gets a "KO punch" that will take an opponent down in a single blow, if he can land the move.  He's a fan favorite for button-mashers and beginners, and I think that may be why people want to nerf (or depower) him.


Little Mac is extremely easy to use.  He's accessible, which means that button-mashers can jam the A button and rack up damage, while beginners can do the same and destroy opponents that are not prepared for it. Mac is fast, and he can hit pretty hard despite being very light. So a lot of veteran players think he's overpowered. But being accessible and being overpowered are two different things.  He may be overpowered in some aspects, but he does have his share of weaknesses, and thus doesn't deserve to be nerfed. Why?

Mac's Recovery Moves are Horrendous

Mac's recovery moves are horrendous.  His up special barely goes up, while his side B is not much better.  Paired with his weak air game and small double-jump, recovery is Mac's Achilles' heel.  A smart player can easily get Mac off the stage and gimp his recovery (using really any move to hamper the recovery move). The best strategy is to stay near the edge, do whatever you can to get Mac off the stage, and gimp his recovery, killing him at low percentages.  (Ike had ths same problem in Brawl, and really Mac is just a quicker Ike.)

Mac's hard-hitting attacks and beginner-friendly play style don't make him an overpowered character. He may only have a few weaknesses, but if you cannot take advantage of the few weaknesses a character has, then you are going to get the percentage beat out of you. It's simple. 

There are many characters that might require nerfing in the future, but Little Mac is not one of them. Besides, does anyone really think that Nintendo will nerf a pretty well-balanced character, when they didn't do so with Metaknight in Brawl?  I doubt it.

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS: Why No Mewtwo? https://www.gameskinny.com/gx8u0/super-smash-bros-for-3ds-why-no-mewtwo https://www.gameskinny.com/gx8u0/super-smash-bros-for-3ds-why-no-mewtwo Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:39:37 -0400 jacobgomez1993

I consider myself a Pokemon expert - at least when it comes to the games and competitive play.  I also have a bit of experience with the Smash Bros. series and Nintendo games as a whole, and I am here to bring my knowledge and corny jokes to you!

If you are fan of Smash Bros and/or Pokemon, then you have probably heard the question above: Why is Mewtwo not a part of the games anymore? Well, it really all comes down to one word: popularity.  

Back when Melee came out, Mewtwo was the bee's knees - almost everybody knew who Mewtwo was. (The first Pokemon movie was still fresh on our minds, too.)  Even those who weren't familiar with the series knew one thing: Mewtwo was a badass.  Really that was all they needed to know when they heard that Mewtwo was going to be a playable fighter in Melee.  Finally people could use psychic attacks and teleport all over the place.  Even though Mewtwo was not a high-tier character competitively, people seemed to like him and all was good in the world.

Then more Pokemon games came out, and even more came afterward. Mewtwo's popularity dropped with each passing Pokemon game.  Newer and cooler Pokemon were arriving on to the scene, so Mewtwo just kind of faded away to the background.  Sure, the "hardcore" fans knew just how awesome Mewtwo was, but if you were anything less than that, Mewtwo became Mew-who?  (I told you there would be corny jokes.)  

Back in the day, Mewtwo was one of the only legendaries in the video games and that greatly boosted his popularity, but when the newer games came out, they introduced moreand more legendaries that were all-around cooler than Mewtwo.

Let's skip ahead a few more years, to when Nintendo was just about to release Brawl.  No word on Mewtwo, but four new pokemon characters were announced for the roster, furthering the pain of Mewtwo fans.  When Brawl came out, some were hoping that Mewtwo was a secret character, but he was not.  Instead we got first-gen favorites Charizard, Ivysaur, and Squirtle, alongside Lucario, a Pokemon that was fairly new and extremely popular with all the fans.  It's sad to say but Mewtwo just did not have the popularity to justify adding him to Brawl and Smash 4.  It wasn't that he wasn't cool, there was just not a lot Mewtwo could bring to the table.  He wasn't as popular at the time, and he was bad from a gameplay aspect, so double-whammie.  

It's clear that the more characters Smash adds, the more previous characters get neglected. This was apparent in Brawl as Metaknight, Snake, and Diddy Kong were gods, while favorites like Mario and Captain Falcon did horrible.  And even in the new Smash, some characters are amazing, while other characters are jokes. (But more on this in a later article.)

 Mewtwo (and his reputation as a favorite) probably would have suffered if he were forced into the newer games. Nintendo clearly plays favorites in the Smash games, and Mewtwo just is not one of them.  Maybe in the future Smash and Nintendo will pay a little more attention to the world's most powerful Pokemon.  

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Top 10 Nintendo Franchises https://www.gameskinny.com/9y3q4/top-10-nintendo-franchises https://www.gameskinny.com/9y3q4/top-10-nintendo-franchises Sun, 28 Sep 2014 22:18:49 -0400 Brian Spaen

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1. Super Mario

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Series highlights:

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  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES - 1990)
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  • Super Mario World (SNES - 1991)
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  • Super Mario Galaxy (Wii - 2007)
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What did you expect? Nintendo's favorite plumber is not only their most successful mascot, but it's the most popular. Super Mario titles have sold well and Nintendo has no problems throwing the mascot on a game that may not sell as much, but Mario will spawn title sales.

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Whatever their last names are, both Mario and Luigi deserve getting some props. They've been a part of the Nintendo franchise from the beginning, and it will never dissolve.

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2. The Legend of Zelda

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Series highlights:

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  • A Link to the Past (Super NES - 1991)
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  • Ocarina of Time (N64 - 1998)
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  • Wind Waker HD (Wii U - 2013)
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What else did you expect? We've barely talked about the top-down action adventure with a hint of RPG elements, but it's exactly what the doctor orders after a long week. The long quests featuring Link are both legendary and unique. While the series has gotten a tad stale with the same names again and again, changing things will help them in the long run.

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Ocarina of Time, the first title on N64, is regarded by some (including me) as the best game ever created. Every title's been a stellar hit, but when the games kick ass, you can easily be talked out of it.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8211a57e1db42a8344363dc47710e44.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8211a57e1db42a8344363dc47710e44.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4644","description":"

3. Pokemon

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Series highlights:

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  • Pokemon Red/Blue (Game Boy - 1998)
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  • Pokemon Yellow (GB Color - 2000)
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  • Pokemon Crystal (GB Color - 2001)
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You can't deny Nintendo's most infamous small mascots. It's hard to keep track of them all -- especially since they branched out and don't try to play cross-country games. The original concept of having 150 total monsters and needing to play two games and trade with others playing a different cartridge was ideal -- even though you left with no points.

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There's only one franchise -- Pokemon -- that's sold over 260 million total titles in the franchise.

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4. Mario Kart

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Series highlights:

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  • Mario Kart 64 (N64 - 1997)
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  • Mario Kart Wii (Wii - 2008)
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  • Mario Kart 7 (3DS - 2011)
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What was played before Super Smash Bros. ruled the college dorms? Nintendo 64's rendition of the Mario Kart franchise. MK64 is widely hailed as the franchise's high point, and the sequels have since kept up with its formula with the music, sounds, and familiar tracks.

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The Mario Kart franchise is the second-best selling product under the Mario umbrella with over 100 million copies, topping Madden, Assassins' Creed, and even the realistic racer, Gran Turismo.

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5. Donkey Kong Country

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Series highlights:

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  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Super Nintendo - 1995)
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  • Donkey Kong 64 (N64 - 1999)
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  • Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii - 2010)
  • \n
\n

The Super Nintendo trilogy was one of the most beautiful looking games in the 16-bit era, and while some didn't love the transition to a 3D platformer, the series ultimately fell to a sudden halt after Rare bolted to Microsoft.

\n

It made a triumphant return nearly 10 years later on the Wii with one of the hardest remakes in the franchise. DKC Returns will give absolutely anybody fits, even the masters of the original platformer during the SNES era. Even though DK64 has its place in history, it's hard to say this franchise doesn't thrive on its 2D brilliance.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a5cca544ff163d73ea1d04550ce89caa.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a5cca544ff163d73ea1d04550ce89caa.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4641","description":"

6. Mario Party

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Series highlights:

\n
    \n
  • Mario Party 3 (N64 - 2001)
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  • Mario Party 5 (Gamecube - 2003)
  • \n
  • Mario Party 8 (Wii - 2007)
  • \n
\n

Agreed, there's very few Nintendo franchises as uninventive as Mario Party, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of the most fun. Any game will test the patience of any video game player that truly says they don't get pissed if things aren't going their way in a multiplayer contest.

\n

Despite just having numbers after the titles, each game does have their own feel and uniqueness that fans will be asking for their favorite at a party. Ever have some buddies over and trying to figure out what to do with a case of beer? It doesn't get much better than a round of Mario Party.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b076a4be2f4fadf6ec8f48cd8a82a493.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b076a4be2f4fadf6ec8f48cd8a82a493.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4640","description":"

7. Metroid

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Series highlights:

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    \n
  • Super Metroid (Super Nintendo - 1994)
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  • Metroid II: Return of Samus (Game Boy - 1991)
  • \n
  • Metroid Prime (Gamecube - 2002)
  • \n
\n

It wasn't the best selling Nintendo franchise, but it featured one of the company's most unique and great games. One of the best platformer titles of all time -- Super Metroid -- is a game that many tried to mimic but couldn't duplicate. Even the jump to a first-person shooter felt comfortable because it didn't feel forced, weird, or much different from the predecessors.

\n

Metroid deserves to sit next to all the other popular Nintendo franchises. It won't be the first that comes off the tongue, but it may have had some of the best games ever created under the company's umbrella.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f4ef95f8342181dd6e6178435995e282.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f4ef95f8342181dd6e6178435995e282.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4639","description":"

8. Wii Sports

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Series highlights:

\n
    \n
  • Wii Sports (Wii - 2006)
  • \n
  • Wii Sports Resort (Wii - 2008)
  • \n
  • Wii Sports Club (Wii U - 2013)
  • \n
\n

Not many people would immediately think about Wii Sports as a franchise, but it's one of Nintendo's most successful games in history. The packaged add-on to the Wii console generated so much conversation that the franchise itself has sold over 109 million copies. Wii Sports was essentially a demo of what the Wii could do in its early stages. Unfortunately, the revolutionary machine couldn't do much past it, and gamers preferred the traditional controller over the Wiimote and Nunchuck combination.

\n

Still, the original five-sport demo was a blast to pop in whenever you were bored, and the sequel was just as fun with the additional games and play modes -- regardless of how simplified they are. Don't tell me there weren't multiple playthroughs of the 3-point challenge in basketball in Wii Sports Resort!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/88884d8a60f8c81041ba9da6be907bd0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/88884d8a60f8c81041ba9da6be907bd0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4638","description":"

9. Mario Sports

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Series highlights:

\n
    \n
  • NES Open (NES - 1991)
  • \n
  • Mario Tennis (N64 - 2000)
  • \n
  • Mario Super Sluggers (Wii - 2008)
  • \n
\n

Realistic sports are a blast to play, but sometimes it's fun to add a little bit of craziness to it. Midway had the infamous NBA Jam and NFL Blitz titles, but Nintendo added their own spin with their most popular mascot and his friends. From the NES to the Wii U, Nintendo has always had a wide variety of sports titles featuring the plumber.

\n

Just trying to narrow it down to three titles is next to impossible. Outside of a solid football title, a popular North American sport, if there's any sport that you want to enjoy on a Nintendo console, a game with the mustached mascot will generally exceed expectations.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e2ee2a0de4ea597ffc223a087891f8e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e2ee2a0de4ea597ffc223a087891f8e7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4637","description":"

10. Super Smash Bros.

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Series highlights:

\n
    \n
  • Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64 - 1999)
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  • Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube - 2001)
  • \n
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii - 2008)
  • \n
\n

Who knew that putting Nintendo mascots in one big four player brawlfest would have become so popular? The series kicked off with the insanely fun N64 debut, but the series hit its high point with SSB: Melee, a game that ruled dorms and parties throughout the turn of the millennium and partly why the Gamecube was as successful as it got. For a series that just has three titles, selling over 22 million copies is a true testament to how fun the game is.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/adda9b230007ac085c64d13f969f8487.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_adda9b230007ac085c64d13f969f8487.jpg","type":"slide","id":"52367","description":"

There's nothing quite like Nintendo franchises in the video game industry. It's why the Japanese giant continues to publish on their own systems -- there's a huge variety of games that simply can't be found on other consoles or the PC.

\n

The reason for why the rankings are as they are is a combination of popularity, sales, and the historic value of the series. Each of these franchises own a piece of history that will be stored in Nintendo's vault and be treasured for the rest of time. Generations will pass, and with each new one that comes, they'll get to admire where not only it all began, but the legendary chapters since.

\n

Enjoy a ranking of the best 10 Nintendo franchises of all time, and debate which you think should be higher or lower on the chart, or if you believe a franchise has been left out.

"}]]]>
Top 25 Boss and Villain Soundtracks and Theme Songs https://www.gameskinny.com/66f5x/top-25-boss-and-villain-soundtracks-and-theme-songs https://www.gameskinny.com/66f5x/top-25-boss-and-villain-soundtracks-and-theme-songs Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:40:59 -0400 Red Blue Yellow

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/35bc51c7bfbdee223f898c508b4dbacd.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/35bc51c7bfbdee223f898c508b4dbacd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3626","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - "Final Battle Against Ganon"

OoT was a darker game for the console it was on and this song really drove that point home. Later Ganondorf/Ganon fights in the series have been much more lightly colored and less ominous sounding. While trading in a memorable melody for an atmospheric standoff, it worked wonders in instilling the feeling that you were really fighting an ancient and most powerful evil.

This truly is the definitive Ganon fight and one of the many reasons this game is a timeless classic.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d6b1c308dedbf0dec1f564b011ce86b0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d6b1c308dedbf0dec1f564b011ce86b0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3642","description":"

Super Smash Bros. Brawl - "Main Theme"

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In practice, every fight in Smash Bros is a boss fight and this is by far the best one. Nobuo Uematsu was contracted specifically to write it.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8dbf34287f27c7e727e7b8cb3652c650.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8dbf34287f27c7e727e7b8cb3652c650.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3641","description":"

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - "Final Bowser Battle"

I wish this fight was harder or went on longer so players could really hear the whole thing once or twice. You can hear the same sort of chorus most likely inspired by the Super Smash Bros. Brawl main theme.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/459b1afd0b21fc5fd80d6feedb274bd0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/459b1afd0b21fc5fd80d6feedb274bd0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3639","description":"

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - "Cornered!"

The "boss" fights mean so much in the Pheonix Wright series as they are the literal culmination of all the work you ever did. You line up your evidence just right and make that defendant sweat their way into jail.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a03ff85d22ddae046ce48d2485907017.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a03ff85d22ddae046ce48d2485907017.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3636","description":"

Turtles In Time - "Boss Battle Theme"

Pizza Time!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/871fca2aae8f22e414fd2f63925f6f0c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/871fca2aae8f22e414fd2f63925f6f0c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3643","description":"

Banjo-Kazooie: "Final Battle"

Here's a great example of a final boss theme that instills a rushed, pressured feeling important to most final battles while maintaining the overall feel of the title you played. The final battle with Gruntilda still keeps the quirky sound of the overarching game with musical references to your past experiences.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/57423cc9923216c7dfd33fe4a0a4a92d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/57423cc9923216c7dfd33fe4a0a4a92d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3635","description":"

Shadow of the Colossus - "Revived Power"

A lot of work went into the music of boss fights in this game, and so much is said using only musical cues. Rightfully so, since SotC really only consists of bosses and travel time between them. This music celebrates that moment when you find the weak point on these beasts.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/17bc1449d02fee4e0bb10222127b9510.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/17bc1449d02fee4e0bb10222127b9510.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3634","description":"

Star Fox Assault - "Star Wolf Theme"

The minor antagonists of the Star Fox series and direct competitors of Fox McCloud and his crew. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a30f531c2b7a105837150e706e5988de.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a30f531c2b7a105837150e706e5988de.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3620","description":"

Pokemon Black and White / Black 2 and White 2: "Elite Four Theme"

This track perfectly sums up the culmination and peak of your time as a Pokemon trainer: The fast paced exhilaration that comes from facing the hardest challenge.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/26b9ec2c39175ee638601df9124df447.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/26b9ec2c39175ee638601df9124df447.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3633","description":"

Super Mario 64 - "Bowser's Theme"

Something about this theme just makes me envision Bowser wearing black sunglasses and a spiked leather jacket. 

"So long King Bowser!"

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/abe2c1a1f729b380f94d551cb1a10d0d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/abe2c1a1f729b380f94d551cb1a10d0d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3644","description":"

God of War III  - "Zeus' Final Stand"

This is the culmination of the last three games. Kratos has extracted his revenge on all but the most powerful of the gods and now faces his father Zeus.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/37c93782042c3116e90d84a8d28975e8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/37c93782042c3116e90d84a8d28975e8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3632","description":"

Conker: Live and Reloaded - "The Great Mighty Poo"

With titles like Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong in their library, Rare has always been a childhood favorite of mine and really command fantastic soundtracks... But the boldness of Conker's Bad Fur Day takes the cake. I can fairly say this is the first and last time I've heard a pile of feces sing opera at me. Definitely a unique fight to go with a hilarious theme.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b637b27e418522d9c52551ffa95c5cef.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b637b27e418522d9c52551ffa95c5cef.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3631","description":"

Final Fantasy VI - "Dancing Mad (Full Song)"

Many debate that this theme and Kefka as a villain are the best in the series. "Dancing Mad" is a work of art. It consists of four different movements that some describe are Kefka's last speech: The first being his realization of ultimate magical power, the second being his twisted satisfaction in killing for fun and without purpose, the third acting as the villian's mockery of "meaningless" things like religion and art, and the fourth detailing the final stage of the fight and the eventual sadness that comes with Kefka's realization that it's all over. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/91ba1f73fe3ab2ad46feb10bb5df9744.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/91ba1f73fe3ab2ad46feb10bb5df9744.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3624","description":"

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - "Dodo's Coming!"

A quirky theme for a unique fight. Mario is poorly disguised as a statue and must remain incognito inside a baddie's castle. Instead of the typical "fight," Mario must dodge pecks and continue to look like the other statues while a big dumb bird waddles around looking for you.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8109afb7403d7c62b76aaa777ee9143e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8109afb7403d7c62b76aaa777ee9143e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3637","description":"

Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles - "Bloody Tears"

This theme plays throughout the early Castlevania titles, but unfortunately has found no love in the series reboots. Maybe it's a little too upbeat for the darker theme of vampire hunting, but one of the series' best nonetheless.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7cf92e6497dd2e3071c9c79748fef896.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7cf92e6497dd2e3071c9c79748fef896.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3630","description":"

Donkey Kong Country - "Gangplank Galleon"

Starting off lighthearted as you enter the pirate king's domain, the theme soon gets a little more serious with those long '80s-cop-movie-esque tones. So, so satisfying to hear that "KRUNK!" as you nail King K. Rool with a monkey jump.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c7736051c440ceb59794ca78cbf40985.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c7736051c440ceb59794ca78cbf40985.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3640","description":"

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) - "Solaris 2 Theme"

It's a shame this great piece of music was wasted on such a poor game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/75f9b22779751f76fae3f9e97b46b94c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/75f9b22779751f76fae3f9e97b46b94c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3629","description":"

Chrono Trigger - "Battle with Magus"

There's nothing like playing this for the first time and watching flames light up the pathway to Magus. You can hear the wind whistling as he tries to summon Lavos. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a9b28da46edab3c08053199b054e426e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a9b28da46edab3c08053199b054e426e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3628","description":"

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - "One-Winged Angel"

Remixed for the CGI sequel to FFVII, One-Winged Angel is the theme song for an ascended Sephiroth. Both VI and VII themes allude to the villain's power comparable to a god.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/62e054c00131fb7da68149b510702f00.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/62e054c00131fb7da68149b510702f00.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3627","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - "Koume & Kotake"

"Koume & Kotake" (better known as "Twinrova") have one of the best themes in the Zelda series. Combining just the right amount of creepy and playful, this song accurately describes their role as tricksters and the matrons of Ganondorf. The award for Most Likely to be Featured in a Clown Nightmare goes to the "Koume & Kotake" theme.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/973b8e6439c8b960def094d02aac16d6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/973b8e6439c8b960def094d02aac16d6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3625","description":"

Bravely Default - "That Person's Name Is.."

This might be the only boss theme on the list that I could describe as pretty as well as badass. An instant classic that gets your adrenaline pumping.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cde5994c259e60264a58851e9427ba11.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cde5994c259e60264a58851e9427ba11.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3623","description":"

Super Mario Galaxy - "Attack of the Airships"

This song plays typically when Mario is boarding a Bowser airship. This theme reappears throughout the Mario titles and effectively captures the power at Bowser's command. Bowser seems to have a different theme for every game he's in but the airship track best represents his own empire: The king of reptiles with thousands of minions and a fleet of flying airships at his command. Every title in the series seems to start the same way...Bowser already has captured Princess Peach.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e5e5f286bef48333ae005f3989e02e1e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e5e5f286bef48333ae005f3989e02e1e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3622","description":"

Sonic 2 - "Dr. Robotnik's Theme"

This theme reappears throughout the original Sonic titles.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8cf2a97e500a2475b04ba72efee31dce.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8cf2a97e500a2475b04ba72efee31dce.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3621","description":"

Mega Man 2 - "Dr. Wily's Castle"

This track has achieved stardom through fan remixes and internet hype. Even if you don't know what game it's from you probably have heard the melody once or twice.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8a81d8b3cc24eae0aa00cc22eb818b36.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8a81d8b3cc24eae0aa00cc22eb818b36.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3619","description":"

Final Fantasy X - "Otherworld"

This theme plays once at the start of the game and again much later during an important boss fight. There's something liberating about fighting a boss to a metal theme while being constricted to turn based combat.

"}]]]>
Super Smash Bros Brawl: The Game That Changed My Life https://www.gameskinny.com/iumdz/super-smash-bros-brawl-the-game-that-changed-my-life https://www.gameskinny.com/iumdz/super-smash-bros-brawl-the-game-that-changed-my-life Wed, 26 Mar 2014 13:26:01 -0400 Ish Lewis

Since I started playing video games at the age of two I knew they would take over my life. I’m a very versatile gamer. I play whatever I can get my hands on, but I’ve always enjoyed Nintendo’s games more than others. The characters always spoke to me in such a beautiful way. The Legend of Zelda is my favorite game series, Kirby is adorable, and I have always been fascinated by Star Fox

I was four years old when the first Super Smash Bros was released on the Nintendo 64. It was such a joy to play as a child. The feeling of using your favorite Nintendo characters against each other in four player action was just incredible. 

I had three siblings and we would spend hours playing with our favorite characters. It was endless fun and some of the best times I had in my life involved playing that game.

Super Smash Bros Melee

Two years later, in 2001, Super Smash Bros Melee was released. Knowing how much I enjoyed the first game, I knew I would love Melee. It brought just as much joy if not more than what I experienced in Super Smash Bros. It added more characters, better music, new modes, and unlockables that will keep you occupied for hours.

Melee still holds up to this day. Whenever I get the chance I always play in with my friends. The fun just never ends it’s timeless. 
I thought Nintendo really out did themselves with that game and couldn’t go any further with the franchise, but happily I was wrong. 

The Announcement

E3 2006 my life changed forever. Nintendo was showing off the Wii U similar to how Sony was showing off the PlayStation 3. Doing whatever they could to hype up the release of the new console.

Games were announced and hardware was shown. Most of the games looked decent, but one thing stood out more than others. A trailer began, and it had Mario and Link running towards each other, and a background started to form. Then the unthinkable happened: they stopped and the graphics changed, and suddenly Pikachu and Kirby joined Mario and Link.

The graphics updated and Super Smash Bros Brawl was announced. I immediately started to celebrate. I jumped around my room like a wild animal with my siblings. We couldn’t believe that a new Smash Bros game was coming out--I almost shed a tear.

Five new characters were announced in that trailer. Pit, Meta Knight, Wario, Zero Suit Samus, and the biggest surprise of the entire trailer when Snake from Metal Gear Solid was announced. This trailer is still to this day in my opinion the greatest video game trailer of all time.

The Release

Now it’s March 2008, and Super Smash Bros Brawl has just been released. The ride home from GameStop felt like the longest car ride in my entire life. At long last, the game was finally in my grasp.

As I walked in my house and began to remove the game from its case, my hands began to shake. It felt like a huge mountain was thrown off my back. The wait was over--I could finally play what ended up becoming my favorite video game of all time. Now that you know my history with the franchise, I can finally explain why I love this game so much.

Character Roster

 

Easily the greatest part of every single Super Smash Bros game is the luscious character roster. Compared to Melee’s 26 characters, Brawl was upgraded with 13 new characters to make it a stacked 39 characters.

The roster is easily the best in the series. Characters were more balanced, some were upgraded, and some were sadly downgraded (Sheik). The new characters were also really good choices. Snake is very versatile with an unorthodox style, Sonic the Hedgehog is all about speed and chaining together combos, and Diddy Kong (who is easily the best character in the game) always keeps you guessing--it’s so hard to get close to him because of his bananas.

My favorite new addition to the game though, was Pikmin & Olimar. I felt that they deserved it because Pikmin is one of Nintendo’s biggest new franchises, and they deserved to be showcased. I missed characters like Roy and Mewtwo from Melee, but I like Ike and Lucario better, honestly. With how much I adore Super Smash Bros Brawl’s roster, I’m just hoping Smash Bros 4’s roster surpasses it. There is a good chance because they already announced Mega Man and Little Mac.

Soundtrack

A masterpiece displayed in its greatest form. Everything, and I repeat, everything about this soundtrack screams perfection at its finest. Once you hear the opening music from when you first turn on the game, you’re left in awe.

The theme is beautifully orchestrated and from that moment on you knew you were in for something special. All of some of the most legendary tracks from past video games from Nintendo, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Metal Gear Solid are remixed to perfection.

Songs like Stickerbrush Symphony from Donkey Kong Country 2 almost sound better than the original.  It’s a soundtrack that makes it modern and beautiful. I can listen to this soundtrack forever. I’m listening to it right now as I type. It gives you excitement, wonder, suspense, and inspiration all in one.

This soundtrack is what music is supposedto be. Sound that gives you a feeling of love for something, and that love is this game.

Gameplay

The best part of the game next to the soundtrack is the gameplay. The reason Super Smash Bros has always been special to me is because I have always adored its gameplay.

Around the time the first one in the franchise was released, gamers had never seen something like Smash Bros before. There was no energy or health bar--it was just fight until you could knock your opponent off the screen. There was so much strategy to the game, with so many ways you could attack your opponent. Hitting them with a special move, a regular physical attack, or maybe even an item. Endless possibilities; that’s what made Smash Bros great.

In Brawl they added some wealthy additions to the gameplay. The Final Smash was the greatest one. It was an item that gave whatever character that got it their own super attack. Mario would shoot fireballs across the screen, Ness and Lucas would cause comets to rain down, and Samus would shoot a giant charge beam.

Stages also became more gimmicky, with more interesting things, and added more reasons to choose them. Stages were now more unique; they had more personality and I loved that. The speed of the game was also slowed down. I know a ton of people complain because Melee was faster, but it makes sense for Brawl to be more floaty and slower.

Nintendo wanted the game to be all about playing four-player with your friends and family. Melee was great, but it was so fast paced and heavy; it was better to play it with only two people instead of four. Brawl brought encouraged everyone to play together and that’s what you’re supposed to get from a Smash Bros game.

Conclusion

Every gamer has that one game that has a special place in their heart. No matter what it is, just remember it’s special to you. It may have changed your life, or just given you that sense of joy, love, and adventure that you’ve always wanted.

I shared the game that changed my life and its name is Super Smash Bros Brawl. Here's to hoping that Super Smash Bros 4 gives me a greater feeling than Brawl when it gets released this year.

]]>
2013 Mod of the Year Picks https://www.gameskinny.com/3b2vi/2013-mod-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/3b2vi/2013-mod-of-the-year-picks Tue, 07 Jan 2014 20:31:08 -0500 Ryan Kerns

What is so great about pumpkin spice? Over the last two years it seems as soon as the weather gets chilly, that stuff finds its way into practically every warm beverage and baked goods. As I sat down to scribble out a game of the year list, I found myself thinking it over with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee. So screw the coffee, I've decided to talk about the pumpkin spice... here are my favorite mods from 2013. 

So what merits a good mod? I look at mods in really two main categories: cosmetic and gameplay. Either way, a good mod should add something unexpected; something that the developers themselves had not considered or couldn't make due to copyright restrictions. This will be the criteria by which I judge my top five mods of 2013.

Falskaar 

Without a doubt, Skyrim has one of the most active and creative modding communities ever. I could have done this entire list on that game easily, so whittling things down to just one Skyrim mod was quite a task. Falskaar stands out from the crowd on two points: the amount of production value put into it, and the story of how it was created. While we've seen cool new additions like airships and trains, the scope of this mod stands above the rest.

  • An entirely new land independent of Tamriel, roughly the size of 2-3 Skyrim holds.
  • 20-30+ hours of gameplay.
  • 26 quests, including a 9-quest long main story, and 17 side quests (along with some unmarked content)!
  • New items including new books, recipes, weapons and armors (a mix of brand new, and retextured).
  • Two new spells and a new shout.
  • A bard with several unique new songs.
  • A soundtrack containing 14 brand new tracks composed by Adamm Khuevrr just for Falskaar, adding more than 40 minutes of new music!
  • A fully voiced experience, featuring almost 30 semi-professional and professional voice actors and actresses. 

Oh, and did I mention the creator of this mod was only 19 years old? Alexander Velicky made this mod in hopes of catching Bethesda's attention and possibly landing a job. The quality speaks for itself, and while Bethesda did not hire Velicky... Bungie did. He is living proof that with hard work and talent, going from modder to professional can be in anyone's Destiny.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon 

Okay, I know what you're saying-- “but Ryan, that's not a mod." You would be right in saying that, but this is my list, so you can piss off. Blood Dragon is what I see as an internally sanctioned mod by Ubisoft. Rather than just tacking on an extra chunk of hours to the existing Far Cry 3 campaign, they gave the game a full mod treatment. 

Mods are almost always passion projects, and that definitely comes across in Blood Dragon. As you can see by the portrait of Dean Evans, the creative director of the game, he has quite a bit of love for the 80's action movie genre. He even plucked the main character right out of The Terminator and Aliens, by getting Michael Biehn to serve as both the voice and basis for Sergeant Rex Power Colt. The parody of 80's video games, and just video games in general, is also incredibly hilarious and on point.

If I were to pick a GOTY, this would be one of my top contenders. Everything about the game is absurd, and it is absurdly fun running on the solid foundation already built by Far Cry 3. I sure hope Ubisoft gives Dean Evans a chance at building a full original title in the future.

I had considered giving this spot to The Stanley Parable, which also had a retail release that would not be classified as a mod. The Stanley Parable did start as a Half-Life 2 mod, however, and is definitely a must play title next to Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

Duke Nuken Forever 

No, I'm not referring to the 2011 train wreck of a game. I actually have fond memories of the original Duke Nukem 3D and I think that might have even been my first experience with a game mod (I'm lying, it was actually Nude Raider). The original Duke Nukem 3D had a mod based on the anime Bubblegum Crisis, and while being pretty crude compared to today's mods, I remember it totally blowing my mind. 

The troubled 15 year development cycle of Duke Nukem Forever is one I'd rather not elaborate on too much... let's just agree the game really sucked. Duke Nukem Forever, the Duke Nukem 3D mod, is a fan rendition of how the game was originally intended over a decade ago. The mod is so much better than the retail game, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. 

Gearbox is a pretty well-respected studio with a lot of resources, and some guy builds a superior version of their game on a 15-year-old game engine. Much like how Blood Dragon plays on 80's clichés, the makers of the Duke Nukem Forever mod fully understand that Duke Nukem is just a play on 90's clichés.

Gearbox forgot that Duken Nukem is a joke character, not some well-respected video game icon. Since they are without a doubt developing another Duke Nukem title, I hope they take a good hard look at this mod to see how to properly kick ass and chew bubblegum.

Project M 3.0 

Super Smash Bros Melee has an incredibly close, competitive community with a lot of exceptionally talented players. Super Smash Bros Brawl has however been largely shunned by that exact same community. To fully appreciate the competitive aspect of Melee, I suggest watching this amazing 9 part documentary series. If you don't have a couple of hours to spare, I'll just summarize. 

Super Smash Bros Melee was never designed as a serious fighting game; the series has always been designed as a fun party game. Through an accidental discovery (that the second analog stick could cancel out certain animations), gamers uncovered a high level play style. While I play more traditional fighting games, I have an incredible amount of respect for the Melee community and the skill it takes to play the game like that. They even raised close to $95,000 for breast cancer research to get the game featured on stage at last year's EVO tournament. 

So why hasn't Brawl seen this kind of love? To put things nicely, the game is slow and clunky. Being the passionate fans that they are, some devoted Melee fans have spent years modifying the game. The latest release of Project M is nothing short of miraculous. 

The game is not only faster, with new moves and mechanics, it also features new characters and stages. It is safe to say that Project M is a total overhaul of Super Smash Bros Brawl from the perspective of competitive Melee players. Even for casual players that just missed Roy and Mewtwo or wanted to see some cool alt costumes, this mod can be enjoyed by everyone. 

So with Super Smash Bros 4 right around the corner, the worries of which characters are going to get cut and if the gameplay will have any depth don't seem quite as troubling. Based off of what Sakurai has said so far, Smash 4 isn't taking tournament play into consideration at all.

I mean, after all, a community that spent years modding the last game and raised nearly $100,000 for charity, wouldn't go out and buy up the floundering WiiU console in record numbers to play a game they clearly love so much.

Street Fighter x Tekken 

Street Fighter IV has had a pretty healthy modding life, most recently adding in the balance changes from the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter IV as a preview of things to come. Street Fighter x Tekken runs on the same engine, so not only was it easy to uncover the on disc DLC in record time, it was also pretty far ahead of the curve for mods. 

The mods are of the cosmetic variety, but rather than just changing textures, entire character models can be swapped out. SFxT didn't really find an audience in the fighting game community, so it is the perfect game to just pimp out and play for fun. 

I didn't pick a single mod because there are just too many great ones to choose from. There are the obvious mods that add in known Tekken/Street Fighter costumes and characters, but the real fun comes from outside games. Nintendo characters, Dead or Alive, Mortal Kombat, Marvel, DC, Metal Gear, Mass Effect, Bioshock... they're all fair game and very well represented by mods. 

It really feels in the spirit of M.U.G.E.N., which was an open source 2D fighting game engine released back in 1999. Despite not having any official support from the engine creators for many years, the fans kept it going until practically any fighting game character you can imagine was converted. I was even surprised to see the character I made with Andre Lopez many years ago is still alive and kicking ass out there in MUGEN land. A new MUGEN-esque 3D fighting engine called Project EF-12 was just released for free a little over a month ago, many hope it will be the next evolution for creating your own fighting games. 

Project M and the SFIV/SFxT mods have shown there are quite a few passionate and skilled fans out there with the skills for 3D graphics. At the very least we are no longer at the mercy of developers who are leashed by big publishers--the pumpkin spice is in our hands now.

The Mod of Year is an unscientific list fueled by pumpkin spice and slow news days. Links to each mod are available below.

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"Slam Dunks" in eSports - Moves That Change The Game and Patches https://www.gameskinny.com/wwo88/slam-dunks-in-esports-moves-that-change-the-game-and-patches https://www.gameskinny.com/wwo88/slam-dunks-in-esports-moves-that-change-the-game-and-patches Tue, 03 Dec 2013 14:36:55 -0500 LeviHaag

During the 1960’s, some basketball officials started to worry about the effect that “dunk shots” were having on the game. Taller players like Lew Alcindor (you might know him as Kareem Abdul-Jabaar) were able to dominate the game--and the entire flow changed. Defenders had to watch for traditional shots, as well as try to hold back certain players from an almost guaranteed point. For a few years, the NCAA even banned slam dunks, but eventually they allowed them again.

So what does this have to do with video games? Let me explain!

Everyday the eSports scene grows bigger and bigger. League of Legends and Dota 2 championships regularly see hundreds of thousands of viewers, and even smaller games are seeing viewer growth on channels like Twitch and YouTube. Professionally played video games are getting big, and it’s an exciting time. But as the scene grows, and more people watch, the stakes get bigger... but there is still something missing. Actually, I take that back, it's not missing. It keeps getting patched out. 

Patching games is still a relatively new thing, and especially with more developers trying to stick to tighter release dates and bigger expectations, I think we can expect to see them for a long time to come. Patches are also instituted when there are exploits and problems that need to be fixed.

But when it comes to competitive games like League of Legends, DotA 2, or Starcraft 2, patches don’t always bring a sigh of relief. Games can change dramatically from patch to patch. League of Legends even instituted seasons where the entire “meta” of the game is altered. 

These patches are usually meant to improve the gameplay and make the game more enjoyable, but sometimes they remove skills or change  the game to remove “slam dunks”.

What developers seem to forget is that sometimes these are the most fun parts of a game. Removing them may seem better for competitive gaming, but at least for myself, it takes away some of the sparkle. Just like slam dunking in basketball, the move itself may not be the hardest to pull off, but it does take some skill, and just because the developer of the game didn’t think players would do something like that when they made the game doesn’t mean it shouldn't be allowed. It also can end up being some of the most fun things to watch. 

During the summer, Valve hosted “The International” for DotA 2. The winners were going to take home 1.4 million dollars, and there was another million up for the other teams in the competition to take home.

The games were electric, and with such high stakes the teams were all playing at their best. Natus Vincere, or NaVi for short, are no stranger to The International, they won the first Invitational, and placed second the year after that. So it was no surprise when they were in the upper bracket, competing for a place in the finals. I was watching NaVi getting pushed into their base, trying to come out of a 4 point deficit, and out of nowhere Dendi, a player on Navi, used a combo that resulted in the entire game turning around. I could explain what happened, but just watch!

 

For those of you who don’t play DotA 2, the character Pudge has a skill where he can hook another character and pull them to where he is standing. Another character, Chen, has a skill where he can teleport any teammate back into their base. The final part of the equation is that the base will attack any enemy who attempts to get into the spawn point.

The combo is incredibly difficult to pull off, relying on two players to time out their moves perfectly, but as you can see, it works quite well. NaVi went on to get second place in the tournament, and shortly after the tournament Valve patched the game so that any Pudge hooks would only bring the hooked character to where Pudge was standing when he threw it, not where he was standing. 

Another great example of Slam dunks in video games is L canceling in Super Smash Brothers and in Super Smash Brothers Melee. Anyone who has played the games can tell you that sometimes, all it takes is a millisecond to win or lose a game, and that hitting your opponent first can come down to just a matter of frames. Using L canceling allows a player to recover from an aerial move faster, allowing the character to start moving again sooner than if they had just landed normally.

In tournament games, where the players are all moving at breakneck speeds, this can make a huge difference. Ultimately, the L cancel was removed from the game with Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and because of it and a few other changes, some players still prefer to play Melee in tournaments.

The last example is perhaps the one people are most familiar with. Heck, it even has its own Google game. Zerg Rushing is a term used to describe a tactic in Starcraft where a player will try to win the game quickly by building up an army of small, cheap “zerglings,” and then rush the enemy, hopefully catching them unprepared and winning the game.

It was extremely effective in the original Starcraft, and although it was nerfed in Starcraft 2, it can still be used with some success. It changed the way the game was played dramatically. Players had to play defensively if they were playing against Zerg players, but still needed to prepare an army of their own earlier than they would otherwise need to.

The Zerg players also needed to change the way they played, hedging all their bets on a rush would leave them nearly at zero if it failed, so they would need to choose between going all in, or risk loosing by holding too much back. It changed the way Starcraft was played, and is still used in memes regularly. But had it been patched early on, may never have taken off the way it did.

Ultimately, I’m not a developer, I’m not a professional gamer, but I do love games. Watching eSports is an enjoyable pastime for me, and I love watching “slam dunks”. Sure, sometimes they can change the game, and make it harder for less skilled players, but that’s what makes everyone better. I hope that more developers leave it up to their players to decide what should and should not be left in their games, because sometimes the cheapest points are the most fun to watch. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Veteran Marth Returns to Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS https://www.gameskinny.com/gwb9a/veteran-marth-returns-to-super-smash-bros-wii-u-and-3ds https://www.gameskinny.com/gwb9a/veteran-marth-returns-to-super-smash-bros-wii-u-and-3ds Thu, 07 Nov 2013 13:44:14 -0500 Alexa Serrano

Back in June, Super Smash Bros. Director Masahiro Sakurai explained how difficult it is having to choose which characters stay, are removed and are added. Today, Nintendo finally confirmed that Fire Emblem's Marth will be joining Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS. This makes Marth the 18th confirmed character on SSB. 

Marth first appeared on Super Smash Bros. Melee, and later appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Fans anticipated his return, and with Nintendo's confirmation finally here, they are glad and hope to hear more news from Nintendo confirming more characters. 

In Case You Missed It

Below are the 18 characters confirmed to join SSB in 2014. 

  1. Pit
  2. Bowse
  3. Pikachu
  4. Fox
  5. Kirby
  6. Samus
  7. Link
  8. Wii Fit Trainer (newcomer)
  9. Mega Man (newcomer)
  10. Donkey Kong
  11. Villager (newcomer)
  12. Mario
  13. Pikmin and Olimar
  14. Luigi
  15. Peach
  16. Toon Link
  17. Sonic
  18. Marth

Which character(s) are you most excited for, or which character(s) are you anticipating the most? Is Marth a character you were hoping to return? Share your thoughts with us below!

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5 Sequels That Ruined The Series https://www.gameskinny.com/u9i9t/5-sequels-that-ruined-the-series https://www.gameskinny.com/u9i9t/5-sequels-that-ruined-the-series Tue, 17 Sep 2013 21:42:15 -0400 vegna871

A good game is a pretty common thing, but a great game is hard to come by.  Problem is, a great sequel can be even harder to come by, especially when the bar is set high with the first game.  Unfortunately, many times a game comes up with a sequel that is completely terrible and ruins the premise of the whole series.  Here are five sequels that really didn't do their predecessors justice. 

5. Diablo 3

Diablo 3 was one of the most hyped games of 2012. We had all been waiting so long for a sequel to the wonderful Diablo 2, we felt it would never come. When it finally did, the fanfare was enormous, everyone celebrated... Until they started up the game and realized that it ruined everything Diablo 2 stood for.  Diablo 3 was repetitive, had little dungeon variety, and had a poor story; these were all major flaws.

However, it truly messed up when it ruined the loot system that was all of what made Diablo 2 great. Diablo 3 introduced an auction house, where players could trade either in-game or real currency for gear, making farming and looting foes pointless and ruining everyone's favorite part of the series.  The only reason this isn't further down on the list is that Blizzard is dropping the auction house and working on some stuff to make the game better, though it is rather late at this point. The folks at Blizzard do not work quickly.

4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Brawl is a tricky one, because it isn't inherently a bad game.  However, while it's a fun party game, it has several mechanics that make it a poor competitive fighter. This is in stark contrast to its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Melee, which was an excellent (if somewhat poorly balanced) competitive fighting game.  In fact, in many cases, Melee is still preferred in tournaments today over Brawl.

Where Brawl screwed up is in the addition of a tripping mechanic, which causes your character to fall over completely at random.  Taking any aspect of control away from the player is a huge no-no in fighters, especially competitive ones.  Brawl also fudged the balance even worse, creating huge gaps between character tiers and making one character (Meta Knight) who can and will win any matchup in the hands of even a moderately skilled player.

3. Star Wars: the Force Unleashed 2

The original Force Unleashed wasn't exactly an instant classic; it was a flawed but fun action game with a great story set in the Star Wars Universe. It had some nice environments, each level had different foes and challenges, there was an atmosphere in the game and it had plot development.  

The sequel, unfortunately, took all that and said "let's get rid of all of it."

The sequel, unfortunately, took all that and said "let's get rid of all of it."

Force Unleashed 2 did one thing right: it tweaked the gameplay in order to become a much smoother version of the first game.  Unfortunately, it also dropped character development (there is none), environmental variety (you go through three levels, then go through those SAME three levels AGAIN), and story (as far as I can tell, there isn't any real story at all).

Worst of all, the game is a paltry 5 hours long, and that's if you take your time with it. It can be completed with every single Achievement and Trophy in this amount of time if you are quick about it. That amount of gameplay is effectively an insult to anyone who dropped $60 on the game. The only reason this isn't higher on the list is because its predecessor isn't quite a super classic.

2. Resident Evil 5

While Resident Evil 6 was a worse game than 5, the drop in quality between RE5 and RE4 was much more significant. RE4 was one of the best games of its generation; it combined good action and a creepy and terrifying atmosphere with excellent character development to make an instant classic.

Resident Evil 5 decided to take one of those aspects and refine it to its peak, but in doing so it got rid of the other elements entirely. There's almost no character development in RE5 at all, the main characters are stone slabs, and the villain, while very evil, is still a very static character. There is also one single moment in RE5 that is scary, when you're wading through a crocodile infested swamp trying not to get eaten.  The rest of the game might as well be a Michael Bay film, it's all meathead action and explosions. It would have been better as a Duke Nukem game.

1. World of Warcraft

That's right, the former #1 game in the world is also #1 on this list of disappointments. It's also Blizzard's second title on this list.  So how is such a hugely popular game a series ruiner? Simply put, it took the single best fantasy RTS series and smashed it.  

Fantasy RTS games are few and far between nowadays.  We get a lot of MOBAs, which are similar (and are all based on a single Warcraft 3 mod), but they aren't fantasy RTS.  World of Warcraft's huge popularity also ensures we won't be seeing a Warcraft 4 or anything of the like anytime soon.  

Instead, we get WoW spinoffs like Hearthstone, which looks good, but isn't a new fantasy RTS.  I can't say that WoW was a bad game, it defined the entire MMORPG genre. Only a year or two ago did MMORPGs stop ripping off WoW's formula to become more original, because WoW's formula worked so well.  However, while WoW did continue the series and lore, it also basically ensured that we wouldn't be seeing the beloved RTS series again. There's still Starcraft, but it just isn't the same.

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Star Wolf to the Rescue https://www.gameskinny.com/oi8lr/star-wolf-to-the-rescue https://www.gameskinny.com/oi8lr/star-wolf-to-the-rescue Tue, 16 Jul 2013 23:00:22 -0400 Dallas Ward

Star Fox 64 was one of my favorite games growing up. It had great feel and the characters were unforgettable. I even liked Slippy to some degree, no matter how many times he would get himself into trouble, always relying on me to bail him out.

But no matter how awesome and cool the Star Fox team was, Wolf O’Donnell, leader of the Star Wolf mercenary team, was always my favorite. Every time Wolf would rocket on to the scene, talking about how he "can’t let me do that", I wanted to play as him instead. I still feel that way when I play a Star Fox game today. So why would Wolf make a great hero instead of a villan?  

Dripping in personality

Wolf is a cunning, cocky mercenary offering his skills to the highest bidder. On the surface, he may seem like just another villain, but I think he would fit nicely as an anti-hero.

He is not without his honor, as shown when, sometime between Star Fox 64 and Star Fox: Assault, he kicked Pigma Dengar out of Star Wolf for being untrustworthy and greedy.

I have no idea where he would get that impression

He is always striving to be better, wanting to prove himself by defeating Fox. But he is not willing to just shoot Fox while he is on the ground. Wolf wants a fair fight to prove he really is the best in the galaxy.

Wolf's personality and quirks are useful for telling a compelling story. He’s not just your token good guy. He cares about his teammates, though he does not show it overtly. He is a ruthless mercenary, but I would follow him on a space adventure any day.

Skills to pay the bills

Wolf is cocky, but he can definitely back it up. His piloting skills rival Fox’s, an impressive feat considering the Wolfen, his space fighter, is technically inferior to the more advanced Arwings.

  http://images.wikia.com/starfox/images/e/e0/Wolfen.jpg

Style beats functionality any day

That just emphasizes Wolf’s unwavering determination and resourcefulness. Wolf is simply the best there is at what he does. Screaming into a dogfight in the Wolfen is a dream that I need to see realized. Wolf has all the skills required to be the hero that the Lilat system needs, provided they have the credits to pay for it.

Style is eternal

Take a note from Dante of Devil May Cry: it’s not just about saving the world. It’s about looking good while you do it. Wolf’s style has evolved from a nondescript brown jacket and eye patch to an outfit that leaves an impression. Wolf dresses to kill in a black flight suit, laser-proof vest, metal gauntlets, combat boots that are just itching to kick some ass, and a sweet mechanical eyepiece over his left eye (or lack thereof).

There’s just something about a badass character design that just immediately grabs me, and Wolf’s most recent designs have only made me want to play a Wolf-centric game all the more.

Need I say more?

Wolf is just cool. He’s one of my favorite characters, villain or otherwise. Wolf would have made a great protagonist in the Star Fox games. I still keep the hope alive that he will one day show up in a game of his own (I’m looking at you, Nintendo).

Until then, I’ll keep choosing Wolf in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and dreaming of better days.

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