Super Smash Bros. for 3DS Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Super Smash Bros. for 3DS 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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5 Great Fighting Games For People Who Are Bad At Fighting Games https://www.gameskinny.com/pjpcx/5-great-fighting-games-for-people-who-are-bad-at-fighting-games https://www.gameskinny.com/pjpcx/5-great-fighting-games-for-people-who-are-bad-at-fighting-games Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:58:22 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

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That wraps up this list of fighting games that are perfect for beginners who are trying to learn. If there were any other titles you felt should have been featured, or if you've got an opinion on the games we've included here, leave a comment below! There's always more room for discussion on beginner-friendly fisticuffs. 

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Happy grappling!

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Skullgirls 2nd Encore

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Xbox One, PS4, PC, iOS, Android, etc.
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I'll try to keep this one simple. In my humble opinion, Skullgirls 2nd Encore is, simply put, the absolute best game to start with if you really want to get into fighting games. This female-dominated, 2D, hand-drawn, 1-on-1 fighter stands tall among the fighting game classics that it imitates (such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes and Street fighter III: 3rd Strike)

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Skullgirls 2nd Encore isn't a sequel, but it rather the completed vision of the original Skullgirls with loads of updates and bonuses. It features a wonderfully balanced roster of characters and bonus content that is perfectly made for a first-time fighting game player. The game uses the intricate stick-and-button combos that most fighting game enthusiasts should be very familiar with by now. But it also features an extremely extensive set of step-by-step tutorials that are meant to help newbies understand everything from the basics up to spectacular blockbuster special moves.

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The game does a fantastic job of explaining things to you if you go looking for help, and the added training mode (as well as six different difficulty options in most modes) makes for a true fighting game experience that's not just accessible, but very enjoyable even to scrubs (like me). It's fun to play even if you don't know what you're doing -- and if you do know, there's some seriously amazing high-level techniques to pull off, and the game is happy to teach it to you if you're willing to take the time. 

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A lot like DivekickSkullgirls was made by people who not only love fighting games, but also enjoy all video games. The game is bursting at the seams with both visual and audible references to classic games, other fighting games, anime, classic cartoons, internet culture, and tons of other things.

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The alternate costumes are a feast for the avid geek-culture junkie, because you're bound to recognize more than a couple familiar color schemes and outfit designs from your own childhood. This game that manages to have it's own identity while also paying homage to countless others. 

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For that extra cherry on top, it's also got a series of standalone (but still interwoven) plots in its story mode, a jazz-heavy soundtrack that's catchy as hell, and absolutely beautiful hand-drawn artwork for every character and background.

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Skullgirls 2nd Encore is an excellent fighting game that has lots to love. If you really want to get into fighting games and you don't where to start, there simply isn't a better game than this one for getting your feet wet.

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Arms

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Nintendo Switch
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Arms is an odd game. Of all the games on the list, it's one of the closesy to a typical 1-on-1 fighter. But since this is a Nintendo IP, it couldn't make it through development without a smattering of oddness and innovation, and thus we have the long-distance competitive boxing game that is Arms.

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In Arms you play as one of a number of springy-armed, masked combatants. You must maneuver your stretchy arms and use both your unique abilities and the various environments to your advantage so you can outwit your equally elastic opponent.

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Every character handles similar, but they all feel different in their specific mechanics. Each character has an appropriate stage to match them -- each of which also provides extra dimensions of strategy in the way each match plays out.

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Then there's the most variable feature of Arms: the various equippable arms. Every character has three sets of signature arms, all with different attack properties and after-effects that can be swapped into various patterns between their left and right hands to craft a vast array of tactical combos. Add on tons more arms to unlock, and you have a chemistry set of a game to toy around with for hours.

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The learning curve with Arms is kind of steep -- but at the same time, the barrier to entry is fairly low. It's a great example of "easy to learn, hard to master", and pretty much anybody can pick up play it without needing to learn any intricate combos or dealing with limited movement. They just need to know the basic controls, and from there it's up to them.

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Arms is a fun, quirky, and unique take on competitive fighting games that anybody can play. Give it a shot! 

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Nidhogg

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PC, Mac, PS4, PlayStation Vita
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Some people may argue that Nidhogg isn't a typical fighting game, but more of a fencing simulator. But I say that if it's got two characters up against each other, utilizing movement techniques and dodging in conjunction with context-sensitive and input-specific moves, then it's a fighting game. Plus, you could just as easily just call it a sword-fighting game.

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A lot like Divekick, Nidhogg is equal parts mind-games and brute force. You must pass your opponent -- killing them over and over again if necessary -- and make it to the other end of the stage in order to win the right to be eaten by the Nidhogg. 

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You can low thrust, mid thrust, high thrust, throw your sword, jump, duck, roll, and even rip your opponent into gooey shreds with your bare hands if need be. There is only one character in this game, and there is no time limit -- so if two players of equal skill face off, the game can go on foreverAnd there are only three stages to pick from -- but if you want the most even playing field, you'll want to pick the castle. 

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Nidhogg is a great game to pick up and play for a few quick matches and gradually get better at. There aren't many bells and whistles that go with this bicycle, but it's a sturdy bike all it's own (and you can pull off some pretty sweet tricks with it). 

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The sequel, creatively named Nidhogg 2, is also a good time. It added a number of new weapons and environments, though, so it may not be quite as accessible to beginners. Both games are worth your time -- but if you want the purest and most simple experience of the two, then pick up your rapier and take a stab at the first Nidhogg.

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Divekick

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PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One
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Divekick is both a great fighting game and a great comedy game. It's about as simple as a fighting game can get without being mindless (or being Evil Zone). There are no combos, no complex six-step inputs, and not even a movement stick. You have two buttons in total, and all you can do is dive and kick -- just like the title implies.

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This unique fighter aims to keep the depth of a conventional 1-on-1 fighting game, while boiling down the gameplay to its purest essence -- encouraging players to rely more heavily on mind-games, spacing, and predicting their opponent's moves. Divekick manages to make the meta aspects of fighting games very easy to understand, and its beginner-friendly gameplay has just enough depth to be enjoyable at a higher level of play.

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Despite its basic mechanics, Divekick features a large cast of characters that all play differently from each other -- with special moves that you'll need to become familiar with. There isn't a ton of content to explore, but odds are you'll enjoy the base game enough to not let that bother you. Just focus on getting better at dancing back and forth and psyching people out.

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In story, themes, and mechanics, Divekick is a love letter to the inner fighting game community. It's loaded with inside jokes, direct parodies and references, and delightful (if baffling) amounts of fighting game lingo. It's a game for people who truly love fighting games, but it's also very accessible to newcomers.

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Super Smash Bros.

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Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
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Smash is like a second language. Whether you're breaking it out at a sleepover, entertaining your cousins young and old at a family reunion, or part of Smash tournament on your college campus, practically anyone anywhere who loves video games is down to play some Super Smash Bros.

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While every game in this series is great, and most of them would be decent places to start if you wanted to get better at fighting games, I think that the most recent installment released for Wii U and 3DS is the best entry for beginners and newcomers. 

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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS is the most recent installment in the series, so it's likely the one most people are playing it at the moment (next to Melee, anyway). It also has the most fluid controls, and is the easiest game in the series to pick up and play. Because there are so many characters that behave so differently, the average person is bound to find at least one out of the nearly fifty fighters that suits their preferred play-style.

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Last but not least, this game is just fantastic. It's got an enormous amount of content and variables that make it fun and easy to play for hours (if not days) at a time. While very complex -- with a tier-chart that stretches as high as the sky -- Super Smash Bros. is fun to learn and get better at because it's so satisfying to play. 

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The only catch to Smash being on this list is that, as good as it is, it's also the least like a normal fighting game of any title on this list. Smash definitely has an enormous and active fan-base, and playing it enough will teach you more about fighting games -- but it's also in a league if its own, like all games in the series.

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Choose your controller, choose your fighter, and settle it in Smash.

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Fighting games are one of the most intriguing genres that gaming hasto offer. They boil down the action game appeal of engaging combat into a smaller-scale scuffle that -- when it's at its best -- is based just as much in skill and strength as it is in tactics and complex mind-games.

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While this is one of the qualities that makes fighting games awesome, it also means that the specific skill-set required to play most of them is so different from other games that it makes them inaccessible to lots of people -- and that's a shame.

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Luckily, there are some fighters out there for those who are looking to get into the genre, but can't seem to "get good". They're perfect jumping-off points if you want to hone your fighting game prowess beyond mere button-mashing. 

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Five fighting games fit this bill perfectly, and we've collected them here. So without further ado, it's time to select your fighter!

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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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4 Tips to Help Improve in Smash 4 for Wii U and 3DS https://www.gameskinny.com/chy8w/4-tips-to-help-improve-in-smash-4-for-wii-u-and-3ds https://www.gameskinny.com/chy8w/4-tips-to-help-improve-in-smash-4-for-wii-u-and-3ds Tue, 21 Jun 2016 05:13:17 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

With Evo 2016 just around the corner, many fighting game fans are excited for the event. Participants in tournaments have been training to crown themselves champion. Super Smash Bros. is one of the most anticipated games of the convention, and the most recent installment has the largest participant count ever this year. So, if you want to improve your skills for Evo or just to get better, here’s a few tips to help you improve your Smash 4 game.

  OR 

Duck Hunt using one of                  Fox performing his Neutral 
his projectiles                                                 Attack

Figure out your playstyle

Do like getting in your opponent’s face to deal massive damage? Or do you prefer playing from a distance, dealing damage with projectiles? Figuring out your playstyle is a key part of improving -- because once you learn how you like to play, you can figure out which character can benefit from your playstyle.

 
Pick a Main

For those who don’t know, a Main is, well, the main character you play in Smash. With 58 characters to choose from, you have many choices when it comes to picking a Main. Now that you have figured out your playstyle, you can pick a character that fits your playstyle.

If you prefer a rush down type of playstyle, characters you can consider include Captain Falcon, Fox, or Roy. If you like using projectiles or playing from a distance, characters you can consider include Duck Hunt, Olimar, or R.O.B. If you find yourself liking a mix of both playstyles, you can consider characters like Link, Sonic, or Marth.

 

Note: The first move in each of these sections are the default moves. The others are custom moves, which have been banned from competitive play. 

Know Your Main’s Move Set

Now that you’ve found the perfect character, you need to learn the character inside and out. Learn their special moves, tilts, aerial moves, smash attacks, and grabs.

For example, Roy’s Neutral B has the power to K.O your opponent and is practically lagless. While it is a good move, it’s pretty predictable -- so use it only when the situation allows it. Roy’s aerial moves, specifically his neutral air, provide a lot of coverage to deal damage and are great combo starters.

These are the type of things you will want to know for your character because it will determine whether you win or lose a match.

 

Practice. Practice. Practice.

I cannot stress this enough. As with all activities, practice makes perfect. You now know your character inside and out and the time has come to test your skills. Whether it’s against CPUs, friends, or players online, play against others to practice your new moves. This will help you learn the best matchups, worst matchups, and even matchups against your character.

 

I hope you found these tips helpful. Good luck finding your Main and in your matches!

[Image sources: Header Image, Duck Hunt Wild Gunman, Fox Up Close and Personal, Character Selection Screen, Mario's Moveset, Captain Falcon Meme from this video,  Gaming Icons Battle]

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Goku totally should have been in the newest Super Smash Bros. https://www.gameskinny.com/1t316/goku-totally-should-have-been-in-the-newest-super-smash-bros https://www.gameskinny.com/1t316/goku-totally-should-have-been-in-the-newest-super-smash-bros Sat, 23 Apr 2016 10:15:39 -0400 Eric Levy

As we all know, Goku was, unfortunately, denied a seat in the Super Smash Bros. roster during the character poll that took place last year.  Thankfully, modders have once again saved the day:

The video above, courtesy of Super Mega Buster 123 Win64 Gigabyte, showcases the mod which replaces Ryu's model with Goku textures and audio clips.  While the mod appears to still be in the beta stage, it's pretty awesome to see what these modders have done come to life.  Huge props to KevintheH, creator of this -- and many other -- Smash Bros. mods.

Seeing this mod brought back the excitement I felt when I first imagined a world where Goku could fight among the current Smash Bros. roster.  Just picture Goku, hovering as he moves and delivering weak, but lightning fast punches and kicks with each hit of the A button, similar to Little Mac.  His standard move would be, of course, the Kamehameha, which you could charge by holding down the B button.  His side + B move could be some kind of devastating barrage of physical attacks, followed by a ki blast, or it could be his Dragon Fist attack.  His recovery move (up + B) would be instant transmission, and if he were to appear near an enemy, he would deliver some damage somehow.  Maybe with a ki powered uppercut or energy blast?

The big thing that would make Goku different than any character is the ki meter he would have.  Dragonball fans know that characters capable of using energy attacks tend to charge their ki levels beforehand.  That would be Goku’s down + B move.

Charging would go on for however long you hold the button down for and the amount of ki needed per attack would vary -- let's say five Kamehamehas with a full ki meter.   As a fun extra, if you pull off the down + B attack with a full ki meter, Goku could turn into a Super Saiyan. This would increase speed and attack power and allow the player use as many energy attacks as he/she would want, similar to Dragonball Xenoverse. All the while, his ki meter would be slowly depleting.  Once it fully empties, you would transform back to normal.

Now, some could argue the Super Saiyan move could be his final smash, but that would be too similar to Sonic’s final smash, in my opinion.  I think his final smash should be the Spirit Bomb he uses to defeat Kid Buu (for those who do not watch the show, a VERY VERY BIG AND STRONG ENERGY BALL FROM THE SKY).

Imagine getting hit by that -- instant K.O.  Of course, all of this only exists in the same place where I'm an Avenger and my sidekick is a talking dog with psychic powers:  my lovely imagination. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to call Nintendo and make this dream a reality...or maybe I'll just play more Ratchet & Clank. That does seem a bit easier.

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Beefy Smash Doods' tutorial on how to beat Bayonetta is a necessity for competitive gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/5k8bk/beefy-smash-doods-tutorial-on-how-to-beat-bayonetta-is-a-necessity-for-competitive-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/5k8bk/beefy-smash-doods-tutorial-on-how-to-beat-bayonetta-is-a-necessity-for-competitive-gamers Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:47:29 -0400 David Fisher

Bayonetta has been getting quite a bad reputation in the Smash Bros. community due to her wide range of true combos, seemingly overpowered "Witch Time" counter, and various other grievances. This has actually resulted in some major competitive Smash Bros. tournaments considering banning the Umber Witch from their tourneys.

Thankfully, YouTube channel Beefy Smash Doods has released a new tutorial on the weaknesses Bayonetta has in order to level the playing field. Beefy Smash Doods is already known for their surplus of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS coverage ranging from technique demonstration videos, highlight reels, and combo compilations. Every tutorial has on-screen controller explanations, and this video is no different.

Hopefully the anti-Bayonetta tutorial will help the Spanish competitive scene - as well as future Smash Bros. tournaments - realize that maybe the character isn't as overpowered as she seems. That said, the development team that started balancing characters starting with Diddy Kong last year hasn't done anything yet. Whether this is due to the game being "complete" or their own beliefs that the character is balanced remains to be seen.

What do you think about this tutorial? Do you think it's enough to get Bayonetta to stay on the playable roster in competitive play? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Bayonetta and Corrin are ready to Smash on February 3rd! https://www.gameskinny.com/ufzcv/bayonetta-and-corrin-are-ready-to-smash-on-february-3rd https://www.gameskinny.com/ufzcv/bayonetta-and-corrin-are-ready-to-smash-on-february-3rd Sun, 31 Jan 2016 07:38:48 -0500 David Fisher

Smash Bros. fans rejoice! Corrin and Bayonetta are joining the Super Smash Bros. roster on February 3rd in North America (February 4th in other regions). Considering the nature of the Super Smash Bros. online environment, it should be noted that it is likely that both characters will be joining later in the day.

Bayonetta and Corrin were originally announced for Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U/3DS in December during the Smash Bros. Direct hosted by series director Masahiro Sakurai. While initial reactions were mixed at best, fans of the Super Smash Bros. series are now excited to see the inclusion of these two in the game.

Bayonetta and Corrin offer players new gameplay styles: Bayonetta with her mix of long-ranged and short-ranged combo attacks, and Corrin with grappling medium-range attacks

Bayonetta will cost players $5.99 USD, while Corrin will cost $4.99 USD. Various other bits of content will also be released on the same day, including the several Mii costumes introduced during the Smash Bros. Direct. These costumes include: Bionic Armor, Takamaru from The Mysterious Murasame Castle, Ashley from WarioWare, Gil from The Tower of Druaga, and Tails and Knuckles from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. These can be purchased individually, or as a package for $4.50.

This marks the last in a long line of DLC for Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U/3DS. With this out of the way, it appears that this is the end for the game unless the rumors of the NX Super Smash Bros. title are true.

 Which characters did you enjoy most in Super Smash Bros. 4? Are you looking forward to Corrin or Bayonetta in Smash Bros.? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Super Smash Bros. presentation: Bayonetta coming soon and more info on Cloud https://www.gameskinny.com/zzfns/super-smash-bros-presentation-bayonetta-coming-soon-and-more-info-on-cloud https://www.gameskinny.com/zzfns/super-smash-bros-presentation-bayonetta-coming-soon-and-more-info-on-cloud Wed, 16 Dec 2015 03:35:58 -0500 Luriks

Here is it folks -- the last presentation video dedicated to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, hosted by Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the series and director of Sora Ltd. Who would have thought the winner of the ballot would be Platinum Games' Bayonetta? According to Mr. Sakurai, she was the number one choice in Europe and among the top 5 in North America. 

Announced during the presentation, the lovely lady from the Bayonetta games will join the Smash Bros. roster alongside Corrin from Fire Emblem: Fates in February, while Cloud will be available sooner.

When purchased at £5.39/$5.99, Bayonetta will come with new trophies that will be unlocked automatically and a new stage: The Umbra Clock Tower Stage. 

More information was given regarding Cloud and the Midgard stage as well. On that stage, players will be able to summon iconic Final Fantasy beasts. Cloud and Midgard will be available at the price of £5.39/$5.99.

Photo: SmashWiki

Sakurai also mentioned that all three upcoming characters will be getting amiibos sometime in the future.

Thank you for you hard work Mr. Sakurai!

Here is the full presentation for those who missed it:

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Final Super Smash Bros. Wii U presentation https://www.gameskinny.com/bejd0/final-super-smash-bros-wii-u-presentation https://www.gameskinny.com/bejd0/final-super-smash-bros-wii-u-presentation Mon, 14 Dec 2015 16:44:19 -0500 Luriks

The time has come. The final video presentation for the beloved game Super Smash Bros. Wii U will be held the 15th of December. 

The question many of us have had ever since Cloud was announced as a DLC character back in November is: what are the results of the character ballot the players participated in? Cloud could very well be the winning character, but I believe that they did not mention the ballot on purpose. The developer knows that the players are waiting for the results that would be revealed Tuesday. Perhaps Cloud is indeed the ballot winner and Nintendo just enjoys playing with our emotions.

Photo : Nintendo UK

The Twitter post announcing the presentation (Nintendo UK) mentioned that Mr. Sakurai will give details about Cloud and more. Now it is very likely that Mr. Sakurai will be announcing future characters, especially if Cloud is not the winner of the Smash ballot. Here is a non-exhaustive list of possible upcoming DLC characters:

  • Inkling : Nintendo would be using the main character of its latest franchise that has managed to please many, many players.
  • Wolf: Many players have been wanting Wolf to come back from the dead. For some reason, I think this is very unlikely, unless Nintendo wants to use this opportunity to advertise the upcoming Star Fox Zero game.
  • Snake: Putting Kojima's character Snake back into the game would probably create some unnecessary friction between Nintendo and Konami. For more on this, please read this article.
  • Banjo and Kazooie: Having those two on screen again would be great. Even Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox would love it. Have a look at his tweet from April:

@PedroDarkinson I think it would be cool if Banjo was in the next SSB DLC. We've worked with Nintendo on Rare IP before, no issues.

 

The presentation is very likely to include new stages. If an Inkling character is announced, then it would make sense for a Splatoon stage to show up. Nintendo hit the jackpot with Splatoon, and it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to push the marketing for the game a bit more with an appearance in Super Smash Bros.

There are a lot of rumors circulating the Internet at the moment with wild speculations about the presentation. As crazy as some can be, I don't see why any character wouldn't have a chance to make it into the game, since freaking Cloud Strife made it in. It could be regarded as a publicity stunt, with the announcement of Final Fantasy VII remake, but the players are overjoyed nonetheless.

In any case, all will be revealed soon. 

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Super Smash Bros. final video presentation coming on December 15th https://www.gameskinny.com/5q73y/super-smash-bros-final-video-presentation-coming-on-december-15th https://www.gameskinny.com/5q73y/super-smash-bros-final-video-presentation-coming-on-december-15th Wed, 09 Dec 2015 05:32:15 -0500 David Fisher

Nintendo of America has just announced over Twitter that on December 15th, at 2 p.m. PT, that Masahiro Sakurai will be hosting the final Smash Direct video. According to the post, this will be the final video presentation dedicated to Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and the direct will discuss Cloud and more information on the foreseeable future of Super Smash Bros.

While it is uncertain which other announcements will be made, it is widely theorized that Cloud will not be the only newcomer to be released in the coming days. Fans have speculated the return of Brawl and Melee veterans such as: Wolf, Snake, Pichu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Ice Climbers, and even Young Link.

Others are convinced that it will be an entirely new character, with the most mentioned characters being King K. Rool, the Inkling Boy or Girl, and Shovel Knight.

This announcement comes as both a pleasant surprise and a bit of a shock for the Super Smash Bros. community. Most followers on Twitter are having a hard time digesting the fact that this will be the final - as in never again will there be -  another announcement for Super Smash Bros., at least for this generation of the game. Instead, most of them are reassuring each other that there may be future announcements in Nintendo Directs instead of Smash Directs; however, the likelihood of this happening is slim to none as Nintendo seems pretty straightforward this time around about this being the last Super Smash Bros. video.

What characters are you expecting to see in the final Smash Direct? What new stages will be announced? Will there be hints as to a future Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo NX? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

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All Nintendo Direct (11/12) annoucements https://www.gameskinny.com/q22et/all-nintendo-direct-1112-annoucements https://www.gameskinny.com/q22et/all-nintendo-direct-1112-annoucements Sat, 14 Nov 2015 13:53:10 -0500 Lad Johnson

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Did you hear the news you were hoping for? Did anything blow your mind, foregoing your imagination. Let us know in the comments; and remember today several pieces of Nintendo history were made.

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Super Smash Bros

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For some this is the biggest piece of NEWS this year. Fans of Final Fantasy and Smash Bros will be pleased that one of the most requested characters has been announced. Cloud Strife is here with his buster sword and a new stage in tow. There are no dates on when he will be available, but we were told to expect news in early December. Have fun playing matches to the classic Final Fantasy theme song that will also be included.

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The Wii U has not been totally abandoned by third party developers. There are still quite a few games coming to the console.
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Hive Jump- Q1 2016

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Kerbal Space Program- Q1 2016

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Mighty No. 9- 2/9/2016

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Lego Marvels Avengers- 1/26/2016

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Terarria 4/12/2016

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Dragon Quest: VII & VIII

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Both games were announced and are set to release next year.

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Hyrule Warriors: Legends 

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Another bevy of good news; Hyrule Warriors: Legends gives us much to look forward too. A new original character was announced; a girl named Linkle that uses double crossbows. She is the first female version of Link. The release date was announced as March 25, 2016. You will also get a new home menu theme for your 3DS when you purchase the game.

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Pokemon: Blue, Red, and Yellow

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We were all blindsided by this one. All three of the first generation Pokemon games are coming to the eshop. The games will be true to their original versions sans one feature; players no longer need a link cable to trade Pokemon. You can now use wifi to trade and battle with your friends. These release the same day as the originals did twenty years ago -- February 27, 2016.

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MegaMan: Legacy Collection

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A collection of the first six MegaMan games; this title offers a lot of content for fans to collect in game. The game will have exclusive challenges that can only be accessed using a MegaMan amiibo. On that note there was also a new gold colored Megaman amiibo announced. It can only be obtained by purchasing a copy of the game's collector's edition. The game is available February 23, 2016.

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Final Fantasy: Fates

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Fans already knew the game would be releasing in two parts simultaneously. But today all the options for obtaining all three games was revealed. After completing one of the two launch games players will be given the choice to purchase the other game as half price. There is also a bundle available, as well a collectors edition that comes with an art-book and carrying pouch for your DS. This is available for $79.99. Other DLC maps are also planned for the games.

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Final Fantasy Explorers

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This game was initially released in Japan last December and has received a few updates since. The North American version of the game will gave players access to all of the game's released DLC free of charge. There is also a collectors edition releasing. It will include the game, an art-book, a CD sampler. and exclusive quests. Pick this up on January 26, 2016

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Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam 

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A release date of January 22, 2016 was announced. If you love Mario RPG's then you need this title. New battle cards with effects to help you get past tricky levels and challenges were revealed. You can use your amiibo to create character cards which are more powerful than battle cards. Mario party amiibos will be compatible with this tittle.

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Pokken Tournament

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The fighting game everyone is waiting for received some new footage. It was also revealed how players would be able to access the Shadow Mewtwo character that leaked a while back. If your copy is from the first production run; players will receive a special card that allows them to use the character immediately. If not, players can complete a few things in game and use him later. The game releases Spring 2016 for Wii U.

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StarFox Zero

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Starfox Zero was finally given a new release date. After being pushed back from this holiday season, the game is now slated to release April 22, 2016. Mark your calendars now, people.

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amiibo

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Of course these popular little trinkets were center stage. Almost every game had a mention of them. We also received a release date for some of the Animal crossing and the Lucas figures -- January 22nd

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There are also four great new games coming to the Nintendo eShop. Nintendo is obviously eyeing its casual gamer market.

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    \n
  • Typo Man-November 19th
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  • Fast Racing Neo-December
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  • Steam World Heist-December
  • \n
  • Pokemon Picross-December
  • \n
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Nintendo Badge Arcade

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A free to start title, this game gives you badges to customize your 3DS home screen. Collect the badges using a claw game. Players can pay to receive more chances to collect the badges. Some badges will be limited edition, so make sure you check back often if this is something you are interested in.

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Xenoblade Chronicles X

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For those waiting on a new Metroid or Legend of Zelda game this is the best Nintendo is offering; an open world space adventure that will release on December 4th. If buying the game physically, there are four packs that can be pre-installed to allow the player to load up the game faster. It is recommended to download the first pack at the least.

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Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

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An all-new move was revealed for this game. Performing a jump smash will allow players to jump up and attack the ball before it has had a chance to bounce on their side. This will add a new layer of strategy to matches. Knock your opponent off balance then use the jump smash from the designated point to perform an ultra smash.

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There are also mega battles where Toad will add mega Mushrooms to the match to make characters larger; how exciting? Add in amiibos to use as a partner in online and expedition matches.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/0/c/20c3f5ba63399bdecaddc596b4535531.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/0/c/tiny_20c3f5ba63399bdecaddc596b4535531.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91798","description":"

Animal Crossing amiibo Festival

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This game will initially launch packaged with two amiibos and will be the only way to acquire the Isabelle and Digby amiibos. Digby will be even more exclusive as he is only available with the launch copy of the game. Some of the games puzzles and game modes were also showcased. 

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Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon

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This game will release on November 20th and feature every single known Pokemon.  The new connection orb will allow you to send and receive rescue requests. The game will also come with a free theme for your 3DS.

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Splatoon

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Nintendo has done well keeping this seasons sleeper hit stocked with new content. This was the largest update to a previously released game announced.

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    \n
  • 80 pieces of new gear and outfits
  • \n
  • 27 new weapon
  • \n
  • New maps- Both have features that will have you changing your strategy as the match progresses.
  • \n
      \n
    • Museum d' alfonsino
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    • Mahi-Mahi Resort 
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    \n
  • New updates through July
  • \n
  • New matchmaking
  • \n
  • No additional charge
  • \n
  • New website to track stats
  • \n
  • A Nintendo treehouse tournament is also planned for next year. There are also player tournament modes in development.
  • \n
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/5/0/65039fc396c8f0985bf66ba7f17c0b82.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/5/0/tiny_65039fc396c8f0985bf66ba7f17c0b82.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91795","description":"

Super Mario Maker

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A new portal site was announced that will allow you to search for particular levels on your PC or mobile device. Search for the type of level you wish to play or bookmark one you find while browsing. 

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The Legend of Zelda Tri-Force Heroes.

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A free update is being developed that will add the Den of Trials areas. Unlike normal dungeons where there might be 4 challenges, these levels will have an overwhelming amount at 30 plus! Did we mention that you and your team must defeat every single enemy in a stage to move on to the next one. But don't be discouraged; the den has checkpoints littered throughout to help you make it a little further.

\n

New outfits are also planned: Linebeck's Uniform, which will let you see inside of chest before opening them, and The Fierce Deity Armor, which will make your sword fire off beams in four different directions.

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These are both free updates that will release on December 2nd.

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Zelda Wii U

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New gameplay footage for this tittle was shown after the reveal of Twilight Princes HD. The new WolfLink amiibo will have an effect when used with this game.

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The release window was not updated and the game is still slated for a Wii U release sometime in 2016.

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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

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After a weeks of speculation and rumor, Twilight  Princess HD received an official announcement. The first announcement of the event included enhanced visuals, a new wolf Link amiibo, and other enhanced features. This will be a fun experience even for those who have played this classic a few times. The game will also be compatible with other amiibos from the smash series. Twilight Princess HD releases March 4th 2016. Preorder now to receive the official soundtrack for free.

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Did you miss the Nintendo Direct event? Here's a recap of all that was announced earlier this week. Everything Nintendo has planned through early 2016 now has a release date. If you're a Nintendo fan, there is much to celebrate.

"}]]]>
Checkpoints and more added to Super Mario Maker https://www.gameskinny.com/x057e/checkpoints-and-more-added-to-super-mario-maker https://www.gameskinny.com/x057e/checkpoints-and-more-added-to-super-mario-maker Sat, 07 Nov 2015 11:35:01 -0500 Joe DeClara

In the latest Super Mario Maker update, Nintendo supplied players with the oft requested checkpoint system. 

Originally, user-created levels required players to complete the level from start to finish without dying. With version 1.20, however, level creators will be able to implement checkpoint flags. These will allow players who reach checkpoints to restart mid-level if they were to fall victim to a gumba, plummet to their death, etc.

The lack of a checkpoint system in Super Mario Maker has been a common grievance among consumers and critics alike. While sporting mostly high reviews (some outlets ranking the platformer a perfect 10/10), some criticized the game for this omission. 

The fact that you can’t place a checkpoint is baffling. You’re forced to finish a level on one life. Sadly, not even the original Super Mario Bros., which the company released in 1985, was that cruel.

- Review by Jose Otero

 

 

Also effective upon updating, level creators will now be able to combine a mushroom and a fireflower within the same question block. This will result in small Mario receiving the mushroom, while big Mario will be presented with the fireflower. While the lack of this classic system did not concern critics as much as the missing checkpoints, it should certainly please those players craving more authenticity in their favorite platformer creator tool.

In spite of the lack of checkpoints, mushroom-flowers, and other features included in the update, the Wii U exclusive has sold and performed well since its release. With nearly 2 million copies sold, Nintendo has reported that over 2.2 million levels were created, and have been played over 75 million times. Following this established popularity among Wii U owners, Nintendo released a Super Mario Maker themed stage in Super Smash Bros (Wii U and 3DS), which procedurally generates itself into a differently configured stage each time it is used. 

 

 

Other features coming to the Super Mario Maker update are a more customizable Course World, and a playable Totem Link sprite from The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes on 3DS. For more on Nintendo's creation tool, like the top 20 levels you should be playing, keep an eye on GameSkinny!

 

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Gamer Gift Guide: 3DS Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/qfcbg/gamer-gift-guide-3ds-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/qfcbg/gamer-gift-guide-3ds-edition Tue, 03 Nov 2015 08:06:37 -0500 Thewritevictor

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We hope this comprehensive guide of all things a 3DS owner would appreciate will help you in your gift buying experience this season. Your friend or loved one will thank you if any one of these items ends up in their hands. And you'll be celebrated as the thoughtful, savvy purchaser you are! 

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Can you think of any gift that a 3DS gamer would like more than these? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

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Pokemon X/Y

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Rating: 9.5/10 ( 216 reviews)

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Price: $39.99

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Buy it: Amazon

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Show that special someone you really care about them with the newest game from the series we all know and love, Pokemon. By no means should you purchase both games(unless you really want to), as either Pokemon X or Y will provide days of gaming.  

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Even if someone hasn't been long in the world of Pokemon, they will fall right into it with X & Y. Long time lovers of the series will also appreciate this gift this season as well. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/1/5/115309a36dd5c1830d0de6ab85b9dcea.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/1/5/tiny_115309a36dd5c1830d0de6ab85b9dcea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"89897","description":"

3DS Pull and Go Folio Case

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Rating: 4.5/5 Stars (135 reviews)

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Price: $28.90

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Buy it: Amazon

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Organization is key when it comes to keeping track of games and game accessories. This is why having the Pull and Go Folio for your 3DS is so helpful. Carry all of your games, chargers, and cords together along with your 3DS system in an easily zipped up carry case. 

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The 3DS slides into a Velcro pouch that can be removed, hence the "pull and go" title, leaving the case to carry all of your other 3DS belonging while you blissfully play through the hours. 

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3DS Decals

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Rating: Varied

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Price: $3.50 - $16.99

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Buy it: Etsy

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These are little different than cover plates since they are really just stickers to place on the 3DS. But seeing as how you can create some pretty incredible scenes with decals, they are definitely something to look into for your holiday shopping. 

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Turn your 3DS into a pokedex with this decal, or turn your gaming into an artistic experience with the decal of Van Gogh's Starry Night. Grab a favorite Pokemon, a Fire Emblem symbol, or something completely random and handmade. 

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Amiibo Figures 

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Rating: Varied 

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Price: $9.99 - $12.99

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Buy it: Amazon 

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So your friend or loved one has a few 3DS games that they enjoy playing, but they are looking for something more. A little extra something to add to the gameplay to liven it up. Then an Amiibo figure is the perfect gift for them!

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Amiibos are figures of characters from Nintendo games that add additional content to the game. Grab some extra costumes and upgraded moves for Mario in Super Smash Bros. when you scan his Amiibo to your game! Gain more weapons and tougher armor in Hyrule Warriors when you scan a Link or Zelda Amiibo. Grab one for your gift buddy!

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

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Rating: 8.8/10 (153 reviews)

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Price: $39.99

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Buy it: Amazon

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If your friend or loved one doesn't already own Nintendo's quintessential battle brawler, Super Smash Bros, then you should probably go ahead and get it for them. Super Smash Bros. delivers endless amounts of gameplay as not only a whole roster of new fighters are available, but now you can create your own Mii characters to take into action as well!

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With its compatibility on the Wii U and the incorporation of Amiibos, Super Smash Bros. is a game any 3DS owner should have. So if you know someone who is missing out this season, spread the cheer by gifting them a fighting game they'll never forget. 

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Tomee - Universal Charge Kit for 3DS

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Rating: 4.6/5 Stars (17 reviews)

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Price: $9.99

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Buy it: Amazon 

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It doesn't matter if you take your gaming on the go or stay locked up in your personal paradise, this charger makes it so that you never have to worry about running out of battery power. 

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Plug into your laptop, wall outlet, or even your car to keep your 3DS charged and ready for action. More than that, this adapter works with older versions of the DS as well, making it a good gift for any handheld gamer. 

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Nintendo eShop Card

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Rating: 4.9/5 Stars (2,209 reviews)

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Price: $10 - $50

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Buy it: Amazon

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Sometimes the best gift is the gift of choice. Perhaps the person you are buying for this season is picky beyond reason and usually unhappy with whatever game they are gifted.

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Then ditch the headaches and complaints, and just go with an eShop card so they can purchase whatever game they want. They'll thank you for giving them the freedom to make their own decision. 

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3DS Cover Plates

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Rating: Various

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Price: $9.99 - $22.99

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Buy it: Amazon

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Is the person you're buying for a bigger fan of Mario or Bowser? Do they prefer Monster Hunter or Animal Crossing? Once you find out your friend's simple tastes, you can make their gaming experience personalized by getting a cover plate of their favorite game or character. 

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Nintendo's official cover plates feature hallmark figures like Pikachu, Princess Peach, or the Triforce. Or you can spring for scenes from Majora's Mask, Xenoblade Chronicles, or Pokemon!

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dreamGEAR Comfort Grip

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Rating: 4.2/5 Stars (107 reviews)

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Price: $17.89

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Buy it: Amazon

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This is a must have for any 3DS gamer. After hours of playing your favorite Pokemon game or beating the final boss in Bravely Default, any 3DS gamer will notice the aches and pains of cramps in their hands. And small wonder with how the 3DS is designed!

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But with the dreamGREAR Comfort Grip the 3DS turns into an oversized controller that fits perfectly into any gamer's hands. No longer will putting down the 3DS to shake out your hands be a problem. Tackle your next monster hunt or side quest with ease!

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i-CON - Nintendo 3DS Starter Kit

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Rating: 4.5/5 Stars (71 reviews)

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Price: $14.99

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Buy it: Amazon

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Whether someone is just starting off as a 3DS owner or has been playing for a long time, this is a pretty important kit to have. With screen protectors, extra styluses, cleaning cloths, and headphones, any mobile gamer would appreciate this gift. 

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The Starter Kit also comes with a travel case for the 3DS to keep it safe, an XL pen stylus, and two game cases. This gift has just about everything a player needs to get started, or keep going strong, with their 3DS gaming. 

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Sometimes getting that gamer friend of yours the right present can be an overwhelming challenge. Do you go for the new game or the game accessory? Themed controller or themed headset? Would they prefer the stuffed Mario or stuffed Luigi? Too many questions!

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Fret no more, friends, as you take a look through a gift guide made specifically for your gamer friend in mind. That is, if your gamer friend is an owner of Nintendo's 3DS system. Welcome to Gameskinny's Gamer Gift Guide: 3DS edition

"}]]]>
Super Smash Bros. Ballot ends October 3rd https://www.gameskinny.com/f6eoz/super-smash-bros-ballot-ends-october-3rd https://www.gameskinny.com/f6eoz/super-smash-bros-ballot-ends-october-3rd Fri, 02 Oct 2015 10:13:20 -0400 Steven Troya

For any of you Viridi fans out there, this is your last chance to vote for the Goddess of Nature!

The Super Smash Bros. Ballot is set to end tomorrow, October 3rd. The Super Smash Bros. Ballot was first put up when the game launched in order to decide which characters would be included in the massive roster for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.

With it ending, we'll finally be getting the results we've been waiting for. Many characters have been voted for, such as the Saiyan, Goku, and Yacht Club Games' very own Shovel Knight. Who knows exactly what character we'll be getting?

In related news, it looks like the new patch that just released actually gave the fans some interesting information.

Data miners have been poking at Super Smash Bros.' files and found something very interesting. It looks like the new update didn't just bring all those new stages and balance updates for us, but also 3 new character slots and at least 2 stage slots.

So now, the question is this: What characters will be coming in the next update and what stages will Nintendo be giving us in the future?

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RR-sama Talks: has political correctness gone too far? https://www.gameskinny.com/jk1l0/rr-sama-talks-has-political-correctness-gone-too-far https://www.gameskinny.com/jk1l0/rr-sama-talks-has-political-correctness-gone-too-far Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:06:18 -0400 David Fisher

Over the past month we have had several articles published on things such as disproportionate characters in video games, characters with questionable clothing, photoshopped characters who have been given so-called realistic body shapes, and complaints about sexualization in video games... But is it really such a problem?

In theory, there is. Most of these articles all centralize around what has become commonly known as “political correctness:” the practice of avoiding behavior and words that could potentially cause insult or discrimination towards a particular social group. While this movement originally orbited the realms of race, sexuality, and gender, it has slowly consumed everything from being overweight to accepting just about everything short of murder – as there’s a good enough reason for it.

So what does this have to do with gaming? A lot, actually. As the internet continues to grow, and social practices in the real world (you know, that place on the other side of your front door?) there has been an increasing presence of political correctness directed toward video game designers… and it can get pretty ridiculous sometimes...

The Problem

I’m going to be upfront about this: I hate political correctness with a passion. I for one dislike it since people have often gone out of the way to make sure they don’t say anything possibly insulting toward me – as I am of mixed race – and it can get pretty tiring. While I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a fan of people insulting me on a regular basis, I can say without regret that it gets exhausting trying to walk on eggshells around people who tend to spontaneously combust if I say the word “black” around African-American people while I’m talking about a coat of paint. Seriously, it’s annoying.

This is not to say that political correctness doesn't have its upsides. It helps people feel included and helps them feel as though they are part of the community instead of an outsider. The PC movement has also done a lot to push toward equality in the social sphere as many of these movements target the unequal treatment of persons of interest in the workplace and elsewhere. When used correctly, it can be a source for positive social change. However, in the world of video game development it can become a serious problem for writers, developers, and art directors for a number of reasons.

Narration and Immersion may be sacrificed for the sake of political correctness...

For writers the issue usually stems around historically accurate slang, as words such as "nigger" or "chink" were traditionally used in common speak during the 1800s but are completely absent from games set in that era.

Games that particularly come to mind are the Assassin's Creed franchise or Red Dead Redemption where the games limit interactions with people of African-American or Asian lineages. In fact, in the latter game there are almost no people of color at all, and none of them are part of either the main storyline or side-quests.

While one would expect to see African-Americans in Red Dead Redemption's setting, the entirety of the game's cast members are limited to Caucasian or Mexican descent with the only black people being random NPCs

While it is difficult to prove that writers intentionally avoid using these practices for the sake of being politically correct, it stands to reason that it is at least on their minds. However, this desire to avoid conflict with groups of interest can harm the variety in storytelling we can have in video games. I'm not saying that the writers should go out of the way to bring up every single historical politically insensitive insult in the book, but it is harmful to historical accuracy and immersion if we can't use politically insensitive words and actions in the proper context.

I suppose that there is always the argument that a video game taking place in historical settings does not need to use certain of-era language to be immersive. In fact, the Assassin's Creed series would be an unintelligable mess without a mass import of subtitles if the directors decided to use of-era pronunciation and language in their games. On top of that, anyone with a basic knowledge of the eras represented by either Red Dead Redemption or Assassin's Creed should know what the political landscape was like regardless. As a result, their inclusion would seem to be nothing more than an excuse to blurt out racist slang.

I would argue, instead, that while these arguments are true, they don't warrant their non-inclusion either. If people are - in fact - knowledgeable of the slang and language of the era, then wouldn't that be more reason to add it? Would it not mean that removing such language for the sake of political correctness is actually insulting to the intelligence of the player? After all, if the player is so enlightened on the subject matter would it not be absurd to become enraged about that which they allegedly know is nothing more than an of-era situation?

All this counter-argument provides is more reason to believe that the PC phenomenon has lost sight of what the true enemy is. In the end, it takes away from the experience, painting a "nicer," more politically-sensitive world than it actually was, and there is no advantage to this for anybody. After all, if we simply pretend the past didn't exist, how can we possibly argue for change in the future?

Aside: Oddly enough, Red Dead Redemption did not seem to have any problem using Mexican derogatory language towards Americans or other people of Caucasiand backgrounds. Might be something worth thinking about...

Developers take a hit too...

One of the widest publicized issues of racial insensitivity in video games revolved around the game Resident Evil 5. When the game was released, some cried out that the game was racist for various reasons. Some of these allegations came from a scene where a blonde woman is dragged away, supposedly raped by a black man, or that the Africans presented in the game who are not visibly infected are portrayed as stereotypically violent. However, both of these accusations are weak at best.

Firstly, as clearly evident by the video above (around the 6:20 mark) the woman who is dragged away was not taken away by a black man. In fact, it was a white one. Secondly, even if it was a black man it does not take much time researching to find out that South Africa has some of the consistently highest rates of rape and violence against women in the world. Thirdly, Western Africa - where the game takes place - holds the highest murder rates in the world (beat only by Central and South America) and holds 3 of the top 6 murder counts.

Despite this, many well-known publishers of gaming news were quick to jump on the poor representation of the African peoples in Resident Evil 5. Eurogamer.net's Dan Whitehead said of the game:

Since the Majini are not undead corpses, and are capable of driving vehicles, handling weapons and even using guns, it makes the line between the infected monsters and African civilians uncomfortably vague. Where Africans are concerned, the game seems to be suggesting, bloodthirsty savagery just comes with the territory.

Source: Eurogamer.net

Yeah, so the West African "Majini" are represented as extremely violent and in a state of poverty. But guess what? West Africa is an extremely violent and impoverished part of the continent where war is almost a daily occurance! Anyone who does a quick Google search of West Africa can discover this in seconds, so go figure if a game developer uses that setting for a violent video game.

Of course, it could be argued that this is still a misrepresentation of West Africa since it cannot possibly be in this state of turmoil at all times.

In fact, I for one would like to believe that there are periods of peace in West Africa, despite my own cynicism getting in the way. Despite this, should I be confiscated of my evidences I can still come up with one argument: the game is - likewise - a representation of a single period of time in West Africa. This means that it could simply be representative of West Africa during the worst of times. After all, I'm certain that getting infected by any virus from the Resident Evil franchise would be a low point for any country.

To argue against this would border on ignorant naivety. Should political correctness seek to be been seen as an "enlightened" and "better, more civil way of thinking," it is cases such as this that make me laugh. Why? Because the people are not only lampooning themselves, but also showing how ignorant they are of foreign affairs in general.

It's an ironic ignorance many seem to completely miss, and one that brings more harm to the cause; as a result, those who fight against racism can quickly gain an image of being extremely ignorant of the real world. That - once again - helps nobody.

And then there's the art directors...

By far this is one of the worst hit sectors, and it's usually by social interest groups that target the sexualization and overall presentation of beauty standards of women. This is one of the most extreme sectors as it borders ridiculousness at times. While I certainly cannot speak on behalf of women, I can present some input as to why - in my own opinion - these allegations can get out of hand sometimes, and how they actually can harm the message that they are attempting to present.

The article mentioned at the start of this piece about realistic body shapes talked about a campaign hosted by Bulimia.com: a website that aims to critique society's concepts of beauty in an attempt to stop the spread of psychological and emotional eating disorders. While their cause is noble, their execution has been somewhat ill-executed due to their diction. Why? Because while they claimed that they were using the body image of the average American woman, their conclusion clearly stated:

The difference between the original video game heroines and their more realistic interpretations is hardly subtle. In these images, unfeasible waistlines expand and arms and legs grow wider. Perhaps the changes are especially noticeable since most of these characters are so scarcely dressed.

Source: bulimia.com

This presents the idea that the author had two goals: to present the characters as their interpretation of a "realistic" female body image, and that they believe another issue is the scarcity of clothing. It is in the group's interests to prevent female gamers - particularly younger ones - from playing such games since it could "develop a skewed image of how the female body should look."

Firstly, anyone who gets their impressions of how anyone should look based off of animated characters should be institutionalized. I have never been able to accept this argument since one would think that similar argument could be made as to why a male character shouldn't have skin painted with the ashes of my deceased loved ones, and muscles the size of my head.

I'm looking at you Kratos...

Then there's the fact that the images they presented as "realistic" undermine people who are actually healthy and have the body image presented in the pictures. If their goal is to stop eating disorders, then presenting women with much larger bodies will cause disorders such as binge eating in order to gain weight. Take the following images as examples:

This is bulimia.com's Photoshop comparison (left) and a cosplayer (right)

Once again, while bulimia.com's mission is honorable, their execution is poor. The cosplayer on the right is portraying a picture-perfect image of the character without the use of photoshop, and so to imply that the original image is unrealistic is to claim that the cosplayer's dimensions are equally unrealistic.

While they are doing something good by trying to stop eating disorders, they might not realize that just because something is the average weight in the United States doesn't necessarily mean it's by any means "realistic." After all, averages are based on the sum of the total BMI of the population divided by the population sample. Considering that 68.6% of the United States's population is overweight, that is not something we should be supporting.

However, this is one of the least dramatic examples. What causes a serious problem is when people start taking something simple and making it into a big deal. The case and example? Zero Suit Samus in Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS.

The above image received a great amount of attention from the gaming community. Kotaku poster Luke Plunkett was quick to weigh in, compiling a bunch of characters wearing the same rocket heels, claiming that the boots would "put her at a competitive disadvantage." CCC's Angelo M. D'Argenio even went so far as to claim the rocket boots were "sexist" due to the fact that she could have had a rocket pack or anything other than what he calls "stiletto heels."

While these seem like a valid claims at first, it actually more damaging to the feminist movement than it is helpful. When people who support equality see such posts, many of them become divided, some of them coming off as misogynistic simply because they do not see the problem with it. Why don't they see a problem? Because it's ridiculous. People are arguing about the practicality of space rocket heels in a world where a dinosaur pops out egg bombs, and a baseball bat can launch a talking, spaceship flying fox several kilometers into the air.

 

 I'm pretty sure the last thing in this terrified Charizard's mind is how those rocket heels in his face sexualize Samus... In fact, I'm pretty sure he looks pretty damn intimidated by Samus's death glare!

While these examples hardly display developers actively avoiding sexualization for the sake of political correctness, Divinity: Original Sin is a prime candidate for getting attacked for its art design.

In a world where most fantasy games portray female warriors as iron-bikini wearing powerhouses, Divinity: Original Sin was picked out as the lone bullying target in the bunch. The advertisement art for the game (pictured above) was changed from the original midriff-bearing Scarlett on the left, to the fully armored one on the right after numerous complaints were made about the game's art direction.

According to an interview with Thierry Van Gyseghem, the art direction's complaints were limited to a small vocal minority until the media caught wind of the game after it launched a Kickstarter campaign. According to Thierry, certain publications who had a more "vigilant political agenda" caused the game to come under heavy scrutiny from their supporters. This scrutiny caused the developers of Divinity: Original Sin to change their game art in an effort to remain in a positive public relations stance.

By definition, censorship is the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts. Since the term is typically applied to governments, media outlets, or other such positions of power it is rarely considered that social media and other consumer groups could possibly result in the censorship of a game. However, Thierry went on record as stating that those who oppose his position that he believes that his game was censored should consider the following analogy:

When you own a pizza place and one day the mob enters your little shack, threatens you by saying if I don’t stop selling pepperoni pizza’s they’ll do anything in their power to make sure you go out of business, then what should we call this? Blackmail? Censorship? Harassment? Extortion? or simply a trade embargo?

In the end the story remains the same, you are forced to rethink your actions and it leaves a shadow hanging over your creations. Every artist deals with criticism differently, I feel that inevitably your next piece will already be affected by it, consciously or unconsciously.

Source: blogjob.com

To summarize the full interview, Thierry believes that there are not many legitimate critiques to character design that one can make since they are based upon pure personal preference. The fact that media outlets and social interest groups that stand between the developer and the target consumer can have such a powerful say in game design is - in its own way - a form of censorship.

In my own opinion: video games have character designs based on the world they are set in. Video games revolving around fighting, killing, and other sorts of violence tend to dramatize sexual features since our own imaginations tend to portray strong individuals as attractive. For men this is typically represented by gratuitous amounts of muscle mass and a large crotch bulge, while for women this is usually presented through an overzealous bust, firm rear-end, and a broken back. Similarly, games focused on more realistic or plot-oriented settings tend to have more realistic characters, albeit most of them having Hollywood-styled good looks.

What I'm trying to say here is that this is a symptom of the particular genres, not of the gaming culture as a whole. To limit these over-the-top dramatizations of body images is to limit artistic impressions of the human physique. It doesn't help women - or men - suffering from weight or eating disorders, and it doesn't help the hard laborers in art development for video games either.

So what would you suggest, RR-sama?

At the risk of sounding callous... maybe try just getting over yourself?

I know that sounds harsh, and many people will hate me for it. The problem - as previously stated - seems to be mostly in the United States, a country that suffers from a serious case of Social Media Madness (or as I like to call SMM).

In North American culture we have reached a level of self-obsession, self-importance, and -oddly enough- self-loathing that it borders the level of a psychosis. We constantly seek approval from absolutely everybody, and when we do not receive said approval we lash out. This also happens when we don't get something we want, and the resulting feedback can take many forms, many people quick to claim some sort of unfair prejudice was placed against them before considering any other possibilities.

It's a sort of entitlement that belittles the true enemies of equality, and oppresses people who simply believe that things might not be nearly as bad as people make them out to be.

Seriously guys... your inner Joffery is showing...

We shouldn't be allowing this to affect the realm of storytelling and game design. It limits the scope of experiences we can have, and video games - like other art forms - should be the last bastion of the human imagination where developers can tell the stories they want to tell, and in the way they want to.

By imposing ridiculous levels of scrutiny for the sake of making sure we don't hurt anyone's feelings we are just fostering a culture of irresponsible people who don't want to simply accept that maybe things aren't just sunshine and rainbows. In any case, we should all be able to understand - as thinking individuals - that it is called a "virtual world" for a reason.

But hey, maybe I'm just blowing hot air...

What do you guys think about the landscape of political correctness in video games? Do you think it has gone too far, or maybe not far enough? Do you think people should have a say in how developers decide to make their games? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Super Smash Bros. meets Super Mario Maker in new DLC stage https://www.gameskinny.com/3pjqx/super-smash-bros-meets-super-mario-maker-in-new-dlc-stage https://www.gameskinny.com/3pjqx/super-smash-bros-meets-super-mario-maker-in-new-dlc-stage Tue, 15 Sep 2015 11:04:43 -0400 David Fisher

Super Mario Maker was just released 4 days ago, and already the game has taken the gaming world by storm, almost beating Metal Gear Solid V for sales in the United Kingdom. 

But the fun's not over yet folks! Nintendo has just announced a Super Mario Maker themed stage for Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS that will be released on September 30th!

From the gameplay footage featured in the above video it seems that the Super Mario Maker stage will feature all four tilesets from the Super Mario Maker game. This means that the stages will feature designs from: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U.

While players cannot design the stages as they would in Super Mario Maker, the stage does randomly generate its own stages. However, it is unclear whether the Super Mario Maker stage will have its own preset stages, or if each stage will be completely random. If the latter is true then this stage will be utter chaos as players try to figure out how to best navigate a bunch of wacky random stage setups!

There's one thing I'm sure everyone can agree on though: this stage will be banned during tournaments!

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Unboxing the amiiqo; Amiibo data saving and transferring device https://www.gameskinny.com/wwkof/unboxing-the-amiiqo-amiibo-data-saving-and-transferring-device https://www.gameskinny.com/wwkof/unboxing-the-amiiqo-amiibo-data-saving-and-transferring-device Fri, 11 Sep 2015 20:44:24 -0400 Courtney Gamache

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the controversial device known as the amiiqo, that not only backs up Nintendo's Amiibo character data, but you can download other Amiibos straight to the device from the internet.

Small device, with a large impact

Though the amiiqo is a small device for the hefty price of $55 from an online retailer, it has a large effect on how users can interact with amiibos without having to pay Nintendo's price per each one. Using the Android app that was developed strictly for the amiiqo, any amiiqo owner can upload their Amiibo's saved data, and in return download these figurine "images" from the internet. Using the amiiqo with Nintendo products

The amiiqo is a pretty simple device, using the Android app to upload/download Amiibo data. At the current time the amiiqo is only compatible with the Wii U, New 3DS, and 2DS without needing an external cable. For use on the older 3DS XL models the external cable is required, with an upcoming PS4 compatibility in the mix. In the future the amiiqo is also set to work with a PC or Smartphone to upload or download character data, since Android isn't always widely used.

How this can affect Nintendo

Looking at a business perspective for Nintendo, the amiiqo might not have a large impact on their Amiibo sales. Many gamers buy the Amiibos for not only their use, but also for a shelf viewing or collection. Since the amiiqo is only for virtual data, collector's won't be able to build their collection with the small device, but only be able to play pre-loaded characters of theirs or others. 

Keeping in mind that pre-loaded characters include all of their leveled up abilities and power-ups, the amiiqo could be considered a "cheat" system for those who don't want to work for their Amiibo's skill-set, and is bound to be restricted in all championship tournaments that come along the way.

If you want to test out the amiiqo for yourself, there are plenty of online retailers that have them for sale in North America. I can say it's a pretty fun device for someone who enjoys casual gaming with amiibos; without having to pay for them or investing time in their skills.

What are your thoughts on the amiiqo device? Do you think it's worth the large price tag? Would it be a good fit for children? Share your thoughts below!

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Gorgeous Zero Suit Samus Cosplay done by Vlada Lutsak https://www.gameskinny.com/kxbo6/gorgeous-zero-suit-samus-cosplay-done-by-vlada-lutsak https://www.gameskinny.com/kxbo6/gorgeous-zero-suit-samus-cosplay-done-by-vlada-lutsak Fri, 04 Sep 2015 02:30:02 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Popular cosplayer Vlada Lutsak pulled off a gorgeous Zero Suit Samus cosplay that resembles the Metroid concept art perfectly. Pulling off the powerful female character with justice, Vlada's cosplay represents what Samus is about; strength.

Perfecting timing for the amiibo

It's unknown if Vlada Lutsak knew the Zero Suit Samus amiibo was for pre-order at Target debuting on September 11th 2015, but her cosplay is coming to light just in time for the special amiibo release. The anticipation with the Samus amiibo release is expected to interact with the Super Smash Bros. game that is on the Wii U and 3DS. 

Aside from her cosplay resembling the Metroid game, it's an exact model to the Zero Suit Samus character in Super Smash Bros., including small details that the high-graphic game shows perfectly. Other spotlight cosplays

There are numerous other games that have cosplays representing them, but most recently was Amiko-chan's "Cosplaying from Below the Vault; Fallout gets real", giving an accurate representation to how a vault dweller's life would be. This also came in perfect time for the fall release of Fallout 4 that has been gaining a huge amount of hype. 

What do you think of Vlada's Zero Suit Samus cosplay? Do you think its a valid representation? Share your thoughts below on these cosplay gurus. 

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Exclusive Toys R Us Bowser Jr. amiibo and 5 other amiibos release on Sept. 11th https://www.gameskinny.com/x9iko/exclusive-toys-r-us-bowser-jr-amiibo-and-5-other-amiibos-release-on-sept-11th https://www.gameskinny.com/x9iko/exclusive-toys-r-us-bowser-jr-amiibo-and-5-other-amiibos-release-on-sept-11th Thu, 03 Sep 2015 10:26:04 -0400 Courtney Gamache

On September 11th 2015, Toys R Us will be debuting their exclusive Bowser Jr. amiibo for purchase. For this specific amiibo trekking it over to the local Toys R Us will be required because it won't be available online, only in store and while supplies lasts.

You're not alone, Bowser Jr.

While the Tweet went out yesterday for the debut of Bowser Jr., there are several other amiibos that will be unveiled for sale on September 11th as well from their other retailer, Target. Included in the list of new amiibos are:

  • Dr. Mario
  • Ganondorf
  • Olimar
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • 30th Anniversary Mario amiibo

Already for Pre-Order at Target

Unlike their friend Bowser Jr., all the amiibos listed have already been available for pre-order at Target for the cost of $12.99 each. While they won't be compatible in every game, the possible compatibility games are listed below:

  • Super Mario Maker
  • Mario Party 10
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS 
  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Any plans to purchase the new amiibos? Which ones are you looking forward to most? Share your thoughts below on the amiibo market and what ones you expect next!

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Ganondorf amiibo hits Target for pre-order https://www.gameskinny.com/lk7oc/ganondorf-amiibo-hits-target-for-pre-order https://www.gameskinny.com/lk7oc/ganondorf-amiibo-hits-target-for-pre-order Fri, 28 Aug 2015 21:02:29 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Target just added a new amiibo to their online shop for pre-order, and its none other than evil bad guy from The Legend of Zelda, Ganondorf. This is only the pre-order stage, the amiibo will become officially available on September 11th, 2015. For a small price of $12.99, you can get the Ganondorf amiibo, and Target will match the price if it lowers before the release date

When that exciting day comes, collectors and Zelda fans alike can have Ganondorf on their shelf, and as a trainable character. 

Compatible games with the Ganondorf amiibo

The Ganondorf amiibo is known to be compatible in the following games:

  • Hyrule Warriors
  • Mario Party 10
  • Captain Toad Treasure Tracker
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS

At the current time it's unknown if Ganondorf will be a costume available in Super Mario Maker, but we can always hope; especially since Link is an optional costume.

Using Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros.

Ganondorf is a well-known contender in Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U and 3DS, that is frankly a bad-ass. From his amount of weight to the punches he gives, he's a hard guy to beat. When knowing how to use his character, Ganondorf is a great asset.Now that Nintendo has released a Ganondorf amiibo, he'll become one of the "figure players" that the gamer can train and raise with specific abilities. Raise Ganondorf right and you'll have a great figure player on your side to battle with your friends and other figure players. 

Do you think the Ganondorf amiibo will join Super Mario Maker? How awesome will his "figure player" become in Super Smash Bros.? Share your opinions on this new amiibo figure below!

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