Tales of Symphonia Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Tales of Symphonia RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Tales of Arise Preview: Tales Ascending https://www.gameskinny.com/nte4t/tales-of-arise-preview-tales-ascending https://www.gameskinny.com/nte4t/tales-of-arise-preview-tales-ascending Tue, 10 Aug 2021 10:00:01 -0400 Josh Broadwell

It's been five years since Bandai Namco released Tales of Berseria on PlayStation 4, a hefty gap in a release schedule that normally sees a Tales game launch every two years or so. I spent a few hours with Tales of Arise's opening chapter ahead of the full game's September 10 release and can safely say that gap might be the best thing that's happened to the series.

Tales of Arise’s protagonist is an amnesiac. A mysterious young woman bursts into his life on a mission to change the status quo, and they’re both hurled into a political conflict between two civilizations. He also can’t feel pain, has no sense of taste except for one specific flavor, and works alongside other Dahnans, enslaved people harvesting energy through stones embedded in them for a dominant civilization.

The opening 30 minutes alone drips with callouts to previous Tales games, especially Symphonia, Berseria, and Abyss. Arise is, for the opening chapter available in the preview build at least, partly celebrating the series and also laying aside some of its now-too-familiar trappings for something more ambitious. 

Every recognizable trope has at least one significant twist to keep it interesting — and even valuable  to the narrative. The first chapter left me with a dozen questions and the kind of eagerness to understand them that not many games leave me with, especially so early on.

That goes double for anything to do with Alphen and Shionne, who could easily end up being the series' best protagonists, but also for the broader story Bandai is telling. 

Arise’s opening act is an uprising story and a darn good one at that. It’s no spoiler to say the Dahnans eventually rebel against the lord ruling over Caliglia, presiding over their pain for his own benefit, but the execution (no pun intended) is surprising in its strength.

This is fine!

Alphen and Shionne’s time in Caliglia might be brief, but there’s no escaping the Dahnan’s misery at every turn. Bits of environmental storytelling and sub-quests all help tell the story of the oppressed and, combined with some very good voice acting all around, make not getting caught up in the freedom fighters’ bid for liberation almost impossible. 

It’s the kind of story and storytelling that makes Arise feel much more like an epic fantasy than its predecessors. 

That shift is significant in another way as well, one that might not sit as well with some. There’s potential to capture the series’ usual lighthearted tone even aside from the skits — my Alphen wore a pair of Shiba Inu ears to the final confrontation with Balseph, Calaglia’s overlord — but so far, there’s no denying Bandai Namco is intent on telling a more serious story with Arise.

Of course, Calaglia is a closed territory gated off by a literal wall of fire. It’s a big world out there, and the one concern I have is whether Arise will maintain its opening excellence, solid pacing, and engrossing story.

Even if some of that does come up short later, there’s still combat to fall back on.

Arise’s combat is equally refreshing so far and the biggest enhancement since Tales of Xillia introduced a heavier emphasis on skills. Berseria’s point-based system returns, where you use normal attacks to charge your TP and chain skill combos, but it also adds new layers of strategy with several new twists. 

One is interruption attacks, where, after meeting certain conditions, a party member leaps in with an extra move. It’s handy for dealing extra hurt and vital for encounters with certain enemy types — even bosses.

Another big change is healing, which Arise unchains from TP and links to a separate pool of points. You’ll use this same pool for other important activities, and while it’s essentially shepherding resources the same as you do TP in other games, the new setup changes how you approach combat more than you might think.

That's not even getting into how Aries builds multiple skill trees in connection with titles gained through the main game and other activities. It has the potential to be a vast system, but one still doled out in easy-to-understand ways.

Of course, the other immediately noticeable difference between Arise and other Tales games is its presentation. Arise is easily one of the best-looking anime-styled games around, and that’s even with just being limited to the land of fire, sand, and death. Some character models lose a bit of their detail when the screen is crowded during cutscenes, admittedly, but it’s nothing too drastic.

Zestiria disappointed with its bland, empty, and outdated-looking overworld, but there’s mostly no danger of that with Arise so far. The wastelands around Calaglia are devoid of life, but not of interest. 

There’s substantial attention to detail in everything from flowing water to ruins and even the sound of Alphen’s boots or Shionne’s heels, to say nothing of the things you’ll find in the wilds.

True, most of it is standard fare, such as finding ingredients for cooking or things you’ll need on a quest later, but exploring always feels like a valuable way to spend some time — not something you could say for every Tales game.

In just three hours, Tales of Arise defied my expectations at nearly every turn. It's a more complete and ambitious package than most of its older siblings, and along with being bold enough to tackle a new kind of storytelling after two decades, it potentially has the foundation to pull it off and land among some of the greats.

Can't Play Tales of Berseria? Try These Tales of Games Instead https://www.gameskinny.com/hfpql/cant-play-tales-of-berseria-try-these-tales-of-games-instead https://www.gameskinny.com/hfpql/cant-play-tales-of-berseria-try-these-tales-of-games-instead Sun, 29 Jan 2017 12:55:48 -0500 BizarreAdventure

After a long (long wait), Tales of Berseria is finally out in the West. And while the jury is still out on if this newest installment of this storied franchise will, in fact, be the best game in the series, we can definitely talk about the games of the Tales of series that truly stand apart from the rest. So, if you haven't played Tales of Berseria yet (for whatever reason), here are some of the best games the franchise has to offer -- and that you can play right now. 

Tales of Zesteria

Okay so this one isn't exactly a good one that deserves your attention. I like playing a sequel game before a prequel if they were released in reverse order. Like Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 being released before 3. That kind of stuff really tickles my fancy. The only problem is that Zesteria isn't actually a good game really. It's filled with bad mechanics, obvious cut content and a largely unlikable cast of characters. I'm only putting it here because it's the most directly related to Berseria.

So my suggestion is either just try to blaze through it, ignoring side content trying to make the experience as short as possible. Or if you have a Let's Player you enjoy who did a run of it, check that out before jumping in to Berseria. All of this is a moot point if you like chronology though and want to see the story from the beginning.

Tales of Symphonia

The first 3D Tales of game and one of the best in my opinion. This is for many people the Final Fantasy VII of Tales games. Do you like vast over worlds, action rpg combat with a slightly turn-based feel, a large cast of enjoyable and all uniquely important characters and a story just as good to go with them? This game has all of that. Plus it's on multiple consoles and was recently ported to PC. So it's easy to get hold of.

This is probably one of the best ones to play if you haven't. Many things you learn in this game will carry over to the others. That's not entirely a good thing though. It can make successive games feel a bit stale though. So take this opinion with a grain of salt.

Tales of Vesperia

Vesperia is a more "mature," Tales of game. This is the one I've put the most hours in to. This is because of the game play alone. It's easily the most solid in the series. I'm going to be completely honest though, the major aspects of the story are very disappointing. Minor stories, characters and the like are very solid. The problems is with how obvious the true villain of the story is. It kind of destroys any sense of surprise when you meet him in the second town like area and the first thing he says is something along the lines of,

"Humans are such filthy creatures."

Okay Badguy McLastBoss, chill. Oh also one of the playable characters is a wolf(?) who smokes a pipe and uses a sword. How cool is that?

Tales of Graces

I haven't actually played this one myself. I do have a friend who put about 250 hours into it though. I trust the guy so this one's probably pretty good. 

All of the others

I haven't played all of the Tales of games. Nor do I actually plan on playing all of them. Some just don't interest me, simple as that. But who am I to say you shouldn't play them? Go check out some of them yourself. Finding them is only a Google search away!

What's your favorite Tales of game? Why do you think it's the best? Let me know in the comments!

The "Tales of" Series and Why I'm Worried for Its Future https://www.gameskinny.com/oujad/the-tales-of-series-and-why-im-worried-for-its-future https://www.gameskinny.com/oujad/the-tales-of-series-and-why-im-worried-for-its-future Tue, 17 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 BizarreAdventure

Back when I was a young'n I was introduced to the JRPG genre relatively late. One of my favorites however, was Tales of Symphonia. I didn't play a Final Fantasy game until 5th or 6th grade and it wasn't until high school that I found out about the Tales of series. When I did happen upon the series, I had blasted my way through just about every mainline Final Fantasy game, and found the Tales of series provided a wonderful change of pace while still satisfying my new found JRPG itch.

The Tales of series isn't doing so hot though. Each game feels like a copy and paste of the previous one in terms of style and mechanics. Almost every game has you starting out as a swordsman protagonist each with very similar, or exactly the same move sets.

The same can be said for later characters as well. Casters have largely the same spell pool, a character will be introduced who excels in aerial combat, etc. This is repeated in each game. Beyond combat, they introduce the sorcerer's ring in almost every game as well. The sorcerer's ring being an out of combat magic blast used to give power to, or move objects from a distance. This detracts from the amount of creativity and differences in puzzles between the games. Even the games that try to fix it like Tales of Hearts R, which added multiple modes to the ring, only use them for one or two sections. Afterwards they're seemingly forgotten. 

The only things that ever feel different are the stories. Which is kind of a given, but even that aspect of the series has been feeling a bit rehashed as of late. Previous entries were self contained epics. Tales of Symphonia for instance starts as a tale about a pilgrimage to restore the planet's mana, an energy source that is needed both for magic and to support life itself.

Along the way though you find out that there is a cost that must be paid in order to do so. The more recent games however, start of with nice self contained stories about beings who control elements, stopping the destruction of the planet. Then they get largely unnecessary direct sequels. Making it seem like the creators have given up on making each game take place in it's own grand setting. Opting to reuse the previous one.

All of this recycling makes it seem like the series is desperately trying to cut costs. After Tales of Symphonia many of the games had an abundance of reused assets. Mainly when it comes to consumable items, but even some NPC's are identical. As time went on though it got worse. When they make a direct sequel, they have an excuse to use almost all of the same locations from its predecessor. 

Basically, it seems to me that the company producing the games has hit a happy equilibrium. The series has started to cut corners to turn as much of a profit as possible. Why make the effort to produce top quality content when mediocre makes more money? I understand that as a company that have to operate in ways that aren't always in the benefit of the consumer. But seeing a little more effort put into the series would be appreciated.

Many of my worries for the series as a whole hit their peak with Tales of Zestiria. Between the bland additions to combat mechanics, a majorly unlikable cast of characters and glaringly obvious cut content the game feels rushed and wholly not fun. Now Tales of Berseria is just around the corner for western release. I've done everything I can to go into it blind. Admittedly though I don't have high hopes for it due to what I do know of the game's story being a prequel to the extremely underwhelming Tales of Zesteria and the characters appearances.

Hopefully all my worries for the series and its future can be squashed after playing Tales of Berseria though. I've always loved the series for it's fast paced, sometimes strategic action RPG playstyle and world building. I would love for it to prove my cynicism wrong so I can enjoy another game in a childhood favorite series.

Tales of Berseria Demo Now Available https://www.gameskinny.com/rmgus/tales-of-berseria-demo-now-available https://www.gameskinny.com/rmgus/tales-of-berseria-demo-now-available Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:27:09 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Ahead of the full game release on January 4 (PS4) and January 27 (PC/Steam),  the demo version of the upcoming Bandai-Namco RPG Tales of Berseria has been made available on PSN and Steam for PC in both North America and Europe.

Game Features
  • Fight alongside 5 comrades and unravel their secrets and skills
  • Set out and explore the stunning, ever-changing landscapes of Midgand Kingdom 
  • Feed on the strength of your enemies and strike with this evolved battle system
  • Discover even more of the world with side-quests and fun mini-games 

Pre-orders for the game will receive a 15 minute skit. While on Steam, customers who pre-order for PC will have a 10% discount on either Tales of Zesteria or Tales of Symphonia.  PSN pre-orders will gain a Tales of Berseria theme and receive three soundtracks.  

While there will be very early game spoilers, it's a good opportunity to see what improvements and changes have been made to the combat system.

Will you be picking up the demo or just waiting for the full game release?  Let us know in the comments below.

4 Games That Wouldn't Be the Same Without SAG-AFTRA https://www.gameskinny.com/68mc0/4-games-that-wouldnt-be-the-same-without-sag-aftra https://www.gameskinny.com/68mc0/4-games-that-wouldnt-be-the-same-without-sag-aftra Sun, 30 Oct 2016 13:00:01 -0400 Unclepulky

As many of you may be aware, members of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) have gone on strike in response to a new contract which would lower the pay and working conditions of voice actors.

Although they're often forgotten or taken for granted, voice actors are a crucial part of any story or character driven game. And they deserve better than what they're getting. To see why, all you have to do is look back at some of the games that SAG-AFTRA members brought to life. 

The following games all feature such voice actors. While some of these games are more well known than others, the performances in them all display proof that quality voice acting can majorly impact a game, a franchise, or even the industry as a whole.

4. The Metal Gear Solid Series

While the baffling decisions of Konami have killed the franchise, there's no denying the impact that the Metal Gear series has had on the industry. It practically invented the stealth genre in the 80s, and then revolutionized it a decade later. And it was one of the main reasons why the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 sold as well as they did. Then in 1998, Metal Gear Solid proved that games could be just as cinematic as movies.

While the stunning writing, directing, and choreography done by series creator Hideo Kojima contributed to this greatly, one can't deny the impact the voice acting had in this game's success. 

With voice acting veterans such as Rob Paulsen, Troy Baker, and Doug Stone, it's easy to see why players were so captivated. The voice of major character Dr. Naomi Hunter was done by Jennifer Hale, who is currently one of the major voices in the strike.

Of course, the series would have been nothing without its leading man, and David Hayter magnificently portrayed both Solid Snake and Big Boss. Consistently amazing throughout the series, his best performance can be found in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It's a performance so good, it has brought people to tears.

And, as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain showed, he was not replaceable. Kiefer Sutherland did his best voicing Big Boss, but he just wasn't up to snuff. The lack of Hayter's presence is one of the major reasons many agree MGSV is the weakest Metal Gear Solid game, gameplay aside.  

Like Hale, Hayter is a major voice in the ongoing strike -- and we can only hope the best for him.

3. Tales of Symphonia

While Namco-Bandai isn't one of the companies voice actors are on strike against, it has previously enlisted the talent of several striking VA's. And Tales of Symphonia is one example.

Tales of Symphonia was the first game in the Tales series to really resonate with Western audiences. While kids playing the game may not have noticed, the gameplay was rather slow and clunky -- especially compared to the more modern Tales games.

But it wasn't the gameplay that won the west over; it was the characters and the actors who voiced them.

Scott Menville lead the charge as protagonist Lloyd Irving. Other talents such as Colleen Villard, Jennifer Hale, and the woman of 1,000 voices, Tara Strong, all played major roles. And now, many of them are on strike as members of SAG-AFTRA.

If this game hadn't been as much of a success as it was, the West may not have gotten the superior Tales games which came later, such as Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Xilla. And again, the gameplay alone would not have cut it.

To all of the voice actors in this game, thank you for allowing everyone to be able to experience this fantastic series. 

2. Catherine

All the other games on this list are hugely popular, or at least heard of by most. And while Catherine is by no means obscure, it's more of a cult hit.

Unlike Tales of Symphonia, the story and characters aren't the sole reason to play Catherine, but the desire in the player to see what happens next serves as a motivation to get through what, for the most part, is an incredibly difficult puzzle game.

This title is filled to the brim with big name voice actors. The titular Catherine is voiced by the lovely and talented Laura Bailey. Protagonist Vincent Brooks is voiced by Troy Baker, and Katherine is voiced by Michelle Ruff. Other talents in the game include Liam O'Brien, Yuri Lowenthal, and Travis Willingham.

Catherine's story is a dark one, but it's also a very well told one. The game is proof that even if a game isn't going to sell millions of copies, the voice actors in it will still do their best. 

Or at least, they will if their (admittedly reasonable) demands are met. 

1. The Last of Us

One of the most acclaimed titles of the decade so far, The Last of Us is a game that people have been saying should be adapted into a movie since before it came out.

The reason for that is quite simple: this game's story is one of the best in video game history. The atmosphere is rich, the tension builds slowly over the course of the game, and the protagonists (Joel and Ellie) feel like they could be real people.

While there are plenty of other talented VA's present in the game, it really is the performances of Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, as Joel and Ellie respectively, which carry this game.

You'll be scared with them, you'll cry with them, and at certain moments, you'll be genuinely pissed at them.

If video game companies think that performances like these can just be replicated by anyone, and that it doesn't matter who voiced their characters, then they are sorrily mistaken.

What are your thoughts on the strike? Which of these games are you personally a fan of? And who's your favorite voice actor? Let me know in the comments! #Performancematters

The Top 5 JRPGs For Beginners https://www.gameskinny.com/wmjwr/the-top-5-jrpgs-for-beginners https://www.gameskinny.com/wmjwr/the-top-5-jrpgs-for-beginners Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:19:54 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905


Persona 4 (on easy)


The last game on this list is Persona 4 on easy mode. Persona 4 is a turn-based JRPG with tons of Japanese mythology and history crammed into its story and characters. While this could alienate a beginner, I think it can also just enhance the experience.


This game also has a nice blend of humorous and serious tones, and the gameplay is super simple. The most difficult thing in this game is the strategy in battle and the grinding while waiting for the rainy days to fight the bosses. While you fight, you have to maintain your school life and relationships.


Even if this sounds boring, give it a try! The meat of the game is still the fighting and the plot and these other things just help pad it out a little bit more. It helps you get invested in the characters and know more about the world around you.


Persona 4 is an all-around cool experience and a must-play for anyone just getting into JRPGS.


These are just my suggestions. There are plenty of other JRPGs to check out, so don't limit yourself to the ones on this or any other list. Beginner is a relative term, so if you're feeling up to it, just pick a game and start playing! 


Fire Emblem (on casual)


The Fire Emblem games on the 3DS are a great introduction to the series. They’re not as plot-heavy as some other games and are pretty easy to get into, even without knowing the plot to the past games. Characters drop hints of previous plots that definitely enhance the story, but aren’t necessarily needed to enjoy the game.


The gameplay can be complicated, but you can get by with just knowing the basics. And, the games are just fun. They have a good blend of humorous and serious moments and the gameplay is easy to follow along with. The main problem a beginner would probably have with Fire Emblem games is when your characters die, they’re dead forever. Therefore, I suggest playing the game on casual the first time because you can keep your characters alive.


The Tales of Series


The Tales of Series is the only game on this list that isn’t turn-based. Some people cannot play and enjoy turn-based games, and that’s okay. The Tales of Series does away with the turn-based system, but is still a pretty good introduction into JRPGs. The games have relatively simple controls and some of the later ones go out of their way to make sure players know what they’re doing, with tutorials accompanying every new game mechanic that gets introduced.


Something that may turn off beginners is the plot. Every Tales of game has an extensive plot -- and unless the player is into that, they may feel overwhelmed and need to step away from it for a while. I would suggest Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss, or Tales of Phantasia as a starting point.


The Disgaea Series


For those who want a little more depth for their first go at the genre, the Disgaea series could be the way to go. There’s a story that has some connect from game to game, but it’s a loose one at best. At worst, it’s nonsensical and I love it. The Disgaea games are strategy RPGs at heart. They’re wacky, even with the more serious themes. So if you’re into weird games, this might be the one for you. From the weird weapon descriptions to the main character being physically hurt by “sexy ladies”, it’s a weird adventure. Each game adds more functions, so I would suggest starting with the first one, but it’s definitely not necessary.




With the new craze of Pokemon GO, more people than ever have probably heard of Pokemon. So why not start simple? While the newer games are trying to be more complex for more savvy Pokemon players, they’re still a user-friendly introduction into the genre. It’s simple; it’s turned-based; it’s a classic. There’s no ongoing story, so anyone can jump in at any time without missing out on key plot points. Speaking of the plot, it’s super simple. If I could follow along with Pokemon Red when I was 6, anyone can follow along with it. The game mechanics are just as easy to pick up on, so just jump right in.


JRPGs are some of the best and weirdest games I have ever played. I grew up on basically anything my dad could find at the flea market or bargain bin, so I played some pretty unique ones. I’m still playing them today though, so that probably speaks to their credit, right?


Getting into JRPGs when you’ve never played on can be a task, especially with all the different ones floating around. So, I thought I'd compile the top 5 JRPGs for beginners to help ease those new to the genre into the process. These are in no particular order because I love them all.

Top 12 Greatest Cats of Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/3sbpr/top-12-greatest-cats-of-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/3sbpr/top-12-greatest-cats-of-video-games Sun, 05 Jun 2016 08:06:34 -0400 Anthony Pelone


And so ends this list. Yes, that is a cat cuddled up with a copy of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. That's Fukurashi, the cat of Masahiro Sakurai (Kirby, Super Smash Bros.) and whose hilarious adventures are cataloged in these two Twitter albums. In case you're hopping mad your favorite gaming kitty didn't show up, I'd highly recommend checking them out to soothe your soul.


Did your favorite feline miss the cut? Let us know in the comments below!


12. Crono's Cat (Chrono Trigger)

Imagine a sunbaked morning, with your head buried beneath the warm covers as your fur baby is curled up within your arms. Granted, Crono's Cat chooses to rest beside a nearby waste bucket, but he still represents the ideal cat: a loving companion who'll never leave your side. Just look at how he follows Crono around the house!


Crono's Cat is hardly seen throughout the game, yet its role is potentially the biggest of the game's cast. It influences Chrono Trigger's default ending, and winning a certain game at the Millennial Fair will win you more cat food...which attracts more cats. If the mischief of various cats throughout the game are any indication, looks like those sunbaked mornings are about to get a lot more lively for Crono.


11. Meowth (Pokémon)

Meowth, that's right! Several cat-inspired Pokémon have debuted throughout the years, but none are nearly as iconic as Meowth. Just look at his resume: he's the Team Rocket poster child, is one of the few talking Pokémon, had his own GameCube tech demo (Meowth's Party, where he rocked out with a groovin' guitar), is a PokéBall summon in Smash Bros., the list goes on. Granted, half of those come from the anime, but it's helped propelled him into stardom, regardless.

Meowth's signature attack, Pay Day, comes quite in handy for Pokémon Trainers in need for cash. In what are probably the funds its gathered from its nightly prowls, Meowth showers the opponent with coins, some of which go to the player's wallet. Whoever said cats can't make money?


10. Toro and Kuro (Sony)

These two cats aren't from a specific game, but they operate as Sony mascots for their gaming platforms. Toro Inoue, the white one, tries his best to act like a human, while Kuro, the black one, is his bully of a rival rival with something of a perverted streak. Their follies aside, taking just one look at their faces will give you the warm fuzzies

These mascots mainly function as such in Japan, but we've seen them several times in the Western sphere. Pictured above is their playable appearance in Street Fighter x Tekken; not a game loved by many, but their theme song is just too cute. 


9. Nago the Cat (Kirby's Dream Land 3)

Yes, that is a cat! His one and only Kirby appearance lies in Kirby's Dream Land 3 for the SNES, where he's one of many animal buddies that aid the puffball's quest. Some get a bit creative with how they accompany Kirby; in Nago's case, he rolls him along like a ball.


Animal buddies can channel Kirby's Copy Abilities to concoct devastating attacks, and Nago is no exception. So, what can he do? Well, in the case of Spark, he paws Kirby with enough static electricity that it is dangerous to the touch. Then there's Clean, where Kirby turns into a cloth and Nago slides on him to plow into enemies. And, my personal favorite: Stone, where he picks up Stone Kirby and repeatedly slams him into the ground with earthquake-level force. It's great. 


8. Judd (Splatoon)

Everyone can't get enough of the kids and squids of Splatoon, but us cat lovers know who the real star is: the referee, Judd. The corpulent kitty oversees the Inklings' Turf Wars, raising and dropping flags in stupefied awe to whoever, respectively, won or lost. But when he's not busy judging, you'll find him in Inkopolis Plaza doing what every cat does best: napping.


In this world of aquatic-human hybrids, it's refreshing to see a full-blooded mammal within Splatoon's colorful cast. But why is that the case? The answer may lie in the Sunken Sea Scrolls, which imply a past that'd make any cat owner's heart break...


7. Katz (Tales of Symphonia)


This one might be cheating, although we never learn what exactly Katz are. In any case, they're a pot-bellied cat-like race who occupy nearly every town in the world of Tales of Symphonia, offering treasure hunting services and mini-game fun. There's even a hidden Katz Village in the far corners of Sylvarant, serving as a cozy little hamlet full of goods.

Racism is quite the heavy theme in Tales of Symphonia, as citizens of both Sylvarant and Tethe'alla fall prey to anti-Half-Elf propaganda. Thankfully, it would appear Symphonia's world is populated with cat lovers, as they embrace the mysterious nature of Katz with open arms. Just look at how touched they are when they help rebuild Luin! 


6. Cat Goomba (Super Mario 3D World)

I'm sorry, I know Cat Toad is the cutest of Super Mario 3D World's catfolk, but in my heart I know Cat Goomba is the greatest of them all. They're not just cute; their newfound jumping prowess is so fearsome that even Luigi is too panicked to fight back! 


...But that's just Luigi; actually, if he musters up the courage to fight back, he'll discover they're still defeated in one stomp. But they still try hard with their new feline persona, and that melts my heart enough to make me want one of my own. Seriously, why haven't they made a Cat Goomba plushie yet? 


5. Jibanyan (Yo-Kai Watch)


Paws of Fury! Jibanyan, the mascot of Level 5's Yo-Kai Watch series, is one of the first ghostly Yo-Kai you'll come across. A fire-breathing, two-tailed kitty, Jibanyan was once a cat named Rudy in a past life, until he was fatally run over by a truck. But a kitty's grudge runs deep; even now, he tries to challenge the truck that killed him, but fails every time. Why exactly does he go to such lengths? I'd tell you, but I'm getting chocked up just thinking about it...


Yo-Kai Watch has been gradually gaining momentum since it launched in Western territories last year, but apparent reports of its slowing down in Japan have dispelled any notions of Jibanyan taking down Pikachu. Whatever the case, I just can't get enough of his dancing animation while charging his Soultimate. It's so purrfectly adorable. 


4. Tangy (Animal Crossing)

Is there any cat in all of Animal Crossing more fascinating than Tangy? As much as I remain amused by Rover's stalking train hopping, all it takes is one look at Tangy's head to start asking questions. What's with all pores? The leaf sprouting between her ears? Was she actually born as a half-cat, half-orange hybrid, or was it plastic surgery gone horribly, horribly wrong?


I realize I'm asking this in a series where villagers can be robot frogs and mummy dogs, but those have logical answers: Ribbot was just built that way, and Lucky might've had a terrible accident. We get no such answer from Tangy, but in any case, she might want to watch out: villagers with the "lazy" personality are known to get pretty hungry, reeOWR.


3. King Tom (Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch)


That's Your Meowjesty, to you! Reigning over the province of Ding Dong Dell, this third-person-speaking cat was a great wizard in his heyday, but you wouldn't know it when we first meet him. Indeed, he's one of the many Other World residents who's fallen under Shadar's Brokenhearted spell, and so we first encounter him lounging about lazily in his throne room. Typical for a housecat, but not so much for a king. It's not until Oliver and Drippy cure his broken heart that he repays his debt by handing Oliver his old wand, setting his first real step as a full-fledged wizard.


By the way, they say every Other World denizen has a soulmate in the Real World, like two sides of the same coin. Could Oliver know King Tom's counterpart back in Motorville? Possible, but as seen above, Ding Dong Dell has something of a rat problem, so it's best not to linger on that...or is it?


2. The Cat Who Swims on the Ground (EarthBound Beginnings)


Ninten meets a number of enigmatic figures in the mystical Magicant, be it evil tree stumps, a legendary bard, a forgotten man...and yes, swimming cats. You can spot a couple swimming in the enchanted realm's waters, but it's The Cat Who Swims on the Ground that captivates us. Just how did it master the art of swimming through Magicant's cloudy landscape, and is it as blissful as it looks?


Even more impressive is how it can swim with only one paw above the ground, and so it engages Ninten in a guessing game: what does it have in the paw below? Rumors say it'll only give a prize to a girl, though. 


1. Palicoes (Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate)

The Felynes of Monster Hunter have never been afraid to hunt down meownsters, but their role as Palicoes in last year's Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate touched our hearts. Palicoes accompany the player right from the beginning, and can be customized with a wide variety of weapons and costumes. There's nothing quite as cathartic as being accompanied by a talking, fighting cat while on the prowl.

Oh, did I mention the existence of Sunset Isle, a Palico paradise where Felynes can engage in mini-games? Best of all: they can equip armor borrowed from famous video game characters via DLC. I mean, let's face it: who doesn't love dressing up their cats?


Last year, we had not one, but two Top 10 dog lists here at GameSkinny. To balance things out, here's a list featuring gaming's very best of what's really the greatest animal out there: cats, the stars of YouTube videos and meme images all across the internet.


And you can forget posers like Big the Cat or Bubsy the Bobcat; we're going to discuss the true feline stars of gaming. Who ranks among the greatest of gaming cats? The cutest? The fuzziest? The weirdest? Join us to see which cantankerous kitties made the cut.

Here are 10 (of many) great titles discounted in Steam's Anime Weekend Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/7maw3/here-are-10-of-many-great-titles-discounted-in-steams-anime-weekend-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/7maw3/here-are-10-of-many-great-titles-discounted-in-steams-anime-weekend-sale Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:31:23 -0400 Ashley Shankle

An "Anime Weekend Sale" on Steam? What the hell is that even supposed to mean? Apparently it means games with anime-style art direction, even if they're developed outside Japan.

This weekend's sale has slapped some hefty discounts on several of Steam's anime-style games, ranging from fighters and platformers to RPGs and visual novels.

Just like with any other Steam sale, there's a huge variance in quality. And if you want to find something good you have to do some digging -- which is a bit irritating this time around, considering almost all the games' Store images are eye-catching but so many are visual novels. I like visual novels as much as the next shut-in, but they're not what I turn to Steam for.

Back on point, let's take a look at some notable titles that may just be worth a purchase this weekend while they're on the cheap. These aren't the only good games on sale this weekend, but they are worth a look if this weekend's sale selection is overwhelming.


Genre: Metroidvania-bullet hell
Steam Store link
Price: $14.39 (Normally $17.99)

This Metroidvania-bullet hell hybrid is only 20% off but it's one recent overlooked release that's basically a must-play for Metroidvania fans even if they're not all that crazy about bunny girls and cute CGs. This game is gratifyingly (see: brutally) difficult, mostly due to the bullet hell combat elements.

Every Metroidvania on Steam has its own gimmicks and this one's are its disgusting cuteness and bullet dodging. It's hard to finish Rabi-Ribi and not go back for another taste at a higher difficulty.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse

Genre: 3D fighter
Steam Store link
Price: $16.99 (Normally $49.99)

Dragon Ball Xenoverse came out last year amidst a pretty huge wave of brand new Dragon Ball media, including the new show and Resurrection of 'F' movie.

This online multiplayer fighter is a dream for fans of the series and lets them create a character to self-insert into the Dragon Ball storyline and fight alongside the Z Fighters. Online multiplayer is fun but don't expect any semblance of balance. None at all.

Littlewitch Romanesque: Editio Regia

Genre: Raising sim strategy
Steam Store link
Price: $16.24 (Normally $24.99)

I might be biased here, considering I imported a physical copy of this game ages ago based on its art by Ooyari Ashito (all five of us Princess Maker 3 fans represent), but anyone with an inkling for raising sims or unique, cute games would find themselves at home raising Kaya and Aria in the magical arts.

This game is extremely dialogue-heavy, often too much so, but it's unique and ultimately it's hard to forget the bizarre raising aspects and overall comfortable feeling.

Umihara Kawase Trilogy

Genre: Platformer
Steam Store link
Price: $14.99 (Normally $29.99)

This is the one entry on this list that's more than one game, mostly because if you like one of them you'll like all three. The Umihara Kawase series only recently found its way outside of Japan but has been well-known among the importing community since the first game's release in 1994.

All three of these are utterly unforgiving platformers where you have to use your fishing lure and rod to grapple onto platforms and swing to your destination in hopes of figuring out the route that actually finishes the game. Give any of the three trilogy games' trailers a look, this series is hard to describe.

100% Orange Juice

Genre: Board game
Steam Store link
Price: $2.06 (Normally $6.99)

Do you hate your friends? Do your friends hate you? Do you want to learn the true meaning of hate in online multiplayer? If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, 100% Orange Juice is for you.

100% Orange Juice is a card-based board game with a fair amount of unlocks, continued support from their publisher (not even the original Japanese version has online multiplayer), and a great deal of charm. It's almost a sure bet if you're looking for a game to play casually with friends, and the 4-pack is only $5.99 during this weekend's sale.

Disgaea PC

Genre: Strategy RPG
Steam Store link
Price: $15.99 (Normally $19.99)

Disgaea isn't so well-known just because it's cute. The series has been going strong since the original PlayStation 2 release, and the Steam version brings the additional content added in the Afternoon of Darkness release, elongating what even at its most base is an absolute time-eater of a game.

There's just a ton to character growth and building, not to mention the well-known and certainly reachable 9999 level cap. NIS America ironed out some of the issues Disgaea PC had at launch, making this now the best introduction to one of console game's most popular strategy RPG series.

One Way Heroics

Genre: Sidescrolling roguelike RPG
Steam Store link
Price: $.87 (Normally $3.49)

Don't let this game's tiny price fool you into thinking it's trash -- if you like roguelikes and quirky games, it's more than worth even the standard $3.49 price tag.

It's hard to stop playing One Way Heroics once you get started. It keeps you walking forward, both during runs (which most often end before you'd like) and in overall progression. This is another one that's hard to describe, but it is much better than it looks. Especially with the Plus DLC adding new content.


Genre: Shoot'em up (Shmup)
Steam Store link
Price: $9.99 (Normally $19.99)

One of developer CAVE's better-known titles, Mushihimesama stands as one of the best-known shmups out there and one of the best on Steam.

You probably know if you like shmups. If you do and haven't grabbed this one up yet, the lower base game sale price and 50% discount on the V1.5 DLC that adds the remixed Matsuri mode and the more aggressive MAX mod. The base game and the DLC are well-worth the buy for shmup fans. But let's be honest: If you like the genre, you've probably bought it already.

Tales of Symphonia

Genre: RPG
Steam Store link
Price: $9.99 (Normally $19.99)

Generally regaled as one of if not the best Tales of game in the West, the Steam version of Tales of Symphonia was the first entry in the series to make it to the platform. It's a classic and hard not to recommend.

While the game's visuals are certainly dated, it's hard not to get wrapped up in the story, characters, and battle system. Tales of Symphonia has mixed reviews on Steam due to the game being a technical mess when released, but Bandai Namco has and still is patching it to (hopefully) pristine condition.

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

Genre: Shop sim, action dungeon crawler
Steam Store link
Price: $4.99 ($19.99)

Is it possible to go through the Anime Weekend Sale listings and not mention Recettear? No sir, I don't think so.

One of the first Japanese games on Steam when it was released in 2010, Recettear is an exercise in stone-cold kawaii capitalism and action dungeon crawling. You own a shop, which you must stock with goods and then sell. Selling itself requires haggling and every customer is different--for better or for worse. And dungeon crawling, well...it's fun.

There is nothing about this game that is not fun. If you somehow have not played Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale yet, it's time to get to it.

There are certainly many more worthwhile games on sale this weekend than the 10 listed here. My shortlist leading up to these 10 was less "short" and more "25+ games long". If you've skimmed through this weekend's sale, which titles would you recommend? Toss those opinions out in the comments lest my wallet stay obese!

Top 5 Modern Games in the Tales of Series https://www.gameskinny.com/3aqt1/top-5-modern-games-in-the-tales-of-series https://www.gameskinny.com/3aqt1/top-5-modern-games-in-the-tales-of-series Mon, 04 Apr 2016 11:39:09 -0400 Synzer


1. Tales of Symphonia


It was hard to decide between this and Tales of Vesperia, and the choice boiled down to mostly how much time I spent playing each game.


When I first heard of this game, I thought I was dreaming. Before this, I had played many JRPGs, and they were all turn-based. The fact that this was real-time was simply unbelievable to me at the time. Throw in the fact that it was a long game like other JRPGs, and had multiplayer, and I got it without a second thought.


Symphonia was the first Tales of game I played, as I expect was the case for many others. It was the first 3D title in the series, and had one of the largest casts and available hours.


It dealt with religious and racial themes, and I think the story can still stand up to those of today. I have beaten this game many times just for the story alone. 


There were also so many side things to do and places to go. There were basically two worlds for you to explore, so you had plenty to keep you busy. And that's why it's got the top spot on this list.


What do you think of the list? Any others you love? Let me know in the comments!


2. Tales of Vesperia


If I were ranking these based on story and characters alone, this would be #1. The main character, and nearly every character, has flaws that make them more human. Yuri is not perfect and is willing to get his hands dirty for the greater good.


The story is one of two best friends that go their own paths to make the world a better place. Yuri meets many people along the way and they each have their own flaws and goals. This game probably has the most interesting and relatable characters in the entire series.


The game is also gorgeous and really shows how beautiful of a world Tales of games are set in.


3. Tales of the Abyss


This game has one of the most unlikable protagonists at the beginning. When I first started playing this game, I actually quit after a short time of playing because I could not stand Luke. Not a great way to start your game.


However, I eventually picked it back up and i'm glad that I did. Tales of the Abyss made great improvements to the battle system and has a great story. There are some huge twists and Luke turns out to be -- dare I say it -- likable!


Fans of Tales of Symphonia would certainly like this one, and some even think it is a better game.


4. Tales of Xillia


When you have a game series with as many titles as this one, you start to try new things. Xillia lets you choose between two different protagonists, and the scenes you see depend on who you chose.


I admire this decision, and it is things like this the series should keep trying, to make the series fresh while still retaining the core of what makes the games great.


The battle system also lets you link with other character to provide support to each other, which offers some combat variety.


The world, characters, and story were all brilliant. So much so that it prompted a sequel in Tales of Xillia 2.


5. Tales of Graces


Tales of Graces may not have the best story, but it has arguably the best battle system. In a series that is more or less defined by the unique battle system, this game deserves a top spot in the ranking.


The characters were also interesting, like most of the games, so it has that going for it as well. At the end of the day, I'll gladly take a game with an amazing battle system because that gives a lot of replay value.


The Tales of series is an old JRPG series that has been around since the days of Super Nintendo. The initial draw for most people is the battle system, which is in real-time and not the standard turn-based system seen in most JRPGs.


Nearly every game takes place in a different world or time, like the Final Fantasy series, but there is overlap at times. The characters and story have also become a popular part of Tales of games.


This list will show my top 5 picks of the best modern Tales of games and why I chose them. Now, on with the list!

7 Game Villains I Wish I Could Have Been https://www.gameskinny.com/z9y90/7-game-villains-i-wish-i-could-have-been https://www.gameskinny.com/z9y90/7-game-villains-i-wish-i-could-have-been Sat, 20 Jun 2015 04:54:17 -0400 KungFro




At first I thought of using all of the ghosts in general, but then I remembered that the orange ghosts, Clyde in Pac-Man and Sue in Ms. Pac-Man, were the most elite of their ranks. Not only were they immortal like the others, but they also knew my every move. For whatever reason, with those two at least, it felt personal.


All of my suspicions were later confirmed when Clyde made his debut in Wreck-it-Ralph. He's smarter than the others. I never stood a chance.


Did you ever want to be a video game villain? Let me know who inspires you in the comments below!



Portal series

If GLaDOS wasn't so heavy-handed on the neurotoxin, I would be her best friend. I can't help but feel like she's a chubby kid at heart, what with all the talk of cake. When the cake turned out to be a fiery death, I was even more excited. We're both just pyros with a love for cake.


On a personal level, GLaDOS is pretty much my twin sister. We're both better at everything than everyone else – er... narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and socially awkward. When she became potato battery GLaDOS, living vicariously through her was no longer enough. I had to be the potato.


Carmen Sandiego 

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Many people seem to have forgotten about Carmen, beyond her pairing with the equally elusive Waldo. This woman was a thief like none other, even capable of stealing intangible objects, such as the steps to the tango.


However, the truest villainy lies not in her world, but in our world. She got me to study history... and enjoy it. I know not what sorcery she employs in her heists, but it pales in comparison to that which she used on me. Teach me, Sandiego sensei.



Kingdom Hearts series

She's lean, she's mean, and she breathes flames of green. Give it up for the meanest side eye in all the land: it's Maleficent!


I can't think of anyone more innately evil than this woman. She's never afraid to call someone out on being a fool – then again, anyone who isn't her fits her definition of the word. That's a lot of foolishness to be sassy about, but she's up to the challenge. Let's not forget that she can turn into a dragon. I've always wanted to do that.



Mario series

To be Bowser was by far one of my loftiest aspirations, because he's all about chivalry. If he really wanted to, he probably could've sent in a Goomba to assassinate Princess Peach - it's not like she ever sees anything coming. The best part is that home invasion and kidnapping are the least of his skills.


Bowser is great at most sports, knows how to drive pretty well, has his own castle, breathes fire regularly, and has children. He's an all-rounder with swag in spades. And we all know Peach would float over if he wasn't picking her up.



Final Fantasy VII

Let it be known that I am not really the biggest fan of Sephiroth. I mean, he's got really cool hair, but Masamune is just... I can't see why you'd need a 6 to 8 foot sword. Maybe he's overcompensating for the lack of love in his life. I will say that his nonchalance about all things sinister makes me smile.


The main reason I wanted to be Sephiroth was him killing Aerith. He committed one of video game history's most well-known murders. He single-handedly shattered the hearts of gamers everywhere. Now he's a legend. Who wouldn't be jealous?


Mithos Yggdrasill 

Tales of Symphonia

Mithos survived racial persecution, wrongful exile from his homeland, and the loss of his sister in a war to protect those that shunned him. In light of his past, Mithos did what any war hero would do: seek to rid the world of all discrimination. It was his sister's dying wish, after all.


So Mithos created an army of emotionless pseudo-angels and established a religion in which all people worship his dead sister as a goddess. He then used this religion to manipulate human marriages for several millennia – all to find a new body worthy of housing her soul. Villain or not, he's a better brother than I ever was.


I'm just going to be honest and admit that I prefer villains to heroes 4 out of 5 times. I wanted to be one, actually. I would build LEGO castles just to stomp on them. The pain kept me young.


So instead of looking up to the heroes of video games, I imagined myself as one of the bad guys. Without further ado, here are a few villains I wanted to be when I grew up.

6 infamous ship wars that almost broke their video game fandoms https://www.gameskinny.com/fa2pe/6-infamous-ship-wars-that-almost-broke-their-video-game-fandoms https://www.gameskinny.com/fa2pe/6-infamous-ship-wars-that-almost-broke-their-video-game-fandoms Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:25:46 -0400 Jackson Ingram


. . . Kingdom Hearts (again): "SoKai" vs. "SoRiku"


The Kingdom Hearts franchise is launched with a love triangle between childhood friends Sora, Riku, and Kairi (dubbed the "Destiny Trio"). Somewhere along the way, however, Sora moved out of a tangent role and into the epicenter of the great relationship debate. Ironically, this beloved series built around friendship and Disney characters has triggered one of the nastiest ship wars in video game history.

Team Kairi

There's a strong case to be made for SoKai. For one thing, they're probably as "official couple status" as any original pairing will ever be in Kingdom Hearts. Kairi is constantly referred to as Sora's "special someone" or his "light" and he thinks about her constantly while they're apart. Sora carries her lucky charm to the end of the worlds and back twice. Kairi's heart is able to restore Sora's form after he sacrifices himself to save her. Then there's the whole thing in Kingdom Hearts II where they're both super willing to take on Saix mentally or, in Kairi's case, physically for the possibility of their reunion. Oh, and Sora draws himself giving Kairi a paopu fruit, basically the most romantic gesture in the KH universe. And Kairi reciprocates.

Team Riku

Riku may have started out feigning a crush on Kairi, but he quickly drops that and proceeds to be as gay as humanly possible for the rest of the series. All of his actions - following the path of darkness, trying to redeem himself, taking on Ansem's form - were all for Sora. By the time Riku's swooping around to wake up his best friend between Days and Kingdom Hearts II, the fandom forgot about their rivalry entirely. This is obviously a boy in love. When everyone's finally reuniting before the final showdown in the World That Never Was, Sora actually falls to his knees, crying, begging Riku not to go. 


Shortly afterward, they have the most romantic fight with Xemnas ever and happily resign themselves to dying together on the Dark Margin. Just to really hammer it in, Dream Drop Distance has them going on another adventure together in which their hearts are intimately connected and Riku dives into a nightmare to awaken Sora's sleeping soul. They're like a regular Orpheus and Eurydice, except with a happy ending.


It's such a shame when ship wars get in the way of enjoying a great franchise, especially when there's such an easy, perfect solution. Do you ship? What are some clashing pairs you've run into? Tell us in the comments below!


Kingdom Hearts: "AkuRoku" vs. "RokuShi"


Roxas, Axel, and Xion, the fan-dubbed "Sea-Salt Trio," are the major players in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, during which they complete missions for the antagonistic (and highly shippable) Organization XIII. Despite being told they don't have hearts, these three all demonstrate deep emotions throughout the game and manage to establish a norm-defying friendship with one another. Naturally, the fandom decided that all these feelings needed to be channeled romantically. Only one question remains: with which pairings?

Team Axel

Kingdom Hearts II includes a pretty significant subplot in which Axel attempts to retrieve the critical "Key of Destiny" Roxas after the thirteenth member goes AWOL. It soon becomes clear that Axel isn't doing this just because the boss told him too. In fact, he himself ditches Xemnas soon afterward to find a way to bring Roxas back from his summer-ending merger with Sora. Rumors were soon flying about that these two weren't just "buddies," as the English translation states, but actually "partners," as in the original Japanese. They certainly have enough meaningful exchanges to make it a valid interpretation. And if all of that doesn't sway you to Team AkuRoku (a portmanteau based on their Japanese names), remember Axel's dying words to Sora. "[Roxas] made me feel . . . like I had a heart."

Team Xion

Poor, sweet Xion. When she was first introduced in Days, AkuRoku shippers were already out for blood, assuming that the mysterious fourteenth member had been shoved into Organization XIII for the sole purpose of ruining their One True Pairing. Whether you love her or hate her (and there doesn't seem to be an in-between), there's no denying the strong feelings between Xion and her counterpart, Roxas. And if you didn't break down when Roxas cradled her dying body, then maybe you don't have a heart, okay? I just . . . I just need a minute.


Sonic the Hedgehog: "Sonamy" vs. "Sonadow"


For a franchise about super-fast hedgehogs freeing cute woodland creatures from diabolical robot casings devised by a mad scientist named after eggs, you wouldn't think relationships would factor in too much. You would be so, so wrong.

Team Amy Rose

In mirroring the Mario/Peach relationship sweeping the gaming industry, Sega initially introduced Amy Rose as a damsel in distress. This quickly evolved into a one-sided obsessive crush. Seriously, Sonic should have filed a restraining order. But he didn't. And Amy mellowed, eventually. And while they're still not Facebook official, "Sonamy" seems to be getting closer and closer to canon.

Team Shadow the Hedgehog

Two destined rivals bound in eternal conflict . . . sounds . . . steamy? Okay, so I don't personally buy into hedgehog sexual tension, but a large chunk of this fandom does, so more power to them. If you look at it from the perspective of Shadow, you can kind of see it. Like, Shadow is already more-or-less obsessed with Sonic. Sometimes the lines between hatred and love can be a little blurry. The hedgehog heart wants what the hedgehog heart wants.


The Legend of Zelda: "Zelink" vs. "Midlink"


For almost 30 years, Princess Zelda and Link (known colloquially as "Zelink") have been the couple of the Legend of Zelda series. Sure, they've had their share of alter-egos that ironically were considered threatening to the ship (Link/Sheik shippers can be pretty intense), but overall they seemed pretty stable. Well, stable until their first legitimate challenger came on the scene in 2006 with Twilight Princess: Midna.


Granted, a significant portion of the fandom doesn't bother with shipping at all since Link isn't very, y'know . . . vocal about his feelings, but the small groups of die-hard Zelink and Midlink shippers have made this clash the talk of Hyrule.

Team Zelda

Um, hello? She's kind of the main character of the series. Zelda appears in almost every game, and it is her legend. For each incarnation of Link, there seems to be an incarnation of Zelda, so they have the whole "soulmates in every lifetime" thing going for them. Plus, they've been through a lot together. Hyrule is perpetually in danger and date nights spent battling Ganondorf are frequent and mandatory. 

Team Midna

Link and Midna spend a lot of time together in Twilight Princess. Like a lot of time. Their relationship is fun and dynamic, and also laced with some romantic undertones. It all culminates when Midna regains her true form and she jokingly asks him if she has become so beautiful that he cannot speak. I mean, he doesn't say anything, obviously, but he seems pretty choked up by her appearance. And then, as Midna is leaving, there's that highly interpretative unfinished sentence before the Mirror of Twilight is shattered forever . . . "Link... I... See you later."


Tales of Symphonia: "Sheloyd" vs. "Colloyd"


Tales of Symphonia, part of a well-known Japanese RPG series, follows Lloyd Irving as he accompanies Colette on her journey to replenish their world, Sylvarant, with life-giving mana. On the way, they meet Sheena, an assassin from a parallel world, Tethe'alla, which vies for the same supply of resources. The two worlds aren't the only forces at odds with one another, however. The Lloyd/Sheena vs Lloyd/Colette ship war easily dwarfs that conflict.

Team Sheena

While admittedly not quite the "official couple" of Tales, Lloyd and Sheena have crazy amounts of chemistry and a quite a bit of heart. Lloyd admits that he feels like he can be himself around her, despite how flustered Sheena seems to get, and their mutual feelings become clear in the optional "skits." But that's just it. Most of these skits are optional. The player has to choose them to really get to the meat of their relationship.

Team Colette

Another pair with childhood friend points, Lloyd/Colette are very in tune with one another's thoughts and feelings and are bolstered by non-optional affectionate scenes near the beginning of the game. There's even a scene in Dawn of the New World, in which Lloyd tells Colette he loves her. That is, however, one of the optional skits. So even though Tales lays the groundwork for this pairing, the player has to follow through if they want it to be legit. 


Final Fantasy VII: "CloTi" vs. "Clerith"


This debate has been raging on for almost two whole decades, and the opposing sides don't seem to be any closer to reaching a resolution. Screw Sephiroth. If you go on Tumblr, the real villain of FF7 is apparently either Tifa or Aerith, each being frequently demonized by the rival perspective. Who should Cloud be with?

Team Tifa

Tifa and Cloud go way back. Originally childhood friends, Tifa convinces Cloud to join AVALANCHE to fulfill an age-old promise to protect her, though it's really she who wants to keep a closer eye on him. Tifa is there for him after he's manipulated by Sephiroth. She's there for him again when he's consumed with guilt. And finally, she's there after the defeat of Sephiroth's remnants, giving Cloud a family to come back to.

Team Aerith

Two words: Tragic. Romance. Remember that spoiler warning earlier? Pull it back up, because this is kind of a big deal. Ready for this? Aerith dies. It's like one of the most famous video game deaths ever, I'm kind of surprised you didn't know this yet. It's pretty clear that Cloud and Aerith shared a deep connection, especially given her spiritual reappearances throughout the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. Things get significantly more complicated, however, when you throw Aerith/Zack shippers into the mix. So let's not.


For those of you who don't know, "shipping," occurring within fandoms, describes the act of desiring two (or more) characters together in a romantic and/or sexual fashion, rooting for the progress of their relationship. Don't make the mistake of not taking this seriously. Some shippers don't mess around. When two popular pairings conflict, the results can be catastrophic. Think Alien vs. Predator. Godzilla vs. Mothra. Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda.


These Ship Wars have ravaged several video game franchises. Here's a closer look at 6 of the most infamous examples.


Beware of potential spoilers.

Video Game Parents are the Worst (But That's Okay) https://www.gameskinny.com/k64ur/video-game-parents-are-the-worst-but-thats-okay https://www.gameskinny.com/k64ur/video-game-parents-are-the-worst-but-thats-okay Sun, 07 Jun 2015 08:30:01 -0400 KungFro

Video game parents are godawful, and this seems to be the case 11 out of 10 times. Even the good ones are terrible. So let's take a look at some terrible video game parents, then see if we can figure out why this is so common.

EXHIBIT A – Heihachi Mishima (Tekken)

Most of the Mishima men, except for Jinpachi, are extremely angry human beings. They are constantly trying and failing to kill each other, which is the closest they come to showing love. Male bonding?

Kazuya won't be winning any medals for parenting either, but Heihachi takes the cake for being an awful son, father, AND grandfather. Who locks their own father underground to starve to death and throws their only child down a ravine? Heihachi does! And when the ravine isn't deep enough, use a volcano! Brilliant. Heihachi is just full of great parenting tips.

EXHIBIT B – Flemeth (Dragon Age)

First, let's take a minute to admire Flemeth, looking like a regal slice of albino Maleficent. Good? Good. Now let's talk about the fact that she goes out and has herself a daughter any time she's in need of a younger body. There's nothing vicarious about it – Flemeth literally has children so that their bodies may act as extra vessels for her soul.

I suppose immortality is the only thing an immensely powerful witch of legend, who is already capable of turning into a dragon, could possibly want. To be honest, bodily possession seems like the best outcome of her parenting, considering what she's capable of. I'd rather give up the goods than get eaten by a dragon.

EXHIBIT C – Zachary Hale Comstock (BioShock Infinite)

Rapunzel, Rapunzel! ...Oh, is she not home, Mother Gothel?

That's fine! I'll just kidnap other me's daughter and lock her up in a high tower! What could possibly go wrong, besides everything? I honestly have no idea why this man thought it was a okay to kidnap his own child, lock her up like an interdimensional slave, and almost cause her to develop Stockholm syndrome for a giant metal bird. Then he put a hit out on his wife.

What an inspiration. Such holy. Very patriot. In Father Comstock we trust.

EXHIBIT D – Delia Ketchum (Pokémon)

Don't let that seemingly loving stare fool you. She wants him gone.

This one may be rather unexpected, but I'm using Delia as an example for every parent in every Pokémon game ever. No, she doesn't ever display abusive behavior toward her son. In fact, she's remarkably supportive of all that he does. My question is why on Earth this child doesn't have a curfew. He is ten years old. Pokémon master? Go master your multiplication tables!

I didn't even have real friends at his age, let alone a rival who needed to get got and a recurring affiliation with a criminal organization. Not to mention the amount of times he has taken matters into his own hands and BLOWN UP Team Rocket, making him a vigilante and possibly a sociopath. Heaven forbid Delia give her child a bedtime and save him from becoming the Batman.


The list is endless. Cervantes de León's first interaction with his biological daughter is him trying to consume her soul. Kratos Aurion assists his son's best friend in becoming a hollow shell, because that's a great way to socialize your children. Tharja hexes both her daughter and husband for kicks, because who better to physically, mentally, and emotionally torture than the ones you love?

Okay, so they're awful. But why?

Well, if we look beyond the morbidly comical notion of throwing your child into a volcano, every good coming-of-age story requires internal struggle. Innocence and ignorance are innate traits of the youthful adventurer, and good parents offer the wisdom their children don't yet have. Parents set the expectations. So, when they have piss poor expectations, the young soul is left to fend for itself on the path of self-discovery. Everyone can relate to searching for one's self, so these stories resonate with us all on some level.

Of course parents refusing to "properly" parent their children is a controversial topic, but history has proven that controversy leads to captivation. All of the series I've mentioned above have thriving fanbases. Besides, tragic and epic go hand in hand. There wouldn't be heroes if there was nothing to defend, and nothing worth defending is invincible.

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles - Release Date and Collector's Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/56yhb/tales-of-symphonia-chronicles-release-date-and-collectors-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/56yhb/tales-of-symphonia-chronicles-release-date-and-collectors-edition Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:12:08 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Today Namco Bandai has announced that on February 28th, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles will be available in Europe and Australia. Although the game released earlier this month in Japan, it's currently unknown when the game will be available for the US, but it's foreseen to be in 2014.

What is Tales of Symphonia?

Not to spoil the game for anyone, but Tales of Symphonia is rich in characters and game plot. You'll be able to enjoy this game with family and friends alike. The graphics are family friendly and not too intensive or violent. Tales of Symphonia was once released on the GameCube and then on the PS2. In addition, there has also been a manga and anime spin-off to enjoy with the game. All in all, a great game to enjoy that also has eleven installments.

When looking at the game, I can't help but feel a Final Fantasy fighting style about it. This game will definitely be on my list for the end of the holiday season.

Chronicles coming to PS3 and Collector's Edition

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles will bundle together the GameCube edition, Tales of Symphonia, and its sequel Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. This bundle will be exclusive to the PS3, and unknown to the next-gen consoles such as the PS4.

To celebrate Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, there will be 10,000 copies of the collector's edition available throughout Europe and Australia. Featured within the edition are 5 action figurines, a paperback novel, a multi-disk soundtrack, and the game. Definitely something to look forward to for any Tales of Symphonia fan right after the holiday season.

Do you plan on getting Tales of Symphonia Chronicles?
Tales of Symphonia, One of my favorite games of all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/waenx/tales-of-symphonia-one-of-my-favorite-games-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/waenx/tales-of-symphonia-one-of-my-favorite-games-of-all-time Fri, 23 Aug 2013 20:23:07 -0400 Synzer

Tales of Symphonia was an RPG that was released on the Nintendo Gamecube on July 13, 2004 in North America. Another version with added features was released on the PlayStation 2 later that year, but only in Japan. It is one of my all-time favorite video games for a myriad of reasons, but the most being the story. The combat system and characters come close though. Let me break it down for you.

A quest to save the world - Story: 8/10

Now, some people complain about the story. They say it's predictable and boring. I agree it can be predictable and some parts may be a little dry or drag out a little too long. The basic rundown is that you play as Lloyd, a beginning swordsman, with his friends Genus and Collete. Collete is the "chosen", who goes on a pilgrimage to "regenerate" the world. Sounds simple enough, but it gets a lot more complicated than that as the story progresses. 

There are some nice twists, and the overall story in my opinion is fantastic. The game is two discs long so there's a lot of content and it gets better the more you play. One of the best parts of the story is the interaction between characters and the history behind the main boss, Mithos. I won't spoil it here, but the final confrontation and accompanying cut-scenes are some of my favorite moments in a role-playing game.

Unique artistic style - Graphics: 9/10

The game has a very nice cel-shaded graphical quality. There are some animated cut-scenes as well, though not many. Looking at the graphics now they may not seem that great, but they were great for the style of game and the time this was released. The effects for the attacks also look quite incredible for a game of its age.

 Not turn-based, just fluid, real-time action.. sorta - Game play: 9/10

This is almost everyone's favorite thing about the game and the main reason I tried the game out in the first place. There were not many role-playing games out at the time that were multi-player, with four player co-op I might add. On top of that, the battles were all in real-time.

No choosing an attack, watching it, then waiting your turn for the enemy to attack. You used all your attacks and spells without delay in this highly fluid combat system. That alone was like a dream come true for a long time, turn-based, RPG player such as myself.

The fights are still instanced, so when you walk into or get caught by an enemy, you then get taken to the battle screen. While you can at least see the enemies on the map, instead of them being random encounters (I'm looking at you Pokémon), some fights are unavoidable.

You can choose from many characters as they join you throughout the quest, and don't even have to keep Lloyd in the party. There are parts of the story that need you to use him and others though. There's also a slight choice over which skills you learn, but I won't go into that here.

 Music to my ears - Sound: 8/10

The voice acting was great in my opinion and had some famous names including, Scott Menville, Kari Wahlgren, Crispin Freeman, Jennifer Hale, Tara Strong, and Cam Clarke. I definitely enjoyed the music and sound effects. One of my favorite things to hear in the game is Genus chanting his spells. The video to the right shows my favorite one, Indignation. Besides that, music and battle dialogue can get repetitive like most games.

It's dangerous to go alone, take some friends with you - Multi-player: 9/10

 I had not previously played an RPG before this where I could fight with three other human players. This coupled with the battle system made this game an obvious choice for someone like me. The only reason I didn't give it a ten is the fact that it is only in battle can you play with your friends.

Whenever you are traveling, watching cut-scenes, or anything else that isn't fighting, only one player can control what's happening. There are also times where you may not have a full party of four or even just the main character. It's not perfect, but especially for its time, not many games could compare in this department.

This is only my 12th play-through - Replay Value: 10/10

The game's replay value is considerably higher than most games, especially RPG's. One huge bonus is the fact that you can start a new game using your clear data from a previous completion.

This allows you to transfer over certain things like, items, skills, titles, etc. In order to do this, you must buy it from the 'Grade Shop' that appears once you start a new game from a cleared game file. 'Grade' is obtained or lost in every fight of the game and whatever you have at the end can be used to buy transfers.

There are also eight characters to choose from, and only four can be in a battle at any given time. You can freely choose who you use, so this gives you many party configurations. You can go through the game as someone different or just try different combinations of skills.

 Final Verdict: 9/10

This is one of the best RPG series ever created, in my opinion. There are many different titles on various consoles. Most of them are separate, similar to Final Fantasy games, so you don't have to worry about following it from the beginning. If you are a fan of RPG's at all, do yourself a favor and try this game and any other titles in the series you can get your hands on.

Why I Enjoy Remakes and Ports https://www.gameskinny.com/yebzv/why-i-enjoy-remakes-and-ports https://www.gameskinny.com/yebzv/why-i-enjoy-remakes-and-ports Fri, 07 Jun 2013 17:24:35 -0400 Joseph Morgan

It seems like these days a whole ton of games are being re-done with updated graphics on the most recent consoles.  I’m a huge fan of this because often times I no longer have the older console or the game itself. 

Lots of companies are doing this because it is a much quicker way of putting out a game and having it make them a decent amount of capital for the amount of time and work that went into the HD update.  Some prominent remakes include Halo: Combat Evolved, Golden Eye, and The Jak and Daxter Collection. 

Often one of the most requested remakes is Final Fantasy VII, yet Square Enix continually denies any rumor that they are remaking the game. 

I recently found out that one of my favorite games on the Gamecube was going to get an HD remake coming in 2014. 

The game is Tales of Symphonia, which launched my love of that series of games.  More recently the people behind the series of games remade Tales of The Abyss for the 3DS, when that came out I couldn’t get my hands on a copy fast enough.  There is just something about playing a classic from the past that makes you feel good. 

Leave me a comment with your opinion on remakes and ports, and tell me what some of you favorites and least favorites are.

Tales of Symphonia HD Rumors Shot Down By Hideo Baba https://www.gameskinny.com/blxu7/tales-of-symphonia-hd-rumors-shot-down-by-hideo-baba https://www.gameskinny.com/blxu7/tales-of-symphonia-hd-rumors-shot-down-by-hideo-baba Mon, 27 May 2013 22:36:05 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The rumors of a PlayStation 3-bound HD remaster of Tales of Symphonia and its sequel Dawn of the New World gave many fans a mighty pitter-pattering in their heart region; but unfortunately, the rumors have turned out not to be true. Tales of series producer Hideo Baba has confirmed that no HD remaster is coming.

Speaking with JPGames.de, Baba put the rumors to rest, stating that the rumors did not start with Namco Bandai, and that Tales of Symphonia's 10th anniversary would more likely be celebrated with a "Tales of Cafe" or other event at NamcoCon.

"To be quite frank… I was at Expomanga in Spain last week and everyone was enjoying the event, and then I heard from fans “I heard rumors about a Tales of Symphonia Perfect Edition. Is that true?”. Actually, I was the one surprised by that! (laughs) That fan then said that it’s the 10th anniversary of Tales of Symphonia in Japan this year, and I just said that there might be something coming, as a celebration. But it will be more like a “Tales of Café” or an event at NamcoCon… but we actually have no plans yet, there are only ideas. We can’t really say anything before announcements are made and it’s always a bit surprising when people ask us about rumors like that. It would be best to just wait for new information [about Tales of Symphonia’s 10th anniversary]. Before we announce something, a rumor is just a rumor after all (laughs)."

You can read the entire interview with Hideo Baba over on JPGames.de, which is far more expansive than the quote above.

The quelling of this rumor may be disappointing to Tales of fans, but it's better to be let down gently than to have that glimmer of hope be brought up anytime someone brings up Tales of Symphonia. Rest in peace, hope. Tales of Xillia will make up for this deep, dark sadness.

Rumor of PS3 Tales of Symphonia HD Remaster Surfaces https://www.gameskinny.com/rrs8t/rumor-of-ps3-tales-of-symphonia-hd-remaster-surfaces https://www.gameskinny.com/rrs8t/rumor-of-ps3-tales-of-symphonia-hd-remaster-surfaces Sun, 12 May 2013 18:22:57 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Could Tales of Symphonia be seeing an HD remake on the PlayStation 3? According to Spanish gaming and anime site Koi-Nya (Google Translate), Tales of series producer Hideo Baba dropped some hints at the game receiving a new coat of paint and a new home during an interview at Expomanga 2013.

Tales of Symphonia is heralded as the most popular game in the series, though its Gamecube-only Western release alienated most of the fanbase, who were primarily Sony console-native at the time.

The difficulty in trusting this rumor lies in the fact that Nintendo handled the localization of the Gamecube version of the game. In order to remake and localize Symphonia, Namco Bandai will be tasked with creating a new localization themselves.

While there has been no official confirmation on this rumor as of yet, Hideo Baba did mention that 2013 would be a "Tales-filled year" during the announcement for the Tales of Xillia release. We've not heard more news on the series yet this year, could it be possible this rumor is a hint at what's to come? Only time will tell, but here's to hoping this rumor (and a localization) is confirmed sometime in the near future.

Favorites of the Gamecube - Tales of Symphonia https://www.gameskinny.com/61e5l/favorites-of-the-gamecube-tales-of-symphonia https://www.gameskinny.com/61e5l/favorites-of-the-gamecube-tales-of-symphonia Mon, 11 Mar 2013 11:37:30 -0400 James Kelly

Tales of Symphonia started out quite slow, but it made a great opportunity to learn the story by doing so. The game comes with two discs, so you know it's going to be worth it. I can truly say that I have never found any of the Final Fantasys or other RPG games as fun as Tales of Symphonia. It takes the cake by a long shot.

Though it gets repetitive, such as having to go from temple to temple, and using your ring for certain elements over and over again, it still has its upsides that outweigh the negatives. With so many characters, the game allows for a fun replay-ability trait.

Not much else can be said without giving any spoilers to the game, so I'll end with this: Tales of Symphonia is a must have. I rate it 8/10 stars, due to the repetitiveness and long, boring parts. Though, so much is packed into the story that it deserved at least an 8.