The Elder Scrolls Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com The Elder Scrolls RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The Elder Scrolls Legends: Alliance War Gets New Details, Content Roadmap https://www.gameskinny.com/jg8fc/the-elder-scrolls-legends-alliance-war-gets-new-details-content-roadmap https://www.gameskinny.com/jg8fc/the-elder-scrolls-legends-alliance-war-gets-new-details-content-roadmap Tue, 02 Apr 2019 11:26:04 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Bethesda recently released a new batch of details for The Elder Scrolls Legends new expansion, Alliance War, along with a content roadmap detailing what fans can expect for the rest of the year.

Alliance War was first announced during PAX East and is set to launch on PC, iOS, and Android April 15 with a wealth of new content, and you can see the announcement trailer above.

Bethesda says the expansion will bring the biggest changes since Legends first launched.

Among other new additions, Alliance War will bring more than 100 new cards and five new three-color house card combinations.

It will also introduce new gameplay mechanics, including Mobilize and Empower, and two brand-new factions in the fight for control over the Ruby Throne: the Empire of Cyrodil and the Guildsworn.

As an introduction both to the new factions and for new players, Bethesda offered a short overview of each faction's background and strengths:

Empire of Cyrodiil – Willpower, Agility, Endurance

  • Fallen from prominence, the Empire clings to its last shreds of power at the center of the conflict.

Daggerfall Covenant – Strength, Intelligence, Endurance

  • A faction of Redguard, Breton, and Orsimer seeking to restore the Second Empire of Men under the rule of High King Emeric.

Aldmeri Dominion – Intelligence, Willpower, Agility

  • Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit faction seeking to reestablish Elven dominance over Tamriel.

Ebonheart Pact – Strength, Agility, Endurance

  • Contentious alliance between the Dunmer, Nords, and Argonians formed out of necessity to preserve their independence.

Guildsworn – Strength, Intelligence, Willpower

  • A coalition formed between the Fighters Guild and Mages Guild to protect the people of Tamriel from the collateral damage of the war and the Daedric invasion.

The Elder Scrolls Legends — Alliance War is available for pre-order on Bethesda's website now for $49.99. Those who do pre-order will receive 50 card packs and a Legendary card from the expansion, along the exclusive "Warmonger" title and premium card back.

However, Alliance War isn't the only update Bethesda has planned for this year. The developer released a new content map outlining what fans can expect for each season.

Each update will include new cardpack expansions, summer promises new mechanics, and doubtlessly, we'll see more of the same for fall and winter as those seasons approach. 

]]>
How to Wait in Skyrim VR on Oculus, Vive, and PSVR https://www.gameskinny.com/6f47m/how-to-wait-in-skyrim-vr-on-oculus-vive-and-psvr https://www.gameskinny.com/6f47m/how-to-wait-in-skyrim-vr-on-oculus-vive-and-psvr Fri, 06 Apr 2018 17:34:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Although Skyrim VR turns the vanilla game's immersion up to 11, letting you throw fireballs, fight off Draugr, and steal cheese wheels in an almost-tangible Elder Scrolls landscape, there are limits to what we players will do to achieve that. No one wants to wait half a dozen real-world hours for Riften's guards to fall asleep at their posts. 

That's where Skyrim's "Wait" function comes in handy. And whether you're playing Skyrim VR on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PSVR, you may have found waiting isn't as immediately intuitive as you might have thought. 

Using each platform's motion controls, all it takes is the press of a single button to wait in Skyrim VR

  • On Oculus Rift: Press and hold down the Y button
  • On HTC Vive: Hold the Left Menu button
  • On PSVR: Press the Start button

If you're trying to figure out how to wait in vanilla Skyrim, you can do so by pressing "T" on PC, the "Back" button on Xbox One, the Touchpad on PS4, and the "--" button on the Nintendo Switch. 

Simple as that. Now you can wait faster and easier than ever before -- both in and out of virtual reality. 

We have loads of Skyrim guides here on GameSkinny, from categorized mod lists to some effective builds.

]]>
8 Franchises We Want to See Return in 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/1h84t/8-franchises-we-want-to-see-return-in-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/1h84t/8-franchises-we-want-to-see-return-in-2018 Fri, 22 Dec 2017 18:48:26 -0500 Allison M Reilly

2018 is going to be an exciting year for video games. Many awesome titles have already been announced, including the new Mega Man 11 and Bayonetta 3. Other franchises have announced additions for 2018, such as Yoshi, Kirby, Fire Emblem and more.

2017 was a pretty remarkable year for gaming, so next year certainly does have big shoes to fill. There are a few franchises who don't have games announced for 2018 that would help fill those shoes a little. Here are eight franchises we'd love to see make a comeback next year.

Super Smash Bros.

Every major Nintendo console since N64 has had a Super Smash Bros. game. It's only tradition that the Switch has a Super Smash Bros. game too (and that one of Mario's moves is a hat throw.) Sure, there's Brawlout, but that's not the same thing. A 2018 Super Smash Bros. game that includes both new franchises (thinking Splatoon, Lego, Bomberman) and new characters from franchises already in the series (such as Knuckles, Ganon, the Broodals).

The Elder Scrolls

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came out way back in 2011 and has already had, like, 12 remasters. Yes, Skyrim is awesome, but a brand-new Elder Scrolls game would be even more awesome! Skyrim doesn't need another remaster. If the new game took place in Elsweyr, the land of the Khajiit, or the Argonian homeland Black Marsh, then that would be really cool for the Elder Scrolls series. 

Donkey Kong

It's been a while since we've had a fun, solid Donkey Kong game. The last one was Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U in 2014. A new Donkey Kong game similar to Donkey Kong 64 would be awesome. Sure, there's still rainbow coins and such to find in these old games, so maybe it's too soon for a new game. Nonetheless, a Donkey Kong 3D platformer for the Switch would be a great addition to the console's library.

Castlevania

Who doesn't love a good game about vampire hunters? The last Castlevania game was Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 back in 2014, and it's high time this franchise is introduced to new audiences. There hasn't been a Castlevania game in so long that a new title hasn't been released on any of the current consoles. Castlevania games are just cool, and a new Castlevania title in 2018 would be incredibly exciting.

F-Zero

If there's a franchise that could use both a remake and a new game, it's F-Zero. Not only has F-Zero not had a game since 2004, but later games have never had the appeal and the spectacle of the very first F-Zero. And Captain Falcon has gotten way more airtime than the series itself. 2018 is as good a year as any to bring back F-Zero and that fabulous soundtrack. "Big Blue" anyone?

James Bond

The first-person shooter genre needs a game that's suave and sexy, and a James Bond game fits the bill. You know, more stealth and less run 'n gun.

Nonetheless, the last James Bond game, 007 Legends, came out back in 2012. Although it makes sense to time James Bond games with their Hollywood counterpart, I don't see any reason to wait for the next Bond film before making another Bond game. Besides, a new James Bond game would be the perfect opportunity to have Idris Elba star as 007 himself, even if it's only in the voice acting.

Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot got a remake this year, but it's about time the silly critter got a whole new game. Surely, Dr. Neo Cortex hasn't given up taking over the world just yet. It would be pretty neat to get a 3D platformer/Crash Team Racing hybrid next year as the new addition to the franchise. Crash Bandicoot also hasn't seen anything on console for a long time, as many of the most recent games were mobile games. It would be great if the franchise return was also a console return.

Ice Climbers

The Ice Climbers literally have one game, also called Ice Climbers, which came out way back in 1985 for the NES. How have they not had another game, especially since they've been in just about every Super Smash Bros. game? More people have played as the Ice Climbers than actual Ice Climbers by this point.

Because there's only one game, it's arguable that Ice Climbers doesn't count as a franchise. But, if any character is deserving of a return in their own game in 2018, it's the Ice Climbers.

---

Even without the return of these franchises next year, 2018 will be an amazing year for video games. There's already plenty to look forward to, and a lot can happen in 12 months' time. Perhaps we will see the return of one of the eight franchises mentioned? There's only one way to find out: onward to 2018!

]]>
Unlocked: The Evolution of Lockpicking in Western RPGs https://www.gameskinny.com/20abw/unlocked-the-evolution-of-lockpicking-in-western-rpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/20abw/unlocked-the-evolution-of-lockpicking-in-western-rpgs Sun, 22 Jan 2017 06:46:53 -0500 Emily Parker

For as long as the human race has had possessions, somebody has tried to steal them. When doors and latches were invented, so was the lock. It wasn't just about protecting ourselves while we slept anymore: there needed to be a way to secure our treasures while we were out for the day. 

Originally, ancient citizens would learn or invent complicated knots to secure a rope around their belongings. This was only to detect if one of their neighbors was stealing from them, not to actually safeguard their things.

During Ancient Egyptian times, the single pin lock was invented. This is an impressive feat, as it is still the base for the majority of locks we use today. During the Industrial Revolution, mankind made several more advances in lock manufacturing, but it's interesting to note that our standard padlocks aren't very different than what our ancestors used 5,000 years ago.

But just as we need locks in real life to secure our belongings and safeguard our homes, so too do we need them as players -- especially in RPGs.

So how does all of this translate to our favorite role-playing games? In a similar fashion to our real-world ancestors, devs started simple, had a big breakthrough, did some fine-tuning to the systems involved and then haven't really bothered doing much else since. It is truly a shame (considering how much the RPG genre relies on puzzles) that there hasn't been more progress with how loot is locked up. 

With the early addition of puzzles in RPGs, stats-based lock picking was introduced. This was a simple click-and-wait mechanic. If your skill was high enough, the lock would open. Training up your skill was really the only requirement, and RPGs with fewer resources or technical limitations (like WoW, for example) still use this method today. 

Then developers began to implement something called "the minigame," and lock picking in video games started to look like what we see today. This gave game developers and designers an opportunity to combine a player's RPG stats with a timed puzzle, making an old mechanic fresh and new. 

An early (and excellent) example of this advancement was an RPG called Hillsfar. The minigame in question is actually quite a lot of fun -- the player picks up lock picks throughout the game, must match several to each lock within the time limit, and if they do it incorrectly, their pick breaks. The system was genius, as it combined hours of collecting locks and fast-paced decisions with tangible consequences. 

Hillsfar was released in 1989. In the video game world, this is the equivalent to Ancient Egypt. As you can see, there have been no huge innovations since our first lock-picking mini-games -- in realism or complexity. They even remain in 2D, which severely limits their capabilities. 

However, they have been graphically enhanced and re-imagined. The Elder Scrolls series has polished traditional lock-picking mini-games to a gleam. RPGs like Bioshock, Risen 2, and Mass Effect took their lock picking in completely different directions. For example, Bioshock features a strange liquid/tube puzzle to crack open the loots and the Risen series is all about the order in which the player sticks the pins.

While some of these systems eventually get repetitive, they are great examples of developers making a genuine effort at making something fairly easy for the player to decipher a little more complex. 

Mass Effect is a good example of lock hacking. As we're on the cusp of switching completely to digital locks in the real world, it's an easy assumption that video game locks will follow suit. "Hacking" provides a multitude of opportunities to improve how video game players break in -- or keep NPCs out.

So How Can Lock Picking in Video Games Innovate? 

Whether they are digital or mechanical, it would be nice to see a few innovations in the way lock-picking mini-games are presented in our upcoming RPGs. Focusing on tension and movement -- rather than time limits and breaking picks -- would be a nice way to refocus the increasingly tired gameplay of these minigames. This could be best pulled off in a 3D environment, veering away from the typical 2D mini-game, killing two birds with one stone.

If a developer lacks the funds to do anything groundbreaking mechanically, take note from the solution for the same problem in the medieval times. There weren't a lot of resources to create pin/tumbler locks, so most lock designs were ward locks.

Ward locks can be opened with a decent skeleton key, so medieval engineers would hide locks in intricate tapestry and stone work. They would also create several dummy keyholes, to keep the thief occupied until they were (hopefully) discovered (and arrested). 

Think about how that would revitalize the locking systems (and picking systems) in modern RPGs. At the very least, adding this concept in with other familiar systems of locking and unlocking in-game loot and items would make gameplay that much more interesting, enganging, and varied. 

Medieval Skeleton Key

---

Whether you're questing for it, stealing it, or keeping it safe, loot is a primary motivator in many modern RPGs. And while it might be more glamorous to focus on mobs and bosses as an obstacle between the player and their precious treasure, developers would be remiss to stop developing more creative and intuitive locks in all aspects of their game's world -- not just in puzzles.

Pulling from our own history, humans have always been clever with how they safeguard their things. And while the mechanisms themselves haven't dramatically evolved since ancient times, the ways humans use and implement locking systems and lock-picking methods has seen varied use throughout time.

There are plenty of opportunities for video games, especially RPGs, to draw from this creativity and implementation. 

What's your favorite lockpicking system? What improvements do you think developers should implement to make breaking and entering more fun for the player? Let us know in the comments below! 

]]>
12 Best Skyrim: Special Edition Mods You Must Play on PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/6su6y/12-best-skyrim-special-edition-mods-you-must-play-on-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/6su6y/12-best-skyrim-special-edition-mods-you-must-play-on-ps4 Thu, 05 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-9881e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backcov-9881e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146564","description":"

With more and more mods being added every day, it's only a matter of time before the PlayStation 4 version of Skyrim: Special Edition starts really competing with the Xbox One and PC versions.

\n

While the number of mods right now is limited, there's still a massive amount of fun to be had trying out the options currently available on PS4.

\n

What did you think of our PS4 Skyrim mod picks, and what mods would you recommend we try to keep us playing the game years later?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/restorevanilla-71c2b.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/restorevanilla-71c2b.png","type":"slide","id":"146563","description":"

Mod: Restore Vanilla Settings

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

As many a giddy PS4 fan has learned after going crazy installing new features, uninstalling mods isn't quite the same as it is on the PC version of Skyrim.

\n

When you're done playing with all those nifty new mods, you might want to grab this one to scrub it all clean, especially if you went overboard and installed a bunch that don't play nice with each other.

\n

This is a life-saving fallback if you're combating broken mods that have unintended consequences, accidentally preventing you from completing main story quests for one reason or another.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/h/a/khajit-b8e14.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/h/a/khajit-b8e14.png","type":"slide","id":"146562","description":"

Mod: Khajiit Speak Dialog Overhaul

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

An immersion mod to get you more into character if you picked the Khajiit race, this one modifies nearly every line of player dialog in the PS4 version of the game -- with a heavy dialect emphasis on Khajiit speech patterns.

\n

Some of the additions are funny, while others are serious, and quite a few dig deep into the lore of The Elder Scrolls universe. Afterall, it's the ethos of the RPG genre to make you feel more like you're actually a living person in Skyrim.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frost-21eee.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frost-21eee.png","type":"slide","id":"146561","description":"

Mod: Rain and Snow FX

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

There may have been a graphics overall update with the release of the Special Edition, but there's still room for improvement -- and more ways to utilize the advanced power of current gen systems.

\n

Creating more immersion with weather effects, this PlayStation 4 mod adds frost to your equipment when outside in cold areas, and also creates dripping particle effects when you run through water or stand outside in the rain.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/r/surreal-d7292.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/r/surreal-d7292.png","type":"slide","id":"146560","description":"

Mod: Surreal Lighting

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

With the serious possibility of spending hundreds of hours in-game, graphic overhaul mods are always a welcome addition to any RPG. However, they especially keep Skyrim looking interesting and gorgeous.

\n

This much-praised lighting mod makes some changes to the base game so that outdoor areas have a brighter, more vibrant feel. Again, not a game-changing mod, but one that will make the Special Edition just a tad more special. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/g/magicalcollege-b5bc6.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/g/magicalcollege-b5bc6.png","type":"slide","id":"146559","description":"

Mod: Magical College of Winterhold

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

This immersion-based mod makes a series of tweaks to the college at Winterhold, so it feels more like a place actually inhabited by powerful wizards. In other words, Winterhold becomes a little more Hogwarts and a little less “dusty empty barn on top of the mountain.”

\n

While it might not be a game-changing Skyrim mod, this one does lend more realism to the game -- which can go a long way after you've spent 200+ hours slaying dragons. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/x/t/extracarryweight-186af.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/x/t/extracarryweight-186af.png","type":"slide","id":"146558","description":"

Mod: Extra Carry Weight

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

One of the most annoying things about these types of open world RPGs (other than de-emphasizing story and actual roleplaying choice) is that you always have more loot than you can conceivably carry back to town to sell or disenchant.

\n

That won't be a problem with this very helpful PS4 mod, which gives an extra 2,500 pounds of carry-weight capacity for every point you put in stamina upon leveling up! Your mage will be able to sling a couple of hundred suits of armor over his shoulder and sell 'em all! If you've ever wanted to make more money in Skyrim, this is one of the better ways to do it. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/e/phenderix-be3dd.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/h/e/phenderix-be3dd.png","type":"slide","id":"146557","description":"

Mod: Phenderix The Archmage Artifacts

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

These Skyrim “artifacts” are really just a simple way to cheat and get essentially infinite magicka. Equip one of the rings from this mod and you'll find yourself with an extra 100,000 magicka with which to sling an endless torrent of spells. So get on changing those iron ingots to gold and let loose with the fireballs already!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alidon-34d4f.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alidon-34d4f.png","type":"slide","id":"146556","description":"

Mod: Alidon's Ultimate Armory

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

Definitely a “cheating” mod, this Skyrim: Special Edition mod is basically like accessing the secret console room in Fallout 4 -- but on steroids.

\n

The extra area created by this mod gives you access to every vanilla item in the game, in addition to a host of custom items, spells, and followers. Topping it all off are doors to every hold, dungeon, and guild location. We'd suggest installing this one after you've either beaten the game or start a new playthrough. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/r/hardcore-793f1.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/r/hardcore-793f1.png","type":"slide","id":"146555","description":"

Mod: Hardcore Difficulty -- No Milkdrinkers

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

Is Skyrim too easy an experience for your walking siege engine of a Dragonborn? Does destroying enemies in the Special Edition get rote and tired? Not anymore!

\n

If you are felling dragons and giants with ease -- and the town guards are no match for your Nord killing machine -- try out this mod to make things more deadly.

\n

The main tweaks you'll find here are that your stamina and magicka will regenerate slower, while enemies will be tougher and block your attacks more often. It's an addition that really increases the stakes. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cookingbrewing-c9da8.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/o/cookingbrewing-c9da8.png","type":"slide","id":"146554","description":"

Mod: Cooking, Brewing, and Alchemy Overhaul

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

An expansion to Skyrim's base crafting system, this nifty mod puts cooking pots and alchemy stations in every inn so you don't have to go hunting for them in any given settlement. But that's just the beginning.

\n

The main draw of this mod is the brewstation, letting you brew drinks in addition to cooking the standard food options, while the number of food recipes is also bumped up significantly and a few ingredients have been added in as well.

\n

If you've already crafted every type of food, try installing this Special Edition mod and keep your craft addiction going strong!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/scrollcrafting-0de05.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/scrollcrafting-0de05.png","type":"slide","id":"146553","description":"

Mod: Scroll Crafting

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

I sort of don't understand why this Special Edition mod wasn't in the base game. Who exactly is making these scrolls that you find everywhere -- and why can't the main character get in on the scroll-creating action?

\n

Bethesda's vanilla Skyrim oversight is fixed by the modding community yet again, adding a new branch to the skill tree and the ability to craft a scroll for any spell. Besides the obvious utility function, this addition also makes it easier to have a pure magic build at earlier levels -- even before you have tons of magicka available.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/evenbetterquestobjectives-ece5c.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/evenbetterquestobjectives-ece5c.png","type":"slide","id":"146552","description":"

Mod: Even Better Quest Objectives

\n

Download the Mod Here!

\n

Skyrim's vanilla (and exceedingly bare bones) quest objective screen barely tells you anything about your current quest other than the absolute basics.

\n

It definitely pales in comparison to the lengthy journal entries of more hardcore RPGs, and the lack of information sort of dumbs down the game -- especially the Special Edition -- as you basically just follow the arrow until you hit the person you need to talk to or kill.

\n

That particular issue is alleviated with this mod, which gives you a much clearer idea of who gave the quest, where they are located, and what you are supposed to do to specifically fulfill the quest objectives.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcover-1a9d8.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/o/frontcover-1a9d8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146551","description":"

There aren't usually a lot of ways that PS4 players end up in this situation, but they've actually been outclassed by Xbox fans in the mods department this time around thanks to Skyrim: Special Edition

\n

PlayStation 4 players are now playing catch up twice with this revamped Skyrim experience: once to meet the PC community's insane plethora of mods, and again to just get on par with the Xbox One, which had several months lead time on mod support over the PS4.

\n

At the moment, there are only a paltry 1,600 PS4 Skyrim mods available, which might sound like a large number, but it's an infinitesimal fraction of what's been created since the game first arrived for PC six years back.

\n

Many of the best Skyrim mods -- like the major bug fixes that address problems still present even after all the patches -- sadly haven't hit the PS4 just yet. There aren't a ton of mods that spice up the game's dialog options yet either, which is a shame as much like with Fallout 4, the dialog and story in Skyrim aren't quite up to par with the promise offered by this massive game world.

\n

Despite those missing elements, there are still plenty of excellent PS4 Skyrim mods available, and here we're rounding up the best of the best mods you should get on installing first.

\n

If you want to see other fantastic Skyrim mods, check out this page

"}]]]>
Telling Stories: The Importance of Lore in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/ow6z1/telling-stories-the-importance-of-lore-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ow6z1/telling-stories-the-importance-of-lore-in-video-games Mon, 28 Nov 2016 09:02:53 -0500 Pablo Seara

Writing the story of a game is one of the most important tasks in video game creation. A compelling, well-written narrative can draw players in, and make them feel all sorts of emotions, like a good roller coaster. 

A fulfilling tale can -- and will -- stay in the memories and even hearts of those who have experienced it. However, there is  one more step, one more element that can push the gamers even further in their involvement with the title: the lore.

The lore of a game is its backstory, all the elements that complement the principal narrative. These details add depth and richness to the universe of a video game, expanding its history outside the main plot. It is an aspect that is sometimes overlooked by developers, which is a mistake. Good lore writing is essential to engage players, and a good way to offer them more than the base title.

In the following lines, I will explain some of the keys to lore building with both good and bad examples, and why it is so important.

The Elder Scrolls: An Optional, Compelling Universe

The Elder Scrolls (TES) is a well-regarded franchise, with lots of followers. Many of them love the games for their fun gameplay and interesting world. Fans often choose to get deeper into the history of Tamriel and its different reigns. The lore of The Elder Scrolls is an extensive one; full of gods, demons, and important historical events that influenced the current state of the world in the franchise.

Every new installment in the series expands on its universe, one of the richest and most consistent lores in gaming history. This is possible because the vast majority of Bethesda employees work with The Elder Scrolls, making sure everything blends into a cohesive, overarching backstory. This is also the main reason why many TES fans do not like The Elder Scrolls: Online, which is developed by a completely different team, that has not been able to successfully expand on the backstory.

However, all of this information is optional. Not all the players like to delve into the lore of a game, and they just want to play the main story. The lore of The Elder Scrolls is presented through all the dialogues and books you can find in the different titles. It's also available as external products such as comics and or books. It is a reward for those who want to learn more about Tamriel and its history.

The lore of The Elder Scrolls also serves to add more context to many subquests that deal with deities or  events enmarked in Tamriel's History. Knowing about the past of the world can make you appreciate the experience even more. This is also the case in other excellent series like The Witcher or Fallout, which have great world building.

Dark Souls: A Community in Love With the Lore

Dark Souls is another excellent and different example of good lore writing, which takes a different approach to it. Instead of thoroughly explaining the history of the world throughout documents and events, Dark Souls is more subtle and open to interpretation.

The franchise only has a handful of cutscenes that directly teach the player about its lore, but most of the events that take place during Dark Souls cannot be understood without the proper information. However, this knowledge can be found at plain sight, if you know how to search for it.

Newcomers get into Dark Souls for its difficulty, but they stay for the lore

There are plenty of lore details around the games, in the different areas, in the cryptic dialogues, in the odd character interactions and in the mysterious item descriptions. All these clues are brought together by the faithful community of the franchise, that work together to understand Dark Souls' universe.

Dark Souls demands a lot, both from the gameplay and the lore. To understand the game you are playing, you have to work for it. That is the secret of Dark Souls: it treats the player with respect and intelligence, and rewards him accordingly, with interesting information and awesome world building. Newcomers go into Dark Souls for its difficulty, but they stay for the lore, an achievement many companies should learn from.

No Man's Sky: One More Failure

We all know No Man's Sky was a  failure, but you may not know that it failed in delivering good lore as well. A sci-fi game about travelling the galaxy, meeting new alien races, exploring planets and discovering ancient civilizations should have an interesting, developed background story like Mass Effect, but this is not the case.

No Man's Sky introduces the players to its lore through different artifacts, shelters and pieces of dialogues from the aliens they encounter while travelling. It takes a mixed approach between TES and Dark Souls. However, it does not manage to be as interesting and compelling as those other franchises. This happens because there is absolutely no events in the game that are enhanced by No Man Sky's History.

In No Man's Sky, there are no interesting characters whatsoever

Let us take World of Warcraft as example. If you have done your homework, you probably know about the heroes and villains that populate Azeroth. When the time comes and you fight these characters, the prior information makes the battle more thrilling and exciting. It is not the same if you fight a random person, than going against Arthas, the Lich King.

Meanwhile, in No Man's Sky, there are no interesting characters whatsoever. All the creatures you find during your journey are unknown aliens, that do not add anything special to the story. Once you find out about the nature of the universe, it does not improve upon the lore. Everything the game teaches you is bland, superfluous, and even boring.

A good backstory could have helped the game to be more successful, even a little bit, by encouraging the remaining players to learn more about its universe. In the end, all they get is a repetitive, dull experience, with zero impact and no reason to be.

As shown by the previous examples, a good, worked lore can drive players to get more attached to a game. It can improve a story, by adding lots of interesting information about the world and characters that live in it. Like a good book, it can trap us and move us to get engaged with other fans, discussing theories and talking about the backstory for endless hours. Conveying a good background story is an achievement to strive for.

What do you think? Is there any game you love because of its lore? Let us know in the comment section below!

]]>
Ranking Major RPG Franchises From Worst to Best https://www.gameskinny.com/p0th0/ranking-major-rpg-franchises-from-worst-to-best https://www.gameskinny.com/p0th0/ranking-major-rpg-franchises-from-worst-to-best Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:00:01 -0500 chopchamen

Bringing the gaming industry forward since the 70's, RPGs have always been there for us gamers. Even in recent years RPGs have been that stubborn and nagging pain that just won't go away! Only, it's the pain of love, and stubbornness of greatness -- I swear that analogy works.

This particular genre of gaming offers a long lifespan of continued enjoyment, whether it's because of an everlasting story like from Mass Effect or Final Fantasy, or if the game just throws you in a massive world with lot's to do in it -- as in the Fallout series, or maybe they have always just provided us with enjoyment from the many challenges to overcome... we're weird like that.

5. Dragon Age

Being Mass Effect's medieval stepbrother, Dragon Age has a similar art style that is very obvious -- let's call it the BioWare art style. The story of the Dragon Age games is always interesting, however, it can be quite slow at times. The skill systems are very different from Mass Effect, being more in-depth in Dragon Age, along with being more customizable than Mass Effect's. The combat in Dragon Age is more like a traditional RPG, offering a more tactical approach, than action approach.

4. The Elder Scrolls (TES)

TES is a great franchise with some of the best stories in gaming -- and many unique side quests (with the exception of the radiant quests). You also have the guild quest lines which all feature their own mini-campaigns.

This is a better experience than Dragon Age because every Elder Scrolls game allows you to fully customize your own character, allowing you to develop your own play style, as you can merge the cliche play styles, for instance: You can be a sword-wielding mage. In TES games you can even enchant your weapons with different effects, or you can just be a simple warlock if you wish. Not to mention the gigantic open worlds with a plethora of side activities to do.

3. Mass Effect

 

 Always providing an amazing gameplay experience, Mass Effect has been owning it since the original game back in 2007. The story for these games have always been interesting, as you are trying to thwart the destruction of all advanced lifeforms in the galaxy.

The game features cover-based combat, as well as character customization with classes and skills. There is also a dialog wheel with choices that rely on your own morality, and these choice will actually affect the story, both in the short term, and in the long term spanning through the entire trilogy. Mass Effect beats The Elder Scrolls simply because of the story, the story is worth several playthroughs in itself -- simply because the choices you make will carry over to all subsequent games.

2. Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy has been in the scope of many gamers since the original back in 1987. This title was actually a final grace for Square Co. when their previous titles hadn't fared well -- hence the title "Final Fantasy." But alas, here we are 29 years later and FFXV is large and in charge, so it seems to have really panned out for Square.

The stories for each title vary greatly, as do most of the gameplay elements, making each game unique. Even though most of the titles have turn-based combat, 14, and 15 have slightly strayed from the turn-based nature, becoming more Hotkey based and focusing on the action.

In most of the Final Fantasy games there is an open world with a lot of side activities to do, such as 7's mini-games at the Golden Saucer, 8's Triple Triad card game, 10's Blitzball arena, or 12's hunting missions.

Final Fantasy beats Mass Effect because the stories are much more engaging and time-consuming, and that's without the mini-games!

1. Dark Souls

Dark Souls hits just about every mark of an RPG, featuring good combat, epic bosses, alluring atmosphere, and also multiple endings along with new game plus. Although the story is vague, there's a lot of extra areas that are more challenging than the main areas.

The combat is interesting, being based on defense and poise, or evasion and coordination. The skill system isn't unique, but it certainly works well in conjunction with making your own play style. Something that is unique, is the fact that you have to level up using souls, which also happens to be your currency for stores.

There is also cooperative play so that you and your friends can face the horrors these games have to throw at you together!

All in all, Dark Souls is crowned king because of the amount of time you can sink into it, you discover this game and BAMB! Its 6 months later and you're wondering where all the time went... it was fun though!

There are so many RPGs out there that deserve mentioning, which is why RPGs are such a well-known genre. But in the end, I had to choose these games because they were so well known for their quality and performance, that they climbed the ladder on pretty much every gamer's list.

What do you think? Do you agree with this list? Do you hate our choices? Let us know in the comments!

]]>
14 Game-Inspired Halloween Costumes & Accessories You Can Buy Right Now https://www.gameskinny.com/3xs4v/14-game-inspired-halloween-costumes-accessories-you-can-buy-right-now https://www.gameskinny.com/3xs4v/14-game-inspired-halloween-costumes-accessories-you-can-buy-right-now Tue, 18 Oct 2016 10:46:12 -0400 Glitchieetv

Halloween is fast approaching. You may have already carved a gamertastic pumpkin, but do you need something last minute for a gaming-themed costume? Decided to create your own but running out of time? The following are some amazing video game inspired creations perfect for any costume, whether it is an accessory or a major piece. 

Costume Accessories

Minecraft Weapon Set

It can take time to create the perfect Minecraft weapon to accompany your costume. Not only can this set of sword and pickaxe be a cosplay prop, it can also be a fun toy for children to play with long after Halloween is over.

Harry Potter Wands

Who doesn't want to be a wizard? Slip on some robes and you are pretty much ready to go. But who will really know you are able to cast spells unless you have your wand? 

Luckily, Etsy has these great replicas available for your next trip to Hogwarts.

Pikachu Ears Headband

Pikachu wouldn't be Pikachu without the ears. Rosy cheeks and yellow attire may make you look more like an overly warm Charlie Brown than the iconic Pokemon without them. So don't forget the ears!

Pokeball: Full Scale Replica

Have a Pokemon Trainer, gijinka, or other related cosplay? Looking to set it apart from every other costume in the neighborhood? A Pokeball is a must to help sell the look. A high quality Pokeball will really reel in the candy -- especially with post-Pokemon Go and pre-Sun & Moon hype going strong. It could even help you win you that costume contest. Whichever you value more.

Three Dogs' Gloves

Three Dog is an iconic figure from Fallout 3. He even makes an appearance in Fallout Shelter. Looking to copy his look but don't have the time to craft his gloves? The above item is perfect for you.

Kids

 Joker Costume Onesie

Looking to dress up your baby but not sure where to go for a great costume? This Joker onesie is perfect to dress up your little bundle of joy while keeping them comfortable. Onesies also provide great opportunities to layer. Try layering a Batman outfit on top with a peek of the Joker underneath, representing Batman's transformation into his nemesis in Batman Arkham City

Baby Sushi Costume

Loved the Lickitung sushi game from Pokemon Stadium? Dress your baby up as a piece of sushi and remember the good times you had.

*Caution: Babies are not meant to eat. Costume only. Watch out for spicy sushi.*

Monkey Costume

Monkeys are adorable. They are mischevious. They throw poop at you in Don't Starve. One of the main sources of poop in the Shipwrecked DLC, monkeys are one of the more annoying creatures in the game.

Whether your little creature is annoying, they will most certainly be adorable with this costume. Hopefully poop-throwing does not ensue while the veil is thin. 

Costumes

Goldeen Freddy Fazbear Costume Set

Five Nights at Freddy's has already spawned many terrified screams. Spread that terror to your friend's party with this Golden Freddy Fazbear costume set. Ears, hat, and a bow tie with collar make up the most important aspects of the costume. Pair that with tan colored clothes and boom -- instant costume!

Scorpion Costume

Always wanted to yell "Get Over Here" at someone to scare them? Now you can be extremely intimidating in a full Scorpion costume from Mortal Kombat. Prepare to fight in Otherworld at the next Mortal Kombat tournament when wearing this realistic costume.

Dark Alice in Wonderland Costume

Have a love for Alice in Wonderland? Like dark things? American McGee's Alice is perfect for you then! Never played it? You need to. But in the meantime, this Alice in Wonderland costume from the game is just waiting there, calling your name. 

Ash Ketchum Trainer Hat and Gloves

You want to be the very best like no one ever was? Grab this set of Ash gloves and hat to become a Pokemon master! Jeans, shirt and vest not included, but can easily be found in your everyday apparel.

Skyrim Master Robes of Destruction

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim contributed quite a lot in the way of costumes. From various legendary armors to regular clothing item, there is a plethora of inspiration to chose from for Halloween apparel. Those seeking to master destruction spells can adorn themselves with these magnificent robes and wow all the neighborhood kids.

Mario Newsboy Hats

Mario and his compatriots have long been staple Halloween costumes. Easy and open to various interpretations (but still instantly recognizable), their hats are what sells the costume. Chose from 5 variations covering Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and Fire Mario. 

What other awesome gamer gear have you found for this Halloween? Let me know in the comments below!

]]>
9 Purrfect Feline Characters in Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/gflrt/9-purrfect-feline-characters-in-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/gflrt/9-purrfect-feline-characters-in-gaming Mon, 08 Aug 2016 06:30:01 -0400 ESpalding

Cats are such an important part in some people's lives. They go nuts about them sometimes and, as such, the International Fund for Animal Welfare created International Cat Day to be held on August 8th every year. All across the World, there will be activities and events marking the day as many animal rescue organizations use the occasion to raise awareness of cats needing homes, how to care for cats and promoting general cat health issues.

Video game developers have had a long relationship with cats, and they are a popular character concept. Maybe it is due to their general popularity or the fact that they are pretty versatile, cats are a selling point. Let's have a look at some of the most popular and memorable cat video game characters we've seen through the years.

1. Meowth

Pokémon

Given the current craze at the moment, it would be a pretty bad list if it didn't contain Meowth from Pokémon. This feline is one of the most recognizable characters in the game because of the status Meowth has in the anime. A talking Meowth is a part of Team Rocket and is constantly trying to steal Ash's Pikachu. This Pokémon is a first generation character and evolves into Persian.

2. Felicia

Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors

Felicia is an anthropomorphic catwoman and is one of the playable characters in Capcom's Darkstalkers series. The series is a gothic-themed fighter which has a cast of vampires, monsters, werewolves, and other shape-shifting individuals. Even though the series is quite dark, Felicia is a shining light with her optimism and peaceful outlook making her stand out in a group of anti-heroes like the Darkstalkers.

3. Mr. Bigglesworth

World of Warcraft / Hearthstone

So this cat doesn't talk, it isn't a playable character, but he is something that every World of Warcraft player knows about. He resides in the entrance of the raid instance Naxxramus and belongs to the raid boss Kel'Thuzad. If you kill Mr. Bigglesworth, you will hear Kel'Thuzad yell:

"No!!! A curse upon you, interlopers! The armies of the Lich King will hunt you down. You will not escape your fate..."

4. Cheshire Cat

American McGee's Alice

I love the American McGee Alice series, and Cheshire Cat is most definitely my favorite character. He is Alice's primary companion throughout the series but isn't an overly nice character. He is very sarcastic, philosophical, and likes making snarky remarks towards to Alice just before disappearing off at will.

5. The Khajiit

The Elder Scrolls

"Ever met one of them cats, kah-jeet I think they call themselves. Heard there's whole countries of them down south."

Bjorlam - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

While this list is made up of single cat characters from games, I would be writing a pretty poor list if it didn't contain the entire Khajiit race from The Elder Scrolls universe. The Khajiit are one of the playable classes throughout The Elder Scrolls series, and they are known for agility and stealth. They are a very spiritual people, and they pay close attention to the moon phases as they determine the breeds of the Khajiit. Breeds can go from fully bipedal muscular humanoid types to typical housecat size and build.

6. Blinx

Blinx series

Blinx is the main character from the XBox series of the same name. The series consists of 2 titles: The Time Sweeper and Masters of Time and Space. The adventures of this orange anthropomorphic cat see him rescuing princesses, reclaiming Time Crystals and teaming up with characters he's previously fought (see the Tom-Tom Gang from The Time Sweeper and ally Tom Tom Pig in Masters of Time and Space).

7. Cait Sith

Final Fantasy

Cait Sith is remote-controlled toy cat who first made an appearance in Final Fantasy VII. He was made by Reeve Tuesti who works at the Shinra Electric Power Company. He rides on top of a giant stuffed Moogle, which is also remote-controlled. When players first meet Cait Sith, he is working as a fortune teller in the Gold Saucer amusement park.

8. Big the Cat

Sonic the Hedgehog series

This big, friendly giant is Big the Cat, and he is part of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He made his first appearance in Sonic Adventures and has been a part of the Sonic team since. He is the strong silent type and seems a bit dimwitted. Even though he has the stature of someone strong, he prefers to live in peace, but if his friends ever need him, he is there in a flash to help.

9. Ratchet

Ratchet and Clank

I reckon some people are going to turn around and tell me I can't have Ratchet on this list because he isn't a cat, he is a Lombax. And, yes, they would be right. He is a Lombax. However, it has been agreed that a Lombax is a cat-like creature, so I'm putting him in here. He is the primary character in the Ratchet and Clank series and has been known to enjoy mechanics when he isn't saving the universe with his trusty companion, the robot Clank.

These are only some of the cat and feline-esque characters out there in the land of video games. Maybe you have your own favorite? If so, let me know because I'd love to hear what you think!

 

 

]]>
Top 5 Steeds in Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/cw68p/top-5-steeds-in-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/cw68p/top-5-steeds-in-gaming Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:41:28 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horses-aa626.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horses-aa626.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126636","description":"

Whether they're horses roaming the plains or dragons soaring the skies, these are the 5 steeds who get the job done. Because they're more than your steed; they're your friend that always has your back. They're willing to fight through thick & thin alongside you and take you to your next destination to complete your quest. So next time you mount a steed, think about them as more than just your ride. 

\n

[Source Image: Chain Mail War Steeds]

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/r/agro-sotc-4ae44.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/r/agro-sotc-4ae44.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126245","description":"

Agro

\n
Shadow of the Colossus
\n

Your only friend throughout your adventure, Agro is the loyal steed that helps Wander travel throughout the forbidden land. Appearing in Shadow of the Colossus for PlayStation 2, Agro also plays a role in battle, as she is necessary to defeat some of the Colossi. Agro is essential when facing the Collosi Basaran, Dirge, and Phalanx.

\n

She always has Wander’s back, as she automatically dodges obstacles and is practically invincible (minus the endgame segment). Right before Wander faces the final Colossus, Agro sacrifices herself in order for Wander to make it to the final boss. If that isn't proof of friendship, I don't know what is! 

\n

[Image Source: Agro and Wander]

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/s/yoshi-mario-f3440.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/s/yoshi-mario-f3440.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126243","description":"

Yoshi

\n
Super Mario Series
\n

This green dinosaur made his debut in Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo back in 1990. Yoshi made it much easier to stomp Goombas and Koopas alike. He also has projectiles when he swallows enemies by turning them into eggs which can be hurled at flying Parakoopas. He is so loyal to Mario that he even takes one-hit damage for him! 

\n

Since then, Yoshi has also made an appearance as a steed in Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U. With his abilities to turn enemies into his weapons and undying loyalty to Mario, Yoshi is definitely the steed you can count on to have your back.

\n

[Image Source: Super Mario World Yoshi]

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/p/o/epona-zelda-51f91.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/p/o/epona-zelda-51f91.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126242","description":"

Epona

\n
The Legend of Zelda series
\n

This friendly horse has been by Link’s side ever since The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In the game, she is Link’s go-to steed when traveling the land of Hyrule. When Link isn’t using Epona to travel, she can be found in the hands of the Ranch Handler, Malon.

\n

Epona also makes appearances in Majora’s Mask, The Minish Cap, Twilight Princess, Hyrule Warriors (as a DLC weapon), and will appear in Breath of the Wild. It just goes to show, no matter what incarnation of Link needs transportation, Epona will always be there. Just make sure you have plenty of carrots! 

\n

[Image Source: Hyrule Warriors Epona]

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowmere-skyrim-cdee1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowmere-skyrim-cdee1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126241","description":"

Shadowmere

\n
The Elder Scrolls Series
\n

First appearing in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Shadowmere is the dark horse who originally belonged to Lucien Lachance of the Dark Brotherhood. She is given to the Hero of Kvatch, the protagonist of the game, to help him on his adventure.

\n

Shadowmere is the fastest horse in the game and is capable of reaching areas otherwise inaccessible. Her high health and aggression also make her valuable in combat.

\n

You can also obtain this steed in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online. Unfortunately, these iterations of Shadowmere received a decrease in speed, morality, and apparently has changed gender. If you’re looking for an awesome looking steed and all around tank, Shadowmere is the horse for you!

\n

[Image Source: Shadowmere]

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/mega-latios-latias-21b07.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/mega-latios-latias-21b07.png","type":"slide","id":"126240","description":"

Mega Latios/Latias

\n
Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire
\n

The Eon Pokemon duo are your noble steeds in Pokemon Omega Ruby & Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. You are able to obtain Latios in Omega Ruby or Latias in Alpha Sapphire once you reach the Southern Island. After you save the legendary from either Team Magma or Team Aqua, you will obtain the Mega Stone for your version’s legendary and receive the Eon Flute from Steven.

\n

With the Eon Flute, you take to the skies and soar over the land of Hoenn. On the back of this majestic Pokemon, you can travel to Mirage Spots, catch Flying-type Pokemon, and even perform aerial tricks. Plus, who wouldn't want to pet and feed cupcakes to these adorable dragons?

\n

Mega Latios and Mega Latias add a little more flare to traveling around the Hoenn region and make the experience all the more memorable.   

\n

[Image Source: Mega Latios/Latias Artwork]

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/best-steeds-gaming-header-image-56dc0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/best-steeds-gaming-header-image-56dc0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126239","description":"

Horses, Dragons, and Dinosaurs. Oh my! In open world games, the heroes seem to get all the glory -- and we always seem to forget about their steeds. Let's be honest, they're the ones who do all the work. They help you get around, aid you in combat, and are the ones you can trust to have your back.

\n

From horses to mythical creatures, we're taking a look at the steeds who are more than just a mode of transportation.

\n

[Image Source: Skyrim Horse Combat]

"}]]]>
Let's Talk - Awesome Game Music https://www.gameskinny.com/5zjp3/lets-talk-awesome-game-music https://www.gameskinny.com/5zjp3/lets-talk-awesome-game-music Wed, 13 Apr 2016 04:13:42 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Let's Talk is a mixed audio and written series about talking -- that much is clear. I talk about specific games, the impact a game can have on the community, about recent events, or how past events have shaped what is now. Read the article first or watch the video -- it's up to you, but without further ado, Let's Talk about:

Music in games, and the times it's been awesome

Music and games. These two things don't often go together in the collective minds of gamers. But is that because the music fades so well into the background that you don't notice it? It subconsciously sets the scene, and fills your brain with emotions. When you do notice the music, is this because it doesn't fit with the scene? In this Let's Talk, we explore the awesome musical moments in game, and sometimes in-game radio.

The Oblivion opening cinematic is incredible at setting the scene -- it sets the tone of the game, while also making you ready for adventuring. I can also hear some moments, towards the end, which must have influenced the Skyrim music.

Far Cry 3, and dubstep done well

We all remember that moment of burning the weed farm in Far Cry 3. While it did borrow from a similar mission in GTA: San Andreas, it did one major thing very differently -- it was one of the few times where dubstep worked as video game music. And boy does it work -- everything fits in place perfectly!

It's a lot like the 2012 first person shooter remake of the RTS classic, Syndicate. While the game didn't dazzle anyone with the gameplay, I feel it did a really good job with the music, it worked with the setting and wasn't annoying, which is nice.

Atmosphere, and radios

While it's not strictly music, having a radio station in a game which reports on the news is a really good world building technique. In, GTA IV, and GTA V, as well as Fallout 4, your actions would create a new broadcast. These very often would interrupt the music which was currently playing, as breaking news is breaking right? If only in real life there was an option to enforce Traffic Information to be permanently off forever, in every car as default.

Being able to pick a radio station is a thing you can do in real life, so being able to do that in a game makes you feel like the world is somewhat real and alive. Especially in Fallout, where all the stations have a very 40s feel to them, making you feel grounded in a world which is pretty crazy.

What are some awesome moments have you have with music in games? Do you even care about the music? Let me know in the comments below.

]]>
Top 5 best gaming communities https://www.gameskinny.com/qbd1n/top-5-best-gaming-communities https://www.gameskinny.com/qbd1n/top-5-best-gaming-communities Fri, 04 Mar 2016 05:36:13 -0500 Alec Pearce

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-souls-community-d8ac5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-souls-community-d8ac5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"105977","description":"
1) Darks Souls
\n

The Souls community is as unique as the games it worships. I feel the bond is so strong due to the reputation of the series we play and die in over and over again (note how I said we, yes I definitely consider myself part of the community). There is something compelling about being part of a group that takes pride in beating some of the most technically challenging games ever made.

\n

Like other communities, Souls has several branches that make up its fan base. The most influential two, in my opinion, are the speedrunners and the lore content creators.

\n

The speedrunners utilise the streaming capabilities of Twitch to broadcast their insane runs to the world. Elajjaz is one of the most high profile personalities who blitzes through the Souls games and has a large following on Twitch and YouTube. The insane feats they can accomplish attract more gamers to the franchise which helps boost its popularity.

\n

The lore content creators are arguably even more incredible. They have the painstaking job of sifting through item descriptions and character dialogue to uncover the secrets of each game's wider and deeper story. The work of people like VaatiVidya, EpicNameBro and SunlightBlade helps you to understand and immerse yourself in the extremely intricate and complicated worlds of each game. 

\n

When considering the games themselves, co-op is clearly an integral part of the series. There are entire covenants that are devoted to jolly co-operation. The Sunbros, i.e. Warriors of Sunlight (Dark Souls) or Heirs of the Sun (Dark Souls 2), are the most obvious and well renowned, but you also have the Princess Guard (DS) and Blue Sentinels (DS2) too. The challenging nature of the boss fights encourages co-operative play with others to overcome mutual obstacles together, rewarding players for doing so.

\n

There is of course a notorious PvP element as well and fights between players are generally hard fought. The vast majority enjoy it as part of the game and don't whine when killed by an invader. There is always the option to play in offline mode, to prevent online invasions as well as friendly co-operation, for those who want to experience a purely solo, PvE playthrough.

\n

I could easily go on about the fantastic temperament of the Souls community, but for the sake of your sanity I will not. Just know that it always welcomes players with open arms. Whining about the difficulty is not accepted, however, and doing so will simply result in our motto being shouted aloud..."GIT GUD AND PRAISE THE SUN!"

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/u/i/guild-wars-community-764de.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/u/i/guild-wars-community-764de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"105976","description":"
2) Guild Wars 2
\n

In my opinion this exceptional MMORPG perfected the idea of a world-wide, co-operative, PvE experience. It is because of this that the Guild Wars 2 community has become so friendly and accommodating, particularly for new players.

\n

In PvE, helping another player is almost always worth your while as without a strong group of fighters you will be unable to kill the toughest bosses which net the best loot. The game rewards your co-operation, during the various community events, with an individual loot sharing system that gives all players a reward based on how much they helped during the fight. This means that everyone gets something, not just the one guy who delivered the killing blow to the boss or mini boss. New players and veterans end up fighting together with very few whining and moaning if certain people play badly.

\n

You can also find a huge number of character build guides online, where GW2 gamers attempt to help others out with their ideas of where to allocate skill points, the best weapons and armour and which skills to use. If you join a guild, your guildmates will always be keen to help you level up, provide you with some equipment, crafting items, trade commodities or even just a friendly monetary donation.

\n

It is always awesome and gratifying to play with a bunch of random people to take down a champion boss and I have rarely seen anyone be attacked for making a mistake. The community is half of the reason why I am still playing the game today.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/l/d/elder-scrolls-community-43f56.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/l/d/elder-scrolls-community-43f56.jpg","type":"slide","id":"105974","description":"
3) Elder Scrolls
\n

Elder Scrolls is a long standing franchise that over the years has attracted a huge number of players to its fantasy realms. Said players have formed an equally huge community and all get on extremely well with each other.

\n

The most popular titles: Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, each contain tonnes of content which promotes friendly discussion between players particularly when someone finds something new and interesting or funny in the game. Modding is another huge part of the Scrolls series with players creating and adding everything from graphical enhancements, to futuristic weapons and even nude mods...

\n

I think it is also worth pointing out how fantastic the wiki guides are. My most used site is probably the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Page (UESP), which continues to add pages to a huge archive of in-game information as well as lore. These wikis would not be possible without a dedicated and loyal fan-base such as that of the Elder Scrolls.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/m/rome-total-war-2a1b4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/m/rome-total-war-2a1b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"105973","description":"
4) Total War
\n

I am proud that one of my most beloved franchises has such a fantastic community of like-minded individuals. The forums are always awash with strategy guides and opening moves guides and battle tactics, and the community is always keen and willing to help each other improve in any of the available games.

\n

The Total War modders are seriously talented people and produce a wide range of mods for people to enjoy for free, that usually massively improve upon the vanilla games. Many people will only play certain TW games with mods, such as DarthMod, installed as they claim this is the only way to make the game challenging enough- *cough* Empire *cough*.

\n

No matter your opinion on some of the TW games, many are considered to be quite underwhelming, you will never cease to find enthusiastic gamers and history buffs playing this renowned RTS series and 99% of them are lovely. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocket-league-b0d9c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/c/rocket-league-b0d9c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"105971","description":"
5) Rocket League
\n

I have very recently got into Rocket League, after it was released for the Xbox One, which is perhaps partly why it has made this list (it's still fresh in my memory). I was immediately impressed with the friendliness of the player base and how the idea of fair play is not yet dead. The whole point of the game is co-operation and team work with an entire mode made separate for those who wish to go it alone. Players very often congratulate each other for good plays and goals, even when it's the opposing team who has scored. It's always nice to see 3 or 4 'Nice shot!' or 'What a save!' messages pop up when you score a goal or prevent your team from losing.

\n

I was also involved in one particularly chivalrous moment. I had just started a 1v1 game when my internet decided to have a nervous breakdown and I suddenly started lagging all over the place. My opponent easily scored his first goal before asking in the chat if I had lag as my car randomly slid around the arena. I said yes and he said he wouldn't play until my ping was back to normal. Moments later when it sorted itself out, he allowed me to score a free goal so we were back to level scores and continued the match.

\n

Even though I went on to lose the game, this kind act resonated with me as a prime example of how gamers should behave toward each other.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/community-gaming-2497a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/community-gaming-2497a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"105963","description":"

The other day I decided to rant about the 5 worst gaming communities that I'd had personal experiences with. This time I'm down at the other end of the spectrum, if you'll pardon the cliché, looking at the 5 best, friendliest and most helpful communities in gaming.

\n

Like last time this is based on my own first hand experiences and you may agree with my assertions or you may not. Either way let me know in the comments below. Let's begin!

\n

 

"}]]]>
Bethesda opens new Montreal studio https://www.gameskinny.com/cmysh/bethesda-opens-new-montreal-studio https://www.gameskinny.com/cmysh/bethesda-opens-new-montreal-studio Wed, 09 Dec 2015 08:00:58 -0500 mrivera269

In addition to their Maryland HQ, Bethesda has opened a new development studio in Montreal, Canada. The core team will consist of 40 developers, spearheaded by Yves Lachance—former studio head of Behaviour Interactive and developer of games like Wet and Fallout Shelter. It is unknown at the time what the studio would be developing. Maybe Elder Scrolls 6 or possibly a new IP altogether?

Heading over to ZeniMax Media’s career page, they are Montreal job listings ranging from Engine Programmer to Human Resources Manager. Here’s a quick blurb from the job description of Engine Programmer:

Bethesda Game Studios is looking for talented Senior Engine Programmers to join our team that is pushing the bleeding-edge of RPG development for the PC and consoles.

This could easily be a generic listing for all Bethesda Game Studios’ listings. Also along the requirements, console development on PS4 and Xbox One is preferred. Could the studio be exclusive to console development?

That’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully, this studio marks the beginning of Elder Scrolls 6. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below.
]]>
Funko to release 6" Fallout and Skyrim figures https://www.gameskinny.com/6uln0/funko-to-release-6-fallout-and-skyrim-figures https://www.gameskinny.com/6uln0/funko-to-release-6-fallout-and-skyrim-figures Wed, 23 Sep 2015 05:07:19 -0400 Andrea Koenig

Funko, the creators of the popular Pop! Vinyl figures has taken hold of Bethesda's finest and will be releasing two sets of Legacy Collection action figures: one set for Fallout and one set for Skyrim.

Fallout fans will be able to get their hands on the Lone Wanderer, the player character of Vault 101. He includes his own Pip-Boy and weaponry. Also from fallout is the Brotherhood of Steel's Power Armor action figure.

  

Likewise, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim fans will be able to get their hands on a Dovahkiin action figure with dual blade weapons and the classic horned helmet. Fans can also buy the Daedric Warrior action figure, complete in metallic and red spiked armor and axe weapon.

 

All of the above figures are 6" tall and set to release this November for $19.99 each. Fallout 4 is to release November 4.

Be sure to also check out earlier figures from Funko. They have a line of Fallout mini figures, and a line of Pop! Vinyl figures that include Fallout's Dwellers, Brotherhood of Steel, Deathclaw, Super Mutant, and Feral Ghoul as well as Skyrim's Dovahkiin, a Daedric Warrior, and a dragon.

 

]]>
7 Great Games and Series with Amazing Lore https://www.gameskinny.com/kz1dd/7-great-games-and-series-with-amazing-lore https://www.gameskinny.com/kz1dd/7-great-games-and-series-with-amazing-lore Thu, 06 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 David Fisher

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/4/d/f4d7f851904e09bcaa6dd65a44851382.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/4/d/tiny_f4d7f851904e09bcaa6dd65a44851382.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77725","description":"

And there you have it, 7 great games for those of us looking to get immersed in a whole library of lore!

\n

This is where I turn it to you guys: what games would you have added to this list? Do you disagree or agree with what's already here? Do you play games that have great lore even if they are lacking in gameplay? Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments section below!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/d/e9dcea9165727e66a34a0d755a7b0f96.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/d/tiny_e9dcea9165727e66a34a0d755a7b0f96.png","type":"slide","id":"77723","description":"

Five Nights at Freddy's

\n

Those of you who have been on the internet anytime between August 8th, 2014 and the present day knew that this game would be in this list, and for good reason. As if the millions of let's play videos, and the hundreds of Five Nights at Freddy's themed music tracks weren't enough, the mad speculation and theory building behind the game's lore puts this game on top.

\n

Five Nights at Freddy's does everything a horror game should: scare people with a mix of suspense and jumpscares, make the protagonist relatable (i.e.: you working in a part-time job), and provide a sinister backstory behind what is otherwise nothing more than your everyday killer.

\n

Perhaps the best part about this game is that the lore is near invisible. Through the calls with the "Phone Guy" we learn almost nothing about why these animatronics are after our blood, the only obvious one being that we supposedly look like an endoskeleton outside of its suit. However, by looking at magazine clippings on the walls, or playing hidden minigames in the sequels, we learn that Freddy & Co. are possessed by the spirits of dead children. What's more, a security guard killed them, known to fans as the "Purple Guy".

\n

Sort of makes us wish our protagonist didn't take up the first security guard job that showed up, huh?

\n

As much as I would love to rant on about all the crazy theories surrounding this game, there's no better place to look for them than online. If you want to learn more about this game's lore, the Five Nights at Freddy's Wiki, or the Game Theorist series on the Five Nights at Freddy's lore are great places to start.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/f/a/ffadbb5acde4f3075ec6cb33e72b8bff.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/f/a/tiny_ffadbb5acde4f3075ec6cb33e72b8bff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77718","description":"

The Elder Scrolls Series

\n

The Elder Scrolls is the Lord of the Rings of the gaming world. With 6 games under its belt, and almost 10 expansion packs shared among them, The Elder Scrolls is perhaps one of the largest video games in terms of world building.

\n

Skyrim alone has some of the most interesting lore in its two main quests: the battle between man and dragons, and the battle between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks.

\n

With the battle between man and dragon you have an entire political background ranging from the dominance of man by dragon, and the eventual uprising with the aid of the Dragonborn. Then you have the link between The Blades - a group who acted as royal guards in Oblivion - and an ancient society of dragon slayers.

\n

Meanwhile, with the Stormcloaks and the Imperials you learn a lot about the political landscape of Cyrodil. Gone are our impressions of the Imperial Legion being this team of "good guys", and in comes the image of the Legion being a bunch of oppressive power mongers. The flipside, however, is that the Stormcloaks are a bunch of radical racists who want nothing more than to liberate Skyrim of anyone who is not of nordic descent.

\n

If that's not enough for you, how about you take a look at the hundreds of books in the Elder Scrolls series? I'm not talking about physical books, I'm talking about in-game texts. These books range from harlequin romance and erotica, to holy texts and scientific knowledge of the world. For example, did you know that Nirn - the name of the world in The Elder Scrolls - is a geocentric planet? That means that the sun and the stars orbit the planet. On top of that, night is not a result of the lack of sun, but rather the blackness is the plain of Oblivion itself blocking out the heavens. Cool, huh?

\n

Like Majora's MaskThe Elder Scrolls has also cultivated its own groups of theorists who have argued everything from who the true gods are, to whether or not the "Dragonborn" is the same person in a different body each time.

\n

For its impossibly complex backstory and sizable collection of lore, as well as its ability to spark the minds of theorists, The Elder Scrolls series could possibly take the spot of being the greatest game for lore in history.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/a/5/3a5d3d2fe315bf49859ffb80673e7a88.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/a/5/tiny_3a5d3d2fe315bf49859ffb80673e7a88.png","type":"slide","id":"77720","description":"

Pokemon

\n

Some readers might be confused as to why Pokemon made this list, but there is method to my madness.

\n

Let's start with the basics: Pokemon literally gives you a book of lore at the very start of the game. In fact, your job as a Pokemon Trainer is to acquire more lore, so that the professor of lore can have more lore to share with other professors who are discovering lore. Is that too much of a mouthful? Well let's simplify it: your Pokedex is the guide to the Pokemon universe.

\n

That's right. Your job this entire time as a Pokemon Trainer was to do exactly what Bioshock was doing with its audio books: gather lore. The Pokedex is perhaps one of the most interesting lore books in the history of gaming in that it provides information on every single creature you capture, and each installment of the series provides players with something new. What is even more interesting, however, is that the Pokedex - particularly in the older titles - has some very dark secrets about Pokemon.

\n

For example: did you know that Duskull gets kicks out of watching children cry? Or how about that Yveltal pretty much kills everyone the second it dies? How about that the Pokemon world itself is actually Earth? We can find this out through Delibird's Pokedex entry where it tells us that it helps people climb Mount Everest!

\n

A lot of backstory is told through NPCs and books as well. Through the lore we can discover that our rival in the 2nd generation of Pokemon was actually the son of the Team Rocket Leader, Giovanni. We also learn in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire that the 1st through 3rd generations of Pokemon take place in an alternate universe, explaining the reason why the remakes exist. The amount of stashed away world lore combined with the Pokedex makes the Pokemon series' world seem deceivingly simple.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/2/d/c2ddc4ec59fc1e2fc2a3470717c16864.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/2/d/tiny_c2ddc4ec59fc1e2fc2a3470717c16864.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77695","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

\n

While most of its lore isn't exactly "hidden" per se, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask does a good job of sparking speculation in its players. The reason? Even by fantasy standards, Majora's Mask is a mindbend that makes no coherent sense without looking at the game through a literary lens.

\n

Take for example the "Link is Dead" theory. Just like the name implies, the "Link is Dead" theory surrounds the possibility that Majora's Mask is actually a game about a dead Link. After venturing into the Lost Woods without a fairy, Link is turned into a Stalfos, for this is the fate of all Hylians who venture through its labyrinth. This theory has been supported from various fronts, ranging from Ocarina of Time's Link being the Hero's Spirit from Twilight Princess, to the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief symbolized by each region, to even the reused character models that are prevalent throughout the game.

\n

Another theory that is popular with Majora's Mask surrounds the origins of the mask itself. Some theorists have considered the possibility that Termina is not a separate world, but rather a form of the Twilight Realm. According to this theory, Majora's Mask may have been created by the Twili before their banishment to the Twilight Realm.

\n

The theories aside, Majora's Mask also hides a lot of its lore in the game itself. For example, due to the game's constant revolving around three days, Majora's Mask ensures that players cannot discover all the lore in one playthrough. By traveling to different areas at different times of day we can learn everything from the results of Anju and Kafei's love, to Romani being put into a stupor by Cremia during their final hours so she will not feel the pain. The game's dark undertones cast a shadow over many of its themes and backstory, forcing players to constantly reset the clock to find out more.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/c/f/9cf622860a81e03d3d184dc592db581d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/c/f/tiny_9cf622860a81e03d3d184dc592db581d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77691","description":"

Blizzard Entertainment Universes

\n

Blizzard is an interesting company when it comes to lore. While each universe has its distinct genre, their worlds are carefully thought out. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Blizzard was the pioneer of commercial fantasy and sci-fi in video games when it comes to lore.

\n

Take for example World of Warcraft. Originally starting as an RTS game, Warcraft has managed to captivate the masses with bundles upon bundles of deep lore. Almost every single character you meet in the RTS or MMO games have relationships to at least two other characters, and those characters can have even further relationships to others. With enough perseverance one could possibly link a random NPC to the Lich King. Towns and kingdoms have rich backstories as well, with some dating back to the earliest games in the series.

\n

Starcraft similarly has great backstory behind its characters, and its planets. Everything has a purpose, and it is a prime example of mythopoeia gone wild. Even units have their backstories, and while the backstory might not be about Joe Doe doing this or that, every unit has a purpose for its existence from the Zergling to the Terran Goliath.

\n

Diablo has also made sure that each game fits in with the last installment, sometimes retconning details such as the Warrior from the first game being the Dark Wanderer from Diablo II. Similar to Warcraft's web of characters, the Dark Wanderer can be linked to King Leoric, who can be linked to Diablo and so on.

\n

All of these games have spawned entire wikis filled with hundreds of entries, the likes of which take days to read through. With Heroes of the Storm acting as a non-canon mash-up of all Blizzard heroes, I would not be at all surprised if somebody found a way to prove the game is actually canonical. Maybe they could start with Diablo in Starcraft II, Tauren Marines, or the Hydralisk found in Warcraft III?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/e/7/ae7461e7d60d3bda8b4361930dd022de.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/e/7/tiny_ae7461e7d60d3bda8b4361930dd022de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77716","description":"

Metroid Prime Trilogy

\n

Those who have read my Metroid Prime Rewind Review will know that Metroid Prime is great for lore. Similar to Bioshock, Metroid Prime feeds lore to players through the use of the Scan Visor. This allows players to pretty much learn anything they could possibly want to know about anything they see.

\n

What does this animal do to survive? Scanning...

\n

How does this plant live in magma? Scanning...

\n

How much health does this energy capsule heal? Scanning...

\n

I wish I was exaggerating, but Metroid Prime pretty much lets you scan everything. The best part is that Retro Studios put a serious effort into explaining the existence of absolutely everything in the game, something that most Metroid games leave up to the player.

\n

Furthermore, the scans also allow players get information on the planets themselves. By scanning dead aliens (or humans) as well as scriptures and so on, Samus has access to the entire backstory of each game - sometimes including info from past titles.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/e/1/ae15dc915bb686a9920dfa904de7e76b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/e/1/tiny_ae15dc915bb686a9920dfa904de7e76b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77713","description":"

Bioshock Series

\n

Bioshock has some interesting lore... for those who are out to look for it. While the lore in this game isn't particularly "hidden", it does require you to look for it in the form of audio diaries. What is hidden, however, is the backstory of Rapture and Columbia. Everything from the fall of Rapture, to the development of vigors and plasmids are all revealed through these audio diaries. This is simply something that could not be done without awkward plug-ins to the main story.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/9/f/f9f46b256e07f09fc3dc00eb3f1c8d23.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/9/f/tiny_f9f46b256e07f09fc3dc00eb3f1c8d23.jpg","type":"slide","id":"77687","description":"

Lore... Lore is what makes an interesting story into a great one. Lore is what makes fanboys out of players. Lore is what builds a video game's world into something more than a button masher. Lore is what compels players to dig deeper into a game to find out new information that a casual playthrough will not reveal. If you have yet to guess it, lore is what we will be looking at today.

\n

These seven games may not be the only games with great storylines; however, these games had the ambition to do more than just present us with a face-value story. They are games that have given us interesting stories, or maybe just interesting gameplay, but have also snuck in some interesting little factoids about the game's world that players have to rather unlock or search for in order to learn.

\n

Like the great mythopoetic authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis, these games have created immersive worlds that are interesting on the surface, and yet they still have much more to present for the ambitious Easter Egg hunter or completionist.

\n

Without further ado, let's take a look at these 7 great games with impressive worlds fueled by lore!

"}]]]>
10 Geeky (yet Simple) Gifts for Gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/ziyo5/10-geeky-yet-simple-gifts-for-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/ziyo5/10-geeky-yet-simple-gifts-for-gamers Mon, 15 Jun 2015 08:30:36 -0400 Dalton White I

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/8/0/9800fec3c05cfb0e060e438a121e5f9b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/8/0/tiny_9800fec3c05cfb0e060e438a121e5f9b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70186","description":"

Nathan Drake (Uncharted) Mini Plushie

\n
Etsy Seller: Coda Creation, $10
\n

A personal pick of mine, just look at those adorable eyes. This cute little doll would be the perfect gift for anyone who loves the Uncharted franchise. Don't you just wanna cuddle up with this little cutie?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/f/0/cf07bf332f0c6affafcbcdaca5140473.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/f/0/tiny_cf07bf332f0c6affafcbcdaca5140473.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70189","description":"

So there you have it: ten gifts for your special gaming friend or sweetheart. If you have any questions, suggestions or words of wisdom please drop a comment and as always for all your gaming needs check out GameSkinny.com.

\n

But before you go, there is one bonus gift suggestion for you...

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/7/6/37668ecd95b9a9c0ee787f80a974160e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/7/6/tiny_37668ecd95b9a9c0ee787f80a974160e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70184","description":"

Arrow to the Knee necklace

\n
Etsy Seller: TheTrendyGeek, $20
\n

Instead of a cute mug, maybe go for something a bit more simple. This classic "arrow to the knee" necklace is simple yet effective way to say that you care about a fellow gamer.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/8/0/b807d5771643b1c19dadad5dccd7eb86.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/8/0/tiny_b807d5771643b1c19dadad5dccd7eb86.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70181","description":"

"I was an Adventurere Like You" Mug

\n
Etsy Seller: 66 Level, $13.50
\n

If the person your gift-searching for is more of a western RPG fan, maybe this adorable little Dovahkin mug might be perfect for that special someone. Nothing makes coffee better than having your own Skyrim mug to drink it from.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/f/b/7fbf43de93b04cfc54f41a1f8d1082b4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/f/b/tiny_7fbf43de93b04cfc54f41a1f8d1082b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70183","description":"

My Other Ride is a Chobobo Vinyl Decal

\n
Etsy Dealer: Red Raven Sign Shop, $10
\n

If the moogle shirt isn't quite what you had in mind, then maybe this cute little decal of a chocobo would be a good alternative. A cute sticker for your car or laptop. Let your love of the adorable Chobobo's shine!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/f/c/5fcfb8b33ec87920dc4f661c7ca26bca.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/f/c/tiny_5fcfb8b33ec87920dc4f661c7ca26bca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70180","description":"

Keep Calm and Save (Final Fantasy T-Shirt)

\n
Etsy Seller: Limit Breaks, $21
\n

For those hardcore Final Fantasy fans out there, there's a simple shirt just for you. Broadcast your love of Britain and Moogles with a new gamer twist on the classic "Keep Calm and Carry On."

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/0/c/10c7d7a910fedf12036049ffa24b0900.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/0/c/tiny_10c7d7a910fedf12036049ffa24b0900.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70185","description":"

New Super Smash Bros. Poster

\n
Etsy Seller: NukaCollaMan, $16
\n

If the t-shirt is not for you, then maybe this poster would be a nice alternative. The poster is around 24"x9" and features the entire roster of Super Smash Bros. Wii U. A classy addition to any SSB fans' bedroom.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/7/6/076232bc56f7c4a3463a92917e6a4b3c.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/7/6/tiny_076232bc56f7c4a3463a92917e6a4b3c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70179","description":"

Smash University T-Shirt

\n
Etsy User-LvlUpFandom, $12 (depending on the size)
\n

For all those Super Smash Bros fans out there, here is an awesome t-shirt for you! With this shirt you can let everyone else know how serious you take your smash. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/4/8/a48aaea10ccbeb6f2fbcb92e3b8d7040.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/4/8/tiny_a48aaea10ccbeb6f2fbcb92e3b8d7040.png","type":"slide","id":"70182","description":"

Glossy Bulbasaur Planter

\n
Etsy Seller: Madarakis, $17.25
\n

This cute and beautiful glossy Bulbasaur is for the gamer that loves flowers and gardens. A bit similar to a Chia pet, it comes in multiple colors and is only complete once you've raised a flower in it.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/d/d/4dd0fc1484b9f9563000f2f48d9537d6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/d/d/tiny_4dd0fc1484b9f9563000f2f48d9537d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70178","description":"

Workin' My Puff into Tuff T-Shirt (Also in Tank-Top)

\n
LookHuman.com, $23-28 (depending on size)
\n

If you want to go the route of the funny gift that will psyche your friend up. Not to mention that it makes it clear to everyone on the street and at the gym that they are devoted to turning their puff into tuff.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/6/1/a61fc6443d3a3b6910db8f375804e23b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/6/1/tiny_a61fc6443d3a3b6910db8f375804e23b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70176","description":"

 Legend of Zelda Posters: Links Through Time

\n
ThinkGeek.com, $10 per poster
\n

If you want to go for something artsy, here are truly some amazing posters for the price. The posters measure from 36" x 24" or 24" x 36", depending on the style of the poster. There are alternate posters that use the artwork from The Wind Waker, the ocarina songs from The Ocarina of Time and one comprehensive poster showing off all the forms of Link in his previous games.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/2/7/32749a96410a44dde2dca9246955b432.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/2/7/tiny_32749a96410a44dde2dca9246955b432.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70175","description":"

Legend of Zelda: Gold Triforce Hoodie

\n
Etsy Seller: Tees 'n Plus, $27 (possibly more depending on size)
\n

A simple yet classic sweatshirt that shows off a devotion to the legendary land of Hyrule could be a perfect gift. Comfy, functional, and geeky; its a triple win.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/f/f/7ffe0a87c2ec5b7041e313eacd0e673a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/f/f/tiny_7ffe0a87c2ec5b7041e313eacd0e673a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"70172","description":"

Sometimes finding the right gift for a close friend, a new acquaintance or your significant other can be stressful and strenuous. Whether for a birthday, a holiday or everything in between, if your friend has a love for video games, here are ten suggestions for some quality gifts for decent prices.

\n

The items we've selected cover a whole bunch of classic franchises like Super Smash Bros and Final Fantasy, so without further ado let us begin.

"}]]]>
Bottoms Up: 10 Drinking Games from Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/kqc6o/bottoms-up-10-drinking-games-from-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/kqc6o/bottoms-up-10-drinking-games-from-video-games Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:55:57 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c786677636456dc2ce19baadbd7e991d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c786677636456dc2ce19baadbd7e991d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5962","description":"

There you have it, a new excuse to invite your friends over and play some games (as if you needed another one). Have suggestions for drinks or games to play these with? Sound off in the comments!

\n

Stay thirsty my friends! 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8070c4faaed9187f365390b976568e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8070c4faaed9187f365390b976568e7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5961","description":"

Confusion - Adventure Games

\n

Older adventure games are infamous for their obtuse puzzles and hard-to-find key items resulting in extreme pixel hunting. Now that we are adults, let’s replay the most frustrating parts of our childhood like an adult can!

\n
The Rules:
\n

Choose an older adventure of your choice (GOG.com has a plethora of great titles) and play. Whenever you encounter some cryptic hints, obtuse instructions, or illogical puzzle, bottoms up! For every five minutes you cannot progress, have another drink!

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

The peppermint of a Starry Night shot will open your sinuses and maybe help induce an epiphany. I doubt it though. But hey, at least you will be having fun being stuck right? 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/a/5/ea5e183e98357bc0371a17709dabe146.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/a/5/tiny_ea5e183e98357bc0371a17709dabe146.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67523","description":"

Dead Nazis - Wolfenstein: The New Order

\n

Who doesn’t enjoy Nazi killing? The Nazis have been around since the birth of gaming, but The New Order actually gave us personal reasons to perpetrate violent acts against the Nazi regime. You could play any WW 2 shooter, but why not play the great The New Order?

\n
The Rules:
\n

A Nazi dies; you drink! Whether the Nazi dies in a cutscene, by your hands or someone else’s, it matters not. All that matters is whenever Nazi blood is shed, bottoms up!

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

Why a Dead Nazi of course! Is there a more fitting drink for this? I think not. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/4/1/84130aeadeaf5a497ada20fb351af4aa.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/4/1/tiny_84130aeadeaf5a497ada20fb351af4aa.png","type":"slide","id":"67521","description":"

Tower Time - Ubisoft games

\n

At this point, Ubisoft games have become so predictable; they can be predicted far in advance of release. A key mechanic of each Ubi game revolves around capturing a watchtower of some sort. This mechanic started in Assassin’s Creed, and has been present in nearly Ubisoft game since. So let’s take advantage of it!

\n
The Rules:
\n

Boot up the Ubisoft game of your choice. Whenever you capture a watchtower, radio tower, or whatever the hell it’s called now, drink! It doesn’t get much easier than this!

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

 Instead of a bottled drink, mixed drinks would be better for this game. Bloody Marys and Painkillers would be an ideal choice, since this event happens often, but not enough to justify a bottled brew. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/8/b/78bbb61a50e4a9e37c13d7dfc5314f26.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/8/b/tiny_78bbb61a50e4a9e37c13d7dfc5314f26.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67520","description":"

Bug Hunt - Bethesda games

\n

Besides creating huge sandbox worlds for players to explore, Bethesda is known for their bugs. Holy crap the bugs are strong with these games. I understand it’s impossible to eliminate every bug in a huge game world, but it seems reasonable to expect less bugs in their games than Starship Troopers.

\n
The Rules:
\n

Before you start, you and each of your friends choose a drink. The first person to spot a bug has the other participants take the drink they chose. After each drink, new drinks are chosen and the controller is handed off to another player. Before you know it, you’ll be more interested in finding bugs than treasure.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/0/e/00e4bb81ee66856e76165d58897d7192.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/0/e/tiny_00e4bb81ee66856e76165d58897d7192.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67518","description":"

Witchin’ Time - Bayonetta

\n

I love Bayonetta. I absolutely love the ridiculous over-the-top nature of the combat and enemy design as well as the nonsensical story. One of the main mechanics is the use of Bayonetta’s hair. She uses her hair to empower her attacks, so powerful attacks leave her with less clothing. Did I mention her clothing is her hair? It’s a bizarre title to be sure.

\n
The Rules:
\n

Another simple one here, whenever Bayonetta’s clothing becomes slightly revealing, you drink. Needless to say, you’ll be surprised how many drinks you’ll have downed within the hour.

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

Again, you’ll want a bottled beverage for this one. If you desire, you can hand off the controller between combat pieces and stages so you can spectate and drink, because spectators must play the game too! 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/0/fa0cd04c9cbf67dd4a42247c714c9165.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/0/tiny_fa0cd04c9cbf67dd4a42247c714c9165.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67517","description":"

Hatred - Call of Duty

\n

We have all been playing a multiplayer game of sorts and then it happens: the toxic player show up. If they aren’t criticizing you for every move you make, they are hurling racist, sexist, and bigoted insults at you and others for no discernible reason except to make everyone as miserable as they are. So why not try to make it slightly enjoyable?

\n
The Rules:
\n

I named CoD as the go-to game because of its popularity and notorious community. However, you can play any multiplayer game of your choice. Play as you normally would, or play nice if you are a toxic person. When the toxic players show up and start doing their thing, you drink every time they say something nasty. They called your mother something I can’t repeat here? Drink. Hurled a racist insult at someone on a team? Drink. Criticizing your play style despite your score being higher than theirs? Drink. Soon you’ll be happy to hear them open their mouths and spew their spiel.

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

Since you’ll be drinking fast and often, you’ll want your favorite bottled beverage for this one. Personally, I would take a Dos Equis Lager, a Smirnoff of some sort, or a chilled cider. The choice is yours to make! If you want to play nasty, you and your friends can alternate deciding the drinks before rounds. This way you can finally get your friends to drink that disgusting oatmeal stout you love. You monster.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/e/f/8ef3f539073da0901280968b293740de.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/e/f/tiny_8ef3f539073da0901280968b293740de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67516","description":"

Battle Royale or Duel - Rock Band

\n

Ah Rock Band. It remains one of the greatest party games ever made. So why not use it as a way to show your friends how awesome you are at it?

\n
The Rules:
\n

This can be played with as many people as you wish and have the instruments for, or you can rotate. First, the roles of guitarist, drummer, etc. are placed in a hat, and everyone draws a role. Starting with a song of “Easy” difficulty decided by the host, play the song. The person with the highest points decides what the losers drink. The winner of the round also delegates roles for the next song, decides the next song, and the difficulty. Keep playing until you can’t!

\n

You can also play this with only two people, if you just want to get that one friend inebriated. Rock and roll all nite!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/d/f6dee76930cbeacfa50641510d6cb697.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/d/tiny_f6dee76930cbeacfa50641510d6cb697.png","type":"slide","id":"67515","description":"

I Wanna Die - I Wanna be the Guy

\n

I Wanna Be the Guy is legendary for its unrelenting difficulty that will have even the most veteran players curled into the fetal position and sobbing after a short play session. This is a game that has no rules and constantly breaks the rules of all games you have played. You can die on the bloody map screen for goodness sake!

\n
The Rules:
\n

This is as simple as it gets: you die; you drink. Yep, that’s it. Once you explode in a cloud of pixelated blood and gore, bottoms up! If you can last more than ten minutes at this one, I salute you!

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

Since you will be dying and drinking a lot, you want something deceptively smooth and enjoyable to help calm your nerves after each death. The chocolate milk taste of a Nut’s ‘n’ Berries or the smoothness of a Buttery Nipple. Either way, you’ll at least enjoy the dying, until the next day anyway. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/b/5/1b5ceaabab2593787516359f3ae99113.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/b/5/tiny_1b5ceaabab2593787516359f3ae99113.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67514","description":"

The "F" Bomb - Bulletstorm

\n

Any chance to write about Bulletstorm is a win in my book. In fact, I just wrote about how awesome it is, and why you should play it! As I mentioned in my piece, the game contains a lot of swear words. A LOT. Enough to make sailors blush and Samuel L. Jackson feel uncomfortable. So how does this translate to a drinking game? Actually, it is quite easy.

\n
The Rules:
\n

The rules are really simple. Whenever you hear the “f” word or a variation of uttered by our potty mouth characters, you drink. This includes all characters though, not just our main character. So whenever that enemy curses you and you reply with an equally appalling swear, two drinks to you my friend!

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

Since swearing is not always a good thing, an ideal drink would be something bitter and not very enjoyable by itself. Tequila neat would probably be the best option, unless you like that nasty stuff, in which case a substitute would need to be found. Before you know it, you’ll have been broken of your own swearing habits!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/5/3/a53aaf0dc92e8f23857e21989b7f8cc9.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/5/3/tiny_a53aaf0dc92e8f23857e21989b7f8cc9.png","type":"slide","id":"67525","description":"

Errand Boy- Every RPG made

\n

Everyone’s favorite part of a RPG is when in order to make progress on a quest, we must scratch someone else’s back and do them a favor for some contrived reason. You may be a Grey Warden, a Spectre, a Witcher, or some other powerful character; it does not matter though. At the end of the day, even the most powerful of RPG characters must bow before the power of the errand quest.

\n
The Rules:
\n

Any RPG will do. Simply play until you encounter a quest where you must perform an errand for some NPC in order to progress. You must drink upon encountering and accepting the quest and upon completion, this way of playing helps dull the sharp edge of frustration.

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

There are several shots which could make for an excellent companion to this one. The B-52, Breakfast, and Chocolate Cake shots would be my go-to picks. If you want to play with the grownups though, you could instead use a Three Wise Men or Four Horsemen shots to ensure quick inebriated questing! 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/6/2c626de145463728c035868fc80e8f19.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/6/tiny_2c626de145463728c035868fc80e8f19.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67513","description":"

We all love games, but sometimes our video games can also double as other forms of entertainment. I began to wonder, could I come up with some drinking games which are played with video games? Why yes I can! I’m not a big drinker, but I have a drink every now and then. After brainstorming this list though, I think I need to have a party! As always, please game and drink responsibly!

"}]]]>
Paid Steam Mods for Skyrim: Is It So Bad That Modding Could be a Job? https://www.gameskinny.com/s23dj/paid-steam-mods-for-skyrim-is-it-so-bad-that-modding-could-be-a-job https://www.gameskinny.com/s23dj/paid-steam-mods-for-skyrim-is-it-so-bad-that-modding-could-be-a-job Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:23:44 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Bethesda Softworks games biggest selling points are their massive open worlds and incredibly expansive and open mod support. This is especially true with the 5th game in massively popular The Elder Scrolls series, titled Skyrim

The two main places to find mods for Skyrim are the Skyrim Nexus and Steam Workshop; recently the Steam Workshop introduced a new system whereby modders can choose to sell their mods. This, naturally has made a large proportion of the modding community rather... let's keep it civil and say they are rather angry.

I want to take a step back, and look at this news from all perspectives. I want to put forward any positives, negatives and in betweens. I want address any issues I see in it, and that many others do also. And now before jumping in I want to ask for one thing from you, make sure you read the whole article and take your time when commenting.

Priced at £1.99/$3.00 with a Pay What You Want option

Valve let off some Steam with this announcement; many gamers are enraged
Valve see this as allowing creators to get paid for their  hard work...

Valve has already allowed us to sell content for a while now. Users can sell items for Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on the Steam Market, with community members creating some of this content. Valve wanted to take this one step further and allow the sale of full user-created mods, without having to use an in-game tool. What other game to turn to than the flagship of modding, Skyrim.

Valve see this as allowing creators to get paid for their hard work, and why shouldn't someone get paid for the work they do?

The revenue from the mod doesn't all go to the creator; there is a 3-way asymmetrical split. 25% of each sale goes to the mod creator, and then the remaining 75% of this revenue gets shared between the developers and Valve. However, of that 75% it is not known how much the developers or Valve get.

Publishers want money, and they need gamers on their side
...screw over your customers and it makes it harder to get money.

The easiest thing to say is that publishers and developers do nothing and get paid for it, but remember they have created the game and the modding tools.

Publishers call the shots for developers when it comes to pricing, as they are the ones who have given the money to the developers they, of course, want to make as much back as possible. Making money and making customers happy are linked, screw over your customers and it makes it harder to get money.

This mod selling system might bring more modding powerful tools for creators.

With a paid mods system in place, it gives mod creators even more incentive to create mods for the games. It also gives publishers/developers more incentives to create modding tools in their games, as not only do they get a cut of each mod sale, they also get a lot of good will from players for opening their games to modding.

Battlefield 3 comes from a series that was well-known for its mods, so when EA announced that the game wasn't moddable there was a massive uproar. On the other hand, everyone praised Dying Light when it received its own modding tools.

This mod selling system might not only bring modding tools to more games, but more powerful tools also.

 The Developer Tools for Dying Light.

The modding community is upset with a change, without thinking hard about the good it can bring
Allowing modders to effectively mod as their day job can only give players more and higher quality mods.

Some modders have categorically refused to charge for their mods. Gopher is one of them -- if you know about modding BethSoft games you most likely have heard his name crop up. This is because he believes that his mods should be free.

But Gopher doesn't make massive expansive new lands mods that add 15 hours or more of content, chief among them is Falskaar. Huge content-adding modders may sing another tune. Many mods take 100s of hours to create, and most modders have day jobs to pay rent.

Velicky, the creator of Falskaar, was lucky enough to have the ability to live rent-free at his dad's house, but most modders don't have this luxury. It is undeniable that getting money for mods could allow modders to have more development time. More time to make bigger mods, start out smaller, sell, profit and expand. Modders could now effectively mod as their day job and strive to give players more and higher quality mods that are worth the expense.

One large problem...is the "buyer beware" issue...

One large problem I can see with paid mods is the "buyer beware" issue, as Valve are not regulating any mods sold on the Workshop how do you know if you actually like the mod?

What if I download a mod and it's not compatible with other mods?

Well, there are two ways I see to fix this, the first being to allow for refunds, which Valve has already thought of. You can get a full refund within the first 24 hours of purchasing, but be sure to read the full refund policy.

The second way to deal with this is to have more of a donation or tip-jar system, where the user can download the mod for free, and then pick an amount they are willing to spend on that mod after using it. By chance, the Nexus has a system similar to this. Dark0ne, the owner of the Nexus Sites, has made a blog post detailing how he will be bringing this system more into the public eye.

Again, Valve has already partially implemented this with the optional Pay What You Want pricing model. Modders may allow users to choose their own price.

Paid Mods Provide a Lot of Opportunities
Modding gives them a chance to try an idea on a smaller scale...

Modding is often a stepping stone towards full-time games development, but how can someone learn what experiences work without first trying them? Modding gives creators a chance to try out an idea, on a smaller scale and discover if it works.

Change can be a bad thing, but is mostly a great thing. Change allows us to open our eyes to new things, and improve who we are by allowing us to grow. Growing pains always happen, one mod has already been pulled from the Workshop, proof that nothing is ever perfect at first.

This system may mean that some modders choose to take advantage of it, meaning they won't work with other modders, but they will always be the minority.

Optimistic me
...you get to reward the hard work someone has put in with more than just positive comments, you can give them money.

I may simply be over-optimistic about the paid mod system, and I see that modders genuinely love what they do, and they would never jeopardise the integrity and good will of the community at large.

The modding community is far larger that I could have ever expected after getting more involved with it, the sheer amount of experiences and the vast collective knowledge of the community will never disappear. There will always be places where mods are free, and there will always be free mods.

With the ability to charge for mods will not only bring the modder profit, but also bring gamers larger and grander experiences to our favourite games. In the process, you get to reward the hard work someone has put in with more than just positive comments, you can also give them money. Isn't that simply great?

The final question I am going to ask is, are you still 100% against this change? Or are you going to hold final judgement just a bit longer?

**UPDATE**

And now paid mods have been removed due to Valve not implementing the system correctly. Yes, I didn't like the system. Mostly as modders were only getting 25% of each sale, but the idea of selling mods is still something I want to see explored.

]]>