Transistor Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Transistor RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Forget Movies, These 5 Video Games Need Their Own Comics https://www.gameskinny.com/qbu5q/forget-movies-these-5-video-games-need-their-own-comics https://www.gameskinny.com/qbu5q/forget-movies-these-5-video-games-need-their-own-comics Sun, 16 Jul 2017 12:00:01 -0400 stratataisen

Video games have some amazing stories and deep lore, most of which can be told, or retold, in other forms of entertainment. Just look at the Warcraft and Assassin's Creed movies from last year or the Uncharted movie in the works. While many games certainly have the potential to become good movies (and some cringe-worthy ones too), other forms of storytelling media are often overlooked. Comic books, for instance, are an excellent way to visually tell a story without all the cameras, actors, and expenses.

Here’s a list of 5 games that don’t already have a comic about them or their lore, but seriously should!

SOMA

SOMA is from the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. While not nearly as scary as Amnesia, Frictional Games gave SOMA a thoroughly in-depth story that made the player sit and ponder the question “What does it mean to be human?”. This plus the underseas location of PATHOS-II, and the mechanical horrors lurking within its confines would make for an amazingly dark and gruesome, sci-fi horror comic. A comic of the game could follow the story exactly or even expand further into the game's lore, such as the events leading up to PATHOS-II’s demise, Catherine's struggle in trying to save the small remnants of humanity, or digging deeper into the protagonist's past.

Final Fantasy Franchise

The Final Fantasy franchise has a long history of fantasy based games--that never seems to be the final fantasy, oddly enough--with many rich stories, interesting characters, and breathtaking locations. This gives Square Enix more than sufficient material to create several great manga series. This includes squeals like X-2, Tactics, and the Dissidia games, but excludes Final Fantasy XII and Type-0 as both already have manga series of their own.

An excellent first candidate for a manga would Final Fantasy VII. It is by far the most popular of the series, with a number of prequels and sequels, as well as a remake in development. The main story would obviously make an excellent manga series, expanding on what we already know from the game. However, a perfect stand alone would be of Sephiroth's past, seeing what made the games greatest villain who he is.

There’s also some outstanding potential for very silly manga, where characters like Biggs and Wedge get together for a hilarious side character convention.

Paladins

Paladins: Champions of the Realm is a team based FPS created by Hi-Rez Studios. While Paladins is a great game, there isn't much of a story, leaving a few unanswered questions. What is this realm? Who are these champions? Why are they fighting? Unfortunately, a story is something which Hi-Rez stated is not a priority for them. However, if they did decide to switch gears and start expanding on lore for this vast, vibrant world and intriguing characters -- they could easily do so through a series of comics.

Comics would be a great start for origin stories for characters such as Ying or Viktor. I know I’d like to find out more about Torvald. I mean, what is his...um ‘power glove’? It appears magical in nature, made of stone and carved with runes. My assumption is that he’s a scholarly explorer that stumbled upon an ancient magical weapon. Am I right? I don’t know, but this is something we can find out if there were more lore to the game.

Transistor

Praised for its visuals and soundtrack, this ARPG by Supergiant Games would serve as a fantastic comic series. Transistor has a phenomenal art style, color scheme, and enthralling story that would blend well with a comic format -- creating a gorgeous visual novel. It would even do well as a motion comic, so more can enjoy the amazing and beautiful soundtrack that the game has to offer.

While I would like to see the main story show in this way, there’s also the potential of seeing the story from another point of view. Maybe Red’s dead lover, or the enemies that you face as Red.

Subnautica

Subnautica, the crafting survival game by Unknown Worlds Entertainment, is one of those games that pulls you in and leaves you wanting to know more. In the game, the lore and story are discovered through exploration and finding data pads. If comics were made, I think they would do well as prequels, such as following the survivors of the Degasi or seeing more of the expanded universe. They could even delve into the precursor aliens and their research into finding a cure for the life killing disease.

While it’s fun to watch a video game come to life on the big screen, they don’t always delve into the story or lore as much due to time, money, and real world limitations. Comics are a great alternative to this, and all the games listed have potential to become fantastic, unique series.

Do you agree with these picks? Did we miss a game that you think would make an excellent comic? Let us know in the comments below!

]]>
Steam Summer Sale 2017 -- The Best Games Under $5 https://www.gameskinny.com/xuodn/steam-summer-sale-2017-the-best-games-under-5 https://www.gameskinny.com/xuodn/steam-summer-sale-2017-the-best-games-under-5 Mon, 26 Jun 2017 18:37:09 -0400 Adreon Patterson

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/batman-arkham-asylum-4abd2.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/batman-arkham-asylum-4abd2.png","type":"slide","id":"163179","description":"

Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition 

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

As the OG of the Batman Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Asylum follows Batman as he must fight his way past nefarious foes in order to stop the Joker from once again trying to destroy Gotham City. It would be unjust for any gamer to sleep on this hallmark game with its detailed world design, revolutionary combat system, compelling storyline, and stellar graphics.

\n

---

\n

All of these games are just a sampling of what the Steam 2017 Summer Sale has to offer. Make sure to check out our other Steam Summer Sale articles for even more savings on great games. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrun-returns-574d8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shadowrun-returns-574d8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163178","description":"

Shadowrun Returns

\n

Regular Price: $14.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 1.49
Buy it on Steam

\n

This PC version of the tabletop game allows players to join any five races and six classes as they hunt down the Emerald City Ripper in this gritty, futuristic CRPG. Despite a sparse saving system, Shadowrun Returns showcases smooth character development, excellent combat scenes, and highly interactive gameplay in a cyberpunk, turn-based atmosphere. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/mass-effect-de16f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/s/mass-effect-de16f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163177","description":"

Mass Effect 2

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

Bioware's follow-up to the highly successful Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 once again puts players into the space boots of the stoic Commander Shepard as he must assemble a diverse team in order to stop an alien species known as the Collectors. The spectacular melting pot of diverse characters, stellar interactive storytelling, excellent voice acting, stunning visuals, and improved gameplay will hook any gamer interested in science fiction RPGs.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-d0cdd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast-d0cdd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163176","description":"

Outlast

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 2.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

In Outlast, a first-person survival horror game predicated on stealth and strategy, players become investigative journalist Miles Upshur as he maneuvers his way through the dilapidated Mount Massive Asylum. The top-notch horror elements and thrilling gameplay would be great for any gamer to experience, especially horror fans and fans of SOMA, Amnesia, and early Resident Evil titles.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/a/transistor-eb2bf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/a/transistor-eb2bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163175","description":"

Transistor

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 2.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

This indie sci-fi action game lets players become the famous singer Red as she battles the robotic force of The Process, all while keeping the sword-like Transistor from those who would seek to acquire it. Players are thrust into a futuristic city where they battle enemies, solve puzzles, learn new skills (or Functions), and journey through a story rich with RPG undertones. Any gamer will fall in love with the effervescent visuals, stellar combat system, and lush soundtrack.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/r/borderlands-be3c5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/r/borderlands-be3c5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163174","description":"

Borderlands 2

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

In the sequel to 2009's Borderlands, players (as four new characters) once again must complete missions while acquiring loot on the planet of Pandora. This FPS is worth any gamer's time (especially fans of the first-person shooter genre) as it manages to build upon the original's strongest points -- humor and role-playing systems -- while adding a sense of world structure that fleshes out the Borderlands mythos. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/f/life-strange-b2636.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/i/f/life-strange-b2636.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163173","description":"

Life is Strange Complete Season (Episodes 1-5)

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

As an episodic adventure, Life is Strange showcases twelfth-grade photography student Max Caufield's strange ability to rewind time and how it influences the butterfly effect of her universe. Following the episodic drama format, gamers are swept up in some truly great character development, tackling of taboo issues, and novel gameplay mechanics.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/m/tomb-raider-084f5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/m/tomb-raider-084f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163172","description":"

Tomb Raider

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

This retelling of Lara Croft's origin story follows the iconic heroine as she helps herself and her friends escape the island of Yamatai while being hunted down by a strange cult. Despite some qualms about the multiplayer mode and sometimes disconnected narrative, gamers should still enjoy this game with its splendid graphics, excellent third-person gameplay, and amazing character development -- especially for Croft. This action-adventure title from Square Enix reinvented the Tomb Raider brand and has overwhelmingly positive Steam reviews for its hard work. 

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/i/this-war-mine-e4ebb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/i/this-war-mine-e4ebb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163089","description":"

This War of Mine

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 3.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

This war survival game based on the Siege of Sarajevo deals with civilians surviving a post-war society through everyday decision-making. The player must keep various characters' health, hunger, and mood levels stable while gathering tools and materials for survival. Every decision can make or break survival -- and some of the decisions with which players are faced range from difficult to excruciating.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/t/metro-2033-redux-06109.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/t/metro-2033-redux-06109.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163073","description":"

Metro 2033 Redux

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

Set in post-nuclear war Moscow, Metro 2033 Redux deals with survivors living underground, having to kill human and mutant enemies in order to get ammunition and other resources -- as well as survive. This game can be endless fun; with an enthralling plot, realistic, detailed environments, and graphic horror elements, this is an FPS that has seen a cult following develop around it -- and for good reason.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/r/garry-mod-459d6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/r/garry-mod-459d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163072","description":"

Garry's Mod

\n

Regular Price: $9.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

A devil-may-care sandbox game, Garry's Mod allows players to manipulate ragdoll physics and props during gameplay. With its bizarre nature, user content is able to flood the game with the Physics Gun (manipulating ragdolls), the Tool Gun (creating buttons and controllable props), and the Havok Physics Engine (creating contraptions with props). Its openness allows players to roam free without any constraints. Garry's Mod is a zany sandbox creation game that focuses on creativity and mental agility. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/d/middle-earth-shadow-mordor-3cc28.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/d/middle-earth-shadow-mordor-3cc28.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163071","description":"

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 3.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

Taking place between The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor follows the combined body and soul of dead ranger Talion and Elf Lord Celebrimbor as they take revenge on Sauron for the death of their loved ones. This Tolkein-based, Peter Jackson-influenced action-adventure game boasts stellar combat scenes, great lore, an expansive open world, and the Nemesis System, which allows non-playable characters to uniquely react to the protagonist accordingly through each playthrough.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/d/endless-space-4cbb7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/d/endless-space-4cbb7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163070","description":"

Endless Space: Collection

\n

Regular Price: $19.99
2017 Summer Sale Price: 4.99
Buy it on Steam

\n

Endless Space is a turn-based, 4X sci-fi adventure game allows players to choose or build a civilization and expand their empire to conquer the galaxy through a series of victories. This edition collects both the Endless Space base game and the DLC, Disharmony, providing players a great user interface and great accessibility for endless replay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-summer-sale-64f89.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-summer-sale-64f89.jpg","type":"slide","id":"163068","description":"

After what's seemed like an eternity, summer has finally arrived. Sunny beaches. Scorching, hot weather. Family vacations. Weird tan lines. 

\n

But there is another image that's conjured when talking about summer -- the Steam Summer Sale. Summer truly doesn't begin until the gaming community can buy some amazing games and other items on the cheap. 

\n

The true pull for the sale is the incredible discounts gamers can get on some of their favorite games. There are individual games, expansion packs, DLCs, bundles. Any and everything a gamer could want or need is available with discounts of up to 80%.

\n

This is not only a big deal for the gaming community but for the online community as a whole. Articles, blurbs, and blog posts from indie sites to major players are written up days before the sale. Just like offline life, the internet goes crazy over discounts.

\n

Let's take a look at some of the best games under $5 for Steam's 2017 Summer Sale.

"}]]]>
Five Industry Figures That Will Make You Feel Unaccomplished https://www.gameskinny.com/54vzu/five-industry-figures-that-will-make-you-feel-unaccomplished https://www.gameskinny.com/54vzu/five-industry-figures-that-will-make-you-feel-unaccomplished Mon, 28 Nov 2016 03:00:01 -0500 Lampstradamus

[{"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/9/5/2/9520dc2c45e35c402888ff86a945fbff-a10e7.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/9/5/2/9520dc2c45e35c402888ff86a945fbff-a10e7.png","type":"slide","id":"142536","description":"

Young or old, industry veteran or garage genius, the gaming industry has a whole slew of interesting industry figures.

\n

Some may develop games, some may write, some may invent or some may just sell, but they all have a part in this industry.

"},{"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/p/a/l/palmer-cf1fe.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/p/a/l/palmer-cf1fe.png","type":"slide","id":"140702","description":"
Palmer Luckey
\n

Founder of the company Oculus VR and developer of the Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey is recognized as one of the big pioneers in the VR world.

\n

Luckey created the original prototype for the Oculus at age 18 in his parents’ garage, and he would go on to sell his 6th generation unit as a DIY kit to fellow enthusiasts on Kickstarter. Later, Luckey ran Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of the Oculus Rift. The campaign would raise $2.4 million, or 974% of its original goal, cementing Luckey as the face of VR gaming.

\n

In 2015, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth to be $700 million.

"},{"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/j/u/s/justin-matthew-davis-407c5.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/j/u/s/justin-matthew-davis-407c5.png","type":"slide","id":"140684","description":"
Justin Ma and Matthew Davis
\n

This duo not only founded the company Subset Games but also created the hit indie title FTL: Faster Than Light. Raising $200,000 dollars on Kickstarter to make FTL, the duo have won many awards for it since.

\n

Before Subset Games, both were former 2K China team member alongside Justin Ma. Meanwhile, Justin Ma was a games design consultant for 2K China, a junior games designer for 2K and a graphic designer for Blue Whale Studios.

\n

Games that he has previously worked on include: Bioshock 2, and Top Spin 4 Wii.

\n

The two would leave the 2K team to work on an indie game inspired by board games like X-Wing and Battlestar Galactica. Their game was named as a finalist at the Independent Games Festival China competition in 2011, after which interest in the game started picking up.

\n

The duo would eventually turn to Kickstarter to fund their game after realizing that the development time was longer than originally anticipated. They asked for a mere $10,000 and received $200,000.

\n

Their game would go on to receive critical acclaim and be regarded as a hit.

"},{"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/j/o/h/john-graham-a5723.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/j/o/h/john-graham-a5723.png","type":"slide","id":"140661","description":"
John Graham
\n

Co-founder of the widely popular website Humble Bundle, John Graham's creation contributes to the video-game market by allowing users to buy bundles of miscellaneous games at whatever price they choose -- and then letting customers choose where their money goes, whether it be to charities or the developers.

\n

Graham is not only the co-founder of Humble Bundle, but he is also the founding member of the game developing studio Wolfire Games. He and the team developed various indie games over the years, many that would also find their ways onto Humble Bundle.

"},{"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/f/b/2/fb2d6cc1317c9e9691feae3d37adb5c4-ded7f.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/f/b/2/fb2d6cc1317c9e9691feae3d37adb5c4-ded7f.png","type":"slide","id":"140631","description":"
Davey Wreden
\n

Co-founder of Galactic Cafe, Davey Wreden wrote and co-created the award-winning indie title, The Stanley Parablewhich has been praised for its brilliant and unconventional storytelling and writing.

\n

Wreden began working on his first game (which would be the first version of The Stanley Parable), at the end of his undergraduate course in film school. Soon afterward, he then started fiddling around with Valve's Source Engine (yes, the first version of The Stanley Parable was a Half-Life 2 mod).

The mod blew up online and became an overnight sensation. Wreden teamed up with William Pugh to form Galactic Cafe and released a high-definition version of The Stanley Parable only two years later.

"},{"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/m/i/amir-rao-d2a0e.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/m/i/amir-rao-d2a0e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140621","description":"
Amir Rao 
\n

Co-founder of Super Giant Games, Amir Rao has gone on to co-create two highly acclaimed and beloved games, Bastion and Transistor.

\n

Rao originally worked at Electronic Arts, where he was responsible for design on Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. In 2009, he left EA and formed Supergiant Games with his partner, Gavin Simon.

"},{"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/n/y/c/nyc-office-0be56.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/n/y/c/nyc-office-0be56.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141447","description":"

When it comes to the gaming industry, there are many AAA developers and publishers that might come to mind. Whether it be Cliff Blieszinski, Peter Molyneux or Tim Schafer, there are many industry heavyweights who we regard as successes.

\n

However, there are always other industry figures who have made great products or done great things that we may overlook. 

\n

Here are five industry figures that you may or may not recognize -- but should definitely get the credit they're due.

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

 

\n

Image Sources:

\n

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

\n

Rez HD: http://www.gamephd.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Rez-HD-gameplay-13.png

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

"}]]]>
5 Sci-Fi RPGs You've Never Heard of But Should Play https://www.gameskinny.com/kf9mp/5-sci-fi-rpgs-youve-never-heard-of-but-should-play https://www.gameskinny.com/kf9mp/5-sci-fi-rpgs-youve-never-heard-of-but-should-play Fri, 15 Jul 2016 07:11:43 -0400 Janiece Sebris

First things first: this listicle is not trying to insult your intelligence. While you may have heard of all these sci-fi RPGs already, let this list be a reminder to you about how great experiencing role-playing games in a science fiction universe can be.

1. Mars: War Logs

As the game suggests, this Sci-Fi RPG is set on the planet Mars. However, it is also set nearly a century after the colonies on the planet were plunged into chaos when a catastrophe occurred. Water is a highly sought after commodity on the planet, obviously. While the corporations in the game try to control the water, you play as Roy Temperance, an adventurer.

Before we jump to conclusions, let's all agree that the small RPG Mars: War Logs sounds an awful lot like The Technomancer. Well, it makes sense as both games were developed by Spiders and published by Focus Home Interactive. While Mars: War Logs wasn't as well received as The Technomancer, one cannot deny which is the chicken and the egg in this scenario, making the need to play Mars all the more necessary.

Get it on Steam for $14.99.

2. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines

How could the vacant eyes of the meandering undead and 21st century Los Angeles possibly have more in common than they already do? Vampire: The Masquerade--Bloodlines is the answer to that question. In this RPG, the player can choose to progress as either a male or female character who has been killed and then revived as a vampire. Players also must choose a vampire clan for their character based on points in different areas. While Vampire did not do well initially, it has since garnered a cult following.

Get it on Steam for $19.99

3. Transistor

Unlike the games above, Transistor sold well upon release in early 2014. Developed and published by Supergiant Games, Transistor uses an isometric point of view as the lead character, Red, goes from point A to point B. Red is a famous singer in the fictional city of Cloudbank. After escaping assassination by the enemies known as The Process, Red comes to possess a huge weapon called the Transistor. Fans of the game noted its stunning graphics as one of its greatest features. In 2014, Transistor won Best Graphics in IGN's Best of 2014.

Get it on Steam for $19.99.

4. Deus Ex: Invisible War

A sequel to critically acclaimed Deus Ex, Deus Ex: Invisible War takes place 20 years after its predecessor, set in 2072. In the game, the world is recovering from what is referred to as The Collapse. Players see the game's world through the eyes of character Alex D, a trainee of Taurus Academy. Like the game before it, Invisible War received favorable reviews, except for comments on the game's tendency toward an over-simplified gameplay. Overt RPG elements within the game include the use of Biomods or nanotechnological implants that grant different abilities to players.

Get it on Steam for $6.99.

5. Omikron: The Nomad Soul

If there were no reason to play this game except for the soundtrack, that would be enough. The late-great David Bowie co-wrote the soundtrack to the game. Also, his likeness appears twice within the game. Omikron is set in the fiction city of the same name. Early in the game, the fourth wall is demolished as one of the city's police officers ask the player to join him. In the game, players investigate different serial killings within the city. Although released in 1999, versions scheduled for PlayStation and PlayStation were ultimately dropped after the Dreamcast version failed to sell.

Get it on Steam for $9.99.

What are your favorite sci-fi RPGs? Let me know in the comments!

]]>
8 Amazing video game composers that show the best gaming has to offer https://www.gameskinny.com/b50md/8-amazing-video-game-composers-that-show-the-best-gaming-has-to-offer https://www.gameskinny.com/b50md/8-amazing-video-game-composers-that-show-the-best-gaming-has-to-offer Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:46:29 -0500 Joe DeClara

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cb723c65ace5e80b0d7df7bb6646eb66.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cb723c65ace5e80b0d7df7bb6646eb66.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7251","description":"

Also, Beethoven.

\n
Symphony No. 9 in D minor: Presto; Allegro molto assai, Op. 125 (abridged)
\n

Video game music has undergone a significant evolutionary process since its days in the arcades. Before the likes of PAC-MAN and Super Mario Bros, games would rarely feature their own original soundtrack, but would rather sample themes from famous classical composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach (both Donkey Kong Jr. and Gyruss used the opening theme from Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor). Now, composers of neo-romantic music, electronica, heavy metal, and even trip-hop are offering their talents to this interactive medium.

\n

On top of receiving awards, video game music has recently been studied by the academic eyes of self-proclaimed ludomusicologists (or those who study the history of video game music). When considering this high-form recognition, it's clear that this sub-genre is quickly becoming as influential as the genre it serves.

\n

What did you think of this list of musical masterminds? Did your favorite composers make an appearance? What are some of your favorite video game soundtracks? Sound off in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/07aa0fa12db337e18f86e3562837d5e3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/07aa0fa12db337e18f86e3562837d5e3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7242","description":"

Koji Kondo

\n
Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda
\n

Games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda have been considered video game masterpieces ever since their beginnings in the mid-eighties. It is therefore only fitting that these masterworks be scored with equally masterful music. Koji Kondo has been employed at Nintendo since 1984, and in that time has composed music for over thirty games while contributing to over a hundred others.

\n

Like the video game technology around him, Kondo’s musical style has evolved with his games. When comparing the 8-bit ground theme from the original Super Mario Bros. to the fully orchestrated Gusty Garden theme from 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy, it’s clear that Kondo’s ability to adapt his musical genius to the technology available to him is nothing short of divine. Endearing, empowering, reflective, symmetrical, pure – there can be no doubt that Kondo’s works will forever be held as some of the greatest to grace this medium.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/277189bc50f70732754b30730f0068a8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/277189bc50f70732754b30730f0068a8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7250","description":"

Austin Wintory

\n
Journey
\n

Years from now, we will be talking about those who helped bring video games to the forefront of discussions concerning the great artistic achievements of our time. After working with Thatgamecompany on their first game, flOw, Wintory became one such pioneer with Journey. In 2012, the game’s original soundtrack became the first video game to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. The music of Journey features a number of solo instruments, with the cello acting as first soloist. The score’s ambient Arabian style mostly keeps a reserved tempo with grandiose orchestrations, but becomes excited and animated during the game’s more active segments.

\n

All of this orbits around one central musical idea, or leitmotif, which is stated at the game’s start, then is restated, reinterpreted, and reiterated on with varying compositional techniques throughout the entire piece. Wintory’s use of orchestration, leitmotifs, and gameplay-informed inspiration makes this work one of the greatest seen in video game history. Following this critical acclaim, Wintory has since worked on games like Horn, Counter Strike: GO, The Order: 1886, and Assassins’ Creed: Syndicate.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e91a75095ffe3c022aa47e02056be583.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e91a75095ffe3c022aa47e02056be583.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7249","description":"

Nobuo Uematsu

\n
Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger
\n

Considered one of the great pioneers of original video game music, as well as one of the greatest of all time, Uematsu made his name through his work with the Final Fantasy series. The soundtracks of these games feature a wide array of musical styles and genres, each track reflective of the current scenario displayed.

\n

While saving your file in a hotel-esque resting point, you’ll probably hear an atmospheric smooth jazz track playing in the background. If a beloved character meets an untimely demise, a beautiful and unassuming piano ballad will most likely be cued. And when it comes time to fight the titanic final boss, be prepared for some epic heavy metal! Nothing says “master composer” quite like having dozens of world-renowned video game soundtracks under your belt.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/58d2259cda4da94bc222d245d6242b8f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/58d2259cda4da94bc222d245d6242b8f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7248","description":"

Jeremy Soule

\n
The Elder Scrolls Series
\n

One of the most celebrated video game composers of all time, Soule has often been referred to as the John Williams of video game music. Having written music for games, film, and television, his most notable works in gaming include Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs, games from the Harry Potter series, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.

\n

Since the late nineties, Soule’s video game music has won numerous awards from the likes of IGN, GameSpot, the BAFTA Games Awards, MTV, Official Xbox Magazine, and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Though most of his work is symphonic, Soule believes himself to be a well-rounded “musical practitioner” in his desire to write music of all types and genres.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/98b82ed6c61bb175f5ffccdd40d1c586.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/98b82ed6c61bb175f5ffccdd40d1c586.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7247","description":"

Jessica Curry

\n
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
\n

Though only breaking into the video game music scene three years ago with Dear Esther, Curry has already established herself as one of the medium's greatest composers. Curry's work mostly features classical arrangements; Dear Esther's soundtrack is mostly comprised of works for piano and solo strings, while Everybody's Gone to the Rapture makes use of choirs, solo instruments, and an entire orchestra.

\n

The Chinese Room's most recent game, in particular, features a beautiful and enrapturing score with romantic and folk-song influences. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture has been criticized for its slow pace and lack of interaction, but from a music lover's standpoint, this game is worth the playthrough. Traditionally, game music exists to serve the game. The Chinese Room's PlayStation 4 title, however, seems to act as a conduit for Curry's magnificent piece.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ff00e909a89040892b0a36007b4c5eb4.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ff00e909a89040892b0a36007b4c5eb4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7246","description":"

Marty O'Donnell

\n
Halo
\n

The music of the Halo series has long been considered some of the most iconic of all video game music. O'Donnell served as composer and audio director of every Halo game developed by Bungie, as well as games like Oni and the mega-hit, Destiny.

\n

When asked about the creation of Halo's signature theme, O'Donnell revealed that it had all been composed within two days for the unveiling at MacWorld 1999. The inspiration came from a mere three words conveyed to O'Donnell by Bungie's Joe Staten: ancient, alien, epic.

\n

After speaking with Staten, O'Donnell hummed improvised monk chants to himself while driving home. He had composed the famous monophonic Halo chant by the time he arrived. O'Donnell also composed the fanfare for The Game Awards of 2014, and has recently founded a new development studio, Highwire Games.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/984f2b4852de24d66e22172f5b1c2846.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/984f2b4852de24d66e22172f5b1c2846.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7243","description":"

Darren Korb

\n
Bastion
\n

Serving as audio director and composer for Bastion, Korb chose to establish a unique genre of music for Supergiant Games' first title. Labeled by Korb as "acoustic frontier trip-hop," the music of Bastion features electronic drum beats and plucked acoustic instruments like guitar, banjo, mandolin, and sitar.

\n

This combination of heavily-sampled percussion and raw stringed instruments creates an attractive juxtaposition unique to most music in general, let alone that of video games. The music of Bastion went on to win the Spike Video Game Awards for Best Original Soundtrack back in 2011, and is still considered some of the most original music of any video game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7ef6b1e4fb71b04fb5b09ba1d0bc58e9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7ef6b1e4fb71b04fb5b09ba1d0bc58e9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7244","description":"

Junichi Masuda

\n
Pokemon
\n

Long-time score composer of the Pokemon games, Masuda has worked with developer Game Freak for over twenty-five years. Since the original games for the Game Boy (Red and Blue Version), Masuda has composed music for nearly every core Pokemon title to date. In the original games, each town was given its own musical theme.

\n

Many of these tunes have been revered for effectively reflecting each town's tone, most especially the eerie theme for Lavender Town. While drawing influence from modern-era classical composers like Dmitri Shostakovich and Igor Stravinsky, Masuda has often looked to the divine music of the Super Mario series as a model for video game music. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/d/6/6d6145c0ea69adf922ec1e3b3c76f25a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/d/6/tiny_6d6145c0ea69adf922ec1e3b3c76f25a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"94069","description":"
Gesamtkunstwerk n. {Ger} a total work of art; synthesis of the arts. 
\n

It was once easy for art critics to write off video games as nothing more than children's toys and consumerism fodder. Now, video games receive celebratory recognition for art design, screenwriting, excellence in gameplay, sound design, and music. To quote game designer Phil "Fish" Poisson, "Video games are the ultimate art form. [They are] the sum total of every expressive medium...made interactive. How is that not...it's awesome!"

\n

One of the most imperative elements of any excellent video game is its soundtrack. Like any genre of music, video game music has been evolving right alongside this interactive medium since its beginnings. Here are some of the musical subgenre's greatest composers of all time. 

"}]]]>
Gamer gift guide: 10 indie games for the PlayStation 4 https://www.gameskinny.com/vnmhj/gamer-gift-guide-10-indie-games-for-the-playstation-4 https://www.gameskinny.com/vnmhj/gamer-gift-guide-10-indie-games-for-the-playstation-4 Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:46:25 -0500 Daniel Williams_2179

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/a/b/8abd5b6de6984df31dae2eebd1bad2ce.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/a/b/tiny_8abd5b6de6984df31dae2eebd1bad2ce.jpg","type":"slide","id":"93288","description":"

And there are ten games that any indie gamer would like to have. If there are any particular games we missed then let us know in the comments below and have Happy Holidays!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/a/f6a0e850694fd34808791247a87a35b9.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/a/tiny_f6a0e850694fd34808791247a87a35b9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"93077","description":"

10. Rocket League

\n

Price: $19.99

\n

Buy: Amazon

\n

Rating: 85 Metascore

\n

 And last but certainly not least we have Rocket League

\n

Rocket League is a really simple game. You play football with cars. Rocket League has been one of the best multiplayer games to come out for the PlayStation 4. You can play 1 on 1, 2 on 2, and 3 on 3 matches, either against other players or the computer.

\n

You can customize your car by putting flags or hats on it, or changing the exhaust. The high point of Rocket League is the gameplay. Things can get very hectic while playing a game, especially when 6 people are all trying to get the ball. The is rarely a dull moment in this game. The driving is really fun and the game is surprising tactile. Good communication between teammates can lead to easy wins and good control of the car.It is quite hard to control the car, but playing matches is so fun I rarely cared how bad I was driving it, 

\n

This game is best played with a friend, either against each other or playing against other players online. Even now I still have a fun time playing Rocket League online with one of my mates. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/5/9/c59598b1c928fbb3501034efe8df5790.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/5/9/tiny_c59598b1c928fbb3501034efe8df5790.png","type":"slide","id":"92950","description":"

9. Terraria 

\n

Price: $19.99

\n

Buy: Amazon

\n

Rating: 83 Metascore

\n

If Minecraft was too three dimensional, then I have the 2D alternative. 

\n

Terraria is similar to Minecraft in a number of ways. They both involve the player exploring the map, mining for materials and building their own structures, except one is 2D and the other is 3D.

\n

But two things Terraria has over Minecraft is its items and its defined end goals. Terraria has a number of bosses to fight, from the Eye of Cthulhu to a wall of flesh. These give the players more defined goals to accomplish compared to Minecraft. Plus, there is a massive of amount of items to choose from. 

\n

There are lots of ways to gear up your character when it comes to venturing off into the world of Terraria. There are boots to make you run faster, a jet pack, a massive flaming sword, a blaster, and the list goes on. Terraria has a huge emphasis on upgrading your character and fighting off the many creatures that are in the world.

\n

Terraria really sucks you in when preparing for a boss fight. You would be surprised how satisfying it is finding the last bit of ore needed to finish off building the next best suit of armor.

\n

For anyone looking for an adventure with a good sense of progression, this is the game for you.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/0/2/c021db2207f2035e659095bacc95e574.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/0/2/tiny_c021db2207f2035e659095bacc95e574.jpg","type":"slide","id":"92752","description":"

8. Dust: An Elysian Tail

\n

Price: $14.99

\n

Buy: PlayStation store

\n

Rating: 79 Metascore

\n

Another entry in the Metroidvania style genre, Dust: An Elysian Tail follows the character Dust, who gains possession of the sentient sword, the Blade of Ahrah. With the blade's help -- along with its guardian Fidget -- Dust travels the world of Falana to find out who he is.

\n

While the story sounds like it has been done before, it's the combat that really makes Dust: An Elysian Tail stand out. You are able to pull off a chain of combos to defeat your enemies. The longer the chain, the more EXP you earn. Each area you enter introduces new enemy types, offering new challenges to face. There is never a dull moment when fighting the mass amounts of monsters across Falana.

\n

It is after combat is when the pace slows down. There is a lot of dialogue in this game that can interrupt the flow of the game. The voice acting is quite good, but the sheer amount of dialogue to go through every time you want to start a new quest or finish one can be annoying.

\n

Other than that, the game is a blast to go through, with amazing visuals to look at. Plus, Fidget is an amazing character to have. I always like it when characters in games break the fourth wall.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/4/4/d44da3d016413d4064cde98c34c2c5ec.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/4/4/tiny_d44da3d016413d4064cde98c34c2c5ec.png","type":"slide","id":"92751","description":"

7. Bastion

\n

Price: $14.99

\n

Buy: PlayStation store

\n

Rating: 89 Metascore

\n

Supergiant Games' second entry on this list, Bastion is their first game - and it's a brilliant first game.

\n

In Bastion, you take control of the Kid, a boy who wakes up one day when the apocalyptic Calamity hits. He, along with the help of the Stranger must go searching for any survivors of the Calamity and shards to power up the Bastion so they can be better equipped to fend off the creatures that inhabit the world.

\n

All of your actions in-game are described through narration by the Stranger, eventually named Rucks. This is a unique way to tell the story, one that was done quite well.

\n

There is never a dull moment in the combat in Bastion, and there is a wide variety of weapons to use, from hammers to rifles. You are able to equip tonics to upgrade the Kid and activate shrines to make the game harder.

\n

Like Transistor, Bastion has amazing visuals to coincide with the gameplay and a brilliant soundtrack. If you enjoyed Transistor, then you will also like Bastion.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/a/3/9a358877c968c1d2c8b9e5e5f080bc02.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/a/3/tiny_9a358877c968c1d2c8b9e5e5f080bc02.png","type":"slide","id":"92750","description":"

6. Shovel Knight

\n

Price: $22.49

\n

Buy: Amazon

\n

Rating: 90 Metascore

\n

Shovel knight is a game that takes a lot of inspiration from the 8-bit era of gaming. The over-world is similar to that of Super Mario 3, the Knights of No Quarter are inspired from the robot masters from Mega Man, and of course, the game is drawn in a pixel art style.

\n

All the environments are really fun to go through, from Specter Knight's Lich Yard to Plague Knight's Explodatorium. The entire soundtrack is really good, with each stage's music being extremely memorable. 

\n

But the high point of Shovel Knight is the gameplay and the use of the shovel for platforming offers unique experiences. Plus, the Plague of Shadows update is available, letting you play the whole game as Plague Knight -- and that doesn't cost anything. 

\n

If you want to play a game to make it feel like the 1980s again, this is the game for you. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/e/5/0e5a4604cd2b252923e9fc5beea1a610.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/e/5/tiny_0e5a4604cd2b252923e9fc5beea1a610.jpg","type":"slide","id":"92749","description":"

5. Minecraft

\n

Price: $18.95

\n

Buy: Amazon

\n

Rating: 89 Metascore

\n

What were you expecting? Can't have a list about indie games without Minecraft.

\n

If you are one of the few people who still haven't seen or heard of this game, Minecraft is a sandbox game where you gather materials to create structures and craft items. This is a massive game to explore with interesting areas to go to. As you go on your journeys you will find vast desserts, cold tundras, and caves filled with monsters. 

\n

It is quite easy to get lost in Minecraft. With so much to do, I found myself investing dozens of hours into it, just exploring and constantly looking for more materials to build castles. 

\n

The major selling point of Minecraft is how open it is. It relies on the players setting their own goals in the game. Sure, you can say fighting the Ender Dragon and other bosses in the game are the end goals, but these are only a small part of what this game has to offer. 

\n

As long as you can keep setting goals for yourself and are willing to stick to them, Minecraft is a game for you try.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/a/f/6af96640e602789a7128e1328b2425d5.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/a/f/tiny_6af96640e602789a7128e1328b2425d5.png","type":"slide","id":"92746","description":"

4. Transistor 

\n

Price: $19.99

\n

Buy: Amazon

\n

Rating: 83 Metascore

\n

Transistor is an amazing Action RPG game made by Supergiant Games. In it, you take control of Red, a singer who has lost the ability to speak and wields the mysterious talking weapon called the Transistor. 

\n

This game is a brilliant example of how innovative indie games can be. The story is amazing, following Red as she trackS down the Camerata -- the organization who took her voice away. The action-based gameplay is great and the turn-based elements give Transistor a unique feel. The artwork is beautifully drawn and the soundtrack is one of the best I have heard in a game.

\n

Though the game may be short with about a six or seven hours of game time, the new game plus and challenge rooms kept me coming back for more. This is something that everyone should give a try. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/3/6/f3688867aceedbcc8db45953b41443d6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/3/6/tiny_f3688867aceedbcc8db45953b41443d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"92745","description":"

3. Don't Starve

\n

Price: $14.99

\n

Buy: Amazon

\n

Rating: 78 Metascore

\n

Do you want to live out in the wilderness, survive off the land, and fend off the elements of nature itself? If no, then good choice. (It's scary out there in the wild.) If yes, then I think I have a game you will like.

\n

Don't Starve sends you into a weird world, where you must gather supplies and fight against giant spiders, Pigmen, and bees. In the game, you must keep track of your health, hunger, and sanity if you want to stand any chance of surviving. When you first play it, you can die very quickly. When I started playing Don't Starve I had no idea what items were more useful than others or where to find them. 

\n

It is best to play this game with a guide so you know which areas are best to start in. But once you get the hang of it, you'll know where to look for supplies. If you want a challenging but rewarding experience in a game, then Don't Starve is for you.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/3/b/e3b9841086aa8e6ff10f777642230d00.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/3/b/tiny_e3b9841086aa8e6ff10f777642230d00.png","type":"slide","id":"92742","description":"

2. Rogue Legacy

\n

Price: $16.99

\n

Buy: Amazon

\n

Rating: 85 Metascore

\n

Next up we have a great starting point in the rogue-like genre.

\n

Rogue Legacy puts you in control of a knight who is trying to save their king by venturing into a castle that holds the cure to the king's illness. 

\n

This is a game in which you will die a lot...and I mean A LOT. Death awaits you around every corner, be it spike traps, zombies, skeletons, or flying portraits. This, though, is how the game hooks you. Every time I died I wanted to get back in, seeing if I could get further into the castle, wondering if I am finally ready to kill that boss. 

\n

The rogue-like elements come in when you pick a new character every time you die. Your descendants are able to use the gold your previous character collected to upgrade themselves, making sure they can get further in the castle than the previous person. Plus, every descendant you play as comes with their own unique trait. Traits include having bad eyesight that makes everything far away blurry, ADHD so you can move faster, or -- my favorite --  The One, where the castle gets a science fiction aesthetic.

\n

This is a game you will find yourself going back to every now and again. It's death mechanic makes Rogue Legacy perfect to play in short bursts and never gets so infuriating that you want to put the controller down.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/e/efee674130fa347accf2b58bb9204be8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/e/tiny_efee674130fa347accf2b58bb9204be8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90571","description":"

1. Axiom Verge 

\n

Price: $19.99

\n

Buy: PlayStation store

\n

Rating: 84 Metascore

\n

Let's start with a game that was made by one man. It can't get any more indie than that. 

\n

Axiom Verge is a Metroidvania-style game where you take control of Trace, a scientist who was blown up during an experiment and was sent to an alien world, where he must explore to find a way home.

\n

This game is your standard Metroidvania game, taking its inspirations from the Metroid sci-fi side of things. The pixel art style of the environments look amazing and, combined with the soundtrack, really capture the alien feel of the world. There are tons of things to collect: drones to help you get to small places, new weapons to use, and the item that makes Axiom Verge stand out -- the disrupter, a gadget that allows you to causes glitches in the environment and the enemies you face.

\n

The only downside to Axiom Verge is that the story is not the best. It relies a lot on the player to explore and collect notes to fill in any blanks they have. Other than that, Axiom Verge is a really fun game all gamers should give a shot.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/5/e95ec31f1fe754d135322e43ce5c03d2.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/5/tiny_e95ec31f1fe754d135322e43ce5c03d2.png","type":"slide","id":"93610","description":"

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and with that means thinking of what presents to get loved ones and friends. But when it comes to gamers, things can get a bit hard as there is so much to choose from; no one wants to get someone the wrong present!

\n

So, here are 10 games that will be great to get any gamer who are fans of indie games. 

"}]]]>
Zero to Heroine: Strong Female Characters (Redheads Edition) https://www.gameskinny.com/ecg18/zero-to-heroine-strong-female-characters-redheads-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/ecg18/zero-to-heroine-strong-female-characters-redheads-edition Sun, 26 Jul 2015 08:30:01 -0400 KungFro

[{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/e/7/ee766236d7c015a6cc5a1e06201228c9.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/e/7/tiny_ee766236d7c015a6cc5a1e06201228c9.png","type":"slide","id":"76672","description":"

Red

\n
Transistor
\n

I couldn't have possibly written this article without including Red. I mean, her name is the entire theme of this article – I'm not capable of such disrespect.

\n

Anyway, Red is one of my favorite silent protagonists for two reasons. Firstly, she was a popular singer prior to her in-game situation. This contrast couldn't be more beautifully ironic. Second, she is silent because her voice was literally taken away, leaving her mute. Often times, silent protagonists have no reason for being silent. Put those two things together and you have an understandably livid woman. Her passion in life was taken from her, so she took up arms.

\n

Another thing that I really like about Red is the realism behind her battle attire. Despite being a woman of class, she wasn't about to fight while wearing a long dress and high heels. Instead, she tore apart her wardrobe to make it as appropriate for combat as possible. She's not running around in a bikini, unlike many female characters in the gaming world.

\n

And there you have it! Are there any redheaded females that you'd hoped to see on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/a/f/3af972b80a5eaca16bf2ab780f68706f.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/a/f/tiny_3af972b80a5eaca16bf2ab780f68706f.png","type":"slide","id":"76671","description":"

Jean Grey / Phoenix

\n
Too many Marvel games to name
\n

Jean Grey is known by many as one of the most powerful psychics in the Marvel world, as well as a prime example of Omega-level mutant status. Her bonding with the Phoenix Force literally bolstered her abilities to an apocalyptic level, while also adding pyrokinesis to her skill set. Despite the destruction she is capable of, Jean is often seen as a caring and loyal individual. Just don't upset the beast within, lest its flames consume all that they touch...

\n

Jean makes an appearance as Phoenix in the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 titles, boasting barely any health, but extremely high damage output. However, her true potential often remains sealed away – unless specific requirements are met, transforming her into the merciless Dark Phoenix. Despite her low health acting as a handicap to prevent this occurrence, Dark Phoenix, if unleashed, can easily turn the tide of any battle. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/6/a/66a85aaea233016967f051cb667e7b2e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/6/a/tiny_66a85aaea233016967f051cb667e7b2e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76668","description":"

Hildegard von Krone

\n
Soulcalibur series
\n

Introduced in Soulcalibur IV, Hilde was forced to take over as ruler of Wolfkrone after her father's descent into madness. Though still young at the time, the loss of her childhood was never her concern. Her knack for diplomacy saw her as a ruler wise beyond her years, yet never stopped her from joining her soldiers on the front lines.

\n

Hilde is probably one of the most hated female characters I can think of – her debut marked her as "the ring-out queen" and she was actually banned from many tournaments for this reason. Still, Hilde remains one of the few armored females in fighting games, while simultaneously evading the damsel-princess category. Her sword-and-spear fighting style is markedly unique, and her charge mechanics were brand new to the Soul series. She lays claim to many "firsts." 

\n

It's also worth nothing that she had two children between Soulcalibur IV and V, but still hasn't left the battlefield. Props to her for keeping the mother bear archetype alive.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/d/6/cd6d6bfcc5db3127fe49fbea749332cb.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/d/6/tiny_cd6d6bfcc5db3127fe49fbea749332cb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76667","description":"

Nariko

\n
Heavenly Sword
\n

Her birth having defied the prophesy that her clan clung to in faith, Nariko was never loved by those that she sought to protect. Still, she never once left them for dead, coercing the Heavenly Sword to serve her purpose, despite the fact that it was not meant to be wielded by a mortal. God-weapon in hand, Nariko gave her life to ensure the survival of her people.

\n

Nariko has often been seen as the closest female equivalent to God of War's Kratos. A woman with an unshakeable resolve, Nariko is a true example of bloodstained beauty. The combat in Heavenly Sword is entirely composed of remarkable acrobatics and swordplay, which, although augmented by an otherworldly power, were clearly proof enough of Nariko's skill in combat.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/e/1/7e15d36714f797d6819f55400551ccfb.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/e/1/tiny_7e15d36714f797d6819f55400551ccfb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76666","description":"

Kasumi

\n
Dead or Alive series
\n

This kunoichi is probably the second most well known in the video game world – right after Taki, of course. Despite being pampered as a child, leaving her home on a self-proclaimed mission to avenge her older brother marked her as a nukenin (runaway ninja), resulting in her exile. No longer able to return home, Kasumi is constantly fighting off attempts on her life from both her own kin and those that would use her for their sick experimentation.

\n

Kasumi is definitely deserving of her notoriety, being able to survive all that is thrown at her. Despite bearing deadly mastery of her clan's ninjutsu, she is kind and avoids confrontation whenever possible. She's also often surrounded by cherry blossom petals, a symbol which has been attributed to sacrifice and transcendence. Her selflessness is just as much a strength as her lethality.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/7/9/b79ffe50f16e95c70222109a10d451d8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/7/9/tiny_b79ffe50f16e95c70222109a10d451d8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"76664","description":"

There came a particular moment in time in which I almost overloaded a Zero to Heroine article with a whopping 12 slides. As I thought of how I could possibly give each of those ladies the individual attention they deserved, without boring you all to death, I realized a select few of them had something in common.

\n

Whether crimson or burgundy – or any shade in between – all of these women sport the rarest natural hair color out there. Without further ado, here are my favorite redheaded heroines.

"}]]]>
10 Bands Who Need to Compose a Game Soundtrack https://www.gameskinny.com/kfngr/10-bands-who-need-to-compose-a-game-soundtrack https://www.gameskinny.com/kfngr/10-bands-who-need-to-compose-a-game-soundtrack Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:34:55 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e6d1328a942323c63a258a304854745a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e6d1328a942323c63a258a304854745a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5795","description":"

What do you think about my crazy ideas? Which of your favorite bands would you like to see work on a game soundtrack? Let me know in the comments below! 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/639aee7175b914d2100272f3281cfc0a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/639aee7175b914d2100272f3281cfc0a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5794","description":"
The Pogues with Shane MacGowan
\n

As much as I enjoy Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphys, and other Irish/Celtic punk bands, there is no topping The Pogues, especially with Shane MacGowan on vocals. Along with fiendishly clever lyrics laden with black humor, The Pogues also had a knack for taking traditional Irish music and reformatting the folk songs to fit their punk sound, making the old new again. Look no further for your Irish punk fix!

\n
Dream Game:
\n

An interactive, multiplayer drinking game. I know you didn't see that one coming.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/783d8692655f72fcb9fcc8fdc02bc45c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/783d8692655f72fcb9fcc8fdc02bc45c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5792","description":"
Mastodon 
\n

Like their namesake, Mastodon is a mammoth in the metal world. Despite only being around for 15 years, the band has racked up countless awards and success for their music. Starting out as sludge metal, the band has added progressive elements, which make for one trippy and fantastic live performance. Known for immaculate musicianship, jaw-dropping drumming skills, and killer solos, Mastodon has become a fan favorite and metal mainstay.

\n
Dream Game:
\n

Their more progressive songs would be a great fit for the Escher visuals of Monument Valley or Antichamber. For their heavier stuff, a new Painkiller or Bulletstorm with Mastodon doing music duties would be pretty damn great. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e57e7059f51a93b1d9bf35399f237e07.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e57e7059f51a93b1d9bf35399f237e07.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5796","description":"
Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman
\n

Nothing quite says over-the-top like Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album series. However, many people fail to recognize the massive influence Jim Steinman had on the two Bat out of Hell albums he composed. Meat Loaf encapsulates grandiose and overblown at its best, and the music is glorious for it. No one else could pull off performances like Meat Loaf does or the compositions Steinman effortlessly unleashed upon the world. Given the overblown nature of some games, they are practically begging for collaboration with these two.

\n
Dream Game:
\n

Racing along at breakneck speeds, causing vehicular mayhem and crashes in Burnout while Meat Loaf blares over the speakers would be a suitable match. Honestly though, is there anything Meat Loaf does not go well with?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0083c906f6f844b1b06e8f5b2b0d0fca.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0083c906f6f844b1b06e8f5b2b0d0fca.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5791","description":"
Weezer
\n

While Weezer’s newest album was a solid return to form, they have made some lackluster ones lately as well. As solid as any new albums may be, sadly, Weezer will never be as great as their peak as they were with Blue and Pinkerton. Blue was a masterwork of alternative power pop. With introspective and honest lyrics of being nerds, being rejected, and dealing with an alcoholic, Blue was a welcome departure from self-obsessed music at the time.

\n

For the follow up to the catchy, hook-filled Blue, Rivers Coumo went into self-imposed isolation and poured his being and soul into music. The result was Pinkerton, a startlingly, and at times, disturbingly honest release filled with anguish and loathing. Needless to say, the album was reviled upon release. Rivers went into a deep depression and subsequent Weezer releases returned more to the sound of the Blue album. In the following years, fans and critics realized the masterwork of Pinkerton and have clamored for a return to the sound.

\n
Dream Game:
\n

Titles full of teen angst such as Life is Strange and Gone Home would be a perfect fit for the Weezer of yesteryear. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/26a3fce3d019d2d1459b1bf94f6571f2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/26a3fce3d019d2d1459b1bf94f6571f2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5797","description":"
The Big 4 and Exodus
\n

Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax are the bands commonly referred to as The Big Four. The Big Four are known for pioneering thrash metal and bringing it into the limelight. Although Exodus is not considered to be a part of The Big Four, they deserve to be recognized with the rest for their work in the genre. Do I really need to explain why having these bands working on a soundtrack would be amazing?

\n
Dream Game:
\n

Let them have a crack at Devil May Cry and watch the sparks fly. Very metal indeed.    \\m/

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e9931e71d63cd81d9fcc671f24e16450.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e9931e71d63cd81d9fcc671f24e16450.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5789","description":"
Needtobreathe 
\n

I’ll be honest; Needtobreathe is on here simply because Bear Rinehart singing in a game would be bliss. Seriously, this guy is insanely talented with one of the most passionate and soulful voices around. I had the privilege to see this band perform live not long ago, and I was blown away. While Bear’s vocals are great, the entire band comes together to create a beautiful harmony which is heaven for your ears. This is a band you want to see live if you possibly can.

\n
Dream Game:
\n

Let these guys make some vocal tracks like Darren Korb and Ashley Barrett did on Transistor, and you have a match made in musical heaven. Maybe even put Darren working with these guys since Bastion had such strong country, frontier-like sounds. I’m drooling just imagining the possibilities. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0a2db59b04bd4e04de2f637088e10bc6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0a2db59b04bd4e04de2f637088e10bc6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5787","description":"
Devin Townsend 
\n

Devin Townsend is one of the hardest working and talented people in music today (not to mention possessing one of the best set of vocals cords around). Devin formed the beloved Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad way back in 1994. Despite being a hugely influential metal band, Devin also did solo work on the side which was vastly different from SYL’s catalog. When SYL disbanded in 2007, Devin began working on his solo career in earnest and has released nine albums since, on top of producing, remixing, and working on countless other albums. Thankfully, he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

\n

The most striking thing is how varied his catalog is. His work with SYL sounds completely different from his solo work. However, even his solo work is incredibly varied.

\n
Dream Game:
\n

His album Ghost would be the perfect fit for a zen-like puzzle game, whereas Deconstruction would be right at home being the soundtrack to a gonzo, over-the-top action affair like Bayonetta

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/95a5c4e5e9154bd70d32b838c8fd715e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/95a5c4e5e9154bd70d32b838c8fd715e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5788","description":"
Modest Mouse 
\n

Modest Mouse remains one of the quirkiest and interesting bands in independent music 22 years into the game. After 22 years, vocalist Isaac Brock still possesses a remarkable energy with a delivery few others can match. Besides having a unique vocalist with Brock, Modest Mouse has also embodied quirky with their music. While they are classified as indie rock, there is no other band that does what Modest Mouse pulls off effortlessly. Couple unique rhythms and sounds with thought-provoking and usually less-than-sunny lyrics, and you have an exceptional musical cocktail.

\n
Dream Game:
\n

Pair this band with the demented geniuses at Dejobaan Games and you have a winner!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/038b0fcb353a562fcbbe86cbd8ef8f7f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/038b0fcb353a562fcbbe86cbd8ef8f7f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5786","description":"
Meshuggah
\n

Sweden has proved to be a most fertile land for metal. At The Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquility are only a few of the legendary bands Sweden has given rise to over the years. In fact, these three bands were pioneers of a new style of metal called the “The Gothenburg Sound” which was named after the city where these bands were living when they became noticed.

\n

Unlike their melodic counterparts, Meshuggah is about as far from melodic as it gets. Known for their odd time signatures, rapid tempo changes, and jazz fusion elements, Meshuggah has stayed true to their roots and delivered uncompromising, extreme metal on each of their releases. A gargantuan beast in the underground world, Meshuggah is not for the faint of ears.

\n
Dream Game:
\n

They could make one hell of a soundtrack for a precision platformer. Meshuggah + Super Meat Boy!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/157a75fb53f4094678aaeace9740833e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/157a75fb53f4094678aaeace9740833e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5785","description":"
The Sex Pistols 
\n

While The Sex Pistols are not the only punk band nor are the necessarily the progenitors of the "punk" sound, but The Sex Pistols were perhaps punk personified. We are talking about a band from the U.K. who wrote a song ragging on THE Queen. They also refused to attend their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not only did their music tap into a vein of anger, the band themselves embodied the rebellious, punk spirit (as self-destructive as it was). The band only recorded one album, but that one album has proven to be one of the most influential albums not only in rock and punk, but music as a whole. 

\n
Dream Game: 
\n

The punk world of Sunset Overdrive would have been a perfect match for The Sex Pistols. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/2/c723d8575d6cce71418e90f6b36dbc80.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/7/2/tiny_c723d8575d6cce71418e90f6b36dbc80.jpg","type":"slide","id":"63950","description":"

Game music has seen a wonderful evolution along with video games themselves. From the simple polyphonic scores of the NES to the fully-orchestrated works we have today, game soundtracks have evolved as much as games. There are an innumerable amount of talented composers working to produce lovely soundtracks. While I love the music we have now and the works composers produce, I can't help but wish some of my favorite bands would score or contribute to some game soundtracks as well. Stewart Copeland has worked on the Spyro series; so why don't more bands give it a shot?

\n

As with all lists, it's hard to narrow down candidates (especially when you listen to as music as I do), so I tried to focus on the bands who might deliver something special and unique. Are you ready to go down the rabbit hole of dreams?

"}]]]>
PlayStation Plus Once Again Shafts PS4 Gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/svdbv/playstation-plus-once-again-shafts-ps4-gamers https://www.gameskinny.com/svdbv/playstation-plus-once-again-shafts-ps4-gamers Thu, 02 Apr 2015 17:35:21 -0400 Stan Rezaee

PlayStation 4 gamers who subscribe to PlayStation Plus are gonna get shafted once again as all the free games being offered in April will be Indie titles.

While PlayStation 3 gamers have enjoyed titles like Yakuza 4 and Prototype 2 while PS4 gamers have been offered Transistor and Apotheon.

Sure some Indie games are fun to play but they appeal more to a nitch audince depending on the genre. However its becoming annoying that PlayStation 4 gamers are consistently being offered Indie titles while PS3 gamers have been offered a more diverse selection. 

How about some AAA titles like Killzone: Shadow Fall or Watch Dogs (someone should play it) because it feels like PS4 gamers have been getting the bottom end of the barrel. Meanwhile the last few AAA titles that were offered were either a Next-Gen port or a stand-alone expansion.

As a gamer all I ask is, enough with the free Indie games for the PS4. It's already bad enough the console is not backwards compatible and that we have to pay extra for PlayStation Now. Must they consistently be force feeding us a bunch of indie games.

Indie games are only appealing if the audience enjoys the subject or genre, hence maybe one of them could be fun to play or it could feel like a waste. In fact the only time I play an Indie game is on my iPhone during the morning commute or while on the toilet.

I'm beginning to suspect that Sony is either trying to screw with their fans or whoever is responsible for the line up has an indie game bias and is forcing it onto the consumer.

The only gamers who actually enjoy the selections have been Indie gamers, who (like hipsters) seem to always have this false sense of superiority because they play games nobody knows about. It's always cute to see a hardcore Indie gamer pretend to be better than the Glorious PC Master Race.

Sony should work to correct this problem by properly distributing the free games each month. The package should be one AAA title and two Indie game, not all Indie games and a middle finger to the gamers.

]]>
PlayStation Plus to Offer Transistor, Rogue Legacy Free in February https://www.gameskinny.com/e15cj/playstation-plus-to-offer-transistor-rogue-legacy-free-in-february https://www.gameskinny.com/e15cj/playstation-plus-to-offer-transistor-rogue-legacy-free-in-february Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:04:57 -0500 Brian Spaen

Six new games will be available for free beginning February 3rd for PlayStation Plus owners, and it's an impressive lineup that's highlighted with critically acclaimed titles Transistor and Rogue Legacy.

First off, here's the full lineup that was revealed and what system(s) they will be released on at the PlayStation Blog.

  • Transistor - PS4
  • Apotheon - PS4
  • Yakuza 4 - PS3
  • Thief - PS3
  • Rogue Legacy - Vita/PS4/PS3
  • Kick & Fennick - Vita

Rogue Legacy will likely be the most popular of the bunch. At Metacritic, it received a favorible 85 out of 100 across 43 reviews. The 2D platformer takes players in a randomized dungeon for every playthrough. When a player dies, they pick a variety of characters to select and can use their eaned money to upgrade abilities and various manipulations. As they get stronger, the player can progress further in the dungeon.

Having Rogue Legacy on a device like the Vita is a no-brainer. It's tailor-made for pick-up-and-play and shouldn't be missing on anyone's handheld now that it's free.

Transistor is an action RPG made by Supergiant Games, the same group who did Bastion. The game received an 83 out of 100 among 47 different reviews at Metacritic. What are the titles that you are most looking forward to in February?

Image credit: Gaming Trend

]]>
Transistor Sales Pass 600K Mark on Steam and PlayStation Store https://www.gameskinny.com/biw8e/transistor-sales-pass-600k-mark-on-steam-and-playstation-store https://www.gameskinny.com/biw8e/transistor-sales-pass-600k-mark-on-steam-and-playstation-store Sun, 11 Jan 2015 19:01:57 -0500 Akeem Favor

Developer Supergiant Games recently announced that its sci-fi RPG Transistor has sold over 600,000 copies on Steam and the PlayStation Store.

Transistor, which was released in May of last year, is set in a futuristic city where players wield a weapon of unknown origin against a series of increasingly difficult robotic enemies.

The game is only the second original game by the small studio; its first game, Bastion, was met with overwhelming success in 2011.  

Supergiant Games developer and writer Greg Kasavin noted that Transistor was “selling even faster relative to Bastion during the first couple of months after its launch”.

Supergiant Games developer and writer Greg Kasavin noted that Transistor was “selling even faster relative to Bastion during the first couple of months after its launch.”

In less than a year, Transistor has collected nearly a hundred commendations and nominations from throughout the gaming industry.

The success of Bastion and Transistor is hardly surprising, as both feature captivating storylines, beautiful artwork, and stunning musical soundtracks.

While the game is currently available only on the PS4, Mac, Linux, and PC, Supergiant Games has not ruled out bringing Transistor to additional platforms, but noted the challenges involved in doing so.

“Bringing Transistor to new platforms is a significant undertaking for our small team so we don't take on those kinds of opportunities lightly, as the quality of our game is the most important thing to us."

-Supergiant Games Blog

That being said, Supergiant Games is releasing Bastion on PS4 and PS Vita later this year, which is something they "wouldn't have considered" if not for the success of Transistor on PS4, so only time will tell. 

]]>
Unepitaphed's Top 10 Best Games Of 2014 https://www.gameskinny.com/3b0s8/unepitapheds-top-10-best-games-of-2014 https://www.gameskinny.com/3b0s8/unepitapheds-top-10-best-games-of-2014 Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:17:56 -0500 Death Metal Hero

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b445268e64800e11570b13fd3f1c91ad.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b445268e64800e11570b13fd3f1c91ad.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56530","description":"

World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor (PC)

\n

Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The fifth expansion to Blizzard’s monstrous MMO is the best by far. With updated character models, a new world, and a truly epic story so far, you are definitely missing out if you have not picked up Warlords Of Draenor yet. After ten years of World of Warcraft, the game is still amazing for casual players and hardcore players.

\n

Released on November 13, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/34001e6e292bb97e899fe198c4f13d2a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_34001e6e292bb97e899fe198c4f13d2a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56529","description":"

The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth (PC)

\n

Developed by Nicalis and distributed via Steam. The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth is a remake of the original with a boat load of new content, and all of the previous DLC. This original Zelda-like dungeon crawler had me sinking countless hours into it, and I still have yet to beat the game more than twice.

\n


Released on November 4, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0d9e88c6dd2736fded7067ddf038fca5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_0d9e88c6dd2736fded7067ddf038fca5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56528","description":"

Gauntlet (PC)

\n

Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. This reboot of the classic hack and slash is the best Gauntlet game to date. The old school difficulty along with hordes of enemies and awesome boss fights makes Gauntlet an amazing game to play with your friends. Just make sure you don’t shoot the food.

\n

Released on September 23, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/593112dfcb8ef12ca7e24d3cffdf9ace.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_593112dfcb8ef12ca7e24d3cffdf9ace.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56527","description":"

Five Nights At Freddy’s (PC)

\n

Developed and published by Scott Cawthon. Five Nights At Freddy’s is a point and click survival horror game that has scared the crap out of me, to the point where I need adult diapers in order to play. This cult classic takes all of our childhood fears and makes them reality with killer robots and constant paranoia. The simple yet frightening mechanics and jump scares make this one of the best indie games of the year.

\n

Released on August 8, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2f143bbdc384faaa5c83339e5f355122.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_2f143bbdc384faaa5c83339e5f355122.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56526","description":"

Shovel Knight (PC)

\n

Developed and published by Yacht Club Games. Shovel Knight is a love letter to the old school 2-D side scrolling platforming games of my childhood. Loaded with tons of secrets, upgrades and fun boss fights, Shovel Knight will keep you entertained for hours upon hours. My favorite part was trying to beat New Game Plus mode without using any checkpoints, that was a great feat of strength.

\n

Released on June 26, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/545ac239a044b608df69f526db774477.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_545ac239a044b608df69f526db774477.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56525","description":"

Transistor (PC)

\n

Developed and published by Supergiant Games. This unique action RPG has a great battle system, and an even greater story. I enjoyed nearly everything about Transistor, the gorgeous art style and even the amazing soundtrack that I bought on day one. Definitely one of the highlights of the gaming industry in the past ten years.

\n

Released on May 20, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/555f18b8a4eeae9ddb96883084e68fcd.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_555f18b8a4eeae9ddb96883084e68fcd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56523","description":"

Child Of Light (PC)

\n

Developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. This gorgeous looking homage to old school RPG’s is one of the best games I have had the pleasure of playing in a long time. Watching Aurora grow up into a strong and memorable character was inspiring, and the story was nothing short of amazing. If anyone asks to give them a prime example of why video games are an art form, just show them Child Of Light.

\n

Released on April 29, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c602f7341b729b1c121f5add3b005848.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_c602f7341b729b1c121f5add3b005848.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56522","description":"

Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls (PC)

\n

Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. I really enjoyed playing Diablo III, but Reaper of Souls took everything that was fun and turned it up to eleven by adding an Adventure mode, character seasons, and the awesome Crusader class. I have spent many of my hours farming rifts and greater rift tokens for a chance of upgrading those over-powered legendary gems.

\n

Released on March 25, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/279534989de153eb06c41f7b688828a1.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_279534989de153eb06c41f7b688828a1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56521","description":"

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (PC)

\n

Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. I am not a huge fan of card games, probably because I am awful at strategic thinking. Since Hearthstone is free to play, I figured I had nothing to lose when getting this game, and I was right.

\n

Hearthstone is the most fun I have ever had while playing a card game. I really enjoy the medieval pub vibe that is lathered on the game. The enemy AI is fun to play against, but playing against another player is by far the best part. I’m not one to recommend PVP games because I hate competition, but if you ever want to get into a card game then Hearthstone is your best bet. I just wish they had Death Knights as a playable class!

\n

Released on March 11, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6b4e32fe95844204d53dbef1941f617d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6b4e32fe95844204d53dbef1941f617d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56520","description":"

Dark Souls II ( Xbox 360)

\n

Developed by From Software and published by From Software and Bandai Namco Games. I took a big chance on Dark Souls II, because I didn't play the first one, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Luckily I instantly fell in love with this insanely hard action RPG, I couldn't get enough of the dark atmosphere of the game. Plus it was fun to see just how many players died within the first week of playing.

\n

Released on March 11, 2014

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/24c3d3377988df6f0b1ace021ea87d0c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_24c3d3377988df6f0b1ace021ea87d0c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56519","description":"

This year in gaming has been a bit of a let down for me, with numerous delays until 2015 and a handful of extremely disappointing games. 2014 has not been the strongest in recent years for video games, but there have been a few really good gems to have come out this year. I am excluding PS4, Wii U, and Xbox One games from this list due to the fact that I do not yet own a new-gen console, and it wouldn't be fair to list games that I have not had the pleasure of playing.

"}]]]>
GameSkinny Staff's Favorite Games of 2014 https://www.gameskinny.com/ttdvh/gameskinny-staffs-favorite-games-of-2014 https://www.gameskinny.com/ttdvh/gameskinny-staffs-favorite-games-of-2014 Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:12:40 -0500 GameSkinny Staff

Aloha, GameSkinny community! 'Tis the season of cold, the #snuglife, and Game of the Year awards - so we thought we'd reflect and share with you our own favorite games of 2014.

Joining me for this Game of the Year list today are editors Amanda Wallace and Auverin Morrow, product manager Rachael Johnston, developer Brian Schaaf, support guru Daniel Slater, and CEO Stephen Johnston. 

Check out our picks and then let us know your Game of the Year in the comments!

Binding of Isaac Rebirth

Even though this is a relatively recent release (or re-release if you played vanilla), I haven't been able to stop playing. With its strange plot, characters, nerfs and buffs it has been endlessly enjoyable even when I fail at it.

Honorable Mention: Fibbage

I play a lot of party games, both of the board game and video game variety and Fibbage is my new favorite. With its unique control scheme, it's playable with more than 4 players which really opens it up for party play.

- Amanda Wallace

Dragon Age: Inquisition

I hate picking this because it's the obvious choice, but Dragon Age: Inquisition is my Game of the Year. 

It's got a great story set in a beautiful world. Everyone knows that. But it is also a game that shows how dedicated BioWare is to its fans. BioWare took all our negative feedback from DA II and promised to make something better - and they didn't disappoint. Putting the fans first is something that I think is becoming rarer and rarer in the industry. 

- Auverin Morrow

Dragon Age: Inquisition was able to grab me from the beginning - starting with how much time I spent in customization making my Qunari look perfect.

I am a big fan of a good story, and I felt immersed right from the opening cutscene. The gameplay is fantastic and the ability to just roam around the world is a lot of fun. I am not done with Inquisition yet, but I can’t wait to finish.

- Rachael Johnston

Warlords of Draenor

I have been playing WoW for ten years. I've seen it's ups and downs. Vanilla endgame was as if it was WoW on nightmare mode. Burning Crusade was nearly as difficult but more refined. Then Blizzard started down the easy and casual road with WotLK and Cataclysm. Mists was nearly as casual but I started to see their attempts to give the nightmare mode WoW back to it's core players. WoD has given us this nightmare mode back while still allowing casual play. It's the best of both worlds.

All around I've been very excited by WoD and expect to play a ton this expansion. Great job Blizzard for reviving the game!

Honorable mention: South Park: The Stick of Truth 

It's so awesome to finally see an incredibly well done South Park game. The gameplay and storytelling of The Stick of Truth rivals almost all AAA RPGs, and most AAA games in general.

- Brian "Rothalack" Schaaf

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

The newest edition of Dungeons and Dragons released this year, and it is amazing! The advantage mechanic runs smoothly instead of constantly trying to add in conditional bonuses, leveling makes characters feel powerful without agonizing over individual numbers, and every choice I make feels like it makes a difference. I cannot recommend this enough.

- Daniel Slater

Mushroom 11

This game is simply wonderful. If you love games, you want to try Mushroom 11; it is a specimen of the finest quality. You move an amorphous fungus around the game world by "erasing" parts of it with your fingers. The fungus then regenerates what it lost somewhere else on the fungus blob. The end result is that you can make this fungus come alive and move, but not directly. Developers Itay Keren, Julia Keren-Detar, and Simon Kono give the vibe that they are be making Mushroom 11 with a true love of craftmanship. This is one to watch!

Honorable Mention: Minecraft

Ok, Minecraft didn't come out in 2014. In 2014 it sold to Microsoft for 2.5 billion. Billion, that's a 'B'. This purchase is one of the largest transactions in video game history. Minecraft is a force of its own and will be for years to come

- Stephen Johnston

Transistor

It's hard not to absolutely gush about how rich every aspect of this game is. The story is surprisingly profound, combat has a wonderful depth and breadth with the Function system, and the soundtrack is just stunning. There is a metric ton of talent poured into the world building and art direction, every ounce only further enriches the gameplay experience. Transistor is not a long game, but is an entirely rewarding journey that is well worth your time.

Oh, and did I mention it's really freaking fun?

Honorable Mention: Hearthstone

Digital card games are a bit of a tough sell with so many established names and bad payment models - but Blizzard has made a satisfying package with smooth mechanics, a reasonable free-to-play model, and a blooming competitive scene. Hearthstone has hardly been out a year and its 1.5 expansions have kept the game fresh and addicting ever since launch.

- Jay Ricciardi

Well, there you have it, our top games of 2014. Now, the next question: whatchu got, 2015?

]]>
Top Ten Memorable Female Characters https://www.gameskinny.com/9zzfl/top-ten-memorable-female-characters https://www.gameskinny.com/9zzfl/top-ten-memorable-female-characters Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:53:50 -0500 Benjamski

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/93d159b2e32a6b33e444aecc21a2917b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_93d159b2e32a6b33e444aecc21a2917b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55399","description":"

Maya 

\n
Borderlands 2
\n

It should be enough to say that Maya is awesome just because she is one of six super-powerful women (called "Sirens") in the Borderlands world, but there's more to it. Not only was Maya a truly badass companion to have alongside me in my several playthroughs of Borderlands 2, but she has an awesome origin story.

\n

Discovered by a shady secret order and raised by monks, she practiced her powers in secret. When she realized that the monk's planned to enslave her and use her as weapon of fear and intimidation to control the people of that world, she kills them and peaces out to Pandora to learn more about Sirens and the world in general. It's a story that is only touched on briefly by listening to an audio recording, but hearing her story of overpowering her captors and escaping to explore the world and her identity makes me love her character even more. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5b1667452b21714be28ce3feedb3b90e.jpeg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5b1667452b21714be28ce3feedb3b90e.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"55316","description":"

Alyx Vance

\n
Half-Life 2
\n

Alyx Vance is easily one of the best AI companions ever. So many games pair you up with a companion or force you to escort a character too stupid to deserve protection. But Alyx was not only one of the most competent AI companions to this day, she is also a strong and smart character that demands respect with her very presence. She is a leader in a massive resistance against alien forces, and is more often telling Gordan Freeman what to do instead of asking what's next.

\n

She's smart enough to build herself a pet robot and tough enough to hold her own throughout the entire game without letting any obstacle stand in her way for long. Lists like these are always made up of subjective details but Alyx Vance should be on all of them, no matter what.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c7ac9d3758229bc157a35bd86f62b4cf.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_c7ac9d3758229bc157a35bd86f62b4cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55313","description":"

Red

\n
Transistor
\n

This is another silent female protagonist. Unlike the others, Red at least has the excuse that her voice was stolen by the game's antagonist. But like the other women of few words on this list, she doesn't let that hold her back from being a force to be reckoned with.

\n

Being a singer with no voice must be a terrible feeling, and we can hear that melancholy in the melodious humming that Red graces the player with throughout the game as she hums along with the background music. While her sentient sword does all the talking, Red does have more and more of a personality as you progress through the game and better understand her background and her journey to become a revolutionary influence on the world. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5cd4d0a18a4dca22a4b4d4f94d70d75e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5cd4d0a18a4dca22a4b4d4f94d70d75e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55312","description":"

Faith Connors

\n
Mirror's Edge
\n

In Mirror's Edge, Faith took badass-parkour to a whole new level as she runs, jumps, punches, kicks, and slides her way through the world without ever slowing down. The story is never as important as the action, but it still had enough background to paint Faith as a fiercely independent character who has lived on her own from a young age and is not subtle in her rebellion against the totalitarian regime of baddies that creep into the city she calls home.

\n

Whether she's bounding rooftop-to-rooftop, taking out enemies in flash of melee attacks, or taking risks to stand up for what she believes in, she never slows down or hesitates in making the next move. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c258c3193d1e21bc8903abe66268be8d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_c258c3193d1e21bc8903abe66268be8d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55311","description":"

Ellie

\n
The Last of Us
\n

If you own a PS3 or PS4 and you haven't played The Last of Us, go pick it up now! It has one of the most powerful stories I've played through in years, and Ellie is a strong character that only gets stronger before the end of the game. She's only 14 and is thrown into a dangerous journey across a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic world where some of the people she encounters are more horrible than the actual monsters. 

\n

There are moments where Ellie is saved by her companion and protector Joel. But for every one of those instances, there are twice as many cutscenes or actual gameplay where she fights tooth-and-nail to survive in bleak scenarios. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/08c304ce96041b51ab102c47b2b0bd44.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_08c304ce96041b51ab102c47b2b0bd44.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55310","description":"

Abigail "Fetch" Walker

\n
Infamous: Second Son, First Light
\n

While Infamous: Second Son had that issue of diverging the story arc into a good side and evil side (which didn't really fit Fetch's established character), she's still a strong character in the flagship game.

\n

But Fetch really shines in her own standalone game, First Light, where we learn more about her past, her relationship with her brother, and what makes her such a great character. She has those moments of weakness and feeling helpless, but always picks herself back up and fights.

\n

There are some moments in First Light where Fetch is relentlessly hit on, receiving gross and creepy one-liners that, while annoying and a little out of place, are unfortunately a reflection of the real world. Fetch is certainly never okay with them, and I suppose it does make eventually killing the aforementioned creep that much sweeter. 

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/54282d8098428bd813cd2d10364269a6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_54282d8098428bd813cd2d10364269a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55309","description":"

Chell

\n
Portal, Portal 2
\n

Taking a page from the "strong and silent type" book of previous Valve protagonist, Gordon Freeman, Chell has zero dialogue in either game, yet still comes off as strong and unstoppable. GLaDOS, the Portal antagonist, puts Chell through countless humorous and blatantly torturous puzzles filled with near-death experiences, but Chell never so much as slows down for a single moment. 

\n

Even without saying a word, or even really being seen, Chell is an example of a female character that looks completely average and is thrown into challenging situations that she never ceases to overcome time after time.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8a46ba4c9930fa4c4e56f96afad12a1.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e8a46ba4c9930fa4c4e56f96afad12a1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55308","description":"

Nariko

\n
Heavenly Sword
\n

While your immediate impression may be that Nariko is beautiful and sparsely-clothed, she is inarguably strong-willed and unmatched in combat. Wielding a sword that is both badass and looks heavy enough for two people, she makes combat both deadly and graceful.

\n

Even before obtaining this unique weapon, Nariko is a fierce warrior who defends the last of her people with whatever she has, no matter what. Despite being shunned by her clan when she was born, she defends them from the very beginning. She proves that she is destined to defeat evil and save her world from destruction, in spite of the fact that the prophecy foretold a male savior. 

\n

If you haven't played or seen Heavenly Sword, it only takes a quick glance at the combat to see just how impressive of a warrior Nariko is. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b6ae66a0b36fc9fee4b3988295f8214c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b6ae66a0b36fc9fee4b3988295f8214c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55304","description":"

The Boss

\n
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
\n

Hideo Kojima's games are weird as hell, and I'm just one of the people that loves him. While a lot of his female characters are tough, they're also needlessly sexualized. But The Boss is an exceptional character. Throughout the game, she is both a nurturing mentor to the protagonist and a formidable foe as well.

\n

The boss fulfills both the motherly female archetype and the badass (a la Lara Croft) female archetype simultaneously. She mentors Snake and cares deeply about him, but she also won't hesitate to break his arm and throw him off a bridge to teach him to survive. Let's all be thankful the mother figures in our life aren't quite that hard on us. 

\n

While few things are ever totally clear in Kojima story lines, the one thing we learn about the Metal Gear Solid series in Snake Eater is that without the loving and brutal mentorship from The Boss, Big Boss would never have become the legendary hero he's known to be.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ada82bcd7b14bbd5bafba14a510427eb.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ada82bcd7b14bbd5bafba14a510427eb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55303","description":"

Alice Liddel

\n
American Mcgee's Alice: Madness Returns
\n

This is a game that probably slipped under a lot of people's radar, but I was fortunate enough to give it a go on PS3 (and was so glad I did). Not only are the environments designed beautifully, but the overarching metaphor of Alice fighting her mental battles to overcome trauma and tragedy in a fantastically macabre world was powerful, yet understated. Alice is dark and twisted, with a tragic past that lands her in a mental hospital. Throughout the story, she fights her way through these issues in a grotesque take on Wonderland, with antagonists that parallel the abusers and villains in her reality.

\n

There was an aesthetic to both her and the environments in the game that I absolutely fell in love with. In her reality, she is worn and broken. But in her fantasy world, she empowers herself to overcome her problems and take back her life. She certainly starts as a victim and has definite moments of weakness throughout the game, but always keeps pushing forward no matter how ugly things get. By the end of her experience, she overcomes all of the evil in her life to open up the hope for a brighter future.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d48ab3ed2428bdf56ddc68c34b43af5e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_d48ab3ed2428bdf56ddc68c34b43af5e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"55302","description":"

The more critically we look for positive female characters in games today, the harder they are to find. So many of even the most memorable female characters fall victim (often literally) to be being damsels in distress, being sexualized/objectified, or fulfilling other types of cliche gaming tropes.

\n

There are however, some great examples of utterly unforgettable characters in gaming - certainly more than the ten I'll list here. I tried to stick with characters in games that I've played myself, rather than heard about, and tried not to default to the more obvious choices (like the indisputably badass, yet overused example of Lara Croft).

\n

This list isn't perfect or definitive, nor does it make any academic statements. It is simply a list made by someone who thinks women are people and that these leading ladies were recognized as great characters first, and women second.

"}]]]>
Gamer Gift Guide: Indie Games on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/hhgbl/gamer-gift-guide-indie-games-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/hhgbl/gamer-gift-guide-indie-games-on-steam Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:50:50 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/120be072d73ed473528d9573fde5e419.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/120be072d73ed473528d9573fde5e419.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4867","description":"

Interstellar Marines

\n

Interstellar Marines will set you back $18.99, €16.99, £13.99.

\n

Interstellar Marines is a tactical FPS, it will have a full story campaign down the line, as it's in Early Access. But the content is has is well worth the price of admission. The developers, Zero Point Software, love to call this a AAA Indie game. This means it has good graphics and is built to a high quality, and this is reflected in the game. There is a recent addition in the form of a co-op mode, which is fantastic. The goal of the game is to offer a fully story driven tactical FPS experience, with co-op and competitive online play. The game first started as competitive only, so that the server systems and netcode could be built to a high standard and have low ping no matter where you are. And this is exactly what the game delivers. Once again for all Early Access games, please read the Steam page before purchasing.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9fd3016c4f863fcd78b023bf7a52059e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9fd3016c4f863fcd78b023bf7a52059e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4866","description":"

Super Meat Boy

\n

Super Meat Boy will set you back $14.99, €13.99, £10.99.

\n

Super Meat Boy is a game where you play as a piece of meat. Yes you read that correctly. The game is inspired by Mario, apparently. Well in the way that it's a platformer which you have to dodge traps. One of the games best features is the ability to see all of the times you failed in a when you finish a level. Be warned it is VERY hard!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8abd289bf4d944390cb70e6d78d3f030.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8abd289bf4d944390cb70e6d78d3f030.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4865","description":"

Next Car Game: Wreckfest

\n

Next Car Game: Wreckfest will set you back $29.99, €23.99, £19.99.

\n

Next Car Game: Wreckfest is a game all about aggressive driving. This means crashing into other cars to give yourself the advantage. In Wreckfest there are no rules, only the ones you set yourself. With an amazing damage system, where every scrape to massive pileup is reflected on your car. And really good handling mechanics which free real enough but are still very forgiving. Wreckfest is a developed by the guys behind the FlatOut series, Bugbear Entertainment and their skill is onces again shown in this game. This is in Early Access also, meaning the game, as good as it is now, will only get better. Like with all other Early Access games, check the Steam page first.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e6c7d81074930c1be2f19b3753dd650d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e6c7d81074930c1be2f19b3753dd650d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4864","description":"

Starbound

\n

Starbound will set you back $14.99, €14.99, £11.99.

\n

Starbound is similar to Terraria however with some fundamental differences it's sci-fi for one. It also supports drop in and drop out co-op, making playing with friends a breeze. Also there are multiple planets for you to explore, as well as your own home planet and own Starship. Both your home planet Spacecraft can be decorated and customised. Starbound is a great game in the same way Terraria is but it just keeps getting better due to it being in Early Access, so again see the Steam page for details.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b86f47dc7531db8114324d86f49b0ce6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b86f47dc7531db8114324d86f49b0ce6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4863","description":"

Terraria

\n

Terraria will set you back $9.99, €9.99, £6.99.

\n

Terraria is a 2D side scrolling building, exploration, digging and combat game. Run through the game mining, fighting and building. You might want to go to the deepest darkest parts of the world to find some special items, or you may want to simply build a massive house, or a small town. Be creative or destructive, the choice is yours.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9871f8315c91430bd370944d1e44fd00.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9871f8315c91430bd370944d1e44fd00.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4862","description":"

Kerbal Space Program

\n

Kerbal Space Program will set you back $29.99, €29.99, £22.99.

\n

Kerbal Space Program is a space simulation game where you fly characters called Kerbins off an Earth like planet called Kerbin. But that is not all, start your own space company. Launch your own space ships, which you have designed yourself. I say launch, it will be crash or explode, to start with. You can also set up your own orbits, collect science points, and use them to research new and amazing toys to explode your space ships with. This game is in Early Access which means it is not fully out, and is undergoing constant improvements, see the steam page for details.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9e90cd61f95028fb6a52a97da95894f5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9e90cd61f95028fb6a52a97da95894f5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4861","description":"

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

\n

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will set you back $14.99, €14.99, £10.99.

\n

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth lets you die a lot. You play as Isaac who has escaped death by the hands of his mother, she wants to kill her son as God has demanded a sacrifice. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has Rogue-like elements, which means death is permanent. The levels are randomly generated. You fight deranged enemies, Isaac's fears, family members and finally Isaac's own mother. The art style and the content of the game contradict each other, due to the art style being very cartoonish but there being a lot of gore. It has a lot of very dark humor, but it's all done tastefully.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fa214d657bccc82eb185c049614eb926.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fa214d657bccc82eb185c049614eb926.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4860","description":"

Transistor

\n

Transistor will set you back $19.99, €18.99, £14.99.

\n

Transistor is a sci-fi action game, with light RPG elements. It is by the same guys who brought you Bastion (which is also on this list). And the similarities to Bastion it has are in the narrator. Transistor however has a combat system which merges real time, and turn based.

\n

You play as Red, a singer who has lost her voice. You stumble across a magical talking sword, called the Transistor. Finding previous owners of the sword grants you the ability to use different Functions, which can be chained in combat to change how each Functions reacts.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9b93f9d9f29d963e27ccb23cfab2fc11.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9b93f9d9f29d963e27ccb23cfab2fc11.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4859","description":"

Bastion

\n

Bastion will set you back $14.99, €14.99, £10.99.

\n

Bastion is an action RPG. Well it has light RPG elements. You play as a character who is only ever called The Boy. You fight your way through a world which has just suffered a catastrophic event called the Calamity, you must also find the secrets of the Calamity. Bastion also features a one of a kind narrator. He will narrate every action you take, reacting to what you do. And just look at the art style, gorgeous right?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/338d3c0c790e355284299896ae63f77b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/338d3c0c790e355284299896ae63f77b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4857","description":"

The Fall

\n

The Fall will set you back $9.99, €9.99, £6.99.

\n

The Fall is set in a mysterious environment. You start off in a cave, and find your way to a facility for the testing and destruction of faulty droids made by a company called Domesticon. The game is a side scroller with point-and-click style puzzles. You take control of an AI called ARID. ARIDs job is to save the occupant of the suit who is mortally wounded. Read my full review here.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8d3b9c8738a5b03c0db79b1378b31a49.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8d3b9c8738a5b03c0db79b1378b31a49.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4849","description":"

Limbo

\n

Limbo will set you back $9.99, €9.99 or £6.99.

\n

Limbo is an atmospheric side scrolling puzzle game. You play as a boy who enters Limbo to find his sister. Battle spiders using your wits, dodge traps and solve puzzles. The game is simple, yet the atmosphere really pulls you in. Run and jump your way to answers, or will you just have more questions?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/92f736252915ab219df778c02319bca2.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_92f736252915ab219df778c02319bca2.png","type":"slide","id":"54383","description":"

So it's the time of the year again where everyone wants to buy, for others of course. This 'other' is a gamer, and this gamer wants games, naturally. However you already know that they don't like the AAA, or they only like a select few AAA games. So what do you get them?

\n

Go no further for indie games are here!

\n

Indie games are all special, but which of them is the best? If this gamer plays on Windows, Mac or Linux there is something for everyone in Indie, especially on Steam.

"}]]]>
Dragon Slayer Award Nominees: Best New Indie Game https://www.gameskinny.com/19v29/dragon-slayer-award-nominees-best-new-indie-game https://www.gameskinny.com/19v29/dragon-slayer-award-nominees-best-new-indie-game Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:08:06 -0400 Kate Reynolds

Proof that independent video games have finally blossomed into forest of vast games are this year's Dragon Slayer Award nominees for Best New Indie Game.

We have horror games, simulators, pretty games, games with strong narratives, and sandbox games - just to name a few of the genres our nominees can claim. So without further ado, the Dragon Slayer Award Nominees for Best Indie Game. 

  • Among the Sleep
  • Goat Simulator
  • Starbound
  • The Forest
  • Transistor

How Do I Choose?

It's true, each of the five games nominated for this category offer a little something different to the indie game scene and the gaming scene at large. So here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding which of these games to vote for. 

Game Mechanics

Indie games have perfected the art of taking simple game mechanics and transforming them into artfully complex systems. This might be a new style of combat, the melding of narrative and gameplay, the creation of a new genre, or a new twist on an older formula. 

Think about this: if the game was stripped down to its basics, are the mechanics both sound and interesting? Are the fundamental concepts of the game (puzzles, survival, combat, simulation) unique unto themselves? 

Presentation

In addition to distinct gameplay, many indie games are known for artful presentations. Some may use retro art, enticing soundtracks, and even new types of narratives. 

So when thinking about presentation, ask yourself this: How do the artful elements of the game come together? How do the auditory, visual and narrative elements of the game come together to create a larger whole? 

Industry Innovation

While it's fine and dandy to choose a game simply based on gameplay, we would humble ask you to consider the impact these independent games have had on the overall gaming industry. 

When thinking about this, try to analyze what each of our nominees offer the their respective genres. Did a game completely revolutionize its genre? Did it create its own? What does it have to offer in the larger picture? 

Go Vote!

So with those considerations in mind, go vote for your favorite Dragon Slayer Award nominees, and help us decide once and for all what the best new indie game of 2014 is. 

]]>
Do Video Games Emulate NSA Tactics? KillScreen Writer Says Yes. https://www.gameskinny.com/hmfkw/do-video-games-emulate-nsa-tactics-killscreen-writer-says-yes https://www.gameskinny.com/hmfkw/do-video-games-emulate-nsa-tactics-killscreen-writer-says-yes Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:51:00 -0400 Evan Lower

In a recently published KillScreen article, contributor David Chandler examined video games in the context of surveillance and panopticism, a term outlined by French philosopher Michel Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish

In his article titled "Think the NSA is bad? Games are masters of surveillance," Chandler avoided centralizing the article on the obvious Watch Dogs in favor of old school games like Mortal Kombat and Ocarina of Time, making his way through the history of video games (and ending with the abovementioned Ubisoft game) as regards the sensitive subject of everpresent observation.

The central figure of Chandler's theory is the panopticon, an architectural philosophy invented by Jeremy Bentham and immortalized in Battlefield 4's map, "Operation: Locker."

Chandler envisioned the famous boss battle at the end of any video game episode as the very embodiment of Foucault's philosophy, the boss's presence and awareness as symbolic of the guards in the middle of the prison.

Chandler says a lot more and in greater detail than I could ever relay to you, so instead of wasting any more of your time, go ahead and check out his article

]]>
Transistor Soundtrack Review: Full Soundtrack Stream https://www.gameskinny.com/jekb9/transistor-soundtrack-review-full-soundtrack-stream https://www.gameskinny.com/jekb9/transistor-soundtrack-review-full-soundtrack-stream Fri, 23 May 2014 06:52:12 -0400 Amy White

First things first - shoutout to Supergiant Games for uploading a full version of their glorious Transistor soundtrack to YouTube where we can all enjoy it. If you love the music as much as we did, you can support them by buying the music or the game

Now Then, About this Soundtrack

Darren Korb has outdone himself yet again

Supergiant's last hit, Bastion, set the bar sky-high for solid game soundtracks, but Darren Korb has outdone himself yet again - this time creating a moody, smooth sea of sounds that carry listeners seamlessly into Red's world using a mix of vocal and instrumental pieces.  

Moving Vocals

Just rare enough to leave you wanting more

Ashley Barrett has a fantastic voice; gritty, flexible, and full of depth. Given a tool that powerful there's surely an urge to apply it liberally, but of 23 tracks, only five feature vocals. Exercising restraint pays off in the Transistor soundtrack - big time. Using vocals sparingly (presumably as Red) throughout  makes the lyrical pieces stand out all the more.

While it's easy to get lost in the general experience of the instrumentals, vocals cut in just often enough to prevent listeners from forgetting that there's a powerful voice behind the character and the songs.

Masterful Instrumental Pieces

But it's not all about the words

The vocal arrangements shine, but the instrumental pieces hold their own as well. As a body of work, the instrumental pieces progress listeners through the hour long musical journey - alternately building tension and providing respite from suspense along the way.

Overall

Give it a listen, I think you'll be glad you did

If you've heard the music of Bastion, I don't need to encourage you, but for those who aren't already converts to the sounds of Supergiant - give this soundtrack a shot. If you enjoy jazz, techno, or just plain old-fashioned good music, I think your ears are in for a treat.

]]>
Transistor Review: A Look Into The World of Red [Spoilers] https://www.gameskinny.com/3fkxj/transistor-review-a-look-into-the-world-of-red-spoilers https://www.gameskinny.com/3fkxj/transistor-review-a-look-into-the-world-of-red-spoilers Tue, 20 May 2014 06:59:18 -0400 Corey Kirk

Disclaimer: This review is based on a press copy provided by Supergiant Games.

Supergiant Games, the innovative studio behind the indie mega hit Bastion, has finally released their next narrative driven game, Transistor. The cast returns to deliver another epic experience. So does Transistor live up to the hype it received from Bastion fans? Is it another indie gem, or does it fall into the pits of the forgotten?

This review contains images and names that may be considered SPOILERS to some viewers, however I am keeping them to a minimum so I don’t ruin the game for you.

Transistor is, without a doubt, a gorgeous game to behold.

From the beautiful landscapes, to the fascinating character designs, Transistor is one of the best looking games to date. Not just for an indie game either; the art holds its own in terms of visuals among several AAA titles. If you liked Bastion, you will feel right at home with Transistor because the art style is familiar, yet endearing and more complex. 

The great artwork isn’t the only thing that sets this game above the rest. The music is some of the best I have heard in any video game. From dark, ominous tunes to happier tropical sounds, the tone that the music sets is phenomenal. Remember that feeling you got when you first entered the Temple of Time in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? It’s that feeling all over again.

Transistor brings a lot more perspective to its world than I could ever imagine before playing it. When a monster is supposed to look huge, it looks huge. When a tower is supposed to look tall, it looks tall. It is interesting to see how they pull this off given the camera angles. Even though you are viewing the game from a third-person à la Bastion, the sense of scale is never lost. The interactive cut scene art between chapters are some of the best looking pieces, almost like a moving graphic novel.

There is a large amount of variety in the characters you meet face-to-face, whether they are friendlies or vicious enemies bent on stopping you.

Each character has its own personality and story behind it. When going up against enemies, collectively known as The Process, each one has a different attack style and abilities that alter the battles in interesting ways.

Some enemies are tanks, laying waste to whatever is in their path, most likely you. Others are healers, acting as health recharging stations for the enemy. One particularly annoying foe is a machine whose primary attack is to snap photos of you.

At first it doesn’t sound like much, but considering that the photo it takes immediately appears on-screen and covers over half of it, you can see how that ability could disorient you during a frantic battle… which it does.

Boss battles are also very intense as you have to use every ability at your disposal in order to defeat them.

From machine gun lasers and mortar bombs, to spawning enemies and sharp body parts, each boss is different from the last. And by different, I mean literally different. At one point, I was fighting a boss which was charging at me with an umbrella. The next boss had me running away from a gigantic scorpion-like stinger.

Speaking of combat--it’s a complex system. Since everything about this game is somehow connected to the story, here is some general info that shouldn’t spoil it.

You collect certain moves by finding or doing certain things. Each move is special in its own right and provides a different method of attack. When attacking, you have three options.

 

  • You can go full-on real-time attacking so that you are constantly on the move.
  • You can pause time and plan out your moves which uses reserve energy.
  • You can also use a combination of both methods to catch your enemies off-guard. 

 

I find that third option to be the best one since it allows me to plan some moves, get to cover, and then launch a heavy-hitting, backstabbing attack which The Process have trouble dodging.

Whichever method you decide to employ, be careful, because one slip-up can cost you. Whenever you take hits, your life bar goes down and you don’t re-gen health until the end of a battle. Instead, if you lose all of your health, one of two things can happen. First, if you were on the move while being hit, you can trigger an emergency move. This essentially lets you get some final hits in and possibly recover. However, this move is not guaranteed.

What is more likely to happen is the second thing. The screen will pause all action and you will lose an ability. Once you lose the ability, you will be back to full health but without that ability.

The only way to regain abilities is to visit the save stations known as access points. The thing is, you can only visit these access points once a battle is over. So, since you have four ability slots, this means that you have four lives. Once you lose all your abilities, it's game over.

Another thing that modifies combat is the use of limiters. Limiters are “upgrades” that make the enemies stronger and more lethal. If you choose to play with limiters, you are in for a harder fight. However, you get a nice boost in XP and can level up faster. Since leveling up in this game has its own story as well, you want to level up as fast as possible to unlock more of that story.

I don’t want to reveal very much about abilities, limiters, combat, or anything else, really. Everything is so integrated into the story, I’m afraid to say very much for fear of ruining the experience. I will just say this: Everything, and I mean everything, is tied to the story in some way. Make sure you are exploring as you play because you will always find something.

With all that said, what are some of the negatives?

No game is perfect and Transistor is no exception. For starters, if you have the PC version of the game, make sure you use a gamepad when playing. Even though you can customize the controls with the mouse and keyboard, executing moves and interacting with the environment can become a little cumbersome. Personally, I used an Xbox 360 controller and I felt better control when using it, rather than the PlayStation 4 controller.

Another thing that got annoying was the camera angle. Granted, this is the best camera angle for this type of game; however, sometimes during the levels I lost track of where I was due to not being able to rotate the camera for a better view. This never hindered me in any combat situation, but did become a nuisance when I was trying to find the right path to travel next.

Yep, that’s it!

Transistor is just one of those games that you have to play. I couldn’t cover everything because that would ruin the experience; and believe me, you want that experience. While no game can truly live up to insane amounts of hype, this game comes pretty close.   Every aspect blends almost perfectly into the style and story.

While no game is perfect, it comes close enough that I give Transistor a 10 out of 10.

What do you think of Transistor? Leave your comments below!

]]>