Undertale Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Undertale RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 7 Awesome Indie Games that Don't Have a Happy Ending https://www.gameskinny.com/7gma3/7-awesome-indie-games-that-dont-have-a-happy-ending https://www.gameskinny.com/7gma3/7-awesome-indie-games-that-dont-have-a-happy-ending Fri, 02 Feb 2018 05:19:22 -0500 Highties

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Stories have a way of teaching us about life. They teach us that not everything ends on a happy note. Sometimes the tragic and morally questionable aspects of a stories ending serve as a caution about how we live our lives and how to improve our own story. 

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Despite all that these games told great stories and I, for one, can't wait to see what else Indie developers will show us in the future. 

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Did you feel this list did a good job of showing some of the unhappy endings of Indies? Were you disappointed that certain games didn't make the list?Comment below what sad tales you would have put and what you felt about these endings.

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To the Moon 
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Price: $4.99-$9.99

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Buy it on: Steam, Android & Apple

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To the Moon is a 16-bit story-driven game about two doctors who travel through a dying man's memories to accomplish his last dream to go to the moon. You will experience some of life's saddest moments; love, hate and the joy that this dying man went through in his life. 

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When it comes to sad endings To the Moon holds that title proudly. In To the Moon you play as two doctors who were hired to send an old man to the moon, but to do so you need to figure out why he wants to go. You end up exploring the old mans entire life through his memories and ultimately find out why he wants to go into space. 

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Not only do you start thinking about the beauty of To the Moon, but also about the futility of life and the fickle nature of memories. The ending is joyful in its way, however it is a bittersweet feeling. The idea that it was so close to being satisfactory and so close to being a happy occasion.

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Silence: The Whispered World 2
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Price: $29.99

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Buy it on: PC & Xbox One

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Silence: The Whispered World 2 is a story-driven game that allows you to experience what life is about for two kids named Noah and his younger sister Renie. The danger of war and the choices you must make for your family are an integral part of this fantasy world called 'The Silence.'

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What would you do if your brother was in danger? What choices would you make in the name of family? In Silence: The Whispered World 2 you will experience a fantasy world unlike any that have come before it, however there's a catch. Toward the end of Silence: The Whispered World 2 you will have to make a difficult decision that will have massive consequences for your character and their family.   

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Undertale
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Price: From $9.99

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Buy it on: Steam, PS4 & PS Vita

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In Undertale you will play as a human who falls into an underground world full of monsters. But, are all these creatures monsters? Are they as wicked as they may seem? Either way you have to find your way out, or chance being forever trapped in darkness.  Will you choose to play as a pacifist, or maybe you will choose a darker path and take the monster out of the picture?   

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Undertale is considered one of the best Indie titles of recent years, mainly because its story and pacifist playthrough options. Most of the interactions in Undertale deal with a variety of emotions and make you question the choices you have made throughout the game. As a pacifist the ending can be pretty satisfying, but will leave an emotional imprint on your mind. However, if you decide to choose the genocidal path the ending can be gruesome and unforgiving to the main character. As for the rest of the underground world it is left in a state of disarray from what you have done.

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Papers, Please
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Price: $8.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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In Papers, Please you decide who crosses the border between Grestin and Arstotzka while implementing government laws and policies that will bring glory to the Arstotzkan government and keep your homeland safe. However, Arstotzka is not all it appears; behind simply controlling immigration at the borders there is government corruption and revolution at hand.

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Behind Papers, Please lies a truly depressing story about a man who has been chosen to work for the Arstotzkan government through a lottery and must work in order to keep his family alive. In Papers, Please you will work as an immigration inspector on the borders of the Arstotzkan side of Grestin. The game takes a twist when the government you are working for becomes more hostile towards immigrants. Slowly, more and more policies are implemented to prevent suspicious people gaining entry into Arstotzka.

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One example of the depth of the story in Papers, Please is when a revolutionary group tries to convert you to their cause. You will have to make a choice between the safety of government or the radical freedoms of a revolutionary movement. However, you're not alone. Your family depend on you and every action you take can affect them and the outcome of your story. 

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There are multiple endings in Papers, Please and over 20 involve sad outcomes for you and your family. The naunce and thought gone into Papers, Please cannot be understated and it is well worth checking out.

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Oxenfree
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Price: $19.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller that follows a group of friends who go out to have a good time, however it doesn't all go to plan. You accidentally stumble on a rift between worlds that traps you and your friends on the island. Alex (the protagonist) must find a way for him and his friends to escape the dreaded island before it is too late. 

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Oxenfree contains supernatural elements that will chill you to the bone and by the end of the game you must face an almost impossible choice. Oxenfree has several endings depending on who you help and who you end up leaving behind, but every choice you make has a consequence. 

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Gone Home
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Price: $14.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Gone Home is a mystery game reliant on puzzles which help the protagonist figure out what happened to their family. The disappearance of the protagonists family leaves him in disarray and he must figure out what has caused them to leave.

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Going home can form mixed emotions depending on an individuals situation, whether you feel jubilation or dread at the thought of returning home depends on your home life. In the case of Gone Home its a sorrowful affair for the protagonist. You come home to find everyone has left unexpectedly and with no explanation, therefore forcing you to explore your home to solve the mystery. Towards the end of Gone Home it is clear that everyone left for their own reasons and in time you understand that when you left your family moved on.

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The ending feels resolved, however you are left to wonder about the fate of some family members. It appears as though they may have left for good reasons, but there is a prevailing sense of dread throughout the entirety of the game.

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Night in the Woods
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Price: $19.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Night in the Woods is an adventure game that allows you to explore a colorful world that is filled with interesting characters and conflicts that will require you to make friends with people throughout the town. 

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Night in the Woods centers around Mae Borowski: a college drop out who returns home and has to sort through issues that arise in her hometown. Throughout Night in the Woods the protagonist begins to form bonds and starts building close relations with many of the characters in the story, despite this towards the end of the game you end up feeling unsatisfied with the resolution. Especially since some of the issues are left unresolved, therefore creating a sense of indignance from the player. However, Mae does learn to face her problems and learns to move on from past events instead of focusing on them; which brings a somewhat neutral ending to a fantastic story and gaming experience. 

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Endings can be hard to handle. We spend so much time in these other worlds getting to know various characters and experiencing all the game has to offer only to be sent down a cycle of indignation. It's all over, your journey complete and you're left with a hole in your heart. 

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What's even harder to handle is when the worlds you have spent so much time in end on a sour or sad note. Several triple-A titles have included morose or melancholic endings that tug on our heartstrings. However, Indies are no stranger to these narrative archs, so we present our top 7 Indie titles that broke our hearts.  

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15 Top Handcrafted Gifts for Gamers Under $36! https://www.gameskinny.com/4wc2j/15-top-handcrafted-gifts-for-gamers-under-36 https://www.gameskinny.com/4wc2j/15-top-handcrafted-gifts-for-gamers-under-36 Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:00:52 -0500 Sarah Elliman

A lot of us gamers love to collect items that mean something to us and the games that we play. The best gift I ever received was a Dragon Age hoodie! Well perhaps not THE best, but it was pretty awesome. We have picked out 15 handcrafted gifts that are perfect for gamers. As a bonus, all of these gifts are less than $36! Whether you’re buying for a gamer or you want to purchase a little something for yourself, take a look at what we found.

1. Skyrim Minimalist Poster ($2)

This particular gift can range from $2 upwards, depending on the size and whether you want the gift on a canvas. With this poster, you get an amazing piece of Skyrim art with a badass dragon on it. The sizes range from A6 to A1 and are available on both poster paper and canvas. Depending on your style and space there are plenty of options out there for you. 


2. Overwatch Keyboard Stickers ($3.80)

If you want to purchase a gamer a gift the recipient will always have in sight, then these stickers are perfect. They are available for a range of Overwatch characters, such as Mercy, D.Va, McCree, Hanzo, Genji, Symmetra, Mei, Reaper, Ana, Pharah and Sombra. These keyboard stickers are available in a variety of colors that match the characters, and they aren’t mapped to certain keys. This means,  you have the option to put the stickers wherever you want!


3. Undertale Asriel Wooden Figurine ($10)


Undertale has become a massively popular game, more than anyone could have ever expected. This wooden figurine is fantastically made and is small enough to fit on your desk. There are two gestures for the Asriel figurine and it is beautiful. The colors and the expressions are so accurate, it looks like it came straight out of the game.

4. Assassin’s Creed Locket ($10)


If having gaming merchandise in your home isn’t enough, why not buy something you can take with you? This is a charming antique-esque locket with the assassin symbol emblazoned on the front. It can be a fantastic conversation piece with people, and you can carry your favorite game with you wherever you go. It comes with the chain and opens, so you can use it as a regular locket as well. You’ll be able to put a photo of your partner, family or friends in a sweet gaming orientated locket. The same seller also produces Zelda lockets as well, so if this one isn’t to your taste there are others available for the same price.


5. Sans Beanie ($12)


Another Undertale item makes its way onto the list, but can you blame me? When you see a Sans beanie it is hard to resist. The default is San’s serious face, but you can also request a different face in the notes for this beanie. This is an especially cool item if you’re buying it for Christmas as the recipient will be able to keep their head and ears warm, while having a Sans on their head. The seller of this item also has other Undertale character beanies such as Papyrus, Flowey and Asriel. You’ll be able to have your favourite Undertale character with you wherever you go. Or if Undertale isn’t your style there are Pokemon beanies available as well!

6. Solas Vhenan Pendant ($15)


Another item you can take with you everywhere is this wonderfully crafted, Dragon Age inspired pendant. It is a wonderfully formed brass piece with a lot of detail put into the design. You can also buy Sera, Kadan, Anders and Fenris pendants from the seller in their Dragon Age range. They also offer Overwatch inspired pendants as well, so you can take your favorite games with you wherever you go.


7. Blue Glow in the Dark D&D Dice ($16)


There is an absolutely fantastic range of D&D dice on Etsy, but these were my personal favorite. The gradient between colors within the dice is beautiful and merge together so well. The color is soft and the numbers on the dice are clear and well-engraved. You can choose the secondary color, either white or yellow, although yellow will cost you a dollar more. This seller has a wonderful range of dice from rose gold to chrome and healer dice as well. However, when you have glow in the dark dice what more could you want?


8. Wooden Gaming in Progress Sign ($17.15)


One of the only items that isn’t specifically related to an individual game, but it's still another fantastic addition to your home. This gift is wonderful for anyone who is a massive gamer as it comes in a variety of colors for both the background and the text. It is a large sign and would work fantastically outside of someone’s room. So perhaps if you have a teenager who is into games, this would be a great gift to  to give them. 

9. Fallout Nuka Cola LED Light ($17.56)

It’s late at night, you’re still on a massive gaming binge, but it’s been progressively getting darker and darker until your eyes can’t stand it anymore. You turn around and switch on your Fallout lamp: how cool is that? You can turn your house into a gaming haven with this bright addition to your home. 


10. Yen’s Pendant ($17.82)


The last gift on our list that you’ll be able to wear is inspired from Yennefer’s pendant in The Wicther 3. This is a fantastic item for anyone who wants to cosplay, or simply wear it out and about. The item isn’t in your face about being a piece of gaming merchandise and might even tie together that gothic outfit you’re dying to wear. This is a high-quality piece that is perfect for cosplay or for everyday use, anybody who is a fan of Yennefer and The Witcher will absolutely love this gift.


11. 5 Zelda Stained Glass Window Decal’s ($19.99)


This is an incredible gift for anyone who is looking to spruce up a room with some gaming decorations. These decals are inspired from the Windwaker games and are absolutely stunning--you would think they came from a church if Zelda was a religion. The five decals have different designs and colors, so you don’t have to worry about having multiple of one decal. They come in two sizes, either the 8”x4” which is priced at $19.99 or the 7”x13” priced at $39.95.


12. Skyrim Rolling Pin ($19.99)


Do you have a friend who both loves cooking and video games? Well this is the perfect present for them, whether you’re making cookies and want some Skyrim images in them or just want an awesome rolling pin. There are a variety of different images on the rolling pin, so you can get really creative with this item.
The item is made from wood and is 100% safe to use with food. 

13. Handmade Final Fantasy Phone Cases ($20.58)

These Final Fantasy inspired phone cases cover iPhones from the 7 to 4 and Galaxy 7 to 4. The cases are really well made, and the designs are incredibly cute. A personal favorite is the Chocobo design, but you can also get Moogle designs and Cactuar designs for your device as well. Let everyone know your love for Final Fantasy with one of these phone cases, or show someone you love that you know what they like. 


14. Geralt Pillow ($23.90)


When I next get my paycheck this is going to be one of the first things on my list. These pillows are incredibly adorable and who doesn’t want to snuggle with Geralt on the couch? Both the front and back are fully printed, and he even has his swords on his back. Also, this pillow is one of the only times you'll get to see Geralt smile.
There are a variety of other pillows available that are made after popular shows, movies and games. From Spock to Leia and even a Daryl Dixon pillow. Starting to think I’ll need two instead of just getting the Geralt one.


15. Custom Ghost Life-Size Replica ($36)


Last, but not least is this incredibly badass replica of Destiny’s Ghost, which lights up and comes in a variety of colors. You get a stand well. There are a wide range of colors for the LED light, from amber to red and even a colour changing LED.
The item is $36 if you want a mystery colour for your replica, however if you want the colour exactly the way you want it, it’ll cost you $40.50. There are 20 colours available which includes glowing green, so whatever you want is available with this item.

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That was our list of handcrafted video game gifts that should definitely make your Christmas list. There is so much out there--being a gamer has never been so good. There is so much out there to explore, but you can start with our list here. Remember all items will go up and down in price, so always keep an eye out for bargains.

What  do you think about the gifts we've picked out? Have you got any favorites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

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Undertale Ports For PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita to Release in August https://www.gameskinny.com/jkmdv/undertale-ports-for-playstation-4-and-playstation-vita-to-release-in-august https://www.gameskinny.com/jkmdv/undertale-ports-for-playstation-4-and-playstation-vita-to-release-in-august Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:35:15 -0400 Erroll Maas

Undertale developer Toby Fox has announced via the PlayStation Blog that the game will release for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on August 15. It has also been confirmed that the game will have cross-buy support between the Sony platforms.

The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions of Undertale were originally announced during the pre-show for Sony's E3 2017 showcase.

On PlayStation 4, pre-orders for the game will include an exclusive dynamic theme by Truant Pixel, art by Merrigo, and a brand new music track by Toby Fox. A physical collector's edition of the game will be produced by Fangamer and will include:

  • The complete soundtrack of the game on two CDs
  • A sheet music booklet with six songs and annotations by Toby Fox
  • A 14K gold-plated brass music box locket
  • A special collector's edition box
  • A physical copy of the game for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, or PC.

Undertale is currently available on PC and can be purchased on Steam. Additionally, pre-orders for the game on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita are now available on the PlayStation Store for $14.99

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7 Indie Gems That Need to Be Ported to Mobile Devices https://www.gameskinny.com/03ifq/7-indie-gems-that-need-to-be-ported-to-mobile-devices https://www.gameskinny.com/03ifq/7-indie-gems-that-need-to-be-ported-to-mobile-devices Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Amy Turnbull

There’s no denying there are some amazing indie games out there, and many of the most successful ones can be found on Steam for PC, or on home consoles. With the ever-growing technology of mobile devices, and the rising popularity of mobile gaming, more and more indie games are finding a home on this platform. Not all developers are taking advantage of this area of the market though, so we’re taking a look at some of the current best indie games we think would fare really well on mobile.

1) Darkest Dungeon

This side-scroller gothic RPG from Red Hook Studios is a turn-based battle game with a twist. Instead of purely focusing on the characters' physical strengths and abilities, Darkest Dungeon has the player facing the emotional and psychological stresses one might experience living a life of gruelling adventure and hardship.

Tasked with leading your group through a dark and dangerous land 500 feet beneath the earth, you must battle not only the enemies you encounter, but also such atrocities as famine and disease, all while dealing with the mental stress of the darkness that is closing in.

Darkest Dungeon

While puzzle games and basic platformers lend themselves well to mobile gaming, we've seen with recent mobile games like Mobius Final Fantasy that RPGs (and particularly turn-based RPGs) can work surprisingly well, too. Darkest Dungeon would be no exception. The game's hand-drawn graphics are really neat, and the almost comic-book-like art style would transfer really well to mobile devices, providing a game that not only plays well, but looks great too.

2) Stardew Valley

Described by developers Chucklefish Ltd. as an "open-ended country-life RPG," Stardew Valley allows you to build up your own farm and surrounding land from scratch, whilst learning valuable skills like farming, fishing, mining, foraging, and combat. Much like with Harvest Moon, your character is just one part of a larger community of people that you will get to know as you play, making friends and even starting a family of your own if you choose to.

Like many games of this type, Stardew Valley can be quite addictive, with endless hours of open-ended fun to be had customising, building and maintaining your own little corner of the Valley. Basically, it's the kind of game perfect for dipping in and out of for short periods of time without having to commit to sitting and playing for long stretches in order to achieve anything.

Stardew Valley

As anyone that's had to turn their game request notifications off will know, Farmville is the most popular game on Facebook. It's an addictive simulator always within arms reach wherever you may be, thanks to its ease of access on smartphones and other mobile devices. Why not take that one step further, by bringing a more in-depth farming simulation game to mobile -- one that doesn't require the use of social media to run/play it? Stardew Valley would definitely be a good candidate for this, and has the potential for success in this area as it plays right into the hands of what mobile gamers already enjoy.

3) Death Squared

The recently released co-op puzzle game Death Squared, from developer SMG Studio, has already seen a lot of success while being showcased at various PAX events around the world.

The game requires each player (1, 2, or 4 people) to guide their own individual robot to matching, colour-coded goals, all while maneuvering their way around deadly hazards, and each other. When playing in one of the co-op modes, players must work together to solve these puzzles, all while preferably keeping each other alive. 

Death Squared

Death Squared is the Monopoly of the indie gaming world. If you love arguing with your family and waiting to see who flips a table first, this is the game for you. It is frustrating and endearing in equal measures. Death Squared's simple yet appealing premise, its co-op opportunities and the easy-to-grasp controls make it a great candidate for mobile gaming that can be enjoyed by casual gamers and even non-gamers.

4) Shovel Knight

With the recent release of the complete Shovel Knight compilation, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, on April 5th, now seems like a better time than ever to port this popular adventure game to mobile devices.

In this action-adventure platformer from Yacht Club Games, you play as Shovel Knight, a hero out to find his lost love. Using your trusty Shovel Blade, you must battle the knights of the Order of No Quarter and ultimately defeat their leader, The Enchantress. Treasure Trove also contains both the sequel and prequel to the original game, allowing you to play as Plague Knight and Specter Knight in their respective adventures, too.

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Shovel Knight, Treasure Trove

Shovel Knight's 8-bit style will transfer easily to mobile devices, and the bold colours would look great on current technology. The basic side-scrolling method of play would work well with touch-screens, and the overall retro aesthetic would appeal to those that look back fondly on the 8-bit era of gaming. The whole thing has a very nostalgic feel to it, and with everything retro being so in right now, this endearing quality would appeal to gamers young and old.

5) Inside

This unusual puzzle platformer from developer Playdead is one of the top-selling games on Steam currently. It is visually beautiful; dark, creepy, and atmospheric, and this somewhat grim aesthetic and the accompanying morbid soundtrack (recorded through a real human skull) all work together to keep the player on the edge of their seat.

Inside's mysterious description reads simply, "Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project." The game's rather disturbing concept of human experimentation, and playing as a lone boy trying to escape the setting, is an uncomfortable experience, particularly if it all goes wrong and you have to watch the young child die. This game won't be for everyone, but for those that enjoy the macabre, it's a must.

This game is a sequel to its equally creepy predecessor, Limbo, which is already available on iOS and Android, but it also works as a standalone. It would be a great move to have Inside follow in Limbo's footsteps to mobile gaming. The game only take 2-3 hours to complete, but with its oppressive atmosphere any longer would probably be overkill. The resulting concise story, side-scrolling gameplay, and gorgeous graphics make this a great candidate for the mobile platform, and Limbo's success in that area would no doubt continue in this sequel.

6) Paradigm

This brand new dystopian adventure game, released just last week, is bizarre and hilarious in equal measures. Developed by Jacob Janerka, Paradigm was a huge success on Kickstarter, more than tripling its initial goal of $14,000. Described by Janerka as "Pixar meets Fallout", the game's quirky 2D graphics and numerous 70s and 80s pop culture references make for a delightful, if strange, gaming experience.

Paradigm is full of self-deprecating humor, as you play as the ugly-yet-confident protagonist of the title, a mutant who has to put aside his dreams of becoming a famous glam rock musician in order to go and save the world. Your nemesis? A tyrannical sloth named Olaf (yes, really). It's a tough gig, but someone's gotta do it.

The point-and-click gameplay makes this a perfect candidate for mobile gaming, with this method having easy compatibility with touch screen technology. The dark humour and overall bizarre story makes for a fun game to dip in and out of whilst on the move (though it's definitely not one for the kiddies!).

7) Undertale

Described by developer Toby Fox as "the friendly RPG where nobody has to die", Undertale offers a rather unique way of defeating foes, by offering friendly means of negotiation, such as sharing a secret, or doing a dance.

As the protagonist, you must find your way out of an underground world of monsters and mayhem, or risk staying trapped down there forever. Your choices in-game will determine your character's fate, so there is a lot of replay value simply by doing things differently each time you play the game through.

Undertale

Undertale is one of the most most popular and successful games on Steam to date, becoming an instant classic. The story-driven RPG is very reminiscent of old-school NES games like The Legend of Zelda, and that nostalgia and simplicity, along with a fun sense of humor, is really endearing. The game's existing popularity alone makes this a great choice of game to make more widely available, and with everyone and their dog seeming to have a smartphone or other mobile device on them these days, what better way to make something available to the masses than through a mobile port?

There are tons of amazing indie games out there, with more and more being released every week. With such a huge selection to choose from, and so many of those not (yet) ported to mobile devices, let us know in the comments what you'd like to see in the world of mobile gaming in the near future!

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5 Games You Should Play Instead of Replaying Undertale https://www.gameskinny.com/j87bk/5-games-you-should-play-instead-of-replaying-undertale https://www.gameskinny.com/j87bk/5-games-you-should-play-instead-of-replaying-undertale Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:33:18 -0500 Angelina Bonilla

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There we go, 5 games that you should be playing rather than replaying Undetale; games that are similar to the story of a young child falling down the hole, but predating it by a year or so.  This isn’t meant to be a list that bashes Undertale, but rather is a list that encourages people to broaden their horizons, all while being able to stick to something familiar. That and you never know, you may find something you like about these games more than you like about Undertale. Then again, considering Undertale’s fanbase, probably not... but a journalist can dream, can’t they?

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Art Source: Image

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/f/f/off-pheoniic-d61uk07-96d8a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/f/f/off-pheoniic-d61uk07-96d8a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150545","description":"

OFF

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OFF is a game that’s been a strong part of the RPG Maker world for quite a while now, and I can’t help but ponder if it had some sort of influence on Undertale as a project. Tonally, they couldn’t be any further apart, but the underlying darkness in their individual narratives? That’s where the similarities tend to crop up. OFF starts off by having you put your name and becoming an entity for the Batter to follow in his quest to “purify” the world.

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You meet a vibrant cast of characters, but instead of having the option to befriend them, your only option is to murder them ruthlessly with a party full of biblical references attached to circles. It’s not as though they are without fault, however: you as a player find the villains of the tale inflicting atrocities and cruelties on their workers, making The Batter a heroic figure in the sense of liberating each world he’s in.  

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As a (creepy) aside: The way The Batter talks is a little unsettling, especially during moments where you may have to kill creatures you don't want to kill. In fact, he encourages you, the player, to “Let him do his job." 

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As time goes on, the player will notice an underlying narrative with all this, involving the Batter seemingly playing a bigger part in the overall story than he likes you to believe. Yet, you’ve been “assigned” to him to help him complete his task, which means that you’re forced to do whatever it takes to do so.

Undertale
gives you the choice to kill or not kill, making your journey harder or easier depending on the choices you make. OFF, on the other hand, doesn’t give you that option, yet it expects you to go through with it because it’s what you're assigned to do. After all, who are you to go against your assignment?

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 Download The OFF: Here

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Art Source: Here

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/n/e/oneshot-fanart2-a0374.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/n/e/oneshot-fanart2-a0374.png","type":"slide","id":"150542","description":"

OneShot

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Out of all the entries on this list, OneShot has been one of the games most compared to Undertale, with some reviewers going so far as to calling it “Undertale-like”... despite the fact that the game came out in 2014, well before Undertale. What sets it apart from Undertale is the fact that there’s no combat at all, just exploration and making new friends. Your character is a child – Niiko – and the player is the guiding force behind him, some sort of deity, driving him to deliver the sun (the lightbulb he holds) to the tower in the distance. By doing so, he'll save the world.

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OneShot uses its fourth-wall-breaking moments not as much for humor or for making the player think about their actions within the world, but for the player to connect with the character Niiko. The focus of these relationships is how Niiko, a child and messianic figure, is treated by the denizens of the world and how he feels about being treated this way. This leads him to talking to you, the player, about it frequently when he gets the chance, often addressing you directly, depending on the name you put in.

Then there’s the Entity that seems to be aware of the fact that you’re the one controlling Niiko and reminds you that in this world, you only have one shot to make a difference. What you do affects everyone else.

This is only cemented by the state of the world that you’re in; it’s dying without the sun and it needs Niiko’s help to save it with your guidance. If there’s one thing that OneShot does better than Undertale, it was making me as a player feeling entirely responsible for Niiko as a character, rather than as an avatar of destruction in the case of Undertale and Chara.

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Purchase OneShot: Here

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Art Source: Here

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/m/asm-73582.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/s/m/asm-73582.png","type":"slide","id":"150541","description":"

Always Sometimes Monsters

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When people think about doing the right thing, they often think about it in very binary terms, more often than not thanks to the binary choice system we are often presented in games. In Undertale, this binary choice is similarly presented: you can either murder people and be called an absolute monster, or you spare them and be dubbed the hero of the story. But what if there was a game that made what was considered right or good be a lot murkier?

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Welcome to Always Sometimes Monsters, a game that takes the mundane life of a down on their luck writer who has been left by their significant other, and forces them to make difficult moral choices in order to live their life as they idealistically intend to do. The choices aren’t straight forward and things aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance. You’ll often not know if what you’re doing will help or hurt your main character, but what you do know is that you’ll want a happy ending for them by the end... if that’s even achievable.

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Think of it as taking Undertale’s narrative about morality and the good and evils of the world, but adding in multiple layers of something that Undertale seems to only tackle certain aspects of: real life. Serious topics like drug addiction, murder, poverty, and more are all included. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are tackled head on, rather than in an allegorical sense. Always Sometimes Monsters tackles morality with a deft hand and it’s worth checking out if you truly love the exploration of morality in Undertale.

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Purchase Always Sometimes Monsters: Here

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/u/m/tumblr-n6bmvw6j5n1tn1glxo1-540-9c342.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/u/m/tumblr-n6bmvw6j5n1tn1glxo1-540-9c342.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150544","description":"

The Sandman

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The Sandman is one in a series of games all created by the same person who made the RPG Maker horror hit The Crooked Man. While all the stories are connected, they do stand on their own, so someone who has never played The Crooked Man can get into The Sandman just fine.

It’s an RPG horror game based around everyone in town falling asleep and having to face nightmarish creatures in a manifestation of their flaws and sins. This is only part of what makes it worth your time; the other part is our protagonist, Sophie Grundler, can give Frisk a run for their money in ultimate forgiveness.

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As a character, Sophie is an understanding girl who knows that everyone has issues they keep bottled up, which leads her to be forgiving of people. She even tries to save their lives when they’re at risk of being killed for things that ultimately hurt her in the end. Despite all of what she’s gone through, Sophie is still willing to not give up on people, which gives a true feeling of compassion in bravery that mirrors that of Frisk in Undertale and makes this worth a look.

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Download The Sandman: Here

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Art Source: Here

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Ib

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Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s an easy concept to come up with, but not nearly as easy to put into practice. Undertale does this with its monsters actually being friendly rather than things to kill; Ib does it by making the most beautiful flower turn murderous.

Ib is a free RPG Maker game that takes place in an art gallery. Within moments of playing, you’ll find yourself in a living gallery where no matter where you go you’re under attack and need to flee for your life.

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Things with seemingly mundane natures, like a woman in a painting, jump from the wall to attack you. Ib has several moments where something that should be considered spooky for the 9-year-old protagonist, isn't actually dangerous, or even if it is it's not malicious. In Ib, we are shown that while many flowers have their thorns, not every plant is dangerous in this gallery.

Download Ib: Here

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Art Source: Here

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/d/undertale-ionic-isaac-d9ct6b9-4f192.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/d/undertale-ionic-isaac-d9ct6b9-4f192.png","type":"slide","id":"150547","description":"

Undertale, that little game from 2015 that took the gaming world by storm with its music, characters, stories and gameplay. A game that asked the gaming world many questions that many people had never asked themselves before. Questions about mercy, friendship, dreams or the ever present question in all of our minds: “Is anime real?”

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What if I were to tell you that there were games made before Undertale that covered similar themes? With that in mind, let’s just say I told you to play those games instead of replaying Undertale because you might find something you like better in those games. 

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Now, before any of you attempt to burn me at the stake for this supposed blasphemy, allow me to reassure you that I’m not bashing Undertale. Instead, I’m just using this as an opportunity to point people who love Undertale  to other games that have similar themes -- and have come before it.

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That, and redheads were actively burnt at the stake for centuries, especially thanks to their inclusion in the Malleus Maleficarm. So I think most redheads have evolved a resistance to being burnt at the stake thanks to our ancestors. Small tangential detour about humanity’s messy past aside, let’s talk about five games that you should be playing rather than replaying Undertale.

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Image Source: Here

"}]]]>
The 10 Best Indie Games of All-Time https://www.gameskinny.com/us8ll/the-10-best-indie-games-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/us8ll/the-10-best-indie-games-of-all-time Fri, 05 May 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Curtis Dillon

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Well that's it for our list, and I'm sure you're all happy and agree with every game on here. All jokes aside, we want to hear what your favourite indie games are. Feel free to drop your personal Top 10 in the comments below and let us know where we went horribly wrong!

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There are so many amazing indie games it was super difficult to narrow this list down to 10 - hence the overlong honourable mentions. It pained me personally to leave out games like Oxenfree, Rogue Legacy, and Guacamelee, but that's part of the fun. The gaming world is so vibrant right now, with amazing titles coming out on a weekly basis. It's incredibly encouraging that six of the games in this list, came out in the past three years!

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Gaming is alive and well in every spectrum, the least of which is the indie scene. Games like Shovel Knight prove that what's old can be new again, while Everybody's Gone To The Rapture show immense beauty and a narrative that can only be told in a game. There's so much breadth and diversity that everyone can find something to love. And on that note, we also want to hear which of those 10 is your favourite! So get chatting in the comments and be sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for all your gaming coverage!

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Honorable Mentions:
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  • Bastion
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  • Limbo
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  • Dear Esther
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  • Braid
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  • Super Meat Boy
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  • Hotline Miami
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  • OlliOlli
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  • Spelunky
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  • Rogue Legacy
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  • Oxenfree
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  • Thomas Was Alone
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  • Don't Starve
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  • Tokyo Jungle
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  • Actual Sunlight
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  • Three Fourth's Home
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  • Guacamelee
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  • Her Story
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  • Nidhogg
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  • The Beginner's Guide
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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot3-dbdc6.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot3-dbdc6.png","type":"slide","id":"157674","description":"
Stardew Valley
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Stardew Valley is a phenomenon. Similar to Undertale, it has a rabid fan base and everyone that plays it falls in love. And there's a very simple reason why: it's addictive.

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I'm not a fan of farming simulators, games like Animal Crossing never appealed to me. Yet I kept hearing reverent praise for Stardew Valley, so eventually I picked it up on a PSN sale and figured I'd play a few hours before deleting it. 94 hours later I finished Stardew Valley.

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Why? Never before had I played a game with a better carrot on the end of the stick. Every day cycle in Stardew Valley lasts one hour, and in that hour you might water your crops, chop down some tree's, run into town and go fishing, and go to the bar to talk to the locals. Of course you could turn it off there but tomorrow you want to go to the blacksmith and crack open an ore, run down to the forest to see if the gypsy with the travelling cart is back, then maybe go up to the mines where you accidentally run out of stamina and pass out. You wake up the next morning and someone stole your money, so now you have to make it back, as well as check out the community centre, and maybe you have your eye on a villager so you'll want to bring them a gift. That's a quick example of how you could easily lose three hours to Stardew Valley.

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Stardew Valley is a really special game that is every bit as charming and fun as it is life-consuming. It's so much more than a farming simulator; Stardew Valley is like Animal Crossing meets The Sims, with a dash of Zelda thrown in. Even now that might not sound like it's for you, but I bet if you give it a couple of hours, you will be caught, hook, line and sinker.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ebd6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ebd6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148191","description":"

Shovel Knight

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Shovel Knight was a game funded on Kickstarter and one of the true success stories to emerge from the platform. Carrying-on the lineage of classic platformers like Super Mario World, Mega Man, and CastleVaniaShovel Knight didn't reinvent the wheel but it might have perfected it.

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Of course, in the world of gaming it comes as blasphemy to say anything is better than those that pioneered the way, those that people hold the most nostalgia for, but the reality is that Shovel Knight combined the best elements of all of those classic games to make the perfect action platformer. Even though it is an amalgamation of those games, taking the world map, inventory, and combat from NES classics, Shovel Knight was a success because it has a personality of its own.

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With whimsical characters, fairytale setting, and flawless mechanics, Shovel Knight did was so few other modern platformers were able to achieve: originality and peerless quality. Available on pretty much every platform imaginable, there's no excuse not to play Shovel Knight. Personally I played it on the PS Vita, where it feels right at home. Furthermore, Yacht Club Games, developer of Shovel Knight, has released two full-length DLC's, the most recent being a brand new game from head-to-toe, and there's more to come. Oh, and all of it has been free if you already own the game. That's fan service like no other. So, what are you waiting for?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/u/journey-21161.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/u/journey-21161.png","type":"slide","id":"148179","description":"

Journey

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Journey is often considered the crown-jewel of indie games. A break-taking voyage through a scorching desert in order to reach the shining peak of the mountain ahead; a deceptively simple premise.

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Journey celebrates the majesty of nature and offers-up an adventure that is as unforgettable as it is beautiful. The game clocks-in at around two hours and takes you through the full spectrum of emotions, from the awe of climbing your first dune and seeing the vista ahead, to the dread you feel when traversing the dark underground locales.

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And, perhaps most importantly, along the way you might meet a friend. As you play Journey you can encounter another traveller, who joins in your trek to the mountain top. This partnership formed the core of many Journey experiences, especially when the game ends and you realise it was another player and not just an AI. In all the online gaming house I've played, none has been as unique and touching as my solitary Journey playthrough.

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There's a reason Journey is revered to the extent that it is. It is a masterpiece of storytelling and visuals that manages to tug on all the right strings while not uttering a single word. When people say video games cannot be art, point them in the direction of Journey.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/n/gonehome0814131280jpg-88281b-1280w-607e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/n/gonehome0814131280jpg-88281b-1280w-607e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148186","description":"

Gone Home

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What can I say about Gone Home that hasn't already been said? The game launched in 2013 on PC and set new standards for environmental storytelling and progressive topics in gaming.

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Gone Home, from The Fullbright Company, tells the story of Katie, a college student who returns from a summer abroad to her family's new home in Oregon, set in 1995. The family is still in the process of moving, so there's a lot boxes and disarray around the home, and her parents and sister are nowhere to be found. Once again it's hard to say much more without spoiling the game for anyone.

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Gone Home, in a way, put "walking simulators" on the map. Even though the term is often used in a derogatory fashion, the sub-genre is alive and well, in large part thanks to the brilliance and success of Gone Home.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-010-02026.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-010-02026.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148182","description":"

Inside

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Playdead was always going to have a very hard time attempting to follow-up its smash-hit Limbo. However it did something much, much better; the team eclipsed every single element of Limbo and crafted a game so stylish and weird that it demands to be played. They crafted Inside.

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Not quite as grayscale as Limbo, Inside added a little red to the proceedings and some excellent lighting, to create a really stunning game. It's difficult to talk about the plot, or even mechanics, of Inside without delving into spoiler territory in some fashion. I will say that it plays a lot like Limbo but much improved, and I guess that kind of sums-up everything about Inside: it's Limbo on steroids.

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In short, Inside is a fantastic game that you should play. It's the modern evolution of the puzzle platformer, which uses all the facets of the genre to perfect it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-gone-rapture-screen-ps4-30jan15-aa6b8.jpeg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-gone-rapture-screen-ps4-30jan15-aa6b8.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"148181","description":"

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture

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Set in a perfectly recreated 1980's English village, in which every single person has disappeared, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture tells a story of everyday life coming to an abrupt end.

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As a voiceless wanderer, you are guided through the picture-perfect village of Yaughton by an ethereal ball of light that seeks to reveal to you the mystery of what happened to the locals. The people have left behind literal traces of themselves, which, when prompted, take form and act out some of the last moments of their lives like a message from beyond the grave. You can follow these particular people and watch exactly what they did: who were they with? Or were they alone when they met their demise? Did they at least get a goodbye?

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The answers to those kind of questions are what pushes you through the game, while unravelling the much-larger mystery at hand. You become connected the the villagers, while never actually meeting any of them. Everybody's Gone To The Rapture is a testament to well-written dialogue and a perfectly created setting. These elements come together to weave a story that will tug at your heart strings as much as it makes you scratch your head and wonder.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friends-loser-833fb.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friends-loser-833fb.png","type":"slide","id":"148185","description":"

Undertale

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When you talk about beloved video games, you think Pokemon, Zelda, Skyrim, but you can definitely add Undertale to that list.

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Emerging from obscurity in 2015, there was a long ground swell of devotion and fanfare for Undertale. It seemed that everyone who played it, fell in love with it, and rightfully so; Undertale masterfully created a game that weaved typical RPG elements with original Pokemon-style graphics, and a fairly simple story. Then it took all of those elements and flipped them on their head; the story twisted into something much darker and revelatory (while still making you laugh), and the battle system changed, continuously kept you on your toes.

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Undertale is the perfect storm of mechanics, characters, art-style, plot, etc., melding together to create a masterpiece. It's an example of every single element of a game being utilised to further the experience and keep players engaged. Undertale is an adventure like no other and one I implore everyone to take - and you can play it on your standard laptop for $10!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/f/unfinished-swan1-212ca.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/f/unfinished-swan1-212ca.png","type":"slide","id":"148180","description":"

The Unfinished Swan

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Giant Sparrow is a games developer that was signed by Sony literally out of college, and the first thing they created was a plain white room, in which the player would splash black paint around. Eventually, after years of development, that rudimentary idea formed into The Unfinished Swan.

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Standing toe-to-toe with Journey as the best indie game on the PS3, The Unfinished Swan portrayed the adventure of Monroe, an orphan, who was only allowed to retain one painting from his mother's collection, after she sadly passes away. One night, Monroe wakes-up to find the swan missing, and so he leaps into the canvas and finds himself in a completely white world.

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The mechanic of the game sees Monroe throwing paint, which splashes on surfaces to reveal the world and help you navigate. The sheer sense of wonder that comes from throwing every blob of paint to find a mundane object, such as a park bench or a wooden crate, is equalled by the touching story of Monroe searching for place in the world. The game is a beautiful, serene journey, narrated by a soothing voice, that will stick with you long after it's over.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-review-screen-dacf1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-review-screen-dacf1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148183","description":"

Firewatch

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The first game from developer Campo Santo, Firewatch had lofty expectations ahead of its release in 2016. With a development team that worked on The Walking Dead and Mark of the Ninja, and art courtesy of Olly Moss, it's easy to see why this game was so highly-anticipated.

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Firewatch puts you in the shoes of Henry; a middle-aged man who needs a break from his difficult life, so impulsively takes a job as a forest lookout in the Shoshone National Park, Wyoming. The game takes place in 1989, a year after the horrible Yellowstone Fires. Playing as Henry, you have a walkie-talkie that connects you to the other nearest lookout, Delilah, who guides you through the first days on the job.

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Firewatch is sheer beauty. From the jaw-dropping art by Olly Moss, to the emotionally-charged voice acting, Firewatch is everything a narrative-driven experience should be. The gameplay aims to serve the story, and the overall package is so finely crafted that it's impossible not to become immersed in the gorgeous world that Campo Santo has created.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/z/fez-010-d9bf6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/z/fez-010-d9bf6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148187","description":"

FEZ

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Fez was arguably the first big-hit of the indie scene. Created almost entirely by Phil Fish, Fez is a marvel of game design.

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With mind-bending level design, in which you rotate the levels to progress, beautiful pixel-art, and pleasant sound design, Fez is simply a joy to play. Sure it might look like a Super Nintendo game but your SNES would have a stroke if it tried to play Fez.

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Fez begs you to explore its world at your own pace and it's a testament to the design that you can do so without getting frustrated. The first time you jump into the blocky world and the entire perspective shifts, you'll have a smile on your face and be hooked to the brilliance of Fez.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indies-a3c57.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indies-a3c57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148189","description":"

What defines an "indie game"? That is the question... that I will not be answering here today. That's right: I'm not about to answer the tired debate of what actually constitutes an indie game and what doesn't. Truth be told, the word has lost all meaning in the current development landscape of Kickstarter and Steam Early Access.

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For the sake of this list, we can agree that indie simply means downloadable title made on a low budget by a small team of developers. That, too, is redundant considering all games are available to download -- but I digress.

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Anywho, the world of indie games exploded onto the scene way back in 2008, with Braid. Back then, downloading a game onto your console was still a foreign concept and few gave the idea a second thought. Fast forward almost a decade and these games are making up two-thirds of the games released on PS4 and Xbox One.

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It took a long time, too long, for these games to get the recognition they deserve, with a lot of gamers clinging to the ignorant idea that if it isn't on a disc, it isn't worth their time. Thankfully that mindset is all but gone today, and most gamers use the valuable time between AAA titles like Resident Evil 7 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, to catch-up on many smaller games that can be completed in a single sitting.

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The best thing about the "indie" games, is that they are filling the void left by mid-tier developers like THQ. Such B-level video games have been replaced by passion projects that don't have the same requirements as a full-release title would -- for example, had Outlast released in 2007, it would have been 10 hours longer, you would have had a gun, and it would have been less impressive.

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The "indie" scene allows developers to be artistic and branch out, spreading their wings without pressure. Furthermore, we may have once considered an indie to be a side-scrolling, 2D game that could run on an SNES, but now it can be anything from Limbo, to Firewatch. There is no pigeon-holing or defining this aspect of gaming and I for one love it.

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So here we are, about to celebrate the ten best indie games you can possibly play. This list is in no particular order and it's important to remember that there is always a level of partiality, so do not be offended if your favourite title is merely an honourable mention. So, without further ado...

"}]]]>
A Certain Point of View: Why There Aren't More 2D RPGs in the West https://www.gameskinny.com/7qcwi/a-certain-point-of-view-why-there-arent-more-2d-rpgs-in-the-west https://www.gameskinny.com/7qcwi/a-certain-point-of-view-why-there-arent-more-2d-rpgs-in-the-west Fri, 20 Jan 2017 07:36:52 -0500 Will Dowell

The resurgence of 2D games has invigorated the gaming industry, and JRPGs are no exception. With the upcoming Project Octopath Traveler being a beautiful 2D JRPG for the Switch, and other love letters flooding the digital marketplaces, JRPGs have found another home in the two-dimensional world.

But what about 2D Western RPGs? With the exception of indie experimentations such as Undertale, the Western RPG genre is flooded with large 3D open world. AAA devs don't dare make games sans that third dimension, even though it seems to work so well for their Japanese counter parts.

This isn't a haphazard mistake on the part of Western developers. And it certainly isn't because RPGs can't work in 2D. It's more because the JRPG and RPG genres are, at the end of the day, very different from each other -- which means they require different techniques and styles in order to succeed. So with that in mind, let's look into the real reason why there aren't more 2D RPGs floating around in the West. 

Different Goals Means Different Styles

When examining possible choices in visual style, developers must first decide if the graphics will drive the purpose of the game. And where Western RPGs use graphics as a primary form of storytelling, that isn't the case for JRPGs.

Most JRPGs use mechanics, dialogue options, and cutscenes to tell a story full of fantastical creatures and lively characters, though often at the cost of creating a fully fleshed-out world. Meanwhile, Western RPGs focus on the player creating their story and becoming immersed in the world around them.

Simply put, a 2D art style doesn't really augment that sense of immersion that make Western RPGs special. They do however, aid the storytelling in JRPGs by allowing the creator to focus less on the graphical design and more on the story itself.

Putting DnD in 3D

As any harcore RPG gamers knows, Western RPGs take direct inspiration from Dungeons and Dragons -- the pen-and-paper roleplaying game that paved the way for the modern RPG experience. Many of the systems that existed in DnD are still used as mechanics in modern RPGs...but what's more important is the fact that the complex scenery and design which DnD inspires is much more suited to a 3D environment than a 2D one. Even with top down adventures such as Baldur's Gate or Neverwinter Nights, the use of a third dimension fleshed out the environment and allowed for more interactivity. It created a breathing world -- which was all any old-school DnD fan really wanted. 

This is not the case for JRPGs. The iconic titles that shaped the genre and future games -- like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest -- were 2D sprite games. They flourished with their stylish pixel art and aged rather well. And since it worked so well for the games that birthed JRPGs, it makes sense that the trend would continue as new titles were made with that style in mind. 

A Push for Realism

Gaming outside of the RPG genre has been pushing toward realism for years. FPS franchises such as Call of Duty and Battlefield made names for themselves with realistic graphics and action. Following suit, games such as Skyrim, Fallout 4, or The Witcher 3 are trying to push graphical fidelity in large open worlds, while still providing the create-your-own adventure approach that's heralded in Western RPGs.

But the realism trend simply doesn't seem to have caught on in the East. Japanese games are consistently more stylized and colorful than they are realistic, and they sell as well on that side of the world as realistic games do here. This means beautiful sprite work can still be a major selling point, on account of being exciting and nostalgic.

While Western 2D RPGs are still a possibility, especially with the rise of the indie development scene, the push for immersion and realism forces most games to be 3D if they want to sell. With how huge the genre is, experiments like Undertale are always going to happen. Just don't expect the AAA marketplace to be creating 2D games anytime soon.

Why do you think there are so few Western 2D RPGs? Let us know in the comments.

  
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Can You Love an Irredeemable Villain? https://www.gameskinny.com/6fxsi/can-you-love-an-irredeemable-villain https://www.gameskinny.com/6fxsi/can-you-love-an-irredeemable-villain Fri, 13 Jan 2017 07:00:01 -0500 Unclepulky

It’s a common misconception that a villain needs to be sympathetic in order to be interesting. While there is certainly a place for sympathetic villains, villains who don’t give you a reason to care about them can be far from boring.

There are several reasons why an audience can love an irredeemable villain. The first reason is that some people just like to see how “deliciously evil” the antagonist can get. Be it in video game villains like Kefka from Final Fantasy VI, or anime villains like Ragyo Kiryuinn from Kill la Kill, there’s a certain appeal to seeing villains gleefully do increasingly horrible things.

Another reason people are drawn toward flat out evil characters is because they’re curious over what made them that way. This comes back to the classic argument of nature vs nurture. While some villains were seemingly born psychopathic and sadistic, such as Alex from Stanley Kubrick's “A Clockwork Orange” and Dalia Hawthorne from the Ace Attorney series, others, like Freeza from Dragon Ball Z and Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda series, are the way they are for specific reasons.

Ganondorf turned to evil because of the racism his race, the Gerudo, faced from Hyrulians, and Freeza was specifically raised by his father to be just as cruel as he is.

Continuing with Freeza, we move on to the next reason people love irredeemable villains: they love to hate them. When villains like Freeza, Joffrey Baratheon from the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, or Flowey from Undertale commit a despicable act after despicable act, the audience loves to see them every time they show up, because they can’t wait for the moment when they get their comeuppance.

And with examples like Joffery, the most cartoonishly evil character in a book series with mostly realistically written characters, the author, George R.R. Martin, made sure to have his death be as embarrassing and degrading as possible. Other examples of heinous villains dying painful and satisfying deaths are Edgar Ross from Red Dead Redemption and Uberto Alberti from Assassins Creed 2.

Beyond all of these though, there’s the trickiest type of irredeemable villain to write. The villain protagonist. Most of the examples people list as villain protagonists, such as Lelouch from Code Geass and Kratos from God of War, are actually anti heroes, although to much different degrees. Even true villain protagonists like Wander from Shadow of the Colossus, at the very least, have reasons for what they do which some people can get behind.

Some villain protagonists though, are straight up monsters, who you’d think most people wouldn’t root for. Sticking strictly to videos games for this, since it's the medium that creates the strongest ties between the audience and the media, let’s look at Spec Ops: The Line.

The protagonist Walker, while initially an anti hero, develops a more violent, sadistic streak as the game progresses. By the end, it’s hard to feel sympathy for him, but people still like him for one simple reason: He’s interesting. Like the protagonists of classic literature such as Macbeth and Odysseus, he is a good man, whose fatal flaw, in this case, Walker’s inability to let go of his dreams of being a hero, results in him becoming something he hates, and his eventual downfall.

Another similar, yet as the same time, completely different example, is Travis Touchdown from the No More Heroes series. While the second game develops Travis’s character and performs an act similar to Spec Ops: The Line by criticizing the player for committing horrible acts as a power fantasy, Travis still had a rather large fan following after the first game. For those unaware, in the first game, he was a mass murdering assassin whose primary motivation was to have sex with an attractive woman.

So why did people like him?

It wasn't because he was particularly interesting, but because he was relatable. Outside of the killing, Travis is a lot like many of the people who’d probably play his game. He’s lazy, he’s an otaku, he’s a gamer, he loves his cat, and yes, he’s openly horny.

A villain, even an incredibly evil one, doesn't have to be defined by said evil. They can, and often do, have outside interests and traits.

All of these are reasons why people love irredeemable villains.

NOTE: Special thanks to Red Angel for the help with this article.

]]>
The 10 Best Gaming YouTubers of 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/f92mn/the-10-best-gaming-youtubers-of-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/f92mn/the-10-best-gaming-youtubers-of-2016 Sun, 11 Dec 2016 05:00:01 -0500 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

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The Gaming Historian

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We're really not far from having "The History of Video Games," or "Video Game Studies" becoming a viable major in college alongside Film Studies and Art History.

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Enter The Gaming Historian.

Since 2009, he's been explaining important moments in video games history in an approachable-but-academic way, as opposed to Did You Know Gaming's more trivia-style "Did You Know?" approach. Watching his videos gives you a more complete sense of video game history. In 2016, his channel's output increased, with more documentary-style videos alongside his normal output. For gaming fan with even a passing interest in the history of the media, this channel is a must-subscribe.

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What was your favorite YouTube channel of 2016? Be sure to let us know in the comments section, and while you're here, if you're in the mood for more lists, check out our rundown of the top Final Fantasy hairstyles of all time

P.S. I have a YouTube show too, so if you're at all into sports video games, check it out!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/5d4c15cd47e22780ccc5c17b99c0ac55.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/5d4c15cd47e22780ccc5c17b99c0ac55.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10042","description":"

Yungtown

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So here's an interesting case. 2016 has been a tumultuous year for Yungtown's channel -- many of his videos talked openly about how he was struggling to find a direction for his channel. His content was still great, but it was clear that Yungtown wanted to make a change.

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And one month ago, he did. He created a heartfelt video where he swore off satire, and explained that he wanted his channel, in future videos, to become a place where everyone could share in a collective love of video games, and not laugh at people who didn't get the joke.

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His first video after that announcement shows that his channel is still pushing forward with the same wit and charm that made many of us subscribe in the first place, and it's clear that great things are coming for Yungtown. Props to him for taking a chance. Hopefully, it pays off.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/357c4ad66489a8c05012881a154f3794.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/357c4ad66489a8c05012881a154f3794.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10041","description":"

PressHeartToContinue

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This channel is a refreshing one, for multiple reasons. Despite its popularity, PressHeartToContinue is a channel that has a very down-to-earth quality to it. It's not all about video games -- there are plenty of vlogs that go into the host's life outside of YouTube and gaming. It reminds you that there's a real person on the other side of that screen.

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Other than that, the channel features reactions to (and recaps of) recent news in the worlds of anime and video games. It also features an incredibly interesting series that attempts to explain different fandoms to outsiders. 2016 has seen her channel explode in terms of sheer amount and quality of content, so do yourself a favor and check her out. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/1ac9fed2f6f27ac46dbefe48bb4cf5df.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/1ac9fed2f6f27ac46dbefe48bb4cf5df.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10040","description":"

Caddicarus

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Caddicarus's channel is another one that saw massive growth in 2016, at least in terms of content production. Currently, the channel has 4 (that's FOUR) weekly video series, focused on video games and movies. Each week, we get a top 10/20 list, a main channel video, a quick review of a current game and thoughts on a current movie.

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And though he isn't as consistent with his schedule as the guys from Continue?, he's incredibly driven, incredibly talented, and incredibly handy on the editing side. So if you like your content with a healthy sprinkling of British-ness, check Caddy out.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/1cecc182712f479b00339f6102406728.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/1cecc182712f479b00339f6102406728.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10039","description":"

Continue?

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Jeez, these guys just... they don't stop. If you've heard of Continue? before, it's likely for their weekly show where they play through the first bit of a game and then tell you whether or not they'd continue playing. 

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But in 2016, that's not nearly all they do. The channel is now chock-full of side projects, from ContinueQuest, a more traditional Let's Play series that focuses on RPGs, to ContinueSideQuest, which is...pretty much the same thing. This is all in addition to the film work that they all do when they're not working on these videos.

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The three guys behind Continue? might be the hardest-working people on YouTube, but you wouldn't know it considering their effortless on-screen personas and the ease with which they stick to their upload schedule.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/fc2da367e428d016bd53f29ae1cc9814.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/fc2da367e428d016bd53f29ae1cc9814.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10038","description":"

SpaceHamster

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For SpaceHamster, aka Jeff of PB&Jeff fame, 2016 will be remembered as the year he finally stepped out of PeanutButterGamer's shadow and really established his own identity as a YouTuber.

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Being heavily featured on the super-popular PeanutButterGamer's gameplay channel certainly helped in terms of views and subscriptions, but at the same time, 2016 saw SpaceHamster focus his channel largely on fan games, mods and bootlegs. It gave the channel specificity and helped him set himself apart from similar YouTubers and collaborators like PBG and others. 

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When you add in the fact that he has some pretty serious chops as an editor, it's not surprising that his view count has been steadily rising from video to video.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/994758fb614dd1a5dbfb652d3a55b615.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/994758fb614dd1a5dbfb652d3a55b615.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10037","description":"

DidYouKnowGaming

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You've almost definitely already heard of DYKG, one way or another. In fact, you probably already subscribe to somebody who has provided a voiceover for them. And in 2016, the channel has really come into its own as a home for video game trivia both obscure and otherwise.

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Of course, there are the main videos that examine fun facts and trivia from beloved game series, but recently the channel has also launched other side series that focus on games that never made it to US soil, as well as on canceled games.

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The channel is only getting bigger, so there's never been a better time to check the channel out and learn something new!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/0017668b03bd940c13f3033f59e22bba.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/0017668b03bd940c13f3033f59e22bba.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10036","description":"

Tsuko G.

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If you've heard of this guy before, it's because he skyrocketed to fame late last year (and early this year) with his amazing kazoo covers of songs from the Undertale soundtrack. Since then, he has appeared on Undertale's official arrangement album, as well as countless other video game remix compilations.

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Now, his channel has grown to include covers that don't involve the kazoo, from acoustic versions of video game songs to metal covers of classic songs from favorite anime series

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His upload schedule has stayed relatively constant, with a new cover or song more or less every week. So if you like video game music (or just music in general, [or if you want to hear how awesome a kazoo can sound in the hands of a master]), you need to check him out. He's definitely 2016's most unique gaming music YouTuber.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/da146cffcbaa057c3a5db4b3d82dd4a4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/da146cffcbaa057c3a5db4b3d82dd4a4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10035","description":"

Brutalmoose

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Brutalmoose is a YouTuber who has carved out a niche for himself by going after the nostalgia factor, whether it's by covering a beloved game we all remember or by covering older games that are more obscure. In 2016, however, Brutalmoose stepped out of his comfort zone. Like JonTron, Brutalmoose started covering movies as well, and even launched a Twilight-Zone-esque mini-series, focusing on weird TV shows or specials from the past.

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It's all very ambitious, and that's even before you consider how much the production value of his gaming videos has skyrocketed, from the special effects and editing to custom music. All this, and he's still been able to stick to a semi-regular upload schedule. Damn, dude.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/829d2bd1c2a69bbf7d6eddf679c6b3a5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/829d2bd1c2a69bbf7d6eddf679c6b3a5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10034","description":"

Videogamedunkey

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Back in September of 2015, Videogamedunkey stunned his fans by saying that he would never do another League of Legends video ever again. And by the end of 2016, he has largely kept his promise.

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It's important to remember that last year, Dunkey was known primarily as a LoL youtuber, and most of his audience was expecting League content from him. It was a really risky move to drop the game whole-hog, and swear off making videos about a property he no longer found fun.

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That said, it was probably the best decision he has ever made, considering his YouTube career today. His uploads are more regular, his work has gotten a lot more creative and his view count hasn't really suffered from it. He seems more motivated to create now, and for fans of the Dunk, that's great to see.

"},{"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/w/i/k/wiki-background-e7f17.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/w/i/k/wiki-background-e7f17.jpg","type":"slide","id":"144632","description":"

What makes a successful YouTube channel? Well, if you ask the internet, it's a potent mix of grit, gumption, a regular upload schedule and talent. 2016 was a year that saw many YouTubers take the next step in their online careers, getting more daring, launching more projects and generally creating better content. And with more and more people cutting the cord and exclusively getting entertainment from YouTube and other streaming sources, the future of the service as a career choice for aspiring entertainers is only getting brighter.

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With all that said, here are the 10 best YouTube channels of 2016. These are the channels that have taken massive strides forward in one way or another during the year, and they're all worth a subscription.

"}]]]>
Top 5 Weirdest Things You Can Eat in RPGs https://www.gameskinny.com/j0v49/top-5-weirdest-things-you-can-eat-in-rpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/j0v49/top-5-weirdest-things-you-can-eat-in-rpgs Sat, 10 Dec 2016 08:51:39 -0500 Unclepulky

Sometimes, the food our characters eat in RPGs can be rather strange. And even weirder can be the status effects that they have. From increasing HP to curing all sorts of diseases, food in video games can at times make you scratch your head. 

From the odd but edible to things that have nothing to do with food (but your character can eat anyway), these are the Top 5 Weirdest Things You Can Eat in RPGs.

5. Cup of Lifenoodles (Earthbound)

As tasty as these noodles seem to be, the concept of this food item is just odd. It's a cup of gas station ramen noodles that have the power to instantly get rid of any of the dozens of status ailments present in Earthbound. This means that these noodles are an all in one miracle cure.

From asthma to blindness, homesickness to poisoning, and unconsciousness to uncontrollable crying (!), there's nothing this soup can't cure.

(Oddly, real-life Ramen noodles, while tasty, are nearly the complete opposite. Just look at those nutrition facts!)

4. Dog Salad (Undertale)

Tongue in cheek humor is one of the most endearing aspects of Undertale. It flows into every part of the game, including the food items available for purchase.

There are an assortment of edibles in the game, some of which sound rather tasty. Among these are butterscotch pie, the glamburger and the Legendary Hero, a sandwich shaped like a sword.

However, there are plenty of strange, and frankly inedible, items as well. And topping them all is Dog Salad.

Yes, it's exactly what you think it is. Dog. Salad. 

This (gross) item increases your health at random intervals, and accompanying each amount of health gain is a different, sometimes gross, recipe: 

  • Oh. There are bones...2 HP is Healed
  • Oh. Fried tennis ball...10 HP is Healed
  • Oh. Tastes yappy...30 HP is Healed
  • It's literally garbage???- All HP is Healed 

Yeah, it gets a little weird. 

3. Pillow (Dracula)

Do text based games without any graphics count as RPGs?

Probably not, but this is too funny to not include.

In Dracula for the Commodore 64, you play as the Prince of Darkness himself, and type in commands for him to follow and act out. One of these is the "Eat" command. You can make him eat just about anything, including, of all things, a pillow.

And, what does the greatest vampire to ever "live" have to say in response to swallowing a pillow?

"Yuck."

Yeah, we'll have to agree with old vamp-head on this one. Yuck. And speaking of gross ...

2. Vomit and Roaches (Diary of a Spaceport Janitor)

This little known indie title is just strange all around. There's no epic adventure; you just pick up trash. Whoo!

However, fittingly for this game's offbeat nature, some of the things you can eat are vomit and roaches. Like the pillow in Dracula, these repugnant noms don't have any status effects, but unlike the pillow, there's an actual purpose to eating them.

It's because...you're a janitor! That's it. Really. Because sweeping this junk up wasn't enough. 

1. Whaka Bump (Paper Mario)

"A lump of something," it's called in the flavor text. Those of you who haven't played the Paper Mario games may not know what that "Something" is. Well ...

It's flesh.

Specifically, it's the forehead bump that you knock off of this little guy:

And SOMEHOW, eating the uncooked forehead bump of this mole-like creature causes the restoration of 25 HP and 25 HP.

Video. Game. Logic. It never ceases to amaze. Who knew Mario was such a monster.

So there you have it. Video game food is weird and often doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. But if game world's were just filled with cheeseburgers and pizzas, they also wouldn't be unique, would they? 

If you had to eat one of these things, which would you choose? What's the weirdest thing YOU'VE ever eaten in an RPG? Let us know in the comments!

 

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11 Tasty-Looking Game Foods That We're Dying to Try https://www.gameskinny.com/elpy4/11-tasty-looking-game-foods-that-were-dying-to-try https://www.gameskinny.com/elpy4/11-tasty-looking-game-foods-that-were-dying-to-try Mon, 26 Dec 2016 03:00:01 -0500 Unclepulky

Food is good.

It's a simple, Kindergarten level statement, yet at the same time, I don't think anyone would try to say it isn't true. And, since video games often star people as the main characters, it makes sense that they would like food too.

Here, I'll be taking a brief look at eleven of the tastiest looking foods in video games. I'll give the background and descriptions of each food item if available, and, since I have a culinary background, I'll give my two cents on how I think each food item is made.

Princess Peach's Cake (Super Mario Bros. Series)

Throughout the Super Mario games, we often hear that Mario's reward for rescuing Princess Peach from Bowser is cake.

Now, cake is tasty, but for Mario to still be saving her after, at the very least, ten separate kidnappings, Peach must be one of the greatest bakers to ever grace the Mushroom Kingdom.

One of the few times we actually get to see what I've dubbed, "Motivation Cake," is in Super Mario 64, the above image coming from its DS remake.

Now, from the outside, this looks like a basic vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. However, we must remember that this cake is baked specially for Mario, the Italian stereotype to end all Italian stereotypes.

Maybe, just maybe, that cake is filled with not cream, but spaghetti and meatballs.

Sea Salt Ice Cream Popsicle (Kingdom Hearts Series)

Moving on from the possibility of one of the strangest, most unrealistic cakes ever, we have something that you can actually make for yourself quite easily! 

Sea salt ice cream is a frequent motif in the Kingdom Hearts series, and, like many things in those games, it's used as a symbol of friendship. It's greatest use was in the criminally underrated Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, in which it's used to represent the bond between Roxas, Xion, and Axel.

Now, salty ice cream is pretty delicious, especially if you mix in some dulce de leche, but if you just want to replace the blue ice cream bars seen in the games, all that's really necessary is to make some vanilla ice cream with sea salt in the mixture, and color it blue.

Ramen (The World Ends with You)

Regular old ramen? I think not!

 In the JPRG, The World Ends with You, one of the quests in the game involves assisting a traditional ramen chef. As Neku, you must help him figure out a way to have his restaurant complete with a new, trendy ramen bar.

While many different types of ramen are shown off, and even more are available for purchase throughout the game, it's the old fashioned, plain ramen, which is described to be the tastiest.

A traditional ramen dish consists of wheat noodles in a meat or fish based broth, usually flavored by miso or soy, and includes toppings such as pork seaweed and onions. Looking at the soup shown in the game, a quail egg may add some tasty extra flavor.

Sandvich (Team Fortress 2)

The Sandvich is a secondary weapon for the Heavy in Team Fortress 2. When eaten, the Heavy regains up to 300 health, and, it can also be shared with a friend.

Unlike most of these foods, we know exactly what the Sandvich consists of. Between the slices of bread are lettuce, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, and a few slices of both ham and bologna. Lastly, topping the Sandvich is a green pimento-stuffed olive.

Who wouldn't like to eat a sandwich the tastes great AND heals your wounds?

Spaghetti (Undertale)

In the hit indie game Undertale, one of the main supporting characters, the skeleton Papyrus, loves to make spaghetti.

Now, while those who have tasted it have said that Papyrus's spaghetti tastes rather bad, there would be a serious upside to eating it.

Papyrus... only serves spaghetti to his friends.

And no matter how unpleasant the taste of his spaghetti may be, getting to be Papyrus's friend would be worth it, as he is possibly one of the nicest characters in any video game.

Pumpkin Soup (Skyward Sword)

Pumpkin flavored anything may now be synonyms with stereotypical, vapid teenage girls, but when you get down to it, pumpkin is still a very tasty ingredient.

In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, you can visit a pub known as The Lumpy Pumpkin. There, in addition to completing several quests, you can purchase Hot Pumpkin Soup.

While it'll lose some of its healing capabilities after it gets cold, when it's nice and hot, it's more effective than a red potion.

In addition to healing your wounds, we know that this soup tastes fantastic as it is the preferred food of the sky guardian Levias. And if it's good enough for a giant sky-whale, it's good enough for you.

The Cake (Portal)

Here, we have what appears to be a basic cake with chocolate frosting, topped with cherries and whipped cream.

While that would definitely be tasty, during the final battle with GLaDOS, the intelligence core recites the entire recipe. While there are plenty of items in the recipe that could make a cake extra delicious, such as coconut pecan frosting and fish shaped candies... there are also items included in the recipe like "Fish shaped volatile organic compound and sediment shaped sediment" and "Injector Needle Gun."

My advice? Leave out the ingredients that will cause you to die, and sit yourself down to enjoy a tasty chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting.

Heart Stopper Burger (Grand Theft Auto 4)

DO NOT TRY TO ACTUALLY MAKE THIS!

Unlike the cake from Portal, there's no way to remove the lethal elements from this dish without turning it into a normal hamburger.

Lets count for a moment. According to this advertisement, the Heart Stopper 6lb Burger includes at least nine meat patties, five slices of what I can only hope is something resembling cheese, lettuce, pickles, tomato, and onion.

If you choose to make this burger for yourself and eat it, you will die. There's no getting around that. However, it would be the tastiest death ever.

Cup of Lifenoodles (Earthbound)

 The greatest cup of noodles ever to be cooked!

While as a standard cup of noodles, its taste can't compare to the traditional ramen seen in The World Ends with You, these noodles have the ability to cure any ailment.

Broken arm? Eat a cup of Lifenoodles. Have a fever? Eat a cup of Lifenoodles. Knocked unconscious by a guy because you're enough of a nerd to write about tasty video game food? Have a friend pour some Lifenoodles down your throat.

So long as you can stomach overly-salty gas station noodles, there's nothing Lifenoodles can't help you overcome.

Honningbrew Mead (Skyrim)

Out of all the alcoholic beverages I've had in my life, none have tasted better than homemade mead.

From my experience making it with my older brother, I've learned that there are several crucial aspects of making a good mead. Most importantly perhaps is how long you let it ferment. Quality mead needs a lot of time to sit, with a minimum of a year.

Seeing as how we have no idea what Honningbrew Mead tastes like, I imagine it to taste like one of my favorite flavors of mead: Chamomile, Maple, or Honey.

Since there are readers of this site who aren't old enough to drink, and even more who aren't qualified to make their own alcohol, I'm not going to lay out the process.

However, for those of you who really do want to learn, look around on the internet. There are plenty of tutorials to quench your thirst for knowledge.

Dots (PacMan)

For nearly four decades, Pacman has been eating these white dots. And spin-off games aside, that's really all that he does.

So what do these tiny, little, white pixels taste like?!

Surely, they must be good enough to risk getting killed by ghosts for. However, we have no idea what flavors they contain. Are they salty or sweet? Bitter or sour?

Perhaps the answer... is yes.

Perhaps this is a food so delicious, so perfect, that it perfectly balances all possible flavors.

That is the way of the dot. That is the way of the Pacman.

What food from games do you want now? And what would you throw in the dust, and not even leave for the dogs? Let us know in the comments below.

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Are RPGs Doomed to be Dumbed Down Forever? https://www.gameskinny.com/piis0/are-rpgs-doomed-to-be-dumbed-down-forever https://www.gameskinny.com/piis0/are-rpgs-doomed-to-be-dumbed-down-forever Fri, 18 Nov 2016 04:27:45 -0500 Unclepulky

Any long time player of RPGs can tell you that that genre has changed a lot over the last few decades. And, unfortunately, the things they have to say about the current state of the genre aren't positive.

The first commercially available tabletop RPG was the first edition of Dungeons and Dragons, released in 1974. A few years later, the concept of the RPG would move over to video game platforms such as the Atari 2600 and the NES. While these early games were rough and, for the most part, don't hold up too well, things quickly improved.

Many of the RPGs from the 90s are known as some of the best games of all time. The Final Fantasy series really hit its stride with numbers IV, VI, and VII, Earthbound showed that the genre could have non sci-fi or fantasy based games and still be a success, and the greatness of Chrono Trigger is denied by none.

What made these, and numerous other RPGs from this time, special weren't the refined gameplay or updated graphics compared to what had come before, but the stories. Stories which had never been told before, that had real, meaningful themes, and rich characters which players could relate to and care about.

Sadly though, its been a long time since stories like these were the norm for the genre.

To be fair, in the 2000s, things still weren't looking too bad. Final Fantasy has arguably its best iteration of all time in IX, players gained more control over the direction the stories took, the action and strategy RPG genres gained a lot of popularity, and of course, there was the release of my favorite game of all time, The World Ends with You.

However, it was during this time that the tropes and cliches of the genre became more noticeable and prevalent. There were even tropes which didn't come into existence until the 2000s that people got sick of within the decade. Ex. Morality systems.

                                      This game still rocks though.

And now in the present, AAA RPGs have, for the most part, become a joke. Gone are the days of stories with actual meaning, and in their place are games which feel they can get by solely on flash visuals. Even the gameplay seems more shallow now.

For the sake of comparison, lets look at Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, released in 1985, and Final Fantasy XIII, originally released in Japan in 2009.

In Ultima IV, there is no antagonist for the player to go up against. Instead, you, as The Avatar, spend your time traveling the world, teaching interesting lessons about morality to others, and by extension, teaching the player.

In Final Fantasy XIII, your party consists of a ragtag team of idiots who are, for the most part, very difficult to sympathize with, and you travel around never really understanding what's going on because most of the game's lore is only available to learn about in data logs. And even if you do understand what's happening, there is no depth to the story beyond "We are friends and that makes us strong."

Sure, Ultima IV's graphics are horrendous compared to the beautiful presentation of Final Fantasy XIII, but it's clear which of these games is more interesting.

So, are we stuck in a world without great modern RPGs?

Not in the slightest!

Major developers may not be bringing their A game, but these past few years, the indie scene has been picking up the slack.

Evoland paid homage to all of the classic RPG tropes without simply recycling them, Gingiva threw logic away and worked as a surrealist masterpiece, and Undertale, with a story that can stand aside Final Fantasy VI's and Persona 4's as one of the greats, was one of the most popular games of 2015.

And with basic programs like RPG Maker available for an affordable price, we've got people whom, despite their limited resources, can bring their visions to life. Sure, there are tons of generic and downright bad RPG Maker games, but for everyone of those, there's a The Logomancer.

So no, we don't have anything to worry about. As long as there are independent developers with a story to tell, the gaming community will never stop getting great RPGs.

 

]]>
These Video Game Artists Make Your Fandom Game Look Weak https://www.gameskinny.com/9ftub/these-video-game-artists-make-your-fandom-game-look-weak https://www.gameskinny.com/9ftub/these-video-game-artists-make-your-fandom-game-look-weak Thu, 08 Dec 2016 03:00:02 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/908462ce8e6da7172ca3efc6d33b1aa7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/908462ce8e6da7172ca3efc6d33b1aa7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"9921","description":"
RichaadEB
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I think it's safe to say that I have an unhealthy addiction to just about all things Undertale, and I think the biggest thing fueling that addiction is covers of the amazing music from the game, RichaadEB and the work he does on his YouTube channel.

\n

RichaadEB has made a series of metal covers of the big themes from Undertale, and they are earcandy.

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If you've been looking to get down on some damn good metal covers of really good video game music, look no further than the Determination album that RichaadEB did with an artist called Ace Waters. Do yourself a favor and check out his YouTube channel. And if you like what you hear, go pick up his album on his Bandcamp page.

"},{"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/c/r/o/crochet-otaku-5d898.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/c/r/o/crochet-otaku-5d898.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140818","description":"
Crochet Otaku
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I think one of my favorite things to come out of the internet in recent years is Etsy. There's something special about getting something hand-crafted by someone that shares the same love that you do for something. Crochet Otaku is one of those people.

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Currently, her Etsy page doesn't have anything for sale but some of the work she has done in the past can be viewed. I never knew that I wanted a crocheted Slowpoke Tail, but now I know that I want a crocheted Slowpoke Tail.

"},{"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/o/k/pokemon-uranium-63803.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/p/o/k/pokemon-uranium-63803.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140816","description":"
Pokemon Uranium
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By now, I'm sure everybody has heard of this game. If you haven't, Pokemon Uranium is a fan-made Pokemon game for PC using the same engine that the GameBoy Advance versions of the original games. Sadly, you can't get ahold of it anymore as Nintendo shut down the game and all official download links. But, if you were lucky enough to get ahold of the game before it was shut down, you'd know that this may be one of the best Pokemon titles you've ever played.

\n

I think the biggest place where Pokemon Uranium succeeds is the fact that it feels like a real Pokemon game. Everything about it feels familiar to the Pokemon series. The battle system remains the same, the exploration that we know and love from the original series is still here, everything that we know and love from that original series can be found in this game while adding some new features to make it feel fresh.

\n

Some of these new additions are new Pokemon types (such as the nuclear type) and blending of types for some completely new Pokemon that the developers created specifically for the game (such as a water/electric type). There are some of the Pokemon that we have already seen in previous iterations of the game but, these new Pokemon are fun to play with and feel like they belong in the world of Pokemon.

\n

While playing the game, I could feel the love of the original series that was poured into the game. This project was truly something special and it's sad that more people won't get to enjoy it.

"},{"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/u/n/d/undertale-snowdin-nightmargin-d9wg581-18445.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/u/n/d/undertale-snowdin-nightmargin-d9wg581-18445.png","type":"slide","id":"140814","description":"
NightMargin
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I was actually introduced to this artist by my girlfriend when she bought a print of the piece you see above back from a convention. I have a soft spot for Undertale fan art, so I immediately fell in love with the piece. After looking up the rest of their work, I happen to adore NightMargin's style.

I think part of what draws me to their work is that it seems that indie games are their focus. Besides a lot of pieces based on Undertale, they have a lot of art based on Hyper Light Drifter, which I found to be absolutely fantastic.

If you want to check out more of NightMargin's work you can check out their Deviant Art page.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/0a5eac8ea678429011202c4d19f2ccfd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/0a5eac8ea678429011202c4d19f2ccfd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"9917","description":"
Materia Collective
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I'm a firm believer that music charms the soul and when we're talking about some of the best fan-made music, Materia Collective should be something you all should know about. Materia Collective is a group of musicians that come together to make video game inspired music. Whether it's covers of the original music or remixes, these folks know what they're doing. They also have a wide range of musicians making music for them. I've heard everything from full orchestral arrangements to metal covers and even electronic pieces.

\n

Now let me tell you that I am a little biased as one of my favorite people in the world happens to be a musician with the Materia Collective. But outside of that, they are still a phenomenal group of musicians that you all should be aware of. If you want to hear more of what they have to offer, go check out their Bandcamp page.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/i/drifter-chillin-biodrawxel-da7jj9d-36b95.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/d/r/i/drifter-chillin-biodrawxel-da7jj9d-36b95.png","type":"slide","id":"140808","description":"

Fan art has become quite the business in the gaming world. Everywhere you look, new artists are always popping up with some type of great work. Just scrolling through a game's Reddit page is almost guaranteed to net you some good looking fan art.

But what about the ones who rise above the rest to go from zero to hero? This list is here to show off just a selection of different artists that make your fandom game look weak.

"}]]]>
Gift Guide 2016: 10 Gifts to Gamify Your Desk https://www.gameskinny.com/y9zd4/gift-guide-2016-10-gifts-to-gamify-your-desk https://www.gameskinny.com/y9zd4/gift-guide-2016-10-gifts-to-gamify-your-desk Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:00:02 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

[{"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/t/r/stressball02-55daf.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/t/r/stressball02-55daf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140610","description":"
Rocket League Stressball 
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Price: $8

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Where to buy: Rocket League Official Store

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Rating 3/5

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Work is stressful. Everybody knows it. Luckily, with this Rocket League stressball, you have something that can diffuse any of anger that may build up throughout the day. Just squeeze this little guy and think about getting that sick goal that you've always dreamt about.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/m/mimic-chest-plush-3b2d7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/m/mimic-chest-plush-3b2d7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140609","description":"
Dark Souls Mimic Chest Plush
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Price: $45

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Where to buy: Etsy

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Rating: 5/5

\n

These little guys can be some of the worst things in Dark Souls, but here they make for absolutely adorable little plushies. Look at the little monster! It's so darn cute! 

"},{"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/1/f/4/1f45-starcraft-pylon-power-station-72964.gif","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/1/f/4/1f45-starcraft-pylon-power-station-72964.gif","type":"slide","id":"140608","description":"
Starcraft Protoss Pylon USB Charger
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Price: $39.99

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Where to buy: ThinkGeek

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Rating 4/5

\n

Let me preface this that I am not an avid player of StarCraft, but this thing looks awesome, right? This charger provides 2.1 amps of power between two USB charging ports. If you're one to spend hours at a time trying to get more actions per minute, this is the gift for you.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/9/c/e9cc-portal-bookends-e7e3f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/9/c/e9cc-portal-bookends-e7e3f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140605","description":"
Portal Bookends
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Price: $29.99

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Where to buy: ThinkGeek

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Rating: 5/5

\n

Is your desk cluttered with binders and books? Do you wish that you had something to organize them? Then these are the bookends for you. Portal is one of the most beloved games in recent years. These are the perfect fit for any gamer's desk.

"},{"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/m/r/imro-led-potion-lamp-141b2.gif","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/m/r/imro-led-potion-lamp-141b2.gif","type":"slide","id":"140604","description":"
LED Potion Desk Lamp
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Price: $44.99

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Where to buy: ThinkGeek

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Rating: 3/5

\n

Potions are commonplace in our world, aren't they? They heal us, they restore our stamina and on occasion, they allow us to breathe fire. With this handy little lamp on your desk, you can brighten up that corporate dungeon with new life. 

"},{"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/g/l/a/glassbottle-webver-7ab27.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/g/l/a/glassbottle-webver-7ab27.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140600","description":"
Overwatch Glass Water Bottle
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Price: $15

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Where to buy: Blizzard Store

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Rating: 4.5/5

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I've heard it said that the world could always use more heroes, but even heroes need to hydrate. Thankfully, this awesome Overwatch water bottle can help you out. This rad water bottle holds 11.4oz of liquid and looks sick as hell. If you're wanting to show off that you're quite the sharpshooter as McRee or can give everybody the heals as Mercy, this is the liquid holding vessel for you.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/j/l/n/jlnk-fallout-pip-boy-mug-c5f63.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/j/l/n/jlnk-fallout-pip-boy-mug-c5f63.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140598","description":"
Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Coffee Mug
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Price: $19.99

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Where to buy: ThinkGeek

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Rating: 4/5

\n

If you're anything like me, you don't run well in the morning without that black ambrosia we call coffee. But how do you let your fellow co-workers know that you would rather be out in the wasteland slaying super mutants than sitting in your cubicle? This mug, that's how.

"},{"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/o/s/poster-shop-96add.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/p/o/s/poster-shop-96add.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140596","description":"
Killer Gaming Posters
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Price: $8 and up

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Where to buy: Fangamer

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Rating: 5/5

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Does your workspace look like an asylum cell? Are the white walls closing in around you? If so, Fangamer is here to save the day once more. Their poster shop has some of the coolest posters from a wide range of games. From Metroid to Earthbound and beyond, Fangamer's got the art you need. 

"},{"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/u/n/d/undertale-little-buddies-39bf2.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/u/n/d/undertale-little-buddies-39bf2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140557","description":"
Undertale Little Buddies Figures
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Price: $15/figure, $70/set

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Where to buy: Fangamer (Series 1 Set, Series 2 Set)

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Rating: 4/5

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Last year, I fell in love with Undertale. Everything about the game just spoke to me, and I've been recommending it to friends ever since. If you're like me, you have been trying to get more pieces of the game into your life in any way you can. Well, look no further because Fangamer has you covered.

These little figures are absolutely adorable and are a welcome sight on any gamer's desk. Currently, two sets of the figures are available, and you can buy each figure separately if you choose. 

"},{"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/o/p/pop-funko-26af8.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/p/o/p/pop-funko-26af8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"140556","description":"
Pop Funko Vinyl Figures
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Price: $10.99/figure and up

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Where to buy: Walmart, Target, Walgreens, GameStop and just about anywhere that sells toys.

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Rating: 3.75/5

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I have an unhealthy addiction to these little things. There is currently a small horde of them on the top shelf of my desk watching over me. I have figures from a wide range of different games like BioshockFallout 3, Fallout 4 and Overwatch. They are just so cute and great little things to let people know where your true allegiances lie. Be careful, though: What will start as a small collection could very well grow into an exponentially large one overnight. 

"},{"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/g/a/m/gamer-gift-guide-ba20c.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/g/a/m/gamer-gift-guide-ba20c.png","type":"slide","id":"140281","description":"

You're sitting at work, droning away at some report that you've got to get done by five sharp. You look around your workspace and realize it's extremely dull. You think to yourself, "Boy, I wish I was back at home shooting down some ghouls or slaying some griffins. A nice round of Overwatch would be nice right now. If only there was some way I could subtly let my co-workers know that I'd rather be gaming right now."

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Fear not, for this guide is here to aid you in this trying time!

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That's right folks, it's that time of year again, where we buy gifts for people in an attempt to bring them an ounce joy in this cruel, cruel world. This guide is for the working gamer. With these gifts, you will be able adorn your desks with items to let those co-workers know that you'd rather be at home gaming.

"}]]]>
Creator Spotlight: Show off Your Geek Pride with DeepFriedArt https://www.gameskinny.com/l6y43/creator-spotlight-show-off-your-geek-pride-with-deepfriedart https://www.gameskinny.com/l6y43/creator-spotlight-show-off-your-geek-pride-with-deepfriedart Thu, 10 Nov 2016 15:00:02 -0500 Glitchieetv

DeepFriedArt has a plethora of T-shirts and other fashion designs available in their Etsy shop. Drawing from popular culture, video games and other sources, there is something for everyone in their collection of merchandise.

From Five Nights at Freddy's themed shirts to Pokemon Go phone cases, a wide variety of genres are covered by their products. Take a look at the selections below to get a feel for their merchandise. 

Yoshi Park Youth Shirt
Five Nights at Freddy's Poster Art Print
Team Valor Pokemon Go Inspired Phone Case
Undertale Flowey Unisex Adult Shirt

Check out their Etsy shop for the full selection of items available. Which is your favorite product? 

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Creator Spotlight: Egyptianruin https://www.gameskinny.com/it15a/creator-spotlight-egyptianruin https://www.gameskinny.com/it15a/creator-spotlight-egyptianruin Thu, 27 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 Glitchieetv

Egyptianruin, Owner of Cute 'N Kitschy

This week's creator spotlight goes to Egyptianruin, owner of Cute 'N Kitschy, an Etsy store filled with small items, often geek related. While there are more than just video game pieces in the shop, the work presented and the vast selection are what drew me to Egyptianruin's work. The items are handmade and range in size from smaller than a quarter to the size of the palm of their hand. The following selections are just a few of the products offered, so take a look at the shop for the full collection. 

Animal Cross New Leaf Charm Bracelet

Animal Crossing New Leaf has a large fan following. This small charm bracelet is customizable, with the purchaser choosing which characters to include. 

White Xbox 360 Controller Pendant

For the Xbox lovers, this white acrylic pendant is perfect. Modeled after the Xbox 360 controller, it is super recognizable, with all the pieces amazingly crafted.

Sans and Papyrus Undertale Earrings

Sans and Papyrus from indie game Undertale have a wide fan following. These earrings are super cute. Great as a present for the Undertale obsessed in your life or for yourself, show your appreciation of the skeleton brothers.

N64 Controller Pendant

Ahhh, the N64. An iconic, classic piece of gaming history. Wear the retro controller in a variety of colors, such as gray, blue and red. Again, perfectly constructed at such a small size, the craftsmanship is astounding.

With such mastery over the creation of tiny, geeky items, it is no wonder Egyptianruin has a successful Etsy shop. Check out the other items listed, purchase some custom items, and let her know we sent you.

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Submissions For Undertale Fan Art Book To Close On Sunday https://www.gameskinny.com/q4g7u/submissions-for-undertale-fan-art-book-to-close-on-sunday https://www.gameskinny.com/q4g7u/submissions-for-undertale-fan-art-book-to-close-on-sunday Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:32:48 -0400 MitchBroYo

Gaming charity Gamers for Good is set to close submissions for their latest charity fan art book on Sunday, October 16th. The book, based on artwork from Undertale, will feature user-submitted fan art and other custom-created content.

The project has the backing of Undertale creator Toby Fox, whose game has already helped inspire many gamers around the world suffering from depression. Gamers for Good's project hopes to similarly remove the 'META' barriers from our culture to get people thinking differently about mental health issues.

“As someone who has dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life, I know the struggles and the isolation that can come with mental health conditions. With such a personal connection to this issue, I wanted to find a way to find a way to start a public conversation people could join in and not feel so alone. Gamers for Good Presents: UnderTale is that answer we were looking for.”

-- Liz Cooper, President of Gamers for Good

Submissions for the competition have been open for a few months, but the latest update reveals the closing date. A Kickstarter campaign for the publication will then commence on October 18th.

Proceeds from the book will be donated to three organizations: Anxiety Gaming, Take This, and Child's Play.

If you're a budding artist, keen musician, or just have a kick-ass cosplay outfit you want to show off, then you can get involved by submitting your content at the Gamers for Good website. But with less than a week to go, you'd better be quick.

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5 Unconventional Horror Games To Play This Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/ftr4d/5-unconventional-horror-games-to-play-this-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/ftr4d/5-unconventional-horror-games-to-play-this-halloween Mon, 10 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

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That's the list! I hope it was just as fun and full of sunshine and joy for you as it was for me! If you feel that there was a game that should have been on this list but wasn't, or you'd like to commend us on a particular game we DID pick, feel free to comment below and let us know! If you end up playing any of these games and enjoying them, feel free to let us know about that too! It's always fun getting creeped out together.

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Stay safe out there this Halloween!

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Killer7

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(Gamecube, PS2)
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Picking just one screenshot to properly describe Killer7 is absolutely impossible. Even using just words to describe how abnormal this game is really isn't enough to do it justice -- but I'm sure as hell gonna try.

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Killer7 is a game that seeks to break convention in nearly every manner possible. It changes up controls, camera perspective, and GUI standards to the fullest extent that it can without becoming incomprehensible. It is a truly unique video game, but what's more unique than its gameplay, is its serious and disturbing plot/subject matter. 

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Killer7 is a game that truly earns the M Rating on the cover of its box. It is loaded with themes of murder, sexual assault, rape, religious cults, the killing of children, organ harvesting, and terrorism...among many others. All of these themes are used with purpose in the story, rather than just for shock value, and they help to string together a plot revolving around international political intrigue and supernatural terrorism.

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With all of the disturbing things present in this game, you might be surprised to learn that Killer7 is not a horror game. It's just a game that seeks to tell a serious and gripping story -- while also being very weird, as it is a game that also has anime parodies and lucha libre wrestlers as serious plot points.

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It compounds its disturbing subject matter and the bizarre world in which takes place with a bright color palette, ludicrous enemy designs, and sometimes comedic dialogue -- creating a game that lives to intrigue as well as confuse. Despite all of these seemingly random elements mixed together, Killer7 comes out as a truly trippy and disturbing experience that's perfect for horror enthusiasts and story buffs alike, and it must be seen to be believed.     

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If you honestly want ANY sort of idea what kind of game Killer7 really is, then you NEED to watch the trailer down below. Maybe it will help. Maybe...

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"},{"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/u/n/d/undertale-genocide-run-a6b62.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/u/n/d/undertale-genocide-run-a6b62.png","type":"slide","id":"135958","description":"

Undertale (Genocide Run)

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(PC, Mac)
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You're gonna have a bad time.

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Undertale is one of the most fascinating examples of video game narrative released in years. Because depending on which of two ways you play it, Undertale can either be one of the funniest, most good-natured, and kindest games about humanity and sympathy ever crafted -- or it can be a paralyzingly grim tale of mistrust, hatred, and the relentless slaughtering of innocent people.

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If you've played Undertale before, you more likely than not played the Pacifist Route first, which is the way that the game was intended to be played. If this is the case, and by some additional miracle you've managed to avoid the game's overexposure on the internet, and then went to play the Genocide Run without knowing anything about it -- you are in for the shock of your life.

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It takes the typical gaming standard of mindlessly ending the lives of enemy monsters and makes you feel like you really are the bad guy after all. All of the people who could have just easily been your friends, become obstacles in your path that you must crush to dust.

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(Also, a brief but very important DISCLAIMER: DO NOT PLAY THE GENOCIDE ROUTE FIRST IF YOU HAVE NEVER PLAYED THE GAME BEFORE. Just trust me. The game will be ruined for you after this. Because the game will remember what you've done -- and it will not forgive you.) 

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Considering that pretty much everything about Undertale is best experienced without spoilers, and I'm already kind of doing that by talking about it at all, I'll just show you the game's trailer. That way you can decide for yourself whether or not this game looks like it has some of the most disturbing murder scenes ever put in a game hiding inside it.

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Sonic Dreams Collection

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(PC) 
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The Sonic the Hedgehog series is famous these days, in part, for the bizarrely wide reach of its fanbase, and what some of these fans have created. Sonic Dreams Collection is a fan-made effort from the same creators as Bubsy 3D 2 . It plays like an interactive art-film that analogizes what both the Sonic fanbase and the Sonic series itself have become. 

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The game masquerades itself as a collection of incomplete Sonic game projects that were meant to be released on the Sega Dreamcast back in the 90's. And from a somewhat exaggerated, but still silly and colorful start, Sonic Dreams Collection quickly becomes a living hell fresh out of the dark side of Deviantart.  

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All horror is subjective of course, but let it be made clear that if you find overt sexual themes uncomfortable, or don't like to talk about any sort of sexual fetish to any degree, then stay far away from this game. Sonic Dreams Collection is more disturbing and creepy than it is outright scary, but if you find existentialism and overt sexuality scary, then click to the next slide right now. 

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Regardless of whether or not you end up finding this game funny rather than disturbing, Sonic Dreams Collection is a wildly bizarre game regardless. Enter at your own risk.

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"},{"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/9/9/9/999-banner-d828a.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/9/9/9/999-banner-d828a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135962","description":"

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

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(DS, iOS)
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999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is a visual novel mystery/puzzle adventure game, and the first entry in the Zero Escape series.

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In the game you play as Junpei, one of nine random people who are mostly complete strangers to one another. You and the others wake up to find themselves trapped on an abandoned cruise ship, only to then be informed by a mysterious figure that they have 9 hours to escape the boat together before they are all killed. You travel through the ship and its wide assortment of bleak, lonely, and sometimes unnerving locations in a first-person perspective, while talking to 2D characters with excellent sprite work, solving puzzles, and exploring 3D-rendered environments in a style somewhat similar to Myst

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The strongest points of 999 are its excellent atmosphere and writing. Every empty room that resembles a normal room, yet stripped of functionality or any view of the outside world, cements the feeling that you are trapped in hostile location against your will. This is all backed up by the excellent soundtrack and sound design, as the often-eerie and droning music is accompanied by the heavy creaking of the ship to create an oppressive tension in the air, making you feel as though you are trapped in the belly of a massive, unfeeling beast.

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The writing, again, is phenomenal. Every character is distinct and memorable, and each of them carries various different motivations for their actions -- both obvious and hidden. As you make your way towards the unknown and unseen exit, you must work together with the other people in order to succeed. Yet at the same time, you have no reason to trust them, and some of them give you perfectly legitimate reasons to distrust them entirely. Death and plot twists are around every corner, and events take an unexpected turn early on, which ramps the tension up high right off the bat.

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It must be clarified that despite all of the game's positive qualities, 999 is designed in a way that expects the player to play through the game several times in different ways in order to eventually discover the true ending. There are multiple bad endings, and dying about halfway through and starting all the way over is a very real possibility. Combine that with the large amounts of text you are expected to read, seeing as this is a visual novel, and you can see that this game isn't for everyone.  

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But if it looks interesting to you at all, and you're looking for well-written, dark, and truly gripping story, I'd highly recommend you look further into 999.

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I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

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(PC, Mac, Linux)
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Let's start this list off really heavy, why don't we? Based on the novel of the same name by Ellison Harlan, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is a game where you cannot win. You can only lose heroically, or in a manner that doesn't involve eternal torment, because this game is horrifically, gut-wrenchingly depressing.  

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It's a 2D point-and-click adventure game revolving around five different people, all of whom are the last surviving humans on Earth. They are being tormented by a colossal supercomputer called AM, who creates a different world for each to explore that best torments them and exploits their greatest character flaws. As these worlds are slowly exposed to you, along with the flaws of the characters, you are forced to come to grips with the fact that you are trapped in an illusion while being forced to relieve the most traumatic experiences of these peoples lives -- and escape is nearly impossible 

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It's a story-driven experience with an extremely dark and twisted plot, loaded with very serious and disturbing subject matter that runs the gamut from rape to the Holocaust. And it is not a game where the "happy" ending is easy to find. Even in the best case scenario where you can escape from AM, what you're escaping to is the ruins of civilization -- and while that's much less horrible than the torture you endured, it's still a miserable existence devoid of purpose. Fun!

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If you want to feel terrible this Halloween, while also feeling grateful that you aren't being tortured for all eternity, then give I Have No Mouth, and I must Scream a look.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/n/song-saya-banner-a14ae.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/n/song-saya-banner-a14ae.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135965","description":"
DISCLAIMER: This article is NSFW!
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Horror games have seen a resurgence in popularity in the last few years. Both indie and AAA developers alike (although mostly indies) have begun to realize that there is a large and continuously growing audience for horror media. And as such, many developers have taken to making more and more games that cater to their demand to be scared out of their wits.

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But today, we aren't going to be talking about the typical horror games you always hear about. Today we're going to give honorable mention to horror games that break the mold formed by most other popular horror experiences, such as Five Nights at Freddy's and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Instead, we're going to focus on the games that gave us horror in a new or unconventional way. 

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So for those of you who are tired of the tried-and-tested formula of darkened corridors, jump-scares, and decrepit abandoned buildings, these are a few games that can spook you a different way -- and perhaps even disturb or disgust you. It should be said that not all of these games are actually horror games by design, but that doesn't mean they can't be made for Halloween, and that they can't still be scary.

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Alright...let's get spooky in here.

"}]]]>
Cosplay and Indie Games: A Match Made in Gaming Heaven https://www.gameskinny.com/j99vb/cosplay-and-indie-games-a-match-made-in-gaming-heaven https://www.gameskinny.com/j99vb/cosplay-and-indie-games-a-match-made-in-gaming-heaven Tue, 04 Oct 2016 06:00:02 -0400 Glitchieetv

Independent game developers often have a lot on their plate. Between creating the game, having an interesting story and working out bugs, they also have to find an audience willing to purchase their product. Often times this comes through Steam and its Greenlight program, which gives developers a way to bring attention to their game. Kickstarter can be a major boon, but if funding goals are not met the game will struggle to be developed. Others find the game through online reviews or word of mouth. People even become interested in a game when someone cosplays as a character they loved from it, usually appearing in photos online or at a convention.

When it comes to reaching out to a potential audience, indie developers tend to have a restricted budget. Online ads, a social media manager, marketing outlines, etc. can all cost big money, making emerging in a potentially saturated market all the more difficult. This is where cosplayers come in.

Cosplay is not a new phenomenon, but has simply recently become more mainstream. Cosplay, for those new to the term, is the shortened version of costumed play. People craft, sew, or purchase a costume based on movies, comics, video games, anime and more, then become the character. Photo shoots are often booked in order to capture the costume in the best light, with superb editing and fantastic effects. Conventions are attended where the cosplayer can show off their pride and joy, meeting others who have a passion for the character they are portraying.

Cosplayers are a form of walking, talking, good looking advertising. Often unpaid, the passion these people have for a character or game is what drives them to recreate a character's outfit. Cosplayers often have a community or network of people they follow, those who follow them, and others they interact with. Showing off their costume will make others interested in who the character is, what game they are from and where they can purchase the game themselves. If online, the cosplayers love for a character often comes from the number of photos they post of the costume, different versions of the character posted, or how much they gush via image descriptions.

When at a convention, not only can the cosplayer stop and hang around a developers booth, if applicable, but that passion visibly oozes from their pores. Humans are naturally curious people, and if there is an interesting costume of a character that is unknown to them, they will ask what it is from, maybe for a picture and then tell those they know about it. When a cosplayer is at a developers booth, they can move traffic their way, increasing interest and potential sales from their very presence. I know from personal experience there were booths at events that I never would have noticed if not for a cosplayer standing there.

While some may speculate as to the boon that cosplayers are to indie game developers, and the indie games market in general, the impact that cosplayers have can already be seen in relation to AAA title studios. For example, Square Enix has released cosplay schematics for characters from Final Fantasy XV, and cosplayers were featured in their many tweets from various events. If cosplay did not have a large impact on their bottom line, Square Enix would not go through the effort to develop material specifically aimed at cosplayers.

Another example is that of the "booth babe". While not necessarily referred to as such, companies do hire people to help run their booths while at conventions. Tasks can vary from being a personal assistant, to directing traffic to demoing a game, to representing a character as a cosplayer. While this does take away from funds that can be used for other advertising ventures, it proves that companies are willing to pay people to portray their creations because they see the return on investment.

Whether it is sharing a game with their community, cosplaying as a character at a convention, or posting photos online, cosplayers offer indie developers advertising for free. Filled with passion, cosplayers are an integral part of reaching prospective buyers for indie developers.

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Top 5 Games of the Current Console Generation (So Far) https://www.gameskinny.com/q0fa1/top-5-games-of-the-current-console-generation-so-far https://www.gameskinny.com/q0fa1/top-5-games-of-the-current-console-generation-so-far Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:00:01 -0400 KINGDC1989

This generation may not have started out strong, but it has definitely picked up in the last couple of years. There are many games already released that have the potential to define this generation. But what are these games? What games are currently the best of the best on the current generation of consoles?

1. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 set a new precedent for what a role playing game could and should be. The aesthetic of the world is beautifully crafted, and lends to creating an overall sense of immersion not present in many games currently in the genre. The Witcher universe is packed with interesting stories and scenarios, and the game does a great job of weaving narratives that present complex characters and scenarios.

In Witcher 3 you play as Geralt, a professional monster hunter. He takes contracts for hunting monsters from both unknown civilians and known characters, but also is on a quest of his own. The combat mechanics and progression system are very interesting and rewarding, and as a player you never feel that your time is wasted throughout the many hours of questing.

The story and adventures of Geralt take place on a grand scale, and should not be missed by anyone who loves a good RPG.

2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V is an amazing game that showcases the talent of Hideo Kojima and Kojima Studios. MGSV at its core is an action stealth game that takes place in various open world locales. The game has you take control of Big Boss or Venom Snake, as you complete various missions and objectives to facilitate building and maintaining your base -- known as Mother Base.

The story, though somewhat convoluted at times, is outstanding and picks up directly where some of the previous Metal Gear Solid games left off. The gameplay loop of extracting soldiers for your mother base is addicting and rewarding, and the fact that gameplay is the core narrative element instead of cut scenes and exposition is a welcomed change for the series.

Metal Gear Solid V is an excellent addition to the stealth action genre, and provides many hours of rewarding gameplay and engaging stories.

3. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Uncharted 4 is a perfect example of a franchise that continuously improves with each game iteration. The core characters and gameplay elements have not changed much over time and that has actually benefited the franchise overall.

Fundamentally, Uncharted 4 is a third person action adventure game. The strong narrative structure and charismatic characters, series protagonist, Nathan Drake and company meet throughout the game, blended with fun gameplay mechanics, is what makes Uncharted 4 stand out from its peers. The platforming and climbing sections are also very entertaining and enjoyable.

Another element the Uncharted franchise has honed over time is the transitions from gameplay to cinematics. The transitions are flawless and show just how far the series has developed over time. The visuals in this game are also stunning, the beautiful picturesque vistas seen the game are the best this generation has to offer.

You would be doing yourself a disservice by skipping one of this generation’s best games overall.

4. Undertale

Undertale is an amazing game and piece of art. Although Undertale isn't actually on the current console generation, it's on PC, it shows that you do not need a AAA budget to craft something both unique and influential.

Undertale takes the JRPG genre and classic feel of 90s role playing games and adds unique elements and twists to create a modern day classic. The story in Undertale is superb, and the characters presented are interesting and charismatic. Undertale draws inspiration from the Mother series, and adds unique and clever spins to its combat system and narrative to create a fantastic blend of turn based combat with great storytelling. The music in Undertale is also fantastic, the midi soundtrack and great character themes are a joy to listen to and create an atmosphere thats unrivaled by most JRPG’s today.

Undertale is not a game that should be missed by anyone, especially fans of the JRPG genre.

5. Overwatch

Overwatch may be one of the best hero shooters to be released in the past few years. The characters, and fluidity in gameplay is what makes Overwatch stand out from other similar games in the genre. Every character in Overwatch feels unique and each one is a joy to use. All of the characters have unique and interesting skill sets that provide a layer of strategy, and sense of accomplishment once you have figured out all of their various intricacies.

One of the core elements that makes Overwatch's gameplay so rewarding is the fact that it actually caters to all types of skill levels. The fact that Overwatch doesn’t show your KD ratio makes it a game for people who play both casually and competitively.

Overwatch has provided me with many hours of enjoyable gameplay and is definitely a defining game of this current console generation.

There are already plenty of amazing games that have been released. Whether you play games casually or professionally, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. This generation is far from being over, and with iterative console upgrades in the near future, the improved technical capabilities will allow for even more great games to be released.

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