Unreal Tournament Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Unreal Tournament RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Top 5 Craziest FPS Maps in Competitive History https://www.gameskinny.com/9ac2g/top-5-craziest-fps-maps-in-competitive-history https://www.gameskinny.com/9ac2g/top-5-craziest-fps-maps-in-competitive-history Thu, 12 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Will Dowell

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Number 1: Facing Worlds

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Unreal Tournament
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Considered one of the best FPS maps of all time, Facing Worlds is also one of the most creative. Taking a two tower capture the flag approach, Facing Worlds provides a sense of adrenaline as you speed through the huge towers in hopes of victory. Connecting these grand towers is two paths set in the grand nothing of space. With the UT beta available to download, you can once again experience this great map in all it's Unreal Engine 4 glory.

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FPS games may seem generic, but there is creativity hidden amongst the sea of maps. What do you think the craziest FPS maps are? Let us know in the comments.

"},{"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/p/s/fpsmaps4-95790.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/p/s/fpsmaps4-95790.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147209","description":"

Number 2: Dorado

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Overwatch
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Overwatch is famed for its colorful maps and wide selection of characters, and this map is no different. In Dorado, players must either escort or destroy a truck sent to restore power to this beautiful city. Engage in intense firefights within city blocks while traveling among rooftops. What sets this map apart is the stunning city and the complex paths used to carry out your objective. Overwatch has never been more unique.

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Image provided by Blizzplanet.

"},{"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/p/s/fpsmaps3-1689f.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/p/s/fpsmaps3-1689f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147166","description":"

Number 3: Aztec

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive
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Continuing a more tactical challenge, Aztec is a classic map in Counter Strike history, providing a ruin rife for conflict. Through its twisting tunnels and dangerous bridges, Aztec provided a great challenge for T's and CT's alike. This level also provides some much needed nature to the FPS genre, trading in the industrial grey for a more lush environment. Stain the soil red with the blood of your enemies.

"},{"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/p/s/fpsmaps2-accab.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/p/s/fpsmaps2-accab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147207","description":"

Number 4: Outskirts

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Battleborne
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Even though Battleborne faded into obscurity, its skillful maps provided a different challenge than the traditional high adrenaline kill fest. In Outskirts, players are pitted in city slums and must incinerate their minions to appease Minrec, someone obsessed with the recycling of minions. This makes defending your minions an utmost priority, leading to intense battles in hopes your minions will survive long enough to be incinerated. Betrayal has never been more common.

"},{"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/p/s/fpsmaps1-eedf7.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/p/s/fpsmaps1-eedf7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147206","description":"

Number 5: Aquarium

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
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When Call of Duty is not recycling the same industrial maps or remaking Nuketown, they can provide unique maps. As the name suggests, you fight in an aquarium, sliding from close quarters combat into ambushes from the water below. Fast paced action and the small map design means danger is around every corner. With a fresh spin on Call of Duty map design, Aquarium feels fresh and exciting.

"},{"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/p/s/fpsmapheader-abd30.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/p/s/fpsmapheader-abd30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"147163","description":"

While killing your fellow man in gaming is awesome, sometimes it can become pretty stale. It is only a matter of time until you grow sick of those military bunkers and alien spaceships you consistently wage war in.

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With many FPS maps looking the same, it can become quite a challenge to find variety in all the slaughter. Luckily, there are certain maps that step out of the mold and provide new and satisfying experiences to all who are willing. These maps will whisk you to a different time, full of challenge and wonder. Without further ado, here are the Top 5 Craziest FPS Maps.

"}]]]>
Toxikk Review - The Arena FPS is Back https://www.gameskinny.com/p4wwu/toxikk-review-the-arena-fps-is-back https://www.gameskinny.com/p4wwu/toxikk-review-the-arena-fps-is-back Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:27:51 -0400 S2riker

From the moment Toxikk was revealed as an early-access first-person shooter in 2014, developer Reakktor Studios upheld a single mantra that was included in every trailer and slice of the game’s promotional material- “Frag like it’s 1999”.  You might be asking, “Why would I want to go back to 1999?”  After all, with the technology and customization of today’s releases, it would seem a hard sell to convince gamers to play something that resembled a product from a bygone era.

To answer that, here’s a brief history lesson- 1999 was the seminal year for the subgenre of first-person shooters called arena shooters; titles such as Unreal Tournament and Quake III: Arena were released that year to great acclaim and fan appreciation, and their success inspired countless games afterwards to adopt the combination of map design, weapon balance and furious action that would go on to define the arena subgenre. 

With the rise of tactical military shooters and the ever-more viable online capabilities of gaming consoles and the controllers that facilitated them, however, the frenetic pace and movement capabilities that defined arena shooters got distilled into something slower, less hardcore and ultimately more casual for mainstream audiences.  Killstreaks replaced skill-based execution, class warfare and loadouts became standard and the ability to render huge play spaces eroded away at the delicately-designed arenas of their shooter predecessors.

In that landscape is where we now find Toxikk releasing to the public, a game that concurrently feels out of place in today’s shooter market yet intimately familiar to those like me who have pined for the arena FPS subgenre to make a comeback.  It’s been a long time coming, but Toxikk is a fresh and fantastic shooter whose accomplishment I hope will spurn on a revival of sorts for similar games in its class.

Arena shooters, at their core, are loosely defined by the following standards - 1) players compete in skirmishes in enclosed arenas, 2) where all players begin equally with only base weaponry and no disparate abilities, 3) where weapons and pickups must be acquired and controlled from the map and are not obtained through loadouts or killstreaks, and 4) that possess a definable system of locomotion that encourages constant map rotation and decreases the viability of camping.  Toxikk achieves all of these qualities; it’s a truly no-frills, PC-only experience that mimics the best qualities of its spiritual predecessors.

Modes and Movement

Toxikk’s success or failure will ultimately be determined by its long-term online player population, but not content to rest on its laurels, Reakktor has imbued Toxikk with full, offline bot support as well as a short linear progression of campaign levels called “Contracts”.  In these scenarios, players compete in a series of arenas and battlegrounds through all of the game’s available maps and modes, serving as both a short single-player component as well as a tutorial for players new to this style of shooter to learn the basics of movement and the weaponry before heading online.  While more missions would have certainly been welcome, some replayability is encouraged via additional challenges such as completing missions within a certain time frame or without using any vehicles.

Toxikk’s movement is intrinsically modeled after that of Unreal Tournament 2004, with all of that game’s insane combinations of double jumps, dodge jumps and wall jumps intact.  Additionally, characters possess an extra degree of air control and heft, which affords players the ability to adjust their character’s trajectory through the air while still preserving the viability of non-hitscan weapons. It’s a truly remarkable movement system that feels effortlessly fast, fluid and controllable.

Level Design and Map Selection

This fluidity is in large part accommodated by the game’s fantastic level design.  The designers at Reakktor Studios have created complex, intricate arenas that are both visually arresting and easily navigable.  Specific attention has been paid as well to designing the arenas around the constraints of player movement; for example, many passageways and power-ups lie just outside the reach of normal jumps and require usage of advanced movement techniques to navigate.  The maps are so well-designed that they’re easily the high point of the entire Toxikk package and some have even become favorites of mine across all shooters.

With this praise however came a harsh realization- the map selection is very sparse.  Toxikk comes with 12 maps at launch, but these are spread across all of the game’s modes (deathmatch, area domination, cell capture, team arena, etc.). Deathmatch and area domination have nice selections, but capture the flag variants are limited to just five maps, two of which are re-purposed variants of existing deathmatch arenas.  Vehicular modes fare even worse; only 3 maps support vehicular play at all, and only one of those three provides the size and scope necessary to really showcase the vehicles’ possibilities.  While I’m ecstatic that vehicles were included in Toxikk, I wonder if their time and effort of creation may have better been served in fortifying the map selection for the game’s vehicle-less modes.  Luckily, the game’s software development kit (SDKK) has been fully integrated into the Steam workshop for those so inclined to create their own maps and mutators for the experience.

Online Multiplayer

Despite the limited selection of maps and under-realized vehicular play, Toxikk’s bread-and-butter online multiplayer is sublime.  The absolutely blistering pace that the game flows at, plus the emphasis on pure skill over nonsensical fluff, makes for an utterly addicting experience fully worthy of the game’s “frag like it’s 1999” ambition.  Let it be known, this game is FAST.  If you already struggle to keep pace with games like Call of Duty and Halo, this might not be the right experience for you.  The game ships complete with online features such as map voting, an integrated chat channel and dedicated servers, as well as a progression system that offers cosmetic enhancements as to not disrupt the balance of fairness online.  There are tons of individual customization options as well to control elements like crosshair size, HUD positioning and hit markers, welcome features for sure.

There is one major caveat to Toxikk’s online experience that I must address, as it could very well be detrimental to the game’s ability to foster a steady online population in the future.  When playing online, the game’s internal algorithm automatically attempts to evaluate your playing ability by tracking statistics like accuracy, movement and kill/death ratio into a score called the “skill class” rating.  This number then becomes your gateway into each of the game’s online servers, depending on the skill rank of the server hosting the game.

Sounds good, right? But here’s the problem- Say there are 12 populated servers online, and eight of these possess a skill ranking of 1-4.  This means that only players who have been assigned a skill class in this range can participate in the server.  Two of the other four active servers have a skill class rating of 9-12, meaning that only the best of the best players will be able to qualify.  Where does that leave the 5-8’s?  You guessed it, with only two available servers to join.  Making the situation worse on launch night was that both of my eligible servers were being hosted in Europe, where my ping was high enough (+140) to disrupt my aiming ability and negatively influence said skill rating.  It’s an easily rectifiable problem if the developers allowed all players access to any server, but as it stands now it’s an unfortunate issue that has persisted throughout early access and into launch.

The Weaponry

Arena-shooters are often defined by their weaponry, and Toxikk matches that call with mostly militaristic staples like rocket launchers, shotguns, machine guns, sniper rifles and flamethrowers.  Every weapon includes an alternate-fire mode, which works well at expanding the arsenal of options for the player; the aforementioned machine gun doubles as a grenade launcher, for instance, while the plasma launcher shoots a repetitive stream of plasma bullets in its primary fire but unleashes an instagib-like beam in its secondary.

Despite the quality of the weapon designs, there’s a distinct semblance that things could be better.  The flame spewing Dragoneer almost completely obstructs its user’s view while firing, while the Rocket Launcher overpowers nearly everything else in the arsenal at any range besides sniping distance.  More than a few of the firing modes also feel like weak alternatives for other weapons, such as the Stingray’s alternate fire beam being just a weaker, zoom-less version of the Falcon sniper rifle.  The weapons are certainly serviceable but don’t necessarily strike the iconic balance of other arena shooters just yet, pending future patches.

Presentation

Toxikk leverages the power of Unreal Engine 3 to fuel its presentation, which ensures a great range of scalability across moderate to high-end PC’s but comes at the cost of some visual fidelity.  The graphics are impressive no doubt, but the game lacks the lush lighting and incredible texturing of other standout PC releases of this generation.  Despite this, the level artists have done a great job of capturing the mood and richness of the intended environments, which can vary from rainforests in Cambodia to the slums of Hong Kong and even a robotic facility in secluded Russia.  

The game’s soundtrack also deserves praise; Toxikk finally brings back a persistent soundtrack to its arena firefights, a feature that has been conspicuously absent in nearly every other multiplayer release of the last few years. The soundtrack dynamically switches its tunes to mimic the intensity of the action, which provides a persistent engagement to the player that matches the game’s pace beat for beat.  Sound effects are crisp as well, with weapons and characters making traceable noises to help players pinpoint the sources of action on each map.   

Conclusion

Toxikk is an excellent reimagining of the arena first-person shooter, adding subtle enhancements to an already classic formula that feels incredibly fresh and dynamic amongst its contemporaries.  The level of polish on display is remarkable in everything from the slick introductory flythroughs of each map before play to the fluidity of navigating the user interface; all could serve as standard-bearers for future developers to emulate.  The game’s rough edges with regard to the skill class system, lack of multiplayer maps and unbalanced weaponry are a bit disconcerting considering the game’s long development in early access, but even as such, I have no reservations about giving Toxikk a hearty recommendation.  See you online!

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Unreal Tournament: Underland is a blast https://www.gameskinny.com/pfvfg/unreal-tournament-underland-is-a-blast https://www.gameskinny.com/pfvfg/unreal-tournament-underland-is-a-blast Tue, 07 Jun 2016 10:13:24 -0400 Alex Dahlman (lastweek)

Epic Games is hitting the game market hard. Unreal Tournament, Shadow Complex, and the new MOBA Paragon, are making big waves, even when two of the three are still in alpha (UT and Paragon). With the slow release of Unreal Tournament, which is a great thing, Epic has released another map, Underland. 

Jump boots and health refills are spread out nicely, a sniper rifle sits highly in the tower, and the rocket launcher sits rear center of the map, making for quick and stressful play. The map is great for Deathmatch and keeps you on your feet, or well sliding on them, great new feature by the way.

Underland is a quick, small map that plays and looks great. This map does a great job showcasing the new Unreal Engine and what we can look forward to in future games using this gorgeous engine.  

Unreal Tournament is still in pre-alpha, but a great game and staying true to the fast pace, mouse gripping legacy. If you haven’t already go check out Epic Games, sign up for their alphas, and enjoy some great games.

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Fans send mixed signals about DOOM beta https://www.gameskinny.com/1iewl/fans-send-mixed-signals-about-doom-beta https://www.gameskinny.com/1iewl/fans-send-mixed-signals-about-doom-beta Sun, 01 May 2016 12:55:00 -0400 JunaeBenne

Doom beta testers are sending out mixed signals. It's a little hard to gauge the potential success of Doom off of the beta and the feedback received from players. 

Many gamers didn’t like what they played in the beta. A few said it reminded them of Halo, Call of DutyUnreal Tournament and it doesn’t feel like Doom. common complaint was that the classic atmosphere for the arena shooter is missing. The next few complaints revolve around Doom not being consistent or captivating.

Check out a few of these Tweets to see what fans were saying:



 

With only 37% of the reviews being positive, this stat makes Doom's beta the second lowest rated Bethesda offering on Steam -- the first being Fallout 4’s Wasteland Workshop DLC.

There has been a number of technical improvements on the game since the closed beta aired March 31 through April 3. The frame rate on the PC has been increased to around 60, and movement speed was noticeably increased as well. There’s also now an option to hide damage numbers and the view of the slider. The overall performance is smoother plus, Games of Warpath is easier to find -- so matchmaking is much simpler.

Doom is set to release May 13 for all platforms. We're not sure how much could be changed in that small window, but you never know.

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Top 10 most overpowered firearms in video games https://www.gameskinny.com/1dba3/top-10-most-overpowered-firearms-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/1dba3/top-10-most-overpowered-firearms-in-video-games Sat, 09 Apr 2016 07:30:01 -0400 Sergey_3847

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1. Pandora
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Game: Devil May Cry 4
Type: Devil Arm

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Pandora is not your common weapon – it’s a living weapon, a manifestation of a Demon’s soul. It can transform into seven deadly forms:

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  1. Epidemic – a basic rocket launcher that shoots with high-powered projectiles.
  2. \n
  3. Hatred – a more powerful version of Epidemic.
  4. \n
  5. Revenge – an even more powerful version of Hatred, which is a particle cannon with an almost infinite range.
  6. \n
  7. Jealousy – a Gatling gun with a super high fire rate.
  8. \n
  9. Argument – a helicopter-like vehicle that can be used for air transportation that also has 14 rocket launchers attached to it.
  10. \n
  11. Grief – a huge and deadly boomerang with sharpened blades.
  12. \n
  13. Omen – a weapon that blinds all enemies within its range of effect using a massive flash of light.
  14. \n
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You can obtain Pandora’s box after defeating Dagon in Mission 15 - Fortuna Castle.

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Which of these ten firearms  do you like the best? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

"},{"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/r/unreal-tournament-redeemer-buhoneroxd-d5y995f-8ff74.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/r/unreal-tournament-redeemer-buhoneroxd-d5y995f-8ff74.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110796","description":"
2. Redeemer
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Game: Unreal Tournament series
Type: Thermonuclear Warhead Launcher

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Redeemer is undoubtedly the most powerful weapon in the whole Unreal Tournament series of games. This is not your typical rocket launcher but a fully controllable missile launcher. This means that you can manually guide the flight path of the warhead and strike it at an exact spot of your choice.

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Even if you can’t see your target, you can launch the missile and travel around in order to find the best hitting area. Also, you should not worry if you don’t happen to strike at the precise location since the blast wave will destroy everything within its radius.

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The only drawback of Redeemer is that you can’t see your character while in missile flight mode, which obviously makes you vulnerable to sneaky enemy attacks.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/f/g/bfg-0a3f7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/f/g/bfg-0a3f7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110795","description":"
3. BFG 9000
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Game: DOOM series
Type: Plasma Cannon

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BFG 9000, also known as Big Friggin’ Gun, makes a return in the upcoming DOOM 4 game and will continue to shoot its highly powerful green balls of energy at all sorts of demons.

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The energy particles that comprise the BFG’s projectiles are the so-called smart particles. This means that they guide themselves onto the enemies within the range of the projectile’s activity, leaving no enemy untouched.

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According to the official history of the DOOM universe, BFG 9000 is the most powerful weapon ever created by humans. Well, this indeed makes it a fun toy to play with.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/t/fat-man-b9c7d.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/f/a/t/fat-man-b9c7d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110794","description":"
4. M42 Fat Man
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Game: Fallout series
Type: Tactical Nuclear Catapult Weapon

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Portable mini-nukes have always been the favorites of many shooter fans. Fat Man from the Fallout series is probably the most beloved and well-known handheld nuclear weapon. It doesn’t have any fancy features, such as homing missiles, but it does the job and it does it well by simply launching a nuke at an area of your choice.

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Fat Man was called after the atomic bomb that was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan during the World War 2, so in order to avoid controversy, the famous gaming weapon had to be renamed in the Japanese version of Fallout into Nuka Launcher.

"},{"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/9/2/0/920-cain-b115d.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/9/2/0/920-cain-b115d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110793","description":"
5. M-920 Cain
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Game: Mass Effect series
Type: Heavy Weapon

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Cain, also known as Nuke Launcher, is the best weapon in Mass Effect series of games for quick and effective aerial purges. It can also be used to insta-kill massive bosses. When it shoots and hits the target, the explosion creates a miniature nuclear explosion followed by a familiar mushroom cloud.

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This portable nuclear device is very slow and requires a 100% charge before it can spew its massive charge of energy, so you must take into account the behavior of the enemies or the bosses before activating this amazingly overpowered weapon. The statistics show that Cain can be used once every mission, which is not much, but if used correctly, it can help you finish the game very quickly.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/l/meltagun-c8c7c.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/e/l/meltagun-c8c7c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110792","description":"
6. Meltagun
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Game: Warhammer 40K series
Type: Fusion Gun

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Have you ever seen a version of an energy/beam weapon that melts enemy tanks? Here’s Meltagun from the Warhammer 40K series of games that can melt anything that stands in its way. Every space marine knows that Meltagun, also called the Cooker or Melter, is the strongest handheld weapon you can obtain in the game.

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The hissing sound that Meltagun emits when it shoots its high-energy beam is produced due to the boiling of the water molecules in the air. If you direct the beam at any NPC, it will simply vaporize the poor guy into the smallest particles. More than that, this fusion weapon can melt Adamantium – the strongest metal in the entire universe, so beware Wolverine!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/z/bozar-4cf8a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/z/bozar-4cf8a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110791","description":"
7. Bozar
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Game: Fallout series
Type: Light Machinegun

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The strangest thing about Bozar is that by looks it is a typical sniper rifle, but in reality it is a light-weight machine gun with a sniper scope attached to it. The fans of Fallout call Bozar “the ultimate refinement of the sniper's art,” which is absolutely correct.

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Imagine a machine gun with a super-high fire rate and the precision of a sniper rifle – there is probably no deadlier firearm in any other game. It easily pierces right through the hardest of the armors and just as quickly deals with heavy vehicles damaging their inner parts.

"},{"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/u/gauss-rifle-07f58.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/a/u/gauss-rifle-07f58.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110789","description":"
8. GK8 Gauss Rifle
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Game: Crysis 3
Type: Long-ranged Weapon

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"The much beloved Gauss rifle in its second generation form with more power and less recoil, improved in all the ways that matter. This electro-magnetic rifle will provide Snipers with the sheer power needed to get the job done."

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What makes the Gauss weapon so powerful in Crysis 3 is the remarkable speed of the bullets made from the alloy of tungsten carbide and depleted uranium. The speed of these bullets equals Mach 8, which means that they are hypersonic or eight times faster than the speed of sound.

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Besides the groundbreaking bullet speed, GK8 is equipped with a whole array of auxiliary navigational attachments, such as sniper scope, reflex sight, laser pointer and flashlight. All this makes Gauss rifle in Crysis 3 not just fast, but also super precise and super deadly.

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9. M134 Minigun
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Game: Grand Theft Auto series
Type: Heavy Weapon

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Minigun is a staple weapon in the GTA series of games. If you want to have fun in GTA, all you have to do is find a high spot, enter a cheat command for infinite ammo and shoot at everything that comes in your sight. Then, it doesn’t matter if it’s a helicopter or an NPC – everything gets smashed to pieces.

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M134 changed its size and ammunition capacity several times throughout the existence of the GTA series, but in the latest installment it also increased its shooting speed to 3000 rounds per minute, which made it even deadlier and more overpowered than ever before.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/w/p/awp-35ef6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/w/p/awp-35ef6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110787","description":"
10. AWP (Arctic Warfare Police)
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Game: Counter-Strike series
Type: Sniper Rifle

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“High risk and high reward, the infamous AWP is recognizable by its signature report and one-shot, one-kill policy.”

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AWP, also known as Magnum Sniper Rifle, is the deadliest weapon in the Counter-Strike series of games. It can instantly kill an opponent with one mere bolt-shot aimed at almost any part of the body. It’s a heavy weapon, and players who decide to go with it loose speed, but that doesn’t prevent it from being one of the most popular firearms in the game.

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AWP is so overpowered that it completely ignores any type of armor that your enemy might be wearing and pierces right through it. Of course, you can’t fire that well without setting up a shot using the optics, but if you have just a little bit of time – the reward will be huge.

"},{"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/y/crysis-005-75161.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/y/crysis-005-75161.jpg","type":"slide","id":"110786","description":"

First-person shooter developers approach the design of firearms in their games differently – some want them to be as realistic as possible, such as Rainbow Six: Siege, or on the contrary, make them ridiculously overpowered, such as DOOM or Unreal Tournament.

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This top 10 list will provide you with a selection of the most overpowered firearms in video games that would never exist in the real world (yet). Some of these weapons are so unbelievably strong that they require just one precise shot in order to finish any of the big bosses.

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There are many other ones, of course, that didn’t make the list, so give it a go and share in the comments section the weapons you think deserve to be in this top.

"}]]]>
The 10 greatest guns in video game history https://www.gameskinny.com/h0np5/the-10-greatest-guns-in-video-game-history https://www.gameskinny.com/h0np5/the-10-greatest-guns-in-video-game-history Mon, 19 Oct 2015 10:10:09 -0400 Rob Thubron

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1. The Gravity Gun - Half-Life 2

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I realize that putting the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator - more commonly known as the Gravity Gun - at number one in a list of game weapons may seem a bit lazy, but there are plenty of good reasons why it beats all others to become the greatest video game gun of all time.

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Firstly, much like the Super Shotgun in Doom 2, it’s one of those guns that is mentioned almost straight away during conversations about the game it appears in. And considering that Half-Life 2 is possibly the greatest single-player shooter of all time, it’s a testament to the gun’s quality that it’s so often singled out as one the game’s best elements.

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Secondly, it was the immensely popular Gravity Gun that influenced the physics-based gameplay present in titles such as Bioshock, Dead Space and, most famously, Portal

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And, of course, it’s simply a brilliant Half-Life 2 weapon. In addition to being able to move/throw objects, it can also release an energy blast that forcefully propels a targeted object backwards. Everyone who's played the game remembers the joy of throwing an explosive barrel into a group of combine soldiers, or blasting a saw blade into one of Ravenholm’s many zombies.

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But the Gravity Gun reaches peak awesomeness once it becomes supercharged after exposure to the Citadel’s Confiscation field. Not only can it now pick up and punt any organic matter (i.e. bad guys), killing it instantly, it can also move much bigger, heavier objects.

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The fact that the Gravity Gun is still regarded as the greatest video game gun of all time, eleven years after Half-Life 2’s release, speaks volumes. More than just a weapon, this gun is a tool, a toy and one of the biggest influences on a generation of similar game weapons that followed.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/8/5/4856f7c12db4db63f994f78eca688421.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/8/5/tiny_4856f7c12db4db63f994f78eca688421.jpg","type":"slide","id":"87582","description":"

2. The Super Shotgun - Doom 2

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The grandaddy of all video game shotguns and arguably still the best incarnation of the double-barreled weapon. Doom 2’s super shotgun actually made you pity all those demons, but not enough to stop you shredding them like blood-filled balloons. The BFG may be the most powerful weapon in your arsenal, but nothing matches the feeling of the Super Shotgun.

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The rhythmic click-snap-bang of the firing and reloading sequence is mentally ingrained on all those who played the game - few weapons use sound in a way that invokes such feelings of power. It may seem like it takes an eon to reload, but that's the price you pay for having such a monstrous gun. And from what we've seen so far of the new Doom game, it appears that Id Software is set to introduce a new, even more awesome Super Shotgun to the world.

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3. The Cerebral Bore – Turok 2, Turok: Rage Wars, Turok 3

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Have you ever thought that a sharp projectile ripping through a person’s body just isn’t a gruesome enough way to kill someone? If so, maybe you should seek help; but you may also be able to satisfy your bloodlust by trying out Turok’s Cerebral Bore, one of the most brutal guns ever seen in video games.

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This weapon works by locking onto the brainwaves of a nearby target. Once fired, the homing projectile will seek out the enemy and attach itself to the hostile’s head, killing them by drilling into their skulls and exploding once it reaches the brain.

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Even with Turok’s very dated graphics, the site of an enemy’s blood and brain tissue pouring out of the projectile’s suction channel isn’t for the squeamish. The noise of the drill adds to the effect, and the explosion – which decapitates the unfortunate target – is the icing on the blood-covered cake. Truly one of the coolest and most imaginative guns of all time.

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4. The Railgun - Quake II,III,IV

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Quake’s Railgun is an absolute monster of a weapon, but one that takes a fair bit of skill to use proficiently. It's essentially a sniper rifle without the scope that fires depleted uranium shells. Its awesome killing power and perfect accuracy making up for the painfully slow firing speed.

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The Railgun is excellent against some of Quake II’s monsters; it can even take out the Makron, supreme leader of the Strogg, with 20 direct hits. And nothing beats that feeling when a few bad guys line up perfectly, enabling one Railgun shot to travel through them all.

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But where this weapon really comes into its own is in Quake III Arena. Hitting another player in this multiplayer-focused game may not be the easiest feat, but achieving it means instadeath for them and a great sense of satisfaction for you.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/c/5/0c55d01220e45a889eff2ca5f98272d4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/c/5/tiny_0c55d01220e45a889eff2ca5f98272d4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"87664","description":"

5. The Experimental MIRV - Fallout 3

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I realise that classifying a shoulder-mounted launcher that fires eight miniature nukes at once as a ‘gun’ may be pushing it, but it’s not the only weapon on this list that takes liberties with the term. Anyway, it’s absolutely awesome, and whether it’s a gun or a terrifying weapon of mass destruction, it deserves a place here.

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Fallout 3’s experimental MIRV is a unique version of the Fat Man (mini-nuke launcher) that essentially turns it into shotgun able to deliver eight nukes simultaneously. The MIRV deals more damage than any other weapon in the game, as you would imagine. Using VATS with this beast so you can watch the carnage unfold in glorious slow motion is truly wonderful.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/0/4/404b4e47ef2627fc97b8c436fdecde2d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/0/4/tiny_404b4e47ef2627fc97b8c436fdecde2d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"87584","description":"

6. Flak Cannon (Unreal series)

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The trouble with a lot of shotguns in video games is that they all fire a similar type of ammo. The Flak Cannon from the Unreal series changed this by introducing a gun that uses ionised flechettes as projectiles. This gives enemies on the receiving end of the Flak Cannon the same sensation as having a bucketful of hot coals blasted into them, which is never a nice experience. Using this gun is simply one of the most enjoyable experiences in video games.

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The flechettes are launched in a spread pattern that can bounce off walls, or as frag grenades that radiate the terrifying ammo in all directions - although managing to hit anyone with this secondary fire mode is another matter. And the cannon works perfectly within the short corridors and verticality of Unreal Tournament 99's levels.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/0/7/707ccb9bcf2379d9cb16ee3cabd233c7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/0/7/tiny_707ccb9bcf2379d9cb16ee3cabd233c7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"87907","description":"

7. The Golden Gun - Goldeneye

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It's surprising to think that the third biggest selling Nintendo 64 game of all time, Goldeneye, was originally designed to be a Virtua Cop-style on-rails shooter. Thankfully, someone believed that making a brilliant free-roaming FPS on a console in 1997 was possible, and so the legendary Goldeneye was born.

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One of the coolest and most memorable weapons from the game is the Golden Gun, made famous by assassin Francisco Scaramanga in James Bond’s The Man with the Golden Gun (played by Christopher Lee, the real-life step-cousin of James Bond creator Ian Fleming). In the game, this weapon requires a reload every time it fires a single bullet, but that bullet kills with one hit. Very handy in the solo missions and even better in multiplayer. In fact, an entire multiplayer scenario - The Man With The Golden Gun - is based around the weapon.

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8. The Flailgun - Bulletstorm

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Personally, I really enjoyed Bulletstorm, although its lack of depth has resulted in it being called the video game version of Pacific Rim - shallow, but fun.

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One of the most enjoyable, OTT weapons in the game is the Flailgun - a weapon that manages to brings together death, destruction, and comedy. This fantastic example of badassery fires two grenades linked together by a chain. The grenades explode after a few seconds, but can be detonated quicker by the player. Is it sadistic to laugh as an enemy frantically tries to escape a chain wrapped around their neck, only for the grenades to explode and turn their head to mush? Probably, but maybe they deserved it.

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You can even use the Flailgun to turn an enemy into a human bomb by wrapping them up in a projectile and kicking them into a crowd. If all that still isn’t enough for you then there’s an alternate fire mode that superheats the chain itself, causing it to cut through bad-guys like a hot chainsaw through squishy butter.

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9. Winchester 1887 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Call of Duty: Black OpsCall of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Call of Duty Online.

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By their very nature, video game shotguns are intense powerhouses of death. But sometimes they can be so insanely powerful that their very use could be considered a war crime.

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This was the case with Call of Duty’s Winchester 1887, a gun that was initially so overpowered, Infinity Ward had to release two patches to fix it. With its beautiful, lever-action reload and magnificent stopping power, few shotguns could match the original Winchester 1887.

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10. Duplet Shotgun with Quad-barrel attachment - Metro games

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Why are games set in post-apocalyptic futures so much fun? Because of the home-made weapons. The Duplet is one such gun - a firearm built from scratch in the Metro's tunnels. It may have been put together by a depressed, drunken Russian, but it still has enough stopping power to make a Nosalis think twice about eating you.

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Despite the limited ammo capacity and slow reloading time, once you have the quad-barrel upgrade for this shotgun you’re ready to take on the worst this radiation-soaked world has to offer. With four barrels firing simultaneously, nothing offers more close-range firepower in a single blast.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/0/9/80978e939534b3885b12cc8f5c9bb68f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/0/9/tiny_80978e939534b3885b12cc8f5c9bb68f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"87578","description":"

“Guns don’t kill people,” so some NRA members like to claim. These folk obviously haven’t played many video games, where digital guns have been responsible for the deaths of billions of people... and monsters, of course.

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Virtual ethics aside, there have been countless video game guns over the years that have made even the most ardent anti-firearm pacifists jump up and yell “YES! Eat hot fiery death, mother*******!,” while blowing the head off yet another henchman who probably only works for an evil corporation because it pays well and has a good health plan.

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So what video game guns are regarded as the best? Which are the weapons that stick in your memory more than the actual game itself? Bringing together firearms such as shotguns, sci-fi rifles, and miniature nuke launchers, here are the ten greatest guns in video game history.

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Top 10 Great Video Games Well-Suited for Short Bursts of Play https://www.gameskinny.com/4wdu1/top-10-great-video-games-well-suited-for-short-bursts-of-play https://www.gameskinny.com/4wdu1/top-10-great-video-games-well-suited-for-short-bursts-of-play Sun, 17 May 2015 13:30:01 -0400 Autumn Fish

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Of course, there are plenty of other games out there that are good for short sessions. Mario Kart 8 is another Wii U game that features short, fun races, each one lasting around 2 minutes.

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The entirety of the rogue-like genre would also be a safe bet. Ziggurat, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and Rogue Legacy are all great examples, though Isaac is a bit harder to progress in.

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What games do you like playing when you're low on time?
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We'd love to hear about the games you play when you're pressed for time and want a quick-fix! Make sure to let us know in the comments below.

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Super Smash Bros. 4 (3DS, Wii U)

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Settle it in Smash!
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Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, Wii U

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Average Match Time: 2 - 6 minutes

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Find It: Website, Nintendo eShop (3DS / Wii U)

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Super Smash Bros. 4 is among the greatest entries in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, and has finally made itself accessible to gamers on the go with the 3DS release!

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Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is one of the best 3DS games you can have if you need to cram your playtime into short, less-than-10-minute matches. There is even a unique mode in the 3DS version that mixes up the game a fair bit and takes no more than 8 minutes to complete an entire round! There's nothing like a quick round of Smash.

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Unreal Tournament 2004

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Cult Classic Futuristic FPS
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

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Average Match Time: 5 - 30 minutes

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Find It: Steam, Website

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Despite its age, Unreal Tournament 2004 manages to keep an active playerbase even 11 years after its release. Unreal Tournament 2004 is a first-person shooter that defined the genre years back, and is somehow completely age-defying.

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The graphics may look outdated, but the gameplay is just as fun as you'd remember it. Unreal Tournament 2004 is a great example of a game that aged well. Hop in and play for a round or two when you have the time, and see if you can round up some of your friends to play with! UT04 will never get old!

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Mirror's Edge

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Cityscape Free-Runner with Action Sprinkled In
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Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows Phone, iOS

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Average Chapter Length: 25 minutes

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Find It: Website

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Mirror's Edge is a great platforming action game, but it can get a tad repetitive at times and is best digested in segments rather than a full sitting (the story runs for about 4 hours). Play a chapter or two and put the game down - chances are you'll appreciate it more than if you just blundered through.

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Games with shorter campaign lengths often benefit from segmented and short play sessions, so long as the story isn't so complex that you'll forget it all by the next time you want to play again. And Mirror's Edge fits the bill. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/8/e/58ee706141e86623d898fea9b59091f1.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/8/e/tiny_58ee706141e86623d898fea9b59091f1.png","type":"slide","id":"66324","description":"

Crypt of the Necrodancer

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Rhythm Rouge-Like Groovy Dungeon Crawler
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Platforms: Windows, Max, Linux

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Average Zone Length: 12 minutes

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Find It: Website

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Crypt of the Necrodancer is a unique take on the rogue-like genre that sends you down the Crypt to the beat of a spectacular soundtrack. Not to mention, Crypt of the Necrodancer has the most expertly crafted features ever seen in a rogue-like game.

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Each and every character you can play in Necrodancer has their own unique play-style that often drastically changes how you play the game. Each character also has their own background, and the lore behind Crypt of the Necrodancer is the best we've ever seen from the genre. The zones don't take too long to complete, especially if you end up dying a lot, and it has endless hours of fun just waiting to be had (a few lunch breaks at a time).

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Borderlands

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Treasure-Hunting RPG FPS
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

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Average Play Time: Any

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Find It: Website

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Borderlands, despite being an interesting mix of first-person shooter and RPG, is actually really easy to jump into and play for just a short while. No matter what you do - whether you're clearing simple quests, taking on the main mission, or just doing some character grinding - it always feels like you've made progress.

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Too much Borderlands in one sitting honestly could make you sick of the game, but it's perfect for short bursts of play where you just want to knock out a couple of objectives and move onto something else.

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Trine: Enchanted Edition

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3-Character Fantasy Action Puzzler
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Platforms: Windows, Max, Linux, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360

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Average Level Time: 30 - 45 minutes

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Find It: Website

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Trine: Enchanted Edition was a huge upgrade from the original Trine game, and it wasn't just the graphics that got updated either. Trine Enchanted Edition takes Trine 2's engine and puts it into Trine 1, making the game a hundred times more accessible than ever before.

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It doesn't matter where in a level you quit the game. You will reappear in the exact spot you left off when you come back. That way, you can play your three character puzzle-platformer without worrying about saving early to leave on time! Happy adventuring!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/e/f/aefaf4fb319a1f81432e87a601e98cc2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/e/f/tiny_aefaf4fb319a1f81432e87a601e98cc2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"66314","description":"

Limbo

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Eerie Puzzle-Platforming Adventure
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Platforms: Windows, Max, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, iOS

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Average Play Time: Any

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Find It: Website

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Limbo is a silently charming game following the journey of a boy through this land of shadows, where everything is open to interpretation. This critically-acclaimed future classic has carved its own unique place in the gaming world, and most certainly deserves a spot on this list.

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No moment in this game feels dull, and overcoming each obstacle is incredibly rewarding. Best of all, it doesn't matter where you leave off, the game will pick itself back up from the same place when you decide you want to play again. Huzzah for no back-tracking!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/e/a/beaae3fc9132389673a600f1333f159a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/e/a/tiny_beaae3fc9132389673a600f1333f159a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"66304","description":"

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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3DS Village/Life Simulation Game
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Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

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Average Play Time: 1 hour

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Find It: Website

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the newest and most well-received game of an already classic Nintendo franchise. Not only do you get to move into a town full of animals and customize your home like the previous Animal Crossing games, but you stumble upon the time right when they are in desperate need for a new mayor.

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Who better to fill the shoes of mayor than the next person to step off the train (a.k.a. you)? Animal Crossing is a great game that goes at the pace of a peaceful, day-to-day life. There's never a whole lot of things to do in one day, so it's hard to play for much more than an hour, unless you're really good and finding something to do out of nothing.

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Pour your heart into your very own town in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and make it anything you can dream of. It's your world, make it what you will.

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Multiplayer TCG w/ Smart Phone Support
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Andriod, iOS

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Average Game Time: 10 minutes

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Find It: Website, Google Play, Amazon Apps, App Store

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play Trading Card Game (TGC) by Blizzard Entertainment that features simple gameplay in the form of short, turn-based battles with digital collectors cards.

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The goal of Hearthstone is simple: drop your enemy's health to zero before they can do the same to you. Use a combination of the cards in your deck and your Hero's abilities to wipe out your opponent and come out victorious.

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While Hearthstone may let you pay to get a little bit ahead of the game, there's nothing you can pay for that you can't obtain just by playing the game a bit more. Hearthstone is a fantastic choice to kill 15 minutes, even if all you have with you is your smart phone.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/7/6/776cc0998fa9c355d72d1939ed1ff169.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/7/6/tiny_776cc0998fa9c355d72d1939ed1ff169.jpg","type":"slide","id":"66297","description":"

Team Fortress 2

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FPS Team Multiplayer Lobby-Based Shooter
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Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

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Average Match Length: 20 - 40 minutes

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Maximum Match Length: 1 hour

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Find It: Website, Steam

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Team Fortress 2 is a free-to-play lobby-based first-person shooter for PC (via Steam), PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. You pair together with other players online to form two separate teams, RED (Reliable Excavation & Demolition) and BLU (Builders League United).

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Team Fortress 2 is the biggest free-to-play first-person shooter on the PC, and it's no wonder why. There are a plethora of game modes to play in, such as Arena, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Special Delivery, Territorial Control, and more with plenty of maps to play them all on.

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Each match can last up to an hour, but that's about it. Most in-game matches last around half an hour and are good for a quick play session!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/2/6/82617f4cb19778cffe800e546f3b1d86.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/2/6/tiny_82617f4cb19778cffe800e546f3b1d86.jpg","type":"slide","id":"66288","description":"

There's nothing quite like immersing yourself in a fantastic game. That feeling you get when you set down the controller and peek at the clock to find you've been playing for 12+ hours is completely unmatched. Having copious amounts of time like that in 2015 is becoming increasingly difficult, and the demand for games that are easy to pick up and play in short bursts is staggering.

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With so much going on in our daily lives, it can be hard to find more than an hour at a time to play games anymore. Some games — infamously RPG and open world games — make it hard to get the satisfaction of progress without dumping an absurd amount of time into each title.

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If you're looking for something to play that will satisfy your gaming fix without taking up more than an hour of your time, then you've come to the right list! One of these games is bound to give you the satisfaction of progress no matter how little time you have to play.

"}]]]>
I Want You to Get Mad: Publishers Who Shut Down Fan Games Should Enrage You https://www.gameskinny.com/u72du/i-want-you-to-get-mad-publishers-who-shut-down-fan-games-should-enrage-you https://www.gameskinny.com/u72du/i-want-you-to-get-mad-publishers-who-shut-down-fan-games-should-enrage-you Sat, 18 Apr 2015 09:00:15 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

Ah games. How we love them. Fans of games show their passion in various ways. Some people, like myself and others, enjoying analyzing and critiquing games; we enjoy writing about them. Others enjoy reading what we crazy writers have to say and responding to our ramblings, which can lead to some thoughtful (and, at times, heated) discussions. Still, more fans go beyond and do something more creative and tangible. They cosplay as their favorite characters. They make short films or artworks of their most beloved games and characters. While all of these fans are great, I want to focus on another type of fan today: the ones who create fan games.

Another time, I promise.

Fans have been making games based on their favorite series for some time now. And since the beginning, fan games have been met with stringent opposition from publishers. Though most fan projects are innocuous labors of love, time and time again we hear about a long-developed fan game getting hit with a cease-and-desist. Despite the constant battle with publishers, fans persevere and continue to make more games. I think it is time to say what many have thought for some time, “Leave fan games alone.”

There are several points and arguments I could levy here, but there are a select few in particular I want to focus on. By killing these projects, we waste the time and effort of these passionate fans. Publishers are stamping out tons of creativity and potential developers by squashing these projects. Fans are being punished for devoting time and passion to the games they love. In some cases, fans are being reprimanded for fixing and improving the game which was launched in a horrible state. Oh the irony! 

It's Wasting Time and Effort

Let’s address one of the biggest problems first: fans spending their time to develop projects which usually never see release. Some fan projects which have been hit with the Banhammer have been in development for years. Not just one or two years, although that is no good either, some have been in development for eight years or more! These things do not just sprout up overnight either. Since these are fans that are usually making these out of love during their free time, they take a lot of time to develop and garner attention from the press and other fans.

Bomber Link’s Streets of Rage remake had been widely known about for some time since its initial development start in 2003, yet Sega only stepped in and shut the project down after the game was released to the public.

Imagine seeing eight years of blood, sweat, and tears disappearing into a black hole with nothing to show for your efforts. Bomber Link claims Sega was alerted to their project long before it ever saw the light of release. If you are going to shut a fan project down, at least have the decency to do it early before years of toiling and effort are invested.

Imagine seeing eight years of blood, sweat, and tears disappearing into a black hole with nothing to show for your efforts.
Publishers Have Become The Killers of Creativity

Most fan projects are more than a simple remake. Even if they are a remake, they are usually remaking a game in a brand-new engine or adding new mechanics of some sort. When transitioning a game to new technology, changes have to be made. It is not a simple copy/paste procedure to make an older game to run on new technology. Many remakes are reconstructing the games from scratch in these new engines. No matter how a fan project is being made, there is creativity of some form involved. Decisions are made on what to leave as is or to change. World design, art direction, music, and more are all aspects of fan games. Killing these projects kill the creative passion behind them.

We then have those ardent fans that are making games completely from the ground up. Chrono Resurrection was a fan remake of the JRPG classic Chrono Trigger that aimed to remake key parts of the SNES classic with modern graphics and all the trappings which accompany more powerful hardware.

This isn't the first time Square has stopped a well-developed project either. Perhaps one of the most well-known fan games though is The Silver Lining. TSL was an unofficial fan sequel to King’s Quest VII: The Princess Bride. Unhappy with how KQ8 added combat and heavily strayed from the adventure game format and the series’ main cast, fans decided to determine the fate of their treasured characters. After four years of development and releasing the first trailer, Phoenix Studios was served a cease and desist.  After negotiations with Vivendi and a massive email and mail campaign from eager fans, Phoenix was allowed to resume development so long as King’s Quest was dropped from the title of the game.

This all changed when Activision and Vivendi merged in 2008. It was not long until Activision served their own letter requesting production come to a halt. Fans and Phoenix held their breath waiting to see if the project would be allowed to continue. Finally, in 2010 Activision allowed the game to be released as a free title and nothing more was said on the matter. To successfully deal with one publisher is nerve-wracking enough, but to negotiate with two major publishers is beyond stressful. Thankfully, the game was released (and a new official entry in the series is slated for later this year), but what about the Chrono Resurrection and Metal Gear remakes of the world? Oh yeah. That Metal Gear fan remake I mentioned originally had Konami’s blessing to make the game so long as no profits were made. However, Konami changed their mind and revoked their blessing. The disheartening effect on the developers is more than I can imagine.

That Metal Gear fan remake I mentioned originally had Konami’s blessing to make the game so long as no profits were made. However, Konami changed their mind and revoked their blessing. 
It's a Slap in the Face to Fans

When you give the axe to a fan game, it reflects poorly on your company. I understand publishers want to protect their IP and the image it has, but what harm was the HD recreation of Bob-omb Battlefield doing to Mario? It was essentially a straight remake of a level from the classic platformer. Being the efforts of devoted fans, the projects usually have nothing but the utmost respect for their source material. The creators want to do nothing more but make a game fellow fans will enjoy. These are not tarnishing the reputation or public perception of any cherished characters. If anything, they increase a yearning for more games starring these characters.

Honestly, all of these fan games are free PR. When people see a fan version of a game they hold dear, they clamor for a new release in the series or seek to the play the ones they have. Either way, fan games keep series in the minds of gamers everywhere at no cost to the publishers. By stamping these projects out, it adds to the feeling some IPs are forever abandoned or due to rerelease hell. Perhaps the worst way you can hurt fans though, is by punishing those who made your game what it is today.

Honestly, all of these fan games are free PR. When people see a fan version of a game they hold dear, they clamor for a new release in the series or seek to the play the ones they have.

When Vampire: The Masquerade- Bloodlines was released in 2004, it was a horribly unfinished, buggy mess of a game. Developer Troika shuttered their doors not long after, leaving the game in a horrid state. In the following ten years, fans have consistently squashed bugs, patched the game, and restored or finished previously unfinished content for the game. Surely the rights holders would allow fans to remake this cult classic for modern gamers? That’s a no Ghostrider. This cease and desist was actually issued late last year. It is one thing to shut a project like the ones mentioned before down. However, to disallow the same fans who actively toiled away, at no cost to the rights holders , at finishing and fixing the game from remaking the same game? This is just a slap to the entire community who still cares about Vampires. CCP should be deeply ashamed of themselves for treating their fanbase so poorly.

This is just a slap to the entire community who still cares about Vampires. CCP should be deeply ashamed of themselves for treating their fanbase so poorly.
The Silver Lining

As bleak as it sounds, there is hope yet for fan games. Developers such as Bioware and Epic have released mad-editing and scripting tools along with a game’s release, encouraging an active modding community. Capcom has featured fan games on their community site and even funded the recent Street Fighter X Mega Man.

Of course, the best example is Valve’s treatment of fan games and mods. Valve wisely encourages modding with the Steam Workshop, allowing players to even receive some payment. Since Counter-Strike, one of the most popular multiplayer games of all time, was birthed as a mod, Valve has allowed fan creations to thrive. Some of these fans have even been hired as a result of their creation. Valve even allows fan games and remakes of their properties to be featured in their digital storefront Steam. I may have issues with Valve’s handling of Steam, but they know how to treat and reward their fans. If more developers encouraged the sense of community, creativity, and modding Valve does, things would be different indeed.

 

TL;DR
  • Fan projects are the effort of time invested. Killing these projects off leads to time wasted and is especially cruel when the project is killed immediately following release.
  • Squashing these projects kills the creativity and talent involved and can disenfranchise new talents from pursuing game development.
  • They are free PR and are never released for profit.
  • Stopping these games reflects poorly on your company.
  • Being made by fans, they usually reflect highly on the series or characters they are based upon.
  • If your fanbase was instrumental in your game, don’t punish them by shutting their games down. No need to be mean.
Going Forward

Fan projects can be wonderful things and can showcase some awesome talent. As a publisher, you want to cultivate and interact with your fans in a positive and meaningful way. If fans want to make a game based on your game, just keep tabs on it and make sure it does not reflect poorly on your IP. If a fangame was released for money or somehow tarnished a reputation of a character or series, there would be a predicament. This is usually not the case though, so why not allow this creativity to thrive? If anything, go after all the awful and horrifying fanfiction floating around and leave the fangames alone.

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Epic Offering Unreal Engine 4 Dev Grants https://www.gameskinny.com/lio8p/epic-offering-unreal-engine-4-dev-grants https://www.gameskinny.com/lio8p/epic-offering-unreal-engine-4-dev-grants Fri, 20 Feb 2015 17:42:27 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

Epic has recently set aside 5 million dollars for Unreal Engine 4 developers so they can get access to some grant money, ranging from 5 thousand to fifty thousand dollars.

How many hoops and strings do you need to cross?

Judging from Tim Sweeney's blog post about it, there are only 2 major hoops to jump through, the first is that your game needs to be in the "working prototype" stage of development, this basically means it needs to be functional and have all the core features of the game. The second hoop is that you need to directly email Epic Games via the email provided on the Unreal Dev Grant information page, tell them about your game, the amount you want, and how the money will make your project even better.

Epic Games are saying there are no strings attached. 

Your project remains yours; you own your IP and publishing rights and you can spend any grant funds however you like. Epic’s goal is simply to help UE4 developers succeed because when you succeed, we succeed.

Unreal Engine Blog post by Tim Sweeney - Founder of Epic Games

If you are using Kickstarter, have no fear, you can still apply for a grant, and just use the extra money to make your game that much more awesome.

Where can you sign up?

To get your pick of $5,000 to $50,000 head over to the Unreal Dev Grant information page, scroll down and find the "Apply Now" button.

I wish all the Unreal Engine 4 developers the best of luck with getting their grants, and am excited to see what comes from this.

Header image credit goes to Epic Games.

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Epic Shows Off: Unreal Tournament Announced With Clarity and Concept Preview https://www.gameskinny.com/3ydxb/epic-shows-off-unreal-tournament-announced-with-clarity-and-concept-preview https://www.gameskinny.com/3ydxb/epic-shows-off-unreal-tournament-announced-with-clarity-and-concept-preview Sun, 27 Jul 2014 17:01:51 -0400 Travis McGee

With development on Fortnite well underway, Epic Games has been busy lately. But that hasn't stopped them from moving ahead with a new game in the works: Unreal Tournament. On Thursday the developers who brought us the Gears of War franchise announced the early stages of development for an Unreal Tournament game with a 50-minute video outlining the concept art and visual direction the studio intends to take this new project.

Along with the video, Epic has launched a developers blog where they're inviting fans of the series to help create the new game with user-generated content. The game is still in a very much pre-alpha state, judging from the video, but the "working concept art" that the video portrays already looks much more crisp and clean than previous Unreal Tournament games.

Unreal Engine 4 brings intense graphical updates to the franchise, promising a vibrant, crisp graphical experience

Epic's new project isn't just good news for fans of the series, though, as the developers have announced on the official wiki for the game that it will be completely FREE. The wiki is very specific in this, as well; the game will be free - not free to play. In other words, we shouldn't expect a microtransaction system with the upcoming release. Instead, Epic is aiming to launch a game heavily influenced by user-generated content free to those users.

The video is lengthy, but the detail warrants it. It may be some months yet before we see anything resembling an alpha build of the game, but for those who can't wait to get their hands on it ,the blog has instructions for how to download the Unreal Engine 4 and start generating content for the game.

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Epic Announces Unreal Tournament https://www.gameskinny.com/vqntv/epic-announces-unreal-tournament https://www.gameskinny.com/vqntv/epic-announces-unreal-tournament Thu, 08 May 2014 10:32:46 -0400 Dwketchie

Today (May 8), in a live stream on Twitch, Epic announced their plans for their future title, Unreal Tournament. They will focus on developing the game for the PC, Linux and Mac platforms, and development would start as soon as the stream was completed.

The game will be unique in two ways.

The first being that Epic wants the community to play a large role in the development and creation within the game. Unreal Engine 4 will give the developers an expanded ability to make new things for the game such as skins, mods, levels and much more. Stressing the importance of the community; Epic has decided to go with no publisher and those who create content will be given the option to give it away for free or sell it to those who wish to buy it.

The other trait that makes Unreal Tournament unique is that anything that is made by Epic will be made available for free.

Their site is up but currently there is nothing there. However, there is a wiki page for those interested in learning more about Unreal Tournament or who wish to become involved with the development.

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Unreal Tournament Is Returning! https://www.gameskinny.com/2pdud/unreal-tournament-is-returning https://www.gameskinny.com/2pdud/unreal-tournament-is-returning Sat, 03 May 2014 13:18:45 -0400 S2riker

The Unreal Tournament series is making a comeback!  The news comes via Epic Games’s co-founder and vice president Mark Rein, who has just teased on Twitter that the series will be making its long-anticipated comeback with new information coming next week.

Following that tweet, Epic Games’ vice president of product development Paul Meegan confirmed on Twitter the exact time and place of the new reveal, which will take place at Twitch.tv/UnrealEngine on Thursday at 2pm ET.

Personally, I am really excited by this news.  I’ve long held the opinion that Unreal Tournament 2004 is the greatest multiplayer FPS ever created, with the other games in the series following close behind.

The latest UT games have struck a great balance between the close-quarters mayhem of pure arena FPS’s from the past with the large-scale vehicular warfare of some modern shooters, so I really look forward to seeing what Epic Games will be able to accomplish with the series given the near-limitless possibilities of their next-generation Unreal Engine 4.

What do you all think?  Are you as excited as I am for a reboot of the series or do you feel as though modern shooters have moved so far away from the UT formula that a new entry won’t be relevant to today’s gamers?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Are You Tired of Playing the Same Game Over and Over Yet? I Know I Am https://www.gameskinny.com/j7dth/are-you-tired-of-playing-the-same-game-over-and-over-yet-i-know-i-am https://www.gameskinny.com/j7dth/are-you-tired-of-playing-the-same-game-over-and-over-yet-i-know-i-am Tue, 12 Nov 2013 04:09:36 -0500 Chadtindale

When I was in High school, a new game came out that changed the world I lived in. It was called "Unreal" and life as I knew it had flipped on its head. Video games had a third dimension and games could actually include a variety of features that they couldn't before. It blew my mind... And it blew the mind of many of my classmates.

You live, you learn, you serve your community service and probation.

We wound up installing it on the computers at school to use their network to play each other. What fun! Turns out, though, that was seriously illegal, since that was government property.

Oh well. You live, you learn, you serve your community service and probation. 

 

 

 

 

It's like the gift that keeps on giving, even when you beg it to stop.

I think about those days a lot when playing games today. Mostly because I still play the same game. No... the servers are all down. And no one wants to play "Unreal Tournament" anymore...

But what about "Bioshock Infinite"? It may seem like a slightly different game, but it isn't. Not really.

Bioshock Infinite runs on the Unreal Engine that I played back in 1998 illegally on a school computer.

Sure the story has changed. There's been graphics upgrades and the weapons are different and Shyamalon wrote it a nice twist ending... but for the most part. I'm looking at a gun down the barrel towards things I shoot which for one reason or another are shooting back.

But why?

Yup... played this all through high school. Well over a decade ago.

Not much has changed in First Person Shooters.

That's true. But would you also believe that "Batman: Arkham City" ALSO used the Unreal Engine? So did "Mass Effect 3" and even "DC Universe Online". Why would so many games use the same engine? Especially games that are trying to be as different from each other as these are... (and yes, I know that they're slightly different versions of the unreal engine, but they're very similar).


Because it's cheaper than making something new.

And that's sadly true. Most games build innovation in other areas. Areas like story, graphics, and boobs. And I only really care about one of those.

Why would I settle for improvement in only some areas?

Imagine a third grader who is above average... then they grow up to be an eighth grader who is above average in Math Science and History. But he's still reading at a third grade level and eating paste. We wouldn't consider that a decent state of his mental development. We'd wonder why he was lacking. And probably also wonder why no one's checked on his development in the past years so we could've seen these problems arising.

"Most games build innovation in other areas. Areas like story, graphics, and boobs."

In films, we don't accept this level of stunted growth.

A movie with a great script that was shot on 15mm will still be viewed as flawed due to the availability of making better films. So why are video games immune to the pressure? And before you say we've come up with nothing better. I challenge you to look at some really creative engines made in the past decade.

There are some fun new Engines that prove creativity isn't dead.

No seriously, this is progress.

#1 Katamari Damacy

Remember rolling a ball and picking up stuff? Simple? Yes. But it was popular because we'd never seen anything like it. That and the fact that the soundtrack will never leave your head...

You're humming it now, aren't you?

#2 Guitar Hero

Seriously, not a complex system, But it was unique and as a result it sold very well. This one also filled in the niche of those of us who will never play live at a huge rock show to a huge audience but still like to pretend. I'm looking at you, Tom Cruise...

#3 Cryengine (Crysis)

But... this is... Oh come on. It's another FPS engine. Are you seriously unable to be even slightly creative when creating new things?

I take it back. Maybe creativity IS dead.

I miss playing new and unique things. If you ever played the Deception Series from Tecmo, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's a game that breaks new ground in Gameplay rather than just minor cosmetic upgrades. A game that puts you in a place where you're unable to fight your enemies directly. But must, instead, utilize individual room layouts to plan elaborate Rube Goldberg traps to launch, spring, pound, fling, and bounce enemies all over the environment. "Kagero: Deception 2" remains one of my favorite games of all time as a result (Just ahead of Harvest Moon).

It's about the time that you're dropping a rock on a guy's head that you realize that this truly is the pinnacle of gaming.

I wish there was a better answer. A way to tell developers that we want more than a reskin of a game released in 1998. (Though a reskin of "Redneck Rampage" might be kind of fun.) Games used to be diverse. Real Time Strategy, Turn Based Strategy... Now only the very best of those genres are alive today.

Whole genres are disappearing.

Games only want to be the biggest game out there. And so they all want to be Call of Duty. But I'm sick of "Call of Duty". I've been playing it since "Unreal" in 1998.

Why keep them around? Games only want to be the biggest game out there. And so they all want to be Call of Duty. But I'm sick of "Call of Duty". I've been playing it since "Unreal" in 1998. I want another "Final Fantasy Tactics"... Like "Vandal Hearts". I want another "Intelligent Qube". Or a new "Tetris"... But mostly, I want a new genre. Whole new ways of gaming. I want to play a game because there isn't anything else like it, not because I like the other games that are basically the same thing.

In the meantime, we can always go back to "Plants vs. Zombies" or "Angry Birds". Oh, look... the new Call of Duty has a Dog with pretty graphics. 

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