Yoshi's Crafted World Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Yoshi's Crafted World RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network GameSkinny's Best Games of 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/td48x/gameskinnys-best-games-of-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/td48x/gameskinnys-best-games-of-2019 Tue, 31 Dec 2019 16:47:58 -0500 GS_Staff

Some truly amazing games came out in 2019. From monolithic AAAs like Gears 5 and Pokemon Sword and Shield to unassuming indies like Wattam and Disco Elysium, the last year of the decade hasn't left us wanting.

To celebrate the year that was, we've collected our highest-reviewed games of 2019 into a pseudo "best of" list. We're a small staff at GameSkinny, so going the traditional "staff voting route" didn't really make a whole lot of sense. The most democratic way to make a list like this was to include any game with a score of "8" or higher. 

Such a rubric might not be perfect as it leaves out some of the year's tentpole titles like Modern Warfare and Death Stranding, but a list like this is never perfect. It will always create some form of controversy. 

So without further ado, here is GameSkinny's "Best Games of 2019" list. We have arranged the following games in alphabetical order. Be sure to sound off in the comments at the end of the article. We're certain you will have thoughts — and we want to hear them! 

A Place for the Unwilling

Publisher: ALPixel Games
Developer: ALPixel Games
Initial Release Date: July 25, 2019
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: A Place for the Unwilling offers a delightfully sinister tale of mystery and destruction with a staggering number of branching paths that guarantee no playthrough will be the same.

Read the review

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Initial Release Date: January 18, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The VR Mode is the big draw of Bandai Namco's new flight combat simulator, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, but it is more limited than you might have hoped.

Read the review

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Triumph Studios
Initial Release Date: August 6, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: The turn-based strategy game of the year has arrived, and the unexpected transition from fantasy to sci-fi is handled superbly.

Read the review

Ape Out

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developers: Bennett Foddy, Gabe Cuzzillo, Matt Boch
Initial Release Date: February 28, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: There's a lot to love about Ape Out and not many glaring flaws to point to... It may be a simple game with basic controls, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still provide a challenge that rewards sound, strategic play. 

Read the review

Astral Chain

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Platinum Games
Initial Release Date: August 30, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Astral Chain presents an experience that might be familiar to those familiar with Platinum Games, but there's enough to keep you engaged and excited... But even if you're just looking for a new, fairly linear story to dive into, or dying to get your hands on a game whose combat actually involves new ideas and executes them well, then this is the game for you.

Read the review

Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland

Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Initial Release Date: May 21, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: It's more of the same Atelier, but it also takes the best from its predecessors to synthesize a fun and customizable adventure. It might not be a huge leap forward for the series, but it combines the best elements from previous Atelier games to make this new entry a contender for best of the crop and an excellent starting point for newbies.

Read the review

Atelier Ryza Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout

Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Initial Release Date: September 26, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Atelier Ryza is the best Atelier game to date, with some much-needed improvements that make for a more compelling package on the whole.

Read the review

Blasphemous

Publisher: Team 17
Developer: The Game Kitchen
Initial Release Date: September 10, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: If you love SNES platformers and aren't concerned by the possibility of an angry god pressing its "smite" button to rain lightning upon you, Blasphemous is simply a must-play.

Read the review

Blazing Chrome

Publisher: The Arcade Crew, Limited Run Games
Developer: JoyMasher
Initial Release Date: July 11, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Rad and totally kickass, Blazing Chrome stands as one of the best run n' gun games of all time. A worthy successor to the Contra crown from concept to execution.

Read the review

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Artplay
Initial Release Date: June 18, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night stands as one of the best Vania games of recent memory, and one of the most satisfying games of 2019 so far.

Read the review

Borderlands 3

Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Initial Release Date: September 13, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Borderlands 3 is the best Borderlands has ever been. It's beautiful, funny, and frantic in the best ways. There are issues, but those shouldn't deter you too much from having an absolute blast.

Read the review

Cadence of Hyrule

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Brace Yourself Games
Initial Release Date: June 13, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Cadence of Hyrule is a fresh approach to the classic 2D Legend titles that looks and sounds amazing, but it doesn't last long.

Read the review

Cardpocalypse

Publisher: Versus Evil
Developer: Gambrinous
Initial Release Date: December 6, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Cute graphics, funny writing, and good gameplay make Cardpocalypse a rousing good time.

Read the review

Children of Morta

Publisher: 11 Bit Studios
Developer: Dead Mage Studios
Initial Release Date: September 3, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Children of Morta is a standout roguelike RPG with a solid central hook, satisfying gameplay, and gorgeous art style all piled on top of huge replay value.

Read the review

Code Vein

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Initial Release Date: June 5, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Code Vein is an anime souls-like featuring great customization and a wonderfully bizarre world.

Read the review

Control

Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Initial Release Date: August 27, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Control is undoubtedly Remedy's biggest and weirdest game yet. In many ways, it's also their best, all while it paves the way for a Marvel-like connected universe.

Read the review

Cooking Simulator

Publisher: PlayWay
Developers: Big Cheese Studio, Wastelands Interactive
Initial Release Date: June 6, 2019
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The simple fact that Cooking Simulator does what it says on the label makes it a must-have for anyone who loves cooking as much as they love gaming.

Read the review

Dark Devotion

Publisher: The Arcade Crew, DotEmu, Maple Whispering Co.
Developer: Hibernian Workshop
Initial Release Date: April 25, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Get ready to die with another killer 2D souls-like that flips the script in several ways for a refreshing take on the genre.

Read the review

Devil May Cry 5

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Initial Release Date: March 8, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Devil May Cry 5 is back, bringing with it the same hack-and-slash action that made it one of the best action franchises of all time.

Read the review

Dick Wilde 2

Publisher: PlayStack
Developer: Bolverk Games
Initial Release Date: February 19, 2019
Platforms (VR): PS4, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: With humor, stylish visuals, and solid shooting mechanics, Bolverk Games' Dick Wilde 2 is a great little VR diversion for those that dig on-rails shooters.

Read the review.

Disco Elysium

Publisher: ZA/UM
Developer: ZA/UM
Initial Release Date: October 15, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Looking for something even weirder than Torment and with even more character customization options? Disco Elysium is RPG of the year. Hell, maybe even the decade.

Read the review.

Doraemon: Story of Seasons

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developers: Marvelous Inc., Brownies Inc.
Initial Release Date: October 10, 2019
Platforms: PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Doraemon: Story of Seasons borrows from both franchises while managing to be a stand-out farm-sim game in its own right.

Read the review.

Dragon Star Varnir

Publisher: Idea Factory
Developer: Compile Heart
Initial Release Date: June 11, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Dragon Star Varnir could use some polishing in a few areas, but the combat, setting, and story make for a dark and compelling RPG nonetheless.

Read the review.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

Publisher: Square-Enix
Developers: Square-Enix, Omega Force
Initial Release Date: July 12, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Dragon Quest Builders 2 takes just about everything that made the original so enjoyable and improves upon it.

Read the review.

Etrian Odyssey Nexus

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Atlus
Initial Release Date: February 5, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Etrian Odyssey Nexus is an excellent way to end the franchise's time on the 3DS, beckoning old and new fans alike back into the labyrinth.

Read the review.

Far Cry New Dawn

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Initial Release Date: February 15, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Far Cry New Dawn recycles the same general setting from last year's Far Cry 5, but this time with a post-apocalyptic twist and healthy injection of creative, colorful, and bombastic content.

Read the review.

Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark

Publisher: 1C Entertainment
Developer: 6 eyes Studio
Initial Release Date: August 16, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark is a deep and engrossing tactical RPG no genre fan should miss. With interesting characters and complex combat, it's a poster child for the greatest the genre can provide.

Read the review

FIFA 20

Publisher: EA Games
Developers: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Initial Release Date: September 27, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: For fun and realistic gameplay, FIFA 20 can't be beat, though the specter of card packs looms large over the game's Ultimate Team mode.

Read the review

Figment

Publisher: Bedtime Digital Games
Developer: Bedtime Digital Games
Initial Release Date: September 22, 2019
Platforms: PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Figment turns a touchy topic into an engaging puzzle adventure that's filled with heart and some excellent setting and soundtrack designs.

Read the review

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Publisher: Nintendo
Developers: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo
Initial Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the definitive Fire Emblem experience, with a compelling story, streamlined gameplay, and a staggering amount of content.

Read the review

Gears 5

Publisher: Xbox Game Studio
Developer: The Coalition
Initial Release Date: September 10, 2019
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: The Coalition has set a new benchmark for Microsoft's first-party campaigns. By taking huge risks, subverting expectations, and delivering a visual spectacle, Gears 5 is the best in the series.

Read the review

God's Trigger

Publisher: Techland
Developer: One More Level
Initial Release Date: April 18, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Heaven's under new management. It takes a little while to come into its own, but God’s Trigger is a decent weekend’s worth of splatterpunk entertainment.

Read the review

Gorn

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer:
Free Lives
Initial Release Date: August 24, 2019
Platforms (VR): PS4, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Gorn is challenging, horrifying, hilarious, and a genuine joy to play. It manages to be brilliant in both short bursts and long sessions.

Read the review

Heroland

Publisher: XSeed Games, FuRyu, Marvelous Inc.
Developer: FuRyu, Netchubiyori Limited
Initial Release Date: December 3, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Heroland offers a hilarious take on working life, RPGs, and fan culture, wrapped in a clever combat system.

Read the review.

Indivisible

Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Lab Zero Games
Initial Release Date: October 8, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Indivisible brings its own mix of genres, packed with the best group of characters in years.

Read the review.

Ion Fury

Publisher: 3D Realms, 1C Company
Developers: Voidpoint LLC
Initial Release Date: February 28, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Ion Fury mixes old and new in a throwback FPS that deftly builds its own enduring identity.

Read the review.

John Wick Hex

Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Developer:
Bithell Games
Initial Release Date: October 8, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: John Wick Hex puts you in the well-trained shoes of a master assassin, but without a lot of planning, you'll find yourself no more use than a kid with a water pistol.

Read the review.

Judgment

Publisher: Sega
Developers: Sega, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Initial Release Date: June 25, 2019
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Though there are some hiccups along the way, Judgment proves without a doubt that Ryu Ga Gotoku studio doesn't need Kazuma Kiryu to sell a great game.

Read the review.

Katana Zero

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Askiisoft
Initial Release Date: April 18, 2019
Platforms: PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: If I have one complaint about Katana ZERO, it's that there's not already a sequel.

Read the review.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Square-Enix
Initial Release Date: January 25, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Kingdom Hearts 3 delivers an amazingly fun and intense experience in a long-awaited title that lives up to the hype.

Read the review.

Luigi's Mansion 3

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Next Level Games
Initial Release Date: October 31, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Luigi's Mansion 3 is almost non-stop fun and is another must-have for the Switch's library.

Read the review.

Madden NFL 20

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Tiburon
Initial Release Date: August 2, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Madden NFL 20's major new features are good on their own, but they are even better as a foundation for the years to come.

Read the review.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Team Ninja
Initial Release Date: July 19, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is a more-than-solid release that will interest most Switch owners. While some fans of the original games might have gripes, it's still likely to be a solid choice.

Read the review.

Metro Exodus

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: 4A Games
Initial Release Date: February 15, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Metro Exodus, 4A's new first-person shooter, is almost a perfect game, introducing exciting new elements while still offering the classic Metro experience.

Read the review.

Mini-Mech Mayhem

Publisher: FuturLab
Developer: FuturLab
Initial Release Date: June 18, 2019
Platforms (VR): PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: If you want a new, randomized strategy title for the PSVR that you can sink dozens of hours into, Mini-Mech Mayhem should be on your wishlist immediately.

Read the review.

MLB The Show 19

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: SIE San Diego Studio
Initial Release Date: March 26, 2019
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The Show is back with the latest, but just barely the greatest addition to the world of baseball video games.

Read the review.

Mortal Kombat 11

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Initial Release Date: April 23, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Almost three decades since the original, Mortal Kombat 11 proves the fighter's might is still strong.

Read the review.

Need for Speed: Heat

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Ghost Games
initial Release Date: November 8, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Though it still can't match the scope of Forza Horizon 4, Need for Speed: Heat is a great racing game in its own right.

Read the review.

NHL 20

Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Vancouver
Initial Release Date: September 13, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 9/10

What we said: NHL 20 delivers an enjoyable simulation of the NHL experience, with new modes and features adding additional fun to the strong framework provided by prior years' releases.

Read the review.

Night Call

Publisher: Raw Fury, MonkeyMoon
Developers: BlackMuffin, MonkeyMoon
Initial Release Date: July 17, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Night Call is an intriguing ride through Paris full of intriguing tales and conversations. Too bad its detective elements aren't as compelling.

Read the review.

One Finger Death Punch 2

Publisher: Silver Dollar Games
Developer: Silver Dollar Games
Initial Release Date: April 15, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: One Finger Death Punch 2 is a deep, rhythmic fighting game that attempts to replicate the feel of classic kung fu movies.

Read the review.

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: P-Studio
Initial Release Date: June 4, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Rating: 9/10

What we said: New Cinema Labyrinth is a brilliant combination of game mechanics with a heap of Persona charm and style that's sure to keep you busy for a long time to come.

Read the review.

Planet Zoo

Publisher: Frontier Developments
Developer: Frontier Developments
Initial Release Date: November 5, 2019
Platforms: PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Planet Zoo is a deep management sim featuring some beautiful animal recreations. It's a must-have for any animal lover.

Read the review.

Pokemon Sword and Shield

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak 
Initial Release Date: November 15, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Pokemon Sword and Shield breathe a joyous breath of life back into the series, with great improvements and a stellar batch of new 'mon.

Read the review.

RAD

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Double Fine
Initial Release Date: August 20, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: RAD is a fantastic roguelike that creates a world worth fighting for and a game well worth playing over and over again.

Read the review.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw

Publisher: Double Damage Games
Developer: Double Damage Games
Initial Release Date: October 20, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Despite a few stumbles, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is one of the best space sims of recent memory, with strong characters, fast-paced combat, and amazing music.

Read the review.

Remnant: From the Ashes

Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Developer: Gunfire Games
Initial Release Date: August 20, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Remnant: From the Ashes is a tough-as-nails cooperative shooter that brings together the best elements of games like Dark Souls and Left 4 Dead.

Read the review.

Ring Fit Adventure

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo 
Initial Release Date: October 18, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Ring Fit Adventure may be the best exercise video game, blending strength and aerobics training into an impeccably designed package.

Read the review.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Publisher: From Software, Activision
Developer: From Software
Initial Release Date: March 22, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is probably the best game From Software has ever made, and it's worth every second of your time playing.

Read the review.

Shenmue 3

Publisher: Deep Silver, Shibuya Productions
Developers: Ys Net, Yu Suzuki
Initial Release Date: November 19, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: For better or worse, Shenmue 3 is a blast from the past. It's a beautiful world marred only by its insistence to stay the same.

Read the review.

Sparklite

Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: Red Blue Games
Initial Release Date: November 14, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Sparklite is a good example of how creativity and sharp game design can elevate a genre even if you thought you'd seen everything it has to offer.

Read the review.

Spinnortality

Publisher: James Patton
Developer: James Patton
Initial Release Date: February 1, 2019
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Spinnortality is tightly focused on the bleak but shiny transhumanist megacorp side of cyberpunk, putting it in unique territory.

Read the review.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Initial Release Date: November 15, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has some technical issues and poor pacing but is still an amazing single-player Star Wars game.

Read the review.

Steel Division 2

Publisher: Eugen Systems
Developer: Eugen Systems
Initial Release Date: June 20, 2019
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Steel Division 2 proves to be a much better game than its predecessor in terms of graphics and mechanics, even if it still needs to solve a few balancing problems before it can be called "definitive."

Read the review.

Stranded Sails

Publisher: Maple Whispering Co
Developer: Lemonbomb Entertainment
Initial Release Date: October 17, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Though it's a bit more survival-focused than other games of its kind, Stranded Sails is still a mostly quaint and worthwhile farm life sim any genre fan will enjoy.

Read the review.

Stranger Things 3: The Game

Publisher: BonusXP
Developer: BonusXP
Initial Release Date: July 4, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, Android
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Stranger Things 3 has taken over the pop culture world like it always does when a new season hits Netflix. If you've binged it already and need more, the console game is a fun adaptation worth any fan's time.

Read the review.

Super Mario Maker 2

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Initial Release Date: June 28, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Super Mario Maker 2 fulfills just about everything it set out to do, making it a must-play for Mario fans.

Read the review.

Team Sonic Racing

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sumo Digital
Initial Release Date: May 21, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, iOS
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Team Sonic Racing is closer to a 3D Sonic game to a kart racer, and we love it. Sonic Heroes Racing, anyone?

Read the review.

The Blackout Club

Publisher: Question
Developer: Question
Initial Release Date: July 29, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Stranger things have happened, but they're rarely as scary or as fun as The Blackout Club, a dynamic co-op adventure that beckons with its bellowing song of hypnosis.

Read the review.

The Church in the Darkness

Publisher: Fellow Traveler
Developer: Paranoid Productions
Initial Release Date: August 2, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The Church in the Darkness is an ambitious game and delivers on its premise almost all the way. It's worth sipping this Kool-Aid.

Read the review.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3

Publisher: NISA
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Initial Release Date: October 22, 2019
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Trails of Cold Steel 3 is a masterclass in storytelling that improves nearly everything in the franchise's history.

Read the review.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Publisher: Nintendo
Developers: Grezzo
Initial Release Date: September 20, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: With a host of enhancements that more than make it worth playing for newcomers and old fans alike, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remains a brilliant example of impeccable design.

Read the review.

The Outer Worlds

Publisher: Private Division, Take-Two Interactive
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Initial Release Date: October 25, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The Outer Worlds is a goofy, full to the brim RPG that liberally samples from other giants in the genre. It's a fun romp through a neon universe.

Read the review.

The Sinking City

Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Developer: Frogwares
Initial Release Date: June 25, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: With a distinct lack of hand-holding, in-depth investigative mechanics, and a solid mix of open-world design with mythos monsters, The Sinking City is the standard for Lovecraftian games.

Read the review.

The Sojourn

Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
Developer: Shifting Tides
Initial Release Date: September 20, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 9/10

What we said: The Sojourn elevates simple mechanics and creative level design to create a thoroughly enjoyable puzzling experience and a game any fan of the genre should play.

Read the review.

The Surge 2

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Deck 13
Initial Release Date: September 24, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: With more options, more weapons, and a much bigger environment to play with, The Surge 2 improves on everything from its predecessor.

Read the review.

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove

Publisher: HumaNature Studios
Developer: HumaNature Studios
Initial Release Date: March 1, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove isn't a blast FROM the past, it's a blast TO the past.

Read the review.

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developers: Massive Entertainment
Initial Release Date: March 15, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The Division 2 is an improvement on the first game in almost every way, and it's both a fun game and a satisfying investment.

Read the review.

Trine 4

Publisher: Modus Games
Developer: Frozenbyte
Initial Release Date: October 8, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The puzzles and banter are as good as they've ever been, though Trine 4 has a hard time overcoming some dodgy combat mechanics.

Read the review.

Trover Saves the Universe

Publisher: Squanch Games
Developer: Squanch Games
Initial Release Date: May 31, 2019
Platforms: PS4 (VR), Xbox One, PC (VR), Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: A surprisingly entertaining platformer smothered in Roiland-brand humor. Trover Save the Universe is a title well worth playing whether you have a VR headset or not.

Read the review.

Truberbrook

Publisher: Headup Games
Developers: btf GmBH
Initial Release Date: March 12, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Truberbrook has a few faults, but its engaging characters, enjoyable narrative, and fantastic atmosphere make it easy to recommend.

Read the review.

Vambrace Cold Soul

Publisher: Headup Games
Developer: Devespresso Games
Initial Release Date: May 28, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: If you don't mind being actively abused and tortured for hours on end, Vambrace can become extremely addicting for fans of either Darkest Dungeon or classic SNES RPGs.

Read the review.

Void Bastards

Publisher: Humble Bundle
Developer: Blu Manchu
Initial Release Date: May 28, 2019
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Void Bastards is a roguelite shooter that encourages experimentation and smart thinking in outer space, and it mostly works to great effect.

Read the review.

Wattam

Publisher: Annapurna
Developer: Funomena, SIE Santa Monica Studio
Initial Release Date: December 17, 2019
Platforms: PS4, PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Wattam is a rare wonder of a game, full of hope, charm, and poop. But it's also one of the kindest games to come out all year.

Read the review.

We. The Revolution

Publisher: Klabater
Developer: Polyash
Initial Release Date: March 21, 2019
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: All told, We. The Revolution comes together to make a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Read the review.

What the Golf? 

Publisher: Triband
Developer: Triband
Initial Release Date: October 1, 2019
Platforms: PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: What the Golf? is a funny hole-in-one success of a game that keeps surprising and captivating with unfiltered creativity.

Read the review.

Witcheye

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Moon Kid
Initial Release Date: August 15, 2019
Platforms: Android, iOS
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Witcheye is the most fun you can have as a floating eye in a mobile game.

Read the review.

Yoshi's Crafted World

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: good-Feel
Initial Release Date: March 29, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Don't let the green dino's mid-tier status fool you. With fluid platforming, incredible attention to detail, and a huge variety of content, Yoshi's Crafted World is a must-have Switch game.

Read the review.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution

Publisher: Konami
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Initial Release Date: August 20, 2019
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is the most complete Yu-Gi-Oh! title to date, with a great price tag for its infinitely replayable content.

Read the review.

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That's it for our list of the best games of 2019. What were your favorite games? Sound off in the comments below. 

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Nintendo Merchandise Gift Guide: 16 Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Nintendo Fan https://www.gameskinny.com/97k5l/nintendo-merchandise-gift-guide-16-gift-ideas-for-your-favorite-nintendo-fan https://www.gameskinny.com/97k5l/nintendo-merchandise-gift-guide-16-gift-ideas-for-your-favorite-nintendo-fan Wed, 13 Nov 2019 16:11:50 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-maker-worth-7b677.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-maker-worth-7b677.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203959","description":"

Super Mario Maker 2

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (485 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon

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We'd be remiss if we didn't include Super Mario Maker 2 in our list, the follow-up to the excellent Super Mario Maker for the Wii U. It's the game series that lets you design, play, and share your own Super Mario levels, using items and obstacles from throughout Mario history and offering multiple aesthetic styles to suit your creative needs.

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As comprehensive as the original was, it might seem like there's no way to improve. But Super Mario Maker 2 did improve, adding even more items, even more ways to design your stages, multiplayer options, and a special new Super Mario 3D Land style that lets you create stages with 3D elements.

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On top of that is a much more expanded single-player mode, one that goes far beyond simple tutorials to use for building and sharing stages. The idea is that Mario must help rebuild Peach's castle. While it exists mostly to teach players how to make their own stages, the included levels are easily some of the best designed Mario stages in general, essentially adding a new 2D Mario game on top of the Maker components.

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Even those who spent hundreds of hours with the original found Super Mario Maker 2 to be exciting and fresh.

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---

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And that's it for our Nintendo merchandise gift guide for this year. Hopefully, this list of awesome Nintendo products helped you find a gift for your favorite Nintendo fan — or at least got your gears turning! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-art-72f15.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/a/bravely-default-art-72f15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203944","description":"

The Art of Bravely Default

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Rating: 5/5 stars (11 total ratings)
Price: $23.49 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

Bravely Default isn't a new game, but it's only just now we're getting the lovely art book we've needed since the game launched. Bravely Default itself is a solid RPG, but one of the best things about it is how completely gorgeous it is, alongside the way the story plays with RPG storytelling and its Final Fantasy roots.

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Dark Horse Books — the same ones that published the Mario Odyssey art book — brings us 256 pages stuffed full of content. There's the usual art, of course, following location and character designs from conception through to the finished product. There's also never-before-localized commentary from the development team, covering the story and its origins plus general commentary on the development process.

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This is a natural fit for anyone who's played Bravely Default, though should it already be on your intended recipient's shelf, Dark Horse published a similar book based on the game's sequel, Bravely Second.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-dragon-quest-luminarys-crest-shirt-zaccummin-7d13f.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-dragon-quest-luminarys-crest-shirt-zaccummin-7d13f.png","type":"slide","id":"203948","description":"

Dragon Quest XI Luminary's Crest Slim Fit T-Shirt

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Rating: 90% 5 stars (150 total ratings)
Price: $18.81
Buy it from: Redbubble

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Like Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest still hasn't quite reached a level of popularity in the West that generates a wealth of merchandise. But the Luminary, the hero of Dragon Quest XI, is probably a bit more well known now thanks to his debut in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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Whether your intended recipient has played DQXI or just knows the Luminary as that quirky character with the random moveset from Smash, the Luminary's Crest T-shirt from Redbubble is a great way to show off some of that Dragon Quest fan love. The design itself is central to the game, plus it's understated enough to be something you could wear anywhere, unlike some of the character-centric shirts that tend to be just a tad too loud for normal wear.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-christmas-gifts-19bea.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/dragon-quest-christmas-gifts-19bea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203945","description":"

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition

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Rating: 5/5 stars (239 total ratings)
Price: $49.99
Buy it from: Amazon

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Dragon Quest XI was one of the best RPGs that launched on the PlayStation 4 last year. Though Dragon Quest traditionally doesn't push too many boundaries in terms of RPG conventions, DQXI brought the series forward by leaps and bounds, with more character interactions, a bigger world, and a particularly potent plot twist that turns those conventions upside down.

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And now it's on the Nintendo Switch. It isn't just the regular game, either. The "definitive edition" moniker is well earned, as the Switch version includes new content, side chapters fleshing out every main character's story, a section that lets you explore elements from previous Dragon Quest worlds, and even the ability to play almost the entire game with SNES-style graphics.

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Players take control of the nameless Hero, the Luminary of ancient legends reincarnated for reasons unknown. There's a bit of a hitch in this setup, though, since the Hero ends up in prison precisely because he's the Luminary. From there, players meet up with an eclectic and fantastic cast of characters and travel around the (huge) world to uncover the mystery behind the Luminary and the dark plans unfolding behind the scenes.

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This is a meaty game, with a long main storyline on top of an extended post-game set of challenges

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019092414171700-9129043ef2aad7f1157cf852bacb8f7d-050bf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019092414171700-9129043ef2aad7f1157cf852bacb8f7d-050bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203950","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (540 total ratings)
Price: $49.94
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

Speaking of love for retro, Nintendo released an enhanced version of the classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Switch this year. Structurally, it's almost exactly like the Game Boy and Game Boy Color original, but that's not a bad thing. It isn't considered one of the best games in the storied Zelda series for nothing, and it places a greater emphasis on exploration and storytelling than many of the Zelda games that followed it.

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Link wakes up on a strange island and finds out he has to also wake up a mysterious creature known as the Wind Fish. He can't figure out why everyone on the island reminds him of people in Hyrule — or why creatures from other Nintendo franchises are wandering around. It's a surreal adventure tightly woven around some wildly unique personalities.

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While the core gameplay remains largely untouched, the game's visuals and soundtrack received some excellent upgrades. The entire game looks like a mix of toybox and diorama style in what, alongside Crafted World, stands out as one of the year's most innovative use of visuals in a game.

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If you can't tell already, we liked it. A lot. You can see all the reasons why here if you're interested.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/s/nes-encyclopedia-0cdfd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/s/nes-encyclopedia-0cdfd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203942","description":"

The NES Encyclopedia

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Rating: 4.5 stars (12 reviews)
Price: $37.04 (Hardcover) or $29.95 (Paperback)
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

This is the quintessential guide to everything Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). There's a comprehensive, but concise, overview of that period in gaming and the system itself, along with a detailed entry for every NES game released  all 714 of them  plus the 160 unlicensed games. It's the only book of its kind.

\n

The author is considered an expert in retro gaming as well, so you know it's coming not just from a reliable author, but from someone with personal experience of, and passion for, the topic. The enthusiasm for retro gaming is only getting stronger, so this would be a perfect gift for someone who already has the latest Nintendo products and even the NES Classic.

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Plus, the author is currently compiling an SNES Encyclopedia, which means we just sorted your Christmas 2020 plans for you as well. You're welcome.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-wallet-for-adults-925cb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-wallet-for-adults-925cb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203936","description":"

Poke Ball Classics

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If that certain someone isn't a plushie fan or can't carry their favorite stuffie around with them, the Poke Ball Classics collection is a consideration. It's a range of professional attire and accessories for adults (or those who have to pretend to be adults during the day).

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Though the wallet is shown above, the line contains a number of choices.

\n\n

It's a great reminder of the child at heart, that the things we love don't have to fall away just because time passes and we grow up. And they look cool, which is always a bonus.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sitting-cuties-86ac9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sitting-cuties-86ac9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203935","description":"

Pokemon Sitting Cuties Plush

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Ratings: Generally 5 stars (number of ratings varies depending on which plush)
Price: $10.99
Buy it from: The Pokemon Center

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The National Pokedex in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield might not include all 1,000+ Pokemon this time around, but the spirit of Gotta Catch 'Em All is alive and well with The Pokemon Center's line of Pokemon Sitting Cuties.

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Right now, the line includes every Pokemon from Generations 1 and 2, which equates to 253 different plushies. These range in size from 5-inches to roughly 8-inches, but all are $10.99.

\n

As you'd expect, they all sit up somehow, which makes them easy to display or even just to sit around without worrying about them falling over and becoming the dog's next meal.

\n

The size also means these could be great individual stocking stuffers or grouped together as more than one, and they won't take up much space for the recipient either.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-odyssey-art-3997c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/r/mario-odyssey-art-3997c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203943","description":"

The Art of Super Mario Odyssey

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Rating: 4.5/5 (9 reviews)
Price: $34.98 (Hardcover)
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

Super Mario Odyssey, the beloved plumber's first Nintendo Switch outing, has been around for two years now, and many players have seen all there is to see. What they may not have seen, though, is how it all came to be.

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Publisher Dark Horse Books recently put out The Art of Super Mario Odyssey, an in-depth art book presenting the various kingdoms Mario ventures to in a completely new light.

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And it's not light on content either, with 368 pages worth of material. From finished products and concept art, to cut designs and stories from the development team, this artbook is a must-have for Mario Odyssey fans.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019110613521300-0c015090e6c5e3f06d97fede95458758-a8cff.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019110613521300-0c015090e6c5e3f06d97fede95458758-a8cff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203949","description":"

Luigi's Mansion 3

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (145 total ratings)
Price: $59.99
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

Luigi's Mansion first appeared on the GameCube way back in 2001, and despite being well-received, it's only seen two sequels since then. It's kind of okay, though, because the most recent of those, Luigi's Mansion 3, is a polished game that's an absolute blast to play from start to finish.

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Luigi, Mario, Peach, and some Toads are on vacation at the ominously named Last Resort Hotel. Everything seems perfect until night falls, the hotel owner reveals she's in alliance with Luigi's old nemesis King Boo, and everyone except Luigi has been sealed inside portraits.

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Fortunately, Luigi soon recovers his trusty Poltergust vacuum that lets him suck up ghosts and basically everything else. From there, it's up to the player to explore all 17 floors in the massive haunted hotel, uncovering secrets, solving puzzles, playing with toilets, and fighting off hordes of ghosts.

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It's definitely one of the better-looking games on the Switch. You're rewarded for paying attention to the details as well since many puzzle solutions are found by carefully examining what's around you. All in all, Luigi's Mansion 3 is just plain fun for any age.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-keep-calm-have-apple-gel-mug-a745-8c095.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-keep-calm-have-apple-gel-mug-a745-8c095.png","type":"slide","id":"203947","description":"

Keep Calm and Have an Apple Gel Mug

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Rating: 95% 5-star ratings (out of 66)
Price: $15.76
Buy it from: Redbubble

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2019 has been an excellent year for RPGs on the Switch, but one that sort of got lost in the shuffle is Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. It's a remaster of a game that's largely considered the best in the long-running Tales of series, and it made its debut on a Nintendo system with the Switch earlier this year.

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For a while, Apple Gels are quite literally your lifeblood in the game, being the most basic — and affordable — method of restoring your health and keeping you going. This mug does the same thing for whatever your essential building block of life might be, whether it's coffee, tea, or something else entirely.

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It's a fun little reminder to take a break and give yourself a nice little treat in the middle of the day. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/x/nexus-cd4dc.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/x/nexus-cd4dc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203933","description":"

Etrian Odyssey Nexus

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Ratings: 4.5/5 stars (50 total ratings)
Price: $29.97
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

The 3DS still saw some new releases in early 2019 as well, with Etrian Odyssey Nexus being one of the more prominent ones. It's a celebration of, and possibly farewell to, Atlus' long-running Etrian Odyssey series that first debuted back on the original DS.

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Etrian Odyssey Nexus is a throwback to traditional, first-person dungeon crawler RPG mixes, where you put together a party of five adventurers and explore a series of labyrinths. The exploration is the real star here, since Etrian Odyssey games require you to draw your map as you explore, documenting shortcuts, secrets, walls — or not, if you don't want to (but you should).

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These labyrinths aren't for the fainthearted, either. Etrian Odyssey is known for being one of the more challenging RPG series on the 3DS, and Nexus is no exception (though as always, the difficulty can be changed at any time to suit your needs).

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Overcoming the challenges in each labyrinth requires some careful party planning, and that's one of the game's biggest strengths. You have access to over a dozen unique classes pulled from all the previous Etrian Odyssey games, each with its own set of skill trees that offers a ton of customization options. No two EO parties will be the same and each offers a tremendous level of freedom in how each player approaches the game and keep things fresh for a long time.

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We go into more detail in our review here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-ferdinvon-aegir-classic-shirt-aphoticamarant-55db2.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-2019-ferdinvon-aegir-classic-shirt-aphoticamarant-55db2.png","type":"slide","id":"203932","description":"

I Am Ferdinand Von Aegir T-Shirt

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Ratings: 90% 5/5 stars (118 total ratings)
Price: $17.36
Buy it from: Redbubble

\n

Maybe the person on your list already has Fire Emblem: Three Houses. If so, and if they're active on the Internet at all, they're probably familiar with this little gem of a phrase.

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For a bit of context, Ferdinand is a character in the Black Eagles House, the son of the imperial prime minister and someone who has rather a good opinion of himself. Every character has a sound byte play when you first choose them during your turn. Dorothea, the former opera songstress, says, "That's my cue!" while the ever-impatient Lysithea says "Let's make this quick...".

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Ferdinand? He says "I am Ferdinand Von Aegir!" That's it. That's all his enemies need to know, because for Ferdinand, the entire world is encapsulated in that one statement.

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Naturally, this immediately turned Ferdinand and his catchphrase into a meme and even webcomic material. There isn't much Three Houses merchandise available, but this one, with its humor and stronger connections to the gameplay experience itself, is definitely one of the better pieces out there.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/i/seiros-26e74.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/e/i/seiros-26e74.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203931","description":"

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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Rating: 5 stars (496 total ratings)
Price: $57.85
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is an absolute must-have for any fan of RPGs or strategy games. It accommodates players of all skill and interest levels, and that's not something many strategy games do. It's a marriage of traditional Fire Emblem strategy gameplay with an RPG-style school setting that offers players an unprecedented level of customization. 

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Then there's the story. Three Houses boasts a sprawling storyline split into four main branches depending on the player's choices. Each branch shares a similar first part, then they all diverge wildly, covering completely separate storylines and characters.

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There's no "true" ending here, giving extra weight to the initial House choice and which students players choose to recruit into their armies. Fortunately, there are ways to shorten subsequent playthroughs, so experiencing each story won't just be a slog.

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It's also one of the most accessible Fire Emblem games to date. There's Classic mode, where dead units stay dead, and Casual mode, where characters who drop to 0 HP just retreat. Then there's Normal and Hard difficulty, with the soul-shattering Maddening mode recently added as the highest difficulty level in the game. Stat crunching menu lovers can spend time optimizing every student, or you can skip the instructions part and let the game do it for you.

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You can see our review of it as well if you need some more specific details, and we even have a range of Three Houses guides to point your happy recipient in the right direction should they need some assistance.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019033023514000-e0271681f1ac755dde5456b234024a96-a96e7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019033023514000-e0271681f1ac755dde5456b234024a96-a96e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203922","description":"

Yoshi's Crafted World

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Rating: 4.6/5 (350 total ratings)
Price: $43.94
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

With all the big releases and epic adventures that released on Nintendo Switch this year, it's easy to forget Mario's lovable dino-sidekick Yoshi had their own game release this year as well.

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Yoshi's Crafted World follows in the footsteps of Yoshi's Woolly World on the Wii U and 3DS, sending Yoshi across a variety of absolutely gorgeous worlds stuffed full of detail to retrieve some special Gems stolen by an evil Magikoopa.

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Crafted World goes beyond Woolly World in the detail department, though. Every item in the game is a handicraft item, made from cardboard, straws — anything and everything you'd expect to see in a craft project of some kind. Most of these are used in puzzles of some kind or can be interacted with to earn a special item or coins as well, and it's easily the best use of graphics and environment in a game this year.

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Like most Yoshi games, Crafted World isn't designed for your hardcore challenge seeker. It's fairly easy, though trying to find all the collectibles is a challenge in itself. Still, someone who appreciates solid and fun design and is happy to just get lost in the world for a while would be a good match for Yoshi's Crafted World.

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If you need more information about it, head over to our review for a more thorough description.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-lite-joycon-drift-25861.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-lite-joycon-drift-25861.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203946","description":"

Nintendo Switch Lite

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Rating: 4.5/5 stars (322 total ratings)
Price: $199.95
Buy it from: Amazon

\n

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a more portable variant of the standard Nintendo Switch. While it sacrifices the ability to connect to a TV and it lacks HD Rumble — which means there's a handful of games it can't play — it's also a heck of a lot easier to carry around. It's also generally more comfortable to play in handheld mode.

\n

Otherwise, it does everything the same, with a display that's just a bit clearer than the original Switch, longer battery life, and improved backlight and sound settings.

\n

If you're buying for someone who mostly plays portable systems or who needs their own Switch outside the family unit, then this is definitely a better buy than the base model — not least because it's $100 less than the original Switch. Check out our full review and detailed comparisons here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-christmas-guide-08f1c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-christmas-guide-08f1c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"203969","description":"

It's holiday 2019 already. Christmas is almost upon us, and it's time to start thinking about all the rad Nintendo merchandise you're going to gift that special someone. Luckily, we've done a lot of the leg work and put together a list of 16 awesome gifts to kickstart your holiday journey. 

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The Nintendo Switch has been out for two years now, but 2019 was an extra-good year for Nintendo fans. Just in the past 10 months alone, we've seen several high-quality new titles added to the system's library, ranging from epic RPGs to games that let you build your own levels. The 3DS even got an excellent new title earlier in the year.

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But what to do when that special someone already bought the latest games? We've got you covered there, too, with a selection of non-game merchandise to suit a variety of interests and tastes.

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Let's see what we've got below. 

"}]]]>
Yoshi’s Crafted World: All Poochy Pup Locations In the First Dream Gem Path https://www.gameskinny.com/tm2ov/yoshis-crafted-world-all-poochy-pup-locations-in-the-first-dream-gem-path https://www.gameskinny.com/tm2ov/yoshis-crafted-world-all-poochy-pup-locations-in-the-first-dream-gem-path Tue, 02 Apr 2019 12:06:07 -0400 Michael House

Just when you thought Yoshi’s Crafted World already had enough collectibles, the game introduces the Flip Side. In each level’s Flip Side, there are three elusive Poochy Pups, even cuter versions of Yoshi’s friend Poochy. For each one you catch, the game rewards you with a Smiley Flower.

Even though the Poochy Pups bark when they’re nearby, they can still be tricky to get. If you’re having a hard time catching all the Poochy Pups along the first Dream Gem path, this guide can help you with the ones you’re missing.

Below are the locations of every Poochy Pup in each level of the path.

Rail-Yard Run

Poochy Pup 1

As the train you’re on begins to stop, you’ll see the first Poochy Pup run to a corner in the level trail. To get it, just head to that corner.

Poochy Pup 2

Shortly after finding the first Poochy Pup, you’ll see Poochy Pup 2 running back and forth between two bushes in the background. You can catch it by throwing something at it.

Poochy Pup 3

You’ll see Poochy Pup 3 hanging out in a cardboard box between two jelly bean containers. If you look closely, you’ll notice openings in both containers. Run through either opening to access the Poochy Pup.

Many Fish in the Sea

Poochy Pup 1

Poochy Pup 1 is waiting for you on top of the dojo-like structure near the beginning of the level. If you’re quick enough, you can catch it there.

However, it’ll more than likely flee from your reach. Don’t worry, though  if you just proceed through the level, you’ll notice it on top of a yogurt container. Throw an egg at it to get it.

Poochy Pup 2

Just after reaching the first checkpoint, you’ll come across Poochy Pup 2 hiding under blue boxes. To get it, ground pound one of the exposed boxes and then break the other boxes by throwing something at them. You can also break them with a Koopa shell.

Poochy Pup 3

Even though the last Poochy Pup is easy to hear, it’s not so easy to find. Shortly after reaching the second checkpoint, you’ll encounter a clownfish rocking back and forth on a tube. If you look in the background, you can see the Poochy Pup appear from a pipe and run to the right.

Although it’s possible to catch it by throwing something at it, it’s much easier to proceed through the level until you reach the section containing Shy Guys and floating fish. Don’t let these fish platforms fool you  there’s ground underneath. Go to the ground to get the last Poochy Pup.

Pirate Pier

Poochy Pup 1

As you make your way through Pirate Pier, you’ll come across Poochy Pup 1 hanging out on the level trail. If you’re quick enough, you can catch it by simply proceeding on the trail.

If it flees from you, it fortunately won’t run very far. To get it, just go a little bit to your left.

Poochy Pup 2

Poochy Pup 2 is next to a switch under the level trail. To catch it, you’ll need to flip the switch. You can flip it by jumping through the opening in the vertical cardboard structure and then throwing something at the target to your right. After hitting the switch, the door next to the Poochy Pup will open.

Poochy Pup 3

Poochy Pup 3 is also under the level trail. To enter the container it’s in, you must crouch through the small opening on the left. You can also get it by throwing something at it through the opening.

Poochy’s Tape Trail

Poochy Pup 1

After progressing through the level a bit, you’ll see the first Poochy Pup appear in the foreground. To get it, either throw an egg at it or take the path that leads to it.

Poochy Pup 2

You’ll see Poochy Pup 2 near the tutorial box you encounter shortly after reaching the first checkpoint. It’s jumping back and forth between two boxes in the background. Throw something at it to catch it.

Poochy Pup 3

From Yoshi’s perspective, the third Poochy Pup is hidden behind a bush. From yours, though, it’s in plain sight. When the level splits into three paths after you pass the golden crown, take the frontmost one until you reach the Poochy Pup. Throw something at it to get it.

Go-Go Yoshi

Poochy Pup 1

Near the beginning of the level, a truck carrying Poochy Pup 1 will appear in front of you. You’ll need to punch the truck to get the Poochy Pup. Be aware the truck will escape if you don’t clear the obstacles in your way quickly enough.

Poochy Pup 2

Shortly after you encounter three rising blocks carrying Shy Guys, you’ll see another set of three rising blocks. Poochy Pup 2 is on the rightmost block. To catch it, punch the block before it rises too far.

Poochy Pup 3

Poochy Pup 3 will appear on a UFO in the background. As soon as you see it, be sure to clear the obstacles in your way as quickly as possible.

After a moment, the UFO will come to the foreground. You must punch it to get the Poochy Pup. However, to reach the UFO, you have to jump. Also, like the truck from earlier, it’ll escape if you’re not quick enough.

Mine-Cart Cave

Poochy Pup 1

You’ll see Poochy Pup 1 near the level’s first green box of bomb enemies. It’s jumping among the waterfall platforms in the background. Throw an egg at it to catch it.

Poochy Pup 2

Near the level’s second green box of bomb enemies, you’ll hear Poochy Pup 2, but you won’t see it.

To expose it, spit a bomb enemy at the above rocks holding a mine-cart. The cart will fall, and you’ll find the Poochy Pup on top of it.

Poochy Pup 3

You’ll hear the third Poochy Pup right after making it to the top of a set of waterfall platforms. Move right until you reach a drop in the level trail. Spit a bomb enemy at the rocks to your left to access the Poochy Pup.

Whistlestop Rails

Poochy Pup 1

As you ride on the train, the first Poochy Pup will appear in the foreground on another train. Throw an egg at it to get it.

Poochy Pup 2

After getting off the train, take the path that leads to the background and turn left. Poochy Pup 2 is hiding behind a brown box next to the blue house. To catch it, throw something at it. If you throw something at the box first, the Poochy Pup will run away, but it will only run a little bit to your left.

Poochy Pup 3

Shortly after getting off the train the second time, you’ll see Poochy Pup 3 on top of a big rock in the background. Throw something at it to get it.

Mousers and Magnets

Poochy Pup 1

When you enter the first room of mouse enemies, make your way to the frontmost path and go all the way to the left until you see a soda can. Spit a magnet at the can and use it to jump to the top of the room. You’ll see Poochy Pup 1 running back and forth.

Poochy Pup 2

In the second room of mouse enemies, Poochy Pup 2 is hanging out among them. Inflate the balloon cat to get it to come down. To catch it, throw something at it as it runs in fear.

Poochy Pup 3

You’ll hear Poochy Pup 3 near a can suspended in the air. If you look closely, you’ll see it under the part of the level trail held by a string. To free the Poochy Pup, put weight on the suspended can by spitting a magnet on it.

Now that you know how to get each Poochy Pup in the game's first path, you're prepared to take on the Flip Sides' time trials. If you catch all three of a level's Poochy Pups in under a certain time, you'll obtain yet another Smiley Flower.

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Yoshi's Crafted World Review: Crafting a New Classic https://www.gameskinny.com/djvdh/yoshis-crafted-world-review-crafting-a-new-classic https://www.gameskinny.com/djvdh/yoshis-crafted-world-review-crafting-a-new-classic Sun, 31 Mar 2019 19:01:09 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

E3 2017 teased a lot of future Switch titles, but one intriguing one that captures people's imaginations — and social media attention — was titled simply Yoshi. Almost two years later, the finished product, Yoshi's Crafted World is here. But does it measure up to the hype?

The answer is yes and the some.

Yoshi's Crafted World might not innovate as drastically as Super Mario Odyssey or Breath of the Wild, but it sets a new standard with its devotion to high-quality content (and a lot of it) throughout. Seamless gameplay design and attention to even the smallest of details make this an absolute must-have for Switch owners.

Wish Upon A Gem

Yoshi's Crafted World stars Mario's famous sidekick apparently before he met up with the capped baby for their chronologically first adventure together in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. The story opens on a bright and peaceful day. The Yoshis are gathered around the Sundream Stone, a mystical item said to make the user's dreams come true.

If you've played a Yoshi game before, you know something bad happens anytime Yoshis gather. Crafted World is no exception. Kamek and Baby Bowser (not Bowser Jr., though they look almost identical) show up and try to steal the Stone.

The Yoshis try to stop them, and in the process the Dream Gems — shiny stones set in the Sundream Stone — burst out of the Stone itself and scatter across the island.The hunt is then on to reclaim those Dream Gems before Kamek and Baby Bowser find them first.

Yoshi's Islands

Crafted World takes place in, well, a crafted world. It's a paper, cardboard, DIY-version of Yoshi's Island strung out over different islands. Yet despite being set in that familiar location, you certainly won't recognize any of the themed areas Yoshi visits.

There's the usual lava, cave, and wintery settings, of course; but these are coupled with pirate coves, bucolic train stations, a garden shed, scenic camping trails, a stage infested with demonic clowns, and many, many more. The sheer variety of settings in Crafted World is one of its major strengths because there's always something new to see.

This time around, the island is set up a bit differently too. Whereas other Good Feel games, including Yoshi's Woolly World and Kirby's Epic Yarn (and Extra Epic Yarn), have distinct worlds with multiple levels grouped around a specific theme, Crafted World doesn't.

Instead, the island consists of multiple smaller regions themed around a set diorama. With a few exceptions, each diorama will have two or three levels, but even then, the levels vary drastically in form and style.

For example, the Origami Gardens diorama has two levels. The first is a regular platforming level stuffed full of secrets. The second is a mashup of a platforming level and an arcade-style game where you have to defeat as many Monty Moles as possible to earn the highest Smiley Flower score.

It's a theme repeated throughout the game, with every level offering something new. The desert diorama has one level where you use a dino-skull to plow through enemies and obstacles, and the mechanic isn't repeated for the next level. That one sees Yoshi fleeing from a giant, re-animated dinosaur skeleton  while still gathering as many extras as possible.

Not only does that mean Crafted World contains the biggest variety of gameplay mechanics of any Yoshi game, but it also means that level and environment designs don't wear out their welcome.

Each level throws its best at you, and as much of it as possible, because that's the only chance it has before it's time for you to move on and see what surprises and delights the next stage has in store.

The order in which you choose experience these levels largely depends on you as well. After you obtain the first Dream Gem, the world map opens up with branching paths. Completing the Origami Gardens diorama lets you choose between the Dino-Desert and the Pastel Pathway, and the pattern repeats.

It's not exactly open world, but it's a nice measure of non-linearity — and to a greater extent than we even saw in  Super Mario Odyssey.

Crafty Designs

Each stage certainly does have delights and surprises to show you, whichever path you choose to take. The basic theme is crafts, but like crafty things themselves, there's near endless variety on offer in each stage's design.

Take Poochy's Tape Trail for an example. It borrows the paper-craft aesthetic of the Paper Mario games and multiply it exponentially, with intricate paper vines, flowers, leaves, and snowmen set against a changing backdrop of construction paper and cardboard clouds, all meant to represent the passing seasons.

Mousers and Magnets is yet another example of the game's clever design. Among other things, Yoshi uses an air pump to inflate a balloon cat and scare Mousers out of the rafters of a cardboard camping hostel because they're playing catch with magnets.

These magnets are how you climb up the soda can cliffs to make it further through the level, but the Mousers quickly flee back up the bendy-straw pipes with their loot.

In place of your usual moving platforms, you get something unique to whatever themed area you're in. In Origami Gardens, for instance, you get metal flowers that burst into bloom and shrink back down again. And almost every platform in Yarrctopus Dock's Pirate Pier is made of ropes, which makes them bouncy platforms and changes how you time your movements over the stage's obstacles and enemies.

There's even a nod to Woolly World and Epic Yarn in Pastel Pathway's first level, though it must be said, Crafted World's version does trump both in terms of detail and color.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, though. It's difficult to determine which to appreciate more, the overall design or the incredible attention to detail, both large and small.

From windmills made of cups and cardboard and paper plate hills with Shy Guys bouncing on platforms just for fun, to toilet paper roll trees and plate fishes on sticks with platforms and their SKU codes still showing underneath peeled paint, Crafted World is absolutely stuffed full of charming touches that make it stand out from the crowd.

Seamless Gameplay

A fantastic aesthetic and attention to detail wouldn't save a game if the actual gameplay in each level was flawed, though. Fortunately, it isn't.

Yoshi's Woolly World was more platform-intensive, similar to a Yoshi's Island game. Crafted World combines platforming with basic puzzle solving and wraps it around levels designed to encourage and reward exploring every possible nook.

There's a total of 16 themed areas, with 39 levels and 5 boss battle levels. There's also a hidden world unlocked after the credits roll with three extra stages and another boss battle.

Yoshi has his classic repertoire of moves at his disposal, including the flutter jump, ground pound, and egg tossing. Only this time, egg tossing takes on greater importance.

You can aim at objects in the foreground and background, many of which hide coins or Smiley Flowers. If you can't seem to find a few Red Coins, there's always a possibility a group of Shy Guys is hiding out behind a prop somewhere, holding the coins you seek.

In other cases, you can toss as many eggs as you can at an object to earn more coins based on how many hits you land.

Like almost all Yoshi games, the purpose of each stage is to reach the goal.

But this is a Good Feel game, which means there's a ton of items to collect along the way. Unlike Extra Epic Yarn's beads, soundtracks, and medals, there are fewer types of item in Crafted World, but they all have a specific purpose directly related to gameplay.

The primary items you'll gather are Smiley Flowers (with tiny, crinkly paper petals) and Dino Coins. There's the regular variety of coin, and Crafted World also includes Red Coins and Blue Coins.

Each level contains a set number of Smiley Flowers for you to find, ranging from 5 in the early stages on up as you progress through the Island. There are conditions you can meet to earn bonus Smiley Flowers as well: 1 for reaching the goal with 100 coins or more; 1 for collecting all 20 Red Coins; and 1 for reaching the goal with 20 Hearts (a full health meter).

Finding the Red and Blue coins or even all the Smiley Flowers in a stage isn't always easy, as Crafted World rewards players for paying attention. An enemy under a platform might seem like something you can just ignore and be on your way, but defeating it might make a question mark cloud appear, which could gift you with coins, Red Coins, or even a Smiley Flower.

The same applies to other, out of the way areas you might come across. Dead ends aren't always dead ends, and Crafted World often makes good use of Super Mario Bros.'s World 1-2 trick of hiding something important just above the screen's reach.

The Flip Side

The other component of Crafted World's levels is the Flip Side. The Flip Side has Yoshi play through a stage starting at the end point and from a behind-the-scenes perspective.

The objective here is to find all three Poochy Pups. Each rescued Pup grants you a Smiley Flower, and if you manage to bring them to the goal in a certain time, Poochy offers you a bonus Smiley Flower.

In theory, it's easy. In practice, you'll likely find yourself taking advantage of the Retry option to start over. Some of the Pups are well hidden indeed, and a few stages are trickier from the opposite perspective.

Playing through each level from behind the scenes offers more then just a backwards playthrough, though. You actually end up seeing a whole new world.

If you've watched the trailers or played the demo, you've already had a taster of how that works — seeing the Shy Guys hold up props or noticing more of the crafted element that really makes it feel like you're playing behind the stage where no one was meant to see.

But the attention to detail here is just as remarkable as in the normal side of the stage. For example in Pirate's Pier, you usually see a seaside village in the background, but on the Flip Side, you realize why the stage has its name.

The Flip Side shows you the rest of the stage, in this case, another side of the harbor that's full of Shy Guy pirate ships.

Mousers and Magnets is another good example. The normal stage has a definite hiking-and-camping vibe to it, and on the Flip Side you see Shy Guys chilling out near a tent, enjoying the view down the mountain.

Each stage has a story to tell from the other side, whether you want to take the time to see it or treat it as a speedrun and see how fast you can finish it.

Souvenir Hunting

After you finish an area, you have the option to play through stages to find souvenirs for the crafted robot that opens each area for you.

Some are in the normal side of the stage and some are only in the Flip Side. Chances are, you've seen and interacted with them in your first playthrough: Milk bottles, a paper airplane, a plate flatfish, and so on.

Each souvenir earns you a Smiley Flower, and you don't have to finish the stage completely once you've found them, which is a nice bonus.

However, if you just want to casually play through each level or speed through it as fast as you can without heeding the hidden, the game lets you do that too.

A set number of Smiley Flowers is required to open each new area, but just through the course of normal play you should obtain enough to progress with few problems. (Unlocking the Hidden Hills might be another matter, as you need 140 Smiley Flowers total.)

Backtracking

That open-ended approach makes it perfect for a wide range of gamers and helps deal with one of only potential issues in the game: backtracking.

The Flip Side is essentially the same stage, though with a different approach to how you play through it. Plus if you want to obtain all the items in a stage, chances are, you might have to play through a few times.

That won't sit well with everyone, but the good thing is, you aren't punished if you don't want to do it, and you don't miss out on anything overly vital to the overall experience.

It's a remarkably astute design approach that maximizes how much each player can get out of the game based on their playstyles and preferences.

Costumes

Another thing that's bound to appeal to a variety of gamers is the costume subsystem. There are hundreds of unique costumes to unlock in Crafted World, from milk cans to paddle-boats, trash cans to cat costumes, and everything in between.

They're easy to unlock as well. Each area has a capsule vending machine and a board showing which costumes are available.

For 100 coins (more in later areas), you get one capsule. Capsules are ranked as normal, rare, and super rare. Because you'll get so many coins over the course of each level and there are no repeat costumes, this is gacha at its mildest. The payoff is always adorable regardless of its rarity.

Each costume has a durability ranking as well, showing how many hits Yoshi can take before the costume breaks. Normal can take three hits, rare takes four, and super rare can take five. The costume doesn't disappear once it breaks (you can use it again in the next level), and it's a good way to preserve hearts to get that bonus Smiley Flower at the end.

Challenge

With the exception of a few Yoshi's Island games, Yoshi games aren't known for providing a huge challenge. Crafted World is no different in most regards, but it takes a different approach to challenge overall.

While the game's early areas aren't particularly taxing, later ones do require an element of precision and certainly require you to pay attention to what's going on. As a whole, it's designed to be playable for everyone.

Mellow Mode lets Yoshi hover and fly higher, gather more hearts, take less damage, and employ a Flower Tracker to find hidden Smiley Flowers. You can change modes at any time, but Classic Mode balances some tricky platforming with accessibility, meaning it shouldn't present too many issues anyway.

Like with Woolly World and Epic Yarn, the main challenge is finding everything there is to find. 

That doesn't mean level design takes a hit, though.

Nintendo's other recent platforming hits like New Super Mario Bros U and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze require precision timing and platforming mastery as you hurtle through each flawlessly designed stage and marvel at how each move flows beautifully into the next.

Yoshi's Crafted World has that same philosophy in level design, where everything falls into place, but invites you to take your time and see exactly how perfectly each level was designed while you enjoy the sights at the same time.

Sights and Sounds

The game is certainly worth looking at. Fans heaped praise on the Wii U version of Woolly World for its fantastic textures, but Crafted World takes that to another level and is easily one of the better looking games on the Switch.

Every item used for crafting looks legitimate, like you could touch it and it would feel like the real thing. From the plastic-ness of the coffee creamers to the crunch of cardboard and the crinkle of foil. The Yoshis themselves strongly resemble styrofoam crafting balls (though some claim it's wool).

The environments are fantastic as well, thanks to a mix of detail and lighting that create a definite atmosphere for every stage. The deserts feel arid, Pastel Pathway is like a giant cozy quilt, and a combination of faded coloring and slightly harsher lighting make the Big Peak stages look like something that just popped out of the Western US

The game's soundtrack is a delight as well. The tune you hear the most is the theme encountered at Sunshine Station and in most of the trailers. Like the crafting materials themselves, though, it's noteworthy how one basic thing can be used in so many ways.

The area pictured above is one example. It uses a sped up version of the theme, with whistles instead of the recorder sound, and it really adds to the overall camping, outdoorsy vibe.

Slow it down and throw in some elements akin to Super Mario World's underwater theme, and you've got a perfect aqua theme, adding in some xylophone effects and staccato creates a desert theme — you get the idea.

Switch-Ability

Yoshi's Crafted World suits the Switch's design philosophy very well. There are very few, and hardly noticeable, differences between handheld and docked mode. Some comparison videos show handheld mode being blurrier, with objects less distinct as well.

That isn't something that stood out to this reviewer, though. Chances are you can't tell which of the images included in this review are from handheld or docked mode without looking very closely.

The HD Rumble is used to good effect as well. Unlike some earlier Switch games that implemented Rumble with as much subtlety as a train wreck, like Xenoblade Chronicles 2Crafted World uses it as a nice supplement.

There's a slight rumble with every landing; a drawn out, low rumble for flutter jumps; and, amusingly, an initial short rumble followed by a bigger, louder one when Yoshi consumes an enemy and produces an egg.

The short, strident rumbles that accompany Poochy Pup barking are both very fitting and very helpful in letting you know where the lil' critters could be.

It's not the most innovative use of HD Rumble, but it fits smoothly and perfectly with every element of gameplay.

---

Pros

  • Tons of content
  • Varied gameplay
  • Lavish attention to detail
  • Suited to multiple playstyles
  • Excellent level design

Cons

  • Backtracking might not be for everyone
  • Lack of direct challenge might turn some away

Yoshi's Crafted World is an absolute joy to play, a rare game that puts a smile on your face from the title screen until you power it down.

The lack of challenge and the backtracking requirements to get to 100% might turn some people off.

The fantastic visuals and attention to detail, combined with skillful, clever level building, and an unending barrage of new content and ideas make this not only the best Yoshi game in a long time, but also a masterpiece of design on par with the best the Switch has to offer.

[Note: A copy of Yoshi's Crafted World was provided by Nintendo of America for the purpose of this review.]

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5 Hype-Worthy Nintendo Switch Exclusives Coming in 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/lal9s/5-hype-worthy-nintendo-switch-exclusives-coming-in-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/lal9s/5-hype-worthy-nintendo-switch-exclusives-coming-in-2019 Mon, 24 Dec 2018 11:00:02 -0500 Emma Grave

The Nintendo Switch already boasts some impressive exclusive games. 2017 saw the releases of Super Mario Odyssey, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. 2018 brought with it big hits like Octopath Traveler, Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It's a far cry from the Wii U days.

Looking ahead to 2019, there are even more exclusives to get excited about. Let's go over five Nintendo Switch games you should have on your radar for the coming year.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The next installment in the turn-based tactical RPG (recently with added romance) series takes place in a world called Fódlan, where the mysterious-sounding Church of Seiros wields power over the people.

Players will control the main character both on and off the battlefield, interacting with other characters to gather intel and build relationships. New twists have been added to the strategic battle system this time around, such as formations of troops now supporting individual heroes as they fight for victory. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is due out in the Spring.

Animal Crossing (working title)

Following Animal Crossing’s free-to-play mobile offering, Pocket Camp, is a new mainline game announced for the Nintendo Switch during a Nintendo Direct in September. Many fans had lost hope of seeing the title when it wasn’t mentioned at E3 2018, but you can soon get back to nature in the long-awaited game.

The short teaser didn’t give much away, with Tom Nook sitting at his desk saying, “I’ve got to make sure everyone has a nice, new place to come home to when they’re ready, yes?”

With any luck, more details on this new mainline title will be revealed early in the new year.

Yoshi’s Crafted World

Mario’s cutest companion goes on an adventure in a diorama-like world made from boxes and paper cups. Each stage has a flip side to explore, offering different views and adding some surprises to the traditional side-scrolling experience. Unusual obstacles, hidden paths and collectibles are located in each area, ensuring there is lots to discover as you lead Yoshi towards the goal.

Yoshi’s Crafted World comes to the Nintendo Switch in the Spring.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (working title)

It has been a long wait for a Luigi's Mansion sequel but Luigi will finally be setting out on his next spooky journey in 2019.

The 40-second teaser shown in September didn’t reveal much about the game, but fans did get to see Luigi tentatively creeping through a haunted mansion and getting spooked by all manner of ghosts and ghouls, before bravely dispatching them with his trusty Poltergust vacuum.

Hopefully some additional details about the game will jump out of the shadows soon.

Pokémon for Nintendo Switch (working title)

Fans have already been treated to a bit of Pokémon goodness on the Nintendo Switch this year in the form of Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, and next year there will be even more to enjoy when an all-new adventure is released.

Not much is known about this new mainline title, but it’s safe to say you can expect a new land to explore, trainers and gym leaders to battle, and different Pokémon to catch and train. This core Pokémon RPG is expected to launch in late 2019.

If those five games weren’t enough to whet your appetite for the year ahead, the Nintendo Switch will also be bringing you Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, Daemon X Machina, Town, and Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.

There are three big hitters currently in development as well (although these probably won’t be out for a while yet): Shin Megami Tensei V, Bayonetta 3, and Metroid Prime 4. Not to mention all the non-exclusives and indie games to look forward to. 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for the Nintendo Switch.

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