Indie Genre RSS Feed | Indie on GameSkinny en Launch Media Network Two Point Hospital Releasing August 30, Pre-orders Available Now Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:24:19 -0400 Ashley Gill

If you've been chomping at the bit for a new management sim or have been following Theme Hospital successor Two Point Hospital, you may be excited to hear that the game's release isn't far off. Developer Two Point Studios and publisher Sega have announced the quirky hospital management sim will be making its way to PC on August 30.

Two Point Hospital is a revival of a genre many thought almost dead in the ground. The days of Dungeon Keeper and Black & White being littered throughout the PC space were left in the dust 20 years ago, but that hasn't stopped the gaming community from remembering their favorites within the genre fondly -- even today. For me, that favorite was and always will be Theme Hospital.

August 30 will signal a return to form for a number of genre veterans, as well as classic developers Lionhead and Bullfrog, both studios being renowned in their prime for charmingly quirky titles.

Fans of Theme Hospital can simply look at Two Point Hospital and feel right at home. Everything about the game's preview footage and trailers keeps the look and feel of the original game, from building and staff management to keeping patients from barfing their lunch everywhere and contaminating everyone else. The game also promises plenty of new and bizarre ailments for players to chuckle at and stress over.

Two Point Hospital will be making its way to Steam and other digital retailers on August 30 with a price point of $34.99, but you can pre-order now for 10% off. That's a lot cheaper than going to the operating theater to deal with my broken heart, but I don't think there's any curing my bloaty head.

Might & Magic Elemental Guardians Ultimate Farming Guide Thu, 19 Jul 2018 14:24:29 -0400 Ty Arthur

Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians is all about the gacha grind as you farm locations for better glyphs, more seals to spend, extra crystals and potions for upgrades, and books to evolve your team.

With a limited supply of energy on hand (for those who aren't spending real world money), farming efficiently is absolutely critical if you don't want to waste your time.

Below we cover everything you need to know to farm Elemental Guardians areas and get the most rewards for the least amount of effort.

Elemental Guardians Region Farming

To get the most out of region farming, you want to earn achievements for completing X number of stages in a region with a team composed of 3, 2, or even just 1 creature, rather than a full team of 4. At the same time, combine these with stages that have specific enemies for the kill X number of creatures achievements to earn double the rewards.

While you should build up a core group of 4 creatures to unlock the advanced and nightmare stages of each region, your focus should be on 1 ~ 3 creatures that can solo any given stage to farm achievements.

Which creature you pick will depend on the random nature of summons, but these are all solid options for solo farming contenders (either due to powerful debuff abilities, self-shielding, ability to attack repeatedly, etc.):

  • Air Stone Guard
  • Water Stone Guard
  • Water Daimyo
  • Angel Zealot
  • Earth Ninja
  • Wind Ebon Knight
  • Fire Deva
  • Earth Treant
  • Water Treant
  • Water Raksasha
  • Air Succubus
  • Fire Succubus
  • Water Ghost
  • Earth Ghost
  • Earth Minotaur

If you are looking for heal buffing creatures or creatures that can mitigate damage, there are to places in particular to play. The Air Mini Golem is farmable in Sunken City advanced stages, while the Water Arcane Bird is farmable in the Mystic Forest advanced stages. Their drop rates are low, but by farming these areas you are guaranteed to eventually get them.

Without question, the single most efficient stage to farm is Sunken City stage 6 on normal, as it gets you 4 Masaru Monks, 1 Evolved Monk, 4 Ninjas, and 1 Samurai all in one battle for only 5 energy. 

 This stage offers most bang for buck when farming achievements

By completing the achievements for those creatures, you will earn more seals, shards, and summons than in any other stage. Wasteland stage 6 on normal also offers a ton of ghosts and spectres all at once for those creature killing achievements, although the Wasteland is difficult to complete solo.

If you want to farm other creature / stage achievements, use the following table to find the most efficient paths:

Creature Location Number Appearing
Arcane Bird   Floating Islands Normal Stage 6  1
Arcane Eagle  Floating Islands Nightmare Stage 2  1
Simurgh  Floating Islands Nightmare Stage 3  2
Goblin Hunter  Wastelands Normal Stage 1  6
Goblin Trickster  Colossus Desert Normal Stage 6  3
Crossbowman Gnoll  Fire Maze Nightmare Stage 4  4
Gnoll Mages  Fire Maze Normal Stage 4  3
 Lizardman Archer   Sunken City Normal Stage 1  4
Lizardman Shaman   Floating Islands Nightmare Stage 4  3
Lizardman Warrior   Volcano Nightmare Stage 1  4
 Lizardman Warrior  Sunken City Advanced Stage 4  4
 Elemental  Fire Maze Normal Stage 2  5
 Evolved Elemental   Sunken City Nightmare Stage 2   5
 Djinn  Colossus Desert Advanced Stage 3  3
Evolved Djinn   Colossus Desert Nightmare Stage 4  4
Harpy  Floating Islands Normal Stage 6  3
 Furies  Floating Island Nightmare Stage 7  2
 Dragonflies  Ice Caves Nightmare Stage 7  2
 Serpentflies  Ice Caves Nightmare Stage 1  3
 Snakeflies  Ice Caves Normal Stage 4  2
 Young Griffins  Volcano Normal Stage 2  2
 Griffins  Volcano Nightmare Stage 3  3
 Evolved Griffins  Volcano Nightmare Stage 6  2
 Spirit Cubs  Mystic Forest Advanced Stage 1  2
 Spirit Foxes  Mystic Forest Nightmare Stage 3  3
 Kitsunes  Mystic Forest Nightmare Stage 6  2
 Centaurs  Mystic Forest Advanced Stage 3  3
 Evolved Centaurs  Mystic Forest Nightmare Stage 7  2
 Ninja  Sunken City Normal Stage 6  4
Samurai   Sunken City Normal Stage 7   2
 Evolved Samurai  Sunken City Advanced Stage 7  2
 Masaru Monks  Sunken City Normal Stage 6  4
 Unicorn Foals World Tree Mountain Advanced Stage 2  3
 Unicorns World Tree Mountain Normal Stage 5  4
Evolved Unicorns  World Tree Mountain Nightmare Stage 7  3
 Shieldguards Fire Maze Normal Stage 3  4
 Rune Sentinels Fire Maze Normal Stage 2  2
 Ghosts Wasteland Advanced Stage 3  6
 Stalkers Wasteland Normal Stage 6  6
 Spectres Wasteland Normal Stage 6  6
 Soulless Striders Wasteland Normal Stage 3  4
 Skeleton Warrior Wasteland Normal Stage 2  2
 Skeleton Mage Wasteland Normal Stage 3  2
 Wolf Cub Mystic Forest Normal Stage 1  3
Wolf    Mystic Forest Normal Stage 4  4
Silverback  Mystic Forest Advanced Stage 6  4


Elemental Guardians Book Farming

Getting a steady supply of books from the Elemental Towers or Tower Of Houses areas in the Dragonmists Isles is critical to evolving your creatures to their next level and then upgrading their skills so you can have an edge in PvP.

Fire Tower and Water Tower are often the easiest to farm because their end bosses don't use as many special abilities that drag the fights on longer. You don't usually need a specialized team or specific glyph combos to farm these areas.

On the other end, you absolutely need heal blockers (such as Water Felicore or Wind Gargoyle Whelp) for Earth Tower in order to overcome the dragon's constant self-healing. High resistance creatures or creatures with full immunity glyph sets are more useful for Air Tower to avoid the constant negative status effects in later stages.

The skill book drop rate starts at a measly 1% at stage 3 of the Towers, meaning you will get a book about 1 out of every 100 battles, which isn't helpful at all considering the energy cost to farm these areas. The drop rate then increases to:

  • 2% at stage 5
  • 3% at stage 7
  • 5% at stage 9
  • 6% at stage 10

In other words, there's no point in farming the 4, 6, or 8 stages of the Elemental Towers, since they are harder then previous stages without offering any increase in the chance to get a book for upgrading skills and evolving creatures.

When you run out of energy and need to head to the Arena, there's more opportunity for book farming if you play carefully. Getting 25 consecutive Arena wins results in an immediate 3 skill book bonus, which essentially means you automatically get to evolve your best creature.

25 wins with no losses in between sounds like a next to impossible proposition, unless you game the system. To get this achievement, make constant use of the ability to switch to the next player until you find someone with an extremely weak defense.

Be on the lookout for someone with all 3 star or low level 4 star creatures, or even someone who has recently ranked up their creatures and only has 1 creature positioned in their defense. If you are picky and use some seals to refresh the player list after rotating through 5 options, getting to 25 Arena wins doesn't take too long.

 By spending seals and seeking out weak players, you can get to 25 wins easily

More Elemental Guardians Tips & Guides

Looking to master every element of this gacha game and dominate in PvP or help out your guild with active quest completion? Check out our Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians guides here:

Fortnite End Game Guide: Tips on How the Pros Win Wed, 18 Jul 2018 20:23:20 -0400 Ty Arthur

You're finally at the point where you manage to consistently make it to the top 10 - 20 ranked spots in a Fortnite match, but now the question arises: how do you actually win during the end game?

This is what sets the amateurs and wannabees from the pros in Battle Royale matches as they learn to adapt quickly to other player strategies and stay alive as the storm circle closes.

If you find yourself struggling to be the last combatant alive and always manage to get killed in the Fortnite end game, we've got all the tips and strategies you need to finally snag that elusive Victory Royale.

How To Win In Fortnite

Fortnite is all about making it to the #1 position as the last player standing, and not about racking up the most kills. Sure, you can level up and gain bragging rights by getting kills with specific weapons, but that doesn't help you actually win.

If you get 98 kills and are sniped by the last player hiding as a bush, you still lose. It's entirely possible to win a match with 1 kill, or even with 0 kills if you manage to get the second to last player standing to accidentally kill themselves.

To reach that #1 Victory Royale position you need to be thinking sneakily and defensively (until the very end game, anyway, at which point it's time to go full aggressive). Not being seen at all is much better than getting into a firefight and coming out the victor with reduced health and ammo.

To make it to the end game, either land in an unmarked location to stay away from the early fire fights, or land in a marked location that gets significantly less foot traffic and has more cover, like Wailing Woods.  

While waiting for the storm to shrink for the end game, make sure to throw up walls before healing, but even more important, just throw them up the second you hear gunfire in the late game. Better safe than sorry. If you go for a supply drop, always box yourself in with walls first as well.

Pro players assign the wall, stairs, and floor building bindings to various mouse buttons for instantaneous building so you don't have to be struggling to find the F1 - F5 keys while getting shot at. You could even bind the wall building to the spacebar key, as it's frankly more useful than jumping. 

 Key bindings are critical to getting that half second edge over the enemy

This is critical because in most circumstances, height means winning. Ramp rushing in particular can be the difference between victory and defeat, especially in the end game when both players have tons of weaponry.

When in a fire fight you can't avoid, throw up two staircases and a floor platform (particularly if the other player is currently reloading), then hit them from above on the high ground while they scramble to find find cover. Unless you are facing off against an expert builder, they won't be able to make a fort quickly enough to defend themselves.

This strategy changes slightly when you are in a sniper fight, however. In this instance, building wider rather than taller to make it harder for the sniper to guess where you will pop out next.

While making your way to the final circle for the end game battle, always try to pick up explosives along the way, which are critical to the end game as there will almost certainly be forts involved (or barring explosives, hope for a minigun to take out their walls quickly instead).

End Game Building Strategy

However you get there, one of the most effective strategies to dominating in the end game is to simply wait in the final circle and barricade yourself as much as possible. This isn't as exciting as going full aggro across the entire match, but it's much more likely you will survive this way.

While waiting for the final opponents to arrive as the storm shrinks, take the time to reload everything so you don't have to lose any precious seconds when the final fire fight arrives.

While building your final fort, you can get sneaky by building on top of an existing structure if one is present, or instead just build a large and obvious heavily fortified position if you have the resources. Once constructed, wait in an inconspicuous corner of your fort and let the last player come to you.

If you have the time and resources, building multiple bases and using the launch pad to move between them is an excellent strategy for keeping clear line of sight and hitting enemies from above as they enter the final circle. 

Countering End Game Builders

You will very likely find yourself in a situation having to counter another player utilizing the exact same end game tactic. There are two ways to handle this.

The first is with the aforementioned explosives. C4, stickies, grenades, rocket launchers, etc. can take down walls quickly (or you can use a minigun if you got lucky and found one). You can run into a problem here, however, if you get a player really good at spamming walls, and then it all comes down to the luck of the draw of who gets off the first shot. 

The second way is to not even bother trying to destroy the walls, but just instead build stairs and go above the fort, as many players don't often think of building full roof tiles for complete coverage. If you have healing items, you can even wait till the storm shrinks and hang out inside the damaging portion of the storm to fire down and force them into a choke point in their own fort.

If you know they are hiding in their fort and you have a structure to prevent line of sight (like a large building) make sure to use it to your advantage to quietly build above their fort without them noticing and then hit hard and fast from above.

In this instance, an extremely effective tactic is to build above them, jump down towards the enemy fort, fire off a rocket launcher round as you are falling to destroy their cover, then switch immediately to a shotgun or other high powered weapon as you land to fire as soon as they break from cover.

Be careful when utilizing this strategy and keep in mind the recent Fortnite shotgun nerf. You can no longer employ the tactic of switching between shotguns repeatedly in your inventory for instant firing without having to reload, so keep other weapons handy, especially if they have a high rate of fire.

 While still useful, this is no longer the be-all, end-all of Fortnite weapons

For those who manage to consistently win, what do you think of our end game Fortnite strategies, and what tips would you offer to players who are finally making it into the top 10 but struggle to win? Sound off in the comments section below! 

Still getting the hang of the 100 player Battle Royale matches? Be sure to peruse these other Fortnite guides so you can get up to speed and earn a #1 Victory Royale:

Antonio Brown Named Madden 19 Cover Athlete Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:50:48 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Earlier this year, we made our predictions for the cover of Madden 19. We took a few big chances and made some bold claims, but even from the arm-chair it was painfully obvious Antonio Brown was a front-runner for the latest installment of the storied franchise.

Today, EA made that prediction a reality by officially unveiling the dangerous Pittsburgh Steeler's wide receiver as the cover athlete for Madden 19's standard edition. The Hall of Fame edition will feature renowned wide out and 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Terrell Owens. 

Brown, who's played his entire career in Pittsburgh and been to six Pro Bowls for the team, said he was honored to make this year's cover: 

“I am beyond honored to be on the cover of both Madden games. There’s a lot of milestones athletes dream of, and after being inducted into the Madden 99 Club earlier this year, and now appearing on the cover of this year’s games, it’s clear that business is not just booming, but I’m also among the all-time greatest with these honors.

According to the recently released Madden 19 player ratings, Brown is rated a 99 overall, the highest rating a player can receive in the game. 

Set to release August 10 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Madden 19 looks to improve on the additions brought to Madden 18. The Longshot story mode that first made its appearance last year will make a return with Longshot: Homecoming, a narrative that will introduce more storylines and the ability for players to continue the journeys of both Devin Wade and Colt Cruise. 

On top of that, Madden 19 looks to increase player immersion and create a truly engrossing football simulation with the inclusion of Real Player Motion (RPM), a system that "will give fans even more control of in-game moves and immersive animations, making AB [Antonio Brown] and other players move and act like their real-life counterparts as they charge through the game, showcasing their unique personalities, mannerisms, and of course, celebrations."

Those who pre-order the Hall of Fame edition of Madden 19 will gain access to the game on August 7, three days before the game's official release date. Players who subscribe to EA Access and/or Origin Access will receive a free 10-hour demo of Madden 19, while those who subscribe to Origin Access Premier will get the game on PC on August 2. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Madden 19 as it develops.  

Fear The Wolves Guide: Best Drop Locations Wed, 18 Jul 2018 16:37:00 -0400 Zack Palm

The key to winning a battle royale game goes beyond knowing about the weapons at your disposal. You have to find the best locations to land to get a head start of the competition. In Fear The Wolves, having an ideal starting location can mean the difference between being sent back to the main menu and advancing to the top 10.

Because the circle works a little differently in Fear The Wolves than other battle royale games you need to remain on your toes. Here's a break down of some of the best starting locations you can land at to give yourself the best start!

The Northern Portion

North of Yanov

When your helicopter's path starts out at the northwest point of the map, think about hitting this location. If you land around here you can run towards the small village to north, grab some decent gear, and then dash to the village to the east or the one to the south, closest to Yanov. While you glide down to this position you can watch your competition and make any brass decisions, such as making a hard turn to Yanov, Denisovichi, or Chistogalovka.

Though, be warned you're going to need radiation equipment to enter Yanov. You may want to hit this city after you've already acquired some gear.

South of Chistogalovka

This location is for when you're feeling bold. Because of the river to your east, if you drop here you're left with fewer options of where you can choose to land. When you land near this location, try to prioritize items and gear that protect you against radiation. This way you can travel towards to the west Shepelichi or the east to RLS "Duga" to find some high quality gear, giving you an even further edge against your competitors. 

Though, don't be surprised if you find three or four other players dropping with you. This location has proven to be quite popular.

West of NovoShepelichi

Unfortunately, if you want to land here you'll only be able to do in special cases. When your plane starts you out on the northwest portion of the map, you can confidently choose this area. However, keep in mind other players may have the same idea as you and will drop with you. You're going to rush into buildings if you want to survive here. The option is if your plane ends near here.

The great part about choosing this location is you can immediately rush into NovoShepelichi, or wrap around it to the smaller villages before heading south.

West of Rudnia

This area mirrors the first location, though a number of small clustered homes are spread out. Ideally, you'd want to have your plane route coming from the northwest point and heading down, southeast. You'll have enough distance to hit the middle village, grab what you can, and decide if you want to rush to Rudnia or Rechitsa. The problem with going to Rechitsa is the fact the radiation may already be closing in, cutting you off from this town.

You can risk going to the smaller villages around it to enter the city. There's plenty of decisions when you plan to aim for this area. Don't let the red outlines frighten you! This may deter other players, but you can use it to your advantage to find the best loot.

West of Kopachi

The final location for the northern portion of the map focuses on giving you the chance to run into an enemy far sooner than some of the other options. You can choose to land in Kopachi, or stick to the outskirts to find useful gear in one of the nearby villages. You can confidently change your choice based on how many other players are flying to land near you. Though you may want to land closer to them so you get in as many early kills as you can.

Of the northern locations, this is likely the most risky. If you're not the first person to land, you may find yourself without equipment and back on the main menu waiting for another queue!

The Southern Portion

West of Korogod

This is a great starting location that provides you with plenty of options. When you aim for this place, based on the amount of players dropping near you, you can choose up to four different house-filled villages to head towards. Each one comes with a decent number of potential loot drops. When you're feeling really bold, veer your drop to aim to land in Korogod and try your luck in the city!

Because of the other two cities situated close by you can always run through those. If you survive. 

South of Llintsy

Like the first location in the southern portion, you have several choices available to you. Not only do you have two cities to pick from, but plenty of smaller villages to dive into. Depending on how many players land nearby, or with you, you may want to choose a small cluster of houses and then immediately head into one of the cities. This way, you'll have a small supply of firepower to take with you when you venture into a city.

While I was playing, I found it better to stick to this strategy. Several times when I dropped into a city I struggled to find a weapon and came up short in multiple early-game encounters.


The direct middle may prove a troublesome location, or entirely dead, depending on how aggressive the other players in your match feel. You may not find out until you drop and see the other parachutes around you. If you see a couple, attempt to angle your parachute down so you can land directly in front of a building. But, when you have too many players around you, try to land in one of the building clusters to the east of Kalinovskaya. 

You can drop at that location and then divert further east, or continue south to try your lucky closer to Zapolie. It all depends on the situation and how many shots you hear.

West of Lelev

Now we're getting to the tougher options. Landing around here may get you into a firefight sooner than you'd like. During my matches, I found several players enjoyed to land inside Lelev and then make their way west. If you're feeling confident, dive straight into the city and try your luck! Otherwise, pick one of the small clusters of houses to make your start and then follow the road south.

There's a large forest to the west of his area to the two other cities. You could run towards those after you've grabbed a few weapons, but you may want to stick to the outskirts and pick off other players.

North of Kamenka

The final recommended location! Much like the previous location, this area is going to get hot, depending on your helicopter's flight path. Luckily for you, there's several options available to you at this junction. You can veer your course to go to Zalesie, Opacici, Kamenka, or visit one of the other smaller clusters to grab precious loot before venturing into the cities.

In this area, players will definitely have plenty of weapon drops at their disposal. You'll have to rely on your speed to beat them when you land here. This drop zone can prove to be a great starting position for you to your shooting practice! You'll have plenty of target practice.


Those are all of the locations I think you should choose from during your first few rounds of Fear The Wolves! Don't be afraid to experiment, as this is a new battle royale and plenty of strategies will emerge during the game's development.

For more on Fear The Wolves, keep it here at GameSkinny.

Sonic Mania Plus Review: Simply the Best Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:51:38 -0400 Ashley Gill

I'll be the first to admit I make some bad purchasing decisions when it comes to Sonic the Hedgehog games. Those decisions being buying them, then buying them again. And maybe again. I'm not really sure how many platforms I have Sonic 3 & Knuckles on, but it's more than five.

Last year's release of Sonic Mania brought back the feel and style of classic 2D Sonic that Sonic Team and Dimps struggled to recreate with the episodic Sonic 4, and it quickly became regarded as one of the best -- if not the best --Sonic games to date. There is something to be said for the Sonic fangame developers behind Mania and their understanding of what made the classic games memorable and fun.

Sonic Mania Plus brings the experience of the original Mania release back with a few tricks up its sleeve, some that may seem insignificant on paper but bring the whole game together into a complete package. It's a package that can satisfy both fans and newcomers with its signature '90s style.

What's in Plus?

The most obvious addition to Sonic Mania Plus is the characters Ray the squirrel and Mighty the armadillo, both of which have their roots in the arcade-only SegaSonic the Hedgehog. These two characters aren't just for show, either -- each has its own unique maneuvers for you to play with.

Ray, an enthusiastic and nimble squirrel, is able to glide mid-air much like Mario with his cape in Super Mario World. You tilt backward to catch some air and hover, tilt forward to take a dive. Unlike Knuckles and Tails, Ray can get some tremendous momentum when airborne provided you take the time to master his gliding ability.

Mighty, an armadillo in name and function, is immune to spike damage when jumping or spin dashing. Often you can jump onto spikes a single time and bounce right off. Mighty is also able to slam down into the ground with a double jump press, and he has a slightly higher jump than the rest of the cast. Ray is fun, but Mighty's slightly higher jump and mid-air spike immunity bring huge benefits.

These new characters and their brand-new abilities are perfectly suited to the new, remixed levels found in Sonic Mania Plus's new Encore mode.

Encore mode looks different at first glance, and it doesn't take long to figure out you're not in regular ol' Mania mode anymore. The levels in Encore mode have been tweaked to allow for Ray and Mighty to shine, with obstacles just for them, along with a wealth of new challenges spread throughout each zone.

Encore as a whole is the more difficult of the two modes, no contest. The new pinball-style special stages are more forgiving than the Sonic 3-style special stages in the original release, but the new Chaos Emerald stages (which are functionally the same as the original release) are brutal. I think I hate them, but practice makes perfect.

Along with the new obstacles found in Encore mode is the new character-swapping feature, which has you control two characters at once much like you would with Sonic and Tails normally. You can swap between them with a button press, but the characters you have will rotate frequently. Special boxes are scattered about to swap your characters, culminating to no two playthroughs ever being the same. You can also use the new characters for individual playthroughs in Mania mode.


The new Competitive mode is a throwback (pullback?) to the multiplayer modes of yore found in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, with little to no changes to how the mode worked in those games. This isn't a complaint -- I loved racing friends and family in those multiplayer modes -- but it is something to note.

In Competitive, you can change how many rounds you face off in, whether there's a time limit, and which item sets are available. You are also able to choose whether you want the screen to be stretched out like in the old days or squished to not look awful. I recommend the second choice, but purists will go for the first without question.

His face is about right for the old stretched screen view.

Something you may notice is that the game is advertised as having co-op. You expect that in a 2D Sonic game that lets you have both Sonic and Tails out at once, and I had hoped Encore mode would allow for two players as you have two characters out at a time. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Encore mode is entirely singleplayer, meaning the only co-op you'll find here lies in the Sonic and Tails combo in Mania mode. This is the only thing I have to complain about with this release, but even that is a small complaint. It doesn't matter in the face of all the good found here in Sonic Mania Plus.

The best around

It's rare an original game can take me back 25 years, gaming the hours away in front of the T.V. with my Sega Genesis and Nintendo. Sonic Mania did that last year and Plus does it even better with the addition of Ray, Mighty, and the remixed stages in Encore mode.

Exploring with Ray and Mighty's abilities in Mania mode and Encore mode make the game feel brand new. More than that, it makes me feel like a bright-eyed kid who just got the latest Sonic game and is discovering that it is just as awesome as the commercials claimed it would be. I almost want to buy some Bagel Bites and Capri Suns to complete the illusion.

Sonic Mania Plus did the impossible and made what was already the best new 2D Sonic since the Sega CD even better. There is only one word to describe Sonic Mania Plus and that is rad. I am not sure what Christian Whitehead and the others behind the game have in store for the future, but I hope it leads to more stellar '90s-style platformers like we see here with Mania Plus. The only thing keeping this baby from a 10 is the lack of multiplayer in Encore mode, but one can still call this the perfect Sonic game regardless.

[Note: The developer provided a copy of the game used in this review.]

Might And Magic: Elemental Guardians Rerolling Guide Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:45:05 -0400 Ty Arthur

Whenever there's a randomized summoning element in a mobile gatcha' game, there will inevitably be a temptation to "reroll" by deleting game data in hopes of getting a better starting unit.

With more than 200 creatures available at launch, your success in Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians can vary wildly depending on which creatures you summon in the early game.

In this guide, we'll go over how to reroll, as well as what to look out for when rerolling. 

A Warning About Rerolling in Elemental Guardians

While Might & Magic Elemental Guardians shares a whole lot in common with any other gatcha' game, there is a key difference in the summoning drop rate to be aware of. You get new summons constantly, and the game revolves heavily around destroying old creatures to power up new ones.

Frankly, there's really no point in rerolling in most circumstances because you will have a constant deluge of new creatures arriving in your roster as you play. The time it takes to reroll would be much better spent just playing the game and getting new summons as you will eventually get the creature you want anyway.

Unlike many other gatcha' titles, those lowly nat 2 creatures can easily be ranked up and evolved to be perfectly viable combatants in any region -- and even in several tiers of PvP.

The achievements in each region -- like winning battles with two creatures, destroying specific numbers of enemy types, and so on -- usually grant you free summon crystals to get new creatures. You also get multiple free summons a day without having to do anything.

Just simply using energy and completing achievements will get you better creatures than taking the time to uninstall or use an emulator to reroll. 

However, for those of you who are used to automatically rerolling any gatcha' game, here's what you need to know.

How To Reroll in Elemental Guardians

You always get the same creature in the first two summons no matter what, so there's no point in trying to reroll the game's early creatures. After that point, however, the summons become randomized, so that's where you may want to reroll if you keep only receiving nat 2 creatures with poor stats.

First up, do not link your Google Play or Apple account to the game unless you are using the multiple device method (method 2) listed below! At that point, even fully deleting all data won't let you start over.

Method 1

After getting the third summon in Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians, close the app entirely and then uninstall. Next, access the internal storage on your device and navigate to the folder labeled com.ubisoft.runeguard (on Android, this is typically found in Internal Storage -> Android -> Data) and delete that folder entirely.

Now, look for a second folder with the same name -- com.ubisoft.runeguard -- in another location and delete it as well (on Android, the second folder is usually found in Internal Storage -> Android -> Obb).

If your device has a removable SD card, additional game data may be saved there as well, so navigate to the SD card folder (rather than the main internal storage folder) and delete every instance of com.ubisoft.runeguard there as well.

If your mobile OS has a folder search function, just search "ubisoft" and it should pull up all three folders at once rather than searching them all down one by one.

A screenshot showing where to delete the mobile data for Might & Magic Elemental Guardians Deleting the Might & Magic Elemental Guardians mobile data

Method 2

A second method also exists if you have multiple devices and don't mind starting over repeatedly. Download Elemental Guardians on each device and then link the game to your Google Play or Apple account.

After the third summon, switch over to a secondary device and load the game. Even if you linked your account, you will be prompted to start the main story from the beginning due to playing on a new device.

From that point forward, you will be prompted to choose which version of the game you want to keep whenever you log in, so you can go with the one that got the better summon. You will lose all progress on the version of the game you don't keep, however, so this is only helpful if you are just getting started and happen to have a couple of tablets or phones on hand.


What was your best starting pull and did you manage to get a killer nat 4 without rerolling? Let us know your best summon in the comments below, and be sure to check out our other Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians guides here:

The Most Powerful Glyph Combo In Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:11:33 -0400 Ty Arthur

With a huge array of creatures available in Might & Magic: Elemental Guardiansthere is a staggering number of possible strategies for region grinding and PvP.

While having a viable team combo is critical to winning in the arena, glyph sets are how one player sets their creatures apart from any others.

Wondering what the absolute best Elemental Guardians glyphs you should be using? Let's dive into understanding how glyph sets work and picking the one best stat to increase! 

Elemental Guardians Glyph Basics

While you will get plenty of glyphs just by playing through the storyline's Shattered Island areas, you'll need to farm the the Glyph Dungeon in the Dragonmist Isles if you really want to improve your 4- and 5-star creatures for viable PvP fodder. 

Proper glyph placement is often more important than rank, level, or even evolution. Why? Because it's often a better indicator of how well a creature will perform. If two parties with the best creatures of equal level are facing off, the team with the better glyphs will win.

Over time, you will need to change glyphs as you acquire new ones. Removing common glyphs only costs 1,500 crystals, but epic glyphs get extremely expensive, with some commanding 25,000 a pop! 

Free glyph removal usually comes around once a month as a special event, so hold off on changing your glyph sets until this event shows up -- unless you have a huge surplus of crystals at your disposal.

In some cases, common glyphs are actually better than rarer ones. While they will have fewer sub-stat bonuses, their upgrade costs are far, far cheaper, so you will end up with better stats more quickly while spending fewer crystals.

A  Glyph removal gets pricey when using rarer glyphs

How to Choose Glyphs

The main question when assign glyphs is often, "Which glyph do I choose?".  Choosing between a glyph that grants a percentage boost or flat boost isn't always clear cut. The answer is that it depends entirely on the creature.

With the nat 2 star creatures you start summoning early on, the flat boost is almost always going to better. Later, when you summon nat 4 creatures and evolve them (or upgrade creatures manually to 5 stars), the percentage glyhps end up far, far outclassing the flat boosts.

The best glyphs to utilize can vary depending on what region you are currently farming. The final wave dragon bosses in the Air Elemental Tower, for instance, tend to use negative status effects, so piling on Resistance-focused glyphs can help you survive while farming air evolution materials.

Some creatures have special attacks that gain bonuses to damage based on specific stats, like defense or total max health. In those cases, a six-glyph set based on one of those stats can be the best way to go for maximum damage output.

Those specific instances aside, there is one particular glyph combo that is far and away the best way to upgrade your creatures. It helps you dominate in the PvP arena and gives yourself an edge in any region, from the Shattered Islands to the Dragonmist areas -- and even the limited-time secret dungeons.

Best Elemental Guardians Glyph Set

To be viable as a core team that can compete, your creature stats should be around 1k+ for defense, 1.2k+ for attack, and 10k+ for HP. However, those stats should occur naturally through leveling up and evolving. 

While it would seem like the HP and/or attack stats would be the ones to bump up through glyphs, there is no question that speed is the best stat in the game. Speed affects how quickly a creature's turn-bar fills. With higher speed, you not only attack first but use turns more quickly and refresh your ability cool downs faster.

If you go first, you can get the win by using skills that prevent the other team from functioning properly. Whether you have creatures that block healing, prevent buffs, paralyze, poison, or blind, you want your creatures going first to neutralize the opponent's team build.

Speed is also a massive boon for any creature that has a percentage chance to take more than one turn in a row, like the earth ninja. While there are more powerful creatures out there with better abilities, you can turn the tide by attacking three times in a row with high speed.

 Increasing speed is the way to get PvP wins once you have a killer team build

Picking Speed Bonus Glyphs

A creature gets a +10 bonus to speed when you group together three -- and then eventually six -- haste-type glyphs. This isn't the only way to get a speed boost with a glyph combo, however.

This issue is a common misunderstanding with new players -- the glyph type controls what bonus you get for having multiples of the same type. But any type of glyph can potentially have bonuses to any of the stats. 

For instance, if you have a tank creature with huge HP reserves, vitality glyphs are the way to go. But be sure to pick individual vitality glyphs that give speed bonuses. You get the best of both worlds this way, gaining a speed boost from the individual glyph and then a 20% bonus to health on top by using multiple vitality glyphs.

Going full speed on all glyphs leaves you weak in other areas, however, so your best glyph combo should look like this: speed/speed/speed/defense/hp/hp.


What do you think is the best glyph combo to use in Might & Magic, and what team build are you utilizing for PvP wins? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians guides here:


Fortnite Season 5, Week 2 Battle Star Guide: Search Between an Oasis, Rook Archway, and Dinosaurs Tue, 17 Jul 2018 06:18:05 -0400 Sergey_3847

Season 5, Week 2 of Fortnite is here, and with comes a brand-new hard Battle Star challenge. 

If you've been playing since Season 5 dropped last week, you'll already know that a new desert location has popped up on the map. And this is where you'll be looking for the Battle Star this week: somewhere between an Oasis, Rook Archway, and Dinosaurs.

If you don't know where this location is, then simply follow our guide below for the exact location of the Battle Star.

Close Up of the Fortnite Map Showing Paradise Palms

The first hint in this week's challenge is the Oasis. The hint directly points to the area in the western part of Desert Palms. There you will find a lush oasis with palms and a pond of clear water. 

Then, you need to move a bit to the north and there you will see a bridge connecting two desert hills. This is your second point of reference -- Rook Archway.

Finally, you will find Dinosaurs standing a bit to the south of the archway on the highway. They're really easy to spot as there are plenty standing around.

Now, when you have all three spots figured out, you will see a hill in between these three locations. This means that the Battle Star should be on top of it. If you're lucky, you will also find a treasure chest there. So it's a win-win situation.

In order to claim this week's Battle Star, you need to approach it and interact with it. Once you do that, you've completed Week 2's Battle Star challenge.


That's all for this week's Season 5 challenge. For other Fortnite guides at GameSkinny, check out the list below:

Fortnite Season 5, Week 2 Challenge Guide: Score a 3 Point Shot at Different Basketball Courts Tue, 17 Jul 2018 06:17:48 -0400 Sergey_3847

Fortnite's Season 5, Week 2 is upon us and that means brand-new challenges await. One of the most exciting -- and most interesting -- challenges in Week 2 is scoring a 3 point shot at three or five different basketball courts scattered over the Fortnite map. 

In total, there are seven basketball courts on the Season 5 map, so you can choose the ones that are closest to your landing spot.

Don't know where those basketball courts are? Follow our quick guide below for all the basketball courts locations and how to find them.

All Basketball Court Locations

Fortnite map showing all basketball court locations

The two best spots to land for this challenge are to the southeast of Retail Row or Paradise Palms, and to the west near Greasy Grove or Tilted Towers.

There are three different basketball courts located very close to each other if you pick these landing spots first, so you can finish the challenge rather quickly by following this strategy.

But if you happen to land in the northern part of the map, then you can go to Junk Junction and score a few goals there.

One smaller court is located to the west of Tilted Towers right at the new mini soccer stadium. And the other one can be found at the racing track east of Retail Row.

However, one of the most exciting basketball courts can be seen at the new desert location -- in its very center. It's, of course, not necessary to go here to finish the challenge, but this court is hands-down the coolest one of the lot. 

How to Score 3 Points

In order to score a 3 point shot, you need to stand beyond the 3 point arc and closer to the middle of the court. When you hit the basket, you will see confetti streaming from it, meaning that you made it. Do it on each of the different courts and you will finish the challenge.


That is all for the Season 5, Week 2 basketball challenge, and for other Fortnite guides at GameSkinny, please visit the links below:

Inazuma Eleven Ares Developer Explains Recruit and Battle Mechanics Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:42:35 -0400 Erroll Maas

There's always a good deal of hype surrounding Level-5 games. Whether that's Ni No Kuni or Professor Layton, the community is always ready to learn as much information about the studio's titles as they can -- especially before launch.

Recently, Level-5 updated the official Japanese website for the upcoming soccer strategy RPG, Inazuma Eleven Ares, the first Inazuma Eleven title to release on Nintendo Switch, as well as the first to receive a North American release since the Nintendo 3DS eShop remake of the original Inazuma Eleven in 2014. The update reveals more detail about the scouting system, battle mechanics, and the toy link system.

Here's a quick look at how those systems are reported to work when the game releases.

Scouting Other Players for Your Team

To recruit other players, you'll be able to talk to your team manager, Anna Mikado, who will introduce you to them. Another way players will join your team is by meeting the correct requirements, such as defeating them in a match.

Characters from the old Raimon team seen in the original Inazuma Eleven series are now spread throughout Japan, and they are used extra players in the other teams encountered throughout the game. In addition to players from other teams, there will also be several different arenas in which soccer matches will take place. 

As of this writing, more details on those were not available. 

Soccer Match Details

The update also covered the details of passing, command battles, defending, shooting, and special moves.

The pass line will show who the current ball holder can pass to, and it's best to choose which player to pass to based on the situation. Timing and distance are important factors to consider as well, and once the ball is passed, the receiving teammate will control the ball.

When a teammate and an opposing player run into each other, it will prompt a command battle in which the player can either move left or right, or execute a special move.

When moving, the player can steal the ball from the opposing player if their ability and power is strong enough.

Once the player gets close enough to the goal, they can choose to shoot the ball. Players will first have to determine their shot type depending on the situation and timing, and then individual player ability will determine if the goal is successful.

In tricky situations, special moves can turn the match around. These special moves are divided into four types: Shoot, Offense, Defense, and Keeper. Each will be successful depending on the timing of each move, as well as their specific characteristics.

Toy Link

Additionally, Inazuma Eleven Ares is compatible with Eleven Band and Eleven License toys. The Eleven Band will allow players to send Training Power once a day and will give experience points, or Nekettsu points -- points required to obtain secret books for learning techniques, items, and equipment. These are also required for training and practice matches.

Eleven License toys will give either experience points or Nekettsu points, and up to three can be used each day. More information will be revealed in a future update.

Inazuma Eleven Ares will launch in Japan in Fall 2018 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android. A North American and European launch of the game is planned for 2019.

Galak-Z Variant Mobile Beginner's Strategy and Tips Guide Tue, 17 Jul 2018 11:22:47 -0400 Victoria Banks

So you jumped into Galak-Z and were breezing through each sector like a pro, but suddenly, “Rambo”ing your way through space wasn’t cutting it. And now you need a new way to defeat your enemies. Well, you’re not alone.

Galak-Z Variant is one of the few free mobile games that offers extensive and diverse gameplay with a challenge (it's basically the mobile version of Galak-Z Variant S). If you’re up for that challenge and want to improve your performance in the game while progressing as fast as you can, you'll want to have the best tips and tricks at your disposal.

This Galak-Z Variant guide covers the pros and cons of using a mech or fighter ship, using your environment thoughtfully, collecting bots, decrypting relics, and applying upgrades.

Choosing Mech Suit or Fighter Ship: What They're Best Used For 

The first decision you will face is choosing your method of navigation and combat. Your character, A-Tak, can switch between piloting either a mech suit called Galak-Z or a fighter ship called Galak-S. At first, it’s simple: you can pretty much play as either to progress. However, it soon becomes apparent that each vehicle and their respective weapons are going to be useful in different situations. So how do you choose and what’s the difference?

The largest contrast between the two is this:

  • The mech is a short ranged, melee combat machine with a front shield and grappling abilities.
  • The ship is long ranged with dodge abilities, speed, and rockets.

Each has their own value, but to determine which is best to use, you should consider mobility and combat against specific opponents.

Some environments are tricky to navigate and have tight spaces. In these situations, it is usually easier to control and navigate with a mech. However, other locations may be open and require the speed and long range weapons of your ship. You should use a similar method to determine which to choose in a fight.

Study Your Opponents Before Battle

Before entering each location, be sure to check the stats of your opponent in the mission menu screen. You’ll find that some are dangerous to fight at close range, such as opponents with shotguns or other close-ranged, high-damage weapons. For these, you’ll want to fight at a distance with your ship.

Other opponents may be faster and more challenging to hit at long range, such as vulture void raiders. For these fast moving targets, you may want to close the distance with a mech and destroy them with melee combat.

Be sure to check your enemy types before each battle and select an appropriate vehicle.

Take Advantage of the Environment

You may think the environment is a dangerous enemy as well, and you would be correct. But it can also be a great tool for hindering and destroying others. The most important elements to success in Galak-Z Variant are thinking quickly, being crafty, and using strategy to best your opponents.

Here are some tricks that you can test out the next time you’re in a showdown with another ship or beetle.

Use Plants to Explode or Shock Enemies

One of the items you can use to your advantage are plants on stems. These plants, if run into, will explode and send dangerous bulbs flying in all directions. Some of these include pink bulbs that stick to your ship and slow you down. Others send out explosive damage or electric shocks that temporarily disable your abilities.

Be careful and avoid hitting these yourself. However, if you use your ship to fire at these plants, you can send the bulbs colliding into your enemies, thus hindering and damaging them. The best way to do this is to draw your opponent toward the plant and quickly shoot them from a safe distance.

Creative Grappling

You can also use the grappling ability on your mech to throw your enemies into danger. In the heat of battle, it can be easy to use your special ability without much thought, but you will want to use your grappling ability strategically.

Fire the grapple when you’re in a pinch, and once you have an enemy in your clutches, try throwing him into explosive pipes, spikes, and fire pits! This will deal an extra load of damage and make your job easier. You can also try throwing enemies into one another, damaging many at a time.

Understanding Bots 201: What to Look For

No matter how crafty you are in combat though, you won’t get far without upgrading and collecting bots. Bots should be your priority. Collecting them will offer improvements to your core stats such as movement, attack, defense, and relic decryption (covered in the next section).

These bots offer a unique set of perks to improve your ship, and they can be leveled up with experience points and bot parts. Though their importance is not immediately apparent in the first couple of sectors, you’ll find that you’re going to need a range of bots to face more challenging enemies.

Rather than choosing random bots and rushing in, you should consider the following when choosing them:

  • Speed
  • Damage
  • Range
  • Health

You should also study the special abilities of your opponent. For example, if you are going up against Void Shotgun Hyena, who charges in to deal heavy damage, you should have equipped bots that can improve your escape mobility and provide strong long-range damage. Bots offer these changes, so you can adapt to your enemy.

Not only do bots upgrade your ship and mech, but they also can be used as opponents against other players in “Bot Battles” You can select a team to improve your chances of stumping other gamers who try to face your robots.

Relics: Get Them Now, Not Later

Relics are another component you’ll become quite preoccupied with. These are items you should spend time collecting in each sector for your bot to decrypt.

Essentially, relics contain salvage, bot parts, and more importantly, components for ship and mech upgrades, which you uncover after their decryption is complete.

Though you may survive without ship upgrades for a while, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to succeed without collecting relics from previous sectors you have visited. Ship and mech upgrades can be used strategically to counter your enemies, and you’ll need them as your foes grow more difficult to defeat. In the long run, it will be worth your time and effort to collect relics.

Remember, relics only contain parts of upgrades. You will need to continue collecting in the same location to acquire all the parts to a single upgrade. After decrypting enough relics to have a full upgrade, the location will turn green with a check mark, indicating there is nothing more you need to acquire.

Decrypting relics does take some time, however. You can expedite the upgrade process by paying with crash coins, which decrypts a relic immediately. But the more powerful the relic, the more time and crash coins it will cost. You’ll find that you can’t always rely on expediting, so what is the most efficient way of decrypting relics?

Efficiency's the Name of the Game

First, you should always have one of your bots decrypting a relic, and ideally, you should have numerous relics in your bot’s query. Your items will decrypt while you are in and out of the game, so your time is being used efficiently. Let your phone notify you when a relic is decrypted, and once you collect your upgrade parts, be sure to send the next relic to your bot for decrypting.

If you prefer to play while you wait, you can continue your journey to other sectors or spend your time collecting other relics, but know that you can only hold a limited amount of relics. If you reach your limit, you will be unable to collect more until you have room in your query, but you will still be able to progress through sectors.

Tips on Which Upgrades to Use and Why


After you have obtained ship and mech upgrades from decrypted relics, you may start mixing and matching immediately for your fighting preferences. However, the decision on what upgrades to add should always be determined by your opponent, similar to how your selection of bots should be based on who you are trying to defeat.

Again, think about the perks and special abilities of specific bugs, raiders, and imperial fighters. Your mission menu provides the stats for each opponent you will face.

Though there are plenty of options to choose from, the following upgrades have been some of my favorite and useful in during my time with Galak-Z Variant. Here's what they offer and where to find them. 

Your Top 5 Upgrades
  • Tower Shields -- This upgrade to your mech is the best all-around improvement for your shield, an essential tool to keep your health from depleting. Tower shields is one of the only upgrades that offers significant improvements to three shield qualities: barrier health, barrier parry, and barrier size.
    • Sector 8.4 -- Tower Shields (I):
      • Barrier health increase to 32.
      • 30% increase in barrier size
      • 10% chance for your barrier to parry attacks, 
    • Sector 14.2 -- Tower Shields (II):
      • Barrier Health increase to 48
      • 40% increase in barrier size
      • 15% chance to parry
    • Sector 17.3 -- Tower Shields (III)
      • Barrier Health increase to 64
      • 50% increase in barrier size
      • 20% chance to parry
  • Bullet Proofish Hull -- This upgrade starts off small but offers armor protection from your ship's main source of damage, enemy fire.
    • Sector 7.5 -- Bullet Proofish Hull (I)
      • Health increased by 16
      • Projectile damage resistance increased by 18%
    • Sector 13.6 -- Bullet Proofish Hull (II)
      • Health increased by 25
      • Projectile damage resistance increased by 24%
    • Sector 17.8 -- Bullet Proofish Hull (III)
      • Health increased by 36
      • Projectile damage resistance increased by 30%
  • Revved Up -- A vital tool for your survival is your ability to evade danger and close in on targets when ready. This upgrade improves your ship's speed and agility.
    • Sector 1.3 -- Revved Up (I)
      • Top speed increased by 10
      • Turbo speed increased by 18
    • Sector 10.6 -- Revved up (II)
      • Top speed increased by 15
      • Turbo speed increased by 27
    • Sector 17.5 -- Revved up (III)
      • Top speed increased by 21
      • Turbo speed increased by 36
  • Knockback Tips -- These fighter ship bullets are incredibly useful for keeping enemies at bay and depleting their health. As long as you can make the shot, knockback tips will momentarily keep foes from dealing extensive damage because each shot will, as the name suggests, knock them back.
    • Sector 3.4 -- Knockback Tips (I)
      • Damage increased by 3
      • Laser Knockback increased by 20
    • Sector 9.2 -- Knockback Tips (II)
      • Damage increased by 5
      • Laser Knockback increased by 30
    • Sector 15.7 -- Knockback Tips (III)
      • Damage increased by 7
      • Laser Knockback increased by 40
  • Power Blade -- Though it is one of the first upgrades you can earn, power blade is essential for dealing damage from your mech's primary weapon.
    • Sector 2.2 -- Power Blade (I)
      • Damage increased by 4
      • Big attack knockback increased by 70
      • Damage to bugs increased to 25%
    • Sector 9.5 -- Power Blade (II)
      • Damage increased by 6
      • Big attack knockback increased by 110
      • Damage to bugs increased to 30%
    • Sector 9.5 -- Power Blade (III)
      • Damage increased by 9
        Big attack knockback increased by 140
        Damage to bugs increased to 35%

Though these are a few strong upgrades against most enemies, remember that you may need to switch it up depending on mission combat requirements.

Select weapons and body components that will actually be useful against the enemies you face. You can always test run your upgrades before missions to experience their effectiveness first hand. Apply those you feel most comfortable with and those which offer counters to your enemies.

If you are still stuck on which to choose, you can never go wrong with more damage, health, or shield. Keep selecting new and stronger upgrades from higher sectors as you progress, and this will improve your chances of success!

Get Out There and Fight!


Now that you have these tips and tricks under your belt, it’s time to get back out there.

Remember to:

  • Use your environment to your advantage
  • Always collect relics and bots
  • Carefully select your vehicle, bots, and upgrades based on your enemy

Use these strategies to approach fights with careful thought and consideration. Doing so will save you the trouble of exploding in space and having to restart missions.

Have fun, and see you, space pilot.

Make sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news, info, and guides on Galak-Z Variant, as well as other SCHMUPs and space-shooters!

Octopath Traveler Guide: Complete Shrine Locations List Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:18:12 -0400 Zack Palm

Like any good roleplaying game, you're going to find plenty of depth in Octopath TravelerAs you venture further into the game you're going to want to give your characters a wider range of abilities and skills to use in combat. One way to do this is by giving them secondary job classes.

However, in order to unlock these jobs you need to locate their shrines. The shrine locations are scattered throughout Orsterra and you need to find them. While you may discover them during your play through, this guide will break down details about their locations to make locating them easier.

This guide will also list the four advanced job class shrines hidden in the world, each protected by a formidable foe.

Note: All of the areas you're going to travel through to these shrines are infested with monsters prepared to take on a party of level 20 characters. 

Shrine of the Flamebearer (Cleric)

You'll find the Shrine of the Flamebearer located in the Frostlands, in the northern part of the map on the Western Stillsnow Wilds path. When you're on this road, find the signpost on the eastern part of the area. Once there, head south and you should find yourself going up a small hill and then going down it. At the bottom of the hill, go to the left and you should see small rocks poking out the snow. Continue until you see a small torch outside a cave, which is the entrance for the shrine.

Shrine of the Prince of Thieves (Thief)

The Shrine of the Prince of Thieves is located in the Cliftlands, the western most region on the South Quarrycrest Pass. You'll find this shrine on the left side of the map. When you're leaving the city Quarrycrest, follow the path out of the city and continue going left and stop right before the second bridge. Instead of crossing it, proceed to the left and go down a small pathway. This should take you under the bridge, to the entrance of the shrine.

Shrine of the Lady of Grace (Dancer)

The Shrine of the Lady of Grace is located in the Sunlands, the southern most region of Orsterra on the road called the Northern Wellspring Sands. Start at this area's signpost just outside of Wellspring and go up. Proceed to the left, past the guard, and go up until you see a red flag. Do not continue forward. Go to the left and you should find the entrance to the shrine underneath a small stream of running water.

Shrine of the Sage (Scholar)

You will find the Shrine of the Sage in the Flatlands, the region located at the northwestern section of the map on the Western Noblecourt Flats. It's right outside the city of Noblecourt. When you leave the city, go left on the path a short distance before going down the through a field of grass. This will take your party up a small hill, and you should veer them slightly to the left as they continue. Adjust your party's direction to the right once you pass a character standing next to several rocks. You'll find the shrine's entrance carved into the side of a rocky hill. 

Shrine of the Trader (Merchant)

Let's go to the east! The next shrine is the Shrine of the Trader located in the Coastlands, the region set furthest to the east on the Moonstruck coast path. When you arrive in Moonstruck Coast coming from West Goldshore Coast proceed southwest for all of your journey. Eventually, your path will force you to only go west until you arrive to a dead end. Go up to the rock wall and press your characters against it, taking a sharp right. This will take you into the Shrine of the Trader.

You should be careful around this area as the creatures here are prepared to fight level 30 characters.

Shrine of the Huntress (Hunter)

The Shrine of the Huntress is located in the Woodlands, the top left region of the map on the East Victors Hollow Trail. When you're at the signpost proceed north to Victors Hollow. Follow the path and stop when the path forces you to go to the left. Instead of continuing to follow the path go to the right into the forest. You'll find the cave entrance for the Shrine of the Huntress shortly after.

Shrine of the Thunderblade (Warrior)

Time to get your leg day in. The Shrine of the Thunderblade is located in the Highlands, the region on the bottom right of the map on the North Stonegard Pass. When you're at the signpost of this area, go to the left and follow the path. Eventually, you should see a small flag on top of a rock blowing in the wind. Instead of following the path up, go to the left, which should take you down a small slope. The entrance to the shrine is at the bottom of the slope.

Shrine of the Healer (Apothecary)

The final one! To find the Shrine of the Healer go to the Riverlands, the southern region between Cliftlands and the Sunlands, and go to the area called East Saintsbridge Traverse. When at this location's signpost, you'll find you're in the middle of a crossroad. Take to the right path and proceed down it. The path should take you directly cave of the Shrine of the Healer.

Advanced Job Class Shrines

You'll want to make your way these shrines later in the game. Unlike the eight other shrines, you must face a boss in order to gain access to these areas. Make sure you're ready to face them! These foes do not go easy on your party and are best taken on after you reach chapter 4.

Shrine of the Runeblade (Runelord)

The Shrine of the Runelord is located in the Highlands, in the same region you located the Shrine of the Thunderblade on the West Everhold Pass. When you're at this area's signpost, proceed to the right and follow the path. Stop once you've arrived at the fork in the road, and proceed to the right and then down. You'll follow an unmarked pass and eventually make it to the cave entrance for the Shrine of the Runelord's.

Shrine of the Archmagus (Sorcerer)

Time to return to the north for the Shrine of the Archmagus! You'll need to travel to the Woodlands, this is the same region you found the Shrine of the Huntress and you need to be on the East Duskbarrow Trail. When you're traveling from Duskbarrow on the path, follow it all the way, past the signpost, until you arrive to the entrance of an unmarked path shrouded in mist. This path should have you go upwards on the map. Follow it all the way, and at the end you will arrive to the Shrine of the Archmagus.

Shrine of the Warbringer (Warmaster)

We're nearly done! The Shrine of the Warbringer is located in the Riverlands, the same region you found the Shrine of the Healer on the North Riverford Traverse path. When you arrive to this area's signpost, just outside of Riverford, follow the path left. Stop right before you arrive to the small stone bridge. Instead of going up, continue to the left. You should follow an unmarked path to the left, and then down, a short distance before you find yourself at the cave entrance to the shrine.

Shrine of the Starseer (Starseer)

The last one! The Shrine of the Starseer is located in the Flatlands, it's in the same region you discovered the Shrine of the Sage on the Western Wispermill Flats side. When you're leaving the city of Wispermill, proceed down the path to the left, but only for a short distance. Stop immediately after the cut down trees and go upwards, towards the cow farm, and then to the right. You'll find your view blocked by the rocks, but if you continue forward into the rocks you should find your party entering the shrine.


This covers all of the shrines found throughout the Octopath Traveler! For more guides about this game, stay informed with GameSkinny.

Identity V Beginner's Guide: How to Survive and Hunt Through the Night Mon, 16 Jul 2018 09:46:10 -0400 Autumn Fish

Identity V is a 1v4 horror game where one player acts as the Hunter and tries to capture the four Survivors -- all of whom are doing their best to decode ciphers in order to activate the exit gate and escape with their lives.

It's a rather simple gameplay loop in concept, but there's a lot to it in the end. If you really want to be good at the game, you have to keep in mind every option at your disposal, lest you fall victim to the most basic tactics.

Identity V Survivor getting hit by Hunter

How to Survive and Help Your Teammates as a Survivor in Identity V

As a Survivor, your goal is to decode ciphers, unlock the exit gate, and escape. It's also your goal to help the other Survivors on your team escape. The more Survivors that escape with you, the better rewards you'll get.

Decoding a cipher is simple. Just walk up and tap it to begin the decoding process, tapping the action button whenever the prompt pops up. Be careful, however, as tapping the action button at the wrong time will shock you and alert the Hunter to your presence. You can tell that the Hunter is getting close if you see your heart beating wildly.

If the Hunter draws near, you'll need to run away, especially if they've got their sights set on you. Hunters run faster than you, however, so you need to be tricky in order to throw them off your trail. Vault over ledges and knock pallets into them in order to slow them down and lose them. Remember, you can always try your luck at hiding around a corner, too, but that's a hit-or-miss tactic.

If another Survivor gets injured, incapacitated, or tied to a Rocket Chair, you have the chance to help or save them. Simply run up to their location -- given they're not near a hunter -- and tap on them to save them. The more Survivors that escape, the more rewards you'll earn.

Scattered around the map, you'll discover treasure chests. They're a bit superfluous, especially if you're under a lot of pressure from the Hunter, but if you have time, go ahead and dig through a few for some extra rewards at the end of the match.

Once you've decoded enough ciphers, the two exit gates will activate and you can make your way to them. Once there, you'll need to take some time to enter a password before you can run through the gate. But once you're past the gate, you're home free. You can choose to continue spectating or just move on and collect your rewards later when the match concludes.

Identity V Hunter spots Survivor

How to Hunt Down the Survivors as a Hunter in Identity V

As a Hunter, your goal is to hunt down and capture as many Survivors as you can before they escape through the gates. However, depending on how crafty the Survivors you're facing are, you may have to get pretty crafty yourself. Luckily, you have one massive advantage over them: you run faster.

As a Hunter, you can innately see where all of the ciphers are in the level. It's generally a good idea to check those first. If a Survivor happens to electrocute themselves, you'll even see their outline next to the cipher. Once you find a Survivor, chase them down and give them a good ol' whack.

Once you swing your weapon -- whether you actually hit your target or not -- you won't be able to move for a short period of time. Try to keep track of the Survivor as best you can during this time. If you manage to hit them a second time before they heal, they'll be incapacitated for a moment.

While incapacitated, you can tie them to some balloons and carry them over to the nearest Rocket Chair. You have to be quick, though, or they'll struggle free right under your nose. If the Survivors are smart, they'll try to rescue their captured comrade from the Rocket Chair, so it's a good idea to set up some defensive measures. Use your special abilities to build a good defense next to these chairs before going after the other Survivors. The more Survivors you successfully capture, the more rewards you'll earn.


And that's everything you need to know for making it through the night. Be sure to stick with GameSkinny for more Identity V content coming your way.

Star Ocean Anamnesis Crystal Gaurdian Extermination Event Tips Guide Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:12:45 -0400 Will Phillips

I’ve been loving Square Enix’s newest mobile title Star Ocean Anamnesis, and part of that is due to it’s constantly updating end game content. Every couple of days there are new missions, that with some grinding, can unlock you some sweet high level loot. Though as the case is with most video game, the good stuff is tucked behind a wall of difficult battles.

For this weekend, SOA is hosting the event Crystal Guardian Extermination. This event will occur every weekend with no end date mentioned. 

Once I started up this new event, I could tell something was off. Simply put, our party on four were doing no damage to the mech enemies. I could tell there were moments when he was taking more damage than others, but I couldn’t wrap my head around why. Well after some research and experimentation, I have uncovered some tips to help you take on this event.

This monster's biggest strength is that it has MASSIVE defense. That’s why most of your attacks barely make a dent in its health bar. They way to get around this is by choosing characters that Boost Critical Hit Chance. Boosting damage is nice as well, but critical hits ignore defense entirely, meaning that critical hits are the best way to take down this foe.

Characters to Bring


She’s great because her rush mode endows the party with +40% increase to critical hit chance for 20 seconds.

This gives a nice window of opportunity for your party members to use their rush modes and actually have them do damage.


She passively gives the party +30% critical hit chance and her Rush gives an insane +60% critical hit chance to the party, which is just insane. 

Unlike Maria, you don’t have to rush to attain this boon. I would say if you had to pick between the two, go with Anne.


He is great for himself and himself alone, he gets a passive +20% critical hit chance and +30% attack.

He’s great if you have other party members that can spread around the increased critical hit chance.


She grants a passive +10% critical hit chance to herself and allies.

This is bonus much lower than Anne’s, but she does make up for it with her abilities that poison her enemies, applying steady damage over time.

As long as you have at least one of these characters, things shouldn’t be too bad. Without them you can still get by, but it will take you forever to be able to complete this mission. Luckily Maria is a pretty common character as of now, so your chances of having one in your party are pretty high.

Tips for the Fight

I recommend doing this event and most other events in multiplayer. It uses only the host's stamina and allows three others to participate for free

If you are the Host of the Party, I recommend having a slot set aside for a tank, a sharpshooter, and a healer. It’s a prolonged fight so a healer is definitely necessary. Tanks are a no brainier. Someone has to keep the boss busy! Sharpshooter is debatable, but given how common Maria is, its a safe bet to get someone that can doll out some crit chance. Your last slot can vary between Attacker and Invoker. This can be up to your preference.

Stage 1

This fight is just a bunch of weenies, so it shouldn’t be any trouble.

Stage 2

Deal with the weenies first as usual. After that you will soon notice that the mech in the back seems somewhat near invincible. It’s only major damage dealing attack is where it jumps up and pounds into the ground. To avoid it just swipe your screen when you see it jump into the air, and you should be out of the way before it comes back down.

If you’re using Maria, I would recommend just using your rush mode on it. Sure you’ll probably get some Yikes! stamps from your teammates, but just know that’s because they don’t understand how the enemy works yet.

Stage 3

Things are gonna be a little rough at the start. Your best bet if to focus the two smaller mechs first, and then move on to the main boss. This will take some time, given that they all have high defense. The fight after that will get considerably easier now that you don’t have to worry about their constant bombing, but the boss is still difficult.  

On top of having a great defense, its offense is nothing to scoff at either. It has a series of high damage, long range attacks that can go off simultaneously.

Stage 3 Boss Attacks

He has 4 different attacks which have no official name as far as I can tell so I’ll do my due diligence and name them myself:

Zip-Zap Attack

Basically just shoots out a ray of electricity that has a lot of hangtime so if you get hit, get moving as soon as possible.

Dark Boomerang Attack

It sends out two dark looking crescents at you, which come back around like a boomerang.

Three Dangerous Blue Orbs

Pretty much what it sounds like, three balls of electricity. I'll update as soon as I get a decent picture of the attack.

Green Balls of Pain

He shoots out a handful of green balls which stay in the arena for a while and move back and forth. They;re pretty easy to dodge on their own, but sometimes they can move in and out of your field of vision, so be careful.

Random Beams of Exploding Death

Multiple Blue Balls will appear around the arena. You will only have a few seconds to get out of the way, because they will soon turn into pillars of light that will deal damage if you’re too close.

Most of the attacks are easy to avoid on their own. Things get tricky when multiple attacks go off at the same time, so it can be tricky to dodge them. Your best best is just to stay far far away if you’re ranged, but if you are a tank or attacker, you’re just gonna have to be vigilant and hope you have a good healer. Just keep in mind that there a good chance you can take a load of damage in a matter of seconds, so if you’re below half health, consider disengaging for a second until your healer realizes your situation.

Stage 3 Boss Phases

The boss has a series of indicators that let you know what state the boss is in. It will constantly cycle in and out of each phase throughout the fight.

Phase 1

If it looks bright, this is its most powerful form. It won’t take hit stun and it seems to be more aggressive with its rate of attacks. This is the time to be playing cautiously and defensively.

Phase 2

After you beat on it for a while, it will gradually become darker. When it looks near black, its rate of attacks decreased and you are able to stun it.

Phase 3

If you score enough attacks on an enemy with symbology, skills or weapons that have an element, an elemental burst will occur and stun the enemy. This is indicated by stars moving around its head.

Usually this will take place after a Rush Mode, given the immense amount of damage dealt. This is your time to lay a beat down on the boss. If you have any characters that can hit enemies into the air, you should use them now. Depending on who is in your party, you can keep it up there for a good while. After the end of this phase however, he usually powers back up to Phase 1. 

That's it for my guide on how to complete this event successfully. Happy hunting, and be sure to check out the other Star Ocean Anamnesis guides on GameSkinny!

Star Ocean Anamnesis Augmentation and Leveling Guide Mon, 16 Jul 2018 11:27:03 -0400 Will Phillips

After completing the main story missions,you might be wondering about how to get your characters to meet their maximum potential. Luckily the game provides you with ample resources in order to make that happen.

Augmentation and Character Leveling

The first thing you should prioritize maxing out your characters. You can Augment your character with will raise their rarity by one star, and subsequently the stats. You will need a 50 small, 15 medium, and 3 large crystals along with 150000 FOL. The color of the crystals should coincide with the characters class color. Red for Attacker, yellow for Defender, blue for Sharpshooter, purple for Invoker, and green for Healer. Rainbow can be used for any class.

You should have all the materials you need from completing missions and gifts the game gives, but if for some reason that is not the case you simply need to go over to the item shop and purchase and Augmentation Set of the same class as the character you are trying to augment.

If you find yourself short on FOL, then check your inventory to see if you have any Platinum Ingots to sell. The ones the game gives you are more than enough to upgrade three characters.

On top of getting these materials, you will also need to make sure that are you character are maxed out at level 60. If not, you need to either grind missions, or use prisms and stones in order to quickly level up your character. To use prisms and stones simply head on over to the Characters Tab, tap on Status Enhancements, and then choose which character you want to level up.

If the stone or prism is rainbow (or Ra.) it will level all character equally. If it mentions a specific color, they will specifically benefit the class of the corresponding color. 

Once you have met these requirements you can then head on over the Characters Tab and then click on Augment.

Simply tap on the character you wish to Augment, and given that you have the necessary materials, it should be as easy as clicking on the Augment button in the bottom right hand corner.

After Augmentation, you character will be brought back down to level one, and will now have a new level cap of 70. Once again, you can choose to be more conservative and grind the good ol’ fashioned way and tackle high level missions and events.


To further enhance your character, you can use items called Starseeds. Each seed is named after the respective stat that it will boost. For example, the HP Starseed will increase your HP. Mind blowing, I know.

The highest valued Starseed is the one that boosts AP. Use these for your main characters. It increases your Action Points which is what determines how many Skills you can use during a fight. You can get the seeds from either the Item Shop or the Seed Mission Event.

Limit Breaking

There is a way to push characters beyond their limits called a Limit BreakThis significantly increases the stats of any given character you choose to do that to.

At first you have to Limit Break by drawing duplicates of the same character. They will synthesize automatically into the Limit broken character. The max number of Limit breaks is different based on the character.

If you obtain a character that has already had the maximum amount of Limit breaks, then you will get Small, Medium or Large Limit Break Crystals you can use to perform a Limit Break on any Character. You can also purchase a L. Limit Breaker Set which gives you two Large Limit Break Crystals from the item shop. 

Leveling Weapons and Accessories 

After that you can level up your items as well. It doesn’t seem to be as easy to max out as it was for character, but you can boost them up a little for some increased stats. I would only recommend doing this for 4-5* items. Simply go to the items tab, select enhance items, select the item you wish to enhance, and then choose lesser items to sacrifice.

There are items particularly good for enhancing weapons called Hammers.

The items good for enhancing accessories are called Thread.

These items can’t be used for anything else, so don’t feel bad about using them.

You can also increase the level cap of an item by enhancing an item with another Item of the same name. This increases the max level of an item by 2. This will be difficult for 5* items given their scarcity, so don’t fret too much if you can’t increase their cap right away.

And that covers everything there is to cover about upgrading everything you possibly can. Now there should be nothing in your way from tackling that sweet sweet end game content.

Check out our other Star Ocean Anamnesis guides here on GameSkinny!

Star Ocean Anamnesis Beginner's Guide Sun, 15 Jul 2018 19:10:25 -0400 Will Phillips

Star Ocean is a delightful Free to Play game hidden behind a clunky UI that can make it difficult for newcomers to get a grasp of what they need to do or how to upgrade characters. This is a guide made to get you through the first steps of the game and make sure that you’re fully equipped to take on whatever lies ahead.

This game is generous, and I mean scary generous. They essentially shower you with gems, their in-game purchasable currency. On top of that, you can save most of them for later, because you can get a full team of 5* characters at the start of the game!

Choose Your Character

After playing through the intro, they let you choose one out of five different 5* Characters.

 I strongly advise choosing Victor. He’s a 5* Defender which is really nice to have when running through missions. However, it’s not worst thing in the world to choose someone else.

Character Ticket

Once the game allows you to do as you please, you should head to the main page and tap on the gifts tab. It should give you a handful of gems and some other goodies, but we'll get to those later. After that you should head on over to item shop, and use some of your gems to purchase a 5* Character Ticket. As the name implies, this allows to draw for a guaranteed 5* character. 

 This is why I recommend getting Victor first, because now you just need a good damage dealer, and you have a little more wiggle room as to who can fill this spot. I recommend re-rolling to get a Cliff or Maria. To use your ticket, simply go to the Draws tab. It should be the second option under Character Draws.

If you don't like what you drew, you can re-roll by simply uninstalling and re-installing your game, and redo the previous steps. Once again, if you feel like going with someone else, or simply don't feel like dealing with the hassle of re-rolling it’s no biggie. I recommend steering clear from Invokers though because of what you get next.

Pre-registration Rewards

So the game for some reason is gifting the pre-order bonuses to everyone. At least, I don’t remember pre-ordering and I still got the bonus. One of the gifts is Faize, a 5* Invoker. If you chose to accept all whenever you got your gems, he should already be one of your choosable characters. 


She’s nothing crazy, but with her that brings your total of 5* characters to three, which is the max party size you can bring to a mission.

Equip Your Party

To equip your characters you need to go the character's tab and select Edit Party.

Click edit in the lower right hand corner, and then equip all of your precious 5* characters. Which ever character you put into the first slot is the one that you will play as. For the other two the order doesn’t matter.

I know there are two Invokers when I said to only get one. I was just trying to rush through to make this guide.  

Equip Your Items

After that you should click back in the lower left hand corner and tap on the empty weapon/equipment slots and equip whatever the game has given you.

There won’t be enough for everyone so just equip the best stuff to the character your playing as and give the other two the scraps.

Have Fun!

After that all that’s left for you to do tackle those story missions, which should be really easy with your team full of 5*’s! Also be mindful of completing the objectives for you starter missions. You can see what you need to do by pressing this icon on the main screen.

Quick tip: don’t tackle The Maze of Tribulations until you get the Starter Mission for it, or else you will have to wait until the next day to keep progressing.

You don't really need to worry about doing much else until the story missions are completed, because completing them unlocks more content. So until then just enjoy slaying monster's and collecting loot!

Check out our other Star Ocean Anamnesis guides here on GameSkinny!

Shining Resonance: Refrain Review -- Dragons be Chopin Sun, 15 Jul 2018 18:58:44 -0400 Autumn Fish

I'll be honest, JRPGs just don't grip me unless there's something truly unique about them. I've probably only played a handful in my life that I can say I've actually enjoyed. I'm not entirely sure what it is, considering I tend to enjoy many western RPGs, but that's just the way of things I suppose.

So when I say I found Shining Resonance: Refrain rather interesting, that's not a statement you should take especially lightly. It definitely came with its fair share of problems and features I wasn't quite fond of, but its theme resonated with me in a way that I can't say many other RPGs have.

Shining Resonance: Refrain -- A Sweet Melody or Dissonant Chords?

SR:R is a remake of a PS3 game that never made it out of Japan. It's the last game in a series with roots that stretch all the way back to 1991 on the Sega Genesis. It's about a boy, Yuma, who discovers he has the power of the strongest World Dragon inside of him, the Shining Dragon. It's a great and terrifying power that threatens to rend the world asunder if he ever loses control of it.

At the start of the game, he's saved from the dank cells of the Empire's prison by a Princess of a warring nation and a renown Dragoneer, wielding one of the seven legendary Armonics -- a powerful magical instrument that can commune with dragons and serves as a weapon in combat. And this is where the game hooked me.

Not only does this title promise you the rare opportunity to beat down your foes as a mighty dragon, but everything about it sings to the music geek inside of me. The strange and fascinating fixation on dragons and music was enough to keep me playing for dozens of hours. On the flip side, however, I regret to say that this concoction was most of what kept me going that whole time.

I didn't have a ton of expectations going into it, however, I did find myself pretty excited when I found out about the music aspect of the game. Additionally, I can't recall a time where I've ever played as a dragon in a video game before, especially not in a live action combat system, so I was pretty hyped to see how it would turn out.

So how did I feel once I finally got my hands on the game? Well...

Shining Resonance Refrain BAND performance

Where it Harmonizes

Shining Resonance: Refrain does a few things rather well. While I can't say the story ever left an impression on me, it wasn't bad. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say it's pretty good, but it's certainly nothing phenomenal. There aren't a lot of big mysteries, twists, or surprises, and things start to become fairly predictable after a fashion.

Rather than the story compelling me forward, though, I was rather hooked on the characters. A lot of them follow pretty traditional anime tropes, but their personalities still shine strong and a lot of them turn out to be pretty interesting. You'll even see a lot of character growth throughout the game, not just from the initially timid main character, but for the rest of the cast as well.

If you're looking to take a deeper dive into your party members, you can even utilize the game's romance system. Yuma, the main character, can date both the guys and the girls in the party, and he's not restricted to one partner, either. However, you'll ultimately only be able to see the relationship "ending" of one character in a save file.

As you build your relationships with your party members, they will gain traits that you can equip in the Bond Diagram. This diagram allows you to arrange characters next to each other in order to determine who's buffing or benefiting who in combat. It's a pretty unique, deep, and rather uncomplicated system if you're willing to spend the time fiddling with it.

In combat, there's a sweet B.A.N.D. system that you can utilize if you have at least two Armonic-wielding Dragoneers in your party. You build up your B.A.N.D. meter simply by attacking enemies. Once it's filled past its minimum threshold, you can play a song that has different buffs depending on who's at the center of the B.A.N.D. You'll even learn new songs to play as you progress in the main story.

Shining Resonance Refrain Dragon Roaring

And while we're talking about neat combat mechanics, I have to say that fighting as a dragon is pretty cool, and I honestly think that the whole mechanic is really well designed. When playing as Yuma, you can transform into a dragon at any time for a considerable power boost. However, it slowly drains his pool of MP over time. To add to it, if you try any action as a dragon while your MP is too low -- around half -- then you run the risk of going berserk and losing control of the dragon.

When the dragon goes berserk, it attacks anything and everything indiscriminately, and can do some serious damage to your party if you're not careful. The only way to soothe it or prevent it from going berserk entirely is to start a B.A.N.D. session in combat. Heck, having an active B.A.N.D. will even benefit the dragon and allow it to break the enemy's guard with its most basic attacks, so using the two special abilities in tandem tends to pan out well.

Not everything about combat is sunshine and rainbows, however.

The Grating Dissonance

Combat is something of a mixed bag. It has some good elements, but ultimately it ends up feeling off and like it doesn't bring a lot to the table. Swinging your weapons feels awkward and the system of casting spells -- or "Forces" -- isn't dissimilar to how it is in most JRPGs. The live action combat tricked me into a false security of the game being somewhat skill-based. Unfortunately, though, several enemy attacks aren't even telegraphed in time for you to get out of your own dreadfully long attack animations and react.

On top of that, if your party levels aren't up to snuff, you're going to be in for a world of hurt. It's amazing how big of a difference 3 measly levels actually make when it comes down to it, let alone trying to face off against main story bosses that have a solid 5-7 levels on you. This leads to a necessity of a bit of grinding, or at least the tenacity to kill every single enemy between you and your next objective. With the clunky combat, though, this can quickly turn into a chore.

Shining Resonance Refrain Combat

Let's take a turn to talk about the map and level design. I'm almost inclined to say, "What level design?" It's really not that great. Every map, including the singular hub town, feels so simplistic and bare bones that they're boring to run through from the start. And it doesn't help that you're forced to revisit maps a lot, rarely ever granting you the opportunity to see new places. There isn't really a fast travel system, either, except for an item you can buy to teleport you back to the hub.

There are of course some items spread about the maps -- a few materials and a couple of rare treasure chests -- that are supposed to add to your sense of exploration, and while it did compel me to check around every corner, the maps just felt ultimately boring and uninspired. This is something I see in a lot of JRPGs, unfortunately, and it puts me off every time. I don't need a great big open world game to be satisfied, but I would like areas with at least a bit of thought put into them.

I was originally willing to write off the poor level design and clunky combat as drawbacks of this being a port of a PS3 game, but then I remembered just how much could be accomplished on a PS3. I mean, games like Dark Souls and Skyrim were originally released on that console, and they definitely weren't lacking quite like this.

Finally, let's talk about side quests. This game is the shining example of how not to do side quests. It almost feels like I'm playing an MMO, the side quests are that monotonous. And some of them are endlessly repeatable, too. Which I suppose is nice if you're going for certain rewards from them, but I only ever even found a few of them worthwhile. There's game content locked behind a few of them, too, so it's unwise to pass them over, I just wish they were a little more compelling.

As a closing note, it'd be wrong to talk about a game that has so many musical elements without touching on the music itself. Unfortunately, it's not that great. There is a track or two that was catchy enough to get stuck in my head for awhile after putting the game down, and some music may even sound rather pleasant upon first hearing it, but every track quickly wore on me the more I heard them. It's unfortunate, really, because this is the one part of the game where I had relatively high expectations.

Shining Resonance Refrain Sonia Asking You on a Date

Verdict: Just a Bit Offbeat

Shining Resonance: Refrain has such a mesmerizing theme with its focus on dragons and music, and while I was able to stick with the game for several hours because of it, it ultimately wasn't enough to save it for me. While the game featured some unique mechanics and interesting characters, the clunky gameplay just killed the experience for me. Maybe most JRPGs just aren't for me.

If you're a fan of JRPGs and think the concept of playing as a dragon and beating up enemies with musical instruments is pretty rad, then you'll probably enjoy this game a lot. If you're interested in strong characters and potentially getting to know them on a romantic level, you may like this game too. Otherwise, I'm not really sure if I can personally recommend dropping the money on this.

It's got a great concept, I just wish it was executed a bit better.

Shining Resonance: Refrain is available now for $50 on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

[Writer was granted a review copy of the game from the publisher.]

Street Fighter V ELEAGUE Invitational Finals Recap Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:44:19 -0400 Jonathan Moore

To say ELEAGUE's Street Fighter V Invitational has so far been chock full of some the game's most competitive and finest moments might be an understatement. Assembling some of Street Fighter's most talented pros in a single place has the chance to kick things up a notch. 

But as tournaments are wont to do, the Invitational's final rounds proved to be some of the most electric of the competition. With the likes of Tokido, Daigo, and Punk taking the stage, the lineup was utterly mind-boggling. 

Here's what happened. 

Playoffs Game 1: Tokido vs. Punk (Akuma vs. Cammy)

The first match of the night pitted Punk against Tokido, both of whom faced each other at EVO 2017. Although Tokido won that match, Punk was confident his strong play in the Invitational's Group B round would propel him to victory in the finals. 

Both fighters started out prodding each other, showcasing the respect they had for on another. However, it was quickly evident that despite Punk's confidence in himself as the self-espoused "mayor" of Georgia was waning. Tokido easily took the first match two rounds to none, putting the young gun on his heels. 

Playing with great respect for Punk, Tokido played tight, not overextending himself. He slowed the match down so much that Punk's restlessness grew palpable as his play began to unwind into erratic movements and ill-advised risks. One mistake too many helped put Tokido up 2-0. 

A fantastic mid-combo CA put Tokido in the driver's seat during the third game of the match. Going into set point, Punk put his foot on the gas and tried to push Tokido off, but the round was a microcosm of the entire game: Tokido completely bodied Punk -- using the same mid-combo CA (Sekia Kuretsuha) once again to win the set. 

Punk was going to the loser's bracket, but that didn't mean things were over. The American won ELEAGUE's 2017 Invitational from the loser's bracket. Tokido hadn't killed the beast yet.  

Playoffs Game 2: Problem X vs. Daigo (M. Bison vs. Guile)

Right out of the gate, this game was much faster and more frenetic than the game between Tokido and Punk, with both fighters coming out swinging with heavy attacks, normals, and specials. Daigo, however, seemed ready for everything Problem X threw at him, as he went up 1-0 with superior footsie play. 

However, it seemed that Problem X settled in between matches as things became decidedly more defensive in the second bout. From the looks of things, it was pretty clear that Problem X had caught on to Daigo's tactics -- and Daigo knew it. Showcasing some truly fantastic neutral play, clutch V-trigger activation, and superiro EX play (where the Dai-God didn't miss a single flash kick), Daigo went up on Problem X 2-0.

Things didn't change in the third game as Daigo bodied Problem to get one win away from the winner's bracket. But Problem didn't like the thought of going home so quickly -- he readjusted and brought the hurt to Daigo, pushing with heavy attacks and specials. 

But as was the story of the entire game, Daigo seemingly wasn't phased by the onslaught. He played patiently and defensively, handily winning the final match, and sweeping the British fighter 3-0. Problem X was going to the lower bracket of the finals to face Momochi, while Daigo was going to winner's to face Tokido. 

Playoffs Game 3: Dogura vs. Momochi (Urien vs Cody)

This was the matchup of the awful round-robin fighters; both Dogura and Momochi had gone 0-5 in their respective group's round robin play, only to turn things around in featured play and run the gauntlet to the finals. However, one of them wouldn't be so lucky this time around: this was the night's first loser-go-home match, so tensions were high as the fighters took the stage. 

As things kicked off, Momochi surprised nearly everyone in the studio (perhaps with the exception of the ELEAGUE analysts) by picking Cody over his normal go-to, Kolin.

The effects seemed almost instantaneous. Although Momochi seemed a bit rusty with Cody out of the gate, he quickly pulled things together put Dogura on his heels. As the first game progressed slowly, it was obvious that Dogura wasn't comfortable facing a Momochi-controlled Cody, one he'd not yet seen in tournament play. 

Unable to get his bearings on the character, Dogura struggled to defend against Momochi's attacks and quickly went down 2-0 to his rival. As things moved into the third game of the match, Dogura was out of sorts -- where he even seemed to give up on offensive play, turtling into a defensive stance that never gave him shelter from Momochi's relentless offense. 

Dogura's fate was sealed when he missed several key EX moves and normals in the latter stages of the game. Momochi's pre-match bravado turned into unquestionable arrogance as he toyed with a helpless Dogura. With another win, Momochi sent Dogura home -- and sealed third straight game sweep of the night. 

Playoffs Game 4: Smug vs. Fujimura (Balrog vs. Ibuki)

Smug, feeling like Agent Smith from the Matrix, was his normal trash-talking self before the match. Postulating the possibilities of his future opponents, it appeared he had already started looking past Fujimura -- and had perhaps set himself up for failure in a critical match against a renowned opponent. 

However, it was evident from the first punch that Smug was playing with what would come to feel like divine power as the night wore on. Landing heavy crush damage, Smug pulled off fantastic anti-airs and normals, seemingly having an answer for everything Fujimura threw at him.

Smug's unreal defense -- which helped him block basically every attack from Fujimura's Ibuki -- put the United States fighter in a powerful position coming out of the first game. 

Things didn't change moving forward. Smug continued to completely punish and body Fujimura with a fusillade of blows and reversals. The vibe in the studio went from shocked to frenzied as Smug destroyed Fujimura round after round, exchange after exchange.

Fujimura cam back in the third match with a round-one perfect, but Smug wasn't going to go down. With utter poise, Smug played smart and didn't cave to Fujimura's baits. With the greatest of ease, Smug defeated Fujimura 3-0 for the night's fourth sweep in as many games. 

Fujimura, a player who everyone thought would not only be in the winner's bracket of the finals but perhaps even win the tournament, was sent packing by an up-and-coming star. 

Playoffs Game 5: Momochi vs. Problem X (Kolin/Cody vs. Abigail/M. Bison)

Although Cody had proven a wise choice in his fight against Dogura, Momochi decided to bet on familiarity in his bout against Problem X. On paper, Kolin vs. Abigail was a more balanced match for Momochi, but as things played out, that assumption was quickly called in to question.  

As anyone who's played or watched Street Fighter V knows, Abigail is one of the game's most overpowered characters -- and that fact has never been clearer than in this match. Problem X wasted no time in devastating Momochi's Kolin, outweighing Kolin's tactical prowess with sheer power. 

Problem X controlled the neutral and even though Momochi rarely froze or pulled back his attacks, Problem X was able to take advantage to easily go up 1-0 in the first match.

Moving into the later rounds and matches, it constantly felt as if Momochi was playing from behind. Not only was it difficult to gain any ground in the neutral against such a massiv foe, Kolin just couldn't match Abigail's damage output, forcing Momochi to take several unnecessary risks throughout the game. 

Up 2-0, Problem X oozed confidence as the two fighters entered the set match. But having had enough of Abigail, Momochi switched to Cody. Immediately, it was obvious that Problem X -- just like Dogura -- wasn't as familiar with Cody as he would have liked and quickly went on the defensive. Unable to get a hold on the character, Problem X went down, giving Momochi his first victory of the set. 

However, game four would see Problem X pulling out the big guns with a switch to M. Bison. Going down as the best match of the night to that point, both players took each other down to pixels and less than 10 seconds in two rounds of the match. Despite Problem X's tenacity, Momochi was able to find the small damage to even the set at 2-2. 

But with two matches against Cody under his belt, Problem X wasn't about to give up. He'd seen how Momochi used the character, but more importantly, that Momochi wasn't entirely comfortable with the new addition. Taking advantage of that, Problem X was able to utterly devastate Momochi in the second and third rounds of the final game to take the set 3-2 and send Momochi packing. 

Playoffs Game 6: Smug vs. Punk (Balrog vs. Karin/Cammy)

A loser-goes-home match between two of the most boisterous and animated fighters in the tournament, the sixth game of the night was primed to be one of the most exciting of the tournament. It was also the first U.S. vs. U.S. match of the night, meaning that at least one United States player would go home, leaving only one to take on the rest of the field. 

Throughout the tournament, Punk had almost exclusively relied on strong Cammy play to defeat his opponents. However, Punk knew that Smug had struggled against his Karin before, and in a somewhat surprising move, chose the character going into the game. 

At the beginning, it seemed like a perfect pick: Cammy basically nullified Smug's Balrog. However, Smug's divine provenance shined through -- following a strong start in the first game, Punk couldn't stay out of the corner. Getting utterly bodied by Smug, Punk was quickly overpowered, going down 1-0.  

The second match was more of the same. Smug, playing out of his mind and with only a killer's scowl on his face, bodied Punk to go up 2-0. 

Going into the game's set match, ELEAGUE's reigning champion made a quick switch to Cammy, a move that appeared more desperate than strategic. The change put Smug somewhat on the defensive, but not for long as began dealing heavy damage to take the first round.

Although Punk wouldn't go quietly into the night, playing patiently and defensively to gain a win in the second round, Smug held things together and gave the audience the fifth 3-0 sweep of the night, sending the defending champion home and advancing to face Problem X -- and an Abigail that had given him nightmares the entire tournament. 

Finals Game 1: Tokido vs. Daigo (Akuma vs. Guile)

No one expected two of the very best fighters from the tournament to face each other in the first match of the winner's bracket finals. It was almost unthinkable going into the night that these mythic players would potentially send the other home so early.

Going into the bout, Daigo seemed to be in Tokido's head as he said in a pre-match interview that he wasn't sure if he could beat Daigo and advance to the Grand Final. It didn't help that Daigo had gotten the best of Tokido the last several times the two had met outside of the Invitational. 

Because of that, the game began with extremely methodical play from Tokido to keep Daigo at bay and slowly chip away at his health. The tactic payed off as Tokido took the first match and go up 1-0. 

Strong special play and neutral control defined the next match, with Tokido bullying Daigo's Guile and taking life away in chunks. It seemed like Daigo couldn't get over Tokido's well-placed fireballs and dragon punches no matter how hard he tried.

Up 2-0, Tokido went insane with Akuma in the third match, keeping Daigo constantly on the defensive and always uncomfortable. As his confidence gres, Tokido began taking more chances, ultimately paying off in a lopsided 3-0 victory. Completely shocked, the audience sat in silence as Daigo went to the loser's bracket without winning a single match.

Finals Game 2: Problem X vs. Smug (Abigail vs. Balrog)

With one of the Invitational's hottest American fighters taking on frenemey Problem X, the audience erupted in chants of "U.S.A.", filled the studio a nationalistic fervor that only fed Smug's already overflowing confidence. 

As one of Street Fighter V's scummiest characters took on one of its spammiest, things started out hot with Problem X reminding Smug why Abigail is one of the hardest characters to beat. Dealing  heavy damage and soaking up crush after crush, Problem X threw smug around the arena to body Smug into an 0-1 corner. 

But there was something in Smug's eyes that told us all he wasn't about to go down without a fight.  In Match 2, he came back strong and completely dominated to win both rounds and tie things up 1-1. Putting Problem on his toes going into the third match, it quickly became evident Smug wasn't scared of Abigail after his Match 1 jitters -- Smug took Match 3 to go up 2-1 on Problem X. 

Smelling blood in the water, Match 4 was more of the same. Smug dominated Problem X in every conceivable way, sending the British fighter packing. Winning 3-1, Smug showcased what a jumpback really is -- and why his Balrog was the character to beat.

Finals Game 3: Smug vs. Daigo (Balrog vs. Guile)

Coming off a loss to Tokido in the winner's bracket, Daigo didn't take a red-hot Smug lightly. It was a match between an excellent, nearly flawless Guile against an unbeatable Balrog. On paper, Smug should've had little chance against the Dai-God, but his momentum and ferocity were unmatched, spelling doom for the seasoned pro. 

As things got underway, Daigo knew he had to play it slow to survive against Smug's Balrog. And in the early goings, it seemed like Daigo had a strong gameplan: no matter what Smug threw at Daigo, he didn't lose his composure and kept the attack methodical and patient.

But even patient play couldn't keep him from going down 1-0. 

Emboldened by the American's win, the crowd grew louder going into the second match. Daigo collected himself and pushed forward, using strategic flashkicks and booms to wear Smug down. Weathering the storm, Daigo evened things up at 1-1. 

Going into the third match, each player looked to slow things down, jabbing at each other, playing the neutral, and testing each other. Smug took the first round with a pixel after forcing Daigo into the corner. A flash kick secured the round two for Daigo after a barrage of hits forced him to trigger early. But in a match that would eventually define Daigo's night, the veteran's patience and persistence weren't enough to best Smug, and he went down 2-1. 

As the crowd erupted, the two went into set match, both drilling away at each other, taking off massive amounts of health with reversals, specials, and throws. Here, in what some thought would be a defining moment, the legend of Daigo reared its head to force a fifth game. 

With things tied up 2-2, set match saw insane defense from Smug in the second and third rounds. In what may go down as one of the most critical misses of the tournament, Daigo whiffed an almost certain CA to get punished by Smug. A blocked flashback into a devastating uppercut sealed the match for Smug, sending him to the Grand Finals to face a disciplined Tokido.  

Grand Final: Tokido vs. Smug (Akuma vs Balrog)

Coming into the Grand Final from the loser's bracket meant that Smug had to reset the bracket to take the ELEAGUE trophy home. As if that wasn't difficult enough, he had to do it against Tokido, who was not only the defending EVO champion but hadn't lost a single game during the SFV Invitational. 

Starting things out, Tokido played very patient -- but perhaps too patient. Even dropping a huge combo early on, Smug was able to assert his dominance in with clutch play after clutch play -- with some combos completely mystifying both the audience and commentators alike.  

In many ways, it appeared Smug was destined to win -- as if he was unbeatable. Thinking he would win the second round of the second match, Tokido pulled off what would have normally been a match-ending Critical Art, but leaving Smug a pixel, his opponent pushed back and defeated Tokido with his own CA, riding that momentum into the next round to go up 2-0. 

With much of the outstanding play we'd already seen over the course of the night, Smug reset the bracket by going 3-0. The crowd frothed with excitement, and Smug sat in confident disbelief that he had just swept one of the best Street Fighter players in the world without breaking a sweat. 

However, as it often does with any sport, halftime was the intermission within a tale of two halves. 

In a quick succession of events, Tokido looked like a changed man, coming out extremely strong on both offense and defense to punish Smug in the first two matches of the second set, winning handily -- and not dropping a single round. Smug fought back, taking both rounds of the third match to pull closer at 2-1. 

It what was a flurry of matches -- the second set flew by at breakneck speed -- the two combatants ferociously fought for dominance. In a valiant effort, Smug took Tokido to the line multiple times, only to be defeated again and again. 

It was the end of a Cinderella run. Tokido dominated the second set and took the tournament with the greatest of ease, winning the ELEAGUE final 3-1 and taking home $110,000. 


To see all the action from the 2018 Street Fighter V Invitational Finals, head over to ELEAGUE's Twitch channel to see a complete replay. Stay tuned for more news and information on not only Street Fighter V, but next year's ELEAGUE Invitational. 

Header image credit: ELEAGUE

Mario Tennis Aces Review: Ball, Meet Net Fri, 13 Jul 2018 13:41:33 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

As a journalist, it's my job to fairly review the games I'm assigned; to rate them on their merits and the amount of fun I have playing them while trying to limit external bias, or at least mention it up front. A video game review should inform somebody whether or not they'll enjoy the game in question, regardless of whether or not they share my views on what makes a game fun. This is what makes writing this Mario Tennis Aces review so hard.

As a game, I can find very little to fault it for, and yet the game left me wanting because it could have been and should have been so much better. So where does that leave us – you, the folks who want to know whether Mario Tennis Aces is worth your hard-earned money, and me, the guy that has to tell you? Well let's start the Mario Tennis Aces review like this:

Mario Tennis Aces is the best Mario Tennis game in over a decade. If you're jonesing for more Mario Tennis action, buy the game now and don't look back.

A Clean Stroke

Where Mario Tennis Aces really shines is in its core gameplay. Nintendo has stripped away a lot of the extra trimmings of previous iterations of the Mario Tennis series (items, in particular) to focus on retooling the way the game actually works.

To be successful in Mario Tennis Aces, you'll really have to be strategic. Sure, you have the five main shot types to play with – a topspin shot that speeds up after the first bounce, a powerful flat shot, a curving slice, and drop shots and lobs to catch out-of-position opponents. That's no surprise.

Mario Tennis Aces switches things up by adding what is essentially a super meter to the game. You can burn this meter to go into slow motion to return a shot, burn a third of it to unleash a super-powerful shot you can direct anywhere on the court, or burn a full meter to use a special shot that's even more powerful. Nintendo has also added in trick shots that allow characters to return shots even if they're way out of position.

When all of this comes together, what results is an incredibly engaging, heart-pounding experience where every single swing of the racket comes with risk and reward. Do you risk charging up a shot to build meter while knowing you might get caught out of position, or will you play it safe? Will you go for a trick shot with an empty meter, knowing that if you're late on the timing, you'll serve up a meatball for your opponent? The core push-and-pull on display in Mario Tennis Aces is exquisite, and goes a long way in covering up the game's, well, faults. Tennis pun intended.


I'm going to get this out of the way first since it's the thing that disappointed me the most about the game – the highly-touted adventure mode in Mario Tennis Aces won't take you more than 3 hours or so to complete, depending on how experienced you are. That wouldn't be an issue on its own, but in the lead-up to the game's release, Nintendo pitched this adventure mode as a sort of return to the sports RPG modes present in the Mario Tennis and Mario Golf games for the Game Boy Advance. This... isn't that.

To be fair, the adventure mode isn't just a tutorial – there is at least a bit of meat on these bones – and it does get challenging, especially if you're looking to get that coveted 100%. But the RPG mechanics here are tacked-on at best, and none of your equipped rackets feel different from any others. There aren't any real engaging tennis puzzles, or any encounters that shine with the kind of creativity Nintendo is known for. Maybe I've been spoiled by Golf Story, but I really was expecting more here.

While it might not be entirely fair to expect a full single-player campaign from an arcade sports game, what's much less forgivable is the fact that Mario Tennis Aces launched without a whole bunch of play options that seem necessary for an arcade sports title.

First of all, and perhaps most damningly, there are only two match lengths to choose from – a tiebreaker first-to-6-points format, and a best-of-3 game format that is laughably titled “extended play”. No options for a 3 set match, even though the adventure mode features them. You can't even pick the extended play option if you're playing online (unless you're with friends). It's Wimbledon season. There's no excuse for not having options for 3, 5, and 7 game sets, and 1, 3, and 5-set matches.

The problems get even worse when you're trying to play against your buddies. There are no options for creating a private online tournament for friends, or even any options for hosting a pass-and-play local tournament. There are countless minor oversights like this, and they really do add up.

Oh, and we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that as of the publication of this Mario Tennis Aces review, Bowser Jr. has rendered competitive play completely broken since he can charge shots at will and return pretty much anything that's thrown at him. This will likely continue to be the case unless Nintendo decides to issue balance patches for the game as they add new characters.

Service Ace

Speaking of adding new characters, that's something that Nintendo seems to have gotten right.

So far, Nintendo has announced 3 free characters to be added in August, September, and October, though you can unlock them a month early if you enter an online tournament before their release. If their recent games (or the size of the character select screen) is any indication, they're planning on adding even more through the fall and winter.

Nintendo didn't skimp on stages here either. Though at first blush it seems like there's only one competitive, hazard-free stage available for play out of a total of seven (not counting palette swaps), Mario Tennis Aces took a page out of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's book and added the ability for players to disable stage hazards, which is much appreciated. In addition, the main tennis court you'll play on looks incredible, and has variants for both clay, grass, and hard court surfaces. There really are a lot of options to customize your play, which makes it insanely frustrating that Nintendo didn't make them available across all the different play modes.

Match Point

Mario Tennis Aces is a frustrating type of game, and not just when you're trying to rally the ball with Kamek 400 times to beat that darn rally challenge. 95% of the time you're playing the game, you'll be having a pulse-pounding blast. The core concept behind the gameplay is incredibly satisfying. There's nothing like the feeling of baiting an opponent to play the net and then launching a lob shot right above them to win the point.

But every so often the game will get in its own way and one of those nagging issues will come up. You'll have friends over and want to set up a tournament so everyone can play together. You'll want to play an extended competitive match. You'll get matched up with a Bowser Jr. player online.

The good news is that most of these gripes seem like they could be easily fixed with a patch. But the fact remains that out of the box, this game fails to achieve its full potential – which is sad, because the game truly is, currently, the best arcade sports experience on the Switch. It's a shame that Nintendo felt they had to rush it out to capitalize on Wimbledon and key features are nowhere to be found. With just a little bit more development time, Mario Tennis Aces could have been an all-time classic in the series. It's a solid game but it falls short of becoming a classic.