Trivia Genre RSS Feed | Trivia on GameSkinny en Launch Media Network The Game Awards to Unveil 10 Unannounced Games Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:40:32 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The Game Awards are only a week away, and creator and host Geoff Keighley says there will be 10 unannounced titles shown off during the show. Keighley dropped the tidbit during a Reddit AMA a few hours ago.

The news doesn't consider updates on already announced games, which means we might hear more about the already-announced Breath of the Wild 2. Either way, it's sure to be the usual jam-packed, exciting affair.

What these new announcements could be is anyone's guess. Unfortunately, it seems that the recently-leaked Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake won't make an appearance at the show. Regarding the question of if it would appear, Keighly said during the AMA: 

There are no plans (never were) to do anything with Resident Evil 3 at the show. A lot of these "leaks" are completely wrong. Nothing about our show has leaked as of this writing.

The RE3 remake has yet to be officially announced, though we know it's picking its scaly flesh in the darkness somewhere. Reportedly, the remake is set to be announced before The Game Awards, though there has been no official confirmation on that either. 

Given that the Resident Evil 2 Remake is nominated for Game of the Year after scoring universally positive reviews, a reveal at The Game Awards would make sense, but that's mainly propelled by our wishful thinking. 

Per usual, the games in question will all be announced and teased throughout the night, in between handing out awards to the winners of each category.

Whatever gets announced, we'll be covering it here, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Game Awards 2019 news and reveals.

Borderlands 3 DLC, Moxxi's Heist of The Handsome Jackpot, Gets Gameplay Trailer Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:25:06 -0500 Jason Coles

The first bit of Borderlands 3 DLC is out on December 19, and it's called Moxxi's Heist of The Handsome Jackpot. To celebrate it, Gearbox has released a playthrough of the first 13 minutes of the expansion. Moxxi's Heist is the first of four planned campaign add-ons and is included in the Borderlands 3 season pass. 

The DLC sees our intrepid Vault Hunters getting their Ocean's Eleven on as part of Moxxi's plan to rob a derelict space station casino. Needless to say, stealth probably won't be a big part of this particular heist, so you can expect more explosions and lasers than anything else. 

It's all detailed in this blog post over on the mothership site, which also describes some of the purchases you can make if you haven't already bought Borderlands 3 or season pass. 

If you're wondering what we thought of Borderlands 3, then you should head on over to our review to read our thoughts. We enjoyed it a fair bit, though maybe that should be behind a spoiler warning if you're waiting to read it.

Nevertheless, Borderlands 3 has already seen a few additions thanks to free updates, including a raid of sorts and an even harder difficulty mode. So it could be a great time to get into the game. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Borderlands 3 as it breaks. 

A Plague Tale 2 Reportedly in Development Thu, 05 Dec 2019 10:01:13 -0500 Jason Coles

A Plague Tale 2 appears to be in development, at least according to a new report from Xbox Squad. This should be exciting news for fans of A Plague Tale: Innocence, including our very own reviewer, who found it to be a worthwhile experience, even if it did have its flaws. 

According to Xbox Squad, A Plague Tale 2 will be officially revealed in 2020, but won't be released until 2022. All of this info also apparently comes directly from a higher-up at developer Focus Home Interactive. 

Considering that release date, it means A Plague Tale 2 will almost definitely be a next-gen title. Just think of all the rats you can have on-screen using the power of an Xbox Scarlett or PS5. 

While reports of this nature can sometimes be a little misleading or incorrect, if something gets enough traction, then the chances are that it's true. Having other industry sites like Eurogamer reporting on this really helps add credence to the report. 

If you're looking to get stuck in A Plague Tale: Innocence now that you know there will be a sequel, it's probably worth sticking around after the credits for what appears to be even more confirmation of a sequel. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on A Plague Tale 2 as it develops. 

How to Get Gigantamax Snorlax in Pokemon Sword and Shield Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:16:54 -0500 Jonny Foster

So, Gigantamax Snorlax has been unleashed upon Galar. You now have until January 4, 2020 to find, defeat, and catch it. But just how do you find the majestic Giga-chungus in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Below, we outline how to access a special raid to spawn the Snorlax, as well as how to beat it and how to capture it. We include the Snorlax's weaknesses and what Pokemon are best used against it. And we share what pokeballs are best for capturing it. 

How to Get Gigantamax Snorlax: Summoning the Sumo King

Gigantamax Snorlax is a Promoted Raid. You can easily force your copy of Pokemon Sword or Shield to spawn a special raid, making this step easier.  

Go to Mystery Gift in the menus. Then select Get the Wild Area News. The game will automatically spawn a Promoted Raid in one of the Wild Area dens.

Spawning a Promoted Raid will require access to the internet. Once you do so, you should receive a message prompting you to "go have a look in those Pokemon Dens!". 

You may need to clear out all of the existing raids in your game before the Promoted Raid can spawn. Don't panic if you don't see Snorlax immediately.

Once you've hunted down the correct den, make sure to save your game in front of it. Doing so allows you multiple attempts at catching Snorlax in quick succession. Promoted Raids have lowered capture rates compared to the regularly spawning raids in the Wild Area. 

Conquering the Colossus

Once you have saved your game, enter the raid battle. Snorlax, a plain Normal-type, is weak to Fighting-type moves. A heavy hitter like Gigantamax Machamp would be a solid Pokemon to take with you. 

Of course, if you have completed the game, then EternatusZacian, or Zamazenta are probably your best bets. 

All three of these Pokemon have moves that deal double damage to Dynamaxed targets. Dynamax Cannon for Eternatus and Behemoth Blade/Bash for the Sword and Shield doggos work wonders. Using these moves, you can easily beat a 5-star Gigantamax Snorlax. 

Equipping Leftovers to your Pokemon is also a good strategy to adopt. Taking down Snorlax can take a long time, so being able to out-grind the target is incredibly valuable in raids. 

Catching the Chungus

Once you have managed to defeat Gigantamax Snorlax, you have two main options for capturing them.

Repeat Balls will give you the best odds (3.5x) if you have already caught that Pokemon. Dusk Balls will give you the best odds (3x). Raid dens count as caves for the purpose of using Dusk Balls.

If your Gigantamax Snorlax breaks out of the ball, you can either close your game and reload your save for another try, or you can repeat the process and search for your new G-Max raid if you consider this an exploit. There have been mixed reactions to Raid exploits from the community, after all.

For more tips on raid battles, check out our Raid Guide, or check out our full list of guides for Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Nintendo Switch Online Getting 6 New Classic Games Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:43:30 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

It's been a little while since Nintendo added SNES games to Nintendo Switch online, with the caution that we shouldn't get our hopes up for regular content updates

But the dearth of new classic games is over for now. Nintendo Switch Online is getting six new classic games, four from the SNES and two from the NES.

These classic games will be added to their storefronts on December 12. The following is a list of the games coming to Switch. 

SNES Games
  • Star Fox 2
  • Breath of Fire 2
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Super Punch-Out!!
NES Games
  • Crystalis
  • Journey to Silius

Some of these classic titles have been available on various renditions of the Virtual Console over the past 10 years. But it's the first time outside of the SNES Classic Mini we'll be able to get our hands on Star Fox 2. That says nothing of how long it's been since Crystalis and Journey to Silius have been easily accessible.

For those uninitiated, Crystalis is a cult classic RPG from SNK, following the adventures of an unnamed hero in a post-apocalyptic world. Journey is a side-scrolling shooter inspired by the Terminator films — a product of the '80s if ever there was one.

If you're looking to get your hands on those lovely SNES controllers Nintendo put up when SNES games first launched on Nintendo Switch Online, you'll have to wait a little longer. The controllers won't be back in stock until January. On the other hand, the NES controllers are back in stock.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Nintendo Switch Online news as it develops.

Niantic Hatches Evolution Event for Pokemon GO Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:38:12 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Pokemon GO is celebrating its first-ever Evolution event starting December 5. The event runs until December 12.

On December 5 at 1 p.m. PST/4 p.m. EST, Pokemon with different evolution methods will appear in raids and in the wild more often. These Pokemon will also be easier to find through field research. 

Some of the Pokemon you can expect to find during the Pokemon GO event include Onix, Roselia, Burmy, and Eevee. The Burmy you come across might even be Shiny Burmy.

Raids will also host other Pokemon with different evolution methods, such as Scyther, Togetic, Ralts, and Lickitung. You'll also end up with more 2km Eggs for Tyrogue, Burmy, Feebas, and Tyrogue.

Many of these Pokemon require special items to evolve, and fortunately, the field research tasks during Evolution Day will reward you with the evolution items you need. You might get evolution items from raids as well, and you'll get double XP from evolving Pokemon.

There's an evolution raid sub-event on December 7 too, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in whatever time zone you're in. During this event, you'll

  • Encounter Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle in one-star raids.
  • Encounter Ivysaur, Charmeleon, and Wartortle in two-star raids.
  • Encounter Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise in four-star raids.
  • Receive up to five additional Raid Passes during the Raid Day time period when you spin a Photo Disc at a Gym. These Raid Passes will not be available after the event period is over. You cannot hold more than one Raid Pass at once.

Evolution Day ends December 12 at 1 p.m. PST/4 p.m. EST. You can check out the full event details here.

If this isn't enough Pokemon GO goodness for you, don't forget that the Looming in the Shadows quests and rewards are still live.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Pokemon GO news and information as it develops.

Diablo 4 Will Strike Down Boring Builds Via Itemization Wed, 04 Dec 2019 17:18:08 -0500 Ashley Shankle

We've already heard quite a bit about the ways-off Diablo 4, though Blizzard keeps feeding information about the upcoming ARPG title.This time the information drop is on the series' official blog, and it lays out some exciting features for longtime Diablo fans.

Written by Blizzard's David Kim, the post highlights that they are hoping to take the best parts from Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, without directly copying either game, and implement them in Diablo 4.

Though the details are not concrete and are currently being tested, Kim outlines a few particular changes to Diablo 4 from its predecessors.

New and More Equipment Affixes

The first is that equipment will have more affixes across the board, starting from Magic (Blue) equipment, to give players more power and flexibility throughout a playthrough.

If you're an APRG player, you know how important affixes are to both gameplay variety as well as how powerful a character feels. Affixes adding additional effects to skills or providing entirely new ones are a well-known and critical portion to any game within the genre.

New Stats

Second are three stats brand new to the series. These stats will surely have noticeable impact on any playthrough. Presently, they are known as Angelic Power, Demonic Power, and Ancestral Power.

Angelic Power will affect the duration of your buffs and heals, Demonic Power will affect the duration of debuffs and damage over time on enemies, and Ancestral Power will increase the proc chance of on-hit effects.

The hope is to add additional flexibility using these stats as they can easily affect most builds. As it's laid out, Blizzard seems to be working them to be just as, if not more, impactful than standard stats. From Kim's post:

Each of the three Powers will have a list of affixes that are attuned to it, so depending on which stats you care about, you might want to focus on Angelic, Demonic, or Ancestral Power. In the examples above, you would need 50 Demonic Power to get an additional rank in the Devastation skill, 55 Demonic Power for 25% Fire Resistance, or 60 Demonic power for an additional 2 ranks in the Char to Ash skill.

If you wanted to build around Crushing Blow, you’d need to stack at least 55 Ancestral Power instead, while 40 Angelic Power would be required to gain 25% Cold Resistance.

We think these changes will address those two main takeaways pretty well. Legendary powers should no longer completely dwarf the strength of your affixes, and the affixes themselves provide more interesting choices because their strength depends on how much of the relevant Powers you’ve accumulated on the rest of your gear.

You might find an amulet with the perfect stats for your build, but some of its Affixes may require Demonic Power when you’ve previously focused on Ancestral. Maybe your current amulet is the primary source of your Ancestral Power, so equipping a new amulet would mean potentially making sacrifices elsewhere.

Removing Attack from Non-weapons

Further pushing the importance of the new affixes, Blizzard will be refraining from putting Attack on items that aren't weapons. In turn, armor will no longer have Attack on it; and accessories will be free of both stats.

Though some may take this as simplification, this is probably the best route if they're adding a new realm of softer stats to the title.

Kim stresses the benefits of the additional affixes should outweigh the previous benefit of attack and defense across most gear in that the new affixes have such an impact, that the additional Attack and Defense isn't necessary.

Replacing Ancient Legendary Equipment

To aid in endgame equipment flexibility, Blizzard will be removing Ancient Legendaries from Diablo 4 and instead replacing them with consumable items that allow you to place one Legendary affix on an non-Legendary item.

This is being done to remove the necessity of using Ancient Legendaries in endgame, which had admittedly gotten quite stale in Diablo 3. This allows players to actually make use of more equipment at endgame overall, rather than defaulting to wearing all maximum rarity gear because it's just that good.

These changes all sound like interesting shifts from the two previous titles in the series, and even from the rest of the genre. A lack of reliance on Legendary (or even above) equipment sounds too good to be true, and we've got a long time to see how it's going to turn out.

Diablo 4's release date is still unknown but it's been confirmed to not even be "Blizzard soon", which indicates it's likely at least two years away.

How do you feel about these changes proposed in David Kim's blog post? Let us know in the comments below, and keep an eye on GameSkinny for further Diablo 4 news.

Sony Says The Handheld Is Dead, Long Live... Something Else Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:15:01 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Sony and PlayStation are reportedly no longer in the handheld gaming market. The declaration comes from Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan, as part of Game Informer's massive retrospective celebrating 25 years of PlayStation.

Ryan's specific said that “PlayStation Vita was brilliant in many ways, and the actual gaming experience was great, but clearly, it’s a business that we’re no longer in now.”

Whether that means portable gaming in general is off the table isn't completely clear. PS Vita TV and transferrable save data made the Vita Sony's Wii U, mostly un-tethering the console experience and letting players take their games on the go. Former SIE President John Kotera told IGN UK in 2018 that Sony's approach to handhelds was:

Rather than separating portable gaming from consoles, it’s necessary to continue thinking of it as one method to deliver more gaming experiences and exploring what our customers want from portable.

Which sounds a lot like a modified version of PS TV.

It'd be a much smarter approach to handheld than Sony's taken as well, free of the proprietary memory card bugbear and, like Nintendo, letting Sony and its developers focus on software for one device instead of several.

How this plays out is still very much uncertain. The PlayStation 5 is set to release around the holidays next year, but we still don't know too much about it. It could be backwards compatible with every PS console before it, so who knows — it might just have some kind of portable, Switch-like capability as well.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season One Live, Brings Supply Drop of Freebies Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:11:21 -0500 Jason Coles

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare isn't messing around, at least not when it comes to the content updates. Season One is now live, and with it comes the single largest free content drop in the history of the series, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment. 

It includes four multiplayer maps, three new spec ops experiences, and two new free weapons as well. Perhaps the most exciting part of this for series veterans is the return of Crash, from the original Modern Warfare.

This map is predominately what you expect, but it's also had a few new areas added to keep things fresh. 

This Activision blog post details everything that's coming to the game, and it includes another two classic maps in the form of Vacant and Shipment. So, that should keep fans of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare happy. 

Activision has also given some more details about Modern Warfare's Battle Pass system, which will allow players to unlock over 170 new items, assuming they're tenacious enough to play their way through the ranks. 

Naturally, the Battle Pass comes with both free tiers and paid tiers, but that's standard stuff at this point thanks to games like Fortnite. A new edition of the game has also been announced, but one that includes some in-game currency so that you can buy the Battle Pass among other things. 

If you're not sure about playing the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, then you should probably have a read of our review to find out if it's the right game for you or not. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as it develops. 

Witness The Power of the Fully Operational Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition Wed, 04 Dec 2019 14:42:20 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is getting a digital Celebration Edition on December 5. It will release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The Celebration Edition will include the Battlefront 2 base game plus all past and future paid content. It will retail for $39.99. This is all ahead of The Rise of Skywalker content coming in Battlefront 2 over the next month.

Hard to see, EA's intentions are. Once upon a time, Star Wars Battlefront 2 was basically dead in the cold of space, hobbled by EA's inscrutable decision to lock important content behind paywalls. After sizeable backlash, EA changed its mind on paid content and made Appearances and Poses the only paid material.

Having said that, there is still a sizeable audience for BF2 more two years after release, with thousands of players still battling it out in a galaxy far, far away. 

Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition Content

The Celebration Edition lumps two years of content in a bargain-priced package. The caveat is that you need PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold to update the game and receive the new content.

Here's everything Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition will include:

  • Base Game
    • Including all past and upcoming free game updates as they release
  • More than 25 Hero Appearances
    • Including six Legendary Appearances, plus one Appearance each for Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren inspired by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, coming December 17
  • More than 125 Trooper and Reinforcement Appearances
  • More than 100 Hero and Trooper Emotes and Voice Lines
  • More than 70 Hero and Trooper Victory Poses.

Those who already have the base game can upgrade to the Celebration Edition for $24.99.

Battlefront 2 Rise of Skywalker Content

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker content is also coming to Battlefront 2, bringing Jakku and the film's new jungle planet to the Co-Op Rotation. There will also be four reinforcements from the sequel trilogy era and new Hero Appearances from TRoS.

In January, Jakku and the jungle planet join Capital Resistance, featuring the Resurgent-Class Star Destroyer and the Resistance's MC85 as massive targets to take on. More importantly, BB-8 and BB-9 will be new playable Heroes.


It's safe to say Battlefront 2 has moved a bit beyond the original state we found it in after it launched. Whether the Force stays strong with it or EA turns back to the Dark Side remains to be seen, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Star Wars Battlefront 2 news as it develops.

Outlast Series Shifting Gears With The Outlast Trials Wed, 04 Dec 2019 14:53:37 -0500 Ty Arthur

We knew horror team Red Barrels was up to something after a job posting came online back in April. But exactly what was coming wasn't clear at the time.

Despite the lack of concrete info, the strength of the Outlast series led us to preemptively name the upcoming Red Barrels mystery release one our of most anticipated horror games of 2020

After much speculation, we finally know what's out next from Red Barrels. The Outlast Trials was officially announced today and is set in the same universe as Outlast. However, The Outlast Trials will shift locations and time frames from the other games in the Outlast horror game series. 

Red Barrels repeatedly specified in a release that the game is not a VR title, as the goggles in the promo image might have implied.

The development crew also went out of their way to reiterate on social media that The Outlast Trials isn't Outlast 3, indicating a different gameplay style will be employed with the new title.

Since the game will "allow players to face the horrors that await by themselves or with fellow test subjects," it would appear this new entry in the series will be a co-op title. Perhaps it will be a new entry in the asymmetrical horror sub-genre, similar to games like Dead by Daylight or Friday the 13th. 

Additionally, the Cold War setting means it's unlikely we'll be using handheld cameras like in the previous two games, Outlast and Outlast 2. However, there isn't much to currently go on. 

Red Barrels co-founder David Chateauneuf said of the game:

Now we’ve done our proof of concept, it is time focus on content creation, variety… and gore. Get ready.

As of this writing, there is no official release date for The Outlast Trials or even a vague release window. However, it is worth noting Red Barrels has aimed for Halloween release dates with previous Outlast titles.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on The Outlast Trials as it develops. 

Hearthstone Descent of Dragons: 15 Best Cards for Standard Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:33:18 -0500 Sergey_3847


Valdris Felgorge


Every Warlock player knows how valuable an increased hand size is. Valdris Felgorge offers that kind of increase by two cards, which is not a huge deal. But that's not it: Valdris Felgorge also draws four more cards when played. 


Players who run Mountain Giants can now play them for only one mana, which is totally broken. This means only one thing: Handlock is back in the menu!




That's it for the best cards from Descent of the Dragons expansion. For more Hearthstone guides, check out the list below:


Galakrond, the Unbreakable


Every class has received its own Galakrond hero card, but Warrior has the best one yet.


Each invoking of Galakrond allows you to draw two or three minions and give them +4/+4. Imagine drawing Tomb Warden and playing it with 7/10 stats.


On top of that, Galakrond's hero power gives your hero three points of attack, which is not only perfect for aggro plan, but also a perfect fit for any control archetype.


Kronx Dragonhoof


If you decide to play any of the Galakrond heroes in the Descent of Dragons meta, then you simply need to own Kronx Dragonhoof.


Kronx Dragonhoof makes things easy by drawing Galakrond from your deck. If you've already played your Galakrond hero, then Dragonhoof will let you cast one of four very strong spells:

  • Decimation: Deal 5 damage to the enemy hero. Restore 5 health to your hero.
  • \n
  • Reanimation: Summon an 8/8 Dragon with Taunt.
  • \n
  • Domination: Give your other minions +2/+2.
  • \n
  • Annihilation: Deal 5 damage to all other minions.
  • \n

Flik Skyshiv


Flik Skyshiv isn't just good removal card. It's also a terrific combo breaker. The first card you want to target with Flik Skyshiv is the Shudderwock, which can be almost impossible to kill otherwise. Flik solves the problem posed by Shudderwock with one battlecry.


Aside from that, you can create all kinds of combo situations with the help of Flik Skyshiv, too. For example, use Togwaggle's Scheme to add 15 copies of Leper Gnome to your deck, then kill it with Flik and watch your opponent lose after being hit with 30 points of damage.


Malygos, Aspect of Magic


Blizzard have offered players upgraded cards for some time now. But the new Malygos legendary card establishes nine new upgraded spells that will be of great value to all Mage players.


These cards include all of the basic Mage spells, such as Fireball, Frostbolt, Flamestrike, and others  but in a new form.


For example, Fireball now hits for eight points of damage instead of six, and Flamestrike deals eight points of damage to all enemy minions instead of four.


Malygos, Aspect of Magic is not as powerful as Zephrys, but it has a similar design and a lot of potential.


Frizz Kindleroost


Any midrange dragon deck would want to have Frizz Kindleroost. This card could be played as early as turn three  or two in case of Druid with Innervate. 


Frizz Kindleroost's battlecry is super powerful and has no condition, which shows how hard Blizzard wants to push dragon-based decks into the top ranks of the Descent of Dragons meta.


If your deck has nothing but dragons, then Frizz Kindleroost will serve as the most OP ramp card ever printed.




Cumuo-Maximus is simple and straightforward. It goes straight into an Overload Shaman deck.


Cumulo-Maximus can deal damage to an enemy hero, which is exactly what you want for your aggro gameplan.


Also, if you take into account all of the ways Shaman players can trigger dual battlecries, then this elemental will deal 10 damage. That's nothing less than a Pyroblast for five mana.


Veiled Worshipper


This Worshipper goes straight into the new Zoo Warlock archetype. Since Warlock's Galakrond hero is clearly made for Zoo  taking into account the hero power that generates two imps each turn  it will be easy to invoke twice for this card.


But Zoo isn't the only option. Veiled Worshipper could work in a high-value control deck, too. Veiled Worshipper is an especially good companion card for Valdris Felgorge, a new legendary card that increases your hand size by two cards.




Hunter already has a fantastic way of keeping its weapon charges with the help of secrets and an Eaglehorn Bow. But Stormhammer is designed specifically for a Dragon Hunter archetype.


If you can run this on turn three and then provide a dragon for each consecutive turn, then you can easily deal over 20 damage with this weapon alone by turn 10.


That is a lot of damage, and that kind of opportunity should never be ignored.


Scion of Ruin


On its own, Scion of Ruin is a playable card without battlecry. But if you get to play an invoked Galakrond and give this card +4/+4, then you get three copies of 7/6 dragons with Rush, which is ridiculously strong.


Obviously, you can't play Scion of Ruin on turn three, especially if you want to invoke Galakrond twice. But even so, Scion of Ruin will be super powerful regardless.


Crazed Netherwing


Cards like Infernal Enforcer, Hellfire, and Duskbreaker come to mind when looking at Crazed Netherwing. Since all three cards were exceptionally good in Warlock, Crazed Netherwing will have the same impact on Descent of Dragons meta.


You won't see Crazed Netherwing in a Zoolock archetype, but any other dragon-based midrange or control type of Warlock will definitely snatch a copy or two of this menacing purple dragon.


Breath of Dreams


Breath of Dreams, a Druid spell, has several layers of awesome. First of all, it draws you a card. Second, it works exactly like the pre-nerf Wild Growth if you're holding a dragon. Lastly, it ushers in the Ysera legendary card for Druid in its artwork.


Breath of Dreams is definitely a card every Druid player should look after. Since it's a rare card, you can craft it for measly 100 dust.


Arcane Breath


Mage players typically love cheap removal spells, but Arcane Breath also uncovers another spell. Potentially, Arcane Breath could replace itself with copy, or allow you to find a finisher, such as an extra Fireball.


Arcane Breath similar to Babbling Book, one of the most infamous Mage cards. However, Arcane Breath is even better because you can choose the spell it returns, while Babbling Book gives you a random spell.




Usually, overload for two mana on Squallhunter is a negative. But in the case of an Overload Shaman deck, it's actually a blessing.


On top of Squallhunter's incredibly high stats for four mana, this dragon also gives your spells with +2 spell damage.


Shaman has been a top-tier class for a very long time, and it looks like its positions are getting stronger and stronger with each new expansion.


Sky Raider


Although Descent of Dragons is all about dragons, this pirate is a real treat for all Pirate Warrior players. It's a simple and effective draw minion that can put any type of pirate into your hand.


Who said you can't combine pirates with dragons? Maybe that's exactly what Blizzard was aiming for when they designed this card. In any case, it's an excellent common card that should do really well.


The Year of the Dragon event comes to a close in Hearthstone with the Descent of Dragons expansion. Including 135 new cards, this expansion set will release on December 10. 


Descent of Dragons introduces nine new Galakrond dragon heroes for each class. The new Invoke mechanic is used to buff Galakrond heroes.


Besides Galakrond, players will find a number of neutral legendaries fitting the dragon theme of the expansion. These legendaries will also provide support for exisiting archetypes.


Below, we go over the most promising Hearthstone cards from Descent of Dragons, which includes:

  • 2 common cards
  • \n
  • 3 rare cards
  • \n
  • 4 epic cards
  • \n
  • 6 legendary cards
  • \n
Darksiders Genesis Review: Flipping Perspectives For the Apocalypse Wed, 04 Dec 2019 11:00:03 -0500 David Jagneaux

Darksiders Genesis is deceptively good. I don't mean that negatively, implying that it starts bad and only gets fun after a while. Instead, it lures you in with its Diablo-esque isometric action RPG gameplay.

Then it hooks you with just how much of an authentic Darksiders experience it all turns out to be. The deception is skin-deep and does a great job of selling the action early on.

For those unaware, Darksiders is an action-adventure RPG series that started last generation. It tells the story of the end of humanity by way of The Four Horsemen ushering in the end of times via the actual apocalypse.

While the first three games in the series follow a similar behind-the-back third-person action format, Darksiders Genesis tells a prequel story from a top-down perspective.

Darksiders Genesis Review: The Fourth Horseman

The timeline for the Darksiders universe continues to get more and more muddled. Technically, the original game in the series picks up at the start of the timeline and ends at the most recent events in the timeline due to a time skip.

Darksiders 2 and Darksiders 3 both take place during that time skip from the first game. Now Darksiders Genesis is a prequel to all three, but it still doesn't add a whole lot of meaningful development to any of the characters or the narrative as a whole.

Truth be told, I'm a pretty massive fan of the Darksiders franchise. The original is one of my all-time favorite games with its apocalyptic Zelda design focused on large dungeons letting you control War across a mostly linear story.

I also adored the second entry even after it took a more open-world approach with dozens of tiny crypts and tombs over a handful of labyrinth-style temples featuring Death. And though Darksiders 3 faltered in most ways beyond the core gameplay and combat, it was still a good outing to introduce Fury as a playable character. She certainly lives up to the name.

Other than the genre shift here, Darksiders Genesis is notable because it lets you take control of Strife for the first time. In Genesis, you can switch between both War and Strife freely, as you like, across the entire campaign or you can play the whole game in online or split-screen co-op instead, which is another long-awaited first for the series.

In terms of playstyle, Strife and War wonderfully complement each other. Whereas War is all about up-close and personal melee attacks with his massive two-handed sword and short-range burst-style AoE special attacks, Strife is best used from a distance.

His dual handguns can unload a bevy of bullets and the various types of special ammo he gets help him land the right shot for every enemy. If things get dicey, though, he can still slash his way out of close-quarters if needed.

Technically, THQ Nordic and Airship Syndicate offer keyboard and mouse as a control option. Still, I played with an Xbox One controller because it just felt more appropriate when controlling either Strife or War.

Darksiders Genesis is split into a handful of chapters that each serve as medium-sized maps. While linear in their objectives, each chapter can be explored relatively freely as you complete them. Then, if you want to go back and find collectibles you missed or farm for souls (the game's currency), you can easily do that.

Returning character Vulgrim runs the underworld serpent tunnel system that lets you travel between zones, while also serving as the merchant for all your needs.

Heaven And Hell

There are no classes, experience points, gear loot to find, or levels in Darksiders Genesis. In a lot of ways, Genesis is a streamlined action game that's more focused on flashy, fun combat than giving you stats to min-max.

The result is something that does tend to get a bit repetitive due to a lack of nuance and generally uninspired enemies. However, there is still a decent, albeit shallow, progression system to work with in the form of Creature Cores and gear upgrades.

Powerful creatures in Darksiders Genesis drop unique cores that can be slotted onto a grid to allocate bonuses. If you collect a duplicate core, then it improves the core you already have. The grid admittedly looks a bit like a much smaller and more focused version of the orb grids in games like Final Fantasy X and Path of Exile. 

On top of that, you'll gradually unlock new abilities and gear as you go through the game, such as the Vorpal Blade. It's a powerful multi-edged ranged weapon that War uses to trigger switches and stun enemies from a distance, as well as lock onto multiple successive targets.

Switching between gear and swapping characters is all done at the press of a button, so the action never has to get bogged down by menus. Summoning and dismounting horses happens just as fast too.

After the opening moments, it becomes immediately clear that this is much more than just a Diablo clone from a pure gameplay perspective. While controlling War and Strife, you'll not only smash through dozens of enemies using powerful attacks, but you'll also have to glide across gaps, scale walls, solve light puzzles, and explore for hidden collectibles and upgrades.

In other words, this is very much a Darksiders game at heart, which is refreshing to see. All too often, you'll see a series switch genres and lose sight of what made things work in the first place, but that didn't happen here.

Darksiders: Genesis — The Bottom Line

  • Great visual style with a solid soundtrack
  • War and Strife each play very differently
  • Expertly maintains the heart of what it means to be a Darksiders game
  • Captures the frantic fun of top-down isometric action RPGs
  • Good variety with platforming and puzzles to shake things up
  • Generally non-consequential story
  • Progression system is a bit shallow
  • Enemies eventually get repetitive 

Darksiders Genesis doesn't do much to move the franchise forward other than introducing Strife as a playable horseman for the first time. However, it's still an exciting and well-made romp through the depths of Hell.

Shifting genres doesn't always work out for popular game franchises, but Darksiders has proven itself to be adaptable and deep enough to evoke the best of whichever game style it finds itself in.

Darksiders Genesis releases on December 5 for PC and Stadia, with a PS4 and Xbox One release slated for February 14, 2020.

[Note: THQ Nordic provided a copy of Darksiders Genesis for the purpose of this review.]

Persona 5 Royal Will Steal Your Hearts, Time, and Wallets in 2020 Tue, 03 Dec 2019 13:27:18 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

At long last, Atlus USA has announced a Western release date for Persona 5 Royal: March 31, 2020.

Persona 5 Royal will be available in a few different versions: the Launch Edition, the Phantom Thieves Edition, and some special digital bundles. No matter which version you purchase, though, all Persona 5 DLC is available for free for players of Persona 5 Royal.

That's pretty good. On top of the usual costumes and healing item packs, those players get access to some potent Personas as well.

If this is the first you've heard of Persona 5 Royal, P5R is an expanded version of Persona 5, introducing a new playable character, Kasumi Yoshizawa, new Confidants, and a brand-new area to explore. It also extends the story into the third semester after Christmas. You can check out the full details about what's different here.

Here's what every edition of Persona 5 Royal will include.

Persona 5 Royal Phantom Thieves Edition

The Phantom Thieves Edition is basically the Persona 5 Royal special edition and will retail for $89.99.

  • Official Joker Mask (comes with a stand)
  • Collector’s Box
  • Artbook
  • Soundtrack
  • Limited edition Steelbook case
  • Dynamic PS4 Theme code

Persona 5 Royal Launch Edition

The Launch Edition still includes the steelbook and dynamic theme. It will set you back the usual $59.99

  • Limited edition Steelbook case
  • Dynamic PS4 Theme code

Persona 5 Royal Digital Editions

There are two digital special editions up for grabs as well.

Persona 5 Royal Ultimate Edition

This P5R edition will go for $99.99 and includes the game, plus all DLC bundles and six additional costume packs. Those DLC packs and their prices if purchased separately are:

  • Kasumi Costume Bundle – $14.99
  • Battle Bundle – $9.99
  • Persona Bundle – $9.99
  • DLC Bundle – $59.99

It's not clear what the DLC bundle is, though, since it's more than the other three packs combined.

Persona 5 Royal Deluxe Edition

Finally is the digital Deluxe Edition, which will cost $69.99 and comes with the game plus the Kasumi costume bundle.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Persona 5 Royal news as it develops.

12 Days of Christmas Come to Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery Tue, 03 Dec 2019 13:37:45 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is decking the halls. From December 3 to December 14, players will see the world of Harry Potter completely transform. Hogwarts Castle, the Great Hall, and the Common Rooms will all be festooned in festive finery, and snowy Hogsmeade will be getting its own yuletide makeover.

Throughout the event there will also be new, holiday-themed sidequests and events for those who have cleared Year 1 Chapter 7 of Hogwarts Mystery. These events will offer holiday-themed costumes and prizes as rewards. the exact nature of these rewards is still an enigma, but if we had to guess, it won't be five golden (Horcrux) rings.

On top of that are giveaways on all of the game's Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook channels, with more holiday-themed costumes and in-game currency up for grabs. There's even a special hashtag to share your experiences with: #HPHMChristmas.

Hogwarts Mystery sort of flies under the radar for the most part, but between this and the game's recent Halloween event, it's definitely still an active experience.

If you're just getting started and can't tell the difference between a Ridikulus House Elf and the real thing, check out our Hogwarts Mystery guides to get you up to speed for the event.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery as it develops.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis Remake Lumbers From the Shadows Tue, 03 Dec 2019 11:37:49 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is getting a remake. The game's Western and Japanese icons, as well as potential game covers, were spotted by Gamestat, a site that picks up on anything and everything new added to the back-end of PSN.

Lovingly dubbed RE3Make by fans, a Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake was rumored to be in the works early this year. Rumors then intensified a few weeks ago when YouTuber SpawnWave claimed his sources set a 2020 release date for the RE3 remake. Several media outlets reported on the rumors. 

Now, the existence of the RE3 remake is essentially confirmed in all but official word from Capcom.

In a report, Eurogamer has mentioned its sources have confirmed that the images found by Gamestat are legitimate. Those sources also say that the Resident Evil 3 Remake will, indeed, release sometime in 2020.

Eurogamer's sources can typically be relied upon. For example, it's the outlet that accurately predicted the Nintendo Switch's design and specs based on its sources long before Nintendo revealed anything.

The images found in the back-end of PSN show a remodeled Jill Valentine, sporting a much more survival-oriented outfit than she had in the original. Carlos Oliveira of the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service, makes an appearance too, along with his fantastic hair.

The big attraction is Nemesis itself. As of now, the big bad doesn't really doesn't look much different from its original design, save for the obvious HD upgrade to its charming visage.

What other changes RE3Make might bring is still unknown. However, if it's anything like Resident Evil 2's remake from earlier this year, then we can expect an excellent mix of nostalgia and modernized gameplay. Which is good, because outrunning Nemesis with tank controls sucks. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on the Resident Evil 3 remake as it develops. 

Black Future '88 Review: Roguelike in a Cyberpunk World Tue, 03 Dec 2019 13:21:45 -0500 David Jagneaux

Let's get the obvious out of the way immediately: Yes, Black Future '88 has a lot in common with Dead Cells. Both games are stylish, neon-soaked indie roguelikes with fast-paced sidescrolling combat and procedural levels.

However, they actually differ in just about as many ways as they are similar if you dig beneath the surface.

Black Future '88 is a game I ended up spending a lot more time with than I initially expected. A big part of that was due to playing it on the Nintendo Switch. Quick, pointed, and well-designed games like this on a portable console such as the Switch feel like a perfect content meets hardware pairing.

Black Future '88 Review: Retrofuturism

Perhaps my favorite subgenre of sci-fi is retrofuturism, or rather the idealized version of the future that inhabited fictional worlds created decades earlier. Stuff like Back to the Future 2, Blade Runner, and many of the synth-wave neon-colored visuals you see in a lot of classic works of art fall into this category. They are versions of the future that we have surpassed on the calendar but never realized in reality. That's precisely where Black Future '88 falls.

In the world of Black Future '88, a nuclear bomb falls in the summer of the titular year and completely blacks out the sun with endless amounts of rainfall. As a result, with no concept of day or night, the world decides to stop keeping track of time. It's been 1988 ever since and now everything is measured in minutes left to live.

That's a pretty stellar concept for a setting, right? It's rare to hear something original these days so kudos in that regard. In a way, it's a bit of a shame the lore isn't explored much more than that, leaving you with little direction or narrative significance other than just trying to stay alive. 

You'll unlock a few options for characters as you go, each with different pros and cons, but they don't actually control that differently so it hardly changes the way you play the game. Co-op works well and adds even more ingredients to the chaos, so it's certainly worth a go if you've got someone to light things up with.

The repeatable gimmick underlying Black Future '88 and what makes it a roguelike is that you've only got 16 minutes left to live before your heart explodes. So in order to make the most of the time you've got left as one of the last remaining survivors, you must climb to the top of the tower as quickly as possible and take out all of the "warden" bosses along the way.

It's a simple concept that's made interesting by the procedural layout and bevy of weapons at your disposal.

But the main issue I had with Black Future '88 is that it's overall a bit shallow. Without a strong story pushing you through, a lack of hand-crafted high-quality bespoke content, and generally repetitive layouts (even for a roguelike), it wore out its novelty more quickly than other games in the genre.

You'll still likely get a solid 10+ hours out of it depending on how invested you get or how difficult you find it, but it doesn't have as much meat on its bones as some of its contemporaries.

Live To Die

Death in Black Future '88 comes swiftly, especially during your first few hours with the game. Enemies tend to do loads of damage quickly, and it's not uncommon for the screen to imitate a bullet-hell shooter during a tense battle. Luckily, you can dash through projectiles and enemies to dodge and start every run with two weapons from the get-go. 

Despite the selection being plentiful, though, I did find myself wishing for a bit more variety in weapon types. Generally, weapons devolve into powerful single shot or spray and pray globs of projectiles. There are melee weapons too, but Black Future '88 felt best played as a mostly ranged-based shooter than a mixture of melee and guns.

As you defeat enemies you can pick up new weapons that they drop. Every few rooms, you'll find portals to instances that let you equip upgrades and/or curses that both aid and hinder you. It's a bit of a balancing act.

Some of the best upgrades will cost you minutes from your remaining pool of time, offering a clever gamble of how confident you feel in your ability to dispense enemies quickly. 

Visually it's a blast with bright, neon colors peppering the screen, bursting with effects and illuminating the environment. The lighting alone is remarkable and it's aided by an excellent synth-wave soundtrack that is worth listening to even outside of playing the game. 

Black Future Review — The Bottom Line

  • Snappy and satisfying gameplay
  • Beautiful neon-themed color palette
  • Amazing synthwave soundtrack
  • Clever premise that explains the roguelike structure
  • Gets pretty repetitive, even for a roguelike
  • Creative lore is underutilized
  • Relatively shallow in terms of content and variety

Black Future '88 isn't going to redefine what it means to be a roguelike, but it does a great job at selling itself with bold colors, pumping music, and frantic gameplay.

It's the type of game that gives you exactly what you expect based on trailers and screenshots, even if that might mean a really well-made roguelike that's a bit shallow but packs plenty of replayability and fun. 

[Note: Good Shepherd Entertainment provided a copy of Black Future '88 for the purpose of this review.]

HyperX Alloy Origins Review: One of 2019's Best Keyboards Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:25:04 -0500 Kenneth Seward Jr.

When I reviewed the HyperX Cloud Alpha S, I mentioned how there was nothing like owning a solid gaming headset. I stand by that statement. To be able to compete, though, gamers need more than a good pair of cans. They also need a great keyboard.

By great, I mean one that fits your particular needs. Anyone can grab the latest and greatest mechanical keyboard. And for their money, they'll likely get a pleasant experience. Maybe even improve their game a bit. But finding one that suits your playstyle is key.

Insert the HyperX Alloy Origins  a full-sized gaming keyboard with all the trimmings. We’re talking custom switches, backlit keys, multiple modes of play, and more. It has what any gamer could want at an affordable price.

HyperX Alloy Origins Design

The HyperX Alloy Origins is stylish. Its mechanical keys, composed of HyperX Red switches, sit up on the board as if they’re daring you to type. Their linear design offers less feedback than other switch types. That said, their travel path is clear of any “bumps,” allowing for repeated presses in quick succession.

RBG lighting is designated for each key. This provides a nice under glow and characters (numbers, letters, etc.) that pop. With five different brightness levels, Origins offers illumination options for any setting.

Origins is also designed to be compact. Even though it has a full set of keys and a number pad, it won’t take up a ton of real estate, freeing up space for other peripherals. Being a writer/illustrator, I typically adorn my desk with a keyboard, mouse, Wacom tablet, and whatever else I’ll need throughout the day. Having more room is always a plus.

Beyond stylish, this keyboard is also durable. Its lightweight, aluminum body features an aircraft-grade brushed finish. This makes it sturdy, which is something I can attest to. I accidentally dropped it once while transporting it to different rooms in my house, and it held up in the process.

Origins is made to be portable. It comes with a detachable USB (Type-C to Type-A) cable for quick hookup. It also has three adjustable angles via the tabs on the back, making it suitable for various tabletops and surfaces. Need to take it to a friend’s house? Having a LAN party? Want to use it with a console? Origins has you covered.

HyperX Alloy Origins Comfort

I typically stay away from mechanical keyboards with raised keys. They usually sit at an angle that isn’t conducive to gaming for long periods. That’s even when using adjustable tabs.

That isn’t the case with the HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard, though. Messing around with the tabs on the back, I was able to find an angle that works for me.

Take that with a grain of salt, of course. While I’d champion the board for providing a certain level of comfort thanks to it’s three different tab settings I’m the variable here. Still, it would be remiss of me not to share that bit of info. Assuming I’m not the only one who has experienced this sort of thing before.

Carpal tunnel inducing stress aside, the HyperX Red switches feel great to push. The up and down movements are always smooth. There’s no click or bump (for feedback purposes). This results in rapid button presses that feel responsive by design. I swear, my typing speed has gone up since using the Origins.

HyperX Alloy Origins Customization

The thing that makes Origins stand out is the ability to customize the experience. This is done using NGENUITY a software that allows you to adjust the keyboard's more advanced features. Once it’s downloaded to your PC (via the HyperX website), you’ll be able to change everything from the way the keys light up to tailoring custom profiles.

NGENUITY is easy to use. A few keypresses and I was able to create custom macros, for instance. Making custom profiles was easier than some other programs as well. Origin’s on-board memory allows for three different profiles, complete with their macros, key bindings, etc. You can even save unique backlighting effects like having various colored lights “waving” through the keyboard  to each profile.

Keeping track of each profile is simple, thanks to the LED indicator housed above the number pad. The same goes for the toggled modes. The indicator light will let you know if you’ve put the keyboard in Game Mode, disabling certain keys (like Alt+Tab) to keep interruptions at a minimum.

Origins also features 100% anti-ghosting and full N-key rollover, which means it’s possible to press multiple keys at once and still have them all register. The coolest feature, though, has to be the ability to link unique macros and customizations to specific games. Meaning, as soon as you load a game, the keyboard will change the functionality of its keys, go into Game Mode, etc.

The Key to Gaming

The HyperX Alloy Origins is a great keyboard. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that some other higher-priced models might the switches aren’t interchangeable, for instance. Still, it sports a ton of customization features, resulting in a suitable board for just about anybody. That’s what makes it better than some of the more expensive keyboards out there.

Its portability is also nice. The lightweight frame and detachable USB cord screams plug and play. This is especially great when it comes to the Xbox One and PS4; I was able to use it seamlessly with both consoles, right out of the box.

  • The HyperX Red switches are responsive, feel great to push
  • Lightweight, yet sturdy frame
  • Plug and play USB connection (works with Xbox One/PS4 out of box)
  • On-board memory housing three custom profiles
  • Easy to use customization software
  • Affordable price
  • Compact design
  • RGB Lighting with over 16 million colors
  • Can’t change switches – swap out HyperX Red for HyperX Aqua and vice versa

The HyperX Alloy Origins is one of the best keyboards I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. It has some great customization features, is easily portable, and has solid key switches.

At a $109.99 price point, it’s super affordable, especially when you consider that some of the higher-priced keyboards don’t have some of these features.

HyperX Alloy Origins Specs:
Switch Type HyperX Red
Keyboard Type Mechanical keyboard
Backlight RGB (16,777,216 colors)
Light Effects Per key RGB lighting and 5 brightness levels
On-board Memory 3 profiles
Connection Type USB Type-C to USB Type-A
Anti-Ghosting 100%
Key Rollover N-Key
LED Indicator Yes
Media Control Yes
Game Mode Yes
Cable Type Detachable, braided
Cable Length 1.8m
Dimensions Width: 442.5mm
Depth: 132.5mm
Height: 36.39mm
Weight (Keyboard+Cable) 1,075g


[Note: A HyperX Alloy Origins review unit was provided by HyperX for the purpose of this review.]

Shenmue 3 Review: Is That So? Tue, 03 Dec 2019 10:30:00 -0500 Jonathan Moore

It's been 18 years since Shenmue 2 released on the Sega Dreamcast. In that time, the gaming landscape has irrevocably changed.

Expectations in game design have shifted, yet Yu Suzuki, the brainchild behind the Shenmue franchise, has seemingly changed very little.

For better or worse, Shenmue 3 feels like a game that was made in the early 2000s. I mean that as both compliment and criticism. Shenmue 3 embodies the inherent yin and yang of such a long-awaited sequel. It is both wonderfully endearing yet perniciously disagreeable. 

There is no way Shenmue 3 could possibly live up to the long-standing hype surrounding it. Yet it somehow manages to capture the magic of the series. And it does so in ways that such protracted and long-gestating sequels can rarely fathom. 

Shenmue 3 Review: Is That So? 

Shenmue 3 quite literally begins where Shenmue 2 leaves off. Since the series so tightly revolves around its story, there is little reason to talk about its beats here and risk spoiling the narrative core. 

What is worth mentioning is that true to form, Shenmue 3's plot doesn't move quickly. Unsurprisingly, comparatively little of the overarching storyline is tied up in throughout the game.

Suzuki has said Ryo's journey has perhaps a few more games left in it. Consequently, he's a creator left to weave plot threads at such a tepid pace it's surprising Shenmue 3 goes anywhere at all. 

As the game's opening hours crawl by, Ryo speaks to villagers, uncovers mundane clues, and works odd jobs to make ends meet. Most villagers, shopkeeps, and mini-game operators know next to nothing about anything, forcing you to ask everyone you see the same questions with varying results.

Often, those results point back to an NPC you just spoke to — who now magically knows something. 

Unraveling mysteries in such a fashion is a staple of the Shenmue series, but such an over-reliance on the mechanic feels a bit outdated in 2019, especially considering the game's morbid reliance on repetition. You can't help but chuckle when Shenmue 3 so obviously works on specific conversation triggers to move its story along.

Then again, this is a game absolutely tethered to its predecessors. In that way, Shenmue 3 excels at carrying the proverbial torch. Despite not being able to skip many dialog sequences — where every vendor reminds you they sell goods and each character repeats to you what Ryo just said — the game's voice acting is varied and surprisingly solid. 

Every character oozes personality, and it feels like Ryo is always speaking with someone unique, not just a cardboard caricature. Walking away from 30-plus hours of Shenmue 3, I feel like I know its characters in ways that some other games can only hope to accomplish. 

Between these moments, Ryo hones his martial arts skills to up his attack power and partakes in mini-games to increase his endurance. While Ryo brings with him all of the moves he learned in Shenmue and Shenmue 2, there are dozens more to learn and master in Shenmue 3

This is done by buying or trading for skill books with the game's many vendors in Bailu Village or the city of Niaowu. Each skill book unlocks one new fighting move, and these moves are mastered at dojos or by sparring with certain NPCs in the world. The point is to increase Ryo's attack level and the damage he deals to opponents. And doing so feels more compelling than the system found in the first two games. 

Although move inputs can be memorized as they were in Shenmue and Shenmue 2, any move can also be assigned to a hotkey in Shenmue 3. It's a nice quality of life addition that affords legacy players granular control of Ryo's moveset and new players the chance to fight without hours of real-life practice. 

Further feeding into Shenmue 3's Kung Fu progression system, Ryo's health is tied to his overall endurance, which is used for everything he does in the game. Whether walking or running, sparring or fighting, every action requires some bit of endurance and, by proxy, health. 

Ryo's endurance meter can also be increased by training at dojos, though not by sparring. Instead, three specific mini-games increase endurance: one-inch punch, horse stance, and rooster step. While some might decry the reliance on single button presses or simply moving a control stick in a specific direction, I found these activities reinforced Shenmue 3's ethos of patience. 

In many ways, playing Shenmue 3 is like playing an elongated training sequence in Bloodsport or The Karate Kid. Ryo might be able to take down one group of thugs with minimal training, but it takes a lot more patience and conditioning to defeat the next group that comes his way. 

That idea of patience, of nothing good comes easy, pervades the rest of Shenmue 3 as well. Though it can certainly be seen as a grind, the game's economy ties directly to progression in several ways. 

Early on, this means getting money by chopping wood, fishing, gambling, or selling herb and capsule toys. Later, Ryo can wrangle ducks and, to any Shenmue fan's delight, drive a forklift. However, all of these things take immense amounts of patience to complete. Each is objectively laborious in its own way, and none pay large sums. 

For the most part, that's OK. Shenmue has always been known for its mini-games and activities. Along with the Yakuza series, that's part of Shenmue's draw. Issues arise, however, when story progression is tied to tremendously expensive items. Forcing players to spend entire in-game days working to make ends meet doesn't feel empowering — it feels patronizing. Doubly so when it's multiple days in a row. 

That feeling is compounded when Ryo has to pay for his lodging and food, the latter of which refills Ryo's endurance and health. Each of these are mandatory expenses in Shenmue 3; you can't escape them no matter how hard you try. 

Spend too much money on capsule toys, arcade games, and steamed buns because you want to experience everything the game has to offer, and you might find yourself indentured to your forklift or forced to fish for five in-game hours just to walk across the map.

Things become so expensive later on that I found myself working multiple jobs, and I was reluctant to play any of the mini-games because I so desperately wanted to move on with the story. Whereas combat makes you feel like you're in an amazing 80s Kung Fu movie, Shenmue 3's economy sometimes too accurately reflects day to day life. 

Shenmue 3 Review — The Bottom Line

  • Mesmerizing world full of life and beautiful detail
  • Surprisingly well-voiced cast of memorable characters
  • Addictive mini-games and activities
  • Fun combat with quality of life additions
  • Wonderfully powerful soundtrack
  • Poor story pacing leads to no real resolutions
  • Economy creates unnecessary narrative bottlenecks
  • Tying endurance to health can be wildly irritating
  • Unskippable dialog sections lead to eye-rolling repetition
  • QTEs don't always quickly respond to inputs

Shenmue 3 is a game made for Shenmue fans. It's a game unapologetically married to its past. At its strongest, it recalls the halcyon days of the Dreamcast, harkening to the nostalgia of a title well ahead of its time. At its weakest, it succumbs to an unwillingness to innovate, an irony not lost on fans who remember how the first game sought to reinvent the RPG.

Though I find parts of Shenmue 3 cumbersome and vexing, I continually find myself pulled back to the game. The beautifully-realized world brims with vibrant life and memorable characters. The mini-games and activities are fun and even relaxing when taken in moderation. And combat has evolved into a system both inviting to newcomers and complex enough for long-time fans. 

It's true that Shenmue 3 doesn't exactly hold up by today's standards. But I'm not sure it's a game meant to be measured by today's standards. Decidedly old-school in almost every single way, Shenmue 3 is hard to judge in any other way. 

[Note: A copy of Shenmue 3 was provided by Deep Silver for the purpose of this review.]

Never Go Alone Thanks to Super Mario Maker 2's 2.0 Update Mon, 02 Dec 2019 11:53:39 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Super Mario Maker 2 has not had many updates since it launched back in June. Granted, it's hard to improve on near-perfection, but Nintendo is finally releasing the game's first big content update. It features new items, enemies, and Link from The Legend of Zelda, though he will only be in certain modes.

In Super Mario Bros mode, you'll be able to add and find the Master Sword item. Doing so brings a bit of the characteristic quirkiness of Link's Awakening to Super Mario Maker 2, letting you play as Link.

It's not just Mario with a Link costume, though. You'll slash through enemies with your sword, block projectiles with the Hylian Shield, blast your way through obstacles with Link's bombs, dash with the Pegasus Boots, and even tackle long-distance items and enemies with the bow and arrow.

You may notice many of these, including a jump attack and the ability to aim your arrows, were not in the original Legend of Zelda. It's a bit odd, then, that this particular feature is only available in Super Mario Bros. mode. But hey, we aren't complaining. Keep the crossovers coming.

On top of that, Super Mario Maker 2 update 2.0 introduces a handful of other new enemies and items, such as:

  • Dash Block: Available in the Super Mario 3D World style, the Dash Block course part gives Mario a major speed burst when stepped on.

  • Frozen Coin: These coins are surrounded by a block of ice and can only be released if melted by fireballs or other fire elements, including a certain angry sun.

  • P Block: When a P Switch is hit in the course, invisible P Blocks temporarily turn into hard platforms, or vice-versa.

  • Spike: This classic enemy coughs up massive spike balls and launches them at Mario. If used in the snow environment, Spike will toss snowballs instead!

  • Pokey: The iconic stacked cactus joins Super Mario Maker 2 for the first time. Players can edit the height of each Pokey. Night mode introduces flying Pokeys, while adding wings turns them into homing Pokeys.

Finally is a brand-new mode called Ninji Speed Run. This mode tasks you with racing through Nintendo-designed stages to try and clear them in record time. Clearing courses earns stamps you can use to obtain Mii costumes. Each course will be available for about a week.

That's all you need to know about Super Mario Maker 2's big 2.0 content update, but stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Super Mario Maker 2 news as it develops.