3DS Platform RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com 3DS RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network What Resident Evil Does That Zombie Fiction Usually Doesn't https://www.gameskinny.com/db5yj/what-resident-evil-does-that-zombie-fiction-usually-doesnt https://www.gameskinny.com/db5yj/what-resident-evil-does-that-zombie-fiction-usually-doesnt Fri, 30 Apr 2021 11:15:15 -0400 Thomas Wilde

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Resident Evil series, which is easily one of the weirdest success stories in video games. Even long-time, hardcore fans of the franchise will tell you that the plot is not Resident Evil's high point, and I can't realistically argue that they're wrong.

 

RE started by making it all up as it went along, eventually kitbashed itself into a sort of bizarre military thriller, and then chucked it all to fight mold monsters in backwoods Louisiana. Resident Evil, as fiction, is a case of Capcom succeeding despite itself.

 

Twenty-five years later, however, the survival-horror franchise has become one of the tentpoles in the increasingly crowded zombie sub-genre. For all the balls-out craziness of Resident Evil's story, it's consistently done one thing that sets itself apart from the pack, which we as fans and critics don't talk about enough. To some extent, I'd argue that it's the secret to RE's lasting appeal.

 

Simply put: the Resident Evil games aren't cynical, and that's almost entirely unique within the genre.

 

Editor's note: Spoilers for the Resident Evil series, including Resident Evil 2 Remake, follow. 

 

Mission Statement

 

The best and most useful example of this, which has stuck with me since I saw it, is from the 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake, right after the crane fight in Claire's scenario, when you catch up to Sherry Birkin in the drainage room.

 

Sherry's been infected with the G-Virus offscreen, which, as far as we as players know, is a death sentence. Even Sherry's mother, Annette, writes her off as a lost cause.

 

Claire, however, does not, which leads to the following exchange:

 

CLAIRE: Sherry, don't worry. I will get you whatever you need, OK?
SHERRY: Why are you doing this?
CLAIRE: Because I care.

 

This is the only explanation that you, as the player, ever get for Claire's decision. She doesn't have any convenient narrative justification on deck, like a tragically dead younger sibling, and doesn't have a plan to get something out of the deal. Claire has every right to walk away from this, but chooses to give a damn about this girl she just met.

 

In a lot of other zombie media, this scenario ends with one or both characters dead, because you can't have nice things during a zombie outbreak. If this were any version of The Walking Dead, Claire would have dropped from a sudden headshot out of nowhere by the time she finished enunciating the word "care."

 

In Resident Evil, however, Claire isn't punished for a moment of compassion. Instead, if anything, she's rewarded.

 

Humans as Monsters

 

The modern zombie genre was effectively codified by George Romero's "Dead Trilogy" of films, particularly 1978's Dawn of the Dead (above). Virtually every zombie film, game, book, show, comic, or what-have-you since Dawn has some of that movie in its DNA, whether it's deliberate inspiration (Dead Rising, Netflix's Daybreak) or just reacting to it (the mall level in Left 4 Dead 2, Joe Russo's Return of the Living Dead).

 

One of the primary drivers of the action in the "Dead Trilogy" is that the humans are the ones who screw everything up, and that's gone on to be the most influential aspect of the films.

 

In both the 1968 and 1990 versions of Night of the Living Dead, the survivors take more damage from their own dumb decisions than they do from the zombies. In the original 1978 Dawn of the Dead, the survivors' fortified hideout is only breached when a bunch of idiot bikers decide to break in for fun.

 

 

Over the course of the next few decades, this has slowly been codified into the bedrock of the genre, particularly in video games (i.e., Days Gone, above).

 

Zombies can be dangerous under the right circumstances, but in nine zombie apocalypses out of ten, it's the humans that you really have to watch out for. They'll make mistakes; they'll screw you over; they'll provide the sub-bosses while the zombies fade into background noise.

 

That, in turn, has given a lot of recent zombie stories an unmistakably cynical edge, if that cynicism isn't the whole point of the story in the first place. The zombies themselves can easily end up as little more than an inciting incident, which lets a writer go on to explore a scenario about desperation, deprivation, and inhumanity.

 

That isn't a criticism. That kind of story can be and has been done well, first by Romero--I basically just described 1981's Day of the Dead--and then by 40 years of other creators.

 

The issue at hand is that it's become the standard formula for the genre, which shifts one of the central questions of the narrative. Instead of asking, "Will humanity survive?", the zombie apocalypse is asking, "Is humanity worth saving?"

 

Resident Evil's answer to the latter question, traditionally and almost uniquely, has been "Yes."

 

Canceling the Apocalypse

 

You can make the counterpoint here that what Resident Evil is actually saying is, "Humanity will survive because we, Capcom, want to keep making Resident Evil games." That's entirely valid, particularly as a "Doylist" interpretation of the series.

 

It's also worth noting that the series's main characters, particularly Chris and Leon, have been put through the wringer. Chris is visibly burned out at the start of Resident Evil 5, then spends most of Resident Evil 6 as a post-traumatic wreck. Leon is an outright drunken mess in 2017's Vendetta.

 

There's a difference between the characters suffering from bouts of cynicism, however, and the series itself falling into that trap.

 

In fact, one of the abiding themes of the series, both in gameplay and in the last few mainline games, is persistence: in continuing onward, regardless of the odds, to try and achieve the most positive outcome that can be hoped for under the circumstances.

 

The world of Resident Evil is one in which atrocities happen regularly, usually for astoundingly dumb reasons. Whether it's Wesker's planetary eugenics plan in RE5, Glenn Arias's revenge scheme in Vendetta, Morgan Lansdale endangering the world to save it in Revelations, Alex Wesker's epistemologically-questionable resurrection scheme in Revelations 2, or the hundred clashing motivations you get from various Umbrella employees throughout the series (money! power! a kingdom in Africa where only pretty people get to live!), the world of Resident Evil is in a constant state of catastrophe.

 

 

It's never quite reached that point, however, because the villains tend to lose. They don't turn circumstances around to somehow benefit from them, and they don't slink off with no permanent damage like the Joker to menace the heroes again in the next installment. (Usually. Some of them are still around.) They're confronted, they're fought, and they're taken out, one way or the other.

 

Granted, those victories don't come cheap. Whether it's a friend, a team, a town, or a city, you don't hit the closing credits in Resident Evil without the protagonists paying dearly for it. This is still a horror franchise, and not everyone gets to make it out unscathed.

 

Occasionally, you don't get to have any real victory at all. For example, neither version of Resident Evil 3 gives Jill much of a chance to do anything besides survive, and Resident Evil 6 relies heavily on hopelessness as its primary horrific theme, so all you get to do for most of it is helplessly watch people die. (Like a lot of things about RE6, it's not a bad idea, but the execution isn't there.)

 

It's still a far cry from many of the other games playing in Resident Evil's genre-pool, many of which start at the end of the world. You spend a lot of time in those games fighting other humans over relative scraps, for the slim chance that maybe the next day will be marginally less awful than today.

 

 

In Resident Evil, on the other hand, the world is worth fighting for, is being fought for, and those fights are successful a surprising amount of the time. Some humans are bastards, but some are selfless enough to keep showing up to fight them, time and time again, regardless of the personal cost.

 

For whatever reason, that's become the primary factor that sets Resident Evil apart from everything else. It's the one major franchise in the zombie horror genre where hope actually matters and victory is possible, if costly. It deserves more credit for that than it's ever gotten.

 

[Image sources: IMDB, Capcom]

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Developer Level-5 Reportedly Closing North American Offices https://www.gameskinny.com/0cd6v/developer-level-5-reportedly-closing-north-american-offices https://www.gameskinny.com/0cd6v/developer-level-5-reportedly-closing-north-american-offices Mon, 12 Oct 2020 18:16:40 -0400 Erroll Maas

According to a report from Gamesindustry.Biz, the North American branch of developer Level-5, including Level-5 Abby, is closing down, affecting "the majority of both offices' staff." Though there is no confirmation of the shutdown as of this writing, sources said the move has been a slow process that began in 2019. 

A portion of the Gameindustry.Biz report says: 

...no clear reason for the lay-offs was given, though those connected to Abby say that employees were "given every indication" that the studio would be closing down, with one or two employees remaining for a few more months to carry out essential functions throughout the process while the company consolidated its business between the Japan office and international advertising and branding company Dentsu.

As pointed out, games currently slated to release in North America or receive localization for the region are in limbo. This includes a Western localization for Yo-Kai Watch 4 and Inazuma Eleven: Heroes' Great Road, which was delayed to 2021 after its initial announcement. 

Previously, the three separate Japanese versions of Yo-Kai Watch 3 were combined into one for the Western release, and since Yo-Kai Watch 4 had received an updated version, as well as a PS4 port known as Yo-Kai Watch 4++ in Japan several months after the release of the original, it may have had an impact on localization efforts. But nothing has yet been confirmed.

While the Level-5 Twitter account was dormant for nearly two years, according to Gameindustry.biz, interestingly enough, the Yo-Kai Watch Twitter was active throughout 2019, giving out QR codes for specific items and Yo-Kai for Yo-Kai Watch 3 and promote the anime series. The Snack World Twitter was active until June 30, giving out item passwords and promoting the game. 

GameSkinny's own Joshua Broadwell reviewed the game, giving it a 6/10 score, saying "Snack World works as a tasty, but not entirely satisfying, appetizer, with too much filler and some strange balancing choices." Ultimately, Snack World received mixed to average reviews overall.

But what does that mean going forward? According to the report: 

It is unclear what the future of Level-5 releases in North America will be. One source suggested that there were currently no concrete plans for any more Level-5 games to be released outside of Japan.

However, SEGA Localization Producer and former LEVEL-5 International America Inc. Product Manager Scott Strichart said on Twitter following the news: 

Most of Level 5’s greatest games were published by third parties or Nintendo themselves, and they don’t need a U.S. office to continue licensing their content that way.

They can still localize in-house from Japan, which was where the majority of that happened anyway. The U.S. office more or less stopped directly localizing content after I left, taking on more of an advise and assist role across its multimedia productions and games.

To learn more about the reported Level-5 closings, see the full article on Gameindustry.biz. To know more about the history of Level-5 and the games they've developed, you can also check out Parallax Media's multi-part retrospective series.

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6 Nintendo Franchises With Games That Somehow Aren't Switch Ports https://www.gameskinny.com/oc0al/6-nintendo-franchises-with-games-that-somehow-arent-switch-ports https://www.gameskinny.com/oc0al/6-nintendo-franchises-with-games-that-somehow-arent-switch-ports Tue, 01 Sep 2020 11:00:01 -0400 Ethan Anderson

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Golden Sun

\n

Surely, what Golden Sun fans want most is a sequel to the third game in the franchise. Sadly, that seems a bit unlikely at this point, even though fans haven't forgotten those games for even a second.

\n

Golden Sun is an RPG series that started in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance. The second game came out the very next year on the very same handheld, while the third instalment launched on the DS in 2010.

\n

The first two were made available on the Wii U, but it's time for all three to make their triumphant return on Nintendo Switch. If Nintendo started porting GBA and DS games to the Switch, they'd have an insane amount of classics to pull from.

\n

Nintendo has so many beloved, older franchises tucked away, out of sight. It's time to bring the ones on this list, and so many others, back into the light. They've been slowly adding more games to the Switch's NES and SNES collection, but after three years, fans are looking for a bit more.

\n

Which classic franchises would you like to see on the current-gen console? Let us know over on Twitter

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-pokemon-3a981.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-pokemon-3a981.jpg","type":"slide","id":"213790","description":"

Pokemon

\n

It's honestly shocking that none of the past mainline Pokemon games have made it to the Nintendo Switch, even as ports.

\n

The 3DS Virtual Console added Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold and Silver, and Crystal not too long ago, so mainline Pokemon ports aren't out of the question.

\n

Even if Nintendo only brought back generations III to VI, fans would go wild. It's guaranteed money at this point.

\n

With the portable nature of the Switch, those Pokemon classics could still be played on the go, just like the good old days. Except, in theory, they'd be able to have better online functionality if brought back today.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-fire-emblem-echoes-ea1f5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-fire-emblem-echoes-ea1f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"213817","description":"

Fire Emblem

\n

Currently, the only Fire Emblem games available on the Nintendo Switch are Fire Emblem Warriors, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. For a franchise that includes over 15 games, spanning from 1990 to the present, that isn't much of a selection.

\n

3DS titles such as Echoes, Awakening, and even the annoyingly disconnected Fates would feel right at home on the Switch thanks to their portable origins. It might be asking for too much, but a few Fire Emblem titles from the GBA could also be ported, just like they were on the Wii U. The GameCube installments seem too far out of the realm of possibility, though.

\n

Regardless, the return Fire Emblem's tactical RPG action and loveable casts could create tons of new fans while still managing to please the current ones who just want to comfortably replay old favorites.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-metroid-prime-b7159.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-metroid-prime-b7159.jpg","type":"slide","id":"213788","description":"

Metroid

\n

Metroid Prime 4 has had quite the rough development process, but it's being worked on as we speak. The team is even still in the process of bringing in various new artists and leads. 

\n

It's probably safe to assume that, by the time it does launch, it'll be the first 3D Metroid game that some players can get their hands on without having to buy an older console. If the Wii U's Metroid Prime Trilogy bundle comes to the Switch, that issue will be solved.

\n

The games in the trilogy supported both standard controllers and motion controls at different points, so the transition to the Switch's Pro Controller and Joy-Cons should be a smooth one.

\n

New players will be able to catch up while returning fans get a much-needed refresher leading up to Metroid Prime 4.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-super-mario-galaxy-3b826.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-super-mario-galaxy-3b826.jpg","type":"slide","id":"213789","description":"

Super Mario Galaxy

\n

Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel are some of the very best Mario games of all time. It'd be hard to find any Nintendo fan that would be disappointed if both games returned on the Switch.

\n

Just like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario Galaxy was rumored to be on its way to the console. Though, it was thought to be coming as a remaster, instead of just a port.

\n

The two-part series first began in 2007, with the sequel coming out three years later. It's been a while. However, the games' motion control features would fit perfectly with the Joy-Cons when playing at home, and who wouldn't want the option to play Super Mario Galaxy on the go, too? It's a no-brainer.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/l/zelda-wind-waker-812f4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/l/zelda-wind-waker-812f4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"213787","description":"

The Legend of Zelda

\n

The 3D Zeldas should have some kind of presence on the Switch by now, if we're being honest. The Wii U Virtual Console had an amazing selection of Nintendo classics that included titles from the NES, N64, Game Boy Advance, and more. Numerous Zelda games were among them.

\n

We're talking masterpieces like Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask here — neither of which have made it to the Switch in its three years of being on the market.

\n

Fans would no doubt pay to play those again on the Switch in a heartbeat. Let's not forget Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword as well. The latter even caused a stir when a port was rumored to be in the works.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-franchises-for-switch-009d6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/n/nintendo-franchises-for-switch-009d6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"213848","description":"

A lot of the Nintendo franchises on this list are absolute no-brainers in terms of whether or not they should come to the Switch. If Nintendo decided to bring any of these older games forward to current-gen, it would likely be the same as printing money.

\n

Fans are already clamoring for any bit of Direct news they can find that relates to Nintendo's first-party games. Just imagine what would happen if a port or remaster of anything on this list became a reality.

\n

Read on to see six Nintendo franchises that need to come to the Switch ASAP.

"}]]]>
The Best Rhythm Action Games Ever Made https://www.gameskinny.com/1622c/the-best-rhythm-action-games-ever-made https://www.gameskinny.com/1622c/the-best-rhythm-action-games-ever-made Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:34:23 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

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The Metronomicon

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I have no idea why this game didn't get more attention when it came out. A mix of Final Fantasy and Rock BandMetronomicon layers strategy-based RPG-style battles with a rhythm overlay, tasking players with playing different parts of a song Amplitude-style in order to unleash different attacks.

\n

It's difficult, but when you finally put together the perfect combo without a missed beat, it's incredibly satisfying.

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That's it for our best rhythm action games of all time. What games would you have included? Let us know over on Twitter!

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Child of Eden

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I could have easily put Rez or Rez Infinite in this slot, but for my money, the game's Xbox 360 followup, Child of Eden, is the best of all three if you're looking for a rhythm rail-shooter.

\n

It is currently unavailable on current-gen marketplaces, which means that even though it is backwards-compatible with the Xbox One, you're out of luck unless you can dig up your old Xbox 360 disc, which is a shame because it is legitimately one of the most beautiful games ever made.

\n

Where Rez skewed more digital, with a cyberpunk-inspired aesthetic, Child of Eden is decidedly more organic and psychedelic. The graphics hold up today, punching well above their weight, and it is, oddly enough, one of the only games ever to pull off Kinect integration in a satisfying way.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/a/9/ea92733596aca342235a969810f4e0124fbf93821920x1080-0c5a1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/a/9/ea92733596aca342235a969810f4e0124fbf93821920x1080-0c5a1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"212757","description":"

Crypt of the Necrodancer

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Crypt of the Necrodancer is another unique entry on this list. Although it is, technically, a rhythm game, an advanced sense of rhythm and syncopation won't really help you here. This roguelike dungeon-crawler is more about quickly making a plan of attack, executing it, and doing it to the beat, moving on every single one so that you don't break your combo. 

\n

Oh, and this game is hard, too! You'll have to think ahead to avoid being one-shotted by a particularly vicious enemy, but once you learn the enemy patterns, it's an extremely satisfying romp.

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Thumper

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Thumper is a transcendental game in another way. The developers bill it as a "rhythm-violence" title, and they're not wrong. Everything about the game feels oppressive, and death is always creeping in around the corner.

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Where the rest of the games on this list can induce a state of focused flow, Thumper is much more of a white-knuckle experience. You'd be surprised at how scary this rhythm game can be.

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Sayonara Wild Hearts

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Sayonara Wild Hearts is an incredibly special game. It blends a story of self-discovery after heartbreak with super-flashy graphics and tight controls. That would be enough to land it a spot on this list, but what makes the game iconic, and truthfully, one of my personal all-time favorites, is the soundtrack.

\n

The game plays like a concept album, each song matching perfectly with its stage but also coming together as a whole to tell a larger story. The dream pop soundtrack stands alone as one of 2019's best albums, but experiencing it together with the game is almost a transcendental experience.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/d/0/3d091ff1cc133582ea9d67cc672a60bad2c6cfe21920x1080-6fefd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/d/0/3d091ff1cc133582ea9d67cc672a60bad2c6cfe21920x1080-6fefd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"212759","description":"

Bit.Trip.Runner

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Sure, Bit.Trip.Runner doesn't have an all-star tracklist full of licensed songs, nor does it have photorealistic graphics or a deep story. But if there's one thing the Bit.Trip series is good at, it's stripping everything away in order to create a distilled, concentrated hardcore experience.

\n

One of the more difficult games on this list, Bit.Trip.Runner may have you throwing your controller at the wall, but at the same time, you know you'll be back grinding that level soon enough.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/p/amplitude-screen-ps4-15jan16-090cb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/m/p/amplitude-screen-ps4-15jan16-090cb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"212765","description":"

Amplitude

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In Amplitude, whether you're playing the PS2 original or the PS4 re-imagining, your reward for playing well is being able to hear more of the song. 

\n

It's an interesting gameplay hook  instead of mashing buttons to the beat of the song, you control a ship responsible for playing each individual part of the song. You have to lay down the drum track, the vocal track, the synth tracks, and the guitar tracks, and as you do, the actual song takes shape in front of you.

\n

It's a frustratingly fun way to motivate the player since your reward for nailing a particularly difficult section is actually being able to hear the sweet guitar solo that has been plaguing you for the last 30 minutes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-6cceb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-6cceb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"212755","description":"

Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure

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Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure didn't make as big of a splash as Elite Beat Agents, Rhythm Heaven, or any of the other less action-focused rhythm games on the Nintendo DS family of systems, and that's a shame because it's a very special game. 

\n

It's Professor Layton by way of Rhythm Heaven, weaving a deep story (complete with Level-5's iconic beautiful animated cutscenes and voice acting) replacing brain-bending minigames with rhythm-based minigames.

\n

The game does a great job of integrating these minigames with whatever is going on in the game's campaign, which makes the overall experience really special and immersive.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/capsule-616x353-c4419.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/capsule-616x353-c4419.jpg","type":"slide","id":"212754","description":"

Just Shapes & Beats

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In quickplay mode, Just Shapes & Beats is a joy to play given how it flips the rhythm genre on its head. Instead of pressing buttons to the beat of a song, the stage itself is what reacts to the music that is playing, as hazards pop up and dance around the stage.

\n

Every single song in the game has a custom-created stage, with hazards that are thematically appropriate for the song's genre and mood. It's clear that a lot of effort was put into curating these stages.

\n

The developers really didn't have to include a story mode here, but they did, and for a rhythm game with no dialogue, there are some amazing, emotional moments to be found here. Plus, the game recently got a pretty major update, adding a few songs from the Shovel Knight soundtrack (remixed, naturally) for free!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-649f5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-649f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"212753","description":"

Beat Saber

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It would be irresponsible not to lead off with Beat Saber. Even if it weren't a VR title, its slick visuals and amazing tracklist would be enough to land a spot on this list. But once you put on a headset, Beat Saber is an expert at inducing a deep sense of flow.

\n

Your brain turns off, and you enter a trance-like state as you slash an endless stream of boxes. It's not until after you take the headset off an hour later that you realize you're drenched in sweat and your arms feel like they're on fire. 

\n

It's worth it, though. Trust me. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-07358.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-07358.jpg","type":"slide","id":"212748","description":"

There are few feelings in gaming more satisfying than losing yourself in a song and mashing buttons to the beat to defeat an enemy or complete a stage. It just feels right, you know?

\n

Slashing an enemy when the vocalist hits that high note, jumping over an obstacle during a soaring guitar solo, expertly parrying a blow as the high-hat hits. It's exhilarating, and it's one of my favorite genres of gaming. 

\n

In that spirit, here are our favorite rhythm action games of all time. As a note, however, we're disqualifying games like Guitar Hero, Beatmania, and even Parappa the Rapper and Elite Beat Agents, given the fact that those games are more purely rhythm titles.

\n

We love them too, so don't feel slighted if you don't see them on this list!

"}]]]>
Inuzuma Eleven Great Road of Heroes Delayed to 2021 https://www.gameskinny.com/fghkp/inuzuma-eleven-great-road-of-heroes-delayed-to-2021 https://www.gameskinny.com/fghkp/inuzuma-eleven-great-road-of-heroes-delayed-to-2021 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:02:54 -0400 Erroll Maas

It was announced on the official Level-5 blog that the studio's upcoming soccer RPG, Inazuma Eleven Great Road of Heroes (formerly Inazuma Eleven Ares), has once again been delayed and will not see a release until sometime in 2021. The game was previously delayed back in 2018

According to a translation by BlackKite and JapaneseNintendo, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino stated in the blog post that production has been in a difficult state due to problems in game development, including rising online criticism and declining staff motivation. The currently ongoing global pandemic was not cited as one of the problems in development.

Hino continues to say that the team almost gave up on the game altogether, but decided to restart development. This new Inazuma Eleven game will utilize the development system and engine used for recent titles in the Yo-Kai Watch series, to ensure that it will be completed and remain at a high quality.

Level- 5 will also be creating the new Inazuma Eleven without having it more directly tied to an anime series, as was originally planned with Inazuma Eleven Ares. However, it is expected to have a much higher degree of freedom, possibly integrating features from all previous games in the series while also still adding some new ones.

Hino said he also would like the game to be more beginner-friendly and be a "brand-new title with a new feeling." Further clarification on this statement has not yet been provided.

Whether this new Inazuma Eleven game will still keep the Great Road of Heroes title or have another name change has not yet been revealed.

The brand-new Inazuma Eleven title is planned for release on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in 2021 in Japan. Although Inazuma Eleven Ares was previously confirmed for a Western release, it is not yet known if this new game will be released in any other territories.

The first Inazuma Eleven can be purchased digitally on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in North America and Europe, and the corresponding anime series is available on Amazon Prime Video in North AmericaInazuma Eleven 3, as well as the Inazuma Eleven GO series, can be purchased on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Europe.

]]>
8 Fun, Weird, and Scary Animal Crossing Fan Creations https://www.gameskinny.com/ua51j/8-fun-weird-and-scary-animal-crossing-fan-creations https://www.gameskinny.com/ua51j/8-fun-weird-and-scary-animal-crossing-fan-creations Sun, 09 Feb 2020 10:00:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

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Brutus

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Brutus the Bulldog doesn’t exist. That simple fact hasn’t stopped Animal Crossing fans from talking about, drawing, and fearing the purple bulldog hellmonster for 18 years. Back when Animal Crossing launched on the GameCube, sinister rumors swirled about a purple bulldog who may one day show up in your village.

\n

What would he do when he got there? Well, like any good story, the tale of Brutus and his wrongdoings grows with every telling. He sends mysterious letters to some, letters in binary code. Others, he invites to his home, only to freeze their game and then disappear once it reboots.

\n

Still others talk of Brutus kidnapping their favorite villagers (so, Hazel is safe for all time, in other words). But the worst of all is the Brutus who’d gleefully delete entire villages, sometimes all at once, sometimes doing it one row at a time like the true monster that he is.

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Except he isn’t. Because he’s not real.

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---

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This doesn't even begin to cover all the fantastic Animal Crossing fan creations out there. But it does serve as an important reminder that whether it be funny, creepy, warm, or something else entirely, Animal Crossing means something different to everyone. And that's exactly how it should be.

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If you liked what you saw here, make sure to give us a share or a retweet and pass the love around!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/o/o/nook-ghibli-31b78.gif","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/o/o/nook-ghibli-31b78.gif","type":"slide","id":"207078","description":"

Tom Nook in Ghibli

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This piece by Sea Knight doesn’t have a name, hence my attempts above, but it’s one of my favorites from the great deal of trawling through fan art done for this piece.

\n

It imagines Animal Crossing in a very not-Animal Crossing style, but it gets to the heart of what makes the series so special: that warmth characterizing so much of Studio Ghibli’s work (unless you’re a film called Tales from Earthsea). It helps that Ghibli deals in snapshot, daily-life moments like this in many of its films too, where venturing down the dirt road to the general store is as much of an event as setting out on an adventure.

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That’s what Animal Crossing is all about, finding beauty in the small things.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/s/a/isabelle-witch-aabeb.gif","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/s/a/isabelle-witch-aabeb.gif","type":"slide","id":"207074","description":"

Isabelle the Witch

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Here’s another Isabelle-centric piece, because she’s just so darn wonderful. Here, we get to see Isabelle cutting loose for a change, freed from the responsibilities of work and able to pursue whatever task catches her fancy. Jessica sees her pursuing the life of a witch, which probably explains why that one spot in the woods was mysteriously not a good place for your jungle gym.

\n

It’s okay, though. Because this is Isabelle, she’s naturally a super-cute witch who paints the world pastel with her starry-eyed spells, and that’s okay by us.  What could she be cooking up in the cauldron? Kibble, perchance?

\n

No, I suspect it’s a potion to help her beat you down even harder in your next Smash Ultimate match.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/c/pocket-camp-prison-6ae20.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/c/pocket-camp-prison-6ae20.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207077","description":"

Prison

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This is definitely one of the odder creations out there. Instagram user Welcome to Thizzle Crossing decided to create a Pocket Camp prison, housing the worst animal offenders in the village, staffed by animals as well. Bob’s the thug guard with a water gun (gasp!), while Truffles happily mans the front of the prison, keeping all grody evildoers inside with, like, impeccable style.

\n

The real mastermind of the operation sits almost out of sight monitoring the computer system, back turned to the camera, shades on inside. It’s Animal Crossing dystopia, the Panopticon come to life.

\n

What’s especially fun here is how you can easily imagine a story behind each character’s participation since Animal Crossing has such distinct personalities. Goldie: “I… I bit Timmy Nookling after he tried selling me the doghouse I already lived in! *sobs* I’m so ashamed!”

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/c/jacks-house-aacb1.gif","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/c/jacks-house-aacb1.gif","type":"slide","id":"207075","description":"

Jack's House

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Animal Crossing is full of special characters, from the everyday ones like Tom Nook to holiday figures we only see once a year. But, apparently, they don’t live anywhere because we never get to see their houses. Tom Nook gave his fortune to an orphanage, so maybe he lives in a hostel paid for by the local Business Association, but the travelers who make your holidays jolly have no such luck.

\n

Fortunately, Pretty Pretty Pixels dreamed up a house for our favorite Halloween trickster, Jack. It’s suitably creepy, with a dark tone (what else would you use for Halloween?) and blurred textures. Blurred though they may be, we can still get a glimpse of the Creepy furniture Jack hands out if you do his bidding on Halloween.

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That the clock’s teeth stand out the most is a particularly nice touch, along with Katrina’s glowing red eyes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/i/rainy-day-friends-e0bc6.gif","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/a/i/rainy-day-friends-e0bc6.gif","type":"slide","id":"207079","description":"

Rainy Day Friends

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Poor Digby didn’t get too much attention after he was introduced in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, unless you were really keen on the design showroom. Despite his important role in Happy Home Designer, you still didn’t get to see him do much then either. 

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Why does that matter? Because this GIF from sarcastically exists to show us how much we need to see his adorable interactions with sister Isabelle. Both puppers shoulder a ton of responsibility — which is one reason why we showcased Isabelle for International Dog Day last year. But it’s just too cute seeing Digby in the role of responsible brother. Poor Isabelle, probably too busy thinking about where your next Public Works project should go, forgot her umbrella, and got caught in the rain. 

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Luckily, Digby happened by with one to spare, seeing as he’s got his raincoat. If you’re really in a Ghibli mood, as I apparently am at the time of writing, you can see a parallel between this and the iconic cover for My Neighbor Totoro — though this isn’t confirmation Kapp’n’s vehicle in New Horizons is the cat bus.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-roblox-game-928f5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-roblox-game-928f5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207076","description":"

The Main Street

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At the beginning of this piece, I mentioned we’d be covering a variety of Animal Crossing fan creations, both good and potentially disturbing. This one happily straddles both categories. It’s a Roblox fan game called The Main Street. On the one hand, it's well done to the person who made it ... since that had to be a lot of work.

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On the other… it’s kinda' creepy. It somewhat faithfully re-creates AC: New Leaf, but there’s just something slightly off about the environments. They’re eerily empty most of the time. Some of the models seem a tad off, too, like they might follow you to the train station and do something horrible once your back’s turned.

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I don’t think it was designed as a vehicle for disturbing Animal Crossing fan stories, though. Apart from the scary-looking locations themselves, a big part of the creep factor probably comes from the perspective. 

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Still, this is all coming from someone who probably couldn’t render a shoebox in Roblox, so again, respect to the creator here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-gba-efe44.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-gba-efe44.png","type":"slide","id":"207072","description":"

Will The Train Ever Arrive?

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Will The Train Ever Arrive is a gorgeous lil’ GIF from @huttaburger. It hearkens back to the first Animal Crossing game — well, the first in the West at least — by placing the focus squarely on the Train Station, a fixture not seen since 2002.

\n

It’s a rainy spring day, the flowers are blooming, and you’ve even got messages waiting on the bulletin board. But when will the train take you to meet your friends? *sigh*. It perfectly captures the low-key yet colorful life that is Animal Crossing.

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What’s more, the artist even created it in a GBA style, further adding to the nostalgia of it all.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/best-animal-crossing-fan-art-ab7f7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/best-animal-crossing-fan-art-ab7f7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"207071","description":"

The world is full of weird and wonderful things, and that goes triple for the world of fan creations. The nature of Animal Crossing means there are tons of different ways to interpret the game and its lovable talking animal inhabitants, all without even venturing near rule 34.

\n

For this piece, we've gathered up eight of the most outstanding Animal Crossing fan creations. Some show the darker side of the Crossing world, others are about Isabelle, while some others are also about Isabelle. Then, of course, some just remind us why we love the game so much.

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First up is a bit of nostalgia.

"}]]]>
What is Rune Factory 4 Special's Newlywed Mode? https://www.gameskinny.com/ix4vt/what-is-rune-factory-4-specials-newlywed-mode https://www.gameskinny.com/ix4vt/what-is-rune-factory-4-specials-newlywed-mode Mon, 03 Feb 2020 12:00:02 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Rune Factory 4 Special promises to bring the 2012 farming RPG to the modern market with a few additions. New cutscenes, a new and higher difficulty, and the brand-new Newlywed Mode await in this enhanced port to the Nintendo Switch.

Though the new difficulty and cutscenes are very welcome additions, Newlywed Mode is a bit of a mystery to Western audiences pre-release. Does it add new functionality or add new socialization options within a playthrough? Nope, but

Newlywed Mode is its own thing, but if you're not a fanatic, it might not be worth buying Rune Factory 4 just for this new mode. If you are, well... yeah, you're going to want to buy it.

What Is Newlywed Mode in Rune Factory 4 Special?

If you were expecting this "big" new addition to be a real gamechanger, Newlywed Mode may be a bit of a disappointment. However, those truly crazy about their in-game spouses will find something to love (!) in this new mode.

Once you get married in a Rune Factory 4 playthrough, you will gain access to Newlywed Mode in the main menu.

Once you select the mode, you will be taken to a selection screen to choose any marriage candidate you've actually already married in a playthrough. Make your selection, and you'll get to play through a special scenario with that character as your partner.

When you begin a Newlywed Mode scenario, it will ask you to name your character and allow you to choose their pet name for you and yours for them. Escapism at its finest!

Newlywed Mode scenarios seem to last around or above 45 minutes, depending on how you approach them. They are also filled with new recorded voice lines and have playable segments, rather than just dialogue.

---

This new mode may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's optional to appease both players who don't are to bother with it and those who want to get to know their Rune Factory 4 spouses a little better. It's a fantastic game with or without Newlywed Mode.

Look for Rune Factory 4 Special on the Nintendo Switch come February 25.

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Terraria Console Commands: Building a Better Server https://www.gameskinny.com/th4rh/terraria-console-commands-building-a-better-server https://www.gameskinny.com/th4rh/terraria-console-commands-building-a-better-server Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:47:34 -0500 Jordan Baranowski

Like many open-world building games, Terraria can move from fun hobby to total obsession when you start playing around with custom servers. There are a seemingly infinite number of things you can do once you start delving into this aspect of the game, and console commands will help you make the most of it.

Setting up a server in Terraria is a fairly simple process, and it will be a big help towards letting you customize the game to your liking. Hosting a server is a great way to bring friends into a persistent world that you can return to over and over. It's also a great way to test new things in a game that rewards experimentation and curiosity.

These console commands help you adjust your server and the players in it as well as helping you to close everything down when you're ready to call it an evening. Here are all the console commands in Terraria and the command line parameters you can use when launching a server. You need to be hosting the server in order to use these commands, by the way.

Terraria Command Line Parameters

When you first run a new Terraria server, you can use these commands to help customize the rules and settings of the server.

  • -config  Indicates a specific configuration file to use
  • -port  Indicates which port to listen on
  • -players OR -maxplayers  Sets a maximum number of players
  • -pass OR -password  Assigns a password to your server
  • -motd  Sets your server's message of the day
  • -world  Loads and automatically launches a world
  • -autocreate  Creates a world if none is specified. The number indicates the size. 1 is small, 2 is medium, 3 is large
  • -banlist  Specifies the server's banlist .txt file location
  • -worldname  Sets the world's name when it is autocreated
  • -secure  Adds cheat protection
  • -noupnp  Turns off universal plug and play
  • -steam  Adds Steam support
  • -lobby or  Determines whether friends can join the server

Terraria Console Commands

While you are hosting a Terraria server, you can input any of these commands into the console to change several parameters.

  • help  Brings up a command list
  • playing  Loads a list of players currently on the server. You can also type /playing in chat to see the same effect.
  • clear  Clears the console window
  • exit  Save and shutdown the server
  • exit-nosave  Shuts down the server without saving
  • save  Saves the game world
  • kick  Kicks someone off the server
  • ban  Bans someone from joining the server
  • password  Shows the server password
  • password  Changes the server password
  • version  Shows the version number
  • time  Shows the current game time
  • port  Shows the listening port
  • maxplayers  Shows the maximum number of players allowed
  • say  Sends a message to all players in yellow text from the server name
  • motd  Shows the message of the day
  • motd  Changes the message of the day
  • dawn — Sets the time to 4:30 AM
  • noon  Sets the time to 12:00 PM
  • dusk  Sets the time to 7:30 PM
  • midnight  Sets the time to 12:00 AM
  • settle  Settles all water in the game world

That's all there is to it. These console commands will help you customize your Terraria server however you see fit. If you simply can't get enough of Terraria, check out our Terraria guides page for a whole lot more!

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Mama Mia! Did Nintendo of America File a New Mario & Luigi Trademark? https://www.gameskinny.com/amdev/mama-mia-did-nintendo-of-america-file-a-new-mario-luigi-trademark https://www.gameskinny.com/amdev/mama-mia-did-nintendo-of-america-file-a-new-mario-luigi-trademark Mon, 13 Jan 2020 12:03:54 -0500 Josh Broadwell

There's been a fair bit of doubt about the future of the Mario & Luigi series since developer Alpha Dream filed for bankruptcy last year. However, a new trademark surfaced in Argentina that could point to a new Mario & Luigi Switch game on the horizon.

Nintendo of America was responsible for filing the trademark, and the trademark was first uncovered by Let'sGoDigital — the same outlet responsible for uncovering the PS5 devkit and possible new PS VR patent. There's no doubt the trademark is for Mario & Luigi games, because the description reads:

Computer game cartridges; game memory cards; computer game software; video game memory cards; interactive entertainment software to play video games; covers for mobile phones.

Whether it's for a new Mario & Luigi game is a bit murkier. Normally, we'd expect to find a Japanese-filed trademark for a new installment in a Nintendo franchise. The trademark does include mention of things like phone cases, but that could just be general legal jargon; after all, we've never seen official Mario & Luigi memory cards, and even the official Nintendo-published Switch SD cards don't have licensed properties on them.

So, this could sadly just be a case of keeping hold of trademark IP so it doesn't get into the wrong hands. If so, it's a bit of a shame. The Mario & Luigi series was a shining (bean)star among handheld RPGs, but it faltered thanks to a slew of remakes and declining interest in the 3DS after the Switch launched.

We'll be following this in the months to come, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Mario & Luigi news as it develops.

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Start the New Year Right with Nintendo's Massive New Year Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/5piib/start-the-new-year-right-with-nintendos-massive-new-year-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/5piib/start-the-new-year-right-with-nintendos-massive-new-year-sale Thu, 09 Jan 2020 13:16:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

It's a new year, and Nintendo is celebrating with a week-long sale featuring discounts on some of the Nintendo Switch's hottest titles, and even some Nintendo 3DS titles.

The sale is live now and runs until January 16 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Here's some of the discounted goodness on offer, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Divinity: Original Sin 2, Stardew Valley, and a whole lot more.

 

Game Sale Price
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
 $41.99
Splatoon 2  $41.99
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition
 $41.99
Yoshi's Crafted World
 $41.99
Kirby: Star Allies  $41.99
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
 $41.99
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
 $34.99
Resident Evil 4
 $19.99
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
 $27.99
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
 $14.99
Wargroove $15.99
Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection
 $29.99
New Super Lucky's Tale  $35.99
Stardew Valley
 $9.99
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
 $13.99
Celeste  $9.99
Divinity: Original Sin 2 — Definitive Edition
 $39.99
Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech
 $17.49
Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS)  $23.99
Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
 $11.99

 

There's a whole lot more on offer as well. Check out the full listing here, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Nintendo and video game sale news as it breaks.

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The Best and Worst of Pokemon — Trends Through the Gens https://www.gameskinny.com/sr3ly/the-best-and-worst-of-pokemon-trends-through-the-gens https://www.gameskinny.com/sr3ly/the-best-and-worst-of-pokemon-trends-through-the-gens Wed, 18 Dec 2019 09:00:01 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Pokemon has been around for over 20 years, spawning eight generations of mainline games and countless spinoffs. We've seen series come and go in that time, some quietly fading from existence and others, like Fire Emblem and Zelda, evolving.

The Pokemon series has a rich legacy to build on with every new entry, though surprisingly, the evolution of Pokemon is less straightforward than merely improving every time. 

Pokemon's journey is thornier than an angry Ferrosseed, full of tweaks and experiments that should have worked but didn't, some that did work and got left behind, and some that completely baffle the mind.

With the latest Pokemon games  Sword and Shield  smashing sales records left and right, we decided to dig into what makes the series work and where it falls flat. We're only talking mainline games in this retrospective, though, because the spinoffs are a whole 'nuther creature.

The Best and Worst Pokemon Regions

Pokemon didn't start having actual stories until Gen V, so there's not much use comparing them. Instead, it's the region that helps contribute to each generation's personality.

Some regions are bland, but hassle-free, while other regions present more challenge and visual interest at the expense of convenience. It's understandable, though, because designing a host of new creatures and an entire world for them is a lot for a small team working on tight deadlines.

When You Give Pokemon Crayons and Construction Paper

Mentioning Sinnoh right away seems a bit contradictory. It's the place that introduced "HM bloat" after all. Whoever thought creating Defog and Rock Climb while making them mandatory HMs was obviously in desperate need of an extended vacation.

Outside of that and some iffy bits on Mt. Coronet, Sinnoh may be the last great Pokemon region in overall design — at least for a while.

Sinnoh presents a good balance of long, tough routes with plenty of environmental points of interest, plus some shorter routes that cram challenges in a tiny space. On top of that is a generally wider variety of designs, especially compared to Hoenn, with snowy routes, mountaintops, sea routes, flower fields, and stone cities. Every section of Sinnoh is unique.

That's part of the game's central premise, too: the idea of a diverse and varied world full of different kinds of life. What's particularly interesting here is how it builds on failure.

Hoenn tries to create a region based on a plot theme in land versus sea, but that flops. In theory, a region split between land and water sounds interesting. However, you can't do all that much on the water other than swim. Diving is just swimming underwater, and then you swim some more. The towns and cities are afterthoughts.

Sinnoh benefits from being a bit less rigid with making the theme the central focus, letting the general idea of a wild world created by different Pokemon take hold.

PokeGlobe Trotting

And then it stopped.

Easily the worst aspect of region design is when Game Freak decided to explore other cultures. It's a noble idea, exposing young people to different ways of life. But the result — at least for a while — turned out like a Pokemon version of "It's a Small World," prioritizing over-the-top references to other cultures instead of doing anything exciting or meaningful.

Gen V's Black and White started a trend towards PokeTourism, moving away from the idea of a region built around a story concept and making the region itself the concept.

The only thing is, Pokemon's NPCs are too one dimensional to make that push towards other cultures work well, so it relies on the entire region to pull it off. Unfortunately, the U.S.-vibe Unova is supposed to give off doesn't continue outside Castelia City, and even then, it doesn't serve much purpose other than showcasing the Nintendo DS' hardware capabilities.

There's the entertainment city Nimbasa, but Jubilife and Goldenrod already have that covered. Opelucid is just Blackthorn with a twist. The entire eastern half of Unova has no relevance to the main game. And then you get places like the vast Icirrus Moor, which is big, and that's it. 

Kalos is a Unova repeat, sending you around a big circle, hitting all the main terrain notes: rocky, ice, seaport, flashy big city, and so on. There are a few French-inspired things added as dressing, with some story about a 3,000-year-old zombie king that can be filed under "H" for "hash-induced."

Alola does the same thing, making a meal out of the Hawaiian location without integrating it into the story or gameplay mechanics.

Galar, The Happy Medium

Sword and Shield's Galar region is a happy marriage of these two concepts, of planned design that emphasizes culture. It's inspired by a specific culture again, yet it's just a few aspects that get the focus. These are built into the area's core, like the Champion Cup. Everything else flows from there.

That makes Galar a sharp contrast to the superficial regional flavors of Alola that are constantly shoved in your face but don't do much else.

It's true we still have some forced regional dialogue in Galar. Again, we also have vast open spaces, exciting cities, and enough varied geography to offset the same-y-ness of the ice, forest, and rocky settings. The routes are still not quite as impressive as those well-worn Sinnoh paths, but the Wild Area exists to make up for that.

If Game Freak is going to keep creating regions based on specific cultures, hopefully, the changes we saw with Galar continue.

The Best and Worst Gym Leaders

Outside of the regions themselves, another important aspect of any Pokemon game is who you face as your primary opponents: the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four.

The Gym theme is one of the staler aspects of Pokemon and has changed the least over time. You can bet there's always going to be a Fire, Water, Grass, and Rock-type Gym, with other types in rotation, like Psychic, Ice, and Dragon. That means there are only two candidates for "best Gym Leader rosters."

Shattering Expectations in Diamond and Pearl

The first two games of Gen IV shook up the Gym system. Not like Sun and Moon did, through complete abolition, but by throwing curveballs with Gym-themed Pokemon that can take out your team.

A good many of the leaders toss in at least one dual-type Pokemon after the second leader — Maylene's Lucario and Meditite, Byron's Bronzor, Candice's Medicham, and half of Volkner's team. Crasher Wake might be more traditional, but his Gyrados can crush a fragile Electric-type in seconds.

Typically, you get Gym Leader rosters with either pure types. Platinum nerfed this feature with more traditional and less challenging Gyms, unfortunately, and we haven't seen it since.

Even the Galar Gyms in Sword and Shield are relatively traditional, though the inclusion of Gigantamax Pokemon — with special Gigantamax moves — from the third Gym on does shake things up.

Alola, The Confused One

Talking about Gyms and changes throughout the series means we must naturally touch on Alola — again. There isn't much to say here, though your opinion will naturally vary.

Gen VII replaced Gym challenges with Trials, but these can't be considered improvements. Some people like them, but I don't see how "which dancing Marowak is different??" can compare in any way to "challenge this super-strong Gym leader."

These always end with a battle against a turbo-powered Pokemon anyway, so why even bother with the goofy mini-game? It was a further step towards patronizing players and assuming young children are naturally stupid, and it's a mechanic that hopefully never comes back.

If something has to be changed, why not go for typeless Gym Leaders, taking the original Sinnoh concept further?

Then there's Galar's move towards putting Gym Leaders in your path more often, which also opens some possibilities for the future of Gym challenges. In short, significant change isn't always for the better, especially if that change is done only for the sake of change.

The Best Elite Four

Unlike Gym Leaders, the Elite Four does tend to vary wildly from game to game, though with no real visible trend (unless you count "rehash"). With a different set of trainers focusing on different types, you'd think there wouldn't be a way to compare them.

However, there are some definite winners and losers when it comes to the Elite Four, and the Elite Four exemplifies the struggle with the change that Pokemon has faced from the beginning.

Karen Will Be Your Opponent

Johto does a lot of things right, but the Elite Four isn't one of them. Will is an altered Lorelei, Bruno is as ridiculously easy as ever, and Koga isn't much better. Then we have Karen, the Agatha of Johto.

Karen is a trainer meant to take advantage of an underused type, except oops — there aren't enough Pokemon of that type to make it work. Johto introduces the Dark-type Pokemon, with a total of three Dark-type Pokemon: Umbreon, Houndour/Houndoom, and Murkrow.

Karen uses them all, though Murkrow doesn't count. And even though Murkrow isn't a pushover, the Pokemon wasn't much to write home about until Gen IV introduced its evolved form, Honchkrow.

So Karen has to supplement that missing piece with two non-Dark types the same as Agatha, opting for Poison instead. Sorry, but the manager says you're wrong: Vileplume isn't a Dark-type, KAREN.

Hoenn — Prepare for Trouble

After the too-familiar Johto Elite Four, Hoenn's diverse types and brutal opponents are hugely welcome, and you can see a bit of that Sinnoh Gym Leader philosophy on display here.

If a member of the Hoenn Elite Four doesn't have a dual-type 'mon to mess you up, they pack obnoxious status moves or monster Pokemon  like Walrein or Drake's Altaria  that can destroy you before you even have a chance to do anything.

The big standout here, though, is Steven. No, a Rock-type Pokemon trainer isn't that special on its own. Two generations of Brock then Roxanne saw to that. What makes Steven unique alongside his dual-type team from Hell is how he's the first Champion who isn't Lance, which means he's also the first Champion who doesn't use Dragons.

Steven didn't completely shake up the Champion mechanic — that happened with Cynthia — but it was an injection of newness into a formula that would have become stale very quickly with another Dragon master.

Sinnoh — And Make It Double

The Sinnoh Elite Four follows a similar path as the Hoenn League and ups the challenge — like, y'know, the strongest trainers in the region should do.

Diamond and Pearl toss dual-types and weird roster members in the mix, much like Flint's Lopunny and Drifblim. Diamon and Pearl was the first time it seemed like the top trainers earned that title since they tried to be well rounded. Plus, it forced players to bring a well-rounded team, except Bertha, who was crap.

Platinum nerfed that again but increased the overall power of each Elite Four member's team with more and stronger Pokemon for each — except Bertha, who is still crap.

Cynthia is the real star, though, even more than with Steven. That she's the first lady Champion is one thing, though Pokemon never had problems with strong women. It's not even because she is like Lance 2.0 with the significant role she played in the story. No, Cynthia is the first Champion with a diverse roster of Pokemon custom-made to trash you no matter what, and it's telling she's the only trainer not to get a significant roster change in Platinum.

Remember Me?

Alola doesn't really have an Elite Four until it does at the end. Then it's just the same Kahunas you already fought — for the most part.

There's some interesting story integration, but it's a bit stale feeling.

Kukui has a few glaring weaknesses and a roster seemingly chosen at random that make the fight anticlimactic compared to Cynthia or even Kalos' Diantha. This, combined with the story that takes center stage throughout the games, means your League fight is sort of just a thing that happens and whatever.

Moving Back Towards the Center with Galar

Galar, unfortunately, has a similar setup, where you fight some of the same Leaders you fought before. However, it improves on the Alola formula in a few key ways.

The story integration works a bit better in Galar since Sword and Shield are built around everyone vying for a spot in the League against the Champion. Plus, you end up with a total of seven fights instead of the usual five. It's the closest to the Pokemon anime that any game has gotten, with the idea of multiple rounds.

More importantly, each opponent has at least one 'mon meant to throw you off like the Hoenn and Sinnoh Leagues, with Raihan's near-invincible Duraludon being the best example of the lot.

Leon is one of the best Champions since Cynthia as well. Not only does he give you your first Pokemon, but he's also held up as the pinnacle of the Pokemon world. It imbues the match with an urgency missing for a long time, helped by Leon's relatively challenging and Cynthia-like roster that will put your skills to the test.

It's a good lesson, and one Game Freak hopefully takes to heart. 

The Pokemon — Best and Worst Pokemon Design

Pokemon design doesn't follow much of a trend, either, though one could argue the road got a bit bumpier after Gen III. It's easily the most divisive topic as well. You might hate my favorite Pokemon, and I could think your favorite Pokemon is complete garbage. Heck, some Pokemon literally are complete garbage.

Pokemon design has always bordered on the bizarre. There are animal-inspired designs like the Squirtle family mixed in with seductive Psychic humanoid creatures and genetically modified mutants. That doesn't leave much room for saying any Pokemon is "bad" or "weird," but it's safe to say Game Freak tends to do its best work when the developer isn't tied down to previous generations.

When Old Was Still New — Johto and Hoenn

Johto is a bit of an exception to that rule. Game Freak designed 100 new Pokemon to populate the region. Still, instead of rehashing the Kanto bug trilogy or making another new bat 'mon, these older Pokemon live alongside the new ones. Such a design felt like a healthy balance between nostalgia and newness, with plenty of fresh designs to make it sparkle.

Gen III did the exact opposite, and it was a smart move despite being a bit of a gamble. For it to work, the designs had to be exciting and engaging — and they were. Gone are most of the familiar faces, and in their place waddle strange little rabbits called Whismur, deadly sloths, and a familiar-seeming caterpillar. Still, none of these have much to do with their specific region; they just exist.

Look, It's New! Just Kidding, It's the Same Thing

Looking back, you can see Gen IV is where things started to get a bit confused. The Sinnoh Pokedex is notable for how few completely new Pokemon it adds, with many of them just being different variations on existing 'mon. Some can reasonably be called palette swaps as well, like the Starly line that isn't Pidgey — but is basically Pidgey — or Fat Persian, er, I mean "Purrugly."

Gen V tried adopting a Hoenn model, with a whole massive new roster of completely new 'mon, but it also suffers from Sinnoh syndrome.

Yeah, a lot of these new Pokemon were great, like Zebstrika and the Litwick family. But a lot of them were variations of what came before, and it just seemed like ticking the boxes: Rock-type and Fighting-type families that require trade to evolve? Check. Normal/Flying bird trio? Check. Two bug lines, one aggressive, the other not? Check. Version exclusive Grass lines? Sigh...check.

From there, the trend has been increasingly towards the familiar, with Gens VI and VII giving us massive Pokedexes with less than memorable new Pokemon, or if they are memorable, they get swamped by the hundreds of other 'mon vying for attention.

Regional Pokemon Flavo(u)r

Interestingly, Gen VIII has the fewest new Pokemon of any recent game, yet these stand out the most. Part of that is because we didn't see them all until later. But the other part is how they're handled. Just some slight tweaks to the formula keep it seeming fresh.

Your Rock-type Rolycoly is a dual Fire-type, is fast, has high special attack (??), and doesn't have to be traded to get its final evolved form. There's a cutesy Normal-type right at the beginning, but it's a freaking monster squirrel-tank that can power through most opponents. There's a new Bug line, but it's weird, and it's a Psychic radar to boot, and the new Flying line is part Steel — not new in itself (Skarmory), but it's how it's handled that makes a difference.

The familiar is still here, and you can forget Blipbug and get your Caterpie if you want. Like in Gen II, the new and old complement each other, and like Gen III, there's enough difference in how they're handled to convince long-time players this is a brand new adventure.

Even the silly ones like Alcremie have a purpose, and more importantly, you get to interact with them. You have to whip Milcery (not literally) to get Alcremie, find out if Sinistea is authentic or forged, and push Farfetch'd to greater heights of bravery until it evolves.

Like with the Champion Cup, this is yet another way the Galar region makes the Pokemon world feel more alive and closer to the anime. Even if there aren't as many new Pokemon, this is the best way forward for the series. It doesn't require shaking the formula up that much.

---

It's surprising to see a series as revered as Pokemon have a bit of a design potluck from the beginning.

The core gameplay might remain the same, but there have been a lot of changes in how these things are implemented. Region design experienced a bit of a crisis when it went from Japan-only inspiration to global. Still, hopefully, the design team has a better idea of how to make them interesting from here on.

The same goes for the Gym Challenge and Elite Four. Chances are, though, feedback on difficulty and overall goals for the next gen mean there probably won't be any identifiable pattern or logic in how the games' challenges move forward.

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Walmart Black Friday 2019 Video Game Deals https://www.gameskinny.com/zvw7x/walmart-black-friday-2019-video-game-deals https://www.gameskinny.com/zvw7x/walmart-black-friday-2019-video-game-deals Thu, 14 Nov 2019 14:04:16 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Walmart's Black Friday 2019 ad is a bit late compared to Target's ad, released near the beginning of the month, and Best Buy's, which followed a bit later. However, the happy corporate giant is also undercutting its rivals a fair bit with some of its Black Friday video game prices.

Like with the other two sales roundups we've done on the post-Thanksgiving shopping sprees, we aren't covering technology deals. Instead, we strictly focus on video games and consoles.

We also have nifty roundups for Microsoft, PSN, and GameStop.

Walmart Black Friday 2019 Deals

Unlike the other two retailers, Walmart's Black Friday ad appears to be the full thing, instead of just listing the preliminary ads and doorbuster deals.

We're breaking everything down by consoles first and games divided based on price tier to make finding what fits your needs and wants that much easier.

Video Game Consoles

Walmart has some of the same console deals as other retailers this year, though doesn't seem to have any specials on PSVR bundles.

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB), DualShock Wireless Control, and three free games — $199.99. The games shown are listed below.

  • The Last of Us Remastered (physical copy)
  • God of War (digital)
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete (digital)

Xbox One

  • Xbox One X (1TB), wireless control, Gears 1-5 digital as digital downloads — $349.99.
  • Xbox One S (1TB) + Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Deluxe Edition bundle — $199.99.
  • Xbox One S (1TB) All-Digital Console (White), includes Sea of Thieves, Fortnite, and Minecraft — $149.99

Nintendo Switch

  • Nintendo Switch w/ Neon Joy-Con and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe bundle — $299.99

The Walmart ad doesn't actually show this, but according to Nintendo, select Joy-Con will be on sale for $59.99 ($20 off) and Walmart is listed as a participating retailer.

Walmart Black Friday Game Deals

Walmart's price tiers and included games are also a bit different from the competition. As a one-off deal, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (the new one), will be $38.00 for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

PlayStation 4 Games

Games for $30

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Need for Speed: Heat
  • Borderlands 3
  • Monster Hunter: World — Iceborne

Games for $27

  • NBA 2K20
  • FIFA 20
  • Madden NFL 20
  • WWE 2K20

Games for $25

  • Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • The Sims 4 w/ Island Living expansion
  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • Plants vs. Zombies: The Battle for Neighborville

Games for $20

  • American Ninja Warrior
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Jump Force
  • Just Cause 4
  • Fallout 4: GOTY Edition
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2
  • Kingdom Hearts III

Games for $15

  • Lego DC Supervillains
  • Lego Harry Potter Collection
  • Lego Worlds
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  • Marvel's Spider-Man GOTY Edition
  • Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Need for Speed: Payback
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • God of War
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete Edition
Xbox One Games

Games for $30

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Need for Speed: Heat
  • Borderlands 3
  • Gears 5

Games for $27

  • NBA 2K20
  • FIFA 20
  • Madden NFL 20
  • WWE 2K20

Games for $25

  • Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • The Sims 4 w/ Island Living expansion
  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • Plants vs. Zombies: The Battle for Neighborville
  • Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition

Games for $20

  • American Ninja Warrior
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Jump Force
  • Just Cause 4
  • Fallout 4: GOTY Edition
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2
  • Kingdom Hearts III

Games for $15

  • Lego DC Supervillains
  • Lego Worlds
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  • Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Need for Speed: Payback
  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
  • Halo 5
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
Nintendo Switch

Though Nintendo listed several of its evergreen titles at $39.99 for retailers, including Walmart, Walmart is doing something slightly different with a few of them and apparently isn't including others like Octopath Traveler, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical FreezeWolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Kirby Star Allies.

That doesn't mean they won't potentially be on sale at that price anyway, though, so if you're interested in them, it's worth checking once Black Friday sales go live.

Games for $30

  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Super Mario Party
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • Splatoon 2
  • Resident Evil Origins Collection
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Games for $25

  • Diablo III: Eternal Collection
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
  • Overwatch: Legendary Edition
  • Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled
  • Spyro: Reignited Trilogy
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission
  • Mortal Kombat 11

Games for $20

Not much on offer in this category.

  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  • Team Sonic Racing
  • Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy

Games for $15 (including 3DS games)

  • Assassin's Creed III Remastered
  • Lego Harry Potter Collection
  • Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)
  • Super Mario Maker 3DS (surprise! It's for the 3DS)

---

That does it for the Walmart 2019 Black Friday video game deals. It's possible more might be added between now and Black Friday, so stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Black Friday 2019 deals news.

The full ad can be found here too.

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

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

Super Mario Maker 2

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

---

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

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

The Art of Bravely Default

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

The NES Encyclopedia

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

Poke Ball Classics

\n

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

\n

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

\n\n

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

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

Pokemon Sitting Cuties Plush

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

The Art of Super Mario Odyssey

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

Luigi's Mansion 3

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

Keep Calm and Have an Apple Gel Mug

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

Etrian Odyssey Nexus

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

We go into more detail in our review here.

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

I Am Ferdinand Von Aegir T-Shirt

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

Yoshi's Crafted World

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

Nintendo Switch Lite

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

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

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

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

\n

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

\n

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

\n

Let's see what we've got below. 

"}]]]>
Best Buy Black Friday 2019 Video Game Deals https://www.gameskinny.com/jwfcq/best-buy-black-friday-2019-video-game-deals https://www.gameskinny.com/jwfcq/best-buy-black-friday-2019-video-game-deals Fri, 08 Nov 2019 15:21:09 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Following on from Target's early release of its Black Friday ad, Best Buy has made its own ad available, full of video game sales you won't want to miss.

We don't cover tech of movie deals in this piece, instead opting to focus on all of the console and video game deals in the ad. This includes online sales and doorbusters. 

We also have Black Friday roundups for PSN, Microsoft, GameStop, and Walmart

Best Buy Black Friday 2019

This list is based on the preliminary deals Best Buy announced ahead of time, so it's likely to be adjusted and updated as the outlet announces more sales, and it's just Black Friday — no Cyber Monday or weekend deals are included.

We break things down by console and price. We start with console deals (including PSVR) and follow things up with the best deals on games by console. 

Video Game Consoles

Best Buy has some of the same deals on consoles as Target, though Best Buy favors Xbox One for variety and has no free gift cards thrown in.

PlayStation 4

  • PlayStation 4 Slim (1TB), DualShock Wireless Control, and three free games — $199.99. The games shown are listed below.
    • The Last of Us Remastered
    • God of War
    • Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete
  • $100 dollars off any PlayStation VR bundle

Xbox One

  • Xbox One X (1TB) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Deluxe Edition bundle + free 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription — $349.99
  • Xbox One S (1TB) All-Digital Console (White), includes Sea of Thieves, Fortnite, and Minecraft — $149.99
  • Xbox One S (1TB) NBA 2K20 bundle — $199.99

Nintendo Switch

Don't get your hopes up for any big Switch discounts this season. It's going to be the same old, same old all around

  • Nintendo Switch w/ Neon Joy-Con and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe bundle — $299.99
  • Select Joy-Con will be on sale for $59.99 ($20 off) 

Best Buy Black Friday Game Deals

Like Target, Best Buy has different sale tiers for different games We break them down by most expensive to least expensive.

PlayStation 4 Games

Games for $27.99

  • FIFA 20
  • Borderlands 3
  • Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Games for $24.99

  • Judgement
  • Catherine: Full Body
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Games for $19.99

  • Concrete Genie
  • Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
  • Rage 2
  • MediEvil
  • Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy

Games for $19.99 or less

  • NieR Automata: Game of the YoRHa Edition — $19.99
  • Dragon Quest XI — $19.99
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard: Gold — $19.99
  • Resident Evil 2 — $14.99
  • Kingdom Hearts III — $14.99
  • Marvel's Spider-Man GOTY Edition — $14.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III — $14.99
  • Devil May Cry HD — $12.99

Games for $14.99

  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2
  • Shemnue I & II
  • Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition

Games for $9.99

These are basically PS Greatest Hits for 50% off.

  • God of War
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn — Complete Edition
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Persona 5
  • Bloodborne
  • Nioh
  • Ratchet and Clank
  • Yakuza 0

Games with various discounts

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 — $24.99
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — $24.99
  • Shenmue III — $34.99
  • Code Vein — $39.99
  • Need for Speed: Heat — $39.99
Xbox One Games

The preview ad is a bit on the confusing side with how it breaks down game categories — namely by blending them together despite separating them by console. Because of that, you can probably count on XB1 equivalents of PS4 games on sale, like Kingdom Hearts III, to be offered at the same price, even if they aren't listed directly.

Games for $29.99 and less

  • Control — $29.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — $29.99
  • NHL 20 Standard Edition — $29.99
  • NBA 2K20 — $27.99
  • Madden NFL 20 — $27.99
  • Gears 5 — $24.99

Games for $19.99

  • World War Z
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood Edition
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition
  • Sea of Thieves

Games for $14.99

  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2
  • Diablo III: Eternal Collection
  • Fallout 4: GOTY Edition
Nintendo Switch Games

Nintendo's official Black Friday announcement lists a number of games that will be listed for $39.99, including Best Buy as a retailer.

  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Super Mario Party
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Kirby Star Allies
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Splatoon 2

Games for $24.99 (including Black Friday 3DS game deals)

  • Diablo III: Eternal Collection
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • Overwatch: Legendary Edition
  • Persona Q2: Shadow of the Labyrinth (3DS)
  • Etrian Odyssey Nexus (3DS)

Games for $19.99

  • Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • Rocket League Ultimate Edition
  • Lego Harry Potter Collection
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  • Sid Meier's Civilization VI
  • Killer Queen Black
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Dualist: Link Evolution

Games with various discounts

  • Hollow Knight — $29.99
  • Collection of Mana — $19.99
  • Spyro: Reignited Trilogy — $24.99
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition — $44.99
  • Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (3DS) — $24.99 each

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This is all just from Best Buy's Black Friday preview, so it's possible there will be even more deals as we get closer to the actual day. Make sure to check back with GameSkinny for more Black Friday 2019 deals as they pop up.

And here's the full Best Buy preview ad as well.

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Mario Kart Tour Guide: How to do 30 Mini Turbo Boosts in One Race https://www.gameskinny.com/f58y7/mario-kart-tour-guide-how-to-do-30-mini-turbo-boosts-in-one-race https://www.gameskinny.com/f58y7/mario-kart-tour-guide-how-to-do-30-mini-turbo-boosts-in-one-race Mon, 07 Oct 2019 13:04:03 -0400 Ty Arthur

Ready to test your mushroom kingdom racing abilities? Mario Kart Tour has more than just circuits. It's also filled with individual challenges that will push your skills to the limit! One of these challenges is performing 30 Mini Turbo Boosts in a single race, which has left quite a few players wondering how. 

As it turns out, the challenge isn't nearly as difficult as it first seems. The trick is shifting focus away from winning the race. 

How to Perform 30 Mini Turbo Boosts in One Race

First, turn the manual drift option off, and turn the smart steer option on. This will allow you to drift and drive forward even if you run up against a wall.

To perform mini boosts over and over, ditch any level with ramps or dash panels, as those will make it harder to keep performing mini turbo boosts over and over.

You need room to drift, making these curvy tracks without many obstacles the best courses to select:

  • Yoshi Circuit
  • Toad Circuit
  • Shy Guy Bazaar

If you have trouble beating the challenge using the first map on the list, just move down to the next one until you get the hang of it.

Although it's possible to do 30 mini turbo boosts in 150cc mode, the most surefire method is to choose the Leisurely 50cc option for any of the maps listed above. It reduces the aggressive tendencies of the other racers.

Blue sparks indicate a mini turbo boost in Mario Kart Tour

When the race starts, just drift around corners until you see the blue sparks indicating a mini turbo boost, and keep doing that the entire race.

There's no on-screen indicator counting how many you've done during the race, so just keep doing this over and over until you cross the finish line.

Ta-dah, you're done with the Mario Kart Tour 30 mini turbo boosts challenge!

Trying to complete more challenges or get a higher score? Be sure to bookmark our growing list of Mario Kart Tour guides here, including: 

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International Dog Day 2019: The Goodest Video Game Doggos That Ever Was https://www.gameskinny.com/myr2o/international-dog-day-2019-the-goodest-video-game-doggos-that-ever-was https://www.gameskinny.com/myr2o/international-dog-day-2019-the-goodest-video-game-doggos-that-ever-was Mon, 26 Aug 2019 13:27:19 -0400 Josh Broadwell

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/r/harvest-moon-dog-af710.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/r/harvest-moon-dog-af710.png","type":"slide","id":"201262","description":"

Your Dog — Harvest Moon

\n

You can’t find a video game dog more like a real dog outside of Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Stardew Valley.

\n

He or she has a lovely little dog house outside for those cool mornings and lazy evenings, and there’s always a place ready to snuggle down for the night inside your house. All that’s really needed to make them happy in life is a smile and a good head pat, though snacks are most welcome of course.

\n

You’ll frequently see your four-legged friend wandering about the farm, casting an eye over the crops and keeping the other animals in line, occasionally wandering over to make sure you’re okay.

\n

It’s getting your dog that really makes the farm first seem like home, too. Before that, you’re a newcomer to a strange place, with a massive farm to look after and a big, empty house to exist in. Add a dog, and just like in real life, you’ve got an instant home, a bright spark of life that makes the future seem good after all.

\n

Unlike your other animals, you technically don’t have to feed your dog either, so pointing to your canine caretaking abilities in Harvest Moon et al probably isn’t the best way to convince someone you can care for a real dog.

\n

Still, in those early days when times are tough, resources are scarce, and crops are slow to grow, it’s a great comfort knowing your dog is perfectly happy eating air.

\n

---

\n

It's not really an exaggeration to say none of these games would be quite the same without their fabulous canines.

\n

No matter what your favorite video game dog is and why you love it so much, though, make sure to take some time today and every day to give your real dog some snuggles, snacks, and playtime.

\n

Oh, and if we had to make a list of honorable mentions, it would be: 

\n
    \n
  • General Pepper (Star Fox)
  • \n
  • Dog (Dragon Quest: Origins)
  • \n
  • Hewie (Haunting Ground)
  • \n
  • Poppy (Samurai Shodown)
  • \n
  • Caesar (Wargroove)
  • \n
  • Vigilance (Skyrim)
  • \n
  • Chop (Grand Theft Auto V)
  • \n
  • Riley (Call of Duty: Ghosts)
  • \n
\n

Let us know which good doggos you would add by sounding off in the comments below! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/k/a/okami-amaterasu-2335c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/k/a/okami-amaterasu-2335c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201257","description":"

Amaterasu — Okami

\n

Most dogs in video games are your friends, your sidekicks, or your pets. But in Okami, you are the dog — or, more accurately, you are the white lupine representation of the sun goddess Amaterasu on the mortal plane.

\n

Okami is all about Amaterasu and her truly epic journey to preserve creation in the face of Orochi’s impending onslaught of darkness. It’s drawn straight from Japanese legends, though naturally, with some changes and embellishments for game purposes.

\n

Being an almost all-powerful goddess, Ammy, as her villagers call her, is able to change the world around her using a mechanic that makes the game shine as a unique experience almost as much as it is a unique game. You’ll use Ammy’s powers to solve puzzles, bring objects into creation, interact with and change the environment, and take on foes throughout the gorgeous watercolor world.

\n

Amaterasu’s story might be beautiful, but it isn’t always a happy one. She’s tested to the end of her abilities and faces defeat and despair more than once. At her weakest point, though, when all seems lost, she transforms into her true self and suppresses Orochi’s darkness for all time, before ascending to the Celestial Plain.

\n

Now, most dogs aren’t going to have lives quite that active, and hopefully, yours won’t have a face-off against the lord of darkness. But Amaterasu’s actions still embody the essence of being a dog — putting everything on the line for the ones that need them most and trying their hardest to make sure they don’t let anyone down.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/l/bill-grey-bf8f6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/l/bill-grey-bf8f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201268","description":"

Bill Grey — Star Fox

\n

Bill Grey is the quintessential guard dog. Data for Bill existed in the scrapped Star Fox 2 game for the SNES, but he didn’t make a proper debut until Star Fox 64. He’s one of Fox McCloud’s oldest friends, with the two having grown up and attended pilot school together.

\n

In 64, Bill takes charge of Corneria’s defensive squadrons, aptly called the Husky and Bulldog squads because duh. He also makes an appearance in the often-overlooked Star Fox Command, also on a defensive mission with Falco, and then he returns yet again to defend Katina once more in the ill-fated Star Fox Zero.

\n

No matter what he does, Bill is always looking to protect the things that mean the most to him.

\n

He might not be as visible in the series as General Pepper, but he’s certainly got something Pepper doesn’t. Where the General barks orders and maintains a definite distance from the rest of the squad, Bill is right there in the space-trenches alongside everyone else, sharing their burdens as one of the team.

\n

Unfortunately, Bill still manages to be the one left out of the big picture. He gets no special ending in Command and doesn’t have as much chance for character development as a certain frog, falcon, and donkey.

\n

While we hope, one day, Bill gets some more attention, maybe even part of a full-blown adventure like Star Fox Adventures, he serves as a good reminder to give credit where it's due to all the goodest watchdogs in our lives.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout-dogmeat-bd7e4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout-dogmeat-bd7e4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201263","description":"

Dogmeat — Fallout

\n

What’s the one thing you need if you’re struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic world that's reeling from the effects of nuclear disaster? Food, radiation protection, and survival gear are all wrong answers because a dog is what you need.

\n

Fortunately for our Fallout hero, a dog is what they get in the form of Dogmeat.

\n

Dogmeat’s appearance isn’t uniform across the Fallout games. He’s sometimes a large black dog, a wolf-like dog, or a German Shepherd, but the basic gist remains the same across the series.

\n

At some point during your travels, you get the chance to find and recruit Dogmeat by helping him out and taking an interest in his wellbeing.

\n

Typically, his owner died sometime in the past, or he just didn’t have one. Though initially spending his days guarding his territory and terrorizing anyone who comes near, he eventually takes up with you and joins your journey for survival as a party member.

\n

Unlike other party members (and JRPG dogs), Dogmeat can’t equip gear or use weapons that you couldn’t normally fit on a dog, but he still holds his own in combat with no trouble, so long as you make sure to look after him.

\n

In return, Dogmeat looks after you, alerting you to the presence of enemies, helping you find items, dealing huge amounts of damage in combat, and generally just being your best friend, especially in Fallout 4.

\n

The world might be dark and deadly in Fallout, but Dogmeat is a good reminder that a loving dog by your side makes every day just a bit easier.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/r/persona-koromaru-d8dbd.webp","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/e/r/persona-koromaru-d8dbd.webp","type":"slide","id":"201265","description":"

Koromaru — Persona 3

\n

Koromaru is the Persona 3 version of the famous Greyfriars Bobby in Scotland. Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known throughout the city of Edinburgh during the late 1800s; after his owner died from tuberculosis, Bobby remained in the cemetery for 14 years, faithfully waiting to see his master again.

\n

Koromaru once lived at a shrine on Iwatodai Island with his owner; Shadows killed his owner, but Koromaru stayed at the shrine nonetheless, waiting faithfully, until the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (S.E.E.S.) comes along and adopts him.

\n

Unlike Bobby, though, Koromaru isn’t real. That key difference means his strength of heart lets him summon a Persona — Cerberus, of course — to take the fight to the Shadows.

\n

He’s one of the only party members with a natural defense against dark magic, has high speed, and lands critical hits often, which lets you get that sweet, sweet “One More” extra attack. Like Repede, Koromaru wields a knife in his mouth.

\n

But more importantly, he wears an unbelievably adorable pair of tiny wings and a T-shirt.

\n

His floofy cuteness actually plays an important role in the story as well. Koromaru keeps Shinji Aramaki from being the stereotypical gruff character with no depth, as he’s the only one Shinji opens up to and acts like a normal human around.

\n

That’s a very important point to note later on, before the very bad thing happens ,and you learn more about Shinji, Akihiko, and Ken’s intertwined past.

\n

He also helps you raise Social Link points with others by taking him for a walk at night. Truly, no one can resist Koro-chan’s charms.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandy-c450d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandy-c450d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201259","description":"

Sandy — Dragon Quest XI

\n

Sandy doesn’t get much screen time in Dragon Quest XI, but what she does get makes her a top-notch canine companion.

\n

The first thing you have to do in the game is climb Cobblestone Tor for a ritual that proves you and your childhood friend Gemma have grown up. The problem with this particular tradition is that the Tor is crawling with monsters. Gemma, grown up though she may be, is no fighter. That leaves Hero to fend off the creatures alone.

\n

He’s not entirely alone, though. Good ol’ Sandy comes to the rescue and joins the party, with some powerful attacks to help see you safely through your trials.

\n

Doing a regular mode run, that might not seem like much of a big deal. This is the first dungeon, after all, a time for extended tutorials and enemies no tougher than pudding.

\n

Take on a Draconian Quest, and it’s a different matter entirely. Without Sandy, these early-game monsters would kick your rear right off the Tor with no effort at all.

\n

Sandy doesn’t play a direct role in the plot, but she’s still important. Hero grows up with Sandy, and like all good dogs, she’s part of everything in daily life — until that fateful day when their world changes.

\n

Thinking about Sandy and Cobblestone like that makes the first gut-punch hurt that much worse and sets a distinctly different tone for Hero’s adventures from that point on.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/i/zeit-78399.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/z/e/i/zeit-78399.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201266","description":"

Zeit — Trails from Zero, Trails of Azure

\n

You’d be hard pressed to find a dog or wolf that’s more of a contradiction than Zeit is in The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero and Trails of Azure.

\n

He’s at once massively important to the plot, themes, and backstory, but simultaneously doesn’t have a big role to play in the plot thanks to an exception in a certain contract he has. (Yes, a wolf has a contract. It’s a thing.)

\n

Zeit is a legendary divine wolf who watches over the land known as Crossbell. After one of the mafia groups from Crossbell City starts wreaking havoc in the countryside, the divine wolves get blamed until the Special Support Section of the Crossbell Police steps in to put things right.

\n

Despite being huge, divine, and legendary, he acts like a normal dog from then on, protecting the SSS headquarters, and generally letting the city’s kids do whatever they want with him.

\n

Outside some indirect combat support, it initially seems like that’s what Zeit’s role is — big, loveable pooch.

\n

As Azure gears up for its final chapter, though, that notion changes in a very big way as you learn about Zeit’s past and his connection with Crossbell. Among other things, you can take control of Zeit as a playable party member, and you quickly find out he can basically end the world with a swipe of his paw.

\n

Yet whether you’re worthy or not, and despite his own circumstances, he chooses to be your friend and help you when times get tough.

\n

It’s a subtle underscoring of the games’ “true bonds” theme — and pretty much what dogs do in our lives every day.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/l/tales-vesperia-repede-f17a6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/a/l/tales-vesperia-repede-f17a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201264","description":"

Repede — Tales of Vesperia

\n

Games in the Tales of franchise typically have some sort of animal sidekick. While Mieu in Tales of the Abyss is one of the better ones thanks to being a barometer measuring Luke fon Fabre’s character development, Mieu isn’t a dog.

\n

Repede from Tales of Vesperia is a dog — and one with impeccable style and presence. He carries a pipe in his mouth and swaps it out for weapons during combat, both of which make for a pretty hard act to beat.

\n

Repede doesn’t necessarily have much story significance in Vesperia, other than being a reminder of how difficult protagonist Yuri Lowell’s past has been. Beyond plot necessity, though, he's a genuine friend to the isolated Yuri, with all the loyalty and affection we'd expect from the best dogs — and all that in spite of what Yuri did in the past to Repede's father.

\n

Repede's also a true beast in combat.

\n

He’s one of the first party members you get, and also one of the rare examples of using a “pet” as a full-time party member — outside Breath of Fire III, at least.

\n

While he might not be much of a magic user, Repede is speedy and strong, with powerful technical Artes attacks and the ability to strike and retreat with haste. Add his theft ability on top of that, and he’s a character you’ll want to regularly keep on the field. 

\n

Repede is exactly what all good dogs are: invaluable and adorable.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/g/angelo-4a8b9.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/g/angelo-4a8b9.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"201267","description":"

Angelo — Final Fantasy VIII

\n

Angelo is the very definition of loyal. She’s Rinoa’s dog in Final Fantasy VIII and takes things a big step further than Interceptor. For one, she’s always by Rinoa’s side. Always. Whether it’s at school, in battle, or even after that spoilery thing happens and Rinoa is incapacitated for a while, Angelo is there, offering her support.

\n

Rinoa’s comment about learning so much from Angelo isn’t just cute dog talk either. Unlike Interceptor, Angelo plays a more defined role in combat.

\n

For one thing, she’s Rinoa’s Limit Break, which is obviously the series’ best Limit Break. Rinoa and Angelo start with four basic attacks, but she/you have to read dog magazines to learn new abilities as an improved dog trainer.

\n

Depending on circumstances, Angelo can even help heal an ailing party member or perform a hard-hitting attack at just the right moment to turn the tide.

\n

She gets a biscuit for her troubles during battle, which is sweet. But the endgame is what serves as a perfect metaphor for how our relationships with our dogs usually go.

\n

After staying by Rinoa at all times, saving the party’s skin on countless occasions, and generally just being perfect, what does Angelo get? More biscuits? Head pats?

\n

No. She gets left behind while Rinoa has a moment with Squall.

\n

Whatever.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/mega-man-rush-960d7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/e/g/mega-man-rush-960d7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201258","description":"

Rush — Mega Man

\n

Rush is Mega Man’s loyal robo-dog friend in the Mega Man series and spinoffs, starting with Mega Man 3 and staying by the Blue Bomber’s side ever since.

\n

It’s not just one Rush, either. The robo-doggo takes on a wide variety of different forms as the situation calls for it.

\n

The most familiar one is probably spring-mode Rush, aka Rush Coil, where he transforms into a giant springboard and propels Mega Man to greater heights. It’s a lifesaver in certain situations and absolutely necessary if you’re playing spelunker and want to get everything a stage has to offer.

\n

But Rush’s trick repertoire doesn’t end there, and it’s arguable that as the mainline Mega Man games started to lose their luster, Rush himself started getting even better.

\n

Over the course of his long career, he’s mastered the art of turning into the Rush Marine submarine, carrying Mega Man through space as Rush Space, flying through the air as jet-powered Rush, and doing all the things you’d expect from a robotic dog with near-endless capabilities.

\n

Rush’s loyalty is a bit different from most dogs, though. It’s hard to say he had a choice in the matter of staying by Mega Man’s side, when his creator, Dr Light, programmed him to be (Mega) man’s best friend.

\n

But he goes above and beyond to fulfill his duties nonetheless, like the good boy he undoubtedly would be — y’know, if he could make his own choices.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/f/v/ffvi-interceptor-ceeb4.webp","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/f/v/ffvi-interceptor-ceeb4.webp","type":"slide","id":"201260","description":"

Interceptor — Final Fantasy VI

\n

Final Fantasy VI boasts one of the biggest casts of playable characters in the series, and though Interceptor the dog is just a sidekick to one of those characters, he plays an interesting role in and out of combat.

\n

Interceptor’s master is Shadow, the Ninja. Like all Ninjas in Final Fantasy, Shadow is actually pretty fragile, despite his relative strength. Even though he’s a master of stealth, enemies tend to target him rather often during combat.

\n

Fortunately, Interceptor randomly jumps in and, well, intercepts the attack; he blocks like shields do, only more often. He also randomly attacks an enemy for Shadow, though it’s more adorable than effective in most cases.

\n

Outside of combat, though,  is where Interceptor gets really interesting, and it’s possible to completely miss how his story unfolds. At a certain spot before the game’s halfway point, the party meets Relm, a precocious young artist with a strange affinity for Interceptor, a dog who usually just tolerates Shadow and can’t stand other people. Relm lives with her grandfather and never knew her parents.

\n

You can probably put two and two together from that information. But whether you see it play out in the game depends on a choice you make.

\n

If you’re heartless and leave the Floating Continent without Shadow, his story ends (because he dies, spoiler alert). If not, and you make sure to speak to him at specific points, you learn about his previous relationships and roles in life.

\n

And it’s all because of Interceptor, bringing people together like a good boy.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-isabelle-ce034.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-isabelle-ce034.jpg","type":"slide","id":"201261","description":"

Isabelle — Animal Crossing: New Leaf

\n

Being an animal-centric game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf naturally has lots of lovely doggos to choose from; if you want to be technical, Tom Nook is even a dog, thanks to the whole Tanooki = racoon-dog thing.

\n

Isabelle stands a cut above the rest for a few reasons, though. Apart from having a distinct personality separate from the rest of the villagers, she always says nice things and doesn’t try to get money from you. That last one alone is worthy of a top ranking.

\n

But it’s Isabelle’s unfailing positivity and optimism that really make her so loveable and charming. Isabelle is almost always happy — and happy to help.

\n

She helps you settle into your new village and pick a spot for your house, always organizes special events and attends big public works unveilings, and even shoulders your mayoral duties for years on end when you forget your village exists.

\n

Of course, that cheerfulness makes seeing Isabelle so capably beat the stuffing out of Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate just a bit disconcerting, but it just helps underscore how amazing she really is.

\n

Whether she’s keeping an entire village running or sweeping up the competition, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more amazing dog than Isabelle.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/g/dog-day-header-52994.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/g/dog-day-header-52994.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"201256","description":"

Whether it's International Dog Day or just a regular afternoon of playing games with your pooch, the most pressing question we have any time a new game is revealed — or when a new trailer is shown  that also includes a dog is, "But can you pet the doggo?"

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It's a testament not just to how much we all love dogs, but to how often they show up in our favorite video games. Some, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, are pretty much there just for show, keeping the world alive and digging up stuff for you if you feed them.

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These dogs are great and all, but they don't always play a substantial role; some of them can't even be pet, no matter how fluffy and oodgie-woodgie they look.

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Others play a much bigger part in a game or entire series, though, and some are even the backbone of entire plots.

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In honor of International Dog Day 2019, we're taking a look at those dogs playing a starring role in the world of video games.

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Whether they're helping you out on the farm, hurling you to new heights, or swatting your enemies away like so much annoying dust, these dogs are versatile, loving, loyal, and everything that makes dogs wonderful in real life.

"}]]]>
11 More Pokemon That Totally Look Like Rock Stars https://www.gameskinny.com/c1f7m/11-more-pokemon-that-totally-look-like-rock-stars https://www.gameskinny.com/c1f7m/11-more-pokemon-that-totally-look-like-rock-stars Thu, 15 Aug 2019 13:03:07 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Game Freak recently made waves with new Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield announcements, telling fans that Pokemon would receive special "Galarian" forms.

One of these Pokemon, the Galar-exclusive Obstagoon, quickly went viral for its resemblance to KISS star Gene Simmons. The rocker himself weighed in, telling Newsweek that seeing Pokemon pay tribute to KISS, even accidentally, was an honor. 

But Gene Simmons isn't the only rock star with a Pokemon doppelganger. There are plenty more out there from Kanto to Alola, so join us as we examine eleven other rock stars and their Pokemon doubles!

Hanson and Alolan Dugtrio

Fans of Pokemon Sun and Moon probably have a certain amount of deja vu right now, given the fact that as soon as Alolan Dugtrio was announced, this same Gene Simmons/Obstagoon conversation was happening with Alolan Dugtrio and the Hanson Brothers.

It's too perfect; down to the fact that the hair and height of the Dugtrios match the hair and heights of the three brothers on their now iconic album cover seen above. 

Annie Lennox and Voltorb

Eurythmics star Annie Lennox's iconic striped makeup and electric red hair, combined with her fierce eye and eyebrow contouring, turn her into a dead ringer for Voltorb.

Perhaps Voltorb's levitate ability could keep Lennox from walking on all that broken glass.

Adrian Young and Machoke

No Doubt drummer Adrian Young's mohawk and penchant for wearing only underwear make him a match for everyone's favorite, slightly unsettling buff Pokemon Machoke.

The only thing missing is the muscle definition, so if Adrian Young's planning on dressing up as Machoke for Halloween, he's gonna have to hit the gym.

Lizzo and Wigglytuff

You can't look me in the face and tell me that everyone's favorite self-affirming pop superstar Lizzo doesn't have the same positive energy and vibe as Wigglytuff.

Plus, Wigglytuff's little hair tuft is perfect for tossing, right before they check their nails.

Marilyn Manson and Tentacruel

Granted, this one might be a little bit more of a stretch given that Marilyn Manson doesn't have any tentacles (that we know of).

However, his penchant for creepy, smoky black eye makeup, and generally seeming like he could poison you just by touching, you matches him up perfectly with Tentacruel.

Eminem and Decidueye

We considered a few other doppelgangers for Marshall Mathers, most notably Scrafty. Scrafty was disqualified because of their mohawk, so we landed on everyone's favorite dark, hoodie-wearing owl, Decidueye.

More than just looking similar, Eminem and Decidueye both have the same dark, brooding, don't-mess-with-me aggressive energy.

Angus Young and Mr. Mime

Look, we ran the numbers. Then we ran them again, just to be sure. We've considered all of the alternative possibilities. We regret to inform you that Angus Young of AC/DC totally looks like Mr. Mime.

We hate it as much as you do, but imagine Mr. Mime in a suit jacket and shorts. It just fits.

Sid Vicious and Spearow

Spearow is a perfect match for Sex Pistols frontman Sid Vicious in both look and heck-the-world attitude.

They both share spiky hair (feathers?), a permanent punk-rock scowl, and a healthy anti-authoritarian attitude that causes them to attack anyone who dares throw rocks at them.

Joey Ramone and Grimer

Punk legend Joey Ramone's rock legacy doesn't include any sludgecore, but his iconic hairstyle and face shape is, somehow, oddly reminiscent of Grimer.  

Meatloaf and Magmar

We'd like to think Meatloaf would appreciate being compared to the fiery Magmar, and why wouldn't he? It's a perfect match outside of the Guy Fieri-style flame motif, from the brow shape to the body shape.

But hey, two out of three ain't bad.

David Bowie and Zangoose

Zangoose and David Bowie, specifically Aladdin Sane-era Bowie, look similar enough that there is some widespread speculation over whether the pokemon was specifically based on The Thin White Duke.

We see it. What do you think? 

There's a lot more to be excited about in Pokemon Sword and Shield, whether that be it's non-linear map, copious yet-to-be-solved mysteries, or a bevy of new pokemon. Head over here to see three more reasons why. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield are set to release on November 15. Until then, are there any other Pokemon doppelgangers for rock stars? Let us know in the comments!

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Level-5 Releases New Trailer for Yo-Kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/szb7f/level-5-releases-new-trailer-for-yo-kai-watch-1-for-nintendo-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/szb7f/level-5-releases-new-trailer-for-yo-kai-watch-1-for-nintendo-switch Fri, 09 Aug 2019 09:13:55 -0400 Erroll Maas

Level-5 has released a new trailer for Yo-Kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch, a port of the first game in the Yo-Kai Watch series.

It is unknown if there will be any core gameplay changes or exclusive content in the port, but we do know that it will have enhanced HD graphics. Y

o-Kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch also works with Yo-kai Arc and DX Yo-Seiken toys, similar to the most recently released Yo-Kai Watch 4: We're Looking Up At The Same Sky. 

Previously, the Yo-Kai Watch series utilized the camera on the Nintendo 3DS to scan QR codes found on the back of Yo-Kai Watch medal toys and through various other means.

It is currently unknown if Yo-Kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch will see release outside of Japan, but since the western localization for Yo-Kai Watch 4 was announced recently, it's definitely possible. Yo-Kai Watch 3 was a combined version of all three Japanese versions of the third game in the main series.

Yo-Kai Watch 1 for Nintendo Switch launches in Japan on October 10, 2019. Players who purchase the game will also receive a code to befriend McKraken, the final boss of Yo-Kai Watch, in Yo-Kai Watch 4.

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Yo-Kai Watch 4 Western Localization Announced https://www.gameskinny.com/7pcc8/yo-kai-watch-4-western-localization-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/7pcc8/yo-kai-watch-4-western-localization-announced Mon, 08 Jul 2019 10:28:17 -0400 Erroll Maas

At their panel during Anime Expo 2019, Level-5 announced that Yo-Kai Watch 4 will receive a western localization for Nintendo Switch. The subtitle for the western version, which in Japan is We're Looking Up at the Same Sky, has not yet been revealed.

The trailer shown at the expo was in Japanese with English subtitles, so it may be a while before an official release window or release date is announced. Not much else information is yet known, but it has been said that the developers are trying to make sure it releases as quickly as possible.

Yo-Kai Watch 4: We're Looking Up at the Same Sky released for Nintendo Switch in Japan on June 20, 2019 after several delays. Recently, it was announced that Yo-kai Watch 4 would be receiving a free update with new yo-kai and a new map.

Additionally, paid DLC was also announced, which will include a multiplayer mode, even more yo-kai, and other updates not yet detailed.

Yo-Kai Watch 4 is the first game in the series to be released for Nintendo Switch. The western localization for Yo-Kai Watch 3, which combines all three Japanese versions of the game into one, was released for Nintendo 3DS in Europe on December 7, 2018, and in North America on February 9, 2019.

Yo-Kai Watch 4 will launch on Nintendo Switch in North America and Europe some time in the future.

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The Best and the Worst of the Fire Emblem Series Examined https://www.gameskinny.com/cumwg/the-best-and-the-worst-of-the-fire-emblem-series-examined https://www.gameskinny.com/cumwg/the-best-and-the-worst-of-the-fire-emblem-series-examined Wed, 19 Jun 2019 16:16:03 -0400 Josh Broadwell

While Nintendo's E3 2019 presentation and Treehouse Lives didn't give us all that much information about the upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Big N offered enough of a taster to get a good idea about what to expect.

From a series-busting change in the combat system to a massive cast of characters, mysterious enemies and a continent at war, the trailer showed off a lot of new content. Most important was revealing the game isn't just a school story and includes a time-skip partway through. It looks like FE:TH is set to be one of the better Fire Emblem games in a long time.

Of course, that designation begs the question: "What makes a good Fire Emblem anyway?"

The answer would likely vary greatly depending on who you ask. Here we're going to go over some of the key facets of the series and highlight the titles that did it best and worst. Certainly, not all Fire Emblem titles are created equal.

The Story Aspect

Any Fire Emblem lives or dies by its story, and the series is definitely a case where story is greater than or equal to gameplay.

The mechanics might be spot-on, but it's difficult to put a lot of time and work into a game that doesn't make you care or want to find out what happens after that chapter. Make no mistake: Fire Emblem games tend to require a fair bit of work, unless you break them of course.

Best Fire Emblem Plots

The Tellius Saga

Fortunately, most FE stories are good, even the very basic ones like the first game, titled Shadow Dragon in North America. Yet there are some that stand above the others as the best Fire Emblem plots.

It's pretty difficult to split Path of Radiance from Radiant Dawn in terms of story because the one isn't complete without the other. They do stand strong on their own, but together, their overarching story is dramatic, grand, and compelling.

One of the most interesting features is the conflict between Beorc and Laguz. In PoR, it seems like a unique side story that adds background and makes the world seem deeper. It isn't until you near the end of Radiant Dawn that you find out it's the source of the entire arc's conflict, that fighting and prejudice between two groups of different appearance and heritage reached the point where it threatened to destroy all of civilization.

It's helped along by some storytelling flair as well. Playing from different perspectives was nothing new to the series at that point. However, Radiant Dawn's splitting the narrative into three parts that eventually come together created a compelling sense of tension. It centers everything around the many, many problems plaguing the land and how they were affecting characters you either knew from the first game or became acquainted with in an earlier part of this one.

That the stories are fraught with betrayal and rife with surprise reveals about certain characters' backgrounds, like Soren, Greil, and a certain bishop, means both games easily retain the player's interest throughout the 70+ hour combined story — which is good, since neither is exactly a cakewalk.

Worst Fire Emblem Plots

Fire Emblem: Fates

The Fates games get a lot of flak from series fans, and, well, it's deserved in terms of plot. After chapter 6 and The Big Decision, it just doesn't really go anywhere. The middle chapters in all three branches are basically variants of "We must defeat Opponent X, and to do so, we shall travel — a lot."

There aren't any major plot twists, except ones the games telegraph loudly from the beginning, e.g. who the traitor is. No minor antagonists really stand out either, unlike, say, Sonia from Blazing Blade. It doesn't change in Revelation, either.

That's not from lack of material. The unnamed continent has what seems like a rich history to explore, particularly the relationships between the various subgroups that live there and the two main powers. Then there's the resistance movement, the concept of the Faceless, how the conflicts affect others — plenty of interesting areas to explore.

The problem is Fates is a concept-based game that relied too much on the idea of branching paths at the expense of making those paths interesting.

Map Design

Map design is up there with story in terms of importance. It's pretty difficult to get immersed in a game when the stage maps are dull, uninspired, or just plain easy; it is supposed to be a strategy game, after all.

Unlike story, not all FE games sport quality maps, and even the good games in this category still have some that turn into a slog. The maps that are good stick with you for a long time as part of the overall experience — how they tested you, what strategy worked after failing 50 times, how it was fine until X unexpectedly showed up.

Best Fire Emblem Maps

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade

Known just as Fire Emblem in the West, the 7th title in the series boasts a number of quality maps that test he player's ability and often require a few retries until you learn exactly how they work. The Peddler Merlinus and The Dread Isle are shining examples. Darkness and fog of war, respectively, are added on top of already difficult maps, crippling your vision and making the sense of relief at finishing with everyone alive tangible.

Then there's Cog of Destiny, which looks deceptively simple, but forces you to use every character wisely to defend against hordes of reinforcements.

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest

Conquest easily wins out over the other two Fates games in this regard. Not only does it bring back conditional victories, like in Eternal Stairway and Unhappy Reunion, but it throws all kinds of obstacles up at almost every turn. Cold Reception is an early case of this, and it's especially interesting because you can technically make it easier on yourself by not trying to visit each house. Bitter Intrigue is another one that punishes you for trying to charge through too quickly, even while you have a limited number of turns.

Voice of Paradise is probably the best, though. Not only is the setting completely unique to the entire series, but the method of progression is as well. There are ways to completely cheese it, which is still difficult, or you can buckle up and try to fight your way over the boats; bottlenecks are usually your friend in FE, but here is another story entirely.

Worst Fire Emblem Maps

Fire Emblem: Awakening

First, let me say I like Awakening on whole, but even I can't deny its maps aren't that great. They're largely linear affairs, with very few obstacles except in some stages like Emmeryn and... well, that's it actually.

The rest of them except a few towards the end tend to be full of open spaces. You can patiently move your entire army from one end to the other, gang up on the boss, et voila. Mad King Gangrel is one of the worst offenders here, with Naga's Voice being another.

It's not that these aren't challenging; they can be. It's just there are only so many times you want to deal with the same basic, open map style. The Paralogues are where the more interesting designs are, but it's a problem when the most dynamic designs in a game are relegated to its side stories.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

It might seem a bit unfair to put Sacred Stones under the bad category.

Many of its maps, like Phantom Ship and Victims of War, are quite good. The problem is they don't really do much different from Blazing Blade, with a few exceptions. Refining what works well is by no means a bad thing, but some changes in environment, style, or even just obstacles would have improved.

The other issue is how most of the maps turn into slog-fests, Scorched Sand, Darkling Woods, and Two Faces of Evil in particular. There's nothing like taking 20 turns just to trek across the map to the objective for ruining immersion.

Supporting Casts

One of Fire Emblem's biggest strengths has almost always been its dynamic supporting casts and the accompanying relationships players can build between them.

To test this claim, just play Shadow Dragon and then a more modern title. The difference is immediately noticeable, because the older titles didn't develop other characters as fully.

Despite being called "supporting" casts, these can make or break a game. Good characters with depth or fun personalities make you want to spend time in the game, learning about them and developing their skills. In other words, they make you want to play Fire Emblem.

Best Fire Emblem Support Casts

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Issues with map design and some narrative indecision aside, Awakening has a stellar supporting cast, helped along by some excellent localization from 8-4.

Each character almost pops off the screen — and no, that's not a 3D joke — with their own quirks, fully developed personalities, and most importantly, interesting stories. It's all made even better with the game finally opening up support conversations so almost everyone can have a chat with, well, almost everyone else.

Obviously, there are characters more appealing than others; Gaius, the cheeky, candy-obsessed thief with a heart, Morgan the oblivious, and the wannabe Lothario Virion. The list could basically include the entire cast. 

That's because even the tired trope characters have at least one scene or characteristic that makes them feel fresh. Ricken in particular stands out. He's the usual "boy who wants to be grown up." Despite, or maybe because of, his overall immaturity, his interactions with Panne and Maribelle demonstrate a higher level of emotional awareness and compassion than many of the other characters.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Sacred Stones makes up for its recycled map concepts with a pretty strong cast of supporting characters. Some might not be quite as dynamic or entertaining as the Awakening cast — Moulder, for instance.

However, they compensate for amusing quirks with more meaningful interactions between each other, interactions that make the player want to find out more or keep using those characters. For example, Neimi and Colm's relationship makes you want to keep them together, Cormag needs to be rehabilitated, and Marisa's and Tethys's backgrounds are awfully mysterious.

The game does still have its stand-out characters, though. L'Arachel and her retainers easily steal the show, and Lute is a strong follow-up for Serra whose interactions with Artur create an entertaining foil for the more serious characters.

Worst Fire Emblem Support Casts

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

Birthright really got the short end of  the stick with its supporting cast. For whatever reason, the Nohrian side has all the interesting and bizarre characters, from Charlotte and Benny, to Arthur, Odin, and, of course, Peri the bloodthirsty madwoman.

The Hoshidans get arguments about who serves their lord better — two separate sets, in fact: Hana and Subaki, then Oboro and Hinata. Hayato is Ricken revisited, only without many redeeming qualities, the ninjas don't say much (not altogether surprising), and Rinkah just falls short.

The reason? They don't have anything going for them. Setsuna and Azama are the only ones with unique personalities, along with Orochi, though the latter only gets some depth with Kaze, Corrin, and Saizo. Even many of the support convos seem forced and stretched out to get to that A or S-rank mark, because there isn't anything to say. It's odd and frankly disappointing.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

If you've played Radiant Dawn, then this needs no explanation. The game doesn't let you get to know the supporting cast at all. In a bizarre turn of events, the game did away with regular support conversations in place of very short, non-essential speech snippets that are supposed to be like bonds of some kind. They offer battle benefits — and little else.

It's a huge missed opportunity, too. The cast is full of promise, especially given the wildly varying settings that shape their experiences. The Dawn Brigade is one of the most rag-tag band of companions in the series, and then pretty much every playable character and some extras get thrown together towards the end.

Maybe at the time, it was a logistics nightmare coming up with all those possible conversations, or it was an innovation gone wrong. Either way, it makes for a very bland experience outside the main story and fails to deliver on the promise of the unique cast.

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With Treehouse Live keeping much of the plot and gameplay hidden for now, so close to release date, it's too early to say whether Three Houses will exceed in any or all of these categories.

In the end, though, all of this is pretty subjective, because a series made up of so many intricate components is bound to appeal to different people in different ways. What to me might be the worst map design in the series could be someone else's favorite — and that's okay.

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