Nintendo Platform RSS Feed | Nintendo RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Final Fantasy V By Chris Kohler Review -- How Influential A Game Can Be,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/202768-final-fantasy-snes-front-cover-ab6b9.jpg k57o8/final-fantasy-v-by-chris-kohler-review-how-influential-a-game-can-be Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:11:05 -0400 Erroll Maas

Final Fantasy is one of the most recognizable franchises in video game history. Ever since the first -- and at the time thought to be the only -- entry in the series, a plethora of Final Fantasy games have mystified players around the world for several decades. Perhaps one of the entries with the most compelling history is Final Fantasy V.

Chris Kohler, Features Editor at Kotaku, has written extensively on the subject -- and in his new book on the game, he closely examines the development and localization of Final Fantasy V, and the legacy it has created.

How FFV Brought New Features to the Table

Final Fantasy V was the first game in the series to have a more cinematic introduction, so the credits felt similar to watching a movie and instilled the player with the sense that they were about to go on an incredible journey. In his book, Kohler goes into even more detail about how the director and writers had to work with the programmers to make sure important scenes came alive in the best way possible so they were more impactful. Through the use of various interviews with the developers, Kohler craftily explores the way the story of the game was conceived.

Kohler also discusses how some of the gameplay of Final Fantasy V was heavily influenced by both Final Fantasy III and Dragon Quest III. Both of these games allowed players to switch character classes whenever they wanted, and Final Fantasy V built upon this element. It took this mechanic a step further by allowing abilities to be carried over when switching characters from one class to another, putting more freedom and more interesting combinations at the player's disposal. The additional information Kohler provides about the best class combinations and most useful skills offers helpful insight for any intrigued player.

Final Fantasy V Becomes a Best Seller in Japan

Although a more brief section in the book, Kohler talks about how Final Fantasy V became a top seller and the best-selling game in the series at the time shortly after its release in Japan. Kohler then continues to talk about the competition between Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy and how one series always seems to have an edge over the other depending on the region. Despite its brevity, this section helps illustrate how different the significance and popularity of a game can be throughout separate parts of the world.

Dedicated Fans Can Make All the Difference

Kohler himself was heavily involved in the story of how Final Fantasy V first reached North American fans. He takes us through how the original Super Nintendo version of Final Fantasy V never had an official release outside of Japan, how he and plenty of other Final Fantasy players modified their systems to play the Japanese version of the game -- despite lacking of basic understanding of the language --- how it led to the creation of an (international) online guide, and even an unofficial fan translation of the game still considered by many to be the best version. The story is an inspiring read for anyone seeking a career in video games,  showing how admirable achievements can be accomplished through enough dedication and effort.

A Monumental Legacy

Through plenty of later Final Fantasy games, to crossover games such as World of Final Fantasy and Dissiddia NT, the impact Final Fantasy V had on the series itself is clear. But the game's impact goes far beyond just the Final Fantasy series.

While previous games helped future JRPG creators get their start, Final Fantasy V was the first game people like Tetsuya Takahashi (the creator of Xenoblade) and Tetsuya Nomura (creator of the Kingdom Hearts video game series and The World Ends With You) really had a hand in creating. The impact of Final Fantasy V goes even further than leading to the creation of later JRPGs, as many of the people who imported and/or helped create the fan translation of Final Fantasy V (including the author) now work with video games in some way.

But the legacy of Final Fantasy V doesn't stop there. An annual charity event has also been created around Final Fantasy V known as the Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta, where four jobs are randomly selected for a player who then must complete the game using only those jobs. Kohler goes into detail about the event's creation, the different four job combinations, useful skills, and the benefits and drawbacks of having four characters with the same job, further encouraging curious players to try it out for themselves.

Final Fantasy V may not be as beloved in other countries as it is in Japan, but the development of the game and the overall impact it has had on video games is fascinating. Whether you're a fan of Final Fantasy,  are seeking a career in video games , or just like reading about video game development in general, then this book is highly recommended.

Final Fantasy V by Chris Kohler is available on Amazon and Boss Fight Books.

A digital eBook copy was provided by Boss Fight Books.

Etrian Odyssey 5: Ultimate Guide to Building Parties and Classes,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/v/w/wvw69ks-ttg3jvmxau-c549b.jpg ovj1o/etrian-odyssey-5-ultimate-guide-to-building-parties-and-classes Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:11:31 -0400 Autumn Fish

If you hope to survive the Labyrinth of Yggdrasil in Etrian Odyssey 5: Beyond the Myth, you must have a party that consists of classes that compliment each other. Each character's strengths must be able to cover the others' weaknesses or you'll struggle a lot in battle.

There are actually tons of ways to go about this if you're clever about how you build your characters in Etrian Odyssey. Why? Because the different classes are not as cut and dry as they may first appear.

How to Build Classes in Etrian Odyssey 5

There are 10 classes in this installment of the Etrian franchise, but don't think that leaves you with only 10 options. Each class is capable of branching into one of two unique specializations, leaving you to pick from a total of 20 possible classes to fill your party.

As if that weren't enough, you gain the ability to swap classes on your characters partway through the first Stratum, which grants all four races the ability to become any of the 20 classes. That makes for an insane grand total of 80 race and class combinations.

Although, realistically, there are only two reasons you'd want to use one of the non-default races for a certain class. If you want to set up your party with classes that wouldn't net you every race by default, you'll want to make it with re-classed characters to fill in those gaps.

On the other hand, you may just want to optimize your party by playing to each race's strengths and pairing them with classes that synergize well with those race's base stats. After all, the extra edge racial stats give you might just be the edge you need to get through tough battles in Etrian 5.

Earthlian Racial Stats Etrian Odyssey 5 Ultimate Guide to Building Parties and Classes    Celestrian Racial Stats Etrian Odyssey 5 Ultimate Guide to Building Parties and Classes

Therian Racial Stats Etrian Odyssey 5 Ultimate Guide to Building Parties and Classes    Brouni Racial Stats Etrian Odyssey 5 Ultimate Guide to Building Parties and Classes

With so many options to choose from, where can you possibly start? Well, to begin with, it helps to understand what each class and specialization can do for your party.

Class Descriptions and Strengths in Etrian 5 
  • Fencer -- This class is a nimble Earthlian class that wields a rapier and shield and dances around enemies using a high dodge rate and quick, consecutive attacks.
    • Phantom Duelist -- This is an evade tank that focuses on drawing enemy agro and dodging attacks while dishing out a few of their own. Use a Therian for this to see insane dodge rates. Earthlians are also a good choice, however, if you don't want to sacrifice HP and Vit.
    • Chain Duelist -- This is a multi-hit attacker that focuses on dishing out raw consecutive damage during a single turn. The Therian is a perfect choice for maximizing the damage output of this class.
  • Dragoon -- This is a bulky Earthlian class that wields a shield and artillery cannon that can defend allies and gun down enemies.
    • Shield Bearer -- This tank class focuses on drawing damage away from the party with decoy bunkers and superior defense. Earthlians are a perfect fit for this class because of their insane health and vitality. However, you could go with a Brouni instead if you need a filler or are looking for more Magic Defense.
    • Cannon Bearer -- This is an offensive-oriented class that utilizes cannon fire to strategically blast enemies or inflict status debuffs. Therians are a race to pair with this specialization if you're looking for more damage.
  • Pugilist -- This is a vicious Earthlian class that uses the sheer power of melee to disable foes or deliver devastating attacks at the cost of HP.
    • Barrage Brawler -- This is a disabler that learns to hit enemy weak points to bind them. It also hits multiple times per round. Fittingly, Earthlians are a good choice for this class thanks to a superior Luck stat that helps you succeed at binding the enemy.
    • Impact Brawler -- This is a brawler that focuses all of their energy into one massive punch at the cost of HP. Therians are great for maximizing the damage potential of this class' devastating punches, though they don't have as much HP to work with.
  • Harbinger -- This is a sinister Earthlian class that wields a scythe and utilizes a miasma shield to debuff enemies and aid allies. 
    • Deathbringer -- This is a debuffer and damage dealer that uses their miasma shield to control the tide of battle. Earthlians are good choices for this class thanks to their high Luck stat.
    • Deathguard -- This is a support specialization that utilizes the miasma to heal and shield allies while weakening their foes. Again, Earthlians are a good race for this class because of their superior ailment success rate.
  • Warlock -- This is an arcane Celestrian class that excels at bombarding enemies with a colorful array of spells.
    • Omnimancer -- This is a caster that works with spells that deal physical damage. A Celestrian is a great pick to maximize this class' TP and damage output.
    • Elemancer -- This is a caster that blasts enemies with powerful Fire, Ice, and Lightning spells. This class works really with as the Celestrian race, much like all damage-dealing casters.
  • Necromancer -- This is an occult Celestrian class that summons wraiths to do their bidding.
    • Spirit Evoker -- This is a summoner that calls as many wraiths as they can in order to make their skills more powerful. A Celestrian is a good fit thanks to their bountiful pools of TP.
    • Spirit Broker -- This is a summoner that sacrifices wraiths to empower their own abilities. A Celstrian is perfect here for their high TP and Intelligence.
  • Rover -- This is a feral Therian class that wields a bow and calls wild animals to their aid.
    • Flying Falcon -- This is an archer that specializes in calling a Hawk to aid them in executing devastatingly powerful attacks. The Therian race is the best fit for maximizing damage potential.
    • Hunting Hound -- This is an archer that calls a Hound that heals and defends allies while it inflicts ailments on enemies. A Therian is a decent choice, here, for the Agility boost to commanding your Hound.
  • Masurao -- This is a ferocious Therian class that effectively wields katanas to decimate their opponents, though their defense is deplorable.
    • Blade Dancer -- This is a dancer that wields four blades to slice through their foes. They're immensely powerful, but extremely fragile since they can't wear armor with all those katanas. A Therian is a perfect choice for maximizing your damage output.
    • Blade Master -- This is a master of the blade that uses one sword to attack multiple enemies and inflict ailments. Therians are still great, here, but consider using an Earthlian if you want to use Haze Slash a lot and induce sleep.
  • Shaman -- This is a mystical Brouni class that supports the party with heals and buffs.
    • Divine Punisher -- This is a support class that dispells buffs and debuffs on allies in order to execute devastatingly powerful attacks. Celestrians are a good choice for this specialization thanks to their superior TP and Intelligence.
    • Divine Herald -- This is a support class that uses buffs to heal their party. The Brouni race is a great pair for this class thanks to their excellent healing abilities.
  • Botanist -- This is a brainy Brouni class that wields herbs to heal the party and poison the enemy.
    • Merciful Healer -- This is a healer that uses potent healing spells and revival abilities to keep the party standing. A Brouni's superior Wisdom is the perfect fit for this class.
    • Graced Poisoner -- This is a debuffer that utilizes poisonous herbs to inflict various ailments on enemies. The Earthian race is the best choice if you want good chances at actually inflicting ailments, though you could consider a Celestrian for their large pool of TP.

Note that if you ever wind up spending skill points on something that doesn't suit your class build, you can Rest at the Explorers Guild and roll that character back two levels in order to reallocate everything.

Now that you know what the classes are, how would you go about setting up a party that will succeed in the Labyrinth?

Party Arrangement Tips Etrian Odyssey 5 Ultimate Guide to Building Parties and Classes

Tips and Tricks for Building a Party in Etrian Odyssey 5

A party needs two main things to be viable in Etrian Odyssey 5's Labyrinth: a way to control the damage you're taking and a way to heal it. Now, healing the damage you take is the easy part. You just need a class that can heal -- such as the Botanist, Shaman, Rover, Necromancer, or Harbinger -- and you need to keep them alive, which means placing them far away from whoever's most likely to take the most damage.

Controlling the damage you take, on the other hand, is a lot more complicated. As such, there are more creative ways to go about accomplishing this. You could opt to go the classic route and use a tank in the form of either a Dragoon or a Fencer. Using these classes' defensive abilities encourages enemies to attack them, allowing the rest of the team enough reprieve to go all out on their attack.

Alternatively, you could do your best to mitigate damage by offering up a summonable distraction with the Dragoon's Bunkers or the Necromancer's Wraiths. If you want to get even more creative, you could use Pugilists and other disablers to bind the opponent and leave them unable to attack at all.

Anything else that you decide to plop in your party should be dealing damage, and preferably a lot of it. You could also opt to use support classes to make dealing damage easier. How you ultimately build your party based off of these guidelines is entirely up to you.

Note, however, don't pair classes together that clash with each other. For example, a Necromancer's not going to synergize well with a Rover or a Bunker-summoning Dragoon since they all compete for the same three summon slots. Just be mindful of what you want to accomplish with your party and you'll do great.

Party Build Tips Etrian Odyssey 5 Ultimate Guide to Building Parties and Classes

With a proper party in tow, you have the chance to outplay your opponent no matter what situation you find yourself in. For more tips on climbing the Labyrinth, check out our other Etrian Odyssey 5 guides.

14 Non-Horror Games to Play for Halloween,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-f3efd.jpeg kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:59:56 -0400 Joshua Broadwell


Costume Quest 1 & 2


It's difficult to find a set of games more perfectly suited for Halloween than Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2. The first centers around your team of characters trying to restore the stolen candy to their neighborhood and rescue a kidnapped sibling, while the sequel has you fighting a team of dental-hygiene fanatics intent on ruining Halloween for everyone.


They are set up as RPGs, with sidequests and turn based battles. However, your gear is more than just what keeps you safe. Why is that? Because your costumes allow you to transform into what they represent, be it a knight, robot--you name it. The games look adorable as well, with a charming mix of spooky and quirky and environments that can't fail to put you in the Halloween spirit.


Plus, until November 1st, both games are discounted on Steam: $0.99 for  Costume Quest, $5.24 for Costume Quest 2 or $4.99 for a bundle with both. Note too that the DLC for Costume Quest comes bundled with it.


Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (or Complete)


Disgaea is a perfect series for Halloween, and the latest entry is no exception. You play as a demon overlord of some kind or another in every entry and recruit a variety of different monsters to your team as you fight to fulfill morally dubious goals and secure your position as hellish ruler. It's got everything a strategy fan could ask for too: deep mechanics, micromanagement galore, challenging battles, and a plethora of character classes and skills to master.


Then there are the Prinnies. They're fun and slightly cute, plus they explode. But they're also the reincarnated forms of murderers and the worst kinds of criminals. If that alone doesn't tell you, the series prides itself on juxtaposing seriousness with ludicrous humor, all in a very anime style. It's a refreshing twist in a genre usually prone to taking itself too seriously and is sure to provide you with a frightfully good time.




From RPG to quirky platformer and puzzler, there's plenty to tick those spooky seasonal boxes and keep you occupied until -- and after -- Halloween. Let us know in the comments what you're playing for Halloween!


Looking for more Halloween-themed content? Make sure to check our other Halloween articles on GameSkinny!




Lumo is a charming little puzzler that has you take control of what looks quite like a Black Mage from Final Fantasy as you solve the brain-teasing puzzles in each of the game's many rooms. The game looks equal parts Fantasia and Chocobo's Dungeon, with a hint of Harry Potter, and it sees you traverse through a tremendous variety of locations in each of those rooms, from your basic storeroom setting to a hallway filled with lasers and a rotating tower with crumbling steps, among others.


The puzzles are never overly difficult, so it's the perfect game to play with your children, if you have them, but it's certainly not too easy for adults to unwind with at the end of the day. Some of you might recognize it, too, as it's meant to be a revival of the classic British isometric puzzler genre, and it does a superb job of what it sets out to do.


Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2


Continuing on with the theme of costumes means the Kingdom Hearts games are next. Sora and co. change their gear with every world they enter, but there are two real main reasons for having these games on your Halloween list. The story becomes more convoluted as the games progress, naturally, but at the core of it all remain the themes of redemption, friendship, and, of course, the conflict between light and dark. It's a lighthearted take on the concept of battling the darkness within us all that carries with it a certain tone with it that perfectly suits the cold, dark autumn nights.


More to the point, though, is the visit to Halloween Town! In both mainline games, you'll visit Jack Skellington and friends and battle the Heartless that manage to terrify even these monsters. The sequel puts you in Christmas Town—still in Halloween getups—excellently recreating the juxtaposition of happy and spooky that makes the film so enjoyable.


Final Fantasy V


It's Final Fantasy, but with dress-up! But seriously, Final Fantasy V stands out from its brethren for more than the adorable sprite costumes that accompany each change of class. It's a story that takes you across the world, only this time, the world is a lot more expansive, from dealing with mummies in a desert tomb to flying across the mountains on a dragon and everything in between. It's the plot and antagonist that really make this worth putting on your Halloween list, though.


FFVI's Kefka is villainous in his own right, but Exdeath is the embodiment of evil, almost literally, considering the possibility that he was once the spirit of a forest, now turned corrupt. Along with his evil machinations, you've got a haunting (sorry) time-traveling, interdimensional tale of love, loss, and betrayal. That makes FFV much easier to recommend than that other costume-driven game, FFIII, since there is not much story in the latter. Plus, if you really want to scare yourself, you could play the mobile version of FFV.


Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia


The latest mainline Fire Emblem offering, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides both an eerie atmosphere and intense gameplay. The land of Valentia is suffering at the hands of a manic priest devoted to a corrupt god. Soulless witches who have offered themselves up to Duma wreak havoc, but that's not all. Fans of later games, including Sacred Stones and Awakening, will see the roots of the undead adversaries in Echoes, in the form of Terrors, legions of the undead controlled by some unknown force and popping up everywhere.


From a gameplay perspective, it provides a serious challenge, too, requiring you to carefully plan your every move and delivering its own form of tension in the process. It's definitely one of the darker entries in Fire Emblem, and it only gets darker as the game progresses, with the final climax *mild spoilers ahead!* taking place deep underground, involving possession, murder, and betrayal.


Hollow Knight


Hollow Knight looks like what you'd get if Tim Burton made video games. Based on the classic Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight combines the best of 2D platformers with a distinct and attractive art style. Hollow Knight himself, sporting a stylish skull helmet, must traverse the dark, monster-ridden depths of his underworld home to find the secrets buried in it corrupt heart.


The entire world exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly -- netherworldly? --atmosphere, drawing you in and keeping you wondering what might be beyond the next turn. Yet despite focusing on muted tones and various shades of darkness, the art manages to remain appealing throughout the difficult campaign. Even better is the new Grimm Troupe DLC dropping October 31, even more reason to dive back in or pick up the game for the first time!


Dragon Quest VI


"What the heck is a Dragon Quest game doing on a Halloween list?" you might be asking. Well, there's good reason Dragon Quest VI is. You see, long before Halloween became the blood-filled fright-fest it is now, it was one of two times of the year when people of almost every culture believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. That meant the spirits of the dead could cross, of course, but also all manner of other creatures, including fairies -- not the Tinkerbell kind; the steal your soul and curse your cattle kind -- and other nefarious creatures from beyond could walk in our world.


Dragon Quest VI captures that theme perfectly. It alternates between an illusionary dream world and a real world, blurring the lines between both (and even making you a kind of ghost when you first visit the real world). The main antagonist draws his power from both worlds, breeding a host of monsters and causing nightmares in the dream world to create havoc in the real one.


Luigi's Mansion


The launch lineup for the little purple lunchbox that could might have suffered from its games being too short, but that doesn't mean they lacked innovation and quality. And Luigi's Mansion is one that stands out. It's the first game to feature Luigi in a prominent role and completely changes the style of gameplay one would expect from a Mario-type game.


Over the course of one stormy night, Luigi must explore the depths and heights of the mysterious mansion that appeared from nowhere in order to try and find his missing brother.


You'll come across multiple mischievous ghosts in the process, along with the masterminds behind the kidnapping, the Boos. The original Luigi's Mansion brings with it a much spookier atmosphere than its sequel, owing partly to the fact that the camera is much closer to Luigi and also the fact that the mansion is much, much darker until you solve the puzzles of each room. For maximum enjoyment, play with the lights turned off.


Axiom Verge


If 2D Metroidvania is more your taste, then Axiom Verge is just the game for you this Halloween season. Drawing inspiration from Super Metroid, among other titles, Axiom Verge places you in an unknown environment that blurs the lines between reality and the subconscious. You end up there as a result of a lab accident, so you're not entirely sure at first if you're alive or not.


However, the game gives you a great deal of control over your environment through the glitch mechanic, letting you manipulate your weapons, enemies, and even landscapes -- some you might not have been intended to see. There's a deep story here, too, as you'll uncover the remnants of an ancient, apocalyptic war and try to piece together how this domain ended up the way it did. The entire affair is rather dark and moody, as you would expect, and it's an excellent way to add some atmosphere to your Halloween gaming.


Metroid Prime


The Metroid games are known for creating eerie atmospheres and a sense of isolation, with the possibility of mortal danger lurking around every corner. Any game in the series would be suitable for Halloween (though some fans might say Other M is the most frightening of all, even if for reasons not entirely intended by the developers). However, the original Metroid Prime stands out above the rest in this regard.


Its first-person mechanic and the dreary desolation of Tallon IV combine perfectly, and no matter how many times you play it, that first time the Metroids burst out of their tanks still holds the power to make you jump. If this doesn't quite sound appealing, though Prime 2: Echoes is also a good candidate, with an even darker plot and the terror of the Ing to contend with as well.




Puppets are creepy, and that goes double for marionettes. Puppeteer manages to maintain that creepiness, yet makes it endearing by adding to it with a quirky, eerie aesthetic and a storyline pulled straight from a fairytale. The story begins when the Moon Bear King puts your soul into the body of a puppet to serve as a slave, but your troubles don't stop there. Before tossing you into his dungeon, the Moon Bear King also rips your head off -- but that sets the stage, so to speak, for the game's signature mechanic.


You acquire various powerups throughout the game, and these are incorporated via wearing different heads. Your journey takes you across the world and through a wide variety of landscapes, but it's all presented as though it's on a miniature stage, as you'd see with a real puppet show, complete with audience effects, props, lighting, and the whole works. It's a superbly tight platformer and a joy to play, plus there's the added bonus of it being a form of exposure therapy.


The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask


Arguably one of the darker entries in the LotZ franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes everything you know about the series' structure and chucks it out the window. Taking place right after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask sees Link taken to the mysterious world of Termina, a land where time is quite short because the moon is going to crash into it in three days' time. From there, you travel through Termina's four main regions and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe and the enigmatic Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask itself.


As you'd expect, masks play an important role throughout the game, providing new powers and abilities and even transforming Link into different Link-forms. Needless to say, the entire atmosphere is quite dark and broody, rivaling even Twilight Princess. And as the days progress, the people you interact with begin realizing their lives are about to end influences the way they conduct themselves in the game, with reactions ranging from desperation to quiet acceptance of their dark fate.


Animal Crossing


Of course, no Halloween game list would be complete without Animal Crossing. With the exception of Wild World, with its grudge against holidays, every Animal Crossing game has some form of Halloween festivity. Whether it be the GCN original's hunt for Jack to get Spooky furniture or New Leaf's wider array of activities involving month-long specials at the Nooklings' store, mask collecting, and neighbor-scaring, there's plenty to do throughout the month of October.


Later entries, especially New Leaf, allow you to customize your look down to the finest details, so you can always be in costume. Or you can just finish a long day by taking an evening stroll through your village, appreciating the change of scenery.


The sun sets early, the evenings are getting darker, and there's a certain something in the atmosphere that sets your hair on end. That's right, Halloween is almost here! But not all of us are fans of horror, blood, and gore, so what's a gamer to do if Resident Evil and Silent Hill are out of the question? 


Never fear! We've got a list of the best 14 non-horror games (because 13 is supposed to be unlucky, right?) you can play in the run-up to Halloween without having to plug in your night-light. Plus, as an added bonus, these are almost all perfectly safe for you to play with the younger members of your family -- and this first one, in particular, should prove widely popular with that specific audience. 

Etrian Odyssey 5 Beginner's Guide: Secrets to Surviving the Labyrinth,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/v/w/wvw69ks574m6vpaiqo-b2c59.jpg o1w6o/etrian-odyssey-5-beginners-guide-secrets-to-surviving-the-labyrinth Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:39:14 -0400 Autumn Fish

The Labyrinth of Yggdrasil hides countless dangers in Etrian Odyssey 5: Beyond the Myth. Heck, even the first group of monsters you encounter can and will kick your teeth in if you're not prepared. That's why, if you ever hope to survive the Labyrinth, you absolutely must have your wits about you at all times.

It's far from easy, but thankfully, there are a few things you can do to improve not only your survivability but also your efficiency in the Labyrinth.

Etrian Odyssey 5 Beginner's Guide

New Guilds should exercise extreme caution and cover all their bases when entering the Labyrinth. Be sure to put at least one of each race in your party, get all of the important overworld skills, frequently stock up at the marketplace, meticulously detail your map, peer up stairs when you find them, and avoid FOEs like the plague.

Make a Party with at Least One of Each Race

There are four character races to stuff into your party of 5, and you'll need all of them in Etrian Odyssey 5. Each race has special Racial Skills that either utilize the Union Gauge in battle or otherwise boost your overall abilities.

For example, the Celestrians have access to the Detect Mana skill, which is necessary for interacting with the Magic Barrier on the 1st Stratum. Therians, on the other hand, gain access to the Brute Strength skill at level 5, and that can be used to move heavy objects out of the way later on. Having access to every Race Skill is absolutely paramount to exploring the Labyrinth and completing quests.

Spend Points on Important Overworld Skills Early On

Don't make the same mistake I did and neglect your overworld skills early on. Overworld skills are essential for gathering new materials and reaching new areas of the Labyrinth. Just have one character spec into Fishing, get another to pick up Foraging, and let someone else learn Animal Care. Chopping and Mining are also pretty essential. Get these skills out of the way first so that you never need to worry about them again.

Race Skills Etrian Odyssey 5 Beginner's Guide

Frequently Stock Up at the Marketplace

There are two major things from the Marketplace that you'll need to constantly keep stocked: Consumables and Equipment. You probably don't want to be exploring the dungeon without any healing supplies, especially at a low level, so it's a good idea to pick up a few Medicas. Once you unlock them, be sure to have at least 1 -- if not 3 or 5 -- Ariadne Thread on you at all times so you can escape the Labyrinth. Remember to stock up every time you stop by the Marketplace to sell materials.

The Marketplace's stock of items will slowly grow as you continue to sell the materials you find. Since the Labyrinth doesn't have much equipment hidden about, you'll find you have to buy a lot of it in town. Just make sure that your party is appropriately geared before you advance to a new floor or you might find yourself struggling.

Fill in the Map with Meticulous Detail

You make the map in Etrian Odyssey, and it's up to you how much detail you go into. However, I suggest marking absolutely everything to make navigating each floor as easy as it can be. You should already be marking things like floors, walls, doors, stairs, and various harvest points, but it'd be smart to expand to marking everything else, too.

Mark the treasure chests, even if you've already opened them. If you come across someone with a request in the Labyrinth, try marking that with an exclamation mark (or something that stands out). Suspicious tiles on the map are a good use of the question mark, too. Consider even painting in the water with shades of blue to make the floor layout easier to understand. Get creative with filling in your map -- just make sure you can read it.

Fill in the Map with Meticulous Detail in Etrian Odyssey 5 Beginner's Guide

Peek Up the Stairs When You Discover Them

While mapping the floor, you'll eventually stumble across the stairs leading up to the next level. When you do, be sure to head up the stairs to activate the next floor before heading back downstairs and carrying on. Doing this allows you to pick up the next floor's quests from the Inn before you start properly exploring it.

Avoid FOEs Like the Plague on Your First Encounter

Formido Oppognatura Exsequens (FOEs) are powerful monsters that openly roam floors and should certainly be avoided the first time you meet them. While some FOEs are passive and walk in a pattern that's relatively easy to avoid, others are aggressive and will hunt you down until you leave the area. When consistently cornered by aggressive FOEs, try studying your map to see if there might be another way to approach it.


With these tips in mind, the Labyrinth should prove to be pretty manageable, though it still won't be easy. Keep your eyes peeled right here on GameSkinny for more Etrian Odyssey 5 guides coming soon.

5 Game Series That Needed Crossplay Yesterday,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/r/o/cross-platform-header-8ae8f.jpg bp662/5-game-series-that-needed-crossplay-yesterday Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:00:18 -0400 Joshua Broadwell


The Diablo Franchise


Diablo III is an old game -- well, old by gaming standards -- but it still seems new, owing to the never-ending stream of expansions and updates Blizzard provides its player base. For any online multiplayer game, cross-platform play seems necessary, but for a franchise as popular and with such a distinguished pedigree as Diablo, you could say it's close to mandatory. Diablo III already provides a fun and challenging co-op experience -- and it's almost a given that future iterations (which we'll definitely get) will push the envelope of co-op play even further. 


As with all cross-platform games, however, there are important technical issues to consider, not least of which being the way different companies handle their servers. However, that doesn't mean it's impossible. Blizzard once said that adding Seasons to the console versions of the game would be entirely out of the question for the same reasons, yet here we are, with Seasons on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. So that doesn't mean that future Diablo games -- and maybe even Diablo III -- might dabble in crossplay sometime in the future. 




From open world exploration games to traditional dungeon crawlers, sports, and everything in between, video games offer an enormous variety of experiences that are more than worth sharing with your friends. And cross-platform play would only help expand the fun on offer, bringing more people together playing the games they love, regardless of which console or platform they owned.


Do you think crossplay will ever cross into the mainstream? What games do you want to see employ crossplay features? Let us know in the comments below! 


The Lego Franchise (Lego Worlds)


On a completely different note is Lego Worlds. Minecraft might have stolen the title of first cross-platform sandbox game, but that doesn't mean there is no room for this one. Like Minecraft, this game lets you build anything you can imagine, only you're building it with Legos, which means you can indulge all your childhood Lego dreams that just weren't possible to realize with traditional block sets.


The recent addition of multiplayer to Lego Worlds allows gamers to explore each other's sandboxes and play and build together -- or wreak complete havoc on one another. Legos, in general, are meant to be shared and shown off, and with the game being on all major platforms -- Switch included -- cross-platform play would fit perfectly with the game's and franchise's mission of encouraging creative play.


Ultimately, Lego Worlds is a strong candidate to lead the charge for cross-platform play for both console and PC. 


The Elder Scrolls Franchise (The Elder Scrolls Online)


Why implement cross-platform play for The Elder Scrolls Online, a game that's already more than three years old? Because there were still an estimated 8.5 million players online as of February of this year. There's a good reason for that as well: since the game's release, Bethesda has included a number of necessary tune-ups to improve the overall experience.


One of the best was altering the level system so that zones level with you, actually giving players incentive to explore and take on quests. However, even better is the Morrowind expansion and its PvP element, alongside the almost-endless crafting possibilities for your home and character.


There's a lot to love about Elder Scrolls Online, and letting those 8.5 million players play together fits perfectly with the direction in which the developers are taking the game, giving an expanded purpose to the game's PvP battles and making exploration even more enjoyable than it already is. That, ultimately, should ensure players' enjoyment of it. 


If any MMO can make crossplay happen, it's ESO


The FIFA Franchise


This one should come as no surprise. The FIFA games are some of EA's best-selling, and FIFA 18 is one of the best the franchise has to offer. 


Multiplayer is, of course, a tremendous part of the franchise's appeal. It's available on every platform, yet to date, there's no cross-platform support.


Allowing owners of different systems to play together is the next logical step in the franchise's development -- not to mention a way of boosting its eSports presence. PS4 owners will finally be able to play with their Xbox One counterparts. And when the Nintendo Switch's online service launches in 2018, even more players will be chomping at the bit to take to the pitch and show their dominance. As a third party developer, EA has no concerns over encouraging consumers to purchase one particular system for their products, so in the end, everyone would win.


As a third party developer, EA has no concerns over encouraging consumers to purchase one particular system for their products, so in the end, everyone would win.


Perhaps FIFA will ultimately lead the charge forward. 


The Call of Duty Franchise


Aside the controversies over Call of Duty: WWII, there's still an immensely popular, long-running franchise here with quality multiplayer offerings, which is highlighted by the recent beta for the upcoming installment. The series' team-based FPS action draws in numerous players every time a new version is released, even more so with the series going back to its historical-ish roots.


One would think the opportunity for cross-platform support for the kind of multiplayer free-for-all the Call of Duty franchise is known for would be something developers would eagerly pursue. However, that's not really the case for most shooter games.


Many publishers and developers cite the inordinate advantage PC players have over console players when talking about crossplay for these titles, especially since those players have the at their disposals the precision of a mouse and keyboard and the fidelity of minutely adjusting settings and visuals to their advantage. So even though we'd love to see cross-platform CoD -- or even Overwatch -- unfortunately, that's probably just a dream right now.


But moving forward, the Call of Duty franchise is the perfect test case to accurately measure if crossplay across, at the very least, consoles is viable for the FPS genre. 


Video games are meant to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, and multiplayer is designed for exactly that. However, there's a bit of a problem that can, and sometimes does, put a wrench in that chain: the crossplay hobgoblin. Almost every AAA game that releases launches on all the major consoles -- but players can, for the most part, only play with those gamers that use the same system as they do. 


Some developers are starting to break that trend -- with Mojang being a notable recent example -- allowing anyone and everyone to play together. But other developers are playing sticks in the mud.  As the trend towards greater cross-platform support continues to grow, these are five of our top picks for games we want to see included in it.


As the trend toward greater cross-platform support continues to grow among player bases, here are five of our top picks for games and series we want to see interconnected in the crossplay-future. 

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Guide: How to Use Motion Controls on Nintendo Switch,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/m/s/4ms3iui-da56c.jpg 1r3it/dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-guide-how-to-use-motion-controls-on-nintendo-switch Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:55:19 -0400 Autumn Fish

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch comes with the option to use Motion Controls in battle. Using the Joy-Cons that come with the console, you have the option to mimic the motions of the move you want to use by following on-screen Motion Icons.

Motion Icons do a decent job of illustrating the movement you're supposed to follow, but without specific instructions, many of the moves are difficult to execute, and you're left flailing your arms in a desperate attempt to get anything to work. Following this guide, you'll be able to execute Motion Controls far more accurately than ever before.

How to Execute Skills with Motion Controls in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

If you want to use Motion Controls, they must first be turned on under Controller Settings in the Options menu. Hop into battle with Motion Controls activated and you'll quickly notice that it's not actually much different than Xenoverse 2's Button Controls. That's because bread and butter moves are still mapped to buttons -- the only things that require actual Motion Controls are Ultimate Attacks and Awoken Skills.

Rather than an Ultimate Attack or Awoken Skill activating as soon as you press their button combinations, you'll have to hold the move's associated buttons and follow the movement illustrated in its Motion Icons in order to execute the skill. There are seven main types of Motion Icons that are split up into variations that utilize both the left and right Joy-Cons.

Motion Icons and What They Mean

How to Use Motion Controls Motion Icon 1 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

  • Pull back arms to where your hands are near your waist.

How to Use Motion Controls Motion Icon 2 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

  • Bring fists up to your upper chest and shoulder area, crossing them.

How to Use Motion Controls Motion Icon 3 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

  • Stretch out your arms.

How to Use Motion Controls Motion Icon 4 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

  • Push your arms forward.
    • Note that you may need to put some force behind this motion to get it to work.

How to Use Motion Controls Motion Icon 5 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

  • Raise your arms skyward.

How to Use Motion Controls Motion Icon 6 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

  • Lower arms straight down to where your hands are around your lower hip and upper thigh area.

How to Use Motion Controls Motion Icon 7 Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

  • Hold both hands by your hip.

Note that all Motion Icons found in the game are mirrored to make moves easier to illustrate. This means you need only mimic the Motion Icon as if you were looking through a mirror, that way you don't have to actually flip your rights and lefts before performing a move.

If you're having trouble pulling off the moves detailed in the Motion Icons, try to be a bit more visceral about your movements. Exaggerate everything and be sure to play around with the force required to trigger the skill. 

That's not all there is to Xenoverse's motion controls, however.

How to Use Motion Controls Options Driving Vehicle Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

Driving Your Vehicle with Motion Controls

After your very first mission, you'll be gifted a vehicle. As it turns out, this vehicle can also be driven with Motion Controls -- if imprecisely.

With Motion Controls enabled, pull out your vehicle and push your left arm forward to accelerate. Rotate the Joy-Con to the left or right in order to turn your vehicle in 45-degree increments. Pulling back on the Joy-Con will execute a 180-degree flip, and returning it to the resting position should stop your vehicle.

Compared to the Motion Icons, I found driving your vehicle with Motion Controls to be far more imprecise. However, it's still good for a bit of fun when you just want to mess around in the HUB town.


Ultimately, the Motion Controls found here are little more than a novelty. They certainly add to the flavor of the experience, especially while brawling your way through the main story mode, but that's about it.

Whether you're looking to find out more about Nintendo Switch exclusive features or simply want to learn how to build your character, be sure check out the rest of our Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 guides.

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Guide: How to Set Up Local Multiplayer on Nintendo Switch,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/e/n/xenoverse-8cc16.jpg pf3km/dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-guide-how-to-set-up-local-multiplayer-on-nintendo-switch Thu, 12 Oct 2017 14:43:11 -0400 Autumn Fish

The Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 introduces a brand new Local Multiplayer mode to the fighting/role-playing game that you can use to play with nearby friends. In this mode, you use the Switch's built-in Local Wireless to connect up to six systems and duke it out in 3-versus-3 battles. Or, if you're the cooperative type, band together in Parallel Quests to save time itself.

The only issue is Local Multiplayer isn't the most intuitive thing to set up in Xenoverse 2. There's no giant red arrow that says "Hey, Rookie! The Local Wireless section is over here!" Thankfully, though, the process turns out to be rather similar to connecting with others online.

How to Set Up Local Wireless Multiplayer in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

For starters, it's impossible to access Local Wireless connections while you're connected to the online Xenoverse game server. If you're already in-game, you must first back out to the title menu and decline the prompt to connect to the server in order to start in offline mode.

Once you've jumped into offline mode, head toward the Reception Area near the Dragon Ball. The clerks that handle Local Wireless Multiplayer are the exact same clerks that handle Online connectivity. Talk to an Online clerk and select Local Communication to start your session.

How to Set Up Local Multiplayer Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for Nintendo Switch

The Online clerks act as the Local Communication clerks in Offline Mode.

Note that in order to unlock the Online Battles clerk, you must complete the first non-tutorial mission of the game. Similarly, in order to unlock the Online Parallel Quests clerk, you must complete your first Offline Parallel Quest. 

Once you start up Local Communications with the clerk, someone's going to need to create a room for everybody to pile into. Select Create Room and set up the match rules. If you're doing a Parallel Quest, the room creator also needs to choose which one you're going to play. Once the room is created, anybody who is playing needs to pile in via the Search function. If you can't find the room, be sure that you're standing in front of the same clerk.

Once all players are connected, the Local Multiplayer match will begin. Be sure to check out the rest of our Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 guides, whether you want to know more about Nintendo Switch exclusive features or building a strong character.

SEGA Partners With Hooters To Promote Sonic Forces,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/n/sonic-hooters-1eaaa.jpg h56yt/sega-partners-with-hooters-to-promote-sonic-forces Sun, 08 Oct 2017 10:41:35 -0400 Greyson Ditzler (PurplePocketPirate)

Sonic has had some interesting commercial tie-ins and partnerships in the past, such as the promotional material for Soap brand shoes in Sonic Adventure 2, or even his games promoting the Olympics in the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series. He's even had tie-ins with food products and companies before, such as SpaghettiOs, Blue Bunny brand ice cream pops that look like his face, and even toys inside happy meals at McDonald's. 

But, in a partnership announcement that nobody saw coming, SEGA has announced that they will be partnering with the bar/restaurant chain Hooters at select locations in Japan in the coming months in order to promote the upcoming Sonic game Sonic Forces. SEGA made this announcement during their Sonic focused Tokyo Game Show livestream, and we currently know that the promotion will begin in mid-October at select Hooters locations in Japan.   

Some planned locations for Hooters restaurants in Japan participating in the Sonic Heroes promotion event are Ginza, Shibuya West, and Akasaka. More details are said to be coming regarding the promotion within the next day or so. 

Rogue Trooper Redux Gets a New Trailer and Earlier Switch Release Date,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4882a73fe03784febf4a6e80e8e89e2f.jpg mpkcn/rogue-trooper-redux-gets-a-new-trailer-and-earlier-switch-release-date Fri, 06 Oct 2017 16:35:08 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Developer Rebellion has officially released a new trailer for its third-person shooter Rogue Trooper Redux, titled "101." As you'd expect from the trailer's title, it highlights the game's story, special features, and, of course, its action.The trailer (which you can see above) clocks in at about five minutes. 

Alongside the trailer, Rebellion also announced that the Nintendo Switch version of the game will release October 17, the same day as the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

The trailer showcases the game's Biochip feature, something that makes Rogue a unique soldier. His sentient weapon contains elements of three of Rogue's fallen comrades: Helm, who distracts enemies and offers advice; the versatile Bagman, who aids in crafting a variety of things and can lay landmines too; and Gunnar, who improves your accuracy.

You'll be utilizing more than just guns in your standard run-and-shoot setup, though. The game's combat features a wide variety of weapons and scenarios, including armored vehicles, Lazookas, and turrets, along with stealth combat. The game will feature online co-op as well, allowing you to relive the events leading up to the main story or take part in a tower-defense mode called "Stronghold."

Where all this combat takes place should be familiar to fans of the Rogue comics too. As you travel across the desolate landscape of Nu-Earth, you'll encounter locations like Harpo's Ferry and the Quartz Zone. The ultimate goal is to seek revenge on the Traitor General, who -- as you might have figured out -- led the betrayal and massacre of Rogue's fellow GIs (Genetic Infantrymen). The story, penned by well-known Scottish writer Gordon Rennie, was nominated for a BAFTA. 

If this all sounds familiar, it's because the game is a remastered version of the original Rogue Trooper that debuted on PlayStation 2, PC, and Wii in 2006. For the remake, the developers implemented full HD graphics, added new special effects, and completely redesigned the lighting and geometry.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Rogue Trooper Redux as it develops. 

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon Update: New Story Details and Ultra Beasts,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a01ea3d1c33d2df816f241d8d2239a26.jpg v00ug/pokemon-ultra-sun-and-ultra-moon-update-new-story-details-and-ultra-beasts Thu, 05 Oct 2017 14:58:08 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon details have been slow in coming up to now. But today, there's a new trailer (see above) and a wealth of new story information from the Pokemon Company. As was hinted at in the games' first reveal, the story takes a more central role in the upcoming sequels, with new characters, a mysterious new Team, and even more of the enigmatic Ultra Beasts.

Remember the Ultra Wormholes from the original Pokemon Sun and Moon? According to the Pokemon Company, they make a return in the sequels, and you'll be travelling through them on Solgaleo and Lunaala. They take you to "new worlds", and the new trailer details one of them in particular: Ultra Megalopolis. This is a city ruled by Necrozma, who's stolen all the light, except that which shines at the top of a strange tower.

You'll also be meeting the Recon Squad, a mysterious group from beyond the Wormholes whose goals are yet unknown. What is known is that you'll get a different version of the story depending on which version of the game you play. For Ultra Sun, you see Recon Squad members Dulse and Zozzie's story, while Soliera and Phyco will take center stage in Ultra Moon.

There are also a host of new Ultra Beasts, one of which is associated with the Recon Squad: UB Adhesive. This one is a Poison type. Its head is full of venom, and it spews it forth via a needle at the top of its head. It can also understand human speech and displays a variety of complex emotions as well.

The other two Ultra Beasts are version exclusives: UB Burst for Ultra Sun, and UB Assembly in Ultra Moon. UB Burst is a Fire/Ghost type. Its head is made up of odd sparks, and it has the curious ability of making its head explode, as you see in the trailer. A favorite trick of UB Burst's is to lure its opponents into a false sense of security through odd behavior and then detonate its head. UB Assembly is a Rock/Steel type and is actually comprised of a variety of different organisms. Each stone in its body is an independent lifeform, and when it confronts foes, a red eye in each stone lights up.

In case you missed it, there was also a Japanese trailer released a short time ago that emphasizes the more dramatic elements of the story, including Necrozma's role in it. You can find that below.

Let us know in the comments what you think about the new details and Ultra Beasts!

Inversus Deluxe Review: Black and White and Outta Sight,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/v/inversus-2nd-banner-4f452.png ajlmn/inversus-deluxe-review-black-and-white-and-outta-sight Thu, 05 Oct 2017 14:48:59 -0400 Greyson Ditzler (PurplePocketPirate)

Inversus Deluxe is a grid-based twin-stick shooter developed by Hypersect and recently released on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Though it may look simple and basic at first glance, but closer inspection will prove that this shooter has a surprising amount of depth and intensity built into it's gameplay.

But the real question is this. Is a game that's only 67 megabytes on the eShop worth it's $15 price tag, especially considering everything else that's come out on the Switch lately? Let's find out!


Like Playing Between Two Mirrors

This 2D shooter is equal parts capturing territory, mind-games, and intense shooting in four directions. What's most special about Inversus Deluxe is its mechanic of capturing territory with every shot. Using the default color palette, every tile on the map is either black or white (as are you), and you can only move freely through the tiles that are the opposite color to you. But you can also shoot through the same-colored tiles to make more room for yourself.

This effectively turns every competitive match into a hybrid turf-war-firefight. While you're focusing on mowing down your enemy, your enemy is trying to do the same. And while firing back at each other you're trying your best to box them in to shoot them easier -- while at the same time not becoming a fish-in-a-barrel yourself. As you both create and destroy each other's freedom of movement and create walls with every bullet, the tension only continues to grow.

The game's map design caters to these mechanics wonderfully, often having looping exits on opposite sides of the map that follow Pac-Man rules and allow the player to traverse from one side of the screen to the other. This can also lead to situations where the two exits/entrances overlap, resulting in a scenario where there are two of your avatar in play at the same time -- both of which can shoot in the same direction, but are twice as vulnerable out in the open when covering more ground. There are also dozens of maps to unlock and play in in versus mode, and the design of many of these is fantastic.

The white player firing from two places at once. 

While this game has a clear focus on multiplayer both local and online, there is a single player experience to be had here. In single player you have access to both Arcade mode as well as 1-on-1 versus mode with bots. The arcade mode has you facing off against both slowly moving docile enemies who overwhelm you with numbers and their explosive personalities, as well a much smaller number of actively aggressive bots trying to shoot and destroy you.

In order to unlock a new map in arcade mode, you need to get a certain high score thatwill earn you one of five stars -- a certain number of which you need to unlock the next map. Then the cycle repeats. Usually the first two or three stars are lower scores that still take some effort, while the higher scores and associated stars are much, much more difficult to obtain and will take a number of tries to get to.

Unlocking new maps in versus mode is much simpler, as you only have to beat an opponent (either man or machine) once per map in order to unlock the next one, and the odds are stacked against you fairly in either scenario. 

Playing against AI opponents in single player mode can never match playing against other humans, but in Inversus Deluxe it's honestly a pretty close second. You can adjust the skill level of the bots before you go up against them, but even on the lower difficulty settings they can be highly strategic and outright malicious.

Rest assured you can still play with your friends locally, and you can do so in two player arcade mode, as well team versus matches, all playable using all Switch configurations and controller types.

Online Options and Unlockables 

Something that surprised me quite a bit about Inversus Deluxe was how many options it had for online play. The fact that it had online at all was something I didn't expect to be fair right off the bat --  but not only does it have online, it has three online game modes as well as lobbies you can join with either friends or strangers. 

But what's unfortunate about the online experience -- at least in my case -- is that it almost always took anywhere between 5-10 minutes to actually get enough players into a lobby for a match of any kind to start.

While this connection process is pretty slow, there is a sliver lining to it, which essentially just merges the single player and multiplayer modes together. While waiting for a match to begin, you have the option to begin a local offline match while you wait. What's especially nice is that if you choose to play an arcade level while waiting and eventually do get connected to a match, then after that online match is done you have the option of either searching for another opponent or continuing your arcade match right where it left off. This helps keep the flow going even when you have to wait for fives of minutes at a time.

In terms of unlockables, there are the already mentioned arcade stages you gradually unlock with higher scores on previous stages, but then there are also cosmetics and light customization options to be unlocked. As you play through the games various modes, you will gradually gain experience and level up. And as you level up in different modes, you will be gradually gifted with new color palettes for your projectiles, the backgrounds of the games stages, and even your square avatars. You can also unlock various emojis and emotes to assign to different buttons and quote at the end of a versus round.


A Laser Maze You Can Play For Days

At the end of the day, it's fun to shoot your friends with lasers until they explode -- and Inversus Deluxe offers that with a unique spin on gameplay, plus a stark aesthetic and a respectable amount of content at a reasonable price. For a game made by one guy (head of Hypersect, Ryan Juckett) it's an impressively balanced and polished multiplayer experience that's easy to learn but hard to master.

I recommend this game to anybody looking for an intense multiplayer experience on the Switch at a cheaper price, as well as to anybody looking for a good pick-up-and-play arcade experience that offers a decent challenge. 

Inversus Deluxe is available now for Nintendo Switch and Steam for $14.99.

[Note: Review copy of Inversus Deluxe provided by Hypersect.]


New Trailer Released for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4998519acd202b40e5f9d03cdbf74511.jpg 4fovj/new-trailer-released-for-pokemon-ultra-sun-and-ultra-moon Thu, 05 Oct 2017 14:18:30 -0400 adelgirl

The next entry in the main series of Pokemon games, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, has just teased fans with a brand new trailer that reveals a little bit more about the upcoming title. 

This trailer, which you can view above, features many characters that fans will recognize, including Professor Kukui, Lillie, and Guzma. There are also some characters we've never seen before, like a man with a handlebar mustache and evil villain beard. This character might be part of a new evil team, or just a part of Team Aether in a new uniform. 

One notable thing about this trailer is the scene in which we see the player character riding on the back of Lunala. It appears as though this detail is teasing the ability to control Lunala like trainers were able to do with Latios or Latias in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

A lot of the trailer appears to take place in what would be late game, so there is still much to find out about in regards to how this game will be different from Sun and Moon. Stay tuned for more details as Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon gets closer to launch!

Tangledeep is Coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-1ad76.jpg hk76p/tangledeep-is-coming-to-the-nintendo-switch-in-2018 Thu, 05 Oct 2017 10:52:53 -0400 adelgirl

Tangledeep is a rogue like dungeon crawler that takes place in a world where people live in underground villages. There's only one way back to the the world above -- the labyrinthTaking the role of a character who has some memories of the surface world, players must travel through the labyrinth to discover what the surface holds. And soon, they'll be able to do that with the Switch. 

Developer Impact Gameworks has announced that Tangledeep will be ported to the Nintendo Switch sometime in 2018. There is no release date set at this time, but more information should be coming in the future. 

Currently, Tangledeep is available to play on PC through Steam's Early Access program, and you can read our preview of the game here

Tangledeep was originally put on Kickstarter on March 21, 2017. Just a week later on March 28, the the project was funded. When the Kickstarter ended in late April, the project had raised $32,157 from 1,211 backers. 

Have you played the Early Access version of Tangledeep? What did you think? Excited for this Switch release? Let us know in the comments!

FIFA 18 Squad Battle Rewards: Rank Up and Earn Mega Packs!,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/q/u/squad-battles-rewards-6f9aa.jpg cjt9x/fifa-18-squad-battle-rewards-rank-up-and-earn-mega-packs Tue, 03 Oct 2017 09:58:38 -0400 Joseph Rowe

One of the most interesting features of FIFA 18's Football Ultimate Team is the Squad Battle. This mode allows you to use your FUT squad to go against AI-controlled squads that were picked from those of existing players. Your squad competes against theirs to earn points in order to rank up and earn weekly rewards. Every day, four new squads appear for you to challenge. Do you have what it takes to hit reach the top and be rank 1?

Every week, the ranking resets and players will receive their rewards from the previous week's Squad Battles. Each rank comes with its own set of rewards. The higher your rank, the more rewards you get in FIFA 18 squad battles. Points for ranking are earned by completing and winning matches, playing well, scoring goals, and setting the match to a higher difficulty. 

Below, I've broken down all the ranks you can hit in these Squad Battles and what rewards come with each tier. 

FIFA 18 Squad Battle Rewards

Bronze 3 (100% of All Players Reach This Rank)
  • 1 Premium Loan Player Reward Pack
  • 1 Kit - FURSAN Nations
Bronze 2 (93%)
  • 1 Ultimate Loan Player Reward Pack
  • 1 KIT - Fursan Nations
Bronze 1 (86%)
  • 1 Gold Pack
  • 1 Silver Pack
  • 1,150 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Silver 3 (79%)
  • 2 Gold Packs
  • 2,000 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Silver 2 (64%)
  • 1 Premium Gold Pack
  • 2 Gold Packs
  • 4,850 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Silver 1 (51%)
  • 2 Premium Gold Packs
  • 1 Gold Pack
  • 10,900 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Gold 3 (39%)
  • 2 Jumbo Preimum Gold Packs
  • 12,000 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Gold 2 (27%)
  • 1 Premium Gold Players Pack
  • 1 Jumbo Premium Gold Pack
  • 13,000 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Gold 1 (15%)
  • 1 Premium Gold Players Pack
  • 2 Jumbo Premium Gold Packs
  • 12,400 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Elite 3 (9%)
  • 1 Rare Gold Pack
  • 1 Premium Gold Players Pack
  • 1 Jumbo Premium Gold Pack
  • 20,800 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Elite 2 (4%)
  • 2 Mega Packs
  • 25,200 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Elite 1 (1%)
  • 2 Mega Packs
  • 39,800 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Rank 51-100
  • 1 Rare Players Pack
  • 2 Mega Packs
  • 65,000 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Rank 21-50
  • 1 Jumbo Rare Players Pack
  • 2 Mega Packs
  • 65,000 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Rank 11-20
  • 1 Jumbo Rare Players Pack
  • 2 Rare Players Packs
  • 75,000 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Rank 2-10
  • 1 Ultimate Pack
  • 2 Rare Players Packs
  • 87,500 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations
Rank 1
  • 2 Ultimate Packs
  • 2 Rare Mega Packs
  • 100,000 Coins
  • 1 KIT - FURSAN Nations

Players who wish to earn the best FIFA 18 squad battle rewards will need to pull out their A game every single day to ensure they maintain their lead because the leader boards refresh constantly. Just because you're rank 1  today doesn't mean you will be if someone earns more points than you by tomorrow.


Was our FIFA 18 squad battle rewards guide helpful? What's the highest rank you've earned so far? Let us know in the comments! And if you're itching for more FIFA 18 content, check out my review, tips and tricks guide, and trophy guide

I Love Final Fantasy VI Much More Than Its Creator Does,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/7/p/17pi1gi8t44d1jpg-b1793.jpg e6itw/i-love-final-fantasy-vi-much-more-than-its-creator-does Sun, 01 Oct 2017 19:30:42 -0400 Dreamboum

Pax West has been prolific with Yoshinori Kitase interviews to promote his mobile game Mobius Final Fantasy. Now in charge of the Final Fantasy brand, he has been at the helm of some of the best games around : he directed FF6, Chrono Trigger as well as FF7. His name is not as well-known as Hironobu Sakaguchi, but his influence is as far-reaching as it gets when it comes to the FF series.

He is, or dare I say was, one of the most talented designers of its time. His deep knowledge in the art of film-making and screenwriting during his student years tremendously helped elevating the franchise into a collection of well-crafted, thought-out stories that are willing to go outside the norm in terms of fantasy worlds. All of this was created at a time under the constraints of 2D. Yet, as his work unquestionably influenced a generation of video game players, the care of Kitase about his own work is more than dubious. And there is nothing more telling than the recent FF6 port.

Top: HD port, Bottom: SNES original | Taken from NeoGAF user Haunted

The new “HD” port is the visual equivalent of an emulator abusing with shiny filters: the colors of the scenes are all thrown out of the window, the sprites are poorly remade with a staggering amount of details that are now lost over the original. The game itself has been stretched out to 16:9, even for their own sprites, meaning that they did not care to make their own original content in the proper aspect ratio. It is a complete mess that has left many players disgruntled, especially since the original (and expensive) SNES game still remains the best version to play today. This fantastic article by Lars Doucet goes over the numerous woes of the HD port in a very thorough and informative way.

One could still think that it was merely the work of an outsourced company and that nobody bothered with a proper quality check for these ports, but the truth is even more surprising. Speaking in a very recent interview, for Kitase the port was not bad, it was in fact…good.

Although Japanese players seem fine with the games’ new art, North American fans have complained that there is no feasible way to play the better SNES or GBA versions of FFV and FFVI on today’s consoles. I asked if Kitase would consider putting the original versions of both games on modern platforms, and he appeared surprised at the request.

“I am actually curious to know — I believe the port version, the one you can get right now, does use the more brushed up artwork that’s a little bit more refined,” Kitase said. “Do fans want to see the older version that’s not as refined? Is that the sentiment?” – Kotaku

There is not even an inkling of understanding of the ports’ failings. The very director of Final Fantasy VI cannot see the problem of this version: a complete disregard of the composition of the scenes he set out to create, of the staging of elements that are harmonious together, of the emotions he wanted to convey with the original sprites. All is fine.

I cannot understate the influence of Kitase in the making of Final Fantasy VI, he was the one responsible of stitching together all the characters that were created by various members of the team in a cohesive manner.

“He [Hironobu Sakaguchi] placed me in charge of event production, carefully assessing those parts I directed. I was essentially given the task of unifying all the scenarios and dramatic sections in the game into a coherent narrative.” – Edge Online

He was the one making choices that are strange at first glance, but beautiful with context.

Here’s one: right after the Phantom Train section, the player is forced to wait for 20 seconds as Cyan is mourning the loss of his family after they exchanged parting words. It then ends up in a fade to black leading us to the overworld. By willfully taking the control away from the player, who is unable to go to his next destination (but can still move!!), it forces the focus on Cyan’s plight. His sprite, head down, is giving all the expressiveness and emotion that several millions of dollars in the latest technology would struggle to give with the same intensity. All of this helped with the moody, cohesive background overwhelmed by the black depths of the Phantom Forest. These 20 seconds of silence elevates the scene far more than words ever could.

All of this exquisitely crafted scene brought forth by a simple, yet powerful scene is thrown out of the window in this “HD” port. It now looks like this :

It just comes at a point where you have to wonder if Kitase even cares about the respect that his work should be given. Any filmmaker would be livid if the treatment of their movie re-issue was a complete mess with the brightness set to 240%. A musician would rip the throat out of any producer if they realized their work was re-mastered with the care of a buffalo charging at a mixing machine. But for Kitase, he doesn’t even begin to see the issue. He doesn’t see it, because 2D lost its value to him.

2D is a legitimate, powerful tool that Kitase had used to craft stories in a way that 3D would be unable to replicate. 2D is the world of imagination, of a unique kind of craftsmanship that sets out to circumvent limitations. The limits are the form. You are only so sure on how to exceed your capabilities when you know where the limits are defined. This is true of Kitase, as he used his background to apply film-making techniques in a two-dimensional space held back by hardware restrictions. For us, it was the greatest playground we could think of at the time. For Kitase, it was merely an abstract language.

Unbeknownst to him, a generation of players forever appreciative of 2D was formed. But the moment commercial 3D came into the field of video games, he was gone before he could see them. And he never looked back.

As myself I was always a fan of video games and when I was creating Final Fantasy V I was in love with what I did and I still love that title and it is one of my cherished titles, but when I showed it to my family they didn’t understand what was happening on screen and that’s when I noticed 2D graphics weren’t providing enough movements or characterizations for people who don’t really play video games or understand video games to understand what was going on. That’s always just stayed in my mind so from now on I wanted to create a video where anyone, whether they play video games or not, can understand in an instant what is going on just by looking at the screen. –

Ever looking to the future, 2D was not much more than a stepping stone towards the inevitable move to 3D. Another dimension that would speak to a wider audience, that would be able to value itself proudly next to film. The limits are now gone, all there is left is a bit of will and talent to make everything come true. He was right.

3D allowed to discover new forms of movement, new ways of storytelling that cannot be downplayed. Final Fantasy VII, that he also directed, is definitive proof of this. He used 3D as something far more than a gimmick, he used it to create a tour de force. If it lasted for the rest of the franchise is a question that is best left to the opinion of the reader, but his tremendous work was more popular when it reached the realm of 3D than it ever was in his 2D era. Even more so when we consider that the incommensurate love for Final Fantasy VI is a distinctly western affair :

In those days we didn’t have the Internet and, as a more junior staff member, I wasn’t given the opportunity to venture overseas – so I wasn’t really aware of the reception the game received outside of Japan,” says Kitase. “However, in more recent years, I’ve regularly tagged along on PR tours to Europe and America – and I have had a lot more opportunity to talk with foreign media and fans. I must say, whenever I go on these tours I’m taken aback by the number of westerners who ask me to sign their Final Fantasy VI cases. In Japan that would apply more to the subsequent game, Final Fantasy VII, but I get the impression there’s a large number of players in the West who prefer the earlier game. – Edge Online

If you like 2D as much as I do, if you value the games of Yoshinori Kitase much more than he does, it puts you in a strange situation: how do you speak to someone who doesn’t want to speak the same language as you do? Maybe you can’t, but you can force him to.

Kitase now comes from a journey that has been fraught with issues for the franchise, in which he had to bear most of the blame. Final Fantasy XIII and XV (formerly Versus XIII) had been particularly rocky in terms of development, losing their bid in the endless race of graphical achievement. Kitase was unable to hold the stage he set out for himself.

Yet, all of this is nothing compared to what he must have felt afterwards. You can easily pinpoint when Kitase truly reached an all-time low in his career: it was when Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, an entry of a prestigious brand, sold less than Bravely Default, a newcomer that is preying on the nostalgia of retro Final Fantasy games.

Its liberal use of classic RPG elements was against the battle Kitase waged for the better part of fifteen years to offer games that continues to speak in a language that is more and more easily understood by a general audience. The abstraction he perfected and then left behind was played against him, and the same generation of players who so dearly cherished his past games had spoken in a way they couldn’t before: with their wallet.

My conversation with Kitase took place just a few days after the NPD group had released its sales figures for February 2014. Relevant to our meeting was that fact that while Lightning Returns ranked in the top 10 games for the month, it had been outperformed by Bravely Default, another Square Enix RPG. The discrepancy clearly had caught the company off-guard, if the uncomfortable silence that settled over the table when Kitase mentioned Bravely Default served as any indication.- USGamer

At this very moment, we spoke to him. This hardcore, niche audience that he barely knew existed overtook the casual audience Kitase had focused on for so long.

The overall impression Kitase gave was that of a man taking a long, hard look at a difficult situation and welcoming all feedback, both positive and negative. As the key figurehead for the Final Fantasy series, he knows the games he creates have to change in order to recapture the international successes they enjoyed a decade ago. Right now, he seems to be contemplating what form that change must take. – USGamer

Did something change out of this debacle ? Hardly. He and Motomu Toriyama, who previously both staked a lot on Final Fantasy XIII, are now venturing in the mobile space. They are currently overseeing Mobius Final Fantasy, a game that is, fittingly enough, a full taxing 3D endeavor in a market that is still focusing on 2D games to cater to a wider base of compatible, low-performance smartphones.

But maybe we have to look elsewhere to find change. Mobius is the first game he is producing that is much smaller in scope for a long time. It also introduces something he haven’t seen in a long time: limitations. The mobile space is full of them, and is a never-ending process of learning to overcome them. It might not be what we hoped, but it might be what he needs to find a new perspective in the world of video games. To learn the value of his past games. To love Final Fantasy VI as much as I loved it.

No one knows if it will amount to something, but if this interview in Edge Online, not long after the release of Bravely Default, is of any indication, maybe it will. One day.

It’s maybe strange to say [this], but I miss the limitations of making games in those days,” Kitase acknowledges. “The cartridge capacity was so much smaller, of course, and therefore the challenges were that much greater. But nowadays you can do almost anything in a game. It’s a paradox, but this can be more creatively limiting than having hard technical limitations to work within. There is a certain freedom to be found in working within strict boundaries, one clearly evident in Final Fantasy VI. - Edge Online

Red Hook Teases Darkest Dungeon on the Switch,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7e34b1c8aace5acb37e19ce8b25b2b8a.jpg 3a25z/red-hook-teases-darkest-dungeon-on-the-switch Fri, 29 Sep 2017 15:28:36 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The Nintendo Switch lineup has been receiving several boosts here lately, some of which are raising more eyebrows than others. That trend continues with the latest announcement -- one that will surely be pleasing to fans of dungeon crawlers who felt let down by Has-Been Heroes

In a surprise tweet, developer Red Hook Studios teased that its sleeper hit, Darkest Dungeon, will soon be running on the Nintendo Switch. The tweet shows a battle scene playing out, before slowly zooming out to reveal the console itself. 

Darkest Dungeon is an innovative twist on the rouge-like dungeon crawler genre. It combines turn-based battles and exploration with an emphasis on the "psychological stresses of adventuring." Alongside battling "diabolical" monsters, players must fight paranoia and fear (among several other psychological maladies) as they descend further into the dungeon and attempt to stop the flood of darkness from creeping ever further over their family's lands.

The game includes 16 character classes, such as Plague Doctor and Leper, with additional ones planned for later updates. Resting at taverns or inns can reduce the shock felt by your party members, and camping helps heal physical wounds. The game also boasts hand-drawn graphics, a difficult mechanic—including permadeath—and procedurally generated dungeons.

Red Hook has nothing to say at this time regarding a Switch release date.

Let us know in the comments if you're excited to see this game coming to the Switch!

Citadale: The Legends Trilogy Review - A Decent Castlevania Clone,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/21d13072c161843648968199f1da1e7a.jpg tk5d2/citadale-the-legends-trilogy-review-a-decent-castlevania-clone Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:11:00 -0400 Craig Snyder

When you take one look at Citadale: The Legends Trilogy (as I suggest you do in the trailer above), you know what you're in for. By no means is this being pushed as some high-end title that's going to bring some breathtaking new gameplay experience to Castlevania fans. This game is as raw and nostalgic as it looks at first glance.

Citadale: The Legends Trilogy is an indie Castlevania clone made by Ezekial Rage. It's available on both the Wii U (£4.49) and Steam ($9.99). In Citadale: The Legends Trilogy, you play as Sonja Dorleac and wield a sword-like weapon called the Shadow Blade. You run and jump through this sidescroller killing off demons, zombies, bats, and all sorts of horrible-looking creatures. The "trilogy" in this title comes in the form of three in-game chapters which all play as slightly different games.

Chapter 1 is the original Wii U release, Gate of Souls. In Chapter 2, you play as Sonja's son, Gabriel. In Chapter 3, Sonja's grandson, Christopher, is given the Shadow Blade and you play his role . Like the game itself, the progression through chapters and the intertwining story is relatively simple.

A Shoddy First Impression

One thing worth noting right off the bat is that this trailer doesn't do the game much justice. The tracks that they chose are far from the best you're going to hear in Citadale: The Legends Trilogy, and I really wish they'd have picked better ones. I personally find the opening track of the trailer to be a bit hard on the ears, and that itself may be enough to turn people away. Try to hear past it.

Launching Citadale: The Legends Trilogy on Steam, you're met with what is probably the most simple starting screen I've seen in the last few years. You can start playing the game or check out its (extremely limited) settings and options, shown here:

There's no option to change your controls, which wouldn't be an issue in a game where the controls were intuitive or introduced to the player in some tutorial mode or starting stage. But you don't get that in Citadale: The Legends Trilogy. Through an hour of playing the game, I couldn't figure out how to use my pick-up items. I pressed every key on my keyboard and came up empty. I searched on Google and found nothing. Being that this is one of the key mechanics in the game, I experienced it on a whole different level for first few bosses.

It was frustrating to see an axe in my inventory but not have any way to use it. Then finally, I remembered how you'd do it in the old Konami classic: UpV/Alt. I feel really bad for anyone who doesn't have experience with Castlevania games of the past, because figuring that out would be nearly impossible for them.

The only two other controls (other than movement through A/D or Left/Right) are your jump (C/Ctrl) and taking a swing of your Shadow Blade (V/Alt). You can crouch with S/Down.

Part of me gets the control thing, though. Citadale: The Legends Trilogy wants to be as raw as possible. It lends to the nostalgic and difficult experience, right? While I do agree, the level of keyboard-pounding required to figure everything out doesn't exactly contribute to any sort of fun experience with the game.

Other than the lack of a way to change your controls, Old TV Mode is a neat option that adds a filter to your game to emulate those old TV scan lines.

Decent Visuals & Audio

Getting started with the game, you're met with a few paragraphs of story. It's very shallow and basic, but that's to be expected in a game like this. Sonja is set out one night after her husband's deceased father rises from his grave. Sonja's husband takes off to check out a nearby citadel with his eyes set on stopping the evil forces his father has released, and Sonja is left behind to protect the village.

The graphics and audio were immediately a relief. Again, what I heard in the trailer wasn't exactly pleasant to my ears. The track for the first stage of the game is much better and sounds exactly like something I'd expect from a Castlevania clone, so I have no complaints.

The sprites, both for Sonja and and enemies, are pretty fluid. I expected them to be more choppy and jerky than they are, so that was a nice touch to see.

One thing I will say is that, when looking through reviews of the game, I found two different occasions (here and here) where players made accusations of sprites and MIDIs being stolen and used for the game. In the second link, Ezekial Rage (the game developer) responds to say that he is aware of the strong similarities, although the report is representing something "not in this version of the game."

Speculation aside, I think this just lends more to the fact that Citadale: The Legends Trilogy is trying as hard as possible to be a very close experience to the original Castlevania titles.

The Gameplay I Expected

All the way up until the first boss, which I got to within a matter of minutes, the gameplay was exactly what I thought it'd be. You hack and slash enemies to pick up coins, food, soul gems, and items. It's nothing new, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

You're also met with checkpoints throughout, at which you'll respawn upon dying. This is extremely necessary because you can expect to die a lot. And that's unfortunate, because it doesn't tell you how to save your game anywhere -- except in a line on the Steam page's update notes that says F1 saves your state and F2 loads it.

You are only given one save state across the entirety of the game. If you close the game without pressing F1, when you launch the game again there is no option to continue. Your progress is lost. Before this update, players would need to beat through the entire game in one sitting. Talk about hardcore.

The first boss was a pretty cool experience. She (or at least I believe they were female) spawns in the center of the stage after you clear it on top of a rose. Periodically, she'll cause the vines that you've been slashing through up until this point to spawn. It basically requires you to quickly learn the pattern where they spawn, kill them, and rush to the center of the stage where you can deal damage to her.

The next boss, which couldn't have been more than five minutes away, was arguably even easier.

A dragon-like skeleton floats across the screen and you must jump and slash at him. When being hit, he'll drop skeleton enemies that you've been fighting along the way. You quickly put them down and then get back to jumping and swinging at the boss. You won't find yourself taking too much damage here.

From this point on though, you begin to experience a lot of new game mechanics. There comes a point where you'll (probably) walk across a platform that has a slight discoloration to it, which will result in you falling to your death. Luckily enough, this happens just seconds after reaching a checkpoint.  This is where the game begins to show a bit of cleverness and difficulty.

The next boss you'll reach, which is just steps away from these falling platforms, is exponentially harder than the first two. I won't spoil it for you, but you can expect to die many times before finally figuring it out.

The pick-up items that you'll come across as you kill through giant spiders, slugs, and hordes or hideous monsters are as follows:

  • Holy water, which burns enemies
  • Throwing axes, which can damage enemies above you
  • Throwing stars, which slice through multiple enemies in front of you
  • Potions, which replenish your health

Each require a soul gem to use. Having no soul gems means you won't be able to use your pick-up item. Think of the gems as mana. Players familiar with Castlevania should have no issue understanding this mechanic, nor will they experience the pains of figuring out what button combination allows you to use them (which, again, is UpV/Alt).

A Few Shortcomings

While I admit I stopped one boss short of finishing Chapter 1, because I just couldn't beat it after a good 30 tries, I can confidently state that one of Citadale: The Legends Trilogy's most glaring issues is the difficulty spike. I mentioned the boss from stage 3 being tenfold as difficult as the bosses from stages 1 and 2, and you'll find this happening all throughout the game. You'll cruise through a few stages and then just hit a wall. But this hardcore type of gameplay might be what some people are looking for.

Another issue I have with the game is that the hit detection is pretty mediocre, especially during some boss fights. Hits just don't register as you would expect them to, which is a part of these nostalgic titles that we'd all rather forget than relive.

The skill cap in Citadale: The Legends Trilogy comes mostly from having experience in early Castlevania titles and being able to learn monster and boss fight patterns. The mechanics of your weapon aren't very deep or difficult to learn. The only real quirk about it that you'll have to play with is the way you're able to jump, swing, and turn to hit in multiple directions at the same time with a single swing of the Shadow Blade. Other than that, don't expect to impress yourself.


All in all, I think the people who will want to purchase Citadale: The Legends Trilogy are going to get what they wanted and expected out of it: a nostalgic, difficult experience that's extremely similar to the old Castlevania games on NES. The story, sounds, visuals, and feel of the game are about as similar to the original Nintendo title as I've found.

Citadale: The Legends Trilogy boasts some replayability too. There are alternate endings for the first two chapters, and there's even a boss rush mode for the original game if you manage to get the "good" ending. I can't tell you how to achieve that, but it does add a little bit of hype to a game that has yet to receive Steam Achievements or things of that nature. I'm actually really curious to see what the boss rush game mode is all about and will probably work on it after this review.

If you're a Castlevania fan or someone who just loves raw and classic hack-and-slash titles, Citadale: The Legends Trilogy won't disappoint. For the majority of you though, you'll find this title hard to fall in love with.

[Note: A copy of this game was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.] 

FIFA 18 Review: Where's My 3v3 Mode?,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/v/review-header-cb798.jpg y1nfp/fifa-18-review-wheres-my-3v3-mode Fri, 29 Sep 2017 11:47:20 -0400 Joseph Rowe

Put your virtual cleats on and get ready to dribble, because it's FIFA 18 time! Boasting changes to the Football Ultimate Team, a continuation of the Journey, an overhaul to the dribbling system, and more, this year's edition comes out strong.

That being said, many sports game players get sick of having to drop $60 a year on a new version of the same game. Does this year's offering give you enough new goodies to warrant a purchase? Read on to find out.

FIFA 18's Graphics

Like pretty much any other EA Sports game, FIFA 18 looks ridiculously good. Starting with 17, EA Sports switched to the Frostbite engine. A year later, it's still looking like a great choice on EA's part. The player's faces look pretty realistic, the gear looks nice, the stadiums look amazing, and the only thing that doesn't look A+ is the audience. But hey, they're not nearly as important as the players. Who cares if the crowd doesn't look perfect when you can individually count the sweat drops rolling down your player's face?

The menus have a sleek design with a nice mix of big, small, wide, thin, etc. icons. I'm normally not impressed enough by menus to make comments, but kudos to EA for getting this right.

In terms of character creation, you have loads of ways to customize your player to make them visually distinct -- like skin complexion, loads of different hairstyles, facial feature and gear customization, etc. Sadly and kind of confusingly, this game has a much more intricate facial customization system than NHL 18 does, but despite Women's League being in the game, you can't create a female player (while in EA's hockey game, you can). 

FIFA 18's Sound

The sound is just as spot-on as the graphics. The sounds of the audience cheering will get you insanely pumped to shoot some goals, and the sounds of your teammates chattering during scrimmages in the story mode adds a nice bit of ambiance that makes you feel like you're at an actual practice. Just be sure not to drink all of Dave's Gatorades again. 

I'm not familiar with the actual real life FIFA (what is an outside world anyway?) so I have no clue who the announcers are -- but the English speaking ones are funny and a little bit too honest at times. No need to call out my missed chip shot as embarrassing, eesh.

The soundtrack surprised me. It featured a decent amount of bands I actually knew, and I ended up liking some tracks that I normally wouldn't have. I wasn't as much of a fan of EA's other offering in NHL 18, but this game's got everything from Weezer to Danish pop-punk.

FIFA 18's Gameplay

Now what you've all been waiting for: gameplay. In our overview of the gameplay, let's start with how this game differs from 17: it really doesn't. 

EA has swapped out Football Ultimate Team's legends and put in Icons instead. This isn't that big of a change -- but if you're super into the greats of soccer/football, then this will excite you.

One of the more important, albeit minor, changes is the addition of new team styles and tactics. This will make your AI teammates play better and give you more variation when playing offline.

The only other addition of real note is the enhanced dribbling system. They've overhauled the previous system based on player complaints in hopes of solving balance issues, although it's too early in the game's release to say if that's improved the situation or not.

Other than that, there really hasn't been much change since 17 unless you're a really big German Liga fan. The lack of major changes is also a good thing in a way, because the core gameplay of FIFA 18 is stellar for the most part. You have an insane tool kit to work with that lets you make all sorts of intricate plays. You can perform a threaded through pass to a teammate who can simply rainbow into a goal-scoring kick, or you can do what I do and low kick the ball into the corner until the AI makes a mistake and you win by the skin of your teeth. There's ways for players of all skill levels to enjoy the game.

Speaking of terrible FIFA players, there are skill games for you to hone your individual skills (e.g.: lob passing, finesse shots, etc.) either with an actual player whom you're leveling or just for fun as matches load. Some of them are a bit of a chore, but most of them are actually a lot of fun. There's something slightly magical about getting into a serious rhythm with lob passes in that skill game.

The game controlled pretty well even before I spent my time practicing. The basics of the dribbling system are pretty intuitive. If you want something more in-depth, you're in luck! The different skill moves they offer, like the Sombrero Flick and the Roulette, give you complex and rewarding ways to keep the ball in your possession. Some of them are a bit clunky to pull off and there could've been more guidance in learning them in-game, but for the most part, they control well.

FIFA 18's Football Ultimate Team

I ranted about the NHL 18 version of this already, but since the feature is in this game as well, I'll rant about it here, too. EA Sport's Ultimate Team features in their sports games are unnecessary cash grabs.

EA Sports already has the biggest hold on the sports gaming market, so they're not desperate enough for money to justify charging real life cash for randomized virtual cards. As a whole, I can't stand most microtransactions in games (bring me back to pre-DLC times), but this kind of thing just feels like it's designed for wealthy players who don't want to put the time in to get good at the actual game while EA makes tons of cash off their gold and "premium" gold packs.

Maybe if you grind hard enough you can keep up with players who don't mind spending hundreds of dollars on premium currency, but I'd rather have this feature either with in-game currency or for it to not exist at all.

FIFA 18's Story Mode

FIFA 18 brings with it the continuation of Alex Hunter's English premiere league story. Have no fear if you missed the first installation of the series, as you get a recap at the start if you have no FIFA 17 save data. If you do, however, you'll continue with the same club you joined previously along with your traits and honors.

I didn't play 17, so this is my first experience with a story mode of any kind in a sports game -- and it was much better than I thought it would be. But I really wish they would have made 3v3 a playable mode like they did for NHL 18. The introductory 3v3 street game in the Hunter was a blast, and I'd love to see that added in with its own circuit like EA Sports's hockey series.


If you're a die hard FIFA fan but aren't sure if 18 offers enough new stuff to warrant the launch price tag even after reading this review, I'd pass. If you're excited with the Hunter storyline's second part, go for it -- because it's one of the best parts of the game. If you're looking for an in-depth soccer/football simulation, then FIFA 18 is the game for you. If you're looking for something that's easy and more fun than realistic, you'll probably want to get PES instead.

All in all, this year's FIFA has something to offer soccer/football fans of every type if you're not too disappointed by its lack of new features. While I can definitely understand the appeal for hardcore soccer simulationists and would likely score this higher if I was one, as a more casual player I give the game a 8. Its core is completely solid and it comes with an interesting storyline, but its lack of more arcade style gameplay like a 3v3 mode and its ridiculous Football Ultimate Team mode detract from its score for me.

Looking for more content for this game? Check out my FIFA 18 tips and tricks guide as well as my trophy guide!

[NoteEA Sports provided a copy of FIFA 18 for the purpose of this review.]

FIFA 18 Trophy Guide: Show Off Your Accomplishments!,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/o/trophy-guide-header-40cd4.jpg a9k7x/fifa-18-trophy-guide-show-off-your-accomplishments Fri, 29 Sep 2017 11:00:30 -0400 Joseph Rowe

 A new year means a new set of trophies for you to unlock in your favorite soccer/football game. FIFA 18 comes with a whole new set of challenges for you to complete to show your skills off to your friends!

This FIFA 18 trophy guide was written for the PlayStation 4. That being said, chances are that this guide will correspond more or less completely with the PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and PC versions of the game.

All Bronze Trophies in FIFA 18

Up first, we have FIFA 18's bronze trophies. There are 32 of them. These are the most numerous in the game and, thankfully, the easiest to earn.

A big chunk of them come from playing FIFA's Football Ultimate Team mode. One of the easiest ones to get right away is "Objective Complete," which simply requires you doing a daily objective. Easy enough!

  • Go Low: Score a goal using a low shot
  • Lofty Finish: Score a goal from a High Cross
  • It's What I Do: Score by performing an outside of the foot free kick
  • Get Your Head in the Game: Score a goal with a downward header
  • Sharp Shooter: During open play, score a long-distance goal with a defender (25 yards out)
  • Build Bridges: Successfully dribble an opponent by using the Bridge
  • I'm Getting Dizzy: Score a goal after 10 consecutive passes in the opposing third of the pitch
  • Fake It Make It: Score a goal by tricking the keeper with a Fake Shot
  • A Solid Test: Complete a Squad Building Challenge Group in FIFA Ultimate Team
  • Challenge? What Challenge?: Complete your first Squad Building Challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team
  • You May Have Won the Battle...: Win a game in FIFA Ultimate Team Squad Battles
  • More to Come: Play 20 games in any game mode within FIFA Ultimate Team
  • Weekly Objective Complete: Complete a Weekly Objective in FIFA Ultimate Team
  • The Big League: Win promotion to Division 1 of FIFA Ultimate Team Seasons
  • Objective Complete: Complete a Daily Objective in FIFA Ultimate Team
  • A Test of Skill: Challenge and complete a match against the Team of the Week in FIFA Ultimate Team
  • Star Pupil: Complete an entire day's Daily Objectives in FIFA Ultimate Team
  • Master Builder: Complete 20 Squad Building Challenges in FIFA Ultimate Team
  • Handyman: In Pro Clubs, use in matches each of your 3 Play Styles
  • Your Own Path: Unlock all traits in one skill-tree path
  • You've Got a Friend in Me: Finish an Online Friendlies Season
  • Just Getting Started: Complete and win your first Pro Club Seasons league match
  • Tailored: Spend a skill point in Pro Clubs
  • Sniped: In career mode, compete for the same player with other teams, and win the negotiation war
  • Investor: Sell a player and negotiate a sell-on clause with the buying club
  • Brute Force: Buy a player by paying his release clause
  • Always Be Closing: Secure a player on the first go
  • My Only Hope: Perform a quicksub after you concede a goal
  • You Got Skills: Complete a multiplayer skill game
  • Let's Play a Game: Play a women's football match
  • Just One More: Score 5 goals in a women's football match
  • Trick or Treat?: Score a goal with a Flair Shot in a women's football match

All Silver Trophies in FIFA 18

Up next, you have silver trophies, which are the second easiest to earn. There are nine of them in FIFA 18. Most of these trophies come from either winning tournaments/titles or by performing certain maneuvers in game.

One of the more difficult silver trophies in FIFA comes from winning a penalty shoot-out without missing as you'll have to get to the penalty shoot-out before you get a chance to even practice it.

  • You've Read My Mind: Assist a goal using a threaded through pass
  • Magician: Perform 3 successful threaded through ball passes with the same player in the attacking third
  • A+: Win a penalty shoot-out without missing
  • Going Up in Style: Win a division title in FIFA Ultimate Team Seasons
  • Steal the Show: Win Division Title in Online Seasons (must be obtained through gameplay)
  • Shiny: Win the Women's International Cup tournament
  • Stylist: In the journey, add a cosmetic item to Alex Hunter
  • In Perfect Harmony: Achieve a 10 partnership rating with your striker partner
  • Should've Brought My Sunglasses: Win the EFL Cup in the Journey

All Gold Trophies in FIFA 18

This is the second most difficult set of trophies to unlock: the gold trophies. Although difficult to pull off in a game in real time, you can unlock the first one by practicing your goalkeeper driven throws until you finally lead a successful counter attack with one. Check out my FIFA 18 tips and tricks guide for instructions on how to perform a driven throw.

One of them isn't even that difficult to get: you simply have to complete the Journey in FIFA 18. It will take some time to get through, but this is probably the easiest of the gold trophies to unlock.

  • You're a Real Keeper!: Score a goal from a counter attack that started with a goalkeeper driven throw
  • Pristine Victory: Win all 4 matches in a Football Ultimate Team Draft Session
  • What a Comeback: Finish the Journey

All Platinum Trophies in FIFA 18

The cream of the crop: the platinum trophy. This FIFA 18 trophy can only be unlocked by obtaining all other trophies in the game first. Fortunately, if you're reading this at a later date and there have been additional trophies added, you only have to obtain the original set of trophies.

  • No. 1 Fan: Unlock all other trophies


What was the most difficult trophy you've tried to unlock so far? The easiest? Let us know in the comments. And be sure to stay tuned for more FIFA 18 guides to help you dominate the soccer field. 

FIFA 18 Tips and Tricks: A Complete Guide to Dominating on Offense and Defense,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-ddc82.jpg ziubj/fifa-18-tips-and-tricks-a-complete-guide-to-dominating-on-offense-and-defense Thu, 28 Sep 2017 11:49:27 -0400 Joseph Rowe

FIFA 18, the newest addition to EA's long-running FIFA soccer series, is finally here -- and it's time for you to get your thumbs in the best shape possible so you can dominate your opponents on and offline. Although it's definitely a lot less body intensive than real life soccer/football, you still need to put some practice in if you want to bring home some wins. With our FIFA 18 tips and tricks, you'll be prepared to kick some serious butt out on the virtual pitch! 

FIFA 18 Offensive Tips and Tricks

No offense, but your offense needs improvement. Between offense and defense, this is the more difficult of the two disciplines to master as you've got a lot of controls to remember if you want to hold onto the ball long enough to score some goals. Try these FIFA 18 offense tips out to improve your attacking game.

Shooting in FIFA 18

No, this isn't Counter-Strike, this is FIFA 18 and you've got to learn how to shoot if you want to get some points. The most crucial aspect of winning is scoring goals and in order to do that, you have to know what kind of shots to make and when to make them.

The most basic shot is done by simply pressing or holding O [PS4] or B [Xbox One]. This will shoot the ball in front of your player. Its height will depend on how long you held O/B after you pressed it. The ball will go high if you hold down O/B for its full duration and it will only get a little bit of air if you tap the button.

The next shot you should familiarize yourself with is the finesse shot, which is done by shooting while holding R1/RB. FIFA 18's finesse shot is an accurate shot that goes slightly to the side and then curves back around again. It's great for getting the soccer ball behind goalies. When performing the finesse shot, you'll want to hold the button down for just a moment or two. Give it enough power to get some air, but not too much to prevent the ball from flying away.

Up next is the chip shot, which is done by pressing the shot button while holding L1/LB. This is a shot that goes straight and over your opponent's head using a quick arc. This is great for when it's just you and the goalkeeper without too many defenders giving you pressure. You should aim to get about two bars of power before shooting this off to ensure the ball gets over your opponent's head.

Up next is my personal favorite, the low shot. This one is done by simply tapping O/B a second time after shooting. You can hold down the shoot button for more power, but be sure to tap O/B a second time before it reaches max power otherwise you'll just kick the ball incredibly high. This is one of the best FIFA 18 shots and should be your default when you're near the goal.

If you want to be a show off when you're really kicking your opponent's butt, you can perform a flair shot by holding L2/LT and pressing the shoot button in FIFA 18. This is basically a trick shot and is not quite as powerful or accurate as the others, but it's great for rubbing your victories into your opponent's face. I'm not sure if this is always the case, but I only managed to get this to work by running toward the goal and shooting around the penalty shot area.

You can also fake a shot in FIFA 18 by pressing O/B then X/A and a direction with the left stick. This is great for forcing the opposing goalkeeper to dive or to fake out a defender.

Lastly, you can sometimes score goals if the ball is near your head and you are near the opposing goal by pressing X/A, Square/X, or O/B. This is called a header and is usually common during kickoffs.

Passing in FIFA 18

In order to shoot the ball into the goal, you have to get the ball on the opposing team's side of the pitch. To be able to do that, you have to have a strong passing game. Follow our FIFA 18 passing tips to outmaneuver your opponents while you get into scoring range.

A good starting point is the short pass. This maneuver is done simply by pressing X/A. This is a great pass for when you don't have anyone between you and your nearby teammate in FIFA 18.

When you have a defender in between you and your teammate, you can press Square/X for a lob pass which lobs the ball over your opponent's head, allowing your teammate to get possession of the ball.

The next kind of pass is the through ball pass. You perform this type of pass with Triangle/Y. It is meant to be done when your teammate is between two defenders and you need to get the ball between them.

In addition to the through ball, you have a threaded through ball in FIFA 18. To do this, you hold R1/RB while performing a through ball. This pushes the ball a little bit further than the normal version and is perfect for when you and a teammate (who is ahead of you) are nearing the goal with no one in front of your teammate. If done right, it gives your teammate enough time to catch up via sprinting to the ball and can set them up nicely for scoring.

The last kind of through ball is the lobbed through ball which is done by holding L1/LB while pressing Triangle/Y. This is great for when you need to get the ball between two defenders but are worried they'll intercept it on the ground.

Another variation on the lob ball in FIFA 18 is the scoop lob which is done by holding L2/LT while pressing Square/X. This is similar to a lob pass, but instead, has more of an arc.

Up next, you have the driven lob pass/cross which is done by holding R1/RB while pressing Square/X. This is a lob pass that has a bit more force to it. Driven passes are intercepted less often, but they might not land as close to your teammate as you intend to, so keep that in mind when performing this FIFA 18 pass.

You can perform a high lob/cross by holding L1/LB while pressing Square/X in FIFA 18. This is simply just a higher version of the lob pass. Conversely, you can perform a low cross by tapping Square/X a second time, much like the low shot. You can even do a flair pass by holding L2/LT while pressing X/A.

When the ball is passed to you, you can dummy a pass (have it go through your teammate's legs). This is great for when there are defenders on your teammate's side because it allows the ball to go between them instead of out in front of them (where it becomes easily snatchable for your opponent).

Something to keep in mind when passing is that if you're playing as a high-stats character, you should be able to maneuver the ball around more or less immediately after getting it, but your first touch as a player with lower skill sets is more important. You'll likely not want to sprint to get the ball and will want to be aware of where you go with it in FIFA 18 to avoid having it stolen by an opponent. Some players even stop in their tracks to make sure they don't lose possession.

Ball Control in FIFA 18

The most difficult aspect of FIFA 18 is effectively learning ball control. It seems simple on the surface, right? You just un around dribbling the ball. Wrong. You have to avoid an entire enemy team that is meant to slow you down and steal the ball away. Luckily, you have an arsenal of tricks to hold onto the ball.

To start with, you protect the ball by holding down L2/LT. This makes you move a bit slower/more awkwardly, but it's great for when an opposing player is right on you.

If you want to be precise with your positioning, you can slow dribble by holding L1/LB while moving with the ball. This won't allow you to move fast at all, as the name implies, but it will give you enough control and time to carefully maneuver the ball passed your opponent.

Up next, we have skill moves that aren't necessary to hold onto the ball, but if mastered, will give you some seriously sweet moves for replays and an insane ability to protect your ball. To perform a skill move, the player you're controlling has to have the right amount of stars out of five total. One-star means players can perform one-star moves, whereas five-star players can perform from one to five-star moves.

We'll start with the one-star moves. Holding L2/LT then pressing R1/RB allows you to juggle (1*) the ball. If you press a direction with the movement stick while doing this, it juggles the ball in that direction. You can repeat this for as many times as you want to juggle the ball and can manage to do so without messing up.

You can perform a foot fake (1*) by holding L1/LB and pressing R1/RB. This makes your character look like they're about to do something with their leg to psych out the enemy team in FIFA 18.

Up next, we have the two-star moves. When standing still, you can body feint (2*) left or right by flicking the right stick left or right. This makes it seem like you'll move in that direction, but instead you stay in the same spot.

You can stepover (2*) the ball in FIFA 18, left or right, by moving the right stick from the up position to the direction you want to go in then letting go. This makes your player move their foot over the ball as if they were going to move it somewhere, but instead, the ball remains in place. A reverse stepover is the opposite technique and is performed by doing the opposite motion.

You can roll the ball (2*) left or right by holding the right stick in the direction you wish to go. If you hold down L1/LB, you can drag the ball backwards (2*) by flicking down on the left stick.

The first 3-star move we have is the heel flick (3*). This is done simply by flicking up then down on the right stick. This pushes the ball with your front heel back to your back foot then you push the ball with your back heel to move to the side in front of you.

flick up (3*) is performed by tapping up on the right stick three times. This brings the ball up into the air in front of your player and can be used in FIFA 18 to set up some decent shots.

You can perform a spinning juke, known as a roulette (3*), by starting your right stick in the bottom left and rotating the stick all the way around to the right direction to go right or do the opposite to go left in FIFA 18.

To fake left and go right, which involves your player feinting a leftward movement then going right as the name implies, you start from the left on the right stick then perform a half-circle motion to the right. You can fake right and go left by doing the opposite.

We're getting into serious pro territory with the 4-star moves now. To ball hop,  where your player hops with the ball between their legs, press R3 while standing still.

Instead of simply doing a heel flick, 4-star players get an improved version called the heel to heel flick (4*) that is done the same way: flicking up then down on the right control stick in FIFA 18. This move is perfect for when you're running up towards the goal and you have a defender running straight for you; it gives you a change in momentum that will allow you to move right past them.

Up next, you have the simple rainbow (4*), another great move for setting up shots, which is performed by flick down then up twice on the right stick while going forward. Your player will kick the ball from behind them, over their head, and in front of them. You can juggle it a bit before doing this with an advanced rainbow (4*) that is done in FIFA 18 by flicking down on the right stick, then holding up on the right stick for a second before flicking it up again.

A better version of the fake left/right and go right/left set is feint left/right and go right/left (4*) This is done the same way for both types in FIFA 18: start with the right stick to the left and go in a half circle along the bottom to the right if you want to feint left then go right and do the reverse if you want to feint then go in the opposite direction.

If you're moving forward and your opponent is heading straight for you, you can fake them out with a spin (4*). To spin left, you simply tap bottom-left on the right stick twice. This makes your character do a 360, turning toward their right and moving the ball with them, allowing them to move the ball back in front of them as they go left. You can perform it on the right side in FIFA 18 to go right.

At the cost of some momentum, you can stop and turn left or right (4*) by flicking up on the right stick then flicking the direction you want to go on the right stick while running. Another trick move in FIFA 18 is the ball roll and cut left or right (4*). You simply hold the right stick to the right or left, then hold the left stick in the opposite direction. This causes your player to roll their ball in a direction for a second then stop it and move the ball towards the opposite direction.

Last, but certainly not least, we have the five-star tricks. In the same vein as its other upgrade, the elastico (5*) uses the same movements as fake left/right and go right/left in FIFA 18: start with the right stick to the left then do a half circle on the bottom to the right or vice versa. This is like an even faster/better version of its previous incarnations.

You can show off your quick ball rolls (5*) by holding down on the right stick. This will shift the ball quickly between your feet as you stand still.

You can perform hocus pocus (5*), a move where your player uses their right leg to move the ball behind then around their left leg to end with it in front of them. This is a great FIFA 18 ball control fake out when you're sprinting down the field. It is performed with the right stick by starting off from the bottom, then rolling to the left. After that, you start from the left and roll from the bottom to the right. The opposite motion does a triple elastico (5*) which functions similarly, but involves your player using their foot on top of the ball for a moment instead of having it go behind and then around.

You can do a ball roll and flick left/right (5*) by holding left or right on the right stick then flicking up on the left stick after the ball moves to the side one time. This is great in FIFA 18, especially after free kicks, for faking out opponents as you'll roll the ball in one direction, but move forward in the opposite.

The next ball control five star move in FIFA 18 is the sombrero flick (5*). This is the opposite technique of a simple rainbow. You kick the ball in an arc over your head behind you. To do this, you flick up on the right stick twice and then flick down while standing.

The five star version of the stop and turn is the turn and spin left/right (5*). To do this, you flick up on the right stick and then flick the direction you want to go. As the name implies, your character will spin around in a 360 and go in the direction you command them to. Really effective against the defending AI in FIFA 18.

While standing still, if you start to roll the ball in one direction, but flick the right stick in the opposite direction as you're in the middle of the animation for the first roll, you will perform a ball roll and fake left/right (5*). Another great FIFA 18 AI tricking move.

The next five star move is the Rabona Fake. You perform this by holding L2/LT while jogging and then pressing either Square/X or O/B then immediately pressing X/A and down on the left stick. As the name implies, your player motions a rabona kick, but fakes your opponents out instead.

The last two five star moves in FIFA 18 are elastico chop left and right (5*). To perform either one, you tap down on the right stick then the direction you want to elastico chop in on the right stick. Your player does a quick jump that involves touching the ball with one foot, then kicks the ball out and in front of them a bit with the other.

Free Kicks in FIFA 18

When you get the chance to perform a free kick in FIFA 18, you can either try to score as the free kicker or you can try to pass to a teammate to set them up to score. 

As a free kicker, you can ground pass with X/A or high pass/cross with Square/X. If your free kicker isn't very good at making goals or if the opposing team's defense is too high, you'll want to pass instead of taking a shot.

You can perform a curled shot with O/B or a driven shot by holding L1/LB while pressing O/B. Your curled shot is going to be your FIFA 18 default, but if you're a bit further away, you can use the driven shot for more force.

If you're not sure about the positioning of your current kicker, you can summon your 2nd kick taker by pressing L2/LT. If you hold L2/LT while pressing the following, you perform: O/B curled shot, X/A layoff pass, Square/X layoff chip, or O/B then X/A for run over ball. If you press R1/RB, you will call the 3rd kick taker. Holding R1/RB and pressing the same buttons as before gives you the same move kit in FIFA 18.

Defense in FIFA 18

Defense is thankfully not nearly as complicated as offense in FIFA 18, but that doesn't make it any less important! Without a good defense, your players can neither recover the ball to score goals nor can they prevent the opposing team from scoring goals on them.

Defending in FIFA 18

Even if it's more simple than keeping the ball in your possession, playing defender is no easy task in FIFA 18. You have to keep your character's area of the field covered while staying on top of who you're containing. When you're near the ball, you have to try and tackle your opponent without fouling them. This can get tricky.

Your most basic form of defense is your tackle. You tackle by pressing O/B. If you hold down the button, you'll have more force with it when it connects with your opponent.

Up next, you have your sliding tackle which you can perform by pressing Square/X. Both tackles should really only be used when you're in front of your opponent. The slide should be used if your opponent is trying to juke you and you need the speed, but it comes at the cost of having a long recovery so if you miss, your opponent will easily get by you. Careless spamming of either tackle or using it from behind will likely lead to you tripping or otherwise harming your opponent -- so avoid that if you don't want to get any penalties. For a quicker recovery, you can press Square/X again after your sliding tackle.

Contain is one of the most important features of playing defense in FIFA 18. Holding down X/A will allow you to do this. It follows the ball when an opposing player has it and is great for making sure your character stays in front of it. Sometimes you can even take the ball without needing to use tackle!

If you press and hold R1/RB, though, you can perform a secondary contain which has you follow an opposing teammate that is viable to pass to. This is a great way of not committing too much and leaving an easy pass open for your opponent.

When you're near an opponent, you can press and hold O/B or L2/LT to push or pull on them. You can also try to take a protected ball from your shielded opponent by holding L2/LT and moving your left stick towards the dribbler.

Goalkeeping in FIFA 18

The last line of defense against opposing attackers is your goalkeeper. Luckily, playing goalkeeper isn't too terribly complicated in FIFA 18 in terms of controls, though it is difficult to master.

The most important part of goalkeeping is positioning. If you're playing on an easy difficulty and you don't want to put much thought into playing goalkeeper, you can simply hold down L1/LB to let the game position your character for you. This will generally put you in a good position so if it works for you and you don't mind letting the game do the work, go ahead.

If you want to put more effort into playing goalkeeper, you can manually control your GK with the left stick, of course. When your opponent has the ball, you can press O/B or Square/X to drop kick in order to prevent the ball from going into the goal. Keep in mind that you should only use this when you're sure the ball is kicked and you want to commit to the direction in which you're going because your player's body will go to the ground and you will have to wait a moment to recover, leaving your goal wide open if the ball's still in opposing hands.

Similar to the contain feature for defenders, the goalkeeper can hold down R1/RB to charge the opponent who is controlling the ball. This isn't a good idea in FIFA 18 unless you know for certain the ball can't get behind you. You should use this when the opponent has accidentally placed a bit of distance between themselves and the ball and you know you have enough time to recover it before they do.

To pick up the ball once it's out of the opponent's control, simply press R1/RB. Once it's in your control, you can either throw it or pass it with X/A, drop it with Triangle/Y, or kick it with Square/X.

There are two types of throws and kicks as a goalkeeper: normal and driven. The difference between the two is that driven is at a lower angle with more power. To do a driven pass and a driven kick, you do the same inputs for the normal moves while holding R1/RB. A driven kick or throw in FIFA 18 is perfect for when you want to put on a strong counterattack.


How are you liking FIFA 18 so far? Is it better than last year's edition? Liking the new additions to the game? Let us know in the comments.

Stay tuned for more FIFA 18 content including a review and trophy guide!