Nintendo Platform RSS Feed | Nintendo RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Sonic Mania Plus Coming July 17, Includes Two New Playable Characters and Game Modes Thu, 26 Apr 2018 15:26:47 -0400 Zach Hunt

It's no exaggeration to say that when Sonic Mania was released in August, critics and casual Sonic fans alike were jubilant. Here at GameSkinny, we said it was "a game you can't afford to miss out on," and we certainly weren't alone in singing its praises. Years of inconsistent Sonic releases had somewhat tarnished the franchise's reputation, so when Sonic Mania showed up to remind us of the old-school games' platforming greatness, we just couldn't get enough.

Flash-forward to April 2018, and Sega has announced that even more Sonic Mania is set to arrive July 17 in the form of Sonic Mania Plus, available now to pre-order for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch for $29.99. If you previously purchased a digital copy of Sonic Mania on PC or console, an Encore DLC pack will be available for $4.99 to upgrade to the latest and greatest version once it's hit the shelves.

New to Sonic Mania Plus is the ability to play as two old-school Sonic characters -- Ray the Flying Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo -- as well as "Encore mode," which breathes new life into old zones. Updates to Competition and Time Attack modes will now allow for four-player competition, and players can take on ghost challenges in time trials.

Sonic Mania Plus packaging for all consoles

All of this Sonic-y goodness will also be available in a physical edition that includes a 32-page artbook, holographic packaging, and a (totally awesome) reversible SEGA Genesis cover.


Stay tuned to GameSkinny as July 17 approaches, and be sure to catch up on all of our Sonic Mania coverage to help tide you over until then.

Go to Infinity (and Beyond) with Thanos in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 DLC Tue, 24 Apr 2018 12:00:20 -0400 Jonathan Moore

As the culmination of 10 years of Marvel movies comes to what looks to be an exciting zenith on April 27, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is celebrating the release of Avengers: Infinity War with the launch of the "Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War Character and Level Pack." Although there is no firm date for the small expansion, the DLC will be available sometime next week for $2.99. 

The main draw of the DLC will be that players will be able to control the Mad Titan Thanos himself. Taking place in a brand-new level that features Thanos and his children invading Atillan, the "Infinity War pack" will task players with taking on Black Bolt, conceivably usurping him from his throne. 

On top of that, players will find the expansion brings with it six more unlockable characters in Infinity War: Groot, Hulkbuster 2.0, Corvus Glaive, Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, and Ebony Maw. 

Those interested in purchasing the "Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War Character and Level Pack" can pick it up by itself or as part of the larger LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 season pass, which costs $14.99. The season pass is also included in the game's deluxe edition. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on the latest LEGO games, including Marvel Super Heroes 2, as it develops.  

The Banner Saga 3 PAX East Preview: Warped Enemies, Wave Combat, & New Playable Characters Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:44:21 -0400 Felicia Miranda

It was recently announced that The Banner Saga series would be getting a Nintendo Switch release this Summer. With the fast-approaching arrival of the final chapter in the Viking-based RPG series, many fans are still left wondering what to expect as the story comes to a close. Luckily, we had a chance to play a demo of The Banner Saga 3 at PAX East 2018 and talk to the Producer, Zeb L. West, and Lead Designer, Matt Rhodes, about some new additions to the game.

Note: Light spoilers are ahead!

Changes to Enemies in The Banner Saga 3

Character meet on a snowy plain in The Banner Saga 3 demo at PAX East 2018

Although warped enemies made a brief appearance in The Banner Saga 2, these types of enemies will play a much larger role in The Banner Saga 3. Their passive ability, Depraved, comes into play during explosions that follow after they’re defeated. This explosion damages nearby enemies, draining 1 Willpower. After the explosion, warped enemies leave behind a pile of ashes that will drain 1 Strength and 1 Willpower from anyone who walks over the residue.

Their active ability, Mind Devour, targets a single enemy anywhere on the map and drains their Willpower and Strength, resulting in an increase in the Warped enemy’s own Strength value.

New Playable Characters

The Banner Saga 3 party select screen shows new and old characters alike

We were surprised to find that once we hopped into combat during the demo that Juno is now a playable (and very powerful) character in The Banner Saga 3. We also found that we could command a Stonesinger Dredge, as well ... which could have interesting implications for the game's story(?). 

New Character: Alfrun

The Banner Saga 3's new healer, Alfrun, stands holding a staff and wears a green tunic

During our demo, we also had a chance to use The Banner Saga's first true healer, Alfrun. A powerful ally best used in combat from a distance, Alfrun’s abilities have great range. Her first ability, Strength of Will, allows her to recover the Strength of her allies while her second ability, Force of Will, allows her to perform a melee attack on enemies before retreating.

The Banner Saga 3's New Combat System

A snowy battlefield is shown in The Banner Saga 3

Unlike other entries in The Banner Saga series, each battle in The Banner Saga 3 will now feature a turn counter that specifies the amount of time you have to defeat your enemies. If you complete the first wave of enemies before the timer runs out, you will be given the option to Fight or Flee. Continuing the battle will allow you to replace your current band of warriors with other characters from your roster before a new wave of enemies accompanied by a mini-boss will spawn on the map. Defeat the mini-boss and the enemies for awesome items and other rewards.

Another addition to the combat system in The Banner Saga 3 is the Valka Spear, which has taken the place of The Horn. The Valka Spear holds up to 3 charges and when used, casts an ability called Arc Lightning. Arc Lightning has the potential to hit multiple enemies in succession if they are positioned diagonally to one another. With each enemy hit by Arc Lightning, the stronger it gets. It can be used repeatedly until you run out of Valka Spear charges.

The Banner Saga 3's New Promotion System

The Banner Saga 3's promotion screen shows Bulwark and the Heroic Title

The new promotion system in The Banner Saga 3 includes levels 11 through 15. Starting at Level 11, your hero will be written permanently into the Saga and earn something called a Heroic Title. Heroic Titles can enhance abilities, give you additional passives, and even increase base strength and armor stats. Heroic titles are leveled independently of character rank with each being completely unique. This means once a character dies, that Heroic Title is gone forever.


The Banner Saga 3 is expected to arrive July 24 for PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch for $24.99.

What's more, The Banner Saga Trilogy: Bonus Edition physical release will drop the same day and contain The Banner Saga, The Banner Saga 2, and The Banner Saga 3, as well as a few bonus items. That package will release for the PS4 and Xbox One and retail for $39.99. 

We look forward to seeing more new and dramatic experiences the final chapter of this beloved RPG will bring. Let us know in the comments if you'll be picking up The Banner Saga 3 when it releases this summer!

New Trailer for The Lost Child Highlights Astrals Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:41:42 -0400 Erroll Maas

NIS America released a new trailer for Kadokawa Games' upcoming monster-catching RPG, The Lost Child. This trailer focuses on Astrals -- a collective term for obtainable demons, fallen angels, and angels --  that main character Hayato Ibiki will be capturing and fighting alongside and against.

Although capturing Astrals puts them in Hayato's possession, it seems more has to be done before they can be considered allies. After capturing them, Hayato will have to purify each Astral in order to use them in battle. Although it's unclear just how many Astrals can be in Hayato's party at one time, from the trailer, we can see that he will be able to command at least three at a time in battle. Additionally, the trailer also shows how Astrals can go through "EVILution" to become stronger with the proper requirements and how skills can be transferred from one Astral to another.

The Lost Child will launch on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo Switch on June 19, 2018.

Monster Crown Reaches Campaign Goal in Under 28 Hours Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:35:35 -0400 Erroll Maas

The Kickstarter for Studio Aurum's upcoming indie monster-taming RPG, Monster Crown, has reached its campaign goal of $5,000 in just under 28 hours due to the support of 263 backers.

The three revealed stretch goals include an extended soundtrack at $6,000. surprise monster designers at $7,500, and cross-platform cloud saves at $8500. 

Additionally, a new exclusive monster, Blaze, was revealed for the Backer Demo. This monster can only be accessed by inputting the revealed code in the CODE menu at the breeding facility, and his coloration cannot be found anywhere else. After redeeming the code, he will appear on the farm menu to add to your party. Blaze is a Brute type and will be set at level 10. According to the developer, backers should expect more code monsters to be released throughout the rest of the month.

Monster Crown is planned to launch by February 2019 on PC, Linux, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, and Android devices.

Masters of Anima Review -- Golems & Guardians Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:17:05 -0400 Erroll Maas

Masters of Anima, an adventure game from publisher Focus Home Interactive and developer Passtech Games, takes place in the magical world of Spark, where golems have been wreaking havoc for centuries. To combat these golems, some have been trained to become Shapers, those who have the ability to summon bright beings known as guardians with the help of a magical energy called anima. Otto, the main character, is an Apprentice Shaper engaged to the Supreme Shaper Ana, although they cannot be wed until Otto is promoted from his apprentice ranking. After Otto succeeds in his apprentice trial, chaos ensues, and a villain named Zahr steals Ana's essence and splits it in three. Otto then must embark on a journey and use his abilities to save his fiancee and perhaps even the world.

Although Otto himself can break objects and attack enemies with his staff, most combat involves summoning guardians and giving them various commands. This can range from just moving positions to attacking enemies and obstacles to executing special moves and switching between each type of guardian summoned. Summoning guardians and utilizing techniques all cost a certain amount of anima, which starts at a set amount but can be increased through progress. Anima can be refilled from finding it on the ground, breaking objects, having guardians destroyed by enemies, and siphoning it from enemies with certain types of guardians.

This would be reasonable if anima were more readily available during combat, but due to the lack of breakable objects when fighting, it can run out quickly, and the ability to summon guardians can be gone before you even realize it.  When this happens, all you can to is either run around the combat area helplessly, hoping that an orb of anima pops up, or just die and start the fight over again. Because anima doesn't recharge like mana or energy in other games, it can make even some earlier fights more of a hassle. 

Although the learning curve can feel somewhat steep, the strategy element of the game is well-done and requires players to use different types of guardians for different situations. The first guardians are Protectors, standard warriors with swords and shields used to destroy obstacles and enemies and move large objects to solve puzzles. Later guardians range from archers to siphoners and more, with each type having its own specific uses, strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities.

From Otto's skill tree, available guardian types can be strengthened as well, and skills can be reset if necessary, but all skill trees are only accessible between levels. If you find yourself having trouble in a particular fight later on in a level, you will have to go back to the level menu to reset your skills and then start that level all over again, when you likely won't feel like repeating all the previous enemy encounters you just went through.

 All enemies are different types of golems. Similar to guardians, golems have different strengths, weaknesses, and attacks, although one golem is much stronger than a single group of guardians. For some golems, all you need is a decent number of guardians to take them down, while for others, you need to use specific types of guardians or a mix to defeat it. These golems also all have a rage meter, which allows them to use more powerful attacks once it runs out, so it's suggested to destroy them beforehand. This is easier said than done, as golems have a hefty amount of health, and it isn't always clear what the best strategy is to take down different types or multiple sets of golems. Many battles involve multiple golems, and your guardians have to be split up to defeat them at the same time.  Defeating one and taking too long with the other will cause another golem to pop up in its place.

Between engaging in combat and solving puzzles, Otto can collect anima and complete various sidequests for additional experience. The sidequests themselves are relatively simple, consisting of collecting flowers or destroying corruption crystals, although due to enemies only being encountered at certain points, it creates rather empty areas between fights. Smaller, more commonly encountered enemies would have been a welcome addition and could have provided a way to help aggravated players level grind and adjust combat difficulty.  There's also the lack of any kind of map, which isn't too much of a drawback due to level size, but it would still be a helpful addition.

The music and graphics featured in Masters of Anima work well enough but don't do much to stand out from other games with comparable subject matter. Although they aren't terrible, they're more forgettable than anything else. One other small but notable flaw is that certain cut-scenes can't be skipped, particularly prior to boss fights. These cut-scenes aren't overly long, but they are a chore to get through when having to repeat them.

Masters of Anima is a well-made game, but its few notable flaws ultimately keep it from being the more memorable experience it could be. Despite this, those willing to give it a try and stick through until the end may still find themselves enjoying it.

Masters of Anima is available digitally on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.

Dragon Quest XI PAX East 2018 Preview: Square Enix Goes the Extra Mile with Western Release Wed, 11 Apr 2018 12:55:29 -0400 Felicia Miranda

At PAX East 2018, we learned a lot about some of the changes and new features coming to the Western release of Dragon Quest XI. It’ll be the first mainline game to get an international console release in over 10 years, which is a pretty big deal. Although the Dragon Quest series usually gets a Western PlayStation or Nintendo console release, that was unfortunately not the case for Dragon Quest X. But it appears that Square Enix is returning to business as usual in a big way.

Dragon Quest XI will include complete English voice-overs, a feature that wasn’t even part of its Japanese release. It’s perfect for people who aren’t all that excited about reading pages and pages of dialogue in a game, but for those who enjoy a more traditional JRPG experience, such as myself, there is the option to skip past the narration or turn it off. There’s also a revised Draconian Quest mode where players can customize the level of difficulty in their game experience by turning certain useful game features on and off.

The art style of Dragon Quest XI is a stunning blend of cell shading and photorealism. Both the menus and UI got a complete overhaul, possessing a style similar to that of Dragon Quest XIII. It will be the first-ever game in the series to get a PC port. As with many of the features Square Enix has added for its Western release, the PC version of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age won’t be a copy and paste job. It will offer native 4K support along with other features and settings that won’t be available on console.

We did get to see some gameplay from Dragon Quest XI at PAX East 2018, so proceed with caution since there are mild spoilers ahead.

In the demo, the game begins in the town of Cobblestone, where you’ll discover that you are a hero reborn, or a Luminary, from a legend long past. When you come of age, you must leave the safe confines of your home to pay a visit to the king and tell him who you are.

Prior to leaving town, you are gifted a horse, and then you head into the overworld. The overworld is an explorable area on the map that connects you to the various locations in Dragon Quest XI. The addition of a horse makes long-distance travel less burdensome, with most actions, such as jumping into combat and interacting with items, easily executed from on top of your horse.

In the overworld, there are monsters scattered throughout. Combat is still traditional turn-based (YAY!), but there are no longer random battles, only encounters. Monsters chase or run away from you depending on your level. Battles can be completely avoided by pressing dash on your horse and booping enemies out of the way. There’s no experience gained from doing this, but it’s convenient and pretty fun.

A hero attacking monsters in Dragon Quest XI

There is a new battle mode to explore called Free-Form Fighting. This lets players run around the battle area and attack from whichever angle they’d like. This doesn’t have an impact on damage dealt or anything, but it’s still a pretty cool feature to explore.

During long trips, you and your party can rest at campsites. It’s worth mentioning that there is a day and night cycle in Dragon Quest XI that can change the behavior of some NPCs and monsters on the map. While resting at camp, you can talk to party members and buy/sell items at the shop. There’s also an option to equip gear in the shop, which is a very thoughtful add-on that reduces menu toggling.

It’s clear that exploring in the overworld (and anywhere else, for that matter) is highly recommended. The best part about it is that players need not worry about venturing too far since you can no longer explore areas outside of your level range. We did see that there are small, ghostly figures hidden throughout called the Spirits of Lost Time, but after inquiring further, we were told that we’ll have to wait to find out more about them.

a warrior holds a charged sword and a shield in Dragon Quest XI screen shot

Similar in style to the Final Fantasy games, Dragon Quest XI is a standalone experience, so anyone can play it without being familiar with the story of any previous installments. There are, however, throwbacks sprinkled throughout that will be recognizable to fans of the series. The game is about 95 hours long with all 3 endings, not including any of the side quests. It’s due to release as a complete experience, meaning there will be no DLC, on September 4, 2018, on PS4 and Steam.

Monster Crown Launches Kickstarter Campaign Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:19:37 -0400 Erroll Maas

Studio Aurum has launched a Kickstarter campaign page for their upcoming monster-taming RPG, Monster Crown.

One of the signature features of Monster Crown is that it will feature true crossbred offspring of parent creatures, creating entirely new species players will be allowed to name themselves. Monster Crown will also feature a unique switching mechanic not seen in other games.

The campaign goal is $5,000 USD, and backer rewards include getting your name in the credits; a digital copy of the game on either Steam, Linux, PlayStation Vita, or Nintendo Switch; access to a private backer demo; a digital soundtrack; a digital art book; and even the chance to design your own monster to be put in the game. Revealed stretch goals include an extended soundtrack and surprise monster designers.

Monster Crown has an estimated release window of February 2019 and is planned to launch on Steam, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, and Android. To learn more about the game, you can check out our previous coverage as well as our interview with Lead Developer Jason Walsh.

Top 10 Most Badass Video Game Characters of All time Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:40:44 -0400 Edgar Wulf



Devil May Cry 3, 2005

Twin brother of the game's main protagonist, Dante, and a highly skilled swordsman, Vergil's movement of his katana, Yamato, is so fast that he can deflect incoming bullets with it and, just like his brother, he possesses the ability to transform into a demon form, further improving his speed and strength. These qualities make Vergil a formidable foe in the numerous encounters against him.




This concludes the list. Do you agree with any of the entries? Who would you add? Let us know in the comments below. And for more fun compilations such as this one, stay tuned to GameSkinny.


Samus Aran

Metroid, 1986

A bounty hunter best known for providing one of the biggest surprises in gaming history, Samus traverses a fictional universe, exploring uncharted planets and tracking down space-pirates. She uses a powerful arm-cannon as her primary weapon and can turn herself into a morph-ball to evade incoming attacks or reach otherwise inaccessible locations. Whenever she defeats a particularly powerful foe in combat, she is able to gain its ability or improve an existing one.



Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, 1999

Once a vampire and a lieutenant to the most powerful among them -- Kain -- Raziel is sent to his death after being considered too threatening to Kain's position in the hierarchy. Stripped of his flesh and aesthetics, Raziel is resurrected by an old god, and now, in a wraith form, his thirst for blood has been replaced by consumption of souls. He's determined to exact revenge on his former comrades and on Kain himself, claiming their powers as his own.


Lara Croft

Tomb Raider, 1996

This young lady needs no introduction; Lara is one of the most recognizable characters in gaming. Known for her athleticism, smarts, and signature dual pistols, she has been raiding tombs, uncovering long-lost artifacts, and breaking men's hearts for over two decades. She is skilled at translating ancient scripts and activating complex contraptions, and during combat, she relies on dexterity and stealth rather than brute force.



God of War, 2005

While not exactly the most likable character, Kratos deserves a spot simply by being a Greek-god-killing machine. His biggest asset is his unquenchable anger, and the many weapons he uses act mostly as stress-balls for him -- something to grip tightly. Should he ever find himself disarmed, he will tear the opponent's head off with his bare hands, which he actually did with Helios'. For Kratos, it was just a normal Monday.


Isaac Clarke

Dead Space, 2008

Not your typical superhero, Isaac Clarke is an engineer who, along with a small crew, finds himself stranded on a seemingly abandoned starship after following its distress signal. Initially armed with nothing but a plasma cutter and, quite possibly, the coolest-looking suit ever made, he must battle through hordes of Necromorphs and uncover the source of their origin, acquiring military-grade weaponry as he traverses the dismal halls of the ship.



The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, 2015

Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, or simply Ciri, is a carrier of powerful elder blood and, much like the game's protagonist, Geralt, a trained witcher, which makes her a skilled sword fighter. She commands a unique blink ability, which allows her to teleport quickly around enemies and strike from behind. Due to her supernatural abilities, she is being pursued by The Wild Hunt, a group of elves whose intent is to take possession of her powers. Despite the odds, Ciri is able to overcome seemingly insurmountable adversaries, often all on her own.



Final Fantasy X, 2001

An experienced warrior and a guardian to summoner Yuna, one of the game's protagonists, and formerly to her father. Auron carries an oversized katana in one hand and only unsheathes his other arm during combat to add more power behind each strike, which makes him command an intimidating presence even against the most formidable foes. The liquid in his flask, which is probably booze (definitely booze), is often used to ignite the katana for certain special attacks.


Albert Wesker

Resident Evil, 1996

Killed by a tyrant whom he himself helped create, Wesker survives thanks to a prototype virus circulating in his veins. As a result, he becomes the series' super-villain, possessing incredible speed and strength, and an even greater ego, the combination of which, apparently, allows him to catch incoming missiles with his hands. He never misses an opportunity to mock his opponents and is only willing to spend no more than seven minutes of his precious time to deal with them.


Adam Jensen

Deus Ex: Human Revolution, 2011

After being killed by members of a black ops team during an attack on the company he works for, Adam Jensen is brought back to life via advanced body augmentations (even though he didn't ask for it). Armed with resolve and powerful new tools at his disposal -- including various vision enhancements and the ability to turn himself invisible or punch people through walls -- he sets out to uncover the truth behind the attack and take revenge on the group that destroyed his life.


The world of games is saturated with varied characters. There are brave, cute, intelligent, strong characters, and then there are badasses -- characters who stand out, whether due to their physical or mental attributes, their manner of speech, or their unique appearance. Regardless, they usually don't require the assistance of others to succeed and can conquer hardships all by themselves, should the need arise. This list features 10 of the most suitable characters in the category, and it was assembled based on the following criteria:

  • Only one character per franchise
  • \n
  • The character must be playable at any point in the particular series, or be part of a playable party
  • \n

Each entry will contain the name of the character, the game they first appeared in and its release year, as well as a brief description. Click through to view the characters in alphabetical, not necessarily numerical, order.


Disclaimer: The writer's opinions herein are his own and might not coincide with those of the other 7+ billion people living on Earth.

Yo-Kai Watch 4 Announced for Nintendo Switch in Japan Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:29:32 -0400 Erroll Maas

In the most recent issue of Famitsu, the newest Yo-Kai Watch title, Yo-Kai Watch 4, has been announced for release on Nintendo Switch later this year in Japan.

It has been stated that characters from the Yo-Kai Watch Shadowside series will make an appearance, but whether Yo-Kai Watch 4 is the previously announced Shadowside game or will be similar to previous entries is currently unknown.

Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino added that the game's content will be enhanced and that it will include features that surprise everyone.

Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki, an updated version of both Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi and Yo-Kai Watch 3: Tempura, was the last mainline Yo-Kai Watch game to release in Japan. No version of Yo-Kai Watch 3 has been announced for release outside of Japan yet, although all prior mainline games have received a Western release, and we may see an announcement in the near future.

Yo-Kai Watch 4 will launch on Nintendo Switch in Japan in 2018. The game has not yet been confirmed for release outside of Japan. Stick with GameSkinny for more information as it develops.

How to Wait in Skyrim VR on Oculus, Vive, and PSVR Fri, 06 Apr 2018 17:34:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Although Skyrim VR turns the vanilla game's immersion up to 11, letting you throw fireballs, fight off Draugr, and steal cheese wheels in an almost-tangible Elder Scrolls landscape, there are limits to what we players will do to achieve that. No one wants to wait half a dozen real-world hours for Riften's guards to fall asleep at their posts. 

That's where Skyrim's "Wait" function comes in handy. And whether you're playing Skyrim VR on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PSVR, you may have found waiting isn't as immediately intuitive as you might have thought. 

Using each platform's motion controls, all it takes is the press of a single button to wait in Skyrim VR

  • On Oculus Rift: Press and hold down the Y button
  • On HTC Vive: Hold the Left Menu button
  • On PSVR: Press the Start button

If you're trying to figure out how to wait in vanilla Skyrim, you can do so by pressing "T" on PC, the "Back" button on Xbox One, the Touchpad on PS4, and the "--" button on the Nintendo Switch. 

Simple as that. Now you can wait faster and easier than ever before -- both in and out of virtual reality. 

We have loads of Skyrim guides here on GameSkinny, from categorized mod lists to some effective builds.

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Costume Pack DLC Release Date Confirmed Fri, 06 Apr 2018 14:17:11 -0400 Greyson Ditzler (PurplePocketPirate)

WayForward has released a new trailer for the final DLC add-on to Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, which is set to be the final piece of DLC for the game, simply titled "Costume Pack." While the title of the DLC is simple, the DLC itself is much more than just new outfits for Shantae, as each costume comes with its own unique mechanics and alternative story modes to the main game. 

The pack contains three outfits/modes for Shantae. First, there's the ninja, which prioritizes swift movement and utilizing new techniques such as wall jumping, throwing stars, and short-range teleportation. There's the Beach Costume, which also comes with its own moves, that adds a new heat mechanic that necessitates that Shantae not stay in the sun too long without sunscreen or a quick duck in the shade, which adds a ticking clock element to the gameplay. Lastly, there's the Officer Costume, which pays direct homage to WayForward's Mighty Switch Force! series of puzzle games and allows Shantae to phase certain blocks in the environment in and out of existence as she hunts down escaped criminal hooligans.

These modes will also all have their own "what-if" storylines, with new dialogue and voice acting as well as different end-screens based on the player's item collection skills and speed in completing them. And similar to the previous "Friends to the End" DLC, players will be able to gradually level up the strength of Shantae's weapons in each mode as they progress. 

The "Costume Pack" DLC for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero will be available on all platforms on April 10. The DLC will be free to all the backers of the game, as all previous DLC was, and will be included in the full package of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition.

4 Fun Ways to Roleplay in Stardew Valley Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:02:07 -0400 Eloise Best

Has your copy of Stardew Valley been gathering dust? Do you feel like you've done pretty much everything there is to do in the game?

You're wrong.

Even if you've already completed the game's major challenges, like restoring the commmunity center and developing your farm, you can still have a ton of fun roleplaying different characters and scenarios.

Could you hack it as a vegan farmer, a professional chef, or the owner of a trendy craft brewery? There's only one way to find out.

1. Live as a Forager

stardew valley foraging
Rules: Don't grow anything or keep animals. Make money fishing, mining, and foraging.

Are you tired of raking dirt, planting crops, setting up complex sprinkler systems, and spending hours on harvesting?

Perhaps it's time to switch to a life of foraging.

Tell yourself that the land on grandpa's old farm is way too barren to grow anything, and head out into the world instead.

You could make your money chopping wood, finding rare fruits and berries, or scouring the mines for expensive gems. As your foraging skill level increases, you'll have some tough decisions to make -- will you be a Forester or a Gatherer?

Eating certain dishes increases your forage ability, so get ready to buy a lot of pancakes.

2. Start a Craft Brewery

stardew valley brewery

Rules: Only grow crops to turn to beer, wine, or ale. Make money selling your drinks.

You've moved to grandpa's farm from the city, right? So why not bring some business knowhow and start your own trendy craft brewery?

You'll focus on growing crops which can be used to make beer and wine, and you could spend hours creating a farm that craft beer lovers will be excited to visit.

How about one outbuilding that houses your kegs, and another that's decorated to look like a fully functioning bar? You could also arrange paths to let visitors tour your crops for the full farm experience.

Be sure to stay in character during town events -- your grange display should be 100% beers and wines, and the same goes for gifts to other characters. Get ready to be best friends with Pam.

If this playthrough feels too limiting, why not expand into selling artisan jam and pickles? Gold star produce only.

3. Try to Be a Vegan Farmer

stardew valley farm autumn

Rules: No animal products. Make money without keeping animals, fishing, or killing monsters in the mines.

Looking for a real challenge?

Try living as a vegan farmer and avoiding all animal products. That means no fishing, no killing while mining, and no animal products -- although you could turn your farm into an animal sanctuary of some kind.

This is a fun extra challenge to add to another roleplaying element if you want to make things harder.

4. Make a Living as a Chef

stardew valley recipes

Rules: Grow crops solely for cooking. Make money selling completed dishes.

Tired of growing crops for no reason?

Imagining yourself as a professional chef desperately trying to acquire ingredients for your next famous dish makes things a lot more fun.

Your days should be planned around farming, shopping, and fishing for exactly what you need to cook your current special. You should befriend townspeople with tasty homecooked food, and make your money selling completed dishes.

For an extra challenge, narrow things down even more. Maybe you're a baker focusing on sweet treats? Or a specialist in top-of-the-range seafood dishes?

Decorate an outbuilding to look like a five-star restaurant for extra immersion.


Want to redisover the magic of Stardew Valley without getting bored? Try one of these fun roleplaying ideas, or get creative and come up with your own scenarios. Have one you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below! Stick with GameSkinny, and be sure to check out all our useful Stardew Valley guides.



Three Wii U Games That Should Have Been Mon, 02 Apr 2018 17:10:10 -0400 natdanger

With the massive success of the Nintendo Switch, everyone is quickly forgetting the beleaguered Wii U, which is sort of sad considering how much Nintendo loved the console. Its limited catalog had a palpable amount of love poured into each game, from the crossover hit Hyrule Warriors to Mario Kart 8 to the biggest Super Smash Bros. ever. Even though many of the best Wii U games are being ported to the Switch, there’s a tinge of sadness in it. 

But even the best franchises didn’t take full advantage of the Wii U’s double-screen capabilities. The notable exception is ZombiU, which became two different games during multiplayer: player one played a horror survival FPS on the TV while player two played a strategy game on the tablet. 

But I’ve been thinking lately of what could have happened if more developers dug into this mechanic. What games could we have seen? Here are a few ideas. 

Zelda Wii U

It’s true that Breath of the Wild was developed (and released) as a Wii U game, but it doesn’t utilize the dual screen capability at all. 

However, the Twilight Princess remaster offers a glimpse into what could have been. The map and item screens, traditionally relegated to the pause screen, are accessible in real time on the Wii U controller. 

Nintendo is nothing if not inventive, so you can only imagine what they could have done with a game that had that mechanic from the start of development. Item switching has always been an important part of Zelda games, but doing so in real time could create a fast-paced combat system that would be truly one of a kind. 

Metroid Prime 4

How many times did Nintendo tease a Metroid game for Wii U? And while the fourth entry to the Prime series is coming to the Switch this year (maybe), having that second screen could have augmented the game. 

Metroid has always had a large exploration component. The Prime games had hundreds of scannable items that had no real purpose besides in-game world building -- not to mention information about enemies and mechanisms. 

While putting the scan visor in the controller would likely make for a clunky gameplay experience, having a readily accessible database outside of the pause menu would be a valuable asset. 

Ditto the map. The maps in the Prime games are complex labyrinths, but the HUD mini map is almost indecipherable. Putting the map on the second screen would remove a lot of the headache. 

Madden Wii U

True, the Wii U didn’t have much third-party support. Most developers weren’t sold on the console, and Nintendo didn’t do much to convince them. 

But imagine a multiplayer football game where one player acts as a coach while the others run the plays. You have the perfect recipe for family video game night. What dad wouldn’t love to play that game with his kids?


Despite Nintendo’s best efforts, two screens aren’t better than one. But with a little more imagination, the Wii U could have had some incredibly intuitive games. 

What about you? What games would you like to have seen for the Wii U? Drop a line in the comments. 

Nintendo Bringing New Games to PAX East Mon, 02 Apr 2018 14:30:24 -0400 Lee Forgione

The Nintendo booth at this year's PAX East will be full of unreleased games to try out. They will also be holding four-on-four Splatoon 2 matches, speed runs for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and mini-game challenges from Super Mario Odyssey. The Nindie Arcade will also be showcased at the Nintendo Booth and will feature a variety of upcoming indie titles coming to Switch. The PAX East conference takes place April 5-8 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Those who check in to the Nintendo Booth using their My Nintendo QR Code will receive a My Nintendo pass which will allow priority line access to certain titles at specified times.

“We love being able to get fun games from Nintendo and our partners into the hands of some of our biggest fans,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “PAX East gives us the opportunity to showcase some of the best new and upcoming games for Nintendo Switch.”

Here is a list of all playable games coming to the Nintendo Booth. Anything with an asterisk represents the first time the game has been made playable to the public.

  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze from Nintendo
  • Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition from Nintendo
  • Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido* from Nintendo
  • Dark Souls Remastered* from Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus* from Bethesda Softworks
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes* from Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda51
  • SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy* from NIS America
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy* from Activision

Indie games to be playable in the Nindie Arcade include:

  • Just Shapes & Beats* from Berzerk Studio
  • Dead Cells* from Motion Twin
  • The Messenger* from Sabotage and Devolver Digital
  • LUMINES REMASTERED* from Enhance Games
  • Runner3 from Choice Provisions
  • West of Loathing* from Asymmetric
  • Pool Panic from Adult Swim Games
  • Pode from Henchman & Goon
  • Garage* from tinyBuild Games
  • Next Up Hero from Aspyr Media and Digital Continue

Are you attending PAX East? If so, which games on this list are you most excited to try out? Sound off in the comments below. 

How to Get Golden Egg in Portal Knights Wed, 28 Mar 2018 14:14:46 -0400 Sergey_3847

Portal Knights offers an Egg Hunt event during the Easter period for all players. This event requires you to find a certain number of Easter eggs and craft the final one -- the Golden Egg.

This egg is required for accomplishing the Chef Riddle's quest, or you could simply use it for decorative purposes. You can craft them as many times as you want if you have enough other eggs collected.

If you want to know how to get the Golden Egg in Portal Knights, then follow our step-by-step guide below.

How to Craft Golden Egg in Portal Knights

Easter eggs in Portal Knights

Step 1: Find Some Easter Eggs

During the Egg Hunt event you will find three types of Easter eggs: yellow, green, and orange. They spawn in random places all over the island, so just keep your eyes open.

Usually, they spawn in hidden places, such as under the trees or in the bushes. Especially pay attention to places that are particularly overgrown. You need to find at least 45 eggs, 15 for each color.

If you can't find enough eggs, then leave the island and return -- the eggs should respawn. Also, beware of the corrupted eggs that look exactly like normal Easter eggs -- these will attack you.

Step 2: Build a Drafting Table

Before crafting the Golden Egg, you must first build a Drafting Table. There are four different types of Drafting tables, but you only need that of Level I. It requires 10 Wood Logs and 4 Copper Ore.

Once you have it built, you can craft some basic furniture as well, including beds, chairs, doors, etc.

Step 3: Craft the Golden Egg

When you have 45 Easter eggs and the Drafting Table Level I, you can craft the Golden Egg using the following recipe:

  • 15x Yellow Egg
  • 15x Green Egg
  • 15x Orange Egg

Also, be sure to craft the egg while staying on the island. Otherwise, the Egg Hunt event won't count as completed.


That is all you need to know in order to craft the Golden Egg in the Egg Hunt event, and for other Portal Knights guides at GameSkinny, check out the links below:

LEGO The Incredibles Game Officially Announced Wed, 28 Mar 2018 12:56:51 -0400 Steven Oz

Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group, and Disney and Pixar announced today that LEGO The Incredibles will be coming out on June 15, the same day as the release of The Incredibles 2 in theaters. 

Character from LEGO The Incredibles running along the side of a building

Available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, LEGO The Incredibles will be based on the storylines of both the original film as well as the upcoming The Incredibles 2, and it will feature the classic puzzle-solving activities and co-op action of previous LEGO titles. According to Managing Director of TT Games Publishing Tom Stone, "The Incredibles franchise, full of super-powered characters, adventures and teamwork, combined with all of the humor, puzzle-solving elements and unexpected surprises of LEGO games makes for the perfect combination for players."

LEGO The Incredibles had been rumored for months since a LEGO toy set based on the franchise leaked back in August 2017, but all speculation can now be set aside, and fans of the films will soon be able to take out super villains and work through super hero family drama in classic LEGO brick style.

Stay tuned for more coverage on LEGO The Incredibles right here on GameSkinny.

The 20 Most Hilarious Arby's Video Game References Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:25:43 -0400 Ty Arthur


It's a good bet we'll continue to see new anime and gaming references pop up in the months ahead, as this is an ad strategy that seems to be working, and there are plenty of games and shows they haven't covered yet.


I'm actually surprised we haven't seen a Secret Of Mana post yet, considering how they have been on top of the re-releases of classic games in recent months.


What was your favorite Arby's gaming reference, and what box art creation do you hope to see come up next? Let us know in the comments!




Game: Doom


Is there ANYTHING this crew can't do with those damn boxes?!? It doesn't even look like they had to paint on the red lower sections but just used the colored portions of the sandwich holders to make it fit perfectly. The only way they could have made this better is if it was an ultra-fast moving video with a chainsaw at the end.


Goomba Squad! Moooove out!!!


Series: Super Mario Bros.


Those classic Goombas 'n Boos will always hold a hallowed place in gaming history, even as the series expands out and drastically alters the gameplay with newer iterations like Super Mario Odyssey. That adorable cardboard Goomba has got me thinking a weekend family art project may be in the works!


He's the symbol this town needs


Game: South Park: The Fractured But Whole


I don't think anyone expected the South Park series to hit its stride with an RPG, but what started with Obsidian's Stick Of Truth and continued with Ubisoft's take in The Fractured But Whole may well be the best games in the franchise. The paper cut-out style of the TV series also clearly lends itself well to cardboard box art!


You've come a long way, baby


Series: Fallout


I'm calling it -- fast food sauce packet art is going to become a recognized thing. I mean, if Vincent Castiglia can paint with blood, why not Arby's sauce?


This saucy rendition of the Fallout stat system also just reminded me that I'm 95 hours into Fallout 4 but still haven't actually finished the main storyline after getting side tracked by all the DLC. Nobody ruin the ending for me.


The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night


Series: Castlevania


Considering you can eat burgers, mushrooms, and even whole turkey legs throughout this series, the idea of Simon's Lunch isn't too far fetched. The best part about this whole thing (other than the box whip), is that one genius fan immediately commented with this exchange:


"Fry monster! You don't belong in this world!"

"It was not by my hand I was again made fresh. I was ordered by humans who wish to fillet me tribute!"


How's your grip strength?


Game: Shadow of the Colossus


The wisdom of eating a tower of meat that size is definitely in question, but this is an absolutely perfect mixing of game and fast food imagery to get an idea across. It's clear just from a glance that he's about to fight a colossus, and now I'm kind of wondering if I have what it takes to tackle the meat mountain.


You might call this a post for 90's gamers, but we think of it as millennial fare


Game: Chrono Trigger


Featuring dancing robot Gato from the millennial fair, this Chrono Trigger-based caption was pure genius, and it immediately took me back to Saturday afternoon game sessions from my childhood.


The sad, cash-grab PC port might be garbage, but the original SNES version is still one of the best RPGs of all time, and I'm absolutely about to load up ZSNES and replay it tonight.


Sure, you've seen it before, but now it has Aqua.


Game: Kingdom Hearts 2.8


How can there be so many games in this series, yet none of them have managed to be Kingdom Hearts III yet? This post was kind of torture for the fans who have been patiently waiting for the next real sequel, although it did hilariously spur on a slew of photo responses in which diners set their keys next to a sandwich.


Lunch is Strange


Game: Life Is Strange


How do you say so much with so little? Even without the caption, it would have been clear what was happening here. Although sadly, the reference did leave the post wide open to all sorts of comments about wanting to rewind time back before eating that meal.


Overcome the impossible


Game: Gravity Rush


This Vita title wasn't exactly well known to the masses at large, so it was sort of surprising to see a sideways image of Kat pop up in the Arby's feed, but clearly the fans were happy to see this lesser-known action-adventure title get a little fast food love. If you remember this game and want to see more, be sure to leave a comment!


9929 years in the future …


Game: Nier Automata


This inexplicably awesome (and constantly genre-hopping) game managed to shake up the GOTY expectations early in 2017 with its combination of androids, giant swords, and killer robot enemies.


The swords and drones are spot-on here, although I'm kind of wondering if 2B as a "shake" is supposed to be a reference to her exposed behind throughout the game....


Which is it, wark or kweh?


Series: Final Fantasy


Obviously it's kweh, you uncultured swine! OK, I guess it can be both. Seriously though, that sandwich box chocobo is a thing of beauty. I shudder to think of the amount of work that had to go into crafting this guy, and I'm a little disturbed by the connotation of the chicken sandwiches next to him.... Maybe one day we'll get a saddled Chocobo creation in a Final Fantasy Tactics style?


Understand, understand, the concept of love.


Game: Jet Set Radio Future


Whoa, they are going old school and fairly obscure with this one, as the original game came out in 2000, and Jet Set Radio Future came out in '02. I'm hoping the resurrection of interest in this series from the social media posts might spur on some news soon, as Sega has been showing some proclivity towards resurrecting older IPs.


Beefy AND portable. We dig it.


Console: Switch


Speaking of the Switch, you had to know this one was coming, right? I never would have thought "Nintendo console = roast beef sandwiches," but somehow they made the connection with the beefy/portable comment. Those adorable little Switch Joy-Con buttons are also kind of amazing.


The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace.


Game: Metroid


Another totally classic and retro reference, this one takes us way, waaaaay back to the NES days of the earliest Samus adventures. Not only does this post successfully make me want some curly fries, but now it's got me wondering: When is that Metroid Prime 4 finally going to show up for the Switch?


So glad he crashed the party. 


Game: Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy


For a generation that grew up with Spyro and Crash Bandicoot, news of the remastered N.Sane Trilogy was like a breath of fresh air, and it didn't take long for word to spread on social media. The TNT boxes are fine and all, but it's really the cardboard sleeve gloves that push this one over the top and show off the level of detail.


It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.


Game: The Legend Of Zelda


While Breath of the Wild might be the only thing Zelda fans care about right now, it's the classics that will always be remembered. They didn't even have to make a cardboard sword for the reference to work. Three triangles tells us Triforce, and in this case, a pretty darn tasty one made out of fried potatoes!


As one adventure begins, another waits in the shadows. She's one tough cookie!


Game: Tomb Raider


The cookie causing the eclipse just brings this one together (but who goes to a fast food place for the cookies?). With the pickaxe in hand, this is clearly meant to evoke the newer reboot series that the new movie is based off, rather than original tank top and shorts Lara Croft.


Rally the crew; we're going after the big ones


Game: Monster Hunter World


You ever look at that really artistic spray paint wall graffiti and wonder, "How in the hell did they do that and get such amazing can control?" Yeah, now I'm trying to figure out how someone has such amazing Arby's BBQ sauce packet control to create the Monster Hunter guild symbol! Just one slight twitch of the wrist and this could have been a disaster.


Sneaking into that Mobile Beta


Game: Fortnite


The reigning Battle Royale king Fortnite landing on iOS devices is the current talk of the town (with Android users more than a little jealous), so of course Arby's jumped on that immediately.


This one has it all -- the bush that players love to be while sneaking around the map, and a reference to the difficulty in actually making it into the mobile beta at this point!


You'd usually think of Taco Bell or Mountain Dew as the gaming champs, but a certain roast beef-obsessed fast food chain is creeping up and taking over with a marketing department that clearly loves anime and gaming culture.


Social media marketing is a vital part of any company's advertising strategy, and Arby's made a conscious choice to change tactics away from "buy this meal for this price" posts to much more engaging and organic images that people actually want to share.


Every new post features a hilarious composition of reliable comment types -- a few clueless people trying to puzzle out what that reference means, super fans who are in heaven, a call for the team to get a raise, and backlash from the bored Facebook and Twitter crowds who are upset people are talking about video games for some reason. Every now and again, cheers of joy will erupt in the comments when pop culture references show up that a wider range of people actually understand, such as ClueAliens, or Discworld.


Despite going really obscure with some of the video game references, the Arby's team has created an advertising juggernaut here because they perfectly meet at the intersection of gaming, nerd culture, and crafting fanatics. Some of these posts ahead are truly works of art that clearly took an absurd amount of time to construct out of Arby's boxes, bags, and even sauce packets!


Note: All photo rights belong to Arby's -- we're just appreciating these perfect references. 

Kirby Star Allies Review: An Afternoon with Kirby & Friends Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:06:35 -0400 Greyson Ditzler (PurplePocketPirate)

Kirby Star Allies is the most recent entry in the mainline series of Kirby platformers developed by HAL Laboratory. It brings back into the spotlight the four-player local co-op last seen in Return to Dreamland, and brings main-series Kirby into the HD era at last. 

There was some excitement surrounding this game before release. The same can be said about any Kirby installment and indeed most Nintendo games, but the buildup was palpable. A bright and shiny new game in the series for the console/handheld hybrid that every kid on the block has AND it has cute little Kirby-critter co-op? People had every right to be excited.

Add to that the high-quality demo released about two weeks before the game came out as well as Nintendo's recent announcement of free content updates shortly after release, and Star Allies seemed like it was going to make us all smile so hard that our teeth fell out. And while the game we ended up with is quite good, I was a bit underwhelmed by the experience as a whole. 

  Let's go over just why exactly I felt this wasn't quite enough stuff from the tough pink puff.

C'mon Grab Your Friends

Let's start with the good before I start getting critical (because making fun of Kirby in any way makes me feel like the bad guy).

The setup for Star Allies is the same basic thing as every other Kirby adventure (not to be confused with Kirby's Adventure). A massive evil threat has entered Kirby's life and disrupted his sleepy little hamlet, and now he has to fight his way through a colorful cast of baddies in order to bring peace back to his world and reclaim naptime. Simple, cute, and we know what we're all in for -- let's save the world and get some cake to celebrate! 

On the subject of presentation, the game looks wonderful. I was aware that the game was locked at 30 FPS before I played this, but it didn't hamper my enjoyment of the visuals whatsoever. While it isn't the best-looking game on the Switch graphically, it still looks quite good, and the tasty mixture of detailed backgrounds, vibrant colors, crisp animations, and sweeping orchestral music all help to make Star Allies a treat for the eyes and ears. 

When all the stars align and the pieces all fit together, the game can be a true sight to behold. 

But cutesy presentation so sweet that it'll give you cavities is only half of Kirby's shtick. What about the gameplay?

It is, again, your typical Kirby setup, with copy abilities, the usual array of themed stages to run through, bosses and mini-bosses, and a few mini-games and harder post-game modes to unlock after beating the main adventure that fans of the series should be familiar with by now. The biggest differences revolve around what's been done to mix up the returning co-op feature, which the game is heavily built around. 

Kirby can now throw "friend hearts" at any enemy he encounters that possesses a copy ability that he could normally absorb, and it will turn them into a friend who will fight alongside him, a "Star Ally" if you will. Every enemy-turned-friend has the full ability move-set that Kirby himself would have if he had swallowed them, giving them full combat and problem-solving versatility, and human players controlling these friends can also throw friend hearts, giving them control over what they turn into just like Kirby's normal copy ability.  

The other major addition is the ability to combine and enhance certain copy abilities through the power of teamwork. Certain copy abilities have elemental properties like fire and ice which can be applied to many other copy abilities in order to raise their strength, defeat special enemies, and solve various puzzles. There are also a few special moves to be found by mixing and matching different abilities, and while there aren't too many super crazy combos to be found, there is some incentive to experiment with what you've got.

Chef Kawasaki's been letting this one stew for a while.

And in regard to the copy abilities themselves, I think Star Allies may have one of the best and most well-rounded selections of copy abilities that I've seen in the series so far. HAL achieved a nice balance of new, old, fun, cool, and practical.

Old fan favorites like Plasma, Chef, and Beetle return to my delight, with the unfortunate exclusion of others like Wheel, Mirror, and Spark. Every new ability is a knockout, from the combat variety of Spider to the practical uses of Staff to the ludicrous amount of advantages in Cleaning. I enjoyed every new ability immensely and wish that every Kirby game could have this many new abilities that are this good with every installment. Don't even get me started on Artist.   

Where the Game Drops the Ball

There are three major issues I had with this game that brought it down for me, and I feel they're pretty simple issues to explain: the game's overall difficulty, length, and how safe it played its content and ideas. Let's start with the game's difficulty because that's always an interesting debate when it comes to Kirby games.

And I know what some people are going to say: "Oh come on, it's Kirby, it's supposed to be easy, you can't complain about that." Well, that's just it. Kirby games are easy, yes, but they're still usually engaging on a moment-to-moment basis, and Star Allies is not only even easier than most standard Kirby games, but its gameplay in general feels much more streamlined.

I feel like most of these gameplay issues stem from the level design. There have been adjustments made to the typical Kirby level structure to accommodate for the four player co-op, such as larger numbers of enemies and broader, more open pathways in general, but a certain amount of complexity has been lost.   

Nearly every obstacle takes the form of a row of enemies or a brief ambush -- usually of typical enemies rather than a mini-boss -- all of which are extremely easy to cheese your way through if you've got three friends with you, real or imaginary. If it's not that, it's an obstacle that involves one or more specific abilities to solve, which are always reliably either right next to the puzzle or just outside the room for you to effortlessly grab and either take yourself or add to your team.

On that subject, the puzzles in particular have really taken a hit. Again, while they were rarely truly difficult, puzzles in previous Kirby games were still diversions that made you think, and one or two could be real head-scratchers. In this game, I think there was maybe one, maybe two puzzles where I didn't immediately understand what I had to do in order to solve it. It's especially odd coming from HAL, who have put out a number of solid and enjoyable puzzle games in the past like The Adventures of Lolo and BoxBoy! (or the recent Part Time UFO). 

There were puzzles I would have expected from the first or second world of other Kirby games happening in the final world, and it just started to annoy me after a while how simple everything was. After a while, I felt like I was playing parts of this game on auto-pilot.

This puzzle pops up in the middle of the last world of the game. Unfortunately it doesn't get much more complicated than this.

On top of all that, I managed to beat the main campaign mostly by myself in around six hours, and that was with me doing most of the extra unlockable stages. Those six or so hours were still all fun, but they lacked in really memorable moments or surprises for me.

Compared to the last main installment in the series, Kirby: Planet Robobot, the game is shorter by several hours, less aesthetically unique, and doesn't have any mechanics nearly as unique as that game's robot armor, or even the fully fleshed-out weapon combinations of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards that Star Allies dabbles with. The new group abilities like the Friend Wheel and Friend Bridge do make for some fun, but they aren't used enough to really take advantage of their mechanics in full.

The boss fights -- while often fun and a bit challenging -- are mostly predictable and consist mostly of the normal series antagonists and scenarios that we've seen so many times before. And while there is no padding in the form of a boss gauntlet (like in, say, Triple Deluxe), a few boss fights are re-fought seemingly for the purpose of just having more boss fights. Level themes and mini-bosses are recolored and reused fairly often, and while the different approach to level progression initially interested me, in the end it didn't do much to help the game or its story hold a sense of cohesiveness. 

While this autumn mood is quite pleasant to look at, it's little more than an aesthetic change for a level and a half of the green forest setting that dominated the first world.

The post game content and mini games are fun, and a decent change of pace and upping of challenge, but they're the kind of thing we've seen in one form or another with Kirby for the longest time -- only there's less of it. That really sums it up, honestly; what's here is genuinely good, even great at times, but they just didn't bring enough new stuff to the table, or enough stuff in general.   

It's Hard to Really Be THAT Mad at a Kirby Game 

I should reiterate that I did enjoy my time with Kirby Star Allies, and I am glad I played it. I'll likely play it again in the future with a full group of friends once they aren't all busy, but even if I had gone through the whole thing with friends, it would have still felt a bit underwhelming to me.

While everything that's here is pretty solid and balanced, and there are quite a few really great high points, the experience as a whole was one of the lesser Kirby games for me. It's definitely more of a Squeak Squad than a Super Star Ultra. It's about as close to a "standard" Kirby game as any other installment in the series has been for a wile.

Can I recommend Kirby Star Allies? Yeah, I'd say so, for sure. But probably not at full price if you're looking for a game that will last you a long time. It's a good game that I'm glad I played, and I'd say is still worth playing, but maybe wait for a price drop or a major content update before buying in.

There are still highlights of course. The copy ability selection is really good this time around, the co-op is a lot of fun when you're all working together, the presentation is pleasant, and I'm not even joking when I say this game probably has the best final boss in any Kirby game. I'm serious, if the rest of Star Allies was even half as creative and fun as the final boss, then this could have been the best Kirby game hands down.

If you're a Kirby enthusiast, you'll still probably really enjoy it, and it's a great game to buy for your kids or younger family members to play with them, but it's lacking in those big surprises and left-field unique elements that characterize Kirby at its best. 

Kirby Star Allies is available now for Nintendo Switch. You can watch a trailer for the game down below:

Kirby Star Allies: Tips for Beating The Ultimate Choice on Soul Melter Tue, 20 Mar 2018 11:09:41 -0400 Felicia Miranda

Beating The Ultimate Choice on Soul Melter is quite the feat, considering it’s the most challenging level of difficulty in Kirby Star Allies. Bosses are more difficult, health is reduced by half, and the healing items in the rest area aren’t as restorative as they are in previous difficulties. That said, there are plenty of ways to approach this mode. What might work for someone else might not work for you, and vice versa, but we’ll be providing a list of tips that are popular among the Kirby Star Allies community and have worked really well for us.

Ability Tips for Soul Melter

Whether you’re playing with CPUs or alone, chances are you’re going to be dealing out the majority of the damage. This is why choosing the right copy ability for Kirby makes all the difference. You’ll typically have better results when you fight with abilities that you’re comfortable with, but there are a few among the community that are popular to use.

Stone is often used due to its high defense, Staff/Hammer for great damage output, and Water/Spark for their range. Whatever ability you choose, make sure you have someone on your team that can heal because chances are, you won’t get too far without it.

King Dedede in Kirby Star Allies

Tips for Choosing the Best Team

Speaking of teams, Allies are super important (duh) in Kirby Star Allies. This is particularly so when playing on Soul Melter. Playing alongside CPUs is a popular choice, and the most commonly seen seem to be a combination of King Dedede, Vividria, Chef Kawasaki, Driblee, Meta Knight, Plugg, and Bonkers.

Kawasaki and Vividria can provide healing to your team, however small of an amount it may be. King Dedede, Plugg, Bonkers, Driblee, and Meta Knight are great offensive allies due to their incredibly useful abilities.

Additional Tips

Always consider your strengths and weaknesses and how they might play into your battles. If you’re not so great at defense, opt for a team that focuses on healing, and choose an ability that deals damage from afar. Contrarily, If you’re great at defense, close-range abilities with heavy damage output might be a good fit for you. Try different things and see what works best!

We hope these tips help you along your journey to beat The Ultimate Choice on Soul Melter. Make sure to check out more of our Kirby Star Allies guides, and if you have any additional tips, feel free to leave a comment below.