Nintendo Switch Platform RSS Feed | Nintendo Switch RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Fortnite Map Guide: Search Chests in Risky Reels Thu, 14 Jun 2018 06:35:10 -0400 Sergey_3847

With update 1.63 dropping this morning, we're officially on Week 7 of Fortnite's Season 4 challenges. And this week, you'll have to find seven chests at one of the poorest locations on the map -- Risky Reels.

As you know, since Epic Games fixed the location, it is getting really hard to find any loot chests there.

However, we've gone and done the hard work for you and listed all the possible Risky Reels treasure chests locations below. Hopefully, you'll be able to complete this challenge without much hassle at all.

All Chest Locations in Risky Reels

Looking at the map above, the first three chests can easily be found inside the building to the north. Break through the roof and you will see one in the attic. The second one is on the first floor, and the last one can be found on the ground one, so just break the floors from top to the bottom and quickly grab all three chests.

The barn in the eastern part of Risky Reels also has two chests, which are probably the easiest ones to get. Just hop inside and claim them right away. Check out the rest of the buildings as well, including the projector to the south, which hides one of the chests under the railing.

Some of the trucks scattered around the location may have a chest or two on their roofs, but don't bother checking the cars in the center of Risky Reels, as they aren't there anymore.

If you can't get all seven chests at once, be sure to either complete the game or get eliminated. Otherwise, the game will not count the chests you've already found and will make you gather all seven chests once again.


That's it for all loot chest locations in Risky Reels for this Week 7 Challenge. For other Fortnite guides here at GameSkinny, check the links below:

Fortnite Challenge Guide: Score a Goal on Different Pitches Thu, 14 Jun 2018 06:22:08 -0400 Sergey_3847

The hardest Fortnite Season 4, Week 7 challenge is scoring three goals in different soccer locations. You may think the best way to do it is to go to one of the giant stadiums recently added to Fortnite, and score the goals there.

But in fact, those stadiums will be extremely populated and you will get nothing done. If you want to finish this challenge quickly, then simply follow our guide for the three secret soccer field locations in Fortnite.

How to Score Goals on Different Pitches

Pitch 1: Risky Reels

The first secret field is located in Risky Reels. Just go to the northeastern part of the map and find the broken projector at the location (it's hard to miss). Go right under the projector, and you will see a small soccer field with a soccer ball ready to be kicked. Do it and claim your first goal!

Pitch 2: Containers/Crates

The second secret field is located in the area with containers and crates northeast of Dusty Divot. Just follow the exact location marked above in the screenshot and you will see the soccer ball near the crates. Kick it inside one of the open crates and it will count as a goal.

Pitch 3: Fatal Fields

The last one is quite ironic as it is located on one of the fields inside Fatal Fields, which is located in the southern part of the map near Moisty Mire. You will find the soccer ball in the northern field with a few scarecrows wanting to play soccer with you. So claim your third and final goal and grab your rewards for this hard challenge.


Now you can easily complete the soccer challenge in update 1.63 without too much trouble, and for other Fortnite guides at GameSkinny, check out the links below:

Fortnite Battle Star Guide: Follow the Treasure Map Found in Pleasant Park Thu, 14 Jun 2018 06:16:05 -0400 Sergey_3847

As you know, there's really no need to look out for the actual treasure map to claim each week's Battle Star. However, if you still need it, this week's treasure map can be found in Pleasant Park.

Surprisingly, the treasure map in Fortnite's 1.63 update is really easy to decipher, so just follow our guide below for the exact location of the Battle Star.

This week's treasure map will lead you to the Battle Star located on the top of the hill at Tilted Towers (see the screenshot above for exact location).

There's no doubt you know where to find Tilted Towers, but the exact hill you're looking for is positioned in the eastern part of the location, just at the edge of the city.

You need to land right on top of it and claim your Battle Star. Of course, Tilted Towers will be hot, so you might want to do this challenge as a squad. 

As you see, this Week 7 challenge is really simple (except having to navigate all the gunfire that's sure to light up Tilted Towers). Regardless, you should be able to finish this hard difficulty challenge in no time.

Hopefully, Epic Games will come up with some more exciting treasure map locations for the next week's challenge.


That's all for this week's Season 4 treasure map challenge. For other Fortnite guides at GameSkinny, check out the list below:

How to Log Out of Fortnite on the Switch Wed, 13 Jun 2018 14:11:26 -0400 Ty Arthur

Switch players have been eagerly awaiting the launch of Fortnite on Nintendo's killer multi-platform console, but unfortunately, it's off to a bit of a rocky launch with a couple of big issues.

Many players are discovering an odd oversight on the Switch version -- an inability to log out of your Epic account and switch to another account. This can be a game-breaking problem if you accidentally pressed the option to log in as a guest rather than using your main account, or if, for instance, you have a separate account for another family member and want to switch back to your primary Epic account.

Note that this is a separate (but connected) issue to the problems with PS4 linked Epic accounts. The long story short there is that if you previously linked your Epic account to the PlayStation Network, then there is absolutely no way to use that account on the Switch. Full stop, no go. Your only solution to that problem is to create an entirely new account.

But that's not why you're here. So here's the solution for another frustrating problem.

How To Logout of Fortnite Switch

First and foremost, it's important to know that entirely deleting and re-installing the Fortnite app does not solve this problem. Your account details are saved on the Epic Games servers, not on your console, so deleting and re-installing doesn't do anything and won't log you out of the currently activated account.

There are a few possible workarounds with varying levels of dependability. The one solution most likely to resolve the problem is also the solution you are going to least want to try.

The (Crappy) Solution

To sign in with a different Epic account on Fortnite, you can always just create a new user profile on your Switch, then download Fortnite again for that profile. You will be prompted to either sign in as a guest or use whatever Epic account details you want to log in with.

While it's guaranteed to work, it isn't a very viable solution long-term, since it will mean constantly switch back and forth between profiles just to play one single game.

If that doesn't seem like a workable solution for you, then there's another option to try.

Less Crappy but Not as Reliable

Tap the home button on the Switch's right joy con, highlight the Fortnite tile, then tap the Y button to fully close the app.

Re-launch the program and take a look to see if you are still logged in. Some players are reporting this logs them out of the Fortnite servers, while others have stated it isn't working at all for them -- but it's worth a try since it doesn't take much time.

Your Final Option

Finally, you can head over to the Epic Games website and sign in with your Epic account. Hover over your account name and click the "Account" option in the drop-down menu. From there, click "Connected Accounts" on the left hand side of the screen. 

In the list of accounts, you can attempt to un-link your current Switch account, then re-link with whatever account you want to use. Like the previous solution, however, some players are having trouble getting this to work properly.

For now, creating a new Switch account is the only surefire solution until Epic adds a "logout" feature in a future patch, hopefully soon.

 Linking accounts at the Epic Games website

Have you found another solution for logging out of your Fortnite account on Switch? Let us know what you tried and what's been working in the comments below!

For those who are finally able to log on, be sure to check out our latest Fortnite guides for Season 4, Week 7 below:


Fortnite Is Here For The Switch... But Not If Your Epic Account Is Linked To PSN Tue, 12 Jun 2018 15:31:54 -0400 Ty Arthur

Editor's Note: If you're looking for "How to Logout of Fortnite on Switch?", then be sure to check out this guide 

While there's still no news on an official release date for we poor second class Android citizens, all you lucky Switch players today finally get to jump into the zany Fortnite Battle Royale action!

The news broke at this year's Nintendo E3 showcase earlier today and the game is now available for free download, but it comes with a major hitch. Even though this is supposed to be Nintendo's shining moment, somehow Sony showed up to cast a cloud over the announcement.

It seemed like we were moving towards a golden age of crossplay between consoles with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo showing more willingness to engage in inter-platform play.

Those hopes have been dashed for full Fortnite Switch crossplay, which is currently available for Xbox One, PC, and iOS users.. but not for PS4, as confirmed by Epic's Nick Chester in this tweet:

That's an odd oversight for a free-to-play game that's focused on syncing between different platforms so you can pick up and play on any console or iOS device.

Bizarrely, its not just crossplay that's affected here. After the game went live, Switch players who originally created their Epic account via PS4 (or who linked their PC account to the PlayStation Network) discovered a little problem... you can't use your PS4-linked Epic account on the Switch version.

This was pointed out by GameOverGreggy over on Twitter, who was faced with the Login Failed screenshot below. There's one line in particular to focus on here in the error message: "neither the Fortnite website nor Epic customer service are able to change this."

Epic Games obviously knows this practice is going to tick people off, and are also washing their hands of the decision, since it clearly wasn't up to them. There's no point in emailing customer support to complain, since they can't do anything to help resolve the problem. 

You might be thinking this isn't that big a deal and just requires an extra step before you can play, however, un-linking your Epic account from PSN does not make it work, either! Once an account has been linked to PS4, it is forever off limits to other platforms.

In other words, you have to make an entirely new Epic account if you previously played Fortnite on the PS4 and want to play on the Switch. Everything associated with your Fortnite account -- your ranking, your Battle Pass, your skins -- are all useless on the Switch for previous PS4 players.

There's been no official statement from Sony, Epic, or Nintendo at this point as to why this would be the case, but it isn't hard to guess. Since its only the PSN-linked accounts that are affected, the issue seems to land solely on Sony's doorstep and not Nintendo's.

It seems clear this is a case of Sony forcing exclusivity on the PS4 to try to maintain market dominance as the #1 console, but its causing so much backlash that it may end up having the opposite effect.

Right now Twitter, Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube are lit up with comments from players vowing to unlink their Epic account from the PlayStation Network and just start playing exclusively on Xbox or Switch.

For those who have a decent gaming rig, just switching entirely to PC might be the way to go, since you can then link however you want to other consoles (although obviously don't link to PSN if you plan on playing on Switch later).

Have you come across the issue, and what do you think of Sony disallowing Epic accounts to be utilized on other platforms? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to share your best Fortnite kills and deaths on the Switch!

Yo-Kai Watch 4 and Unannounced Yo-Kai Watch Game to be Revealed Soon Tue, 12 Jun 2018 11:59:22 -0400 Erroll Maas

Level-5 has announced that Yo-Kai Watch 4 will be revealed with a trailer on June 23 for Nintendo Switch. It is reported that it will launch in Japan in late 2018.

Additionally, another unannounced Yo-Kai Watch game will be revealed on June 27 at Level-5's event for the fifth anniversary of the series.

These announcements come after the previously revealed Yo-Kai Watch Shadowside project, which includes an upcoming game and an anime series, which started airing in April.

It is currently unknown if the Yo-Kai Watch Shadowside game is separate from Yo-Kai Watch 4 or the unannounced Yo-Kai Watch game.

It is also unknown if any of these games will release outside of Japan. The most recent titles in the series, Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sushi, Yo-Kai Watch 3: Tempura, and the updated version, Yo-Kai Watch 3: Sukiyaki, all for the Nintendo 3DS, have not yet been confirmed for a western release.

They originally launched in Japan on July 16, 2016, and December 15, 2016, respectively.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and info on these games as they develop. 

FIFA 19: New Modes, New Experiences Sat, 09 Jun 2018 19:12:37 -0400 Stephen_1992

As some may know FIFA 19 was announced recently at E3 and along with that come some big changes. FIFA 19 will introduce UEFA Champions league, Europa league, Super Cup, and Journey: Champions on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox 1, and PC. 

According to EA, the UEFA Champions league has been one of the most highly requested additions. One of the worlds biggest competitions will come to the game for the first time. In the UEFA Champions tournament players can play a custom version where they control a club of their choice or play through the group stage of the final. 

In Journey: Champions you play as Alex Hunter. He is competing for the UEFA Champions league trophy in a narrative story mode. 

Some of the new features allow players to control the pitch of every moment from tactical approaches to the technical touch. The brand new active touch system improves upon how players interact with the ball. The Dynamic Tactics system lets players set up their squad and customize their tactical approach. Also 50/50 balls will be decided by player attributes and reactions across the pitch. 

And to top it all off the cover stars for FIFA 19 are Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr, some of the biggest names in the biggest names in the soccer world.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more FIFA 19 news as it comes. 

Paladins Coming to the Switch on June 12 Thu, 07 Jun 2018 13:26:11 -0400 Zach Hunt

Hi-Rez Studios announced today that its massively popular hero shooter, Paladins, will be coming to the Nintendo Switch on June 12. Not only will fans of the hit game be able to play on the go, but Paladins will run at a silky-smooth 60 frames per second (in both docked and handheld modes) and feature crossplay support between Xbox One and Switch players. You can check out the full Switch launch trailer in the video above.

Pre-orders are available now for the Founder's Pack on the Nintendo eShop. For $29.99, players will get full access to all 36 currently available Champions, any future Champions, and a host of exclusive cosmetic items. A free-to-play version is slated to release at some point this summer.

Although Paladins only recently officially launched on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, more than 25 million players across the globe have been singing its praises since it went into open beta back in September of 2016. Over that course of time, the game's trademark card-based loadout system and addictive gameplay have helped it to amass a devoted fanbase that is sure to be thrilled by this announcement.

Be sure to stick with GameSkinny for all things Paladins, and if you haven't already, check out our collection of Paladins guides so that you'll have a leg up on the competition come June 12.

Can't Wait for Indivisible? Try Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory Wed, 06 Jun 2018 13:19:08 -0400 Erroll Maas

Plenty of fans have been disappointed by the recently announced delay of Lab Zero's upcoming hand-drawn action RPG, Indivisible, repeatedly playing the previously released demo after learning they would now have to wait until 2019 to get their hands on the full version. Luckily, a new exclusive called Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory has been brought to the Nintendo Switch by NIS America and YummyYummyTummy Games.

Two Stories in One Package

Rise to Glory compiles the two previously released Fallen Legion games, Flames of Rebellion for PlayStation 4 and Sins of an Empire for PlayStation Vita. Each version contains the same story from a different point of view. Flames of Rebellion stars former soldier Legatus Laendur as he leads a rebellion to overthrow the royal family after discovering the corruption deeply ingrained within the empire, while Sins of an Empire stars Princess Cecille, the newly crowned princess of Fenumia, who is trying her best to restore Fenumia to its former glory.

You've Seen This Somewhere Before

For anyone who is a fan of the Valkyrie Profile style of gameplay -- which is similar to that of Indivisible -- Fallen Legion will provide a recognizable battle system; however, anyone not familiar may experience some difficulty adjusting. After a brief story section, you get thrown into the action right away, and it can take time to understand the gameplay and finish the first level. Each level contains a series of battles, sometimes with a boss to face once you reach the end.

Your Exemplars Will Aid You

Similarly to Indivisible, your party consists of several characters, although the main character takes more of a supporting role. In battle, you control these several characters, called exemplars, who join you throughout the course of the campaign, each of whom corresponds to a different face button. Each time an exemplar attacks, it requires mana, and there's a quick cooldown after it has been depleted. Additionally, the main character has a special attack as well as the ability to heal and revive allies. The abilities of the main characters require a more extensive cooldown time, so well-timed blocks are necessary if you want to make progress without having to rely on them. Perfect blocks can grant you AP and reflect enemy attacks as well.

Characters do not gain experience or level up after each battle, but they can be equipped with gemstones to improve their attributes and gain new abilities, of which three can be equipped at once.

Important Decisions

In-between battles, you have to make choices for your kingdom which will grant you bonuses and affect certain aspects of the outside world. These choices are timed, so you have to be quick about what you think will be the best option depending on how your characters are doing at the time. Your choices can also boost morale, which in turn grants you an additional bonus.

Only One Life Creates a More Intense Challenge

In addition to the main campaign mode, there is also a "one life mode," which features no retries and ends the game as soon as the main character has been defeated in battle. This isn't recommended for anyone who isn't familiar or hasn't already completed the game normally, but it provides an extra feature for players who want to challenge themselves. Like plenty of other RPGs, a New Game Plus mode is also available after finishing the campaign for the first time.

A Few Drawbacks

One glaring flaw Fallen Legion has is a severe lack of checkpoints. Despite a built-in autosave feature, saving doesn't happen in-between battles, and levels are restarted if you're defeated. It could be understandable if there were a checkpoint at least at the halfway point, but having to restart a level becomes exceedingly frustrating. Additionally, it seems that cut-scenes can't be skipped, which may further infuriate some players. Unlike Indivisible, Fallen Legion also does not contain any kind of platforming, so fans of that feature may be disappointed as well.

Something to Consider

Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory is best for fans of the genre and those who enjoy the particular type of battle system. It may not be as close to Indivisible as some fans might want it to be, but it can at least tide some of them over for now. Now that players can experience the two different versions on one platform, they have around 30 hours of gameplay to keep them satisfied, and even more if they're willing to face the challenge of one-life mode.

Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory is available on the Nintendo SwitchFallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion is also available on PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4, while Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire is available on PlayStation 4. Both versions are also available on Steam.

Note: A code for Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory was provided by the publisher.

Kickstarter Campaign for Temtem Launched Wed, 30 May 2018 17:15:24 -0400 Erroll Maas

Madrid-based developer Crema has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming monster-raising RPG, Temtem.

Temtem takes place on a group of six floating islands known as the Airborne Archipelago, where humans and creatures known as Temtem coexist. All islands have a different type of environment, but all residents have a passion for raising and battling the titular creatures. 

As a tamer, players will forge a bond with their Temtem by capturing and training them. Temtem battles are primarily two-on-two but may be two-on-one when encountering wild Temtems, and can be one-on-one between tamers. Rather than just a primarily single-player experience, Temtem features a massively multiplayer online world where players can become friends, battle, and trade. Temtem's campaign will also be fully co-op compatible, and players will be able to experience their adventure together and participate in dual battles.

Additionally, Temtem will feature competitive battling where each player will pick 10 Temtem and decide which of their opponent's Temtem they would like to ban, resulting in teams of four. Competing players will be able to have both single and dual battles.

While the primary purpose of Temtem is battling them against each other, compatible Temtem can also breed to create offspring. Temtem features a distinct breeding mechanic where offspring will inherit stats and movesets but the parents will have a genetic degradation value, so they can only breed a specific amount of times.

Temtem will also include customizable housing for your player character after finishing the main campaign. The player character will also be fully customizable.

Temtem's main campaign goal is $70,000 USD, with some revealed stretch goals and others to be revealed as other goals are met. The final stretch goal is a Nintendo Switch release in addition to PC.

The Kickstarter campaign for Temtem will end on July 1, 2018. Interested players can follow the Kickstarter page, Twitter, Facebook page, or join the Discord for updates. Players can put Temtem on their Steam wishlist as well.

Keep your eyes on GameSkinny for more updates on Temtem in the future.

Pokemon Quest Recipe and Cooking Guide Wed, 30 May 2018 16:19:34 -0400 Ashley Gill

You may go hunting for Pokemon in most other games in the series, but in Pokemon Quest, you have to put your cooking skills to the test and whip up some Pokemon delicacies to lure them to your camp.

The cooking system you have to deal with in Pokemon Quest is fairly simple and the dish descriptions point you in the direction you need to go to make the recipe perfect. So how does it work? Here's how you can cook up the right stuff to bring all the Pokemon to your yard.

Ingredients & Cooking

The table below is filled with some of the known recipes for each dish, but in order to strike out on your own, you need to know about each of the game's ingredients and what their qualities are. Here's a quick rundown:

Ingredient Color Qualities + Type
 Tiny Mushroom Red Mushroom
 Bluk Berry Blue Sweet
Apricorn Yellow Plant
 Fossil Gray Mineral
Big Root (Big) Red Plant
 Icy Rock (Big) Blue Mineral
 Honey (Big) Yellow Sweet
 Balm Mushroom (Big) Gray Mushroom


Past these ingredients are the two Rainbow ingredients, which can substitute any other type of ingredient and seem to be used for the rarest dish of them all: Ambrosia of Legends.

You need to know the food qualities and types so you can piece together the recipe hints to make them on your own. The recipe list below only goes so far -- there are definitely more combinations to these dishes.

Past the ingredients, there are still a few things to know about the cooking system. For instance:

  • Using an ingredient with the "Precious" quality may attract more rare Pokemon than the typical sizes, all "big" ingredients are Precious

  • The amount indicated in the recipe description indicates the amount of a type of ingredient to be used, and can be used to figure out recipes on your own:
    • "A little" likely equates to 1 or more
    • "A few" likely equates to 2 or more
    • "A lot" likely equates to 3 or more
    • "A whole lot" likely equates to 4 or more

Discovered Recipe Combinations

The lists of potential Pokemon are by no means complete but are there to give you an idea of what you might be able to get from each dish. Some have no entries as it stands! This section will be fleshed out as we learn more.

Recipe Name Ingredients Potential Pokemon
 Mulligan Stew  Random ingredients  [Random Pokemon] Magmar, Ponyta, Lickitung, Jigglypuff, Clefairy
 Red Stew
"A whole lot of red."
4 Red + 1 any
5 Red
[Red Pokemon] Goldeen, Charmander, Vulpix, Porygon, Diglett
 Blue Soda
"A whole lot of blue."
 4 Blue + 1 any
5 Blue
[Blue Pokemon] Machop, Dratini, Koffing, Tentacool
 Yellow Curry
"A whole lot of yellow."
 4 Yellow + 1 any
5 Yellow
[Yellow Pokemon] Psyduck, Drowzee, Abra, Bellsprout, Weedle
 Gray Porridge
"A whole lot of gray."
 4 Gray + 1 any
5 Gray
[Gray Pokemon] Rhyhorn, Mr. Mime, Onix, Clefairy, Oddish
 Mouth-watering Dip
"A whole lot of soft things and a lot of blue"
2 Red + 3 Blue [Water-type Pokemon] Slowpoke
 Plain Crepe
"A lot of sweet things and a few gray."
 2 Gray + 3 Blue
2 Gray + 3 Big Yellow
[Normal-type Pokemon] Pidgey
 Sludge Soup
"A whole lot of mushrooms and a lot of sweet things."
3 Red + 2 Big Gray [Ground-type Pokemon]  
Mud Pie
"A few minerals and a whole lot of soft things."
2 Big Blue + 3 Big Red
2 Big Blue + 2 Big Red + 1 Big Grey
[Poison-type Pokemon]
 Veggie Smoothie
"A whole lot of plants and a few soft things."
2 Big Red + 3 Yellow  [Grass-type Pokemon] Bulbasaur
 Honey Nectar
"A whole lot of sweet things and a lot of yellow."
??? [Bug-type Pokemon]
 Brain Food
"A lot of sweet things and a few hard things."
3 Blue + 2 Yellow
2 Red + 2 Blue + 1 Big Yellow
[Psychic-type Pokemon]
 Light-as-air Casserole
"A lot of minerals and a few plants."
3 Gray + 2 Yellow
3 Big Blue + 2 Yellow
[Flying-type Pokemon]
 Stone Soup
"A whole lot of hard things and a few minerals."
2 Gray + 3 Yellow
2 Gray + 3 Big Blue
[Rock-type Pokemon] Venonat, Geodude
 Hot Pot
"A lot of mushrooms and a little red."
3 Red + 2 any (not Red)  [Fire-type Pokemon] Vulpix
 Watt a Risotto
"A whole lot of soft things and a lot of yellow."
 2 Big Yellow + 3 Red  [Electric-type Pokemon]
 Get Swole Syrup
"A lot of sweet things and a few mushrooms."
???  [Fighting-type Pokemon]
 Ambrosia of Legends
"A whole lot of mystical things."
(Probably 5 Rainbow)  [Rare Pokemon]


This is very much a work in progress as Pokemon Quest is brand new. Look for updates to this article and more Pokemon Quest guides here on GameSkinny!

LEGO DC Super-Villains Announced for Fall Release Wed, 30 May 2018 14:34:44 -0400 Zach Hunt

Tired of playing as the good guys?

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games officially announced today that LEGO DC Super-Villains will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on October 16. 

Set to feature a roster of classic baddies from throughout the DC Universe, LEGO DC Super-Villains will allow players to create and customize their own villainous main character and then team up with notable baddies such as The Joker, Lex Luthor, and Harley Quinn in order to thwart the plans of a mysterious group calling themselves "The Justice Syndicate."

Allegedly, the Justice League has decided to take a sabbatical, and this new group of wannabes has decided to fill the void. It will be up to players and their team of antiheroes to uncover and put a stop to whatever the Syndicate is up to.

Naturally, being a LEGO game, two-player local co-op hilarity is sure to ensue.

Pre-orders are available now for the Deluxe Edition of LEGO DC Super-Villains, which will include the game, Season Pass content, and early access to the "DC Super-Villains: TV Series" DLC Character Pack. Physical versions will also come with a LEGO minifigure of Lex Luthor Superman; digital versions are set to include the "Justice League Dark" DLC Character Pack.

Be sure to stick with GameSkinny as we learn more about LEGO DC Super-Villains in the coming months.

Omensight Review -- New Revelations Lead to Recurring Events Fri, 25 May 2018 15:16:04 -0400 Erroll Maas

In Spearhead Games' Omensight, a murder-mystery action adventure game, you play as the Harbinger, a silent being meant to prevent the destruction of the anthropomorphic world of Urallia.

As the Harbinger, you must use your time-traveling ability to interact with several important characters, revealing new information along the way. At first, you can only travel down a single path with each companion character, but as more secrets are revealed, you gain the ability to open special locks that will lead you down several new paths as you slowly figure out the details of past events.

A Versatile Warrior

The Harbinger uses its sword, quick speed, and magic to deal with enemies, with standard light and heavy attacks, ranged attacks, time-slowing spells, and more. A well-timed dodge can also slow down time for a brief moment, allowing for a swift counter-attack -- although this can only be done three times in a row before requiring a cooldown. As you defeat enemies and finish and repeat levels, you gain experience that will level you up once enough has been accumulated, which in turn grants new abilities. Amber you collect from each level can be used to purchase additional abilities, upgrade existing ones, and reduce the cooldown time of companion abilities.

Cooperative Companions

The companions who join you on your quest help you open doors, access hard-to-reach platforms, and fight enemies. Most companions have their own special abilities that you can command them to use when needed, which is useful when you feel overwhelmed by enemies. Companions are also useful when managing your health during earlier boss fights, as they will be focusing on only one enemy and do a decent amount of damage just by themselves, even if it does take more time.

Although the companions themselves each have distinct personalities, and you learn more about them in each playthrough, you don't sympathize with them much due to the short time frame of events. Since you can travel back in time, character deaths only matter when you can gain new information from them; otherwise, they're just a small detail on certain paths even if they do still affect the outcome in the end.

Stuck in a Time Loop

As previously mentioned, each time you finish a level and go down a new path, you will be given new information to help you solve the mystery. Sometimes, certain events will give you visions of the past, and using your power of Omensight on each character will allow you to share your visions with them. After Omensight is used, it will alter events and put the characters in different situations and locations, allowing for the unlocking of new areas.

The main concept of using the power of Omensight to change the course of events and attempt to prevent the end of the world is interesting, but it comes with some drawbacks. Although levels are expected to be repeated, they become too repetitive, with character dialogue and other elements only changing further on in each level.

When repeating a level, sometimes you have the ability to skip to the critical moment at which an important choice must be made, and depending on what information you already have, each choice can reveal more details about what you want to know. A problem with this is that skipping to the critical moment doesn't skip directly to it, instead making you face a few groups of the same enemies once again before reaching it. Additionally, Omensight does not allow you to fully skip cut-scenes, with dialogue being able to be skipped only line by line, and with some not even skippable. For a game about time travel and repeating events, one would think that there would be a better fast-forward option.

Looking for Clues

Like other story-based games, without certain paths unlocked or details revealed, you'll get one of the bad endings in which either some or all characters will die, and you ultimately will not have prevented the end of the world. This is where the mystery solving aspect comes in, because to make up for those missing details, you'll have to piece together all the clues from the information you've already accumulated, using the investigation board to your advantage. The selected difficulty level can also change the difficulty of your investigation, from giving you plenty of hints to having you solve the entire mystery yourself to everything in between. This adds an engaging layer but unfortunately doesn't help cover Omensight's flaws.

Gorgeous Art & Mediocre Music

The art style of Omensight is heavily stylized and allows for some gorgeous scenery, but seeing the same areas over and over again becomes stale. New paths might unlock as you progress, but that doesn't change the overall look of the level. The music is well-done, and while it suffers from the same repetition problem as the rest of the game, it's nice that each piece of music has some different variations.

Something is Missing

Omensight is a single-player-only experience but could benefit from a co-op mode. It could have one player as the Harbinger and the other as whichever companion was chosen, with the second player switching to other companions after one dies or heads to a different area for story reasons. Another option might be to make both players the Harbinger, and although it wouldn't make sense given the story as written, they could be treated by the companions as if they were still just one character.

Omensight has some interesting concepts with changing story events, but its unvaried, repetitive nature holds back a more entertaining experience. With a few tweaks, Omensight could provide a more enjoyable adventure, but the land of Urallia can only be traveled through so many times before meeting its demise.

Omensight is available on PC via Steam, GOG, and Humble, as well as on PlayStation 4.

Note: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

5 Extremely Difficult Modern Games for Masochists Fri, 25 May 2018 12:16:53 -0400 Edgar Wulf


That's all, you can take a respite now. Have you played any of the games mentioned, or even managed to beat them? Perhaps you know of an immensely difficult game that deserves a place on this list? Let us know in the comments below.


And if you enjoyed this list, check out other great compilations on GameSkinny:




Cuphead is a brutally tough 2D run-and-gun game with beautiful hand-drawn animation in the vein of old-school Disney cartoons. You play as Cuphead, who is indebted to the devil himself and must battle through a series of challenging bosses to repay his debt. The game follows segments of straightforward run-and-gun, as well as bullet hell-style stages where the screen is populated with a large amount of various projectiles that you have to dodge. All of it leads to the game's main attraction -- boss battles -- which are highly diverse, each requiring a different approach and strategy. Unlike the other games on this list, Cuphead allows for couch co-op, so give your best buddy a controller, let them take charge of Cuphead's brother Mugman, and as a duo, indulge in the pleasantly painful world of this charming title.


Hotline Miami


Hotline Miami is a top-down twin-stick shooter heavily inspired by 80's culture. You play as a nameless protagonist who is known among the community simply as Jacket, because he's wearing one. Jacket receives calls from an unknown source urging him to commit murderous raids on mobster hideouts around the city. His goal is to kill every single one on any given level with numerous weapons at his disposal, ranging from axes and swords to assault rifles and shotguns; most enemies die from a single attack, but so does Jacket. Hotline Miami is about dying, a lot, learning enemy layout, and attempting a level again -- and again, and again. Thankfully, the gameplay is kept engaging by fast-paced action, an amazing synthwave soundtrack, and a variety of animal masks that grant beneficial properties at the start of a level.


Demon's Souls


When presented with the question of the most difficult modern game, most would probably answer Dark Souls; however, it all began with Demon's Souls, which is, arguably, still the most difficult entry in the Souls franchise. Much like later titles, it revolves around creating a hero based on one of the available classes and traveling through the crumbling lands of Boletaria, populated by threatening foes, including a diverse range of bosses, most of which can kill you in a few hits. Only a small number of games can provide a feeling as rewarding as defeating a boss the size of a building after countless unsuccessful attempts, as well as seeing the infamous "You Defeated" appear on screen. For that reason, Demon's Souls still stands as a prime modern example of a brutally difficult yet immensely satisfying game.


Darkest Dungeon


Darkest Dungeon provides a different kind of difficulty; it doesn't test your reflexes or ability to nimbly traverse fast-paced levels. It's a dungeon crawler that presents you with the arduous task of managing a diverse group of heroes and guiding them through many dreary dungeons. There, heroes can die not only in battle against terrifying beasts, but also from starvation, deadly traps, or a heart attack due to accumulated stress. Despite the combat being turn-based, any one mistake can mean the difference between success and failure. It is therefore up to the player to micro-manage the roster available to them, making sure they are fed, well-rested, equipped accordingly, and mentally prepared. Alas, some deaths can't be avoided, and each hero should be treated as expendable, promptly replaced by new ones recruited in town.


Super Meat Boy


You're Meat Boy -- literally, a piece of meat -- and your goal is to rescue Bandage Girl from the evil Dr. Fetus. Super Meat Boy, made by the awesome Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, is a punishingly difficult 2D platformer in which you must guide Meat Boy through increasingly elaborate levels littered with rotating sawblades, spikes, and other deadly hazards. Clearing all worlds, seven in total, is a serious feat in and of itself, and at the end of each, you are challenged by a powerful boss. Should you feel like testing the limits of your sanity, you can attempt an even more difficult Dark World, which is unlocked after completing a world's regular version. Super Meat Boy's demanding difficulty is easily justified by colorful visuals and impeccable controls, so you can always be certain that, if you died 200 times on one level, each misstep was your own fault.


Most games nowadays make you feel comfortable; they tend to overwhelm you with tutorials and hold your hand throughout the first few hours. Without a doubt, more complex video games can definitely benefit from an in-depth explanation, but is it really necessary to teach a player how to move, look up, or open a door? Some games, like Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, even make fun of such basic tutorials.


Then there are games on the opposite end of the spectrum, games that challenge your skills, smarts, and reflexes, forcing you to earn the satisfying sensation of success by learning everything from first-hand experience. They're not always fair -- in fact, in most instances, they're the opposite -- but that's the whole appeal.


It is thanks to these games that the term "Nintendo Hard" exists, but it is often used to describe the difficulty of older titles, like Battletoads or Contra. Modern games, for better or for worse, are rarely so challenging. There is, however, a less notorious term for defining the difficulty of more recent games, and that is "Masocore," a portmonteau of "masochist" and "hardcore," both of which perfectly characterize the games on this list. These games are either extremely challenging by default or don't have an adjustable difficulty setting at all.


If you are tired of simple, straightforward games and crave a true challenge, then click over to the next page to view the first out of 5 extremely difficult modern games, in no particular order.

Wizard of Legend Guide: Best Builds Thu, 24 May 2018 15:39:26 -0400 Zack Palm

Feeling overwhelmed with the the massive list of arcana and relics you can find in Wizard of Legend? With the amount of potential magical builds you can come up with, you may find it difficult knowing where to get started. 

With a wide variety of robes, relics, and arcana combinations at your disposal, you have to find the right build to fit your preferred playstyle. In this guide, we have collected a handful of builds you might find useful to try out during your next attempt to conquer the Chaos Trials.

Up Close and Personal

  • Robe: Grit
  • Basic: Earth Knuckles
  • Dash: Gust Burst
  • Standard: Seismic Entry or Blazing Onslaught
  • Signature: Flame Breath

This build was designed for those who relish being in the middle of every encounter. Right at the start of a fight, you can introduce yourself to your enemies with Seismic Entry or Blazing Onslaught. Both serve as great openers. After you've gotten their attention, use Gust Burst to target the nearest one, and start pummeling them with Earth Knuckles.

With the robe Grit equipped, you'll find yourself shrugging off more damage from enemies, despite being in the middle of all of them. Don't get too cocky. It only takes a few well-placed hits for enemies to take down your health, regardless of how much armor you're stacking.

Make use of your dash arcana to hunt down ranged targets who have kept their distance from you, and save your standard ability for the melee-based foes. If you feel like you're taking on too much pressure, use your Flame Breath to char your foes while still keeping them in range of your other arcana.

Your relic choices should focus on increasing your armor as much as possible. This means picking up Euphie's Shawl, Calcifying Bonemail, and Armor of Resolve to take with you. If you're confident you can pick up additional earth arcana during your run, then take Neve's Emerald to increase your health and armor, as well as lower stun and knockback timers. Neve's Emerald requires you to have seven earth arcana equipped to take effect, so make sure you're not wasting a relic spot!

Wind Demon

  • Robe: Pace or Tempo
  • Basic: Stone Shot or Ice Dagger
  • Dash: Gust Burst
  • Standard: Evading Zephyr or Scales of Babylon
  • Signature: Shock Assault

You'll be on your enemies before they even know you're in the room. Wait for enemies to spawn, and use Gust Burst to pull them closer to you. As they're falling forward, pull back a bit and open up a volley of Stone Shot. Take out a few of them before using Gust Burst to do it all over again. If you're using Scales of Babylon, hit enemies with this ability after using Gust Burst, and you'll think this ability doesn't come with a cooldown.

For those preferring Ice Dagger to Stone Shot, activate Evading Zephyr just before you jump into the fray to avoid incoming attacks. This will save you the trouble of having to constantly glance at your health while you're dashing all over the place. 

Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, fire off Shock Assault to quickly lower the health of multiple foes. However, remember you'll return to your starting position after the end of this ability. Don't use this when you're stuck in a corner!

You will want to equip the Autograph Pad relic to increase your movement if you find yourself not using your signature arcana often. Because you can use Gust Burst so often, have the defensive relic Spell Thief's Socks equipped to further raise your overall movement. To make your basic attacks even more devastating, equip the miscellaneous relic Combo Gloves.

The robes, Tempo and Pace, both complement this build. Those who use their abilities more often will want Tempo equipped. If you're running around, dodging enemy attacks and using your basic attacks more, then you'll feel more comfortable with Pace.


  • Robe: Awe or Shift
  • Basic: Ice Dagger or Spark Contact
  • Dash: Circuit Line or Searing Rush
  • Standard: Bouncing Surge
  • Signature: Tracer Barrage

Keep the pressure on your enemies -- and when you hit them, you hit them hard. Dive into the room using your dash arcana, and move away from the enemies. The further away you go, the more likely you'll find enemies clustering together to try and trap you. As this happens, fire out Bouncing Surge, and use their numbers to your advantage. Get closer and rely on your basic attack to deplete their remaining health. If you find too many enemies in a room as your battle continues, or Bouncing Surge is still on cooldown, use Tracer Barrage to give you some space.

To properly optimize your chance of doing damage, you're going to lean more heavily on relics that increase your chances of landing a critical. The most obvious relic for you to choose is Analytical Monocle, which increases your overall critical chance. If you feel comfortable with effectively dodging your foe's strikes, go with Covert Ops Mask. And if you want to focus solely on using your melee basic arcana, equip the Dark Katana to triple its critical hit chance.

Regardless of what your offensive relic is, you want to equip Vampire's Eyeglasses. This item heals you for every critical hit you successfully land. If you want to spam your signature arcana, equip Albert's Formula so you can receive more charges every time you heal. Complement every part of this build!

Choking Hazard

  • Robe: Tempo
  • Basic: Player's Choice
  • Dash: Toxic Trap
  • Standard: Toxic Bolas
  • Signature: Exploding Fireball or Whirling Tornado

Stay on the move with Toxic Trap dash, and you'll leave a deadly trail of poison for your enemies to step in. This DoT damage should serve as a great opener as your enemies spawn. When they start to focus on you, hit them with the Toxic Bolas arcana. If you find any of them still standing, finish them off with Exploding Fireball. If you prefer dashing straight through your enemies, switch out Exploding Fireball for Whirling Tornado, and you'll stun lock your foes in the trails of poison you left behind.

Because you're going to rely on your dash and standard in every fight, you definitely want to have the Tempo robe equipped. Top off this build with your preferred basic, and you're ready to enter the fray.

Grab any one of these relics to complement your new build:

  • Mercury's Sandals for increased movement speed
  • Hunter's Stiletto to do additional damage to enemies with a status effect
  • Noxious Mushroom to potentially poison your enemies
  • Greased Boots to increase the distance of your dash
  • Leemo's Leaf to evade all attacks while dashing


At the end of the day, Wizard of Legend features over 178 relics and 128 arcana for you to equip. Needless to say, there's a lot of combinations for you to try. Some of them may work for you, and others will get you sent back to the starting area without ever having encountered a boss.

And that's okay! This game is all about finding a magical playstyle for you. There's no "correct" way to play this game. Take your time during each run to discover what arcana suit you like the most to dispatch your enemies. It doesn't even have to fit under a specific category. Make something up and have a blast!

If you have a preferred build, we'd love to hear about it! Share it in the comments below and compare with other Wizard of Legend fans here on GameSkinny.

The Power of Dragons Awakens in New Shining Resonance Refrain Trailer Tue, 22 May 2018 15:10:18 -0400 Erroll Maas

Sega has released a new trailer for upcoming JRPG Shining Resonance Refrain, which you can find above. Titled "The Dragon's Power Awakens," the trailer showcases different dragons encountered throughout the game.

In addition to the new trailer, Sega has provided a brief summary:

The evil dragons known as the Dracomachina are “ready to turn this city into ash!” But there’s a power that resides within you that rivals those of the Dracomachina, that power comes from the Shining Dragon. With the might of the Shining Dragon at your command, you can unleash attacks that’ll decimate your enemies.

Shining Resonance Refrain is an enhanced HD remaster of 2014's Shining Resonance, which originally released exclusively in Japan for PlayStation 3.

Shining Resonance Refrain was released for PlayStation 4 in Japan on March 29, 2018, and will launch worldwide on July 10, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. (The Nintendo Switch version will release in Japan on July 12.) This will be the first title in the Shining series to receive a Western release since Shining Force EXA for the PlayStation 2 in 2007.

Shining Resonance Refrain is currently available to pre-order

Keep an eye on GameSkinny for more Shining Resonance Refrain updates leading up to launch day, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

What Happened to Linear Games? And Are They Due a Resurgence? Thu, 17 May 2018 14:43:47 -0400 Miles T

The gaming world as we know it today is a very different phenomenon than what it used to be. Today, a large proportion of video games are large-scale, open-world giants with a huge amount of content and massive time sinks for our limited daily hours. A lot of games releasing can average roughly around 30-40 hours of playtime minimum to witness and complete the majority of the their content, and some can frequently eclipse 80-100 hours. While this may seem initially fantastic -- and for many people, it really is -- for others like myself, it’s starting to take a real toll on my enjoyment and satisfaction from playing, despite offering exceptional value for the price.

Most games now are behemoths, requiring a huge amount of commitment of both our time and our energy. Frequently requiring us to dedicate our restricted number of leisure hours, they can be a daunting demand in comparison to a few years ago, a period when games could be enjoyed more leisurely and with less required of us to embrace them. I wanted to explore this shift in how current-gen games have a vastly different design compared to previously, and see if we may be due a resurgence for shorter, more compact and more compelling experiences than we are being exposed to presently.  

The Established Norm

The years between 2007-2013 saw the linear, roughly 8-12 hour video game reach its established peak. Coming fresh off of the heels of the goliath which was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the PS3 and Xbox 360 era saw the release of an incredible roster of tight, compact, and relatively short video game experiences. In the span of these six years, we were delivered remarkable adventures in the shape of the BioShock franchise, various Call of Duty campaigns, the Killzone series, God of War 3, the Uncharted series, and even underappreciated gems, such as Vanquish and Spec Ops: The Line, to name but a few.

The end of this time period also saw some of these franchises arguably reach their narrative climax. Take the universally glowing reputation that World at War’s campaign received, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves being considered one of the best games of its generation, BioShock: Infinite with its unforgettable twist ending. Excluding their multiplayer and co-op components for a moment, these games delivered a linear structure of single-player action that I don’t personally feel has been matched since. I still distinctly remember *that* reveal moment at the end of Spec-Ops, so integral to its core concept it was woven into the fabric of its run-time. We as a community still get goosebumps from the simple phrase of “Would you kindly?” and how it dramatically altered our perception of video game autonomy. Even looking towards the hype around Halo 3 to "Finish the Fight" or the moment Dom sacrificed himself in Gears of War 3these were emotive moments that resonate even more strongly because we weren’t bombarded with fluff; we were given handcrafted moments to fondly remember.  

My point is, these games reached the height of their success because of the work and love that was invested into their single-player campaigns. They were relatively short, but they were packed to the rafters with quality and care. Many of these games held as many intimate moments of reflection as they did blockbuster, screen-bursting action sequences. The pacing of the moment-to-moment story was perfected, the development of heroes or villains was rich, the enjoyment of their sequences was unmatched. Then, built on the shoulders of these excellent games came one of the pinnacles of the linear, story-driven experience: The Last of Us.

Each of these games was more than worth the price of admission at the time, usually around $50-$60. They created emotional connections, characters we cared about, and story endings we yearned to see but were disappointed to witness end. Metal Gear Solid 4 was a game that defined the previous generation of consoles for me; it's one of my favorite video games of all time, and at one point, I had finished it on the hardest difficulty in under 4 hours, having replayed it almost 14 times.

So what changed in the intervening period between 2013-2017? Open-world and large-scale video games had definitely existed before then, and arguably, there were even more substandard games then there are now. Some games breaking the 100+ hour mark for completion wasn’t particularly novel, either. However, I believe these were the years that defined the shift from focused, single-player experiences with limited time requirement to the expansion of games in size, costs, and in some cases, even quality.

The Rise of Open World

The release of Fallout 3, which was to be followed by the seismic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, put into motion the early changing of the metaphorical guard from the aforementioned linear video game into the new, altogether larger, open-world paradigm of video game design. With developers such as Ubisoft and EA seeing the power of the new generation of consoles, bigger and shinier became the new order of the day. Open-world games appeared to flood into the market from 2014 onwards.

Watch_Dogs 1 & 2, The Division, The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Syndicate and Rogue, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 4, Dying Light, Mad Max, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, No Man’s Sky. The list could reach unfathomable lengths. Established open-world franchises flourished as gamers flocked to pick up the next release, clamoring to get the most content for our hard-earned cash. Even traditional series, such as Metal Gear Solid and Ghost Recon weren’t immune to the lure of the open-world design, with The Phantom Pain and Wildlands pursuing this endeavor with differing success. The scale and sheer level of adoration of huge video game landscapes can also be reflected in the game of the year contenders of the last few years: Horizon Zero Dawn, Fallout 4, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, The Witcher 3: Wild HuntThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Phantom Pain, Final Fantasy XV, and Batman: Arkham Knight were all frequently discussed and deemed worthy of the accolade.

This dramatic change in the way developers approached delivering video games to their audience has been negotiated from a few different perspectives. For example, a larger, more expansive and open map allows for more gameplay opportunities and mission variety. It’s far easier to pack smaller and larger tasks into an overarching map than have to create each one individually within a particular level or restrictive segment. Additionally, the rise in developing, creating, and producing games has been increasing as the popularity of the industry has skyrocketed. Games are now multi-million dollar investments, which means publishers were looking for methods to increase their revenue pool from each product. Open-world games therefore made more sense going forward, as they are much easier to monetize and create paid short-cuts for. The final point I’m going to explore is the notion that linear games and single-player experiences simply became unpopular, no longer the golden child of the industry.

Filling the Quantity With Actual Quality

While many of the previously mentioned game of the year contenders have been outstanding in their own right, with some of them even being a part of my contenders for best games of all time, this shift in design has also brought with it a multitude of issues. The first and most notable problem for me has been the gluttonous implementation of filler content: huge, expansive maps covered in needless icons, utterly pointless and unsatisfying collectibles, side content relying on depressingly boring fetch quests or menial tasks. Grinding has become part of the regular game experience now, filling XP bars to unlock inorganic skill trees. While not as prominent in something like Breath of the Wild or The Witcher, filler content has decimated the enjoyment of potentially excellent games like Watch_Dogs or Wildlands, with some of the worst offenders being Assassin’s Creed Unity and Rogue (really, 200 animus fragments?!). Unnecessary padding had been prevalent in many games beforehand, but the alarming increase in the frequency of it being used had certainly been noticeable.

It would be a fair accusation to say that much of the side material developed for these gargantuan games is largely blubber, the majority proving to be cheaply and sloppily executed. Sadly, this created the significant problem of games having artificially inflated run-times, where the meat and satisfactory course of the main game remain relatively short but are buffered by all the unnecessary busywork. The main story then started to suffer as result -- it’s hard to take the end of the world or the hero’s quest to save a realm seriously when you can run around for 3 hours collecting feathers or completing odd jobs for random NPCs. Who could forget the infamous fetch quest from Dying Light that tasked players with the heroic and immediately urgent task of ... gathering coffee beans.

Personally, I found this busywork started to break my immersion in the world and my empathy with the core cast. For example, when returning to the main quest line in AC: Origins, I could sometimes have forgotten which major figures I was undertaking my Medjay work for by the time I’d finished clearing out those 10 extra side quests I’d unlocked. All of this was relatively forgivable at first; the odd, boring side experience in Fallout 3 or The Witcher could sometimes emphasize just how fantastic much of the content was. But in games like Shadow of War or Wildlands, they’re forced into the main path of progression and diminish what would otherwise have been a compelling experience. This is where I feel the loss of linear experiences hindered some of these more recent games, detracting from the quality of their core gameplay loop and integral story.  

An Open World, an Open Wallet

Filler content didn’t prove to just be a bane towards our time, however; it also became the means through which many of these open-ended and large-scale games began to monetize their designs, alongside multiplayer components. Some means through which games inflated their length was to utilize XP bars, experience points, and branching skill trees that could fill multiple screens. These were far less prominent in the years prior to 2013 -- especially in single-player campaigns for the FPS and third-person action-adventure genres.

The increase in their use allowed the development of microtransactions to speed up player’s progression -- XP boosts, in-game currency double earnings, purchasing top-tier weapons through pre-order deals, or in-game stores all started to become frequent. Normal. Expected. The casual player with extra disposable income had the means at their fingertips (or credit card) to buy their way through the unfulfilling side content. No game in the last few years better exemplified this than Shadow of War, whose final act for many players was a tedious chore to play through, suspiciously designed to cater to those who were willing to unlock their bank account for a quicker ride through. It undercut its core gameplay and diminished people’s satisfaction with what would otherwise have been a brilliant experience.

While it may have made sense from a business perspective for companies to pursue this form of design, it created sandboxes devoid of interesting, quality moments. So many forgettable quests, lost opportunities, and miserable grinding just to reach the next section we actually wanted to see. As a trend, microtransactions are showing little sign of truly slowing down their march, so open-world time-sinks are likely to continue to be the flavor of the day so that some developers can continue to hoover up their profits.

So Linear, So Mainstream

Another reason for why we witnessed an influx in overly indulgent game design around this period was the interesting change in players' expectations and desires from their standard video game experience. Around the time of Skyrim’s release, people became dissatisfied with 8-10 hour, highly structured and restrictive games. Call of Duty single-player offerings became criticized for being too scripted, repeating obvious and done-to-death set pieces, offering bombastic action that had lost its luster because of a lack of agency and choice. Gamers became disillusioned with corridor shooters, funneled action games and bottleneck entertainment that offered little variety. Generally, the linear video game became stale, lacking the fresh ideas that revolutionized the gaming industry and catapulted them to be king of the hill.  

People wanted vast landscapes, freedom of choice in gameplay, and a more casual-friendly sense of easy progression through a video game’s content. It became mainstream to pour vitriol on yet another "Halo clone" or "wannabe Call of Duty," to the extent that many players no longer wished to pursue traditional games. With this in mind, it was the perfect opportunity for teams to create a new “norm” -- and so began the shift in focus.

Freedom of choice and autonomy to play the way we wanted became powerful selling statements on the backs of boxes. Series like Far Cry and singular games like No Man’s Sky offered us a previously unimaginable level of immersion and belief in our own ability to control our fate. It was the perfect foil for the tightly woven and restrictive games that had dominated before them. Pouncing on this newly discovered popularity, open-world games surged to the top of charts and received rave reviews.

Nowadays, we can see that much of this notion of autonomy became something of an illusion. Sure you can take any means of transport to attack an outpost in Wildlands, but why would you when the ground vehicles handle horribly and a helicopter gets you there 10x faster? Of course you can ignore all of these monotonous side quests, but what if I lose out on all the best items in the game? Absolutely, I could choose to scout out a location before laying siege in Mad Max, but what’s the point when it all plays out the same way as it would by steamrolling straight in? This conflict in the game's marketing versus its actual offering created experiences with a void of real engagement. You have choice, but it's an artificial, largely meaningless choice, initially promising but over an extended time, devolving into routine.

Are We Due an Influx of Smaller, Linear Games Again?

Moving into 2018, we’ve already seen a couple of hugely ambitious, time-consuming games be released: Monster Hunter: World and Far Cry 5. What we have also seen, though, has been a weariness towards massive games, with some signs that the linear, more compact model may be finding its audience again.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a phenomenal game that took 6-7 hours to complete, one of my contenders for the best game of 2017. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy demonstrated there is still demand, ideas, and quality for the more streamlined experience (excluding chapter 4) that had been opened up somewhat in Uncharted 4. Episodic and story-exclusive games have risen from nearly non-existent to being a prominent genre in the current market, thanks to the appeal and intrinsic quality from titles like Life Is Strange, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, What Remains of Edith Finch, and many more. We’ve also seen a slight scaling back from traditional open worlds into more refined, open-area focused design, a la the new God of War or NieR: Automata. Resident Evil 7 proved a huge return to form for Capcom, dropping the bloated campaigns of RE6 for a much more deep, nuanced, and terrifying survival-horror experience. Quality and meaning are beginning to find their way back into the medium, and developers are being encouraged to make games that don’t just drain our time but make those spent hours rewarding and satisfying again.

Given the massive shift that occurred in the years between 2013 and 2018, it’s unlikely we’re suddenly going to see a monumental change to the ratio of open-world versus linear games. The extraordinary rise in the level of microtransactions, the ease of creating expansive landscapes with reused assets, and the demand for more casual and approachable progression systems means we will still be forced to endure some games that treat our time as frivolous and expendable.

Finding That Middle Ground

There’s genuine hope for the future and the horizon we have before us, however. Bethesda is supporting brilliant franchises in The Evil Within and Wolfenstein. Later this month will see the release of Detroit: Become Human. We’ve had remakes of classic shorter games like Crash Bandicoot and Shadow of the Colossus, with Spyro due for the spruced-up treatment this year. Call of Duty returned to its narrative roots after the more open-ended Infinite Warfare with WWII. There appears to be demand for the return to the older form of video game, and I think that’s fantastic.

Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to sit down, play a game over a weekend, polish it off, and move on, fondly remembering the brief and exciting time you had with it before progressing on to the next in the long backlog of games. Never overstaying their welcome, they allow developers to craft a well-paced, enthralling game that never insists on making you do things that simply aren’t fun. There’s absolutely a place for massive, extraordinary games that ask you to plow over 50 hours into them -- just see Persona 5 as an example. But sometimes it’s great to have a game which doesn’t require you to put dozens of hours into it to get the full experience.

With Red Dead Redemption 2 around the corner and more AAA games looking to deliver that bang for our money, I hope the industry can find its equilibrium. Too many of either form of video game, or too much emphasis upon one genre, causes over-saturation and a diminishing sense of enjoyment. The gaming world needs variety; it needs linear, story-focused and single-player experiences just as much as it needs another Grand Theft Auto or Far Cry.

It may not necessarily be where the money or the hype is, but it may just be where an audience including myself finds ourselves getting enveloped in memorable narratives all over again. Now, would you kindly grab that controller and get playing?

New LEGO The Incredibles 2 Trailer Has Us More Excited Than Ever Wed, 16 May 2018 11:32:04 -0400 Zach Hunt

It's no secret that we here at GameSkinny are PUMPED beyond belief for The Incredibles 2 -- both the game and the movie itself. In our eyes, Brad Bird can basically do no wrong, and given LEGO's track record of releasing true-to-film games, this is promising to be a release that no one should miss.

Warner Bros. Interactive has just released a new trailer that gives us a glimpse of the Crime Waves missions from the upcoming release. From what we can tell, the game -- in typical LEGO game fashion -- captures the humor and straight-up fun of this franchise perfectly.

There was an Incredibles game that released back in 2004 for essentially every system at the time -- but we tend to try and forget that even happened. With this new installment in the franchise, LEGO's take definitely seems to lend itself perfectly to the tone of the film. Check out the trailer, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

New Information for Nintendo Switch Online Service Revealed Mon, 14 May 2018 14:45:44 -0400 Lee Forgione

Nintendo has outlined its plans for the Switch's paid online service, which launches this September. The service will include access to a library of classic Nintendo games with added online functionality, the ability to back up save data via cloud service, and access to multiplayer co-op and competitive play for its current and future games, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Mario Tennis Aces.

There will be a variety of different price points for both individuals and families. For individual access, one month will cost $3.99, three months will cost $7.99, and a year will cost $19.99. The family plan lets up to eight Nintendo Account holders access the online services for a year and is priced at $34.99. 

Although there is no mention of SNES or Nintendo 64 games yet, the online service will launch with 20 classic NES games, such as The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, and Ice Climbers. Each of these games will let you engage in co-op or competitive online multi-player or allow you to watch someone else play in single-player mode while you take turns. 

The service will also launch with the Nintendo Switch Online App for Android and iOS devices, which will allow players to use voice chat and other features to enhance their experience. 

What do you think of Nintendo's paid online service? Do you think the new Super Smash Bros. will launch in tandem with it? Sound off in the comments below!

The Best Gaming Podcasts You're Not Already Listening To Mon, 14 May 2018 10:18:00 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs


The Square Roots Podcast

Link: Libsyn

The hosts describe the Square Roots Podcast as something like a book club, but for classic RPGs instead of, y'know, books. Every week, the four hosts play a chunk of a classic RPG and then discuss what they played in depth. Fans of Let's Players and gaming YouTubers should take note -- this will be a new favorite for you if you're anything like us. Getting to experience these classics through a new lens is endlessly entertaining, even without all of the goofs the hosts throw in.


Did we miss any? Let us know what your favorite gaming podcasts are in the comments!


Super Hopped Up

Link: Stitcher

Everybody knows that nothing goes better with gaming than a nice, frosty brew, so the hosts of Super Hopped Up decided to make that the focus of their podcast. Every episode, they offer a hilarious, tipsy take on which Avenger is hottest, whether Kratos is the hottest dad, and other gaming news that isn't necessarily related to how hot fictional characters are. Plus, you get some bonus beer reviews for your trouble!


The What's Good Games Podcast

Link: SoundCloud

What's Good Games isn't just a podcast, it's a three-headed gaming media Voltron that boasts a collective 30 years of industry experience. Hosts Andrea Rene, Kristine Steimer, and Brittney Brombacher have put together something special here.


Every week, they release a podcast that could feature an alternately goofy and insightful look at the latest gaming news, an interview with a gaming studio, a review, or even a conversation about preferred top ramen preparations. 


The Pretty Good Gaming Podcast

Link: YouTube

With upwards of 300,000 subscribers, the podcast offering from Pretty Good Gaming is more than living up to its name. Each week, the hosts not only offer their opinions on breaking gaming news, but also interact with their Patreon subscribers by answering their game-related questions as well. In fact, unlike some of the other podcasts on this list, talking about new gaming news really isn't the focus here. 


Instead of breaking news or interviewing developers or rehashing things you'd rather read right here at GameSkinny, the question-and-answer format offered by this podcast gives it a much more casual vibe than other news-focused shows, though that doesn't mean they're lazy. The production values and editing here are top-notch, and the hosts, though they don't have as many connections as some of the other hosts on this list, are always insightful when answering questions about the future of video gaming.


Super Gamecast 64

Link: Stitcher

First off, let me blow your mind with this: The Super Gamecast 64 guys have  been creating gaming content for ten years.


Ten. Freakin'. Years.


So if you're, say, immortal and have infinite time to kill, their content might be good to binge after you finish up that seventh playthrough of Oblivion. For the rest of us, Super Gamecast 64 offers a refreshing, offbeat, and decidedly goofy podcast that recaps the most recent gaming news. It's also over 100 episodes deep, so there's that.


Many podcasts advertise irreverent, off-the-wall humor, but few actually deliver on that promise in a way that's also inclusive, unproblematic, and legitimately funny. These guys do. Plus, as of the time of this posting, the most recent episode is called "God of Soft Vore." So there's that.


Nintendo Power Podcast

Link: SoundCloud

Much like the magazine that birthed it, you likely won't find any real bleeding-edge breaking news on Nintendo's official Nintendo Power Podcast. That said, it is an absolute must-listen for fans of the House that Mario Built. 


Hosted and created by many of the minds behind the Nintendo Power magazine, the podcast features incredibly in-depth interviews with designers, developers, artists, and personalities both inside and outside of the Nintendo offices. They've even brought back some fun segments from the magazine, including a segment in which Nintendo execs are routinely humiliated for not remembering the title of an obscure Super Nintendo game. So what are you waiting for? Get the power!


Kinda Funny Gamescast

Link: SoundCloud

Greg Miller has been a major player in video games journalism for a hell of a long time, and it shows in the podcast he hosts alongside Tim Gettys. This weekly podcast has been around for a while, so be prepared to get hooked, and then binge the entire back catalog. Miller and Gettys are naturally charismatic and dynamic hosts, and every week they're joined by a guest from the gaming industry (most recently, Cory Barlog of God of War fame). Fans of Miller's work on Up At Noon with IGN will find a lot to love here. It's not really a spiritual successor, but it's kind of close!


Plus, y'know, it really is kinda funny.


One of the things we struggle with most as video game lovers is how best to pack our day full of gaming and gaming-related media. Sure, you can play games for every waking hour you're not at work, and slack off at work while watching Let's Players and video game trailers, but what about those times you're not in front of a screen? Well, your pals at GameSkinny have you covered. Through the magic of podcasting, the internet has made it possible for you to fill every single moment of your life with gaming content. In order to get you started, we've collected seven of our favorite video game podcasts that you should be listening to (if you're not already).