PlayStation 2 Platform RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com PlayStation 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Devil May Cry Heading to Switch This Summer https://www.gameskinny.com/po1ps/devil-may-cry-heading-to-switch-this-summer https://www.gameskinny.com/po1ps/devil-may-cry-heading-to-switch-this-summer Mon, 06 May 2019 14:11:25 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The Nintendo Switch's classic Capcom game selection was already growing this year with the upcoming ports of multiple Resident Evil titles, but one PlayStation 2 title's making its way to the console you may not have expected: Devil May Cry. It's coming out this summer.

The PS2 title has been ported in the Devil May Cry HD Collection more than once, but this time the original title is coming in solo. Following Capcom's recent trend of releasing ports on the Nintendo Switch individually, only the first game in the series has been announced for release.

Devil May Cry was one of the biggest game releases back in 2001, and we can all agree its younger sibling Devil May Cry 5 has been one of the most prolific releases so far this year. There's no better year than 2019 for Dante to make is first foray to a Nintendo system, especially since Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out last year. If Cloud can be in Smash, so can Dante.

Some fans are speculating this may be the first step to Dante getting into Smash Bros. since a character needs to be present in a game on a Nintendo console before it can remotely be considered for Smash. We've already got Bayonetta; I don't think anyone would complain about finally being able to make Dante and Bayonetta duke it out, an old rivalry reborn.

Capcom said they were going to be supporting the Nintendo Switch a couple of years ago and hinted they'd be porting holder titles. Well, here we are. A whole chunk of Resident Evil titles is coming this month (HD ports of RE1, 4, 0 and the Origins Collection) and Devil May Cry swinging onto the console this summer. Though if Capcom decides to port the rest to Switch, you can expect them all to have about the same price tag.

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Ranking the Kingdom Hearts Games From Worst to Best https://www.gameskinny.com/jh0wl/ranking-the-kingdom-hearts-games-from-worst-to-best https://www.gameskinny.com/jh0wl/ranking-the-kingdom-hearts-games-from-worst-to-best Fri, 25 Jan 2019 00:03:46 -0500 Joseph Ocasio

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1. Kingdom Hearts

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The game that started it all has to be the game to make it to the top of the list. Sure, the combat isn't as refined as its sequels, and the platforming wasn't that responsive, but it's remarkable that this 2002 title still holds up in 2019.

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The combat is simple, but it's still a blast to fight against the hoard of Heartless. Meanwhile, the worlds of Alice in Wonderland, Tarzan, Aladdin, and the rest are beautifully recreated in 3D that still looks good.

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The writing manages to perfectly capture each of the various films' spirits, and the simple yet effective story of Sora's search for his friends still manages to hit home. It's the closest that the series gets to feeling like an interactive Disney film.

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It is easy to see why Kingdom Hearts captured the heats of millions, and it just goes to show that great game design and storytelling never gets old. Here's hoping there's more of the Kingdom Hearts universe after its third home console installment.

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2. Kingdom Hearts II

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After 4 years of waiting, fans finally got a proper follow up to Kingdom Hearts in Kingdom Hearts II. Sora, Donald, and Goofy's adventure to find Riku and King Mickey expands upon the original, introducing new combat abilities, like drive forms and limit attacks, as well as improved level design and Gummi Ship sections.

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There are more Disney worlds to explore, including Mulan, The Lion King, Tron, and Pirates of the Caribbean, with none feeling out of place.

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Kingdom Hearts II has a few stumbles, like having one of the worst tutorials of all time and a lack of difficulty, but it's still a sequel that's almost as good as the original. 

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3. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

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First teased in the secret ending to Kingdom Hearts II, this prequel moved away from the story of Sora, Riku, and Kairi (somewhat), and instead focused on a new trio of angsty teens: Ventus, Terra and Aqua.

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Taking place 10 years before the events of the original, Birth by Sleep sees the three on their own adventures that sadly ends in tragedy, as they become manipulated by Master Xehanort's plan to obtain Kingdom Hearts. 

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Playing as three characters, each with a unique personality, helps mix things up, as it allows us to get to know each of the characters before their unfortunate fates.

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While the game has shown a bit of its age, with each world feeling much more confined than past entries and the characters playing extremely similarly to one another, being able to craft new abilities does help alleviate some of the issues that plagued past handheld titles.

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Furthermore, the handful of Disney worlds that were chosen to be in Birth by Sleep, including Lilo and Stitch, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, still manage to retain some of the charm of the films that inspired them. 

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Also, how can you say no to a game that features two of the biggest sci-fi actor's of all-time in Mark Hamill, as Master Eraqus, and Leonard Nimoy, as the villainous Master Xehanort? You just can't.

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4. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

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Dream Drop Distance may have been another handheld game, but it does enough in setting up the events of Kingdom Hearts III to justify its existence.

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The worlds are decent at making you feel like you're in your favorite Disney films, and they contain much larger environments than some of the games in the series. Meanwhile, the combat is expanded with the new Flowmotion system, allowing you to pull off various attacks by using your surroundings.

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It's not perfect, as the Pokemon-like Dream Eaters feels needless, and the plot does start to become convoluted near the end, but it's worth checking out on either the 3DS or PS4.

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5. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

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While it was the first sequel to Kingdom Hearts, many saw Chain of Memories as just a watered downed repeat of the original put out on the Game Boy Advance. It didn't help that it featured a card-based battle system rather than the typical one that many were used too.

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While it is an impressive title for the GBA, featuring a card system that requires some strategy and solid looking 2D sprites, its port from handheld to console robbed it of some of its charm.

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That is, the 3D worlds of the GBA release feel much smaller and more confined when put side by side with Kingdom Hearts. This was acceptable on a handheld console like the GBA, but not so much with the PS2 version, as expectations are much higher for a home console.

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Furthermore, the reused and cramped worlds mean that combat can become a chore to play through, especially since there is nearly 30 hours of gameplay in Chain of Memories. Other games in the series at least try to mix things up with different gameplay types.

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Featuring nothing but combat, this game quickly becomes monotonous, and it makes it hard to see the plot through to its conclusion, despite the story holding up adequately.

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Also, that Vexen Boss fight can go straight to the darkest realm of the Darkness.

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6. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

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After Kingdom Hearts II, fans were aching for the next installment of the beloved series. What they got was... something.

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Taking place between Kingdom Hearts I and II, 358/2 Days is sort of the origin story of Roxas, focusing on his days with Organization XIII. Throughout, we see Roxas learning about his true nature and hanging out with his friend Axel and newcomer Xion. What follows is an adventure that... exists.

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The best way to describe 358/2 Days is that it is a game of its era. It is impressive to see a game like it on the DS, but it just doesn't really hold up that well.

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Its mission structure limits how much you can explore in each of the worlds, compared to previous games, and the writing for these worlds is lacking the spark that the films that they are based on had. Moreover, the main plot moves at a snail's pace.

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Top all of this off with a lackluster combat system, repetitive levels, and a story that's only for diehard fans, and you'll see why this and Re:Coded were relegated to animated films in the various HD collections.

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7. Kingdom Hearts: Re:Coded

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Kingdom Hearts: Re:Coded originally started its life as an episodic cellphone game in Japan, beginning in 2008 and ending in 2010, before being released on the Nintendo DS. This version came late in the DS's lifespan, and many would agree that it's easily the worst game in the series.

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Re-Coded is more of a filler game than anything else, with only small details that progress the over-arching story of Kingdom Hearts. It's such a pointless installment that many were relieved to hear that it was just remade into a movie when it was released in Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix.

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The game reuses every world from the original Kingdom Hearts and attempts to shake things up by adding different bits of gameplay to each of the various worlds. However, it suffers from being a jack off all trades, master of none.

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No element feels interesting or fun, as the various mechanics are not fleshed out, and none of the joy or wonder from past games is present, with the re-used environments feeling like pale imitations of their PS2 counterparts.

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I can't speak for everyone, but I'm pretty sure that no fan will say this game is their favorite. 

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It has been over 12 years since the release of Kingdom Hearts II, and fans have been patiently waiting for Kingdom Hearts III ever since. Now, this new entry is finally coming out in less than a week, and I think it's easy to say that, with new worlds and tons of amazing gameplay footage already revealed, many are excited to get their hands on the game.

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With that said, there have been a plethora of games in the series released after Kingdom Hearts II, and it's about time to see where they rank from worst to best. To make it on this list, the only requirement is that it has to have been released on an actual game console, so don't expect to see the likes of Union X here.

"}]]]>
Resident Evil 2 Remake and How Capcom Found Its Way https://www.gameskinny.com/o151r/resident-evil-2-remake-and-how-capcom-found-its-way https://www.gameskinny.com/o151r/resident-evil-2-remake-and-how-capcom-found-its-way Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:24:03 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Resident Evil is a series with a curious history marked by many highs and lows. However, the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake looks to keep things consistent, continuing what Capcom established with its excellent Resident Evil 7.

After catapulting to fame during the era of the original PlayStation, the Resident Evil franchise plateaued with the smash hit that was Resident Evil 4. Despite being well-received at the time, this entry showed signs of the series rapidly moving away from what initially made it great.

This continued with Resident Evil 5, which prompted some fans to reflect on the franchise’s move away from survival and horror towards something more akin to Call of Duty, though the entry was also well-regarded after its launch.

Resident Evil 6 followed this trend and failed miserably as a result— at least in terms of satisfying critics and consumers — but there’s more to its failure than just a move away from survival tension. The series had become bloated by that time, with grandiose storylines and farfetched plots that asked players to suspended their disbelief without offering a rewarding return.

The Revelations spin-offs tried correcting these problems, but they still struggled with convoluted plots and mixed gameplay styles.

Finally, Capcom listened to players and delivered Resident Evil 7, the critically acclaimed return to Resident Evil’s survival-horror roots. It’s a fantastic game that manages to recognize the turns that the series took in other entires without being crippled by them.

This led to a self-contained, nail-biting thrill-ride from start to finish. That's a good thing for classic Resident Evil fans, because without the success of Resident Evil 7, there probably wouldn’t be the highly anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake.

Halcyon Days

Survival

The first three Resident Evil games weren’t exactly unique in the survival genre, but it’s the survival elements that make them stand out and propelled the series to fame.

Limited saves, limited space for items and weapons, and very limited ammunition create an incredibly tense atmosphere where players have to weigh each action carefully as they plan for some unknown and deadly future. At times, the games are downright brutal.

It’s a clever method of immersion, making the player think like the character they control. But the old Resident Evil games throw all of that at players at once, and they have tank-like controls that require players to rotate in order to change directions.

Were it not for Capcom executing the atmosphere (complete with excellent pre-rendered backgrounds), horror, action, and survival so well, the controls could have completely ruined the experience. However, as it is, they add to the tension and setting, and they are a significant part of why some fans consider these three to be the best Resident Evil games.

Plot

Any good horror experience requires just enough story, sprinkled with tantalizing mystery, to keep audiences invested and present a good reason for why the events are happening. While tension is really what makes the Resident Evil series scary, the stories they tell offer exactly that.

For example, while Chris and Jill investigate the mysterious Mansion in the original release, they slowly uncover clues as to why these hideous monsters exist to begin with.

Crimson Heads and Cerberus fiends get the blood pumping when they chase your poor tanky characters down a long hallway, but it’s when you figure out that Crimson Head used to be a human experimented on that it all gets a lot creepier, especially when players encounter Lisa Trevor. It’s no Silent Hill, but it’s disturbing nonetheless.

As the series continues, so does its horrifying plot. For instance, events spiral out of control in Resident Evil 2 when the entirety of Raccoon City becomes contaminated, leading to the eventual destruction of the city in Resident Evil 3. All of this death, tragedy, and destruction centers around greed and the desire for power.

Fantastical as it is, the story passes muster because it combines just enough humanity and reality with the obvious video game elements, and, more importantly, it keeps everything under control. The three games take place over a roughly six-month period, and Umbrella and the government take pains to ensure everything remains completely unknown outside the few survivors of the Raccoon City Incident.

A Turn for the Worse?

And then we come to Resident Evil 4.

Leon Kennedy survives chaos and destruction, like any good hero, and he now works as a special agent investigating the kidnapping of the president's daughter by some Spanish cult. Resident Evil 4 turns the series into a kind of James Bond meets the Da Vinci Code plus zombies affair.

The survival is still there, of course, and exploring abandoned, ominous huts and creepy cathedrals has a nice effect. But the plot is a mix of derivative and overly-complicated, introducing a new type of virus (that does the same thing as the T Virus), a new mysterious rival organization (that does the same thing Umbrella did), weird cults, presidential kidnappings, and more.

Resident Evil 5 tries to pick up Resident Evil 4's plot threads and link them to earlier hints at Umbrella’s activities overseas, but, in doing so, it abandons the essential survival element that made Resident Evil, well, Resident Evil.

Sure, the action is exhilarating and lore fans will appreciate the plot expansion, but Capcom got the wrong message here. The company believed fans wanted action games, and it lost sight of its artistic vision.

Pursuing profits meant creating material fans never really asked for to begin with — at least not from Capcom. Innovation took a backseat to pandering, and the company's reputation suffered from it (and from a certain controversy associated with it).

Resident Evil 6 is the culmination of that misguided pursuit. Thematically, it’s a mess, with the four diverging plotlines each using different gameplay styles. None of these offerings are fully developed, and there is very little in the way of horror, grotesque monsters, or puzzles (outside of Ada’s campaign). Basically, it's not even a Resident Evil title.

The plot is even more unbelievable than you’d expect from a horror title. Raccoon City was destroyed, so no one knows what happened, but it’s not very likely that all of the passengers on flights will turn into zombies while multiple international governments collude on some obscure weaponry plot without at least someone getting wind of what’s going on. Not to mention that a president’s daughter turning into a zombie and eating her father is bound to get some attention.

And there’s always that slight impression in the back of your mind that Tom Cruise is going to jump out and save the day during the next cutscene.

Back to Basics

But oh, how Resident Evil 7 changed things.

The game was developed concurrently with the remake of Resident Evil 2, though, of course, 7 came first. That two teams worked on two similar, back-to-basics titles strongly suggests that Capcom got the message about what fans want loud and clear, but without 7’s success, one wonders whether the company would have seen the remake of through to the end.

Longtime fans probably have an idea of why Resident Evil 7 was so successful, but it’s worth breaking down anyway. The most obvious reason is the return of the survival and horror elements, and while inventory management might not be as brutal as before, you still must think carefully about what you’re doing, especially since everything wants to kill you.

Furthermore, Capcom likes to experiment with camera angles, but choosing first-person for 7 was vital for the game’s atmosphere and creating a unique experience. Exploring 7's plantation mansion in third-person — even in HD—would be far too similar to exploring Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero’s mansions, and it would have repeated Resident Evil 6’s mistake of recycling the Raccoon City Incident.

First-person also increases the horror factor exponentially, both because it’s a new approach and because it makes 7’s setting more intimate.

That level of closeness is what really makes 7 so great, as it creates an overall scarier experience. Wandering the plantation house and grounds while knowing that no one can hear you or save you makes for an incredibly tense experience.

It’s even more tense when the stakes are so personal, with Ethan’s wife’s life in the balance and the terrible choice between Mia and Zoe that players have to make. It's a return to the style of the original three games, as it emphasizes the human element, particularly when players learn how the Molded came to exist and what (and who) Eveline really is.

However, it also allowed Capcom to ignore the tangled mess the House of Umbrella created. RE7 is very much tied to the Umbrella saga, and there are nods to the stories in other games, what with Chris’s connection to Blue Umbrella, but all of that is literally miles away from Ethan.

As with the original, all the player knows is what’s going on in front of them, and the story unfolds as Ethan learns more about Eveline and the Bakers. It doesn’t preclude a grand tale, but it does mean the game is a lot more focused and can tell a better story through its gameplay.

The Next Logical Step

How does that relate to Resident Evil 2’s remake, you might ask? In several ways.

First, Capcom learned to balance innovation with tradition. 7 showed just how much fans wanted survival-horror to return to Resident Evil, and now Capcom seems to understand it’s okay to give horror-driven gameplay back to fans on a regular basis.

It makes sense then to go back to RE2 right afterwards, and it shows fans that the company is serious about what the series will be about from here on. It also offers a chance to expand once again on the formula that made the first (and seventh) so successful: survival.

Notably, 2 is even more of a survival-horror game than 7 or the original Resident Evil, offering higher stakes, more claustrophobic environments, and an ever-present sense of panic about what’s going to happen to the city. Certainly, Resident Evil 2’s remake will pull in even more fans because of this approach and its expanded environment.

Then there's the lessons in gameplay innovations that Capcom learned from 7. Successfully implementing camera and control changes in that entry means that the company now knows how to navigate the difficulties of re-creating Resident Evil 2 for modern players.

Additionally, it also makes it okay for Capcom to reinstitute the third-person angle without feeling like something drastically different had to be done. Innovation can be small-scale and still have impact, and knowing this likely influenced Capcom’s decisions to faithfully reproduce RE2 while making only necessary changes.

7’s story made returning to 2 feasible as well. While engaging, there’s no denying RE2’s plot is a lot simpler than later games, which could have seemed like an odd jump if players went straight from 6 back into 2.

Instead, it’s a logical step, allowing new fans that were drawn in by 7 to uncover the origins of Umbrella and its mutants without having to venture back into the more recent games. The stylistic differences could cause them to completely lose their taste for the series.

Whether the remake would have happened anyway, there’s little doubt that 7’s success ensured Capcom would put as much effort into recapturing the dark grandeur of the series as possible.

Looking Ahead

But then there’s the question of where the series heads from 7 as well, with some fans wanting it to expand like the original release of Resident Evil 2 expanded on the first Resident Evil. Capcom is reportedly keeping an eye on fan responses and is toying with the idea of using urban settings again instead of sticking to exotic, far-flung locales.

That makes RE2 remake an ideal experiment for seeing where the series can go next. Should fans love Raccoon City as much as they once did, it’s likely we’ll see an even better city setting next time.

Regardless, Capcom has learned its lesson. What fans are likely to get from now on is a combination of what sells and what the company wants to create.

It’s a fine line to walk between caving in to consumer demand and still giving developers room to create, but with the Resident Evil 2 remake setting the tone for future installments by leaving Capcom in no doubt as to what sells (and what developers should create), the monster of greed and innovation has, hopefully, been tamed for good.

Most importantly, Resident Evil 7 ensured the remake would be a success from the get-go. Longtime fans might have bought 2 to experience what they once loved, but without 7, it’s unlikely many new people would have given it a try, especially knowing it’s a remake of an older, clunkier game.

Instead of being a one-off return to the glory days of old, the Resident Evil 2 remake is set to take a position as the herald of greater things to come. It marks the transition of one of the best horror game series around back to more horror, more challenges, more intrigue, and most of all, more fun.

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9 Plot Points Kingdom Hearts 3 Needs to Resolve https://www.gameskinny.com/hdo1q/9-plot-points-kingdom-hearts-3-needs-to-resolve https://www.gameskinny.com/hdo1q/9-plot-points-kingdom-hearts-3-needs-to-resolve Fri, 11 Jan 2019 17:19:15 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

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Balance Between Light and Dark

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Speaking of Xehanort’s motives, the concept of balancing light and dark needs some more detail.

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While having a world focused more on light doesn’t initially seem like a bad idea, you soon begin to see that a light-only world turns into something more like the Destiny Islands — a haven from reality that can’t last forever. It’s like an Ursula Le Guin setting, lovely on the surface, with something lurking underneath.

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In fact, ignoring the darkness led to Ansem’s original quest for knowledge and paved the way for Master Xehanort’s insatiable desire to know more. How correcting the balance between light and dark might affect the worlds is, of course, unclear — though it’s easy to guess that Master Xehanort’s methods probably aren’t the best ways to achieve this particular goal.

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Since almost everyone, good and not-so-great, has undergone some form of trial and has had to face the darkness in themselves and others, it’s not very likely the world can go back to the way it was before.

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All of the characters are more self-aware and work to incorporate balance in themselves and the world around them.

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---

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What are you hoping to see resolved in Kingdom Hearts 3? Let us know in the comments.

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Master Xehanort's True Intentions

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It’s not a stretch to say that the villain’s ultimate goal — and even the villains themselves — change in every Kingdom Hearts game.

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There was the fairly simple fight between light and dark in the original, which changed to the more complicated machinations in Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts 2, with the inclusion of Nobodies and their individual goals plus Xehanort’s goal of remaking the universe.

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Then Birth by Sleep shattered the relatively standard RPG trope of being god by including the X-Blade and Master Xehanort’s desire to remake the worlds, addressing an imbalance between light and dark. It featured, again, in Dream Drop Distance, but there’s yet to be any concrete discussion of why.

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Granted, explanation doesn’t always happen in RPGs, but for a series spanning over a decade now, it seems unlikely it’ll end without delving deeper into the particulars.

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Master Xehanort probably won’t be one of those misunderstood villains — he’s done too much bad for that — but the core idea of balancing light and dark has gradually become more prominent as the series has progressed, especially with Terra’s and Riku’s character arcs.

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Hopefully, there’ll be some more world building and plot exposition on the subject to help explain what Master Xehanort originally wanted.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingom-hearts-villain-kingdom-hearts-time-travel-0b920.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingom-hearts-villain-kingdom-hearts-time-travel-0b920.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193337","description":"

Time Travel

\n

Whenever time travel pops up in a story, it causes problems. How is it possible? Why is it necessary? How did it not completely skew everything else that happened?

\n

It’s not an altogether unexpected development in KH, since the plot gradually becomes more complicated as the games progress anyway, but it still raises some questions.

\n

Xehanort isn’t the only one who turned into a Heartless, so can others who have been Heartless at one point or another travel through time as well? If so, does that mean Nobodies can travel back to before they had their hearts removed and interact with their hosts?

\n

Perhaps it has some bearing on why we’re seeing dead Nobodies like Marluxia return in KH3. But even more importantly, it might relate to Terra’s redemption. He’s not exactly Heartless, but he’s fused with Xehanort’s heart, and he would still have a version of himself in the past.

\n

It would make sense.

\n

Typically, villains have some part of their grand schemes come back to bite them, but that hasn’t happened yet for Xehanort; he’s long overdue for some delicious irony.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-namine-kingdom-hearts-who-namine-e6536.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-namine-kingdom-hearts-who-namine-e6536.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193336","description":"

What about Namine?

\n

Namine is an interesting character. Based on KH lore, she shouldn’t really exist. Well, no Nobody should exist, but Namine isn’t even really a Nobody.

\n

That's because Kairi has no darkness in her heart; the Ansem Reports even comment that Namine is a curious Nobody, especially given how she was formed.

\n

Her existence adds a lot to the mystery to Nobodies and further suggests there’s more to them than just Heartless shells. More importantly, it makes Namine’s fusing with Kairi a bit confusing.

\n

Kairi never lost part of herself, and Namine — though not whole — wasn’t lacking anything noticeable. Instead, she gained a substantial bit of power over her surroundings and Sora.

\n

There’s always the possibility that Kairi harbors some sort of hidden darkness (despite being a Princess of Heart), suggested in Namine’s jealousy, and that’s how Namine was formed to begin with.

\n

It wouldn’t disqualify Kairi from being one of the Light bearers (just look at Riku) and it would play into the theme of balancing light and dark.

\n

But perhaps she’s simply a living metaphor for the personification of light, and that’s why she still interacts with her surroundings. Regardless, Namine must still have some work to do, else she wouldn’t feature on the box art as much.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/7/5/975c38ed5653d25.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/7/5/975c38ed5653d25.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193335","description":"

Roxas and Xion

\n

You would think Roxas’ and Xion’s arcs were finished. Xion disappeared into Roxas, and Roxas had to sacrifice his consciousness for Sora. But the KH3 box art says otherwise, and it’s not too difficult to see why.

\n

Many of the remaining plot threads revolve around sorting out the messes made of various characters’ hearts. This, of course, includes dealing with the Russian doll-type scenario of having more than one personality in a given body.

\n

Roxas is too important a character to leave “disappeared,” especially since he ties in with Ventus. However, if something happens with Roxas outside of Sora, then it follows that something will happen with Xion, the littlest doll in this set.

\n

From an emotional satisfaction perspective, it would be nice to see each of them develop their own, distinct personalities and live happy lives from there on.

\n

Yet it seems there might be some character resolution between Roxas and Sora necessary for either of them to move on. If Nobodies are the dark side of a person, and Roxas is Sora’s Nobody, then there’s some darkness in Sora that hasn’t yet been dealt with.

\n

Given Roxas’ chief desire at the beginning of KH2, it would probably be something to do with Sora as reluctant hero. If Sora satisfactorily deals with this, maybe Roxas can be put to rest like Axel, though what it means for Xion is anyone’s guess.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-radiant-garden-0eb32.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-radiant-garden-0eb32.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193340","description":"

Radiant Garden

\n

Radiant Garden is where it all began, and, as such, it features heavily in Kingdom Hearts' lore.

\n

Before the first game’s events, Maleficent and her horde of minions overtook the world, transforming it into the bleak and forbidding Hollow Bastion that players visit during one of Sora’s lowest points.

\n

It’s the exact opposite of Radiant Garden: home to terrors, darkness, and loneliness. But after the massive battle in KH2, efforts are underway to restore it to its former glory.

\n

That’s fine and dandy, but it isn’t until Birth by Sleep that you realize why Radiant Garden was so important to begin with. It was basically the home of everything good in the game — Kairi, Mickey, light in general, and the meeting ground for the forces of good.

\n

But as goodness is want to do, it gave birth to the darkness as well.

\n

Radiant Garden is essentially the KH universe’s barometer — thriving during the time of light, barren after darkness overtakes it, and striving for something better during Sora’s trials.

\n

What happens to Radiant Garden will largely reflect what happens in the story and characters, whether it’ll still be the symbolic center of the universe, or if it even should be, is another matter entirely.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-returning-characters-kingdom-hearts-larxene-k-c1bed.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-returning-characters-kingdom-hearts-larxene-k-c1bed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193333","description":"

Dead Nobodies?

\n

Nobodies are confusing; we’ve already got that down. But what’s even more confusing is how — and whether — they die.

\n

Sora and Co. have dispatched quite a few Nobodies over the course of their adventures, most notably in Kingdom Hearts 2. Kingdom Hearts 3’s early trailers threw a bit of a wrench in their deaths, though, since notable Nobodies like Larxene and Vexen have apparently returned from the dead.

\n

Some of them have been “norted” (Oxford English Dictionary acceptance pending), which leads one to think Master Xehanort somehow revived their shells with his heart in them.

\n

Are these are the same Nobodies as before, or were their fledgling hearts just overrun with darkness?

\n

Thing is, some haven’t been and are now siding with Sora. Axel already proved it’s kinda hard for a Nobody to die, but it still leaves us wondering why.

\n

It could be some tie with their host that keeps them tethered to empty existence until they can be reunited once more.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-nobodies-kingdom-hearts-what-nobody-2b2c4.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-nobodies-kingdom-hearts-what-nobody-2b2c4.png","type":"slide","id":"193334","description":"

Image via The Arcade

\n

The Nature of Nobodies

\n

Nobodies are the most confusing and interesting aspect of Kingdom Hearts lore.

\n

Originally, they seemed fairly simple: empty, heartless shells of strong-willed people, some evil, some marginally less evil. But that changed slightly with Kingdom Hearts 2 introducing Roxas’s background and following Axel’s changes. This was before 358/2 Days chucked it completely by focusing on the very human side of Nobodies.

\n

With Axel disappearing into Lea again, Dream Drop Distance raised the biggest question: what makes a Nobody a Nobody  and how do they stop?

\n

Axel already developed human emotions and a will, but he was still a Nobody. If reuniting with the host was all it took, why didn’t all the Nobodies jealous of humanity and tricked into Xehanort’s plans fuse back with their hosts?

\n

It could be there’s some Persona going on here.

\n

Nobodies are like Shadows, dark fragments of their hosts, but it takes realizing what’s important to them — and on the host’s side, it takes understanding their own darkness — for transformation to happen. What you’re left with then is something new, like with Riku: not the old self, but not the dark self either.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-what-happens-aqua-890bf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-what-happens-aqua-890bf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"193332","description":"

What Happens to Ventus, Terra, and Aqua?

\n

Aqua, Ventus, and Terra are three of KH’s most important characters, taking part in all of the background events that influenced the entire series. Their fates have yet to be resolved, though.

\n

Despite a dream version of Ventus making itself known here and there, the real Ventus remains asleep in Castle Oblivion. Terra is still trapped inside Xehanort, and Aqua remains lost in the Dark Meridian.

\n

Terra’s body is rather significant for plot purposes, so it’s likely something will happen to him, but whether that’s a good something — like getting his life back — or a bad something isn’t certain.

\n

The same goes for Ventus, but with a twist. If his heart is with Sora, how can Ventus be revived? And if Vanitas has something to do with it, will Ven be mostly darkness?

\n

Square Enix already said Aqua isn’t playable in KH3 and isn’t a major character; instead, the developer teased that she’s fallen under Master Xehanort’s influence. With the yellow eyes and all, it’s not a surprising turn of events.

\n

Aqua remained trapped in the Dark Meridian, while others like Mickey, Sora, and Riku could travel away from it, likely because they had conquered the darkness in their hearts.

\n

Having failed to save her friends can only have strengthened the darkness in Aqua, making her both an easy and a pitiable victim for Xehanort’s machinations. Whether she’s one of the 7 Guardians of Light, after all, remains to be seen.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-b9083.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-b9083.png","type":"slide","id":"193331","description":"

The Kingdom Hearts series spans multiple games, includes near-infinitely important characters, countless plot points. Unsurprisingly, it gets pretty confusing at times (thank you, Birth by Sleep).

\n

A series that needs entire games and decimal releases to set the plot up for the final game will naturally have some dangling plot elements that need some tidying up. Kingdom Hearts 3 is the last game in the Xehanort saga, so it's the ideal entry to set everything straight.

\n

We’ve put together a list of the nine plot threads we think are most important — things like what Nobodies really are, whether there’s logic in Master Xehanort’s plans and, of course, questions about fates of major characters, like Aqua and Namine.

\n

Many of these plot points will have to be resolved for the story to proceed, while others may forever remain a mystery. Naturally, we are about to venture into spoiler territory; proceed at your own risk. 

"}]]]>
8 Unforgettable Moments from the Kingdom Hearts Series https://www.gameskinny.com/ttp20/8-unforgettable-moments-from-the-kingdom-hearts-series https://www.gameskinny.com/ttp20/8-unforgettable-moments-from-the-kingdom-hearts-series Mon, 24 Dec 2018 14:00:02 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

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Moment 1: Battle of 1,000 Heartless

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Game: Kingdom Hearts II
\n

It’s impossible to talk about great moments in Kingdom Hearts without talking about the Battle of 1,000 Heartless. It’s a fantastically epic conflict perfectly suited to KH2’s increasingly darker tone, and it offers several memorable moments.

\n

The first is seeing King Mickey in combat, where connections between the mouse warrior and Yoda, that other diminutive, semi-omniscient weapon master, cannot be avoided. It's a bit of fun in the middle of a serious battle for the world's fate.

\n

Then there’s the encounter with Sephiroth. The original KH threw this in as a big surprise, but it didn’t really have much story impact. Here, though, it’s the equivalent of Satan working against Sora and friends. Sephiroth is in his darker form, he’s got a purpose, and that purpose is, well, pretty much the same as in FFVII — destroy everything. More importantly, he fights against Cloud, making this one of the better Final Fantasy tie-ins throughout the many KH games.

\n

But the most memorable part of this battle is, without a doubt, Goofy. The game plays a terrible, dirty trick on the player and actually makes you think Goofy dies — the equivalent of Square Enix taking your favorite childhood pet and killing it in front of you.

\n

Obviously, he doesn’t really die, but it’s a heavy, emotional moment and adds a lot of impact to the remainder of the battle on whole, with almost tangible relief when Goofy eventually comes around.

\n

---

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Those are our top Kingdom Hearts picks, but let us know in the comments what your most memorable KH moments are!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/3/5/835c1bfbbbb6487.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/3/5/835c1bfbbbb6487.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192900","description":"

Moment 2: Goodbye, Summer

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Game: Kingdom Hearts II
\n

Speaking of Roxas’s fate, that’s another standout moment in several ways. Kingdom Hearts 2 starts out deceptively, especially if you didn’t play Re: Chain of Memories. No Sora, no Donald and Goofy, but you do get Roxas… and Seifer. Unfortunately, though, he’s balanced by some more welcome cameos from FF favorites like Setzer and Vivi.

\n

You also get another set of rather frustrating, KH Destiny Islands style tasks to complete before you can do anything at all.

\n

Annoying as these tasks are, they ease you into what seems like Roxas’ normal life. He’s an average kid who wants to enjoy his summer with friends, hanging out around town and just being kids. Naturally, that can’t last for long; it ain’t called Twilight Town for nothin’.

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Part of Roxas’ summer adventures takes him into the mysterious Old Mansion, where he learns his true identity. For the game to proceed, Roxas has to accept his nature and disappear as an individual being. It’s a sad moment in itself: this kid who just wanted to have fun with his friends suddenly realizes he’s literally Nobody and has no real purpose in life.

\n

But it also provides the necessary emotional foundation for understanding the other sub-villains’ motives once they appear later in the game. Like Roxas, they just want a reason to live.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/4/5/645c1bfb7210ca0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/4/5/645c1bfb7210ca0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192899","description":"

Moment 3: Xion Fades Away

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Game: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
\n

A lot of people would say the most memorable part of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is when it’s finally over. That’s not far off the mark, but not for the same reason.

\n

True, the game has some (big) flaws, but the final reveal where Roxas (and you) learn the truth about Xion packs quite the punch and makes the series' lore even more complicated.

\n

Up to that point, there’s plenty of speculation about Xion, and it’s pretty obvious she isn’t a regular Nobody, but then it all comes out: she’s yet another aspect of Sora, albeit an artificial one. Apart from some interesting Persona-like commentary on the various aspects of individual identity, it shatters the usual Nobody schtick from Kingdom Hearts II.

\n

Nobodies and their hosts aren’t mutually exclusive, since Xion regained some of Sora’s memories and combined them with elements of Roxas. More importantly, she wants to save Roxas, implying affection, and Roxas wants to save her; in other words, Nobodies and hollow replicas can feel emotion after all, something you eventually find out applies to more than just Roxas and Namine.

\n

The scene also serves as a tragic foil to Sora’s various moments of reuniting with Kairi. Where Sora always saves Kairi somehow and manages to find his way back to her, Roxas watches as his sort-of Kairi disappears in front of him. The sense of loss and isolation pack an emotional punch on their own, but it’s an interesting foreshadowing of Roxas’s own eventual fate as well.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-085ea.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-085ea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192898","description":"

Moment 4: Hollow Bastion

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Game: Kingdom Hearts
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Hollow Bastion is an important place in Kingdom Hearts lore, but it’s where the first game becomes more serious, and Sora gains a glimpse into something much bigger than his journey to find his friends. It’s also the first non-Disney world since Traverse Town, and that alone gives you an idea that something big’s about to happen.

\n

Of course, that's the fight with Riku, where all the tension and jealousy hinted at on Destiny Islands finally releases. Sora’s friends leave him for a time because of this fight, in a turn of events rather shocking the first time around. Suddenly, Sora is alone and friendless once more, all talk of loyalty and the ties that bind gone.

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Of course, the situation doesn’t last, and he gets his friends back, but then you see what happened to all the princesses. The sight has more impact for Disney fans, naturally, but it’s an important step forward in the games’ overarching plot, something you don’t really get the significance of until playing the other games.

\n

And then there’s Hollow Bastion’s crowning glory, the fight with Maleficent’s dragon form. Suddenly, the terrifying beast from your childhood cartoon days manifests in front of you, and it’s so.damn.tough to beat, yet so satisfying once it’s finished.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/5/625c1bfa4b70e01.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/5/625c1bfa4b70e01.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192894","description":"

Moment 5: Traverse Town

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Game: Kingdom Hearts
\n

You’ve made it through the enigmatic opening sequence, and you survived Destiny Islands and its occasionally frustrating platforming moments. But Traverse Town is where Kingdom Hearts really begins, for a number of reasons.

\n

It’s where Sora meets Donald and Goofy for the first time, and the player gets a better idea of how Keyblade combat works. But more importantly, it’s where the franchise’s key gimmick first shines through.

\n

Seeing Final Fantasy X’s side characters on Destiny Islands is nice, but little more than a cameo, really. Sora’s fight and subsequent conversation with “Leon,” plus seeing Cid working alongside Huey, Dewey, and Louis, forces the player to wrap their heads around how the KH world works: characters from everywhere end up together, fighting against the darkness that destroyed their homeworlds (even if that homeworld isn’t actually FF related.)

\n

It tells the player to leave behind their notions of Disney and Final Fantasy because despite merging both, this is something completely different. And centering their respective plights around Sora’s own journey means it works and works well.

\n

Traverse Town is a metaphor for the rest of the game and series — Sora’s first adventure, and the franchise as a whole, is seemingly simple on the surface, with a lot more going on underneath.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/9/5/395c1bfc73e0658.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/9/5/395c1bfc73e0658.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192902","description":"

Moment 6: Re: Beast's Castle

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Game: Kingdom Hearts II
\n

Backtracking in a non-Metroidvania game risks killing it completely in most cases for one reason or another. A lot of times, it’s just padding, and KH2 gives the impression that’s what the game’s second half will be like.

\n

Mulan-land wasn’t very fun to begin with, and going back there doesn’t change much, so when you first get to Beast’s Castle again, there isn’t a lot to hope for. Sure, it was a challenge the first time around, and the story necessitates it, but it still leaves you feeling a bit bored. Until the end. This is where Sora first fights Organization XIII (outside Castle Oblivion, that is), and it’s a fight to remember.

\n

In fact, it’s one of the game’s most noticeable difficulty spikes, and depending on your playstyle, the potential need for grinding beforehand is enough to make it memorable. Xaldin is a whole new kind of boss, fast, deadly, and resilient. The encounter makes you think on your feet, throwing in some Mega Man-style pattern recognition and avoidance as well.

\n

And it sets the tone for the game’s second half — darker, harder, and more demanding — while kicking off some major lore dumps as well, where you finally get a slight understanding of what’s really going on.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/b/s/bbs-73015.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/b/s/bbs-73015.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192901","description":"

Moment 7: Aqua's Finale

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Game: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
\n

If you had to point to one moment where Kingdom Hearts started getting a bit complicated, it’d be the entirety of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. It’s also where Kingdom Hearts starts to resemble Star Wars in a few ways — prequels, ancient catastrophic warfare, Jedi…er, Keyblade Masters, and so on— but unlike Star Wars, this prequel is actually necessary, and no spot is more important than Aqua’s finale.

\n

The build-up to her confrontation with Xehanort takes the focus on bonds and friendship to a completely different level. Sora might not get to spend much time with Kairi after finding her again, and Riku’s got his own problems to sort out, but they’re all still together; they work through their problems and come together when it matters.

\n

Not so for Aqua. Not only does she have to sacrifice herself at one point to rescue Ventus and hopefully find some way of saving Terra, but it’s completely hopeless. Ventus slips into a seemingly endless slumber, while Terra loses himself completely to Xehanort, becoming his vessel and, by extension, the source of conflict in the mainline games.

\n

Friendship didn’t save the day here. Even if it provided the means by which hope could be restored in the future, it still left one main character broken in the end, and that’s something you don’t see much in Kingdom Hearts.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/2/5/225c1bfcb4a42b4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/2/5/225c1bfcb4a42b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192903","description":"

Moment 8: Lea's Keyblade

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Game: Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
\n

Poor Axel. Like Roxas, he just wants a purpose for living, even if that purpose happens to be eating bright blue ice cream on a rooftop with friends. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance finally gives him a purpose, but not what you'd expect.

\n

Despite working for some form of good throughout the series, everything ends up going badly for Axel. He’s torn between protecting one friend or another,  loses them both, potentially develops some feelings for Kairi—possibly because of her connection with Xion — but naturally can’t act on them, all before having to give up himself and his memories so Lea, the "real" Axel, can be revived.

\n

His extensive history in the series gives the player a lot more investment in Lea than would otherwise have been the case, so the lead-up to this moment is much more engaging than it would be for your average NPC. Lea ends up responsible for saving Sora yet again, for rescuing Queen Minnie, and basically for keeping the entire world from falling apart.

\n

That he finally gains a Keyblade for his trouble is a fitting reward for his actions and all Axel endured, but it also means he can fight to right the wrongs done to him and all of his friends, Nobody and normal, finally starting to tie up the many, many loose ends KH dropped all over the place.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-1903d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-1903d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192893","description":"

Sixteen years ago, if you said a mashup combining Final Fantasy and Disney centered around a large-footed child wielding a key as a weapon would be a smash hit and spawn multiple sequels and spin-offs, with the final game being one of 2019’s most anticipated games, people probably would have laughed at you. 

\n

On paper, it’s a crazy idea, almost fanfiction-y in nature, and yet it worked fantastically. While we’re all anxiously awaiting Kingdom Hearts 3’s debut next month, now's the perfect time to indulge in some nostalgia and consider the franchise’s finer moments.

\n

There are a lot of them, big and small, but we’ve managed to distill them down to the nine most memorable moments. As would be expected with a list like this, there will be some big spoilers for the games mentioned, so if you haven't played them yet, read at your own risk. 

"}]]]>
Killer7 PC Remaster Released on Steam Today https://www.gameskinny.com/z08i7/killer7-pc-remaster-released-on-steam-today https://www.gameskinny.com/z08i7/killer7-pc-remaster-released-on-steam-today Thu, 15 Nov 2018 15:37:49 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

The remastered PC port of Grasshopper Manufacture's cult classic shooter Killer 7 was released on Steam today with surprisingly little fanfare. The port was announced earlier this year and was developed by NIS America.

Although the release date for the game was nebulous, the bizarre, arthouse GameCube/PS2 game from auteur game designer Suda51 is now on Steam for $20. There is also a 10% discount for a limited time.

Killer7 was the first game from Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture to make its way to North America, and it is still the only game that Suda51 had complete creative control over.

In the years since its release, the game has become a cult classic because of its hybrid gameplay, unique presentation, and highly unconventional, intentionally vague story loaded with mature and disturbing subject matter. 

In the game, players assume various roles within Killer 7, a group of mysterious shapeshifting assassins who are the United States' only line of defense against a deadly terrorist cell called the Heaven Smile. In a world where nuclear weapons and international airport travel have been completely decommissioned, global conflict has slowed to a crawl. However, intrigue between Japan and the U.S. could lead to enormous nuclear devastation.

The game kickstarted Suda51's career in the West and solidified his and Grasshopper's initial fanbase.

]]>
11 Most Expensive Horror Games of All Time https://www.gameskinny.com/qbt18/11-most-expensive-horror-games-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/qbt18/11-most-expensive-horror-games-of-all-time Fri, 19 Oct 2018 09:36:16 -0400 Oscar Gonzalez

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/2/sh2-85e90.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/2/sh2-85e90.png","type":"slide","id":"189336","description":"

Silent Hill 2

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As seen on this list, certain games increase in value because of their age or lack of availability. However, in the case of Silent Hill 2, the game jumped in value because it's just so damn good.

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Silent Hill 2 is not only considered the best entry of the Silent Hill franchise, but many would also argue it's the best survival horror game ever made.

\n

Not only are general game collectors trying to get their hands on factory sealed copies to complete their collections, but Silent Hill fans are also spending big money for brand new copies.

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Thing is, finding a sealed copy of the game is tricky since so man people bought the game to actually play it.

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The Greatest Hits version of Silent Hill 2 is worth around $150, but a factory sealed copy of the original version of the game sold for $213 this past September.

\n

---

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And there you have it; the most expensive horror games of all time -- so far.

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Those who want to possibly dip their toe into video game collecting will have to save up quite a bit of money to complete a collection, that's for sure. The next best option is to wait for the collector bubble to burst and see prices on these games fall to their deaths. 

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But that might be a long, long time. 

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Let us know if you'd be willing to pay these horrendous prices for these horror games in the comments below. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/u/l/ruleofroseboxart-e0906.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/u/l/ruleofroseboxart-e0906.png","type":"slide","id":"189335","description":"

Rule of Rose

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Rule of Rose is another PlayStation 2 game that is surprisingly rare and could easily be one of the newest games to see a severalfold increase in value since its release date.

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The game takes place in an abandoned orphanage in England during 1930. This, of course, means dealing with creepy kids, which is never fun.

\n

Maybe that was one reason why critics didn't care for the game. Another victim of lackluster sales, the Rule of Rose was gutted when it released two months before the release of the PlayStation 3. 

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Earlier this month, a factory sealed copy of Rule of Rose sold for $412.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/6/6/1662927-haunting-ground-box-front-6a056.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/6/6/1662927-haunting-ground-box-front-6a056.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189334","description":"

Haunting Ground

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With every new generation of consoles comes another generation considered to be "retro." This means PlayStation 2 games are now becoming rarer and increasing in value. One example is 2005's Haunting Ground.

\n

Considering a spiritual successor to Clock Tower 3, Haunting Ground was another survival horror game that saw players controlling Fiona and her brave doggo, Hewie. Like other games in the Clock Tower series, Haunting Ground didn't blow critics away when it came out -- but fans loved it. 

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However, because of lower than expected sales, there are not many copies of Haunting Ground floating around. That means prices for the game have surged on eBay.

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One factory sealed copy of the game sold for $260 back in August.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/9/6/696431-uninvited-d3aad.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/9/6/696431-uninvited-d3aad.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189333","description":"

Uninvited

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In the 80s, ICOM Simulation created multiple point-and-click adventure games for Macintosh computers, which were then ported to the NES by Japanese publisher Kemco. The trifecta of adventure games ported were Déjà Vu, Shadowgate, and Uninvited.

\n

Like many horror games, Uninvited is set in an old mansion. Players search for their sister while trying to avoid an array of traps, ghosts, and other entities -- all hellbent on killing you.

\n

The game will also kill your wallet as a brand-new copy of Uninvited can go for $233.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/e/enemyzero-5b696.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/e/enemyzero-5b696.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189332","description":"

Enemy Zero

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Due to their high quality and low availability, many rare games on the Sega Saturn were among the first to dramatically increase in price following the console's demise. Games such as Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force III and Dragon Force soared in price as collector's scrambled to add them to their collections.

\n

Enemy Zero, while not considered one of the best games on the system, became one of those games. 

\n

The second entry in the D franchise, Enemy Zero is much different than the previous game. Here, players have to contend with invisible enemies using only sound to find their location, whereas the original was a more point-and-click affair. 

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To get a copy of Enemy Zero will cost approximately $150.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/7/j/j7jg7j-ca97f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/7/j/j7jg7j-ca97f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189331","description":"

A Nightmare on Elm Street

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Before Dead by Daylight and its multiplayer horror action became popular, it was Nightmare on Elm Street on the NES that pitted four players against Freddy Krueger.

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Developed by the license shovelware extraordinaire LJN, Nightmare on Elm Street has players control up to four teenagers who need to collect Freddy's bones a la Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

\n

The game itself is nothing remarkable -- as is the case with most games LJN made during the NES era. However, there has been a surge in popularity for speedrunning the game in due to its unique four-player gameplay.

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A complete copy of the game can fetch close to $200 on eBay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/i/chiller-a69ec.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/i/chiller-a69ec.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189330","description":"

Chiller

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Chiller is one NES game that many owners of the console never saw. Originally released in the arcades in 1986 and then ported to the NES in 1990, Chiller is a light gun game unlike any other.

\n

In the console version, players kill monsters in five stages, which is different than the arcade game where players tortured people strapped in various medieval devices. Still, for an NES game, it's quite graphic.

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The reason why NES owners didn't get their hands on a copy of Chiller back in the 90s was that it was an unlicensed game, and unlicensed games meant (and mean) BIG money.

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A copy of the game with a box, not even brand new, went for $124 last month.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splatterhouse3-2bd65.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/p/l/splatterhouse3-2bd65.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189329","description":"

Splatterhouse 3

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Another classic series full of monsters and gore is Splatterhouse. Beating demons to a bloody pulp may not seem like a big deal these days, but back when it came out for the Sega Genesis in 1993, the game was controversial and popular.

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Unfortunately, Splatterhouse 3 also released just ahead of the Sega 32X in the U.S. and the Sega Saturn, making it a game that was easily looked over. It also didn't help that the marketing behind it was lackluster and any hype it had quickly died off. 

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The result is that these days, new copies of Splatterhouse 3 typically go for $150-$200 on eBay.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/clocktower-369a6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/l/o/clocktower-369a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189328","description":"

Clock Tower

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Clock Tower on the PlayStation is the second game of the series, but the first to make it across the Pacific. Its localization was likely due to the success of the first Resident Evil, which was released the year before.

\n

Despite its creepy, foreboding atmosphere and terrifying antagonist, Clock Tower didn't wow critics when it came out in 1997, but it had the kind of scares horror fans loved, making it a much-revered cult classic. 

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Clock Tower became one of the PlayStation's sleeper games and eventually became (very) hard to find. A collector looking to complete their horror collection today will need to put up some big bucks as a sealed copy of the game went for $500 in September.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/s/castlevania-5e211.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/s/castlevania-5e211.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189327","description":"

Castlevania

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Castlevania on the NES is undoubtedly a classic. It was the start of a long-running franchise that would still be in development if Konami was willing to start making new games again (ahem).

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But that's not why we're here; we're here to talk about the absurd price this game can fetch on the collector's market.

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The first adventure of Simon Belmont had gamers take on iconic horror characters such as Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, and, of course, Dracula himself. That made is a hot commodity then and most certainly one now. 

\n

The original Castlevania is not a hard game to find, but obtaining a brand-new copy is.

\n

A 32-year-old sealed game is worth its weight in gold, especially if it has a horizontal seam, or H-seam. And that's the key; the seam is where the factory that produced the cartridge sealed the package, and it's an indicator of whether a game has been resealed or not.

\n

Unfortunately, some scammers have found ways of recreating the H-seam, thus causing additional concern for collectors.

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However, last month, one sealed copy of Castlevania sold for $449.95. And one rare, sealed Dracula variant sold for a whopping $699.99 in 2016. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/g/regaiden-72797.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/g/regaiden-72797.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189326","description":"

Resident Evil: Gaiden

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Although it isn't the first survival horror game, many would consider Resident Evil to be the game that put horror games in the public conscious. Starting in 1996, the franchise sold millions of games in multiple console generations and earned Capcom billions of dollars.

\n

However, one game in the series didn't sell so well, making it a valuable collector's item.

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Resident Evil: Gaiden came out in the U.S. in 2002 for the Game Boy Color. When it released, reviewers didn't quite know what to make of it and gave it below average scores (we're talking 4/10s, here). This, of course, resulted in the game not selling all that well.

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But a game selling poorly is music to a collector's ears as copies of Resident Evil: Gaiden can now go for $200-$300 for a sealed copy. That's a far cry from the original price of $29.99.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/s/most-expensive-horror-games-2b6fd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/s/most-expensive-horror-games-2b6fd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189807","description":"

There's never a bad time to play some retro horror games.

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Instead of listing out the best or lesser-known titles designed to scare, this list will instead shock with the ridiculous prices these games fetch on eBay.

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Thanks to an inflated collectors market, vintage games have shot up in price in recent years. Even mediocre games have increased in value several times due to a growing group of individuals attempting to complete their respective libraries. 

\n

Whether from the Sega Genesis PlayStation 2, Gameboy, or Sega Saturn, these are the most horrifyingly expensive horror games of all time. 

"}]]]>
Another 10 Badass Video Game Characters You Shouldn't Mess With https://www.gameskinny.com/v3fsf/another-10-badass-video-game-characters-you-shouldnt-mess-with https://www.gameskinny.com/v3fsf/another-10-badass-video-game-characters-you-shouldnt-mess-with Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:25:41 -0400 Edgar Wulf

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Ryo Hazuki

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Shenmue (1999)
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Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki may not be the most skilled fighter, but he gets the job done.

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After being forced onto a path of revenge, Ryo must evolve from a regular, impulsive teenager into an imposing martial artist, learning new moves and styles from masters across Japan and Hong Kong. Ultimately, he develops his body and spirit to face the ultimate adversary, Lan Di. After almost two decades, his story is yet to reach its finale.

\n

---

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That is it for this list. If you think a character is missing, they may be on the original list. If they're not, then comment down below on who you would like to see and, as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more badass compilations.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/b/5/eb5cf821254140e2b6491fa8d256f211-b4e98.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/b/5/eb5cf821254140e2b6491fa8d256f211-b4e98.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186109","description":"

Kazuma Kiryu

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Yakuza (2005)
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This man has been through it all; he has felled numerous skilled fighters, dealt with a thief of female underwear, and even taken care of a baby. A chairman of the highly respected Tojo Clan, Kazuma Kiryu is a master in many fields, including martial arts, which he gracefully employs to protect his friends, children, and simply beat up random punks on streets who annoy him. 

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Yakuza's Kiryu has a distinctive dragon tattoo covering his back, he enjoys drinking whiskey, fishing, and singing karaoke. Call him.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-wallpaper-1920x1080-wallpaper-94664.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-wallpaper-1920x1080-wallpaper-94664.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186171","description":"

John Marston

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Red Dead Redemption (2010)
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Perhaps one of the most tragic heroes in gaming, John Marston knows the definition of dire straits all too well. Compelled to reunite with his family, who are being held captive by the government, Marston embarks on a harrowing journey through the chaos-sphere that is the Wild West. 

\n

He is an outlaw -- a criminal, even -- and has no doubt committed numerous questionable deeds. But despite that, it is almost impossible to not relate with his noble intentions.

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Red Dead Redemption's John is a deadly sharpshooter -- especially during his signature "Dead Eye" mode -- and takes down many opposing factions on his quest which, ultimately and unfortunately, leads to a bittersweet conclusion

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/2/7/927224-c7de3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/2/7/927224-c7de3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186113","description":"

Ellie

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The Last of Us (2013)
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Ellie might seem harmless enough; after all, she is just a child in the original The Last of Us. Past experiences and many gruesome events, however, have conditioned her to become a merciless killer -- being able to stand up for herself and those she cares about.

\n

She learns that, in a world where nobody can be trusted, a switchblade and a sniper rifle are your best friends. Them, and that Joel guy who has taught her how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by monsters. That helps, too. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/0/6209266-1886371011-doom-95041.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/0/6209266-1886371011-doom-95041.png","type":"slide","id":"185763","description":"

Doomguy

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Doom (1993)
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Not the fanciest name for someone who rips demons apart with his bare hands, but, thankfully, actions speak much louder than words. Doomguy is the eternally silent protagonist of the Doom series, one of the most historically significant franchises in the industry.

\n

He is agile, brutally strong, and remorseless; he doesn't have a love interest, though he may or may not have a special relationship with his signature chainsaw or destroying hordes of Hellspawn.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/0/240375-5fa12.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/0/240375-5fa12.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185988","description":"

Death

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Darksiders II (2012)
\n

Death is the main character in the sequel to Darksiders, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and a brother to the first game's protagonist: War. He uses stylish scythes to slice and dice his opponents while employing stylish, yet devastating combos to come out victorious. He even transforms into a terrifying reaper to finish off his most resilient foes.

\n

The mask -- which Death never removes -- is not only for aesthetics: it adds a depth of mystery to the character, making him even more badass. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/3/2/532017-d9771.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/3/2/532017-d9771.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186083","description":"

Dante

\n
Devil May Cry (2001)
\n

Dante's twin brother -- Vergil -- is already featured on our first list of 10 Most Badass Video Game Characters, but Dante deserves a spot just as much, if not more, than his brother. 

\n

Possessing the enhancing power to transform into a demon -- much like his evil sibling -- Devil May Cry's Dante gives preference to oversized swords. However, he never lets go of his trusty handguns (Ebony and Ivory), which he uses to soften enemies up before cutting them into pieces.

\n

At times, Dante may act somewhat cocky and playful, but he always backs it up with unprecedented skill.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/g/big-boss-bionic-arm-metal-gear-solid-phantom-pain-wallpaper-8e448.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/g/big-boss-bionic-arm-metal-gear-solid-phantom-pain-wallpaper-8e448.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186162","description":"

Big Boss

\n
Metal Gear (1987)
\n

Solid Snake may be considered the main protagonist of the Metal Gear Solid series, but let's face it: he wouldn't even exist without Big Boss.

\n

Boss' first appearance was in the original Metal Gear, though he didn't become a playable character until much later when Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released. An unfortunate encounter with his former mentor leaves him with countless bruises, dislocated joints, and broken bones; later on, he even gets his eye shot out.

\n

Despite all that, he manages to complete his mission, earning him the legendary title -- Big Boss. The rest, as they say, is history. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/a/aranea-highwind-final-fantasy-437-7c215.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/a/aranea-highwind-final-fantasy-437-7c215.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186161","description":"

Aranea Highwind

\n
Final Fantasy XV (2016)
\n

This gorgeous blonde may very well be the most stylish Final Fantasy character in over a decade. She joins Final Fantasy XV's party of heroes as a dominating force -- however briefly -- and adds an amusing flavor to their conversations.

\n

Aranea dons stylish battle armor and employs an impressively-sized lance during combat, which, of course, decimates her opponents. Beautiful, confident, and strong, Aranea Highwind is not hesitant to take on multiple foes at once -- and deals with them in brutal, timely fashion.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-ada-qhd-f3481.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-ada-qhd-f3481.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186110","description":"

Ada Wong

\n
Resident Evil 2 (1998)
\n

Ada first appears in Resident Evil 2 as a supporting character, but she later plays a much more significant role in Resident Evil 4, where she receives her own story scenario: Separate Ways.

\n

Her personality and background are rather mysterious, though she seems to have an affection toward a certain someone (ahem). Ada tends to prefer lightweight, conventional weaponry like handguns and machine guns, but when push comes to shove, she is also a deceptively skilled hand-to-hand combatant.

\n

In a franchise full of badass characters, Ada often gets overlooked by casual fans, which is just too bad. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/d/video-games-elder-scrolls-skyrim-grandft-auto-mass-effect-wa-2c4a4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/d/video-games-elder-scrolls-skyrim-grandft-auto-mass-effect-wa-2c4a4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186141","description":"

As it turns out, our original list of the 10 most badass video game characters needs an update. I mean, there are more than 10 badass characters in the pantheon of gaming. Surprising, right?

\n

That is why we decided to whip up a follow-up list including more of those badasses; 10 more, to be precise. Some of these characters are defined by superhuman strength, some by unique traits, some by the armory of weapons they possess, and some by the events they've endured. Ultimately, they are all bound by the same uncanny traits: individually completing meaningful tasks, defeating their enemies and, basically, getting sh** done.

\n

Much like our original list, this one is based on two simple criteria:

\n
    \n
  • Only one character per franchise (per individual list)
  • \n
  • The character is playable at any point in the particular series in question or must represent a playable party of characters
  • \n
\n

Let's get started. 

"}]]]>
7 Forgotten Video Games in Desperate Need of a Sequel https://www.gameskinny.com/ngvl5/7-forgotten-video-games-in-desperate-need-of-a-sequel https://www.gameskinny.com/ngvl5/7-forgotten-video-games-in-desperate-need-of-a-sequel Wed, 27 Jun 2018 10:27:43 -0400 Edgar Wulf

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Skies of Arcadia

\n

Known in Japan as Eternal Arcadia and widely regarded as one of the best RPG's of all time, Skies of Arcadia tells a unique tale about a group of air pirates and their struggle against an oppressive empire. It's a story underlined by a strong political motif.

\n

The game features a diverse cast of memorable characters, both heroes and villains, as well as a vast 3D world which is open to exploration in a fully customizable airship.

\n

Engaging in ship-to-ship combat acts as one of the game's main highlights.

\n

The game was launched exclusively on the Dreamcast and later ported to the GameCube as Skies of Arcadia: Legends which included additional exclusive content.

\n

There are no official news on a potential sequel, but considering the recent revival of the Shenmue saga, this gem of an RPG may yet see the light of day.

\n

---

\n

That concludes the list. Is there a game you love which has a long overdue sequel? Let us know in the comments below, and for news on sequels as and when they are released stay tuned to GameSkinny!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/play-mini-ninjas-d0460.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/play-mini-ninjas-d0460.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185221","description":"

Mini Ninjas

\n

A surprisingly great game published by Eidos Interactive in 2009, Mini Ninjas is a charming title bursting with a palette of color and animation.

\n

Its engrossing world and complete lack of violence make it appropriate to players of any age -- including young children -- yet it's not a childish to be ignored by adults, either.

\n

Its story focuses on five distinctly unique little ninjas who are tasked with an arduous mission of thwarting the plans of the evil Samurai Warlord. There are many exciting activities to partake in along the way, collectables to discover, and funny bosses to defeat.

\n

There's currently zero information on a sequel, but the game has received numerous ports and spin-offs and will likely be included in Square Enix's future plans, who is now owner of this title.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/image-2018-45dc3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/image-2018-45dc3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185335","description":"

Haunting Ground

\n

Another great, off-the-radar title by Capcom.

\n

Despite being a spiritual successor to Clock Tower 3, Haunting Ground can very well stand on its own. Largely thanks to its gripping plot, eerie atmosphere, and its in-your-face "Peeping Tom" nature.

\n

It tells a story about Fiona, an 18-year-old girl who finds herself imprisoned in a castle, with barely any memories on how she got there. She is subsequently chased by various terrifying inhabitants of the castle and befriends a dog named Hewie, who aids her in the quest of a successful escape.

\n

Much like God Hand, this title did not sell too well and was met with a diverse range of critical responses.

\n

Nevertheless, the game's positive aspects were highly praised and it has since developed a loyal fanbase which no doubt hopes for a sequel in the not-too-distant future.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/5/7/657259-1823a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/5/7/657259-1823a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185186","description":"

God Hand

\n

Unfortunately for God Hand, it was a game released late into the sixth console generation. This amazing brawler hit the store shelves in the U.S. during October 2006 -- a mere month before the launch of the PlayStation 3.

\n

God Hand is all about over-the-top action and humor, mind-boggling, thumb-twitching combos, and a complete disregard for the laws of physics. It helps the game has a wide assortment of incredible boss battles -- almost all of which Western players should have the privilege of experiencing.

\n

Its "mediocrity" was met with little critical acclaim, at least initially. Since its release, however, the game has garnered a lot of positive attention and is included in many noteworthy compilations (such as this one ^_^).

\n

Given the poor sales, a sequel is unlikely. But perhaps Capcom will provide Gene -- the game's main protagonist -- another chance. The original is available for download on PSN.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-b5ee7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-b5ee7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185223","description":"

Extermination

\n

There's more than horror games on this list, I promise.

\n

This title went widely unnoticed by the general gaming community and was received by the critics with lukewarm fanfare. Nonetheless, it provided a more than decent survival-horror experience on the PlayStation 2.

\n

The player controls Dennis Riley, a U.S. Marine who, together with his partner Roger, must infiltrate a secret research base in Antarctica after receiving a distress signal. Extermination plays out similarly to other games in the genre, such as Dino Crisis and Resident Evil.

\n

The game features a predictable storyline and a glut of cheesy dialogue, but it's redeemed by great sound design and atmosphere, heavily resembling John Carpenter's movie The Thing.

\n

It was among the first titles on PlayStation 2 and was used to showcase the console's capabilities, therefore selling reasonably well for the time. Alas, a sequel is highly unlikely, though one can dream.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/t/e/eternal-darkness-902x507-b642b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/t/e/eternal-darkness-902x507-b642b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185114","description":"

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

\n

An unusual title released exclusively on the GameCube was made even more unusual when taking Nintendo's generally family-friendly ecosystem into context. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is an M-rated horror game and, more importantly, pretty darn good at that.

\n

At its core, it's very much like any classic Resident Evil title, especially given its third-person perspective and "tank controls". The concept is kept fresh by an intriguing story, featuring multiple playable characters across numerous historical periods and a unique Sanity mechanic.

\n

The sanity meter, upon reaching a certain threshold, would not only affect a character's composure but sometimes also simulate a lifelike failure of the console's hardware: in a very Kojima-esque manner.

\n

A canceled sequel was in development and a spiritual successor titled Shadow of the Eternals is, allegedly, still in the works.

\n

Nintendo owns the rights to the original name, so it's anyone's guess if it will officially return. But with the Switch seemingly embracing some aspects of the Mature genre in titles like Doom, there is hope. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backgrounds-alan-walker-picturez-cartoon-full-pics-mobile-wa-4e6a8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/c/backgrounds-alan-walker-picturez-cartoon-full-pics-mobile-wa-4e6a8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185171","description":"

Alan Wake

\n

One of the strongest exclusives on the Xbox 360, even though it was later released for Microsoft Windows, Alan Wake masterfully combines ideas from series like Silent Hill and the vibe of TV shows such as Twin Peaks into a terrifying whole.

\n

It follows the story of an acclaimed writer who is going through a creative crisis and decides to take a break by going on a vacation with his loving wife. A potentially romantic getaway quickly turns south as grisly events from a mysterious book written by Alan -- unbeknown to himself -- begin to unfold.

\n

A sequel was in development but got canceled due to the first game's slightly underwhelming commercial performance, which was partially attributed to a high rate of piracy.

\n

That said, the game has amassed a devout following and Alan Wake 2 is not necessarily out of the question.

\n

(Please note: Alan Wake's American Nightmare is not regarded as a sequel. It is instead a DLC.)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-3840x2160-rockstar-games-2761-a1c30.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-3840x2160-rockstar-games-2761-a1c30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"184589","description":"

While many publishers often don't have second thoughts about flooding the market with annual revisions of their most commercially viable franchise, not every publisher takes that path. Some games are forgotten and their legacy, however big or small, neglected and swept under the metaphorical rug.

\n

However, some fans are persistent and vocal enough to bring old IPs -- or even whole series -- back to life; Shenmue I & II HD serves as an excellent example of such dedication. Other, less fortunate titles are forever ignored, without merely a hint of a potential resurrection.

\n

These unfortunate outcasts are mostly kept alive by loyal fans who express their appreciation of a particular video game or franchise via cosplay, music, and original artworks, for example.

\n

There is a valid argument to be made that some stories should remain singular; developing a sequel would just complicate things. However, if certain titles receive the privilege of being released annually, then even a one-off follow-up to any of these entries wouldn't hurt, especially given their prolonged absence.

\n

This compilation is comprised of games which have to date had only one official main entry and not released for at least five years.

\n

Click "Next" on the bottom-right to view these games in alphabetical order.

"}]]]>
9 Awesome Video Game Collector's Editions https://www.gameskinny.com/fcuhb/9-awesome-video-game-collectors-editions https://www.gameskinny.com/fcuhb/9-awesome-video-game-collectors-editions Tue, 22 May 2018 11:19:03 -0400 Edgar Wulf

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/9/1399690-10152000235448128-708964643-c355d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/9/1399690-10152000235448128-708964643-c355d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183828","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

\n
Collector's Edition
\n

This edition of A Link Between Worlds was only ever released for the GAME chain of stores, a retailer in the UK, whose branding also appears on the box. There wasn't much to it -- a download code for Link's Awakening DX and a humongous A0 poster (shipped separately) featuring the Master Sword. However, it also included a small treasure chest which played the signature treasure sound upon being opened and, as an additional bonus, stored up to five 3DS game cartridges.

\n
Honorable Mentions
\n

Featured here are editions which, for various reasons, did not make it onto the main list:

\n

Okami HD The Mankaiouka-Dama Limited Edition was released exclusively in Japan through the e-capcom store in limited quantities. It included a fluorescent phone strap and a snow globe displaying Amaterasu, the game's protagonist, under a beautiful cherry blossom tree.

\n

Undertale Collector's Edition, released exclusively on fangamer.com, included the game's soundtrack across two CDs, the game's sheet music, a colorful storybook, and a gorgeous, gold-plated music locket.

\n

---

\n

Do you own any of these editions? Know of any rare and unique collector's editions which deserve some publicity? Leave a comment below, and as always, for everything cool, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/2/152664152273078368-56efb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/2/152664152273078368-56efb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183879","description":"

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

\n
Wizard's Edition
\n

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, the charming RPG by Studio Ghibli and Level-5, received two versions of the Wizard's Edition. With downloadable golden skins for familiars, a cute Drippy plush toy, and a replica of The Wizard's Companion found in the game, the EU version was slightly surpassed by the U.S. version, which also included five artwork cards, a soundtrack CD, and a collectible coin featuring the game's main protagonist, Oliver.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/y/71y-dn4wzul-sl1008-0c748.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/y/71y-dn4wzul-sl1008-0c748.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183823","description":"

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

\n
Collector's Edition
\n

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, made by Platinum Games, was not only a spectacular spin-off to the Metal Gear series, it also received an equally spectacular Collector's Edition in the United States. In addition to a steelbook case and a soundtrack CD, it contained a plasma lamp featuring part of Raiden's katana on display, which lit up in glorious color.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/20150730162849-5bbf3612-b676d.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/20150730162849-5bbf3612-b676d.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"184023","description":"

Little Big Planet 2

\n
Collector's Edition
\n

Little Big Planet 2, much like its predecessor, is oozing with charm, and its U.S. Collector's Edition reflects that. While somewhat sparse on contents, it's the quality which counts. Along with some downloadable costumes of familiar characters from other franchises and a cute Sackboy plush toy, this edition also included cardboard bookends, themed after the game, to display your collection of games in style.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/l/galgun-presentor-notratings-8e9a9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/l/galgun-presentor-notratings-8e9a9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183886","description":"

Gal Gun: Double Peace

\n
Mr. Happiness Edition
\n

At first glance, there is nothing significant about Gal Gun's Mr. Happiness Edition -- some DLC costumes, a soundtrack CD, and a wall scroll featuring two girls. It also included a pair of panties. Some developers seem to have a thing for underwear, though fret not, it's actually just a microfiber cloth for cleaning the screen of your device. Which is still weird considering the main objective of the game is to rub girls. Oh, Japan....

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/5/1/55185-20e75.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/5/1/55185-20e75.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183875","description":"

Catherine

\n
Deluxe Edition
\n

Catherine is a bizarre game, and its Deluxe Edition, released in North America, is even more so. While some of its contents were pretty mundane -- an artbook, a soundtrack CD, a t-shirt -- it also included a pillowcase featuring Catherine, one of the game's main heroines. To top it off there, was also a pair of oversized polka-dot boxer shorts, with everything neatly packaged in a Stray Sheep Pizza box, a bar/pizzeria which is featured in the game.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/x/91x8tck5ugl-sl1500-23880.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/1/x/91x8tck5ugl-sl1500-23880.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183821","description":"

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

\n
Juggernog Edition
\n

Regardless of what you may think about the series, Call of Duty: Black Ops III had probably one of the coolest editions ever made. The Juggernog Edition featured things like coasters, a season pass, a steelbook case, some art cards, and a digital soundtrack along with some downloadable content. It also included a fully functional mini-fridge which stored up to 12 cans of Mountain Dew (or beer, for those of age).

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/8/6/186322-sft5te7butzk4qwzkdhr1wgfe-5daff.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/8/6/186322-sft5te7butzk4qwzkdhr1wgfe-5daff.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183827","description":"

Bully

\n
Special Edition
\n

One of the more popular titles by Rockstar Games, and perhaps the most elusive edition on this list, Bully, released in 2006, received a Special Edition that is almost unattainable today. The outer box was themed after a school locker which, because the game takes place in a school environment, is very fitting. This edition included a Rockstar Games-branded sticker, a comic book based on the game, and an inflatable dodgeball.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/8/15803929209-c8ff4c397b-eab64.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/8/15803929209-c8ff4c397b-eab64.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183796","description":"

Bloodborne

\n
Nightmare Edition
\n

Bloodborne, a spiritual successor to Dark Souls, which, in turn, is a spiritual successor to Demon's Souls, received a Europe-only Nightmare Edition. The set included a steelbook case, a digital soundtrack, a notebook, an artbook, and a bell trinket along with some downloadable content. Its main highlight, however, was a set of quill and ink, with an ink vessel resembling a skull. All of it was packaged in a tin case disguised as a row of books, which made for an impressive piece of decor.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/imageedit-6726015359-5948c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/imageedit-6726015359-5948c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"184027","description":"

Collector's editions, limited editions, special editions -- however developers decide to name them, these editions, along with the game itself, are usually bundled with one or several collectible items, ranging from posters and stickers to hardcover artbooks and elaborate figurines. Such bundles have existed for a long time, but they became especially prominent during the seventh console generation, when, for most major releases, it was almost an unwritten rule to provide a limited edition alongside the standalone game.

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This list features 9 such editions and was compiled using one simple criterion:

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  • Each edition must contain at least one somewhat unique or significant item in the context of the game itself
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A regular figurine, no matter how well made, will not cut it for this list. Editions such as Saints Row IV's "The Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition" or Grid 2's Mono Edition were not considered due to their ridiculous nature and price, and Steel Batallion, while impressive in its own right, was not classified as a collector's edition. With that aside, click over to the next page to view 9 awesome collector's editions in alphabetical order (by game title).

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(The image at the top here is of the Gold Edition of Superbeat Xonic: Limited Edition for the PlayStation Vita; there's only one in existence!)

"}]]]>
The Thing: One of the Greatest Film-to-Game Adaptations Ever Made https://www.gameskinny.com/yagp5/the-thing-one-of-the-greatest-film-to-game-adaptations-ever-made https://www.gameskinny.com/yagp5/the-thing-one-of-the-greatest-film-to-game-adaptations-ever-made Wed, 09 May 2018 14:53:52 -0400 Edgar Wulf

Few may know that John Carpenter's horror classic The Thing, released in 1982, received a direct sequel -- in the form of a video game. Developed by the now defunct Computer Artworks and published by Konami and Vivendi Universal, The Thing was released on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2. Despite being well-received both critically and commercially, the game has not been made available on any other platform since.

My first introduction to the game was around early 2002, when I read about it in a magazine. Being a huge horror fan, I was immediately attracted to The Thing, even though I knew nothing about the movie at the time; I vividly remember a promotional screenshot in which the main character, Blake, is wielding two weapons and engaging a heavily disfigured monstrosity in combat. I was eager to play this game and got it shortly after release, a game I had no business playing in my early teens (the game is rated M). Luckily my mom didn't mind (thanks, mom). I loved The Thing back then, but fast-forward over 15 years -- does it do the movie justice?

Where Were You Childs?

The story picks up shortly after the events of the 1982 movie, as a small team of U.S. Special Forces arrives at the remains of Outpost 31. With Captain Blake at the forefront, whom you will control throughout the game, the team is sent to survey the camp in search of potential survivors and clues as to what might have caused the camp's downfall. The story doesn't offer much in terms of substance, but it does a good job of leading you through many desolate locations, both familiar and new, including Outpost 31 and Thule Station. Many characters, events, and objects from the movie are also referenced, forming a strong bond between both the film and the game, and masterfully creating the impression of a singular, coherent universe.

The Thing is a third-person shooter mixed with some very basic squad-command capabilities. Your squad is, aside from Blake himself, composed of morons; three kinds of moron -- the soldier, the engineer, and the medic. Soldiers will, for the most part, pretend that they are inflicting damage on enemies while you do all the hard work. Engineers can unlock door mechanisms and hack terminals. Medics can heal either Blake or another squad member, but they can't heal themselves (the irony) and will quickly go into a mental breakdown if presented with even a minor threat. All of them are susceptible to fear and have a certain sanity threshold. If you don't address their mental well-being for too long, they may pose a threat to their comrades or even commit suicide. Many of these events, however, are scripted, so don't expect to save them all. Commands can be issued based on their abilities, alongside some simple ones like stay or follow. However, they won't do anything unless they trust you. Trust can be earned by giving squad members weapons or ammo, and also ... providing proof that you're still human.

Nobody Trusts Anybody Now

Relatively early in the game, you will acquire what is known as the Blood Test Kit. With it, you can check whether or not a squad member has been taken over by an extraterrestrial entity. If the syringe explodes, prepare for battle, as it will trigger whomever was being tested to change into a Walker -- a mutilated alien form roughly resembling a human -- and attack anyone in sight. You can also use the kit on yourself to prove that you are still human and gain your squad's trust as a result.

Combat makes up a large portion of gameplay and is decent, albeit flawed. The main problem comes from the inability to aim; once an enemy is in vicinity, a target reticle will appear around them, and all you need to do is point in that direction and shoot. Some bullets will hit, some won't; shooting in short bursts seems to be more accurate. You can aim properly only when in first-person mode, to kill hard-to-reach enemies, but you can't move in this mode and thus become vulnerable. All of this, thankfully, does not impede progression as most enemies, aside from bosses, are quite easy to deal with. However, there are the already mentioned Walkers, and they are slightly more complex. They come in several differing types, each more disfigured than the last, and generally require the same strategy. The goal is to bring their health low enough with gunfire, indicated by the target reticle turning red, and then finish them off with an incendiary weapon -- a flamethrower will do nicely. All of that considered, combat isn't bad, it isn't boring, it's just very simplistic and unlikely to challenge you or bring the satisfaction of victory.

Final Thoughts

So combat is mediocre, and the story serves mostly as an opportunity to revisit some familiar locations and, to a certain degree, experience the movie's atmosphere through an interactive medium. What makes the game stand out, even today, is the trust mechanic, which is a core principle in John Carpenter's story. You can never know for sure if the guy you just gave a flamethrower to is not intent on ripping you apart once the opportunity presents itself. In addition, each ally's fluctuating sanity means that they can become a liability in a crucial moment, and you must always remain aware of that. These mechanics, along with its dedication to the source material, are what places The Thing among the best movie-based video games ever made.

Perhaps somewhat unfortunately, The Thing is only available in physical format on the same platforms for which it was originally released. The good news is that a used copy, for either platform, shouldn't set back your budget by too much. The game also provides a greater closure to the overall plot, should you wish for it, and despite some of its shortcomings, I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the movie.

Have you watched the movie or played the game? Let us know about your impressions in the comments below!

]]>
Looking Back at Greece: Ranking the Original God of War Games https://www.gameskinny.com/8srl9/looking-back-at-greece-ranking-the-original-god-of-war-games https://www.gameskinny.com/8srl9/looking-back-at-greece-ranking-the-original-god-of-war-games Wed, 09 May 2018 12:54:57 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

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1. God of War III

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The last game in the original series (chronologically speaking), God of War III promised us amazing visuals, improved combat, epic boss fights, and a final confrontation with the remaining gods of Olympus. Luckily, God of War III did all of this and more.

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Additions like grappling enemies were welcomed, the combat was just as great as ever, and the kills you got bordered on realistic. You really did feel like those creatures were real, and the devs spent a lot of time killing them in every way so they could get every finishing move just right.

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Along with all of that were amazing boss fights and excellent pacing, where you never got bored and were basically killing one god after another. Few games can match God of War III's sense of scale and action. This game does all of what God of War games do so well, and that it easily makes it the best game in the series and a must-play action game.

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---

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What did you think of this list? How would you rank the original God of War games? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stick with GameSkinny for all things God of War, including our guides on the latest masterpiece!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-9c48a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-9c48a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182989","description":"

2. God of War II

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With the original becoming a classic, it's obvious Sony wanted to continue on with a sequel, and boy did they deliver with this sequel, which sees Kratos disobeying the gods and abusing his power before he's betrayed by Zeus and off on another quest for revenge.

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God of War II improves upon nearly every aspect of the original, with fewer platforming sequences, improved puzzles, and much more. The combat is the same, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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Along with some new additions, like gliding and slowing down time, God of War II also featured great set pieces, tons of boss fights, and outstanding art design, helping to elevate it over the original by a landfall. It made for the perfect game to close out the PS2 era of gaming.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-gos-ae7b8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-gos-ae7b8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182988","description":"

3. God of War: Ghost of Sparta

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The second and last handheld God of War game proved to be one of the best installments in the series. Ghost of Sparta takes place sometime after the original and has Kratos looking for his brother, Demos.

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It's a surprisingly well-told tale that helps humanize Kratos, showing a bit of his childhood and explaining why he comes to despise his fellow gods. This installment also still keeps the great combat from past games and manages to outshine its predecessor (Chains of Olympus) in every way, with better pacing and some great additions, like adding fire to your blades.

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It may not have as many of the great bosses that we've come to expect from the series, and it was on the short side, but it's one that's still worth playing.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-games-old-b23a1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-games-old-b23a1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182987","description":"

4. God of War (2005)

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The game that started it all, the original God of War is considered one of the best action games of all time, and a lot of it still holds up. The dark story of Kratos seeking revenge against Ares is just as strong as it was back in the day, the combat is still bloodily satisfying, and the bosses remain amazing.

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So, why is it in the lower half of this list if it's a classic? Well, there are some things about the original that haven't aged well.The second act can feel somewhat padded out, the combat isn't quite as robust and responsive as it was in later games, and a few puzzles can get annoyingly difficult.

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However, those are manageable when compared to the awful platforming, climbing, and balancing sections of the game. Sure, God of War's platforming isn't what people remember, but you know what will stick in people's minds? Sections where you can't judge your jump and you die over and over again.

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Oh, and that section where you climb out of hell before you can take on the last boss can go right up Hades' ass: It's broken beyond belief.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-ascension-be5fe.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-ascension-be5fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182979","description":"

5. God of War: Ascension

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"Before he was a god, he was a man" was the quote that tried to sell us on God of War: Ascension. In many ways, that stands true, as Ascension was the first game in the series that showed us that even the greatest franchises can let us down.

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To this game's credit, Ascension did try to make some changes to the formula, and it was an extremely polished game. The combat was fun, with some changes made for the better (like how Magic worked), and it still had some great set pieces and boss battles.

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But while the story did do a better job as a prequel than Chains of Olympus, it lacked any sort of tension or surprise; we knew what was going to happen to all of these characters by the game's end. It also didn't help that some changes, like the reworked Rage meter, were made more for the worse.

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It ultimately just didn't really do much to evolve the series, especially after God of War III, making it feel like a game that was made so they could squeeze another title out before the PS4 came out. Ascension is a solid game, but it's one that feels pretty minuscule when compared to the more epic servings we got before.

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Oh, and the multiplayer was dull. Did I forget that? Well, so did the rest of the world.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-chains-olympus-d529a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/d/god-war-chains-olympus-d529a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182986","description":"

6. God of War: Chains of Olympus

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The first prequel to the series, as well as the first handheld installment, God of War: Chains of Olympus took us six months in to Kratos' early days of work for the gods, so he could get his revenge.

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Chains of Olympus was hailed in its day for being one of the best portable games of all time since it managed to put everything you wanted in a God of War game on to a handheld system. That said, Chains of Olympus hasn't aged that well, especially compared to the series' other handheld title.

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Chains of Olympus feels much more simple when compared to other installments. It's mostly just filled with combat, at the cost of variety and the epic boss battles that previous games had.

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The story, despite having a great ending, doesn't really add much to the series lore, and the characters introduced here aren't that memorable. It's still a decent title, with the trademarked combat being up to snuff, but it's just one that feels like a product of its time.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/r/a/kratos-god-war-1680x1050-d6f9f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/r/a/kratos-god-war-1680x1050-d6f9f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182946","description":"

With the latest God of War released to universal acclaim, I think it's about time to look back at the original series that's entertained fans for the past 12 years.

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God of War holds a special place in my heart. The original was one of the very first M-rated games I ever played (at the tender age of 14), and I was hooked by the game's bloody combat, giant monsters, rage-filled protagonist, and tons of nude women (again, I was 14 years old). Looking back, I see God of War as something akin to the death metal craze that swept the 80s.

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It wasn't until a bit later -- once I started to appreciate the skill-based combat, dramatic storytelling (and not-so-dramatic stories of some installments), and darker take on Greek mythology -- that I got it.

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So I decided to boot up my PS4, subscribe to PlayStation Now, and take a look back at the series that helped define myself as a gamer.

"}]]]>
Top 10 Most Badass Video Game Characters of All time https://www.gameskinny.com/4a5w5/top-10-most-badass-video-game-characters-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/4a5w5/top-10-most-badass-video-game-characters-of-all-time Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:40:44 -0400 Edgar Wulf

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Vergil

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Devil May Cry 3 (2005)
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Twin brother of the game's main protagonist and a highly skilled swordsman, Vergil's movement of his katana, Yamato, is so fast in Devil May Cry 3 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.

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---

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This concludes the list. Do you agree with any of the entries? Who would you add? Let us know in the comments below.

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If you can't get enough of badass video game characters, then check out this follow-up list. And for more fun compilations such as this one, stay tuned to GameSkinny.

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Samus Aran

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Metroid (1986)
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A bounty hunter best known for providing one of the biggest surprises in gaming history, Metroid's 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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/7/4/774395-76ea0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/7/4/774395-76ea0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182238","description":"

Raziel

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Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999)
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Once a vampire and a lieutenant to the most powerful among them -- Kain -- Soul Reaver's 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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/m/tomb-raider-game-wallpapers-underworld-wallpaper-wallbest-6dada.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/o/m/tomb-raider-game-wallpapers-underworld-wallpaper-wallbest-6dada.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182246","description":"

Lara Croft

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Tomb Raider (1996)
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This young lady needs no introduction; Tomb Raider's 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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/a/b/2ab1f6eb-bb75-4dc2-b6e8-0471e0de3cc7-47b37.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/a/b/2ab1f6eb-bb75-4dc2-b6e8-0471e0de3cc7-47b37.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182249","description":"

Kratos

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God of War (2005)
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While not exactly the most likable character, God of War's 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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/0/5/3/053374-dead-space-isaac-clarke-videogames-videogames-artwork-6b573.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/0/5/3/053374-dead-space-isaac-clarke-videogames-videogames-artwork-6b573.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182229","description":"

Isaac Clarke

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Dead Space (2008)
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Not your typical superhero, Dead Space's 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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/2/7/727772-wwwwallpapersfancom-85c32.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/2/7/727772-wwwwallpapersfancom-85c32.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182235","description":"

Ciri

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)
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Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, or simply Ciri, is a carrier of powerful elder blood and, much like the The WItcher 3'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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-wallpaper-auron-wallpapers-5dee5.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-wallpaper-auron-wallpapers-5dee5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182241","description":"

Auron

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Final Fantasy X (2001)
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An experienced warrior and a guardian to summoner Yuna, one of Final Fantasy X'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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/b/albert-wesker-9fc25.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/b/albert-wesker-9fc25.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182242","description":"

Albert Wesker

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Resident Evil (1996)
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Killed by a tyrant whom he himself helped create, Resident Evil's 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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/a/adam-jensen-with-combat-rifle-a0c70.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/d/a/adam-jensen-with-combat-rifle-a0c70.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182230","description":"

Adam Jensen

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)
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After being killed by members of a black ops team during an attack on the company he works for, Deus Ex: Human Revolution's 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.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/d/video-game-characters-wallpaper-e54d4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/d/video-game-characters-wallpaper-e54d4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"182278","description":"

(this is Part 1 of the compilation; for Part 2 follow this link)

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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:

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

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

"}]]]>
5 Games with the Best Soundtrack https://www.gameskinny.com/qp6ee/5-games-with-the-best-soundtrack https://www.gameskinny.com/qp6ee/5-games-with-the-best-soundtrack Wed, 28 Feb 2018 13:51:14 -0500 buymymixtape123

Music in gaming plays a big part in my enjoyment of a game and I'm sure many others feel the same way. A good soundtrack can really set the mood, and can add to the overall enjoyment of the game. Here are five games that I believe have the best soundtrack that really set a clear atmosphere for the game, and are great pieces of music to listen to outside of their respective games too. 

P5

Persona 5

Persona 5's soundtrack is what the standard of video game soundtracks should be. It is smooth and is similar to house music when you are in a calmer moment of the game, and then it fast and rockish when you're facing a strong enemy in a Palace. The starting theme,Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There, really brings you into the game and makes you want to hear more from this excellent soundtrack. I remember when nearing the end of the first Palace, and Life Will Change started to play and it pumped me up to deal with the final moments in the Palace. This is a game changing soundtrack that other games will have to try to live up to.

the witcher 3

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3's soundtrack blends traditional Polish music with the sounds of rock, and it is beautiful. The Polish band Percival - who is actually named after a character in the The Witcher books - did most of music for the game and even tours around Poland playing it. Two of the songs that really stood out to me from this game are Fields of Ard Skellig and The Wolven Storm, and they both stood out to me because of the emotions they bring out when you first hear them. Riding through the beautiful environment of Skellige while hearing the sounds of that beautiful tune almost brings you to tears. An amazing soundtrack to such an amazing game.

ffX

Final Fantasy X

The Final Fantasy series had to be on this list one way or another because of the timeless music that this series has given us. From the haunting ballad in Final Fantasy VII's One Winged Angel to the soothing tones in Final Fantasy IV's Theme of Love; Final Fantasy is a staple of video game music. With that being said, I believe the Final Fantasy with the best soundtrack is Final Fantasy X. The game's intro starts you with one of the deepest piano ballads ever - called To Zanarkand - and it makes you think I don't even know the characters on the screen yet, but I am connected to them because of the music and atmosphere. The music in Final Fantasy X is timeless and the peak of Final Fantasy's music. Songs like: Yuna's ThemeSuteki Da Ne, Fight With Seymour and A Fleeting Dream all fit the setting they are played in and are beautiful pieces of music you can listen to even when you're not playing the game.

 

Chrono Trigger 

Chrono Trigger is one of the greatest RPGs ever and has one of the greatest soundtracks I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. The games have the greatest theme I have listened to throughout my time gaming; with its bombastic sounds that get you ready for the long adventure to come, what's not to like? The music in this game is so well done that it was sampled into rap songs, with Secret of the Forest being sampled on Wiz Khalifa's Never Been part II, and Memories of Green being sampled on Hodgy Beats' Memorex CDs. This soundtrack is probably the most catchy and memorable on this list with songs that I have remembered and probably hummed for many years and many more to come.

wind waker

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

I love the Legend of Zelda, so finding one game was an incredibly difficult choice. Zelda games are known for their brilliant soundtracks, for example the original NES Zelda theme being almost as well known as the Super Mario Bros theme. This led me to decide between The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's or The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker's soundtrack, but ultimately Wind Waker took the prize. Wind Waker's soundtrack just has so many songs that I listen to still, even though it has been a while since I have played the game. Songs like the Title theme of the game, Grandma's Theme, Dragon Roost Island and the classic Princess Zelda's Theme make up this amazing soundtrack that will immerse fully within the game.

These are the five soundtracks I think are the best throughout gaming history. Some honorable mentions must go out to: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Journey, DOOM, Halo 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Be sure to check out any of the soundtracks listed and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Games That Could Be Considered "Art" https://www.gameskinny.com/802tu/8-games-that-could-be-considered-art https://www.gameskinny.com/802tu/8-games-that-could-be-considered-art Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:13:05 -0500 buymymixtape123

Video games have come a long way from the 8-bit sprites of the 80s. Games now rival other forms of media in art style, storytelling and music. Video games are as much of an art form as a movie or a piece of music. Here are eight games supporting this thesis and showing the boundaries gaming pushes as a art form.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt  

The Witcher 3 is as beautiful as a game could get. Just peering over the horizon while the sun is setting is just as soothing as looking over a real sunset. Furthermore, the narrative and music are exceptionally good, rivaling other popular high fantasy stories like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. I remember the first time I played this game back in May 2015, and just riding through Velen for the first time on Roach and taking in the sights and sounds of the world changed the way I looked at gaming. This game made me realize that gaming is art.

Cuphead

Cuphead is one of those games many gamers would look at and think it's a 1930s cartoon. Cuphead is brilliantly designed and stays true to the 1930s cartoon look, even having the strong film grain cartoons and movies of the past used to have. This run and gun, boss rush game is notorious for its hard difficulty but just taking the time to appreciate the art that this indie studio, Studio MDHR, made is enough to make you fall in love with this game.

 

Bioshock

Bioshock is a game on this list that's artistic for more than its art style. This doesn't mean Bioshock isn't a beautiful game, just going down into the underwater city of Rapture in the first few moments is going to make your jaw drop. But the narrative is what pushes this game into art territory. The game pushes you to think about what is wrong and what is right, and even comments on tyrants and the struggle of power and narcissism. Not a lot of games cover subject matter like this, and Bioshock does it beautifully, to the point where you want to know what is going to happen next in this amazing story. Bioshock is more than a game; it is a piece of art.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

There is one moment in gaming I will never forget and it is the moment at the start of Breath of the Wild, where Link first comes out the Shrine of Resurrection and looks over the horizon of Hyrule for the first time. At this point of my life, I never thought a game would surprise me like that and this moment did to the point of tears. Breath of the Wild isn't a perfect game, but it is art in every aspect of the word. The attention of detail Nintendo did with the landscape of the world, the cartoonish but beautiful graphics all show how gaming is art. 

The Last of Us

The Last of Us shows that video game narratives can be just as compelling and serious as a feature length movie. The Last of Us story of Ellie and Joel as they survive together in a post-apocalyptic world is heart wrenching, addictive and bittersweet. Not to mention that this game is beautiful and dark, which the PS4 remastered port expands upon. This game's story is so beautifully crafted that it's well-known outside of gaming. Even non-gamers know of this title and enjoy Naughty Dog's creation.  

Journey

Journey is one of those games that will impact you immensely in the short time it takes to beat. It isn't hard and doesn't have complicated mechanics, but it uses beautiful visuals and music to tell an emotional tale of a robed individual in the vast desert. Journey's soundtrack was so beautiful that it was nominated for a Grammy in 2013, one of the highest awards in music. If after you play Journey, you still don't think video games are art, you may have to get your head checked out.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was hated when it was first announced. Nintendo went for more of a cartoony, colorful experience than following the graphics laid out in Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask. But, people came to notice how beautiful this game really was and how fun the game is in general. Nintendo really focused on facial animation in Wind Waker, where Toon Link makes a certain face when he swings a sword or tries to push something that is too heavy for him. Also, the game is gorgeous for its cel shading graphics. This games still looks as good, if not better, than games coming out on the Switch.

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is beautiful because of how little it does compared to other games. Other games on this list earn their beauty from a wide arrange of colors and architect. This game does not have any of that, as there are no towns to go to, nothing to really look at and no other quest besides killing all of the Colossi around you. It is similar to Journey, where the game takes you on a emotional roller coaster without really doing much. This is the beauty of gaming: it is able to tug at your heart strings just through gameplay, art style and music alone, without a direct narrative putting it all together. If you are unsure if Shadow of The Colossus is in fact art, please check out the PS4 remastered that just came out recently.

There you have it, eight games symbolizing why video games can be considered art. When it comes down to it, if any other media like movies and music can be considered art, then video games should be as well. 

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8 Games With Alternative Timelines You Should Play https://www.gameskinny.com/y8lyr/8-games-with-alternative-timelines-you-should-play https://www.gameskinny.com/y8lyr/8-games-with-alternative-timelines-you-should-play Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:32:50 -0500 Alberto C.

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Whether set in a nuclear wasteland or a cyberpunk megacity, alternative timeline games allows to us wonder and drift on about potential outcomes in history while still keeping one foot within reality.

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Know of any games that portray alternative timelines that we missed? Let us know in the comments section below.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/c/3/fc3blooddragon-100e0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/c/3/fc3blooddragon-100e0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179305","description":"

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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If there's only thing nuclear technology has given us besides cheap electricity, nuclear waste, and big bombs, it's games based on a post-apocalyptic era. But don't worry, this one isn't focused on the consequences of nuclear fallout.

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Fan of the 80's vision of what the future would be like? Also a fan of cheesy commentary, comedic narrative, running-n-gunning gameplay complemented by power moves, lasers, and power-bows? if so, you're in for a treat.

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What was thought to be an April Fool's joke ended up becoming one of the most unexpected and awesome expansions in recent gaming history. Ditching the more serious undertone of Far Cry 3, this stand-alone expansion used the same engine and gameplay mechanics while completely revamping the visuals and giving us a new story set in a dystopian world of 2007 by 1980s standards.

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Taking the role of cybernetic super-soldier Rex Power, your mission is to stop an elite agent-gone-rogue who plans to transform the world into a prehistoric version. To do so, you'll need the assistance of Dr. Darling as you save scientists, fight off the rogue agent's army, and kill dinosaurs that roam the environment -- all while collecting cybernetic hearts, performing power moves, and enhancing your skills through a leveling system.

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I mean if lasers, cheesy commentary, cybernetics, power moves, and dinosaurs doesn't convince to play this game, I'm not sure what else I could tell you.

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Freedom Fighters

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If you enjoyed the theme of Wolfenstein's reboot but got tired of shooting the same old Nazis and their augmentated soldiers, Freedom Fighters will be of interest.

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Much like in Wolfenstein, you play the role of a resistance fighter fighting for American independence, only this time you're fighting the Soviet troops occupying New York. And instead of being an agent for an intelligence organization of the U.S. government, you're a plumber. Yes, a plumber.

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In a world where the Soviet Union first acquired nuclear weapons and swiftly ended World War 2 by nuking Berlin, the United States found itself at a disadvantage and eventually was surrounded by communist nations that facilitated a full-out invasion of the country. As a simple plumber who was on his way to see a client, the player goes from wielding a wrench at one moment to full-time resistance, mowing down Soviet troops with AK's with the hope of liberating the city.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/l/wolfenstein-logo-aldaron87-d64friq-33cb4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/l/wolfenstein-logo-aldaron87-d64friq-33cb4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179295","description":"

Wolfenstein

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Nazis are bad. Nazis messing with experimental technology and supernatural powers can only be worse. If you ever wondered what it would be like if Nazi Germany had not lost World War 2, the Wolfenstein series is the franchise for you.

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However, the series has two plots you should take into account if are considering giving the franchise a shot. Up to and including Wolfenstein (2009), the stories take place during World War 2, and you play as famous agent of the Office of Secret Actions B.J. Blaskowicz, who is sent deep behind enemy lines to investigate experiments and paranormal activity conducted by the Paranormal Division of the SS.

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Since the series reboot in 2014, the plot revolves around a world in which Nazi Germany was victorious in successfully defeating the United States and its allies and is now acting as an occupying force in the continental United States. Still playing as Blaskowicz, you lead a resistance fight against the Nazi occupiers, who have augmented their forces with bizarre technology.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/r/v/rrvm3qs-ecba8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/r/v/rrvm3qs-ecba8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179288","description":"

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl

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The incidents of Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl Disaster were significant enough to raise public skepticism towards nuclear power, but both were a cakewalk compared to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s setting.

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As you can guess, the game takes place in the Ukrainian area that was affected by the Chernobyl Disaster where humans, if present at all, live a hazardous life of survival fighting off other humans and mutants severely affected by the nuclear fallout of the power plant.

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Once again, game developers in the East delivered us a post-apocalyptic nuclear scenario FPS combined with survival and horror elements.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/2/0/120844-d731c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/2/0/120844-d731c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179287","description":"

Bioshock

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Another heavyweight franchise whose original title is now over 10 years old, Bioshock distinguished itself from so many other titles at the same for being a great combination of RPG and FPS gameplay mechanics that were supported by one of the most unique storylines and settings in gaming.

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The original game takes place in the 1960s and puts you in the shoes of a plane crash survivor who, by apparent sheer luck, finds a lighthouse and gains access to a secret underwater city known as Rapture. The city is the product of utopian visionary and businessman Andrew Ryan, who is also isolated from the surface. By the time you arrive, the whole city is anything but utopian, with the remaining survivors tearing each other apart.

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Bioshock's story is complemented by an art design and visual approach that resemble 1960s architecture, style, and technology in such a memorable way as to make its imagery easily recognizable even a decade later.

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Deus Ex

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Deus Ex might be set a few decades from now, but its backstory is one of conspiracies and power politics that go back hundreds of years. The Illuminati play a major role in this background as a mighty organization with power that supersedes that of nations themselves, including the US government.

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Set in a near future where human augmentation through cybernetics is a common sight, Deus Ex titles have you fulfilling roles ranging from ex-SWAT security managers working for corporations to rookie anti-terrorist agents of the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition.

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Deus Ex's plots are blacklights for any conspiracy theorist enthusiast that will take you through twisted storylines and plot twists in a Blade Runner-esque universe where actors like the Illuminati, governments, international organizations, and multinational corporations are in a fight for survival with each another.

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Avoiding spoilers as much as possible in case any reader might just want to pick it up for the first time, we can tell you that the chronological storyline order of the games is not the same as their release dates. The latest titles of the series, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided were published in 2011 and 2016 respectively, and both take place before the events of the original Deus Ex itself. So if the outdated graphics of the original seem too off-putting, perhaps the enticement of continuing the story after the latest games will convince you to try it out anyways.

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Metro 2033

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There are quite a few games out there that hypothesize the consequences if the Cold War had turned into a hot one. In the RTS genre notably, titles like Wargame and World in Conflict portrayed scenarios where Soviet and NATO forces faced each other head on. Metro parted from a similar idea.

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The backstory of Metro 2033 is one where Russia, presumably along with the rest of the planet, is now suffering the consequences of the aftermath of nuclear warfare that took place two decades earlier. You play the role of Artyom, one of the survivors of the initial onslaught who sought refuge in one of the subway stations of Moscow. As a member of the underground community, you venture beyond the safe zones to advance the storyline and battle both rival human factions and mutants alike.

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Metro's story is not just one you should play because of the interesting post-apocalyptic setting (the Fallout franchise fills in that checkbox pretty well too), but because the perspective of playing as a Russian is rare enough, and playing as a Russian survivor in a post-apocalyptic nuclear world is absolutely unique in itself. The story and gameplay developed by Eastern gaming enthusiasts 4A Games gives us a significantly different experience from the more Hollywood-ish franchises developed in the West. The game was such a success in both Russia and the Western market that the third title of the franchise is currently in development and set to be released later this year.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/half-life-wallpaper-773a1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/half-life-wallpaper-773a1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179283","description":"

Half-Life

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In addition to solid gameplay mechanics and making possible the development of mods that went on to become franchises of their own, the Half-Life series gave us a story that was identical in terms of historical development ... right until you started the campaign.

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Set in the shoes of a "simple" scientist working at a research facility, you start the game doing the mudane things every other working person does: talking to coworkers, putting on your work clothes, going through security checkpoints, etc. ... And then all hell breaks loose when you and your geek squad accidentally open a portal to another dimension that is dominated by a multidimensional empire bent on conquering everything they can.

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If this premise isn't interesting enough, the second installment is even more intriguing by informing you that the multidimensional empire, The Combine, managed to defeat the whole Earth in less than a day. You go from MIT-educated scientist running around a top-secret research facility in one game to fighting guerilla warfare and inflitrating Combine strongholds in the second.

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The Half-Life universe portrayed an alternate version of Earth that was subjugated by an alien force and at the same time showed an unlikely alliance between humans and another persecuted alien species with their common goal of liberation from the conqueror's fists.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/new-machine01-555db.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/new-machine01-555db.jpg","type":"slide","id":"179282","description":"

Not matter how many Call of Duty titles Activision makes about World War 2 or how many RPGs we play about slaying the ultimate demon-spawn-destroyer of all that is holy and sweet, they always boil down to two things: we either know how the story really ends, or it's so far out that the game world feels more like another dimension in a whole other universe.

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Here's a list of some of the top games and franchises, regardless of genre or age, that have had some of the most memorable storylines and plots based on alternative historical outcomes.

"}]]]>
Why Mega Man X Needs to Come Back https://www.gameskinny.com/mwqhj/why-mega-man-x-needs-to-come-back https://www.gameskinny.com/mwqhj/why-mega-man-x-needs-to-come-back Fri, 09 Feb 2018 13:30:37 -0500 Lee Forgione

One of Capcom's many dormant franchises, Mega Man X has not seen a new entry in the series since 2005's X8. With the recent announcement of Mega Man 11, I started to wonder if X could ever make a comeback as well. I've always been fond of the X series. It takes the original Mega Man formula and mixes it up with an edgier story and vastly superior gameplay mechanics.

The iconic Mega Man X in all his glory

​In the same way that Mega Man went back to its 8-bit roots with the ninth and tenth entries in the series, the same could be done for Mega Man X. Having a ninth entry made in a 16-bit style would be a huge comeback for X and Zero, especially in today's market, where throwbacks to retro graphics are becoming more and more popular and appreciated. The X series did okay on the PlayStation, with X4 being the best of the bunch. It retained the feel of the SNES games while adding new features such as rescuing reploids (the name given to androids modeled after X) and changing the flow of the story depending on certain tasks you accomplished. X then took a rocky shift into the PlayStation 2 with the seventh and eighth games. X7 went for a half-2D, half-3D approach, and it just didn't work. The controls were clunky, they introduced a new throwaway character named Axl, and it didn't feel very much like an X game. X8 ditched the 3D aspect for a 2.5D sidescrolling design, but again, it felt like a departure from the fast-paced action of the first six games.

The first X game reinvigorated a dying series by giving it an edgier story, a rocking soundtrack, and new moves like dashing and wall-jumping. These new moves added so much more depth to the Mega Man formula and made gameplay a lot more strategic, especially during boss fights. These changes were just what Mega Man needed to become relevant again, and with new games that give off an X vibe, such as Azure Gunvolt Striker and 20XX, it's a crime that we haven't seen a new retro-style X game. Rather than waste development resources on collections of old games, why don't they focus on something new instead? Sure, Mega Man 11 is on its way, but Mega Man Legends 3 was slated to be released on the 3DS but was scrapped for no reason. The severe lack of new Mega Man content led its original creator, Keiji Inafune, to Kickstart a terrible game, Mighty No. 9, which looks like Mega Man but is in reality a disappointing clone with awful voice acting and even a typo or two in its in-game text. 

​Though it's nice to see the original Mega Man returning this year, that series died off a long time ago. Its controls are simple, dated, and just not all that fun to play. X is the series that perfected the Mega Man formula in ways that make it memorable to so many people. The original Mega Man games had simple plot points of good versus evil, whereas X's story brought in more mature story elements such as humans co-existing with reploids and the controversy of whether machines should have free will or not. There's also the dynamic relationship between X and Zero. It's interesting to see them fight so close together against the Mavericks even though Zero's creation is what started the entire conflict. It would be neat to explore the Sigma virus and the many forms it's taken over the years in one last X game. Considering X8 ended on a cliff hanger, with Axl being infected by something placed in his helmet by the game's antagonist, Lumine, that could absolutely play into the plot of a potential X9

​It's a shame that X and Zero have only seen cameos and appearances in Marvel Vs. Capcom games since their last adventure over a decade ago. If the characters are still being used to this day, why not bring them back to their roots like so many other games are doing? Not only would die-hard fans appreciate a new 16-bit X game, but new generations of gamers could be turned onto such a memorable series. Here's to hoping Capcom will attempt to revive one of its best series and give X a proper sendoff. One can hope.

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Shadow of the Colossus: A Novice's Review of the Remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/famt9/shadow-of-the-colossus-a-novices-review-of-the-remaster https://www.gameskinny.com/famt9/shadow-of-the-colossus-a-novices-review-of-the-remaster Fri, 09 Feb 2018 11:43:56 -0500 Joseph Ocasio

When reviewing a classic in any medium, it can be hard for a new generation to talk about the importance and significance that a piece of work has had, especially if it's one that has a dedicated cult following. Whether it's due to its narrative structure, artistic value, or how distinct it was from other similar pieces of art, it can become a challenge. That's the position I find myself in when talking about Shadow of the Colossus. Prior to this remaster, I had only had a small interaction with it, when it was made free on PSN for PS Plus users back on the PS3. I only managed to play up to the first fight before I ended up selling my PS3 in order to find something else to play on my new PS4.

A couple ominous eyes searching for you in Shadow of the Colossus

Rebirth of a Classic

Since then, I could only rely on tales I'd heard of Shadow of the Colossus: discussions about how each Colossus represents different aspects of humanity, how it's able to tell a story with very little dialog, and much more. I've wanted so badly to be part of the discussion, but my brief experience with it wouldn't allow me to join in. Enter E3 2017, where Sony announced that it was allowing Bluepoint Games, the same people who worked on the excellent remasters for the Uncharted trilogy, to remake this classic for modern audiences. I feel that the only way for me to review this game is to recall my past experience while judging it for what it is now. 

And So It Begins

As it opens, a young man rides his steed with a dead woman lying with him. He rides on to a temple and is told by unknown voices that in order to bring this woman (it's unknown if it's his sister or lover) back from the dead, he must slay 16 giant beings called Colossi ... and that's about it. There is a little more to it, but that doesn't happen till near the end of the game and falls into spoiler territory.

Shadow of the Colossus relies more on its atmosphere and music to give its story emotional depth. The world you traverse through is bleak and feels hopeless, but it's also filled with beauty and serenity. The same can be said about the music, which helps sell this tale and is absolutely at its best when you confront any of the Colossus. 

If you just take a glance at a screenshot of the original PS2 version of Shadow of the Colossus, it's pretty obvious the amount of love and care that Bluepoint Games put into remaking this game. Shadow of the Colossus is one of the best-looking games you can get on PS4. The animations of things like character movement, grass, and facial hair look so natural that they border on realistic. Textures have greatly improved, and the frame rate never buckles. If you have a PS4 Pro, you can even choose to play it at 60 FPS, and while that leads to better controller response, it also adds a bit of phoniness and breaks some of the immersion the game creates. But, it's still up to you how you want to play.

Despite being 12 years old, Shadow of the Colossus still has some of the best art and creature design of all time. The various ruins, grassy fields, and desert lands exude personality, as if they were characters themselves. The Colossi are equally pleasing, representing some of the most unique enemies seen in gaming. Much of the game reminds me a lot of Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time; I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Team Ico took some inspiration from the Zelda series and vice versa. In all, this remake keeps all of the original's graphical charm while updating it to make it more appealing, without sacrificing the original intent of its visuals. 

Attack on Colossus

A towering Colossus staring down at you

What really made Shadow of the Colossus a classic was not only its visual art style and its unique approach to storytelling but also its equally unique gameplay. The only enemies you fight are the Colossi, and they do not disappoint. Every encounter feels different and constantly fills you with dread, as each of the giant Colossi looks and feels enormous. Taking them down is simple enough; just stab at the glowing weak points on each of the Colossus's bodies, but it's easier said then done. Getting to these spots has you constantly studying a Colossus's attack pattern and seeing where you can grab on. 

Making this matter more difficult is having to watch your grip meter, which depletes the longer you hold on. You have to know when to let go and wait for it to replenish. This might sound tedious, but it actually keeps things tense and interesting, as the meter never feels like it will drain as you're about to kill or strike a Colossus. What keeps the gameplay from getting too repetitive are the various forms the Colossi take on. From simple walking giants to birds to sand sharks and much more, each fight feels like s puzzle to solve, and they never feel too complex to figure out. When you finally slay a beast, you'll get a great sense of accomplishment that few, if any, games will give you.

The game features amazing lighting

While it might be blasphemous to nitpick classic, I do still have some issues with some of the design and gameplay choices. Despite the game lasting just six hours, the sense of repetition does start to set in after long play sessions. You'll use your sword to find a Colossus, fight and defeat it, and then get sent back to the starting temple. While the lack of anything else to do (other than hunting for lizards that increase your grip meter) is intentional and adds to the atmosphere, it can get tiring having to repeat the same process after the first two or so hours. Equally annoying is your horse, which has an annoying tendency to instantly slow down when you're trying to turn. Seeing how integral your trusty steed is to gameplay, it can grow quite annoying, especially when you're fighting a Colossus that practically requires you to have your horse with you.

Finally, Shadow of the Colossus could have explained some of its mechanics a bit better. For example, you can only see a Colossus's weak point if you have your sword equipped. You also have a bow you use to slightly hurt and get their attention, but the game doesn't tell you that it won't show a foe's weak point when that weapon is equipped. It's more of a nitpick, but it did cause me a bit of trouble early on.

Conclusion

Shadow of the Colossus is still a great game despite its game design becoming repetitive and the fact that some of its mechanics can be quite irksome. There still isn't a game out there that can match its dreary atmosphere, simple but effective storytelling, and outstanding boss fights. It's a one-of-a-kind game that still holds up and that PS4 owners should check out -- especially since it's only $40. It may be flawed, but it's another example that shows that truly great games are timeless.

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The Old Republic is Cool But It's Time for a New Star Wars RPG https://www.gameskinny.com/d45ei/the-old-republic-is-cool-but-its-time-for-a-new-star-wars-rpg https://www.gameskinny.com/d45ei/the-old-republic-is-cool-but-its-time-for-a-new-star-wars-rpg Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:10:18 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

It all started with a game my parents got me when I first got the original Xbox; Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic consumed my activities after school. Exploring the different avenues of combat, the branching narratives, and character development are what sucked me in for hours on end. It was my first real taste of a Star Wars RPG. From then on I was enraptured by the Old Republic Era games, which dominated the RPG scene since the early 2000's.

But now that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been out for over 6 years, what is the next stage for the Star Wars franchise?

Knights of the Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic: The Sith Lords defined the Old Republic Era, giving us the classic d20 system in video game style. This was then transferred to The Old Republic, where we got an MMO twist on our favorite universe. But you can only put out so many patches before people start to ask what else is happening.

We were promised Star Wars: 1313, which was canceled. Then there was the unknown title of the open world Star Wars RPG shown at E3. Now with the shutdown of Visceral Studios, this title was also canceled.

Keeping a system you know that people love was always key with Star Wars RPG's. KOTOR series produced 2 games that were Game of the Year.

With Electronic Arts shutting down Visceral, what do we have to look forward to now in a new Star Wars game? Patches for The Old Republic or paid DLC seasons of Battlefront II? We want something more as a community, and there are several storylines in the Star Wars universe that we can go down.

One of the more obvious routes that EA can go down is the highly talked about Knights of the Old Republic III. There have been many thoughts about the premise of this game, with the most notable being a part of the crew of Revan and the Jedi Exile, exploring the evil in the unknown regions.

Another was an interesting mod that someone in the fan community had created, known as the Revenge of Revan, for Knights of the Old Republic II. This mod cleaned up loose ends to the story, being called the third act in a KOTOR trilogy. This storyline is an obvious choice for an RPG idea, mainly for the fact that any developer picking it up has a plethora of material to work off already. Since the two KOTOR games already developed the setting and mechanics, developers know they already have system that works and people love. But there are a few others that can easily takes its place.

Another story developers can follow is the Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy series and pick up where Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin left off. Though the game was more hack-and-slash than anything else, players felt what it was like to be a Jedi in the game, and their choices were just as influential as in the KOTOR franchise. The impact of the storyline was on point for what a Star Wars RPG was meant to deliver.

The immersion is one of the most important parts of an RPG. If you can say you have lost track of time while playing one, they have done their job.

But there are several eras that EA can cover that aren't already established as a video game RPG. Developers can explore the Thrawn legacy or the Clone Wars from a clone trooper or padawan point of view. They can follow the path of an unknown bounty hunter, much like what 1313 was supposed to be. They have a plethora of material they can pull from, it just matters what is allowed and what isn't allowed.

But what is it that we want as fans and gamers of the Star Wars franchise? If we're being honest, the graphics and system that KOTOR had was not the greatest, and neither the Jedi Academy games didn't have much for graphics, either.

But I believe what keeps those games alive and the nostalgia going is the stories that enraptured us when we first played them.  It was the immersion and the effects it had on how we made choices as we played. It made players feel like they were making a difference in the game, that they were important in everything that happened. This is probably one of the most important factors that should be in the next Star Wars RPG that comes out, whether it is open world or linear.

The open world gives a sense of wonder, that someone thought all this up just for us to explore.

What we all want is just a story that we can feel important in, one that we make an impact on. The Old Republic does a fantastic job in the immersion, actually changing the terrain and the story down the line depending on what players do. It even effects the main character and how they influence the story as a whole. That model is what this gamer wishes for.

I want to feel that my character is important in the world I am fighting in, that I am a fugitive of the Empire, or an important Jedi helping to fulfill a prophecy. Some may not agree. They may thing that the story eventually needs to end because the player's power becomes so immense.

Well, then end it and branch off to another story or replay it. You can go down so many avenues. Enjoy the possibilities. Try something different. Be a Jedi that turns to the dark side; be a Sith that betrays their master to protect a planet -- or even be the smuggler that hands over the fugitive. Go beyond your limits , dare to explore, and dare to be whatever you want.

We all want to be that hero (or villain). Let's hope it's delivered.

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But who knows what EA has in store for us.  Hopefully a game that delivers what this community wants, and boy, is this community picky lately. But in the comments below, tell us what kind of era/storyline they should pursue? What would you like to see next? Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Star Wars news. Until next time, stay classy, gamers!

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9 Games That Will Satisfy Your Inner Collectaholic https://www.gameskinny.com/n2e12/9-games-that-will-satisfy-your-inner-collectaholic https://www.gameskinny.com/n2e12/9-games-that-will-satisfy-your-inner-collectaholic Fri, 26 Jan 2018 11:42:26 -0500 Andrew Krajewski

From coins to rocks to toys, people have enjoyed collecting things for hundreds of years. It only makes sense that such a time-honored hobby would make its way into video games in the form of collectathons. In these games, the player must typically collect a certain amount of objects in order to progress. Collectathons are great for almost everyone because of their easy-to-understand goals and fun, explorable worlds. If you’re looking to dive into the genre for the first time, or you're a completionist looking for your next fix, here are nine games, both retro and modern, that are sure to satisfy your inner collectaholic.

Super Mario Odyssey

Mario slinging Cappy in Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario 64 was arguably the first great collectathon, and 3D Mario games have continued that legacy. The latest installment in the franchise, Super Mario Odyssey is a fantastic collectathon. While you only need a fraction of the available power moons to finish the game, there are 999 moons for players to collect if they want to go all out. This title is a masterpiece with addictive gameplay and innovative level design, and it's sure to delight just about anybody.

Snake Pass

Exploring the world in Snake Pass

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a snake? Me neither, but that shouldn't stop you from trying out Snake Pass! Most collectathons are straightforward 3D platformers, but the platforming in Snake Pass is what makes it stand out. You'll have to learn how to slither like a proper snake if you want to gather the gate gems necessary to progress further.

Assassin's Creed: Origins

Bayek scaling a pyramid in AC:O

I said most collectathons are 3D platformers, but the Assassin's Creed franchise doesn't exactly fit that definition. That doesn't stop Ubisoft from cramming as many collectibles as possible into these games. While the games are notorious for the sheer number of locations, treasure chests, and materials to collect, Assassins Creed: Origins did a good job filling out the huge world with collectibles without making it feel overwhelming and unachievable. I also recommend checking out Assassin's Creed: Black Flag if you want to challenge yourself and collect some delightful sea shanties.

Banjo-Kazooie

Box art from Banjo-Kazooie

If you're a collectaholic, then you must have played Banjo-Kazooie. It's a classic for a reason and worth revisiting for nostalgia if nothing else. For those of you who don't want to break out the ole N64, you're in luck! You can get Banjo-KazooieBanjo-Tooie, and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts as part of Rare Replay for Xbox One. You'll definitely be able to get your fill of Jiggies, Jinjos, and musical notes!

Yooka-Laylee

Screenshot of Yooka-Laylee

A spiritual successor to Banjo-KazooieYooka-Laylee brings the same gameplay from the '90s into the world of today. Developed by Playtonic Games (former Rare employees and key developers of the Banjo series), Yooka-Laylee doesn't miss a beat when it comes to replicating the Banjo-Kazooie feeling. If you want to share some of your favorite childhood experiences with your kids, or if you want to feel nostalgia from a newer game, then this is the game for you.

Ratchet & Clank

Screenshot from Ratchet and Clank

Insomniac Games revived this well-regarded series in 2016 to go along with the movie that came out at the same time. While the movie flopped, the game is a ton of fun, and there are plenty of Gold Bolts, Holocards, and Raritanium to gather while you progress through the game with all of your crazy weapons. Ratchet & Clank also has fantastic gameplay and a wonderful aesthetic.

A Hat in Time

Image from A Hat in Time

A Hat in Time doubled its Kickstarter goal in two days and was highly anticipated when it released on PC in October 2017 and on console in December of 2017. The collecting in this indie game is highly rewarding, as different collectibles offer new abilities, new levels, and new cosmetics to the player.

Stardew Valley

Autumn in Stardew Valley

Now I know what you're thinking about this: "How the heck is a farming sim/rpg/sandbox game inspired by Harvest Moon a collectathon?" Stick with me here, this charming little game has a ton of stuff you can "collect." The community center in Stardew Valley offers multiples "bundles" which require the player to collect specific items for rewards. In addition to those bundles, the player can try to catch every fish, grow every crop, cook every recipe, become friends with everyone in town, and collect tons of monster drops. There's even an achievement/trophy that challenges players to ship one of every single item in the game. There is plenty to do in this indie darling that will satisfy the collectors out there.

Donkey Kong 64

box art for DK64

The big kahuna. When this game came out, it was one of the biggest collectathons ever made. Today, Donkey Kong 64 is blamed as the game that ruined the genre, but I cannot disagree more. While the collecting nature of the game may be a little repetitive for modern gamers, DK64 accomplished what it set out to do. If you want a game where you collect things, then this is the game to do it. Whether it's bananas or colored coins, you'll enjoy silly characters and decent platforming puzzles to keep you occupied. I'd also be remiss not to mention the fantastically cheesy DK Rap.

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Are you a collectaholic? What kind of collectibles are your favorite? Did your favorite collectathon not make the list? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to stick around GameSkinny for other great gaming articles like 10 Pokemon That Should Have Never Existed or Top 12 Greatest Cats of Video Games

 

 

 

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