Customization Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Customization RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Customizable Nintendo Switches Coming to Japan https://www.gameskinny.com/ci8ub/customizable-nintendo-switches-coming-to-japan https://www.gameskinny.com/ci8ub/customizable-nintendo-switches-coming-to-japan Mon, 14 Aug 2017 10:42:30 -0400 adelgirl

Starting August 22, would-be Nintendo Switch owners will be able to pre-order customizable versions of the console from the Japanese "My Nintendo Store" website. All Switches ordered through this website will be shipped by October 1 of this year, and cannot be canceled once the order is placed. 

Nintendo hasn't given any detail as to what exactly will be customizable on these Switch consoles -- but it's possible that only the Joy-Cons can be altered. There may be custom color options, but there's no solid news about this at the time of writing.

It's also unclear whether or not these customizable Switches will be available in other countries. The console itself is not region locked, nor is the website -- so buyers that are outside of Japan may be able to purchase a customized system for themselves. But there is a chance that these units won't be shipped outside of Japan, or the cost to ship them will be very high.  

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more information as Nintendo releases further details on these customizable Switch consoles and their worldwide availability. 

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5 MMOs with The Best Character Creation https://www.gameskinny.com/9b5uc/5-mmos-with-the-best-character-creation https://www.gameskinny.com/9b5uc/5-mmos-with-the-best-character-creation Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:56:11 -0400 stratataisen

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Aion

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Despite being over 10 years old, Aion’s character creator still is gorgeous as ever and holds up well against some of the newer MMOs of today. When you dive into the game and create your first character, you’ll find many options to choose from. You could go with one of the numerous presets Aion provides, or you can use the facial and body sliders to create something uniquely your own.

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That wraps up our list of the best character customization systems in current MMOs! What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments -- and share some photos of the characters you've made using these in-game creators!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b86919dfda41e58f5812db34718fa268.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/b86919dfda41e58f5812db34718fa268.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11093","description":"

Blade & Soul

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This fantasy, martial-arts MMO boasts a highly customizable character creator -- and it has a right to do so. Blade & Soul has a wide variety of faces, hairstyles, and colors -- plus it allows you to further tweak those features with the use of sliders.

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And don’t worry if you’re afraid you don’t have the talent to make an amazing looking character, because the game allows you to use presets if you want. What are presets? They are characters that another player made that you can load into the game and use in the character creator!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9c7ca03a9bea3994b0df6af0a6de97b2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9c7ca03a9bea3994b0df6af0a6de97b2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11092","description":"

Black Desert Online

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Black Desert Online is by far the prettiest and most in-depth on the list in terms a graphics and customizations (my graphics card weeps just thinking about it).

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In this Korean sandbox MMO, you have the ability to tweak everything -- and I mean everything -- on your character. Much like EVE Online, you can hover your mouse over sections of your character's face and adjust them accordingly. This also includes where the hair falls against your character’s armor and face. You can even take a hairstyle and give it a cut to make parts shorter or use extensions to make it longer.

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Of course, having such control over features can lead to some fun and terrifying results. Get the video above to 2:47 and you’ll see celebrity recreations along with some more...abstract results.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fefcd857511a12b7cd57ec4200cf1179.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fefcd857511a12b7cd57ec4200cf1179.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11091","description":"

APB Reloaded

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If you thought EVE had a lot of sliders and details to choose from, then allow me to blow your mind with APB Reloaded. While this open world, third-person shooter MMO has changed hands in both developers and publishers, it still has an insanely in-depth character and clothing customization system.

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Not only does APB Reloaded allow you to customize your character's physical look (including tattoos), but you can also customize what they’re wearing. And I don’t mean picking from some preset items, although those are available. The game allows you to pick from a gallery or create graphics of your own to make your clothes uniquely yours.

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You can also use it to recreate the clothes of characters from other games. There’s an example of this in the video above, as a player remakes D.va from Overwatch with the use of APB's character and clothing customizer.

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EVE Online

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I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wait...EVE Online? Aren’t you flying a ship and look at charts for most of the game?’ Yes, yes you are. But in spite of that, this game has a character creator -- and a pretty impressive one at that.

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One of the first things you’ll notice in the video is the quality of the graphics and character model, which are quite good. Next, you’ll want to note how you can pick every little detail from facial features and hair to body type and clothes. Not only that, but you can even pose the character how you’d like for their character portrait, including facial expressions.

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There’s one small detail that I love about this character creator. It almost feels silly to say, but look at how each section of the body is highlighted by the outline of the muscles as your mouse passes over them. Lovely.

"},{"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-05d93.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-05d93.jpg","type":"slide","id":"162471","description":"

One of my favorite pastimes in any MMO, or even a single player RPG, is the character creation. I could sit there for hours tweaking face sliders, hair options, and skin colors -- practically never getting around to the actual game. I think part of the addiction to this feature, for me anyway, is to see how many different ways you can make a completely badass character or a completely silly one. Or even recreating celebrities and characters from other game.

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In most MMOs, when you go to create a character, you’ll have a decent array of choices to customize your avatar -- like different faces and hairstyles, skin and hair color choices, and sometimes even little extras like earrings, tattoos, or pets. But then there’s some MMOs whose character creators dwarf all others, as they give you sliders galore and allow you to tweak almost every detail on your character.

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The next five games in this slideshow have some of the most in-depth, granular character creation you'll find in any MMO on the market right now. 

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Micro Machines World Series Pre-Order Buying Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/y0bi6/micro-machines-world-series-pre-order-buying-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/y0bi6/micro-machines-world-series-pre-order-buying-guide Sun, 18 Jun 2017 11:59:48 -0400 ESpalding

It has been over 10 years since we last saw a Micro Machines game but the wait is now over! Arriving on June 30th (even though Google seems to say that it is coming on June 23rd), racers will once again be able to take control of some cool tiny vehicles and race them around frantic and fun tracks in Micro Machines World Series. The game will be released on PS4. XBox One and PC digitally and boxed format.

If you want to beat the download queues, then you can now pre-order and get yourself some neat little extras. The pre-order bundle is currently available on Steam, PlayStation Store, Windows Store or directly from the publisher's website.

Those of you who do pre-order are in for a treat! The pre-order bundle contains a Legendary Skins pack to make your vehicles look fierce and fantastic!

There are currently 12 different kinds of vehicles in the game and they all have plenty of customizable parts but this set of unique skins will only be available when pre-ordering for the time being.

  • The fierce El Diablo is a custom skin for monster trucks. This demonic skin will be sure to frighten anyone racing in front of you. 
  • Slipstream 2050 GT-I  is a custom skin for a futuristic sports car. Let's hope it lives up to its name!
  • The sweet, sweet Softscoop is an odd choice but nonetheless, it makes a statement for anyone wishing to roll in a snow tracker. Look at all that candy and ice-cream!
  • The sophisticated Falcone gives hotrods a smart but mean appearance. Makes a change from flames!

The game will be available to download for $26.99 and will retail for $29.99 from all good video game stockists worldwide. Downloads for PS4. Xbox One and Steam will be available on June 30th but the Codemasters Digital Store says that it is available from June 20th.

So, do you think you might be buying Micro Machines World Series? Are you already a fan of the franchise? Let us know in the comments below about what your first impressions are and remember to check back with GameSkinny for all your Micro Machine news and developments!

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Injustice 2 Gear and Customization Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/p4vck/injustice-2-gear-and-customization-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/p4vck/injustice-2-gear-and-customization-guide Wed, 17 May 2017 22:22:57 -0400 Synzer

Injustice 2 has a pretty robust gear system that can greatly change your character's looks and stats. Sometimes you might get rare gear with augments or set bonuses. You also get better gear as you level your character.

There is a lot that goes into the gear system, so I'm going to go over everything you need to know.

Injustice 2 Gear System Basics

First, let me go over the stats.

  • Strength: The amount of damage your normal attacks and combos deal.
  • Ability: The amount of damage your special abilities deal.
  • Defense: The amount of damage you take from your opponent's attacks.
  • Health: The max amount of health your character will have.

Each piece of gear can raise 1 or more of the above stats, so that is something to look for when deciding which gear you should equip.

Augments and Set Bonuses

Sometimes, a piece of gear with have augments and/or set bonuses.

Augments are extra bonuses you get for equipping gear. Some examples of these would be: extra profile/character exp, inflicting more damage against certain characters, and increasing the amount of credits and guild credits you can earn.

Set Bonuses are extra benefits you get for equipping multiple pieces of gear in the same set. These usually offer bigger bonuses, and you get those when you equip 2,3, and 5 pieces of the same set.

Abilities

injustice 2 gear ability

You can also unlock Ability Modifiers for characters. These will change current abilities or even give you new ones. One example of an ability is the Confetti Cannon for Harley Quinn -- which replaces her Pop Pop ability with a short range Confetti Cannon.

Other abilities can add bonus effects, such as Poison to Harley's cupcakes. Robin, for example, gets an ability that changes his sword into a staff like Nightwing.

Regenerating and Transforming Gear

If you get a piece of gear that you really like, you can keep it forever if you want. There are 2 methods for doing this -- Regenerate and Transform.

Regenerate allows you to reroll the stats of your current piece of gear AND bring it up to your character's current level. You can also choose to keep the old stats if you wish.

If the piece you regenerate is lower level, and you choose to keep the old version, it will NOT have the level increased. You must select the new version to increase the level, then you can try regenerating it again.

This should be used mostly for getting different stats, or bringing set pieces up to your current level.

injustice 2 regenerate gear

Transform is purely cosmetic and requires you to use Source Crystals. You can keep the stats of your current gear, but make it look like another piece of gear.

This is great because you can makes your character look exactly how you want by doing this. I suggest only doing this on level 20 (max level) gear that you don't plan on switching out.

A.I. Battle Simulator and Gear

Gear is also important in A.I. Battle Simulator, so it is sometimes a good idea to make different sets when fighting in that mode.

When you select an A.I. loadout, you can also decide how your character will act during a match. If you go to the second screen during loadout customization, you can adjust the 60 points however you'd like.

You can choose to make your character focus more on close-range attacks, stay far away for ranged attacks, try to do long combos, and more.

Selling Gear

Sometimes you will get gear for someone you don't use, or a bunch of extra gear. The good news is that you can sell all of this unwanted gear.

You even have a chance to get Regen Token when you sell gear, so it is a good idea to clear out your inventory every once in awhile. I've gotten over 2 tokens so far just selling gear I will never use.

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That's all I have for the gear system and customization in Injustice 2. Let me know if you have any questions! And be sure to check out our other guides for further help with the game:

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Sonic Forces Adds Custom Hero Feature https://www.gameskinny.com/0m77s/sonic-forces-adds-custom-hero-feature https://www.gameskinny.com/0m77s/sonic-forces-adds-custom-hero-feature Tue, 16 May 2017 15:19:44 -0400 Nick Lee

Out of three announced characters, Sonic Forces has added an original hero character that players will be able to customize to their liking. This comes along with custom animal bases and unique abilities to fit a player's preferred gameplay style. The feature marks the most single-player story customization in a Sonic game ever, and a new wave of possibilities for hedgehog-based gaming.

The currently announced animal bases players can choose from include a variety of animals rarely utilized, if ever, in the Sonic universe. Each animal base will include its own abilities to use in-game. These abilities don't necessarily correlate to real world skills for each creature, allowing players to choose they're favorite animals without restriction. The list of possible bases includes:

  • Wolf: Automatically draws in rings when near them.
  • Rabbit: Has longer invincible time after receiving damage.
  • Cat: Keeps one ring after being hit.
  • Dog: Restarts with five rings after the player dies.
  • Bear: Blows away enemies with a homing attack.
  • Bird: Flies high with double jump abilities.
  • Hedgehog: Collects rings when getting damaged.

The player's hero character is slated to be part of a story that revisits the classic conflict of Sonic versus the evil Dr. Eggman and his empire. How much of a role the custom character will play beyond fighting has yet to be revealed, as more details about the game are supposed to come at E3 2017. 

These new character options give fresh life to the the Sonic formula, while allowing more options in a single-player campaign than ever before. This news will likely entice players to join forces once more to defeat Eggman's Empire.

For more Sonic Forces news, follow GameSkinny's developing coverage!

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Gamer Gift Guide: DIY Gaming Inspired Holiday Gifts https://www.gameskinny.com/mx7bj/gamer-gift-guide-diy-gaming-inspired-holiday-gifts https://www.gameskinny.com/mx7bj/gamer-gift-guide-diy-gaming-inspired-holiday-gifts Wed, 23 Nov 2016 23:22:04 -0500 Janette Ceballos

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Pixel Image Necklace
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Rough Price: $8 total

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As long as you have a small pixelated design to hand, you can make one of these little guys from stacking and gluing cardstock copies together. Simpler designs are easier, but don’t let that stop you from going all out.

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These can also work as a keychain.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/cork-f1058.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/r/cork-f1058.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141957","description":"
Pixel Style Cork Board'
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Rough Price: $15 total

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Useful for keeping track of things, these cork boards cost about $10 to make. You can pretty much make any pixel image outline with these so long as it fits onto your corkboard. You can even coat them with acrylic paint to add another layer of personalization. A great guide, by Mortem3r, for a Zelda health gauge cork board set can be found on her channel.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/y/a/r/yarny-eccd1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/y/a/r/yarny-eccd1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141956","description":"
Yarny
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Rough Price: $10-$15 total

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The EA published game, Unravel features this red-colored buddy as its protagonist. Many were endeared to the walking yarn ball, and for good reason. Yarny has a cute and realistic design, easy to recreate.

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The game’s website features a video with detailed instructions on how to make one. Few items are needed, but they include wire, yarn, scissors, and a bit of time. Yarnys are very cute and customizable, with your choice of yarn color and body shape.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/l/wallet-6a42d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/l/wallet-6a42d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141955","description":"
Duct Tape Wallet
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Rough Price: $3-$5 per tape roll

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Functional and cool to look at, these wallets can also be tailor-made to any video game a person enjoys. While these are cheap to make, only requiring duct tape, scissors, and a ruler, the limit here is how detailed you want to be in your design. More detail means more types of tape will be needed to make those intricate designs.

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You can get the tape from just about any store and the wallet is incredibly easy to make.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/o/dioramas-41b93.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/o/dioramas-41b93.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141954","description":"
3D Videogame Paper Diorama
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Rough Price: $15-$20 total

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This one will take a bit of time, but makes for a wonderful and cool decoration to hang on the wall when framed. It’s a picture-perfect gift! And the best part is that you can choose from a variety of video games, and from a pool of possible iconic and memorable scenes, or create your own scenes.

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A simple set of instructions:

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  • Gathering images. A good resource would be VGmaps or any other sprite image collection database.
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  • Print out the images. Any paper will do.
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  • Cut each layer.
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  • Paste it together.
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  • Frame it!
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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gamer-guide-2296f.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gamer-guide-2296f.png","type":"slide","id":"141953","description":"

Shopping for the holidays can be a real drag. Sometimes that perfect gift you’ve been eyeing has sold out everywhere. Sometimes the frenzy of the mall gets to be a bit too much. And sometimes you don’t have the dough to buy all those expensive gifts. But you still want to show you care, right?

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Well, hand-crafted gifts are a great way to do just that, especially if you’ve got an artistic side! These crafts are very customizable, and are sure to be a one of a kind treat.

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Gift Guide: How to Glitz Up Your Consoles and Controllers https://www.gameskinny.com/1i9oe/gift-guide-how-to-glitz-up-your-consoles-and-controllers https://www.gameskinny.com/1i9oe/gift-guide-how-to-glitz-up-your-consoles-and-controllers Mon, 21 Nov 2016 10:00:01 -0500 Pablo Seara

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PlayStation Vita Milky Way Skin
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Price: $12.99

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Rating: 5 Stars (16 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: DecalGirl

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Finally, a skin for the often forgotten PsVita, one of the most underestimated handhelds on the market. The galaxy-theme of this sticker fits smoothly with the original design of the handheld, mixing the infinite blackness of space with the blue-star belt of the Milky Way. Perfect for any gamer who also loves the cosmos. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/i/wiiu-tetrads-b53e7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/w/i/i/wiiu-tetrads-b53e7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141583","description":"
Wii U and GamePad Tetris Skin
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Price: $24.99

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Rating: 5 Stars (18 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: DecalGirl

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Another cool-looking skin you can find on DecalGirl is this Tetris cover for the Wii U and GamePad. Notice that it is a full sticker for the whole console and controller, and not different, tiny tetris blocks you have to paste separately.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/3/5/1/3511368-bad11.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/3/5/1/3511368-bad11.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141582","description":"
3DS Multicolor Styluses (6-Pack)
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Price: $7.99

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Rating: 4.5 Stars (148 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: Best Buy

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This 6-Stylus Pack is perfect for those of you who keep losing them or just want to get one that is not black. They are divided into three distinct pairs: one for the New 3DS XL, a second for the 2DS and a third for the 3DS XL. They also come in three different colors: red, green and blue.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/5/4/6/5464700-dc48a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/5/4/6/5464700-dc48a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141581","description":"
Pikachu Pack Starter Kit for New Nintendo 3DS XL
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Price: $19.99

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Rating: 4.5 Stars (2 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: Best Buy

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Pikachus, Pikachus everywhere! This practical yellow pack comes with a variety of products for your New 3DS XL, with a Pikachu cover as the main attraction. It also includes a duraflexi protector, a cleaning cloth and a game card case.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/9/3/2/9327021-e6230.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/9/3/2/9327021-e6230.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141580","description":"
The Legend of Zelda Adventurer's Pouch 
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Price: $19.99

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Rating: 4.6 Stars (207 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: Best Buy

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Are you a Legend of Zelda fan? Do you have one of the latest Nintendo handhelds? Then this is perfect for you (and me)! This practical pouch will keep your console protected. It includes two cool-looking styluses with the master sword and hylian shield, as well as a cleaning cloth with a drawn Hyrule map. These cases fit most Nintendo 3DS and DS handhelds. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/x/b/o/xbos-acid-67aa2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/x/b/o/xbos-acid-67aa2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141579","description":"
XBox One S Acid Skin
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Price: $19.99

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Rating: Not Available

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Buy it on: DecalGirl

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This is the trippiest skin you can find for your Xbox One S. It even comes with a sticker for your whole controller. You can find any kind of cover on the same website for the same price. DecalGirl is one of the best places we have found for this kind of product.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/0/570xn845947764-1ivy-70577.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/0/570xn845947764-1ivy-70577.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141578","description":"
PlayStation 4 Controller Nightmare Before Christmas Custom Paint Shell
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Price: $50

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Rating: 5 Stars (255 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: Etsy

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A really cool and not gaming-related way of decorating your controller is this awesome custom-paint shell of Nightmare Before Christmas. The colors fit perfectly with the standard PlayStation 4 scheme and it gives the duashock a powerful and obscure look. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/4/ps4-retro-hor-96551.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/4/ps4-retro-hor-96551.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141577","description":"
Retro Horizontal PlayStation 4 Skin
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Price: $19.99

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Rating: 5 Stars (61 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: DecalGirl

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This is the first of the skins you'll see in this guide: a stylish, retro cover for your PlayStation 4. It simulates the look of an old Nintendo Entertainment System, making it perfect for those who jumped from Nintendo to Sony and feel nostalgic about the '80s and '90s.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/0/7105vvh9tul-sl1500-e5495.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/0/7105vvh9tul-sl1500-e5495.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141576","description":"
Kootek Vertical Stand with Cooling Fan, Controllers Charging Station with Dual Charger Ports and USB HUB for PlayStation 4
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Price: $16.99

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Rating: 4.2 Stars (699 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: Amazon

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This PS4 vertical stand is like a pro version of the previous one. It has lots of features like a fan for your console, two charging ports for your dualshock controllers and USB ports for other controllers and items. It is currently on sale, so make sure to take advantage of it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/a/61aidpmnqwl-sl1267-69c90.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/6/1/a/61aidpmnqwl-sl1267-69c90.jpg","type":"slide","id":"141575","description":"
PlayStation 4 Vertical Stand
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Price: $11.99

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Rating: 4.4 Stars (137 customer reviews)

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Buy it on: Amazon

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Instead of horizontal, some of you like to go vertical with your console, since it's obviously more stylish and saves more space. However, doing that without the proper accessory can be risky. With this official PS4 vertical stand, you can do exactly that in a simple and cheap way. There is also one available for the Xbox One S.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/9/2/9/92990983-4312-4c65-9196-19515823ca47-9533c.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/9/2/9/92990983-4312-4c65-9196-19515823ca47-9533c.png","type":"slide","id":"141478","description":"

Customizing your own console is a process many of you look for. While there are plenty of gamers who prefer to stick with the original design, lots of you love to personalize your machine, giving it your own style and a pizazz of taste. If this is what you're looking for this holiday season (or if you know someone who is), you have come to the right place.

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In this guide, we'll show you 10 things you can buy this holiday to glitz up your consoles and controllers, such as stickers, vynils, shells and more. Let's get to it! 

"}]]]>
FIFA 17 Pro Clubs Gets Brand New Features & Improvements https://www.gameskinny.com/zthwa/fifa-17-pro-clubs-gets-brand-new-features-improvements https://www.gameskinny.com/zthwa/fifa-17-pro-clubs-gets-brand-new-features-improvements Tue, 16 Aug 2016 05:52:03 -0400 Angie Harvey

Coming just days after EA announced the new Career Management features, FIFA 17 is set to introduce a brand new Player Growth system that has been based upon fan feedback to help create a new comprehensive method of developing your player. Along with this, FIFA 17 will see customizable kits and crests which intend to bring a new level of personalization to your Pro Club Seasons.

Player Growth

The new Player Growth system has completely changed how your players will develop. The new system focuses heavily on your overall Match Rating to encourage the players to use teamwork and co-operation. This new improvement hopes to create a sense of realism while playing, as in real world football, teamwork is a vital aspect.

Match Rating

Once a match is completed you will receive a Match Rating out of 10. Your player will level up at different speeds depending on which position they play. An example of this would be a striker increasing their Shooting more quickly than Defending. Along with this you will now be able to chart each of the individual attributes to help track the development of your player at the end of each match.

Traits

To add a new depth to the Player Growth system, you'll now be able to select from a wide range of Traits to give to your player. The Traits can be purchased with Skill Points, which are earned in-game, to equip specific Traits to your player such as Physical, Defending, Dribbling, Passing, Shooting, Pace and Goalkeeping. The cost of each Trait will vary in price, so think wisely before you spend as they can only be earned by playing League or Cup matches.

Customization

FIFA 17 Pro Clubs will allow you to customize your teams kits and crests!

Kits

Players can now choose from 24 Kit templates that can be customized with a range of different colour options to match their teams personality.

Badges

Players will now be able to add their own personal touch to their teams kit by selecting a Crest Shape and customizing it with primary color of their choice.

FIFA 17 Pro Clubs will be releasing on PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 27. For full details on the new improvements and features of FIFA 17's Pro Clubs click here.

Let us know your thoughts on these new improvements and features in the comments section below!

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Players Can Now Customize Their Xbox Controllers https://www.gameskinny.com/q1j0o/players-can-now-customize-their-xbox-controllers https://www.gameskinny.com/q1j0o/players-can-now-customize-their-xbox-controllers Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:22:07 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Not too long ago, Microsoft held its E3 press conference today in Los Angeles, CA. A lot of information was revealed at the conference, and among those reveals we learned that will soon be easier than ever to customize your Xbox controller.

Xbox posted a YouTube video revealing that players can have official custom controllers made for themselves. They can mix-and-match colors and have it engraved with whatever text they like under the directional pad. Players can start from scratch, or they can use an existing template for their color schemes.

The entire design process is divided into seven steps:

  1. Controller Body Color
  2. Bumper & Trigger Colors
  3. D-pad
  4. Control Sticks Colors
  5. Button Colors
  6. View & Menu Button Colors
  7. Back Color

Each section has a maximum of 12 color choices and the button options have 4-5 choices for color options. Any controller orders placed before the end of August will be shipped starting early September. The starting price for these custom controllers is $80.00. If you want to add a little personal flare to your Xbox, you can create your controller at the Xbox Design Lab.

[Header Image from YouTube video above]

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Sims 4 paves the way for game character customization https://www.gameskinny.com/tny56/sims-4-paves-the-way-for-game-character-customization https://www.gameskinny.com/tny56/sims-4-paves-the-way-for-game-character-customization Sat, 11 Jun 2016 11:14:57 -0400 HavenHeart36

The Sims 4 is paving the way for game character customization. From the start, players were able to create gays and lesbians and have them marry, but in the most recent Sims 4 update,  transgendered sims are now a possibility.

In The Sims 4, you can make your sim look exactly how you want. A wide selection of clothing, make-up, hair, and accessories are all available to both males and females characters. So, what does this mean for gamers? Choice.

This is a breath of fresh air, because a lot of games have ridged choices when it comes to character customization. In some games, we can’t even pick our gender. One of my favorite games is The Witcher 3, but I am stuck running around as Geralt, which does not express myself.  

Games should allow you to customize your character how you like, because it helps us connect with the game. My character in Fallout 4 is personalized, and so I feel more connected to the world around me. This does not mean that I create characters to always look like myself, but that I create my character to fit the role I am playing. I think that many other players do the same.

Some players do not care either way about character customization. But, for those that do, I hope that game developers take a look at how The Sims 4 is doing it. With customizations like The Sims 4, we would have everything we would ever need to create our characters!

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Black Desert Online's Character Creator now free for download https://www.gameskinny.com/81gli/black-desert-onlines-character-creator-now-free-for-download https://www.gameskinny.com/81gli/black-desert-onlines-character-creator-now-free-for-download Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:03:48 -0500 Nick Harshman

A couple years ago, a Korean game developer announced a brand new MMO called Black Desert Online. It really caught people's attention because the character creation tool was so in depth and unlike anything else at the time. While games have since caught up - Dragon Age Inquisition's or EVE Online's deep character creation options for example - this particular tool is still among the best we've seen.

After playing around with the creation system for a while, I've found it to be quite impressive. You really can do whatever you want while creating your character, whether you want to make the best or worst looking person you can. Body proportions are yours to change and you can even edit your character's default pose, but there is one thing that kind of stinks. 

You can't pick a gender.

I mean, technically you can, but gender is tied to what class you want to play. For instance, warriors are only males while rangers are only females. I'm not sure if this will be a permanent feature in the final game, but it is disappointing. 

Despite this just being a method of enticing people into buying their game when it's released, it is still quite fun as is. The sheer amount of options had me spending at least an hour working on one character, and as soon as I was done, I couldn't help but start up a second. 

I urge you all to go ahead and give it a try and if you want you can even share your characters with us, we don't mind.

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Top 10 things we want to see in GTA Online in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/zzabs/top-10-things-we-want-to-see-in-gta-online-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/zzabs/top-10-things-we-want-to-see-in-gta-online-in-2016 Thu, 14 Jan 2016 07:09:22 -0500 Serhii Patskan

[{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/5/0/f/50fe8f42eb0166ff9adb0797c17e8364.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/5/0/f/tiny_50fe8f42eb0166ff9adb0797c17e8364.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99481","description":"
Alternative lifestyles
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Being a gangster is great, but sometimes you just want to get out there and do something completely different. GTA Online has such a huge and varied world that it would be a waste to keep it only for shooting and driving fast cars.

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What this game needs is a whole new system of interaction with NPCs, which would provide a possibility to develop an alternative lifestyle for your character rather than making it strictly a gangster. There are so many ways to make it work and at the same time not to turn it into just another The Sims.

\n

The developers really need to think about all these different ways how to diversify GTA Online and turn it into something really big and enjoyable.

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What other ideas do you have? What things would you like to see the most in GTA Online? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/1/a/5/1a546cca42201e53022d35a6b110e116.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/1/a/5/tiny_1a546cca42201e53022d35a6b110e116.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99480","description":"
More fun activities and mini-games
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Right now GTA Online has a few excellent mini-games you can play, such as tennis, golf, and arm wrestling. But where’s the rest? The first thing Rockstar needs to bring back is a game of pool by putting a few tables in the clubs and bars that, to be honest, look empty without them.

\n

Another great suggestion is bowling. Can anyone imagine walking into a modern club and not being able to play some bowling? Well, in GTA Online you still can’t do that.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/6/b/e/6be9452c1804030e2d49c909e37a1eda.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/6/b/e/tiny_6be9452c1804030e2d49c909e37a1eda.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99479","description":"
More exploration opportunities
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Let’s go back to GTA IV once again. It had a huge number of fun buildings, which you could explore endlessly. Just take a look at the Statue of Happiness that allowed you to get inside and explore its interiors. It had a lot of other cool buildings you could freely roam in and out. And, if you needed to get on top of the roof – no problem, you always had access to the top floor. Unfortunately, GTA Online has almost none of this.

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Now you can get to your apartments, shops and restaurants at most. But what about everything else? How about Fleeca banks with fully detailed interiors or that skyscraper in the middle of San Andreas? Why can’t we get inside them yet? All this needs to be addressed.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/3/1/2/3126011c15925640cd7f26674179e2b7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/3/1/2/tiny_3126011c15925640cd7f26674179e2b7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99478","description":"
Employment and business
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Why can’t we get hired for a job in GTA Online like it was in GTA III? It would be fun to become an ambulance or a taxi driver, a cop or a firefighter. This approach perfectly fits the multiplayer setting of GTA Online, which could result in a lot of unexpected and exciting moments.

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Other business opportunities should be available as well, although it is possible that Rockstar deliberately holds off these opportunities in the game in favor of microtransactions. But at times it’s really difficult to make any kind of money in GTA Online, so any small in-game business would be just excellent. And, how about casinos and card games? Community wants them badly.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/6/7/8/67838be0fd21414842dcb249c19b0e75.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/6/7/8/tiny_67838be0fd21414842dcb249c19b0e75.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99477","description":"
Parkour
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Games like Assassin’s Creed, Mirror’s Edge and Dying Light prove that parkour is incredibly popular among gamers. You can see some aspects of parkour in GTA V, but it isn't implemented in its full form like in Batman: Arkham series or Sleeping Dogs. Even GTA IV had a much better and flexible parkour system.

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Sometimes it’s just so important to have an ability to jump up high walls or quickly move from one building to another using the roofs and ropes between them. The shootouts in GTA Online would be so much fun if characters could utilize parkour to its fullest.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/2/e/b/2ebaa223de2e4654f2d6effbe195c281.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/2/e/b/tiny_2ebaa223de2e4654f2d6effbe195c281.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99476","description":"
Wider range of life simulation options
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GTA Online lacks a number of important life simulation features that have almost become classic in the previous games of the series, such as fast food restaurants - Cluckin' Bell and Burger Shot. Many fans were disappointed not to find these in the game. So, they need to come back, including the ability to make your character overweight.

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Additionally, there has to be at least one gym that would allow you to get your character back in form again. GTA San Andreas had three of them in the city with a huge number of options, such as boxing ring, weight-lifting machines, treadmills, etc. All this is a huge part of life simulation process that needs to be implemented in GTA Online, too.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/0/7/5/0757a8b47683b82010d5b99643d09f97.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/0/7/5/tiny_0757a8b47683b82010d5b99643d09f97.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99475","description":"
Better wardrobe customization
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Now it’s time to look at the clothes of the characters. Most of them are there by default, including haircuts and tattoos. Rockstar has to add some type of institution in San Andreas where players could customize the features of their characters to the smallest details.

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It would be nice to be able to customize every single detail of the wardrobe inside specialized fashion stores, and choose the most fitting styles and colors for your particular hero. The current system that exists in the game is extremely limited, so it needs to be improved significantly.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/5/7/3/57372c6a12592b906cbc6c9dc8f6038d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/5/7/3/tiny_57372c6a12592b906cbc6c9dc8f6038d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99474","description":"
Vehicle customization
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We’re talking about a full-blown editor here. It would be amazing if we could create unique logos and paintjobs in this editor with the possibility to upload and apply ready images from the hard-drive. This would turn a car or a bike into something of your own and distinct from the rest in the game.

\n

This customization feature should not be limited to a few types of vehicles and needs to be available for boats and aircrafts as well. Vehicles with unique paintjobs also could be bought and sold, which would lead to a creation of a whole new market in GTA Online.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/e/c/e/eced237fa5602995f24ac5224021d589.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/e/c/e/tiny_eced237fa5602995f24ac5224021d589.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99473","description":"
Counties filled with action
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San Andreas is a great place, but there are also Los Santos and Blaine County that occupy a major part of the map. However, their potential has been misused by Rockstar. There are some beautiful places around like Sandy Shores, Grapeseed, and Paleto Bay, but there is no point in going to these places as they serve no particular purpose in the game.

\n

The developers need to fill these great locations with some action. Right now Los Santos gives you only one reason to visit the area – Mors Mutual Insurance, which is a great place for recovering your vehicles. But that’s basically it and there should definitely be more to the counties in GTA Online than just pretty landscapes.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/d/7/9/d797f1b9f025498fd3831435ffa44214.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/d/7/9/tiny_d797f1b9f025498fd3831435ffa44214.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99472","description":"
Factions
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Have you ever wanted to join The Lost Motorcycle Club in GTA Online? What about working together with infamous street gangs, such as the Families or Ballas? It would be incredible if there was a way of creating your own mafia syndicate within the game.

\n

Unfortunately, at this stage in the game all you can do is be a lone street gangster and nothing more. Rockstar needs to create new characters that would act as intermediaries between you and the factions. You could join one of the factions and accomplish a number of unique quests that would increase their trust in you. On the other hand, it would also increase the hostility of other gangs towards you, just like it was in GTA 2.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/e/6/7/e67e998fd684d7b3dab37895c4e35c5d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinnyop/e/6/7/tiny_e67e998fd684d7b3dab37895c4e35c5d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"99471","description":"

Grand Theft Auto V and its multiplayer version – GTA Online are truly great games. The online version is much better than any other co-op gangster game out there, even if slightly more expensive. One of the biggest achievements of Rockstar is their decision to transfer most of the features of a single campaign into the co-operative setting, which is really hard to do successfully.

\n

However, there are still so many things in GTA Online that need to be addressed this year. The team of developers surely works hard, but they need to keep their ears open to the suggestions of their devoted community.

\n

You could say that GTA Online looks just fine in its current state, but think about the potential this game has. It would simply make everyone happier, if it received as much new and exciting content as possible.

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So, here are some of the biggest things that community wants to see added to GTA Online in 2016.

"}]]]>
Portal comes to Rocket League https://www.gameskinny.com/8clmh/portal-comes-to-rocket-league https://www.gameskinny.com/8clmh/portal-comes-to-rocket-league Sun, 29 Nov 2015 04:32:14 -0500 mrivera269

If you are a fan of Rocket League and Portal, I have some exciting news for you. Starting December 1st, Valve will allow PSYONIX, developers of Rocket League, to use the likeness of Portal in their games. These officially licensed Portal customizations will be completely free for players to obtain.

These items will be obtainable by completing a full Rocket League match. You will then “potentially” be rewarded an Aperture-themed item.The reward is not tied to wins or loses. It’s unclear if you will be rewarded an item after every match. But, it seems unlikely.

Wave your Aperture flag proud.

Here are the Aperture-themed items you can obtain:

  • Cake (Topper)
  • Conversion Gel (Rocket Tail)
  • Propulsion Gel (Rocket Tail)
  • Repulsion Gel (Rocket Tail)
  • Aperture Laboratories (Antenna)
  • Cake Sticker (Antenna)
  • Companion Cube (Antenna)
  • Personality Core (Antenna)
  • PotatOS (Antenna)

Once again, you’ll be able to collect all of these free goodies starting December 1st. Rocket League is available for Windows PC and PlayStation 4.

What do you guys think of Portal-themed Rocket League items? What other games would you like to appear on Rocket League? Sound off on the comments below.
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Why I restarted Fallout 4 and began completely ignoring settlements https://www.gameskinny.com/ysbn7/why-i-restarted-fallout-4-and-began-completely-ignoring-settlements https://www.gameskinny.com/ysbn7/why-i-restarted-fallout-4-and-began-completely-ignoring-settlements Wed, 25 Nov 2015 09:41:49 -0500 BlackTideTV

Fallout 4 is massive. One of the biggest, craziest free-roam worlds we've ever seen. There are tons of missions, side-quests, miscellaneous jobs, and random dungeons to explore, on top of simply roaming the Commonwealth as it is. So why did I feel so bogged down and confined during my original playthrough? Settlements.

Settlements, though they might throw in their own flair of creativity to the Fallout franchise, suck the life out of Fallout 4. During my original playthrough roughly 80% of my time was spent on the creation or discovery of settlements. Being a well-rounded gamer with multiple interests, a journalist here on GameSkinny, and a YouTube content creator, I simply do not have the time for crafting and maintaining settlements. 

Lots of Minecraft-friendly players may disagree with my choice to completely disregard the settlement system. It is a highly creative area of the game, and can be quite attractive to players of the previously mentioned stature. However, there are too many bugs in the crafting system to make it enjoyable for an architectural noob like myself, and the entire mechanic seems like it was tacked on at the last second.

Settlement Crafting Problems - a brief rundown
  • There are little to no tutorials on settlement crafting. Players are essentially given the tools and told to build, without knowing much in the process.
  • The camera angles are terrible. It is extremely hard to see the bigger picture when players have to create their entire settlements from first-person. We need a free camera or an overview camera to really see what's going on.
  • Agriculture is glitchy. Whenever players try to cultivate their gardens with the multiple food sources in the world, they'll find that they can't plant as much as they thought. Plants take up an enormous amount of room and are decidedly ridiculous to lay in the dirt. Players could spend an hour on their gardens alone, just turning the same melon over and over again waiting for it to finally figure out that it's in dirt and can be planted.
  • Settlers are stupid. The settlers that come to a player's establishments are, without a doubt, dumb as nails. Take the drive-in movie theater (I believe it is called Starlight Drive-In) for example. I created my best settlement there with beautiful facilities, decorations everywhere, very high class establishment. Nine out of ten of my settlers just stood inside the drive-in movie screen. Furthermore, whenever you try to give settlers a job to do they just stare at you blankly and often refuse to tend to whatever crops or guard post you want them to attend.
  • Junk. In order to build sprawling, fancy settlements you'll need junk. Which means you'll need to pick up every toy car and stick of duct tape you find in the wild, significantly shortening the time you'll have on the outside before traveling back to the settlements (learn more: Fallout 4 takes crafting too far for the average player).

With all of these problems and more, the settlement crafting can definitely be seen as quickly tacked on to check a box. The problems don't end there! Settlements require your constant attention, pulling you away from the actual game. Players can't go ten minutes without having to go check on their poor settlers. There is always, ALWAYS, a stupid notification next to one or more settlements on the Workshop page of the Pip-Boy. 

"Your settlers need food." "Your settlers need water." "Your settlers aren't happy." "Your settlers have no defense." It's exhausting! You'd swear that you're playing some cheap mobile game where you need to care for your little town. Am I playing Smurf Village or am I playing Fallout 4?! 

When you restart the game and decide to completely neglect (apart from the mandatory sections) the settlement crafting system, you'll find that you're doing so much more in-game. Sure crafting is fun, but the real point of the game is to get out exploring and completing missions. I've done more in my first 10 levels of my new character than I did in 25 levels with my previous one. I've entered Diamond City, began a relationship with Piper, joined the Brotherhood of Steel, searched the world for my child, and fought Swan (and died). 

If you ever feel bogged down with things to do in Fallout 4, try giving up on your settlements (the easiest way to do this is restarting the game). When you don't have the responsibility of wiping for every settler in the Commonwealth, you'll get a lot more of the adventuring done, and enjoy yourself more. 

If you're still hung up on crafting settlements, take a look at this step-by-step guide how to craft a better settlement (for beginners)

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SquidGrip Controller Grip Product Review https://www.gameskinny.com/peuo8/squidgrip-controller-grip-product-review https://www.gameskinny.com/peuo8/squidgrip-controller-grip-product-review Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:22:05 -0500 BlackTideTV

With the holidays fast approaching, it seems only logical to research which products you'd like to add to your wishlist. Luckily for you, I've gone and researched this one already! SquidGrip is a controller skin that supposedly enhances grip, reduces sweat, and is comfortable to the touch. 

SquidGrip is available for standard console controllers for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 at the SquidGrip website. The average SquidGrip costs around $15.00. This review was conducted on a PlayStation 4 controller. 

Foreword

It seems that controller customization (or as I like to call it: personalization) is all the rage in today's gaming scene. Everybody has to buy custom controllers with specific functions and additions to improve their gameplay. Specially colored controllers are a huge seller, as players get tired of plain old black DualShock 4s and what-have-you. Thumbstick grips, elevated or otherwise, are also a major seller for casual and hardcore gamers alike. I've even seen special covers for the PS4 controller's light-bar to turn the light into the Superman logo! 

Controller grips can be purchased cheaply on sites like Amazon, though you'd be wise not to buy there. A lot of controller grips, though they are colorful and showy, aren't very functional in the long haul. Some grips cover the entire controller, some cover just the back. Some grips are silicon, some are made of more comfortable material. Some are colored, and others aren't. 

The point I'm trying to make here is that thought should be put into the way you personalize your controller. Don't do it "just because everyone else is". Make the decision yourself, based off of reviews like this one! Now let's get down to business.

What does SquidGrip do?

According to the official SquidGrip website, 

SquidGrip provides a low-profile, firm and padded surface for your hands - without disrupting the natural feel of your controller. Developed using moisture-wicking technology, no other product alleviates sweaty hands and improves overall grip and comfort like SquidGrip.

SquidGrip's "moisture-wicking technology" is a little misleading, and the quote missed the small flair of personalization a SquidGrip adds to a controller, but they pretty much summed it up!

Now how well does SquidGrip do what it says it does? 

Functions

The Grip Itself

First things first, does the SquidGrip actually give a player better grip on their controller? Yes. 

The SquidGrip is thick enough that a player's hands sink in a small amount when holding the controller, giving it a memory-foam type of feel, yet thin enough that it doesn't interfere with the controller handling. Small ridges in the smooth grip's surface give it a rigid anti-slip feel and a carbon-fiber appeal. 

The grip is extremely comfortable to the touch and adds a small contour to the player's hands, which seems to be extra ergonomic. A person using SquidGrip on their controller will be able to play longer with superior comfort. 

"Moisture-wicking Technology"

Sweaty hands are a huge #gamerproblem. The idea that you're going so try-hard that your palms start to sweat and you lose controller grip is nasty, but it's a very real threat to serious gamers. SquidGrip claims to alleviate players of this, though there are some interesting differences in the way they word it and the way it actually happens. 

Though they would have you believe that SquidGrip completely eradicates sweaty hands, I've found that this is NOT the case. 

SquidGrip will not prevent your hands from sweating. Even though the foam grip is soft and cool to the touch, it won't aerate your hands. However, the moisture technology isn't a complete lie. While using SquidGrip you'll be less perceptive to how sweaty your hands are. You can play for long hours without worrying about sweat because the "grip" function of the grip works well enough that the controller won't slip anyways. Just watch out if you have to switch to a non-SquidGripped controller halfway through game-time!

Custom Badges

For many players, this is a waste of money. An extra $3.00 for some silly stickers that go on the SquidGrip? "I've already spent $15.00, how much more do these people want from me?!" Unfortunately, those people are right.

Although the personalization of the badges is super cool, the badges tend to fall off quite easily. Four badges were included for the PlayStation 4 controller: two long, skinny SquidGrip titles for the sides of the controller, and two circular logos for the front. The circular logos are very nice and stay put well, but the long badges on the sides (where players' hands will constantly rub them) started falling off almost immediately following application.

It's also unfortunate that "badges" are the only customizable function of the controller grip. The grip currently comes in the singular color black, and no other patterns, shapes, or art is featured on them (unless players add their own). 

I would still suggest custom badges for the sake of the circular logos, which come in some really neat designs (note the zombie-squid second from the left, top row in the image above). They can add some flair to your controller, or can be used to blend with colored controllers. Players might also consider gluing their badges on. 

Application

One thing closed-faced silicone controller grips have on the SquidGrip is easy installation. With silicone, it's as easy as stretch, snap, go. SquidGrip will require delicate application. 

Out of the box, players will receive two grips (one for each side), four badges, a sticker, and a much-needed application instruction manual. The instructions have you line up four holes in the side of the grip, with the seam of the controller side before rolling the grip together. It took around thirty minutes for me to get my grips accurately applied. The installation could be made simpler, and in turn faster or more efficient, if the grip had a specific location to line up with. Instead, it's just trial and error. 

Of course, the badges don't come pre-installed on the grip and have very sensitive adhesive (in other words: it barely works) on them. They take quite some time to get perfect. The only way of knowing where they go is by analyzing pictures of installed SquidGrips and searching for very small indents on the grips. This definitely could be fixed with a simple light outline drawn on the grips. 

Adhesive

On the topic of adhesives used by SquidGrip, there is no sticky residue when the grip is removed. If a SquidGrip was put on a brand new custom controller, the day it came off, it would still feel brand new. The adhesive on the SquidGrip itself is strong and only lifts off at the edges on strange angles. 

The grip edges will be a minor problem for players with animals... or women around. Basically anything that sheds a consistent amount of hair is best kept away from the grip. The edges gather a lot of hairs if the controller is put down in such an area. Obviously, the more hair and dirt the edges of the SquidGrip take in, the less sticky it becomes. 

Speaking of edges, it's worth noting that the edges of badges and even the edges of the grip against the controller should be frequently cleaned with something fine-tipped. They often gather dirt, dead skin cells, hair and other nastiness which can effect the adhesive. 

The Verdict

SquidGrip makes a great addition to any player's custom controller, providing great handling, superior comfort, and moisture resistance. It's unfortunate that there isn't much of a personalization factor to this controller modification, apart from the badges which struggle to stay on. 

Still, I'd recommend SquidGrip to any gamer struggling with a slippery default controller -- and it definitely trumps floppy uncomfortable silicone wraps.

SquidGrip gets 8 out of 10 stars.
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Xenoblade Chronicles X: Class Guide complete with Arts lists https://www.gameskinny.com/pfssv/xenoblade-chronicles-x-class-guide-complete-with-arts-lists https://www.gameskinny.com/pfssv/xenoblade-chronicles-x-class-guide-complete-with-arts-lists Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:50:05 -0500 Gabriella Graham

Xenoblade Chronicles X brings the battle for humanity's survival straight to Wii U owners on December 4th. The open-world RPG features full character customization options, but the range of possibilities won't end with crafting a unique appearance. Players can choose from sixteen different classes to aid them across the span of their journey, taking into account personal battle strategies and difficulty to decide between character progression paths. Without further ado, here's a comprehensive guide to all 16 classes to get you started.

Guide Introduction

Each class includes:

  • A description
  • Standard weapons, one long-ranged and one melee
  • The number of skill slots available
  • Unlockable Arts
  • A note for further class progression/change

Keep in mind that weapons start out tied to specific classes, but only until players completely master the respective class. You can use weapons with any class once its initial respective class is mastered.

Each Art is followed by the equipable weapon and the class rank necessary to unlock it. This guide does not include the sixteen additional arts unlocked via affinity quests.

1. Drifter

Description: Starting class offering a balanced variety of Arts but no stat bonuses or skills.

Standard Weapons:

  • Long-ranged - Assault Rifle
  • Melee - Knife

Skill Slots: 5

Arts:

  1. Flame Grenade (Assault Rifle, Rank 1)
  2. Assault Hammer (Assault Rifle, 1)
  3. Chrome Armor (Knife, 2)
  4. Slit Edge (Knife, 4)
  5. Infuriate (Assault Rifle, 6)
  6. Recuperate (Knife, 8)

Note: Upon reaching Rank 10, Drifter branches out into 3 different level two classes: Striker, Commando, and Enforcer.

2. Striker

Description: Branch of Drifter class. "Choose this route if you want to go in guns blazing." Mixes offensive and defensive Arts. Provides HP and melee attack bonuses. "Well balanced and suited for beginners."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Assault Rifle
  • Melee - Longsword

Skill Slots: 1

Arts

  1. Rising Blade (Longsword, Rank 1)
  2. Defensive Stance (Longsword, 2)
  3. Power Dive (Assault Rifle, 3)
  4. Tornado Blade (Longsword, 4)
  5. Furious Blast (Assault Rifle, 6)
  6. Magnum Edge (Longsword, 8)

NoteUpon reaching Rank 10, Striker branches out into two different level 3 classes: Samurai Gunner and Shield Trooper.

3. Commando

Description: "Choose this route if you want to rack up damage." Focuses on skillful application of damage buffs. Provides bonuses to melee accuracy, ranged accuracy, and evasion.

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Dual Guns
  • Melee - Dual Swords

Skill Slots: 2

Arts

  • Black Slash (Dual Swords, Rank 1)
  • Early Bird (Dual Guns, 1)
  • Stream Edge (Dual Swords, 2)
  • Sliding Slinger (Dual Guns, 2)
  • Upper Hand (Dual Swords, 4)
  • Shadowrunner (Dual Swords, 6)

Note: Upon reaching Rank 10, Commando branches out into two different level 3 classes: Winged Viper and Partisan Eagle.

4. Enforcer

Description: "Choose this route if you want to provide support from afar." Offers Ranged Arts. Provides bonuses to ranged power and potential. "Tricky to master and suited for professionals."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Raygun
  • Melee - Knife

Skill Slots: 2

Arts

  1. Beam Barrage (Raygun, Rank 1)
  2. Repair (Knife, 3)
  3. Myopic Screen (Raygun, 5)
  4. Full Specs (Knife, 7)

Note: Upon reaching level 10, Enforcer branches out into two level 3 classes: Psycorruptor and Blast Fencer.

5. Samurai Gunner

Description: One progression option from Striker. A mix of offensive and defensive Arts. Provides bonuses to HP and melee attack. "Well balanced and suited for beginners."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Assault Rifle
  • Melee - Longsword

Skill Slots: 2

Arts

  1. Offensive Stance (Longsword, Rank 1)
  2. Burst Grenade (Assault Rifle, 1)
  3. Decoy Round (Assault Rifle, 2)
  4. Flash Grenade (Assault Rifle, 3)
  5. Medic Free (Assault Rifle, 4)
  6. Assault Breaker (Assault Rifle, 6)
  7. Burning Slash (Longsword, 8)

Notes: Samurai Gunner branches into the level 4 class, Duelist.

6. Shield Trooper

Description: The second progression option from Striker. Features new weapons while focusing on defense. Greatly improves HP and melee attack.

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Gatling Gun
  • Melee - Shield

Skill Slots: 3

Arts

  1. Wild Down (Shield, Rank 1)
  2. Missile Volley (Gatling Gun, 1)
  3. Flame Cloak (Shield, 2)
  4. Iron Prison (Shield, 3)
  5. Wild Smash (Shield, 4)
  6. Trash Talk (Shield, 5)
  7. Bullet Storm (Gatling Gun, 7)

Notes: Shield Trooper branches into the level 4 class, Bastion Warrior.

7. Winged Viper

Description:  One progression option from Commando. Improves your damage-dealing capabilities. Retains the bonuses to melee accuracy,
ranged accuracy, and evasion.

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Dual Guns
  • Melee - Dual Swords

Skill Slots: 3

Arts

  1. Side Slash (Dual Sword, Rank 1)
  2. Thirsty Edge (Dual Swords, 2)
  3. Violent Streak (Dual Guns, 3)
  4. Blood Sacrifice (Dual Swords, 4)
  5. Killing Machine (Dual Swords, 6)
  6. Primer (Dual Guns, 8)

Notes: Winged Viper branches into the level 4 class, Full Metal Jaguar.

8. Partisan Eagle

Description: The second progression option from Commando. New weapons with an emphasis on ranged attacks. Provides bonuses to ranged power and accuracy.

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Sniper Rifle
  • Melee - Javelin

Skill Slots: 3

Arts

  1. Arcing Horn (Javelin, Rank 1)
  2. Shrapnel (Sniper Rifle, 1)
  3. Eagle Eye (Sniper Rifle, 2)
  4. Raijin (Javelin, 3)
  5. First Down (Sniper Rifle, 4)
  6. Spiral Horn (Javelin, 6)
  7. Intercept (Sniper Rifle, 8)

Notes: Partisan Eagle branches into the level 4 class, Astral Crusader.

9. Psycorrupter

Description: One of the progression options from Enforcer. Weaken the enemy using debuffs. Bonuses to ranged attack and potential. "Tricky to master and suited for professionals."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Raygun
  • Melee - Knife

Skill Slots: 3

Arts

  1. Screamer (Knife, Rank 1)
  2. Subterfuge (Raygun, 2)
  3. Absorber Skin (Knife, 3)
  4. Ether Blast (Raygun, 5)
  5. Brainjack (Knife, 7)

Notes: Psycorrupter branches into the level 4 class, Mastermind.

10. Blast Fencer

Description: The second progression option from Enforcer. New weapons with balanced offense and defense. Provides bonuses to both melee and
ranged attacks.

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Psycho Launchers
  • Melee - Photo Saber

Skill Slots: 3

Arts

  1. Starfall Blade (Photon Saber, Rank 1)
  2. Stellar Ray (Psycho Launchers, 1)
  3. Geolibrium (Photon Saber, 2)
  4. Lightning Cloak (Psycho Launchers, 2)
  5. Starfall Rondo (Photon Saber, 3)
  6. Jetstream (Psycho Launchers, 4)
  7. Astrolibrium (Photon Saber, 6)
  8. Shooting Star (Psycho Launchers, 8)

Notes: Blast Fencer branches off into the level 4 class, Galactic Knight.

11. Duelist

Description:  "Advanced Samurai Gunner. Shifts the focus more toward offense. Provides bonuses to HP and melee attack."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Assault Rifle
  • Melee - Longsword

Skill Slots: 3

Arts

  1. Incendiary Edge (Longsword, Rank 1)
  2. Gunforce (Assault Rifle, 2)
  3. Takedown Shot (Assault Rifle, 4)
  4. Samurai Soul (Longsword, 6)
  5. Last Stand (Assault Rifle, 8)

Notes: Duelist is one of six final classes! Once mastered, consider backtracking to another level to unlock even more weapons and Arts.

12. Bastion Warrior

Description: "Advanced Shield Trooper that increases attribute resistance in addition to defense. Greatly improves HP and melee attack."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Gatling Gun
  • Melee - Shield

Skill Slots: 4

Arts

  1. Hellfire (Gatling Gun, Rank 1)
  2. Shield Wall (Shield, 2)
  3. Enhanced Stand (Gatling Gun, 2)
  4. Reality Rift (Shield, 3)
  5. Thermal Payload (Gatling Gun, 4)
  6. Bombardier (Shield, 6)
  7. Cool Off (Gatling Gun, 7)
  8. Supershield (Shield, 8)

Notes: Bastion Warrior is the second of six final classes! Once mastered, consider backtracking to another level to unlock even more weapons and Arts.

13. Full Metal Jaguar

Description: Advanced Winged Viper. Features tricky offensive Arts. Bonuses to melee accuracy, ranged accuracy, and evasion.

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Dual Guns
  • Melee - Dual Swords

Skill Slots: 4

Arts

  1. Electric Surge (Dual Swords, Rank 1)
  2. Ghost Walker (Dual Guns, 2)
  3. Executioner (Dual Guns, 4)
  4. Combat Limbo (Dual Guns, 6)
  5. Hundred Shells (Dual Swords, 8)

Notes: Full Metal Jaguar is the third of six final classes! Once mastered, consider backtracking to another level to unlock even more weapons and Arts.

14. Astral Crusader

Description: Advanced Partisan Eagle, also centered on ranged attacks. Bonuses to ranged attack and accuracy.

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Sniper Rifle
  • Melee - Javelin

Skill Slots: 4

Arts

  1. Overwhelm (Javelin, Rank 1)
  2. Hawkeye (Sniper Rifle, 1)
  3. Speed Demon (Javelin, 2)
  4. Side Winder (Sniper Rifle, 3)
  5. Hair Trigger (Javelin, 4)
  6. Ghost Sniper (Sniper Rifle, 6)
  7. Trident Buster (Javelin, 8)

Notes: Astral Crusader is the fourth of six final classes! Once mastered, consider backtracking to another level to unlock even more weapons and Arts.

15. Mastermind

Description: The ego-trip class. "Advanced Psycorruptor that adds ally support Arts to the mix of enemy debuffs. Improves ranged attack and potential."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Raygun
  • Melee - Knife

Skill Slots: 4

Arts

  1. Dispel (Knife, Rank 1)
  2. Gravity Blast (Raygun, 1)
  3. Gravity Cloak (Raygun, 2)
  4. Servant Sacrifice (Knife, 3)
  5. Energy Source (Knife, 4)
  6. Black Butterfly (Knife, 6)
  7. Pathogen Blast (Raygun, 8)

Notes: Mastermind is the fifth of six final classes! Once mastered, consider backtracking to another level to unlock even more weapons and Arts.

16. Galactic Knight

Description: "Advanced Blast Fencer that adds recovery Arts to its even mix of offense and defense. Improves melee and ranged attack."

Standard Arms:

  • Long-ranged - Psycho Launchers
  • Melee - Photo Sabers

Skill Slots: 4

Arts

  1. Astral Heal (Photon Saber, Rank 1)
  2. Astral Protection (Psycho Launchers, 1)
  3. Starfall Blossom (Photon Saber, 2)
  4. Astral Purge (Photon Saber, 3)
  5. Novalibrium (Psycho Launchers, 4)
  6. Starlight Kick (Psycho Launchers, 6)
  7. Astral Horizon (Photon Saber, 7)
  8. Galactic Cataclysm (Photon Saber, 8)

Notes: Galactic Knight is the last final class! Once mastered, consider backtracking to another level to unlock even more weapons and Arts.

Special thanks and acknowledgment of Mechathief, Primulus, and Gessenkou for releasing a comprehensive Arts guide for Xenoblade Chronicles X.

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Games like Fallout 4 take crafting too far for the average player https://www.gameskinny.com/83s3h/games-like-fallout-4-take-crafting-too-far-for-the-average-player https://www.gameskinny.com/83s3h/games-like-fallout-4-take-crafting-too-far-for-the-average-player Fri, 13 Nov 2015 21:19:37 -0500 BlackTideTV

Odds are, you've either played, are currently playing, or plan to play Fallout 4 in the future. It's the hottest thing in video games right now. I only have one problem with it: crafting. It's too damn complicated.

Fallout 4 seems to be the pinnacle of "the crafting problem", a serious issue to casual and hardcore gamers alike. I can hear your thoughts: "What's so bad about in-game crafting? I like to personalize my stuff." The issue I have with in-game crafting lies not in the crafting system itself, but in the complexity of it. Slowly but surely, video games are becoming more and more complicated, but "crafting", and "personalization" take the cake when it comes to most complicated part of a game.

The Crafting Problem - Complexity

Once upon a time, a player got to pick the color of their in-game character and which weapon they wanted. Now every single piece of clothing can be customized and interchanged and stylized and crafted personally or found in the environment. Weapons have interchangeable parts and mods and effects that will alter the gameplay. Before you get ahead of yourself, you'll have to pick the right perk tree, so you can earn the gunsmithing perk...so you can craft special attachments. Wait! You can't just craft those attachments! First you need to find objects in the wild and break them down to find tiny attachment ingredients like springs and screws and other bits and bobs. IT'S JUST TOO COMPLICATED.

Rather than spending my time enjoying the game world, shooting super-mutants, or what-have-you, and completing missions, I'm left scouring at the ground, looking for toy cars so I can wheedle one last screw out of them to make that suppressor I've always wanted. Is this a mandatory part of the game? Of course not, but if you want to succeed in the mandatory parts, you'll have a much better time of it with a customized long-barreled revolving pipe pistol over the regular old rig you found in the dirt.

The big issue here isn't the system itself. I like modding my weapons and changing up attachments to suit my play style. The issue is in the ingredients. It's just way too much work to find all the tiny bits and bobs that you need. Yesterday, I spent an hour on Fallout 4 looking for screws so I could make weapon attachments. Who knew it was so hard to find screws in the post-nuclear apocalypse?

The Common Man

Big game developers need to remember that, generally, it's the common man that plays their games. The common man needs to eat, sleep, work, spend time with his family, play a little bit of Guitar Hero on the side... you get the point! Most people, casual gamers especially, don't have a lot of time for gaming, and when all they did on Fallout 4 last night include searching for screws for an hour, they're likely to put in Call of Duty instead. 

I understand that there are players out there who are extremely into the roleplay part of role playing games and like to go searching for ingredients and picking flowers in the meadow so they can brew their very own chamomile tea, but the general populous only has time for, "Give me a gun; I've got an hour to shoot shit." 

Bethesda Softworks and other huge game companies that keep cramming customization and crafting down people's throats should consider a quicker option, as well as an in-depth role-playing way. Maybe include a crafting difficulty selection at the beginning. On easy, all of the tools are at the workshops, you just need to unlock the skills and bring the guns. On hard, you can look for screws all night long. 

But the fun doesn't stop at weapon creation and customization...

Settlement Creation in Fallout 4

Don't even get me started on the new settlement creation in Fallout 4. Remember how angry I was a few minutes ago about looking for screws for an hour? Try clearing branches out of the road at your settlement for an hour and a half!

Of course, settlement creation is only partially mandatory. You get sent back to your home town at the beginning of the game to help out and make a small town of survivors happy. Once you head there, it becomes your fully fledged job to run the town. You need to clear debris, build new houses (including individual pieces of furniture), find food and water for your settlers and more! Can't the NPCs figure out their own lives? Never has a game depended on the player so much! 

The worst part about the settlement creation, as slightly mentioned above, everything is from scratch. Players literally have to put up every single wall of any houses they plan on building. Or, there are pre-fabs. "PRE-FABS?!" an excited BlackTide said as he clicked on the menu icon to learn more. Within pre-fabs players have access to small pre-made rooms such as "Hallway End" and "Corner"; there are also small and large shacks, which are hilariously misleading. Nothing comes pre-set and ready to go. I can't simply point and say "barber shop" and have one appear before my very eyes.

Conclusion?

Simpler versions need to be in this game. By the time I have my first settlement up and running, my guns customized to perfection, and my armor polished and looking swanky, Fallout 5 will be out. It's because of games like Fallout 4 that I have about 6 other titles still plastic-wrapped on my shelf. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some screws to find. 

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Microsoft unleashes 1TB Elite Xbox One; pre-order for $500 https://www.gameskinny.com/80rso/microsoft-unleashes-1tb-elite-xbox-one-pre-order-for-500 https://www.gameskinny.com/80rso/microsoft-unleashes-1tb-elite-xbox-one-pre-order-for-500 Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:04:56 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Today Microsoft unleashed their new addition in the Xbox series, called the Elite Xbox One. With many new features, it's sure to making saving data easier with the 1TB hard drive along with a faster power-save-mode, that will enhance speed by 20%.The Elite Xbox One

This next-gen addition called the Elite Xbox One is launching this November from the Microsoft store and GameStop. It's now up for pre-order with GameStop, and is meant to enhancing the gaming experience on the Xbox One with new customizable controller features. 

A new attribute that Microsoft is adding to the Elite controller is pairing it with an app that makes customizing buttons very simple. Pairing the new controller qualities along with the 1TB hard drive and new Xbox One look, any gamer would want to get this new console for their gaming needs.

Official release date for the Elite Xbox One is November 3rd, and can be pr-ordered now for $500.

Would you go ahead and buy a new Xbox One for the new look and larger hard drive? Does customizing the controller really affect gaming? Share your comments on this new console below!

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The Second Screen Experience: A Glance at Gaming's Companion Apps https://www.gameskinny.com/vfvtu/the-second-screen-experience-a-glance-at-gamings-companion-apps https://www.gameskinny.com/vfvtu/the-second-screen-experience-a-glance-at-gamings-companion-apps Sat, 13 Jun 2015 08:19:02 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

At the turn of the century, the Internet rose as the social pillar of a new generation, and with it came more connectivity through smartphones and tablets. As such devices were adopted every single day across the world, a new avenue was paved for entertainment companies to keep the eyes of the populace on their products. That avenue has become known as the second screen experience, now most commonly conveyed through what we like to call a companion app.

Companion apps for video games haven't been around for as long as those first created for TV, but already gaming-related companion apps far outnumber those made for the small screen. Every highly popular video game sure enough has a companion app for smartphones and tablets. On one hand, gaming companies make these companion apps to accompany those who want more out of their video games. On the other, many of these companion apps also serve as additional sources of revenue based on the same video game. Either way, companion apps serve to provide a supplementary experience for players, and there are numerous ways which are used by gaming companies to achieve that.

Social

Many companion apps let players stay connected socially to a video game through the friends they play with. Players can see when their friends are playing, chat with them, send invitations, and compare achievements. Some companion apps also provide forums and groups for players to have discussions about the video game, all without needing to start the game up. One of the biggest reasons players come back to a video game is to have fun with friends, and companion apps serve as a convenient way to keep in touch away from any gaming devices.

 

Information/Database

 In need of help or due to curiosity, most players will try to look for more information about a video game, and a primary source would undoubtably be the video game's official companion app. News, updates, and guides can be found in most gaming companion apps, alongside a game database filled with information about items, activities, characters, places, and lore. A world map is often included, sometimes in real time, as well as the ability to track character progress and statistics. The abundance of information in companion apps allows players to plan ahead, and strategize the way they play the game before they put their thoughts into action.

 

Marketplace/Customization

 One of the most fulfilling things in video games is upgrading and customizing characters and items. It is no surprise then that companion apps which supply customization abilities are sought after by players. The ability for customization is usually complemented by a marketplace where players are able to browse, buy, and sell items and add-ons that are synced to the game along with the customizations. The marketplace is one of the ways gaming companies earn revenue as purchases are made by players in return for benefits in-game.

 

Mini-Game

Similarly to the marketplace, companion apps can take the form of mini-games to give players an opportunity to earn extra benefits in-game. These benefits can range from exclusive missions, rewards, and experience to trivial perks such as a more responsive non-player character (NPC). Revenue can be made through means such as limiting the amount of playtime a player has before needing to purchase it, and allowing a player to purchase boosters that make the mini-game easier for the player.

 

Remote Device

Not exclusive to system apps, video game companion apps can also act as remote devices to control and manage what goes on in-game. The companion app can serve as a mobile touch navigation unit or on-screen keyboard, and start up or close down any part of the game. This acts as an abridged alternative to a normal controller, and instead is available on more devices.

Companion apps come in many shapes and sizes. Although they have been a controversial entertainment medium as of late, they do have a purpose in the gaming industry, and that is to provide a second screen experience that complements a video game and makes players love it even more. It is still too early to say whether companion apps have been a success or a failure, but it is safe to say that they are here to stay.

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Customization Galore in WildStar https://www.gameskinny.com/14622/customization-galore-in-wildstar https://www.gameskinny.com/14622/customization-galore-in-wildstar Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:05:45 -0400 Jon Magnusson

Have you been wandering around WildStar recently, thinking to yourself:

"Why don’t I have an adorable little companion pet scurrying beside me? And why don’t I have a more customizable outfit system to truly cater to my very specific outfit needs?"

Well ask no longer, WildStar players, for there is a new update on the horizon, and it’s just for you!

In a post written by Lead Systems Designer Joe Piepiora, he describes a new update titled “Customization: The Deep Dive”. In this patch are two major new customization options: the ability to collect and summon companion pets, and a revamp of the wardrobe system - dubbed “The Holo-Wardrobe”.

In the new patch, the WildStar team is adding 54 companion pets for players to collect, and can be obtained by doing a variety of different tasks around the WildStar world. Things like dungeons, vendors, or random drops are some of the ways you’ll be able to collect a new companion army.

Alongside the companion pets is the Holo-Wardrobe, which is all about customizing your clothes. Players will no longer have costume slots, and you will now be able to save item appearances to an account-wide list of threads. So if you were to edit a costume you had saved, and clicked on pants, you’d get a long list of helmets you had unlocked, you can even dye every bit of gear. With this system, you will have account-bound costume appearances, and the ability to have any kind of costume you like, as long as it has been unlocked.

At the end of the post, they also drop a hint at the next content update, which will concern player housing.

Header image source. 

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