Games Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Games RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Five RTS Games Just as Unforgiving as They Are Billions Fri, 09 Feb 2018 18:40:24 -0500 Alberto C.


To the average spectator of RTS games, the outcomes of fatal mistakes, especially those made in the multiplayer PvP arena may be amusing to watch regardless of who comes out on top. But we all probably know from personal experience that the sweet taste victory and of salty defeat are about as mutually exclusive as it gets.


In the RTS games we've mentioned in this article, the difference between the good decisions and bad ones can be as easily confounded as sweet or salty. In most cases you'll need to have the reflexes and know every hotkey by heart to recover from your mistakes, if you even have a chance at all. But as with cooking cooking baking, once you've put that sucker in the oven, you're just likely to end up with an awful meal, or in this context, a ruined match.


Europa Universalis IV


If there was ever a grand strategy game published by Paradox that was noob-friendly, Europa Universalis IV must surely be it (any WW2 fan who were attracted to trying Hearts of Iron without previous experience in the genre knows what I mean by this). The amount of detail in games like Victoria or Hearts of Iron makes one wonder how it is even legal to publish such games without the good old fat manuals we used to get in the '90s. Looking for RTS games with steep learning curves? Surely Victoria, Hearts of Iron, and Europa Universalis are up there, with EU being the “easiest” of them.


So besides a steep learning curve, what’s the big deal? Just because a game’s difficult to learn does not necessarily mean it’s unforgiving to play, right?


Well, that assumption would be quite wrong. Unless you start as one of the major nations, you’re in for a rough time. There are literally hundreds of countries you can play as, and the vast majority of them have a difficulty level that will have you hoping throughout the first 20 years of game time that major nations don’t involve you in their imperial goals. Ever declared war on some pesky neighbor in a Total War, won, and annexed them within a year of in-game time? Yeah, you can forget about those tactics in EU. Not only does randomly attacking nations carry big penalties, but it also can severely affect your economy by locking out centers of trade, creating inflation, forcing you to take out loans, and decreasing your nation's legitimacy and glory levels.


And even if you endure all of that, holding onto the smallest province might prove to be a pretty hard thing to do thanks to factors like core provinces, casus belli, revolt chances, and religious differences. EU is definitely not for players who are not used to facing setbacks or aren't willing to reload to a save game from the week before.


Men of War: Assault Squad 2


Men of War: Assault Squad 2's distinguishing trademark is the level of detail and work put into individual units and how they work. Not only are the units' stats as representative as possible in the game, but the physics of the game's engine adds levels of depth not seen in some of its major competitors, like Company of Heroes. The system is so sophisticated, you can literally shoot enemy troops off vehicles and take them for yourself


Add to that an incredibly realistic level of complexity, such as needing vehicles to carry AT guns, a crew to man them, and supplies to keep them firing, and you have a micromanager's dream. Oh, you forgot to purchase a supply truck? Looks like you're out of luck. Good luck trying to penetrate the frontal armor of that Tiger with that handheld bazooka.


Men of War: Assault Squad 2 is an RTS with a strong emphasis on tactics, to the point of giving the player the option to determine the actions and inventories of each individual soldier and crew member. It is a game with a level micromanagement that resembles games like Commandos.


World in Conflict


Picture Red Dragon, but on a smaller scale is somewhat smaller and with twice as many vulnerabilities to account for in your strategy. In addition, there are off-map abilities like daisy cutters, tank-busters, napalm, and even tactical nukes. What do you end up with? Pretty much World in Conflict


Like the previous title, reconnaissance and being able to mask your own movement prove to be essential in even the most basic matches. When the enemy can swoop across the map in a matter of seconds, leaving your heavy artillery without an escort isn't the wisest thing to do.


Counters are so strong in this game that the enemy’s gunship squad can come in and destroy all of your precious T-80Us faster than you can say blyat. The good news is that the game's visuals and effects are so nice, losing is almost as enjoyable as winning.



Wargame: Red Dragon


Based in an alternative timeline where events such as the renewal of the Korean War takes place, Wargame: Red Dragon is one of those games where many units don’t have a strong counter, and they can be wiped out faster than you can blink.


Company of Heroes might be all about counters, but at least that game gave you time to retreat your units (provided you were paying enough attention). But Wargame is a whole other ball game: reconnaissance, logistics, line of sight, buildings, and terrain are all fundamental aspects of gameplay you'll need to take into account. Failure to do so can have you seeing those precious fighter-bombers you sent to hit that easy-looking target of heavy artillery go down in smoldering flames -- all because you didn't want to take the extra 30 seconds to wait for the recon LAV to get a bit closer to take a peek to see what else was around.


Or you can lose half of your deployed army in the opposite way like some poor player did in this online match:



Company of Heroes


While Dawn of War introduced a wonderful subgenre of RTS games that focused primarily on combat and pushed resource management to the sidelines, Company of Heroes perfected the approach by removing resource-generating buildings of any kind, forcing the player to rely almost exclusively on map control.


In CoH, you don't have to worry about base-building and economic management; instead, you'll be focused on the direction your AT cannon is facing, if there is green or negative cover, and wondering, "Did I remember to mine that path on the left flank?"


CoH is a game that's all about counters -- not because the tank does more damage than infantry, but because infantry will deal no damage at all to the tank with their basic weaponry. You might have been able to set castles on fire in Age of Empires II by getting your Spanish peasants to bash the castle's outer walls, but in CoH, if you forgot to develop the right tech or invest in that specific unit you didn't think you would use a lot, you better hope your opponent doesn't know the game well enough to know you don't have an appropriate counter for his strategy.


Oh, and by the way, CoH is also one of those games you might not want to play with the music too loud, unless you don't mind not hearing the audible cues of incoming off-map abilities.


A case example of why you should pay attention to the sound, around the 34 seconds mark to be precise:



They Are Billions is an RTS game with an uncommon goal for most games of the same genre: survival. Set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk setting, the gameplay of TAB is a mix between city-management and world survival.


Much like with The Settlers series, you start off with a basic main structure from which you must strive to build a colony in hopes of surviving in the zombie-ridden wasteland of TAB. Requiring careful resource management, you must make tough decisions that either contribute to the growth of the colony and increase its chances of long-term survival, or make investments in short-term security measures in order to effectively respond to immediate threats.


TAB is unforgiving because the smallest oversight in your lines of defense can bring down your entire colony -- after all, these are zombies, and not only will they destroy your structures in their mindless rages, they will also infect your colonists and turn them against you. You can very easily end up with a snowball effect of decaying flesh and destruction, all because you thought one defensive tower and a single wall would be enough to hold that tiny gap.


In the spirit of TAB, we've come up with a list of other unforgiving RTS games where single mishaps can have similar cascading or outright immediate catastrophic effects for your mission and/or campaign. So without further ado, let's get on with the first of the list.

Does Assassin’s Creed Need Multiplayer Again? Tue, 24 Oct 2017 15:07:34 -0400 Brandon Janeway

Assassin’s Creed is a long-standing franchise that has attempted to add variety to some releases to mix up their otherwise basic formula. One of these forms of variety was in the form of a competitive multiplayer that we saw in Brotherhood and then a cooperative multiplayer that we saw in Unity. However, the series left out both of these features with Syndicate and it does not look like they will be making a return in Origins.

Now we cannot deny that Assassin’s Creed is a successful franchise with a large following, but the question remains if they need to add something to their formula again. While the competitive multiplayer feature was not the reason fans were playing, it had enough of a backing to last three games in the series.

The multiplayer was successful at blending the actions of the campaign with a competitive functionality that worked well in the Assassin’s Creed Universe. Unity allowed players to work in tandem on missions, and worked well with the themes of the game, but lacked the same excitement and contrast of the competitive features before it.

Without either of these features, the franchise left Syndicate feeling like an old Assassin’s Creed game, not that that was a bad thing. The game also did allow you to switch between two lead characters which was a nice twist without sacrificing the traditional Assassin’s Creed feel.

Now, most people are done with franchises that add a random multiplayer feature to a game that does not make a lot of sense and bogs down the overall presence of a good game. But if it makes sense with the game and has a user base, it is a nice function to enhance a game.

Even without the multiplayer function, Origins will still be successful for long-time fans of the franchise, but it leaves little to entice newcomers. Even more worrisome is how long the game will keep people interested without new features. Multiplayer without a doubt adds content besides the campaign and allows for developers to add some easy new content.

Will we see a return of the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer or is the franchise just going to keep doing what made them so popular since the beginning? We will have to wait and see. Let us know in the comments if you think Assassin's Creed needs to bring back their multiplayer or what else they might need to change their formula.

Injustice 2: DLC Characters Revealed, More Teased Sat, 06 May 2017 15:05:41 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Warner Bros. and DC have revealed the first of nine fighters to join Injustice 2 in post-launch DLC: Starfire, Red Hood, and Sub-Zero. The fighters were revealed alongside a new trailer, which also showcased the characters' weapons and outfits. 

Sub-Zero finds his way into the DC roster much like Scorpion did in the original Injustice: Gods Among Us -- the third DLC character, preceded by Lobo and Batgirl.

Red Hood joins the rest of the Bat-family, including Batman, Robin, Scarecrow, Joker, Bane, Catwoman, Deadshot, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, making for a very Batman-heavy roster. And finally, there's Starfire, who comes as one of the most requested fighters from the entire DC Universe.

This first fighter DLC pack will be included in the $80 Injustice 2 Digital Deluxe Edition, which also includes a Premiere Skin and an exclusive Gear Shader. Meanwhile, the Injustice 2 Ultimate Edition, priced at $100, will feature a total of nine DLC characters, as well as three Premier Skins and two exclusive Gear Shaders. Of course, you can always wait and get the game a year from release for $60 with all the DLC, but that's up to you. 

Featured at the end of the trailer, the image above teases the next two DLC packs, both of which include three more fighters.

Fans have been quick to point out the two obvious middle choices from both packs: Black Manta (left) and Raiden (right). The identity of the other four fighters is quite the mystery, although many believe the two on the right to be Beast Boy and Raven, thus allowing players to play as all of the original Teen Titans.

Injustice 2 launches for PS4 and Xbox One on May 16. No release date for the DLC has been revealed by NeatherRealm Studios as of yet. 

Who do you think the mystery fighters are? Let us know in the comments!

Nintendo Switch Sales Figures Revealed Thu, 04 May 2017 16:26:05 -0400 Curtis Dillon

In a recent Q&A on Nintendo's Japanese website, President Tatsumi Kimishima revealed sales figures for the Nintendo Switch, as well as other interesting information.

Kimishima announced that the Nintendo Switch has sold 2.7 million units, thus exceeding the launch sales of the Wii U in the same time frame. Kimishima went on to say that they (Nintendo) aim for the Switch to sell as much as the Wii - over 100 million - and the company is encouraged by the strong sales thus far considering the system launched in March.

Continuing to discuss the potential sales of the Switch, Kimishima stated:

If our sales go according to our plan this fiscal year, we will be able to see Nintendo Switch gaining the momentum in which it can approach relative parity with Wii afterwards. Plus, considering that Nintendo Switch is a home console video game system that you can take with you on the go so you can play anytime, anywhere, with anyone, we think there will be households that feel as though one is not really enough. This is another point that drives us to match the scale of Wii’s popularity with Nintendo Switch.

The company's projection for 2017 is for the Switch to sell 10 million units, which is a lofty goal for a 9-month period. It's worth noting that the PS4 managed to sell 10 million in its first 9 months on the market, and it is a record-shattering console.

One of the other questions brought up, mentioning that the Nintendo Switch has a lower attach rate than the Wii U had, to which Kimishima stated his belief that the reason for the disparity is because the Wii U launched during the holiday season, while the Switch launched in March.

Kimishima went on to discuss the recent announcement of the New Nintendo 2DS XL. He noted that the redesign is a reiteration of Nintendo's dedication to the handheld market, as well as the company's thinking in regards to product cycles:

To that end, we are always thinking about what kinds of software consumers are going to want, and evaluating our hardware cycles to make sure that we are meeting that need. This means that our product lifecycles are not going to last for a set number of years but will be flexible enough to change when required by changing consumer needs.

This comment is rather ironic considering the company recently discontinued the NES Mini console which sold 2.3 million units and suffered greatly due to Nintendo's failure to meet supply-and-demand. It is worth noting that Nintendo has a storied history with creating fake supply shortages to ramp-up excitement for a product.

The Nintendo Switch has been a huge rebound for Nintendo, following the huge failure of the Wii U. A major driving force behind the success of the Switch was undoubtedly the masterful Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, and the system is currently enjoying the success of the Super Mario Kart 8 re-release. So long as the company continues to release major first-party akin to these, particularly with Super Mario Odyssey in the holiday season, the Switch should have a very successful first year on the market.

For more on Nintendo and all your gaming news, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

Atlus Thanks Western Fans For Playing Persona 5 Thu, 04 May 2017 15:22:31 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Atlus, the developer of Persona 5, has released a special thank you to fans in the wake of the game's hugely successful release in North America and Europe.

The game's long-time director, Katsura Hashino, penned the following special message:

As a developer, I’m very happy to hear that Persona 5 is being played by so many people overseas. To be honest, it’s really hard to gauge its popularity in the West when our team’s in Japan; we’re not able to see everyone’s comments and discussions. It’d be great to interact with the fans abroad, but sadly, I’m stuck in the development room slurping instant ramen (laugh). Persona 5 is a very “Japanese” story with some political aspects to it, so I couldn’t imagine how Western players would react to it. I did know, however, that Persona 5 was highly anticipated by gamers overseas even back when we were developing the game, so I was curious to see how its story would be received.

I’m going off on a tangent here, but I think that traditional Japanese superhero stories tend to be about fighting off invaders from outside their society, while Western ones focus on fighting against villains and misfits that come from within it. There’s a sense of society being responsible for creating this evil, and such a setting lets the audience’s imagination run wild, like “it could’ve been me.” For instance, doesn’t the Joker from Batman make some valid points that resonate with you?

Persona 5 is also a superhero story in which you fight villains that are born from within society, so I thought that it might be received differently than the previous entries. Of course, it could’ve missed the mark completely and been criticized for it, so my anticipation and anxiety were split half and half. Since the game just launched in the West, I’d like to look back on it at a later time, once I receive feedback from the Western audience—how their gameplay experiences were, what kind of things they felt, etc. I hope that the tale of Persona 5 will leave a lasting impression on everyone who plays it. No matter what kind of project I take on going forward, I love creating RPGs that are both moving and relatable regardless of cultural differences—in fact, I’m most interested in strengthening those aspects right now.

Last year, with the milestone of the Persona series’ 20th anniversary, I handed off the series development to my successors and announced the start of my new RPG project that takes place in a fantasy world. Be it a game set in modern day, like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series, or a game set in a new fantasy world, I aim to create games that provide an invaluable experience of reflecting on oneself through a journey, while roleplaying as characters that players can deeply relate to.

These efforts are only made possible thanks to the positive reception we receive from fans—not just in Japan, but worldwide—of the Persona series and Atlus RPGs in general. I appreciate all your support for the newest entry in the Persona series, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the new Atlus RPGs to come.

Persona 5 released on April 4 in North America and Europe, and has since sold over one million copies and received critical acclaim. Check out our ranking of all the games in the series, as well as why we reckon people will be talking about Persona 5 for a lot longer than Final Fantasy XV! Or if you need assistance during gameplay, check out all of our Persona 5 guides

Persona 5 is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. For all your Persona 5 news and extensive guide coverage, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

Blizzard Plans to Cease Support for Games on Windows XP and Vista Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:23:01 -0500 Nam T. Bui

Blizzard recently announced that they will end support for all of their titles on Windows XP and Windows Vista, operating platforms that are currently entering their 16th and 11th years, respectively. 

In a statement posted to the Diablo III forum, the developer announced that they will no longer support World of WarcraftStarCraft IIDiablo IIIHearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm on those platforms beginning later this year. A definite date was not provided by Blizzard as of the time of this writing.  

With the release of three new Windows OS (Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10) over the last decade, the company believes the majority of their player base has already upgraded to these newer versions of Microsoft's operating system. Blizzard is currently planning for a staggered schedule (of which, again, there is no definite initiation date) to phase out Windows XP and Windows Vista support. 

Windows XP is considered to be one of the most successful operating systems in Microsoft family. Despite Microsoft ceasing support of the OS back in 2012, its popularity had helped the OS live on amongst adopters. Furthermore, Windows XP has been widely considered the most compatible OS for older Windows-based games than later operating systems like Windows 7 and Windows 10.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more information regarding Blizzard's roll-out plan for ceasing game support on Windows XP and Windows Vista. 

Black Friday Deals: Wal-Mart Offers $249 Xbox One S Bundle and Loads of Cheap Games Tue, 15 Nov 2016 06:34:47 -0500 Auverin Morrow

It's the most wonderful time of the year -- holiday season. And in just two short weeks, people everywhere will be flocking to stores to get their hands on the sweetest Black Friday deals around. 

But if you're going to be prepared for the consumer onslaught (or planning to save yourself the hassle to take advantage of deals online), you'll need a little help. So here's a round-up of the best Black Friday deals that you can expect from everyone's favorite price-slashing retail store -- Wal-Mart.

From console bundles to serious discounts on the hottest games of this year, Wally World has lots of great Black Friday sales that you'll want to jump on.

Battlefield 1 Xbox One S Bundle

  • Original Price: $299.99
  • Sale Price: $249.99

This console bundle comes with the new Xbox One S, plus the widely acclaimed Battlefield 1Shoot your way through WWI in awesome 4K resolution, or make the Xbox fan in your life very happy with this deal. 

If you're wondering whether or not the Xbox One S is the right choice over something like the PS4 Pro, remember that it includes backward compatibility, mod support for games like Skyrim Special Edition, and a pretty sweet bundle of Halo games. 

Uncharted 4 PS4 Slim Bundle

  • Original Price: $299.99
  • Sale Price: $249.99

Just like the Xbox One S bundle above, this PS4 Slim bundle its a $50 discount from it's normal $299 price tag. This one includes a copy of Naughty Dog's hit exclusive Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

You'll be able to play Nathan Drake's swan song on a slimmer, more streamlined iteration of the PS4, but keep in mind that this is not a PS4 Pro bundle -- so you won't be getting the experience in 4K. 

New Nintendo 3DS

  • Original Price: $179.99
  • Sale Price: $99.99

If you need a new handheld system to tie you over until the Nintendo Switch hits shelves -- or need a way to cope with not getting your hands on the NES Classic earlier this week -- then you can pick up a New 3DS for almost half of what it usually costs. 

This 3DS comes with Super Mario 3D Land, and the deal comes just in time to play Pokemon Sun and Moon on the newest iteration of Nintendo's excellent handheld console. 

LG 55-Inch Smart 4K Curved OLED TV

  • Original Price: $3,999.99
  • Sale Price: $1,997.00

One of many, many 4K TVs that Wal-Mart will be putting on sale when Black Friday rolls around. This LG television comes with a 4K resolution, webOS Smart TV compatibility, a high-contrast curved OLED HDR display with perfect blacks, and about a $2,000 discount.

If you're looking to pick up the PS4 Pro this holiday season, you'll want to consider this TV to get the most out of your games in all their 4K glory.

Dell Latitude E6540 Laptop

  • Original Price: $949.00
  • Sale Price: $899.95

Though this is a refurbished laptop, it comes with a 3-year warranty and is in excellent condition. It packs in an i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 500 GB Hybrid SSD, and a 15.6" 1080p display that's powered by a Radeon 8790M graphics card. 

This rig probably won't run Skyrim Special Edition at ultra-high quality, but it should be able to handle all those awesome indies and less demanding AAA games that have been sitting in your Steam library forever. 

Lots & Lots of Awesome Games

Wal-Mart is offering a ton of games and game starter packs at discounted prices for Black Friday. Here's the rundown of all the games you can get at a number of price points.

Special Game Bundles
  • Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack ($39)
  • Lego Dimensions Starter Pack ($39)
  • Call of Duty Legacy Edition ($57)
    • Includes Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered
For $35
  • Gears of War 4
  • Overwatch
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Mafia III
  • Call of Duty Black Ops III
  • Madden 17
  • NBA 2K17
  • WWE 2K17
  • Splatoon
  • BioShock Collection
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Destiny: Rise of Iron
  • NHL 17
For $27
  • Battlefield 1
  • Titanfall 2
For $25
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • The Division
  • Fallout 4
For $15
  • Far Cry Primal
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • DOOM

There will undoubtedly be more sales and discounted games as the Black Friday craze draws closer. In the meantime, you can stay tuned to GameSkinny for more roundups of the best Black Friday deals from major retailers. You can check out our Best Buy Black Friday deals and Amazon Black Friday deals to further plan your shopping assault on the big day. 

Almost 40 Games will be Available for PS4 Pro at Launch Thu, 03 Nov 2016 04:26:04 -0400 Angie Harvey

Sony has finally revealed via the PlayStation Blog a complete list of games that will be optimized for PS4 Pro on launch day. The PS4 Pro is set to launch next Thursday, November 10th, and will offer players enhanced performance via boosted CPU and GPU, resolution up to 4K, HDR imaging technology, and faster, more stable frame rates.

Since the announcement of the PS4 Pro, the list of supported games has been quite scarce with companies keeping tight lipped on whether their games will be optimized for the new hardware. However, that has all changed today, with Sony announcing that 39 titles will be updated with PS4 Pro support on launch day. 

In addition to the launch titles, fan can expect more than 45 games to be optimized for the PS4 Pro by the end of the year. These titles will include Watch Dogs 2, Killing Floor 2, The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV

You can also expect to see Gravity Rush 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, Gran Turismo and all first party software launched in 2017 and onward to include support for the PS4 Pro.

Here's the full list:

  • Battlefield 1
  • Bound
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Driveclub VR
  • FIFA 17
  • Firewatch
  • Helldivers
  • Hitman
  • Hustle Kings
  • inFAMOUS First Light
  • inFAMOUS Second Son
  • Knack
  • Mafia 3
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • NBA 2K17
  • Paragon
  • PlayStation VR Worlds
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Rez Infinite
  • RIGS Mechanized Combat League
  • Rise Of The Tomb Raider
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • Smite
  • Super Stardust Ultra
  • The Elders Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
  • The Elders Scrolls Online: Skyrim Special Edition
  • The Last Of Us Remastered
  • The Last Of Us: Left Behind
  • The Playroom VR
  • Titanfall 2
  • Tumble
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
  • Viking Squad
  • World Of Tanks
  • XCOM 2

It should also be mentioned that not all of these games will require an update to add PS4 Pro support, as more recent titles like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare have the enhancements built into the base game.

Are you planning on picking up a PS4 Pro? Let us know in the comments section below!

Platinum Trophies: Only for the Pros? Tue, 19 Jul 2016 05:15:17 -0400 joebarley7

Platinum trophies are the best of the best when it comes to awards from PlayStation games. To achieve a platinum trophy, you have to 100% a game. This means that you must complete every repetitive sub-quest, achieve a gold medal in every challenge, and complete obscure challenges set by the developers.

Basically, by getting a platinum trophy and completing the game to the 100% required, you are playing the game to its fullest extent -- meeting all the requirements of the developer and playing exactly how they wanted you to.

You may think that this is quite self explanatory, but think about this: if developers wanted gamers to explore each game to its fullest potential, these trophies wouldn't be set at levels where only a small percentage of people can achieve them.

Just Cause 3 Photo credit to Avalanche studios

I personally am yet to get a platinum trophy, though I am not far off with Just Cause 3 and Saint's Row 4.I am trying very hard and putting lots of hours into these to get them (hopefully). 

The time it takes for a player to 100% complete a game obviously depends on their personal skill level, the difficulty of the game, and requirements of the trophy itself. For example: Trine 2 takes an average of 3-5 hours to complete, and is relatively easy to get through. On the other hand, games like Super Meat Boy can take much longer and are so much harder. 

Super Meat Boy

Photo credit to Steam

These trophies are meant to be difficult so that you get a sense of real achievement -- but perhaps some of these are too long and too difficult. I personally feel like some platinums could be slightly excessive compared to other ones. And sometimes they can demand a level of skill and time commitment that only professional players can put in. That can be a little unfair to the rest of us. 

What do you think? Should platinum achievements stay the same? Are they too hard, or do you believe that they aren't hard enough and you require more of a challenge?

Thank you for reading!                                                                                          @JoeBarley7

(Header credit:

PlayStation Plus July 2016 Free Game Lineup Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:51:04 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Back in late June, PlayStation announced six games that would be available for PlayStation Plus subscribers in July. The time has come, and PlayStation Plus subscribers can now get July 2016’s free games. The six games span across the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita – which are now available for download in the PlayStation Store.

As mentioned back in late June, the lineup begins with Furi and Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell for PS4 and Fat Princess and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood will be free for PS3.

PS Vita players can now get Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines and Prince of Persia: Revelation for free on the PlayStation Store.

As an added bonus, PlayStation Plus subscribers can also get early access to the Paragon Starter Pack.

Once again, here are the games available for the three consoles and how much space they will take up:


  • Furi – 3.4 GB
  • Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell – 6.5 GB


  • Fat Princess – 365 MB
  • Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood – 3.4 GB

PS Vita

  • Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines – 2.8 GB
  • Prince of Persia: Revelation – 1.5 GB

    Source Image[Header Image]

8 PS2 games that need the PS4 upgrade treatment Mon, 20 Jun 2016 23:46:39 -0400 Anthony Pelone


That's our top picks! As the PlayStation 4's PS2 library grows, we hope it will include most, if not all, of these classic titles. With the PlayStation 2 library being so massive, you may be able to forgive Sony for taking so long.

Did we leave out your favorite PS2 game? Let us know in the comments below!

8. Okami

Our last game is Clover Studio's final hurrah for Capcom. In what's perhaps the PS2's stylized title, Okami blends cel-shaded graphics with Japanese mythology, producing a stunning world that still awes today. Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess who takes the form of a wolf, must utilize her Celestial Brush to rejuvenate the world and take on the forces of Orochi.


Okami was rereleased in HD for PS3, but has yet to be ported for PS4. Another HD update could go a long way in rendering this beautiful title even more gorgeous. Also while we're at it, why don't we let Kamiya make Okami 2?

7. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

This unexpected sleeper hit took the JRPG world by storm in 2008. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (or just Persona 3 for short) revolves around unlocking the secrets of the Dark Hour, a time period that begins before one day ends and another begins. To prevent its shadows from feasting on human minds, local high-schoolers (including the silent protagonist named by the player) must summon Personas, or manifestations of their spirits, to combat them.  Since this is high school, you can also expect some platonic/romantic hijinks.


There has yet to be any HD updates of Persona 3 or its sequel, Persona 4. Perhaps Atlus would be kind enough to bundle the Persona 3 FES, which was something of a director's cut.

6. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The mind-bending story of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty may have been too much for someone, but everyone loves Snake Eater. The journey of Naked Snake (who's not really naked) as he sneaks through the jungles and mountains of the Soviet Union is perhaps the PS2's most dynamic, as he forages for food, utilizes camouflage, fights an elderly sniper who's on death's door, and encounters betrayal after betrayal. It also has crotch-grabbing.


Snake Eater was featured on the PS3's Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and we'd love to see them again on PS4. I mean, who still doesn't tear up after that ending?

5. Katamari Damacy

From the whimsical mind of Keita Takahashi comes PS2's quirkiest game. After the King of all Cosmos destroys the night stars in a drunken frenzy, the Prince is tasked with rolling a katamari, a sticky ball that glues everyone and everything onto its surface. He uses this katamari to roll up the planet Earth, much to the dismay of humans, cows and thunder gods alike while Japanese pop songs play in the background. Meanwhile, a Japanese boy watches this unfold on the news, having absolutely nothing to do with the story until the hilarious twist ending.


Katamari Damacy and its sequel, We Love Katamari, are perhaps the secret masterpieces of PlayStation 2, yet have never been upgraded to HD. Namco, could you please look inside your inner katamari and introduce the Que Sera Sera song to a new generation? We want to wad them up into our lives, you see.

4. Tales of the Abyss

Tales of Symphonia may be the Western Tales favorite, but this PS2 classic shouldn't be overlooked. Tales of the Abyss' meaty story is perhaps the series' grimmest, forcing the bratty Luke fon Fabre to engage in a genuinely heartfelt coming-of-age arc. The fact that it builds upon the addictive combo-based battle system ain't half-bad, either.


We'd love to see an HD remaster for PS4, as the game can be difficult to find and hardly matches the graphical prowess of other games on this list. Let's not get ahead of ourselves however, Namco's Symphonia remasters for PS3 and PC were more than a little sloppy. Then there's the matter of how Namco's struggled to transition the series into HD (not to mention their stagnant mediocrity, but that's another topic). We'll keep our fingers crossed for a proper HD port, but you may want to grab the 3DS version if the PS2 used copies are too expensive for you.

3. Dynasty Warriors 2

Warriors games--or Musou, depending on your preferred terminology--are still going strong, so why not reintroduce the one that started it all? Dynasty Warriors 2 wasn't just a PS2 launch title; it forged a new series (perhaps even genre?) featuring 3D crowd combat, hack n' slash combat and capturing bases. Don't be fooled by the "2" numbering: the original Dynasty Warriors was a simple one-on-one fighter.


Dynasty Warriors 2 was released on PS3's PSN back in 2012...but only in Japan. Perhaps that renders a Western rerelease all the more unlikely, but that it launched a popular franchise (which inspired spin-offs based off Zelda, Gundam, Dragon Quest and One Piece) means it deserves an HD uplifting.

2. Kingdom Hearts

Square-Enix's bizarre JRPG crossover with Disney has enchanted millions of hearts around the globe, as the anticipation for Kingdom Hearts 3 has been circulating for a decade now. But as amusing as the peppy sugar rush of Kingdom Hearts 2 is, there's just something special about the original title. Before the series dived into a convoluted mess of clones, data worlds and confusing name titles, it was simply a soul-searching journey of anime children interacting with the likes of Donald Duck, Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh. And Cloud Strife.

Like Devil May Cry, the Kingdom Hearts series received an ample HD uplift on PS3, albeit split into two separate collections: the 1.5 and 2.5 ReMIXes. Director Tetsuya Nomura has repeatedly teased their arrival on PS4, but there's no explicit confirmation. For now, we'll just have to settle for winter's Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (seriously, who comes up with these names?)

1. Devil May Cry

The game that launched director Hideki Kamiya into action-game stardom. What started out as a Resident Evil title grew into one of the most innovative, influential games of the sixth generation; with its stylish action and brutal difficulty. Be it the appeal of pulling off combos or its unique spin on Dante's Inferno (not the least of which is the main character himself, a bad boy who alternates between dual pistols and swords), it kept players coming back for more.


While all three Devil May Cry games on PS2 received an HD collection on PS3, the PS4 is, sadly, not backwards compatible. We'd love to see the original return alongside 3: Dante's Awakening for PS4, although perhaps Devil May Cry 2 is better left forgotten.


Let's step back for a moment and look over the list of downloadable PlayStation 2 games on PlayStation 4. As Sony only just got around to the service last December, it's not a terrible line-up, but we're missing quite a number of classics on the service. Let's be real though, even if the service took too long, updating PS2 games into HD, adding trophy support and including Remote Play isn't as simple as flicking a switch. We may as well deal with waiting, although Japan has yet to receive a single PS2 game on the service.

In the meantime, we can't help but wonder: what are the PS2 games that should be next in line? For this list, I've selected 8 classics that deserve the HD treatment.



The Six Most Annoying Things in Any Video Game Tue, 03 May 2016 12:33:43 -0400 Ian Ilano




These are some of the most annoying things found in any video game. Next time you're playing, look closely and try to see if the game includes any of these mentioned. You may be shocked at how often most of these occur.


And you may be equally disgusted.


Terrible Escort Missions


Nothing is more annoying than that awkward walk/run movement you do when you're escorting someone. Whoever you're escorting either runs too fast, or too slow. If you want an example of this, just think of any escort mission in a Bethesda game.


Sadly, the NPCs are very stupid. 


They'll run ahead of you and stop, waiting for you to catch up to them. And when you do manage to catch up to them, they slowly turn around and sprint away in their intended direction. It's an absolutely unpleasant experience. 



In Redemption, players could hold A in order to follow a predetermined path.


However, not all escort missions were bad. Some games implemented mechanics that made this type of mission much more bearable. 


In Red Dead Redemption, players could hold down a button to stay close to the NPC they needed to follow. By holding "A" or "X," your character would automatically match the NPC's pace and direction. This let you focus on the dialogue instead of having to constantly stop and go.


Even a solution as simple as a "follow" command would have sufficed. In Mount and Blade, long adventures across the map were made bearable with a simple right click and follow.


And yet, another great example of escort missions done right is in the game The Witcher 3. In this game, instead of you following the NPCs and matching their pace, the NPCs would match yours. If you took off in a sprint, the person you're escorting would too. If you stopped to smell the roses or took your time dealing with the numerous ghouls plaguing the map, the NPC would do the same. 


Terrible escort missions are one of the most annoying things in any video game. They're clunky and they break immersion. But fixes are simple, and I'm glad numerous games have implemented this mechanic as a solution.


Waist-high Fences as Invisible Walls


If there's one thing I hate more than "bullet sponges," it would probably be poor level design.


When creating a map, developers always want to restrict the players from certain areas. Restricting them to a certain path would prevent them from getting anywhere they're not supposed to be. However, if you're gonna do this, for the love of God, don't use caution tape.


Batman Arkham Asylum suffered from this tremendously. There were so many parts of the map sectioned off by mere police tape. Realistically, it just doesn't make sense. How can caution tape prevent a fully-grown man in body armor from moving around?


Batman Arkham Asylum


Bruce Wayne, millionaire master martial artist. Weakness? Yellow police tape.


Trust me, I understand the desire to section off parts of the map. Sometimes you just don't want players to go to certain areas because they're prone to bugs or glitches. However, if you're going to restrict players from specific areas, do it in a creative way.


Police tape is getting old.


Difficulty Means Enemies Have More Health


If the success of the Dark Souls series is indicative of anything about our current generation of gamers, it proves that people enjoy challenges. Higher difficulties are enjoyable, and having to think and play safe can make any video game that much more intense. Instead of making the computer AIs smarter or more reactive, some developers opt to just turn them into "bullet sponges."


A "bullet sponge" refers to a character who soaks up bullets. In most games, increasing the difficult doesn't make the AI play smarter, it just means you'll have to take a longer time killing the enemy.


The best example right now is Fallout 4. I'm a huge fan of the series, but one of my biggest gripes with the game was how increasing the difficulty only increased a monster's health. All monsters fought the same, regardless of difficulty. They didn't suddenly engage in strange and unorthodox tactics. They were just able to withstand more bullets.


Developers need to understand that sometimes a smarter or more reactive AI is more challenging than simply giving them more health.


Call of Duty


Veteran difficulty in COD is an example of a better alternative to "bullet sponges."


In the Call of Duty games, the highest difficulty mode, veteran, made it so that players would die in fewer hits. It did not make it so that enemies could take more damage, it simply made the game more realistic. Enemies would chuck grenades and make full use of their cover and position.


This is a great alternative to "bullet sponges." I'd be a happier gamer getting instantly killed by an enemy than spending ten minutes punching rounds into a "bullet sponge."


A Cheap Multiplayer Experience


To put it simply, some games aren't meant for multiplayer. Yet despite this, developers will still go ahead and include a poorly designed multiplayer mode.


Did you know Bioshock 2 had multiplayer? Did you know Tomb Raider did too?


My problem with this is not the multiplayer itself...

\n's the fact that it seems like many developers simply include multiplayer in order to include it.

Rather than making their multiplayer experience stand out from others, developers tend to give us the same old multiplayer game-modes— deathmatch, capture the flag, and free-for-all. They're nothing special -- it's as if game developers are simply checking ideas off their check-list. 


However, there's one game that stands out.


Assassin's Creed Unity


In Assassin's Creed Unity, there was more to multiplayer than killing.


Believe it or not, I'm talking about Assassin's Creed Unity.


Others would argue that the multiplayer experience was very basic, very lack-luster compared to most, but I disagree. In Assassin's Creed Unity, players were free to choose what they wanted to do. You could kill, but the game wasn't specifically about killing. Players can take the stealthy approach and just lay low and cause distress.


Developers, if you're going to release a multiplayer option, develop it carefully. Don't include multiplayer for the purpose of it to be on the box. It's cheap, and nobody is going to play it.


The completionist in me is crying as I type this. Do you know how many games I will never be able to reach 100% because of a poorly designed multiplayer mode?


A lot...


Useless Quest Rewards


This is a problem that plagues many MMOs and RPGs.


You're given a quest to complete, and for simplicity's sake, let's go with a very basic "kill x amount of creatures." You end up killing the creatures and turn in your reward, and for some god-forsaken reason, the reward ends up being significantly weaker than the gear you currently have equipped.


To put more salt in your wound, the level of the gear is lower than the monsters you were originally assigned to kill. At this point, that's no longer pouring salt on your wound, that's sticking your finger in and wiggling it.


A lot of games are guilty of this -- World of Warcraft is one of them. However, even games like The Witcher 3 are just as bad.


Quest rewards are simple. They're rewards obtained from finishing a quest. Often times, players complain about quests becoming too tedious or boring. I feel like the lack of worthy quest rewards is a factor in that. If players were given much better rewards, perhaps they wouldn't complain as much.


Developers need to acknowledge that items are sometimes the main reason to do missions. Giving away cheap equipment is a great way to prevent people from doing further quests.


Poorly Placed Checkpoints


Let me paint a picture for you.


You're on the last mission of the game. You're taking your sweet time, carefully jumping over the platforms and obstacles in your way. With your palms sweating and eyes focused, you slowly move the control stick towards the goal. You come across the last obstacle. Your body tenses up. Your breathing grows heavy. In a moment that could make even the most hardiest of cardiovascular surgeons sweat, you manage... to slip and die.


You reload.


You're a little less tense this time around. You jump over the platforms and obstacles with ease. Once again, you're face to face with the last obstacle. Your palms are more relaxed but your eyes are still focused. You carefully move the control stick to complete the last maneuver. You die.




You take a short breather and gather your bearings. You begin. You breeze through the obstacles — you're a professional at this point. You stand once more in front of the last obstacle. Angrily, you slam the control stick in the intended direction. You die.


You don't reload.


You turn off the game, not wanting to go through the obstacle course again.


No matter how easy a part of the game might be, poorly placed checkpoints can ruin the player's entire experience.


Grand Theft Auto 4


If I have to follow the car for five minutes one more time...

If there's one thing I hate about video games, it's making me repeat an easy part over, and over, again.

The most annoying games are the ones that make you go through an extremely long and enduring sequence, only to have you repeat it if you die. It's disgusting.


GTA IV and San Andreas are two titles that instantly come to mind.

Poorly placed checkpoints show poor design and planning from the developer.

During car chases, taking a wrong turn or missing an exit meant I would have to restart the entire mission, regardless of how close I was to finishing it. Dying would set you back so far, and it marks the moment easy and "fun" sequences start to become boring and repetitive. 


Unfortunately, this problem isn't only prevalent in the GTA series. Poorly placed checkpoints are practically everywhere.


Call of Duty


In COD, dying meant you had to repeat a sequence over and over.


In order to fix this, developers should include different checkpoints throughout missions. GTA V did this perfectly. If you were unlucky enough to die during a mission, GTA V gave you the opportunity to directly spawn at a previous part of the mission, not the very beginning.


Making different checkpoints throughout the mission should be something all games do. Those fun, and easy parts soon become tedious if a player constantly fails to succeed.


Video games are an escape from reality.


They let us traverse the dimensions, and give us the chance to take part in worlds that fulfill our deep and most secret power fantasies. Through games we become mighty warriors, stealthy ninjas, or magicians imbued with the strength of the ancient gods. Unfortunately, not all games are like this. Some have proven themselves to be just as boring, mundane and annoying as real life — maybe even more so.

Not all games are fun. Remember, bad games exist in real life too.

While I love playing games as much as the next guy, some games are just a chore to get through. Today, I'm going to talk about the six most annoying things present in any video game.


Some of these will be small and subtle. Some will make you want to rip your eyes out from just reading them.


But rest assured, they'll all be equally annoying.

Keep your Android cool when you play games - even when you're not! Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:18:09 -0400 Chrisator

Have you ever been in the middle of a serious Clash of Clans or Game of War game and suddenly realized your phone's about to go on fire? Ever been crushing some candy in the Candy Crush Saga and noticed your palms sweating profusely? Or maybe you were swiping right left so hard on Tinder that your device started glowing like molten lava! If you're anything like me, the answer to at least one of those questions is a yes. If that's the case, then you're in luck, because we're going to give you some quick and easy tips to make your Android gaming a breeze (quite literally)!

1. Cooler Master - The app that makes your phone cool!

It doesn't matter how new your phone is. These days, most Android phones have short battery lives and overheat when your CPU is running more than normal. This nifty little app keeps track of your CPU temp, gives you notifications if your apps are using too much power in the background, and has an awesome clean-up feature that let's you keep your background clear of unnecessary apps. Oh, and it's completely free!

Professional temperature monitoring and controlling app that detects and closes heavy resource consuming apps to reduce CPU usage and lower phone temperature.

You can download the "Cooler Master - Phone Cooler" app directly from the Play Store, or by clicking on this link.

2. Watch your background apps, and stop those notifications

While Cooler Master can take care of some aspects of your background apps, some apps are too important to close. Generally speaking, any app that is allowed to send you notifications is going to be running to some degree or the other in the background. So the easiest solution? Disable push notifications for any apps that you don't really need. Got your Play Store on auto-update? Disable the notifications.

3. Charge while you sleep

This might seem like an invariable factor, but your phone's battery is usually at its hottest when you're charging it. The best way to fix this problem? Charge it while you sleep, and unplug it when you wake up - or just yank it off when your alarm goes off, like a boss! Simple as pie.

4. If it's too hot to go out in a leather jacket, don't make your phone wear one either!

Have you seen some of the new phone covers? That stuff would make a bald puppy warm in the Arctic! So, why not take the coat off while you're playing your games, and put it back on when you're taking that puppy for a walk? (To clarify, puppy is your phone in this metaphor...Jus' sayin') Obviously, don't forget the second step though, because we are not responsible for any damage your device (or puppy) receives without its cover on.

And that's all you need to do! Try any of these steps, and you'll get results right away. Do all four, and you can decrease your CPU overheating, and increase your battery life by a hell of a lot!

If you've found these Android tips useful, share them with your friends. And if you have any concerns or questions, let us know in the comments section below.

Why Firewatch and Life Is Strange Are the Best Examples of Narrative-Driven Games Tue, 05 Apr 2016 10:35:20 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Narrative-driven games, often incorrectly called walking simulators, have given me some of the most existential crises I've had. Having to deal with sacrifice in Life is Strange, learning that I just shouldn't be a privileged white boy in Acceptance, or wondering if I should even be playing the game in the first place with The Beginners Guide, these are some of the best experiences I've had in games.

Narrative gold over gameplay

While many argue games are all about gameplay and fun, I disagree. Games are also about having an experience, sharing a story, expressing an emotion or idea, or existing as an art form. Narrative-driven games which do one or more of these succeed the best. No games are better at being narrative-driven than Life is Strange and Firewatch. While they don't have the intricate gameplay of Grand Theft Auto 5 or Dark Souls 3, they both tell beautiful stories with simple interaction. But how do they do this?

firewatch dear forest

Watch out for the fires, but watch out more for your emotions

Firewatch, developed by Campo Santo, follows the story of Henry as a fire lookout in the wilds of Wyoming. Henry isn't completely alone however, Delilah is on the other end of your only form of communication: a radio.

It's this radio which sets Firewatch apart from what many call a "walking simulator." You are not just walking around having things happen to you; you feel far more directly involved in the action, as if you are involved. Using the radio, you can talk to Delilah, or not. See something? You can tell Delilah about it, or not. You have real choices. Your relationship with Delilah can change depending on what you tell her, and the finale can completely change depending on how much you interact with her.

On the subject of interaction, Life is Strange is only about interacting

In Life is Strange, you play as Max Caulfield, a photography student at Blackwell Academy. Max discovers she can turn back time, this is the feature which takes Life is Strange from TellTale rip off, to something "totally rad." -- That's something "kids these days" would say isn't it?

Much like with Firewatch, your actions can affect how people interact with you, but with the addition of being able to turn back time. You can now creepily snoop around someone's room -- like you do -- to find all the dirt you can on them, but now turn back time and effectively erase everything you have done from the other person's mind. It allows for a "I did something you don't know about" mindset. In real life that can lead to some very scary outcomes, but in the context of the game it can allow you to appease some very angst ridden teens and absolve them of their angst.

The term "walking simulator" get's applied to any narrative-driven game. When this term is used for games like Dear Esther, The Stanley Parable, or even The Beginner's Guide -- which was my game of the year in 2015 -- I can understand, as the interaction you have with those games is limited. Having said that, you shouldn't because they are not simulating walking.

Having a journey through a world is a narrative. Take a look at books and films; they do not offer interactivity at all. A film is not called an interaction simulator, and a book isn't a word simulator, so no game can be a walking simulator (unless it's simulating the act of walking). If anyone were to say Firewatch is a walking simulator, I would refute that with the reasons provided above. There is a person and a world for you to interact with, even if the interaction is limited, you still make an impact on the people in that world.

These sorts of games should be called "narrative-driven." There are some which give little interaction like The Beginners Guide, or the game which arguably spawned the genre Dear Esther, or those that give you a lot of choices for how you speak to characters such as the aforementioned Firewatch and Life is Strange.

These are the best examples of narrative-driven games, as they offer a near perfect balance of interactivity and story, but do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Matt Cox forms Echohead Games, aims to "create interactive memories that last a lifetime" Sun, 03 Apr 2016 06:31:04 -0400 Mark Elgie

Former THQ and Warner Bros. designer Matt Cox announced the launch of his new studio Echohead Games in Lawrence, Kansas earlier this week.

Cox has been working in the games industry for many years, acting as game designer for franchises such as Destroy All Humans! He was the lead designer of Scribblenauts for Nintendo DS. After leaving the game industry in 2009 to pursue other opportunities, he continued to develop small games for iOS and Android -- such as Sticky Bees and Phantom Flower.

Just this week, however, he announced he's returning to the fold with the formation of Echohead Games.

Echohead Games is dedicated to producing novel, genre-bending titles for consoles and PC alike. Cox, the Creative Director at Echohead, had this to say:

"I love to take calculated risks with twists that appeal to both my mainstream nerves as well as my indie instincts. I love designing core gameplay that can be fun in its simplicity, but has the depth to hook my hardcore side."

Echohead plans to release at least one title per year in order to consistently generate revenue, as well as to provide stability for internal teams. These will vary from smaller, indie-type titles to full-fledged AAA games. Cox stated that he wants Echohead to be known for switching up the landscape of AAA games, as well as pushing the boundaries of what's possible in terms of game design -- be it smaller games for mobile devices, or large-scale products for next-gen consoles like Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

Echohead will be taking advantage of the strengths and freedoms that smaller teams can afford, and the pure production horsepower that larger teams have at their disposal.

According to Cox, gameplay is king at Echohead.

"No matter if the game is big or small, production value doesn’t even apply if the core experience isn’t fun.”

The company's first title -- as of now unannounced -- will be bringing back a familiar franchise in an unexpected way.

Echohead will be releasing more information about this new project in the near future. It can be found on their website, as well as on their Facebook and Twitter pages.



E3 2016 predictions: Here's what we're expecting Tue, 29 Mar 2016 05:37:02 -0400 Ian Ilano

It's that time of the year again. E3 — one of the largest video game conventions — is right around the corner. Last year, we got to watch the unveiling of exciting console exclusives, the relaunches of numerous IP's, and the big boys of the industry slug it out over whose presentation was best. With the recent leaks, teases, and announcements, the hype is bigger than ever.

There's a lot to look forward to this year, and here's what we're expecting to see:

Nintendo E3

1. Nintendo's NX unveiling

There's been a ton of commotion over the leak that supposedly revealed the NX's controller, and although it ultimately turned out to be fake, the hype surrounding Nintendo's latest console remains very much real.

Here's what we know about the Nintendo NX:

If there's one thing Nintendo does right, it's capitalizing on an innovative idea. Nintendo first gave us the Wii — a hallmark of gaming innovation that utilized a handheld pointing device. Nintendo later gave us the Wii U, which transformed the signature Wii Remote Controller into an independent acting gamepad.

"It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year."

Knowing now that the Nintendo NX will feature both a console and a handheld device, It seems likely that the Wii U and its gamepad was a stepping stone towards NX's development. Nintendo said they will reveal more about the NX come E3 2016. 

Well, it's time Nintendo. Please, no more amiibo announcements.

We're expecting bigger things from you this year.

Bethesda E3

2. Dishonored 2, DOOM, and more Fallout DLC

Bethesda's presentation may have been the highlight of E3 2015.

Fallout 4, one of Bethesda's most highly anticipated games, was announced, and it stole the show. Unfortunately, it also overshadowed some of the other titles that Bethesda had teased — titles that are just now coming to fruition.

We're definitely expecting to see more DOOM. Bethesda gave us a small peek last year, and it looked fantastic. With the release of Fallout 4, we're sure that extra effort was put towards making the game a more presentable piece for this upcoming E3 convention.

fallout 4 automatron

And with the recent success of Automatron, we're also expecting to see announcements on future Fallout 4 DLC. More specifically, we want to hear about Far Harbor, the DLC that plans to send players to the ruins of Maine. We got to read up on a bit of its backstory, and we saw its price; now let's see some footage.

From Dishonored 2, to DOOM and the planned Elder Scrolls card game — Bethesda has a lot of titles to show us, and we're expecting to hear about all of them.

Mass Effect Andromeda

3. Mass Effect Andromeda and Bioware's newest IP

During Microsoft's E3 2015 Press Conference, Bioware teased Mass Effect Andromeda, the fourth installment in the Mass Effect series. This one will put an end to Commander Shepherd's story and feature the Mass Effect universe in a very different way.

It's been a year since that announcement, so we're pretty much guaranteed to see an update on the game's progress. But, we're more excited to hear about Bioware's newest IP.

Alistair McNally, Bioware's senior director of creative development, recently tweeted this

Alistair McNally E3 Expecting

Funnily enough, now everyone is batting their eyelids. It's pretty much out in the open, so we're expecting some kind of announcement.

We're hoping that Bioware gives us something amazing. We want to see Mass Effect Andromeda, and learn more about this new IP that has critics up-in-arms.

Gears of War 4

4. Gears of War 4

Enter, Gears of War 4 — Microsoft's golden child.

When we think of Xbox exclusives, Gears of War should be the first thing that comes to mind. It's pretty much guaranteed that Gears of War 4 will make an appearance at this year's E3.

Last year, Microsoft gave us six minutes of raw Gears of War goodness. Recent interviews with The Coalition, the company heading the Gears of War development, has revealed a bit of the story.

Rumors claim that Microsoft has something big for this year's E3, and if that's the case, you can be damn sure that Gears of War 4 will make an appearance.

red dead redemption 2

5. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption was a huge success for Rockstar. Well-received by critics and players, it was a shock to many when there was no word or update from Rockstar regarding a possible sequel. Many (myself included) had prayed for an official word from Rockstar at last year's convention, but it didn't come.

"Over the past 6 months ending September 30th 2015, Take Two have generated $400 million from sales of Grand Theft Auto products."

But it makes sense. At the time, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto V, which turned out to be a huge commercial success. Currently, Grand Theft Auto Online is racking in huge bucks for the company. Rockstar may have wanted to focus all their available resources on updating and maintaining content for Grand Theft Auto Online.

But it's time Rockstar looks elsewhere to increase their longevity — Grand Theft Auto won't last forever. We think it's time Rockstar takes us back to the "wild wild west."

sony e3 presentation

6. PlayStation 4.5

Rumors have been circulating that Sony is working on a bigger and badder PlayStation 4. Reports have stated that Sony's newest development, codenamed PlayStation 4.5, will have a much stronger processing unit and will receive a significant boost in power.

It's no coincidence that rumors are surfacing just as E3 closes in. Sony is definitely announcing something big this year.

And with their entry into the virtual reality market, it only makes sense to have a stronger and upgraded PlayStation unit to handle new gaming demands. 

microsoft e3 presentation

7. HoloLens Development

The future of gaming is here, and Microsoft is ahead of the pack with their very own HoloLens. Last year, their demo was nothing short of amazing. Augmented with the power of HoloLens, Microsoft was able to place players right into the blocky world of Minecraft.

Crazy, right?

We're expecting to see more improvement of the HoloLens this year. Specifically, we're expecting to see how Microsoft can utilize the HoloLens for certain games.

Developers everywhere are trying their hand at virtual reality. With the success that came with the Kinect, we're expecting something huge from Microsoft. We're expecting to see something that  solidifies their position as one of the leading innovators in the gaming industry.


8. Virtual Reality

The most exciting part about E3 is seeing the future of gaming. E3 is the time for developers to showcase how they've changed the way games are meant to be played. Ultimately, the number one thing we're expecting to see this year is development in virtual reality software

At GDC 2016, we were presented with spectacular virtual reality demos. We got to climb mountains, make smoothies, and fire up our very own lightsabers.

E3 should be no different.  If anything, we're expecting to see more spectacular and immersive demos. 


With the current line-up, E3 2016 is setting the tone for a very exciting year for gamers. We're expecting a lot, but we're confident that developers will continue to surprise us with new innovations and ideas.

Just as they do every year.

Tell us, what are you expecting from E3 2016? Leave a comment below!

Header and other images provided by  the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

Every PS VR Game Announced Tue, 15 Mar 2016 16:05:04 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Sony revealed the price and release window of PlayStation VR today at the Game Developers Conference. The headset will launch in October of this year and cost $399, making it the most affordable VR headset (of the big three) on the market.

So with this exciting news, we figured we'd compile a list of every PS VR game that has been announced to date. Obviously many of these will not be launching in 2016, but Sony has confirmed that 50 games will come to PS VR this year. Therefore, you can expect to play a significant number of those -- and probably a few unannounced titles this year! The future has arrived.

Here are the games that have been confirmed for PlayStation VR:

  • 100ft Robot Golf
  • Ace Combat 7
  • Albino Lullaby
  • Allison Road
  • Apollo 11 VR Experience
  • Aquarion Evol
  • Atom Universe
  • Adrift
  • Ark: Survival Evolved
  • The Assembly
  • Battlezone
  • Chernobyl VR Project
  • Classroom Aquatic
  • Crystal Rift
  • Cult County
  • Cyber Danganronpa
  • Dead Secret
  • Distance
  • Dreams
  • Eagle Flight
  • Earthlight
  • Eclipse
  • EVE: Valkyrie
  • Fated
  • Final Fantasy 14 (demo)
  • Futuridium VR
  • The Gallery: Six Elements
  • GNOG
  • Godling
  • Golem
  • Gran Turismo Sport
  • Harmonix Music VR
  • Headmaster
  • Hyper Void
  • Job Simulator
  • Joysound VR
  • Jurassic Encounter
  • Kitchen
  • Loading Human
  • Megaton Rainfall
  • Mind: Path to Thalamus
  • The Modern Zombie Taxi Co.
  • Mortal Blitz VR
  • Omega Agent
  • Bad Bird
  • The Occasional Encounter
  • Omega Agent
  • Paranormal Activity VR
  • Pollen
  • Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin
  • QUBE
  • Rez Infinite
  • RIGS
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • Star Wars Battlefront VR Experience
  • Snow
  • Summer Lesson
  • SuperHyperCube
  • Tekken 7
  • The Deep
  • The Getaway: London Heist
  • The Hum: Abductions
  • The Mars 2030 Experience
  • The Playroom
  • Thumper
  • Thunderbird
  • Trackmania Turbo
  • Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
  • Vector 36
  • VEV: Viva Ex Vivo
  • Visage
  • VizionEck
  • War Thunder
  • Wayward Sky
  • White Day
  • World of Diving
  • World War Toons
  • Xing: The Land Beyond

Are you planning on getting PlayStation VR? Which PS VR game are you most excited for? What game series would you like to come to VR? Let us know in the comments and keep tuned to GameSkinny for all your PS VR news!

#Where'sTheFairUse, YouTube? Tue, 23 Feb 2016 04:20:13 -0500 Engela Snyman

As independent writers, critics and content creators we are consistently at risk every day of getting our work - and sometimes our livelihood - taken away from us. And this happens for one reason only: because people and companies are far more greedy than we give them credit for.

The Start of a Movement

For some time now there has been issues with the Fair Use policy on YouTube. In essence, most reviewers and content creators are protected under the Fair Use policy, and should be safe from most copyright strikes and claims.

In a recent video from Doug Walker (aka the Nostalgia Critic) he, and a few other YouTubers take a look at how broken the DMCA on YouTube really is. It explains in great detail how a strike can cripple your channel, take away your earnings, and get your channel taken down, with absolutely no repercussions for the person making the illegal claims.

Most of us have heard this song and dance before, it's really not news. But after YouTube re-introduced their 'Copyright bots' a few years ago - which is a system that automatically scans videos and checks for stolen content - the copyright system has been abused to death, with little to no real response from YouTube.

As such YouTubers are now banding together under the hashtag Where's The Fair Use? #WTFU?

It's a good question; especially since there is absolutely no penalty for people filing false copyright claims, despite possibly shutting a channel -- and a person's active income -- down.

Why was this copyright system instated?

After Google bought YouTube in 2006, Viacom immediately went to court and sued them for all the videos showcasing their content. The suit was dropped however when YouTube quoted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, (or DMCA) which, under law, protected all of their users. During this time, YouTube didn't accept any sort of gaming footage, just because games could infringe on copyright and perhaps hurt larger companies. Essentially, they didn't want the risk of getting sued.

However, they realized that their copyright bots, which were instated to protect companies, were beating their users into the dust. To alleviate this, they instated Networks, to be a sort of buffer between them and the companies. These Networks would take some (sometimes a lot) of your revenue, check your content, and support you in case someone hit you with a copyright strike. 

It worked well for a time, but then a few years ago YouTube got a bee up its little red bonnet and reinstated the copyright bot. This time, it affected only certain channels, and essentially made Networks moot. Since then the system has been abused to death.

The effects of abusing Fair Use

Jim Sterling and Total Biscuit are some of the more famous YouTubers to get their content removed due to unfair and illegal copyright strikes. And every day more and more gamers, critics, and YouTubers are getting the proverbial finger from companies and game developers.

Smaller channels seem to get the worst of it. Because they're not constantly in the public eye, they are far more easily flagged and bullied into oblivion by companies, and (sometimes) even by larger channels.

Another famous YouTuber called boogie2988 responded to Doug Walker's video, and added:

"If you are making [YouTube] a lot of money, then you get access to fair use,"

The more money you make, the easier it is to dominate smaller channels, and keep them under your proverbial heel. YouTube's current system enables larger channels and Networks to do just that. With still no repercussions to be seen.

He goes on to say:

"The current system, the way it affects me and 98% of other YouTubers, is hypocritical, it's one-sided, it favors the corporations, it favors top-tier YouTubers and it leaves the rest of us with our ass in the wind."

Amen, Boogie. But still, we're not seeing a lot of change. Most would blame YouTube, it clearly isn't doing its job. But in November 2015 they seemed to at least shuffle in a general direction of 'we're trying'.

They offered a protection program to a select few smaller YouTube channels, one of which is Jim Sterling from the JimQuisition. This program offers to pay for legal fees should the YouTuber receive an unfair strike, and the opposing party wishes to sue. The idea is promising, but it's a pity this is only being shared with very select few YouTubers. 

But the problem still remains; YouTubers are still being denied months of revenue because people can't or won't understand basic Fair Use policies.

But why are companies doing this?

Currently, there is a sickness in the entertainment industry to censor anything negative about a product, no matter what. And with YouTube's broken system it's easier than ever to do just that. For companies, it's a quick and easy way to censor bad reviews just long enough to hopefully boost sales. But it's also a sure-fire way to make a company pretty damn unpopular at the next E3.

There is an old saying 'there is no such thing as bad publicity' (with the way the companies are treating reviewers, you could have fooled me) but what these companies don't seem to get is this:

People will forgive a bad game, but they won't forgive a bad person.  

Essentially if you make a bad game and own up to it, most players will accept it and move on. If you make a big deal out of it, and act like an ass, we won't. We are still customers, and we expect to be treated as such. When someone tells you your restaurant's steak tastes like shit, you're not going to stab him with a fish-fork, you bring him a new damned steak. 

How do we fix it?

That is a bit of a harder nut to crack. In his video, Nostalgia Critic thinks that copyright strikes need to be handled differently. Give more power to the creator and less to the company, which will already give a leg up for most. But on a broader spectrum, the entertainment industry needs to change its overall attitude toward content, because right now the striker holds all the power.

Every single time a reviewer mentions a game, movie or book it should be a good thing for that creator. They need to respect the reviewer as much as they respect and love their creations, because reviewers often go through a lot of effort to not only talk about a movie or game, but do so in an entertaining and engaging way.

They are, in themselves, writers, directors, and designers. To censor them is hypocritical of many of these companies. These content creators defense should be YouTube, who doesn't really seem to care, or make a real effort of doing much of anything.

I Hate Everything, a YouTuber who recently had a run-in with the poor copyright system, had this to say:

"The most excruciating part was the lack of human interaction from anyone at YouTube. So it makes you feel pretty helpless, and pretty worthless. There was no one I could contact to fix a very, very simple problem,"

But right now a lot of channels on YouTube are standing up, all curious, all making videos, and all asking the same question:

Where's the fair use?

Top 5 Text-Based Games Wed, 10 Feb 2016 08:22:24 -0500 Alec Pearce


Avalon: The Legend Lives


This 25-year-old text game is one of the oldest examples of an RPG, offering a "fantasy game world of magnificent proportion." It is a text-based, online multi-player experience that still exists today, making it possibly the longest-running online RPG in history. The scope of the game is huge and offers an equally huge number of possibilities depending on your character and preferred play style. 


Avalon is responsible for many of the modern features we see in RPGs and MMORPGs nowadays. These include, but are not limited to: dynamic weather effects, player housing, skill-based real time PvP combat, and common modern features like scripted quests.


It is amazing to think that hugely successful games, such as Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout, Guild Wars and World of Warcraft, may have taken inspiration from Avalon. This should make any fan of RPGs want to give it a go.


Check out the official site for details on how to download and play! 




Next up is a series of games that are hugely fun and popular members of the text genre. Zork was split into three separate games when it was originally published; Zork: The Great Underground Empire - Part I (aka Zork I), Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz, and Zork III: The Dungeon Master. They became renowned as being especially engaging, with rich storytelling and more specific command usage. The latter meant that instead of simply typing "hit x" you could instead input, "hit x with elvish sword." This added a layer of additional intricacy to the game that had previously been missing.


These games are exceptionally fun to play and, as mentioned, offer a high level of old-school quality when it comes to storytelling.


Have a go here!


Colossal Cave Adventure (aka Colossal Cave, ADVENT or Adventure)


Developed by Will Crowther, this is pretty much where it all started for text-based gaming. It is exactly what it says on the tin, i.e. it's an a cave! You are told that it is rumoured to be full of treasure and other riches and thus you explore said cave using one or two-word commands. By interacting with objects, enemies and the environment, the goal is to accrue as many points as possible - the in-game equivalent of finding all the treasure.


Funnily enough, Crowther was actually an avid and experienced caver in real life, which is most likely where the inspiration for the game's setting came from. Rightly dubbed as the mother of all text-based adventure games, Adventure is a must play for the genre.


Download or play it here


The King of Shreds and Patches


This horror game is set in an Elizabethan London and subjects you to immense terrors as you progress through it. Invited to dinner by an old friend, what starts off as a normal situation quickly becomes anything but and soon you become deeply involved in a captivating storyline. It includes themes of conspiracy, dark magic, and cults with truly ominous twists and turns. Although it's a long game, it will certainly have you enthralled for many hours. It is well worth a try.


Download and play it here!




I'm going to throw you right into the deep end with this 'cryogenic nightmare' as it is an extremely challenging text game. The protagonist is connected to a network of computers, deep underground, that are responsible for all the essential systems of the planet above. Unfortunately, an earthquake snaps the character out of his deep slumber, causing the systems to go haywire and endangering the citizens of the planet. These angry folk believe you are trying to kill them on purpose and it is your job to defuse the situation before they attempt to murder you.


Suspended is incredibly challenging, having you control six robots rather than one man and each robot has a certain function that it must carry out which raises the game's difficulty. Completing it, therefore, is quite the accomplishment.


If you're up to the challenge, play Suspended here!


Did you know it was National Reading Day on the 22nd of January? I'll be honest, I completely missed it...*ahem* so in honour of NRD, as I shall now call it, here are 5 of the best text based video games you may want to play.


Obviously, this is completely based on my own opinion and experience. You may completely disagree with my list and that's fine! Let me know what your favourite text games are would be in the comments. 


So without further ado, let's get to it.

This guy owns every Wii game ever made Thu, 28 Jan 2016 19:23:01 -0500 Nick Harshman


That's how many Wii games there are, and somebody owns all of them. That's right -- somebody went out of their way to get every Wii game ever made, even the really bad ones. That guy is Kacy Da Game Nerd

You might be wondering why someone would go out of their way to collect all of these games, but Kacy is a self-proclaimed completionist and Nintendo fan. Having already collected every Gamecube and N64 game, Kacy felt like the Wii was the next logical step. He does admit that he only grabbed games released in the U.S. and Latin America, and decided against Japanese-only games. 

While he did not say exactly how much it cost him, he did say that it ended up averaging out to be less than $4 a game, which isn't too shabby. 

Kacy may be done with the Wii, but that doesn't mean he's done with collecting. He mentioned in the above video that he's currently working on gathering all of the games for the original PlayStation, and he's about 290 games away. Here's hoping he finds everything he needs so he can check another system off his list.