Handheld Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Handheld RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Meet Playdate: The Cranky New Portable Game System https://www.gameskinny.com/rwmk2/meet-playdate-the-cranky-new-portable-game-system https://www.gameskinny.com/rwmk2/meet-playdate-the-cranky-new-portable-game-system Thu, 23 May 2019 12:07:04 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Games publisher Panic, known especially for its work with Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game, recently announced its latest effort: a portable game system called Playdate.

It's small, it's yellow, the screen is black and white, and it only has a D-Pad and 2 buttons. Oh, and a hand crank. The crank isn't how you power the machine, though; it's actually a special type of analog stick.

Panic describes Playdate as the company's celebration of video games, an expression of the joy and excitement games have provided the team members over the years. To that end, Panic is working with some notable developers responsible for some of the more unique titles in gaming, including Katamari Damacy developer Keita Takahashi and Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy's Bennett Foddy.

Playdate will cost $149 at launch and include 12 games. Panic says each game is a secret (well, sort of, since they also shared the below image on their Twitter page), with one game per week delivered to the console.

Panic gave a few words about the reason for the delivery method as well:

We’d like to keep them a secret until they appear on your Playdate. We want to surprise you. Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun...

There will be more games to follow as well, with the Playdate website describing the first 12 games as part of Season One.

As for the crank, Panic said it'll function as a special controller for certain games, but it isn't required for all. In that sense, it's rather like touchscreen functionality or HD Rumble, where utilizing it just depends on the developer's priorities.

For example, Crankin's Time Travel Adventure, which can be seen on the Playdate website, uses the crank as its core mechanic, where others won't use it at all

Currently, Playdate is set for a 2020 release, and Panic encourages interested parties to sign up for updates soon, as stock will be limited. The mailing list sign-up form is also on Playdate's website.

Playdate is yet another sign that the games industry continues to evolve and diversify. With retro streaming platforms like Antstream on the way, the growing number of classic consoles and industry newcomers, studios developed just for video game movies, and former rivals merging services, it's certainly an interesting time to be a gamer.

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Nintendo Announces the New Nintendo 2DS XL https://www.gameskinny.com/nncct/nintendo-announces-the-new-nintendo-2ds-xl https://www.gameskinny.com/nncct/nintendo-announces-the-new-nintendo-2ds-xl Fri, 28 Apr 2017 04:13:13 -0400 Erroll Maas

Nintendo has just announced its newest, and possibly last console in the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, the New Nintendo 2DS XL.

President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, claimed:

"This new addition to Nintendo’s portable hardware line demonstrates our commitment to the handheld market -- New Nintendo 2DS XL sports a beautiful clamshell design and offers a great balance between price and performance.”

The newest iteration of Nintendo's popular handheld console boasts a new ergonomic folding design, XL screens, a C-Stick for enhanced controls, built in amiibo functionality, faster processing power, and a deep library of games playable in 2D. As of right now, the New Nintendo 2DS XL will only come in two different colors: black with light blue trim and buttons, and white with orange trim and buttons.

The New Nintendo 2DS XL will be available July 28th in North America for the suggested retail price of $149.99. It is the sixth iteration of the Nintendo 3DS console, succeeding the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL.

Nintendo's brand new handheld home console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, released on March 3, 2017 and so far has sold 2.7 million units since launch, but it looks like it hasn't replaced the 3DS/2DS line.

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5 Best Games for Commuters https://www.gameskinny.com/tgqdx/5-best-games-for-commuters https://www.gameskinny.com/tgqdx/5-best-games-for-commuters Thu, 17 Nov 2016 09:03:25 -0500 Janette Ceballos

Whether you drive or take public transit, let’s face the fact that travelling involves a lot of waiting. You may get stuck in traffic or just wait around while the vehicle takes you where you need to go.

If that’s the case and you don’t want to stare blankly at that weird mystery stain on the floor, you can always whip out your phone and play a few games to pass the time. Here's a list of 5 great mobile games to make your transit time speed by -- just make sure that you only play them if you commute using public transport.

Tetris Blitz: 2016 Edition

You just can’t beat this classic game of block stacking! Not only is it addicting, but this version offers other features to challenge you.

There is a time-limited mode you can use to play quick sessions, a Frenzy mode that lasts only as long as you clear lines back-to-back, and daily challenges.

If you’re looking for a simple game to pass the time, stacking rows of blocks seems like a pretty good choice.

2048

In this simple puzzle game, you swipe the screen to move blocks into each other and fuse them together. It’s incredibly addicting to try and get a higher score and create the elusive 2048 block.

Because of its simplicity in appearance and gameplay, this would be a great game to pass the time.

Break Liner

Tap the screen, break the correct colored lines, and survive long enough to reach the next level. With great visuals and sound, you’ll want to keep playing for hours, especially since the game amps up the difficulty with each level.

Flow Free

This one’s another puzzle game where you slide across the screen to connect color lines. This version comes with an alternative Timed Trial mode, pitting you against the clock. With over 150 levels, this game will keep you occupied while you travel.

Geometry Dash Lite

An action platformer with a challenging twist: stick to the beat if you want to survive. This version comes with a level building feature, letting players share and experience new challenges. The soundtrack you must sync lends to the addiction of the game.

This game’s great for an on-the-go gamer, the appeal mostly coming from wanting to beat your best score.

Not only are the listed games fun and easy to play, they all have the nice ability to make time shorter on long commutes. Give them a try and see how fast the time will fly!

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Misguided Marketing of the Nintendo Switch May Have Doomed It from the Start https://www.gameskinny.com/y10ec/misguided-marketing-of-the-nintendo-switch-may-have-doomed-it-from-the-start https://www.gameskinny.com/y10ec/misguided-marketing-of-the-nintendo-switch-may-have-doomed-it-from-the-start Mon, 31 Oct 2016 08:13:15 -0400 Jared Elliott

Nintendo has made a bold move with the Switch, defying traditional expectations of console-owners in a big way. When the official announcement trailer was released last week and showcased the Russian-doll of controllers known as the Nintendo Switch, audiences everywhere went absolutely bananas over the possibilities outlined by Nintendo -- and I don't really blame them.

The concept is just damn cool -- a console that seamlessly transitions to a handheld device, with LAN capabilities and tiny multiplayer controllers to boot. What's not to get excited about? A lot, really. 

Combining a traditional console with the mobility of a handheld device is an innovative, daring feat which also is, if the trailer is of any indication, a misguided one. Upon repeated viewings of the trailer, one realizes that, for all of its impressive functionality, the Switch appears to be most useful within the imaginary scenarios offered by Nintendo -- not in real life. 

Take the rooftop party scene at 2:10, for example. Generic Young Gamer Lady enjoys a bit of Mario silliness in her loft, when suddenly a pained wailing can be heard outside of her window. She investigates, and surprise! It's a group of buddies on a nearby rooftop, beckoning her to join the fun.

In a bold and somewhat antisocial maneuver, she arrives at the party with her Switch in hand and interrupts everyone to show off her new console. This clearly confuses and possibly frightens everyone present, with the guy in the back being the exception -- he's really stoked that he's seeing the Switch ahead of release.

Gamer Lady proceeds give a tiny controller to an unsuspecting, possibly drunk victim, and the two engage in some hand-cramping multiplayer action. But wait a minute. When Gamer Lady left her home, she was playing a single-player Mario game! What the hell is happening here? My only guess is that the hapless victim is pretending to control an imaginary character on-screen and has no idea what is going on.

It's a ridiculous scene, to be sure, but it also leads to some inconvenient questions about the Switch: Where would you put that thing after you're finished with it? Actually, how would you carry this big thing around in the first place? Will that nice screen get scratched and pulverized if I carry it inside of my backpack? Will it shatter to pieces the first time I drop it? All of these are important questions to consider when your new handheld carries a console-sized price tag.

In some ways, it seems that Nintendo's ambition outweighs its good sense when it comes to marketing the Switch. Based on the trailer, Nintendo's target audience for the Switch appears to be young adults between 25 and 30 years old -- the people who would be least likely to use it outside of the house on a regular basis. Adults work a lot, drive a lot, and try to socialize in what little free time they have. When are they going to bring this thing to a party like the aforementioned Gamer Lady, or to the gym? Not very often, I imagine.

When the gimmick of "extreme versatility" outside of the home is impractical for Nintendo's target audience, why would the target audience be interested in spending hundreds of dollars for it? All along, the Switch was designed, perhaps unwittingly, for a younger demographic.

Camera shots of kids using a Switch on the school bus, in the backseat of their parents' cars, and during boring family reunions could have established a more effective narrative for the Switch. It seems obvious that kids have more time to spend playing handheld games, and they are much more likely than adults to find other participants for multiplayer sessions. With all things considered, it feels like Nintendo missed an easy target.

If Nintendo's target audience isn't interested in the handheld capabilities of the Switch, will they still want to use it as a console at home? Maybe, but it's a tough sell. Why bother shelling out for Switch instead of a more traditional console if one has no use for a large, clunky handheld?

Exclusives will certainly draw Nintendo fans to the Switch -- but success otherwise may be limited if Nintendo doesn't adjust its marketing approach to a more practical audience. Then again, the ability to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild while on the toilet may make it worth every dime.

To its credit, the Switch brings a lot to the table in terms of handheld gaming and flips traditional console conventions upside down. Considering Nintendo's historical eminence in that niche and consistent innovation, we shouldn't be too surprised. In its endeavor to revolutionize the handheld experience, however, Nintendo may find itself with a flop instead of another iconic console. What this would mean for handhelds in general is anyone's guess, but the ripples of such a disaster would certainly reach far and wide.

What do you think about the Switch? Do you agree with this perspective? Let us know in the comments!

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What are the Merits of Handheld Gaming Over Everything Else? https://www.gameskinny.com/ie2e8/what-are-the-merits-of-handheld-gaming-over-everything-else https://www.gameskinny.com/ie2e8/what-are-the-merits-of-handheld-gaming-over-everything-else Tue, 04 Oct 2016 12:00:02 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

For nearly as long as video games have existed, and especially in the the last 15 years, there has been a heated debate as to whether gaming is superior on consoles or PC.

Handheld gaming has definitely always had a huge audience, many members of whom intersect with the console and PC crowd, but it's never been quite as vocal or recognized in the media as the two other major platforms.

Allow me to ask a simple question to those of you who have ever owned a Game Boy, Nintendo DS, or Sony Handheld of some kind. How often have you been playing something on one of these systems in public and been asked by a stranger "Oh, is that Pokémon"?

This very situation has happened to me personally several times, and in most of those separate occasions, I was not playing Pokémon at all, but rather one of hundreds of other great games available on handheld systems. I feel that this example speaks to two separate points -- the first being that Pokémon is still very popular and probably never won't be, and secondly, that handheld gaming in general has a very simplified identity in the eyes of the general public.

I'm here to try and answer a question that's been on the lips of quite a few people over the last few years:

Is handheld gaming on the way out? Has the accessible trend of mobile gaming, alongside traditional console and PC gaming, finally begun to succeed in making handhelds obsolete?

The answer may seem obvious, it's a bit more complicated than you might think.

Let's go into this matter a bit deeper.

The objective differences between handheld and mobile gaming platforms

For the sake of this argument, we're going to examine the major appeals of handheld gaming compared to the other available types of gaming in the present market. Some have wondered for years if mobile gaming would be the handheld killer, seeing how people could now play cheap and addicting games on their phones with just the push of a button, and handhelds are much more complicated than that. But today, we're going to examine this issue from a critical perspective, and show how the two spheres of gaming are completely different from one-another, and how both have their own, completely separate kind of appeal.

It may go without saying, but some people have yet to think about how different mobile stuff like THIS is from most handheld games. 

When comparing handheld gaming to mobile gaming, the portability of them both is where the similarities end, as they have completely different design philosophies. Mobile gaming is a great place for simple games with simple design and objectives such as Angry Birds, Jetpack Joyride, and Fruit Ninja, where only a few fingers are needed. And their simplicity alongside their small size, makes them justifiably cheap; at only a dollar or two. While there are some more complex mobile games for hardcore gamers, the majority of popular mobile games are much more simplistic. 

Handhelds these days, on the other hand, are objectively more complicated and capable gaming machines than mobile devices. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that handhelds have more built-in controls than nearly any given mobile game, as the touch-screen mobile movement is a far cry from the days of most phones having external keyboards, and the New 3DS alone has around 10 buttons (not counting the two control sticks and the D-Pad).

 

The shoulder buttons aren't visible here, but the number of front buttons is still evident.

But the biggest difference between mobile and handheld devices is the simple fact that, in the beginning, mobile devices were not made for gaming. The average cell phone that could play Snake over 15 years ago was not specifically designed for that, and while iOS and Android have come to embrace gaming as a medium and put more time and effort into making their products into game-machines, that still isn't what they are primarily made for.

There are games on mobile that are more mechanically and graphically complex than Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, but most of them exist in the same category as the simpler examples -- while handheld games, no matter how simple, are being made for the ground up for more powerful machines that have been specifically designed for playing games.

Mobile phones and tablets have definitely come a long way since this, but such devices still aren't exclusively-designed gaming platforms.

Handhelds experiment a bit more than most platforms

The handheld sector of the gaming industry has also been, for a long time, one of the best corners of the industry to try out new ideas. From the more recent additions to handhelds like touch screens and gyroscopic controls, to the initial thrill of being able to play games like Tetris and Super Mario Bros. on the go, handheld gaming has, for the most part, always been a sphere with major innovations constantly occurring.

While not used as often as it could be, the back-touch-pad of the PlayStation Vita is quite a unique advancement, used especially well in Tearaway.

Not to mention, with technology constantly improving, the average AAA console or PC release just keeps getting bigger and prettier and more expensive with every passing year. Despite that, handheld gaming has stayed at a place where, no matter how expensive even a high-end handheld production may be, it's still much cheaper than a typical console or PC game. 

This means that while technology is always improving, which is a fact for handheld gaming as well, handhelds can exist in the middle of the investment-scale, and still have very large, deep, and pretty games, while still being less complex and grand on a technical scale, and allow for certain in-between-type games to find a place to belong.

Games like those in the Ace Attorney series, which have always been very long and progressively getting more graphically detailed and mechanically deep since day one, feel right at home on handhelds like the DS and 3DS.

The most recent installment in the series shows this off particularly well. It all looks very nice, but it wouldn't feel right on a console.

While a few of the Ace Attorney games have been ported to consoles and mobile platforms -- and decently well at that -- their pick-up-and-play nature, as well as their relatively simple graphics and progression model, make them much more suited for handhelds. They are too small for consoles, and too grand for mobile.

A great example of a game made from the ground-up for handhelds is The World Ends With You. While not every exotic feature it had was necessarily implemented perfectly, The World Ends With You was made specifically for the Nintendo DS, and it simply could not be ported or remade close to it's original vision on any other system except for the 3DS.

The use of the Nintendo DS's dual screens, touch controls, face buttons, and microphone take full advantage of the system, but also make it impossible to replicate nearly anywhere else.

The World Ends With You received a iOS port called The World Ends With You: Solo Remix, which received very positive reviews, much like the original/ But the fact is that they weren't the exact same game anymore. The iOS version is one of the few handheld-to-mobile ports that has come out in recent years -- but even with it's positive qualities, it will never be as mechanically deep as the original in the same way, because it simply cannot be.

Great port, great game, but it isn't quite the same experience as the original, because it literally can't be.

What keeps handhelds popular?

In the end, what keeps handheld gaming popular, despite its technically superior competitors, is very simple. Some people just prefer to play games on handhelds. Some people may want a deep gaming experience, just at a cheaper cost, available at home or on the go, and without having to start-up and deal with a more complicated machine like a console or PC.

While the sales for handheld consoles in general have shrunk over the last generation of gaming, I don't think at this point it would be fair to say handhelds are dying or on the way out. As long as there are people who want a cheaper or simpler gaming experience without sacrificing depth, or just people who want to play games differently than with console, PC, or mobile, there will always be people who love and support handheld gaming.   

If nothing else, we can reasonably assume that Pokémon will still be around for a good while.

Pokemon...

...Pokemon never changes.

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Are There Too Many Changes in Pokemon Sun and Moon? https://www.gameskinny.com/131p3/are-there-too-many-changes-in-pokemon-sun-and-moon https://www.gameskinny.com/131p3/are-there-too-many-changes-in-pokemon-sun-and-moon Sun, 11 Sep 2016 05:16:37 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

For years, Pokemon has been loved by thousands of gamers. It is a simple and enjoyable game that was easy to get into, and was many players' first game as a kid. There’s been a lot of Pokemon news with the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon on the horizon, and a lot of things are changing. But, are there too many changes happening? Will Pokemon cease to be the game everyone loved and enjoyed as kids?

The short answer is no.

 

Pokemon was one of the first games I remember beating, so I have a lot of nostalgia surrounding the series. It was that nostalgia that pushed me to play every Pokemon game up until Black and White. By that time, as a longtime fan, the series had become stale. While most games were evolving, or at least attempting to, it seemed Pokemon was going to stick to their original formula forever.

 

When Pokemon X and Y were released, it felt like Nintendo was finally ready to take some risks with the franchise. They introduced mega-evolution, new ways to connect with your friends and other players, and several other features. While none of these features completely changed the way people played Pokemon, it added just enough to keep people interested.

Pokemon Sun and Moon are continuing this trend.

From what we’ve seen, Sun and Moon are going to keep some of the features people loved and experiment with even more, like Z -moves and Alolan forms of existing Pokemon. In an ever-changing industry like gaming, products have to change to adapt to the desires and interests of the consumer. Pokemon is doing just that. The core game hasn’t changed; there’s just a few more embellishments to draw in new audiences and keep the old one interested and involved.

I honestly feel the changes are only going to enhance the gameplay. Pokemon will be forever hold a special place in my heart and I am thoroughly looking forward to playing Sun and Moon in November.

 

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5 Amazing Handheld RPGs https://www.gameskinny.com/6wx98/5-amazing-handheld-rpgs https://www.gameskinny.com/6wx98/5-amazing-handheld-rpgs Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

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Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
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The Kingdom Hearts series has never been scared to experiment. This sometimes makes less than amazing results. Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance felt less like an experiment than some of the other handheld games in the series, and it shows.

\n

While the story of Kingdom Hearts is an acquired taste, the gameplay in this title is fun and engaging. The Drop function was an interesting way of changing between Sora and Riku, and exemplifies the idea that the two are tethered together. The fights are fast paced and don’t feel like they’re punishing players for no reason. Dream Drop Distance was a great addition to the series.

\n

If you’ve never played any of these titles, give them a try. They are amazing games that will keep you engaged where ever you are. Did I miss your favorite handheld RPGs? Go ahead and comment why you love them.

"},{"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/f/i/n/finalfantasytacticsadvancegbascreenshot-09990.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/f/i/n/finalfantasytacticsadvancegbascreenshot-09990.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132472","description":"
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
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Borrowing from its predecessor, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is an excellent strategy RPG.  It utilizes the grid system from the previous game, while adding a new story and characters.

\n

The game’s color palette is bright and vibrant, and the gameplay is pretty simple -- making it easy to understand for anyone with any RPG experience.

"},{"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/h/a/l/halfminuteherofull888816-8c208.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/h/a/l/halfminuteherofull888816-8c208.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132471","description":"
Half-Minute Hero
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While the story is pretty standard—a hero sets out to save their land from evil—Half-Minute Hero on the PSP is anything but. This RPG sets players out to save their world… in half a minute. Yes, the game lasts more than 30 seconds, but the concept is still interesting.

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In order to receive more time, Players must venture into towns and offer money to the Goddess. However, the price gets higher and higher each time. This adds another challenge to the game. There’s a perfect mixture of tension and fun, making this a memorable RPG.

"},{"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/h/q/d/hqdefault-29b24.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/h/q/d/hqdefault-29b24.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132470","description":"
The World Ends with You
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The World Ends with You on the Nintendo DS is a treat. It introduces interesting gameplay mechanics and great characters that draw you into the world of the UG. Players play as Neku, a young boy who died and must play the Game for a chance to get back to life. He fights the Noise using special pins on the bottom screen, along with various partners, who players can control using the buttons and top screen.

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With an enthralling story and complex characters, The World Ends with You is an amazing RPG.

"},{"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/3/p/p3p-bc493.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/3/p/p3p-bc493.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132466","description":"
Persona 3 Portable
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The Persona series has always had great RPGs. Persona 3 Portable on the PSP is no exception. It not only captures the fun and magnificent story of the Persona 3 game, but also adds more with the female protagonist.

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While the game is essentially the same, it gives you more interaction with the SEES team than in the original game. This allows for players to get to know these characters all over again, and in a new light. Persona 3 Portable is a fun and accessible handheld title for the ages.

"},{"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/s/o/n/sony-psp-nintendo-20050328052605272-59a48.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/s/o/n/sony-psp-nintendo-20050328052605272-59a48.jpg","type":"slide","id":"132465","description":"

Handheld games are amazing. They allow players to carry their favorite series along with them where ever they go -- the bus, the park, the bathroom. Anywhere.

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This is especially great for RPGs. RPGs can be time consuming, so it might be hard to drop everything and play your favorite game. But with a handheld RPG, you can beat a stage and put your system in rest mode until you have more time. It's accessible and convenient. 

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So now that we've established why handheld RPGs are great, let's talk about which ones you should be picking up and taking along with you.

"}]]]>
Will the NX bring new life to Nintendo's console sales? https://www.gameskinny.com/5g75e/will-the-nx-bring-new-life-to-nintendos-console-sales https://www.gameskinny.com/5g75e/will-the-nx-bring-new-life-to-nintendos-console-sales Sat, 28 May 2016 07:52:44 -0400 David Fisher

Nintendo has been a household name ever since 1985, when the Nintendo Entertainment System first arrived in North America. Ever since then, dozens of companies have tried their best to tackle the gaming giant, many of them no longer in production of dedicated hardware. Atari, SEGA and various other companies were once well-known console brands, but have since been reduced to third-party companies or otherwise sold off.

Now Nintendo faces the same situation SEGA faced almost two decades ago with the Dreamcast as they get set to unveil the Nintendo NX later this year...

Nintendo's sales situation in 2016

Many gaming journalists and financial speculators alike have been quick to jump on the idea that the Nintendo NX is the company's final chance to salvage a burning ship. This is primarily due to the fact that the Nintendo Wii U failed to break 20 million units over 4 years.

Compared to system sales for the PlayStation 3 of over 83.8 million, and the Xbox 360's 84 million, the Wii U has done terribly. As such, it's no wonder that many gamers and gaming journalists have suggested that the NX could potentially be Nintendo's last stand. However...

This could not be further from the truth...

In reality, the entire gaming market has been slow for consoles. According to numbers released by EA's CFO, the Xbox One has sold just shy of 19 million units -- and that's only if this lead is to be believed, since Microsoft hasn't reported sales since 2014's number of 10 million. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 4 sits at about 40 million units and growing.

By this measure, the Nintendo Wii U is actually not doing too bad, considering that it's unlikely that any of these consoles will see a spike in sales anytime soon. While the Wii U may not be the highest grossing system, it's far from doing poorly in numbers alone. In fact, to say that these numbers are weak would make it fair to say that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 did poorly compared to the Wii last gen.

That said, Nintendo is without a doubt behind in the console war. 12.8 million units lands Nintendo in 3rd place in a battle between only 3 competitors. But is this necessarily a bad situation for Nintendo to be in?

The short answer is no. Why? Well let's take a short history lesson...

A little history can go a long way...

 

The fact is: with the exception of the Wii, Nintendo has been selling less home consoles than competitors since the Super Nintendo. 

That's right, the Nintendo-SEGA War of the early 1990s was the last time Nintendo beat out all other competitors in a console war. Hard to believe, isn't it?

Back in the 1990s The Super Nintendo sold a total of 49.1 million units, almost 20 million more than the SEGA Genesis, which firmly established Nintendo as the world's strongest video game company. Even then, the Super Nintendo's sales still failed to match that of its predecessor - the Nintendo Entertainment System - which sold over 61.91 million units.

The reason for the NES's success was that Nintendo had a policy of marketing their system as a toy instead of a video game console. This was a very important distinction after the Video Game Crash of 1983 since the crash had left many consumers reluctant to purchase a new console. With features like ROB and the Nintendo Zapper (above), Nintendo's sales revitalized the market to the point where to this day people still appreciate the old 1985 hardware.

Nintendo wouldn't see another massive spike in sales until the Wii, which sold approximately 101.63 million units. This made the Nintendo Wii the best selling video game console of all time as it sold almost twice as much as any other console in that generation. The Nintendo DS similarly outclassed the PSP with its sales as well.

So the Nintendo Wii and DS outsold all other consoles in their generation. In fact, it would be safe to say that they left the competitors in the dust. However, anyone could tell you that both systems were vastly underpowered compared to the competition. So why did they sell so well?

Nintendo isn't about hardcore gaming, it's about family-oriented entertainment

Nintendo's Wii and DS consoles sold for one reason alone: accessibility. While the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PSP were exponentially stronger than Nintendo's consoles, Nintendo offered consoles that had a wider demographic.

The Nintendo DS was perfect for younger players. Many of the games were accessible to kids who typically play games with lower dexterity or difficulty. Similarly, the Wii flew off shelves for young and old alike as the motion controls were simple enough that elderly homes started adopting the systems to keep residents active.

Nintendo has always been about family first. That's why the Japanese name for the NES is the Famicom - Family Computer. The company has always marketed itself as such, and it will likely never drop this title.

With all this information in tow, we can safely conclude that that the Wii U hasn't sold poorly. It has sold exactly as many as it ought to have sold - compared to other Nintendo consoles - considering the intended audience.

So what does this all mean for the NX?

Nintendo is in a unique position when it comes to branding the Nintendo NX. The company has certainly gained a great deal of third party support for the Wii U compared to its predecessor thanks in part to the return to classic control schemes, as well as a better graphics processor. The Wii U has also become quite the platform for titles by indie developers.

While it is unlikely that Nintendo will abandon its family-friendly roots, Nintendo's current phase of rebranding the entire company may point toward a stronger push toward the hardcore. The company seems to be on the verge of a massive transformation - especially after considering the recent logo change to the original format of red and white.

More signs of the NX being a return to the hardcore lies with rumors that have been floating around the console for some time. The only rumors that can be confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt is the fact that the console will likely have two screens, and that it will feature Super Smash Bros. as a launch title. The former rumor is doubly reinforced by the fact that The Legend of Zelda Wii U is being ported to the console, and so it would need a second screen to share similar gameplay.

So what conclusion does all this evidence lead to?

The NX will not bring new life to Nintendo's console sales...

Before anyone rushes to the comments section to argue, let me clarify my stance. The Nintendo NX will without a doubt fail to bring new life to Nintendo's console sales, but I do not believe that the console will do worse than the Wii U. In fact, I have every belief that the console will do better than its predecessor.

With that said, the NX will not be a game-changing console that revolutionizes gameplay. I instead imagine that the console will return to something a little more standard. The controller will likely be something akin to the Nintendo Wii U, but with a sleeker design. It may also have the ability to link with multiple handheld devices - possibly the recently revealed Nintendo MH.

If "breathing new life" into Nintendo's sales is defined as selling on par -- or at least closer to -- competitor...then yes, the Nintendo NX will likely accomplish this. However, I have zero reason to believe that the NX will bring Nintendo to the level the company was at back when SEGA was its only rival.

It's just not the company's style.

Do you think the NX will resurrect Nintendo's console sales? Do you think I'm spewing utter nonsense? Leave your thoughts and arguments in the comments below!

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New Nintendo handheld "MH" in development https://www.gameskinny.com/327li/new-nintendo-handheld-mh-in-development https://www.gameskinny.com/327li/new-nintendo-handheld-mh-in-development Tue, 24 May 2016 06:45:16 -0400 David Fisher

Nintendo has held their cards pretty close to their chest lately when it comes to the next generation of consoles. While we have had hints of what the Nintendo NX might be, we have yet to get any solid ideas on what the console will actually do -- let alone look like.

There is new news on a Nintendo next-gen platform, however. Unfortunately, it's not about the NX. Say hello instead to the Nintendo "MH". The following is an excerpt of a Japanese financial report translated by Twitter user BlackKite:

"By doing things like changing money order premises, forecasts from FY March 2017 to FY March 2020 are being revised downwards. The driving force for economic growth has been switched from previous new businesses like "Health service, Theme park & Mobile games" to the next generation game console NX and next generation portable game console MH (Tentative title). There is no change in mid-term growth scenario.

Things being predicted from now on are new factors to profit impact when NX and MH are to be fully announced, and monetization of mobile games. If the skepticism on these can be wiped away, there is a high chance that their stocks will be greatly revalued, and as a premise for long-term investment, now is perhaps the [best] entry timing [to invest here]."

Once again, there's virtually nothing to go off of in the report. However, it is now clear that Nintendo is indeed looking to replace the Nintendo 3DS sometime in the near-ish future.

This is odd since Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima stated "The NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS" in a previous interview. If both statements are true, then it is quite possible that the MH is directly related to the NX in some way. The MH could very well be the supposed handheld component of the NX. However, it is also likely that the statement merely means that the Wii U and the 3DS will have zero similarities to the NX and MH consoles.

Despite NoA's Reggie Fils-Aimé statement that the NX would be talked about sometime in 2016, Nintendo's presence has all but been confirmed as being limited to a full-day presentation on The Legend of Zelda Wii U. As such, it appears that we won't be getting any news on either the NX or MH for quite some time.

What do you think MH could possibly stand for? What could the MH actually be? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Viva la Vita: 5 reasons to buy a PS Vita right now https://www.gameskinny.com/mjhvy/viva-la-vita-5-reasons-to-buy-a-ps-vita-right-now https://www.gameskinny.com/mjhvy/viva-la-vita-5-reasons-to-buy-a-ps-vita-right-now Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:37:26 -0500 Andrew Whitehead

The PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) has had a troubled life. It’s not its fault, though; it’s a good little system. It’s well made, it’s got a lot of useful features, but the problem is that the world changed faster than Sony could anticipate.

Mobile phones are capable of playing games that look as good as anything on the PS Vita, and they’re usually cheaper as well. Generally speaking, people need mobile phones, and they have them with them all the time so it makes sense they’d morph into quick-fix gaming devices.

The other problem is the Nintendo 3DS. It’s a great handheld, and it’s building off the unexpectedly successful Nintendo DS brand. I can’t be the only one who remembers how many people were sure the DS was doomed to fail.

 

PS Vita yellow color

 

So the 3DS has the gamers, both casual and hardcore, the mobile phones (and tablets and iPods) have the kids and the less serious gaming adults, so what’s left for the PS Vita? Not a lot, it seems.

It’s by no means a failure, though, let’s get that out of the way right up front. The console has sold over 12 million units worldwide, which makes in more successful than the Wii U, but it’s a long way off its predecessor the PlayStation Portable (PSP) at 80 million or its direct competitor the Nintendo 3DS at 57 million. (Source: VGChartz)

It’s not dead, but it’s not exactly blowing up either. So the question is: if you haven’t already taken the plunge and grabbed a PS Vita should you do it now? And the answer is undoubtedly yes! And I’ll give you five reasons why.

1. The current library is pretty solid

The thing that matters most about any console is its games. Not its sales or the power of its hardware – it’s the games that matter. While the PS Vita may not have the biggest library it does have some solid titles that are worth checking out.

For one thing, there’s Persona 4: Golden, which is arguably the best re-release of the last few years. Tearaway is an outstanding showcase of how to use every one of the PS Vita features intelligently, and then there’s the final Wipeout game (and arguably the best) developed by Studio Liverpool – Wipeout 2048.

wipeout 2048 ps vita

There’s also a number of HD remakes such as the God of War HD Collection and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, but what really helps flesh out the catalogue is the indie games. Sony’s acceptance of independent developers and cross-buy means that there’s a ton of great little games to buy that you can play at home on the PlayStation 3 or 4 and on the go with you PS Vita with a single purchase.

Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number are absolute must-plays, as are VVVVVV, Limbo, Bastion, Super Meat Boy and the recently released stealth game Volume. Granted not all of these games are cross-buy, but it’s a nice little carrot to keep an eye out for. And some titles like Hotline Miami 1 and 2 feature cloud-saves so you can continue right where you left off when returning home or heading out.

On top of all that the PS Vita is region-free which means you’re free to import all you want from wherever in the world. Take that Nintendo! Even the current line up on the US store is pretty diverse, so if you’re into strange dating sims or new JRPGs you should give the PS Vita some serious consideration.

Just avoid the PS Vita version of Ridge Racer. I don’t care if it’s on sale. This is not a joke.

2. It’s better than your mobile phone

I’m not someone who likes to bash mobile gaming. I’ve played a ton of games that I’ve really enjoyed on my iPhone and don’t plan on stopping now. But have you tried to play Grand Theft Auto III on that thing? It sucks. Five-star reviews be damned, I need buttons!

Killzone Mercenary PS Vita

The PS Vita is a console made for gamers on the go, and it’s great for casual play or marathon gaming sessions. If you haven’t yet you have to try Killzone Mercenary. It’s a solid shooter with a great campaign you can play anywhere alongside an online multiplayer mode for when you’ve got access to wi-fi. And thanks to the dual-analog sticks you can actually play the game and not have to cover up 30% of the screen with you thumbs!

It’s true that mobiles do have a distinct price advantage when it comes to offering a variety of .99c and free-to-play games, but if you keep your eye on the PSN Store you can pick up some bargains. The classic JRPG Xenogears? I got it for $3. Which leads me to my next point…

3. Backwards compatibility

Out of the big three players in the console market you have to hand it to Sony, they know how to keep their house in order. I bought Resident Evil 2 as a PSOne classic for my PSP years ago and I’ve since been able to transfer it to my PlayStation 3 and now on to my PS Vita.

You hear that Nintendo? I bought that game ONCE and it works on THREE systems. How come I can’t get my copy of Super Mario Bros. from my Wii onto my 3DS? I had better move on before I start ranting too much, but seriously Nintendo get it together with the NX. 

Vagrant Story PSOne classic

Anyway the PS Vita is a retro-gaming powerhouse and as I mentioned before it’s got an extensive PSOne library. On top of that, there are a ton of great PSP titles on the PSN store, so there's plenty of opportunities to go back and discover (or rediscover) a classic series.

With just your PS Vita can play the Final Fantasy series right up to Final Fantasy X-2 (skipping the online-only Final Fantasy XI of course) plus the two of the Final Fantasy Tactics spin-offs and both Dissidia Final Fantasy games. I went back and played through the majority of the Metal Gear Solid series (with the exception of Metal Gear Solid 4, obviously) to prepare for Metal Gear Solid V. And I did it wherever I wanted.

Best of all the PlayStation Portable and PSOne back catalogue is pretty extensive, and the PSN Store has fairly regular sales, so there are plenty of opportunities to pick up a few gems for next to nothing.

I got Vagrant Story for $3 the other day. Enough said.

4. Build quality

Remember when the original PSP came out? Remember how bad it was? The disc tray felt flimsy; the square button often pressed up against the metal border of the screen underneath the console’s shell, the weak battery would give out at the worst times. It’s true that later models got much better (and slimmer), but early adopters paid the price for diving in too soon.

The PS Vita had none of that at launch. In fact the two models on the market right now, the original fatty and the new skinny version, are both well-built systems with their own strengths and weaknesses. Don’t care about size? Get the original, it has the superior OLED screen. Want more battery life and something that may actually fit in your pocket? The new slimmer model is for you. 

PS vita build sticks

I’ve owned both, and I can attest to their ability to withstand a number of falls (usually off the bed when I fall asleep) and their overall build quality. The face and shoulder buttons have a satisfying pop to them, the D-pad works great with fighting games, the capacitive touchscreen is responsive, and unlike the cheap conductive one used by Nintendo on the 3DS and the Wii U this screen is built to last. Pick up a well-used Nintendo DS, enter PictoChat and try and draw a straight line. You’ll see what I mean.

It’s true that the thumbsticks could be better and probably should be closer to the slider-style used on the PSP and the 3DS, but hey, at least, there’s two of them now.

There're no hinges to loosen up, no optical drive with a laser to move out of place, no spongy shoulder buttons, and the new slim model uses a standard micro-USB port for charging and not a proprietary cable like the 3DS and the original PS Vita. It’s a brilliant little console and a testament to simple, sturdy design.

5. It’s the new Dreamcast, for better or worse

SEGA were ahead of their time with the Dreamcast, and they paid the price because of it. And while many gamers do look back on some of it’s bigger titles a little too fondly (Sonic Adventure for one), it’s reputation for being an under-appreciated treasure is well deserved. 

 

As much as I don’t want the PS Vita to suffer the same fate it does seem inevitable that it’ll join the Dreamcast, alongside the Neo Geo Pocket and the Game Boy Micro, in undervalued console heaven soon.

But so what? We’re gamers. Sales matter less than quality to us and the truth is the PS Vita is a fantastic little machine. It’s a rock-solid system that can play a diverse library of games that stretch back over 20 years, and though the light at the end of the tunnel glows brighter each day it’s not dead yet.

I got my first PS Vita a months or so after it launched and upgraded to the slimmer model around as soon as it hit the shelves. I have zero regrets. I’ve played through the original Resident Evil games, I’ve got a folder of JRPGs I really need to find time for like Chrono Cross and Suikoden II, and I have a collection of recent indie gems like Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty and Rogue Legacy.

tearaway ps vita

More than that though I have a system that has proven to be worth my time and money. And one day I'll happily retire it with pride alongside my GameCube and SEGA Saturn in a box marked “too beautiful for this world”.

Viva la Vita.

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Tips for finding time to play video games in the midst of our busy lives https://www.gameskinny.com/v2kju/tips-for-finding-time-to-play-video-games-in-the-midst-of-our-busy-lives https://www.gameskinny.com/v2kju/tips-for-finding-time-to-play-video-games-in-the-midst-of-our-busy-lives Tue, 20 Oct 2015 11:10:26 -0400 Samantha Wright

Let's face it: we're busy people. We have work. We have friends. We have family. Sometimes we'll have two jobs. Sometimes we have classes to attend. It's not easy to play video games in all that mess and it can often feel as if we're missing out on our favorite hobbies.

Well, I'm here to help. There are many simple tips to help you find time to put your hobby back into your life.

Play with family and friends

Multiplayer and Co-Op

Multiplayer is a great way to spend time with family and friends. You can crank out your favorite video game and log into a match with another controller at the ready for whoever. 

Don't forget about Wii games either. A lot of Wii games are designed for multiple people, so get your friends together and start playing!

There are plenty of multiplayer games made for kids too, so if you have young children, nephews, nieces, or whatever, you can incorporate them too. Crank out some Mario, whether a new version or an old version, and play with them. There are many modern multiplayer/co-op children's games as well. How to Train Your Dragon is a great fighter to play with kids, especially if they like the movie. Puss In Boots has great multiplayer as well. 

Take turns playing single player mode

There are quite a few games that don't have any sort of option to play with other people, but that doesn't mean you can't play with other people. All you have to do is take turns with the controller.

My friends and I do this all the time. When one of us dies, we switch and the other person tries to win. This way, we both get to play a fair amount while we still have conversations. This can also be done with specific sections as well. If one person is better than another at a specific type of combat or style, than he or she can take over during that section while the other person gets to play when he or she is good at the game.

Incorporate gaming into your job

Believe it or not, there are many ways you can play games while getting paid for it (I'm getting paid to write about video games right now). Here are some ways to get paid for gaming.

Journalism

I get to write about video games all the time now. It's not just pleasure, but it's still better than nothing. I have an excuse to play games; I get to incorporate at least some form of gaming into my everyday life.

Since anyone can sign up for GameSkinny, you can have the same excuse to play some games and keep up with your favorite hobby as well! If you sign up for the Bounty Program, you'll get paid to write about your favorite hobby.

You can also start your own blog and report on news and write reviews and guides there as well. There is no limit to how you can write about video games on the Internet if you really put your mind to it.

Cater to your degree
Gaming has a lot of different aspects, so find a way to make that work for you.

Gaming has a lot of different aspects, so find a way to make that work for you. If you're an accountant, work as an accountant for a game company. If you're an English major, write video game plots or find a job as a technical writer or in PR for a video game developer. 

There are plenty of different ways to make your expertise work for the video game industry, so be creative! You don't have to start at a major company like Bethesda or BioWare or Activision; you can start with an Indie company and work your way up, just getting your feet wet.

Set aside time

So many people get home after work and just collapse on the couch. Don't just sit there and watch TV!

No matter how busy you are, there is bound to be at least five minutes you can fit into a day to play a game. Plan your time well and it'll work out just fine!

Plan your schedule

If you really want to make video games work in your life again, you'll be able to find time somewhere within your schedule!

If you can set aside five minutes for gaming, set aside those five minutes. Don't run out to the mall to buy that one shirt that you don't really need.

There's also a huge procrastination aspect to this. As a college student, I procrastinate a lot; I will push off my work for as long as possible, so at the end of the week or day I'm stuck cramming it all in at once. Try not to do this either. If you plan your work accordingly and start getting things done early, you'll have a much better chance at actually incorporating video games back into your life.

Prioritize your games

Sometimes every game sounds interesting, so you want to play every new, big AAA title and every Indie game that you come across on Steam.

Refrain from doing that. Pick the games you really want to play and focus on those. 

For instance, I was super hyped for the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on top of Lego Dimensions and Assassin's Creed Syndicate. On top of work and school, I knew playing all three of those games in the short time period between their release dates was not going to work, so I thought about which ones would be best for me.

I've already played the original Uncharted series; I do not have to play them again on PS4, even if I want to. Lego Dimensions sounded cool, but my usual reviewers weren't too positive on it and I've already played enough Lego games to last a lifetime; there is no need for me to play that one either.

So I'm currently focused on Assassin's Creed Syndicate. I've played the rest of the series and I honestly think this may be the best Assassin's Creed game yet. So, that'll be my top priority when I do get game time.

Apply a similar strategy to your own life. Focus on the games you want to play most first. If you manage to gain extra time for video games, you can always play the least important ones later. 

Play games designated to short time spans

If you're low on time, find games that are catered to that. There are plenty of handheld games (and mobile games) that are developed with a busy individual in mind, so that levels can be played in a few short minutes before people have to get on their way. 

Handheld/Mobile games

Handheld and mobile games are on the go games, making most of them perfect for quick car rides, trips, and small breaks.

Little Big Planet for the PS Vita has short levels that go by quickly in a couple of minutes. Since the game saves automatically after each one of these levels, you can turn the game off after no matter how short the time your are playing is.

There are numerous portable games that follow a short level system with frequent checkpoints:

  • Every portable Lego game
  • Gran Turismo
  • MadWorld
  • Geometry Wars
  • Mario
  • Real Racing 3

There are plenty of handheld games made for short bursts of play if you look hard enough.

All mobile gaming apps are made for short play, so pick one you like, download it, and play it. It could be as simple as Words with Friends! Feel free to experiment with mobile games and figure out which ones work for you.

Web Browser Games

There are quite a few web browser games that are easy to play in short bursts. You can log in, play for a few minutes to a few hours, and then log out.

You can check out:

If none of these games appeal to you, you are bound to find another game online that will interest you. A simple Google Search can be very helpful and there are many free games on websites.

Frequent Checkpoints

Games with frequent checkpoints are very ideal for playing in short bursts. RPGs can be good for this if they let you save whenever you want You can fight a couple of battles, train a little bit, save the game, and be on your way; you're not forced to play for long periods of time.

You can also look for others games with frequent checkpoint systems. Shooters today automatically save very frequently. You can kill a couple of people and get another checkpoint before going on you way. 

There are other games like this as well. I've recently started playing Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and the frequent checkpoint system has been a lifesaver. I love being able to quickly kill a couple of guys and be on my way to get to work, write an article, or do some school work.

Play while in the bathroom

There are so many people who take their phone with them to the bathroom and screw around roaming the Internet (Reddit is a huge offender) or fishing through apps. Instead of doing those things, play a game. Bring your phone and play your favorite mobile game. Bring a PS Vita, PSP, or any version of the DS. Play a little bit during that time. If you're going to spend a lot of time in here anyway, you might as well make the most of it.

There are plenty of ways to continue gaming

You just need to look for them. Some of them are hidden in plain site and others aren't. Just be creative and you'll find ways to incorporate your favorite hobby!

This is by no means a full list either. There are plenty of creative ways someone can incorporate gaming into their lives.

Do you have any other tips not mentioned here? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

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Sony's List of Games for TGS 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/4p4p7/sonys-list-of-games-for-tgs-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/4p4p7/sonys-list-of-games-for-tgs-2015 Thu, 03 Sep 2015 20:16:45 -0400 Jason Green

The 2015 Tokyo Game Show will be large for Sony. The house of PlayStation is off showing 19 games. 

PS4:

  • Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • Arslan: The Warriors of Legend
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
  • Star Ocean 5: Intregrity and Faithlessness
  • Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  • Destiny: The Taken King
  • Tearaway Unfolded
  • The Tomorrow Children
  • Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
  • God Eater: Ressurected
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven

PS Vita:

  • Airship Q
  • Minecraft: PS Vita Edition 
  • Tokyo Xanadu
  • God Eater: Ressurected 


Dualshockers reported that this list is full of games that can "only be disclosed" at this time so that opens up the possibility of surprises. The Last Guardian, Sony's white whale of a game, finally came back into existence this past E3 and fans would love to see more of that game. 

The PS Vita has a small presence in TGS as well, which is surprising because Sony stated they aren't making Vita games anymore. Does this illustrate a change of heart? 

The Tokyo Game Show begins September 19 through the 20th. 

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The Original Nintendo DS is trending on Japanese twitter https://www.gameskinny.com/9n5y8/the-original-nintendo-ds-is-trending-on-japanese-twitter https://www.gameskinny.com/9n5y8/the-original-nintendo-ds-is-trending-on-japanese-twitter Thu, 27 Aug 2015 05:03:02 -0400 Jason Green

Technology comes in waves. Back in the 1980s and 90s we had monsterous cell phones and bulky computers. Come the early 2000s and our phones, computers and iPods are getting thinner and smaller. Now, with the innovation of tablets and smartphones, everything is getting big again.

Nintendo followed this trend when it pioneered handheld gaming. The gameboy was big and then got progressivly smaller. Eventually, Nintendo launched the DS.

The Nintendo DS is a handheld system with two screens, one for viewing and one for touching. It's a true testiment to Nintendo's creativity. As time went on the system got leaner.

Recently, a Japanese website Dechisoku tweeted asking if people still had their original DS's, and they got some responses:

Some are broken and some still seem to be in working condition. Nintendo has a reputation for making hardware that never breaks, there are even SNES's and N64's that still work. These pictures are a good example of the loyal fan base Nintendo has even in they're sturggling times. 

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PAX Prime is approaching! Check out what Nintendo has in store for you! https://www.gameskinny.com/jdeqp/pax-prime-is-approaching-check-out-what-nintendo-has-in-store-for-you https://www.gameskinny.com/jdeqp/pax-prime-is-approaching-check-out-what-nintendo-has-in-store-for-you Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:58:05 -0400 Steven Troya

PAX Prime starts on August 28th and Nintendo has plenty in store for everybody. Games like Super Mario MakerStar Fox Zero, and many other games.

Check out what Nintendo's doing at PAX Prime:

  • On August 29, you can check out Wyvern Theater at 2:30PM to see the Xenoblade Chronicles X panel. Here, you can see the inspiration of the game as well as take part in a Q&A session and concept art of the game.
  • From the beginning to the end of PAX Prime, you can try out the games such as Super Mario Maker, The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes and more.
  • There will be multiple tournaments out for Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and the latest Pokemon games, Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire.
  • You can also go to Sheraton Seattle Hotel to check out some Nindies games, chat developers, and play some games.

Don't forget that Nintendo will be hosting an event before the actual PAX Prime, so if you make it there early, you should check it out.

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PS Now is now on PS Vita https://www.gameskinny.com/4bxjp/ps-now-is-now-on-ps-vita https://www.gameskinny.com/4bxjp/ps-now-is-now-on-ps-vita Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:33:07 -0400 Steven Troya

Yup, it's finally here. PlayStation Now is finally arriving for the PS Vita.

With the Vita joining the PlayStation family in the PS Now subscription service, you'll be able to enjoy games like God of War III and Dynasty Warriors 8, all games announced for the August lineup.

With more games on the way, you can check out the upcoming games currently announced for the service: 

PlayStation Now is a service that allows you to play PS3 games on any console, handheld, and Smart TV that the service supports.

You can try out PS Now with a 7-day free trial, in which you will be charged $19.99 each month afterwards, should you choose you continue your subscription. Of course, the aforementioned games aren’t the only ones available to the PS Vita. You’ll have more than 100 games to try out and they’re all free for a week if you try out the service.

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Why the PS Vita Deserves More Love https://www.gameskinny.com/70j8r/why-the-ps-vita-deserves-more-love https://www.gameskinny.com/70j8r/why-the-ps-vita-deserves-more-love Sun, 28 Jun 2015 13:30:01 -0400 Anne-Marie Coyle

The current handheld market is tough. Not only does PlayStation Vita have to contend with its long-time rival, the Nintendo 3DS, but it also has to compete with mobile gaming, which has seen an increase in popularity so vast it now rivals the console market itself.

Unfortunately, the Vita is seemingly stuck in a catch-22. In order to get sales, it needs exclusive games. But in order to get devs to work on exclusives games, the system needs to be selling well. The Vita is a powerful and well-designed machine that offers a host of benefits for both developers and players. Here's why we should all show the little guy more love...

Sticking it to the man

Despite the Vita's predecessor undergoing numerous redesigns, it never incorporated what fans were crying out for - a second analogue stick. That mistake was not repeated with Vita. The handheld is able to provide more intuitive and user-friendly games, particularly when it comes to shooters and 3D adventure games, thanks to its controller-like dual analogue setup. The twin sticks coupled with the system's graphical prowess make this little machine is capable of bringing a blockbuster console experience to players on the go.

One world – many realities

Augmented or virtual reality in gaming has been on everyone’s lips since Microsoft revealed HoloLens, but many are unaware that the Vita also launched with AR capability. The impressive tech is perhaps the most overlooked element of the Vita. Sony initially released a sampling of enjoyable (yet basic) titles, such as Cliff Diver and Fireworks to show what the platform could do. But the AR functions were never an avenue explored by developers, despite the obvious potential for creativity it yields.

Can touch this

The Vita has the potential to deliver the same experience that mobile and tablet players have, thanks to its touch screen. The function can also be integrated into the more traditional handheld games. This hybrid of touch screen and buttons can act as a stepping stone, simplifying the controls for those adverse to complex button combos. Its rear touch screen can also be incorporated as a gameplay mechanic, providing an experience that’s unique to the Vita.

Keeping it in the family

With a dash of technological magic, the PS Vita can be transformed into a miniature PS4. Well not literally, but it does support a feature called Remote Play that allows the handheld to stream data from your PS4 via your wireless internet connection. So should you be unceremoniously usurped from the living room TV, you can continue saving/destroying the world via the handheld. Cross-Buy is also heavily incorporated - meaning that, for many titles, when you buy it on console you get the handheld version at no extra cost. And who doesn’t love free stuff?

Games, Games, Games

Watching this year’s Sony E3 press conference, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the existence of the PlayStation Vita. With all the hype surrounding the return of The Last Guardian, the Final Fantasy VII remake and Sony’s move into virtual reality, there wasn’t much of the limelight left for the handheld device. But Sony did present a highlights reel, showcasing some promising titles for 2015 and beyond - including exclusives Severed and Persona 4: Dancing All Night. Add this to the sizeable amount of titles already released and the ability to play PSP and PS1 downloads on the handheld, and you’ve got an extensive library ready to play. PS Plus members can also get two free games for the platform every month.

At this point in the lifecycle, more adopters and more games are crucial. With so much potential for new experiences, courtesy of its unique design and technical prowess, it would be a shame if the Vita were left behind before it's had the chance to reach its true potential.

I know I'm not the only one. Fellow GS writer Elijah Beahm has also valiantly defended the Vita. What do the rest of you think? Let us know in the comments!

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FIFA 16 leaves Nintendo in the dust - no Wii U or DS versions https://www.gameskinny.com/ze492/fifa-16-leaves-nintendo-in-the-dust-no-wii-u-or-ds-versions https://www.gameskinny.com/ze492/fifa-16-leaves-nintendo-in-the-dust-no-wii-u-or-ds-versions Tue, 02 Jun 2015 07:06:50 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

The announcement of FIFA 16 last week with the inclusion of women was a great occasion. But, for handheld owners and especially Nintendo fans, the occasion turned sour quickly.

After the announcement, Pocket Gamer reached out to EA regarding FIFA 16 on handhelds and mobile, and were met with this unfortunate response: "With regards to FIFA 16, there isn't a Vita or 3DS version."

So while FIFA 15 was released on both the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS last year, it looks like EA has decided not to make FIFA 16 for handhelds, instead focusing solely on PC and consoles. 

To make matters worse, EA announced that the game will be released September 22nd only on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC; no Wii or Wii U in sight. Although previous iterations of FIFA have been released on the Wii, the only iteration that has been released on Nintendo's latest and more powerful console, the Wii U, is FIFA 13.

Assuming EA doesn't have a giant sense of remorse, or the Wii U doesn't undergo any drastic hardware upgrades, FIFA 16 will be the first in the series since 2000 to not be released on any Nintendo platforms.

The only other football game left for Nintendo owners will be Pro Evolution Soccer, unless Konami chooses to go the FIFA route and leave Nintendo in the dust.

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Iwata Suggests Nintendo's NX is the "Fusion" https://www.gameskinny.com/zw49m/iwata-suggests-nintendos-nx-is-the-fusion https://www.gameskinny.com/zw49m/iwata-suggests-nintendos-nx-is-the-fusion Fri, 15 May 2015 02:30:01 -0400 amaadify

While attempting to divert fan and investor attention away from the company's next dedicated video game platform, the NX, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata dropped a few informative details. 

Since we are always thinking about how to create a new platform that will be accepted by as many people around the world as possible, we would like to offer to them “a dedicated video game platform with a brand new concept” by taking into consideration various factors, including the playing environments that differ by country. This is all that I can confirm today.

Interesting! This could very well mean that Nintendo is designing the NX with adjustable functionality in mind. With Japan so engrossed in handheld gaming, and the west focused on home-consoles, the big N might actually be creating the much-speculated fusion of the two! Iwata did recently speak about removing region-locking from future hardware, and this device would make for a perfect start. Could the NX be Nintendo's all-in-one answer? 

Not quite. Satoru Iwata explicitly stated that the new console, which won't be officially discussed until 2016, will not act as a replacement to either the Nintendo 3DS or Wii U console. He also reiterated that the NX was only mentioned during the mobile announcement to ensure viewers of the company's unwavering faith in dedicated gaming platforms. 

These last two points throw a wrench into specualtion. However, they could simply be a result of Iwata doing his job, making sure consumer focus is on supporting Nintendo's current products. 

What do you all make of this? Are you hopeful that the NX will be a home-handheld console fusion? Let us know in the comments below!

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Five Great Budget RPGs Worth Exploring https://www.gameskinny.com/onywl/five-great-budget-rpgs-worth-exploring https://www.gameskinny.com/onywl/five-great-budget-rpgs-worth-exploring Wed, 06 May 2015 18:17:25 -0400 Elijah Beahm

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Shattered Planet -- PC, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

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For those who want a less grim and dark turn-based rogue-like RPG, there is actually an equally good alternative to Darkest Dungeons; it's called Shattered Planet. Instead of traditional turn-based gameplay, Shattered Planet is a bit more like Crypt of the Necrodancer meets Pokemon.

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Every turn happens at once for everyone, and you can queue multiple move orders at once, making the game feel almost like a realtime experience. However, once you are in combat, you fight whoever is immediately next to you, and while you can retreat, there's very little reason to.

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The game has multiple objectives to aim for, be it getting further into its levels, exploring story-based missions, or just trying to find as many unique items as you can. Everything rewards you, keeping a constant feedback loop like out of Diablo.

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The biggest deciding factor you have to go with is whether you want the game for free, or with bonus content. The PC version includes bonus content and a much more fair economy system, but also costs $14.99 despite simply being a rogue-like. However, the tablet version of the game is much more grind intensive. You'll have to make the call on this one.

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If there are any other fantastic budget RPGs you can think of that I missed, be sure to let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4531f2d2e325646cce994196e53528c5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4531f2d2e325646cce994196e53528c5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5883","description":"

Darkest Dungeon -- PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and PS Vita

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A Kickstarter success, Darkest Dungeon is a hardcore rogue-like RPG with beautiful visuals and unforgiving gameplay. It plays out like a traditional turn-based game, but it has some unique twists. Your characters not only have to worry about health and mana, but their own sanity and hopefulness.

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Keep their spirits high, and you'll be on your way to victory. Have them slowly go insane, and suddenly everyone has a thousand more vices than virtues. The game's blend of organic narrative-through-gameplay storytelling gives it a personal touch only a game with random generation could.

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Unlike any other title listed, it is also available on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, if you prefer to play your RPGs on console or on the go. It's best to not spoil the game any further than I have, but if you dare test the depths of madness, be sure to look up Darkest Dungeon. It normally runs for about $19.99, but is another excellent title often on sale.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/076ad8c5ae9b4c51d36d03d2671413d9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/076ad8c5ae9b4c51d36d03d2671413d9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5882","description":"

Of Orcs & Men -- PC, PS3, and Xbox 360

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This time a collaborative effort between Cyanide Studios and Spiders, Of Orcs & Men is kind of amazing in that it's hard to believe it exists. It is a game heavily inspired by Knights of the Old RepublicWarhammer, and revisionist history. You play as both an orc and a goblin, controlling them through pause and play gameplay, whilst also partaking in a few brief stealth sections.

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The big paradigm shift, if it wasn't clear already, is that the game puts humanity as the villains. It's not the elves or the dwarves causing problems, and the Orcs were just minding their business. Humanity is the aggressor, with the entire storyline framing a new sense of moral choice as you look at things from a greener point of view.

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What's also great about this one is the dark sense of humor. Sometimes it gets more than a little much, but often the wit of your goblin character Styx outweighs the "too much" moments. The tactical combat also encourages a unique flow that most games don't push for -- you have to not be too aggressive. If Styx is too aggressive, he dies because he's a weak little goblin. If Arkail, your ork, gets too angry, he will go into a blind rage and leave your control temporarily.

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Instead of this mechanic being a downside, it instead encourages clever strategy and throws in a new wrinkle to a subgenre of combat that rarely gets new ideas tossed in. Like with everything in its campaign, Of Orcs & Men isn't afraid to try new things and push the boundaries of what can be done in an otherwise traditional pause and play RPG.

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While it normally runs for about $30, you can catch it on sale just as frequently as Mars: War Logs. If you want to face hard choices, hilarious quips, and a cynical fantasy universe, there are few places better to look than Of Orcs & Men.

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall -- PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS

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There are few better than Shadowrun when it comes to Cyberpunk RPGs. First an expansion, and now a standalone sequel to the original Shadowrun ReturnsShadowrun: Dragonfall is the highest praised entry in the series of CRPGs by Harebrained Schemes.

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While the original Shadowrun Returns is a great game to consider on its own, Dragonfall fixes the majority of the issues Returns had, and includes a much deeper cast of characters to boot. While you can import your original character from the first campaign, there's nothing stopping you from choosing this as your entry point.

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The biggest choice though, is which platform to use. The game is perfectly playable on iOS and Android, but lacks mod support. The DRM free version also lacks the majority of mods you'll experience with the Steam version. You'll have to weigh platform preference and user generated content, as the numerous player made storylines add a lot more value to the game.

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The main story runs for anywhere between 15 to 25 hours depending on how thorough you are, and the Director's Cut is very reasonably priced at $14.99. For some awesome Cyberpunk-Fantasy role playing, be sure to look up Shadowrun: Dragonfall.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/efed04bd7692c5f0f96a0018bf2fd54e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/efed04bd7692c5f0f96a0018bf2fd54e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5880","description":"

Mars: War Logs -- PC, PS3, and Xbox 360

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Most studios would balk at the idea of trying to match the mechanics and ideas of Witcher and Mass Effect in their second RPG, but French developer Spiders set out do to just that. The game has a few rough spots, especially a liberal use of swear words North American users might wince at, but it also has an incredibly deep crafting system and unique story.

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Mars: War Logs doesn't want to just tell you the same hero's journey story that you've heard a thousand times. Instead, it asks the question of what if someone like Han Solo got special powers and Luke was just a companion along for the ride.

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On top of this, the combat is live action and heavily focused on play style choice. Do you choose to focus on roguish tactics, magic abilities, or brute force? Not exactly breaking the mold on their own, but the ability to blend them makes it far more interesting.

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The main story runs for about 9 to 15 hours depending on how thorough you are, and the game is regularly dirt cheap (see: $5 or less) during Steam sales. If you like what you see, then be sure to take a trip to the big red planet in Mars: War Logs.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/e/2ceec7b49003d026a7d6a2c36b3e0496.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/e/tiny_2ceec7b49003d026a7d6a2c36b3e0496.jpg","type":"slide","id":"65355","description":"

The past two years have been kind to RPG fans. Big hit titles like Dragon Age: Inquisition and the upcoming Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt have (and will have) given us plenty of moral quandries and epic battles to face. Yet, not everyone has or even very well can jump on board with these epic adventures just yet. For those still holding on to last-gen or who just want a solid RPG that won't break the bank, here are five solid experiences to pass the time.

"}]]]>
Excamedia Academy Presents on Greenlight: NANOS, Brick Breaking Multiplayer-Madness https://www.gameskinny.com/ihbab/excamedia-academy-presents-on-greenlight-nanos-brick-breaking-multiplayer-madness https://www.gameskinny.com/ihbab/excamedia-academy-presents-on-greenlight-nanos-brick-breaking-multiplayer-madness Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:48:44 -0400 Heiny Reimes

[Note: The author of this article is directly affiliated with the Nanos project] 

What is Excamedia Academy?

Excamedia Academy gives students the chance to see how a game is developed, from beginning to end. This way, they are far better prepared when they end their study and start their own company. To make sure most projects can be finished, we are aiming for mid-sized games like Bomberman, Geometry Wars, Zen Pinball and other arcade-like games. So with a group of five students which consists of two 3D artists, one concept artist, one programmer and one 2D artist we head out to work on an old concept which I had laying around.

The Nanos project is one of five projects which we at Excamedia work on. Having multiple projects would normally make projects tougher to finish, but since the interns can choose which they want to work on, they are far more motivated and more likely to give it their all. So even though we sometimes have to pause a game's production, it still gives us a higher production rate and more satisfied interns.

 

What's Nanos?

After more than two years, I finally had the chance to start this project. To me Nanos is the new revolution in the brick-breaking genre. You've probably played these hundreds of times: you break tons of bricks by shooting balls with a pad. Nanos is meant to be much more. It has the basis of classics Arkanoid and Breakout, with a touch of Pong. The biggest but most obvious twist is that Nanos can be played with up to four players.



In short what Nanos has to offer?
- Hectic old school gameplay;
- A story mode that gets under your skin;
- Even the bricks fight back in intense boss battles;
- Up to four player madness in the party mode;
- Offline and online gameplay.

How did we get here?

After surprisingly becoming a hit on First Look 2014 with our rough 2D version of Nanos, which was only 2.5 weeks in development. We knew we had to do more with the 800 people who enthusiastically played our game.

The old version of Nanos in 2D

As soon as we were back in the studio, we decided to go deeper into the graphics and gameplay. We went for a 3D look and polished more of the other parts of the game, including things like story and variation in gameplay.

This also meant some challenges, since we are a very young studio and still have a lot to learn. Especially knowing your limitations, was one of our biggest challenges. And since, we just wanted to make a decent 2D game in the beginning, of which the graphics were already 60% done and only needed one programmer, we were not aware of how much more development this would entail. And this wasn't even the only project we were working on.

So after we hardly started to level up our game, we already had to put it on the back burner.

Luckily, after some help from others and getting a firmer grasp on our projects, we could finally start working again on Nanos. We were even able to show it on the Dutch Comic Con 2015, where hundreds of players played our game.

Nanos in 3D

Now after a lot of hard work by the Nanos team, the game has now found its way to Steam Greenlight. So have you always wanted to play a brick-breaker with four players? Then support us on Steam Greenlight!

What's next?

After being accepted on Greenlight (keeping our fingers crossed), we are aiming for Early Access. In this first version, we are only aiming for offline multiplayer, but in the end we want a 4-player competitive co-op online. Content should be king and as long as people are willing to buy it, we are willing to keep on updating.

Our motto is "by gamers, for gamers, and with gamers." So we will keep on asking to test the game, listen to any feedback we might get, and try to please as many people as possible.

And depending on the people interested, we may also aim for consoles, handhelds and perhaps even mobile.

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