Lists  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Lists  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 10 Sexiest Bachelors in the Gaming Universe https://www.gameskinny.com/33435/10-sexiest-bachelors-in-the-gaming-universe https://www.gameskinny.com/33435/10-sexiest-bachelors-in-the-gaming-universe Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:36:15 -0500 bazookajo94

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So there you go. 10 different dudes with 10 different ways to steal my heart, whether that happens by being ruggedly handsome or by knowing their way around a weapon (wink). 

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But this is but one girl's opinion. Maybe this list only reveals the dark recesses of my soul and shouldn't be taken seriously. Maybe you're thinking, "Well, she's got a type." 

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Maybe you should tell me who you think the most eligible bachelor of all eligible bachelors is.

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(And remember -- The Shape of Water is popular right now ....)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jasonbrody-3d92c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jasonbrody-3d92c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177386","description":"

Jason Brody from Far Cry 3

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One of my favorite tropes is when a renowned player, an exuberant party-goer, a rich son of a bitch, has a fall from grace and learns what it's like to live on the other side. The movie Overboard? Sign me tf up. 

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Jason Brody goes through this transformation, but instead of learning to sympathize with peasants, he turns into a stone-cold killer. And honestly, he is the main man in my heart. I don't know why everyone talks about Vaas when Brody is the real crazy one. 

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He goes from not knowing how to sympathize with another human being to sympathizing with other human beings and being a badass survivalist at the same time. He hunts tigers, fights pirates, burns fields of marijuana, all while saving everyone's lives. 

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Like, damn, Jason Brody. Hardcore. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-80c0d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-80c0d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177385","description":"

Mike Munroe from Until Dawn

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All right, let's step back from the older gentlemen now (I refuse to use the word you're all expecting me to say). 

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Let's showcase my boy Mike Munroe, who's kind of a dick, kind of funny, and a whole lotta douche. Half of the people who play this game hate him, and the other half hate themselves for liking him. 

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But there's something to say about a guy who chops off his own fingers with a machete just so he doesn't lose the machete -- because anyone who balls that hard in a survival game deserves a place on this list.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/professor-sycamore-hands-down-sexiest-part-14201-1382450873-01dcf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/professor-sycamore-hands-down-sexiest-part-14201-1382450873-01dcf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177383","description":"

Professor Sycamore from Pokemon X & Y

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I thought it would be funny if I added Professor Sycamore to this list, and I was right. I'm cackling as I prepare to write about the merits of this professor, all the while lamenting that people expected to see the shirtless wonder of Kuikui here, even though he's married and I can't bend the rules for him like I did for Marston (who's dead).

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Most everyone's love for Sycamore seems to be purely material: he's got a cute face, luscious hair, and a popped collar. What could be more sexy? (I hate that I just used the word "sexy" in relation to a Pokemon character.)

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Alas, people's love for Sycamore knows no bounds. Here's a Buzzfeed article professing love for this lovable professor -- and I honestly can't tell if it's a satire or not. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-john-marston-revolver-1280-50dc6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-john-marston-revolver-1280-50dc6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177382","description":"

John Marston from Red Dead Redemption

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I know that, technically, John Marston is married and wouldn't be considered a bachelor, but that's not going to stop me from adding him to this list of "Gruff, bearded men with dark hair and guns who are considered sexy by at least one writer."

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There are only a few times I've seen a character supposedly considered an "expert" at guns actually live up to their reputation. And darned if Marston doesn't live up to his. I actually believe that he could hit a target with both eyes closed, and that belief has got me all twitterpated.

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Who cares if he's not technically a bachelor? If you want to get really technical, then nobody gets to love John Marston because he's dead.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/c/5/cc579d19ebf45fbc7dc3d7a8e58527e5-e1508672973350-480x270-42e0e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/c/5/cc579d19ebf45fbc7dc3d7a8e58527e5-e1508672973350-480x270-42e0e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177381","description":"

Joel from The Last of Us

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Joel and Booker have a lot in common: a lost daughter, a surrogate daughter, and the voice of Troy Baker. 

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Setting aside his tragic backstory and road to retribution, Joel also has keen survival instincts and a commanding presence that cause people to turn to him when they need help. 

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Even though he's kind of an ass, his heart has the capacity to love, and as soon as he does, people don't want him to stop loving. Everyone is rooting for Joel; everyone loves Joel; and everyone is a sucker for a gruff, bearded man in flannel. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/o/booker-dewitt-bioshock-infinite-1452704685-d2133.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/o/booker-dewitt-bioshock-infinite-1452704685-d2133.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177379","description":"

Booker DeWitt from BioShock Infinite

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You know what else makes a woman weak in the knees? A tragic back story (and the voice of Troy Baker). 

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Booker DeWitt is man with past mistakes and a never-ending guilt, leaving people with a desire to see him earn his retribution. 

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Maybe it's the fact that DeWitt has a personality (as opposed to the other BioShock protagonists); maybe it's because of his interactions with Elizabeth; maybe it's the clothes. 

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One things for sure, though: if you know how to handle a gun and you have a voice like Troy Baker, then you've got a place on this list (and in my heart).

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/o/leon-kennedy-wallpaper-resident-evil-35806038-1920-1080-7754d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/o/leon-kennedy-wallpaper-resident-evil-35806038-1920-1080-7754d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177378","description":"

Leon from Resident Evil

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All right, all right. I'll step back from the monstrous suitors by introducing one who kills monsters instead. 

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And what sort of list of sexiest video bachelors wouldn't include the original: Leon Scott Kennedy. 

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Talk about a lady killer. And a zombie killer. And an all-around killer in general. 

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This guy knows what he's doing, what needs to be done, and when to do it. And just like with Dante, women like a man with confidence. 

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With Leon's ever-constant presence in the Resident Evil games, he will have an ever-constant place in our hearts -- and lists about sexiest men. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-1920-1080-m1acjvm-6ce6f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-1920-1080-m1acjvm-6ce6f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177376","description":"

Dante from Devil May Cry

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What's a girl to do when they can't pick between an angel and a devil? 

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Pick Dante. 

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Part devil, part angel, Dante has been stealing the hearts of women everywhere with his intense gaze, his open shirt, and his overwhelming confidence, all combined with a bad-ass attitude and strong desire to kill demons. And let's not forgot all the awesome powers he has. 

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He's literally the full package of good and evil -- but mostly good.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/4/fo4-john-hancock-8e02d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/4/fo4-john-hancock-8e02d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177375","description":"

Hancock from Fallout 4

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I'll never forget my first step into Goodneighbor. My lingering resentment still strong from the revelation that Nick Valentine's epic buildup resulted in a 50's-style old-man detective, I take a step into this new environment, ready for my next mission, and suddenly a ghoul is shooting a man trying to kill me and telling me he runs the place. 

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Needless to say, I fell in love immediately. 

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Like Garrus, Hancock is another man looking for his place in life, looking for a friend, and eternally grateful that the sole survivor accepts him for who he is. 

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You just have to overlook the massive addiction to drugs and violence. At least he's a nice guy, right? And he's a mayor. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/r/garrus-0e692.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/r/garrus-0e692.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177374","description":"

Garrus from Mass Effect

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You can't take two steps into the Mass Effect fandom without seeing some Garrus/Shepard fanart. And with a face like that, who would blame someone for drawing what the fans want?

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Some people can't understand why Garrus is so popular with the ladies, but, call us crazy, ladies like a guy who's nice. There's something undeniably adorable about a man who's awkward around a potential romantic conquest -- and not afraid to admit it. 

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Not to mention he's known as the "Space Batman," and everyone knows how successful Batman is with the ladies...

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jason-brody-e85b4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jason-brody-e85b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177371","description":"

When women have nowhere else to turn to find a decent man in their lives, they go for someone they always know will be there: fictional characters. Though it's easy to fangirl over book characters (all I need to say is "Mr. Darcy" and swoons are heard across the world), where are the good video game men? Where are the scruffy gaming guys, the nice dudes, the sexy?

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Right here. This list. Top ten. Let's go. 

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And with the popularity of del Toro's The Shape of Water spreading through the hearts of women everywhere, I probably shouldn't have to worry about putting someone like Bowser or Specter Knight on the list -- but, for the sake of all our dignities, I'll stick with the mostly human bachelors. 

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Mostly. 

"}]]]>
9 Best PS4 Games of 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/g5f1p/9-best-ps4-games-of-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/g5f1p/9-best-ps4-games-of-2017 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:58:16 -0500 bazookajo94

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So there you go. Some of the greater things that came out of one of the worst years.

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Hopefully 2018 will be better than its predecessors -- hopefully it'll be a year where people can feel happy again, and they won't have to make super relatable games about depression anymore. 

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But, if all else fails, I'm sure we'll have Skyrim to look forward to -- you know, again. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/images-322f0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/images-322f0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175538","description":"

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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In this sequel to 2014's The New Order, MachineGame's Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus follows the story of veteran B.J. Blazkowicz in a war-ravaged America, fighting the eternal enemy: Nazis. The New Colossus received  praises for its combat and imaginative world building, in addition to being a lot of fun to play in general. 

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There's nothing like playing a game that could just as soon be a movie. All the blockbuster intensity and action, except you actually get to be a part of blowing up Nazis with some really cool guns. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-166ef.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-166ef.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175534","description":"

Night in the Woods

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Let's take a step back from the blockbusters for a minute. Though they deserve their place among the best of the year, so do the seemingly littler guys, like Night in the Woods

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Night in the Woods, developed by Infinite Fall and released in February, is a single-player adventure game that follows the story of Mae, an anthropomorphic cat who has dropped out of college and returned to live at home. Upon her return home, she uncovers a secret that changes all she knows about her friends, her town, and her life. 

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The game surpassed its funding goal by over 400% on Kickstarter, and its acclaim has grown ever since. Night in the Woods has been praised for its writing and character development, bringing to the forefront the very real horrors of depression and mental illness. 

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So if you were looking for another reason to begrudge the changes happening in the world, I think you've just found it. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/o/nioh-keyart-99240.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/o/nioh-keyart-99240.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175537","description":"

Nioh

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I never thought I would hear the words "Irish" and "samurai" together in the same sentence, let alone as a singular phrase, until I discovered Nioh

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That's right. You get to play as an Irish samurai. Do I even have to sell this title anymore?

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Another February release, Team Ninja's Nioh is an action role-playing game following Irish samurai William on his quest across a war-ravaged Japan in the year 1600. This hack-and-slash dark fantasy brings players back to their Dynasty Warrior roots -- and their subconscious need to, well, hack and slash. 

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Nioh's charm comes from its aesthetics, its true-to-source Japanese folklore, and its difficult combat. 

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What can I say? People like hard games with pretty pictures and folklore about demons (and don't forget the Irish samurai). 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/5/a/65a270d8a10235.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/5/a/65a270d8a10235.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175535","description":"

NieR: Automata

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A year wouldn't be complete without at least one Square Enix title in it. I don't think my life would be complete if it didn't have at least one Square Enix title in it, and this year's title is NieR: Automata.

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A March release, NieR: Automata is an action role-playing sequel to Nier. Players travel as combat androids across a post-apocalyptic, open-world map and fight to survive against machines and the physical manifestation of their network, Adam and Eve.

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Perhaps it goes without saying that a Square Enix game has a good story and is generally praised for it. Add to that superb graphics and an improved combat system from its predecessor. And the soundtrack, too, of course. 

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NieR: Automata is a game worthy of its praises, and it's a PS4 game worthy of inclusion on a list of the best games of the year. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/s/lost-legacy-feat-85362.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/s/lost-legacy-feat-85362.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175536","description":"

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

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Sometimes games have so many sequels that they start to become household titles people either love or hate but still buy anyways. This year Naughty Dog released another game in their Uncharted series, The Lost Legacy, though I'm sure most people bought this game because they liked it. 

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Added to the shelves in August, The Lost Legacy is the first Uncharted game to not have Nathan Drake as the protagonist (gasp!). Instead, it follows Chloe and her band of misfits as they seek to find the Tusk of Ganesh. It follows the same gameplay vein as its predecessors, with third-person combat and plenty of platforming.

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Naturally, good aspects in any Uncharted title are appearance, design, and storytelling. But probably the best aspect is, as always, the palpable chemistry between characters.

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Cut that with a knife and spread it on some bread because The Lost Legacy has got chemistry to spare. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/s/destiny2-art-cd824.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/s/destiny2-art-cd824.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175539","description":"

Destiny 2

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It can be really scary hearing the phrase "online game only" for people who don't really like playing games with other people. 

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But Destiny 2 seems to get it right -- or at least it's good enough that people don't care that they have to play with others.

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Developed by Bungie and released in September, Destiny 2 builds upon what worked in its predecessor and improves upon what didn't. Players take on the role of a Guardian, protecting the Last City from variant alien races. In addition to the story mode, players take part in strikes and raids with other players, hunting for loot and experience. 

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This sci-fi mythos game boasts splendid graphics, a large cast of iconic actors (Nathan Fillion, anyone?), and more emphasis on providing a good time compared to its predecessor

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And you can dance. I know that's what all you heathens want to do in video games. Dance.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-bf402.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-bf402.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175533","description":"

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

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People have been waiting for a good Resident Evil title since Resident Evil 4. And though they won't find as many zombies or umbrellas anywhere, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard reminded people why they liked this series in the first place: fear.

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A Capcom classic, the latest installment in this popular survival horror series follows Ethan Winters as he tries to find his wife, who has been missing for three years. His investigation leads him to the house of the Baker family, where he must solve puzzles and discover the secrets of the house if he wants to understand what has happened to both the Baker family and his wife. 

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With or without its VR capabilites, Resident Evil 7 won back the hearts of many who had strayed from the series, garnering praise for its scares, tension, and unsettling atmosphere. 

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And any game compared to P.T. has gotta have something going for it. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horizon-zero-dawn-impact-poster-ps4-07feb17-b62ee.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horizon-zero-dawn-impact-poster-ps4-07feb17-b62ee.png","type":"slide","id":"175531","description":"

Horizon: Zero Dawn

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If you're the type of person who likes to play good video games, then you're the type of person who likes Horizon: Zero Dawn

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Seriously. There's not a list on the internet detailing "The Best Games of 2017" that doesn't include this title. 

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Developed by Guerrilla Games and released in February, this action role-playing game follows the life and times of Aloy, a young woman trying to survive in a prehistoric land overrun by mechanical dinosaurs. Okay, so not prehistoric -- more post-apocalyptic, "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but still somehow in the future" kinda land. 

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Horizon: Zero Dawn's glowing praises stem from the game's expansive open world, intense storytelling, and seriously beautiful visuals. 

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Just take one look at a screenshot from this game and tell me you can't feel the wind beneath your wings, can't smell the earth beneath your feet, the grass running through your fingers. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/6/1/36190303persona51280-1490732046280-bf4ee.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/6/1/36190303persona51280-1490732046280-bf4ee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175530","description":"

Persona 5

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I don't know about you, but there was at least one month out of this year where every social media outlet I went to was talking about Persona 5 (or maybe that just says something about my social media habits).

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Released worldwide in April and developed by Atlus, Persona 5 is a role-playing game with social simulations, and it is technically the sixth installment in the Persona series. It follows the story of high school students who have awakened powers within themselves, wherein they naturally turn to a life of masked vigilantes.

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With its praised role-playing mechanics and beautiful graphics, Persona 5 achieved high ratings by most all game reviewers, even dubbed as "Essential" by Eurogamer

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Guess I know what I'm adding to my Christmas list.

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Ah, 2017. The year everyone thought was going to be better than 2016 (which was a terrible year for everyone apparently?) but ended up being almost worse, at least for some.  

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But not everything about 2017 was bad -- at least not in the gaming community. 

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Sure, Skyrim was remastered and released -- again -- and drama on the battle front -- excuse me, Battlefront 2 -- made some lose their faith in the gaming community entirely, but some titles released this year renewed that lost faith and joy. 

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More specifically, some titles released this year for the PlayStation 4 deserve recognition of their own. 

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So sit down, buckle up, strap in, whatever you gotta do to prepare for this showcase of the 9 best PS4 games of 2017, because even if they don't knock you off your feet, they're gonna do something

"}]]]>
Want your gamer child to read more? Get them these books! https://www.gameskinny.com/q80wg/want-your-gamer-child-to-read-more-get-them-these-books https://www.gameskinny.com/q80wg/want-your-gamer-child-to-read-more-get-them-these-books Mon, 07 Dec 2015 07:06:10 -0500 The Soapbox Lord

Video games are a wonderful way to tell stories and create memorable experiences; there’s nothing quite like a well-crafted yarn in a digital realm to capture your imagination. However, as much as I enjoy playing games, there is another past time I enjoy at the same level or more so than I enjoy video games: reading. While an excellent game narrative can transport you to fantastical worlds, there is nothing quite like reading an utterly captivating book and becoming lost in its world as your imagination brings it to life.

This is a list of books for the gamer in your life. Some are aimed more at children, and some will be aimed more at adults. However, gamers of all ages should be able to find something enjoyable here. Who knows? They might just become so enthralled in some of these tales they’ll forget about the games, for a short time anyway. 

This list is split in three: first, we'll look at books based on popular video game franchises; second, we'll look at books that inspired video games; third, we'll look at books that are not game-related but are likely to appeal to gamers.

Books based on video game series

Halo series

The Halo series is a science-fiction shooter series that has been running since 2001 with no signs of slowing down. Halo made waves for having a far-reaching and ambitious story as compared to most other shooters of its time. Given this emphasis on narrative in the series, book adaptations were inevitable. There are several entries in the series with only one book, Halo: The Flood, being an adaptation of a game’s story while the rest expand upon the Halo universe. Fans of the series will undoubtedly hungrily devour more information on their beloved Master Chief, and the struggles humanity face in this universe.

A Parent’s Take

The Halo series has been rated M for Mature, with the exception of the recent Halo 5: Guardians and the spin-off Halo Wars. The series is without major gore, and players only encounter mild profanities such as “damn.” In some books, there is some adult content like violence and some scattered strong profanity, but not an overabundance - and rarely more than the games do. I doubt the other books have much problematic content, but the ones we've reviewed were pretty much fine.

Notable Titles

Warcraft series

The Warcraft franchise has changed quite a bit over the years. What started as a strategy game evolved into an MMO juggernaut that has continually dwarfed the competition for over ten years. The games are known for their strong narratives and memorable characters that fans have grown to love over several games. The books for this franchise are unique compared to other game adaptations. One series follows the Warcraft strategy series while the other books deal with the ever-popular World of Warcraft. With nearly twenty novels, there are plenty of choices for Alliance and Horde alike.

A Parent’s Take

All of the games in the Warcraft universe are rated T. There is your typical fantasy violence, some mild cursing, and various minor offenses. Otherwise, expect some well-written fantasy narratives!

Notable Titles

There are countless other books based on games; far too many to mention here. For those interested, more exhaustive lists can be found here and here. Now onto our next category! 

Books that inspired games

The Witcher series

The Witcher is a series of action-role-playing games set on delivering a mature experience for older players. The third entry in the series launched in early 2015 to much acclaim. The games are based on a series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. With the release of the first The Witcher title, players outside of Poland clamored for a translation, which came not long after the game’s release. Any fans of the games or dark fantasy, in general, should find plenty to enjoy here.

A Parent’s Take

The Witcher games are rated M for good reason. Gore, mutilating monsters and humans alike, copious amounts of harsh language along with plenty of sexual innuendos, sexual situations, and even digital nudity await those who plunge into Geralt’s dark world. These games are most certainly not aimed at the kiddos. If your kid has played the games, don't expect much more to shock them as the books are aimed at the same older audiences as the games are.

Notable Titles
Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a Russian post-apocalyptic novel that finds the remnants of humanity fighting for survival in the ruined metro (subway) tunnels underground after a nuclear war decimated the surface of Earth. Humans wage war against radiation, harsh environments, mutated monstrosities, fellow humans, and other impediments in this unforgiving world. 

An eponymous game based on the novel released in 2010 with a sequel that followed in 2013. The novel has since spawned an official sequel along with giving birth to a book franchise that the original author, Dmitry Glukhovsky, has overseen.

A Parent’s Take

Both of the Metro games are rated M. The games have some intense violence against human and inhuman enemies, plenty of language, and the last title, Metro: Last Light, even had some digital nudity. Like The Witcher, expect the books to be similar in content.

Notable Titles
Alamut

The Assassin’s Creed series has several inspirations, but this 1938 novel by Vladimir Bartol was possibly been one the biggest influences on the game. The plot follows Ibn Tahir, a young soldier who joins a garrison held by the Ismalis at a fortress named Alamut. The fortress is led by the charismatic Hassan, who may or may not be deceiving his troops to manipulate them. Tahir is sent to assassinate a vizier who reveals Hassan has been deceiving his troops (sound familiar yet?).  Tahir confronts his leader who reveals his life motto: “Nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted.” Disillusioned Tahir is sent on a global odyssey while Hassan attempts to cultivate his power.

A Parent’s Take

Most of the games in the Assassin’s Creed franchise have been rated M, usually for violence, some vulgar language, and blood. As this novel was written in 1938, it doesn't have much that will shock young adult readers but the themes may be a bit much for some.

 

Books gamers will like (but are not directly related to gaming)

Artemis Fowl series

Artemis Fowl follows the exploits of Artemis Fowl, who just so happens to be a genius and world-renowned criminal at the age of twelve. Young Artemis discovers fairies do exist and seeks to capture one in order to obtain a lucrative ransom. What follows is a series of misadventures for readers young and old alike.

As the series goes on, the characters grow and experience major trauma. While the later entries weren’t quite as strong as the earlier ones, I wholeheartedly recommend this series to everyone. This is one of those rare series that may be aimed at younger audiences, but contains plenty of meaty content for older readers as well. I have read the entire series at least three times now, and I cannot wait until my daughter is old enough for me to share these with her.

A Parent’s Take

The series has plenty of action, though nothing ever gets bloody and characters rarely die. There is plenty of swearing in the fairy tongue (which can’t be translated due to how offensive the words are) and “damn” may be used twice over the entire series. There is some crude humor with one character’s abilities revolving around his flatulence, but it is never gross or over the top. There shouldn’t be too much here to find fault with.

Also, if you’re a fan of audiobooks, I cannot recommend these enough. The reader is one of the best I have ever heard and manages to do a distinct voice for each character on top of a great narration.

Notable Titles
The Old Kingdom series

Garth Nix may be more known to modern readers as the author of the Keys to the Kingdom series, but I want to shine a spotlight on his under appreciated The Old Kingdom series. The series follows a young girl named Sabriel, who goes looking for her father after receiving a strange message from one of his undead servants. Sabriel’s father is known as “Abhorsen,” a magician who fights necromancers and undead creatures in an attempt to keep peace in the kingdom. An old evil is manipulating events and threatens to awake, and it’s up to Sabriel and her talking, surly cat companion to find her father and stop the evil.

A Parent’s Take

While there is some fantasy violence, parents should note there are plenty of undead and other nightmarish creatures found within these pages. While nothing is too scary for younger readers, sensitive ones might find Nix’s descriptions of these creatures a tad much. Besides that, I cannot remember a single curse word or anything else to give parents pause. The series is also available in audiobook form as read by the always-terrific Tim Curry, which is an excellent listen.

Titles in the Series
The Bartimaeus Sequence

The Bartimaeus novels follow the exploits of magical apprentice Nathaniel and the five-thousand-year-old djinni Bartimaeus, whom Nathaniel summons to do his bidding. The first novel revolves around the unlikely duo perpetrating a petty theft that quickly evolves into a more serious threat than either could have anticipated.

The books are characterized by the witty banter of Bartimaeus and his relationship with the young and vain Nathaniel. Their bond evolves as the books progress and Nathaniel changes from an unlikable, haughty twerp to a person the reader can actually care about.

 A Parent’s Take

One of the cores of the Bartimaeus universe is summoning demons, afrits, and other magical beings to do one’s bidding. As such, there are lot of otherworldly beasties and nasties in the series. There is no adult language, and the violence is sporadic and rarely intense. There shouldn’t be too much here to keep younger ones away, and the books are excellent enough for older readers to enjoy as well.

Titles in the Series
Mistborn series

Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series launched with one hell of a debut set in a fully-realized world begging for more stories to be told. The books follow Vin, a thief who scrapes by in a crew of rowdy thieves. Vin comes to discover she has powers she can use by “burning” metal scrapings she ingests. Vin becomes involved in a plot to overthrow the oppressive dictatorship of The Lord Ruler, a seemingly omnipotent being who has been alive for hundreds of years.

The world is extremely fleshed out in the first book alone, and the themes of slavery and dictatorship in a high fantasy setting make for a different type fantasy novel. This one also has a great audiobook reader.

A Parent’s Take

I have only read the first title in the series, but there was not a lot of content I would say warrants a warning flag. The biggest thing may be the themes of slavery, oppression, government, and evil the novel presents. There is also a sizeable cast of characters and things to keep up with; the series might be better suited for older readers.

Notable Titles
The works of R. A. Salvatore

Few modern fantasy authors have had the success or popularity of Mr. Salvatore. Salvatore is most known for his works set in the Forgotten Realms universe, which is from the world of Dungeons and Dragons, and the character Drizzt Do’Urden. Salvatore has fourteen series set in the Forgotten Realms universe alone, not counting his other series or other works. Needless to say, most fans of fantasy games will probably enjoy something Salvatore has written.

A Parent’s Take

The titles are all appropriate for most ages, as long as you are ok with a bit of violence and some beasties straight out of D&D's Monster Manual. There is very rare profanity or sexual content and most of the titles are about overcoming various obstacles such as bandits and ice dragons in order to reach goals. There is some fantasy violence, but nothing grotesque or gory.

Notable Titles
Works by John Scalzi

John Scalzi burst onto the scene with Old Man’s War, an excellent sci-fi tale of an army that only recruits from the older population of Earth. While he has continued the series, he has written several other books that are just as good as his debut novel.

Scalzi’s novels are usually filled with smart-aleck characters, witty dialogue, and imaginative narrative cores. Doubtless, most people reading this have read one of his books or heard of him by now. If you haven’t, I highly recommend checking some of his works out.

A Parent’s Take

I have thoroughly enjoyed most of Scalzi’s books I have read, but I must caution parents - These books are aimed at older readers. There is enough profanity here to fill a Quentin Tarantino movie, plenty of blood, guts, and detailed dismemberments, on top of some sexual situations and issues only older readers can relate to. That said, if you can get past these issues, you’ll find some great books for your teen's collection.

Notable Titles
The Dresden Files

Harry Dresden is a wizard-for-hire practicing in modern-day Chicago. Needless to say, he leads an interesting life. The Dresden series is essentially a neo-noir saga following a down-on-his-luck wizard in lieu of a gumshoe. While the trappings and archetypes of noir pervade the books, the focus on a wizard in modern times and Jim Butcher’s take on magic keeps things fresh.

There are also plenty of interesting characters, including wise-cracking femme fatales, trolls, fairies, vampires, and countless other magical beings. There are over 15 novels in the series, and each can serve as a jumping on point thanks to Butcher reiterating some major concepts for newer readers without becoming annoying for veteran readers.

A Parent’s Take

Like any good noir, there are crimes aplenty in the world of Harry Dresden. Besides the crimes, there is a fair amount of language and a good deal of violence. There are also some nasty denizens of magic floating about that might be a bit scary for the younger ones. I recommend this one for the older kids.

Notable Titles
Star Wars

The Star Wars franchise has been running strong ever since the release of A New Hope in 1977. The franchise has become one of the most beloved in nerd and mainstream culture. With the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens looming ever closer on the horizon, a new generation will grow up with Jedis, Sith, and the Force.

With the massive success of the franchise, it should come as no surprise there are a plethora of books. Seriously. There are a ton of books in the series as you can see by looking here. Just take your pick for the gamer in your life.

A Parent’s Take

With rare exception, expect these books to match up with the content of the films: essentially, a great deal of sci-fi action, heroic journeys, and coming of age stories in a galaxy far, far away - but nothing that would keep the younglings at bay.

Notable Titles

Just scroll down this list and take your pick.

 

Obviously, there are countless other books gamers might find enticing. This is just scratching the surface on the wonderful world of books. If you have any favorites you would like to share, please do so in the comments below!

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6 Star Wars video game experiences to remember heading into the new films https://www.gameskinny.com/ncx04/6-star-wars-video-game-experiences-to-remember-heading-into-the-new-films https://www.gameskinny.com/ncx04/6-star-wars-video-game-experiences-to-remember-heading-into-the-new-films Fri, 18 Sep 2015 08:21:59 -0400 Marshall Jenkins

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Shadows of the Empire - Skyhook Battle

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Now look! This may be a bit of a niche choice, but this mission was the closest thing to the feeling of excitement during the Death Star battle in Return of the Jedi. The dog-fighting, the massive scale of the Skyhook, and the tunnel assault to blow up the reactor had our hearts racing to the very end. 

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While the main story of the game was a bit flat, the situations presented to the player offered wonderful Star Wars moments with wonderful replay ability. Escaping from Hoth, riding the train on Ord Mantel, inflitrating Xizor's Palace, and the final space battle rounded out a great Star Wars experience that graced the Nintendo 64 in 1996. 

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Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast - Retrieving your Lightsaber

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Kyle Katarn is one of the more tragic characters in the now "Legends" Star Wars story. Always struggling between the light and dark side, the protagonist of Jedi Outcast has forsaken the force and the ways of the Jedi to further his life. However, the player soon finds Katarn in a quest that requires his reconnection with the force. 

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Going through Luke Skywalker's trial to redeem your lightsaber is a critical moment for Katarn and a great moment for the story of Star Wars. Gameplay wise, acquiring your lightsaber and your connection to The Force turns you back into the master of combat you expect from a Jedi making for some great encounters in later missions. 

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Knights of the Old Republic - Crafting your Lightsaber

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An elegant weapon for a more civilized age, building a lightsaber is one of the initiatory moments in a Jedi's training and players waiting an entire act to be able to do so was torture. From the outset, the player knows the protagonist is strong in the force, yet we are not permitted to its use for the first several hours of gameplay.

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Arriving at the Jedi temple after many hours finally gave players the opportunity to do what every Star Wars fan has ached to do since childhood: Become a Jedi and craft a lightsaber. An excellent moment that feels completely earned after the harrowing survival of the first chapter.    

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 - Hero Assault on Mos Eisley

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Who said anything about this list being only story elements? The Hero Assault mode in Star Wars Battlefront 2 offered some of the most fun battles in any Star Wars game that has been released. Players joined either the lights side or the dark side and had a sample of the many characters that occupied those roles throughout the saga.

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Then, as you would expect, you do battle even if the various match-ups and situations are a little outside of canon. Clashing with General Grievous as Princess Leia while your friends are screaming at an enemy Boba Fett over Xbox Live was great fun and a great platform for enjoying the Star Wars experience. 

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Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords - Kreia's Lessons

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Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords is like a fine wine. It gets better as it ages. Living in the shadow of its critically acclaimed predecessor Knights of the Old Republic, all eyes were on its sequel. While it was not a success critically, Knights of the Old Republic 2 offered one of the greatest Star Wars characters to grace the universe: Kreia. 

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Outside of the novels, Kreia was one of the first characters to preach the morally grey area that is The Force to a large audience. Her approach to breaking down the binary assumptions of the light and dark side are some of the most compelling conversations in gaming and gives Kreia a permanent position on anyone's favorite Star Wars characters. 

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Star Wars: Republic Commando - Introductions

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Before television offered us a deeper insight into the training of clone troopers in The Clone Wars episode Clone Cadets, we had the excellent introductory mission within Star Wars: Republic Commando that finally shed a light on the intensity of clone training and the bond of brotherhood within the horde of soldiers. 

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Learning the origins of your squad while simultaneously building a bond before the true game even begins was a very impressive design and story choice that continued to grow throughout the game until its climactic ending.

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Although unlikely, maybe an invigorated Star Wars universe can lead to a well-deserved sequel to this excellent squad based first person shooter. 

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The force is strong with us. The time is almost here. We have a hard time even saying it without bursting with excitement: we get to see more Star Wars films. While most of the various games and other Star Wars media have been dismissed as "Legends" from our new Disney overlords, Star Wars has had many wonderful video game stories and experiences that will not leave the minds of fans even if they are no longer canon.

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With new Star Wars stories on the horizon via new films, games, books, comics, and more, this is a very unique chance to reflect on which experiences offered stellar Star Wars moments that were outside of the main film saga. Here are our six choices. 

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The Most Iconic Character Deaths in Games https://www.gameskinny.com/jqv0j/the-most-iconic-character-deaths-in-games https://www.gameskinny.com/jqv0j/the-most-iconic-character-deaths-in-games Mon, 17 Aug 2015 03:59:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

There's nothing quite like the death of a beloved character that allows them to meet their demise in a memorable fashion. Games are no strangers to having characters die, but these are some of the most iconic and memorable deaths to date. Since we will be looking at deaths of characters in various series, consider yourself warned of spoilers.

Now then, prepare to experience ultimate sadness. 

Sarah: The Last of Us

The opening to The Last of Us remains one of the most memorable and powerful beginnings in any game. While we knew what to expect, thanks to pre-release interviews and previews, the death was no less dramatic.

After having some quality father-daughter time, Joel and Sarah meet up with Joel’s brother in order to flee their neighbors who have become homicidal. After multiple close calls and encounters with bloodthirsty humans, Joel and Sarah make it to the edge of town where they are stopped by a soldier. Despite Joel’s pleading, the soldier receives orders to open fire, wounding Joel and leading to Sarah’s death shortly thereafter.

With great voice acting and framing, the scene is powerful and deeply affecting. Even worse, for those of us who are parents, this added an additional fist of emotional gut-punching.

John Marston: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption was a powerful story about family and the unfulfilling pointlessness of murderous revenge. Also hunting - gotta get those skins yo! John was recruited by some shady lawmen that are holding John’s family hostage to hunt down members from his old gang, who kinda shot him up and left him for dead.

After doing all that was asked of him, Marston retires to his home and is ready to spend time with his family. After some daily routines of establishing his farm, a posse of men led by the marshals shows up at Marston’s house, eager to wipe the Marstons out in an effort to hide the government’s involvement with a former outlaw.

The resulting gunfight sees Marston going down in a blaze of lead and glory, and it's forever embedded in our memories.

 

Mordin Solus: Mass Effect 3

Mordin was the embodiment of the quirky scientist. The salarian had a unique, albeit slightly broken, way of speaking, a constant desire to work, and rarely allows his conscience or personal feelings to affect his judgment. In the series you learn Mordin helped develop the genophage, a disease that affects the krogan and essentially hampers the ability of the krogan to reproduce, crippling the krogan race.

After dealing with a Reaper on the krogan homeworld of Tuchanka, you discover you can help develop a cure for the dreaded genophage disease. Once you have the cure, you try to broadcast it via the Shroud, but due to previous salarian sabotage, someone must travel to the top of the Shroud in order to override the sabotage. Whoever travels to the top will not be coming down though.

Surprisingly, Mordin volunteers to sacrifice himself in order to broadcast for the genophage disease he helped create. He seeks to make up for his involvement in the creation of the disease and other mistakes by breaking the curse of the dreaded genophage. While it is possible to stop Mordin, by killing him, or allowing him to live and participating in a form of genocide, no other outcome has the effect of watching Mordin sing “Scientist Salarian” while becoming engulfed in explosions. It’s a rather touching scene and a fitting end to a fantastic character.

 

Andrew Ryan: BioShock

BioShock remains a landmark title and an intriguing look at choice in games, among other things. Andrew Ryan is the founder of the underwater city of Rapture where there are practically no inhibitions on science or anything really. Needless to say, things go downhill rather quickly.

Your character Jack braves the horrors of Rapture in his quest to find Ryan, get some answers, and get the hell out of Dodge. Upon confronting Ryan, you learn Atlas, the person you have been communicating with the entire game and your guide, has been manipulating you and using mind control to force you to do his bidding. The resulting scene is entrenched in the minds of players everywhere as Ryan dies, adhering to his philosophy and to prove a point. Memorable indeed.

 

Sgt. Paul Jackson: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The Call of Duty series has always been known for its grand set pieces, but nothing prepared us for this moment. Sgt. Jackson and a group of US soldiers are attacking the location of what they believe is a terrorist’s hideout. It turns out it was a decoy and is housing a nuclear weapon which is about to detonate. Jackson makes the decision to rescue a soldier who fell behind and then the fireworks happen.

To this point, deaths in games were not uncommon, but FPS games rarely featured the death of playable characters. This moment changed that. Unfortunately, it also led to the further CoD entries adding an obligatory “shock” moment and struggling to top the one before. Regardless, this moment remains effective.

 

Lee Everett: The Walking Dead: Season One

You’ve rescued a little girl from zombies and ensured her survival through countless perils and near-death situations. You deserve a break right? Well Telltale said, “Psh, whatever. Screw that noise.”

After everything that has happened and all Lee has done to ensure Clementine’s safety, Clemtine is kidnapped, and a rogue zombie bites Lee, sealing his fate. You can cut off the bitten appendage, but nothing will stop the inevitable creep of the Reaper.

Once you free Clementine from her captor, Lee and Clementine make their way through a horde of zombies and hole up in an abandoned storefront. Once here, Lee shows Clementine the bite and informs her of his impending death. You can have Clementine shoot Lee to cut his suffering short and prevent Lee from becoming a zombie, or you can choose to allow Lee to die and later turn into a zombie, presumably. This scene led to many tears shed in the real world along with Clementine’s digital tears. So many feels…

Jenny: The Darkness

The Darkness is a criminally underrated game, and you really owe it to yourself to play. Jenny is the love interest of the main character, Jackie Estacado. The two have essentially known each other their entire lives and are hopelessly in love. What’s even better is Jenny is conveyed realistically and comes across as a believable character instead of just eye candy.

There’s even a touching moment that allows you to sit on a couch with Jenny and watch To Kill a Mockingbird, among other things. It’s an intimate moment that isn’t too uncommon from what people do in real life. Of course, things end poorly.

Possessed by the titular demonic power of The Darkness, Jackie constantly resists the demonic power in an effort to keep some semblance of free will. The Darkness will have none of that and proves to Jackie his free will is no more. Jackie’s uncle is holding Jenny hostage in the orphanage where Jackie and jenny grew up.

When Jackie attempts to rescue Jenny from his homicidal uncle and a crooked police chief, The Darkness renders him helpless and forces him to do nothing but watch while the brains of the love of his life are splattered over the wall. It’s brutal. It’s gut-wrenching, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t provide motivation to kill those crooked jerks.

 NSFW VIDEO ALERT!


Dupre: Ultima 7 Part Two

The Ultima series is one of the influential and well-regarded RPG series in gaming. While the eighth and ninth entries are held in spite by fans, they aren’t enough to blight the legacy of this franchise. Dupre is first introduced in Ultima II, which was released way back in 1982. He remains a constant companion and a series stalwart.

During the events of Ultima VII, Dupre becomes possessed and becomes the Bane of Wantoness, proceeding to slay many innocents. He was eventually cured by the Avatar, the playable character. After this, you learn in order to mend the broken pieces of the Serpents of Chaos (which keeps the entire universe in balance and from self-destructing) a human sacrifice of one who is in “balance” is required.

Only five people are candidates and straws are drawn with the Avatar drawing the short straw. When the time comes to sacrifice yourself, Dupre throws himself in the crematorium, stating he cannot take the guilt over the lives he has claimed. His last words are, “Let it be said Sir Dupre died bravely!” A noble sacrifice indeed. Start the video at the 4:50 mark.

Meryl: Metal Gear Solid and The Twin Snakes

Solid Snake is a stoic soldier who is focused only on the mission and feels nothing along the lines of love, or so you might think. In Metal Gear Solid, Snake encounters Meryl, a soldier held on the island Snake is infiltrating. Meryl assists Snake during some of his battles before they both become kidnapped.

Snake is then being tortured by Ocelot who tells Snake he must resist his torture, which is essentially pressing a single button repeatedly. If you fail, you aren’t shown the consequences until the last confrontation with Liquid Snake at the end of the game. During the confrontation, you spy Meryl, but aren’t able to get to her with Liquid around.

After temporarily getting rid of Liquid, Snake rushes over to Meryl for a happy reunion filled with smiles, laughter, and good times! And she’s dead, all because you could not resist the torture. So it’s completely your fault. I’ll be in the corner popping some anti-depressants now.

Wander: Shadow of the Colossus

It’s a story we’ve heard a thousand times before. Man’s girlfriend dies. In order to bring her back, guy proceeds to listen to strange voices and kill sixteen colossi. After slaying the final titan, man becomes possessed by evil because the colossi were guardians to ward evil away. Man dies and girlfriend is shortly resurrected after his death. All that and he never got to see the fruits of his labors.

Aeris/Aerith: Final Fantasy VII

You knew it was coming, but people still mourn to this day. While characters in games had died before, the death of Aeris was unexpected and accompanied by a beautiful score; ensuring players will never forget this scene. ‘Nuff said.

Were there any iconic deaths I missed? Should any of these entries have been left out? Sound off in the comments!

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The 7 parenting skills I developed by being a gamer https://www.gameskinny.com/iwxes/the-7-parenting-skills-i-developed-by-being-a-gamer https://www.gameskinny.com/iwxes/the-7-parenting-skills-i-developed-by-being-a-gamer Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:32:24 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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It’s interesting what parallels that one can correlate between parenting and gaming after some thought. While there are other parenting skills gaming has influenced and sharpened, I found these the most interesting and important. Now if you’ll excuse me, I probably have some fingerpainted dogs to clean off the walls…

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Loving Something that Isn’t Perfect

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We all enjoy games, but we know there is no such thing as a perfect game. It is impossible. Every game is flawed in some way. While we may be able to overlook the flaws even the greatest games have, some of gamers even enjoy games that have issues. We know they are far from perfect and they have issues, yet we still love them and hold them dear to our hearts. Now how in the world can that apply to parenting? Rather easily, it turns out.

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The most important thing you can do as a parent is love your child. You could provide your child with everything they could ever want or dream of, but without loving them, they would not be content with their life. While there are other important skills tasks you have as a parent, few come close in importance to loving your child.

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A parent’s love is dumbfounding, terrifying, and stronger than adamantium. However, children are far from perfect. Hell, kids are basically little adults with no life experience. They will make mistakes, they'll have 'bugs', and they'll frustrate you sometimes. The thing is, no matter what our children may do, we parents will continue to love our children; just like we gamers will continue to cherish our flawed, but enjoyable games.

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Organization is Awesome

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I tend to be a bit anal with some things. My movie, music, and game collections are all alphabetized. I have also somehow organized my colossal Steam and GOG.com libraries by genre. No easy feat, I assure you.

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I have also organized my book collection as well as my shoes, clothes, and my MMO inventories, and our Guild Bank, and you get the idea…. Having games organized allows you to easily find the game you just have a hankering to play, otherwise you are stuck rummaging through a pile of assorted games with no clue as to where that elusive game is! I've learned a thing or two about organizing damn-near everything.

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As a parent, being organized is a must for everyday life as well as when you want to go somewhere. Organized clothes ensures you aren’t dressing your child in winter clothes in the heat of summer (you’d be surprised what happens when you aren’t awake yet). Having your child’s toys organized allows you to easily lay hands on that particular toy when they ask, “Where’s my favorite action figure block?!” While it may not always be easy, staying organized is a great skill for parents and gamers alike.

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Ignoring the Haters and Dealing with Bullies

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Like many people, I have had my fair share dealing with bullies, harassers, and those mean-spirited haters. Thankfully, dealing with people like this will allow me to help my daughter when she encounters these toxic creatures. While I hope and pray she won’t encounter them, it seems an inevitable passage of life we all must face.

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We’ve all been there before. Playing our favorite game when someone decides to take it upon themselves and be the ugliest person they can be, usually in the form of sexist, hateful, and derogatory remarks.

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Believe it or not, dealing with these people online helps determine how you will deal with similar people in real life. The exposure to meanies and bullies online will help you to deal with future incidents in a positive manner, and help you teach your kids how to rise above the negativity.

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Shrugging Off Critics and Their Unwanted Advice

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I’m convinced the moment you become a parent you gain an invisible bulls-eye for unwanted advice and criticism. I am all about useful, helpful, and constructive advice, but useless and hyper-critical advice from random strangers or even people you know? No thanks, mate.

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Once I was walking towards my daughter with a bag of chips I was snacking on in hand. Someone told me, “Don’t feed that baby chips!” The joys of parenting! Thankfully, due to countless backseat gamers, I know how to shrug off this sort of uninvited backseat parenting.

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The above story is probably also familiar to anyone who has ventured into the realm of online multiplayer. How many times have you been minding your own business fulfilling the role of your character only to receive criticism? “Why are you going top with Jinx?!” “Don’t use your abilities yet!” "Don't heal that baddie!" And so it goes.

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While some of the things said online might be more akin to harassment and bullying (which we will get to), a lot of it is in a similar camp to the unwanted, not very helpful advice. By being constantly exposed to it, you learn how to deal with, ignore, deflect, or whatever it is you do. The important thing to remember is to not let it get you, either when playing games or parenting.    

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A Willingness to Try New Things

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As a parent, it can be difficult to get your child to try new things. “It looks gross! I don’t like the way it smells. This place is different!” And so on. Kids can be very picky, especially when it comes to food. Thankfully, my daughter is a miniature vacuum cleaner at the moment and rarely finds something she will not eat. (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.) As parents, we want to ensure our child experiences things they might not otherwise. Great things can arise when you leave your comfort zone. Variety is the spice of life after all.

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Fellow players also know how important trying new things can be. Some of my favorite games include Spec Ops: The Line, To the Moon, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. All three games are drastically different and stretch across multiple genres. Without being willing to try something different from my usual taste, I would have probably never played these amazing games. How many times have we played a game we thought was strange because our friend or a critic we respect recommended it?

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By trying new things, we allow ourselves to be open to a wide variety of experiences and whatever may follow. Sure, you can play the same yearly iterations of Madden and Call of Duty, but you miss out on great games such as Brothers, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Transistor, and Bayonetta.

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By being a gamer who embraces variety and is willing to try a wide variety of titles, I know the importance of variety and hope my daughter will grow up appreciating variety as well. Hopefully she will never be a picky eater too! 

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A Thrifty Gamer is a Thrifty Parent

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If you play games, chances are you are a bargain hunter, even if only a small amount. We are always hunting for deals and steals in order to play as many games as possible for as little money as it takes. Steam Sales, Humble Bundles, bargain bins, and yard sales are just some of the tools in our repertoire we use to get those cheap deals! (I even wrote a guide on how to be bargain gamer for consoles.) Many players shop smart, are frugal, and know how to do as much research as they can to find the best deal possible.

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Having a child can be quite expensive. Car seats, beds, clothes, diapers, and the many other necessities add up quick. However, being a thrifty gamer absolutely transfers into being a thrifty parent.

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I could buy that brand-new Graco carseat for $300 (these things are expensive), or I can get this other one someone returned, in like-new condition, for only $100! I have found myself constantly calculating the cost of individual wipes, diapers, and more in an effort to make the best buy and stretch my funds as much as possible. My constant bargain-hunting for games has allowed me to find great deals on things for my daughter. Stay thrifty my friends! 

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Patience is a Virtue

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One of the most important qualities you can have as a parent is patience, especially with younger children. Kids are curious and will get into EVERYTHING. It’s just a fact of life. You can turn your back for an instant and turn around to discover your child has fingerpainted animals on all of your walls. While kids will always do things they are not supposed to and they will disobey, we still must remain patient with them.

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Anyone who has played any game has had to learn patience. Those of us who grew up playing the frustratingly difficult games of the NES generation know what I mean. Most games require some degree of patience in order to be successful. Players who are fans of notoriously difficult games such as Super Meat Boy and the Souls series, among many others, are well acquainted with our friend patience. Now if you are constantly breaking your controller in frustration, you might want to work on that… 

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I have been playing games for my entire life so far with no end in sight. Over the years of playing games, I have learned many things about myself and the way I experience media, as well as what genuinely affects me on an emotional level (among countless other things). I recently discussed the benefits kids acquire from playing games.

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Now imagine my surprise when I realized all that time playing games has actually taught me to be a better parent. Crazy, eh?

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Believe it or not, there are certain skills you can develop by being a member of the gaming culture at large. While not all of these develop strictly from playing games, per se; they are all interconnected and have developed in some way through the years due to my time with games and the culture. So, how can your game time now possibly translate to being an awesome parent later? Let’s find out!    

"}]]]>
10 Sequels That Blew Away the Original https://www.gameskinny.com/5fi3y/10-sequels-that-blew-away-the-original https://www.gameskinny.com/5fi3y/10-sequels-that-blew-away-the-original Sun, 15 Mar 2015 07:06:08 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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Halo 2 - Xbox

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Halo was a landmark game which helped launch Microsoft’s foray into the console world. Halo was a system seller and the reason many of us gathered for grand multiplayer battles with our friends.

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If Halo blew us away, Halo 2 knocked our socks off with a Chuck Norris roundhouse, and then put our socks back on only to blow us out of them again. Halo 2 had a more memorable campaign and more developed story than its predecessor. More importantly though, the sequel’s multiplayer laid the foundation for the multiplayer we know and love today. Besides adding more maps, customization options, and weapons, the addition of online multiplayer via the new Xbox Live service helped invigorate online multiplayer for the console world. When the original Live service was getting shut down, Spartans were still waging battles worldwide.

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The release of the Master Chief Collection has allowed players to relive the glory days in glorious HD, further cementing this classic into the memories of players everywhere.

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Also, the Arbiter > Master Chief. It had to be said. 

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Diablo 2 - PC

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The original Diablo was a moody hack-n-slash with a dark, Gothic atmosphere and plenty of enemies to transform into gory corpses. The sequel had more of the same, which was not a problem in the case of Diablo, but added even more ways to entice players to play their life hacking away at enemies.

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Blizzard added more classes for the sequel. On top of the additional classes, an item crafting system and a new loot classification system were added, along with a host of enhancements for the online experience. Diablo 2 enticed players to click long into the night and has kept them busy to this day. 

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Timesplitters 2 - Xbox, Gamecube, & PS2

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Timesplitters was developed by the team at Free Radical, most notably composed of people who had worked on the classic FPS Goldeneye. Timesplitters was met with a warm reception both by critics and players alike. For the sequel, Free Radical went all-out with the zany and ridiculous, leading to a shooter unlike anything before and after it.

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How many other shooters allow you to play as monkeys, zombies, ninjas, and all sorts of other characters with one of the most robust and fleshed-out multiplayer experiences to date? The campaign was also great, with varied and interesting levels. You know, everything a good shooter should have. Now if only Crytek would hop to an HD release or a new entry in the series.

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Super Smash Bros. Melee - Gamecube

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Ah, Super Smash Bros. Many fond memories were had playing SSB on the N64. When released, our inner fanboys squealed in delight as we realized dreams of Nintendo characters duking it out could be a reality. We tolerated the abysmal framerate and the awkward N64 controller for hours on end, simply for the joy and good times to be had.

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With the release of the Gamecube came the second entry in the series, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and a host of improvements. Once again, improved technology vastly improved the player experience, resulting in a more stable and enjoyable play session. More characters, inventive stages, and a plethora of modes and extras led to arguably the best Smash game to date. The competitive scene certainly thinks so. 

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Hitman 2 - Xbox, Gamecube, & PS2

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Hitman: Codename 47 was an interesting release, but was flawed in some key areas. If not for Agent 47’s presence, Hitman 2 could be mistaken for a completely new franchise. Adding more open levels, player freedom, and ironing out stealth mechanics proved successful for IO Interactive and the Hitman series. Hiitman 2 also led to some of the most memorable levels we have seen in the franchise thus far. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a trip to St. Petersburg.

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System Shock 2 - PC 

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The first System Shock took the world by storm upon its release in 1994. The game was something truly unique and ground-breaking. System Shock 2 was all of that and more. With better technology came a more chilling atmosphere, terrifying enemies, and one of the most unnerving antagonists in gaming: S.H.O.D.A.N. This game is considered one of the greatest and most influential - for good reason, as elements of the game can be seen in releases to this day, most notably the Bioshock series. 

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Team Fortress 2 - PC

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Some players would debate upon whether TF 2 or TF Classic is superior, but it is difficult to argue against TF 2. Since releasing in 2007, the game has received consistent updates packed with additional (FREE) content, and the game itself is completely free to everyone. Diverse classes, great map design, a dedicated community, and varied game modes have helped launch TF 2 into immortality. Now how about learning to count to three Valve?

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Saints Row 2 - Xbox 360 & PS3

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Saints Row was a GTA imitator which did not do much to set itself apart from other games of its ilk. For the sequel, Violition decided to go all out in the ridiculous department, giving players an open world game unlike any they had ever seen. The series went from a straight-faced gangster story in the original, to having a mission where players drive a truck that shoots sewage at bystanders in the sequel. The shift worked, and three entries later we have played as the President fighting aliens, been to hell, and wielded a dubstep gun. Wub Wub.

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Just Cause 2 - Xbox 360 & PS3

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Just Cause was met with mixed reception upon launch. Just Cause 2’s launch was the exact opposite and rightly so. Just Cause 2 gave players a massive world to wreak havoc in, as well as the tools necessary to do so. More importantly though, the game gave players the freedom to enact their craziest dreams and a versatile grappling hook to bring those dreams to fruition. You can also surf planes. ‘Nuff said. 

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Silent Hill 2 - PS2 & Xbox

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The original Silent Hill was a classic and a huge influence on games, especially the survival-horror genre. Silent Hill 2 was a massive improvement on the original in every way. Having the advantage of the power of the PS2 and the Xbox brought the creepy town and nightmarish monsters to terrifying life. There is a reason this is considered not only one of the best games of all time, but also one of the scariest. It also gave us Pyramid Head. A good thing right? 

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Sometimes game sequels are so much improved over the original, they completely obliterate their predecessors. In order to narrow down the list of candidates, I decided to only include direct sequels; otherwise, this list might include a hundred games! Feel free to let us know if we missed any of your favorite sequels.

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