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Articles on this Page
- 02/19/18--17:16: _Rainbow Six Siege M...
- 02/19/18--17:57: _Super Mario Encyclo...
- 02/19/18--18:43: _Remedy Entertainmen...
- 02/19/18--19:11: _Diablo's Original C...
- 02/20/18--09:42: _Mega Man Legacy Col...
- 02/20/18--10:45: _The Underrated Cont...
- 02/20/18--12:45: _Metal Gear Survive ...
- 02/20/19--14:38: _Burnout Paradise HD...
- 02/20/18--22:04: _Sonic the Hedgehog ...
- 02/21/18--09:57: _The Many Innovation...
- 02/21/18--12:57: _Epic Showcases Fort...
- 02/21/18--13:29: _Modder Teaches AI P...
- 02/21/18--18:22: _Why Kingdom Come: D...
- 02/22/18--12:34: _Warcraft III Receiv...
- 02/22/18--12:47: _Death Stranding Rel...
- 02/22/18--14:16: _The 25 Video Games ...
- 02/22/18--16:45: _Hunt: Showdown Rele...
- 02/22/18--17:04: _The Last of Us 2 Re...
- 02/23/18--11:15: _Mario's 20 Greatest...
- 02/23/18--12:15: _Detective Pikachu G...
- 02/19/18--17:16: Rainbow Six Siege May Remain Active For 10 More Years
- 02/19/18--17:57: Super Mario Encyclopedia Set to Release in October
- 02/19/18--18:43: Remedy Entertainment's Next Game Will Release in 2019
- 02/19/18--19:11: Diablo's Original Creator Likes What Diablo III Became
- 02/20/18--09:42: Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 Out for Nintendo Switch in May
- 02/20/18--10:45: The Underrated Contra Games You Need to Play
- 02/20/18--12:45: Metal Gear Survive Release Date, Trailer, News, and More
- 02/20/19--14:38: Burnout Paradise HD Remaster Coming in March
- 02/20/18--22:04: Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Release Date Set
- 02/21/18--09:57: The Many Innovations of The Legend of Zelda
- 02/21/18--12:57: Epic Showcases Fortnite Season 3 Battle Pass Content
- 02/21/18--13:29: Modder Teaches AI Programs to Play Super Mario 64
- 02/21/18--18:22: Why Kingdom Come: Deliverance Is Only for the Most Patient Players
- 02/22/18--12:34: Warcraft III Receives Surprise Update 16 Years After Release
- 02/22/18--12:47: Death Stranding Release Date, Trailer, News, and More
- 02/22/18--14:16: The 25 Video Games You Need to Play in 2018
- 02/22/18--16:45: Hunt: Showdown Release Date, Trailer, News, and More
- 02/23/18--11:15: Mario's 20 Greatest Adventures: Ranking the Platformers
- 02/23/18--12:15: Detective Pikachu Game: New Trailer Features Talking Pikachu
Ubisoft has big plans for the increasingly popular shooter.
Ubisoft expects Rainbow Six Siege to be around for a very long time.
The studio recently revealed that Siege boasts an astonishing 27 million player userbase. Those numbers are likely inflated by things like free weekends and inactive accounts, but it's still a figure that represents what a remarkable success the game has been thus far. That being the case, Ubisoft sees no reason to abandon the title in the near future.
"We've communicated already a couple of times that our vision for the game is to bring it to 100 operators," said Rainbow Six Siege brand director Alexandre Remy during the game's recent invitational tournament. "Today we have 36 operators. Year 3 will bring eight [more]. That 100 is a symbol of the longevity we want to have for the game."
Remy expanded upon that idea by doing the match and confirming that he intends for Siegeto "be here for the next 10 years."
That's quite a ways off, but Ubisoft already has plans on how to fill the time. The game's "Year 3" updates will include four seasons of content updates. The first - which we've previously covered - is called Operation Chimera. It will add two new operators and a limited event called "Outbreak" which requires teams to battle alien creatures. Subsequent events will add new operators, new maps, reworked maps, and new mechanics designed to keep the current modes fresh. Said mechanics include a new ban system and regular alterations to existing maps. The developers have even promised that some maps will be completely overhauled.
This is all a bit shocking to hear when you consider that Siege was considered to be something of a disappointment upon its release. The base game wasn't bad, but its content was regularly criticized for being undercooked and a bit thin. Since then, Ubisoft has released a series of content updates and tweaks that have helped Siege become one of the most popular online shooters in recent memory.
Dark Horse Publishing looks to turn the history of Mario into a coffee table tome.
Dark Horse Publishing is teaming up with Nintendo to create an encyclopedia that details the design of the Super Mario series.
The Super Mario Encyclopedia's coverage extends from the 1985 release of Super Mario Bros. for the NES to the release of 2015's Super Mario 3D World. While that sadly means that Super Mario Odyssey will not be covered in-depth by the book - it may warrant a mention - this encyclopedia still figures to provide an in-depth look at the franchise.
Included within its 256 pages are detailed character descriptions, maps of the various level designs, a history of pro tricks and game glitches, collectible guides, fond memories from some of the games' creators, and much more. It sounds like the final product may be a bit more artwork intensive than information heavy, but given the beauty of Nintendo's design - and the undeniable appeal of a coffee table book - that might not be a bad thing at all.
The encyclopedia will release on October 23rd. It will retail for $39.99 and should be available via most major outlets. There's no word on whether or not Dark Horse also plans to release a special edition of the Super Mario Encylopedia.
This isn't the first time that Dark Horse and Nintendo have joined forces. You may recall that Dark Horse is responsible for the recent Legend of Zelda volumes that detailed the development and design of those games via developer's notes, drawings, maps, and more. Those collections were praised for their details, artwork, and general entertainment value. The collector's edition of one of the volumes was even designed to resemble a classic Zelda NES cartridge.
It's usually pretty easy to recommend these books to Nintendo fans and collectors. At the very least, it should help tide you over during this terrible point in life known as the time between new Mario games.
The studio behind Alan Wake, Max Payne, and Quantum Break are reportedly working on their most ambitious title yet.
Remedy's next game, the mysterious project known only as P7, is scheduled to be released in 2019.
Unfortunately, we still don't know much about P7. Remedy has previously described it as "a cinematic third-person action game set in a new Remedy-created universe," which does seem to suggest that it's going to be similar to some of the studio's other notable titles. The studio has promised that the game will offer their deepest in-game mechanics yet as well as a longer lasting overall experience.
That last bit of information might be a reference to the studio's most recent effort, Quantum Break. That game was praised for its television-style presentation but criticized for its lack of content and simplified gameplay system.
From what we can tell, this update has nothing to do with the multiplayer title that Remedy had previously mentioned they are working on.
In a post on the Remedy website, game directors Mikael Kasurinen and Sam Lake explained their decision to expand the company's development style by stating that "Single-player experience has always been an important focus for us. At the same time, we want to challenge ourselves to find ways to also expand these elements to include cooperative multiplayer."
Previously, Remedy has focused on developing single-player experiences that emphasize story above all else. While Lake and Kasurinen state that they will "always strive to be the best storytellers we possibly can," the studio now believes that it is possible for them to continue to tell the same quality of stories that take advantage of the enhanced gameplay elements that cooperative multiplayer provides.
As for how this relates to what Remedy is currently working on, it's unknown at this time exactly what game will take advantage of these cooperative multiplayer elements. Currently, the studio is developing a story mode for Crossfire 2, an expansion of their Northlight engine that will serve as the foundation for their new endeavors, and a mysterious third project that does not currently have a publically known name. It seems likely that third project will be the first Remedy game to feature this new multiplayer mode, and, sadly for some fans, Remedy had previously confirmed that it will not be a follow-up to one of the studio's previous games.
Remedy's most recent game, Quantum Break, was a sales success but was also met with a lukewarm reception from some fans and critics who felt that the game failed to really capitalize off of its unique ideas. It seems unlikely that Remedy is completely abandoning the idea of single-player game experiences like Quantum Break, however, and more likely that they are simply exploring their development range.
Despite some stumbles at the start, David Brevik says that Blizzard eventually got it right.
Diablo III creator David Brevik recently sat down with IGN and shared some of his thoughts on Diablo III. Unsurprisingly, they were mostly positive.
"I think that Diablo III ended up being a great game, especially after the expansion," said Brevik. "I thought that they added a lot of really great stuff to it that fleshed it out and made it a much better game than I thought that it was at launch."
That's a sentiment that most Diablo III fans will probably agree with. You may recall that Diablo III attracted quite a bit of controversy upon its 2012 release. Many of those complaints were related to the game's extreme technical issues - its DRM system led to online crashes locking out the game's single-player mode - but there were some fans that felt the series had strayed too far from its darker roots. The expansion that Brevik references - Reaper of Souls - helped address the latter issue by serving as a classic dungeon crawler experience that echoed the aesthetics of the first two Diablo games.
According to Brevik, the version of Diablo III that he worked on actually bore a closer resemblance to the original Diablo titles.
"Our art style up north was different than the art style from the guys down [at Blizzard South]," said Brevik. "In a lot of ways it was much more like Diablo II-looking than it was what Diablo IIIended up looking like."
That's quite interesting to hear considering that there's some mystery surrounding the version of Diablo that Brevik worked on. We know that the game went through some design revisions before Blizzard stumbled on something they liked, but the details of those revisions - as well as Brevik's role in their development - haven't been made entirely clear.
If for any reason you haven't yet played Diablo III, we can assure you that the updates Blizzard made to the game brings it closer to the masterpiece status its predecessors enjoy.
All 10 Mega Man games are coming to the Nintendo Switch in May in a special two-part collection...
After years in the creative wilderness, Capcom's finally giving Mega Man some love this year, with Mega Man 11 arriving later in 2018 - a belated gift for the Blue Bomber's 30th anniversary.
Before all that, Nintendo Switch owners will be able to catch up on all 10 of the mainline Mega Man games in a special two-part collection out in May. Simply called Mega Man Legacy Collection and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, they'll contain straight ports of the 8-bit and 16-bit originals, plus a few extra modern creature comforts, like the ability to rewind your mistakes, a challenge mode, and an online leaderboard.
The collections will be available as separate digital releases or as a special retail version - oddly, this will contain a cartridge for the first Legacy Collection, but only a download code for the second installment. Exactly why Capcom couldn't package both collections on one cartridge for the physical release isn't clear. Still, buying a boxed copy does come with one extra perk - a special 30th anniversary Mega Man cleaning cloth.
The trailer below shows off the collection in a bit more detail, and also reveals that, if you have one of those old Mega Man amiibos lying around, you'll be able to use it to unlock some exclusive additional in-game challenges.
Mega Man Legacy Collectionand Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 launch on May 22.
Contra first appeared in arcades in 1987. Here are three of the series' most underrated titles that you need to play!
A little over thirty years ago,Contra arrived in arcades and became one of the most beloved franchises of the ‘80s and ‘90s, becoming synonymous and with run-and-gun shooters and ridiculously high difficulty. Beating the first game without using any continues is still considered one of the greatest achievements in gaming.
So many years later, fans who grew up playing Contra in arcades, on the NES, or home computer still remember it quite fondly. Yet, despite having very few entries that could outright be considered bad, the Contra franchise has slowly faded from the mainstream since the beginning of the 21st century.
In fact, you might not have even heard of the most recent (yet awesome) entries in the storied series. The last Contra entry arrived in 2011 and the series has lied dormant in Konami's massive vault of IPs ever since.
Of course, the spirit of Contra lives on through indie hits such as Broforce, which takes the classic run-and-gun sidescrolling formula and adds tons of humor and '80s-inspired action heroes. There's also the fantastic Not a Hero, which features a seedy world full of criminals, guns, drugs, and a bunny bent on world domination.
But if only Contrawill do, let's take a look back at three of Contra's most recent (and underrated) entries:
2007 | WayForward Technologies | DS
While Konami spent much of the late 90s and early 00s experimenting with 3D versions of Contra, the franchise finally returned to form in 2007 with a proper sequel. As the name suggests, Contra 4 ignored pretty much everything that had happened in the series in the 15 years since the beloved Contra III: The Alien Wars, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as many still consider that to be the pinnacle of the series.
This wasn’t just a cheap retro cash-in, though. Contra 4 took advantage of the DS’s dual screens to display much larger vertical levels. You also have access to a grappling hook to traverse the two screens. That dead zone between the screens is a little annoying at first, but pretty easily forgotten after a couple hours.
This is classic Contra just as you remembered it, with smooth controls and giant alien bosses. There are also three different difficulty levels to choose from, but even on the lowest one Contra 4 isn’t very easy.
2009 | M2 | Wii
WiiWare was a classic example of Nintendo having a great idea hampered by unnecessary technological constraints. A downloadable service for original bite-sized and indie titles? Great! But they can’t be any larger than 40 MB? Not so great.
There’s a reason WiiWare was pretty much dead on arrival.
But if you still have your Wii hooked up and are interested in checking out a WiiWare title, you’ll find this surprisingly great Contragame that still isn’t available anywhere else. And it’s only $10 to boot.
True to its name, Contra ReBirth is an homage to everything that made the original great. There’s the classic gameplay of course (though sadly the flamethrower didn’t make the cut for this version), huge, colorful enemies, and a ridiculously over-the-top story about the “Galactic President.”
Contra ReBirth even ratchets the challenge up even higher. It’s a real pain to get past even the first level if you haven’t tested those old-school skills in awhile, but oh so satisfying once you finally do.
It’s mystifying why Konami hasn’t ported this game to more popular platforms...
Hard Corps: Uprising
2011 | Arc System Works | PS3, X360
Contra games reached new levels of obscurity in 2011 when Konami refused to even put the name "Contra" in the title.
While meant to be a prequel to Contra: Hard Corps, the well regarded 1994 Genesis game, Uprising feels far more modern than any other game in the series, with an absolutely gorgeous anime-inspired art style unlike anything else in the series. Still, there’s no mistaking Hard Corps: Uprising for a traditional Contra game after a few minutes with its hectic levels.
The gameplay is still run-and-gun, but with the most additions of any game in the franchise. You can now dash, double jump, and even deflect projectiles. The game even adds a life bar that lets you take more than one hit before dying. Uprisingis no cake walk, though. If anything, it can often feel like the cheapest game in the series, with frustrating deaths lurking around every corner.
Supposedly Konami kept the Contra name out of Uprising’s title because it was meant to kick start a brand new franchise. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened, and Contra’s future remains unclear.
In the past few years Konami has refocused its business on mobile games and gambling at the expense of AAA development. While the most recent Contra releases were actually in the form of slot machines, a new Contra game for smartphones was actually announced in late 2015, but only for China. So if you’re looking to get your Contra fix, these three games are likely your best bet for the foreseeable future.
Everything you need to know about Metal Gear Survive, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!
Metal Gear Survive is a very different type of Metal Gear game. Gone is the "Tactical Espionage Action" gameplay style ushered in by series creator Hideo Kojima. Instead, this game is a cooperative action-adventure game where players team up to fight a horde of zombies...
It's not as surprising a direction as you would think, if you consider that there have always been supernatural elements in the Metal Gear series. That said, Metal Gear Survive makes the supernatural it's main focus.
While the game isn't part of the Metal Gear Solid series, it does take place between the events of Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. The trailer opens with the assault on Mother Base that put Big Boss in a coma. Those who don't die in the Mother Base attack travel through a wormhole to an alternate dimension where the survivors must fight off weird crystalline zombies ("living biological threats," according to Konami). Yes, that's a sentence I just wrote.
The game features four-player online co-op, although the game won't stray too far from the series' traditional stealth gameplay. New weaponry will also be introduced to combat creatures and lethal environments as well. Spears and crossbows will be two such weapons.
"Metal Gear Survive will offer a fresh take on the series’ famed stealth elements, but within a unique co-op setting that is designed for a truly engrossing multiplayer experience," said Tomotada Tashiro, European President for Konami Digital Entertainment.
We previewed the game at E3 2017 and didn't really love this new take on the series. Hopefully, Konami has taken the time to fix the issues we found with the experience.
Here's everything else we know:
Metal Gear Survive News
Here's the launch trailer for Metal Gear Survive:
Metal Gear Survive Release Date
Metal Gear Survive is expected to release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on February 20, 2018.
Metal Gear Survive Trailer
Polygon has uploaded almost 40 minutes of Metal Gear Survive gameplay. If you're curious about this game, this is a pretty good taste of what's in store in February:
Here are six more minutes of single-player action:
Here's a video preview of Metal Gear Survive that provides quite a bit of new information about the game's campaign mode.
While this video makes it abundantly clear that this story is separate from MGS V's - it's more of a spin-off - it's also clear that the campaign will retain certain elements of that game. For instance, you'll still have to organize a base and gather supplies.
Actually, gathering supplies will be quite difficult as your base is surrounded by a poison cloud that requires you to wear an oxygen mask. When you run out of oxygen, you'll need to return to the base.
The campaign will offer a variety of main and side missions that reward players with various new items, crafting recipes, and survivors. Of course, the main gameplay seems to revolve around defending your base from attacks and ensuring that it can support itself even when you're out on a mission.
We have to admit that the game looks kind of interesting. If Survive didn't have the Metal Gear Solid name - and the baggage that goes along with it - it might actually be seen as a pretty compelling standalone experience.
Konami took the stage at TGS 2016 to introduce the first 15 minutes of gameplay footage for Metal Gear Survive, a spin-off of the main series that involves zombies, alternate dimensions, melee weapons, and co-op gameplay. Yes, this is a very different experience from what fans have come to expect from the franchise. Time will tell if it's an ultimately successful shift in gameplay. Check out the footage below:
Also attending TGS to promote his first post-Konami game, Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima nixed any lingering hopes that he might have helped develop Metal Gear Survive before his departure from Konami in 2015. "That's nothing to do with me!" Kojima said, according to a report on IGN.
"The Metal Gear games are about political fiction and espionage," Kojima observed. "Where do zombies fit in with that?"
Yoji Shinkawa, the artist and designer who gave the Metal Gear games their distinctive look, added, "If I had worked on that game, it would have mechs in it."
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Metal Gear Survive doesn't exactly have the seal of approval from its creator. What impact that'll have on its popularity remains to be seen; that Survive appears to lack Kojima's trademark oddness - and, yes, Shinkawa's giant mechs - may prove to be a bigger turn-off for the series' legion fans. You can take a look for yourself at Survive in action below.
Konami released a debut trailer for the game at Gamescom 2016. Watch it and try not to fall out of your chair:
This official reveal trailer takes us down to the Paradise City.
EA has confirmed that they are releasing a remaster of Burnout Paradise. They've even shared this lovely new trailer as proof that this long-awaited remaster is finally happening.
Details are still thin at the moment, but it seems that Burnout Paradise Remastered will feature all of the content from the base game as well as the DLC from the Year of Paradise updates. Furthermore, this remaster will sport a full 4K upgrade for PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One, and - presumably - PC.
Currently, Burnout Paradise Remastered is scheduled to be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 16th. EA Access subscribers will be able to play the game starting on March 9th. A PC version appears to be in the works, but it has not been given a release date at this time. There's also been no word regarding a possible Switch version of the remaster.
The mere mention of Burnout's title is enough to get us all misty-eyed with nostalgia. Criterion's arcade racing series offered a pure shot of adrenaline - its sense of speed and movement was pretty much unparalleled, and its increasingly elaborate damage physics meant that, when you inevitably crashed, the resulting spectacle almost made the calamity worthwhile.
Indeed, later Burnoutgames positively encouraged the player to see how much vehicular mayhem they could cause, which was another reason why we kept booting up the old PS2 games long after the console itself slid into obsolescence.
Released in 2008, Burnout Paradise took the series in a slightly different direction. While the speed and crashes were present and correct, it also favored an open-world approach rather than the short, sharp racing challenges of its predecessors. Paradise was also, barring the spin-off Burnout Crash, the last in the series from Criterion - a sad state of affairs, really, given how the quality of the games continued to improve with each entry.
There's an animation/live-action hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog movie in the works, with Deadpool's Tim Miller as executive producer.
Sonic the Hedgehog, veteran of countless video games, an animated series (with another on the way), and a long-running comic book series from Archie Comics is coming to the big screen. Deadpool director Tim Miller is going to serve as executive producer on the film along with Jeff Fowler. Fowler will direct. Neal H. Moritz of the Fast & Furious movies is producing with Toby Ascher. Dmitri Johnson and Dan Jevons are co-producers. Now comes the news that the project has moved from Paramount to Sony.
Now, let's set aside for a moment the usual concerns that video game movies are, frankly, quite often not any good at all. Sonic is a character who is versatile enough to work in any number of situations, and has a universal, dare we say it, Disney-esque appeal that many video game protagonists lack. Then again, one could say the same thing about Mario and look at how that all turned out. But having Miller and his unique sensibilities on board should ease some fears.
According to an earlier report, Patrick Casey and Josh Miller (Golan the Insatiable) were writing the script, but there's no word if that's still the case.
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie will open on November 15, 2019.
We are taking casting suggestions for Doctor Eggman down below.
The Legend of Zelda series is responsible for many of the innovations that helped push the video game industry forward.
The Zelda franchise offers up a world so familiar, so warm, and inviting, that it’s easy to forget just how innovative and influential its games have been. Ever since Nintendo launched the original Legend of Zelda over 30 years ago, the series has constantly been at the forefront of video game development, introducing new ideas and pushing technical boundaries.
Here’s a brief look back over some of the primary innovations the franchise has brought to our favourite medium:
In the mid-90s, video game developers faced a new dilemma: how would the player interact with objects in a 3D world? It was a conundrum that proved to be a stumbling block for many games in their transition from the flat, 2D plane of the sprite-based era.
Ocarina of Time, however, introduced a lock-on system that would prove to be nothing less than revolutionary. Z-Targeting, so called because players activated it by holding the Z button on the N64’s controller, allowed Link to interact with his environment in a simple, unfussy manner. Non-player characters could be spoken to and objects inspected with little more than the press of a button. Most importantly, Z-Targeting revolutionized combat in a 3D environment. Locking on to an enemy allowed Link to always face the direction of his opponent, leaving the player free to wield his sword, parry with his shield, or roll away from attacks.
It was such a brilliant system that the entire games industry immediately took note. One only has to look at other games that came out around the time of Ocarina to realize just how revolutionary Z-Targeting was—and to this day, variations on this control system are as commonplace as ever.
For a reminder as to how difficult it is to implement a workable camera system into a 3D game, look no further than 1996’s Mario 64. Great though that debut 3D Mario outing was, even its staunchest defenders would surely agree that its camera was a complete pain in the backside—it made an admirable attempt at handing some camera control over to the player, but it was often skittish and unwieldy at the same time.
In Ocarina of Time, Nintendo managed to create a camera that was so perfectly integrated into the game that you could almost forget that it existed. Constantly tracking along behind Link, the camera could be adjusted by the player, and immediately sent rushing back behind Link with a tap of the Z button. It’s something that may sound unimportant 15 years later, but at the time, it was remarkable to play a 3D game that always seemed to provide the player with the optimum perspective on the action.
While the passage of time has made some of the glitchier aspects of Ocarina’s camera system more apparent, its place in the history of video games shouldn’t be underestimated. Along with Z-Targeting, Ocarina’s camera system showed other developers just how a 3D game should be made.
Another innovation that has since become an industry standard, context-sensitive controls were a large part of what made Ocarina of Time so accessible. The A button was used to interact with diverse aspects of Ocarina’s world, whether it was mounting your horse, opening a chest, or chatting to a non-player character. Ocarina of Time offered an entire 3D world of characters, adventures, and complex puzzles, but thanks to its context-sensitive controls, interacting with it all immediately became second nature.
An innovation that would be regularly adopted throughout the cartridge era of consoles (which ran right up to the late 90s and the N64), The Legend of Zelda’s battery back-up system meant that could players save their progress, and that the game’s makers were free to make their game as sprawling as technology allowed. With players able to save their progress, console games were able to move beyond the quick-fix, 10-minute thrills that were common in the mid-80s, and into a far more expansive, immersive new realm.
Thanks to Nintendo’s introduction of battery back-up cartridges, other developers could dream up new, richer ways of engaging players with adventures of their own.
While RPG adventures were relatively commonplace on home computer systems, they’d been untested on consoles. Back in the mid-80s, consoles were largely seen as an arcade machine for the living room, a venue for the sort of high-adrenaline thrills of games such as Gradius or Donkey Kong.
While The Legend of Zelda lacked the heavier trappings of the RPG genre—the experience points and leveling, for example—it nevertheless contained all the dungeon crawling, exploration, and questing you’d associate with an RPG, and proved that the console-playing world was ready for something more than another platformer or button-battering shooter.
Zeldatherefore paved the way for the full-blooded RPGs that followed, such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, games that went on to become enormously successful franchises in their own right, and are still popular today.
A World of Choice
Before The Legend of Zelda, how many other console games allowed the player to truly explore, to find their own path through a game, to tackle quests in whatever order they chose? Again, these were aspects that computer gamers perhaps took for granted in the 1980s, but it took Zelda to prove that console games could provide the same depth of play.
And in Ocarina of Time, the Zeldauniverse moved into the 3D realm with a bang, and showed other developers that it really was possible to create an expansive 3D world large enough for the player to get lost in.
As mentioned earlier, Ocarina of Time showed other developers how to bring exciting, involving combat into the 3D realm. But the Zelda series has always featured action and swordplay, and it’s something that immediately set Link’s adventures from those that came before it. Before Zelda, adventures and RPGs on computers were generally quite sedate, slow-paced affairs.
Aside from all its other sundry innovations, 1986’s Legend of Zelda proved that an adventure game could tell a story, provide a detailed world to explore, and provide fast-paced, exciting combat. It’s something the Zeldaseries has repeatedly reproduced and refined, leading up to Skyward Sword, with its Wiimote Plus swordplay providing the most immersive combat yet.
Pushing the Envelope
The Zelda series, more than any other Nintendo property, has always pushed technical boundaries. The original Zeldabecame the first title launched on the NES Disk System peripheral, meaning it could be a much bigger game than was possible, from a financial standpoint, on cartridges of the time. And as mentioned earlier, the battery back-up on the later cartridge re-release would prove an important innovation that would be used for years to come.
In each iteration, Zelda games have always wrung as much power out of their respective platforms as possible. 1991’s A Link to the Past for the Super Nintendo was shipped on an 8 Mbit cartridge, which was twice the capacity of a standard SNES cart. Nevertheless, the world of Link to the Past was so big that its creators had to use a cunning form of graphic compression to squeeze the game into the console’s memory.
The boundary-pushing achievements of Ocarina of Time have been covered in this list already, of course. Like A Link to the Past, Ocarina filled what was Nintendo’s highest capacity cartridge of the time, with the game squished into a 256 Mbit cartridge.
While Skyward Sword arrived relatively late in the Wii’s life cycle, it once again pushed the machine to its technical limit, providing some of the most sumptuous graphics and sound yet seen in the franchise, and a gigantic campaign that took countless hours to complete, all stuffed onto a dual-layer, high-capacity disc.
This article originally appeared on November 17, 2011.
Swag, swag, and new ways to unlock said swag.
Epic has showcased some of the content included in Fortnite's Season 3 Battle Pass.
The studio has posted a breakdown of how Season 3's Battle Pass will work. Just as before, buying the Battle Pass lets you gain access to every new item being added to Fortnite during its next season. This content will be distributed throughout the year as you play and reach new tiers of items, but those who purchase the pass will be able to access certain items right away. Those include a Mission Specialist Outfit that turns your character into the astronaut Elon Musk may or may not dream about at night. This season will also feature things like unlockable loading screens, back bling (backpacks), and custom sky trails.
Epic estimates that it will still take the same amount of time to earn every item in the Season 3 Battle Pass as it did with Season 2 even though Season 3 contains more items. Still, they estimate that translates to 75-150 hours of play. Of course, you can always purchase tiers of items outright for 150 V-Bucks a pop.
All told, Season 3 Battle Pass will feature 76 new items spread across 30 item tiers.
New items aren't the only thing that Season 3's Battle Pass will bring to Fortnite. To help you unlock items faster, Epic is introducing weekly quest challenges to replace daily quest challenges from Season 2. This new challenge system will ask you to complete four out of seven offered quests in order to unlock the full rewards for that week. This way, you'll theoretically be able to complete a week's worth of quests early in the week if you'd like, and you'll be able to pick the quests which best suit your playstyle.
Because these challenges stack, you'll even be able to purchase the battle pass halfway through the season and not miss out on any content.
It certainly sounds like Epic is making good on their promise to devote more of their efforts towards creating more Fortnite content. They've also recently revealed a series of substantial gameplay changes that they'll be rolling out throughout the course of the year.
Hide your stars, the computers are coming!
If you're the type of logical person who has decided not to worry about the rise of artificial intelligence until a computer learns to play Super Mario 64, then you might want to sit down for this one.
A modder named Kaze Emanuar has been teaching multiple AI scripts to play Super Mario 64. If you check out some of the early videos of his efforts, you'll find that AI programs aren't exactly great at navigating open-ended games that require precise controller movements like Super Mario 64. In fact, most of the scripts just spend their time running against walls, jumping about randomly, and performing actions similar to what your little sibling might have done when you handed him the N64 controller.
However, there have been some recent successes. Most notably, one of the AI participants was able to actually capture a star in just 15 minutes of play. Another took a few hours to do the same. Before you get too excited/worried Emanuar wants everyone to know that these achievements are more of a matter of luck and that there's a long way to go before AI programs are able to actually navigate the game.
“The entire 3D space is too complex to put all of it as inputs into the AI’s brain,” said Emanuar. "I have to simplify it and make it look at some sort of ‘low detail’ world of a small space around it so that it works processing-power-wise.”
Despite his concerns, some of the videos of these AI runs reveal fascinating progress is being made. In fact, some of the scripts seem to actually be learning to utilize advanced jumping techniques to reach new places. Granted, they'll couple those achievements with random punches in the air, but it's still pretty impressive to see genuine growth.
Nobody is throwing out any estimates on how long it will take an AI to actually beat Super Mario 64, but barring some miraculous progress, that might take some time.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a true epic that only the most patient games will ever experience and enjoy.
It has been almost seven years since the original release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Many have chosen to mark the days that have passed with persistent pleas for Bethesda to make another open-world fantasy RPG epic.
The continuous cries of the series fanbase are amplified by the echo of the otherwise barren marketplace for such experiences. The rising cost of games coupled with the growing belief that single-player, narrative-driven experiences have limited earning potential means that many studios lack the desire or resources to make a game like The Elder Scrolls. Even incredible RPG titles like The Witcher 3 don’t quite offer the character building and exploration elements that makes The Elder Scrolls the beloved series that it is.
That's part of the reason why so many eyes have turned to the recently released Kingdom Come: Deliverance, an open-world RPG epic made by newcomer Warhorse Studios on a relatively small $5 million budget. Upon first glance, RPG fans likely registered the sight of a savior riding in from the distance. As a first-person RPG with swords, bows, quests, horses, world exploration, and character building, Kingdom Come certainly looks like The Elder Scrolls sequel that we’ve been craving for years.
However, Kingdom Come is not an Elder Scrolls game. It's a semi-realistic medieval RPG with mechanics that defy many of the genre's modern conventions. The reactions from those players who possibly approached the game with expectations of an Elder Scrolls-like experience have prompted an interesting discussion about how accessible modern RPGs need to be.
To be clear, Kingdom Come has problems that go well beyond the merits of some of its design decisions. Its technical bugs are numerous and include everything from horses floating humorously above the ground to quests becoming impossible to complete because vital characters won't even acknowledge you. The latter bugs are not quite as common, but their impact is amplified by the game’s limited save system that prevents you from easily creating a save point.
A PC mod addresses the saving issue and the developers are promising to improve the system themselves in an upcoming patch, but as it stands, it’s easy to imagine why an otherwise interested gamer might dismiss Kingdom Come over its technical issues. Even the relative inexperience of the developers and the comparatively small Kickstarter budget they had to work with only inspires so much forgiveness.
However, those bugs aren't the only thing frustrating some of Kingdom Come's players. Some early impressions of the game from gaming media figures and general users have blasted Kingdom Come over its complex mechanics and the way it refuses to allow the player to just jump in and enjoy themselves. Kotaku says the game is “too much hassle for too little reward.” A well-received negative review of the game on Steam states that, “The devs are so obsessed with making the game 'realistic' that they forget to make it satisfying.” Polygon goes so far as to apply the most dreaded word of all when talking about a game of this kind: “boring.”
These criticisms and those like them aren’t spotlighted because they are somehow invalid but rather because each of them touches upon what is perhaps Kingdom Come’s most fascinating feature: the level of patience it demands from its players.
In Kingdom Come, you play a blacksmith’s son named Henry, who has spent his entire life in a small community in Bohemia sometime in the 1600s. Though he's helped his father forge swords, he's never really used one until a visiting lord mockingly asks him to demonstrate his skills. Henry's lack of combat experience is nothing compared to his embarrassing life skills, though. He has very little experience socializing with anyone he hasn’t known most of his life. The less said about his reading skills, the better.
Events of a tragic - yet admittedly familiar - nature force Henry to leave his small town and enter the open world. Well...that’s not entirely accurate. It's more accurate to say that this tragedy triggers the first events in a grand story that serves as the backdrop for Henry's personal quest. But before players can even begin that quest, they have to go through the prologue.
It’s not unheard of for players to spend hours in the game’s glorified prologue before being given free rein. What makes that already daunting prospect all the more polarizing is the fact that Kingdom Come's prologue doesn't really serve as a tutorial. It teaches you a few basic things, but by the time the game properly begins, you’re still useless at just about everything. Bandits with clubs can kill you as easily as heavily armored invaders, and both of them wander the same roads poor Henry does. You’re given no direction regarding how to properly acquire weapons, a horse, or how to earn enough money to earn the game’s vital save potions.
It gets worse. Even after you’ve acquired a weapon, you realize that you have absolutely no idea how to work the game’s complex position-based combat system. Your character wields a bow like he’s perpetually trapped in a hurricane. Your attempts to persuade anyone not to kill or rob you are almost always met with failure. All the while, you still can’t read a word from any of the in-game text that may otherwise help you improve your pedestrian skills. On top of all this, Kingdom Come makes very little effort to indicate what you're doing wrong and how to fix it.
The absolute uselessness of Henry at the start of Kingdom Come borders on comical. For anyone who enters the game with dreams of finally setting out on another grand adventure of The Elder Scrolls variety, this is where those dreams will die. Kingdom Come not only withholds your gratification until you’ve built your character up a bit, but it locks it behind a complex series of minigames and mechanics that you must genuinely master before you can think of becoming a relatively capable adventurer.
This the quality that makes Kingdom Come: Deliverance one of the most welcome open-world RPGs of the last 15 years.
Whereas games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim are designed to be treated like resorts for players on a power fantasy trip, playing Kingdom Come is more like landing in a remote region of an entirely foreign country. You don’t know where you’re going, you don’t speak the language, the customs are a bit strange, and while not always outright hostile, the locals seemingly don’t give a damn about your good time.
There’s a reasonable argument to be made for the merits of both approaches (we've covered the virtues of instant gratification in RPGs before), but the one thing the latter offers which the former sometimes struggles with is a genuine sense of reward. When nothing is given to you, when you have to endure the many tribulations thrown in the way of your good time, and when failure becomes the basis of knowledge, you soon learn to appreciate something as simple as being able to exist without making a complete ass of yourself.
The best example of this is the game's sometimes maligned combat system. The best way to learn Kingdom Come's combat system is to go to a friendly master sword fighter and train with him. That doesn't mean boosting your stats and buying point bumps - those options only get you so far - but rather actually taking the time to practice combat. By doing so, you start to learn things like the value of positioning, getting rivals to drop their guard, and how to perform the perfect block and counter-attack. Some of these are skills you wouldn't have been able to learn otherwise, but others are just subtleties in the system you may not have recognized in the heat of an actual battle. At the end of every training session, you feel like your character's increased stats in combat represent your own increased combat system skills.
Because Kingdom Come emphasizes the value of building yourself up in this world through minor victories, it is able to successfully delay the arrival of the “god moment” for as long as possible. The god moment is the moment in other RPGs when your character has earned the best spells, the best gear, and all the perks in the game. It's the point at which everything the developers have filled the world with feels fragile and arbitrary.
In Kingdom Come, your dozens of hours of effort translate to a victory little more ceremonious than the ability to stand your ground. You're able to enter any town with the knowledge of which merchants have the best wares and the most coin in their pockets. You brew potions without fretting about when the wine is added or when to bring the pot to a boil because you’ve made them dozens of times before. You’re confident in your ability to beat the armed bandits that accost you on the road, but you’re aware that you will lose the instant that you think you can’t be defeated.
By doling out gratification only when the player has genuinely accomplished something rather than dropping you into a playground, Kingdom Come ensures that its most patient players receive a pay off on their time investment in a way that allows them to actually experience more of the game rather than become so powerful that there isn't much game left to experience. Taking the time to master - or at least understand - the mechanics of the game becomes your passport to the brilliant pre-designed amusements spread across the game's stunning countryside.
Indeed, Warhorse Studios has managed to create some of the most fascinating and involved quests the gaming world has seen since The Witcher 3. Some are traditionally epic (a highly-involved mission involving the infiltration of a monastery) and others offer simple fun (sneaking into a wine cellar to steal a good vintage for a drunken lord). Nearly all of them value the actual skills you’ve taken the time to learn. From simple features like perks opening up new dialogue options to more advanced concepts like missions breaking off into several directions based on the skills you choose to use and the microdecisions you make, Kingdom Come manages to tap into the very spirit of role-playing adventures.Kingdom Come's greatness scales with the efforts of the person who's playing it.
That makes it all the more tragic that the game sometimes feels like a swan song to the patient RPG epic.
There are valid criticisms to be made about Bethesda’s decision to make the Falloutand Elder Scrolls series more accessible to a wider audience, but the company's ability to produce noteworthy installments in this seemingly dying genre while appealing to enough players to make the games successful - and sustainable - is nothing short of miraculous.
Yet, try not to think too harshly of those Kingdom Come fans who subscribe to the belief that this game represents the kind of hardcore open-world RPG experience that a studio like Bethesda is supposedly "scared" to make. These gamers realize that, as a slow, grounded, sometimes unremarkable RPG that caters to the most patient of role players while still emphasizing modern-day production values, Kingdom Come is a niche title in a time and marketplace where it cannot afford to be niche.
If your response to that is that another studio can surely just crowdfund the budget required to make such an experience...well, you haven’t been paying attention to the historical wave of “shame on me” Kickstarter projects that have profited off the whims and wishes of a dedicated group of supporters desperate for a specific kind of experience.
It’s entirely possible that Kingdom Come’s emphasis on patient play, deep character building, and challenging mechanics will live on in other forms. We’ve seen a host of indie games value those exact concepts. Yet, it feels unlikely that we’ll be treated to many games that are so well-produced or technologically ambitious while emphasizing those same qualities. There are some who will say that shouldn't matter, but after years without many such experiences to enjoy, there is something incredibly satisfying about playing a hardcore RPG that is able to pass as a modern AAA title.
Perhaps once the bugs are exterminated and some of the game’s questionable design decisions have been addressed, we’ll see more people turn to Kingdom Come and celebrate it for the game it is trying to be. Maybe some of its better ideas will even find their way into other larger titles with modern production values. But as a historical open-world RPG with a large script, full voice acting, beautiful visuals, and an emphasis on the value of a player’s patience, Kingdom Come: Deliveranceoften feels special for reasons that aren’t always inspiring.
*Peeks through blinds at Blizzard HQ* What are they up to now?
Blizzard has just announced that they will be updating Warcraft III's public test servers with a surprise patch.
Based on the patch notes the studio released, it seems that most of the updates concern Warcraft III's multiplayer mode. It seems that nearly every hero in the game has received a series of buffs, nerfs, and minor alterations designed to bring balance to the almost 16-year-old RTS classic. On top of those extensive alterations, Blizzard has also altered the way that competitive map rotations work.
That's not all, though. In a somewhat shocking move, this update ups the number of people who can participate in custom matches from 12 to 24. Additionally, Warcraft IIInow supports a widescreen mode and features a far more extensive in-game editor used to create custom maps and games.
Why would Blizzard release such a series of updates to a game that is well past its competitive prime? Well, there are a few possibilities.
The most obvious answer is that Blizzard has just announced an invitational Warcraft III tournament and likely wants to make sure that the game meets all modern standards in terms of competitive balance and technical support. However, that doesn't quite explain why they decided to improve the in-game editor so much or why they're seemingly preparing for a public release of these updates when they could just reserve them for tournament servers.
That has led some fans to believe that this is all part of Blizzard's plan to release a remaster of Warcraft III similar to the one they released for StarCraft not long ago. There's no conclusive evidence that is the case, but it's not that absurd of a possibility.
What is slightly more absurd is the theory that Blizzard is trying to get us hyped for Warcraft IV. We wouldn't hold your breath for that one.
Everything you need to know about Death Stranding, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!
Hideo Kojima, the famed creator of the Metal Gear series, returns after a brief hiatus after his highly publicized exit from Konami with his strangest concept yet: Death Stranding, a game that's all about connections, according to the developer. Kojima's goal is to create a game where players interact with each other beyond just trying to kill each other.
The game stars Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen. It also features some collaboration with beloved director Guillermo del Toro, who previously worked with Kojima on the ill-fated Silent Hills project.
Here's everything else we know:
Death Stranding News
Actress Emily O'Brien has posted a picture on her Instagram account which seems to suggest that she and Troy Baker have joined Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen as members of the Death Stranding cast.
In true Death Stranding fashion, we have absolutely no idea what the actor's roles will be in the game. What we can tell you is that Baker and O'Brien are two very experienced video game actors who are capable of playing a variety of roles. Given that this is a Hideo Kojima game, we're willing to bet that at least one of them will be playing some kind of role that is kind of supernatural but not really supernatural because it has something to do with military experiments conducted during Vietnam.
Death Stranding Release Date
Death Stranding doesn't have a release date at the moment. The game will arrive exclusively to PS4.
“It will be out before the Olympics,” said Kojima at TGS 2016, referring to the Tokyo 2020 Games. He then went on, “To go a little further, there is a movie called Akira, and it will be out before the year in which Akira is set.” (Akira was set in 2019.)
Death Stranding Trailer
A new Death Stranding trailer premiered at The Game Awards 2017 and it's our best look at this haunting game yet! Check out the trailer below:
The second trailer for Hideo Kojima's next game was revealed at the 2016 Game Awards. The big story here is the appearance of everone's (at least second) favorite Hannibal Lecter, Mads Mikkelsen. Check it out:
We all wondered what Hideo Kojima had in store for the gaming world next, and our questions were answered when the first trailer for Death Stranding hit the PS4 press conference screen. What is the game about or what are we even watching in the announcement trailer? The simple answer is "Naked Norman Reedus crying over an invisible ink baby on a beach covered in dead fish and crabs," but as you may already know, nothing is simple when it comes to a Kojima creation.
Take a look for yourself:
Death Stranding Gameplay
Hideo Kojima continues to leak out Death Stranding information a trickle at a time. The game auteur took the stage at a Tokyo game conference today and provided the briefest of glimpses regarding Death Stranding's design intent.
Death Stranding will be an action game with open world elements, but, according to Kojima, it will be a different kind of action game that emphasizes player interactions beyond just trying to kill each other. While players will fight both computer and human-controlled enemies via the game's single-player and online modes, Kojima is also working on ways in which they can experience the game together that emphasizes non-action based cooperation.
Kojima didn't go into further details regarding how, exactly, this will work, but there were trace elements of the Dark Souls' school of multiplayer design in his speech.
Speaking at the Develop: Brighton conference, Hideo Kojima expressed his belief that Death Stranding represents his greatest work.
"I'm very confident that we're working towards something completely new and that no-one has seen so far,” said Kojima. “This will be my best work so far, I'm very confident about that."
At this same event, Kojima also spoke of how excited he is about the ability of virtual reality to convey a new range of human emotions in video games. At this time, however, there is no word on whether or not Death Stranding will have VR features. Kojima also noted that he could never stop making video games because, as technology progresses, he comes closer to being able to make the type of games he dreams of.
In a YouTube upload by Hideo Kojima, the legendary developer also shared some information regarding the secrecy that surrounded Death Stranding's unveiling. According to Kojima, only about five people knew that the game was going to be revealed at E3 2016. In order to avoid any potential leaks, Kojima himself also avoided social media, refrained from taking photos and even stayed at an out of the way hotel during E3 just to avoid being spotted.
Death Stranding Story
Mads Mikkelsen recently caught up with Birth.Movies.Death. to talk about Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding and what exactly the actor is doing in the game's second trailer. It seems that Mikkelsen, who plays the game's villain, is as confused as the rest of us are, even though he's sat down to talk about the enigmatic game with the auteur.
While he can't talk about the plot of Death Stranding, Mikkelsen did say that "it's very intricate. I mean, you know [Kojima]. He's a very brilliant man. I mean, the stuff he told me? I only understood some of it. There was a lot of, 'What?' I have to see it before I understand. Because with Death Stranding, he's creating something completely new."
As Kojima described to Red Bull, Death Stranding's story "is all about connections, that are called 'strands' in psychology." That's not much to go on at all, but then again, Kojima likes to keep story details very close to the chest. Kojima continued, "It's too early to talk about the broader details of the story or to reveal the female lead, but we have a core structure already."
With the likes of director Guillermo del Toro and actors Mikkelsen and Norman Reedus joining Kojima on this project, we're sure to be in for something very special - if only slightly confusing as well.
Death Stranding Details
In a new interview with Glixel, video game auteur Hideo Kojima confirmed that his latest helping of interactive weird, Death Stranding, "is not a horror game." Despite the dark tone of the first two trailers and his recent work on P.T., Death Stranding will not be the creator's first full foray into horror after all.
"I don’t have a dark mindset in particular," Kojima told Glixel. "Death Stranding is not a horror game. I just wanted to make something that looks very unique, something you haven’t seen before, something with a more artistic slant to it. I’m not pursuing a dark aspect to the game."
It definitely looks unique, especially in the "using creepy babies to promote your game" department. Kojima also reassured fans that the game will still have a sense of humor - a staple of his past games, which have included running gags and breaking the fourth wall.
"Humor is a very important aspect for games. You play a game for a very long time – Death Stranding is a big game, too – and you put stress on the player and you lead them through peaks and valleys. Humor is an important aspect to make sure the player can enjoy playing across these peaks and valleys. So we’ll have humor in this game too, but to a degree that it doesn't ruin the world setting. It will be at an appropriate level."
Kojima also caught up with the BBC to talk about Death Stranding and how it's unlike anything he's created before.
"We want this game to be something that people can get into easily but after an hour or two they'll start to notice something a little different," Kojima said. "It's not like anything they've played before."
Kojima, who's never been shy about introducing very weird new elements to his games, says he's not too worried about how the risks he's taking with Death Stranding might drive some players away.
"Bands that everyone remembers take risks," he said. "They constantly change their music from previous albums, adapting and evolving through the ages. ... They might lose some fans along the way, but they bring in new ones. That's the kind of approach I want to take with my new game."
Kojima fans are undoubtedly expecting something new and strange from Death Stranding. So far, the trailers indicate that Kojima will indeed deliver the goods.
In other news, director Guillermo del Toro, who appeared in the second trailer for the game, has confirmed that he's not involved with Death Stranding in a creative role. He's simply an actor in the game, according to an interview with IGN.
"I’m involved as a character. Kojima-san called me and said, 'I want you to be a character in the game,' and I said, 'Gladly.' He’s discussed his ideas so I could understand the character, but other than that I’m not involved, creatively, at all."
Del Toro continued, "This is entirely Kojima-san’s game. I think it’s gonna be a fantastic game, 100%. But this is him and his ideas. I’m just a puppet in his hands. My contribution is limited to being a cheerleader for his ideas and being scanned for long hours at a time. That’s about it."
Death Stranding Poster
Kojima tweeted this promotional image for Death Stranding around the time of E3 2017. The image's use of the word Bridges is particularly interesting because, as IGN points out, that word was also seen in the game's second trailer.
There are a lot of great games coming out in 2018! Here are the top 25 games you have to play next year...
While its far too early to say that 2018 will be as great as 2017 in terms quality video game releases, it is already shaping up to be a fascinating year for the video game industry. While Sony and Microsoft battle for control of a rapidly approaching 4K future, Nintendo is hoping to prove that the Switch's early success will carry over into year two.
Meanwhile, the PC market continues to benefit from the growing VR industry and a constant influx of indie titles.
Of course, the true star of 2018 will ultimately be the games. So far as that goes, there are already quite a few promising titles on the horizon.
We've taken a look at all of the games that are confirmed for next year, at least as a release window, and have chosen the ones we think you need to an eye on.
Here are the best looking games of 2018 so far:
A Way Out
March 23 | Hazelight Studios | XBO, PS4, PC
Nobody outside of EA and Hazelight Studios had ever heard of A Way Out prior to E3 2017, but it ended up being one of the most noteworthy games featured during this year's show. A Way Out is a co-op action title displayed entirely through the lens of a split-screen. While the game’s early sections will focus on completing an elaborate prison break, later levels will seemingly cast both players as fugitives.
We’ve played co-op games for years, but few have ever taken advantage of the concept from a presentation and storytelling standpoint quite the way that A Way Out does. The game’s split-screen style allows for both players to always influence the events of the story even when one is watching a cutscene or is otherwise indisposed. It’s a remarkably fresh take on the co-op concept that may prove to be the shot in the arm the cinematic action genre desperately needs.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
March | Inti Creates, ArtPlay, DICO Co. Ltd | XBO, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, OS X, Linux
Koji Igarashi is the man you should thank for translating the Metroid style of gameplay to Castlevania and helping create the fabled "Metroidvania" genre. He was the driving creative force behind Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the producer of many Castlevania titles released since 1996. Bloodstained represents his long-awaited return to the genre.
As we recently explored, Bloodstained is a Metroidvania-style Castlevania game in every way but its name. It is Igarashi's attempt to develop the kind of Castlevaniagames that he wanted to make before policy changes at Konami made the development of such titles an uncertain prospect. Castlevania fans have been supporting this game since its debut on Kickstarter, and we can't wait to see whether or not Igarashi can deliver the Castlevania spiritual successor that gaming desperately needs.
TBA | Bandai Namco Studios | XBO, PS4, PC
While many developers of Dark Souls-like games have attempted to avoid that comparison whenever possible, Code Vein director Hiroshi Yoshimura has welcomed the comparison. He knows that Dark Souls changed the action RPG genre, and he hasn't tried to hide the fact that Code Vein was heavily inspired by that classic franchise.
However, Code Vein is much more than a flattering tribute to Dark Souls. With its anime style and outlandish storyline involving a world of vampires, Code Vein is clearly not interested in replicating Dark Souls' somber tones and vague narrative. Instead, Code Vein figures to be a fast-paced and genuinely wild take on this genre that should still be rooted in the kind of deep and satisfying combat system that this genre is known for.
Spring | Reagent Games, Sumo Digital, Ruffian Games, Cloudgine | XBO, PC
It's been almost eight years since we last heard from the Crackdown series. There was a time when Microsoft's hidden gem open-world title provided a breath of fresh air to the subgenre. Its outlandish, superhero-like gameplay afforded players the chance to just go wild in a metro setting. Since those days, though, the open-world genre - and the world at large - has changed quite a bit.
In order for Crackdown 3 to make the same impact that Crackdown protagonists make when they jump off the city's highest buildings and crash onto the streets below, it's going to have to invoke the casual gameplay of the first two Crackdown games while finding a way to advance the game's style just enough to make us feel that old joy of galivanting around a superhero sandbox.
Detroit: Become Human
TBA | Quantic Dream | PS4
Much like director M. Night Shamalayn, game designer David Cage's projects tend to either be brilliant (Heavy Rain) or bewilderingly misguided (Beyond Two Souls). His next game, Detroit: Become Human, can honestly go either way.
Become Human is a neo-noir sci-fi thriller that tells the story of a group of androids who are trying to rebel against an abusive society and the people assigned to hunting them down. It's hard not to think of Blade Runner from that description, but Detroit: Become Human figures to distinguish itself from its inspirations through a branching narrative and its more thorough look at both sides of this conflict. It remains to be seen whether or not Cage's sometimes bewildering brand of brilliance will make this a truly special title.
TBA | SIE Bend Studio | PS4
Despite the fact that Days Gone has been one of Sony's centerpiece titles for the last two E3s, we still don’t really know all that much about the game. It seems to be about a group of survivors in the zombie apocalypse just trying to do what they can to live another day, but the exact roles of the game’s principal characters remain a source of debate.
What we do know is that Days Gone’s The Last of Us presentation style and Horizon: Zero Dawn world design may just prove to be tantalizing enough to justify another trip through the zombie apocalypse. Days Gone’s emphasis on the power of a horde in an open-world setting is a fascinating way to ensure that the game’s zombies don’t just become bullet sponges or jump-scare devices. We look forward to seeing what other innovations Days Gone brings to the table.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
January 26 | Arc System Works | XBO, PS4, PC
Hearing that another studio is making a new Dragon Ball Z fighting game is a lot like finding out you’re out of toilet paper. It's a potentially disastrous situation that you quite honestly should have seen coming. However, Dragon Ball FighterZ is not just another Dragon Ball fighting game, and that’s because it’s not being made by just another studio.
No, Dragon Ball FighterZis a high-octane, beautifully rendered, pure 2D fighting game from the makers of the Guilty Gear series. With its impressive roster of memorable characters and 3 vs. 3 team system, Dragon Ball FighterZ is shaping up to be a fascinating alternative to the Marvel vs. Capcom series for those looking for a pure fighting title that emphasizes the insanity of epic encounters.
Far Cry 5
March 27 | Ubisoft Montreal | XBO, PS4, PC
Far Cry 5 is a difficult game to read. On the surface, this looks like just another Far Cry game. What that means - at least since Far Cry 3 - is a large world, co-op madness, a psychotic villain, and a variety of weapons and vehicles. Given that Far Cry 4 was admonished for adhering too closely to this system, it’s strange to see how much Far Cry 5 looks like more of the same in many ways
However, Far Cry 5’s fascinating rural setting and emphasis on narrative may just prove to be the X-factors that elevate this title above its predecessors. While the world of Far Cry 5 is no doubt controversial, the game’s creative look at a cult whose warped sense of morals have corrupted a small town and the rebellion that results in response to their actions is the kind of new twist that makes an old ride worth taking again.
God of War
April 20 | Santa Monica Studio | PS4
Much like Days Gone, God of War has been one of the centerpieces of Sony’s E3 press conference the past two years, yet we still know relatively little about the game. What we can tell you is that God of War looks like a hard reboot of the franchise in terms of gameplay. The demos showcased thus far suggest that this new title will ditch the original God of War trilogy’s combo-based high octane gameplay in favor of a more methodical combat system, with a much bigger emphasis on narrative.
The jury is still out on that approach, but what really gets us excited about this game is the way that it incorporates rarely explored aspects of Norse mythology and seemingly casts Kratos into the role of protective father. In fact, God of War feels like a brand new IP due to the number of changes made to the formula.
Kingdom Hearts III
TBA | Square Enix Co., Ltd. | PS4
It hasn't exactly been a long time since we last played a new Kingdom Hearts game - the series is kind of infamous for its oddly named sequels, prequels spin-offs, and re-releases - but it has been about 13 years since the release of Kingdom Hearts II. Suffice to say, that time has only made the game's passionate fanbase even more rabid.
Fortunately, Kingdom Hearts III is shaping up to be the Kingdom Hearts game that we've all been waiting for. This strikingly beautiful title will not only finally bring classic Disney classics like Toy Story into the fold, but it figures to improve the franchise's already great gameplay through the implementation of a better camera and a refined combat system. Dare we say that this game might just live up to the hype?
Kirby Star Allies
March 16 | Nintendo | Switch
While the next Kirby game certainly wasn’t the star of Nintendo’s E3 2017 showcase - how you doin' Samus? - it was one of those games that many found themselves taking a second look at when the festivities were over. Those that did may have noticed that this looks like a return to some of Kirby’s platforming roots, albeit with a very welcome upgrade in visuals.
What really gets us excited about Kirby, however, is the way that it seems to be designed as a four-player co-op experience. Recent Nintendo multiplayer platformers - most notably Super Mario 3D World - rank among the most purely enjoyable gaming experiences of this generation, and Kirby looks to deliver more of that timeless fun.
TBA | Insomniac Games | PS4
When we heard that Insomniac Games was making a Spider-Man game, we wiped our monocles with our monogrammed handkerchiefs and declared it “acceptable” with an exhale of dignified air. When Sony actually showcased said Spider-Man game at E3 2017, we were forced to drop our cautious pretense and simply embrace the sheer fanboyish joy of what looks like a truly fantastic Spider-Man experience.
While there have been a few great Spider-Man games over the years, Insomniac’s take on the character is already shaping up to be the character’s greatest gaming adventure. Thanks to the innovations of the Arkham series and Insomniac’s own experience with silky smooth movement controls, this upcoming Spider-Man game may just be the one Spider-Man title that actually captures everything interesting about the character rather than simply mastering a lone iconic aspect of one of Marvel’s greatest heroes.
Mega Man 11
TBA | Capcom | PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
The most recent numerical Mega Man games were actually just retro - NES - Mega Man titles improved by some modern design sensibilities. While those games were amazing, they're not quite what we wanted. No, what we really crave is a Mega Man game that retains the spirit of those classic titles, but ultimately feels like a new experience.
Mega Man 11 looks to deliver something eerily similar to that ideal experience. Its re-imagined art style triggers bad memories of Mighty No. 9, but the footage of the game revealed thus far suggests that Capcom is serious about bringing classic Mega Man gameplay into the modern age. There's always going to be room on our digital shelves for a well-made 2D action title, and Mega Man 11 figures to be just that.
Fall | 4A Games | PS4, XBO, PC
If you haven't yet dived into the Metro franchise, then you've been missing out on some of the best first-person shooter experiences in years. Metro 2033 was a post-apocalyptic masterpiece that brilliantly portrayed a dark and demented end of the world scenario. Metro: Last Light was the even better sequel to that classic shooter/RPG experience.
We don't know much about Metro: Exodus, but we do know that developer 4A Games has fought hard to ensure that their vision for this much-anticipated sequel lives to see the light of the surface world. If they deliver an experience that is even close to what they've already achieved with this franchise, then Metro: Exodus may just end up stealing 2018 from some considerable competition.
Monster Hunter: World
January 26 | Capcom | PS4, XBO, PC
While the Monster Hunter franchise is most certainly popular - particularly in Japan - it has arguably been some time since the series has expanded the size of its dedicated fanbase. That's largely because Capcom hasn't found much reason to tweak the franchise's formula in recent years. That has been enough to please current fans, but hasn't given those who aren't already spending their time besting a variety to towering behemoths reason to do so.
Monster Hunter: World represents the developer's clearest attempt at creating a Monster Hunter game that will turn nonbelievers into devotees. The core gameplay remains the same as ever - hunt down a variety of monsters using a series of incredible weapons - but World figures to be the largest Monster Hunter game yet as well as the most ambitious from a sheer technological perspective.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
April 3 | Obsidian Entertainment | PC, Mac, Linux
Obsidian Entertainment has long been known as one of gaming's best sources for deep and intelligent RPGs. With Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian returned to the glory days of the isometric RPG experience and delivered one of the best genre experiences in recent memory. Now, they are back to improve upon their considerable previous efforts.
With Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, it's already clear that Obsidian is ready to fix the few design flaws that prevented Pillars of Eternity from being everything that it could be. Its controls will be smoother, its story will deeper, and its world will be a rich and lively tapestry of cultures and personalities. This may be the first time that Obsidian has had the pleasure to develop a sequel to one of their own games, but it's clear that the studio knows exactly what they want to accomplish with this title.
Red Dead Redemption 2
October 26 | Rockstar | XBO, PS4
What do we want? Red Dead Redemption 2! When do we want it? In a time frame that will reasonably allow developer Rockstar to find a way to somehow top the greatest western video game ever made and quite possibly the studio’s finest hour.
Ok, that chant needs a little work, but the point is that we don’t fault Rockstar for deciding to delay Red Dead Redemption 2 to 2018, nor do we blame them for telling us relatively little about the game thus far. Red Dead Redemption was an almost perfect video game experience. In fact, Rockstar accomplished so much with that game that we doubt it even technically needs a sequel. If they’re going to give us one, though, we want to know they are able to deliver the kind of experience that makes us feel just like we felt the first time we rode into Mexico with a gut string melody lingering in the air.
Sea of Thieves
March 20 | Rare | XBO, PC
At the risk of toppling the “It’s been awhile since Rare has delivered a truly great game worthy of their legacy” bandwagon, it really has been awhile since Rare has delivered a truly great game worthy of their legacy. At first, Sea of Thieves didn’t look like that game. However, its impressive E3 2017 showing has left us singing a different shanty.
Sea of Thieves' greatest asset is Rare’s complete abandonment of “realistic” pirate culture. Instead, Sea of Thieves embraces the romanticized concepts that propelled these seafaring outlaws into the pop culture stratosphere. The highest compliment we can pay Sea of Thieves is that it looks like it will perfectly recreate the imaginary adventures we enjoyed on the playground so many years ago when the jungle gym was a ship mast.
Shadow of the Colossus
February 6 | Bluepoint | PS4
We’d be lying if we said that we haven’t thought much about Shadow of the Colossus since its 2005 debut - memories of the grand epic stand as a measuring stick for all other gaming experiences - but we never thought that we’d see a Shadow of the Colossus remake. Generally speaking, games casually, yet accurately, described as timeless aren’t candidates for remakes.
However, the moment we laid eyes on the new Shadow of the Colossus’ stunning visual design, we immediately felt the need to jump back into this world and replay a game that could be considered the truest testament to the “Games are art” argument. If you've not played the original or need an excuse to play this game again, 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus is going to be a must-have.
TBA | YS Net, Neilo | PS4, PC
When we first heard that Shenmue was finally receiving the third installment that most gamers figured would never happen...well, there may have been some entirely unprofessional giddy cheers. In the days, weeks, and months that have followed that reveal, we've unfortunately not been treated to many official updates regarding the game's story, gameplay features, or final visual style.
Still, we're talking about a sequel to a franchise that was not only revolutionary but has remained in the hearts of the many who played its first two installments. With any luck, Shenmue III will be the epic tale of kung-fu revenge and bizarre minigames that we've been waiting for.
Soul Calibur VI
TBA | Project Soul | PS4, Xbox One, PC
It's "only" been about six years since the release of the last major Soul Calibur game, but it somehow feels like the wait has been even longer than that. Perhaps that's because it's been a little while since we last received a Soul Calibur game that feels like it captured the spirit of the fighter at its best. Recent Soul Calibur titles have been fine, but the magic hasn't quite been there.
This latest entrant into the franchise looks to restore that magic by returning to the series' staples. Frantic weapon-based gameplay, a diverse cast of memorable characters, and a variety of modes all figure to make a glorious return in this fighter that may very well inspire fans old and new to pick up their favorite instruments of death and to battle once more.
State of Decay 2
Spring| Undead Labs | XBO, PC
The original State of Decay was a fascinating example of how true ambition can conquer all. Developer Undead Labs didn’t have much to work with when they began working on State of Decay, but they did have a vision. Their vision was an epic open-world zombie apocalypse title that focused more on survival than action or horror. State of Decay was about building something strong in a defeated world. Its blend of base building, resource management, and role-playing was intoxicating.
While the biggest on-paper change coming to State of Decay 2 is the inclusion of co-op play, the reason we’re especially excited for this game is that Undead Labs finally has the resources and experience they need to deliver the game that they attempted to deliver the first time around.
The Swords of Ditto
March | onebitbeyond | PS4, PC
Never heard of The Swords of Ditto? We’re not surprised. Every E3, there is at least one game which can’t quite match the budget or graphical prowess of major titles, but ultimately ends up being one of the best games revealed at the show. Based on everything we’ve seen thus far, The Swords of Ditto may very well prove to be that game.
The Swords of Ditto’s core mechanic involves the legacy of the game’s playable heroes. Much like Rogue Legacy, every successful and unsuccessful run through this game will leave a mark on the world. You can even quest to find the epic weapons that the previous hero left behind. What really makes The Swords of Ditto stand out, however, is its Adventure Time-esque visuals and creative co-op combat options. This is just one of those games that takes the best of what came before and binds it all together with irresistible charm.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
TBA | Blizzard Entertainment | PC, Mac
2016's World of Warcraft: Legion arguably did more to revitalize the 13-year-old MMO than the last few expansions combined. Through a combination of fan-requested features and innovative new concepts, Blizzard used Legion as proof that World of Warcraft still has plenty of life left in it. Now, they look to top their considerable efforts with the release of the game's next expansion, Battle for Azeroth.
Battle for Azeroth looks to take World of Warcraft back to its Horde vs. Alliance roots. That means a greater emphasis on PvP battles, new worlds specific to both factions, and a brand-new conflict system that incorporates elements of classic Warcraft RTS games gone by. On top of all that, you get the usual additions of fresh raids, new gear, and an even higher level cap to grind towards. This could just be the best WoW expansion yet.
TBA | Good-Feel | Switch
Much like Kirby, the list of things we don’t know about Yoshi is slightly longer than what we do know about the game. What we can tell you, though, is that Yoshi’s Woolly World was one of the Wii U’s most underrated titles and one of Yoshi’s greatest adventures. The reason that matters is because this upcoming Yoshi title looks like it intends to replicate many of the qualities that made Wooly World as great as it was.
This time around, however, the Woolly World formula is bolstered by the introduction of a new mechanic that allows players to “flip” a stage and open up new paths. It sounds simple, but if the game’s first trailer is any indication, this mechanic will force players to completely reconsider the way that they view the typical 2D platformer level. For those who lament how far Mario has walked away from his platformer roots, Yoshi may just be the classic Nintendo experience you’re looking for.
What you need to know about Hunt: Showdown, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!
We've been treated to quite a few great PvP and PvE games over the years, but Hunt: Showdown is one of the few titles we've seen that promises to offer a convincing blend of both styles. in Hunt: Showdown, players will be grouped into pairs and tasked with hunting down monters across a variety of horror-themed maps. Finding the area's main monster and defeating the various threats that roam around each level will require teams to work together. However, only one squad can claim the bounty and win the day.
This combination of competitive and cooperative gameplay figures to make Hunt one of the more fascinating online multiplayer experiences on the horizon. Do you wait until another team has beaten the monster and try to take the now-powerful hunters out? Do you go it alone? Do you forge alliances you intend to break? Will you be able to survive the horror's of the night at all? These are the questions the game poses.
Here's everything we know about Hunt: Showdown...
Hunt: Showdown Release Date
Hunt: Showdown is now in Early Access for PC. You can get in on the action for $29.99 on Steam.
No final release date has been set for the game.
Hunt: Showdown Review
While we don't have a final review of the game, Den of Geek did participate in the closed alpha and we have some thoughts. Read them here.
Hunt: Showdown Trailer
The official Steam trailer for Hunt: Showdown explains the game's basic concept in an effective preview that also manages to capture the title's horror elements.
Elsewhere, we learned that Hunt: Showdown will likely be in Early Access for at least a year while Crytek tweaks it in accordance with player feedback. There's no word on when that access period will begin - only a vague promise of "soon" was made - but Crtytek did state that they intend to offer the game at a lower price when it enters early access and then raise that price in accordance with the amount of content they add to the title during its Early Access period.
We were shocked to learn that Crytek's Hunt was still in development following a trip through development hell and even more shocked to learn that Hunt: Showdown may just have been the most promising game featured at E3 2017. Describing Hunt is a challenging process, but the game's basic concept sees three teams of two compete against each other and a level full of enemies in order to claim a bounty on a boss monster. It's a fascinating mix of competitive and cooperative gameplay that really shines in this recently released full walkthrough of the game's E3 demo:
What we know about The Last of Us 2, including latest news, release date, trailers, and more!
Yes, one of the greatest games of the previous console generation is getting a sequel. Fans hoped that Naughty Dog might find a way to return to the world of The Last of Us, but the nature of the original game's ending left some to speculate that the developers had said all there was to say about the adventure of Ellie and Joel.
It's not entirely clear exactly what the story will be this time around, but the ominous and fearful tone of Ellie's looming threats suggest that this will be a story of revenge. The recipient of said revenge seems to be fairly obvious based on context clues in the trailer, but in the interest of not completely outlining the ending of the original game, we will not speculate on their identity here.
Speculation is all we have as it concerns the release date for The Last of Us Part II, however. It appears that the game is still very much in development, which means you shouldn't hope to see if before late next year at the earliest. Neil Druckman, the title's creative director, took to the PlayStation Blog to clarify that the eventual release of the game could be "a ways off," and to assure fans that Naughty Dog is only making a sequel to this game because they feel they have a new story that is worth telling.
Well, we're sold. Here's everything we know about The Last of Us Part II:
The Last of Us Part 2 News
At DICE Summit 2018, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann revealed one of The Last of Us Part II's stranger inspirations.
"There's a show on Netflix called The End of the F***ing World, which is so well written and acted and quirky, and has been totally inspiring for some of the stuff we're doing in [The Last of Us 2]—more on the dialog stuff," said Druckmann. Given that the Netflix show is about a pair of runaway teenagers who embark upon a dark quest, we're guessing that it might have somehow influenced the equally dark journey of the main characters. However, Druckmann didn't clarify the point.
Druckmann also recalled that The Last of Us was born from a failed pitch he once submitted to George Romero. He wanted to make a game that combined elements of ICO and Sin City while telling a story about a cop with a heart problem protecting a little girl. When the cop's heart condition kicks in, the girl would need to take care of the cop and protect him from enemies. Of course, Romero passed on that pitch.
The Last of Us Part 2 Release Date
The Last of Us 2 doesn't have a release date as of yet. We suspect the game won't arrive for at least another year, as Naughty Dog only announced it at PSX 2016. It will arrive exclusively on the PlayStation 4.
The Last of Us Part 2 Trailer
A brand new trailer has arrived! Check it out below:
If you thought that the Red Dead Redemption 2 announcement was as good as big-name sequel reveals were going to get in 2016, then feast your eyes on the reveal trailer for The Last of Us Part II:
The Last of Us Part 2 Story
At PSX 2016, Naughty Dog director and writer Neil Druckmann shared the first bits of Last of Us Part 2 story details, including what the focus will be in the sequel. Druckmann revealed that Ellie is the star of this installment, and that the game takes place several years after the original. Ellie is 19-years-old in The Last of Us Part 2.
Druckmann talked a bit about the tone and direction of the sequel's story, saying that while the original was a story about love, "[Part 2] is about hate." He also confirmed that this game will exclusively continue the story of Ellie and Joel instead of jumping to other characters.
It looks like The Last of Us Part 2 will have a couple of connections with Westworld. It's been revealed that Halley Gross, a writer on the show, will be co-writing the game's story with Neil Druckmann, who wrote the first game.
Additionally, Westword actress Shannon Woodward will have a role in the game. No details on her character were revealed. Her casting was revaled in a tweet:
— shannonwoodward (@shannonwoodward) April 7, 2017
It's also been revealed that Bruce Straley, who directed the first game, will not return for the sequel. Instead, Druckmann will be directing the game.
The Last of Us Part 2 Music
Writer/director Neil Druckmann confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer of The Last of Us' wonderful score, will also create the music for the sequel.
The Last of Us Part 2 Poster
In celebration of Outbreak Day - the day in The Last of Us when the world fell apart - Naughty Dog has released some promotional materials and free items related to the game. You can read a full breakdown of the announcement (which includes information regarding a new The Last of Us t-shirt and PS4 theme) via this PlayStation blog post.
However, there is one Outbreak Day release we do have to highlight. The fine folks at Mondo have teamed up with Naughty Dog and artist Kevin Tong to release a new poster that seems to be related to The Last of Us Part 2. It's a fairly stunning design that serves as a callback to the previous Mondo The Last of Us poster and an effective teaser.
You can buy the poster from Mondo's website starting today.
The most iconic plumber in video games has had many adventures. Which one's the best? Find out in our definitive Super Mario ranking!
There are very few other gaming franchises out there today that have managed to stand the test of time and continuously put out amazing new titles year after year as Nintendo’s iconic Mario. We got to thinking about what some of Mario’s greatest adventures over the years have been.
Who could ever get tired of a new Mario game? Ever since he made his first appearance in 1981's Donkey Kong arcade game, we haven't been able to get enough of our favorite Italian plumber.
These days, Mario is even better than ever, as games like Super Mario Maker and Super Mario Odyssey continue to celebrate the character's long legacy of platforming adventures. And there are so many other great installments to choose from, too!
So we decided to rank all of the best main entry Mario games, across all generations and consoles, to find out just exactly how our favorite platforming plumber has shaped the way we’ve played our games.
Now of course, with so many great games to choose from, there’s no question that everyone will naturally have their personal favorites: so be sure to hit the comments and let us know what you think of our list, and what your favorite Mario games of all time happen to be!
20. New Super Mario Bros. 2
2012 | 3DS
Kicking off our Mario list is last year’s 3DS-exclusive New Super Mario Bros. 2, which saw the long-awaited return of Mario and Luigi to their traditional sidescrolling platforming roots. But aside from the gorgeous 3D visuals, New Super Mario Bros. 2 wound up recycling many of the same environments and mechanics from its big-brother console version on the Wii, and the gimmick of collecting 1 million gold coins just felt like a cheap way of squeezing more replayability out of a game that was just uninspired and repetitive from the very start. Well at least the yellow game case was still pretty cool!
19. Super Mario Land
1989 | GB
I still have some pretty fond memories of playing Super Mario Land back on the original Game Boy, and despite the obviously outdated black and white graphics, the game still holds a pretty impressive challenge even today. Taking everything that made the original NES games so great and squeezing it into a simplified portable format, Super Mario Land was a mind-blowing thing for us kids at the time. Nifty point of interest: this was also the first Mario game to feature Princess Daisy (albeit in a heavy pixelated form), who has now become a staple character for every Mario Kart and Mario Party release these days.
18. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
1992 | GB
Sticking with the portable theme for now, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was the direct sequel to Mario’s first outing on Nintendo’ Game Boy, and it managed to improve upon its predecessor in nearly every way. With highly refined monochrome graphics that actually resembled things like Goombas and Koopa Troopers, 6 Golden Coins pits our hero Mario against the evil Wario for the very first time. Providing classic Mario platforming gameplay through and through, 6 Golden Coins was a crowning achievement of its time on the Game Boy: not to mention responsible for the oft-forgotten Carrot power-up that turns Mario into a hopping bunny.
17. Super Mario Bros. 2
1988 | NES
Super Mario Bros. 2 is probably the most controversial of all the main entry Mario games, simply because most gamers tend to either love it or hate it. There’s no getting around the fact that Super Mario Bros. 2 is easily the black sheep of the series, with vastly different gameplay mechanics and just an all-around weird vibe going on (and that’s because it was basically a recostumed version of a Japanese game called Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic). Regardless though, the game is still quite a trip to play, and it was also responsible for introducing Birdo into the Mario universe, who never fails to give me the creeps.
16. Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels
1986 | Famicom, SNES, GBC
If you thought the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES was a difficult time back in the day, then you had no idea what you were in for when The Lost Levels came around. Billed as a collection of levels that had been removed from the classic game’s final release, The Lost Levels was like a sadistic reimagining of Super Mario Bros. with impossibly difficult platforming sections and a steep challenge for only the most hardcore of gamers. But besides the extreme new difficulty, though, everything else in the game, from the graphics to the enemies, were more or less identical to Super Mario Bros. Fun fact: The Lost Levels was originally released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan but was deemed to difficult for American audiences, which is why North America got Doki Doki Panic.
15. New Super Mario Bros.
2006 | DS
New Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS was the very first entry of sub-games that served to reimagine the classic Mario sidescrollers with updated 3D graphics and gameplay. Released at a time when the Mario Party and Mario Kart games had all but taken over the Mario universe, New Super Mario Bros. was a breath of fresh air for those gamers who still longed for the Mario days of old. And the best part about it was that the game was pretty decent, and it also introduced the Mega and Mini-Mushrooms that have since gone on to appear in many other Mario adventures today.
14. New Super Mario Bros. Wii
2009 | Wii
Much like its predecessor on the DS a few years earlier, New Super Mario Bros. Wii brought the same new stylized form of platforming goodness to Nintendo’s home console, and its 4-player co-op capabilities positively blew the doors off the place (despite the odd inclusion of a Blue Toad and a Yellow Toad as players 3 and 4). Above all else, New Super Mario Bros. Wii served to show that there was still room in the gaming world for classic sidescrolling adventures, and its gorgeous environments and old-school boss battles are still some of the most memorable encounters that we’ve had in a Mario game today.
13. Super Mario Galaxy 2
2010 | Wii
The hugely successful sequel to Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii hit the scene with a bang in 2010 (not to be confused with the universal Big Bang, of course), and brought us more of that intergalactic 3D platforming goodness. This second time around, Nintendo decided to place an emphasis on using smaller, more compacted worlds than the rather explorative ones seen in the first Super Mario Galaxy game, and even though this ultimately made the sequel lose a bit of that initial wonder when compared to its predecessor, you’ll still be hard-pressed to find another game out there of any generation that can match Super Mario Galaxy 2’s heart and creativity.
12. New Super Mario Bros. U
2012 | Wii U
The first official Mario game to be presented in glorious high-definition on Nintendo’s Wii U, many gamers were hesitant about New Super Mario Bros. U at first, especially given its extremely close release to the lukewarm New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS. But once gamers actually got a chance to take Mario on another sidescrolling romp through the Mushroom Kingdom, it immediately became clear that the mustachioed plumber had never moved so seamlessly. From the wonderful variety in level design, not to mention the insanely awesome Challenge Mode for the most hardcore of Mario fans, New Super Mario Bros. U is the pinnacle experience of this blend of Mario game.
11. Super Mario 3D Land
2011 | 3DS
Simply put, Super Mario 3D Land was a 3DS system seller for me, as I’m sure it was for many, many others. Not only were the quick bursts of 3D platforming gameplay an absolute blast to behold, but the 3D effects were simply superb, and the combination of the classic short level format from Super Mario Bros. and the light open world exploration elements from Super Mario 64 was an emphatic moment for many Mario fans, to be sure. And is if all of that wasn’t reason enough to fall completely head over heels for this portable gem, Super Mario 3D Land also marked the long-awaited return of Tanooki Suit after all these years!
10. Super Mario Sunshine
2002 | GC
I’ll always have a soft-spot for Super Mario Sunshine as being one of my favorite Mario games of all time. The exclusive GameCube release just showed Nintendo taking so many exciting chances following Super Mario 64: from the extremely darker tone in the story, to the widespread use of Yoshi and his awkward fruit juice squirting animations, and of course, the introduction of F.L.U.D.D. and the way that simple water mechanics went on to define the entire groundwork of the game. The beach resort town of Delfino Plaza and its surrounding areas were just so full of life, and provided some of the greatest platforming challenges in Mario history. I’m still waiting for my HD remake of this one, Nintendo!
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
1995 | SNES
Even the mere mention of the name “Yoshi’s Island” today is still capable of making the most serious of gamers go giddy with nostalgic excitement. And rightfully so: there was just something so captivating about controlling the fearless Yoshi and having to protect poor Baby Mario at all costs through the many dangerous worlds that were positively bursting with color and charm (and lots and lots of smiling flowers). What’s more, the gameplay mechanics in the game were just different and FUN, especially throwing your Yoshi eggs at enemies and chasing after a crying Baby Mario as he floated off in the other direction, encased in his protective spit bubble.
8. Super Mario Bros. (NES)
1985 | NES
Nothing beats the classics, am I right or am I right? For many people, the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES was their very first introduction to the wonderful world of gaming, and it’s hard to find another game that has really achieved the same kind of widespread iconic status. But the crazy thing about it is that Super Mario Bros. has still fared extremely well over all of these years, and it still proves to be one of the greatest sidescrolling platformers of our time. And for that reason, I guess we can overlook the fact that the game was once coupled with Duck Hunt, and that damn smarmy dog.
7. Super Mario 3D World
2013 | Wii U
The Wii U's first addition to Nintendo’s incredible Mario legacy also happens to be one of its best, and it’s the most fun we’ve had with any video game in recent years, period. Super Mario 3D World builds on the foundations first introduced in Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS, but magnifies and improves upon every single concept by tenfold. The sheer amount of levels and variety in this game is simply astounding, the Cat Suit gives the 3D open world platforming an awesome vertical touch, and words cannot convey what the 4-player competitive co-op mode has brought to the genre as a whole. If you’re looking for a reason to dig out your Wii U from storage, then look no further.
6. Super Mario Maker
2015 | Wii U, 3DS
Super Mario Maker is everything. Released on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the very first Super Mario Bros. game, this side-scroller platformer/game creator is a must-have for lovers of the character's earlier adventures. Not only does the game come with remixed versions of classic Mario levels from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U, but it also provides the tools for fans to create their own challenging levels! Best of all, you can upload your creations and give other player creations a try. Super Mario Maker is basically the never-ending Mario platformer, full of dazzling creations and some truly hardcore platforming. Beware: there are some deliciously impossible levels in this game.
5. Super Mario Bros. 3
1988 | NES
Super Mario Bros. 3 is just one of those games that are hard to put into words as to why they’re so amazing: but the second you actually start playing it, everything becomes immediately clear. Maybe it’s because of the highly updated graphics and pitch-perfect platforming gameplay as far as NES games went at the time. Maybe it’s because of the awesome introduction of the Koopa Kids and their nail-biting boss fights at the end of each themed world, like desert, lava, and sky. But if you ask me? My money’s on the Tanooki Suit and the Frog Suit that just made Mario look so darn cool and he’d run and jump across all sorts of sheer platforming perfection.
4. Super Mario 64
1996 | N64
In terms of sheer innovation, few other games can match what Super Mario 64 brought to the Mario universe. For starters, it served as the commercial precursor for 3D open world platformers, as gamers were given free rein to explore the grounds of Peach’s Castle for the very first time. They could enter fantastical worlds by hopping through paintings, and of course, they could battle Bowser himself in one of the most climactic boss fights to ever grace the world of gaming. There’s just always been something so magical about Super Mario 64, and I can’t tell you how many days I spent as a kid trying to earn all 120 stars and unlock that mysterious cannon that gave access to the castle roof.
3. Super Mario Galaxy
2007 | Wii
If Super Mario 64 was innovative in bringing the Mario franchise to the realm of 3D exploration, then Super Mario Galaxy on Wii further broke the rules of gravity and thrust our platforming hero out into the open universe. The overall space theme worked wonderfully well in this game, and each planet that players would come across was so unique and diverse from the last, that you’d never know what fun surprises would be waiting for you around the next bend. The spherical levels were also completely genre-shattering, and even the simplest of actions like using the Wii Remote to scoop up stray Star Bits had this immense amount of polish and satisfaction to it like no other Mario game quite before it.
2. Super Mario Odyssey
2017 | Switch
Coming just year after Mario's 35th anniversary, Super Mario Odyssey is a true celebration of what makes Nintendo's beloved Italian plumber the greatest icon in video games. This game returned to the 3D open-world play style of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine while also paying tribute to the franchise's 2D platforming roots, with special retro levels integrated into each world. But Odyssey is also jam-packed with innovations, including the ability to control enemies and objects with Mario's new sentient hat, Cappy, and customization options that allow you to dress up the little Italian hero however you want. And then there's the plot, which is about the strangest narrative ever feature in a Mario game. There's so much to love in this game and so many Power Moons to collect. It's a must-have on the Switch.
1. Super Mario World
1990 | SNES
Well here we are at the top of our list at last, and if our number one Mario game comes as a surprise to you, then you’ve obviously never spent some quality time with a Super Nintendo before: of course it has to be Super Mario World! A sequel of sorts to the incredible Super Mario Bros. 3 and Mario’s shining debut on the SNES, Super Mario World managed to surpass everyone’s wildest expectations of what a Mario game could achieve at the time, with a massive adventure on an interconnected world map, to ability to ride on your trusty pal Yoshi, and just amazing platforming level design from beginning to end.
Detective Pikachu is coming to North America and it's unlike any Pokemon game you've ever played. Here's a new trailer...
Proving that Nintendo can get away with just about any concept, the 3DS game Detective Pikachu is now scheduled for a worldwide release on March 23.
If for any reason you do not keep up with the weird and wonderful world of Japanese exclusive video games, then you've probably never heard of Detective Pikachu. First released in Japan in 2016, this adventure game follows a young boy who stumbles upon a Pikachu that claims to be a detective. It's not long before they start chasing two condiment wielding creatures who are causing havoc amongst the general population. That leads to a much larger case involving ice beams and other things so weird that we couldn't properly spoil them if we wrote an encyclopedia about the game's plot.
The actual Detective Pikachu gameplay consists mostly of walking around and gathering clues. It's...well, the main draw of the Detective Pikachu experience is certainly the bizarre plot and the game's strange take on the Pokemon universe. Just listen to Pikachu talking like a grown man...
So far as that goes, the game's story plays out over the course of two episodic adventures. The second episode of Detective Pikachu is set to release in Japan in March. At the same time, Western gamers will receive a 3DS port that features both Detective Pikachu episodes.
Alongside that Western collection, Nintendo will release a new Detective Pikachu Amiibo. Just look at the size of this thing compared to the old Smash Bros. Amiibo Nintendo previously released:
Don't be surprised if you hear quite a bit about Detective Pikachu in the coming months. Between the game's next episode, its Western release, and the upcoming Detective Pikachu film starring Ryan Reynolds (naturally), it seems that Nintendo is convinced that the sight of Pikachu in a Sherlock Holmes detective get-up is enough to get people to throw their money at several screens.
Frankly, we tend to agree.