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    These Pokemon Switch titles will evolve the ideas of Pokemon Go and take a trip back in time.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 30, 2018

    As previously rumored, two of the new Pokemongames coming to Switch are called Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu and Pokémon Let's Go! Eevee.

    These titles harken back to Pokemon Yellow by allowing Pikachu and Eevee to exist and hang out with their trainers outside of Pokeballs. Players will be able to form a bond with their companion Pokemon throughout the game by interacting with them in various ways. You'll even be able to choose other Pokemon you catch to be your companions. So far as that goes, the Pokemon in the game are the original 151, but the developers did tease that the titles will feature a "new Pokemon."

    However, the game's main hook is a much more modern set of features that touch upon the ideas of Pokemon Go. Along with letting players catch Pokemon by utilizing the motion controls of the Nintendo Switch JoyCons, players will also be able to use a peripheral called Pokéball Plus that is pretty much what you think it is; a real-life Pokeball that vibrates and lights up as you use its motion controls to capture Pokemon in-game. 

    Speaking of capturing, you don't actually get into random encounters in this game. Instead, you can see all of the Pokemon wandering on-screen, and you simply bump into the one you want to catch. Disappointingly, it doesn't appear that there is any battling involved in the catching process. Much like Pokemon Go, you just enter a catching sequence with either the JoyCon or the Pokeball peripheral. However, there are battles in the game that work the same as the RPG battles seen in many other Pokemon games. 

    Pokemon Let's Go will also offer co-op play (which seems to be the source of the "Let's" part of the title). The extent of this mode isn't entirely clear, but the trailer makes it clear that you will be able to wander the map with friends and seemingly hop-in to an ongoing game whenever they wish (which hasn't been confirmed at this time).

    Pokémon Let's Go! Pikachu and Pokémon Let's Go! Eevee are set to release on November 16, 2018. 


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    A new, free-to-start Pokemon game called Pokemon Quest is coming to the Nintendo Switch as well as mobile devices.

    News John Saavedra
    May 30, 2018

    It's a big day for the Pokemon franchise. During a press conference, Nintendo announced that both Let's Go Pikachi and Let's Go Eevee, the Switch's versions of the Pokemon Go mobile phenomenon, are coming later this year. There's also a new, core Pokemon RPG coming to the Switch in 2019. 

    But if you're hankering for a new Pokemon experience right now, Nintendo has also just released Pokemon Quest, a new RPG from Game Freak, the series' main developer. The game is now available to download on the Switch and is coming to iOS and Android devices in June. 

    Here's the announcement trailer:

    The game takes place on Tumblecube Island and features blocky versions of your favorite Pokemon called "Pokexels." At its core, the game centers around battles and leveling up your Pokemon, not unlike the handheld RPGs. The only difference is that trainers don't have direct control of their Pokemon. They move freely around the Tumblecube and will also battle on their own unless you tap the touch screen to make them perform certain moves. Gone is the turn-based combat, replaced by an attack meter that depletes as your Pokemon fights. 

    There's also a base building mechanic that allows you to attract new Pokemon to your team by cookiing recipes that can be used as bait. (Cooking yellow curry attracts yellow Pokemon.) Trainers can then pick a team of three Pokemon to take into battle in the wild. 

    “Players will be able to personalize their Pokemon and develop a strong bond with their Pokemon friends while battling their way through the adventure,” said Shigeru Ohmori, director at Game Freak.

    You can personalize your Pokemon by finding Power Stones on the map that grant them special stats. There are also other treasures to find.

    While Pokemon Quest is free at its core, there are microtransactions for players interested in buying additional perks and helpful items. The content packs range from $4.99 to $17.99. 

    Here's a breakdown of the content packs, courtesy of Polygon...

    Expedition Pack - $4.99

    - Cooking pot: Increases the number of dishes you can cook at the same time by one.
    - Poké Ball Model: Increases the number of PM Tickets received as a service for members by 20.
    - Perfect Pair Statue: Increases the maximum battery charges by one.

    This DLC also includes the following one-time bonuses:

    - PM Tickets +100
    - Lv. 1 Nidoran♀ with a special move
    - Lv. 1 Nidoran♂ with a special move

    Great Expedition Pack - $9.99

    - Cooking pot: Increases the number of dishes you can cook at the same time by one.
    - Great Ball Model: Increases the number of PM Tickets received as a service for members by 30.
    - Eevee Arch: Increases the maximum battery charges by one.
    - Lapras Pool : Doubles the chances of attracting multiple Pokémon with your cooking.

    This DLC also includes the following one-time bonuses:

    - PM Tickets +100
    - Lv. 1 Lapras with a special move

    Ultra Expedition Pack - $17.99

    - Cooking pot: Increases the number of dishes you can cook at the same time by one.
    - Ultra Ball Model: Increases the number of PM Tickets received as a service for members by 40.
    - Pikachu Arch: Increases the maximum battery charges by one.
    - Gengar Balloon: Doubles the drop rate of all ingredients.
    - Snorlax Lounger: Doubles the Exp. received from expeditions.

    This DLC also includes the following one-time bonuses:

    - PM Tickets +100
    - Lv. 1 Snorlax with a special move


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    There's a proper Pokemon game coming to Switch next year.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 30, 2018

    At the Pokemon press conference in Tokyo, Game Freak revealed that they are still working on a "core" and more traditional Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch. 

    Details are few and far between at this time, but early reports from the press conference indicate that the core Pokemon Switch game that Game Freak is working on is designed in the style of Pokemon X/Y and Pokemon Sun/Moon. That is to say that it sounds like it's going to be the kind of traditional JRPG Pokemon experience that we've been getting on Nintendo handhelds for years, but this one will playable on Nintendo Switch. 

    In other words, it sounds like it's going to be exactly the Pokemon game we were expecting when it was revealed that core Pokemon experiences are coming to the Nintendo Switch. 

    At this time, the current plan is for this unnamed core Pokemon game to be released for Nintendo Switch sometime during the second half of 2019. Beyond that, Game Freak and Nintendo are not revealing any more information about the game (though that may change at E3 2018).

    This news will surely be welcomed by a legion of Pokemon fans who are reading the reports of Pokemon Questand Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee and are suddenly wondering if this is all that Nintendo has planned for the Pokemon franchise. While both of those games look relatively amusing in their own right, it's safe to say that many Pokemon fans out there - yours truly included - did not envision an elaborate version of Pokemon Go when Nintendo talked about developing a core Pokemon title for the Nintendo Switch. This 2019 title sounds like it's going to be the kind of console Pokemon JRPG experience that players have been waiting roughly 20 years for (which thankfully means it will likely allow you to actually battle Pokemon in order to capture them). 

    We'll bring you more information on this game as we get it, but don't expect Nintendo to release too many more details until this 2019 Pokemon Switch game nears its release date. 


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    Fallout 76 is a new entry in the series from Bethesda. That's basically ALL we know about it...

    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    May 30, 2018

    Fallout 76is the next entry in the Fallout series from Bethesda Game Studios. Based on a brief teaser, the game is set in 2102 and centers around a survivor from Vault 76. Not much else can be gleaned off of the vague teaser, but some fans are already speculating that the inclusion of a John Denver song, "Take Me Home, Country Roads," indicates that the game will be set in West Virginia. 

    Check out the trailer for yourself:

    Bethesda said in a press release that fans should expect to see more of the game during the company's E3 showcase on Sunday, June 10 at 9:30 pm ET.

    For diehard Fallout fans, the wait for the Bethesda announcement seemed interminable. It all started on May 29 when the Bethesda Game Studios Twitter account sent out a tweet that featured the familiar "Please Stand By" screen from previous Fallout games. Bethesda also used the "Please Stand By" screen to reveal Fallout 4 back in 2015. 

    Bethesda's cryptic message became even more interesting when Bethesda's Twitch channel began broadcasting footage of a Fallout bobblehead standing in front of a screen bearing the same "Please Stand By" footage. Almost 100,000 people tuned into the stream in anticipation of further information. 

    Several theories about what the announcement could be spread across the internet, from Fallout 5 to a remaster of Fallout 3. Some fans hoped that perhaps a new Fallout Tactics would be on the way. In the end, Bethesda's reveal proves to be more enigmatic: is Fallout 76 a brand new entry in the main RPG series or is it something completely different? Might it actually take place entirely inside the vault as opposed to the wasteland adventuring of the past games? We'll certainly find out in just a few weeks!


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    Sonic takes the wheel in this promising upcoming racing title.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 30, 2018

    Sega has confirmed the development of Team Sonic Racing after users on ResetEra spotted a WalMart leak of the game just hours ago. 

    As was rumored earlier this year, Team Sonic Racing will be developed by Sumo Digital who also worked on Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed. What we didn't know based on the rumors that emerged earlier this year is that Team Sonic Racing will allow for both online multiplayer (in which up to 12 players can compete) and offline multiplayer which will support up to four players via split-screen. Regardless of which multiplayer option you choose, you'll be able to participate in a variety of modes that include Grand Prix, Exhibition, Time-Trial, and Team Adventure. 

    Yes, Team Adventure. It seems that Team Sonic Racingwill lean heavily on the team aspect of the title by allowing players to form in-game teams. These teams will be much more than just some matching uniforms as teammates will actually be able to pull off unique moves and assists that includes a "Team Ultimate" ability. Those that would rather go it alone will be happy to know that there's also an Adventure Mode in the game that comes complete with an actual racing game story (fancy that). 

    This racer will also feature 14 "wisps" (in-game items), options to customize your characters and cars with both cosmetics and performance-enhancing upgrades, and 15 playable characters that are divided into three class types; speed, technique, and power. 

    Team Sonic Racing is expected to be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC sometime this winter. The console versions of the game will be available in both digital and physical formats, while the PC version will be a digital-only release. You can pre-order the physical editions via this website

    While hardly an unexpected announcement given the strength of the rumors leading up to the reveal of this game, it's nice to know that Sumo Digital is working on a new Sonic racing title. Of course, Team Sonic Racing might have a little more competition on the Nintendo Switch if those rumors regarding Retro Studios'Star Foxracing game prove to be true. 


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    Legendary console manufacturer Intellivision is getting back into the hardware game with a family-friendly device.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 30, 2018

    Against all odds - and perhaps logic - Intellevision is developing a new console.

    Yes, so far as we can tell, this recently announced Intellivision device is going to be a brand-new console and not a mini-console/classic edition version of an old Intellivision system. The company's official press release indicates that this will be a pretty basic console built around the goals of "simple, affordable, family, and fun." It's not entirely clear what the console will offer in terms of software and features but the description states that "The new Intellivision system (name TBA) will carry on the company tradition of 'firsts' with its new concept, design, and approach to gaming."

    Long-time video game music composer Tommy Tallarico, who has recently been named President of Intellivision Entertainment, informed VentureBeat that he sees a "huge gaping hole in the market now with families in the home." He states that the company is not trying to compete with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo with this console and that a device that allows families to enjoy games together is generally "lacking" from the modern industry. 

    While Intellivision's press release doesn't confirm that this new console will feature old Intellivision games, it does feature quite a bit of information about how Intellivision helped to revolutionize the video game industry by offering the first 16-bit game console, the first console to feature a pause button, the first game to feature speech/voice, and other such innovations. 

    There are reports floating around that the console will ship with around 10 games built-in and will offer players the option to expand the console's library via emulation options. However, those reports have not been confirmed at this time. 

    It's fascinating to see Atari and Intellivision get back into the console game in the same year. While it doesn't sound like Intellivision's console is going to emulate the goals of the Atari VCS, both companies are clearly relying on the possibility that gamers will swallow their hardware offerings alongside a measure of nostalgia. 


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    World War 3 offers an intriguing combination of persistent online skirmishes and battle royale conflicts.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 30, 2018

    Developer Farm 51 have revealed a new military online shooter called World War 3.

    Early information about World War 3 suggests that it will emphasize realistic military action across two major modes. The first mode, referred to as Warzone, seems comparable to the Battlefield series. That is to say that it allows players to participate in "large-scale combined arms battles with infantry, armored vehicles, and drones." There are rumblings of the mode featuring some kind of attack and defend objectives, but it's not clear if that is the extent of Warzone's objectives

    It also seems that there will be some kind of overarching progression system in Warzone that will account for which countries are currently in control. Yes, there is some kind of on-going conflict system in the game that is based on team - and player - performance. The extent of this feature isn't clear at this time, but it seems that major changes in the war will be determined by the completion of certain in-game achievements as well as the final stats in a Warzone match (vehicle damage, for instance). 

    Farm 51 is also touting the game's advanced damage mechanics which they describe as the “most authentic bullet vs. armour system in the FPS genre to date.” From what we can gather, the game will account for basic pieces of information such as what armor you're wearing and what gun your opponent is using as well as movement physics in order to accurately relay what kind of damage your character would take in that instance. 

    World War 3's other major mode, called Recon, seems to be the game's battle royale offering. However, it does differ slightly from other battle royale games via its emphasis on squad play and objectives. Recon asks multiple squads of players to capture high-value targets while eliminating the competition. While character customization will seemingly play a big role in both Recon and Warzone, Farm 51 has stated that the game will not feature loot boxes or pay-to-win options.

    We'll find out whether World War 3 will find its role in the highly-competitive online shooter market when the game debuts on Steam Early Access sometime later this year. 


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    There's an animation/live-action hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog movie in the works, with Deadpool's Tim Miller as executive producer.

    News Mike Cecchini
    May 31, 2018

    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.

    James Marsden will star (via THR)...presumably not as Sonic, as this is a live action/CGI hybrid. No details are available on his role at the moment.

    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.

    Patrick Casey and Josh Miller (Golan the Insatiable) wrote a draft, with the most recent one by Oren Uziel.

    The Sonic the Hedgehog movie will open on November 15, 2019.

    We are taking casting suggestions for Doctor Eggman down below.


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    Build a deck of cards featuring your favorite Marvel heroes and villains in this upcoming mobile title.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 31, 2018

    Nexon and Marvel Entertainment have announced a new card battle game called MARVEL Battle Lines. This mobile CCG lets players build a deck of cards that feature famous heroes and villains from the Marvel universe. Along with PVP options that allow you to battle friends and other online players, this title will actually feature a single-player campaign written by Marvel writer, Alex Irvine. Irvine has most recently contributed to the "Phase" series, which serve as comic adaptations of recent Marvel Studios stories (how meta is that?).

    The information available at this time doesn't reveal much about the game's story, progression system, or potential cards, but it does seem that you can expect this to be at least a somewhat familiar CCG. That means opening packs of cards, separating them by rarity, and trying to build the best decks possible based on card quality and potential synergy. 

    Nexon's press release concerning the game suggests that you'll be able to earn cards by playing the game in both single-player and PvP, but it makes no direct reference to the ability to purchase cards via microtransactions. Considering that the ability to do so is fairly standard for these types of games, though, we'd be surprised if that's not included. 

    “Marvel’s incredible universe has reached hundreds of millions of fans around the world and it’s an honor to be collaborating with their team on a truly unique game that draws on the nostalgia of collecting trading cards and taps into the fun of battling with friends,” said Lawrence Koh, General Manager at Nexon. “MARVEL Battle Lines is incredibly engaging, fast and accessible, and will give players a chance to hone their skills and collect their favorite Super Heroes and Super Villains based on how they like to play games - whether that’s through the original single-player storyline and activities or competing in the PvP mode

    There's no word on exactly when MARVEL Battle Lines will be released, but it should be available sometime before the end of 2018 for Android and iOS devices. 


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    It looks like the Pokemon Gold and Silver design teams left a lot on the cutting room floor.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 31, 2018

    Fans have uncovered a treasure trove of Pokemon cut from Pokemon Gold/Silver

    This information comes from users at The Cutting Room Floor who have been pouring over an unreleased prototype build of Pokemon Gold and Silver that contains numerous Pokemon designs that weren't included in the final builds of the games. What so stunning about this discovery is the sheer number of designs and concepts that weren't included in the final versions of Gold/Silver but are present in this prototype. You can check out a spreadsheet of the discoveries here or just gawk at this large image of every unreleased Pokemon - or altered Pokemon design - found so far. 

    One of the things that fans have found most interesting about the cut content discovered thus far is how many "baby" versions of original Pokemon were originally intended to be included in the game. Meowth, Vulpix, Ponyta, Tangela, Goldeen, Grimer, Growlithe, Paras and Doduo all originally had additional unevolved forms that didn't make it into the final game. Other Pokemon found in the build were either used in later Pokemon games or were seemingly altered and then later used in future Pokemon titles. However, some evolutions were seemingly never used in a Pokemon game after they were cut from this one. 

    It also seems that Gold and Silver originally had different starter fire and water Pokemon. The unnamed fire starter would have evolved from a bear-like creature into more of a lion while the water starter actually appears to be the basis for future Pokemon, Popplio. 

    While cut content is hardly a new thing in video games, the sheer volume of cut content featured in this prototype build of the game is overwhelming. It's clear that a lot of work went into the design of these cut Pokemon, which tends to suggest that they might have been cut during the testing phase due to balance issues or just the personal choices of the developers who had to cut something from the final product. 

    Regardless, it's pretty amazing to see how many Pokemon would have been packed into those old-school Game Boy cartridges if technology would have allowed the team to do so. 


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    Take on the dumb forces of good in Lego DC Super-Villains.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 31, 2018

    As has been rumored for quite some time, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games have announced that they have been working on a new Lego game called Lego DC Super-Villains.

    The game's fascinating premise begins with the sudden and unexplained disappearance of the Justice League. Not long after they vanish, a new group of "heroes" who refer to themselves as the Justice Syndicate decide to take the Justice League's place. This doesn't sit too well with the villains of the DC Universe who get the feeling that this group of heroes isn't quite as heroic as they seem to be. As such, the villains unite in order to take down the Syndicate and restore some order to their universe. 

    Along with the usual array of DC villains - and perhaps a few surprises - players will also be able to create their own DC supervillain who will serve as the centerpiece of the game's story. You'll also be able to upgrade your custom character throughout the game and expand their abilities with a variety of powers and abilities. It's not clear entirely how this character fits into the basic story premise, but it seems safe to say that we'll learn more about their role as the game's release date draws near. 

    Of course, this is still a Lego title from TT Games which means that you can expect Super-Villains to feature co-op play options, building puzzles, lots of brawling action, and a collection of classic characters that will surely take even dedicated players quite a bit of time to fully unlock. 

    TT Games have also announced that the Season Pass content will include a post-game release that adds a host of DC TV characters to the game. That Season Pass will automatically become available to anyone that purchases the game's Deluxe Edition. Those who opt for the Deluxe Edition will also receive a Lex Luthor minifigure and the Justice League Dark DLC pack. 

    Lego DC Super-Villains is currently scheduled to be released on October 16th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. 


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    Everything you need to know about Ori and the Will of the Wisps, including latest news, release date, trailer, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 31, 2018

    It was widely rumored that indie hit Ori and the Blind Forest's sequel would be revealed at E3 2017. Well, this is one rumor that we're happy to report was absolutely true. 

    Ori's debut kicked off when the game's composer took the stage and played a beautiful track that is seemingly from the sequel's soundtrack. The trailer itself was an atmospheric and wordless affair that showcased the game's beautiful art style.

    As for gameplay details, we're still waiting to hear what Will of the Wisps will actually offer. However, unless developer Moon Studios is making a huge departure from the original title, you can likely expect this game to carry on the original's Metroidvania style. That means large levels that you'll have to explore multiple times while taking advantage of newfound abilities that allow you to access previously blocked areas. 

    One thing that did seem clear in the trailer is that the story will once again play off of the power of relationships. We see a lonely owl who is presumably one of the game's protagonists mourning next to a statue of two older birds while Ori comforts him. That, combined with the wild storm going on in the background, certainly invokes memories of the way the original title toyed with gamer's emotions via the exploration of friendship in a dying world. 

    We can't wait to share more about this game with you as more information becomes available. Here's everything else know:

    Ori and the Will of the Wisps Trailer

    Here is the first trailer for Ori and the Will of the Wisps:

    Ori and the Will of the Wisps Release Date

    At the moment, however, Ori and the Will of the Wisps does not have a release date.


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    From confronting Darth Traya to the iconic Death Star trench run, here are the 25 most memorable moments in Star Wars games!

    FeatureChris Freiberg
    Jun 1, 2018

    Over the past four decades, the Star Wars saga has produced some of the most iconic moments in cinema, from the assault on the Death Star in A New Hope to Luke Skywalker’s final fate in The Last Jedi. It’s these scenes that have made the series such an enduring part of pop culture.

    But as any hardcore Star Wars fan knows, these great moments aren’t just limited to the movies. The dozens of Star Wars video games released over the decades have provided their own memorable moments. And some of them even top the best scenes in the movies.

    Here are the 25 most memorable scenes in Star Wars video games:

    25. NES Star Wars - Vader the Scorpion

    How can we ever forget the classic moment in A New Hopewhen Luke, after murdering dozens of Jawas, makes his way through one of their giant sandcrawlers to finally confront Darth Vader? After an epic lightsaber duel, Vader turns into a giant scorpion creature for some reason.

    Yeah, the NES Star Wars games took some…interesting liberties with the source material. Officially, scorpion Vader was a shapeshifting creature that took the form so that Luke could confront his fears. In reality, it was just an excuse for the developers to put some vaguely interesting gameplay into an otherwise slow part of the original movie. It’s certainly a battle you won’t forget, even if it’s just because you’re extremely confused.

    24. Kinect Star Wars - Galactic Dance Off

    Star Wars fans had high hopes when Microsoft announced the Kinect. Maybe LucasArts would craft a sprawling epic where a young Jedi learns the way of the Force. Just imagine using actual hand gestures to swing a lightsaber and Force push enemies. Yeah, things didn’t quite pan out that way.

    Instead, we got a collection of shoddy mini-games. The most functional yet baffling is “Galactic Dance Off,” which is basically Just Dance with Star Warscharacters moving around to themed parody songs like “I’m Han Solo” and “Hologram Girl.” It’s basically the Star Wars Holiday Special of video games. You’ll never forget watching Boba Fett dancing to an Empire-themed take on “YMCA,” but probably not for the right reasons.

    23. Knights of the Old Republic - The Final Battle with Darth Malak

    Raiding Jedi academies and destroying entire planets, Darth Malak is just as vicious of a Sith Lord as any of those whom are still considered canon. Plus, his voice modulator, the result of a lightsaber injury that severed his jaw, makes him one of the most visually stunning villains in all of Star Wars.

    Knights of the Old Republicbuilds Malak up as the ultimate bad guy in the course of its 40-hour adventure, and thankfully, the final battle delivers, with a lengthy lightsaber duel on the Star Forge that ultimately sees Malak fall and sets up your final decision to embrace the Light or the Dark.

    22. Episode I: Racer - Podracing with Two Controllers

    In the pre-prequel world, fans spent decades theorizing what the noble Jedi Anakin Skywalker was like before becoming the villainous Darth Vader. Maybe his piloting skills single-handedly saved the Republic. Or he could defeat dozens of dark Jedi with ease. It turned out he started off as a slave kid with a bunch of midi-chlorians that helped him win a race supposedly no human could. Yeah, it still seems kind of dumb.

    The Phantom Menace's podracing scene was pretty cool though and the game based on it stands out as one of the very best Star Wars titles. Usually, it controls like your standard Wipeout clone, but if you input a special cheat code in the N64 version, you can control your podracer with two N64 controllers, which is actually kind of like what Anakin does in the movie. Now, this is podracing.

    21. Bounty Hunter - Stealing the Slave I

    Despite only having a few minutes of screen time in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Star Wars fans instantly fell in love with Boba Fett (although technically he first debuted in The Star Wars Holiday Special, which is really best forgotten). But for all of their obsession with him, we really didn’t learn much about him until Attack of the Clones.

    And it turned out he’s actually a clone himself. The original badass bounty hunter he’s cloned from (and also kind of his father) is Jango Fett. And while Bounty Hunter wasn’t the most innovative game, it is memorable for finally letting fans live out their Fett fantasies and for showing how Jango first found the Slave I on Oovo IV.

    20. X-Wing Alliance - The Battle of Endor

    The Ewoks get a lot of credit for destroying the Empire, which is just an awful idea and not even really accurate. There was a whole Rebel fleet above Endor that took out the second Death Star. The Ewoks just barely took out a couple of AT-STs and even that was luck.

    For whatever reason, most games based on Return of the Jedi usually throw in Ewoks or a speeder bike chase instead of focusing on the action in space. X-Wing Alliance finally gave this epic battle its due in glorious mid-‘90s 3D.

    19. X-Wing vs TIE Fighter - Destroying the Super Star Destroyer

    X-Wing vs. TIE Fighterwas long hailed as the very best Star Wars game around and it still stands up remarkably well as a space sim. The final mission of the Balance of Power expansion shows just how awesome space combat in the Star Wars universe can be with a massive battle involving a Star Destroyer, a Super Star Destroyer, and a whole mess of TIE fighters. The final kamikaze attack on the Super Star Destroyer is arguably even better done than a certain controversial scene near the end of The Last Jedi.

    18. The Force Unleashed II - Dropkicking Ewoks

    Back in 1983, some Star Wars fans were convinced that the Ewoks were the death of the franchise. After all, they're just a bunch of teddy bears with spears shoehorned into the franchise to sell more toys. Of course, that was long before the Gungans. And Porgs. We didn’t know how bad it could get or how good we had it.

    The Force Unleashed II is another type of disappointing Star Wars cash-in, but at least the downloadable Endor level lets you finally release your pent up Ewok frustration by punting the little buggers clear across the forest moon. There’s even an achievement for dropkicking ten of them.

    17. Dark Forces - Stealing the Death Star Plans

    Now that Disney owns Star Wars, the official story is that Jyn Erso and her crew stole the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance. And admittedly, Rogue One is an awesome movie --and quite possibly the best Star Wars film Disney has made so far.

    But long before anyone had heard of Jyn Erso or Scarif, there was Kyle Katarn and his secret mission to steal the Death Star plans. The graphics may not look like much now, but back in 1995, this was the pinnacle of FPS gaming and one of the coolest Star Wars moments outside of the films.

    16. Knights of the Old Republic - Falling to the Dark Side

    From the very beginning, Star Wars games put players in the role of a Jedi hero, typically Luke Skywalker, but Knights of the Old Republic let your character fully embrace the power of the Dark Side. There are so many different choices to make in KotOR that no two players fall to the Dark Side in the same way.

    Maybe you start telling off your other party members or decide to screw over someone you agreed to help. But the next thing you know, your skin is pale, you’re wielding two red lightsabers, and unleashing Force lightning on a half-dozen enemies.

    15. SoulCalibur IV - Darth Vader vs. Yoda

    On paper, a Star Wars fighting game sounds like a pretty good idea. And one actually exists. When LucasArts announced Masters of Teras Kasi for the original PlayStation back in the ‘90s, the hype for it was unreal. Unfortunately, the game that was eventually released was a sluggish, unbalanced mess. It was the type of disaster that was so bad it pretty much scared every other developer away from ever taking a stab at a Star Wars fighter.

    Bandai Namco still took a chance though and inserted Darth Vader, Yoda, and Starkiller from into Soulcalibur IV. With a much better fighting engine behind these characters, it’s awesome to finally experience the Yoda vs. Vader dream duel. But ten years later, it still hasn’t convinced anyone else to even try to make another Star Wars fighting game.

    14. Republic Commando - Goodbye, Sev

    Republic Commando took plenty of chances as Star Wars game and pretty much all of them paid off. Making a tactical FPS with a squadron of clone troopers sounds risky, but LucasArts managed to craft an innovative shooter that actually has a really solid story.

    In the final scene, the rest of the squad is ordered by Yoda to leave behind RC-1207 (Sev) to a questionable fate on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyk. With no sequel to resolve Sev’s fate, we’ll have to assume he died in battle, another expendable cog in the Republic war machine.

    13. The Force Unleashed - Taking Down a Star Destroyer

    For all of Obi-wan and Darth Vader’s talk about the Force, it’s true power actually isn’t shown that much in the Original Trilogy. Yeah, it helps Luke focus and there are also a few interesting psychic and telekinetic powers. Eventually, the Emperor even unleashes Force lightning. But, overall, the Force plays out like more of a philosophy than a source of real power.

    The promise of The Force Unleashed to, um…unleash the Force may not have been fully realized, but Starkiller using his full power to slowly pull a massive Star Destroyer down from the sky is a standout moment that would be an epic climax to any Star Wars movie.

    12. Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - Meeting Darth Nihilus

    There have been many Sith Lords introduced over the years, but few are as intimidating as Darth Nihilus. Nihilius became a wound in the Force itself, basically a black hole that constantly craved Force energy. He grew so hungry that Nihilus would devour whole planets to satiate himself.

    When we first meet Nihilus in KotOR II, he's discussing a disturbance in the Force with his apprentice, Visas Marr, whom he physically and mentally tortures after wiping out her entire planet. It's a moment that establishes this villain as one of the most evil beings in the galaxy.

    11. Knights of the Old Republic - Jedi Training

    Around the same time that KotOR hit shelves, LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment teamed up for Star Wars Galaxies, the first MMO based on the franchise. In the game’s initial incarnation, you could play as a Jedi, but only by spending dozens of hours mastering random professions -- and the developers refused to tell the players this at launch. It was about five months before anyone figured out how to actually become a Jedi.

    KotoR, on the other hand, got the process of becoming a Jedi right. You start the game as an amnesiac, fighting with vibroblades and blasters (so uncivilized). It’s only after about 10 hours in that you finally meet with the Jedi Council, who reluctantly agree to teach you their ways. You go through several Jedi trials and even learn to craft your own lightsaber. This section alone makes the entire game worth it.

    10. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - “I Am Your Father”

    For the first few Lego Games, Traveller’s Tales had a hard rule that characters couldn’t talk and instead had to communicate through unintelligible mumbles. That meant getting creative near the end of The Complete Saga’s re-telling of The Empire Strikes Back.

    Luke and Vader have their epic lightsaber duel in bowels of Cloud City. Vader cuts off Luke’s arm… and then he pulls out a picture of Anakin and a pregnant Padme and repeatedly points to it. It perfectly fits the humor of the Lego Star Wars games and ends up being almost as memorable as the real scene.

    9. Shadows of the Empire - The Battle of Hoth

    Even though many other Star Wars games have featured the Battle of Hoth over the years, none have managed to eclipse this 1996 classic. Everything is pitch perfect in this section of Shadows of the Empire, from the snowspeeder taking out probe droids to using the tow cable to trip those pesky AT-ATs. The whole thing unfolds with an amazing score, one of the few great ones on the N64.

    8. Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - Darth Traya’s Prophecies

    KotOR II received a lot of flak for its obvious unfinished state and with good reason. The game came out just a little over a year after the first, so developer Obsidian Entertainment had to cut a lot of content, including an entire planet, that’s only been restored in the last few years.

    But the rushed development meant the game has a rather unique finale that's designed to cut corners and give the story some closure. Once you’ve defeated the manipulative Darth Traya in combat, she offers to tell you the future of your companions, enemies, and even the galaxy itself. Especially memorable is her final dig at Boba Fett from four millennia away.

    7. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 - Feeling the Power of the Force

    In the early days, most Star Wars games put players in the shoes of Luke Skywalker, but the '90s began introducing new protagonists. Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 wasn’t the first game to feature fan-favorite Jedi Kyle Katarn, but it was the first to hand him a lightsaber.

    Whether you choose to follow the Light path and confuse enemies or go down the Dark path and take them out with lightning and fire is up to you, but either way, it’s the first time most Star Warsfans felt like a fully powered Jedi Knight.

    6. Battlefront 2 (2005) - Finally Becoming a Hero

    The Battlefront series turned Star Wars into an enjoyable multiplayer experience. It’s easy to spend dozens of hours in matches as a Rebel soldier or Imperial stormtrooper. But what truly made the series special was the ability to play as the Heroes, the main characters from the film that can be activated in a match by fulfilling certain criteria.

    As much fun as it is to snipe a bunch of stormtroopers from a distance, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as spawning on the map as Darth Vader and easily taking out a half-dozen Rebels with the dark side.

    5. Battle Pod

    A few years ago, Bandai Namco released Battle Pod, one of the best Star Wars space combat games to ever hit arcades. The insides of this cabinet resemble a TIE Fighter, and there’s a massive curved screen that lets you immerse yourself in battles on Hoth, Endor, and through the trenches of the Death Star. It’s about as close as you can get to living out a Star Warsfantasy without traveling to a galaxy far, far away.

    If you haven’t checked out the Star Wars Battle Pod yet, odds are your local Dave & Buster’s has one. It’s well worth making the trip and plunking down the cash to experience this arcade game at least once.

    4. The Force Unleashed - Birth of the Rebellion

    The Force Unleashedconcludes with a pair of pretty awesome boss fights featuring Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Ultimately, Starkiller sacrifices himself while fighting the Emperor to save the fledgling Rebellion. In the game’s Light side ending, it’s revealed that the other heroes chose to honor Starkiller by making his family crest the symbol of the Rebellion.

    It’s a cool little touch that ties The Force Unleashed to the larger saga and gives the storyline a little bit more weight. But since Disney bought all things Star Wars, this development is no longer considered canon.

    3. Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader - Death Star Trench Run

    The final assault on the Death Star is arguably the most iconic scene in A New Hope (and possibly even the entire Original Trilogy). While the trench run has been included in several games, no game has nailed the look and sound of that scene as perfectly as Rogue Squadron II.

    So many years later, Rogue Squadron II's Death Star trench run still looks amazing. If you’ve never experienced the game’s first level before, it’s never been cheaper to pick up a copy of the game for the GameCube.

    2. Battlefront (2015) - The VR Mission

    Battlefront’s VR mission, exclusive to the PlayStation 4 version of the game, doesn’t break much new ground in terms of Star Wars gaming. You pilot an X-wing, shoot some asteroids and TIE fighters, and eventually take out a Star Destroyer. This is stuff we’ve been doing for decades now.

    But the ability to do all of this in VR really is a game changer. The sights and sounds perfectly simulate the feeling of sitting in the cockpit of an X-wing, as you zoom through space, zapping your enemies. Unfortunately, it’s a short ride at only 20 minutes long, but a sweet one, and hopefully a taste of things to come for Star Wars VR games.

    1. Knights of the Old Republic - You Are Revan

    For the first couple dozen hours of Knights of the Old Republic, your character, a Force-sensitive human suffering amnesia, will hear quite a bit about Darth Revan. While Darth Malak is the main antagonist in the game, it turns out that his original master, Revan, was the real brains behind the resurgent Sith Empire. It’s only because Malak turned on him that Revan is no longer a threat.

    But most of the game’s characters are vague about Revan’s exact fate. Right around the time you’re starting to wonder what exactly happened to Revan and consider that maybe he’s still out there, the game hits you with a big reveal: you are actually Revan, the former Dark Lord of the Sith. The Jedi Council erased your memory of your past life and now it’s up to you to decide whether to embrace the Light or return to your old ways.

    The Revan reveal was just built up so perfectly over the course of the game that it’s hard to imagine any Star Wars game (or movie) ever being able to top it. Hell, it’s arguable the best moment in all Star Wars history.


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    Super Nintendo forever! Take a trip down memory lane with the most underrated SNES games you need to play.

    FeatureChris Freiberg
    Jun 1, 2018

    Even though the Big N has released five more consoles since the Super Nintendo, many Nintendo fans would say the SNES is still the best console that the House of Mario has ever released.

    A lot of the console's success has to do its with roster of games, of course. From third-party titles to Nintendo's own franchises, this was an era—from 1990 to 1996—that showcased the platform's total dominance over the industry, even as the Sega Genesis proved to be a strong competitor—and we all know who won that console arms race in the end. It’s not difficult to see why—just looking at Nintendo's own IPs, it's easy to argue that Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past are the very best games in their respective series. And that's not even counting games made by outside studios, such as Capcom and Konami.

    There’s a lot more to the SNES library than just Mario, Samus, and Link, and more than two decades later many of these games are still criminally underappreciated. These are the 25 most underrated games on the SNES:

    25. Saturday Night Slam Masters

    1993 | Capcom 

    Wrestling games were extremely hit or miss in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. It’s arguable that the WWE, really the only name in professional wrestling in the U.S., didn’t put out a single great game until the N64 era. That’s fine, though, because it gave other companies the opportunity to innovate with much more creative titles that focused on the over-the-top nature of sports entertainment. Saturday Night Slam Masters was one of those games, playing more like a traditional fighter that ends with pinning your opponent than a wrestling game. The art, which was created by Fist of the North Star artist Tetsuo Hara, almost made the game feel like a Street Fighter II wrestling game, which is not a bad thing at all.

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    24. Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen

    1993 | Quest 

    Ogre Battle is possibly the greatest unfinished saga in gaming. The very first game in the series appeared on the SNES and began with a tarot reading that determined your fitness for leading a revolution against an evil empire. And what a revolution it is, as you spend dozens of hours recruiting and building an army of soldiers, witches, and even griffins in a strategy game that still feels incredibly deep more than 20 years later.

    The SNES version is one of the rarer titles on the console, but it’s since been re-released on the Wii Virtual Console. There’s also a quality PlayStation port that’s slightly cheaper, but still one of the higher priced games on that system. Regardless of which version you play, this is a game that all strategy and RPG fans need to experience at least once.

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    23. Tetris Attack

    1996 | Intelligent Systems 

    Nintendo seems content to re-release a barely updated version of Dr. Mario every few years, but has completely ignored its best puzzle game of the ‘90s. Don’t mind the Tetris in the title, this is a completely new puzzle game where you match colored blocks as they rise from the bottom of the screen in an effort to keep them from reaching the top. It’s all wrapped around a story involving Yoshi and Bowser, which is fine, but the real star here is the ultra-competitive two-player mode. It’s a real shame that Nintendo hasn’t yet released an HD version of this game with online multiplayer.

    22. Boogerman

    1994 | Interplay 

    Because Mario and Sonic were such massive successes in the ‘90s, virtually every other publisher assumed that they too needed a mascot to put them on the map. This led to some…unusual creations, most of whom have thankfully been forgotten. Boogerman is one of those characters that are maybe better left in the ‘90s (a 2013 Kickstarter to revive the franchise was a massive failure), but he actually starred in a pretty cool game. It had some of the better graphics and music of any platformer from the era, and while the ability to burp and fart on your enemies is incredibly sophomoric, it still entertains adult me almost as much as 10-year-old me.

    21. Goof Troop

    1993 | Capcom 

    Goof Troop was a fairly forgettable Disney cartoon starring Mickey Mouse’s talking dog pal, but at least it gave us a surprisingly good Super Nintendo game. This was a time period when Capcom could do no wrong, and the company put Shinji Mikami, who would later go on to direct much of the Resident Evil series, in charge of Goof Troop. Sadly, there’s no zombies or gore, but there are some surprisingly strong survival elements, like having to defeat enemies with objects in the level rather than facing them head on. If you’ve ever wanted to see where some very early Resident Evil ideas got their start, this is the game to check out.

    20. Weaponlord

    1995 | Visual Concepts 

    Weaponlord is the definitive example of a game ahead of its time. While accessible fighting games like Mortal Kombatand Street Fighterruled the roost in the mid-90s, the team at Visual Concepts set out to create an extremely deep fighter focused on weapon combat, countering, and parrying. While Weaponlord featured only a few characters, they each had tons of special moves and “death combos” that put many of Mortal Kombat’s fatalities to shame. And which characters you killed during the story mode actually had an impact on the ending.

    Despite these innovations, reviews were largely negative at the time of release. Still, the game’s reputation has improved quite a bit in recent years. Publisher Namco even used many of Weaponlord’s ideas in its Soul Edge and Soulcalibur games.

    19. Phalanx

    1992 | Kemco 

    Phalanx might take the prize for worst box art on the SNES. Despite being a 2D shooter, it features a bearded old man playing a banjo on the cover for some reason. There’s a space ship too, but most of the focus is on the old guy. Maybe there was a mix-up in the art department, and they didn’t have time to fix it. It’s not really clear what happened. Anyway, those who got past the box actually found a surprisingly fun shooter. You could control the speed of your ship, store multiple weapons simultaneously, and even sacrifice these weapons for smart bombs. It’s not the deepest game on the SNES, but it is one of the most enjoyable in brief spurts.

    18. Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures

    1994 | LucasArts 

    LucasArts’ Super Star Wars games still get a lot of love, but its lone Indiana Jones game on the SNES is arguably superior. The game takes you through all three Indy movies (let us never speak of the fourth one), as you take out baddies with Indy’s iconic bull whip. While primarily a platformer, there are also a few levels featuring flying, a mine cart, and even a raft traveling down a mountain. Sadly, there have only been a handful of Indiana Jonesgames released over the years. This one is easily one of the best.

    17. Uniracers

    1994 | DMA Design 

    If you’ve never heard of DMA Design, they were a small Scottish developer that went on to develop a little series known as Grand Theft Auto. Uniracers has pretty much nothing to do with GTA. There are no open worlds, mob bosses, or murders. It’s just a relatively simple, family-friendly, incredibly fun game about racing unicycles and pulling off tricks with them. Certainly no one would object to Nintendo resurrecting the series, or Rockstar including an homage to it in the next GTA.

    16. The Adventures of Batman & Robin

    1994 | Konami

    Batman: The Animated Series stands up as one of the greatest cartoons of all time, and the SNES game based on the show is the rare ‘90s licensed game to do its source material justice. The graphics and sound are outstanding for their time. This is a game that almost looks and sounds like the cartoon, which was almost unheard of back then. All of the major villains from the series are included as bosses, and you need to use a variety of bat-gadgets to take them out. The Batmobile stages are a little hard to control, but they’re worth putting up with because everything else is of such high quality.

    15. Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals

    1996 | Neverland 

    Particularly in the ‘90s and early 2000s, a lot of great games took longer than expected to develop, were released just as a new generation of consoles was on the horizon, and then were completely forgotten until they were rediscovered by nostalgic fans years later. Lufia IIis one such game. Building on a good, but not great RPG released earlier in the SNES’s life cycle, Lufia II featured deeper puzzles and gameplay mixed with some of the best music on the console. Lufia II is easily one of the best RPGS of the ‘90s that Square had nothing to do with.

    14. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys

    1991 | Nihon Falcom 

    Despite eight main entries released to date, and a surprising number of remakes, the Ys action-RPG series hasn’t really broken into mainstream gaming. While the earlier games in the series were strictly top-down, similar to the Legend of Zelda in many ways, Ys III was a more traditional side-scroller. Because of this, it’s often viewed as the dark sheep of the series, but that’s ignoring a surprisingly fun and epic game that can stand on its own as one of the better platformers on the console.

    13. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

    1992 | Konami 

    Goemon/Mystical Ninja is an absolutely hilarious and brilliant action-RPG series that is sadly so deeply-rooted in medieval Japanese culture that Konami has never quite figured out how to market it in the west. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja was the very first game in the series released in North America, and it’s an almost pitch-perfect beat ‘em up with strong RPG elements. Much of the series’ trademark humor translated fairly well in this version, and it has a wonderful soundtrack inspired by traditional Japanese music. Sadly, Konami seems to have completely lost interest in the series in recent years.

    12. Mega Man Soccer

    1994 | Sun L 

    Long before Mario made a name in the world of sports, Capcom tried to expand the Mega Man franchise with this bizarre soccer game. The gameplay is fairly standard for the time, with the addition of special attacks used by the robots in the main series of games. Somehow, this is actually a canon game that takes place after Mega Man 4. In the game, Mega Man and Proto Man decide that the best way to stop Dr. Wily is a soccer match. While hardly the greatest game in the illustrious Mega Man series (or even the best soccer game on the SNES), it’s graphics and soundtrack hold up pretty well, and if nothing else, it’s worth checking out for the novelty of it.

    11. Jurassic Park

    1993 | Ocean Software 

    The Jurassic Park movies have inspired some surprisingly good games over the years, beginning with the very first title released on the SNES to coincide with the original movie. Yes, you play as Dr. Alan Grant, and you fight dinosaurs with a bunch of weapons from an top-down perspective, which wasn’t terribly innovative for the time. But this is actually a much more thoughtful adaptation of the film than you would first expect. You can communicate via radio with other characters from the film, and some will purposely try to impede your progress with bad advice. And when you head indoors, the game shifts to a first-person view as you collect ID cards. This is so much better than the typical movie cash-in that flooded the SNES library in the mid ‘90s.

    10. Cybernator

    1993 | NCS Corp 

    Cybernator proves yet again that there are few things more cathartic than manning a giant mech and shooting the hell out of other mechs and robots. The developers at NCS Corp seemed to take real joy in taking this generic concept and pushing it to its full potential, with tight controls, vibrant graphics, and even a surprisingly strong soundtrack. Cybernatorremains somewhat obscure even today, but it’s well worth picking up if you run across a cartridge in the wild.

    9. Metal Warriors

    1995 | LucasArts 

    And if you loved Cybernator, I’ve got great news for you because Metal Warriors is basically an unofficial sequel. While developed by a completely different company (the legendary LucasArts), Metal Warriors doubled down on everything that made Cybernatorgreat, with more mechs, faster gameplay, and better graphics. The game even featured the ability to exit your mech to get through certain areas. Some fans argue that Cybernator is the superior game, but Metal Warriors tweaked what made that game great just enough to edge out its unofficial predecessor.

    8. Super Smash TV

    1992 | Williams 

    Basically a twin stick shooter before consoles came with analog sticks, Super Smash TVfeatured incredibly fast and intense gameplay. This nearly perfect port of the arcade version lets one or two players blow off steam by firing weapons at hundreds of enemies attacking them from all sides as part of a futuristic life-or-death TV show. Well, the 1999 setting seemed futuristic at the time. 

    7. Blackthorne

    1994 | Blizzard Entertainment 

    Before Blizzard built mega huge franchises like StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo, there was simply Blackthorne. But even back in 1994, Blizzard seemed poised for greatness. What could have been another generic 16-bit shooter was actually a much deeper game, which required you search for keys in its giant, vibrant levels to progress. Even if you’ve never played the SNES version, Blackthorne is a free download on Battle.net now, so there’s no reason not to play it now.

    6. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

    1993 | LucasArts

    Back in the day, LucasArts was actually known for a lot more than cranking out Star Wars games and dysfunctional development cycles. The developer used to make really innovative games like Zombies Ate My Neighbors, a top-down shooter with tons of weapons, ranging from water guns to bazookas. And it had real personality, too. Zombies contained nods to numerous classic horror movies, and despite the title, monsters included enemies like squidmen, blobs, and even giant demon babies. This is also one of the more difficult games of the 16-bit era, but it’s well worth experiencing just for the creativity on display here.

    5. Actraiser

    1991 | Quintent 

    Few games have ever pulled off the merging of two completely disparate genres into one like Actraiser did. Yes, much of the game is a solid, though not especially memorable platformer, but those sections are squeezed between a really interesting city-building section where you basically play God (in fact, you were referred to as “God” in the Japanese version). Even though it seems like these two gameplay styles should have nothing to do with each other, it works remarkably well here. Actraiser is one of the finest, most memorable games on the SNES, and its sequel is worth checking out as well.

    4. Shadowrun

    1993 | Beam Software 

    There was no shortage of traditional sword and sorcery RPGs on the SNES, so Shadowrunstands out specifically for its dark cyberpunk setting. While receiving mixed reviews upon release, Shadowrun’s image has been rehabilitated in recent years, with many players praising its deep conversation system and gameplay that mixes traditional table-top rules with 16-bit RPG action. Plus, the game's film noir influences helps give it what’s quite possibly the best storyline of any SNES game.

    3. Illusion of Gaia

    1994 | Quintent

    Illusion of Gaia is an action-RPG for gamers who want something different from their action-RPGs. While combat remains relatively simple, there are so many new ideas that work surprisingly well, like an experience system that de-emphasizes grinding and a simplified item system. Those might sound like bad ideas at first, but they work surprisingly well in the context of the game. Wrapped in some truly ingenious puzzles and one of the best stories of the 16-bit era, you’ll wonder why more games haven’t tried to copy Illusion of Gaia’s innovations.

    2. Secret of Evermore

    1995 | Square Soft 

    Square released so many great SNES games in the ‘90s that at least one of them had to fall through the cracks. Secret of Evermoreis unique among Square titles, as the only game ever released by the company that was designed by Americans. This meant a more westernized art style, and a focus on traditional tropes of American storytelling, like the adventure of a boy and his dog. But you can also see a lot of the Square influence at play here too, with combat extremely similar to Secret of Mana (though the two titles are officially unrelated). Evermore may never quite meet the heights of Mana, but it’s still worth tracking down to see how a Square game would turn out with a stronger western influence.

    1. Harvest Moon

    1997 | Amccus 

    On paper, Harvest Moon sounds like the worst game ever. You inherit a farm. You grow crops and take care of livestock. If you’re particularly successful, you get married, too. But anyone who has played a Harvest Moon game knows that while this sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry, it’s actually incredibly addicting watching your farm grow. While later games in the series included much more customization, the SNES original is still one of the most relaxing games around, and well worth a play through for anyone looking for something a little bit simpler than saving the world.

    Chris Freiberg is a freelance contributor.


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    Ahead of the Super Bowl, we take a look at how Madden NFL became a sports video game revolution and took over the gaming gridiron...

    Feature Jason M. Gallagher
    Jun 1, 2018

    The Madden NFL series has brought in more than $3 billion in revenue for EA over the last three decades. In that time, the game has transcended both the video game industry and even the man who originally lent it his name. “Madden” to most people these days is not a legendary head coach and color commentator - but a video game.

    Even John Madden himself admitted as much way back in 2002 in an article in the Los Angeles Times

    Madden was in a hotel room in San Francisco when a Philadelphia Eagles player walked in asking, “Where’s Madden?” 

    Everyone else in the room pointed to the then Fox commentator.

    “No, not that Madden,” the player said. “I want the game.”

    The story of how Madden NFL became one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time starts, oddly enough, on an Amtrak train.

    All Aboard

    It’s well established that John Madden has a fear of flying. So it should be no surprise then that when the football giant sat down with Trip Hawkins and Joe Ybarra of Electronic Arts in 1984 to discuss what would become John Madden Football, the conversation took place on a train traveling from Denver to Oakland.

    EA founder Hawkins, an avid Strat-O-Matic football player, had long wanted to make a realistic football game for computers. With the recent success of the Apple II and other mass market hardware, there was finally a platform that could make that dream a reality. But in order to truly achieve a realistic game, Hawkins wanted a football mind on his team. He wanted John Madden.

    Madden had signed a contract to endorse a game for EA by this point, but there was still debate over what kind of game was going to be made. Hawkins and Ybarra laid out their game plan. They wanted to make the most realistic game possible. Real playbooks and formations with maybe seven players on each side…

    Madden called timeout immediately.

    “If it’s not 11 on 11,” he said. “It’s not real football.”

    Hawkins countered that a lower player count on the field would allow the game to run at a faster frame rate, but Madden made it clear there would be 22 players on the screen or there would be no game.

    The game was in development for four years, largely because of legal trouble with Bethesda Softworks, a company that had made a similar football sim and was at one point under contract with EA to help develop the Madden game. When that didn’t pan out, the companies parted ways and EA released John Madden Football on its own in 1988. It did indeed feature 22 players on the screen, but it also suffered from slow performance and a limited feature set as a result.

    Still, the playbooks were deep, and when Sega was looking for a football sim for its new Genesis console, it took notice of EA’s accomplishments and, after signing a deal for a Genesis version of Madden, also signed a deal with EA to create another exclusive game under the Sega brand.

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    Madden vs. Montana

    The Sega and EA partnership remains to this day one of the strangest in the history of the industry. Sega was looking for a new first-party title for the Genesis, but because they lacked the resources to make it, the company outsourced the game to the developer that was already making a competing game.

    In hindsight, the result was to be expected.

    Sega’s game, called Joe Montana Football, thanks to a partnership with the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, ended up being inferior in every way to Madden. And that was no accident. EA started with Madden as its foundation, but then stripped the playbook and cut the realism of the graphics. Madden ended up being the superior product, but both games were on best-seller lists that holiday season.

    The strange rivalry and sales success of both titles helped the 16-bit era of gaming take off. The Sega Genesis had been in competition with the Super Nintendo, and prior to the release of the football titles, Nintendo was the clear market leader. Nintendo had first party titles that Sega’s franchises couldn’t keep up with on the sales charts.

    But with the success of both Madden and Montana franchises, the Genesis quickly developed a reputation as being the best console for sports games. The market expanded. High school and college jocks who would normally be more likely to taunt someone who identified as a video game nerd suddenly found themselves playing for bragging rights on all-night sessions of Madden.

    Future editions of Joe Montana Football were made at another developer, freeing up EA to concentrate on only Madden. The rivalry between the games continued and became especially heated in 1992 when Sega was the first company to obtain an official NFL license. Real uniforms, stadiums, and logos left Madden in the dust. EA struck back hard in 1993 with Madden NFL ’94, the first to feature fully licensed teams and an all-star collection of previous Super Bowl squads. The very next year saw the addition of a license from the NFL Players Association, which allowed EA to include the players’ real names. It took a while, but the truly realistic game first envisioned by Hawkins was now a reality.

    Bringing the Game to Life

    The transition to the 32-bit era of video games demonstrated how Madden could push innovation in the industry, even when it wasn’t on top. The first 32-bit Madden was actually on the 3DO, a doomed and short-lived console launched by Hawkins after he left EA. But the game served as a test drive that prepared EA for later years. The game featured life-like graphics and full motion video of the players.

    Madden NFL ’96 is a notorious title in franchise history. This was to mark the debut of the franchise on the Sony Playstation, but Visual Concepts, the developer EA was working with on the game, bit off more than it could chew and the game was delayed for so long that EA threw in the towel and again released a 16-bit version.

    Sony capitalized by releasing a 32-bit first-party title called NFL GameDay and a new annual war akin to the Joe Montana Football days was born. EA went all out with Madden NFL ’97 in a bid to get back on top, firing Visual Concepts and partnering with Tiburon Entertainment to create the game again from scratch. The game was a success, but the AI was sloppy and GameDay remained the game of choice for a lot of Playstation owners. The following year, Madden stepped up its AI complexity, only to watch as GameDay moved to full 3D ahead of Madden.

    There was no love lost between the two competitors. Sony’s Kelly Flock once remarked to a gaming magazine that “if you want to play next year’s Madden early, buy this year’s GameDay.” Ouch.

    EA was back on top by the time the 1999 season rolled around, which marked the debut of Madden’s franchise mode, one of the game’s bread and butter game modes to this day.

    Sega Strikes Back

    While EA and Sony were duking it out, EA’s old sparring partner Sega was backstage working on its comeback plan. 1998 saw the release of the Sega Dreamcast, the first console of the new generation. Sega initially tried to get EA to build a game for them again, just like in the 16-bit days. Details are murky, but an agreement was never reached and EA decided to hold out for Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 2 console.

    Sega then acquired Visual Concepts, the same company that failed to release EA’s ’96 title on time, and put them to work on the NFL 2K series. The first game on Dreamcast was a huge success, and upstaged Madden NFL 2000. The back and forth continued with EA’s support for Sony’s console being a contributing factor in the demise of the Dreamcast. The PlayStation 2 was clearly the superior machine from a graphics perspective, and the Madden titles for the PS2 milked every last drop of power out of the system.

    Even after it was out of the console race, Sega refused to give up. The company’s NFL 2K series would live on, releasing against Madden on PlayStation 2, Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s Gamecube. The ESPN license allowed Visual Concepts to create a TV-style presentation that was beloved by gamers.

    Sega was aggressive with its pricing, at one point offering its yearly release for half the price of Madden. Unfortunately for Sega, Madden’s developers continued to push the envelope. The game’s innovative hit stick, introduced in Madden NFL 2005, helped keep EA on top of the sales charts, although the 2K series developed a passionate following.

    Sega’s aggressive marketing tactics may have given EA a scare, and the company set out to make sure it wouldn’t happen again. EA signed an exclusive deal with the NFL that essentially made Madden the only legitimate game in town. With no other companies allowed to use the official NFL logos or uniforms, the NFL 2K series shut down.

    Some sporadic competition has popped up in ensuing years, with Visual Concepts even making a return with a game called All-Pro Football 2K8 that featured imaginary teams and uniforms, but the battle was essentially over. Madden had secured its place as the best and only football game on the market.

    The exclusive contract rubbed some gamers the wrong way. Gamers appreciated the constant innovation that they viewed as a direct result of EA battling it out with other companies and were a bit skeptical as to whether EA would continue to push for new features in future editions of the game. It’s hard to say if things would be different without EA’s exclusive contract, but a quick look at review scores shows that reception to Madden games since EA’s exclusive contract was signed has remained largely positive.

    Status Symbol As Madden became more realistic with each passing year. First in the 16-bit era and then beyond, the game became a staple in NFL locker rooms. Players began to openly campaign for a better player ranking from Madden and EA. Today, EA even has a director of athlete relations, Sandy Sandoval, whose primary responsibility is to field requests like this from the players.

    Sandoval told ESPN that quarterback Byron Leftwich pushed him the hardest for a better ranking when the two met up at a quarterback challenge event. “Dude, how can Carson Palmer be faster than me?” Leftwich asked several times. The general rule, according to the ratings gurus at EA, is that if the players are happy with their rating, it means they’re overrated.

    The NFL is filled with alpha males, and Madden has become just one more measuring stick they can use to compete with each other. Players can become the toast of the locker room if they can manage to snag a copy of the current Madden before its public release.Palmer and Chad (Ocho Cinco) Johnson are among the players who have hit up Sandoval for an advance copy.

    Players regularly play each other at Madden before and after practice, but the one gaming session every player wants to be part of is the Madden Bowl. The Madden Bowl takes place over Super Bowl weekend in the host city. It is a single elimination tournament where the best Madden players in the NFL are invited by EA to come and do battle against each other. The tournament is supposed to be fun, but many players take the games seriously, as the winner gets not only a trophy but also in-game recognition in the next installment of the franchise. Since 2011, the Madden Bowl has used the game’s Online Team Play feature to do battle in groups of three for the trophy. 

    A Blessing and a Curse

    While NFL players strive for personal glory in the Madden Bowl, the public at large has taken notice of another event that takes place during Super Bowl week: The EA Super Bowl simulation. Every year since 2004, EA has run a simulation of the Super Bowl using the two teams that will be playing in the actual game, using the most current version of the Maddenfranchise. The game’s result has been correct in all but four years and even some of the scores have been eerily similar. EA also releases a full summary of the game like it’s a news report from the Super Bowl.

    The results:

    • 2004: Patriots 23, Panthers 20 (Actual score: Patriots 32, Panthers 29)
    • 2005: Patriots 47, Eagles 31 (Actual score: Patriots 24, Eagles 21)
    • 2006: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19 (Actual score: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10)
    • 2007: Colts 38, Bears 27 (Actual score: Colts 29, Bears 17)
    • 2008: Patriots 38, Giants 30 (Actual score: Giants 17, Patriots 14)
    • 2009: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24 (Actual score: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23)
    • 2010: Saints 35, Colts 31 (Actual score: Saints 31, Colts 17)
    • 2011: Steelers 24, Packers 20 (Actual score: Packers 31, Steelers 25)
    • 2012: Giants 27, Patriots 24  (Actual score: Giants 21, Patriots 17)
    • 2013: Ravens 27, 49ers 24 (Actual score: Ravens 34, 49ers 31)
    • 2014: Broncos 31, Seahawks 28 (Actual score: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8)
    • 2015: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 (Actual score: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24)
    • 2016: Panthers 24, Broncos 20 (Actual score: Broncos 24, Panthers 10)
    • 2017: Patroits 27, Falcons 24 (Actual score: Patroits 34, Falcons 28)
    • 2018: Madden 24, Eagles 20 (Actual score: Eagles 41, Patriots 33)

    The fans of the team that comes out on top in the simulation tend to claim that their team is going to win now that they’ve been blessed by the Madden gods. 

    Superstition surrounding Madden doesn’t stop here. Another superstition surrounding the game that has quite a negative history is that of the Madden cover curse.

    Since the first release of the game as John Madden Football through 1999, the game’s cover featured the former coach and broadcaster on the cover. But for the 1999 PAL version of the game, EA used an image of NFL player Garrison Hearst. After making the cover, Hearst broke his ankle and missed the next two seasons.

    In 2000, EA expanded the concept and put running back Barry Sanders on the North American version of the game. Sanders then abruptly retired, ending his career without taking a shot at breaking the all-time career rushing yards record, a feat he could have easily accomplished if he had played. Dorsey Levens was on the PAL version that same year, his team missed the playoffs and Levens was released the following year.

    The idea of the Madden cover being a curse began to really take hold in the 2001 season when Tennessee Titan Eddie George was on the cover. The Titans lost in the playoffs after George bobbled a pass and had it picked off and returned for a touchdown by the Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis, costing the Titans the game.

    This history has continued with something negative happening to the cover athlete just about every year, either through an injury or a significant decrease in performance.

    In 2007, San Diego Chargers fans openly campaigned for EA to not put LaDainian Tomlinson on the cover that year, which had been rumored at the time. Tomlinson eventually declined the offer, though supposedly just for contract reasons.

    In 2009, EA placed two athletes on the cover for the first time, with a picture of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu covering Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. When Polamalu suffered a bad sprain in the 1st half of the season opener, Fitzgerald is said to have been upset and worried about the curse.

    Officially, EA has said they do not believe in the curse, pointing out that when an athlete makes the cover, it is usually after a career year and so some regression the following year might be expected.

    Turning 30

    This year, the franchise turns 30, marking its greatest milestone yet. Thirty years in, Madden remains at the top of video game football.

    It should be noted that EA’s exclusive contract with the NFL was renewed for a "couple more years." That said, the likelihood of another company coming in and offering serious competition again in the immediate future doesn’t seem likely at this point. If history is any indication, Electronic Arts and Madden will find a way to remain king of the gridiron for many years to come.


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    Everything we know about Anthem, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jun 1, 2018

    Anthem is the new game from BioWare, the studio behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age. The new IP is a departure from the developer's past work in the RPG genre. In fact, Anthem isn't an RPG at all. It's described as an action-adventure game running on a "live service," similar to Destiny

    In Anthem, you play as a freelancer in a city protected by a wall from the dangers of the wild. Freelancers use special exo-suits called Javelins. There are two types of suits: Ranger, a balanced suit, and Colossus, which is basically your tank version. 

    Here's everything we know so far:

    Anthem Trailer

    EA has dropped a new teaser ahead of Anthem's E3 presentation. Check out the tiny bit of footage below:

    Here's the first gameplay trailer for Anthem:

    Enemies showcased in the trailer include a mixture of wildlife and robots. The game will take place in an open-world environment and will feature cinematic dialogue sections, which isn't a surprise from BioWare.

    Also be sure to check out the first teaser trailer for the studio's next game:

    Anthem Release Date

    Anthem will arrive in 2019. The game is coming to XBO, PS4, and PC. 

    Anthem Details

    When EA executive vice president Patrick Söderlund hinted during an investor’s call that BioWare was working on a new IP, many fans assumed that they were working on a new PRG. However, that's not the case.

    During a recent investor meeting, EA CEO Andrew Wilson referenced BioWare’s next IP by confirming that: “At the end of the fiscal year, our BioWare studio will be delivering an all-new IP.” Interestingly, he had this to say regarding the game itself:

    "A clean-sheet design with new concepts, new gameplay mechanics, and new stories set in a unique new universe. This game has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the way people think about an action title, bringing friends together to play in exhilarating new ways. We’re very excited about the future of this new franchise and its ability to attract a large global audience."

    The one term that Wilson did not use when describing the game was “RPG.” Given that BioWare and RPG go together like Nintendo and sequels to 30-year-old properties, this comes as quite the shock. BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn later took to the studio’s blog to expand on Wilson’s comments by stating that the project is designed to “bring players together in exciting new ways” and that their ambition is to "draw upon 20+ years of development knowledge and lessons to create something fun and new for you to enjoy with your friends.”

    A non-RPG is certainly a departure from BioWare’s usual development territory, but given that they’ve been evolving their combat systems over the years to be more action-oriented, perhaps this is a natural evolution of the company’s design style.

    Wilson also stated that he is able to describe the game as more of an action-adventure title with RPG elements that will operate off of some kind of live service. This seems to indicate some kind of online multiplayer experience. Indeed, it seems that this delay is at least partially due to EA's desire to develop that service a little while longer.


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    The next Assassin's Creed game is called Odyssey. Here's what we know about it so far...

    News John Saavedra
    Jun 1, 2018

    Just hours after a leaked keyring set the internet ablaze, Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin's Creed Odyssey is indeed the next game in the time-hopping action-adventure series. The game will take place in Ancient Greece. The publisher confirmed that fans should expect to hear way more about the game at E3 2018. 

    While we don't know much more about the game at the moment, Kotaku reports that Odyssey will retain many of the RPG elements introduced in Origins as well as introduce a few new ones, such as dialogue options. The game will also allow you to play as a male or female Assassin. The outlet has heard from sources that Origins protagonists Bayek and Aya will not be featured in Odyssey

    The game is reportedly set to release during Ubisoft's 2019 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2019. It's likely that Assassin's Creed Odyssey will arrive this fall, though, as that's been the series' usual spot on the release calendar. If that's indeed the case, it could indicate that Ubisoft is once again planning yearly installments in the franchise, a tradition it left behind after 2014's Unity bombed both critically and financially. 

    As far as the leak goes, it shouldn't come as a surprise at this point. This is the 13th time an Assassin's Creed game has been leaked. And it likely won't be the last.

    We'll keep you updated as we learn more!


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    Fortnite continues its bid for world domination by invading the Nintendo Switch.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 1, 2018

    It looks like Fortniteis coming to Switch. 

    The Korean game ratings board has issued an official rating for the Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite, which historically isn't the kind of thing that a ratings board does just because it's a slow Friday. If you need further proof ofFortnite's upcoming existence on Switch, there's this leaked list of E3 titles that includes a tease for Fortniteon Switch as well as games like StarlinkDragon Ball FighterZ for Switch, and Overcooked 2

    Wait...Overcooked 2? Forget Fortnite, this is an Overcooked 2 story now. 

    All right, all right, we'll get back to Fortnite. While there has been no official announcement concerning the Switch version of Fortnite, and thus no official details regarding the game, this move doesn't really shock anyone. Fortnite is one of the world's most popular games, and Epic has been working to bring the title to all platforms at some point. The Android version of Fortniteis expected to be released sometime this summer, which might mean that you can expect to see the Switch version of Fortnite come out around the same time. 

    There's no reason to believe that the Switch version of Fornite will have to make any technical compromises given that Fortnite runs pretty well on an iPhone. As far as cross-play goes, it's very likely that Fortnite will be compatible with other platforms given that Nintendo supports cross-play with games like Minecraft. Of course, we can't really guarantee that the Switch version will be compatible with the PlayStation 4 given Sony's uneven policies on the matter. 

    In other Fortnite news, it turns out that shopping carts are really the game's first vehicle and that the game continues to dominate the competition largely because it happens to run well on a variety of platforms. Fancy that. 


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    Days Gone continues to impress in this new trailer.

    News Adam McDonnell
    Jun 1, 2018

    It's always great to see new franchises debut on the big stage of E3, and that's especially true when the game looks as good as Days Gone. The game comes from Syphon Filter developer Sony Bend.

    The action-adventure game takes place in the Pacific Northwest and tells the story of a bounty hunter named Deacon St. John, who must survive on a planet that's been wiped of humanity after a global disaster brings about the end of the world as we know it. Now millions have been transformed into "Freakers," zombie-like creatures that would like nothing more than to feed on Deacon's corpse. As the bounty hunter, you'll have to fight massive hordes of Freakers in order to survive.

    Here's everything else we know:

    Days Gone Release Date

    Days Gone has been delayed to 2019. The game was originally set to launch in 2018. It will arrive exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

    Days Gone Trailers

    The latest trailer for Days Gone expands upon our first look at the game by diving a bit deeper into the narrative that at the heart of this particular apocalypse. While Days Gone was initially compared to The Last of Us, this latest trailer actually suggests the game is spiritually closer to the Uncharted franchise. In any case, we're incredibly excited to see more of its blend of action, horror, survival, and story. 

    Check out the reveal trailer below:

    This game definitely seems to have a The Last of Us post-apocalyptic vibe to it. The world showcased in the demo appears to be as beautiful as it is chaotic, while the main character's narration suggests that there will be a strong emphasis on the story of why it is that people choose to keep surviving in this cruel land. 

    You can watch the E3 2016 gameplay demo here:


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    Can Artifact steal the CCG crown from Hearthstone?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jun 1, 2018

    Few people expected Valve's next game to be a collectible card title based on the Dota 2 universe, but that's exactly what we have in Artifact

    Before you roll your eyes, though, you might want to use them to take a closer look at this game. Artifact isn't like any other CCG out there. Actually, it's kind of like a version of Dota 2 that you play with cards instead of with heroes and teammates. Artifact's implementation of Dota 2staples like lanes of battle, heroes, and in-game markets is made all the more fascinating by the fact that the title also boasts some traditional - albeit hardcore - CCG elements. Of course, that last part shouldn't be a surprise given that the game was at least partially designed by Magic: The Gathering creator, Richard Garfield. It will be fascinating to see what that creative team comes up with. 

    Here's everything that we know about Artifact

    Artifact Release Date

    Valve plans on releasing Artifact for Steam sometime before the end of 2018. They're also planning to release a version of the game for mobile devices sometime in 2019. 

    Artifact News

    PC Gamer has released a full breakdown of how Valve's Artifactcard game will work. It's a lot of information to take in, but here's what you need to know:

    Artifact has you build a deck of 40 cards that contains five heroes. The base game will include 280+ cards and 44 heroes. You can't have more than three of any type of non-hero card in your deck. 

    Gameplay sees you essentially play across three different boards designed to strategically resemble Dota 2's lanes. Each lane has its own mana pool, heroes, and a tower. Lose that tower, and a much stronger Ancient appears. If you manage to either kill an Ancient or if your opponent loses two towers, you win the game. 

    Complicating all of this is the presence of creeps in all lanes that heroes must battle as well as some truly in-depth mechanics that require you to manage the resources of all lanes using the same deck of cards. Fortunately, your resources are bolstered by the ability to earn gold whenever you destroy an opponent's cards and use that gold to buy items from the store that your heroes can equip. Heroes can never be permanently killed, but they can be taken out of action for a round. 

    Valve seems to be aware that this multi-lane style of CCG play creates a lot of complications, but they are embracing those complications. It seems like Artifact is mostly going to appeal to veteran CCG players or those that are willing to learn an entirely different style of game. Hearthstone this is not. 

    Speaking of Hearthstone, Valve is already planning on separating Artifact from that game by reducing the amount of randomness in matches and by allowing players to trade cards via Steam's marketplace. That last one is a huge deal as it could drastically impact both gameplay and the costs of Artifact in the long run. Indeed, Valve has stated they do not want Artifact to be a pay-to-win experience. 

    It all sounds fascinating, and Artifact might end up being extremely appealing to those who demand more complexity from CCG titles. 

    Artifact Trailer

    Here's the teaser trailer that formally introduced Artifact to the world. 


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