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    You've played Fortnite, Halo, and Call of Duty, but you might have missed these underrated multiplayer games!

    Feature Matthew Byrd
    Jul 10, 2018

    When a multiplayer game is successful, it tends to be incredibly successful. From Counter-Strike and Call of Duty to Halo and Fortnite, some of the biggest gaming phenomena of all-time have involved playing with other people in some capacity. Indeed, it’s often that communal experience that elevates multiplayer games and turns them into a sensation.

    The overwhelming success of some multiplayer games can lead to some animosity from gamers who just aren’t that into them or feel that they hinder a developer’s enthusiasm to pursue other types of projects. However, we bet that many people’s best video game memories are tied to the joy of playing a game with someone else, whether it be together on a couch or online.

    For some of those gamers, the multiplayer experience they so fondly remember wasn’t one that turned out to be a global phenomenon. There are so many multiplayer games out there that sometimes it’s a simple matter of probability that some of them will not make it. Other times, a multiplayer game was just too ahead of its time, too weird, too niche, or otherwise attached to a single-player campaign that just didn’t make it.

    There are many reasons why a cooperative or competitive multiplayer experience might fly under the radar, but the one thing that the most underappreciated multiplayer games have in common is the passion they inspire among those who actually had the chance to experience them.

    These are 50 of the most underrated multiplayer games ever made:

    50. Batman: Arkham Origins

    Batman: Arkham Origins may be an unrefined spin-off of the Arkham series, but this game’s negative legacy isn’t entirely justified. Origins is just a solid entry into an otherwise exceptional franchise. Besides, this is the only game that has ever come close to justifying the idea of competitive Batman multiplayer.

    Origins multiplayer mode sees two teams of thugs (representing The Joker and Bane) compete in a shooter-style battle for supremacy. All the while, a player controlling Batman (or players controlling Batman and Robin) prowl the map and try to intimidate and take out the thugs via traditional Arkham gameplay.

    This mode does a brilliant job of incorporating Batman into a competitive gaming experience without making you feel like you need to play as Batman to have a good time. Unfortunately, few people ever actually played this game’s multiplayer and Origin’s online functionality was formally shut down some time ago.

    49. Doom (2016)

    Doom’s multiplayer beta is infamous for all the wrong reasons. In fact, some people believe that the developers released the game’s “bad” multiplayer first in order to lower our expectations just enough to ensure that Doom’s brilliant campaign would blow everyone away.

    This multiplayer mode’s awful debut ensured that most Doom owners never touched it again, but those who braved month’s of mediocrity were eventually rewarded with something rather interesting. A series of updates eventually turned Doom’s multiplayer mode into a more than competent deathmatch experience that falls somewhere between Quake III and Halo 5.

    Yes, Doom’s multiplayer probably just should have been a quality arena shooter from the start, but we can't help but feel a little disappointed that this game’s multiplayer community pretty much died just when things were getting good.

    48. Monday Night Combat

    At first glance, Monday Night Combat looks like a flash game quality rip-off of team-based shooters like Overwatch and Team Fortress 2. Get past the meme marketing materials, though, and you’ll find a competitive shooter with an identity of its own.

    Monday Night Combat’s blend of third-person deathmatch action and MOBA-esque strategies is satisfying, but the true star of this experience is its almost Running Man-like game show atmosphere. It’s rare that you find such a rich competitive game that is wrapped in a fundamentally fun atmosphere.

    Sadly, as is the case with most of the games on this list, Monday Night Combat’s community isn’t nearly as large as it should be. It’s incredibly hard to find people to play with unless you do your own matchmaking.

    47. Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition

    We’re a little torn about whether or not this mode is underrated or rightfully overlooked. On the one hand, there are many reasons why you’ve never heard of Deus Ex’s multiplayer mode. It’s clunky, it was only included in the title’s game of the year edition, and it features some bizarre arena deathmatch elements that border on parody.

    However, Deus Ex’s multiplayer is nothing if not fascinating. The game’s best competitive modes utilized single-player elements like augments and hacking to add just enough role-playing to the deathmatch fray.

    For a concept that was likely only ever developed so that someone could add another feature to the Deus Ex GOTY box, this game’s multiplayer came surprisingly close to getting it right.

    46. LawBreakers

    We are well-aware that LawBreakers is one of the most infamous commercial failures in recent video game history. However, commercial success isn’t always a good indication of artistic merit. There’s a reason why the Academy Awards aren’t based on CinemaScore ratings.

    Not many people played LawBreakers, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a fun game. It flew a little too close to the sun by trying to blend the best of class-based multiplayer with arena shooters, but the average LawBreakersmatch is surprisingly chaotic and, at worst, showcases the potential of this concept.

    If LawBreakers had been released a little earlier and were a little more refined, it might just have found the audience it needed to survive.

    45. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

    Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is arguably the franchise’s finest hour. Along with perfecting the refined Assassin’s Creed gameplay that made Assassin’s Creed II such a hit, Brotherhood introduced a multiplayer mode that remains one of the most inventive and enjoyable competitive experiences in modern video game history.

    Brotherhood’s multiplayer sees each player assume the role of an assassin who is tasked with killing another player’s assassin. The catch is that nobody ever knows which player is currently trying to kill them. That element of mystery and the game’s various evasion options result in a multiplayer experience that successfully emulates the spirit of the single-player game.

    While Brotherhood’s multiplayer mode was replicated - and improved - in Revelations, Assassin’s Creed III, and Black Flag, it seems that Ubisoft has since elected to abandon this concept entirely. Here’s hoping the studio finds a way to resurrect this incredible experience.

    44. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

    While Transformers never really got a video game adaptation worth remembering when the original show was at its popularity peak in the ‘80s, recent years have featured a shocking amount of quality Transformers game. While we personally prefer developer PlatinumGames’ take on the series, there is no Transformers game that bests Fall of Cybertron’s multiplayer.

    Not only does Fall of Cybertron’s multiplayer let you create your own Transformer - which is the kind of thing we nerd out about more than we’re comfortable admitting - but the game’s third-person shooting and transform-based vehicular combat offers the kind of simplistic joys you don’t always get from serious competitive games.

    We could only dream of a good multiplayer Transformers game when we were kids, and it’s a shame that Fall of Cybertrondidn’t get enough credit for offering that experience.

    43. Dead Space 2

    While we’re always intrigued by the idea of multiplayer in a horror game (more on that later) the fact of the matter is that it rarely works. How can you possibly replicate the isolation of a horror adventure when you’re surrounded by other players?

    Dead Space 2 offers a fascinating solution to that problem. While this is hardly the first multiplayer game to have some players play as humans and other players control monsters, it’s hard to think of many games that utilize that concept better than Dead Space 2.

    This multiplayer mode’s various objectives and surprisingly deep strategic options result in nearly every multiplayer match feeling different than any match you’ve played in the past. Indeed, there are few moments in the Dead Space series more terrifying than facing off against a team of coordinated Necromorphs.

    42. Star Wars Jedi Knight III: Jedi Academy

    Jedi Academy’s campaign was ultimately somewhat disappointing. It just lacked the heart of Jedi Outcast’s compelling narrative. However, Jedi Academy did feature what may be the best multiplayer that's ever been featured in a Star Wars game.

    Jedi Academy’s lightsaber multiplayer battles aren’t unique - Jedi Outcast featured a similar system - but the game’s refined controls result in the absolute best Jedi vs. Jedi multiplayer that the gaming world had seen up to that point.

    In fact, Jedi Academy’s brilliant multiplayer lightsaber duels may never be bested. The tragedy of it all is that Jedi Academy’s multiplayer is only accessible through heavily modified custom servers, and we doubt anyone is going to remaster this game any time soon.

    41. BioShock 2

    The collective groan that gamers bellowed when it was first announced that BioShock 2would feature multiplayer can be heard to this day. It’s impossible to blame the cynics in this instance. The idea of adding multiplayer to a game infamous for its atmosphere and social statements is the kind of evil corporate plan typically reserved for Captain Planet villains.

    However, much like the campaign itself, BioShock 2’s multiplayer featured enough new concepts to more than justify its existence. BioShock’s plasmid and shooter gameplay translated surprisingly well to the multiplayer arena, and the ability to become a Big Daddy in certain modes added an entertaining - and necessary - wrinkle to the proceedings.

    Everyone thought BioShock 2 multiplayer was going to be a tacked-on experience that nobody would play. It turned out to be a surprisingly solid multiplayer experience that nobody played.

    40. Battlefield Vietnam

    Battlefield Vietnam doesn’t have as sterling a reputation as some of the other Battlefield games of its era. While that is partially due to the game’s somewhat controversial setting, it has more to do with the title's various glitches that were lazily carried over from previous installments.

    Still, there are some who consider Vietnam’s multiplayer to be the series’ finest hour. The Vietnam time period is modern enough to encourage a variety of tactics, but not so modern that it demands the incorporation of powerful tools and weapons. The game’s use of licensed music in multiplayer vehicles is also a feature that should have never gone away.

    Maybe we’ll finally get the Vietnam sequel fans have been clamoring for, but we don’t know if a modern title can replicate the magic of the original.

    39. Resident Evil Outbreak

    Resident Evil Outbreak remains a black sheep in a franchise that is no stranger to games that fans choose not to remember. Outbreaktried to offer a cooperative online Resident Evil experience at a time when online console gaming was barely functional. It certainly didn’t help that the game was released in the United States and Europe the same year as Resident Evil 4.

    Years later, though, it’s hard not to appreciate how brilliant this game was. Its controls are the best of the “tank” era of Resident Evil, its various character types forced players to carefully consider their strategies, and the stories of the various scenarios actually fill in some canonical gaps in the series.

    If you were lucky enough to overcome Outbreak’s various technical issues and actually play the game, you likely harbor some strangely fond memories of this inventive concept.

    38. James Bond 007: Nightfire

    If you’re a Bond multiplayer game that isn’t GoldenEye 007, you’re always going to be the other brother, the strange cousin, or even the child that gets locked in the attic and fed a steady diet of fish heads. The shame of it is that there are some multiplayer Bond games that are functionally far superior to that N64 classic.

    Near the top of that list is Nightfire. James Bond 007: Nightfire took the best of GoldenEye multiplayer - the familiar characters, the split-screen options, the accessibility - and added a control scheme that is actually functional.

    The result is a game that often plays fairly close to how you’d like to remember GoldenEye 007 played. If that’s not good enough, we can also recommend GoldenEye: Source, a brilliant modern re-imagining of that infamous shooter.

    37. Tomb Raider (2013)

    The reveal of Tomb Raider’s multiplayer was met with so much indifference that the game’s developers conducted interviews designed to justify the competitive option’s existence. Nobody felt they needed a Tomb Raider multiplayer game.

    We really do wish that more people gave this mode a shot, though, because it was downright clever. Tomb Raider pitted two groups of players with slightly different skills (survivors and Solari) against each other across a variety of gameplay modes. While most games task you with killing other players, Tomb Raider placed a unique emphasis on traversal. Often times, the best players were also the most evasive ones. The game’s brilliant traps - one of which could call down a bolt of lightning to kill players - added an additional layer of danger to every level.

    Uncharted’s multiplayer mode might get all the love for being surprisingly fun, but Tomb Raider featured a much more interesting and well-rounded competitive experience.

    36. Fable III

    Even those who remember Fable fondly will tell you that the series never fully-realized its own potential. So many of the series’ concepts just never worked as well as they should have.

    We suppose you could say the same of Fable 3’s co-op mode, but there is something endearing about that multiplayer experience that goes beyond nostalgia. Fable 3allowed for a surprising degree of co-op freedom for such a large game, and the title’s more generic elements - mostly its combat - were certainly enhanced by the presence of a friend.

    Few other RPGs of this size have ever even tried to incorporate a co-op mode, which makes it that much more impressive that Fable 3 came so close to truly letting you experience an epic adventure with a friend.

    35. Super Monkey Ball 2

    First off, all gamers in the world owe it to themselves to play a Super Monkey Ball game at some point. There’s no other series that offers Super Monkey Ball’s blend of speed, puzzles, and strangely addictive mechanical precision.

    Despite the series’ standing as a cult classic, nobody really ever talks about Super Monkey Ball 2’s brilliant multiplayer options. From Monkey Bowling to Monkey Dogfight, this sequel re-imagines several popular multiplayer modes within the context of Super Monkey Ball’s strange level manipulation gameplay.

    The variety of options featured in this game’s multiplayer is impressive enough, but what’s truly amazing is how well many of the modes work.

    34. Tron 2.0

    The brilliance of Tron 2.0 has sadly been lost to time. This Monolith developed shooter revisited the Tron universe at a time when the original Tron film was still a bizarre cult classic. To be honest, it’s still a better sequel to the original film than 2010’s Tron: Legacy.

    Its multiplayer is also surprisingly good. Granted, the game’s deathmatch mode didn’t have people abandoning the most popular shooters of its time, but Tron 2.0’s fun array of weapons and stunning visual design kept matches feeling fresh.

    Besides, Tron 2.0’s multiplayer was all about those epic light cycle battles that finally let film fans recreate the 1982 movie’s most iconic moment. It’s a shame that the only thing that comes close to replicating the thrill of those battles is an unlicensed homage in GTA Online.

    33. TimeSplitters: Future Perfect

    The original TimeSplitters was not only one for the best games of the PS2’s early days, but considering that it was made by many of the people who worked on GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, many thought of it as the true successor to the revolutionary multiplayer featured in those N64 games.

    However, it’s Future Perfect that...err...perfected TimeSplitters multiplayer. While it’s not as historically noteworthy as the original or quite as beloved as TimeSplitters 2, Future Perfect’s expanded mapmaker mode and online multiplayer options meant that you had more ways than ever to enjoy this generally underrated series. Of course, there’s almost no good way to play the game today unless you get the gang together for a split-screen party.

    32. Capsule Force

    Capsule Force is likely the most obscure game on this list. Released in 2015, this indie title flew under just about everyone’s radar. Even worse, the game’s lack of online multiplayer options and CPU opponents meant that even those who bought it barely got to play it.

    However, if you manage to get four people to sit down with this game, you will experience something magical. Capsule Force requires you to move a platform to your side of the level by standing on it. Of course, your opponents are trying to do the same while everyone is shooting at each other to knock their enemies off their respective positions.

    This simple setup works because it almost always results in nail-biting matches. Very few Capsule Force games don’t come down to the wire. If you can find the people to play this game with, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.

    31. Shadowrun (2007)

    It’s hard to think of another big budget game that was destined to fail quite like Shadowrun for Xbox 360. As the multiplayer-only follow-up to one of the most beloved cyberpunk RPGs ever made, Shadowrun was released in 2007 to an openly hostile market.

    Those that took a chance on the game, though, discovered a title that was so much more than an affront to the Shadowrun name. By combining the team-based tactics of Counter-Strike with light RPG elements and more traditional deathmatch modes, Shadowrun 2007 offered a compelling genre cocktail that clearly could have become something that stood tall on its own.

    Sadly, developer FASA Interactive went out of business just months after the game’s release and whatever chance Shadowrun had to find an audience simply vanished soon thereafter.

    30. Starhawk

    To be honest, both Starhawk and its spiritual predecessor Warhawk are worthy of entries on this list. However, the nod goes to this 2012 sci-fi title that improved many of the aspects that made Warhawk one of the PS3’s most notable multiplayer exclusives.

    Starhawk’s chaotic 32-player battles did a remarkable job of making you feel like you had just been dropped into the middle of a copyright-friendly major sci-fi battle. There are few other games that do a better job of balancing vehicle and on-foot combat in an objective-based setting.

    While Starhawk’s legacy is tied to the memories of a pretty specific group of gamers, it deserves to be remembered as one of the most exciting multiplayer games of its generation.

    29. Max Payne 3

    As you’ll discover by the time that you finish reading this list, Rockstar is a generally underrated maker of fine multiplayer experiences. Their multiplayer modes may not always steal the show, but they’re almost always worth the price of admission.

    For instance, Max Payne 3’s controversial single-player mode may have left players debating whether it lived up to the first two games, but those who played the Max Payne 3’s multiplayer simply enjoyed themselves. The mode’s brilliant use of a proximity-based bullet-time system was much more polished than such an ambitious concept should have been, and the game’s already fantastic shooting mechanics were tailor-made for a third-person competitive shooter.

    Max Payne 3’s multiplayer could have just been a way to justify charging $60 for an 8-hour single-player game. Instead, it proved to be an experience that is worthy of a follow-up.

    28. Brink

    Otherwise known as “Oh yeah, that game,” Brink was a multiplayer shooter developed by Splash Damage (more on this studio later) that was hyped up quite a bit before its 2011 release and then just kind of disappeared from the public consciousness.

    Brink wasn’t quite ready for prime time, but it was loaded with good ideas. The game placed a somewhat surprising emphasis on teamwork, featured some fun modes, and utilized a fascinating parkour system that really opened up some interesting strategies.

    Ultimately, Brink was one of those games that probably could have become something much greater had it been given enough time to receive some fixes as player feedback rolled in. Unfortunately, it wasn’t afforded the chance that many modern games enjoy.

    27. Sportsfriends

    Upon its 2013 release, Sportsfriends drew the most attention from those who were fascinated by the Johann Sebastion Joust minigame and the way it used the otherwise largely useless PlayStation Move accessory. Beyond that, the game fizzled out rather quickly.

    However, it’s the other games included in the Sportsfriends package that make it easy to recommend buying this game to this day. Super Pole Riders, BaraBariBall, and Hokra may feature super simple graphics and mechanics, but they are among the most addictive and compelling party games released in recent memory. Truth be told, BaraBariBalldeserved to be expanded upon in a separate, standalone release.

    If you still get your friends together to enjoy the occasional competitive couch game, Sportsfriends is a must-have.

    26. Earth Defense Force

    Without diving into the well of Earth Defense Force sequels in order to come away with a specific entry to recommend above them all, we’re going to give you a general recommendation to play just one of the games in this series at some point.

    Earth Defense Force is an indescribably over-the-top shooter that supports co-op play. Each game in the series requires you - and friends - to defeat waves of ‘50s sci-fi and anime-inspired enemies using a variety of absurd weapons.

    It’s hard to think of another cooperative action game that embraces insanity quite like the EDF series. We guarantee you will never forget experiencing this franchise with your friends.

    25. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

    Mercenaries is another series that is generally underrated, but in the interest of staying on topic, let’s talk about the co-op mode in Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

    Imagine a slightly smaller and less open version of the Just Cause series that you can play in co-op, and you’ll understand what made this multiplayer mode so special. There’s nothing quite like bouncing around the game’s sizeable world and utilizing a series of incredible weapons and vehicles to destroy encampments and take out high-priority targets.

    The idea of true co-op in an open-world game was pretty ambitious at the time of Mercenaries 2’s release, and we still can’t think of many games that utilize that concept as well as Mercenaries 2.

    24. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

    Metal Gear Solid 4 wasn’t the first Metal Gear game to utilize an online mode, but its take on multiplayer is the best that we’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying.

    First off, MGS4 combat worked surprisingly well even in basic deathmatch modes. However, what truly sets MGS4 apart is the way that it allowed players to customize their characters. Not only could you outfit yourself with clothes that could genuinely provide organic camouflage in certain areas of the map, but you could even unlock unique skills like “Instructor” that let you oversee the training of new players.

    Unfortunately, MGS4’s online play was eventually ruined by hackers. Given the current state of the MGS franchise, we also doubt that we’ll ever see a mode like this ever again.

    23. Natural Selection 2

    Natural Selection 2 was one of those games that occasionally came up in conversations around the time of its release, but it’s not a game that many people seem to have actually played. If you are one of those gamers who has heard of this title and hasn’t tried it, we recommend you do so as soon as possible.

    If you’re not familiar with Natural Selection 2, the first thing you need to know is that the game allows you to play one of three roles. You can be a human soldier, an agile alien, or a commander who views the multiplayer map from above and helps his or her team win by issuing orders, researching technology, and deploying resources.

    That makes Natural Selection 2 one of the few games to successfully combine the RTS and FPS genres. Even better, the developers have historically been quite active in terms of updates.

    22. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

    Crystal Chronicles is perhaps best remembered as the game that required players to use multiple Game Boy Advances and link cables in order to properly utilize this GameCube title’s multiplayer mode.

    While many people rightfully criticize Crystal Chronicles' absurd hardware requirements, the game itself has been widely praised by those who were fortunate enough to play its multiplayer mode in the intended way. Crystal Chronicles applies many familiar Final Fantasy mechanics and design elements to a slightly more action-oriented RPG experience.

    It’s tough to imagine the modern gamer who would be able to assemble all the hardware pieces required to play this game in its optimal format, but we would love to see another title explore Crystal Chronicles' gameplay in a slightly more traditional way.

    21. Windjammers

    Windjammers has actually drawn some more attention in recent years due to the game’s re-release on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, but there are still too few gamers who know about this true gem.

    The game has players compete in a fictional, arcade-style sport that most closely resembles air hockey. By utilizing a deep, but simple to learn, series of shots and defensive strategies, Windjammers nails that “easy to learn, tough to master” style of gameplay that we rarely see in sports titles. Nearly every Windjammers match is a nail-biting rush of adrenaline.

    This game was tragically overlooked when it was released in 1994, but we remain hopeful it will one day attract the following it deserves.

    20. War of the Monsters

    War of the Monsters proved to be a surprise hit when it was released in 2003, but it seems that many people have either forgotten about this game or just haven’t found a reason to mention it that often in recent years.

    While War of the Monsters’ single-player tribute to the monster films of the ‘50s was the star of this show, the game’s multiplayer mode proved to be a shockingly good time. It allowed players to pick their favorite monsters and duke it out across destructible environments. One of the mode's best features was a dynamic split-screen camera that split the screen when players were divided and then combined their halves of the TV when they were close enough to battle.

    This game deserves a remake, but the original is still a good time if you can get your hands on it.

    19. Crimson Skies

    Yet another game on this list that is perpetually underrated, Crimson Skies for the Xbox was an Indiana Jones-style adventure featuring an alternate history in which society has taken to the skies. It’s quite simply one of the best games ever made in the eyes of many of its fans.

    The game’s multiplayer was also quite good. Plane-based multiplayer battles can sometimes devolve into everyone circling around each other, but Crimson Skies' arcade-like movement system meant that dogfights felt appropriately tense. It certainly didn’t hurt that the game’s respectable selection of planes accommodated a variety of playstyles.

    Crimson Skies’ incredibly poor sales mean that we’ll probably never get a sequel or remake to this game. If we do, though, then its multiplayer mode must return.

    18. Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force

    The geniuses at Raven Software are responsible for some of the best games ever made, but in terms of multiplayer, Elite Force might be their best work.

    Elite Force launched with a stunning 32-player multiplayer mode to compliment the game’s exceptional single-player campaign. The shooting is spectacular, but what really sells the multiplayer is the additional variants introduced in the game’s first expansion pack. From a mode that sees one player control a Borg who is trying to assimilate everyone else to a disintegration mode that arms players with a slow-firing (but devastating) weapon, Elite Force offered so many creative options.

    The bad news is that Elite Force is not currently available through any digital retail platforms due to apparent licensing issues. 

    17. Crash Team Racing

    There’s some room for debate regarding whether or not Crash Team Racing is really underrated. The game sold quite well, is generally well-remembered, and is part of a very popular franchise.

    Still, we can’t help but feel that not enough people really got to experience this game’s brilliant multiplayer races. While CTR certainly borrowed quite liberally from the Mario Kart series, it also featured the kind of complex maps and innovative weapons that we wouldn’t see from the Mario Kart series for quite some time.

    Truth be told, if you told us that you genuinely preferred CTR to the beloved Mario Kart 64, we’d be pretty tempted to agree with you.

    16. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$!

    This is another tricky entry to justify simply because WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! was actually well-received at the time of its release. However, the game has all but vanished from memory except for those who played it.

    While most of Mega Party’s multiplayer brilliance stems from the fun of those classic WarioWare minigames, this title also features a few special modes designed to take advantage of a party atmosphere. For instance, Wario’s Outta My Way saw one player try to complete a minigame while the other players performed on-screen actions designed to distract them. Orbulon All For One forced players to complete minigames in the dark while another player shone a light on the important areas.

    While not the last WarioWare game to feature multiplayer, no other game in the series did it as well as this one.

    15. ChuChu Rocket!

    Part of the reason why the Dreamcast is such a beloved system is that it played host to quite a few unique games. Sega used the Dreamcast to see whether a series of bold concepts were viable or just pipe dreams. Few games exemplify that philosophy better than ChuChu Rocket!

    ChuChu Rocket! was developed, in part, to test the online functionality of the Dreamcast so that Sega could get Phantasy Star Online working properly and because the Sonic Team wanted to see if they could get 100 character sprites to move on-screen at once. While largely a technological test tube, ChuChu Rocket’s incredibly simple concept - you and other players lay down arrows to guide mice into color-matched homes - is addictive.

    ChuChu Rocket! was briefly released on iOS and Android, but now that those ports are no longer available, it’s hard to find a good non-Dreamcast copy of this game.

    14. Typing of the Dead: Overkill

    Typing of the Dead features one of the most bizarre premises we’ve ever seen in a video game. It essentially plays just like the old light gun House of the Dead games, but instead of shooting at zombies, you’re required to type out the words that appear under the undead in order to kill them. It’s basically the world’s most violent typing tutor. Typing of the Dead: Overkill retains that bizarre concept but paints a thick coat of grindhouse aesthetics on top of the whole affair.

    Regardless, that sweep typing gameplay remains largely unaltered. It’s oddly entertaining to bring a partner along and duel to see who is the best typist of them all. It might sound like an odd cooperative/competitive experience, but you’d be amazed at how fierce the competition for best typist becomes.

    13. Sega Soccer Slam

    If there’s one thing we love, it’s wacky sports games. Titles like NBA Jam and Mutant League Football capture all of the fun of sports simulators but are largely free of the sometimes crippling realism.

    While such titles have a tendency to be underrated, Sega Soccer Slam has managed to go almost entirely unnoticed over the years despite being one of the most entertaining arcade-style sports games ever made. This 3v3 take on soccer features wacky characters and ridiculous special power shots, but what really makes it special are the surprisingly solid mechanics that can hook any player in minutes regardless of whether or not they are a sports fan.

    We highly doubt that this game will ever get a sequel or reboot, so try to find a copy for Xbox, GameCube, or PS2.

    12. Red Dead Redemption

    Red Dead Redemption is another game that might be too popular to be considered underrated. However, the game gets a nod here just because we get the impression that not nearly enough people played this title’s many excellent multiplayer modes.

    RDR worked surprisingly well as a standard deathmatch game, but it really shone in specialty modes like Race, Stronghold, or even the cooperative horde mode added to the game by the brilliant Undead Nightmare expansion. The game’s free roam options may have been bare bones, but the pre-set multiplayer modes were almost universally entertaining.

    We’re not entirely sure why more people didn’t give this game’s multiplayer a chance, but it certainly stands the test of time.

    11. Pikmin 3

    Some of the best cooperative add-on modes are able to play off of a core aspect of the “main game” in order to offer an experience that is both familiar but impossible to achieve without the presence of multiplayer players. It’s a tricky concept, but if you ever want to experience the virtues of that approach, play Pikmin 3’s co-op modes.

    Pikmin 3’s main cooperative modes retain the fundamental goals of Pikmin campaigns but are designed in such a way as to ensure that only players who are able to truly work together will ever be able to beat them. Of course, you could also just play the incredibly fun Bingo Battle mode that requires you to find items to place on a randomly generated board so that you’re the first to score four in a row. It’s much more fun than it sounds.

    10. Mass Effect 3

    There’s a very good reason why Mass Effect 3 is remembered by most people for its controversial ending. Some go so far as to say that Mass Effect 3’s finale has forever tainted the legacy of the franchise. We also can’t help but feel that all the noise the game’s conclusion generated prevented many Mass Effect 3 owners from realizing they had a pretty great multiplayer game in their collection.

    While Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer was little more than a horde mode, it altered the horde mode formula just enough to incorporate elements unique to the Mass Effect franchise. For instance, players had to complete a randomized objective at the start of certain waves that required all party members to prove they were truly able to work together and not just kill the most enemies.

    Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer honestly does a better job of exemplifying the series' best gameplay attributes more than many of the story missions do.

    9. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

    Spies vs. Mercs. Either you know it, love it, and lost many hours of your life to it, or you haven’t a clue what we’re talking about. Even if you belong to the former group, though, you might not know that Spies vs. Mercs made its triumphant return in the stellar Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

    Spies vs. Mercs sees one team assume the role of spies and the other play mercenaries. For spies, the game plays out much like a traditional game of Splinter Cell. Mercs, however, play the game via a first-person view that limits their range of sight. The trade-off is that mercs are heavily armed while spies must rely largely on gadgets and guile to complete objectives.

    It’s an astonishingly realized gimmick that is way more balanced than it conceptually has any right to be. The fact that Splinter Cell: Blacklist also features excellent co-op modes is just the icing on the cake.

    8. Star Fox Assault

    Star Fox: Assault was a largely disappointing attempt to freshen up the Star Fox formula that ultimately failed to recapture the fun of the original titles. However, it also happened to feature a multiplayer mode that tragically got dragged down with the rest of the game.

    While not much more than a simple competitive shooter-style battle, Star Fox Assault brilliantly combined on-foot shooting with vehicular action - featuring multiple types of vehicles - to offer a competitive experience that was chaotic, to say the least. Games often saw players bounce between vehicle and battle on foot as they desperately tried to get those last few kills.

    Supposedly, Star Fox Assaultbegan its life as a multiplayer-only title. We kind of wish that the developers had stuck with that concept and abandoned the game’s forgettable single-player offerings.

    7. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

    Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory boasts the strangest origin story of any game on this list. Originally designed to be an expansion pack to Return to Castle Wolfenstein, it was later determined that it was good enough to warrant a standalone release. However, when developer Splash Damage (the folks responsible for Brink) encountered problems with the single-player campaign, the studio decided to just release the multiplayer as a freeware game.

    We’re glad Splash Damage did what was necessary to get this game out into the world because it is a brilliant piece of multiplayer game design. In fact, Enemy Territory's use of class-based teamwork is still one of the best examples of that concept we’ve ever seen. While Enemy Territory still feels like a deathmatch game of its era (2003), the ways in which it weaves together the abilities of various classes is just beautiful. This game isn’t talked about as much as classic titles like Unreal Tournament, Quake III, and Halo, but it’s one of the best.

    6. Power Stone 2

    “What are you talking about?” says someone who doesn’t understand just how obscure Power Stone 2 is. “Everyone loves Power Stone 2!”

    Everyone who played Power Stone 2 may love it, but not many people got to play the game in the first place. This 2000 Dreamcast title featured Smash Bros.-esque battles across dynamic levels that would change as the battle waged on. While that Smash Bros. comparison gives you a good idea of the kind of fun that Power Stoneoffers, it doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s because Power Stone 2’s included certain features that have never really been replicated. For instance, some levels in the game featured bosses that required players to temporarily cooperate - or not - in order to defeat the looming shared foe.

    Aside from an arcade release in Japan and a PlayStation Portable port, the only way to play Power Stone 2 is on the Dreamcast. What we’re trying to tell you here is that you should really own a Dreamcast.

    5. The Warriors

    We would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when someone at Rockstar Games suggested that the company should develop a game based on a largely obscure ‘70s cult classic movie. It’s not the kind of project that would get pitched - or greenlit - at most major studios today.

    While The Warriors sold reasonably well, its multiplayer options were tragically underrated. That’s especially true of the game’s co-op mode, which let two players battle their way through the game’s surprisingly lengthy and varied campaign.

    The truth of the matter is that such co-op brawler titles just aren’t nearly as common as they used to be (or should be). If you love games like the old Ninja Turtles SNES titles, Final Fight, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Warriorsneeds to be on your must-play list.

    4. Grand Theft Auto IV

    The final Rockstar game on this list is another title that is somewhat difficult to classify as underrated. After all, GTA IV sold just under 4 million copies in under 24 hours and many of the people who eventually bought the game did try out the multiplayer at some point.

    In terms of legacy, though, the success of GTA V’s multiplayer has undermined the quality of GTA IV’s multiplayer. We respect what Rockstar has done with GTA V, but the truth is that there are some GTA IV multiplayer modes that we’d choose to play over GTA Onlineon most days. That’s especially true of the brilliant Cops and Crooks mode, in which a team of cops pursued a team of crooks across GTA IV’s incredibly designed city as the crooks tried to reach an escape point.

    GTA IV’s pre-set gameplay modes and its smaller - but customizable - lobbies may appear technically inferior to what GTA V offers, but we believe that both games multiplayer offerings are different enough to be worthy of co-existence.

    3. Driver: San Francisco

    At this point, there is a nearly 0% chance that Driver: San Francisco’s multiplayer will ever receive the mass love that it deserves. Within the reasonable relativity of any discussion concerning video games, we’d have to classify that realization as a tragedy.

    Driver: San Francisco featured some of the most creative multiplayer modes ever seen in a driving game - few boil down to simple racing. Tag, for instance, was a high-speed version of the playground classic across an open-world city. Blitz was a driving game take on traditional base defense modes that required you to infiltrate an opponents scoring zone. Even the game’s single-player challenge mode - in which you had to avoid vehicles randomly tossed at you while pursuing a target - could be turned into a competition.

    Given the rather stale state of the driving game genre, we don’t know if we’re ever going to get another multiplayer driving game quite as inventive as this one.

    2. Conker’s Bad Fur Day

    Let’s just skip past trying to explain how this brilliant South Park-like parody of mascot platformers came to be and get right into why you missed out if you never played Conker’s multiplayer.

    None of Conker’s seven multiplayer modes were the same. Raptor was a surprisingly deep caveman vs. dinosaurs game that required players to master two very different playstyles. War was a team deathmatch game with several twists involving chemical weapons. Heist had everyone compete for a bag of money at the center of the map.

    You just never see modern games that boast such a variety of multiplayer options out of the box, and we haven’t even taken a dive into the various ways that the game allowed you to customize every mode. Tragically, someone decided to turn Bad Fur Day’s brilliant multiplayer modes into a more generic online shooter by the time that the game was ported over to Xbox. As such, you need to dig out your N64 if you want to play this game’s classic multiplayer.

    1. The Last of Us

    To this day, we don’t understand how The Last of Us didn’t accidentally become a multiplayer sensation. Over 17 million copies of The Last of Us have been sold across PlayStation 3 and 4, but we’re willing to bet that only a fraction of those players have ever taken the game’s multiplayer for a spin despite the fact that you can beat the single-player game in about 10 hours.

    The Last of Us’ brilliant multiplayer modes inject single-player elements like crafting and survival gameplay into various competitive modes. Because health is limited and death often comes quickly, a competitive Last of Us match often feels spiritually closer to Rainbow Six than an Uncharted game. Victory in this game is awarded to those who truly learn to work as a team as well as players who have mastered the various in-game items and perk combinations.

    There’s never been a multiplayer mode in a single-player-oriented game that has done a better job of recreating every gameplay element that makes the single-player game so notable. The Last of Us offers some of the best competitive matches you’ll ever experience in a video game. Considering that there’s a very good chance this it's sitting on your shelf right now, we highly recommend you give this game’s multiplayer a shot.

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    The incredible success of Skyrim has given Bethesda no reason to stop releasing the game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 10, 2018

    In an interview with Geoff Keighley, which was reported on by, Todd Howard (director and executive producer at Bethesda Game Studios) offered a simple explanation for why Bethesda has re-released Skyrim so many times.

    "Even now, the amount of people who play Skyrimseven years later; millions of people every month are playing that game," said Howard. "That's why we keep releasing it. If you want us to stop releasing it, stop buying it."

    Indeed, the long-term success of Skyrim is staggering. While previous Elder Scrolls games were no slouch in the sales department (Oblivion sold especially well thanks to the studio's increased focus on making it a console-friendly game) Skyrim is a different kind of beast altogether. The game has sold over 30 million copies since its release in 2011, and Skyrim still attracted over 50,000 simultaneous players on Steam in 2018. It's staying power is astonishing. 

    While the commercial success of Skyrim and other major Bethesda games is of course financially appealing for the studio, Howard says the longevity of titles like Skyrimmeans more to him than just some extra digits on an earnings report. 

    "I'd say I want it to be sustainable. Eventually, there will come a day where I'm not making games at Bethesda," said Howard. "Hopefully that's a long time away. But I want to make sure that who we are, what the worlds are, what the company is, that's sustainable far beyond me."

    While some may take that to mean that Bethesda Game Studios plans on developing more games like Fallout 76 that can be stretched out over the course of multiple years, that doesn't seem to be what Howard is saying. He even recently noted that Fallout 76doesn't represent the kind of game that the studio intends to solely make from now on. Instead, it seems that Howard is simply interested in ensuring that the team makes more games like Skyrimthat live on well-beyond their release date. 

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    Bongs, dildos, and drunk food are all fair game in Broad City: High Score.

    News Daniella Bondar
    Jul 10, 2018

    This article is sponsored by Broad City: High Score. 

    If you’re not getting virtually high with Broad City’s Abbi and Ilana, then you should really be evaluating your life choices. 

    Pick up your phone and download Broad City: High Score, the game that takes you on a deep-dive through Abbi and Ilana’s colorful universe. Hit the bong, pee in public, pick up groceries, help Ilana take a midday nap, it’s all there for you with 20 mini-games. The more you play, the more fun you unlock. And while all 20 have their charm, I have my tops and bottoms. So I ranked them. 

    Here we go: 

    20. Quick Cuts

    This mini game is all about helping Abbi cut her Bed Bath & Beyond coupons for those sweet discounts she loves so much. Unfortunately, I can’t crack the code here, so it’s at the bottom. Needed information: I can’t cut a straight line in real life either, so there was no hope.

    19. Insert Tooth Here 

    No one can be Lincoln. Only Lincoln can be Lincoln. This game of putting Ilana’s tooth back in place never works out well for me, so she ends up getting punched in the kisser.

    18. Snack Time 

    Bevers needs to quickly devour Abbi’s chocolate cake before she notices, so you help him by tapping as fast as you can. Personally, I feel like he’d be quicker without me.

    17. Delicious Spins

    Grind up some weed for the Broad City gals to make their joints 100 emoji.

    16. Balance Buds

    You have to keep Abbi and Ilana balanced on the bike through the streets of NYC. I always lose, which means I end up crashing into one of those tiny dollhouse cop mobiles.

    15.  Tap Slow 

    Tap at just the right moment to make sure that Ilana doesn’t break a tooth biting through a jawbreaker. This one skeeves me out, because I don’t like to think about people biting through rocks, especially not my fake BFF.

    14. Dial Quick 

    Ilana is drunk AF and needs pizze fast, it’s up to you to dial for her. No one calls anyone anymore, so my fingers aren’t as nimble as they once were, but I always get Ilana her za. 

    13. Puppy Love 

    Ilana’s dog-nephew is getting married and you need to help him kiss his bride. This is just so adorable i don’t even care that I’m making dogs kiss. 

    12. Swipe the Doll 

    Ilana’s very valuable JonBenét Ramsey Beanie Baby is in danger of being eaten by a dog, and you have to save the doll by using all your Tinder practice to swipe it away. 

    11. A Quick Break

    Deals, Deals, Deals is hard work, and sometimes Ilana needs a little bathroom stall nap, but balancing on a toilet can be difficult (first-hand experience with that one), so you have to help her stay comfortable and rested! 

    10. This’ll Work 

    If you’re going to wear a dog sweatshirt to work, it’s important to have a marker handy to make it crafty-chic and work appropriate. 

    9. Get Some

    Abbi is strong as as hell and can whoop some ass in tug-of-war, if you help. 

    8. We Need Supplies

    Pack some groceries for Abbi and Ilana, and do it right or else you’ll end up on the “Shitty People” wall. 

    7. Smash 

    Abbi’s high in Whole Food with Bingo Bronson and only you can help her smash though an obscene amount of jars. It’s god’s work. 

    6. Chew It Off

    Best friends are always there for you, even if it means chewing off a security tag from your top so you can go to a fancy gallery opening. 

    5. Hold’n Tap Tap 

    Be a dear and help Abbi use the bong for maximum-highness. This game is near the top because it’s fun to tap, tap tap. 

    4. Light it, Smoke it

    Be the same dear for Ilana, and help her light up. Virtual lighters are fun. 

    3. Swipe to Jump 

    Ilana can’t get caught jumping the subway turnstile, so make sure to swipe when the cop isn’t looking. 

    2. Gotta Pee 

    This game has some actual skill involved, you need to make sure to pee when the cop isn’t looking. Sometimes that means stopping midstream between taxis to pretend like you’re just hangin’. It’s hard work. 

    1.What To Do (Mind the Jewels)

    Abbi found a use for her knockoff dildo: hang jewelry from it. You help her redecorate by hanging a pearl necklace (that’s on purpose) from the “Shinjo.” Why is this my favorite game of the bunch? Because, duh. I’ll also have you know that I reached “Dildo Master.” Wax on, wax off, bros. 

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    Upcoming Hearthstone expansion The Boomsday Project explores the depths of Dr. Boom's mad mind.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 10, 2018

    The next Hearthstone expansion is called The Boomsday Project

    As the name implies, this new expansion will focus on the scientific works of Dr. Boom. It seems that the good doctor has built some hidden labs in the Netherstorm and has been busy churning out a variety of experiments. Naturally, those experiments come in the form of 135 new Hearthstonecards. 

    What can you expect from those cards? First off, there's a new mechanic called "Magnetic" that lets you combine Mech-type minions or play them on their own. For instance, there's a 2/2 Spider Bomb card that destroys a random enemy minion when it dies. You can play that by itself, or you can give its stats and deathrattle to another friendly minion that is already on the board. Joining Magnetic are Projects; an old mechanic with a new name. Projects are spells that affect both players in some way but may yield certain advantages based on how you choose to strategically use them.

    Boomsday Project will also be the first Hearthstone expansion to properly feature legendary spells (aside from the legendary quest cards featured in Journey to Un'Goro). Like other legendary cards in the game, you can only run one copy of a legendary spell in your deck. That means that you can expect these spells to utilize unique - or simply devastating - effects. The first legendary spell card that Blizzard has revealed, a Rogue spell that lets you draw your entire deck for just five mana, should give you an indication of what kind of madness these legendary spell cards will introduce to the game. 

    Speaking of madness, this expansion will also introduce Omega cards. Omega cards are cards of various mana costs that do things that are pretty standard for that mana cost. However, if you play that Omega card when you have 10 mana crystals, it gains some incredible enhancement that is usually worth waiting for. Rounding out the Boomsday package is a mysterious new adventure called The Puzzle Lab. We don't know much about this single-player experience at the moment, but you can expect to hear more about it in the coming weeks. 

    The Boomsday Project is set to release on August 7 for all devices that run Hearthstone. Those who choose to pre-order will be able to choose between a 50-pack bundle that includes a golden class legendary card and the Mecha-Jaraxxus card back ($49.99) or a new 80-pack Mega Bundle that gives you the 50-pack bonuses plus a new Warlock hero; Mecha-Jaraxxus. 

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    Everything you need to know about Darksiders 3, including latest news, release date, trailer, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 10, 2018

    Darksiders 3  will cast players into the role of a mage named Fury who uses a whip and magical abilities to fight various forms of evil. Fury is a member of the franchise's Four Horsemen and is described as "unpredictable and enigmatic." The first two Darksiders games featured two other members of the mythical Four Horsemen (War and Death), so this character description does seem to fit the design of the series. 

    The sequel is an "open-ended, living, free-form game" that will require players to use Fury's skills in order to defeat the seven deadly sins. The product description and various screenshots also make note of the game's retention of the franchise's signature art style. 

    The history of the Darksiders franchise has always been fascinating from a development perspective. It was originally conceived by THQ as a hack-and-slash action/adventure title with gothic horror elements. The second game expanded upon many of the elements the first title established but mostly served to give players more of the same. 

    Both Darksiders games received a good deal of acclaim from those who played them but were always seen as fundamentally flawed experiences that exhibited more potential than they realized. When THQ shut down, Darksiders was still seen as one of their most valuable former properties. That's hardly a surprise given just how much the franchise's fans love these games. 

    With the franchise now in the hands of THQ Nordic, it will be interesting to see if they are able to fully realize the potential of the game's formula. 

    Here's everything else we know about Darksiders 3:

    Darksiders 3 Release Date

    Darksiders 3 will be released on Nov. 27, 2018. The game is coming to XBO, PS4, and PC. 

    Darksiders 3 Trailer

    Darksiders 3 is officially coming! Here's the first trailer for the game:

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    When there is no more room in development hell, the Dead Island sequel will walk the Earth.

    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    Jul 10, 2018

    Even though the game was first announced at E3 2014 and was originally slated for a 2015 release, we're still waiting for Dead Island 2. Although the game's behind-the-scenes drama has been well documented in the past few years, publisher Deep Silver continues to assure fans that this highly anticipated zombie sequel is still on the way.

    Just this week, Dead Island's official Twitter handle answered pleas from fans asking for more information on the game:

    "What's going on is that it's in development and we won't be showing more until we're ready," wrote the official Twitter account. "Appreciate the wait is painful, but Dead Island 2 is still coming."

    Two years after the game was first delayed, there's still no solid release date for Dead Island 2.

    This latest effort to appease zombie fans comes in the wake of a new mobile game, Dead Island: Survivors, which reignited the conversation about Dead Island 2's existence. The latest update echoes publisher Deep Silver's statement from 2017 to Eurogamer, confirming that Dead Island 2 was still in development and in the hands of Sumo Digital, the studio that's also working on Crackdown 3.

    "Dead Island 2 is in development at Sumo Digital, and we are excited by the progress the team are making with Deep Silver's most successful IP," Deep Silver said in that statement. "When we are ready to share more information, we will."

    This is the extent of the information we've received regarding the existence of the sequel. The original Dead Island was released in 2011 by developer Techland. After the studio moved on to new projects - including Dead Island spiritual successor, Dying Light - publisher Deep Silver handed the property off to Yager Development, the developer behind Spec Ops: The Line

    Everything seemed to be coming along nicely until it was revealed in July 2015 that Deep Silver had fired Yager due to creative differences: "The team worked with enthusiasm to take Dead Island 2 to a new level of quality," Yager CEO Timo Ullman said in a statement. "However, YAGER and Deep Silver's respective visions of the project fell out of alignment, which led to the decision that has been made."

    Shortly thereafter, it was announced that developer Sumo Digital would be handling the game's development. However, neither Sumo Digital or Deep Silver have really had much to say about the project's progress since the developer officially took on the project. Given that Sumo Digital has gone on to release Forza Horizon 3, Snake Pass, and is currently working on Crackdown3, it may be some time yet before we see anything related to the revamped Dead Island 2.

    We'll keep you updated as we hear more about the game.

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    You'll have to wait a little longer for Code Vein, which has been pushed back from its 2018 release date to 2019.

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Jul 11, 2018

    Now that the Dark Souls series is officially done, Bandai Namco has a hole in their lineup that was previously occupied by a hardcore RPG series with a moody atmosphere and strong action elements. 

    While it's going to be hard for any game to ever completely fill that void, we must say that Bandai Namco's upcoming action RPG Code Vein looks like it has a chance to fulfill the desires of Dark Souls fans everywhere. 

    Here's everything we know about Code Vein:

    Code Vein Release Date

    Code Vein has been delayed to 2019 from its original Sept. 28, 2018 release date. The game is coming to PS4, XBO, and PC. 

    Code Vein Trailer

    Here's a new, six-minute trailer:

    Code Vein's third trailer finally gives us a little better look at the game's world and the characters who call it home. What it really does, though, is double-down on the game's anime style. Vampires battling each other with blood-based superpowers while rock music blares in the background? Yeah, we're kind of ready to play this one. 

    This next teaser does a nice job of emphasizing the game's anime inspirations and generally cool vibe. It certainly offers more than enough reasons to keep your eyes on this game in the future. 

    Code Vein's E3 2017 trailer showcases that blend of familiar Dark Souls gameplay and anime visuals that previous previews had hinted at. We look forward to seeing more from this promising adventure title. 

    While the teaser for Code Vein suggested that it might be a hand-drawn, Dark Souls-esque action RPG starring vampires, the official reveal trailer for Code Veinshows off a slightly different experience. Code Vein still borrows aspects of Dark Souls' combat system and RPG elements, but the game's art style borrows more from the God Hand series with its anime flourishes. 

    Code Vein Story

    Here's the official synopsis for the game:

    "In the not too distant future, a mysterious disaster has brought collapse to the world as we know it. Towering skyscrapers, once symbols of prosperity, are now lifeless graves of humanity’s past pierced by the Thorns of Judgment. At the center of the destruction lies a hidden society of Revenants called Vein. This final stronghold is where the remaining few fight to survive, blessed with Gifts of power in exchange for their memories and a thirst for blood. Give into the bloodlust fully and risk becoming one of the Lost, fiendish ghouls devoid of any remaining humanity."

    Code Vein follows the adventures of vampiric entities collectively referred to as The Revenant who have formed an underground post-apocalyptic society. These creatures rely on blood in order to avoid becoming absolute monsters.  

    Code Vein Details

    According to an interview in the Japanese magazine Famitsu (translated here by Gematsu), Code Vein is being developed by the same team behind the cult classic God Eater series. Despite the game's pedigree, producer Keita Iizuka claims that Code Vein is not related to the God Eater series in any direct fashion. 

    Instead, Code Vein is described as a "dramatic exploration action RPG." What that means is that it's a dungeon crawler action RPG that will emphasize the exploration of connected environments. 

    If that sounds like Dark Souls to you, then you'll be happy to know you're not being paranoid. The game's trailer even playfully uses "Prepare to Dine" as a tagline and seemingly respectful nod to that legendary franchise. 

    However, Code Vein does distinguish itself in several interesting ways. Namely, Code Veinwill emphasize a "Buddy" system that allows you to take a companion into new areas and develop them alongside your main hero. It also sounds like the game will primarily focus on melee combat, though we will be surprised if there isn't some magic and ranged combat to be found.

    There's still much we don't know about Code Vein- including whether it will resemble the style shown in that teaser trailer and which systems it will be released on - but everything revealed thus far suggests it could Bandai Namco's next great hardcore RPG.

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

    NewsDen of Geek Staff
    Jul 11, 2018

    At E3 2018, Bethesda revealed Doom Eternal. Based on what was revealed at the show, it sounds like this is going to be a new Doom game rather than a remaster or a remake. The Doom team talked about how they listened to what fans asked for and added more demons, a more powerful Doom guy, and a vision of what Hell on Earth looks like to this game. 

    To be fair, that doesn't mean that this is guaranteed to be a brand-new Doom game - it's not called Doom II after all - and there is a possibility that this could retread some familiar ground. At the very least, though, we feel that this has to be some kind of expansion or some piece of previously unseen content related to Doom.

    Here's everything we know about the game thus far:

    Doom Eternal News

    Bethesda has dated the gameplay reveal for Doom Eternal. We'll finally get to see what the game is all about and what the "Eternal" means. The reveal is set for Aug. 10 during QuakeCon 2018. The reveal will be part of a special live stream about the game. 

    Doom Eternal Trailer

    Check out the announcement trailer:

    Doom Eternal Release Date

    No release date has been set for Doom Eternal. The game is expected to arrive for XBO, PS4, and PC. 

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    Mafia 3 was going to begin with a sequence that has since been "burned" from the developer's servers.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 11, 2018

    Mafia III wasn't the best game in the franchise, but it did feature enough style and fascinating characters to elevate it above the level of "just another open-world game." However, it seems that the original version of Mafia III featured some pretty daring content that you'll never, ever see. 

    At a conference hosted by (as reported on by Eurogamer), Andrew Wilson, executive producer of Mafia III, revealed that the game originally featured a cold open sequence that was set to play before the game's current opening montage sequence. However, the sequence proved to be so controversial that the studio decided to do everything in their power to eliminate its existence. That's not an exaggeration. 

    "That whole cold-open has been burned from our servers," said Andrew Wilson. "It literally does not exist. Because if ever that had come out without any context in any form it would have looked terrible, because disconnected from the game it's obviously even more shocking."

    While the sequence no longer exists, Mafia III director Haden Blackman did shed a little light on what it was about. According to Blackman, the opening was going to explain why the gam's main character, Lincoln Clay, chose to fight in Vietnam. The sequence in question was described as a "violent prologue" that involved Clay and his friends being ambushed by the mob. The ambush leads to Clay killing a police officer and choosing to flee to Vietnam to escape. The sequence was shocking from a social standpoint, but Blackman says that there were other reasons why the team decided to cut it. 

    "Lincoln never really talks about it," said Blackman. "I think we added one scene where he has a conversation with this Priest, Father James, and they talk about it a little bit, but we never really paid off on it...It felt exploitative instead of something that really grabbed you and put you in Lincoln's shoes and made you afraid for him and want to help him, so we ended up cutting it because of the feedback, which was super-painful for me personally because it was something I'd pushed forward and championed..." 

    Despite his initial protests, Blackman agrees that the decision to cut the content was "absolutely the right thing to do in hindsight."

    Blackman also spoke about how it was important to him and the rest of the team to create a game that tackled social issues but in a way that felt genuine. He said that it was "really important to me we tell the truth in our games" and that part of that process ensured making sure that Clay wasn't "the idealized African American lead character." He said that if the team had gone that route, it wouldn't have felt "true, or honest, and we wouldn't have enough to relate to with him while working on the story." 

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    There will be a new game in The Witcher series, but it won't be The Witcher 4

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 11, 2018

    Developer CD Projekt Red has confirmed that they intend to develop more games in The Witcherseries. However, the next title will not follow the protagonist of the first three Witcher games, Geralt of Rivia.

    "The first three Witchers were by definition a trilogy, so we simply could not name the next game 'The Witcher 4'," said CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kiciński in an interview with Bankier (translation via US Gamer and Google Translate). "This does not mean, of course, that we will leave the world of The Witcher. The Witcher is one of two franchises on which to build the future activities of the company. Today, unfortunately, I can not reveal anything more."

    This isn't the first time that CD Projekt Red has floated the idea of a follow-up to The Witcher series. During a 2017 investor's call, CD Projekt Red co-founder, Marcin Iwinski, stated that the team always has The Witcher on their minds. 

    The Witcher was designed as a trilogy and a trilogy cannot have a fourth part, can it?" said Iwinski. "We like this world a lot. We invested 15 years of our lives in it and a lot of money. So, we’ll think about [making a new Witcher game] at some point. But please consider us as rational people, we sometimes have weird ideas but overall our thinking is very rational. We have full rights to The Witcher games. They are ours. We have invested enormous funds into promoting it, and it’s a very strong brand.”

    Iwinski and Kiciński are both talking around the details of the next Witcher game, but they are saying the same basic things. The game won't be a Geralt of Rivia story, it won't be called The Witcher 4, but it will take place in The Witcher universe established by the first three games and - presumably - the books the game series is based on. 

    Timeline-wise, you might think that CD Projekt Red will want to reveal/release this game around the same time as The Witcher Netflix series. However, as that series is reportedly set to debut in 2020, and it's heavily rumored that Cyberpunk 2077 will be released at that time, we think that you'll have to wait just a bit longer for the next game in The Witcher franchise. 

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    Blizzard and Disney are bringing Overwatch League to the ESPN family of networks.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 11, 2018

    The OverwatchLeague is coming to ESPN. 

    Disney and Blizzard have struck a new deal that will bring OWL to the world's most popular sports network. It begins tonight at 8 p.m EST when the Overwatch League season one playoffs get underway. If you tune into Disney XD or ESPN 3 at that time, you'll be able to watch the Philadelphia Fusion take on the Boston Uprising. That match will be followed by a 10:00 p.m live broadcast of the London Spitfire and Los Angeles Gladiators match. 

    However, that's just the start of the ESPN/Overwatch League partnership. Not only will ESPN broadcast the rest of the season one playoffs (including a live broadcast of the first day of the Overwatch League finals on ESPN) but this multi-year deal will include the broadcasting rights to the second season of Overwatch League play. The details of that arrangement haven't been revealed at this time, but if this initial announcement is any indication, then it's possible that ESPN will broadcast the entirety of the Overwatch's League's second season in some form or fashion. 

    There has been no indication that this deal will in any way affect your ability to watch Overwatch League games via any of the current online platforms that host it. 

    Generally speaking, this is a big win for Blizzard and the Overwatch League. There aren't many eSports that are broadcast on a major network, and breaking the television barrier is one thing that the competitive gaming scene is still trying to find a way to achieve. 

    Will OWL be able to succeed in that respect? It's tough to say. The league's more traditional city-based teams will certainly make it easier for fans of traditional sports to relate to what is going on, but Overwatchcan be a daunting game to watch on a professional level if you're not familiar with the mechanics of the title. Still, Blizzard's excellent production values and League structure leaves us with plenty of reasons to believe that all parties involved with this deal can find a way to make it work. 

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    This impressive GTA V creation re-imagines the trailer for one of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 11, 2018

    A GTA V fan has created a pretty convincing trailer for John Carpenter's The Thing using assets from Rockstar's popular game and a series of mods. 

    The video, uploaded by YouTuber gigerbrick (real name David Vann), is impressive for several reasons. First off, many of the shots in the trailer (most notably the shots of a helicopter chasing a dog through the frozen wild) really do resemble the shots used in John Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece. It's clear that much more went into this project than the efforts of some GTA fans messing around in GTA Online

    What's even more impressive than the movie's cinematic faithfulness, though, is the suite of tools used to make this trailer happen. We know that GTA V boasts an impressive mod scene that offers creators a variety of tools, but the clever mix of customized tools and traditional in-game assets featured in this trailer. Indeed, it seems like gigerbrick elected to use certain in-game assets rather than mods just to show off how varied the content in GTA V truly is. 

    Of course, it's the custom Thing assets that really sell this recreation. Your biggest takeaway from this video might just be how awesome a Rockstar-developed adaptation of The Thing might be. So far as that goes, we can only recommend you hunt down a copy of the surprisingly excellent 2002 video game adaptation of the film that was released for Xbox, PS2, and PC. 

    This isn't the first time that GTA V fans have recreated a film trailer in the game, but in terms of recreating a movie that has almost nothing to do with GTA V's core content, this is one of the most ambitious projects we've ever seen. We just wonder what John Carpenter would think about it (he is a big video game fan, in case you didn't know). 

    You can also consider this your reminder to watch The Thing if it's been awhile since you've last seen it, or if you've (*gasp*) never seen the movie in the first place. It's one of the greatest horror films of the '80s, one of the best uses of practical effects in movie history, and an unbelievably tense story of a group of men trapped with a shapeshifting parasitic alien. 

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    This high-concept Stardew Valley mod will leave you rolling in green.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 11, 2018

    If you've been looking for a new cash crop in Stardew Valley that will finally allow you to buy the home extension of your dreams, then you might want to download this new mod that lets you grow marijuana in the popular farm RPG. 

    Yes, Smellyhippie_'s Cannabis Mod lets you become the weed tycoon that you probably considered becoming in college when the bills started to pile up. While the thought of such a mod might make you giggle, it's clear from reading the list of features included in this mod that Smellyhippie has done a lot more than just put some new plants in the game. 

    Actually, this mod adds 40 new items, six new crops, and 37 new crafting recipes to the game. It all starts when you visit town fisherman "Willy" (hmm...) who will provide you with the necessary recipes for your new venture once you've formed a relationship with him via giving him enough gifts. From there, you can start growing marijuana, but the process isn't as easy as planting and watering seeds. For instance, you'll actually need to account for the effects and attributes of male and female plants when you're trying to create a bountiful harvest. 

    Once you've grown some weed, that's where the real fun begins. Not only are you able to use new tools to separate the resin from the mature buds and press your resin into profitable hash bricks, but you can craft a variety of joints and blunts using your new product. There's even an option to grow tobacco and incorporate it into your joints for all you spliff fans out there (we know who you are). 

    Unfortunately, there's no way to actually use your new product in the game for recreational purposes. This is a pure profit venture. However, there's some hope that feature might be added down the line as the mod's creator has already expressed his desire to somehow allow the player to make their own edibles. 

    This mod is an impressively nuanced take on what could have been a juvenile concept. As marijuana is legalized in more and more states and nations, it's nice to see the Stardew Valley community find a way to maturely implement marijuana growing into the game. 

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    EA sheds a little light on how they view Star Wars fans and how they approach game development.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 11, 2018

    A fascinating new interview with EA game designer Jade Raymond sheds a little light on how EA views Star Wars fans and how they decide which Star Wars projects to work on. 

    "Actually, interestingly enough, the number one motivator for either fans of playing Star Wars games or looking to participate in the Star Wars universe in any way is to become the number one fan," said Raymond at the Develop conference in Brighton. "So, basically, to beat their friends at Star Warstrivia."

    Raymond's comments are based on extensive research that the company has done regarding what motivates Star Wars fans to engage in projects related to the Star Warsuniverse. While the company found that Star Wars fans care deeply about "authenticity," they also discovered that many of them want to "learn a new little tidbit... about the universe that I can then lord over my friends." Raymond is the first to admit that it sounds like an odd finding, but she's comfortable referring to it as the "number one motivator" amongst fans. 

    As for how that information fits into how EA decides which Star Wars projects to work on, Raymonds spoke a bit about how EA likes to encourage its various developers to come up with ideas that explore various aspects of the Star Wars universe. 

    "Each studio can put together a pitch of a game they'd like to make within the Star Wars brand," says Raymond. "Each studio pitches what game they want to make. My role is looking across those pitches, how can we line them up? Obviously, we don't want to be releasing four Star Wars games in one year. We don't want to have all our games be Jedi games. It would be good to have some that are focusing on different types of gameplay and different player fantasies."

    Sadly, Raymond did not confirm which corner of the Star Wars universe the studio was looking to explore when they aggressively implemented a loot box system into Star Wars Battlefront 2

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  • 07/12/18--09:45: 25 Underrated Sony PSP Games
  • From action games to RPGs, there are plenty of great, underrated games on the Sony PSP. Games like these...

    FeatureRyan Lambie
    Jul 12, 2018

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

    Launched in 2004, Sony's PlayStation Portable attempted to upstage its competitors through sheer firepower: with its 32-bit processor and crisp display, it was capable of running games closer to a home console than a typical handheld. And while the Nintendo DS wound up selling more units, the PSP was also a great success, with about 80 million systems sold between its launch and its demise in 2014.

    Over that time, the PSP garnered an impressive library of over 1300 games. According to VGChartz's data, many of these were ports or spin-offs from franchises on the PSP's big sister, the PlayStation 3. If you own a PSP, you've more than likely played such titles as Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (which sold 7.6 million copies, fact fans), Gran Turismo (3.2 million copies) or God of War: Chains of Olympus (3.1 million). Not all games can create such a dent in the market, though, and of those hundreds of games in the PSP's history, there are dozens that slipped by largely unnoticed.

    The following list is devoted to highlighting some of our favorite underrated games. Some are ports of great games from other systems; others are stand-alone titles that you won't find anywhere else. But whether you're into racing, action, or RPGs, we're pretty sure you'll find something of interest on this list of hidden classics...

    25. Mega Man Powered Up

    Although the lion's share of Mega Man titles came out on Nintendo systems, the Blue Bomber also made a notable appearance on the PSP. In essence, Powered Up is a remake of the original Mega Man from 1987, but the completely reworked polygon graphics, cutscenes, and full voice-acting give this release its own look and feel. The 2D action is fast and smooth, and all the original Robot Masters are present and correct. The remake's joined by the original NES version, plus the welcome addition of a level editor - meaning that Mega Man beat Mario Maker to the punch by about a decade. At one stage, Capcom was planning to make an entire series of Mega Man remakes. Sadly, the commercial disappointment of this first outing nipped all that in the bud.

    24. Gradius Collection

    Collecting together five of Konami's classic 2D shooters on one tiny disc, the Gradius Collection's fairly self-explanatory. Here you'll find the first four arcade games, all emulated pretty much perfectly on the PSP's pin-sharp screen - and we have to say, if you love space ship shooters, the Gradius games work on the handheld extremely well. What makes the Gradius Collection a must-have, though, is its inclusion of Gradius Gaiden - Konami's PlayStation-exclusive spin-off that appeared in 1997. Released solely in Japan, Gradius Gaiden's an overlooked classic all by itself - a superb mix of traditional shooting action, great 2D sprites and 3D graphics, and a firm-but fair difficulty curve.

    23. Patapon 3

    Released relatively late in the PSP's life, Patapon 3 isn't quite as well known as the previous entries, but it's another delightfully odd rhythm-action game. Lead your army of creatures to victory through a mix of expertly timed button presses and canny strategic decisions - and prepare to have the infuriatingly catchy music trapped in your head for days.

    22. Loco Roco 2

    Although it offers more of the same world-tilting, rolling action as its predecessor, Loco Roco 2offers a wealth of new abilities (including the ability to venture underwater), catchy tunes, and adorable moments of cartoon whimsy. If you've had a long day at work, the Loco Roco games are a great way to unwind. Relaxing and funny, they never fail to lift the spirits.

    21. Lemmings

    It's a relic from the Amiga era, but Lemmings feels right at home on the PSP. Its bite-sized levels and fast-paced problem-solving remain as charming in handheld form as they ever were. The PSP version of Lemmings contains updated graphics and new levels to solve, while the ability to zoom in and out of the action makes the task of selecting icons and applying them to individual lemmings a simple enough task. The basic gameplay remains the same as always: guide those mindless critters from entrance to exit without letting too many of them die. With over a 150 new stages and a level editor, though, this is arguably one of the most polished and complete versions of Lemmings made so far.

    20. Hammerin' Hero

    Although it dates back to the '80s, this action franchise has always been a bit obscure, perhaps because its design feels so distinctly Japanese. Like earlier entries, Hammerin' Hero is simple stuff: you play a little guy with a big temper and an even bigger hammer. Dashing through a range of 2D stages, Harry (or Gen as he's known in Japan) specializes in bashing everyone and everything into oblivion. He's a bit like Thor, but without the mullet and grandiose vocabulary.

    A simple yet hugely entertaining game, Hammerin' Hero's enlivened further by its very odd sense of humor: one boss is essentially a huge inflatable dinosaur, while the plot involves Harry rushing around Japan and solving people's problems with his hammer. Assuming you don't expect too much in the way of depth, you'll probably have a lot of fun with Hammerin' Hero.

    19. Parodius Portable

    As a venue for handheld versions of old arcade classics, the PSP was pretty much unmatched until the Nintendo Switch came along. Like the Gradius Collection before it, this release gathers together five of Konami's '80s and '90s shooters, which serve as a kind of demented spin-off from the main Gradius series. And while the games on here were ported to other consoles in the past, most of them were Japan-only releases, so Parodius Portable is a relatively affordable way of getting them all on one disc.

    The collection also contains a bonus you won't find anywhere else: a remastered version of the original MSXParodius from 1988, which cleans up the 8-bit edition's jerky scrolling. If you're a fan of the series, Parodius Portable's pretty much unmissable - as are Konami's other collections for the PSP, which focus on the Twinbee,Castlevania, and Salamander franchises. Bear in mind, though, that they're getting quite rare and expensive to pick up these days.

    18. OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast

    OutRun 2and OutRun 2006 received glowing reviews on home consoles, but the handheld port may have been overlooked in the rush of other titles released at the time. Certainly, copies of the PSP edition can be picked up cheaply and readily these days, which makes it one of the system's best bargains - particularly when you consider the wealth of modes on the disc. As well as Coast 2 Coast, there's also a conversion of the arcade hit, OutRun 2 SP. Both are polished and superb-looking arcade racers that contain a wealth of unlockable cars and plenty of challenge.

    17. Bust-A-Move Deluxe

    If you've played one Bust-A-Move game, you've pretty much played them all, but the series' combination of good timing and careful aim makes it a perennially fun experience, especially on a handheld. Besides, Bust-A-Move Deluxe has some really good additional ideas that, to the best of our knowledge, weren't used before this release - our favorites are the levels where, if you don't burst the bubbles evenly on each side of the screen, the whole play area wobbles, lists to one side, and falls over. Couple this with Taito's typically loveable presentation, and you have another puzzler that's perfect for the PSP. We still don't know why it didn't keep its proper name in the west, though - for us, it'll always be called Puzzle Bobble.

    16. R-Type Tactics

    Irem ended its 2D shooting series with R-Type Final in 2003, but the property's true swansong was this curio, released five years later. R-Type Tactics (also known as R-Type Command) is a turn-based strategy game that sees you moving your earthly fighter ships into position against the Bydo Empire's army of bio-mechanical monsters. The challenge is pretty steep, making this a title for a seasoned strategy enthusiast rather than a new-comer, but the presence of all those cool ship and creature designs from the older R-Type games makes R-Type Tactics well worth getting to grips with.

    15. Ultimate Ghosts N Goblins

    Capcom's Ghosts N Goblins series reached the peak of its fame in the early '90s, so you'd be forgiven for missing out on this PSP exclusive, which is as much a sequel to the earlier games as a remake. Once again, you play the brave knight Arthur, who runs and blasts his way through a moonlit landscape of supernatural creatures. Although its action is firmly in the 2D retro mold of its predecessors, Ultimate Ghouls N Ghosts mixes 2D sprites with 3D polygon graphics, turning into a really colorful and fresh-looking run-and-gunner with some huge and imaginative area bosses. Aside from a couple of mobile titles on iOS, Ultimate Ghosts N Goblins was Capcom's last release in the long-running series, which suggests that sales had been on a downward trajectory for a while. But with the project directed by Tokuro Fujiwara, who made the original Ghosts N Goblins, at least Ultimate saw the series go out on a real high.

    14. Taito Legends Power-Up

    Yes, it's another retro collection, but it's a great one: a selection of aging hits from Taito's '70s and '80s back catalog. Admittedly, you can skip at least a couple of them (Crazy Balloon and Balloon Bomber are about as scintillating as the titles imply), but there are still some real gems on here. The NewZealand Story's an adorable run-and-gunner from Taito's silver age; Rastan Saga's one of the best unofficial Conan the Barbarian video game adaptations of its day (and there were a lot back then), while Phoenix is an addictive spin on the old Space Invaders theme. Oh, and the additional remake of Legend of Kage - a kind of proto Shinobi - is well worth a look.

    13. Metal Slug XX

    The Metal Slug series has far outlasted the original Neo Geo hardware on which it first appeared, and Metal Slug XX - a reworking of the seventh game in the series - fits nicely on the PSP. Like the previous entries, this is a military run-and-gun game with explosive action and generous helpings of black humor. In many respects, Metal Slug XX is business as usual, but visually, it arguably represents the pinnacle of what can be done with hand-drawn sprites. It's a superb-looking game and positively sparkles on the PSP's screen.

    12. Taiko no Tatsujin Portable

    This rhythm-action game, based on traditional Japanese drumming, is a national institution in the land of the rising sun, and it deserves far more attention in the west. Inevitably, this portable version does away with the drum peripherals, and so you don't get the full percussive effect of the arcade and console versions, but there's still something hugely appealing about Taiko no Tatsujin Portable; maybe it's the sense of celebration you get when you chain enough perfectly-timed button presses together and trigger a fireworks display of color and smiling cartoon characters. Or maybe it's the appeal of the soundtracks, which range from J-pop to classical etudes to anime theme tunes. Put all that together, and you have an irresistible combination.

    11. Umihara Kawase Portable

    Here's a 2D platform game with a difference. A new edition of a relatively obscure title for the Japanese Super Nintendo, Umihara Kawase has platforms, ladders, lots of hopping about - and a fishing rod. The young heroine uses her handy hook and line to move between platforms and catch the fish floating about on each level. It's a surreal yet surprisingly absorbing game, with the process of swinging and climbing between platforms and collecting fish proving oddly addictive - and the fiendish level designs add an incredibly challenging puzzle element.

    10. Lumines: Puzzle Fusion

    At first glance, Lumines might look like any other match-three puzzle game. But the difference here is its use of sound and hypnotic visuals, which turn this into a game that's as much about timing as it is about clearing blocks to score points. There's a good reason for Lumines' trippy music and visuals: it's designed by Testuya Mizuguchi, the creator of similarly ethereal classics like Rezand Child of Eden. Both this and its sequel are among the very best puzzle games available for the PSP, and best of all, they can be picked up for very little money online.

    9. Space Invaders Extreme

    You may have played this spin-off from the old arcade classic on Xbox Live Arcade or something like that, but Space Invaders Extreme arguably makes more sense on a console like the PSP. Not only does the system have the technical grunt to handle its wild dervish of graphics and techno music, but its quick-fix action also feels perfect for the handheld. Turning the old coin-op into something akin to a rhythm action game like Rez, Space Invaders Extreme is, for our money, one of the most addictive blasters ever made.

    8. Macross: Ace Frontier

    If you love Robotechor Macross, you'll feel immediately at home with this sci-fi action game. You take control of your transforming Veritech fighter and take to the skies in a pitched battle against alien invaders. The mix of aerial ship combat and ground-based hand-to-hand and shooting encounters is fairly simple, arcade-style stuff, but the ability to unlock mods for your ship adds to the replay value. It's a superb-looking game, too, with the mecha and characters from the original anime recreated in glorious 3D.

    7. Me & My Katamari

    That the PSP's lack of twin sticks might make the attempt to port Katamari to the handheld sound like a fool's errand. But while Me & My Katamari inevitably feels different from its console brethren, it still works surprisingly well, and the central premise - rolling a sticky ball around a level to collect as many objects as you can - still feels as fun as ever. Full of color and catchy music, Me & My Katamari's a quirky, addictive delight.

    6. Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?

    A spin-off from the Disgaea series, Prinny gives the brave blue penguin an adventure of his own. In essence, it's a side-scrolling platform game, but it also contains light RPG elements - making it feel like a combination of Disgaea's distinctive art style and something like Wonder Boy in Monster Land. Your mileage may vary with the English translation - namely its repetitive use of the word "dood" - but the rest of the game's packed with charm. If you like this one, the sequel, which adds the rather iffy-sounding subtitle Dawn of Operation Panties, is also worth a look.

    5. Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower

    It's a one-on-one fighting game from Capcom, which is really all you need to know about Darkstalkers Chroniclein terms of its sheer quality. Compared to some of Capcom's other games in the genre, though, DarkstalkersChronicle's a bit of an unknown quantity in the west - which is a real shame, because there are plenty of things that make this fighter stand out from the pack. For one thing, its anime-style character designs and backgrounds are imaginative and fluidly animated, while the fighting mechanics allow for plenty of strategies and winning combos. The Chaos Toweralso adds all the characters and moves from previous games in the series (known as Vampire Chronicle in Japan), making the PSP version pretty much definitive.

    4. Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure

    Yes, it's a port of a PC title, but this 3D action RPG feels right at home on the PSP. Gurumin is a cute-looking adventure about a little girl who runs and bashes her way through a fantasy world full of stumpy, adorable-looking monsters. The RPG elements - collecting new abilities, loot, and so forth - add a welcome splash of depth. Don't let the whimsical aesthetic fool you - Gurumin's from Ys developers Nihon Falcom, so there's far more breadth and challenge here than first appears.

    3. Split/Second

    Released in 2010, Split/Secondwas something of a commercial disappointment, in part because it was released at the same time as at least two other, similar arcade racers. Dig out a copy of Split/Second, though, and you'll find one of the most exhilarating and balanced racers on any console. The tracks are varied and full of thrilling set-pieces (one of the game's main mechanics involves triggering and avoiding massive explosions and other calamities), and the handling feels perfectly tuned to the PSP's controls. Like OutRun 2006, this is another one of those games you can pick up on the cheap, making it not only an underrated classic but also a real bargain to boot.

    2. Half-Minute Hero

    There are plenty of RPGs on the PSP that are perfectly suited to the hardcore fan, including some cracking Final FantasyDisgaea, and Ysentries. But what if you want an epic adventure that still feels right for short journeys? Half Minute Hero’s the perfect answer - a top-down, 16-bit RPG where, as the title implies, you have precisely 30 seconds to save the world. The missions are bite-sized, and remarkably,Half-Minute Hero manages to pack all the meat of your typical multi-hour epic into a tiny, approachable package. Even if RPGs aren’t typically your thing, this is one indie title worth tracking down.

    1. Jeanne D'Arc

    We first learned of this JRPG thanks to YouTuber Metal Jesus, so we have him to thank for bringing such an underrated game to wider attention. It’s from developer Level 5, who made, among other things, the superb Ni No Kuni and its sequel - and in many ways, this feels like a handheld dry run for those games. The fantasy story and its accompanying world are richly drawn and immersive, while the animated cutscenes give Jeanne D’Arc a big-budget, epic feel. All in all, this is a must-have edition for any PSP fan's library.

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    Fortnite's fifth season is underway, and there's plenty of new content for fans to enjoy.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 12, 2018

    Fortnite's fifth season is officially underway, and it's primed to be the game's biggest season yet. 

    Once again, Epic has made some notable changes to Fortnite's map. There's a new desert biome called Paradise Palms (which replaces Moisty Mire) that adds a little visual variety to the average match, but it's the new Lazy Links area that is capturing the most attention. As you might have guessed from the name, Lazy Links is a golf course. Actually, it's a mostly-functional golf course that can be used to play a few quick holes while you're waiting for the storm to settle. You just need to acquire the new golf ball emote, either look up to make a deep shot or look down to put when you're emoting, and you're suddenly golfing in Fortnite

    The golf-theme continues with the introduction of a new golf cart vehicle that is the game's most significant attempt at incorporating actual team vehicles yet. Four players can ride in the golf cart, and you can even use the top of the cart as a small launch pad. So far, the cart doesn't seem to be drastically altering the game's most popular strategies, but it's a fun addition to this increasingly silly game. 

    As for those strange rifts in time and space that have been appearing on Fortnite's map as of late, you can now interact with them in order to be shot high into the air. It's actually a pretty effective way to escape some tight spots and cover ground in a hurry. There's also a smattering of odd items located in strange corners of the Fortnite map that seem to have traveled to the region via these rifts. 

    Adamant Fortnite fans will be happy to hear that this update includes a variety of quality of life fixes, weapon balances, and UI improvements. For instance, you're now able to see just how many shotgun pellets have hit you and shotgun spread patterns have been tweaked to eliminate random variation. You can check out the extensive list of improvements introduced by this season five patch by taking a look at Epic's website

    Of course, this new season also means the introduction of a new battle pass that includes fresh challenges and a variety of cosmetics to chase down so that you're not the only kid on the playground wearing last season's clothes. 

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    The Culling 2 isn't shaping up to be the next battle royale hit.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 12, 2018

    The Culling 2 (the sequel to the 2016 battle royale game of the same name) is shaping up to be a stunning failure.

    Two days after the game's launch, the peak player count via Steam was a mere 13 players (it takes 50 players to fill a full match). At one point, just two people in the world were playing The Culling 2 at the same time. Mind you, the game's highest consecutive player count - which occurred just an hour after the game's release - was only 249.

    That's bad, but the real story of The Culling 2 lies in the game's Steam reviews. At present, The Culling 2 has a "Very Negative" rating on Steam with 137 of the game's 159 reviews being categorized as negative. While some players certainly cite the embarrassingly low player count as an issue, their complaints go far beyond the game's struggles to find an audience right out the gate. 

    Indeed, the majority of complaints seem to be coming from players who fondly remember The Cullingas a more melee-focused take on the battle royale genre that forced players to truly make the best of what they found on the battlefield. Rather than improve the things that made the original title unique amongst its genre, developer Xaviant has seemingly seen fit to turn the title into what is being charitably described as a poor man's PUBG. There's no shortage of players referring to the title as a cash grab. 

    While some of the game's defenders are saying that the negative reviews are coming from players who came into this sequel angry about changes made to the original Culling, footage from the title suggests that The Culling 2 suffers from some serious technical problems that are only amplified by the popular perception that PUBG is strictly better at everything this sequel is trying to accomplish. 

    To summarize, many people aren't finding good reasons to abandon the free-to-play Fortnite (which just received another major content update) for a $19.99 game that doesn't run well, has no player base to speak of, and is seemingly only liked by the "Hey, leave it alone!" crowd. 

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    The former creative director of Dead Space reveals what the team would have done with another Dead Space game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 13, 2018

    Dead Space developer Visceral was infamously shuttered by EA last year, but the people that made that studio such a notable part of modern game history are still hard at work at other studios. One of those people, former creative director of Dead Space and current creative director at Crystal Dynamics, Ben Wanat, recently spoke to Eurogamer about what the Visceral team had in mind for Dead Space 4.

    "The notion was you were trying to survive day to day against infested ships, searching for a glimmer of life, scavenging supplies to keep your own little ship going, trying to find survivors," said Wanat of the planned sequel's core concept. "The flotilla section in Dead Space 3hinted at what non-linear gameplay could be, and I would have loved to go a lot deeper into that."

    It's interesting to hear Wanat reference the flotilla section of Dead Space 3 as that area felt stylistically and narratively detached from the rest of the game. While that survival-heavy aspect of the game would have apparently hinted at the team's intentions for the planned sequel, Wanat suggests that the scope of Dead Space 4 would have been much greater than anything that Dead Space 3 featured.

    "I figured you'd start in a section of space, maybe following a trail of ship carcasses to an orbital station you think might have the parts and fuel needed to get your ship Shock-capable," said Wanat. "You'd start to form a picture of what happened in that region while fighting through scores of Necromorphs from ship to ship. And you'd learn a new, critical bit of plot info along with the means to Shock to a couple of nearby sectors."

    While Dead Space 4 would have focused more on Issac's background as a mechanic and engineer, the team also planned to incorporate more instances of having to fight Necromorphs in zero-g environments. Their belief was that the loss of gravity would have prevented players from relying on the same combat tactics.

    So why didn't this incredible idea for a sequel ever come to fruition? Apparently, the answer to that question is exactly what you think it is. 

    "As much as everyone wanted to keep making Dead Space games, the cost of development was just too high compared to how much they sold," said Wanat. "Nobody ever officially came out and said, 'there will be no more Dead Space'. But for the first time in a while, it no longer appeared on any SKU plans."

    That said, Wanat stopped short of spoiling the team's intended ending for Dead Space4 just in case EA decides to resurrect the franchise in some form. 

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    The lead designer of some of BioWare's greatest games is moving on.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 13, 2018

    James Ohlen, lead designer of Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicNeverwinter Nights, and Dragon Age: Origins, has announced his shocking departure from BioWare after 22 years with the company. 

    "After 22 years I have retired from BioWare,"said Ohlen via a post on Twitter. "I've loved my time with Anthem, Star Wars, Dragon Age and Dungeons and Dragons. But I need to take a break from the industry and work on something a little smaller and more personal."

    It turns out that Ohlen's next project is a Dungeons and Dragons sourcebook called Odyssey of the Dragonlords. According to Ohlen, this kind of project harkens back to his fondest memories at BioWare and the games he loved working on the most. 

    "The most fun I've ever had at BioWare was as the lead designer on Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 and Neverwinter Nights," said Ohlen. "I've been a D&D fanatic since I was 10 years old and I want to be a part of it again."

    As Eurogamer points out, Ohlen had previously stated that he was thrilled to be working on Anthem as the project involved him and BioWare veterans Casey Hudson, Preston Watamaniuk, Derek Watts, and Drew Karpyshyn working together again. Since then, Karpyshyn, Mike Laidlaw, and now Ohlen himself have left the company. Some will undoubtedly interpret these departures as a sign that Anthem - a game that is very different from what BioWare has worked on in the past - is perhaps less of a passion project and more of a corporate directive. 

    However, the biggest takeaway from Ohlen's statements is that he, like many BioWare fans, miss the days when the company took the D&D ruleset and crafted some of the most amazing RPG experiences that any of us will ever play. Here's hoping that Ohlen finds a way to reignite his passion once more and that he shares that work with the world. 

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    A study has found that parents just don't understand - or care - about video game ratings.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Jul 13, 2018

    A new report from found that most parents in the UK let their kids play games meant for "mature" players

    In a survey sent out to 2,000 parents in the UK, "more than half" said that they will let their kids play a game meant for gamers 18 years or older without having played the game themselves first or without supervising their playtime. On top of that, 86% of people surveyed said they don't really pay attention to age restrictions on video games. That's compared to a reported 23% of respondents who say they don't follow film ratings and 18% of respondents who say they'd let a 10-14-year-old child watch a movie intended for 18+ audiences. 

    Here's where things get really interesting/controversial. 43% of people who participated in the survey believe that they noticed a negative change in their child's behavior after that child played a mature video game. 62% of parents have tried to take the game back because of a problem they noticed in their child that they believed was caused by the video game (with many of them reportedly failing to do so due to the child protesting) and 48% of those surveyed fear that their child is addicted to video games. 

    That last statistic will no doubt cause some of you to remember the recent controversy that followed the World Health Organization's latest attempt to define gaming addiction as a disorder

    That stat aside, there's quite a lot of interesting data to take away from this survey. Previous reports have indicated that parents don't pay attention to/know about video game ratings, so it's not too surprising to see that hasn't really changed.  What's a little more interesting to see is that these same parents seemingly pay quite a bit of attention to film ratings. The obvious takeaway here is that these parents grew up with films and ratings but not with various ratings for video games. 

    We're willing to bet that many of the people reading this article have played a game intended for a much older audience. That being the case, do you feel that such experiences can negatively impact a child's development or perception? 

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