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- 08/06/18--21:00: _Halo TV Series Will...
- 08/07/18--08:44: _The Witcher: Henry ...
- 08/07/18--12:00: _25 Most Underrated ...
- 08/07/18--12:53: _NBA Live 19: Traile...
- 08/07/18--13:27: _Strange Brigade: A ...
- 08/07/18--15:42: _Breath of the Wild ...
- 08/07/18--21:45: _IGN Editor Fired fo...
- 08/08/18--08:15: _Spider-Man PS4: Wha...
- 08/08/18--12:00: _10 Best Castlevania...
- 08/08/18--12:11: _Super Smash Bros. U...
- 08/08/18--12:40: _DC Universe Online:...
- 08/08/18--13:14: _Street Fighter 5: S...
- 08/08/18--13:22: _EX Fighting Layer t...
- 08/08/18--15:21: _Diablo: Blizzard Wo...
- 08/08/18--16:03: _God of War: First D...
- 08/08/18--17:15: _25 Underrated Video...
- 08/08/18--17:45: _Luigi Killed by Nin...
- 08/08/18--17:45: _Destiny 2: Forsaken...
- 08/08/18--18:43: _League of Legends D...
- 08/09/18--09:30: _Ben Schwartz to Voi...
- 08/06/18--21:00: Halo TV Series Will Feature Master Chief
- 08/07/18--08:44: The Witcher: Henry Cavill Wants to Star in Netflix Series
- 08/07/18--12:00: 25 Most Underrated Nintendo 64 Games
- 08/07/18--12:53: NBA Live 19: Trailer, Release Date, and Everything Else We Know
- 08/07/18--13:27: Strange Brigade: A Co-op Shooter Homage to 1930s Adventure Serials
- 08/07/18--15:42: Breath of the Wild Added to the Zelda Timeline
- 08/07/18--21:45: IGN Editor Fired for Plagiarizing Dead Cells Review
- 08/08/18--12:00: 10 Best Castlevania Games Ever Made
- 08/08/18--12:11: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Castlevania's Simon Belmont Joins Roster
- 08/08/18--13:14: Street Fighter 5: Sagat and G Round Out Season 3's DLC
- 08/08/18--13:22: EX Fighting Layer to Feature Fatal Fury's Terry Bogard
- 08/08/18--15:21: Diablo: Blizzard Working on Multiple Games
- 08/08/18--16:03: God of War: First Details and Release Date for New Game+ Mode
- 08/08/18--17:15: 25 Underrated Video Game Soundtracks
- 08/08/18--17:45: Luigi Killed by Nintendo in New Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Trailer
- 08/08/18--17:45: Destiny 2: Forsaken Release Date, Trailer, and News
- 08/09/18--09:30: Ben Schwartz to Voice Sonic the Hedgehog in New Movie
Showtime will produce a 10-episode series based on the Halo video game franchise and it will focus on Master Chief!
The Halo live-action TV series is a go at Showtime. The network has ordered 10 hourlong episodes, which will begin production in 2019. The series comes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, Awake creator Kyle Killen, and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. Wyatt is set to direct multiple episodes of the series while Killen will act as showrunner.
The series takes place during "an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant,” weaving “deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future," according to a statement by the network. It was also revealed by Showtime during the Television Critics Association summer tour (via TV Line) that Master Chief will appear in the series. It's unclear if he's the main character or will just make a few appearances along the way.
“Halo is our most ambitious series ever, and we expect audiences who have been anticipating it for years to be thoroughly rewarded,” said David Nevins, President and CEO Showtime Networks, in an earlier press release. “In the history of television, there simply has never been enough great science fiction. Kyle Killen’s scripts are thrilling, expansive and provocative, Rupert Wyatt is a wonderful, world-building director, and their vision of Halo will enthrall fans of the game while also drawing the uninitiated into a world of complex characters that populate this unique universe.”
Microsoft first announced at E3 2013 that they'd reached a deal with Spielberg and Showtime to produce a series based on the legendary game franchise. Since then, updates on the status of that series had been few and far between until now.
This isn't the first time Halo has been up for the live-action treatment, either. You may also recall that Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp also tried to get a Halomovie off the ground, but a creative war between several studios ended the project before it could truly begin. Elements of Blomkamp's Halo project can be seen in several of his movies, such as the African setting in District 9 and the ring-shaped space station in Elysium.
Ridley Scott produced a poorly received web series called Halo: Nightfall starring Luke Cage's Mike Colter back in 2014. Hopefully, Showtime's series fares much better.
We'll keep you updated as we learn more!
Cavill's love for the The Witcher games and books has him dreaming of a role in the show.
Today on "Actors Say the Darndest Things," Henry Cavill confesses that he'd really like to play Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher.
"Absolutely. Yeah, that would be an amazing role," said Cavill in an interview with IGN regarding his interest in playing the protagonist of The Witcher series. "The Witcher 3. I just replayed all the way through. Love that game. Really good game."
If the thought of Superman himself sitting down to enjoy a marathon Witcher 3 session throws you off a bit, that's only because you haven't heard some of the other interviews in which Cavill professes his love for video games (particularly fantasy games). Along with The Witcher 3, Cavill has played quite a bit of Skyrim and World of Warcraft in the past. Actually, his love for WoW supposedly almost cost him the opportunity to play Superman.
Cavill also told IGN that he has read The Witcher books and believes that they are "amazing" and "well worth a read."
We'll admit that the idea of Cavill playing Geralt of Rivia is vaguely appealing. Not only would he lend some real star power to the series, but Cavill does have the kind of on-screen presence that an actor can never really "learn." His presence in Mission Impossible: Fallout certainly makes us believe that he can make a larger-than-life character like Geralt come to life.
Still, Cavill might not rank that high on everyone's dream casting lists for The Witcher. He doesn't necessarily have "the look," and his actual acting is somewhat inconsistent.
Currently, there's no word on who is the favorite to play Geralt in Netflix's The Witcher. What we can tell you is that Lauren S. Hissrich has been hired as the showrunner and that the series is rumored to premiere in 2020.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!
The N64 might be remembered today as the tepid successor to the SNES, but its excellent games library proves that it's much more than that.
While Nintendo dominated the '80s and early '90s with its NES and SNES consoles, some consider the N64 to be a tepid successor to that legacy, especially when it comes to the platform's library of games. While the N64 had one of the smaller libraries of any Nintendo console (only 296 games were released in the U.S.), there’s an incredible amount of quality there.
We all played the heck out of Super Mario 64 and the first two classic 3D Zelda games, and who can forget zipping down the speedway in Mario Kart 64? The console was even the birthplace of Super Smash Bros. Yet, hiding away between all of these huge landmark titles are dozens of hidden gems that time may have forgotten. That's where we come in.
Here are 25 underrated titles from the N64 era that made the platform great:
25. NBA Hangtime
1996 | Midway
When the N64 first came out, most of us spent months playing (and replaying) Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64, and Wave Race 64. Those are still three of the greatest games ever to come out immediately after a console’s launch, but even from the beginning, the N64 was home to quality underrated games like NBA Hangtime.
The gameplay is very similar to NBA Jam, but maybe a little bit faster, and unlike the Jam series, you can actually make your own player. Add in a ridiculous number of secret characters, courts, and cheats, plus four-player support, and you easily have the best arcade basketball game ever made.
24. Mace: The Dark Age
1997 | Midway
The best way to describe Maceis like a slower version of Soulcaliburmixed with Mortal Kombat. Each battle played out in massive 3D arenas (some with dangers like lava that could be used for extra damage) between two characters with weapons like swords, axes, and spears. And after winning two rounds, you could execute your opponent. Characters ranged from your typical ninja and viking to a huge demonic knight and a dwarf in massive steampunk armor. With Midway long out of business now, there’s no telling who exactly owns the rights to this one, but a remake certainly wouldn’t be unwelcome if some publisher wanted to get their hands on the rights.
23. Quest 64
1998 | Imagineer
RPGs were incredibly sparse on the N64, and the first one released, Quest 64, didn’t actually come out until the system had been on shelves for almost two years. And unfortunately, gamers were rather disappointed, despite a tremendous amount of pre-release hype. Quest 64is kind of a beginner’s RPG. There’s very little customization, and you can’t even buy and sell equipment. Still, it’s a charming, relaxing little game set in a fantasy take on Ireland that’s worth playing through, especially since it only takes about 10 hours to beat.
22. StarCraft 64
2000 | Blizzard Entertainment
So this exists. StarCrafthas become a worldwide phenomenon since its original release back in 1998, and yet the only console version of either the original or the sequel is on the N64. It’s a little primitive compared to the PC version, and of course, it doesn’t have any online features, but it’s actually a really solid port. There’s even a cooperative mode two players can play in split-screen, and a secret mission set after Brood War. And somehow, Blizzard made the N64’s clunky controller work really well with an RTS.
21. Snowboard Kids 2
1999 | Racdym
Virtually everyone who had an N64 played Mario Kart 64 and 1080 Snowboarding. The Snowboard Kids franchise looked at those two games and asked, “Why not combine them into something even more awesome?” The first Snowboard Kids is still great, but the second game is an all-time classic for adding more characters, courses that aren’t just covered in snow, and a surprisingly fun and enjoyable story mode. Sadly, Atlus has completely ignored the series since a 2005 DS game that lost a lot of charm of the N64 games. I’d be happy if they just released the two N64 games on the Virtual Console.
20. Mischief Makers
1997 | Treasure
We’re all used to 2D and 3D games co-existing happily now, but in the mid-90s when the Playstation and N64 first hit, 2D games were seen by many gamers as inferior to their shiny new 3D counterparts. That meant that Mischief Makers, a beautiful 2D platformer from world-class developer Treasure, was almost completely ignored when it first came out. But those gamers who ignored Mischief Makers for its graphics missed out on an incredible experience playing as a robot maid who defeated enemies by shaking them. There’s still nothing else that has matched the game’s unique combat and puzzles. This is another title long overdue for a sequel or re-release.
19. Goemon’s Great Adventure
1999 | Konami
While Mischief Makersis fondly remembered for doing something different in the platformer genre, Goemon’s Great Adventureshould be remembered as the pinnacle of ‘90s platforming. The game took the tight controls of classic titles from the 16-bit era and mixed in some of the better 3D visuals of an N64 game with the hilarious Goemon characters and one of the best soundtracks on the N64. This is probably one of the more obscure American titles on the N64, but well worth picking up.
18. Shadow Man
1999 | Acclaim
The N64 was filled with so many bright and cartoony platformers that it really cemented Nintendo’s reputation as being for kids. It’s an issue that the Big N still deals with today.That being said, there were still some great adult games on the N64, and Shadow Manwas one of the very best. Shadow Man told a dark story about traveling through a horrific underworld to collect the souls of serial killers, but the game never felt like it was just going for shock value. There was also some solid third-person shooting behind the story, and some of the best graphics on the N64.
17. Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
2000 | Acclaim
Most gamers agree that the first two Turok games are classics, yet many ignore the third single-player game in the series released late in the N64’s life cycle. This is a real shame because in some ways Turok 3is the best game in the series, featuring two characters, tighter level design, and the best graphics in the series. While the first two Turok games have a lot of nostalgia going for them, they can feel extremely bloated at times, not to mention the massive maps can be difficult to navigate. The third game fixed these issues to some extent, and it feels more like a modern shooter than either of its predecessors.
16. Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness
1999 | Konami
There were actually two Castlevania games released on the N64 in 1999. The first is a solid 3D adventure game, but to get the full N64 Castlevania experience, you really need to pick up Legacy of Darkness, as it’s sort of a director’s cut of the first game featuring two more characters and remixed levels. These games have received a lot of flak from Castlevania fans over the years because they’re so different from everything else in the series that in some ways they barely even feel like Castlevaniagames. Heck, only one of the four characters in Legacy of Darkness wields a whip, and you spend a large portion of the game playing as a werewolf. That’s a valid criticism, but they’re still two solid gothic action games that stand on their own all these years later. And not nearly enough games let you play as a werewolf.
15. Mickey’s Speedway USA
2000 | Rare
There were actually quite a few kart racers on the N64, and with titles like Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing leading the way, it was hard for anything else to stand out. Still, this follow-up to Diddy Kong Racing made by the same team is well-worth checking out years later. It might not have all the creativity of Rare’s first stab at kart racing, but it still has the beloved Disney characters and racing that in many ways tops its predecessor. No, it’s not Rare’s best work, but during the N64 era, even a weak Rare game was pretty darn good.
14. Hybrid Heaven
1999 | Konami
Hybrid Heaven deserves credit for being one of the most unique games on the N64. Most of the title is played like a third-person adventure game, not unlike Tomb Raider, but when you encounter a monster, you’re thrown into a smaller room where you and your opponent jockey for position to launch menu-based attacks like a traditional RPG. It doesn’t always work, and it’s aged worse than a lot of other games on this list, but if you’re looking for a very different type of retro game with a cool sci-fi vibe, and you have the patience to deal with its quirks, it’s worth tracking down.
13. The New Tetris
1999 | H20 Entertainment
Pretty much every console gets a port of Tetris, and usually it feels like just a lazy re-hash of the original. The New Tetris, however, might be the one version of the iconic puzzler besides the original that’s actually worth playing. First, every time you clear a line, you’re adding toward your totals for creating the 7 Wonders of the World, each of which can be toured in cool 3D videos. This adds quite a bit of motivation to keep playing. Second, besides its one of the first four-player Tetris modes in series history, you can also create gold and silver blocks to increase your score if you can make squares of the same block type. It’s a little change that adds quite a bit to the core game without completely ruining it.
12. Jet Force Gemini
1999 | Rare
There’s so much to like about Jet Force Gemini, and yet the game is also so flawed. The graphics, sound, and third-person shooting gameplay are all top-notch. At times you would think the game is actually running on the PS2 or GameCube. But what holds the title back is having to spend hours collecting all of the furry Tribals to progress to the later parts of the game, not to mention some ridiculously frustrating boss fights. There’s a great game here for a lot of hardcore gamers looking to delve into the N64 library, but a lot of other gamers who don’t have the time to put into it might want to hold out hope that some day Rare releases a remake or sequel that fixes the issues with the original.
11. Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
2000 | Quest
Ogre Battle 64 is one of only a handful of RPGs on the N64, yet it's one of the absolute best strategy RPGs of its generation. The game features one of the better stories in the fabled (but sadly unfinished) Ogre Battle series, following hero Magnus Gallant’s eventual march on the capital of Latium, and there are six very different endings based on how you play. Mix in deep class customization and strategy that requires thinking several moves in advance, and this could keep you occupied for months even if it’s the only N64 game you own.
10. Space Station Silicon Valley
1998 | DMA Design
Even before DMA Design became Rockstar North and hit it big with the 3D Grand Theft Auto games, you could tell there was something special about the developer. Silicon Valleyis a kid-friendly game (something Rockstar hasn’t made in a very long time) where you play as a microchip on a derelict space station full of robotic animals. The twist is that this chip can possess the body of any robot it encounters. It’s sort of like GTA, but with cute robotic animals to hijack instead of cars. This leads to all sorts of hijinks, as you must solve puzzles to get certain animals to fight each other and eventually take over the bodies of the defeated. Nearly 20 years later, there’s still nothing out there quite like Space Station Silicon Valley, which makes it well-worth experiencing even now.
9. Vigilante 8
1999 | Luxoflux
There were plenty of car combat games before Vigilante 8, and many have come after, but few mastered the perfect mix of accessibility and depth that the original Vigilante 8 had. With a dozen different characters that perfectly fit the game’s ‘70s vibe (plus a secret grey alien who pilots a UFO), it was easy to lose hours in the game’s fully destructible environments, especially in the four-player mode that ran without any hiccups, even on the N64’s aging hardware. Unlike a lot of games on this list, Vigilante 8 was actually re-released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 a few years ago, but for whatever reason the remake just couldn’t capture the magic of the original.
8. Doom 64
1997 | Midway
It seems like there are two types of Doom games. The most recent release focuses on super fast-paced action, while the previous release, Doom 3, was a more methodical first-person horror shooter. Even though it came out nearly 20 years ago, Doom 64 happily marries those two concepts. This is a dark and often disturbing trip to Mars that also requires lightning fast reflexes to get through, even on the lowest difficulty setting. And with the addition of an exclusive laser weapon and Nightmare Imp enemy, this is still a must-play for Doom fans.
7. Harvest Moon 64
1999 | Victor Interactive Software
It’s ironic that on a system known for its action games, this slow-paced farming simulator is one of its very best titles. This was only the second console Harvest Moon game, so it didn’t have all the features of the later entries, like being able to choose your gender or raise your children to adulthood. Still, you get a huge farm, tons of space for crops and animals, and the opportunity to build relationships with dozens of townspeople. That might sound incredibly lame in writing, but once you’ve lost an entire day tending to your farm, you’ll understand why so many people love this game.
6. Blast Corps
1997 | Rare
It’s pretty amazing that as consoles have gotten more and more powerful Rare has never revisited Blast Corps. The basic concept of using demolition vehicles to destroy everything in your path to avoid a nuclear holocaust could look incredible in HD. Alas, we can only enjoy this spectacle in 64-bit. Still, Blast Corps is one of the most unique games of all time, and when you dig into the secret missions on other planets and the platinum challenges, the gameplay here is nearly limitless - if you can keep up with the ruthless difficulty.
5. San Francisco Rush 2049
2000 | Atari Games
The first two Rush games on the N64 are fantastic arcade racers that are still worth playing, but the real gem of the series is Rush 2049. The cyberpunk take on San Francisco is still a sight to behold all these years later, and the addition of wings to every car allows for crazy tricks and maneuvers in the air that few other racers have ever matched. It’s a shame that the sole game in the series to follow it, L.A. Rush, completely abandoned the futuristic setting.
4. Body Harvest
1998 | DMA Design
Body Harvestwas a ton of fun when it first released, and it still holds up well today (even if it’s incredibly blocky and ugly in a lot of parts). But what’s really interesting is to go back and play it today and see how DMA started to develop so many ideas that would later show up in Grand Theft Auto III. There’s the massive maps full of civilians, dozens of vehicles you can enter at will, and the freedom to do whatever you want so long as you defeat the alien menace before they harvest too many humans. GTA still hasn’t thrown an alien invasion into its massive sandbox, but Body Harvest provides a tantalizing glimpse at what that could look like some day.
3. Beetle Adventure Racing
1999 | Paradigm Entertainment
Beetle Adventure Racing came out of nowhere near the end of the N64’s life cycle and is one of the very best arcade racers on the console. Yes, you’re only playing as VW bugs, but they each handle very differently, and the six massive tracks range from the beautifully realistic to the wonderfully surreal. And each track is filled with crates that you needed to hit to score continues and secrets. In some ways, the game almost feels like a distant ancestor of the Forza Horizonseries, but it also offered so many ideas of its own that it’s a real tragedy that a true sequel was never released.
2. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon
1998 | Konami
If you’ve never experienced Mystical Ninja, try to picture this: it’s Ocarina of Time but with four characters, giant robot fights, and epic musical numbers. The Goemonseries has been ignored in the West for many years because at times it can feel too culturally Japanese, but Mystical Ninja is easily the most accessible of the bunch released in North America, and arguably the most fun to play. Not to mention that it’s laugh out loud funny throughout the adventure. If you still have an N64 and haven’t played this yet, stop what you’re doing right now and track down a copy.
1. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
2001 | Rare
Rare made its name during the N64 era by pumping out cutesy games like Banjo-Kazooie and Diddy Kong Racing. Conker was originally going to be yet another game in this vein, but when critical reaction to early builds were tepid, the British developer decided to change course. Hard.
Conker might look like a like he belongs in another E-rated Nintendo game, but this is actually a filthy game filled to the brim with cursing, gory violence, and giant singing poop. And it’s absolutely hilarious and a joy to play. Sure, some of its gimmicks are used for shock value, but a lot of the filthier parts of the game, like the Great Mighty Poo battle, actually have solid gameplay around them, and it all fits into an epic story that has quite a bit of heart if you see it through to the end. And as one of the last major releases on the N64, it benefits from all sorts of technical tricks that developers learned over the years, leading to the very best graphics on the system and nearly CD-quality sound, with full (and hilarious) voice acting.
Sadly, Nintendo barely advertised the game when it came out because of its mature content, and Rare was never able to produce a sequel after being purchased by Microsoft. And because part of what made Conkerso great was that it was made with so little interference from the publisher, it’s unlikely that a follow-up would ever reach the greatness of the original (as Conker’s sad, neutered appearance in Project Spark illustrated).
If you’re looking to experience Conker in all its glory, make sure to check out the N64 original or the port in Rare Replay, as the version on the original Xbox actually edited out quite a bit of content.
Chris Freiberg is a freelance contributor.
NBA Live 19 will star one of the most exciting young players in the league.
As revealed at E3 2018, NBA Live 19 will emphasize a career/story mode that will allow you to control the career of a custom player as they go from an amateur to an NBA all-star.
“Create your player and rise to legend-status by playing at the most respected courts all over the world, and by building your squad to challenge for global dominance in THE LEAGUE and THE STREETS," reads an official description for the game. "With gameplay innovation including Real Player Motion Tech and new ways to develop your player, NBA Live 19 is the most authentic and responsive experience in franchise history.”
We'll have to wait and see what the extent of this new mode is, but those who played Madden's surprisingly excellent recent story modes know that EA is on to something in regards to how much even a simple narrative can add to the typical sports game. Now, the question is whether or not the NBA Live team can tweak the series' mechanics enough to help ensure that it will be more than just another "typical sports game."
Here's what we know about NBA Live 19.
NBA Live News
The latest trailer for NBA Live 19, "Take the Crown," showcases the game's cinematic side. Take a look:
NBA Live 19's cover athlete is none other than the Philadelphia 76ers phenom, Joel Embiid.
"It’s great, it’s amazing. I’m thankful for this opportunity, especially as a basketball player,” said Embiid regarding his cover star status. "You work so hard because you have goals in life, you want to be in the Hall of Fame but also, being on the cover of a video game is something I’ve always dreamed of and I’m happy to be in this position.”
Here's the first official image of Joel Embidd on the cover of NBA Live 19:
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!
NBA Live Trailer
Here's your first look at the next NBA Live game.
NBA Live Release Date
NBA Live 19 is currently scheduled to be released on September 7th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A free demo for the game will be released on August 24th.
Strange Brigade brings 1930s adventure serials to four-player cooperative multiplayer. We've played the game and this is what we thought...
A band of armed adventurers scours lush jungles, haunted caves, and Egyptian ruins in Rebellion’s co-op shooter Strange Brigade, which launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on Aug. 28. Set in the 1930s and heavily inspired by the action-adventure serials of the time (complete with a narrator employing a cheeky British accent), the game sees you and up to three friends search for treasure, solve puzzles, and survive by the skin of your teeth as hordes of monsters and undead threaten to make your exotic, picturesque surroundings your final resting place.
I had the opportunity to take an early, extended look at the game with Rebellion’s head of creative, Tim Jones, and another member of the media. The session wasn’t the full four-player experience, but I came away knowing one thing for certain: When it was time for the demo to stop, I was ready for more monster-mowing.
There are four characters to choose from: Gracie Braithwaite, Nalangu Rushida, Frank Fairburne, and Archimedes de Quincey, each of whom brings a unique skill set into battle. You assemble a loadout of a big gun, sidearm, grenades, and a supernatural amulet that grants the player a powerful, flashy-looking attack that takes time to recharge. There are cutscenes that dovetail into each stage that see the team briefed for their impending mission, and while the story seems slight from what I saw, the game’s wit and charm really shine through in these little vignettes.
Before properly tackling the game with my trusty teammates, I was thrust into a single-player campaign mission called “Harbin’s Dig Site” to get a feel for the controls and fall into the flow of gameplay. The game is quite pretty, with a stylized cartoon aesthetic that isn’t at all kiddish but still communicates that the game doesn’t take itself so seriously. The stage’s ancient ruins and dig site scaffolding are detailed and varied, and the game’s lighting effects make the sunbaked world’s nooks and crannies pop. The fantastical ‘30s milieu is reinforced constantly by the narrator (Glen McCready), whose flowery commentary echoes the bold British charm of old serials like The Lost Horizon and The Lost City.
Combat and movement are smooth and will feel natural to those familiar with third-person shooters, and the variety of tasks you’re presented with are pretty simple. Shoot baddies, solve puzzles (some optional), scoop up treasure, repeat. But what’s unique about the combat is the way the environment can play into your strategy. There are deadly traps strewn across most areas (spinning blades, swinging blades, exploding barrels, and the oh-so-classic ground spikes), which when activated at the right moment can cause a brutal chain reaction that obliterates several foes at once. You need to watch your step as well, and luckily Rebellion has outfitted players with a roll button, which got me out of many a sticky situation.
After my solo outing, I joined up with my two fellow brigadiers to play a level from later in the game in co-op, “Cut-Throat Caverns,” which saw us fend off skeletal pirates in a much darker, more atmospheric setting. This level ramps up the enemy count tremendously, and despite having three times the firepower on my side this go-around, the claustrophobia of being outnumbered was even more palpable. As a team, we weren’t quite clicking like the Golden State Warriors, but it was clear to see that with practice a group of friends could wreck shop by coordinating battlefield movements, herding enemies like cattle, and capitalizing on the deathly opportunities the trap-laden levels afford.
Speaking of traps, Jones then launched us into Score Attack mode, which plops you into an arena even more dense with death toys than the campaign stages and sends swarms of enemies at you and your crew. We never quite hit our stride here (there was an uncomfortable stretch of time when there were no enemies in sight and me and my fellow journalist felt a bit clueless as to what to do next), but that very well may be chocked up to our lack of experience with the game.
The final mode shown was Horde Mode, which is just what you’d expect from a game of Strange Brigade’s ilk. A flood of mummies and monsters descends on you and your teammates, and if you can survive the attack, you’re afforded a break to purchase weapons and upgrades with gold you’ve collected from your fallen foes, and then the levee breaks again. This mode was great fun, and like I said, when the demo came to an end, my trigger finger was still mighty itchy.
Strange Brigade is a promising late-summer pastime for gamers with an appetite for destruction and three like-minded comrades. After the game’s launch, Rebellion will be offering a season pass that includes monthly content, a three-part campaign, and new heroes and weapons to choose from. Stay tuned to Den of Geek for our full review.
Read the Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine here!
We now know where The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild fits into the series.
Nintendo has finally revealed where The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild falls on the Legend of Zelda timeline. In an interview with Japanese video game magazine Famitsu (via Kotaku), Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and director Hidemaro Fujibayashi explained that Breath of the Wild occurs many, many, many years after any of the other Zelda games.
While this is pretty obvious given the nature of the game's story - and the fact that Nintendo representatives have stated in the past that it occurs thousands of years beyond any other Zelda game - it's nice to see that Nintendo has given the game its official place in the series chronology.
Still...the official explanation of Breath of the Wild's chronological location leaves quite a bit to be desired. When asked which of the TWO parallel timelines the game follows, Fujibayashi answered, "That’s… up to the player’s imagination, isn’t it?" This response will surely be maddening to the most hardcore Zelda fans and historians.
See, there are actually two Zelda timelines. One of them imagines what happens if Link loses to Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time. That version takes us to ALink to The Past. The other version in which Link defeats Ganondorf brings about the events of Majora's Mask. If you're confused by all of this, that's because it makes little sense to anyone outside of (possibly) Nintendo.
The point is that it's not entirely clear which timeline Breath of the Wild adheres to. If we had to guess, we'd say that it occurs in a timeline that is so far removed from the rest of the timeline that it doesn't really matter which events occurred beforehand. That doesn't exactly adhere to the Back to the Future theory on time travel (a.k.a. the best theory on time travel) but this is the crazy world of Nintendo we're talking about.
To make matters more confusing, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi mentioned that Nintendo is working off of what some refer to as the "New Translation" of the Zelda timeline. What does that mean? Apparently, it means that Nintendo is willing to be flexible with the timeline to the point where it doesn't consider timeline changes to be inconsistencies, but rather the result of new information that presents itself over time.
Basically, there are no rules when it comes to Zelda chronology.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine here!
IGN has fired Nintendo editor Filip Miucin after being accused of plagiarizing his Dead Cells review by YouTuber Boomstick Gaming.
IGN has fired Nintendo editor Filip Miucin after launching an investigation into claims of plagiarism. The trouble at the outlet began yesterday when Miucin was accused of plagiarizing sections of his Dead Cells review. The accusations came from YouTuber Boomstick Gaming, who noted several similarities between his review of the game and Miucin's. The YouTuber even uploaded the following comparison video to support that accusation:
This morning, IGN took steps to remove the text portion of Miucin's Dead Cells review and replaced it with an editor's note that reads "As a group of writers and creators who value our own work and that of others in our field, the editorial staff of IGN takes plagiarism very seriously. In light of concerns that have been raised about our Dead Cells review, we’ve removed it for the time being and are investigating."
IGN has since announced that it had "parted ways" with Miucin after determining "that there were substantial similarities between a review posted weeks earlier and our review that could not be justified and warranted taking down." The outlet promised "re-review" Dead Cells later this week. Here's the full statement from IGN:
IGN's Statement on the Dead Cells review investigation: pic.twitter.com/3hh0hpPK0Y
— IGN (@IGN) August 7, 2018
As far as the comparison video goes, there are certain phrases in the two videos that are perhaps generic enough to be understandably similar (for instance, both reviewers highlight the way the game blends the Metroidvania and roguelike genres). However, as the comparison video goes on, we start to hear more and more statements that are indeed too close for comfort. The most damning similarity can be found at the end of Boomstick Gaming's comparison video where he shows that his review and the IGN review feature almost an almost word-for-word closing statement.
The other thing to note about the two videos are the times they were uploaded. Boomstick Gaming's Dead Cells review was posted to YouTube on July 24, 2018, while IGN's video was uploaded on August 6, 2018. Miucin tweeted on August 4 that he was "finishing up my Dead Cells review this weekend" and that it was the "first IGN video review I've edited myself."
Boomstick Gaming's content creator spoke to Forbes and stated that he had "not been contacted back by IGN" but would like "to be cited, collaborated with, and compensated for the healthy ad revenue they pulled in on both their written review and video review." He also said that he harbors "no ill will towards Filip and do not encourage [the] firing of this gentleman."
Since the allegations against Miucin came to light, the internet has been quick to dig up other possible instances when the writer plagiarized somebody else's work. We'll keep you updated as we learn more.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine here!
This web of spoilery secrets, from the Spider-Man Hostile Takeover prequel novel, will boost your hype levels for Spider-Man PS4...
This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
Hey there, True Believers. The long-awaited Spider-Man PS4 game will web-sling its way onto shelves on September 7th, and it promises to deliver an epic open world filled with iconic characters at every turn. It is, quite simply, one of the most hotly anticipated games in recent memory, with fans around the globe hoping for an experience that surpasses the as-yet-unmatched excellence of the Spider-Man 2 tie-in game.
If you simply can’t wait until September 7th to visit the world of Spider-Man on PS4, you’re in luck: David Liss has penned a prequel novel, entitled Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover, which will allow you to learn an awful lot about this game before you first load it up.
The book is available for pre-order now as a paperback and a Kindle download, ahead of its release on August 21st. We were lucky enough to check out a preview copy, which managed to make us even more hyped for the game itself.
Spidey isn’t sure about his future
If you’ve been following the pre-release hype train for Spider-Man PS4, you’ll know that its take on Peter Parker is not a rookie superhero or a high school student. A lot further down the superhero road than Tom Holland’s Marvel Cinematic Universe version, Spider-Man PS4’s protagonist (who’s voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) has been Spidey for eight years. His suit is very snazzy, and his fighting style is honed to perfection.
Despite really knowing his stuff, this seasoned Spidey is conflicted about his role in the world. He has a history with the NYPD, but is glad to find new allies over the course of the book. He’s locked up numerous villains over the years, but he’s also seen some walk free. Spidey even considers, at one point, planning his retirement from the superhero scene. He reckons that he might be able to hang up his web-shooters for good in a year and a half’s time.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!
Spending such a long stint of his life as Spider-Man has had an effect on Peter Parker. He is just about holding down a job as a lab technician for an important science company, but at various stages in the book he lets his bosses down by shirking work to fight crime. The company works on projects that benefit mankind, such as building super smart replacement limbs for amputees, and Peter laments that he can’t spend more time at his desk. It’ll be interesting to see if this struggle, and the idea of superhero retirement, rears its head again in the game.
Classic characters, fresh roles
Hostile Takeover also makes it clear that supporting characters will play important roles in Spider-ManPS4. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is Mary Jane Watson, who undertakes a career change in the book and starts a new job as a features writer for the Daily Bugle.
Her initial beat is culture and events, but MJ makes it clear that New York’s criminal element – mainly Wilson Fisk’s machinations as the Kingpin – is what she really wants to be writing about. MJ’s interest in Fisk drives a wedge between her and Peter, who were dating at the start of the book but seemingly separated by the end of it. This subplot from the book makes it easier to understand why MJ is a playable character in the game that has been sneaking around a lot in the trailers. (Interesting side note: in the book, MJ is the only person that knows Spidey’s secret identity.)
Other familiar characters who take on new roles here are J. Jonah Jameson (who goes from former newspaper man to shock jock podcast host over the course of the book) and Aunt May (who, rather than being another damsel in distress for Peter and his alter-ego to look out for, is actively helping the community by working at a homeless shelter named Feast). NYPD Captain Yuri Watanabe, who becomes the superhero Wraith in the comics, also has a key part to play in the book: she's leading the official investigation into Fisk, and working with Spidey to gather evidence.
All in all, it seems like Spider-Man PS4 will be something of an ensemble piece, with numerous characters having meaningful tasks to complete. This is a world that feels properly inhabited, unlike, say, the Arkham Asylum games (where Gotham is usually deserted and Batman seems to be the only person doing anything).
Villains aplenty, and more to follow
Fisk is the main baddie in Hostile Takeover, but so many more menaces are mentioned. This makes sense, of course, given that Spidey must’ve fought a fair few foes in his eight years of activity. Shocker makes an appearance at one stage in the book, and Scorpion and Electro are both said to be locked up at The Raft super prison. Roxxon, a morally bankrupt company from the comics, are also referenced. The big-headed gangster Tombstone is active at the moment, as well.
At one point, Spidey goes to a villain-stuffed bar to search for intel. We’re really hoping that this location, which reminded us of the Villain Pub from the How It Should’ve Ended series on YouTube, is available to visit in the game.
Some villainous characters from the comics show up in the book without appearing to be evil as of yet. Norman Osborn, for example, is the mayor of New York and a rival of Fisk’s, but there is no reference made to the Green Goblin. Harry Osborn, similarly, seems to be a fairly normal guy at this point in his life: he’s plotting a trip to Europe during the book, and Peter describes his old friend Harry as an “all-round good person.” There is a reference to Harry having a shaky hand at one point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s on the Goblin serum.
Martin Li, who is known to comic book fans as the fearsome Mr. Negative, appears to be a totally charming do-gooder during his one brief appearance in the book. He is a benefactor of the Feast shelter where Aunt May is working, and he even encourages Peter to volunteer. If you’ve seen any of the Spider-Man PS4 trailers, though, you’ll know that Spidey and Mr. Negative are set for a sizeable scrape in the near future. And if you’ve read any comics with Mr. Negative in them, you’ll know that duality is a key part of his character.
And as a potentially noteworthy sidebar, Hostile Takeover doesn't include any references to Doctor Octopus. The tentacled terror has long been rumored as the mystery villain at the heart of Spider-Man PS4's E3 trailer, but we'll just have to wait and play the game to find out if that's the case.
Fisk and Spidey have a history
Earlier on in his superhero career, Spider-Man put Wilson Fisk briefly behind bars. The Kingpin’s lawyers found legal loopholes, though, so the master criminal was released. This significant setback is one of the reasons why Spidey isn’t so sure about his future or his usefulness. Spidey is determined to put Fisk back in prison permanently, and this is the only real goal he has before wanting to retire from heroics.
The difficulty, though, is that Fisk has put a lot of time and effort in appearing legit. He’s even launched a housing scheme to support low-income locals. It’s hard to gather evidence to prove that Fisk is still up to no good, not least because the Kingpin uses Roxxon muscle to spy on judges - and other important officials – to ensure he has leverage on all of his potential enemies. The one judge that does side with Spidey soon ends up dead.
Kingpin is also managing a smear campaign against Spidey during the book. He employs an imposter (who was given powers by an Oscorp experiment) to run around in a Spidey suit that’s almost identical to the real thing. This imposter, later revealed to be a deranged criminal named Bingham, blows up a restaurant and kills the innocent people within it. Bingham, who gives himself the comics-referencing name Blood Spider, is eventually defeated by Spidey and put in prison. Bingham is still alive, though, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the game.
Fisk also has an adopted daughter in the book; a deaf woman with expert martial arts skills, named Maya Lopez, who Fisk took into his care after killing her mobster father. Maya is initially obsessed with taking down Spidey, because Fisk pinned the blame for her dad’s death on the wall-crawler. But Maya learns the truth when Spidey shows her the relevant police file, and, as a result, she decides to fight by his side as a superhero named Echo.
Maya leaves town at the end of the book, having helped Spidey to stop Fisk’s latest scheme. Fisk was trying to blackmail Norman Osborn into giving him an official role as the city’s finance minister. Fisk reckoned that nabbing a governmental title and grabbing control of the city’s purse strings would make him “too big to fail”, but Maya destroyed the memory stick containing the blackmail. We never learn what the information on the memory stick entailed, but it is interesting to know that Fisk had something on Osborn. Again, we wouldn’t be surprised if that subplot reared its head again in the game.
Spidey isn’t the only hero in town
Spidey and Echo aren’t the only comic book heroes to be referenced in the Hostile Takeover book, either. It is made abundantly clear that numerous Marvel Comics characters inhabit this world. There are references and allusion all over the place, all of which support the popular fan theory that Spider-Man PS4 could spawn a shared universe of Marvel-inspired video games.
Early on the book, a criminal confuses Spidey for Daredevil, which confirms without a doubt that The Man Without Fear exists in this world. This has us hoping that we could see these iconic red-suited heroes crossing paths, either in this game or a future title from Insomniac. (Just the possibility of that is enough to bring back fond memories of Daredevil’s cameo in Spidey’s first PS1 game.)
The Spider-Man PS4 prequel book also makes reference to Avengers Tower and the Wakandan Embassy, both of which exist in this version of New York. That’s all the confirmation we need that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Black Panther inhabit in the same world as this video game version of Spidey.
Spidey also makes reference, during Hostile Takeover, to an old house on Bleecker Street that always gives him the creeps. He doesn’t seem to know that Doctor Strange famously lives on this road, within the iconic Sanctum Sanctorum. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Strange will show up in the game, of course, but it’s still a nice little Easter Egg.
With any luck, this game will do a huge amount of business, enabling Insomniac to invest in more high-end video games based on the Marvel universe. We know that Black Cat, Miles Morales, and Silver Sable are slated to appear in the Spider-Man PS4 game (despite not being mentioned in the book), but there are so many other Marvel characters that also deserve a glossy game adaptation.
Web-slinging is great, but you also need to be stealthy
There are a few snippets in the book that tease what Spider-Man PS4’s gameplay will be like. Early on, for instance, Spidey explains that he has communications systems built into hit suit, which allow him to take calls and catch up with his contacts while fighting crooks at the same time. This read like a reference to the game itself, where presumably Spidey will field calls on the regular. (Can’t you just imagine Peter trying to talk normally to Aunt May while also taking down street thugs?)
His Spidey-sense is also mentioned, with the wall-crawler describing it as sometimes being “on automatic." This makes him “barely aware” that he’s changing direction. Perhaps this is a reference to the game will work: if he builds up enough focus, will Spidey be able to dodge bullets and avoid enemies without much direction from the player?
Stealth also seems to be a key component in this Spidey’s heroic activity. When he sneakily breaks into Fisk’s HQ, for example, Spider-Man has to web up the relevant security cameras and jam them into a specific position in order to pass by unseen. And in another chapter when he’s infiltrating a gala, Spidey picks the wrong moment to drop down from the ceiling and is immediately set upon by gunmen.
During an exterior scene, Spidey offers a brief description of his car-pursuing tactics. In the old PS2 games, Spidey could land on any car roof without endangering his mission. But now, if Spidey doesn’t stay stealthy during chase-based tasks, he’ll be beeped at by drivers and lose the element of surprise.
And, perhaps most excitingly, Spidey describes the experience of web-slinging as “alive and electric.” Swinging around the city makes him “full of the joy of movement and action.” We can’t wait to experience this for ourselves, as it’s been far too long since we experienced those kinetic joys on a PlayStation.
The Fisk takedown is the game's first level
In the final chapters of the book, Spidey teams up with Echo to defeat Bingham and destroy Fisk’s memory stick of blackmail materials. Now that he doesn’t have any leverage against Osborn, Fisk’s plan to hostilely takeover the city’s finances has well and truly been thwarted. This clears the path for Captain Watanabe to finish putting together her watertight file on Fisk’s criminal activity.
In the epilogue to the book, Peter is awoken in his untidy apartment by a phone call from Watanabe. She’s calling to alert Spidey, who’s become her ally over the course of the book, that she’s heading to Fisk Tower with a warrant to take the big guy into custody. This time, it should stick.
Spidey asks how he can help, and Watanabe gives him some instructions: the wall-crawler should head to Times Square and hold off Fisk’s goons, while Watanabe and her NYPD colleagues go into Kingpin's building and make the arrest. Excitedly swinging towards the scene to put Fisk away for the second time, Spidey absolutely jinxes his immediate future with the final words of the book. Assuming that he’s about to set the city straight, Spidey thinks to himself, “Life couldn’t get any crazier, right?”
Having read a few reports by lucky folk who’ve already played the first few hours of Spider-Man PS4, it sounds like Spidey being summoned into action to assist with the takedown of Fisk is exactly where the game begins. What Spidey doesn’t know, at least when the book finishes, is that putting Fisk away will actually awaken the city’s criminal element. Fisk was – in his own weird way – keeping a lot of bad people in check.
Things are indeed about to get a whole lot crazier for ol’ web-head, and we can’t wait to play through the mayhem for ourselves. Here’s hoping for a game that somehow lives up to our skyscraper-high expectations, which just swung up to heady new heights thanks to this prequel book’s teases.
Here's the cover of the book...
Castlevania has risen from the grave with an excellent TV series. Here are then 10 best games in the franchise!
Castlevania, one of the greatest video game franchises of all time, has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence of late. The original game released on the Famicom Disk System on September, 26, 1986. Since then, nearly 40 titles have been published across just about every significant system in gaming history from the NES onward.
The franchise has even made it's way to TV, thanks to Netflix, which released the first great video game adaptation. We certainly loved the four-episode first season. This is an interesting development, considering there hasn't been a new Castlevania game in a few years.
Castlevania fans haven't gotten a new game since 2014's Lords of Shadow 2released to little fanfare on the aging PS3 and Xbox 360. Worse yet is the fact that Castlevania is owned by Konami, which has made it clear it's more interested in mobile apps and pachinko machines these days than working on big budget AAA titles.
But while the future of the game franchise remains unclear - even as it becomes a successful TV series - the more than 30-year milestone is as good of an excuse as any to take a look back at the series as a whole. With more than three dozen titles on the roster, not every game has been a commercial or critical success. But when Castlevania is at its best, it's provided players with some of the most memorable experiences in gaming history.
Here are our picks for the top 10 Castlevania games of all time:
1986 | Konami | NES
Castlevania as a franchise would pick up a lot of new tricks in later years, but at heart, it's always been about the horror. The original title was a classic side-scroller, but its Gothic-themed romp through Dracula's castle set it apart from other similar platformers of the era. Players guided vampire slayer Simon Belmont through six levels that got ridiculously difficult at times. His main weapon, a whip called "Vampire Killer," was perhaps a little too spot on in its name but would soon become an iconic part of gaming history.
9. Castlevania: Bloodlines
1994 | Konami | Genesis
Bloodlineswas the only Castlevania title to see release on Sega's 16-bit console. It tells the story of a legendary vampire named Elizabeth Bartley, who is Dracula's niece. Bartley suddenly appears in the 20th century, intent on continuing her uncle's dark legacy with the ultimate goal of bringing him back to life. Heroes John Morris and his best friend Eric Lecarde stand up to Bartley and prevent Dracula's resurrection.
This installment is notable as the first game in the series that did not take place in Dracula's castle. In fact, Bloodlines sends players on a journey throughout Europe. The European connection looks ironic in hindsight, however, as the game was heavily censored for its PAL release. Bloodlines was even renamed The New Generation in Europe. Blood effects on the title screen were changed to water and zombies were changed in color from pink to green to make them appear less gruesome. Despite the censorship, the game was an instant hit around the world.
8. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
1990 | Konami | NES
Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest received what you might call a less than warm reception from fans. (You want me to go around and gather Dracula's body parts and bring him back to life... just so I can kill him again? Seriously?) As a result, Konami decided to go back to basics with Castlevania III, getting rid of most of the RPG and action-adventure elements from Simon's Quest in favor of a return to the original game's platforming. Players took on the role of Trevor Belmont and could select one of three additional characters to fight alongside him in the quest to once again defeat Dracula. Castlevania IIIwas unique in that it allowed for different story paths and multiple endings based off which companion accompanied Trevor, a concept that felt new and exciting during this era of gaming.
7. Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
2005 | Konami | PS2, XBO
Curse of Darknesswas not perfect by any means, but the art style alone earns it a spot on this list. The gorgeous levels and character designs would serve as inspiration for a manga spinoff that was published by Tokyopop.
The game is set three years after the events of Castlevania III. It offers a fresh story and protagonist, leaving the Belmont family behind in favor of Hector, a Devil Forgemaster who was previously employed by Dracula. Trevor Belmont does become playable, however, along with his trusty whip once the main game has been beaten.
6. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
2010 | MercurySteam & Kojima Productions | PS3, X360
We're tempted to just write that Hideo Kojima was a producer on this title and leave it at that, but really, the entire production team deserves kudos for making Castlevania: Lords of Shadow a great game. When Konami first announced the title, it was just Lords of Shadowbecause they wanted to keep the fact that they were completely rebooting the Castlevania franchise a secret. In the end, this is the Castlevania title that was most successful at transitioning to 3D. Yes, the action-based combat felt a lot like God of War, and the game's ending left a bit to be desired - but hey, look at me, I'm cracking a whip at a vampire in high definition.
5. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
2008 | Konami | DS
The Nintendo DS has three Castlevaniatitles and they're all pretty good, but Order of Ecclesia takes home the top prize. Players take on the role of a woman named Shanoa, who is leading an organization that set out to defeat Dracula after the Belmont family vanished. As such, it's one of the few games in the series to not contain the famous Vampire Killer whip. But the controls were excellent and the boss fights were way more epic than what you would expect from a handheld game.
4. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
1993 | Konami | TubroGrafx
Rondo of Blood is probably better known in the U.S. as Dracula X, which was the name that Konami gave the SNES port of the Japanese TurboGrafx-16 title. The problem is that most hardcore fans consider Dracula X to be a weak port, meaning Rondo is still the best version of the game. Like Castlevania III, Rondo of Blood featured multiple paths, fantastic level design, and some pretty good action-based combat. Players progressed as both Richter Belmont and Maria, his lover's sister.
3. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
2003 | Konami | GBA
Castlevania has had quite a few portable titles over the years, but 2003's Aria of Sorrow for the Game Boy Advance still holds up today as an all-time classic. The game wins points for its unique story featuring Soma Cruz, who is basically a teenage reincarnation of Dracula. Think about that. A Dracula with acne and probably a big authority problem. Anyway, Aria of Shadow is also unique in that it's set in the year 2035. Cruz eventually ends up in Dracula's castle because Plot Reasons. There he finds out that the original Dracula, who was vanquished by Belmont and friends in 1999, is trying once again to come back to life and he's planning to use Cruz's body as his vessel. The game being set in the future also allowed for a cool mix of both vintage and futuristic looking weapons. This was the worthy spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night that fans had been waiting for.
2. Super Castlevania IV
1991 | Konami | SNES
What was it about the Super Nintendo that created so many epic games? Much like A Link to the Past and Super Mario World, Super Castlevania IV was a huge leap forward for its respective franchise. The graphics looked incredible compared to the games on the NES, the soundtrack was equally fantasticm and Simon Belmont's iconic whip could now take on vampires in eight different directions. Grappling and crouch walking provided additional ways to progress through the levels. The messaging was a bit mixed on the story, however, as the original developers considered it to be a remake of the first game, but Konami's American counterparts decided to market it as a direct sequel to Simon's Quest. Either way, Super Castlevania IV raised the bar for what fans have come to expect from the series.
1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
1997 | Konami | PS
Symphony of the Night took all of the best parts from the most loved previous games in the series and put them all together for an absolute masterpiece. The game features great controls and epic boss fights mixed with open-world exploration and RPG mechanics as well as the best platforming since Castlevania III. You would think that such a mash up would be hard to keep up with, but the result was groundbreaking. Symphony is responsible for coining the phrase "Metroidvania," as it requires players to backtrack through previous levels as new abilities are learned. A great soundtrack, solid level design, and a pretty good plot twist are just icing on the cake.
Symphony of the Night, a direct sequel to Rondo of Blood, ironically didn't perform that well in the United States when it was first released, but the passage of time has been kind. Symphony of the Night is now considered to be one of the the great cult classics in video game history, if not one of the best video games of all-time.
When Konami made its widely publicized exit from big budget video games, many fans lamented the end of epic franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill. Castlevania, it seems, was largely forgotten about in the media coverage that followed. But even if Konami never publishes another proper Castlevaniatitle, fans can still see its influence in plenty of other games. Most notable perhaps is the upcoming independent title, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which is being developed by Koji Igarashi, who served as a producer on the "Metroidvania"-based Castlevaniatitles. This crowd-sourced spiritual successor will release in 2018.
Jason Gallagher is a staff writer.
Simon Belmont, Dark Samus, King K. Rool and more are coming to Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Simon Belmont is finally joining the Super Smash Bros. roster.
This announcement came during the recent Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct in which Nintendo confirmed that Simon and Richter Belmont will be added to the game's massive roster. Richter will function as an echo character of Simon (a kind of alternate version of a character).
Simon looks a little bit different from how he is typically portrayed in some Castlevania games (even if his look has never been that consistent). This version of Simon sports a head of flowing blonde hair, a particular strong jaw, and is perhaps best described as the Fabio take on the vampire hunter. Thankfully, he retains his iconic whip.
That isn't the only influx of Castlevania that we'll see in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There will also be an Alucard assist trophy and a stage modeled after Dracula's famous castle. Actually, we also learned that there will be 103 stages in the new Super Smash Bros., and they will all be playable from the start of the game. However, you will still need to unlock the characters as you progress.
In more Super Smash Bros. Ultimate news, we learned that Dark Samus and Chrom (Fire Emblem) will also be joining the roster as eco fighters. Both have been on fan's wishlists for echo fighters for quite some time and will no doubt see some play (assuming they are good) when the game is finally released. They are joined by another long-awaited Smash Bros.character, King K. Rool. Yes, the famous foe of the Donkey Kong family will finally be playable in a Smash Bros. game.
For those who don't remember, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will feature every character from previous Super Smash Bros. games as well as quite a few new ones. You can check out everything else we know about the game right here.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!
We got to speak to DC Universe Online's SJ Mueller about the MMO's new episode, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract!
At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, we sat down with SJ Mueller, the creative director behind DC Universe Online, to discuss the launch of Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, the MMOs newest content drop, plus a new Atlantis Episode coming soon. Indeed, the game's developer, Daybreak Game Company, is still hard at work on bringing the most beloved DC heroes, settings, and moments to players almost a decade after the game first launched in 2011.
DC Universe Online is a free-to-play action combat multiplayer online game set in the fictional universe of DC Comics (and not the DC cinematic universe) -- Mueller was keen on making that distinction. The latest character designs are inspired heavily right by DC’s 2016 Rebirth relaunch, so don't expect to see flowing Jason Momoa hair on Aquaman.
The new Teen Titans episode is inspired by the 1984 comic book storyline of the same name from legendary Titans creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez. "The Judas Contract" is still remembered today as a particularly high point of Wolfman and Perez's run. But don't expect this to be a direct adaptation of the classic Titans story. In fact, Daybreak has made some tweaks to the roster.
To modernize the story a bit, Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and the current Robin in the comics, is the Boy Wonder who will star in the latest DCUO episode. (The original storyline features Dick Grayson in the role right before his transition into the vigilante Nightwing.) Damian Wayne is one of Mueller's personal favorite characters from the comics.
“That was probably the most fun I’ve ever had bringing Damian Wayne in cause he’s constantly judging everyone around him,” she revealed.
The development team faced an interesting challenge with the Titans: catering to the game's younger audience -- the target audience of Teen Titans stories -- while also pushing the boundaries of these characters. In Mueller's words: “It's finding that fine balance to make everybody happy."
Watch our full interview with SJ Mueller below:
Does the world need a president or a king to thrive? We get both in these trailers for Sagat and the ridiculous fighting politician G.
At Evo 2018, the weekend was finished off with the top 8 Street Fighter V: Arcade Editionplayers fighting for supremacy. Before the virtual bloodshed, producer Yoshinori Ono stepped out to speak about...well, he spoke. It was past midnight, so we were all loopy. Anyway, he was interrupted by none other than voice actor Christopher Corey Smith, decked out as the new Street Fighter character known only as G, giving a long-winded speech about unity across the globe.
This led to the announcement trailers of the final two characters in Street Fighter V’s third season: G and Sagat.
G is a bizarre hybrid of Abraham Lincoln and Uncle Sam who doesn’t just want to be President of the United States, but President of the world itself. If that wasn’t bonkers enough, his stature, single-letter name, and alternate outfit seem to suggest that he has ties with the enigmatic Street Fighter character Q.
Then there’s Sagat, the King of Muay Thai. Introduced as the final boss in the first Street Fighter, Sagat soon became second-in-command to M. Bison as a member of Shadaloo. Over time, Sagat learned the error of his ways and became one of Ryu’s strongest allies, while remaining one of his most tenacious rivals. Now Sagat washes his hands of his criminal past and spends his days raising his two adopted children and preparing for the day when he will fight Ryu once again.
The sweet thing about all of this? Capcom pulled a Cloverfield Paradoxon us by announcing these two guys and then saying, oh yeah, they’re out now!
With Street Fighter V’s eSports status keeping at it, we’re sure to get a fourth wave of DLC characters. I’m intrigued to see who will show up, though I think at this point, Dan Hibiki is a lock.
Gavin Jasper would vote for a G/Haggar ticket any day. Follow Gavin on Twitter!
Hey, c'mon, c'mon! The Legendary Hungry Wolf of SNK's fighting games will be making a guest appearance in Arika's new fighter.
Evo 2018 happened over the weekend, and while it wasn’t one of the featured eight games, Arika’s newly-released EX Fighting Layer did get a side tournament of its own. The game is a spinoff/sequel to the Street Fighter EX games of the '90s, featuring only the original characters from the game like Skullomania and Garuda. Back then, those were the only Street Fighter games with 3D graphics we could get.
Only available digitally, the game has been gradually adding features and characters. This new trailer shows that it will be including old Street Fighter EX names like Pullum Purna and Volcano Rosso. Both characters will be released around the end of August and into September. Area and Sharon also appear to be teased towards the end.
The big news is the teaser at the end, showing that one upcoming DLC character is none other than Terry Bogard from SNK’s Fatal Fury and King of Fighters series.
The Fatal Fury characters have been getting a real workout as guest characters lately. Mai Shiranui appeared in Dead or Alive 5, Geese Howard appeared in Tekken 7, and now we have Terry hanging out in EX Fighting Layer.
Maybe we can get Yamazaki to show up in the next Mortal Kombat? Wolfgang Krauser in Killer Instinct? Kim Kaphwan in any game that will take him?
There’s also going to be an arcade version of EX Fighting Layer with a limited release in North America. No release date has been set at this time.
Gavin Jasper is happy to see Skullomania in 2018. Follow Gavin on Twitter!
Blizzard is working on more than one Diablo project. Is one of them Diablo 4?
A new video suggests that Blizzard is working on multiple Diabloprojects that we will hear about very soon.
In a new video featuring community manager Brandy Camel, the studio confirms that they are working on a few things related to the Diabloproperty. While we knew that they had something related to Diablo in the works, this is the first time that Blizzard is working on more than one thing bearing the Diablo name. Not only that, but Camel indicated that we'll likely see hear more about what Blizzard is working on before the end of the year.
This information is certainly in-line with that job listing posted to the company's website earlier this year which noted that Blizzard is seeking technical, environmental, VFX, and dungeon artists for a Diablo game.
"We're working on a new, unannounced Diablo project," reads the listing for a full-time Dungeon Artist. Unfortunately, the job listings don't really reveal much more about the project in question. For instance, the dungeon artist must be able to "build atmospheric dungeons with a focus on composition, detail, and mood, while ensuring that the gameplay space is readable." Descriptions such as that can apply to just about any Diabloproject that Blizzard could conceivably be working on at the moment.
So what should Diablofans make of this? It's a bit tough to say with any certainty at the moment, but Blizzard has been dropping some hints that potentially indicate what this is all about.
For instance, Blizzard noted at Blizzcon 2017 that they didn't have anything Diablo-related ready to show, but that there would be a time in the future when they would be ready to show something. While the most obvious guess as to what the studio is working on is Diablo IV, there are some who believe that this might actually be related to a remake of Diablo II.
Former Diablo designer David Brevik once said that he believed a Diablo II remake wouldn't be easy to pull off given that the technology Diablo II is based on requires more than a new coat of paint and that many of the game's original assets are likely lost. His comments suggested that the development of such a remake would almost have to be treated like an entirely new game.
Blizzard certainly isn't ready to say what it's working on. In a statement to PC Gamer, a Blizzard representative said, "We’re always exploring different ideas at Blizzard. That includes Diablo, which is one of our core franchises."
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!
God of War's New Game+ mode will make the game tougher than ever.
The God of War team has revealed some of the first details about the game's highly-anticipated New Game+ mode.
In a new blog post, Santa Monica Studios revealed that God of War's New Game+ mode will allow you to re-experience the God of War adventure but with all the progress you made during your first playthrough. That means you keep your "armours, enchantments, talismans, resources and abilities."
As you might imagine, that feature comes with a catch. You will retain all of your progress, but you will also face significantly tougher enemies this time around. It's not entirely clear whether that means that we'll see new enemies in this mode on top of old ones, but the team did suggest that many of the game's old enemies will be packing some "new tricks up their sleeves."
The good news is that New Game+ players will also have access to a new rarity of equipment in this mode. It seems that these new items can be forged using a new resource called "Skap Slag" that grants you access to "the best of the best from our finest blacksmiths." On top of that, you'll be able to equip new enhancements for your items that will allow for some truly devastating offensive and defensive abilities.
Best of all, the studio confirmed that you will be able to skip cinematic moments in God of War when this new update hits. However, you will need to have completed the game first on any mode before you are able to do so.
This update sounds like a fantastic addition to one of the best games of the year, but we can't help but wonder just how difficult this will make the game's most challenging moments. As anyone who has tried to best the Valkyries will tell you, there are already times when God of War pushes you to your mental and mechanical limits. We shudder to think how challenging those bosses are in this new mode. We'll know for sure when this free update releases on August 20.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!
From Halo to Aliens, here are 25 video game soundtracks that prove you haven't heard anything yet.
Let's be honest, video game soundtracks just don't get enough love. Sure, most people can hum you a few bars of the Zelda soundtrack or the opening Super Mario Bros. tune, but there's a rich world of video game music out there that is by and large ignored by the general population. While we all hope that things like the Journey soundtrack winning a Grammy or the stunning Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra performances of video game soundtracks will bring this medium's music into the mainstream, that hasn't happened quite yet.
Even the biggest gaming music fans can occasionally miss a truly great soundtrack. While that often happens because there's simply not enough time to play and hear every game out there, there are other times when the soundtrack in question is attached to some obscure or awful game that is impossible to recommend outside of the score. Occasionally, it's just a matter of there being so many great video game soundtracks out there that some get lost in the shuffle.
Rather than be intimidated by the wide world of incredible video game music, we recommend that you sit back, turn up the volume, and soak yourself in the sounds of these 25 underrated video game soundtracks:
25. Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim is a game that doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest, but some serious work went into the production of this SNES classic. The game’s graphics are fantastic, its art style is distinctive, and the writing is genuinely funny. Yet, it’s Earthworm Jim’s soundtrack that really stands the test of time.
The truly impressive thing about this soundtrack is the way that it so immediately and clearly helps players identify the game’s various trippy levels. No two tracks sound exactly the same, yet there is a strange unifying quality to the various songs that makes them an unmistakable part of this musical collection.
24. Pictionary (NES)
If you never played Pictionary for the NES, you’re missing out on one of the greatest and strangest soundtracks in video game history. Composed by Tim Follin, one of the most underrated composers of the NES era, the Pictionary soundtrack sounds like it belongs in a particularly action-packed 2D beat ‘em up.
The game launches an auditory assault on you the moment that you hear its infamous title theme, and the incredible tunes only continue as you sit down to play this otherwise serene digital board game. If the Pictionary soundtrack was played in clubs throughout the United States, we’d actually go to clubs. Well...not really, but that would still be pretty cool.
23. Waterworld (SNES)
More often than not, the reason great video game soundtracks get overlooked is that they're attached to pretty awful games (much more on this later). That’s certainly what happened with Waterworld for the SNES, a game so bad that generations have admitted to their therapists that being gifted the title was when they realized their parents didn't love them.
The title’s soundtrack was simply amazing, though. For a game that is pretty action-heavy (at least it is when the game is working as intended), Waterworld’s soundtrack is oddly serene. This is especially true of the game’s signature song, "Diving." Indeed, you could argue that track is one of the absolute greatest underwater songs ever featured in a video game.
There’s a little room for debate regarding just how overlooked the Shenmue soundtrack really is. After all, many fans of the franchise regularly rank it among gaming’s greatest musical achievements. Yet, it never feels like the soundtrack gets the widespread love it so richly deserves.
What’s remarkable about the Shenmue soundtrack is the way that the composers managed to account for so many different moods, locales, and characters. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that the game’s “epic” action movie tracks pale in comparison to the tranquil beauty of the sounds that accompany your walks through the title's revolutionary world.
21. Mafia 2
The Mafia 2 soundtrack is a bit of an anomaly. Most gangster entertainment soundtracks either rely heavily on licensed tunes or sweeping orchestral melodies that capture the romanticism of the dirty underworld. Mafia 2does things a little differently.
There are licensed tracks and classical tunes, but there are also some upbeat tracks that feel like an homage to the “cops and robbers” era of crime films. On top of those “chase sequence” tunes, there are also some surprisingly sorrowful songs that capture the shocking humanity of the game’s story without betraying the rhythm of the rest of the soundtrack.
20. Rule of Rose
There’s no shortage of great horror game soundtracks out there, which probably helps explain why the Rule of Rose soundtrack gets almost no love. The soundtrack for this somewhat obscure PS2 game relies heavily on string instruments, but you’ll never feel like the game is overplaying its symphonic hand. From the incredibly violent violin sounds of the opening tracks to the more restrained and atmospheric sounds of the later levels, Rule of Rose turns simple strings into pure nightmare fuel.
19. Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
The original Tenchu also featured an incredible soundtrack, but we’re giving the slight nod to the sounds of this stunning sequel. Incredibly, Tenchu 2 rarely relies on traditional - or popular traditional - Japanese music. There are certainly tracks in the game which you’d expect to see in such a period-specific stealth ninja title, but much of the music consists of an incredible mix of horns, digital bites, and orchestral-style arrangements. It all comes together to form a soundtrack that undeniably fits the atmosphere even if you wouldn’t have necessarily predicted such a collection of music.
18. Bucky O’Hare
Say it with us now:
“BUCKY! Captain Bucky O’Hare!”
While the full version of that classic Saturday morning theme song isn’t included in the soundtrack of this NES game, the game is certainly not lacking in memorable tunes. In fact, it seems that the game’s composer was aware that Bucky O’Hare was going to be a punishingly difficult game and created tracks that have an oddly ominous tone to them.
The result is a soundtrack loaded with tunes that could just have easily been added to the best Mega Man or Castlevania games. It’s a gem from the golden era of Konami platformers.
17. Dante’s Inferno
Dante’s Inferno is burdened by a somewhat divisive legacy. Upon its release, it was written off by many as a God of War knock-off that lacked that franchise’s silky-smooth gameplay. Yet, those who played Dante’s Inferno will tell you that the title featured the kind of imaginative design you definitely don’t see in a rip-off.
Besides, the game’s soundtrack is undeniably amazing. It does veer into old-school God of War territory here and there, but most of the tracks have a haunting Bloodborne quality about them. This is a soundtrack that sounds like it’s ready to pounce on you from a dark corner.
16. Wild Arms
If the Wild Arms soundtrack has one flaw it’s that not enough of the tracks in the game take full advantage of the game’s wild west theme. Those that don’t are good, but they feel like they could have been in other RPGs.
Still, the songs in this game that take full advantage of Wild Arms’ compelling blend of genres are simply stunning. That’s especially true of the game’s opening theme, which sounds like something you’d get if Ennio Morricone composed the soundtrack for a Final Fantasy movie. All told, it’s the kind of soundtrack that sticks with you long after the game is over.
15. Aliens: Colonial Marines
Oh, we’re quite serious. Aliens: Colonial Marines might be one of the most embarrassing licensed games of the modern era, but those who suffered through it know that it also features an amazing soundtrack.
Colonial Marines’ soundtrack manages to combine the atmospheric horror of the original Alien film with the breakneck action of Aliens. Just listen to the haunting tones of the track "Egg Room" and try not to avoid the chill down your spine. In fact, Kevin Riepl (who also composed the first two Gears of Wargames) does such a great job of capturing the spirit of the films that we’d go so far as to say that this is the best Alien soundtrack ever.
14. The Mummy Demastered
The Mummy Demastered has to be one of the biggest surprises in recent years. Who would have ever thought that a 16-bit tribute loosely based on that awful Tom Cruise Mummy movie would be so good?
Actually, we recommend Demastered solely based on the strength of its soundtrack. This soundtrack certainly draws upon some old-school 8-bit and 16-bit classics, but it’s also influenced by more modern orchestral hits. The result is a soundtrack that feels like a chiptune take on more recent scores but translates that modern music in such a way that ensures the results never feel like a gimmick.
13. Divine Divinity
Divine Divinity was quite popular when it was released in 2002, but the game kicked off the Divinity series isn’t regularly cited as one of the all-time genre classics. The real shame of its slightly obscure status is that more people haven’t heard the game’s soundtrack.
While Dungeons and Dragons-style games have boasted great soundtracks for quite some time, Divine Divinity is arguably the greatest of them all. The sheer variety of the tracks in this game is impressive enough, but it’s those haunting dungeon tunes that put this soundtrack over-the-top.
12. Too Human
Given its pedigree and promising premise, Too Human might be the most disappointing game ever made. It was supposed to be a true video game epic, but it ended up being a series of bad ideas held together with digital glue.
However, the game’s soundtrack showcases what Too Human could have been. The soundtrack features the kind of grand tunes you’d expect in such a game, but what separates Too Human from the epic game music pack are its more somber tracks. There’s a sorrow to the music in this game which captures the underlying Norse mythology elements of its universe better than any other aspect of the experience.
11. Remember Me
Remember Me’s weak gameplay and uneven story sadly limited the reach of this otherwise clever game. Actually, developer Dontnod Entertainment’s first game is oddly similar to the recently released Vampyr. It’s clear there was talent behind this game, which makes it all the more confusing that so much of it just doesn’t work.
The game’s soundtrack remains a largely unblemished piece of brilliance, though. Best described as an electronic nightmare, RememberMe’s futuristic sounds rarely slow down long enough to convey traditionally emotional moments. Still, there’s a shocking amount of heart in this rapid series of electric beats.
10. Blast Corps
Rare’s Blast Corps features one of the most fascinating premises in gaming history. In it, you are tasked with using various vehicles of destruction to clear a path for a runaway nuclear missile. It’s an utterly bizarre idea that is accompanied by an equally bizarre soundtrack.
Given that the Blast Corps soundtrack was composed by Graeme Norgate (Killer Instinct, Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark) it shouldn’t surprise you that there are some excellent heavier guitar tracks in this game that are perfectly complemented by synth. Yet, it’s the offbeat, folksy tracks that really lend this soundtrack a personality of its own.
9. Bionic Commando Rearmed
The Bionic Commando Rearmed soundtrack skirts that line between corny and fantastic. It’s certainly not hard to imagine someone listening to it and imagining the music for an early ‘90s direct-to-video action B movie. Yet, there is a ferocity to the Rearmed soundtrack that elevates it above other pieces of entertainment.
There’s an underlying level of anger to this soundtrack that makes every pulsing electronic sound feel like it’s one of the game’s enemies. On top of that, you’ve got a few tracks that escape the more metal vibes of rest of the soundtrack and offer something hauntingly serene.
Much like Too Human, Lair was a game that seemed to have it all. It was developed by Factor 5 (Star Wars: Rogue Squadron), it looked stunning, and it even featured some revolutionary (at the time) motion controls. Sadly, the horrible realities of that revolutionary control scheme pretty much killed the game.
Still, Lair’s soundtrack comes highly recommended. Many of the songs are anthems of war - and they’re incredibly good ones at that - and there is plenty of heart in the game’s slower tracks, too. In a just world, this soundtrack would be transplanted to a better game.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4: Turtles in Time
While I’m a little biased towards this selection considering that "Big Apple, 3 A.M." was my alarm clock ringtone for years, the fact remains that the almost universally beloved Turtles in Time for the SNES features a soundtrack that shockingly doesn’t get enough love.
While it's true that many of the songs in this game rely on similar sounds and structures, that hardly diminishes the results. Any good beat-em-up soundtrack will keep your blood pumping and have you button mashing to the beat. So far as that goes, Turtles in Time might just be one of the genre’s greatest examples of effective game music.
6. R4: Ridge Racer Type 4
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4’s soundtrack has no business being as good as it is. After all, this is a racing game we’re talking about. Who listens to the soundtrack in racing games? That’s just part of what makes this game’s soundtrack so special.
Almost every track in this game feels like it belongs on the Lumines soundtrack. If you know anything about that game’s famous collection of upbeat experimental tracks, then you know just how high of a compliment that really is. While the tracks themselves are exceptional standalone pieces, it’s the way that they work so well within the context of the R4's high adrenaline races that makes them truly legendary.
5. Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future
While it probably didn’t help the console’s sales, the Dreamcast’s collection of weird games is part of the reason it’s such a beloved console. After all, what other console at the time would advertise a dolphin adventure like Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future as one of its big-budget exclusives?
Ecco is certainly not a game for everyone, but its soundtrack is impossible not to love. With few exceptions, the tracks in Ecco are designed to inspire feelings of tranquility, but they also wield tremendous emotional influence. It’s the kind of soundtrack that would make James Cameron’s underwater documentaries feel as epic as James Cameron’s ‘90s action movies.
4. Freedom Fighters
The generally underrated Freedom Fighters is a 2003 action game from IO Interactive about a band of revolutionaries in an alternate version of America run by the Soviet Union. It’s a great game that yields a soundtrack quite unlike anything the action genre has ever produced.
There’s a bit of a duel going on in the Freedom Fighters score. Some of the compositions in this game are clearly inspired by the music of the Soviet Union while others beat with the heart of a revolution. The one thing that unifies every track is the emotional weight each lends to the game's many scenarios.
3. Halo 3: ODST
We love the original Halo trilogy soundtracks as much as anyone, but if you’re looking for Martin O'Donnell best score, you’ll find it in Halo 3: ODST. O’Donnell and his team essentially started from scrap when they composed this soundtrack. They abandoned almost all the orchestral sounds of the previous Halo games in favor of something that felt like it belonged exclusively in this game and its scenario.
The result is a soundtrack that incorporates quite a few jazz tracks you might associate with old film noir flicks. In a game that explores the vulnerability of humanity in the midst of a war too great for mortals, it is Halo 3: ODST’s soundtrack that captures the spirit of being swept by something so much greater than ourselves.
While Earthbound itself isn’t really underrated anymore, the game’s fascinating soundtrack certainly is. To be honest, it’s not hard to see why.
At a time when the best JRPGs featured sweeping fantasy scores, Earthbound elected to challenge our ears with a strange selection of songs that borrowed ideas from just about every musical genre. Some tracks feel like demented takes on classic Beatles songs while others invoke a rare blend of psychedelic and jazz.
The game’s massive soundtrack rarely repeats itself or a particular genre. The few times that Earthbound does fall back on a familiar tune, it does so in a way designed to invoke the feeling of coming home after a long strange trip.
1. Advent Rising
It’s no mystery why so few people know about Advent Rising’s soundtrack. After all, the game was a much-hyped sci-fi epic that featured a questionable story, some forgettable characters, and gameplay that worked when it felt like it. None of that excuses the fact that many have never heard what might be one of the absolute greatest video game soundtracks ever composed.
Words are a painfully inadequate way to do justice to a soundtrack that can drag a tear out of a stone or make a grain of sand feel a pulse. Yes, Advent Rising features sweeping orchestral tunes that convey a full range of emotions. If Advent Rising’s soundtrack had been in a feature film instead of a failed video game, it would be remembered by many as one of the all-time greats.
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Mario's lovable (and taller) brother, Luigi, has been viciously murdered in a new trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. RIP, Luigi.
Waluigi isn't the only Nintendo character you need to worry about. It's with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that another beloved character just got the ax (or scythe, in this case) and this one really hurts. Luigi, Mario's beloved ghost-hunting brother, met his end at the hands of the Grim Reaper from Castlevania in the latest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate trailer, which also revealed that Simon Belmont was joining the fighting game. The Italian plumber was only 35 and will be sorely missed.
You can watch the full trailer below:
Here's the gruesome moment as an endless and painful gif for you masochists out there:
The harrowing scene unfolded when brave Luigi entered Dracula's castle to hunt down the ghouls that haunt the ancient structure. After putting up a brave fight that even famous vampire hunter Simon Belmont would applaud, Luigi came before Death itself. There was no escape for the poor hero, who suffered a killing blow that sent his soul flying out of his lifeless corpse, becoming the very supernatural specter he swore to vacuum up.
It remains unclear if Luigi will ever be able to return to his physical form, as his ghost is seen floating around throughout the rest of the trailer. Nintendo doesn't seem to be playing around. Waluigi should count himself lucky that he's not in the Big N's cruel sights. Luigi wasn't so fortunate.
All jokes aside, Nintendo's first sibling is doing just fine. Don't believe us? Nintendo UK is here to reassure you:
Luigi is okay
— Nintendo UK VS (@NintendoUKVS) August 8, 2018
It's just a promo, and Luigi's unfortunate "death" is used to illustrate the dangers of the haunted castle and Simon's badassery. The ghostbusting plumber is still set to appear as one of the game's more than 60 fighters.
So, rest easy. Luigi will rise from the grave...
Super Smash Bros. Ultimatearrives on Dec. 7 for Nintendo Switch.
Destiny 2's Year Two update, Forsaken, is on the way. Here's your first look at the combat for the new expansion!
Bungie has announced Destiny 2: Forsaken, the big Year Two update for the online loot shooter. The game will feature new story missions and map areas, a new multiplayer mode called Gambit, four new Crucible maps, and a new raid called The Dreaming City.
Destiny 2: Forsaken Trailer
Check out the Forsaken combat reveal below:
Here's the reveal trailer:
Destiny 2: Forsaken Release Date
Destiny 2: Forsaken will drop on Sept. 4, 2018.
Destiny 2: Forsaken Story
Forsaken will take players back to The Reef, a destination featured in the first game that hasn't appeared since 2015's The Taken King. The story will see you join forces with Cayde-6 to fight seven Fallen barons, who have escaped from a high-security prison on the Reef. The studio will reveal more about Forsaken's story at E3 2018.
More details on The Dreaming City will be shared this summer. Bungie described the new raid as "like the Vault of Glass and Dreadnaught had a baby."
Destiny 2: Forsaken Details
Gambit is a mix of PvP and PvE involving two teams in a race against each other to collect motes of light and defeat NPC enemies. In order to win, one team must kill PvE enemies while filling up an energy bank with motes. Teams are separated on the map by a barrier. Once one team has collected enough motes, it will be able to invade the other team's space and eliminate them. The mode will live outside of the Crucible as its own location on the world map.
Forsaken will also introduce a new weapons system to Destiny 2. Players will now have the ability to equip shotguns in your Kinetic slot, meaning that you could technically dive into the battlefield with three shotguns! A bow and arrow weapon is also coming to the game. New Super abilities, such as the self-explanatory Fire Knives, are expected as well.
Destiny 2: Forsaken DLC Roadmap
Bungie has announced the Annual Pass, a paid content pass that will include four premium content releases that will replace traditional Destiny expansion packs. Those releases include Forsaken in Fall 2018, Black Armory in Winter 2018, Joker's Wild in Spring 2019, and Penumbra in Summer 2019. The drops will include new endgame challenges, weapons, armor, and other items. Each content release will begin a new season in the game. The Annual Pass costs $34.99.
The studio also dropped a new development roadmap that shows the remaining Year 1 Season 3 updates due on July 17 as well as the initial Year 2 add-ons:
We'll keep you updated as we learn more about upcoming Destiny 2 DLC!
Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, has responded to accusations of sexism and widespread male toxicity at the company.
In a new report by Kotaku, Riot Games is accused of promoting a sexist work culture among its employees -- a workforce in which men outnumber women 4 to 1. The outlet spoke to 28 sources for the piece detailing instances of sexual discrimination and harassment at the company, including allegations against upper-level management.
As described by several former and current "Rioters," the company is allegedly home to an oppressive "bro culture" that stifles women's voices -- at several points in the piece, individuals paint a picture of a workplace where male employees talk over women and women are forced to either accept it or are pushed out of the company.
Others noted the inequality of the hiring process at the studio, where men are more likely to "fit the culture" of the company than women. Several of Kotaku's sources described the inherent gatekeeping and divisiveness of the company's recruitment philosophy -- that is, that Riot only hires hardcore gamers (the article notes that Riot has walked back this philosophy in the last few months), leaving female candidates open to questions about whether they're "real gamers."
One woman recalled a job interview in which she was asked several questions about World of Warcraft to prove that she was actually a gamer: "I was trying to prove to this executive that I wasn’t lying about playing games. ... Should I just ask this guy to log onto my World of Warcraft profile?"
Another woman described an interview during which she was asked how big her "e-peen" was, a vulgar question meant to challenge whether she was truly a gamer.
Instances of sexual misconduct were also reported by Kotaku's sources. One former employee claims that, after rejecting the advances of a male superior, she was pushed out of the running for a promotion she had rightfully earned. The report notes several other instances when men were promoted over women on the basis of a "meritocracy," a workplace philosophy the company allegedly pushes to keep male employees in power.
Riot responded to Kotaku's report in a statement to ESPN:
This article shines a light on areas where we haven't lived up to our own values, which will not stand at Riot. We've taken action against many of the specific instances in the article, and we're committed to digging in, addressing every issue, and fixing the underlying causes. All Rioters must be accountable for creating an environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to be heard, grow their role, advance in the organization, and fulfill their potential.
Corporate communications lead Joe Hixson also posted a longer statement from the company to Kotaku, part of which was excerpted in the original report. You can read the statement in full on Reddit.
The former Jean-Ralphio and current voice of Dewey Duck on DuckTales will voice the iconic blue speed demon.
Turn that frizown upsidizity! Ben Schwartz, famous for playing the obnoxious “pick-up artist and baller” Jean-Ralphio on Parks and Recreation has been selected to voice the titular speed demon hedgehog in the live-action/animation hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog.
Paramount Pictures has Sonic the Hedgehog primed for a holiday 2019 release on November 15, 2019. Based on the long-running (pun extremely intended) Sega video game character and mascot, Sonic is a sprinting blue hedgehod on a quest to defeat Doctor Robotnik, a scientist who has imprisoned animals in robots and stolen magical Chaos Emeralds. Sony originally held the film rights to Sonic, but the studio let them lapse and Paramount swooped in to secure them in October.
The Sonic the Hedgehog movie is also set to feature James Marsden, Tika Sumpter and Jim Carrey, who is rumored to be playing Robotnik. Jeff Fowler, who received an Oscar nomination for his 2005 animated short “Gopher Broke,” is directing, with Neal H. Moritz producing and Deadpool director Tim Miller serving as executive producing alongside Toby Ascher.
Scwartz, who is currently voicing Dewey Duck on Disney Channel’s reboot of DuckTales, can next be seen in the Kevin Hart-Tiffany Haddish comedy Night School.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!