2016 is fixing up to be an amazing year for player vs player team-intensive titles. Major publishers abound are taking to this model that's almost MOBA-ish (like Defense of the Ancients or League of Legends) and infusing it with a much more action-intensive feel, such as being set in the skeleton of a first-person shooter. Some seem to be going the direct route of a 3rd person MOBA, not unlike Smite while others have a feel that reminds of the chaotic fun of Team Fortress 2, but each of them is bringing their own flavor and flair to the table in attempts to set themselves apart from the things that have been done before.
From that love comes a touching story packed into a beautiful setting with a delightful main character in Yarny. The care and devotion of the team at Coldwood to the craft of game development is more than evident at every turn. This game is not without its frustrations, particularly in puzzles toward the end of the game, but the brief fleeting moments of anxiety are easily countered by the overall warmth that Unravel exudes. This is a game I'll play when I'm having a bad day and want to turn it around.
After countless quarters eaten and far too many re-releases, we're celebrating the release of the original version of Street Fighter II across arcades in North America. That's right, Street Fighter II has officially turned 25—let that sink in for minute. Sure, Street Fighter II Turbo, Championship Edition, Super, and all the other versions of the game have their own subsequent anniversaries to come as well, but this is the anniversary of the one that matters the most. Let's not act surprised at how many times Capcom re-released Street Fighter IV when the company has been doing this from the get-go. More importantly, let's look at the monumental influence Street Fighter II had, as it basically introduced the fighting game genre to the masses when it started spawning crowds around its arcade cabinets in the '90s.
After two years in existence, the newest PAX is still relatively small. There are few big-name publishers exhibiting on the show floor, with many of the biggest booths belonging to hardware companies like Intel, Alienware, and Astro. There aren’t as many prominent figures in gaming walking the halls of the Henry B. González Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, TX. And the expo floor certainly isn’t as big and sprawling as PAX’s counterparts in Boston and Seattle. PAX South is a low-key show, for sure, but that’s all part of its charm.
A top-down, twin-stick action game? Not that unusual. A Pikmin-esque game in which the player controls an ever-growing mob inspired by the culture of ancient Greece? That’s a new one. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got my hands on Devolver Digital’s Okhlos on the PAX South show floor, but the madness of mob violence quickly won me over.
Fortified is the kind of game that I want to keep playing, but it frustrates me just as much as it entertains me. It does everything it can to stand between me and victory -- as a good game should -- but it does these things in way that's sloppy, unclear, and lacking direction. I want to say great things about Fortified, there's a lot to like here, but those compliments are bundled with a few legitimate concerns.
The past few years have seen a ton of Metroidvania games pop up on nearly every console available so it’s only natural to wonder which are the best. These are the 10 Best Metroidvania Games.
Two decades ago, 3D Realms revolutionized the first-person shooter genre by releasing Duke Nukem 3D for MS-DOS. After years of controversy and being used as a scapegoat for critics asking for stricter handling of Mature games, Duke 3D is remembered as the highest point of the character's history. Based on the ups and downs the Duke Nukem video game franchise has experienced, that isn't exactly saying much. Nevertheless, Duke Nukem 3D moved the genre forward for all the right (and wrong) reasons.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of the best Super Nintendo games ever made, introducing Nintendo’s plucky plumber to the grand world of the Japanese role-playing game. Nintendo was so pleased with its performance that it has since created two separate branches of spin-offs in Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi that try to emulate that classic feel. Apparently the creative juices aren’t flowing quite as freely at Nintendo as they usually do, as the latest Mario RPG game Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam takes those two spin-offs and simply mashes them back together.
Is the world of Pokémon really all about Pokémon? Certainly to an extent it is, but there’s another aspect of each game that’s arguably as important as the pocket monsters themselves. They’re the gates that test your skill at every major turn in a Pokémon game. They’re the focal point of every city and the checkpoints on the way to becoming a true Pokémon master. It’s not just about raising every available critter you like. It’s about building a balanced team that will meet these challenges head-on. Of course, we’re talking about Pokémon gym leaders. Maybe they’re on this list because they were just too ridiculous to forget. Maybe they’re here because they brought something to the table that the other trainers didn’t. Or maybe they’re here because their ridiculously difficult challenge was the stuff of nightmares. Either way, these gym leaders are the boss battles that have made 20 years of Pokémon a worthwhile series of journeys. These are the 20 Best Pokémon Gym Leaders.