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  • scissors
    June 17th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    The annual hype machine that is E3 has once again come and gone, and as always we saw a huge number of massive upcoming titles shown off at the various press conferences and during the event itself, some to rapturous ovation and others to polite applause. Yet, with all the attention many of these announcements get, for every game that gets the spotlight shone on it during one of the big press events, there are countless other titles that run the risk of getting lost amidst the sea of games competing for your attention.

    So, with that in mind, let's take a look at some of these smaller games that you will likely have missed in all the excitement. Naturally, there's no guarantee that all of these games are going to be good, but they all have something interesting going for them, be it a well designed visual style or unique gameplay elements which at the very least deserve to be acknowledged. Here are ten interesting games from E3 2018 you might have missed.


    A Plague Tale: Innocence


    Release date: 2019

    Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

    The only returning game from last year's list, A Plague Tale: Innocence is conceptually quite possibly the most interesting one on it for me personally. An adventure game set in 14th century France ravaged by the Black Death has massive amounts of potential to be something truly special. If the narrative of the two siblings fighting for survival and the stealth-based gameplay live up to the images shown in the trailer, this could be one of the most intriguing new titles on the horizon.



    Release date: 2019

    Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch

    Indivisible had me interested from the moment I first saw it in motion. The gorgeous art style and the numerous beautiful locations shown in the trailer quickly pushed it very high on my anticipated games list, but it was the gameplay which looks to combine elements from side-scrolling action platformers and turn-based RPGs that sealed the deal for me.

    Indivisible is being developed by Lab Zero Games, the same team that created the excellent Skullgirls fighting game. If you need one more reason to keep your eyes on this one, the music in the game is being composed by Hiroki Kikuta, the man behind the music in Secret of Mana.


    Outer Wilds

    Release date: 2018

    Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox One

    In Outer Wilds the player takes control of an astronaut who finds himself stranded in a solar system which is stuck in an endless time loop that always ends with the sun going supernova, killing the player and sending them back to the beginning once again. However, the player can use the things they learn on these attempts to slowly uncover the world's secrets and alter the outcome of subsequent playthroughs. It's an interesting central mechanic that could lend itself to a lot of interesting situations within the game. Hopefully this one turns out good when it comes out.


    Release date: 2019

    Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

    This is another game that is on the list based mostly on the potential of its basic concept. Greedfall is set in a newly discovered fictional island paradise during a colonial era ravaged by an incurable plague. The island, a home to magic and the supernatural, serves as the one remaining hope for finding such a cure. However, as the settlers begin to arrive on this new land, conflict between the new arrivals and the native population is inevitable.

    While the basic premise behind Greedfall is very interesting, there is one thing that somewhat tempers my expectations. The game is being developed by Spiders, a team whose previous games have never really managed to rise above mediocrity. They certainly have plenty of experience in creating action RPGs, but that has yet to translate to anything genuinely good. Regardless, I'm still cautiously optimistic about Greedfall, hence the reason why it's still on this list despite my reservations.



    Release date: TBA

    Platform: PC

    Satisfactory is an open world factory building sim where the player takes on the role of an engineer tasked with constructing one such factory in an alien planet as part of Project Assembly. The player has to not only create a working factory, but also collect the resources and explore the surrounding wildlife while doing so. In addition the game has official support for co-op with up to 4 players at once playing in the same world.

    The part that piqued my interest was the co-op. The possibility of creating a huge working machine together with other people in a fully explorable world is a hugely intriguing prospect for me. The fact that the game also features elements such as combat against wildlife and various different vehicles the player can use to travel the world is just a nice bonus.


    Concrete Genie

    Release date: 2018

    Platforms: PlayStation 4

    One of the more unique games on this list and at E3 was Pixelopus' Concrete Genie, in which the player takes on the role of a bullied teenager, Ash, who has the ability to create living sceneries and creatures through his paintings. As he does so he also discovers that his paintings can purify the polluted walls of his hometown. Besides the interesting concept Concrete Genie also looks beautiful, which certainly helps in standing out from the crowd.



    Release date: TBA

    Platforms: PC, Xbox One

    Although it has already been released via Early Access, Astroneer is still in development and was one of the more interesting, less heralded titles shown at this year's E3. The game tasks the player with colonizing countless randomly generated planets and gathering resources to build custom bases either in single or multiplayer. The somewhat minimalistic visual style that uses strong colours with textureless surfaces is a nice touch as well. Astroneer is one of the games to watch and possibly buy right away, though personally I'm perfectly fine waiting until its proper release.


    Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk

    Release date: September 18, 2018

    Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

    Labyrinth of refrain: Coven of Dusk is a new title coming from Nippon Ichi Software, this one providing an interesting take on the classic dungeon crawler-genre. It was already released in Japan back in 2016, but is only now coming to the west. Dungeon crawlers are a rare commodity these days, and any fan of games like Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, and the more recent Legend of Grimrock titles (like me) might just find something new and interesting to play. The anime inspired visual style certainly makes it different from most other games in the genre.


    Desert Child

    Release date: 2018

    Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch

    Desert Bike, as described on the game's official website, is a racing RPG set in a dusty world where your only friends are a vintage hoverbike and a packet of instant noodles. If nothing else, Desert Bike certainly gets some points for originality. In the game the player takes the role of a gifted racer who must make money through any means necessary, including but not limited to: delivering drugs, throwing races, and hunting bounties, all for the sake of improving your hoverbike and ultimately moving up in the world.

    The visual style reminds me slightly of the game Another World (known as Out of this World in North America), which is a refreshingly different source of inspiration from the usual 8-bit or 16-bit graphical styles a lot of indie games go for.


    11-11: Memories Retold

    Release date: November 9, 2018

    Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    11-11: Memories Retold is a story-driven adventure game that tells two stories, one of a Canadian photographer who leaves for the Western Front in Europe on November 11, 1916, and another of a German technician who on the same day hears that his son has gone missing in action. Their paths through the theatre of war will eventually cross and lead to the most important decision of their lives.

    One of the main reasons 11-11: Memories Retold caught my attention - well, besides the absolutely gorgeous visual style - was the fact that Aardman Animations is involved in its development. For those who don't know, Aardman is best known for the Wallace & Gromit series of short films, as well as a number of feature length animations. If the story can match the quality of the game's visuals and provide us with an intriguing narrative suitable for its WWI setting we might have something exceptional on our hands.


    There we go. Ten interesting games from this year's E3 that in my opinion deserve more attention than they have received thus far. What underappreciated titles did you come across during E3? Share them in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading.

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  • scissors
    June 17th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    The VGChartz Gap charts are updated monthly and each article focuses on a different gap chart. The charts include comparisons between the 7th generation and 8th generation platforms, as well as comparisons within the 8th generation. All sales are worldwide, unless otherwise stated.


    3DS Vs. PSP Global:

    Gap change in latest month: 159,002 – PSP

    Gap change over last 12 months: 416,253 – PSP

    Total Lead: 2,134,811 – PSP

    3DS Total Sales: 71,804,072         

    PSP Total Sales: 73,938,883

    In the latest month the gap grew by 159,002 units in favor of the PSP and by 416,253 units in favor of the PSP in the last 12 months. The PSP currently leads by 2.13 million units.

    An important note is that the two handhelds launched at different times of the year. The PSP first launched in December 2004, while the 3DS launched in February 2011. The 3DS has sold 71.80 million units, while the PSP sold 73.94 million units.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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  • scissors
    June 17th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    This is the second entry in a series of articles where I look at the Vita's success in providing a portable version of classic consolesI'll look at what games are available on the handheld from the chosen platform (including PS1 & PSP versions through backwards compatibility), as well as what titles are missing that were re-released on other platforms or that were never updated beyond the original hardware. I'll be including straight ports of titles and emulated versions, as well as sequels to popular series and, in some cases, spiritual successors.

    After a successful article looking at how Vita provided a surprisingly decent portable version of SEGA’s ill-fated Dreamcast, my next piece focuses on a console that had a much different fate – Sony’s PlayStation 2, which is currently pegged as the highest-selling console of all-time. While speculation was rife that the PSP was as powerful as a PS2 when it was first unveiled, it never quite managed to attain this goal. On the other hand, the Vita did have the necessary power to fully recreate home-console experiences. Sadly, Sony’s second handheld never reached the mass-market success of the PS2, but in spite of this it still managed to obtain a great number of franchises from the home console.


    Vita-Native Games

    It’s difficult to truly describe what defined the PS2’s library – it really did receive a little bit of everything throughout its run, ranging from simple puzzle games to gigantic open-world adventures. Undoubtedly, a major factor in the console’s success was the fantastic range of Japanese-developed games, and leading this charge was Final Fantasy X the first sixth-generation entry in the storied franchise.

    The series has always seen major anticipation between mainline releases, but this was at an all-time high with X due to the shift from PS1 to PS2 and all the technological jumps that could be made with the transition. A direct sequel followed  – X-2 – and both games made the leap over to the Vita in 2013 as part of the Final Fantasy X/X2 HD Remaster. Featuring a variety of new features, including trophy support and a re-arranged soundtrack, the handheld ports were a brilliant way to re-live the classic games.

    Of course, it wasn’t just Final Fantasy that was flying the flag of Japanese support on PS2. Very late in the console’s life, publisher Atlus released two titles in its flagship Persona series, the latter of which was ported to Vita as Persona 4 Golden in 2012. Mixing life-sim elements with dungeon crawling and turn-based combat, the remake ended up being the highest-rated game on Metacritic for Vita, as well as topping many users' ‘best-of’ lists, cementing it as the definitive way to play the game. It’s worth noting that the previous game, Persona 3 Portable, is also available through PSP backwards-compatibility, although in a chopped-down format with some elements removed.

    If there was one Japanese game which could rival Final Fantasy X in the anticipation stakes, then it would be Metal Gear Solid 2. Hideo Kojima’s long-awaited follow up to his generation-defining masterpiece Metal Gear Solid was covered endlessly by gaming magazines and he even went to great lengths to conceal the identity of the main character. Both and the prequel 3 eventually came to Vita as Metal Gear Solid HD Collection in 2012, ported in style by Armature Studio who ensured smooth performance and tweaked controls. Combined with the PSP spin-offs Portable Ops and Peace Walker it made sure that Vita was the ultimate portable MGS machine.

    Another popular Japanese franchise from the PS2 era was Koei-Tecmo’s Warriors, which saw multiple releases across the Dynasty WarriorsSamurai Warriors, and Warriors Orochi variants. Each of these saw eventual sequels land on Vita – Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends, Samurai Warriors 4, & Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate provided updated versions of the traditional hack ‘n’ slash gameplay, while backwards-compatible PSP games including Dynasty Warriors Vol.2Samurai Warriors: State of War, and Warriors Orochi 1 2 ensured that fans would never go short of musou.

    Western developers played an equally important role in helping to define the PS2 with a variety of titles. A favourite genre for them, and one that served the console very well, was the 3D platformer. Headline titles included the Ratchet & Clank series, and the Lombax’s first three adventures were handily ported over to Vita in 2014, complementing the backwards-compatible PSP games Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank. Handled by the team at Mass Media, the games transitioned well to the handheld, being bright, colourful, and including additional trophies, although some issues with controls existed thanks to the lack of L2/R2 buttons.

    It wasn’t just Ratchet’s adventures that made it across to Vita either. Mass Media also ported the Jak & Daxter Trilogy from PS2 to Vita in 2013, although unlike Ratchet & Clank the ports were sloppily handled with low framerates and plenty of bugs (which made them a difficult proposition for handheld players, due to the fact that the actual games themselves were so good, although luckily the PSP-native games Daxter and Jak: The Lost Frontier ran better). Thankfully, Sanzaru Games’ work on the Sly Cooper Trilogy was much smoother – aside from some compressed cutscenes, the titles worked fantastically well.

    Sanzaru was also handed the reigns to the God of War series and ported over the first and second titles in the form of the God of War Collection in 2014. The franchise established itself as a technical tour-de-force on the PS2 very late in the console’s life (God of War II released in 2007), which sadly couldn’t really be replicated on Vita, but the games still provided a fun portable way to re-live the classics, particularly alongside the PSP-released prequels Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta.

    The PS2 was the de-facto home for many sports franchises too, including the ever-popular FIFA and Madden series. The Vita itself received multiple FIFA releases as well as Madden ’13. These were more refined (and portable) versions of their PS2 counterparts. Sony’s own Everybody’s Golf series also came to Vita (Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational in the USA) and provided the most challenging and fun entry in the series to-date, although if you preferred them then the two PSP entries - Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee and its sequel - are also available through the PlayStation Network.

    The PS2 wasn’t just home to blockbuster franchises though. Many smaller series thrived on it, and we saw a similar concentration of niche titles on the Vita throughout its life. Not least is Katamari Damacy, the bonkers ball-rolling adventure game that appeared in sequel form on Vita as Touch my Katamari – arguably the best incarnation of the franchise yet, despite a lack of innovation in the years that followed the original. Similarly, Bandai-Namco’s SD Gundam G Generation series, which had thrived on PS2, appeared on Vita as SD Gundam G Generation Genesis in 2016.

    Small otaku Japanese developers always found decent audiences on PS2, including Nippon Ichi Software with its Disgaea series and this continued on Vita. Both Disgaea 3 and 4 – sequels to the original games – appeared on Vita, while ports of the first two titles were also available on PSP (and are backwards-compatible with Vita). Another company which thrived on PS2 was Gust, which released multiple Atelier games as well as the Ar Tonelico games. Both received sequels or spiritual successors on Vita (Ar no Surge for the latter), cementing its status as a home to Japanese RPGs (the PSP port of Mana Khemia: Student Alliance is also compatible with Sony’s new handheld). The PS2 cult classic Trapt also received a Vita-native sequel in the form of Deception IV: Blood Ties, which kept many of the same gameplay elements in tact.

    But a special mention must go out to Vanillaware, which completely overhauled its critically beloved yet commercially ignored PS2 title Odin Sphere for Vita as Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, refining the gameplay and expanding the story significantly. It became one of the must-play games for the handheld in the process.


    Backwards-Compatible PSP Games

    While Japanese developers were undoubtedly at the top of their game during the PS2 era, churning out classics like Final Fantasy X and Metal Gear Solid 2, there was one key western franchise that helped define Sony’s home console like no other. That was Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto, which received two spin-off entries on PSP, both of which are fully backwards-compatible with Vita.

    The games – Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories – served as prequels to the mainline games on the home console and were both brilliant in their own right, thanks to smart tweaks to make them well-suited to handheld play while still cramming in the whole of the GTA universe. On Vita, they manage to fill a well-forgotten niche of open-world shooters that sadly wasn’t serviced by any other publisher and stand tall among the best games available on the system.

    Of course, with GTA‘s massive success, other franchises attempted to fill the same part of the market. Ubisoft’s Driver series transformed from a stunt-based city driver to full-on clone with Driv3r on PS2 and eventually received a PSP-exclusive prequel named Driver ’76 in 2007 which featured much of the same gameplay. Indeed, Rockstar’s own Midnight Club series had all the same open-world exploration except solely by car rather on foot. It received two entries on PSP which are playable on Vita – Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition and Midnight Club LA Remix. The PSP would actually be a favourite console for Rockstar – the developer also brought its controversial action game Manhunt 2 to both PS2 and PSP, as well as the licenced brawler The Warriors.

    Another company (much like Rockstar) that seemed to love the PSP was EA, which released a variety of franchises for the handheld. Leading the charge was Medal of Honor, which received an exclusive Heroes game designed around handheld play yet had all the hallmarks of the home console entries, providing one of the most robust online FPS experiences available on the go at the time. The title was successful enough to spawn a sequel a year later in 2008. Both games are currently playable on Vita in North America and thanks to the addition of an offline bot mode are still well worth buying today.

    EA experimented with other franchises on Sony’s home console, releasing multiple Sims games, including The Sims 2, Pets, and Castaway. These often provided bespoke experiences different from the home console versions and had you controlling one Sim through a more adventure-style game but still allowed free-form content creation. EA also saw fit to port SSX On Tour to the PSP, which to this day remains the best way to play the series in handheld format, even if the game itself isn’t the franchise’s high point. While all are now removed from the PlayStation Store, if you grabbed them while they were available they can be fully transferred to Vita.

    Another area that EA excelled with on PS2 was racing games, with some of its biggest selling titles on the console being in this genre. Thankfully the majority of these were also available on PSP. Criterion’s iconic Burnout series is available across two different entries – Legends was a compilation title that combined many tracks and modes from previous entries in one package, while Dominator was a brand-new title built specifically for Sony’s handheld. In addition, the long-running Need for Speed series has multiple entries available through backwards-compatibility – Carbon: Own the CityProStreetShift, and Underground Rivals, which cover a wide range of different types of street racing from night-time drag racing to team-based take-downs.

    Just like EA and Rockstar, Ubisoft was a big supporter of the PS2 and provided many portable versions of its key franchises. Ubisoft had seen big success on PS2 with Splinter Cell and in 2006 released Splinter Cell Essentials, which included a selection of missions and content from previous games in a single package. In addition to Tom Clancy games, the company also repackaged two PS2 Prince of Persia titles as Revelations and Rival Swords, which acted as direct ports of the home console versions (a strategy that was repeated with Brothers in Arms D-Daywhich translated the content of Road to Hill 30 and Earned in Blood into one portable package).

    Lara Croft had arguably been the face of the PS1, but sadly her star faded on the PS2 after a string of poor-quality entries. That was rectified somewhat with the release of Tomb Raider Legend, which also came to Sony’s handheld in 2006. This was followed by a remake of the original title as Tomb Raider Anniversary in 2007. Both games looked surprisingly beautiful on the PSP and played well, giving gamers a good way to take the PS2 experience with them on the go. A similar superstar from the PS1 era who faded was Crash Bandicoot, who received a reboot on the PS2 in Crash of the Titans and its sequel Crash: Mind over Mutant. These games, along with Crash Tag Team Racing, were all released for the PSP and are Vita-compatible in the USA.

    Conversely, a franchise that flourished on the PS2 was Star Wars, which was able to produce much more detailed worlds with the more powerful hardware. Arguably the best sub-series spawned during this time was Battlefront and the PSP received a number of these entries – a chopped down port of II, as well as Elite Squadron and Renegade Squadron. In addition, LucasArts ported its long-anticipated Force Unleashed in 2008 and a PSP version (based on the PS2 version) was released and ended up being one of the best-reviewed versions.

    Of course, Japanese developers were still active on PSP, although seemingly less likely to port their PS2 games across. A major exception came in the form of From Software, which actively ported its Armored Core games from home console to handheld, including 3, Silent Line, and Last Raven. Namco-Bandai also ported Tekken 5 from PS2 to PSP in the form of an expanded release (Dark Resurrection), but it was that game’s sequel that is currently available on Vita (Tekken 6). The latter largely features the same gameplay systems but is based on a PS3 release rather than a PS2 one. The company also released Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny, which was a spin-off to its popular PS2 fighter series.

    Sony itself was obviously a big part of both the PSP’s success as well as the PS2’s. IPs such as Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & ClankSyphon Filter, and WipEout appeared on both consoles (the latter receiving a Vita-exclusive entry, 2048, that felt closest to the PS2 entry Fusion). A big part of the PS2’s success, however, came from the ‘real driving simulator’ – Gran Turismo. This was one of the tentpole franchises on the home console across the 3rd and 4th entries. A PSP version had originally been pegged for release in 2005 as Gran Turismo 4 Mobile but only actually arrived in 2009 as Gran Turismo, touted as a fully-featured handheld spin-off featuring impressive graphics as well as 60fps gameplay, however the removal of the career mode left a bitter taste in some fans' mouths.

    Similarly, Sony’s SOCOM franchise had flourished on PS2, introducing online play in style thanks to its tactical, team-focused gameplay. Developer Zipper Interactive quickly shifted focus over to the PSP, releasing SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 1 early in the handheld’s life and both are available on Vita. Although online play is no longer available, they still provide a good dose of tactical action; something that was also seen in Zipper’s Vita-native game Unit 13 too.

    A smattering of other PS2 titles are available on Sony’s second handheld through backwards-compatibility. Multiple Disney/Pixar games including Cars, Ratatouille, and Wall-E have PSP versions based on the PS2 release, for example, and there are multiple LEGO games including LEGO Batman and LEGO Indiana Jones. All of THQ’s Smackdown vs. Raw games are also playable on Vita from 2006 to 2011, although they got quietly yanked from the store a while ago, meaning you can only get them if you purchased them beforehand.



    It’s likely impossible to create a handheld machine that would successfully provide a portable PS2 experience, due to the breadth of software that was available on it. No other console really managed to capture such mass-market appeal and obtain a variety of releases from top western publishers and tiny Japanese developers alike, in genres ranging from small-scale tactical RPGs to sweeping cinematic first-person shooters. As such, comparing the Vita’s library to the PS2’s seems like an almost mean-spirited thing to do.

    With that said, thanks to the PSP releasing at the height of Sony’s dominance of the gaming market (leading to many publishers attempting to cram their PS2 games onto the handheld) and the Vita releasing during a period where many studios were creating HD Collections for the current generation, the Vita puts up a damn good fight. It has access to a mix of cut-down spin-offs to PS2 games through PSP backwards-compatibility and fully ported versions of the original games, which is something no other handheld console really has (although as games like the Jak & Daxter Collection demonstrated, performance could sometimes be an issue).

    Still, there are a number of glaring omissions that aren’t playable on Vita. Key franchises like James Bond 007, Kingdom Hearts, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater aren’t available at all (despite each having PSP versions which aren’t available through backwards-compatibility) and others like Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Quest are only available on Vita in the form of spin-offs. Plenty of other PS2 mainstays are missing altogether (Dark Cloud, Deus Ex and Timesplitters), while others received HD remasters which somehow managed to skip Vita (Devil May Cry, Hitman and Okami spring to mind).

    I’m sure that in future, a portable emulator machine will be able to run PCSX2 extremely well and will act as the ultimate portable PS2, but until that point the Vita comes damn close. Its ability to play key franchises that defined the PS2’s life from Final Fantasy to God of War to Metal Gear Solid to Ratchet & Clank makes it a brilliant device, and the addition of the PSP’s library available through PSN just makes it all the better, meaning all-time classics like Grand Theft Auto and Tekken are accessible. Such variety in classic games is one of the reasons it’s my current favourite console and will likely be one that I keep hold of for a long, long time.

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  • scissors
    June 17th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    Bonus Level Entertainment’s FOX n FORESTS is an enjoyable if shallow experience that tries to capture the magic of modern throwback games. Shovel Knight rocked the world by showing us all how much we can enjoy such titles, while more recently a game like Celeste, which is absolutely fantastic, has evolved the formula by focussing heavily on narrative and emotion. Buried in the middle of such stellar titles are more average games that are playable but nothing special. This is the category that FOX n FORESTS falls into.

    In FOX n FORESTS you play as a fox mercenary that decides to help out the forests, which are becoming corrupted by various villains. The ultimate threat of a 'Fifth Season' (the game’s version of a doomsday) taking over the world is what drives the story forward, and you have to beat each world’s boss and collect the magic bark in order to unlock the next season to explore.
    The gameplay is, more or less, Metroidvania. There are various upgrades to health and energy to obtain, and weapon enhancements you can buy that not only make you more powerful but also allow you to unlock hidden parts of levels. These previously inaccessible areas in turn allow you to acquire other rare parts that you need to either make further advancements to your gear or to advance to new levels.
    Bonus levels and new seasons (or worlds) require a certain amount of magical seeds in order to play. I found this to be slightly annoying because I would beat a world but then would be unable to access the next one until I'd collected enough magical seeds from previous levels to advance. But then, in the final world, you don’t even need to try collecting things because you know you won’t need any of them, so you can just blaze through it all the way to the end of the final level. I still had to beat the boss, of course, and these tend to be pretty fun, each either encouraging or requiring you to use your season-controlling abilities to win. The last boss I died to probably 5-6 times before finally beating, which to me is the sweet spot of ‘not too easy and not too hard.’
    One of FOX n FORESTS's strength is a color-popping and cool aesthetic. Each level looks very different from the others, and all of them play a little differently too. The coolest part of this for me, in part due to the fact that The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Ages are two of my favorite games, is the fact that you can change the season in each level, which in turn causes various changes to the level's platforms and enemies. The season changer is timed out when your mana bar runs out, but it's a really fun gameplay feature that you have to use in order to get past certain obstacles and bosses.
    FOX n FORESTS is a slightly more bare-bones than something like Shovel Knight, and a whole lot less story-driven than Celeste, but it's a fun experience with enough gameplay changes and replayability to make it a fun time for the few hours it takes to beat. The reality is not many games are going to capture that nostalgic magic like Shovel Knight did, and this is a decent if unexceptional attempt at doing so.



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  • scissors
    June 16th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    Shaq-Fu should have stayed buried in the past. Often listed among the worst games of all time, the 2D fighter starring NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal first landed on Genesis and SNES in 1994 and became, in the years that followed, little more than a punch-line. Now, it's back in a crowd-funded sequel called Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn, a generic, tedious beat 'em up with a juvenile sense of humor and a meager running time. While it's not bad enough to rank among the worst games ever, it's certainly one of the worst of the year.

    A Legend Reborn is a globe-trotting adventure that follows Chinese orphan Shaq Fei Hung in his quest to defeat a string of demons masquerading as celebrities. With the help of his kung-fu instructor Ye-Ye, Shaq battles through six worlds and 40 stages in an attempt to save the world and discover his lineage.

    Developer Big Deez Productions advertised A Legend Reborn as "Streets of Rage meets Street Fighter meets Devil May Cry," but in reality it's just a simple 2D beat 'em up. Shaq has a collection of moves — including a basic combo, a shoulder charge, a ground pound, and a size-22 shoe attack — used to dispatch a motley assortment of demonic enemies. At certain intervals, Shaq can pick up weapons, including picket signs and barrels, or power up with the "Big D" mech suit or the Shaq-tus cactus outfit.

    While the fighting mechanics work well enough, the combat situations that use them are hopelessly tedious. Many enemies are cannon fodder worthy of a Musou game, and stage designs for the most part lack any invention. Those stages that do throw a curve ball into the mix, such as a late-game level where Shaq must kick boulders down a hill to defeat approaching enemies, are unfortunately drawn-out and repetitive. 

    That's A Legend Reborn in a nutshell: drawn-out and repetitive. The game is only three hours long, yet, with all its recycled scenarios and repeat enemies, it feels much longer and more tiresome. Even the power-up segments, where the muscle-bound Shaq transforms into a cactus or dons a suit of armor, are bland and boring. Players need simply hold down the attack button while dozens of demons march single-file to their deaths. Boss fights are slightly more entertaining, but, like most of A Legend Reborn, are more a test of patience than prowess.

    The game's deficiencies in pacing, enemy variety, and level design are compounded by some immature and often culturally-obtuse writing. Political incorrectness is fine — desirable, even, at times — but it should be used either to tell a funny joke or make a point. A Legend Reborn does neither. Its allusions to celebrities like Mel Gibson and Justin Bieber are old and tired, and its jabs at pop culture and ethnic stereotypes unfunny. There are a handful of amusing, knowing riffs on O'Neal's willingness to advertise products, but these are the exception to the rule.

    While writing is a low point, art direction is something of a high note. A Legend Reborn sports a colorful, exaggerated comic-book visual style that works well with its incredulous premise and irreverent demeanor. It looks, unsurprisingly, similar to publisher Saber Interactive's previous game NBA Playgrounds

    If there's a lesson to be learned from A Legend Reborn, it's this: don't build a game off a meme. While this latest Shaq-Fu game has a new back-story, a new genre, and a new attitude, it's basically as unfun and unmemorable as its namesake. Some additional modes or a co-op campaign (according to the developers, co-op will be added post-launch) would make things slightly more interesting, but wouldn't erase poor writing, lazy level design, and tedious enemy encounters. 

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    June 14th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    If you're a Nintendo gamer then you know that Nintendo very rarely offers discounts on its titles. Often, first party games prices aren't slashed until they come out in a 'Nintendo Select' form.

    But in a rare move Nintendo has discounted numerous games on the eShop to celebrate E3 2018 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

     Here's a small selection of key deals:

    NBA2k18 - $19.79

    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - $44.99

    Splatoon 2 - $39.99

    Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle - $29.99 (DLC is $19.99 and Gold Edition is 45% off at $43.99)

    Dragonball Xenoverse 2 - $24.99

    Fire Emblem Warriors - $44.99

    L.A. Noire - $37.49

    And the list goes on! It's one of the biggest sales Nintendo has had in recent years, so check it out if you're interested in grabbing some new Switch titles in particular.

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    June 14th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    The gaming and construction toy platform from publisher and developer Nintendo - Nintendo Labo - sold 316,753 units first week at retail, according to our estimates. First week sales can be viewed on the VGChartz Global Weekly Chart for the week ending April 21, 2018 and the VGChartz Europe Weekly Chart for the week ending April 28, 2018 for the sales in Europe.

    Breaking down the sales by each kit, Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con 01 Variety Kit was the best-selling version with 239,245 units sold (76%). The Nintendo Labo: Toy-Con 02 Robot Kit sold 77,508 units (24%). 

    Breaking down the sales by region, the game sold best in Japan with 122,620 units sold (39%), compared to 105,973 units sold in the US (33%) and 65,017 units sold in Europe (21%). Looking more closely at Europe, the game sold an estimated 10,112 units in the UK, 14,025 units in Germany, and 16,626 units in France.

    Nintendo Labo released for the Nintendo Switch worldwide on April 20 and in Europe on April 27.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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    June 14th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    Naughty Dog announced via Twitter The Last of Us has sold over 17 million units worldwide as of April 2018.

    The Last of Us originally released for the PlayStation 3 on June 14, 2013 and for the PlayStation 4 in July 2014.


    The Last of Us: Part II is currently in development for the PlayStation 4.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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    June 14th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    Despite the fact that E3 2018 will probably go down as one of the oddest and most laborious of the last half-decade, the event produced some worthwhile gameplay trailers. To that end, welcome to the fourth annual "Top 10 Gameplay Trailers of E3."

    For reference, here is last year's list. As always, only gameplay trailers are eligible.

    It was a tricky task to form a list of ten trailers this year, in part because so many publishers opted for cinematic CGI trailers or showed gameplay that looked, well, boring. Sorry, Kojima-san.


    Daemon X Machina

    Nintendo opened its E3 video with a new mech game from Marvelous Entertainment. Featuring character designs by Fire Emblem artist Yusuke Kozaki and mech designs by Macross' Shoji Kawamori, Daemon X Machina looks to offer up high-octane, stylish mech combat in a fluid anime style.



    In his video on Blossom Tales, Jim Sterling laid out the model of success for indie games: "you just be Zelda, and let the critics do the rest." Enter Tunic, a charming top-down action game in the mold of The Legend of Zelda, which premiered at Microsoft's presser. "Tunic is about exploring, fighting, and most importantly finding secrets," said creator Andrew Shouldice.



    Spider-Man made a top five appearance in last year's list, and here it is again at #8. This latest trailer for the PS4 exclusive showed off Spidey's combat prowess and his web-slinging abilities — all of which look amazingly fun. Fans also got a glimpse at a rogues' gallery of villains, including Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, and Vulture.


    Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

    As one of the most popular entries in the Tales series, Tales of Vesperia is a worthy pick for a current-gen re-release. Packed with additional content that western fans never had a chance to see, this definitive edition features new party members Flynn and Patty along with a hefty amount of additional content. 


    The Last of Us Part II

    Minus the superfluous bookends, the gameplay trailer for The Last of Us Part II was extraordinary — perhaps a bit too extraordinary. The series' trademark stealth action and on-the-fly crafting return, repackaged with even more brutality and cutting-edge graphics. Will the game play as perfectly as the gameplay footage would imply? Unlikely. Still, based on Naughty Dog's pedigree, this is a title worth watching.


    My Friend Pedro

    Leave it to Devolver Digital to show off the most wacky, inventive game of E3 2018. Described as "a violent ballet about friendship, imagination, and one man's struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana," My Friend Pedro is a 2.5D shooter from Victor Agren, formerly a developer at Media Molecule.


    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    After years of success with its Souls series and spiritual heir Bloodborne, From Software has distanced itself from the RPG framework that defined its most recent titles. Sekiro: Shadows Die twice is an action-adventure game that was "designed from the ground up, from scratch, as an entirely new concept, as a new game," according to director Hidetaka Miyazaki. It looks to focus deeply on swordplay, stealth, and vertical exploration.


    Rage 2

    Combine Avalanche Studios' open-world expertise with id Software's shooting prowess and what do you get? Rage 2, a sandbox shooter with a Mad Max road-rage aesthetic. Bethesda was generous this E3 with gameplay footage of its upcoming game, which will, surprisingly, feature zero multiplayer elements. "We're just focused on the best open world single player game that we can make," said designer Magnus Nedford. "I personally really believe you can make single player games really fantastic, so that's what we're focused on."


    Fire Emblem: Three Houses

    Over a year has passed since Nintendo first teased a Fire Emblem game for its hybrid Switch system. Now, thanks to E3 2018, we have more information. Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes place on Fódlan, where the Church of Seiros exercises control. It promises to retain the strategic turn-based action typical of the series, with a twist: formations of troops supporting individual units on the battlefield. 


    Metro Exodus

    In last year's list, Metro: Exodus claimed second place, finishing behind Super Mario Odyssey. Now it's number one with a bullet, thanks to a provocative gameplay trailer that shows off the vast overworld expanses and cramped underground bunkers of post-apocalypse Russia. 


    Thank you, as always, for reading. Sound off in the comments section with your personal favorite trailers!

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    June 14th, 2018GamespotUncategorized

    Bandai Namco has released a new E3 2018 trailer for Jump Force that showcases Dragon Ball, Naruto and One Piece fighters.

    View it below:

     Jump Force will launch for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC in 2019. 

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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