dragon quest

Dragon Quest 11 Tips and Guide

Posted by | Feature, PC, PlayStation 4 | No Comments

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a massive game. For an RPG it’s very accessible and not particularly challenging, but there are a number of tips we can provide to help put you on the right path, especially if this is your first Dragon Quest game.

Follow Orders

Whenever an ally joins you for the first time, the AI will automatically handle them in combat. The AI is fairly competent, and you can change how you want them to spend their skills via the Tactics option at the start of any fight. However if you want to actually control them directly, you’ll need to set them to Follow Orders. You only need to do this once, and we’d recommend leaving it on for the rest of the game.

Handy Heal All

Dragon Quest 11 includes a convenient option to quickly top off your party HP in between battles. Simply open up the menu screen and hit Square (PS4) or X (XBO) to automatically apply healing magic and/or items to your party. It’s done in the most effective way possible, so you’ll never waste too much MP. Healing spells are generally cheap to cast, so keep everyone healthy!

Moving in Battle is Purely Aesthetic

Something that can easily confuse everyone when they first stat playing is the ability to manually move around in battle – it actually doesn’t do anything. Combat is entirely turn-based and doesn’t take movement into account at all. You can set the battle camera for a more fixed and dynamic view that we found more enjoyable.

Don’t Skip Too Many Fights

It’s painfully easy to avoid battles in Dragon Quest 11. Enemies are clearly visible on the map and their sight radius and speed are quite low. But you’ll still want to fight at least some enemies to keep up your experience and levels. Enemies can also be a great source of loot, either as random drops or by stealing with Erik.

It can also be very useful to fight at least one of each enemy in a zone. That way the enemy is added to your Defeated Monster List, which lets you see what items and materials they drop, in case you need to hunt it down later.

dragon quest 11

Half-Inch Hero

The first ally you acquire, Erik, is a classic rogue. You’ll want to unlock the first ability in his Guile tree, Half-Inch, as soon as possible. That gives him the ability to steal items from enemies. It’s a frustratingly low chance, however. Equip him with items that boost his Deftness, which raises his chance to steal. Often you can steal useful crafting items from enemies. Assuming a battle is going well, try and steal as often as you can. Note that you can only ever steal one item per enemy.

The Pep Power Itemized Kill gives you a guaranteed item from a single enemy. It’s worth doing every time you have the main character and Erik pepped up (the main character will need to learn Flame Slash, the first Sword skill, to unlock it). Check your Defeated Monster List for rare items that are worth going after.

Craft Everything

Dragon Quest 11’s crafting system is robust and rewarding. Crafting serves two purposes: crafting new equipment, and improving equipment. Often you can craft equipment better or equal to what’s available in stores using fairly easy-to-get materials (see above on not skipping fights). More importantly, crafting rewards Perfectionist Pearls, which you can use to Rework equipment. Every item can be improved up to +3, increasing its stats exponentially. Note that you can go from a +0 to a +3 in a single crafting session.

In the beginning it’s difficult to hit the right spot but the more you craft the more abilities you unlock and the more Focus you acquire. Eventually you’ll be able to craft the best equipment and keep it updated with minimal effort. Keep practicing! Note that you can only craft at campsites, but you can Zoom to any previous campsite in the world.

Stick to One Weapon Tree, But Switch When You Want

Everyone in Dragon Quest 11 has access to two or more weapon trees, but you’ll want to choose one and stick with it. This can be a tricky choice at first, but thankfully it’s incredibly easy to reset an entire skill tree’s worth of skill points at any save shrine or church, located in every town and campsite.

It’s not a bad idea to start some characters on one weapon tree, then switch them over later. For example, it’s very handy to give Erik a boomerang at first. Boomerangs hit multiple enemies and will act as one of your only AOE attacks until you get Veronica. Later you can switch him over to Knives, where he can eventually dual wield and apply Poison and Sleep.

Likewise Serena can wield a spear early on to help maximize your damage output. Later her melee attacks will fall off greatly compared to the others and you can comfortably switch her to Wands to boost her healing.

dragon quest 11

Here are our weapon recommendations for each character:

Main Character: Swords. Though he’s the only one who can wield GreatSwords, Sword + Shield provides a solid boost to defense and good skills. Work your way to the top of tree to get GigaSlash, Falcon Slash, and Dual Wielding.

Erik: Boomerangs initially, then Knives. As mentioned above, boomerangs are very handy as they hit everyone, but knives have much better abilities, and Erik can eventually dual wield them.

Veronica: Heavy Wands. Veronica has the highest Magical Might of any character. She’s the traditional offensive mage powerhouse and Heavy Wands will boost her magic. She’ll have enough MP to cast spells constantly, but you can always bonk ’em with the staff to get some MP back.

Serena: Spears first, then Wands. Serena’s melee attacks are decent when you first get her, and she can definitely help out in combat with a spear. Later switch her to Wands and keep her as your main healer.

Sylvando: Whips. Sylvando has a lot of options when it comes to weapons, but I wanted a whip wielder. Sylvando is rather unique in that his weapon skills aren’t nearly as exciting as his unique trees of Litheness and Showmanship. You’ll get way more usage out of Hot Lick, Fuddle Dance, and Hustle Dance than any of his weapon skills.

Jade: Spears have better abilities and more damage. Multithrust can do massive damage when she’s pepped up, with each hit capable of landing a crit. Note that she can still use both her Fisticuffs and Allure abilities regardless of her weapon type, and they often do a solid bit of damage.

Rab: Heavy Wands. You could play around with Claws at first. Like Serena his melee attacks aren’t half bad when you get him. But by then you’ve got much better melee fighters, and Rab is primarily a spellcaster.

[Spoiler]: Axes with a big ol’ shield. [spoiler] is the only character who can use Axes, and Axe abilities are crazy powerful, especially Parralax for single targets and Axes of Evil for multiple foes.

Dragon Quest

Prince (and Princess) Charming

Most of the Dragon Quest stats are self-explanatory, but Charm is a bit strange. Higher Charm leads to enemies occasionally losing a turn due to being enthralled with that hero. However, two of your allies use Charm for many of their abilities: Sylvando and Jade. Boosting Sylvando’s Charm stat increases the power of his Showmanship Tree, including the healing power of Hustle Dance. For Jade, Charm boosts her Allure tree.

It’s not necessarily worth boosting Charm to the exclusion of Resilience or Attack Power, but if you have the option, give those two all your extra Charm boosting equipment.

Metal Slimes Are Your Best Friends

Dragon Quest fans know to salivate when seeing the rare and elusive metal slime. These enemies are found very rarely accompanying other foes, and you should prioritize them immediately. They’re very hard to hit, immune to spells, and tend to run away, but you only have to hit them a few times to defeat them.

If you manage to kill one you’re rewarded with a massive amount of experience. Metal-specific abilities like Metalicker and Metal Slash can come in very handy, as well as any attack or weapon that hits multiple times.

There’s one unique Pep Power you can use to farm metal slimes. If the Main Character, Sylvando, and Jade are all pepped up, you can unleash the combo Pep Power “Electro Light,” transforming all enemies into metal slimes!

Stay Pepped

Your allies will enter a blue-hued Pepped up state upon dealing and/or taking a certain amount of damage. Their stats will be boosted for a number of turns, and they can also unleash powerful Pep Powers. Some of the most powerful moves involve Pep Powers with multiple heroes, but don’t unleash them too soon!

Using a Pep Power drains your Pep, so it’s better to stay Pepped up for as long as possible and enjoy the stat boost. You’ll know when your Pep is close to running out when the blue halo around the hero’s portrait begins to blink.

An interesting side effect to Pep is that it you can keep it for multiple battles. You can even switch party members out to store them in a Pepped up state for an upcoming boss fight.

Use these tips to get started on your journey to the World Tree. Good luck, Luminary!

playstation classic

The 15 Games We Want on the PlayStation Classic

Posted by | Feature, Opinion | No Comments

When Sony announced the PlayStation Classic, they teased only five of the 20 included games: Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms. The original PlayStation has plenty of great classics to get excited about, so we’re listing the 15 other games we’d like to see on the mini emulator. Some of these games face an uphill battle given licensing and company restrictions, so consider this our dream list representing multiple genres and gameplay styles.

The PlayStation Classic is launching December 3.

Final Fantasy 8

playstation classic

The Final Fantasy series was on a roll throughout the 90s. Final Fantasy 7 gets a lot of love and attention as one of the first big 3D JRPGs, but 8 is beloved by many as a worthy followup. It portrayed characters in a more realistic art style and featured a complex battle system that involved ‘drawing’ magic instead of using MP. Even with Final Fantasy 7 already announced for the PlayStation Classic, few PS1 fans could complain about including FF8 as well.

 

Final Fantasy Tactics

playstation classic

While the main series put out some of the greatest RPGs of all time, Final Fantasy also enjoyed an excellent strategy spinoff in Final Fantasy Tactics. The 3D chessboard-like battlefields provided fun tactical opportunities. Each character could switch between 20 different classes, creating endless combinations and replay value. It also introduced the world to Ivalice, a popular Final Fantasy universe that would later be utilized in the later Final Fantasy MMOs.

 

Metal Gear Solid

playstation classic

A relative late-comer to the PlayStation One, the action series Metal Gear Solid became renowned for its excellent stealth mechanics, practically inventing an entirely new subgenre of stealth games. The series went on to spawn bigger and better sequels through multiple generations of PlayStation consoles, making series director Hideo Kojima a household name for many gamers.

 

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

playstation classic

Speaking of inventing genres, Symphony of the Night reinvented the platforming of classic Castlevania games into something else entirely. It, along with Super Metroid (featured on the SNES Classic), are considered the progenitors of the ‘metroidvania’ genre, creating an open 2D world full of secrets, hidden paths, extra bosses, and numerous abilities, weapons, and spells to unlock.

 

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

playstation classic

Skater culture was all the rage in the 90s. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was the perfect confluence of tight controls and great game design that took full advantage of popular culture. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was the Madden Football of its day, and the sequel is often considered one of the best sports games of all time.

 

Resident Evil 2

playstation classic

The original PlayStation era witnessed the birth of the now classic horror series Resident Evil. The original was memorable but rough around the edges. The sequel opened up the action from beyond the mansion into the surrounding city in the grips of a zombie apocalypse. It remains a masterclass in creating uneasy tension through graphics, sound, and pacing.

 

Gran Turismo

playstation classic

The emergence of 3D was rough for many genres, yet racing games made an excellent transition thanks in large part to Gran Turismo. The racing simulator quickly became one of best-selling games on the console, featuring a staggering 140 licensed cars and cementing the genre’s popularity for years.

 

PaRappa the Rapper

playstation classic

Without the dance pad there’s not a good way to include Dance Dance Revolution but that doesn’t mean the PlayStation Classic should turn a blind eye to the then-emerging rhythm game genre. PaRappa fills that requirement nicely, as the titular anthropomorphic dog matches symbols flying across the screen to right beats.

 

Tomb Raider

playstation classic

With the success of the recently rebooted trilogy, it would be more than appropriate to revisit the game that started it all. Tomb Raider was one of the best 3D action-adventure games of its time, spawning a host of sequels and immortalizing beloved heroine Lara Croft for decades to come.

 

Chrono Cross

playstation classic

Chrono Cross was the highly anticipated sequel to one of the best RPGs on the SNES (and best RPGs period). The time-traveling adventure explored alternate dimensions with a ridiculously huge cast of characters and a highly customizable spell system. It also features one of the best soundtracks ever produced.

 

Crash Bandicoot

playstation classic

Some may only know Crash Bandicoot from Skylanders, or maybe from that certain sequence in Uncharted 4. But back in the day, Crash was considered the Mario of the Sony PlayStation. He never quite achieved the popularity of the mustachioed plumber, but he still starred in some solid 3D platformers, spawning several sequels and spinoffs.

 

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

playstation classic

Hack and slash action games were still in their infancy in the early days of 3D gaming. Legacy of Kain helped pave the way by putting you in the shoes of a powerful vampire. Raziel could employ a large variety of weapons, glide with his wings, and use the environment to defeat his enemies.

 

Medal of Honor

playstation classic

One of the biggest and most popular shooter franchises today, Call of Duty, can be traced all the way back to the PS1 with the original Medal of Honor. Originally developed as a video game version of the seminal World War 2 Steven Spielburg film Saving Private Ryan, the series really took off thanks to its split-screen multiplayer mode.

 

Metal Slug X

playstation classic

Our dream list is woefully short on cooperative games. Thankfully the perfect series exists for couch co-op. The Metal Slug games were 2D, arcade-like shoot ’em ups that reveled in over-the-top 80s and 90s era action movies. Players could find different weapons as power-ups and even command vehicles against gigantic bosses.

 

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysse

playstation classic

True to its name, Oddworld was a 2D platformer in a bizarre alien world. At a time when many games were experiencing the technical woes of early 3D design, Oddworld gave us refreshingly beautiful 2D art and animations, with a great balance of action and puzzles.

dragon quest 11

Dragon Quest 11 First Impressions

Posted by | Feature, PC, PlayStation 4 | No Comments

I’m about a dozen hours into Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age and the smile has rarely left my face. Dragon Quest is one of the most resilient RPG franchises in video game history. The latest installment proves why it’s such a winning formula by embracing its classic roots while sprinkling in many welcoming improvements and features.

If you’re a newcomer to the series, Dragon Quest is a bit like Final Fantasy. It’s a classic 50+ hour Japanese RPG with each entry a standalone adventure (save DQ 10, which was an MMO).

The series has been around since the 1980s. Many classic RPG genre conventions and tropes can trace their roots back to those early games, including young protagonists, destroyed villages, character classes and skills, turn-based battles, and lots of side quests and dungeon crawls.

Dragon Quest 11 doesn’t try to change or alter that basic formula at all. You play as a silent, unnamed young orphan boy. You’ve grown up in a quaint village and upon coming of age, discover that you are the chosen one and set off on a heroic journey. I’ve checked off several major JRPG boxes right there. Yet DQ 11 doesn’t feel trite or tiresome. It embraces its tropes and character archetypes proudly and earnestly. It helps that the production values are the best of any Dragon Quest game to date, including full voice acting in all of the numerous cutscenes.

dragon quest 11

Akira Toriyama’s instantly recognizable character and monster art has been beloved for decades, and looks amazing when blown up in all its colorful, charming glory. Battle screens play out like an action-packed Saturday Morning Cartoon, yet still operate exactly like a classic turn-based console RPG. You can move your characters around just for funzies, which is a nice touch without altering the formula of attacking, casting spells, activating character-specific abilities, and engaging in souped up Pep Powers.

The Pep Powers are a new element in battle. Occasionally characters will enter a Pep state that grants increased stats for a few turns. If multiple characters get Pep’d, they can unleash awesome combo attacks with various effects. I do wish there was an actual visible bar or meter for how close Pep is to activating. But retaining Pep though multiple battles is a nice feature.

Crafting with the Fun-Size Forge is also new to the series, and it’s one of the better crafting minigames I’ve seen. Acquire recipes from quest rewards, chests, and bookshelves and gather materials from slain monsters to make new equipment. New weapons, items, and accessories must be hammered out on the forge by hitting target areas using different abilities. Hitting the right spots grants better stats on the crafted equipment. The more you craft, the more abilities and stamina you unlock, making the entire system very rewarding and satisfying.

dragon quest 11

Crafting can be done at any campsite out in the world, which is another fantastic addition. No longer do you have to huff it back to town (or use the handy Zoom spell) to rest up and save your game. In every field or area there’s a campsite with a merchant, a save point, and a forge. You can rest to heal up as well as change the time of day, which alters which monsters are in the field. And speaking of healing, simply opening the menu screen and pressing a single button will heal your entire party as efficiently as possible, using healing spells, then healing items, so you can jump right back into the action.

The story is still getting started, and I’ve only recently acquired the fourth party member. These are very long RPGs – in fact DQ 11 has the audacity to play the opening movie and title screen after a certain event several hours into the game. The early game is a bit slow and battles have been fairly simple, but the deeper I get the more satisfied I am with the world, characters, skill system, and combat.

Given the length I can’t yet comment on how well the whole thing holds together. But my early impressions leave me very impressed. I’m a relative late-comer to the series, having first played Dragon Quest 9 on the DS back in 2009, before enjoying the 3DS remakes of DQ 7 and DQ 8. Dragon Quest 11 is probably most similar to DQ 8, and I mean that with all the praise that entails as DQ 8 is widely considered the hallmark of the series.

Dragon Quest 11 may just be the best Dragon Quest game to date. Even if you don’t know your Metal Slimes from your Healing Slimes, RPG fans are in for a treat.

Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age is rated T for Teen.

no man's sky

Revisiting No Man’s Sky Two Years Later

Posted by | Feature, Opinion, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One | No Comments

Even if you never played the game, chances are you’ve heard of No Man’s Sky. The universe-spanning indie game proved incredibly ambitious coming from tiny studio Hello Games, who helped steer the hype train all the way to its release in Fall 2016.

The shoe dropped rather spectacularly, creating one of the bigger video game dramas in recent history. It launched with loads of technical bugs and problems, and even on launch day consumers weren’t sure if the game supported actual multiplayer (it didn’t).

The result was a massive drop-off in players and a huge round of refunds. Hello Games went quiet, for better or for worse, but kept plugging away at the game.

no man's sky

Since then they’ve released four major content updates, all free. These updates have updated, improved, and changed major aspects to the core game, including adding land-based vehicles, base-building on planets, and controlling a fleet of frigates. The latest update, titled No Man’s Sky Next, officially added multiplayer support, nearly two years after launch.

With two years worth of updates, No Man’s Sky is unquestionably a better game than the original launch version. It sits comfortably as a more relaxing, friendlier survival-crafting game that emphasizes exploration above all else, yet it still falls far short of its initial grand ambitions.

Star-Crossed

From the beginning I’m able to quickly jump into a game with a friend. Despite the fact that the universe supports countless planets to explore, only four players can join a game together. When joining a game you plop down near the location of the host player. If you want to return to single player, you can reload and seamlessly return to back where you left off.

no man's sky

The multiplayer is oddly the least impressive new change. Having a friend to bounce around planet withs, firing lasers together isn’t terribly exciting, at least in the early game. Not being able to opt-in with sharing resources, inventory, or even missions is a terrible constraint that highlights multiplayer as a tacked-on feature rather than built into the gameplay.

I didn’t have much luck with random folks either. While exploring a planet I had a quaint fellow named “Lucifer69” join my server. This fine chap proceeded to ram into me with their space buggy, bounce all around me, and begin firing their terrain manipulator at the ground beneath me, trying to bury me in a makeshift cave. Players can’t really hurt each other but they can certainly be an awful nuisance. They were the only other human being in our entire universe, and I hated them.

Builder Better Worlds

I hadn’t played No Man’s Sky since that ill-fated initial launch, so all of the previous updates were new-to-me as well. The base building is solid and well-integrated into the tutorial. It doesn’t do anything I hadn’t already seen in other survival games like ARK: Survival Evolved, however. I gather resources by blasting rocks and trees, and use them to construct walls, doorways, and roofs.

Bases provide a nice sense of permanence, though No Man’s Sky’s themes are still deeply rooted in pressing forward and continuing to explore the stars, not necessarily putting down roots. Thankfully many of the important buildings, like the refinery, are built to be mobile and easily picked up when I’m ready to move on to the next planet.

I haven’t yet unlocked the ability to build land vehicles or purchase my own frigate, but those are definitely interesting goals to work toward. The ongoing story campaign feels roughly the same, and I actually enjoy the way it holds your hand through every step of the process, whether it’s how to craft Antimatter or teaching me to refine Ferrite Dust.

no man's sky

Space Stations have also been vastly improved. No longer are they embarrassingly big and empty. Now they’re full of aliens milling about, all of whom can be interacted with. Some provide side quests, other trading opportunities or gifts. It’s not exactly Mass Effect’s Citadel but it makes the universe feel much more alive.

My primary issue with No Man’s Sky’s is similar to most survival games – it demands a large amount of your time before it gets interesting. The early game is still very much about shooting lasers at rocks, though inventory management is much improved these days. I start with a larger inventory on both my exosuit and my starting ship, and receive less random items that I have to travel all the way to a settlement or space station to sell.

The economy of resources and credits is more streamlined, which is also No Man’s Sky’s greatest strength. Since there’s no food or hunger bars and most fauna aren’t hostile, the universe is a much more relaxing space to explore.

The bleeding-color art style evokes classic sci-fi literature at its purest form, before Star Wars pretty much took over the genre and made space all about war. I love Star Wars as much as the next geek, but what No Man’s Sky provides is a journey into a science fiction universe I rarely see in games or any media. One that’s primarily about making new discoveries and taking striking screenshots.

The procedurally generated universe can still provide endless hours of exploration, though you’ll quickly see through the curtain after less than a dozen hours, recognizing the basic template of every rock, tree, creature, and planet. The universe loses its sense of wonder after that, and even traveling planet-to-planet with friends doesn’t quite hold up to the ambitious space game we dreamed about. No Man’s Sky is definitely a better game now that it was two years ago, but it remains a cautionary tale of over-hyped glitz that was doomed to disappointment.

Fortnite

The Parents’ Guide to Fortnite

Posted by | Feature, Mobile, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Tips for Parents, Xbox One | No Comments

Shove over, Minecraft and Pokémon GO, there’s a new gaming phenomenon in town. Over the last year Epic Games’ Battle Royale-style shooter Fortnite has become one of the most popular games on the planet.

Even if you’re not a teen or the parent of a teen, there’s a good chance you’ve at least heard of Fortnite. But what is it exactly? Is it okay for younger kids to play? How much of it is online interaction? What does Battle Royale mean? Read our Parent’s Guide to Fortnite for answers to these questions and more.

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite was developed by Epic Games, the makers of Gears of War, and first launched in Summer 2017 as a paid Early Access title. The plan was to allow people to pay to jump in and play the game in an earlier, beta testing state, while transitioning the game into a free-to-play title supported by paid loot boxes in 2018.

The game was actually much different than the popular version that everyone players today. It was originally a cooperative tower defense and action game. Up to four friends and online players could jump into games together and select a map with an objective. From there everyone ran around collecting loot while building bases and defending against waves of enemies.

The action was light-hearted and reflected the cartoony art style, but the gameplay was mediocre and repetitive. Read our Early Access Preview.

What about Battle Royale?

“Fortnite” technically refers to two separate game modes, which have since evolved into two distinct games: Fortnite: Save the World and Fortnite Battle Royale. The original tower defense game mode became known as Save the World when Fortnite Battle Royale was released.

Last year PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) was heating up as an extremely popular online game, featuring a Battle Royale free-for-all.

fortnite battle royale

Battle Royale is a subgenre of competitive online shooters and action games. It takes its name from the 2000 Japanese film in which a class of teenage students are captured, dropped onto an island, and forced to kill each other to survive. Think government mandated Lord of the Flies. Or The Hunger Games.

In video game terms, Battle Royale games drop their players (both PUBG and Fortnite use 100 per server) onto a large island. Everyone starts empty-handed and must quickly scavenge for weapons and supplies. A shrinking circle keeps everyone close together, and if you die, there’s no respawning. The last player (or team) standing is the winner.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds popularized the concept, but Epic Games applied it to Fortnite, creating an entirely separate free-to-play game mode called Fortnite Battle Royale. Now when anyone refers to Fortnite, they’re most likely talking about Fortnite Battle Royale. Fortnite: Save the World still exists, but lacks the popularity of its PvP sibling.

It’s free to play? Can players spend money?

Yes and yes. Fortnite Battle Royale was launched as a completely free-to-play game, and it’s available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, as well as mobile devices.

Fortnite is primarily supported by its seasonal Battle Passes (in Battle Royale) and random loot boxes (in Save the World). The Battle Pass allows players to unlock a series of cosmetic loot rewards, such as new outfits and parachutes. Players can then either earn them through playing, or pay more money to unlock them faster. Think of the Battle Pass as an optional subscription service, each one costing about $10. Players can also buy cosmetic items directly from the shop.

Loot Boxes have come under fire in the gaming industry as a controversial form of gambling. In Fortnite’s case, all of the purchasable items and loot are cosmetic only, leading Fortnite to be considered one of the less insidious free-to-play games.

Many consider Fortnite to be an example of free-to-play done right, and players can easily enjoy themselves in the game without spending a dime. That Rangarok outfit sure looks cool, but it confers no actual in-game bonuses or advantages. It just looks cool.

Note that consoles and mobile devices have parental controls allowing you to disable in-app purchases.

fortnite

What about the rating? Is it okay for kids to play? Is it Online only?

Fortnite is rated T for Teen by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. The primary gameplay involves eliminating other players, but the action, like the art, is very cartoony and stylized.

The Battle Royale mode is technically a bit less scary than the original Save the World incarnation, as it lacks the hordes of cartoonish monsters. On the other hand it’s all too easy to be eliminated quickly, through no fault of their own, and be left spectating for the rest of the match. Fortnite is highly competitive, and like any competitive match, can bring out both good and bad qualities.

As an inherently online game, it’s saddled with the typical toxic chat channel that plagues many online games. There’s no voice chat at all in solo mode. Text chat be be turned off in-game, but there’s no parental lock for it. The general consensus is for kids to be at least 13 before venturing into any online game.

Note that the other popular Battle Royale game, PUBG, has a Mature rating and features more realistic visuals and depictions of violence.

Is it okay for my kid to watch others play Fortnite?

As a highly competitive, tense game, Fortnite is increasingly popular as a spectator sport. In the growing age of YouTube, Twitch, and constant live streaming, Fortnite’s popularity for streamers is undeniable.

But this question is more about YouTube and Twitch culture than it is about Fortnite specifically. Find out which streamers your kids are watching and do a bit of research into their personality and their video content. Most streamers are charismatic and entertaining for young people (and quite skilled at the game), but some have unsettling videos or toxic beliefs that they readily impart on impressionable viewers.

Currently the most popular Fortnite streamer is Ninja (neé Richard Tyler Blevins), who has risen in popularity along with Fortnite itself, becoming the most popular streamer on Twitch with nine million followers. Ninja is sponsored by Red Bull and has helped raise money for charity, as well hosted celebrities on his Fortnite stream.

Fortnite Battle Royale

Are my kids playing too much?

The primary concern about Fortnite isn’t tied to the game itself, but how much time kids and teens are devoting to it. To much of any activity, to the exclusion of anything else, is a bad thing, and that can include gaming.

With Fortnite it may be easier to set limits on matches rather than a set time. An average Fortnite match takes about twenty minutes, and players aren’t going to want to stop playing in the middle if they’re still alive. Thus “one more match,” may be easier to dictate than “10 more minutes” when setting time limits.

Fortnite continues to grow in popularity, recently surpassing an astonishing 100 million downloads on mobile devices. It’s not going away anytime soon, but with a little understanding it needn’t be so worrying.

jurassic world evolution

Jurassic World Evolution Tips and Tricks Guide

Posted by | Feature, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One | No Comments

Jurassic World Evolution isn’t a particularly challenging or demanding theme park sim, but it has its quirks, and does a poor job explaining many of its systems. On any of the remote tropical  islands within the Muertas Archipelago the Oooh-ing and Ahh-ing can quickly devolve into running and screaming. Or worse, you simply run out of money, whether through guests’ lawsuits or poor planning.

We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help prove that a dinosaur theme park can be a successful, and profitable, venture.

One Career, Six Islands

Jurassic World Evolution operates a bit differently than most building sims. You have a single career that carries over between islands. Your progress towards dinosaur DNA as well as all research unlocked at the Research Center carries over between each island park. Cash, however, is tied to whatever park you’re currently playing.

This means it’s a good idea to stay on an island even after hitting three stars and unlocking the next island. Since you should have a sizable cash flow by then, finish getting 100% on each dinosaur fossil you have access to as well as any research. This will make starting over again on the next island a bit easier.

jurassic world evolution

You should also try and complete each of the division Missions before moving on, as you cannot complete the next island’s Mission until the previous one.

The island parks are paused while you’re not running them. You can easily return to earlier islands after unlocking better dinosaurs and research, which will make attaining the full five stars much more manageable.

The sixth island, Isla Nublar, is the infamous site of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, and also a big money-less sandbox. Build the park of your dreams!

Request Contracts

Each island will feature multi-step Missions for each of the three divisions: Science, Entertainment, and Security, as well as smaller, randomized Contracts. You don’t have to wait for these Contracts to periodically appear.

Go to the Control Center, and the Contracts tab in the lower left. From there you can Request a New Contract to randomly generate a new one. You can even choose from the three divisions. It may not be one you can complete in a timely fashion; you can always decline them without any repercussions.

Because of the chance for high cash rewards, you should always be working on a full queue of three Contracts at all times.

Jurassic World Evolution

Maintain Balance Between Divisions

It can be tempting to focus on increasing your reputation with only one of the three divisions in order to quickly unlock their rewards. Increasing reputation also comes with a nice cash loyalty bonus if you favor a certain division, and their building, should you build it (unlocked from the first island’s reputation), will yield more income.

However, you run the risk of sabotage from any of ignored divisions. That’s right, if you ignore their contracts and mission for too long and don’t fill up the bar, they will actively sabotage your park, including poisoning your dinosaurs and shutting down the power. This can create some devastating scenarios at inopportune times. Try to keep all three reputation bars steadily increasing to avoid any nasty sabotage.

Apply Building Upgrades

Remember that building upgrades aren’t automatically applied after you research them. You have to manually apply them to the appropriate building. If you research Improved Output 1.0, for example, go to a power station and click over to the upgrade tab to apply it.

Note that most upgrades cost a bit of power, so make sure you have a surplus.

Improved Ouput and Outage Protection are must-haves for every power station. The Ranger Station upgrades are also solid, given that you’ll be using them to do just about every task in your park.

Dino Care

Guests needs are important, but priority should always go to your dinosaurs. An unhappy dinosaur is a security risk and a huge financial liability. Viewing a dinosaur’s statistics will let you see their various needs and ratings for food, water, and population. The most important bar is Comfort. A distressed dinosaurs will slowly lose comfort. Once it reaches their red bar, it will attack the nearest fence and escape, wrecking havoc on nearby guests.

Some dinosaurs are much easier maintained than others. Typically more expensive, higher rated dinosaurs are more difficult to keep happy, and require very specific parameters of grass, forest, and population numbers, which is mostly discovered through trial and error (or this excellent spreadsheet).

Be especially wary of dinosaurs with a large red bar in their comfort level, like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Indominous Rex, and Velciraptor. Those dinosaurs will break out at the drop of a hat.

Jurassic World Evolution

Social vs. Population

Each dinosaur has two separate bars for Social and Population. Social is how many of that dinosaur’s own species they like to have around them. Large carnivores, for example, typically don’t like to compete, though you can house up to three Ceratosaurus fairly peacefully.

Some dinosaurs will panic if they don’t have enough of their own kind. Torosarus and Dracrex will immediately start panicking if they don’t have a buddy nearby, and preferably at least a handful.

Population is the total number of dinosaurs within an enclosure. While Dracorex loves having a couple of its own kind, its Population tolerance is actually low. Put more than about half a dozen dinosaurs with it and its unhappiness will lead to attacked fences, escapes, and constant headaches for you.

On the other hand, the hadorsaurus family (Corythosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Parasaurolophus) have large Social and Population thresholds – they love having lots of friendly herbivores around them. Use them along with other friendly, social herbivores like Triceratops and Brachiosaurus to fill out a large mega-herbivore enclosure in every park.

jurassic world evolution

Double The Fences

Something I discovered by accident is that you can build fences on top of fences, creating a double perimeter. The new fence will automatically wrap around the old. It’s not a bad idea to double the fence line for your more ornery dinosaurs, giving you some extra time to either fix the dinosaur’s needs once they start attacking, or fire up the ACU and Ranger jeep for the inevitable break out.

Wildlife Photographer

If you don’t like getting up-close with your dinosaurs, you’re playing the wrong game. Manually driving a Ranger vehicle lets you take pictures of your dinosaurs. Photographing certain dinosaur actions, like hunting, fighting, and eating, can satisfy some Contracts, but it’s also a nice bit of side income when you don’t have any pressing concerns and you’re waiting for the coffers to fill.

Taking pictures doesn’t cost you anything but time and can net thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars. Try to stage as many dinosaurs as possible in a frame.

Mixing Carnivores and Herbivores

Generally meat-eaters and plant-eaters aren’t going to get along very well, even in a very large enclosure with multiple goats running around. T-Rex wants to hunt, after all. However, there are a few successful combinations.

Dinosaur size is the biggest thing to be aware of when mixing. If herbivores are significantly larger than the carnivores, the carnivores won’t be able to mess with them. Though the herbivores may feel panicked on occasion. There are some exceptions. Try putting several Velociraptors in a pen with a defenseless Corythosaurus. Maybe save your game first.

An example of a successful mixed enclosure is a handful of Deinonychus with a pair of Ankylosaurus. The Deinonychus won’t be able to touch the lumbering tank-like Anks. Just make sure the enclosure is big enough where the Anks won’t feel threatened all the time, and put their feeders on opposite ends.

jurassic world evolution

Killer Dinosaurs

In the early stages of each park every single dinosaur matters. Everything outside of the Struthiomimus is fairly expensive. You definitely don’t want them eating each other.

But once money becomes less of a concern, you can employ the dubious tactic of breeding dinosaurs for the sole purpose of feeding them to your big carnivores. These large meat-eaters, such as the early game Ceratosaurus, can attain very large star ratings by fighting and killing other dinosaurs, like Torosarus.

Modify the genes of your large predators to increase their attack and defense ratings, then breed unmodified herbivores with weaker stats, but who can still fight, such as Torosaurus. Winning battles will earn them Combat Infamy and a bonus to their star rating. It’s a particularly good tactic for islands where you don’t have space for more dinosaurs and enclosures, such as Isla Pena.

Give your star predators time to heal between bouts. You can also hop in a Ranger jeep and shoot them with medical darts, which will actually heal them during the fight!

Use the Management View

The eye icon is the Management View, and it lets you cycle through several different overlays of your park. This is important to see where you need to build your guest amenities such as gift shops.  and fast food.

Guest needs are primarily built around two areas in your park – hotels, and all of your various viewing galleries, platforms, and gyrospheres. While it may make aethsetic sense to drop a row of shops and eating at your park entrance, it’s not going to make your guests happy unless they are near a hotel or a dinosaur enclosure.

Think of all these guest facilities as having a hidden radius around them, and you want that radius to touch as many of your viewing galleries as possible. Since hotels house a large number of guests, you should also surround them in food, drinks, and fun.

We Need More Burgers

Every guest building can only serve a certain number of guests, depending on how many staff members you have empoyed. It’s hidden behind the dollar sign tab on each buildling, which also lets you adjust which item is being sold and for how much.

If you see the number of guests are full (like 320/320), click on Manage Staff to to hire more staff and accomadate more people. Always do this before buying an entirely second building to fill the same needs. On an island, space is a premium!

One Big Monorail

Every park has a Transport Rating, and the only way to improve it is with a monorail. The monorail’s job is to ferry folks from your park entrance to your hotels, reducing the downtime between arrival and dinosaur viewing.

If you go to the Management View you can also see that monorails act as mobile viewing galleries. Build them so they weave their way around and through your dinosaur enclosures to improve your Dinosaur Visibility rating.

A single monorail track should be able to cover your entire park. Stick a a few stations near hotels and hotspot locations, and your Transport Rating should remain solid all the way to five stars.

jurassic world evolution

Clever Girl

Fans of the movies will recognize the Velociraptor as being particularly dangerous. It’s no different in Jurassic World Evolution. Their Comfort threshold is exceedingly low, meaning they’ll get upset and attack the fences at the slightest provocation, whether it’s too many trees, too few of their own kind, or adverse weather conditions. This makes raptors rarely worth the headache of breeding them compared to other dinosaurs – but you’ll need them to complete several Island Missions.

To avoid instant Social concerns breed multiple raptors at a time and release them one after the other. What could possibly go wrong?