gog

Week-long GOG Sale Features 150+ of the Most Wishlisted Games

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A new sale kicks off today for digital PC store GOG.com. The Most Wanted Games Sale highlights over 150 of the most wishlisted games on GOG, up to 85% off. The sale ends April 23.

Unsurprisingly the top spots on everyone’s whishlists are dominated by big RPGs. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its expansions hold the #1 spot (The Witcher 3 was developed and published by GOG owners CD Projekt). It’s currently 60% off.

Clocking in at #2 is the seminal 1999 cRPG Planescape: Torment, which is still lauded as having one of the more memorable stories and best writing in gaming (67% off). A spiritual sequel, Torment: Tides of Numenera, released last year from InXile Entertainment (it’s 50% off on the Most Wanted Sale).

At the third spot is the other seminal cRPG from that Golden Age, Baldur’s Gate II (75% off). Note that as with Planescape: Torment you’re technically buying the Beamdog-developed Enhanced Editions. Both games include their unaltered originals and the Enhanced Editions have generally been well received.

Other highlights of the Most Wanted Sale include a mix of classic and modern favorites: Divinity: Original Sin 2 (15% off), Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (35% off), Darkest Dungeon (60% off) and Superhot (50% off).

Does you wishlist line up with the general community’s? Or are you like me, having purchased most of those games already and now your wishlist is an eclectic assortment of less popular games that never go on sale? Harrumph.

The Most Wanted Games sale ends April 23. In related GOG news, if you pre-order Battletech you can get Shadowrun Returns for free, while a pre-order of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire nets you Wasteland 2.

chrono trigger

Chrono Trigger Patch Adds Original Graphics Option

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Having one of the most beloved games of all time on Steam should have been cause for celebration. Yet Chrono Trigger’s arrival last February was met with scorn when fans found it was mostly a port of the mobile version, with made-for-touchscreen menus and updated graphics.

To Square Enix’s credit they have listened to fan feedback with the first patch, available now. The patch adds an option to switch between an Original Graphics mode which, according to the announcement, “is more in-line with the original style of Chrono Trigger.”

The patch also updates the fonts and dialogue windows and reworks the opening animations, all to make the game feel more like the original 1995 SNES version. Or at the very least, the lauded 2008 Nintendo DS port.

Future updates will add additional changes and updates to the UI and menus, including optimizing for gamepad, keyboard, and mouse controls.

Square Enix is also extending the duration that fans can purchase the Limited Edition of Chrono Trigger. The Limited Edition includes some PC wallpapers, a five-song medley track, and composer Yasunori Mitsuda’s digital liner notes. The Limited Edition is now available until April 30.

Chrono Trigger originally launched in 1995 from a dream team of Japanese RPG game designers, and has remained one of the most cherished and influential RPGs in gaming. It’s currently available on mobile and PC, and was conspicuously absent from the Super Nintendo Classic Edition last fall. It’s rated T for Teen.

pokemon go

Pokémon GO Celebrates Earth Day with Special Event

Posted by | Mobile, News | One Comment

Niantic, Inc is teaming up with charitable organization Playmob to host an Earth Day Clean Up event with Pokémon GO on April 22.

“Earth Day is an incredible movement and opportunity to team up with friends and neighbors to focus on making the world and our own communities healthy and sustainable,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic. “We’re looking forward to joining Trainers around the world in their efforts to clean up and preserve the environment in support of the world’s oceans and Mission Blue.”

The Pokémon GO Earth Day Clean Up is a series of events that invites the Pokémon GO community to join together and help clean up the environment in certain areas. A total of 37 events are listed in 12 countries. Find the list of area events here.

“We know gaming can be an amazing force for good” adds Jude Ower, founder and CEO of Playmob. “It’s a pleasure to work with such a purposeful and innovative studio and the inspirational and devoted teams behind Mission Blue and all the supporting NGO partners, collaborating on what we see as the start of a bigger movement towards global solutions through play.”

Trainers will receive a special avatar item to celebrate Earth Day. Rewards will be unlocked for all trainers if enough people participate in the Earth Day event, which lasts 48 hours. If at least 1,500 people join, everyone will receive twice the Stardust when catching Ground, Water, and Grass type Pokémon. With 3,000 participants, trainers will receive three times the Stardust.

The Pokémon GO Earth Day Clean Up even takes place April 22.

legendary pokemon

Get Entei and Raikou as April’s Legendary Pokémon

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The Year of Legendary Pokémon continues as April introduces the legendary tiger-like Pokémon Entei and Raikou, originally from Pokémon Gold and Silver.

Beginning April 4, Nintendo 3DS owners can download the Pokémon for free via the Nintendo Network for Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. The promotion for this pair will end April 25.

Redeeming through Sun or Ultra Sun will net Entei, while Raikou will join owners of Moon and Ultra Moon. The Ultra versions will be level 100 and have much more powerful moves, while the Sun and Moon versions will be level 60.

Here are the instructions:

  • Open your Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Ultra Moon game.
  • Select Mystery Gift on the main menu.
  • Select Receive Gift.
  • Select Get via Internet, then Yes to connect to the internet.
  • Watch as you receive your Pokémon!
  • Resume the game, make sure you have an empty space in your party, and speak to the delivery person in any Pokémon Center to receive your Pokémon!
  • Be sure to save your game!

Both Legendary Pokémon hail from the Johto region featured in 2000’s Pokémon Gold and Silver, otherwise known as Gen 2. Gold, Silver, and Crystal were recently ported to Nintendo 3DS.

Entie is a Fire type known as the Volcano Pokémon. Raikou is the Electric type Thunder Pokémon. Both Legendaries, along with the Water type Suicine, could be found as random events throughout Pokémon Gold and Silver. The three of them are called the Legendary Beast Trio, but the monthly giveaways this year have only allowed for up to two Pokémon. See the full schedule of monthly Legendary giveaways.

In related Pokémon Legendary news, Latias and Latios have been added to Pokémon GO for a limited time. Starting this week the Dragon and Psychic Pokémon will appear in Raid battles depending on the region. Initially only Latios will be available in North America, until May 8. Then the pair will switch locations. They will leave the Raid Battles on June 5.

skylanders

Ranking All Six Skylanders Games

Posted by | Feature, PlayStation 4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One | No Comments

Skylanders fans haven’t been feeling confident about the series lately. Activision announced last year that there would be no Skylanders 7 release, the first year a new Skylanders game hadn’t released since the series began in 2011. We’ve been given no new updates on the future of the once stalwart kid-friendly franchise.

Yet the series has not yet been officially canceled (unlike Disney Infinity) and a third season of the solid Netflix Skylanders Academy series is due to air later this year.

For now fans can revel in the sales of older games and figures. Whether you’re a newcomer to the toys-to-life series or a reminiscing veteran, we’ve compared all six primary Skylanders games and ranked them from weakest to strongest.

 

6) Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

skylanders

New Gimmick: Toys to life!

Best Skylanders: Stealth Elf, Drobot, Cynder

Once upon a time, toys-to-life was a relatively brand new concept. Activision and Toys for Bob looked for a recognizable, kid-friendly gaming hero to leverage. Enter Spyro, the sassy but good-natured dragon, who helped pave the way for an all-new action series using physical figures as a unique form of DLC.

Spyro’s Adventure may earn points for being the original, but it just doesn’t hold up when compared to later entries. That’s more a testament to how well the series has steadily improved rather than any glaring weaknesses in the original game.

5) Skylanders: Giants

skylanders

New Gimmick: Extra-large Giant figures

Best New Skylanders: Flashwing, Ninjini, Pop Fizz

A second Skylanders game the very next year raised a few eyebrows, but Skylanders assuaged many fears by seamlessly carrying over all previously leveled figures from the first game, creating an important precedent that cemented the series’ popularity for years. Out of all the games here, Giants is the safest sequel, not rocking the boat too much but still steadily improving on level and figure design.

The new Giants gimmick likewise wasn’t anything fancy. They were big, lumbering brutes who are almost more of a hassle to play than anything else, though the actual designs are fun, like Eye-Brawl who could detach his giant flying eyeball.

4) Skylanders: SuperChargers

skylanders

New Gimmick: Vehicles and racing

Best new Skylanders: Stormblade, Splat, Spitfire

By the fifth entry, Activision was looking at other successful family-friendly series to add a whole new dimension to Skylanders. They settled on Mario Kart-style kart racing. It wasn’t exactly a demanded feature by fans, and the result was a ham-fisted addition that didn’t feel entirely welcome. Vehicle segments were both forced (land) and optional (sea and air) and ranged from traditional racing to vehicular combat, 2D exploration, and shoot ’em up brawls.

The Skylanders themselves played a diminished role during the often annoying vehicle segments, and the controls left a lot to be desired. The on-foot gameplay was still solid, and the figures were decent. While it was fun seeing new remixes of familiar characters, like a gun-wielding Stealth Elf, it meant less new characters overall.

3) Skylanders: Trap Team

skylanders

New Gimmick: Trapping and playing villains

Best new Skylanders: Krypt King, Gearshift, Blackout

Ah, the inevitable Pokémon clone. For the fourth game, Trap Team lets you battle against a roster of fun new villains – and then capture them inside special trap crystals. Sold separately, of course. Playing as the villains was like a special powered-up mode and a lot of fun – particularly the way the captured villains taunted from the speakers on the portal itself.

You needed one of each trap element to play as all the villains, but you could mix and match them within their elemental types. Much speculation was given as to how the traps would be incorporated into future games, and the answer was, unfortunately, not very well if at all. Save for a few standouts the new Trap Master figures were generally disappointing, and requiring them to unlock everything in the game was irksome.

One standout feature that Trap Team added: tower defense survival mode. These were fantastic challenge modes, built for various levels of Skylanders, and a fun way to earn experience and level up outside the main game. They also played perfectly in co-op. For whatever reason, the mode was dropped in future games.

2) Skylanders: Swap Force

skylanders

New Gimmick: Swappable figures that can mix top and bottom halves

Best new Skylanders: Roller Brawl, Free Ranger, Spy Rise

The third game in the Skylanders series was the first developed by Vicarious Visions, instead of series creator Toys for Bob. Like the annualized Call of Duty series, Activision would appoint two studios to keep up with the yearly output of new entries. Vicarious Visions created an excellent entry that provided some of the biggest, best level designs the series has ever offered. Plus you could finally jump, a first for the series that opened up the level designs even more. But the real treat was the incredibly cool swap gimmick.

In one what is unquestionably one of the neatest concepts in a Skylanders game, special Swap Force figures could be taken apart and mixed together to create unique combinations. It was fun to play around with the toys, and also created a lot of really fun and interesting combos in-game, supported by new challenge mini-games and dual elemental gates.

Swap Force also featured Time Attack and Score modes for providing challenging replay value, and was the last Skylanders game to include PVP arenas.

1) Skylanders: Imaginators

Skylanders Imaginators

New Gimmick: Create your own Skylanders

Best new Skylanders: Kaos, Golden Queen, Ambush

It’s not fair to declare that Skylanders Imaginators was the first game to finally get it right, as each game had their strengths. But Imaginators combined a brilliant new gimmick, the best line-up of new figures, a fully realized loot system, and a more free-roaming overland map to create the best Skylanders experience yet.

The ability to create your own Skylanders was made possible by piggy-backing on Trap Team’s trap concept. Separate Crystals were sold that could house a single created Skylander. The Crystal determined its element, while you could select on of 10 different weapon styles. Within those parameters, you had multiple basic attacks, weapon attacks, and elemental moves to choose from as you leveled up.

All in-game rewards were tied to loot chests, which gave out new customization pieces, weapons, and skins for your custom Skylanders. There was an astonishing amount of loot to collect, making your Skylanders journey fun and rewarding, though they may suffer a bit from Frankenstein syndrome.

Imaginators couldn’t gotten by on that concept alone, but Activision also released the best wave of figures Skylanders had ever seen. The Senseis were all new, medium-size figures that had the best designs and gameplay we’ve seen yet, and the Villains let us play as our favorites from Trap Team as proper leveled figures.

Story structure and level design saw vast improvements as well. No longer were we stuck in a hub world, going through each level chapter by chapter. Now we could free roam around a board game-like overworld, exploring hidden secrets, taking side paths, and finding mini-games. It cannot be overstated how much this improved every aspect the game. If you can only play one Skylanders game, make it Skylanders: Imaginators.