tangled

Pixelkin’s Most Anticipated Games of 2019

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

A large number of games on our 2018 list of most anticipated games were delayed into 2019 – which is all the more reason to get excited for the new year! Next year will kick off with the very long awaited sequel, Kingdom Hearts 3, easily one of the single most anticipated games of the year. From there things get a bit less friendly-family, though still exciting, with the likes of Anthem, Mortal Kombat 11, and the Division 2.

The Switch is still going strong but as always Nintendo keeps its games close to its chest. For the purposes of this list, only games with 2019 release dates will be included.

Here are our most anticipated games of 2019!

For Younger Kids:

 

Kingdom Hearts III

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Date: January 29, 2019

The Kingdom Hearts series has become a bit of a convoluted mess of a story since its original inception back in the PS3 era. But it’s also a beloved series that uniquely combines JRPG storytelling and world building with official Disney characters and settings. A lot of Disney and Pixar films have released since Kingdom Hearts II in 2005 and we’re excited to see the worlds of Toy Story, Monster Inc, Frozen, and Tangled come to life.

Yoshi’s Crafted World

Platforms: Switch
Date: Spring 2019

Yoshi’s Woolly World was an incredibly delightful 2D platformer on the Wii U. Yoshi’s Crafted World looks like the perfect sequel, this time featuring a world of cardboard and paper. Levels feature a unique 2-in-1 design as you can flip them to traverse the backside to uncover more paths and secrets.

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

Platforms: Switch
Date: January 11, 2019

Nintendo knows not nearly enough gamers bought a Wii U and experienced many of the excellent games on that system. Many big Switch games are ports of Wii U games, and four-player side-scrolling New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe was is an obvious addition to that roster. The Switch version will feature two new playable heroes – Nabbit and Toadette and combines all the levels from New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U.

DreamWorks Dragons Dawn of New Riders

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, Switch
Date: February, 2019

Although it’s releasing near the same time as the highly anticipated third film in the How to Train Your Dragon series, the game stars all new characters: newbie dragon rider Scribbler and his unique dragon hybrid Patch. The gameplay looks a lot like Skylanders, and we mean that as a big compliment.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

Platforms: PS4, XBO, Switch
Date: June 21, 2019

Mario and company aren’t the only kart racers around. If you don’t have a Switch (or even if you do) and pine for some alternative family-friendly multiplayer racing, Crash Bandicoot’s Crash Team Racing is being remastered with new tracks, karts, and online multiplayer. Better yet, the formerly PS-exclusive series is coming also to Xbox One and Switch.

 

For Older Kids and Teens:

 

Anthem

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Date: February 22, 2019

Sure it may be “BioWare Does Destiny with Mech Suits” but none of that sounds unappealing. Anthem pits players as Freelancers who customize their own Javelin mech suits to combat the many exotic and powerful threats around the alien planet. The shared world features up to four players joining missions together. BioWare’s trademark romanceable companions won’t be a feature, but judging from the trailers the world will be full of interesting characters and events.

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

Platforms: PC
Date: February 14, 2019

Global warming and climate change are hot button topics, and Civ is diving in head first with its second expasnsion. Gathering Storm will add natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and active volcanoes. A new climate system will increase these disasters as Civs grow bigger and burn climate-destroying resources like coal and oil. Gathering Storm will also add eight new Civs and two new scenarios.

Shenmue III

Platforms: PC, PS4
Date: August 27, 2019

One of the biggest cult classics in gaming, the original Shenmue series on the Dreamcast failed commercially with its huge budget and production, but nostalgic fans helped crowdfund this third game. Shenmue 3 became the highest-funded video game in Kickstater (over $6 million), and we’re all desperate to see if that translates into a long-awaited winning formula for this unique adventure series.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Platforms: PC, XBO
Date: 2019

Ori and the Blind Forest was a stunningly gorgeous 2D action-platformer that combined tight controls, intriguingly intertwined level designs, and a gripping tale of loss, fear, and protection. The sequel wouldn’t need to change much to make it one of our most anticipated indie games of the year.

Psychonauts 2

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Date: 2019

Like Shenmue 3, Psychonauts 2 is another infamous cult classic that is being revived thanks to a large crowd funding campaign.  Game designer luminary Tim Schafer is known of many quality games over the years, but none as much as Pyschonauts, a 3D action game with Double Fine’s trademark humor and goofy characters about government agents who enter the minds of others. The surreal level designs and honest themes of mental illness should translate well into a modern sequel.

 

For Mature Teens and Parents:

 

Metro: Exodus

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Date: February 15, 2019

Post-apocalyptic Russia has never looked so good. Metro Exodus looks far bigger and more ambitious than the previous Metro games, while still incorporating an intriguing blend of survival horror, stealth, and first-person action.

Devil May Cry 5

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Date: March 8, 2019

Capcom made waves this year with Monster Hunter: World, and are looking to continue that success with the fifth installment in the over-the-top action series Devil May Cry. Devil May Cry 5 unites previous protagonists Dante and Nero along with a new third character. Expect lots of hacking, slashing, and musical mayhem.

The Division 2

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Date: March 15, 2019

The Division was a rough yet compelling multiplayer third person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic New York devastated by a pandemic. Over the months and years Ubisoft and Massive have supported the game with excellent updates, patches, and DLC. The sequel moves from New York City to the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. Look for a beta to start up before launch.

Mortal Kombat 11

Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, Switch
Date: April 23, 2019

One of the biggest names in games, let alone fighting games, was just recently announced at The Game Awards. The trailer was horrendously bloody and violent, which is exactly what we’d expect from a new Mortal Kombat. NetherRealm Studios is one of the best fighting game developers in the world and Mortal Kombat is definitely the favorite child.

Days Gone

Platforms: PlayStation 4
Date: April 26, 2019

Days Gone has been in development for several years as we’ve seen E3 stage demos since 2016. It stars rebellious biker Deacon in a zombie apocalypse that’s far less urban than most zombie fiction. A smart Deacon can use the dynamic weather, day/night cycle and wildlife to avoid and distract hordes of zombies – or lead them right into other people.

It’s shaping up to be a great year, and there’s so much more we don’t know about. Look for some exciting Nintendo news in the months to come. Happy New Year!

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!