Replay - Soulcalibur Legends

about X hours ago from
Replay - Soulcalibur Legends

This week on Replay we're looking back at a pair of oddities: Wii exclusives based on popular franchises, which explore new genres.

Our main game, Soulcalibur Legends, is especially strange since it's a Wii Remote-waggling action game based on a franchise that, up until the release of this game, was exclusively an fighting game. Our second game is similar in that it is another Wii exclusive from a popular franchise that also explores a genre it which it normally does not dabble.

As always, thanks for watching Replay, and make sure to tune into our Super Replay of Vampire Hunter D, which will also see a new episode this weekend!

Our Most Anticipated Tabletop Games of 2018

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Our Most Anticipated Tabletop Games of 2018

2017 was a stellar year for the tabletop hobby. Dozens of excellent new games arrived on our tables, from intriguing abstract strategy games to sprawling legacy adventures that could last hundreds of hours. Our Top Tabletop Games of 2017 is a good place to start if you’re looking for something to try out with your friends and family. Now, we turn our attention to what’s coming next, as 2018 promises to be another banner year for the hobby. 

Here are 10 of the most anticipated games targeting release in 2018. Entries span a variety of genres and game styles, and are listed alphabetically.

The Dark Knight is returning to tabletops once again, this time in a design strongly inspired by Monolith’s previous Conan board game, which won accolades back in 2016, including a slot on our 2016 Best Tabletop Games list. The new Batman game casts one player as a supervillain in a distinct story-based scenario, while the other players take on the role of Batman and his allies, working to subvert the dastardly plan. Monolith has already shown off some of the intricate miniatures that players can expect to find in the game, but the real excitement comes from the return of this amazing combat system, which puts tremendous flexibility into the hands of players to attack, defend, and maneuver in interesting ways. 

Everything You Need To Know About Boats In God Of War

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Everything You Need To Know About Boats In God Of War

Many things are changing in the new God of War. Sony’s Santa Monica Studio is reimagining combat, moving to Norse mythology, and taking the narrative in a different direction. Those are the large-scale changes, but the game also explores new territory for Kratos in smaller ways, like having him traverse some of the Scandinavian wilderness by boat. Though this isn’t a revolutionary feature by video game standards, why boats are prominent in God of War – and how they enhance its storytelling – might surprise you.

Kratos and Atreus use boats for the same reason the rest of us do: They can’t swim where they want to go. Despite his limited experience exploring underwater in previous games, swimming is not part of Kratos’ repertoire in this God of War. Creative director, Cory Barlog, explains why: “As we started looking at, first, the crazy amount of investment for full 3D swimming to be awesome, and, second, to have a character follow you in in full 3D swimming, the programmers kept giving me that look.”

RPG Grind Time – Confessions Of An Item Hoarder

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RPG Grind Time – Confessions Of An Item Hoarder

Ever since I started playing RPGs, I’ve stood by my motto: “No treasure chest left behind!” Yes, I’m an item hoarder. My inventories are always jam-packed with things I don’t use. I’m that person who ends a game with 99 health potions all because I didn’t want to waste one on the wrong battle. Whenever there are multiple paths in a dungeon, I must explore all of them in fear of missing out on a special item. Lately, I’ve been thinking more about why my playstyle is like this. It’s more than just part of my strategy – I also just flat-out like to explore, and I consider the various things I collect as mementos from the journey.

The Secrets Of God Of War's Concept Art

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The Secrets Of God Of War's Concept Art

Cool video game concept art is fun to look at, but it can also be more than a pretty picture. It can provide insight into a game’s development, hinting at a studio’s ambitions and experiments at the time of its creation. Plus, concept art can also portray the last glimpse of plans that never came to fruition – pictures of what might have been.

All of this is certainly true for the new God of War’s concept art – but you wouldn’t know the details just by glancing at it. That’s why we talked to creative director Cory Barlog about a selection of pieces from various stages of the game’s development. He explains what the art depicts, as well as what it means for the game as a whole.

Click on the pictures to enlarge. All commentary below is from God of War's creative director, Cory Barlog.

The 2017 Adventure Game Of The Year Awards

about X hours ago from
The 2017 Adventure Game Of The Year Awards

This past year introduced a number of adventure games that excelled in storytelling, as well as pushed the boundaries of how narrative and story intertwine. Some, like Thimbleweed Park, gave adventure fans a remarkable homage to a beloved era, while others told impactful stories about mental health and coming of age, like Night in the Woods. Here are the best adventure games from 2017.

Best Narrative – What Remains of Edith FinchWhat Remains of Edith Finch tells a handful of short stories about a family that meets both grisly and untimely deaths. Its riveting narrative keeps you invested, with interactive vignettes that are simultaneously whimsical and somber. Whether you're playing from the perspective of an infant in a bathtub or seeing reality and fantasy become indistinguishable from one another, these narrative moments are some of the best we've seen all year.

Science-Fiction Weekly – What To Expect From Star Wars: Episode IX

about X hours ago from
Science-Fiction Weekly – What To Expect From Star Wars: Episode IX

Step aside, George R. R. Martin. Rian Johnson apparently enjoys offing characters more than you do. Johnson’s apparent bloodlust resulted in a surprising number of deaths in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Supreme Leader Snoke didn’t make it to the third chapter, but now lies in three parts. Luke Skywalker is catching up on much-needed father and son time within the Force. Vice admiral Amilyn Holdo is stardust, and Captain Phasma is likely ash. Johnson even killed off Admiral Akbar, two porgs, and almost all of the Resistance. That last one is the most significant in terms of shaping the forthcoming sequel. The Resistance barely exists, and the call for help to others in the galaxy wasn't heard.

Yes, there is the kid with the broom who represents hope existing. The weight of that reveal becomes more important if vast amounts of time pass between the events of The Last Jedi and Episode IX. If little time passes, the opening scroll for the next chapter could be along the lines of "The Resistance is in desperate need of help," or "The First Order tightens its grip on the galaxy." If years pass, the opening could be "Rey is training a new generation of Jedi, and "The Resistance is taking on a new shape."

The 2017 Adventure Game Of The Year Awards

about X hours ago from
The 2017 Adventure Game Of The Year Awards

This past year introduced a number of adventure games that excelled in storytelling, as well as pushed the boundaries of how narrative and story intertwine. Some, like Thimbleweed Park, gave adventure fans a remarkable homage to a beloved era, while others told impactful stories about mental health and coming of age, like Night in the Woods. Here are the best adventure games from 2017.

Best Narrative – What Remains of Edith FinchWhat Remains of Edith Finch tells a handful of short stories about a family that meets both grisly and untimely deaths. Its riveting narrative keep you invested, with interactive vignettes that are simultaneously whimsical and somber. Whether you're playing from the perspective of an infant in a bathtub or seeing reality and fantasy become indistinguishable from one another, these narrative moments are some of the best we've seen all year.

The 2017 Sports Game Of The Year Awards

about X hours ago from
The 2017 Sports Game Of The Year Awards

We're approximately halfway through this home console generation, and 2017's slate of sports video games is a mix of new features, updates to old favorites, and pleasant surprises. So before we turn the page on the year and anticipate what steps forward 2018's glut of titles brings us, let's survey what we achieved in 2017.

These awards were decided upon by the entire GI staff, and while it has many of the year's expected heavy hitters, they exhibit a variety of successes and different experiences to enjoy.

Best Story Mode – FIFA 18 Alex Hunter isn't the new kid on the block anymore, but the second installment of this story mode succeeds in part because it still keeps us interested in the character and his life on and off the pitch. Alex's story conveys a mix of glitzy stardom and newfound wonder while also grounding Alex as a person within the fast-moving world of soccer. Playing as different characters at appropriate times breaks up the game schedule, which is less monotonous than last year. The mode still needs to add better context around the clubs and leagues that Alex plays in, as well as improve his progression system, but we very much look forward to the third installment in Alex's story.