Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (February 23, 2017)

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Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (February 23, 2017)

A wide variety of blogs this week give us some great content to read, and I implore you to do that very thing!

Community Blogs For February 16 – February 22:

Japan's Protagonist Problem Blogger MightyMagikarp is here to write about what he thinks of Nippon's video game heroes. He writes that character tropes are used too often. I mean, how often do we have a hero with amnesia? But then again, Japan has brought us some excellent characters recently. What do you think?

Nintendo Switch Unboxing Photo Gallery And Size Comparisons

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Nintendo Switch Unboxing Photo Gallery And Size Comparisons

With the Nintendo Switch set to launch in just over a week, we decided to open our system and get a good, close look at it. In addition to looking at the Switch itself, we put the new Nintendo device and its various components next to other systems like the Vita, 3DS, and Wii U GamePad to show just how it stacks up to other consoles and handhelds you may have in your house. We did the same for our copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Switch box contains the Switch itself, the docking station, the right and left Joy-Cons with straps for each, the Joy-Con grip controller, an HDMI cable, and a power cable. Nintendo Switch launches worldwide on March 3.

Check out our photo gallery below and stay tuned for more coverage as we get closer and closer to launch.

Here's How The Switch Interface Looks (And Sounds)

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Here's How The Switch Interface Looks (And Sounds)

With the launch of the Nintendo Switch a little over a week away, Nintendo hasn't shown off one important detail about the system: the interface.

Luckily, we've finally had some hands-on time with the system and can show you what it looks like. The system is still missing a mysterious (and likely substantial) day-one update the public will have access to when they get the system, but the video below offers a glimpse of what it'll be like to futz around with system options before you inevitably dive into Breath of the Wild.

Join Ben Reeves and me, Buttz, as we look at title screen, make Miis, and listen to the dazzling sounds of the Nintendo Switch.

Your 2017 Guide To Pokémon Go Eggs, Evolution Items, And More

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Your 2017 Guide To Pokémon Go Eggs, Evolution Items, And More

Pokémon Go captured the world when it launched in summer 2016. Beyond the excitement of traveling to new locations to catch monsters and meet like-minded trainers, one of the things that made Niantic's collaboration with The Pokémon Company so interesting was the mystery that surrounded nearly every element about the game.

The mystery was thrilling at first, but after a while, being in the dark wore on users of the app, and they decided to do something about it. Players scoured their local areas, data-mined the app, and started crowd-sourced sites on where to find the best monsters and how to be the most efficient trainers they could be.

Each time a new major update hits, the sense of mystery in Pokémon Go is reinvigorated. However, thanks to the methods discovered and created by players in the original release, light is shed on each successive update quicker than ever before.

Should You Give PlayStation Now Another Shot?

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Should You Give PlayStation Now Another Shot?

PlayStation Now is a premium service that first released in 2015, allowing subscribers to stream over 100 PS3 games to a variety of devices. The product of Sony’s $380 million acquisition of cloud streaming company Gaikai, expectations were high that the service would help to bring cloud-based gaming into the mainstream. However, a number of factors, such as an unexpectedly high price point, minimal selection of games, and frequent internet connection issues, kept the service from truly breaking out. While the service still has stalwart defenders, it’s fair to say that interest has waned.

While the service may have been written off by many, a lot can happen in just a couple of years. We took a look at Now’s most common complaints at launch and whether or not the grievances have been addressed and improved. More than two years later, is PlayStation Now worth another shot?

Complaint: Small Game Selection

The Virtual Life – What Makes Horizon Zero Dawn's Heroine Remarkable

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The Virtual Life – What Makes Horizon Zero Dawn's Heroine Remarkable

Horizon Zero Dawn launches next week, and we've been exploring Guerrilla Games’ surprisingly photogenic take on the post-apocalypse. You can read our review here. At first glance, Horizon Zero Dawn doesn’t seem that different than most open-world games. It might even be fair to call it a bit of a hard sell given just how many fantastic, content-packed games in a similar vein have been released in the past few years.

However, one of the many ways that Horizon stands out is with its protagonist, Alloy. Fellow Associate Editor Elise Favis and I sat down to talk about Aloy, and what makes her so remarkable.

Javy: Alright, so let’s get to it, Elise. What makes Aloy so cool?

Eiji Aonuma’s Top Three Zelda Games And One Underrated One

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Eiji Aonuma’s Top Three Zelda Games And One Underrated One

After spending a lot of time talking to Eiji Aonuma about Breath of the Wild, we took a step back to ask him about the wider series, specifically about his favorite games in the series. Aonuma was familiar with the Zelda series prior to working at Nintendo as a fan, but Ocarina of Time marked his first occasion as a person in charge. He co-directed Ocarina of Time, directed the three follow-up Zelda games, and then became the overall producer for the series.

We asked him to rank his top three Zelda games which he joked, "I could just say it in in the order of my wife’s preference," after sharing his list. At the bottom of the list you will also find what he considers to be the most underrated Zelda.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess"Twilight Princess, because I wanted to create something better than Ocarina."

For Honor Is The Fighting Game For People Who Don't Like Fighting Games

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For Honor Is The Fighting Game For People Who Don't Like Fighting Games

Strutting around an alcove atop a dilapidated castle as a Shugoki – a hulking brute wielding a giant kanabo club weapon – I see a Valkyrie quickly approaching. I’ve fought her before, and I know her playstyle: Go for the guard break to disarm defenses, then relentlessly attempt to push the enemy off the edge. 

I know what’s going to happen before we fight: thinking that I think it’s ridiculous to go for a guard break five times in a row, that’s exactly what she plans to do. So I club her five times in a row, shutting her down and whittling away most of her health. Desperate for a kill, she jumps backward into a defensive stance, hoping to charge forward and knock me off the edge. I don’t see it coming, but I don’t have to: My hulking body can withstand a single hit without flinching, so when I spread my arms to go for a bear hug, I swipe her up mid-charge and finish her.

The Coolest Pokémon Sun And Moon Cards We Pulled From Booster Packs

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The Coolest Pokémon Sun And Moon Cards We Pulled From Booster Packs

Pokémon Sun and Moon were enormous successes for Nintendo when they launched on 3DS in 2016, and the makers of the Pokémon Trading Card Game hope to capitalize on that popularity with the new Sun & Moon expansion. The expansion boasts hundreds of new cards featuring the new monsters that debuted in the latest games, as well as new cards featuring classic monsters in either their original or Alolan forms.

We were sent a box of 36 booster packs, as well as the three theme decks that feature the three starters from Sun and Moon (Litten, Popplio, and Rowlet) all the way up to their third forms. We pulled the ones that were either the coolest or most powerful from the packs we opened. 

Scroll to the gallery below to see our favorite cards we opened from the Sun & Moon expansion. For our favorite cards that we pulled from the more retro-facing Generations and XY Evolutions expansions, head to this gallery.

Four Things To Know About Halo Wars 2

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Four Things To Know About Halo Wars 2

Adapting what has been primarily a PC genre to the console can be a challenging task riddled with uncertainty.  And while the original Halo Wars was regarded as a triumph in bringing real-time strategy mechanics to the Xbox 360, Creative Assembly (Total War, Alien: Isolation) was charged with building upon the series' proven formula for Halo Wars 2.

Kyle Hilliard and Ben Reeves bring you four things to know before deciding if the game is right for you, and break down the main modes of play.

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