Replay – Valkyrie Profile

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Replay – Valkyrie Profile

This week on Replay, we take a look at a Japanese RPG from an era where the words Square and Enix were not joined by a hyphen.

Released in 2000 (1999 in Japan), Valkyrie Profile looked to Norse mythology for its world-base and told a darker story than its competition by exploring themes of life and death. It also had a pretty cool soundtrack. Andrew Reiner (who reviewed it for the magazine) is joined by me (who has never played the game) and Joe Juba – a huge fan of the series who would love to see a new entry.

Along with some awesome JRPG action (and by action, I mean admittedly slow story setup), we're joined by longtime Game Informer collaborator Zachary Pligge. Pligge is instrumental in helping organize our Extra Life charity efforts. In fact, he has already set up our page for accepting donations, which you can find right here.

The Ten Most Underrated Games Of This Generation

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The Ten Most Underrated Games Of This Generation

Each year, thousands of games are released across PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC. While bigger franchises like Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, and Resident Evil always get their fair share of attention, there are always a few games that don't get the recognition they deserve.

Here are ten of the best games you may have missed this console generation, and there's no better time to revisit these overlooked gems.

Salt and SanctuaryRelease Date: March 15, 2016
Platforms: PS4, PC, Mac

Top Of The Table – Bloodborne: The Card Game

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Top Of The Table – Bloodborne: The Card Game

Licensed board or card games don’t carry the same stigma as they do in the video game world. In video games, a licensed release has some preconceptions to overcome, thanks to years of lackluster cash-ins. In the tabletop world, some of the finest games every year are adaptations of existing properties from movies, comics, and video games. The recent release of Bloodborne: The Card Game joins the ranks of excellent card games that do justice to the video games they’re based on. Publisher CMON has put together a high-quality release that ensures a tense and action-packed game session for three to five friends, and a whole session plays in a little less than an hour. 

Designer Eric M. Lang has a prolific history in adapting big-name properties like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and XCOM. He has a talent for recognizing what makes a given franchise or world distinct, and then bringing that concept into the mechanics of his games. That’s especially true with Bloodborne, in which Lang has zeroed in on the fierce encounters between Hunter and monster, and found ways to emulate the quick pacing and constant character death that characterized the original video game. 

Miyamoto And Aonuma On Zelda's Balance Of Fan Feedback

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Miyamoto And Aonuma On Zelda's Balance Of Fan Feedback

With Game Informer's March cover story on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we took a deep dive into the mechanics and philosophy behind Link's next adventure. With today's video interview, we wanted to zoom out a bit speak with The Legend of Zelda's creator Shigeru Miyamoto and series producer Eiji Aonuma about the delicate balance of giving fans exactly what they want versus forging a new path and creating an unexpected gameplay experience. We talk about how the team is shifting away from elements of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and what details within Breath of the Wild best reflect their individual passions.

Watch the interview with Miyamoto and Aonuma below to learn more about Nintendo's philosophy toward focus testing and much more.

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Ranking Every Game In The Legend Of Zelda Series

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Ranking Every Game In The Legend Of Zelda Series

The Legend of Zelda franchise is among the most revered in gaming. Year after year, generation after generation, Nintendo's crack team of developers release consistently great entries that are almost always Game of the Year contenders. With the latest entry in the series, Breath of the Wild, right around the corner, we're looking back at the core games to this point and ranking them.

In our December 2009 issue, we ranked the top 200 games of all time. As you can imagine, several entries from The Legend of Zelda series appeared throughout that list. That list had different criteria than this one, but you below you can see how Link's adventures stood up to the rest of the list on our list of the top 200 games of all time in 2009.

1. The Legend of Zelda12. A Link to the Past
20. Ocarina of Time
61. Link's Awakening
63. Majora's Mask
90. Twilight Princess 

See Kidrobot's Entire Street Fighter V Blind Box Figures Line

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See Kidrobot's Entire Street Fighter V Blind Box Figures Line

When Street Fighter V released in February 2016, it was viewed as disappointing thanks to its lack of content at launch and technical problems. Fast forward one year and the game has improved thanks to Capcom's continued content updates. Because of this, several players have warmed up to the game. 

Regardless of your opinion of Street Fighter V's launch or its current state, the game is full of iconic characters and new faces that feature cool designs. Kidrobot sent us a case of its blind box vinyl figures to check out, and we thought taking a look at them would be a cool way to commemorate Street Fighter V's first birthday. Unlike the previous figures we looked at, the Street Fighter V line isn't as loyal to the original designs, with the bodies and heads looking more cartoonish in proportion. Still, I enjoyed seeing Kidrobot's takes on my favorite characters like Ryu, Ken, Cammy, and Chun-Li. Also, I really like the Necalli figure.

For more Kidrobot figures, check out the company's takes on Sonic the Hedgehog and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. For more of our thoughts on Street Fighter V, head to our review.

Nine Zelda Tropes You Won't Find In Breath Of The Wild

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Nine Zelda Tropes You Won't Find In Breath Of The Wild

Since The Legend of Zelda franchises first explored 3D with Ocarina of Time, the franchise has featured a number of staples that fans have come to expect from the series. Breath of the Wild aims to shake up these expectations. After going hands-on with the game for our cover, along with our observations we've been making since the game was announced, we collected a number of common features from the Zelda franchise that fans won't find in Link's next adventure.

A compass points the way – the compass has been a recurring item that could players find in dungeons since the first Zelda game on NES. With Breath of the Wild, Nintendo has removed this common item. Players don't really need a dungeon compass, because dungeons are a bit smaller and their features automatically fill out on your map as you explore the space.

"Dungeons have always been like mazes, so we needed that compass to let the user know where the bosses were placed," says Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma. "But then, as you probably saw, you can see the goal right away [in Breath of the Wild]. You won't get lost - you just have to figure out how to get there. We have over 100 Shrines, and because we wanted players to have fun find finding the dungeons and Shrines, there is actually a compass item users can use to help them find the Shrines."

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (February 16, 2017)

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 Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (February 16, 2017)

Another week full of blogs – and great ones to boot! It seems with the impending release of a new Zelda game, we all have Link and company on the brain.

Community Blogs For February 9 – February 15:

Everything Wrong with Battlefield 1 When StarterPack writes about issues he has with Battlefield 1, he gives us a thorough look at what worked and didn't. Also, don't get him started on the issue of the flamethrower.

RPG Grind Time – The Nintendo Switch And Its Promise For RPGs

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 RPG Grind Time – The Nintendo Switch And Its Promise For RPGs

Confession time: I wasn’t really that excited for the Switch, especially before its big reveal. I felt let down by the Wii U, which collected dust aside from a handful of games, and I didn’t see much on the Switch to garner my enthusiasm outside of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which I could play on the Wii U. So imagine my surprise when I tuned into the reveal and saw Nintendo grabbing plenty of my favorite RPG franchises for its latest console. Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Shin Megami Tensei. Fire Emblem Warriors, a Musou Fire Emblem/Dynasty Warriors crossover. Square Enix’s smaller, gorgeous-looking RPG, Project Octopath Traveler. Suddenly, I had unexpected excitement for the console. 

Miyamoto And Aonuma On Zelda's Storytelling And Breath Of The Wild's "Trick"

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Miyamoto And Aonuma On Zelda's Storytelling And Breath Of The Wild's

With the month of exclusive content surrounding Game Informer's March cover story on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we've already shown new gameplay and shared our full impressions of playing the game on the Nintendo Switch. Throughout the rest of the month, we'll be posting (more serious) interviews with The Legend of Zelda's creator Shigeru Miyamoto and series producer Eiji Aonuma to learn more about their process of steering the Zelda franchise and creating the latest game.

Breath of the Wild offers a new level of freedom and exploration to the Zelda series which left us wondering about the role of a guided narrative. We spoke to Miyamoto and Aonuma about how some of their previous comments surrounding storytelling in games have been "misconstrued" and some of the lessons learned from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Watch the full interview below to learn more about the team's approach to storytelling in Breath of the Wild.