5 Fantasy RPGs To Play If You Like D&D

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5 Fantasy RPGs To Play If You Like D&D

Ask anyone who has been involved with the tabletop role-playing scene for a long time, and they’ll confirm that we’re in the middle of a golden age for the hobby. A number of factors – including livestreamed shows, remote play options, crowdfunded projects, and mature design – have led to an explosion of interest in the role-playing experience.

Without a doubt, the latest version of the original tabletop RPG, Dungeons & Dragons, remains a driving force for the current success across the industry. The excellent 5th edition has done wonders for uniting disparate fan groups of the game around an approachable (but still nuanced) fantasy role-playing system. As a player of various editions of that game since childhood, I’ll be the first to recommend the current edition of D&D to both newcomers and old-timers.

At the same time, the breadth of the hobby has grown so much that I also recommend players consider the tremendous variety of other games on the market today. Even if you desire to stay mostly within the bounds of the fantasy milieu, there’s no shortage of options. And that’s without even stepping beyond into other genres or playstyles, which could easily occupy a whole range of additional articles like this.

5 Takeaways From The Elden Ring Leaks

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5 Takeaways From The Elden Ring Leaks

Since the cryptic cinematic reveal in 2019, players haven't heard or seen anything official from From Software's Elden Ring. With the dynamite success of Sekiro, Dark Souls III, and the rest of the Souls saga, expectations are high for From Software's next contribution to the subgenre they put on the map with Demon's Souls a decade ago. Recently, some blurry snippets of what's purported to be Elden Ring footage have leaked, as these things sometimes do. Bloodborne aka Project Beast was famously leaked prior to release, showing off what would be an incredible and horrific dive into the unknown.

After Sekiro, we've all had tons of questions about Elden Ring. How will it iterate on From's dark fantasy formula? Well, if these alleged clips are something to go on, we can answer a couple of those burning inquiries. Please note that this footage was likely ancient in game development terms, never meant to be screened to the public, and any number of these elements could be changed or completely nonexistent when we finally see the game for real. There are often huge changes in development that players never know about. That said, let's look at a few elements...

How The Marvel's Avengers Game Can Turn It Around

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How The Marvel's Avengers Game Can Turn It Around

Marvel's Avengers has an incredible single-player story, which made it very odd that Square Enix chose to market the Crystal Dynamics game heavily as a multiplayer experience. With so much of a focus on playing with friends, the endgame component of the Marvel game left little to be desired. Many felt that the grind was not worth the effort, a problem that games like Destiny 2 have faced, and with the response to those complaints being to make the title even more of a grind, we couldn't help but wonder what the heck the studio is doing and offer up a few things we'd like to see to help them turn it around. 

The single-player story of Marvel's Avengers, despite initial reservations over character models, was a pretty big hit for many players. It offered a different perspective of some of our favorite heroes and it also gave the "adorkably" charming Kamala Khan a spotlight that this character deserved. The story wasn't the problem. The problem was that Square Enix shoved the story aside when marketing the title pre-launch so when it eventually did release, players were expecting this breathtaking, fully fleshed-out multiplayer endgame experience. What they got was an endless repetitious cycle that didn't feel like there was any real payoff. The grind was real. It was also Real Boring™. 

What Is Loop Hero And Why Should You Care?

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Loop Hero hits Steam today, a little indie gem that combines some different genre styles and mechanisms for a fairly compelling effect. While it’s a different game than many of today’s other deckbuilding roguelikes such as Slay the Spire or Monster Train, I’m guessing the same crowd is going to be rather enthralled with Loop Hero. Essentially, it combines deckbuilding, townbuilding, and… dungeon building. And idling. Yeah. You don’t control your hero at all. Instead, you make the major decisions that determine the hero’s future by creating a world around them, a loop that they’ll walk around until you either summon and defeat a boss or die. 

Build too many obstacles and enemies to battle, and your poor champion finds themself overburdened and dead. Build too few, and you won’t be able to acquire the gear or experience needed to survive as the enemies grow stronger every loop. And throughout it all, you’re tasked with creating creative combinations by using the board space and special cards to assemble the best possible dungeon for your intrepid explorer to destroy.

Genshin Impact’s Hu Tao Is Here. We Tried To Gacha Her Up, And Here’s What Happened

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Genshin Impact’s Hu Tao Is Here. We Tried To Gacha Her Up, And Here’s What Happened

Hu Tao is finally available in the new Genshin Impact banner, allowing players to spend wishes or primogems to take a chance and try to add one to their party. Yes, it's a gacha-style system, but players can save up currency over time to spend their primogems and wishes to get the characters they want. The issue is, there are probably a lot of characters that you'd like to have.

In this respect, while Hu Tao seems amazingly cool, she's almost certainly a "primogem sink" because if you've been playing Genshin at all so far, you probably have a high level, high power Xiangling in your team already, who fills the exact same pyro polearm combination. Sure, Hu Tao can push out some massive burst damage and also has a cute ghost sidekick, but is she really worth dumping your hard-earned currency on?

Well, I sure thought so. I mean, she has a ghost. Seriously. Oh, she also has a unique "blink" effect on her dash, so that's likely to be highly useful during fights, I'd love to turn it into my own personal invincibility-frame Dark Souls roll. Anyway, so I decided to hit up my wish bank that I've been saving for a while (Sorry Xiao, I never got around to spending wishes on you...) and take a chance. What happened? You can check it out in the video below!

Yakuza's Creator On His Life, Career, And Why Sega Should've Fired Him In The '90s

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Yakuza's Creator On His Life, Career, And Why Sega Should've Fired Him In The '90s

Toshihiro Nagoshi knows how to make an entrance. He’s seven minutes late after a smoke break, wearing a $2,700 Louis Vuitton jacket. Coy yet honest, reserved and flashy all at once, somehow, he fits his 30 years of game-development history into an hour-long Zoom call. It’s a story that encompasses childhood trauma, Yu Suzuki, and drunken meetings that turned into one of the biggest cult franchises in video game history. But it all starts far away from where he’s sitting right now in Tokyo.

Nagoshi grew up in the small, rural prefecture of Yamaguchi. When you talk to him about his early life, he doesn’t have a lot of positives to share. Nagoshi came from a poor household, his parents victims of sizable debt, and his father in particular had a gambling problem. Despite saying he recognizes that what he went through with his family was a necessary learning experience that got him to where he is today, he has a lot of complicated feelings about the household he grew up in.

An Epileptic’s Guide To Gaming

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An Epileptic’s Guide To Gaming

A common misconception about seizures is that they only happen to people with epilepsy. That's not true; seizures can occur in anyone. There is also no "one type" of epileptic episode, which means learning about triggers can be a tricky process. With accessibility in gaming becoming more of a priority within the gaming space, studios are finally beginning to look at the impact of certain effects on those susceptible to neurological episodes beyond simply slapping a warning label on games and calling it a day. 

Five Star Wars Stories That Would Make Great Games

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Five Star Wars Stories That Would Make Great Games

Now that Lucasfilm is allowing more publishers and developers to take a crack at making Star Wars games, I'd love to see a handful of Star Wars "classics" get reborn as interactive experiences. I put "classics" in air quotes because Star Wars' history is so complicated and messy that some its greatest stories no longer exist in the universe's ongoing continuity. Yes, you can still buy and read these stories, but most have been retconned. Lucasfilm now calls them "Legends," treating them like "what if" alternate timelines or dreams.

Seeing amazing creative works get reconned is awful, but I understand why Lucasfilm did it from business and storytelling perspectives. With dozens of stories hitting each year, the Star Wars universe quickly became a mess of confusing plotlines and crossed wires; there was just too much happening at once and not enough checks were in place to ensure quality content was being delivered. When it came to creating a new sequel trilogy with Luke, Han, and Leia, they all had lived full lives in novels and comics. Communicating their character developments to theatergoers would have been a monumental task, a task that would need to be nailed down to every minute details. Could it have been done? Yes. Should it have been done? Yes. Did Lucasfilm's decision to turn the Death Star's laser on these stories pay off? I think the answer is also yes.

Valheim Player Recreates Whiterun From Skyrim In-Game

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Valheim Player Recreates Whiterun From Skyrim In-Game

Valheim is a charming survival game that allows players to transform themselves into Vikings as they explore a vast and beautiful open-world. While the game is deceptively simple when looking at aspects like character creation and building, this adventure has so much more to offer than what meets the eye. It also gives players a chance to flex those creative skills and one Skyrim fan did just that when they embarked on a multi-thread journey of recreating Whiterun within the world of Valheim. 

Reddit u/Djchieu has uploaded a few different parts of their journey into recreating Whiterun and honestly? I just thought it was really neat. I've been playing the game myself since launch and while I thought my humble abode right on the water's edge was spiffy, seeing other player creations out there suddenly has me feeling like I have a lot of catching up to do. 

The first update shows off the bare bones of making Whiterun crossover into the land of Vikings. Fellow Redditors were quick to reply with a request for constant updates as the work on this continues, and it's easy to see why! Check it out: 

Destiny 2 12-Player Glitch Accidentally Makes The Game Much Better

about X hours ago from
Destiny 2 12-Player Glitch Accidentally Makes The Game Much Better

Last week, Guardians noticed an interesting new glitch in Destiny 2 that allowed players to double the number of teammates in certain instances like raids, dungeons, and more. When testing it out myself this weekend before writing up about it, I had more fun than I have had in a long time teaming up with my clan. After diving all-in with the different ways this glitch worked, I'm convinced that this is the way Destiny is meant to be played. I've never wanted a glitch to remain in-game as much as I do with this one and while I know it's fruitless, I hope that it stays forever. 

The Destiny 2 12-player glitch applies to raids and any instances requiring 6 players. Some have reported being able to swing the double bug for PvP events like Crucible, but no one in my clan was able to replicate this (not that we wanted to, this type of glitch would destroy the PvP experience).