Super Mario RPG: The Mario Game Nintendo Forgot

Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG

When Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars came out in March of 1996, I was nine years old. Back then, I went to the video store with my parents and literally judged games by their cover. This game had Mario on the box. I was in.

I didn’t know this particular game was very different from the usual platforming, hop-and-bop gameplay you might expect. For one, it was an isometric game. Yet when I loaded up the save file of whoever played the video store cartridge last, the first thing I did was jump on a goomba. When the game screen wiped into a completely different area that had Mario on one side and the goomba on the other, I knew what kind of game this was.

It was like EarthBound.

Mario at Bowser's Castle
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It was another turn-based game with lots of text (even though Mario never spoke a word) and memorable characters. Developed by Squaresoft (before they merged with Enix and became Square-Enix), it had classic Final Fantasy gameplay with a Mario twist. The game had timed hits and timed blocks. Both Princess Toadstool and Bowser could join your team.

As a kid whose first video game ever was Donkey Kong, and first console game ever was the original Super Mario Bros., this game was insane. The graphics were amazing (for their time), and the world of Mario became so much more than just floating platforms and turtle dragons. There were towns. There were regular people, with regular jobs.

This was a Super Mario World I wanted to live in.

I fell in love with characters like Mallow the cloud prince, and Geno the battle-puppet. I still hum the game’s soundtrack to this day. And the timed hits system was so ahead of its time, when games like Legend of Dragoon came out, it was old hat to me.

So how come very few people seem to remember this game?

Mario RPG World
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Easy answer? Squaresoft broke away from Nintendo to join the Sony squad. The PlayStation was simply the best console for Final Fantasy VII. So while Nintendo may own Mario and his friends, characters like Geno and Mallow belonged to Square.

In short, these characters would never come back in a Nintendo game. Even after Square-Enix patched things up with Nintendo and started doing the Crystal Chronicles thing, Mario RPG was old news. And we all know how much Nintendo hates their old beloved SNES RPGs.

While we might see it on virtual consoles for Nintendo systems, the franchise has effectively been replaced by Paper Mario and the Mario and Luigi Superstar games. Which, if you ask me, are vastly inferior.

I will not stop clamoring for Geno and Mallow to become Nintendo regulars. Why can’t I punch Mallow’s fluffy face in Smash Bros? Why can’t I blast tennis balls from Geno’s arm rockets? I want my beloved childhood back. In closing, life is unfair. And so is Nintendo.

The Smallest Co-op Feature Made These RPGs Amazing

Co-op RPGs

The Smallest Co-op Feature

There aren’t a lot of co-op RPGs out there. I’m not talking about hack-and-slash RPGs or (God forbid) MMOs. I’m talking about games like the old Final Fantasy series—character-driven, turn-based JRPG-style games. But there are two games that will forever spring to mind for me when the subject of co-op RPGs is brought up.

Eternal Sonata and Final Fantasy IX.

Eternal Sonata Co-op RPG
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You’ve likely heard of the latter, but Eternal Sonata flew under the radar. Probably for good reason. I mean, the whole thing took place in Chopin’s anime Lolita fantasy fever dream. Yes, that Chopin. And no, I’m not kidding.

For what it was worth, the battle system was intriguing. It was still turn-based, but during the player’s turn, they could control a character and run around the battlefield freely, attacking and casting spells in live action—for a couple seconds, and then it would be the enemy’s turn to run around and attack.

At first glance, Eternal Sonata and Final Fantasy IX might look very different (you know, other than the big heads and insane character designs). But there was one tiny feature that connected them.

The ability to choose a controller for each character.

That one feature turned these typically single-player games into incredible co-op RPG experiences—at least for my friends and me.

Eternal Sonata Co-op RPG Battle
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You could have a separate controller for each of a battle’s three player characters in Eternal Sonata. Yes, you’d still have one player controlling all the running around the world and buying items, but there was enough battle to make everyone sitting down for the whole game worthwhile. And given how batshit loco Eternal Sonata was, you pretty much have to be pulling a Mystery Science Theater on the cutscenes to be able to stomach it. And the best way to do that is through co-op play, so every player is invested in the characters they control.

I didn’t discover that Final Fantasy IX shared the same feature until later.  I already loved the game. But one summer, my roommate and I popped the FFIX PS1 disc into my backwards-compatible PS3. We split the characters between the two of us, and had an absolute blast playing through it.

Solitary experience

RPGs are usually a solitary experience. You absorb the story, fall in love with the characters, and feel a personal connection to the game world. They’re more like books than movies. But playing through Eternal Sonata and FFIX co-op, even if it was just the battles, was a gaming experience I’ll never forget.

FFIX Co-Oop
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And it all had to do with one simple feature: allowing you to switch controller inputs for different characters.

Sure, if you wanted, you could pass the controller around. But it’s not the same, is it? It’s not co-op—it’s taking turns in the driver’s seat.

Turn-based RPGs make the feature easy to implement. After all, you’re not actively controlling multiple characters at a time. There is little difference to the game system to have the controller inputs switch for different characters. Especially when you can only control one character at a time anyway.

Indie developers and JRPG remaster…ers take note: adding that tiny feature to turn a single-player RPG into a co-op one makes a big difference to anyone who still enjoys a good couch co-op experience.

5 RPGs That We All Forgot But Are Still Awesome

Final Fantasy XII

RPGs

2016 has been a great year for Role-Playing Games (RPGs) and just to name a few, we have XCOM 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and Final Fantasy XV. Also, a tormenting torture device called Dark Souls III came out last 2016. While these games have their own share of glory and fame, some wonderful RPGs were forgotten in the box down in our basements. To give you a drop of that nostalgia potion, here are 5 RPGs that we all forgot but are still awesome.

Vagrant Story (also known as “The Phantom Pain”)

RPGs Gem: Vagrant Story
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Once upon a time, in the year 2000, the developers of Final Fantasy (Square Co., Ltd. which is now known as Square Enix after merging with Enix) decided to make a game with a lot of puzzles, a unique battle system, and a weapon and crafting system that is comparable to a lot of modern games like Fallout 3 and the Elder Scrolls Series. That game was Vagrant Story. Also known as “The Phantom Pain”, Vagrant story is an action role-playing game that has elements of a dungeon crawler game, a hack and slash game, and a rhythm game.

The game received high ratings from various video game critics. Knowing Final Fantasy developers, they sure hid a lot of gems in the game for you to discover. Go add Vagrant Story in your list of “to-play” games and enjoy the world of Valendia.

Valkyrie Profile Series

RPGs Gem: Valkyrie Profile
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Valkyrie Profile is a series of RPGs based on the Norse mythology and follows the story of three Goddesses of Fate namely – Silmeria, Lenneth, and Hrist – as they (well, mostly Lenneth) venture into the world of mortals, in the realm of Midgard, in order to gather brave human souls to serve as ‘einherjar’ or warriors for the coming Ragnarok, the final battle which decides the fate of all creation.

The game has a unique battle mechanics wherein, you link or assign the characters to the buttons on the controller and when pressed, the respective character linked to that button performs an action. It’s a mechanic worth experiencing and the story is fine, especially it covers human behavior and honor. If you want to play this forgotten gem, it’s available on the PlayStation Portable. Enjoy and defeat those enemies, Nibelung Valesti!

Final Fantasy Tactics (Original and the “War of the Lions” version)

RPGs Gem: Final Fantasy Tactics
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Who doesn’t love Final Fantasy Tactics? Well, that is probably because you haven’t played it yet, young squire. This entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was made last 1997 and was re-released for the PSP in 2007 as “Final Fantasy Tactics: The war of the Lions”. Which added new movies, scenarios, jobs, and a lot of words that made me grab a dictionary. You can’t miss a single point in the wonderful story of greed, revenge, corruption, friendship, and betrayal that gave life to the world of Ivalice.

Oh and, various characters from the ‘main’ Final Fantasy franchise also appeared in FFT. Having trouble where to get it? Well, worry no more. The game was made available on the smartphone last 2011. Go on and visit your app store and grab a copy of this critically acclaimed entry in the Final Fantasy universe.

Breath of Fire III

RPGs Gem: Breath of Fire
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First off, I’ve also played Breath of Fire IV but I never finished it…and I apologize for that, my dear BOF IV fans out there. That being said, I chose Breath of Fire III, the first three-dimensional entry in the series. It offers a lot of mechanics that will make you play for hours and hours. Collecting all of Ryu’s Dragon Genes, fishing, and learning all the skills, are just some of the things that will make you come back and play some more. Battles occur quite similarly to another RPG – ehem, Final Fantasy – which is random. I won’t spoil the story, because there are a lot of plot twists in this game accompanied by a very gorgeous soundtrack. Plus, the diverse characters that will make you properly plan the composition of your party in order to defeat the myriad of enemies that will cross your path.

The game was re-released for the PlayStation Portable for you, guys, to pick up and enjoy.

Xenogears

RPGs Gem: The Xenogears Title Screen
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Have you ever heard of that game that has a long-haired main character? The one that fights with his fists and has a giant Gundam-like robot? Well, that is Fei Fong Wong. He is the protagonist of the gem that I think is lost in the back of the minds of most people, Xenogears. This game tackles a lot of social issues that makes it more appealing to more matured audiences. Issues include slavery, war, prejudice, and corruption. A lot of critics hailed Xenogears for its somewhat controversial take on religion, humanism, and psychology.

The gameplay involves the use of Action Points or AP in order to execute combos. The Triangle, Square, and X buttons on the controller are used to perform those combos. Then, there are gears. These are combat robots, fighting machines that bear a similar fighting style as the owner or pilot. For example, one character in the game, Bart, uses a whip when outside his whip-wielding Gear. Xenogears has anime-style cutscenes which are backed by gorgeous soundtracks composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the composer for Chrono Trigger, Xenosaga, Soul Sacrifice Delta, and a lot more.

You can get it from the PlayStation Network and enjoy the brain-teasing world of Xenogears.

I hope you enjoyed my list of some of the top RPGs of the previous generations that seem to have been forgotten. If you are looking for games to play while waiting for that next-level role-playing game coming out in just a few months, you can try the games above. You will not regret it.

How about you? If you know any role-playing games, that made you feel like you live in another world, that seem to have been forgotten now? Let us know in the comments down below and happy gaming!

Dragon Quest XI Releasing on NX

Nintendo’s mysterious new system, still only known as Codename: NX, is slowly taking shape as more and more games are announced for it.  The latest title joining its line-up is the next game in the popular Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time.

The newest RPG in the long-running franchise was originally announced for the Playstation 4 and Nintendo 3DS, but an interview in Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream revealed that it will also be coming to the NX with an English translation provided by Gematsu.

The Dragon Quest series has always been a major seller in its native Japan, which bodes well for Nintendo’s new system even if the game won’t be exclusive.  This announcement also reveals that the NX will be compatible with Unreal Engine 4 as that is what Dragon Quest XI is built from.

Dragon Quest XI is the fifth game officially announced for NX.  The remaining titles are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2017, Sega’s currently unnamed sequel to Sonic Generations, and Dragon Quest XI‘s predecessor, Dragon Quest X: Awakening of the Five Race Online.  Dragon Quest X is actually an MMO as apposed to the single-player RPGs that the series usually provides, including Dragon Quest XI.  That shows that the NX will have serious online support.  It’s strange to think that the NX is set to release in March and these last two paragraphs summarize everything we know for certain about the system.

Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time is set to release in 2016 around the time of the series’ 30th anniversary in late May.  It will have a simultaneous release on Playstation 4 and 3DS and, while it hasn’t been officially confirmed, the wording in the interview suggests that it also release on NX the same day.  It is currently only set for release Japan and it is unknown if it will receive an international release.  Let us know what you think of Dragon Quest XI and the NX in the comments below.

Deus Ex Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary

The Deus Ex franchise has turned 15, with the release of the very first game landing for PC more than a decade ago.

The series of cyberpunk-themed first person action RPG video games started back in June 2000 and will have seen four instalments to the series with the upcoming release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which is expected to hit shelves early in 2016.

To celebrate this milestone, publisher Square Enix revealed they have prepared a special four-episode documentary telling the genesis of the series, from original to 2016’s Mankind Divided. The first episode is available to watch right now, with Warren Spector, Chris Norden and Sheldon Pacotti, the creators of the first Deus Ex.

Gamers are also getting the chance to choose what will be included in the collector’s edition of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. A replica statue of protagonist Adam Jensen, a mini art book, a replica weapon from the game, a pin set, lunch box and more are up for voting here.

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If that wasn’t enough celebratory goodness for you, Square Enix and Eidos-Montréal have also partnered with Game Changer Charity, a non-profit focused on improving the lives of children suffering from life-threatening diseases. The charity makes an impact by providing direct services in hospitals, delivering video game gifts and supporting families financially.

Those who donate $1 or more will receive a free copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution — Director’s Cut for PC, along with contributing to a great cause.

Five things ‘Fallout 4’ should learn from ‘New Vegas’

Imgur User

Fallout 4

I don’t think it would be hyperbole to suggest that Bethesda killed it at E3 this year – which, for their first year as an event headliner, is pretty remarkable. Out of all the megatons dropped this conference – the Last Guardian, Shenmue 3, and the FF7 remake – Fallout 4’s announcement was the easily the best for a few reasons: it revealed the most content, came with the closest release date, and addressed many of the fears provoked by the game’s reveal trailer. Yes, you could pick a different gender and ethnicity for your character. Yes, there would be a lot of content – and more importantly, this wouldn’t just be a rehash of Fallout 3. I’m going out on a limb here, but both the trailer and the e3 conference confirm for me that Fallout 4 is going to be themed around ‘leadership’ – at least from a gameplay perspective. I mean, from the Vertibird to the creation of trade routes, it’s clear the protagonist of this game isn’t a ‘Lone Wanderer’ anymore. Bringing civilization back from the brink of total destruction by organizing settlements was a major theme of the first and second Fallout games – it’s good to see this made a centerpiece in Fallout 4.

In that same E3 presentation, we also learned about a bevy of new features to Fallout 4: in fact, we learned so much it’s difficult to cram all the pertinent points into one paragraph! Think about it: we learned about the weapon mods system, the new VATS, the new power armor mechanics, the trade routes, the new dialogue system…it just goes on and on! And that’s just what we were told directly: sleuth-y youtubers have already uploaded videos dissecting every frame of the E3 show, uncovering even more information about the next Fallout.

But for all that revealed content, there’s still a few pressing concerns I have about Fallout 4 that have yet to be addressed in any way. I don’t fault Bethesda for not spoiling everything about their new game, obviously – but until I know for sure that Fallout 4 has these doubts assuaged, I’m going to wait to purchase a copy. Because to me, these features should be key for any Fallout worthy of its own name. And not-so-coincidentally, all of these were already pulled off pretty well by Obsidian’s New Vegas. So if Bethesda don’t come through on these, we know there isn’t really an excuse.

1. Interesting companions

Fallout 3 had a few companions that I liked playing with. Fawkes was a barrel of laughs – especially considering he was near-invincible and packed a minigun for a weapon. But that pales in comparison to the fantastically-written companions of New Vegas. Everybody from Arcade to Veronica to Raul were all fascinating and well-rounded people that, despite repeating the same lines of dialogue over and over again in combat, you (mostly) enjoyed having around. They each had their own cool side-quest to complete, their own set of traits and foibles. I’d love to see more companions like the ones we got to hang out with in New Vegas. Maybe some kind of robot or member of the Institute could keep our character company in Fallout 4? Yeah, that would be awesome.

2. More quests rooted in game lore

Fallout 3 was a great game, in its own way: but I have to admit I found a few of its quests to be silly, or just frustrating. It’s one thing to make a game with a sense of humor: but it’s quite another to build a majority of your side-quests around lore-suspending references and punchlines. Remember Arefu, the quest involving vampires? How about ‘The Replicant’, the quest that essentially retold the plot of Blade Runner? Not only are these lazy references, they are also hard to reconcile with the game’s lore. It’s not that vampires or androids aren’t interesting in their own right – but think about it: the Fallout world is chock full of unique characters, groups, and entities. Why depend on referencing other non-post apocalyptic media out there when you have the entire Fallout series to draw from?

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That being said, I like what I see from Fallout 4’s androids. They no longer function as simple references to the work of Philip K. Dick – rather, from the trailers I assume they’re going to play a much more pivotal role in the game’s main plot than in Fallout 3. So long as Bethesda is adding stuff to the Fallout canon that feels in line with the rest of the series, I’m interested. But a small part of me is worried that they could easily get carried away with this stuff: I mean, how much advanced tech are we supposed to tolerate before the notion that this is a barren post-apocalyptic wasteland stretches past the breaking point? Mr. House was supposedly the most resourceful man in the Mojave, and maybe the world – and all he had were a hill-full of Securitrons! From the looks of all the floating airships, working Vertibirds, and other technological marvels seen in the trailer, Mr. House is starting to look pretty quaint in comparison. Of course, if all this stuff is as mind-meltingly awesome as it looks in the trailer, I’d be willing to suspend my disbelief a little further for Bethesda.

3. More thinking through the practicalities of a post-apocalypse

Remember the Cassidy quest line in New Vegas, where you helped sell her Brahmin Caravan to the Crimson Caravan Company? That was an amazing quest, because it shed some light on the minutiae of the Mojave wasteland; it showed how people got food, and other supplies. It showed us some insight into the way caravan businesses might operate in such a scenario, which all really boosted New Vegas’s immersion factor. The same goes for the Heck Gunderson quest, which involved the rancher trying to work out a deal to become the Royal Lux’s main meat distributor. These were little things, but they were so important to the world-building of New Vegas. They are part of what made the setting of a post-apocalypse so believable in that game. You actually saw farms, trade caravans, and a source of fresh water. This is pretty different in Fallout 3, which featured no real details on what any of the NPCs (other than the occasional guard or shop owner or doctor) actually do for a living… or what they eat…or how they get water. Yes, I know the main quest involves restoring fresh water to the Capital Wasteland. What the game never explains is how anybody was getting water beforehand.

That kind of thing might work in a different kind of game, but this is Fallout. This series has always been about the realities of trying to survive in a wilderness – in Fallout 4, we need to see some of the practical aspects of how these human beings are keeping themselves alive in the midst of a nuclear-driven disaster. Or, if Fallout 4 takes place slightly further in the future when society has rebuilt itself more, show us some of the practical sides of that setting.

4. More useful SPECIAL categories; a harder game overall

Ok, this one was actually bungled equally as bad in New Vegas as in Fallout 3. Provided you don’t sink your skill and SPECIAL points randomly throughout the game, by the time you hit level 13 you’ll likely be able to quickly dispatch with anything moving. And when you throw in the ‘steady’ drug from New Vegas, you basically become Shiva destroyer of worlds. What’s more, both games were super combat heavy; which kind of discourages from investing points outside Agility or Strength. So for Fallout 4, I’d love to see two things: a more challenging combat system, and an ability to survive while roleplaying with your character’s SPECIAL points. In other words, the game should be challenging no matter what class or character build you choose – but at the same time, it should be balanced as to not screw over people who want to play as a smart but weak scientist, or a charismatic but cowardly caravan driver.

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Previous games did a decent job in this category: think about how in both 3 and NV, your dialogue choices changed depending upon your character’s level of intelligence. How in New Vegas, you got access to all kinds of unique dialogue depending on your character’s skills. These are solid examples of allowing the player a chance to feel like the points they spent actually made a difference on their gameplay experience. Fallout 1 and 2 are absolutely full of design choices that accomplish this feat beautifully – but in 3 and NV, I can’t help but feel some of the SPECIAL categories are next to useless. Charisma was basically useless in Fallout 3, since you could reload your game as many times as needed and pass every speech check in the game. I’ve yet to see a speech system in an RPG like in Fallout 1 and 2, which allowed you to use your speech abilities to resolve many of their quests without bloodshed. Something like that in Fallout 4 would be amazing –and true to the spirit of the original games, to boot! And even if you can’t resolve every dispute non-violently, at least give us some variety in how we can approach a situation! Wouldn’t it be awesome to use scientific know-how to slay your foes? Or talk your way out of being murdered by a bunch of debt collectors, as just a random idea? The possibilities are endless here – so let’s see some more RPG elements in the next Fallout, please!

Player choice that actually makes a difference

It was a big, big problem in Fallout 3 for me: what difference does it make? There were few quests in that game that didn’t feel outright strange to play as an evil-karma character. And for those that were reconcilable with an ‘evil protagonist’, little changed from the ‘good’ outcomes beyond a different line or two of dialogue, or maybe a different location for your new house. This is a far, far cry from the Interplay days of Fallout – in both Fallout 1 and 2, your decisions actually mattered. They had an impact that went beyond that immediate dialogue window – and this quality was brought into the 3D era by Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas.

In New Vegas, you are forced to choose sides: forced to change the face of the Mojave, and actually see a little blurb at the end of the game explaining how each big decision you made through the game worked out. We got no such level of detail in the Fallout 3 ending. What we did get was a very stock set-up: you could be the martyr, be the selfish neutral, or be the President’s hatchet boy and go full evil. Contrast this with the overall ending of new Vegas: which didn’t fit so neatly into ‘good’, ‘bad’, or ‘neutral’ endings. Whether the NCR, Mr. House, or Caesar end up holding the reins, none of these outcomes are all positive or all negative. That being said, they still manage to hold huge implications for the future. This is how a morally grey game like the Fallout series ought to handle player choice: not with a Knights of the Old Republic style sith/jedi meter, but with more neutral outcomes that make real ripples in the game world’s story.

For an example of how not to do this, let’s remember one of Fallout 3’s most controversial quest-lines: deciding whether to disarm or detonate the bomb in Megaton. Either way, you get a new house. Either way, Moira still works with you. Either way, it has little substantial effect on your character for the rest of the game (setting aside the hit to karma). Contrast this with how, in New Vegas, working with one of the factions automatically bars you from the trust of the other three for the rest of the game. Fallout, for my money, is at its best when your choices have real impact. Nobody would likely play these games if they were just sub-par shooters saddled with a ‘freeze time’ cheat and a grey/green color filter over everything.

So there you have it: 5 things Fallout 4 could stand to learn from New Vegas. I’ll admit I like RPGs more than action/shooter type games, so this list is certainly curtailed to my own specific interests. That being said, Fallout has always been an RPG – so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for more RPG elements, immersion, and uniqueness in the newest version.

Good Idea, Bad Idea: Cars in Fallout 4

This past week at E3 Bethesda announced the next in their line of critically acclaimed role playing games – ‘Fallout 4’.

Assuming the mantle of a denizen of Vault 111, living all the way from your idyllic family life before the nuclear warheads ravaged the land to your re-emergence in the newly the shattered, fractured landscape of Boston, Fallout 4 looks set to introduce a whole new array of features in it’s own right.

At E3 Bethesda proudly displayed a whole bevy of innovations to the already hit-franchise. From expansions on the weapon modification system to a very tantalizing take on player-house that had many stalwarts to the series watering at the mouth at the prospect of building their own defensible haven in the wastelands – it seems no expenses were spared when it came to marking Fallout 4 as a notch above the other inclusions to the series.

One feature was not truly brushed upon, though, and the savvier fan can’t help but think it may be because Bethesda may be leaving it as one final trick up their sleeve – one last card to pull at a closer date to the game’s eventual release. Arguably the most hotly-debated and discussed subject pertaining to the Fallout series.

Will they include cars?

The notion has been both opposed and adored by fans – clamored for and vehemently rejected in it’s concept, but could such a thing actually work? Is it reasonable and feasible to be cruising around the Wastes in a 50’s style automobile without a care in the world or, more importantly, harming the overall feel of the game?

That’s the first rebuttal brought up in response to cars – would they harm the atmosphere? The atmosphere being very important to Fallout, it’s one of trepidation-starved adventure, a trek throughout vast wastes, visiting unexplored locations completely clueless as to what, or who, you may find. It’s clear to see how buzzing around at god-knows-what miles per hour past all these wondrous sites best properly explored with an attentive eye on-foot may do it’s part in detracting from this experience.

So how do you counter this? Using these cars only in vast, sparse and empty stretches of highway between locations better seen on-foot? Doesn’t that just seem like a lazy stand-in for fast-travel, though? How about areas of the map dedicated solely to them? Maybe even confine vehicular usage to its own mini-game?

Each way they decide to go about it seems to have 50 pros and cons to it – one thing’s for sure, it may be a feature Bethesda could benefit tremendously from cashing in on.

With so much organic fan-buzz having accumulated about this subject over the years, crossing over seamlessly with the years of excitement and anticipation about Fallout 4 that Bethesda has finally cashed in on, cars – coupled with the sheer immensity of the new-found customization in Fallout 4 – could be a huge selling point for a game that, frankly, doesn’t need any more selling points.

But if it means some Mad Max style vehicular warfare, would it really hurt to have a few more?

Changes Will Happen in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and That’s a Good Thing

Final Fantasy

Now that E3 2015 is drawn to a close, us gamers can finally sit down and comprehend some of the bombs that were announced this year. The most atomic of these arguably was the announcement of a Final Fantasy VII remake. When the trailer dropped during Sony’s conference this year, you could hear the screams of happiness erupting from fanboys all across the world, which was immediately followed by skepticism.

The original game, released in 1997, is viewed by many people as a classic. So, the announcement of this remake made certain fans angry when various members of Square Enix revealed that yes; changes will be made in this HD upgrade. In an interview with engadget.com, the director of the remake and the original character designer for the game, Tetsuya Nomura, said the following:

“I wanted to have the word “Remake” into the trailer — precisely to clarify that. At this point, I can’t talk to specifics.”

Personally, I believe that changes are absolutely necessary for this remake, as long as  the changes still follow the spirit of the original game. When Square Enix started expanding the universe of FFVII with Crisis Core, Dirge of Cerberus, and other projects, they seemed to change the tone of the universe that was initially presented. Those projects were dark and moody, and a few characters were made a bit too angsty for my taste. Maybe that was the translators faults and the Japanese versions are different, but that seems unlikely since it happened in each project. The original game was dark and definitely had emotionally devastating moments, but it was woven throughout a story that actually had a lot of comedy. It was silly, and very much of its time, and I really hope that humor comes back. I don’t want Cloud to just be emo again, I want to see him be witty and sarcastic like he used to be.

Needless to say, I am ecstatic about this remake, even though it seems a bit of a ways off from being released. Whether or not the remake is just a graphical update or they do something drastic like changing it into a musical, thousands of gamers (including myself) will be buying and playing this game like their life depended on it.

More info on the Final Fantasy VII remake will be revealed this Winter.

Earthbound Beginnings Announced for Virtual Console

Earthbound

Just before starting the Nintendo World Championships, Nintendo dropped a bombshell with the announcement that the highly anticipated prequel to cult-classic RPG Earthbound will finally be released on the Wii U’s Virtual Console.  Earthbound Beginnings, known as Mother in Japan, has never received an international release and was only available on the Famicom.  This is definitely an exciting day for Earthbound fans around the globe.

Tyrion Lannister Dies in The Witcher 3 as an Easter Egg

Witcher 3

Fans of Game of Thrones really hope that George R.R. Martin and the creators of the TV series will decide to keep Tyrion Lannister alive all the way to the end – and maybe even end the whole saga with him on the Iron Throne. Well, I’ve got some bad news for you: Tyrion Lannister dies. Fortunately, it’s just in The Witcher 3 and it’s an Easter Egg that certainly puts a smile on our faces. And gives us somebody to blame in case something bad actually happens with our favorite little guy in the Game of Thrones TV series.

But back to our games, Tyrion Lannister’s dead body can be easily found in The Witcher 3, as the folks from PC Gamer found out. Tyrion appears to have met his grisly fate in a ‘sky cell’ similar to those found in The Eyrie where he was imprisoned midway through season one of the TV show. Since the game’s developers probably have no actual connection with the creators of Game of Thrones, the character we can see is not called Tyrion – but he sure looks a lot like him, scar included. Check him out:

tyrion witcher

If you want to see the little fellow for yourself, you have to explore the oceans of Skellige and find a fort filled with pirates. After taking them out, you will find some prison keys: use them to unlock the locked cell door, and spot the little fellow who has finally understood the meaning of “valar morghulis”. I’ve marked the exact location of the pirate fort for you below:

tyrion map

A pretty cool Easter Egg in The Witcher 3, and there are a ton more waiting to be found!