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By Jonathan Balofsky On 13 Nov, 2017 At 11:19 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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It was 12 years ago today that wrestling fans received horrible news: the legendary Eddie Guerrero had passed away at the age of 38 due to heart problems. Eddie had touched the lives of so many and overcome so much in his own life, that it just seemed cruel for him to be taken in his prime. His death hit the industry hard and is still felt today.

Eddie Guerrero was the youngest son of Gory Guerrero, one of the best heels in Lucha Libre. He was born into a wrestling legacy and soon found himself getting into the business. Trained by the best and soon proving why he was the best, Eddie made a name for himself in countries like Mexico and Japan and developing friendships along the way with the likes of Art Barr, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit.  Eddie got married to his wife Vickie and their daughter was born soon after. But hardships came just as much as the good did.

After some time in ECW in the United States, Eddie was signed to World Championship Wrestling where things took a turn for the worse. Eddie’s troubles piled up, augmented by the already turbulent nature of WCW, where wrestlers were essentially put into castes and the backstage environment was not a healthy one. Drug and alcohol problems got out of hand and Eddie pushed himself too far. Eddie’s relationship with Vickie and their now two daughters was growing shaky due to his growing problems, but it all got worse after Eddie was in a major car accident and came back to work too soon afterwards due to WCW’s policies.  He was unhappy in WCW where he was treated poorly but could not get out of the company yet.

As stated, Eddie was one of the best wrestlers of all time. He could make anyone look amazing in the ring and had such natural charisma that it rubbed off on even the most bland individual he was working with. He had matches that were the highlight of every show and was such a star in Mexico that promoters continued his gimmick long after he left.  However, they could not replicate the results without him. In WCW, the better he did, the more the higher ups seemed to dump on him and it took a toll along with everything else in his life at the time.

Eddie, along with Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and his longtime friend Dean Malenko, eventually jumped ship from WCW to the WWE and things turned around for the better. Eddie was suddenly given a chance he wasn’t afforded in WCW. He quickly won over fans and higher ups liked what they saw. But his demons were also getting stronger. Addictions to painkillers and alcohol  had wrecked havoc on his life,. His marriage was ruined and he was spiraling out of control and eventually it got to the point that Dean Malenko had to inform WWE what was going on, because he feared finding Eddie dead in a hotel bed one day.

Eddie was given the choice to go to rehab and was eventually fired by WWE. But that was not the end of his story. Eddie did rehabilitate himself and rededicated himself to God. He cleaned himself up and began working on the independent scene for a while, including with talents like CM Punk. He also began to repair his personal relationships, eventually winning back and reuniting with his family, and WWE took notice. Eddie had turned himself around and was brought back to the company in a big way. Latino Heat had been his nickname for a while and now he showed just what Latino Heat was capable of. In his tag team with his nephew Chavo Jr ( they were nearly the same age), Eddie wooed fans like never before. He lied, he cheated and stole in his matches and the fans went crazy for him. He was the wiliest figure in the ring and no one could outsmart him.

Eddie eventually impressed WWE so much that he was given a run with the WWE championship and represented the company and title with pride and honor. He became and example of redemption in wrestling, and it was not just an act. Former WWE referee Jimmy Korderas told a story in his book, The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee, about how a young fan in a wheelchair had waited after a show to meet Eddie and wasn’t able to. Jimmy went to Eddie, who was in the changing room and immediately took the WWE belt and went to meet the fan because he wanted to make him happy. There were stories about how Eddie would encourage people to tip waiters and waitresses better because a good tip could mean all the difference to them in terms of their money for the month. He would read the bible frequently and discuss his faith with those interested. He never tried to push religion on anyone, but simply was willing to talk about it. He was willing to talk to others going through the problems he had, and would offer his guidance.

Sadly, 12 years ago this day, Eddie passed away. He had overcome his demons but the damage had been done. His substance problem had caused heart issues and he was found dead in his hotel room bed by Chavo and Dean. Eddie was lionized afterwards and rightfully so. El Santo may have been called the Saint of wrestling but Eddie had a good claim on the title also. He inspired wrestlers to do better, both in the ring and in life, and later to take care of themselves. He showed that one could bring himself back from the bottom and come to the top.

Eddie is gone but will never be forgotten. He is the inspiration for positive changes in the industry, including how smaller wrestlers are perceived. A hero to may, Eddie will always live on in our hearts and minds.

Viva La Raza!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Nov, 2017 At 06:03 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 2 Comments

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The Legend of Zelda is one of Nintendo’s premiere series and one beloved by gamers worldwide. However, there is one game in the series that tends to be poorly regarded. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was the first sequel in the series but made drastic changes to the gameplay. Instead of playing from a bird’s eye view like the first game,  Zelda II only uses that for the over world, while using side-scrolling gameplay for towns and dungeons. This brought platforming to the series which made for a very different game. In addition, the game had an RPG style levelling system that hasn’t really be done in the series since. It is definitely the odd one out, but is it a bad game?

I have a confession to make. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, is actually my favourite NES game. In fact, it is my favourite game in the Zelda series altogether ( I could not get into Breath of the Wild at all but I did try). I first played it when I was twelve, well after Majora’s Mask came out. My mother got it for me from a pawn shop, and I spent the summer playing it. Playing that classic game long after I played Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask was quite an interesting experience.

I can see the complaints people had about how different the game was, but I do not agree with them. The game is different yes, but at the time it came out, there was only one other game to compare it to. I actually feel the fact that it is so unlike the other games makes Zelda II unique in a good way. This isn’t to mention that the game actually introduced many ideas that remained in later games, such as Dark Link, names of characters in Ocarina of Time being taken from names of towns in this game, and on that point, towns first appeared in this game and have been a key part of every Zelda game since. Furthermore, the magic system in later games is directly based on the magic system in this one. Zelda II contributed a lot more to the series than people realize.

There are issues of course, mainly the difficulty. The game gets very hard very early on, before most would be ready for it. Getting to Death Mountain means reaching a point of vastly increased challenge and its still an early part of the game. The platforming is not especially difficult due to controls but only when enemies get involved similar to the early Castlevania games. But even then, I don’t feel the difficulty is something that should detract from the game itself. When I think of the game, I just think of fun, because even going back to this game last year, I still got that same sense of joy.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is one of the most underrated games of all time. It has gotten a lot of hatred that is simply undeserved and unmerited. If anything, I would love to see the game get a remake with a modern look, and maybe tweaking the difficulty to manageable levels. The UbiArt Framework would be amazing for such a remake but there are of course other engines and styles that could be used for a remake. It would give people a chance to finally see why this game is truly amazing.

If you have only heard the negatives about the game and have never played it yourself, I urge you to try it for yourself. It may not be a traditional Zelda, but neither was Breath of The Wild. It is a truly excellent experience.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Nov, 2017 At 09:57 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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BlizzCon 2017 has come and gone, and with it another great round of gaming excitement. BlizzCon is one of the best parts of the year for me, not just as a fan of Blizzard but as a fan of gaming in general. BlizzCon has always felt to me like nothing else in the industry. E3, for all its glitter, is a tradeshow and is always meant to be that. BlizzCon has always felt different than that.

Whether it is discussion of Blizzard’s games or just interacting with the fans, BlizzCon has always been a standout event. It isn’t so much for the reveals, and indeed Blizzard doesn’t always do major reveals but more discussions of their games and that is appreciated. BlizzCon is an event by a company for its fans and less of a big business production the way E3 is. There is a more casual atmosphere and a friendlier nature. It isn’t the perfect event and issues do happen but they are far more rare.

But the reason BlizzCon matters the most is that it serves as an example to the rest of the industry on how a company can interact with fans and the media. The only one that comes close is QuakeCon and even QuakeCon still feels somewhat more impersonal than BlizzCon. BlizzCon feels like a fan appreciation event at times, whereas QuakeCon, as much as I love it, still feels too corporate.  Just looking at BlizzCon shows how the fans are truly excited to be there in a way that is not done at other events. The sheer brilliance of BlizzCon cannot be denied and it sets an example that all other companies should follow. BlizzCon is an event that truly matters to the industry and should be treasured for what it is.

 

 

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The above was the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 4 Nov, 2017 At 09:51 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Opinion, ROG News | With 1 Comment

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Last week I wrote an editorial about when it is appropriate for games to be political. Today I want to look at another side of the debate, namely if Nintendo is playing things too safe when it comes to politics.

 

To begin with, Nintendo obviously should not put politics into a game like Mario, as it is just a poor fit for that series. However, Nintendo has several other series where politics would make sense, such as Fire Emblem for example. Nintendo has said that they do not want political statements in their games, but some can argue that is a political statement in itself. Nintendo has actually dabbled into deeper messages in games like Pokémon at times, but not very deep. Is Nintendo truly trying to keep things for everyone, or are they just playing things far too safe politically?

A game like Advance Wars for example, would be a good place to discuss deeper issues of war and society. Nintendo has made a darker and edgier entry in the series, but it isn’t exactly what I mean. The thing is, a political message doesn’t need to be beat over someone’s head over and over again, but can be told subtly and through actions. Nintendo could also go deeper into themes previously seen in the DS era Pokémon games about the nature of the world of Pokémon and how the relationship between people and Pokémon can be cruel  at the hands of certain trainers, while others are truly good people.

Again, Nintendo should obviously not put politics into things like Mario and Splatoon, and even Zelda doesn’t feel like a good fit. But Nintendo’s RPGs and games like Fatal Frame ( Which Nintendo co-owns) are a good place to discuss deeper issues. Fatal Frame in particular is a good place, since horror games are a good place to discuss themes of humanity and darker issues. Even Metroid, if it should follow up on the plot of Metroid Fusion one day, will need to delve into more serious issues alongside the game. Given that story in a Metroid game is a controversial issue in itself, it would need to be told via log entries and such, but it could be one of the most interesting games made.

Obviously Nintendo is in a difficult position given their Japanese roots, but given their audience in America, and that many games are made with a western audience in mind, some might argue Nintendo has an opportunity or even a responsibility. In the end, I leave it up to you all to decide if this is something Nintendo should address. Do you feel they should tackle these issues? Or should they stay the path they are on?

 

 

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Disclaimer: The above is the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

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Nintendo has made so many great games over the decades, that have grown into established series. We all know Mario and Zelda, and to a lesser extent games like Golden Sun, F Zero and Star Fox, but there are games that Nintendo has made that have not been touched in an extremely long time. I have looked back at some of these games, and there are 7 that stand out as games that should be revived for Switch.

I only had two criteria for this list. It had to be a game that was only in the NES or SNES era before falling off, and it had to be either a Nintendo IP or an IP of a company that works exclusively with Nintendo. With that said, let’s begin

Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling was one of the first NES games and is widely regarded as a true classic. It was very basic but still fun and the game’s developers did work on future wrestling games but not in this series. It would be amazing if Nintendo could find a team to revive the IP as a cartoonish wrestling game similar to Ultimate Muscle on the GameCube. To me, the best choice would be Next Level Games, who were developing a game with wrestling elements using Mario characters which ended up cancelled. A game that is a pure wrestling game with its own characters and some cartoonish over the topness would be great for Nintendo and the Switch.

 

Startropics

 

Startropics was a rare thing on the NES. It was a Nintendo developed game made for the western market and not Japan at all. The games are similar to Zelda but with more variety at the time and a modern modern feel.  A reboot of this IP would be great as an action adventure game with a sci-fi focus, maybe with marketed more to the west than other games. It would also be something different and that is a good thing.

 

Gyromite

Gyromite was another early Nintendo game, and one that utilized R.O.B. the robot. Obviously I do not expect a new game to use R.O.B. again, but rather I think Gyromite could be a great eShop download game with a  local co-op focus. Nintendo has other games like Snipperclips that are based on local co-op, and with the JoyCons, Gyromite would be a great fit.

 

Ice Hockey 

 

Ice Hockey was another early NES game but it has held up incredibly well. It is an over the top hockey game on the NES that didn’t bother tryin to do realism in any way possible at the time. Nintendo does not have a lot of sports games and this is one they could use. It could be done as Nintendo Ice Hockey and made as either a small download game with a cartoony style and online play, or it could be a full retail experience and modelled after the classic Midway arcade sports games. It would be something different, both for Nintendo and for the video game market in general.

Urban Champion

 

 

I can hear the booing now but hear me out. Urban Champion was terrible in every sense of the word, but a revival could be interesting if done as an In Name Only revival. It could be a neat fighting game if a company such as SNK was hired to work on it and make it a smaller project. Nintendo has been getting into fighting games more as seen with Arms, so why not Urban Champion? This would be a hard sell, but worse games have been remade as great games so it could work.

 

The Mysterious Murasame Castle

 

The Mysterious Murasame Castle was a Japan only Famicom game that played very similar to Zelda 1. It was far more action oriented and this is what interests me for a possible revival. The Mysterious Murasame Castle starred a samurai named Takamaru who fought demons invading Japan and that would make an excellent action game from the likes of Koei Tecmo or Platinum Games. There was a sort of remake on the Wii but it was more having Takamaru appear in Samurai Warriors and get a mode for himself that recreated the game in Samurai Warriors, and thus not a true remake. The Mysterious Murasame Castle could be the definitve action game for Nintendo that they are looking for.

 

Arcana

 

This one was made by HAL but as they work solely with Nintendo, I am counting it. Arcana was a unique game that combined the dungeon crawler RPG genre with more traditional JRPG elements and new ideas such as a card system. It was unlike anything before it or since and I feel it was truly underrated gem. Admittedly it had its issues, such as poor pacing and some ideas not meshing well, but with the resources available today, and years of experience and hindsight, Arcana could be done again  and be a true masterpiece. heck, Nintendo could have Camelot work with HAL on this to iron out the issues and ensure it would be one of the best RPGs ever made.

 

Well there you are. Seven Retro Nintendo Games that should be revived. What do you all think of the choices and what would you choose?

 

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The above was the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 3 Nov, 2017 At 11:26 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Halloween has just passed, and among other things made for the holiday was Wayne Brady recording a 30’s style jazz cover of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

 

 

I had been listening to Jackson’s music and re-watching his music videos for a while now and watching this cover made me appreciate Jackson even more. It also made me realize just how there will never be someone to equal Jackson ever.

Michael Jackson wasn’t satisfied with just doing the same as others and did everything better. His music videos were unlike anything before or since. His video for “Thriller” was less a music video than a short musical film and it pushed peoples’ expectations for what could be done with music videos. His collaboration with John Landis helped elevate music videos to true art rather than just an accompanying video for a song.  The dance scene is often imitated still to this day, and has shown up in everything from South Park to the Japan exclusive Splatterhouse nes/famicom game. It is a  shame most people today like to only reference it as a meme, as it is a video that other musicians can only aspire to come close to.

Jackson’s dancing was on another level as well. His moves in “Smooth Criminal” and “Bad” ( another music video that pushed expectations), were the stuff of legends. Whereas musicians are a form of artists, Jackson was one of the few musicians to be a an artist capable of multiple forms. His music was excellent and engaging, his dancing unmatched and his input into music videos helped change what was expected. He invented new styles of dance and music and constantly reinvented himself., and like any true artist he was never satisfied.

 

 

A lot of people view his music as inoffensive, and he was called the King of Pop, but the truth is that there was a message in his work. He often touched on racial issues even if many ( mostly white people) didn’t realize it. “Black and White” was the most blatant with this but “Bad”, also touched on this, though most people don’t seem to have seen the full video, but rather the shortened one. The full version touched on more serious issues as well as issues that were considered to be uncomfortable by some because of the racial message. In truth Jackson was talking about society in all its ways and it was a message that needed to be heard.

 

Jackson had to deal with repercussions of fame as we all know, and he even turned some of the problems into his music. Billie Jean was a legendary song and only Michael could have done it the way it was done.

 

Whatever stories there were about him are not relevant to this discussion. I am speaking of Jackson as an artist and one who brought everything he did to new heights. Thet ruth is that Jackson was a global superstar on a level that had simply never been seen before. His talent was unequalled and though many have tried to bill themselves as his successor, none will ever succeed. Jackson was a once in a lifetime phenomenon, a living legend. You cannot recapture that talent ever, and it is a shame that young people will never know such a global star in their lifetime. That being said, Jackson’s music is still here for people to listen to, and his videos and recorded concerts can still be watched and viewed in awe of his talent. If you will excuse me now, I need to listen to some more of the King.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Oct, 2017 At 03:02 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Indie Spotlight, News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Indie games are a big part of the Nintendo Switch and the system already has many good titles available. There are so many great indie games coming though, that I wanted to give a spotlight to 7 games that are coming.

 

Heroes of The Monkey Tavern

 

Let’s start off with a  game that is coming very soon. Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is a rougelike dungeon crawler similar to Legend of Grimrock. With a first person perspective and real time combat, this game is one that fans of classic CRPGs will want to keep an eye on. The game was received very well on Steam and has been adapted for consoles already. With hours of gameplay at a decent price, Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is great for scratching that RPG itch. It may not have the deepest gameplay or immersion but it is a great experience that is not to be missed. Plus the portability of the game on Switch will make this great for long trips. Few seem to be aware that it is coming, and that is a shame as this is one Nintendo fans will appreciate.

 

Blade Strangers

 

Fighting games are not plentiful on the Switch right now ( not including the Neo Geo library), so whenever one is announced, it gets attention. Blade Strangers is a crossover fighting game from Nicalis that combines characters from several different indie games. What has been shown so far is an incredible looking game with anime inspired visuals and intense action. It may seem like a niche game, but for fighting game fans on Switch, this is definitely one to keep your eyes on when it releases next year. This will no doubt be a blast to play. and to be honest, more fighting games just means more fun. It is also great that this is a fighting game that combines several indie characters, something that is always a good thing.

 

Pocket Rumble

 

Sticking with fighting games, Pocket Rumble is coming to Switch as a console exclusive. The game is a throwback to the fighting games of the Neo geo Pocket Color and is designed to resemble them in look and sound, with gameplay based on two button controls that work well with an analogue stick. The game comes with built in multiplayer with the joy-cons as a result, but for those wanting more opponents, there will be a variety of online modes that will use GGPO for netplay. The game has been well received in Steam Early Access, and while it was delayed on Switch for a time, the product just keeps getting better and better. Though it may seem like a small title, the game will have plenty of content, including single player content, and have a roster full of interesting characters.

 

99Vidas: The Game

99Vidas: The Game is a beat em up inspired by classics like Double Dragon and Final Fight, as well as newer retro style beat em ups such as Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game. It is some of the most fun ever in a beat em up, with a large variety of enemies, great action, and cool moves to pull off. This is one of the better beat em ups in years and Nintendo Switch owners will get a kick ( and a punch or two) out of it. The way you can defeat your enemies is so over the top, and that is what makes this awesome. This is one I am very much looking forward to, because I know just how fun this is, and on the Switch, it will be even better with portability ( and hopefully HD rumble support).

 

 

Dragon Marked For Death

 

Inti Creates has been a strong supporter of the Switch since launch, with Blaster Master Overdrive, Mighty Gunvolt Burst and Azure Striker Gunvolt. Now they have a new game coming to Switch with Dragon Marked For Death. The game is a 2D dark fantasy action RPG made by a team with an incredible history behind them, including the makers of the Megaman Zero and Megaman ZX series, and from the brief showing in the Nindies showcase, this game looks to continue their tradition of quality. There will be a variety of roles you can take in the game as you make a pact with a dragon and set out on your quest. This is currently a winter title for Switch so look for it soon.

 

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Wonder Boy: The Dragons Trap released this year for PC and Consoles and it was a great game….but it was still a remake of an already existing game. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom however, will be doing things differently. This successor to the classic series will be a new experience and a new adventure for fans to enjoy. The game is being made as a love letter to the Wonder Boy series but not being held back by being too devoted to keeping things exactly the same. It will try new ideas, have new transformations and innovate in creative ways. The game looks amazing from what has been seen so far, and this is one that gamers of all kinds should be excited for.

 

Owlboy

 

 

Owlboy is a labor of love. It began development in 2007 before releasing late last year to great acclaim. The game was inspired by classic Nintendo games that the creator played growing up. The game has beautiful visuals and combines platformer adventure gaming with some 2D shooter elements that make the game feel like a spiritual successor to Kid Icarus. This makes sense as Kid Icarus is one of the major inspirations behind Owlboy. The game serves as both a loving tribute to classic games while still using new ideas to push things forward much like  Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, albeit going even further. This is a game that belongs on a Nintendo system and thankfully it is coming sometime soon!

 

Well these are just seven of the games I wanted to highlight. I may do more of these in the future. Let me know what indie games you are looking forward to and why.

 

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

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As is well known now, DOOM will be coming to Nintendo Switch this holiday. This is a pretty big deal due to the fact that this is a major recent release, more recent than Bethesda’s other big Switch release this year of Skyrim. It is a sign of great third party support for many, and there is a lot of hope for the game to sell well.  While the game will sell based on being amazing, I am looking at this differently than most.

For many gamers, DOOM’s multiplayer was just kind of there. It was perfectly alright but obviously not the main draw compared to the amazing single player. However, it should also be noted that on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, there are numerous multiplayer shooters that fill the desires of gamers. On Nintendo Switch however, there is Splatoon 2, and while Splatoon is great, it is not the same thing at all. We have Morphie’s Law coming as well, but again that is not the traditional multiplayer shooter that most want.

The fact of the matter is, DOOM’s multiplayer has little competition on the Nintendo Switch and therefore, unlike the other systems where it was more of a side dish, it could be a major attraction for the Switch version. DOOM could be THE big multiplayer shooter on the Nintendo Switch ( again, aside from Splatoon, which is a different take), simply due to being the first and having a big name attached to it. This is a big opportunity for DOOM and Bethesda, as there is an untapped market here and they are the first ones with a product.

While many complained about the multiplayer, the truth is that Bethesda and iD Software greatly improved it since launch, and the experience is much better than  it was at first. As well, certain games with a rocky launch on systems like Steam and PS4, such as Double Dragon IV, were better received on Switch when thy launched with all the updates and improvements from the start. DOOM obviously was very well received and sold well, but the multiplayer did not have the best reception at first. On the Switch, this will likely not be the same issue and as such I am very eager to see how the game does on Switch but also how the multiplayer is received and affects the sales. This is especially the case, since DOOM will have the improved multiplayer and all the DLC with it.

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The above is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff.

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With Dishonored: Death of the Outsider fast approaching, I wanted to take a look back at the series thus far. When Bethesda and Arkane Studios first released Dishonored, it didn’t introduce new ideas, so much as use what was already done by others. What was new was the way they used those ideas, and the product that came out of it.

Dishonored combined different elements and playstyles, like the stealth gameplay of Thief, with more horror and fantasy elements as well as action. The thing is though, Dishonored innovated, not by giving you different ways to play the game, but consequences for your style, and incentive to play again. You could go through the game with as little murder as possible, or kill everyone in your path. The choices you made affected not only the endings, but how the game progressed in general.

Dishonored also took steampunk genre and played with it in an interesting way, by deconstructing such a world and then giving the player a chance to have such a world exist in an ideal state. The game didn’t encourage you to go down either route, it let you make your own choice every step of the way. Then we have the sequel. Dishonored 2 gave two characters to play as, but also gave even more ways to play than ever before. Dishonored 2 took the formula of the first game and built on it, expanding what was done, and allowing far more innovation. But now it brought it a sense of immersion like never before.

The series playing with established ideas and using them in new ways was excellent, but the developers also took the time to build a unique world with a character of its own. It is not an exaggeration to say that the genres and games Dishonored took from, now take from Dishonored, such as seen with the reboot of Thief. It has become a series that transformed gaming and pushed things forward.

There are few games that can truly force change on gaming. The Dishonored series is one of the few that can legitimately claim to have done so.

 

If you hadn’t seen our review of Dishonored 2 before, you can see it here.

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I am a fan of The Elder Scrolls series as should be well evident from my articles by now. Instead of talking about a particular game today however, I wanted to do something else and discuss the various DLC expansions released for the main games. I will not be discussing Elder Scrolls Online at this time, but may do another list in the future. This list is purely my opinion, and I ranked the DLC based off of quality, what it did for the game, how well it was received, and how well it held up years later.

 

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

 

 

Without further delay, let us start with Number 7.

 

7: Hearthfire 

Hearthfire is a great little DLC, but there is emphasis needed for the word little. It doesn’t have a huge amount of content like the other expansions, but what it does offer is some new followers, new houses and children to adopt. It isn’t the most exciting DLC but it does help the role playing experience and does allow a greater degree of immersion. There isn’t much to talk about. Its a nice way to build on the game but there isn’t much to it.

6: Knights of the Nine 

Knights of the Nine was the first major expansion for Oblivion and it was well received at the time. However, I honestly feel it hasn’t actually held up as well as the main game or what came later. To me, Knights of the Nine feels like an attempt to bring Morrowind’s narrative style to Oblivion in a way that just didn’t fit. The story was good, don’t get me wrong and the expansion did offer a neat experience, but it just has not held up as well as others. It is also rather short and doesn’t feel as well developed as the other expansions, bar Hearthfire.

5: Tribunal

I can hear the anger already. Tribunal serves as a direct sequel to the story of Morrowind, one of the most acclaimed games in the series, so how could I only put it at number 5? Well, to be honest, it isn’t very good. I rated this above Knights of the Nine because of the fact that the story is a continuation of the events of the main game and is very important for that reason. That being said, the expansion has a lot of issues, a story that feels ill plotted at times, and game mechanics that take you out of the immersion. It is an important DLC but not one that I particularly like.

4: Dawnguard

The top 4 DLC expansions are all amazing and I had a hard time choosing which to put in number 4 through 2, but I came to the conclusion that Dawnguard fits best in this spot. The vampire threat is a big departure from the main quest of Skyrim, but the story does actually build on the lore of the game and the series in general. It introduced amazing characters like Serana, explored the history of Skyrim and the Falmer, and showed us the truth about the soul gems. It had an atmosphere of adventure, tough enemies and great new abilities. Plus it overhauled the perk system and due to the choice you make early one, there are two ways to actually explore the DLC.

3: Bloodmoon

The 2nd expansion for Morrowind is far and away the better one.  This is the first time we are introduced to Solstheim and the Skaal people among other things. Bloodmoon introduced the Lycanthropy ability to the game and offered a unique area that felt large and yet different from the main game. it felt new and different and had a great charm to it. The quests were great, there was a lot to do in the expansion and it brought a lot of innovation. It does not get the attention that Tribunal gets, which is a shame because it is a far better expansion, as it is better developers, has a better story, and a much better sense of immersion with more choices for the player.  It has aged better than tribunal and is simpley a better experience.

 

2: Dragonborn

The third and final dlc expansion for Skyrim, Dragonborn is set once again on Solstheim, only 200 years have passed since Bloodmoon. You can now see how things have changd, while exploring a familiar setting for players of Morrowind. As with Bloodmoon, there is a lot to do in this expansion, but it goes beyond as we get an epic plot that discusses the nature of the Dragonborn more, awesome new abilities and shouts, great new weapons and armor and more. This isn’t even mentioning the excellent quests and characters that are in the dlc. Reviving Raven Rock gives a real sense of accomplishment, and honestly, this feels like proper semi sequel to Skyrim more than Tribunal felt like a continuation of Morrowind. This is a story that emphasizes how things have changed and how you are the one to help make things right.

 

1: Shivering Isles

There was no other choice for the number one spot. Shivering Isles  is the greatest DLC expansion for an Elder Scrolls game so far. If Cyrodil felt like too much of a typical European fantasy setting, then this solved that problem by making the setting a bizarre would where madness ruled. It made Sheogorath into a fan favourite character and gave him some amazing lines. There was so much to do, and so many ways to do them. There was a sense of whimsicalness as well as a tragic undertone building up throughout the story. The ending was amazing, with Jyggalag being freed from his curse and the cycle of the Greymarch broken, and then your character ascending to godhood as the new Sheogorath. Nothing has topped this yet, and I doubt anything will. Shivering Isles could have been a standalone game and it would still have been amazing. There is a reason the fans love this one the most, and time has been very kind to it, unlike some other expansions. It is simply a masterpiece of game design.

 

 

Well I hope you enjoyed the list. Let me know what you think of it, and some suggestions you think would make good lists.

 

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily the views of ROG or its staff.