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EFG Podcast – PS5, Xbox One SAD, and New Switches – Oh My!

This week Stephen and Amanda come together to chat about The new PS5 details, The Xbox One S All Digital Edition, and rumors about new Switches coming later this year.

This podcast was produced in partnership with SuperParent.com

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Engaged Family Gaming Holiday

The Holiday season is fast approaching! Games are coming out so fast that it can be very difficult to keep track. We take  time every year to list the very best family games of the year that came out on every console.

Take a look below for our list of the best video game gifts for Xbox One owners!

(Full disclosure: These Amazon links are affiliate links. Purchases made using these links will help us earn revenue.)

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the best fighting games and the bestDragon Ball of the year. It is a three on three tag team brawl with a character roster than pulls from the deepest corners ofDragon Ball lore. It was developed by Arc System Works, a company known for high quality animation and flashy combat.Dragon Ball FighterZ is a beautiful game to watch thanks to its tag and assist system, but the real fun starts when you take the controls yourself. This is a very accessible fighting game that is great for tweens.

 

 

Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and 2

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

You can purchase a combo pack of these two games on the Microsoft Store!

Mega Man is a well loved character and Mega Man 1 through 10 are the reason why. These two collections include 10 devilishly challenging platformers that have inspired a generation of gamers. This is a must own for families that have an interest in gaming history.

 

 

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Mega Man X is one of the best platformers on the Super Nintendo and it spawned a series of sequels that kept ramping up the action. Capcom released two Mega Man X collections this year. The second collection falls flat, but collection 1 included Mega Man X through X4 and is a great value.

 

 

 

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion

Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Adventure Time may have come to an end on September 3rd, but there are still adventures to be had. Pirates of the Enchiridion is a great way to keep the fun going. It is an open world RPG where you explore the land of Ooo one last time with a party of classic Adventure Time characters. The animation is of particular note here as it captures the irreverent nature of the show perfectly.

 

 

 

Sonic Mania Plus

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Price: Check on Amazon

Sonic Mania was a big deal when it came out initially. Many critics lauded it as the best Sonic the Hedgehog game in decades. (Some went so far as to say it was the best Sonic game of all time). Sonic Mania Plus is a re-release that also includes two new characters: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. They both move differently from Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles and have different powers.

 

 

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is the spiritual successor to the popular PS3 title after two offshoot titles launched for the PS Vita. The game is a tactical strategy game set in an alternate, and more fantastical, version of Europe during the Second World War. The game unfolds in a series of journal entries placing the battles in context of a series of well told cut scenes and storyboards. Game play alternates between battles where you control each character in a unit as you advance and fight your way to an objective, and coordinating and upgrading your ever increasing squad in an offstage headquarters. This is a family friendly title that bridges the gap between the popular title XCOM 2 and Mario + Rabbid’s Kingdom Battle. It also has a playable demo with a save that can be rolled over to the full title. A strong title for strategy or warfare fans.

 

 

Mega Man 11

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Price: $17.80
Was: $29.99

It’s been eight years since the release of a new official Mega Man game and we have been long overdue. Mega Man is one of the essential franchises that gave birth to the platforming genre, and this newcomer to the Mega Man family is a most welcome addition. It promises new mechanics and challenges that will push the series to new heights. If you are a fan of the series or a fan of retro platforming games, then Mega Man 11 is a no brainer.

 

 

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

Starlink: Battle for Atlas was my game of the show at E3 this year. I was stunned to see a toys to life game (not called Skylanders) in 2018 and I loved it.

This is releasing this holiday season on all three major consoles and on PC, but the best place to play Starlink is going to be on Switch where it will feature exclusive content based on the legendary Star Fox franchise.

 

 

Forza Horizon 4

Xbox One

The Forza Horizon series has always been a hit and they keep getting better. The fourth entry in the series takes players to the countryside of England. It also adds seasons to the game that will pass every real world week. Xbox One families should definitely look at this one

(This game is also available for download if you are an Xbox Game Pass Member!)

 

 

Just Dance 2019

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

What is there to say about Just Dance that hasn’t been said before? This is becoming one of the most venerable franchises in gaming. Just Dance is released every year with new dance routines and new songs to very little coverage from gaming sites. Just Dance 2019 has a large audience and you’ll know if your family falls into it. Do you love music? Do you love dancing? If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then this should be on your radar.

 

 

Spyro Remastered Trilogy

Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Spyro is more than just a Skylander. He was the mascot for a whole bunch of 3d platformers. His games where some of the first in the genre though so they are both well loved and in need of a fresh coat of paint. Vicarious Visions has rebuild the first three Spyro games with loving detail. I went hands on with the Spyro collection while I was at E3 and I loved what I saw so far. This is going to be a great gift for your family. This is especially true if you are a parent who loved the Spyro games in the past and want to share them with your kids.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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All-New Battletoads Coming to Xbox One X in 2019

By: Drew Habersang

One of the biggest surprises on Monday was the announcement of an all-new Battletoads, the legendary borderline impossibly difficult side-scroller. Microsoft announced the game Monday at its E3 2018 media briefing, stating that Battletoads will return in 2019 with “body-morphing genre mashups, three-player couch co-op, 4K hand-drawn 2.5D graphics, and broad non-specific feature declarations”.

While not specifically detailed in the announcement, all indications are that Battletoads will be a completely new game, rather than a port of the original first game. Battletoads was last brought to the Xbox One in 2014 as part of the 30-game Rare Replay Anthology.

Originally released June 1, 1991 by Rare (a studio owned by Microsoft since 2003) for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Battletoads has long been recognized as one of the most difficult games in existence. No doubt, this new iteration of Battletoads will be equally as challenging.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Like us on Twitter!

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Engaged Family Gaming Holiday

Microsoft had a rough year this year with the Xbox One. They had to delay and/or cancel a bunch of games. Fortunately, families have several great options for games to play. Take a look below for our recommendations.

Star Wars Battlefront II


Star Wars is on everyone’s mind right now. How can it not be with Episode 8 looming this holiday season?

Star Wars fans will want to take a look at Star Wars Battlefront II this holiday. It isn’t available for purchase yet as of the time that I published our gift guide, but most early indications from a public beta have been positive. There have been some concerns raised by critics about the micro-transactions that are available in the game, but we don’t have all of the details from the final version of the game yet. We’ll need to wait and see if they end up being a true problem.

Forza Motorsport 7


Another year passes; another Forza game is released for the Xbox One. Last year we were able to race around the Australian Outback in Forza Horizons 3 (which is still a great gift idea in its own right if you have a racing fan in the house). This year we have Forza Motorsports 7. The biggest difference between these two games is where they place their focus on the driving.

Forza Motorsports 7 is a simulation racer so the developer’s attention is focused on crafting as realistic of a racing experience as possible. Forza 7 is also one of a handful of games that is being optimized for play on the Xbox One X so it will be a great way to showcase that new 4K TV Santa brought you!

 

Destiny 2


Destiny 2 is an amazing multiplayer shooter experience set in a cool sci-fi universe. It is also a great compromise for parents looking to find a shooter for their kids to play that isn’t as grim as Call of Duty: WW2 or Battlefield 1.

Cuphead



Ok. This one might be divisive. Cuphead is one of the coolest looking games to be released in years. With that said, it is also incredibly difficult so it will be difficult for inexperienced gamers to fully enjoy.

 

I am putting this game on the list because it is inexpensive, gorgeous, and will definitely appeal to families with kids who LOVE a challenge. Cuphead will push them to the limit, but you’ll love watching it while it happens!

Minecraft


I know I sound like a broken record, but Minecraft should be on top of everyone’s shopping list. It may be one of the best selling games of all time, but there are plenty of kids who don’t have it.

Rocket League



If I told you a few years ago that millions of players would be playing digital soccer using rocket powered cars you’d has told me I was crazy. But, here we are! Rocket League is a game that you will LOVE to watch your kids play. The colors are bright. The action is wild. And the game is just absurd enough that you’ll be laughing the whole time. Don’t sleep on this one. Its great.


Make sure to look at all of our other Holiday Gift Guides for 2017!

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Skyrim Special Edition screen grab

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released five years ago. It was one of the most highly regarded games of the last generation, and fans have been asking Bethesda to update the game and remaster it for the new generations of consoles since the PS4 and Xbox One were released. These requests were originally denied, but it looks like even Bethesda can’t turn away droves of fans who want to buy their game a second time. And thus Skyrim Special Edition is born.

Bethesda announced the game last night as part of their E3 2016 press briefing. They also announced that it is being improved in two main ways: Significant graphical enhancements and Mod Support.

The graphical enhancements are plain to see in the below video. The first game looked stunning when it was released, but the updated version looks miles away better.

The mod support is  really a no-brainer. It is wildly successful on PC and has been received well on Fallout 4. This gives console players a chance to expand their game by dipping into the well of community created content. 

Skyrim: Special Edition will release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on October 28th, 2016.

 

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Microsoft held a press conference today at Gamescom 2015 in Cologne, Germany. The vast majority of their event was about rated M games that we don’t need to talk about here, but they did make some announcements that families will appreciate.

Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox One backwards compatibility feature that they announced at E3 a few months ago will go live this November. They also indicated that all future Games with Gold games for Xbox 360 will be a part of the backwards compatibility program.

This is a big deal because it adds a LOT of value to the Xbox Live Gold membership as it will now include even more games.

We know that all of the first party Xbox 360 games will be included, but there will also be games from select third party developers as well. The developers we know to be including their games are listed below.

  • Bandai Namco
  • Bethesda
  • Deep Silver
  • Disney
  • Majesco
  • Electronic Arts
  • Sega
  • Square Enix
  • 2K
  • Capcom
  • Ubisoft
  • Koei Tecmo
  • Codemasters
  • Warner Bros Interactive

Those are some very big names so there will be a lot of added value to the Xbox One library as it moves into the middle of its life cycle.

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Microsoft made several HUGE announcements during their E3 2015 Press briefing. One of the biggest announcements being that the Xbox One will be made backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. The means that, come this fall when the feature goes live, the console will be able to play Xbox 360 games. This was something that was previously dubbed impossible when the system was launching. (But, falling behind in sales for several years straight will do funny things to your idea of “impossible.”)

The program is live today for Xbox Preview members (a group of people who regularly beta test Xbox hardware updates), but will go live this fall for everyone.

Some XBLA games (downloadable titles) will simply be ready for download once the feature is live, but disc games will be fine too. You would just need to put the disc into the console like normal.

It is worth noting that ALL Xbox 360s  won’t be compatible. There will be about 100 when the program launches and more added each month. But, this is a very good start. Keep your eyes here for more info!

 

 

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Microsoft has announced a new version of the wildly successful Xbox One console on June 16th. The new version will feature a matte black finish, a 1 TB internal hard drive, and a new controller.

By all accounts, the Xbox One has been a great success. It is selling at a fantastic rate and really doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. It is not entirely sunshine and rainbows though. There are some complaints with the console, the biggest among them being the relatively tiny internal hard drive.
Games have gotten much bigger in recent years and many of the games purchased on store shelves require significant downloads in order to reduce load times. All of that adds up and makes the 500GB available in the current model feel very cramped.

The new model will be priced at $399 with the original model being available at the, now permanently reduced, price of $349.

Why should parents care?

Parents with young children aren’t likely to be purchasing all of the major releases since many of them are rated M. This makes the 500 gig hard drive on the cheaper model more than enough for what parents will need for their kids. Cheaper consoles are always better for everyone.

 

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2014 has been a GREAT year for family friendly video games. We have seen new editions of Minecraft. The Toys to Life category is exploding thanks to new editions of Skylanders and Disney Infinity and more competition in the form of Angry Birds Transformers and Nintendo’s amiibo line. Most importantly we have spent the year bearing witness to the phoenix-like resurgence of Nintendo who have slowly started to right the ship with the once maligned WiiU console.

Below is a list of five games for the Microsoft Xbox One  that are great for families and will be great gifts even if they aren’t number one of your child’s list. (And you know what… YOU might even enjoy them too!)

1. Forza Horizons 2

The Forza Motorsports series is a simulation racer. This makes it very difficult for younger players to play. Fortunately Forza Horizons 2 is designed to be more of an arcade racer. Players don’t have to pay as much attention to driving mechanics and can, instead, focus on driving fast cars through beautiful scenery.

2. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare

PopCap knew they had a hit on their hands when Plants Vs Zombies started dominating the PC gaming world several years ago. We knew that more was coming, but no one would have ever guessed that it would have morphed into a team based online shooter.

The best part is that said online team-based shooter is also really good!

3. Minecraft

OK. So I’ll keep it simple here. If you have a child old enough to play video games then you have probably heard more about Minecraft than you will ever want to know. The good news is that Minecraft is budget priced so if you are a bit strapped after shelling out for a new console this is a great addition that won’t break the bank.

4. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

It’s LEGO Batman. ‘Nuff said.

Seriously though, Traveler’s Tales has been doing an amazing job with their LEGO titles recently. Last year’s LEGO Marvel Super Heroes was amazing and this looks like it will be a similar experience with a DC comics spin.

5. Fantasia: Music Evolved

Fantasia: Music Evolved is difficult to describe. Suffice it to say that it is a fascinating Kinect enabled, musical experience. The Fantasia license should say it all. This game is buolt around bringing music to life in wonderful ways.

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One of the interesting games to come out of E3 2014 was an indie title called Cuphead.

I know what you might be thinking, “Cup. Head. What in the world could that game be about?”

Well. The answer is pretty straight forward. It is a game about a guy who has a cup for a head. I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.

OK. Sunk in? Good. Let’s move on.

To be specific, Cuphead is a 2D, side-scrolling shooter that sports a hand drawn 1930’s era cartoon aesthetic. We don’t know much about the story or anything specific about the game play. But, the developer Studio MDHR has a lot of experience with the genre having developed GunStar Heroes and a CONTRA title.

I can’t call it a beautiful game, but if the animation is as smooth in the final product as it was in the trailer then Cuphead could be a very appealing option when it drops next year. Regardless, it should help scratch the family gaming itch next year.

Take a look at the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments!

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