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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Pixelkin.org. Make sure to check them out when you get the chance!

Sony announced during their E3 2016 press briefing that they are working with Activision to help bring Crash Bandicoot back to the masses.

Crash Bandicoot burst onto the gaming scene back in 1996 with his own 3D platforming game developed by Naughty Dog. He then went on to appear in more than a dozen games over the next 14 years. Crash never reached the same level of popularity as Mario or Sonic, but he was, and continues to be well loved by his fans. That love has inspired a loyal and vocal fanbase to call for his return ever since he vanished from the gaming scene.

Those loyal voices have finally won the day. Crash is coming back! Sony and Activision are raking the first three Crash games (Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped) from the ground up and releasing them on the PS4. They did not give a firm release date yet, but the three remakes are tentatively scheduled for 2017.

That wasn’t all Sony had in store though. they also announced that Crash would be finding his way into Skylanders Imaginators as one of the Sensei characters. His sky-chi attack will involve using his iconic yo-yo to pull enemies into him with a whirlwind like spin move.

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There are few things on earth that are more consistent than the annual release of Just Dance. This year will be no different as we will be playing Just Dance 2017 this October.

The developer’s goal is, and has been, to make the whole world dance, and releasing the ever popular dance title across every platform imaginable certainly helps with that. The game will be released on the following (giant) list of consoles:

  • Wii
  • Wii U
  • Nintendo NX
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
  • Playstation 3
  • Playstation 4
  • PC download (For the first time ever)

The game will launch with six different game modes including the newly designed Just Dance Machine. This is a mode that is exclusive to current generation consoles and will challenge players to dance in various international dancing styles. The other modes include Sweat + Playlists, Just Dance Quest, Just Dance TV, and the World Dance Floor.

The first tracks announced as part of the release are as follows:

  • “Sorry” – Justin Bieber
  • “DADDY” – Psy Ft. CL of 2NE1
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia Ft. Sean Paul
  • “Lean On” – Major Lazer Ft. MØ & DJ Snake
  • “Worth It” – Fifth Harmony Ft. Kid Ink
  • “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen
  • “PoPiPo” – Hatsune Miku
  • “Radical” – Dyro & Dannic
  • “El Tiki” – Maluma
  • “September” – Equinox Stars
  • “What Is Love” – Ultraclub 90

We will have more information here on Pixelkin.org as we get closer to the release.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Pixelkin.org. Be sure to check them out when you get a chance!

Mojang and Microsoft made some significant Minecraft announcements during their E3 2016 Press Briefing. Minecraft has already sold over 100 million copies, but neither company is ready to rest on their laurels. Massive updates are coming to all versions of the game to increase the number of ways people can play together, and number of people they can play with.

They opened the Minecraft segment with a demo that showcased  cross-device play between iOS, Android, Samsung Gear VR, and Windows 10 devices. This is being made possible through what they are calling the “Friendly Update” for the Minecraft Windows 10 Edition and the Minecraft: Pocket Edition.

They also announced that they would be launching the Minecraft Realms services that will allow Windows PC and Mobile players to create and host their own multiplayer worlds that they can play in with their friends 24/7 even if they are offline. A one month demo of Minecraft Realms is available to people with Xbox Live accounts starting today.

They also announced that they will be bringing more add-ons and texture packs to allow players to more fully customize their worlds. Even more announcements and surprises are in store for us at Minecon in September.

Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more information as it is released!

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Pixelkin.org as part of their E3 Coverage. They are another site that reviews games for families much like us. Check them out when you get a chance!

Electronic Arts held their E3 Play press event on June 12th, 2016. They brought a new trailer for Madden NFL 17 as well as information regarding significant updates to the game’s Franchise Mode.

The most significant update comes in the form of the “Play the Moments” feature. This works by giving players in Franchise mode the chance to take the helm at critical moments throughout the game, while simulating the rest. Focusing on critical red zone drives, key third down stops on defense, and late game scoring opportunities will keep the games moving and will let players complete a season over the course of a weekend.

Madden17PlaytheMoment

The updates aren’t all on the field though. There are improvements between games as well. Players will be able to use Franchise gameplanning to help tailor their strategy to help take advantage of their teams’ strengths or their opponents’ weaknesses. This influences practices in between, and play selection during, each game.

The Big Decisions system also allows players to take on the role of a General Manager for their favorite team and decide when to bring players back from injury, signing free agents, and even negotiating contracts with players. This is an unprecedented level of control for players and, if implemented correctly, might even give some insight into the decisions some of our favorite teams have made over the years.

These sure are big updates, but don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at this video from Mike and Mike (of ESPN Radio fame) where they lay it all out on the table.

The bottom line? Madden NFL 17 looks stunning and includes some highly sought after feature updates. This is going to be a great year to be a Madden fan!

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Electronic Arts held their EA Play event today as part of the E3 2016 event in LA. They made a series of announcements regarding games like Titanfall 2,  Battlefield I, and Mass Effect. They also made an announcement regarding a significant addition to FIFA 2017.

FIFA is one of the most successful video games in the world; fueled by the massive popularity of football worldwide. The series began back in 1993 on the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis and has grown by orders of magnitude since then. The newest game looks better than ever, but includes new features that just might make it bigger than ever.

Some of the technical updates are as follows:

Set Piece Rewrite – “New penalties, free kicks, corners, and throw-ins bring creativity and variety in every dead ball situation.”

Physical Play Overhaul – “U.S. Patent-Pending Pushback Technology changes the way players physically interact in every situation and introduces a new shielding system that gives fans more control when in possession or battling to win the ball.”

Active Intelligence System – “A brand new intelligence system gives players the ability to better define and classify space to make smarter decisions off the ball. Players will utilize several New Run Types like fake, direct, and stunted runs to stay even more active off the ball.”

New Attacking Techniques – “New options in attack give fans more ways to create chances and finish in front of goal. Send teammates in with a Threaded Through Pass and put exciting goals away with a Driven Finish or Downward Header.”

FIFA 2017 Alex HUNTER

Take the Journey with Alex Hunter – FIFA 2017

Those are excellent technical updates that fall well in line with previous iterative updates as the franchise has grown in the past. The most significant change, though, is the inclusion of “The Journey.” This is a game mode where players take on the role of Alex Hunter as he is drafted into the Premier league and begins his professional football career. Players will be in command as he plays games, makes plays, and deals with the trials and tribulations of his newfound success, wealth, and fame.

This appears to be a football themed take on the story of Frequency Vibrations in NBA 2016 and I am 100% ok with that. We will find out more details as the game gets closer to launch to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more information about FIFA 2017 and the Journey.

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We have been waiting a VERY long time for Mighty No. 9 to come out. The wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for the game happened almost three years ago. But, it looks like the game will finally come out.

Keiji Inafune, the head of Comcept, made an announcement to Kickstarter backers that was also posted on the Mighty No. 9 website that announced that the game has “gone gold” which means that it should have no further delays and will, finally, release on June 21st, 2016.

Mega Man fans don’t have much longer to wait before they get to play this one as that is less than eight weeks from now. We can only hope that it will be worth the long wait. (Although, let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute here. The internet is not a very forgiving beast. I expect that the game could be perfect and it wouldn’t be enough for some people.”

We will be covering the game and publishing a review after its release so keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for info as the release date comes closer.

Take a look below for the full text of the announcement.

“To all of our backers and fans of Mighty No. 9,

Firstly, I would like to say again how sincerely sorry we are for how long we have kept all of our fans waiting. We are finally able to deliver some long awaited news regarding Mighty No. 9. We have now confirmed the following release dates for Mighty No. 9: June 21st 2016 (North America & Asia) and June 24th 2016 (World Wide). We understand that as a result of the various delays we have disappointed and let down our fans, but we are happy to finally be able to deliver the game to everyone who brought us this far.

With the game having “gone gold” we are in the last final stages of being able to deliver it into your hands, be that via your favorite retail outlet, or via digital channels.

Therefore the release date we are announcing is set in stone and there will be no further delays for the game.

Portable versions for PlayStation® Vita and Nintendo 3DS ™ will follow at a later point.

It has been almost three years since the start of our Kickstarter campaign, which was only made possible through the support of our backers and fans around the world. This is a project where everyone’s passions were combined in order to create something very special, and we are looking forward to delivering the final product to everyone who was involved. There can be no stronger connection between game creators and game fans.

Now that the dust has settled, we will be delivering Mighty No. 9 to everyone next month. How long will it take you to clear the main story on NORMAL? How many people are going to be able to clear MANIAC mode? What is going to be the fastest record for the time attack mode? We are looking forward to seeing the community answer all of these questions for us! Make sure to let us know your feedback and thoughts on the game through our SNS channels as you play the game. Your voices are what made this game possible, and we want to continue hearing what you think so that it may influence our future endeavors. “

-Keiji Inafune

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Skylanders are going on sale from March 13th through March 19th to celebrate the arrival of Spring (and for Easter Baskets). Check out all the killer deals to help fill out your collection!

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Toys R Us

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99
Skylanders SuperChargers Characters and Vehicles $9.99
Save $10 on Racing Packs

Target

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99
All Skylanders toys 50% off

Game Stop

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99, and receive a FREE Kaos cup with your purchase
Skylanders SuperChargers Characters and Vehicles Buy One Get One Free
Racing and Dual Packs 50% off

Best Buy

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $29.99, and receive a FREE legacy Starter Pack with your purchase
Buy One Get One FREE Skylanders SuperChargers toys

Walmart

Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Packs $49.96 Everyday Low Price
Legacy Character Rollbacks in Store

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Activision Blizzard and Platinum Games have been working on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for a while now, but they just can’t lug the leaks that have been showing screenshots and other information to the masses before they were prepared to give out official information on the game.

They finally gave in and released the official trailer today! It looks like it will follow suit with the hand drawn animation style used in The Legend of Korra and Transformers: Devastation (which is fine by us). Take a look at the trailer below. It appears that the game will feature up to four player online coop which seems like the perfect way to resurrect the fun many of us had playing the TMNT brawlers back in our younger days.

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Black Friday 2015 is almost upon us and now is the time to into our war rooms and devise our shopping plans.

I have delved into the flyers for the major video game retailers and highlighted the juiciest deals of the bunch. Take a look below!

Walmart

Sales start Thursday 6pm

NBA2k16, FIFA 16, Madden 16 – $27.00

Uncharted Collection PS4 Bundle – $299.00

3 month Xbox Live Gold – $12.50

3 month PS Plus – $10

PS4 and Xbox One Controller – $39.99

$35 Games – NHL 16,  Forza Motorsports 6, Destiny: The Taken King

$25 Games – Splatoon, Just Dance Disney Party 2016, Just Dance 2016, LEGO Jurassic World, Mario Party 10, Splatoon

$15 Games – MLB: The Show 2015, Minecraft Xbox 360, Rare Replay, Little Big Planet 3

$8 Games – Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare.

Disney Infinity 3.0 and Skylanders Superchargers -$37

Disney Infinity 3.0 and Skylanders Superchargers figures and vehicles – $9

LEGO Dimensions  -$79.00

Nintendo Wii U bundle including Splatoon and Smash Wii U – $249

30th Anniversary Mario Color Mario Amiibo – $12.96

 

Target

Sales Start Thursday 6pm

Disney Infinity 3.0 and Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack -$34.99

Disney Infinity 3.0 and Skylanders SuperChargers figures – $11

LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack – $79.99

New Nintendo 3DS XL – $179.99

Video Games at $15, $20, $25, and $35

Guitar Hero Live – $59

Rock Band 4 – $199

Best Buy

Sales Start Thursday 5pm

Video Games at $19.99

Sports titles at $29.99

Action Games at $34.99

PS4 and Xbox One bundles $299.99

Guitar Hero Live $69.99 includes a free USB Microphone with purchase

 

Toys “R” Us

Sales start Thursday 5pm

Skylanders Superchargers figures buy 1 get one 80% off

All “R” Super buy games 2 for $25

Anki Overdrive Free Expansion car with Anki Overdrive Starter Kit

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One bundles – $299.99

Nintendo Wii U bundle including Splatoon and Smash Wii U  – $279.99

New Nintendo 3DS XL – $179.99

Xbox Live Gold 3 month Subscription – $14.99

Angry Birds Star Wars for 3DS – $1

Deep discounts on video games of all varieties

GameStop

Closed on Thanksgiving

Sales start Friday at 5am

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Bundles – $299.99

$50 off all new Xbox One bundles

$50 off all new PlayStation 4 bundles

LEGO Jurassic World $29.99

WWE 2K 16 – $49.99 with a free Stone Cold Steve Austin Funk Pop Figure

Rare Replay – $19.99

Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare – $14.99

Disney Infinity 3.0 Starter Pack – $34.99

Guitar Hero Live – $69.99

LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack – $79.99

Skylanders Superchargers characters and vehicles – $9.99

Buy two get one free pre-owned products

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Lets face it. The toys to life genre is EXPENSIVE. It can get out of control for parents who just can’t keep up with all of the different figures and games that seem to be coming out every day! Below are some strategies that will help you keep a handle on costs while still letting your kids enjoy the games.

Play the game with your children.

This is a recurring theme on our website in general, but it bears repeating here because it is especially relevant. Many of the toys to life games, especially Skylanders, present players with obstacles that can only be overcome by characters of specific elements. These are all bonus objectives like puzzle rooms to get things like loot and stat-boosting hats.

The best way to know what your child NEEDS vs what they would like is to play with them. You’ll be able to see and recognize where their collection is falling short so you can work together to complete it.

Do your homework.

There are tons of websites out there dedicated to explaining what toys are out there and how to get them. We even got in on the action and published buying guides for Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and LEGO Dimensions this year. This is the next best thing to playing with your kids in regards to know what they need. You can very easily find out what is available with a little web research.

Pay attention to the pre-owned section at GameStop and other retailers.

This wasn’t an option even a few years ago, but GameStop has seen the strength of the Toys to Life market and has pounced on it. Even better? Lots of kids are aging out of their Skylanders collections and trading them in to GameStop to help pay for new consoles. This leaves them with a lot of stock that is often heavily discounted. Our family was lucky enough to clean up at a buy 2 get 3 free sale a month or so back.

When in doubt don’t buy just one.

Many toy retailers like Toy ‘R Us, Target, and Walmart offer discounts from time to time where you can buy one and get one half off (or something similar). This adds up if you are planning to buy a lot of these toys for your kids.

Don’t buy the games and figures on release day.

This may not be possible for people who have older kids, but if you are just getting into the Toys to Life game market and your kids are younger, then I HIGHLY recommend starting with the previous year’s version of the game. You might not be able to use the shiny new figures, but you’ll be able to get the game much less.

 

 

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