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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games to come out in a very long time. Players have put countless hours into exploring every nook and cranny of the world that Nintendo has crafted. We all knew that two DLC packs were coming, but the information was shrouded in ambiguity. That shroud has officially been lifted, because Nintendo has officially announced the details for the first DLC pack that will be coming out this summer.

I know that some people have expressed concern that the DLC pack would be light on content, but take a look at the list below and see what you think.

Trial of the Sword

By accessing this location, players can challenge the new Trial of the Sword (previously known as “Cave of Trials Challenge”), where enemies appear one after another. Link starts without any armor or weapons, and if he defeats all of the enemies in the room he can proceed to the next area. Trial of the Sword will include around 45 total rooms for players to complete. When Link clears all of the trials, the true power of the Master Sword will awaken and always be in its glowing powered-up state.

The Trial of the Sword is, for all intents and purposes, a horde mode. This is a game mode where players are tasked with battling waves of enemies that grow progressively stronger. Fourty five rooms is a lot so this should be a very significant challenge for players, but a fully empowered Master Sword is a worthy prize.

Hard Mode

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already considered one of the most thrilling games in The Legend of Zelda series, and fans looking for a challenge are in for a treat with the new Hard Mode. In Hard Mode, the “ranks” of enemies in the game are increased (i.e. Red Bokoblins change to Blue), and players might even encounter higher-ranking enemies they wouldn’t find through normal play. Enemies will also slowly recover health in battle, forcing you to defeat them more quickly. They will also more easily spot Link as he approaches them, making these enemies tougher to sneak up on. In addition, floating planks held aloft by balloons will be scattered around Hyrule. By successfully reaching these planks, players can battle enemies and collect treasure.

Breath of the Wild is already a very challenging game. I was curious what Nintendo meant when they said they were adding a Hard mode from the second it was announced. This sounds like a daunting challenge. This will be the playground for some of the very best players. I know we’ll give it a shot, but I suspect our family won’t get too far.

Hero’s Path Mode

Exploring Hyrule is exciting, but with such a large world it’s sometimes hard for players to remember where they’ve been. To help with tracking progress, the new Hero’s Path Mode will document every step players take, and mark their path in green on the map. The route taken will be tracked for the player’s last 200 hours of play time, with an included slider to track footsteps on a timeline. This even works retroactively, so players that have already put many hours into the game will be able to see where they have traveled. This feature will help in identifying the locations they haven’t visited in this vast world, and may help players find those Shrines they haven’t encountered yet.

This may be the coolest part of this whole expansion. One of my biggest problems towards the end of the game is that I just didn’t know where to go. This will solve that problem. I doubt that anyone will find the exact footsteps all that useful, but I strongly feel that this will help explorers find their way when it comes to hunting down missing temples.

Travel Medallion

There will be a new treasure chest somewhere in the game world which contains the Travel Medallion. With the Travel Medallion, players can create a temporary new travel point on the map where they are currently standing. Link can then transport himself to that point at any time. Only one travel point can be registered on the map at a time.

This is a welcome quality of life change. This gives players the ability to set transportation markers in areas they are exploring without being dependent upon shrines

Korok Mask

By finding the new Korok Mask, players will have a much easier time finding Korok locations in the game. When equipped, the mask will shake, indicating that a Korok is hidden somewhere nearby.

I don’t feel like the game was designed with the intention that players should get all of the Korok seeds. There are just too darn many of them. However, It looks like Nintendo has listened to their fans and created a tool to help complete the impossible.

New Equipment

Eight new pieces of equipment inspired by previous characters and games in the series will be added to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after downloading the first DLC pack. Once discovered by the player, they will yield equipment themed after fan-favorite games and characters such as Midna, Tingle, Phantom and Majora’s Mask.


One of my favorite parts of Breath of the Wild was the variety in the equipment I could collect. This just adds to that experience. We don’t know what this gear does yet, but I am sure they will be interesting.


What do you think? Is this enough content for a DLC pack for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Will you and your family be picking it up? Sound odd in the comments and let us know!

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Battle Princess Madelyn, by Casual Bit Games, is a game I’ve been keeping my eye on for a very long time. How could I NOT talk about a game that is being made for an awesome little girl by her super cool dad?

The elevator pitch on this game is fairly simple. Battle Princess Madelyn is a retro styled platforming game that is heavily influenced by the super-challenging Ghouls and Ghosts. The story behind the game’s development is adorable as well.

Chris’s daughter Maddi really enjoyed watching him play the above mentioned Ghouls and Ghosts. She especially loved watching him play the first level over and over again. She loved it so much, in fact, that eventually she asked to play, but there was a catch. She knew her dad was a talented programmer so she asked him to put her into the game! He knew he couldn’t do that… but he offered her one better. Why not make a game for her. It could be a new game that would feature her as the brave Battle Princess. She liked the idea, but had a major problem with it. She said to her dad, “But, dad. Girls can’t be knights!” Chris scoffed at that problem. “Pfff. What color do you want your armor to be?” And with that, they were off.

Chris, the super-cool dad himself, took a moment out of his busy schedule to answer some of my questions about their game and how development is going. For more information about the game take a look at the Kickstarter video below and read the Q and A afterwards. I am certain you’ll fall in love with this game just like I have.



Battle Princess Madelyn

I’ve read the story about how the game started development and it sounds awesome. I have to ask though… Ghosts and Goblins is a bit macabre for most kids. What about that game drew your daughter in?

Having a father who’s basically sharing a brain with Tim Burton, she’s pretty used to everything. I introduced her to my 80’s cartoons at the age of 3. The ones she liked? The Real Ghostbusters and Beetlejuice and a bit of Inspector Gadget. I was the same way as a little kid though, always drawn in by skeletons and ghosts. Ghost Rider being my favorite comic book. But all in all I don’t find it macabre at all, It’s all just make believe and she loves it!

What were her favorite parts of the original game and how are they being reflected in the game you are making?

Level one of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. Over and over, she just loved watching me destroy the first boss. “What is he daddy?” “I dunno. Maybe some kind of Zombie… lizard.. Cyclops thing? Who knows.” It’s really only the first level we Look to. She never cared for me to go past the Shielder, just kick its butt.

Why was it so important for her for the game to have a female protagonist? Are there other female characters that she likes out there right now?

For Maddi it really has nothing to do with a female protagonist at all. It all has to do with her wanting to be the kicker of the monster butts! As for other characters, no not really. She was actually upset when she found out the new Ghostbusters movie wasn’t with the classic “Peter and Egon”.

How long has your game been in active development?

This game has been in development for roughly two and a half years officially, between an HTML5 prototype I made while Daven was finishing off bug fixes and new features for Insanity’s Blade, and the full game in Unity (aka Pre-Alpha build) that we see today which Daven started coding last year in C#. The narrative of the game has been brewing in my mind since childhood, but was reignited when Maddi recently went through the loss of our poor old Fritzy in real life.

How involved has your daughter been in the development process so far? Is she helping with design? Or is she playing more of an artistic directorial role?

There are literally stacks of monster drawings and levels she wants in the game. She has a desk next to mine where she will draw more monsters as she thinks of them. She’s come up with entire boss fight gameplay last year which frankly blew my mind. A detailed boss fight, it wasn’t just shoot shoot shoot. It was do X to do Y so the boss will turn around and you can shoot him in the bum!

This game obviously has retro influences. Are there any other games that have influenced you or your team?

This game really pays homage to a plethora of 2D platformers, although Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is the primary attraction factor we actually take some elements of Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap, MegaMan and Duck Tales in an interesting way too (see if you can spot some of it in the Pre-Alpha). Alongside the overworld map and free level selection of unlocked stages, we think this will remind players of many of the games of their childhood, or interest new gamers in playing some retro titles! However, Battle Princess Madelyn is much more than the sum of its parts, as there’s many great ideas that Maddi comes up with which I can’t say I have ever heard before, and they’re definitely going to be fun-filled for players young and old alike!

Has your game gone through any major design changes since development started? What did your first prototype look like?

The only thing that’s really changed besides the engine changing over to Unity, is the addition of animations, and enemies. The first level is much bigger with the hidden levels. But overall these were things that were going to happen. The prototype had a full blown tutorial stage which will not be in the final game, it will be shown as a cinematic instead to avoid ‘hand-holding’ that many did not like in the prototype. Oh and the lighting and fancy effects didn’t exist in the prototype either!

I’m sure you’ve learned a lot through this process. Do you have any advice for parents who have kids interested in game design?

Remember that your kids imaginations aren’t hampered by seeing other people’s works yet. They are still fresh eyed and innocent. The things they come up with can be far more imaginative and amazing than you’d think.

Your Kickstarter is doing very well. This means that you and your team may be creating a female character that will draw positive attention as you move towards release. What do you all think of that? Are you looking forward to it?

We believe that it’s great when a character is created that is believable and interesting, and that’s exactly what my daughter is! We also think it’s fantastic that Maddi can be a catalyst for inspiring young girl gamers that they can be the hero too! This game is first and foremost a game for Maddi to me, but if it shares positive messages to the players too then we couldn’t ask for anything better!


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A Minecraft update was released recently and added several new features to the game. The update adds a few new gameplay elements which encourage players to expand their horizons and travel to different places. These changes have seen 1.11 dubbed the Exploration Update, and it’s one of the biggest additions we’ve seen in recent times.

The additions include a few mobs, new items and a cool new location which contains treasure and various other interesting goodies. This is alongside the usual bug fixes and tweaks we’ve come to expect from the regular updates.

New Items

Arguably the most interesting new item is the Treasure Map, which can be acquired from the Cartographer Villager (also a recent addition). It can be used to help find important locations which are likely to contain loot, such as monuments, dungeons and Woodland Mansions.

There are now more item storage options available for players, with the shells dropped by Shulkers able to be turned into inventory boxes. The advantage is that these Shulker Boxes will keep their inventory even if they are broken.

The last major item addition is the Observer Block, which will output and update a redstone signal. There have already been some interesting creative uses for this item, including things like automated self-harvesting farms, elevators and flying machines.

New Mobs

There are a handful of new mobs in the 1.11 update to help make it a little easier for you to explore. Firstly, the aforementioned Cartographer Villager will sell you his treasure maps in exchange for some emeralds. Given the treasure available at some of the locations, this is more than a fair trade.

Another friendly mob which has been added is the llama, which can be used as transportation and as item storage. While they can’t be controlled when riding them, putting them on a leash will mean other nearby llamas will follow you and form a caravan. With each having a 6 slot inventory it can be a really useful way of transporting items over distance.

Finally, there are a few new hostile mobs added to the game. Illagers are a new enemy which can be found in the Woodland Mansions, and these outcasts will attack the other villagers as well as the player. There are two kinds of illagers in the mansion – Evokers and Vindicators. Evokers have different abilities to Vindicators and can summon Vex, a flying mob which will attack the player during a summon attack. They are surprisingly tough to defeat, so make sure you prepare before you take them on!

New Locations

The new Woodland Mansions are a really interesting addition to the game, and can be found in the Dark Oak Forest biomes. It’s unlikely to be something the player will stumble across accidentally, as it’s typically quite a distance from the spawn point and they’re fairly rare in the game. The most likely way of finding them is to purchase the Treasure Map from the Cartographer Villager and hope there’s one in your world. If there is, it’s well worth visiting as they contain lots of useful items and pre-built rooms (more than 70 types) which makes it an excellent base if you can clear out the hostile mobs.

While it won’t fundamentally change the way play the game, it’s yet another update where enough improvements have been made to keep things interesting for long-time players. Microsoft has stepped up its game over the last year or so and there have been several innovative updates for gamers to enjoy.

While it will be a challenge for them to keep up with the various mods and plugins which have helped make the game so popular, it’s good to see the basic gameplay being updated after all this time. It will be interesting to see where they take the game over the next couple of years, and if they can tempt those who left to come back to the vanilla version of the game.

Playing version 1.11 is as simple as opening your existing launching and changing your profile to the 1.11 version.

Stuart works with Apex Minecraft Hosting, who offer reliable Minecraft servers to players around the world.

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Skylanders Imaginators proves that sometimes good things come when gamers are patient. Toys for Bob have a hit on its hands with the Skylanders franchise and Imaginators is hands down the best version of the game that I have played to date.

Every game in the franchise, save the first one, has had some sort of gimmick that added a new twist or dimension to the series. This time around Toys for Bob has given players the chance to create their own character and customize them using near limitless combinations of parts. The characters that you create are called Imaginators and they are, obviously, central to both the gameplay mechanics and the story of the game.

It is impossible to talk about the game without first discussing the character creation and customization systems. So let’s start there.


Creation Crystals have replaced the standard $9.99 figures from previous sets. These are blank canvases upon which young gaming artists can create. Placing one of these crystals on the portal of power for the first time will bring up a menu that will force them to assign a single Battle Class to the crystal. These are character archetypes that will represent what kinds of moves the Imaginator  will have access to.

It is VERY important to note that this is a one-time choice and cannot be reversed on a given crystal. So kids should be encouraged to choose carefully.

There are ten Battle Classes to choose from. Some of them are melee (up close) fighters while other focus on ranged attacks.


Creation may be limited to one time per crystal, but once you choose a Battle Class you can customize the rest of the character endlessly using a collection of parts (heads, arms, legs, armor, etc) at the push of a button. You start with a rather straight forward collection of pieces that look thematically appropriate for Skylanders. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of those parts were taken from Skylanders that were being designed, but never made the cut.

The collection of parts you start with grows very quickly from there. Just about every challenge you complete and level you finish will give you an Imaginite chest. Opening these chests will unlock new items that come in four different rarities: common, rare, epic, and ultimate. The items include cosmetic things like body parts, but also armor and weapons that you can use to equip your Imaginator to suit your playstyle. What I love about this is that you are constantly earning Imaginite chests. There was almost always a chest to open as I was playing through the game.

The story, while not a masterpiece, is serviceable. Kaos is looking to take over the Skylands again and is trying to use the Mind Magic of the Ancients to do it. What sets this game apart is that it finally includes a large cast of the original Skylanders as the characters driving the story alongside the player. This felt like a great idea especially when we consider that the new Skylanders cartoon is available on Netflix as we speak and features some of these same characters.


Is This a Kids’ Game?

Yes. Skylanders: Imaginators is one of the best kids games on the market this year. It is rated E 10+ because it features some cartoon violence. But, if you have been comfortable letting your kids play previous games in the series, then this should not pose any problems.


Can Kids Play it?

Fans of earlier games in the series should not fear too much change though. You may be able to create and power up your own Skylanders, but the rest of the game operates very similarly to previous games. Kids will be able to transfer all of their knowledge from previous games right into this one without a problem

That said, the game does feature a fair amount of platforming so it is important to make sure your kids know how to jump and navigate 3d spaces. The good news is that falling off of the world doesn’t actually cost you anything other than time as characters immediately respawn on solid ground.



This is a must purchase for fans of the series. I also recommend this as a great starting point for anyone who is interested in playing .

We played the game on Xbox One, but it is also available on Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and Wii U.

Note: The Xbox One version of Skylanders Imaginators was provided to EFG for review purpose.


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Tumblestone is an indie puzzle game that has been making the rounds at PAX and GDC for the last few years. I had the pleasure of playing the game several times over that period of time and was happy to see it grow each time I laid eyes on it.

Tumblestone is played as follows: an array of different colored blocks is arranged across the top of a vertically aligned playing field. You control a character that moves across the bottom of the playing field and shoots a blast of magic directly upwards. The goal is to shoot upwards and eliminate three blocks of the same color in a row. If you are unable to do so, then you will be forced to restart the level. The key is that you will need to make sure that you are eliminating blocks in such a way that you will continuously reveal additional colors. This means that you need to plan your moves and always be thinking a few moves ahead.

That may be true of a lot of different match three puzzle games, but this is different. The biggest difference is that the blocks you eliminate don’t need to be touching each other. They don’t even need to all be available at the time you fire your first shot. You could, for example, dig three blocks deep into the play area to finish your move.

Some levels will take a lot of trial and error, but it takes almost no effort to restart and get going again. It only takes a single button press.

Tumblestone is also full of different game modes. The best among them is, without question, the multiplayer mode. Up to four players race to complete their playing fields. Players can move at a blistering pace if they get up to speed and can think fast thanks to the, very accommodating, control scheme.

There is a story mode as well. The narrative isn’t much to write home about, but it is entertaining enough. At the very least it provides a reasonable excuse to move to different backdrops for the various stages. As you progress through the different levels you will encounter more and more difficult challenges as well as blocks that you have never seen before. Some of the puzzles get pretty insane, but the complex elements within them are introduced slowly over the time.

Is it a kids’ game?

Yes. This may be challenging for some younger kids, there is nothing inappropriate going on here.

Can kids play it?

This is a puzzle game, so it is definitely difficult to play. But, there is no reading involved, so kids who like puzzles will be able to play the game without anything like that getting in the way.


If you like puzzle games, then this is going to be an excellent addition to your game catalog. It is available digitally on the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, and on Steam.     

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Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a Japanese RPG that blends themes and characters from Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem. This is a combination that shouldn’t work, but they manage to pull it off nicely in this deep and strategic RPG.

It is entirely possible that Mirage Sessions will go down as one of the most criminally underrated games on the Wii U. It is beautiful, it’s art style is interesting, the combat is challenging, and the characters are entertaining. There will be some folks who don’t appreciate the Japanese cultural influences in the game, and that makes sense to a degree. But, unless you have a significant aversion to J-POP music, then these things should not frighten you away.


The story itself is straightforward. Humans all possess a magical energy called “Performa.” Some people, mostly singers, actors, artists, etc, have more Performa than others. This energy can be used for good or evil, so obviously, there is an evil demonic force that wants to capture all of it and use it for nefarious purposes.

Players control a team of Mirage Masters. These are people who have formed a bond with a “mirage.”  These are essentially the spirits of characters from the Fire Emblem universe. They grant thei Mirage Masters unique abilities and defenses to help battle against the demon armies.

The story is interesting enough, and contains some interesting twists so I won’t discuss it here, but the game really shines while in combat. Players control a team of three characters as they participate in turn based battles. You are encouraged to take your time and plan as all sorts of information is available while you fight. You can see the exact turn order in a bar across the top of the screen, and each monster has a window associated with them that identifies their weaknesses and defenses. This information is critical for two reasons.

  1. Enemies pull no punches. They go at you full bore and take advantage of any weaknesses you might have.
  2. Some of the skills you earn as your characters are called “sessions” which are special moves that trigger when you hit an enemies weakness. For example, one of the first sessions you learn is a move that triggers when you land a lightning attack against an enemy that is weak to it. These equate to free attacks that can deal devastating damage and keep enemies from counter attacking on later rounds. This isn’t a system you can ignore either. It is core to the experience and mastering the system is the only way to proceed in the game.

Sessions isn’t without is flaws though. Several of the dungeons in the game are so large that they need multiple trips back and forth to town to complete. This really stifled my desire to explore as I was often retracing some of my steps.

tokyo mirage sessions screenshot

Is it a kids’ game?

Well. No. Not really. At the end of the day this game is heavily inspired by anime. As a result some of the outfits and animations are a bit sexualized. That isn’t to say that the entire game is all about those themes, but they are certainly difficult to avoid.

Some of the monster designs are pretty creepy, so that is definitely something to consider as well.

ESRB: T for Teen
Fantasy Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
Other: Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB (Wii U)
This is a role-playing game in which players assume the role of a high-school student who solves a mystery while helping his friend become a pop idol. As players explore dungeon-like environments, they engage in turn-based battles with fantastical enemies known as Mirages. Characters take turns selecting moves from a menu in order to use arrows, spears, swords, and magic attacks to defeat enemies. Battles are highlighted by yells, impact sounds, and light effects. Some female characters are depicted wearing low-cut clothing that reveals large amounts of cleavage; a handful of cutscenes contain brief close-ups of characters’ cleavage. Characters occasionally engage in suggestive dialogue (e.g., “I need no praise from some disappointing 3D girl with a 2D chest!”). In a handful of scenes, a character is depicted drunk and hungover (e.g., dry-heaving sounds, slurred speech); players are to tasked with finding a hangover remedy for her. The word “sh*t” appears in the dialogue.

Can kids play it?

Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a deep RPG that involves a lot of strategy. You can take your time during battles. But, no amount of patience can make up for being bad at dealing with complex decision making.


I think that the Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is being criminally underrated for its value as an RPG. Any adults waiting for Final Fantasy XV should check it out. With that said, if you are looking for an RPG to share with your kids, then you may want to look elsewhere.


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Mighty No. 9 is a game that had more potential than it had any right to. But, all of that potential was left squandered in an experience that felt hollow at its best and annoying the rest of the time.

Keiji Inafune just about set the world on fire with his Kickstarter campaign a few years back. His promise was simple: recreate the magic of the original Mega Man series on modern consoles. He promised a character and premise that was “legally distinct” from Mega Man, but close enough that anyone paying attention would know exactly what he was doing.

Mighty No. 9 is a game where players take control of a robot named Beck as he fights several different robots, called Mighty Numbers, and takes their powers for his own when he defeats them. If that sounds familiar to you, then you can congratulate yourself for recognizing the basic structure of the Mega Man series.

The fact that Mighty No. 9 all but steals Mega Man’s thunder isn’t really a negative at all. Capcom had been squandering the property for years and it was far past time for a return for the franchise. The thing that brought this game down for me was that it felt like it was being slapped together haphazardly and with no regard for making anything other than an homage to an old game.

Is it a Family Game?

Mighty No. 9 features futuristic combat between cartoon robots. There is nothing to be concerned about here if you let your kids watch pretty much ANY kind of cartoon.

Playability Assessment

Mighty No. 9 is not as difficult as Mega Man games, but it is still going to be very challenging for younger players who are not very experienced with platforming games.


I desperately wanted to like Mighty No. 9 even if only to serve as an introduction to this style of games for my kids. At the end of the day, though, parents would definitely be better served spending the money on a copy of the Mega Man Legacy Collection to serve that purpose. It will be more challenging, but the reward will be far sweeter.

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Nintendo has released a new trailer along with a release date for the latest game in the Paper Mario series: Paper Mario: Color Rush.

This has been a wild E3 for Nintendo. (Do you see what I did there?) They finally announced real details about The new Legend of Zelda, they announced a new RPG series in Ever Oasis, and they even gave us a release window for Pokemon Go. Not too shabby considering they had previously said they were just bringing Zelda.

The new trailer for Paper Mario: Color Rush  showcases the humorous story and gorgeous art style. It also confirms that Paper Mario will finally be returning to its roots.

The story is straight forward. Evildoers are somehow draining the inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom of their color. Princess Peach comes to Mario requesting his help and he takes up the quest to solve the problem and stop the bad guys with the help of a magic paint hammer.

Mario and friends will travel across the world using his point hammer to restore color to people and objects in order to undo the damage done. In return the people will help him and he will be able to pass through obstacles and find treasure that will help him on his quest.

The game will be available on October 6, 2016. We simply cannot wait to play it! This should be an excellent addition to Wii U owners’ collections this Fall.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild.

It isn’t very often that four one-syllable words can send the entirety of the video game universe into a frenzy. But, then, it isn’t very often that Nintendo finally releases the subtitle for a new entry in arguably the most revered franchise in gaming.

Yesterday was one of those days. Nintendo held a Treehouse Live @ E3 event where they announced the subtitle AND showed off around 90 minutes of gameplay. This promptly set the internet ablaze with excitement. They were very careful throughout the process to avoid revealing story spoilers so it is still unclear what the subtitle is referencing, but I have a feeling it is a reference to the open world nature of the game in some way.

The gameplay they showed off was amazing. It appears that the goal through the development process was to take every core assumption about how a Zelda game should work and turn it on its head.

First and foremost, Breath of the Wild is an open world game. From the time Link is woken up and he leaves the cave he was in the entire world opens up to him. You could take him down the hill to the right and meet a familiar old man, or you could go left and climb a mountain. You can truly go anywhere and tackle challenges (including the 100+ challenge shrines) in any order.

Breath of the Wild also features a significant theme: verticality. Link has always been able to climb certain surfaces in 3D Zelda games. But Breath of the Wild gives him the freedom to climb just about any surface he can find. This opens up all manner of options for navigating the terrain even if your options are “Do I climb that wall?” or “Do I take the path and go around?” This is different because, historically, Zelda games were fairly linear. There was a right and a wrong way to navigate the world. Giving Link the ability to climb like a contestant on American Ninja Warrior changes all that. The only real limiting factor on your ability to climb is a stamina bar; Link will fall when it empties completely.

Another massive difference (and possibly the biggest difference) between Breath of the Wild and other games in the series is the way it handles equipment. This game plays like an RPG. You will find armor, shields, and various weapons in treasure chests and in the hands of enemies. These pieces of gear will have stats that will allow you to take less damage or deal more. The key here is that each piece of gear can only be used a certain number of times before it breaks. So you’ll need to carry plenty of backups and save your most powerful weapons for real challenges. Even better? There are multiple weapons that all fight very differently. The spear is fast and has a reasonable amount of range, while the axe is much slower but more deadly.

Link can also jump when you press a button. Go ahead and wrap your mind around that. There as never been a jump button in a Zelda game before. This provides a number of interesting opportunities for challenges within the different dungeons and shrines that never existed before when jumping was automatic. We all know Nintendo knows how to do platforming.

I cant believe I’ve made it this far without talking about the aesthetic. Breath of the Wild is astonishingly gorgeous. It looks like a perfect melding of the bright colors of Windwaker and the animation from Skyward Sword. I couldn’t get enough of it. I watched the entire live stream and was hungry for more when it was finished.

At the end of it all, the one thing they left out was a release date. We know it is coming next year, but we have no real details regarding specifically when. Yet. Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more updates as we get closer to the end of the year.






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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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