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Gaming New Releases

All 20 ‘Mass Effect’ Companions, Ranked

If you’re like me, you’ve been sinking hours upon hours into the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, which dropped on May 14th. It is one of the most beloved and highly regarded sci-fi gaming franchises out there. While the ending to the original trilogy and the follow-up game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, have divided the fanbase, the games hold a special place in many gamers’ hearts, myself most definitely included. Taking on the role of Commander Shepard, players embark on a galaxy-spanning adventure full of action, drama, comedy, romance, and more.

Having finally just completed the long, arduous mission of saving the Milky Way Galaxy from the villainous and genocidal Reapers, I got to thinking about arguably the most crucial part of the franchise: Your companions. One of the big reasons Mass Effect remains so popular is that fans loved the characters, identified with their struggles, and laughed and cried alongside them.

Bioware achieved something extraordinary with these characters, and even though much of your crew were fictional alien beings, they felt as real as anyone you may encounter in real life. Whether it be the rogue space cop and ultimate bro Garrus Vakarian, the eccentric scientist Mordin Solus, or the academic research turned information broker Liara T’Soni, each of these characters were valuable members of a squad assembled to save the galaxy.With all that being said, some squad-mates were simply better than others, and throughout three games with 20 potential companions, some were bound to be more memorable. Here are all 20 Mass Effect companions, ranked from worst to best.

20. Morinth

Putting Morinth last on the list is sort of cheating since she is an optional squadmate and one that only truly renegade players would choose to join the squad.

Morinth is, well, a serial killer, one whose only mission in life is to seduce and then murder her victims. She is a powerful biotic (Mass Effect‘s version of magic), so she is, hypothetically, a potentially very useful squadmate. Morinth is also the daughter of Samara, another potential squadmate, and Morinth first appears in Samara’s loyalty mission. Players are confronted with a choice: Side with either Samara or Morinth. Most players tend to choose Samara, so at the end of the day, we never truly get to know Morinth but are you really going to choose to side with someone that has no qualms about murdering innocents? I sure hope not.

19. James Vega

James Vega gets a bit of a bad rap in my eyes. Voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., he’s a new squadmate that gets added to the last game in the trilogy (Bioware has said that he’s supposed to “represent” players that are just starting to play the games), and he doesn’t get much to do in Mass Effect 3 outside of being a space jock.

He’s a soldier through and through but in a game that already has so many other quality characters, it’s just hard to get invested in Vega’s story.

18. Zaeed Massani

Zaeed Massani is a legendary space bounty hunter that is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He gets shortchanged in these games simply because he was a DLC character in Mass Effect 2 and, much like Vega, sort of feels like he was brushed aside.

He is a gruff guy that’s seen it all and done it all, but when his conversations boil down to non-cutscene interactions, how are we supposed to care about what happens to him?

17. Kaidan Alenko

One of your very first squadmates in Mass Effect, Kaidan, lands with you on Eden Prime in the franchise’s very first mission.

As the game progresses and your squad begins to expand, Kaidan felt less important as a squadmate during my playthroughs.

Put it this way: When the player reaches Virmire and is forced to decide whether Kaidan or Ashley Williams dies, I’ve never had too much of a moral dilemma in siding with Ashley.

16. Jacob Taylor

 Ah, Jacob Taylor.

A character who should have been much more interesting than he ended up being, but I place that more on the writing, and the voice actor, Adam Lazarre-White, has nothing to work with.

He is a human biotic who serves as one of the major players in Cerberus, the human-centric organization that Shepard works for in Mass Effect 2, and, similar to Kaidan Alenko, he’s just a rather bland character.

15. Kasumi Goto

I take no pleasure in ranking Kasumi this low on the list because she suffers from the same problem that Zaeed does: She is a DLC character in Mass Effect 2.

Kasumi, the galaxy’s greatest thief, is an interesting character who, unlike Zaeed, has a great backstory. Her partner in crime, and love interest Keiji, was murdered by arms dealer Donovan Hock and she enlists Shepard’s help to pull a heist to get some of her equipment back.

The mission is a ton of fun and a nice change of pace for the third-person shooter game, which helps Kasumi greatly.

14. Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams, another one of the earliest squadmates available to you and the other potential survivor on Virmire, is an Alliance soldier that believes wholeheartedly in the organization’s mission.

Bemoaned as a “space racist,” Ashley mistrusts the alien crew members on the ship and even goes so far as to say, “I can’t tell the aliens from the animals” at one point. However once, you get a better idea of her backstory (her grandfather was the first human to surrender a garrison to an alien force), her misgivings, while still wrong, become a bit more understandable.

She’s a soldier through and through, but her lack of trust in Shepard throughout the second and third games can make her seem unreasonable.

13. Javik

The last voice of the Protheans.

Javik, another DLC character, should have been included with the main game as his appearance fleshes out a ton of lore in the Mass Effect universe.

The Protheans are a long-extinct race whose beacons help set the stage for the entire saga of Mass Effect. However, Javik was placed into cryostasis for 50,000 years and is awoken by Commander Shepard, and he joins the crew of the Normandy.

He has no time for compassion or mercy and believes that one must be ruthless to survive the Reaper onslaught. When asked by a Paragon Shepard why he is like this and if he has any sense of honor, Javik replies with one of the best quotes in all of Mass Effect: “Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honor matters. The silence is your answer.”

12. Legion

“Shepard-Commander.”

One of the biggest surprises in Mass Effect 2 was the fact that a Geth, a race of synthetic machines that Shepard had killed thousands of in the original Mass Effect, would be joining your crew. He saves Shepard’s life on board a derelict Reaper and proves his loyalty by helping the commander defeat the Collectors.

His efforts to achieve peace between the Geth and Quarians in the third game help showcase just how far he has come as not just a sentient being but as a friend.

11. EDI

EDI, which stands for  Enhanced Defense Intelligence, is Normandy’s Artificial Intelligence in Mass Effect 2. So she isn’t a physical member of the squad, but once she is unshackled during a Collector attack on the Normandy, her abilities increase dramatically.

In Mass Effect 3, she takes control of the body of a Cerberus operative who had been upgraded with Reaper technology, allowing EDI to take physical form.

This was an enormous criticism of Mass Effect 3, given that the body that EDI was given was highly sexualized for no particular reason (something the entire franchise is guilty of when it comes to its female characters.) However, she is a great character in her own right, and much like Legion learns what it means to be human and, literally, not just a robot.

10. Samara

Samara is an Asari Justicar, think an agent of justice that believes in her code above all else. She is an extremely powerful biotic, and when she is first encountered by Shepard, she is hunting down her daughter, the aforementioned Morinth.

Samara has a tragic history, all of her daughters suffer from the same disorder that drives them to kill, but Morinth is the only one who acts on it. Still, she lives a lonely life moving around the galaxy rooting out evil, forcing her not to hold many attachments.

That is until she meets Commander Shepard and becomes a loyal member of his/her crew.

9. Grunt

An accidental member of the team, Grunt is a cloned Krogan bred in a tank by a rogue Krogan scientist. Shepard initially arrives on the planet looking to recruit said scientist, but upon being ambushed by mercenaries and finding the scientist dead, decides to bring Grunt along.

Grunt is a perfect Krogan soldier who is tough beyond belief and never backs away from a fight. However, he is just a teenager in many ways and is shunned by his species as inferior because he’s a clone.

Shepard helps him defy those odds and shows the galaxy that Grunt is not to be messed with. Grunt is one of the funnier teammates and, if he survives the Mass Effect 2, is found leading the legendary Aralakh Company in its fight against the Reapers in Mass Effect 3.

8. Miranda

Genetically engineered by her villainous father to be perfect in every aspect of her life, Miranda Lawson is Cerberus’ second in command when Shepard first meets her. Though she begins as a cold, calculating, and no-nonsense operative, Miranda gradually opens up to Shepard about her past.

Shepard begins to help Miranda see that Cerberus isn’t what she believes it to be, and by the end of Mass Effect 2, she leaves the organization behind and goes on the run.

Much like some of the other female characters in the franchise, Miranda is hypersexualized to the point that the developers literally edited scenes from Mass Effect 2 when making the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition to cut down on it.

Those issues aside, Miranda is one of the most well-written characters in the game and has one of the best arcs in the whole franchise.

7. Jack

“The psychotic biotic.”

Jack, aka Subject Zero, was kidnapped by Cerberus as a child and experimented on in a secret facility where she was tortured to fully test her capabilities. She broke out of the facility and went on the run where she did anything to survive and was eventually captured and placed in a private prison run by mercenaries.

Shepard arrives to recruit her for the mission against the Collectors, and their relationship gets off to a rocky start, to say the least. Jack butts heads with Miranda, whom she calls a “Cerberus Cheerleader,” and their relationship never truly improves until Mass Effect 3, but only ever so slightly.

Thanks to her efforts to stop the Collectors, Jack takes a job as a teacher at a school for biotics, helping to bring her arc full circle. Much like Miranda, she learns to outgrow her mistakes and move forward, and not let the past define her.

6. Liara T’Soni

The shy academic researcher turned ruthless information broker, Dr. Liara T’Soni, is a fan favorite and a no-brainer to include in my top five. Liara begins the series as someone who is unsure of herself, whose mother is a companion to the first game’s primary villain, Saren.

Caught between family and duty, Liara remains loyal to Shepard and is forced to help kill her mother, who had been brainwashed by the Reapers.

Her experiences with Shepard changed her as a person, causing her to embrace a new role as an information broker on the world of Illium. Shepard helps her take down the Shadow Broker, one of the great forces of the galactic underworld, and Liara assumes the role herself before joining Shepard once again to finally defeat the Reapers.

5. Thane

Thane is a terminally ill assassin that is recruited for one last job: To stop the Collectors. He’s lived a life full of regrets, and it is only through absolution that he ever hopes to find peace. His species, the Drell, can vividly recall every one of their memories. During Thane’s conversations with Shepard, he often breaks away and describes his kills and experiences perfectly.

Before meeting Shepard, Thane had planned to mend his relationship with his estranged son Kolyat, whom Thane had neglected due to his life as an assassin.

Thane survives until the events of Mass Effect 3, provided he hasn’t been killed on the mission to the Collector base, and it is there that he makes one last heroic sacrifice. He prevents Cerberus assassin Kai Lang from killing a member of the Citadel Council. A life full of mistakes and wrongdoing, redeemed in the service of the greater good.

4. Mordin Solus

“I am the very model of a scientist Salarian, I’ve studies species Turian, Asari, and Batarian.”

An alien scientist with a passion for musical theater, who is also able to help you defeat genocidal monsters? That’s just Dr. Mordin Solus.

Inherently funny and eccentric, Mordin is full of memorable lines and quotes, none more so than his rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan.

At the beginning of Mass Effect 2, Mordin is running a clinic on the crime infested world of Omega, where he is attempting to cure a plague that is ravaging the alien population there. He then aids Shepard in defeating the Collectors, and along the way gradually comes to terms with his own past, a member of the Salarian special forces who helped forcibly sterilize the Krogan population.

Now you might think Mordin is a monster based on this description, but (if you follow the Paragon path) he helps to cure the bioweapon that is causing this problem with the Krogan, at the cost of his own life.

“Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.”

3. Tali Zorah Vas Normandy

“Keelah se’lai”

Tali Zorah, along with Garrus, is the only character who is a squad-mate in all three entries of the Mass Effect franchise and has, arguably, the most significant character arc out of all the characters that join Shepard.

In the first game, she is a scared, young Quarian (think Space nomads forced to live in bio suits), and by the third game, she is an Admiral brokering peace between organic beings and synthetics.

Engineer, strategist, and loyal companion, it is a true testament to the writers of these games that Tali becomes such a fan-favorite character, and you never even see her face (unless you form a romantic relationship with her, and even then it’s only in a picture.)

Her arc is so impactful for players because she, much like all of us, is genuinely experiencing this universe for the first time. The rest of the squad-mates in Mass Effect are all veterans or seasoned spacefarers. Meanwhile, Tali is just getting to know other planets and species, much like us.

2. Urdnot Wrex

Urdnot Wrex is what happens when you take a gruff, old, angry alien and force him to join a crew dedicated to saving the galaxy, one that has done next to nothing for him or his species. In fact, the other species are forcibly sterilizing his kind, slowly killing them off.

However, he commits to Shepard’s cause in Mass Effect, helping the commander stop Saren from unleashing the Reapers upon the galaxy. He’s similar to Garrus in many regards, a guy that has seen it all and done it all, and while he isn’t the nicest guy in the room, he is dedicated to doing the right thing.

He just doesn’t mind killing a few people to get that done.

Wrex is a born leader, and in Mass Effect 2 and 3, we find him leading his species. He wants to cure the sterility plague that is affecting the Krogan at any cost. Wrex also intends to repair the image of the Krogan and how they are seen in the rest of the galaxy. To do so, he adopts more progressive policies and leaves the old ways in the past.

A gruff guy, Wrex is also hilarious, fiercely loyal, and one that would gladly take a bullet for Shepard if asked to do so.

1. Garrus Vakarian

“Not sure if Turian heaven is the same as yours, but if this thing go sideways and we both end up there, meet me at the bar… I’m buying.”

The undisputed GOAT. The best space buddy anyone could ever ask for, the one and only, Garrus Vakarian.

It sounds almost like a cliche, but Garrus is a rogue space cop that doesn’t play by the rules and is the embodiment of “getting things done.” He has no time for rules and regulations that get in the way of his mission and becomes frustrated by bureaucracy, which is a big reason why he joins Shepard’s crew in the first place.

Along with Tali, he is a crew member for all three games and is loyal to Shepard until the very end. He’s funny; he’s deadly in combat, and you know you can always rely on him.

Say it with me, everyone: “There is no Shepard without Vakarian.” 

Categories
Consoles Gaming

Now’s The Time for a New All-Capcom Versus Fighting Game

When the topic of “Best Versus Fighting Games” pops up in a random gaming chat room, everyone and their grandmother revert back to memories of Capcom’s genre-defining efforts. The gorgeous 2D sprites that accompanied games such as Marvel vs. Capcom and Capcom vs. SNK were upheld by amazing gameplay, fan-friendly rosters, and a strong focus on team synergy. In the case of Marvel vs. Capcom, that mind-bending crossover has been at the forefront of team-based fighters. But sadly, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite left a bad taste in many fans’ mouths and was easily upended by the superior 3v3 fighter in Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Hop into a Maximilian_DOOD, IFCYipeS, or jwonggg Twitch stream and you’ll most likely be treated to a batch of fierce Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 matches. Hours-long sessions that feature the sort of battles that go down to the very last piece of health on a character’s health meter still elicits a ton of hype. It’s clear from those streams and the comments circling around fighting game forums that people are clamoring for another Capcom made Versus fighting game. At the time of this writing, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is the sole Capcom fighter that holds a lot of weight in the current FGC landscape. Now that that game is nearing the end of its long and eventful life cycle, it’s time for Capcom to fulfill a much-requested dream scenario – make a quality 3v3 Versus fighter that features nothing but Capcom characters.

Now mind you – we’ve already gotten two fighting games that are solely dedicated to battling it out among Capcom’s vault of all-star characters. But to be quite honest with you all, the one that actually saw a release was super disappointing. Capcom Fighting Evolution simply felt like a half-hearted attempt at developing a proper all-Capcom fighting game – reused sprites were in heavy abundance, the roster was minuscule compared to the ones seen in other Versus games, and the overall gameplay lacked that certain oomph that its contemporaries thrived on. As for the other game that embraced the “everything Capcom” moniker, it never even saw an official release. Capcom Fighting All-Stars looked somewhat promising and featured some cool characters that garnered a bit of interest. But it ultimately never saw the light of day.

With those two failed attempts behind them and the unfortunate circumstances that kept MVCI from succeeding, it’s time for Capcom to go back to the drawing board and craft an amazing Versus fighter that’s all about them & them only. Just think of all the iconic and lesser-known fighting game franchises the heralded Japanese publisher/developer could bring into that fantasy battle royale:

Street Fighter

Darkstalkers

Rival Schools

Star Gladiator

Power Stone

Red Earth

Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness

Saturday Night Slam Masters

Hell, it’d even be great if Capcom lifted the four original characters from Capcom Fighting All-Stars (D.D., Rook, Ingrid, and Avel) and gave them a platform to truly do big things in this dream fighter. Ingrid certainly has her detractors, but she still deserves a chance to have a go in an all Capcom 3v3 team brawler. Now when we bring up Capcom’s other IPs, there’s a wealth of characters that could also be adopted from them for this game as well:

Resident Evil

Monster Hunter

Strider

Captain Commando

Final Fight

Dead Rising

Onimusha

Devil May Cry

Also, the prospect of Capcom bringing in the more obscure characters from their slept-on IPs into this fighter would be super cool. Gene (God Hand), Sieg Wahrheit (Chaos Legion), and Fou-Lu (Breath of Fire IV) could use a lift from their current state of obscurity. Plus watching the likes Ryu, Morrigan, and Hayato go to war in a hyperactive clash with a team comprised of Leon S. Kennedy, Captain Commando, and Nero sounds incredible, doesn’t it?

Adopting an all-anime art style instead of the comic book look of UMVC3 and sterile presentation of MVCI would be much preferred if this game ever came to fruition. Including the mechanic from MVCI where you could tag in a partner and create your own assists on the fly sounds like it would be tough to incorporate in a 3v3 game of this caliber. But we’d love to see Capcom find a way to make that feature work. Do people really want a full-fledged story mode for an all-Capcom fighting game? Judging by the negative reception to SFV and MVCI’s story mode presentations, we think it’s best if Capcom just adopted a traditional arcade mode ladder that wards players with some cool ending art sequences for their winning efforts. As far as this game’s actual gameplay goes, all it would need to do is retain the frenetic pace of MVC2 and MVC3 to really grab the attention of hardcore players and casual onlookers.

We say all that to say this – there exists a perfect world where Capcom has regained all of its fans’ trust thanks to the double whammy of quality releases in the form of Street Fighter 6 and an all-new Capcom Versus fighting game. And we just want to live in that world.

Categories
Gaming Interviews

ONE37pm Speaks With TSM VP of Apparel Erik Marino

It’s only been a little over a month since TSM VP of Apparel Erik Marino joined the company, but like everything else in his career so far, his first release with the brand was an instant success. Selling out within the first hour, the TSM: Core collection is the first core program of their sportswear staples, and while TSM has offered merchandise before, it has never been at this level. This collection is centered around the organization’s iconic logo, taking a clean approach in its monochromatic palette, incorporating raised embroideries, wax prints, and rubberized appliques ranging from fleece, tees, headwear, varsity jacket and bomber jackets.

TSM
 TSM: Core Launch

TSM continues to skyrocket as one of the most valuable esports organizations in the world, and Marino, who is the former Executive Creative Director of FaZe Clan, brings nearly two decades of experience developing high-level brands in streetwear. 

Marino has also previously partnered with hip hop legends Wu-Tang Clan, and was the co-founder of the internationally known music lifestyle brand Rocksmith, based in NYC and Tokyo. As mentioned earlier, the TSM: Core Collection sold out within the first hour of its release, and we got a chance to speak with Marino following the drop to ask him about this collection, and what he has up his sleeve for TSM Apparel in the coming months.

ONE37pm: First of all congratulations on TSM Core selling out within the first hour! What was it about TSM FTX that attracted you to your role as VP of Apparel? It’s only been a little over a month!

Marino: Thank you. The reaction from TSM FTX fans was incredible! I joined TSM FTX because it’s a very prestigious org in esports that is globally respected. After my conversations with Walter Wang it felt like a good fit and an opportunity along with the creative freedom to build a true lifestyle and apparel component for the Org. PLUS- buyers will be able to use FTX PAY to purchase their merchandise on the TSM website with cryptocurrency – and receive 15% off if they do. 

ONE37pm: You have an extensive resume with a long list of notable clients, how has your TSM experience been different thus far?

Marino: Well, it’s just the beginning. I like that the Org is really focused on esports and winning, as opposed to companies that are fashion driven. This is refreshing to me as I have lived on the fashion industry calendar both for clients and with my own brands like Rocksmith NYC in the past.

TSM
TSM: Core Editorial

ONE37pm: What all went into designing this collection?

Marino: Really it was an objective to make a stylish but very core collection for our fans and players. This collection done in black and white, our team colors, is meant to be staple everyday wear items. We will be restocking in a matter of weeks and make this group readily available. Stay tuned for more collection drops and special projects!

ONE37pm: Obviously the demand is super high. Will there be another release of this specific capsule?

Marino: Yes, the Core collection will be restocked. Some items like tees have already been restocked, and we offer a custom jersey option that is always available.

TSM
TSM Apparel Editorial

ONE37pm: Last but not least, what do you guys have in store for the near future?

Marino: We have plans to really build out TSM as an esports lifestyle brand by way of Apparel, home goods and gaming related products. We will be doing projects in collaboration, as well as expanding categories internally, with the goal to have fun in the process!

Be sure to keep up with all of TSM’s latest apparel releases via the official TSM Store

Categories
eSports Gaming

Inside The Screen With XSET Vrax

This week’s edition of Inside The Screen hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes was another special show that featured guest XSET Vrax. Vrax is a sixteen-year-old content creator for XSET, with a whopping 2.8 million followers across TikTok and Twitch. Joining Don for a game of Minecraft, the two had an hour-long conversation that covered a variety of topics including: Vrax’s gaming journey, his passions outside of gaming, and what he has been up to lately. The two kick start their conversation building a house on Minecraft, which Vrax playfully admits isn’t his strong suit. As they build, Don asks the content dynamo how his summer has been.

“Things are good! It’s summer so we’re having a good time,” he tells Don before they dive into Vrax’s early gaming days. “I’m sixteen, but when I started content creation I had just turned thirteen. I was streaming, doing content, and things started to take off when I started TikTok right after turning sixteen. Don then asks Vrax who and what inspired him to become a content creator.

“For me, it was about seeing content in general. I have a twin brother, and we are big on creating content. That is one thing that we have always been able to bond over, and that is probably why it sat so well with me. I never really saw myself actually doing content to be honest. I thought that this was an exclusive thing, and it was only for those who were already in. Obviously I was wrong!”

Noting that a lot of people think gaming and creating content is “easy,” Don mentions the amount of time gamers have to put into being successful at their craft, a point Vrax definitely co-signs. “It’s definitely far from easy, especially having an audience. My story of growing my audience is a lot different than others. I would have my demotivating days, and days where I felt like nothing was going to come out of this. After three years, my Twitch was still sitting around 4,000 followers from just streaming for fun. Obviously things picked up for me after TikTok finally happened, and that was a huge factor. I learned very quickly that this wasn’t a joking matter, and if content was something that I wanted to pursue, there would be a lot of time, energy, and effort going into it.”

Continuing to build his house, Vrax elaborates on his point of just how much work a content creation career takes. “You don’t just wake up one day with everything. It’s weird when I say that now because that is kind of what happened when I started TikTok, but for the most part whenever somebody starts off they have to start from zero. Even the people we look up to now all came from zero as well. Nobody ever realizes that because they are famous, but that’s not true! When you look back on content creation from a couple years ago, you’ll realize that a lot of these guys had nothing back then.”

Don and Vrax had a great conversation, and you can catch the rest above. Be sure to follow them both on Instagram. 

 

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 23 Best Anime Games on Switch

After spending an obscene amount of time binge-watching a whole season of your favorite anime, chances are you’ll want to play out that show’s epic adventures yourself. And doing so usually becomes a reality when you do it in video game form. Many of the most popular anime properties known far and wide have their own quality video game adaptations. You can get embroiled in some fast-paced arena fighters, go adventuring & vanquish foes in a turn-based/action RPG, and even destroy hundreds of foes within a Musou beat ‘em up. Besides the anime shows you watch, there are games out there that adopt the Japanese medium’s signature art style to attract anime fans. If you own a Nintendo Switch and want to scratch that anime game itch, then the 23 following games are worth their weight in gold (Golden Frieza FTW!).

1. ‘One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4’

The One Piece: Pirate Warriors series has steadily been expanding since its grand debut. And with the latest entry, it ends up offering the best installment of anime-based Musour brawls to date. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 features an original storyline of its own, plus it lets fans play out the biggest moments from the anime/manga’s memorable story arcs. The number of playable characters you can take into battle is massive, which means you have the opportunity to clear out battlefields full of rival pirates with all their amazing signature abilities.

2. ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy’

Anime arena fighters are a dime a dozen these days. But if you’re looking for the best-looking and mechanically sound games within the popular sub-genre, then look no further than the Ultimate Ninja Storm series. This compilation brings together the first three entries in the series. If you’re in the mood for some wonderfully animated ninja-themed struggles and jaw-dropping boss encounters, then make sure you give this Naruto fighting game collection a shot.

3. ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road To Boruto’

Once you’ve made your way through the story modes for the first three Ultimate Ninja Storm games, it’s only right that you see it through to its full completion with the fourth and final game in the series. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto lets you play out the final events of the Naruto Shippuden story arc and even enjoy the early missions tied to Naruto’s son Boruto. And as always, the team-based ninja combat is as fun as ever and refined to near perfection.

4. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

This is THE greatest Dragon Ball fighting game (and Dragon Ball game period!) of all time. Arc System Works are master architects when it comes to putting together a beautifully animated and mechanically solid anime fighter. With the iconic roster of Dragon Ball FighterZ mashed up with those two factors, you just can’t go wrong with it. The 3v3 team battles that take place in this game are the definition of hype as beams are thrown, air combos are dished out, and cinematic finishers come into play.

5. ‘Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’

Creating your own superpowered Dragon Ball warrior ended up being a smashing success in the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse. The sequel magnifies that addictive game concept by adding new character class transformations, a larger hub world to explore, an ever-expanding roster to use, more special moves to attach to your custom character, etc. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is jam-packed with things to do and people to see/battle/team up with. You’re going to love saving the universe as an all-powerful Time Patroller in this one.

6. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens Set’

If you’ve played Dragon Ball Z: Sagas, then you know just how disappointing that game ended up being. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is a fully realized version of that action RPG that adapts the entirety of the anime’s sagas in playable form. You can dish out defeat to baddies such as Frieza, Cell, Majin Buu, and even some movie villains such as Goku and the Z Fighters squad. This game’s incredible battles play out just like the ones from the show – Ki blasts, energy beams, and flashy martial arts techniques come into play. And simply flying through the game’s massive open world is a simple joy you have to experience for yourself.

7. ‘Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition’

Sure, you already have the Pokémon RPGs to enjoy on your Switch. But if you’re open to enjoying a game that features a different pair of creatures that fight by your side, then this Digimon game compilation is worth a look. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition lets you explore the real world and digital world as you try to get to the bottom of a crazy caper. And in order to solve that cyber mystery, you’ll have to rely on the abilities of your chosen Digimon and engage in turn-based skirmishes against other users, wild monsters, and even internet viruses.

8. ‘Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Pack’

This two-pack is an essential pickup for anime fighting game aficionados. The Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Edition comes with the very first game in the franchise, plus it offers one of the best entries in the series in the form of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. So not only do you get to see how the game played at the very start, you’ll get to enjoy one of the most polished and tournament ready entries in the long-running series.

9. ‘Fairy Tail’

You’d be forgiven for thinking this Fairy Tail game was nothing more than a cheap cash-in title that offers nothing but fan service. But you’d be wrong. This JRPG offers a clever twist on combat that emphasizes proper spacing and elemental weaknesses. The massive amount of guild warriors you can bring into battle and upgrade adds a lot to the game’s replay factor. Plus getting to experience the anime’s story arcs while building up the main guild at the heart of the game over time makes Fairy Tail far better than one would initially expect.

10. ‘My Hero One’s Justice 2’

PLUS ULTRA! That phrase should instantly concoct images of the superhero contingent that fights for good from the My Hero Academia anime. My Hero One’s Justice 2 improves upon the superpowered hero vs. villain clashes of the first game by allowing character assists to pull off their own super moves and giving everyone even more impactful Plus Ultra attacks. The roster gets expanded to include even more beloved characters from the show, plus you can participate in the insane clashes that transpired during the Shie Hassaikai Arc.

11. ‘Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch’

Noted Japanese animation film studio Studio Ghibli entered into a working agreement with game development studio Level-5 for this grand JRPG project. The fruits of their labor ended up being one of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking games Bandai Namco has ever published, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. You’ll take on the role of a young boy named Oliver, who taps into his magical prowess and the assistance of his friends in an effort to revive his beloved mother. Prepare yourself for a whimsical adventure that features fun combat scenarios, gorgeous graphics, and a deeply affecting storyline.

12. ‘Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom — Prince’s Edition’

Once you’ve completed the first Ni no Kuni, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in the series as a whole. With that newfound fandom in tow, you’ll need to jump into the equally amazing sequel. Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom features two important political personalities from two different worlds. They eventually find the will to team up with their allies and unite warring nations during a crusade against a great evil. The action RPG combat, fort-building mechanics, and magical Higgledie present some welcome changes to Ni no Kuni’s strong gameplay formula.

13. ‘Valkyria Chronicles’

This former PS3 exclusive has made its way onto a wealth of other consoles in an improved form. Of course, you can enjoy its clever mix of third-person active combat and strategic unit placing on your Nintendo Switch as well. Valkyria Chronicles will pull you in just based on its striking art style. But it’ll keep you enthralled thanks to the constant progression that comes with upgrading your beloved troops. Taking down tanks, pulling off clean headshots, and managing to complete a stage with all your units intact are some of the many joys you’ll derive from this Sega classic.

14. ‘Valkyria Chronicles 4’

The second and third entries in the Valkyria Chronicles franchise are pretty hard to come by since they’re PlayStation Portable exclusives. Thankfully, you can get back into the series proper by checking out the fourth game. The same aspects you adored about the very first game are kept intact here. As far as new stuff goes, Valkyria Chronicles 4 features the explosive new Grenadier class and battle adjustments that give your soldiers a fighting chance when they’re on the verge of death. And the visuals are even more gorgeous than their predecessors.

15. ‘Astral Chain’

PlatinumGames have a knack for producing high-octane action games that never seem to slow down. Astral Chain is one of their original IPs and it’s a must-play for Switch owners everywhere. In it, you take on the role of a special police task force member who has the power to control otherworldly creatures called Legions. You’ll have to master controlling your onscreen officer and their chosen Legion simultaneously during frenetic skirmishes and major boss encounters. The music is top-notch, the art design is splendid, and the many ways in which you can work in unison with your Legions are truly gratifying.

16. ‘Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield’

You know the deal if you’ve been in for the long haul ever since Pokémon made its debut – you set out into a vast world full of varied biomes, capture different pocket monsters, train them in battle, and attempt to become the greatest Pokémon trainer of all time. A host of new trainable creatures come into play here as you freely explore the Wild Area, participate in the Gym Challenge, hop into tough raid encounters, and complete a bevy of Poké Jobs. Pokémon Sword/Pokémon Shield offers more of what fans loved before.

17. ‘Steins;Gate Elite’

There’s a bunch of visual novel-based games out on the market that is worth seeking out. One of the finer ones that’s available on the Switch is Steins;Gate Elite, which is a much-improved remake of the 2009 original. The striking anime visuals and sequences from the original game get a boost in this portable classic. As you make your way through this mind-bending story, you’ll be treated to a memorable cast of characters that get wrapped up in a world of science-fiction madness. Your choices matter here and put you on different branching paths, which means there’s a lot of replay value here.

18. ‘Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido’

If you’ve been to Japan and seen those conveyor belt restaurants in the real world, then the mechanics within the zany puzzler should instantly be familiar to you. Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is pretty much you versus a bunch of offline/online opponents in a bid to match as many sushi plates on a conveyor belt as humanly possible. You’ll quickly find yourself entering a zen-like state as you make big combo matches to throw your rivals off balance.

19. ‘River City Girls’

If the River City beat ‘em ups still hit you right in the nostalgia whenever it’s mentioned, then this modern-day spin-off will instantly become your new fave. River City Girls switches things up by letting you and a buddy play as the boyfriends of the series’ longtime protagonists. After they’re kidnapped, Misako and Kyoko step up to the plate to dish out their own form of street justice and rescue them. That means you’ll be

20. ‘Catherine: Full Body’

Vincent, who’s the lucky/unlucky dude at the center of this trippy game, finds himself in quite the predicament. Instead of making the decision to get married to his girlfriend Katherine, Vincent steps out on his relationship with a sultry lady named Catherine. His acts of infidelity force him into a nightmare realm where he’s forced to navigate intense block-pushing/pulling puzzles and stay ahead of vicious night terrors. Catherine: Full Body features all of the DLC from the original game and retains all the major decision-making & wild puzzle playthroughs fans celebrated during its original launch.

21. ‘Persona 5 Strikers’

Persona 5 Strikers is pretty much a sequel to the highly celebrated JRPG. This time around, Joker and the rest of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts find themselves in a new alternate realm called “Jails.” Taking down the Shadows that harm humans within those Jails means you’ll get to hop into some wild Musou battles with the aid of multiple Persona demons and a wealth of slick special moves. If you want an action RPG that will keep you enthralled during a long flight, look no further than Persona 5 Strikers.

22. ‘BlazBlue Central Fiction Special Edition’

At one point in time, Arc System Works moved away from the Guilty Gear series for a bit to produce an equally great spiritual successor. That game was BlazBlue, which ended up getting a series of system and roster updates that further improved its formula. The final installment in the series is the best one of course. BlazBlue Central Fiction Special Edition is a flashy fighter with a roster full of characters that come with their own gimmicks tied to a single button. And once you find your main, you’ll come to adore just how chaotic fights unfold in this game.

23. ‘BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’

This anime fighter offers a battle royale full of beloved characters from Arc System Works’ many IPs and even a popular anime. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’s roster brings together the very best from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, RWBY, Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf. The 2v2 clashes you’ll be treated to in this 2D fighting game gem explode off the screen and are just as hyperactive as you’d expect.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 25 Best Fighting Games on Switch

The Nintendo Switch software library is jam-packed with a wide variety of incredible games across numerous genres. In the fighting game department, Switch owners can choose from nostalgic greats and all-new entries into one of the most competitive genres out there. We decided to create a playlist for you all that features the very best fighters on Nintendo’s hybrid home/handheld console. You wanna hop on a plane and get in a few sets or train in the lab with some quality 2D and 3D fighters? Then allow us to provide you with the best choices for that particular situation.

1. ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

Owning a Switch and the definitive edition of Smash is gaming’s version of a peanut butter sandwich – the combination just makes too much sense to ignore. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features the series’ craziest franchise crossover roster to date, an amazing playlist of familiar & remixed songs to jam out to, and plenty of content for those that crave both solo modes & multiplayer brawl sessions. This fighter is the only game that lets you hop into a match as Kazuya Mishima and battle it out with Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Solid Snake within Dracula’s Castle from Castlevania.

2. ‘ARMS’

ARMS launched right alongside the Switch and ended up as one of the shining beacons of Nintendo’s new console. It offers a very festive atmosphere that makes way for one of the most charismatic fighting game rosters ever. The motion controls at the heart of the game give it that novelty factor that allows for casual gamers to enjoy themselves as much as hardcore ones. The mixing and matching of various arm attachments and intense matches that you’ll get engaged in will quickly make you an ARMS believer.

3. ‘Pokkén Tournament DX’

This formerly Wii U exclusive Pokémon fighter now has a home on the Switch and is worth hopping into if you haven’t already. The coolest factor that makes this game one of a kind is the way it seamlessly switches between 3D and 2D planes during battle. Pokkén Tournament DX is deceptively simple at first. But once you grasp all the mechanics at hand, you’ll enjoy your time spent becoming a sick pro with a wealth of familiar Pocket Monsters.

4. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

This is THE greatest Dragon Ball fighting game (and Dragon Ball game period!) of all time. Arc System Works are master architects when it comes to putting together a beautifully animated and mechanically solid anime fighter. With the iconic roster of Dragon Ball FighterZ mashed up with those two factors, you just can’t go wrong with it. The 3v3 team battles that take place in this game are the definition of hype as beams are thrown, air combos are dished out, and cinematic finishers come into play.

5. ‘BlazBlue Central Fiction Special Edition’

At one point in time, Arc System Works moved away from the Guilty Gear series for a bit to produce an equally great spiritual successor. That game was BlazBlue, which ended up getting a series of system and roster updates that further improved its formula. The final installment in the series is the best one of course. BlazBlue Central Fiction Special Edition is a flashy fighter with a roster full of characters that come with their own gimmicks tied to a single button. And once you find your main, you’ll come to adore just how chaotic fights unfold in this game.

6. ‘BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’

This anime fighter offers a battle royale full of beloved characters from Arc System Works’ many IPs and even a popular anime. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle’s roster brings together the very best from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, RWBY, Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, and Akatsuki Blitzkampf. The 2v2 clashes you’ll be treated to in this 2D fighting game gem explode off the screen and are just as hyperactive as you’d expect.

7. ‘Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Edition’

This two-pack is an essential pickup for anime fighting game aficionados. The Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Edition comes with the very first game in the franchise, plus it offers one of the best entries in the series in the form of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. So not only do you get to see how the game played at the very start, you’ll get to enjoy one of the most polished and tournament ready entries in the long-running series.

8. ‘Skullgirls 2nd Encore’

The indie fighting game that commanded everyone’s attention back in 2012 has received a number of substantial updates since then. Skullgirls 2nd Encore is the most improved version of the team-based fighter – its package is outfitted with a bunch of new characters, system adjustments, new stages, etc. This lady-brawler (which also happens to feature a few male brawlers, by the way) has a spectacular art style and great fighting game mechanics to back it up.

9. ‘Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid’

We finally have a superior Power Rangers fighting game! And once you get your hands on it, you’ll feel like you’re playing an amazing Marvel vs. Capcom mod. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is a combo heavy fighter that’s chaotic in all the best ways possible. The roster consists of numerous Power Rangers and their most infamous rivals from across the franchise’s long-standing legacy. If you’re in the market for some Mighty Morphin’ skirmishes, then it’s definitely worth hopping into this one.

10. ‘Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers’

Remember Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix? Well, it got ported over to the Switch and got a few notable additions in the process. That updated version of the remade fighter is called Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. The classic roster comes with two extra shoto warriors – Evil Ryu against Violent Ken. You can go to war with your buds off and online via some classic Street Fighter II action. You can enjoy this 2D fighter with its classic 16-bit pixel art or its HD graphical sheen (both art styles come with their own audio renditions as well).

11. ‘Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection’

Capcom’s most recognizable IP is most certainly Street Fighter. And for those of you who’d love to play through its storied history, you can do just that by hopping into the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. This compilation comes with each and every version of Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, and Street Fighter III. With 13 of the finest 2D fighters at your disposal within this collection, you definitely have a lot to enjoy here.

12. ‘Samurai Shodown’

SNK gave the Samurai Shodown series a new lease on life with a 2019 return to fine form. This reboot brings together the most beloved weapons wielders from the series’ many entries and throws in a few new faces & guest combatants to boot. The clashes in this new Samurai Shodown play out just like they did back in the day – slower-paced and more methodical than today’s fighting game offerings. Prepare yourself for plenty of blood spray and slick fight finishes in this one.

13. ‘Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection’

Once you’ve gotten a taste of the most recent Samurai Shodown game, then you’ll probably get an itch to check out all the titles that came before it. The Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection comes with seven series installments. The most surprising game inclusion of them all is Samurai Shodown V Perfect, an updated version of Samurai Shodown V Special that almost never saw a full release.

14. ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy’

Anime arena fighters are a dime a dozen these days. But if you’re looking for the best-looking and mechanically sound games within the popular sub-genre, then look no further than the Ultimate Ninja Storm series. This compilation brings together the first three entries in the series. If you’re in the mood for some wonderfully animated ninja-themed struggles and jaw-dropping boss encounters, then make sure you give this Naruto fighting game collection a shot.

15. ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto’

Once you’ve made your way through the story modes for the first three Ultimate Ninja Storm games, it’s only right that you see it through to its full completion with the fourth and final game in the series. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto lets you play out the final events of the Naruto Shippuden story arc and even enjoy the early missions tied to Naruto’s son Boruto. And as always, the team-based ninja combat is as fun as ever and refined to near perfection.

16. ‘Brawlhalla’

The Super Smash Bros. formula is a winning one, that’s for sure. Other developers know this as a fact, which is why many of them have created Smash clones of their own. One of the better platform fighters out there is Brawlhalla, a 2D take on the 3D 4-player fighter that features an insane roster of its own. Launching enemies into the air and smacking them off the stage can be done with original roster members and recognizable faces from the world of The Walking Dead, WWE, Adventure Time, and several other mainstream IPs.

17. ‘Rivals of Aether’

The next Smash-like fighter on this list is Rivals of Aether, which compiles a lineup of fighters that each stick to their own elemental powers. You’ll be able to bash the competition with the powers granted to you by Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. And the fact that you can deliver some KO’s with Shovel Knight is the extra cherry on top for this quality platform party fighter. Up to four players can get into some fierce battles with a roster full of anthropomorphic fighters. 

18. ‘Garou: Mark of the Wolves’

The ACA (Arcade Archives) Neo Geo line makes several of SNK’s (and even non-SNK studios’) best and underrated games available on current-gen consoles. Many of the titles that come from the SNK archives are on offer here, such as this classic Fatal Fury game. Garou: Mark of the Wolves advances Fatal Fury’s signature battle mechanics via the “Tactical Offense Position” and “Just Defend” systems, which do a lot to make this 2D fighter such an engrossing experience.

19. ‘The King of Fighters 2001’

The King of Fighters 2001 marks the end of the series’ “NESTS Chronicles” story arc. And with that comes a satisfying conclusion and the same amazing team elimination battle mechanics that SNK’s premiere fighter has always relied on. This game allows players to construct a team of characters that can be used as playable characters and strictly as assists (“Strikers”). Deciding between how many Strikers you want on your squad and how much Power Gauge meter you want for all your super move needs is a part of KOF 2001’s shockingly high level of strategy.

21. ‘The King of Fighters 2002’

Most KOF fans point to this entry and its remake as the greatest entries in the series. The original version of The King of Fighters 2002 is ready to play on the Switch and it’s just as awesome as everyone says it is. The Striker system is gone here as the game reverts back to 3v3 teams, plus the Power Gauge system gets a few adjustments in order to switch things up a bit. This “Dream Match” rendition of The King of Fighters has all your roster favorites and so much more.

21. ‘The King of Fighters 2003’

Series favorite Ash Crimson makes his debut here in The King of Fighters 2003. And this time around, players acquire the ability to switch in other members of their three-person teams right in the middle of a fight. Making one of your selected fighters the team leader grants them the opportunity to pull off an exclusive special move, which is a mechanic that plays right into KOF’s team-building synergy.

22. ‘Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle’

Never heard of this one, huh? That doesn’t come as a surprise, honestly. But we’re here to put you one and make sure a few more people give this underrated 2D fighter the respect it deserves. Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle is the sequel to Savage Reign – it sets itself apart from its predecessor by introducing 2v2 clashes that let players perform mid-match character switches. If the thought of a weapons-based version of Real Bout Fatal Fury and Marvel vs. Capcom excites you, then you’ll love this one.

23. ‘The Last Blade 2’

Unlike Samurai Shodown, The Last Blade series offers a faster-paced take on weapons-based gameplay. The Last Blade 2 is the best of ‘em all as it refines its “Speed” and “Power” character types and introduces three fan favorites. Hibiki Takane, Setsuna, and Kojiroh Sanada join a roster that features some of the coolest melee weapons users in fighting game history.

24. ‘SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium’

The Neo Geo Pocket Color was a very slept-on handheld that deserves your attention if you’ve never even heard of it. It featured a handheld version of SNK’s most successful franchises – one of the games that got a portable port is SNK vs. Capcom. SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium is a surprisingly solid pixel fighter that lets you catch some W’s as both SNK and Capcom icons.

25. ‘SNK Gals’ Fighters’

Similar to SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, SNK Gals’ Fighters focuses on the highly favored lady contingent of SNK’s femme fatales. The combative ladies from Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, and The Last Blade all gather within this pocket fighter to find out who’s the very best.

Categories
Gaming Interviews

Arcadia Is Changing The Sports and Gaming Landscape

The digital worlds of sports and gaming continue to evolve into unimaginable heights, and Arcadia is here to take things to another dimension.

Arcadia is a new sports platform that combines the athleticism of traditional sports and the limitless possibilities of the digital world through its stadium-sized video game format where players become avatars and directly control movement and progress by running, jumping, pushing, and sliding. Arcadia creates a complete athletic experience that allows 2-10 players to compete in the world’s largest, multiplayer VR arena that can be played inside or outside while encouraging users to play and compete against each other.

Later this year, Arcadia will launch a six-city tour called the Arcadia Trials, where they will search for its first-ever pro-Arcadia Athletes where both gamers and fans will be given the chance to vote for Arcadia to visit their hometown, and a shot at being crowned the Arcadia Champion.

Arcadia

Fans and viewers can tune into Arcadia.tv to participate in a competitive stream where they can watch athletes move and compete inside the virtual arena or follow the action from the athletes’ POV. Even more exciting, Arcadia has plans to launch original series, and recently partnered with Warner Bros. for a once-in-a-lifetime Space Jam game.

Additionally, Arcadia will be working with renowned brands, major film studios, and talent. It’s going to be a fun second half of the year and beyond for Arcadia, and we sat down with CEO and co-founder Chris Olimpo to get the scoop on what’s been going on in their world. 

ONE37pm: It’s so good to speak with you, Chris! Let’s first start by asking how you guys developed the concept of Arcadia.

Olimpo: So the truth is—it’s a collective idea that has been around for a while going back to things like Tron in 1982, but we have been able to bring the concept together. I had the privilege of being able to direct and produce Tom Cruise’s first VR film and having had that experience, I was able to understand VR on a deeper level by seeing the things that people can’t see. We have been able to make Arcadia a reality by bridging gaming and sports. We are creating a new sport, and it is an original idea that blends the two together while also focusing on solving specific problems to make as a visual.

Arcadia

ONE37pm: How do you see esports and Arcadia, in general, evolving as a medium in the next five years?

Olimpo: I do think Arcadia is going to be a new category that is between sports and esports. It is going to celebrate both and sit in between. Going forward, I could see esports including a sport like Arcadia, and that it will be a hit game.

ONE37pm: You guys will be going on a six city tour called Arcadia Trials later this year. What do Arcadia’s recruiting efforts entail?

Olimpo: It is going to look like a real sports tryout in a virtual dimension, and it will be broadcast on social media. We actually like to use the term “athletic gamers,” and we had tryouts in Montreal with over 1,000 players. It was interesting because we never knew who was going to win. Sometimes when it was gamers vs athletes, the gamers would crush it. Usually, the players that had a leg up were the ones that were both gamers and athletes. As far as our tryouts—you can go to Arcadia.tv/tryouts and register to vote for your city.

From there, we will have people line up, and we are going to film them, do interviews, etc. We are going to select two players from each city to fly out, and they will compete in a bracket tournament that crowns the first-ever  Arcadia champion. That will close out Stage 1 of Arcadia.tv. We are aiming for a fall start date, but it’s not confirmed yet. We may start this year, and go into the first quarter of next year.

ONE37pm: What are some of Arcadia’s proudest accomplishments thus far?

Olimpo: We are proud to have launched to the world, and we are already working on the future! We are also proud to have announced a partnership with Warner Bros and bring Space Jam: A New Legacy into our Arcadia Sports Platform. It was absolutely insane! It was one of the most fun games I have ever played, and I’m not being biased either. To have that partnership with Warner Bros. was amazing, and there is definitely a lot in store for the future.

ONE37pm: Definitely! I’m going to take it back a little bit. Did the pandemic have an effect on you guys last year?

Olimpo: It definitely had an impact, but there were pros and cons. We were actually in the process of raising an investment round in February 2020, which was right around the time the pandemic started, and our trips to San Francisco and New York were faulted. We had to send videos to people, and they actually thought the tech was fake. They didn’t believe it was real, and it pretty much slowed us down in terms of funding.

We eventually decided to take a leap of faith and fly to San Francisco to host demos, and they were like “Wow! I can’t believe this isn’t vapourware.” From a gaming standpoint, however, it was a blessing in disguise. Sports had stopped, but there was sort of this underground movement that happened, and many of our Arcadia players wanted to still keep on playing. So they were playing in parks and parking lots, and it was cool. In a way, Covid gave us access to that underground movement and space.

ONE37pm: Final QuestionWhere do you see Arcadia in five years?

Olimpo: I see Arcadia being a fully legitimate sport where we have sold out stadium events. I see it being similar to the Olympics where there are a variety of games. I also envision technology being lighter for athletes, and that there will be a new status quo when it comes to sports and gaming. Fans and audiences will come to expect this as a new reality, and we will have star Arcadia athletes.

We actually predict that a professional athlete will leave their league to join Arcadia, and that it will be a young up-and-coming athlete that makes that transition. We definitely think that could happen in five years!

Be sure to follow the official Arcadia Instagram for all of their latest updates, and check out their official website here.

Categories
eSports Gaming

‘Fortnite’ World Champion Bugha Gets His Own Icon Series Skin

Fortnite’s wide assortment of character skins is spread out across all forms of media.

Players can catch W’s and eliminate the competition while adorned in the sorts of costumes that make them look like their favorite characters from Marvel, DC, blockbuster films, sports, etc. The Fortnite Icon Series is responsible for putting forth all of those recognizable skins and has even introduced ones based on popular streamers such as Ninja. Now another noteworthy streamer/content creator has joined that collective and he’s most known for winning the 2019 Fortnite World Cup. Of course, we’re talking about the young legend that is Bugha. And his inclusion makes all the sense in the world since he was recognized as the Best Esports Athlete at The Game Awards in 2019 and has several strong placements across numerous Fortnite tournaments. Bugha’s credentials certainly speak for themselves.

Today (July 19), it was revealed that Bugha will become the latest member of the Fortnite Icon Series. Starting on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at 8 PM ET, Bugha’s Icon Series Set will become available in the Fortnite Item Shop. This set comes with the following goodies – the Bugha Outfit, the Zoey Trophy Back Bling that comes with the Fortnite World Cup trophy & Bugha’s pug placed inside of it, dual Bugha Blades Pickaxe, and the Bring It Around Emote. The Bugha outfit doesn’t just offer its default style – it also comes with the electrified Bugha Elite Style and the World Champion Bugha Style, which is reminiscent of his post-World Cup Solo Finals victory fit.

Before that skin set arrives, everyone can compete in a special LTM (Limited Time Mode) one-day, cash prize tourney called Bugha’s Late Game. An Epic Games blog piece released some details about this incoming Arena mode event – “Running from July 20 until July 28, Bugha’s Late Game Arena puts players right in the middle of competitive Fortnite. With your Trio, you’ll drop on the Island while the Storm’s already closing in. We’ve collaborated with Bugha to curate nine starting inventories grouped into three team loadouts. Each Trio will be assigned one of these team loadouts at random. As you play Bugha’s Late Game Arena, you’ll be able to earn Hype that’s unique to this mode. The players who earn at least 1500 Hype before Bugha’s Late Game Tournament on July 28 will be eligible to participate in the tournament. In this version of Bugha’s Late Game, qualified players will compete against others in their region for a share of $100,000!”

Now Bugha’s in-game likeness will join the likes of Travis Scott, Loserfruit, and Ninja. It’s pretty awesome to see the young Fortnite pro stand proudly among such top-tier company.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 15 Best Horror Games On Switch

Just like watching horror movies is polarising for people, playing horror games has always had people split right down the middle. Some gamers love the thrill and suspense that comes with the jump scares and spookiness that comes with horror games and some gamers don’t understand why you would ever put yourself through something like that.

The Nintendo Switch has grown an immense amount in popularity in the past year and a half and the perception that largely comes along with it is the family-friendly, cute-looking games that Nintendo has been known for decades. However, it does boast a breadth of horror games that are well worth playing – if that’s your thing, of course.

To help you out, here’s a list of what we believe to be the fifteen best horror games on the Nintendo Switch.

1. Alien: Isolation

Taking a classic franchise back to its roots is Alien: Isolation, credited with not just being a good horror game of the bunch that have made their way to the Switch, but genuinely one of the better ones ever made. Set on a space station, this one is all about stealth and survival, which only makes those inevitable bigger horror moments all the more fear-inducing. In the first-person perspective, you play as Amanda Ripley, and along with the main obvious enemy are hostile humans and androids, bringing variety.

Buy now, $34.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/alien-isolation-switch/
2. Amnesia: Collection

The Amnesia Collection contains three games; The Dark Descent, A Machine For Pigs and Justine. The first of those is widely regarded as the best, but the entire thing is worth playing since you have it anyway. The first game sees you in the classic horror scenario of waking up somewhere with no memory of anything. Your job is to figure things out, all the while maneuvering through a castle and defending yourself against The Gatherers.

Buy now, $29.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/amnesia-collection-switch/
3. Bendy And The Ink Machine

Bendy And The Ink Machine is a great one because of the context of the horror. Characters are being drawn in an animation studio by an animator who has come out of retirement, but the ink is supernatural, which means it brings them to life. In first-person, you play as Henry Stein, the animator. The game is split up into a few chapters and players must play through puzzles and challenges and defeat enemies.

Buy now, $29.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/bendy-and-the-ink-machine-switch/
4. Blair Witch

Released on the Nintendo Switch just last year, as the name suggests, this Bloober Team game is based on the Blair Witch films, a well-respected horror franchise. This game is set in 1996, two years after The Blair Witch Project takes place. It follows Ellis Lynch while he searches for a missing boy in Black Hills Forest. Being alone in the woods will really always be a great setting for any kind of horror content and arguably, the plot devices work better here than in the movies. Either way, if you’ve consumed and been a fan of the movies, this is a must-play game.

Buy now, $29.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/blair-witch-switch/
5. Dead By Daylight

This is probably the most popular title on this list, largely because of how it got picked up by streamers. Tens of thousands of streamers have streamed it and at any given time, it’s one of the top fifteen most streamed games out. In a group of five, one of you is the killer who must catch the others before they can repair the seven generators and exit the area. The survivors can also fight back with special perks and items that are scattered throughout the maps. With different perks, load-outs, and tactics possible, you can get hours of fun from this game. Running away with the killer behind you is suspense like no other.

Buy now, $29.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/dead-by-daylight-switch/
6. Deadly Premonition Origins

Developed and published by TOYBOX, Deadly Premonition is an open-world survival horror game. Greenvale, Washington is a fictional town in which numerous murders have taken place and you, in the shoes of FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan, must solve the cases and find the identity of the Raincoat Killer. It’s very easy to get lost in this world, which is all you want from a horror, really.

Buy now, $29.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/deadly-premonition-origins-switch/
7. Detention

Detention is a special game because of how nuanced it is. It’s set during the White Terror period in Taiwan and inspired by Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Wei and Ray are students at Greenwood High School but they find themselves trapped there when a typhoon is about to hit. Now, it’s haunted by evil creatures called the Lingered. The characters are layered and their backstories do a great job of putting the player in their shoes, which only makes the horror even scarier. The soundtrack here is especially eerie too.

Buy now, $12.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/detention-switch/
8. Five Nights At Freddy’s

The first Five Nights At Freddy’s game from 2014 spawned an entire series of popular horror games. The premise is simple. You are put in the role of a security guard who has the night shift at a pizza place. You sit in the office with access to a bunch of cameras. The only problem is, the cameras show that the animatronics are trying to kill you. They mainly move when you have an eye on them, so juggling them is key. The objective of the game is to survive five nights there, which gets harder and harder to do every night.

Buy now, $7.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/five-nights-at-freddys-switch/
9. Friday The 13th: The Game

If you know anything about the legendary Friday The 13th movies, then you already know most of what to expect here, but that won’t take away from the horror of things. The game, developed by Illfonic and published by Gun Media, offers both a campaign mode and arena-style gameplay. The latter is exactly what you’d imagine a Friday The 13th game to be. It sees you with a group of people trying to escape Jason Vorhees. The campaign, however, gives you a chance to be the killer, a rare spin for horror games. More great news is that the Switch edition comes with all released content that console players had to wait for.

Buy now, $19.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/friday-the-13th-the-game-ultimate-slasher-edition-switch/
10. INSIDE

While INSIDE doesn’t actively try to scare you for most of the game, it’s the entire aura of the puzzle-platformer that really does the trick. Both developed and published by Playdead, players control a boy in a dystopian world as he figures his way through the gloomy, 2.5D environment. If you’re familiar with Limbo, this is made by the same people and runs on the same engine. Many consider this to be one of the greatest games ever made, largely because of its ending that will flip your world upside down and that there are multiple theories about it.

Buy now, $19.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/inside-switch/
11. Layers Of Fear: Legacy

Developed by Bloober Team (the same team that made Blair Witch), published by Aspyr, and released on the Switch in 2018, Layers Of Fear is a unique offering in the horror genre. That’s because there’s no main antagonist in the game and it doesn’t rely on jump scares to scare its players, not that there’d be anything wrong with that. Instead, the game plays on your own mind and will have you questioning your sanity. Environments change around you as you traverse the Victorian-era house and try to finish a masterpiece.

Buy now, $19.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/layers-of-fear-legacy-switch/
12. Little Nightmares II

Little Nightmares II is mostly considered to be a stronger game than its predecessor, but both are great pick-ups. Released in February of this year, this sequel is actually set before the first game. Making another appearance is Six, who works with the player, Mono, to discover Pale City’s scariest secrets. There are puzzles to get past and while you can fight against smaller enemies, bigger ones require stealth to get past, a healthy mechanic in a horror game that gives the enemies reverence.

Buy now, $29.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/little-nightmares-ii-switch/
13. Outlast: Bundle Of Terror

Outlast puts you in the shoes of a journalist who is tasked with investigating a psychiatric hospital called Mount Massive Asylum. Once you get in, the gate shuts behind you and the scary reality of what has happened is obvious once you see a mutilated officer warning you to get out with his last breath. Making your way through the hospital trying to unpack its dark secrets is an incredibly fun adventure and there’s no way you can get through this game without getting spooked at least a few times. The great thing about the Bundle Of Terror version that was made for the Switch is that you get the Whistleblower DLC right along with it.

Buy now, $24.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/outlast-bundle-of-terror-switch/
14. OXENFREE

In OXENFREE, you play as a teenage girl named Alex, who is partying with her stepbrother and their friends before supernatural events occur and they’re tasked with figuring out how to stop it. Despite being a story-driven game here, Night School Studio wanted to make a point of having no cutscenes in the game and it works pretty well. 

Buy now, $9.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/oxenfree-switch/
15. Resident Evil Revelations Collection

The Resident Evil games have been a staple in survival horror for a long time, so it’s only right that one of their Switch offerings got a spot on our list. As the name suggests, this collection bundles the two Revelations games together. The sequel is great if you want to try some co-op. If you’re a fan of these, you can also try the Origins Collection.

Buy now, $7.99
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/resident-evil-revelations-switch/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

Elton’s Dream Roster Wishlist for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

July 13, 2021, will forever be remembered as a joyous day in fighting game history. Why, you ask? Well, that’s because FGC devotees woke up to the surprising news that the animated icons of Nickelodeon have signed up to throw hands and feet in an upcoming fighting game. That game is the Super Smash Bros. clone known as Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.

The sight of instantly recognizable cartoon characters bashing each other’s heads in on floating arena platforms was wild. What was even wilder were the reveals that confirmed that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl will implement rollback netcode and possibly incorporate Super Smash Bros. Melee’s expert wavedashing mechanics. The hilarious memes pairing familiar Super Smash Bros. tropes with Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl have taken over my timeline and the hype is shockingly real for the game’s eventual Fall release.

So far, the animated party brawler has unveiled 14 playable characters:

Danny Phantom (Danny Phantom)

Helga (Hey Arnold!)

Leonardo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Lincoln Loud (The Loud House)

Lucy Loud (The Loud House)

Michelangelo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Nigel Thornberry (The Wild Thornberrys)

Oblina (Aaahh!!! Real Monsters)

Patrick Star (SpongeBob SquarePants)

Powdered Toast Man (Ren & Stimpy)

Reptar (Rugrats)

Sandy Cheeks (SpongeBob SquarePants)

SpongeBob SquarePants (SpongeBob SquarePants)

Zim (Invader Zim)

The game’s developers Ludosity and Fair Play Labs have made it abundantly clear that those fighters won’t be the only ones hopping into the multi-person fray. Even more Nickelodeon cartoon icons will get added to the game’s roster and make old/new fans as pleased as possible. I know a thing or two about classic and modern Nickelodeon characters, which is why I cooked up a list of even more characters that would be perfect for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl.

1 and 2. Ren & Stimpy (‘The Ren & Stimpy Show’)
Nickelodeon

Powdered Toast Man already nabbed himself a slot in this outlandish brawler. So it’s only right that the very show he was lifted from gets to showcase the two main characters that starred in it! Ren Höek and Stimpy are an insane anthropomorphic duo that offered a twisted alternative to Nickelodeon’s safer 90s cartoon mainstays. I’d love it if Ren used Stimpy as a sort of melee weapon by using him as an oversized bat, demolition hammer, and bowling ball. Or they could act as a sort of Ice Climbers duo that can be played simultaneously. Either option works for me.

3, 4, and 5. Raphael, Donatello, and Master Shredder (‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’)
Nickelodeon

This game already has two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the scene. So I think the two other parts of the Foot Clan fighting duo are most certainly getting called up, too. Raphael’s furious mastery of the twin sai and Donatello’s battle-tested usage of his bo-staff would make them the perfect go-to fighters for me in this brawler. And of course, their fiercest rival should also get the roster nod. Playing as Master Shredder and getting the chance to crush the Turtles and even non-Turtles sounds like a good time.

6 and 7. Aang and Korra (‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ and ‘The Legend of Korra’)
Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon

Now everyone knows these two master elemental wielders are tailor-made for any sort of fighting game. Placing them in this Smash Bros. clone is a must and I’m confident that the developers behind it will abide by that wise decision. Aang and Korra have the power to vanquish their foes with the powers granted to them via the telekinetic usage of water, earth, fire, and air. Can you imagine how OP both of these Avatars would be if they made the roster? I can already see people asking for Aang and Korra nerfs one week into the game’s launch. They sound like the sort of characters that could adopt serious crowd control mechanics into their game plan.

8. Arnold (‘Hey Arnold!’)
Nickelodeon

Helga’s beloved/hated “Football Head” is a must for this game. Here’s a guy that’s street smart and has a loyal band of friends behind him. It’d be pretty cool to make Arnold the sort of character that uses a wide range of objects that are familiar to his inner-city digs in order to overcome the competition. Arnold’s arsenal could rely on trash can lids, a basketball, a football, a baseball bat, a skateboard, etc. And getting a cool assist from his homie Gerald would be extra ill if it made it into the game.

9, 10, and 11. Timmy Turner, Cosmo, and Wanda (‘The Fairly Oddparents’)
Nickelodeon

If the budget is high enough to do some cool visual and transformation tricks, then this amazing trio must find its way into this multi-person battle royale. Timmy Turner could rely on a few battle tricks that incorporate all types of random items, of course. But it’d be more creative to give him a toolset that’s granted to him by his Fairly Oddparents Cosmo and Wanda. Each of Timmy’s specials should see him take on the form of something insane that’s concocted by his wishes. I’d be down to play with a Timmy that can morph into his favorite character Crash Nebula and any other powerful variants his moveset could offer.

12. Jimmy Neutron (‘The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius’)
Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon’s boy genius has all the tools and tech know-how needed to hold his own in battle. Jimmy Neutron is the perfect character to attach the trap fighting game archetype to – not only would he have a bunch of sick inventions within his arsenal, but he’d also get to call in his robotic pup Goddard to do some damage as well. It’d be so dope if Jimmy made it into this game and brought his Jet Pack, Super Bubblegum-Mobile, Girl-Eating Plant, and Swiss Army Laser tools to stay alive.

13. CatDog
Nickelodeon

The orange-colored conjoined siblings could really be a problem if they ended up joining Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’s roster. Imagine this – Cat on the left can handle its own while Dog on the right can also do the same. And when it comes to certain special moves, both characters can be activated in attack mode at the very same time. I’m sure CatDog would be pretty tricky to get right as a fighting game character, but I think an effort needs to be made to make that dream scenario happen. I’ma keep it a stack with y’all – I’d much rather see this lovable pair make it in before The Angry Beavers. Sorry, not sorry!

14. Rocko (‘Rocko’s Modern Life’)
Nickelodeon

As a 90s head, I’m so ready to see that iconic Australian wallaby get his just due here. Rocko’s move set would be awesome if it consisted of nothing but the tools that are tied to the many jobs he adopted throughout his life. Here’s how I see he could approach each fight – Rocko could catch some W’s by using a rotary phone, a tattoo needle, a plunger, and even random products from Conglom-O. As a matter of fact, I’d also be cool with Rocko being able to call on assists from Heffer, Filburt, and his trusty pup Spunky.

15. XJ-9 (‘My Life as a Teenage Robot’)
Nickelodeon

My Life as a Teenage Robot is centered around a youthful robot girl that goes about her days as a regular teenager and a superhero. And the way she goes about protecting the denizens of Earth is by utilizing a wide range of fearsome weaponry and additional devices. XJ-9 could be a threat in this game since she has the ability to call on her Laser Beam, Turbine Hair, Dino Drill & Razor Blades, Mass Hammer, and Extension Arms. It’d be pretty OD if she could use one of her transformations, too. Just imagine if she’d be able to quickly morph into her Jenny Jet form!

16. El Tigre (‘El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera’)
Nickelodeon

I know a lot of guys don’t recognize this lil’ dude, but make sure you spend some time with his slept-on cartoon. The character at the heart of that series is Manny Rivera, who embraces his large suite of superpowers under the moniker of “El Tigre.” As a fighter, El Tigre is a fast combatant that relies on his super strength, sharp claws, and grappling hook. And since he’s able to summon the great Ancient Tiger Spirit, Tigre can boost his stats even more. I said all that to say this – I’m trying to use all of those devastating powers in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl!