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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 12 Best Kart Racing Games

Ever since the most popular denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom decided to race each other for fun, gamers have become enamored with the kart racing game sub-genre. The formula that’s been established by the Mario Kart franchise has been adapted by other standout franchises to varying degrees of success. This may shock you, but there’s actually a collection of non-Mario Kart games that are just as good as the current king of the kart racing mountain. We’ve spent many a night getting engaged in some hotly contested digital kart racing tournaments with the homies and are experts when it comes to the best ones worth playing. These are, without a shadow of a doubt, the best kart racing games of all time. If your group gatherings aren’t jumping, just refer back to this list to add some much-needed life to the gameplay party.

1. ‘Mario Kart’ (series)

We already mentioned the GOAT of all kart racers, so it’s only right that we explain why. The Mario Kart franchise first hit the road in 1992 and enraptured the youth at the time. From that point forward, Mario and the rest of the competitive gang have appeared in quality follow-ups that have evolved the series’ formula to damn near perfection. Mario Kart 64 moved the series into the realm of 3D, Mario Kart: Double Dash introduced clever double team mechanics, Mario Kart Wii implemented Wiimote motion technology, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe compiled the very best parts of the game into one awesome series entry. The Mario Kart series offers the most polished and supremely satisfying kart racing game experience on the market. Will it ever be overtaken? Probably not.

2. ‘Diddy Kong Racing’

There’s a reason why fans of this N64 classic are still requesting a sequel. It was just so damn good and caused some to believe that it’s far superior to Mario Kart 64. Diddy Kong Racing features a wide range of cutesy critters that get their kicks by racing in the air, the sky, and on the road. Providing players with two other options when it comes to nabbing first place is the main reason why this throwback kart racer is held in such high esteem. Another reason why Diddy Kong Racing is so celebrated is because of its memorable Adventure Mode. Were the bosses from that mode infuriating? Of course! But the high fun factor that comes with discovering new worlds, collecting balloons, and participating in some Battle Mode matches quickly rids one of all that boss race frustration.

3. ‘Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing’

This Sega-themed kart racer had no right being as good as it was at the time of its release. Most people painted it as a thinly veiled attempt at mimicking the Mario Kart franchise and replacing all of that game’s characters with Sega’s most prominent stars. But in the end, Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing proved to be a super enjoyable romp through the illustrated history of Sega. The graphics’ bright & bubbly exterior hops off the screen, the music is filled with nostalgia, and the tracks you get to race on evoke the feel of your favorite roller coasters. With a rose that features the likes of Billy Hatcher, Ryo Hazuki, Ulala, and several other Sega icons, this kart racer achieved its goal of offering Sega fans a worthy competitor to Mario Kart.

4. ‘Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed’

And then there’s the amazing sequel. Sumo Digital must have taken a good hard look at Diddy Kong Racing since this game came outfitted with boats and planes, too. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed went big in the best ways possible – more characters, more tracks, more power-ups, etc. Even more notable Sega characters joined the roster and were allowed to race in even more expansive tracks that tugged on everyone’s nostalgic heartstrings. Venturing through mind-blowing tracks inspired by Golden Axe, Panzer Dragoon, Burning Rangers, and even Nights into Dreams will forever feel monumental for the most ardent Sega fanatics.

5. ‘Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled’

The OG version of Crash Team Racing is already a great example of the orange bandicoot’s era of console dominance. Fast forward to 2019, where development studio Beenox made Crash Bandicoot fans’ dreams come true. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled remasters the very best parts of Crash Team Racing, Crash Nitro Kart, and Crash Tag Team Racing. Not only do all the characters and tracks make their return in high definition, but a host of improvements also made their way into the game. Kart customization, a whole batch of new racers to choose from, and two variations of past Adventure Modes made this remaster feel like a true love letter to its quality predecessors.

6. ‘ModNation Racers’

We were saddened to hear the news that developer United Front Games was shut down back in 2016. That’s because we wanted them to continue perfecting the strong kart racing/track creation formula they concocted with ModNation Racers. That PS3/PSP speed demon provided all the nooks and crannies that come with superior kart racers. But what truly made ModNation Racers earn itself an appreciative audience was its open-ended track creation mechanic. You pretty much got an endless array of clever track layouts to enjoy when the game’s servers were still alive. ModNation Racers thrived thanks to its amusing races and talented creative community. Making custom karts, racers, and tracks is just so damn addictive, isn’t it?

7. ‘LittleBigPlanet Karting’

Before United Front Games met its unfortunate end, the studio linked up with Sony’s San Diego Studio to craft another top-tier kart racer. And this time, the joint project mashed up the best elements of ModNation Racers and the LittleBigPlanet. LittleBigPlanet Karting brought Sackboy and the whole lovable crew of plushy characters to the world of party racing and made sure to incorporate the familiar motif of “Play, Create, Share.” The player-created tracks helped the game offer a near-endless array of content to enjoy. That main hook welcomed players to a kart racer that did the basics right and also changed things up by featuring a clever grappling hook movement mechanic.

8. ‘Looney Tunes: Space Race’

It makes all the sense in the world for the massive Looney Tunes collective to participate in some good ol’ fashion kart racing, right? Back in 2000, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, and the rest of the zany crew hopped on their signature rockets with the release of Looney Tunes: Space Race. And to the surprise of many (including us), it ended up being better than expected. The cel-shaded art style still shines and the gameplay is expectedly amusing. All of the themes that are tied to the Looney Tunes cartoons are on display here as everyone rockets across some well-designed tracks and tries to eliminate each other with a wealth of hilarious weaponry.

9. ‘Konami Krazy Racers’

For those who may have forgotten, the Game Boy Advance launch lineup produced three quality racing games. F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, Top Gear GT Championship, and Konami Kart Racers were the three games that helped that genre thrive on day one of the handheld console’s release. And to this day, Konami Kart Racers is still worth delving into. The roster is full of some expected and unexpected faces, such as Goemon (Legend of the Mystical Ninja), Dracula (Castlevania), and Gray Fox (Metal Gear Solid). What makes this kart racer stand apart from its contemporaries is its use of color-coded power-up pickups that offer an extra layer of strategy to the race proceedings.

10. ‘Speed Freaks’

The original PlayStation actually had some good kart racing games? Yeah, actually! The first one we’re going to mention here is Speed Freaks, which is an underrated gem that’s still worth spending some time with. The cartoony aesthetic goes hand in hand with the game’s roster of big head mode-themed racers. As for the actual racing itself, it gets the job done and features all the elements that your favorite kart racer lives by. The soundtrack provided a satisfying array of tunes that go hand in hand with the game’s joyous races. Speed Freaks provided the perfect reason to add the PlayStation Multitap to one’s gaming peripheral collection.

11. ‘Motor Toon Grand Prix 2’

So the first Motor Grand Prix ended up being a Japanese exclusive at the time of its release. Sadly, it didn’t get the most positive reception. Once the sequel finally arrived, however, it marked the debut of the series in the US and garnered a far more welcoming critical response. Motor Toon Grand Prix 2 offers improved visuals, tighter vehicle handling, devious track layouts, and the same comedic cartoon theme that its predecessor introduced. The image of each car stretching itself out as it twisted and turned in different directions will never leave our brains.

12. ‘Motor Kombat’

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon was seemingly set up as the swan song for the entire series upon release. Every playable character that’s ever been introduced to the game’s roster participated in this game’s realms-altering tournament. Along with the game’s traditional fighting game mechanics, this 3D Mortal Kombat series entry also introduced a fun minigame that ended up being far better than it had any right being. Motor Kombat took the game’s most popular characters, gave him big heads & little bodies, and let ‘em zip across some tracks lifted right from the dark & brooding world of Mortal Kombat. Launching each character’s signature weapon and watching the rest of the pack turn into nothing but blood splatter was and still is a joyous moment.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 10 Best Curved Gaming Monitors

Curved monitors offer a higher immersion level in games when you want to spend more time in the virtual world. These monitors also have smart features such as motion-tracking technology. Here are the best ones available online for you to choose from.

1. Sceptre Curved 27″ 75Hz LED Gaming Monitor
Top Pick
Sceptre / Amazon

Reduce ghosting and blurring: This curved monitor comes with built-in speakers, blue light shift, and a VESA wall mount pattern that allows you to select the optimum viewing position for your gaming and workstation. Plus, the fast response times reduce ghosting and blurring while transitioning pixels. This is a high-refresh, 144Hz monitor with a refresh rate of 75Hz and FreeSync 2 support.

Buy Now, $216.66
https://amzn.to/3B4mdE3
2. SAMSUNG C27F398 27 Inch Curved LED Gaming Monitor
Samsung / Amazon

Low Input Lag: This curved gaming monitor offers a great viewing experience thanks to its viewing angles, as well as a good response time and low input lag.

Buy Now, $298.00
https://amzn.to/2VoLYyf
3. AOC C32G2 32″ Curved Frameless Gaming Monitor
Best Quality
AOC / Amazon

Immersive gaming experience: This curved monitor with a high refresh rate is a good fit for gaming. It has a decent response time and a VA panel that offers decent color reproduction as well. This monitor has a super-curved 1500R panel for an immersive gaming experience with a rapid 1ms smart response time. It’s also equipped with AMD FreeSync Premium, which provides the smoothest competitive gameplay by milliseconds.

Buy Now, $239.99
https://amzn.to/2U66Slr
4. ASUS TUF Gaming 32″ 2K HDR Curved Gaming Monitor
Premium Pick
ASUS / Amazon

Great response time: This curved gaming monitor IPS panel delivers accurate colors, and it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology. This monitor features a 1ms response time (MPRT) together with adaptive-sync, eliminating ghosting and tearing for sharp gaming visuals.

Buy Now, $379
https://amzn.to/3iiaXLJ
5. VIOTEK GNV34DBE 34-Inch Curved Gaming Monitor
Viotek / Amazon

Good picture quality: This is a remarkable gaming monitor with an OLED panel that delivers good picture quality. This monitor has 144Hz refresh rates and an ultra-wide QHD resolution of 21:9 aspect ratio. It also comes with gameplay crosshairs as well as fps display optimization that will bring out detail in shadow-heavy scenes.

Buy Now, Price Varies
https://amzn.to/3hznVp1
6. SAMSUNG Odyssey G5 Series 32-Inch Gaming Monitor
Samsung / Amazon

Samsung’s striking monitor displays are highly recommended, which is why we’re placing another one of their selections on this list. This model offers a smooth gameplay experience thanks to its AMD FreeSync Premium technology, which reduces screen tearing, stutter, and input latency to a great degree.

Buy Now, $319.99
https://amzn.to/3i1y1xV
7. MSI Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor 24″
MSI / Amazon

This MSI recommendation is definitely worth its weight in gold. The images it presents look as crisp and fluid as possible since it offers 20% more Color gamut coverage. And thanks to the AMD FreeSync technology this monitor is outfitted with, syncing your monitor’s refresh rate to your AMD GPU’s FPS can be implemented to prevent severe screen tearing.

Buy Now, $161.02
https://amzn.to/3yNSCMR
8. GIGABYTE G27FC A 27″ 165Hz 1080P Curved Gaming Monitor
Gigabyte / Amazon

Mounting this beauty on your wall is worth doing since it can easily be attached without much issue. Looking upwards to get the full gamut of this gaming monitor’s gorgeous color display, quality brightness, and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility that eliminates screen tearing will quickly become a part of your daily routine.

Buy Now, $199.99
https://amzn.to/3AXLOOA
9. LG 27GL83A-B 27 Inch Ultragear Gaming Monitor
LG / Amazon

LG lineup of models is top-of-the-line material. This Ultragear gaming monitor of theirs is as good as it gets thanks to a number of worthwhile factors. It supports HDR10, which offers maximum visual immersion. Plus its compatibility with Adaptive-Sync (FreeSync) technology and Dynamic Action Sync means you won’t ever have to worry about screen tearing and input lag.

Buy Now, $367.43
https://amzn.to/3k9Xs33
10. Z-Edge UG24 24-inch Curved Gaming Monitor
Z-Edge / Amazon

This Z-Edge curved gaming monitor has all the features that every tech nerd would greatly appreciate. It comes with a 165Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, a 1650R curved monitor, a full HD 1080 resolution, a 178-degree viewing angle, and a compatible VESA mount support. 

Buy Now, $199.99
https://amzn.to/3i67YWv

ONE37pm may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 19 Best Anime Fighting Games

If you’re not clued up on what an anime is, you’re getting closer and closer to becoming the minority as each year passes. Anime has been taking over the world for a few years now, and the silly stigma around it being only for a specific group of people is thankfully wearing away.

An anime is basically a Japanese version of a cartoon. Many of these were part of the western world before we realized what we were even watching – think Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, or Dragon Ball Z. In Japan, manga (Japanese comic books that anime series often spawn from) sell hundreds of millions of copies. You can read about some of the best-selling manga of all time here.

Now, you’re probably familiar with what a fighting game is, but the name can cause some confusion if gaming isn’t your thing. Yes, a lot of games have fighting or some form of combat in them, but they’re not all necessarily fighting games. Fighting games, as the name suggests, are all about fighting. They’re generally centered around close-range combat between two or more players, like Street Fighter, Soul Caliber, or Tekken.

So those are anime series and fighting games in a nutshell, now if we put them together… see where we’re going with this?

Whether you’re into anime and want to experience it from a gaming side or you want to ease into some anime fandom with some gaming, this list might just be right for you. We’ve compiled a list of the 19 best anime fighting games that have ever been made. Check them out below in alphabetical order.

1. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

This game is a crossover fighting game just like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but with characters from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura, Akatsuki Blitzkampf, and for the first time, Rooster Teeth’s original series RWBY. Many of those games appear on this list, so this is a great one to pick up to either get familiar with them or if you already are. The game, developed and published by Arc System Works, offers 2v2 battles and tag-ins.

Buy now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/702890/BlazBlue_Cross_Tag_Battle/
2. Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax

Developed by French Bread and Ecole Software and published by Sega, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is another game that boasts a roster from multiple franchises. Characters from Virtua Fighter, Sword Art Online, Valkyria Chronicles, and more make appearances here. The benefit of being published by Sega is that many of the arenas are made up from classic games of theirs, like Sonic The Hedgehog. Fighting with those environments in the back is fun. Also unique to this game is the fact that you pick the main character to fight with and an assist character who you can also control.

Buy now, $36.99
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T0I6SY0/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00T0I6SY0&linkCode=as2&tag=atlus-20&linkId=5GAJTAJ5PHG6FGSP
3. Dragon Ball FighterZ

The Dragon Ball series boasts some of the best anime fighters that have ever been made, which is why it has not one, not two, but three on this list. Dragon Ball FighterZ though is arguably the best of the bunch. Developed by Arc System Works (who also developed the aforementioned BlazBlue game on the list), this is a 2.5D game that has won a bunch of Best Fighting Game awards. It doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, but it does everything about as well as it can be done.

Buy now, $8.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/678950/DRAGON_BALL_FighterZ/
4. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3

Budokai 3 was developed by Dimps and published by Atari for the PlayStation 2 way back in 2004. There are 42 playable characters, and while every character in the game was supposed to have their own story on story mode, just eleven characters ended up making the cut for it, likely due to time constraints. Compared to the two games that come before it, Budokai 3 boasts being the closest looking to the real anime. While Tenkaichi 3 (which is next on this list) gets praise, many fans consider this to be the better fighting game.

Buy now, $28.85
https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Ball-Budokai-PlayStation-2/dp/B00026RFI2
5. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3

This is the third and final game in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series. Available on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii, the game was first released in 2007. There are a whopping 98 characters available to play as here and if you know anything about Dragon Ball, you know that there are a lot more in different forms too. It makes for one of the largest rosters in any fighting game ever. This game allows for players to play specific arenas in the day or night-time, which makes recreating scenes from the anime a lot easier.

Buy now
https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Ball-Budokai-Tenkaichi-Atari-Playstation/dp/B00I3ZGDNW/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=Dragon+Ball+Z%3A+Budokai+Tenkaichi+3&qid=1625742684&sr=8-4
6. Fate/unlimited codes

Available on Arcade, PlayStation 2, and the very underrated PSP, Fate/unlimited codes is based on the Japanese adult visual novel Fate/stay night. It’s a 3D game that makes use of the width and height advantage and players generally tend to feel like combinations here require some skill to master. Other than that technical side, this is a fighting game that’s good enough to fit into the crowd.

Buy now, $51.59
https://www.amazon.com/Unlimited-Codes-Price-Japan-Playstation-2/dp/B002U833S6/ref=sr_1_6?crid=3F2H7RNO94DUT&dchild=1&keywords=fate%2Funlimited+codes&qid=1625742795&sprefix=fate%2Funl%2Caps%2C228&sr=8-6
7. Guilty Gear Xrd

Guilty Gear has been around since the late 90s with Xrd being the fifth entry in the main series. We picked out this game in particular for the list, but truthfully you can pick anything from the series and have an enjoyable experience. This game, in particular, stands out for its accessibility, with many calling the game a great entry point for beginners to the anime fighting game genre or fighting games in general, largely because of its tutorial mode but also a simple interface with fewer characters.

Buy now, $4.49
https://store.steampowered.com/app/520440/GUILTY_GEAR_Xrd_REVELATOR/
8. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle

Released in Japan in 2013 and North America, Europe, and Australasia in 2014, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle is just one of ten games in the main series where the most recent game is from 2019, and the oldest is from way back in 1993. Only available on the PlayStation 3, the game features more than three dozen characters from all of JoJo’s story arcs. Characters here are true to the series, and there’s even a story mode where events from the manga series can be replayed.

Buy now, $39.37
https://www.amazon.com/Jojos-Bizarre-Adventure-all-Star-Battle-4924897011/dp/B00BHAF688
9. Jump Ultimate Stars

Jump Ultimate Stars was only released on the Nintendo DS in Japan and it’s from way back in 2006, but if you can get your hands on it, you’re in for a treat. Developed by Ganbarion, this game is a massive crossover including characters from 41 different anime series like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Naruto, One Piece, and more indisputable classics. The arenas you play in are interactive, with some walls and floors being destructible. If this one is unplayable to you because it’s inaccessible, we recommend Jump Force for a newer game in the series.

Buy now, 99¢
https://store.steampowered.com/app/486990/Jump_Stars/
10. KILL La KILL – IF

Some games on this list are great entry points if anime fighting games haven’t been your thing up until now, but this isn’t one of them. It’s a little niche and you’ll benefit greatly from knowing what has happened in Trigger’s KILL La KILL anime series before you jump in. Especially episode three, because that’s where this game takes place. Some great news for fans of the anime is that the same voice actors voice the game’s characters and just like the fights in the series, the fighting here is hectic and fast-paced.

Buy now, $6.59
https://store.steampowered.com/app/922500/KILL_la_KILL_IF/
11. Melty Blood

In addition to being a fighting game, Melty Blood is a visual novel. Co-created by Type-Moon and French-Bread, it offers many of the features that fans of fighting games love. You can chain combinations, you can cancel attacks and you can use a super bar (known here as a Magic Circuit) to replenish health or unleash ultimate attacks. If you play it and you’re a fan, you’ll be pleased to know that a new game in the main series, Melty Blood: Type Lumina, is expected later this year.

Buy now, $4.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/411370/Melty_Blood_Actress_Again_Current_Code/
12. My Hero One’s Justice 2

My Hero Academia is a manga that has been in production since 2014, boasting 30 volumes. It’s very popular and My Hero One’s Justice 2 is the third game based around it. The sequel to My Hero One’s Justice was released in March of 2020. The general consensus around this game is that it takes all of the best elements from the first game, keeps them, and mixes them in a pot with some great new features like destructible environments, new characters, and a mission mode.

Buy now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1058450/MY_HERO_ONES_JUSTICE_2/
13. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

If you’ve ever played any one of the previous games in this series, you already know what to expect here. Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was released in February of 2016 and has sold 6 million copies to date. The game has a story mode that you can enjoy, but the gameplay is really what is at the forefront here. What makes Naruto games unique in the anime fighting genre is that just like characters in the manga and anime do, you can wall-run, which really keeps the combat dynamic.

Buy now, $6.89
https://store.steampowered.com/app/349040/NARUTO_SHIPPUDEN_Ultimate_Ninja_STORM_4/
14. Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel

Nitroplus is a Japanese visual novel video game developer that is responsible for some big and respected titles. What this game does is it crosses over heroines from various of their releases, brings them together, and lets you pit them against each other. There is a total of 32 characters, 14 of which are playable and 18 of which are support characters. Mechanics are simple and there are just five buttons in use here: light attack, medium attack, heavy attack, escape action, and heavy action.

Buy now, $4.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/482450/Nitroplus_Blasterz_Heroines_Infinite_Duel/
15. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4

This is technically an action-adventure game, so the fighting that happens here isn’t done in the same way as most of the other games on this list, but we can assure you, fighting is the vast majority of what you do here. The story just has more of an impact on things. One Piece has sold 480 million copies of its manga worldwide, so a successful game series was one of the obvious things to do. Pirate Warriors 4 is arguably the best offering in the series.

Buy now, $17.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1089090/ONE_PIECE_PIRATE_WARRIORS_4/
16. Persona 4 Arena

Even if you’re not heavily into anime, you might still be aware of the Persona series. Persona 4 Arena takes place just two months after the events of Persona 4, but there’s no real plot that affects the gameplay, so you won’t need to know what has happened before to enjoy this game. Considering this was the series’ first step outside of the RPG genre, they did exceptionally well, with fans and critics praising the game for its 2D art style and general gameplay.

Buy now, $12.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1113000/Persona_4_Golden/
17. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Released in December of 2008, this is yet another crossover fighting game. Developed by Eighting and published by Capcom, just the name of the game should tell you that you can expect a roster full of big names. Ryu, Chun-Li, MegaMan Volnutt, and more make appearances. The fighting style here is tag team and is set in a 2.5D environment.

Buy now, $43.97
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2322090.m570.l1313&_nkw=Tatsunoko+vs.+Capcom%3A+Ultimate+All+Stars&_sacat=0
18. The King Of Fighters XIII

At the time of writing, this game is just a few days away from turning 11 years old. Developed and published by SNK Playmore, The King Of Fighters XIII was first released as an arcade game and then on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 a year later, with iOS, Android and PC releases all coming in subsequent years. This game replaces some features of its predecessor like the zooming camera and the Guard Attack. In place of them are features like EX Mode and HyperDrive Mode.

Buy now. $4.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/222940/THE_KING_OF_FIGHTERS_XIII_STEAM_EDITION/
19. Under Night In-Birth

Released in September of 2012, Under Night In-Birth follows suit with the mechanics from most of the 2D fighters on this list. There are light, medium, and heavy attacks, all with the ability to be canceled or turned into super and special moves. There is an impressive roster of characters that all have their own feel while also being balanced. There is also a plot that once again, you don’t necessarily have to follow closely to be able to appreciate the game.

Buy now, $12.49
https://store.steampowered.com/app/801630/UNDER_NIGHT_INBIRTH_ExeLateclr/
Categories
Consoles Gaming

The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Grading

Graded collectibles are all the rage these days. 

Whether you’re into collecting sports cards, comics, magazines, autographs, concert posters, coins, or you’re just a die-hard Pokemon fan in search of that elusive gem mint 1st edition holo, you know the benefits that grading brings—authenticity, longevity, and value, mostly.

But what about video games? Gaming’s a huge part of the culture too, and every gamer knows the hits. Don’t tell me Mario, Link, and Sonic don’t deserve a coveted spot on your shelf.

Well, video game grading is very much a thing too, and it’s quickly rising in popularity. But who does the grading? What does the process look like? What are the benefits?

In this detailed guide, we’ll give you the full rundown of everything you need to know.

1. Why Grade Your Games At All?
Sam Mellish/Getty Images

If you’re someone who appreciates video games, especially vintage ones, it probably has to do with the fact that you enjoy playing them. That’s the obvious thing you need to know going in: once games are graded, they’re effectively preserved and can no longer be played.

So, why grade games at all? That’s the question you need to ask yourself going in. 

Determining whether you’re in it for the quick flip, long-term investing, or simply build a nice collection will help you decide how to proceed. Video game collecting has evolved into a pretty lucrative business, one with significant investment value if you know what you’re doing.

Investors need to be aware of two things:

  1. The relevance of the title
  2. The condition of the box

Unlike other collectibles, scarcity and obscurity don’t automatically equate to a higher value with games. Cultural relevance matters most. Popular franchises (think Ninja Turtles) are far surpassing anything you’d consider to be “rare” in the market currently. That’s not to say that rare games don’t still sell, but their expected rarity isn’t being reflected in the prices the market is currently willing to pay.

Also, most people overestimate the condition of their games. This isn’t sports cards where opening a fresh pack can lead to a near-automatic PSA 9 or 10. You need to know what to look for, how to assess the condition of games properly. More on that below.

Collectors, on the other hand, really only need to worry about the condition, because relevance mostly comes down to their personal tastes. Take me for example: 

Growing up in Pittsburgh, I became a massive Penguins fan. To this day, Mario Lemieux is my all-time favorite athlete. In 1994, when Mario Lemieux Hockey was released for the Sega Genesis, it became my favorite game. You’ve never heard of it but to me, I’d love to own a high-grade copy someday. I don’t really care what it’s worth, that makes me a collector.

The intention you have behind grading your games is everything.

2. Who Does the Grading? WATA vs. VGA
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

When it comes to video game grading, there are two major players (pun definitely intended) in the space: WATA and VGA.

VGA (Video Game Authority) is a branch of Collectible Grading Authority, Inc. whereas WATA Games is fully dedicated to graded games. Both offer video game authentication and grading services; however, the designs and grading scales they use vary.

Here’s what you need to know about each.

Graded Case Design

When you get your graded games back from VGA or WATA, you’ll immediately notice a couple of different things. First, the size. 

WATA’s graded cases tend to be a bit bigger than VGA’s because the label placement is different on each. Also, tamper-proof clips on the tops and bottoms of WATA’s cases lend a bit more bulk to the overall design.

In terms of the labels, you’ll notice that WATA’s cases contain a bit more detailed information about the game, whereas VGA’s are quite simplistic. People seem to like WATA’s level of detail, though VGA does have a better handle on overall simplicity of design. 

Also, one thing to note: Horizontal boxes, such as those used for Super Nintendo and N64 games, tend to display better with VGA because they offer a more native horizontal design.

Grading Scales

Next comes the different grading scales each of these companies use. The three major submission types accepted are factory sealed games, opened but “Complete In Box” (C.I.B.), and loose video game cartridges without the book or box.

The important distinction here is that VGA includes both the outside shrinkwrap and overall box condition in a single grade, whereas WATA grades each of these items separately.

WATA operates on a 10-point scale with a curve, as there are different sub-grades in between. From the lowest grade (0.5) on up to 9, grades are distinguished at 0.5 increments. From 9 to 10, however, is where the curve kicks in. Grades in this range are set at 0.2 increments, so your games can score (hard to avoid these puns!) a 9.2, 9.4, 9.6, or 9.8 as well.

Secondly, with WATA, factory sealed games will also receive a separate letter grade reflecting the quality and integrity of their shrink-wrap/seal. The scale here ranges from A++ (like new condition) to a C (poor condition) with five steps in between.

VGA, on the other hand, operates on a 100-point scale, ranging from very poor (10) on up to gem mint (100). The scale is broken up in increments of 10, though once you get up to 70 you start to see sub-grades such as 75 and 75+. As mentioned, there is no seal grade.

Tips: When to Submit Games to Each

Both companies’ grading scales have their advantages depending on the condition of your game. 

With VGA, for example, if you have a really bad seal but a really nice box, you’re ultimately going to get dinged. Because WATA looks at those things separately, your game might fetch a higher overall grade. The same goes for when you have a perfect-looking box with a few minor flaws (such as tiny tears or holes) in the shrinkwrap. In that instance, WATA’s your play.

On the other hand, if you have an amazing seal but a decent enough looking box, consider sending it to VGA. The fact that they combine both into a single grading scale could very well work in your favor if you decide to make that your play. 

Overall, the market seems to favor a high-grade box over a high-grade seal, so that’s another piece of info you can use to help determine where to send your game. 

Market Perception

Speaking of the market, when it comes to each of these companies, it helps to know where you can get the most bang for your buck in terms of selling your graded games.

The good news is: in terms of overall market liquidity, both WATA and VGA games are relatively easy to sell. Video game grading is very much on the rise, but it’s not like the market is currently flooded with highly graded games. When supply is low, demand is high—that’s the name of the… okay, I can’t do that to you this time.

That said, all things being equal, the market does seem to prefer WATA-certified games. WATA’s teamed up with Heritage Auctions, who sells a lot of high-end games. If the games you’re looking to sell are high-end, WATA feels like the smart play. Otherwise, VGA’s sleek design, quicker turnaround, and less expensive pricing structure might be a little more collector-friendly.

3. Assessing the Condition of Your Games
Jason Koeppel // ONE37pm

I’ll try my best to keep this portion of the guide short and sweet. 

There are a lot of helpful video tutorials out there to help you visually inspect the condition of your games. But in terms of what graders tend to look for, here are some of the key things:

Factory seal – Graders want to see a perfect seal on any factory-sealed games. Look for a nice perpendicular line going up the back and/or down the sides of the game. Any holes or tears in the shrinkwrap or cellophane (no matter how small) will also have an impact on your grade.

Color breaks – This fancy term just means the edges of the box that’s housing your game. Along the edges where a box gets folded or creased, you can sometimes see cracks, white spots, or other color issues that can impact your grade.

Color fading – This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Vibrancy of color is another aspect that can alter a grade. Even a mint-looking box or cartridge can sometimes be faded. Compare your game to a highly graded version online to help determine proper coloring.

Crushing, puffing, cracks – If any corner or side of the box shows instances of crushing, denting, or puffing (basically squeezed in or out), you can expect a lower grade. Puffy corners seem to be less of an issue than crushed in ones, but neither look all that great inside of a display. Also, for disc-based games like PS1, look out for cracks even under the seal.

Impressions, stickers, marks – Sometimes a box will have an impression line on it as if someone used it as a surface to write on. That’s not good. Also, price tags can do damage if you try removing them yourself. If you’re submitting a cartridge only and it’s previously been tested or played, there could be some scratches on it from the game console as well.

What Goes Into a C.I.B. Grade?

Up to this point, we’ve talked a lot about factory sealed games but the older the game is, the tougher that’s going to be to find. “Complete In Box” games are your next best bet.

The general breakdown for how C.I.B. games are graded is as follows: the box is weighted 50% of your grade, the cartridge is 30%, and the manual is the remaining 20%. 

Knowing this, if you have a box and cartridge that are both in amazing condition but a manual that’s not, it’s worth going out and finding a new manual to help your overall grade. And if you happen to get a graded game back from WATA and find out that the manual did drag down your grade, you could, in theory, look for a C.I.B. game that scored a 9.6 or higher on the manual and send both back in to combine. From what I understand, WATA will take the best from each.

4. The Submission and Grading Process
watagames.com

Last but not least, there’s the actual process of submitting your games for grading. 

As of this writing, VGA currently has a brand new website under construction and has disabled the ability to create new submissions online. For the time being, they’re asking customers to fill out a printed PDF submission form to include in every package shipped.

So, for the purposes of this section (and because VGA’s new setup will likely be similar), let’s focus on the online submission process for WATA. Again, we can keep this short and sweet.

WATA’s Submission Process:

  1. Select your game – First, you get to choose your platform, of which there are many. Then, you can search for your specific game. A thumbnail of the game will display on the page so you can confirm it’s the right one and proceed.
  1. Add some details – Next, you’ll just want to add in a little bit of info like the state of the game (sealed, loose cartridge, or C.I.B.), the declared value of said game (based on your research or educated guess), and any notes you might have for the grader.
  1. Choose your services – Lastly, you’ll select the display type, service level, and any add-on services you might be interested in, such as light or heavy cleaning. The cost of cleaning is 1% of the declared value and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

And that’s it! Just follow the above process for each and every game you hope to submit and you should receive your graded games back within the timeframe mentioned in your desired service level. Then the real fun begins: selling or putting your new gem on display!

I hope you found this guide helpful. Good luck in all your graded video game endeavors.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 14 Best ‘Dragon Ball’ Games

Akira Toriyama’s name rings bells out here in these anime streets.

And if you consider yourself a lifelong otaku, then you know why that’s the case. The famed Japanese manga artist and character designer is best known for giving the world the gift of Dragon Ball. Through a successful collection of ongoing manga and anime series, Goku and the gang have accrued monumental mainstream popularity. Dragon Ball’s super-powered martial artists have captured everyone’s imagination due to their affinity for engaging in hyperfast battles, powering themselves up to shocking levels of power, and sending deadly beams out their hands & fingers. It’s hard to deny just how important Dragon Ball is to the world of anime and mainstream culture as a whole.

With such a major property like Dragon Ball out in the world, it should come as no surprise that a bunch of video games has been dedicated to it. A good majority of them are Wal-Mart bottom-of-the-barrel material, but there’s a strong collection of Dragon Ball games out there worth mentioning. We played 14 of those sublime Super Saiyan gaming experiences and are here to remind you of them all.

1. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2’

Dragon Ball Z is an anime about a whole bunch of dudes and women powering up to bash each other’s brains in. That simple premise is supported by some epic story arcs that feature some of the most sinister villains in all of anime. With such an easily understandable concept, it’s easy to see why a long list of fighting games have been devoted to the Z Warriors and their foes. One of the finest examples of that ongoing trend is this SNES 2D brawler. Dragon Ball Z: Super Butōden 2 wasn’t just only a matter of better is more – it also improved upon everything that the first game relied upon. The addition of playable movie plots, special counterattack moves, and meteor combos lifted this 16-bit fighter to new heights above its predecessor.

2. ‘Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II’

The Game Boy Advance features a smorgasbord of Dragon Ball games. Some of them are surprisingly decent and some of them are horrifyingly bad. The Legacy of Goku series is one of the stronger sub-series within the Dragon Ball line and each game has its own positive attributes worth speaking on. But the game that clearly stands as the best is the second one. And it’s easy to recognize why – it allows players to play out the events of the (arguably) greatest story arcs in Dragon Ball Z history and offers a more refined gameplay experience. The expanded playable roster also did a great job of adding an extra sense of fulfillment to the game’s quality RPG structure.

3. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3’

The first Budokai was an adequate attempt at creating a 3D Dragon Ball Z fighter. The second Budokai was a half step in the right direction, but it faltered a bit due to a weird board game adventure mode. Then Budokai 3 came into everyone’s lives and helped the series finally realize its true potential. The cel-shaded visuals became their very best, navigating the extensive “Dragon Universe” mode added hours of fun, and the refined battle mechanics made the onscreen action look just as good as the one from the anime. The feeling of finally unlocking SSJ4 Goku, SSJ4 Vegeta, and Omega Shenron truly made you feel like a king in Budokai 3. And tearing up your friends as those characters felt oh so good.

4. ‘Super Dragon Ball Z’

Super Dragon Ball Z takes the cake for being one of, if not the most underrated Dragon Ball Z game on this list. It came out during the height of the 3D PS2 games, which is why it probably got ignored by most. And that should be considered a crime because this slept-on fighting game deserves more love. The cel-shaded visuals were really striking and evoked memories of the manga art the series was born on. Instead of offering a more casual approach to one-on-one combat, Super DBZ incorporates more traditional fighting game control inputs and combo routes. Seeing as how this game had development input from one of the guys that worked on Street Fighter and Darksiders, that gameplay feel makes perfect sense. Seek this one out and make sure you give Chi-Chi a spin (she’s a total badass in this game!).

5. ‘Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure’

The OG Dragon Ball saga gave us young Goku as he fought his way through dangerous foes such as Mercenary Tao and King Piccolo. The entirety of Goku’s initial adventures is perfectly detailed within this shockingly great Game Boy Advance release. Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure features Goku and his training partner Krillin as they explore different environments, clash with familiar baddies, and take to the air on the Flying Nimbus for some airborne clashes. The best parts of this game arrive when it comes time to get locked into some one-on-one battles that raise the stakes and get the blood pumping. Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure is one of the best ways to make your way through Goku’s early origins and play them out in the most gratifying way possible.

6. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai’

The Budokai series got plenty of accolades on the PS2, so it didn’t come as a shock when it made its way over to the PlayStation Portable. Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai may have gotten rid of the “Dragon Rush” technique, but it still managed to be awesome thanks to the speedy “Aura Burst” mechanic. That changeup and the always enjoyable Budokai battle mechanics did enough to make this portable variation of the series succeed on its own. And thanks to the game’s “Dragon Road” mode, players got treated to a playable storyline that diverted from the usual arcs we’ve already played a million times before. The sequel to this one feels like a step-down, honestly – just go out of your way and play this far better predecessor.

7. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3’

One of the most fun things you can do with this game is hopping into Team Battle and hitting the random button for your entire squad. That simple premise became hours of fun due to the fact that Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features a whopping roster count of 161. Thankfully, having access to all those recognizable Z Warriors meant you could use them all in the best game in the Budokai Tenkaichi sub-series. The gameplay became even more refined, the “Dragon History” story mode featured an extensive playable summary of the show’s history, and additional modes made Budokai Tenkaichi 3 one of the most feature-rich Dragon Ball Z fighting games.

8. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit’

Once the Dragon Ball Z fighting games made the jump to PS3 and Xbox 360, it did so by combining the best elements of Budokai and Shin Budokai. Add on a much more refined cel-shaded art palette and you’ve got yourself one of the better-looking Dragon Ball Z fighters on the market. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit’s combat offers fast-paced gameplay that also incorporates character assists, the clever implementation of climactic “Drama Pieces,” and the awesome “Aura Spark” mode. Even though this pick on our list sadly didn’t include the Majin Buu saga as a part of its “Z Chronicles” mode, we still enjoyed participating in its story recreation battles. Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit took the Budokai format to new impressive heights.

9. ‘Dragon Ball: Origins’

Dragon Ball: Origins is pretty much a more refined version of Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure. Instead of presenting all the anime’s classic exploits through a side-scrolling format, this Nintendo DS title does it all through a top-down action RPG presentation. If you love The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, then you’ll most likely find a lot of enjoyment here with this game if you haven’t checked it out already. Playing with Goku as he grows into the legendary fighter he is and running alongside Krillin, Bulma, and Master Roshi makes up the gamut of this Dragon Ball gaming gem. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this game’s awesome Flying Nimbus race and chase segments.

10. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans’

Retelling the very first story arc of Dragon Ball Z and mashing up its iconic clashes with a turn-based battle system worked out way better than we thought it would. Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans feels like the perfect marriage between Final Fantasy and Super Mario RPG. The well-known plot is played out in epic fashion and pulling off the Z Warriors’ sick super moves through active combat commands is part of the game’s mass appeal. The fact that this Dragon Ball Z RPG never received a sequel should be considered criminal. We would have loved to take down Frieza and his loyal forces through the turn-based assaults featured in this slept-on game.

11. ‘Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2’

Any child of the 90s will tell you – if they were a fan of Goku and the gang, they regularly drew their own custom Super Saiyan heroes inside their notebooks. Once the first Dragon Ball Xenoverse hit the scene, creating one’s very own anime powerhouse finally became a reality. While that game was an amazing revelation, the sequel truly solidifies the series as a Dragon Ball Z fans’ dream come true. Conton City offers a vastly better version of Toki-Toki City that’s jam-packed with fellow Time Patrollers, familiar faces, and recognizable hub worlds. The game’s larger roster gave way to even more skills that can be applied to your custom fighter, which became quite a compelling activity. The huge multiplayer suite and continued updates present Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 as the gift that just keeps on giving.

12. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

For the longest time before this game came into existence, hardcore fighting game fans longed for a traditional 2D brawler that featured the Ki blasting combatants of Dragon Ball Z. Lauded fighting game development studio Arc System Works rose to the occasion to fulfill that grand wish and ended up creating one of the greatest anime fighters of all time in Dragon Ball FighterZ. This amalgamation of Guilty Gear’s slick animation and Marvel vs. Capcom’s team-based battles are a smashing success. Each character comes with an easy set of moves to remember, but it takes true skill to master each one of their intricacies and smartly utilize them in tandem with their partners. Dragon Ball FighterZ is the dream game that we all wanted to play. And thankfully, it exists and is incredible in every regard.

13. ‘Dragon Ball Legends’

Don’t sleep on this mobile Dragon Ball Z game. It’s not some cheap hack job that was just thrown out there to bleed people’s digital wallets dry – it’s actually a shockingly gorgeous action RPG that features an easy to comprehend battle system. Dragon Ball Legends will pull you due to its mass array of unlockable characters, who can then be taken into intense combat scenarios. Once a fight breaks out, both characters ascend to the sky as you use focus taps in order to pull off devastating attacks. There’s a good amount of strategy that goes into preserving your energy for major maneuvers and overwhelming your opponents. Those attributes will most certainly appeal to even non-Dragon Ball Z fans who’re looking for their next mobile game addiction.

14. ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’

Shout out to publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment and noted anime games developer CyberConnect2. Their fruitful partnership has resulted in a wide swath of anime games that do right by their demanding fanbases. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is definitely one of the best games to come from that ongoing business relationship. Watching the show is one thing, but getting to actively participate in all of its most thrilling moments. Flying through the air to pick up Z Orbs, going Super Saiyan to eliminate the opposition, and enjoying a nice round of fishing are just some of the great activities you can do in this fan-requested action RPG. The base story campaign and the Dragon Ball Super-themed add-on’s make this game one of the comprehensive anime experiences out there.