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Gaming New Releases

The Video Game Movies and TV Shows You’ll Want to Keep an Eye On

Video game adaptations have been a major facet of the Hollywood pipeline since Super Mario Bros. jumped onto the big screen in 1993. 

And to be completely honest with you all, a lot of the TV shows/films based on your favorite gaming franchise have been…well, crappy. But in recent years, there have been a few noteworthy shows and films based on video games that have ranged from decent to shockingly good. Sonic the Hedgehog, Detective Pikachu, The Angry Birds Movie 2 (yes, we’re serious about that one), and the Netflix Castlevania animated series are clear examples of TV/production studios doing right by their properties’ source material. We’re smack dab in the middle of 2021 and there’s a ton of video game-themed shows and movies on the horizon.

We’ve already gotten past the Warner Brothers reboot of Mortal Kombat (YEESH!) and are now looking forward to the next batch of live-action/animated adaptations of some big-name video game IPs.

‘Castlevania’ (Season 4) – May 13, 2021

Konami’s dark and gothic world that’s ruled by vampires, werewolves, and a host of other night terrors has looked amazing via its Netflix animated series. For three seasons, Castlevania has told an engrossing tale about a band of demon hunters going on a crusade to beat back the vampire menace that terrorizes the world at large. The last season of this beautifully animated Netflix series is right around the corner. And by the looks of the trailer footage released for it, it looks like we’ll be returning to some familiar locales, come to grips with the final machinations of the big baddies, and witness the resurrection of Dracula himself. Castlevania is definitely looking to go out with a bang and we can’t wait to be there when it does.

‘Werewolves Within’ – June 25, 2021

This might be the first instance of a video game movie being based entirely on a VR game. That game is Werewolves Within, which is a multiplayer mystery caper where everyone must figure out which one of the townsfolk close to them is a werewolf in disguise. The film adaptation of that clever concept is coming soon and it actually looks like a fun horror romp worth paying attention to. The film’s plot follows a forest ranger as he looks to keep a small town full of stressed residents physically & mentally intact and discover the monster that’s terrorizing the people he’s entrusted with protecting. How crazy would it be if it turns out the forest ranger is actually the werewolf? That’s a hell of a plot twist!

‘Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness’ – July 2021

We gotta keep it all the way real with you guys – the CGI-animated Resident Evil films simply aren’t that good. There’s a new one coming to Netflix that features the beloved zombie-busting duo of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield though, so we’re slightly excited to see how this latest animated installment plays out. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness takes place in 2006 and sees both characters coming to grips with a new zombie outbreak. And to make matters even worse, it’s happening in the nation’s capital. The White House is going to have a severe bioweapon infestation – thankfully, Leon and Claire have all the know-how and gunpowder needed to properly confront it.

‘Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City’ – November 24, 2021
Capcom

We gotta keep it a stack with you guys all over again – the entirety of the live-action Resident Evil movies have largely been doo-doo butter. Sure they made a ton of money at the box office. But from a critical standpoint, director Paul W. S. Anderson and leading star Milla Jovovich’s work has produced nothing but garbage on the big screen. Now that that unfortunate duo has finally stepped away from the Resident Evil IP, hopes are high that the rebooted film franchise ends up being a million times better than its predecessor. This film is going to take place in the infamous small town known as Raccoon City and follow a collective of familiar characters from the game as they deal with the pharmaceutical company known as Umbrella Corp. This movie is going to feature Jill Valentine, Claire, Leon, Chris Redfield, Albert Wesker, Ada Wong, and William Birkin. With all those characters in place, it just has to be good…right?

‘Arcane’ (‘League of Legends’) – Fall 2021

The massive online battle arena phenomenon known as League of Legends is finally getting a small-screen adaptation on Netflix. We’re surprised it’s taken this long but better late than never right? Arcane will largely take place within the locales of Piltover and Zuan. We’ll get plenty of deep insight into two noteworthy League of Legends champions during this introspective CGI-powered journey, who happen to be Jinx and her sister Vi. Here’s hoping we’re treated to some fast and furious battles that evoke the onscreen action that intense League of Legends matches regularly deliver.

‘Uncharted’ – February 18, 2022
Sony

The often-delayed Uncharted film adaptation finally has a solid release date! Fingers crossed that it actually stays in the release date slot that’s officially been penciled in by the film distributor behind it. Speaking of said studio, Sony Pictures Releasing is betting big on this 2022 movie release. Tom Holland, who plays the part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man, is playing the part of a young Nathan Drake. Mark Whalberg (yes, Marky Mark himself!) is stepping into the role of Victor “Sully” Sullivan. And we’ve got Sophia Taylor Ali playing Chloe Frazer and even the inclusion of Antonio Banderas! The cast is huge for this Uncharted film, to say the least. We just hope this film ends up a whole lot better than the last Indiana Jones movie and also sticks close to what the Uncharted games do so well. Tom is usually on-point with the funny quips and all, so he’s practically much perfect for his starring role as the famed treasure hunter.

‘Sonic The Hedgehog 2’ – April 8, 2022
Paramount Pictures

So the first Sonic the Hedgehog live-action adaptation was surprisingly decent. Thank God everyone rebelled against the original look of the speedy hedgehog and got a much better representation of him on the big screen in the process. This major change did a great job of rebuilding the movie’s goodwill amongst diehard fans and making a lot more moviegoers give it a chance. Thanks to the film’s box office success, we’re (unsurprisingly) getting a sequel. And this time, Sonic’s not coming alone. Miles “Tails” Prower and Knuckles the Echidna will pull up alongside Sonic as he deals with Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik (who’s wonderfully played by Jim Carrey) once again.

Video Game Adaptations With Unconfirmed Release Dates
2K Games

There’s a ton of video game movies (and one noteworthy HBO series) in the works that has us equally excited and horrified at what they’ll end up looking like by the time they’re finished filming. Check out the list below to stay in the know about what’s on the horizon:

Borderlands

CrossFire

Detective Pikachu sequel

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Gears of War

Ghost of Tsushima

Just Cause

Just Dance

Mega Man

Metal Gear Solid

Minecraft

Rabbids

Space Invaders

Tomb Raider 2 (sequel to rebooted film franchise)

Saints Row

Yakuza

The Last of Us (HBO series)

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Gaming New Releases

14 Games Like ‘Sea of Thieves’

Sea of Thieves entered early access at a time when online PVP was experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to games like Fortnite. But instead of dropping players on a map, Sea of Thieves put players on the high seas, giving them command of entire vessels. Throughout its beta Sea of Thieves garnered a huge player base thanks to many at the time believing it was one of the few games that gave players the chance to helm their own vessels. Of course, there are a number of games that give you a similar experience. The following are the 14 games most like Sea of Thieves.

14. ‘The Secret of Monkey Island’

One of the big draws behind Sea of Thieves is its comedic undertone. If that is one of the reasons behind your love of Sea of Thieves, then Monkey Island is right up your alley. The game, released in 2009 by Lucas Arts, tells a swashbuckling story as players explore the titular Monkey Island. 

Buy Here, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/32360/The_Secret_of_Monkey_Island_Special_Edition/
13. ‘Elite Dangerous’

This one might be a bit controversial. Elite Dangerous doesn’t take place on the water, but it doesn’t necessarily have to capture the essence of Sea of Thieves. Is it about piracy? It can be if you like. In fact, piracy is a major component of the game. So is PVP combat, managing your personal vessel, and a host of other factors shared with Sea of Thieves. In fact, the similarities between the two games underscore the similarities between piracy of the past and piracy of the distant future.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/359320/Elite_Dangerous/
12. ‘Beyond Blue’

Beyond Blue is another game that pays homage to the Ocean. But unlike Subnautica that has players exploring the depths of an alien world, Beyond Blue has players explore the deeps of our own planet. Released by Eline Media last year, Beyond Blue didn’t cultivate a large player base despite being critically acclaimed. Exploration is the name of the game. The playing area is enormous and teeming with life, including sharks, though less aggressive than the variety seen in Sea of Thieves.

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/883360/Beyond_Blue/
11. Windbound

Windbound is a game that pushes storytelling in video games. Released in 2020 by 5 Lives Studios, Windbound is a game that, through its narrative, manages to mythologize the Ocean. Players take control of a marooned seasteading in an adventure that seamlessly combines the best of Sea of Thieves and Breath of the Wild. Windbound is as thrilling on the land as it is in the Ocean and is definitely worth checking out if you feel Sea of Thieves is lacking in story.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1162130/Windbound/
10. ‘Subnautica’

Few games can speak to the wonder, mystery, and danger of the ocean in a way Subnautica can. Released in 2018 by the aptly named Unknown Worlds Entertainment, Subnautica hit markets at the tail end of the survival game craze, sparked by Minecraft. Subnautica, however, is far from a Minecraft clone. Subnautica fleshes out an alien world and does so in a believable manner.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/264710/Subnautica/
9. ‘Sid Meier’s Pirates Gold Plus’

A classic game from the mind of Sid Meier. This game was released in 1987 and was one of the first to feature realistic pirate action. Of course, this being a Sid Meier game, strategy is a major gameplay component. Unlike other pirate games, in which victory goes to whoever can load up cannon’s and accurately shoot them, in Pirates! it’s all about outmaneuvering your opponents to get the upper hand. While the game hasn’t exactly aged well, it’s still worth a look.

Buy Here, $6.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/327380/Sid_Meiers_Pirates_Gold_Plus_Classic/
8. ‘Skull and Bones’

To say this game has generated its share of hype would be an understatement. Scheduled to be released sometime in 2021, the developers at Ubisoft could have a significant hit on their hands if they play their cards right. 

Trailers for this hotly anticipated title show epic ship-to-ship combats hull, you can see every minute detail. Based on what has been showcased, battles could rival the scale of those scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean.

7. ‘Assassin’s Creed Black Flag’

When players learned that Assassin’s Creed would be a series that theoretically could take place anywhere, I knew I would eventually be playing a Japanese-focused game and one that took place on the high seas. While the developers at Ubisoft have stubbornly denied players of the former, the latter came to pass in 2013. 

While other Assassin’s Creed games have featured boat battles, they haven’t featured the kind of boat battles that take place during the height of piracy. Everything from loading and firing the cannons to boarding and commandeering ships is a feature in this game.

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/242050/Assassins_Creed_IV_Black_Flag/
6. ‘Raft’

An unexpected hit, Raft is a game that takes several chapters out of Sea of Thieves‘ book. Aside from taking place on the open water, the 2018 game released by Redbeet Interactive, is as comedy-oriented as Sea of Thieves. Instead of pirates, however, you play like normal people stranded on a small piece of debris in the middle of nowhere. It’s up to the player to literally fish for resources to slowly but surely build up their raft into a seasteading fortress. The sense of accomplishment one gets from building up to a viable community is gratifying which is probably why so many payers have become addicted to this cult hit. 

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/648800/Raft/
5. ‘New World’

Due out for an Aug. 31 release by Amazon Games, New World combines piracy with a heavy dollop of Tolkien-esque fantasy. Visually, New World is shaping up to be one of the most stunning on this list. Trailers for the game places the character in a distant land teeming with magical creatures. How the final product will turn out is anyone’s guess but if what we’ve already seen is any indication, this title is worth checking out.

Buy Here, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1063730/New_World/
4. ‘Naval Action’

If Sea of Thieves’ whimsy isn’t to your taste then give Naval Action a try. Released in 2019 by Game-Labs, Naval Action is part of a family of games that tries to blend realism, video games, and warfare. With Naval Action, one can recreate historic naval battles, like the one-off Beaufort North Carolina, or the battle that leads to Black Beard’s ultimate downfall. While the gameplay isn’t as fluid as Sea of Thieves, it is comprehensive. While other naval warfare games skip corners for the sake of gameplay, Naval Action players have to consider many of the same factors that were present at the height of piracy. This is the game for players looking for a real challenge.

3. ‘Legend of Zelda Windwaker’

Perhaps the most popular title on this list, Legend of Zelda Windwaker was, at the time of its 2002 release, was one of the largest Legend of Zelda titles. That’s because the game’s core concept was sailing on the open season with your sentient boat. 

The game not only made use of similar cell-shading visuals seen in Sea of Thieves, but it was also perhaps the first to popularize the visual style. While the game was underappreciated when it was released, in the years that have passed, it has gone on to be considered one of the best Legend of Zelda titles that isn’t Breath of the Wild.

Buy Here, $49.87
https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Zelda-Waker-nintendo-wii-u/dp/B002I0GF72/ref=asc_df_B002I0GF72/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312319417581&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18237215107359166088&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9009649&hvtargid=pla-590986593978&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=62862256075&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=312319417581&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=18237215107359166088&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9009649&hvtargid=pla-590986593978
2. ‘Blackwake’

Although released last year in 2020, developers at Mastfire Studios kept this game in Alpha and Beta for a number of years. It’s for this reason why Blackwake, though officials released after Sea of Thieves, can be considered its predecessor. 

In fact, Blackwake was a sort of proof of concept for many pirate-themed games that has players duke it out on the open seas. While the graphics may not be impressive, the mechanics are, in many ways, tighter than Sea of Thieves, successfully sniping an enemy pirate with a cannon feels more like a matter of skill than random chance. It’s the precision of the gameplay that has players coming back.

Buy Here, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/420290/Blackwake/
1. ‘Atlas’

Atlas is best described as Sea of Thieves’ slightly more serious twin brother. Released in 2018 by Grapeshot Games, it isn’t quite clear why Sea of Thieves rose to popularity while this title fell to relative obscurity. Just about everything you can do in Sea of Thieves, you can do in this game with the added benefit of more attention to detail. The only significant difference between Atlas and Sea of Thieves is the former’s lack of a distinct art style, instead opting for more realistic graphics. For those looking for a pirate simulator that takes things a bit more seriously, Atlas is the game you have been looking for.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/834910/ATLAS/
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Gaming New Releases

12 Games Like ‘No Man’s Sky’ For You to Play Right Now

Today, No Man’s Sky is considered one of the major space simulation games, but the road it took to get to its current position was a bit bumpy, to say the least. First released in 2016 to unbelievable levels of hype, interest in the game plateaued among accusations of the game being a mile wide but an inch deep. 

It took several months, but the developers at Hello Games made numerous quality of life improvements that transformed No Man’s Sky into a solid contender in an increasingly crowded market. The following are other games that could go toe-to-toe with No Man’s Sky.

12. ‘Satisfactory’

There are several elements to No Man’s Sky gameplay. You have space combat and base building, but there is resource extraction before you can do all that. Think Minecraft in space, which is also a fairly apt description for 2019’s Satisfactory. Developed by Coffee Stain Studios, Satisfactory’s primary goal is to keep players from building the best base/factory they can. It’s not quite a city builder and not quite a space-focused game, but it is a consistent fan favorite worth a look.

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/526870/Satisfactory/
11. ‘Everspace 2’

Everspace 2 is the 2021 follow-up to the initial Everspace. Developed by Rockfish games, there was debate about whether or not Everspace should replace No Man’s Sky as one of the big three space titles, along with Star Citizen and another title on this list. No Man’s Sky eventually ironed out its wrinkles, and Everspace developers went on to create a sequel that expands on the first game. Players take control of a spacecraft and explore an expansive universe teeming with danger. 

Buy Here, $35.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1128920/EVERSPACE_2/
10. ‘Avorion’

At first glance, Boxelware’s 2020 hit Avorion looks like a run-of-the-mill space game. Everything from the design to the gameplay is streamlined in a way that makes Avorion different from other games on this list. In Avorion, players mine asteroids of natural resources to build space stations while fending off enemies. While the premise may sound simple, Avorion executes it in a way that doesn’t get old over time. While the game’s aesthetic can be a bit blocky at times, this is another title that’s worth a look.

Buy Here, $24.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/445220/Avorion/
9. ‘Pulsar Lost Colony’

Whereas other games don’t quite capture the difficulties of operating a starship, Pulsar Lost Colony shows just why starships require crews of multiple people. Released in 2015 by Leafy Games, Pulsar tasks players with keeping a starship running. Of course, doing so is easier said than done, as players must navigate all the daily tasks, large and small. Pulsar provides a realistic twist on the space game genre, which lends it a spot on this list.

Buy Here, $24.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/252870/PULSAR_Lost_Colony/
8. ‘Kerbal Space Program’

A longtime favorite among space game enthusiasts. Released in 2015 by Squad, Kerbal Space Program is unique in the sense that it gives players the chance to play around in a sort of sandbox by making their own ships and space stations. The game has its own internal physics engine that players must work around if they want their science projects to be successful or go up in flames. This mechanic, combined with the game’s whimsical tone, made it a hit among players.

Buy Here, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/220200/Kerbal_Space_Program/
7. ‘Eve Online’

The OG space simulator. Released all the way back in 2003 by CCP, Eve Online has been the source of military and economic battles so intense, real-world news organizations will, on occasion, write about them. Players are free to do as they wish as they explore the game’s expansive universe, make allies, fight in battles and even manage entire fleets. The learning curve can get overwhelming at times, but mastering the game is its own reward.

Download for Free
https://store.steampowered.com/app/8500/EVE_Online/
6. ‘X4: Foundations’

One of the more obscure titles on this list, X4 Foundations was released in 2018 by Egosoft. It was designed to take the most exciting aspects of other space games and combine them into a single package. X4 Foundations features some of the best combat and unique stations on this list. It also features believable-looking alien lifeforms. It’s easy to tell the thought that went into this game. While the graphics could have been better for a game released in 2018, the overall package is worth checking out. 

Buy Here, $49.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/392160/X4_Foundations/
5. ‘Space Engineers’

Space Engineers is another sandbox game that takes itself a bit more seriously than Kerbal Space Program. The game gives players the chance to build whatever they want and test it under the game’s physics. There aren’t many limits on what players can build, a feature that accounts for some of the incredible space stations seen in the game. 

4. ‘Astroneer’

Like No Man’s Sky, Astroneer is a game that challenges players to escape planets by extracting resources. But it’s so much more than that. Players start out with very little making survival for more than a few minutes impossible. They can, however, build up their resources to create planetary outposts that allow them to live on the planet indefinitely. Once they’ve established on a particular planet, they can blast off and do the same thing again on another world. 

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/361420/ASTRONEER/
3. ‘Stellaris’

Stellaris has garnered quite the cult following since its release in 2016. The game resonated with people who wanted a strategy game that wasn’t quite as in-depth as EVE Online. Stellaris has been so successful that the developers at Paradox Development Studio have steadily churned out DLC content, expanding on the game’s already comprehensive lore. For those wanting a more brainy challenge, Stellaris might be the game for you.

Buy Here, $9.99
https://cdn.cloudflare.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/281990/header.jpg?t=1618558436
2. ‘Empyrion’

Eleon Games Studios tried and mostly succeeded with their attempt to build a No Man’s Sky clone in last year’s Empyrion. Like No Man’s Sky, players start on a desolate world where they must mine for resources to build bases. When players are ready, they can hop into their ships to explore a sandbox the size of the cosmos itself.

Buy Here, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/383120/Empyrion__Galactic_Survival/
1. ‘Elite Dangerous’

As one of the big three space games, Elite Dangerous was on the vanguard of the space Sim boom and, in a lot of ways, was the blueprint for games like No Man’s Sky. Elite Dangerous came about thanks to the work of the folks at Frontier Development. Elite Dangerous, while not as massive as No Man’s Sky, is still large enough to keep the most intrepid explorer busy. Giving players the chance to play as bounty hunters, mercenaries, miners, and explorers give the game a sense of depth others don’t have. 

Buy Here, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/359320/Elite_Dangerous/
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Gaming New Releases

The 10 Best ‘NBA 2K’ Games of All-Time, Ranked

A couple of months ago, we put out an article about the best basketball video games that weren’t a part of the NBA 2K franchise. We told you guys that we would follow it up with a ranking of the best NBA 2K video games of all time, and now we are back to revisit some absolute classics that are not only among the best sports video games in history, but the best video games to ever be released in any genre.

Whether you are an avid 2K player or not, there is no denying the cultural impact that this franchise has had over the decades, and if you are long-time basketball video game fan, then you know that there was actually a period in time where NBA Live was considered superior to 2K. At some point in the early 2010s, 2K completely became somewhat of a universal phenomenon, and prior to the pandemic, 2K drops were almost comparable to major movie releases with live events, and appearances from some of the league’s biggest stars.

While we are still a few months away from the official launch of 2K22, it won’t be long before the trailers and rumors start buzzing around, so before that happens, let’s take a look back at the ten games that have defined the 2K franchise.

10. NBA 2K16

Release Date: September 2015

While not considered the best game in the 2K series from a gameplay standpoint, 2K16 has to make any 2K list due to the sheer anticipation. The hype wasn’t just about the video game, it was also where the NBA was at that particular point in time. The Golden State Warriors’ reign had just begun, with the team beating the Lebron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals a couple of months before.

James had just returned to Cleveland after a four-year stint in Miami, and while the Warriors were a solid team, they weren’t the favorites to win the championship that year. The rise of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, combined with their bench, backcourt, and veteran leadership, proved to be the beginning of a new era. Curry, Anthony Davis, and James Harden were the cover features, and the game itself was a major turning point of the MyCareer mode. 

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9. NBA 2K6

Release Date: September 2005

There are some people that will argue that 2K6 doesn’t belong on this list, and we can understand that point of view. However, we feel that this installment still deserves a spot because it was a turning point in terms of game mechanics. Unfortunately, the success of NBA Live 06 overshadowed 2K6, so people aren’t truly familiar with its impact.

The graphics were great for the year in 2005, the simulation was crazy, and playing with the 05/06 version of Kobe Bryant was something that we can appreciate even more now. Shaquille O’Neal (who was playing with the Miami Heat at that time), was that year’s cover feature and enjoyed a friendly competition with his then-teammate Dwyane Wade, who was the Live 06 cover athlete.

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8. ESPN NBA Basketball

Release Date: October 2003

ESPN NBA Basketball is technically NBA 2K4 and had all of the elements that previous 2K Installments offered up to that point. Allen Iverson was the cover athlete in what wound up being his last 2K cover feature, and this was the first 2K game to really emphasize the ESPN broadcasting component.

If you go back and look at any other 2K game prior to 2K4, the entire gameplay was eerily quiet. There were no ‘announcers’ or ‘sideline reporters’ checking in through the game, and you could barely hear the crowd. We didn’t think much of it since it was the norm back then, but the introduction of the ‘live broadcasting’ made us realize how strange that really was. The graphics and presentation were also enhanced from the previous year, giving players an overall better experience.

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7. NBA 2K3

Release Date: October 2002

2K3 is another oldie but goodie that played a huge role in developing the many features that later 2K games have expanded upon. It was the first year of a three-year partnership with ESPN, and the overall ‘Sportscenter’ vibe helped take the game to the next level because it made you feel like your ‘highlights’ were going to be the ones to make the countdown.

The controls were slightly better from the year before, and the streetball element was especially cool considering the state of urban and hip-hop culture at that particular time. The 2K soundtracks have always been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game, and the 03 edition remains one of the best.

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6. NBA 2K11

Release Date: October 2010

2K11 wasn’t much different from 2K10 in terms of its features and what it offered, but it was another one of those games whose impact was influenced by the current state of the NBA. To understand the landscape: Lebron James had just joined the Miami Heat the previous summer alongside Chris Bosh to team up with Dwyane Wade and form a ‘Big 3.’ 2K10 marked the first game in which the Big 3 would be officially featured. Michael Jordan was the cover athlete, which proved to be an exciting addition to the game, and the ‘Jordan Challenge Mode’ was one of its biggest features.  

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5. NBA 2K10

Release Date: October 2009

We are putting this game on here not just because of our guy Kobe, but because 2K10 was the first real start of the 2K series overpowering NBA Live. 2K10 introduced Blacktop online, a mode where you can play with any current or historic NBA player, or your MyCareer player if you wish. Blacktop online was a game-changer in the basketball gaming community, as it came during the very early phases of YouTube game reviews and streaming. 

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4. NBA 2K13

Release Date: September 2012

This is where things are going to start getting tricky. Every 2K game introduces something new, but in terms of overall gameplay and controls, 2K hasn’t really changed that much over the last few years if we are being completely honest (and the last two years haven’t been received that positively). So at a certain point, ranking 2K games becomes a matter of what that particular game introduced, the hype/impact surrounding the release, and how it was received.

With 2K13 it was the incorporation of both the 1992 and 2012 Olympic teams, and the Jay-Z narrations. The gameplay was solid as well (though some had issues with the dribble controls), and 2K13 was the first game that really highlighted sneaker culture. A solid game for sure.

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3. NBA 2K2

Release Date: 2001

Believe it or not, the older 2K games just may be better in terms of overall development because the changes were more significant from year to year since the game (and technology) was in its early stages. 2K2 was huge because it was the first time the series was available on Playstation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. This helped to expand the 2K audience by making the game more accessible.

2K2 was also the first game to accurately reflect players’ abilities and skillsets. Before 2001, you could have Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan draining 3s from just about anywhere on the court, and while that was fun, it wasn’t realistic at all. At some point, basketball video games were going to have to match real life, and 2K2 was the start of that.

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2. NBA 2K17

Release Date: September 2016

2K16 was a tough act to follow, but 2K17 delivered with its MyLeague mode. Mechanically speaking, the game wasn’t too much different from its predecessor, but it was the first time in 2K that expansion teams could be added, and all 30 NBA teams could be relocated to different areas. While the realistic elements of a game are important, the fantasy elements still remain critical as well. We all know that you can’t move a team with a click of a button in real-time, but being able to do it in a game is wildly fun.

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1. NBA 2K14

Release Date: NBA 2K14

We are going to take the bold stance of putting 2k14 number one. Why? Lebron James. Now you may be rolling your eyes, but James being on the cover was truly iconic because people had been begging him for years to be on the cover of either Live or 2K. The biggest star in the league not having a cover feature was something of an anomaly, and when James was announced, it caused mass hysteria. People who had stopped playing 2K (or basketball games in general) picked up 2K14 just because James was going to be on the cover. 2K14 also saw the introduction of MyPark, which was probably the official mark of 2K overtaking NBA Live.

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Categories
Gaming New Releases

The Biggest Video Games Releasing in April 2021

Now we’re moving on from March and heading right into a pretty packed month for April. The gaming year as a whole hasn’t been all that hype until now, so let’s break down all the exciting releases that are set to drop in April. If you’re looking for a new sci-fi looter shooter, a remaster of a classic JRPG, or a super chill game that’s all about taking pictures of Pokémon, then the following lineup of games should definitely appeal to you.

Outriders – April 1 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Google Stadia)

Development studio People Can Fly knows a thing or two about high-octane shooters from the first- and third-person perspectives. Their next release adopts looter shooter mechanics and three-player co-op capabilities for an expansive adventure across an alien planet. Your custom colonist has access to a huge arsenal of firearms, but that’s not all – players can tap into the special abilities tied to four character classes. The Trickster can manipulate time, the Pyromancer can tap into the power of fire, the Devastator can bring destruction via seismic attacks, and the Techomancer utilizes turrets and other devices to support their allies. Outriders is going to be available on day one via Xbox Game Pass, so feel free to give it a try if you’d like.

Oddworld: Soulstorm – April 6 (PS5, PS4, PC – Steam)

Abe’s grand return via a full-fledged remake has been a thing since 2014’s release of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty. Oddworld: Soulstorm is a follow-up to that game and also doubles as a remake for Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. This 2.5D platformer places you back in the role of Abe, who must brave a host of dangers that are out to enslave and kill his fellow mudokons. The biggest change coming to this welcome reimagining is a crafting system that lets Abe customize and craft different pieces of weaponry. Abe’s latest journey looks amazing thanks to updated visuals and, from the looks of it, maintains all the fun that was present in its original incarnation.

SaGa Frontier Remastered – April 15 (PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam, iOS, Android)

The 1998 JRPG gem known as SaGa Frontier is getting a well-deserved touchup in 2021. That welcome upgrade is coming in the form of SaGa Frontier Remastered, which throws in some additional content in the form of a new party member, music, and cutscenes. The original release’s unique approach to storytelling and combat all remain intact, thankfully. And as expected, the game’s gorgeous visual sheen is receiving a high-resolution upgrade alongside an update to the user interface and a double speed feature that helps move every players’ journey along at a faster pace.

MLB The Show 21 – April 20 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One)

Minds were blown when news came out about this former PlayStation exclusive making its way over to Xbox consoles. This series entry arrives as the 16th installment in the beloved MLB: The Show franchise and features San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. as its cover athlete. As for its collector’s edition, MLB The Show 21 honors the one and only Jackie Robinson. Fans can expect the series’ usual high-quality on-field action and incredible graphical presentation. A ballpark creator will be making its debut this time around, which should prove fruitful for avid baseball aficionados who want to create their own baseball kingdom.

Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… – April 23 (PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam)

Ever since NieR:Automata emerged as a bonafide financial and critical success, fans have been awaiting word of another trip into NieR’s mind-bending world. That news finally arrived with the announcement of an updated rendition of the original NieR that got introduced to Japanese gamers. The main premise behind this update sees a young man venturing out into the world to save his sister from a terminal sickness known as the “Black Scrawl.” This harrowing adventure will feature intense battles that stick close to Automata’s style, a deeply affecting plot, and the usual quirkiness associated with Yoko Taro’s games.

New Pokémon Snap – April 30 (Nintendo Switch)

Yeah, that’s correct – the original Pokémon Snap that captured kids’ imaginations back in 1999 is finally getting a sequel. And just like its predecessor, New Pokémon Snap tests your expertise as a Pokémon photographer. You’ll travel on an on-rails hovercraft and explore a wealth of habitats full of different types of Pokémon. And you’ll have to use some tools besides your camera to create the best scenes for your ever-increasing photo album. New Pokémon Snap should hit all the right notes for everyone that loved it back on the N64.

Returnal – April 30 (PS5)

One of the biggest first-party PS5 releases of the year is coming from the uber-talented Housemarque development studio. And for their first next-gen release, the studio is expanding its horizons and going for a AAA third-person perspective. This new game is Returnal, which transports players to a mysterious alien planet that’s stuck in a time loop. You’ll take control of Selene, who must shoot down all manner of extraterrestrials and navigate a roguelike approach to progression. Prepare to die over and over again as you get closer to the truth of your time spent on Atropos.

R-Type Final 2 – April 30 (Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

You just gotta love an old-school shoot ‘em up. Especially one that continues to endure and make its presence felt during new console generations. This series in particular has been in gamers’ rotation since the late 80s and is making its way to last- and current-gen consoles this April. R-Type Final 2 sticks to the basics, which mainly entails shooting down alien hordes with your ship’s vast array of weapons. And depending on how good (or bad) your performance is, enemy behaviors change along the way. Retro gamers should definitely get a kick out of this one.

Console Ports

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – April 1 (Google Stadia)

Star Wars: Republic Commando – April 6 (PS4, Nintendo Switch)

Island – April 8 (Nintendo Switch)

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV – April 9 (Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam)

Judgment – April 23 (PS5, Xbox Series X|S)

Death end re;quest – April 27 (Nintendo Switch)

Terminator: Resistance Enhanced – April 30 (PS5)

Categories
Gaming New Releases

11 Games Like ‘Life Is Strange’

When Life is Strange first hit markets in 2015 players didn’t exactly know what to make of it. The combination of the graphics and the story taking precedence over gameplay, Life is Strange was a gamble for the developers at Dontnod Entertainment. The gamble paid off. Players took to the quaint title despite it being so different from other games on the market at the time. 

There have been several story-centric games since then few could mimic Life is Strange’s success. The following are games that have managed to come close.

11. ‘Detroit Become Human’

Detroit Become Human is the latest installment from a pioneer of narrative-heavy gaming David Cage. Released in 2018 by developers Quantic Dream, Detroit Become Human has, for the most part, been well-received by the industry. Its fanbase, however, can be found among those who have a particular affinity for games that focus on the story. Detroit tells three different meandering stories that eventually converge. Unlike many other story-focused games that put players on a proverbial rail, the decisions the player makes in the game genuinely affect how the story plays out. It’s one of the titles on this list with the greatest replay value. 

Buy Here, $39.99
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10. ‘The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit’

The first generation of kid-focused media are no longer kids. No one knows this better than the various industries that create content meant to scratch a nostalgic itch. At first glance, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit looks to be one such example but it’s more than that. Released in 2015 by DontNod Entertainment, Captain Spirit tells the story of an over-imaginative boy. The events of the game mirror events of most players’ childhoods which accounts for much of this game’s appeal. For many Captain Spirit is an enjoyable walk down memory lane.

Download for Free
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9. ‘Life is Strange 2’

The 2018 follow-up to the original, Life is Strange 2 rivals the original in regards to plaudits. But Life is Strange is a very different game from the original in the sense that it tells a completely different story. This time around, the main character isn’t the one harboring secret powers but his younger brother. The story has players trying to walk the tightrope of adolescents while caring for a younger sibling with supernatural abilities. It features a heartfelt, if not, an ambitious story with seemingly higher stakes than the original. Despite the differences, fans of the original title will feel right at home with the sequel. 

Buy Now, $20
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8. ‘Heavy Rain’

Released in 2010 By Quantic Dream, Heavy Rain is considered to be David Cage’s masterpiece. Typical of Cage’s style, the game features a number of slowly converging stories, each centered on a serial murderer. The game features a twist that many find to be divisive. Regardless, Heavy Rain is one of the industry’s top examples of video games’ capacity as a storytelling engine.

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7. ‘Beyond Two Souls’

Another Quantic Dream and David Cage collaboration. Beyond Two Souls was a star-studded adventure that featured performances from Willem Dafoe, Elliot Page, and a cast of others. The story, which spans years, is about a young girl who manifests incredible abilities that have lasting impacts on her life and relationships. Despite the game’s story being anything but grounded, it still manages to be heartfelt and emotional. Beyond Two Souls is without a doubt one of Cage’s more nuanced stories. 

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6. ‘Tell Me Why’

Tell Me Why was last year’s unexpected hit. Developed by DontNod, the same folks behind Life is Strange, Tell Me Why is neither a Life is Strange prequel or sequel. In spite of this, the game does take a number of cues from Life is Strange, such as the main protagonists harboring secret powers while navigating a story fraught with emotional baggage. Anyone who is a fan of Life is Strange will take to this game immediately. 

buy now, $30
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5. ‘The Walking Dead’

Part of the franchise popularized by the television show, The Walking Dead video game was released in 2012 and devoured by fans. A prequel to the television show, The Walking Dead tells its own stories while managing to feature characters from the show. While the drama isn’t cranked all the way up like in the series, fans of narrative games will appreciate what this game has to offer. 

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4. ‘Gone Home’

Gone Home is a bit different from the other tames on this list. While it is almost completely focused on the narrative, it unravels its narrative by having players explore and interact with a house. Gone Home is a perfect example of storytelling, not through exposition but through the ambiance itself. By exploring the house you learn more about the family that once lived there and unravel the reason why they are no longer there. It’s a straightforward game that manages to have an interesting twist most players won’t see coming. 

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3. ‘The Wolf Among Us’

The Wolf Among Us is a supernatural thriller with a healthy cult following. Following the life of the titular wolf, the main character seems like your average, everyday, investigator but he harbors a pair of secrets. First, he investigates the paranormal, and second, he is a werewolf. The game manages to stay well-paced and features surprises most players won’t expect. The Wolf Among Us is definitely worth a look. 

Buy now, $22
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2. ‘Vampyr’

From werewolves to vampires, this oddly-spelled title, released in 2018 is the only title on this list that goes beyond a point-and-click adventure. Vampyr actually features a measure of gameplay and combat. Despite this, the narrative behind the game is interesting, if not a bit flat. The game, at times, tries too hard to keep in line with its dark and gritty atmosphere but overall the experience Vampyr offers is enjoyable. 

buy now, $35
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1. ‘Until Dawn’

The breakout hit that inspired the Man of Medan series of games Until Dawn is some of the best in horror gaming. Also featuring a star-studded cast, the game manages to juggle several characters and has a genuine twist that most players won’t see coming. While the gameplay is limited, the story is compelling and is easily one of the best arguments for storytelling through video games. Until Dawn is a must-play. 

buy now, $19
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Categories
Gaming New Releases

15 Games Like ‘Mass Effect’

Mass Effect’s popularity goes beyond your typical popular video game. Yes, other games may have garnered legions of fans but Mass Effect fans are particularly passionate. Look no further than the controversy surrounding the original ending of the original trilogy. Despite being a perfectly serviceable ending, it wasn’t as perfect as fans expected and they made sure the studio knew it. 

Mass Effect inspires this level of fanaticism because it’s frankly a good game. It tells an epic story and is a pioneer with modern action RPG gameplay. While few games can copy the magic behind Mass Effect, there is only a handful that can strike similar chords.

15. ‘Anthem’

To say Anthem had a lot going for it is a massive understatement. First introduced in 2017 during E3, the demo that Bioware put out impressed everyone within the gaming industry, from the executives to the players. That trailer led to record highs of anticipation, overshadowed by just one other game on this list. In many ways, Anthem took on the same pre-release trajectory as Mass Effect, but, unlike Mass Effect, Anthem could not deliver on the hype it had garnered. 

The game suffered from bugs and the end product was not what players had imagined. The game trudged on for some time and, in some ways, improved but it was never able to recapture the goodwill among players it started with, which is a shame. Anthem, much like Mass Effect, is one of the few examples of a unique IP that tells a compelling science fiction story. There is no telling where Anthem would have lead players if they had only stuck around.

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14. ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’

Mass Effect’s big brother. Knights of the Old Republic, or KOTOR for short, is, in many ways, Mass Effect’s blueprint, although die-hard KOTOR fans would bristle hearing that description. They would likely argue that KOTOR can stand on its own merits, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Released in 2003, KOTOR gave Star Wars fans what they wanted at the time, a prequel story depicting the Sith at the height of their power. What they got was a game that pushed people’s expectations of the way a game can tell a story. Everything from the story progression to how it treats decisions made by players was novel, and the ultimate benefactor to all that was Mass Effect.

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13. ‘Cyberpunk 2077’

Remember Anthem’s pre-release hype I spoke about? It was eclipsed by Cyberpunk 2077. The darling of developers at CD Project Red, Cyberpunk was expected to supplant The Witcher III as the studio’s top game. Immediately following its release in 2020, however, it became apparent the game could have benefitted from a little more polish. 

The game was buggy, distractingly so, which is a shame because outside of the bugs, Cyberpunk told a decent story while managing to stay true to its Cyberpunk roots. Luckily, the developers have ironed out many of the wrinkles. 

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12. ‘Dragon Age’

What Mass Effect did for science fiction, the Dragon Age series did for fantasy. Both games were produced by Bioware and, in many ways, it shows. While Dragon Age doesn’t have spaceships like its sibling title, many of the elements that characterize Mass Effect are also part of Dragon Age’s DNA. Everything from the player’s decisions affecting the later story to the dialogue menu to the romance options.

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11. ‘Destiny 2’

A looter shooter that sets the standard for future games to come. With an aesthetic and gameplay similar to Mass Effect, it’s little wonder so many Mass Effect‘s fans have flocked to this game series. Destiny is a looter-shooter put out by legendary studio Bungie, the folks behind the original Halo trilogy.

When Bungie announced it was working on a new IP that was a science fiction shooter, many thought they were in store for another Halo. Destiny, however, proved to be a different thing entirely, thanks to the rich world, or worlds, that make up the game. That, coupled with the fact Destiny is one of the few successful looter-shooters on the market, makes Destiny one of the few games that can go toe-to-toe with Mass Effect.

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10. ‘Halo’

Perhaps the only game on this list with a following larger than Mass Effect. First released in 2001, Halo Combat Evolved was a sleeper hit with gamers flocking to the title. Like Mass Effect, Halo tells an epic science fiction story that spans several titles. The thought and attention to detail make both games beloved amongst their respective fans, of which there is significant overlap. 

Buy Now, $30
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9. ‘Deus Ex Mankind Divided’

Critics and fans alike have called the games that make up the Deus Ex series a masterpiece. Originally released in 2000, Deus Ex is one of the oldest franchises on this list. As such many of the gameplay elements that you see in Deus Ex would later be seen in other titles, such as Mass Effect. While the graphics of the original title hasn’t aged as well as the original Mass Effect, later titles like Mankind Divided push the graphical boundaries of video game performance. While the story itself may not be as high-stakes as Mass Effect‘s intergalactic war, it is compelling enough to keep players interested. 

Buy Now, $14
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8. ‘Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines’

Some might wonder what this title is doing on this list. After all the story behind Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines series is about as far as one can get from the Mass Effect series. The gameplay, however, has echoes of Mass Effect within it. Released in 2004 by Troika Games, Bloodlines is best described as an action RPG title. That means while the gameplay is your typical action, adventure fare, there is an element of strategy and progression that adds a measure of depth to the title. In that regard, Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines shares at least a few elements with Mass Effect

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7. ‘Alpha Protocol’

Few games age as gracefully as the original Mass Effect. Alpha Protocol is one of the few titles that still holds up more than a decade after its original release. Developed by Obsidian, Alpha Protocol is an action RPG that puts you in the role of a super spy trying to save the world from evil forces. What it may lack in aliens and galaxy-spanning wars, it more than makes up for in cloak-and-dagger and intrigue. Alpha Protocol is well worth a look by Mass Effect fans. 

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6. ‘Prey’

Prey is another surprise hit from the folks at Arkane Studios. Released in 2017, Prey combines above-average visuals with standard first-person shooter gameplay to tell a science fiction story about a man trying to survive on a space station. You can’t really tell that from the game’s first hour or so, which appears to take place in a large metropolitan area. The aliens you find yourself going up against are a bit uninspired, design-wise, and combat does tend to get a bit tedious after the first few encounters. If fans are willing to overlook that, there is no reason why Prey shouldn’t be added to their backlogs. 

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5. ‘Fallout 4’

Another heavy hitter, the Fallout series is one of the most beloved franchises among gamers. Its fourth installment polishes away the rough edges of the previous games. Its premise is survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The game expertly mixes comedy in its gameplay to give players a memorable experience.

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4. ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’

CD Projekt Red released this game back in 2015 anticipating a massive hit. The same couldn’t be said for the gaming industry, who for the most part, were taken by surprise when the game hit markets. That’s largely because the previous two games were moderately successful but didn’t quite rise to the heights of the third installment. 

The game is an action RPG, like Mass Effect, that is set in a world as brimming with magic as Mass Effect’s world is brimming with technology. In both games, the gruff main character is supported by a colorful cast of characters, each with their own distinguishable personalities.

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3. ‘The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim’

Bethesda’s last great project, Skyrim, is the 2011 sequel to Oblivion. While the game may not have a rogues gallery of interesting characters like Mass Effect, it does have an involved RPG element. As characters play the game, they enhance certain skills the more they use them. Sneaking in a dungeon, for example, is the best way to level up your sneaking ability, while lockpicking and swordplay are enhanced the more you practice them.

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2. ‘Hades’

A game that has been in beta for a number of years, only to be released in 2020 to more plaudits than they can count. Hades hit the lottery as far as indie game success is concerned. The premise is simple. You play as the prince of the underworld who is trying to escape from Hades, both the place and the god. 

To do so, you have to mix and match a seemingly infinite number of skills bestowed on you from various gods throughout Greek mythology. The leveling system, if you can even call it that, is complex and requires a bit of strategy on the player’s part. This game places as much of an emphasis on the RPG aspect as it does the frenzied combat, which makes it a kindred spirit with Mass Effect.

Buy Now, $35
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHades-Nintendo-Switch%2Fdp%2FB08WWC6GBX%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fdchild%3D1%26keywords%3Dhades%2Bvideo%2Bgame%26qid%3D1616533130%26sr%3D8-1
1. ‘Outer Worlds’

The Outer Worlds is another game that blends comedy with action in a vein similar to Fallout, but The Outer Worlds does it so much better. Released in 2019 by Obsidian Entertainment the game boasts a setting that is simultaneously alien and familiar. 

The gameplay is snappy, with only a few hiccups here and there. The characters you run into, including the ones you can eventually partner with, are funny and memorable. All around, The Outer Worlds is an interesting game most Mass Effect fans would love to sink their teeth into.

Buy now, $32
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FOuter-Worlds-PS4-playstation-4%2Fdp%2FB07SPKJRWX%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fdchild%3D1%26keywords%3Dthe%2Bouter%2Bworlds%26qid%3D1616533203%26sr%3D8-1
Categories
Gaming New Releases

16 Games Like ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise has spread itself across a nice variety of non-RPG genres. Fans have been engaged in some furious Chocobo racing, tapped along to their favorite tunes in rhythm games, and gotten quite addicted to some card-based minigames. Once Final Fantasy stepped into the realm of strategy RPGs for the first time, an instant classic was born.

Final Fantasy Tactics is highly regarded as one of the greatest tactics-based RPGs of all time. The war between two noble factions in the kingdom of Ivalice came to define its absorbing storyline, while its incredible battle sequences pushed it to legendary status among the hardcore strategy RPG crowd.

If you’ve already experienced everything Final Fantasy Tactics has to offer and are hungry for more, then allow us to make you aware of 16 strategy RPG games that will leave you more than satisfied. If you’re in the mood to sink countless hours into complex battles and build your party into a formidable coalition along the way, then these titles are indeed a must-play.

1. ‘Ogre Battle’ (series)

Ogre Battle is an OG in this strategy RPG game. It first entered the minds and hearts of fans when it launched in the mid-90s for the SNES. The series’ best entry to date has been Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, which arrived on the PSP as a full-fledged remake. Prepare yourself for some medieval clashes as you encounter all manners of opposition within the Kingdom of Valeria. If there’s any strategy RPG that’s 1:1 when compared to Final Fantasy Tactics, it’s Ogre Battle.

Buy Now, $29.69
https://www.amazon.com/Tactics-Ogre-Let-Cling-Together-Sony/dp/B003YVK5T8/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ogre+battle+let+us+cling+together&qid=1615573570&sr=8-3
2. ‘Fire Emblem’ (series)

Diehard Nintendo fans have seen Marth, Roy, Ike, and the rest of the Fire Emblem gang put in work in the Super Smash Bros. series. All those master swordsmen have a main gig besides beating up other Nintendo icons, however – fighting for their associated kingdom and delivering justice to the evil forces that look to disrupt them is what they’re really good at. The very first game in the series is finally playable on the Switch, plus there’s a ton of portable series entries that are worth revisiting. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is now available on the Switch, which is another quality entry that features a focus on leading a class of young soldiers into battle.

Buy Now, $49.99
https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Emblem-Three-Houses-Nintendo-Switch/dp/B07DK13HKX/ref=sr_1_2?crid=FO9WBA3M78O5&dchild=1&keywords=fire+emblem+three+houses&qid=1615573865&sprefix=fire+emblem%2Caps%2C353&sr=8-2
3. ‘Tenderfoot Tactics’

In the case of Tenderfoot Tactics, the goblin race aren’t the bad guys this time around. They’re actually the protagonists you’ll lead in an effort to beat back an overwhelming threat known as the Fog. What’s instantly eye-catching about this title is its minimalistic art design. And thankfully, the game’s huge sense of freedom when it comes time to explore and the manipulation of the elements around you during battle are just as strong as Tenderfoot Tactics’ striking graphics.

Buy Here for $24.99 on PC
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1061610/Tenderfoot_Tactics/
4. ‘Tactics V: “Obsidian Brigade”’

This game totally looks like it dropped in the early to mid-90s for the 16-bit console you still look back on fondly. But in actuality, Tactics V: “Obsidian Brigade” dropped in 2019 and is a loving homage to those types of games. This game’s combat system is as deep as you’d expect – there’s a huge offering of gear, character classes, skills, magic powers, etc. to wrap your head around during your time spent with it. A training mode is a part of the package, so you can get a thorough understanding of Tactics V: “Obsidian Brigade’s” many mechanics before you participate in battles with huge ramifications.

Buy Here for $19.99 on PC
https://store.steampowered.com/app/962150/Tactics_V_Obsidian_Brigade/
5. ‘Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark’

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark transports its players to a world rich with strife and intrigue. Plus it throws in a few steampunk elements to give its fantasy locales a bit of extra flair. As an Arbiter agent of the Immortal Council, you attempt to preserve order through the army leading efforts of Kyrie. This game’s story is engrossing, its class system is intuitive, and its battle system is as addictive as one might expect.

Buy Here for $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/699170/Fell_Seal_Arbiters_Mark/
6. ‘Sword Legacy: Omen’

The long-standing legacy of the mythical King Arthur takes quite the dark turn in Sword Legacy: Omen. Rather than take control of an all-powerful knight himself, you step into the role of a vengeful knight named Uther. Alongside the legendary mage known as Merlin, you set out across Broken Britannia in an effort to retrieve Excalibur. As a master strategist, you’ll lead your forces into battle against vicious mobs and manage the mental well-being of your warriors all at the same time.

Buy Here for $17.99 on PC
https://store.steampowered.com/app/690140/Sword_Legacy_Omen/
7. ‘Fae Tactics’

Fae Tactics is a whimsical strategy RPG that goes the full 16-bit route for its delightful presentation. In it, you play as Peony and place yourself in the middle of an ongoing conflict between the human race and a race of magical beings known as the Fae. Along with managing your party of allies on the battlefield, you’ll also get to call on the assists of Fae creatures and wield the magical elements that can turn the tide of battle in an instant.

Buy Here for $19.99 on PC
https://store.steampowered.com/app/995980/Fae_Tactics/
8. ‘Front Mission’ (series)

Instead of commanding medieval warriors in a mystical land, the Front Mission series throws you headfirst into a realm full of giant mechs called Wanzers and modern technology. The main strategy RPG entries in the series are all worth diving into, especially the DS version of the very first game. Managing every part of your favorite Wanzers and utilizing them in an effort to blast apart the opposing mechas in your warpath are the main attributes that prop the Front Mission franchise up.

Buy Now, $40.84
https://www.amazon.com/Front-Mission-Nintendo-DS/dp/B000SSPI4C/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1SKH9D9A9H66I&dchild=1&keywords=front+mission+ds&qid=1615574751&sprefix=front+mission+%2Caps%2C162&sr=8-1
9. ‘Disgaea’ (series)

The Disgaea series is completely bonkers. Any game that features talking penguins that utter the phrase “dood” on the regular clearly embraces the more outlandish elements of gaming. The game’s battles can get pretty wild as your units can fling each other to other sections of the battlefield. Plus the damage numbers can balloon to insane amounts the further you level up your party members. Disgaea’s storylines will forever be wild and full of humor, so there’s plenty to appreciate about this zany franchise as a whole.

Buy Now, $63
https://www.amazon.com/Disgaea-5-Complete-Nintendo-Switch/dp/B06W9FDQCN/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3F7QDWPI8A46F&dchild=1&keywords=disgaea+5+complete+switch&qid=1615575038&sprefix=disgaea+5+c%2Caps%2C190&sr=8-1
10. ‘Wintermoor Tactics Club’

Surviving high school and all of its many cliques is a scenario folks know all too well. Wintermoor Tactics Club lets you experience that period of your life all over again through the eyes of three students who must tap into their fantastical alter ego’s to navigate their troubles at Wintermoor Academy. The game’s plotline lets you experience it all via a visual novel-style approach and its battles let you apply your best strategies against rival high school clubs.

Buy Here for $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/917840/Wintermoor_Tactics_Club/
11. ‘TROUBLESHOOTER: Abandoned Children’

This pick on our list might just be the first strategy RPG we’ve ever seen that sticks to a seasonal format release schedule. Players can look forward to becoming a Troubleshooter, who’re civilians that have been given the opportunity to play the part of the authorities in the nation of Valhalla. Albus is one of those individuals who takes on that role alongside other capable colleagues, which means you’ll get to utilize their unique skill sets to maintain order. The high multitude of character classes you can master will be sure to keep you enthralled during your time spent with this one.

Buy Here for $24.99 on PC
https://store.steampowered.com/app/470310/TROUBLESHOOTER_Abandoned_Children/
12. ‘Children of Zodiarcs’

Children of Zodiarcs mixes its deep strategic gameplay with the always welcome element of card decks. Plus you’ll get to apply stat boosts to your abilities due to a physics-based dice system. This game happens to be published by Square Enix and developed by Cardboard Utopia, so you just know its strategy RPG mechanics are super legit. The party you’ll take control of is led by a character named Nahmi, who sets out to take down the greedy, corrupt elite in the fantasy realm of Lumus. You’ll quickly find yourself getting sucked into this game’s well-tuned combat system as you grow accustomed to customizing each character’s signature card abilities and putting them to good use on the battlefield.

Buy Here for $17.99 on PC
https://store.steampowered.com/app/436290/Children_of_Zodiarcs/
13. ‘The Banner Saga’ (series)

If Norse mythology is more of your thing, then The Banner Saga should definitely appeal to you. The three games in the series tell a grand tale about two characters as they do everything in their power to protect their caravan from a race of beings that hates the human race. When it comes time to get into some hacking, slashing, and shield bashing, you’ll need to be extra careful since the threat of defeat can greatly impact the well-being of your caravan.

Buy Now for $25
https://www.amazon.com/Banner-Saga-Trilogy-Nintendo-Switch/dp/B07FFL9FQX/ref=sr_1_1?crid=5BDD121TXSX3&dchild=1&keywords=the+banner+saga+trilogy+switch&qid=1615575371&sprefix=the+banner+s%2Caps%2C669&sr=8-1
14. ‘Project X Zone’ (series)

The Project X Zone games provide one of the best examples of fan service in playable form. As a follow-up to 2005’s Namco x Capcom, the Nintendo 3DS titles let you mix and match a collection of units that originate from Bandai Namco, Sega, and Capcom. As you navigate both games’ zany realms, you’ll encounter familiar baddies and put a stop to their evil plans with some outlandish team combos. Tearing up your foes as Jin Kazama/Kazuya Mishima, Akira Yuki/Pai Chan, Ryu/Ken, and several other recognizable duos never gets old.

Buy Now for $25.01
https://www.amazon.com/Project-X-Zone-2-Nintendo-3DS/dp/B00W9KB1D4/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2P1CS2PRN0J90&dchild=1&keywords=project+x+zone+2&qid=1615575482&sprefix=project+x+z%2Caps%2C704&sr=8-1
15. ‘Valkyria Chronicles’ (series)

Valkyria Chronicles embraces strategy RPG elements but also makes sure to change up the formula by incorporating active movement and third-person gunplay. Thanks to those two main factors, gamers have showered the series with praise and given it the attention it so richly deserves. Thankfully, each of the mainline games offers compelling storylines that follow a crew of unlikely soldiers as they fight valiantly to defend their friends, family, and homes from invading forces.

Buy Now for $29.99
https://www.amazon.com/Valkyria-Chronicles-4-Launch-PlayStation/dp/B07BCFVDX5/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1PZCXWQTEDSV7&dchild=1&keywords=valkyria+chronicles+4&qid=1615575533&sprefix=valk%2Caps%2C179&sr=8-1
16. ‘Jeanne d’Arc’

Joan of Arc is a pretty badass heroine for all the historians out there. This PlayStation Portable strategy RPG gives her the spotlight and follows her historic battles during the Hundred Years’ War. Jeanne and her compatriots move throughout France and clash with a wide range of forces that look to maintain their iron grip over its people. Jeanne d’Arc is a highly polished experience that’s shockingly great for being just a PSP game. Here’s hoping it gets the console remaster/port treatment someday.

Buy Now, $64.49
https://www.amazon.com/Jeanne-DArc-Sony-PSP/dp/B000R37S78
Categories
Gaming New Releases

H4X Launches Second Apparel Capsule Collection With Nate Hill

H4X (pronounced “Hacks”), a well-renowned esports apparel company, is back with some exclusive heat. And for the second time, H4X is linking up with top-ranked Fortnite player and content creator for FaZe Clan Nate Hill for an apparel capsule collection. And if you’re hoping to get your hands on that collection’s fresh lineup of a genderless, tailormade drop shoulder hoodie and drawstring joggers, you’d better do it quickly – H4X’s first Nate Hill drop hit the web last March and sold out in less than two hours.

H4X

The newly released collection, which has been dubbed “The Kid From Somewhere,” owes its inspiration to Hill’s favorite quote (“we are all just a kid from somewhere”) and his vibrant imagination. Hill’s hand-drawn doodles and FaZe Clan’s signature color association of red can be seen all over his second apparel drop. “I’m so stoked to be working with H4X for a second time,” Hill said. “I’ve always been passionate about fashion and I’m hoping this personalized collection inspires kids everywhere to follow their dreams, and also remember to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.”

Cole Gurman, H4X CEO and design/production lead on the apparel drop, made sure to speak on his excitement for this brand new collab as well. “It was cool to collab again with Nate to bring his vision to life,” Gurman stated. “As gaming has become an integral part of our consumers’ lives, we know first hand what it’s like for them to ‘turn it on’ and accomplish the near-impossible.  It’s really no different than a traditional athlete except for one disruptive element–the ability to maintain poise in a whimsical fashion. It’s an attitude of professionalism while not taking yourself too seriously, and that is what we are aiming for with Nate’s new 100% custom collection.”

Sean Bruce, Director of Business Development for H4X, also commented on the new collaboration. “It’s always a pleasure to work with talented fashion forward players like Nate Hill,” he said. “As it allows our creative team to really develop something special together that is truly unparalleled by anyone else in the esports industry.”

H4X

H4X

Keep in mind that the H4X x Nate Hill capsule apparel drop is out right now. Head to https://h4x.gg/NateHill to cop whatever you may need ASAP before the words “sold out” come across your screen. Oh and while you’re here, be sure to check out our latest episode of Inside the Screen. Nate Hill pops in this time to talk about his modeling career, his time spent with FaZe Clan, and so much more.

Categories
Gaming New Releases

The 6 Best Gaming Headsets Under $100

As an avid gamer, you know one thing’s for certain – your setup isn’t complete without a certain lineup of essentials. Besides the hardware and software required to get your game on in the first place, one must have a proper gaming chair, crisp monitor(s), and a high-quality headset. Now we realize most gamers don’t really have the funds to ball out on a set of headphones that have all the bells and whistles you’d expect from them. But you don’t have to break the bank when it comes time to cop yourself an efficient gaming headset. As a matter of fact, you won’t even have to spend more than $100 to do so. We’ve compiled a list of six headsets that are top of the line and, most importantly, cheaper than you’d expect.

1. SteelSeries Arctis 5
Best All-Around Headset

This PS4 and PC-enabled headset comes outfitted with a host of features that present it as a product that should cost way more than $100. Its main attributes are as follows – DTS 7.1 Surround Sound with multichannel audio, a noise-canceling enabled ClearCast microphone, and 40MM dynamic speaker drivers. The SteelSeries Arctis 5’s sound quality is topnotch, plus it offers plenty of comfortability thanks to the excellent ear cushions attached to it. The design quality is also worth noting as it’s extremely pleasing to the eyes and the RGB illumination makes it look that much sexier as it glows in the dark. The Arctis 5 hits on every note worth mentioning and is our most recommended headset on this list.

Amazon User Review Quotable – “This wireless gaming headset is amazing! Initially, when I first put them on, it felt really weird. I was like, wt.. there’s no way this is going to feel comfortable. Then 10mins later, I totally forgot they were even on my head. I was walking around the house, taking bathroom breaks, getting food/drinks, all the while still be on comms and able to hear what’s going on in the game. I played CS: GO and Guild Wars 2 with them, two very different games. The sound is precise, I could hear footsteps very well in CS: GO without any delays. And for the MMO the sound is deep and rich.

Buy Now, $84.99
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FSteelSeries-Arctis-Illuminated-Headset-Headphone%2Fdp%2FB07FZQJ8PY%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1_sspa%3Fdchild%3D1%26amp%3Bkeywords%3DSteelSeries%2BArctis%2B5%26amp%3Bqid%3D1615588882%26amp%3Bsr%3D8-1-spons%26amp%3Bpsc%3D1%26amp%3BspLa%3DZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyTUpZUTFKOTZLMzBPJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwODAyODUxMkRCQTBJWkJPMVZPUCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNTQ5NzQxMktMWEFQUkJDMEQ0VyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU%3D
2. HyperX Cloud Alpha
Best Wired Headset

The HyperX Cloud Alpha opts for stereo sound over virtual sound, but its sound delivery is just as strong as every other selection amongst this lineup. For audio enthusiasts that are big on great bass quality, this headset should definitely be on your radar. Alongside its strong audio delivery, the HyperX Cloud Alpha also offers a lightweight, cozy feel that stands out as one of its strongest attributes. You can send a couple more bucks to add 7.1 Surround Sounds to this bad boy if you’d like. But if you’d rather just stick with the standard version of the Cloud Alpha, you won’t have to worry about being left behind by those who opt for the aforementioned add-on. This headset works well with a wide variety of consoles and devices, so you can easily make it your go-to headset for your daily gaming regiment if you so choose.

Amazon User Review Quotable – “I tried these new Cloud Alphas and wow. Immediately impressed with them all around. Great construction, feel, and sound. The mic sounds amazing… they absolutely kill the A40’s mic; makes them sound like cheap $3 microphones. The A40s sound anemic compared to these headsets. I will never go back to Astro, except for using their TR MixAmp Pro; which when combined with these headphones I believe make the perfect mid-range <$250 headset combo. I have a background in audio recording so my ears now sound good. Get these headsets; you won’t be disappointed. Spend the extra $20 and upgrade the earcups and you’ll be hooked on the sound.”

Buy Now, $80.99
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHyperX-Cloud-Alpha-Gaming-Headset%2Fdp%2FB074NBSF9N%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1_sspa%3Fdchild%3D1%26amp%3Bkeywords%3DHyperX%2BCloud%2BAlpha%26amp%3Bqid%3D1615588949%26amp%3Bsr%3D8-1-spons%26amp%3Bpsc%3D1%26amp%3BspLa%3DZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyTlM1VDRaUVdFTkVUJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDQ1NDMwMzA3OTFMQ0FDSU4wWSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwODAxMzUwM1JUTzNTNzlRMTFOQyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU%3D
3. Alienware Stereo Gaming Headset AW310H
Best Comfortability Factor

This pair of headphones is simple in design, yet it still evokes a signature build that presents it as the slickest model you’ve probably ever seen. It’s easy to forget that this headset has been sitting on your head for hours due to its excellent sense of comfort – a combination of memory foam, sports fabric, and leatherette all do a great job of making that feat possible. From an audio standpoint, the Alienware Stereo Gaming Headset AW310H makes everything around you in-game sound as clear as possible thanks to its Signature Alienware Immersive Audio tech. Noise cancelation is also a key factor here, so you’ll be fully immersed in whatever you play with these headphones on.

Amazon User Review Quotable – “Overall, the Alienware AW310H is a great headset. Good sound. Decent bass. Great soundstage for a closed-back design. A nice and sleek design. Plus, it is manufactured by a company that is pretty good. Considering all of that, these are worth trying out.”

Buy Now, $70.33
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FAlienware-Stereo-Gaming-Headset-AW310H%2Fdp%2FB07V49XDW6%2Fref%3Dasc_df_B07V49XDW6%2F%3Ftag%3Dhyprod-20%26amp%3BlinkCode%3Ddf0%26amp%3Bhvadid%3D385498800219%26amp%3Bhvpos%3D%26amp%3Bhvnetw%3Dg%26amp%3Bhvrand%3D16266343377524138263%26amp%3Bhvpone%3D%26amp%3Bhvptwo%3D%26amp%3Bhvqmt%3D%26amp%3Bhvdev%3Dc%26amp%3Bhvdvcmdl%3D%26amp%3Bhvlocint%3D%26amp%3Bhvlocphy%3D9004416%26amp%3Bhvtargid%3Dpla-823052238956%26amp%3Bpsc%3D1%26amp%3Btag%3D%26amp%3Bref%3D%26amp%3Badgrpid%3D77530698846%26amp%3Bhvpone%3D%26amp%3Bhvptwo%3D%26amp%3Bhvadid%3D385498800219%26amp%3Bhvpos%3D%26amp%3Bhvnetw%3Dg%26amp%3Bhvrand%3D16266343377524138263%26amp%3Bhvqmt%3D%26amp%3Bhvdev%3Dc%26amp%3Bhvdvcmdl%3D%26amp%3Bhvlocint%3D%26amp%3Bhvlocphy%3D9004416%26amp%3Bhvtargid%3Dpla-823052238956
4. EPOS I Sennheiser GSP 302
Best Microphone

What we have here is another headset option that’s compatible with every piece of important gaming hardware imaginable. It’s definitely one of the larger models worth mentioning here, but it’s far from heavy once it’s adorned to your head. And with a high durability factor to boot, the  EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 302 is certainly built to last. The microphone that’s attached to this model can easily be accessed simply by pulling it up/down, which also goes hand in hand with turning it on/off. Thankfully, the sound quality of the mic itself is equally amazing when compared to its accessibility factor. Couple all that with some great sound quality and you have yourself a big boy headset that checks all the right boxes.

Amazon User Review Quotable – “The directional audio in-game is better than any other headset I’ve owned, I can pinpoint footsteps and gunshots perfectly. Music is also amazing to listen to with the gsp302, the microphone picks up no sounds from the headset so I can listen and talk to friends on discord at full volume without being annoying. The bass, man! The bass is freakin great. Joji’s ‘Gimme Love’ is addicting to listen to with these.”

Buy Now, $68.41
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FSennheiser-GSP-302-Closed-Headset%2Fdp%2FB074T75ZYP%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fdchild%3D1%26amp%3Bkeywords%3DSennheiser%2BGSP%2B302%26amp%3Bqid%3D1615589240%26amp%3Bsr%3D8-1
5. Razer Kraken Tournament Edition
Best Surround Sound

The Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is another headset that’s clearly big when it comes to stature. And with such a strong build, it meets the high expectations you’ll have for them after just one glance. It manages to magnify anything and everything you hear via its THX 7.1 Surround Sound capabilities and 50MM drivers. If you’re worried about your ears catching too much heat, there’s no need to fret – the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is outfitted with cooling gel-infused cushions for maximum comfort. The neon green option is one of the better color waves, but going all midnight black is our personal fave.

Amazon User Review Quotable – “They are not noise-canceling or noise blocking. As stated above, they don’t fit so tightly that you can’t hear your environment when there’s no audio, but with a little bit of audio, any noise in your environment is easily drowned out. I like the convenient manual volume control on the cord so that I don’t have to keep adjusting the volume on my computer for different applications or different media. I’m not a gamer, so I usually leave my mic off (again, convenient integrated off switch), but it’s nice for teleconferencing with work.”

Buy Now, $69.99
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6. Logitech G533
Best Wireless Headset

With 15-hours of battery life to look forward to, the Logitech G533 is a worthy wireless gaming headset to consider. You can enjoy the clear and concise audio it delivers for up to 15 meters, you’ll quickly get used to enjoying it from a good distance for a substantial amount of time. The headset’s audio attributes are as strong as they come – the Logitech G533 amazes thanks to DTS Headphone:X positional surround sound, awesome bass, impressive highs, and hybrid mesh Pro-G drivers. As far as cost-efficient wireless headset models go, the Logitech G533 is worth a look.

Amazon User Review Quotable – “The sound quality is better after I messed about with the equalizer in both stereo and surround modes. I vastly prefer the little switch instead of having to hold down a button to turn them off and on. The dial is much more sensitive. If the headset had more than one G key, I’d be over the moon. My only gripe, and it’s a tiny one, is that the mic won’t stay out unless pulled all the way out. These are great other than that. I highly recommend it, especially at under $100.”

Buy Now, $74
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