Pokémon Sword and Shield Wishlist [Pixlekin]

Read the full wishlist at Pixelkin

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are two of the most anticipated games coming later this year. The eighth generation will make the pivotal leap from a handheld-focused series onto the Nintendo Switch. They also represent the first all-new main Pokémon games since 2016’s Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Details have been scarce, with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company teasing us with trailers and introducing the three new starter Pokémon. A Sword and Shield-focused Pokémon Direct is scheduled to stream next week on June 5. The Direct should provide further details, and hopefully a release date.

Until then we have mostly speculation and a wishlist of features for Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Read the full wishlist at Pixelkin

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My Top Ten Most Anticipated Games of 2019

Every year is a great year for video games but as of January 2019 I admit I’m a bit underwhelmed compared to previous years. Most of the big sequels due out this year (that have been announced) aren’t for series I care much about, like Mortal Kombat 11, Devil May Cry 5, and Gears 5.

Thankfully there are tons of exciting indie games that I’m very much interested in, and it’s my first full year with a Nintendo Switch – gimme that new Pokémon game!

Here are my top ten most anticipated games for 2019.

10) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Who would’ve thought we’d be getting a new Marvel Ultimate Alliance game in 2019? And it’s a Switch exclusive? I’m very excited to return to one of my favorite console action-RPG brawlers, even though it’ll most likely feature only MCU heroes and villains.

9) Kingdom Hearts III

I may be in the minority in that I’m not a big Kingdom Hearts fan, but still look forward to trying the very, very long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3. I enjoyed the first one (17 freaking years ago, holy crap), but never actually finished the second, when the series really started getting up its own ass.

8) Wargroove

Everyone knows Advance Wars was a great series and it should be a crime that we haven’t had a proper sequel in over a decade. Beloved indie developers and publishers Chucklefish are answering the call with Wargroove, which looks like the spiritual successor we’ve been waiting for.

7) Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

The Igarashi-led Castlevania successor appeared on my Most Anticipated list last year only to be delayed into 2019. With countless indie games aping the metroidvania style, it’ll be interesting to see if Bloodstained can stand out. I’m betting it will and more.

6) Anthem

BioWare does Destiny? I’m not a big fan of Destiny (though I’m actually giving Destiny 2 a shot right now) but something about the mech suits, third-person action, and exotic alien world is making me take notice. Maybe this could be my Monster Hunter: World of 2019?

5) Warcraft III: Reforged

I very much enjoyed the nostalgic trip from StarCraft Remastered two years ago. StarCraft was my high school years; Warcraft 3 was college. Blizzard is the closest thing I have to a fanboy company, and I’m looking forward to revisiting WarCraft 3.

4) The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds was recently announced during The Game Awards just a few months ago. It’s a first-person RPG by Obsidian that looks like a fun combination of Fallout and Borderlands, and I’m definitely here for it.

3) Desperados III

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun was one of my favorite games of 2016. Mimimi Productions is trading in katanas for revolvers. I have zero knowledge or nostalgia for the Desperados series, but I’ve grown to love the tactical stealth genre and can’t wait to see how they handle a Western.

2) Age of Wonders: Planetfall

I’ll always carry a torch for Age of Wonders III; no game has before or since captured the satisfying tactical combat, resource management, and exploration from Heroes of Might and Magic III. Triumph Studios has been working on a neat-looking sci-fi sequel, and now their resources include the backing of one of the biggest strategy game companies around, Paradox Interactive.

1) Untitled Pokémon Game for Switch 

most anticipated games

I’m a big Pokémon fan and nearly every year a Pokémon game finds its way onto my Top Ten list. We don’t know squat about the highly teased Pokémon game coming to Switch but given the last few releases I’m expecting good things.

My Top Ten Games of 2018: #8

My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Dead Cells

#9 Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

#8 Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee!

Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
Platforms: Switch

I love my mainline Pokémon games but I typically skip the spin-offs. While I do casually enjoy mobile AR game Pokémon GO, I was fully prepared to roll my eyes at what looked like a dumbed down, Pokémon GO-ified RPG.

I was happy to be very wrong – Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! are charming and delightful recreations of the original Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow games. Adventuring through a fully 3D Kanto is a delicious nostalgia fest but it’s the little improvements that really kept me hooked, like being able to swap your party out on field, drop-in co-op, and not having to teach the critical Hidden Machine skills just to get around.

Random battles have been completely replaced with Pokémon GO‘s pokéball throwing minigame, and it’s honestly a really great change of pace. Collecting Pokémon becomes quick and rewarding rather than a slog, and we finally get to actually see Pokémon out in the field. I can be far more proactive and engaged in Pokémon hunting – with the benefit of also making the world of Kanto really come to life.

It’s a testament to how well designed that original 20 year old game is that this modern remake doesn’t have to change a whole lot to get me sucked in all over again. Yet all the changes and improvements are very welcome. I would love to see Let’s Go editions of each Pokémon generation.

My only complaint about the game – it released two weeks before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!

Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review on Pixelkin

Pokémon GO’s incredible popularity on mobile phones introduced a whole new audience to the already stalwart Pokémon franchise. The Pokémon Company has leveraged that popularity for Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!.

On the surface the Let’s Go games are glossy, 3D remakes of the first generation of Pokémon (Red/Blue/Yellow) with the much simpler Pokéball throwing mechanics borrowed from Pokémon GO. Despite its relative simplicity compared to recent mainline games like Sun and Moon, Let’s Go includes several brilliant new features that make journeying through Kanto again rewarding and memorable.

Monster Hunter Stories Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

The Monster Hunter series has been around for over a decade, though far more popular in Japan than in the US. The world of gigantic monsters, challenging combat, and hours of grinding and crafting weapons and armor often remains impenetrable for many would-be fans.

Monster Hunter Stories refreshingly succeeds at being a more intuitive, kid-friendly spin-off game. It incorporates basic elements of Pokémon’s monster-collecting while still using the core tenets of Monster Hunter’s questing and hunting tasks to create a welcoming, yet deeply rich experience.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

My Top Ten Games of 2016: #4

 My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!

#10 Pokémon GO
#9 Skylanders Imaginators
#8 Stellaris
#7 Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
#6 Fire Emblem Fates
#5 Overwatch

#4 Pokémon Sun and Moon

pokemon sun and moon

I would categorize my Pokémon interest levels over the last twenty years as “off and on.” My current “on” phase has now been going strong for years, however.

I was incredibly excited for Pokémon X and Y back in 2013, and played through all of Pokémon Black and White just months before its release. X and Y definitely made my Game of the Year list that year, and I’m here to tell you that Sun and Moon may just be the best Pokémon game I’ve played yet. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2016: #4”

Why Skylanders Academy is a Big Step for Kids Games and Media [Pixelkin]

Read the full article on Pixelkin

What makes a successful brand or franchise aimed at kids? Often the first piece of media that entices children or young teens is a movie, television show, or toy line. From there companies can expand with multiple forms of media and merchandising – including video games.

Video games have reached an odd era when it comes to kid-friendly brands. In the 90s and early 2000s, a major video game tie-in was pretty much guaranteed, and many of these games were extremely well-produced and successful. But gradually the games declined in quality and were rushed out the door as games became much more advanced. Many major toy and kid-focused companies all but abandoned gaming – until mobile.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON PIXELKIN