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The 10 Most Underrated Games Of This Generation

Each year, thousands of games are released across PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC. While bigger franchises like Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, and Resident Evil always get their fair share of attention, there are always a few games that don't get the recognition they deserve.

Here are ten of the best games you may have missed this console generation, and there's no better time to revisit these overlooked gems.

Salt and Sanctuary
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Platforms: PS4, PC, Mac

Ska Studios has made a name for itself in the independent space with 2D action beat em’ ups such as Charlie Murder and The Dishwasher series. Heavily inspired by From Software's Dark Souls series, Ska Studios’ RPG Salt and Sanctuary took the Souls' dark fantasy aesthetic and unforgiving combat, and married them with the studio's expertise in 2D action games. Just like the Souls series, combat is a meticulous affair relying on well-timed attacks and character builds. Even the lore took some influences from the obtuse storytelling of the Souls series, but managed to tell an original story that was entertaining in its own right.

Danganronpa
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Platforms: PS4, Vita, PC

The Danganronpa series has earned plenty of critical acclaim with its bizarre storytelling and sense of humor, but the visual novel series has lived most of its life on the PlayStation Vita, reducing its potential audience. A deceptively bright art style masks some of the darkest storytelling in gaming, as players in the first game are cast in the role of a student who must survive a series of life or death ordeals at the hands of a villainous sentient teddy bear. There are even trials where players must investigate scenes to prove other students innocent or guilty, either absolving them or condemning them to death. The two main entries in the series are hitting PS4 later this year in a bundle.

Skullgirls: 2nd Encore
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Platforms: PS4, Vita

Fighting games can be a daunting genre for newcomers to approach. The best fighters are able strike a fine balance between being accessible to newcomers who just want to have fun, and having enough depth to satisfy veterans. Skullgirls 2nd Encore is the rare kind of fighter that can do both. A colorful 2D brawler with gorgeous hand-drawn animation, Skullgirls channels classic Capcom series like Darkstalkers and the Versus games in its gameplay, but stands apart with its distinct personality and quirky characters. With a plethora of modes, including a fully voiced story mode, Skullgirls 2nd encore has something for all players to enjoy.


SOMA
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Platforms: PS4, PC

Frictional Games reinvigorated the horror genre with Amnesia: The Dark Descent, relying less on inventory and health management and more on atmosphere and environmental storytelling. With SOMA, they took this expertise a step further, creating one of the best game narratives of 2015. A haunting adventure through an underwater facility run amok with disturbing half-human creatures, it’s an especially appealing trip for fans of sci-fi existentialism.


Sunset Overdrive
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Platform: Xbox One

Sunset Overdrive felt like a roaring return to form for Insomniac Games when it came out in 2014. Taking the studio’s trademark humor and crazy weapon designs and setting them loose in a colorful, stylish open world made for one of the Xbox One’s best exclusives to date. More than anything, the game nails a sense of cohesion in its gameplay, offering bonuses to players who can stay on the move while stylishly juggling traversal and combat as they make their way across its colorful playground, similar to Jet Set Radio or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.


The Swapper
Release Date: May 30, 2013
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, Vita, PC

Telling the tale of a lone scavenger searching for a way to escape a dilapidated space station, The Swapper revolves around the main character’s ability to create clones of herself and transfer her consciousness into the new bodies. It’s an interesting premise that makes for innovative 2D puzzle solving, with depth that emerges as the player’s progress. The writing is minimal but effective, and the 2D world is reminiscent of games like Metroid with its pervasive feelings of isolation. The Swapper manages to coalesce all of its various elements into a highly memorable ending that players ponder long after the credits roll.


The Talos Principle
Release Date: December 11, 2014
Platforms: PS4, PC, Android

The Talos Principle is a game that doles out philosophical storytelling alongside stimulating puzzle solving to create an unforgettable experience. Telling the story of an AI that solves puzzles amongst the ruins of humanity’s first civilizations, The Talos Principle is an intellectual game that asks questions about consciousness and the human condition. Played in a first-person perspective, players navigate a mysterious environment, solving puzzles centered on manipulating laser beams and force fields to progress.

Tearaway
Release Date: November 20, 2013
Platforms: PS4, Vita

Media Molecule may be best known for its innovative Little Big Planet series, but that’s not the only creative platformer they’ve made. Originally a Vita exclusive, Tearaway is a delightful 3D platformer with a papercraft aesthetic that was meant to take full advantage of the handheld’s unique features. It received positive reviews upon release, but being isolated on the Vita severely cut its potential audience. Thankfully, a PS4 remaster is available for anybody who wants to play it on the big screen. Although much of the original Vita functionality was removed for the PS4 version, such as the use of the back touchpad or the camera, it remains an engaging and charming adventure that anyone can enjoy.


Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Plaforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a rich narrative experience that took the UbiArt style of games like Child of Light and Rayman: Origins in a new direction. Inspired by real letters written during World War I, it’s a rare example of a AAA publisher successfully making a smaller, indie-size title. Switching perspectives between multiple characters as the story progresses, players make their way through the 2D adventure game by solving puzzles. It tells a story that manages to be both dark and heartfelt, accompanied by a charming art style that reimagines the Great War in a new light.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS4

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a narratively accomplished first-person adventure game. With tones reminiscent of Twin Peaks or The X-Files, players are put in the role of a paranormal investigator searching for a child missing under strange circumstances. A highlight of the game is its investigative sequences, which see players investigating locations for clues as to what happened there, and piecing the evidence together to progress the narrative. It’s one of the better adventure games of the last few years and deserves to be appreciated by more players.

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What To Watch This Weekend: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, HearthStone, And Halo 5: Guardians

Several ongoing qualifiers have made it a long weekend if you keep track of multiple eSports. That's not terrible, per se, but let's get to the majors, already! Dota Asia Championships! Final Round! The LCS Mid-Season Invitational! That's maybe a little unfair: Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, and Super Smash Bros. are all having big events this weekend, so you should more than enough to watch this weekend.
 
Eight major Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams will face off this weekend at the DreamHack Masters in Las Vegas this weekend for a shot at a $ 450,000 prize pool, $ 200,000 of which goes to first place. (Stream / Schedule)
 
One of the biggest Super Smash Bros. Melee/For Wii U tournaments in Sweden hits this weekend, bringing heavy-hitters like Adam "Armada" Lindgren and William "Leffen" Hjelte back to their home turf. (Stream 1 / Stream 2 / Schedule
 
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes the action to Paris, pitting teams like OpTic Gaming, Cloud9, and FaZe against each other for a $ 40,000 first-place prize. (Stream and Schedule)
 
This week we also have the Halo 5: Guardians Halo World Championship 2017 qualifiers in London, which will have its own prize pool of $ 25,000. (Stream / Schedule
 
The League of Legends Spring Split season is still going strong, as teams from around the world fight for a spot at the Mid-Season Invitational. (Europe Stream / Europe Schedule / North America Stream / North America Schedule)

Smite is also having its own Spring Split in the West and the Fall Split for the Oceanic region, which will pit eight teams from each region against each other for a spot in the Spring Finals event. (Stream / Schedule)
 
In the world of Hearthstone, The HCT Americas Winter Playoffs will determine which four players from the region will receive an invitation March's $ 250,000 Winter Championship. (Stream / Schedule)
 
That's it for this weekend! Let us know if we've missed out on any event going on this weekend in the comments below, and have a great weekend!

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Starbreeze will begin mass producing its StarVR headset later this year

“Durability, field of view, hygiene, resolution, refresh rates and weight are all key aspects that we improve constantly and according to plan.” …


Gamasutra News

Play Xbox Multiplayer For Free This Weekend

Microsoft is allowing all players to play multiplayer on Xbox One and Xbox 360 – whether you have a Gold account or not – for free from February 16 to 19.

Furthermore, you can also play hit titles Rocket League and NBA 2K17 on Xbox One for free over that time.

[Source: Microsoft]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 Coming To North America This Year

Guilty Gear is known for two things: Intense fighting and ridiculous naming conventions. For the newest release in Arc System Works' series, both of those things seem to be intact.

Today, publisher Aksys Games announced that the latest iteration – Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 – will be coming to North America later this year. This installment contains the previously released DLC from Revelator, but also includes additional tweaks. Among the improvements are additional stages, moves, and two new characters (Baiken and Answer). The story and arcade modes are being expanded, and the entire roster of characters is getting rebalanced.

The game is releasing on PS4 and PS3 digitally, with a physical version coming to PS4. It is also available as a digital upgrade to Revelator on PS3 and PS4. 

Our Take
I always enjoy revisiting my favorite games after they've seen some updates. Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator is not one of those games for me, but I'm sure it is for plenty of fighting game enthusiasts. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Relinquishing Armored Warfare, CEO says Obsidian ‘might not tackle a game like this again’

“Large MMOs are really beyond the ability of an independent developer to manage unless that developer gets huge,” Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart tells Eurogamer from a new post-Armored Warfare world. …


Gamasutra News

Hollow Knight Is A Dark, Atmospheric Platformer Arriving Later This Month

Hollow Knight, a Metroidvania-style platformer from indie developer Team Cherry, just received a new trailer that details its release date of February 24.

This atmospheric game takes place in an insect-filled world called Hallownest. It features 2D hand-drawn graphics with an aesthetic reminiscent of Tim Burton's dark style. Check out the trailer below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Additionally, Hollow Knight's gorgeous soundtrack is now available for purchase on composer Christopher Larkin's Bandcamp page. The game will release for PC and Mac.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Splatoon 2 Global Testfire Demo Arrives This March On Nintendo Switch

Nintendo announced today that an open beta is on its way for Splatoon 2, where players can test our the ink-filled online combat months before the game launches this summer. This will be similar to the previous global testfire for the first Splatoon, where the event takes place during specific dates and times.

The global testfire event will occur on the Nintendo Switch, beginning on March 24 and concluding on the 26th. Check below to see the schedule:

March 24

  • 12-12:59pm PT
  • 8-8:59pm PT

March 25

  • 4-4:59am PT
  • 12-12:59pm PT
  • 8-8:59pm PT

March 26

  • 4-4:59am PT

Participants will be able to test out four weapons, such as the new Splat Dualies. Remixed versions of Splat Roller and Splat Charger will be available as well. The free demo will be downloadable via the Nintendo eShop. Check out a short teaser below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

To find out more about Splatoon 2, watch the reveal trailer from the Nintendo Switch event last month and read about about the recently announced spectator mode and tournament modes.

[Source: Nintendo on Twitter]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Resident Evil CG Film Vendetta Out This Summer

Announced last year, The Resident Evil: Vendetta CG film has a somewhat murky release date in the US. Summer 2017.

The CG film, which sees series protagonists Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield join forces in order to stop a Glenn Arias, a "merchant of death" spreading a new strain of Zombie virus that can seperate friend from foe, is the third in the animated film series (after Resident Evil: Degeneration and Resident Evil: Damnation). You can watch the latest trailer for the film below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

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What To Watch This Weekend: Call Of Duty, Smite, And Hearthstone

You may be wracked with guilt over what to get your valentine this weekend before Tuesday rolls around, but that doesn't mean you can't take some of the edge off by watching some eSports! There's a lot of good stuff this weekend, and we all know it's the thought that counts anyway. Or at least, that's the line you should give when you have to tell your soon-to-be ex when they realize you spent the weekend watching Call of Duty when you should have been thinking about getting them a present.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's having its CWL Atlanta Open, which will give viewers a chance to the see the game's high-flying movement options in full before the series returns to more traditional combat later this year. (Stream 1 / Stream 2Schedule)

Meanwhile, Smite's Spring Relegations tournament is this weekend and will bring together some of the game's best talent for the first time in the game's fourth Season. (Stream / Schedule)

The Hearthstone Championship Tour's Winter Europe Championship is this weekend, pitting some of the best players in the continent against each other for a $ 120,000 prize pool. (Stream / Schedule)

If you're looking for some Super Smash Bros. Action this weekend, there should be more than enough to satiate your appetite. First, the 2GGC Midwest Mayhem tournament will feature doubles and singles tournaments for Super Smash Bros. For Wii U this weekend. (Stream 1 / Stream 2 / Schedule

There's also the UK's Bailrigg tournament, which will feature tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Melee, and Shrek SuperSlam (Stream 1 / Stream 2 / Schedule)

League of Legends's Spring Splits rages on. The rankings are starting to shake out, and just shy of a couple of upsets, it looks like our Mid-Season Invitational lineups are almost set in stone. (Europe Stream / Europe Schedule / North America Stream / North America Schedule)

The Dota 2 Asia Championship qualifiers continue this weekend, as teams for the CIS region face off for one of the last remaining invitational spots in the tournament. (Stream

That's it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below, and have a great weekend!

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed