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10 Games That Should Be Ported To Switch

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If there’s one thing true about the Nintendo Switch, it’s that developers love to port years-old games to the console. From Undertale and Wolfenstein II to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, there is seemingly an endless pipeline through which the Switch gets ports from. Moreover, with the recent release date announcements for the likes of three Resident Evil games and a multitude of Final Fantasy games, there’s no telling what will come next!

It gets one thinking. While it could be a sad indicator for the Switch to simply receive ports, it might also be interesting to ponder what may be down the line. So far the ports have actually worked out pretty well for the most part, so let’s suppose the next port will be…

Fallout 3 Switch port

Fallout 3 And/Or Fallout: New Vegas

With the recent outing of Fallout 76, it’s hard to tell if the franchise remains unscathed. Regardless, it has a remarkably loyal fanbase, true to Bethesda form, who are willing to look past, or even defend, Bethesda’s recent attempt at an online Fallout game.

Having seen Skyrim ported to Switch, we know that Bethesda’s open-world adventures can work quite well on the hybrid console. Exploring the vast wastelands in Fallout 3‘s Capital Wasteland and Fallout New Vegas’ Mojave would be an absolute joy on the go. Provided the games run just as well, if not better than their last-gen counterparts, especially given eleven years’ worth of technological enhancements, a bundle complete with Bethesda and Obsidian’s Fallout titles, coupled with their DLC’s, would be a blast, whether in docked mode or handheld mode.

Plus, who knows? This might already be in the works. While Bethesda Game Director Todd Howard himself rejected prior rumors of a Fallout 3 remaster, some speculate a recent Amazon listing from Bethesda suggests a re-release of some kind for Fallout 3. E3 can’t come soon enough.

red dead redemption

Red Dead Redemption

Now that players have finally had the time to digest Red Dead Redemption II‘s redemption story for Arthur Morgan, now might be a good time to go back and play through the original game. Since the sequel was technically a prequel, this would only make sense, and it would finally let Rockstar bring one of their best hits to a Nintendo console.

While also nearly a decade old, Red Dead Redemption‘s cowboy chaos still holds up well, even in light of Red Dead Redemption II. The gunplay is still reminiscent of any classic Western shootout and its presentation has aged admirably. Bearing a similar layout to L.A. Noire, which came out on the Switch a bit over a year ago, there’s a good case to be made that Red Dead Redemption would handle just fine on the road.

Overall, Red Dead Redemption would be a solid port for the Switch. In terms of open-world games, it’s one of the best that could be brought to Switch, and when paired with its Undead Nightmare DLC, this would be a no-brainer for Switch owners.

Bloodborne

Bloodborne

With the recent release of Dark Souls: Remastered on the Nintendo Switch, it might only seem natural to bring From Software’s following efforts to the Switch. Of them all, though, Bloodborne might be the best for it. 

Tentative performance issues aside (in lieu of Dark Souls on Switch), Bloodborne plays just like any Souls game would, save for a “dodgeball” approach to combat. Theoretically, Bloodborne would be a fantastically exhilarating game to play on the go, and would certainly allow Nintendo fans the opportunity to play one of the PS4’s best games. Now, the possibility of this happening is somewhere near 0%, as it is a Sony property. Yet, if it were to come to Switch regardless, the tagline would read: Prepare to buy.

Cuphead

Cuphead

Cuphead, a brilliant and unique side-scrolling boss rush game on Xbox One, would translate perfectly to the Switch. Nintendo has a long history of hair-pulling side-scrollers. Suffice it to say, from Contra to Ninja Gaiden, the 80’s and 90’s were filled to the brim with tough run-‘n’-gun/fight action.

Cuphead is a great throwback to the likes of Contra and would not only be a great port for the Switch but also a smart move on Microsoft’s part. With the recent announcement that Microsoft would be bringing Xbox Live to Nintendo’s latest console, there are a vast number of potential ports waiting to occur.

As a game with stylized graphics that don’t push the envelope too hard and gameplay that is precise and airtight, Cuphead might be just the right kind of game that could be ported to Switch. You’ll always want tight controls for any handheld game; that’s the nature of the beast. Cuphead would absolutely nail that and would allow those furious at Grim Matchstick to keep giving him a wallop on the bus. Curse you, Grim Matchstick!

super mario sunshine

Super Mario Sunshine

While a Virtual Console-type service that offers Gamecube games on the Switch is much preferable in any instance, I’ll take what I can get. The Gamecube had quite a few gems in its library; some of which have been remastered or ported to other consoles. The original two Metroid Prime games had been ported over to the Wii with motion controls in a solid package for the Wii, including Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD massively improved the original title for the Wii U console. Then, Luigi’s Mansion recently saw an awkward re-release on Nintendo 3DS; something I could see Jerry Seinfeld riffing on at a comedy show.

While many disliked Super Mario Sunshine for its gimmicky nature, it nonetheless still had some great platforming gameplay, intelligent level design, and colorful locales. Mario’s janitorial efforts may not have been his platforming at its purest, but it was still one of the best games the Gamecube had to offer. Nobody could deny that, if brought to the Switch, with upgraded visuals and improved control scheme, it would be a wonderful port, whether docked or undocked.

Portal

Portal

The ultimate game for bite-sized sessions, 2007’s Portal is an intelligent puzzle game that would be perfect for Nintendo’s latest console. In a port to Switch, we would receive largely the same experience we got in 2007 on the Xbox 360, but with an option to play the game as a handheld.

Accessible to highest degree, Portal would allow players to keep trudging through the toughest of chambers while on lunch break, waiting at the doctor’s office, or even while standing next to the creepy guy on the subway. Portal, of all games, could easily be played anywhere and put down at any given time.

For its time, Portal was quite innovative, and only Valve could have pulled off a game with such wit and cleverness. If we never get a third installment in the series, a port to Switch might curb the appetite of some of those hungry for more Portal. In the case we get that port, newcomers should be weary of promised cake. It’s a lie.

call of duty

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

Two years after Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare‘s initial release, a port in the shape of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition was released for the Wii, Nintendo’s branded family console. With a watered-down multiplayer component, reduced entertainment value, and less spectacular single-player campaign moments as per “well, they tried” graphics, it could not match the impact of the game’s release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

In 2016, the 2007 classic was given a very admirable remaster with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. Retaining the engrossing multiplayer component that revolutionized console shooters over a decade ago, and revamping the visuals, the remaster was a great way to replay a modern classic. Given a port to the Nintendo Switch, Switch owners would have the opportunity of playing through a highly memorable campaign, as well as that of becoming addicted to unlocking the next attachment for the M4 Carbine.

Skate

Skate

Seemingly an oddity among the prior choices, Skate was a hit for EA in 2007. When gamers couldn’t get what they wanted with any of the Tony Hawk games released during the same time period, Skate was the best alternative available. Given its presentation, tight controls, and conduciveness to pure fun, why wouldn’t it be such a hit?

While likely not at the top of EA’s “Switch port” list, Skate would be a great game for it. As a game that was just as fun in small doses as it was in large ones, it’s easy to see how the game would be great to have on the road or during a plane ride. If not necessarily EA’s magnum opus, Skate would be a great port for the Switch. Well past its height of popularity, the Skate franchise could make a comeback in a big, yet bizarre way with a Switch iteration of Skate.

Dead Rising

Dead Rising: Triple Pack

Overall, the Dead Rising games are ones simplistic in nature and are remarkably easy to digest. Mowing down hordes of zombies with potted plants and televisions isn’t the same as deciding the fate of the Reapers. In turn, the Dead Rising games would, once again, be great in handheld form due to their accessibly pick-up-and-play nature and the sheer fun to be had in killing zombie after zombie with a makeshift lightsaber.

In 2016, a few months before the release of Dead Rising 4 came Dead Rising Triple Pack. The pack included Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. Overall, the bundle was met with a mediocre reception, garnering a 71 on Metacritic. Yet, many still enjoyed it for its diversity in open-ended zombie-slaying mayhem.

Although not necessarily the best of Capcom’s zombie-slaying productions, Dead Rising Triple Pack would provide a fresh way to play a beloved franchise. Then, we can try to forget Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop.

HaloHalo: The Master Chief Collection

This one is all about shooting for the stars. If Microsoft were to bring any of their franchises to the Switch, be it Cuphead, Gears of War, Forza, or even Banjo Kazooie, the Halo franchise would be the prime one for it. As Microsoft’s first major flagship series, it would make sense to bring it to a new audience with a new way to play. The likelihood that the Switch could support the graphical fidelity of the remade Halo 2 alone is fairly low, at least without taking a serious hit to performance.

Regardless, as long as we’re dreaming, it would be great to see Halo come to a Nintendo console, and it would be intriguing to see the standard-setting franchise in handheld mode. Should Microsoft ever decide to bring any of their library over, Halo should definitely be a priority.

So what do you guys think? Are these solid picks? What did I leave out? Feel free to let us know what ports you think should come to Switch! If you do, that is.

 

                      

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Willem

    May 7, 2019 at 10:11 am

    One game(s) is missing. Metroid Prime. If Nintendo is going to release Metroid Prime 4, they should have remastered versions of the last three games. Nintendo should do the same thing Microsoft did where they had Master Chief collection and released Halo 5 at the same time. Nintendo should release Metroid Prime – Original Trilogy ($90can) and Metroid Prime 4 so you can play the first three games before playing the newest one.

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‘Atelier Ryza’ Warms the Heart No Matter the Season

Atelier Ryza excels at creating a sense of warmth and familiarity, and could be just what you need during the winter months.

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atelier ryza

The Atelier series is something of a unicorn in the JRPG genre. It isn’t known for its world-ending calamities or continent-spanning journeys; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The small-town feel and more intimate storytelling of Atelier games has made them some of the most consistently cozy experiences in gaming, and Ryza is no exception. No matter if it’s this winter or next, here’s why Atelier Ryza is the perfect type of RPG to warm your heart this winter.

Ryza starting her alchemy journey.

Like a Warm Blanket

Unlike protagonists from other entries in the franchise, Reisalin Stout (or Ryza for short) has never stepped foot in an atelier or even heard of alchemy at the start of her game. Instead, she’s just a fun-loving and mischevious girl from the country who spends her days in search of adventure with her childhood pals Lent and Tao. It’s this thrill-seeking that eventually leads the trio to meet a mysterious wandering alchemist and learn the tricks of the trade.

The entirety of Atelier Ryza takes place during summer, and it’s clear that the visual design team at Gust had a field day with this theme. In-game mornings are brought to life through warm reds, yellows, and oranges, while the bright summer sun beams down incessantly in the afternoon and gives way to cool evenings flooded by shades of blue and the soft glow of lanterns. Ryza’s visual prowess is perhaps most noticeable in the lighting on its character models, which are often given a warm glow dependent on the time of day.

The cozy sensibilities of the countryside can be felt elsewhere as well. The farm Ryza’s family lives on aside, the majority of environments are lush with all manner of plant life, dirt roads, and rustic architecture. Menus feature lovely wooden and papercraft finishes that simulate notepads or photos on a desk. Townspeople will even stop Ryza to remark on how much she’s grown and ask about buying some of her father’s crops. Everything just excels at feeling down-to-earth homey.

The titular Atelier Ryza.

An Intimate Take on Storytelling

Kurken Island and the surrounding mainland feel expansive as a whole but intimate in their design. This is partially due to the readily-accessible fast travel system that Atelier Ryza employs; instead of a seamless open world, most players will find themselves jumping from location to location to carry out quests and harvest ingredients for alchemy. However, there’s still strong incentive to explore the nearby town thanks to tons of random side quests and little cutscenes that trigger as players progress through the main story.

It’s an interesting way to tackle world-building. Instead of relying on intricate dialogue like The Outer Worlds or massive cinematic cutscenes like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Atelier Ryza lets players get a feel for its world rather naturally through everyday conversations. These scenes run the gamut from Ryza’s parents yelling at her to help more around the farm to running into and catching up with old friends who’d moved overseas. They’re unobtrusive and brief, but the sheer number of them gradually establishes a cast that feels alive and familiar.

The town drunk and Lent's father, Samuel.

Of course, post-holidays winter is also the season for more somber tales. The relationship between Lent and his alcoholic father is striking in its realistic depiction of how strained some father-son relationships can become.

The narrative escalates subtly: An early cutscene shows Mr. Marslink stumbling onto Ryza’s front lawn thinking it’s his. Then an event triggers where the neighborhood jerks tease Lent about being the son of the town drunk. Lent’s house is a small shack pulled back from the rest of the town, and visiting it triggers one of the few scenes where Ryza can actually talk to Mr. Marslink himself. The situation eventually reveals itself to be so bad that it completely explains why Lent is gung-ho about being out of the house whenever he can.

Though Lent’s general character motivation is wanting to get stronger and protect the town, it’s the heartfelt insights like these that make him much more relatable as a party member. Atelier Ryza features no grand theatrics or endless bits of exposition, but instead favors highlighting interpersonal conversations as Ryza continues to learn more about the people and world around her.

Atelier Ryza

Cozy games rarely get enough credit. Just like the Animal Crossing series or Pokemon: Let’s Go provides players with a warmth that can stave off the harshest of winters, Atelier Ryza succeeds in being the lighthearted, touching JRPG fans wanted. It’s both aesthetically pleasing and heartwarming in the way it builds out its world and cast of characters, and seeing Ryza gradually grow more confident and capable is a joy unto itself. If you’re in need of a blanket until Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes out in March, you can’t go wrong here.

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PAX South 2020 Hands On: ‘The Artful Escape,’ ‘Foregone,’ and ‘Tunic’

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PAX South

This past weekend, PAX South 2020 brought a huge variety of promising indie games to the show floor in San Antonio. Here are just a few of the most remarkable games I got to try, including a hardcore action game, a classic adventure, and an experience that can only be described as dreamlike.

Tunic

Simply put, Tunic is a Zelda game, but foxier. Tunic takes significant inspiration from the classic Zelda formula, complete with an overworld to explore, puzzles to solve, enemies to fight, and a protagonist clad in green. My demo even began by leaving me weaponless and forcing me to venture into a nearby cave in order to discover my first weapon.

Yet there’s nothing wrong with following such a traditional formula. At a time when Nintendo has largely stopped creating new games in the style of its classic Zeldas, it’s left up to other developers to rediscover the magic of the original gameplay style. Based on my time with the game, Tunic achieves exactly that, reimagining the charm of A Link to the Past for the current generation with gorgeous visuals and modern design sensibilities. The biggest difference from its predecessors is its green-clad hero is a fox, and not a Kokiri.

All, that is to say, is that if you’ve ever played a 2D Zelda, then you’ll know exactly what to expect from Tunic. It starts by dropping the foxy little player character into a vibrant, sunny overworld, and true to form, your inventory is completely empty and the environment is full of roadblocks to progress. Simple enemies abound, and although its greatest Zelda inspirations lie with those from the 2D era, it also includes an element from the 3D games due to its inclusion of a targeting system in order to lock onto specific opponents. What followed next was a linear, straightforward dungeon that focused on teaching the basics of exploration and item usage. It was extremely simple but hinted at plenty of potential for the full game later.

Tunic’s gameplay may hearken back to the games of old, but its visual presentation is cutting edge. It features gorgeous polygonal 3D visuals, loaded with striking graphical and lighting effects, making its quaint isometric world truly pop to life. My demo didn’t last very long, but the little bit I played left me excited for Tunic’s eventual release on Xbox One and PC. It could be the brand-new classic Zelda experience that fans like myself have long waited for.

Foregone

Foregone

These days, nearly every other indie game is either a roguelike or a Metroivdvania. Just by looking at Foregone, I immediately assumed that it must be one of the two based on appearances alone. Yet when I shared those assumptions with the developers, Big Blue Bubble, the response in both cases was a resounding, “No.”

Foregone may look like it could be procedurally generated or feature a sprawling interconnected world, but that simply isn’t the case. The developers insisted that every aspect of the game world was intentionally crafted by hand, and it will remain that way in each playthrough. Likewise, although there is some optional backtracking at certain points in the game, Foregone is a largely linear experience, all about going from one point to another and adapting your strategy along the way. In a generation where nonlinearity reigns supreme, such straightforward design is refreshing to see.

If there’s any game that seems like an accurate comparison to Foregone, it would have to be Dark Souls. From the very start of the demo, the world of Foregone is inhabited with fearsome enemies that don’t hold back. If you don’t watch what you’re doing, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and fall under the pressure. Thankfully, there’s a broad assortment of abilities at your disposal, such as a wide area of effect move that can stun enemies within a wide radius, and a powerful shield that can block many attacks. I fell many times during my time with the game, but it never felt unfair. Rather, it merely felt like I wasn’t being smart enough with my own ability usage, and I was encouraged to keep jumping back into the world for just one more run, this time armed with better knowledge of my own abilities and potential strategies.

And it’s a beautiful game too. Rather than featuring the typical pixelated aesthetics often associated with platformers, the world is actually built-in 3D with a pixelated filter applied on top of it. This allows for a uniquely detailed environment and distinctly fluid animations. Foregone looks to be a worthwhile action game that should be worth checking out when it hits early access via the Epic Games Store in February, with a full release on console and PC to follow later this year.

The Artful Escape

Bursting with visual and auditory splendor, The Artful Escape is easily the most surreal game I played at PAX South. The demo may have only lasted about ten minutes, yet those ten minutes were dreamlike, transportation from the crowded convention to a world of color, music, and spirit.

As its name would suggest, The Artful Escape is an otherworldly escape from reality. Its luscious 3D environments are populated with 2D paper cutout characters, its dialogue leans heavily into the mystical (the player character describes his surroundings with phrases like “a Tchaikovsky cannonade” and “a rapid glittering of the eyes”), and its music often neglects strong melodies in favor of broad, ambient background themes. This all combines to create a mystical, almost meditative atmosphere.

It only helps that the platforming gameplay itself is understated, not requiring very much of you but to run forward, leap over a few chasms, or occasionally play your guitar to complete basic rhythm games. This gameplay style may not be the most involved or exciting, but it allows you to focus primarily on the overwhelming aesthetic majesty, marching forward through the world while shredding on your guitar all the while.

This Zenlike feel to the game is punctuated with occasional spectacular moments. At one point, a gargantuan, crystalline krill called the Wonderkrill burst onto the screen and regaled me with mystic dialogue, while at another point, I silently wandered into a herd of strange oxen-like creatures grazing in a barren field as the music began to swell. The demo was filled with such memorable moments, constantly leaving my jaw dropped.

For those who think that games should be entertaining above all else, The Artful Escape might not be so enthralling. Its platforming is extremely basic and its rhythm minigames are shallow at best. For players who think that games can be more than fun, however, The Artful Escape is set to provide an emotional, unforgettable experience, an escape that I can’t wait to endeavor.

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PAX South Hands On: ‘Boyfriend Dungeon’ Wields Weapons of Love

A weapon is an adventurer’s best friend, and Boyfriend Dungeon is focused on deepening that relationship.

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Boyfriend Dungeon

In most games, weapons are straightforward objects. Sometimes they can be upgraded or personalized, but at the end of the day, they function as little more than tools for a single purpose: to cut down enemies and make progress in the game. Boyfriend Dungeon, however, proposes a different relationship with your weapons. They’re more than just objects. Instead, they’re eligible bachelors and bachelorettes that are ready to mingle.

Boyfriend Dungeon is a dungeon crawler and dating sim hybrid all about forging an intimate bond with your weapons and, after demoing it at PAX South, this unique mix seems to be paying off.

There are two main activities in Boyfriend Dungeon: exploring the loot-filled dungeons (referred to as “The Dunj”) and romancing the human forms of your weapons. There’s been plenty of great dungeon crawlers in recent years, but Boyfriend Dungeon sets itself apart by humanizing its weaponry. This concept may sound strange on paper, but Kitfox games director and lead designer Tanya X. Short is confident that players have long been ready for a game just like this.

“A weapon is an adventurer’s best friend,” and Boyfriend Dungeon is focused on deepening that relationship.

“I think the fans of Boyfriend Dungeon have been out there for years, waiting. I remember when I was in university ages ago, I was sure someone would have made a game like this already… but I guess I needed to make it myself!” She adds that “A weapon is an adventurer’s best friend,” and Boyfriend Dungeon is focused on deepening that relationship.

Boyfriend Dungeon

My demo with Boyfriend Dungeon began simply enough. After a brief character creation phase where I chose my appearance and my pronouns (he/him, she/her, or they/them), I was dropped into the stylish, top-down hub world of Verona Beach. Here I could explore the town and choose where to date my chosen weapon. I decided to head to the public park to meet Valeria, a swift and slender dagger.

“Today I’m writing dates with a scythe, and that’s beautiful.”

Upon reaching the park, I discovered Valeria in her dagger form. When I picked up the weapon, a beautiful anime-style animation commenced in which she transformed into her human form. What followed was a visual novel-style date sequence complete with detailed character art and plenty of dialogue options to help romance your date.

The dialogue is full of witty, self-aware humor and charm – there were more than a few jokes about axe murderers along with other weapon-related puns, for example. Short herself put plenty of love into the writing. “Writing dates with weapons is a joy I never knew could be part of my job, but here we are. Today I’m writing dates with a scythe, and that’s beautiful.”

Boyfriend Dungeon

I loved my date with Valeria, but she’s not the only potential mate in Boyfriend Dungeon. Rather, there’s a cast of five potential partners in the game, each of them hailing from distinct backgrounds and identities. “When I was coming up with the cast for Boyfriend Dungeon, I tried to imagine as many kinds of people and personalities that I could be attracted to as possible.”

Short drew from her own personal experiences in creating the cast. “I was very lucky to meet my partner many years ago, so I haven’t actually dated many people in my life, but I become fascinated with people I meet very easily, and they can provide inspiration. Whether they’re upbeat and reckless, or brooding and poetic, or gentle and refined…there’re so many kinds of intriguing people out there. And in Boyfriend Dungeon, I hope.”

After building up this bond during dialogue, it was time to put it to the test by exploring the Dunj. Of course, this isn’t the typically dreary dungeon found in most other dungeon crawlers. Instead, it’s an abandoned shopping mall overrun with monsters to slay and loot to discover with your partner weapon.  

Boyfriend Dungeon

Combat is easy to grasp, focusing on alternating between light and heavy attacks and creating simple combos out of them. Just like how the dating content aims to be inclusive for people of different backgrounds, Short hopes for the combat to be accessible for players of different levels of experience as well. “Hopefully the dungeon combat can be approachable enough for less experienced action RPG players, but still have enough challenge for the people that want to find it.”

Based off the demo, Boyfriend Dungeon seems to achieve this goal. I loved learning simpler moves and discovering new combos with them. Movement is fast, fluid, and intuitive, making it a pleasure to explore the Dunj. Succeeding in dungeons will also result in a stronger relationship with your weapons, so it’s in your best interest to perform well during combat. Of course, your weapons don’t simply level up – instead, their love power increases.

An arcade environment

“Our approach has been that the point isn’t the destination — it’s the journey you take, and who you choose to take it with.”

Fighting and dating may seem like two disparate concepts, but in practice, they manage to mesh surprisingly well. “The game is mostly about switching from one [gameplay style] to the other,” Short says, “and it’s nice for pacing, since you often want a breather from the action or get restless if there’s too much reading.”

The overarching story and general experience remain relatively firm throughout the whole game regardless of your decisions, but Short encourages players to enjoy the ride they take with the weapon they choose. “Our approach has been that the point isn’t the destination — it’s the journey you take, and who you choose to take it with.”

In Boyfriend Dungeon, your weapons can wage more than just war. Rather, they can spread love and lead to deeply fulfilling relationships. Boyfriend Dungeon is one of the most refreshing games I played at PAX thanks to its engaging dungeon exploration and combat and its surprisingly positive view of weaponry. That’s the mission of peace that Short had in mind with the game: “It feels like a difficult time in the world right now, but that’s when we most need to find love and compassion. Let’s try our hardest to be kind.”

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