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Illustration for article titled Resident Evil Village Vs. Resident Evil 4: The Best Merchant

Screenshot: Capcom

In one corner, a large, helpful man who sells weapons and cooks meals. In the other corner, a mysterious figure who has a lot of good things on sale today, stranger. He also might be infected? It’s time to figure out who’s better: The Duke from Resident Evil Village or The Merchant from RE4.

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The Duke and the Merchant serve similar functions in their respective games. Both men sell and buy items, can upgrade your guns, and can increase your inventory space. They both set up shops in different spots of the world, and these areas are often devoid of enemies or threats, providing another handy service to the player: a moment to catch your breath.

While they might have a lot in common and even seem to be friends, this is the internet. We can’t just say two things are good and move on. We need to smash our action figures together like a Marvel Cinematic Universe producer and figure out who’s the best of the best.

(Spoilers for Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 4)

Illustration for article titled Resident Evil Village Vs. Resident Evil 4: The Best Merchant

Screenshot: Capcom

Round 1: Mysterious-ness

While both of these men are mysterious, RE4’s Merchant is the shadier character by far. The Merchant hides his face and never shares his name with you. However, you can tell from what little of his face is visible that he is a Ganado, aka an infected villager. Yet, strangely, he doesn’t seem to hate Leon or even want to attack him. Instead, he sells Leon weapons and more, in effect betraying his own kind. Maybe he knows that the parasite infecting all the villagers is terrible and he’s helping to stop the dangerous infection from spreading. Or maybe he’s a greedy bastard who saw an opportunity to make some money and took it.

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Meanwhile, Village’s Duke is also mysterious, but in a different way. He isn’t sure of his origin, telling Ethan as much towards the end of the game. While some early concepts and designs of Village had the Duke as one of the game’s villainous lords, that’s not canon as far as we know in the finished game. So while we see his face and get a title beyond merchant, ol’ Duke is still a bit of an enigma.

This is a tricky category to judge, but I’m giving the Merchant from Resident Evil 4 the minor win on this one.

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Illustration for article titled Resident Evil Village Vs. Resident Evil 4: The Best Merchant

Screenshot: Capcom

Round 2: Services Provided

The Merchant shows up early into the game and quickly establishes himself as the only shop in Resident Evil 4. His main focus is selling weapons and buying treasures. However, as you play Resident Evil 4, Leon will find shooting ranges that the Merchant runs. Here you can compete for a high score to earn prizes, including thousands of dollars. It appears the Merchant is a wealthy man, which isn’t surprising. But beyond weapons and shooting ranges, the Merchant doesn’t offer much else.

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Meanwhile, the Duke in Village is the king of extras. The Duke often provides Ethan with useful information about what’s happening and what to do next. He also helps Ethan out directly a few times, in one instance even saving Ethan after he is nearly killed. Finally, the Duke is a great cook, able to whip up a whole host of meals for Ethan that provide much-needed bonuses if you can provide the meat and other ingredients. (Hot tip: Don’t sell the meat to the Duke.) Oh and don’t forget The Duke runs some ball puzzles, too.

While I love both vendors, the Duke easily wins.

Illustration for article titled Resident Evil Village Vs. Resident Evil 4: The Best Merchant

Screenshot: Capcom / Kotaku

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Round 3: Immortality And Other Quirks

The Merchant in Resident Evil 4 seems to have the ability to teleport instantly around the map. You’ll see him in one spot, then quickly run to another area to find him waiting for you by all his stuff and his blue light. Some players have theorized that this is because the Merchant isn’t one person, but many folks who all look and sound the same. In most universes, this would be a wild theory, but in Resident Evil, multiple clones aren’t outlandish at all. More evidence for this theory: You can kill the Merchant. When you do, he will still appear in other parts of the map. On lower difficulties, he’ll even return after you kill him. Hmmm!

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The Duke also seems to possess the ability to teleport, though he’s often seen in a carriage. Perhaps that’s how he gets around so fast. Unlike the Merchant, the Duke is a singular character, referencing past events as Ethan visits his various shops. It’s also interesting that the Duke is allowed to freely work and live within the various castles and keeps of each Lord. What kind of deal does the Duke have with Lady Dimitrescu? Unlike the Merchant, The Duke is less fragile; you can toss pipe bombs at him and he doesn’t even flinch. Impressive stuff.

This round decides the winner. And I’m going to give it to… the Duke!


I love both characters, but the more I’ve thought about and compared the two salesmen, the more I realize that I prefer the Duke. He might have some nasty feet, and he might be a little suspicious, but he’s a talented chef and has some great items to sell. Plus he provides you with helpful info and often lends Ethan a hand (which Ethan desperately needs.)

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If this was a contest purely built around who has the better, more memorable catchphrases and dialogue, that would go to the Merchant any day of the week. It’s hard to beat “What’re ya buyin?” and “I’ll buy it at high price!” So hold on to that, Merchant fans.

Naabiae Nenu-B is a Medical Health Student and an SEO Specialist dedicated to flushing the web off fake news and scam scandals. He aims at being "Africa's Best Leak and Review Blogger" and that's the unwavering stand of Xycinews Media.

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E-Games

Hell Yes Bring Back That 1990s Flight Sim Aesthetic

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Tiny Combat Arena is bringing back an old-school 90s flight sim aesthetic

Screenshot: Tiny Combat Arena

While some retro video game looks are making huge comebacks—muddy PS1 textures, I’m looking at you—I’m particularly excited here to see here a developer bringing back one very particular aesthetic that I was super into as a kid: that of early 90s hardcore military flight sims.

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From the F-15 series to Chuck Yeager to Falcon 3.0, these particular games coming out at this particular time all had a few things in common when it came to their visuals, like low-poly aircraft, sparse terrain and dithering. Oh, the dithering.

You don’t see that kind of game anymore because flight sims, obsessed as they are with realism, quickly moved to fill those empty landscapes with hills, and buildings, and satellite data, while the aircraft themselves are in 2021 practically photorealistic.

Not here! This is Tiny Combat Arena, which despite the aesthetic is actually an arcadey aerial shooter for the PC that’s due out in September. What’s more, it’s being published by Microprose, the same brand that released so many of those original flight sims back in the day, and while this isn’t the same company—the original died years ago and a new company simply bought the name—it’ll still be nice seeing the logo turn up before a game that looks like this.

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E-Games

Super Mario World Is Now Playable In Widescreen

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Gif: Super Mario World Widescreen

Software engineer and SNES ROM hacker Vitor Vilela has led a team which has created and released Super Mario World Widescreen, a download that lets you play Nintendo’s Super Mario World—first released in 1990—on modern widescreen displays.

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Crucially SMWW keeps the game’s original 8:7 pixel aspect ratio, meaning that no matter how wide you stretch the display, “the screen you will see is like how would you see on a real TV screen connected to the SNES, except expanded to the widescreen resolution!”

Super Mario World is now available in widescreen

Left: playing SMW using a regular widescreen mod | Right: playing SMW on this custom widescreen release
Screenshot: Kotaku

While standard 16:9 and 16:10 monitor resolutions are supported, Vilela is also working on some other, funkier aspect ratios, like 2:1 and even 21:9 for anyone with an ultrawide monitor.

It’s available here, but before you go rushing to download it, there’s some stuff you need to know. Firstly, the download link is just for SMWW, and doesn’t contain a ROM of Super Mario World itself. You’ll have to find that…elsewhere.

And secondly, you’ll also need to download the emulator bsnes_hd, since the only way SMWW was made possible was because bsnes_hd allowed Vilela to increase the game’s horizontal resolution by 96 pixels, from 256×224 to 352×224. bsnes also allows many other SNES games to run in widescreen as well, though not to the same level of tailored perfection as we’re seeing here (as you can see in the comparison screenshot above, simply running SMW in bsnes has some framing issues).

You can check out a trailer below:

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E-Games

The Week In Games: The Game Of Kings

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Illustration for article titled The Week In Games: The Game Of Kings

Image: Nintendo

Golf is a classy sport. The kind of sport that has been played by dignified men and women. A perfect sport for Waluigi and Wario. Mario Golf: Super Rush releases later this week on Nintendo Switch.

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I’ve only tried to play golf in real life once and it was boring. I hated it. But in video games, I love it. Especially if the golf featured in the game is goofy and over-the-top. So you better believe I’m excited to hang out with the Wa Bros and play some wacky golf!

Besides Mario Golf: Super Rush, other stuff is coming out this week too. Check out the full list below:

Monday, June 21

  • Wood Block Escape Puzzles 2 | Switch
  • Industries of Titan | PC
  • Labyrinth City: Pierre The Maze Detective | PC

Tuesday, June 22

  • Super Magbot | Switch, PC
  • LEGO Builder’s Journey | Switch, PC
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance | PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
  • Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights | Switch, PC
  • Phantom Abyss | PC
  • Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Offical Video Game | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Wednesday, June 23

  • Out of Line | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Fallen Knight | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Bitmaster | Xbox One, Switch
  • Empire of Angels IV | PS4, Xbox One
  • Worms Rumble | Switch
  • Blocky Puzzle | Switch
  • Ninja Buddy Epic Quest | Switch
  • Rail Route | PC, Mac
  • Robolife-Days with Aino | PC

Thursday, June 24

  • Empire of Angels IV | Switch
  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX | PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Legend of Mana Remastered | PS4, Switch, PC
  • The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: Amulet of Chaos | Xbox One
  • The Eternal Castle Remastered | PS4
  • Kirakia Stars Idol Project Nagisa | Switch
  • Farm Your Life | Switch
  • Cube Blast: Match | Switch
  • CarX Drift Racing Online | Switch
  • Sakura Succubus 3 | Switch
  • Summer Paws | Switch
  • Super Cable Boy | Switch
  • Cyber Hook | Switch
  • Kingdom Builders | PC

Friday, June 25

  • Mighty Aphid | Xbox One
  • Scarlet Nexus | PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
  • Mario Golf: Super Rush | Switch
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 | Switch
  • Promesa | Switch
  • #1 Crosswords Bundle | Switch
  • Loopindex | Switch
  • Sweet Sugar Candy | Switch
  • Enigmatis: The Ghost of Maple Creek | Switch
  • Sun Haven | PC
  • Eiyu*Senki Gold – A New Conquest | PC

Saturday, June 26

  • Babol the Walking Box | PC
  • Bocce | Switch

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