Sweet Christmas Gift Guide – Dragon Ball Xenoverse

 

Finally an original DBZ game that’s not just Goku vs Frieza for the billionth time; you get to play as a ‘time patroller’ which protect time/space from weirdness. Although let’s face it, that’s just a flimsy excuse for our Z warriors to fight the most powerful characters in DBZ and take their skills as our own – and love every minute of it! For every child of the 90’s or for fans of the show (which would be every child of the 90’s). Now let’s see if we can’t get the definitive Sailor Moon game one of these days.

 

 

 

Game & Gear of 2015: Dragon Ball Xenoverse (02/24/15)

 

Ok people, Dragon Ball games have been coming out regularly since Budokai; but the upcoming Dragon Ball Xenoverse is going to be something special. For one it’s a game that vaguely has an original story in the Dragon Ball universe and not just relive the ones from the shows (I love the shows – really, but you can only watch/play Goku vs Frieza so many times). This also will be the first Dragon Ball game to be on the new consoles, so it will look and move like never before. Hands down however the most important feature is the ability to create your own Z-Fighter – finally! And players can choose a ‘master’ from the original cast and gain their unique skill sets (I can’t be the only one who wants to learn the Wolf Fang Fist). Xenoverse will be the next great Dragon Ball experience because for the first time in this part of the world fans will truly live the dream of doing a Kamehameha!

 

 

 

Gameroween 2012 – Video Game Characters that make good costumes (Day 1)

 

 

We’re back baby, by popular demand (seriously – the highest numbers for the site is) Gameroween 2012! This segment is devoted to suggestions for game related costumes so everyone looks superfly for Halloween I’ll make this quick since we’ve seen this already: Mario Kazuya. Plenty of people have gone out as Kazuya Mishima, and even more has strapped on the overalls of the mustached one himself. But thanks to the Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Wii U Edition trailer the mad fusion of the two icons is not only a good idea but an awesome character that I wish would be a reality. Sadly it may never be outside of TTT2:WU, which is one more reason why video games are the best thing ever.

 

This kazuya mishima is cosplayed by BlackOtaku on the sgcafe.com site; now all he needs is to lose the suit, put on some red & blue plumber’s gear (with hat), grow a mustache, inflate the nose then done. Easy right?

 

 

 

Game Review: Street Fighter X Tekken – Pandora’s Box is opened and the dark secrets are revealed, is hope all that remains?

 

TrueBackLash back again people and two weeks after its release, it’s time to review Street Fighter X Tekken (X is pronounced cross). Now I wanted to do this with voiceover and video, the works. Unfortunately Bronze blew our entire budget on his review of Mass Effect 3. So now I’m stuck doing a text review, oh well no use complaining, I guess.

 

(Hey! That was suppose to be a secret! – BB)

 

Also, if you want to know what I thought about all this “DLC on Disc” business, just click here.

So enough with the banter, let’s get to it.

 

 

Game Info

 

In an alternate universe where all the Street Fighter characters exist on the same Earth as all the Tekken characters, a strange metallic cube from space crash lands on Earth. Being dubbed Pandora, after the Greek myth about Pandora’s Box, the cube draws power from conflict, during which it releases a powerful energy. Fighter’s around the world are either want to find the box for their own plans (use it for evil, learn it’s secrets, destroy it etc.) or get dragged into the conflict because of the box. For some reason, this puts all the characters (notable exceptions notwithstanding) in teams of two, all with the goal to head to Antarctica, where the box crashed.

Similar to the Street Fighter IV series there are several modes of play. Arcade, where you run though the stories of the characters. If you pick a canon team, you’ll see them banter back and forth after wins, fight their own rival battle and have a shared ending at the end. Oh, there’s a multiplayer function her so you can also play with a buddy on the same team.

Versus are standalone matches where you can play with or against live opponents or the computer. There’s also training, where you sharpen your skills with the characters and Challenge which you can test your skill in Trial or Mission modes or lean how the game works in Tutorial mode. There is also Online Battle where you could battle real opponents over X-Box Live or PlayStation Network.

The fighting system plays similar to a mix of Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Tekken Tag Tournament. You have to select two characters, each has a one Super Arts or super moves and can perform Cross Arts, two supers at once with the other character. Cross Assault or fighting with both characters at once before the super bar is exhausted, can also be done. Characters can tag out to their partner off-screen as they please. The catch is if one character is defeated, the whole team loses.

There’s also the addition of Scramble Mode, which can be played in Versus or Online Battle. Two teams (four characters if you’re counting) are fighting at once. There is a catch however, each team shares a life bar and super bar, making it easier for a team to lose.

To bring some zip to the gameplay, there is the addition of the gems system and the Pandora mode. The gems give you power ups that boost speed strength, defense etc, of certain conditions are met. Each character has two separate sets of default gems, but the gems can be customized and used in sets of three.

Pandora mode sacrifices a team member who has a limited amount of health. The remaining character will have a slight power boost and an infinite super bar. Catch here is that if the Pandora powered character doesn’t win the battle in a (very short) span of time, they lose anyway.

 

 

 The Goods

 

Fluid Gameplay: The core mechanics of this game is perfect. Both the wily fighting game veteran and the wide-eyed rookie will be able to learn the controls with a low amount of difficulty. For the Tekken fans, Capcom has went out of their way to give them many, many Tekken-like combos, moves and mechanics so they can deliver the hurt with their favorite Tekken characters.

Presentation: The actual game graphics are nothing new to those who’ve played the Street Fighter IV series. Like SFIV, the level of detail put the background is insane, sometimes I’m half tempted to see what’s going on back there then concentrating on the fight. The artwork and end cutscenes for the team storylines go way beyond beautiful. There were also some very funny moments in the various Arcade Mode stories.

Tons of New Characters: For Tekken purists, all/just about all the Street Fighters are new to them; Street Fighter buff may be trying Tekken characters for the first time. This goes double for the Tekken characters in a 2D-fighter environment. This is not counting the four new-to-the SFIV-engine Street Fighter characters, Rolento, Ibuki, Hugo and Poison (and for the PS3 Cole, Mega Man, Pac-Man Toro and Kuro).

Scramble Mode: Hardcore fun, nuff said.

 

 

The Bad

 

Glitches, Glitches, Glitches: The only real thing stopping me from giving this game the score it really deserved. Problems like the sound cutting out in online mode, Mega Man floating off-screen and characters having infinite combos have become a real issue. Capcom is probably going fix these issues, but most of these should have been caught, before the game’s release.

The Gems: To me, they are useless and they really don’t add anything new to the gameplay. I don’t even notice when they activate at times. I heard that there are more gems coming soon, but the gems I have are completely interchangeable.

Pandora Mode: This is more of a nitpick because this is an interesting concept in theory. I reality, there’s not much time to really be effective with it. Those opponents with more than 20% health or know how to evade until Pandora mode runs out will not be beaten so easily. I also don’t like that the health doesn’t get a bit of a boost.

 

 

Ranking

 

This game just edges past “IT’S OK” because of the glitches. The online play important is to a game like this and it’s suffering because of the glitchy netcode. The experience of playing 2D Tekken characters, gameplay presentation and Scramble Mode are what make this game pass. If it was just the Gems and Pandora, then Street Fighter X Tekken would have a higher score, because it’s possible to play and be successful without them. Getting hit with an infinite combo or suffering from online lag because of glitches could end up in an unfair loss. To sum it up, offline, it’s one of the best fighting game’s Capcom’s ever made and a great crossover (and I’m not a Tekken fan). Because of the glitches however, the rank literally can’t go any higher.

Capcom, Street Fighter and Additional Content (DLC, Locked ODC, updates)

 

Hey, guys TrueBackLash here, before, I get started with the article, I want to let you know that Boss Bronze is running behind, but he’ll be back with fresh reviews in a couple of days.

So all this talk about locked content for this game has got me thinking. The Street Fighter series has always been like this. Y’know adding stuff to one game and expanding it over the course of weeks/months. It annoys the hell out of people, but the Street Fighter series would be nothing without it.

If we stuck with just Street Fighter II, each non-shoto would only have two special moves, no super moves, no extra colors, no unlocked bosses, no necessary buffs and nerfs for balancing and no 5 new characters. I personally can’t think of Street Fighter now w/o Dee Jay and T. Hawk, and I know most fans wouldn’t be w/o Cammy and Akuma. The series stops there without all that content.

What about the other Street Fighter games? I found out about Sawada in the console version of Street Fighter the Movie, do you think I would have if Capcom didn’t rework the horrid arcade version? What about Alpha and SFIII, would they be the same if Capcom didn’t update them? No cult classic in SFA3 with one fighting games best rosters and features? No arguably the best 2D fighting game of its time(maybe still) in 3rd Strike? Scary thought.

Point is, additional content is not a bad thing and Capcom needs to find a way to do it without angering the fans. Honestly, I just don’t see how. When SFII was adding, y’know, all the stuff in the second paragraph, there was no DLC yet so they had to make new game to do it. Fans were angry and it became the poster child for Capcom Sequel Stagnation. What’s that? THIS http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CapcomSequelStagnation.

When Street Fighter IV came out, some fans were mad because it relied to heavily on SFII characters, Capcom made a new game with 10 characters added and some buffs and nerfs for existing ones. Fans were angry because they didn’t do it on DLC, which the original game was incapable holding so much. Then they made a small upload for said game on DLC, featuring four more characters. Fans were angry for another update they had to pay for.

 

 

What is Street Fighter X Tekken but a big, fat, nerd rage - am I right?

 

With this game, Capcom made a game that can handle the DLC, then came Locked Disc-gate. Obviously, Capcom intended to cash in on the 12 characters and other misc. locked away. The probably did it to save money on making it true DLC and (maybe as a built in excuse/afterthought/intended side effect) it saves on hard drive space on the console. Obviously fans were angry, they had a gold bar in their gym locker but it was hidden in a small locker inside that locker and they don’t have the key for it even though they paid for the gym membership.

Of course the hackers gloating about their finds on YouTube didn’t help any. What Capcom did was lazy and stupid, but I really don’t think it was shady and unethical. If you do, that’s why you have local senators and congressmen (or like government for other countries) and tell them that you feel Capcom ripped you off.

As for additional content down the road, what then? What won’t make fans angry? New games of mostly same stuff and DLC (or Locked ODC) doesn’t seem to cut it. And while free DLC and hidden (not locked) characters from Capcom would be nice once in a while, don’t fool yourself into thinking they’re not a business.

New content carrier pigeons maybe? New content telegraphing? no. Got it, new content smoke signals, genius!

Oh, if you have any thoughts leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

This just in (or not) – Namco puts character request poll for “Tekken X Street Fighter” on “Tekken” Facebook page.

The moment I've been waiting for, has finally arrived.

On January 16, 2012, Katsuhiro Harada, current producer of the Tekken series, tweeted:

 

“I’m planning “TKxSF Roster vote” on TEKKEN Facebook. Plz wait…”

 

Harada’s referring to Tekken X Street Fighter, a game being produced by Namco Bandai, that will feature characters from their Tekken series and Capcom’s Street Fighter series and is a companion game to Street Fighter X Tekken, which was made by Capcom. After months of waiting, the poll has opened on the Tekken Facebook page.

 

The voting system is as follows, you have to pick 5 Tekken characters then 5 Street Fighter characters from the rosters the poll gives you. With a few, notable exceptions including all the characters created for the Street Fighter EX series, just about every character from both rosters can be chosen. So if you have invested interest in TKxSF and want to see your favorite character in it, follow this link and get voting.

 

 

 

 

Game Review: Tales of the Abyss 3DS – Now in 3D!

 

So the handheld wars have begun again, as it always has been since I was a little boy – Nintendo against the world. No matter how well their home consoles did over the years Nintendo owned the mobile gaming landscape – and always will quite frankly. Ever since the Gameboy there has been many challengers trying to take them down, touting their advantages over the king from being in color to playing full games on their handheld and beyond. But the Gameboy and all other future descendants out lasted them and won – and it is no different today. From the threat of game apps and the newest challenger the PlayStation Vita, many believe the Nintendo 3DS days (and the Nintendo handheld reign) are over. But after playing Tales of the Abyss however, the 3DS isn’t going no where. Ok, a little backstory: Tales of the Abyss 3DS is actually a re-release port of a game (with the same name – without the 3DS of course) from the PS2 back in 2005. It was a good game and it reviewed well but that was seven years ago, let’s see how it holds up with new technology.

 

 

Game Info

 

 

The game starts with the main character Luke fon Fabre, a son of an important Duke. Seven years ago he was kidnapped by a rival country, but was recovered soon after. Since then he was confined to his father’s palatial estate. Now the whole episode has taken a toll on our hero; first he has lost ’all’ his memories as a child and second he is now starting to hear voices. All of this would be a tragic situation if not for his friend Guy and his teacher/sword master Van, so he does have some semblance of normalcy – but it doesn’t last long. His home is raided by a young woman with a strange power; she puts people to sleep with a song called a ‘fonic hymn’. While most were out cold Luke, Guy, and Master Van were awake enough to see the invader called Tear (oh you anime games, so odd ball we luv u) and guess what? She wants to assassinate the sword master himself, but before an epic battle could ensue Luke tried to attack her. Once their weapons clashed it activated something called a ‘Seventh Fonon’ and teleported them all across the world finally landing in a wooded valley which neither was familiar with. They decided to a truce until they find their way out of the valley and thus the true adventure will begin. Far from the enclosed safety of the duke’s home Luke (and the player) will realize the world’s not a peaceful place; were unknown forces are not only trying to start a planetary conflict but tap into dangerous powers that could destroy everythi

Tales of the Abyss 3DS will take you back in time before games like BioShock, Mass Effect, and Elder Scrolls series. Where RPGs were more singular and focused on telling a story, rather than letting the player change it through every, little, action. Where, for good or ill, your characters were your characters and could not customize or tweak them unless the story demanded it. Where you travel on an ‘overworld’ map and fight monster to get money, experience, and sometimes rare items (ok this hasn’t changed much over the years). Where players delve into menus to adjust everything from equipment, fighting tactics and special abilities (call ‘Artes’) to Cooking (which was more of a staple of JRPG than you would think). However this is not total throwback to the days of yore, one of the things the original game was praised for was the ‘Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System’ which was real-time instead of turn based. It made it into this game as well – which is a better Segway than nothing for:

 

 

 

 

The Goods

 

 

Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System: Now I’ll admit people, my favorite old school RPG combat system is still Chrono Trigger’s version. Simple enough for a young chowder brained Boss Bronze (or was that Sub-Boss Bronze back then?) to learn, but still smart enough to make me use characters that fit the situation rather than just sticking with my favorites (Chrono, Frog, and Magus by the by). Be that as it may the FRLMB system does come close. It is more complex but to its credit players have more options to work with. In a fight you control one character at a time while the CPU handles the rest, along with the attack button to can move left, right, up, down, a button for blocks and a button for Artes. Depending on which direction you move and what action you take (the ones you have unlocked anyway) players with always have at least 12 different responses to enemies from relentless assaults to parrying blows. Also, like Chrono Trigger, players can combine your group’s single Artes into improved, very lethal, combo Artes. And of course what old school RPG would be complete without each character having limit break style super attacks that kills everything, or at least hurts a enemy really, really, badly.  All & all people this system is a great way to keep the game lively.

 

3D Graphics: This is as awesome as you think it is, I don’t really need to go into it – but I will, just a little bit. When I bought the 3DS all those months ago I was impressed not only with all it can do, but what it could do in the future. However I never forgot that it is a game machine built to play games (that was the PSP big mistake, and I’m not quite sure Vita learned that lesson either). Sure I’ve played games on it, you know Nintendo games would look good on the thing – my concerns were would 3rd party developers take advantage of the 3D technology. I’m glad to say not only did they, but they used an older title like Abyss to do so. With the 3D on; locations, people, vehicles, creatures and cutscene have depth and dimensions I never thought would be possible on a handheld before. To say the graphics impressed me would be an understatement, even with the 3D slider turned all the way down the world still looks lively, colorful and full of energy. A great change of pace of today games of brown, black, and grey gaming. What else surprised me?

 

Voice overs: It’s not like the characters always talk with voiceover actors instead of word balloons; but they do it more often than you think which is another credit to this game is. Honestly with this game’s anime looks and actions, text boxes and word balloons wouldn’t have conveyed the character’s personality, their drama, or their comedic sense nearly as well. And as we all know making the player care about the characters in the game is the most important thing of all.

 

 

 

 

The Bad

 

 

Cooking and Titles: Ok, ok, this one is a bit of a double standard, but Cooking and Titles services no purpose here. Yes, yes, I know I said in my Reckoning review that Cooking would be better than any one of the other secondary skills in that game; and yes I know titles are generally cool to have in MMOs to show off to people that you ran the Taral V flashpoint with no problem… But in a single player RPG they service no purpose; titles do nothing (unless you consider changing them yourself something) and Cooking only works if you have recipes, ingredients, and you have to wait 2-7mins before you can cooking something again. I don’t care if they’re legacy features of the Tales series: make them better or delete them.

 

 

 

Ranking

 

At the end of the day Tales of the Abyss 3DS is not only great game and perfect port adaption to a game seven years old, but its proof positive that other game companies can use the 3D tech just as well as Nintendo themselves. I would have given it a higher score, but if you played one RPG in the 90’s you’d played Tales of the Abyss 3DS, plus the whole cooking and titles thing again. Still fans will like this game (Tales and RPG fans of course), and if you got a 3DS with nothing to do – give this game a once over. Who knows, you might become a fan yourself, it’s never too late to start something big.