Tag - fighting game

For Honor Review (PC)

For Honor has easily been one of the most highly anticipated games of the year – partly due to its smoothly rendered gameplay and beautifully decorating battlegrounds/environments.  Even more important, however, is that For Honor helps us settle one of the most pressing questions among armchair historians and gamers alike: Who would win in a fight between samurai, vikings, and medieval knights?

For Honor!

It should be noted early on in this review, that For Honor requires a pretty hefty footprint of hard drive space: 40 GBs!  Also, it isn’t a slouch in the performance requirements either, so be sure that your rig can handle it before you get the game.  Obviously, our console-playing brethren are all-set on this point because all they need is a decent internet connection – but, I digress.  The PC version, however, will allow you to boost up those beautiful graphics so much that you might just stop and watch all the flame and smoke, possibly at the expense of your own execution.

When it comes to battle there are two primary methods of melee combat, the first being a more tactical style of fighting.  In For Honor, this style of combat is toggled into with the left CTRL button and not unlocked from until the key is struck again or until one of you is dead.  In boss fights this proves to be particularly handy because boss strike and counter times can be very small so seeing it on the screen can really help.  It also helps you to time an execution mode on an enemy which adds points but more importantly looks bad ass.  This mode also helps you aim in battle which can be helpful so that you don’t miss an enemy and smack your weapon into a wall leaving your whole flank open.

The other style of fighting is more of a brawler or gorilla style where you are not locked onto the enemy and instead you just move in, try to make some strikes and move back out when you have taken too many blows or the style isn’t working and you need to go into tactical mode.  This kind of fighting is pretty handy when it comes to quick strikes and if one of your loaded skills is health regeneration this might give you a chance to get some distance and some healing in before another round.  This is also nice for keeping an eye on the enemy in case it suddenly becomes a two or three on one match, you might want to bug out.  It might be good to mention that among the different game difficulty settings, there is a “realistic” mode which means one death and that character is permanently gone.

There are the primary types of fighting styles but there are also individual upgrades that you can get depending on the group you fight for and the style of the fighter in question.  A lot of players out there just care about multiplayer gaming and that is totally fine – though if they do just that and not play the single player campaign, they will miss out on an interesting story of how three of the greatest fighting groups the world has ever known came to blows.

Multiplayer in interesting because it involves three fairly common types of gameplay modes, but the battles all serve a greater purpose.  First off you have a player versus player dueling mode which is pretty straightforward, or you can do player vs. AI duel which is nice since all the players can be allied.  On these environment is important to keep a quick eye, because a big burning cauldron for light can also “light up” a player and pushing someone towards a broken ledge railing might leave them a splat on the ground. While it is considered more honorable to let a player face just one other person instead of multiple players teaming up against another, honor can be hard to find and loose alliances will be formed, Hunger Games style.  There is a nice response to these alliances though: the revenge mode.  If two or more players are hitting you, it fills up a meter which, when full, can activate the revenge mode. This mode let’s you attack back viciously and may give you the chance to even the odds again!

Then there is Dominion multiplayer mode which is basically a control point game.  The captured control zones give you points much faster than slaughtering your enemy and when you capture a control point your army of pawns will move up onto it if it is the connected control point to the one they are already guarding.  Taking out their pawns also helps this process but fighting the other players and maintaining captured control points are key.  This was my favorite mode because if your teammate is down and not executed you can go and revive them.  It really feels like a mode that fosters good teamwork and if you aren’t the best at combat your team will still appreciate the best healer.  Obviously, you can’t heal a player with no head, so players that are executed cannot be healed.

One of the best things about the battles is that they aren’t just for the heck of it.  You can find armor, patterns, symbols, and tattoos to customize your character.  Most importantly though wins and losses go towards holding sections in a Risk type style game map.  At the end of the tournament time the one with the most lands and point is declared the winning faction.

Healing My Wounds:

For Honor is a beautiful game with amazing graphics and audio on the PC with well-balanced classes and carefully developed combat styles.  Players who just like to run and smash and bash may not find this to be the game for them. Players that like to mix a bit of strategy with their fighting game and are comfortable working their way slowly through levels will find For Honor a great play they keep going back to.


For Honor Review Score:

(4 out of 5 Stars)


 

Street Fighter V Out Now

SAN FRANCISCO – Feb. 16, 2016 – Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced the release of Street Fighter® V exclusively for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. Through a strategic partnership between Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Capcom, the latest game in the renowned series offers cross-platform play that unites Street Fighter® fans into a unified player base for the first time ever. In North America, the game is currently available physically and digitally on PlayStation 4 and as a digital download on Windows PC for MSRP $59.99. European consumers can purchase both platform releases at retail and digitally. For European pricing, please check local retailers.

The legendary fighting franchise returns today with Street Fighter V! Stunning visuals depict the next generation of World Warriors in unprecedented detail, while exciting and accessible battle mechanics deliver endless fighting fun that both beginners and veterans can enjoy. Challenge friends online, or compete for fame and glory on the Capcom Pro Tour.

The initial Street Fighter V purchase will be the only one that consumers need to make to ensure they always have the most up to date version of the title. A cinematic story expansion will be released in June 2016 as a free update and over the course of 2016 (and beyond) further gameplay content, costumes, new challenges and balance system updates will continually be made available to all players. For the first time in Street Fighter history, all of the post launch

The King Of Fighters XIII Steam Edition (PC)

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I have been playing fighting games like The King Of Fighters since they were invented – I’m kinda old and I have been a video game junkie since I was six. I have always been above average at them, but never great. I still have fun at them but I have died many a time trying to perform a finishing move I spent hours practicing. I’m great with combos and that has always been my saving grace but special moves I tend to jack up. If our resident expert on these games John Dugan were to challenge me the massacre would be epic and ugly for he is one of those players who master the game in every nuance, where I do the moves I do well until I realize I am toast and become a button masher. Anyone who plays the genre though knows King Of Fighters so I’m going to approach this review from the point of view you know the game, have been playing KOF XIII for a couple years but why you need to get the Steam Edition if you like the game even slightly.

Description:
The King Of Fighters XIII, SNK Playmore’s flagship 2D versus fighting title returns in an ultimate version on Steam!!
The many features exclusive to the console version of the game, such as the Online Mode that allows you to enjoy smooth online versus matches with rivals from around the world, the Tutorial Mode which can be enjoyed by KOF novice players, and the Story Mode which features several exclusive episodes in a Visual Novel format, have been improved are still available in The King Of Fighters XIII Steam Edition!
In addition, “Iori with the Power of Flames”, “NESTS Style Kyo”, and “Mr. Karate” DLC characters are now playable from the start, for a total roster of 36 characters!
The time has come to face rivals worldwide!

The King of Fighters XIII Steam Edition-www.intercambiosvirtuales.org-07-20130913-060719

Features:
・3-ON-3 TEAM BATTLE:
Choose a default team of 3 characters or make your own team by picking up 3 characters of your choice, and fight against teams until victory!  Develop your own team strategy by choosing the best characters for you!

・STORY:
In this mode, you will experience a variety of background stories not touched upon in the game’s original Arcade Version.  Discover the truth about KOF’s “Ash Saga” and its secrets through the eyes of the main character, Ash Crimson, and other characters who were not directly participating in the tournament.  Your decisions and battle results may lead you to discovering new story elements; try out all the different options and every scene!

・NETWORK:
“The King Of Fighters XIII Steam Edition” now features vastly improved netcode that will provide you with the most comfortable online experience yet!  The new netcode features improved communication speeds between you and your opponent, and also tailors your online experience according to your PC environment!

“The King Of Fighters XIII Steam Edition” features three different types of ONLINE VERSUS Matches, allowing players to challenge other rivals worldwide in endless and intense battles:
‐ “Ranked Match”: fight under specified regulations, and your results will be reflected in the rankings.
– “Player Match”: playing in this mode will not affect your results. You can fight against others casually.
– “Friend Match”: invite online players and challenge them through this mode for heated competition!

・MISSION:
Tackle three different kinds of missions in this mode, and improve your skills!
– “TIME ATTACK”: Defeat all CPU opponents in the shortest time you can.
– “SURVIVAL”: Select a character and fight your way through as many CPU opponents as you can.
– “TRIAL”: In this mode, each character has 10 tasks, which mainly focus on combos.  By the time you complete all 10 tasks, you will have mastered some combos for that character.

・TUTORIAL:
Rose Bernstein, hostess of the tournament, will teach you the basic techniques as well as explain the gauges and their uses.  First time KOF players should start here to get used to the game.

・CUSTOMIZE:
This mode allows you to edit your online profile and change character color palette. You can create a team to use online, add icons collected while playing, or enter a preset message that you want to use in your profile. For each character, you can make up to five custom color patterns. Show off your personality on the worldwide stage!

・OPTION:
A “GRAPHICS OPTION” feature, allowing the players to switch between different frame rates and simplify backgrounds, has been newly added.

The King of Fighters XIII Steam Edition-www.intercambiosvirtuales.org-05-20130913-060719

Hands On:
This game has a lot of features, most of which were already in play on the consoles.  The key one to note for fans of the series is the Steam Edition and only the Steam Edition has been given new netcode.  The results are making the painful, often match killing lag that is faced regularly on the console a thing of the past on the PC.  No more crashes whether you are playing someone next door or someone on the other side of the world, netcoding into Steam’s system makes the game feel like it is being played on one console.  This is huge, a giant leap in the game’s improvement that takes it from a game played with friends on the couch to a true world challenge pool.

The gameplay is designed to work with a gamepad controller so it still feels like a console game even though it is on the PC.  I have it set up on my laptop which means in the many airports I will be visiting during the Halloween season I can play this game anywhere, anytime.  Add to this the ability to adjust graphics that the PC offers and this game just makes better sense on Steam than a console.

With the addition of the three DLC characters being available at launch the game’s roster is a staggering 36 characters, that is liable to keep you busy for quite a while.  The tutorial is excellent for teaching new or returning players the ropes again so they feel at least a bit more comfortable jumping into play with global opponents and the game even has an interesting story.

Last Call:
KOF XIII has been around a while and has a fan following on the console but the smart player will make the shift to the Steam Edition if they can.  The netcode and graphic’s adjustment are game changers and takes it’s online play from routinely frustrating to beautifully smooth.  If you are a fan of fighting games this is a must play, if you are a fan of the series I should have had you at “new netcode.”
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Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise Review (PC/Steam)

I know Kung Fu!  Ok, ok that was an easy joke and should have been beneath me but few jokes are.  Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise is the perfect way for a true novice at martial arts to feel like an utter bad ass as you fight your way through well done levels and learn new skills that have you flying Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style, only kicking more boots to the head.

Storyline:

Tian – Year 3. For years war and conflict between the powerful Tian empire and the northern country of Shaa have raged throughout the lands.  As part of this war, General Loh travels to the Talin Temple in search of Master Mo to set up a base of operations against the rebels.  What Loh learns from Master Mo sets him down a path to redemption and to put a stop to the Tian empire’s corruption.  This does come through during the cutscenes which are nice looking art with subtitles though the story does take a bit of a backseat to the fighting.

Graphics And Sound:

Graphics have the look and feel of an old school fighting game, actually like a combination of all the old school fighting games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and other arcade classics.  The sound effects match the action with lots of hitting noises and a soundtrack that is enjoyable but doesn’t draw attention to itself.  The atmosphere created by the graphics and sound truly transport players back to the days of arcades where we yelled at the game while other watched on, waiting their turn and shouting encouragements.  In all honesty I found myself yelling “I know Kung Fu you !#$!#@%!!” gleefully at my computer screen.

Controls:

There are two ways to control the action, gamepad and keyboard, and keyboard has two options as well.  The keyboard controls for someone used to the keyboard are WASD and JKL for movement and action.  For someone less used to keyboard controls, who likes using the arrows or likes to make moves with the right hand and action with the left you can use the arrows and JKL.  I am used to FPS and RPGs that use WASD so that felt comfortable quickly.  I used the gamepad to test it out and found I moved around a bit better and my jabs were more effective, in contrast the keyboard performed better combos and dodged better.  The difference between the three ways of playing were minimal so it really comes down to whichever of the three control setups feel most natural for you.

Gameplay:

The gameplay at first seems to very much follow the standard fighting game set up, sideview, right to left with a punch attack, kick attack and a dodge.  However you soon realized that you are not so much fighting on a plane as you are in a room.  You can go anywhere within the four corners of the room and the camera angle follows you.  The attackers will also jump into the fighting room from all directions so you have to keep an eye out for where they show up and how they attack.  Each enemy has a special attack they do, even the minions, with the bosses sometimes having more.  Each time you down an enemy they drop energy or money, the energy saving you in big gang ups and the money helping you buy new skills, equipment or armies (temporary allies).  Choosing these wisely and by your fighting style is definitely important.  If you love combos you would want to buy skills, if you tend to berserk then equipment might be up your alley, though no matter what your fighting style it is always handy to have armies so that you get a couple meat shields to distract some of the enemy and give yourself a better chance.  You definitely want to get the skill which allows you to float in the air a bit and attack from it, total martial arts movie magic at play.  As you work your way through each level you will have minion and mini bosses with a bigger boss every couple levels.  This is good to keep in mind because you may start by fighting the minions and have the mini bosses jump in later when you have been worn down a bit so having some energy built up or keeping your health up can be essential.

Multiplayer:

The multiplayer consists of Co-Op or Vs. mode, both of which are designed to be done on the same computer.  Kung Fu Strike is set up so that one player can play the keyboard and the other the gamepad and fight any missions unlocked in the campaign which is the primary play format.  Once you complete a run through the campaign, whether by yourself or with some Co-Op help you can go into the Vs. mode.  So the game really emphasizes single or co-op play over vs. play which is a nice change from the competitiveness that vs. brings out.

Last Call:

This game is great!  It is an excellent and timeless example of the martial arts fighting game with it’s own twist of depth and it’s own take on multiplayer.  The animations are excellent, the sound is great and the overall game transports you right into the arcade all over again with the skill selection options you come to expect from pc fighting games.  I loved floating through the air gently then doing and insanely massive combo that sends the enemy flying to the far side of the screen.  It emphasizes the buddy system over the beating up your buddy system as well which is nice and refreshing.  If you are a fan of the genre at all, Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise is a great game to have in your collection!

Trailer:

Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi – Review (Xbox 360)

Being the fan of fighting games that I am, I was pumped to find that I would be given the newest release from Bandai and Spike in the Dragon Ball Z games, named Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, for review.  After playing great games like Super Street Fighter IV and the newest Mortal Kombat, I was very interested in seeing what Spike had done with the Dragon Ball Z franchise.  Unfortunately, the answer is not much.  While the game looks beautiful, the repetitive game play and lack of strategy really ruined the game for me and made it feel way to shallow in this age of deeper fighting games.

Story:

Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi runs into its first obstacle in trying to tell the vast Dragon Ball Z saga through a video game.  Developer Spike tries to do this through a few mediums, in game cut scenes, short videos and through dialogue boxes.  If you are a fan of the series, then you will understand everything that is going on.  For me, who has seen some of the episodes but never followed it all the way through, found the story development extremely confusing and, to be honest, really dull.

During the Story Mode of Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, the story has a brilliant way of interfering with your fight to force the outcome that the writers need.  During the fight between Tian and Nappa, I was absolutely crushing Nappa to the point that I knew I was going to win, but since Tian is not supposed to win this fight, Nappa ends up just hitting me with his special and wipes out my full health bar.  To have scripted events in a video game is one thing, but to have them in a fighting game just feels cheap.

Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi has a few modes to play; Story Mode, Hero Mode, and Versus Mode.  Story Mode follows the story of the Dragon Ball Z universe and essentially guides you through the episodes of the saga.  Hero Mode allows you to create your very own hero to play with, but the hero generator is very limited, and finally you have the Versus Mode with allows players to battle another play either at home or over the internet.  Here, you have your choice of many different characters from the Dragon Ball Z universe, and can even use different skins if you’ve unlocked them during Story Mode.

Ultimately, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi fails to tell the story of the Dragon Ball Z universe in a compelling way for anyone.  I felt lost most of the time and had no idea as to why certain events were even occurring.  The fact that the story would force you to lose a fight is what really made this just hard to swallow.

Game Play:

With most fighting games, if the story is weak then at least you have solid and balanced game play to fall back on.  Unfortunately, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi has neither a good story nor good game play.  Most of the game play in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is based on luck rather than skill.  The game uses a paper, rock, scissors mode to determine who wins what sequence of blows.  Once you hit an opponent, then you have to win this sequence to continue with your combo.  The opponent’s only option is to mash all of the buttons at the same time in hopes of bringing up a quick time event to stop your combo.  This is flat out unnecessary and in no way fun to play.  It makes every fight that you do in the game both boring and repetitive.

You do have some strategy that you can use, by moving in and out of melee range to use different tactics, but this feels superficial at best.  Ultimately every fight comes down to who pushed what button faster to start an unbreakable combo.  The characters also really don’t have any special moves that they can pull off during game play, until you reach a certain point in the fight where the story will allow you to use that special move.

The final nail in the coffin for Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi are the loading screens.  Anytime a developer feels that they have to put in a mini game during the loading process means that your load times are intolerably way too long.  In Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, they are also occur way too often.  You will be in the middle of a fight, then a loading screen will occur, you will get a small cut scene, back to the loading screen, then resume the fight.   That just throws off any type of immersion or enjoyment I had while fighting in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.

Aesthetics:

Here’s where I’ve been hiding the good news for Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.  The game is great to look at and actually makes the cartoon look outdated.  The character models are rendered beautifully and are very accurate to their cartoon counterparts.  The world looks bright and luscious, and can be utterly destroyed during the more energetic portions of the fight, though it would be nice if this damage was more permanent on the world.  The fights themselves are impressive to look at.  Each character moves with blinding speed and the special maneuvers that each character uses looks amazing as well.

The battles and environments of Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi just can’t get any better looking.  I really wish that the game play could match the way the game looks, then this would have been one hell of a fighting game.

The sound of Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is adequate at best.  The voices of the characters do a serviceable job in telling the story.  The dialogue is cheesy in most cases and so is the voice acting, but it fits with the Dragon Ball Z show, so I can’t fault the developers for matching the show.  The music is much, much worse of a villain then any bad guy in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.  The music is just plain bad during the fights and will make you do anything else other then listen to another guitar riff in game.

Final Thoughts:

Bandai and Spike could have had a top notch fighting game based on the popular television show with Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, however bad game play issues truly crippled this game.  The story, while not great, was serviceable for fans of the game, but for a novice to the Dragon Ball Z world, the story was convoluted and hard to follow.  The game play is the true villain of Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi, with the fighting system based on a paper, rock, scissors model and having mind numbing repetition to all of the fights.  Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi has tons of characters, but they all fight exactly the same way with absolutely no diversity in style or feel.  The game is absolutely beautiful to look at and captures the spirit of the Dragon Ball Z cartoon perfectly, and in many times, even better then the show itself.  However, the sound effects are serviceable and the music is downright just bad.  In the end, the power level of Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi falls well short of the other advanced fighting games out there and should only be played by super fans of the series that need to get their hands on everything Dragon Ball Z.