Samurai Shodown 2 on iOS: A Beautiful but INFURIATING Port of a Fighting Classic

Posted in Android, DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mobile Games, Samurai Shodown on June 27th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Perhaps the best 2D one-on-one Slash ‘em Up ever arrives on iOS!

Some time ago, it was announced that SNK-Playmore was porting the classic Samurai Shodown 2 to iOS and Android- and that filled me with elation. I do not exaggerate when I say that I consider SS2 as one of the best, if not the best, 2D fighting games of all time. I played or watched this for countless hours in arcades, and even today while 3D fighters have come and mostly dominated, Shodown 2 is still a nostalgic favorite. In terms of roster, you’ve got 16 unique brawlers, each a wonderful and interesting design- from Shodown poster boy ronin Haohmaru and his spiky hair and katana to the massive German knight Sieger with his freakin’ iron arm- you’re sure to be intrigued with each warrior and their cool fighting styles/weapons.

THis SEEMS to be an excellent port- in simple graphics, look, animation and feel it seems to be all here- characters retain all their attacks, win animations and often amazing and flashy desperation moves.
Stages retain their lush detail and animated elements, along with the ever-present hooded referees and the occasional special item thrown into the ring that can affect the tide of battle with a health recovery or a punishing bomb. The short story cutscenes and assumedly the character endings are there And yes, the signature fatalities (Yes, SS2 has fatalities) are in- the fatal arterial spray or the enemy getting sliced in half (it’s not as gory as it is stylish) is in.

There seems to be only a couple of modes- Single Player and Multiplayer (not into that but I’m sure it’s great), but that’s really all you need. Options include some visual tweaks (ability to enable or disable scan lines for that old-school arcade look) and screen format from 16:9, 4:3 or windowed mode, and the ability to adjust button placement on the screen. Loading times are pretty much non-existent. I was expecting extras like a gallery of unlockable art but there seems to be none, but that’s no biggie.

This would be all well and good but UNFORTUNATELY…

This game is hamstrung by two glaring issues that pretty much kill the enjoyment.

ONE, the controls. The Touchscreen interface seems to have a workable interface of delivering the required game controls- you can switch between the classic/original 4-button layout or a 6-button one that has buttons corresponding to AB and CD button combinations- which makes executing the two-button commands a bit easier.
Sadly, the touchscreen is NOT as responsive as it NEEDS to be, at least against the CPU. You will not be able to pull of the fast jabs and fluid moves because the joystick cannot follow your movements perfectly, nor can the buttons respond to fast sequences of attacks. More often than not you’ll be jamming on the buttons and seeing your character do one slow attack when you were intending two. Or more often than not you’ll be pressing in the wrong place as you can’t actually SEE the buttons, since the buttons disappear when the fighting starts- a design choice to keep from impeding the game visuals, but I wish the devs had given the option to toggle this.

The second big issue is the CPU AI- it is FAR too hard. Even at the LOWEST setting (1 of 9), I could not, for the life of me, defeat the fourth opponent (or second, depending on who I am facing). The CPU is just too fast, too quick on their feet. They evade your blows or block everything perfectly, they counter everything you do, punish any missed moves with maximum damage, and whenever you get in close they will THROW you. And again. And AGAIN. I am not a Samurai Shodown expert, but damn, at lowest setting you’d expect to do progress, but this is murder. At one point I was ready to smash my iPad into the wall.

If you have some mates with an iOS device and this game, multiplayer would be a finer proposition, but the single player campaign and story endings are worth seeing, but are locked behind this almost impenetrable difficulty. Yes, you have endless continues, but good luck on beating the game before your battery runs out unless you’re a Shodown God.

Unless you get controller support or the AI gets a good tweaking, this is a game for SNK loyalists or gaming masochists only. Shame that such an awesome game could deliver such pain. Well, I guess it’s a great tool for anger management.

Microsoft Reverses XBox One’s DRM, Game-Sharing Policies!

Posted in Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Xbox One on June 20th, 2013 by thelonegamer

In a somewhat surprising turn, Microsoft has done a 360 (heh) and reversed their universally-reviled DRM and game-sharing policies for their upcoming XBox One. Now, NO internet connection is required to play a disc-based game, and there will be no more required 24-hour online check-in as well. Oh, and no more region locking either. The changes in detail as as follows:

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games. After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today. There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
Xbox One games will have no region locks and will be available digitally on day of release. Those digital games will also be able to be played offline just like Xbox 360. Downloaded games can’t be shared or resold, and disc games will require the disc in the tray for them to be played.

Well… apparently Microsoft finally realized they were handing the next-gen console war to Sony on a silver platter with their previous policies. Good form, MS. I can honestly say that I am now more open to an XBox One purchase. From here on, it’s all about the games.

Tekken Revolution E3 Stage Demo

Posted in Arcade, DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken, Tekken Revolution on June 18th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Gamespot corners the Tekken Team for some answers.

Namco-Bandai’s flagship fighter has, with Tekken Revolution, gone F2P in what appears to be a throwback to the days of the arcade- where you have to fight for your coin and the right to play. Well, that’s according to Katsuhiro Harada, who with Michael Murray consisted their company’s somewhat subtle presence at this year’s E3. Sadly, we didn’t see anything of Tekken X Streetfighter, but I remain hopeful even if this is a bit of a huge cutback from the full support of beat ‘em ups NB has shown in the past several years.

I am not that big into the arcade style of TR, but I am hopeful for stuff to come along in future updates, such as Character Customization, to give this Skeleton of a fighter more meat. The game does play well, albeit aside from that I have little else to do. Anyways, fight fans seem to be liking this free title, so more power to it. Check out the Gamespot stage demo vid above for more info on this game.

Skyrim: Civil War Overhaul Mod

Posted in DLC, Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, mods, Open World Games, PC Gaming, RPGs on June 15th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Good times in Skyrim once again…

Ron Perlman lied. War never changes, he said- well, that’s not the case if you can believe this new Skyrim mod, Civil War Overhaul, from modder Apollodown. Apollodown was also the modder responsible for the pretty cool mod Dragon Combat Overhaul, which made battling the gigantic wyrms in Skyrim quite a lot more interesting. Well, he’s done it again but this time with a huge aspect of the game- that of the Civil War questline. To be perfectly blunt the vanilla Civil War quest is pretty brain dead. You pick a side in the struggle- whether it be the Empire/Imperials or the Stormcloak Rebels. Both sides are flawed and not totally clean; Imperials kowtow with the evil Elven Thalmor, are open to violent repression, summary executions and leather skirts. Meanwhile, the Stormcloaks have racist tendencies and hardly bathe. Once you make your choice, you do a sidequest, capture a fort or two in battles you can’t really lose, and then a Hold is yours. Do that a few times and you’ll eventually be ordered to attack the final enemy stronghold and you’re a hero. Whoopee.

Civil War Overhaul apparently uncovers a ton of stuff that was intended to be in the game by Bethesda but was scrapped at the end for one reason or another- this includes tons of actual recorded dialogue and cutscenes plus a push-and-pull tug of battle between the two sides, where you can lose or win and you really have to fight to capture enemy strongholds and inch your way to taking back the land for your side. THIS is freakin’ awesome, and I really want to play this.

The only thing is that you will need to start an entirely new game for this, which I fully intend to do anyway. Man, this kind of content is what the actual DLC from Bethesda should have been… but well, we get it here for free, thanks to awesome modders and such. If you loved Skyrim and want a reason to go back, this may be one good one. Man, I love Skyrim on PC. Heheh.

UPDATE: Sadly, while this mod looks utterly awesome, I have had to push back trying it. It seems to be glitchy and buggy even at it’s most stable state, and if you want to try this out, it would be best to do it with a playthrough that is dedicated to the Civil War questline. Perhaps someday then, or if it proves to be totally stable. It’s on my tracked-mods list anyway.

E3 2013: Killer Instinct Stage Demo!

Posted in DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Xbox One on June 11th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Xbox One’s upcoming fighter gets shown off.

Gamespot kicks off their Stage Demo parade with this quite lengthy segment featuring the returning classic beat ‘em up, Rare’s Killer Instinct! Also making a return of a sorts is Rich Bantegui AKA FilthieRich, former Namco-Bandai Community Manager and apparently now the game’s ‘Strategist’ and a part of the Killer Instinct team- good to see him still in the fighting game arena.

Anyways, in the 17 minutes you get to see quite a bit of ninja-on-wolf action, which is pretty flashy and hard-hitting. I do like how the game will be available either as a full package or as a F2P demo where you can buy just the components you want (characters). Though I really need to see more characters, if this comes out with a full roster of awesome fighters, this is a good argument for me getting interested in an Xbox One (it’s a launch title). Still quite a bit of work to be done on it, but the way the Rare team seems to be open to player and gamer input and suggestions is good. I’ll be keeping an eye on this- for now though, the demo’s above and combo craaazy!

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate E3 2013 Trailer shows off New Fighters, Costumes, Etcetera!

Posted in Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, DLC, Extra Costumes, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Xbox360 on June 11th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Looking pretty Ultra indeed!

Here’s the latest spot for Tecmo-KOEI’s upcoming Free-to-Play upgrade. The E3 trailer confirms two more fighters added to the mix- Ninja Gaiden’s blonde demonhunter Rachel and DOA veteran Leon who’s been MIA until now. Apart from that, the 2-minute trailer shows off the rest of the roster in action, wearing a variety of outfits including new ones as well as previous DLC outfits from vanilla DOA5. Also of note may be some special intro animations that will play when you team up specific characters in tag team play. Overall, quite exciting I guess, unless you’re already totally dead to this series. The F2P version will require you to shell out bucks to access the whole roster, but once you unlock them all, previous DLC you have should be available as well for use in Ultimate.

This is still a ways off- September? On the other hand, Tekken Revolution is already available NOW for US PSN users, and should be out for Asia in a few hours time. I’ll check on that in a while. For now though, enjoy the DOA action that’s very much alive in the trailer.

Sony PS4 In-Depth Tutorial of Game Sharing, DRM

Posted in Fan Service, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS4, Videogame Comedy on June 11th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Should be easy to follow…

Seriously though, tons of vids and cool trailers out today from E3, but this one vid just made me laugh. All this plus the PS4 at just $399? SOLD!

Anyways, E32013 has just started- no big fighting games shown off yet, save maybe for that XBox One-exclusive Killer Instinct which sadly looks dated and clunky already- honestly, that looked like a last or now-gen fighter at best. KI needs to grow a bit- they’ve been out of the arena for quite a while.

Still lots can happen before E3 is done- hoping to just bask in it tomorrow and on Day 3. Here’s to more surprises!

Tekken Revolution: Freemium to the Masses!

Posted in DLC, Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PS3, Tekken on June 9th, 2013 by thelonegamer


IAP is Everything?

Namco-Bandai just announced today a bit of a mind-boggler for fighting fans- their flagship fighting game, Tekken, has gone F2P- or Free-to-Play. Tekken Revolution will be a downloadable freemium game on PSN, which means you can get a base version for free, but if you want more of it you’re probably gonna have to shell out a few bucks in PSN credit.
While the game certainly looks like its based on Tekken Tag Tournament 2 graphics, from all indications it seems to be one-on-one, with new attacks and techniques as well as new fight effects to make some punches and kicks extra flashy. Initially eight fighters will be available at the start: Kazuya, Paul, Asuka, Marshall Law, King, Jack-6, Lars, and Lili.

The gameplay will include new Critical Arts and Special Arts that are designed to help beginners get into the game, while giving veterans new strategies to try. As they play, players can also ‘level-up’ their chosen fighters in three key attributes- Strength, Endurance and Vigor. So with proper allocation of points you can make a Tank who soaks up damage like a sponge, or a glass cannon. We’ll find out all there is about this game within the week, as it will be featured at E3 and will be debuting on PSN on June 11 (12 for Asia and Japan)!

Namco-Bandai beats their rival Tecmo-KOEI to the punch in delivering the first F2P fighting game on consoles- Team Ninja announced DOA5 Ultimate ‘Core fighters’, their own Freemium fighter, a few weeks ago, for release in September.

Now, all I can say is… WHA? I guess this is really geared towards an attempt to broaden the fanbase and get more gamers into playing Tekken. That said, I myself am not much attracted by the Free-to-Play schtick- in fact, I’ve come to be wary of such things. I’d much rather pay full price for a premium Tekken title (which I hope we still get soon, or at least with Tekken X Streetfighter sometime this decade). A stripped-down, one-on-one Tekken Tag 2 doesn’t exactly excite me, but I’ll need to see more before I pass judgement. I am hoping though that NB and Harada are still holding something back for us hardcore fans of the franchise for E3. Well, we’ll see. Hey, maybe the customization will be better than TTT2. More on this in a few days.

Oh and the trailer… at 2 minutes or so, full of recycled CG from every Tekken in the past decade and only about 20 seconds of kinda-gameplay… man, I miss the good ol’ days of Kickass Tekken trailers. Sigh.

Tekken Director Harada Resurfaces After ‘Missing’ for a Week

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken on June 6th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Proof that the Tekken Boss is Alive and Well… or IS it..?

After a few days of (kinda) tense speculation, the supposedly-missing Tekken Director Katsuhiro Harada makes his presence known again on the Twitterverse, via a couple of tweets confirming that he’s alive and well. Apparently he has been spending all this time at home, with a cold and fever, playing some games (Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 3, Metro) and drinking Tequila. I guess I kinda called it correctly when I said perhaps he was sick and just needed a break. This also corroborates the tweet posted by the Tekken Support Team about Harada logging in on Steam daily.

Well, it just goes to show how starved for news Tekken (and fighting game fans in general) are these days. Anyways, Harada has stated that he will be at next week’s E32013, so hopefully he’ll have stuff to show, or something. Anyways, nothing to see here folks. Back to our regularly-scheduled waiting.

Tekken Trouble? Katsuhiro Harada Reported Missing UPDATED!

Posted in Fan Service, Fighting Games, Game-related Events, Gaming, Tekken on June 5th, 2013 by thelonegamer


Harada-saan?

A pretty disturbing tweet came today from the Twitter account of Katsuhiro Harada, the director and head of Namco-Bandai’s Tekken franchise.

*This is TEKKEN Project support team*
Mr.Harada has been missing from office since a week ago. We are still searching for him. Thanks.

Recent tweets from Michael Murray, Tekken designer/team member and Harada’s translator on trips has confirmed the game guru’s current missing status. Supposedly the last time he was seen, Harada had stormed out of a meeting after some very heated discussions. He hasn’t been seen in the office since.

At this point it may easily be dismissed that this may be all just a publicity stunt (though I actually wish it was) given the closeness of the upcoming E3. But of course it’s also very easy to start speculating and let imaginations run wild. But I guess the best thing to do is just stay frosty and hope for the best. I’ll make sure to keep updated on this. Later then.

UPDATE:
The Tekken Support Team (via Harada’s Twitter) has tweeted in response to many articles coming up online about Harada. They have been apparently able to confirm that Harada has been logged in daily on Steam, which leads them to believe he is fine- it’s just that for some reason he hasn’t been reporting for work.
Perhaps it IS just the Tekken Boss taking a little break, or perhaps letting off some… STEAM. Heheh. Anyways, hope we hear back from the Man himself soon.