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Fighting Games

I high-fived super powers to an army in the new Naruto game

Jan 19 // Laura Kate Dale
[embed]335161:61923:0[/embed] While I was able to play three missions from Ultimate Ninja Storm 4's single-player story mode, I was only able to capture footage of one of them, "Roar of the Ten Tails." All of the missions I played through followed a very similar formula. Show a faster-paced, 3D animated account of the plot of the Naruto anime and manga, throw players into a narratively relevant fight or gameplay section, jump back to a long animated plot dump, and continue. As someone who read Naruto until deep in the Great Ninja War before dropping out, the video game's narrative pacing was a good way to catch up and remind me of the plot, while moving forward and experiencing new content from that story. The big problem with what I saw of the single-player, as shown in the video above, is the repetitive nature of what should be some high-action set pieces. The fight between the nine tails and ten tails should be a huge, challenging experience. It boiled down to running left and right, then spamming projectiles until I was allowed to scratch the beast in the eye. It just wasn't terribly taxing. [embed]335161:61924:0[/embed] The Versus mode in Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is largely unchanged mechanically from past iterations in the series. Every character uses the same button combos for their main attacks, mainly varying in speed and visual style. The roster is huge, spanning a huge amount of the series' named characters as playable fighters, with the intent that you can jump in and try anyone and you'll already know what you're doing. Want to see a really big Chidori? Pick up Sasuke and do the same button combo that made Naruto do his Rasengan. If you've got the basics down with one character, you'll be able to work out how to do cool-looking moves with pretty much any other. Versus mode has a pleasantly gentle learning curve. Within a few hours, I not only had my head around the basics of the fairly simple control system, but understood it well enough to start playing with the differences in reach, speed, and power of the roster. While Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is still several weeks away from release, I feel relatively safe saying it's going to be a visual treat for Naruto fans. Want to blow someone away with a basic combo that rips a hole in reality? Well, it probably won't take you long to pull off. It might not be the deepest fighter out there, but it sure knows how to do large-scope fanservice.
Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 photo
Ninja magic explosions everywhere
Yesterday, in the hidden-away London offices of Bandai Namco, I sat down at a TV and pretended to be an anime ninja. I blew up half the planet, became a multi-tailed animalistic monster, high-fived magical fox powers onto an army, and punched an old man using a gigantic tree. Yep, I played a bunch of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. That game is nothing if not over the top and ambitious.

Guilty Gear Xrd photo
Guilty Gear Xrd

Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is getting yet another new character in Kum Haehyun


Game is out on May 26
Jan 19
// Chris Carter
While we were all expecting Dizzy to make a triumphant return in the near future, it looks like there's a newcomer on the block for Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator -- Kum Haehyun. This character joins Johnny, Jam, and Jack-O....
Tekken photo
Tekken

Akuma is likely coming to Tekken in Japanese arcades in February


Tekken 7 Fated Retribution
Jan 18
// Chris Carter
It's official: Akuma is invading the Tekken world, and he's probably coming to Japanese arcades soon by way of a series of location tests. If you happen to reside in Tokyo, Fukuoka, or Osaka, you can catch the tests...
XSEED photo
XSEED

XSEED: Nitroplus Blasterz launches in February


Europe in 'Early 2016'
Jan 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Nitroplus Blasterz debuts in North America on February 2, XSEED Games has announced. I had an opportunity to try the fighting game at XSEED's fall press event in October and really enjoyed myself, despite having almost zero f...
MKX online beta photo
MKX online beta

Sign-ups for Mortal Kombat X's enhanced online beta begin Jan. 19


I'll still blame the lag
Jan 15
// Nic Rowen
NetherRealm is taking another stab at Mortal Kombat X's online performance. After listening to player feedback, the team is changing the way the game works online, switching from a “dynamic input latency model” to...
Pokken Tournament release photo
When your hunger is Pokken at you
Just last night we heard about Chandelure joining the cast of fighters in Pokkén Tournament, which immediately increases my interest in the title. Sure, it makes sense for Lucario and Machamp to be fighters in the game...

Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Another new fighter revealed for Pokken Tournament, and it's a hot one


Can(dle) you guess who it is?
Jan 14
// Ben Davis
Earlier this week we found out about three new Pokkén Tournament fighters joining the roster: Garchomp, Braixen, and non-shadow Mewtwo. However, none of them matched the clue Bandai Namco gave earlier this month, teasi...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Is there a new Street Fighter V PS4 beta on its way?


Ready? Fight!
Jan 14
// Vikki Blake
If you have the Street Fighter V beta client installed on your PlayStation 4, you may have noticed a gigantic patch dropped yesterday (thanks, EventHub). The update - listed as version 1.08 and weighing in at ...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Three new Pokemon confirmed for Pokken Tournament


Still no sign of Vanilluxe
Jan 13
// Joe Parlock
Last week we reported that Nintendo and Bandai Namco were teasing a new Pokémon being announced for Pokkén Tournament on January 15. Before that announcement, Serebii.net spotted Japanese magazine CoroCoro ...
DOA DLA photo
DOA DLA

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 delayed into March


More like de-laid
Jan 12
// Steven Hansen
While Koei Tecmo has no plans to release Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in the west, plenty of folks pre-ordered or otherwise plan to import the beach volleyball game as a show of support for Koei Tecmo or as a symbolic act against p...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Alien and a drunken fart man killing everything in a new Mortal Kombat X video


Both silent and deadly
Jan 12
// Brett Makedonski
Few video game trailers are as effective and efficient as the Mortal Kombat X new character videos. They show the fighters, one at a time, destroying the opposition as you could theoretically do if you were controlling ...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct's Season 3 will be playable at multiple events


Leading up to its March release
Jan 11
// Chris Carter
If you're itching to try out Killer Instinct's Season 3 before its release in March, you may get a chance pretty soon. According to the game's lead combat designer, it will be at PAX South at the end of January, as well as th...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

A new Pokken Tournament character is being teased, and will be announced next week


Who's that Pokemon?!
Jan 08
// Joe Parlock
Nintendo and Bandai Namco have teased that they will be announcing a new playable character for Pokkén Tournament on January 15. Apparently, the Pokémon will have the character ラ (“ra”) in it...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

This Mortal Kombat X cosplay is pretty insane


Kotal Khan
Jan 06
// Chris Carter
I don't do cosplay updates often, but when I do, it's because I'm pretty jazzed about the amount of effort that went into it. That's the case for this Kotal Khan (Mortal Kombat X) cosplay by Yeliz, with photography done by SL...
Tekken 7 photo
Tekken 7

Akuma is likely the only Tekken 7 crossover character


Don't expect much
Jan 05
// Chris Carter
Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada recently had a chance to clarify the Akuma and Tekken 7 crossover, noting that he was the only planned Street Fighter character at this time that would make an appearance. Harad...
Tusk photo
Tusk

Classic character Tusk is in Killer Instinct Season 3


Game is still Windows 10 exclusive on PC
Jan 04
// Chris Carter
Killer Instinct is bringing back another old-school character for Season 3. In addition to Kim Wu, Tusk will be joining the fray, and both fighters have been confirmed for launch. According to creative director Adam Isgreen t...
Games With Gold photo
Games With Gold

PSA: Killer Instinct is Cross-Buy on PC, so your free Games With Gold download transfers


Season 1 is free this month
Jan 01
// Chris Carter
Microsoft announced that Killer Instinct will feature Cross-Buy with the upcoming Windows 10 version earlier in 2015, but has since clarified recently that picking up the free Xbox One download in January will net you al...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct: Season 1 Ultra Edition is free with Gold


Original Killer Instinct included
Dec 31
// Jordan Devore
Oh, hey, look at that! One of January's Games with Gold offerings is up early. Killer Instinct: Season 1 Ultra Edition normally costs $39.99, but it's free to download with an Xbox Live Gold membership through January 31, 201...
Dissida Final Fantasy photo
Dissida Final Fantasy

Ramza is coming soon to Dissida Final Fantasy arcade


Chaos characters too
Dec 30
// Chris Carter
Right now, the roster for the Dissida Final Fantasy arcade edition is complete. Well it mostly is, outside of Final Fantasy Tactics' Ramza, who will be added in "soon," according to Famitsu. Ramza was initially teas...
Samurai Warriors photo
Samurai Warriors

Samurai Warriors invades Dead or Alive


Last Round
Dec 28
// Chris Carter
I haven't been big on Dead or Alive in years, but the sheer roster of Last Round entices me at times. It's about to get even bigger too, as Koei Tecmo has announced that Naotora Ii will join the cast, hailing from the Samurai Warriors series. She'll arrive sometime in March, and it seems like there may be more DLC in store in the future.
Pokken photo
Pokken

The official Pokken Tournament controller is coming west


Rad
Dec 25
// Chris Carter
[Update: Amazon has more pictures of the controller up, including the western packaging, which you can view in the gallery below.] Well, this is a nice thing to wake up to. For its Japanese release, Bandai Namco is providing ...
Bayonetta photo
Bayonetta

Bayonetta in Smash almost raised the game's rating in Japan


'Sexual exposure'
Dec 24
// Chris Carter
In her debut character trailer for Super Smash Bros. Bayonetta is said to "get wicked," but apparently she was almost too wicked for Japan. Sakurai recently shared his thoughts on the upcoming Smash characters with Famit...
Street Fighter IV photo
Street Fighter IV

This is what Street Fighter IV looks like with motion controls


Steam Controller
Dec 21
// Chris Carter
Like most people it seems, I think that the Steam Controller has potential, but it just hasn't been realized yet. It's a great time to test it out though, as one individual just tried it out on Street Fighter IV, includi...
Joey JoJo photo
Joey JoJo

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven is coming west


From CyberConnect 2
Dec 21
// Chris Carter
If I hear the phrase "CyberConnect 2," I'm usually in. Although they've been consigned to creating licensed anime games for years, they've also crafted a few original joints, most notably Asura's Wrath -- one of my perso...
Sorry, Wii U photo
Sorry, Wii U

One Piece: Burning Blood slated for just about every console in the west


Sorry, Wii U
Dec 21
// Steven Hansen
One Piece: Burning Blood, announced for PS4 and Vita at Tokyo Game Show, has just been confirmed for 2016 release in North/South America and Europe, where it will be available on: PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. The 5...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V's beta is live, full game will have Steam support at launch


Historically a Windows series
Dec 18
// Chris Carter
It's going to be a good year for PC Street Fighter fans in 2016. Capcom has announced that in addition to Windows support, they are going to have full Steam capabilities when Street Fighter V launches next year. This inc...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

The third Street Fighter V beta kicks off tomorrow, here are all the details


At least eight playable characters
Dec 17
// Brett Makedonski
Capcom is gearing up to hold the third beta for Street Fighter V. If that seems like a lot, well, it kind of is by today's standards. Capcom's using these events less as a marketing stunt and more as actual tests to improve t...
Smash photo
Smash

If this is really it for the new Super Smash Bros., what did you think of it?


Best iteration yet?
Dec 17
// Chris Carter
Nintendo just had its "final" Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct, and it was a big one. In addition to the confirmation of Corrin, the launch of Cloud (and his Midgar stage), and the announcement of some Mii costumes, Bay...
amiibo photo
amiibo

Famicom R.O.B., Ryu, and Roy amiibo coming in March


That's a lot of 'R's
Dec 16
// Chris Carter
While a lot of fun news came out of the Smash-centric Nintendo Direct yesterday, the amiibo bits kind of slipped under the radar a bit. The publisher has confirmed that the Famicom R.O.B. (previously not available in the west...

Cloud in Smash Bros. is all about the limit break

Dec 16 // Patrick Hancock
Let's start with his special moves. Neutral B: Blade Beam This is a pretty awful projectile. The best thing about it is that it lasts a decent amount of time and goes straight. It's an okay spacing tool but has incredibly small knockback and pitiful damage. The limit break version, on the other hand, is great. It travels quickly and has multiple hits, doing around 17% damage. It can be a decent edge-guarding tool (it hits hanging opponents) and can be used to catch opponents rolling. Side B: Cross Slash This is an interesting move. The standard version requires multiple presses of the B button to execute, which leaves Cloud with some options. Since people tend to mash button to get out of things, cutting this off early can catch players and force them into an exposed situation. The limit break version is very high damage, but won't kill too early. It comes out pretty much instantly so it's a nice punish if you catch an opponent in a poor position. Up B: Climhazzard First of all, "climb-hazzard?" What?! I've been calling it "Clim-hazzard" forever! Anyway, Cloud has some awful recovery. His normal up special doesn't get much height and definitely doesn't go very horizontal. Be careful not to tap B again, or else he'll head straight downwards, ignoring any and all ledges on his way [he can still grab ledges! Thanks LinkSlayer]. It's also not a very good attack; it's sort of like Kirby's up special, except you don't need to commit to the downward swing. The limit break version has some absolutely wonderful recovery, both vertical and horizontal, however it's still a lackluster attack on the ground. Down B: Limit Charge / Finishing Touch This charges Cloud's Limit Break meter and, more importantly, displays it to the players. The gauge is invisible normally, so knowing exactly where it is can be key. From zero, it takes about seven seconds to get to full charge. Once charged, this special becomes an instant, insanely powerful kill move. But it's all knockback; the hit itself does 1% damage. This is a huge risk/reward. It kills off the top hella early, as low as around 55% on standard character weight like Mario (without Directional Influence). If it doesn't kill, however, all you've accomplished is 1% damage, a huge waste of the Limit Break. While playing online, most Clouds I encountered would charge Limit Break at any given chance, even if it meant giving up stage control. I don't think this is the best strategy. Having a Limit Break can be a hindrance; the next special attack needs to count, which means you can't throw out a random special attack. When Samus has her Charge Shot, she can still shoot missiles and lay bombs without worrying. Cloud is forced into an awkward position where suddenly, everything should be a standard attack until an opening presents itself. Personally, I like to charge sparingly. Since the Limit Gauge charges automatically by getting hit, charging the meter close to 100% forces the opponent into a corner. By hitting you, they give you a Limit Break, but by not fighting, well, that won't get far. This gives the player an opportunity to play around with their specials for a bit before the Limit Break pops. Now, his stats are slightly better when the Limit Gauge is full, but I still feel awkwardly restricted at the same time. It's an interesting trade-off, and one that will definitely need more experimentation. And don't be scared to throw out a Limit Break attack like a Blade Beam, since there's little recovery associated with it. The others, however, are a bit riskier because of the lag time when missed. [embed]327136:61537:0[/embed] As far as notable normals, Cloud has some decent options. His forward smash is absolutely incredible. It can kill around 75% uncharged! It has a decent windup and ending lag, so it's not something that players should just throw out whenever. His forward and up tilts are basic sword swipes and come out pretty fast, so I've leaned on them for some quick reaction attacks. His down tilt is a slide, and damn do I love this move. It's quick and moves Cloud a decent distance, meaning it has use as an attack and a movement option. It pops up the opponent a short distance, leading to easy followups with an up aerial (which also comes out very quick) or a neutral jump/mind games. Cloud's forward tilt takes some time to come out, but has a large arc and spikes towards the end. His down aerial also spikes at the tip, and looks just like Link's. His neutral aerial, however, is easily his best option. It's arc is huge and comes out way quicker than his other options. In general, if I'm jumping, I'm throwing out a neutral air. Cloud has no kill throws at any reasonable percents. I've found that his down throw is a decent setup for followups. It pops them up just enough to perform a short hop and a quick aerial, which is nice. It's not a true combo from what I can tell, though. His grab range is also sort of garbage. As for his stage, it's amazing. No, it won't be at any tournaments ever. However, for groups like my friends and me, which enjoy playing on the wonky-but-not-too-wonky maps, it's perfect. All of the stage alterations from the summons are pretty tame. I'd say it's somewhere in between Pokémon Stadium 1 and 2 in terms of obtrusive stage hazards. Plus, it's got some of the best music so far in the game and YES I LOVE FINAL FANTASY VII SO WHAT I'M NOT BIASED. Unfortunately, I don't see Cloud rising through the ranks to top tier like I did with Ryu. He has some great power and an interesting mechanic, but his lack of recovery leaves him way too open to gimping and his slower moves will leave him at the will of quick characters like Sheik or Zero Suit Samus.
Cloud impressions photo
And the forward smash
Guys, Cloud is in Super Smash Bros. Holy shit.


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