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Fighting Games

Saint Seiya photo
Saint Seiya

Get a much better look at Saint Seiya: Soldier's Soul


More info revealed for Japan Expo
Jul 07
// Chris Carter
Saint Seiya is making a comeback with an all-new anime series and a fighting game, and I'm pretty excited for the future of the franchise. Although I didn't get a hands-on session with Soldier's Soul back when I at...
Mortal Kombat DLC photo
Mortal Kombat DLC

Mortal Kombat X players get free Scorpion skin, Klassic fatality pack


Free? From WB?
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
While you will have to pay to have Predator in Mortal Kombat X, miserly Warner Bros. is throwing some nostalgic scraps players' way. You'll be able to download the hinted-at Klassic Fatality Pack 1 for free in celebration of...
Skullgirls 2nd Encore photo
Skullgirls 2nd Encore

Skullgirls 2nd Encore out today on PS4, soon on Vita


Them's fighting games
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
Picture it: Skullgills. It's a fighting game, but all the participants are decayed fish heads. I haven't been able to shake the idea since yesterday. For the less head decayed out there, the gorgeous fighting game Skullgirls...
First! photo
First!

King of the Iron Fist: $80,000 Tekken 7 tournament


Are you good at Tekken?
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series and the upcoming Tekken 7, Bandai Namco is hosting the "King of the Iron Fist 2015" Tekken 7 tournament. There's a 10 million yen cash grand prize ($81,463) for the winner, so ...
Tekken 7 machines photo
Tekken 7 machines

Tekken 7 hitting select North American arcades this month


Once you finish 'getting hype'
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
Tekken 7 will be at EVO this month despite not having made it out of Japanese arcades. Tournament participants will have to use a DualShock 4, too. Perhaps a little too late, the Tekken Facebook page announced North American ...

Review: Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm

Jul 07 // Kyle MacGregor
Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm (Windows PC)Developer: PDW: HotapenPublisher: Nyu MediaMSRP: $14.99Released: July 7, 2015 Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm often draws comparisons to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, and for good reason. It was a major influence for designer Ume-Zono, who was an active competitor in tournaments, and has its fingerprints all over the place -- from the visuals to the parry system. In terms of the basic controls, there are four main attack buttons (split between light and heavy punches and kicks), plus two others that allow players to parry high and low attacks. Of course, there are combos and supers, though most of them are fairly simple and easy to pull off. That goes a long way in making the game feel accessible to newcomers. While there certainly are deeper systems to be explored, I felt comfortable with Yatagarasu in minutes, quickly picking up a Shoto-style character (there are two) and was throwing fireballs and dragon punches in no time. True to its inspiration, Yatagarasu is all about controlling space on the ground, and there are some interesting wrinkles in terms of movement to help you do so. There's a quick forward jump similar to King of Fighters' hyper hop, which is useful for closing distance or avoiding projectiles while mitigating your susceptibility to anti-air attacks -- which can't be blocked. Meanwhile, dashing is nice for backing up quickly, but still leaves you vulnerable to strikes.  The roster includes a diverse group of eleven fighters, all of whom are unlocked from the get-go. In addition to Shoto guys, the cast features a grappler, a pair of sword-swinging ladies that look nearly identical but play very differently, a Dudley clone boxer, and teleporting ninja. This version of the game adds three new characters, Kotaro (a technical fighter mid-air specialist), Azure (who makes use of a Reppuken à la King of Fighters' Geese), and Aja (a slow and heavy sword user). While there aren't a ton of characters, it still has a nice variety and the limited number of options means it probably won't take you too long to decide which ones fit your preferred styles of play. After selecting a fighter, you will have to make a couple decisions that add a bit of color to the experience. The game will prompt you to power up one of your two supers, which will make that one more powerful for that battle. Yatagarasu also has a commentary system, which features prominent faces from the fighting game community, including Jchensor, UltraDavid, and Maximilian. The commentary is a cute idea, but it can be distracting. And while there are a number of voices to choose from, after spending a while with the game I'd heard just about everything they'd had to offer and opted to switch them off entirely. There aren't a lot of other extras to be found, though. The package is about spartan as it gets, coming with a pair of arcade modes, versus, network play, and surprisingly robust training mode. Of course, the quality of the online experience is of the utmost importance. Or at least you'd think so. Despite GGPO support being promised in the project's crowdfunding campaign, the lag-reducing middleware has not yet been implemented, which is a huge disappointment. The development team still plans to include GGPO eventually, but it will not be there at launch. Since I've been playing Yatagarasu pre-release, I wasn't spoiled for choice in terms of competition, leading me to reluctantly take on a number of opponents with less than stellar ping.  I've experienced a lot of that in my time with Yatagarasu thus far, pushing past a string of minor headaches to enjoy the combat. Everything outside of battle -- from the way the game launches to the austere menus and 4:3 resolution that doesn't take into account widescreen -- it all could have been handled so much better. Even just getting my controllers and fight pad to work properly was a constant source of frustration. Without rhyme or apparent reason, something always seemed to be going wrong, putting a damper on an otherwise great experience. That's really a pity too, because when you're in a match and everything's working properly this game is an absolute dream. I enjoy the minimalist visuals and emphasis on mind games and feeling out your opponent, rather than pulling off technical combos. In a lot of ways, it's refreshing how stripped down Yatagarasu is, but it would have been nice to see more attention around the periphery.  Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm is wonderful, except when it isn't. From first blood to knockout this is an exceptional fighting game. I just wish the rest of it was held to that same standard.  [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Yatagarasu review photo
A strong contender
[Disclosure: The reviewer supported Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm's Indiegogo campaign.] Yatagarasu has taken a long and winding road to get where it is today. The doujin fighting game has existed in one form or an...

Predator in MKX photo
Predator in MKX

Predator drops cloak and puts up dukes tomorrow in Mortal Kombat X


Those lasers can't be good for you
Jul 06
// Brett Makedonski
Predator only hunts in tropical jungles, right? We don't need to be worried about keeping an eye out for his tell-tale shimmer anywhere else? It seems too stressful being constantly on guard against the world's finest hunter...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Pikachu gets clocked in Pokken Tournament opening cinematic


In Japanese arcades July 16
Jul 03
// Steven Hansen
It's wild that Lucario is hot enough shit to get a demeaning opening thwack on the god rat itself, Pikachu. I mean, Pikachu is granted a follow up upper cut and an unfinished electric attack, but it's still nice to see the y...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X's Predator gets a firm release date


That ugly mofo is $4.99
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
Although it was possible to fight the Predator in Mortal Kombat X recently, he'll be making his way officially as a combatant very soon. NetherRealm has announced that his debut will be July 7, at which point he will ru...
Battle Fantasia photo
Battle Fantasia

Beautiful fighter Battle Fantasia is coming to PC


Next week
Jul 02
// Chris Carter
Back in 2008, Battle Fantasia was released for the PS3 and 360. It was unique little fighting game with an amazing art style, but it was sadly swept under the rug. Thankfully it's getting a new lease on life on PC next week,...
Dead or Alive photo
Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive 5 PC still doesn't have working online multiplayer


Embarrassing
Jul 01
// Jordan Devore
Team Ninja was supposed to enable online multiplayer for the PC port of Dead or Alive 5 Last Round by the end of June, months after the game debuted on Steam. Hasn't happened. "[D]ue to major issues found during the beta test...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Predator's Mortal Kombat X appearance contains an unlikely movie reference


Nice work NetherRealm
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
Just this week, the Predator was unveiled by way of Mortal Kombat X's Tower Mode, where players were able to face him as a CPU opponent. People have been recording nonstop since then, trying out every single possible ability ...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V is...coming to Six Flags?


Uh, okay
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
Street Fighter V is shaping up to be a decent follow-up to SFIV, and Capcom has randomly decided to hype up the Spring 2016 release a bit with a Six Flags cross-promotion, which will see "participating" theme parks host ...
Skullgirls photo
Skullgirls

Skullgirls 2nd Encore will arrive on PS4 next week


July 7
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
Developer Lab Zero Games has announced that Skullgirls 2nd Encore will arrive on the PS4 next Tuesday on July 7. It will feature Cross-Buy with the Vita version, which is apparently still in development with a "six week ...
Smash Bros. glitch photo
Smash Bros. glitch

Strike a pose with this silly Smash Bros. glitch


Or freeze your game in the process
Jun 29
// Jordan Devore
Smash Bros. glitches are among the funniest. A new one, captured here by MasterOfHyrule, involves pushing the Home button before the match transitions to the result screen. While the bug varies from character to character, i...
CEO 2015 highlights photo
CEO 2015 highlights

My favorite matches from CEO 2015


The best of the best!
Jun 29
// Patrick Hancock
CEO 2015, one of the biggest fighting game tournaments of the year, took place this weekend and had some insane moments. My favorite was probably the above match between Armada and Leffen in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Yes, it'...
CEO 2015 finals! photo
CEO 2015 finals!

Tune in to the final day of CEO 2015


All the fighting games you could want
Jun 28
// Patrick Hancock
CEO 2015 has been underway all weekend, and today is the peak of all the hype. Just about any fighting game you could ever want to watch will be streamed today with some of the best players in the world competing. The events ...

Review: J-Stars Victory VS+

Jun 28 // Laura Kate Dale
J-Stars Victory Vs+ (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Vita) Developer: Spike ChunsoftPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentRelease: June 26, 2015 (EU), June 30, 2015 (US) I may not be the most knowledgeable anime fan out there, but I'm always willing to try out a new series if it looks interesting. As such, I was pretty excited coming into J-Stars Victory VS+. I was hoping to experience well known characters I already knew, as well as finding new characters to get invested in and try watching going forward. Unfortunately, J-Stars Victory VS+ was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. The representations of characters I already knew didn't feel accurate and the hooks to get invested in new series just weren't there for me. So, as this is a fighting game first and foremost, let's talk about the fighting mechanics at play. Every character has one light attack button, a heavy attack button, a special attack button, a block and a dash. While these are tailored to each character, the movesets all feel very similar to play using. While it's cool to see Ichigo pull off a Getsuga Tensho and Goku a Kamehameha, both on a mechanical level act near identically. Every move is an approximation designed to fit a specific combat system's mold, which ultimately takes away some of what makes these characters unique. Defensive techniques like cancels are minimal, so if you wait for an attack animation to start then start mashing buttons you'll usually win. J-Stars Victory VS+ is not a game of skill, it's a game of waiting for any enemy to attempt anything slower than a light attack, interrupting with a light attack then button mashing while they remain locked in your combo. [embed]294934:59255:0[/embed] So, ignoring the fact the combat system itself lacks depth, lets look at how this functions as a pure fanservice game. Just looking at the numbers there is a lot here for fans of Shonen anime to love. There's representation from newer series like D.Gray-man as well as older series like Rurouni Kenshin and a whole host of series in between. There's even inclusions from my super niche sports anime, but only as support characters rather than full playable roster members. Damn, I was just about ready to praise this game for supporting my niche interests. So, let's talk about the modes on offer in J-Stars Victory VS+. There's J-Adventure, where you sail around the world on a tiny boat given to you by god to earn your way into a tournament of champions, where everyone involved seems perfectly fine with the fact god gave them a boat that couldn't get most of the places it needed to go and needlessly pads out the experience with narrative fluff between fights. This mode has four arcs, each of them near narratively identical. I couldn't see any reason players would want to go through all four of these, they're all equally padded and dull. Your other options are Victory Road which sets up special fights loosely themed around anime dream team fights, a standard Arcade mode which offers minimal challenge, local free battles and online free battles. None of these modes felt terribly coherent or fleshed out. On paper, the roster of nearly 40 playable characters is certainly impressive, but what makes these characters unique is rarely utilized fully. Each character's ultimate attack feels decidedly less visually impressive than comparable titles like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. The story mode offered on disk features static 2D images of characters that may say the odd single word to each other, but otherwise remain silent. Their dialogue feels terribly homogeneous, stripped down so that every character speaks with the same uniform voice. This doesn't feel like a series of characters clashing for the first time, rather it feels like one person in many different outfits badly acting out their alternative universe fanfiction. Where the games opening cinematic gave me hope for a visually impressive, fanservice heavy experience, the single player largely boiled down to watching static images talk to each other in a weirdly unemotional tone then fight for no adequately explained reason. It just wasn't compelling. Ultimately, J-Stars Victory VS+ only succeeds as numbers on paper, the game itself being largely disappointing. The roster have had much of what made them unique stripped down, stopping me getting truly excited about the characters I knew and preventing me getting a sense of which characters were worth me investing future time watching. The mechanics are shallow, the fanservice is surface level and it only succeeds in terms of its pure number of supported characters. Overall, I walked away rather disappointed. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
J-Stars Victory VS+ photo
Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash, mash......
J-Stars Victory VS+ is a game that's mechanically light, heavy on fanservice volume but that only ever skims the surface of the characters it includes. If you want an anime brawler that focuses on the sheer volume of anime ch...

Street Fighter beta photo
Street Fighter beta

How to get into the Street Fighter V beta for PS4


PC beta coming this fall
Jun 23
// Jordan Devore
In North America, it's easy enough to score beta access for Street Fighter V. You'll just need to pre-order the PS4 game at GameStop, Amazon, or Best Buy to get a code via email. Those will go out starting July 20 and can be ...
Revelator  photo
Revelator

Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator videos show off Johnny, newcomer Jack-O


Face down, ass up
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is the totally normal and appropriately named follow up to Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, which Chris loved. Johnny is a series mainstay, but pumpkin faced Jack-O is a newbie and, uh, interesting. That's definitely the most sexual crouch animation I can remember seeing. She is 2 live.
Eyes of Heaven photo
Eyes of Heaven

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven trailer, release date


2015 in Japan, first JoJo on PS4
Jun 20
// Steven Hansen
Tentacles, muscles, new characters, and a 2015 release date confirmation (in Japan). That's the new from this JoJo trailer for CyberConnect2's first PS4 entry in the series, Eyes of Heaven.  JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle just came to North America last year. I still haven't watched the show, but this looks as insane as people (and gifs) make it out to be.

Medieval fighter For Honor defies description

Jun 16 // Kyle MacGregor
While there is some sort of story mode to ostensibly explain why feudal soldiers from opposite ends of the planet are sharing a battlefield, Ubisoft is keeping quiet about the single-player campaign. Instead, the publisher has opted to thrust the multiplayer component into the foreground. And what a strange and alluring experience that is. On the heels of its E3 media briefing, Ubisoft whisked the press off to a tower in downtown Los Angeles to compete in a mode called "Dominion." There, groups of eight players skirmished in 4-on-4 matches with an emphasis on territory control. With three King of the Hill-style zones to vie for, it's set up an awful lot like an online shooter. And at a glance, it gives off a Dynasty Warriors vibe, with hordes inept minions fighting battles of attrition while player-controlled hero characters grapple over objectives that, you know, actually matter. Neither of those comparisons really nail what For Honor actually feels like, though. The combat system is far more intricate than Koei Tecmo's hack-and-slashers, at any rate. This is no mindless action game. Each and every encounter with the enemy requires a great deal of care.  For Honor is all about sword mastery; success or failure largely hinges on one's proficiency with a blade. Being overly aggressive is a good way to get flayed, as defense is of vital importance here. Predictable attacks are easily blocked and countered, and even knights, despite being clad in heavy plate mail, can be felled surprisingly quickly after a string of defensive miscues. In some respects this is more of a fighting game, where opponents feel one another out with pokes and jabs, hoping to discern the enemy's plan of attack and capitalize when given the opportunity. You really have to pay attention to where the enemy's weapon is positioned, be ready to counter it while working to read them, and get an opening yourself. I quickly found myself outmatched when going toe-to-toe with the developers on the other team. They seemed to move with lightning speed, feigning attacks and throwing me off balance, only to hit me from my unguarded side a moment later. Thankfully, strategy and teamwork play a central role. When I figured out I wasn't a skilled enough fighter to take enemies on by my lonesome, I focused my attention on sneaking up the flanks and capturing the objectives. Eventually, somehow, after flailing in the early going, our team came back from the brink of defeat to pull off an unlikely victory. (Maybe they let us win.) On top of that, players act as field generals, earning mid-game perks called "Feats" that allow one to call in ordnance support catapults and archers, or even inspire your cohorts to fight better. Knowing how and when to play these cards figures to play a key role in turning the tide of battle. For Honor is a fascinating fusion of genres that has me eager to return to the battlefield.
For Honor impressions photo
Whatever it is, I like it
Ubisoft Montreal's For Honor seems to borrow inspiration from as many places as it does warriors. The newly-revealed project sees medieval knights clash with samurai and viking raiders, warping time and space to bring together foes as distinct as the overarching experience that unites them.

Cammy and Birdie are fantastic in Street Fighter V

Jun 15 // Alessandro Fillari
At the Capcom event I went to a couple weeks back, I got the chance to play with the initial four characters, and also the newly announced Cammy and Birdie. Sorry I couldn't tell you before, but the folks at Capcom wanted to keep it a surprise. You had no idea how hard it was to sit on that without telling anyone. I got some quality time with both Cammy and Birdie, and they definitely set themselves apart from the others.Much like the rest of the cast, Cammy and Birdie take unique advantage of the Variable System in interesting ways. As the system allows the fighters to tap into unique skills and tactics to overcome difficult situations, they can be used quite creatively in the hands of skilled players. Just like the others, the Variable System plays to Cammy and Birdie's strengths and their personalities, which fleshes their characters out into pretty cool ways.As one of the original SFII characters, Cammy has been around for a long time. With her prowess for speed and agility, giving her quite the edge in footsies and aerial game, she's an incredible force during fights. And SFV expands upon that in a big way. Her V-Skill, known as 'Axel Spin Knuckle', gives her the ability to do a forward spin move and follow up with a forearm blow. What's interesting about this move is that it not only allows her to pass through projectiles unharmed, but it can also have her spin to the opponent's back and striking them from their blind-spot. But her V-Trigger is where she turns up the heat. Called 'Delta Drive', her Trigger grants her a massive boost of speed and cuts down on the delays for her specials moves, allowing her to use them more often.[embed]294083:59059:0[/embed] And of course, we've got the big guy himself. Birdie is back in action, and after his last appearance in Alpha 3, he's been itching for another fight. This one came of out of left field, and I can guarantee no one expected him to make the cut. Unfortunately, he's sorta let himself go. The once musclebound goon has lost his figure, and he can't seem to keep food out of his hands. With a massive gut, and some Ron Jeremy-esque chest hair, he's not what he once was back in the good ol' days. But his passion for battle is stronger than ever, and he's worked around his new impairment. And he might be a far better fighter because of it.Though he seems like a gimmick character, Birdie has still got the moves to go toe-to-toe with the others. His chains wrapped around his wrist can be used to lasso foes and slam them to the ground, and his famous head-butt still packs a wallop. His V-Skill called 'Break Time' has him scarf down some snacks, which grants him extra buffs. And he'll even leave the trash on the ground, which the opponents can trip over. You haven't lived till you've seen M. Bison slip on a banana peel. His V-Skill also works when using different directional prompts, which will have him eat and discard different types of food. His V-Trigger is called 'Enjoy Time', and after maxing out his V-Gauge, Birdie will scarf down a spicy pepper, which will grant him a boost in damage and guard break potential for his special moves. I'm pretty excited about Street Fighter V. After my session with, I was left super impressed with what the developers at Capcom have in mind for the fans. And with the additions of Cammy and Birdie to the roster, it's clear that Capcom has got plans for both the familiar and the unexpected characters of the series. I can't wait to see more.
Street Fighter V photo
Hands-on with some old friends
As you could likely tell, Street Fighter V is looking pretty amazing. I was very impressed with my hands-on session with the game, along with my chat with Peter 'Combofiend' Rosas, and I can tell that many people will find a ...

July 23 public beta photo
July 23 public beta

Street Fighter V getting public beta, two new characters


July 23 public beta
Jun 15
// Steven Hansen
Sony showed off PS4/PC exclusive Street Fighter V at its press conference along with announcements of two new characters -- a new-look Birdie and Cammy -- and a PlayStation 4-exclusive open beta. You'll be able to join in an...
Smash Bros. photo
Smash Bros.

PSA: You can now pay $0.99 to use your 3DS to play Smash Bros. Wii U


Without buying the 3DS version
Jun 15
// Chris Carter
Before this week, Super Smash Bros. players who wanted to use their 3DS to control the Wii U version of the game needed a full portable copy -- but not anymore. As of right now, you can go to the eShop and download the "Smash Controller" app for $0.99, which will let you link your 3DS to the game. It's something that should have been available on day one, but hey, it's here now.

Roy's not quite our same boy in the new Super Smash Bros.

Jun 14 // Chris Carter
First off, it has to be said that Roy is even less similar to his Fire Emblem brethren in this game. He wields his sword backwards, which provides him with a unique set of animations, as well as different hitboxes for his attacks. Roy is a much more close-combat oriented fighter than Marth or Lucina, with nearly all of his attacks, including his neutral-B charge move, sporting a smaller distance. There's no tipping here -- Roy does most of his damage up close with the hilt, and feels completely different right off the bat. In addition to his neutral charge he also has his patented upwards slash, counter, and forward/backward sword combo. Don't dismiss him as a clone though, as all of these moves have different timings and animations to get used to. Take his Up-B -- it's a tad slower, but it hits multiple times, so you don't have to worry about executing it perfectly. Everything else is best used close-up, due to the lack of a tip-damage bonus. As a general rule, Roy is also speedier, so you won't be able to acclimate as a Marth or Lucina main immediately without getting a feel for how he moves. Oh, and his grabs are much better at setting up combos. Out of all of the Fire Emblem characters in the game, he likely has the most depth. While Ryu is a sexier brand new addition and Lucas is a fan favorite, I think Roy will end up being the best part of this DLC drop today as more veterans get their hands on them. Out of all three, he's my personal favorite. In fact, he really puts Lucina in an odd spot, as she feels less relevant when compared to both Marth and Roy's uniqueness. Yep, the crowd still chants "Roy's our boy" -- amazing.
Roy Smash photo
He's changed for the better
When playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, I always tended to side with Marth. I dug his aesthetic, his animations, and his moveset over Roy. But with the release of his DLC incarnation in the new Super Smash Bros., Roy is now my boy.

Ryu is gunning for top tier in the new Super Smash Bros.

Jun 14 // Patrick Hancock
First, let's discuss Ryu's stage, Suzaku Castle. In short: it's wonderful and weird. The music is great and speeds up when things are getting down to the wire. The default mode will definitely not be tournament-legal, since it has a walk-off on the right side. For general entertaining play, however, it's superb. Strategies will change depending on the side the fight is happening on, and since there's a lot of open space on the left side, you can expect some serious ledge play at times. There are two platforms on the left, one on top and one on the bottom. The top one has no grabbable ledges, but the bottom one does. The ledges on the bottom platform are a bit wonky, as characters who come up towards the center of the platform will snap to a ledge that seems way too far to snap to. Players will also only snap in the way they are facing, it seems. Here's a GIF to demonstrate what I mean: As for the character, the first thing I did was take Ryu into the Training mode. He's got at least twice as many attacks as a standard character, and I need to know what they are and how they act before I go into a match. From here on out, I will refer to his light attacks as the attacks executing by tapping the button, and heavy attacks as the ones where the player has to hold the attack button. There's apparently a medium somewhere in the middle, but I'll be damned if I can pull it off intentionally. Holding the attack button doesn't even feel like truly "holding" it. I was worried that having to hold down a button for an attack would feel weird, but it is still very quickly executed. Now I'm worried that I'll "hold" the attack button for too long when I want to do a light attack! You really have to consciously tap the button to execute a light attack. In general, heavy attacks are the ones that come out for me when I'm not thinking. Ryu is definitely a thinking-man's character. Throwing out attacks isn't going to cut it. In each scenario, players must think "okay, light or heavy?" and then execute properly.  Let's start with the special moves. Hadoukens are a great way to cover an approach or force the opponent to make a move. You can not spam Hadoukens, as there can only be one out at a time. The Shakunetsu Hadouken can be activated by performing a half-circle forward motion and an attack button. This Hadouken is slightly stronger than holding the special button down (8% compared to 7%) and will carry the opponent with them over 5 hits. It's great for edge guarding since it takes the enemy for a ride. Shoryuken is a great recovery move and can be a kill move at high percents. It kills Mario at around 105% with no Rage, for example. Personally, this is my go-to kill move in combos, but I'll speak more on that later. Also, it's possible to input down-forward twice to execute this move, instead of doing the normal Dragon Punch motion of forward, down, down-forward. [embed]293924:58985:0[/embed] The Hurricane Kick, despite being called "hugely destructive" by Sakurai, is rather lackluster as an attack. It does less damage (9% if inputting the command) if the opponent is very close to Ryu, and more damage if they are hit during the spinning phase (13%). It pushes the enemy vertically, and doesn't kill Mario until around 130%, and that's with no Directional Influence. As a recovery move, however, the move is wonderful. Ryu can act after it, allowing him to Tatsumaki to gain horizontal ground, and then Shoryuken to go vertically. Finally, his Focus Attack. This is easily the most interesting special move Ryu has. While charging it Ryu has one hit of super armor. While charging, Ryu will flash twice, once for each increasing level. If the player hits the opponent before it flashes once, the opponent will be knocked back. If he hits them after it,  they go into a crumple state, just like Street Fighter IV. The second flash happens a split second before it is fully charged, which means it's a level 3 Focus Attack, which leads to a longer crumple. Also, if released in level 1 or 2, the Focus Attack will be absorbed by shields. Releasing a fully charged Focus Attack will still crumple a shielding opponent. Most importantly, Ryu can dash-cancel the focus attack while charging or after a hit. If an uncharged Focus Attack hits a shield, Ryu can also dash-cancel the lag. In Street Fighter IV, this was known as an "FADC," or Focus Attack Dash Cancel. This allows a guaranteed hit on crumpled opponents. It's super satisfying to pull off a FADC into a kill move like Shoryuken. It's also a good psych-out move to dash-cancel a charging Focus Attack, similar to how Sonic can cancel his Spin Dash. It's important to note that when inputting a Street Fighter command to perform a special move, it must be done in the direction Ryu is facing. If you wanted to do a Shakunetsu Hadouken backwards, for example, it would instead register as a Tatsumaki (quarter-circle back). It is not pleasant when you're expecting one move to come out and get another, so keep this in mind! Ryu's normals are incredibly varied thanks to his unique ability to have TWO OF EVERY TILT. Some of the more useful ones I've been using are his strong forward-tilt, Collarbone Breaker. It does not completely destroy a fresh shield, but it comes very close to doing so. His heavy up-tilt is also very useful and does 12%. Other than that, I've been using both version of his down-tilt a whole lot. The reason I use his down-tilt is because it can be cancelled into any of his special moves on hit. This is my go-to setup after a successful crumple, as well. Basically, I look for opportunities to FADC into a heavy down-tilt which I cancel into a Shoryuken. In case you forgot, I'm still talking about Super Smash Bros. here. As for some other notable moves: His forward smash is incredibly powerful (22% fully charged) and moves him forward, making it have a deceptively long range. His down air spikes, but only if Ryu is close to the opponent when it connects. His up smash and up air are good at keeping opponents airborne, but have short ranges. Literally all of his special moves help with his recovery. Both his Focus Attack and Hadouken give him a little vertical boost, so use them to surprise an opponent while recovering! So, what's Ryu's weakness? Well, other than the fact that players may flub inputs from time to time, I would say Ryu's biggest downside is his throw game. None of his throws are kill throws, and they don't seem to lead into any combo opportunities. Regardless, I think Ryu is going to be a very viable fighter at a higher level of play, and is a blast to experiment with no matter how good you are at the game. Also, always play as the pink Ryu to pretend like you're Dan Hibiki.
Ryu Smash Impressions photo
Watch as I Tastumaki to my death
Remember the first time you went online with Street Fighter IV with your favorite character, Hakan, and fought about 100 Ryus in a week? And they all spammed Hadoukens and always woke up with a Shoryuken? Wouldn't you like to...

Super Smash Bros. photo
Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. getting instant YouTube uploads


Patrick Hancock will like this
Jun 14
// Darren Nakamura
Every now and then in the Destructoid editors' chat room, Patrick Hancock will post an animated GIF he made of some impressive thing he did in Super Smash Bros. From now on, it'll be even easier for him to show off; he'll onl...
Nitroplus Blasterz photo
Nitroplus Blasterz

XSEED localizing PS4 fighter Nitroplus Blasterz


Coming to North America this winter
Jun 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines of Infinite Duel is coming west this winter, XSEED just announced. The PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 fighting game is developed by Arcana Heart and Aquapazza studio Examu, who released the title...

Combofiend talks Street Fighter V, and the importance of community

Jun 11 // Alessandro Fillari
In many ways, Street Fighter V seems to represent a culmination of many different aspects of the series as they're reaching a fever pitch. With the developers spending many years honing their craft, and the growing popularity of a community of fans that share their passion with others, the genre seems to be in the strongest state yet. In the last decade alone, popularity for the fighting genre exploded thanks to the Internet, and the sharing of many great moments from tournaments. During our chat, Peter "Combofiend" Rosas spoke about how Street Fighter V will bring together many different eras of SF fans, as this new installment will features elements they've come to love over the years. "Everyone is ecstatic about this game; the responses to the character reveals have been immense," said Peter Rosas while discussing the growing fan base. "The series has such a history, you have people from my era, the Street Fighter II dudes, the people from the Street Fighter III era in the early 2000s, and the people from 08-09 that started with Street Fighter IV -- we're all excited for this game. I'd say the excitement for Street Fighter is at an all-time high." Understandably, when there's a new installment to a popular series coming, people are curious about the changes and upgrades. While they're excited at the prospect of the new entry, there's still the budding anxiety of having to master a brand new system that may or may not contradict strategies they've spent years improving. In order to cushion this a bit, the developers took a long look back at the series and decided to incorporate elements from the past and re-contextualize many strategies and tactics into the new system in place here. Rosas elaborated that each character will feel more unique because of it. "What we did was look at all the good things we've done over the years versus all the things players didn't necessarily like, so there are SO many good things, positive mechanics that people loved over the years," explained Rosas. "So we wanted to focus on that aspect, while also having the game feel new and fun. We thought the speed from Super Street Fighter II Turbo was appropriate, so we sped the game...but then, we also wanted each character to feel like a unique experience. When we looked at the V-Skills, we saw an opportunity to see how each character will feel different." One of the more shocking announcements from Capcom, aside from the return of Nash, is that Street Fighter V will be a PS4 exclusive release on consoles. Understandably, this upset many fans who haven't taken to the new hardware yet, or just simply own an Xbox One. Though the title will also be released on PC, there's still that air of unrest, despite knowing that this title is developed with a partnership from Sony and Capcom. Thankfully, the folks working on the game hope to remedy things with the cross-play feature. Players will be able to compete against each other regardless of their platform, and do so seamlessly. "That was extremely important to us, to make sure that all the players are together," said Rosas. "Because previously, you had people on one console, then on another console, then 'PC master race' over here, but the way it goes is that that's never been possible before, and our partnership with Sony has allowed us to do so. We definitely want people to finally be able to compete; everybody is going to be able to play everybody and we'll truly see who the best Street Fighter is." Over the years, the FGC has grown in a big way, bringing together long-time and new fans to the series. However, there are many who feel daunted by the complexity of the genre and competing against more seasoned fighters. In Street Fighter V, the developers hope to balance things out as they focus on accessibility while maintaining the hardcore element. Rosas spoke about the brand new Variable System, which not only features a lot of nuance, but also gives newcomers more options to use against the vets. "[Accessibility] was the one thing we wanted to maintain. For this one, we wanted to make sure everyone could access all the cool stuff. That being said, V-Skills are just two button presses, but they are unique for each character. The V-Trigger is the strongest unique ability that's accessed by pressing heavy punch and heavy kick together, so anyone who may have been intimidated playing Street Fighter because they couldn't access all the things that guys with high dexterity could, they can now do that. It goes back to that old-school feel where a fireball and an uppercut and pressing a few buttons could win you a few games. It goes back to the basics where you can just concentrate on the core mechanics, where it becomes a mind game versus more of a dexterity game." Obviously, one of the most talked about aspects of any Street Fighter is the roster. And with this title setting itself at an interesting point in the SF timeline -- and yes, I tried to ask when but they wouldn't spill the beans -- it's making everyone very curious to see who will pop up next. The folks at Capcom have clearly been listening to what fans want to see, especially after conducting surveys and other forms of outreach. Though they obviously can't say who will show up next until they're ready to, Combofiend did share some thoughts on the developers' rationale and thought process behind the roster for SFV. "We looked at a variety of sources,  but we wanted to make sure that with the roster we selected, it was characters that people would enjoy and it would be fighting styles that would be properly represented in the game, and also to make sure that everything put into the game had meaning. " He elaborated that even the returning characters, some of whom have been present since the beginning, will feel new in the fifth installment. The Variable System aims to reinvigorate the classic SF formula substantially. "We wanted all the characters to feel fresh, and to feel familiar," he explained. "Ryu still has his fireballs, Chun-Li still has her hundred kicks, but at the same time, we wanted [them to be] unique to Street Fighter V. So when were looking into the V-Triggers, we thought 'What would be really appropriate for the characters?' [...]We made sure that all the abilities played to the characters and their personalities." I was pleasantly surprised by his frankness regarding the scope of the game's ambitions, while also discussing the importance of community. Given his deep ties to the FGC, and that they've been helping to keep the series relevant for all these years, there's a clear respect for the fans who have spent so much time with the titles. While there's still many details we don't know about, the folks at Capcom assured us that it's important to keep things a surprise. Though it's still a ways out, Street Fighter V is shaping up to be an exciting title. I was eager to go hands-on with the title before E3, and I wasn't alone in saying that they've got quite a title on their hands. The fans are going to have a field day analyzing all the details and speculating what's in store. I'm very anxious to see what Capcom reveals next. For more info on Street Fighter V, check out my hands-on impressions of the game. 
Street Fighter photo
Variable System aims to change the game
In case you missed it, I had a blast playing Street Fighter V. I spent three hours playing against other journalists and developers from Capcom, and I learned so much about what this new title is all about. Given that they've...


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