SteadiestShark Gaming

Reviewing videogames and posting gaming articles since 2012.

Posts Tagged ‘gaming

Capcom announces a new Street Fighter 4 update – and asks for fan input

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Last week at PAX East 2013, Capcom announced that Street Fighter 4 will be getting yet another update, and furthermore, is seeking fan feedback with regards to which balance changes they’d like to see for each character.

Since then, hundreds of players with varying skill levels have flocked to the Capcom-Unity forums in a bid to have their voices heard. Whether or not this is good for the game, who can tell at this point? However, I firmly believe that whilst there is likely to be a mound of near-sighted and otherwise terrible ideas, there will also be some absolutely golden suggestions scattered here and there, and I hope that Capcom can tell the difference between decent and awful.

 

My opinions

Whilst I don’t play the game so much these days, I still vigorously follow the competitive scene via streams of weekly events such as the Next Level Battle Circuit and most major tournaments, as well as participating in various message-boards and reading related articles. Due to this, I have a rather solid understanding of the current state of the game at the higher levels.

So, what do I believe should be changed in this update?

Generally, I feel that the Ver. 2012 update brought about the largest list of tournament-viable characters out of any previous iteration of Street Fighter 4, and that only minor tweaks need to be made among the vast majority of the cast.

However, there are some characters that I believe should definitely be nerfed. These characters are Akuma, Cammy, Fei Long and perhaps even Adon and Seth. They are all quite simply too strong – or have the potential to be. This is a direct result of their very abuse-able options, which provides them with unfairly high rewards for very little risk. I could go into specific details for each case, but I feel that my blanket statement is better suited to this post.

When you consider how close-knit the vast majority of the character roster seems to be in terms of balance, the nerfs to these top-tier characters would automatically boost up the tournament viability of everyone else.  This type of forward-thinking is a key point that everybody needs to consider when making these balance suggestions, as it would be counter-productive to unnecessarily buff a character after their most troublesome opponents are nerfed.

All in all, it will be interesting to see which changes do end up making it into the next version of Street Fighter 4, but I am also somewhat anxious as I know that properly keeping the balance of 39 vastly different characters is a very daunting task to accomplish.

P.S. In case you didn’t know: In gaming balance, “buff” means “to improve” whereas “nerf” means “to make worse”.

 

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Written by SteadiestShark

March 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

The Playstation 4 & Ustream: A Questionable Live-Streaming Partnership?

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ps4 logo

Yesterday evening, Sony finally held their much-rumoured Playstation 4 event, where many things were confirmed such as its ability to live-stream gameplay footage to friends, and presumably the internet.

Whilst I was both surprised and impressed at what I was hearing with regards to the streaming functionality, I always had one question running through my mind: “Why did they choose Ustream as the PS4’s streaming service and not the experience and install-base of Twitch.tv?”

For those that are unaware of the entire live-streaming world out there, Ustream and Justin.tv used to be toe-to-toe a few years ago as the two biggest broadcasting sites, however once Justin.tv split into two entities (one of them being  the videogame-focused Twitch.tv), Ustream just got blown out of the water. Since then, Twitch.tv has had an absolute stranglehold on the videogame live-streaming market, where their user-base is so large that it is not uncommon for competitive gaming streams to break 100,000+ simultaneous viewers.

So knowing this, I naturally couldn’t understand why on earth Sony would opt for using a service other than Twitch.tv for streaming videogames.

ustream logo

However that wasn’t the end of my questions. The conference went on to show that all recorded footage can be uploaded to Facebook, without a single mention of the obvious choice of Youtube. Naturally, I then thought: “Why not Youtube? It has the largest user-base of people that actually want to watch videos, as well as the fact that it has far better upload speeds and the necessary ability to search for videos instead of only seeing content from friends.”

Now, with these two questions in my mind, I was trying to figure out what could possibly be stopping Sony from picking the two obvious platforms (especially since Twitch.tv can already upload footage directly to Youtube). To which I have come up with four possible reasons:

  1. Twitch.tv and Youtube were both too expensive to obtain as partners and/or Ustream was tempting in a “we can both help each other to grow” kind of way.
  2. Twitch.tv and Youtube simply did not want any part of this venture for whatever reason.
  3. Sony simply failed to mention Youtube, but it will be supported.
  4. Somebody else (maybe Microsoft) has beaten Sony to the punch and has already claimed Twitch.tv and Youtube as partners for a live-streaming service that is set to rival the PS4’s.

Whilst it’s entirely possible for numbers 1 to 3 to be the case, the most interesting prospect would be if number 4 was true. Could Microsoft be cooking up a rival service that would (potentially) have greater expertise and muscle to crush the PS4’s offering? Or is all of this speculation just completely off-base?

twitch logo

Anyway, whilst I didn’t reach any particular conclusion in this post, I just thought that it was an interesting point to address and hopefully things will become clear (such as Microsoft’s plans) at this year’s E3 event in June.

 

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Anarchy Reigns Review

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Platform: Xbox 360
Time Spent: Around 10-20 hours.
Completion: Both main stories & a whole bunch of online multiplayer matches.
Review Spoilers: Nothing that’s not found out within an hour of playing.

ARlogo

Platinum Games has an impressive history of creating 3rd person action games with immensely enjoyable combat experiences, and Anarchy Reigns is no different. Whether you’re cleaving through wave after wave of the equivalent of the Star Trek red shirts, or are brutalising a giant mutant with one of the game’s many cinematic-style executions, the game is undeniably satisfying at times.

The gameplay usually revolves around traversing an open area, whilst beating on whoever or whatever gets in your way. To accelerate this process, not only are the areas littered with various objects that are just waiting to be hurled at whichever poor target whose day you wish to ruin, but each character also has a crazy over-the-top “Killer Weapon”, such as positron arm/leg blades, giant flame-spewing gauntlets, and even a giant dual-chainsaw-mounted bionic arm. Rounding off this experience is the existence of potent environmental hazards, which can occur at any moment – such as a military bombing run, a giant killer robot entering the fray, or even a tornado sweeping through the map.

AR 1

For all of its craziness and excitement on the gameplay front, those that are looking for a deep and engaging single player campaign that complements this are going to be disappointed. Whilst it tries to weave an interesting tale by offering two different sides of an intertwining story, it simply boils down to being little more than “In a distant future that has been ruined by nuclear war, Person A and Person B both seek Crazy Person C – with slightly different motivations”. Throw in some rather over-the-top characters, some hilarious dialogue and some rather silly reasons to fight, and that’s pretty much Anarchy Reigns’ story mode in a nutshell.

Despite how lacklustre the story mode is, it’s within the multiplayer that this game truly shines, and leaves you wondering if the single player campaign was just an afterthought. At its core, the combat is simple enough for casual players to be able to mash buttons and enjoy the resulting carnage, yet deep enough for the truly competitive-minded gamers to invent longwinded combos and impressive tactics that allow them to assert their dominance over others. This added dimension of having multiple human players completely transforms the experience from a repetitive grind against generic enemies, to one of intensity and survival – with pride on the line. Anarchy Reigns also features a plethora of multiplayer modes, from your standard 16-player deathmatches, to your typical capture the flag, to even an interesting sport-styled ball game – there’s something for everyone, and each mode is a frenzied fun fest.

AR 2

Whilst the graphics aren’t anything to write home about, it is worth mentioning the sound of the game. From the energetic soundtrack that complements the crazy gameplay to the delicious meaty thuds of fist-to-flesh, Platinum Games were right on the money in this department.

All in all, Anarchy Reigns is a solid game that was an unfortunate casualty of a lack of marketing – but give it the time of day and you’ll be rewarded with a chaotic experience that has been surprisingly lacking in this console generation.

7/10

AR 3

 

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and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

Written by SteadiestShark

February 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge to stealth onto the 360 & PS3 this April

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Tecmo Koei has announced that they are porting Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge from the Wii U and bringing the experience back to the Xbox 360 and PS3 on April 2nd for North America and April 5th for Europe. This new port will add even more content, such as costumes for those that enjoy customisation options as well 25 extra challenge missions. Considering that the Wii U version already added a whole host of new content as well as drastically changing the game in various ways for the better, Razors Edge for the Xbox 360 and PS3 is looking like a very worthwhile purchase – especially for those that skipped the original Ninja Gaiden 3 release.

Here is a trailer for the original Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge for Wii U:

 

As one of the many people that avoided the original Ninja Gaiden 3 release back in March of 2012 (due to poor reviews and not enjoying the demo), I am hopeful that this update will transform the game into what I was expecting it to be the first time around.

 

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© Copyright SteadiestShark
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All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

The 8th Generation Chronicles – Sony teases a mysterious upcoming Playstation reveal

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Yesterday, Sony Playstation posted link on all of its social media channels, along with the words “See the future.” The link in question takes you to a new Playstation webpage that contains only a handful of details about an upcoming reveal, as well as an embedded teaser video.

The aforementioned details included the date and time – which will be the 20th February at 6pm EST, with absolutely no mention of the subject matter, which has resulted in some debate. However, most people (myself included) believe that the most likely outcome is that Sony will reveal their much-rumoured Playstation 4 (codename: Orbis).

Below is the video from the teaser site:

 

Personally, I’m excited at the prospect of just how soon the remaining 8th console generation challengers could be arriving in our homes.

 

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Resident Evil: Revelations is shambling towards the 360, PS3, PC and WiiU

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rer logo
Capcom has announced that the previously Nintendo 3DS-exclusive Resident Evil Revelations will in fact be getting a second release on all of the current gen systems on May 21st of this year. Considering that this is a handheld game that is being ported over to the more powerful home consoles, Capcom also revealed that the re-releases will receive HD graphical upgrades as well as having an improved online component. A few extra “bells and whistles” was also stated to be included in the upcoming release.

Here is the official trailer for the re-release:

 

Resident Evil: Revelations released last year for the Nintendo 3DS, where it received very favourable reviews, so bringing the experience to a wider audience is certainly a great move by Capcom.

 

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A Chaotic Crossover – Project x Zone gets a Western Release

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It has been announced that Project x Zone – a previously Japan-only RPG for the Nintendo 3DS – will in fact be getting a release this coming summer in North America, Europe and Australia.

Project x Zone is a rather unique style of RPG that borrows elements from fighting games in order to make the combat both flashy and exciting, whilst rewarding the player’s skill for creating successful combos. On top of this, the game is primarily known for having multiple characters and universes from Capcom (Street Fighter, Devil May Cry), Namco-Bandai (Tekken, Tales of Vesparia) and Sega (Virtua Fighter, Valkyria Chronicles) – all interacting with each other in a giant fan-dream crossover story.

Here is an extended trailer for Project x Zone:

 

I have personally had my eye on this game since it was first announced as a Japan-only title, so I’m ecstatic to have the chance to play it for myself, in English.

 

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Round 1, Fight! – Evolution Announces Their 2013 Game Line-up

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With the next annual Evolution tournament date quickly approaching, the powers that be have finally revealed the games that we can expect to feature tournaments at the event. Whilst there will be a grand total of 8 games (compared to last year’s 7), not all of them will be played across all three days of the event – with some being concluded on their second tournament day.

Here is the list of games that will feature a tournament:

  1. Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3
  2. Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition 2012
  3. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  4. Mortal Kombat 9
  5. Street Fighter X Tekken 2013
  6. King Of Fighters 13
  7. Persona 4 Arena
  8. ?

As you can see, the eighth game is unknown at this point. This is because the hosts at Shoryuken.com are running a donation drive, in which the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The game that gets the most donation money will be crowned as the final game, so if there’s a game that takes your fancy – then get involved!

Here is the list of possible eighth games:

  1. Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R
  2. Super Smash Bros. Melee
  3. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  4. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike – Online Edition
  5. Virtua Fighter 5
  6. Divekick
  7. Melty Blood Actress Again Current
  8. My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic
  9. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
  10. Dead or Alive 5
  11. Capcom VS SNK 2
  12. Injustice
  13. Skullgirls
  14. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo
  15. BlazBlue
  16. Soul Calibur 5
  17. Darkstalkers 3

Evolution 2013 is set to be the largest fighting game event ever and will be hosted at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 12th-14th, with multiple live video streams being provided for those that cannot be there in person. For more details about the event as well as the donation links for deciding the eighth game, please visit: http://evo.shoryuken.com/

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© Copyright SteadiestShark
and SteadiestShark Gaming, 2012
All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.

Pokemon X and Y is announced for 3DS – A formula for success?

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pokemon x and y

Get ready to catch them all once more – as Pokemon X and Y launches worldwide in October 2013, only for the Nintendo 3DS.

This next entry promises to provide the brilliant RPG experience that we all know, love and have grown to expect from the series, except this time it will be set in a completely 3D world – unlike anything that has been previously released by the franchise.

Here is the official reveal trailer:


Looks impressive, right? I know that I’m interested in seeing how the games will turn out!

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January 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Guild Wars 2 Impressions Follow-up

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Fresh off of the final beta weekend for Guild Wars 2 I have felt the need to mention some things that have bothered me.

Previously:

Previously I had written a rather lengthy first impressions article (in a review style) for Guild Wars 2, where I generally stated how impressed I was by the game and its new direction.

However, whilst I did mention a couple of issues that I had with the game, I didn’t really elaborate on them as strongly as I should have done – and with the game coming out in roughly a month’s time, it’s unlikely that these will be altered for its official release.

Let me start off by saying that these are just my opinions and I do in fact see some counter-arguments to these issues.

GW2 blogsleep

My character represents my blog’s activity.

Personal gripe number 1 – the skill system:

Having played Guild Wars 1, I have been spoilt by being granted the ability to hand-customise my entire 8-skill ability tray with whatever I want, regardless of what weapon I was using (outside of the Warrior-class). This allowed a lot of creativity, whether you wanted to go 100% offensive, 100% support/defensive, or what I generally preferred – being as offensive as possible whilst having a decent amount of sustain (both health-wise and mana-wise). Basically, you could create some skill-sets that synchronised far more impressively than the developers could have anticipated.

In Guild Wars 2, you have a 10-skill ability tray. The first slot is worthless and is just your simple basic attack with whatever weapon you are using, so you have 9 slots to customise, right? Wrong.

The following 4 slots are usually offensive-based and are determined by whatever weapons you are using. You CANNOT change these 4 slots unless you completely change weapons, possibly to something that you don’t want to use. Oh yeah, each weapon (one per hand) only has 2 skills per character class!

The final 5 slots are unlocked via skill points and are player-selectable – however they’re pretty much limited to healing, sustain or utility – no skills truly seem offense-based or even aware of what your weapon of choice is. So basically, out of 10-skill slots, you only truly have input on what 5 of them are – and even those seem severely limited in terms of offensive options and generally don’t seem to synchronise very well.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel – some people have mentioned that the developers plan to add more skill options for each weapon set. Whilst this doesn’t exactly fix my concerns with the last 5 skill slots, it definitely does help.

GW2 spamming

Pretty much just spamming moves here, also the enemy had an invincibility glitch.

Personal gripe number 2 – the lack of a mana/energy system:

As previously mentioned, Guild Wars 1 had an energy system in place.

In Guild Wars 2, from what I can tell, the only “resource” that must be worked around is the cool-down period on each skill after they have been used. Due to this, the game simply promotes spamming all of your moves once they come off of their cool-downs without any regard for how long the battle is likely to last or possibly other factors that escape my mind at the moment. This dumbs down the skill-based gameplay by some amount.

GW2 3 weapons?

I wish that I could always use 3 weapons like this glitch shows, I’d like more skills to work with!

Nit-picking – the F-key skills:

Those that have played Guild Wars 2 may have already begun yelling at me for forgetting about the existence of the F-key skills that are available in the game, and they’d be correct in doing so. For me, it’s hard to remember their inclusion (despite mentioning them in my previous blog post) as they just don’t seem that potent or even interesting. Granted I could have played classes (Guardian and Mesmer) that didn’t utilise them very often at lower levels. Speaking of which, the F-key skills are actually pretty unviable in general for the Mesmer class from what I can tell, as illusions rarely “survive” long enough to be detonated, or are better off being “alive” if given the option anyway. The Guardian class had some survivability skills here, along with the odd condition-giving one.

At any rate, whilst I am definitely no expert on these skills,  I don’t believe that you can customise them as they are simply awarded/unlocked as you level up.

In short:

These combined issues equals a rather shallow combat experience with regards to skill usage, and is only made deeper by the new (and somewhat interesting) movement options. I also hope that the developers truly do have plans to add more skill variety/options.

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All images and trademarks are property of their respective developers.