So many great things are going on in the Killer Instinct World Cup today. A little while ago, during a Season 3 showcase period, a new version of a Kim Wu trailer was aired live on Maximilian Dood’s Twitch channel and also on the X-Games Halo tournament. A new guest character was teased, which looked like none other than Halo’s Arbiter sporting his energy sword. Check out the teaser below.
There has been a lot of game play, reveals, taunts and ultra combos so far and the tournament has not even begun yet, we even got to see what Rash will look like in his normal costume.
Is anyone else as excited as I am for the Arbiter?
Kicking off the Killer Instinct World Cup, there was a fairly large segment about the nerfs and buffs that every character within the game would be receiving. There is a full list available over with the folks at Ultra-Combo and also there’s a video on Maximilian Dood’s Youtube channel, featuring all of the Season One characters. Here are some of the reasons as to why the game is undergoing the changes that it is;
We want to encourage player creativity in play styles, setups, and combos.
Playing any character in KI should be a way to express yourself. The things you find aren’t just flashy, they are practical for in-match use.
We want to adjust the existing characters for balance against the Season 3 roster, while also giving players sticking with Season 1 or Season 2 characters new tools to explore.
We want to further tune the concept of Risk vs Reward within our Combo and Breaker systems, and on each individual character.
This is a significant balance shake up, so anything can happen!
Character changes are generally listed in a nerfs first, buffs last order where logical. If your favorite character lost some stuff, stay calm until the end, as you’ve probably gained some, too.
What do you think of the changes, will they make for a better balance in the game?
The absolutely stunning Avengers film hit the silver screen in 2012 with immense critical success. What was surprising is that TT Games didn’t follow up the film’s release with their special brand of LEGO humour, instead we saw LEGO Marvel Super Heroes the following year.
One thing I love most about the LEGO games (besides the fact it’s LEGO) is the awesome humour – taking iconic scenes from the films they are based on and having fun with them. This was lost in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Without that anchor point I didn’t enjoy the game as much. LEGO Marvel’s Avengers set this to rights by going back to what the series has done best – focusing around the films.
The game follows the story arc of the Avengers films, kicking things off with the opening scene of Age of Ultron before flashing back to the first film. Scenes from Captain America’s films are beautifully woven in making the game feel like a new story while still centering on the Avengers cinematic story – it’s a shame that TT Games couldn’t weave in more moments like this, instead opting to bring in scenes from Iron Man 3, Thor the Dark World and Captain America The Winter Soldier as extra missions accessible via the world map. Just like the many Marvel films, Stan Lee gets some great cameos throughout the game, and there are LEGO versions of the end credit extra scenes.
Before you embark on a story mission, there’s a smaller hub area to play in – some of which are available to explore further when in between missions. These serve as small introductions to each story, either tasking you with building a useful item or getting the team ready for the challenge that waits. Further exploration in these hub worlds when in between missions includes the usual gold brick and extra character collection, plus the option to play several side missions, some of which are as entertaining as the main game’s levels.
Levels are perfectly pitched. They’re not too long and stay creative enough to keep my interest – it’s a shame I couldn’t have said the same for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. The hub worlds are excellent and it was fun exploring Tony Stark’s Malibu Island or flying around Asgard. LEGO Manhattan returns and while it feels a little too familiar, new challenges and side missions await – and damn there’s a lot to do.
Combat is fluid if a little tiresome with the incessant bashing of the attack button – a team-up move does help to alleviate this slightly, which can be pulled off once a meter is filled. Classic team combination moves from the films are recreated, as well as new combination moves from the main Avengers team – perfect for instakills when you get surrounded.
The roster has seen an overhaul too. Removing Spiderman, X-Men, The Fantastic Four, and The Guardians of the Galaxy, and their many allies and villains – a shame – but in their place is a whole new roster of the lesser-known Marvel characters plucked straight from the comics. Great for fans of paper, but not so much for those only familiar with the star-studded line up of the cinematic world of Marvel.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers isn’t all Hollywood glitz. Boss battles are disappointing button prompt mashes and the sound mix is rather iffy. Character lines have been sampled directly from the movies and sounds muffled, when these are delivered against the new sound effects and one liners, it sounds pretty terrible.
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers does exactly what you might expect from a LEGO game. There’s a ton of characters to unlock, lots of things to collect and a whole world of cinematic Marvel to laugh at – but it doesn’t offer anything particularly new, retreading old LEGO ground in Marvel’s boots. However, the film to LEGO humour is spot on with interesting levels that are pitched at the right length. I’ll certainly be mopping up all side quests, collectibles and rescuing Stan Lee to 100% this one!
Dr. Ambrose Ink, one of the greatest minds of the technical revolution, has been investigating a series of earthquakes which have been destroying the world’s cities in its wake. His research has led him to the quiet mountain-side town of Hochwald, where events take a turn for the worst.
In an attempt to stop Dr. Ink from discovering his plan, the dastardly General Engineer of Gottland kidnaps Dr. Ink, and it is up to his longtime friend, and confidante, Agent Evangeline Glass to come to his rescue.
If you’re a fan of puzzle games such as Professor Layton, you will be right at home with Clockwork Tales: Of Glass Ink. You start off with the standard point and click affair, travelling between scenes and interacting with the local characters, gathering clues as to why Dr. Ink has been kidnapped. Before you know it, you’re collecting items to unlock hidden rooms, solving various mini-games, and saving yourself from the General Engineers’ henchmen.
Visually, Clockwork Tales is really quite charming, and the illustrated style suits the title perfectly. Although it advertises itself as such, it isn’t obnoxiously steampunk but rather more traditional Victorian in its approach. Each scene is vibrant and full of life, but never appears cluttered and navigating between the scenes is almost effortless.
Although Clockwork Tales is visually very good, the audio aspect could have done with the care and attention the artwork received. The base soundtrack is as expected, with its simple dramaticism, however the dialogue was often lacklustre and poorly recorded. Some of the voice actors portrayed their character with the depth required, but others were flat and lacking in character. This didn’t spoil the game for me, as such, but with Dr. Ink and Evangeline Glass being so vibrant and rounded, the lesser voice acting was obvious.
Although a little short, and taking just over 2 hours to complete the first chapter, Clockwork Tales is a surprisingly addictive puzzler. Much like other point and click adventure titles, such as Broken Sword or Secret of Monkey Island, you are tasked with filling your inventory with helpful tools and objects, some of which are combined to help you solve the mystery of Dr. Ink’s disappearance. However, Clockwork Tales also mixes in other mini puzzles to keep the gameplay feeling fresh and enticing.
Whilst exploring the environments, you will be given special hints to areas in which you need to investigate, which become hidden-item games, where you scour the screen crossing off items as you find them. Unfortunately it’s quite easy to just hit the A button over and over until all items have been crossed off, as there’s no penalty for identifying incorrect objects. Also, some of the descriptions of the items aren’t quite clear, so you’ll often find yourself clicking on what you think is the correct item, when in fact it’s not. Other mini games feature you having to move a key through a lock but having to pass it through every point of the maze, or rotating discs until the image lines up, adding an extra dynamic to the gameplay. As ever with these types of mini puzzles, quite often I would be sat there looking for a solution which was blindingly obvious, but most were fairly easy and quick to complete.
Once you complete the first chapter, you unlock a second which takes the story back two weeks before Dr. Ink was capture, giving his perspective of the events occurring in Hochwald. There is also the option of playing both chapters with normal or hard difficulty, increasing the replayability somewhat.
Overall, Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink is an excellent way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. It’s not an overly taxing affair, but perfect to wind down and relax with. It is now available to download from the Xbox store for £7.99.
Thanks to Xbox and Artifex Mundi for their support.
At the Killer Instinct World Cup today, fans were treated to a trailer for the second announced character for Season 3. Kim Wu returns with a revamped character model wielding her nunchucks as she unleashes her Ultra on Shadow Jago. It is great that her original stage music from Killer Instinct 2 (1996) is still attached to her and sounding as great as ever!
Kim Wu will be available with Killer Instinct Season 3 in March 2016.
Ultra-Combo come back again with another updated backstory and this time it is for one of the most hated and raged against characters in the whole game, none other than the trap grappling sorcerer Kan-Ra. Learn how his travels and rivalries began in his newly extended back story.
Kan-Ra was a vizier in Babylonian times—an extremely handsome man with a powerful magnetism and ability to sway peoples’ minds. His hubris led him to orchestrate a conspiracy against his monarch that involved a wealthy noble, a general, a bandit, and himself. The King, much wiser than the conspirators, was well prepared for this betrayal. He used all the powers at his disposal and the darkest magicks he could conjure to curse each of the four, damning them with unique punishments.
The Killer Instinct World Cup is live right now in San Antonio, Texas. It’s being live streamed right now for all to see on the Twitch channel of Maximilian_Dood. Right now is the last chance qualifiers for the last four positions and then on to the top 32 tomorrow most of the big players like Rico Suave, PaulB, TSwagg, C88 PinkDiamond, Emperor Rebelo, LCD and many many more.
This Monday marks a new month and coming with that will be more free games, Xbox Live Gold members will be on the receiving end of four new free games, two on Xbox One – Hand of Fate which will be available 1-29th Feb and Styx which is available 16th Feb to 15th March. You will also gain two games on Xbox 360 – 1-15th Feb gives you Sacred Citadel Then on the 16th-29th Feb you will be able to download and play Gears of War 2. You will be able to play both Xbox 360 titles on your Xbox One with Backward Compatibility, bring on the freebies.
A new Destiny event is coming soon to celebrate Valentines Day, a short event that has the sole purpose to bond two guardians together in the heat of battle. The event will be running from 9th – 16th February 2016. Go hand in hand with your comrade in a new 2v2 elimination mode dubbed Crimson Doubles, visiting Lord Shaxx prior to starting the event will enable a new quest line and some bounties to help you gain XP on your travels. This PVP mode will not match you with a partner or friend but will most defiantly test your team work skills, losing your team mate in battle will give you a broken heart which will grant you the following buff;
If your teammate falls to the opposition in Crimson Doubles, you will be infused with the power of Broken Heart. In your vengeful state, you will be faster on the draw and much quicker to recover from any damage you take. Use this boost to avenge your partner and keep your dreams of victory alive. The Broken Heart buff will last until you revive your fallen comrade, until the round ends, or until you fall in combat yourself.
Playing well together will give you the chance to earn some ‘Sweet rewards’ such as new Shaders and new Ghost Shells that can drop at up to 320 Light and completing the “Crimson Bonds” quest will get you the new Crimson Days Emblem. Take a trip to see Tess Everis, her store will be restocked and have newly added emotes which will be available for purchase for the limited time period, as well as letting you do the new Awkward and Strange dances, give a Secret Greeting or Fist Bump to your Crimson Doubles partner before you wreak havoc on your enemies.