Tag Archives: Fighter

One Piece: Burning Blood review

One Piece: Burning Blood taps into the absurdness of its source material to deliver an action packed, creative, and pleasantly in-depth 3D fighter. However, this is clearly a title for those already engaged with the anime, for everyone else it trends a bit too close to bizarre and its minor flaws will be felt more keenly.

With the anime, One Piece, telling the tale of a bunch of superhuman pirates with peculiar looks and even more peculiar abilities, it’s no wonder it proves an ideal setup for a 3D brawler. Here the large roster of unique characters have a place to shine, showing off their variety of over the top combat techniques and their complex interconnected narrative that links the characters together. It’s oddly compelling stuff, and Burning Blood does a great job of focusing its own story on a specific arc of the anime so not to completely overwhelm newcomers.

This concept of accessibility is further evident in how the mechanics are taught to you. The story mode is the only option available to you when you start the game, and as you follow the events of the Paramount War as the anime’s primary protagonist Luffy, new attack and defence techniques are gradually introduced. By the end of Luffy’s adventure you’ll be fully aware of the complexity of Burning Blood’s combat system, including guard breaks, support character buffs, switching between characters mid-battle, and the numerous yet intuitive attacks and special moves.

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It’s a combat system that’s complex enough to offer strategic scope but simple enough to be intuitive. Meanwhile, with fights taking place in sizable 3D arenas, controlling spacing and mastering the dodge become important skills.

In fact you’re encouraged to learn multiple disciplines as the adventure unfolds. Sometimes a fight is a simple brawl, whilst others task you with staying alive for a certain amount of time against a far superior foe. Some battles will require you to frequently break your opponent’s guard and slowly chip away their health, whilst others encourage aggressive speed. It’s a nicely varied set of objectives revolving around combat.

However, there are clearly some balancing issues. Some missions feel like their result is entirely down to luck, with your opponent’s utterly destroying your health bar in a single hit and taking hardly any damage themselves. Getting stuck on such battles is highly frustrating and can easily ruin your immersion and enjoyment. Fortunately the most infuriating of these battles are largely restricted to optional missions. The camera also has a tendency to frame larger characters horrendously, completely obscuring your view. Mind you, the cinematic angles it achieves during special moves is tremendously effective at immersing you and highlighting the excellent, and faithful to its source material, aesthetic.

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As you play through the Paramount War you’ll unlock additional modes and characters to use outside of the story. Additionally, once you’ve completed Luffy’s adventure, three new characters are unlocked for the Paramount War story, allowing you to witness the same events from a different perspective. Here’s where the variety begins to suffer, with many of the cut scenes reused and only the fighters changing. Fortunately the other modes offer something new, however, with the roster locked behind complete the story mode, you may find your choice of characters restricted unless you persist. In-game currency can, fortunately be used to purchase characters but at hefty prices.

Combat outside of the story mode is more structured. You choose three characters to bring into battle and can switch between them on the fly to utilise shred attacks and preserve your fighters health through lengthy battles against the AI, local opponents, or online. Beyond your standard verses modes and their leaderboards and stat tracking features, is the more creative Pirate Flag Battle. In this mode you pick a pirate faction, and every online duel you complete works towards capturing points on a map. It’s a neat social feature that helps encourage online play, although its longevity will very much depend on if the community stays with it.

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Indeed, One Piece: Burning Blood is a fun and well-designed 3D fighter that makes great use of its source material. However, it struggles to balance its positive aspects with its negative ones, providing a focused story that’s easy for new comers to digest, but compromising on variety; and offering an immersive cinematic camera, but occasionally obscuring your view when larger characters are in play. Meanwhile, keeping content and characters locked away hurts the verses mode. But if you’re a fan of One Piece then Burning Blood is a wonderfully faithful brawler of one of the most intense story arcs of the anime.

Thanks to Bandai Namco Entertainment and Xbox for supporting TiX

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikea review

If you’re in the mood for a no nonsense action title that’s singularly focused on combat, then Mitsurugi Kamui Hikea is right up your alley. This austere offering is severely lacking in story, and takes place in a number of fixed arenas, but redeems itself somewhat by its in depth combat, resulting in an experience that’s short-lived but satisfying if slicing up waves of enemies with skilful precision and speed floats your boat.

You play as schoolgirl Misa, and over the course of half a dozen stages, you’ll pursue her best friend, Suzuka, who’s been corrupted by a demonic blade. A handful of very short cutscenes with minimal dialogue sets the scene and drives the narrative forward, but exposition is kept short and sweet. The plot is clearly not the focus of the experience, instead it’s the combat that takes centre stage.

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In fact outside of this barebones story, there’s nothing but combat. Each stage is a small, closed arena with spawning bad guys to mow through before a boss fight. It’s entirely focused on these fights and feels very empty and featureless as a result. However, the combat shows some flair and complexity that rivals titles such as Devil May Cry, and once you start upgrading Misa’s move set, a great deal more strategy and technique creeps in.

What begins as a button-mashing affair, soon becomes a tense and frantic spectacle of highly skilled and satisfying swordplay. Basic martial arts fills a sword gauge which can then be spent performing samurai slices with your katana that do increased damage. Balancing the attack types to keep the gauge full and unleash some devastating combos when you need to, makes for a fun and tactical flurry of fights. Moreover, as you unlock new moves the combat becomes more varied and interesting, and your opponents follow suit with neat attacks of their own. It’s a challenging but enjoyable combat system and grows from humble beginnings to include parrying and counter attacks, juggling, and special moves.

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However, as solid as the combat mechanics are, there’s very little else here to entertain you and it’s all over within a couple of hours. Additionally, as well as the many foes you’ll be engaging, the camera likes to fight you as well and won’t lock-on to enemies making the more advanced techniques that require precision timing that much more difficult to perform.

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikea is more akin to a fighting game than an action adventure, but one with a roster of only one character. Indeed then this lack of content is hugely disappointing. However, the experience is certainly focused on the most impressive and polished aspect: the combat, which is superb.

Thanks to Xbox and ZENITH BLUE for supporting TiX

Mortal Kombat X review

The Mortal Kombat series has a storied history, wonderfully delighting and shocking us with its special brand of gruesome and violent combat. I have vivid memories of how intense the first games were; from the style of combat, the unlockable secrets like Reptile and blood mode, to the painstaking research and experimentation required to unlock the over-the-top, gory and highly satisfying Fatalities. The announcement of the newest game in the franchise, Mortal Kombat X, had me all a quiver, with my expectations skyrocketing.

And I certainly wasn’t disappointed; from the moment you fire up the game you are again immersed in the corny but brutal world of Mortal Kombat. In fact, the immersion starts before you even enter an arena. On starting the game you must choose which faction you want to fight for. The five factions represent the clans and organisations many of the roster herald from – such as Earthrealm’s Special Forces community, and Netherrealm’s Brotherhood of Shadow. As you play – whether online of offline – you accumulate points which contribute to the overall score of your faction. At the end of each week a faction is announced the winner and rewards are dished out, such as Koins for spending in the Krypt and even a Faction Kill, a faction-specific Fatality. It’s a great way to encourage players to return daily, especially with faction–specific challenges cropping up hourly, daily and weekly granting score boost if you conquer them, furthermore, it doesn’t force you into competing online; regardless of how you play Mortal Kombat, any action results in points for your faction, keeping everyone involved.


With the previous title in the series re-treading the original trilogy’s story and providing a lengthy and coherent narrative for the series, Mortal Kombat X, has its work cut out for it. Fortunately the story maintains its silly but fascinating appeal, continuing on from where the last one left off and making smart decisions with the introduction of new characters and keeping continuity. Throughout the 6-8 hour story you’ll jump into the shoes of the majority of the cast, fighting a few bouts as each before switching to another character. It proves a great way to introduce you to each fighter’s style of combat, and the challenge of adapting to each helps maintain the pacing and keep you on your toes. Character switching is also frequent enough so that you won’t get too frustrated if you can’t gel with a particular one. Additionally, if things do get too difficult, you have the option to skip fights and simply enjoy the journey.

Outside of the story are the usual fighting game modes of single player one-off fights and multiplayer –both online and local. Additionally, a comprehensive tutorial mode teaches you the basics and nuances of combat, meanwhile, a training mode lets you pummel an opponent to your heart’s content, with options for modifying your opponent’s reactions or activating on-screen button presses and Fatality position windows. The Krypt returns, presenting a 3D graveyard for you to explore and unlock additional content – such as Fatalities and character costumes – by purchasing tombs and gravestones with in-game currency you earn in combat. Also the Klassic Tower mode returns, pitting you to against random characters, one at a time as you attempt to climb the tower and become champion.


Test Your Luck fights activate up to seven modifiers that enhance or hamper both combatants. These take the form of raining meteors and missile strikes that damage you, power ups and health pick-ups appearing in the arena, or even the screen turning black every few seconds, as well as many more debilitating or advantageous effects. This proves a terrific way of randomly shaking up the status quo. Finally, Living Towers are a mixture of Klassic Tower mode and Test Your Luck, having you climb to the top of a tower whilst dealing with the random Test Your Luck effects. Once a tower is complete you can then challenge a friend to conquer the same tower and attempt to beat your score.

Mortal Kombat X’s combat continues its tradition of simple combos with a focus on juggling to deal extreme damage. It’s a well-balanced system that’s easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. Combos typically don’t stretch beyond three or four hits, but multiple combos can be chained together with significant speed to make them seem endless if you’re skilled enough. A power meter at the bottom of the screen for each character increases with damage taken and special moves connecting, offering you the choice to spend one of the three segments in enhancing a special move, sacrificing all segments to break an incoming combo, or spending all three to perform a devastating X-ray move, which brutally maims and mutilates an opponent’s body, breaking bones and puncturing organs in a gruesome spectacle.


A large roster of 24 characters are available, once unlocked in the main story, with several more imminently available as DLC. Furthermore, each character has three distinct combat styles to choose from that significantly changes how each one fights. Additionally each fighter feels unique, covering a diverse range of martial arts, weapons, and supernatural special moves that makes them all a thrill to use and learn. And with their unique X-ray moves, and a pair of supremely gory Fatalities each, there’s a great deal of variety to experience.

Mortal Kombat X introduces the series to Xbox One with superb results. The level of detail in the environments and characters is eye wateringly good, meanwhile, the fast paced combat doesn’t miss a beat, either offline or online. An impressive roster and some of the most brutal Fatalities and X-ray moves yet seen in the series, alone with a captivating story and intriguing hint at where it might go next makes this an unmissable fighter for the beat ‘em up crowd, meanwhile, the combat’s accessibility should easily tempt newcomers. Mortal Kombat X is brilliant, achieving a balance between technical and spectacle which seldom few other fighters do.

Thanks to Premier Communications and Xbox for supplying TiX with a promotional copy

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New Ultra Street Fighter IV Gameplay Mechanic Announced

Capcom’s Tomoaki Ayano has announced the latest gameplay mechanic to come in the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter IV. Besides the Red Focus and the Double Ultra mechanics, we now have delayed wake-ups. This completely flips the script and changes the way everyone will play, especially grapplers like Zangief and T. Hawk as well as vortex characters like Seth.

This is a roughly translated statement from Capcom’s Saikyo Blog .

“We also have a third new battle system — Delay Standing… For you to experience!

Delay Standing allows you to alter the timing of your wakeup, making your rise take a bit longer than usual. With this, you can increase your options against opponents with strong okizeme!”

Ultra Street Fighter IV is due out in Q1 of 2014 on the Xbox 360 as both a downloadable upgrade to Super Street Fighter IV, and a full retail release.


Capcom Announce 5 New Characters For Super Street Fighter IV Update


Well we knew that Capcom were to announce their upcoming ‘balance patch’ for Super Street Fighter IV. But we had no idea just what they had in store for us. Since 2009, Street Fighter IV has received a huge amount of balance patches and updates. First came Street Fighter IV, which then became Super Street Fighter IV (in wonderful Capcom fashion), and finally came Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition 2012.

Capcom had said that they were announcing the much hyped balance patch for the game at the premier fighting game tournament, Evo. The shocker came when it was announced that not only is it a balance patch, but an entirely new version of the game. Complete with 5 new characters and 6 new stages. Four of these characters won’t come as much of a shock to you, as they were featured in Street Fighter X Tekken. But here they are anyway, with official artwork.

Elena (Street Fighter III):

ElenaHugo (Final Fight/Street Fighter III):

HugoPoison (Final Fight):

PoisonRolento (Final Fight/Street Fighter Alpha 2):



The 5th character is a new character that is yet to appear in the Street Fighter series and will be announced at a later date. The safe bet would either be on Asura (of Asura’s Wrath) as he has already appeared in the Street Fighter IV engine, or another character transitioning from Final Fight.

On top of this, we have been promised six new stages and a handful of new modes. The update will be released as DLC for people who already own Super Street Fighter IV, as a full digital download, or on disc at retail. A pre-order bonus has already been announced. Pre-order with selected retailers and receive exclusive DLC costumes for the 5 new characters designed by legendary Capcom artist Udon as incentive.

The name of this new version will be announced along with an official trailer tomorrow before the Super Street Fighter IV Grand Finals at Evo.

Check out this video for the live announcement (beware, some crowd noise is NSFW).

This new version of the game is due to come out early 2014. Stay tuned tomorrow evening for more news along with the trailer.