The latest plethora of games entering Xbox Game Pass service on October 1st have been announced. Costume Quest 2 arrives to the Netflix-esq service, just in time for Halloween. Also added are; Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, State of Decay: Year One), Maldita Castilla EX: Cursed Castle, The Bug Butcher, and the roguelike-style shooter Tower of Guns. variety. Last but not least is Street Fighter IV, which is playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility.
This take the number of games to well over 100, and is great value for gamers new to the Xbox.
This week sees the release of some fresh content for last gens Street Fighter which can be found on Xbox 360, Steam, PS3 & PS4, there is something for everyone within these packs as every character has a new horror style outfit and they come in a variety of different packs. Individually these packs weigh in at £3.29 / $3.99 each so you can buy the ones for your favorite characters or you can purchase the complete costume pack for £14.99 / $19.99. Here is a peek at my favourites from each pack, who do you think has the best costume in the pack?
Introducing Ultra Street Fighter IV’s Edition Select Mode! Players can duke it out across history using their favorite version of any character, complete with their original balance! Create dream match-ups to determine who the strongest fighter really is!
Available Game Versions:
1. SF4 (original)
3. SSF4 AE
4. SSF4 AE Ver.2012
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):
Hugo (Final Fight/Street Fighter III):
Poison (Final Fight):
Rolento (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.
Persona, or Shin Megami Tensai as it is better known around the world is an insanely successful Japanese RPG series. The series has been running rampant for years, so when Arc System Works and Atlus announced that Persona 4 Arena would be a fighting game, many were perplexed as to whether the game would even be worth making. Well I can silence the murmurs now, not only is it a credible fighting game, but it’s pretty damn good by fighting game standards.
Now the game has actually been out for a little while. It came out in March of 2012 on arcade machines as well as July and August on consoles in Japan and North America respectively. But due to some publishing issues here in Europe, we could not yet get our hands on the title. But Zen United stepped up and took the game on so that us EU folk could finally have a go and see for ourselves what this fighter has got up its sleeves.
So let’s finally kick things off. What with Persona being a well-known RPG series, it was almost a requirement that the story mode in the game had to be worthwhile. It’s a deep experience that follows on from the storyline in Persona 4. You’ll find yourself scurrying through battle after battle just to read the in-depth dialogue boxes in between. So for the uninitiated, the story will play out with four protagonists all being sucked into a strange television world where a fighting tournament known as The P-1 Grand Prix is being held. From there on a deep storyline that intertwines and meshes together in the style of a Guy Ritchie movie. All in all, the entire story is very good. It’s very well done and absolutely does justice to the stories of its RPG predecessor.
As well as a full story mode, there are also classic modes such as Arcade mode and Score attack mode to keep you busy. These are pretty bog standard and are featured in almost every fighting game to date. They will serve as a nice distraction as you move on to other characters and hone your craft.
So as any avid player of fighting games will tell you, the first thing you do when you turn on a new game is jump into training mode or a trial mode to get the hang of the game. Upon doing this, it is easy to see that the game handles just as well as any fighter. It has a 4 button system very similar to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and BlazBlue and plays just as smoothly as the mentioned fighters. The X and A buttons are assigned to light and medium attacks. Whereas the Y and A buttons are assigned to Persona attacks. A character’s Persona is a sort of giant beast that accompanies them to the battle. Almost an astral projection of the character’s fighting spirit. Upon jumping into the challenge mode, you will see that the game will be just as fast paced and intense as BlazBlue and the like. The combos are fearsome, long, and they take a hell of a lot of execution. Once you’ve got it down, this is definitely a game that you’ll warm up to.
The tutorial mode shows that the game is actually very unique in certain ways. It has an auto combo system where each character has one specific combo assigned to simply pressing the X button a number of times. Much like all the anime fighters, there is a lot of super jumping and air dashing as well as air throws, throw escapes and such. But the game has also adopted the hop system from King of Fighters. This is just a simple short hop that will allow you to extend your standing combos to air combos. All the regular mainstays are here, such as guard cancels and instant blocks. But a new innovative (and god damn beautiful) thing has been implemented into the game. You actually get a negative penalty for running away from your opponent and attempting to turtle. The argument could be made that it kills any kind of strategy, there could also be a counter argument to say that it opens up a whole new level of strategy. That’s something for the fighting game community to holler over for a while.
The anime style of graphics is nothing new to this genre. Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, and countless other have utilised it. It comes as no surprise since Arc System Works are the people behind the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series’. They all look fantastic and this game is no exception. Every brightly coloured sprite is captured in beautiful form here. The stages are a unique blend of 2D and 3D that I haven’t seen used in this way since Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on the Dreamcast. Every stage is so detailed that it is hard to keep your eye on the action. As you fight, certain pieces of dialogue and comic storyboards will pop up, very much akin to manga television shows. The television show presentation of the fights adds to the battle and can actually go as far as to rile you up.
Now no fighting game would be complete without online play. It is upsetting to state that the netcode leaves much to be desired. The majority of fights will have minor input lag. It’s not enough to break the game, but it is definitely enough to put you off. Online has already withered to a rather small amount of people, however. So if you plan on being an online warrior, you’d better be prepared to make some friends and some enemies, because you will be playing the same people over and over again.
Overall, Persona 4 Arena is a very good game. Fans of the series can rest easy with the knowledge that Arc System Works and Atlus have done them proud here. Not only have they made a game that can reach out to fans of the series, but they have also made a viable competitive fighter that hardcore players can really get into. The story mode will keep you going for a few hours, it has many twists and turns that will keep you going. It is truly a shame about the poor netcode, however. It’s about time that developers realised that poor netcode in a fighting game is quite literally a death sentence. Because once you’re done with the initial glitz and glamour, the online is what will keep you playing and what will keep you interested. It’s certainly the biggest reason that Street Fighter IV is the dominant fighter on the scene, and has been for four years now. Digressing from that, Persona 4 Arena is a very good game that I would recommend to any fan of fighting games or Shin Megami Tensai.
Capcom have dominated the fighting scene since the introduction of Street Fighter II in 1991. Since then, a small handful of other companies attempted to take the reins in the fighting game community. Only Namco, SNK or Midway have come close. Midway are notable as the creators of the much loved Mortal Kombat series. Mortal Kombat became a staple series with its innovative engine and never before seen gore. After Capcom’s crossover success with Marvel and SNK, it was time for the guys at Midway to try their hand at it. Midway established a relationship with Warner Bros who own DC Comics that would enable them to make a Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe game. The game fell short, and aside from a brilliant story mode, wasn’t well made and became stale very quickly. Midway suffered liquidation in 2009 and things looked bleak for the Mortal Kombat name. Warner Bros acquired most of Midway’s assets, including Mortal Kombat. So in 2010, NetherRealm Studios was born with the announcement of a brand new Mortal Kombat; a reboot to the series. Not much excitement was garnered, but once it was released, people found that it was an excellent game with yet another enticing story mode. The success of Mortal Kombat along with the backing of Warner Bros Interactive meant that a DC only fighting game was finally sanctioned and that many had hope for it to be a good game. So is it a good game? Read on and see.
Since the story was so enchanting in their previous two games, I decided to jump straight into that and see whether Injustice was up to scratch. Boy, is it ever. NetherRealm have immediately shaken the foundations of the DC Universe with a tale that is almost unthinkable. It starts off in an alternate reality, Metropolis is in ruins. A giant bomb has turned the once thriving city into a desolate wasteland. It then cuts away to an interrogation. Batman is berating The Joker and asking why he did what he did. Superman blasts through the wall and completely out of character, then throws Batman to the side and pummels the life out of The Joker. Quite literally, he kills The Joker. As any fan of DC Comics will tell you, this is completely out of character. Cut to our reality (well, their reality), Earth’s most well-known heroes are amidst a battle when they are transported to a reality much like their own, but much different. It turns out that many years had passed since Superman killed Joker, and it is being run as a completely policed state. Superman now being a dictator who controls all. Live by his rules, or die at his hand. This is the fear that Superman has instilled into the world to create order. Superman runs a faction known as The Regime. They are the ones who supposedly uphold the law as Superman tells it. A group known as The Insurgency are the only ones who oppose The Regime. They are number one on the most wanted list and they are spearheaded by none other than, you guessed it; the god-damned Batman. Batman and Harley Quinn are the only ones left that will uphold justice. Perhaps the heroes who have just arrived will help them; maybe some of them just won’t be able to grasp the fact that some of the most notorious villains in their world just might be good in this one. It’s the lore of the DC Universe that makes this an intriguing story.
The story in Injustice is in a word, fantastic. NetherRealm have taken well established characters and ran in their own direction. It’s mostly the shock factor that makes it work all round. There are some moments that may genuinely leave you speechless. It also features what I would call the most shocking moment I’ve seen in a game for years. Every character has their own reason for fighting in the well-crafted story. Warner Bros made a great decision in allowing NetherRealm to officially create their own DC Universe as it gives them free rein to take limited characters like Superman and give them emotional depth like you may have never seen. The story works just like Mortal Kombat and MK vs DCU did. Each chapter is dedicated to one character. Finish your cut-scene laden chapter and you will move on to the next character. The story should take approximately 2 to 3 hours to complete and trust me; you won’t want it to end. But you will be left extremely satisfied.
Story mode isn’t the only place it’s at. The game also has several Battle modes. Classic Battle is basically the equivalent to Arcade mode which is in all fighting games. Defeat a series of characters before taking on the final boss which will unlock your character’s ending. There are also several other Battle modes to choose from, all with different settings and options. If you need more on your plate, each character has 10 S.T.A.R. lab missions each. It’s a sort of trial mode that helps you learn how to play each character, very similar to Mortal Kombat’s Challenge Tower. Each S.T.A.R. lab mission has 3 stars to obtain; trying to get all the stars will completionists busy for hours upon hours.
Multiplayer offers up a nice range of modes for you to duke it out online with. There’s the classic 1vs1 mode that never fails, survival is a new mode that sees you fight with one health bar until you finally lose, and king of the hill makes a return from Mortal Kombat. The net-code is almost a mirror of Mortal Kombat’s. If you and your opponent don’t have a perfect connection with each other, you’re in for a bad time. It’s a disappointment as online play is the only thing that keeps a fighter going after the initial gust of casual players give up on the game. The game may not survive in a tournament setting due to the lack of stable connectivity online.
The graphics are nothing to shout about in the game. They’re not bad, they’re just, meh. Scenery and backgrounds are pretty damn good. The sunny skies of Metropolis and the dark backdrop of Gotham City are captured beautifully. The stages look fantastic and are completely destructible and interactive. The graphical problems in the game stem from the character models themselves. They are poorly rendered and have no definition. It’s almost like when you open up a create-a-character mode on a wrestling game and are greeted with the generic default face at the start. It’s a shame as every costume has beautiful detail and has clearly had a lot of work put into them.
The voice acting is wonderfully done in the game. You can see that NetherRealm have invested heavily in getting people who can really play the roles. Although Mark Hamill would not reprise his excellent work as The Joker, Richard Epcar does the role justice. Kevin Conroy returns as the voice of Batman, a role he has been doing since the 90s. Tara Strong returns as the down-right scary Raven and the insatiable Harley Quinn after doing splendid work on the Arkham franchise. Even Stephen Amell who plays Oliver Queen in the live action Arrow show lent his voice acting skills to Green Arrow’s alternate costume. The score goes with every action and emotion throughout the story and the fights and complements everything within the game.
The core gameplay is truly the heart of a fighting game, and may I say that Injustice might just be NetherRealm’s best work yet. It’s easy to pick up if you’re not familiar with fighting games and even NetherRealm’s rigid control process can be altered to match the smooth motions and easy to handle inputs of the Street Fighter series. NetherRealm have clearly put in the time to make this game accessible to casuals while still making it deep enough for the hardcore crowd to enjoy. The new control system is very much akin to Marvel vs. Capcom 3’s. The X and Y buttons are now simply light and heavy attacks while the A button is now a special attack button that can set up launchers, overheads, and wall bounces. The B button activates your special character trait. For example, Nightwing’s special trait means that he can combine his two escrima sticks into one staff, bringing a whole new play style and move set to the character. The game handles very much like Mortal Kombat, strings and combos are a tad easier to hit in this iteration, however.
The newest inclusion in the fights is the stage interactions. There are three character classes that dictate how you will interact with them. For example, a car in the corner of a stage can be bounced off of and used to escape by an acrobatic character. A gadget character will attach an explosive to it to make it blow up. A power character will just pick that car up and slam it straight on your opponent’s head. Most stages have a centre-piece that you can kick your character into for a sort of interactive wall bounce that will extend combos. Another new feature is the inclusion of stage transitions. One well-placed attack can send your foe hurtling through the air or through buildings into another area of the stages. All stages but one have a couple different areas that you can run to if your current setting is boring you. These are good as the stage transitions in themselves lead to high damage and add a whole other way to play the game.
The inclusion of the frame data in the move-lists is quite frankly a beautiful addition. No longer do you have to trawl through internet forums trying to find specific data to see if you can combo this thing into that thing. Being able to string combos together that I hadn’t thought possible before with the help of a simple pause menu is the most helpful thing that has ever been included in fighting games. The hardcore players will appreciate this more than anyone else.
Injustice: Gods Among Us is by far NetherRealm’s most well-made game. The combination of a huge cast of characters, with several alternate costumes keeps things fresh. A 2-3 hour long story mode combined with S.T.A.R. Labs and Classic Battle mode will take weeks if not months to complete. Working to unlock all of the costumes will keep you busy all by itself. Injustice: Gods Among Us is the epitome of fan service, and a damn good game.
Over the past few years, it has become apparent that a new fad has come into fruition. Dressing up our old beloved games in a new high definition gloss, and releasing it out to the world once more. Today’s gamers have accepted these releases at a huge scale. Accepting them rather then scorning them. It’s a great idea, take something everyone loves, repackage it with more content, make it better looking, let people relive their past loves. Here at ThisisXbox, we have painstakingly gone through the list of HD re-releases and picked the best ten of the bunch to share with you. Continue reading ThisisXbox Top Ten: Xbox HD Re-Releases→
C’mon, we’ve all been there, busting out our best versions of a hurricane kick across the front room, attempting to perfect pencil spins whilst mid air! Well now Street Fighter and Tekken fans across the UK have got the opportunity to show the world how good their finely honed impressions of Ryu and Cammy really are! Continue reading Capcom Lay Down The Next Street Fighter X Tekken Challenge→