Thursday, 18 May 2017

ARMS is shaping up nicely!

Last night Nintendo broadcast their ARMS focused Direct and it's looking rather promising!

There's been some concern and hype for Nintendo's new IP. the two primary concerns for ARMS are controls and content. Last nights Direct certainly addressed the later.

The now roster now features 10 fighters (with two additional fighters/bosses showed but not announced), each character has a unique ability altering how they play. The newcomers are a robotic cop (with AI robodog), a woman with spring hair, and a "snake border"

L-R Kid Cobra, Twintelle, and Byte & Barq,

Full roster. (new characters in bold)
  • Spring Man – This passionate fighter’s bouncy hairstyle might look fake, but his passion for fighting is definitely real.
  • Ninjara – Using his nimble movements and ancient ninjutsu, Ninjara can disappear and warp somewhere else even in mid-air or when guarding.
  • Master Mummy – As the only character that can restore health while guarding, Master Mummy is a force to be reckoned with.
  • Min Min – With her ramen noodle arms, Min Min’s spin kick and throws are deliciously powerful.
  • Ribbon Girl – Possessing next-level jumping skills, Ribbon Girl violates the laws of physics with her unbeatable power.
  • Helix – Who is Helix? He’s an experiment gone wrong, that’s who. His springy body lets him move in unpredictable ways.
  • Mechanica – This mechanical genius dons a homemade power suit that can hover above the competition.
  • Kid Cobra – A fan of selfie sticks and live streaming, this hip fighter pounces on opponents with a charged-up dash.
  • Byte & Barq – Two fighters in one! This robot fighter and his robot canine companion battle together to unleash devastating combo attacks.
  • Twintelle – As an A-list actress, Twintelle uses her celebrity status to render her opponents utterly star struck as she walks the red carpet to victory.
The characters spring arms are customisable, with players choosing what they have on each hand (or is that HANDS?)
  • Types – Dozens of ARMS can be selected in the game, each with its own special power and handling ability. Different types range from the Toaster, which unleashes a flaming punch, to the Tribolt, which shoots three bolts horizontally. Some ARMS even boost defence, like the Guardian, which can be used as a shield.
  • Attributes – There are seven different ARMS attributes in the game, each with its own speciality: Fire, Electricity, Wind, Ice, Stun, Explosion and Blind. Different ARMS have different attributes, so it’s a good idea to mix and match for a strategic advantage.
  • Weight – When equipping the many different types of ARMS, weight is an important factor in determining performance. Weight affects momentum, so players have to keep this in mind when selecting ARMS. Stronger ARMS are more powerful but slower, while multi-hit ARMS are quick but have lower individual power. Punches can even run into each other while fighting, with the heavier ARMS knocking the lighter ones away.
  • Upgrade ARMS – As players fight through ARMS, they will rack up hard-earned in-game currency for use at the ARMS Getter, where players can use their skills to earn new ARMS and the ability to upgrade previously owned ones.

The Direct also confirmed multiple game modes and match types. Here we were expecting single player tournament, 1 switch local 1v1, 2 switch local 1v1 and online. However, ARMS has much more in store for players.

Match types.
  • Fight – In this main mode, two fighters battle against each other one-on-one to claim victory. During the fight, bombs and other healing items drop in, adding some strategic options to the proceedings.
  • Team Fight – Two players are attached by strings and must team up to battle another team of two. Attacks can hit allies, so watch out for friendly punches!
  • V-Ball – Similar to Tekken ball (or to normal humans; Volleyball). V-Ball is a sport that involves knocking an explosive ball into the opponent’s court.
  • Hoops – Grab opponents and shoot them into the net (or even dunk them for extra satisfaction) in this hard-core game of ARMS-style basketball.
  • Skillshot – Break as many targets as possible using the versatile powers of ARMS (this isn't limited to single player as one would expect.
  • 1-on-100 – Defeat 100 enemies in a row, one at a time, in this progressive battle mode.
  • ARMS Test & Training – In Test mode, players can try out randomised ARMS combinations, while Training lets them practice a number of varied drills.
Game modes.
  • Grand Prix – Win 10 straight matches in Grand Prix and players will face a final opponent to be crowned the ARMSchampion. (Is said to be playable in local multiplayer, It's unknown if that means 2v2 co-op or just player 2 invading the match arcade style.)
  • Party Match – By connecting the Nintendo Switch console to the internet, players can battle with up to three other ARMSplayers at a time that are in the same lobby as them. One lobby can hold up to 10 systems, but with up to two players per system, 20 players can potentially get together in the same lobby.
  • Ranked Match – In this time-honored coliseum, players compete online in 1-v-1 battles. By winning a match, a player’s rank goes up, while, conversely, losing will make that rank go down. While waiting to play a Ranked Match online, players can participate in any other mode to pass the time (and tighten up their skills).
  • Local Wireless Mode: When playing in Local Wireless mode, up to eight players with eight separate systems in the same room can gather in an in-game lobby and battle up to three other players at a time like in Party Match.
Nintendo also confirmed the DLC strategy for ARMS. Fresh characters and ARMS will be coming FREE for all players, The very same strategy that helped keep Splatoon active. Also mirroring the Ink shooter Arms will be receiving a global 'test punch' (that's beta for 'normals'), the download is available now whilst the beta opens next week.

Lastly, to address the other concern about the title there was a press event where gaming sites (not us) and magazines got to test out a near-finished build. Whilst there will be "proper button" controls Nintendo hasn't let anybody outside of Nintendo try it. However, almost everyone agrees that the controls work well, no waggle, and are responsive. The previewers are all stressing the game is closer to Street Fighter than Punch Out or Wii Boxing.

Abe's Take
I am extremely pleased with the new information. 10 is a reasonable amount of fighters for a first lineup, there are plenty of modes to try, and its starting to remind me a little of For Honor. It's also nice to see the stages are not just different window dressing and actually offer ways to shake up the gameplay. One level is a skatepark where players can hop on to "snakeboards" fighting on the move!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Sonic Forces Unveils Third Character!

Sonic Forces has been getting a lot of attention. After all, it is basically a sequel to Sonic Generations, one of the few modern Sonic games that showed the character still has worth. 

There's been teasing for some time now that Classic and Modern Sonic will be joined by another hero. Now obviously 'Boom' Sonic was dismissed quickly and it seemed odd to have 1 version of any other of the franchise's heroes.

Well, rejoice fur fans! The hero joining Sonic is YOU! Well, we say you, we mean a custom animal character that you make. Your character's equipment and race/breed will affect your abilities. for example;

  • Bear -Blows away enemies with a homing attack
  • Bird - Flies high with double jump abilities
  • Cat - Keeps one ring after being hit
  • Dog - Restarts with five rings after the player dies
  • Hedgehog - Collects rings when getting damaged
  • Rabbit - Has longer invincible time after receiving damage
  • Wolf - Automatically draws in rings when near them
Check out the trailer now!

Abe's Take
I really don't want this, sure I buy WWE games basically just for the custom character aspect, and Xenoverse's custom character feature managed to cut through DBZ fatigue... FINE I'm probably going to get this day one!

ARMS Direct Incoming!

Nintendo recently released their E3 plans which involved a direct style "Nintendo Spotlight" so you'd think they would be done for the time being? 

WRONG! Upcoming motion (non-motion too) fighting game ARMS is getting a dedicated Nintendo Direct tomorrow (That's May 17th) at 23:00 for us in the UK, 00:00 CEST, 3PM PT and 6PM ET. Nintendo also confirmed Splatoon 2 will get a new trailer at the end of this Direct.

ARMS caused a quiet storm at the Nintendo Switch reveal event. It was at first dismissed as a possible Wii boxing follow up but somewhere between the reveal and the art style spawning metric heaps of fan art, the fighting game community started quietly talking about the game, that got a lot louder when Nintendo confirmed the title will also support traditional controls.

ARMS will launch exclusively on Nintendo Switch on June 16th.

Abe's Take
It's not surprising that ARMS is getting some attention, Splatoon followed a similar path when it was first announced. Can Nintendo pull it off again? Well, we have a month till we find out but regardless I sure hope Ribbon Girl and Spring-man appear in Smash.

Phantom Dust Remaster Tomorrow

Phantom Dust is a weird game for us at GKUK, as we hear about it often online but have no idea the game was even a thing when we had the original Xbox. So as you can imagine the hype of the announcement of a remake completely slipped us by as did the sense of loss when it was put on hold.

Turns out it was never released in PAL regions and as such we no longer feel like we stupidly missed out on something. Anyway, today Microsoft has announced the remaster of the original Xbox title will not only come out tomorrow, will be a play anywhere title (X1/Win10), and best of all will be utterly free.

Yes, FREE!

This remaster will use the original assets but will now be fully Xbox Live enabled, IGN reports they managed to confirm from their sources that the game will feature not only feature upgraded visuals (contradicting the official 'original assets') but also updates to the games single player designed to prevent players getting stuck.

I was going to post some videos of gameplay and what not. However, I decided if you're interested in the game you can just download it tomorrow for FREE!

Abe's Take
Well I was curious to see what the hype was about back when the remake, then remaster was announced but now its free, so why the hell not?

Monday, 15 May 2017

Rumour: Nintendo bringing Zelda to Mobile?

Nintendo has had mixed success with its mobile games. The first Miitomo was nice but wasn't a true game, Super Mario Run was a quality release but it's price stopped mobile gamers picking it up, and Fire Emblem managed to do well with mobile and core gamers.

Nintendo's next mobile game is set to be Animal Crossing which seems like the perfect franchise to bring to mobile, the entire game is the perfect microtransaction bait but according to the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is already working on a new mobile game and it is a big IP.

The Legend of Zelda. This would be Nintendo's and DeNA's biggest challenge in mobile space as anything short of a "proper" Zelda will anger fans, whilst a "free to start" game will scare of mobile gamers again, and it will be incredibly hard to balance the two. Of cause, there is no guarantee this is actually a "true" Zelda game and could easily be a Tingle game... *shudders* or one of them hyper frustrating town builders.

Abe's Take
I'm excited to see what Nintendo does next in the mobile space and I think once they get past Mario and Zelda I think we could start seeing more neglected IP appear.

New Releases 15th-21st May

Yes, we're back but let's ignore that for now and check out some this week's new releases that we think are worth a look.

May 16th

The Surge (£39.99)- Xbox One & PS4

Coming from the makers of Lords of the Fallen (possibly the best non 'From Software' souls game) comes The Surge, basically a Sci-fi souls game. So instead of swords its chainsaws, instead of armour its exo-suits and instead of demons, its mechs and people. It's certainly shaping up well and is certainly on our watch list.

May 17th

Farpoint (£42.99) - Playstation VR

Farpoint is being billed as the PSVR's "first top quality" and "true" FPS playable with either the standard pad or with sony's new "aim controller" which surprisingly isn't just a plastic controller mount like the high days of the Wii. Whilst reports are very positive it's possible that PSVR's fate may lay with the success of this title.

May 19th

Akiba's Beat (£34.99) - PS4

A little something for the JRPG fans now. And Akiba's Beat certainly sounds like a treat (unintentional rhyming) for 'Persona' and 'Tale of' fans and just a little trippy.
  • Realtime battle system similar to the 'Tales of' series
  • Build a team of friends - all with unique skill-sets and enter the minds of the delusional
  • Imaginative dungeon worlds based on the delusions of other - from music fans to Idol obsessives
  • Customise your crew with clothes and accessories bough from stores in Akihabara
  • Explore Akihabara in a perfectly mapped 1:1 version of this legendary discrict
  • Incredible art and animation with characters brought to life using 2D Live
Portal Knights (£19.99) - Xbox One & PS4

Here's an interesting indie title. Portal Knights infuse the Minecraft formula with some action RPG blood. Players will be able to select their class, level up, craft items, shape the world, explore more worlds, and stab/shoot/burn enemies with a seemingly fast-paced combat engine. This game features 2 player split screen and 4 player online co-op

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (£32.99) - 3DS

In what is surely the start of a new series of remakes, Fire Emblem Echos takes us back to the 2nd ever Fire Emblem game but lovingly remade in the same engine that powers the excellent Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates.

Why should we care about this remake? Well first this game is going to harder (magic users take damage when casting) and at the time the series wasn't sure on its own identity and features "traditional" RPG features like dungeon crawling.

Injustice 2 (£41.99)  - Xbox One & PS4

Here's our "big release" of the week. Injustice (oddly no subtitle) 2 builds on its predecessor in the usual ways, larger roster: 28 up from 13 (not including either's DLC), better graphics, more moves and so on. However, it also includes a new gears system (not that different from For Honor).

For those who don't know the Injustice games take place in an alternative world where Lois Lane is killed and Superman fueled by her loss refuses to let anyone else die and ends up A) killing plenty of his friends and B) becomes a dictator. The first game (X1 Backwards Compatible) chronicled how the Batman lead resistance toppled Superman's regime. Now in the sequel will see Superman's biggest enemy Brainiac invade the Earth, will Batman let the dictator out of his cage? (guessing from the cover, yes). Honestly this game should be an easy recomend for DC fans, fighting fans, or general comic fans should appricate the no holds bared narrative.

See also the Injustice comic series that sets up the first game.