Monday, Jul 14
Net Articles Summary
Assassin's Creed Unity trailer drops Arno, Master Assassin and new hero, within the French Revolution
The latest Assassin's Creed Unity trailer, simply dubbed "Revolution," puts us in the mind of Arno, a young Master Assassin whose life becomes entwined with the bloody French Revolution. This is his "silent war," waged against the powers that be.
The trailer shows a little bit of the gameplay style we're used to seeing in Assassin's Creed by now, from acrobatic tumbles to air assassinations. Some things never change, though Arno does get a neat saber more appropriate to the times, as well as a little crossbow on his wrist for silently taking out targets at a safe distance.
The whole deal behind Unity is changing the course of history, which is another persistant theme within the Assassin's Creed franchise. No longer are we dealing with some unwilling hero simply searching for answers or a pirate looking for fortune; Arno seems much more driven and on track.
Assassin's Creed Unity will be released on October 28 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Pop-star Pikachu, a symbol of everything wrong with this world
Another wave of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire details has been released, as Nintendo loves to do once a month or so. Today's information comes in the form of a brand new trailer showcasing several new pieces of content and features. Some are new, including the gym leaders and Elite 4 of Hoenn, while some information is old, including a closer look at Mega Metagross and more of that awesome Super-Secret Base action.
Returning to help our Pokemon trainers start their journey will be Professor Birch. The chubby, bearded fellow in his cargo shorts and cheerfully wielding a man-purse. Joining Birch will be all of the old Hoenn faithful, gym leaders Norman, Roxanne, Brawly, Wattson, and Flannery, as well as Elite Four members Sidney and Phoebe. Not every gym leader was revealed, nor every member of the Elite Four, so either Game Freak and Nintendo are saving the others for later or maybe we'll see some switch-ups? Their costumes have changed a bit, so there's always the potential for change.
It's also now confirmed that Steven will indeed be the Champion that the player has to defeat at the end of their games. Despite the change where he'll help players master Mega Evolution early on, as well as the addition of Mega Metagross to his line-up, Steven won't be removed from his original Ruby/Sapphire position. Nor will he be wandering as in Emerald.
As for Mega Metagross himself, he will indeed be A Steel/Psychic evolution. There's no type change here. His ability will change Tough Claws, increasing the power of attacks that make physical contact. Finally, his mega-stat will indeed be speed, though increases to Attack, Defense, special attack and special defense will also occur.
Also of note are several images of Pikachu apparently in cosplay, dressed as a pop star, a Ph.D, a rock star, a belle, and a lucha libre. Apparently this is in relation to an expanded Pokemon Amie features, as well as the addition of an all new "Contest Hall" in-game. Details related to Cosplay Pikachu are currently scant, but Nintendo did say to expect more information on this specific feature starting in August.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will be made available starting starting October 21.
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Not one, not two, but three playable fighters were added to the Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS roster this morning. Fans were expecting only one, because Sakurai trolled us and said there weren't many more reveals left to make. It feels good to hear that's not actually the case. And what an announcement it was, particularly for Fire Emblem Awakening fans! Introducing playable fighters Lucina, Robin, and not Fire Emblem related, but perhaps even better -- Captain Falcon!
Newcomer Robin, for those who may not recall the name offhandedly, is the player avatar and protagonist of Fire Emblem Awakening. Some may respond to that with, "Well, my Robin was a lady!" Don't worry so much, because Nintendo's confirmed that Robin will be playable as both a male and a female. Wielding a sword for standard attacks and books of magic for specials, depending on the book Robin can cast an assortment of magic -- or so it seems. From the trailer, it also seems like Robin's Final Smash could summon Chrom to double team their opponent.
Newcomer Lucina is a bit more of a mystery. It appears, from the brief amount of content we were shown in the trailer and screenshots, that Lucina is likely either an alternate costume or clone of Marth. She could either be exactly the same as Marth, or have Marth's skills and abilities, but with different properties (speed, strength, etc). Judging from her skill usage in what we've seen though, it's clear she isn't an entirely unique character with her own skill-set. Even the Smash Bros. website doesn't list Lucina as a full "Newcomer" like all the other new characters are treated to.
Captain Falcon, well, everyone should already know what to expect here. He's an old staple in the franchise and his Falcon Punch skill is iconic. What's surprising is that it took so long for Captain Falcon to be announced. I suppose, since F-Zero hasn't had a game released for some time, he was just low priority. Out of respect they show him beating up all the Fire Emblem characters in the trailer, and of course he lines up his punch, but it's stop before he destroys anyone's face.
Those are the three major announcements of the day, though of course there are likely several secrets hidden within the trailer to be discovered. Also funny, is that Sakurai revealed a Rayman trophy today in the picture of the day. What might that imply regarding Ubisoft's involvement in Super Smash Bros.?
Super Smash Bros. Wii U is planned for a holiday release, while Super Smash Bros. 3DS will be available starting October 3 in North America. Check out the reveal trailer for Lucina, Robin and Captain Falcon Below, as well as a ton of in-game screenshots.
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First it was rumored, as the news that Tekken franchise producer Katsuhiro Harada would be making an announcement was made known early on the EVO Championship Series livestream. Then it was all but confirmed, as a friendly neighborhood gaming outlet leaked the reveal. Now it's official, as Katsuhiro Harada took to the EVO stage leading into the Ultra Street Fighter IV finals and announced Tekken 7 with an all new trailer.
Even through a translator, Harada's disappointment was clear. He asked the thousands in attendance at EVO that, even though they knew what was coming, they please cheer loudly so he'd have something to show the executives back in Japan. The crowd, of course, needed no such pressing. The hype was real. An EVO crowd seeing the unveiling of an all new fighting game is a terrifying and beautiful thing indeed. Someone in the back yelled, "When's Marvel?" and he was never seen again.
What really made the announcement poignant, however, was that the announcement trailer for Tekken 7 may be the best the franchise has yet seen. Typically Tekken is known for rather terrible advertising, which considering their rather insipid storyline isn't too surprising. Yet this teaser focuses in on one of the most interesting points of the Tekken story, the three generations of the Mishima family.
The trailer features a female figure at a shrine being approached by an unknown male. It's theorized that this is Kazumi Mishima, as she talks about her son Kazuya and his inheritance of what's likely to be the Devil Gene. Later in the trailer, we see Kazuya encountering his father, Heihachi, accusing him of killing Kazumi. Could the unknown figure at the shrine be Heihachi, angry at the passing on of the Devil Gene, prepared to take out his anger on his own wife?
Another theory is that the trailer is actually sneakily showing Jun, Kazuya's wife and the mother of Jin. Jin believes his mother is dead at the hands of Ogre, the God of Fighting, but the truth has yet to be fully revealed.
It may be some time before we find out, as Tekken 7 was announced without release window or release platforms. Katsuhiro Harada did confirm that Tekken 7 is being built on Unreal Engine 4 and will thus be portable to many different platforms. He also confirmed that while he couldn't reveal much else on-stage, he would be sharing new information during a Tekken panel during the San Diego Comic Convention in later July. Expect more details then.
Saturday, Jul 12
To fly, to build cool houses, and to be the pirate king, that is the life for me
ArcheAge is one of those sneaky in-development MMOs that's likely to surprise a great number of gamers, rather like WildStar in the months leading up to release. Witch a huge emphasis on open world (open sea?) PvP, housing, and some of the most intense crafting I've seen in an online game. Currently the game is in alpha with access available via "Founders Pack" purchases. Hoever, today Trion and XL Games are happy to reveal the upcoming closed beta.
Closed beta for ArcheAge will start on July 17, expanding teh playerbase of the previously extremely limited alpha. Trion Worlds is offering three different "Founder's Packs" which provide access to the games at $49.99, $99.99 and $149.99. All of them offer beta access, and only one offers alpha access. Here's a hint, it's the most expensive one. In addition to letting in more founders, Trion Worlds will also start sending out invites to registrees. Basically, beta will have a ton more players than alpha. Makes sense, ya?
Unfortunately closed beta will not introduce the base free-to-play experience, instead making all players "Patron" level. ArcheAge is an interesting type of MMO using a hybrid system where "patrons" have generous advantage over non-patrons. This includes features like the ability to own property and build houses, post auctions for sale, and a variety of features that speeds up tedious features and provides additional resources. It's a harsh reality, but Patron status is quite literally pay-to-win. Trion World's response to this is by offering players the ability to purchase Patron status with in-game currency. Whether that's good enough to treat free-to-play players like second class citizens or not will disappoiningly not be realized until full launch.
There's current no announced release date for ArcheAge, but it is planned for 2014. Like many titles that feature a free-to-play option, however, it could live in beta perpetually. Expect them to full launch whenever they please, for funding reasons or any other.
Anyone else having trouble sleeping after all of these intense games?
What a killer three days we've seen in Dota 2's biggest tournament of the year, The International 2014. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each saw 36 matches played each day for a total of 108 games. The players must be absolutely exhausted, but we're only scratching the surface of what's to come. The tournament itself doesn't even begin until Friday, July 18! Don't tell that to the teams that have already had their chances snuffed, though. Broken dreams.
Day four is a short day, with only twelve scheduled matches (and room for tie-breakers afterwards). Those hours unfilled by games will instead be filled with sadness, as six teams will also be eliminated today. Yes, by the end of day four every team will have played every other for a total of 15 games for each. Six of those teams, the teams with the worst records, will be going home. Two more teams will be headed home tomorrow, but let's not bury anyone before the clock strikes noon.
One of the six eliminated teams to be decided this team already has their fate written in stone. No matter how the matches go today, Arrow's performance has doomed them to elimination. With only two wins and eleven losses, Arrow can't win their way back into the top 10. Two other teams, Empire and Na'Vi.US, not only have to win each of their games, but they must rely on four other teams to lose at least one of their matches. All four. All in all, with just twelve scheduled matches, nine teams could potentially climb in or fall out of the standings. That's just how close The International 2014 has been.
With that said, let's let the games begin. Should there be any tie scenarios across the cut-off line, all tied teams will play each other, with the winners moving on and the losers going on. Let's all hope for a long day, alright?
Below this point lie spoilers, so anyone who would like to experience the games first by themselves: please stop reading here. There will be a discussion of the events of the day as well as the final standings.
- Empre vs. Arrow (Results: _Empire________)
- Fnatic vs. Titan (Results: _Titan_________)
- Cloud9 vs. LGD (Results: _LGD___________)
- NewBee vs. Na'Vi (Results: _Na'Vi_________)
- Arrow vs. ViCi (Results: _ViCi__________)
- Na'Vi.US vs. mousesports (Results: _mousesports___)
- Team DK vs. Evil Geniuses (Results: _DK____________)
- Aliance vs. Na'Vi (Results: _Alliance______)
- ViCi vs. iG (Results: _ViCi__________)
- mousesports vs. Liquid (Results: _mousesports___)
- Evil Geniuses vs. Alliance (Results: _Evil Geniuses_)
- Fnatic vs. Cloud 9 (Results: _Fnatic________)
- LGD vs. mousesports (Results: _LGD___________)
- NewBee vs. LGD (Results: _NewBee________)
- NewBee vs. mousesports (Results: _NewBee________)
Final Standings - Group Stage (Phase 1)
- Vici Gaming 12-3
- Evil Geniuses 11-4
- Team DK 10-5
- iG 9-6
- Na'Vi 8-7
- Cloud9 8-7
- Liquid 8-7
- Titan 8-7
- NewBee 7-8
- LGD 7-8
- mousesports 7-8 (Elminated, wins $37,418)
- Alliance 6-9 (Eliminated, wins $37,418)
- Empire 6-9 (Eliminated, wins $21,382)
- Fnatic 6-9 (Eliminated, wins $21,382)
- Na'Vi.US 5-10 (Elminated, no prize)
- Arrow 2-13 (Eliminated, no prize)
As should be obvious from the standings, all hell broke loose today during the final matches of The International 2014's first phase of the group stage. There were indeed nine different teams which could have either been knocked down or climbed up at the start. Ultimately, two teams secured their positions (Na'Vi and Titan), two teams had their fates out of their own hands and lost (Empire and Na'Vi.US), two teams had the opportunity to join in on a final tie-breaker and choked in their final matches (Fnatic and Alliance), and three teams tied to fill the final two spots that continue on (mousesports, NewBee and LGD).
Words can't describe the struggle of Alliance and Fnatic trying to climb into that tie-breaker. If I could recommend any matches, I'd recommend those Alliance, Fnatic and mousesports matches. There's a lot of heart going into those games. Alliance even brought out their 2014 strats (Wisp and Chaos Knight, or Naga Siren split push, anyone?). It's sad to see any of them go.
The three- way tie ended up between mousesports, NewBee and LGD, forcing each to team play one another after the regularly schedule matches had already finished. Ultimately, NewBee defeated both mousesports and LGD, while LGD defeated mousesports alone. Only two of the three teams could continue on, so despite mousesports huge push they're now eliminated from the tournament. All other tie-breaks in the standings were decided by previous matches and would require a much more complicated and detailed explanation than I could summarize easily.
That's the end of day four, but it'd be rude of me not to prepare everyone for the next two days. Phase two of the group stage will result in two more teams being eliminated as the final, final standings are hammered down. Everyone beyond the top two teams and the already eliminated will be split into two groups and forced to battle a one-lane bracket of best-2-of-3 matches to find their final positioning.
Sunday will start with LGD vs. Liquid to decide who goes home, though the winner could potential climb themselves all the way into the winners bracket. Other teams in their bracket include Cloud9, who will face the winner of LGD vs. Liquid, and DK, who will face the winner of the Cloud9 match. On Monday, a similar elimination match will be played by Titan and NewBee, followed by a Na'Vi match and then an iG best of three.
Is that enough? I'm exhausted just writing about it all. Have a good weekend everyone, and wake up early tomorrow (9AM PDT) for Liquid vs. LGD.
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Friday, Jul 11
Net Articles Summary
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 480GB SSD Review - Guru3D
- Intel Core i7-4960X vs Core i7-3930K 3-way SLI Gaming-Performance - ocaholic
- ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ Review - Benchmark Reviews
- Enermax Liqtech 240 Review (French) - Cowcotland
- Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK Review - techPowerUp!
PC, Android and Xbox versions will be out later
Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers is officially out for iPad, and will remain exclusive to the Apple tablet until next week, July 16. That's when we'll actually be seeing it for Android, PC and Xbox consoles. For now, however, iPad users will get a first go at the next installment of MTG.
In Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalker, players find themselves challenged to the "Hunt Bigger Game," where they confront the formidable Garruk Wildspeaker of Magic Multiverse fame. What does this all mean? Well, he's pretty much done hunting animals, because the player makes for better game. At your disposal will be a fully customizable deck, a "full deck-building experience" from Stainless Games.
Grab Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalker now from the App Store now. Or wait until next Wednesday for it to come out on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Amazon Kindle and Android.
Presentation is everything, and when it comes to the new League of Legends Mecha Aatrox and Malphite splash art, Riot has successfully blown our minds. First spotted on the PBE, they'll be going live alongside their respective skins in the near future.
The artists have really embraced the whole mecha theme with the new splash, with a clear influence from Guillermo Del Toro's 2013 kaiju/giant robots movie Pacific Rim, both in style and composition. The deeply saturated colors give a more graphic, comic-book feel, and they seem to be in mid-scene, waiting in their hangars for the blast doors to open. You can even see yordles like Rumble, Heimer and a mystery silhouette tending to the controls, watching the Mecha Aatrox and Malphite roll out. Seriously, Pacific Rim.
Movie references aside, the skins (and artwork) were added to the PBE just yesterday, so we're thinking they'll go live pretty soon. Better save up that RP.
Shoryuken isn't a huge organization; a small team can only organize and hold so many tournaments at one time. It's no surprise then that for EVO 2014 Championship Series the fighting game community has decided for itself that eight games isn't enough. As a result, there will be a dozen (more than a dozen?) side tournaments going on throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, Shoryuken doesn't keep track of these tournaments. In fact, it's almost impossible to find information on all of them anywhere.
As a fan of EVO myself, I couldn't just sit back and not have a schedule up for all of these great tournaments. That's why I'm putting together this schedule of side-tournaments for the EVO 2014 weekend. Not all games may necessarily be here, as there are a lot of side tournaments, and not all information on each tournament will be here either. This is just my best effort at organizing a list of places to watch these tournaments. If you want to play in them, EVO attendees, you're on your own.
Without further ado, here's the schedule for EVO 2014 Championship Series' side tournaments. Oh, and all times listed will be Pacific coast time (PDT), which is three hours earlier than east coast time (EDT). For Ultra Street Fighter IV, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Smash Bros. Melee, King of Fighters XIII, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Injustice: God Among Us and Killer Instinct see the main EVO post.
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo Tournament of Legends II - 9:30 AM (Top 32 @ 4:00) - Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/arkadeum
- Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - 3:00 PM - Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/cpsiv (Stream may or may not happen)
- Persona 4 Arena (Pools) - 4:00 PM - Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/jyosua
- Soul Calibur II HD (Top 8 Only) - 5:00 PM - Stream: http://twitch.tv/madcatz
- Persona 4 Arena (Top 8 Only) - 8:00 PM - Stream: http://twitch.tv/madcatz
- BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (Pools Only) - 8:00 AM - Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/jyosua (Top 32 @ 2:00 PM on EVO second stream, top 8 @ 9:00 AM Sunday on EVO main stream)
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo X-Mania USA - 9:30 AM - http://www.twitch.tv/arkadeum (Top 8 @ 5:00 PM on EVO main stream)
- Street Fighter X Tekken - 10:00 AM - Stream: (None currently announced, expect recordings later)
- Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate - 11:00 AM - Stream: (None currently announced)
- Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R - 12:00 PM - Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/jyosua
- Skullgirls: Encore (Top 8 only) - 1:00 PM - Stream: http://twitch.tv/madcatz
- Gundam Extreme Vs. Full Boost (2v2) - 2:00 PM - Stream: http://twitch.tv/thebrett
- Mortal Kombat 9 - 6:00 PM - Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/streamofthehut
- Soul Calibur V (Top 8 only) - 6:00 PM - Stream: http://twitch.tv/madcatz
- Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (Exhibition) - 9:00 PM - http://twitch.tv/madcatz
- PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (Announcement was made, but no details are otherwise avaialble)
One of the best streamed gaming events of the year
If MOBAs aren't your thing, then how about three days of the biggest fighting game tournaments of 2014? EVO 2014 Championship Series has begun, featuring eight different main games and a bevy of side tournaments as well. We're talking about Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Killer Instinct, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, King of Fighters XIII, Super Smash Bros. Melee and then the big daddy of them all, Ultra Street Fighter IV.
Today's focus will be on both Ultra Street Fighter IV and Super Smash Bros. Melee, as both games will have their entire pools, quarterfinals and semi-finals burned through in preparation for the finals on Sunday. In between the gaps, however, will be the entire Tekken Tag Tournament 2 tournament as well as plenty of Injustice: Gods Among Us. Again, the only final played today will be for Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
The schedule will be split between three different streams provided by tournament host Shoryuken. Almost all of the action will be featured on the main stream, and almost no action will be featured on the third stream. Still, just for folks who know exactly what they want to watch, we've got the full schedule which we'll post below our main stream embed.
If folk can only show up for one day, make it Sunday. There is seriously nothing like watching the finals for these fighting game tournaments. It will fill your gaming heart with eSports joy. Enjoy EVO 2014, everyone! Make sure to comment about what games you're excited about.
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- Dragon Age: Inquisition combat trailer shows cinematic action inspired by Dragon Age 2 and Origins 
- Gnar revealed, League of Legends' prehistoric top-lane Yordle transforms with Rage 
- LittleBigPlanet 3 PS4/PS3 launch confirmed for November 18, all hail Swoop, Toggle and OddSock 
- Assassin's Creed Unity CG trailer introduces Elise, a Templar rescued from death by Arno 
- Rumor: Wario to appear in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U according to eShop listing 
- Destiny beta access now open to all who are brave enough 
- EA announces EA Access, a monthly games subscription service exclusive to Xbox One 
- Unreal Tournament devs have Team Deathmatch up and running, tease gameplay