Friday, Jul 11
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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The International 2014's group stage continues, day three's set of 36 matches to decide many teams' fate
The final marathon Dota 2 day will end in sorrow for some
The group stage of The International 2014 has entered its twilight days. Both day one and day two saw a total of 72 Dota 2 games played and only 52 remain. That's... still a lot of games. Nevertheless, the mood is different today compared to those previous. Day one was exciting, full of unexpected decisions and unexpected wins. Day two was practically The Empire Strikes Back, what with the old guard acclimating to the new meta and retaking control. Day three has become somber as teams realize their fates, their very life in the tournament, will likely be decided today.
ViCi Gaming, iG and Team DK have climbed to the top of the standings, much as expected. After showing some weakness on day one, each team came out strong on day two. Meanwhile, the big threats to the current Dota 2 royalty, Na'Vi.US, Liquid and Cloud9 haven cooled off a bit. Each team is stuck in the middle of the pack or risking dropping into the bottom six which will be eliminated after Saturday. Meanwhile, Alliance and Fnatic are fighting for their lives, and mousesports and Arrow should already be resigned to elimination and looking to shake things up a bit.
Picks on day two were still rather similar to day one. There was a lot of Doom and Skyrwrath Mage being played, though Skywrath had a much poorer showing as teams started to figure out his style. Razor, Mirana and Shadow Shaman have also been picked a huge amount of times, proving that even the support meta can be extremely boring and uninsipired to watch.
Day three will once againt feature 36 games broken into 9 sets of four games. Each set of four will be played at the same time and broadcast live individually, and via the Valve multi-cast stream. Don't forget the noob stream, which teaches players all of the basics as they're watching them on-screen. Here's the full match-list, as well as the updated standings all the way at the bottom. Fear the standings spoilers if you want to avoid that!
- Na'Vi vs. Na'Vi.US (Results: _Na'Vi.US______)
- Team DK vs. ViCi (Results: _ViCi__________)
- Fnatic vs. iG (Results: _iG____________)
- LGD vs. Alliance (Results: _LGD___________)
- Cloud9 vs. Empire (Results: _Cloud9________)
- Team DK vs. Titan (Results: _Titan_________)
- Arrow vs. Fnatic (Results: _Fnatic________)
- mousesports vs. Evil Geniuses (Results: _Evil Geniuses_)
- Empire vs. LGD (Results: _LGD___________)
- Team DK vs. Na'Vi.US (Results: _DK____________)
- iG vs. Liquid (Results: _iG____________)
- Evil Geniuses vs. ViCi (Results: _Evil Geniuses_)
- mousesports vs. Titan (Results: _mousesports___)
- Na'Vi.US vs. NewBee (Results: _NewBee________)
- Na'Vi vs. Liquid (Results: _Na'Vi_________)
- Alliance vs. ViCi (Results: _ViCi__________)
- iG vs. LGD (Results: _iG____________)
- Titan vs. Na'Vi.US (Results: _Titan_________)
- Na'Vi vs. Team DK (Results: _DK____________)
- Alliance vs. Cloud9 (Results: _Alliance______)
- Empire vs. Evil Geniuses
- mousesports vs. Fnatic
- Liquid vs. ViCi
- NewBee vs. Arrow
- Cloud9 vs. iG
- Na'Vi vs. Arrow
- Titan vs. LGD
- NewBee vs. TeamDK
- Evil Geniuses vs. Na'Vi.US
- Liquid vs. Alliance
- LGD vs. mousesports
- NewBee vs. Empire
- iG vs. Na'Vi
- ViCi vs. Cloud 9
- Liquid vs. Titan
- Fnatic vs. Empire
- ViCi 9-2
- Evil Geniuses 8-3
- iG 8-4
- Team DK 8-5
- NewBee 7-5
- Titan 7-5
- Cloud9 6-5
- Liquid 6-5
- Na'VI 6-5
- Fnatic 5-6
- Alliance 5-7 *
- LGD 5-7 *
- Na'Vi.US 5-8 *
- Empire 3-8 *
- mousesports 3-8 *
- Arrow 2-9 *
*Currently risking elimination.
Thursday, Jul 10
Net Articles Summary
Players from China, North America and Europe go all-in
Guild Wars 2 goes global in August when the first Guild Wars 2 International All-Stars Tournament kicks off at gamescom 2014. Players from China, North America and Europe will be going head-to-head in a massive PVP tournament that also happens to be the game's first real global competition. Prepare yourselves.
For the event, ArenaNet will be working with Twitch.tv to stream the entire tournament. The actual show floor in Germany will feature daily matches, while Twitch will actually be livestreaming for the rest of the world. Definitely a huge step for ArenaNet to be taking, and here's hoping for some great matches.
In addition to the international tournamen, ArenaNet will be letting their North American and European communities vote on who they want to see in the All-Stars Tournament, choosing from two 16-player pools featuring qualified competitors. In China, competitors will be picked from KongZhong's weekly tournament series; KongZhong is the Guild Wars distributor in China.
gamescom will take place in Cologne, Germany, from August 14 through August 17.
Skullgirls Encore will be expanding its horizons this year when Lab Zero Games releases the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita versions. Yes, the ladies are going to new places, and I'm not just talking about EVO 2014.
Previously released to the Sony Entertainment Network (and Xbox LIVE Arcade), Skullgirls Encore has already been out for PlayStation 3. Later this year, however, developer Lab Zero and distributor Autumn Games will be showing the rest of the Sony family a bit more love with PS4 and Vita versions. No concrete date was given, but we'll no doubt here more soon, what with EVO 2014 coming up.
After a rather messy fallout between Lab Zero and Konami over content distribution for Skullgirls, the 2D fighter was delisted from Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network (now SEN). The developer's answer to this was to make Skullgirls Encore, a new and improved version of the original with balance updates, new palettes, stages and characters. Since Skullgirls for PC was left alone, Encore was never released for PC but continues to receive updates alongside Encore.
Alien: Isolation trailer teases pre-order levels featuring voices by original cast, including Ripley
Alien: Isolation looks appropriately terrifying, but why not throw in some of the original faces of the series? A new trailer from SEGA and Creative Assembly shows off the pre-order bonus content from the Nostromo Edition, which lets you play as some of the original characters from the 1979 Alien movie. Yes, that does include Ripley.
The DLC takes places after the deaths of Brett and Kane, when the survivors must figure out a way to escape. Become Ripley, Dallas or Parker in this fight for survival. Ash and Lambert will be present to lend their aid as well, because what Alien fan wouldn't want to see the entire Nostromo crew together in one place?
Anyway, check out the trailer below, and remember to pre-order Alien: Isolation to access the Nostromo Edition. The game will actually be released on October 7 for PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
We'll call it the Smash Mash and those buttons won't know what hit them
Nintendo is doubling down on the competitive elements of Super Smash Bros. for the launch of the Wii U and 3DS sequels, it seems. After a hugely successful Super Smash Bros. Wii U tournament during E3, in which top Melee and Brawl players went head to head, and then with the upcoming EVO Championship tournament this weekend, Nintendo is thirsting for more. Today they announced the first Super Smash Bros. 3DS tournament, planned for the upcoming San Diego Comic Convention.
SDCC will kick off in late July and Nintendo will be attending with an off-site "gaming lounge" at the Marriott Marquis & Marina. On July 25 fans can begin signing up for the tournament in a first-come, first-served fashion. A preliminary round will have groups of four face off with only the winner continuing on to the finals. The finals will be played one versus one, slowly dwindling down the pool to just one winner.
It's an interesting choice for Nintendo to make Super Smash Bros. 3DS' first tournament be fan registration only. I personally believe they're going this route because a full-on professional tournament might show that the game doesn't hold up the the competitive expectations that the franchise is known for -- mirroring my impressions from E3. That doesn't change whether the game is tons of fun, which it most certainly will be, but it's still interesting to think about.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS is planned for release October 3, with its Wii U bigger brother planned to be launched this holiday season.
I absolutely love Danganronpa. It's one of my favorite games on the PS Vita, and I couldn't be more excited for Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair's release September 2. I fully admit, however, that the English voiceover for the first game was painful to listen to. As in, worse than Funimation's early anime dubbing bad. Thus, it's with half of a smile and half of a frown that I introduce Danganronpa 2's second English trailer.
It's not just that the voiceover in these Danganronpa titles is quite bad, it's also that in translation so much of what's said comes out as utter gibberish. So when NIS America puts together a trailer for the game, snipping bits and pieces of the game and putting them together to create a "sizzle" reel of sorts, it's doubling down on the rough parts of the game. Listening to Monokuma's screeching howl of a voice as he rambles about nothing in general... it's a bit difficult to sit through.
Then comes the beatings. Let's be clear, Monokuma is a messed character. He's responsible for many deaths, or at least for creating the situation that leads to multiple deaths. He's not a sympathetic character at all and that becomes very clear after the playing the game for a while. However, in a trailer that's introducing a game based on murder mysteries, it's a bit uncomfortable to see a cute-ish bear beating its sister before any gameplay is even shown.
Sigh, but this is a niche Japanese game on the PS Vita after all. It doesn't have to appeal to the masses or appear well-produced if its goal is to continue to sell to that niche market. Still, if they're aiming for niche, why not just play the Japanese audio?
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair will be released exclusively on the PS Vita starting on September 2 in North America. If the trailer doesn't fit your fancy, check out the handful of new screenshots that have also been released. No audio in a screenshot!
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Link's supporting ladies finally getting the attention they deserve
I think everyone following the development and marketing of Hyrule Warriors is aware by now that Koei Tecmo is really laying on the Zelda nostalgia thick. We've seen a full Twilight Princess level as well as the introduction of Midna as a playable character. We've seen dodongos and moblins and enemies going back to the original Legend of Zelda. Let's keep the throwback train rolling today, as Koei Tecmo's now revealed a bevy of Skyward Sword content.
Front and foremost among the dozens of screenshots released for the Skyward Sword content is the reveal that Link's faithful Goddess Sword spirity, Fi, will be a playable character. No longer content to simply wait idly by in the sword while Link wields it against his foes, Fi's about to wreck some fools' faces. She appears to use a magic of sorts, rather than wield a weapon directly, in which she strikes foes with light-based spells. Why didn't she conjure these light spears in Skyward Sword?
Where good comes, evil follows. In addition to Fi, it has also been confirmed that Ghirahim will be featured in Hyrule Warriors. As of right now he's not a playable character, rather continuing his role as antagonist. Whether that will remain the case in the whole game or not is left to be seen.
In addition to the Fi and Ghirahim reveals, there are dozens more screenshots showing off this and that from the game. Link has a few more weapons that will be available to him, Zelda looks like she's gotten her hands on the Wind Waker, and there are all sorts of action and scenery shots taken from the robust Skyward Sword content. The sky is the limit for what Hyrule Warriors will be adding to itself.
Hyrule Warriors is planned for release exclusively on the Nintendo Wii U, launching on September 26 in North America.
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- Tales of Zestiria gains new screenshots, see real-time battles and character powers 
- Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit releasing on September 16, learn and cook with Mama once more 
- Gnar revealed, League of Legends' prehistoric top-lane Yordle transforms with Rage 
- Assassin's Creed Unity CG trailer introduces Elise, a Templar rescued from death by Arno 
- LittleBigPlanet 3 PS4/PS3 launch confirmed for November 18, all hail Swoop, Toggle and OddSock 
- See the explosive Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare story trailer, featuring Kevin Spacey and Atlas 
- 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