News articles search results by Rory Young
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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8 games not enough? How about another dozen?
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.
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.
Ah, the roster of characters looks so fun!
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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That CoroCoro magazine from Japan is at it again, leaking another Mega Evolution for the upcoming Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire releases. I'm almost of the belief that Pokemon might not exist at all if it hadn't been for CoroCoro leaking first. Let's take a moment and introduce everyone to Mega Metagross. While Mega Metagross' typing has note been revealed (or maybe just not translated), odds are it will retain the Steel/Psychic type of its pre-evolution.
It wouldn't be a Mega Metagross reveal if it wasn't tied to Metagross' biggest fan and most prolific trainer, Steven. Steven is the Pokemon League champion in the original Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire, a Steel-type user by trade. In Pokemon Emerald he leaves his post to wander the region, but his faithful Metagross continues to follow at his side. Will Steven be reigning Champion once more? It seems more likely that he'll play the role of introducing the player to Mega Evolution.
Let's hope there are more secrets to be found in this latest issue of CoroCoro and that the leaks just haven't come around yet. I'd love to have another two or three Megas to add to the list. We've already had the starters, Sceptile, Swampert and Blaziken go Mega. Diancie is on the list too, followed by Sableye in early June. Groudon and Kyogre might be something different altogether, and now Metagross? You know Game Freak's got more in store.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire are planned for release exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS starting November 21.
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Only the first day of The International's group stage is over and yet the level of Dota 2 play is already insanely high. Seven teams still have just one loss starting day two, and last year's champion, Alliance, is just one team away from being in last place. The ups and downs of the even have already thrown my roller coaster off the rails, so it gives me an asthma attack just mentioning that group stage day two has already started and it has 36 more games to burn through.
Much like the first day of The International's group stage, the 36 matches will be played in nine series of four games. That means four games will play consequently, then after they finish they'll start off the next four. Well, unless games get delayed, in which case they'll all start overlapping and the world will explode (like day one). If yesterday was any indication, expect the games to last 9-11 hours overall.
While each team certainly has their own strengths, watch out for the OP picks of the tournament so far -- Doom and Skywrath Mage. Both are rolling through opponents on day one, for one reason or another. Other things to keep an eye on are the North American teams' surprise strength, Alliance's uphill battle to regain position, and of course whether or not one of the favorites decided not to show up with their coffee this morning.
Here's the full schedule for day two of The International 2014, still the first phase of the group stage. That will be followed by the full standings. Don't scroll all the way down unless you're prepared for some up-to-day standings!
- iG vs. mousesports (Result: _iG____________)
- Liquid vs. Fnatic (Result: _Liquid________)
- Empire vs. Na'Vi.US (Results: _Empire________)
- Titan vs. NewBee (Results: _Titan_________)
- iG vs. Evil Geniuses (Result: _iG____________)
- Cloud9 vs. Na'Vi (Result: _Na'Vi_________)
- Arrow vs. Team DK (Result: _DK____________)
- LGD vs. ViCi (Result: _ViCi__________)
- LGD vs. Fnatic (Result: _LGD___________)
- Titan vs. Na'Vi (Result: _Titan_________)
- mousesports vs. Alliance (Result: _Alliance______)
- ViCi vs. Na'Vi.US (Result: _ViCi__________)
- Empire vs. Liquid (Result: _Liquid________)
- Titan vs. Arrow (Result: _Titan_________)
- Team DK vs. Cloud9 (Result: _DK____________)
- Evil Geniuses vs. NewBee (Result: _Evil Geniuses_)
- LGD vs. Liquid (Result: _LGD___________)
- Na'Vi.US vs. iG (Result: _Na'Vi.US______)
- Team DK vs. mousesports (Result: _DK____________)
- Empire vs. Alliance (Result: _Alliance______)
- ViCi vs. Fnatic (Result: _ViCi__________)
- Cloud9 vs. NewBee (Result: _NewBee________)
- Arrow vs. mousesports (Result: _mousesports___)
- Na'Vi vs. Evil Geniuses (Result: _Evil Geniuses_)
- Empire vs. Team DK (Result: _DK____________)
- Alliance vs. Na'Vi.US (Result: _Alliance______)
- Liquid vs. Cloud9 (Result: _Cloud9________)
- Titan vs. iG (Result: _iG____________)
- ViCi vs. NewBee (Result: _ViCi__________)
- Na'Vi.US vs. Arrow (Result: _Arrow_________)
- Na'Vi vs. LGD (Result: _Na'Vi_________)
- Alliance vs. Fnatic (Result: _Fnatic________)
- NewBee vs. mousesports (Result: _MewBee________)
- Arrow vs. Liquid (Result: _Arrow_________)
- iG vs. Empire (Result: _Empire________)
- Evil Geniuses vs. Titan (Result: _Evil Geniuses_)
- ViCi 7-1
- Team DK 6-3
- Evil Geniuses 6-3
- iG 6-3
- Na'VI 5-3
- Cloud9 5-4
- Liquid 5-4
- Titan 5-4
- NewBee 5-5
- Alliance 4-5
- Fnatic 4-5 *
- Na'Vi.US 4-5 *
- Empire 3-6 *
- LGD 3-6 *
- mousesports 2-7 *
- Arrow 2-8 *
*Currently risking elimination.
No one is going to be prepared for our Pokemon-Animal Crossing hybrid overlords. A meshing of the two most passionate Nintendo 3DS communities here on Neoseeker. I'm exaggerating of course, but there is some truth that statement. With Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, Game Freak will be adding an all new feature that they're calling "Super-Secret Bases." It's time to design a Pokemon place of your own.
Super-Secret Bases are wonky sorts of customizable homes, but at the same time nothing of the like. See, while players can customize their Secret Base as they please, the purpose of the Secret Base isn't the same as a home in Animal Crossing. Players will be designing their own fort, their own gym and their own training grounds all in one.
Like gyms found in the normal game, a Secret Base can be designed with all sorts of traps, tricks and puzzles to trouble intruders. Should these conspiring villains meet the owners approval, they can even challenge them to a battle -- or just chat about things. It's all good. The Secret Base owner gets to decide what sorts of battles are allowed. Then, once the thieves have been dealt with, they can be added as a Secret Pal and later help each other out with special skills.
A mini-game that can be played with Secret Bases is something related to capture-the-flag. When players visit others' Secret Base, a flag will be located by the player's PC. Invaders can then, if they manage to get through the puzzles and so on, take the flag for themselves. Only one flag per base can be taken per day, which is meant to encourage folk to visit lots of other Secret Bases.
Of course, players will be able to visit their friends' Secret Base as well, or they can share their souped up mega-Gym Secret Bases online with a QR code. It's all about sharing and socializing, so Nintendo clearly wants to make this as simple as possible. Well, as simple as it can be with the wonky online system of the 3DS.
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire are planned for release exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS starting November 21.
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Update All 36 matches have ended! Check out the current standings
The final spot in The International 2014's 16-team bracket has been filled and it's time to start the Dota 2 event in earnest. Today we begin The International's famed group stage slaughterhouse. Four days of round-robin play, where each of the 16 teams will play every other, will result in 6 teams being left on the tournament floor. That's getting ahead of ourselves, though, as today we have 36 matches to play, four at a time in nine different sets. It is a good day.
For those who haven't watched yesterday's games, I won't be spoiling, but of course I have to warn that the winning team's name will be listed in today's matches. I'd highly recommend going back and watching those wildcard matches, because the winner fought tooth and nail for their victory. They absolutely deserve their place in the tournament.
Time to get back to the matches at hand, however. Here are the 36 matchups of the day, noting again that four matches are being played at any given time. Thus, the below list will be broken into nine sets, each with four games. Each game is being individually cast by one of the talented Dota 2 caster teams, but I'd recommend the main stream which will focus on the "premiere" match, but jump to the others as the action happens.
- Evil Geniuses vs. Cloud9 (Results: _C9____________)
- NewBee vs. LGD (Results: _NewBee_______)
- Fnatic vs. Team DK (Results: _Fnatic_______)
- Alliance vs. iG (Results: _iG___________)
- Arrow vs. Evil Geniuses (Results: _Evil Geniuses)
- Titan vs. Empire (Results: _Titan________)
- mousesports vs. ViCi (Results: _ViCi_________)
- Liquid vs. Na'Vi.US (Results: _Na'Vi.US_____)
- Arrow vs. Cloud 9 (Results: _C9____________)
- LGD vs. Team DK (Results: _DK___________)
- Fnatic vs. Na'Vi (Results: _Fnatic_______)
- NewBee vs. iG (Results: _NewBee________)
- Alliance vs. Titan (Results: _Titan________)
- Na'Vi vs. ViCi (Results: _Na'Vi________)
- Fnatic vs. Na'Vi.US (Results: _Na'Vi.US_____)
- Empire vs. mousesports (Results: _Empire_______)
- Alliance vs. NewBee (Results: _NewBee________)
- Liquid vs. Team DK (Results: _Liquid________)
- Cloud9 vs. Titan (Results: _C9____________)
- LGD vs. Evil Geniuses (Results: _Evil Geniuses)
- iG vs. Arrow (Results: _iG___________)
- ViCi vs. Empire (Results: _ViCi_________)
- Na'Vi vs. mousesports (Results: _Na'Vi________)
- Na'Vi.US vs. LGD (Results: _Na'Vi.US_____)
- iG vs. Team DK (Results: _iG___________)
- Evil Geniuses vs. Fnatic (Results: _Evil Geniuses)
- mousesports vs. Cloud9 (Results: _mousesports__)
- NewBee vs. Liquid (Results: _Liquid_______)
- Arrow vs. Alliance (Results: _Alliance_____)
- ViCi vs. Titan (Results: _ViCi_________)
- Cloud9 vs. Na'Vi.US (Results: _Na'Vi.US_____)
- Empire vs. Na'Vi (Results: _Na'Vi________)
- Team DK vs. Alliance (Results: _Team DK______)
- Fnatic vs. NewBee (Results: _Fnatic_______)
- Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses (Results: _Liquid_______)
- LGD vs. Arrow (Results: _LGD__________)
There it is, 36 games in one day. I'll try and update the post with each match's victories, hidden to avoid spoilers of course. I'm not sure exactly how long each Series is planned to take, but I'd assume Valve's goal is for each one to take an hour. If they run long, then they'll probably just roll with it and push the rest of the show back that much longer.
Finally, I'd like to close out this post with the current standings for The International 2014, updated as each match goes on. This section of the post is 100% spoilers, showing how many games each team has won and how many teams have lost. Keep in mind that the 6 bottom teams of the 16 will automatically be out of the tournament after these four days of group stage. Only the top 2 will earn a guaranteed spot in the winners bracket.
Happy The International 2014 official start, everyone. Let's watch some Dota 2
- Cloud9 4-1
- Na'Vi.US 3-1
- iG 3-1
- Liquid 3-1
- Na'VI 3-1
- ViCi 3-1
- Evil Geniuses 3-2
- Fnatic 3-2
- NewBee 3-2
- Titan 2-2
- Team DK 2-3
- Empire 1-3
- mousesports 1-3
- Alliance 1-4
- LGD 1-4
- Arrow 0-5
Do you like adventure games? I like adventure games
The first season of The Wolf Among Us is now over. Cry Wolf, the fifth and final episode of the season, is out now. What's better to do than stream and record a marathon session of all five episodes? Oh dear, what am I getting myself into here. Expect to the livestream to go up as this post is published, so tune into the embedded video player below, jump into Twitch chat, drop a comment, or send me a tweet at @bluexy if you feel like saying hello.
Generally speaking I've been a staunch supporter of playing Telltale's episodes as they're released. I think the tension and climax of each episode is best served in small doses. However, I've never really experienced it from the other end, trying each episode back to back. Thus, this is rather an experiment for me. I'm excited to find out whether it will be for better or worse.
Again, check out The Wolf Among Us, now finished with its first season, on PC and PlayStation 3 (North America). Other platforms will follow the the next few days. Or, stick around and see how things turn out on my livestream.
What terrors await in the five wings of Naxxramas? DLC prices...
Blizzard has revealed the final pricing and release details for the upcoming Hearthstone expansion, Curse of Naxxramas. As expected, considering Hearthstone is a free-to-play game, they're a bit overly convoluted in order to persuade folk to just spend real money, but there's absolutely an option for players to earn access to the whole thing with just gold earned from playing. There's no update on the release date at this time, but the expansion is still planned for a July release.
Let's get down to the specific details then. First and foremost, Blizzard is still planning on releasing the first "Wing" of Curse of Naxxramas completely free for all players, but obviously there's some fine print. The Arachnid Quarter will be the first release of the expansion and will be free for the month-long launch window. Anyone who plays during this period will get the content for free, but anyone who misses that window will have to buy it later.
Following the launch of the Arachnid Quarter, each of the four other quarters will be released one at a time each week. Those Wings will also release in a specific order: Arachnid Quarter, Plague Quarter, Military Quarter, Construct Quarter, and Frostwyrm Lair. No matter whether players buy each wing with gold or real money, the gates on these wings won't open until their scheduled release. Five wings, five weeks.
Pricing is also a bit intriguing. Let's start with the purchase of individual wings. If folk decide to buy each wing one at a time they'll be spending either 700 gold or $6.99. Gold of course can be earned by completing quests in-game or succeeding in the Arena. For folk who find $6.99 a bit too spendy for each wing, Blizzard will be offering a bundle offer. If purchasing the bundle, each wing that the player doesn't already own will cost about $5. That means that players who own Arachnid Quarter for free can pay $19.99 for the remaining four. If a player gets the Arachnid Quarter for free and then buy Plague Quarter with gold, they can buy the remaining three for $14.99. If a player doesn't want to wait for the free Arachnid Quarter, they can spend $24.99 right now for all five Wings -- accessible as the gates unlock week by week.
That's about all for pricing details, which can also be seen in the pricing graphic provided by Blizzard which I used for the header image. In addition to pricing, however, Blizzard also announced Heroic Mode for each Wings. Once players defeat all of the bosses in a given Wing they can then challenge the Heroic Mode version, which includes much more difficult versions of each boss. Defeating Heroic Mode of a Wing will unlock a a card for the player's account.
Oof! Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion is just weeks away and now everyone has pricing and release details at their fingertips. All that left is spamming quests and Arena trying to collect up the 700x5 gold needed to get each Wing without paying real money. Best of luck, everyone!
Put a Civilization in there and I'm all in, 2K
Humble Bundle has partnered with another willing game publisher to create a dream bundle. 2K Games is sharing their library with all, bringing out all three BioShock titles, as well as a few random games they had stuffed in the closet. There's a bit of Darkness, some Mafia, and then a Spec Ops: The Line, that have been brought up to get some air. Unfortunately there's a "Pay $20 or more" requirement locking off some games and raising the average artificially, but overall it's still a great deal.
Keep in mind that purchasers can decide whether any or all of the money they're paying goes to the publisher or to charity, so in that regard every dollar can be considered well-spent. Humble Bundle typically likes to to make games DRM free as well, and even on Linux and Mac, but in this case only the original BioShock is DRM free and only a few will work on Mac. None work on Linux.
Here's the full line-up of 2K games available in the Humble Bundle, organized into its different pay levels:
Pay What You Want
- The Beureau: XCOM Declassified
- The Darkness II
Beat the Average
- BioShock 2
- Mafia II
- Spec Ops: The Line
- More to come...
Pay $20 or More
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- BioShock Infinite
Like I said earlier, it's a bit frustrating that both XCOM and BioShock Infinite are locked behind the $20 or more pay wall. Considering both titles are found quite often at sales prices which are a fraction of that, not to mention XCOM has been rereleased with expanded content, this part of the bundle feels less like a sale and more like a way to drive up the average. Still, $20 for eight amazing games, the cost of which can all go to charity, is nothing worth staying disappointed over.
I enjoyed every single one of these games, though Mafia II is nothing in comparison to the first game in the franchise. Maybe that first game will pop up as an extra title down the line? The average is currently sitting around $6, so check this bundle out if you haven't dabbled in BioShock yet.
Who cares about zombies, I'm building castles 24/7
Damn, Fortnite, where have you been? It feels like Fortnite was announced ages ago, which might be because Fortnight was announced almost three years ago and also I am impatient. On top of that, the game was last shown in a substantial form years ago, it seems. If it wasn't due to Epic Games' constant reassurances, one might think Fortnite was canceled. Not so, as Epic Games has popped out of the ground, seen no shadow, and released a bunch of new Fortnite media.
In the trailer and eight screenshots released, we see that Fortnite seems to have come a long way since that last time it was shown. Character and environmental animations are tight, building smoothly off of gameplay actions. Seeing builders start walls and windows all while each individual piece builds automatically is quite brilliant. The characters themselves are clearly identifiable and scream personality now too, in stark contrast to the relative mundanity they shared previously.
Perhaps most significant, however, is that the gameplay trailer we have actually seems to show the full game being played. Sure, only flashes of different bits are being shown for better consumption, but the gameplay itself doesn't feel faked or choreographed. It looks like folk having fun playing Fortnight. That, more than anything, appeals to my sensibilities. Next comes letting me play it directly, please.
Fortnight seems to now be tentatively planned for release in 2015, as opposed to the previous 2014 release window. It was noted that players will begin to gain access to the game in 2014, likely as part of a beta, with more to come in 2015. Keep in mind that Fortnite is a free-to-play game, so standard retail release requirements won't be necessary. It'll go alph and then beta when it pleases. Speaking of which, everyone can register for the alpha on the official Fortnite page right now.
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Expect updates on BlueStreak as we hear them
Cliff Bleszinski, Mr. Cliffy B himself, is back. His well-covered retirement from the industry came hand-in-hand with the current coma the Gears of Wars franchise has entered. The end of his retirement and reentry into the industry has long been expected. Where Cliff goes, hype follows. Last week came the leak that his studio is named BossKey, but today... today came the official announcement of BossKey's first game. Introducing BlueStreak.
BlueStreak will be a first-person arena shooter for the PC. For those young'uns who might not know what an arena shooter is, think Quake and Unreal Tournament. Ubisoft's ShootMania Storm is a great recent example (pour one out for ShootMania Storm, shooters). Knowing Cliff's style I think it's safe to say BlueStreak will be an intense, visceral experience, but having heard some of his concerns over Gears of War it may avoid the bro-tastic meat-head themes of the past.
Also notable is the fact that Nexon will be publishing BlueStreak, in addition to having a minority stake in Boss Key itself. Nexon's known for publishing and supporting free-to-play titles, including upcoming titles like MapleStory 2 and Dirty Bomb. Dirty Bomb coincidentally also being a free-to-play FPS, though more of a team-based shooter rather than arena style. Nevertheless, while Nexon is well known for their free-to-play titles, they're also known for quickly closing down games that don't find success.
I'm rambling a tad, because there's actually little to no information on BlueStreak released as of yet. Cliff and Boss Key both made the announcement today via Twitter, but nothing more. Some of the developers working on the project will be revealed shortly, and Cliff says he'll do a Q&A tomorrow around 5:30 EDT. In the mean time, the reveal itself will have to do. Cliff even said not to expect a, "fake CG trailer showing 'Gameplay' because that's not how @bosskey does it."
In the mean time, I think we can all rest a little easier knowing Cliff Bleszinski is back in the saddle and making games again. BlueStreak will certainly have its audience, and knowing Cliff he'll only hype it up all the more. BlueStreak is a free-to-play PC arena shooter with no announced release window. Expect to hear more soon.
What a lame title for a really cool looking game
Gearbox Software pulled a surprise, post-E3 announcement out of their hats today with the reveal of Battleborn. From the teams that put together Borderlands 2 and probably all of Gearbox's other junk too, Battleborn is a first-person shooter battle arena set in a space opera setting -- think Star Wars-style fantasy. Five heroes versus five heroes in what looks to be a Dota 2 type of good vs. evil scenario. And of course, it just reeks of that amazing Gearbox personality.
That's not all! Come on down! Battleborn isn't just a battle-arena game, it's also a co-op shooter, including what Gearbox's zany floating head Randy Pitchford describes as a, "hobby-grade co-op campaign." I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds like a great supplementary experience to the multiplayer mode... or is it modes?
What's been revealed about the multiplayer is pretty standard for the MOBA genre these days. Front and center in the discussion is the term "eSports" which these days is meant to thrilling moment to moment gameplay with a strategic layer meta. Basically, it means it's fun to watch and fun to follow in addition to being fun to play. Exactly what sort of features Gearbox plans to implement to supplement the eSports claim, such as spectator mode, replays and soon, is yet to be revealed.
What's most striking about Battleborn is of course its style and personality, a very Gearbox focus for the game considering the developers past with the visually outstanding Borderlands series. At first it might be easy to call out Battleborn as aping Dota 2's visual style, only in space, considering the main hero featured in the trailer looks a lot like Windrunner in Samus' Zero Suit. The more that's shown, the easier it is to see Battleborn is making its own identity. I see themes of Star Wars' Jedi, Hellboy's clockwork Nazi, steampunk, Warcraft, and that's not even beginning to analyze the evil side either. Until actual gameplay is shown, it will be difficult to make any sort of controversial claim.
I will say that, personally, I'm already digging the style of Battleborn. It's not just that I love future-based fantasy settings, which I do, it's that every character shown isn't just a pile of tropes. Sure, some of them have obvious character design inspirations, but they're each particularly unique in many regards as well. Even dual-saber Jedi dude, who is just such a freaking Jedi, looks completely different than expected. Plus, man, it means so much that all off the women shown (I think there are three revealed so far) aren't sexualized beyond all reason. I've seen zero boob windows so far. God bless you, Gearbox.
Battleborn is, unfortunately, planned for as late as a 2016 release. However, as with all battle arena style games, I think it's safe to say that a lengthy beta will be taking place. That beta could, potentially, start any time between now and that eventual 2016 launch. Oh, and cheer up console gamers, Battleborn is announced for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Note: Game Informer had the initial announcement for Battleborn with their monthly cover reveal, and will be featuring new Battleborn content announcements throughout the week. I'll post the cover here, because it's all sorts of badass, and source their Battleborn hub so everyone can keep track.
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Everyone clear their schedule for the next couple of weeks
It all starts here. Dota 2's world championship, The International 2014, begins in earnest today. While the group stages of the 16-team tournament won't begin until tomorrow, today marks the start of the event's wildcard playoff. There's a single spot remaining on the 16-team docket and four qualifying teams will have to battle it out to until only one remains. Virtus.Pro, MVP, CIS Game and Liquid have each earned second place in their respective regional qualifiers, but for three teams the path to greatness ends here.
Running consequently with the wildcard playoff will be The International's Solo Tournament. It's a one versus one tournament featuring eight of the best carries and semi-carries in Dota 2. What happens when their teams are stripped away from them and they're forced to rely solely on their creep waves and a bottle? Sound like the premise of a very depressing film, but in practice it means great fun.
Of course, all of The International 2014 is livestreamed for free via multiple means. The games can be watched in-client via Dota 2, on Dota2.com, or via Valve's Dota 2 Twitch channel. Those are the outlets, but Valve has stepped up its game with regards to how everyone watches in terms of presentation too. This year Valve has added a few different things. First is a noobs stream, which helps new players pick up on the complexities of the game. Second is a multi-cast stream which will displace all ongoing games at the same time, never losing a second of wonderful International gameplay. Finally, every single game will be available on the Dota 2 website, organized into spoiler-free videos on demand. It's like Valve knows what it's doing or something!
Let's go over the teams that will be playing today and the brackets they'll be facing. Starting off will be the wildcard playoffs:
- CIS Game
There are the two matchups to start the day off. Each matchup will play a best of three, including the final between the winners of the above matchups. That means we could have as few as six games or as many as nine.
Next up is the 1v1 line-up, which as of right now I'm not certain is best of three or just single elimination. Either way, here are the brackets:
- Dendi - Natus Vincere
- Arteezy - Evil Geniuses
- s4 - Alliance
- iceiceice - DK
- fy - Vici Gaming
- Resolution - Empire
- Mushi - DK
- Ferrari_430 - Invictus Gaming
Two DK members tells you a little about how well-respected that team is, yeah?
Let's stop rambling here, because the first match in the wildcard playoffs has begun! Everyone have a great The International and expect more news here from Neoseeker as the tournament progresses round by round. Make sure to find the livestream with your favorite commentator. Personally, I enjoy Tobi, because he's awkward as heck, but calls the in-game action better than anyone. Ah, the professionalism when $10 million is on the line.
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Let's be frank, it's a romance simulator dressed as an RPG
Our third NIS America localization of the day, also a Nippon Ichi Software developed title, is The Awakened Fate Paradox. While not perhaps a direct sequel to The Guided Fate Paradox, The Awakened Fate Paradox will be similar in many ways. Expect a tactical RPG with dungeon crawling elements, where the focus is less the gameplay than the romance options and scenarios that grow out of conversation choices.
With that said, let me introduce everyone to The Awakened Fate Paradox's premise. In an ongoing war between good and evil, evil is getting an advantage. Good then decides to create a weapon that creates a "God" of sorts. However, the angels can only use it on a human. When a human boy has an accident on Earth, the angels pluck him up and turn him into their would be god.
Then The Awakened Fate Paradox get's super anime. Like any new god, it will take time to learn one's powers. Lucky for our protagonist two very pretty anime ladies of polar opposite personalities are tasked with helping the hero along the way. Siding with either of the ladies will lead to difference scenarios, and of course an eventual relationship with the lady of choice. Japanese RPGs these days, right?
The Awakened Fate Paradox is a PlayStation 3 exclusive title that's planned for release in both North America and Europe starting in 2015. Expect more information on this and NIS America's other upcoming localizations in the weeks and months ahead. Catch the Japanese announcement trailer below, though a lot is lost in translation beyond the character art and the obvious air for drama.
Here we have NIS America's second Anime Expo announcement. Criminal Girls: Invite Only is an updated and expanded version of the Japanese PSP title from 2010, planned for release in North America and Europe in 2015. It's an RPG featuring seven ladies, criminals whose souls have been damned to a life of imprisonment in hell. Also, it's a huge pervert game. Oh, NIS America...
Let me just read you this one line from NIS America's announcement press release, in which they say that one of Criminal Girls: Invite Only's main features is "Touching Gameplay."
"Connect with the girls, and uncover each of their unique personalities through one-on-one motivational sessions with a unique use of the front touchscreen and rear touchpad, and fulfill the girls’ special requests to discover more about their interesting, and often dark pasts."
Aha, yeah, there goes NIS trying to either hide or glaze over that a good portion of this games takes place on a bed, with the seven sinful ladies in vulnerable positions. Just look at the logo, people. It's filled with hearts and handcuffs. "On-on-one motivational sessions" indeed. You're not fooling anyone, NIS America! To add to that, it's likely that some stuff will be censored, as a result of western laws against sexual depictions of young people.
Anyway, "motivating" the girls will unlock their spells, skill, and stats, making them stronger in battle. Thus, it's a core component in putting a team together and progressing through the game. Maybe NIS America will release a trailer down the road showing off how, err, power leveling works. Judging from how they've dealt with potentially offensive content in the past, however, I wouldn't count on it.
Criminal Girls: Invite Only is a PS Vita title that's planned for release in North America and Europe in 2015. The extra content that will come with the PS Vita release includes two new playable characters, extra scenarios, and updated artwork and effects. Again, NIS America has already stated that some content will be censored. Don't expect the game to get too hot and heavy.