First thoughts: Pokken Tournament

pokkenRetail releases tend to be thin on the Nintendo Wii U system, but, when they do hit, that usually gives them a pretty good focus. Last year, Namco-Bandai took on the Pokemon license to offer up an arcade fighter featuring a chunk of the franchise’s cast. With a promised mix of eclectic characters and fighting, there was no way we were going to pass up an opportunity to check out this release. Continue reading

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Review: DeathSmiles (PC)

ds1We’re approaching 10 years since the heroines of DeathSmiles descended into arcades, but even now the unique themes and frantic action have kept the series alive and well in the hearts of shoot-‘em-up enthusiasts. When Cave announced it planned to release its catalog on Steam, DeathSmiles was practically a lock for the treatment, and its PC release stays in line with what players were able to experience on the Xbox 360.

The DeathSmiles series revolves around children who turn up missing from our reality and enter an alternate, fantasy-type world. Gathered and guided by a father figure in this new world, a group of girls selectable by the player use the abilities they have discovered to keep peace. In the first game, the appearance of monsters keeps increasing at an alarming rate and the girls fight their way to Hades Castle to discover the source.

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Getting into the game

With all of the talk about VR taking off, here is something I wrote a handful of years ago, that echoes all of the talk of virtual first-person shooters:

Just imagine this game premise: You take the atmosphere of Tron, stick players in tight labyrinth corridors a la Wolfenstein 3D or Doom, place guns in their hands and send them out in droves to invade bases and gun down any opposing player foolish enough to get in your way. When the match is over, the player can access a scoreboard or leaderboard to see their performance just like in any first-person shooter deathmatch mode. Continue reading

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Review: Ninja Senki DX (PC)

ninja_jumpNinja Senki is an indie game that is hot off its fifth anniversary, and Tribute is giving the title a re-release to extend the game’s reach to the Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and Steam audiences. The result is a DX version that brings an already quality platformer over to the marketplace with an appropriate injection of worthwhile bells and whistles.

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A look at Batman: Arkham Knight (Xbox One)

Today marks the release of Batman: Arkham Knight, a title many fans of the franchise have been looking forward to for quite some time. It marks the series’ first appearance on the current generation of systems, and has easily been one of the most-anticipated titles for the first half of the year.

In my time previewing the game, I was able to get to approximately 20

Cover art for Batman: Arkham Knight (Release Date 6/23/15)

Cover art for Batman: Arkham Knight (Release Date 6/23/15)

percent of what the game considered “Story Mode Completion,” which is surprising considering how much the game throws at you as it unravels. On top of the overlying confrontation with the game’s primary nemesis, plenty of other Gotham City staples will cause troubles over time, resulting in a number of side quests to tackle. Continue reading

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The Generation Gap

Through my extracurricular activities at my college, I get to take in exactly how the 18-20 year old demographic takes in video games. Working at the college, myself and my boss, who is one year younger than I am, are often dumbfounded by how these students respond to video games.

Still going to school, many people tend to think I am 21-23 years old, but looking down the tunnel, this September I roll over to the 3-0. I’m not saying that is old by any means, but when I consider how different teens respond to video games than I do, it becomes mind boggling how being only 10 years apart could place so much difference between gaming attitudes.

My most recent endeavor was a partnership with the college’s student government, in which the gaming club hosted a “Gamers’ Week.” This gave me a full week to soak in the responses and attitudes of a number of 18-year-old gamers and led me to understand just how different this new generation of controller crowd is.

Please keep in mind none of this is meant to bash younger gamers or make me seem like a senile person telling these kids to get off my damn lawn, but, instead, it is an observation I have made between generations.

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Capcom’s Seth Killian on Fighting Games

I absolutely love fighting games. Behind rhythm games, it is my favorite genre of video games and if you mix the two genres, with games such as Slap Happy Rhythm Busters or Draglade, I find the results to be euphoric. The magic about fighting games, though, is that legions of gamers share the same love for the genre, resulting in tight, competitive communities and even in the industry, there are fighting fans hard at work spreading the love for game publishers such as Capcom.

At Capcom, competitive digital pugilist Seth Killian sits as the senior manager of community for the company. Killian is responsible for much of what gamers see on the Capcom Unity community site, but that doesn’t keep him from getting his hands dirty with a little bit of game development for select titles. When it comes down to it, though, he also isn’t afraid to step down from his office chair and lay beat downs on Street Fighter players. An accomplished competitive Street Fighter player and long-time EVO supporter, Killian is just as crazy about the series and fighting games as any other fan of the genre.

Seth Killian was kind enough to accept an interview with us, so please read on as we reach into the deepest annals of the fighting game community and Killian details what got him into fighting games, the competitive fighting game scene, some of Capcom’s more obscure fighters and having the final boss of Street Fighter IV named after him.
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