The Best Fighting Games On Nintendo Switch That Aren’t Smash Bros.

While the Nintendo Switch’s small JoyCons weren’t exactly made for those that appreciate fighting games, there’s no question that the system can hold its own in the arena. Get yourself a pair of Pro Controllers and set them up for the following recommended games and we assure you that you’ll have a great time getting into a brawling mood.

No, the list isn’t about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Obviously that’s a recommended favorite, but there are so many other fighting games that are worth checking out as well, as we’ve noted below.

So load up on a bigger memory card and get those fighting thumbs ready, because things are about to get rather competitive up in this piece.

Dragon Ball FighterZ (Bandai Namco)

After taking our breath away on other platforms, we figured it would just be a matter of time before Goku, Vegeta and the rest of the Dragon Ball Z gang would arrive on the Nintendo Switch in the form of FighterZ.

Produced by the team at Arc System Works, FighterZ looks like an anime universe brought to life. It brings several of the DBZ characters to the 2D fighting realm in the best way possible. You’ve got your combos, your super moves, your counters and, of course, those super-dramatic moves where a planet gets cut in half after you hurl someone into it.

Dragon Ball FIghterZ

What’s more, the game runs impressively on the Switch, whether in handheld mode or playing on the big-screen. The animation is truly impressive, and the speed of the game is second to none when it comes to dialing in the big hits. And the gameplay is as smooth as ever, offering something for both newcomers and veterans alike.

Even if you’re not really that heavily into anime, you owe it to yourself to check out FighterZ. It’s a brawler’s dream come true.

Mortal Kombat 11 (WB Games)

So there is one rather big hang-up that you’ll have to accept with Mortal Kombat 11 on the Nintendo Switch – this sucker takes up a lot of space. The game runs at around 15GB install with the physical version, via a day one patch. And if you go digital, it’ll crank up to around the 22GB range, maybe even higher.

Now, if you have a memory card that can sufficiently handle that kind of range, and you don’t mind waiting a while for the download to drop into place, then you’re in for a hell of a port. Mortal Kombat 11 actually feels quite good on the Nintendo Switch, particularly with the Pro Controller. That said, portable mode isn’t too shabby either, if it’s the only option you have on the table.

Now, visually, the game does pale in comparison to its Xbox One/PS4 brethren, but the devs still managed to get it running smoothly enough that most players don’t mind. What’s more, like Mortal Kombat II on the SNES, MK11 is brimming with all kinds of sweet carnage. That includes limbs flying off, bodies exploding and so, so much more. It’s all here, fans.

Along with a satisfying story mode, Mortal Kombat 11 also features a balanced Towers mode to test your might and multiplayer options for those that want to mix it up with others. Local versus is your best bet, but that’s a good deal anyway considering friends want to come over and punch your head off.

Even with its technical limitations, Mortal Kombat 11 holds its own – and more – on the Switch. Now if we can just get a port of Injustice 2

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection (Capcom)

At one point in time, it looked like the best way to get Street Fighter action on the Nintendo Switch was to pick up a copy of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. And while that’s not a bad option to have, it doesn’t really do much for those looking for variety. Fortunately, the 30th Anniversary Collection easily picks up where the debut effort left off.

That’s because, for a mere $30, you get a pretty complete package of the Street Fighter saga, going from the original game that started it all in 1987 (before Street Fighter II four years later) to the awesome Street Fighter III: Third Strike, considered by many to be one of the best in the series. The ports of all these games are done incredibly well, and the fighting action feels as smooth as it ever has, right down to the counter moves and getting those occasional combos. Again, a Pro Controller is your best bet here, but it feels so nice.

On top of that, you can also take part in online fighting with some of the key titles, like Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting and Street Fighter Alpha 3. It’s a slight disappointment that online isn’t offered across the board, but it allows Capcom to focus on delivering top-tier performance in the games that really matter. And, yes, Third Strike has that support as well.

Also included in this game is a sweet Museum Mode, where you can delve into the history of Street Fighter. It’s mesmerizing just how stacked this is, and it’ll keep you busy while you wait to jump into your next match.

While Ultra Street Fighter II is a good game, this Collection delivers more than its weight in gold. Well worth it for the $30 drop.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle (Arc System Works)

Although Dragon Ball FighterZ has more than enough of a recommendation on the Arc System Works front, we dare not forget about the game that put them on the map to begin with on the Switch – BlazBlue. In Cross Tag Battle, you’ll pair up with a number of characters across various fighting games in one huge mishmash of fists, kicks and supers. And it’s unbelievable, to say the least.

Featuring characters from the respective Persona, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY (as well as BlazBlue, obviously), Cross Tag Battle delivers an unprecedented roster of characters to choose from, as well as the option to expand upon it with several characters through downloadable content. It never hurts to see what all is out there, so you can master certain ones and deliver a true butt whooping online.

The game features stellar visuals that match the quality of FighterZ in terms of hand-drawn elegance and beautiful backgrounds. For that matter, the game also features a rockin’ soundtrack that will be right at home for those of you that love any of the franchises above. But it’s the gameplay that will truly hook you, with a 2 vs. 2 gameplay system that rivals the greatness of Marvel vs. Capcom 2. It has its own special tricks that you certainly shouldn’t miss.

There’s also an array of spectacular modes to choose from, which will keep you busy in both single player and against others in multiplayer. It’s impressively stacked, and you won’t have to sacrifice too much of your memory card if you take the digital route. (Of course, physical game fans will want to pick this up and add it to their growing collection.)

While one Arc System Works party with FighterZ may be enough for some, we recommend adding BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle to the party. If only because there’s more than enough 2D fighting goodness to go around, so why limit it to just one selection?

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy (SNK)

Okay, we know. This isn’t exactly the most serious SNK fighting game out there, but there’s enough variety for that with the Arcade Archives releases, as you can load up on Samurai Shodown and Garou: Mark of the Wolves for less than a 20 spot. That said, SNK Heroines does deserve some commendation, mainly because of the two things it manages to do pretty well.

The first is delivering fan service. Sure, it takes a Dead or Alive route to do so, but that’s proven popular with Koei Tecmo in the past, so why shouldn’t SNK give it a try? The selection of female characters is rather startling, and their outfits would give Kasumi and company a run for their money. It doesn’t necessarily over-sexualize either, though it definitely doesn’t hold back on the cheesecake. There’s a reason it has a Teen rating.

snk heroines

As for the second thing, it just takes the fighting ball and rolls with it when it comes to entertainment. It’s a bit on the silly side, but the combo system works reasonably well; and the super moves are a blast to pull off. Plus, the game looks pretty good for a 3D SNK brawler, though obviously Samurai Shodown will take the throne whenever it arrives for the platform later this year.

While SNK Heroines may not be a favorite choice, it still gets thumbs up for those that are looking for something just outside of the norm.

Blade Strangers (Nicalis)

Although it’s not the most original crossover title out there, Blade Strangers has that certain appeal that some fans will love. Plus, you really won’t find a fighting game with a more diverse cast than this. We’re talking a buffed up Shovel Knight taking on the kid from The Binding of Isaac Plus, folks.

The game features a traditional 2D design that, while not as detailed as Arc System Works’ games, still looks very well done. And the 3D backgrounds are pretty nicely rendered to boot, so you actually feel like you’re battling in a living, breathing world.

On top of that, the control system is well handled here. If you’re approaching for the first time, the game will help you learn about what makes it tick, so you can adapt to its systems and get into the fight. And if you’re a veteran, you can figure things out rather quickly, so you can master your terrain.

Blade Strangers also packs on the fun as far as multiplayer is concerned, with lots of online match-ups that run relatively well for the Switch.

It’s not the most commendable fighting game out there, but Blade Strangers is a lot of fun. And it’s a good one-two punch to go alongside the Puzzle Fighter II-esque Crystal Crisis that’s set to drop in just a few days. Now fight!

ARMS (Nintendo)

While most folks would recommend Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the king of the fighting games for the Switch (and rightfully so), we have to give a nod to ARMS, a game that launched shortly after the system’s release. And while it’s a bit unexpected when it comes to its extendable limbs and deeper strategy, it’s a lot more fun than we expected it to be.

In the game, you choose from a number of characters that let their hands do the talking; and then drop into a 3D arena where you can try to knock them out before they get the chance to. There’s some cool stuff here, including selecting which limbs you want to go with, each with their own special abilities. What’s more, some of the characters provide their own extra spark as well, keeping things interesting with each brawl.

It’s a blast to play online. And what’s more, it’s a local favorite, too. And it actually makes proper use of the JoyCons in versus play, though, again, stick with a Pro Controller if you can.

Check out the trailer above to give yourself a good idea of just how ARMS works. We’d certainly be down for a sequel – provided they don’t call it something weird. Like LEGS or something. ELBOWS?

Pokken Tournament DX (Nintendo)

You didn’t really think we were going to leave the Pokemon out of this fight, did you? Did you? Silly trainers. Pokken Tournament left quite an impact over on the Wii U, so it only makes sense that the game do so on the Nintendo Switch as well. Nintendo, alongside the folks at Bandai Namco, really gave this the proper treatment it deserved. As a result, fans are sure to love it – if they can stop playing Pokémon Let’s Go for a good few minutes.

In the game, you’ll choose from a number of Pokémon characters and then engage in battle. A neat little system lets you fight between 2D and 3D planes, switching between them quite effectively as you execute special moves and try to win each fight. 

The controls are relatively easy to use, and take some time to truly master. So it’s got that perfect amount of balance that feels right at home, even to newcomers. As for full-blown Pokémon fans, there’s some great service here that you’re going to really dig.

Throw in a fun story mode (with a somewhat annoying announcer – just quiet down for a few, lady) and some great online versus action, and you’ve got a winner that will please both newbies and masters alike. We’d definitely take a follow-up to this one if we were given the chance.

Other Recommendations

Here are some quick recommendations you shouldn’t miss out on:

Pocket Rumble– a cool little $10 Game Boy-esque fighting game with fun characters and simple controls. A good game for kids and non-fighting masters to check out.

Samurai Shodown- the classic SNK game lives on via the Arcade Archives collection- and it’s a good warm-up for the new game coming in just a few months.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves– another SNK title that’s well worth your time, especially considering you get an all-out classic for just $8.

Nidhogg 2- an oddball fencing game, but one filled with wonderful tactics and fun local versus action. Plus, did we mention it’s weird? Because it’s damn weird.

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New Online Test for Game Addiction Made Available

A group of academic researchers from universities in the UK, Germany, China, and Australia have released a new psychological test that will help you determine if you suffer from video game addiction. This test for game addiction takes just 10 minutes to complete and will help you determine where you rank for gaming disorder against others who have already taken the test.

Because gaming disorder is so new there aren’t really any metrics for if someone has gaming addiction or doesn’t. This is why the test compares you to others who have taken the test. Giving you an idea of where you fall compared to others. So, if for instance, 90% of participants have a lower score than you…that might be a good sign you have a game addiction.

The test also looks at your motivation for gaming and gives you a score on the 7 motivations they’ve selected. You can go on to do an extended version of the test that will dive even deeper into your gaming habits if you’re interested in a more detailed report.

Of course gaming disorder can only properly be diagnosed by an expert psychological counselor. This test is only intended to provide you context and perhaps encourage you to get help. It doesn’t take certain things into account that may impact the reasons you game so much like a disability.

The test is available for free online and you can find it here. We’d love to hear what you get on the test. That 90% example I gave above, that was my result. But I’m not worried. I can quit anytime.

Source: Forbes

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Bioware Breaks Anthem Silence…to Announce a Delay

It has been radio silence from Bioware when it comes to Anthem leading many to worry that the game was being abandoned after poor reception. But, it would seem that Bioware isn’t giving up on Anthem just yet! The game’s first major public event, The Cataclysm was supposed to be starting this month, but a post on the forums from Global Community Manager Jesse Anderson has shed some new light on the situation.

Anthem

“Rather than rush it out the door, we want to take time and get feedback from you and make changes based on what we hear.” With that in mind, they’re going to be opening up a Public Test Server on PC to get the much-needed feedback. But, with that news came the delay of the release of The Cataclysm to an unspecified date in the future. So, while it is nice to know that they haven’t abandoned the game…the news certainly isn’t good.

They are planning on expanding further on this news today in a live stream event where they also promise to show off the first looks at the Cataclysm. However, this stream will be on at 3 PM Central time so anyone with a day job or school in North America won’t be watching. This may possibly be by design, or maybe we’re just getting cynical in our old age here in the office.

Bioware did also release a patch today for Anthem that is said to contain “some under the hood content you won’t see right away.” It was also said that the patch is getting Anthem ready for the Cataclysm event. There are also a ton of bugs and other issues that were fixed in the patch. It’s certainly worth checking out the patch notes for the full list.

 

Source: Official Forums

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Rocket Arena – Everybody Was Rocket Jumping

Rocket Arena is the latest game from Nexon and its inspirations are obvious. A first glimpse at the name brought back fond memories of long nights rocket jumping in Quake, quickly traveling across the map, leaping with unmatched poise and getting back into the fight in the blink of an eye.

But Quake isn’t the only source of inspiration for this hero shooter. Rocket Arena has a visual style that seems to channel both Blizzard’s Overwatch and Hi-Rez Studios’ Paladins. The comparisons are inevitable, but Rocket Arena has a confident style and visual substance that makes it difficult to dislike.

I couldn’t help but smile when I first saw the Rocket Arena characters. What a cheerful and colorful bunch that Final Strike Games designed for its 3v3 arena first-person shooter. It’s like they jumped out of the best Saturday morning cartoons for a quick and unpretentious brawl. A quick “Smash” brawl.

Rocket Arena Preview Amphora Rocketball Crater's Edge

All the Bros Were Smashing

In Rocket Arena, your goal isn’t to drain your opponent’s health bar. After all, everyone is using non-lethal rockets, if such a thing is even plausible. Instead of a health bar you have a Blast Meter and when you take significant hits you are “Megablasted” out of the arena, only to slowly float back down again and reenter the fight. Evidently, this makes you lose precious seconds and your team is weakened during this process.

It’s a mechanic that seems lifted from Super Smash Bros. or Brawlhalla. At this stage I can’t say for sure if it fits the gameplay, as the closed beta feels somewhat unbalanced and in need of further testing. I’d be hard-pressed to choose between this and a traditional health bar, as I don’t think that the Blast Meter adds anything worthwhile to the matches, feeling like a glorified respawn period that gets on your nerves as your hero slowly floats back into a random location.

The rocket jumping aspect needs more work, as it feels unfitting. For a game that is pretty much selling itself on this gimmick, there is a long way to go before it feels satisfactory and worthy of comparison to the mighty Quake series. The main problem with it is the strange physics system or lack thereof, with no proper correlation between the angle of your shot and the way that you are thrusted in the air. Most of the times you’ll simply be propelled upwards, even when you are aiming at a wall, something that should give you a boost and shoot you backwards across the map.

Rocket Arena Preview Izell The Wilds

It’s also odd that other players seem unaffected by the rocket impacts. As Quake has so deftly proved, skilled players can easily come up with amazing strategies that add layer after layer of strategy to a seemingly simple gameplay premise, so long as they are provided with the right tools. This would ramp up the gameplay of Rocket Arena, but right now it lacks that spark that would improve its competitive potential.

Rocket Arena has an interesting take on verticality and the ability to take the fights airborne. The maps are small but aptly designed, but to explore their full potential you will need a fully functioning rocket jump mechanic. You also have a double and triple jump which regrettably turn the game into a clay pigeon shooting gallery of sorts, as you try your best to hit those annoying jumping players from afar. Rocket Arena would surely gain from a more restrained jump feature and a focus on ground-based gameplay, as the matches are almost entirely spent airborne and may end up getting on your nerves.

I don’t mean to sound too jaded or overly critical of Rocket Arena as I understand that it is still in active development and welcoming player feedback. It is an occasionally fun game and it’s obvious that a lot of work went into making it look great and play decently, but I wish some of the issues above were fixed if it wants to stand a chance against other hero shooters. This is the time to do it, to balance the characters properly – a couple of them feel utterly overpowered – and adjust those physics. This could make or break the game.

Rocket Arena Preview Jayto Icefall Keep

Easy Like Saturday Morning

It’s not entirely fair to label Rocket Arena’s visuals as childish; this game is only as childish as a Toy Story movie can be, a Disney movie or some of the best Saturday morning cartoons. The flamboyant and jubilant art style isn’t there to be enjoyed solely by kids, as a keen adult eye will promptly notice the talented design and attention to detail that permeates Rocket Arena.

There are currently six characters available in Rocket Arena, and they are a wide-ranging bunch, both in looks and abilities. Amphora is a cute fighter with an underwater penchant that would make Aquaman proud; Blastbeard is a larger-than-life pirate that carries a massive cannon; Kayi is the Disney princess Elsa in everything but name and looks, sporting ice powers and hailing from the snowy Icefall Keep; Izell is a fearless jungle warrior; Plink is a creative kid and wannabee Inspector Gadget; finally, Jayto is the brash returning champion and acts as the poster boy for the game. Each character comes with their own loadout, with specific strengths and an ultimate ability, and soon you will begin to find a favorite or two among them.

In a nice touch, each contender comes from their own region, corresponding to one map per character, at least so far. It’s easy to see that Kayi comes from the lovely snow-covered Icefall Keep, a kingdom that wouldn’t be out of place in Frozen. Blastbeard has his own pirate-themed Crater’s Edge map, with lovely waterfalls and a shine to the whole thing that turns it into one of my favorite maps visually speaking. Izell naturally comes from Gemstone Jungle, a place filled with ancient temples and a distinct Mayan vibe. I won’t go through the remaining three maps, but each one of them has an inherent style that perfectly suits the respective character – well, maybe except for Plink, who seems at odds with a dino excavation site set in a desert.

Rocket Arena Preview Plink Mega Rocket Crystal Reef

Despite their small size, these maps are expertly designed and have enough elements as to feel unique and entertaining. As I’ve mentioned before, verticality plays an important role, for better and for worse, so you must get used to it if you want to succeed.

You level up each character independently, unlocking rewards such as alternative outfits, trails and artifacts, which provide buffs to certain characters. Extra damage while on the ground for Plink, gaining full health after knocking out an opponent for Amphora, or gaining a short speed bust after a rocket jump for Izell, among others.

As for game modes, there are three PvP modes available and one cooperative mode that pits players against waves of AI-controlled Rocketbots. Knockout is your basic team deathmatch, except that no one actually “dies” in this game, instead being thrusted into the skies and out of the arena. Each player has three badges, nine in total for each team, and when a team is out of badges, the match is lost. Megarocket is about territory control, with rockets falling from the sky and teams having to hold possession for a few seconds until a point is conquered. Rocketball tries to bring a sports twist to Rocket Arena, and you can toss the ball or carry it with you, something that is utterly not advised unless you have a well-oiled team by your side. Currently it feels somewhat frustrating – possibly a matter of easy to learn and hard to master, as I’ve witnessed some players flawlessly scoring goal after goal.

Rocket Arena Preview Amphora Gemstone Jungle

A Promising Start but Not Quite Ready for Lift-Off

My time with Rocket Arena so far has been both fun and frustrating in equal measure. I can clearly see the potential of a game that may give the misleading impression of being aimed at children, but don’t dismiss it on that basis alone; Fortnite isn’t exclusively targeted at adults either and yet it is played by different age groups. It is a long way off from the likes of Quake or Overwatch, with the physics in need of a serious redesign. The characters also feel slightly unbalanced, with occasions where you are blasted out of the arena in a couple of seconds because you looked at someone in a funny way… or because Izell, for example, seems overpowered.

Rocket Arena has an announcer to lend the matches a feeling of spectacle and he mostly delivers. The problem with this is the usual repetitiveness that quickly sinks in, as he seems content in announcing the important events such as goals or badges taken, without any extra flair or funny one-liners.

Despite its flaws and shortcomings, I had fun with Rocket Arena when I switched off my brain and kept my expectations under check. I couldn’t possibly hope for it to play anything like its inspirations at this stage, but it’s impossible to dislike its accomplished art style, cool characters and interesting maps. If all of the issues are suitably addressed, Rocket Arena could end up being a blast. A Megablast, in fact.

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Lornsword: Winter Chronicle – Clash of Genres

It’s not easy being a hero, especially when you’re stuck inside an action and strategy mix where the fate of your people lies on your shoulders. Such is the basic premise of Lornsword: Winter Chronicle, the first game from developer Tower Five.

Founded in 2017, Tower Five is a French studio comprised of ex-Creative Assembly staff. Having worked on the Total War series for several years, the small team is now setting its sights on a different kind of strategy game, once again embracing merciless army battles but with a story-based focus and an ingenious twist to it – but more on that later.

The historical accuracy is thrown out of the window, giving room to a fantasy-based setting where anything is possible. Even dying and coming back to life repeatedly.

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Preview Desert Soldiers

A Hard Day’s Knight

The arid landscapes that introduce us to the world of Lornsword take me back to an era when the term real-time strategy wasn’t yet coined. It was Westwood Studios’ Dune 2 that made it mainstream and successful, with its endless war over the precious resource called spice.

While Dune 2 and even the Warcraft series are comparisons that aren’t entirely out of place when referring to Lornsword, they aren’t exactly the most fitting either. If there is one game that fits like a glove into the action and strategy design that Lornsword uses, then its name is Spellforce. Both games place you in the shoes of a fearless hero, commanding armies in a fantasy world where your goal is to constantly raze the enemies’ base camps to the ground.

My first hour with Lornsword wasn’t particularly noteworthy, as I wasn’t sure of what it was trying to be – is it a top-down story-based action RPG or a real-time strategy game stripped of any fancy bells and whistles? As it turns out, this was a lengthy tutorial showing players the fundamentals of the game’s hybrid genre. Sticking to it was the best that I could have done, as Lornsword slowly unravels its secrets and reveals layer after layer of intricate concepts and a tangled web of ingenious battle mechanics.

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Preview Defending Headquarters

Unlike other standard real-time strategy games, Lornsword prioritizes using a controller instead of your typical mouse and keyboard combo. This unusual approach takes some getting used to, but soon you’ll find yourself dashing through enemy lines and expanding your headquarters without worries, as it becomes second nature. It’s an action-based control system that ditches the often cluttered and laborious point and click control system in favor of a seamless approach.

Your general is remarkably tame when it comes to slashing his enemies with his sword, but he learns more than a couple of tricks during his journey. Without spoiling too much, I can say that running will soon become a thing of the past, a burden that only regular humans must deal with. Sunknights such as your very own Corun Lan Ka prefer to resort to blinking, skipping short distances and thus being able to get to places that are out of reach to the common soldier, such as small islands. This action consumes stamina, as does instantly teleporting to your headquarters or raining fire from the skies on top of your enemies. This is infinitely more powerful than your puny sword, but it won’t be enough to change the tide of battle all by itself.

Lornsword doesn’t leave fog of war out of the equation but puts a spin to it. Instead of terrain that slowly reveals as we explore, you have an ability called far sight. With this you can see remote parts of the map, checking your buildings and seeing what your men are seeing. This way you avoid spending time running or blinking to a place where nothing substantial is happening.

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Preview Protect the Base

Real-Time Sword and Sorcery

A great leader plays a large role in a battle, but he is nothing without his army. This is where the real-time strategy aspect of Lornsword comes into play. Your general can build and upgrade structures, adding fortification or turrets, and ultimately choosing what soldier specialty a building should focus on. All of this is done via an intuitive and incredibly simple switch system – each structure has a few ground switches and you simply activate the desired one.

Altars are crucial in Lornsword, acting as portals to a full-fledged world of elemental beings and spirits. Using the d-pad you can summon the different types of guardians pertaining to fire, water, stone and air. From stone golems to fire archers, thunder elementals or water priests, among others, these are not to be underestimated, as their might on the battlefield is second to none. Obviously, this is where gold comes into play, as each new tier requires a larger amount of your valuable currency. The returns are absolutely worth it, however, so don’t hesitate to upgrade any structure if you have the means to do so.

Summoning any group of elemental soldiers is another action that will drain your stamina. You will often resort to this tactic as these creatures are an undeniable force of nature (pun not intended), but it will hinder your movements in case you need to make a quick escape, for example. Returning to your headquarters and collecting those shiny orbs will reinvigorate both your health and stamina, so you need to get used to the continuous back-and-forth, either by foot or teleportation.

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Preview Dark Walkers

No good general would feel complete without a group of trustworthy men willing to die for the Emperor. As soldiers complete their training, they wait for your orders. You can give them a couple of basic commands using each building’s flag: the orange flag tells them to wait until they complete a hand of seven before marching on; the black flag orders them to defend the area, and lowering the flag orders each soldier to march and attack as soon as he exits the garrison. Always be on the lookout for the waystones spread across the battlefield as these mark the path that your soldiers will relentlessly follow.

But leaving these men to their fate is a bad move; you’re wasting strength in numbers. With a simple click you can gather up to 15 soldiers who will follow you everywhere without questioning – you can release them with the same ease, which makes them suddenly attack any enemies close by. Amassing a large army and unleashing it simultaneously with elemental soldiers can make all the difference when it comes to raiding enemy bases, especially those that have several guard towers and a fair number of warriors.

Nonetheless, the Zerg Rush strategy isn’t a given here, as you have to chiefly deal with resources such as gold and food. Gold allows you to upgrade structures while farms increase the number of houses that you can build. Losing the mines will decrease the pace at which you earn gold, but losing the farms is equally dangerous as you won’t be able to build any structures beyond the specified cap. Sporadically you’ll be confronted with varied objectives, including defending your headquarters for 30 minutes or destroying a camp in a limited time.

After slaying a few enemies and wildlings, you start to uncover the web of intrigue where nothing is as it seems. Nonetheless, you have your orders to follow and your leaders to obey. Suddenly, Lornsword turns from a linear game into one where you get to choose the mission that you want to tackle next, complete with a dialogue system that seems to work as a disguised difficulty setting – going with full forces or choosing a smaller, stealthier army is one of the examples.

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Preview Snow Village Hub

Everything is Better with a Friend, Even War

One of Lornsword’s highlights is the option to play with a friend in a drop-in and drop-out cooperative split screen mode. This takes me back to bygone times when online gameplay was still a thing out of sci-fi movies and couch co-op was all the rage. This is the best way to experience Lornsword, putting the emphasis on player coordination and shared tactics, as the gold and food resources remain the same throughout, as do the enemy numbers.

Developer Tower Five is testing a PvP split screen mode that is bound to make it into the game if it’s as fun as they are expecting it to be. I think this is vital for the game both as a selling point and for the sake of its longevity, but I’m under the impression that online connectivity would significantly boost its appeal when it comes to a certain segment of players.

Lornsword Winter Chronicle Preview Split Screen Co-Op

Visually speaking, Lornsword is clean, sharp, mostly functional but it can also be quite pretty in places. The top-down perspective is perfectly suited to the strategy elements and the tiny characters are nicely rendered and smoothly animated – above all, their ranks are easily discernible when you know what to look for. I do have an issue with the running animation, including the main character, as it seems too robotic and unnatural, as if it was simply a matter of fast-forwarding the walking animation. I did enjoy the little details including the pixelated trails that every unit leaves on the sand and snow (there is also a pretty forest environment), as well as the splashes of blood and the bright flashes from spells and fire.

Lornsword feels oddly familiar despite its clever mix of genres, and it’s all the better for it. It is heavily story-based, with a tale that feels rich and complex, and the control scheme is ingenious and easy to grasp. It’s not quite on a league of its own, but the clever mix of action RPG and strategy elements surely contribute to a freshness that is equally gripping and challenging.

Lornsword is now in Early Access and is out later this year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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Ship of Heroes Highlights Leveling and Training in New Video

An all-new video was released today in which Ship of Heroes highlights leveling and training. The video takes a level one character and levels them up to three to show what leveling up and training will look like in Ship of Heroes. Leveling in Ship of Heroes will allow a great deal of customization. So much so in fact that two heroes with the same powers can play very differently depending on how they augment their powers.

Along with showing how leveling and training works you get to see a number of other systems in motion. The developers show what happens when the player is saved from the brink of death by leveling up. We also get a glimpse at some long requested impact animations. The character reacts to being hit by ranged attacks.

Coming up next for Ship of Heroes it looks like we may be getting a video of the superspeed travel power in action very soon. We’re also looking forward to an update on the upgrades to the Ship of Heroes character creator.

Speaking of the character creator, a character creator beta is expected this summer. This is just one of many possible events the developers are looking to host this year. They’re hoping to have a large scale combat beta in the fall. Plus there is the possibility of a third beta event at the end of 2019, though of course its too far out to have any details on what that might entail. From the sounds of it between semi-regular videos from Ship of Heroes and once a quarter beta we’ll be getting a lot of Ship of Heroes in our future. Keep an eye out for more news on Ship of Heroes very soon.

Source: Press Release

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Godzilla is Invading PUBG

A new limited time crossover event means that Godzilla, the King of the Monsters will be in PUBG. Yes, Godzilla is invading PUBG as part of a free update coming out later this month. This crossover is, of course, thanks to the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters which releases in theaters around the world next week. The trailer announcing the collaboration doesn’t actually say anything about what we’ll see in the game. Instead, it cuts back and forth between PUBG and footage of the movie from the trailers.

Most crossover events in the past have included a limited time mode and exclusive event skins. Some signs of Godzilla’s arrival have already been spotted in the game even. Godzilla graffiti has been spotted on the Miramar map. Plus there have been reports of Godzilla themed shirts too.

It seems most likely that the full details of this event and the event itself on the 29th of May when the movie begins releasing in a number of countries. The USA will have to wait until May 31st to see the movie. But, let’s have a moment of silence for Spain who for some reason have to wait until June 21st to get the movie!

This isn’t the only Godzilla gaming related news there is today either. Nexon’s Godzilla Defense Force mobile game launched today. It looks like the world has Godzilla fever right now, and why wouldn’t they? He is the King of the Monsters and the new movie looks just so amazing.

You know, now that I’ve been thinking about how Godzilla will fit into PUBG I find myself wondering why no one has made a kaiju based Battle Royale game. Come on game developers! Work with Toho to make this happen!

Source: GamesRadar, SportsKeeda

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WoW Wednesday: A Classic Take

I am not interested in World of Warcraft Classic. Despite being the most attractive part of the current World of Warcraft development cycle, Classic simply does not remotely interest me. It is not because Rise of Azshara and the wider content of the upcoming Patch 8.2 intrigues, nor am I against the idea of legacy servers. I don’t personally believe that the current live game is inherently superior to the old, but there are aspects of Classic that simply turn me right away from it.

I was lucky enough to share a small portion of my formative years with others playing what we used to call Vanilla World of Warcraft. While I originally tried a Warlock and later a Warrior, I eventually settled on a Shaman and became my guild’s class officer. Vanilla was a relic of its era, best wholly encapsulated in historical pieces such as YouTuber Preach’s, “Legacy of Vanilla,” series of videos. The systems now, as we understand them are very archaic and were designed for such a reason.
WoW Wednesday: A World of Warcraft Classic Take
Leveling in Vanilla is perhaps the most arduous it has ever been in Warcraft’s storied history, even more-so with mass server failures that were brought about during the launch of The Burning Crusade. Combat itself was intrinsically slow throughout the game’s progression due to highly tuned enemies. If you were overzealous, or went into even the most basic situation under-prepared, you could quickly find yourself on a VERY length corpse run back to your body with significant repercussions to your equipment.

This was compounded by a rather frustrating quest system. Aside from questing being an often confusing and directionless without a physical map before you, there were simply not enough quests per zone to get your character into the next required level bracket. Taking, for example, the Arathi Highlands, there were quests in that area intended to take you from your late level 20s up until nearly level 40. However, there were only a handful of quests spread around the zone taking you to your early 30s. This means that unless you followed a breadcrumb quest designed to take you to Stranglethorn Vale (which was a completely different bracket) and even then, there were simply not enough quests to allow you to level. This meant you’d often find yourself killing hordes of creatures and enemies to grind out levels.

The reason for this is quite simple and obvious; World of Warcraft at the time was one of the largest and most populated environments of its time. In comparison to other MMOs of the time it was the most forgiving and detailed in its systems and world, despite its slogging leveling pace and issues. Even with portions of its continents such as Silithus left unfinished, Blizzard wanted players to explore. As such Questing became the method of conveyance for this; go explore where we send you and come back when its time. Even considering that there were simply not enough quests in the world to level to maximum level, meaning that eventually you would have to resort to grinding.

WoW Wednesday: A World of Warcraft Classic Take
Some classes had an easier time of this than others. Not every of the original classes was made to succeed well on its own, nor was every specialization viable for end-game content. To some this was an excellent example of the impact of meaningful teamwork. Certainly, a Shadow Priest was not viable on its own without significant gear but with a friendly group they could topple any challenge. This also highlights a glaring issue where some classes, such as the Warrior, truly only had one viable raiding specialization that they only took two talent points in. DPS warriors were laughed out of any raiding guild hoping to go top tier, simply because other classes did what they do better.

Certainly, we could admonish several of Classic’s earlier systems for its endgame. In current popular standards they are certainly lacking, from a near mechanic-less recycled raid encounter system requiring at most 25 people of a 40 man raid team to down an encounter, to a PvP rewards system that was a constant uphill grind week after week. Neither of these were remotely optimal for, ‘casual players,’ which Warcraft was essentially catering to with its forgiving systems in comparison to games of the time like Everquest. However, these tied into the main draw for World of Warcraft and developed this fundamental principle of its design wholly: Community.

I do earnestly recommend your perusal of a book called The WoW Diary by John Staats, one of the game’s original designers. Its clear reading through the development processes outlined by Mr. Staats that Blizzard didn’t quite have an idea what they were developing when it came to building their World of Warcraft. But as the game began to take shape outside of its failure of a launch and its community built they continued to reinforce systems that drove a community oriented focus. Server Transfers were non-existent back in Classic Warcraft and as such your server identity and personal reputation were a big deal.

WoW Wednesday: A World of Warcraft Classic Take
Those known as good tanks were quickly famous on their servers. Rogues like Angwe, terrors of the enemy faction, were feared by players of all calibers for their underhanded techniques. Unreliable people and dastardly ninja-looters were publicly shamed and reviled. As such systems like the Honor Grading and Raid Attunement systems built upon those concepts of mutual togetherness. True you could ascend to a point alone but working with others it became possible to press further than ever before. As Warcraft left its infancy and was later honed and refined into more modern systems players know today, the idea of community was put at its forefront.

That, in my opinion, is the greatest draw of Classic WoW, and why I will not go back outside of a professional capacity. The archaic systems the game has left behind make the entire experience incredibly sluggish in a world where some players only have a small amount of time to progress. While every system, from talents to combat, is more impactful due to this reduced pace and higher difficulty, there’s less game involved in this version of Warcraft than there is now. What will ultimately make or break the Classic experience will be its community, and that relies on the hub of players it must draw from. While Warcraft has its own host of problems set in Battle for Azeroth, Classic was never a finished game to start with. Unlike repeatable dreary daily quests, or fundamentally broken artifact systems, what will put Classic in the greatest danger will be if its community-oriented systems that will bring the gold to the surface of its players or be exploited by the muck beneath the water.

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is Returning This Summer

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot holds a special place in our hearts here at MMOGames, it was a fun underrated title with the best name ever. Sadly, it was only live for a couple of years and in fact, has now been shut down longer than it was ever live. But, this summer that is about to change! The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is coming back, this time as a mobile title. It’s set to launch on July 9th on Google Play and the App store. You can already preregister your interest, and, if they get one million people to preregister they’ll receive a pet called Bradley, the Doomsday Messenger. Seriously, whoever makes the names for this game deserves an award. The game will feature heroes who can be customized with over 1,000 pieces of gear. There will also be a PvP arena, but, perhaps the biggest thing promised is a huge PvE campaign. We don’t have any other details about the game yet, but we can’t wait to get our hands on it!

Mighty Quest for Epic Loot

If you’re interested in reading more about The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot check out our review of the original version of the game on PC back in 2015. Or you might be interested in our article saying goodbye to the game that took a deep dive into the reasons the game was shut down, what it did well, and what it didn’t do so well. You can, of course, expect an updated review of the game once it is released. For now, though, check out the announcement trailer for The Mighty Quest for Epic loot below.

Source: Destructoid

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Path of Exile: Legion First Look – A True Battle Lies Ahead

Grinding Gear Games’ Path of Exile has become a monumental success since its initial release on PC in 2013. And the developers expanded upon that success recently with the Xbox One version in 2017, followed by the PlayStation 4 edition early this year. It presents a number of challenges for those looking for a unique alternative to the Diablo series, especially when it comes to conquering classes such as the Duelist, the Marauder and the Ranger. But there’s more where that came from.

The developers recently announced that a new add-on for the game, Legion, is in the works. It’s set to drop very soon here, coming first to PC on June 7 before making its way to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 just three days later on June 10. With it, players will be introduced to a number of new challenges, ones that they’ll have to act to quickly, lest they become overrun by armies that want nothing more than to swat them down.

So let’s take a close look at what this expansion will have to offer before it arrives in just a few short weeks:

 

Say Hello To the Blood and Sand Gladiator

With Legion, Grinding Gear Games will introduces two new archetypes to the game, which players can experiment and grow with as they become better and mow down enemies like grass. First up is the Blood and Sand Gladiator, who acts as a Duelist. His name indicates that he can utilize “Blood” and “Sand” stances to knock down opponents, both of which can come in pretty handy.

“Their stances are mana reservation effects that give benefits depending on the theme of the stance, and you can switch between the stances at will. Blood Stance is great for dealing lots of damage to close enemies, while Sand Stance is defensive and has more area of effect. The Blood and Sand skills have very different behavior in each stance, so you want to switch stances to best adapt your skill and benefits to the situation,” the development team explained during its presentation.

Not only does the Blood and Sand Gladiator take advantage of newly introduced skills like Blood and Sand, Flesh and Stone and Bladestorm, but you can also utilize existing skills as well, such as Lacerate. Once you get used to him, you’ll find his abilities are perfect for taking down armies.

The Rage Berserker Demands You Respect

The next archetype that enters the fray is the Rage Berserker. And he’s just as angry as his name lives up to. Rage is definitely his ally.

“Rage is an attack buff that increases attack damage, attack and movement speed and stacks up to 50. In Legion, it no longer drains life over time, though the Berserker can chose to restore that effect in exchange for increased power. A number of new skills such as Chain Strike generate Rage, and the Berserk skill consumes Rage to grant very powerful multiplicative attack bonuses,” the developer continues. “The Berserker ascendancy class has reworked bonuses to improve its interactions with Rage and Berserk.”

Based on what we’ve seen from his gameplay thus far, the Berserker is definitely in a class by himself – and he’s a character that you won’t want to miss.

 

A Whole New Kind of Combat

While Path of Exile has an exceptional combat system, it’s one that has its fair share of shortcomings. For instance, in the past, you weren’t able to dodge attacks so easily. However, with Grinding Gears’ new monster rebalance system – which will be introduced in the Legion update – you won’t have to worry about that anymore.

As part of the improvements to the melee system, you’ll now be able to dodge attacks pretty handily. This will enable you to save some of your strength when you need it the most, while at the same time quickly working your way to the next enemy. “We wanted to take advantage of this by having more of the monsters and bosses perform much more signaled attacks,” the developer explained. “Because of this, we decided to do a rebalance of all of the early campaign areas of Path of Exile. Our plan was to rebalance a lot of monster attacks that used to have poor signaling to now have a wind-up before their attack. 

“This rebalance became a larger project than we expected because we started improving AI, adding monster skills, improving boss fights and basically polishing early areas to a 2019 standard.” It sounds like both devoted Path of Exile players, alongside newcomers, will have a lot to look forward to with this improved-upon system.

On top of that, you can also cancel attack animations if you feel like you need to change direction. This can be completely helpful if you become surrounded or what to focus your attention on striking elsewhere. It never hurts to have this at the ready, based on the video that you can watch above. Considering the bosses are a handful, every correct move has to count for something. Movement helps, but be prepared for the fight of your life against these guys.

The team also discussed about making vital improvements to the maps. Though not all the layouts in Path of Exile are affected by these changes, eight of them did go through specific tweaking, “with a specific focus on making their boss fights better. Among the changes are also some pathing/layout improvements and a complete overhaul to the Coward’s Trial unique map,” the developer explains.

 

So…Why Is It Called Legion?

Thus far, we’ve explained what balance changes you’ll go through with this new expansion, along with the characters that will be introduced as archetypes and some other little tweaks to the world. But that may not explain to some of you what the word Legion is all about. Well, let’s just say you’re going to have to deal with a lot of enemies.

Over the course of their demonstration, the developer showed off a showcase dealing with the Domain of Timeless Conflict. Once your player enters this, you’ll see two different armies frozen in place. You only have a few precious seconds to carve down as many of these enemies as possible. It serves as an advantage to get them out of the way before time expires and the remaining soldiers charge at you. It certainly stands as a challenge for some, but those that are truly devoted – and prepared with their abilities – will no doubt welcome the fight.

While being able to defy armies is a cool thing, it helps to get rewarded for your progress, right? Fortunately, you’ll be able to do that once you cut down certain enemies. They’ll leave behind Splinters. With these, you’ll be able to summon a large army with the help of the Emblem through the map devices, getting a little support when you need it the most. That said, however, you may want to prepare for a grind – in order to earn some Splinters, you may need to battle for quite a long time. The developers didn’t give an exact estimate, but you’ll need to put a little work in for it.

Items, Anyone?

Along with that, you’ll also be able to use a dozen or so new items in the midst of battle, each of which have their own special abilities. The one that stands out the most for us – at least, as far as the demo is concerned – is the Aukuna’s Will Clasped Mitts.

With these, you’ll actually be able to call upon zombies (without corpses, mind you) to count. This will increase your body count and stat as a result, plus give you a little addition as far as dexterity and increased cast speed are concerned. Plus, you can also get better evasion, along with an energy shield that can protect you just a little bit longer, as needed.

There are other items to play around with as well, including the Voll’s Protector. This will allow you to build up your strength, as you may have done in the past with a previous version. The other abilities sound like they’ll be just as promising as well, so keep an eye out for what becomes available.

Path of Exile Legion

 

That Precious Fifth Slot, Incubation and Jewels

One unique addition to Path of Exile that a long of fans will notice – after completing the four-army battle, anyway – is the ability to up your map device slots. You typically start out with four when you get into a game. However, with the Legion update, you’ll be able to crank that up to five!

Once you open up that fifth precious slot, you’ll be able to make room for another legion emblem. Of course, that means more enemies coming at you, but that also means more rewards for your trouble. Ain’t nothing wrong with getting paid for you work, right?

There’s also a new thing with the “incubation items” that will come into the game. With these, if you reach a particular kill count taking down opponents, you’ll be able to earn a unique weapon for your trouble. This is useful when you’re trying to expand upon your arsenal.

Some of these “incubation items” have requirements, but they’re fairly easy to keep track of, with a certain number of kills and leveling required. Once you get to that point, you’ll earn all sorts of goodies, including the aforementioned weapons, along with armor, divination cards and high-end currency. Who knows? If you’re good enough, you might even snag a Mirror of Kalandra for your trouble.

Last but certainly not least, there’s a complicated – but well-structured – road map that will allow you to collect jewels. While a lot of these can take a while to get, they’re worth it, as you can pile up your passives tree and really open up your character’s abilities, such as granting an extra maximum frenzy charge or boosting your life a little bit. It’s a lot to study up, so make sure and look at all the ways you can possibly expand upon it.

What’s Next?

Once Legion wraps up development and heads out in June, that doesn’t mean Grinding Gear Games will take it easy. The team filled us in on their plans with Path of Exile, and there’s a lot of store – namely with the launch in another country.

The team confirmed that it will launch the game in South Korea on the same day that the Legion expansion arrives – on June 7. It opens up an entirely new market for the release, and should bring in lots of avid players that want to dig in with everything that it has to offer. It’s also partnered up with Kakao Games to make sure that everything runs smoothly, including dedicated servers and Korean language support and translation. They definitely won’t be left out in the cold. There also won’t be that many changes to content, so they’ll get the same game that we have, for the most part.

There’s also a devoted Path of Exile convention on the way. ExileCon 2019 will take place in Auckland, New Zealand on November 16 and 17. During this time, the developer will fill us in on what’s happening next with the game, and will also hold a number of events to keep fans happy. Various special guests will also make the trip, including legends like David Brevik, Eric Schaefer and Max Schaefer.

A Bright Future of Exile

Between what’s going down with the new Legion expansion next month and what’s to come later in the year, Grinding Gear Games has some promising stuff coming with Path of Exile. It’s already grown an impressive audience thus far, and with the new balance changes, archetypes and other content, they’ll be gladly coming back for more. And who knows what other surprises it has in store with its 4.0.0 update, or other potential releases down the road. One thing’s for sure – with a name like Exile, it’s a bit surprising that you won’t be stuck alone.

(Thanks to Grinding Gear Games for taking the time to chat with us about the game!)

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