The Next Assassin’s Creed Game Eyes to Bring the Franchise Back to Relevancy

Assassin's Creed Assassin's

Assassin’s Creed Game

A decade ago, Ubisoft introduced us to a world like no other. The world of Assassin’s Creed, where the Assassin’s are the good guys and the Templers (those who stand for the wrong goals) are the bad guys. Since then, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has built a platform on the seemingly endless battle between Assassin’s and Templars. Venturing from location to location across history’s greatest time periods. From: The Italian Renaissance, Ottoman Empire, the American Civil War, Victorian England, the Age of Pirates, and the French Revolution.

For now, the next installment of the franchise will continue their tradition of fighting within the past. If following the rumors, it looks like the next title game for the Assassin’s Creed franchise will be called, Assassin’s Creed: Empire. However, Ubisoft has yet to confirm this.

So, where will they take us this time?

Easter Egg Within an AC Game

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
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Scouring the internet is a lot of fun. Especially when the fandoms are in full force yelling at one another about the who, what, where, and when. However, Ubisoft themselves have dropped a few Easter eggs to the next possible Assassin’s Creed game.

Let’s start with the oldest one that got a lot of rumors flying. This one dates to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Now, if you were strictly the story you may have missed this one. This was not one that in the heart of the game, rather it is found when the present-day character can move about Abstergo Industries. Looking through the emails on the computers, you would come across one that shows the name Osiris and a view of pyramids. Hinting of a possible character/title and the location. Ancient Egypt, perhaps?

Osiris after all is the Ancient Egyptian God of the dead who laid final judgment of your place in the afterlife. Kind of fitting since Assassin’s basically lay a similar judgment upon their enemies.

Easter Egg in Ubisoft’s 2016 Game

Watch Dogs 2 gameAnother playful and clever tease and Easter egg Ubisoft unleashed upon its Assassin’s Creed fan was within its big game release of 2016, Watch Dogs 2.

In one of the side missions offered, you’re tasked with stealing the newest game trailer for Ubisoft’s upcoming game. As part of the mission, you intercept a phone call between two Ubisoft employees discussing the security of the trailer. One employee stating the after the leaked trailers of Unity, Syndicate, and Osiris, they want assurance it won’t be hacked and leaked. There’s that name again!

Subtly hinting that the rumors a leaked picture and trailer (check video below) on the web that were allegedly of the next Assassin’s creed title could be true.

What to Expect

Assassin’s CreedExpectations on Assassin’s Creed games have always been high. Especially after the release of the original Assassin’s Creed and its direct sequel, AC II. This is when the company started pushing out a game annually to satisfy their fans. This started a decline in the success of the franchise. The franchise could have possibly saw death with the release of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Thankfully, Syndicate kept the franchise above water for the time being.

This sparked a change of winds for Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed. They went on to make the decision that they will not make a yearly game anymore. Allowing the developers to release games that are complete and full of their best work. Meaning no more bugs, glitches, and poor execution. Even if that means yearly gaps. Not to mention, Ubisoft has been looking to get rid of the boring dialogue dominant story and turn their focus to be more decision based. Much like The Witcher III setup.

This brings us to now. It’s been over a year since we last saw an Assassin’s Creed release and we’re only left with leaks and Easter eggs.

Will we see the Assassin’s in 2017? As of now, we probably won’t. But one thing is clearer than ever. Ubisoft has all of us on the edge of our seats again. Let’s see this time around if a lengthy wait will be truly worth it.

Top 10 Overlooked Characters for Injustice 2

Injustice

Injustice 2 is on the way and there is no end to the DC characters that people would love to see make the roster.  There are obvious picks like Static, Darkseid, and Black Canary, but there’s also plenty of lesser-known heroes and villains that could bring a lot to a fighting game.

This list is dedicated to the more fringe characters of the DC universe that still deserve a shot at the roster.

10. The Question

Question

I’m sure you know about Rorschach from Watchmen, but you may not know that he is essentially the understudy of the Question.  After DC acquired the rights to Charlton Comics, Alan Moore wanted to use their characters in Watchmen, but ended up creating his own unique cast with Rorschach taking the place of Question.  A hard-boiled, noir-inspired detective along the same lines of the Shadow and, of course, Batman, Question has also had occasional stints as a hilariously nutty conspiracy theorist.  The one major problem is that, despite looking like Slenderman in a fedora, Question doesn’t have any powers or even many gadgets and would have to rely on good ol’ fashion fisticuffs for his moveset.  Still, he would certainly be a welcomed addition to the roster regardless of what he actually brings to the table.

9. Tawky Tawny

Tawky_Tawny

Remember Hobbs?  Well, imagine if he had magical powers, dressed like James Bond, and was BFF’s with Captain Marvel.  That, in a nutshell, is Tawky Tawny.  A long-time ally of the Marvel Family, Tawny has all the strength you’d expect from a bipedal tiger as well as having the ability to transform into a sabertooth form that’s even stronger and faster.  He’d be a perfect fit for a tooth-and-nail rushdown character similar to MvC Wolverine or Street Fighter‘s Necalli.

8. Platinum

Platinum

The Metal Men are probably the silveriest of Silver Age super hero teams (despite not having a member actually named Silver).  They are literally a group of sentient metals with powers and personalities based on the primary metals they’re composed of.  Having any of them in Injustice 2 would be hilarious, but I’m going to go with the first member of the Metal Men and, ironically, the only female member (at least until Copper joined), Platinum.  Her abilities to shape-shift and conduct heat and electricity have endless possibilities for an interesting and varied moveset.  And now to make some painful, metal-based pun to close out this segment… I got nothing.

7. King Shark

KingShark

He is a shark that walks like a man.  I should not need to justify this.

6. Mr. Terrific

MrTerrific

Mr. Terrific just seems like he was made to be a zoning character in Injustice.  The third-smartest man in the DC universe, Terrific uses his robotic T-Spheres to fire off electricity, create laser grids, project holograms, and even just slam into people.  He actually did appear in the first Injustice as a background character for the Watchtower stage, so we know Netherrealm has the character on their minds.  Here’s hoping he can make like Martian Manhunter and step into the foreground.

5. Karu-Sil

KaruSil

Introducing more Lantern Corp characters is a little tricky as they all essentially have the same power set.  However, it’s the personalities of the Lanterns and what they prefer to create with their hard-light powers that ultimately sets them apart and few have as distinctive a selection for their creations than Sinestro Corps member Karu-Sil.  Orphaned at a young age and raised by wild beasts, she swore revenge against the Green Lanterns when one of their members killed her adopted family in a misunderstanding.  She tore off her own lips and sharpened her teeth to more resemble her foster family (remind you of anyone?) and uses her powers as a Sinestro Corps Lantern almost exclusively to create constructs resembling her late loved ones.  If she can’t make for a good Injustice character, I don’t know what does.

4. Vixen

Vixen

There are plenty of heroes that have the power of being a one-man zoo, but making most of them actually work could tricky.  Beast Boy is easily the most recognizable, but working in enough transformations to make him actually play like Beast Boy might be too taxing on the hardware.  Animal Man doesn’t need to shapeshift, but he does need an actual animal nearby to draw on its powers.  They could just brush over that plot-hole, but, all things considered, I’d rather have Vixen on the roster.  With the Tantu Totem, she can mimic the abilities of all the animals she knows of.  The strength of an elephant, the speed of a cheetah, the acrobatics of a spider, etc.  Maybe I am being too pedantic in my reasons for wanting her over her more famous colleagues, but she definitely deserves some consideration.

3. August General in Iron

AugustGeneralInIron

Originally trained as a member of an elite Chinese spec ops unit specializing in fighting space aliens (comics are great), the August General in Iron is now the field leader of Chinese super hero team Great Ten.  What appears to be a suit of armor is actually a durable exoskeleton he developed after being put through live-saving experiments.  While the Great Ten and the Justice League of America haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, August General was a major player in the New 52’s Justice League International.  A highly decorated soldier with an energy staff that can cut steel, he would be a great pick for Injustice 2.

2. Mera

Mera

We already know that Aquaman is coming back, but having his wife on the roster would be even better.  Along with having the same super-strength of her husband, Mera also has the ability to manipulate water to her will, which can easily form a diverse and unique moveset.  Fun fact: she was also a Red Lantern at one point.  It wasn’t for a long enough time for it to factor into how she’d fight, but it would at least make for a good alternate costume.

1. Booster Gold

BoosterGold

Booster Gold: Protecting his past to ensure your future!  Time-traveller Michael Jon Carter had an interesting journey from the 25th century to the present day.  You might expect him to have travelled back in time to prevent the apocalypse or solve some caper that spans ages or something massive like that, but it was actually because his football career fell apart.  Booster Gold is just some joe-schmoe who grabbed a bunch of everyday devices from his own time and traveled to the golden age of the Justice League assuming that his futuristic tech alone would instantly put him on par with the like of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.  It didn’t really work that well.

Imagine if a big Sherlock Holmes fan grabbed a Mac book and an Uzi, walked through a portal in time to 1880s London, and tried to catch Jack the Ripper only for Scotland Yard to already be one step ahead the whole way.  That’s Booster Gold in a nutshell and he is hilarious.  While he’s usually treated as a poser and hanger-on by his associates, Booster Gold truly is a hero at heart and has his fair share of serious accomplishments under his belt.  Between his witty dialogue and admittedly impressive array of gadgets, he’s an easy pick for my top spot in Injustice 2.

Those are my picks, now let’s hear yours.  There’s no end to the utterly insane characters that comics come up with, so I’m sure you’ve got your fair share of underappreciated heroes and villains that would still make for great fighters.  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

First Injustice 2 Gameplay Trailer Revealed

Netherrealm Studio had the first gameplay reveal for their upcoming DC Comics-based fighting game, Injustice 2, during the Pro League Season 3 Finals for Mortal Kombat X and revealed a good deal of information.  Three new characters have been confirmed for the playable roster, including Supergirl, Red Lantern Atrocitus (pictured above), and Gorilla Grodd.  They’ll be joining returning characters Superman, Batman, The Flash, and Aquaman.  Aquaman’s archnemesis Black Manta can also be spotted in the trailer, but it’s unclear if he will be playable or if he simply appears as a part of a stage-transition effect.  Speaking of which, stage-transitions have been confirmed to make a return from the first Injustice.  One new feature is the personal intros for fights taken from Mortal Kombat X.  At the start of each match, the two fighters with have short conversations unique to each other.

The trailer ends with quick glimpses of the cast with varied appearances.  This aren’t alternate costumes, but part of an RPG customization system that will be the biggest change for Injustice 2.  How exactly this customization will effect gameplay is currently unknown, but it is something worth taking concern with.  Street Fighter X Tekken featured a customization system of its own and it quickly killed the game’s community.  There were certain builds for characters that ere definitively better than others and balancing for the game was a nightmare.

However, Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS also had character customization and fared much better by taking a very reserved approach and kept customization relegated to being a bonus option rather than pushed as the way the game was meant to be played.  The downside there is that many players neglected the customization and the complex system mostly went unused.  Whether or not Injustice 2 will be able to avoid these same drawbacks remains to be seen, but fans should be cautious that this could be the title’s downfall.

Finally, there have been potential hints dropped at characters that may be joining the roster.  The Pro League tournament featured an official t-shirt for Injustice 2 that features various character logos.  Two of the logos along the right suggest that Harley Quinn and Green Lantern are returning, while the two along the bottom hint at Dr. Fate and Capt. Cold joining the cast.  Lead designer Ed Boon has also been posting various hints on his Twitter feed, including a poll featuring the afoementioned Capt. Cold, Blue Beetle, and Swamp Thing.

Blue Beetle, Swamp Thing, and Dr. Fate also featured on a poll held by Boon years ago that ultimately led to Zatanna being added to the first Injustice as a DLC character, so it would make sense if they were to appear in the sequel.  That poll also featured Static, who placed second, Red Hood (the second Robin), who placed third, and Power Girl, who may miss her chance given her similarities to the already-confirmed Supergirl.

We’ll be getting even more info on Injustice 2 very soon when it appears at E3.  What are your thoughts on how the game is shaping up so far?  How do you hope the customization will work?  Which heroes or villains do you want to see join the roster?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Speculating Street Fighter V’s New Boss Character

The roster for Street Fighter V is nearing completion with only a couple more characters awaiting their reveals.  Karin, Zangief, and newcomer Laura were officially revealed recently, with Laura being accidentally leaked by Famitsu early.  Capcom has stated that there will be sixteen playable characters in Street Fighter V‘s initial roster and more will be added post-release in a League of Legends type of ongoing service.  They’ve also stated that, of the sixteen characters, eight will be series regulars, four will be veterans that have been out of the fight for some time, and four will be entirely new.  With the most recent reveals, we now know seven of the eight all-stars (Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Zangief, M. Bison (dictator), Vega (claw), and Cammy), three of the newcomers (Necalli, Rashid, and Laura), and all four of the returning veterans (Charlie Nash, Birdie, Rainbow Mika, and Karin).  This leaves only one all-star and one newcomer for the initial roster.  However, the remaining characters may already be known as all of these reveals line up well with a supposed leak that was originally released on the forums of popular Street Fighter fan-site Shoryuken.com.

The leak was posted three months ago and claimed that R. Mika, Zangief, Sim (supposedly referring to Dhalsim), Juri, Karin, Ken, Urien, Alex, Laura, Rashid, and Zen would be on Street Fighter V‘s roster before any of those characters had been confirmed.  Initially, I shrugged the leak off as it not only failed to mention Vega and Necalli, but it also contradicted with the number of characters that Capcom themselves claimed would be in the game.  Even when Rashid was revealed, I still wasn’t convinced and chalked it up as a lucky guess.  Dozens of fake leaks are released regularly and, while Rashid isn’t the most common name, it’s still possible that someone just got lucky.  However, now that Laura has also been revealed, it lines up too well to be called a mere coincidence.  Taking the Shoryuken leak as real, that makes Dhalsim the last veteran character (so much for my Necro prediction) and Zen as the last newcomer and is also referred to as the new boss character in the leak.  Unfortunately, it turns out that executive producer Yoshinori Ono really was playing a trick when he heavily hinted at Blanka being announced at the Brasil Game Show.

However, what about the three characters left over?  Unless the roster has changed mid-development or the stated number of characters was an outright lie, there isn’t enough room in the plan for Juri, Alex, and Urien to join the cast.  Well, the simple explanation is that these characters won’t be in the initial line-up, but rather are the first ones in line to be added post-release.  One of them may even be announced near launch as a free preorder bonus.  There is an event scheduled at New York Comic Con that would be the perfect place to reveal the all-American Alex.  I doubt anyone would be used as a preorder exclusive given that Capcom knows how much they’ve burned their fans with on-disc DLC in the past and they are in no position to garner more bad press for themselves.  After all, the only reason Street Fighter V is being developed at all right now is because Sony offered to help publish it.  More likely, preordering would get you a voucher for a specific character that would have to be unlocked with either grinding or microtransactions otherwise.  Then again, never underestimate a major game developer’s ability to dig its own grave.

ZenSpeculation2

The one major mystery surrounding the roster is the identity of the supposed new boss, Zen.  With such an innocuous name, Zen’s playstyle, personality, and even gender are all anyone’s guess.  However, I think we may have already seen Zen and can deduce some of his abilities.  In Street Fighter IV,  Shadaloo enforcer and former boxing champ Balrog decides to go rouge in order to steal Shadaloo tech and sell it for his own gain.  In the end, all he walks away with is a mysterious child experimented on by SF4’s main antagonist,  Seth.  It’s my guess that this child is Zen and he will appear in Street Fighter V all grown up and in control of his latent powers.

Being raised by Balrog, Zen would likely be a boxer and the roster is still in need of one.  Having a boxer as the new boss would be an interesting twist, and he has his mysterious powers to differentiate him from Balrog and Dudley and make him stand out as a boss character.  Given that he was found in the same facility that created Seth, a creature made up of the best moves of all the other Street Fighter characters, the possibilities for his powers are essentially limitless.  He could mix up his pugilism with projectiles, spacing techniques, barriers, or who knows what.  Just having a straight-forward boxer wouldn’t be much of a boss, so Zen will definitely have some overwhelming abilities to put him on the level of Akuma and Gill.  Once again, I want to emphasize that this is all just wild speculation on my part and Zen could just as easily be an entirely new character unrelated to anyone or anything we’ve seen before.  Zen could very well be a space alien with three legs and shoots lasers from its eyes for all we really know.  Before you call that ridiculous, keep in mind that Street Fighter has never been shy about casually throwing around monster men like Blanka and Necro.  I just think Balrog’s ending from SF4 feels too much like foreshadowing of events we’ll see play out in SF5 to ignore.

Who do you think will be the new boss character for Street Fighter V?  Who do you want to have join the post-release roster first?  Do you have any lingering concerns as we approach the game’s release?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Street Fighter V: Who Could Be Left?

With the release of Street Fighter V drawing ever closer, the roster of fighters is coming together more and more.  Actually, there only remain another five characters to be revealed.  In an official statement made by Matt Dahlgren, the initial roster will have only sixteen playable characters, with eight being series regulars, four being returning characters that have been out of action for a while, and four being entirely new characters.  Of the familiar faces, six will be Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy, M. Bison (the dictator also known as Vega), and Vega (the claw-wielder also known as Balrog).  Most of the long-lost veterans have been revealed with Charlie Nash, Birdie, and Rainbow Mika making their returns.  Finally, we know two of the newcomers will be the savage beastman of presumably Aztec background, Necalli, and the wind-wielding Arabian with a gadget-addiction, Rashid.

We could throw wild speculation at the newcomers without luck for days (with one possible exception), but the remaining returning fighters are much easier to speculate on.  Keep in mind that this is all merely speculation on my part and not a preview of any characters that have been officially announced.  As such, I highly encourage readers to argue my points in the comments below on who may or may not appear in the initial roster.  After all, I can’t honestly saw I was ever expecting to see Vega or Birdie make the launch line-up, so Capcom could have plenty of surprises in store.  Also, consider that the sixteen characters that will be included on the disc will only be the beginning as Street Fighter V will consistently update its roster with more characters in a business model similar to League of Legends.  With enough time and resources, we could potentially see every veteran fighter make a return.  Still, these are the safest bets for the roster we’ll all be getting right out of the gate.

Juri

Juri

There’s a good chance we’ll see at least one fighter that debuted in the Street Fighter IV games.  If we go off of popular opinions, it’s pretty easy to narrow the options.  Abel is too boring, Hakan is too weird, Rufus is too annoying, El Fuerte seems redundant with Mika and Rashid, and let’s not even talk about Seth.  I’d also rule out Gouken for being both a shoto-style fighter, something we’re unlikely to get another iteration on in the launch line-up when Ryu and Ken are already in, and a boss-level character as we’ll likely only see Bison and maybe one newcomer in that category.  That leaves only Crimson Viper, Juri, and Poison.  It’s a toss-up between any of them, but I’m going to lean more towards Juri making the cut.  Not only is she generally more popular in the competitive circuits, she’s also had a large marketing push to establish her as a mainstay of Street Fighter femme fatales alongside Chun-Li and Cammy as the resident bad girl.  Fan-response has definitely been positive and it only makes sense to strike while the iron is hot and bring the Taekwondo assassin back for another round.

Blanka

Blanka

This is the most obvious of the series regulars to make a return and many have already assumed that he’s in.  After all, series director Yoshinori Ono has already given a far from subtle hint that the electric beast-man will be revealed during the Brasil Game Show this October.  Given the fact that Ono has never made it a secret that Blanka is one of his favorite characters, always having a Blanka figurine on hand, I didn’t bat an eye when I first saw him throw on that Blanka outfit to tease his return.  With that said, it should be noted that, much like Mortal Kombat director Ed Boon and Super Smash Bros director Masahiro Sakurai, Ono loves to play with people’s expectations and take his audience by surprise.  I have no doubt that Blanka will be returning as a complete bait-and-switch would be too cruel, but I can’t help but suspect that there’s more in store for the Brasil Game Show.

Alex

Alex

Alex is easily the fan-favorite for bringing back a forgotten veteran.  He was the main character introduced in Street Fighter III, but his only appearance since was in Tatsunoko Vs Capcom.  Because of his role in Street Fighter III, Alex is easily the biggest fan-favorite for making an overdue return.  Of all the characters to debut in Street Fighter III and didn’t make a return in any version of Street Fighter IV, Alex is the safe bet.  His only real competition in that category would be Sean, who is another shoto and it just doesn’t make sense to flood the limited roster with a single archetype.  However, one has to wonder if there will actually be any Street Fighter III characters in the initial roster.

So far, every returning character we’ve seen was playable in the Street Fighter Alpha games.  Following that logic, it seems more likely that Sodom or Juli will make a return before anyone from Street Fighter III.  Then again, the devs are going to want a variety of characters in the line-up, so saving the last spot for someone from III rather than having a royal flush of Alpha characters makes more sense.  Although…

Karin

Karin

If we are going to see a royal flush of Alpha characters, the most likely candidate is definitely Sakura’s snobbish rival, Karin.  A few supposed leaks have insisted that she’s in, but comparing those leaks against the actual roster debunks them.  Instead, the best indicator that she may get in is a popularity poll that Capcom held a few years back.  In Japan, Karin managed to take the number one spot on the poll.  Despite being the Ken to Sakura’s Ryu, Karin isn’t a shoto fighter and instead uses a style of her own invention called Kanzuki.  While her moves aren’t especially flashy, she does have a strong balance of offensive and defensive moves that could make her viable inclusion for the starting roster.  Including her in the starting roster while Sakura gets stuck in line post-release would make them even after Sakura got in Street Fighter IV while Karin was left waiting in the wings.

MikeHaggar

Mike Haggar

While newcomers are anyone’s guess, there is one new fighter that everyone is banking on joining the roster: Final Fight‘s Mike Haggar.  Street Fighter and Final Fight have always existed in the same universe and several heroes and villains from the Final Fight series have already appeared as playable characters in Street Fighter games, including Cody, Guy, Hugo, and Poison.  However, the main character of the series, Mike Haggar, has yet to appear as a playable fighter in any Street Fighter game.  The closest he’s come is appearing in Marvel Vs Capcom 3 which provides some basis for how he could work in a Street Fighter game, but would not be a 1-to-1 transition.

The biggest piece of evidence in Haggar’s favor is that he actually already appears in Street Fighter V.  In the England stage, there is a large poster hanging in the upper-left showing four of Final Fight‘s heroes, including Haggar.  It definitely looks like the wait is over and Haggar will finally be joining Street Fighter proper.  The only downside is that there’s no way Zangief will be on the launch roster with him as a second heavy-weight grappler, so their long-awaited showdown will have to wait until post-launch.

Necro

Necro

Last but not least, I have my wild card prediction with the genetically-modified Necro.  While I certainly don’t consider him a more likely candidate than Alex or Karin, he may be still be included over them simply for the sake of having a long-range fighter in the starting roster.  Dhalsim is the most famous example of this archetype, and Necro is the only other character in the series history to attempt this style.  While I’m a big fan of Dhalsim, I can’t really see him making the initial roster over several other veterans, so a revival for Necro may be in order.

Granted, Necro has never been an especially popular character and scored pretty poorly on the poll I mentioned earlier.  However, Birdie ranked even lower on the poll and look where he ended up.  It seems that Capcom is using the initial roster to experiment with characters that saw little use back in the day and breath new life into them.  Both Birdie and Mika were low-tier in Alpha 3 and now have bold new changes to make them viable.  It actually makes sense to experiment with these forgotten fighters early and save the fan-favorites for post-launch as characters like Alex and Karin would be easier to sell individually, while bundling revitalized versions of previously unplayed fighters in the starter package drastically raises a renewed interest.  Alternatively, Q is in the same position as Mika as a low-tier that has developed a following over time and may be a safer bet, but I’m still banking on Necro given his long-range style and greater need for a renewed interest putting him just ahead.

Those are my best guesses on who we can expect to see in Street Fighter V, now let’s hear yours.  Could Viper or Poison beat out Juri?  Is there room for one more shoto fighter?  Will Zangief crush heads like sparrow’s egg between thighs?  Is Turkish oil wrestling truly the greatest in the world?  Will Joe from the original Street Fighter finally make his triumphant return (don’t count on it)?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Wii U Release for Pokken Tournament Announced

Pokken Tournament, the new Pokemon fighting game from the developers of the Tekken series, has been confirmed for a Wii U release.  The game was originally released exclusively in Japanese arcades and there was a deal of concern over whether it would release on the Wii U or not.  All worries can be laid to rest as Pokken Tournament will release on Wii U worldwide in the spring of 2016.

We also have a new fighter announced for the roster (sort of) with Pikachu Libre joining the cast.  It’s certainly a controversial choice as there are literally hundreds of fan-favorites that could have been focused on instead, whereas Pikachu Libre easily could have just been an alternate costume for the Pikachu already on the roster.

Still, looking at the layout of the select screen suggests that there will be at least four more characters added to the game by the console release, and there’s always a chance of more either at launch or as DLC.  Which Pokemon are you hoping to see enter the ring?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Mortal Kombat X Players Unable to Redeem Gold Scorpion Costume

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat X, the highly anticipated new installment in the long-running series of bloody fighting games, has released and, unfortunately, is having its fair share of launch issues across each version.  One common problem that players have been reporting on both the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions of the game is an inability to redeem codes for the Gold Scorpion skin available exclusively in the Kollector’s Edition.

Apparently, several players have tried to enter their codes for the skin only to be told that their codes have already been used despite getting the codes directly from the box.  The skin is based on a figurine designed by Coarse (pictured above) and reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series.

Given that the Kollector’s Edition costs either $150 or $180 for the version that includes the figure itself, it’s more than understandable that players would be upset about this.  Have you run into any issues with the new game?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

Mortal Kombat X Will Let Players Try Out DLC They Don’t Own

DLC

Ed Boon, the lead designer of Mortal Kombat X, made a very exciting announcement for the game on his Twitter account today.  The game will feature a section in the Challenge Tower called Premiere Towers that will let you play as DLC characters even if you don’t own them.

You’ll still need to purchase the characters to play as them anywhere outside of these specific towers, but this will allow everyone to take these characters out for a test run.  This is phenomenal as it will allow players to try out characters and know exactly which ones are worth purchasing for themselves.

It’s one thing to read up on a characters moves, watch them on streams, and fight against them online, and it’s another to have them in your own hands and play as them.  Giving players these special challenges will let them experiment with DLC characters before purchasing them and see whether or not they’re someone they’ll enjoy playing with.

Be sure to let us know what you think of the Premiere Towers in the comments below.

Charlie Nash Revealed for Street Fighter V, M. Bison Teased

Street Fighter

Charlie Nash, the US Marine that has worked alongside Guile and Chun Li, officially makes his return to the Street Fighter franchise in Street Fighter V.  His return was first teased at the 2014 Capcom Cup, but a new trailer finally shows him in action.  He has appeared in a handful of games, but his death at the hands of the villainous M. Bison has always served as Guile’s motivation in the series, so his appearances are sparse by nature.  His moveset is also very similar to Guile’s and its often redundant for the two to appear in the same game.  His appearance in Street Fighter V will address both of those problems with a new storyline and some serious changes to his playstyle.

It’s been widely speculated that Charlie may have survived his encounter with M. Bison, but his reveal trailer finally lays that theory to rest.  One look at the new Charlie makes it clear that his fight with Bison was indeed fatal and he has now been resurrected with Frankenstein-style stitchings covering his body.  Who is responsible for raising Charlie from the dead hasn’t been officially announced, but the oval jewel set in his forehead is reminiscent of Street Fighter III villain Gill who is known for having the ability to resurrect himself.

Check out the new trailer we were talking about:

Many were concerned that Charlie’s return would prevent Guile from also stepping into the ring, but those fears can safely end here.  Charlie does still use some of Guile’s moves, like the Sonic Boom projectile and the Flash Kick, he also has plenty of new tricks to call his own.  Charlie now has the ability to teleport behind his opponent and plenty of dash moves to enable close combat.  This makes Charlie more of a reimagining of Guile’s playstyle with an emphasis on rush-down tactics rather than an outright replacement for him.  This doesn’t confirm that Guile will return, but it does mean that there is room in the roster for both of them.

Aside from that, the trailer also displays a significant update in the game’s engine.  Lighting effects and animations have improved significantly from the original demo build that was shown off at the game’s first reveal.  Onlookers have also been adding into the background to make stages more visually active.  It’s a big step up for the look of the game and it can only get better from here.

Finally, central antagonist M. Bison was teased at the trailer’s end as the next fighter to join the roster.  For Street Fighter fans, this is one of the most important days in the build-up for Street Fighter V’s release… But for Bison, it was only Tuesday.

Why I Love Killer Instinct (Despite Never Playing It)

Killer

I don’t own an Xbox One.  I’ve never played the new Killer Instinct.  I have no nostalgia for the old Killer Instinct.  I’ve never been that good at fighting games.  In spite of all of that, there is still something I find oddly magnetizing about the new Killer Instinct game.  I’m happy to see its success and I’m curious to see how the game evolves over time.  It’s a bit of a bizarre situation to be in, but the combination of the game’s history and presentation paints a clear picture as to why I have such a fondness for a game that I may never play for myself.

For one, it’s a classic underdog story with its original developer, Double Helix.  Prior to making Killer Instinct, Double Helix was a fairly infamous shovelware developer known for releasing low-quality titles based on existing franchises.  Prior to KI, their most critically acclaimed game, if you can call it that, was Silent Hill Homecoming, which is considered one of the worst games in the series and the point where the franchise truly started to recede.  This is also the studio responsible for such infamous licensed garbage as Battleship, the first-person shooter based on the alien invasion film based on the naval strategy board game, that had the audacity to sell itself at full price despite only having five weapons and fours hours worth of mediocre-at-best gameplay.

When Double Helix was first announced to be developing the long awaited return of KI, it set off alarms for quite a few people, especially when they said that they were going to use a free-to-play model for the game.  This could have easily been another failure for the company, but they instead delivered what remains one of the Xbox One’s most touted exclusives.  I think the decision to approach the game with a free-to-play model did them a massive service as it gave them a more flexible schedule to develop each individual character over time rather than try to rush the entire roster out in time for the launch of the Xbox One.  Strict release dates and an inability to properly plan out and sharpen their games may have been what led them through such a sordid history and KI finally let them break that cycle.  Even after finishing KI’s first season of content and passing development onto Iron Galaxy Studios, Double Helix proved that they weren’t a one-trick pony with their equally acclaimed reboot of Capcom’s Strider.  Double Helix’s story is an inspirational one showing that anyone, no matter how far they have fallen, can successfully pick themselves up and do something great.

However, for as admirable as Double Helix’s journey is, that alone wouldn’t be enough to keep me curious about the future of the game itself even after they have moved on.  What’s kept me hooked on KI was the appeal it has as a spectator sport.  I may have never been good at fighting games, but they’ve always been fascinating for me.  While I’m sure I would be terrible playing KI, I like to watch more skilled players at work.  The gorgeous animations and effects make every combo a feast for the eyes.  If the visuals weren’t enough, the dynamic music heightens the thrill to its peak.  Just for that, I’m as anxious as any hardcore fan to see the upcoming Aganos join the roster or to learn the backstory and playstyle of the recently teased ghost girl.  I hope to see the game continue to succeed and have a bright future ahead of it.  It’s an interesting example of the effect that streaming and Let’s Plays can have on a game and how they can widen an audience even beyond the actual players.