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‘Super Smash Bros.’: All you need to know

- April 9th, 2014

Nintendo promised they would have some big announcements regarding their fighting game franchise at Tuesday’s Direct Conference, and did they ever deliver.

The newest installments of Super Smash Bros., the company’s longest running and most beloved fighting game, will be released on the 3DS this summer, with the Wii U version being released closer to the holiday shopping period.

Host of the Smash Bros. direct and series creator Masahiro Sakurai also put to bed rumors that the 3DS version would be of lesser quality because of its platform. Instead, he announced, the main fighters would move at 60 frames per second (FPS), while assist characters would move at 30 FPS. The game, he added, would be available in full stereoscopic 3D, fully using the handheld device’s capability.

The only difference, Sakurai confirmed, would be the stages players can fight on. While some stages will be shared, like the average battle arena stage, they will look completely different depending on what Nintendo platform players choose.

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Sakurai put aside fears, however, that certain players, items, and specialty moves would only be available on one platform.

He assured the extremely large roster of first and secondary characters would be available on the 3DS and the Wii U, as well as the items players can grab mid-battle to fight with.

And what a roster it is this time around.

It’s been six years since the last Smash Bros. installment, Brawl, was released to appease “Smashers” requests. In that time, Nintendo has developed a hoard of brand spanking new characters that have all been added to the lineup.

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Shiek, Princess Zelda’s secret identity in the incredibly beloved Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Yoshi, and Zero Suit Samus from Metroid were the first round of unannounced characters to get their fair share of the spotlight during the conference.

It wasn’t until Sakurai bid his farewells and ended the hour and half long presentation, however, that the two massive character announcements were made.

Charizard, one of the most popular Pokemon from the first generation games, and Greninja, one of the more poplar characters introduced in the last generation of Pokemon, X and Y, have also been confirmed as playable fighters.

To go along with the increase in roster size, Sakurai introduced some of the new items Smashers would be able to use in battle.

Motion censor bombs, fire swords, ore swords, and back shields were just some of the new items on a list of many Sakurai revealed during the presentation.

Although Sakurai didn’t specifically mention the old generation items, Nintendo has never removed them from play before, and it’s a pretty safe bet to assume they’ll be in the upcoming titles.

The last announcement Nintendo had for fans was the inclusion of new gameplay options, branching out from the stagnant fighting arena formula they’ve relied on for so long.

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The two different modes -For Fun and For Glory- are only available to play online, and showcase the first time Nintendo has ever considered the game as a competitive title.

In the “For Fun” mode, players can fight with strangers of varying skill level and not have to worry about their losses directly affecting their online player scorecard.

In the “For Glory” mode, players will be teamed up with others of the same ranking and fight either in groups of four, or in one-on-one battles, that will directly affect their scorecard. The higher a player’s scorecard is, the faster and stronger their character becomes, giving them an overall advantage in the arena.

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Wii U arena example.

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3DS arena example.

To make sure the game stays fun, though, Sakurai confirmed Nintendo would be cracking down on cheating players and in doing so, will be implementing a temporary ban system.

Although there’s no concrete release date for either the 3DS or Wii U versions, my guess is that we can expect to see the 3DS title drop sometime in June, with the Wii U title dropping in late October, just in time for the holiday retail season.

Dead or Alive 5 great for the casual gamer

- October 10th, 2012
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Helena Douglas, Dead or Alive 5.

Even if the characters break a sweat in Dead or Alive 5, the casual gamer doesn’t have to.

As soon as the disc slides into the game console, and the opening screen loads, it will ask you whether you are a casual gamer, or serious.

That accommodation is a great way to reach out to more gamers. On top of that, the basic controls of punch, kick, throw and block allow gamers an easier way to learn the patterns of a particular fighter.

Most of the cast of Dead or Alive returns, including mainstays Kasumi, Ayane, Ryu, Hayate, Tina, Zack, Bass and Helena.

Added to the cast are two newbies, Mila and Rig. And yes, Rig is Canadian. Only the second Canadian to make a major fighting game roster.

Sega’s Virtua Fighter also crosses over into the DOATEC storylines, with Akira Yuki, Sarah Bryant and Pai Chan available to players as they progress through the story mode.

The cheesecake factor is still there but it doesn’t take away from the fighting. The interactivity of the stages, the added sweat and water details and the cross-platform release are all pluses. Still the online accessibility is still lagging as it takes a lengthy amount of time to find someone to scrap against.

But that could be attributed to the hardcore fighters panning this game in favour of Tekken Tag Tournament 2.