Killer Instinct Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Killer Instinct RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Street Fighter V's Freebie Beta Test is Basically A Free Demo https://www.gameskinny.com/ghr2p/street-fighter-vs-freebie-beta-test-is-basically-a-free-demo https://www.gameskinny.com/ghr2p/street-fighter-vs-freebie-beta-test-is-basically-a-free-demo Sun, 02 Apr 2017 09:00:01 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE

I’m not going to mince words here: Street Fighter V was a huge letdown. More importantly, the iconic fighter is no longer the top dog of the fighting scene, either, with many hardcore fighting fans moving over to Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, and Killer Instinct for their fill.

Luckily, Capcom is aware of the hot mess they have on their hands with the series' fifth entry, and they're staying on top of the damage control efforts with a new Beta version of the Capcom Fighting Network, which that facilitates the operation of SFV.

The effort may be too little too late, though, as Capcom is only now addressing the issues that have been plaguing the fighting game sequel for more than a year. Adding more salt to the wound, the developer is limiting Beta access to PC players only. PS4 owners are still stiffed with the junky build that Capcom sold them -- and that's without any news of an update to the console version in sight.

Now that’s not to say that the game as it is now is unplayable, but it’s definitely a bit rough -- and arguably still incomplete. A lot of the brawler’s flaws stem from the lackluster infrastructure of its network, which did nothing to monitor netcode stability (or player conduct for that matter) if you were even lucky enough to score a connection. That's not to mention the small degree of utility available for the few online competitive modes that Street Fighter V offered.

In my brief time playing around with the CFN Beta, I was able to appreciate the flexibility that Capcom presented as I was given full access to the all of the available characters and stages in SFV while customizing my profile preferences. The good vibes didn’t last, though, as the few matches I did get to play came with the baggage of excessive wait times for matchmaking during peak network hours on a Friday night.

Even after I optimized the game settings to run properly on my hardware, there were still some hints of hitbox clipping and lag that affected the overall quality of the bout, with the connection suddenly dying in between rounds.

With the climate of the Street Fighter V as it is now, Capcom is going to have to go all in with their CFN Beta -- and release it on the PlayStation Store as well. The fact that the Japanese brand has overlooked half of the player base is astonishing when you factor in just how many players are on the PS4.

What baffles me more is that one of the biggest selling points that Street Fighter V had going for it was the cross-platform play that it promised between PlayStation 4 and Windows, which would have significantly expanded the field test that Capcom’s attempting to conduct with the beta. On top of that, it would have also greatly increased the data they hope to collect out of the release.

The CFN Beta is supposed to go on until April 3, which honestly just isn’t enough time to mend any of the fences that the game needs to fix. I’m hedging bets, however, that Capcom will figure this out themselves much sooner than later, especially when they notice the gradually growing wave of negative steam reviews that keep stacking up on the Beta’s store page.

Personally, I hope the Beta sticks around longer and gets the maintenance it needs, then if Capcom can move it over to Sony’s marketplace, the goodwill of the series may have a chance to be fostered again for those who still care.

But only time will tell. 

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Why It's Totally Worth Going to EVO as a Spectator https://www.gameskinny.com/gvs3s/why-its-totally-worth-going-to-evo-as-a-spectator https://www.gameskinny.com/gvs3s/why-its-totally-worth-going-to-evo-as-a-spectator Wed, 20 Jul 2016 18:12:05 -0400 Megan M. Campbell

Just last weekend, I went to EVO for the first time. However, I didn’t go to compete—I went to spectate. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “How is that any different from watching EVO via livestream?” or “Why did you go if you’re not even competing?” Heading to Las Vegas to experience the convention myself was really exciting and here are a few reasons why it’s worth making the trip to spectate the world’s largest fighting game tournament.

  

Exclusive Panels

One thing that the livestreams don’t cover are panels. There weren’t many panels with only 4 on Friday and 4 on Saturday, but it allowed con-goers to know firsthand what’s happening in the gaming industry. I attended the Capcom/Street Fighter V Panel on Friday where Capcom developers came all the way from Japan to talk about new costumes, Cinematic Story Mode, and an exclusive stage (which made an appearance during the SFV Grand Finals) that would be released in the future.

Twitch also hosted a panel where livestreamers and other staff from the website gave advice about how to get sponsored by the company. Current livestreamers and those who were interested in livestreaming were able to get advice from employees and also learn about future improvements to the website that might come in the future.

Merch Booths

These are common at every convention, but getting merch at EVO is fun if you’re a fan of fighting games or just want some cool EVO merch. If you do end up going next year, I suggest getting EVO merch the first day -- the second you get into the convention center. I had to wait in a line that reached the opposite side of the convention room for 2 hours before I was finally able to purchase my EVO gear. Since players are trying to win their pools, none of the merch will be sold out…yet. Just be sure you get there early.

Aside from official EVO merch, you can get cool gaming merchandise such as shirts, prints, keychains, and perler bead charms (which sold really well since almost everyone had one on their lanyard). For those looking to get into the competitive scene, there were also a number of booths that sold custom controllers and custom arcade sticks. They are a bit expensive (usually $300 - $400) so if you’re looking to get one, save some money.

Free Play Areas

Even though EVO is a fighting game tournament, there were still plenty of free play area for spectators. They even had some arcade machines for Street Fighter II, Killer Instinct, and more! They had a small Smash Wii U setup where I played a few matches with a Meta Knight player. Despite getting destroyed, I still had fun because I got to meet a fellow fan of the game and he showed great sportsmanship. Despite what we hear about the fighting game community online, it just goes to show you can meet some great people.

All Hype. No Salt.

Watching the best of the best compete is the main event of EVO. It was awesome to see Kamemushi beat zeRo 3-0 firsthand in Smash Wii U. Surrounded by all the fans, it was exciting to see everyone rooting for their favorite player (most were rooting for Kamemushi). During the Smash Wii U grand finals, all of us were on the edge of our seats (even though I was standing) waiting to see who would take the final stock. It was an extremely close match between Ally and Kamemushi, but once Ally took Kamemushi’s last stock, everyone jumped out of their seats cheering for Ally. Everyone was super excited throughout the entire match and since I wasn’t competing, I had no reason to be mad about how the match turned out. We were all there intently watching the match as fans of the game.

Sure, the commentary on stream is pretty exciting, but it doesn’t beat thousands of people cheering throughout the match.

Source Images[Header Image, Street Fighter V, EVO 2016 merch, Arcade Setup, EVO finals]

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What is EVO: the Evolution Championship Series? https://www.gameskinny.com/mi3nz/what-is-evo-the-evolution-championship-series https://www.gameskinny.com/mi3nz/what-is-evo-the-evolution-championship-series Thu, 14 Jul 2016 12:13:21 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

This weekend, EVO 2016 will be taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once again, the stage for one of eSports' biggest fighting game tournaments will be set. This year may be the most anticipated, as it'll be the first year Street Fighter V makes its appearance. The tournament has been the marquee event for all major competitive fighting games.

So you maybe wondering what is the Evolution Championship Series(EVO) and what makes it so special?

The What

The Evolution Championship Series represents the largest and longest-running fighting game tournament in the world. Tournaments started as a partnership between the VGO Network and various leaders worldwide within the fighting game community. The series evolved from the experience, collaboration, and expertise of major sites including Shoryuken.com, TekkenZaibatsu.com, GuardImpact.com and so forth.

It all began in 1995. Top players grew quite tired of arguing via message boards who was the best. Then it was decided that they would settle the matter at an arcade on Broadway in New York. The turnout resulted in 40 players showing up to prove their mettle, and the game to play at the time was Super Street Fighter II Turbo. After the first showdown, it didn't really settle the ongoing conversation of whom is the best.

It then became an annual tradition of skill and prowess against the best of the best. The competitions proliferated and took place in Boston, California, and other areas until a decision was reached that Las Vegas should remain the best battleground. Las Vegas featured the best venue overall for players and their side bets.

As the events drew in more numbers of the years, the event became more professionally run. One of EVO's strengths is that it's a purely community run events. Tournament organizers, judges, commentators are all active players within their respective scenes, or were at some point.

The Who

At the core of the event are the very individuals who helped create it. The founding members include:

  • Joey Cuellar (founder of Shoryuken.com and former manager of famous Southern Hills Golfland arcade)
  • Vik Steyaert (founder of Tekken-zaibatsu.com)
  • Tom and Tony Cannon ("the Cannon twins," shoryuken cofounders, and Tony created the amazing GGPO.net)
  • Seth Killian (former Capcom Manager now lead designer at Riot Games) 

Their hard work paved the way into what is arguably one of the best run fighting game tournaments. In an interview with Kotaku years ago, Killian shared some insight as to how he and the co-founders made EVO into what it is.

"It was all completely organic. The structure was born out of "S*** we have way too many people showing up to these things."

So they started introducing more traditional tournament rules, finally settling on double elimination, to help determine who the best Street Fighter was. The annual gathering also grew in reputation, soon attracting gamers from around the world looking to cut their teeth on a tournament known for it's skilled players.

The event had to grow along with the changing video game landscape as well. This did call forth one concern they had to face -- the choice to play on console format from arcade cabinets. The reality was that with the decline of arcade systems in America, it was only logical to start using consoles moving forward. The other issue was whether or not console ports performed as well as the arcade version. But the community was able to meet that challenge like any other and continue to improve.

You would be hard pressed to find that an EVO judge isn't an expert in rules. All the nuances that arise from possible errors are well covered -- i.e. a player accidentally pauses the game, someone forgets to desync a control, and matters of collusion. The rules and how they are followed are iron and built from years of experience. EVO is many things, but a place that allows cheating or a pass isn't one of them.

This also goes a step further with player pools. These elimination rounds are meant to favor no one and are created to be random. A top ranked player must prove herself/himself and whittle down their competition until they reach the top 8.

The Why

EVO's popularity has always been parallel to its main game; Street Fighter. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike was the game of show since its release in 1999. The attendance was still there, but numbers were waning by 2008. The tournament's influence exploded after the release of Street Fighter IV in 2009.

After a decade, a new game on new consoles with online capability had summoned a new wave of popularity. EVO 2009 was a resurgence for everyone -- the fans, the fighting game community, and the world. This was thanks in part to emerging streaming services helping an unreachable audience discover the event. And more importantly, upcoming competitors discovered a new goal to reach for.

From 2009 onwards, the event continued to grow in attendance and the games grew in competition. In fact, EVO's influence also helped solidify fighting games as part of eSports. Prior to fighting games being normally seen alongside titles like League of Legends, it was quite the uphill battle to get the same recognition. The problem was the preconceived notion that the fighting game community couldn't provide entertainment on the same level.

Some other misguided thoughts were included the ideas that fighting game events didn't have the same grand spectacle and professionalism. Many false assumptions were made, unfortunately. But when the opportunity presented itself, the community supported eSports events with performances and professionalism that were undeniable -- and dispelled those myths. 

The When

When these problems presented themselves, what did the tournament series do? EVO lead the way by example -- they asked for nothing but the best from all interested parties. The audience numbers, player performances, and viewership numbers were hard to ignore. Players then began to be sponsored by companies that recognized their efforts and the entertainment value of what they were doing. Finally, more and more game companies over time grew to support the yearly tournament (and others) regularly.

Companies realized that it was a means of goodwill public relations and to show players that they fully supported their efforts. So you could say in a sense, its cultural relevancy that forced the hand of game companies. 

The road to this recognition and support wasn't without its occasional speed bump. In 2013, Super Smash Bros. Melee once again became a game of the show for EVO13. Nintendo actually tried to stop its activities after fans helped its return. The company not only wanted to stop its streams but everything it had in place for EVO. Tournament organizers' hands were tied and they had to comply.

Thanks to Twitter and Reddit, fans gained brought a lot of attention to Nintendo's misguided actions. Recognizing the potential PR nightmare on their hands, Nintendo dropped the issue altogether. What happened the following year? Nintendo became an official sponsor of EVO in support of the Super Smash Bros. community.

Of all the recognition and sponsorships, Capcom's was arguably the longest to come to the table. Despite their games often being the most popular and being the show's number 1 draw, that support fell upon deaf ears at the studio. When fighters began to solidify themselves as an eSport, many began to wonder if Capcom would support them as well.

Eventually, they did provide support, which was in large part due to the ongoing support of Street Fighter IV and its updates. In 2013, they went on to announce the first Capcom Cup. EVO 2013 was used as one of the qualifiers to invite the best players to compete. Capcom Cup then became the now annual Capcom Pro Tour. It has grown to become a series of year long competitions ending in December -- and it wouldn't be wrong to say that EVO hadn't inspired its inception.

EVO, in its relatively short of amount of time, went on to inspire many. If you're a fan or active participant with fighters, you're essentially booked year round. Final Round, CEO, Apex and etc. These events all have the same in common -- competition, attendance, and recognition of all things positive with gaming. All these events continue to build upon the goodwill of the community. 

The Where

The next reason as to why EVO is so special is its representation. EVO (and other fighting events) is a place where you'll regularly see players, commentators, and etc of diverse backgrounds. [Side note: yes, there's an obvious lack of female representation in the tweet above. The community at large is aware and is doing better. There are female professional players and commentators that are in regular participation.]

It's refreshing nonetheless to see experts in these games look like everyone you'd normally see in a day. This has been standard for the event and the fighting game community scene for years. Players choose to compete and travel the many miles for inclusion that may not normally be an option. It's both encouraging and comforting to see you're not in the minority for any event -- video game related or otherwise.

The show is also one where entrants and fans can expect new things to look forward to for the following year. Developers now regularly announce DLC, characters, reveal games, and etc. at EVO. Most recently, last year was the reveal of Street Fighter V and a showcase of its gameplay.

Game companies recognize that it's a place for their target audiences. It would be a series of missed opportunities to not recognize the beacon that is EVO. Certainly there is no better stage to excite the fighting game community than its own meeca.

Let's fight Like gentlemen

Now, an undeniable argument as to why EVO can't be duplicated or imitated? I would say the level of competition. EVO, moreso than any other event, is host to players that have spent the better part of their year to get ready. Why? because thousands of others have done the same. You can watch past performances of any year and can tell players are bringing their A game in spades. This make for an enjoyable show of expertise.

To expand further on the subject of competition, the event encourages players worldwide to visit. The world's top ranked competitors for every game call all sorts of places -- America, South America, Europe, Asia, Japan, South Korea and etc. -- home. From a spectator standpoint it's always interesting to see how regional/national/international play styles do against one another.

Year in and year out, it's some of the best in watching competitive gaming. Even with the large number of high ranked and professional players, the results are never a given. The other aspect of EVO that continues to be encouraging for fans at the show, stream viewers, and players alike is that anyone can win. There's been years of top 8 results with seemingly unknowns from the least likely part of the world.

Are you not entertained?

The final piece of the equation is the presentation of the event. As a 3 day event, EVO operates very much like a show. The organizers are fully aware that millions will be tuning in to watch players show off their best. Last year the entire event, as reported by Twitch, had nearly 19 million views. That's certainly a lot of pressure to produce a well-oiled machine.

Despite this pressure, the staff and the community has continued to deliver the best and provide hours of entertainment. They manage to do this in many ways. Knowledgeable commentators are used to explain a game's most minute nuances to first time watchers. Energetic and experienced streamers are chosen to broadcast the event and handle any technical hiccups that may arise. Last but not least the event's overall production is made possible by passionate individuals.

A lot of this is often taken for granted, but it's very apparent a high degree of work is applied to everything. EVO is many things to many people -- but with its production values, boring is certainly not one of them.

In Closing

The event isn't just merely dedicated to the competition. It has grown into an event that's both entertaining and welcoming for gamers to enjoy. EVO is a celebration of the community and all things positive. Rivalries are cemented, legends are born and ultimately friendships are created. Again, it's not about the competition, it's about the competition on the grandest stage built by the community.

We certainly look forward to EVO16 this weekend. 

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Gears of War Villain General RAAM Enters Killer Instinct https://www.gameskinny.com/4xx7p/gears-of-war-villain-general-raam-enters-killer-instinct https://www.gameskinny.com/4xx7p/gears-of-war-villain-general-raam-enters-killer-instinct Tue, 14 Jun 2016 08:46:14 -0400 DoubleVendetta

Yes COGS, Gears of War's General RAAM has been confirmed alive, and sighted pursuing a mysterious organization known as Ultratech. While we don't have much further information at this time, be advised we are monitoring the situation closely.

RAAM was speculated to be a guest character a long while back, and later confirmed to be headed for the Killer Instinct roster down the line. With this brief trailer from Microsoft's E3 presentation, those whispers and hints are now a reality. While the short video clip doesn't give away much, there are at least a few things that can be extracted:

One, he shrugs off projectiles like a champ, just like his Gears of War incarnation. Two, it looks likely that he's bringing his knife to that pretty face of yours, command grab style.

It will be interesting to see just how many projectiles his armor can soak, because several characters -- including the likes of Shadow Jago and Omen -- can fire an awful lot of them. If General RAAM can walk through all of them, he could mean a significant change in Killer Instinct's meta when he arrives in game.

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Exclusive interview with Patrick Maka (Maka91): Gamer, achievement hunter, YouTuber https://www.gameskinny.com/3pteu/exclusive-interview-with-patrick-maka-maka91-gamer-achievement-hunter-youtuber https://www.gameskinny.com/3pteu/exclusive-interview-with-patrick-maka-maka91-gamer-achievement-hunter-youtuber Sun, 14 Feb 2016 11:30:14 -0500 Alec Pearce

Ever since I became hooked on achievement hunting, I have turned to guides and walkthroughs to help me with the trickiest achievements and challenges. In so doing, I came across Patrick Maka's guides. Brilliantly informative, straightforward to follow and narrated in a positive Canadian voice; Maka91's videos have become well respected within the achievement hunting community, earning him over 70,000 subscribers on YouTube.

I had to reach out to him so I could learn a bit more about the man behind the microphone; and was over the moon that Patrick was obliging enough to fit my interview questions into his extremely busy schedule.

First, I asked Maka about himself, his origins with gaming, and how it has impacted his life. 

My name is Patrick Maka; born and raised in the Toronto, Canada by Polish immigrants. I’m 24 years old and started gaming at a very young age, back in the days of DOOM and Duke Nukem on PC, Duck Hunt and Super Mario on NES, as well as Pokemon Red and Tetris on the Gameboy. Those were my introductions to gaming and I haven’t stopped since, with videos games being a regular part of my daily life. Gaming started out as an easy way to kill time and has since evolved into an escape and a way to relax. Video games serve a lot of different purposes for me, largely depending on the game. Some games I play to relax, some games I play to have fun with friends, while other games I’ve played competitively.

Patrick Maka Patreon

Maka is best known for his thorough and in depth achievement guides, so I wanted to know how he got into achievement hunting, what game he first hunted in and what his favourite game was to 100%.

I don’t remember exactly how I got into achievement hunting, but it was pretty soon after the Xbox 360 came out. My first achievements were in Perfect Dark Zero and Project Gotham Racing 3. The first time I remember a game actually changing my gaming habits was December, 31, 2005 when I brought my Xbox 360 over to a friend’s house. We decided to play Need for Speed: Most Wanted just to beat the last boss and unlock all the achievements in the game. From that point on, there was really no looking back.

I then joined xbox360achievement.org, now xboxachievements.com, and started becoming a part of the community; i.e. achievement hunting and boosting to get ahead of other people. The community, as well as my place in it, has changed and grown tremendously since then and there will always be a large, dedicated hardcore base of gamers dedicated to achievements.

From his high level gamerscore it is clear Maka has played a tonne of games and spent a long time hunting achievements. I asked if this ever became boring and if so, what drives him to continue doing it?

The brutally honest answer is yes. Sometimes mind-numbingly boring. Although I once played games like Hannah Montana for gamerscore, I’ve switched gears and focus in the past couple years and don’t achievement hunt like I once did. You won’t see me in online lobbies boosting achievements, and you won’t see me spending 10 hours in a game I don’t enjoy to finish off the last achievement. You will however see me playing ID@Xbox games, or just having non-achievement related fun in games like Halo 5, Rainbow Six Siege and Guitar Hero. I’ve realized that achievement hunting in games that didn’t interest me wasn’t fun and it was impacting my gaming negatively. With how busy I am creating YouTube content about achievements, the last thing I want to do is spend my hours off playing something and hating every minute of it.

Maka91 Productions

Many games have that one truly pesky achievement. I was curious to see how Maka dealt with the most tedious and frustrating achievements in gaming.

I don’t really ever feel a sense of frustration when it comes to achievements. For the really hard ones, I won’t go out of my way unless I really love the game. At that point it becomes a fun challenge instead of a chore. As for the long and grindy ones, the same rule applies. If it’s a game I like and care about completing, I’ll enjoy the game enough to not complain or feel frustrated. Otherwise, I probably won’t play it.

In a more positive light, I though it would be interesting to hear about Maka's favourite achievement hunting moment.

There have been a few memorable ones, but the ones that still stick out the most the Marathon achievement in Trials HD and the Long Road Ahead achievement in Guitar Hero III. Completing games like Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct and ScreamRide were also fun accomplishments. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of relief upon completing them knowing how difficult they are and how few people end up getting there. At the moment though, most of the fun I have while achievement hunting is when I’m streaming on twitch.tv/maka91productions and playing games alongside all the awesome people in the chat. That is equally as fun as getting some of those crazy achievements.

Maka91 Rainbow Six

As I mentioned previously, Maka's guides are helpful and popular tools. With so many of his guides hitting thousands and hundreds of thousands of views, I asked what the key was to his videos being so popular. 

That’s tough to answer. I wish I knew it because it would make the video process a lot easier for me, but I think the complicated answer is that there is no single key to video popularity. Had you asked me 4 years ago about my videos going anywhere, I would've doubted they would, but with over 20 million combined views, they've far exceeded my expectations.

A few factors that definitely helped were the fact that I got a pretty early start in guide making when the space was still quite young. I was also known within the achievement community which gave me some credibility. I also always strive to make the best content possible. I didn’t want to waste people’s time with poorly edited videos or terribly lengthy commentaries. I continued to improve my content, year after year until I built my channel up to where it is today. I have always said that there is no replacement for hard work, and it goes a long way. Mixed with timing and a sprinkle of luck, I was able to get where I am today.

Maka91 Top Games 2015

Finally, I asked about Maka's plans for the future on YouTube and Twitch and whether he saw these avenues as long term career options.

My plans for the future are to continue exactly what I’m doing, to keep making video content bigger and better. I hope to continue creating videos on YouTube while maintaining an active stream on Twitch, all whilst working on my gamerscore and engaging with the community. I don’t have set specific goals in mind, but I am very excited for the day that I reach 100,000 YouTube subscribers, and get to request that YouTube plaque. I know that as soon as I reach that goal, I’ll have my eyes set on the next one though.

As for YouTube as a long term career option; I hope it will be. The internet is new, and these spaces are always changing and evolving, but as long as I can make it work, I will continue doing it. Luckily with sites like Patreon, and direct support for viewers, YouTube has become a possibility for me to focus on entirely, and I think it will continue that way for a very long time. It’s the hardest and most stressful work I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding, and the work that’s made me the happiest so I plan to continue down this path.

Many thanks again to Patrick for providing this in depth insight into his life and work. You can keep up to date with all of his videos by subscribing to his YouTube channel. You can also follow him on Twitter and check out his Twitch streams.

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Killer Instinct World Cup and PAX South Will Have a Playable Season 3 Demo https://www.gameskinny.com/j4zbi/killer-instinct-world-cup-and-pax-south-will-have-a-playable-season-3-demo https://www.gameskinny.com/j4zbi/killer-instinct-world-cup-and-pax-south-will-have-a-playable-season-3-demo Sat, 09 Jan 2016 17:28:43 -0500 Douglas A. Skinner

According to a tweet by Adam "Keits", lead combat designer at Iron Galaxy Studios, a preview build of Killer Instinct will be present at both events in the last weekend of January. Season 3 will bring more playable characters to the beloved fighter with Rash, Kim Wu, and Tusk being revealed already.  

Announced during Evo 2014, the KI tournament originally only allowed players who have been consistently playing in events like Evo 2015, Kombo Klash competitions hosted by Ultra Arcade, and other major events.

According to the official website, registration is open to the public so feel free to register online and receive your badge for the tournament. Over 300 people have already registered. Tournament rules and regulations are all on the website, as well as point distributions and format.

PAX South will be in San Antonio, Texas this year from January 29-31. You can register on their website, here. Tickets cost $35 per day and the three day passes are all sold out so you will want to hurry if you want to go.  The website also comes with hotel information, a printable copy of the schedule, and more. 

Xbox Live Gold Members can play Killer Instinct Season 1 Ultra Addition for free this entire month of January. Season 3 will be available this March for Xbox One and PC. 

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10 least spooky skeletons in games https://www.gameskinny.com/luvgs/10-least-spooky-skeletons-in-games https://www.gameskinny.com/luvgs/10-least-spooky-skeletons-in-games Mon, 02 Nov 2015 12:18:51 -0500 Clint Pereira

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What did we learn about skeletons today?

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They're skinless people who are often forced into a role. A lot of them are musically-inclined. And we're all very confused about whether they're supposed to be scary or not.

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Skeletons could have been scary once, but now nobody's sure what to do with them anymore. As it stands, they tend to be cast as throwaway enemies and comic relief.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/e/3/ce3c1466015c30c2a032bde0b3e4050b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/e/3/tiny_ce3c1466015c30c2a032bde0b3e4050b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90068","description":"

1. Mr. Bones from Mr. Bones

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Proof that glowing eyes doesn't automatically make you scary.

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In this game, you play as a skeleton with weird chimp-like features who is frantically trying to run away from other skeletons while losing his limbs. It's not uncommon to hop around on one leg or your spine. Truly, Mr. Bones demonstrates how beleaguered the life of a skeleton army soldier must really be.

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Oh, and he turns his skeleton friends good with the power of music. Yep.

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/b/1/7b1b3acbc0cc241115ade948941466ae.jpeg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/b/1/tiny_7b1b3acbc0cc241115ade948941466ae.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"90065","description":"

2. Dry Bones from the Mario series

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Dry Bones used to be vaguely threatening, if a bit slow-moving. In more recent iterations, like in Mario Party 7 and Mario Kart 8, he looks more like a plushy. Even Luigi is scarier than this pile of bones.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/e/a/deab3ad21b05865a48932cb176bd0d0a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/e/a/tiny_deab3ad21b05865a48932cb176bd0d0a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90056","description":"

3. Papyrus from Undertale

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I take it back. David is not the silliest-looking skeleton.

\n

What can I say about Papyrus? He is a cartoon villain with an actual Skeletor laugh who is terrible at his human-hunting job. In fact, the army he's trying to get into is full of adorable, fluffy dogs, and they're still better at hunting down humans. Instead of trapping and/or killing the human he's after, they go on a date and become best friends.

\n

Not a good representative of skeleton-kind.

\n

...just don't tell his brother I said any of this, though, or I might have a bad time.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/9/b/c9bbced4857f54cc3eb4056dfa9873c2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/9/b/tiny_c9bbced4857f54cc3eb4056dfa9873c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90111","description":"

4. David from Shin Megami Tensei 4

\n

Boss fight difficulty aside, David is the silliest-looking skeleton in existence.

\n

For one, he's not even wearing his Elizabethan-era clothing correctly. He should be wearing leggings underneath those puffy dealies. Also, his name is David! How unspooky is that?

\n

It's like he got out of bed, forgot to put pants on, and said, "Here I am. Let's fight. Or play music. Whatever."

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/5/d/c5d40404aca52d0411d86734f92134ea.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/5/d/tiny_c5d40404aca52d0411d86734f92134ea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90062","description":"

5. Manuel Calavera from Grim Fandango

\n

Manny is just a guy trying to do his job. Unfortunately, corruption and the skeleton mob keep getting in his way.

\n

Grim Fandango is proof that skeletons are just regular people... who don't have any of their skin or organs.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/5/8f529ff24dd95cd2369e38fd6665c32e.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/5/tiny_8f529ff24dd95cd2369e38fd6665c32e.png","type":"slide","id":"90067","description":"

6. Spinal from Killer Instinct

\n

Meet Spinal, the loincloth-wearing badass from the Killer Instinct series, because nothing says "dangerous" like a bright orange sweatband and buck teeth.

\n

Spinal's newest iteration is a bit more intense, but his original model is anything but terrifying.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/3/2/b32a5757244ae3a0a395c1860ec98f7c.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/3/2/tiny_b32a5757244ae3a0a395c1860ec98f7c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90066","description":"

7. The Skull from F-Zero GX

\n

Every time I see this guy's face, I'm tempted to do a Skeletor impression. Nice calves, bud. What is that, a laser tag vest?

\n

I don't know whose idea it was to resurrect the greatest racer of all time, but why they felt the need to file down his teeth is beyond me.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/9/c/59c2841f2e93d5d5f1b4eafac86a17d5.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/9/c/tiny_59c2841f2e93d5d5f1b4eafac86a17d5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90058","description":"

8. Sir Daniel Fortesque from MediEvil

\n

Sir Daniel Fortesque doesn't want to scare anyone. He just wants to prove himself after his first chance at heroism was ended with an arrow in his eye.

\n

Probably the scariest thing about him is imagining what he looked like as a human. Probably something like Nigel Thornberry.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/d/d/7ddcd2a539e3cca99ae74dff013a7666.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/d/d/tiny_7ddcd2a539e3cca99ae74dff013a7666.png","type":"slide","id":"90061","description":"

9. The skeleton warriors from Castlevania 64

\n

Castlevania loves its skeletons. But Castlevania 64 didn't really seem to try to make the skeletons scary or threatening. They just kind of annoyingly throw themselves at you like so many bony gnats.

\n

Pictured above is the aptly-named "bomb skeleton." It lights a fuse on its head, jogs after you, then explodes after a few seconds. Not the skeleton army's brightest.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/8/e/f8e2a4ca28dba9f9afc8296cf2ee9971.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/8/e/tiny_f8e2a4ca28dba9f9afc8296cf2ee9971.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90059","description":"

10. Jackal from Abyss Odyssey

\n

What's weird about this suave skeleton is that he is both an enemy mob with a rapier and an NPC who likes to play guitars and tell stories.

\n

Maybe he's just on his lunch break?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/9/f/a9fb15a5d535a8984e56b0e6f684ccca.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/9/f/tiny_a9fb15a5d535a8984e56b0e6f684ccca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"90057","description":"

I was just Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and it seems like prime time to talk about skeletons. As in, those creatures that everyone says are supposed to be scary but never actually are.

\n

For one, everyone has a skeleton. Skeletons are just our bones walking around. Skeletons also pretty easy to break. When they die, they usually fall apart or their head pops off in a comical fashion.

\n

And yet, video games insist on throwing hordes of skeletons at players. Here are the least spooky members of the skeleton army.

"}]]]>
Killer Instinct Season 3 featuring Battletoads. Hints at new game? https://www.gameskinny.com/krjdo/killer-instinct-season-3-featuring-battletoads-hints-at-new-game https://www.gameskinny.com/krjdo/killer-instinct-season-3-featuring-battletoads-hints-at-new-game Wed, 05 Aug 2015 20:07:47 -0400 Larry Iaccio

It was announced at the Gamescom convention this week that Season 3 of Killer Instinct will be coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 in March 2016. To tide players over in the meantime, Microsoft released a new playable fighter that can be downloaded right now.

Rash from the Battletoads series makes his unexpected way into the hardcore fighting game and the results are about as awesome as you'd expect. Rash retains his original sense of humor and punk attitude which brings a welcome breath of fresh air into Killer Instinct.

Rash's availability is limited unfortunately. Players can only select the Battletoad as a fighter during this initial test period which runs until September 8.  Also, only those players who had previously purchased some type of Killer Instinct content or own Rare Replay will be able to currently play as Rash.

Back in November 2014 Microsoft filed for a new Battletoads trademark and there was widespread speculation across the internet of a possible new game in the series. In January of this year during a Windows 10 event, head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, was caught wearing a Battletoads shirt only further promoting speculations of a new game. A few months after this, at the Game Developers Conference this year, Microsoft also teased fans with Battletoads content for the very popular game Shovel Knight which came out for Xbox One back in April.

Phil Spencer wearing a Battletoad shirt during a Windows 10 conference

Keeping all of this in mind while looking at this new Killer Instinct update and even the release of Rare Replay, Microsoft seems to be doing a lot of promotion for the Battletoads series. Is a new game in the works, and if so could this be our first look at what the characters could look like?

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All that big Xbox Gamescom News: Scalebound, Chat Pads, and More. https://www.gameskinny.com/9po4z/all-that-big-xbox-gamescom-news-scalebound-chat-pads-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/9po4z/all-that-big-xbox-gamescom-news-scalebound-chat-pads-and-more Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:41:13 -0400 Phillip W

This is a brief roundup of all the big news from Microsoft's GamesCom Press-Conference.

Games:

Remedy Studio, the people behind cult classic Alan Wake, new time bending game, Quantum Break is now being released on April 5, 2015.

The first gameplay for the Crackdown reboot, has a lot of explosions.

Platinum Studio's Xbox exclusive Scalebound is being released holiday 2016. The first gameplay trailer is below.

Rash from Battletoads is a new playable guest character in Killer Instinct. He is available to play right now.

From Software showed off some brand new Dark Souls III gameplay.

Gameplay from the long dormant Homefront: Revolution was shown off today. Along with the announcement of an Xbox One beta.

The newest gameplay trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Halo Wars 2 is coming Fall 2016! Here is the first cinematic trailer.

ID@Xbox announces new games coming first to consoles on Xbox including City:Skylines and We Happy Few.

Features and Hardware:

Xbox backwards compatibility comes to everyone in November. All games with gold games from now on will be backwards compatible at launch.

DVR functionality will let you stream and record to any windows 10 device in 2016.

A new Limited Edition Halo 5 Xbox One is coming October 20, 2015. Pre-orders are up now.

A new Xbox one chat pad is coming in November 2016.

 

Stay Tuned to GameSkinny for more Gamescom news and impressions.

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Schedule of Grand Finals at EVO 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/qiol8/schedule-of-grand-finals-at-evo-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/qiol8/schedule-of-grand-finals-at-evo-2015 Sat, 18 Jul 2015 08:58:27 -0400 KungFro

For all you gamers out there trying to follow this year's Evolution Championship Series, I've pulled the times for all of the featured games' grand finals and listed them below for ease of access.

Friday, July 17th
  1. 6 PM – 8 PM PDT ~ Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Saturday, July 18th

  1. 12 PM – 4 PM PDT~ Super Smash Bros. Wii U
  2. 4 PM – 6 PM PDT ~ Tekken 7
  3. 6 PM – 8 PM PDT ~ Killer Instinct

Sunday, July 19th

  1. 9 AM – 11 AM PDT ~ Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN
  2. 11 AM – 1 PM PDT ~ Mortal Kombat X
  3. 1 PM – 4 PM PDT ~ Super Smash Bros. Melee
  4. 4 PM – 6:30 PM PDT ~ Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  5. 6:30 PM – FIN. PDT ~ Ultra Street Fighter IV

All times were drawn from the official schedule posted above.

*You can also scope out all quarterfinals and semifinals in this schedule if you wish.

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10 Most Memorable Songs In Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/95b0x/10-most-memorable-songs-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/95b0x/10-most-memorable-songs-in-video-games Sat, 06 Dec 2014 09:21:08 -0500 Death Metal Hero

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10.) Hotline Miami - Miami

\n

Some of you might say that Hotline Miami seems a bit out of place on this list, and to a degree you're right. But to be completely honest, I feel that Hotline Miami has one of the best and most memorable soundtracks of any game in the past ten years. The simple yet constant repetition of the main riff, followed by the thumping bass and drums makes this song one of the most instantly recognizable video game themes in recent times.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b6660c928c7480d8b47e4a7fff1475e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b6660c928c7480d8b47e4a7fff1475e7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4999","description":"

9.) Earthworm Jim - New Junk City Theme

\n

Composed by the legendary Tommy Tallarico, it should come as no surprise that one of his games made it on the list. With its atmospheric synth keyboards, gallop-like bass riff, and progressive song elements. New Junk City is an instant classic among gamers young and old alike.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/dfcf8539187b12fc0c678d9cd926e341.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/dfcf8539187b12fc0c678d9cd926e341.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4998","description":"

9.) Sonic 2 - Chemical Plant Zone Theme

\n

Many would suggest the “Green Hill Zone” Theme from the original Sonic, but there is something extremely catchy about the Chemical Plant Zone theme. From the upbeat feel of the song, to the tidal wave of keyboard riffs. Although both themes are highly memorable, I feel this one is just a bit better.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ecd9b0423c7f69bcc383267196a6f286.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ecd9b0423c7f69bcc383267196a6f286.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4997","description":"

7.) Killer Instinct - Main Theme

\n

Very few fighting games have a strong and memorable soundtrack like Killer Instinct does. There is a lot of really good songs in Killer Instinct but the main theme has the most raw power to it. The heavily distorted guitars with the atmospheric synth keyboards bring a unique sound that is easily recognized by any fan of the fighting genre.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c1dbbe6fc550171747d7a42deaed52f5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c1dbbe6fc550171747d7a42deaed52f5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4996","description":"

6.) The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time - Hyrule Field Theme

\n

For some gamers this is the theme song of their childhood. Not only is Ocarina of Time one of the best Legend Of Zelda games of all time, it also has the best soundtrack in the franchise. The sweeping string section, the steady march of the snare drum, and the blasting horns makes this one of the most recognizable themes in video games.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8bfb18182c147fa83a9ff323e600fd1f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8bfb18182c147fa83a9ff323e600fd1f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4995","description":"

5.) Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - Bloody Tears

\n

Although bloody tears first appeared in Castlevania II for the NES, the remake of the song for Dawn Of Sorrow is by far the best iteration. The gothic and symphonic elements that were in the original song shine through in this version. This upbeat track has one of the most memorable piano riff’s in the history of video games.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aaf6ebf0e412fc1e3a04efe3be554ea2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aaf6ebf0e412fc1e3a04efe3be554ea2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4994","description":"

4.) Super Metroid - Brinstar Depths

\n

Very few themes in video games are as atmospheric and memorable as Super Metroid’s “Brinstar Depths” Exploring through the depths with this theme playing truly brings the alien world to life. Everything about this theme song is near perfection from the piano riff to the synth “Ah’s” Every instrument brings a new level of depth to this masterpiece. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2e438f88d35e2105c0b86bbea60e46be.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/2e438f88d35e2105c0b86bbea60e46be.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4993","description":"

3.) Megaman 2 - Dr Wily Stage 1

\n

The Megaman franchise is loaded with amazing theme songs and memorable enemies. But when you finally reach the first stage of Dr. Wily’s fortress, Capcom decided to bring their best. Very few themes have the inspirational impact as this theme does, it’s like an E-Tank for your will power.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b16b80c94ec72c9f191a0e5ebf6f71a9.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b16b80c94ec72c9f191a0e5ebf6f71a9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4992","description":"

2.) Final Fantasy IX - You’re Not Alone

\n

A truly heart-wrenching moment in the Final Fantasy franchise. After Zidane learns that he is only made to destroy, he falls into a major depression. Questioning himself and the friendships he has made, he is determined to finish the story alone. The choir that comes in halfway through the song is the powerhouse effect, which is guaranteed to send chills down your spine.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7751e6dcff0ff9f4903c2bf591aeb348.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7751e6dcff0ff9f4903c2bf591aeb348.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4991","description":"

1.) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island - Baby Bowser’s Theme

\n

The second phase of the Baby Bowser fight in Yoshi’s Island is by far one of the most epic moments in the Super Mario franchise. The shrieking synth guitar sets the mood perfectly for this boss battle; eerie and evil. Then the song explodes into a thrashing heavy metal jam. There’s nothing quite as epic as heavy metal jam during a gigantic boss battle.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bb190cb234a36b097d22cc3d97073dbe.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_bb190cb234a36b097d22cc3d97073dbe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"56228","description":"

Over the years we all have experienced a lot of epic and memorable songs in the realm of video games. Without music, our most cherished moments would only be a sliver of their full potential. The music in video games is a puppeteer pulling on the strings of our emotions, making the hatred we feel for the villain all the stronger, and the lover for the hero more personal. I have chosen to leave out some of the more obvious 'famous' songs for more personal choices.

"}]]]>
Nintendo President Criticizes PS4, Xbox One for Lack of Exclusive Content https://www.gameskinny.com/611oj/nintendo-president-criticizes-ps4-xbox-one-for-lack-of-exclusive-content https://www.gameskinny.com/611oj/nintendo-president-criticizes-ps4-xbox-one-for-lack-of-exclusive-content Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:02:55 -0500 Brian Spaen

Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's CEO, fires at both Sony and Microsoft because their new consoles don't have the amount of exclusive content that the Wii U has.

In an interview with Recode, Fils-Aime admits that he would love to see big titles like Watch Dogs and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on Nintendo's newest console, but defends that the Wii U offers something that can't be found on the PS4 or Xbox One. In answering a statement that each console has specific titles:

But interestingly, when you look at either one, either by themselves doesn’t have a lot of exclusive content. They have a lot of shared content...They don’t have our games. They don’t have Mario and Zelda. I’d much rather be where Nintendo is, with a differentiated platform, differentiated set-up experiences that we can provide uniquely to the consumer.

Evaluating the Exclusives

If you include Halo: The Master Chief Collection that's coming out next week, there are 15 exclusive on Xbox One (that will not be found anywhere else including PC now or in the future) in North America. Forza Motorsport 5, Killer Instinct, and Sunset Overdrive are the most notable. There are just seven exclusive games on PS4 (excluding the same games on Vita) in North America. Two Infamous games, Killzone: Shadow Fall, and Driveclub are the highlights.

Fils-Aime does have a point when it comes to exclusives. Even when comparing a list of games that are coming out, there is a large number of exclusives for Nintendo. Last generation, Nintendo got by with the Wii for being a secondary console to most gamers because it was cheap enough. Sony and Microsoft battled it out.

Xbox One and PS4 are already lowering prices and continue to fight. If people were eager to spend $400-500 on a new console last year, there could be Black Friday deals hovering just over $500 to pick up both a Wii U and an Xbox One or PS4.

If the install base rises for Wii U, publishers will sign back on. And that's what Fils-Aime and all of Nintendo wants.

Header image credit: Nintendo Invader
Body image credit: Nintendo Life

 

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The Queen of the Amazon Returns for Killer Instinct Season 2 https://www.gameskinny.com/f6cnz/the-queen-of-the-amazon-returns-for-killer-instinct-season-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/f6cnz/the-queen-of-the-amazon-returns-for-killer-instinct-season-2 Wed, 16 Jul 2014 13:54:21 -0400 onpv3rtigo1

That is right combo-breaker fans! Maya will be returning for Killer Instinct's upcoming second season. Maya was officially revealed at the year's EVO Event and is the second character to be confirmed for Season Two following the return of T.J Combo.

Killer Instinct was released as a downloadable game exclusively for Xbox One on November 22, 2013. The game is free to play, however, you only have access to one playable character. This character is rotated with others on a regular basis. There are several purchase options though which will give you access to more or all of the current and future downloadable characters.

According to developer Iron Galaxy Studios, Maya is being described as a "high risk, high reward" type of fighter. She comes with two ancient daggers named "Temperance" and "Vengeance" which form the backbone of her fighting. This is also where the high risk, high reward comes into play.

High risk

Maya's daggers are used in all of her punch-based normals. She can throw them independently and rapidly after each other, catching them as they rebound off of her opponent to continue her assault. However, if shecompletely whiffs with one of her throws, she will loose access to the blade and all its associated moves until she is able to retrieve it. This type of oversight will severely limit Maya's fighting options.

High reward

There are huge benefits from taking this sort of "continuous projectiles to the face" style of fighting. The trade off is that Maya's blades level up with each consecutive hit that you land with them. In doing so, they gain new properties as long as you do not miss a throw. According to Iron Galaxy, at their highest level you will be able to combine the daggers and throw them as one giant, homing, unblockable projectile. So if you find yourself fighting against Maya the helpful hint here would be to make her strike out with her daggers every once in a while.

EVO panel announcing Maya for season 2

Maya, along with T.J. Combo, will be seeing release sometime this fall when Season Two starts. Who else could be coming out this upcoming season? No one knows for sure (Cinder has been hinted at). But stay tuned on Gameskinny for more information as it becomes available. Until then, good fight, good night.

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Killer Instinct - Starter Guide - The Basics https://www.gameskinny.com/mg8ng/killer-instinct-starter-guide-the-basics https://www.gameskinny.com/mg8ng/killer-instinct-starter-guide-the-basics Fri, 30 May 2014 17:31:39 -0400 Kaelan Otto

It's been over seventeen years since the last Killer Instinct game by Rare studio, and many gamers ask "was it worth the wait," the answer you're most likely to get is, you bet it was. Killer Instinct is 2D fighting game that emphasizes on light, medium, and heavy attacks, Linkers, and Shadow attacks. In this new version of the game, the new developers, Double Helix, also added brand-new features like customization options, titles, backgrounds, icons, taunts, and "Instinct Mode."

The new Killer Instinct got a huge upgrade, these upgrades are level designs, character designs, graphics, netcode, in-game mechanics, new moves for the characters, sound design, a brand-new character, in-game announcer, and everyone's favorite upgrade, Ultra combos. This new art style of Killer Instinct looks absolutely amazing, my personal favorite is the character designs, all completely modernized.

The overall new game mechanics, along with some changes to the characters, will feel similar for veterans of the series, but for new-comers, it's going to be rather challenging. However, with some practice and patience, the game will feel a lot smoother for you. Believe it or not, the mechanics are actually quite easy to learn.

Lets get started on the basics of Killer Instinct:


The controls:

The controls will feel quite similar to Street Fighter, punches and kicks, with the strengths of lights, mediums, and heavies. In fact, most of the attack notations and button layout of the basics are almost identical to Street Fighter's. Because of this, Street Fighter players will pick-up on the controls easily, as for the combo system for Killer Instinct, that's where things become little difficult.

The animations for each attack will appear differently depending if the character is standing, crouching, walking forward or backward, or jumping. Each character has at least twenty-four "Normal(s)" attacks in their arsenal, each containing a strength and weakness.

Here is the default control format:
  • Light Punch(LP)= X
  • Medium Punch(MP)=Y
  • Heavy Punch(HP)=Right Bumper(RP)
  • Light Kick(LK)=A
  • Medium Kick(MK)=B
  • Heavy Kick(HK)=Right Trigger(RT)
  • All Three Punches(3P)=Left Bumper(LP)
  • All Three Punches(3K)=Left Trigger(LT)

Note: These controls can be customized through the options under "Controls"  in the main menu.

Combos:

If you played the original Killer Instinct back in the day, then you'll know that the combos had to be done in a specific way in order to create some extensive combos. Now, with this new combo mechanic, combos are much easier to execute, especially for novice players. There is a bit of freedom/randomness within the new combo mechanics, this being that players are still limited of what they can do to start and end combos.

What this means is that combos MUST start from a "Opener," then must go to a "Linker," "Shadow Linker," "Manual," or "Auto-Double." Here is what a typical combo looks like:

Opener > Auto-Double/Manual > Linker/Shadow Linker > Auto-Double/Manual > Ender

Note: There are a some specific exceptions for certain characters.

Openers:

Openers can be any special or Shadow attack that leaves your opponent completely vulnerable for any follow-ups. Certain attacks can bring the opponent immediately to the air or ground, while air juggles are possible, traditional combos requires the opponent to be stunned while standing.

Once you have started a combo with an Opener, you follow it with almost any attack that is available to your character. Any button that is pressed after a Opener is considered an Auto-Double, if you do another special attack, it's called a Linker. You can also follow it with a Shadow attack, this is what is called a Shadow Linker.

Note: Openers cannot be broken by Combo Breakers.

Auto-Doubles:

Auto-Doubles are used by pressing any button after an Opener, Linker, or and Shadow attack. Within a quick succession, it'll appear as two basic attacks. Depending on the speed of it, the strength varies, from lights, mediums, and heavies.

The quicker the Auto-Doubles are, it becomes much more difficult for the opponents to break, but they will do less damage. The slower the Auto-Doubles are, the easier it is for the opponents to break, but if succeeded, they will cause the most damage.

For most of the characters, Auto-Doubles cannot be used consecutively, you must perform a Linker or Shadow Linker in order to use another Auto-Double. Auto-Doubles can be replaced by Manuals, however, they are much harder to execute.

Note: Characters like Jago or Sabrewulf can perform more than one Auto-Double after another.

Manuals:

A Manual is one basic attack that's used during a combo. The proper timing for this is extremely strict, which makes it essentially harder to execute. Like Auto-Doubles, Manuals can only be used after Openers, Linkers, or Shadow Linkers.

After an Opener, Linker, or any Shadow attack is performed, there will be a limited time before the combo is dropped. Within that gap of time, you can use a light or medium punch or kick, pressing it too early, will result in a Auto-Double, but doing it too late, can result with the combo dropping.

You must time the Manual perfectly if you wish to beat some of the more professional players out there. Manuals will confuse many players, especially those who are not used to them - this is what makes them such a large threat.

Manuals act like Normals, each containing a certain frame advantage. These frames determine how much effectiveness they have during the combos, safe or unsafe, so you must be careful of which ones you use. One of the great aspects of Manuals is that opponents will have less than half the time to break them compared to Auto-Doubles.

This can result into a huge mind game that your opponent must guess perfectly if they wish to break the combos. Also, depending on the frames the Manual might have, you can do up to two Manuals before having to use a Linker or Shadow Linker. This will inflict more damage towards the opponent than a Auto-Double.

Note: Frame data for each attack can be viewed in Practice mode.

Linkers:

Any special move that is performed during a combo, whether it's a light, medium, or heavy, is called a Linker. They can be used after Openers, Auto-Doubles, Manuals, or any Shadow attack. A Linker follows the rule with lights, mediums and heavies, but instead of speed, its number of hits. Light Linkers are one hit, medium Linkers are two hits and in order to perform heavy Linkers, you must hold down any button that's light or medium, heavies are three hits.

Heavy Linkers can easily be broken by a skilled player, for that third hit will make it obviously a perfect target for a Combo Breaker, be careful when using them.

Note: Certain heavy Linkers can result in a Ender, this will of course end the combo. Again, be careful of how you use them.

Enders:

A heavy special move that is used at any time during a combo, this will result with maximum damage and ending the combo. Not using an Ender can result in losing any potential damage you had on your opponent, it's very important that you use these Enders.

Some Enders contain different properties, what this means is that certain Enders can launch the opponent in air for small, but quick air juggle, and others can send the opponent flying at the wall causing a "Wall Splat." If a player gets a Wall Splat on their opponent, they can potential add more hits to the combo.

Note: Enders cannot be broken unless it's after an Opener. Another note is that certain Shadow Linkers can also cause an Ender.

Combo Breakers:

Combo Breakers are what stop the opponent's combo, this can only be done on the ground, not in the air. However, with the new update for the game, if the opponent ends the combo with an Ender that launches you in the air for a air juggle, if the opponent is standing and hits you in air with a Manual, then you are able to Combo Break that.

You cannot Combo Break an Opener or Ender, unless it's a short combo that goes from Open to Ender, then you may Combo Break it, but only on the Ender. To use a Combo Breaker, you must input the punch and kick strength that corresponds with the attack the opponent is using.

For example: in the middle of the combo, if you see the opponent doing a medium Auto-Double, as it's hitting, you must quickly press MP and MK at the same time to break it. If you see the opponent doing a medium Linker, again, you press both MP and MK. This rule also applies to lights and heavies.

Note: Doing the same Combo Breakers over and over, can make you a target for a Counter Breaker. Use them wisely.

Counter Breakers:

Counter Breakers, also known as bluffs, are used to stop the defensive player that tries to attempt a Combo Breaker during a combo. What this means is that if your opponent has a habit of breaking the same strings over and over, you can stop this by pressing both MP and MK at any point during the combo.

When this happens, the character will do a animation that looks like guard and the announcer will scream Counter Breaker. After this, the combo will reset, bringing the opponent to Lock-Out and will allow you to add more hits to your combos, which can cause some ridiculous damage.

Note: If you attempt to perform a Counter Breaker and the opponent does nothing, the combo is dropped and you left vulnerable a short period of time. Again, you must use these wisely.

Lock-Outs:

During a combo, if the defensive player attempts to Combo Breaker, but inputs the wrong command, they are put into Lock-Out for three seconds. This means that an X is placed above their head, making it so that the player can't perform a Combo Breaker for three whole seconds.

The indicator will appear in two different colors, if the player mis-times the Combo Breaker, then it's yellow and if the player inputs the wrong command, then it's red. However, if the offensive player succeeds with a Counter Breaker, then the defensive player will be locked-out for four whole seconds.

Note: When the opponent is in Lock-Out, use that time to inflict as much damage as possible.

Shadow Meter, Shadow Attacks, Shadow Linkers,  Shadow Breakers, and Shadow Counters:

Located at the bottom of the screen, there will appear a blue meter, this is called the Shadow meter. The meter has two bars and you need at least one full bar to perform a Shadow attack or a Shadow Counter. To full the Shadow meter, you must hit your opponent with any attack, if the attack hits, you'll gain meter at a slow pace; but if the attack hits on block, then you gain more meter. Some Enders can give you a lot of meter, however, Shadow Linkers will not give you any meter.

To perform a Shadow attack, you will input any special move with two buttons instead of one. What this means if you were to input LP for a special move, then you would input two punch buttons to perform a Shadow attack. If use a Shadow attack during a combo, then it would be called a Shadow Linker. All Shadow attacks are five hits and each one has a different speed and property. Again, you cannot gain any meter with Shadow Linkers.

If your opponent ever hits you with a Shadow attack or Shadow Linker and you wish to break it, then you tap both MP and MK the same time, three times out of the five hits. You need to tap the both buttons as each move hits you, when this happens, your character will flash white the announcer will yell one, when you hear that do it again and you'll hear two, after three the Shadow move will break.

Depending on the Shadow attack, each one requires precise timing in order for a Shadow Breaker to occur. If you attempt to break them and you fail, then you are automatically put into Lock-Out.

Similar to a parry, Shadow Counters are performed by pressing both MP and MK, however, you must have at least one full bar of your Shadow meter. Whether if you're successful or not, Shadow Counters requires a bar of meter, and if successful, then your character will go into a counter-like animation and will perform a Shadow attack on the opponent, this can open up combos.

To perform a Shadow Counter, you must first start blocking the incoming Shadow attack, since there is a delay between both executions, you time it perfectly. The best way to do this is to wait for the fifth and final move to hit, right before it hits you input both MP and MK at the same times. The announcer will scream Shadow Counter.

Instinct Mode:

Located right under your health bar, is a yellow bar, this is your Instinct Meter. In order to gain Instinct, you must take damage from your opponent or perform a Combo Breaker. When the meter is full and you want to activate Instinct Mode, you must input both HP and HK together.

Each character has a unique Instinct trait. For example, Glacius' Instinct trait is armor plating, meaning he can take one hit without being stunned and hit you at the same exact same time.

You can also activate Instinct Mode during a combo, this is whats called an Instinct Cancel. When this happens, the combo will reset and you are able to perform a new Opener, adding more damage to the combo.

If you do an Instinct Cancel during a standalone attack, then that attack will stop immediately. You can also use Instinct Cancel stop your opponent from punishing an unsafe attack or Shadow Countering you.

Rounds and Throws:

Each match in Killer Instinct is divided into two separate rounds. How this works is that both players have two health bars, a green bar and a red bar. When the green bar is depleted, then the match will pause for a moment, the character will stand back up the red bar will fill up, thus creating the second round. During these pauses, both players can freely move around the level but cannot attack until the second starts.

Throws can used by pressing both LP and LK together. Throws execute very quickly and cannot be blocked, but they can be interrupted by any attack or jumping. To escape a throw, you must input the both LP and LK as the animation appears. Most of the character's throws can only take out guarding opponents, but certain characters can use a throw during a combo.

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100 Best Boss Fights: 40 - 31 https://www.gameskinny.com/jdm1t/100-best-boss-fights-40-31 https://www.gameskinny.com/jdm1t/100-best-boss-fights-40-31 Thu, 24 Apr 2014 03:09:45 -0400 Death Metal Hero

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Part 1: 100 - 91

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Part 2: 90 - 81

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Part 3: 80 - 71

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Part 4: 70 - 61

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Part 5: 60 - 51

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Part 6: 50 - 41

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/202215f741f11538378164eff279ec83.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/202215f741f11538378164eff279ec83.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3762","description":"
31.) Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - Death Egg Zone
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Sonic starts this zone off with zero rings, and there are no rings nor are there any checkpoints in the zone. You must defeat Metal Sonic and Dr. Robotnik without taking a single hit, I know that sounds ridiculous and to be honest it is. Metal Sonic is a cake walk compared to Dr. Robotnik, seeing as Dr. Robotnik takes at least 20 hits or so in order to be defeated. Patience is key for this zone, don’t try to rush the fights, you’ll just end up dying.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ee37674c7a702b7612c69dbff136643d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ee37674c7a702b7612c69dbff136643d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3761","description":"
32.) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Darth Vader
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The fight with Darth Vader starts off in a hallway on the Death Star, a simple one on one fight with one of the most notorious villains of all time. Make sure to stay clear of his force push, it’s a real power house. After getting him down to half health the second phase of the fight starts, where you must throw some projectiles at Darth Vader in order to beat the crap out of him. Keep your guard up and remember your training, you can do this!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a7d43983c00bbf5c7d49fdd1ca935db7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a7d43983c00bbf5c7d49fdd1ca935db7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3760","description":"
33.) Hotline Miami - The Final Showdown
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The final showdown with the russian mob boss is not only frustratingly hard but also completely amazing. First you must defeat his two leopards--yes actual leopards--and all you have to kill them with is a gold statue. Then you need to defeat his bodyguard, after bashing her head into the floor a few dozen times the boss pulls out two Uzi’s and throws a tsunami of bullets at you. If you die then you have to start the fight all over again, including the fight with the leopards.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1c4e5796722ea1a86addee2d02ac92b0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1c4e5796722ea1a86addee2d02ac92b0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3759","description":"
34.) King Of The Monsters 2 - Famardy
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I love King Of The Monsters 2, it is one of my all time favorite childhood games. The bosses were all unique and quite epic, but the last boss Famardy is not only ugly but tough as well. If you’re not careful he will eat you and take a chunk of health out of you. After defeating him you must destroy all of the smaller versions of him in under 10 seconds in order to get the good ending, if you fail then you get the bad ending.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ed6a9344732078b5f6e2a0ee9a25c392.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ed6a9344732078b5f6e2a0ee9a25c392.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3758","description":"
35.) Castlevania 64 - Dracula
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I know Castlevania 64 is not the greatest of Castlevania’s, but the final fight with Dracula pushed me to my gaming limits and beyond. Upon reaching the top of the castle the three phase fight begins. First you must fight dracula’s servant who is posing as dracula, then you must escape the tower before it crumbles and fight dracula again, this time in his new and agile body. After defeating the real dracula, he teleports you to a desert wasteland where you must fight his true form; a giant snake-like dragon. Definitely one of the most memorable fights I have ever experienced.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ef6fcfe1dcec68b1209a20d76a5230b0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ef6fcfe1dcec68b1209a20d76a5230b0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3757","description":"
36.) Megaman X3 - Vile
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Presumably killed in the first Megaman X, Vile returns in Megaman X3 with a powerful suit of ride armor. This two phase fight starts off with Vile charging from one side of the room to the other, just be careful that you’re not on the wall when he crashes into it. After defeating Vile’s ride armor, the real fight begins. Vile will then gain all of his health back and fight X with a new barrage of attacks. Make sure to jump over his fire bomb and don’t let him physically touch you, otherwise you’ll take a massive loss of health.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ff5eaedce3b9fe26951b3d33245ee75a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ff5eaedce3b9fe26951b3d33245ee75a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3756","description":"
37.) Silent Hill 2 - Pyramid Head
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By far one of the most terrifying games in the franchise, Silent Hill 2 brings the paralyzing fear up to 11 with Pyramid Head. The game is scary enough with the static of nearby enemies, but having a butcher wielding a massive sword chase after you is mind numbing. Hopefully you have plenty of health and ammo, because he is a walking tank. What makes things worse is that he shows up throughout the game, even if you do manage to kill him.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f7ad0ee4189cf88999a9f1d912af7ee3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f7ad0ee4189cf88999a9f1d912af7ee3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3755","description":"
38.) Killer Instinct - Eyedol
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Getting to Eyedol in Killer Instinct was always a challenge for me, mainly because I am not that good at fighting games. I usually got to Eyedol with Spinal or Cinder, and then I would get my face kicked in. Eyedol hits like a truck and can take out half your health in a single 4-hit combo. Time to put the pedal to the metal with this fight, best of luck!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa395b61bc3975d8bf7d12ac63ff5b1f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa395b61bc3975d8bf7d12ac63ff5b1f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3754","description":"
39.) Battle Clash - Thanatos
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The premiere game for the Super Nintendo’s Super Scope, Battle Clash, is a rail shooter that brought the intensity to 11. The final boss Thanatos is definitely the best fight in the game, seeing as he has two forms and can wipe the floor with you. Make sure you’re Super Scope is calibrated correctly, you’re going to need pin point precision for this fight.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b9ded125a5035e5bd64a18ef7f436adc.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b9ded125a5035e5bd64a18ef7f436adc.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"3753","description":"
40.) Maximum Carnage: Carnage
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Maximum Carnage is by far one of the best Spider Man games of all time, at least in my opinion it is. This side scrolling beat-em-up is one of my childhood favorites, I used to play it for hours on end looking for secrets and power ups. The final Carnage fight is brutal, thankfully Spider Man and Venom both have 3 lives in order to defeat him. Make sure you save your sonic gun power up for this fight, otherwise its a train wreck.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/20a53e0ad76f941d01925c2862089ad0.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_20a53e0ad76f941d01925c2862089ad0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"43646","description":"

There have been some really cool, and most epic boss fights in the history of video games. But with there being so many, how do we know which ones are the best? It's all a matter of opinion, with that said this is my list for the 100 best boss fights of all time. 

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What makes a boss fight the best? Well a number of things; the fight has to be memorable, it can also be epic, or outright insane. A boss fight can be unforgiving in difficultly, or it can be as simple as pressing the A button. Whatever the boss fight is, all that matters is that I enjoyed it in one way or another.

"}]]]>
Gamers Outreach Founder Explains How ESports Can Help Others https://www.gameskinny.com/adpcv/gamers-outreach-founder-explains-how-esports-can-help-others https://www.gameskinny.com/adpcv/gamers-outreach-founder-explains-how-esports-can-help-others Mon, 03 Feb 2014 12:31:25 -0500 John Gaudiosi

Zach Wigal is a former pro gaming manager who now helps kids in hospitals through his organization, Gamers Outreach Foundation. The non-profit company’s main event, Gamers for Giving, will take place at Eastern Michigan University February 8-9 and will get a live international broadcast courtesy of headline sponsor Twitch.

The goal is to reach $20,000 to help support the construction of portable video game kiosks, dubbed Gamers Outreach Karts ("GO Karts") for use in children’s hospitals. GO Karts contain a monitor, an Xbox console, Astro Gaming headphones, and are crafted for use within medical environments. These are for children who have limited mobility or access to activities away from their bedside.

Some big names from eSports have signed on to raise money through playing games, including:

  • Dave “Walshy” Walsh
  • Alex “GoldenBoy” Mendez
  • Mike “Hastr0” Rufail
  • Michael “StrongSide” Cavanaugh
  • Bonnie “Xena” Burton
  • Frank “u4ix” Bowen
  • Alex “Axeltoss” Rodriguez
  • Shaun “FourCourtJester” Delaney
  • Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky

Call of Duty: Ghosts, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Halo 4 and Killer Instinct will be featured during the event. Wigal talks about the event in this exclusive interview.

How did Gamers Outreach Foundation come about?

During my junior year of high school, a group of friends and I tried organizing a Halo 2 tournament for our student body. A few days before the tournament was supposed to happen, a local police officer who belonged to a media censorship organization called The Parent’s Television Council found out about our tournament, and called our school’s superintendent asking her to cancel the event. It was his opinion our event was a hazard to public safety, and that Halo wasn’t an appropriate video game for high school students. Our superintendent revoked our rental permit shortly after she received his call, and we had to cancel our event.

Growing up, I was always involved in the ‘normal’ school activities. I played sports, made OK grades, was involved in music, but playing video games was the consistent hobby. I really resented the idea that my mind was somehow being corrupted because I enjoyed playing games like Halo.

Being supported by Twitch is something we’re incredibly proud of and thankful for. 

I decided the most productive course of action would be to move forward and organize a new tournament that would raise money for charity. I wanted to show the police officer that gamers were a friendly group of people, and that our event could actually benefit the local community for the better. A year after my high school tournament was canceled, the same group of friends and I hosted Gamers for Giving – a competitive gaming event that raised money for charity. We had around 400 people show up, and after covering the event’s expenses, we were able to donate $4,000 to a local chapter of the Autism Society of America. Not bad for a bunch of high school students.

Fast forward to present day, the organization now has its own initiatives. Gamers for Giving is the annual fundraising event which helps us kickstart our work each year.

How have you seen Gamers for Giving benefit from the livestreaming phenomenon?

Platforms like Twitch have democratized livestreaming, and it has fundamentally changed the way the gaming community interacts as well as the way people organize events. Gamers for Giving used to be an event that was relatively limited to our local area of Southeast Michigan. Now we have people supporting our efforts from all around the nation, and even other countries. Streaming enables us to tell our story to the larger gaming community. If people can’t make the trip to Michigan to be a part of our event in-person, they can still tune in and participate by watching or donating to the cause.

I’d also say that thanks to livestreaming, the fundraising ceiling for our event (as well as other charity marathons) has practically vanished. That’s an incredible development. There are people in board rooms trying to figure out how to raise $2,000. Meanwhile, one of us gamers is on the Internet with a webcam raising thousands of dollars for our favorite cause in a single weekend. That’s powerful. I hope people continue to be inspired to be involved with these types of activities, and it makes me proud to see gamers engaging more and more frequently with charity streams.

What impact do you feel Twitch will have on this year's event?

Being supported by Twitch is something we’re incredibly proud of and thankful for. Twitch is an ideal streaming platform for events like Gamers for Giving, and considering the number of fundraisers that take place on the site, there’s no question the Twitch community is incredibly generous. We’re in the right space for our event. One of our foundation’s initiatives, Project GO Kart, constructs portable video game carts for children in hospitals. By midyear, the initiative will be serving more than 10,000 children in hospitals annually. We’ve seen the impact our carts have made within the medial environment first hand, and Twitch is helping us tell that story to a much larger audience. They understand the mission we’re trying to accomplish, and I believe their involvement is going to make a strong impact in the lives of people served by the programs of our charity.

How have you seen the eSports pros get involved in this event?

Retired professional Halo player Dave “Walshy” Walsh was really the first eSports pro to become involved with Gamers Outreach. That’s probably of no surprise to anyone who’s met Dave. He’s one of the most generous and humble competitive gamers around. Dave was able to attend our very first Gamers for Giving event in 2008. At the time, he was looking for a way to become involved with charity work, and I think our cause resonated with him personally given his professional career as a competitive gamer. He’s now one of our board members and we’ve even donated a GO Kart to his local hospital where his mother has worked all his life.

Similarly, Mike “Hastr0” Rufail, known for his Call of Duty shout-casting, became involved in 2010, shortly after he and I connected at an MLG event. Mike’s another stand-up guy – easily one of the most genuine people I’ve met. He makes it a personal priority to give back to the community whenever he can, and our initiatives have provided him with one of many outlets to express that generosity.

ESports fans are some of the most passionate gamers around. 

Just recently, Ryan “Fwiz” Wyatt – Call of Duty shout-caster and head of eSports at Machinima – was able to build one of our portable gaming carts for the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, where he received treatment for Crohn’s disease as a child. During his treatments, nurses would wheel in a Super Nintendo cart so he could play video games. Ryan found out about our gaming cart program last year, and wanted to donate one of our carts to the facility where he was treated. We were able to visit the hospital in November to dedicate one of our gaming carts and meet with some of the physicians who took care of Ryan. It was a humbling experience, and I was really proud we were able to help Ryan give back to kids who are going through similar experiences he did when he was younger.

The story is relatively the same for a lot of the pro gamers who’ve become involved with Gamers Outreach over the years. Our roots are in competitive gaming – it’s our heritage. Our charity programs serve people who’ve never heard of eSports, but certainly from our perspective, competitive gaming is part of where we came from. Our annual fundraising event is a competitive gaming tournament /LAN party, so we celebrate that heritage each year. It resonates with people in the eSports community for that reason.

How do you choose which games will be featured in these competitions?

Our decision is primarily based on which titles are most popular with the community at large, though we also host smaller exhibition activities that are geared towards casual players. Aside from the tournament we host at the event, Gamers for Giving also features a BYOC (bring your own computer) LAN party. People can sign up to participate in the LAN, bring their own computers or consoles, and play whatever games they like while our tournaments are taking place.

We really got our start because of Halo, but as we’ve grown, we’ve added other titles to our list of headline tournaments. This year our tournaments include Call of Duty Ghosts, League of Legends, StarCraft II, and Killer Instinct.

What have you learned about eSports fans when it comes to charity and giving?

ESports fans are some of the most passionate gamers around. I remember arriving to the Gamers for Giving venue in 2009 and finding a group of people sleeping outside the doors of our ballroom at 6 am. They had purchased plane tickets from California to attend our event in Michigan, couldn’t afford a hotel, and decided to just rough the night outside the doors of our event. That’s dedication. These guys wanted to be a part of our event so badly that they were willing to sleep outside the venue before any of our staff even arrived.

I think as gamers, we all understand that passion. Video games have made an impact on all of us to varying degrees. Gamers for Giving is an event that enables eSports enthusiasts to channel that passion in a positive direction. The community is especially supportive of charitable causes, and the fact that so many players who are active within eSports show up to Gamers for Giving illustrates how tight-knit we all are as gamers.

Where will the money raised go and how will it be used?

Our organization has two primary initiatives. One is called Project GO Kart, which constructs portable video game kiosks for children in hospitals. The other is Fun For Our Troops, which dispenses video game care packages to U.S. service members deployed overseas.

The overhead costs of Gamers for Giving are generously covered by our event partners, like Eastern Michigan University and Astro Gaming. Additionally, the organization itself is managed on a volunteer basis. This allows us to dedicate 100% of the donations and entry fees we receive during the event to the charity programs of the organization.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 to help kick start Gamers Outreach Foundation’s programs in 2014. Specifically, donations will be split at about an 80/20 ratio between supporting the construction of portable gaming carts for children’s hospitals, and sending care packages to troops.

Gamers for Giving is an event that enables eSports enthusiasts to channel that passion in a positive direction.

We want to place GO Karts in hospitals around the country. We especially want to reach facilities with limited budgets, where it’s difficult for Child Life Specialists to afford activities for kids within hospitals. Those are the types of locations that we hope will benefit most going forward with funds raised from Gamers for Giving.

As for our military packages, we actually have a very healthy supply of video games, but need funding to purchase consoles, which are donated less frequently. We receive letters from deployed troops all the time, but they’re often limited by the platform they have access to. Funds we receive from Gamers for Giving will help us afford new consoles to complement our existing inventory of games for deployed troops.

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Killer Instinct Tournament Stopped by Xbox One DRM https://www.gameskinny.com/elrw8/killer-instinct-tournament-stopped-by-xbox-one-drm https://www.gameskinny.com/elrw8/killer-instinct-tournament-stopped-by-xbox-one-drm Wed, 18 Dec 2013 06:00:31 -0500 Wokendreamer

Sometimes irony is simply too beautiful.  When a couple of guys got up on stage at EVO 2013 to talk about Xbox One and Killer Instinct, they received a round of boos.  The unpleasant reception was almost certainly mostly due to the console's originally planned DRM, but the memory is a stark one.  Now a fighting game tournament, a tournament featuring Killer Instinct, has found itself interrupted by that very console's DRM policies.

And it happened during a live stream of the event.

Two fighters were interrupted in the middle of their match by the Xbox One they were playing on returning to its dashboard and prompting them to prove they own the game.  This is especially problematic with Killer Instinct, since the game is digitally distributed and technically free, with individual characters being paid for.  Often it is literally not possible for consoles to be connected to the internet during tournaments, as such is entirely venue-determined and venues for these events can be difficult to find.

In fighting games, this sort of issue is a big deal.  I have personally seen people ejected from tournaments for using a wireless controller and accidentally pausing a game they were not taking part in.  Even pausing a game someone is an active part of is generally considered a forfeit, given the precision of the timing required for high-level play.

This is the kind of thing that could seriously alienate the tournament fighting game community.

This probably was not a glitch.  From all I can find, this is a relic of the DRM systems Microsoft originally wanted for the Xbox One.  It is possible they simply did not change the way they were designed for their digitally distributed games, assuming anyone downloading games to begin with would have the system connected all the time.

Hopefully the issue is one Microsoft will correct soon with a patch.  Being able to only play a given game for a limited time before the console simply shuts it down would effectively prohibit the game from becoming a tournament staple for practical reasons.  The fighting game community can be intensely loyal if treated well and listened to, but they have their limits, and Xbox One did not start off on the right foot.

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Next Gen Consoles Sticking It to Stick Players https://www.gameskinny.com/gb6ra/next-gen-consoles-sticking-it-to-stick-players https://www.gameskinny.com/gb6ra/next-gen-consoles-sticking-it-to-stick-players Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:05:33 -0500 Ryan Kerns

If you're a grumpy old man like myself, you likely remember playing fighting games in the arcade with a joystick and six buttons. Very few home consoles have had a control pad that is conducive to this layout, with the exception of the glorious Sega Saturn pad.

With both next gen consoles having fighting games at launch, Sony and Microsoft have been somewhat coy about whether our current sticks are compatible.

Lead architect of the PlayStation 4, Mark Cerny, was asked directly about current gen fightstick capability before launch and he responded that he was unsure if it was supported out of the box, but there was no reason why they shouldn't work. Sony took it one step further and officially addressed the answer in their blog.

Will PS3 peripherals such as fighting sticks and steering wheels work with PS4?

Generally speaking, no. However, at launch, users will be able to use these controllers if a specific game title allows it to be used within the game. This decision is upon the game developer and will vary from game to game.

Sure enough, after the PS4 launched last week, enthusiastic fighting game fans plugged in every kind of stick imaginable to find out none of them work. The only fighting game available at launch was Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, so it could just be possible that Netherrealm hasn't added support yet... although there has been no mention of it by Ed Boon. 

Xbox One has already been announced as uncompatible with any Xbox 360 peripherals, but I'm sure that's not going to stop people from testing anyway this Friday. Mad Catz already has a $199.99 FightStick and a $399.99 RaceWheel ready to launch, so things don't look too hopeful there. 

So I know what you're thinking, "Teh greedy console makers want me to buy new stickz." At least one person has been speaking up about this, Mad Catz Community Manager (and Divekick character), MarkMan. 

nscwrote: »
I refuse to believe your company wants to lose money because nobody will need to buy a next-gen fightstick. If everyone buys one because they have to you guys net loadsamoney and it's not YOUR fault because evil sony/microsoft took out the console support.


It's not that easy. There's more to it than that. I refuse to believe that most people would understand because a lot of people are only thinking about their benefit.

If our existing sticks worked on PS4, we could continue to sell the sticks we still have (which we have plenty of). Instead of trying to invest/make and TAKE A RISK on creating a new stick that only works on one console. But yeah. If you think we're only out to make money (which is logical if you don't think about everything), then that has to be the conclusion you come to.

So it doesn't seem like there's much love for fighting game players in the next-gen. You get a free-to-play Killer Instinct that's going to cost you $200 for a new stick. Playstation 4 has Injustice out now, and Guilty Gear Xrd coming out next year with an unconfirmed Street Fighter title... with no new sticks or support for old sticks. Meanwhile the WiiU is backwards compatible with the Tatsunoko vs Capcom fightstick... just saying. 

Fighting game players are people too, dammit!

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White Xbox Raises $11,300 For Wounded Warrior Project https://www.gameskinny.com/en4tx/white-xbox-raises-11300-for-wounded-warrior-project https://www.gameskinny.com/en4tx/white-xbox-raises-11300-for-wounded-warrior-project Tue, 19 Nov 2013 19:14:40 -0500 MyNameIsProjekt

The Xbox One is set to release in a little over two days now and there are a lot of people (myself included) that are excited for the console's launch.  A few months ago, Microsoft announced that their employees that worked on the Xbox One would be getting their own special consoles.  These Xbox Ones are white instead of black and have the words "I MADE THIS" on the front of the consoles.

These white Xbox Ones are not being sold to the general public but there is a possibility that they will sometime in the future.  However, Microsoft has offered two of these consoles in auctions for charity and both have gone for a high price.

The first Xbox One that was to be auctioned was aimed towards the European market and raised money for GamesAid.  That particular Xbox One ended up raising $7,958 when the auction was finished.

However, the second white Xbox One was auctioned off in the United States with the proceeds benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.  The console ended up selling for $11,300 which is very, very cool.

The Wounded Warrior Project was started in 2003 to help aid soldiers that have been severely injured in combat.  The program works to raise public awareness about the needs of injured veterans as well as provide them with other programs to meet their needs.  This is a program that is deserving of some extra assistance, so I am glad Microsoft donated the console to charity.


The console includes a white Xbox One controller and Kinect but Microsoft included some extra incentive as well.  The buyer of this Xbox One will also receive a year subscription to Xbox Live and will also receive all of Microsoft's first-party launch titles.
Those titles are Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Project Spark, Killer Instinct and Crimson Dragon!

What do you think of these white Xbox Ones compared to the standard black Xbox Ones that will be sold to the public?  Personally, I have only owned black Xbox products but this exclusive white Xbox Ones look pretty cool.  Looking forward to seeing when Microsoft decides to start selling Xbox Ones in both colors.

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Xbox One Review Embargo Lifted, Reviews Incoming https://www.gameskinny.com/wehau/xbox-one-review-embargo-lifted-reviews-incoming https://www.gameskinny.com/wehau/xbox-one-review-embargo-lifted-reviews-incoming Mon, 18 Nov 2013 11:47:17 -0500 Ryan Kerns

Wave two of next-gen fever hits this week as Microsoft's Xbox One console launches Friday, November 22nd. This morning, the review embargo was lifted and the gaming press has been putting up early reviews.

One game I particularly had my eye on is getting some very unfavorable reviews. Lococycle is currently sitting on a Metacritic score of 53 right now. Many reviews are complaining that the game has sloppy controls, dull/repetitive gameplay, and the visuals are not next-gen at all. I see this as a very rare miss for the game's developer Twisted Pixel, but I have a feeling the game might have been rushed to release to make it as a Xbox One launch title.

Another rushed Xbox One launch title seems to be fairing much better. Killer Instinct is sitting on a healthy Metacritic score of 73. It's no secret the game is being rushed to launch with only 6 fighters, with the rest of the modes and characters coming by March 2014. It seems what is available now is a very solid fighting game that stays true to the original Rare classic. It is somewhat head-scratching that, since the game is online match focused (we don't get arcade mode until next year), it lacks an online lobby... a feature that's become very standard in online fighting games. 

The scores have been a scatter-shot so far, hitting lows in the 50's with Crimson Dragon, and Dead Rising 3 currently breaking into the 80's. 

The real surprise of the morning is how well Dead Rising 3 is reviewing. The original Dead Rising was a Xbox 360 launch title, so it was a fitting choice for Microsoft. What comes as a surprise though is that Dead Rising 3 is currently sitting on a higher score than any of Sony's PS4 exclusives.

Much like how the original showcased the horsepower of the Xbox 360, Dead Rising 3 is a technology showcase in how many on-screen enemies it can display, along with large open environments with no loading. Welcome additions to the series include the ability to craft weapons without having to find a workbench and the ability to manually save at any time. The only real complaint I've seen so far is the tone is noticeably darker than the earlier titles... and the humor that is present seems like an added afterthought. 

So despite having some serious public image problems, it looks like Microsoft's new console is off to a very strong start. Maybe the world is just ready for multiple titles with Hispanic mechanics as lead characters. 

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