Street Fighter x Tekken Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Street Fighter x Tekken RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Game Industry Misbehaving Series: Failings of DLC https://www.gameskinny.com/zwn7c/game-industry-misbehaving-series-failings-of-dlc https://www.gameskinny.com/zwn7c/game-industry-misbehaving-series-failings-of-dlc Sun, 30 Nov 2014 11:00:56 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

Downloadable content (DLC) is something special. It was introduced with the seventh generation consoles (Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3). DLC can extend the life of a game or bring new experiences within the game. It can also bring new maps, new weapons, new areas, new characters, and new stories. DLC is great when used correctly, but sometimes companies use it to make as much money as possible out of gamers. This wasn't the original purpose of DLC, nor should it be the main purpose now. Companies should use DLC to help players get the most out of the games they've purchased. I want to talk about where DLC fails in the ways it's used, as well as the pros and cons of certain types of DLC. 

Different Types of DLC

Before I start, I want to briefly touch on the different types of DLC that exist, and my definitions of them:

  • DLC - This is DLC that you simply purchase and use. It's not included in any pre-order, Season Pass, or through a particular store deal. Developers may announce the DLC before the game is out, but until the game's released the DLC cannot be purchased.
  • Pre-order DLC - This is DLC which you get for pre-ordering the game.
  • Platform-Exclusive DLC - This is DLC which you can only get on a specific platform, and is often used as an incentive to purchase the game on that specific platform.
  • Store-Exclusive DLC - This is DLC which you can only get if you purchase a game in a specific store, and is often used as incentive to do so.
  • Season Pass - This is when you pre-purchase a specific amount of DLC, often for a discounted price on each DLC separately. For example a game has 4 DLC packs at $5, that's $20 in total. The Season Pass would sell for $15, so 1 DLC would be free.
  • On-Disk DLC - This is DLC which is already included with the game, either on the physical copy or alongside the download files. Games with included DLC are usually more expensive than their basic versions.
  • Free DLC - This is any DLC released for free, as long as you have an internet connection you can download it. Extra content given in updates counts as Free DLC.

DLC Quest is a commentary on the state of DLC in games now. Find it on Steam.

So with each type of DLC cleared up, let's get to explaining why they are good or bad.

DLC

There is nothing inherently bad with just selling DLC for a game. But there is an issue when 20 or 30 DLC packs get released for a game. Take Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row 4 as examples. The former has 20 DLC packs and the latter has 26 DLC packs. When is too much just too much? Most of these packs are just weapons or clothes, so why are players being asked to pay a fair amount of money for them? Weapons and clothing should either be free, or included in a larger DLC pack with a new area, or a have new type of gameplay mechanic attached to them.

Sure, some of the Saints Row DLCs had a few new storylines, which did extend the life of the games at a fair price. These are well-done DLC packs. However, they are not among the best. That honor goes to the GTA IV DLC. "The Lost and Damned" (TLaD) and "The Ballad of Gay Tony" (TBoGT) did not change the setting of the game, but they added new gameplay elements. The bike club system in TLaD gave players the ability to call in other bikers to help them out. TBoGT added a parachute and a higher flight ceiling so that players could fly higher. Both of these pieces of content also added slightly new aesthetics: TLaD added some film grain, for a more gritty feel, and TBoGT added higher contrast, due to it being based around night club owners. They also added new vehicles and weapons, like bikes, helicopters, and new shotguns, rifles, pistols, and explosive ammo.  That's a whole lot of content to pack into two DLCs, and it's how DLC should be done. 

 This pack included both TLaD and TBoGT. It became available after both DLCs had released.

Pre-order DLC

I don't think I can say anything good about pre-order DLC, except the obvious point that it makes people want to pre-order the game for the extra content, so the company fares better in sales. I'm sure you are wondering what is wrong with pre-order DLC. Let's take a look at Alien: Isolation. To be more exact, the "Crew Expendable" and "Last Survivor" DLC packs. In these packs, you play as Ellen Ripley, Dallas or Parker. This begs the question: if the game was so heavily influenced by the Alien franchise, which has each one of those characters in it, why are they made peripheral as pre-order DLC, which would exclude them from the games of players who can't or choose not to pre-order? Why should players be charged extra for content that is important to the franchise? That just makes no sense to me; it feels as though it's going against what the principle of the game is - to recreate the feeling of dread and powerlessness against an unstopple alien, and to relive the universe and story of the movie franchise. But what if the game had been terrible? Then this DLC with extra characters would have been nothing more than a lure to trap players into buying a bad game. And that doesn't do honor to the Alien series. These should have either been free or sold later down the line. (I am not against selling DLC after a game is released.)

DLC pricing and strategy is usually all done by the publisher. Of course not all games have separate publishers, but for the ones that do, it's often the publisher who controls the pricing models. In the case of Alien: Isolation, Creative Assembly developed it, and Sega published it, meaning Sega called the shots on the pre-order DLC. Please direct all annoyance toward Sega for this one. Developers could perhaps put more pressure on publishers to reconsider the way they use DLC, but doing so could cause backlash from the publisher that would jeopardize the game's success. 

The pre-order advert for Alien: Isolation.

Platform- and Store-Exclusive DLC

Let's explore both these types at once, because they have the same issues. These issues boil down to the fact the content is already in the game, so why are only specific people allowed to have it? To me, it feels a little bit like bribery - a company or store offering extra content that will make more money for a publisher, for which they receive extra revenue from extra sales. Which just sounds a bit shady. It's a beneficial relationship for both companies involved, but is it really beneficial to players?

I will talk about Platform Exclusive DLC primarily, because dicussing worldwide platforms is more relatable than discussing regional store chains, but the ideas are shared between both types. Let's take Watch Dogs as an example. On all the PS3 and PS4, it received 30 minutes extra gameplay. Doesn't sound like a lot, and it apparently didn't add a lot to the game, but that's not the point. The point is that this content was made. Time, resources, and effort were put into creating that content, yet an entire section of the fan base was excluded from having access to it, simply because of their console choice. That's wrong, and it drives me away from ever purchasing any Ubisoft games on any Sony platforms. However, timed, exclusive content is also a thing Call of Duty does too, as its DLC is released around a month earlier on Xbox than on other systems. And for what? Some maps?

There is nothing I can see that's good about this, so I'll cut myself off here before I rant on about it. My last comments on this are that if someone has created the content, every single person who buys the game should have access to it. No matter how, where, or on what they purchased the game. Timed exclusive content isn't as bad, but I still don't understand why it exists.

The advert for the Watch Dogs Sony exclusive content.

The Season Pass

When is the last time you wholeheartedly trusted an AAA publisher or developer to deliver top-quality content? Do you completely trust EA, Ubisoft, Capcom or any other AAA publisher or developer? By purchasing a Season Pass you are putting your trust into that company, and what do you get back from it? Nothing, for a while. You are trusting that they will give content which is worth the money that you put into it. You are trusting that the company will deliver high quality content, and 9 times out of 10 you will be let down.

I don't have much more to say about Season Passes - they're really a matter of personal trust. I do not trust AAA to deliver high quality content post-launch, especially when many cannot even deliver with the base game. Battlefield 4, Assassins Creed: Unity and even Watch Dogs are a testament to that, among many others. Duke Nukem Forever, anyone? How about Aliens: Colonial Marines?

This is the advert for the Assassins Creed: Unity Season Pass, the Gold Edition of the game has it included.

On-Disk DLC

Yes there is a good thing about on-disk DLC.

Let's go ahead and get that good out the way. Putting the DLC on the disk can help people with slower internet connections. Instead of having to download 100MB, 500MB or even 2GB for content, you only need to download 50KB for an unlock file. It's also (usually) available to all players who want it, and often saves the time and money spent purchasing/downloading the DLC at full price later on (since game/DLC bundles are usually somewhat discounted). 

Now the bad. Even though the DLC is on-disk, it still does not excuse the fact the developer/publisher is charging you for content which was already created during standard developement time. It's still the result of companies trying to cpaitalize as much as possible on players who want to get the most out of their games. 

When a developer has finished a game, and the public theoretically could play it, the game gets put on a disk. This is the point at which a game has gone gold. (This is often around a month or so before the game's release date.) It ensures shipment of boxes goes smoothly. Any missed game bugs beyond this point are fixed in last-minute patches, often put out on the day of or day after release.

Do you know what this tells me? That the on-disk DLC was created during standard developement time. (Time which could have been spent on fixing those base-game bugs rather than making extra content for extra money.) It did not take any extra time, or effort to complete. It's always been an intended part of the game, even if it's not essential. So why is it suddenly being charged for? One of the most notable examples of this is Street Fighter x Tekken, but it's not the only one.

The logo for Street Fighter x Tekken.

Free DLC

I have spent enough time criticizing DLC. At the beginning of this article, I said it was great, and I still think that. Free DLC is the only type of DLC which has no downsides, unless you have slow internet. Monolith, the developer of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, constantly releases new content for free with game updates. (The most recent is being able to play as Lithariel, more information on that here.)

And CD Projekt Red recently announced that they will have 16 free DLC packs for The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, more on that here. Thank you to writer  for this news.

Free DLC is the way to go for any DLC, aside from massive new story lines, like in TLaTD or TBoGT or the World of Warcraft expansions. Big things which takes a lot of time are ok to charge for, because sometimes they're almost as big as the original game itself. (The DLCs for Skyrim added nearly 400 extra hours of gameplay, 350 of which came solely from Dawnguard. That's almost as much time as Skyrim itself.)

16 free DLCs for The Witcher 3. We know what 4 of the DLCs are, the other 12 we don't yet. Who's betting on one of them being an Enhanced Edition?

Closing Remarks

We should push the AAA publishers to think about how they sell their DLC, and if they should sell them at all. We should push them into caring about us, and the only way to do that is to keep your money away from the bad stuff. The only ones who have the power for change is you. The gamers.

This time Vader does not need you for evil, but good. And the force for change lies within you.

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February PS Plus Free Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/o693q/february-ps-plus-free-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/o693q/february-ps-plus-free-titles Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:52:03 -0500 Nicole Long

Playstation Plus subscribers have a lot to look forward to in the month of February.

Sony announced today,

"Typically when you think of February, your mind goes to chocolates, flowers, and other lovey-dovey things. So we thought we’d celebrate this sappy month by scaring the bejesus out of you with Outlast on PS4.

We also have some great single-player PS3 experiences, including Metro: Last Light... and Remember Me."

Games featured on PS Plus next month include:

  • Outlast
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Remember Me
  • Payday 2
  • Street Fighter X Tekken (PlayStation Vita)
  • ModNation Racers: Road Trip (PlayStation Vita)

Outlast

"As investigative journalist Miles Upshur, explore Mount Massive Asylum and try to survive long enough to discover its terrible secret… if you dare." For an in depth review of Outlast, check out this article.

 

Metro: Last Light

"It is the year 2034 -- the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above. Meanwhile, a civil war is stirring that could wipe humanity from face of the earth forever. As the Artyom, burdened by guilt but driven by hope, you hold the key to our survival – the last light in our darkest hour…" Check out this article for a better look at what Metro has to offer.

Remember Me

Gameskinny columnist, Alan Bradley, provides an in-depth review of RM. PlayStation describes RM: "personal memories can now be digitized, bought, sold and traded. The last remnants of privacy and intimacy have been swept away in what appears to be a logical progression of the explosive growth of social networks at the beginning of the 21st century. Remember Me is a 3rd person action adventure where players take on the role of Nilin, a former elite memory hunter with the ability to break into people’s minds and steal or even alter their memories."

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=XZZSzEQD01CZCM&tbnid=HzoU1Hfdx_S6xM:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.overkillsoftware.com%2F%3Fp%3D1136&ei=PtbqUrgGxfSRB-e4gYAK&bvm=bv.60444564,d.aWc&psig=AFQjCNFjlddbZ9Ef9tAt5N-eTCFj3R4kbQ&ust=1391208372021520
 
Payday 2

"PD2 is an action-packed, four-player co-op shooter that once again lets gamers don the masks of the original PAYDAY crew – Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf and Chains – as they descend on Washington D.C. for an epic crime spree" -PlayStation

 

 
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2013 Mod of the Year Picks https://www.gameskinny.com/3b2vi/2013-mod-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/3b2vi/2013-mod-of-the-year-picks Tue, 07 Jan 2014 20:31:08 -0500 Ryan Kerns

What is so great about pumpkin spice? Over the last two years it seems as soon as the weather gets chilly, that stuff finds its way into practically every warm beverage and baked goods. As I sat down to scribble out a game of the year list, I found myself thinking it over with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee. So screw the coffee, I've decided to talk about the pumpkin spice... here are my favorite mods from 2013. 

So what merits a good mod? I look at mods in really two main categories: cosmetic and gameplay. Either way, a good mod should add something unexpected; something that the developers themselves had not considered or couldn't make due to copyright restrictions. This will be the criteria by which I judge my top five mods of 2013.

Falskaar 

Without a doubt, Skyrim has one of the most active and creative modding communities ever. I could have done this entire list on that game easily, so whittling things down to just one Skyrim mod was quite a task. Falskaar stands out from the crowd on two points: the amount of production value put into it, and the story of how it was created. While we've seen cool new additions like airships and trains, the scope of this mod stands above the rest.

  • An entirely new land independent of Tamriel, roughly the size of 2-3 Skyrim holds.
  • 20-30+ hours of gameplay.
  • 26 quests, including a 9-quest long main story, and 17 side quests (along with some unmarked content)!
  • New items including new books, recipes, weapons and armors (a mix of brand new, and retextured).
  • Two new spells and a new shout.
  • A bard with several unique new songs.
  • A soundtrack containing 14 brand new tracks composed by Adamm Khuevrr just for Falskaar, adding more than 40 minutes of new music!
  • A fully voiced experience, featuring almost 30 semi-professional and professional voice actors and actresses. 

Oh, and did I mention the creator of this mod was only 19 years old? Alexander Velicky made this mod in hopes of catching Bethesda's attention and possibly landing a job. The quality speaks for itself, and while Bethesda did not hire Velicky... Bungie did. He is living proof that with hard work and talent, going from modder to professional can be in anyone's Destiny.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon 

Okay, I know what you're saying-- “but Ryan, that's not a mod." You would be right in saying that, but this is my list, so you can piss off. Blood Dragon is what I see as an internally sanctioned mod by Ubisoft. Rather than just tacking on an extra chunk of hours to the existing Far Cry 3 campaign, they gave the game a full mod treatment. 

Mods are almost always passion projects, and that definitely comes across in Blood Dragon. As you can see by the portrait of Dean Evans, the creative director of the game, he has quite a bit of love for the 80's action movie genre. He even plucked the main character right out of The Terminator and Aliens, by getting Michael Biehn to serve as both the voice and basis for Sergeant Rex Power Colt. The parody of 80's video games, and just video games in general, is also incredibly hilarious and on point.

If I were to pick a GOTY, this would be one of my top contenders. Everything about the game is absurd, and it is absurdly fun running on the solid foundation already built by Far Cry 3. I sure hope Ubisoft gives Dean Evans a chance at building a full original title in the future.

I had considered giving this spot to The Stanley Parable, which also had a retail release that would not be classified as a mod. The Stanley Parable did start as a Half-Life 2 mod, however, and is definitely a must play title next to Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

Duke Nuken Forever 

No, I'm not referring to the 2011 train wreck of a game. I actually have fond memories of the original Duke Nukem 3D and I think that might have even been my first experience with a game mod (I'm lying, it was actually Nude Raider). The original Duke Nukem 3D had a mod based on the anime Bubblegum Crisis, and while being pretty crude compared to today's mods, I remember it totally blowing my mind. 

The troubled 15 year development cycle of Duke Nukem Forever is one I'd rather not elaborate on too much... let's just agree the game really sucked. Duke Nukem Forever, the Duke Nukem 3D mod, is a fan rendition of how the game was originally intended over a decade ago. The mod is so much better than the retail game, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. 

Gearbox is a pretty well-respected studio with a lot of resources, and some guy builds a superior version of their game on a 15-year-old game engine. Much like how Blood Dragon plays on 80's clichés, the makers of the Duke Nukem Forever mod fully understand that Duke Nukem is just a play on 90's clichés.

Gearbox forgot that Duken Nukem is a joke character, not some well-respected video game icon. Since they are without a doubt developing another Duke Nukem title, I hope they take a good hard look at this mod to see how to properly kick ass and chew bubblegum.

Project M 3.0 

Super Smash Bros Melee has an incredibly close, competitive community with a lot of exceptionally talented players. Super Smash Bros Brawl has however been largely shunned by that exact same community. To fully appreciate the competitive aspect of Melee, I suggest watching this amazing 9 part documentary series. If you don't have a couple of hours to spare, I'll just summarize. 

Super Smash Bros Melee was never designed as a serious fighting game; the series has always been designed as a fun party game. Through an accidental discovery (that the second analog stick could cancel out certain animations), gamers uncovered a high level play style. While I play more traditional fighting games, I have an incredible amount of respect for the Melee community and the skill it takes to play the game like that. They even raised close to $95,000 for breast cancer research to get the game featured on stage at last year's EVO tournament. 

So why hasn't Brawl seen this kind of love? To put things nicely, the game is slow and clunky. Being the passionate fans that they are, some devoted Melee fans have spent years modifying the game. The latest release of Project M is nothing short of miraculous. 

The game is not only faster, with new moves and mechanics, it also features new characters and stages. It is safe to say that Project M is a total overhaul of Super Smash Bros Brawl from the perspective of competitive Melee players. Even for casual players that just missed Roy and Mewtwo or wanted to see some cool alt costumes, this mod can be enjoyed by everyone. 

So with Super Smash Bros 4 right around the corner, the worries of which characters are going to get cut and if the gameplay will have any depth don't seem quite as troubling. Based off of what Sakurai has said so far, Smash 4 isn't taking tournament play into consideration at all.

I mean, after all, a community that spent years modding the last game and raised nearly $100,000 for charity, wouldn't go out and buy up the floundering WiiU console in record numbers to play a game they clearly love so much.

Street Fighter x Tekken 

Street Fighter IV has had a pretty healthy modding life, most recently adding in the balance changes from the upcoming Ultra Street Fighter IV as a preview of things to come. Street Fighter x Tekken runs on the same engine, so not only was it easy to uncover the on disc DLC in record time, it was also pretty far ahead of the curve for mods. 

The mods are of the cosmetic variety, but rather than just changing textures, entire character models can be swapped out. SFxT didn't really find an audience in the fighting game community, so it is the perfect game to just pimp out and play for fun. 

I didn't pick a single mod because there are just too many great ones to choose from. There are the obvious mods that add in known Tekken/Street Fighter costumes and characters, but the real fun comes from outside games. Nintendo characters, Dead or Alive, Mortal Kombat, Marvel, DC, Metal Gear, Mass Effect, Bioshock... they're all fair game and very well represented by mods. 

It really feels in the spirit of M.U.G.E.N., which was an open source 2D fighting game engine released back in 1999. Despite not having any official support from the engine creators for many years, the fans kept it going until practically any fighting game character you can imagine was converted. I was even surprised to see the character I made with Andre Lopez many years ago is still alive and kicking ass out there in MUGEN land. A new MUGEN-esque 3D fighting engine called Project EF-12 was just released for free a little over a month ago, many hope it will be the next evolution for creating your own fighting games. 

Project M and the SFIV/SFxT mods have shown there are quite a few passionate and skilled fans out there with the skills for 3D graphics. At the very least we are no longer at the mercy of developers who are leashed by big publishers--the pumpkin spice is in our hands now.

The Mod of Year is an unscientific list fueled by pumpkin spice and slow news days. Links to each mod are available below.

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EVO 2013: Everything You Need to Know About eSport's Most Hyped Event https://www.gameskinny.com/zk865/evo-2013-everything-you-need-to-know-about-esports-most-hyped-event https://www.gameskinny.com/zk865/evo-2013-everything-you-need-to-know-about-esports-most-hyped-event Wed, 10 Jul 2013 01:56:16 -0400 ZGoten

In only two days, the biggest, most revered and longest-running fighting game tournament in the world will commence once again. The Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino invites some of the absolute best players in games like Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, to battle at EVO 2013.

What can you watch?

Gamers from around the globe join in this event to compete for honor and a hefty amount of price money in nine different disciplines. The games present at this year's EVO are the following:

  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Street Fighter x Tekken
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Persona 4: Arena
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • The King of Fighters XIII

How do you watch?

The event will start on friday 8 AM PST and will cover the whole weekend, with most of the grand finals taking place on Sunday. You can follow the tournament via stream on Twitch.tv. There has been word that Nintendo would not allow Shoryuken, the organizers of the event, to stream Super Smash Bros. Melee. However, EVO founder Tom Cannon revealed just a few hours ago, that this is no longer the case. The game will be streamed just as planned. Fans of the game can sit back and relax.

Why should you watch?

If you have never followed the EVO Championship Series, you may have a hard time understanding the hype and the passion behind it. There are a lot of different tournaments and leagues for all kinds of competitive video games out there. However, if you want to prove your skills in a fighting game, EVO is the event you want to win. Each year, players and fans alike struggle, rejoice and share tears. It's a pretty emotional place. The video attached to the beginning of this article, courtesy of Shoryuken, will help you get a glimpse into what you can expect.

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