BornFree interviews Tekken 7 threat Joey Fury at Red Bull Conquest 2018

BornFree continued his Red Bull Conquest 2018 interview series with a man that, at this point, is one of Tekken 7‘s most recognizable faces: recently signed Equinox pro Joseph “Joey Fury” Bennett.

Joey Fury’s reputation as a killer in Tekken 7 is well earned: from before the game was even out in the States, he was already defeating Saint and JDCR at Final Round 2017. At Red Bull Conquest he conquered legendary Tekken vet Mr. Naps; between this and the incredible positivism in his 40+ minute plus interview above, it’s hard to see Joey slipping from his consistently-high tournament placements anytime soon.

Source: BornFree


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Shoryuken review: A closer look at the limited edition Tekken World Tour Qanba Obsidian and Qanba Drone fight sticks

On the eve of the biggest Tekken clash of the year, check out these controllers that celebrate the Tekken World Tour!

Tekken-World-Tour-2018-Logo

A little while ago it was revealed that Bandai Namco and Qanba were teaming up to produce a pair of limited edition fight sticks in honor of the 2018 Tekken World Tour; these controllers are now out in the wild, and we had the opportunity to try them out for ourselves. Not only do they shine as collectibles for the hardcore Tekken fan, but as expected from Qanba, they are excellent controller options as well — for any fighting game, not just Tekken 7, of course! Both of these sticks are compatible with the PlayStation 3 and 4 consoles, and the Obsidian also has a PC setting.

The Tekken World Tour Edition of the Qanba Obsidian is no different than the original model (aside from the new panel art, of course), which I looked at in detail in my prior review. For the unfamiliar, the stick comes equipped with a square-gated Sanwa Denshi JLF lever, and Sanwa Denshi pushbuttons. It features aluminum case elements and LED lighting on the side panels. The new art (designed by Kaydie) is a bit unusual compared to what we’re used to for licensed panel art: rather than the usual Tekken promo artwork, it’s a spread of cute little pixel-art versions of the Tekken 7 cast. And it suits the sleek, clean design of the Obsidian perfectly. It adds a ton of personality to the stick’s look without overpowering its style, and it’s pretty much impossible to see the panel and not start hunting for your favorite fighters in the mix.

Click to view slideshow.

Having spent more time with this controller, there are a few practical points about it I’d like to revisit. I initially worried the stick would be too big and unwieldy to carry around at a tournament; I still feel that way, unless you have a decent stick bag — the combination of the two made the Obsidian my favorite event controller. I have since learned that it isn’t too difficult to change the panel artwork after all (not exactly relevant for this model, I would hope), but it is still tricky. My only operational complaint about the Obsidian is very minor: I would prefer a physical toggle switch for the LED setting. It can be switched between flashing for joystick and button inputs, flashing from vibration feedback signals, always-on, or turned off — and it would be nice to be able to lock your preferred setting (the input-flashes are the default setting, and it will always reset to that when the stick loses power).

The performance of the Sanwa Denshi components are well-known to be top-notch, provided you like their feel. The lever and/or buttons can be easily swapped out on the Obsidian with only a couple of screwdrivers. The responsiveness of the Obsidian PCB has scored well in past testing, generally showing less input latency than HORI models, though not as fast as Razer or Brook boards. The Obsidian has become a common sight in professional play.

Click to view slideshow.

The Qanba Drone is marketed as an entry-level, “discount” fight stick, with its small size being a selling point for the sake of portability. It lives up to this creed while actually still being a decent controller for fighting game play. The joystick and pushbuttons on the Drone are Qanba-made, not Sanwa Denshi like its big brother. However, for being arguably lower-grade components, they hold up alright in gameplay. The square-gated joystick feels very similar to a Sanwa JLF in terms of resistance, but the switches aren’t quite as sensitive as a JLF — it’s not quite as good at picking up light motions. I had to be more forceful than usual to get consistent dashes and sidewalking than on my usual stick. The buttons are a bit “clunkier” than Sanwa or HORI pushbuttons, but I found them to respond very well. I found using the Drone more comfortable than expected; it’s small and light, but not too small and light. I particularly like the textured, angled palm rest. Of course, if you don’t like the stock Qanba components, you can modify the Drone — but it isn’t designed for easy modding. Expect to bring out the soldering iron if you want to change the buttons and/or lever. It’s worth noting that the Drone does not have a touch pad, like most larger sticks (the Obsidian does).

The artwork on the TWT Drone is also not your typical promo art: it features the chibi “crying Heihachi” icon that has made its appearance on other Tekken merchandise and in-game customization items. It’s certainly eye-catching, and seems to suit the little fight stick well. Why is Heihachi crying? Because not enough of you are playing Tekken 7! Or maybe because his family hates him. Or both. It’s tough being a Mishima.

There are a few clever design elements that really show that the Drone is made for easy portability. The USB cable can be tucked right into an open compartment in the front of the stick’s case. And to help pop your Drone into your bag or backpack, you can remove the lever via a circular hatch on the base without having to open the entire controller case (you’ll still need a flat-headed screwdriver — or very strong fingernails).

Qanba Drone TWT cable
Qanba Drone TWT base
Qanba Drone TWT stick access hatch

Basically: it’s hard to go wrong with Qanba controllers these days. They’ve earned their spot as one of the top choices for arcade sticks on the current market. The Obsidian is a fantastic stick with only a few minor quibbles, as evidenced by its increasing popularity. The Drone is a great option for portability, and offers something with an entry-level price tag — though both sticks fall into what I would consider a reasonable price range for their build and performance. As limited editions, the TWT Edition Drone is a bit easier to find, while the Obsidian seems to already be getting scarce — head over to Newegg to grab a TWT Drone for $79.99 USD or a TWT Obsidian for $199.99 USD before they’re gone. I expect demand for these might spike a bit this weekend!

Now, get ready for some good-ass Tekken when the Tekken World Tour Global Finals kick off tomorrow!


Qanba USA provided Shoryuken with samples of the TWT Edition Obsidian and Drone controllers for the purpose of this review.


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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting a day one patch to fix replays

These days, it’s pretty much expected for games to receive a day one patch as soon as they launch. As such, it should come as no surprise that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be getting one. In an interview with Famitsu, via ComicBook, creator Masahiro Sakurai confirmed the existence of the day one patch for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

One of the reasons for the patch, he states, is to fix an issue with the game’s replays. That said, he also confirmed that the patch was only for the physical release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Players who bought the digital version will already received the patched version of the game. The digital version of the game itself clocks in at around 13 gigabytes, so players should be sure to clear enough space for it.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on December 7, 2018.

Source: ComicBook


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Capcom Cup 2018 Analysis: Will NL capitalize on his stellar 2018?

NL got off a late start last year. Having done extremely well on his first foray into the Capcom Pro Tour circuit — by way of merely winning qualifying tournaments to go to events ran by Korean tournament-organizing team Spirit Zero — he showed he had what it took to compete on the highest levels.

Had he been able to make it out earlier, the odds of him earning a spot at Capcom Cup last year would’ve been a near lock: in his short time out, he finished one slot off of qualifying. But with his UYU sponsorship, he took advantage of every opportunity to make sure he wasn’t on the outside looking in this year.

Now, will he take full advantage of his first entry into Capcom Cup by winning it all?

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No Limits

NL’s ability is one of several reasons why people view Cammy as strong, outside of the character’s inherent strengths and repeated buffs. His relentless assault has been one of his most impressive traits over the last year. He’s patient enough to wait to get his first knockdown. But once that’s been scored, you better be prepared to block, because he is never lets up.

He has definitely studied to get Cammy down to a science, and has been perfect on his setups, knowing the recovery on everything. He is one of the best on baiting players to make moves on his dive kicks, only to be met with DPs on landing.

Simply put, no one’s using all of Cammy’s tools better than NL at this point.

sfv-story-alt-cammy

Better Than 2017

While NL had a great rookie year, he was unable to clinch titles outside of the Spirit Zero tournaments that got him to CPT events. The closest he got was at SoCal Regionals, where he lost to Fujimura (then still playing under the tag Yukadon).

This year saw his determination to improve on last year’s results come to fruition. Very early on, he captured his first title at Saigon Cup in Vietnam, winning over players such as Fuudo and Bonchan. While a ranking event is still hard to win — doubly so in Asia — people really start to pay attention when you’re capable of taking Premier events, which will always get the best players out.

NL demanded everyone’s attention in May, when he took Combo Breaker’s massive tournament, featuring a top 8 where only one player didn’t find their way into Capcom Cup this year (counting Infiltration’s qualification, which has since been withdrawn). In fact, out of the top 16, only two players did not qualify outright for the event, thus proving the minefield NL had to traverse to net this win. If anyone thought he couldn’t capitalize on his abilities, or even if he was still a tier below everyone else, he made sure to rebut everyone with this performance.

Evo Onward

But Evo 2018 was definitely a step backward for NL. His performances up to this point would have made him a favorite in many’s eyes to at least make top 8 at this event. He finished far from that, placing only in the top 128.

Cammy IntroAnd since then, his placings were more sporadic — not to mention his travels became increasingly rare. After Evo, NL was only really seen within Asia, playing in online ranking events and going to Premiers within the region. While he finished runner-up at Esports Festival Hong Kong to Fuudo, that was the closest he got to replicating his success in the former half of the season. And in his last event of the year prior to Capcom Cup, he finished top 16 at SEAM, which is not where you want to fail on your final litmus test prior to the biggest event of the year.

We definitely cannot say he’s rested on his laurels, as his schedule since Evo has been far less abbreviated than other players on the circuit. But his performances has slid. It’s possible still that he’s sandbagging in order to let players think they’ve figured him out. Given that he lost to Fuudo — who he beat in Vietnam — one can only hope this is the case, as it could just as well be that he’s been downloaded, and will have to dig further down than he ever has before to get the win.

Curse of the Top Tier

But he faces the struggle that everyone playing high tier characters experiences. Players are far more exposed to Cammy than any other character on the circuit. Because of this, people have begun to understand how to play against the character. Much like Sagat in vanilla Street Fighter IV, people have spent countless amounts of time labbing up against Cammy in order to not fall to the army of players who will be using the character to their advantage.

When you’re playing a character that has so many entries into Capcom Cup — Xiaohai, CJ Truth, Mago, and Verloren also main the character, with Punk and NuckleDu both bringing out the character as a secondary — you’ll have to play damn near immaculate to stand a chance. But even then, NL has an even more uphill battle, as he has struggled with another popular addition to the tournament: Menat. In long sets, he’s been decimated by Infiltration in his attempts to try to break down and beat Menat. Between Sako and Justin Wong, he may have difficulty getting deep into the bracket.

cammyhead

Final Thoughts

NL may have had a great first half of the year. He may be saving up for a great end to the year, and was afraid to burn out on travel, knowing full well he had already safely qualified. But the fact is that he’s not been at his best for a while.

It could be calculated, but I have a hard time believing that he will overcome some of the issues listed above in time to take it all. I’d expect him to hit top 16, but he will really have to be at his very best to go any further.


CAPCOM CUP 2018 ANALYSIS SERIES

capcom cup 2018 poster

Second Round of Torchlight Frontiers Closed Alpha Testing Coming December 7th

The Torchlight Frontiers site has been updated with the news that the second round of closed alpha testing will be kicking off on December 7th. The dev team also reports that the November 16th test was literally a “smashing success”, with testers finding tons of bugs and providing the team with valuable feedback. “We got to experience the game side-by-side with players, in-world and live on our Discord in a way we never have before,” the post reads.

Second Round of Torchlight Frontiers Closed Alpha Testing Coming December 7th

The Torchlight Frontiers site has been updated with the news that the second round of closed alpha testing will be kicking off on December 7th. The dev team also reports that the November 16th test was literally a “smashing success”, with testers finding tons of bugs and providing the team with valuable feedback. “We got to experience the game side-by-side with players, in-world and live on our Discord in a way we never have before,” the post reads.

Revisiting Fighting EX Layer: New characters, arcade mode, and a new Steam version!

FEXL continues to evolve, and reach out towards its potential on PC.

Fighting EX Layer has finally released on PC, and will soon find an entirely new audience to further ARIKA’s roadmap of development. Fans have been calling for the ability to play on PC, and now they finally have their opportunity to see what Fighting EX Layer is all about. Everything that makes Fighting EX Layer great has made the transition to Steam, and with its continued growth and free updates, it certainly warrants being experienced for yourself.

fighting ex layer fexl logo

Five months later:

Fighting EX Layer 4K Screenshot 1 ResizeIts been nearly half a year since Fighting EX Layer originally released on the PlayStation 4, with stellar gameplay and a colorful cast of eccentric characters. While at the time the title was a tad lacking in content, consistent updates and character patches have kept the game growing. With the addition of arcade mode (with an additional arcade port in Japan), extra characters Pullum Purna and Volcano Rosso, and a roadmap promising additional content and characters, FEXL is promising an even more vibrant future.

Arcade mode, while simple enough of a game mode, pits players against seven opponents in the standard fashion. The order of the characters appears to be the same every time, and certain characters end up being played against twice, like Hayate fighting Sanane at the beginning and end of arcade modeThere are three difficulty modes to conquer as well, with special victory screens to share and high scores to compete with others for. It’s definitely a welcome game mode, and one that I hoped for during my time with the PS4 version at launch.

Pullum and V. Rosso add much-appreciated variety to the already diverse roster, mixing in even more over-the-top eccentricity in playstyles. The fact that they are free of charge is even better. It will be interesting to see if ARIKA continues this trend of free character updates, or if they will begin to charge for fighters once the title gains enough steam (no pun intended), but with one of the main drawbacks of the title being its high asking price, as long as sales continue to grow and new players join in, ARIKA might be on the right track already.

Fighting EX Layer Steam Screenshot 2

The power of PC play:

The PC version includes all of the most recent updates made to the title, which means it has all of the new characters and modes added thus far. In my review of the original PlayStation 4 release, I discussed the need for additional content to make the game feel more complete. The game also comes with all available Gougi decks, so there’s no need to worry about needing to pay for additional buffs. Hokuto comes included as well, so you’re definitely getting the full package. While there is certainly still room for improvement, ARIKA has been doing all they can to further Fighting EX Layer into something truly special.

One of the biggest pulls for Fighting EX Layer on PC is the ability to play the title in full 4K resolution, promising a drastic improvement to the visual fidelity of the title. While the animations are still a bit choppy, I feel its grown to become part of the identity of the title, channeling the ’90s fighting game titles of yore. Fighting EX Layer even plays well on lower-end graphics cards, albeit at a lower resolution; the quality gameplay and art design still follow through nicely.

I couldn’t really test the online aspects of Fighting EX Layer on PC due to an incredibly small pool of players receiving the title before release. Hopefully, there will be plenty of quick matches found at launch, and that there is not a repeat of the experience I had on PlayStation 4 — but only time will tell. Now that there is an arcade mode players can hone their skills in actual combat, as opposed to training mode which was the only option at launch — aside from the matchmaking screen, while waiting for an online opponent.

One small change I would like to see in future updates is a place for Kumite mode at the main menu. Kumite is a really fun option for players seeking additional challenge against a never-ending onslaught of CPU opponents, while maintaining your health bar from match to match. It’s fast-paced and has no loading whatsoever — once the fight starts it’s on until your meter reaches zero. Adding more emphasis on this mode would show there’s even more to experience. Color packs are on the way, but it would be nice to add some customizing options, while perhaps leaving out exclusive palettes or designs to the paid DLC packs.

Fighting EX Layer Steam Screenshot 5

Heading towards the future:

Fighting EX Layer has come a long way since it was originally showcased as an April Fool’s Day joke, releasing with a rocky start due to divisive pricing, and then pivoting in reaction by offering free content updates and discounting the title for an extended period of time. FEXL has already become the fighting game of choice for many devoted fans, and with the PC release its bound to only increase its fanbase.

With three more characters on the horizon (one of them being The King of Fighters character Terry Bogard), the most recent appearing to be Sharon, it’s fair to say things are looking up for the little indie title that could. The limitless potential of the Gougi Deck system, the well-designed characters, a rocking soundtrack that channels ’90s fighting game OSTs, and dedication from both the developers and the fanbase makes Fighting EX Layer stand out amongst the crowd.

There is even a new balance patch coming out for the title today across all three platforms, bringing them all to version 1.1.1. Fans in Japan will also be able to get their hands on a physical copy of the game as well, starting on December 6. Expect additional information from ARIKA to be shared on December 14, where the developer will discuss their 2019 release schedule.

All in all, Fighting EX Layer has proven to be a worthy title to add to anyone’s fighting game collection on PC or  PlayStation 4. My opinion of the title has only grown more positive since its release, and ARIKA has been handling the title very well. Stick around for more impressions on the PC version’s online functions, the upcoming characters, and everything else FEXL right here at SRK.

Fighting EX Layer can be purchased now on Steam on sale for $29.59 and for its regular price on PlayStation 4.

Fighting EX Layer Sharon Tease 2019


Technical Info:

My PC specs:

HP Envy Laptop

Intel Core i7 Processor 6500U 2.5 GHz 2.59 GHz

16 GB RAM

2 GB Dedicated Nvidia 940MX graphics

While I wasn’t able to personally enjoy the 4K fidelity of Fighting EX Layer on PC, the title was able to maintain a cool 60 FPS when played in 720p with my PC setup without issue. There were no significant moments of frame drops and there are a variety of adjustable visual settings that can make the game run better on your computer.


ARIKA provided Shoryuken with a review code for Fighting EX Layer on Steam.


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The SRK Rollback: Best of November 23-29, 2018

Welcome to the Rollback: a frame-by-frame look back at our past week’s most notable news — and our favorite SRK articles — from November 16 to November 22, 2018!


Zavian “mushin_Z” Sildra, Editor-in-Chief:

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The current state of the Capcom Pro Tour, and what needs to be changed for future seasons

The CPT in 2018 has a lot of aspects that could stand another look — DaFeetLee offers up his ideas, as we draw close to the finale at Capcom Cup.

Frame 2:
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The patch notes for this Wednesday’s Dragon Ball FighterZ balance patch have been released and translated

A lot of changes for the Z-Fighters came through on this patch — study up to make sure you make the most of your team.

Frame 3:
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Fighting EX Layer on PlayStation 4 will be upgraded to Version 1.1.1 on November 30, patch notes now available

It’s a big day for FEXL: the PS4 version is getting its own patch, and the Steam version of the game is hitting digital store shelves.

Frame 4:
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Some games on the PlayStation Classic will be PAL versions, including Tekken 3 and Battle Arena Toshinden

Well, so much for the fighters on the micro-Station. A clear sign of pushing nostalgia over gameplay quality, unfortunately. Maybe a compilation package for Tekken classics will redeem this gaffe sometime in the future.

Frame 5:
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Stumblebee chronicles the history of Street Fighter V’s origin and improvements in “From Chump to Champ”

It’s important to make the distinctions where SFV truly screwed up, what it does well, and where improvements have really been made over the Seasons.


Crow_Spaceboy, Assistant Editor:

Frame 1:
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Yoko Taro talks about 2B’s attack names and her alternate color in SoulCalibur VI

If you’ve never seen the mind of Yoko Taro at work, you really owe it to yourself to read. His thought processes are unique, to say the least.

Frame 2:
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Justin Wong talks with fellow players about how they battle tournament nerves

There’s no crying in battle, Josie. Learn how the pros control their tournament nerves!

Frame 3:
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Challonge’s new format enables tournaments for Super Smash Bros. four and eight player last-man-standing modes

I don’t mean to cause trouble… but are the people that play four-to-eight last man standing modes on the regulars even going to know Challonge exists?

Frame 4:
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“Pot Splitter” Android app does quick math for tournament organizers

I love to see creative solutions to common problems that arise in tournaments. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Frame 5:
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Tokai Bay Area Cup Vol.8 3v3 Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown tournament Highlights and VOD now available

Long live Virtua Fighter.


Catch up on what you may have missed in our prior SRK Rollback compilations.