Nintendo Switch Classic Game Selection Not Replacing Virtual Console

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Virtual Console plans for Switch remain shrouded in mystery.

While Nintendo plans to offer a selection of classic games as part of its paid online service for Switch, it won’t serve as a replacement for Virtual Console.

“Classic Games Selection (tentative name) is different from the [Virtual Console],” a Nintendo rep told Famitsu (translation via Polygon). According to the rep, the company’s schedule for selling Virtual Console games is “still undecided.”

Nintendo has not yet officially announced a Virtual Console for Nintendo Switch. All we currently know about the company’s plans for classic content on the platform is that Nintendo Switch’s paid online service, which won’t launch until 2018, includes access to a collection of retro titles through Classic Game Selection.

With Classic Game Selection, those who subscribe to Nintendo Switch’s paid online service will be able to download a compilation of classic titles, like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Dr. Mario, with added online play. While the library of classic titles at launch will be limited to NES games, Nintendo says Super NES games are currently under consideration.

In less that two weeks at E3 2017, Nintendo will provide a new look at what’s on the horizon for Switch. In addition to a Nintendo Spotlight event that highlights Super Mario Odyssey and other upcoming Switch games, members from the Treehouse will showcase upcoming 3DS and Switch games live during the expo.

Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Tekken 7 Review

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Hail to the King (of the Iron Fist Tournament).

Tekken 7 is a love letter to this long-running franchise and its staggering complexity. Yet somehow it still manages to be accessible to just about anyone wanting to mash buttons, and its huge amount of customization unlocks constantly give you something to strive for beyond its silly and slightly cliched story. In a pretty good time for fighting games, with Injustice 2 knocking it out of the park, Killer Instinct continuing to give us quality content years after its release, Street Fighter 5 hitting its stride after a rocky start, and a new version of Guilty Gear Xrd air-dashing our way, the King of the Iron Fist Tournament will not be outdone.

On the surface, Tekken 7 is familiar, taking place on the series’ signature three-dimensional stages which allow you to move to your opponent’s sides as well as forward and back. Attacks are inspired by Asian martial arts and other fighting styles from around the world, placing most of the emphasis on strikes and very little on the projectiles you typically find in other fighting games. Movement is more deliberate, and carelessly jumping or dashing can be disastrous.

The introduction to Tekken 7’s pace comes from The Mishima Saga, the ambitious new story mode created for the console and PC versions (as opposed to the arcade). The Mishima Saga explores the healthy and emotionally stable relationships within the Mishima clan, where sons are obsessed with murdering their fathers and fathers can’t help but throw their sons into the nearest lava pit. Heihachi, his son Kazuya, and his grandson Jin all maneuver trillion-dollar corporations with militaries more advanced than most industrialized nations while trying to take each other out. While The Mashima Saga does attempt to portray Heihachi in an understanding light by giving motivation for his infamously chucking Kazuya into an erupting volcano decades ago, it is hard to find sympathy for any of the scions of the Mishima family.

There is a certain charm to the entirely over-the-top nature of Tekken’s lore.

However, there is a certain charm to the entirely over-the-top nature of Tekken’s lore and its embracing of anime tropes, and the short character-specific chapters included in The Mishima Saga help lighten the mood while also serving up nostalgia. When King battles Jack, Jack uses its artificial intelligence to adapt to King’s fighting style, so the famous luchador uses maneuvers borrowed from his long-time friend Marduk and from his rival Armor King. When Yoshimitsu attempts to infiltrate the Mishima Dojo, he finds Leo and battles the young girl before having a change of heart and catching a knee in the groin for his troubles. While it certainly isn’t sophisticated, I feel no shame admitting watching Yoshimitsu crumple to the ground had me chuckling while smiling and shaking my head.

The Mishima Saga takes an approach similar to the story mode in Injustice 2, changing points of view between Heihachi and his progeny, Tekken Force rebel Lars, and special guest Akuma – yes, that Akuma. I found this approach to the story slightly frustrating in Injustice 2, as being thrust suddenly into the boots of a new character meant I had to stop to learn them, and the same could be said of Tekken 7 and The Mishima Saga. However, Tekken 7 does offer the ability to use simplified inputs while playing The Mishima Saga to perform a handful of pre-selected attacks, easing the transition into playing a character with whom you might not be familiar. Also, while there are multiple points of view, there is a manageable number, so I didn’t need to spend a huge amount of time learning moves in order to progress.

At the same time, The Mishima Saga’s short, three-hour duration and slimmer cast made the events of the story feel important only to the Mishima clan itself, rather than all the fighters in the King of Iron Fist Tournament. Other fighters are given a brief time in the spotlight with optional side missions contained within Mashima Saga mode. While I found some of these, such as Yoshimitsu’s ill-fated excursion into the Mashima Dojo, entertaining, I was slightly disappointed to see so little focus on anyone other than Heihachi, Jin, and Kazuya and their struggle for power over the Mishima Zaibatsu and one another.

Tekken 7’s customization options set a new standard.

Where Tekken 7’s content does not disappoint at all is in its character customization options, which put it truly in a class unto itself and sets the new standard for letting you express yourself. Cosmetics are modifiable on an unparalleled level, going beyond thousands of individual fashion pieces to include attack effects, colorful auras, portraits and tile backgrounds, and multiple alternate costumes whose top and bottom pieces can be mixed and matched. You’re even allowed to choose from hundreds of options for the frame art around your health bar; it’s something so simple, yet it adds another cool way to make yourself unique when playing online.

Extra content is unlocked by completing matches in online Tournaments, Treasure Battle, or by spending Fight Money, which you earn simply by playing. The sheer amount of content in character appearance alone would give a completionist a hell of a lot of fights to finish in order to collect all the hats, shirts, accessories, costumes, and alternate artwork. Hwoarang starting up the Superkick Party in a Bullet Club t-shirt? Too sweet.

These alternate looks partner up with an often-overlooked element to the Tekken characters, which Tekken 7 delivers: even old faces look new, rather than sticking to the tried-and-true costumes and designs from previous games. Hwoarang has an eye patch. Lars wears new armor. Heihachi sports a samurai-inspired look. King looks heroic in a cape. While characters like Street Fighter’s Ryu and Sagat, King of Fighter’s Iori, or Guilty Gear’s Slayer and Sol have classic, iconic looks, I appreciate that Tekken takes a chance by reimagining the visual design for even their most veteran names. When I see Yoshimitsu wearing armor that looks like it was designed by H.R. Giger, I know I’m playing Tekken 7.

Tweaks have been made to encourage newbies.

Underneath the excellent cosmetics, some tweaks have been made to the combat mechanics that should encourage newbies. (If you’re a newbie you might not understand this – but that’s okay, you don’t need to benefit from these changes). Relative to the phenomenal Tekken 6, sidestepping here is slower and not as useful for baits or defense, while forward and back movement is improved. This places more emphasis on short and middle ranges, which feels more comfortable for those approaching Tekken from experience with spacing-focused games in Street Fighter or King of Fighters. While sidestepping is slightly less useful and no longer a universal weapon against certain characters who lack strong tracking attacks, careful and expert usage can still open up opportunities to capitalize on mistakes. It also helps characters with traditionally slower sidesteps like King or Paul to not feel so disadvantaged in defense.

New damage scaling has reduced the amount of damage longer combos do, with launcher damage down from Tekken 6 and total damage dropping sharply from the fourth hit of a juggle onward. However, continuing to practice combo execution is a must, as wall-carry combos are still crucial even if they aren’t doing as much damage. The changes are slightly more forgiving for the newer faces among us who might throw out a poke only to whiff and find themselves getting severely punished. The movement and damage changes are a smart way to encourage people to learn Tekken 7 without sacrificing the complexity that is the series’ trademark.

Tekken 7 is the best the series has ever been.

Rest assured that this is still, pound for pound, the most technical fighting game on the planet. While the combo system has been changed to be more streamlined by replacing traditional Bound bounces from previous versions with Screw Attacks, there is still ample opportunity to get lost exploring the artful flow of each match. Scaling changes mean most of a combo’s damage is front-loaded, forcing difficult choices. Do I punish with a down-forward 2-leading into a longer combo which will carry me closer to the wall, or do I get in some damage with a shorter combo off an up forward 3? I found optimizing my performance to be a near-zen exercise of evaluating conditions, making changes and choices in mere moments accommodating distance, scaling, positioning, health, and even the stages themselves. No other fighting games master imparting a feeling of each fight growing organically, living and breathing like Tekken, and Tekken 7 is the best the series has ever been.

Perhaps most admirable of all, despite the ultra-demanding execution required to master Electric Wind Godfists or to visually recognize frame advantage and know the difference between a 12-frame and 14-frame punish, Tekken 7 still manages to be something you can pick up, press buttons, and play. No matter who you are or what your skill level, you can always just pick ole’ Eddie and start tapping away at the kick buttons. It’s the push to take your skills to the next level that requires you to immerse yourself in Tekken 7’s intricacies.

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The action goes down with a soundtrack of drum-and-bass bangers so awesome it left me disappointed when I fired up Spotify and came up empty-handed after a hopeful search. The main menu theme, “Solitude,” sets the mood from the moment you fire up Tekken 7.  “Empty Your Mind” from the Dragon’s Nest stage, “Metallic Experience” from the Mishima Building stage, and heck, even “The Motion” from the Warm-Up Space had me nodding my head along with the beats and beatdowns. Quality music would be enough, but Tekken 7 takes it an impressive step further by including the soundtracks to every single Tekken ever released (including both Tekken Tag Tournaments) and allowing you to substitute in any of your favorites or to create a custom playlist of your favorite songs from old Tekkens and the new one.

Including all the Tekken music is a cool touch and marks a reoccurring theme within Tekken 7 of celebrating Tekken as a whole. [Note: this Jukebox Mode is a PlayStation 4-exclusive feature.] You can use your Fight Money to purchase marketing and concept pieces, original art, and all the video cutscenes for every Tekken. This is a nostalgia motherlode, and viewing some of this material quickly pulled me back in time to memories of years spent with Tekken, whether hours of matches of Tekken 3 with friends in high school, countless quarters sank into Tekken Tag Tournament machines, or getting destroyed repeatedly by the Bay Area Tekken scene when other Street Fighter players and I tried to transition into Tekken 6.

Online multiplayer between strong connections has been smooth with minimal frame delay, though we’ve seen some weaker connections drop during matchmaking. On a whim, I accepted matches on mid-ranged connections with players from Asia and was pleasantly surprised to find that, while latency was not as low or steady as more local matches, the fights were still enjoyable. Certain characters do require unforgiving execution within a short window of frames, such as the Mishimas with their infamous Electric Wind Godfist, but Tekken 7 helpfully allow you to practice in Training mode while simulating the delay you would expect at various connection strengths.

Tekken 7  Review
Tekken 7
The Tekken franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary with the next evolution of the fighting king franchise.Tekken 7 returns to the gameplay roots with classic 1 vs 1 bouts and a canon storyline centered on the eternal struggle for power amongst the members of the Mishima clan.
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On PlayStation 4

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The Verdict

Tekken 7 truly is a hallmark, a fighting game crafted with obvious affection. It strikes a fine balance between accessibility to series newcomers and retaining much of its technical traditions. The soundtrack is an electronic treat, and while the story can at times seem a bit cliche, the fact that it never takes itself too seriously lets it bring in a tremendous amount of flexible character customization. Its dedication to the details helps push it into the position of my favorite fighting game of 2017 so far.

E3 2017: 13 New Total War: Warhammer 2 Screenshots

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Wouldn’t it be easier to just call this Total Warhammer 2?

In advance of its showing at E3 2017, Sega has released a baker’s dozen’s worth of new screenshots for their upcoming RTS sequel, Total War: Warhammer 2. Take a look!

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E3 2017: 13 New Total War: Warhammer 2 Screenshots
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E3 2017: 13 New Total War: Warhammer 2 Screenshots
E3 2017: 13 New Total War: Warhammer 2 Screenshots
E3 2017: 13 New Total War: Warhammer 2 Screenshots
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Look for more on Total War: Warhammer 2 at E3 2017, which is barely a week away!

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and Xbox Guru-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.

Far Cry 5 – Road to E3 2017

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Will we be going hands-on in Hope County at E3?

It’s that time of year again: E3 2017 is just on the horizon. From June 10-15, we’ll be covering the biggest games and hardware announcements of 2017 and beyond. While you can check out our continually-updated Games of E3 List, we’re now going to start diving deeper.

Every day leading up to the show, we’ll be highlight the stuff we want to see and play at E3 2017. Today’s game: Far Cry 5.

When Did We Last See Far Cry 5?

Far Cry 5 was recently revealed via a story trailer, as well as three separate cinematics that highlighted some of the allies we’ll meet amidst the chaos of Hope County, Montana.

Why We’re Excited for Far Cry 5

The explosive reveal trailer was rife with controversy, and rightfully so. This is the first time the long-running series is being set in America. Couple this with the antagonists being a cult of religious zealots who abide by the three Fs — faith, freedom, and firearms — and what you have is a story that has 2017 written all over it.

Will We See Far Cry 5 at E3 2017?

It’s pretty much a guarantee that we’ll see Far Cry 5 at E3 2017. Despite the fact that it isn’t coming out until February 27, 2018, all signs are pointing towards a bit single-player blowout at this year’s E3. Outside of the obvious showing at the Ubisoft conference, a marketing deal with PlayStation means that there’s a good chance it’ll also be at Sony’s conference.

Marty Sliva is a Executive Editor at IGN. A girl he was dating once stepped on his PlayStation 4, and now he no longer owns PT. But don’t worry, they broke up. Follow him on Twitter @McBiggitty.

Why Mark Hamill Initially Didn’t Want to Return as Luke

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J.J. Abrams talks storyline similarities and Hamill’s reluctance to play Luke again.

As well as setting the internet on fire last night with his talk of a certain character’s parentage, J.J. Abrams has also been discussing problems behind-the-scenes on The Force Awakens set, revealing that there was no initial chemistry between Rey and Finn, explaining why the plot of Episode 7 is so similar to Episode 4, and revealing why Mark Hamill was resistant to returning as Luke.

Speaking to Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival, Abrams kicked off by stating that Episodes 8 and 9 will move the Star Wars saga to new lands. Abrams said, “This movie [The Force Awakens] was a bridge and a kind of reminder; the audience needed to be reminded what Star Wars is, but it needed to be established with something familiar, with a sense of where we are going to new lands, which is very much what 8 and 9 do.”

Abrams acknowledged the negative feedback the film has received from some who believe episode 7 was a carbon copy of A New Hope. Yet he felt that was the only way that he could succeed with putting life back into the franchise. “The weird thing about that movie is that it had been so long since the last one. Obviously the prequels had existed in between and we wanted to, sort of, reclaim the story. So we very consciously – and I know it is derided for this – we very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats so the rest of the movie could hang on something that we knew was Star Wars.”

“So all the characters – the Stormtrooper who turns, Finn played by John Boyega, and Rey, the character that Daisy plays, the Scavenger, Kylo Ren, the son of Han and Leia, and Poe the pilot – all these were characters and sort of their roles in the story needed to exist in something that predates them.”

Abrams also revealed that the injury sustained by Harrison Ford on set – when he broke his leg after a piece of the Millennium Falcon set fell on him – was a blessing in disguise, because it allowed him to work on the chemistry between Boyega and Ridley, which he felt had been flat.

“When I was on the set of the Millennium Falcon and we started to do work with Rey and Finn, the first time we did it, it didn’t work at all,” explains Abrams. “It was much more contentious. I didn’t direct it right. It was set up all wrong, and when Harrison Ford got injured – which was a very scary day – we ended up having a few weeks off, and it was during that time that I really got to look at what we had done and rewrite quite a bit of that relationship. So when we came back to work again, we actually just reshot from the ground up, those scenes. It was an amazingly helpful thing to get these  two characters to where they needed to be.”

He also revealed that Mark Hamill was initially resistant to return as Luke Skywalker when he realised that his role would be limited to just the final scene. “We knew that getting to Luke was the whole story, and I was desperate to do the next chunk that we knew would not fit into this one movie. But, we knew that we had that ending, but it was a frightening and tricky thing to do, but at first and in all honesty, Mark Hamill was a little resistant.”

“Imagine reading Star Wars, imagine being Mark Hamill and you get the script for the new Star Wars. ‘Oh the opening is good, page two, oh, three and so on – what the f**k is the going on, I’m three pages before the end, the last page, what?’ He was so kind to do it, and at first he was like, ‘Will it seem silly, will it be a joke that he is standing there?’ I said to him, ‘I don’t think it will.’ I said because the whole movie is about that, it could be a great fun drum roll, up to seeing this guy.”

It was while filming the final scene on an island off the coast of Ireland that JJ Abrams made the realisation that, “Hamill was the exact same age as Alec Guinness was when he played Obi-Wan. I’m looking at him in the robes, and with the John Williams music, I start to tear up, and I know that this ending could really work.”