EVO Japan Home to SNK Heroines, King of Fighters 14 Reveals

There were a handful of reveals that came during the very first EVO Japan. A chunk of those reveals came from SNK, which included a follow-up on a game first revealed during the recent Nintendo Direct Mini from three weeks ago.

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy got its next trailer, showing off new character Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown and The King of Fighters XIV. “Showing off” is probably a good phrase to use to describe this trailer, because it came with a noticeable “Dead or Alive” vibe. Yes, the combo mechanics of the King of Fighters games were on full display. And speaking of “full display,” all the fighters were in bikinis, cat ears, and skimpy outfits, because reasons. Of course, there will be plenty of different outfit pieces to earn over the course of the game, for those looking to dress up the fighters however they want.

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is set to hit PS4 and Nintendo Switch this summer. For more, check out the video below.

The other SNK-related reveal came from Atlus, in the form of the next DLC character for The King of Fighters XIV. Meet gentleman card shark Oswald, who makes his return from The King of Fighters XI. He uses his deck to dice up his opponents, pulling off multiple combos that utilize his dangerous deck of cards. See Oswald in action in the trailer below. Look for Oswald to hit The King of Fighters XIV alongside several other DLC characters in April.

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Indie Retailers Dropping Xbox Support Due To Game Pass

From a consumer standpoint, Xbox One’s new Game Pass service sounds like a great deal. Getting access to a massive catalog of titles, including upcoming Microsoft exclusives Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 on day one definitely is a tempting offer. However, this does mean that retailers are going to get stuck with a back stock of games that are going to be a lot harder to sell if everyone’s just paying a monthly fee to have the same games in their digital catalog. 

Several indie retailers spoke with GamesIndustry.biz to get their perspective on the issue and find out if they’re dropping support for Xbox products. 

Stuart Benson, who works for Extreme Gamez in Leicestershire stated: “Essentially, it’s made [our Xbox business] worthless overnight. You’ve got the whole section sat there, and why would people buy a £12 to £15 second-hand game when they can just pay a tenner and get a massive catalog of titles to keep them going? Effectively overnight they’ve wiped massive value off our company and made it not worth doing.”

“Why should we support them and sell their consoles and accessories if we’re going to get very little out of it? We don’t make anything off their digital selection. It’s pretty pointless. We might as well go where we’re supported, which is Sony.”

“I’ve got no hardware left, no control pads – and I’m not going to do an order now. I would have restocked normally, but now there’s no incentive for me to do so unless I get something dirt cheap.”

“It’s very frustrating, but we can see they don’t care about retail business in the slightest. We got a lovely little plaque last year saying we’re official Microsoft stockists, and that’s a lovely token gesture – but for what reason, because they don’t support us?”

Paul Lemesurier of Sholing Video spoke about how Game Pass effects sales in an already grueling market: “Game Pass will have an effect on all first-party titles. We have already told Exertis we will not be stocking Sea of Thieves at all. Why bother when supermarkets will throw it out less then cost, online e-tailers will break street dates – which are a joke – and ship up to five days before release cheaper than us, and now Microsoft is throwing it on Game Pass for a tenner.”

Nick Elliott of Barkman Computers thinks it’s a no-brainer for retailers to support PS4 over the Xbox One: "We will only support manufacturers and publishers who support us. If a customer comes into a retail store, and the retailer has a choice between selling an Xbox where they would never sell them anything again or a PS4 where they had a chance of some attach rate, they would surely sell them a PlayStation.“

The list of indie retailers set to drop support for Xbox consoles and software is rather long, but it’s hard to say if and how it would affect a company like Microsoft’s bottom line. Plus, not all retailers are dropping support for the Xbox One.

Steve Walker of Insane Games said "To be honest with you, our sales are quite predominantly PS4 – the ratio is something like 5 to 1. So yes, I can see it making quite a big impact to Xbox gaming in general, but I don’t think it will affect our company as much.”

“Anyone with any sense could have seen something like this coming since Microsoft’s fabled first press launch with their ‘no second-hand games’ policy. They’ve made it clear from the offset of the Xbox One that this is the route that they want to go down – it’s only now becoming clear how they’re going to go about doing that. They’ve started to put their cards on the table.”

Overall, the Game Pass may help breath life into the struggling Xbox One’s future, but the overall movement of the video game industry towards digital downloads and catalog content may mean impending doom for smaller indie stores like the ones quoted in this article. Whether or not this indie boycott even makes any sort of impact on Microsoft’s bottom line will have to wait to be seen. 

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Overwatch League Standings After Stage 1, Week 3

Three weeks of Overwatch League action is in the books and the best players in the world are now heading into the fourth week of Stage 1. Shacknews is following along with the action as close as possible. Now it’s time to take a look at the standings.

These are the six teams that would qualify for the Overwatch League playoffs, if the season were to end today:

  • 1. Seoul Dynasty (5-1, Pacific Division leader)
  • 2. New York Excelsior (5-1, Atlantic Division leader)
  • 3. London Spitfire (5-1)
  • 4. Houston Outlaws (4-2)
  • 5. Los Angeles Valiant (4-2)
  • 6. Philadelphia Fusion (4-2)

And here’s the rest of the pack:

  • 7. Boston Uprising (3-3)
  • 8. Los Angeles Gladiators (2-4)
  • 9. San Francisco Shock (2-4)
  • 10. Dallas Fuel (1-5)
  • 11. Florida Mayhem (1-5)
  • 12. Shanghai Dragons (0-6)

Game of the Week

The New York Excelsior were reeling after an upset loss to the Philadelphia Fusion. But not only did the Excelsior bounce back, they did so against arguably the league’s best team, sending the Seoul Dynasty to its first loss of the season. It all culminated with Tae-hong “Mek0” Kim not only guarding the point, but also taking out Yang “Tobi” Jin-Mo’s Mercy to cement New York’s victory.

https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=CuteRespectfulRutabaga4Head&autoplay=false&tt_medium=clips_embed

This was an incredible series, with Seoul also bringing their best. Kim “Fleta” Byung-Sun did some crazy work with Junkrat, Widowmaker, and Genji, showing some amazing versatility. New York countered with some strong Zenyatta play from Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang and some keen teamwork both on and off the control point. It’s a must see and worth checking out below.

https://player.twitch.tv/?autoplay=false&video=v222755631Watch Full Match | Seoul Dynasty vs. New York Excelsior | Stage 1 Week 3 Day 3 from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv

Stage 1, Week 4 Schedule

Here’s the schedule for the fourth week of Stage 1:

  • Los Angeles Valiant v. Philadelphia Fusion – 1/31, 4PM PT
  • Florida Mayhem v. Los Angeles Gladiators – 1/31, 6PM PT
  • Houston Outlaws v. San Francisco Shock – 1/31, 8PM PT
  • Philadelphia Fusion v. Dallas Fuel – 2/1, 2PM PT
  • New York Excelsior v. Shanghai Dragons – 2/1, 4PM PT
  • London Spitfire v. Seoul Dynasty – 2/1, 6PM PT
  • San Francisco Shock v. Florida Mayhem – 2/2, 4PM PT
  • Seoul Dynasty v. Houston Outlaws – 2/2, 6PM PT
  • Los Angeles Gladiators v. Boston Uprising – 2/2, 8PM PT
  • Shanghai Dragons v. London Spitfire – 2/3, 11AM PT
  • Dallas Fuel v. New York Excelsior – 2/3, 1PM PT
  • Boston Uprising v. Los Angeles Valiant – 2/3, 3PM PT

All of the action can be seen on the Overwatch League Twitch channel or on the Overwatch League website.

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Monster Hunter World – How to Kill the Anjanath

Monster Hunter World is not a button mashing game. You can get away with that style of play in the early quests, but you’ll quickly find that the right tool for the job can make all the difference in the world. This was a lesson I first learned while trying to fight the Anjanath as part of The Encroaching Anjanath quest. A buddy and I, without any studying whatsoever, took the beast on and managed to fail the quest three times. Tired of defeat, I went on a self-improvement quest to learn how to kill the Anjanath in Monster Hunter World.

How to Kill the Anjanath

When you first get The Encroaching Anjanath quest, I’d recommend that you go it alone, or perhaps with someone you know in a co-op session. By opening the quest up to random players, you’re running the risk that more skilled and knowledgeable players will do all the work for you, in which case you’ll miss out on the entire learning experience. You might fail on your own, but there is no such thing as failure in this game so long as you study and learn to ensure you’re better off the next time out.

When you begin The Encroaching Anjanath quest, spend several minutes picking up every piece of evidence you can that relates to this monster. Not only is that required to track it, but it will rank up your Anjanath research level, unlocking more information about your target. This information is what will help you from failing the quest repeatedly.

As you unlock research about the Anjanath, head to Astera to speak with the Chief Ecologist in the tradeyard. You’ll notice that the monster’s weak points are the top of its head and its tail. These, obviously, should be the two main points that you target. However, you can also break the feet on the Anjanath, which is good for anyone who struggles to deliver blows above the monster’s ankles.

The Anjanath also has an elemental weakness mainly to Water, and to a lesser extent is susceptible to Thunder, Ice, and Dragon. Dragon being the element it’s least damaged by. If you do plan to use the Bow, or another form of weapon that fires projectiles, the Anjanath has ailments to Poison, Sleep, Paralysis, Blast, and Stun. Keep all of this in mind when choosing and customizing your weapon.

In terms of weapons, two of the best for the Anjanath are the Great Sword and the Hammer. The first time I fought it, I had neither, opting instead for the Bow. The Bow wasn’t terrible, but getting off powerful shots proved tricky. I headed to the Smithy and ordered the Great Sword in the form of the Aqua Slasher I. This weapon gave me a 576-attack rating, plus 120 Water damage. Because I had done my research in the field, and spoken to the Chief Ecologist, I knew that a combination of a Great Sword that could do Water damage would be ideal in this fight.

My next stop before leaving to kill the Anjanath was the training yard. This can be accessed from your room by speaking with the housekeeper. I took out the Great Sword and went to work learning the various combinations displayed on the HUD. I spent about 15 minutes just memorizing the inputs and putting the combinations into practice, thinking about what would work best against the Anjanath.

Once I was comfortable, it was time to head out and fight the Anjanath. I opted to leave the quest open and was joined by some random players. Since I had tried the monster a few times already, I didn’t feel my experience would suffer. I even used an SOS flare to call for help.

Because the Great Sword is so heavy, you’ll want to keep it on your back until the moment you’re ready to swing it. This will allow you to get close to the monster, and even get out of the way if you become the focus of its attention.

They key to taking down the Anjanath in a group is all about distracting the monster. If it’s busy with your fellow hunters, sneak in and go for a combination on its tail. If it’s down on the ground, load up your best Charged Slash, or go for the Combo Including True Charged Slash. If the beast is up and mobile, the Overhead Slash or Wide Slash are you best bets. Something to do some damage, but also allow you to get out of the way when things get sketchy.

It’s also important to monitor your health. I didn’t dare go on this hunt without 10 Mega Potions ready to heal me up. I think I used six by the time the Anjanath was dead, but our entire hunting party managed to avoid taking any deaths. The key to this was movement and knowing when to attack. If the Anjanath was chasing me, my team was putting the hurt on it. When it turned to deal with them, I was trying to cut its tail off. Soon it was badly hurt and headed to its nest for a nap, and shortly after it was dead.

Now that you have a solid idea of how to kill the Anjanath, be sure to visit the Monster Hunter World guide for more help taking down the toughest beasts and finding the rarest resources.

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Microsoft Acquires Cloud Services Provider PlayFab

In the last few years, Microsoft has been picking up some of the most promising online content delivery startups, including Beam and AltspaceVR. Today, the company announced the acquisition of online back-end services provider PlayFab. In a posting on its company blog, PlayFab explains what the pairing will mean for the service going forward:

“Microsoft, with its deep expertise in gaming and cloud computing, is a perfect home for PlayFab as we expand our platform and features. Our customers are worldwide, and Microsoft’s global presence and world-class Microsoft Azure server infrastructure complement PlayFab’s services, making it even easier for studios to focus on building great games instead of back end technology.
From the start, PlayFab has been driven by the desire to help our customers unlock their creativity. We are humbled by the trust developers place in us when they depend on our services to run their games, and look forward to rewarding that trust with the entirely new level of features, resources, and support that this acquisition is going to enable. The entire team is as excited as I am to continue on this journey with Microsoft.”

PlayFab was founded 4 years ago by James Gwertzman and Matt Augustine. The original goal of the company was to help the little guys manage the swamp of issues relating to moving their physical media release into the modern online space. Since its inception, the company grew to include clients from some of the world’s largest media firms, including Disney, NBC Universal, and Nickelodeon.

For a deeper look at the business side of the video game industry, check out the latest intstallment of Shacknews Game Trader. At the moment, Microsoft carries a “Don’t Buy” rating in our Game Trader Stock Ratings.

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Play PUBG-Clones on iPhone with GameSir Mobile Controller

Mobile gaming continues to get more and more intricate, providing experiences on mobile platforms that may not be best suited for tapping a screen. Various companies are creating peripherals to make mobile gaming more manageable, GameSir is one such company, and we got an opportunity to interview them about their creations.

GameSir’s line of controllers can help with MOBA titles like Arena of Valor, but MOBAs are actually quite beneficial of touchscreen input. Other genres, like first-person shooters, will benefit greatly from buttons and analog sticks. Survival games like PUBG are all the rage right now and players of similar experiences like Rules of Survival will likely be looking for controllers like what GameSir is offering. PUBG Corp is planning to bring an official version of the popular shooter to the mobile as well so, hopefully, these controllers will be able to take a beating when someone angrily tosses their phone and controller after losing while in the top 5.

For more videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and Gamerhub.tv YouTube channels.

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