Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) Review

[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE FILM. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN – THEY ARE NOT CORRECT, THEY ARE JUST MY OWN. THANK YOU]

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I followed Manga Fox on Facebook (which I highly suggest you do – not sponsored), so during my morning rountine of checking my newsfeed, Manga Fox had posted the subbed version of the trailer for A Silent Voice. I had heard of it, so I watched the trailer and really liked what I saw. I had done my chores for the day, so in a rare moment – I decided to jump straight in and watch the movie.

I was not expecting to fall in love with a 2 hour movie so quickly (or feel so many emotions in that period of time either), but I did. Despite this movie being released last year, the official subbed version was finally available in the UK, which is why I’m a bit behind.

In this review, I’ll give you a plot and then review the following elements: Story, Art, Sound, Characters, then my Overall Conclusion.


Plot

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A Silent Voice based off of the manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Yoshitoki Oima.

This story centers on school boy Shoya Ishida – a elementary pupil who treats his boredom in life in one of the worst ways possible. A new student is introduced to his class – Shoko Nishimiya, who is deaf and can only communicate via a notebook. Unable to understand Shoko, Shoya harasses her, makes fun of her disability and even takes her hearing aids away from her and throwing them out of the window (one time, he actually causes her ears to bleed). Despite his actions towards her, Shoko always treats him well and never get angry at him. Eventually, Shoko’s mother notices her daughters treatment during school hours and steps in – asking the principle of the school to punish those who have bullying her. Shoya – after being ‘encouraged’ by his homeroom teacher – puts himself forward, along with his friend Naoko Ueno and Miki Kawai. Shoya’s mother – Miyako – takes him to apologize to the family, covering the costs of the hearing aids (around 1,700,000 yen), only to have one of her earrings torn from her ears. Shoko is transferred to another school, however Shoya’s friends all turn on him, making him an outcast.

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Fast forward to Shoya now in high school – he is still a loner, but accepts it due to his past. He saved up enough money to repay his mother for the hearing aids (only for it to go up in flames after Miyako discovers her son wanting to commit suicide) and has also learnt sign language. With Shoko’s sixth-grade notebook, he hopes in returning to her and making amends. However, when he does, it falls into the river. Shoko follows it, as does Shoya. After a picture is posted online of him  jumping into the river (by Shoko’s boyfriend Yuzuru), he is suspended. During his suspension, Shoya takes his niece Maria to a park, only to find Yuzuru ‘homeless’ – he ran away after Shoko got mad at him (she figured out it was he who posted the picture). Despite ill feelings, Shoya takes Yuzuru back to his place, gives him some food, a place to sleep and new shoes. When Shoya returns Yuzuru home, Yuzuru reveals that he is actually Shoko’s younger (and very protective) sister.

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Shoya and Shoko spend more time together and helps her reconnect with Miyoko Sahara – a girl in their elementary school who befriended Shoko. During this time, Shoya befriends Tomohiro Nagatsuka and Satoshi Mashiba and runs to Ueno once again – the group one day go to amusement park together, only for Ueno to tell Shoko her true feelings towards her (that she hated Shoko during elementary school because she ‘always kept her feelings in her head’). During one of their regular meet ups to feed fish under a bridge (the same one they both fell into), Shoko confesses her feelings to Shoya, however he misunderstands her and thinks she is talking about the moon, much to Shoko’s frustration.

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At school, Kawai reveals Shoya’s true past to Nagatsuka and Mashiba (who had no idea) which leads to a confrontation and Shoya calling out everyone for who they really are. The group part ways, but Shoya, Yuzuru and Shoko still hang out together. Yuzuru and Shoko invite Shoya to the local fireworks display (much to the dismay of their mother – Yaeko), however Shoko goes home early to study. Yuzuru – forgetting her camera – asks Shoya to go get it for her, only to discover Shoko attempting suicide by jumping off a balcony. He saves her as she jumps, but ends up falling himself and ending up at hospital in a coma. Despite Shoya’s past, the guilt gets the better of everyone – especially Shoko and her mother, who gravel at Miyako’s feet when they visit him at the hospital.

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One night, Shoko finds herself in a dream where Shoya declares that he is dying. She runs to the bridge – the bridge where they always meet – to find Shoya there, despite his injuries. After confirming that he is not a ghost, Shoko confesses she wished to kill herself as she thought she was to blame for Shoya becoming a loner once more. Shoya in turn blames himself for everything and apologizes for everything – including the way he treated her in the past. He then asks Shoko to help him start living again, which she agrees to help him with. Shoya returns to school on the day of the festival, however due to his anxiety, feels he cannot do it. Nagatsuka finds Shoya in the bathroom and reassures him that everything is fine – the group where more considered about his well-being. They gather together once more to attend the festival, where Shoya finally is able to look everyone in the eye and feels that he has finally redeemed himself.

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Story

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As you can judge from the plot, this story is long and only a few scenes felt unnecessary and perhaps too short. From what I’ve read of the manga itself (I’ve only read the first 2 volumes), there are a few scenes/plotlines missing – in the manga, Mashiba actually joins the group after discovering they’re trying to make a movie, not because Mashiba wanted to become friends with Shoya out of pure curiosity like in the film. I’ve read a few reviews on MyAnimeList from people who have read the manga then the film, and have often cited that the manga explored more relationships between characters and underlying themes. The movie also ‘ended too soon’ for most people as there a lot more chapter after Shoya ‘redeemed himself’.

The numerous themes in this film are explored well and relate to many viewers – I would describe it as a relate-able, coming of age story that explores friendships, guilt, anger, love and understanding. It was emotional – it had me crying in a few places throughout the movie, rather at just the end like similar films have done to me.

When I began watching the film, I knew it would be ‘different’ – I don’t know how to describe it, but I knew it was going to give me the similar feeling Toradora did – I absolutely loved the story because I loved the characters, the comedy, the romance, everything…but when it came to the ending, I had a feeling it was something I wouldn’t expect. This is true…for the most part. I knew that Shoya would end up back with his friends, but I suppose I didn’t expect the bridge scene. I didn’t expect Shoya to want Shoko to stop hating herself, nor did I expect him to want her to help him start living again. The scene on the bridge was truly unique and had me sobbing like a baby.

From what I’ve read about the manga, I like the story could have carried on a little more – I know it was 2 hours long, but what’s another hour? – especially from what I’ve read about further scenes. While this was a romance drama, I didn’t really feel the romance of it – apart from Shoko’s ‘confession’ – and that the ending felt Shoya and Shoko’s relationship somewhat ambiguous as it never really hinted that Shoya felt the same way as Shoko. The ending could have left them as staying as close friends or as a romantic link – I think the director left it this way to get viewers thinking and decide for themselves.


Art

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Wow, this film is beautiful! I especially loved any scene that involved running water – especially at the bridge where you could see the fish. All scenes are drawn in great detail and in such a fine way – I suppose that is what you can expect from the Kyoto Animation studio, who have done works such as Clannad, Free! and Kyoukai no Katana (Beyond the Boundary). It is high-quality animation and all characters look very true to their designs in the original manga.

It actually won 3 awards based on it’s animation – the 40th Japan Academy Prize for Excellent Animation of the Year; the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival for Animation Division – Excellence Award and the 26th Japan Movie Critics Awards for Best Animation of the Year (all won this year).

Basically – it’s a pretty film and animated very well.


Sound

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Despite it’s great plot and art, the soundtrack let’s the film down a bit. The opening theme is “My Generation” by The Who (a great song by a great band) and the ending theme is “Koi wo Shita no wa” (roughly translated as “I Fell in Love with You”) by Aiko. The ending theme is Aiko’s first real taste in the anime business, however is a very accomplished singer with many singles and awards. The song is slow but upbeat – very suited to the film.

However, the original soundtrack is OK – many songs are quite forgettable. All of it is piano based, with a few songs accompanied by stringed instruments, but I didn’t really pay much attention to music. I think because the story was so engrossing, I didn’t really hear the music in the background.

There were also a few pieces that didn’t really seem to fit – the music that played as Shoko and Shoya headed to the bridge after Shoya’s accident really startled me – it was so upbeat and a bit strange that it temporarily took me out of the moment.

It’s not an awful soundtrack but don’t expect to remember it anytime soon.


Characters

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I have a very complex relationship with Shoya – during the first part of the movie, I really hated him. But this is not a bad thing – I obviously hated him enough that when everyone turned on him, I was glad – this is evident of good character writing. And as the film continued, I grew to like Shoya and even wished for him to be safe after he saved Shoko. To be able to hate a character then go to liking them and even wishing for them not to die is evidence of good character writing. And I think everyone who has been be bullied and/or suffers from anxiety can under Shoya’s viewpoint during highschool and feel proud of him when he finally forgives himself after everything he has been through.

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My favourite character had to be Shoko of course – she’s cute and always tries her best, despite her handicap. She clearly cares for others more than herself – evident by her attempted suicide – and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her when she was bullied. She was sweet because she was trying so hard to be friends with Shoya – despite his actions towards her – and the fact that she forgives him in the end…she’s not real, and I want to be her friend.

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Support characters are good – their traits are understandable (such as Sahara being a coward as she did not intervene with Shoko’s bullying and Nagatsuka being overfriendly after having no friends and befriending Shoya). I don’t think they were fully explored however – we never really figured out the reason why Ueno was a bully (the same with Shoya at the beginning) and Mashiba only had a few scenes compared to being a fuller character in the anime. Shoya’s elementary school friends – Kazuki Shimada and Keisuke Hirose – only play a small part too, despite them being the ones who pulled Shoya out of the river after Shoko tried to commit suicide and having bigger roles in the manga.

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I do believe there were a few characters who was very unnecessary – Ito Nishimiya (Shoko and Yuzuru’s grandmother) – who appeared in the background, had one minor scene with Yuzuru then died. She had no impact on me (apart from a little sadness on behalf of the Nishimiya sisters) and only really impacted Yuzuru to go back to school. Shoya’s older sister (who is given no name) was seen in a few scenes, but her face never really shown with no explanation. The same goes for her husband – Pedro – who actually does have more scene time then her. Again, his sister is explored more in the manga.


Overall Conclusion

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I would highly recommend this film to anyone – regardless if they are a anime fan or not. It’s a relate-able story – especially to those who have been bullied – that actually turns a negative into a positive. I feel that bullies are not always forgiven, nor do they try to redeem themselves, which is what makes this story so unique. It is a beautiful coming of age story that explores relationships in such a unreplicate-able way, I don’t think anyone is capable to do it again – Makoto Shinkai, the director of Your Name (which I still haven’t watch yet), said so himself.

With greatly written characters, beautiful animation and a emotionally-wrecking story from start to end, A Silent Voice is an absolute one-time experience not to be missed.

Rating: 10/10


Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! I don’t usually do this type of review, so if you did enjoy it, let me know so I can do more.

Until next time, take care!

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My Top 5 Tips When Playing Torbjörn in Overwatch

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Torbjörn is a pure Defense character due to his primary weapon – his turret. Once deployed, it acts as a AI and will immediate shoot enemies once they are in it’s view. Torbjörn also uses his Forge Hammer to upgrade his turret and his Rivet Gun to attack enemies.

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Torbjörn has a 2 star difficulty, meaning you’ll have to play a few games to get used to his play style and figure out how to best use him (unless you read this guide fully, of course).

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Tip #1 – Know the Map

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I do not recommend playing Torbjörn straight away if you’re new to Overwatch. As mentioned, you need to play a few games to get comfortable playing him, but also to know the maps.

Torbjörn’s Build Turret shoots an infinitive amount of bullets with it’s laser reticle, so playing it in a good place is key – this is where the knowledge of maps comes into play. It is recommended to place the Turret up high but covered – while some characters cannot maximize their damage by targeting upwards (like Junkrat), other characters can (like Pharah). An example would be at the top of the tower infront of the first Attack spawn room or the one around the corner at Watchpoint: Gibraltar as they are elevated, but also have objects that can disguise the Turret.

Equally, it is good to have 2 or 3 Torbjörns in No Limits to have a wall of Torbjörn – this works well as a Defense team in Dorado.


Tip #2 – Crack it Up to Level 2

Torbjörn can use his Forge Hammer to upgrade his Turret from level 1 to level 2 within 6 seconds (hitting it 5 times), making if you’re on the Defense Team (like you should be if you’re using Torbjörn), you’ll have a little bit of time to deploy the Turret and immediately upgrade it to Level 2. Once it’s upgraded, it will shoot more rounds per second (4 compared to 2 at Level 1) and has doubled health (300 HP). This will help take down enemies faster, especially if it well placed (and not in the open or placed without much thought).


Tip #3 – Scrap Heap? Yes Please!

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One of Torbjörn’s other abilities to make armor packs from scrap metal. Scrap metal can be found after any enemy is defeated.

Around 50 scrap metal is used for one Armor Pack which gives he and his teammates an extra 75 HP. The armor – with all other health buffs – take damage first, which is good for low health teammates.

Up to 10 pieces of armor can be deployed at one time. Players can only pick up one at a time but they have one already equipped, then take damage, they can pick up another one in order to replenish their armor buff again (even if the player only takes 1 point of damage, so use them sparingly).


Tip #4 – Long or Close Range? You Decide

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Torbjörn’s Rivet Gun has 2 types of firing power – the Rivet Shot and the Rivet Burst. The Rivet Shot is the primary attack of the weapon which deals up to 70 damage with just one shot. It has 18 rounds but only 1 bullet is shot with each round. However, the secondary attack for the Rivet Gun – the Rivet Burst – can deal up to 150 damage per shot and fire 10 bullets per shot. Because the Rivet Burst deals damage faster (80 m/s), the secondary shot is better for close range, e.g. for someone who is attacking you or the turret, while the Rivet Shot is better for long range. Either way, both can deal head shots if skilled enough.


Tip #5 – Leave Baby in the Corner

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It is not a good idea to stay with the Turret once it has been deployed – enemies can easily kill you at close range, then while you or no-one else is guarding the Turret, they can destroy it. Or vice versa.

During Torbjörn’s Ultimate – Molten Core – it is best to leave the Turret to go on the offensive. While his Ultimate is a buff, it does not deal extra damage but gives a 50% more attack speed and an extra 300 armor. The Turret gains 800 HP, so it’s fine to leave it alone – don’t worry. It can also instantly upgrade a Level 1 Turret to a Level 3 (only achievable with the Ultimate and lasts 12 seconds), which is good for defending a point and stopping the payload.


And there you have it – hope you enjoyed! Let me know if there’s any Torbjörn mains out there who have some tricks I missed.

Also, Doomfist – arguably Overwatch’s most anticipated playable character – was released on Thursday. Check out my Update Video on my YouTube Channel to find out how Doomfist plays.

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Until next time, take care!

 

My set up for Torbjörn 

Tekken 7 Review

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[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON PLAYING THE GAME. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. THANK YOU]
I make no lie of being a huge fan of the Tekken series – if you’re a consistent reader of my blog and/or watcher of my YouTube channel, then I talk about it a lot.
This is how much I love it: if anyone asks me what franchise I would take with me to a desert island – before the words are even out of their mouth – my answer is Tekken.
So, understandably, I was really excited about Tekken 7 when it was announced earlier this year. I pre-ordered the Special Edition for PC and the PS4 version as well (due to extra content available). It’s been around 2 or 3 weeks since it was released, and I’ve been playing it no-stop. So, what did I think of it?
Rather than commenting on Presentation, Soundtrack, Story/Gameplay and Overall Experience like I usually do for reviews, I’m just going to do small reviews for each aspect of the game. And yes, because I’m a fan girl, I am going to go into detail.

The Story Mode

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This was the part of the game I was most excited for – after Tekken 6‘s story mode Scenario Campaign, it left me with so many questions and was definitely open for expanding the story (especially after the post-credits scene). This time, the format was slightly changed as there are 2 Story Modes – The Mishima Saga, which follows the battle between the Mishimas which has been prolonging for decades and then Character Episodes.

As I mentioned, the Mishima Saga follows Heihachi and Kazuya’s ongoing battle against eachother. After Jin is missing from his fight with Azazel, Nina briefly takes over the Mishima Zaibatsu, until Heihachi turns up, defeats Nina and takes over the Zaibastu again. The story follows a reporter who has a personal vendetta against the Zaibastu and Jin Kazama after his home town is destroyed and his family killed as casualties of the ongoing war.

You play as many different characters in different scenarios as the story progresses. The fights are fun and the way it is presented is very reminiscent of Soul Calibur V‘s Story Mode with drawn and unmoving cuts scenes, to full-fledged animated cutscenes (it makes sense as Tekken’s director Katsuhiro Harada also works on the Soul Calibur Project). The visuals are fantastic (both PC and PS4), with very little jarring (there was sometimes a brief pause between a cutscene going into gameplay, but apprently it’s fine running on the PS4 Pro). However, on the PC version, the scenes would occasionally glitch with speech over speech and pausing, forcing it to catch up. Also, there were quick time events (QTEs) which sometimes felt weren’t necessary along with being able to use guns, but only in one scene. Yes, Tekken Force and Scenario Campaign use guns, but this scene with Lars rescuing Jin was fiddly for me, as the gun controls where the same as punches, so I often drew out the gun when I didn’t want to.

The story was great and definitely answered a few questions about the Mishima family but the reporter as the narrator made it a little bland as he used the same tone all the time (even when he shouted at Heihachi). There was just no emotion, despite him being given a tragic backstory.

The second Story Mode was Character Episodes – these followed characters who did not make an appearance in the Mishima Saga (apart from Nina and Devil Jin). Unlike the usual Story Mode of previous games that usually have 7 battles that include a pre-fixed battle, followed by an ending, these Episodes only had one fight followed by the ending, which were only a few minutes long. It was lack luster and gave alternatives to endings depending on who won the fight (apart from Shaheen, Miguel and Eliza – they had episodes all to themselves). The Tekken comedy is there and I would rate it poorly, however it did give more insight into the Tekken lore, which I think saved it.

Overall, I believe the Story Mode is what the Tekken production team were mainly focused on and sold the game the most, however it was lacking and fairly short (you can play the Mishima Saga in the space of 2 hours or so. You’ll probably need another hour to complete all the Character Episodes). I understand that this is a fighting game – there isn’t really meant to be a story, and even if there is, and it’s not great (apart from the Story Mode in Tekken 5 – that was amazing with the small interludes), however Scenario Campaign was much longer, so I expected the same.

Overall, the Story Mode – for me at least – is the selling point of the game, and will it was enjoyable and added more lore, it was still lacking.


Arcade Mode

The Tekken series is known for it’s Arcade Mode – especially for Tekken 5 as it added ranks to the system – however for Tekken 7 – as Caddicurus said in his review – is actually pretty pathetic.

You have 5 stages – 2 of which are fixed battles of Heihachi as a sub-battle then Kazumi or Akuma – then that’s it. No cutscenes, no ending, no nothing. And to add further damage, you can only rank up to 1st Dan within Arcade Mode, whereas in 5 and 6, you were able to conquer your way all the way up to Tekken God.

I don’t think I need to say any more – well actually, I can’t. There’s not much to go with, apart from – if you’re like me, you what Fight Money for Customization and rank every character up to 1st Dan.


Ranked Matches and Tournaments

Despite being 2 separate modes, I’m putting them together for one simple reason – neither of them work properly.

Ranked Matches allows you to go against anyone else in the world and put yourself in a category (there’s only 7). Once the fight is over – that’s it. No option to rematch, just go back to the menu.

The Tournament Mode, however, is a new mode – this allows 8 players to battle it out and become a champion (no, this does not effect your ranking). Even if you’re knocked out of a round, you go up against other losers to become King of the Losers (in the literal sense, not the bullying sense). And naturally, you win fight money.

These modes are great if you’re more of a competitive player of Tekken, that’s if the Online Modes actually work. On all three platforms – PC, PS4 and Xbox One – none of the Online stuff seems to work. Namco have been releasing patches, but people are still complaining (from what I’ve been reading).

I honestly have not played much of the Online Modes, mainly because they are lacking, but also because a few modes have been removed – such as Team Battle, Time Attack and Survival. Granted, they’re not revolutionary, but they have been included in every single Tekken title – even the spin-offs.


Treasure Battle

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Like Tournament, this is a new mode, and actually fairly decent. This mode – similarly to Tekken Revolution – can introduce random battle conditions, such as Turbo Matches and the like. You can fight for money, customization items and ranks. Again, it’s short like Arcade Mode, but a bit more fun. Only a little bit more. This is Offline, so it actually works.

Speaking of Customization, this game actually follows its counterparts – as more games are released, the customize options get bigger (it’s funny to think that Tekken 5 started Customization, but only allowed 4 or 5 items in each category. Tekken 7‘s Customization range is the largest by far, and this time allows you to customize personal stuff, such borders for your health gauge.


Gameplay

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Now, I’m a big fan of beat ’em ups, but one of the reasons why Tekken is my favourite of the genre is because of the controls. I’ve always found Tekken the simplest and easiest because each button is assigned to a different limb – back when Tekken was just on the PS platforms, square and triangle are for punches, while X and circle are for kicks. It hasn’t changed at all, and certainly does not change for Tekken 7 – not that it needed to. I’ve always felt the controls allow for more freedom in your play style, rather than just mashing buttons.

There were 2 new added features to gameplay this time though – Rage Drives and Rage Arts. Rage Drives are unblockable combos that can break someone’s defense. Rage Arts work in a similar way to the Rage system in Tekken 6 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (which does not feature in Tekken 7) in that when your health bar depletes to a certain amount, your character goes into Rage Mode. In T6 and TTT2, this gave you extra strength to turn the tide of battle, however in T7, Rage grants you access to Rage Arts – a combo played by a cutscene by pressing a trigger button (which has never been used in a Tekken game, unless you assign it in the controls options). Again, it can turn the tide of a battle and some of these combos are amazing.

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The gameplay is still the same for Tekken, which is not a bad thing – I think it’s good for beginners and experienced alike. So if it’s not broke, why fix it? I also love the added detail of slow-mo when both fighters are about to hit eachother simultaneously.

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Soundtrack

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I really enjoy the soundtracks of Tekken (TTT2‘s soundtrack is by far my favourite, just for the remade version of Fiji Paradise), but Tekken 7‘s is…OK. It’s nothing special. To be honest, I forget what most themes are for certain stages – compared to previously playing Tekken, seeing the stage I would be playing in then getting excited because I love the soundtrack. Most of them are forgettable and a bit behind in the times – a lot of songs are heavy in the bass drop department, which was so 2016.

The soundtrack for the opening movies and The Mishima Saga where great though – Namco took a completely different turn with it this time and served orchestra, haunting voices realness. The music for the final stages of The Mishima Saga fit in really well.


Presentation

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Tekken 7 was made in the Unreal Engine 4 – the same as Life is Strange, Street Fighter V and Kholat – so of course, it was going to be stunning (Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake will be made in the game engine too – squeal!).  Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online surprised me when I first played it on the PS3 (because it was the first Tekken game to be on the PS3) due to it’s presentation in details – you could see every frill in Lili’s dress; every fibre in the belt of Christie’s ‘trousers’; every strain in Anna’s tight dress. As systems developed and Tekken developed along with them, the graphics got better, so Tekken 7 is no exception. I found myself noticing every character’s facial expression as they fought and watching how clothes flowed as I played. Speaking of which, I enjoyed how hoods would fall with Jin and Steve, along with Nina’s veil and Shaheen’s keffiyeh (his head scarf, essestionally) when they were hit too hard. Tekken is known for it’s extra detail, which was not lacking in Tekken 7 (I know this has nothing to go with presentation, but I had to mention it somewhere).

Of course, there was the occasional glitch and some scenes that looked…weird (like in the fight between Kazuya and Heihachi when they punch eachother in the face at the same time – the cheeks look a little strange). On PC, the game looks great as well as the PS4 version.


Conclusion

I think the repeating theme of this game is lacking – the game lacked time in Story and Arcade Mode, only 4 modes for Online and Offline and not a lot of the characters from Tekken 6 reappeared in Tekken 7 like previous games. I feel like the focus was mainly on Story Mode and the presentation (despite a lot of the stages being kinda boring – expect Infinite Azure as that stage is stunning).

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But that isn’t a bad thing – yes, in lacked in playtime in the Story Mode, but it expanded so much in the lore and left a possibility for Tekken 8. It still keeps the mechanics that make Tekken so enjoyable, but with less modes and characters to play, it does feel like something is missing.

I also disliked how Tekken 7 jumped on the DLC wagon – yes, it’s had DLC before, but the majority of it was free or you had to pay a bit extra for the Special Edition, which included everything (compared to the price, it would be much cheaper). This time, you could pre-order for a bonus character, as well as a Season Pass to get the next 2 DLC characters being released later this year and next year (granted, it does cover the whole year, but that’s not the point). Tekken has rarely used DLC, and when it has, it does it the right way. However, with Tekken 7, they haven’t, and in my eyes, makes them seem greedy.

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Harada argued that if there was no DLC, the game could not be supported. I argue this – Tekken is one of the most popular games in the fighting genre – all my gamer friends know the franchise, even if they’ve never played it before. Tekken 7 did very well within it’s first week of release and I have seen many new players as well as old as there are recurring.

OK, so I’ve picked on the negatives a lot, but I don’t think Tekken 7 is a bad game. OK, it’s not up there with Tekken 5 or 6 (the best games in the series, in my opinion), but it’s still good and I would recommend picking it up. Maybe not for new players – unless they really enjoy the beat ’em up genre – but this game is definitely more for the lovers of the series purely for the focus on the lore in Story Mode. The time between releasing 6 to 7 is almost 10 years, and despite that time, I think Namco and Harada may have been (or still are) focusing on other projects – I know during this time, the Tekken Project team was working on Tekken X Street Fighter, however it’s production was halted back in 2014.

I do think that Harada is a great listener and has asked for fan feedback in the past (he did this a lot with new character Shaheen), so maybe he will listen to us and add more content into the game. There is a rumor that Tekken Bowl will be making an appearance again, possibly as DLC.

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Strengths:

  • Great adding into the lore
  • Beautiful visuals and presentations
  • Great gameplay mechanics

Weakness:

  • Lacking in different modes
  • Bad online presence
  • DLC

Overall: 7/10

I would recommend this game – but only to experienced beat ’em up players and fans of the series. Tekken 7 is a good game, but – for me at least – it has not peaked up there with previous games in the series.


Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed! Let me know your thoughts.

I have a playthrough of Tekken 7 on my YouTube channel, so check them out here.

Until next time, take care!

My Top 5 Tips When Playing Reinhardt in Overwatch

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Now, I do not play Reinhardt that often, but he is still a great hero to play (as if my validation means anything). He is in the Tank class but only has a difficulty of one star to master.

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Despite having the heart of a warrior, Reinhardt is known for his humor and courage (despite his age), which reflects well on his voice actor, Darin De Paul (he’s notorious at conventions).

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Tip #1 – Be Careful How You Tread

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Reinhardt is probably one of the more slower characters, especially when he uses his Barrier Field ability. But this can be an advantage – the Barrier Field soaks up a lot of damage it has 2000 HP) and covers a large area, meaning Reinhardt is a good choice when Attacking a point as he can protect all his teammates while putting the pressure on by moving.

However, this is also a disadvantage – quick characters such as Genji and Tracer can easily catch up to Reinhardt – regardless if he is Attacking or Defending – and suppress him while the enemy team takes action. He cannot attack while holding up the shield either.


Tip #2 – Rocket Hammer, Away!

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Reinhardt’s primary weapon is his Rocket Hammer. He has a wide arc and deals a hefty amount of damage (75 HP from each swing). This is good for hitting a group of enemy players as he can hit multiple targets in one sweep (which only takes 1 second, meaning Reinhardt can keep on swinging for a long time – which is aided by his 500 HP). An advantage is to use Reinhardt’s ultimate ability Earthshatter or any other character’s ultimate/abilities which renders opponents on the ground and/or conscious for a certain amount of time.


Tip #3 – Hammer Down!

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As mentioned, Reinhardt’s ultimate ability is his Earthshatter – he slams his hammer to the ground, knocking down and damaging any enemy players in front of him (for 50 damage). And like with most ultimates, it is most effective pairing it with another ultimate, such as:

  • Dragonblade (Genji)
  • Self Destruct (D.Va)
  • Configuration: Tank (Bastion)
  • Rocket Barrage (Pharah)

However, with a majority of these ultimates, Reinhardt should cast his first, followed by a teammates’. But you best do it quickly – his stun only lasts for around 2.5 seconds.


Tip #4 – I Will Be Your Shield

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As I commented in tip #1, Reinhardt’s Barrier Field can soak up a lot of damage and shield teammates while push for the Objective. A common combination for either Attacking or Defending is to have a Bastion hidden in a corner/somewhere hard to be attacked from while being shielded by Reinhardt.

However, this is not a good idea for too long as Reinhardt should never stay in one place for too long – enemies can flank him easily in one spot and not all teammates will have the shield when they need it.

However, Reinhardt’s Barrier Field can recover when it is put away but can also be titled in different directions, which is good for aerial attacks or if Reinhardt has the higher ground. The Barrier Field can also protect teammates from ultimates and abilities, such as Self Destruct, but not all of them – Sombra’s EMP, Junkrat’s RIP-Tire, an enemy Reinhardt’s Fire Strike attack and Winston’s Tesla Cannon can still go through the shield.


Tip #5 – Ready, Set…Charge!

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Another one of Reinhardt’s abilities is his Charge. This allows him to charge in a straight line (the path can be tilted, however) that pins one enemy and knocks others out of his path. This deals some good damage (up to 50), however it can deal some extra if Reinhardt successfully pins an enemy against a wall (up to 300 HP).

You do have to be careful with this ability, can Reinhardt cannot stop it – so, if you’re on a map with cliffs, be careful not to fall off.

It is most commonly used on healers (as they have the lowest amount of health, so are easy targets to kill), along with his own Eathershatter ultimate, as you can deal a large amount of damage to multiple targets.


And there we have it, thanks so much for reading! Let me know if there’s any Reinhardt tactics that you use that I may have missed.

Until next time, take care!

My set up for Reinhardt

E3 2017 Review

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I love the summer time – sun, holidays and ice-cold drinks. But what I love the most is Electronic Entertainment Expo. It has returned this year, and this time to was open to the public. So, let’s take a list of games showcased and the big reveals.

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Here’s a list of games that were announced:

  • Call of Duty: WWII (PC/Xbox One/PS4)
  • Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Triology (PS4)
  • Destiny 2 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PS4/Vita)
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth (3DS)
  • Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (3DS)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux (3DS)
  • Ashen (PC/Xbox One)
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Code Vein (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Gundam Versus (PS4)
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PC/PS4)
  • Project CARS 2 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • The Artful Escape (PC/Xbox One)
  • Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider (DLC) (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Doom VFR (VR)
  • The Elder Scrolls: Legends (PC/Mobile)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (coming to Nintendo Switch with additional content)
  • The Evil Within 2 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Fallout 4 (VR)
  • Quake Champions (PC)
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Xbox One Console Exclusive Release)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Monster Hunter: World (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Deep Rock Galactic (PC/Xbox One)
  • Hunt: Showdown (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Metro Exodus (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Absolver (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Ape Out (PC)
  • Enter the Gungeon (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch)
  • Ruiner (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Serious Sam’s Bogus Detour (PC)
  • The Swords of Ditto (PC/PS4)
  • Battlefield 1: In the Name of Tsar (DLC) (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • FIFA 18 (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch)
  • Madden NFL 18 (PS4/Xbox One)
  • NBA Live 18 (PS4/Xbox One)
  • Need for Speed Payback (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Fortnite (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Vampyr (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Tacoma (PC/Xbox One)
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PC/PS4/Vita/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch)
  • Black Desert Online (PC/Xbox One)
  • Tropico 6 (PC/Xbox One)
  • Metal Gear Survive (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 (PC/PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Crackdown 3 (PC/Xbox One)
  • Forza Motorsport 7 (PC/Xbox One)
  • Minecraft (coming to Nintendo Switch)
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (PC/Xbox One)
  • Sea of Thieves (PC/Xbox One)
  • State of Decay 2 (PC/Xbox One)
  • Harvest Moon: Light of Hope (PC/Nintendo Switch)
  • Harvest Moon Lil’ Farmers (iOS/Android/Kindle Fire)
  • River City: Knights of Justice (3DS)
  • Wild Guns Reloaded (PC)
  • Blade Strangers (PC/PS4/Nintendo Switch)
  • ARMS (Nintendo Switch)
  • Fire Emblem Warriors (Nintendo Switch)
  • Untitled Kirby Game (Nintendo Switch)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials and The Champions’ Ballad (2 DLC packs) (Wii U/Nintendo Switch)
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions (3DS)
  • Metroid Prime 4 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)
  • Miitopia (3DS)
  • Untitled Pokemon Game (Nintendo Switch)
  • Pokken Tournament DX (Nintendo Switch)
  • Splatoon 2 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)
  • Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido (3DS)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Nintendo Switch)
  • Untitled Yoshi game (Nintendo Switch)
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PC/PS4/Vita)
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PC/PS4/Vita)
  • Battle Tech (PC)
  • Super Lucky’s Tale (PC/Xbox One)
  • Rocket League (coming to the Nintendo Switch)
  • The Last Night (PC/Xbox One)
  • The Darwin Project (PC/Xbox One)
  • Sonic Forces (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch)
  • Sonic Mania (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch)
  • Total War: Arena (PC)
  • Total War: Warhammer II (PC)
  • Valkyria Revolution (PS4/Vita/Xbox One)
  • Yakuza 6 (PS4)
  • Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)
  • Bravo Team (PS4)
  • Detroit: Become Human (PS4)
  • God of War (PS4)
  • Gran Turismo Sport (PS4)
  • Hidden Agenda (PS4)
  • Horizon Dawn Zero: The Frozen Wilds (DLC) (PS4)
  • Knack II (PS4)
  • The Inpatient (PS4)
  • Shadow of Colossus (Remake for PS4)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)
  • Uncharted: Lost Legacy (PS4)
  • Undertale (releasing on PS4 and Vita)
  • V! What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? R (PS4)
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (PS4)
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4)
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood (PC/PS3/PS4)
  • Final Fantasy: Brace Exvius (iOS/Android)
  • Flame vs. Blaze (iOS/Android)
  • Kingdom Hearts III (PS4/Xbox One)
  • King’s Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dungeon (iOS/Android)
  • Lost Sphear (PC/PS4/Nintendo Switch)
  • Mobius Final Fantasy (PC/iOS/Android)
  • MotoGP ’17 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • MXGP3 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV (PS4 VR)
  • Cuphead (PC/Xbox One)
  • Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (PC)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • The Crew 2 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Far Cry 5 (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Just Dance 2018 (PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One/Wii/Wii U/Nintendo Switch)
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Nintendo Switch)
  • Skull & Bones (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • South Park Phone Destroyer (iOS/Android)
  • Space Junkies (PC)
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas (PS4/Xbox One/Ninendo Switch)
  • Steep: Road to the Olympics (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Transference (VR)
  • Cars 3: Driven to Win (PS3/PS4/Wii U/Nintendo Switch/Xbox 360/Xbox One)
  • Injustice 2 (PS4/Xbox One)
  • LEGO Dimensions (3 new franchises added to the line up: Bettlejuice; The Powerpuff Girls and Teen Titans Go!)
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (PC/PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch)
  • LEGO Worlds (coming to Nintendo Switch)
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War (PC/PS4/Xbox One)
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Presents: Space Odyssey (PC/Mobile)
  • Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star (Nintendo Switch)
  • Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin (PS4/PC)
  • Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash (PS4)
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Nintendo Switch)
  • Zwei II: The Ilvard Insurrection (PC)

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Now let’s take a better look at some of the titles that grabbed my attention during the event.


Dragon Ball FighterZ (Bandai Namco Entertainment) (PC/PS4/Xbox One)

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As a huge Dragon Ball Z fan (I’m an anime fan, and DBZ was the first one I ever watched), how can I not be excited for this title?

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Similar to previous DB titles, it is another beat ’em up rendition, however Namco have seemed to go back to the old school days and reverted it back to 2.5D graphics and side scrolling, compared to 3D and open-world (to some extend) trend we’re used to seeing for Dragonball Xenoverse 1 & 2. And it looks fricking sweet.

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Only a few characters have been showcased so far: Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Frieza, Cell and Majin Buu. They have also shown of their Super Saiyan forms and Final Forms, retrospectively.

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Another difference between this and Xenoverse is that the combat has been tweaked –  gameplay is similar to BlazBlue: Central Fiction (if you haven’t played that game, you’ll need to before buying this) which is snappy and fast-paced, along with the Marvel vs. Capcom trope of assistant attacks and a 3 vs 3 mode.

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A closed beta for the PS4 and Xbox One ports of the game will be opened and the game itself will be released sometime in 2018.

  • Watch the trailer for it here.

A Way Out (EA) (PC/PS4/Xbox One)

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A Way Out a story-driven co-op game that can be played locally (optionally on the sofa with a friend) or online (possibly with a stranger if you don’t have any friends nearby).

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You’ll both play as prisoners – Leo and Vincent. Both of them want to get out for various reasons, so they decide to work together to escape. You’ll have to solve puzzles, create distractions and – most importantly – work together.

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One of the really cool things about this is that it played entirely via split screen (although I believe that joint cut scenes are just one screen) and different scenarios run at different times, for example, Leo is not new to the prison, whereas Vincent is, so when Vincent arrives, Leo can be seen watching Vincent and the other new arrivals while Vincent is a introduction on becoming a prisoner. Complicated, right?

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A Way Out comes from Josef Fares, who directed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which was a fantastically emotional game. It will be released in early 2018.

  • Watch the reveal trailer here.
  • Watch the gameplay trailer here.

Days Gone (Sony) (PS4)

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Now, I love post-acopolytic, zombie-filled, horror-survival games as much as the next person, so when Days Gone was debuted at last year’s E3, I wasn’t really invested in it. To me, it was another Dead Island clone that was trying to be different, but wasn’t really (Dying Light should hide away now). The trailer just showed some dude who looked like an extra from Sons of Anarchy who was spouting on about how this pandemic had affected the world so much that people had lost so many loved ones, blah, blah, blah, that I wasn’t really that interested.

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365 days later (or around that amount of time), Sony decided to show off some of the gameplay this time around, and I have to say, I’m so glad they did because it was – as they say in the business – a complete game changer.

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Days Gone focuses two years after a global pandemic almost wiped out the entire human race and follows Deacon St. John – a former bounty hunter and drifter who rides a motorbike. You encounter various enemies in the world, such as Freakers (zombies); Runners (zombie wolves) and Ragers (zombie bears – yeah, I’m not joking) along with with other people who just want to survive. John Garvin and Jeff Ross – the directors of the game – have promised a harsh open world that “wants to kill you” at every turn.

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Only with the open world, they are salvagable items, weapons and upgrades that can even be applied to Deacon’s bike, allowing him to travel faster and further. Garvin and Ross warned however that with the bike, you will only have one and you best keep an eye on it, as other people may want it too. Skill trees will also help with survival – especially Deacon’s trait of tracking.

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The big thing that sold me on this game though was the approach you could take to survival – you can be as stealthy as Batman or go gun-ho and kill everyone. Moreover, there are multiple ways of getting in (or out) of certain situations, along with day and night cycles and changes in weather. Usually, this is just a small thing – like in Final Fantasy XV, the night cycle hints that Noctis and the gang need to sleep – however, in Days Gone, this can affect anything – from the way you deal with a horde of Freakers or the way you deal with hostile people. There are alternatives to everything – for example, in the demo at E3, you have the playable mission of tracking down one of Deacon’s friends Manny, who has been kidnapped by other survivors. If you play this mission during the winter time, it can change how to deal with one of the situations you deal with when encountering other people. But if you play it in the summertime, it’ll be completely different (I won’t spoil it, but you can watch a video of the directors talking to Kinda Funny at E3 here).

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Garvin and Ross have promised a violent and real zombie survival, open world game that is a unique to everyone. No release date has been confirmed as of yet.

  • Watch the first E3 trailer for it here.
  • Watch the gameplay trailer from this year’s E3 here.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 (Ubisoft) (PC/PS4/Xbox One)

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This probably had to the be the biggest surprise for me at E3 (along with Evil Within 2 and the following game I will talk about next).

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Let’s rewind back to nearly 15 years ago, way back when the PS2 was the most popular console at the time (I sure lots of young people know which console that is…right?). In November 2003, a little game called Beyond Good and Evil was released. It followed Jade (which I always found weird because my real name is Jade) – a young woman aspiring to be a photojournalist who is in charge of a care home that looks after kids affected by disasters caused by an alien species called DomZ. Jade explores the planet, fights her enemies with her Dai-jo staff and obtains evidence of corruption. It was a game that gained a cult following (despite being a failure at launch, and a tad bit buggy) from it’s unforgettable characters, amazing setting and never-ending plot twists. I was pretty young when I first played it (it was probably in 2004, which would make me 10) so I didn’t really ‘play’ it properly, but I still loved it.

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With such a huge following, the next game was demanded and was always promised. In 2007, it was announced a sequel would happen, and over the years we were teased with images and short videos and potential production, but nothing really came from it. Naturally, as years passed, the sequel idea was forgotten about and replaced with other great titles from various companies.

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So, imagine the shock when I see a monkey and a pig-like creature striking a very similar likeness to Pey’j from BG&E that turns into a hilarious chase, then a green-eyed woman, only to be announced as Beyond Good and Evil 2. Hint: I lost my shit.

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Beyond Good and Evil 2 is actually a prequel (not that it matters to me) – set before Jade was even born in an open, sci-fi ridden, multicultural futurist planet that just looks fricking awesome.

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No release date has been announced as of yet.

  • Watch the trailer reveal here (warning: it gets a bit emotional…and funny).

Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back (Tommo) (PC/PS4)

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I’m sure many fans of the gaming world have heard of Bubsy the Bobcat. He was basically Accolade’s failed attempt at a mascot (you know, like Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog; Nintendo’s Mario; Insomniac Games’ Spyro the Dragon, Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot, etc., etc.) who belongs to the infamous series that began on the SNES in 1993 and died a very painful death in 1996 on the PS1. Criticized for it’s poor design choices, rip-off impersonations, bad controls and for just being of the most annoying characters ever to grace the video game world. Bubsy was long forgotten about – even after it’s last game’s release to the UK in 1997.

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So, of course, when it revealed that Bubsy will be revived after over 10 years of freedom, a lot of people kicked up a lot of fuss. And I am one of those people.

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I’ve never played the games per say, however I have watched fellow YouTuber’s impressions of the games, and even I thought it was dreadful. But not funny dreadful, like say for instance, Deadly Premonition or any of the Phoenix Games copy-cat games – it has dreadful everything, from music, to visuals to just…everything. I can’t phantom how it was made into a 1-episode cartoon back in the day.

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The trailer doesn’t give much – not that it needs to. Even the graphics don’t look that good (I don’t know which platform the demo was shown on), and don’t get me started on the ‘jokes’ that don’t even land in the space of 30 seconds. Needlessly to say, I will not be investing in this…thing (I couldn’t think of a justified insult – that’s how bad it is).

  • Watch the trailer (if you dare) here.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm (Square Enix) (PC/PS4/Xbox One)

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I’ve already written a review for the first game Life is Strange, so I don’t think I have to say it, but I will – I am super excited for this.

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Before the Storm is a 3 episode arc that follows one of the previous game’s main characters Chloe. It is set around 3 years before the original – when Max abandoned Chloe and  befriends Rachel before she went missing.

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Sadly, time travel will not be element available (for obvious reason), but choices will be – and I have no doubt you’ll have to make deadly decisions that will impact the game’s path. It also sounds like awesome indie music will be used again (judging from the trailer).

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Another sad thing is that Ashly Burch – Chloe’s original voice actor – has not provided her voice this time around (despite hearing it in the trailer) – Rhianna DeVries will instead (no, I don’t know who she is either).

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Despite this, I am looking forward to seeing Chloe’s independent story before things kicked off in the first game and just explore more of the game. A Deluxe Edition will be released, which will include a bonus chapter entitled “Farewell” (you get to play as Max again) with additional outfits and Mixtape Mode, which allows the player to customize playlists for the soundtrack of the game.

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The first episode, “Awake”, will be released on Thursday 31st August. I will definitely be doing a playthrough on my channel, so look out for it. And just in time for the announce of Life is Strange 2 (no details have been given at this time).

  • Watch the trailer here.

Star Wars Battlefront II (EA) (PC/PS4/Xbox One)

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Star Wars, I think is fair to say, holds a place in every geek and nerd’s hearts. So naturally in 2015, I bought the first Star War Battlefront re-imagining and loved it (I have a few videos on my channel). The visuals, the sounds, the music, the heroes – everything. And even after the disappointment (for me at least) of The Force Awakens, I played it.

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For a while.

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Eventually, it did get boring – playing on the same maps, the same classes and being beaten very easily by extremely good players. Not even the DLC saved it in my eyes.

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I agreed with a lot of people after playing it for some time – it’s great, but something’s…missing. It felt like a shell – it looked good on the outside, but the inside didn’t really give us anything. It needed more – it needed to go back it roots of the initial series on PS2 with a story mode or something.

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We players pleaded – we tweeted, we Facebooked, we ranted on videos, we wrote until our thumbs were sore like a Overwatch marathon.

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And EA have listened to us.

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Star Wars Battlefront II was announced back in April of this year at the Star Wars Celebration Event in Orlando, showing a Story Mode which gives more details into the space between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. It focuses on Commander Iden Versio (played and voiced by Janina Gavankar) – a Imperial squad member who seeks revenge on behalf of her army. You will be able to play all 3 eras, with more weapons, vehicles and different soldiers (robots and wookies are included), along with more forefront characters, such as Finn, Rey, Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren and Darth Maul along with previous character, such as Luke, Han Solo and Boba Fett. Classes will be introduced and weapons have been remade from scratch.

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Honestly, I really do feel that EA have listened to us players and taken our advice on board, which will no doubt work in their favour of delivering a great game. And even better – ALL DLC WILL BE FREE!

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Star Wars Battlefront II will be released Friday 17th November. If you pre-order, you will gain access to beta versions until the wait is over.

  • Check out the first trailer here.
  • Watch the E3 trailer here (with real storm troopers and Janina herself)
  • Watch this video to see some multiplayer action for the first time.

So, who shone in my eyes?

It had to be Ubisoft with Beyond Good and Evil 2 – I really cannot wait play this game and see what 15 years difference makes for a prequel. Looks like I’m gonna actually have to play the first game before it comes out.


And that’s it – another E3 gone! I’m looking forward to seeing some of these games in the next few months or so, as well as hearing and seeing more development in the time to come.

What was your favourite announcement? Let me know!

If you want more news, trailer, interviews, and all that good stuff, I highly recommend GameSpot’s YouTube Channel as they have everything on there.

Until next time, take care!


 

My Top 5 Tips When Playing Ana in Overwatch

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Ana was the first hero to be announced after the game’s initial release and is also the mother of Pharah. She was affiliated with Overwatch under Jack Morrison’s command until a mission to save hostages from Talon left her presumed dead.

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Ana is a 3 star hero, but I will say that she is easy to master in the basic abilities. Once you master her at 3 stars, she becomes pretty much unstoppable.


Tip #1 – Back Up Your Teammates

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Ana is a good hero to stay at the back of her team due to her sniping abilities and surprise attacks, however if you do play Ana and choose to stay at the back, make sure you have a teammate with you – despite her abilities, she does have a lower tier of health and can be easily flanked.


Tip #2 – No Scope Needed for Heals

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Ana’s primary weapon is her Biotic Rifle, which allows her to heal teammates either close to her (without using the scope) or far away (using the scope). Shooting at enemies allows damage to be made (it does 60 damage per shot, both scoped and not scoped) and heals around 75 (making her one of the more stronger support heroes).

However, Ana doesn’t need a precise target when healing teammates – in other words, when wanting to heal a teammate, you don’t have to have Ana’s crosshairs on your teammate – you just to make sure that they are in the triangle of the scope. This allows less time to be wasted on a precise shot, meaning you can get your teammates out of a hairy situation faster compared to lining up a measured shot.

This does not apply when trying to damage enemies.


Tip #3 – Bedtime!

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Ana’s secondary weapon is her Sleep Dart Gun that she keeps as a sidearm. This allows you to knock enemy players unconscious for a few seconds and causes a little bit of damage (around 5 – not great, but still worth using).

Despite this, the Sleep Dart should be used strategically – the Sleep Dart allows you a few seconds to advance, so don’t stay on your target and deal damage when they are asleep. It is best used when advancing on a point; when an enemy player uses their ultimate and as a last-minute escape.

The Sleep Dart is also best used on Tanks, however as previously mentioned, it can be used on Ultimates, but not all of them. It is also worth noting that it can be reflected by Genji’s Deflect ability.


Tip #4 – Healing Grenade, Engage!

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Ana’s third ability is her Biotic Grenade – a projectile that is thrown in an arch that heals in a 4 meter radius. It heals up to 100 for both herself and teammates but also damages enemies 60 and also blocks enemies from healing. It only lasts around 4 seconds but is definitely one of the strongest healing abilities. It is also good to use with other support heroes, i.e. it speeds up the healing process, which is useful when another support hero is healing, such as Mercy or Lucio.


Tip #5 – Nano Boost Me!

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Ana’s Ultimate increases a teammates damage output as well as a resistance to damage (both by 50%), even if it does last for around 8 seconds.

Nano Boost to good to use on Tanks as they have a heavier damage output, but also during teammate’s own Ultimates, such as:

  • Tactical Visor (Soldier: 76)
  • Death Blossom (Reaper)
  • Dragonblade (Genji)
  • Deadeye (McCree)
  • EMP (Sombra)
  • Tank (Bastion)
  • Earthshatter (Reinhardt)
  • Graviton Surge (Zarya)
  • Whole Hog (Roadhog)
  • Supercharger (Orisa)

A coordinated attack with your team with the combination of Ana’s Nano Boost and someone else’s Ultimate will lead to victory. However, do not waste the Nano Boost when you are about to die or on healers. I’ve had this during one match when playing as Mercy and the Ana player boosted me twice – I was too busy healing other players that it was a wasted opportunity and because Mercy has low damage on her Caduceus Blaster, it’s really not worth it.


There you have it – hope you enjoyed. Let me know if you have any tips that I may have missed out on.

And to my fellow Overwatch players, I hope you are enjoying the Anniversary Event as much as I am.

Until next time, take care!

My set up for Ana

MCM London Comic Con May 2017 Review

So, I attended MCM London Comic Con last week, so here’s my review of my 3 days there.


Comic Books

There’s one thing that MCM does, and does it really well, is a mass amount of stalls. And as previous years, London MCM has the Comic Village, which houses box after box of comics – old & new alike.

MCM also allows stalls of lesser known comic book writers and authors to show off their products and even their own drawing skills.

Comic Village also houses artists and some of the more famously known authors (sadly I didn’t recognise any this time around).


Anime and Manga

MCM is heavy on the anime and manga front – including stalls for books and DVDs, amongst other stuff (that’s for a different section).

Sadly, the MANGA stage was much smaller this year (compared to October when it was about half of one hall). Nor where there many posters advertising upcoming anime.

There were a few of those ‘photo opportunity’…things, i.e. a scene from an anime drawn as a backdrop for you to take a photo (or several) with, but again, I don’t think there were as many as last October.

There were a few more anime services similar to Crunchyroll this time and had a lot of advertisements on several screens dotted around, including the trailer for Your Name.


TV & Film

This hadn’t really changed compared to last year – there were plenty of posters, cardboard cut-outs and trailers been shown everywhere, including Universal Studios have their own little booth again.

The pending-release Wonder Woman movie was a big attraction this year (as they have every year, like Harry Potter/Magnificent Beasts and Power Rangers) with it’s stand combined with the freshly developed Injustice 2 showing off some of the character costumes and props, as well as being able to photoshop yourself as Wonder Woman and grab a free poster while you’re at it.

Annabelle – the spin off from The Conjuring universe – was there to have a photo taken with, along with the Throne of the Seven Kingdoms from Game of Thrones (difference was you had to pay for the throne, whereas you didn’t with Annabelle).

Despicable Me 3 was another large focus point, but much more annoyingly then the rest, such as an inflatable Minion and a ‘tattoo parlor’ (they were fake, don’t worry).


Video Games

The indie games had a much bigger display this time and showed off a lot of cool stuff – single and multiplayer games alike – but of course, Nintendo stole the show with playables such as Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (including having a photo with the Master Sword section), Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Mario Sports Superstars.

Sony was there too with PlayStation VR, Farpoint and Horizon Zero Dawn. Tekken 7 was another large appearance (clever move seeing as it was there both times last year and it was a week until release day) along with the ESL Arena.

Other companies such as Rising Star and Bandai Namco made small appearance too.


Celebrities

The usual names of Warwick Davies and Andrew Lee Potts where there, along with Catherine Tate, Summer Glau and Eric Christian Oslen & Daniela Ruah.

The YOGSCAST attended, along with other YouTubers (none of whom I had heard of) and actors from big time TV and films who played small parts, such as Eugene Simon who plays Lancel Lannister from Game of Thrones. Oh, and for some reason Sean Kelly from Storage Hunters was there.


Merchandise

The reason why pretty much everyone comes to MCM – rare stuff.

There was merch for anything and everything – TV, cartoons, anime/manga, films, comics, video games. I especially love the small stalls in the anime section, and they more often than not have extremely rare stuff that you can only get overseas for extremely good prices and quality. Let’s just say this – everything I wanted in regards to anime and manga, I got AND more.


Cosplay

Again, cosplayers for MCM never fail to amaze me. Usually, you see all the good cosplays on Saturday (makes sense, it’s on the busiest day), however Sunday was a really good day, especially the steam punk themed Mercy from Overwatch and the Wind Waker Zelda, Medli, Link and the Red Lion Boat.


I’ll say what I always say for MCM – if you’re a geek who loves TV, film, comic books, anime, manga and/or video games, this is the place for you.

Check out my vlog for Day 1 if you’re still a little unsure.

And here’s my photo gallery:

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I don’t need to give a rating – MCM is always amazing.

Modes in Tekken 7

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The Tekken series is known for it large quantity of different modes as time goes on (Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the Wii U had so many), so here’s what to expect when you finally get to load up.


Story Mode

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The pinnacle of Tekken 7 (or at least, in my eyes, the bit I’m most looking forward to) that promises the conclusion of the Mishima Family Saga (I very highly doubt it though). Here, you see the story from the very beginning (before Tekken) through the eyes of a stranger who began investigating the Mishimas very early on. However, you will be playing as different characters in different situations at different times. Many of the scenarios will be standard Tekken side-on fighting scenes, along with a few quick-time events and use of weapons, such as guns.

It is split into 2 – so the other half will have character specific chapters to complete.


Arcade Mode

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The standard offline mode that allows you to fight against computer-controlled opponents and make your way up through the ranks, such as Kyu, Dan, etc., etc.


Ranked Match

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This allows you to fight against other players around the world who have similar abilities to yourself. It’s based on skill, so you better be confident! Or you can just choose your opponent, you know? (You actually can now).


Tournament Mode

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This is new – this allows 8 players to ‘duke it out’ in a tournament styled game. Once one player is victorious, they advance further to see who is the best fighter. But don’t worry if you lose – there will also be Loser Finals so everyone can be categorized based on their performances. The Big Prize is in-game money and the chance to boast your skills.

Lobbies are password locked and allow players to chat to eachother.


Versus Mode

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Self-explanatory – you can fight against friends and other players to see who is the best.


Practice Mode

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This is where you go if you’re new to Tekken or a little bit rusty – pick a character and learn the moves list. You can go up against a gingerbread man-like opponent or go up against the AI.


Treasure Battle

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Sadly, this is console exclusive (sorry PC users…wait, I’m getting the PC Special Editions…grrrr!!) that allows you to fight against CPU and win items that you can customize your character with (we’ll get onto that in a minute) as well as in-game fight money. However, these battles can range from normal to speed turbo battles and such. Oh, and you can face Devil Kazumi for special items.


Customize 

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Since Tekken 5, this has allowed players to change anything they wish in regards to a character’s appearance. In the past, they were themed but as time went on, more and more items where up for grabs – you can even make Yoshimistu look like a hammerhead shark. For real.

Items can be bought and even the gauges used to measure life during battle can be made to look pretty (this is new too). There’s also a lottery system that is also used as a crafting system to get items too.


Jukebox Mode

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This is PS4-only that allows you to change tunes from a selection of previous games scores (similar to TTT2‘s Tekken Tunes mode).


Gallery

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Similar to Jukebox Mode, this allows you to view any video – such as endings – from previous Tekken games. I may as well have not played the numerous games in the series for the past 10 years! Well, maybe not – there’s some extra stuff in there too (I saw a couple of anime-like scenes, so who knows).


Things to remember:

  • I’ve you’ve pre-ordered, you will receive Tekken Revolutions exclusive character Eliza.
  • If you have the Season Pass, you will have access to 2 more characters being released post launch date.
  • Rage Mode (introduced in Tekken 6) is still around, but not quite as effective – you no longer to extra damage on lower health but it does allow better access to Rage Arts.
  • Rage Arts (not to be confused with Super Moves, but they basically are) are an animation which allows the character to perform a special combo that can alter the entire game
  • There is a new feature called Power Crushers – these allow players to absorb more damage but vulnerable to other attacks, such as low attacks and throws.
  • There are a LOT of items – Idolmaster have designed outfits for female characters, along with swimwear making a return as well as other items
  • Gold Rush may have been removed (sad face)

There we have it – now only less than a week away until Tekken 7! There will be no Tekken 7 article next week as I’m at London MCM this weekend so you’ll get a review of that instead but I will be playing Tekken 7 on my YouTube Channel. I’m hoping to cover Story Mode as a usual video series then stream other modes such as Arcade Mode and Online Tournaments. And when I complete the game, I will be posting a review on here, so keep an eye out!

In the mean time, enjoy these videos:

  • Here is a link to a Japanese-spoken video that shows off a lot of the modes
  • Here‘s a link to GameSpot’s quick playthrough of a few chapters from Story Mode (some spoilers, so watch out)
  • Watch Tekken‘s latest video of the Opening Cinematic here.

Enjoy, and see you next week! Take care!

Stages in Tekken 7

OK, so we know when, who and what…but do we know where?

Yes, you we do – so far, 20 stages have been confirmed for Tekken 7 but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of more being added. Granted, neither Namco or Harada have confirmed that Tekken 7 will more more stages to the games (and 20 is a lot), with DLC and a Season Pass who knows – Tekken may do a Overwatch on us.

Now, if you’re a Tekken vet like myself, you may recognise a few of these places. And I thought only Nintendo recycled their content (just kidding, I love Namco and Tekken Project really). And carrying on with the tradition of stages in Tekken 6, these stages will also contain breakable walls, multiple floors and stuff going on in the background.

Here’s the list:

  • Arctic Snowfall 
  • Devil’s Pit
  • Dragon’s Nest
  • Forgotten Realm
  • Jungle Outpost
  • Mishima Dojo
  • Souq
  • Twilight Conflict
  • Abandoned Temple
  • Mishima Building
  • Duomo Di Sirio
  • Kinder Gym
  • Precipice of Fate
  • G Corporation Helipad (both day and night segments separated into two different stages)
  • Arena 
  • Violet Systems
  • Geometric Plane
  • Infinite Azure
  • Brimstone and Fire

Sadly I don’t think we’ll be getting any stages like the Snoop Dogg Stage in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, but we’ve also got the Story Mode to explore.

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Characters Confirmed (so far) in Tekken 7

Tekken is known for its large partition of applicants for the King of Iron Fist Tournaments, so let’s have a look at returning characters:

  • Alisa Bosconvitch
  • Asuka Kazama
  • Bob
  • Bryan Fury
  • Eddy Gordo
  • Eliza (she was playable Tekken Revolution, which in itself is not a canon game due to being based off of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, but she still counts as a returning character rather than a new one)
  • Feng Wei
  • Heihachi Mishima
  • Hwoarang
  • Jin Kazama/Devil Jin (they count as 2 separate characters despite being the same person practically)
  • Kazuya Mishima/Devil Kazuya (same for Jin Kazama)
  • King II
  • Kuma II
  • Lars Alexandersson
  • Lee Chaolan/Violet (similar to Jin and Kazuya, except Violet hasn’t been playable since Tekken 4/Tekken Tag Tournament 2, depending on how you view it)
  • Leo
  • Lili
  • Ling Xiaoyu
  • Marshall Law
  • Miguel Caballero Rojo
  • Nina Williams
  • Panda
  • Paul Phoenix
  • Sergei Dragunov
  • Steve Fox
  • Yoshimitsu

And here are the new characters, along with a synopsis of why they have entered the tournament:

  • Katarina Alves: she enters the tournament to look for her lost mentor
  • Claudio: a mysterious man who can use light magic as an exorcist
  • Lucky Chloe: a J-Pop inspired G Corporation representative (I’ve already written an article for her here)
  • Shaheen: a Saudi Arabian man who works as a bodyguard
  • Josie Rizal: a model from the Philippines who enters the tournament to become a member of the Tekken Force
  • Gigas: another robot who bears a resemblance to Craig Marduk (who has not been confirmed so far for this game)
  • JACK-7: A newer model from the JACK series
  • Kazumi Mishima/Devil Kazumi: Kazuya’s dead mother and Heihachi’s wife who may be the origin of the Devil Gene
  • Akuma: from Capcom’s Street Fighter series who has a pact with Kazumi in regards to her husband and son
  • Master Raven: a female ninja who is in charge of the organization that previous combatant Raven works for

For the first time ever, Tekken will have lockable characters that can be unlocked by paying for them. However, if you pre-order the game, you will obtain a season pass that will last for 12 months to purchase a character. There are 2 characters that will be revealed in the future, which leaves the possibility of:

  • Baek Doo San
  • Bruce Irvin
  • Christie Monteiro
  • Ganryu
  • Wang Jinrei
  • Zafina
  • Jun Kazama
  • Julia Chang/JayCee
  • Lei Wulong
  • Roger Jr.
  • Anna Williams
  • Craig Marduk
  • Armor King II
  • Mokujin
  • Maybe Raven as well?