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A Hands-on preview of Mortal Kombat 11 by King Hippo

The Mortal Kombat 11 Reveal Event took place January 17 in Los Angeles, California and showcased the upcoming title’s gameplay for the first time. I was lucky enough to not only grab some playtime in the single player area, but also in the press area for a decent time. As usual, Netherrealm has really switched the formula around, and it was a lot to take in all at once, but overall, Mortal Kombat 11 is shaping up to be NRS’ most ambitious title yet, breaking some of the series’ long-held conventions in order to find new depth.

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Dragon Ball FighterZ launches system-wide changes for a new season

A new patch has released for DBFZ in preparation for the game's second season of DLC content, which begins on Jan. 31 with Videl and Jiren.

The new update focuses entirely on DBFZ's system, looking to alter how the game is played instead of taking on individual characters. A big change is the overall reduction of recoverable health—blue life—, which should both shorten the length of matches and also make each instance of damage more effective. There are also nerfs to combos continued after a level one super—heavily decreased damage—and a reduction to the safety of invincible moves by not allowing players to call an assist or Ultimate Z Change unless that move hits.

Notes for the patch are currently only officially available in Japanese, but GREATFERNMAN has uploaded translations to Evernote.


Review: Razer Panthera Evo arcade stick (PlayStation 4, PC)

You can only work off the same design so many times before it feels like a retread. Starting with the premiere of the Xbox 360 Atrox model arcade stick in 2013, Razer has been utilizing that body type for years even through the following console generation. While there have been variations in the models, the core look always maintained. Five years following, Razer finally went back to the drawing board for a new design.


I came to Razer's newest stick expecting it to be a full-on successor to the Panthera, similar to what Mad Catz had done for the Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition series. In the end, I realized that it's not trying to one-up its brethren.

Despite the name, the Panthera Evo looks like it's more trying to pave its own path than carry on the lineage maintained by the normal Panthera. It tries to differentiate itself with features that try to improve on aspects found on existing sticks as well as experiment with new ideas. Priced at $199.99, like the original Panthera, did Razer hit the mark with this new model to convince players that it's just as worthy of a purchase as its fellow stick?

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Mind the accumulation: Snow joins the cast of Dissidia Final Fantasy

Square Enix has revealed that Final Fantasy XIII's Snow Villiers will be the next character to join Dissidia Final Fantasy and its console counterpart.

Snow appears in his form from Lightning Returns and seems to fight mostly as a melee attacker with some magic to back up his close-range combat.

He is the final of six DLC characters coming to Dissidia Final Fantasy and joins Vayne Carudas SolidorLocke ColeRinoa HeartillyKam'lanaut and Yuna as additional members of the cast.

Readers can watch Snow's trailer after the jump. He will be added to the arcade version of Dissidia at the end of January while console players on Dissidia Final Fantasy NT will have to wait until February for his release.

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Dragon Ball FighterZ Season Two starts Jan. 31 with Jiren, Videl

The second season of DLC characters for DBFZ will start with a classic DBZ character and one prominently featured in Dragon Ball Super.

Jiren, one of the defenders of Universe 11, and accomplished martial artist—and Mr. Satan's daughter—Videl will be the first two characters out of six that will join Dragon Ball FighterZ in the game's upcoming DLC season. Videl will fight with the Great Saiyaman by her side, perhaps similar to how Android 17 is featured in several of Android 18's attacks.

Two other characters have also been revealed for the DBFZ's next chapter and they are the Dragon Ball Super version of Broly and Super Saiyan Blue Gogeta. This leaves two mystery characters to roll out the season.

The trailer for the characters was made available by Bandai Namco Europe's YouTube channel, but has since been taken offline. It will likely return after the official announcement during the Dragon Ball FighterZ finals.


New SNK esports initiative to fund player travel for future events

A newly announced addition to SNK's esports program is aiming to help King of Fighters players make it out to more events around the world.

The "e-Sports Support Program for Top Players" will cover the costs of plane tickets to future tournaments for players who excel at events of the company's choosing. In 2019, SNK will offer support to the three players who achieve the top three placings in King of Fighters XIV at Evo Japan 2019.

According to SNK, the support will last for one year and each player will have a cap on the amount of monetary support they will receive, although that amount was not disclosed at this time. Players will also have the option to bring one addition player with them to events, but the additional cost will count against their overall spending cap. In addition, it's important to note that SNK clearly states only "flight ticket cost" will be covered, so other expenses like hotel, food and local travel will be covered by the players.

The SNK e-Sports Support Program for Top Players is open to all players from all regions, including those who are already sponsored by other teams, companies or organizations.


Sixth Dissidia Final Fantasy DLC character to be revealed on Jan. 28

The last of six announced post-launch DLC characters will be unveiled during an official Square Enix stream taking place at the end of January 2019.

Given the previous reveals, the final character will be a male character from the newer Final Fantasy games who has never been part of the series before. He will join Vayne Carudas SolidorLocke ColeRinoa Heartilly, Kam'lanaut and Yuna as additional members of the cast.

Players will be able to watch the announcement on Jan. 28 at 20:00 JST (3 a.m. PST, 6 a.m. EST) on the official Square Enix YouTube Channel.

If the other characters are any indication, players can look for this new character to be released sometime in February 2019. Dissidia Final Fantasy is currently available in Japanese arcades and on the PlayStation 4 as Dissidia Final Fantasy NT.


Mortal Kombat 11 reveal shows off seven characters, teases Kabal

During the official Mortal Kombat 11 reveal in Los Angeles, California, NetherRealm Studios showed off seven of the game's characters while hinting at much more to come.

From the look of the MK11 character select, the game will start with 25 characters and seven have been revealed: Raiden, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Skarlet, Sonya Blade, Baraka and new character Geras. Sony Blade returns to the series voiced and modeled after former Mixed Martial Arts fighter and current WWE star Ronda Rousey, and Geras is a servant of Kronika, a "sandman" who manipulates time.

NetherRealm's Tyler Lansdown revealed that Kombat Kast streams telling players more about MK 11 will begin starting on Jan. 30, and he teased the reintroduction of Kabal as an unknown character sped across the monitors in front of the audience. Lansdown also unveiled the collector's edition of MK11, which will come with a replica of Scorpion's helmet.

Readers can check out the game's official gameplay reveal, showing all the current roster in action, and the Geras trailer after the jump.

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Soul Calibur VI version 1.11 arrives Jan. 17, patch notes released

A new update for SCVI will be bringing balance changes to the game's cast when it launches in mid-January 2019.

In a series of tweets, SCVI Producer Motohiro Okubo translated the patch notes for English-speaking players, detailing all the alterations that are forthcoming. Each character in the game's cast received changes, with Astaroth and Tira seemingly receiving the most improvements while Raphael was heavily nerfed. In addition, several moves were changed due to their impact when playing the game online, which could end up reducing their overall usefulness in offline play.

Readers can check out the full list of changes here. Soul Calibur VI is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam.


News on Dragon Ball FighterZ updates to come at Final Summoning

During a stream on Jan. 14, DBFZ Producer Tomoko Hiroki announced that information about the future of the game will be revealed during Red Bull Final Summoning, the end of the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour.

Hiroki was vague in describing what kind of announcements players should expect during the event, but said that the team hopes to "continue working hard to be able to satisfy" users who want more content after Season One and that the team is looking to adjust the DBFZ's gameplay after the finals. She also specifically pointed out how the DBFZ team felt that comebacks were very hard to achieve and that they were looking at ways to potentially change "some things so that it would still make comebacks possible."

The Dragon Ball FighterZ Red Bull Final Summoning takes place in Los Angeles, California, on Jan. 27, 2019, with the game's last-chance qualifier event taking place the day beforehand. Readers will be able to check out all the action on the game's Twitch channel.



Nyotengu, Phase 4 join Dead or Alive 6 as DLC characters

Two more returning characters have been announced as part of the DOA6 cast, one as a preorder bonus and the other as part of a special deluxe edition of the game.

The tengu princess Nyotengu will be available to all players who preorder the game, while only those who purchase the digital deluxe will receive Phase 4. The digital special edition will also come with a "deluxe" costume set, an additional outfit for Kasumi and a special set of in-game music.

According to the Team Ninja website, all bonus items will be on sale individually after the game is released.

Readers can check out the trailer for both characters after the jump.

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Arika details Fighting EX Layer version 1.1.3, coming Jan. 10

A new patch will soon be released for Arika's fighter, bringing with it some big gameplay changes to one of the Gougi abilities.

While there are smaller changes affecting the arcade version of the game and a reduction in matchmaking times for the PlayStation 4 version of FEXL that will release on Jan. 10, the biggest change will affect the Teleport ability. No longer will players be able to teleport in the air, it will have increased startup and will also have one frame of recovery after a teleport.

In notes added along with the changes, the developers noted that the existing form of Teleport made the mind games in FEXL less interesting which lead to the change. They also asked that players continue to watch over their decisions so that FEXL can walk on the edge between "fun" and "broken."

Readers can check out the full patch notes below.

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Dead or Alive 6 release pushed back two weeks to March 1, 2019

The next entry in the Dead or Alive franchise has had it upcoming launch temporarily delayed.

In a Twitter post from the game's official account, DOA6 director and producer Yohei Shimbori says that his team would "like to take more time to further polish its balance, gameplay and expressivity" and thus the game will debut two weeks later than its original Feb. 15, 2019, date, now coming home on March 1, 2019.

Shimbori also apologized for the delay, promising players "the best Dead or Alive gaming experience."

Dead or Alive 6 will be available on PlayStation 4, Steam and Xbox One.


More Granblue Fantasy: Versus characters to be announced in March

New characters for Arc System Works' upcoming fighting game based on Cygames' mobile RPG will be revealed during an anniversary stream in early March 2019.

Granblue's director Tetsuya Fukuhara posted the news on the game's official website, but offered no other details at this time. Granblue celebrates its anniversary on March 10, and, according to Gematsu, in previous years the stream was always held the Sunday before the date.

Whoever is announced for GBF:V, they will join Gran, Katalina, Charlotta, Lancelot and Ferry as part of the game's playable cast. Granblue Fantasy: Versus comes to PlayStation 4 sometime in 2019.


Forged in battle: New Metal Revolution teaser shows fighters in action

A short trailer for the upcoming robot-based fighting game from developer Next Studios has given players a small preview of what Metal Revolution's gameplay will look like.

While the game's official Twitter admits that the new footage is not the final version of the game, players can check out several moves and super animations from different members of the cast. 

Next Studios looks to have early access to Metal Revolution open in April 2019, with a planned release date of July 2019 for Steam. Console releases may come later.

Readers can check out the teaser after the jump.

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More details revealed on Blade Arcus Rebellion from Shining

The sequel to Blade Arcus from Shining was announced in November 2018, but new details about the game have surfaced along with profiles of the upcoming additions to the cast.

For starters, the game will include online play when it launches on March 14, 2019, in Japan. This is important because the original PS4 release of Blade Arcus from Shining did not, which left many players confused and dismayed.

Additionally, the game will offer a Skill System to personalize characters that in effect resembles Injustice's equipment system. Players can earn points through various means in the game and then buy skills, which offer continuous effects, or items that provide a one-time benefit. It's not clear at this time if the skill system will affect all levels of online play or if it is mostly something for single-player gaming.

Blade Arcus Rebellion from Shining is coming to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles.


NESiCAxLive2 location test coming to U.S. Round 1 stores

Taito's updated content delivery system for arcades will soon be coming to the U.S. via Round 1.

The official Round 1 Twitter account has announced that NESiCAxLive2 will be location testing at 10 stores around the country, and that the service will feature Fighting EX Layer, King of Fighters XIV and SNK Heroines.

The stores getting the NESiCAxLive2 test are: Puente Hills Mall (SoCal), South Center Mall (Washington), Shops at South Town (Utah), Southwest Plaza (Colorado), Grapevine Mills (Texas), Fox Valley Mall (Illinois), Great Lakes Crossing (Michigan), Stonecrest Mall (Georgia), Broadway Mall (New York) and Maine Mall (Maine).

There is no information at this time as to how long the test will last or a time frame for a nationwide rollout of NESiCAxLive2 if it is successful.


Sanwa Denshi apparently discontinuing Silent JLF levers, increasing prices on various parts

[Update December 24, 11:24 p.m. PST]: After reaching out to Sanwa Denshi on Twitter, the company has told us that it will keep making JLF-TPRG levers while possibly discontinuing one of the variants. Sanwa also confirmed that there will be a price increase for some of the parts carrying pieces from OMRON. The company hasn't made a decision on how much more would parts be from the raise.

The popular Japanese arcade parts company Sanwa Denshi is facing some changes in its catalog.

As revealed by parts supplier Akishop, Sanwa's Silent JLF levers has apparently been discontinued. These were both the low tension JLF-TPRG-8AYT model, from 2014, and the higher tension JLF-TPRG-8BYT, from 2017. With that said, Akishop plans to sell the core parts from these levers so existing JLF users can add them in the near future. It's currently unknown if other arcade parts suppliers will also do the same.

Akishop then revealed from a email by Sanwa that, due to increased prices recently set by OMRON, a manufacturer that supplies some of the core pieces in Sanwa parts, various products will get the same treatment. These include the popular JLF lever as well as the various OBS pushbuttons. OMRON also provides pieces to Seimitsu which can also affect the prices of those various parts. As for full arcade sticks carrying Sanwa parts, their prices might possibly face an increase in overall cost.

If both pieces of information are true, this might be a good time to possibly get the last of the Silent JLF levers or pick up other parts for current prices.

Not much else, such as specific prices for products, has been revealed at the time of this piece. IPLAYWINNER has reached out to Sanwa Denshi for comment on both matters.


SNK to gift players with Christmas patch for King of Fighters XIV

A new balance patch for the most recent King of Fighters game will arrive just in time for the holidays.

SNK has announced that a new update to KOF XIV will launch sometime on Dec. 25 in Japan. This means players in North America will most likely get the patch one calendar day earlier, on Dec. 24.

No details of the changes were made available at this time. King of Fighters XIV is currently available for PlayStation 4 and Steam.


Asta of Black Clover, Boa Hancock, Trunks, Renji Abarai join Jump Force

A new world joins the battle in Jump Force while One Piece, Dragon Ball Z and Bleach each place another character in the game's cast.

Black Clover comes to Jump Force in the form of Asta, the series protagonist who uses the power of anti-magic in combat. He is joined by One Piece's Boa Hancock, Dragon Ball's Trunks and Bleach's Renji Abarai as part of the upcoming arena fighter.

Bandai Namco has also revealed that the game will contain One Piece's Marineford as a stage.

Jump Force comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Feb. 15, 2019.