Dragon Ball FighterZ is out today, and although its focus is on chaotic head-to-head battles, there’s quite a bit to do for solo players. Between a lengthy story mode, a challenging arcade mode, and some unlockables, new players have plenty of time to get their sea legs before hopping online.

Noted Dragon Ball fan Kyle Hilliard joins me as we show off all most of the single-player content in FighterZ, which should give you a good idea of whether your love of Dragon Ball alone is enough to make this fighter worth your time.

For more Dragon Ball FighterZ, make sure to check out our Android 21 showcase, how to unlock her and the Super Saiyan Blues, and how to beat arcade mode on the hardest difficulty without pulling your hair out.

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Two of the three hidden characters in Dragon Ball FighterZ are hidden behind the arcade mode. You can unlock them by earning zenny in the main story mode, character trials, and playing some matches in versus mode or online, but the fastest way to do unlock SSGSS Goku and Vegeta is to beat the arcade mode’s two toughest challenges. To that end, we’ve put together a short guide to make sure you’re busting out times-10 Kaioken Kamehamehas as quickly as possible.

First, unlock the hard versions of the Extreme Gravity Spaceship (for SSGSS Vegeta) and Hyperbolic Time Chamber (for SSGSS Goku) courses by beating them on normal difficulty. This shouldn’t be too tough, as the A.I. won’t bother you too much until some of the later fights (and if you’re stuck on those, the other tips in this guide should also help).

Once you’ve done that, you’ll have to beat the hard versions with at least an A-Rank. You’re ranked after match (From D to S), and, depending on your rank, you’ll move up, down, or forward through the arcade-mode tree to face a different opponent. The faster you finish a match and more health you have at the end, the better you’ll do. The opponent you face at the end is roughly indicative of your what rank you’re likely to get; if your final opponent is at the bottom of the tree, you probably won’t get an A rank, and if they’re at the top, you’ll probably get an A or S rank. So if you’re dragging across the bottom of the tree for most of your run, you’re better off restarting.

Because your opponents in Arcade mode deal much higher damage than you (up to 80 percent of your health bar for a single level-three super toward the end), you need to minimize the amount of openings they get on you. The best way do this is stay in the air as much as possible, as I found dealing with grounded mixups from A.I. opponents tough to deal with at times.

It’s much easier jump backward and spam Super Dashes from afar since, for whatever reason, the A.I. seems extremely susceptible to them. Very rarely would they block a super dash from afar, though close-range super dashes were less successful. To maximize the damage you get off a successful super dash, for a quick magic series (light > medium > heavy) except you’ll want to finish with a down+heavy attack, which will launch the opponent higher into the air.

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If you press forward and the assist at the same time, one of your teammates will come in to do their own super dash, which will let you continue the combo with another magic series. Finally, if your opponent has just a sliver of health left, feel free to fire off an airborne super.

This is the main strategy: Super dash as much as possible, then use upward launchers and swaps to extend these openings and avoid getting hit. Keep in mind, however, that your ability to swap characters mid-combo is on a timer, which means you’ll have to alternate who you swap in and out (you can keep track of these timers by looking at your on-screen character icons) and occasionally wait a bit to do your next combo.

Team composition is also important. The most useful characters for this strategy are those who have level one and three supers they can fire off while airborne, which is why I chose Super Saiyan Vegeta, Android 18, and Kid Buu, all of who fill these roles nicely. Not every character’s down+heavy attack launches opponents upward, either, so keep that in mind.

Finally, if your opponent gets low without you finishing them off, you’ll want to swap them back in, since that will remove their stock of blue health (health they recover while not in play). You can do this by going for a throw, then holding down the corresponding assist button (L1 for the second slot, L2 for the third slot by default) as you’re throwing them. Conversely, you’ll want to swap out characters with lots of blue health; although arcade mode opponents deal more damage, they also leave characters with more blue wealth, which makes swapping characters out of combat to heal them crucial to getting a higher rank. Don’t focus on this too much, however, as throws and swaps can be risky when thrown out at random and can get your characters killed in an instant during later matches.

These tips won’t make you a better player, since they’re mostly about exploiting A.I. (anyone with common sense would start looking out for super dashes), but they should help you unlock SSGSS Goku and Vegeta. These modes can still be tough and this may take a few tries (and some luck) depending on your expertise, but hopefully, these tips will make the whole process a bit less frustrating. You can watch a video of an S-rank clear of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber course above to see these tips in action.

Your Palico is your best friend in Monster Hunter: World. They protect you. They serve as a distraction to help keep monsters off of you. They’re also dreadfully cute in the various armor sets you can put them in. Don’t believe us?

Take a look for yourself! These are most of the armor sets you can get for your furry little helper during the course of the game (no elder dragon sets to peek at unfortunately). Minor spoilers ahead, so turn back now if you don’t want to see cat armor!

Leather Set

Bone Set

Jagras Set

Kulu Set

Pukei Set

Alloy Set

Barroth Set

Jyura Set

Kadachi Set

Anja Set

Rathian Set


Lumu Set

Bann Set

Ladybug Set

Legiana Set

Odogaron Set

Rathalos Set

Diabolos Set

Zorah Set

For more on Monster Hunter: World, be sure to check out our review

A voxel-based spinoff of Ark, titled PixArk, has been revealed and will be entering Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview in March.

Ark is a successful survival sim on PC on Xbox One, but can be a bit on the impenetrable side. PixArk was technically revealed last year as a result of a deal between developer Snail Games and Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard, but is debuting with this announcement. 

The game is taking a lot of Ark’s survival sim aspects, such dinosaur taming, crafting, base building, and multiplayer cooperation and transferring them into a more kid-friendly package. Most of those qualities are already well known to fit with Minecraft, so the transition should be fairly seamless.

“Spend your time building a towering fortress or go on a quest in a sprawling cavern”, says Snail Games. “Fly on the back of a dragon and smite your enemies with a magic wand, or ride a mighty T-Rex and blast your foes with a rocket launcher. In the world of PixARK, how you play is up to you – as long as you survive!”

While in development, the game will only be available on Steam and Xbox One, but the full version will launch on those two systems as well as PlayStation 4 and Switch. You can catch the trailer below.

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Our Take
It loos like a good idea, but the market is a little crowded for this sort of thing. Hopefully they find a good hook that separates them from the crowd.

Square Enix is taking a big risk remaking The Secret of Mana. The original SNES game is a beloved classic, with rich 16-bit art that most indie studios would kill for. So, of course, they’re scrapping all of that and bringing it to 3D. As Imran, Kim, and I discuss in our latest episode of New Gameplay Today, those new visuals may or may not be an improvement.

Long story short, we’re not huge fans of the new art. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out the video below to see The Secret of Mana in action, and also see some of its new streamlined interface. As far as that goes, we’re fans. Hey, you can’t win ’em all, right?

The Secret of Mana remake is coming to the PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC on February 15.

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The original Secret of Mana is a game I hold near and dear
to my heart. The original SNES title is a classic, a tale of a boy on an epic,
world-saving adventure after finding a sword that resonates within his mind. It
was also one of my first action RPG titles and the idea that this full-blown
narrative game could be played cooperatively blew me away. Now, with
Square-Enix remaking the game for modern hardware, I got hands-on time to see
if the remake could invoke the same feelings of discovery and disbelief in me.

The brief bit I got to play involved taking heroes Randi,
Primm, and Popoi to the Moon Palace. Randi was stocked to the brim with
different weapons to try out, while the rest of the party had their magic
spells at the ready. New inventory and weapon wheel changes allow for a faster
user interface, making accessing those weapons and spells far easier.

Individual items, including equipment, can also now be
placed as hotkeys on the L1 or R1 buttons on the PlayStation 4 controller. It
helps make dealing with multiple enemies less stressful, as well as lessening
the repetitiveness of the combat. Spells can also be placed there for quick buffs
and fast cooperative techniques with your party.

The developers are expanding the game’s story with new
scenes and story sequences, with the narrative as a whole now furnished with
voice acting for the first time. The dialogue can be switched between both English
and Japanese voice acting in the menu, ensuring that fans can pick and choose
the type that most appeals to them.

The dungeon I was able to go through was a simple trek to
find the Moon spirit, Luna. The fairly simple trek involved wandering through a
void within the temple searching for a crystal artifact. Upon finding it, an
analysis spell had to be cast on the crystal to identify what element it would
react with. Casting the right element revealed the door, bringing the party to
Luna’s shrine and adding her to the party of spirits.

Square-Enix’s Masaru Oyamada, producer of Secret of Mana, told
us that the game is looking to its roots in the remake. I asked him if the game’s
eccentricities, like fighting Santa Claus, still come through in the remake and
Oyamada assured me they would.  Other
ones, like the infamous magic book with a nude drawing in it, would not survive
a modern ratings board.

Secret of Mana will release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation
Vita, and PC on February 15. Oyamada told me that the game was in planning
before they knew about the Switch, but do not rule it out for the future.

As part of its plans for Year 3 of Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft has announced couple of changes the game’s pricing structure. This includes removing one edition of the game and replacing it with a more expensive one.

Year 3 will add eight new operators and include a few seasonal events throughout the year. One of those is Outbreak, a four-week event which will have players take on waves of enemies in co-op. Players will be able to purchase Outbreak packs which will include only cosmetic items, and will never drop duplicates.

Year 3 also includes a couple of changes the game’s pricing structure. The $15 Starter Edition (which lets players play on every map for free but makes unlocking operators take longer) will remain the same. However, the $40 Standard edition (which lets players shorten the unlock time for operators) has been replaced with a $60 Advanced Edition, which offers is identical save for 600 Rainbow Six credits and offering 10 Outbreak Collection packs. Finally, the Gold and Complete editions have been updated to reflect the change to Year 3.

[Source: Ubisoft]

 

Our Take
The increase in price for the “regular” edition doesn’t seem earned to me, and feels like a way for Ubisoft to get more money out of incoming players. Anyone looking to get in for $40 and not wait for the next sale should probably do so while they still can.

You ever have that one friend? Delightful one minute, and a rage-fueled monster the next? You like their company, but you’re never sure when they’re going to go off and reveal the Mr. Hyde that lurks within. The second season of Telltale’s Batman has been about being trapped in a room with this particular kind of person, and the fourth episode makes good on all the tension associated with that. This culmination results in not only the best episode in the series since Lady Arkham’s debut in the first season, but also one of the more compelling Batman/Joker relationship stories in years, in any media.

Last we left Bruce, he was trapped in a cold and deadly predicament. After escaping, he resumes his quest to bring down Harley Quinn and the rest of the villainous Pact, with the help of secret agent Avesta and John Doe (a.k.a. The Joker). Much of the episode revolved around just how much you trust Doe. Is he actually willing to help you? Or is he working behind your back to earn Harley’s affection? Regardless of intentions, Doe commits some horrific actions during the episode. However, he seems properly contrite and confused in the aftermath of them all. Is it all an act?

The foundation of Episode 4 is whether you can trust Doe as a friend, playing your own knowledge of Batman and Joker’s relationship throughout the years against the events of previous episodes. Telltale’s version of Gotham City follows its own logic, for better or worse, often recasting old favorites in new light and rearranging origin stories to make a world that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Batman mythos.

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Watching Telltale’s version of this classic dynamic come to a head in the final hour of What Ails You is enjoyable. I spent the majority of the episode wanting to guide Doe toward doing the right thing while also balancing that against what was right for Gotham. Familiar Telltale-brand problems rear their hydra heads more than a few times, like bad animation and a few tedious walk-around-the-room-and-look-at-things sequences, but the writing and tension prevalent through the episode is strong enough that those are easy to ignore this go round.

Rooting for The Joker as a likeable, sympathetic person is a strange, unexpected thing. And yet Telltale has accomplished that much with its season-long gambit. One more episode remains and I’m curious to see if Telltale will go all-in on letting players shape Joker as a character. Regardless of how the finale plays it, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the journey of trying to rehabilitate one of comic’s greatest villains.

Originally an obscure PC horror game released in Japan in 2004, Yume Nikki (which translates to “Dream Diary”) is being remade with oversight from its original creator, and will be launching next month.

A couple weeks ago, publisher Playism re-released the original PC game, which was released first online outside of major storefronts like Steam. This lead up to the announcement of Yume Nikki: Dream Diary, a remake which takes the game’s 2D graphics and maps them to 3D textures. The game is being developed “under supervision and with the full cooperation from” the game’s anonymous creator, who goes by “Kikiyama.”

The remake will also include characters who were cut from the original release and take influence from “recent indie juggernauts to create something wholly unique.” Dream Diary will launch on February 23 on PC.

[Source: Steam via IGN]

 

Our Take
I always like hearing about long-lost or obscure projects like this coming back, so this is cool to see. I should probably play the original Yume Nikki, right?

Akihiro Suzuki is the producer for the Dynasty Warriors series and has been on it since the first game in 1997. With Dynasty Warriors 9, the series is undergoing its biggest change since turning into an action game, becoming an open world title. This means less picking a level out of a list and more marching toward your goals and clearing armies out of the way. Suzuki shared with us his thoughts on the game evolving and hearing the feedback from western fans.

Fans are obviously very excited for Dynasty Warriors, but the critical reception by and large tends to peg Warriors games as repetitive. Is that something you were looking to change with Dynasty Warriors 9?

Suzuki: With the previous Warriors games, the battle systems are generally the same, and the majority of the mechanics are similar. So with this title, we decided to go with the open world primarily for new experiences.

Why open world specifically? Why that direction to freshen up the franchise?

Suzuki: We chose the open world for two reasons. The first is to show the scale of China and the second is the storyline. Most players already know the general storyline of the Dynasty Warriors titles, and we wanted to create more opportunities for them to get closer to that storyline.

What open-world games have you been playing that have informed what you wanted Dynasty Warriors 9 to be? Were there titles you felt like inspired the game more than others?

Suzuki: We view the open world in Dynasty Warriors 9 as completely different from other open world games, mainly because we wanted to show the entire battlefield. Although, for balancing purposes, I did look at Zelda fervently.

Dynasty Warriors has a cast of characters beloved to fans. People count down to their reveals, and have their favorites. Has there ever been any thought to adding or removing characters from the cast?

Suzuki: With every entry in the series, we always think, “We don’t want to remove characters, but we always want to add characters.” We have been listening to feedback from fans to make sure we know which ones they like.

This game has been announced for PlayStation 4 and PC worldwide, with an Xbox One version in the U.S. as well. It seems like KOEI Tecmo has had a very close relationship with Nintendo in recent years, so is there a reason Dynasty Warriors 9 won’t be on Switch?

Suzuki: [laughs] Honestly…we actually just didn’t plan for the Switch.

Are there any plans in the future for it?

Suzuki: We haven’t decided for it yet.

The last Dynasty Warriors mainline game was on PlayStation 3. Were there technical limitations preventing you from taking the series open world before this?

Suzuki: As you mentioned, there were limitations with previous platforms. In previous games, our priority was always to increase the number of enemies on the screen. Because of that priority, though, we couldn’t show the scale of the battlefield or much in the distance. With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, though, we could show enough of the distance that we could just make it open world.

Warriors games have gotten more popular in the west than they were before in the last five years. Have you started considering the needs and desires of the west when making these days?

Suzuki: We definitely hear the voices of the western fans. Originally, we made Dynasty Warriors for fans all over the globe and have them be familiar with the story of the three kingdoms.

Is the open world going to be the template for Dynasty Warriors going forward? Will the next game follow the same form?

Suzuki: [laughs] We can’t talk about anything like that yet.

The game is coming out on Xbox One in America, but not in Japan. Why is the port only being added for the Western release?

Suzuki: It is because the sales for the Xbox One in Japan are so low.

What would entice a new player to come in at Dynasty Warriors 9?

Suzuki: This is the first game we’ve done in open world. There’s a lot of new systems we’ve implemented, it’s been a lot of different challenges for us. We hope the open world brings in new fans and entices them to join the Dynasty Warriors fanbase.

Dynasty Warriors 9 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 13 and is the first mainline game in the series since 2013.