Dying Light

dyinglightps4jpg-544a0bPublisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment8.5

Developer: Techland

Release Date: 1/27/2015

Rating: Mature

MSRP: $59.99

Also Available On

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The Good: Fantastic visuals, fun and satisfying combat, huge open world that is fun to explore, many different weapons and ways to mod them

The Bad: Despite huge world it feels empty due to lack of lore and great characters, story gets interesting and then turns cliche, characters are not interesting

Zombie games are everywhere now, but they have also gotten better over the years. Zombies are probably the most iconic horror character ever, and mostly everyone is fascinated by them. However, a new fascination has started coming around: What would happen if we truly and honestly were hit by a zombie apocalypse? Gone are the campy days of old horror films where zombies were just scary and cool. People are even getting down to the nitty-gritty science of zombies and it’s now showing up in video games. Dying Light is probably of the better zombie games out there, and for sure the best open world one.

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You play as a man named Kyle Crane who is working for the GRE, a group tasked with finding a cure in ground zero of the zombie outbreak. The story actually doesn’t get interesting until towards the end of the game. The actual story missions are quite entertaining and well put together. My favorite moments were chase sequences as these got very intense and pretty scary. Despite all this, the characters are a little weak and disappointing. The main antagonist, Rais, had potential in the beginning by being a sick twisted ass with a God complex, but in the end he became cliché and it all went downhill. Other characters are bit parts and aren’t as strong as other open world characters such as Fallout or The Elder Scrolls or even Mass Effect. They feel generic, forgettable, and honestly nothing all that interesting is going on in this world besides zombies.

That’s what I have to gripe about the most. Dying Light had a lot of potential to create some great lore around this fictional area and develop some memorable characters, but instead went the route of just getting as much missions out there as possible and relying on the open world itself. There is just so much potential here. The world itself is well put together and huge. There are some unique areas where pieces of story could be told, but the developers just bypassed this all together.

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With that said, the combat is actually quite satisfying. This isn’t a game in which you kill everything in sight. The whole point is to run away and survive. Some times you will run across a bridge that has nearly a hundred zombies. It’s best to just run on top of the cars and stay away. The whole game is in first person, so the combat is similar to Dead Island or even The Elder Scrolls. There are many different types of weapons you can create or buy and the ones with mods are the most fun to use. Slicing off a zombies head is satisfying as well as jumping over a zombie to escape an entire horde. I actually like how the game forces you to only fight when the opportunity is right. Night time is the most dangerous and when fighting is probably mostly avoided. Dangerous volatile zombies that are extremely hard to kill will chase you down in the dead of night. I mostly avoided the night-time unless a quest required me to be in it. It also helps add to the atmosphere and I was usually shit scared and very paranoid when traveling at night.  There are guns in the game, however using them is very dangerous since faster more deadly zombies will hear the sounds and surround you. Shooting is very satisfying in the game, but it’s best used for isolated areas where runners can’t respawn.

Once the player reaches level 12 you can unlock a grappling hook which is essential in traveling vast parts of the game. It has a two time use then a 10 second cool down, but it sure comes in handy when escaping hordes of zombies or traveling large distances. With all this combined Dying Light has a great world to explore despite how generic it may feel. Everything does get better towards the end of the game as you can use more powerful weapons and fighting zombies (even the more powerful ones) becomes easier and less like a chore.

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Graphically Dying Light looks fantastic. There are some awesome lighting effects and the draw distance is amazing. The textures are a little sketchy as well as some of the zombie models. However, the game really shows off the power of the next-gen consoles and is probably one of the best zombie games to date. Outside of the generic story the combat is rewarding as well as leveling up your character, but I just can’t help but feel that there is something missing from this game. It feels empty and lonely but not in the way it’s supposed to feel. When it comes to multiplayer it’s nothing special and will probably be forgotten quickly. It’s fun for a little while but you probably have other multiplayer games that are much better.

Mortal Kombat Evaluation: The New Kharacters — Part 10

Jacqui_Game_2Jacqui Briggs — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

9.5

 

Jacqui Briggs is the first African American female character in the Mortal Kombat series and second African American character (first was Jax). Jacqui is similar to her father, Jax, she fights like an MMA fighter with enhanced arms using hard hitting punches and weapons. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and her personality really shines through in the story. She quickly became one of my favorite characters in the series.

downloadKotal Khan — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

8.0

Kotal Khan probably has a lot of people thinking he’s the successor to Shao Khan…in reality he is as he feels he’s the rightful ruler of Outworld and Mileena is not a she’s just a construct of sorcery. When I first played Kotal he was extremely slow. Probably the slowest character I have ever played in the series. He’s a defensive character 100% as most of his specials are setup attacks and traps. He Aztec influenced style is completely new for the series and is a breath of fresh. However, after fighting with him some more I grew fond of his brutality and down right vicious way of fighting.

Mortal_kombat_x_ios_kung_jin_render_2_by_wyruzzah-d8p0rzt-1-Kung Jin — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

7.5

 

Probably one of the weaker characters in MKX, Kung Jin just doesn’t stack up to Kung Lao, that he’s trying to succeed. His bow and staff fighting style is great fun, but as a character he feels a bit shallow, but will hopefully be more fleshed out in future games. He’s the first gay character in the series which is a huge deal for games period.

2730203-screen+shot+2015-02-27+at+4.34.58+pmTakeda Takahashi — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

8.0

 

Takeda is a confusing character. He’s supposed to be the successor to Kenshi, but he fights more like Scorpion as he was his trainer. His dual whip fighting style can be a lot of fun, but as a character he’s feel a bit shallow. I hope to see more of him as he has great potential unlike previous newer characters who completely fell flat.

 

Mortal Kombat Evaluation: The New Kharacters — Part 9

9e70aCassie Cage — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

9.5

 

Mortal Kombat X probably has the strongest cast of brand new characters in any Mortal Kombat game. Instead of just a couple good ones, nearly the entire new cast is excellent. Netherrealm took a huge risk by making a new generation of current characters as they could feel exactly the same and stale. Cassie is a mix between Sonya and Johnny Cage, but it actually makes sense. Instead of being a cheap rip-off she feels like an evolution over those two. Her personality is fantastic, she’s sexy, and she’s a great character to fight with. She is probably one of my favorite new character in the entire series.

505a7D’Vorah — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

9.0

 

Another amazing character. D’Vorah is a completely new species for the series as she’s an insect type character. Her voice acting and phenomonal and her she is just cutthroat and ruthless in the game. All she cares about is her own gain and you wind up loving her and hating her at the same time. Her fighting style is awesome with her pincer arms that come out of her back and she has quick jabbing combos that are good for mid-range.

077b457d8381f5e3f768fd4aeaa3e04b092316f6560e08e1eeb45a149cc28c74_thumb_mediumErron Black — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

8.5

 

Erron is another wildly new character. He’s a cowboy which can seem out of place in the MK universe but he fits right in as a rogue outlaw type character that only cares about himself. He’s ruthless, deadly, and just doesn’t give a shit at all. His fighting style is all about quick close to mid-range attacks and he’s deadly with his pistols. He also has one awesome X-Ray move.

maxresdefaultFerra/Tor — MortalKombatX-ps4-logo_vf1

9.5

 

MK was never successful with the dual fighters in the past. Noob-Smoke didn’t quite work out like everyone thought, so Ferra/Tor was a tough call. They are actually one of my top 5 most favorite new characters to come to MK. They’re personalities are great (mainly Ferra who is a blast to listen to) and they’re fighting style is so unique and stands out from the rest of the entire MK cast.

Mortal Kombat Evaluation: The New Kharacters — Part 8

MKA_Taven_RenderTaven — Mka_logo

3.0

 

Finally, we hit rock bottom. Taven and Daegon are probably the #1 worst characters in the entire MK series. Midway was really desperate to bring someone new along for Armageddon and they were actually worse than Shujinko that was shoehorned into Deception. Taven is the main protaganist in the Konquest mode, but he’s uninteresting and looks as generic as they come. Thankfully we never saw him again.

Daegon_Render_MKADaegon — Mka_logo

3.0

 

Slightly better than Taven since he fits the universe more, but still pretty generic. His move set was generic and was nothing we hadn’t seen already.

mortal_kombat_9_skarlet_by_nichtelf-d45o80dSkarlet — Mortal_kombat_original_text_by_sidneymadmax-d3kohts

9.0

 

Shao Kahn has many warriors under his command, but his trust lies solely in the fighters of his own creation. Warrior blood gathered from countless battlefields, fused with sorcery, produced his most effective enforcer yet: Skarlet. An expert tracker, she preys on those deemed enemies of the empire. During kombat, Skarlet gains strength from her opponent’s blood, absorbing it through her skin. Shao Kahn has a new mission for this formidable kombatant: discover Quan Chi’s true intentions and kill him if he plots betrayal of the emperor.

Here we go! An awesome new character. Well, she’s not completely new. She was a cut character from MKII due to time constraints, it’s great to see a new female ninja. She’s actually another construct of Shang Tsungs magic as she’s made from the blood of fallen warriors. She was a great DLC character in MK9, and was super fun to play as. Her fatalities were awesome and her blood moves were great for setup and pop-up attacks. Skarlet was a fast close range character and was loved by many.

Ladder2_Cyber_Sub-ZeroCyber Sub-Zero — Mortal_kombat_original_text_by_sidneymadmax-d3kohts

8.5

Well, I rolled my eyes when Cyber Sub-Zero popped up in the story mode, but it was bound to happen. Since MK3 Sub-Zero had been chased by the cyborg ninjas and was finally caught. Surprisingly he stands out on his own with a different play style than regular Sub-Zero and became one of my favorite characters.

 

Mortal Kombat Evaluation: The New Kharacters — Part 7

Cutout_(11)Kira — Mkd_logo

8.5

 

I was the first of Kabal’s recruits. I had stolen away to the mountains of Afghanistan, selling weapons to terrorists — disguised as a man. When they discovered my gender, I had to fight my way out of the cave. I suppose Kabal assumed that any woman who could do business with cutthroat extremist organizations and live to talk about it must be worthy of the new Black Dragon clan. When I alone emerged from the cave, Kabal stood before me with an offer to join him.

The complacency of the original Black Dragon allowed for their destruction. Kabal claims that a new Black Dragon will rise from the ashes — more ruthless, more calculating than before. We will not exist as a mere band of pirates. We will cause the downfall of civilization itself and live in a world of blessed anarchy.

Kira is probably my favorite out of the entire new cast of Deception. Not only was she sexy, but she was a complete bad ass Black Dragon member that wasn’t a copy cat of Kano. She was a fast close range character with her daggers and her special moves could be combo-ed like crazy. I used her quite a bit in Deception, however her fatalities weren’t that great.

downloadKira — Mkd_logo

8.0

Back in Armageddon with no upgrades. With one less fighting style her long combos were gone so new strategies had to be made. It’s just a shame she was never seen again.

KobraKobra — Mkd_logo

7.5

 

I had always wondered if my martial arts training would work in an actual fight. I trained in school for years. I was the best in my class. But we were never allowed to hurt each other — REALLY hurt each other. How did I know this attack would break an arm? That this one would rupture an organ? I prowled the back alleys of New York in search of an opportunity to put my skills to the test. I needed to know what kombat really was.

I couldn’t stop. The thrill of kombat consumed me. I had killed! First it was drug dealers and gangbanger — it allowed me to justify the violence. I killed for money, looking convenience stores and gas stations. When the law finally caught up with me, I couldn’t remember how many had died. Sitting cuffed in the police car, I heard some of the officers shouting and firing their guns. When some chick and a masked guy with bloody hookswords stepped into the light, I knew I was in the company of friends.

Kobra was okay-ish. He was another Black Dragon member who was a master at martial arts and was super fast. Probably the second fastest character next to Liu Kang. His kali sticks could throw out mean combos and he was ruthless at close range. He was also an advanced character, so unless you practiced with him he would be useless to you. As a character he was boring and didn’t hit home with me at all in the game.

PLAYER_KOBRAKobra — Mka_logo

7.0

Same as Deception with one less fighting style meaning those bad ass combos were now shorter. He also had a sword rather than kali sticks so he was also slower.

PLAYER_ONAGAOnaga — Mka_logo

7.0

He was the main boss in Deception and was a bastard to defeat. In Armageddon he was toned down a bit for balancing reasons and was a big brute that was hard to control and very slow. He also lost his flying move which kept him on the ground and easier to beat.

Shujinko8pcShujinko — Mkd_logo

5.0

 

I was a fool, I had allowed myself to be deceived into believing that I worked for a greater good. I was in fact an unknowing tool of greater evil. My ego allowed Onaga, the Dragon King, to manipulate me into bringing together the lost Kamidogu. They are the very weapons by which the Elder Gods smashed the One Being, forming the many realms we call existence. But their misuse can also bring the realms crashing together again… reawakening the One Being… unmaking all reality.

The realms are the shattered consciousness of the One Being, who has been working subconsciously through the Dragon King. Should Onaga succeed in conquering reality by fusing the Kamidogu, he will unwittingly begin a cascade of events that will merge all the realms together. The One will become whole once more, and all other beings will cease to exist. I must find and unite the warriors of all the realms if I am to save us. I will use the Dragon King’s gift against him.

Okay, I understand Midway needing to find another main protaganist outside of Liu Kang, but what the hell is this? I hated Shujinko in every way. He was a stereotypical Japanese old dude and was just dull and dry. His fighting style was average at best despite being the main story character in the game. He also had borrowed moves from other characters and I felt this was just so stupid. I’m glad we never saw him again and hope he never returns.

ShujinkoShujinko — Mka_logo

4.5

Finally taking a back seat in Armageddon. Shujinko was my third least liked character in Deception.

Mortal Kombat X

81OjRGvob9L._SL1500_1-720x927Publisher: Warner Bros.9.5

Developer: Netherrealm Studios

Release Date: 4/14/2015

Rating: Mature

MSRP: $59.99

Also Available On

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The Good: Fantastic visuals, superb production values, gruesome fatalities, Krypt mode is fun and stands on its own, Faction Wars is entertaining, new characters are fantastic

The Bad: Could use a little more content, not enough classic fighters

MOOORRTTAALLL KOOOMMBBAATTT!!! Mortal Monday made gaming history when the original arcade game hit the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Super Nintendo in 1992. Fast forward 23 years later and people still get just as excited for every new Mortal Kombat game. MKX is a near reboot of the reboot from 2011 by improving nearly every aspect of the game including online. This is the first Mortal Kombat game for next-generation consoles and has set the bar for fighting games in terms of production values.

The first thing you will probably play is the story, it’s needed to unlock Shinnok as well as earn a slew of koins for the Krypt. The story is fantastic and the best one in any fighting game to date. The story has finally evolved past MK3 and takes place 25 years after the last game. Naturally the original fighters have aged and are older (but still kick ass), and new generations/kids of these fighters are introduced. The story is actually shorter and more streamlined than MK9. Instead of every character being shoehorned into the story you only play as the good guys and select characters. There are about 5 matches for each characters and the entire story just evolves naturally. Earthrealm is past Shao Kahn and his BS (as the players are), but Shinnok returns to claim the Komidogu amulet and take over Earthrealm. After about 4 hours or so you will get the hang of the entire fighting system and start kicking ass.

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Once you finish the story you will most likely go into the Krypt to spend your koins. Introduced in Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, the Krypt is a fan service full of goodies and unlocks to prolong the game and make you earn everything. Character art, Fatalities, costumes, and fan art are many among the Krypt, but it has evolved. Instead of just a large room you unlock coffins in it’s a first person adventure that’s its own mini-game. Players can walk around an entire set of levels finding hidden objects to unlock new parts of the mini-game to find more koffins. At certain times koffins will appear (think of the concept from Deception in the Konquest mode) and random enemies will attack when a quick time event will pop up. Succeed and you are awarded a few hundreds koins. This new Krypt idea could stand on its own if it were fleshed out more and is actually quite atmospheric and can be tense.

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After the Krypt you will most likely check out the Faction Wars. This is a whole new online concept by Netherrealm that extends the Tower concept that was enacted in the first game. There are many different Tower modes with the first being Living Towers. Using the match modifiers that were introduced in MK3 and reimagined in MK9, Living Towers will mix up a random modifier as well as Tower goals. Certain matches will award koins for accomplishing certain things during a match like Jump 25 times, or finish a match with more than 50% health. There are three types of Living Towers. Daily, Hourly, and Premier which are every 5 days. This adds to your Faction War points which will help you when an Invasion starts. At the beginning of the game you get to choose from five factions. Lin Kuei, Brotherhood of Shadows, White Lotus, Special Forces, and Black Dragon. Faction XP can be awarded during an Invasion as well by fighting an immortal boss. Players have 30 seconds to do as much damage as they can but the difficulty of the boss is set to Very Hard. Invasion Towers are another way as well.

These Towers also carry over into single player as Tower Challenges which is a randomized Tower with modifiers and Test Your Might matches. Your final score is set and you can send that Tower to a friend to have them beat your score. It’s a lot of fun and extends the longevity outside of online play.

MKX_GamescomScreenshot_KanoScorpion

With the modes out of the way, lets talk about the actual game. The control and responsive are so much better than any other MK game. MK9 tried to recreate the feeling of the first three MK games, and it got stale after a while. MKX is a whole new beast with the core familiar mechanics at play. Balancing is also nearly perfected in MKX thanks to combat variants. Each fighter has three different variants they can play as and this sets their special moves. Instead of some characters having a long list of special moves to spam you with, they are limited this time around and cut down. Every player will have their favorite variant after playing for so long.

Outside of variants the fighting is a little more cinematic. The camera zooms in on throws and the new X-Ray moves. X-Rays are now three hits instead of two and the models are much more detailed. More bones break, individual organs are modeled, and fibers on the muscles have depth. It looks fantastic and this is by far the most brutal MK game to date. The Fatalities are the best in any game and are just awesome. New tech allows for facial animations with twitching eyes, lips and overall detailed gore. Organs are split in half and they actually look like their organs unlike previous games with generic gibs. Brutalities made a return, but they are no longer the complicated button press like MK3. Certain requirements must be met in a match such as having 50% health remaining, connecting a number of certain moves in a match, and hitting the right button combo during the final hit of the last round. Brutalities are now variations of special moves but have a twisted deadly ending that throws opponents off guard and are extremely satisfying to pull off and a watch.

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The new characters are actually the best new fighters in the series. All are fun to play and all are distinctive unlike previous entries where new characters felt like cheap rip-offs. Among them Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs, Ferra/Tor, D’Vorah, and Erron Black are my favorite. Kung Jin and Takeda aren’t exactly the unique characters they succeed which are Kenshi and Kung Lao. They both look and feel nearly identical despite having different weapons. Takeda is actually similar to Scorpion more than Kenshi as he uses dual whips and Kung Jin has a bow and staff. Unique weapons, but their characters aren’t fleshed out much in the story mode.

With that said, MKX is an evolution of the series that it so desperately needs. Longevity that’s smart and isn’t bloated content, more online features, and the variants are hopefully here to stay. This is one of the best fighting games of the decade.

Kollector’s Edition: For $90 more you can receive a special box, Scorpion statue, the Kombat Pass, and a Scorpion skin. The statue is made by a sculptor Coarse and the skin is of the statue. It’s beautifully made and well worth it for collector’s. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Mortal Kombat Evaluation: The New Kharacters — Part 6

Mkddairou6htDairou — Mkd_logo

3.0

 

I was once a member of the Seidan Guard, I believed in the power of Order and lived by the strict codes of my superiors. I had saved many lives during my years of service. But when I killed an assailant in a fit of rage, I was arrested and sentenced to a life of incarceration. For all the good I had done, the event that had come to define me was that one moment of Chaos. I eventually escaped during a riot incited by the Resistance.

I emerged from prison a changed man. No longer would I follow orders of the Seidan. Neither could I bring myself to give in to Chaos. Instead, I opted to serve myself. I become a mercenary, a warrior for hire, and have become revered in Orderealm’s secret underground. My neutrality has been put to the test, however, as my current contract is to find and kill my former guardsman, Hotaru.

Man oh man where do I begin? Dairou…probably my least favorite character next to Jarek. He’s just unappealing right from the start. His stupid forehead, the clothes look completely generic, and his move set is just ridiculous and makes no sense. I understand Midway needed characters for their new Chaos and Order realm in the Konquest mode, but Dairou was just an awful character.

*All Fatality videos are set to the specific characters’ section. Just press play!

PLAYER_DAIROUDairou — Mka_logo

3.0

Same as Deception with literally no changes except one less fighting style. Thankfully he disappeared into the abyss and will never come back.

Darrius223iyDarrius — Mkd_logo

8.0

 

I am Darrius. There are many in the Realm of Order who would call me a terrorist. But to the true patriots of Seidan, I am a hero. I fight against the rule of an oppressive regime. I am the leader of the resistance movement. Our numbers are ever-growing. One day I will lead the charge against the establishment. Until then, I wait… and plan… and scheme.

One of the best recruitment tools I have discovered is the law itself. If my ranks are in need of powerful warrior like Seidan Guardsman, for instance, I will hire an outsider to kill the man’s family in the hope that his rage will lead to a violent altercation with the assassin. Once he is imprisoned for the attack, I free the Seidan Guardsman and easily recruit him to our cause.

Yet another character that was so-so. Darrius was actually one of my favorite fighters in MK:D and I used him a lot online. His hooks could pull off deadly combos and he had good reach to keep characters at a distance. Despite being another character for the Order and Chaos Realm he was pretty uninteresting. He also had some pretty hilarious fatalities.

PLAYER_DARRIUSDarrius — Mka_logo

7.5

Nothing changed from Deception. However, having one less fighting style ruined him for me since I couldn’t pull off his big combos that let me win many matches online in Deception.

3375692-msel_portrait_havikHavik — Mkd_logo

4.0

 

Chaos. The universe thrives on it. Forces pitted against each other in never-ending turmoil. My kind worship entropy. We wander the realms sowing disorder. My latest sojourn had brought me to Lei Chen, an Outworld city imprisoned by the one known as Horatu. For many years he had kept Chaos at bay beyond the outer walls. I would undo the Order he had fought so hard to maintain.

It was I who led the “heroes” to the location of the Dragon King. The Chaos that would ensue from their attack would be blessing to this realm. Onaga must never gain the upper hand in this struggle. The realms shall never cease their struggle! Chaos will reign forever!

Okay, I guess there’s a pattern here. All the new Chaos and Order realm characters suck. Havik was my second least favorite character next to Dairou. I mean he was a mummy type character that fit the universe, but his background was on the back burner and nothing was really done with him. His fighting styles were generic at best and he just didn’t really stand out.

havik-armHavik — Mka_logo

3.0

 

If you haven’t gotten the pattern by now you should, Havik is untouched in Armageddon minus one fighting style. I hated him before and still hate him here.

 

MSEL_PORTRAIT_HOTARUHotaru — Mkd_logo

7.5

 

There is an order to the universe — laws that all of nature must obey. For centuries I have imposed order on those who would wreak havoc. Outworld has long been a source of disruption, but an old ruler has made a triumphant return. During Onaga’s rule, his military forced peace throughout his domain. I will see that his return brings order to this war-torn realm once more. I will fight against the insurgents to clear a path for the Dragon King’s coming.

Years ago, I fought against the vile Tarkatan warriors. I vowed to protect the Outworld city of Lei Chen from the attacks of Shao Kahn. Times have changed. Now I find myself aiding Baraka and his troops. I pledged the loyalty of the city to Onaga and began my mission to stop the uprising against him. Baraka’s militia have brought word of an Earthrealm warrior named Sub-Zero who has slain many Tarkata. I will bring him before the justice of the Dragon King.

All right, this is better. Hotaru was yet another Order and Chaos Realm character but he was actually good. Being a Seidan Guard gave him the staff weapon and he had crazy reach to keep characters at a distance. His visual appeal was great as his guard uniform made him stand out over the rest of the new characters and his “wings”, as I like to call them, made him more menacing. He was actually an interesting character to follow in Deception as he was just as ruthless as the evil aligned characters by hiding behind justice.

hotaru-armHotaru — Mka_logo

7.0

 

Yep, you guessed it. No changes here outside of one less fighting style. This caused him to have smaller combos, so players who used him a lot in Deception would be disappointed here.