The Latest in Fighting Games and Sodium News

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Persona 4 Arena Update, Two New Characters

Famitsu are reporting that Atlus have begun location tests for a new update for Persona 4 Arena, featuring two new characters and a slew of other changes.

The tests will take place over the next two days, giving punters a chance to test drive two new Persona 3 characters, the baseball bat wielding Junpei Iori and a newly sentai take on Yukari Takeba.  In addition, each existing character now has a “Shadow” variation, presumably in the tradition of BlazBlue’s Unlimited characters.

No plans have been unveiled for console or foreign markets yet, but we can only hope that if they decide to release this outside of Japan it won’t fall to the same misfortune as the vanilla release did.

Injustice: Zatanna Stream Event, Releases Tomorrow

Earlier this evening Netherrealm Studios staff took to their Twitch channel to give players a preview of new DLC character Zatanna, available for download tomorrow.  Streamers got a look at her frustrating keep-away playstyle, as well as some undiscovered secrets about existing characters, and a talk with visual designers, all of which can be checked out in their Twitch archives right here.  For more direct notes about Zatanna herself, hit the jump.

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Injustice: Zatanna Revealed

Netherrealm Studios have revealed the 6th DLC character for their DC Comics fighter, Injustice: Gods Among Us.  Zatanna, stage magician by day, real magician by night, has debuted in the trailer above, bearing a number of tricks somewhat foreign to NRS games.

Fighting with an assortment of prestidigitation props and prestige materials, she’s at once an effective zoner and a punishing close fighter, making use of tracking projectiles and divekick special attacks more at home in a Capcom fighter, including a slow moving fireball reminiscent of comic book rival UMVC3′s Dormammu and his Stalking Flare.  In addition to that she also wields a teleport, a stance-switching trait and a phenomenally long range dash, finishing Grundy off with a super set up by what appears to be a body-splitting illusion special akin to Psylocke of the Marvel Super Heroes days.

GameInformer report that Zatanna will be available to players next week for U$4.99, which marks an incredible turnaround.  While no mention of future DLC has arisen yet, fans are expecting at least one more, with Red Hood, Static and Power Girl all heavily favored to make the final roster.

New Shadowloo Showdown Info: Guests, Events, Rules

The last week or so has been tumultuous for any tournament organizer around the world, least of all one with a major event barely two months away.  Luckily Shadowloo Showdown TO Ali Abdo (@TheyCallHimX) took some time out to talk to the Saltmine about the state of the scene, and a bit more about what we can expect from this year’s Showdown, after the jump.
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Guilty Gear Xrd: Website Update, Millia Officially Unveiled

It’s been a few months since this trailer first grabbed us all by the collective short and curlies, and a while since we’ve heard much in the way of new info.  Just today, though, the Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- website has been updated with a slew of new info.

Amongst the wave of data are new mechanics, character movelists, the official debut of returning character Millia Rage after her trailer cameo, and the news that next week’s location tests will have a total of seven characters, inlcuding Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske and Millia.

Stay tuned as English translations of the in-depth information emerge, but while you’re waiting, immerse yourself a little more in this glorious trailer.

Tournaments to Co-Opt Evolution’s Anti-Collusion Rules

anticol

In the face of several instances of top players purposefully under-performing in competition, a number of major tournament organizers have come together to standardize anti-collusion rules across their events.

TOs will co-opt Evolution Championship Series player collusion guidelines:

Collusion of any kind with your competitors is considered cheating. If the Tournament Director determines that any competitor is colluding to manipulate the results or intentionally underperforming, the collaborating players may be immediately disqualified. This determination is to be made at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director. Anyone disqualified in this manner forfeits all rights to any titles or prizes they might have otherwise earned for that tournament.

In addition, major FGC news websites Shoryuken and EventHubs have agreed to only cover events that adopt and enforce these rules at their tournament, challenging other tournaments to publicly do the same.  “Competitive spirit is the lifeblood of the fighting game community,” said Shoryuken staff member Tom Cannon, “Unfortunately, this year we have seen a few incidents where players intentionally underperformed, usually in the final matches of a tournament.  This behavior is unacceptable, and it must end.”

Community Effort Orlando organizer Alex Jebailey sees the issue as a problem better suited to prevention than cure.  “Personally I never have to worry about this at CEO, because when you have a great environment for players to make it feel like an actual tournament with a trophy or pride on the line, they will always play at their best,” he said, “Whatever they choose to do with their money winnings they have a right to AFTER the tournament.  But playing like shit and having fun during a finals set won’t be tolerated when a lot is a stake. Always perform at your best or you just embarrass yourself, your sponsors and the whole fighting games community.”

Whatever issues they may have with collusion, tournament organizers are taking up the rules, with representatives of Shadowloo Showdown agreeing to co-opt the rules with a slight twist. “Any collusion decisions regarding Shadowloo Showdown will be made as a team, rather than burdening an individual with the decision,” Andreou said. “With that said, let’s not make this the focus of FGC tournaments, let’s focus on playing fighting games and doing the right thing.”

Fellow Shadowloo organizer Ali Abdo added that there may be a period of adjustment.  “It’s a very fine line and I don’t expect it to be very effective right away,” Abdo conceded, commenting on perceived vagueness in the rules, “But with more tourneys and sponsors trying to stamp it out, you would hope it won’t be a problem in the future.”

As of the time of writing, these tournaments and brands have agreed to take up the rules:

  •     Evolution Championship Series (Includes all Road to Evo events)
  •     Big E Gaming Events (Northeast Championships, Summer Jam, and Winter Brawl)
  •     Canada Cup Gaming (Canada Cup, April Duels)
  •     Community Effort Orlando
  •     Civil War
  •     East Coast Throwdown
  •     The Fall Classic
  •     Final Round
  •     Level|Up Events (SoCal Regionals, Wednesday Night Fights, and The Runback)
  •     MTLSF Events
  •     Northwest Majors
  •     Shadowloo Showdown
  •     NorCal Regionals
  •     Toronto Top Tiers (TORYUKEN, Canadian East Coast Championships)
  •     Treta Championship
  •     Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament

Seeing coordinated action taken against collusion in the FGC is a great thing, and The Saltmine approves of the idea of a standardized set of rules against it.  With that said, it was an English jurist named William Blackstone that once said “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”.  Collusion is a practice that needs to be stamped out, but not at the cost of being too broad or heavy-handed in its enforcement.

If Evolution is to set the standard for anti-collusion rules, it falls upon the organizers of Evolution to make sure their rules are maintained, and respect the ideals of tournament organizers worldwide.  Going forward the rules that now effectively govern every fighting game major on the planet must be constantly revised and updated to more clearly define collusion, means of detecting it and appropriate responses.

Moreover, tournament organizers that adopt these rules should have a say in any revision process.  This is a chance for the fighting games community worldwide to grow, and shouldn’t be allowed to fall by the wayside in favor of having one major in a position of power to dictate policy or apply mandate to smaller ones.

Soul Calibur: Lost Swords Revealed

Gematsu are reporting that Namco Bandai have trademarked the name “Soul Calibur: Lost Swords”, signifying a new addition to the medieval fighting franchise.  While details are still scant at the moment, Namco Bandai will be hosting a panel at San Diego Comic Con this coming Friday, with more information on this new title to be expected.

Source: Gematsu

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Shadowloo Showdown 2013 Trailer

ss2013

If anyone thought the fighting games season was over and done with after Evolution 2013, the ShadowLogic team from Melbourne, Australia want to tell you how wrong you are.  Shadowloo Showdown is still ahead of us, on a new date of October 11, and now at a brand new venue.  Previously confined to the CQ building in the CBD, SS2013 is branching out to the massive Atrium floor at Flemington Racecourse.

Shadowloo Showdown is traditionally the biggest fighting games tournament in the southern hemisphere, attracting top players from the world over.  While a lot of other information is being kept under their M.Bison-style dictator hats at at the moment, Japanese players will be amongst the first to earn a trip down to Melbourne when Mix Up Night hosts an official Shadowloo Showdown qualifier event in Osaka, with other qualifiers to be announced later.  Winners of the SSF4AE and UMvC3 events in Osaka will get tickets to Melbourne for SS2013.

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Killer Instinct: Glacius Plus One Trailer

Double Helix also had a new trailer to show off, with Glacius getting a whole video to himself after his E3 cameo. Also teased at near the end is the fourth revealed character, Chief Thunder.  For a more in-depth look at Glacius, check out the earlier breakdown video with the team at Double Helix posted on Friday.

Also shown off in the trailer is a new mechanic, Counter Breaker, designed as a specifically anti-Combo Breaker tool to help maintain players’ offensive pressure.

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