Shacknews - Greg Burke

Fighting games have evolved from the arcade to consoles to massive eSports tournaments like EVO. The one constant throughout the years has been the feeling of beating your opponent. From Daigo vs Justin Wong to being the king of the Mortal Kombat 2 arcade cabinet, fighting games create rivalries and tap into gamers' deepest competitive spirits. We take on the impossible task of narrowing down the best fighting games on this week's episode of Shack's Top 10. We only selected one game per franchise and included our community feedback from Twitter, Facebook, and the Chatty.

Games mentioned include: Marvel Super Heroes, Mortal Kombat 2, Virtua Fighter 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Soul Calibur II, King of Fighters '98, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Killer Instinct, Street Fighter II, and Tekken 3. You will have to watch the video to see which game came out on top and achieved a flawless victory.

For more videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and GamerHub.tv YouTube channels.

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Top 10, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #Top10.

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

PlayStation 4 users have wanted the ability to install games and applications on an external hard drive since the system came out. Well, three years later it's finally happening with the release of system software 4.50. It's not very hard to use an external hard drive with your PlayStation 4, but we'll take you through the steps, and even go over which hard drives are the best to use with your PlayStation 4, in the article below.

How to Use an External Hard Drive with the PS4

When picking a PlayStation 4 external hard drive, it must meet certain qualifications. Any hard drive you choose has to be a USB 3.0 device. It doesn't matter if it's a solid-state drive or a traditional hard disk drive, in fact, you can even use a hybrid SSD + HDD. Additionally, the external hard drive you use with your PS4 must be at least 250 GB and smaller than 8 TB. Also note, you must format your hard disk, so don't use one that has data on it that you want to preserve.

Once you have a drive that meets the qualifications above, hook it up to your PlayStation 4 via a USB port. Once you've connected the external hard drive and verified that it's drawing power via its indicator light, go to the settings menu on the PlayStation 4. In the Settings menu, go to Devices, then USB Storage Devices. In that menu you'll be able to select the external hard drive and format it for use as extended storage.

Once you've formatted the external hard drive you've connected to the PlayStation 4 you're ready to go. You should then be able to move and delete application data on both the internal and external hard drives connected to the PS4 using the Settings menu. Unfortunately, you can only use one external hard drive with the PlayStation 4 at a time, so make sure you get one big enough to hold everything you want to store.

The Best External Hard Drives to Use With the PlayStation 4

As stated above, any external hard drive you get to use with the PlayStation 4 must be USB 3.0, over 250 GB, and under 8 TB. With that in mind we picked out some of our favorite external hard drives that we think are the best to use with the PS4.

High-End External Hard Drive

PKT SSD2GO

The PKT SSD2GO offers some of the latest features available for a solid state drive. The SSD2GO is rugged and has write speeds of up to 560MB/s which is faster than the internal hard drive your PlayStation 4 came with. It supports the USB 3.1 standard and comes with USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A connectors, the latter of which you'll need to use to connect it to the PlayStation 4. It's the priciest of the drives we've picked out starting at $179.99 for a 256GB drive and $549.99 for a 1TB drive. However, if you want a solid product with the most modern features, the PKT SSD2GO is the hard drive for you.

Mid-Range External Hard Drive

Western Digital My Passport Ultra

If you're not looking for something that's blazing fast or has a bunch of bells and whistles, the Western Digital My Passport Ultra is a great product. The My Passport Ultra isn't a speed demon at only 5,400 RPM, but it's cheap and reliable. The Western Digital My Passport Ultra starts at $64.88 for a 1TB model and $119.99 for a 2TB. This is a great hard drive to pick up if you're more interested in having more games installed at once then accessing those games faster.

Economy-Range External Hard Drive

Whatever Hard Drives are on Sale on Amazon and an External Enclosure

If you're looking for something that will get the job done and provide external hard drive space for your PlayStation 4, just look on Amazon for anything that's on sale. More than likely you'll get smaller 500GB or smaller hard drive models from less known manufacturers, but they'll work as long as they meet the guidelines above. Try not to buy an HDD used or refurbished, though; there's no telling what data might be left on them or how reliable they are. Refurbished SSDs are usually a safe buy, but make sure that you update them with their latest firmware via PC before you put them in an enclosure. Enclosures themselves can be had relatively cheap. Most of them consist of a shell and a small SATA 3 to USB 3.0 adapter, which will work fine with a PlayStation 4.

The release date for PlayStation 4 system update 4.50 hasn't been announced yet, but it's currently in beta testing. You can look for it to come out in the next few months. When it does, you can use the guide above to make sure that you've formatted and installed your external hard drive correctly and have a good hard drive that meets the requirements.

Shacknews - David Craddock

For Honor charts your progression according to reputation. Higher reputation translates to bragging rights, but it also opens up in-game benefits: the better your rep, the better the gear you receive from scavenger chests you can buy from For Honor's customization menu. Read on to learn how reputation can sate your hunger for better swag.

How to Gain Reputation

You'll find your reputation on the game's user interface, right before entering one of For Honor's online matches. There are two numbers: the first is your character's level, while the second relates to your gear level. Raise your reputation, and you'll be well on your way to increasing that gear rating, too.

Reputation is For Honor's way of gauging your skill and overall ranking. Advancing your reputation unlocks better equipment for your character to use. You'll also gain access to options like extra gear loadouts, affording you even more control over your play style. Once you hit level 21, reputation resets to 1 and a reef borders your level. Spotting a reef with a number beside it indicates a player with a high rep, and the color of the number speaks to the quality of their gear.

How to Get Scavenger Crates

You can buy scavenger crates from For Honor's customization menu at any time, but you're better off waiting until you reach reputation level 1: that's when higher quality gear becomes available. You can tell which gear is better than others by its color. Gear in blue text is a step up from common gear, for example.

To open crates that you've purchased or routed while playing Faction War, open the hero customization screen. Here, you can also spend renown currency on Basic Packs, Armor Packs, Weapon Packs, and Premium Packs. You'll get at least one high-level item per pack, but make sure to wait until you're at reputation level 1 before purchasing to increase your chances of getting a blue item.

  • Basic Pack: costs 300 renown, gives you 3 pieces of gear total (1 guaranteed higher-level gear).
  • Armor Pack: costs 400 renown, gives you 3 pieces of gear total (1 guaranteed higher-level gear).
  • Weapon Pack: costs 400 renown, gives you 3 pieces of gear total (1 guaranteed higher-level gear).
  • Premium Pack: costs 500 renown, gives you 5 pieces of gear total (2 helpings of guaranteed higher-level gear).

Refer to our For Honor guide to learn about the game's character classes as well as general tips and strategies.

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

For Honor isn't historically accurate, but that quality manifests in the best way possible. It's like someone took a kid's dream of the "coolest war ever" and made a multiplayer action game out of it. This concept could run the risk of seeming hokey or lame, but instead, Ubisoft Montreal somehow made a unique and stylish fighter that requires some of the most precision I've seen in an online title.

The cornerstone of For Honor is the "Art of Battle" system which has players moving between three different positions for attack and defense. By toggling your hero's stance to the right, left, or top, you can change what direction you block attacks from and also pick from which direction you'll attack. What makes the Art of Battle system so enthralling though are the layers added on top of it that make For Honor's combat so complex.

I Need a Hero to Save Me

While each hero class in For Honor can guard and attack from the same three positions, they also have move-sets and feats that are unique to them. The Viking Warlord is slow and carries a shield and gladius and concentrates on defense and counterattack. The Warlord has the special ability to block attacks from any stance, and once the enemy's weapon has clanged off your shield, you can instantly turn your defensive into an offensive. A counter-balance to the Warlord would be the Knight Peacekeeper. The Peacekeeper is nimble and doesn't have the shield and armor of heavier heroes, but they can dance around their foes and inflict bleeding attacks that slowly drain their health.

Each hero class has strengths and weaknesses, but they're balanced to the point where no one class is greater than any other. They all have their uses, and in the right hands, any of them can sweep the battlefield. One of the best parts about For Honor is that the abilities and playstyles of the heroes are complex to the point where it would take a long time to become proficient at playing as all of them. That means there's a certain pride in being a great Warlord player or a stellar Peacekeeper.

You can also customize your hero classes with cosmetics and new equipment. New colors, emblems, and outfits can be unlocked by leveling up, accomplishing tasks, or with in-game currency. Items that you win after matches can modify your equipment and add or subtract from your hero's stats. A suit of armor, for example, can add to your stamina regain, but it'll also take away from your revenge mode timer. To improve your equipment you have to break down items from your faction into steel and use as currency for upgrades. These various in-game currency systems are somewhat of an annoyance in the game. The coins you need to buy cosmetic items are also available for real cash in the in-game store, and it seems like their drop rates are a little low in the game. The hero customization process, in general, could have used a little streamlining, and I often found myself just worrying about equipment that raised stats rather than fooling with cosmetics because of how the interface was arranged.

Feudal Combat

For Honor's campaign isn't a throwaway even though the meat of the title is focused on its multiplayer component. The single-player mode sets somewhat of a stage for For Honor. The world is at peace after a thousand years of war. However, a warlord, Apollyon wants to start the wars again. There's no real in-world explanation for why Vikings, Knights, and Samurai all live in areas directly next to each other, but there doesn't have to be. The campaign takes you through missions playing as a member of each of the three factions and is an excellent primer for multiplayer. The story isn't award-winning, but it's well thought out, especially for a mode that could have been left out without much notice.

The draw of For Honor is multiplayer, and this is where you get your money's worth. There are multiple modes to play, all of which are very different in their execution. My current favorite mode is 1v1 Duel, where it's just you and another player facing off in a contest to see who can win the best out of five rounds. In 1v1 Duels any advantage your equipment might give you is turned off, both heroes are set to an equal level. If you want to include a friend, you can play 2v2 Duels, which play much the same way as 1v1 Duels but with a partner. There are 4v4 modes which consist of Elimination, a best of five rounds mode, and Dominion which will probably be the most popular game mode.

Dominion has you fighting as two teams of four heroes each, and both sides also have AI soldiers that spawn on the battlefield. Each team seeks to capture three points on the map and hold them. The longer you keep these points, the more points you get. Once a team hits 1000 points, the other team is put into sudden death mode and can't respawn again until they capture a point from the opposing team to bring them back under 1000 points. It's this mode that you'll focus on making specific builds of heroes using equipment, and it's also the most competitive-gaming-friendly mode.

Missed Connections

For Honor is a great game, but unfortunately, it has a huge failing at launch that adds an unnecessary amount of frustration to playing. For Honor uses peer-to-peer multiplayer instead of dedicated servers, and at launch, their system is incredibly buggy. I found myself trying to enter Matchmaking and having it act as though no one else was online, even though I knew there was. Restarting the game fixed this issue, but it's happened multiple times and isn't something that should occur in a full release. Additionally, there have been a lot of problems with NAT type incompatibilities so that during matches, players will suddenly start losing connections one after the other. If there were dedicated servers, Ubisoft could have gotten around the NAT type issue with relays, but since you have to connect to peers directly, you're just out of luck sometimes if you have a moderate or strict NAT type.

For Honor will inevitably be a favorite of mine. It combines easy to pick up, complicated to master fighting and action-style gameplay with compelling gameplay types and there's nothing quite like it. However, if you were looking for a single-player game, you might not want to purchase this title. The heart and soul of For Honor are its multiplayer modes, and unfortunately, at this time, there are enough issues with matchmaking and peer-to-peer connections that you may want to wait until Ubisoft has some time to fix those problems. However, once For Honor has a solid networking backbone I can say it'll be one of my go to multiplayer titles for the next few years to come.


This review is based on a PC digital download code provided by the publisher. For Honor is available in retail and digital stores now.

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

The RetroBlox is an upcoming modular "virtual console" that looks to be a literal game-changer for those interested in retro gaming. The upcoming third-party retro gaming console is promising some big things going forward, but will it be able to deliver on all of its promises?

We certainly hope so. The RetroBox will feature an optical drive so it will be able to support game discs from the PlayStation and Sega CD as well as Turbo Chips and cartridges to fit nearly every retro game in your collection, with online connectivity and a slick new user interface. Its "hybrid emulation" mode will even let you play games with special graphics chibs like Star Fox.

If it sounds too good to be true, that's because it sounds absolutely astounding, including support for NES, SNES, Genesis, Atari 2600, and TurboGrafx 16 as well as the PlayStation, Sega CD, and PC-Engine CD games. There's even support planned for future console formats later down the line.

You will be able to save game ROMs to the console as well, and this is the company's official statement on the matter:

“You will not be able to simply load up an SD card full of roms, plug it in and suddenly have a huge library available as we do not support or advocate for piracy, no matter how ubiquitous it has become. However, in the interest of minimizing the use of and further preserving classic games, RetroBlox does allow you to back up the games you personally own on physical cartridges or discs to the system in an iPod / iTunes type relationship.”

The console isn't priced just yet, but you can bet it will likely cost a pretty penny. The RetroBlox company is looking to start up a Kickstarter release in April to hopefully bring the console to fruition in about ten months. While we're waiting to see what happens with the console, we can check out a hands on from Southern California's Retro Gaming Expo to whet our retro gaming whistles.

Shacknews - Josh Barnes

Another week, another avalanche of news over on your friendly neighborhood Modojo. Whether you're a fan of Pokemon, puzzle games, or just tech shenanigans, there's always something going down over there worth checking out. For instance, did you know that literally the most useful Pokemon in the entire series is getting its own game finally? And if you take out the word “useful” and replace it with “derpy” that sentence is actually true!

Let's just hop right in, shall we?

Splash! Magikarp

Who's That Pokemon??

It's Jigglypuff, seen from above! No, no, it's Magikarp, of course, finally in its own game. Splash! Magikarp was revealed this week using a suitably odd teaser site that took the form of a newspaper article. I can't imagine what you'll be doing in this game. That's sarcasm. Let's be real, you're gonna splash a lot.

If you're more interested in all the less awesome pokemon though, then there's been no shortage of info on the franchise this week. Do you like sliding block number games? Then check out Pokemon 2048! If you've been itching to get your hands on a mega stone in Pokemon Sun and Moon, then we finally know how that will work. Also, Pokemon Go is looking to get you out walking again by finally adding Gen 2 pokemon, with trading and battling on the way at last.

Fire Emblem Heroes

Mobile Games Galore!

What did you expect, it's a mobile gaming site! In news that will surely shock you, research has shown that mobile game lifespans are becoming shorter than ever. An upcoming mobile RPG called Tower of Time released a trailer for its CRPG-inspired combat, showing that there are still mobile developers out there with ambitions of providing classic gaming experiences on your phone and tablet. By contrast, RPS Saga is a lovely looking title looking to combine RPG progression and card battling into a simplified format.

Fire Emblem Heroes added in some new characters who are actually quite old, as they're the stars of classic Fire Emblem titles Sacred Stones and Genealogy of the Holy War. Pac-Man Pop is looking to add a new ghost to the classic spectral line-up, and want you to vote on her name. Marvel Future Fight, the dungeon-crawling superhero game, added in some new characters from the Inhumans. Finally, Square Enix announced that Yoko Taro is working on a mobile game called SINoAlice and I want it, because that man is some kind of deranged genius.

NES Classic

Nintendo Addresses Worries

Ah Nintendo, ever the “blaze your own trail” sort, even if their own trail involves them running in circles for a bit and voice chatting on your phone. You've no doubt already seen the Switch UI and unboxing here on Shack, so let's instead divert to an interview with the director of the Mario game that didn't get enough love during its time, Super Mario Sunshine. In it, Nintendo talks about garnering third-party support, what they've done to convince new devs to come over to the Switch, and promises that we'll be hearing more third-party announcements “soon.”

Nintendo also decided to remind you not to spend all that money on an NES Classic on Ebay, because–despite rumors–they have not, in fact, stopped production on the oddly rare device. We got a look at the opening video for Mario Sports Superstars as well. Last, but certainly not least, Cave Story developer Nicalis teased the possibility of a Switch port with some very lovely mock box art. What a great game.

All this and more happened over on Modojo this week, so go check us out, won't ya?

Shacknews - David Craddock

Erik Wolpaw has left his job as a writer at Valve Corporation, according to a tip given to Gamasutra.  "Last day at Valve!" Wolpaw wrote in a Facebook status update. "People marching their crap out of the office in a box is the central theme of 90% of what [Jay] Pinkerton and I write, and now I'm finally doing it for real."

Wolpaw's departure come one year and change after Half-Life writer Marc Laidlaw moved on from Valve. "@Wolpaw left Valve so I can now insult him freely without damaging the company's reputation," Laidlaw joked in a tweet from earlier today. "He's a comic genius and a true original."

Wolpaw was instrumental in writing Valve's Portal and Portal 2 puzzlers. He joined the company in 2004 and helped shape several heavy hitters in Valve's catalog, including Half-Life 2: Episodes One and Two, as well as Left 4 Dead 1 and Left 4 Dead 2.

As for what he'll be up to next, Wolpaw is listed as a writer for Double Fine's upcoming Psychonauts 2, although his work could be nearly finished depending on how early he got involved on the project.

Although long-time fans of their work are no doubt disappointed to see Wolpaw go, his departure is more disappointing than surprising. Half-Life 3 may or may not be happening, depending on who you ask and the day of the week, and Valve seems focused on multiplayer-centric games, leaving little for on-staff writers to do other than write hat descriptions. 

Writers' room at Valve.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

This week, as we prepare for some big releases in March, we're taking a break from heady discussions to focus an entire show on recent news happenings. We'll come prepared with a stack of news items, and give them all the newsybits treatment.

Be sure to visit AudibleTrial.com/Chattycast for your 30-day trial with a free audiobook download of your choice.

RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Shacknews - John Keefer

Mass Effect: Andromeda is about a month away from launch, and to prep players for some of the changes in weapons and biotics coming to the rebooted series, BioWare has launched a new series of combat videos for the game.

The narrated video shows off three classes of weapons–Milky Way (traditional projectile weapons), Remnant (accurate and energy-based) and Helios (plasma-based and heat-seeking)–classified by where they originated. There are four types of weapons: pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles and assault rifles. 

The skills are divided into three categories: combat, which focuses on using different types of weapons; tech, which lends itself more toward experimental weapons; and biotic, which is aimed at gear and augments that defy the laws of physics.

It also goes into the jet pack and cover systems a bit, which allows players to specifically tailor their gameplay to run-and-gun or more conservative approach.

The video offer more than five minutes of actual gameplay, so you can get a good idea of where the game is at right now as it preps for its March 21 launch. There will be more videos in the series before release, and perhaps one of them will go into the game's side quests, which are supposed to be more "meaningful" than in past games, or weapon crafting, with a rather fun ability to name what you create.

The game is coming on PS4, Xbox One and PC, although the later two will get frist crack at it several days early through EA Access and origina Access respectively.

Shacknews - John Keefer

PlayStation 4 just cut the price of its console by $50 a few days ago, so Microsoft is following suit. The Xbox One S has several bundles on sale to keep up with the competition.

The 500GB version of the Xbox One S is on sale for $249.99, bundled with games like Battlefield 1, FIFA '17 and Forza Horizon 3. The 1TB version is going for $299.99, coupled with the just released Halo Wars 2. Even the base Xbox One's have a few deals, with a 1TB bundle with The Division for $229. Xbox Wire has more details on the "limited time" deals.

You can jump on these deals now, or wait a few more months, as the details of the Project Scorpio console will come at E3 2017, possibly along with a price point and more defined release date than "Holiday 2017."

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