NoSalt

Everything video games with no salt added

Two New Dota 2 Heroes Teased at The International 7 — August 12, 2017

Two New Dota 2 Heroes Teased at The International 7

Peter Park

There’s one day left before the grand finals for the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world with amazing games played all day long. But this wouldn’t be the International if there wasn’t a huge announcement to make to cap off the penultimate day of competitive matches.

Valve released a short teaser trailer showcasing two unnamed heroes: a pangolin-like musketeer and a pink pixie harboring a smaller pinker sprite.

These two heroes will be featured in an upcoming update titled The Dueling Fates.

A short clip of the live reveal can be found here.

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The Summer Games Have Returned to Overwatch! — August 10, 2017

The Summer Games Have Returned to Overwatch!

Matthew Griego

Ahhh, summer is here… or has been here for a couple months, and you know what that means!  Summer Games returns to Overwatch!

For those who missed it last year, Overwatch’s Summer Games is an event where you can get exclusive customization items for each character as well as play a mode called Lucio Ball.  During the event you gain a new kind of loot box where you have a chance at these exclusive items or you can buy them for money like you would a normal loot box.  You can also buy the new items at three times the normal in game cost (such as 3000 currency for a legendary skin instead of the normal 1000) if you have a bit of savings to burn through.

If you missed last year’s Summer Games and were hoping to get one of the exclusives, don’t worry!  Blizzard has put these items back in rotation in the Summer Games boxes as well as for purchase for normal in game currency prices!

The characters that received new skins this year are: Junkrat, McCree, Mercy, Reaper, Solider 76, Sombra, and Widowmaker, and in usual Blizzard fashion, they are both fun and have lots of interesting and silly details, such as Solider’s “A-Salt” rifle in his new grilling outfit.

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The other draw of this event is Lucio Ball, an entirely new mode where you have two teams of Lucios trying to knock a large ball into a goal on your opponents side of the field.  Its basically like Rocket League if you replaced all the cars with skating DJs with sound guns.  You cannot kill your opponents in this mode, except for in some weird glitches which they have probably fixed for this year, and whoever scores the most goals in the set time wins.

Whats different this year is that instead of it being a mode just for casual fun, Blizzard also added a competitive queue for Lucio Ball.  You will earn ranked credits like you would in a normal competitive win, but your ranking will be completely separate.  Its a more fun way to get more tokens so you can get closer to those sweet sweet golden weapons for your favorite characters.

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Blizzard has said that they will continue to bring the limited time modes back year after year and if its anything like this year’s Summer Games, they will continue to add more content and modes along the way.

I, for one, will be shooting for that Grand Master Lucio Ball ranking and hope to see all of you out on the summer fields.

 

NoSalt Cast: Episode 6 is here! — August 8, 2017
Mario + Rabbids: Most Anticipated Title for August —

Mario + Rabbids: Most Anticipated Title for August

Tony Brattoli

After the release of Spaltoon 2 for the Nintendo switch (along with it many disappointments, specifically with its multiplayer aspect), there has been great anticipation for the next title game. With a release date of August 28th, I believe that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is just that game.

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Mario XCOM? YES! That is exactly what we at NoSalt would compare this game to. In seeing some of the game-play during the E3 conferences, I am very excited to get my hands on this.  How could anyone not like the idea of a tactical Mario game? The idea of introducing Rabbids into the Mario world did not initially sound appealing, but what was revealed during E3 as well as a general consensus in online forums, this game has grasped the attention of many. Ubisoft, however, has been known to, as we say, “Ubisoft” their games, I am keeping my hopes high for what they have brought into the Mario universe. The game looks solid. Just so solid. I am also hopeful that keeping a high expectation does not lead to an unfortunate letdown. As it stands right now, I would be hard pressed to find a reason not to like this game.

 

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Oh yea…did I mention talent trees? This aspect is probably one of, if not my favorite, in this game. I feel that I could easily ramble on like a giddy school girl. There is so much to say about this, that I have no way of expressing all of them on this page. You can customize your characters! Thank you for that! Increase damage of your weapon, increase defensive stats, increase abilities, and much more. I also have to say that the other aspect I like with equal enthusiasm, is the fact that this game can be taken with you anywhere you go! Not to sound like a fanboy but, Nintendo, you can really do things right. And when you’re right, you are very right.

 

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As I have clearly stated, this game is highly anticipated for me (I have already pre-ordered it) and I cannot wait to play it. If you pre-order from Amazon, not only do you get the pre-order discount of 20%, but there is an in-game reward of a pixel pack with 8 weapons. That part is not as exciting as the discount but hey, why not get something right off the bat? Stay tuned for a NoSalt review of this title and feel free to reach out to us to express your thoughts and opinions. We will see you in the game on August 28th!

Results are in for the latest Splatfest and the Winner is… — August 6, 2017

Results are in for the latest Splatfest and the Winner is…

Peter Park

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…Team Mayo!?

After a 24 hour long turfwar battle for superiority, Splatoon 2’s very own Squid Idols revealed the results for the latest Ketchup Vs. Mayo Splatfest: a decisive 2 – 1 Mayo victory over Ketchup. The points were distributed based on three factors: which faction had the popular vote, which faction performed the best in solo queue turfwar, and which faction performed the best in team queue turfwar. While Ketchup got an overwhelming victory in the popular vote with a stunning 73%, Mayo fared much better in actual combat with a 52% and 51% winrate in solo and team queue respectively.

While the Splatfest was a fun diversion from the typical gamemodes, it was far from perfect. I, along with many other Ketchup players, found myself playing primarily against other Ketchup teams. Of the total 16 games I played during the Splatfest, only 5 of them were against Team Mayo. While playing matches against Team Ketchup will still accrue points toward your personal Splatfest title, it is unknown how these Ketchup Vs. Ketchup matches affected the overall win percentages for the Splatfest. An inquiry from Kotaku has not been given a reply as of yet.

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The battle was hard-fought but, alas, victory was not secured for my Team Ketchup. No matter what all the fan art in Inkopolis says, Mayo is not, and never will be, the Way-o.

Amiibo Support in NBA 2K18 —

Amiibo Support in NBA 2K18

Peter Park

The Japanese Nintendo store page seems to confirm the existence of Amiibo Support for the Nintendo Switch port for this Take Two NBA Basketball game. While more details aren’t available at the moment, amiibo support is both an unexpected but welcome decision in the All-Star basketball game series. Will we be seeing Kyrie Irving doing huge dunks in a Waluigi costume? Or possibly an amiibo basketball board similar to Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival? Here’s hoping the implementation is well-executed and doesn’t wall off important gameplay content.

Splatoon 2’s first Splatfest is on with Ketchup Vs. Mayo! — August 5, 2017

Splatoon 2’s first Splatfest is on with Ketchup Vs. Mayo!

Peter Park

Splatoon 2’s very first official Splatfest since its launch is starting today 8/4 9:00PM PST and will last till 8/5 9:00PM PST for exactly 24 hours. For those of you unfamiliar with these special events, Splatfests are Splatoon’s method of implementing a bipartisan political party system into Inkopolis.

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Expect tons of squid puns with each Splatfest

In Splatfests, each player pledges support for one of two factions (in today’s case Ketchup or Mayo) for which you will splat and be splatted for. You and other members of your faction will be teamed up against teams of the opposing faction in games of Turfwar where the goal is to have more of your team’s ink on the map by the end of the match. Wins will net your faction Splatfest points, more points earns you better titles, and better titles equal more rewards by the end of Splatfest. You get even more rewards if your faction wins too! Rewards will include currency like the Super Sea Snails which are redeemed with Murch, the one-eyed Urchin that specializes in scrubbing and re-rolling abilities on your gear. Throughout the duration of the Splatfest, you’ll have temporary access to a Splatfest Tee that helps rep your faction and has the unique ability which doubles the effectiveness of any abilities that the shirt gains (this tee can also be used in every Lobby gamemode while available).

While you’re waiting for the Splatfest to start, check out some of the Inkling communities’ great and sometimes questionable Splatfest related artwork in the lobby.

Like the first game, Splatfests will be a recurring event and a great reason to splat some ignorant inklings that chose the wrong side. Ketchup forever!

Note: it’s been reported that to match the Splatfest’s theme, the ink colors will be red and white for ketchup and mayo respectively. That will be… interesting to see.

Splatoon 2: Great Gameplay in a Frustrating Package — July 31, 2017

Splatoon 2: Great Gameplay in a Frustrating Package

Peter Park

It’s been a little over a week since Nintendo’s highly anticipated multiplayer paint-shooter released on the Switch and the No Salt team has already put dozens of hours in the neon splattered world of Inkopolis. Splatoon 2 may very well be the epitome of the game development tropes that Nintendo has come to be known for: unique and fun gameplay mired in a confusing and oftentimes restrictive framework.

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Splatoon 2 offers a variety of game modes: a fleshed-out campaign, the original turf war, a ranked queue with 3 rotating rule-sets,  a new league battle mode, and Splatoon 2’s spin on a horde mode, Salmon Run. As an original Splatoon fan, I can attest that the gameplay is as tight and as fun as ever. The original turf mode, which focuses on inking the actual terrain of the map, is still the bread-and-butter mode for short and fast-paced gameplay and with a match time-limit of 3 minutes, you won’t feel stuck slogging through a long loss. Ranked uses a grading scale from C- to S+ and features three unique rule-sets which are all fun spins on the original formula: Rainmaker is a Capture-the-Flag style mode where each team fights over the Rainmaker, a golden fish bazooka, in an effort to dunk it on the enemy team’s podium near the enemy base; Tower Control is a reverse tug-o-war style mode where both teams fight to control and steadily push a platform towards the enemy base; and Splatzones is a mode where each team dukes it out in order to paint over and control outline sections near the center of the map. League mode uses the rule-sets present in ranked but is specifically for two-man or four-man queues and is only unlocked once you gain a rank of at least B- in any of the ranked modes.

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Watch out for Samurai Squid!

The campaign is fun and wacky and uses a variety of environmental interactions which give a unique experience to the player outside of its more multiplayer focused game modes. You, the hero dubbed Agent 4, work together with famed Squid Sister Marie in an effort to track down the missing Callie. The campaign is divided up into 5 separate zones with many distinct stages, with unique playthroughs dependent on the player’s current weapon loadout. The story isn’t especially interesting but the level-design is challenging and fun and the bosses are interesting and memorable if not a little horrifying in design.

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The real kicker that makes Splatoon 2 standout from its predecessor is the new horde mode Salmon run. In Salmon Run, the player interns for the less-than-reputable seeming Grizzco Industries and is responsible for working in a team of 4 to gather golden salmon eggs that drop from a plethora of unique Salmon-inspired bosses over 3 separate waves. Each run will net you points which unlock money and Grizzco-unique rewards such as gear and food tickets which you can redeem at Crusty Sean’s food truck for helpful boosts.

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Between games, you may find yourself browsing wares at the local clothing shops to keep your style fresh, checking out the often fantastic artwork of other Inklings in Inkopolis, or even playing a game of fake DDR on the arcade machine.

With Splatoon 2, Nintendo delivers solid and well-crafted gameplay. Unfortunately, a lot of decisions made outside of the actual gameplay itself hinder my ability to full enjoy it and demonstrates in a lot of ways how Nintendo is out of touch with how players want to actually play their game.

Overall the biggest issue I have with the game is how Nintendo structures our ability to play with other friends. In Turf War, I am only able to queue into a game alone and hope that my friends join into a lobby with space for them. Even with that out of the way, there is no guarantee that I will be placed onto the same team as them. Over the course of maybe 30 or so games I have only ever been placed onto a team with two other friends maybe 3 or 4 times. Many have voiced justifications for this system stating that being paired up against other teams of randomly assembled players would be an unfair advantage but this feels like a poor solution compared to maybe an internal system that matches groups against other similar sized groups. In ranked queues, I am only able to queue alone which seems like bad design especially considering multiplayer competitive games like Overwatch already have algorithms that match teams of a similar group composition against each other. While many may point to League mode as the solution to the group queue issues for ranked, the restriction that only players ranked B- or higher along with the fact that you can only queue as 2 or 4 makes it far from an ideal solution to what is an already solved problem.

Salmon Run, one of my favorite modes in Splatoon 2, also features a few irritating restrictions as well. While you are able to queue with up to 4 friends online in Salmon Run, the mode has the online matchmaking option available only at specified times, otherwise players can only host lobbies locally with friends in order to play. The array of weapons which are implemented change up with each new time table and can be an interesting way to try out new weapons, but can often times be frustrating with more nontraditional weapons.

Along with these grievances are a few more quality-of-life issues such as being unable to back out of a lobby once the countdown starts, being unable to change weapons while in lobby without having to exit, and being unable to skip Pearl and Marina’s special announcements about new map rotations.

That being said, the game is a ton of splatting fun and has the potential to maintain longevity if Nintendo fixes these addressable problems. Whether that will come to pass… we’ll just have to see.

(Note: the Nintendo Switch Online app is awful and you are better off using alternate programs such as Discord or Skype.)

So We Heard You Like MOBAs — July 21, 2017

So We Heard You Like MOBAs

Have you all been waiting for a new MOBA? Something that is different and nothing like its competitors? Gigantic is the MOBA for you!

 

This MOBA has been in beta since 2015 and was finally released as a full-fledged game on Steam on 7/20/17! This game is a very fresh take on the standard MOBA format. It is not a lane pusher. It is not a “group up and destroy the nexus” type game. This is a cross between a third-person, 5 v 5 hero shooter and a MOBA. Sure, that style might sound familiar as it is something we get a taste of in Battlerite. You move with WASD, use your mouse and number keys for skills. However, the gameplay is much different and far exceeded my expectations.

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There are a number of heroes to choose from. You start with a standard set for free, and the rest can be unlocked or purchased with in-game currency. As with any class-style game, each hero comes equipped with their own special abilities. There are defensive heroes, offense-heavy/bruiser heroes, mage/casters, and healers. The controls are quite simple: Left-click executes your standard auto-attack ability. Right-click is your secondary attack. Q and E are character-specific spells/abilities. Each of these abilities can be upgraded as well. You will get an alert when an upgrade is ready and for which ability it is going to be for. There is, however, a special move for each character. This is called your Focus attack. You need to collect power by killing enemies in order to use it. It is essentially like an ultimate ability. It has 3 different tiers of strength that will upgrade with the more power you collect. This ability can be used to unleash an ultimate attack against enemies as well us be used to upgrade summons (I will talk about this soon).

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Instead of a nexus, each team has a Guardian. After gathering up enough power, they will fly over to the other one and pin them down, allowing you to attack the opposing team’s Guardian to wound it. 3 wounds on the opposing Guardian wins the game! These Guardians can receive bonus power from capturing what I will call “summoning pits” as well as killing enemies. If a Guardian is pinned, and either of those tasks are performed, that Guardian will receive a shield which could potentially save it from taking any wounds.

I could go on and on. Needless to say, this game is packed with some exciting elements. You don’t have to take my word for it. Head over to the Steam store and download it for free today!

Shadow Warrior: Special Edition – For Free! — July 20, 2017

Shadow Warrior: Special Edition – For Free!

Thanks to our friends at Humble Bundle, Shadow Warrior: Special Edition can be purchased for the low, low price of…FREE! That’s right. Absolutely free. Link your steam account with your Humble Bundle cart and a key will be sent to your email. Simple as that.

 

This game was originally released in the 90s and has since been remastered in 2013 and labeled as the “Special Edition.” This is a classic FPS style game similar to that of the old DOOM or Duke Nukem titles, although instead of guns, you get a giant sword. Aside from slashing your way through the game, this edition comes with some bonus content.

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Here is a list of features for this edition of the game:

Shadow Warrior Reborn – A bold new vision of Shadow Warrior elegantly blends classic first-person shooter gameplay with thrilling action, inventive combat, and a contemporary retelling of the hilarious legend of Lo Wang.

Elegant Swordplay – Unsheathe your legendary katana to slice enemies apart with precisely targeted swings or unleash fluid combos and special attacks to cut down hordes of enemies with one swift pass through the enraged hordes.

Upgradeable Arsenal – Utilize every gun in your formidable armory – from stylish revolvers and quad barrel shotguns to explosive-tipped crossbow bolts and laser-guided rocket launchers. Each weapon offers several unique upgrades to increase power, speed, and add devastating alternative firing options.

Mystical Powers – Call upon mystical powers to protect yourself and paralyze your enemies or use their own severed heads and still-beating hearts to bring them to their knees.

To get your hands on this offer, click here and get hacking and slashing!