Destiny 2’s Revamped Iron Banner Is Missing Something

Destiny 2’s Iron Banner event made its debut this week, another carryover from the first game that’s been tweaked enough to require a reappraisal. Unfortunately, it’s lost something along the way.

Iron Banner is a week-long event that comes around every six weeks or so. It centers on the competitive Crucible, and in the first game, it tweaked the standard Crucible template in several ways. There was a separate event-specific vendor, loot table, and rank system, all tied to how you performed as you played. Matches were all set to a single game-type, usually Control-point domination, and player levels actually made a (very slight) difference in how much damage they dished out or received.

Destiny 2’s Iron Banner changes almost every part of the original Iron Banner formula, in addition to the many changes the sequel makes to the Crucible overall. You no longer rank up by playing, nor does your rank allow you to directly purchase items from the Iron Banner vendor. Instead, you earn tokens from wins and losses and cash them in at that vendor, same as with other Destiny 2 events. You no longer have to kit yourself out in Iron Banner gear or use special items to max your XP. And in the clearest difference, higher-level characters will no longer enjoy a slight damage advantage when compared with lower-level characters.

Much of the streamlining Bungie has done with Destiny 2 has been for the better, regardless of its (likely) short-term impact on the endless replayability of endgame. But now that I’ve spent an evening with the new Iron Banner, it’s clear that something is missing. Iron Banner has lost some crucial part of its identity.

Iron Banner used to occupy a space in between the hardcore sweat of Trials and the more casual vibe of ordinary Crucible. During Destiny 1, I rarely had the time or inclination to compete seriously in Trials, but I would routinely gear up for Iron Banner whenever it rolled around. A bunch of people from my clan would usually be online that week, and folks would pop into and out of one another’s parties freely. We’d team up, trash-talk, win some, lose some. At the start of the week, I’d see that the vendor had a gun I really wanted, and it was pretty easy to get to the rank I needed to buy it. And while the actual damage boost I got from being high level was almost meaningless, I still felt rewarded to have spent time building a loadout that would help me win.

It’s not bad, exactly. It’s just indistinct.

Those systems have been removed, and the new Iron Banner is struggling to fill the space left in their absence. The new token reward system feels like the easiest thing to point to as a problem, but I don’t think that’s really it. Destiny 2 has shifted to a token economy for just about everything. Trials of the Nine, Faction Rally, and even the Leviathan raid lean toward rewarding players with tokens instead of in-activity loot drops. While the token system can be deflating compared with the first game’s more traditional drops, each of those activities still has a distinct identity.

The raid, obviously, is a raid. Trials sets itself apart from the usual Competitive playlist with its elimination-style punchcards, discrete social space and noticeably fiercer level of competition. Faction Rally allowed for an anodyne but enjoyable propaganda war between the factions, and more tangibly, encouraged players to explore Lost Sectors they may not have checked out previously. Iron Banner, by way of comparison, mostly just feels like Crucible with an expanded loot table.

It’s not bad, exactly. It’s just indistinct. It’s nice to have a Crucible playlist that’s nothing but Control matches, because Control remains one of the most solidly enjoyable of Destiny’s PvP modes. (Destiny 2, unlike its predecessor, doesn’t let you select modes before you start.) I played for a couple hours without fear of the usual back-to-back Supremacy matches that seem to dominate my time in the Crucible otherwise. I’m also always glad when there’s new loot to chase, though after playing all evening and only getting a couple of armor pieces, I do wish I could be saving up for a guaranteed weapon purchase.

Of all of Destiny 1’s varied challenges and timed activities, Iron Banner was the most steadfast. It wasn’t my favorite thing to do, but I always had a good time. Whenever it rolled around, it provided an enjoyable excuse to get back into the game if I’d been taking some time off. Some friends and I would party up, put on our Iron Banner regalia, and go blow some stuff up. The new Iron Banner feels less necessary. It could use some sort of tweak, some creative something to give it a more distinct identity. As it stands, it’s just not very exciting.

Destiny 2 UPDATE – Trials of the Nine countdown, Iron Banner latest, first secret quest | Gaming | Entertainment

Destiny 2 players are getting ready for the latest Trials of the Nine refresh after Iron Banner launched on PS4 and Xbox One this week.

However, the mode and map for Trials of the Nine remains a mystery as Bungie have not released a Destiny 2 schedule for October.

The Destiny 2 developer had previously released a roadmap for the online shooter, but that only covered month one.

So, anything past week four in Destiny 2 is a mystery for players, with a number of big additions on the horizon.

There is plenty of speculation among Guardians about what’s next in store for them – with talk of the first secret quest taking place soon.

Express.co.uk has rounded up all we know so far about what’s happening with Destiny 2 this week and the October schedule.

WHEN IS DESTINY 2 TRIALS OF THE NINE GETTING A REFRESH?

On Friday Destiny 2 Trials of the Nine will get updated, with a new mode and map.

Replacing the Trials of Osiris end-game event, Trials of the Nine is the go-to Destiny 2 game mode for fans of PvP Crucible action.

Trials of the Nine gets updated in Destiny 2 every week at 10am PT / 6pm BST on Friday. 

DESTINY 2 WEEK 6 – TRIALS OF THE NINE MODE AND MAP

For the first four weeks of Destiny 2, we knew exactly what map and mode we’d be playing thanks to the Destiny 2 Month One roadmap.

However, everything past that is now a mystery.

Last week the mode and map in Destiny 2 Trials of the Nine was as follows:

Mode: Survival

Map: European Dead Zone Map, The Dead Cliffs

Seeing as last week was Survival, this week it could switch back to Countdown.

One map that we could see a return of is Altar of Flame.

In week three of Destiny 2 Altar of Flame was meant to be the map for Trials of the Nine.

However, this was swapped out after around two hours due to an exploit.

If you go back to week three though, you may get an idea of what we could be playing tomorrow.

It was changed to Countdown on Eternity.

So it’s possible Altar of Flame may make a return, with the exploit that players were taking an advantage of hopefully now fixed.

DESTINY 2 – TRIALS OF THE NINE REQUIREMENTS

If you want to take part in Trials of the Nine, there are a number of requirements you have to fulfil.

These are as follows:

• Players must complete the Destiny 2 campaign

• Players must complete the the Call to Arms Milestone at least once

• Players must have 260 Power

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING IN DESTINY 2? WHAT IS IN THE OCTOBER SCHEDULE?

Friday, as per usual, will also see Xur return with a selection of exotics.

However, anything else happening on Friday – or this week in general – remains a mystery.

It’s rumoured that Destiny 2 fans could see the first secret quest revealed this month.

Fans believe the secret area during the 1AU mission in the main campaign will unlock for the special quest soon. 

It had been expected that the secret room could have unlocked on October 7, as the seventh is a date that has long been favoured by Bungie.

However, that came and past with no reveal – so there is still hope the secret quest may become available this week.

DESTINY 2 IRON BANNER LATEST

Iron Banner launched in Destiny 2 on Tuesday, and fans have already discovered a great Easter Egg.

Destiny 2 players have uncovered an Overwatch secret hidden within the Iron Banner event.

Accessible only by the best players, Lord Saladin references Overwatch character Reaper when players manage a 20-person kill streak.

Destiny 2 Iron Banner guide

Destiny 2 players are getting their first taste of the Iron Banner this week.

A semi-regular Crucible player-versus-player event in the original Destiny, the Iron Banner offered exclusive wolf-themed armor and weapons for skilled players who were willing to put in the time. But things have changed in the sequel, and not just because the Crucible is a four-on-four affair this time around. Here’s what you need to know.

When is the Iron Banner active?

Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event goes live at the weekly reset this week — 2 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 10 — and will run for exactly seven days, ending at the same time on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

How do Iron Banner matches work in Destiny 2?

Let’s take a step back and explain the Iron Banner in the original Destiny. Level advantages were enabled, which meant that your gear mattered — if you were at a Light level of 220, you would do more damage to (and take less damage from) a Guardian who was at, say, 180 Light. Of course, the game’s matchmaking system would try to pit you against players who were at a similar level. But this setup still restricted your loadout options: Would you risk switching to a preferred weapon even if it dropped your Light significantly? (In the standard Crucible, you can use whatever gear you want, because level advantages are disabled.)

Bungie is keeping level advantages disabled across all Crucible modes in Destiny 2, including Trials of the Nine and Iron Banner. So whether you’re at a power level of 200 or 305, you’ll be on the same footing as your opponents — life and death will come down to skill. That’s all well and good, but it does take away the defining facet of competition in the Iron Banner.

Control is the gametype for Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner event, but don’t get used to it — it’s usually a different one each time.

How do Iron Banner rewards work in Destiny 2?

The Iron Banner always offers gear that can only be earned by playing Iron Banner matches. You’ll unlock those items in much the same way as you get gear from other activities in Destiny 2: Completing matches gives you Iron Banner tokens — you get more of them if you win — and you turn in those tokens to Lord Saladin, the event’s vendor. When you give him enough of them, he’ll reward you with an Iron Banner engram that can contain Iron Banner-themed armor and weapons.

This setup is way more simple than the reward structure for Destiny’s Iron Banner, where access to gear was gated by the amount of time you put in. To be able to unlock the best items, you had to play enough to level up through five ranks of Iron Banner reputation. That required a significant time commitment, especially within the one week that the event was active. Bungie has also done away with Iron Banner bounties; in fact, there are no bounties in Destiny 2 at all.


Destiny 2 - three Guardians on Distant Shore mapDestiny 2 - three Guardians on Distant Shore map

Distant Shore, the new Crucible map that’s debuting in Destiny 2 alongside the game’s first Iron Banner event.
Bungie/Activision

Is anything else coming with the Iron Banner?

Indeed there is! Bungie announced this afternoon that it will add a new Crucible map to Destiny 2 along with the Iron Banner event. The map, Distant Shore, is set on Nessus. Once the Iron Banner event ends, Distant Shore will enter the rotation for all Crucible gametypes.

Destiny 2 Iron Banner COUNTDOWN: armour, gear, weapons and start time | Gaming | Entertainment

The Destiny 2 Iron Banner was officially unveiled by Bungie, complete with changes and start times.

As confirmed by the development team, The Destiny 2 Iron Banner will return this week on PS4 and Xbox One.

The release time has been set for Tuesday, October 10th, at around 2am PT / 10am BST.

It will finish at the same time on October 17, giving fans a whole week to grab the loot they’re hoping to earn.

Bungie have also confirmed that a few changes have been made from the original game, both in how you earn gear and how you battle in competition with your fellow Guardians.

Destiny 2 Iron Banner will include two teams of four players instead of five, while your fighting abilities, not your power levels, will decide the outcome.

Bungie have also replaced Bounties and Ranks with an Iron Banner Engram, while Iron Banner Tokens are earned in every match.

Guardians earn more Tokens if they are on the winning side, which can be used to grab more engrams.

For those who are itching to compete, you must first complete the Destiny 2 campaign, which will then allow you to meet up with Lord Saladin in the Tower to begin the Iron Banner Quest.

Guardians will be able to fight in the Iron Banner playlist with Quickplay modes and matchmaking, hopefully grabbing some good loot on the way.

New Iron Banner armour and gear is up for grabs for the best Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks, while Bungie have confirmed weapons will also be included.

Announcing the news, Bungie said: “The Red War scattered the heroes of humanity across the solar system. 

“One by one, they have been returning to the City. Now, Lord Saladin will hold court and reward the brave.”

The game for the first Iron Banner in Destiny 2 will be Control.

Bungie had previously confirmed that Iron Banner will return to Destiny 2 in October.

However, until this week the exact date for the return of the week-long PvP event was unknown.

In the Bungie blog post, they also revealed pictures of the armour set Guardians will be able to get their hands on.

And as expected, it will have a distinct Samurai feel to it.

Destiny 2 – Weekly reset day, October schedule mystery, Iron Banner, first secret quest? | Gaming | Entertainment

Destiny 2 players have a big week ahead of them, as the weekly reset kicks off tomorrow as the October schedule remains a mystery.

Bungie in a blog post had revealed a Month One roadmap for the PS4, Xbox One and PC shooter ahead of the Destiny 2 release date in September.

However, the release schedule only revealed what would be taking in Destiny 2 up to week four – anything past that is currently unknown.

It’s leading to speculation that the first secret quest could take place in Destiny 2 as early as this week.

And the already confirmed return of Iron Banner is due to have a release date soon.

Express.co.uk has rounded up all we know so far about the Destiny 2 weekly reset, the October schedule, the return of the Iron Banner and the first secret quest.

WHEN IS THE DESTINY 2 WEEKLY RESET? WHAT WILL BE CHANGED?

The Destiny 2 weekly reset happens every Tuesday. Here are the times for the big weekly shake-up:

• 2am PT 

• 5am ET 

• 10am BST 

The official Destiny 2 weekly reset affects Nightfall Strikes and the ongoing Raid, and also acts as the countdown to complete these tasks.

If you complete them before the reset, you will have to wait until the following Tuesday to start them again and collect new rewards.

This is also when a lot of the game’s milestones get refreshed, which means weekly challenges, destination Flashpoints, call to arms, clan XP and clan XP rewards.

WHAT IS THE DESTINY 2 OCTOBER SCHEDULE?

So far, Bungie have not released an October schedule for Destiny 2.

The Destiny 2 released a roadmap for Guardians ahead of the game’s release back in September.

However, that only outlined what was going on during the first four weeks of Destiny 2 – everything past that is a mystery.

In that roadmap, every Tuesday when the weekly reset kicked in NightFall Strikes and Flashpoint destinations all got a shake-up.

While on Friday Xur would return and Trials of the Nine would get a refresh.

Last Tuesday saw the beginning of Faction Rallies, so it will be interesting to see what happens to mark the beginning of its second week.

WHEN WILL IRON BANNER RETURN TO DESTINY 2?

Bungie have already confirmed that Iron Banner will return to Destiny 2 in October.

However, the exact date for the return of the week-long PvP event is unknown.

In the original Destiny, Iron Banner had its own set of weapons and armour, which dropped at high gear levels and at a generous rate.

It made it one of the best grinding activities for Destiny players that wanted to level up.  

We expect that Iron Banner in Destiny 2 won’t deviate too far from the existing format of Crucible matches with level advantages enabled.

But it’s unclear if it Lord Saladin will return to for the event or if Lady Efrideet will continues to oversee proceedings.

Judging by trailers released so far from Bungie, it looks like Iron Banner in Destiny 2 could have a Samurai-style theme around it.

October will also see the Prestige difficulty hit the Leviathan Raids this month.

DESTINY 2 – WHEN WILL THE FIRST SECRET QUEST BE RELEASED? COULD IT HAPPEN THIS WEEK?

It’s rumoured that Destiny 2 fans could see the first secret quest revealed this week.

The seventh is a date that has long been favoured by Bungie, and fans are hoping October 7 will see the release of Destiny 2’s first secret quest. 

Fans believe the secret area during the 1AU mission in the main campaign will unlock for the special quest on Saturday.

A number of Guardians managed to break into this room thanks to in-game glitches.

However, it didn’t reveal anything more than a few enemies.

Bungie may reveal more details on the October schedule, as well as the return of Iron Banner and Destiny 2’s first secret quest in their blog this week.

‘Iron Marines’ First Impressions: Pretty Close to a Mobile Edition of ‘StarCraft’



I just acquired concluded participating in around an hour or so of Ironhide’s Iron Marines [$4.99], and it’d be difficult for my very first impressions of the sport to be any far better. It is really from the builders of the Kingdom Rush [Free] series, so it’s not much of a surprise that they’d know how to make a genuinely fantastic mobile sport. At its most basic, the easiest way to explain Iron Marines is that it’s rather dang near to a mobile model of StarCraft. At instances it even feels a minimal much too on the nose when it will come to riffing immediately from the Blizzard common, but with a exclusive art design and style and a interesting mix among tower protection and actual time method mechanics, Iron Marines manages to feel distinctly diverse even if it is offering a unbelievably huge hat tip toward the StarCraft universe.

The complete sport is controlled by means of a basic touch interface that functions pretty much accurately as you would count on it to. To find models, you tap them. To transfer models, you drag them in a way that feels a little bit like participating in Battleheart [$2.99]. They will then make their way to that spot, cease, and fireplace at everything within just variety. Moreover, on a great deal of the maps you occur throughout there will be factors that you can set up towers on, and people towers can then be upgraded a great deal like a tower protection sport.

Iron Marines’ tutorial leaves a minimal to be desired, so here is a pair tips that I figured out whilst participating in: To find multiple models to transfer them at the very same time, double tap a grouping of models that are all standing in the vicinity of each and every other. This will enable you to then drag absent from the grouping and transfer them all at once. There’s also a mini-tower fall gun point that you can fall on the map which is on your toolbar of icons in the base suitable corner. If your models are getting confused, this can be a lifesaver. These two items genuinely aided me with some stages I was acquiring trouble with.

Mission sorts, at the very least in the early sport, feel just like a little something you would occur throughout participating in the one player of StarCraft. You can do items like rescue marines, total an total map making use of just 1 hero character, develop and protect multiple bases, and other items like that. The way you do all of these items have been distilled down to the genre’s most pure essence. For occasion, you command a quite compact quantity of models at any 1 time. The maps I have occur throughout so considerably have maxxed out at three models (with some models in fact currently being a squad of three of people models) moreover your hero character which is fully plenty of to have qualified skirmishes without having getting extremely challenging and overloading what would be probable with the games’ touch command plan. Also, so considerably, base building is limited to building towers on specified building factors and coming throughout other bases you can acquire command of.

The enemies of the early sport are quite Zerg-like, and are a extensive distribute among enemies that do area outcome harm, flying enemies, strong siege models, and much more. The wide range is genuinely rather amazing. Resource era is regular, and it feels like you happen to be constantly juggling relocating your troopers around, upgrading items, and creating positive all of your existing tower defenses are carrying out alright whilst taking care of the cooldown capabilities of your hero character. It is really interesting how Iron Marines concurrently feels like a tower protection sport and an RTS sport without having both aspect genuinely emotion weaker than the other.

One particular point I am not super positive about just nonetheless is how the trouble curve of the sport and the freemium aspects all occur into engage in. The fourth degree felt artificially tricky to me at very first, but I am continue to not positive if I just desired to engage in the sport far better, use a diverse method, or what. I breezed by the very first three stages then hit a wall for a whilst. I inevitably acquired by the degree without having paying out, but I genuinely couldn’t explain to you if it was my skill degree that’s the dilemma, a little something I was meant to be carrying out that I wasn’t mainly because there is not much of a tutorial, or what. There’s also optional missions which were being also quite tricky for me, but potentially you happen to be meant to go back to them right after upgrading your hero a few instances.

As considerably as items you can acquire in the sport, there is three hero models you can opt for from for totally free, and 6 much more you can acquire. The cheapest unlockable hero is $2.99 whilst the most expensive is $6.99. (I haven’t dumped any revenue into the sport nonetheless to see if there is a extensive disparity in electricity stages among these models.) Every of these models have three capabilities that you can up grade by means of expending “Hero Details” which you get from participating in the sport. From there you can also acquire “credits” and “techpoints.” Credits acquire you further weapons that mainly serve as consumable electricity-ups whilst techpoints unlock persistent upgrades from a huge tech tree. The two currencies are rewarded at a good clip whilst participating in, and you can get credits by viewing adverts if that’s a little something you happen to be into.

All round, my early impressions are super positive and I am energized to get further into the sport to response concerns like whether or not any of the “top quality” heroes are needed, and if the sport is balanced in a way that you can just engage in by it without having genuinely dealing with any freemium shenanigans if you required to. I suspect there will be some type of freemium pinch level inevitably, but when it hits, I couldn’t explain to you just nonetheless. Even if it does, tossing the builders of a sport of this degree of top quality a pair bucks wouldn’t be the worst point in the globe.

People in our community forums are going wild about the sport, and it’s uncomplicated to see why: With the caveat of that I have only performed for around an hour, Iron Marines is 1 hell of a sport.

That Awesome Iron Man Mod For Grand Theft Auto V Just Got An Upgrade

by Robert Workman

There have been a lot of great mods made for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V, but comic book fans would be hard pressed to find a better one than the Iron Man one that was created by JulioNIB.

The mod, which originally came out back in 2015, recently saw some improvements from its basic script, which makes it even more fun to play as the superhero (well, not officially) through the streets of the Grand Theft Auto universe.

For one thing, you can now choose the Hulkbuster armor, which has been a staple in comic books and was seen in the likes of Iron Man 3 and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. As you might guess, it plays a bit differently than the general armor in the game, relying more on strongarm moves that can have you crushing cars flat…not to mention causing havoc with the populace.

The update also saw a number of new animations, sound effects and more added, which you can see in the video above. It’s pretty sweet stuff, especially when you start blasting cars from a distance with missiles, or throwing people around like Frisbees. (The Avengers probably wouldn’t approve, but when you’re having this much fun, really, who cares?)

There’s also a sweet new HUD system similar to the display that you might have seen from the movies, so you can actually feel like you’re in control of certain aspects of the suit. You can see it in action in the video too.

Oh, and don’t worry, War Machine fans, you’ll get a dose of your favorite hero as well, as original design and appropriate abilities are included for them as well.

If you want to get your hands on the mod, you’ll need to subscribe to JulioNIB’s Patreon. But the good news is you won’t have to pay too much for it, as you can just pay around $2 for a subscription. It’s worth trying, especially if you’re a fan of all things Iron Man.

Grand Theft Auto V is available now for PC, as well as Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

<!–

Author

–>

The best clothing iron

How we picked and tested

We looked for affordable irons that heat up quickly, have a reasonably large water tank, produce plenty of steam for flattening wrinkles, and don’t leak. Photo: Michael Hession

Based on nearly 400 responses to our reader survey, we took cost seriously. The majority of respondents—69 percent—wanted to spend between $30 and $75 on an iron. We also looked at smoothness of glide, size of water tank, rate of steam produced, and heat-up speed, among other useful features. Finally, we eliminated cordless models altogether, based on Consumer Reports’s testing.

We also wanted an iron that works fast. If the goal of most people is to press something quickly and move on with life, you want an iron that heats up in seconds. The irons we liked used 1,500 to 1,800 watts, which typically take about 65 to 75 seconds to reach 400 ºF.

Aside from soleplate material, wattage, steam rate, and auto shutoff, we recommend several other features common in mid-priced irons:

  • a “burst of steam” to flatten Himalayan wrinkles
  • vertical steaming to relax drapes or clothes on a hanger
  • anti-drip and anti-calcification mechanisms that allow the use of tap water
  • lights to signal the iron has reached its temperature
  • an 8-foot-long cord
  • inspection stamps such as “UL” or “ETL” that signify the manufacturer opted to pay for (and passed) rigorous third-party iron-safety tests
  • a one-year warranty, but longer is better

I set up boards and irons in my dining room and ran each iron through some basic tests: heat-up time, water tank size, and wrinkle-busting ability on a variety of fabrics. I used cotton quilt fabrics, acrylic sweaters (known to melt onto the plate of a hot iron), t-shirts, some synthetic fabrics, and a piece of silk for testing. Referring back to the feedback from our last testing with staffers in the Sweethome office, I noted how each iron felt to hold, how easy it was to use, and how much steam each seemed to release. And because durability is hard to gauge in one testing period, we’ll continue to use all of our picks to see if they maintain their great performance over time.

Our pick

The Maytag M400 hits the best balance of a reasonable price and great performance that we’ve found. Photo: Michael Hession

The Maytag M400 Speed Heat Iron and Vertical Steamer packed the best combination of features in our testing: quick heat-up time, good steam, agility, reliability, and a great price. We also like that this iron comes with a longer-than-average two-year warranty.

Though it didn’t give off as much steam as our other picks, the M400 felt more powerful than many irons we tried with more wattage. It also heated up very quickly, producing steam on the highest setting in just 24 seconds. We also liked that the Maytag M400’s steam burst button was easier to push repeatedly than those on the other irons we tested, which helped produce a lot of steam quickly.

The Maytag was actually the lightest iron we tested overall, and it still managed to push out wrinkles with barely any pressure. It glided quickly and smoothly over every fabric we tested. But if you’re ironing something big and heavy, or something with stubborn creases (like linen), the Maytag may be too light.

We do wish the Maytag had a cord longer than 8 feet. Sometimes extra length helps you maneuver the iron around an ironing board. But this limitation is minor, and overall we stand by the Maytag as our pick.

A good, cheap iron that might break

The Black+Decker D3030 Allure has a smooth glide, tons of steam, and a user-friendly design. But it also seems to have a track record of reliability issues. Photo: Michael Hession

If the Maytag M400 is sold out or unavailable, we would recommend getting the Black+Decker D3030 Allure instead. The Allure is one of the lightest irons we tested, weighing 3.1 pounds, and was one of the fastest irons to produce hot steam in our testing. It also has one of the most comfortable handles we’ve tried. Its stainless steel soleplate glides more smoothly across fabrics than most of the competitors in the same price range.

But there’s a big reason we had to demote this iron from the top spot: We are worried it may have longevity problems. The heating element on the Allure we were long-term testing failed after about a year (we were using the iron twice a week), and at least 23 Amazon reviews for this model note the same problem. But with its two-year warranty, it was pretty easy to get a replacement.

Having an iron fail in less than a year was really disappointing, but we can’t deny what a strong competitor the Allure is—especially because it’s only about $38. Even with this big reliability issue, we would still recommend the Allure as an affordable backup option.

A high-quality iron for frequent use

The Rowenta DW 9280 SteamForce, our upgrade pick, shoots out more steam than any other. Photo: Michael Hession

If an iron can be dreamy, the Rowenta SteamForce is dreamy. This German-made iron performed best in our tests. At 3.9 pounds, it’s too heavy to be the most comfortable to hold, and not all of our testers loved the layout of the buttons and dials. But none of us could argue with the way it beat every wrinkle we threw at it. The stainless steel soleplate has more holes than any of our other test picks, and the tip has Rowenta’s Precision Shot, a group of holes that emits a concentrated blast of steam for tougher creases. The SteamForce also has an extra-large tank, so you need fewer refills for big jobs.

However, the SteamForce has drawbacks. The cord is only 7 feet long, which felt a little puny. It has a one-year warranty in the United States, which is less generous than the two-year warranties offered by Black+Decker and Maytag.

The biggest problem is that this one often costs more than twice as much as the Maytag M400. We think the SteamForce’s price is worth it if you’re a sewer or quilter or regularly tackle mountains of ironing. But go to a store first and make sure the weight isn’t a problem.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Sweethome: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

Tekken 7 Review – Iron Fist Rage (PS4)

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the last proper Tekken game on home consoles – Tekken Tag Tournament 2 released in 2012 on the PlayStation 3, while the now-discontinued Tekken Revolution launched in 2013. A lot has happened in the meantime in the world of fighters. Can Tekken 7 do new and exciting things for the franchise, or is playing it safe the way forward?

New Tech, Same Foes

Bandai Namco Studios has opted to use the Unreal Engine 4 this time around. This should result in similar performance across platforms. The game runs locked at 60 frames-per-second (fps), and doesn’t appear to falter at any time. Anti-aliasing appears to be in full effect, and jagged edges are a rare sight as a result. This is the best-looking Tekken game, to be sure, and while its graphical fidelity may not be as high as Injustice 2, it is certainly pleasing to look at.

Tekken 7 has been out in arcades since March 18, 2015 in Japan, where they still carry some weight in city life. If there’s one area in which arcades still reign supreme, it’s in load times. Since arcade boards are often flash-based, Tekken 7 loads much more quickly in its arcade form than what we have on consoles. Indeed, you can expect some fairly hefty load changes between fights. In fact, some game modes seem to favor running multiple battles in the same stage, perhaps to cut down on loading in additional assets, decreasing load times in the process.

Tekken has always been known as a technical fighter. Tekken 7 is no different in this regard. With a starting roster of 36 characters, there’s bound to be one to match your playing style. From the quick legwork of Nina to the slow but powerful punches of newcomer Gigas, it’s an interesting mix. Then again, there’s always Kuma and Panda if you feel like controlling something more unconventional.

No Holding Back

If you’re looking to get started with a Tekken career, then you’ll need to learn in a trial-by-fire method. There’s no real tutorial to speak of, with just a swath of icons and Practice mode to be utilized as you try to get used to each character. The Treasure Battles (more on those in a bit) are a good place to level up and get used to some combos, as well. Alternatively, running through the campaign mode on easy is another viable option, though the gap between easy and medium is rather large. Essentially, you should expect to play a lot of easy battles as you slowly learn the ropes if you’re not already familiar with the series.

So what’s changed between Tekken 6 and Tekken 7? There are a few main gameplay differences to pay attention to: first is the “Bound System”, which has been replaced by the “Screw Attack.” This launches an enemy airborne and turns them sideways, lining them up for followup attacks. Unlike the Bound System, however, you cannot use a Screw Attack combined with wall combos, which felt cheap anyway. Next, if you are in the middle of an attack and get hit by an opponent, you can continue the execution of your attack if you’re not receiving much damage. This comes in handy when executing the new “Rage Drive” and “Rage Arts” moves.

Once you have received enough damage to enter the reddish portion of your health bar, your character will begin to glow with a red aura. It is here that you can decide to use specialized, damage-enhanced Rage Drive moves and combos, in an attempt to get back in the fight, or you can press R1 or an equivalent combo to launch into a Rage Arts move. These are special finishing moves that are designed to inflict approximately 30% of an entire health bar’s worth of damage. The closer you are to being KO’d, the more damage this super move inflicts. But choose wisely: if you start to perform Rage Drive moves, you cannot use the Rage Arts move, and vice versa. These new Rage moves are destined to be featured on many tournament reels, because they can quickly shift any battle dramatically.

A More Cinematic Attempt

Cinematic campaigns are all the rage in fighting games these days; just look at Mortal Kombat, Injustice, and Street Fighter. Tekken 7 didn’t want to be left out, and includes a complete single-player campaign. It’s quite short – an average playthrough will take approximately 90 minutes or so. Unlike the other games in the genre, you are not given any options regarding who to play as. This is a story about the Mishima clan, and so it does at least feel more focused than other games. Yet there are some quirks that are hard to explain away, like the fact that various characters speak Japanese, English, Italian, and Chinese, all interchangeably, and with everyone understanding what the other is saying. Why Kazuya’s henchmen speak English while he speaks Japanese is unknown and odd, for instance.

Outside of the main story, there are also multiple character episodes set up in pairs. The scenarios take place alongside the main story, and play out a short side story which ends in a certain way depending on which player you chose to fight as. These are all single fights, which results in a disappointing length per episode, and will likely have you wanting for a more satisfying story for each character. What’s here is good, it’s just that there’s not enough of it.

Customize Like A Mad Kazuya

Fighting games have become all about character customization these days, and Tekken 7 has that in spades. While you can earn various unlocks by playing the main campaign, the majority of your treasure-hunting time will likely be spent in the Treasure Battle mode. This is an endless fight mode where you can rank up each of the game’s characters. Win a battle, and you’ll usually open a treasure chest of varying rarity. Win enough battles in a row, and you’ll occasionally face special battles, such as fighting against Akuma or Kazumi, or battles with modifiers, including turbo battles where the speed is doubled, double damage rounds, or the extra rare Aerial Juggle, where only air-juggled fighters receive damage.

Unlocks include character-specific clothing and accessories, as well as items which can be equipped by all characters. Some of the more eccentric items include hovering pet fish, ghosts, and even different effects for when you hit your opponent. When you’re done accessorizing, you can save your character in one of ten preset slots, per character. There are essentially limitless combinations to be made, so having a generous number of save slots per character is appreciated. Running each character through their various warm-up and victory poses to save as a thumbnail for the presets is a fun touch as well.

The Tekken series is a long and storied franchise, dating back to the arcades in 1994 and the original PlayStation in 1995. So for many fans, Tekken 7’s gallery will be a blast from the past. Here, you can view many of the previous console games’ cinematics and endings, as well as campaign cinematics that you have unlocked by playing through the single-player story. It’s a fun trip down memory lane, showing us just how far gaming has come in terms of graphics, presentation, and sound design.

Strut Your Stuff Online

There is online for Tekken 7, of course, with more emphasis on ranked matches than anything else. You can participate in ranked and unranked battles, and multi-stage tournaments. There’s not much else beyond this, and of course your internet connection will play a large factor in how much enjoyment you get out of this mode. While the server population was extremely low during our review, it will be fun to see all the different customizations that other players use. If you find yourself consistently with a less-than-desireable connection, the game’s practice mode does enable you to simulate the input lag you are likely to see, in order to better train yourself for those kinds of matches.

Multiplayer will be the place where fighters come to show off. You can unlock nameplates, titles, and all sorts of graphics to customize the background of your player card. This includes the artwork that shows up for each character, so you can choose a piece of concept art that shows off your favorite character in a new way. You can even customize the graphics around your life bar, to tailor the interface to exactly how you like it. Some nameplates are unlocked only by reaching a certain player rank, and will serve as a way to communicate with other fans just how hardcore of a player you are – or not!

Pick Your Soundtrack

Speaking of audio, Tekken 7 also features a Jukebox feature. This enables you to tailor the game’s soundtrack to your exacting specifications. Particularly awesome is the ability to play music from all past Tekken games, shuffled. While the soundtrack that ships with the game is more than suitable, and makes the game feel like it was ripped straight out of an arcade, the tracks can feel a little repetitive after some time; this functionality solves that problem instantaneously and permanently.

Tekken 7 remains an addicting technical fighter that constantly beckons you for just one more round. There are so many moves for each character, mastering even one complete move set will take nothing less than complete dedication. While it doesn’t feel as though Namco Bandai has done much to innovate in the genre from the surface, those who prefer Tekken’s brand of fighting than those of Capcom’s or NetherRealm’s will be in for a treat. Fans of the series will feel right at home, while those looking to ease their way into the series will find a lot to chew on. All that being said, Tekken 7 is a formidable entry into the fighting genre, and will provide hundreds of hours of fun for fans and newcomers alike. Just be prepared to learn a lot of new stuff.


Review code for Tekken 7 provided by publisher. Reviewed on PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.

8.5Silver Trohpy
  • As deep as any other Tekken
  • A ton of varied loot to collect
  • Large cast of playable characters
  • Campaign feels phoned in
  • Lengthy loading times
  • Not too friendly to new players

Even with iron ore prices diving, NASA fast tracks mission to $10,000 quadrillion asteroid

Even with iron ore prices diving, NASA fast tracks mission to $10,000 quadrillion asteroid

“16 Psyche” is worth that amount in the steelmaking raw material alone.

While many still see space mining as science fiction, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is fast tracking its planned mission to 16 Psyche — an iron ore and nickel rich asteroid, worth roughly $10,000 quadrillion.

To put that value into perspective, the targeted celestial body’s estimated value is more than the combined economy of our entire planet, guessed at $78 trillion, multiplied by a thousand.

NASA’s mission to “16 Psyche” may give humans a first ever chance of exploring a world made of iron, not rock or ice.

You don’t need to be a mathematician or a financial expert to realize that bringing that amount of minerals back to our planet would collapse the Earth’s economy.

And if you follow the mining sector’s news, then you know the market wouldn’t benefit from yet more iron ore supply.

Fortunately, NASA is only planning to explore 16 Psyche, not mine it. Al least for now. What the agency has done, however, is to move forward the launch date to 2022 from 2013, Science Alert reports.

While a year is nothing in terms of space missions, the team behind the project has devised a plan to make the journey to the asteroid more efficient, which slashes four years from the original travel time.

If the mission to 16 Psyche — one of the most massive asteroids found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter — is successful, then humans will have a first ever chance of exploring a world made of iron, not rock or ice.

Geologists believe all asteroids are packed with iron ore, nickel and precious metals at much higher concentrations than those found on Earth, making up a market valued in the trillions of dollars.

Not only private companies are planning to mine celestial bodies, but governments are increasingly joining the race too. In 2015, ex US President Barack Obama signed a law that grants American citizens rights to own resources mined in space. Shortly after, Luxembourg inked a deal with two US space research companies, in an effort to become a global centre for asteroid mining.