My review of WildStar (Thusfar) 9/10

I am (almost) beyond words (If i was completely out of ’em I couldn’t write a review could I?). One, because of the crazy amount of community outreach from Carbine Studios has given me a taste of the passion this company has for the game. Three, because the game is PHENOMENAL.

Notice how I said the GAME is phenomenal. I am actually pleasantly surprised to see so few negative reviews on such a large release, especially on Metacritic. I say this because the launch had quite a few issues, but most were expected (long server queues, login issues, serial problems, etc.). The ones that weren’t (Optimization problems, memory leaks, crashes, etc.) have been largely addressed by the community surrounding the game with people finding workarounds for the big problems while Carbine tries to get them sorted out. Usually the Negative Nancys come running at the smallest sign of weakness. But I know why they didn’t this time. Because this game, unlike the ones they usually complain about, is freakin’ amazing.  They, against their better judgement, got a taste of it, and they can’t get away.

Currently, my highest level character is a level 20 Granok Warrior (Soldier path). I have done quite a bit of PvP, which is crazy fun and crazy deep, and have had my first taste of group PvE and I gotta say, I am having more than a blast. The leveling experience has been rewarding and fresh, with plenty of small things like secret areas, path missions, and the occasional Challenge (CHALLENGE BEGINS) to keep it from feeling like too much of a grind. Lore is positively SEEPING from every nook and cranny from this game and you can get a MOUTHFUL of it without even looking too hard. The polish of the visuals is nothing short of sublime (provided you have the hardware to do the good stuff). Its world is rich and full of charm (the kind of charm us grown-up-WoW-kids really want to see). It’s crazy when it wants to be(which is to say usually), wacky when it’s appropriate, and impactful when it needs to be. My face lit up when I first saw the blazing light and pyrotechnics flare up around my character accompanied with a giant LEVEL UP in an awesome heavy metal font, complete with a bad*** anouncer (HOLY $#!% YOU LEVELED UP) and a guitar riff. It hits all the right buttons and fires on all cylinders.

Not into all that craziness? Chill out in your house. A big plot of land that you can truly call your own. Floating in the sky (which you can change btw). By far the deepest and most robust housing system in an MMO to date. (wow im going to go over the character cap at this rate). Feeling bored? Buy a giant floating rock formation for a little jumping puzzle action with some rewards at the end for your trouble. Feeling lonely? Make your house public so anyone can see the abode you have created! Scared of strangers? Make it private and have a select few neighbors to see your creation. This and tons of other tradeskill bonuses and other things make it obvious why it was a selling point for the game.

I would now like to talk about that first dungeon. I played a lot of World of Warcraft. I raided, I dungeoned. I had some of the best gear. I come from a solid background of PvE in MMOs, having tried most of them in recent years. I’ve never seen its like, and that’s saying something. I was transported back to my first time in Wrath of the Lich King doing Ulduar for the first time. I was in Ventrillo with the tank and the three dps in our group (the healer was a random who turned out to be a hardcore raider from back in Vanilla WoW). For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, do some reading. I had already heard these dungeons were hard (dying from trash, tough mechanics, etc.). I was prepared for a challenge. I was not disappointed. We died on the first pull. Then the second. Then the third. All the while, I’m grinning ear to ear. The feeling was awesome. After figuring out what we did wrong we got to the first boss. Thankfully, one of us had read-up on/done the fight already so we went in knowing what was going to happen. Now, as everyone knows, knowing whats about to happen and being ready for it are to different things. It took us an hour,(An HOUR), to beat the FIRST boss of the FIRST dungeon. The last time it took me an hour to do anything in an MMO was before I even knew the touch of a woman (well before it actually…Moving on). Needless to say I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas. In the end, we couldn’t finish the dungeon(othe obligations got in the way, as if there are any) and I DIDN’T EVEN CARE! It was that much fun. It’s all uphill from there.

If this sounds like your kind of game, strap in cupcake. You’re in for one hell of a ride. See you on Nexus.

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Moba Talk: Dawngate

Dawngate is a pretty new game, developed by Waystone Games and published by EA. That’s right, it’s the fabled EA MOBA people have been talking about (mostly dreading) for a while.

I’ve been playing it for the last week or so every day and my opinion of it is that it falls somewhere between League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm (unfortunately the HotS comparison is speculation as I have not been able to play it yet). The gameplay is straightforward enough: 2 teams of 5 fight on a large map over various points and push waves of automatically spawning minions to destroy bindings (same thing as towers in DotA and League) and ultimately destroy the Guardian, ending the game. Don’t think destroying the Guardian is that easy though, it will shoot spells that in my experience REALLY WRECK PEOPLES SHIT.

What makes Dawngate really stand out from the rest of the MOBASs out there, though? Frankly, it’s not the most unique MOBA I’ve ever played, but it does everything it sets out to do so well, I’m pretty sure it will survive in the market. Gameplay wise, one of the first things a player will notice is that all the skills have no cost and rely simply on cooldowns (there are some characters with costs and various resources but not many). Itemization is also fairly streamlined, yet still complex, instead of having items that only an ADC or a caster can use, items work well on any character, really, depending on the character type. Take Power for example: Image

 

this is one of the most basic starting items, it will increase auto attack and spell damage on all characters that purchase it, but varies from character to character.

Through a game of Dawngate, you will also choose 3 spells from the spellbook, one at level 1, one at level 10, and one at level 20. These spells do a variety of different things, and all have very long cooldowns, but have massive impact on the game. The ones I’ve seen most often are: Blink (basically flash from league), Drain (Functions the same way as ignite, dealing damage over time and reducing healing, but also heals the caster), and Vanquish (Smite from league, almost identical), but there are several others that do much more useful things such as give a protective shield to your whole team or shoot a damaging bolt that slows for a short time.

Once I’ve had some more time to play and have played every character in the game, I’ll go into more detail about each one and my opinions of them, because characters really are the meat of every moba. Until then, hopefully this piqued your interest in the game.

A-also this is my first time writing for FLG. I-I hope senpai notices me and likes it…

 

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BBCP Talk, Part 2!

For journalistic integrity, Azreal’s super actually called “Black Hawk Stinger,” not “Black Rock Stinger.” I’ve been playing in Japanese so I didn’t realize it. My fault.

This was long over-due, and I’m sorry; my past two weeks have been ripe with exams, drinking, exams, more drinking, enough studying to make me want to quit college altogether, and practically no video games until Saturday. I’ll get to the original purpose of the post from last time, but first, I’d like to cover something a little bit different, in the same realm.

I’m picking up Rachel! The significance of this is far-reaching, because I’m not just “picking up Rachel” like casual friends would–I intend to play her in competition. As such, I have to learn her intricately. Today’s post will first talk about my thought-process approaching her, from what I already know about her, to what I don’t know, to incorporating them into what I intend to know, and ultimately, how it all wraps up.

If you like list-format, you’ll love this article.


 

So, let’s start with what I knew about Rachel from either word of mouth or prior iterations of Blazblue.

  • Rachel is a mixup/oki-focused character whose combos do lower average damage than my usual characters (Mu-12, for instance, has an average of 3k, where Rachel has maybe a 2.2k). She trades damage for high/low mixup, and has plenty of tools to make her corner-game horrifying.
  • Her resource is the true source of her power. With 1 Sylpheed, she can set up 5 overheads, and cancel them into lows after the second and fifth completely safely, or do it all over again. It also allows for tech escapes, mobility, homing cancels a la Arcana Heart, and is needed for a vast majority of her damage in combos. Because of this, it’s absolutely vital to figure out either proper resource management, or combos that build the resource very quickly.
  • The general gameplan seems to be keep-away until the stars align using either George or Pumpkin to hit-confirm and successfully convert into damage, or the opponent winds up messing up and putting himself in the corner.
  • She cute as fuh doe

 

On the other side of that coin:

  • Combos, and in particular, how to end combos. I know a few combo enders, but some things to keep in mind are oki options and where the opponent ends. What use is it if I get a full-combo midscreen and build pressure using wind, but knock them down on the far side of the screen with no tool to get back in?
  • Situational combos, like throw and air-throw combos, fatal hit combos, wallstick combos, midscreen vs. corner combos, and how to convert into different enders based off of what hits I do.
  • Wakeup options. Oki is easy, but ukemi is where the game gets hard. Since Rachel doesn’t have a DP, the opponent rarely has to be scared of getting punished for overaggression on oki (unless she can cat-chair (2C)), so what–aside from aggressive blocking–does Rachel have?
  • How to survive in a resourceless world is going to be the largest issue. As an Aigis player, I know how helpless you feel not having resource, and I’d rather not feel that coming into a new game. This includes gaining resource, resourceless combos, mobility and momentum, and converting resourceless hit-confirms into resourced combos.

Now, this is a rough run-down of what I do and don’t know, but it gives us something to work with in this section. The application of concepts we’ve gone over can pretty much be tackled one at a time in succession, as the general flowchart of character integration is thusly: “combos>neutral>matchups.”

First, you’ll learn your character’s combos (or, at least, enders) and then learn how to use your normals to hit-confirms (so, for instance, I know one ender is …6B>j.B>j.C>jc.B>jc.C>j.236A, which is windless, and knocks them across the screen), and when and where to use different enders (like 6B>sj.C>j.2CD>land 5DCC>236B>6A>4B>236A>5CC, which probably means FUCKING NOTHING, and probably isn’t an actual combo anyway (I haven’t messed with it yet)). This knowledge, along with oki, ukemi, and mobility, makes up neutral game. Finally, you learn your character versus specific characters, or matchups (a good example would be, “trying to overaggress Ragna on oki is dumb, so put out George instead of set up mixup game).

So, how are we going to use the list of what we know vs. don’t know to conquer what we should know?

  • Ultimately, the first thing we need to think about is pressure. When should we play away, and when should we play close? This usually boils down to (I think) resource; we don’t want to be in their face without Sylpheed or George because it drastically cuts back on our mixup.
  • With that in mind, I should learn ground and aerial combo-enders, some that knock away, and some that knock down close to me. For an extra spin, aerial combos that allow airdashes at the end (any combo-ender without a double-jump in the last string) are especially valuable for resourceless oki, and any ender that can hard-knockdown to allow me to get either George or Pumpkin out.
  • Combos for all matter of wind. Only 2 wind, and I know that I can’t get in without 1? Are they almost dead, and can kill me from fullscreen? Time to be a man. 1-wind combos, or windless combos are a must, even if they are only, say, 1.3k, because they’ll refund more wind than standing around, blocking.
  • Since she’s a mixup character, obviously, I need to maximize my mixup potential. This is just mechanical skill meets technical knowledge, really, since I know that 5/6B>j.2AD>j.B can link into either jc.A>j.B or land 2B>5BD>4B, the former can link into either j.C>5B, or j.2C>3B>8D>aerial or corner ender, the former can still link into ground-ender, or expend another wind to repeat the entire setup. DO YOU SEE HOW DUMB THIS CHARACTER IS YET
  • She has a weird wakeup tech thing with Sylpheed where she wakes up and blows herself out of harm’s way, so it’s, essentially, an invincible roll. How the hell does that work? LET’S FIGURE IT OUT.
  • The art of keep-away using Tiny Nobelia and Sylpheed. This is all technical knowledge, and will probably wind up tying into the “final touches” of learning the character, as it is, I’m sure, matchup dependent as well. I intend to, at least, figure out the proper arcs and timings to hit the entire stage from any of the three ranges of Tiny Nobelia.
  • Matchups, matchups, matchups. If you ever think you know everything about the character, try playing against a character not usually pragmatic to your local scene. For instance, I normally play Mu-12 against Jin or Terumi, which is entirely different than Mu-12 against Azreal. The smallest changes in kit can lead to the largest differences in playstyle. Azreal, for instance, doesn’t have to expend meter to command-dash and touch your butt.

These are just generalizations, and trying to get people to think about the game as a fighting game, rather than some weird dancing rhythm game. We’ll talk more about this later.


 

So, the rest of this one we’re gonna focus on the rest of the cast! Huzzah!

  • Taokaka: I wanna bring up Taokaka because the super annoying VA that sounds like a reject K-On! character has returned, and this time, SHE’S TOP TIER YEAH
    She, along with a few other oldies, have been pretty much given unlimited combo potential; everything you think should link, links. Taokaka now has super-dumb crossup pressure and easily the most painful VA, making her the highest-tier character in the game. You don’t even realize it, but she’s bodying you IN REAL LIFE with that atrocious fucking voice. It’s like Chie damage for your ears.
    Realistically, though, she’s probably the third best character in the game, following Kokonoe and Valkenhayn (or, at least, on the same level as Valkenhayn). She does loads of damage and has enough mixup to finely puree smoothies. She does, however, lack wakeup options besides a counter super.
    If you hate having friends, pick Taokaka. You won’t be disappointed with much your friends hate you. (as an aside, she’s getting nerfed, thank god)
  • Jin: Jin’s actually risen in tier! He’s also been almost completely redone. He now only has 2 different varieties of his moves (normal and drive), but he also has two more supers. Changes to other moves makes him vastly better in this iteration, and it’s my personal belief that they’ve changed his little vortex kick to vortex more when it’s blocked. That makes his pressure a little scarier because microdash-throws are a bit more rampant and harder to guess at.
    Sekkajin, that dumb move that’d come out when you got too excited for hit confirming, now not only has a command (!!!!!!! (in case anyone’s wondering, it’s 22C)), it also now wallbounces in the corner (under certain instances, I’m not sure what). It sets up for the most stylish damn combos ever. He also has a retarded air-to-air game, and like triple-jump-in-overheads, and baby-tsubaki you can tiger-knee or just go ground-to-air with–he’s a DUMB CHARACTER WITH TOO MANY TOOLS
    He still looks like a fucking castle, though.
  • Noel: She lost her hat low-tier trash pay for DLC
    I don’t really know much about her changes, to be honest, but she does have a few more moves. They changed the ranges to Optic Barrel to only two (half-screen and full-screen) and now, there’s, like, an Optic Shotgun (Optic Blast? Giggle) move where she flips her guns into a double-barrel and shoots you with both. It has about the same launch trajectory on-hit as CH 6A, and is used to extend combos out of drive now. She also has a few new aerial moves, but your main jump-ins are the same.
    There’s also significantly less Noel players! I think they all moved to Izayoi, personally, because that Tsubooty is just too good, and that rack? That rack, though.
    I’d say that she’s a fun character, but won’t teach you much about the game. She has offensive options, and has a few defensive options, but will teach you to take risks in order to do anything, and that’s sort of a bad mentality to have (unless you’re really fucking good, like DawnHikarii or something).
  • Litchi: Also mysteriously absent is the NoelxLitchi matchup quotes. “Hands off the panda?” “Your breasts are illegal!?” WHY ARE THESE GONE
    Litchi’s been hit pretty hard; a lot of her moves have lost their hard knockdown, so she’s lost oki pressure. This hasn’t deterred local Romey from playing her, but it has sent a few high-level players (LordKnight and whatsit) to pick up different mains (I mean, I’ll give LK a pass because he probably could actually pay his rent with tournament winnings). She still has damage, and she still has mixups for days, but now they’ve changed combo links and enders, and forced you to be more cognizant on how far from corners you are.
    She’s top-tier, but when I think of Litchi, I think specifically of “hard to execute with.” She’ll learn you some fightin’ games, but she’s a big uphill struggle to be any good with, especially starting out. She has the most moves in the game, and has a tool for every situation, but you have to learn when and where to use them. You can typically tell if the Litchi you’re going against is good because you won’t win. There. I said it.
  • Ragna: How have I not covered Ragna yet? Okay, so, here’s the dealio. Ragna’s mid-tier. Let’s take a moment to reflect on that.



    Yeah. Changes to his damage and timings have affected his damage, Inferno Divider no longer does something something something, and Black Kain is now his Overdrive, rather than a super.
    He’s still Ragna at the core, though, and his neutral game really reflects that. He’s difficult to deal with as a Mu-player because he’s always in your face and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Once his pressure ramps up, you better hope that your character has a DP and he doesn’t bait it.
    It takes significantly less effort to play him than play against him, because most everything links exactly how you’d imagine. His new move, Blood Scythe, crosses up ambiguously if you’re close enough, and there’s enough option selects to where he’ll seem less like Narukami and more like Akihiko. He’s my personal favorite for newer people to learn in order to pick up fighting games because he really grows with the player.
  • Hakumen: You ever thought, “I wanna make a guy who has a move that does 3k damage, and if you block the first part and don’t block the second part, it does 2.6k damage?” If so, you’re not alone! Hakumen exists!
    Hakumen is the meter-anomaly in BB (just like Elizabeth in P4A and Robo-Ky in Guilty). If you don’t know, his “meter” has been replaced by “magatama,” which constantly refill due to time, but get an increase for offense and defense. His non-distortion supers (like his “hadouken moves,” I guess) cost a variety of magatama, based off what button they use: 236A, for instance, uses 1 magatama, 214B uses 2, and 236C (the dreaded 236C) uses 3, and distortions use 4. He maxes out at 8.
    Hakumen is Japanese for “dumb damage,” as in, “I just got hit with a 2A, then he popped overdrive, now he’s about to do Hakumen.” He’s known for having a 9k damage combo in overdrive, having 3k supers and minimum damage on fucking everything in the world. He can definitely be seen as top-tier, but I think it’s really been adjusted to mid-high, because whereas he does have huge damage, he has to get specific hits in order to do them.
    Hakumen is, in my opinion, the next step up on the road to learning fighting games, because once you get neutral game down from Ragna, you get execution from Hakumen. His combos aren’t easy and there’s a lot of resource-management to take into play. The hits that would net you the 9k combo will net you 2.5k if you don’t have overdrive, but other hits will net you 5k for a matter of 7 magatama. It also helps you realize that sacrifices must be made, and sometimes it’s best to lay down low-damage combos instead of huge combos. Just saying, if you wind up trying to do the 7 magatama combo, I’m bursting the super.
  • Valkenhayn: Man. Listen. Anyone who has 6 instant overheads that can be converted into a low or command throw should be rebalanced. There’s no reason for it. (lol)
    Valkenhayn is BBCP’s Aigis; his wolf-mode essentially means “I hope you like blocking lolnot you can’t block this mixup” but whereas Aigis is kinda’ crap without her Orgia mode, Valkenhayn can still land some pretty punishing combos (nothing that I’ve seen that breaks 3k, but they’re decently long so they can really recover wolf-meter). In the most recent major, there were 3 Valkenhayns in top 8, and Kiba (you guessed it–a Valkenhayn) won.
    The horrifying thing is, you can even know what he’s gonna do, but you won’t know how to block it. His block string is about 3 frames between each hit and it’s a complete option select on each hit. And then he does something around 2.8k-3.5k depending on how he hits you. It doesn’t really even seem fair, really.
    He’s very high execution, though, because between the offense and defense, there’s resource management, and he can’t block during wolf mode. His combos aren’t particularly hard, but they take some time to get used to because some of his moves have really bizarre animations. I don’t usually tie execution into balance, but you can generally tell how good a Valkenhayn is by how much they beat you by.
  • Rachel: (preface: I wrote this far before I decided to pick up Rachel again) Okay, full-disclosure, the only Rachels I’ve fought so far have been Brkrdave’s (who pretty much wrote the damn book on her) and Glidesu (the moderator of Dustloop for Rachel’s subforum). They’re all about that gothic lolita life.
    And it shows. They make her corner pressure into something unlike any other character’s. She also has 1-frame overheads and triangle jumps just like Doom from Marvel, and 2-frame crossups. Her average damage on her combos, luckily, are about 2k without meter and about 3k with meter.
    Her changes in BBCP aren’t too wide, in my experience, but she does have two new moves: she can turn her Tiny Nobelia into one of two cat-bat-demon-fans (for the lack of a better word) that follow you around and change the effects of her Sylpheed. One pushes you higher up (and back? I think?) while the other one specifically moves her closer to you during certain Sylpheeds (I wanna say 5 and 6D), just like Homing Cancels from Arcana Heart.
    I think I respect Rachel players more than anyone else, because her execution is really high. It isn’t just combo-execution for her; block-string execution is high as well, and there’s Sylpheed to monitor, not to mention pressure in general–all on a character that’s, AT BEST, mid-tier. I think picking her won’t teach you much except patience, but picking her far into your career will reaffirm everything that you’ve learned so far. (as an epilogue: she’ll teach you that 2 and 3 are ENTIRELY DIFFERENT, and you’ll hate yourself for never paying attention to that tidbit)

I’m exhausted, so I’ll finish this list up later. We’re also at 2.9k words, holy shit.

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What made the third generation of Pokémon so significant?

Pokémon is a sketchy topic for some people. Some people hail it as one of the most influential RPG series of gaming while others shrug it off as a kid’s game and focus on other games they would rather play. While I respect everyone’s opinion about the series as a whole, there is one thing I would like to discuss. Each new duo or trio of games in the series is a start of a new generation. Each generation ends when a new set of games hit the stores. Many fans argue about which generation is truly the best but the one I’m focusing on is one of the most significant of the whole franchise. The first “Gems Gen” or the third Generation is the topic I’m focusing on right now.

Double Battles. Every battle strategy up until Ruby and Sapphire was focused on one-on-one fights and the best moves to use to take out only one opponent at a time. When players met two trainers at one time, they were shocked to see that they would fight both at the same time. Double Battles made the way for brand new strategies because certain moves like Surf and Earthquake now could hit multiple targets. Many players were anxious to learn how to use this new battle style to their advantage. The Double Battle function became a staple for battles with friends and worldwide in later games.
Nature and Abilities. Before this generation, pretty much every type of Pokémon were not much different from each other. Now Pokémon had real human natures that can provide a nice stat boost and this opened a new door to breeders to play around until they got that nature they were looking for. Pokémon now had a chance to do things like lower attack at the start of the fight, cause status problems on contact, or avoid dreaded recoil damage with Abilities. Some Pokémon even had chances to have more than one Ability. While these features may not mean much to the average player, competitive Pokémon playing was now in its infancy stages.
Innovative side series games. Pokémon Colosseum was released to the Gamecube with a new look on the Pokémon franchise. An anti hero Wes who steals Pokémon and quits to find out the organization Cipher closed the door to the hearts of many Pokémon, making them killing machines known as Shadow Pokémon. At the time, this was a shock to many fans and while the game was initially criticized, over the years it has been praised for trying something new and taking huge risks. A sequel called Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness was released as well that fixed some of the problems and offered players to catch a special Lugia. These games are unique and were a huge part of the third generation.
Multiplayer. Ruby and Sapphire were released during the prime of the Gameboy Advance. Thus the popularity of the wired connector cable allowed for many battles to be taking place everywhere. During this gen, you couldn’t go out in public and not see friends all connected with their Gameboys battling each other. The wired connector allowed for another unique function, connecting to other games. Ruby and Sapphire could connect with Colosseum and XD to have battles in full 3D and trade Pokémon between the four games to help with Pokedex completion. While this feature is common now, at the time this was huge.
The Anime boomed. While the games were going strong, the anime fed off the popularity. The Anime spent 4 seasons showcasing Ash’s journey through Hoenn and showcased some of his best battles of the whole show up to this point. He conquered the famous Battle Frontier and starred in some of the more popular Pokémon movies such as Pokémon Heroes, Jirachi Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys. Most fans agree the 4 seasons and movies were the last good seasons before it got boring.

Pokémon was everywhere during the third Generation. Every kid from elementary school to college would not shut up about it. The media showcased the show and movies while stores had merchandise flying off their shelves. The third generation was the prime of the Pokémon franchise. Ruby and Sapphire brought tons of new content, Colosseum and X D showed us the darker side, and the anime showed us Ash still had something to prove despite being 10. There was no internet battling in the third Generation but in terms of impact, I think the third Generation did more for the franchise as a whole and set the stage for further games by pushing new mechanics and innovation to the series. Some of the series most popular Pokémon come from the third Generation. Pokémon fans want remakes of Ruby and Sapphire for a reason. With everything that Ruby and Sapphire did and with 16 million copies sold to this date, I support this 100 percent.

 

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POINTLESS ARGUMENTS

So as my first piece of writing on this blog, I figured it would be appropriate to discuss my two favorite subjects: Videogames and Masturbation.  Both of these things bring me and a lot of other people immense joy and satisfaction.  Also, in most cases, they are one and the same thing!  Now you may be saying to yourself “Well, I sometimes masturbate while I play videogames,” to which anyone who overheard you would reply,  “What the fuck, dude?! I didn’t want to hear that!”

The reason I say they are the same is because of an argument I had on Facebook with a severely inferior mind who believes that League of Legends (LoL)  is the end all be all of gaming.  He attempted to make the point that Diablo III (I don’t care if you don’t like Diablo, it isnt the subject of this post)  is masturbation where LoL is not by virtue of its “skill based” ranking system (I use this term loosely only because it is what he used.  Since it’s a team based game, it is hard to rank individual skill) and its multiplayer.  He also stated that Diablo is just a grind, playing the same dungeons/ campaign over and over, that “has literally no point” where you don’t get better.  He also said there was no endgame, which I will just chalk up to naiveity. To this statement I replied with the following:

 

“What your saying is more akin to addiction than masturbation, with the end result being that someone is doing it just to do it, with no satisfaction or fun being had. The initial point of Diablo is to get you to play through all the acts and see the story and hopefully hit max level. For those who want to take the next step, there are harder difficulties which have higher drop rates for good items that get you to the next difficulty. Getting those items makes your character (who is an extension of you) better.”

“As you climb the difficulties, enemies hit harder, move better, and have more abilities. Even though you are playing the same maps/map over and over again, each situation changes and you are forced to adapt to the enemies’ abilities. When you/your team are confronted with an overwhelming obstacle, you may have to use your abilities in new ways and find  ways to synergize with others in your party. Overcoming said obstacle results in fun being had by all. Failing to overcome it results in wanting to get better so that the next time you encounter a similar obstacle you can beat and, hopefully, move on. Do you still believe there is a difference?”

 

Now I don’t claim to be a wordsmith, but I’m pretty sure I described both games at the same time in the last paragraph.  This thinking can be applied to just about any game.  No game is superior than the other in this fashion.  Whether you get better or your character gets better it is all masturbation.  Anyway, both of the things I just talked fall under the category of hobbies. Hobby: an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.  The english language had this argument won before we had even brought it up. So this entire post  is pointless.  HOORAY!

P.S.  NEVER WRITTEN FOR A BLOG! FEEDBACK APPRECIATED!

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Time Travel with a Blue Hedgehog and stuff

Sonic the Hedgehog is an amazing series. The hyper active hedgehog has stood against the great Mario in a bitter rivalry that defined a whole decade. In the modern days, Sonic took a break and finally realized trying to go against Mario was too much for him. During his run over the past 23 years, he has been seen in a variety of different genres of games, some of which deal with the bitter subject of time travel.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 is the game everyone knows for being bad at handling time travel due to its many and open holes that cannot fit into the established timeline set by other games in the series as a whole. Shadow the Hedgehog suffers this same problem. But the one game I feel did Time Travel right was Sonic CD.

Sonic CD follows a simple time travel rules. If you go back to the past and change things, the future will change for better or worst depending on many factors. If Sonic can travel to the past and destroy a robot generator, the future he creates will be good with no enemies and thus saving the world from Eggman. The same can be said if Sonic goes to the past but does not destroy the robot generator; the future he creates is the bad future where the robots were never stopped. This golden rule of time travel has been seen in many forms of media from books to movies.

Why do I bring up time travel? Time travel can be used to create a unique story and development when implemented correctly. Sonic CD gives the player complete control of how you play the game, do you go the normal route through the present to just finish the game, or do you go into the past to fix everything or collect the mystical stones to guarantee the good future.
Sonic CD benefits from a simple idea and a storyline that makes it easy to get into and provides a deeper gameplay experience. What would the Legend of Zelda, Majora’s Mask be without the option of travelling back in time? Would Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure be the classic it’s known to be if time travel was nonexistent? Sonic CD was considered an odd entry into the Sonic series upon release but now it’s seen as a classic for it’s unique twist to Sonic’s core gameplay mechanics.

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Oh my god I need a break (BBCP talk)

I’ve been studying for my early history of math class about 12 hours a day for the past three days. My head is pounding and I just ran out of caffeine.

So yeah! Blazblue released last Tuesday in America, and will be releasing tomorrow to PSN! For anyone who’s been following me at all, you know that I’ve been playing it since October when it came out in Japan. Love me some importing stuff.

Even more of you will remember how much shit I talk about this game. I’ve never really been on completely firm footing with Blazblue; it’s an anime game, and a fun one at that, but between its issues with balance and rather straightforward approach to a variety of different aspects that I’m used to a little more complexity in, it was sort of one of those “aim high, hit low” games for me.

Enough about my issues with the game. If you really need to learn about my issues about this game, just…read like 80% of my posts on DWR.

Let’s talk characters! The cast of Blazblue has been expanded with 7 new characters, and almost everyone from the older games have been completely rebalanced (not always for the best). I have no idea what the story is about because my copy’s in Japanese, so I have no idea what their personalities are like, sans “Kagura’s a pervert,” and “Terumi’s like Hazama mixed with Kingdom Hearts villain.”

In this entry, I’ll run through the new characters, and then break down the older characters at a later date.

  • Terumi: What is there to say about Terumi? I’m assuming that he’s just the crazy power-overwhelming version of Hazama in the storyline (akin to Hakumen to Jin and Izayoi to Tsubaki), but he’s one of the only characters I’m like 90% confident I can beat. His entire gimmick is that he can steal meter with his drive moves, and his combos with meter are REALLY damaging. His overdrive combos seem to be “oh I should super during this oh I can link supers one more yeah one more cool”
    His weakness lies in his mixup. With very little mobility options to speak of, and maybe two extremely telegraphed highs, he’s one of the most easily blocked characters I can think of. His wakeup game is also extremely weak, where his only DP costs 50 meter and will lose to clashes (so, like Ragna’s Inferno Divider; if they clash, Ragna can do Inferno Divider again and beat the super outright).
    He’s a fun character with a lot of stylish combos, but ultimately, until the upcoming patch, he’ll be pretty bad. He’s getting new supers and they’re adjusting hitboxes. Very high-risk, high-reward, and good for anyone who hasn’t gotten through puberty yet and still thinks that Kingdom Hearts villains are cool.
  • Izayoi: Now, this is a character that I have constant struggles against, mostly because there are those Izayoi players that eat, drink, sleep and sweat Izayoi (waifu powers activate!), and they make her look DUMB. They pop gain arts and you’re like, “welp, here comes this ride. I’m not ready for it,” and the worst part is, it’s not based on time like Aigis’ Orgia mode.
    And then you have the bad ones. Lemme explain why the bad ones are so bad as quickly as possible: recovery frames.
    Izayoi has REALLY bad recovery frames on a lot of her moves, making her extremely easy to punish, and even still, the moves outside of Gain Arts don’t do a whole lot of damage. Her projectiles are kind of annoying, but depending on who you play, they’re slow enough to be turned against her (during the recovery of it, I can set out two steins, Ragna can run midscreen and Gauntlet Hades, Azreal can set up a perfectly safe Growler, etc.).
    But still, you talk about style? Her gain arts has teleports, so essentially, if she catches you on counter hit, she ground-slides you, teleports behind you and knocks you up into the air, and then essentially calls herself in 5 times for a fucking TAC combo a la Marvel before Braver-ing you a la FF7 for like 7k damage. It is horrifying and happens to me like four separate times. Celia in BBCP? This is an awful idea.
    Overall, she’s a fun character, but not one that I’m particularly intimidated by. The patch may see her play a lot more like Aigis, and I might pick her up. We’ll see what happens.
  • Brokonoe: If you haven’t heard about Kokonoe yet, count your stars. She’s probably the most top-tier character in anime, and probably the second most-busted character in fighting game history. I play the only character she has an “even matchup” with.
    She has tools to lock down your mobility, ambiguous-as-hell mixups, and a frame-perfect loop in the corner that essentially means “you block for the rest of the match.” So far, the only way they’ve found to beat it is to instant block until you have 50 meter. She also has a 5k combo that yields 50 meter and has full-corner carry, and then a 7k followup combo that uses that 50 meter, and is unblockable for almost everyone in the cast (I say “almost everyone,” knowing that there’s someone out there who can, but I don’t know who).
    She has no weaknesses. She has two teleports that are invulnerable on the first three frames, and superball oh god superball
    If you want to win money, play Kokonoe until the patch. They’re reducing her combo-ability by not letting her do “activation,” yada yada yada.
  • Bullet: If you remember Makoto from any other game besides the one she was broke to fuck in, you’d remember how horrible she was. Rumors that she was getting buffed circulated and people got excited, but then Mori heard and intervened.
    “No buffs for that little underboob harlot! Put them in her breasts where you can, and then make a new character!”
    That new character was Bullet, who looks like she’d play like Zenia with command throws but, in fact, doesn’t at all. Her main gimmick is her drive, which pops a circle around her, and if the enemy is in that circle, then she’ll home in and try to touch their butts. Perfectly blockable, punishable under certain instances, and she can choose high, low, or medium. They usually link into combos which can link into oki setups or command throw supers.
    If that last paragraph bored you to holy fuck, that’s exactly how I feel while playing her.
    She’s too easy for me; her mixup is her drive, and the high is just telegraphed enough where you don’t need to block high until you see it. After about a month of playing online, I’ve ran into about 3,000 of them, so it might just be that I got really good at the matchup, but I’m more confident against Bullets than I am against Terumis. I don’t even know what the patch is doing to her, because I just zone out while reading the changes and wind up reading Rachel’s or something.
  • Kagura: enter the suave-ass pervert who walks like a pimp sans cane and has a constant smirk on his face like he’s getting serviced. He’s actually one of my worst matchups but it’s not because he’s particularly good; I’m a projectile character and he has a lot of projectile-invincible moves. Ass.
    He’s BBCP’s charge character, with a flash-kick and a coup de grace a la Mitsuru (but it’s not charge, for whatever reason). His drive has three (?) separate stances, all of which have separate moves attached to them, and he can do them in the air. His oki setup is retardedly good, and there’s a high chance that once he gets in on you, you won’t get him out. DP? That’s cute. My flash-kick is better than your DP. Crossup? That’s cute. Flash-kick. Uguu~
    He also does a LOT of damage, and his moves are extremely hard to punish because the amount of pushback they have on block. His supers also complement his skillset very well.
    His issue (as many issues lie) is in mobility and what to do against patient people. His jump-in, j.C, can be baited by backdashes and butts can be touched. His startup on his moves are all fairly long so you know what’s coming, and they’re fairly simple to block. He’s great if your opponent has no idea what they’re doing, but very quickly falls off when they begin to see how their characters’ mechanics can work against yours. Just bait shit out. Everything. I bait out the flash-kicks into supers and laugh heartily.
  • Amane: if you ask me who the worst character in the game is, I’ll tell you Izayoi, because I consistently forget that Makoto and Amane exist. Amane is a gimmick character with very little honesty, and they don’t try to cover that fact up at all. You have to barrier block his drills or else they do a lot of chip, but once you know where his drills will land, stay out of their effective ranges and his damage drops drastically. He’s a fun character, but I can’t even get the motivation to write much more on him. He has a resource bar that goes up to level 3, and it does damage the higher it is, but if you charge it too much, you’ll overheat and be unable to use your drills for the next like 8 seconds.
    He does have the coolest Astral Finish in the game. He reverts his opponent back to a younger version of themselves, and if you haven’t seen them, you should go Youtube it. Watch specifically for Hakumen, because it’s hilarious.
  • Azreal: Azreal is everything in a character that I expected TTGL to be about. Manly as fuck, has several supers that equate to him elbowing/punching you in the fucking throat for dumb amounts of damage, and stoic as fuck. He’s obsessed with his own power and doesn’t fight with a weapon, because drills are for bitch-nigga transvestites and giant robots are for wannabe nekomimi. Yeah, I said it. TTGL is for nerds.
    Azreal is, seriously, my worst matchup. My friend, Adonis, plays Azreal, and to quote, “Azreal does REAL GROWN-ASS MAN damage.” He has a really weird mobility style and teleports around, but what’s really hidden about him is that if you jump-cancel his teleport, it still carries momentum, so if he really wants to get in that ass, he’s going to and there’s nothing you can do about it. Then the mixup happens, and then Love Phantom happens. If you haven’t seen that video, you owe it to yourself to watch it. That is my favorite BBCP story so far, because Tager pauses it, Azreal puts his stick down and starts singing Love Phantom, and his friends rush the stage and break out into dance. It is the most hilarious.
    Regardless, his resource is his “weakpoint” system; after hitting you with different moves, it applies a weakpoint, which affect moves differently; his drives will typically allow you to follow up on the hit into HUGE damage, and his super, Black Rock Shooter (I actually think it’s Black Rock Stinger, but I mean c’mon we’re all anime here) becomes unblockable if you block it towards where that weakpoint is pointing (thus, if you have both weakpoints, it’s completely unblockable).
    He looks like hella fun, but I can’t play him because I don’t want Adonis to school me.

That officially wraps up the new characters!

 

 

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