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About drunkaigis

College kid, fighting game enthusiast, board game dabbler. Follow me on twitter @DrunkAigis, or don't, because you hate me.

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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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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Someone stop me, I’ve played Primal Carnage

How do you summarize a game like Primal Carnage? It’s like a chipped diamond; no matter how pretty the diamond is, there’s still that chip in it that completely offsets its beauty. This game is like that diamond, if that diamond was actually coal. HAH GET IT? COAL? DINOSAman fuck you guys I’m funny.

The game itself is just a Team Dino-Deathmatch sort of thing between humans and dinosaurs, if you don’t know. Each team has 5 separate classes, and there aren’t progression perks or anything like that. You have a stock loadout with no customization at all.

Let’s touch on those classes, because the team synergy, or lack thereof, is where this game SHOULD shine.

The humans’ classes in this are about as barebones as you could possibly imagine: think stripped-down Team Fortress 2, with a sniper, assault, shotgunner, pyro, and support class. For the sake of brevity, everything is exactly how you’d imagine except the support (or “Trapper”), who has a netgun that kills small dinosaurs in one hit, and disables certain attacks on large dinosaurs (it wraps around their face, disallowing bite attacks).

The dinosaurs is where this game could actually be redeemed. You have T-Rexes, raptors, pterodactyls, that dinosaur that spat stuff in Jurassic Park and pissed all your white friends off (it still spits, which I count as a great success), and some head-rammy dinosaur that isn’t Sarah from the Land Before Time (I know literally nothing about dinosaurs, much to the disavail of literally every young male I know). Each dinosaur has its own mobility options and far-differing playstyle, and they have to play literally exactly how you’d imagine them to play.

Jesus Christ, this entry is as boring as the game.

There are a lot of issues with this game. Dumb shit. Shit that doesn’t make sense. Lemme break this down for you:

IS IT SO HARD TO PROOFREAD

IS IT SO HARD TO PROOFREAD

I managed to turn down my settings low enough to completely eliminate foliage from the stages, which was hilarious, because one of the prime points of the game is hiding in a bush as a velociraptor to surprise people with your dino-dong. So yeah. Saw this dude just chillin’, crouched in the middle of the fucking stage. Came up behind him and touched his butt. I shit you not, this is what ensued:

“HOW THE FUCK DID YOU SEE ME?”
“What?”
“YOU HACKING WTF”
“The fuck you mean? You were just SITTING THERE”
“Yea in this bush”
oops

So, yeah, I accidentally broke the game.

Other things setting the visuals down breaks: the spittasaurus’ spit is “blinding,” which just musses up your screen and makes you feel vomity, but if you set the visuals lower, it only affects the outer edge of the screen, like someone rubbed a purple vignette effect on your screen. Low graphics op.

One of the more fun-breaking issues with the game is the server browser, which is weird to complain about, but if you refresh or close out of it, you won’t be able to find servers until you restart the game. We get it, nVidia, you sponsored it. HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT NORMALIZING YOUR SOUND FUCKING AAAAA

Overall, the game looks like it could be a lot of fun with friends. The classes sort of compound each other, but it’s hard to collaborate when you spawn so irregularly. I popped up right in front of a T-Rex earlier, and got trampled. Speaking of, the trample hitbox is much larger than the T-Rex, which wouldn’t be an issue, but on smaller servers, it’s all but impossible to kill one. It took around seven people to see one taken down, and there’s always the option to just RUN THEM ALL DOWN ARE YOU SERIOUS.

And it’s just so BORING. The matches are around 20 minutes long, and you spend that entire time running around trying to touch butts. The music in the stages are like 30-second loops, and are loud enough so you eventually hate yourself just by hearing it. I couldn’t find any built-in VoIP, and I think the game would be much better if teamwork was rewarded a little more somehow, or maybe you’d know where you’d spawn. Less Call of Duty, more Battlefield (personal preference, though).

And as long as I’m making big deals out of dumb things, let’s talk about how the humans are all extremely trope-y. There’s a black dude with a machine gun, a fat white guy with a flame thrower, a blonde girl scientist, and a native American with a shotgun. Seriously?

 

Like, points for what they tried to do, but I can’t, for the life of me, wrap my head around this game. It’s exhilarating to play a raptor, and to pick people off, but it’s beyond exhausting to do anything else for me. Maybe I’m just bad. Who knows? I’d be much more inclined to play (and, hell, maybe even buy) this game, but I think that $15 is just $10 too much. Play at your own risk, I guess.

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X-post from DWR: The importance of a main

Let’s preface this with I’m drunk as FUCK. Like, I’m so drunk, I might actually go swimming or something and enjoy myself, and I don’t actually know how to swim. At all. Hell, for all I know, I might be hydrophobic!

So, I just found out that you can have 50+ levels in P4A’s netcode. What the fuck does that mean? It means you’ve been playing entirely too much.

Now, let’s back up. Let’s address something that’s plagued me for years. I’ve, for the longest time in my Starcraft years, refused to stick with one specific build–instead, I used a build order that I could web into a variety of different builds. An instance of this that at least a few people would be able to understand is the protossian 4-gate in Starcraft 2–it started as one specific all-in build that wound up expanding to 4-gate double-robo and all sorts of other strategies. “But Travis! That only makes sense! Why would you play a video game where you’d gamble it all on your strategy?!”

Indeed.

Let’s talk about Persona real quick (by which I mean, for the rest of the entry), because a lot of people don’t understand what I mean by “learn neutral game as one character.” Let’s back up and analyze this sentiment from one specific angle:

You LOVE this game. You loved Persona 4, and you loved the anime, and if there was anything you loved more (and we’ll take my experience from this), it was the confusion about your future that was paralleled by Yukiko. I MEAN YOU’RE A WHITE SLIGHTLY-LESS-THAN-HETEROSEXUAL WHITE MALE YOU HAVE LITERALLY NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT SIT DOWN YOU FUCKING CISPRIV NERD

So you pick up Yukiko. I know a lot of my readers don’t actually play this game competitively, so I’ll break it down further.

Yukiko has normals where she just straight-up throws fans. They move about a third as fast as the equivalent of P4A’s hadouken, and hit maybe half as hard. The big thing is, she can zone you out by tossing them at really odd angles. She also has a really good mid-to-fullscreen game using her persona, who can attack at weird angles and has long lasting attacks, meaning that during the attack, you can still run or jump or hide or climb trees.

If you recall my schema on how to pick a main, many people will either pick their waifus or pick characters based off of who they can beat their friends with. Yukiko falls into either category because she’s both a waifu AND really easy to beat your friends with, and that’s a double-edged sword.

She’ll win you some games and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but she lacks the neutral-game tools that other characters have. The issue with that is, if you want to get good at fighting games, you need to learn what those tools are, and how they work. I make the joke to pick top-tier if you want to compete at a game. It’s less humorous than I make it.

Now, where picking her versus picking Yu is a bit of a bad idea, if you really want to learn a game, playing random is probably the dumbest thing I can think of. Some will argue, “well, learning the tools of all the characters will benefit me in the future!” and that’s cool, but the issue is, those tools won’t fully be realized until time is spent playing that character in, say, Training Mode. If you can figure out that you can orgia-dash cancel Aigis’ sweep on your own, then you can tell me that you’ll benefit from playing random.

Oh, you’ll learn how to deal with matchups, regardless. For instance, I’ve known–since my Yukiko days–that Labrys can’t cancel her sweep into anything but Guillotine Axe, so block low, block high. I didn’t need to play Labrys to figure that out, and that’s the best counter argument I can muster against the “play random” lifestyle. Meanwhile, you won’t learn that sweep>Guillotine Axe can go into Raging Bull>burst>Guillotine Axe>Raging Bull. Congratulations, you’ll never know how to maximize damage off of it, but you will learn how to avoid getting that maximum damage.

Even if your main sucks, learning that character is vital to your development in fighting games. Learning combos past basic combos will teach you enders and how to look for enders, and that will teach you to convert into damage off of confirms. It’ll teach you how to properly use mobility options beyond what’s available for everyone. There’s a great deal of water under the surface of fighters; people just need to figure out how to get to it.


I finished this entry like two weeks ago, but forgot to post it. I’m dumb.

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…and then there was one.

Hey, guys! It’s me again.

So, our retro-reviewer quit after a row with a few immature assholes about the quality of his last (now deleted) post. Essentially, it was a lot of unnecessary drama because someone thought that the post wasn’t up-to-par, and then someone else thought that he was full of shit and a hypocrite and all sorts of other stuff. I really shouldn’t be allowed on the internet.

Who knows if he’ll be back? Only the future knows!

Until that’s decided, I’m stepping in; it’s DrunkAigis again! We were officially acquainted a few months ago, and I talked about fighting games all the time. I’ll be contacting a few other members to see if anyone wants to write for a blog (if you do want to write for it, just search DrunkAigis on Facebook; there’s a picture of a dumb-looking Keanu Reeves-knock-off. Talk to him, or just summon him).

For my seminal return to the FLG blog, I’d like to touch on my thoughts and opinions of the Smash scene, since it is, after all, what we lost our most recent blogger to.


 

Super Smash Brothers 64 was the next Street Fighter 2 (BOLD STATEMENT); one of the most influential games of its time, it completely obliterated all previous mechanics in fighting games, redid them, and acted as delicious fan-service to Nintendo’s loyal fans (especially back then, when they ran shit). It built on the already-great feat of the Nintendo 64’s 4-player-without-hoops-to-jump-through setup, pitting you and all of your friends that you no longer want to hang out with in combat with enough random variables to cover up weakness. Many a friendship has been ended at the hands of the hammer, and many an eyeroll at a goldeen.

Much like most other party games, I scoffed and laughed heartily at the idea of it being played competitively. “What, like, for money?!”

Yes. For money.

APEX 2014, the largest Smash tournament in North America, had an extra prize-pot of $1,000 for Brawl (on top of a portion of the entry fees), and $200 for Melee, 64, and Project M (the most popular mod for Brawl–essentially, a rebalance of Brawl to make it tournament viable (cut back on random variables and such)). They saw 157 entrants for their smallest game (SSB64), and a staggering 630 for Brawl (keep in mind, all entrants’ entry fee went to the prize pot to some extent).

At EVO2013, Melee came in third as the highest most-populated fighting game (EVO being the top-of-the-top fighting game tournament in the world) with 696 people. The payout was absolutely sickening (I can’t find exact numbers, sorry!).


 

The criticism is without mercy, however. Because of its proprietary nature as a party game, the Smash community is ridiculed for “not actually playing a fighting game,” and “competing in a party game.” The tournament-legal rules are fairly hefty, banning out specific stages, characters, and any usage of items aside from those the characters procure themselves (e.g., Link’s bombs, Samus’ armor pieces). They also indicate specific time constraints and amounts of lives. Such strenuous rulings can’t actually indicate a real fighting game!

Some criticism goes out to their community, specifically for being bad-mannered (this is representative of what I like to call, “the Beiber Effect,” wherein bias turns any press into far more negative press than previously conceived). Slurs like “Nintentards” and “Nintenyearolds” are thrown vicariously (I mean, I do, too; that’s how I know about them), and any time something goes wrong, the media makes it go REALLY wrong (an example: at APEX2012, there were thefts of controllers/games/whatever else, and the media hyperbolized it into something far greater and more mischievous. Evidently, players stole TVs, girlfriends, family portraits, Fort Knox, etc.).


 

What speaks to me, personally, as a respectful onlooker who’s in the FGC, but not directly related to Smash, is how technical the game gets; the mobility options they’ve found in their game are second-to-none, and the tech is often so situational that you’d never see something like it in other games, but it’s all always prominent (a great example of this is “shine-spiking,” in which Fox or Falco use their reflector shield’s startup hit to reset the hitstun of their falling opponent, but instead of knocking them up or in the way they’d normally fly, it knocks them horizontally on the screen, allowing for predictable knockouts). Maybe it’s the anime-kid in me, but I’m always excited to see situational tech get used. Maybe I should watch more Marvel.


 

In closing, it’s a game that many try to pick up, but few can do well at because it is extremely community-focused. You can only learn so much from playing on your own, and you can only learn certain concepts from other players. As far as me picking it up, I’ll stick to playing Super Smashed Brothers, and taking a drink every time you lose a stock. Much more my scene.

 

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Posts just poppin’ up like daisies!

I wonder how long it’ll be until people stop writing. Hah. Jokes.

As an aside, I love how professional the other posts look! THEY HAVE PICTURES! I should have pictures!…moe girl pictures.

Yeah. That’s cool. Notice how I could have put the meme there to illustrate my point, but I didn’t.

IF THIS WAS MY BLOG, IT’D BE ABOUT HOW THE INTERNET CULTURE’S OVERSATURATION OF MEMES IS CRUSHING OUR INABILITY TO BE FUNNY WITHOUT VISUAL AIDES BUT IT ISN’T SO TODAY WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

 

Touhou.

What the fuck? Really? How fucking weeaboo can you get? Aigis, waifus, Touhou, next thing you know, you’re gonna tell me you’re an active poster on a hentai-game forum or some stupid shit like that. Shifty eyes.

Touhou. Take any shmup you can think of, turn the jet into a waifu then have colorful maids shoot shit at you, and that’s pretty much Touhou. The community is like a bastardization between DeviantArt’s (everything gets fan art!) and Zelda’s (everyone gets fan art!), except if you were to take “fan art” and blow it up to GROSSLY WEIRD proportions. You can find fan-made content for pretty much every facet of the game, from redubbed music (I’m not looking it up for you) to weird slash-fic, to pictures of all sorts (ranging from normal to whatthefuck-whydoesReimuhaveacock), to fan-recreated 3D versions of the games, to fucking miniseries that are officially touted as canonical.

It’s, like, the weirdest fanclub ever, and, like, the fourth weirdest cult ever.

So why is this thing so fucking popular? The series itself is designed, animated, coded, composed for, and masturbated to by ZUN–a one-man army–who just so happens to be one of the worst drawers I know. The games have a damn-high skill-ceiling; sure, the bullet-curtains don’t move as fast as CAVE shooters, but between the four difficulties, if you can beat the game with only one continue (the dreaded 1cc!) on Hard, I’m sure Ikaruga will be pretty cake. If you can 1cc it on Insane, I’m almost positive that Mushihimesama Futari will be, at most, a very stale cookie.

God, speaking of cookies, never go onto /r/food. It’s the worst place ever for poor college kids.

So why do I bring this series up? On November 23rd, I (with special guests and talent) will be streaming the Touhou $2,000 Marathon for the Child’s Play foundation. We’ll be going for 24 hours and I expect all my friends will laugh heartily at all my mistakes and “fucks,” and there will be an interim and hobbled-together online tournament (if I can figure it out) for Immaterial and Missing Power. We’ll share laughs. We’ll share cries. We’ll share waifus and moe.

So come out! Donate! Laugh at our misfortune!

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Lest this blog goes under…

Howdy, friends.

So, in the midst of probably the largest anime-fighting game release this year, I’m here to write about League of Legends. And more math. Seriously, does anyone actually ever get tired of math? Concepts, mind you, rather than computations.

I have a particular bone I’d like to settle with everyone who plays AD carry, because I don’t think people quite grasp what it is to “be in a fight.” We’ll start small.

Here’s a scenario: you’re early-game laning as, say, Tristana, against Corki. For the sake of simplicity, neither of you are using skills, and Tristana’s range is negligible for the time being. Assume that all dps is comparably similar (you’ll see that it really doesn’t matter anyway). You go in and start shooting him, and he starts shooting back before he realizes that he won’t win this and stops shooting to run. He’ll get away because of frame animation, but not before he takes a few more shots. When he stops firing, his dps goes from whatever it was to fucking-zero, while Tristana’s bottoms out after she gets done firing. BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN

The next scenario is a team-fight. You decided to blow rocket jump early and now there’s a Nasus all over your ass. What do you do? You’re withered, catching Q’s to the face, and everyone is out to touch your butt. What’s your dps right now? Zero. Yep. You’re a walking target and because of your initial positioning of “getting shat on,” you aren’t doing a single thing. Yeah, you were there in that team-fight, but were you really a part of it?

This has been something that I’ve been grappling with for a while–when you’re trading, when do you stop, and when do you follow up? I main support (sometimes by choice, but mostly not) and I’ve been supporting a vast number of ADCs that won’t commit to a poke-game, which lets our opponent come strolling back into lane with a potion, rather than forcing him to go back and suck up losing out on farm. I get it, it isn’t safe, where’s the jungler, too many moving parts blahblahblah BUT IF THEY’RE IN RANGE AND RUNNING AWAY THERE’S A PERSPECTIVE ZERO DAMAGE YOU CAN TAKE FROM THEM, AS LONG AS THEY’RE RUNNING AWAY

Same goes for team-fights. If you’re being kited by a Vayne as Darius, then maybe it’s time to chase someone else (personal experience last night), or wait for her to make a mistake later, because if you’re getting kited, there’s a good chance that YOU DUN FUCKED UP. On the other hand, before you decide to engage in a team-fight, ask yourself, “is this an idea that will take me out of the fight?” Reposition, be patient, all that. Seconds can change the game, but so can an AD carry deciding, FUCK I HATE BEING ALIVE

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