Category Archives: Fighting Games

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.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fighting Games, meta

…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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fighting Games

A look at: The Next Generation of Gaming.

Every so few years, ‘The Next Gen” consoles roll out. Be it back in the classic Nintendo era of the NES, and SNES, Next Gen consoles have come time and time again, only to eventually run their course, and now the next generation of consoles looms before us, bringing both hope and dismay along with them. This next conflict of consoles is a rather interesting one, arguably the Xbox 360, PS3 and the Wii were the first consoles to really hit mainstream markets, and gradually over time it would show that these consoles grew from catering to their usual brew of gamers, to this new, fresh crowd of faces. The PS2, Xbox and Gamecube era of consoles were still largely catering to the old crowd of gamers, those that’ve ate up gaming since they were old enough to wiggle their thumbs in a productive manner. But now, now we have consoles that are completely aware of the larger mainstream market that has adequately dulled gaming in some aspects. This is largely proven by the launch titles the consoles offer.

Xbox One: Launch Titles

Let’s start with Xbox One’s launch titles in particular. Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Fifa, NBA and Madden. The sports titles cater to a crowd that mainly games just for sports games, which would explain why said genre of game is made year in and year out. Assassins Creed has proven to be a success, and really only hit its peak after the second game in the series. But, no matter how the quality has dipped since then, it sells, it sells well. Call of Duty and Battlefield are both adequate choices to launch your system with, as gaming seems to be more or less about shooting things in a perspective of the first person. These are all obvious picks for launch titles, and they’re not horrible, more or less they’re financially stable choices that will undoubtedly sell plenty of consoles to those who only game for competitive FPS outings.

There’s a plethora of Kinect-based games coming with the Xbox One, or sold separately,  I’d assume it would be wise to include a free Kinect game or two with the console, to try and encourage customers to at least try out their always on camera that looms in the distance. A couple racers help to diversify the collection, as well a couple fighters, Killer Instinct being the more advertised of the two. Dead Rising 3 also stands in this collection, which seems more or less to retain the spirit of the game, albeit much more brown and realistic than normal. But hey, realism is great, that’s why we play games. Ryse seems to be the game most heavily toted by Microsoft, for some reason, as the game aspect of it is questionable at best. But gamers have been heftily dumbed down, or perhaps games have been dumbed down so that the less capable can actually beat them. All-in-all, the Xbox one does have a diverse launch library, which is obviously missing any semblances of RPG’s, but hey, RPG’s are a thing of the past. Not enough explosions or bullets, or boobies. Well, okay, RPG’s do have boobies, JRPG’s especially.

The biggest.. concern about all these launch titles, is that, well. This is the next generation, not one really seems to scream next generation. Even the lackluster titles of last gen still had a significant difference in graphics to the consoles that preceded them, this time around? The differences are barely noticeable, and worse yet, games such as Call of Duty had to reduce their resolutions just to make the game playable on the consoles. Let’s just hope that isn’t a sign of things to come, and let’s hope the Xbox One hasn’t already been tapped out in terms of its potential.

Playstaion 4: Launch Titles

The PS4 generally has a very similar lineup to the Xbox One, with some exceptions, which is a bit concerning, the differences between these consoles seems to be turning gray, it’s tough to really spot the differences unless you’re looking very closely. Knack and DC Universe Online are two launch titles in particular the Xbox One does not have, as well Blacklight: Retribution and Killzone Shadow Fall seem to be not only exclusive to the console, but are to be available at launch. This gives the PS4 a distinctive edge when it comes to those gamers who only fancy competitive shooters. But, of course, Titanfall is indeed a titan in this genre, and the PS4 will be lacking that.

It would seem, to much dismay that the PS4 is also lacking any RPG’s, aside from DC Universe Online. Perhaps RPG’s are merely becoming an extinct breed, what with Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Versus becoming action games now, as apposed to true blue RPG’s, sometimes it’s hard not to be spiteful of the run and gun gamers that are causing a lack in certain genre’s of gaming. Gaming shouldn’t be a one-sided ordeal, gaming IS a medium that allows for any sort of adventure, any sort of experience. If things continue as is, gaming will just exist for pointing your gun at things, and riddling them with holes. That is not a preferable result.

Console Specs

Now, as far as the specs go for these two consoles. They’re very similar, and each have their ups and downs. Xbox One, however is taking a gamble on Cloud processing for some of their games, and is giving quite a chunk of their system’s overall power to their dashboard alone. Gambles can either pay off or not, and time will tell whether or not this gamble in particular will. But if Grand Theft Auto online is any indication of what to expect, what with their month long series of errors, server crashes and data deletions, then it is understandable if one is just a tad weary of Xbox One’s decision to utilize the cloud.

The Xbox One has a slightly more powerful CPU than the PS4, in terms of the CPU Frequency, which is about .15 higher than the PS4. The GPU roughly meanders more in the PS4’s favor though, with Xbox One’s clock speed being slightly higher. However, the PS4’s GPU has almost double the amount of shader’s than the Xbox One’s, as well the Memory Bandwidth in the PS4’s GPU is just about three times as powerful as the Xbox One’s.

Unto Ram, the PS4 and Xbox One have about even amounts of RAM, however the PS4’s ram is nearly twice as fast as the Xbox One’s, but the Xbox One dedicates a bit more of its ram to its games than the PS4 does. Really though, it seems to be fairly even between the two in this portion, though PS4’s superior GPU could certainly ensure that in the long run, it could produce more technically and graphically impressive titles. Considering the PS4 is cheaper than the Xbox One by about a hundred dollars, and arguably more powerful, it certainly does have the edge to the informed, though the uninformed might think the lower price means the console is inferior in quality.

Xbox One: Exclusives

  • Below
  • Crimson Dragon
  • D4
  • Dead Rising 3
  • Fable Legends
  • The Fighter Within
  • Forza Motorsport 3
  • Killer Instinct
  • Kinect Sport Rivals
  • Powerstar Golf
  • Quantum Break
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Titanfall

Below is your run of the mill ‘artistic’ 2D Indie game, but said types of games have ended being rather impressive at times, otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing them as often as we do. Crimson Dragon is essentially Panzer Dragoon, as it’s an on rails shooter, featuring a dragon, and it’s also made by Yukio Futatsugi, creator of Panzer Dragoon and, well, of course, PHANTOM DUST. So, I’ll admit, I’m rather hoping it sells amazingly, so that perhaps maybe I could get a sequel to a game I certainly hold with high praise.

Forza is solid, I doubt it’s going to be technically inferior to the other outings, racing isn’t exactly my forte, but I do enjoy Forza very passively. Now, D4 is interesting, it’s a murder mystery game, which I’m assuming is a big fan of The Walking Dead, as it shares a similar look, is episodic-based, and I’m guessing it’s very dialog and choice heavy. But, if it’s anywhere near as good as the mentioned game, I’m all game for it.

Dead Rising 3, is Dead Rising 3. Honestly I think any gamer knows what to expect from it, it’s going to be a guilty pleasure, run around in a dress, mowing zombies down, it’ll be incredibly enjoyable for a period of time, and then, well, like the previous two games, gamers will end up tiring of that particular zombie outing.

The fighter within, Kinect sport rivals and Ryse are all Kinect-based games. Kinect had a very poor showing on the Xbox 360, and not really one game worked perfectly with the motion system, aside from Dance Central of course, but even that had its hitches. I, and I’m sure many expect nothing but trouble from Kinect-Based games. But this rides entirely on Microsoft’s improvements on the Kinect system itself.

Quantum break.. well.. uh.. I don’t honestly think I’ll be able to get over the soap opera real life cut-scenes the game features.  It just seems very awkward in this day and age of gaming. These types of video were utilized way back in the early days of CD-based games, why now, in this generation are we falling back to that medium, I have no clue. But hey, you never know, stranger things have happened and maybe Quantum Break will end up the next Metal Gear Solid or some other prominent franchise.

Sunset overdrive, now, this game does ooze style, but really not much is known of it. Certainly one of the more interesting titles the Xbox One has to offer, seemingly a co-op based shooter, most likely of a third-person perspective. It could really go either way with this one, time will tell, certainly.

Playstation 4: Exclusives

  • Deep Down
  • Driveclub
  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
  • Galak-Z: The Dimensional
  • Infamous Second Son
  • Killzone Shadow Fall
  • Knack
  • N++
  • The Order: 1886
  • The Playroom
  • Resogun
  • Rime
  • Shadow of the Beast

Deep down is certainly the most interesting exclusive on either platform in my opinion.  An Action RPG, in the same vein as Dark Souls. Featuring Co-op play, randomized dungeons and perhaps even a bit of a Sci-Fi sprinkling to its rather medieval looking surface.  Capcom has proven they know how to make a good Action RPG with Dragon’s Dogma, and I personally will be rather giddy if Deep Downs ends up being some bastard child of Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma.

Everybody goes to the Rapture, is a game made by the same people who made Dear Esther, which was a rather boring, slow, short game, which seems odd that it would merit a legitimate next gen title. If Dear Esther is any indication of Everybody goes to the Rapture’s experience, it’s going to involve a lot of walking, narration and a very linear path from point A to point B.

Killzone, and Infamous are both new installments of said series, Infamous now featuring a flame-based super hero/villain, which should certainly change things up on a gameplay perspective of things, Killzone, is Killzone, both games should be rather solid entries, as their previous installments were rather solid themselves. Killzone has a tendency of bleeding out a lot of graphical potential from consoles, be it the PS2, PS3 and hopefully the PS4. It’ll be interesting to see if Killzone really pushes some boundaries on a graphical level.

The Order, 1886, seems to really have an interesting concept to it. The Knights of the Round, who use guns and swords and futuristic weaponry, are to battle Chimera, half-breeds of species. It’s a third person shooter, but hey, the concept alone is enough to garner interest. It will all inevitably come down to its gameplay, though, as it is a third person shooter.

The last game that seemed to interest me as far as exclusives go, is Shadow of the Beast, which is a remake of the 1989 Amiga game, called, well, Shadow of the Beast. Not much is known currently, but one does find it interesting they’d decide upon a rather obscure retro title to remake.

All in All

This Next Generation should be an interesting one. Though, considering both the PS4 and Xbox One were planning on putting DRM on their games, it’s not unwise to be rather weary of both Microsoft and Sony, but, the DRM practices have been temporarily nulled, with Microsoft receiving a massive amount of backlash for it, Sony receiving praise. There is no doubt we’ll all have to keep our eyes open for unfair business practices in this generation of gaming, unlike the last, where on-disk DLC and DRM were sort of scattered events, it’s to be expected that they’ll be much more common nowadays.

As of currently, Next Gen has yet to truly show that it’s certainly a next generation experience. But this is mostly due to an overabundance of ‘more of the same’, Racers, Sports games, FPS’s, you name it. Graphically, it’s not as huge of a leap as it was with the NES vs SNES, or PS1 vs PS2, or, even the Xbox vs Xbox 360. But it takes time to unlock the potential of a console, the question that looms is how much potential really exists in these two consoles.

Gameplay, certainly is more important than graphics. Even if there is no huge leap in visuals, one has to ride hope on there being substantial advances in gameplay on a technical level. Currently, Final Fantasy Versus has really shown to be one of the biggest gameplay advancements we’ve seen in this new generation, but a question still looms as to if that gameplay will stand to be as strong as it looks.

Time will tell, this next generation still has plenty left.

– Florida Gamers

Leave a comment

Filed under Fighting Games, game reviews, Operatore, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Introduction, and a Primer on Fighters

 

Howdy! I’m Travis (and amongst certain circles, DrunkAigis). Typically, I’ll be writing about anime fighting games or super-elitist posts concerning Final Fantasy 14 A Realm Reborn 2013 Edition or god knows what else. I’m a local, small-time tournament organizer and I compete on an amateur-level (I guess a little less than “amateur,” but nothing grandiose–no EVO titles for me, haha). MOBAs are another of my favorite pastimes, but it’s probably my least favorite to bring up because everyone dickrides their favorite game without realizing THEY’RE ALL THE SAME FUCKING GAME FRANK

So, why fighting games?

Fighting games are, for the most part, one-on-one competitions between two players in an attempt to best each other empirically through skill. To be overt, they’re fast-paced strategy games where both players have a puzzle to solve, and once the puzzle is solved, mechanical skill is tested. Mathematical bases are brought into the equation through different optimization of combos, and hours–if not days–are poured into training mode, perfecting these combos before moving on to doing them off of any little hit confirm.

To be real for a sec’, though, it’s just a giant mash-fest, and everyone knows it. Hah. Jokes.

But, moreover, the fighting genre differs from most other genres on a basis that is often overlooked–socioeconomically.

In the nineties, those who were blessed with the possibility of one received an NES (or SNES, or Sega Genesis, or whatever), which gave rise to the general interest in video games as a medium. However, when you take into consideration of the upfront cost of a console (which is roughly equatable to more costly than now (especially when you consider that now they’re a much larger staple in our culture)), many families couldn’t drop that much money in such a small amount of time. Sure, you had layaway, and saving up all year for major holidays or birthdays, but there had to be an alternative.

Enter: Street Fighter. An arcade game that, for one credit, you could test your mettle and mechanical prowess against a computer-player. Valid, small investments over time would eventually yield the same amount of money (and maybe even more), however, people could, say, save lunch money to play after school or the like. When the interest in the game exploded (particularly in lower-class areas), Capcom decided to revamp it to pit two players against each other, in a game that would revolutionize video gaming as we knew it.

This, coincidentally, also explains why so many ethnic people play fighting games, as opposed to wonder-bread males. Arcades thrived on lower-income areas. Nowadays, if you want to see diversity in a video game genre, look no further than fighting games (or maybe League of Legends, but eSports, man, eSports). However, fighting games throughout the years eventually made a huge crash-landing onto consoles, but it took an entire decade and a half.

2008 was a huge year for fighting games. Years had flown by with fighting games being some small niche that was grossly unwelcoming to new players because of skill-gaps, or games were an entirely different beast to get ahold of (an example being Street Fighter: Third Strike, which was woefully hard to find in stores), until Blazblue and Street Fighter 4–two console-release, netplay-capable games that would draw the old audience, but also an entirely new audience after being so accessible after all those years. On a related note, it’s now a bit of a slur to call someone a “2009-kid,” akin to “newbie” or “scrub.”

Nowadays, the genre is seeing huge competitions worldwide, and long-time lingo is now proliferating into other genres (even if it is incorrectly–I recently saw a video where a Modern Warfare shoutcaster called someone salty because he was doing well (probably the largest butcher of the definition I’ve ever seen)). We’re currently approaching the crux of the next step in the Renaissance, with Blazblue Chrono Phantasma, Ultra Street Fighter 4, Under Night: in-Birth, some stupid waifu game that everyone’s excited about that I hope flops harder than Aquapazza, and Guilty Gear Xrd (a series long-dug into the history of fighting games, but that’s a story for a different time).

I feel like it should be mentioned that I know I’ve excluded most 3D-fighters. I’ll get around to talking about those, but I can’t play them because of motion-sickness. BASED ILLNESS SIPPING FROM YOUR CUP TILL IT RUNNETH OVER

Or something.

Stay tuned as I talk more about anime games and weeab out about waifus and all sorts of other goodness!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fighting Games