Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons
Black Magic shall rule over all

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fighting Games and Me

Kenka Gamu to Watashi

You’re all probably reading the heading and thinking “WTF? It’s not purchases?” Yeah decided to write up something different. It’s more about me. In particular, it’s about my love of fighting games and how I got into them.

Rewind to about 1996, or around there. I was just a little kid in elementary school who had gotten a ps1 for Christmas. My best friend at the time was a kid on my block who was in fact my very first friend, Saul. Now Saul was part of the reason why I had gotten into video games in the first place, and the kid that introduced me to two of my favorite childhood pastimes, Megaman and the Gameboy. I had gotten a Gameboy because he had shown me his, one of the fat Nintendo Gameboy’s that took four double A batteries and that you could barely see the screen. I always wanted one of those, but my mother decided that maybe I would be happier with the newest Gameboy out on the market, the Gameboy Pocket, which I think had just come out. Bless her soul, my mother always thought about me and would do anything to make me happy, but damn did I want that fat one. Anyway, once after school he had shown me a new game that he had gotten that had just come out, and it was the craziest thing I had ever seen. It was with one really muscular guy with a karate gi who could throw fireballs fighting some monkey man that could roll into a ball and cover himself in electricity! It was super insane and I thought to myself, Oh man, I have to get this!. I immediately asked him “Wow, this is awesome! What game is this?” and he replied, “It’s called Street Fighter”. Wow, Street Fighter. The game’s name even sounded badass! To be accurate, the game was Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo on the Gameboy, which in itself was a bad game because you were playing a six-button game on a system with only two. What’s that? You want to do combos? Links? Well, too bad bitch cause you isn’t getting’ them!

Anyway, so like any kid my age, I immediately went to my mom asking if she could buy this game for me like my life depended on it. My mother, who definitely doted on me as a child, went out to buy the game. Keep in mind I told her “Street Fighter”. When Alpha was also out. So like my mom was, she bought the newest Street Fighter game out there: X-men vs. Street Fighter. Lolz my mom was funny. She never did know anything about video games. Funny thing was that I wasn’t disappointed. Like most little kids my age, I was super addicted to the X-men. So I thought “Wow, not only do I get to play some of the Street Fighter characters, but I also get to play as some of the X-men?! Like WOLVERINE?1?11!!! Awesome!!!”. Hehe, it was really hype quite frankly. I still have a lot of fond memories about the game, like when Saul would come over to my house and we would try to figure out in the hell to play the game. We would just button mash until the day Saul managed to figure out how in the hell to do a super. Hell, we didn’t even know how to do a shoryuken. I used to just taunt with Rouge all day because I knew that would do damage. Then as soon as we had meter we would just mash qcf+L1 (all three punches on the playstation controller) until someone managed to get the super out. Most of the time he would win too and I’d get a little pissed. I was a bit of a sore loser when I was a kid. Not as much as my sister, mind you, but still a sore loser. The funny thing was at the time, computer’s were still kind of new, and school’s were just starting to put them in classrooms in about 6th grade, so we could’ve just checked a tiny site at the time called Gamefaqs and probably found the command list, but whatever. We still had tons of fun anyways.

Anyway, fast forward to about…Christmas 2003 and 2004. Before then, pretty much all through middle school, I had just about given up on videogames as a whole because I had never gotten a next gen system. My sister was born, so I wasn’t an only child anymore. Which of course meant that there was little money to throw around, so my mother couldn’t afford to buy me a $300 new game system like the ps2 or X-box at the time. So I had given up on videogames until for Christmas 2003, My mother bought me a brand new ps2 with two games: ATV Offroad fury 2, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Thakfully at the time, they had finally lowered the PS2’s price to $150, finally within our range. Naturally, I was singing her praises and practically bouncing off the walls in joy. I remember I had started playing at about 8 in the morning and didn’t stop until 1 in the morning when my mother finally told me to go to sleep. The Ps2 wowed me with its amazing graphics, which were like a leap through time and space for me, having been used to Ps1 and Gameboy graphics for so long. In 2004, I immediately became a gamer again; more hardcore than ever before, as the passion was re-ignited and I began making new friends with similar passions, like my best friend, Joseph Matos, who basically caught me up on the 5 years of gaming I had missed. I learned from him and a couple of gaming sites that there was a huge amount of fighting games out there besides Street Fighter: SF, KOF, CVS, MVC, Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Soul Calibur, Mortal Kombat, Guilty Gear, and tons more. I had found out it was a whole genre simply called fighting games. After a while, since my dad had finally decided to give me an allowance of $20 every two weeks, I set out that entire year to get a huge amount of games. I went on Gamefaqs and learned command lists and moves, but combos were always beyond me. My execution was supreme ass back then. Hell, it’s still supreme ass lol. So I got into fighting games hardcore, but I could rarely have friends over anymore, and my mom was too much of a worry wart to let me go to other people’s houses. Playing Fighting Games by your self is not fun, so I branched off into other games, and fighting games got played every now and then, still sucking ass in them. Around this time, funny enough, I read an Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine, and they ran some feature about something or other, and mentioned:

“…And if you’re really looking to get good at fighting games, check out shoryuken.com, the biggest Street Fighter Fan Site on the net, which covers not just Street Fighter, but most fighting games under the sun.”

I went to check it out, got confused by how the site worked, and left the site. Wow. The knowledge could’ve been gotten so much faster and I could’ve improved so much earlier.

Anyway, now we fast-forward to early 2009. After finishing high school, I decided not to go college just yet because of three things.

1) We were barely making ends meet because of our bills, and couldn’t afford college, and I didn’t want to put the family in any more debt.

2) My mother, despite getting rid of her cancer, was getting sicker and sicker by the day.

3) I needed to be home on call to take care of my mother and sister.

It actually ended up being a very good decision, because of another three things:

1) The recession meant we had to save to make ends meet

2) My mother did get sicker as days went on

3) At the end, last year, my mother died and I had to take care of my sister and me.

So my days were basically spent taking my sister to school, taking care of my mother and any things she needed to do, and in the spare time that I had, which was a lot, played video games and watched huge amounts of anime. Finally one day, I spent some time to think about where my life was going. I had no job, no college degree, and nothing to really do. At this point I should’ve seriously considered getting a job, but for some reason, that didn’t come to mind. Later on, I was still playing fighting games with my friends Joseph and Chris, who by their own admission were not that good. Even as bad as I was, I would still beat them kind of consistently. Eventually, the idea just shot into my head, and it was because of a comment Chris made. “This dude, always trying to go pro in fighting games” he said after I had beaten him at Third Strike and he got salty about it. That’s when the thought hit me: That’s it! That’s what I’ll do! I had been playing fighting games since I was like 7 or 8, and I still sucked ass in them! Something about that had got to change. At that point, I visited that site again, Shoryuken.com, and signed up for an account. I checked their wiki, and I swear it must’ve been how Moses felt like when he heard the burning bush on the mountain. How Neo felt when he took the red pill. How Alice felt when she went down the rabbit hole. There was so much stuff to learn that it made everything feel completely new, and everything I had ever thought about fighting games was wrong. It all sounded like an alien concept at the time: footsies, mix-ups, zoning, poking, links, fuzzy guarding, hit-confirming, resets, tiers, bread and butter’s, match-ups, custom combos, chain combos, frame traps, execution, there was enough to make your head spin. I realized right then and there that I had a huge road ahead of me. This was made even more concrete when I first went to the legendary Chinatown Fair Arcade, the arcade where such greats as Wong and Long Island Joe and Yipes play at, as well as the greater New York SRK scene. I always had a stigma about arcades, as I had always known it as a place where the majority of people playing would rip you a new asshole and perfect you like all hell. It was a place where your dignity would be destroyed. This is actually true lol. However, you can learn so much by watching other people play and asking for tips (which many of the people there will be happy to do, even if you don’t ask). At someone’s recommendation (I forgot who) I then checked out my region’s matchmaking forum. There I found, to my luck, that a future friend, SRK member AVC, had just started a thread for Brooklyn. It was there that I got to go to my very first Brooklyn session with future friend, Wolverine Master. I can definitely say that a big part of the reason why I am at the level that I am at fighting games was because of him. I learned a lot from him, particularly in his favorite fighting game, Marvel vs. Capcom 2. He taught me all the basics, and really helped raise my combo skills from shit to something lol. Looking back on it, I’m happy about how much I’ve improved. I could never do combos at all back then, even in games with relatively easy combo systems, like Tekken. Now the one game that eludes me with combos is Street Fighter, just because I haven’t really mastered Links. Got to admit, this also probably had to do with the fact that I was still playing on pad. It would be quite a long while before I would be able to afford an arcade stick, because like I said; no job equals no money. At these sessions I met people that I owe a lot too as to my current skills: Anakron, Duke, Ricky, BootyClappa, AVC, Niko, Mad Hatter, and tons others. Thanks to them I learned a lot, as well as gotten my ass royally handed to me on a regular basis by them. I especially owed a lot to my friend Ricky, who was actually kind enough to lend me a spare arcade stick that he had until I was able to afford my current Mayflash modded arcade stick. Seriously, where do you see people nice enough to actually lend you an arcade stick? He even lent it to me for three months! Most people don’t even want to lend you an arcade stick for one tourney, let alone an extended period of time. He only wanted one promise: While I have his stick, and begin getting used to an arcade stick, never, ever pick up a pad for a fighting game again. Him lending me the stick meant so much to me that I completely held on to the promise just for that. That is the single best piece of advice I could ever give to anyone who is trying to get used to an arcade stick: No matter how much you want to, don’t ever go back to the pad. If you do, all your efforts on stick will be for nothing. I just feel sad that unfortunately Ricky had to move back to his home in Denmark. I can’t wait until the day he comes back to New York.

So anyway, I got way better in fighting games then I was before, but I still suck compared to the people I play with. The funny thing is something that ended up foreshadowing what is going on with me now.

I was watching the excellent documentary, I Got Next, when they had interviewed Alex Valle, and he said this:

“From my experience, most people get really good at fighting games when they’re in they’re teens, when they’re in high school, then when they get in their twenties, well…It’s not that they get worse, it’s just like skills just like, peter out, and they don’t improve. Mostly because it’s, like, once you hit twenty, real life just kinda smacks you in the face, and…you can’t play as much as you used to”.

Back then; since at the time I was twenty, I thought, “I’m going to prove him wrong and get somewhere with this”. Turns out that he was right, real life does smack you in the face. In my case with a shovel. Last year on 12/01, my mother died. Suddenly, I had to take care of my sister and I, when I had no job. Long story short, I did what I had to do, got some jobs, tried to make money, and makes ends meet. Yeah, it means less time for games, but I’d rather be able to live then play games homeless. Just going to have to balance it out.

Anyway, since I have less time to practice, I’m going to try to practice smarter by playing smarter. As opposed to just fighting the computer like I usually do, I’m going to try to learn to play defensive, try to learn mind games, and try to learn as much as I can within a short amount of time. The same way so many anime characters need to train for hours on end before they’re able to learn something, that’s what I’m going to do. Time to start watching; reading, and studying, because it’s go time, motherfuckers, and the shit just hit the fan! Wooh, I’m hype lol.

Okay, real blog entry next time. Hope you enjoyed the little trip through my memories. Laterz!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Playing Catch-up

Ok, I’ve pretty much caught up with everything, so I’m going to try to get this back on track.

One of the newest games that I’ve been playing is Batman: Arkham Asylum: Game of the Year Edition. I was holding off on buying this game (even though I really wanted it) because I was hoping the game would get cheaper later on. Then I come and see the Game of the Year Edition and was like “Oh, that’s cool”. Before you ask, no, the 3D glasses don’t do anything. They’re completely cheap, and there’s no really noticeable 3D effect. Still, that in no way hurts the actual game. The game is still ridiculously good. So much stuff has been said about this game, and in reality it’s all true. It really is the best Batman game ever made. Arkham Asylum is one of scariest and moodiest places I’ve ever played in since Doom 3, the game made Batman into an instant bad ass, and Mark Hammil did another amazing job as the Joker. Seriously, everything about the game, from the Riddler riddles, to the predator missions, to the combat, to the exploration is all done amazingly well. I’m definitely going to keep playing this, probably until completion. I just wish I had an Internet connection so that I could download the Joker missions. Those seem like they would be very fun to play through.

I’ve also been playing UFC Undisputed 2010. I got it mostly because I wanted to try the 2009 version but when I heard the 2010 version was coming out, I thought “Naw, let me wait”. The game…is meh. It’s not really something I would’ve been okay with spending $60 on, which sadly I did. The game consists of what every single sports game under the sun does with their career mode: You’re an upcoming and coming MMA fighter who’s trying to get into “the greatest MMA league in history, the UFC”. Yeah right. I seriously hate it when any sports league sets them selves up as the best at whatever they are. Stop with the advertising, UFC. Dana White can be such a prick sometimes. I especially hated when he said that if any fighter signed on to be in EA’s MMA game, they would forever be banned from the UFC. Yeah, I hope someone seriously comes up in the ranks of another MMA league and makes White eat his words, because then he can’t hire them. I do kind of like MMA, but I don’t like how UFC just dominates the sport. They’re kind of like WWE in the way they market. But they do have the Shamrock’s, the Gracie’s, and Brock Lesnar. It’s the same thing: Both companies have the best in their sport, and they hold it over every other company to push out competition. Yeah, I know that’s business, but I still don’t like it for the simple fact that it completely kills all competition on the market. It’s also like what Microsoft has done with the computer industry. Okay, enough with the ranting.

The game is pretty much ok. It kind of reminds me of Fight Night with MMA. The game includes a very controversial submission that some people call “amazingly deep” and others call “broken and rushed”. To me, it’s not that good because pretty much as soon as the computer gets you on the floor in a submission, you’re almost guaranteed to tap out. For some reason, no matter what you do to stop it, you’re just not going to be able to. Because of that, most people just stick to their standup game. Good luck trying to keep the game standup when you’re fighting a Gracie. Plus, the game just isn’t fun when you’re only doing standup. The game gets stupid half the time, and let’s you pound on it. I don’t know, my friend Joseph keeps talking about how the game has “Smart A.I”, which will change it’s tactics depending on what you allow through and what you stop. So far, I haven’t seen it yet. It gets a lucky shot in then let’s me wail on it some more until I either rattle it and just ground and pound, or I get the one hit KO. Might sell this, but still not sure.

While I was helping a friend move her stuff out for some money, I also managed to get a cheap ($44) copy of Resonance of Fate, a game I had been wanting for quite a while. I heard a lot of good things about this game from people on Gamefaqs and Elixir on his blog, so I wanted to try it out for a while. Thing was every game store and my local GameStop had the game for $60, so when I found this copy for a much cheaper price, I just had to jump on it.

If you all are thinking about getting the game, I’m just going to advise you now that you really should play through the tutorial. It is slow, trivial, and you might think you don’t need it, but trust me; the tutorial is almost as needed as the one in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. The battle system in the game is very long, convoluted, and will make your head spin if you just jump in without learning anything. It’s literally unlike any other battle system I’ve ever seen before. Once you get the hang of it, it’s fun, engrossing, and will make you want to get into random battles. Like most of you have probably heard, the battle system involves acrobatic and stylish gunplay, as your characters will be jumping, flipping, and shooting all over the arena and tearing new holes in their enemies. The game is fun and the production values are very well-done, so if you have been on the fence about trying this game, don’t be; give it a shot and try it out. You won’t regret it. Not unless you want a good story in your RPG. Then you’re screwed.

The last game that I have been playing is DJ Hero. I guess playing DJ MAX FEVER got me into the mood to start playing rhythm games haha. I was also able to get the game on a deal. I bought it used with the turntable for less than $55 at the Gamestop in 14th Street Union Square. The game is fun but I guess playing DJ MAX FEVER on 2x speed has gotten me used to rhythm games being much faster; the game plays very slow to me. Without a doubt the hardest thing to get used to is scratching; you have to hit the button and begin scratching right when the note starts, and let go as soon as the note ends. If you don’t, it will completely reset your combo multiplier. I can just imagine how much harder this game will get when they start incorporating the cross fader. My favorite songs so far would have to be the Grandmaster Flash tracks, even though they can be hard simply because his tracks incorporate a lot of scratching. One complaint I have to bring to the table though, is that each list of songs includes about 3 to 4 tracks, and you can’t stop in the middle, or skip to the one that you want to play. So you have to play through a marathon of about 4 every time you play, with each track lasting close to 3 to 4 minutes. I’m the type of person that tends to find one song they like, and practice that one until I can all-combo it easily. See “Stay With Me” in DJMAX. In this game, though, I can’t do that. The song tracks in this game are not that good either. Like Guitar Hero, they include a lot of mainstream songs that really shouldn’t be in a game about DJ’ing. Then I hear Lady Gaga is going to be in the sequel. No, no, please no. Where’s, I don’t know, the actual DJ’S!!!!! Instead it’s filled with a whole bunch of just random mainstream artists. I would really like some Pete Townshead in this. Like the music in Swordfish. As bad as Swordfish was, it did give us an awesome soundtrack, plus a glorious view of Halle Berry’s breasts. Now what isn’t worth that?

I do have a problem I’ve been trying to deal with though. As most of you know, I work two part-time jobs right now. That means I typically work 10-12 hour days Monday through Friday. What does that mean? Yeah, I’m making mad bank, but I’m also losing a ton of time. Which of course means less time for games. I must have bought more than 25 games in the last three months since I started this blog. When I only have an average of an hour or two to play. Which is sometimes taken up by watching anime, reading manga, or fighting game practice. What does this mean? It means I have a huge stockpile of games that I need to play through with very little time to even play through one. So if you’re reading this and wondering why is it that my blog seems to be more about my purchases rather than actually playing, you all know why now. On the plus side though, I managed to learn a Lili bnb that I had been trying to learn for a while as well as still learning an Asuka bnb. These are them:

Lili: DF2, DF2, DF1, 1, 2, F 1+2, DF 3+4, 3+4, BT 1+2 on wakeup

Asuka: 1+2, 1+4, 2, 1, 1+2, WS 1, 4

The Asuka bnb is way better than the previous juggle I had been using:

1+2, 1+4, 1+4, D2, an end with either 1+4 or dash forward DB 4, 3

Well, into anime and manga. In Anime I managed to catch up with Chihiro’s releases of K-on!! Got to say, episode 5, which focused on Ui, Azusa, and Junko, was actually pretty funny. Girls can get so bored. Not to mention the ending, which had them playing a song, pretty much confirmed my feelings that they will become the new K-on group once Yui and them graduate. You all watch, you’re going to see I’m completely right by the end and then you’ll all feel stupid. Let’s see in terms of all the episodes so far, we have the graduation, them getting a turtle, the obligatory senior trip to Kyoto along with another obligatory bath scene, an episode focusing on the characters who don’t get any screen time, plus a whole lot of renshu, renshu, renshu. It’s amazing how the producer’s can come up with such boring ideas for episodes, yet we all still watch it. It’s like the Seinfeld of anime. Not to mention, I still watch it. I shit on this series a lot too. Almost like a wife that keeps running back to her abusive husband, I just keep running back to it, knowing that it would not in particular fulfill me or make me very happy, but at the very least it will be there for me when nothing else will. I’ll most likely keep watching the second season until it’s eventual completion.

In manga I have started reading an old manga named Buso Renkin (you might have heard of it). It was the newest manga created by one of my favorite manga-ka’s, Nobuhiro Watanuki. It’s a shonen action/adventure manga about a boy who tries to save a girl, and thus gets caught up in a giant war between Homunculi and warriors who use alchemy to destroy them. I decided to buy all ten volumes in one sitting so that I can just read straight through them. Plus, I got them on a deal in Forbidden Planet, where you can buy three volumes of any manga priced at 7.99, like Buso Renkin, for only 19.99. So it ended up being quite a good deal for me at the end. So far I’m still in the middle of vol. 1 but once I finish I’ll post my thoughts on the series.

Okay, now I pretty much caught up with everything that I’ve been doing. Now I can sort of take my time with everything else lolz.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another lazy day...

Ok, I’ve pretty much caught up with everything, so I’m going to try to get this back on track.


One of the newest games that I’ve been playing is Batman: Arkham Asylum: Game of the Year Edition. I was holding off on buying this game (even though I really wanted it) because I was hoping the game would get cheaper later on. Then I come and see the Game of the Year Edition and was like “Oh, that’s cool”. Before you ask, no, the 3D glasses don’t do anything. They’re completely cheap, and there’s no really noticeable 3D effect. Still, that in no way hurts the actual game. The game is still ridiculously good. So much stuff has been said about this game, and in reality it’s all true. It really is the best Batman game ever made. Arkham Asylum is one of scariest and moodiest places I’ve ever played in since Doom 3, the game made Batman into an instant bad ass, and Mark Hammil did another amazing job as the Joker. Seriously, everything about the game, from the Riddler riddles, to the predator missions, to the combat, to the exploration is all done amazingly well. I’m definitely going to keep playing this, probably until completion. I just wish I had an Internet connection so that I could download the Joker missions. Those seem like they would be very fun to play through.


I’ve also been playing UFC Undisputed 2010. I got it mostly because I wanted to try the 2009 version but when I heard the 2010 version was coming out, I thought “Naw, let me wait”. The game…is meh. It’s not really something I would’ve been okay with spending $60 on, which sadly I did. The game consists of what every single sports game under the sun does with their career mode: You’re an upcoming and coming MMA fighter who’s trying to get into “the greatest MMA league in history, the UFC”. Yeah right. I seriously hate it when any sports league sets them selves up as the best at whatever they are. Stop with the advertising, UFC. Dana White can be such a prick sometimes. I especially hated when he said that if any fighter signed on to be in EA’s MMA game, they would forever be banned from the UFC. Yeah, I hope someone seriously comes up in the ranks of another MMA league and makes White eat his words, because then he can’t hire them. I do kind of like MMA, but I don’t like how UFC just dominates the sport. They’re kind of like WWE in the way they market. But they do have the Shamrock’s, the Gracie’s, and Brock Lesnar. It’s the same thing: Both companies have the best in their sport, and they hold it over every other company to push out competition. Yeah, I know that’s business, but I still don’t like it for the simple fact that it completely kills all competition on the market. It’s also like what Microsoft has done with the computer industry. Okay, enough with the ranting.


The game is pretty much ok. It kind of reminds me of Fight Night with MMA. The game includes a very controversial submission that some people call “amazingly deep” and others call “broken and rushed”. To me, it’s not that good because pretty much as soon as the computer gets you on the floor in a submission, you’re almost guaranteed to tap out. For some reason, no matter what you do to stop it, you’re just not going to be able to. Because of that, most people just stick to their standup game. Good luck trying to keep the game standup when you’re fighting a Gracie. Plus, the game just isn’t fun when you’re only doing standup. The game gets stupid half the time, and let’s you pound on it. I don’t know, my friend Joseph keeps talking about how the game has “Smart A.I”, which will change it’s tactics depending on what you allow through and what you stop. So far, I haven’t seen it yet. It gets a lucky shot in then let’s me wail on it some more until I either rattle it and just ground and pound, or I get the one hit KO. Might sell this, but still not sure.


While I was helping a friend move her stuff out for some money, I also managed to get a cheap ($44) copy of Resonance of Fate, a game I had been wanting for quite a while. I heard a lot of good things about this game from people on Gamefaqs and Elixir on his blog, so I wanted to try it out for a while. Thing was every game store and my local GameStop had the game for $60, so when I found this copy for a much cheaper price, I just had to jump on it.


If you all are thinking about getting the game, I’m just going to advise you now that you really should play through the tutorial. It is slow, trivial, and you might think you don’t need it, but trust me; the tutorial is almost as needed as the one in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. The battle system in the game is very long, convoluted, and will make your head spin if you just jump in without learning anything. It’s literally unlike any other battle system I’ve ever seen before. Once you get the hang of it, it’s fun, engrossing, and will make you want to get into random battles. Like most of you have probably heard, the battle system involves acrobatic and stylish gunplay, as your characters will be jumping, flipping, and shooting all over the arena and tearing new holes in their enemies. The game is fun and the production values are very well-done, so if you have been on the fence about trying this game, don’t be; give it a shot and try it out. You won’t regret it. Not unless you want a good story in your RPG. Then you’re screwed.


The last game that I have been playing is DJ Hero. I guess playing DJ MAX FEVER got me into the mood to start playing rhythm games haha. I was also able to get the game on a deal. I bought it used with the turntable for less than $55 at the Gamestop in 14th Street Union Square. The game is fun but I guess playing DJ MAX FEVER on 2x speed has gotten me used to rhythm games being much faster; the game plays very slow to me. Without a doubt the hardest thing to get used to is scratching; you have to hit the button and begin scratching right when the note starts, and let go as soon as the note ends. If you don’t, it will completely reset your combo multiplier. I can just imagine how much harder this game will get when they start incorporating the cross fader. My favorite songs so far would have to be the Grandmaster Flash tracks, even though they can be hard simply because his tracks incorporate a lot of scratching. One complaint I have to bring to the table though, is that each list of songs includes about 3 to 4 tracks, and you can’t stop in the middle, or skip to the one that you want to play. So you have to play through a marathon of about 4 every time you play, with each track lasting close to 3 to 4 minutes. The song tracks in this game are not that good either. Like Guitar Hero, they include a lot of mainstream songs that really shouldn’t be in a game about DJ’ing. Then I hear Lady Gaga is going to be in the sequel. No, no, please no. Where’s, I don’t know, the actual DJ’S!!!!! Instead it’s filled with a whole bunch of just random mainstream artists. I would really like some Pete Townshead in this. Like the music in Swordfish. As bad as Swordfish was, it did give us an awesome soundtrack, plus a glorious view of Halle Berry’s breasts. Now what isn’t worth that?


I do have a problem I’ve been trying to deal with though. As most of you know, I work two part-time jobs right now. That means I typically work 10-12 hour days Monday through Friday. What does that mean? Yeah, I’m making mad bank, but I’m also losing a ton of time. Which of course means less time for games. I must have bought more than 25 games in the last three months since I started this blog. When I only have an average of an hour or two to play. Which is sometimes taken up by watching anime, reading manga, or fighting game practice. What does this mean? It means I have a huge stockpile of games that I need to play through with very little time to even play through one. So if you’re reading this and wondering why is it that my blog seems to be more about my purchases rather than actually playing, you all know why now. On the plus side though, I managed to learn a Lili bnb that I had been trying to learn for a while as well as still learning an Asuka bnb. These are them:

Lili: DF2, DF2, DF1, 1, 2, F 1+2, DF 3+4, 3+4, BT 1+2 on wakeup

Asuka: 1+2, 1+4, 2, 1, 1+2, WS 1, 4

The Asuka bnb is way better than the previous juggle I had been using:

1+2, 1+4, 1+4, D2, an end with either 1+4 or dash forward DB 4, 3


Well, into anime and manga. In Anime I managed to catch up with Chihiro’s releases of K-on!! Got to say, episode 5, which focused on Ui, Azusa, and Junko, was actually pretty funny. Girls can get so bored. Not to mention the ending, which had them playing a song, pretty much confirmed my feelings that they will become the new K-on group once Yui and them graduate. You all watch, you’re going to see I’m completely right by the end and then you’ll all feel stupid. Let’s see in terms of all the episodes so far, we have the graduation, them getting a turtle, the obligatory senior trip to Kyoto along with another obligatory bath scene, an episode focusing on the characters who don’t get any screen time, plus a whole lot of renshu, renshu, renshu. It’s amazing how the producer’s can come up with such boring ideas for episodes, yet we all still watch it. It’s like the Seinfeld of anime. Not to mention, I still watch it. I shit on this series a lot too. Almost like a wife that keeps running back to her abusive husband, I just keep running back to it, knowing that it would not in particular fulfill me or make me very happy, but at the very least it will be there for me when nothing else will. I’ll most likely keep watching the second season until it’s eventual completion.


In manga I have started reading an old manga named Buso Renkin (you might have heard of it). It was the newest manga created by one of my favorite manga-ka’s, Nobuhiro Watanuki. It’s a shonen action/adventure manga about a boy who tries to save a girl, and thus gets caught up in a giant war between Homunculi and warriors who use alchemy to destroy them. I decided to buy all ten volumes in one sitting so that I can just read straight through them. Plus, I got them on a deal in Forbidden Planet, where you can buy three volumes of any manga priced at 7.99, like Buso Renkin, for only 19.99. So it ended up being quite a good deal for me at the end. So far I’m still in the middle of vol. 1 but once I finish I’ll post my thoughts on the series.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ah, motto ossoi entori da. Tsukaretan da ze.

The sad part is that this feels more like work than anything. Arggh. Anyway, let me not waste anymore time and get straight to it.

The first game that I’ve been playing….wow I don’t even know the time frame anymore. Oh well, the first game I’m going to talk about is a game that definitely qualifies for my commitment to playing hard games. I just started playing the unequivocal, undeniable, considered one of the hardest games ever created. I am of course talking about that one game that can send gamers over the deep end and makes controllers cringe in fear. That game is….Demon Souls.

Oh my God, this game is stupid hard. I mean, what can be said about it that hasn’t already been said. Basically, how the game works is that you’re a fighter for peace in a world where the human race has gone virtually extinct due to demons. The over all mood and atmosphere of the game is extremely foreboding and ominous, and it definitely makes you feel the way it’s supposed to make you feel: You stand absolutely no chance against the monsters coming after you. In this game, death comes for you every time you make a step. The regular enemies alone can be hard to handle. Here are some reasons why just the first stage is hard:

1) The weakest enemies in the game can kill you in two to three hits.

2) Blocking causes you to take small amounts of damage on every hit you block.

3) Herbs heal like a fraction of your life bar.

4) The first boss of the game can kill you in two hits when you’re not a phantom, and I believe one when you are a phantom

5) When you die, you lose all your experience, all your items, and start at the beginning.

6) You can’t improve your abilities until you beat the first level.

It’s too the point where it can take you more than 20 hours to get pass the first level. Just as an example, the average gamer is completely capable of beating Ninja Gaiden 2 on normal through their first play through, while Vanilla Ninja Gaiden 1 was harder, but still beatable. Bayonetta everyone can beat eventually. Vanilla DMC 3 was challenging once you start playing the game correctly and notice the enemy patterns. Castleroid Castlevania’s were hard until you learn the enemy patterns and react accordingly. Non-Castleroid Castlevania’s were hard mostly due to cheap deaths, but were still beatable. Izuna the Unemployed Ninja was made so that death was inevitable, but surmountable. Demon Souls, however, is hard, just because it’s hard. Like most people have said, your personal skill as a player will keep you living way longer than over leveling or spamming certain things. Knowing how to react to enemies and how to maneuver is the key to getting anywhere with this game. I’ll try to stay with this until I can beat it, but…wow, it’s almost too hard to take.

Another game that I’m playing is of course, the one game that came out last month that everyone’s playing now. Here’s a hint.

“Indestructible, nobody’s gonna stop me now-“

Nah, fuck that shit.

“TURN THE BEAT BACK!”

Yeah, Super Street Fighter 4.

This game does what every sequel aims to do: Improves on everything that made the original game great and fixes everything that it did wrong. One of the main problems that everyone had with the original was just the majority of the top tier characters (Sagat, Ryu, Balrog, Bison, Ken, Rufus) all play a very turtlely style, and the game at the higher levels was just characters using projectiles, spacing and footsies. Not exactly fun to watch. So for the new title, just about all the new characters added to the game are very offensive based. The Third Strike characters all have chain combos or very big mix-ups, and Adon, Juri, Cody and Guy are all offensive beasts that can completely avoid fireballs. Sadly though, the one character that I was really looking forward to, Juri, has so far been a disappointment. Her main shit is just Pinwheel and EX dive kick into Ultra. Otherwise, it just feels like she has nothing. I’m pretty sure that someone will one day make Feng Shui engine completely broken, but until then, well, she’s gonna end up being scrub bait. Also, I think they seriously put just a huge amount of effort into Cody. He is just too cool to put to words. I actually know a ton of people who would pay the $40 price just for Cody. Plus his link combos are redonk. Guy is also really cool, though I don’t like what they did with his voice in the JP audio. He speaks with the stereo-typical Samurai accent that anime is giving ninja all of a sudden. As an example, it’s how Kaede in Negima! speaks (-de gozaru, sessha). He still sounds cool but the voice begins to annoy. I actually happen to like his English voice actor, but there’s just one problem with that: “Profound Sadness!!”. Capcom, what are you doing, guys? Are you actually trying with this?

Another game that I’ve been playing is the absolutely awesome DJ MAX: FEVER. I saw a friend of mine playing it, and then Chinatown Fair has had a copy of the arcade edition, and quite frankly the game is great. I have heard that the psp edition has a wealth of bugs though, so I might look to download the game again off of PSN. It’s a rhythm game similar to ddr or guitar hero, but just way better because this game doesn’t use crappy licensed music like ddr does, and instead uses all original music. Usually it’s trance, hip-hop, or techno. The music choices in the game are all very good, even though some songs are more popular than others. You can’t see a single person at Chinatown Fair play without playing Oblivion at least once lol. I think my favorite song on the game is “Stay With Me”. It’s the very first song that I would say I can Max Combo on a regular basis. I just want to improve my accuracy on that song before I go for some other ones. I also have been playing Oblivion, but there’s now way I’m going to be able to Max Combo that song for a while. I can see why it’s popular, but still that’s kind of ridiculous that every person who plays this game eventually plays this song. It’s good but wow. Plus I like the fact that I can play this version for free because it’s $1.50 to play every time in Chinatown Fair. I would like to save some money to play Tekken you know guys. Plus the card from what I heard is like $8, and you need the card in order to save your progress and save all the items and songs that you unlocked. A friend of mine actually invested in the card because he plays the game all most every time that he goes. I, personally, don’t think I’m going to play the game enough to warrant buying the card. I’m sorry but most other games at Chinatown Fair are only 50 cents a pop now that Tekken 6 and Super Street Fighter 4 went down. I don’t see the point of $1.50 for a game that I don’t even play often or that is only single player. That’s like what’s going on with the Terminator: Salvation game that’s in Chinatown Fair right now. Why would you have an arcade famous in the fighting game community, and have all these non-fighting games there when no one plays them? At least with DDR people actually play those games like all hell, but whatever. God, I started ranting again. Change of subject.

I’ve also bought the two Metal Gear Acid games on the psp. After hearing some views of the players on Gamefaqs, I’ve decided to beat 1 before I go to 2. The games have no connection in terms of story, but I’ve heard that playing the first one helps you appreciate the changes made in the second game. Also, I’ve heard people say that once you play the second one, you’ll never want to play the first one ever again. Anyway, the games are very strategic and addicting. I’m not going to go to deep into it because the game is so old, and because you can just read a review of the game if you’re curious. Suffice to say that the game is very fun, even though quite frankly I die quite a bit due to not being so good of a strategist. Might try to see if I can unlock every card in the game. There’s only about 200, so it shouldn’t be as hard as 2, which has more than 500 cards. The funny thing is that the games aren’t considered part of the MGS canon, and for this reason many people don’t even touch the series. Are you really not going to play a game in a series juts because it has no bearing on the canon of said series? That’s just idiotic.

In anime, I finally got to watch a huge chunk of Sora no Woto, getting all the way to 11 I believe. Some of the episodes were sad, some were funny, though now it looks like the series is finally going to progress in terms of it’s story with the war. Even though they finally revealed that the girl Yoshika and Rio knew was the princess of the kingdom and Rio’s sister, thus revealing that her sempai is the other princess of the kingdom. Big shocker huh? The series still reminds me of Strike Witches btw. Also finished Sasameki Koto a while back. The series quite frankly had a horrible ending. They don’t even say if Kazama and Tsumi actually hooked up or not. The final episode was them just trying to call each other while Tsumi was on vacation. I hate it when animes end like that. Except for the crappy ending, the series was actually good too. Oh well. Other than that I’m also trying to catch up on K-On!! Because I’ve only seen up to ep.4, and I believe the series is up to ep.9 by now or something. It’s going to take me a while to catch up. While the series was slightly improving on the comedy, I still think that the series has become a moe-bait anime more than anything at the moment. Oh well, this series is supposed to be around 50 episodes. Hopefully in the course of that they find a way to improve on the direction they’re trying to take this series in. I’ll still watch it, but it’s going to have to have to improve soon. Besides that, there’s really nothing else that I’ve been watching.

In manga though, I have been reading this one volume of Higurashi. Ah, this anime. I saw both series way back last year at my friends Joseph and Chris’s urgings. They couldn’t shut up about how good this anime was. I also heard a ton of people talk about it on some anime/manga sites that I frequent. So I watch both and, quite frankly, I just didn’t like the anime. Knowing me, it has everything to do with the characters. The sad thing is that I hate just about all the characters in the series. Keichi is a fucking annoying ass cunt, Rika tries to be cute when she’s not, Satoko is God’s vengeance for our sins, and Rika is just an annoying bitch. The only characters I even remotely like are Shion and Mion, and that’s mostly because I love twins. The main problem that happens when I hate the characters in an anime is that I end up wishing hateful shit on them. Like when Shion went insane and chained Satoko to a cross and repeatedly stabbed her with a knife, I ate that shit up. I laughed and giggled like it was a Chris Rock show. Seeing a character I don’t like get brutally murdered just makes my sadistic side come out. Yes, I feel bad, but I don’t feel the least bit repentant. Fuck that bitch. However, surprisingly enough, I read the manga version of my favorite arc, when Shion and Mion are the main bad guys, and I actually really enjoyed the art. It was very good quite frankly. I loved how the artist made Shion and Mion really moe and cute. It was nice to see them blushing. Though I don’t care for how he tried to make Keiichi into a tsundere. That kind of thing just doesn’t work. So I get into the manga version of Higurashi and seriously consider buying the rest of the series. Wait, what’s that? The artist of the manga’s change depending on the arc? Yeah, that’s right. Naturally, the rest of the volumes art sucks in comparison to the artist of my fav arc. Great, once again, Higurashi disappoints me. I don’t know why I bother with the series.

So now, that this blog is done, I’m going to get cracking on the next. Laterz!