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Cblog Recaps of 07/30/14 and Risk of Strider
12:15 AM on 08.01.2014
C Blogs of 07/29/14 + Gods Will Be Wrenching
10:41 AM on 07.31.2014
Cblogs of 07/25/14 + 07/26/14 and bbainisms
4:53 PM on 07.27.2014
Cblogs of 07/24/14 + Shadeisms
6:36 AM on 07.26.2014
Cblogs Recaps of 07/23/14 and ANIMU-isms
1:12 PM on 07.24.2014
C Blogs of 07/22/14 + Wrenchisms
1:15 AM on 07.24.2014





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CblogRecaps
19 hours ago - 12:15 AM on 08.01.2014




So these past two months I've gotten my girlfriend into Steam as I dig deeper into everything I've purchased during the summer sale and beyond. OpiumHerz turned me to a neat UK site that got me game keys for cheap so I could share multiplayer with other friends, particularly my girlfriend. That's how I started playing Skullgirls of all games with her, as well as Battleblock Theater which she finds stressful but fun.

Skullgirls came out of nowhere. She was browsing my library one day since I created a family sharing plan for us (for her) and just randomly booted up Skullgirls. I don't know yet if she's heard of it before or just liked the page art but just like Prison Architect, something clicked for her and she got hooked.

Now this puts me in a delicate predicament. On one hand, I'm glad to game together with my longtime girlfriend. On the other hand, she has a relaxed attitude towards games and even moreso to fighting games and as anyone who's played me in fighting games can attest to, I'm not exactly a beginner at most fighting games I play. Sometimes I'm not sure how to sandbag for her. I realize now just how useful handicap is sometimes but even then that might not help since its not like she's going to pick up on her character's strongest pokes, let alone blocking. I like to do at least one BnB combo before playing the rest of the match just mashing the jabs because that's another thing I have to worry about in sandbagging; she doesn't know any combos and doesn't even have the kind of muscle memory I have to do fundamental chain combos (I call them drummer combos because you basically just drum your fingers up from weakest to strongest). It really puts into perspective how long I've been playing video games and how new she is to it. Thank god my first big gift to her was a 3DS with Animal Crossing. I hope she'll do better in Smash 4 but then again this is Smash we're talking about.

So the majority of our fights become mash fests with our LPs and LKs and maybe a few one off strong attacks like a crouching HP or whatever else she knows is a good anti-air, legitimately surprising me as she stops my remedial instant air dash routines. I usually accommodate her and just play one-on-one rather than a mixture of teams. So far in playing quick matches my preferred team is Cerebella/Squigly: Cerebella is a high powered battery storing meter for Squigly, who in turn assists Cerebella with her Center Stage ensemble which instantly brings people from fullscreen to midscreen. I haven't seen many teams do this. Most of the time I've seen Squigly she's fought on her own which seems to be enough. Double and Squigly seem to be popular singles characters. Lately though, I've found I need an extra bit of oomph on offense. Pushblocking seems to get me out of a lot of jams anyways, so in addition to changing Cerebella's assist to Cerecopter or LockNLoad, I'm experimenting with having a third character with a distinctly offensive assist like Big Band with Brass Knuckles H (covering a huge amount of space). I think I'll be putting Filia in as my lead though because she fits something I'm used to doing; instant air dash overheads courtesy of Arc System Works games. Her aggressive, high mobility, offset by relatively low damage means she makes a great lead battery, followed by Cerebella with moderately damaging throws and a super grab to threaten, and lastly Squigly sitting on an excess of meter to use to chain her music note super, 1-frame grab super, or a devastating level 3 to finish with.



Meanwhile, in between matches we've been playing Battleblock Theater. A game much more simple in nature but seemingly stressful for her. The gamut of obstacles and danger we have to overcome seems to boggle her mind, especially since she has a tendency to be loose in her platforming and overshoot her way into a pool of water or a bed of spikes. Still, I find a lot of joy playing a cooperative game with her rather than a competitive game. Even if she sees me as someone who's being held back, I always like getting ahead in the platforming so I can help her up with the moves inherently designed in the game to help people up ledges. Then come the times where innocent help turns into gruesome accidents. Like when she helped me up a ledge and ended up continuing that stance to throwing me into a ceiling of spike traps.

You know, things people in love will do.

I also finally got into two rogue-likes that have been sitting on my library for a while. Teleglitch is a top-down shooter with a heavily saturated color scheme. The only difference in gameplays is starting equipment rather than any class based options but the game seems to have a predilection towards swarming you with hordes of monsters. Risk of Rain meanwhile attracts my attention more, rather unfortunately actually. Because difficult to this game means spawning all the enemies on top of you for kiting so necessary it turns Benjamin Franklin into the godfather of quickscopes. However, there's a more marked difference between character classes with their powers and abilities which make the choice more interesting even if it took me a few days to unlock someone new. I actuallly came close to beating the game after a lucky run getting a few stacking healing and life leeching items to increase my survivability five-fold. Unfortunately, as it was my first time at the Temple of Elders, I had no idea the Divine Teleporter would offer me two options, the initial option for mashing the X button being to loop me around. Which upsets me to no end because I'd really want to try the Sniper which is only available after beating the game. I'll need to grind Rainstorm difficulty as well in order to unlock the Huntress, which can only be unlocked by obtaining monsters logs only available outside of Drizzle, where most of my gameplay thus far has been.



Also if you're interested in recapping Sundays or Saturdays or whatever ask us or PM us because we suck or whatever.

* - Ceasarnos is full of pep, vim, vigor, and vitality after some life lessons on perserverance

P - Woops, Seph's Twitch stream time slot has already happened sorry

A - Kodu took his three heads and looked at the EA Access issue as three different opinions







P - GUNDAM HYPE TRAIN! CHOOCHOO MOTHERFUCKERS!

T - Average Schmoe's look at Destiny whatever cool alright

N - EA Access is a bold, new, frightening experience

T - The Firefly MMO is a thing

T - Arkham Knight predictions that I don't believe cool neat ok




R - Cordycep-infected insects are frighteningn on tonight's AFK news

C - K.K. Easter Egg yeah!

F - Homeland, not Homefront


~Striderhoang

FPotD
Photo Photo












God Will Be Watching.

And I'm pretty sure I hear them giggling at me.

I picked up Gods Will Be Watching the other day. I was impressed by the trailer, the art design, and some of the buzz I heard surrounding it. I heard it described “bad decision” simulator, where you're constantly confronted with catch-22 situations and equally unappealing options, where the “right: answer was a pipe dream and you mostly were just trying to be “less wrong”.

Sadly, that's not the case. There might not be plenty of “right” answers in Gods Will Be Watching, but there sure as hell are a lot of “WRONG, TRY AGAIN STUPID!” ones. The high tension emotional stakes and nervous energy of a hostage situation or medical emergency tend to run out of gas sometime around the fifth or sixth try in a row where everything turns to shit not even halfway through charging your hack bar or running up your antidote meter (what is it with this game and big computer screens with count-downs?).

Arbitrary game overs, painful trial and error, and random flukes make up most of the gameplay experience. The scenarios themselves are terribly repetitive (endure days and days of torture by lying, begging, and confessing without getting killed, mix up antidotes and dig out a hole by shuffling your team about, etc). They'd get to be a chore only doing them once or twice. The fact that it will probably take you several attempts just to make headway on each of them is almost unbelievable.

The worst sin however is that for a game based on story telling and dialog, they didn't bother to make much of either. In a SUCESSFUL run of a scenario you are likely to run into repeated loops of painfully stilted and poorly written dialog. When you consider how many times you'll likely have to try these levels, you end up mashing the left click button to skip it all so much you'll wear a hole in your mouse.

The characters are generic and the game doesn't give you much reason to care for any of them. There isn't a lot done to make you feel like the hostages are anything more than resources to spend (despite giving you stats at the end that wag their finger at you if you killed any of them), or any time spent making your research team feel like anything other than circulatory systems to shoot unstable compounds into. You're supposed to give a shit about your player character Sgt. Burden (get it, like the Burden of choice, huh huh, CLEVER!) and his army pal Jack, but with the macho 80's dialog they give them and the limited back story, it's hard to form a bond.



It's even harder when the game doesn't even seem to be taking itself seriously. During the torture sequence of Chapter 2 in my game, Jack was beaten to death while trying to think up a lie to tell our captors. My character spent the next three nights having conversations (the same he would have had he been alive) with Jack's ghost/imaginary figment. Ok, fair enough, they still needed to find a way to make that sequence work and while it seems lazy to just give GhostJack the same dialog as LiveJack, I can deal with it.

In Chapter 3, Jack was alive and well to help me play fetch with the dog and dig our way out of a collapsed research station. No explanation offered.

The Gods Will Be Watching? They can watch me uninstall and forget this game.

* - Riobux loves well written villain protagonists. He has less love for the dunces in Clive Baker's Jericho.

* - Kumatora is totally confirmed for brawl, C-Blog exclusive news right here.

* - This strange precursor to Dark Souls/Bloodborne looks fascinating.

P - Pstoid needs more questions for tonight! Of course, this was posted on Tuesday, so make sure to send your e-mail through a time vortex.

A - Top 5 consoles, SNES isn't at the top of the list. Tsk, tsk, see me after class.

S - Those wacky German censors are at it again. I kind of love the hasty robot-makeover they did on the box art of Commando

A - Tim Schafer is a heart breaker, don't fall for his point-and-click love.

A - Should anyone buy anything on day one? Short answer: Probably not. Realistic answer: We probably still will.

T - The Saturn was a strange beast, but man, some of those games.

C - I appreciate the idea behind this blog, but I'm not sure I really want to see a 3 sentence Easter egg blog everyday. Maybe an Easter egg a week with a more detailed write up?

R - Pixie got a new tablet, game, and shovel. Living the good life!




-Wrenchfarm


FPotD
Photo Photo Photo










Hello everyone! Short -isms today. I started a new job on Thursday as an overnight baker, so I'm still getting used to the new schedule. The job is pretty fun, I work by myself usually, making bread, bagels, cookies, etc. It's definitely better than my old job at least. And I actually really like third shift; I get to sleep in every day and I'm never tired at work (I usually stay up really late anyway). I'll just have to figure out the best time to work on recaps during my new work schedule.



* - Oscarno continues his awesome Case Study series by taking a critical look at the soundtrack to Dishonored!

* - Handy is just milking that clickbait!



S - A magical dolphin plays Claire, a horror game about a girl living in a nightmare world.

S - HunterWolfe is starting a series about fashion in video games. This week he looks at the fabulous outfits of the Assassin's Creed series!

S - R. Hoffmann is starting a series featuring his favorite artists and cosplayers!

A - Jetfandam likes to wait to buy new consoles until there are at least three games out that he would buy, which is pretty sound logic.

A - Syntheseizure thinks remastered re-releases are important because they keep games accessible for future generations.

A - Derek Pietras thinks frame rate is important. I honestly couldn't care less about frame rate.

P - Episode 042 of Radio Destructoid is ready and waiting to be listened to!







S - The Scholarly Gamer is planning to start up a weekly news blog, covering non-gaming news, and needs your help!

I - Say hello to JBroXNari, he plans to write about free indie games! Hmm... that sounds, familiar...

F - Friday Night Fights on Playstation + Podcasts!



N - It looks like Dungeon Fighter Online is going to be back online!

T - JBroXNari highlights a free indie game called Superfighters Deluxe, which is still in pre-alpha at the moment.

D - Twisted Jenius is working on a game called Reptile Zoo, and has some models of structures to show off.

D - Sven Wohl is helping with the writing for a game called Ralin: Dwarf Wars.

R - kaguya orbit reviews Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn.

$ - July 25th UK releases and bargains!







C - This Greenlight feature could use a bit more content, and JBro could probably benefit from spacing his blogs out a bit more. Don't post 'em all in one day!



No fails today! Huzzah!



- bbain

FPotD










No time for Shadeisms today, as I'm getting knee-deep in travel preparation. One does not simply walk into the United States, after all! Only two weeks left, and the hype is rising.

Speaking of hype, Ruto and Darunia in Hyrule Warriors. They look sweet; Darunia with the Megaton Hammer and Ruto getting all waterbender up in this business. I think Ruto in particular looks hella fun to play as, so I can't wait to take her for a spin.

I'm also quite pleasantly surprised with the female representation this game is seeing so far. Out of the 10 currently announced characters, a whopping 7 or 8 are female (depending on whether you count Sheik as female or male, that's a can of worms best left unopened). I've always thought the Zelda series is vastly overlooked by games journalists when it comes to female equality and such: Zelda is a much better female character than many people give her credit for, and now we've got Hyrule Warriors to show us that she's far from the only strong lady to be found in Link's adventures. I'm not going to claim that Hyrule Warriors is "Social Justice: The Game", nor does it have to be, but I think it's a nice touch nonetheless.



* - With all that nostalgia that's almost inherent in video games, Fenriff found that it's often very rewarding to take a dive back into the games you used to play way back when.

* - We're only at the second edition, but I already love bbain's themed video game music series. Westerns are up this week!

A - GTA games are apparently very well-suited for mods, which leads NachtGaming to look forward to what people are going to be adding to GTAV soon.

A - You know that SMT IV game that STILL isn't out in Europe? Well, according to kaguya orbit it has some great music in it!

A - JB333 weighs the pros and cons of the rise of Remakes.

S - Listing his favorite games of all time in great detail, ctg867 is at his #9: Ratchet and Clank 2.

A - Trufflez bewares the evils of sex and violence. But mostly sex.





I - As a little introduction, kyoryu black lists 10 video games that got him into blogging for us.
















- And then there's this.



- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

FPotD
Photo Photo Photo









Sometimes I wonder to myself why I even bother going to the recommendations for anime thread. I can list the only animes they ever talk about and will only ever like: Jojo, anything Gundam, and Psycho-Pass. Anything else is either passable but will never get talked about because only one or two people care, or its shit. Your favorite anime is shit and you are shit, thanks for playing folks.



Last season was a pretty slow time for me in terms of streaming. Bob's Burgers is on the downlow and there were comparatively few things I put on my watch list. It took me awhile to watch Captain Earth and I'm practically just watching it now into this season. Haikyuu is an endearing volleyball anime and No Game No Life was an easy favorite for me but after that it kind of tapers off asides from the usual suspects. Hunter X Hunter was trudging along with its Chimera Ant arc and Jojo was still on of course. I tried watching When Her Flag Breaks too but I've just slowly lost steam on grinding through that in a seemingly inverse version of Captain Earth's pace. The general philosophy or mindset that permeates the anime thread is one Miyazaki is quoted on in an interview; the general feeling that anime nowadays is shit because animation companies want to pander hardcore to their inbred demographic of otaku with no impulse control on their money or their time. Basically, you and I aren't some dirty, slobbering, fatass shut in with terrible hygiene, low standards, low self-esteem, and bad image projection, but the animation companies think we are, or at least will cater to those existing crowds because they know the big bucks are there so fuck quality storytelling or high concept ideas. Just stick a loli in there, throw a few panty shots, and use whatever other archetypes you got lying around in the bin (tsundere, soft edged yandere, and of course a kuudere. Every anime these days have those damn kuudere).



Which is a real shame because every now and then when I check in, I get some fleeting conversation or input about this season's anime that really clicks with me. Pokemon Champion Brightside recommended Aldnoah.Zero to me and I'm truly thankful for that. When I heard it on the season's line up, it didn't have the most intriguing eye catch but I knew from earlier conversation it was good. When Brightside went out of his way to type in a, "Alnoah.Zero is good, you should watch it (stop watching Rail Wars)," and clicked post, I knew I had to check it out and goddamn I'm hooked.

I know I like watching it and Brightside recommended it but some people (well, Gatsby) just have some sky high standards. I don't want to come down too hard on the people who frequent the thread because we've already settled on the idea that the dream is gone and we have to wade through a sea of shit to find gems but that also brings me to Firion who can only be described as my spirit animal at this point. I mean, I don't need to watch masterpieces of animation or even big budget, highly anticipated anime. 30+ hours of work at the Big D is ok for most people but its a lot for someone who also goes to school, so I don't necessarily want to think hard every time I come home from a day of grabbing stuffed animals for Asian tourists. Psycho-Pass and Knights of Sidonia are two big recommendations from Everyday Legend and I won't begrudge him for that because from what little I have seen, yes, they are good. But they're also high concept out the ass. There's humans living aboard a colony ship with a limited genetic pool to work with over the centuries, fighting aliens in robots, and Minority Report with super guns built with computers that lock and unlock based on real-time updated criminal information. I'm boiling those two animes down as simple as I can and there's still a ton of stuff to explain to really get it but goddamn I have to process all that plus the conversations and relationships going on in this web of interactions and yada yada yada.



Meanwhile, I thought I was crazy to like Sabagebu but Firion assured me that at least she liked it also for its simple quirky humor and subversion of typical character tropes. Take one part girls' after school club, throw in a gun nut otaku with a penchant for action scenes, and secretly subvert every character trope you decide to use and you have Sabagebu, where the main character can be interpreted as a vicious sadist and the upperclassman senpai was actually held back and any action with the show's airsoft guns are portrayed on screen as actual, real guns because, as the constantly involved narrator puts it, this is a girl's delusion.

Then there are the animes that I think a lot of people can probably agree with me are actually good but goddamn we haven't talked about Jojo/Psycho-Pass/Gundam in five minutes lets talk about it again! Akame Ga Kill made news at the beginning of the year when it was announced this particularly grisly and violent manga was getting an anime. I didn't read the manga and I get the feeling it was toned down a bit for tv but damn if you don't feel that visceral rush when someone gets slashed across the chest and blood comes gushing out spectacularly. At least for the first three episodes, this is a show about assassins who are already fairly powerful, including the main character who gets drawn into the conflict, and will cut a bloody swathe of destruction through their enemies. with some great animation moments to boot. The big thing is when an enemy is marked to die, they have a freak out moment a la Phoenix Wright where their faces contort in an animation still to show just how twisted and demented they are before they're predictably cut down. It's also a show that does not glorify the characters and isn't afraid to not protray them as heroes but instead as murderers and it gets the face of a silent, emotionless killer really well.



That brings me to Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun. A simple anime about a male upperclassman who's actually the author of a shoujo manga and the girl who tries to confess to him and ends up becoming his assistant in a bit of misinterpretation. Sounds typical, until you realize Nozaki tends to take inspiration in unconventional ways. He gets the idea of a romantic bike ride for two wrong and rents a tandem bike. The main heroine of his manga is actually shot for shot his male friend. And if he runs out of ideas new characters tend to look less similar and more like clones. Its a funny romp through something that might appear to be a trope filled rom-com and ends up being a more "what the fuck, get your shit together" kind of chuckle hut (do you prefer drawing kitties or briefs?).

So what I wanted to say all along is, broaden your horizons a bit people.

* - Travel to Rapture, learn in an educational narrative, don't get stabbed by plasmid needles

A - If you could bring three games with you and a solar powered generator, what would you bring?

A - Stop pre-orders, free Tibet





I - It might be a rocky introduction for Ishida but no one's breaking his stride

I - I don't know if Mountain likes games or not

I - Remember Manchild? He's back. In pog form

I - PixeledCloud is also new. What's with all the newbies? It's like we've been hit by a newbie storm

R - Kodu played the big stinking Kardashian game and can you believe I know people on Facebook who complimented it?










Images from FakeAnimeSubtitles on tumblr


~ Striderhoang

FPotD
Photo Photo Photo










I've been watching things again. Let's talk about some of them.

Stoker



This movie really captured my heart. It's got beautiful direction, a haunting score (Philip Glass!), and a budding murder girl just coming into her psychopathic own. It's a very dark, and surprisingly funny, coming of age story that just so happens to feature a young lady who's interests tend towards asphyxiation, her intensely creepy/handsome uncle, and her train wreck of a mother.

It's rare these days to see a film that catches you completely off guard. My girlfriend introduced me to Stroker on a whim with zero explanation going in and I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised.

You're Next



I'm not a big fan of a lot of horror movies. I hate the gimmicks, the tropes. The endless corpse heaps of dead teenagers and college students who went into the basement alone, split off from the group, or otherwise did exactly the worse possible thing they could have done with a serial killer on the loose.

That doesn't happen in You're Next. Instead of waiting passively to perish or survive while the rest of the cast is picked off one by one, the would-be Final Girl in You're Next picks up a hammer and an ice pick and goes to town on her Hotline Miami-esq assailants.

It's an insanely fun movie that flips the conventions of the genre on their head. I saw it earlier this year and it instantly became a favourite. I re-watched it the other day and yup, still a favourite.

Boardwalk Empire



After hearing endless praise for this HBO series, we finally got around to starting Boardwalk Empire.

Why did we wait so long?

It's fantastic. I've been a huge fan of Steve Buscemi since seeing turned into a pin cushion in Desperado a million years ago, and it's great to have a series that really lets him strut his creepy/charming stuff. After watching Michael Pitt steal the show on Hannibal over the last season as the gleefully sadistic Mason Verger (a guy so crazy he managed to out-villain Hannibal Lecter), it's fun to see him playing a sympathetic WW1 vet in over his head.

The two of them together is even more fun after just seeing Delierious, a 2006 film that starred Buscemi and Pitt as a pair of paparazzi scumlords that I had never heard of until a few weeks ago. I have to wonder if casting them together again (and in similar "bad mentor, terrible lackey" roles) was an intentional play, or just a beautiful coincidence. One of the very first lines in Boardwalk Empire between the two of them even seems like a deliberate call back.

* - RainsOpacity is a deviant who enjoys Machine for Pigs way more than Dark Descent. She's probably just thinking with Manpigs, but she makes a great case!

* - I know this blog is NVGR, but screw it, I'm topsaucing it anyway.

A - A fantastic blog from Dreamweaver listing his top ten games. Mass Effect 3 is on the list so you know it's legit.

A - There are certainly several cases of high profile crowd funding projects that have crashed and burned, and even more that have been exposed as attempts to scam people, but I don't think crowd funding is going away anytime soon. In fact, I'm glad it's not.

P - PStoid is going to need some questions for their podcast. Me first: What's the best game of all time? Bushido Blade 1, or Bushido Blade 2?

$ - Interesting to see Sony trying to clear out Vita units in the Philippines while apparently suffering a shortage in North America. I wonder how well the Vita is really doing.

V - Usedtabe is doing video reviews now? And he's reviewing Dark Souls 2 DLC? You know, I think I will like, follow, and subscribe, just this once!



-Wrenchfarm

FPotD
Photo Photo Photo