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Mondays - smurfee mcgee
Tuesdays - Wrenchfarm
Wednesdays - StriderHoang
Thursdays - ShadeOfLight
Fridays - bbain
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Qalamari
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SilverDragon1979

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Hello everyone! I finally got around to playing Shovel Knight this week, and it was fantastic, of course! It really brought back the feeling of playing the Mega Man games on the NES, only with way better sprite art. I don't even have anything negative to say about it, it was pretty solid all around! I feel like the one and only complaint I hear about the game is that when you die and drop your gold, it can sometimes appear in a location which is impossible to reach without dying again. Although once you get all the relics you can pretty much get your gold back from almost any place. The fishing rod can really come in handy!



I think what I loved most about Shovel Knight was the character designs. Even the most unimportant NPCs looked really interesting! I especially loved all of the bosses, and how they mirrored the robot masters from Mega Man. The battle where you fight all of them again one at a time, while the others are eating around a table and spectating, was really awesome. It's hard to even pick a favorite boss. Treasure Knight was awesome because of his ocean theme; his level was really freaking cool (that anglerfish mini-boss!). Plague Knight and Specter Knight both looked really neat and had cool levels. Tinker Knight was really funny, and had one of the best fights. Propeller Knight was all sorts of suave and stylish, and I loved his one attack where he propels you way up into the air and tries to skewer you on your way down. And then Polar Knight was awesome because he used a shovel like you, except a much bigger one! King Knight and Mole Knight were probably my least favorite of the bunch, but they were still pretty cool too.

I also finally got around to playing Kero Blaster, the new game from the Cave Story dev, Pixel. Being a huge fan of Pixel, I don't know why it took me so long to play this one! Kero Blaster is a cool little game, although it's not really on the same scale as Cave Story, so that was sort of disappointing. I did enjoy the game though! The story was very simple, but still really cute. If anything, I'd recommend the game just for Pixel's adorable sprite art alone! I think I actually like the urban scenery of Kero Blaster more than the underground setting of Cave Story. The game borrows a lot of the same types of weapons from Cave Story too, like the bubble and flame guns, and the laser which is similar to the Polar Star. The weapons are upgraded permanently, though, so no more weapon downgrades upon taking damage (I really liked that mechanic!). 



I think it's funny that Cave Story was initially a free game, and it offered so much more content than Kero Blaster, which costs $8 (or $5 on iOS). Good for Pixel, though, for finally making some money off of his awesome games. It was neat that Cave Story was free, but it definitely had enough quality to warrant a fee. I gladly payed to play it again anyway, when it was released on Steam! 



* - BoomingEchoes' uncle passed away recently... he dedicated this blog to remembering everything his uncle did for him.



M - JB333 loves campers! No, not the kind with tents and marshmallows, although he probably likes those too.

A - Terry 309 has some ideas that could spice up the Pokemon games.

A - Derek Pietras has been playing Shovel Knight and Gone Home, and gives his thoughts on why both games are great.

A - Luckrequired lists his top 10... er, top 6 games.



F - Friday Night Fights on Nintendo + Destiny!



R - Spazzh20 reviews the Angry Video Game Nerd Adventure.

P - Syntheseizure reviews the Destiny beta version, which is sort of like a preview I guess.

$ - July 18th UK releases and bargains!



A - Nihil created this stunning piece on Chrono Trigger, through the medium of MS Paint!

M - JB333 recommends OverClocked Remix's take on the Super Mario 64 soundtrack, Portrait of a Plumber!



C - Not sure who this guy is, but feel free to listen to his podcast if you want.



No fails today! Huzzah!



- bbain

FPotD
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I was planning to go into detail about The Wonderful 101 today, as I've finally beaten the game after having waited months to play it. However, then I had to spend the entirety of today gathering all my stuff and disassembling furniture (god bless Ikea) because I'm moving out of my student room tomorrow, so that kind of put a damper on things. I only made it through the day by the combined force of video game OSTs and LotR - Extended Edition running in the background. (for reference, when I was done The Two Towers had just finished)

But you know what? Fuck it, I'm going to talk about The Wonderful 101 anyway.

As most of you should know, The Wonderful 101 is a WiiU-exclusive action game by Platinum Games. And let me tell you, it more than earns its place in between the other Platinum titles that most people will probably be more familiar with. Everything about this game centers around being as awesome as it possibly can, while still being delightfully silly. It works fantastically well with the gameplay, but I imagine that it would also be lots of fun to just watch someone else play with the 101 heroes.

Gameplay-wise, I've heard this game described as Pikmin meets Viewtiful Joe, which I think is pretty accurate all in all. You play as a team of up to 100 pseudo Power Rangers. These guys can combine their powers to transform Green Lantern style into all sorts of objects and weapons. You get 7 main heroes who each have their own signature weapon, such as a giant fist, sword, Wolverine claws (yes, I'm experimenting to see how many famous heroes I can get into these -isms), and a whip. You activate these powers by drawing a specific symbol either on the the GamePad or with the Right Stick, after which you can use your newly formed weapon to put the hurt on whatever baddies you may face.  



The system works pretty well, but I often felt like things got too chaotic too fast. It's not easy keeping track of your lead character among those 99 other guys, for one. Even if you do manage to do so, enemies tend to attack you without much warning and sometimes even from off-screen. The Wonderful 101 is not an easy game, and not always for the right reasons. Beyond that, the game also likes to change up the gameplay at certain parts, which doesn't always work out well. There are shmup-levels, one-on-one fights, and even Punch-out matches (and I mean that quite literally) with giant robots. It all looks cool, sure, but it doesn't always play optimally. I remember one shmup-level toward the end of the game where I kept taking damage even if for the life of me I couldn't find out what was hitting me. And when your endstage score gets significantly lowered for your poor performance, that starts to sting a little bit.

It's a good thing then, that this game is absolutely oozing which both charm and Platinum's signature awesomeness. Giant robots aplenty in this game, and they keep getting bigger and bigger as the game progresses. It feels very Gurren Lagann, actually. That's always a plus in my book. Other than that the game has lots of quicktime events (the good kind) where our heroes are able to show off their powers in all sorts of creative ways. The cutscenes are definitely the highlight of this game, especially for someone like me who wasn't entirely sold on the combat. It also helps that each of the 10 or so main characters have wonderful personalities and quirks. They're voice-acted quite well too (although with very heavy fake accents), so it's a joy to listen to them spout their nonsense throughout their missions. Each of the character's introductions is really fun as well, and almost perfectly captures the essence of what they are going to bring to your party.



Ultimately, I haven't had the chance to play many Platinum games. I played some of their games when they were still Clover, such as Viewtiful Joe and Okami, I played MadWorld (which I fucking love to bits), but unfortunately no Vanquish, no Anarchy Reigns, no Metal Gear Rising, and worst of all: no Bayonetta (but soon!). If nothing else The Wonderful 101 has shown me that I'm totally down with their style of games, and it's making me ever more excited about the upcoming Bayonetta 2. Now that we know it's going to include the original as well, I quite simply can't wait to play it.

Oh, and also: Lucina and Robin in Brawl, fuck yeah! A Fire Emblem mage (specifically Soren) has been my Smash Bros. wet dream for ages now, so it's great to see this guy/girl make an entrance. Who the hell is this "Robin" person though? I only know a guy named Shade.

Oh, and also also: the Wind Waker as a weapon in Hyrule Warriors. This wasn't exactly what I meant when I said that I wanted more The Wind Waker representation, but I'll take it!

* - When Knutaf comes out of hiding to tell you why you should play Super Time Force, you damn well better sit up and pay attention.

* - It's been a terrible week for...humanity, basically. The Scholarly Gamer reminds us that there's more to planet Earth than games, which is a message we all need sometimes.

* - Do you want to make the acquaintance of a badly animated Kim Kardashian? Don't know whether Kim Kardashian: Hollywood for iOS lives up to its mile-high expectations? SpielerDad is here to help you out.

* - Looking forward to upcoming video games is all well and good, but let's take a moment to appreciate upcoming soundtracks too! Oscarno's got some sweet tunes lined up which we can expect to hear in-game soon!

A - Ninjamoose took a long hard look at Roguelikes, and realized that half of what is being advertised as Roguelike these days...barely is one.

S - Tonich jumps into the Top 10 trend with his own list of awesome games. Worthy choices indeed.

A - Life isn't exactly treating Pixielated well right now. Between paper cuts and room mates who should really come with built-in straitjackets, what more could go wrong?

A - Kero Knight examines the line between indie, middle and AAA games. How indie is Mighty no. 9, honestly?





E - Are you on Dtoid,? In the Southwest? Do you have No Apparent Reason to Party? If yes, check out the upcoming NARP!

F - Xbox FNF + Scield half-nude pics.

F - PS FNF + The Defenestrator without half-nude pics.

T - You'd think that GTA + Online couldn't possibly go wrong. Well it CAN, and Perfidious Sinn explains how.

A - Reinhold Hoffmann has more Zelda art over on his site. Well worth a look; lots of talent on display!

C - TheKudo makes kind of an odd segway. "Something happened with Aliens: Isolation so let me talk about WWE for a while".




- She's no Flannery, but Platinum sure went all out with this one...



- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

FPotD
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Holme's typed himself up into a crazy Brawl hole this week and I almost wish that was actually a porno rather than an embarrassing contrarian opinion. Whether or not you believe in conspiracies that it was his honest to god opinion on loving tripping (which is crazy talk) or it was plain and simple click bait, I am of the party that appreciates Andy turning the fact that someone crazy loves something terrible so therefore, what kind of crazy things do you assholes like?



I mean, I can't wrap my head around someone liking a feature that takes control away in a competitive game. I use the term extremely loosely here because I can't stand watching competitive Melee, or at least the 90% of Fox/Falco matches I've seen. Shout outs to Axe at Melee EVO though, for his incredible next-level Pikachu play though. There's always a Fox in Melee, much like there's always a Sentinel or Magneto in Marvel 2 (or a Dr. Doom in Marvel 3) and I get fatigued on the few times I watch it but Axe's Pikachu was from another world to kick the ass of any Earth-worthy Fox he met.

Anyways, by competitive, I mean, I have a bone to pick with you my friend you took the last slice of pizza and now I will beat you up in a video game competitive. I can enjoy items just fine but every now and again, someone will say something disagreeable and the matter needs to be settled. I am challenging you to a gentlemen's duel. There's a time and a place for a pro wrestling, backstage-style, no holds barred, steel chair knockdown and drop out fight and then there's the meet in the arena with boxing gloves match. When I play my friends, the only tripping is from my zoning with Diddy Kong's banana peels. To trip just as you're about to run towards the edge to edge guard your recovering opponent is a lame feeling. Like, "Ok. Nevermind. I'll just chill here and let you get back on the stage. It's cool."


Real life example of fun

But hey, Holme's op-ed was an interesting dissemination on what makes competitive Smash competitive. Since movement option is beyond even what typical anime fighters provide, spacing becomes more important. The more movement, the more pervasive spacing becomes. Spacing is slow and meticulous the slower it is like SFIV, when spacing is determined by long reaching cr.MKs and quick dashes that cover a tiny foot of distance. Then spacing becomes fast paced and frantic in games like Persona 4 Arena, when everyone and Kanji's mother is running and air dashing like it's on sale at June's, throwing out their longest pokes while flying at each other. So naturally, in Melee, since players can run, jump, roll, dodge, and do everything short of cursing like sailors, you're going to see a ton of wave dashing, carefully decided rolls, and combining momentum with attacks to get the most bang for your buck.

Again, I don't like watching competitive Melee but I respect it. I can't say its not something deserving of your respect when you see them dashing back and forth and mind reading their opponent's tech rolls (I saw a Ganondorf player who was borderline psychic on reading tech rolls and stomping them hard with his j.down-A), just like how I watched Itabashi Zangief come out on top against Filipino Man's Rose with constant chops, green hands, and careful SPDs against his much more mobile opponent. Or Galileo's dramatic fall to Blazblue loser's bracket with Litchi only to rise against to grand finals and fight tooth and nail in a back and forth against Dogura's Azreal. Or like I said, Axe's Pikachu tail whipping Fox right into the abyss with his death defying defense, finishing up with a 4-stock shut out against someone using a character Smash players will always touch at least once because he's just always the best.



If control was taken away from these great moments, we wouldn't be shouting at the roof tops hype as shit that Axe's A tilt stopped Fox's Shadow Fox cold in its tracks, or that Justin Wong took his crown back at Marvel 3 with his Wolv/Storm/Akuma after judicious use of tatsu assist and carefully laid out pressure. Instead of reaching hype that can only be experienced like MAHVEL baby, we would instead be feeling like Brazil at the World Cups. How could this happen. Was that even real? What actually happened?

When Team Brazil's star player went to the bench, as I heard, the team simply stopped playing and Germany crushed them with a humiliating 7 points. Everyone was aghast at what happened. Imagine if Axe's Pikachu had tripped at that critical A tilt that stopped Silent Wolf's recovery cold at Fountain of Dreams. Nobody would be like, "I can't believe that happened!" It would be more like, "I can't believe that happened..."



I'm actually probably the last person to advocate competitive Smash, especially with the apprehension surrounding Smash 4 (I don't care, let me play it). I'm on the fence about drip down effect game design, making a game for pros and letting the filthy casuals enjoy it as they may. I mean, I guess that's how real fighters are designed but I'd never thought about applying it to Smash. And I don't think the sales for Smash will hurt if the competitive community ex-communicates it. Plenty of Nintendo fans will buy it before people worry about the competitive Smash fans. But I'm not about to marginalize the views of the fans as impatient control freaks.

Melee matches look like dolls flying at each other at high speed. But I understand the mechanics at work. So if Melee has impatient control freaks, Tekken has robots who have photographic memory towards relentlessly juggling their dolls. Or KOF has weirdos with OCD. Cool, let's sling names around. Pokemon is filled with joyless tier whores and CvS2 has people who are secretly dogs who love to roll on the ground.

For God's sake, you're flinging mud during EVO. Topical? Maybe? A hornet's nest? You have a stick and no thick clothing.

* - Wrenchfarm's problem extends beyond shitty F2P Mechwarrior and into real life dollar store literature

* - Solar Pony Django probably saw Morty compilation and thought, "I could do something harder." So he's doing a community top 10 set

S - Genesis games had awesome sounds and music and Gajknight is bringing in a series for Genesis. Step one: Elemental Master

A - Bozaum is versed in fantasy. Final Fantasy VIII was his gateway and I'm ok with that

A - A one month Wii U post-mortem with Psycho Punch, not Psycho Crusher

A - The big YouTube payoff scandal is fresh in Gamaniac's mind. But honestly, just subscribe to Inside Gaming and watch The Tunt Life

A - HuntWolfington talks about defeating your backlog. Well, I always play games I like to completion. I wouldn't have bought Psychonauts or Jade Empire on Steam if I wasn't going to

A - JB has OPINIONS about people sharing OPINIONS in REAL LIFE as opposed to THE INTERNET

M - I think Shenay-nay-gans' top ten has God Hand in it and how I wish it was on Steam

M - PHIL LIKES DICK

M - Fen's top 10 list has Diddy Kong Racing, which is superior kart racing due to racing in hovercraft and motherfucking planes

C - Opium has a ton of free shit so even after a day there may still be something for you. His Steam level ain't level 50 for nothing

I - Flanx's first game was Sonic Adventure and Power Stone and OH MY GOD I'M FUCKING OLD

N - Metroid HQ is having a Metroid marathon charity drive at Metroid HQ

T - Overloard Zetta actually agrees with me that Pokemon HG/SS are basically overrated. Personally, I agree with Luna Sy, that the best Pokemon game to start with is the most recent one so that you can participate in a thriving community aspect

M - PK's own little slice of Tunetoid








~ Striderhoang


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I'm sick.

I feel like five butts stapled together and I hate life and want to die.

How are things with you?



So short caps it is. I wrote a big long-winded, and only barely video game related, blog the other day about reading some MechWarrior books. Long story short, they're kind of terrible but I still sort of like them. They remind me of those off-brand cheezies we'd sneak into the movie theatre, extra greasy, covered in cheeto dust, and they'd make you sick if you had too many. Exact same mix of embarrassment and shameful cravings.

I love this month's Bloggers Wanted assignment. I'd do one myself on MechWarrior but I think everyone has heard enough about that by nowt.  My sweetheart Kass has a blog she's been meaning to do for a little bit that would be PERFECT for the topic, so lets all subtlety peer pressure her into that.



I think it is hilarious that people still get mad at Holmes. If you've followed him or Dtoid for any length of time you'll know that man has a very different, and often beautiful, way of looking at games than most people. I find the "insults" people took from his article particularly ridiculous. I can tell you as a fighting game and FPS player myself, I totally am an "impatient control freak"! Look at the genres we play! I'll read five thousand word articles about fuzzy guards and buffering sonic booms just to feel like I have more control over a match of Street Fighter. I'll pick perks and loadouts in Titanfall specifically designed to let me bring up ironsights .3 seconds faster, or shave one bullet off the time it takes to kill an enemy. I have no idea why somebody would be upset over a label they've done everything they could to earn it.

* - Personally, I don't mind buying thing digitally, but FlanxLycanth makes a good case for sticking with the good ol' hard copy.

* - Taterchimp's stat series is back! This time he dives into the world of YouTube comments to see what kind of insights he can gleam about the internet. Make sure to take a shower after that.

* - I believe it. Tomb Raider makes a lot of sense when thought of as survival horror.

* - The indoctrination theory was a fun ride while it lasted. Reminds me of other collective fan theories and such like the infamous "Paul is dead" Beatles trip.

M - Ross loves cutscenes, THAT MONSTER.

A - Heh, two blogs about physical vs digital games in one day! Another point for physical games too.

S - Nanashi takes issue with the grim-dark future of Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin.

A - Sounds like IGM could use some support. I'll definitely check it out.

A - The internet is a trash can. I wish I went to more face-to-face gaming events, nice to see the community get along instead of slinging endless shit.

T - Ninjamoose knows that real STALKERS don't need no HUD.

D - Apparently Tug is having some problems. I haven't been keeping track of the project, but if you're interested it sounds like they could use some help.

A - Brittany is too cool for school.

A - Kyle is too cool for parrot.

M - Holy shit! I didn`t know MC Chris was even making stuff anymore. Nice music video.

R - Hum, I have been craving some anime lately. Thanks for the tips Zer0T0nin!




-Wrenchfarm
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Here's your Monday CAPS on a Monday! A fine, post-Evo Monday at that. Those finals sure were something, weren't they gang? Much of the tournament was good, but it was a solid, exciting day all around on Sunday. Even Blazblue, which I was barely interested in, was crazy and kept my attention. God I love Evo.

Here's you day's worth of writing. Do enjoy! We had some great pieces from the community assignment go up today. Get on that, if you haven't started yet. Our fine community manager chose "Things you love that others hate." Shout-outs to Jonathan Holmes for loving to fall flat on his face. He's good at it.

Anyway...it feels good to be sort of 'back' after being irresponsibly absent from my internet corners. I'll try to make up for lost time with too-large images huehuehue


* - The Scholarly Gamer loves...pre-ordering. Specifically, at his local EB games. Read this blog to see the reasoning behind his Stockholm Syndrome.

M - Blitsie's lovely poem about sewer levels.

M - OpiumHerz's many loves. He loves shit, and artsy games. Coincidence?

A - Brittany Vincent with a blog that shouldn't even have to be written, in a perfect world. Reviews are simply not the most important things when deciding on games.

M - Marche100 loves...Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories. (I haven't played it, but boy do I hate the names of KH games.)

A - Xzianna's piece about fighting games and their defining double-edged sword: familiarity. It comes back around to Melee's competitive scene, and posits that they might have a point.





T - Xbit85 has a top 5 list for companion apps. I do appreciate a good one.

V - Michael Jordan counts down some of his favorite "retro" indie games.



V - CoruptAI125 went to EVO. and took a bunch of pics to show us what it was like. #Indestructable






-smurfee mcgee

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Hello everyone! I'm gonna keep this thing short this week, since today marks the two-year anniversary for Scarritt and I. I've got some nice dinner plans, and then who knows. I'm sure we'll probably end up playing games all night, like always, haha. See you all next week!





* - Occams electric toothbrush invites us into his brain world by sharing some of his favorite Youtube videos. Shelley Duvall says hello!

* - Titannel pays homage to Japan System Supply, the developer that made Chameleon Twist and little else before mysteriously disappearing!



A - twingingit wants to see more apologetic heroes, characters who strive to do good rather than kill everything in their path.

A - sonic429 discusses some more games that he'd like to see a sequel for.

P - Episode 041 of Radio Destructoid is ready to enter your listening orifices!



F - Friday Night Fights on Playstation + Dead squirrels!

F - Friday Night Fights on Xbox + Bearded monks!

F - Friday Night Fights on PC + Two forts!

F - Friday Night Fights on Nintendo + Paranoid goslings!



T - Fenriff thinks you should give Titan Souls a try, and I'm inclined to agree with him!

R - Spazzh20 reviews The World Ends With You.

$ - July 11th UK releases and bargains!



F - What, does this guy work for Rockstar or something?



- bbain

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