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7:09 PM on 12.02.2010

FFXIV: Should have been set in Ivalice

17 year old Joe Shmoe walks onto a bus and shouts at the top of his lungs "ONLINE PC GAMING!!"

In the event that this highly unlikely occasion was to randomly occur, I believe the first image or word to pop into peoples minds would be World of Warcraft. What does this mean? Well, it tells us that its a darn popular game that's what. But we here at Destructoid are gamers, of course we all know that. However, different sects of people have varying opinion regarding how WoW built its own thrown and sat on it with no one to suggest otherwise. Some say "because its teh best game on the interwebs, evar" others state "It was just luck. Came out at the right time with no other game to compete with it" The more educated fellow might say; "The lead designers of WoW, where long time players of Everquest. Its a classic case of: taking somethings formula and doing it better" In the shadow of all these opinions, I rarely hear the one that goes "Its because we became enthralled with the world that we played in Warcraft I, II and III, so its awesome to be able to traverse that world we spent all those years clicking on"

That is the core reason why I believe WoW is so popular.

Fast forward the clock to the present day, and we have Square-Enix giving us the damaged goods with FFXIV. We have all played the game and if not, then you have probably seen the reviews and know how bad it was. (Its gotten a lot better since the November update, but I still have a somewhat bitter sensation up my butt from being raped) In my butt. Speaking of butts, lets get to the bottom of things. Apart from being the master of Segues, I have a passionate opinion regarding FFXIV. I honestly feel that SE should have used the brains located somewhere inside them and set the game in Ivalice. Which, in case you are not a nerd like me, is the world that Final Fantasy Tactics, XII and Vagrant Story is set in. To branch off from what was mentioned a minute ago, there are many high points for basing a new game in a world that the players have been involved with before. Familiarity being a key aspect and viewpoint being another. The ability to explore a place that we have been in before, with a different character, in a different genre with a different feeling, is an awesome thing. For the small amount of time that I played WoW for, I loved running around as a Night Elf Hunter because it felt like I was one of those units that I had been poking on the head back in Warcraft III. It was me, who was exploring that world and living out its lore, instead of commanding a mass of guys and marching them to their imminent deaths because I was not very good at the game.



If I bake you a cake and you like it, chances are, you will love my cookies baked with similar ingredients.
This is similar to the case that SE was in. Rather than have a long hard stare at their past FF games and brainstorm which series they could play with apart from Final Fantasy VII for the 19th time, they decided to gift our blistered hands with a straight copy and paste of FFXI, with shinier graphics. Lets be real here, that's exactly what FFXIV is - Final Fantasy XI Shiny Edition. Don't call the police on me just yet. I'm not speaking on the games story or gameplay, because that is fairly different to Squares other MMO. It is only the world and races that inhabit it that I have issue with and weep tears of woe for the wasted opportunity for them to do something so much better.
With the lush land of Ivalice, we have had 3 different games to explore them in. The relationship between the player and the world is there. Even if that player hated all those games. The fact remains they had encountered it. That could of been enough. Lets not even look at the flexibility they could of had with the story of the game, but by just evaluating the races, you will see the magic. I understand that art is very much opinion based and subjective but this will not stop me from defending and taking this statement to the grave with me: The designs of XI & XIV are horse shit. Straight up. Have a look below.



We have the generic elf, the cute lil' munchkin that we have never seen before. Humans also here, but this ones called a Hume. The big strong one who probably has the highest vitality stat and the cat humanoid who is very dexterous because, duuuuhh..cats land on their feet.
For me, I only think the design of the Mithras (cat people race) is decent, but that could be slightly biased because I played as one in FFXI. Apart from that, My artistic eye tells me to go look at another persons poo and have a good ol' time instead of looking at these sorry races. I am a huge fan of FFXII and the Tactics games, but I really am looking at this with a clean slate. Even if I could give 2 shits about MMO's, I reckon I would much rather play in the world with lizard men, bunny rabbit women and fluff balls called Moogles. Although I think the Gria (Winged things) aren't all that great looking, SE wouldn't of necessarily needed to put them in the game at the get go, or even put them in at all. Plenty of MMO's have introduced races later on in the games lifespan, or have a race that exists in the world but is not playable by us. Some may say that they are wacky, look silly or simply "who wants to play as a hunch backed dog that casts magic?"
Well, who wants to play a game where damn near all the characters look extremely human? Isn't one of the many reasons we play games to get away from reality? We throw red and white balls at electric rats and respawn when we are shot in the face, so where is the harm in playing as a Pig that's dressed like a pirate?



If the idea of Eorzea was tossed out the window and we had Rabanastre as one of the starting nations that players could choose - that ALONE gives room for so many plot devices that could of been pulled from FFXII. Maybe if Ivalice was on their minds, It might of been an easier game to develop? I mean, to have 3 games (with 1 of them its own mini series) and use them as source material for a new game, the only way that game would take extra long to make is if the developers are "monkeys flicking peanuts on a wall and trying to catch it" - Jim Sterling.
Ironically, maybe if they went down this road we, they wouldn't of released an unfinished game in October to get the jump on WoW: Cataclysm. (Yes SE, I see through your guise!) I understand their motive for releasing a game very similar to the one that their fans have been playing for over 7 years already, but they also clearly want people to still play FFXI, so why make a shiny clone of it? They may aswell have taken that risk and made something either completely new or played out the actions that this article is asking. Either way, the XI players would have gone back to that game if they didn't like XIV so it could of been a win/win scenario.

Leave your thoughts, tell me what you think. How do you feel FFXIV would of worked if it was set in Ivalice?

If anyone is in the process of building a time machine, please get in touch with me so I can go back about 3000 hours and show SE this post. My heart still wants to go to character creation, make a sexy Viera, slice Vaan in half with a hammer and accept quests from Balthier.   read


1:12 PM on 10.04.2010

Most Recent PSN Purchase



!!!!! :D


Haven't played this game in a looong time! (not counting the pc version that i came across in HMV one fateful day)

Many feel it was the megadrive games but i strongly feel that SA1 was the last good sonic game to reach our homes. I did like SA2, but the first game has a special place within the walls that my heart resides in.

Ironically, people didn't like this game because of the emphasis on story, but if you look closer, you would see that the team developing this game have always wanted to tell a grand tale. Sonic & Knuckles contained a plot. Even though nobody spoke, it still contained lots of crumbs of a wannabe story driven game, such as Knuckles' relationship with sonic. The emphasis on the Chaos emeralds, angel island, etc.

Sonic was never just about speed. As im sure we have all heard Jim Sterling mention at some point. Only the first level blessed the players with freedom in a green plaza of some sort, allowing the players to run really fast and bump into a badnik with little care because the level was so easy. Every stage after the first became less and less about speed and more about slower paced sections involving jumping on a switch, pushing a brick and running up a corkscrew.

Somehow the 'fans' told SEGA that Sonic is all about speed and that's all he needs to be successful.
Like some kind of school playground peer pressure, Sonic Team became confused and was unsure of what to do with sonic, giving him a sword in one game and were-hogging him in another.

If you ask me, they should just do what they have always seemed to want to do, which is tell a decent story with some awesome levels, amazing dreamcasty music and a bit of cheesy dialogue. Everything that Sonic Adventure did good should just be done again. Adventure fields and all. Next gen, Uncharted Typed seamless cinematic's into gameplay and you'll have an awesome Sonic game on your hands.

That's my recipe for destruction SEGA.

And another thing that... Oh.. the downloads finished.

YAY!   read


6:36 AM on 09.25.2010

Deleted!

  read


9:24 PM on 09.21.2010

Breaking Up With An Emo

True Story... Sort of...









  read


3:00 PM on 06.23.2010

The Great Escape: The joy Of observation

<p><sub>[<i>For his Monthly Musing, CharlieKun shares how games helped him after his older brother moved away. Want to post your own article on <a style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.destructoid.com/monthly-musing-the-great-escape-175009.phtml">this month's topic</a>? Publish it now on our <a style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.destructoid.com/elephant/my_post_new.phtml">community blogs</a>. - JRo</i>]</sub></p>
<p>When it comes to bragging about things that I have, I never really had anything to mention. My family wasn't sorted in the cash money department due to the many negatives of having a single mother. At school, I was unable to say how fun it was at the park because most of the time I wasn't allowed out. Girls didn’t dig my nerdyness and willingness to always talk about games or anime, so you can be sure I couldn’t brag about dating the hottest girl in school. <br /> <br />What I could brag about though, was the fact I had an army of older brothers. 6 of them, to be more precise. My mum was pumping out babies like a plumber! I love my brothers to bits. I see them as the people who raised me and was like having 6 best friends who taught me everything I know. <br /> <br />Among these awesome guys, I had a favorite. I won’t say his name since its irrelevant, so let’s refer to him as 'DeepThroat'...</p>
<p>Hit the jump to read more.</p>   read


1:13 PM on 06.21.2010

CHESTO!! : Why I (We) Play Makoto in SSFIV

Being attached to someone can give birth to quite a few problems. A best friend can be a dick in the eyes of other people, but to you, heís a saint and his dick moments are easily forgiven... Sometimes. But for those few times you do detect his doucheness and have a fall out or argument, its only a matter of time before youre boys again.

Just as you all predicted, this relationship can be related to fighting game characters. Ever since super street fighter 2, i have always been a Ryu player. I had this thing for basic plain all rounded characters. Ryu always felt solid. He didnít need fiery fisted shoryukens like Ken had and he didnít have lightning lit legs as Akuma did in MvC2. At times I didn't like his lack of combos (At the time I thought he didn't have a lot) and got plain bored of him now and again, but I always came back to him. Ryu was just raw barefooted white gi'd bad assery.

After a few birthdays, christmases and new years, we came across Street Fighter 3: 3rd strike. This is where me and Ryu demolished our vows and said our goodbyes. He was a good character in the game and after seeing high level players use him well I retained lots of respect for him as a character but after playing my friends Ken in over 100 three round matches and losing about 70 of them, i felt it was time to jump ship.



I donít clearly remember why I became so interested in Makoto. I donít remember the fateful day on the character select screen where I chose her and stayed with her. All I know is that everything I loved about Ryu, was within her. She was even more raw and basic. From her karate styled walking animation to the fact she had no projectiles. Pure goodness. But what really had me going was the way she screamed CHESTO! Every time she did a hayate. Chesto... What does that even mean? Is the move is so raw that she has to mention a part of her body that has nothing to do with the attack itself? Or maybe sheís referring to the inner strength in her chest that is required to move at that speed? Either way, it was just awesome. And that grab! The karakusa... If you get chocked your getting a chesto afterwards, without fail!

There were so many cool things about Makoto. I think the way she is so over the top about all her moves, has such a basic design, is slow but quick at the same time and was so underrated at a point in time, is a few reasons why I stuck to her.
But now we come to a new era in ssf4.

After getting over the changes that im sure every 3rd strike Makoto player had to adjust to, i became very upset. For me, one of Makotoís strengths was her spike damage and how you could punish opponents with it. One parry and one karakusa was all it took for a hard punch into an off the wall kick juggle into an axe kick and a raging chesto! Bam! 50% health in the gutter trash. However, due to the absence of parrying in sf4 in place of its cousin; the focus attack, the chances for makoto to punish after anticipation or making openings, was cut in half.
Certain cancelable variants where done away with and her walk speed is now the slowest in the game.
Still I played her online, and for the most part, got my ass spanked with bamboo.

Discouraged i did not become. Thanks to regular reads on Eventhubs and Shoryuken.com forums and watching videos along with hitting the training mode, ive now become a decent C+ makoto.
Being skeptical on the changes that Capcom made to her at 1st Iím now fully embracing the fact that as makoto players, we have to work slightly harder. (against most opponents anyway) Many times have i won a match against a hard match up and received a message saying 'good makoto' or 'nice to see a makoto player'. Iím very sure thatís something a lot of us see.



I still lose quite a bit though. The gift (and curse) of makoto is the constant need to be mixing up your game. Sometimes it comes down to a smart guess or a full on random gamble to win a match. And if you guess wrong or they guess right, your eating a whiff sandwich with some fries. Recently my PP dropped from 1200 to about 400. Just from losing to the most cheesiest tactics or my mind not being sharp enough, etc. In the end, my resolve for playing her has and will never change. I used to play a bit of Ibuki back in 3rd strike and was going to try and main both her and makoto, but after playing makoto for sooo long and simply walking forward with Ibuki, it felt so weird. I was like 'why am I moving so fast?! That cant be allowed right!'

Its going to be a while before I fully decide to pick up someone else. Iím way too attached and love the way she plays. Why do you use Makoto? Is there something special about her to you personally that hasnít been mentioned here? Iíd love to know how Makoto players feel, or even those who have tried picking her up and didnít really like her much or gave up after losing quite a bit.

Right now, using the character i use feels like playing a game called 'Makoto' in a game called Super Street Fighter 4. She is that fun in my eyes.

CHESTO!!!   read


6:31 AM on 04.15.2010

More Respect It Deserves - Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm

Sometime Last week, I found a small crack in the center of my Final Fantasy XIII disc. With no evidence at all that he was responsible, I RAGED at my 11 year old younger brother, assuming that he was the one who did it since the guy doesn't know how to handle my games properly! Following this incident, I forbade him from playing the PS3 for about a week. Not to teach him a lesson but just because I was angry and didn't know what else to do or say. So today, he asks me in the most puppy dog voiced tone, if he can play Naruto. I wasn't angry anymore and my copy of FFXIII miraculously still works, so I let him play while I douched around on Destructoid, refreshing the podcast page every 20 minutes, hoping for the new Podtoid to be released. (Where is it guys!?)

Anyway, Im watching my bro play Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, and I just looked at it thinking, "This game is actually very damn darn beautiful!" I was unsure whether it was because I'm studying animation at university that made me respect the game in a new light, or because my eyes was a mere 40 centimeters away from the screen allowing me to see the small details. Possibly a portmanteau of both. I would go as far as to say that the game is one of the best looking games in this gen. Sound the horns if you must, but its definatley up there with GOW3, UC2 and the other graphical behemoths being released today, which is a good time to say that Ninja Storm was released in 2008.



What gives me reason to rank it so high, is not so much the visuals themselves, (which are amazing by their own merit) but the animations. My keen untrained eye was trying to figure out the frame rate of the game. I might sound like a complete dumbass here so Im hoping someone can comment and educate me if im wrong as I couldnt google the correct answer, but it seems to play out at 24 frames per second? I say this because the combat animations strikingly resemble the fights in the anime series, which are (for more detailed fights like naruto vs sasuke at the end of the chase sasuke arc) also at 24 FPS? I also remember hearing somewhere that most games now run at 30 FPS or 60 FPS for some scenes that ask for more detail, so maybe the game runs at 30? Im not sure which it is, or whether its some kind of special jutsu the developers used, but seriously, It looks amazing. Even small details, like the way Narutos clothes russle about when he runs or when your rushing someone with the shallow mashing of circle, circle, circle x10, everything is spot on with how the characters actually fight in the series and its just stunning. It's not even the fact that I do like reading and watching Naruto. Shippuuden is definatley not as good as the old Naruto in my eyes, but the pre-time skip stuff was awesome, from episode 1-135, it was all great and im ready to say that it was one of the better on-going shonen mangas out there. But that is besides the point, in the words of HipHopGamer, the game is fire, if you dont got it, imma slap you five times.

This game actually closes the line between pixel and pencil.

The experience made me remember and feel sad about the way that photorealism is what is taking over the industry. Veins, chin hairs and face muscle twitches is the way to go it seems. Mad respect to all the devs out there, doing there work to keep 2D or celshaded graphics alive. I want there to still be a place for it by the time I'm ready to start applying for jobs!   read


6:28 PM on 03.22.2010

Final Fantasy XIII - My Stylistic Analysis

The latest game in Square-Enix's role playing megaton franchise, has left many with mixed feelings. From our good sir Jim Sterlings' 4/10 review score to the A- from Jeremy Parish of 1up.com.
I am just a small bud in the forest of Final Fantasy fans out there, many of which are not very good at articulating why a Final Fantasy game is good or not. Yes, FFVII did have Sephiroth, but why does that make it the best game in the series? Maybe you are confusing your love for the actual game itself, with the way it effected you as a 10 year old kid? Yes, FFXII didn't have the best character development, but why does that make it the worst game in the series? Maybe the delivery intent was more about the clashing empires, not the characters themselves? These are a few things I have asked myself and asked other people. It's always an interesting topic.



I have a theory. Each Final Fantasy game is not only in each owns universe, but is also supposed to have a different motive. By motive, I mean something that you get out of the story, or something that the game is trying to deliver to you. Some may say, 'CharlieKun your going a bit too deep aren't you?' - which would be awesome if I really am just reading too much into it. Imagine the developers reading this, drinking sake in their offices, cackling at my use of free time. Well, they might want to spend less time doing that and more time developing their next game, as I am not prepared to wait another 5 years for a game that isn't mind blowing.

Slight Spoilers So Please Tread Lightly

Music

I'll start with the good things first. Don't worry though, there isn't an ocean of bad things about the game in my opinion. Just a few hard hitting ones. I'll say here and now, im not analysing this as just a stand alone RPG game, im reviewing it to how it holds up with the rest of the series. Just for a more interesting look at it. Where Final Fantasy XIII excels the most is in the music and the characters. I agree with alot of the things Jim said in his review. One of the things mentioned was that the game has good music, but none of it is memorable. Which I agree with. I love the epic boss battle theme in XIII, but I had trouble remembering the 1st few notes and how it builds up to the bit that I like the most. Still, the music is really fresh. I loved the chocobo theme park song, the standard battle theme, chocobo riding, various tracks through out gran pulse, etc. Music is important as we all know, in any FF game. generally RPG's are a very laid back genre of games. They rarely require us to be on the edge of our seats when in a battle (once the system is mastered) so good music should be there to feed our ears with sweet candy and carry us through times of grinding and running around.



Characters

Saying the characters in XIII are some of the best in the series is saying alot. Especially when thinking about the super cool cast from FFX, FFVII and FFVI. (oh FFVI, such a good game you are) I found the characters quite likeable. All except Vanille, mainly just because of her annoying voice. I more like the way the characters develop as individuals as the story progresses rather than the characters themselves. When lightning starts to open up a bit more, it is very much felt and appreciated. Likewise, when Sazh starts to be less negative and more positive and when Hope grows himself some man-balls. Snow just realised how to be more of a grinning anime man without feeling terrible inside, so his growth was more internal then the rest of the cast. Fang I felt was a bit out of place. She wasn't there for long enough to get a good grasp of what her original problem was. It was kind of funny when Bahamut emerged actually. I remember imagining a movie set where the characters walk in and the director says "Okay Fang, we need to put your Eidolon in this scene because the script writer forgot to flesh out your character. So when you walk in, just get angry for no good reason and we'll go from there!" Try watch that scene again after reading that. Its so bad its awesome! Vanille and somewhat Fang aside, the rest of the cast is strong enough to be on par with the rest of the series.

Now we proceed to the negatives. Hope your all following?

Story

The story is very simple. Okay fine. But, its a problem when a simple story is made hard to understand. Plenty of movies start off with the characters knowing whats cracking but the audience has to listen, watch and catch on. But XIII did a really bad job at that. Half way through the game, I shouldnt need to open the datalog, just to find out properly whats going on. The flashbacks where slightly weirdly placed and Vanilles narration came out of nowhere. Did they want the story to be told through Vanille, by flashbacks or by the characters themselves? I dont know. A story is only measured by how well it is told and in that regard, it loses lots of points. I did however, like the way the cast was split up throughout the whole game until gran pulse. Getting to know the story and characters in twos, bit by bit, was nice. Kind of like an episode of Lost, flashing back and forward to various characters in different parts of the island.
Where the story dies its most, is after gran pulse. I dont know if it was just me, but i was so happy to be in the open fields of pulse, that I just had to explore and do about 25 missions before continuing the story. Well, that, and because you can tell your approaching end game and your gonna need to level up in order to take what your going to face later on. When the time came to finally follow that orange plot marker on the map, I just didn't care anymore. I didn't really care much about that twat Barthandelus or about Ragnarok or the fate of Cocoon. And even then everything became very "heroes go storm the castle and beat the evil king darky dark dark and save the world" To me, it seemed like everything prior to Gran Pulse, was the writers trying their best to dish out a good story, and then after Gran Pulse, they got fired and the cavalry rolled in with the classic king and castle plot line. Definitely a weak story by FF standards. It could have been good, provided I was in the know.



Gameplay

I will address this aspect of the game like this. So I was grinding for CP. Think I was fighting those flying wyverns, with about four leeches pathetically wacking at my party. I remember im still wearing my jeans from going down the road to buy some squash so, during the battle, I hop up and look for some jogging bottoms to put on. took me about 2-3 minutes to find something to wear, and the whole time I had the joypad in my hand, pressing the X button. Yes, the enemies were dead by the time I finished changing and I hadnt looked at the screen the whole time. I really like the battle system. Epic battles that require lots of strategy and quick thinking are extremely satisfying, but I cant accept a battle system where I can mash X without looking and win 40% of the time. Its a real bad look smell to have when its a game thats been in development for very long. I almost feel bad that a team of people have worked hard to make a system where I can finish battles and grind for CP, while browsing Destructoid. That should not be happening. I still really like it, but come on? Thats real bad. I should not be potentially able to kill shit while making a cup of tea in my kitchen.

The skill development in the game is also very patronising. Similar to the Sphere Grid from FFX, which allowed you a great degree of personal customisation. The Crystarium System however is like a bully taking your cupcake away and waving it in your face, teasing that you cant have it back. Promising at first, since I thought, okay its very linear and I cant develop them how I want, but maybe when the rest of the roles open up, it'll get more fun. Which I was right about. The game itself even encourages you to customise your team how you see fit once you unlock all the roles, but whats the point when learning skills outside of the characters original roles, costs a stupid amount of crystals and gives you 3-15 point stat boosts? Now not only has the bully taken your cupcake, but hes just taken a big bite out of it and left you with a fingernail sized piece for yourself. Whats the point? You said I can do all this fancy stuff with all these roles, buts its not worth the trouble if thats all im going to get.

Graphics
This is a no-brainer, the graphics are dope and im not a graphics whore so, whatever.

My main beefs with FFXIII in a nutshell is, the story in its raw form and the battle system. We all knew the game would be more linear, and for those who didnt should swiftly remember how linear Final Fantasy X was until you got your airship, so linearity shouldnt be a complaint as if it's the first time its been in the series. That being said, I believe that certain things that are a Final Fantasy standard are absent from XIII, and thats not good. Towns/places you can go talk to people, are completely gone. While I was cool with this, its a bit weird. There is a flash back scene with Snow where your on the beach looking for Serah. This scene is about, what, 6 hours into the game, and its only here, the X button pops up for you to actually talk to people. Its very too little to late by then. I clearly wont get anything out of pressing X on people if its only introduced in the game now. I know square has said they took things out to address game balance and size but you cant take out something that is a series standard. It would be like taking out chocobos and summons. Im all for embracing a new world and a change that comes with it, but clearly, scenes like Snow on the beach is like squares way of crying to the players, showing us how much they may of wanted to put more areas to exlpore and talk to people, but it just didnt happen. Because of this slip up, I couldnt bring myself to care about Cocoon. If I cant travel around and converse with the inhabitants of a world Im trying to save, why should I be obliged to care? I cared alot about Midgard and the universe of FFVII. I cared a lot about Spira and that was still a linear game even, so what happened?



I hope my analysis is clear and easy to understand, and I want all the fans of XIII to know that I would love to say more lovely things about a game we had waited ages for. But to those that are harsh on the game while forgetting what the concept of Final Fantasy is, your bunch would do well to remember it.
After beating the game, I feel maybe this experience was telling me that you can change your destiny if you choose to. You just have to make that choice when the cross road is in front of you. If thats the message the game is trying to deliver, then it has to be done in a certain way. Sure it could have been done better, but the route they took was a good enough formula for me to extract that conclusion.
Final Fantasy XII's main character Vaan. Yeah he's not a very likeable character. Neither is his wannabe girlfriend Penelo. But if you stop and think that Vaan and Penelo are basically two kids caught up in the affairs of wars, kingdoms and sky pirates, you'll realise the scope isnt about Vaan getting the girl in the end, its about the world in which they live and the situation it was in. I mean, you start off the game killing rats and you end up on some epic grand scale journey where every other character is a big shot except for you. Your just from Rabanastre and your brother died in a war so you think your all bad and deserving to be a part of all the action. As you can tell, FFXII is a favourite of mine.

I wish more people would realise, Final Fantasy is one of the only franchises that can completely change with each iteration and still be enjoyed by the fans. How many other great franchises can you say the same for? Halo? Metal Gear? Street Fighter? Im sure you cant. If that lamp out of Aladdin could give me a wish, it would be so fans of Final Fantasy learn to be more critical and embracing for each game that comes out rather than sending Square fan letters containing bad Cloud cosplay and a request for them to remake FFVII.   read


10:50 AM on 02.27.2010

How To Use Games To Land Some PoonTang!

This is ONLY for the manly. Those of a more feminine heritage are free to read this guide, but you are encouraged not to spread the secrets contained here to the rest of the population.

Has this conversation or something along these lines ever happened to you?

You: "So.. what you doing today?"
She: "Not much ya'know, I usually do stuff on Saturdays but today theres nothing going on"
SHE: "...How about you?"
You: "For real.. same here. Right now im just playing some games"

Now, 1 of 2 events will happen next:

She: "haha you and your stupid games, their such a waste of time.. why dont you go look for a job!?"
OR
She: "Oh cool, i like games. what game you playing?"

Now in most situations, the girl you are speaking to will be the kind that doesnt play games. If not, then you are a lucky man and should not be reading if only for laughs or out of curiosity. For everyone else dealing with the more common case, here are a few things you should do.

First off, you gotta make the girl feel like shes a boring person for thinking games are for fat people that piss in bottles and poo in socks all day while killing dragons at the computer. You have to make her feel extremely terrible. Make her feel worse than Kanye West. "Your just boring" ,"I supposed painting your nails is more fun?", "Get a life", are just a few things you could say to your breasted opponent. The technique here is called, 'Hit Confirming'. Those into the beat'em up scene will know what this means.
You are basically doing a crouching medium kick and cancelling into a special. Applied to this situation, you are softening her up and leading the way into the unavoidable follow up tactic.

After you have made her feel abismal, she will say things to try and make whatever you said irrelevant. "Your just boring yourself" or "your just gay", something like that. This is a sign that she doesnt know what to do. She is pretty much just throwing water around the room like my mum does when she is praying for the house. She is weak and all you need to do is invite her over in whatever fashion works best for you.



Now, as you wait for your companion to arrive, you need to review your games. Are they female friendly to the typical girl? Will she enjoy it? Will she want to get good at it? Interestingly enough depending on what console you have, influences the outcome of this episode. If you have a wii, you have already won, simply because waving around the wii-mote and nunchuk is more or less giving her practice for when
she is handling your manhood. All you have to do is put in a game with the word 'Mario' in the machine and you're sorted. If you are like me however and have either a ps3 or 360, the game choice is much more delicate. Looking at my ps3 games right now I can see I can't use more than half of them.
Dragon Age? Too long to get into if we estimate you only have about 30 minutes to get her interested in playing something. Demons Souls? Hell no. Batman Arkham Asylum? Not worth the risk. After seeing my games from a different perspective, I realise alot of them are single player, so If your the same as me
then when she arrives, do all the formalities and what not. Off the lights. Close curtains. Sit on the bed and put in Uncharted 2. Press start, new game, easy mode (but dont let her see you chose easy) and then give her the pad. Trust me, that can work. Mainly because its cinematic traits might fair well with your she friend.

While she plays, make sure your close enough to her to help her a bit if shes stuck and so you can slowly build the physical mood between you two. Banter is important. Throw the old joke here and there. "Where are you shooting!?", "Thats a grenade, not an item!" and when shes due a compliment -
"Nice Shot!", "Your quite good at this" etc. You'd be suprised how big of a smile that will get you. No matter what game you are playing, make sure you follow those guidelines. Help, banter and compliment. All girls are different. I recently tried the Uncharted 2 route with someone and it failed horribly. She didnt even want to play the game, but thats only because she sucks. (no pun intended)

Fighting games will forever be a good alternative and probably the best type of game to put in when seeking poontang. Ive found that street fighter doesnt work as well as a 3D fighter such as tekken. Altought im not a big tekken fan. it must be something about the cool realistic looking characters tekken has. The girl will either choose a sexy looking female character to play as. Or, weirdly choose a scary looking character like feng, or king. Either way, competitive games gives room for lots of banter and fun. DO NOT (if you are a high level player) go hard and bang out infinite juggles and play like its the final at EVO or something. Be sure to reduce your play level, for the sake of fun, but try to beat her in a way that will make her get a bit physical with you. :) e.g, killing her with a taunt or in an embarrasing way, might cause her to punch you in your arm while shouting "your mean!" This is all just a build up. If she punches you, or slaps you, etc. This means you are closer to succeeding.



Another good trick is if playing a fighting game. During the 4th, 5th match (considering you have kept her interested for this long) pause the game mid fight and pretend to go to the toilet or go to the kitchen to get a drink. Chances are, she would have unpaused it, took away 40% of your life, and paused it again, hoping you wouldnt notice. This is good, because when you come back, it gives room for you to not only be like "LOL you cheater!" but you can then buss out your high level skills and snatch victory
from the jaws of defeat. She will probably, by this point, think that your too good and give up playing, but there would of been so much fun had in the last 30 minutes, that she'll be in a very good mood. did you know, girls in a good mood is a very good thing? You can now proceed into whatever tactics you like, to achieve some bedroom action. This is a guide in helping you select what type of games to use on a girl and how you should structure your playtime.

Everything that follows will be between you and her. And there wont be alot inbetween you, hopefully. :)   read


9:49 AM on 09.23.2009

Game Endings That Made Me Cry Inside :(

Man... I was just on my way home on the bus, listening to my iPod, when the track went from Jay-Z to the song for the end credits in Crisis Core. For those that have played & completed that game, know that the ending is an emotional headspin! Well, it was for me at least. So much so that it kick started a mental brainstorm of all the games that oozed a similar fragrance into my spongy heart. Yes, I'm feeling rather poetic today. I recalled on all the games that have made me feel like crap after beating it. Interestingly, it turns out all the games that cast the spell on me, have something in common. "What is it?", you ask?

Keep reading and you will see. Oh, and if you see a game that you haven't completed yet in the list, take care when reading because they may contain slight spoilers. So get your hand ready to cover your monitor if need be! This list is in no particular order.

Sonic Adventure: E-102's Ending

Yeah, this one really got to me. I developed a soft spot for the metal machine. He had emotions, just like you and I have. A robot with a cute blue birdy as it's core, has to have feelings! Anyway, I remember vaguely that the last boss in his storyline was his brother E-105? (Im trying to remember without checking wikipedia or scribblenauts...) Upon defeating him, he gets in the cheapest among cheapshots on E-102! The nerve! Our friendly robo, slowly walks away from his exploding brother and I cant remember to clearly but all I know is his theme song starts to fade in, as he 'dies'. Even though he still lives on as the bird that follows Amy during the super sonic campaign, it was still pretty emotional. I sobbed.



Final Fantasy X

I had to Youtube this one to remind myself of the gory details. Good thing i did, because this ending was a kick in the nuts. Even watching Yuna having to send the Aeons to the farplane, got to me. Shaking her head like a child in disbelief as Tidus says he has to go. Khimari calling her name as she runs to try and stop Tidus from leaving, only to fade through his body and hug the hard floor. The remix of the FFX theme song was not making it any easier for me. Must I say anymore? I whimpered.



Kingdom Hearts

I took weeks to get over this one. No joke. It's not so much that the ending is sad, its more of the fact that I loved this game so much, that I completed it in about 2 weeks. All side quests done, Sephiroth defeated & everything else. Then when it came to an end, I felt so empty. Spending 2 weeks in the world of Kingdom Hearts and loving every second of it, then seeing it come to an end was really hard for me to get over. All I remember is Sora on one side, Kairi on the other. Their trying to reach for each other, hands stretched out like Dhalsim. At the peak of the suspense, Sora says; "I'll come back for you!" Kairi screams back; "I know you will!" Then their hands let go of each other and Utada Hikaru comes right on cue with the vocals! That darn theme song! Even the lyrics matched what was going on in the scene. For months and months I would hear that song and be reduced to a pile of pink jelly. If anyone wanted to beat me up, all you would have to do is play that song and your sorted! Kingdom Hearts... I bawled.



Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The ending for this didnt make me want to cry inside. Segments of it did, like when you pull the trigger when finishing off the boss. However, this games ending made me angry, like, i felt it for Snake. (or Big Boss) They put him through hell! All the things he went through in that game, only for him to find out it was all a set up for America to get him to kill The Boss? (I think thats what happened!) And then to top it all off, the president tried to shake Snakes hand!? I remember looking at the look at Snakes face while saluting and I thought "Dont shake his hand, dont shake his hand." Can't remember if he did or not, but that ending fulfilled its intention. I clenched my fist.



Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

No need to go into full detail for this one. As a game, I didnt even like it much. The gameplay really didnt do it for me, and the sidequests were the definition of rinse & repeat. But the ending!? All I can say is, Zack is the Man! Cloud is a whimp and Shinra cock blocked Aerith, big time! The song still makes my heart sink. As it plays, I remember all the events clearly in my mind.
I wonder if you can see the pattern forming? What these games have in common? Yes or no, in the end, I grieved.



There you have it. My short but sweet list of games that made me enter an internal recession. Im sure there is alot more I am forgetting, but, 5 is a good number to end with.
As you may have realised, the theme all these games have in common, is that they all used music to deliver the coup'de grace. Sure every game has a track playing during the ending, but the songs played here were really heart wrenching. The timing they came in and what was happening on screen during its track length, all got to me. I guess this further solidifies the fact that music is indeed a powerful tool. If these endings had nothing but dialogue, they would not hold the same effect at all.

I would like to know, if any, what games made you guys cry inside, or cry out loud even. It's okay to admit it. Heck, if i was anymore emotional than I am now, I would of cried at all of these games and probably would of went out to go and beat up a member of the government due to MGS3!   read


8:22 AM on 09.22.2009

"FINISH HIM!" Sega's Chance To Rise Yet Again!

JS\DKCJSDLOCSJDVKFNKV... Sorry, I just had to wipe my keyboard with a cloth because of the drool that I dripped all over it after reading the leaked Sega document. I must say, if this is true, which i think it is, then this is Sega's big chance! Their Excalibur, or maybe, their Soul Calibur!? :O
I myself was raised a Sega kid. My older brother bought Sega's line of consoles as we were growing up. Megadrive, Saturn & Dreamcast were all in my household on each owns day of release. So you could imagine I contemplated doing a backflip off my balcony when we heard Sega was to stop all hardware development. However, I soon came to accepting their logical decision.

Now we stand at this next turning point, with Sega about to sink their blue teeth into the PS3 with the possibility of Dreamcast games being released on the beast. Does this mean they can do what they see fit with the whole Dreamcast library? Or only the games they developed? I is not sure. What I do believe however, is that this is a chance for them to really blow the dolphins out of the sea. A thought crossed my mind: If they was to bundle Shenmue 1 & 2, onto one BlueRay Disc, (it wouldnt even need to be double layered) and released it for the ps3? Oh but wait, i just remembered it's going to be digital Dreamcast titles, so that means they will be releasing them via PSN? Still possible. BAM! Shenmue 1 on PSN, a month or two later, BAM! Shenmue 2 on PSN. Then, people who missed the legend of a game that is Shenmue, will be able to play and enjoy it. Can anyone guess the next step?



Yes-sir-ree , I reckon they could then start developing on a Shenmue 3, since one of their main reasons for not making a 3rd installment, was because not enough people played it and they would basically not profit financially from a 3rd game. However, I know this is still hoping high for this to happen. Realistically, Yakuza in my eyes is the spiritual successor to Shenmue, and thats already up to its 4th game coming soon. It sucks, but it always feels that the chance of a Shenmue 3 is just not going to occur. With this leaked press release though, those dreams of mine were stirred once more.
Well if we dont get to see Ryo Hazuki, ask around if anyone has seen a black car, then at least we'll get to play some of our old favourites again, possibly even in high definition.

aodcndjsdflmf;dsx... sorry, I drooled again when the thought of playing Tech Romancer crossed my mind. Playing that game over PSN at full volume, with the anime like soundtrack pulsing out of my speakers would be all i need for my University work to remain incomplete!

  read


1:05 PM on 09.20.2009

How to embrace Imbalanced Character Design In Fighters

The word "Fair", is a common one, used in a variety of sentences. "My my, what a fair day it is today". "Daddy, can we go to the funfair!?". "I'm sorry sir, you don't have a valid ticket. Now you must pay the... fare...".. Okay, maybe "Fair" Isn't used in that many sentences. I bet the one line we have all heard in all places in all the years of our lives however, is:

"That's Not Fair!" ><"

Many times have we softly muttered this under our breath, or horribly screamed it to the top of our neck whilst throwing the pad at the wall nearest to the television. A friend of mine has burned through 9 PlayStation 2 pads just from throwing them in pure anger. Lets hope for the sake of him and his family, that joy-pads are never crafted out of sharp metal. It is no secret that games love to TEEF us sometimes (Teef being British/Jamaican slang for stealing) most of the time, it is the computer AI, or the single player mode, the last boss, the first boss, heck, even the games environment can Teef us when it wants to. Can anyone spell, lack of collision detection in the wall in an FPS? However, in light of all of these subjects, the most that me and "That's not Fair" has had a rendezvous, is with Fighting Games.



I always say to people, "no use complaining if you aint out to make the change." or "Just jump over the damn fireball if it's annoying?" Here I will try and teach fellow fighters how to embrace these "faults" since we are not the developers. It's either complain and waste oxygen, or play the game. Which ever camp you stand in, you are welcome to read on!

First of all, it would be good to head over to this post over on http://shoryuken.com/?p=1145 about the word - Fair. It's pretty cool and interesting how many different opinions there are about a balanced game. My posts are under the name 'Grimtail' (My FFXI character name :D) Lets pick a game. Eenie, meenie, miny, mo - Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. For those who follow tiers, we know that Chun-Li and Yun are basically the most perfect characters in the game. No, this doesn't mean they were born from a virgin mother like Jesus was, this just means they have the most advantages when compared to the rest of the supporting cast. It doesn't mean they are unbeatable. The way I like to describe tiers is to imagine that if fighting games were played by the Borg, then Chun-Li vs Sean would end in our favorite Chinese beauty as the winner. Robots run on a program. There is no stopping it unless you unplug it or tell it to find a key-gen from yahoo during the match. The Borg player would utilize all of Chun-Li's strengths and the other would utilize all of Seans, boiling down to a simple equation: Chun-Li > Sean. We as humans however, have many other factors that take effect during our gameplay. We make mistakes, we panic, we sweat (well i do) we sometimes try to show off, we press the wrong button, do the wrong move, choose the wrong super, and many other inconsistencies. So, a human could very easily change that equation to: Sean > Chun-Li. It just depends how much of a beast you are.



I love fighters. One of the things I adore about them the most is how, you can look at two good players go head to head, and if you know your stuff, to you, the match is so amazing because of how technical it is, but to any old bypasser, its just any old game. To become the dogs bullocks at anything, you gotta put in practice. Hours and days and weeks and months and yes, YEARS, of practice. So you want to walk into Evo or any local tournament and win the tourney with Dan? My advice to you, young Skywalker, is to learn him inside out and back in again. Even go on the internet and research his back-story! Find out his favorite color, what his hobbies are. Maybe he's single? Any rivalries? Any children? You need to know everything! Next, you must know thy enemy. This step takes very long, especially if your playing a game like Marvel vs Capcom 2, one of the most broken (but oh so fun!) fighting games Ive ever played. But, believe it or not, there are people out there who religiously play as the Ryu, Ken, Akuma trio or the Servebot, Megaman & Roll tag team, even though the top dogs of that game are basically the Marvel/Disney characters.... *cries*... They do it, to see how far they can go and also because it makes it even more fun. My brother once told me that games are supposed to be fun, did you know that? You as a little Zergling, must go up against the whole roster, taking notes to remember certain details. Maybe watch a few youtube videos. Get stuck into some forums, but equip your forum umbrella because alot of people talk alot of s*** on those things, so take care!

Whenever you feel comfortable with your character, test him/her/it out with some friends. Don't be a data-player or better yet, don't try to pretend you are a Borg. You need to have the approach of experimenting the things you have encountered. Are Iori's fireball recovery frames faster than Ryu's? Well, they definitely aren't now, after KOFXII... But still, you get the idea? You think Abel's reset works on everyone in SFIV? Maybe it doesnt? Maybe you can dash under Sagats high tiger fireball? Experimentation, is the key here. Another thing you dont want to do, is get attached to playing the CPU. They basically play like an on rail shooter and do the same thing over and over, so you gotta bring some friends over and get cracking at this! Which eases me into my next point of advice, which I am very passionate about.

GTFO of your house, and play in the arcades! Do NOT get too attached to playing online! Please! I say this because of many reasons, but in this context, i say it for the sake of bad habits. For one, no matter what game you are playing online, whether its BlazBlue and its amazing netcode or KOFXII and its no so amazing netcode, there is always a chance of lag, and as humans, we tend to adapt to the playing field. If you play online too much, the timing of your dragon punch will be quirky. The judgment of your start up frames could be wrong. The input speed of your combo might be way off. This all leads to bad habits, and then the one time you think your the dogs bullocks and go trotting off to your local arcade tourney full of beastly arcade only beasts, then your going to get your anus, anally beasted with a side helping of Beast and someone will probably be dressed up as Beast from X-men, just to make it that much worse. Do you want this? No you don't! Unless you have a strong heart & ego and can come back from such a terrible experience tenfold, then do so, but just to give you a heads up, playing in the arcade makes you a better player, in my honest opinion. Hide behind your Gamertags or PSN ID's all you want, but it is only by going into the heart of the community and playing with the best and those on-route to be one of the best, can you really achieve big things.



I'll tell you this: I have lost matches in the arcade because of how intimidating my opponent was, not because he was actually better than me, but because i feared him as a player. I had heard stories he was amazing and i had seen him play. Live up to the myths? Yes he did. He didn't blink while he played, his iron grip around the arcade analog was as firm as a shaolin monk. He was bald. The way he pressed the buttons was basically finger Tai-Chi. He had his own custom made fight stick, probably made out of dragon wood, and his nickname was Jafar. - For me, that was fear. Here comes the last nail in the coffin: He wasn't even that much better than me. I was Makoto and he was Yun. (SFIII) Out of my fear, I messed up so many grab opportunities, I failed to punish him when he made a mistake, I was afraid to get out the corner when he had me there and I even forgot one of the tactics I usually do with Makoto. Needless to say, I got owned. But not because of the character he was, but because of who he was as a player and as a man. If it was a game of manhood fighter, I would of died!



My point is pointing to this - Theres a lot more to fighters than characters, statistics, fireballs, etc. Fighting games involve mind games, trickery, baiting people out, controling the flow of the match, shaolin monks, fear, personality, and a wad of alot more. Not to say that, me being afraid of Jafar, means that it happens to everyone. Im sure there might be some players who wont let that effect them, but it doesnt change the fact that fear is a human emotion, as is with all other emotions. Some of these emotions can be toyed with in an arcade/tournament fighting experience.
Imbalanced characters in a fighter will always be around. Either because there will be humans that always take certain characters to levels that the developers didn't even know was possible, or because more and more games are just badly made. Whichever the reason, don't be a sheep and follow the heard of Chun-Li's, Magnetos, Storms and all the other over powered (or maybe, more explored) characters. If you wish to take your Bridget from Guilty Gear or your Dan from Street Fighter, to the top. It can be done. You just need to work on more than just the game. Work on yourself as a human being. Hows that for wisdom?!

What other experiences have you had with imbalanced characters? What is the most amazing thing you have seen a person using a typically under explored character do? Have any of you had similar intimidating experiences in an arcade setting? I'd love to hear the stories. :D
I hope you enjoyed my 1st ever blog post on Dtoid, and if you'll excuse me, I need to work on my finger press ups, for that Iron Grip!   read


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