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3:47 PM on 01.11.2009

Playing with others - Playing with my better half.

I don't mean my penis, I mean my wife, my significant other, my soul mate,

So to give you a bit of a background, video games are what brought me and my wife together. Her favorite games traditionally have been RPGs and such. We met because of these and here we are 7 years later, married 5 and have a beautiful 2 year old daughter. My wife is not a hardcore gamer, but isn't a casual one either.

Now as times have changed and our lives have gotten busier, she doesn't invest time into those 20-40 hour games anymore (bar a new Final Fantasy). But when a co-op game comes calling, she's ready to go. We played through every co-op game available in the PS2/XBox/GC era, and have made it through most of the current gen games that support it.

To be honest, it hasn't always worked out. She's not big on Gears of War for example. But there are three games that looking through everything we've played stand out as the three games that she has enjoyed the most.

Serious Sam - XBox
One thing I've realized is that my wife doesn't want story in a co-op game. She obviously is fond of story in her RPGs, but when we're playing games she wants more activity than cutscene. She wasn't a big FPS fan at all. This game was the one that changed her mind forever.

So we system linked two XBox systems and each of us had our own TV in seperate rooms. The screaming, laughing and fun filled many a night for months. Her names for the enemies always made me laugh (one of which she called Hoppies, which became her name for the Flood in the next game) She was timid at first about her playing skills at FPS games, but she realized that I didn't care what her playing level was, it was just FUN. I know she's hooked when I'll ask her what she wants to do that night and the answer comes back as "Games!".

Halo 1/2/3 - XBox/XBox 360
I'll keep this as a single game for this post's sake. She always felt that this was too heavy in story, but the main draw here was multiplayer. My old roomates and friends would come over, and we'd hook up system link into multiple rooms, and there was my wife in the middle of the fight with other people laughing and cussing people when the warthog ran her over. Again, even though she wasn't the best, she didn't care because she knew that either I always had her back, or I was shooting her in the back (I did get punched in the shoulder multiple times for teamkilling/teabagging her just for fun). To this day my friends are amazed that my wife enjoys playing games, let alone has gotten pretty good at them.

Left4Dead - XBox 360
The pinnacle in my wife's eyes. A co-op mode with no story, constantly changing game dynamics and the fact that no game is ever the same. Going by my 360's blog, I've played the game for 35 days. I'd say 30 of those days included playing time with the wife in this game. As I said earlier when she's hooked that's all she wants to do. And that is no different here. Now I've mentioned this in IRC before, but she wants to move to advanced and expert modes. And while we've done all four campaigns with 2 bots, you realize that the AI doesn't always work out the way you expect and we lost many times where 2 other humans would have helped us win.

So now we're on the edge of the next big jump. Getting her to go online. She's teased with the idea a few times (she's becoming interested in Versus after seeing me play with other Dtoiders) but she'd really want to do the campaigns. In a way we're back at square one as she's unsure of her abilities and afraid of being ridiculed for it online. But as I did when we started this, I'll be there with her every step of the way.

One thing they say is that in a good marriage, sharing interests make a healthy relationship and I have to agree. It's another facet to our relationship and it always makes sure that we spend time together. I know gamer girls are more and more common nowadays, but I feel that I really won out with a woman who understands and loves my hobby.   read

4:33 PM on 12.23.2008

RUN, do not walk to your PS3. SUIKODEN is on the PSN store!

$5.99. If you never experienced one of the best PS1 era RPGs, this is your chance. Consider that this and it's sequel Suikoden II are high priced to get a physical copy of.

Now Konami, get me S2 on the PSN please.

[embed]115781:16588[/embed]   read

12:18 PM on 12.01.2008

One of the worst things I've ever seen in a game.

Nevermind the fact that the game itself sucks (I at least got a small laugh out of the original Blitz) but Blitz the League II did something I've never seen before.

Hold on to yourself, cause you might wince in pain...

[embed]113222:16119[/embed]   read

9:18 AM on 11.06.2008

UPDATED - First Impressions - Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm (PS3)

Update- For all who read earlier I left off one big negative. No Online Vs. :(

So Namco Bandai's Naruto fighter is out. I was highly impressed by the demo so I went ahead and picked it up. While I haven't gone far enough in to give a full proper review, I will give the positive and negatives:


Graphics - Honestly one of the best uses of cel shading I think I've ever seen. Added in the fully 3D fighting enviroments and special effects, and it is very impressive indeed

Fighting system - This is as fluid and as close to a cartoon as you will see. Yes, the gameplay is no where near complex as even Smash Bros (LOLOL), but it makes up for it in pure fun. Fighting on water, jumping and dashing, throwing stars and a host of other items make setting traps fun (Throw out timed bombs, then combo your opponent into them.

While Rise of a Ninja's fighting system was 2D with shifting, UNS is a fully 3D fighting enviroment.

Each player gets 2 assist characters, and like MvsC2, you can pick the specific type of assist the characters do before battle starts. You'll also get a chance to unlock different special and super moves for characters using in game money.

A grand example of crazyness: My wife starts a combo on me, I was able to substitute (effectively a dodge) and appear behind her. 7 hit ground combo into a special attack then adding in Sakura's assist = 24 hits.

The super attacks are flashy and insane. See below for an example video of a fight and the super that ends it.


Each super has a minigame to add more power to it (mashing buttons, or hitting the right button etc etc).

Finally, when a character has taken too much damage each character has a signature rage attack. Naruto for example calls on the Nine Tailed Fox for more power. While the rage attack allows you try to turn the battle, note your opponent can easily try to play keep away from you and that you can suffer negatives when Rage subsides such as lower defense or loss of all chakra power.


Ultimate Mission Mode - A failure compared to Naruto Rise of a Ninja on 360 and probably against Broken Bond coming soon. While all 3 games have a fully realized town that can be explored, there are some major differences

Rise of a Ninja's town was more alive. NPCs made comments as you run past and generally feels more complete. UNS does not.

The camera and it's control is not good in town. If you "roadie run" in Rise of a Ninja, the camera could keep up going around corners and had no problem showing where you were going. In UNS, you can easily get behind buildings without the camera catching up. You'll need to manually reset the camera (R3) a lot because manually turning the camera is SLOW and there is no option to speed up the camera turn speed. When both games have collection items and money scattered high up on buildings and in corners, camera is important and UNS camera fails and frustrates.

Furthermore, missions are handled in a way that it really takes you out of the experience. In order to unlock more missions (both side and story) you need to beat previous missions and complete tasks in town. However, most missions are started by going into the menu and choosing it at which point you get a screen of dialogue without voiceover as to the story that is occurring before being dropped right into the battle or mission. RoaN had fully voiced cutscenes and whether for good or bad, you had to make your own way to the mission area.

Fighting system wise, be warned that like most games based on anime, every character plays the same. Meaning there are no differences in controls for each character. Triangle then Circle will always do a special move etc etc. Furthermore each character can only have 1 special move and 1 super move set. As I said earlier you can unlock more moves, but when you go into battle you can only set 1 of each.

To summarize, if you want exploration/story/cutscenes, RoaN and the upcoming Broken Bond are what you desire. If you care more about the fighting system and are willing to put up with a flawed main story mode, UNS is for you.   read

5:21 PM on 10.16.2008

SSFII HDR changes in rebalance mode

Capcom has released a list of the changes to each character in Super Street Fighter II HD Remix OMGWTFBBQ. Of course if you're not happy with the list, you can go back to Original mode which plays like what we're all used to.

I'm going to say it before you get down into the list, the Zangief changes are huge and I'm not sure I like them (easier SPD?). Also Akuma now has a super meter and has the Raging Demon. I'm going to give this thing a try though, some of the changes sound good (such as Vega able to cancel a wall attack).

The list, as posted over on PS3Fanboy and over at Capcom's blog:


* New move: fake fireball. qcf+short.


* Strong dragon punch is invulnerable on the way up, exactly like Old Ken's, and also always knocks down. It's now a 1-hit move, not 2-hit.
* Fierce dp has bigger arc, always knocks down, juggles against jump-ins, but no additional invulnerability.
* Short helicopter has shorter duration
* Medium helicopter kick goes slightly farther
* Roundhouse helicopter kick goes farther and faster.
* Roundhouse helicopter kick does less dizzy
* Air roundhouse helicopter goes slightly farther
* "Crazy kicks" have simplified joystick motions. New motions: 1) qcf+short, 2) qcf+forward, 3) qcf+roundhouse.
* Damage lowered on first hit of knee bash hold.
* Range of knee bash hold reduced by a small amount.
* Super can now be used as a reversal.


* Roundhouse flash kick now travels forward rather than straight up.
* Super has easier motion: charge db, d, df, f, uf+ kick. (Old motion still works.)
* Super does slightly less damage.
* Uspide down kick is an overhead
* Upside down kick slowed down slightly
* Upside down kick can be performed at any range, not just close range, by holding towards+roundhouse.
* Upside down kick is more vulnerable, allowing Sagat's low tiger shots and other moves to hit it.


* Jump short has higher priority, can hit sweeps.
* Floating fierce move (jump straight up + fierce) can be steered farther left/right.
* Hundred hands easier to execute
* Strong and fierce versions of hundred hands have lower priority and all versions do a little less damage
* Ochio throw now bounces off the other way, preventing Honda from repeating it in the corner
* Ochio throw now deals the same dizzy points as other throws rather than twice as much.
* Jab torpedo can destroy fireballs.
* Jab torpedo travels shorter distance
* Super travels slower before first hit, but travels faster after first hit.
* Super now knocks down and juggles.


* Horizontal ball has safer recovery.
* Horizontal ball with jab and strong have same sound effect and same spinning speed as fierce version.
* Horizontal ball with jab and strong travel slightly shorter distance so whiffed roll into bite is a little more effective.
* Diagonal ball has faster startup and safer recovery.
* Hop move has new command: hold stick left or right then jab+short OR strong+forward OR fierce+rh. (Old motion of kkk still works).
* Hop back builds much less super meter.
* Forward version of hop has slightly more foot-invulnerability at startup.
* Electricity easier to execute (mash punches)
* Super move has faster startup, faster recovery, and always knocks down if it hits.


* Green hand command changed to qcf+p
* Green hand has slightly faster recovery.
* SPD command easier: hcb,f+p OR hcf,b+p. (Original 360 command still works)
* Super command easier, hcb,hcb,f+p OR hcf,hcf+p.
* Running Grab (and double suplex) command is now hcb+k OR hcf+k.
* Running Grab runs faster.
* Kick lariat can now be done with jab+short as well as original KKK command.
* Punch lariat can now be done with strong+forward or fierce+roundhouse as well as original PPP command.
* Kick lariat has invulnerable feet during Zangief's first rotation, but vulnerable feet after that.
* Kick lariat has a different sound effect on startup than punch lariat.
* Punch lariat's initial hitframe now extends down to the floor so it can hit Dhalsim's low fierce or sometimes Guile's low forward. As before, this hitbox is only active for 6 frames out of the entire lariat.
* Hop move can only be done with towards + fierce. No longer possible with back+fierce, back+strong, or towards+strong.
* Hop travels farther forward, slightly higher, and has slightly better recovery.
* Jumping (forward/away) strong has hitbox that reaches slightly farther forward.
* Low fierce has slightly higher hit box, mainly to hit Vega's off-the-wall attacks.

Chun Li

* Removed df+medium kick move.
* df+roundhouse (the "neckbreaker") no longer crosses up, removing the loop of repeated knockdowns.
* Lighting legs easier to execute (mash kicks)
* Lighting legs do less damage and have a little worse priority in Chun Li's stomach area.
* Aerial spinning bird kick can be done with charge down, up+kick, so that you can do it after a headstomp.
* Aerial spinning bird kick travels more straight now, then falls in an arc at the end
* Ground spinning bird kick has a new parabolic arc. It can also air-juggle and deals a fair amount of dizzy.
* Super does slightly less damage.


* Teleport command requires only 2 punch or 2 kick buttons rather than 3.
* Teleport recovery is not longer, but has more vulnerable frames at the end.
* Yoga flame changed to qcb+p so it doesn't overlap fireball command.
* Upward yoga flame changed to qcb+k to match other yoga flame.
* Upward yoga flame now travels way up the screen with roundhouse version.
* Super changed to hcb,hcb+p to match yoga flame command.
* Super has more forgiving timing window.
* Super is now more vulnerable around Dhalsim's head and throwable from behind.
* Super can now be used as a reversal.
* Noogie hold has shorter range.
* Ducking ranged punches no longer cleanly go under Guile's Sonic Booms


* Turn punch and headbutt award less super meter.
* Small and medium headbutts travel slightly farther and are less safe.
* Throw range decreased.
* First hit of throw does less damage.
* Turn Punch can be performed by holding 2 punches or 2 kicks, rather than all 3
* Super does a little less damage


* Defensive backflip command changed to jab+short for small version; strong+forward OR fierce+roundhouse for double flip version (old commands of kkk and ppp still work)
* Offensive backflip can no longer be charged straight back (must be charged down/back).
* Off-the-wall attack no longer knocks down
* Off-the-wall attack has additional recovery, to prevent combos after hitting with it
* New Wall Dive Fake: After going off the wall (charge down, then up+k), you can press kick again to drop without attacking.


* Super has more range, and always knocks down if it hits.
* Fireball recovery is better than New Sagat but worse than Old Sagat
* Some normal moves are from Old Sagat
* Stand strong can be cancelled into special moves, second hit of stand forward and short cannot
* Tiger knee always knocks down and juggles (but NOT into super)
* Tiger knee damage reduced because of new juggle property


* Devil's reverse (charge down, up+punch) has 1 frame of invulnerability at startup
* Stand jab has better priority, can stop honda's torpedo and blanka's roll
* New move: df+roundhouse is a fake slide.
* Jump straight up + strong now juggles the same as jump toward/away + strong


* Hooligan throw motion changed to qcf+p
* Spinning Backfist motion changed to qcb+p
* Spinning Backfist is invulnerable to fireballs during startup (all versions)
* Spinning Backfist's hitbox on 2nd hit is bigger so that it doesn't fail to get 2nd hit if the 1st hit connects
* Cannon drill has better recovery
* Cannon Spike is usually not safe on block anymore.

Fei Long

* Flying Kick motion changed to qcf+k
* Short version of flying kicks have additional frames of partial invulnerability, allowing them to go through fireballs at the start
* Flying kicks have lower priority on first hit, allowing them to be countered air-to-air a little more easily.
* Flying kicks have 5 additional frames of recovery
* Medium and roundhouse flame kicks always knock down and can juggle
* Short flame kick is no longer safe on block from point-blank range.
* Rekka Punches travel a little farther
* Rekka punch motion is a little more forgiving, so it's not as hard to get all 3 in the series.
* Super travels farther
* Fei Long's head is vulnerable during 4th and 5th hits of the super (and can't go through fireballs during that, but still can during first 3 hits).
* The super causes a different angle of knockdown so that comboing after it is difficult/impossible.
* Super meter gains slightly reduced on flame kick and flying kicks.

Dee Jay

* Machine Gun Punch, much easier to get all the hits
* Machine Gun Punch destroys fireballs
* Machine Gun Punch does less dizzy and less damage than before.
* Medium and Roundhouse Dread Kicks, 2nd hit sped up so that it almost always hits if the first hit connects.
* Medium and Roundhouse Dread Kicks have a few frames of foot-invulnerability at startup
* Medium and Roundhouse Dread Kicks have reduced damage because of improved ability to combo


* Hawk dive command changed to jab+short OR strong+forward OR fierce+roundhouse while in air (old command ppp still works)
* Hawk dive's bounce changed so it ends with T.Hawk close to enemy and safe on block or hit.
* Hawk dive does not knock down
* Special throw command easier: hcb,f+p OR hcf,b+p, and you can actually start in down/back or down/forward (Original 360 command also still works.)
* Special throw now has a whiff animation if you miss.
* Super command easier: hcb,hcb,f+p OR hcf,hcf+p.
* Several of T.Hawk's normal moves are from Old T.Hawk, such as stand roundhouse and low roundhouse.
* Fierce dragon punch now always knocks down and juggles
* Fixed a bug where a stray hitbox on low strong could be hit from very far away.


* Super meter added and new super move: Raging Demon. Command is jab, jab, towards, short, fierce.
* Super travels slower and farther than the secret version of Akuma
* Super has additional start up frames.
* Super is not able to grab an opponent out of jump start-up.
* Air fireball has new downward angle and causes Akuma to hang in the air slightly when thrown.
* Air fireball can now be done lower to the ground, allowing instant air fireball using "tiger knee" motion.
* Akuma takes more damage than other characters.
* Akuma can now be dizzied.
* Teleport command requires only 2 punch or 2 kick rather than 3.
* Blue fireballs have more startup and recovery. Now same startup as Ryu's fireball and only slightly shorter recovery than Ryu's.
* Fierce blue fireball only has the huge knockback effect from very close range.
* Red fireballs have more startup.
* Helicopter kick has much less invulnerability.
* Akuma's leg is no longer invulnerable during his ducking kicks.   read

1:29 PM on 10.09.2008

KOF XII Gameplay video - RAIDEN

From the floor of the Tokyo Game Show, three minutes of gameplay

Terry vs Robert
Terry vs Raiden
Raiden vs Kyo

Raiden looks amazing. Combining a new look, being redrawn and the new animations make me drool.

[embed]106986:15080[/embed]   read

9:43 AM on 10.09.2008

I angered the gaming gods last night.

I talked about Sony losing an exclusive series they've had for so long, and my punishment has been handed down.

I got home to find a copy of NBA Live 09 in my mail from Gamefly. Eager to give it a try so I could decide between it and NBA 2K9, I stuck it into my PS3.

And nothing happened.

Ok, so maybe the disc had a problem or something. I grabbed Disgaea 3 and stuck it in.

And nothing happened.

Now the concern sets in. I quickly rush and grab a DVD and shove it in.

And nothing happened.

So yeah, the blu-ray drive is dead. Dead dead dead. No noise being made, no clicking sounds. Upon further research, it seems this is a more common issue than you would think, and that it specifically seems to happen to the 40 GB models more than any other.

Now the fun starts. See it's outside of the year warranty. And since it was a gift, it didn't have a PRP on it. So I call up Sony.

Customer Support was quick to answer and after giving him the symptoms, the tech agrees with my diagnosis. However since it's outside the warranty it'll be $150 for Sony to fix it.

So yeah. I'm gonna leave it dead for a while. Everything else works (I can still play downloaded games etc). Yeah I'll miss out on LBP, but with the slew of games coming out on the 360, I think I'll manage. And yes I will fix it at some point.

But the gaming gods punished me last night. And maybe I deserved it.   read

7:34 PM on 10.08.2008

Tekken 6 Bloodline Rebellion just went multiplatform

Yep. No longer a PlayStation exclusive series. In a video over on Gamespot, the game director says "Game will be out in Fall 2009 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360."

You can see the video interview here if it loads

EDIT - They took the video down at some point. Oh well. Wait for it to return at some point.

EDIT 2 - God I love Youtube.

[embed]106879:15065[/embed]   read

2:43 PM on 09.26.2008

Gameplay video of Gouken in SF IV

That's right, Gouken (or Shen Long) is in SF IV. The conditions to get him to appear are:

1. No continues
2. You can't lose the first round in any fight
3. You have to get a certain number of perfects depending on # of rounds what the machine is set to.

On a standard machine (best 2 out of 3), you have to get 2 perfect rounds over the course of your gameplay.

Otherwise, say hi to Gouken!

[embed]105271:14741[/embed]   read

9:28 AM on 09.18.2008

KOF XII Gameplay video - I came.

I don't have words for this. So beautiful. Fighting in the shade is a nice touch as well!

One thing to note, it looks like special moves can cancel each other out now? Not sure, need more research....

You can also go to the youtube page to see it in a higher quality as well

[embed]104210:14558[/embed]   read

9:06 AM on 08.22.2008

New Trailer for Tatsunoko vs Capcom - 2 new characters. MegaMan is in, just not the one you think....


Indeed, Rockman Dash AKA Megaman Legend in the US. So yeah it's a MegaMan, just not the ones any of us expected. I guess this explains the background with the Servbots we've seen in earlier trailers. No Tron Bonne :(

I'm not sure who the other character is though.

Still, game looks hot. WANT.

[embed]100786:13995[/embed]   read

11:48 AM on 08.08.2008


So I beat Braid last night, and it was awesome. I've been very happy with the full experience to this point, it was well worth the $15 I plunked down. Yes, I'm doing gibberish here so that none of the spoilers show on the blog list. Yes I know I suck at this. I'm sorry :P

Ok so let's talk about some post game stuff. In reality, what I'm about to tell you isn't post game stuff. It can be done during the game. Spoiler below, highlight to read.

When you beat the game, you can see a constellation outside of Tim's house. It's got 8 star outlines and the stars are missing. Yes, you get to go collect the 8 stars.

Sounds like fun for exploration purposes and what not. I've got no complaints to wanting to dig down deeper into this game.

Spoilers below
Until Aerox and I were screwing around in IRC last night. We were looking at possible locations for the stars. I guessed where one may be, and lo and behold Aerox got to where I was thinking it is but no star. Turns out that you have to get this star DURING your run through. It's been confirmed that one of the eight stars is impossible to get unless you get it during your run through the game.

So yeah. Fuck you for a bad decision there. But I will play through again. This game is that damn good. If you want some hints to start highlight below. Then have fun trying:

1. In the house 2. World 2-2 3. World 4-5 4. World 4-7 5. World 5-4 6. World 6-5 7. World 6-6 8. Requires all seven before it shows up. Not saying where it is though. Epic :D

That's all. I'm a little mad, but I can't stay mad forever.   read

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