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Everyday Legend's blog

Dtoid Southeast NARP: Beware The (St.) Ides Of March
12:41 PM on 02.25.2014
The Past: Oreos For Breakfast
7:41 PM on 02.11.2014
New DTOID Group On Steam: D.I.C.K.S.
4:52 PM on 01.20.2014
Skulltoid: Skullgirls On Steam
10:51 AM on 01.18.2014
And Now, For Something Constructively Different
7:12 PM on 12.05.2013
SoulCalibur II HD Online Has Broken Everyday Legend's Heart
7:10 PM on 11.22.2013

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I am the Everyday Legend, and I am a male, 31-year old Florida native and videogame fan of the most epicurean order. I'm also the father of a very precocious (almost) three-year-old daughter, and a newborn daughter as well!

My natural state: very, very tired.

I got into gaming when I was 5, and my Aunt and Uncle had an NES that they had bought because they thought it was the coolest thing ever. As a matter of fact, they weren't too far off of the mark. I was introduced to Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt (naturally), and soon followed up with the very first Zelda. I remember the very first game I beat by myself - Megaman 2, in 1989. I was six at the time.

Shortly after that, I played Street Fighter II for the first time in a local skating rink and was hooked. Bad. Like, smack-habit bad.

I remember playing against the college kids that would come in there to hang out and chill - there was a lounge connected to the place that you had to be 18 to get in - and a lot of these guys used to come in and spend a ton of time and money on playing SFII. I learned how to play from these guys, and within a year, I had become just as good as they were. I was hanging out with people almost twice my age, and conversing with them on their level about a mutual passion - and that's where I've been ever since.

Videogames don't make up my entire life: I cook, I write, I sing, I have a full-time career in IT and am still attending college for a degree in Computer Science, then moving into a Masters in Information Systems Management. Gotta have goals.

Nothing beats a good trip to a good bar where they serve good beer and have a good selection of good tunes. Also, chilled Junmai Ginjo (unfiltered) sake is the nectar of the gods, in case you weren't aware. Of course, those trips are very rare these days, because there is always another diaper to change, and leaving your kid at home in the crib is never an option if you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror.

Oh, and I really, really love sushi. I can put away amounts of that stuff that some may label as borderline genocidal. I put species of fish on the endangered list singlehandedly. I'm not ashamed. It's their own fault for being born so damn delicious.

XBL (defunct): Everyday Legend
PSN: Everyday_Legend
STEAM: Everyday Legend
Skype: everydaylegend

Your eyes do not deceive you. There's a trend.

See you out there.

- EL
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Follow the link to the Forum thread for the most up-to-date information. I'm of the mindset to do dinner beforehand, but the night will definitely be moving over to Player One for liquor and games.

If you're in Florida and want to meet some Dtoid people, get your ass off the couch and go. Bring friends. Shoot the shit. Possibly each other. Fun.

Keep checking up with this blog space for updates. Byaah.

I was three.  Just turned three, in fact.  Late December, 1985.

I was spending Christmas with my family at my Aunt and Uncle's house.  

My Mom was pregnant with my baby sister, and I was a criminally-precocious kid who had rocketed out of toddler status and had become a being made of very strong curiosities.  I liked electronics.  I loved my Dad's Atari 2600, we would play River Raid, Pitfall, and loads of other fun stuff.  I remember the smell of the controllers, the feel of the plastic.  But it was just a toy to me.  Video games were loud, blinky things you found in dark corners of skating rinks and bowling alleys.  They weren't something you seriously played at home, because the games you played at home just weren't as colorful, as musical, or as much fun.

But this was Christmas, late December, 1985.  And shit just got real.

My Aunt and Uncle never had children, so their enjoyment of children stemmed from being the cool Aunt and Uncle that never grew up.  My Aunt Vicky, especially.  She was the kind of lady who would let kids eat Oreos for breakfast (true story - the best days were Friday mornings).  She was the kind of lady who would take off from work to take my sister and I on bike rides and beach trips.  She was the kind of lady who would read trashy romance novels and watch classic cartoons every morning.  She was the ultimate big kid.

She showed me their new Nintendo Entertainment System.  I played Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt for hours that week.  Hours.  We all got into it, really.  But as everyone else's interest began to wane into boredom, two people were still having a blast: my Aunt Vicky and I.  And it was the start of something very profound for me.

Fast forward about six months.  My sister was a scant three months old, and it was the summer of 1986.  I was soon to be four, and was spending a hot June right on the Gulf of Mexico (I'm a Floridian) with my Aunt and Uncle.  We did the normal summer stuff, the beach, baseball games, etc. - but while my Uncle was at work, my Aunt and I would play Nintendo games. My Uncle Davis had bought a magical golden game, something called "Zelda."  I saw him playing it at night, saw the maps he had carefully and meticulously drawn on graph paper, and how he would reference them when looking for hidden objects and other things.  I knew I wanted to play it, too, and my Aunt let me use my Uncle's save file.  I played around with all of his equipment he had found, wandering the magical lands that lay before me until I had my ass kicked by a bunch of things popping out of the water (I would later find their name to be Zora).  I was dropped out of the game and back to the main screen, where I decided I would forge my own path rather than walk a trail blazed by another.

I erased his save file to start my own.  It was a mistake I would never make twice, as I was barred from ever playing someone else's save ever again.  This taught me a new sort of self-reliance, though - my progress was forever my own from that day forward, and every game had a save file reserved for my use.  We went through adventures on our own, but compared notes almost constantly.

Soon, we were playing Ultima.  Final Fantasy.  The Guardian Legend.  The Magic Of Scherezade.  Crystalis.  Zelda II.  Metroid.  Faxanadu.  Tombs & Treasure.  Kickle Cubicle.  Tetris.  Shadowgate.  Puzznic.  Legendary Wings.  Dragon Warrior.  Nobody else seemed to share my love of Megaman games, but then again, I didn't seem to grasp the charm behind my Uncle's love affair with Solomon's Key, either.  All of these games had saves or passwords devoted to my progress, and when I was there, I played.  God, did I play.  I didn't have an NES of my own, so I had to make do with what meager time I had.

But seriously, fuck Solomon's Key.

Until 1992, that is.  I got her collection as a surprise present, and she moved on to the Super Nintendo, while I burned through all the games I possibly could.  All the things I never had time to finish.  All the things I never had the chance to play.  New games that I would get for myself.  It was the ultimate in wish fulfillment.  A year later, I had a SNES, and we would trade games back and forth.  We played the Final Fantasy games together.  We played my Uncle's shmup collection (Darius, Gradius, Axelay, etc.).  Wario's Woods.  Tetris Vs. Dr. Mario.  I played Chrono Trigger with her, beat it with her, and went on a mad quest to find all the hidden endings (we succeeded).  It was amazing times, and it kept going until my 14th birthday in 1996.

She got a Nintendo 64, and when I stayed at her house for my family to celebrate my birthday, we spent all weekend - and I mean all weekend - playing Super Mario 64.  I had a blast, and when it was time to go, she told me that I could play that system whenever I wanted to, because I had to pack up the N64 before I left.  Her new N64 was my new N64, that my family had purchased for my birthday.  She didn't follow me, though - she followed Square, and thus, she picked up a PlayStation for herself.  I wouldn't catch back up with her until 2000, when I bought a PS2 at launch.

But by this time, my Aunt Vicky, the person who proudly 100%'d Final Fantasy 7, was fighting a much, much tougher battle.  And she wasn't winning.  She had already lost much of her insides to ovarian cancer, and while she was fighting it like a champ, it was a story where we all knew the ending.  She started to play less and less, and as I was 18 and owned no less than seven different consoles, I started to get more games from her to finish what I never could play before.  I played all the good stuff she had, and asked her for her advice and guidance through unfamiliar places.  I played Wild Arms, Final Fantasy 7 / 8 / 9, Chrono Cross, all the Ace Combat series (my Uncle's passion - he was a pilot in the Navy), all of her vast collection of JRPGs were mine to experience.  And I shared that experience with her.

Fun fact: I cannot listen to the overworld music of FF7 without tears.  It reminds me of my aunt and I playing it together when shit got really rough.

She saw me get married in June of 2007.  I had never seen her happier.  Ever.

She was gone that September.

She left me her entire collection.  Everything I didn't already have, she had given to me.  Every NES, SNES, PlayStation 1 & 2 game she owned, it was to be given to me.  I was the only steward capable of realizing the magnitude of the treasure trove that had been bequeathed, the only one who knew the tales of all of those worlds we had conquered together.

She also left a desire to never truly grow up, to never forget what it was like being three years old on shag carpet in the mid-eighties, clutching an alien piece of plastic with buttons that made the sword throw light at the things that scared you.  She instilled a sense of learning from my mistakes by doing things myself, the hard way being the only way.  My daughter has a piece of her middle name, "Lynn," as part of her own.  I tell her stories about her Aunt Vicky all the time, and as my daughter gets older, I'll be taking her on a lot of those same adventures with me.  

To me, it seems right.

And when I wake up on Saturday mornings, and my daughter asks for me to turn on "headband man," I can't help but think that my Aunt is still very much here in some fashion, laughing all the while with me as I put Street Fighter into my PlayStation, as per adorable toddler request.

If there is an afterlife, I know there's a second controller and a bag of Oreos waiting for me.

Or, rather, the Destructoid International Collective of Kicking Shit.  It's a group designed to do one thing, and that's to make it easy to find and play members of the Dtoid community on Steam...but specifically for fighting games.

I asked around some of the groups that were already in existence, and there's a lot of people playing a lot of different games, but finding people to play took writing cBlogs announcing playdates or asking around in the forums.  This way, you can join up and see who's playing fighting games or would be interested in quitting whatever they're in the middle of to go play fighting games instead.  

If you play any of these games, consider joining:

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Mortal Kombat
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition / Vanilla SF4
Skullgirls / Skullgirls ∞Endless Beta∞
Street Fighter X Tekken
The King Of Fighters XIII Steam Edition

Any other titles that get released on Steam, you can bet they'll be added.
Come play with friends (or at least people whose names you recognize).


I will admit, the first time I heard about Skullgirls, I wasn't really all that interested in it.  I mean, I knew it was indie (which should be supported), I knew it was high-quality in terms of art assets (even if a little heavy on fanservice), and I knew it was a fighting game made by dyed-in-the-wool tournament pros.  Even with all of this at its back, it just never really did it for me.

However, I picked up the beta from a giveaway here on Dtoid, and saw what the hype was about.  So much so, that when it went on sale during this last Steam Winter Sale, I snapped it up without a second thought.  I've been digging deeper into the game itself, and it's surprisingly good.  Like, Capcom-SNK-Sammy-and-Namco-better-take-some-goddamn-notes levels of surprisingly good.  The problem is, there's not too many players that are online regularly - or, at least none on the fairly-large list of Destructoid friends I have on Steam.

As such, I'm proposing starting a regular meeting of fighting game players on Steam, and I'm starting with Skullgirls as the first game on the rotation.

Anyone else interested in playing on a regular basis?  Throwing down in KOF XIII, SSF4AE, etc.?  I'm looking to give Dtoid a fighting game home on Steam!

-*-*-*-*-*-*-R . A . N . T . . . . I . N . C . O . M . I . N . G-*-*-*-*-*-*-

So, there's been people bitching and complaining about community.  People bitching and complaining about Dtoid losing focus.  There's been forum threads, cblogs both constructive and destructive, people leaving in a huff, and all throughout, there's been two people trying to round up the community and place them in the spotlight, every single week.

I am one of those people with their hand on the spotlight.  We took it over and rebuilt it so that you could enjoy its warm glow.

There are a few of you who have really stuck around for the weekly feature we work on, and to you, I must admit that I cannot thank you enough.  To those that have participated, I cannot thank you enough.  To those who take the time to click the fap button and comment, I cannot thank you enough.

However, beyond that, I'm having a small crisis of conscience, and I hope that the community can help me resolve it.  There's something bothering me.  Seriously, it's getting at me in a fairly major way.

See, there's been lots of bitching and complaining.  There's also been lots of discussion about what sucks, who sucks, what needs to change.  Well, myself, I come from the Mahatma Ghandi school of "Be the change you wish to see in the world," hence why I started my project of Community Interviews (and came to find out that OpiumHertz had the same idea, so we joined forces).  I wanted to make things better, so I've been trying as hard as I can to make something special that would not only give me an outlet, but also give back to the community here by showcasing one member per week, three weeks at a time.  I wanted to get feedback on the process, start dialogs, get people talking about something other than "Dtoid Sucks," because I started to feel that same way, too.  So, I decided to do something about it.

And thus far, the project has been warmly-received...but I would not call it a success.  And that doesn't have to do with me.  That doesn't even have to do with site staff.  It doesn't have to do with ads.  It doesn't have to do with Huge membership subscriptions.

It has to do with the very community I'm trying my good God damndest to serve, to set an example rather than just be another dissenter.  This feature has been a weekly staple for almost four months solid, and very, very few of you out there seem to care.  To those few who tune in, those few who comment, who vote it up so it can be seen by the community we make it for - I could quite literally cry and hug you.  

I guess I just expected better from a community who claims to be so damn hungry for their own to shine.  I expected a larger turnout from people here, and that's probably got a lot to do with my biased expectations - because I would have been glad to read this every week, myself.  I'd have been glad to see more community-based, community-driven features made by our own.

Problem is, the vast majority of you don't seem to be that interested, and that makes me feel like this is all very pointless except to a golden minority.  

So, I'm going to finish out my interview backlog / waiting list from the forums. 

At that point, I'm going to begin making a call out to the front page.  Instead of taking my ball and my teary eyes home in defeat, I've decided to to the exact opposite: I'm going to take my ball into your living room, and I'm going to suggest a game to play, and anyone who wants to play is more than welcome to join me.  We will have fun, I guarantee it.  Anyone who doesn't want to, well, you probably suck anyway.  :D

I'm doubling down so hard on this that I might as well get a forum badge for it.  And if you don't get that reference, well, you should probably take a look around some of the smaller nooks of this fine site we call Destructoid.  Maybe you should start working on something to make this place better instead of setting fire to your room before you run away from home, or publicly threatening adblock to get that negative attention you desperately crave, or bitching about paid subs / downvotes / whatever Sarkeesian video is blowing up this week.

I answered the call.  I stepped up.  What the fuck are you gonna do?

Oh, and before I forget - please take the time to tune in every Wednesday to go read our Dtoid cBlog Community Interview series.  It's fucking GREAT, we work our fucking balls off for it, and it stars the people who you argue / high-five every day here as a pure labor of love.  Much like The Simpsons, the cast only gets larger as time goes on.  And if you feel like you have something to say, step up and ask to be interviewed!  PM me or Opium, we'll be glad to get you into the rotation.

Try actually supporting community-driven efforts, rather than just sitting around and bitching about the state of things.  Listen to the community podcasts, like (the soon to be rebranded) Communitoid, The Lower Tier, Scary Granules or any other creative efforts spearheaded by your own virtual neighbors and friends.  Shit, I've even begun to attempt to resurrect the fabled NARP in the southeastern United States, because DESTRUCTOID! Join the Forums.  Start writing better cBlogs.  Start being the community you want to see.

Because until you do, all your silly bitching means nothing.  
Not when the power to truly direct change is in YOUR hands.

I don't review games often, if at all - I apologize for the long intro, but this has to be said so that you can have a very specific frame of reference for this review.  I'm going to get this out of the way right now: 

SoulCalibur II is one of my favorite games of all time.  Ever.  Like, I have been playing videogames for twenty-eight of my thirty-one years, and out of all those experiences, out of all those systems and platforms, out of all the games I could possibly play, SoulCalibur II still stands as one of my absolute, near-and-dear, desert island, you-can-keep-your-(insert title here) games I have ever played.  Period.  Outside of genre.  Outside of theme.  Just as a game alone, it stands on high.

I've played each new installment as it came out, from Soul Edge in the arcade to SoulCalibur V, and everything in between.  And sadly, nothing ever touched SCII in my eyes.  Sure, there was better mission modes and content in SCIII, there was better character customization in IV and V, but to me, the core gameplay has never felt better and more tightly tuned than in SCII.  I don't look at SoulCalibur games for extra content just like I don't eat a cheeseburger for the ketchup - the meat is the most important part, bar none.  It makes the sandwich, so to speak.  Everything else, like great vegetables, gourmet cheese, artisan bun...it all goes to waste if the meat sucks.  

SCIII had no arcade playtest to precede it, so there were glaring gameplay problems and glitches in the mission mode (I've lost saves numerous times, to the point where I simply gave up).  SCIV tried to take steps into being 3D Guilty Gear, with a focus on combos and instant-kill attacks.  SCV added Street Fighter-style meter management into the mix.  Everything past II seems to have lost more and more of the "core gameplay is the focal point" ethos, which is a shame, because nobody else was doing what SoulCalibur was doing in terms of gameplay, even ten years after the original SoulCalibur.  Nobody copied their formula.  Nobody did it better.

Imagine my joy when I heard that SoulCalibur II would get an HD re-release, the full home version of one of my all-time favorite games, complete with online play. 

Imagine my sorrow when I see glaring problems and many, many missed opportunities that completely mar an otherwise competent port.

Now that you've read that, you know where I'm coming from, and hopefully my point of view can remain as objective as it possibly can be considering my abnormally high level of fandom for this very particular entry in the franchise.

SoulCalibur II HD Online is upon us.  The gameplay itself hasn't changed from 2003, and that's a great thing.  This is classic SoulCalibur, where awareness of your positioning, proper reactive defense and fake-out mindgames are the true keys to victory, with no meter management aside from your very own lifebar.  Attacks are the same as they were, tactics are the soup du jour, and the controls might take some readjusting to get your sea legs back, but once you've acclimated, you'll find that it's the same game you loved way back when.  And what's best is this - no more arguing about which guest character was better.  Now you get to fight them to the death in order to settle the score for sure.  Or, at least 2/3 of the score, since Link isn't in this game, while PS2's Heihachi (Tekken) and XB's Spawn are.

This brings up plenty of fanboy ire on news stories, social networks, comment sections and message boards.  And truthfully, it's understandable.  However, if Nintendo didn't want to release Link to other consoles via a licensing agreement, or Namco didn't want to support Wii U for whatever reasons, there should have been no reason why they couldn't have modified the character model, called him "Kiln" and called it a day.  You'd have had your I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Link version of Link, and some people would have been made extraordinarily happy by this inclusion, because something always beats nothing, hands-down.

As a side note - the Japanese voice option has been removed.  Not a dealbreaker, but sad, as I liked their dub far more than the ham-'n-cheeze English one.

With that said, this port is made from the PAL version of SCII, which has a few bugs and glitches in gameplay that allow for specific character infinites and a few nasty properties on certain moves that make for unblockable attacks, etc.  Namco really screwed the proverbial pooch here, because using the NTSC version wouldn't have had these problems, but we're stuck with this version, and no casual player will have their experience shattered over these things.  Only eagle-eyed vets and serious competitors will take note of these changes, but I feel that they are worth mentioning.

This version also brings the same modes as the 2003 home versions. Weapon Master is back, and needs to be played in order to unlock the characters, costumes and weapon sets, just as it used to.  I have to applaud their decision to do this, as they could have done the standard Namco practice and easily offered a "Unlock It All" pack for an undisclosed sum as paid DLC.  However, I can't shake the notion that this is the reason why they're charging $20 for this game instead of $15.  I mean, sure, they did add an online component and upscaled the texture models, and there are two out of the three system-specific guest characters (one of which is licensed), but with the state of the online netcode, I'm not sure $20 is justified.

Online play isn't necessarily bad in SCIIHDO, it's just not good.  Matches are playable in the sense that you are able to play with other people online.  That's it.  The netcode simply isn't good enough to hang with the split-second timing required to execute Guard Impact parries, or shift stances with proper timing with Ivy, or even block Taki's rising B=>B (knife goes up into the face, knife goes down into the foot - good luck with guarding your foot in time).  Even on top of this, joining online games is nothing short of a joke, and playing with friends is practically nonexistent.  There's no lobby system at all, something that's a standard of all online fighting games.  Here, you just search, and join.  Once it's done, back to the main menu you go to repeat the process.  Whatever "3-4-5" means as far as connection quality, it doesn't matter - I've had better, smoother matches of online checkers. 

It's also worth noting that it's just one-on-one versus.  No Team Battle.  No online Tournament mode.  Nothing like the legendary (and I mean LEGENDARY) Conquest mode from the arcade version of SCII.  Just join, fight, and drop.  Because of all these deficiencies, I can say for a fact that SoulCalibur II HD Online only carries the right to have the word "Online" in the title on sheer technicality alone, and the pieces currently in place are shameful for anything besides an internal test build.  Project Soul should be ashamed of themselves for letting this out into the wild, and Namco should be mocked for putting it out with a smile on their face.

I feel like a little more deference should have been given to this re-release, especially for an inflated price point of twenty bucks.  The graphics are nice, the gameplay is still solid (minus the few annoyances present due to picking the wrong damn version to port), and the original game is 95% intact (no Japanese voice option bugs me a bit).  However, there's nothing new outside of the shinier coat of paint, and nothing extra added onto the original package to justify its asking price.  It comes equipped with an online mode that functions without functioning well, and has none of the creature comforts of current fighting game offerings, like lobbies.  It's the equivalent of saying that doors are optional in a house - front door, privacy doors, all of them.  All optional.

(Yes, I know, it's SCV, but it expresses my disappointment perfectly.)

This leaves me with a very bittersweet feeling, one that I can't quite stomach.  I can't honestly recommend this game to anyone, and it's the game I've been evangelizing for a decade.  I finally understand what my father meant all those years ago when he looked at me after doing something terribly stupid and said: "Son, I'm not angry at you - I'm simply disappointed in you."  That's the exact feeling I have for Namco Bandai at this present moment, because such a high-water mark for the franchise deserved so much better of a treatment than the one they gave.  This is the videogame equivalent of a job done by a high school volleyball team car wash - half-hearted and content in the fact that they already have your money, leaving you driving away with something unfinished and full of obvious spots.

With zero hyperbole, I can honestly say that this is one of my saddest days as a videogame player.  Nice job, Namco.  I can only imagine how good this game might have been if it were given more care and attention, and I know there are lot more people than just myself waiting on patches to help the situation...but considering this is a re-release, I won't get my hopes up. Especially so after you've raised them with the mere announcement that one of my absolute favorite games was returning, better than ever before.

Next time, if there even is a next time, try actually focusing a little more on the "better" part.