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StriderHoang's blog

Late Night Thoughts: An artful case of the Mondays
12:23 PM on 11.17.2014
Late night thoughts: Nintendo was dead, long live Nintendo
1:57 AM on 11.05.2014
play the game now. It's a cheap and quick thrill. You can probably beat it in a half-hour and come back to read this.

Fangs for the memories: Subversion with Eversion
12:37 AM on 10.30.2014
Places you can't bring your Wii U
11:39 AM on 10.27.2014
Strider's Smash journal of glory
12:45 AM on 10.21.2014
Strider's top 10 fetishes I can't believe I'm doing this
7:01 PM on 10.13.2014





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About




Fresh outta college, one of those stereotypical, bumbling jobless "journalists" wanting to become a "vidya gaems jarnalist". And so the hunt for a job he likes begins! And no, he's not going back to school to become a pharmacist technician, like his mom nags him to be.



I also have a YouTube channel (above image). Self-taught video editing! I'm still unemployed you know, potential hirers!

~ Favorite games
- Red Dead Redemption
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Psychonauts
- Mass Effect 2
- Yoshi's Island
- Pokemon
- Monday Night Combat
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Super Mario World

Also, twitter


Introduction post

10 things about me

Another goddamn 10 things about Strider

~Front Paged
- Downloadables: Every night is Monday Night Combat!
- eSports: Someone you know is hype
- Relaxation: Secretly training
- I calls dibs on Gaige!
- Let's explore space! My top 10 space games

~FAP Approved!
- A discussion about Catherine with my girlfriend
- So I applied for an internship at X-Play...
- Being Social: Cal State Long Beach's Gaming Club
- Persona 4: Ultimate and 4 other fighting games you probably don't know
- A new return to 3rd Strike Online part 1: Picking a main
- Top 6 somewhat natural disasters in gaming
- Villains: For me my dear, it was merely a Tuesday
- Let's talk about Phoenix Wright and Nova in UMvC3
- How I gave my girlfriend Tetris DS and loved every minute of it
- Let's talk about Rocket Raccoon and Frank West in UMvC3
- Xenophilia: The Universal Language of Mecha
- Asura's Wrath might get panned and I'm ok with that
- Acquisition: Solid Snake signed your what?
- A Valentine's Day reflection: two great loves
- Skullgirls and the art of combos
- 6 reasons why you should check out Legend of Korra
- Today, I thought about oversexualization
- Hype: Japan Time
- Objection! The story of an impossible gift for that special someone
- Cultural identity and Sleeping Dogs
- Finn and Flame Princess' big Disney Adventure Picspam
- FTL: Recovered diaries from a derelict spaceship
- Retaliation: Your guide to fighting the Collectors
-Handsome Jack, the father, the hero, the asshole
- Before StriderHoang, there was Marcel Hoang
- Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! You're not all that mathmatical
- Ralph wrecked his way into my heart
- The sixth generation wishlist from five time Pokemon Champion, Marcel
- Strider's big, fat, ride through 2012
- Being the best predator you can be
- The Striderhoang series Dtoid Trading Card Roundup
- Strider's top 10 Kirby powers



~Friday Night Fight Replays!
- 09/02/11
- 09/09/11
- 09/23/11
- 09/30/11
- 02/07/12
- 02/12/12



~The Write Stuff! Get to writing!
- 06/30 - The Beginning!
- 07/06 - Line breaks
- 07/13 - Tone
- 07/20 - Commas
- 08/06 - Balance
- 09/03 - Crossposting
- Write Stuff of September - Pride

~ The Cblog Fapcast!
- XCOM or bust!
- The show must Smurf on!
- ScottyG is on the line
- Hobo extraordinaire, Manchild
- The sorry game
- Girlfriend caps
- #1ReasonHow
- Holiday Revengeance
- My Hairy, Downstairs Fapcast
- bbreaking nnews
- Strider alone
- Oh the Injustice!



Also, check me out on Bitmob!
Player Profile
Xbox LIVE:Striderhoang
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I'm just glad to be on my damn computer again. For three whole days, I've had none of my regular Internet access. The only way I could connect to the net was through my phone's 4G LTE connection. That explains the comments I've left during the time I've described and why I haven't done much else. Despite paying for unlimited data, I feel guilty about relying on my phone's 4G to do things like watch YouTube when I used to do it off wifi. I wasn't motivated to do anything on my laptop since I had no Internet. No syncing with Evernote, which is where I like to do most of my creative work, no online matchmaking for games like Smash, no Miiverse to see posts on Mario 3D World, no wifi to properly watch all my streaming like Hulu, Netflix, or Crunchyroll. I'm so behind on my usual show watching schedule. I'm only posting this now because I'm currently at school bumming off their wifi. I still needto wait on a technician from my ISP to deal with my modem which seems to be on the fritz. Last thing I managed to watch was Parasyte, which at least featured the turning point that I knew I was going to love.  I don't even mind posting on Monday because as we're all familiar with now, Smurf constantly has stuff going on keeping him from recapping Mondays. I wasn't always a recapper and was always mindful of what day I was posting due to what recapper (hey Wednesday cbloggers! Whatever!). But before I get into Parasyte...

Birthday art attack

Look at this neat little diddy. 4 weeks ago, a week before my girlfriend's birthday, I commissioned an old art friend of mine to draw something I had pictured in my mind for my girlfriend's birthday. What if for her birthday, I gave her her very first Pokemon? So I brainstormed a piece of art with my friend.

I think the female trainer from Black/White had a great wardrobe, possibly my favorite of any female trainer. As for me, my favorite gen wasthe RSE gen, so I opted for the male Emerald trainer getup. Cosplaying as trainers would be cool for a Pokemon oriented piece of art. Igave my friend her choice of my favorite Pokemon to feature as my helper, either Aron or Makuhita. Their base forms make more sense in interacting whereas Aggron and Hariyama are much too big to be intimate helpers, because I knew I'd want to give my girlfriend an Eevee! After all those specified details, the rest wasup to my friend's artist liberties. After all,just giving my girlfriend a Pokeball that has an Eevee would be lame.

We're now both using it as our phone wallpapers. After asking Mike Turvey of Dtoid fame for a Dtoid crew picture, it was a bit jarring going back to my friend for a more analog commission that she had to scan in compared to Mike's all digital, high-rez art. But in the end it all turned out quite well!

Pikmin 3

I always knew the Pikmin series was good. I played the first one and knew it was good. But it was never a beloved series to me. It's just one of Nintendo's greats. Since the demo came out recently, I figured, why not? I didn't expect to be so enthralled by it though, even being sold on it. I want Pikmin 3 now.

Could it be that Pikmin 3 has a great deal more personality? The way Alph and Brittany talk to each other in the demo and their reactions to meeting the Pikmin was cute and fun. Pikmin 3 is undoubtedly more natural than the previous two well. While Pikmin 1 and 2 has various manmade treasures with hints of a disappeared humanity, Pikmin 3 is much more about the gentle beauty of nature and harvesting juicy fruits. A lime is called a Zesty Bomb after all. I'd forgotten how endearing it is for alien life to name our everyday household marvels.

Apparently there are different control schemes? Because the demo locks you into Gamepad mode, with your left hand using the stick and L-trigger exclusively while your hand handles the stylus on the touch screen. I found this control scheme very natural though. I liked it even more than Pikmin 2's Wiimote pointing control scheme.

Parasyte: The Maxim spoilers

The most interesting thing about Parasyte is the questioning of one's humanity. Shinichi assertshe is undeniably human and that the aliens could never understand what separates us from normal animals. As the series progresses though, we're left to question what humanity means. Mysterious observer Reiko Tamura is a keenly scientific parasite who willing has sex with another alien-human host for an experiment that proves that while Reiko may be an alien, she is pregnant with what should be a perfectly normal human. Later on nearing the end, Shinichi meets a serial killer who is human but is irreconcilably inhuman in how he views life.

In the latest episode of Parasyte, its apparent that in order to save Shinichi from bleeding out, Migi's lifesaving procedure cause celluar bits of Migi to shave off and be absorbed by Shinichi's body. The end result is Migi's sleep cycle becoming a crucially deeper state of hibernation and Shinichi becoming something a little different than a superhuman.

Its been hinted through the series up to this point that Shinichi's humanity isn't as pure as he thinks it is. People sense and instinctively back away from some dark, frightening presence inside of Shinichi whenever he's backed into a corner. Particularly acute people ocassionally ask Shinichi if, "He really is Shinichi Izumi?" Like he somehow seems like a different person.

Now that Shinichi's mother is dead and he's merged with Migi, the series will really pick up like in the manga. Shinichi gains a drive of revenge against the parasites. He simultaneously becomes more confident in his abilities and more detached from his friends and family. I cannot wait to see the anime adaptation of the finale!

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Did you guys hear about these new consoles? They're called the Xbox One and the PS4, in honor of their predecessors: The one true ring, said to bear the mysterious markings of a box with an X in it and Paul Sabbur IV, the greatest war chief a small village in Ubekistan had ever known. Apparently with the name power of these great achievements alone has allowed these next-gen consoles to really bloom.

You know what's not next-gen? The Wii U. You know what I bought on impulse after finally chucking my Xbox 360? The Wii U. Think Nintendo is/was/has been dead? Long live Nintendo.

I walking into my Best Buy, knowing it would give me the best value for my Xbox. I also consciously went there because 1) my eBay account was mysteriously and unceremoniously slapped with demerits keeping me from selling and 2) they were giving me $40 more on the trade in then other places. I had intended on just going in, getting the credit, and waiting out for Black Friday deals. But I decided to browse around after getting $115 for my entire shabang and low and behold, I saw it: the Wii U Deluxe bundle with Mario 3D World. After that, it was all a haze and next thing I knew, I was standing outside with a Wii U in my arms and a $200 dent in my credit card. I was suddenly overcome by great awe, guilt, and excitement. The last time I made a big purchase was a 3DS for my girlfriend and that purchase still lingers on in my statements as a crater representing how much money I could have without altering my spending habits. And now I've done it again on one of the most impulsive purchases I'd ever done. I seriously saw it, realized how rare a chance it was to see this bundle in stock for once, and just snapped it up. I have to start fasting soon if I actually want to earn a profit.

There are a lot of people who are the type who will ask, "Why on Earth did you ditch your perfectly good, working, Xbox 360?" To answer that question, I'm a very pragmatic gamer. Sure, if I held onto every game I'd ever owned, I'd have a rather substantial collection. But despite years of resenting my mother for telling me to throw out stuff that takes up space which I don't use, and being a pack rat who likes to keep a few little knick-knacks here and there, I've still developed a habit of keeping my space tidy and cutting off the fat so to speak. I have to face facts that no matter how much I love the Mass Effect series or how expansive an experience Skyrim is, their time in my rotation has passed. There may be a lot of DLC I haven't played in Skyrim but I can't go back to that game after having played a more recent stable of games. I played Shadow Complex some 6 odd years ago and I don't feel the need to revisit it. Even more reason on multiplayer focused games like Street Fighter IV or Injustice; online communities ebb and flow with relevance and immediacy. Playing Person 4 Arena within a month of release means you'll find people reasonably within your skill range of crappy to extremely competent. The older a game gets though, the more the audience matures and changes. Newbs get better and pros hone their craft while noobs eventually get tired of losing and get weeded out. Months after release, you'll be playing matches ranging between fair to getting curb stomped.

Time to face facts: new stuff is going to the more socially relevant consoles while publishers are doing a weird transition of cross-generational games in an effort of making shiny new games while keeping their old install base happy. The best solution to this problem is of course, to invest in a console that's still receiving new games without any weird circumstances. A console that's still technically the previous gen that is! But it doesn't stop at the prospect of brand new games like Yoshi's Wooly World or Captain Toad. There are a ton of Wii games I slept on since selling my Wii due to my faltering faith in the old system. For example, I can finally play Okami, the best game you've never played! Or Muramasa, the most beautiful game not in HD. And even Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, which despite it not having online service would still be a hoot among friends.


Finally...

I think many people can agree that Nintendo has our nostalgia sense by the balls. The Xbox and Halo is a great game, but that doesn't change the fact that many of us probably grew up wasting our childhood hours on Super Mario World or Kirby Superstar or something further back. If you're waxing nostalgic on a game like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you're not thinking back far enough or you're exceptionally young to my exceptionally old.

The Wii U and Nintendo is such a conundrum. On one hand, it's so bass ackwards and slow on the uptake on things I've taken for granted like online functionality and connectivity, media playback, and account consolidation. On the other hand, Nintendo stuff is so purely about fun without the extra stuff. There's less concern about DLC, season passes, and content gating. Perhaps in the simplicity of the software architecture, there's no space to implement some of the more insidious content wringing practices like content being locked away on disc. There are so many hoops to see if your friends are online so you can play together and yet I'm playing Super Mario 3D World with a big stupid grin of enjoyment. I can either tune my TV to play Nintendo games in HD, which is a selling point as we're maybe nine years past the widespread adoption of HDTVs, or I can keep my TV tuned to something like Regular Show while I play on my Gamepad.

I don't know if I'm jaded to it all or if there truly isn't anything that interests me on other consoles. For every game I'm mildly interested in which is cross-generational like Farcry 4 or even some geniunely interesting next-genners like Sunset Overdrive, there are games I am not interested in pursuing currently in like Shadow of Mordor or Assassin's Creed Unity and god know's what else is on the horizon. I cannot adequetely explain why I am so interested in Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker but fuck it all, I want that casual ass fun looking game. Look at him fucking run, collecting diamonds, and shout with all the genuine emotion of fun in the world.

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Warning: As with any scary game, most will want to experience the spookiness fresh, without spoilers. The following will totally spoil Eversion in its entirety. Note that I'm so much of a scaredy cat that I still derived an amount of fun after hearing mild spoilers of the game but for purists, you should totally just play the game now. It's a cheap and quick thrill. You can probably beat it in a half-hour and come back to read this.


Cold, hard, lies.

Horror and I have an awkward relationship. I can't stand tension, dread, suspense, or the scaries. That rising heartbeat, the tensing of the muscles, leading up to an explosive outburst with a rush of adrenaline is something real horror fans thrive off of. That palpable feeling of terror is like a drug for most but I'm no addict baby, no siree. I ain't about that wacky tobacky Jack. I'm clean and sober and also a pussy, you see gee? Please don't scare me.

Resident Evil 4 is about the only game that's even remotely close to horror and we all know RE4 struck a balance between pants goldmine cave-in and Die Hard that only saw the balance slide in favor of Die Hard: The Musical. Any horror game people talk up, I simply look it up on YouTube and derive a poor, sad sense of satisfaction knowing that watching it is as far as I want to go, rather than play it and feel the dark clench of evil wrap around me like a slow fear fart creeping out of my cheeks. I stay out of horror's way and horror stays out of my way, you dig cat? It helps that horror is very clear in marketing: Silent Hill has deep, foggy covers, Resident Evil has gritty, dirty color schemes, and Outlast is just a disturbed mind trapped in night vision mode. So imagine how perplexed I was when I take a gander at a friend's Steam review of Eversion.


Huh? Lovecraft? With rainbow font?

Eversion's box art completely ignores the common traits many horror games use to indicate that it is indeed a spoopy game for people who want a spoopy time. The preview image is bright, cutesy, and is in no way threatening unless such a colorful palette was able to give you diabetes. What really doesn't add up is that you'll see this preview image first, then see the tags to confirm what kind of game it is. Is it a platformer? Yes. Is it indie? Yes. Is it Lovecraftian? Whoa, hold on a sec Jimmy, you lost me there. Did you just say Lovecraftian? And horror? This is just the start of our descent into the rabbit hole. The game doesn't begin at start for me. It started at the sales page where my senses tell me Mario rip-off but my eyes seem to be playing tricks on me. How does a game that uses as many pixels as the average NES game become a horror experience?

Turns out, less is more.

Eversion is about cliche as you can get in the beginning. You're a weird little dude named Zee Tee who must travel across the land in a left-to-right manner to find and rescue the fair princess of the Flower Kingdom. It's so simple in its conceit, it lures you in a that classic false sense of security. Go right, jump on monsters, and collect more stuff than an episode of Hoarders starring Banjo-Kazooie. In no time at all, you'll come to a roadblock by design. You can't move forward and there's no point in going back unless by go back you want turn off this game and go make a sandwich. So naturally you wander around the screen to find an eversion point. Zee Tee has the ability to cross over to parallel realities, which in this case allows him to bypass obstacles à la Nintendo dark worlds like Zelda or Metroid Prime. Early on you'll find eversion points that will allow Zee Tee to cross back and forth to exploit the different rules of each. In the first dimension for example, clouds are just background images. In the second layer however, they act like actual platforms you can jump on.

Notice how I painstakingly detail how you evert forward than evert back in one example though. In this very short game, you'll find eversion to be a subtly menacing mechanic. One which seemingly unravels your sanity each time you evert forwards in dimensions. Like a trans-dimensional travel machine gone wrong, you'll gradually evert fowards into alternate realities but not back to your happy, home dimension. Every time you evert forwards, the world loses a bit more color, a bit more music, and becomes more hostile and disturbed. It's easy to see as your enemies start out as happy little Goomba knock-offs and slowly transform into mute, expressionless oddities until finally becoming creatures possessed by an unspeakable madness. The music becomes a more and more twisted beat that urges you forward to escape your current reality until eventually you're playing in eerie silence. The landscape doesn't just become more desolate and sad but it becomes openly hostile to you. Ordinary bushes that prove to be simply background at first become thorny vines that kill you. I've played levels several times to collect items I'd missed before and the Lovecraftian horror claws still creep me out as they reach out to me from the depths of each blood red pool. Even the very mechanics and design of the game seem to go crazy, as if to confirm that the game isn't just going crazy; its trying to drag you down with it. The score counter goes insane, your deaths transform from simply animations to full on blood explosions, and by far the worst part of it is the small collection of randomly assigned splash messages which range from slightly humorous (Get ready... to die!) to downright horrifying after playing for awhile (Behind you).

What starts as a happy, joyful little journey gradually turns into an experience I wish would stop. In the beginning, sometimes I'd evert forwards someplace creepy than back to normalcy. Further in, I might evert forwards then go a few levels going back and forth, like I'm promised some amount of normalcy in this game. But the further you get to the impending end of this short game, the more you realize that you're only going to evert further and further into a nightmarish dreamscape which mirrors a descent into madness and stress. Eventually there is only silence save for the sound of your jumping and the hell claws that try to rend you into a thousand pieces of shattered confidence. No matter how much I prepared myself before buying this game that something was going to go horribly wrong, there's nothing quite like experiencing the jarring transition from depressing fields to 7th circle of hell for yourself.

There's a moment midway where a block is enticing you to hit it. Maybe something good will happen for once. Maybe this seemingly unimpressed face block can show me something better? But as soon as you hit it, the world around you comes crumbling down and the once somber world that linked you to a happier place has suddenly everted you forward someplace very dark and very disturbed with no hope of return. The face on the block is now frozen in an expression of sheer terror and all you can do is move forward and witness what else this sick little game will show you with its limited tech set. The worst part is that every time you've traveled dimensions before, it was by your will, after finding a very specific warp point. This time and further along, you'll find that just like a person going certifiably insane, there is no control and no warning to manic episodes of dementia. Once you start falling, you don't magically slow down thanks to prescription drugs or important story plot points. As if the power of eversion had been forbidden all along, you now find yourself plummeting into a pit of evil filled with malicious plant life, unnerving creatures, frightening claws, and in some levels a scrolling wall of doom and oblivion.


The claw...

This game isn't really forgiving either. The platforming is strict and difficult like games of yore and you'll find yourself dying a lot in order to perfect runs and collect all the gems. Out of the many things that unnerve me, dying for the fifth time on a stage only to be greeted at the ready screen with, "I See You," makes me genuinely glance around my room nervously as if I really am being spied upon by some invisible, menacing force. Every frustrating death at a difficult curved jump or a super strict leap of faith while trapped in a world populated only by living nightmares leaves a piece of my sanity stranded in some negative zone as I trudge onwards into this god forsaken desert called a game.

The real kick in the balls is the ending. None of them, except maybe the last secret ending, are particularly happy endings. And all of them have an unnerving atmosphere of pure, 100%, unadulterated dread as the environment goes full on Lovecraft around you and the music transforms into something only appropriate when you're surrounded by impenetrable mists with someone, or something, lurking within them.

Eversion is a game that manages to disturb me at my core. It surpasses simple horror via jump scares like dumping cold water on me through sudden monster appearances. Instead Eversion soaks you in a warm bath, all the while slowly turning the heat up until its too late to realize that my blood is boiling from out of my skin. It promises scenes of cutesy color and systematically lowers you someplace dark and forbidden. Its like you assume your party host is dimming the lights for mood but it turns out he's just fading to black before turning you into his next Hannibal-inspired art piece. Perhaps this the kind of horror someone who doesn't have an active palette in horror should consume. Not necessarily through false promises and subversion but rather through a slow burn that puts you in a situation of terror and dread before you even realize it. Instead of wandering a dirty Spanish village and hearing a chainsaw go off in the distance to trigger my response, I'll wander an ordinary landscape for a few minutes, not noticing that the a fog is slowly choking my vision until a dark hand creeps onto my shoulder and whispers something unintelligible into my ear.

Crap, I just composed this all before going to bed.

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The car
Unless you own one of those luxury cars with TV screens in the back of the seats, you ain't getting a Wii U in there. That's before considering the drain on the car batteries.

The toilet
At least wash the controller when you're done. Multiplayer though? No thanks.

On a walk
Walk dogs, not Wiis.

While waiting in line
It'll only take a second honey, put away the Wii U and TV screen.

Mount Everest
Nintendo builds their stuff to tough out the worst but shouldn't you make space for a spare oxygen tank?

On a plane
No legroom and no Wii U? What a crock. I'm not watching Planes: Fire & Rescue again.

To the movies
This Miiverse post on Super Mario 3D World says Ouiji will be great!

Places where it'd be difficult but not impossible

A friend's house
Wouldn't it be easier if they just had their own? Good luck if they mounted their shit to the wall.

Overseas
Why enjoy culture when you can take your own with you? Unless TSA assumes Nintendo makes bombs first.

A party
Beer, sex, drugs, peripherals; ain't no party like a Mario Party party.

To a school
Today on sex ed: Bayonetta 2! Crazy budget slashes led me to do this!

On a boat
Bringing it back baby.

In the end, there is no real version of Super Smash Brothers 4. There's one you'll play at home and one you'll play on the go. Have both for their respective situations though and you get few cool free things despite the inequality of it all.

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200 matches later, more than 30 hours later, dozens of custom parts later, I can thoroughly say I've enjoyed Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. I've even enjoyed countless battle online, which is something I cannot say about Brawl. Brawl had Subspace Emissary and the advantage of being a console game but Smash 3DS' online, while rudimentary, is much less prone to frustration as long as you're familiar with fighting games online; it's not nearly as bad Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 but not nearly as good as Arc System Works' games nor is it flexible like anything with GGPO (Skullgirls, Third Strike). I'd compare it to SFIV as it's absolutely as tolerable as real life, as long as the Internet between two players holds up. But like an if and statement, if both parties aren't true, then the result will always be false. In other words, if both players don't have good Internet, the fight won't be good.

The following is a culmination of my experiences with Super Smash Bros. 3DS. It's about as bloggy as blogs can get. This includes the game as a whole, a rough journal of my matches, and feelings on the current metagame.

First, people who want to talk about Smash Bros. 3DS should mention what model they're playing on. People complain about cramping hands sometimes but neglect to mention if they're playing the vanilla model where it would be obvious or one of the larger models like the XL where it proves your hands truly are mannish hands that should only be gripping the necks of your enemies.

So I play on the 3DS XL and experienced few problems.

I've been playing Smash since the OG on the N64. And if there's one thing that I've developed a love for (which wasn't in the original now that I think about it) its trophies. Melee had an avalanche of trophies celebrating Nintendo history and Brawl turned it into a cosmic deluge. It's easy to see why I'd play one more round of Classic mode or All-Star and revel in collecting the trophies along the way because I also play Pokemon. A lot of the trophies before for me however revealed an interesting history of Nintendo like Fire Emblem characters and obscure Japanese releases. This time around after a few years of playing more Nintendo games, the trophies of Smash 3DS are not only historical but pure fanservice. I love Animal Crossing New Leaf and we've all played Fire Emblem Awakening. Now to see the character's I've only recently enjoyed appear in Smash truly speaks to me just how long I've been playing Smash. Trophies back then felt historical but trophies now can be contemporary.


Here to take names and market shares

Unlockables are really the key here. Not only are trophies constantly dropping as I played Classic and All-Star for character trophies plus Smash Run, but also customization parts like stat modifiers and variant specials. Don't like charging Greninja's side B, Shadow Sneak? Maybe you'll unlock Shadow Dash, which causes this charge move to become an instantaneous teleport attack at the cost of lower damage. Maybe you're not good at angling Pikachu's up B, Quick Attack, to get the most distance out of two jumps? The Quick Feet variant combines the distance of two jumps into one big, long jump. Or maybe you just want to transform Bowser's fire breath into a flying fireball. These customizations really add flavor to playing with friends or strangers willing to play with a wildly unpredictable metagame.

Speaking of playing with people, I'm surprised by lag in local multiplayer games. Its weird and hard to decipher what exactly causes it. Word on the street is that your results will vary wildly. I once played with two co-workers are a moderate distance and this was in Disney's California Adventure, which can have a variety of conflicting wireless signals bouncing around with extreme lag. But I also played with friends one-on-one nearby in a mall food court and things ran just fine. It seems possible that the more hosts the game is trying to resolve, online or not, the higher likelihood of lag, which makes sense. But figuring out what other external factors there are is a big mystery I want solved. But for the most part, in terms of online, like I said, things are expected. The variables that affect local wireless is what surprises me.

Now I mentioned Smash Run before and the opinions seem split. Most people think its a boring addition with its flaws. I found exactly one critic who liked it (JWittz on YouTube) and knew I couldn't be crazy to like it too. It's basically Subspace Lite and even at its worth, I want critics to admit one thing and that's its the best way to grind loot which is frustratingly randomized. And yet despite the random nature of drops, I still play Smash Run in hopes that I get just the right random loot (specific loot seems more likely when you play as the character you want loot for i.e. play as Diddy Kong and a slightly higher chance of Diddy Kong related loot). The grind is supported by running through the dungeon with a variety of different builds of a character as long as you leave custom settings on. Why you'd play Smash Run with stock settings is beyond me since you can either play Smash Run with an absurdly fast but fragile character or a slow, lumbering monster of a character. Have you tried playing Little Mac with maximum attack and defense? His ground speed is already great so sacrificing speed for defense as his attack grows make his punches truly hurt.


Ora ora ora ora ora ora ora ora!

So Little Mac, right? Is he as powerful as people say he is? Very powerful and very satisfying and in my opinion, very much fair. Everything related to the ground is top rated, from armor smash attacks, fast ground speed, ridiculously effective roll speed, and ability to kill early. But first time players have to learn a few quirks such as never leaving the ground to jump and how to deal with gimping (your opponent tries to make your recovery fail). I'm used to using certain good aerial attacks on approach as a substitute to dash attacks but Mac has no business using any of his air attakcs. His roll is so good, you might think rolling all the way over to your opponent is a terrible idea but with the stronger rolls overall this time and Mac's overall footspeed, it wouldn't be a bad idea at all really.

First, the overall meta sees speedy, aggressive characters being rewarded for managing a pace but zoning and camping is not only possible but an important factor for characters in breaking the pace of aggressive fighters. Characters like Shiek, Captain Falcon, and Fox are still popular for their aggressive playstyle, their ability to chase, and their ability to form combos with their speed and pressure. Having adopted Zelda, Greninja, and of course Diddy Kong among others, controlling space means projectiles as much as your ability to control distance with sheer mobility. Very rarely do I play against someone who's dedicated to keepaway or zoning as much as my Zelda. But I have once play against a Robin who would charge Thunder while controlling space with Arcfire and throwing me off stage as they camped the edge. Aggression is possible and hard to deal with but camping and zoning will be just as popular since it the learning isn't as harsh to pile up damage and score a KO when you remain patient.

Speaking of camping and the edge, be prepared for some quirky playstyle you've never seen before. A lot of the smarter players who despite Mac learn to camp the edge and force him to come to them in an effort to throw him in the dreaded air. Another quirky style I encountered was a Villager who would hang off the edge 90% of the time and jump off to throw Llyoid Rockets and slingshots at me while they could just Balloon Trip their way back up. The edge can sometimes be this terrifying space that characters either fear or utilize like a deterrent. But where ever there's a will, there's always a way to surmount the insurmountable.

Dash attacks have been nerfed across the board and the majority of them are unsafe on block. Due to this, grabbing as apart of strategy has shot up in usage. As it just so how happens, down throws tend to lead to extra damage opportunities. Dash attacks are mostly used to punish on laggy landings now since using them from neutral generally leads to blocked attacks and punishes. Air attacks are generally easier to use with exception to serious, character-specific nerfs like Meta Knight's Fair. You're going to see a lot of throws being used to punish, especially since down throws typically lead to extra damage and back throws have a lot of launching power. Especially since shields are very powerful and generally have a very strong position in the meta except from being thrown. The meta so far favors camping and defense due to how little blockstun there is from shielding and how easy it is to punish attacks in general unless your opponent goes for a throw. This is just speculation and theory by the way, since it hasn't even been a month since release. But I've seen people getting their attacks stuffed after shielding a few attacks. Heck, certain rapid-jab attacks have gaps in their pattern that can be punished.


My dash attack is still good though, right?

My top three so far are Greninja, Zelda, and a tie between Diddy Kong and Wario. Upon introspection with my selection, I realized that each character shares one thing in common: a complete disregard for shielding in their gameplan. Greninja can zone with Water Shuriken and Dair for a lot of approach; Dair (or footdive) causes Greninja to bounce off on hit or block and even on whiff he can cancel the landing lag with Shadow Sneak for mind games. Zelda naturally gravitates towards keepaway so shielding simply means blocked damage, not possible punishes. Both Diddy and Wario have attacks that are categorized as throws: Diddy has Monkey Flip and Wario has Chomp. Other than that though, I find all their playstyles agreeable to what I look for in a fun experience.


Imaninja.jpg

Greninja is a fast and tricky amphibious ninja. With great footspeed and an impressive jump, Greninja is like a combo of Falco's jump with Sheik's run, giving him a large threat range for combos, chases, and punishes. His Water Shuriken is sometimes heralded as the torchbearer for Falco's old blaster, doing exactly what it used to do but without the lag that the new one has with the added bonus of being chargeable for more damage and impressive knockback on a full charge. Shadow Sneak meanwhile is Greninja's unique flavoring, enabling him to do all sorts of goofy teleporting tricks like surprising edgeguarders, pre-empting people trying to punish certain attacks, and psyching out players who try anticipating his approach. Greninja as a whole with all his tricks and tools is very satisfying, giving a real taste of how Greninja would behave if it isn't in a turn-based RPG game.

Zelda was an interesting choice. I merely chose her to complete a challenge but she became something so much more. Din's Fire was only an ok way to zone players. It was missing a certain X-factor to really let Zelda work with zoning. Then Smash 4 cut Sheik off of her and gave her Phantom Slash, in addition to increasing her overall strength to further compensate her speed and lightness. With Din's Fire for range, Phantom Slash at mid-range, and Naryu's Love as a close-range get off me move, Zelda gained tremendous potential for apply damage at range and drive her opponent's crazy. Her recovery, Farore's Wind, also had the hitbox on its reappearance increased in launching power. Zelda functions better at a comfortable range but if she teleports into you, you're in for a big surprise! Her campy nature makes her an interesting choice in a meta where a lot of casual play needs to learn that dash attacks are much riskier this time around. Just zone and keep them out as Zelda, that's what I say.


Fiber in your diet, bro

Diddy Kong is probably my last choice and my absolute last bet to win it big. While I have a lot of pocket picks for fun like Wario, Jigglypuff, and Little Mac (a trio I call the trifecta of hate), Diddy Kong is my number three for two reasons: I like exploring the other characters because they've gone through more significant changes and I'm at my most confident with Diddy. While Diddy lost glide tossing and his double banana game, a lot of his other moves only got better. The range on a lot of his normals increased, hit harder, and are even faster. Diddy's regular moveset wasn't nerfed a lot except for his dash attack, so a lot of his neutral game got easier in my opinion. Not to mention I love his new Uair, which went from a flip kick to a sort of monkey style, over-body stretch kick. With his side B Monkey Flip remaining the same if not better, Diddy has a wealth of options that not only help on approach but are also great for damage and combos thanks to Diddy's agility. If you're in the air with Diddy, expect trouble.

Those three together make up the bulk of my favorable fights online. Every now and then, I play people who are obscenely good at either true combos, chase and pressure, and reads. The only two characters I worry about are other Diddy's, which can score a lot of damage off of down throw and chase effectively, and Sheik, who is even faster than Diddy and buffed in strength compared to Brawl or Melee. Sheik has a lot of set ups she can do simply by virtue of her incredibly fast speed. In addition to combos, her speed allows her to create frame traps that help her with making predictions, such as guessing when an air dodge is coming and waiting to perform a much stronger attack. Most of the best players online are all about reading you like a book and making you feel like you couldn't do anything. Speaking of athletic women, Zero Suit Samus is another match up I don't particularly enjoy, though luckily she's a bit rarer to find online. Personally I think her ability to control space is far deadlier than Sheik's needles since her Paralyzer moves so slowly and controls the space in front of her so well. A clean hit means a free forward smash, and her Escape Flip leads has a powerful ender kick that's hard to see coming when you're not prepared. Not to mention she has both speed and floaty jumps to help in aerial game.


Here's my reflector

This game still has a ways to go. People are discovering new things, both functionally and in terms of the meta.I still very much enjoy this game, regardless of how you personally rank in the order of Smash games. Despite how good the best can be, I still find the game fun, despite mostly playing on For Glory. Still, I play what I think is fun, and I want to play 1-on-1, For Glory. I still play For Fun every now and then and don't take it seriously, especially with the rampant lag on four player free-for-alls. How has the multiplayer been for you guys?

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When this topic started making the rounds, I was hesitant to contribute. Look, let's not kid ourselves but Google gave us incognito mode for a reason, you feel me brah? I know my way around an +18 designated area. You don't just watch vanilla anime and think, "You know what? Let's just stop here and not dig any deeper."

I have to admit, while I have a range of fetishes thanks to THE INTERNET and HENTAI influenced by ANIME (the trifecta of all caps), there is still an underlying fantasy of seeing my girlfriend in a few of these things. So if you ever somehow get in contact with her, you never read this list and I'll never destroy you. Still, seeing everyone display their fetishes, however serious they are in revealing their deepest or shallowest secrets, somehow instilled a sense of pride in my taste. Kind of like people describing how they're red blooded Americans who love guns, low brow strip clubs, and mud trucking all unabashedly. So like America's unsung heroes, I shall reveal my favorite fetishes for all to see. So don't talk to other people about it.

Bunny girls
History states that the bunny girl outfit was invented in 1903 by Lee Stanford O'Hare as a method to both scare pests off his farm and to join in the hot craze of misogyny that was sweeping the nation. Back then, they were called Hare Suits, which admittedly didn't roll off the tongue like a bunny outfit. When his farm finally collapsed from the great crow plague of '64, he sold the rights to his hare suit to Hugh Hefner and the rest was history.

Bunny girls are a great symbol towards men for luck, affluence, and confidence, while it's either a symbol of sex or something for women. But who wouldn't love to hit it big at gambling and have a bunny girl on your side cheering for your luck. On the other hand, my girlfriend grew up having rabbits as pets, and over time I've associated her with rabbits. I'm especially a sucker for those rabbits with the loppy ears. They look so sad! And my girlfriend can be the same too. Just so sad! But seriously, animals ears are the barely socially accepted animal fetish. Not quite vanilla but not quite furry. You get to fuck a human and yet it's also a cat or whatever be intimate in an acceptable, pro-diversity kind of way. The classic bunny girl wears a a classy one piece and for some reason, cuff links and collar with a bow tie or some other classy neck piece. But if you've seen what Dead Or Alive 5 has done recently then anything can be a bunny suit as long as you have ears on it but the classic remains.

Yukata
Not quite a formal kimono and not quite a relaxing bath robe but all parts thin bedroom wear. In a sense, a yukata is basically an informal kimono you wear to bed or whenever you just want to relax while still letting the air flow around your most important bits. It's one big kilt for men or one big dress for women. It's a big skirt basically.

All the most dreadful fantasies with yukatas show just how thin a yukata can be. Just imagine feeling your hand up your partner as they wear one. I want to imagine it's like wearing nothing at all. Nothing at all. NOTHING AT ALL.

Just a sheer fabric is all that stands between you and a gloriously good time. All the best fantasy see two people sharing a futon, with a yukata barely covering their bodies as they lazily wrapped it around them because they're hoping for the big special to happen. A person wearing a yukata is like a gift waiting to be unwrapped when the mood is right. Best of all, it's personally not that all that out of the realm of possibility. My girlfriend actually bought her dad a yukata. You see, being a weeaboo isn't all that bad? You're afforded certain secret luxuries!

Qipao
You should all know what a qipao is. It's as prevalent in pop culture as the bunny girl. Can't think of it? Let me say one name: Chun-li.

Chun-li is wearing what is basically a stylized, combat modified qipao. A traditional qipao is a tight, form fitting dress that's normally depicted as having a long slit up on side to allow for movement of one of the legs. Of course, Chun-li's dress is altered to allow a whole range of movement for both her legs because let's face it, she isn't best known for punching her enemies.


She... headbutts them?

Either way, the qipao is often associated with traditional, classy socialites when its normal, and trendy young fashionistas when its a more modern take. It's also more morbidly associated with the fetishization of asian women and turning them into objects but that's more of a tumblr post. We're fucking talking about fetishes so I left my shame at the door obviously, what about you Mother Teresa? But obviously what makes the qipao such a alluring image for men is the tight fit and the hint of a leg. If there's one thing I appreciate, it's what I don't see but can see sometime soon. And maybe they got some strong kicks too.

Warriors
Sexy comes in all kinds of ways. Submissiveness is the classic form that everyone is familiar with. But an empowered woman is just as sexy. Being strong and armored doesn't just have to make someone look burly and stout. Moderate use of plate armor can also leave the figure elegant yet still functional.

It's worth nothing that classic boob armor doesn't make much sense. Real armor isn't about stopping impacts but deflecting it. Boob armor, that is, armor that conforms to the contour of the female breast so that the viewer absolutely knows there's a pair of boobs underneath, is fundamentally flawed as the curves have the chance of drawing an attack inwards as opposed to away. Armor is supposed to be tough but I don't think anyone wants to be a magnet to violence.

A woman can still wear relatively moderate plate armor and come out looking elegant yet still ready to cut you in half. I don't need reassurance that there are boobs underneath your armor, petty game developer. A fair maiden wearing a broad piece of steel will still get my blood boiling, especially if she's good with a weapon.


A weapon!

Yes, an actual weapon. Not that thing you perv. We're straddling a fine line aren't we?

Straddling.

Yoga pants
I've admitted to qipaos, bunny girls, and yukata, but somehow I feel ashamed of yoga pants. Sometimes yoga pants just feels like the lowest common denominator of fetishes. It's everywhere because people who wear it, do so because its comfortable. I think its a divisive idea but hey, we're not here to talk about equal representation. I think it's clear from the onset that I wasn't pretending about anything noble. The female figure is alluring and yoga pants don't leave much to the imagination. And that's fine in this circumstance because hey, thinking with my brain uses up precious calories.

I've found blogs devoted to this fetish. Sometimes you'll find very specific hentai about it. If the qipao teases the leg, yoga pants presents a strange quandry as to just how much I really am seeing in person.

Holy crap, let's not get metaphysical about this. I described the symbolism of bunny girls for christ's sake. Yoga pants to me are just easy mode, ok? Are you an ass man, thighs, or legs? You get everything at once, so it must be fattening and we ain't talking KFC.

Cheerleaders
With a big smile and a flash of their... pep! Cheerleaders are an institution of an innocent sexiness. After all, their outfits are made to allow them to do all sorts of stunts that are honestly dangerous and deserving of respect. But seriously, don't you wonder what they do when they go back to the girls locker room except no we don't we all know what they do: WITCHCRAFT.

It's an incredible and mindboggling standard. When we think of upskirt, we think of hastily drawn glances at rare moments of strong wind or climbing steep stairs after a lady. But cheerleaders don't worry about that. They might as well be wearing swim suits underneath as they tumble through the air as their pleated skirts flip through the wind. As American as applepie, which I believe I've used that idiom once before already and if you live in a different country, who cares right? At least we get a bubbly attitude and a breezy skirt to admire. Plus they're freaking cheerleaders, as in they're athletic and toned. You think teams are throwing the heavier set kind of girl? Not unless the rest of the team is musclebound. Light enough to be thrown but strong enough to help throw human beings.

Jesus H. Christmas I started off thinking cheerleaders were cute and ended with the premonition that cheerleaders can throw you.

Stockings
Now this is universal appeal. Stockings are like icing for your eye candy. A pleasing contrast to one's skin tone followed by the unique touch sensation for your grabby mitts. In Western society, I bet it'd usually associated with the power business woman, especially in a fantasy as she lets her hair down and gets a bit wild. But in Japan it is a transcendent ideal that's spawned its own subfetish: zettai ryouiki, or absolute territory; it's a term spawned by none other than Evangelion.

I kid you not, if you search this safe for work term (I think), you will find graphs and diagrams that are borderline scientific about the ratio between a girl's stockings, skirt, and the amount of bare skin that's visible. There is a grading system that's pretty much what kind of socks is she wearing.


Pictured: science

Real zettai ryouiki are thigh highs and over knee socks, giving you the golden ration of skirt, a glimpse of skin, and long flowing legs encapsulated in stockings. It symbolizes a weeaboo's love of the tsundere, budding innocence, and the young woman. But damn if its just nice to touch when you're intimate.

Netorare
Remember when Dreamweaver-sensei made his own top 10 fetish blog and briefly mentioned netorare but didn't give it a spot in the actual list? Yeah, let's go ahead and shine the spotlight on this little gem.

A summation of what it roughly translates into thanks to Fakku would be thus:

"A direct translation of the word results in the definition "having your lover taken from you" or "to have something taken from you while you sleep". This is often accomplished by having main protagonist's loved one seduced away from them, with or without their knowledge."

Pretty much, a netorare doujin has this basic formula: Look at this cute couple, here's the jealous third-party, third-party is in possession of something the couple needs such as money, the female agrees to give it up good baby in exchange for the needed supplies, then finally in the end the third-party turns out to done the deed so well that the female changes teams because damn she can't resist the D.


Yeah, may favorite kind of D! AMIRIGHT?

Ahegao can be spotted alongside netorare and netorare in general can be placed under this umbrella of adultering or extreme content. Not to be confused with ryona which is straight up beating the crap out of a woman, usually in the context of fighting games with female characters, which in itself is a much lighter consideration compared to guro.

We've left the realm of realism for pure fantasy that can only be found in a Comiket doujin circle. Very rarely is there ever a positive outcome to netorare stories but the struggle and the spark of distress in the reader is what consumers most likely respond to.

Chikan
This is like American apple pie to doujin artists. I've seen this theme so many times, I'm convinced it must happen on a daily basis in real life Japan. My worldview is distorted. Thanks Crimson!

Any mild watcher of anime knows of chikan but maybe hasn't heard the term. It's basically public molestation and pretty much legally defined as sexual assault. It is most commonly portrayed as gropers on a train, especially crowded trains so packed that you can't tell who's touching who.

Every other day there's probably a new release or upload that centers around it. From innocent schoolgirls to women who'd qualify as super human, there's always a plot device that allows for free reign for molestation and grabby fun-time.

I suppose what gets me most is that there's always that expression. It's a face that asks why to the whole of humanity as to why this would happen. Maybe other times its just an expression of the realization of helplessness. It all goes back to that primordial attraction to submissiveness. But lol misogyny and sexual assault, am I right?

I might as well also lump forced and rape into this category if we really want to put the screws to these semantics.

Remember kids, never do anything you've just read on this blog. Just turn on your gaming platform of choice and play CoD while calling your opponents/teammates motherfuckers. Be true to yourself!

Being a cool kid
Being cool dates back to medieval times when man of valor and gentlemanly spirit would congregate in decorated halls to discuss all of their best material without fear of the crown striking down their blasphemous words and thoughts. Since then, being cool was a tradition that was handed down from generation to generation in an effort to preserve the coolness. Or I could have described the Illuminati. These two can be interchangeable in my opinion.

So remember guys, be cool.

Well I'll see you all on Doujin-Moe tonight folks. Lay off the Love Live doujins.

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