hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


StriderHoang's blog
destructoid  Cblog Ninja

12:43 AM on 09.03.2015

Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.


12:25 AM on 09.02.2015

Pivot smash my way to victory


3:11 AM on 09.01.2015

Challengers wanted: Aggron the immovable object

From deviantart

The metagame for Pokemon is extremely large. And as such finding a challenger to battle can lead to any number of varied experiences. Even if you fight against tier hogs who adhere to the strictest idea of playing with tryhard pants on, the tier list for viable Pokemon across the OverUsed tier is as long as a guest list to a private party being held by Kojima. I've battled against a team of poorly trained and mismatched legendaries, team composed entirely of deadly sweepers, teams with a deadly mega of some sort being supported by a gaggle of deadly walls with crippling hazard setters and status spreaders, and everything in between holding choice bands and priority moves. I myself, as a battling trainer, got addicted to hundreds of hours of training devoted to created a vast and varied stable of battle ready Pokemon, ranging from niche (suicide web Galvantula), to gimmicky (a sun team with Mega Houndoom and Harvest Trevenant), to break neck pace strategies (dual Intimidate Mega Manectric and Staraptor spamming U-Turn and Volt Switch).

But eventually you gotta settle on a favorite. A team that you will use when you just don't know what to expect and this personal choice will get you relatively through any problem with satisfactory results. It had to be unexpected, to throw off my opponent. It also had to incorporate a Pokemon I actually liked, but was still relatively viable. This is what a core is in Pokemon battling: a specific pairing or even group of Pokemon who go together like peanut butter and jelly because their strengths cover their weaknesses but also enhance each other. So how was I going to make Mega Aggron, one of my favorite Pokemon ever to receive a buff with a mega evolution, viable when his greatest strength was hampered by the very thing that enabled him to be so much better than what he used to be? Mega Aggron's defense is ludicrious, capable of shrugging off STAB Earthquake from the likes of Gliscor and Garchomp, who are by the way if you don't know, some of the most powerful users of Earthquake and Mega Aggron is a steel-type, which is weak to ground-type attacks. Normally you hear weak and you think you'd immediately switch him out of fear but Mega Aggron's defense is so high, not to mention it has Filter as an ability to changes super effective hits from 2x effective to 1.5x effective, that he basically has nothing to fear on the physical spectrum of attacks. But of course his special defense is mediocre but his biggest weakness is the fact that since mega evolution requires a mega stone, he can't hold Leftovers for passive recovery. Using up move slots for Rest seems like a waste if it doesn't immediately pigeonhole him into certain move sets. So Aggron got a flaw buff, so what's a fan of Aggron gotta do to make his favorite metal rhino shine like the chrome superstar he deserves to be?

Pair him with another favorite of mine, sometimes referred to as the Jerkass Dove, Togekiss. The two couldn't be more different and yet their differences make them perfect for each other on the battlefield. My own personal core of TogeAggron becomes an nigh unstoppable wall of pain. It isn't just a wall that takes hits. This is a wall that sprouts arms and punches back with boxing gloves made of cinder blocks.

Togekiss is opposite of Aggron in terms of stat composition and typing. Togekiss is a bundle of special defense and special attack that will laugh off your attempts to use Dark Pulse, Flamethrower, Psychic, whatever fancy attack it is and smack you back with Dazzling Gleam, a fairy-type attack that reminds you that the retconning of the Togepi line into fairy-type was an immensely powerful change for it. Togekiss however, fears rock-type attacks, and it doesn't have the defense to take things like Flare Blitz with a straight face. You know who is absolutely fine with taking Flare Blitz to the face?

That's not why I paired Togekiss with Mega Aggron like rubbing two of my action figures together to make them kiss though. Togekiss has immense survivability but not on an epic scale like Mega Aggron. Togekiss however can hold Leftovers and can learn Wish, a move that restores half health after one turn. Togekiss doesn't have longevity from shrugging off attacks but because it can take damage like a champ but recover that health in a jiffy. But Togekiss doesn't have to just heal itself. Wish works for anything that switches places with it on the next turn. And there you have the crux of my favorite core.

Cores can be pretty scary. This is a fusion though.

This core is built to take some of the metagame's most popular offensive types and just laugh at them while saying, "What metagame?" Choice banders like Azumarril and Talonflame can't even dream of making Mega Aggron yawn. Mega Blaziken, destroyer of worlds, might be able to break even against the solid steel of Mega Aggron but Aggron has Earthquake to extinguish Mega Blaziken's flames. But what if Mega Charizard Y steps out for Flamethrower or perhaps Greninja is stepping in with specially offensive Protean boosts? Togekiss steps in, Wish/Protects that health back, and simply wails away with Dazzling Gleam supported by Leftovers. But a steel-type like Aegislash wants to Iron Head poor Togekiss, or maybe the poisonous sea dragon, Dragalge? Not only can Mega Aggron just scare them off, Togekiss has a chance to pass a Wish onto the battered and beaten but not out Mega Aggron.

The complete set for Togekiss is Dazzling Gleam/Air Slash/Wish/Protect while Mega Aggron has Stealth Rocks/Thunder Wave/Earthquake/Heavy Slam. Yup, between the two of them there are only four attacks and one of them is dependent on the weight of the opponent to do more or less damage. But between Leftovers recovery and Wish passing keeping these walls healthy while continually dishing out a slow and steady pace of broad damage, opponents will be tempted to switch to a counter, risking Stealth Rocks damage and paralysis being spread around faster than an STD in a college dorm.

Playing Pokemon is sometimes about doing as much damage as possible as fast as possible before your opponent can regain their composure. This core appeals to me though because you can't expect to do OHKOs to everything in the game and have plan for afterwards. Between Togekiss and Mega Aggron though, I can expect to survive a lot of damage and slowly grind down my opposition between reliable attacks and Stealth Rocks damage. These two couldn't be more different but together, they can take on a lot of heat that neither one of them could deal with individually. This is what Pokemon is all about; building a team that supports each other rather than building a team that hands the spotlight to one superstar sweeper. I love this core to death because its effective, it's unexpected, and it can really frustrate an opponent who slowly realizes that their most effective offense may only be able to do 1/3 of a health bar which can easily be recovered in two turns.

Hard to break down, but it'll hurt you in the process. See? A wall.


11:08 AM on 08.27.2015



2:42 AM on 08.27.2015

Please be gentle Shiek. I want a character who's actually good at neutral for once.


11:57 PM on 08.21.2015

Motherfuckers you like that promotion? I got more in the bank homie. I be rolling in the creative endeavors for the expression of enthusiasm for video games and shit dawg.


2:07 PM on 08.19.2015

Little Mac taught me it's not worth doing if there's no risk. So I jumped off the stage and used Fair.


2:31 AM on 08.11.2015

Gone to Home Depot: Strider's favorite Splatoon weapons

I've been on a bit of a binge lately on Splatoon (and people who've read my trail of blogs should know this is irresponsible, because I have a move and a marriage on my schedule). But I can't help but love the unique dynamic between some awfully unique weapons and awfully fun gametypes. It's not Call of Duty, with hitscan bullets and laser-like aiming reticules. Blasters fire globs of ink in distinct arcs, splatting inklings who have large hitboxes amongst pain rollers and super soakers. There's a distinct divide between playing with motion controls which add to precision and playing without because who has time for that shit am I right? All of this set against colorful environments and a goofy, lighthearted nature.

I mean, I love weapons. Who doesn't love a good weapon? Here are my favorite weapons, straight outta Inkopolis.

Carbon roller
The freshest weapon in my mind, coming straight off of an insane game of tower control, splatting 17 inklings who would want to push against my team is the carbon roller. Unlike the splat roller, which was controversial at launch day for it's one-hit kill squishing abilities, the carbon roller trades that OHKO for vastly improved speed and agility. Even now as people know how to deal with the stock roller, the carbon roller can come off as underwhelming in offensive power. I even talked about the weapon with community member Scrustle, who dismissed its weaker power as contrarian to its purpose.

I've learned to really love and prefer the carbon roller though for it's speed and unexpected power. The thing that fills its hole in power is the burst balloon bomb sub-weapon. It allows the carbon roller to one-two punch inklings with a quick burst bomb followed by a super fast paint flick. The combo is faster than flicking twice but the damage is such that grazing the enemy with both ends with a splat in most cases. So we have increased speed for Turf War but a deadly one-two splatting combo for eliminating enemies. Only a fighting game fan could appreciate combos like that.

L-3 Nozzlehose
Aiming is problematic in Splatoon, since there's no aim assist and the game was arguably designed to make use of motion controls. I'm terrible with most accuracy-based weapons and the Nozzlehose is a weapon I precisely should not like. It's like the M16 from military shooters, firing in accurate, 3 burst rounds. So we have a weapon with great accuracy, ink efficiency, and damage but it demands a lot of trigger discipline. I'm not known for trigger discipline or accuracy, but this weapon rewards people who are both.

What really sells this weapon to me is the disruptor bombs it can only come with. Toss this baby and reap tons of benefits from the stunned inkling. In a game about speed, the disruptor greatly slows enemy inklings, pretty much condemning them to a splat. If you don't get them, somebody will, because it lasts 5 seconds, which is ages in Splatoon. So make use of your throwing distance and its generous blast radius then burst fire inklings at your leisure!

Splattershot Jr.
Speaking of the disruptor, the Splattershot Jr. Custom can also use them. Unlike the Nozzlehose, the Splattershot Jr. is the epitome of spray and pray at close range. I mean, true god, S-tier levels of spray and pray.

For a weapon you start with, you'll want to consider keeping this in rotation because it covers ground quickly with its rate of fire and general cone of spray. This weapon barely affects your run speed while firing, so equipping some speed perks can help improve the weapon's performance. Just get in close and literally spray and pray, because sometimes you'll hit and splat 8 feet away or completely miss your target when they're 3 feet in front of you. Such is the life of spray and pray. Take the wheel Jesus, because I put my faith in you!

.52 Gal (Deco)
Proving once again that Splatoon can make guns sound hilarious, the .52 Gal is my weapon of choice for ranged slaying. It's not so great at turfing, but once your whole team pushed to center map, you'll be glad this weapon is in nearby to beat your opponents back.

The .52 is all about damage per shot. Strangely, I feel comfortable with slow ROF, high damage per shot as opposed to most low damage, high ROF because I feel I can be accurate just long enough to land those critical shots, as opposed to keeping a sustained stream of fire on-target. Of course, I really like the art deco (read:bejeweled) variant because it comes with seekers: easy mode in an exploding, homing roomba.

It's hard to pick between the two of these, but put simply, this slot is about brushes, or swords as I sometimes view them. At any rate, the brush is all about being fast and annoying. It's not about scoring even as much splats as the rollers. Hell, it's hard to score splats if you try a ganking strategy. But the brush is certainly the most unique weapon in the home decoration box.

Usually if you want to outrun danger, you'd squid away in your ink. But that's certainly not always possible considering an enemy team hellbent on splatting you, where even missing you means surrounding you in sticky ink. Things are different with the brush though, letting you turf by flicking paint around you then carving yourself an escape route when things get dicey. Defense up is a luxury to help you survive close calls while ink resistance is required since you'll oftentimes see your left foot step on enemy ink, even if you're carving with the brush.

One of the new weapons from the August update is just an overglorified bucket. It could be filled with anything: water, paint, ink, pain, but whatever it is, it arcs like nothing else in the game.

I like to try and see what weapon qualifies as being called a shotgun in Splatoon. The slosher certainly comes close with an extremely definable short range burst. Unlike a shotgun though, the slosher is cool because it evens the playing field when it comes to the height advantage. Have the high ground? Rain death from above like anything else. Getting inked by someone on their high horse? The slosher actually excels the closer you are. Inklings have this annoying problem of not being able to shoot over certain humps of elevation so they really need to be on the edge to shoot down properly. The slosher can get in a blind spot and just shoot straight up and watch the ink fall straight on that high horse's head.

Heavy Splatling
Finally the big gun itself, the heavy splatling. From the way the inkling holds the gun during victory, you'd think this thing came straight out of Team Fortress 2's heavy weapons guy.

This thing is a combination of the charger and the shooter with a charge time, great range, and great ROF. Really, there's nothing more satisfying than laying down a wall of ink while also splatting one, two, maybe even three inklings, all at a range very few weapons outside of the charger category can touch. More should be said about how powerful it is, especially as I like to use it as an overwatch position, but really the thing is a childhood dream of own a super soaker that works like a minigun. That's just awesome.


8:47 PM on 08.10.2015

Carbon Roller, why are you so good to me? I don't deserve something as good as you in Splatoon.


1:39 AM on 08.09.2015

I am Destructoid's newest heel. I shall misspell all your names, condemn the good name of your forums, and vote for Donald Trump for president!


10:16 PM on 08.01.2015

Let's stay hydrated! My favorite hot levels!

Summer for me means an excessive amount of sweating. I've never been good at keeping my composure in the heat, dehydrating within minutes of sweating in response to heat. Working in summer has basically mandated me to carrying around a water bottle, which I go through at least 6 times during a normal work day. Of course, when you think of heat in terms of video games, you're first thought is probably, "uncreative lava level."

Despite fire and lava being relugated to the uncreative pile of video game tropes and ideas, you might be hard pressed to actually think of good, hot levels in video games. At least, it might be hard to think of a few that go beyond your typical lava level in a game. But there are, and in thinking up this list I've found that good fiery or hot levels actually create quite a few interesting gameplay mechanics and wrinkles asides from instant death to lava.

So here's to a nice, warm feeling these levels conjure up. Be sure to bring some water though and stay hydrated. At the very least, try not to catch fire and/or dry up into a human prune.

Solar - Starfox 64
Let's get the most extreme example of a fire/lava level out of the way with the ultimate in extreme fire/lava levels: the surface of a star, or at the very least a planet that is completely covered in molten magma. At first I thought Solar was just the Lylat System's local sun, until Arwingpedia told me the actual sun is called Lylat and Solar is just a red drawf. So don't worry, you're not flying through a sun! You're just flying over a molten star with a surface of 3,500 K, so no biggie!

Just imagine the first time you finished Katina, only to see your route extend to both Sector X and the freaking star. Flying over this thing's surface is fraught with dangerous flares and extremely evolved bioweapons that Andross believed made the molten rock such a strategically valuable location. Even your hi-tech Arwings, with their G-diffuser system, can't stay in its atmosphere indefinitely. You'll constantly be taking damage, so the level Solar is unique in that its design necessitates constant health pickups.

Old King Coal's domain - Banjo-Tooie
Old King Coal stands out as one of the more intimidating looking bosses from the Banjoverse. After all, you're fighting a giant anthropomorphic lump of coal in a train engine that heats up with you in it, making the floor super hot and choking you in high heat and smoke.

In reality, Old King Coal is pretty easy, especially if you just spam ice eggs at him. The point still stands that his entire environment takes place in what is essentially an oven that slowly cooks you. Things come to a head when, after reducing his body to just a hopping head, he turns up the heat and leaves it up until you put him down. It doesn't help that he gets faster the more his body falls apart from damage. So you better end things quickly before you get a new take on the fried turducken with the bird and bear duo.

Lethal Lava Land - Mario 64
Lethal Lava Land is one apt name for a level in Mario 64. Fall off an established platform and you'll likely die. Lava takes 3 humongous ticks of health, where you bar only had 9, and of course falling off certain areas means you'll have no chance at recovery.

We see lava all the time but we never really stop to think how hot it really is just being near it. This is an entire world that is perceivably nothing but lava. Not only that, there are jets of fire rising out and a volcano in the center, with more lava and fire. I felt hot standing in the cheap seats of a pyrotechnic rock concert. Now how about standing on a brick platform, surrounded by lava, with jets of fire going off around you?

Temple/Hell - Spelunky
If you're skilled enough to get past the most difficult portion of Spelunky, the caves, you're greeted by an ancient temple filled with lava pools. Trust me, it's easier. At least you won't have to worry about blind drops.

Of course, lava pits spawning fire elementals is nothing compared to Hell itself. If the heat of the fire and lava isn't enough to make you sweat yourself into dehydration, the difficulty and razor sharp margins for error on avoiding demons, swing ball and chains, and lots, and lots of spikes, will make you sweat like you've just forgotten everything in the middle of an SAT. Don't cool off with water. Cool yourself off in hell with copious amounts of gold and jewels!

Gerudo Desert - Ocarina of Time
The Gerudo, like a lot of desert tribe analogues, are tough people for making a living someplace where your main climate is dry as fuck sand. They get their come uppance as sea pirates in Majora's Mask but in the here and now, the Gerudo tribe of the Gerudo desert live in a sparse environment.

A major part of this area is the sandstorm which has you walking in circles unless you can follow a tricky poe ghost. It's even filled with those annoying creatures who have nothing better to do than to pop out and pester you. These pests have no need to subsist on life giving water and instead would rather ankle bite you into submission. The only thing worse than dying of thirst in the middle of a sandstorm is falling over with chewed through ankles while you die of thirst.

Mojave Wasteland - Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas is the only game on this list that will tell you to drink water because you have been dried out by the parched Mojave Wasteland. Of course, dying of thirst isn't you're only worry, but it will constantly nag you on your priorities alongside hunger, radiation sickness, and disembowelment.

You'll be the only thing on the desert worried about actually drinking water as yao guai, death claws, and giant rad scorpions will either make a meal or you, or just fuck your day over. This is an area where an item is clearly labelled as dirty water but you don't think twice about drinking it because it'll give you health, even if it invisibly gives you diarrhea. Dirty with what exactly? Radiation? Probably. AIDs? There are super mutants about afterall.

Tuchanka - Mass Effect 3
Something needs to be said about a planet which is actively described as hostile by the inhabitants, who are built like anthropomorphic tanks but are considered a prey species. Everything that needs to be said about Tuchanka's harsh desert can be seen on the evolution of the krogan.

Krogans can store water and nutrients like camels. They have several redundant organs in case of failure. Males have four testicles in order to reproduce as fast as the mortality rate. They revere a giant sand worm. Mass Effect is decidedly sci-fi but the mortal dangers of Tuchanka are pretty classic and old school. If the planet doesn't kill you, the krogans will.

The Nether - Minecraft
The Nether is like hell. It's almost entirely on fire and anything that's not on fire is just lava. The only other thing I need to say about the Nether to describe its place on this list is just this one detail.

It is impossible to bring water into the Nether. It evaporates as soon as you try pouring it out. That makes the Nether pretty hot, don't you think?

Volcanic Rim - Street Fighter IV
Does the World Warrior Tournament have a charter or even basic rules? Who decided to hold a bare knuckle brawl next to an active volcano?

Asides from sharing a similar name with a great movie, Volcanic Rim is infamous in competitive circles for its intrusive level of darkness. Pro players actively do not pick this stage because they consider that it has an effect on their ability to play. That's how dark Volcanic Rim is. We're treading on Mortal Kombat territory now. Sure, the fights are to knockout but what if E. Honda lands badly from that shoryuken and takes a nice lava bath? This isn't Scorpion's territory, this is a game where an oily Turkish wrestler manhandles a green, Brazilian man-monster.

Got your own choices for hot, fiery levels that make you sweat and thirsty? Leave them in the comments below! I know you have them! There's always plenty on these kinds of lists!


9:26 PM on 07.27.2015

Stealthy ninja shorts: quality binding time with Isaac

Binding of Isaac is a big name in the indie domain. I loved watching runs of it on a YouTube I follow, Star (also called Ster). It was hard to believe Rebirth could further refine the formula but not only does it do so with a massive quantity over quality aspect (while still being quality), but it's hard to believe that by moving away from Flash, the speed and complexity of Isaac could improve so exponentially.

All these compliments were from just watching it, before buying it.

Now I got it for (New) 3DS. It's actually so enjoyable that I'm currently playing it over Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. But both are games supported on a fun factor that no two runs are ever alike. In MH4U, maybe Seregios will be more aggressive with its talon tear then usual. Maybe in Isaac, I get mega tears to really burn through the floors? Who knows?

IV The Emperor - Challenge me!

Reaffirming my love of Monster Hunter is Isaac's penchant of challenging me. How about three bats while you have only a sliver of a cliff to stand on? Four monsters leaving bloody creep with another four charging me? A boss who shoots lasers and spawns flies that explode into more bullets? It's all fair game considering what upgrades you can get for Isaac.

I've gotten mega tears with poison before. I got Azazel's mini brimstone to encircle me as a shield before. Raiden-style homing lasers, charm shot, reusable cluster bombs, machine gun mini tears, and more! This game is crazy with variables.

The Treasure pool

For a game covered in religious imagery, it's surprisingly straightforward. Sure, you can dig deep on how The Bible item kills Mom instantly or how the impact of using devil deal rooms. Or you can just play and accomplish runs over and over again in order to unlock new items for the item pool. There's that too.

Isaac also scratches that old school itch of mystery. Even with wikis helping you describe item effects, it can be very time consuming to look up every item and figure it out before you pick up a dead cat's head. Over time you just gotta learn items by their look and memorize what they do so you can build a very synergous set. I generally keep my eye out for Guppy items or the Gimpy. I now know never to pick up Number One or Soy Milk. Oh boy! Soy Milk did ever change my run.

Whatever mom!

Isaac is still a game that requires the extra power of the New 3DS to get its desired results. For a game filled with so many variables with the requirement of extra power, there's bound to be a few hiccups. Mine have been a little more noticeable than the usual glitches I'm used to to.

The music will cut out random after certain attacks. Or maybe just randomly. Who knows? I know this has happened in the PC version before though. But that's only cosmetic.

Certain bosses near the endgame have flat out turned invisible. I have yet to see Mam Gurdy because the first and only time I've encountered her, she was invisible. Much more significant is the final stage of Satan becoming invisible in his final form. That was kind of unfair.


Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -