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
- Mass Effect 2
- Yoshi's Island
- Monday Night Combat
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Super Mario World
There's always that one guy who says, "I've played Animal Crossing but I don't get it."
Then again, Animal Crossing was probably a precursor to the slew of games that people don't get. Games with a vague goal; where the enjoyment is difficult to describe and is just there. But there are some things that are probably easier to explain as to why Animal Crossing is enjoyable. I mean, it's not accurate to call it a life simulator like lazier gamers would call it. No, that would be a disservice to how enjoyably idealistic Animal Crossing is compared to real life. Animal Crossing lets you escape real life to a better, simpler life. Something compelling enough to say, leave a party early because Crazy Redd is going to pack up his black market soon and seeing if he has any rare swag is much better than celebrating your friend's birthday.
No, no. Animal Crossing is better than real life. So much better that it's almost a shame the next iteration isn't on a home console because it gives you an excuse to go home. But seriously, any boring moment can be passed if you have Animal Crossing in your back pocket.
You get to be a home owner with zero interest I don't even own a home and I know the process isn't like buying a candy bar. People don't just have enough money laying around to buy a house in cash. No sir, if I am to understand adult life correctly, there are things called loans and mortgages you use because, "You're not rich don't lie to yourself. We'll help you pay off this house but we're not just giving you money. If you take too long, there's this thing called interest that accumulates for no reason other than our own profit, so get to paying it slugger and enjoy your new house!"
In Animal Crossing, the resident entrepenuer, Tom Nook, is usually despised for what is essentially indentured servitude. Only he simply gets a bad rap because he asks you to buy a house without letting you so much as say no. But he lets you buy a house interest free. Hell, your house is essentially free if you decide to never give Nook any bells, the currency of Animal Crossing. Just wanna live in a shack and never give Nook a dime? There's no interest, or loan sharks, or repo men. You essentially pay off your house the same way you'd pay for Sony's online Playstation services: you can pay them money for Plus but no one's going to make you break your back for that money. You can easily still play online and not pay a cent. So in this sense, you can continue to have a roof over your head and never need to pay a bell. But paying off those loans gets you expansions after all.
The economy is bursting and independent I get an average of 24 hours a week at my part-time job working at a theme park, working that minimum wage plus premiums depending on the time and job. I wouldn't be able to afford your average rent on my own though, let alone buy fancy things. Most people my age around me find a roommate to split an apartment.
That's some Lost World stuff going on here
But in Animal Crossing, you can sell the fruit you find on trees and make enough money to buy what? Enough stuff to furnish your newly expanded home? Items include a grandfather clock, chic drawer, and even a whole bed. Not to mention the clothing you can buy. All off what can only be considered day laborer work.
There's fruit to harvest, random furniture and clothing to sell second hand, a thriving ecosystem to be exploited (RED SNAPPERS), and every town seems to be built on top of prime archaeological real estate where you can sell fossils for capitalistic gain. The cultural advancement of my home town? Yeah right! Take that boney gold to the nearest Nook's chain and get cold hard bells for it.
Interpersonal relations are easy and binary Human interaction is complex and annoying. Say you want to talk to a friend about that awesome pie you ate and they think pies rock. But make a new friend and if you bring up your favorite and extremely important pie small talk, they'll rebuff you because their father was killed by a pie and now you've dredged up some painful memories that just kills the whole conversation. And the next person loves pies but only apple pies and if you bring up anything else like peach cobbler, he's going to call you a pie scrub and tell you to take your bitch ass somewhere else.
Interacting with your neighbors in Animal Crossing is far easier and while perhaps a bit simplistic, it makes enjoying their company much easier compared to guess-the-pie-temperament of most real humans.
Now, I don't want to call them shallow, but your neighbors will be easy to understand and easy to get along with. All Rex the lion wants to talk about is that dream he had about how he ate a marshmellow and how his pillow disappeared in the morning. Basically, he wants to talk about food all the time and maybe he's a stoner. Meanwhile, there's Goose the chicken. He's a meathead of an exercise freak but at least he won't be dropping any bombs about how his friend the other day told him how much of a jerk he is and why he thinks everyone else is so wrong in their opinions. No sir, he's going to talk about how many push ups he can do because he is proud of his abs goddammit.
Start up a random conversation and they might even give you a present! And they'll never expect anything in return. You could just be talking about the weather then bam! He gives you a sweet new table to put your pies on.
Everything's closer I live in Southern California, which is basically all car and commuter culture. Anyplace I want to go to, I have to drive there. Work is always a 2 hour drive, friends are a half hour away, and shopping is 15. I have to always think about my gas and the commute time and while I've been to rural areas where everything is much further apart, commuter life still makes the world feel spaced out.
But in Animal Crossing, everything's within walking distance. The stores, neighbors, friends, the museum, and even other towns are only a small train ride away. Public transportation is almost binary there! Here, I have to worry about bus routes and train schedules but in Animal Crossing, if I want to visit another town, I just hop on a train and it's always on time; my time.
Want a change of pace? There are constantly new faces visiting and setting up shop. Flea markets, touring clothing designers, wandering artists, and aliens who are actually animals in possession of flying saucer technology. You never have to go far to find something interesting and likewise, your trip back home to kick back is never going to be long. Stay out too late on a fishing trip for exotic fish? No problem. My house is literally 5 minutes away.
Anyone can be an artist So say inspiration strikes you and you want to suddenly paint your own design and put it on the wall. Well, good luck on the supplies and application but after it's all said and done, what then? Just put it on your sidewalk and ask for takers? A hobo is more likely to sell his wares then you at that point. Everyone could use a clean windshield.
But make a design in Animal Crossing and suddenly not only can it be displayed anywhere, it's fits into an almost universal design slot. A fancy pattern can be both a nice shirt and a creative wallpaper! Plus the Able Sisters will always proudly display your creative endeavors. Not to mention how easy it is to visit other towns and peruse that town's own indie designers.
I'm sorry, is actually making the pattern too hard for you? Well now you can take a snap shot of a QR code and have the pattern instantly assembled for you! Think of all the Link shirts there'll be floating around! It definitely will not be so indie at that point.
Real life is a pain in the ass compared to living with animals. Everyone wants to be your friend and everything is cheaper without sacrificing quality. Compared to real life which can be filled with backstabbers trying to hawk knock off goods to you with their exorbitant prices in an attempt to prey off whatever is left of your good side.
Let's face it, when Animal Crossing New Leaf comes out, life will be better if only so we can finally have a second, more enjoyable life.
Listen up you Turkish ghost monkeys! Hoss Delgado has something to say and Hoss Delgado does not. Repeat. HIMSELF. I clearly am the worthy recipient of this Delgado recording device. It could very well jump start my long stagnant paranormal business and regular start my YouTube side career.
A CAREER IN EXPOSING FRAUDS
As the world's foremost 2,057th authority on ghosts and video games television on the internet (something I like to shorten to GAVGTOTI), a man must always be prepared for any situation. Which is why I'm already prepared with a television based recording device for all my current VGTOTI needs. I already have a thriving install base of 212 subscribers, with potentially 213 on a snow day. And of course, in between the uploads of all my riveting games involving multiplayer failures and reality television style singleplayer gaming, I also hunt down exotic paranormal creatures to make ends meet. Creatures such as Blaculas, striped yetis, and swedish fiend chefs, all of which terrorize humanity behind the scenes and various restaurants. But Hoss Delgado is always searching for ways to improve himself. Much like how Ghandi was constantly improving himself. By learning krav maga before purchasing himself an AK-47.
But don't take my word for it. Hoss Delgado knows words mean nothing. Nothing when compared to the hot sting of six .50 caliber rifles duct-taped onto a cylinder to create my patented Delgado-nizer. Or perhaps just an example of my previous exploits. Such as when I deigned to play The Simpsons with other Dtoiders. Or when I celebrated Destructoid's 6th birthday! Or when I threw my voice at some skeletons, and when I realized it wasn't hurting them, I threw astral arrows at them! Or Terraria with friends with Mario World as the background music! All this with my current set up! Imagine the strength of my brand with the Delgado Game Capture HD!
What? It's called an Elgato? But I thought this technology was rightfully mine due to copyright? Nobody knows who Hoss Elgato is anyways!
If I win, my first action will not be to play some games and put it on the internet. It will be to rename this device the Hoss Delgado Game Capture HD.
Injustice is definitely one of the more keepaway friendly fighting games. In many fighting games, keepaway is a niche role in the cast. But in Injustice, most characters have a strong option for zoning at all times. 9 out of the 25 characters seem to have powerful options to zone and control space in the game. Even Superman has great tools at his disposal with his sweeping eye lasers and straight eye beams! Deathstroke is the most popular offender but countless other characters don't get any grief until you actually run into them like Aquaman or Black Adam.
It's either to just give up after being zone out the whole match by a Deathstroke but in actuality, keepaway is strong but not an end all, be all strategy. The most important thing to remember about keepaway is that it's built on the notion of frustrating your opponent. If your opponent can't get in, undisciplined fighters get frustrated. And when you're frustrated, your execution and judgment suffer. Anything that makes you play worse only furthers the zoner's plan of attack. In most cases of Injustice matches, most damage isn't necessarily done through chip but rather through clean hits while the one being forced to approach lets clean hits get through.
Here are important tips to getting around keepaway in Injustice, but most can be applied to other fighting games as well.
Be patient Nothing good comes from rushing in hastily. You're going to need to keep your head cool because a hot head will make mistakes. Patience is equally important to the zoner because they need to stick to their gameplan and have an idea of what to do if it breaks apart. After all, Green Lantern has few options if Catwoman gets in on him but the ability to break free isn't impossible.
Chip damage is meager but piles up in the right cases. Still, chip damage is better than raw damage, especially in cases where your opponent decides to burn meter for extra damage. Wasting meter is practically a sin in this game. Don't worry so much about blocking attacks fullscreen when your main concern is to not take full damage at fullscreen.
Stay grounded Jumping is a big liability against keepaway. Not only can you not block in cases of bad calls, but being knocked out of the air moves you back, which is exactly what the zoner wants.
The smart thing to do is to leverage all you can into ground movement. For certain characters, dashing on the ground is in fact faster than jumping. Other characters have extremely floaty jumps, which can help. Ground game is easy to dismiss when you're used to the idea of jumping over attacks while moving forward but sometimes making the call to jump forward can become a guessing game. Even characters with slow dashes are better off doing something they know is safe rather then doing something risky.
A great example of this principle is Nightwing in escrima mode. Wile he is often a victim of keepaway, his dash can put him in range after two or three reps. Against dedicated keepaway, you can easily breach their comfort zone after dashing once or twice, blocking one volley of projectiles, then quickly dashing again. Nightwing can easily close the distance on Deathstroke after one or two waves of bullets as long as you're careful to factor in lag.
Awareness Being held at fullscreen can give you a lot of time to assess the situation. Like, if you're having trouble getting in, you might accidentally notice how much meter you both have. Maybe you incidentally have enough for super? You'd also probably notice they have meter for enhanced projectiles, like knowing Superman has access to meter burn eye beams, which becomes an overhead.
This is of course practice for staying aware when you're being pressured as well. Knowing things like meter management and positioning will help. Knowing your opponent has a projectile that becomes an overhead with meter or that you have super ready with armor goes hand in hand with the mind games of overcoming keepaway. After all, what is keepaway but a repeating series of predictable attacks? Outsmarting the pattern is a given but knowing your limits given the options of meter and execution is important. Keepaway should know to be careful if characters like Batman or Killer Frost have super ready to punish.
Of course, you should also be careful of your opponent's supers. You wouldn't believe how many times I fell for wake up supers.
Pour on the pressure Once you do get in, you might be tempted to take a step back and think about how you want to approach the rest of the match. Maybe you back off for a split second worried that a reversal is coming your way or lag will prevent you from dong what you want.
Even with the worry of reversals, I can promise you that you're better of keeping the pressure up and to throw out meaty attacks or cross ups on them. Think about all the times you were a victim of rush down and how you felt things spiral out of control. While keepaway can frustrate people at range, the same can happen as you continue relentless pressure. Staying on them and continuing your offense can have a similar effect of demoralizing and confusing someone who needs space and range to function at their best. Even something as simple as making them guess between an overhead or a sweep on wake up can do a lot to keep the game in your favor. Something as simple as a guessing game can detract from a zoner's ability to correctly space and defend while in an unfavorable situation.
In a lot of examples, the best scenario is called a vortex; a situation where every successful attack leads to a hard knockdown. The knockdown seems like a fairly basic event but the momentum of a match rides on every knockdown. Getting up from a knockdown with the attacker right next to you is as disadvantageous as you can get in a fighting game. At best you can gamble on a reversal which may or may not get blocked, leaving you open. At worst, you're forced to figure out how to prevent additional damage by blocking correctly or avoid a throw attempt. And a vortex is a situation where you're constantly knocked down and forced to guess what direction to block or how to avoid damage because if you guess wrong, the cycle of damage and knockdowns continue until you can break it.
In most scenarios, you shouldn't be giving space because you're afraid of a reversal. You should press your advantage and pressure your opponent, at least as safe as you can make it.
I think the most important part is to not give up and not be impatient. Most keepaway don't involve combos. They involve slowly chipping away at your health bar, whether they're actual hits or actual chip damage. But as anyone who's been a victim of keepaway can attest to, keepaway is a long, slow process. Usually I take my time to use that process to plan out my approach and as long as I don't get greedy in the number of dashes or how I spend meter, things come out closer than you'd expect between a good player and a good zoner.
The first week of any competitive multiplayer is always the most tumultuous. A large influx of new players of varying backgrounds, with different skill levels, and different aptitudes to learn, get better, or otherwise exploit the game for their own means.
Injustice is accessible but also unforgiving at times. Sometimes you can spam a move and effectively shut someone down. But the strictness in stringing together combo moves and specials are not lenient at all. After ten matches of crushing defeat and ten matches of enlightened victory, I can start to see how the meta game for the initial stages of launch will be.
Interactive items are also powerful and more than you think. All interactive item attacks are unblockable, which makes them an important subject to learn and counter, lest you lose a large portion of life to them. You not only need to pay attention to the spacing between you and your opponent but also your opponent's position in the stage. If he's moving backwards deliberately, chances are he's trying to lure you into an environmental hazard. I've played a few matches where a character intentionally moved away from me, despite my repertoire of projectiles. All in an obvious attempt to have move in range of a car or statue so they could smash me.
It's this tactic that makes stages like Metropolis so popular or Atlantis so favorable. On Metropolis, there are an infinite number of hovercraft that respawn no matter how often a power character may throw them. This makes the stage favorable if the player relies on brute strength than player skill. Atlantis by comparison has only a few interactive items which stay destroyed after being used.
Most interactive items have set trajectories when used depending on the character. Gadget characters will cause debris from an explosion to move downward. Power characters may chuck them at a 45 degree angle. Most items can usually be avoided my jumping though. Flash can even phase through these attacks to give you an idea on unique character options. By far the most important thing to know is that using these items have a long start up period. If you find yourself being maneuvered into position for an item attack, remember that you can also hit them out of their wind up period. Usually this means using your trusty reversal move to knock them down.
Grappler characters are still in Injustice despite the superpowers. Rather than focus on making their throws fast, they often times have armor. It fits though because this game isn't about speed but spacing. But it certainly changes the idea of fighting grapplers in Injustice since we're used to pure keepaway from throw range. Instead, characters like Bane or Solomon Grundy have command throws that cause them to move forward with armor. Reacting is less about staying out of range and more about reacting to the actual action.
Another powerful character to watch for is Raven. Her Singularity attack lets her instantly reach out a set distance and crush her opponent into a ball. It doesn't matter if they're jumping or crouching; if they're not blocking, it'll catch them. Raven is one of the few characters to demonstrate a catch type projectile that simply hits everything in front of it. Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, has a similar power in Lantern's Might, which makes midrange for characters of similar movesets dangerous when they can control space.
Overall, space control and zoning is somewhat prevalent and especially hard to adapt to due to the large size of characters and uncancelable dashes. Avoiding unnecessary damage from zoning is difficult since movement is strict, but chip isn't a big deal either. All moves do chip just like in Mortal Kombat, but just like MK, chip damage isn't a terribly large factor to losing, at least now. Chip can build up, but it's almost impossible to keep someone out the entire match and expect to do win with only chip damage. The amount of chip versus actual damage is different from Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 where the amount of chip damage being dealt is high and significant to most zoning strategies. Zoning in Injustice is more about frustration and gradual damage rather then total lock down. The frustration is what allows zoners to catch sloppy players with clean hits. But if someone were to stand back and block all the hits, it's not likely to build any meaningful damage.
The game is still building a community though. There is no clear dominating of character selection. From what I've seen, even Bane and Doomsday have initial niches and Deathstroke is certainly popular but not dominate. It'll probably take a month or two before we see a clear picture of how the game will develop.
Battleblock Theater is some stupid fun. Co-op platform puzzle challenges can be straight forward enough. Though not always as easy as one might describe, they're meant to be figured out eventually. Something you'll want to learn quickly that isn't immediately explained though are the weapon tools. For five yarn balls each, you can bribe the cat guards into giving you a weird weapon they happen to have laying around the theater. Throwing fireballs? Where was that? Behind the desk?
I can see a lot of people getting frustrated in the competitive portion of BBT. Which is why I wanted to write this out. I played in the beta and experienced a lot of shenanigans earlier than most and figure out some things. The forums were riddled with complaints of balance though in the end, my opinion is that a game about throwing exploding dancing frogs at your opponent shouldn't be taken too seriously.
Frisbee mine: Everyone's first weapon and a weapon that's honestly a bit hard to be effective with in the beginning. You're going to need to play through a few chapters of the story just to earn the yarn balls needed to get something that's not the frisbee mine, because everyone else will be using dramatically different and easier to use weapons.
The frisbee mine is primarily area of denial. When thrown, it can strike a prisoner and knock them down for a second. But only after about few more seconds will the mine explode. It'll never explode prematurely, which makes scoring aggressive kills with it difficult. Still, it's nature as a deterrent has merit in gametypes that aren't Muckle (team deathmatch). After all, your first reaction after getting knocked down by it is to get away from it, right? Throw it around in Capture the Horse or Ball and you're sure to deter your foes.
Grenades: Practically everybody's favorite weapon online. Just fire and forget easymode most of the time, but there is a science behind that will make or break it's effectiveness.
You throw this bad boy in a lob. It'll either explode after a few seconds or, and this is important, after it makes contact. Unlike the frisbee mine, it's detonation on impact is precisely what makes this weapon so appealing. Just set up shop on high ground and watch those peasants below you struggle!
Luckily, there are options around it. If you get in close, the grenade will straight up not come out. This thing is effective at mid-range but not much else unless they intend on dying with you. Something not well explored is the ability to slide kick grenades. If you're not running away from grenades, you should be sliding towards them and hopefully you'll take out the thrower in the process. Of course, how easy it is to score kills makes this a gem on Muckle and other modes where you know players will be lining up like King of the Hill.
The Fan: Ah, the fan. The bane of Ball mode. Using the power of pure modern convenience, the fan will blow and push anything its way in the opposite direction for a few seconds. Grenades, frisbees, other players, and yes, also the ball in the Ball gametype. This item is purely defensive but damn if it isn't defensive!
This thing isn't a whirlwind though. It's effect can only be felt close up and its cone of effect is pretty narrow. Still, players can pretty much camp the baskets and spam it all day unless you get creative on how you approach the fan. Of course, like I said, it needs to be close and within it's reach. That makes it inflexible to a different approach. Not to mention once you break it out, you're stuck with it until it finishes its business.
There's nothing quite like blowing someone off the stage and into water though. It'll see the most use on Ball but expect to see it on Muckle if only to screw with people spamming grenades.
Fireballs: Probably in second place after grenades for ease of use. Once it hits, it sets it's target on fire. They won't die immediately though. They'll burn a slow, agonizing death, just like in real life! Also just life in real life, they're free to spend their last few seconds alive praying or running into other people they wish to die alongside them. Including you. Your hands might be fireproof to throw pyromania but the rest of your body isn't.
Needless to say, if you throw this into a crowd, expect to create pandemonium. The fireball is slow and travels only a set distance however. The distance is actually quite short. Short enough that most people will immediately realize the option of setting you on fire in their last act of vengeance, so be flighty as you use it.
Just think, "What would Ryu from Street Fighter do?" though. Ryu wouldn't just throw out a single fireball willy nilly. He'd punch his opponent then combo his fireball. The same is true here. Any weapon benefits from you punching your opponent first and throwing your weapon but the fireball benefits especially because it also gives you time to runaway from your flaming vendetta. You'll see this a lot in Muckle. May God help you if you throw this into a mosh pit.
Acid Bubbles: When these pretty little bubbles are launched, they immediately travel at an upward angle until they meet something to impede their path, where they then stick around a little longer until they pop much later. Their upwards trajectory makes them hard to use in close combat but the fact that they last for a really long time makes them great for area denial and defense.
Their upward trajectory also hides their one weakness: they're harmless when jumped on. Move into it at any other angle and you're just bones but they can actually help you gain altitude if you jump on them. So it's not exactly threatening if you attempt to use this if your opponent has an immediate height advantage.
The best (and most annoying) way to use this weapon is to spam it a lot and create a linear cloud of death nobody will want to enter. Luckily, hitting other weapons will pop them and the fan trivializes them. But if you want to make getting somewhere difficult, like in Capture the Horse of Color the World, this thing is an absolute menace.
Frogs: These weird little guys come out with all the pizzaz of a Broadway show and exit like the Mythbusters: with an explosion.
These guys travel in a straight line, on the ground, until they either touch something or just run out breath. Then they explode similarly like grenades. Unlike grenades, they don't explode on impact, so if you brush up against one, you have a chance of escaping. Like the bubbles but on a lower altitude, these little guys are annoying when spammed for area denial. Fortunately, they only know one dance number, so getting around these guys is about taking the high ground.
Other items will make them prematurely explode, so be generous with your own items when you feel things are getting cramped. They last for a while so expect to see dozens of dance numbers over the course of a game. Capture the Horse can become a nightmare with these things but imagine seeing them show up on your turf in Color the World.
Paper Airplane: Fairly uncommon from my experiences. The paper airplane is thrown out at a curvy line in one direction. It's not exactly straight but it is straight enough that you can stand on one end of a map to bombard a far away area with exploding paper airplanes.
The paper airplane is the only item that can be remote detonated. It also has two states when active: healthy and crumpled. These two animations pretty much define whether or not if it's actually flying or if it's landed. Regardless, after you throw the airplane, you can detonate it after a brief priming period. Due to the priming though, the airplane is very unsuited to close quarters combat. But that's ok because this weapon can go further than any other weapon in the game. And the remote detonation lets you do goofy things trying to score explosion kills.
Not a lot off maps come with the space you need to really be comfortable with the airplane but casually bombarding spaces in King of the Hill would go a long way.
Vacuum: The vacuum has one purpose and one purpose only: the suck up stuff. Unlike the fan, which can blow people off a stage, the vacuum will bring them closer. On the bright side, it completely nullifies items it sucks up. So if someone has an itchy trigger finger with his item, you can suck it up and tell them you keep a clean house.
There are limited functions to bringing enemies closer to you though. While the fan has more utility, the vacuum is even more defensive and limiting. On the other hand, if you have an aggressive team mate, you can clean the area of enemy danger and leave your partner to throwing out destruction.
There is one gametype this really shines though and this is Ball. The fan will blow stuff away but the vacuum will suck up enemy shots and then give you the ball to go on the offensive.
Boomerang: Personally my favorite weapon as it is generally a multipurpose offensive weapon. The boomerang stuns anyone it hits, which is time that can be spent knocking the enemy around or time to to put more distance between you two.
The fact that it goes back and forth between the user also means it takes up a lot of space and can control it well. As long as the map has hazards, you can throw it up and generally use that time to kill your enemies somehow.
I love this item on Muckle, but like I said, it has multiple uses and can be easily used for other competitive modes due to its flexibility.
Dart Gun: This weapon has limited use due to being more of an exploratory tool than a combat tool. Still, this weapon flies at a generous arc and distance and can still score a few points for general annoyance and long range pestering.
It's main benefit it creating makeshift platforms to reach high areas. Very rarely can you use the ricochet it causes from bouncing off its first target to make double hits.
Overall, this is easily best kept for story mode or challenges.
Dodgeball: Like the boomerang, this item stuns enemies it hits. Unlike the boomerang, it won't stun your allies and it travels in a bouncing arc. Another rarity online due to its weird arc hitbox, it nonetheless has properties contained within both the grenade and boomerang that yields a bit of both. Try using it in situations similar to the grenade and you'll see that it has less collateral damage, so you can use it without fear when your friend is mixed up with enemies.
Ice Cannon: This thing fills a role similar to the boomerang but with an extended reach. Only instead of covering the area in front of you, the ice cannon shoots two ice cubes are random arcs, covering a major part of the sky in front of you. While the area in front is relatively safe, you can use this from low ground and deny downward slopes for the enemy.
Instead of stunning the enemy, you freeze them blocks. They retain more movement compared to actually being stunned but they stay frozen for a longer amount of time. Either way, they're sitting ducks to follow up attacks, whether you wanna knock them into a hazard or if your buddy has different plans.
The exaggerate arc leaves the ice cannon more suited to being used based on map design rather than gametype. Any area that puts you on a lower plane, especially on defense, will give the ice cannon a significant advantage.
Forceball: While the Forceball looks lethal, it's actually completely support based and sees more use in story and challenge mode like the dart gun. Not only does this item deal pure knockback, lacking any destructive force, but it travels almost completely vertically, so it's hard to even get this thing to properly hit. The blast radius is admittedly pretty generous, and that knockback can be pretty useful on blowing people into hazards, it's limited hit zone means it's difficult to do anything besides knocking people high into the air to reach hard to reach things.
And there you have it. All thirteen items you can unlock, which you admittedly unlock pretty fast in the game. Undoubtedly, your first few matches in BBT's Arena modes can be confusing if you don't know what these items are capable of but hopefully a brief primer will better prepare you for what happens next in modes like Muckle, Ball, Capture the Horse, and so on.
Let's just get it out of the way right now: Mass Effect 3's multiplayer was a dark horse hit. Plenty of people ignored it but a lot of people who tried it got hooked on the Horde-mode survival, RNG item store and upgrades. Every time someone brings up ME3 MP, we go through these motions.
Now that that's out of the way, it may benefit you to know that the metagame has evolved a great deal over the past year. Five DLC packs were added to the game, dramatically changing the metagame and of how players approached the game. A common theme you'll see throughout the evolution of ME3's MP is something called the power creep; a term used to define how newer content that is introduced fails to take into consideration the balance of older content. In most cases, the newer content completely is more powerful than the older stuff, making said older stuff outdated and underpowered. An example of this happening is the introduction of the Asari Valkyrie in the Retaliation pack versus the N7 Fury from the Earth pack. Without deeper digging on how the two kits differ, one would suspect that the Asari Valkyrie does the exact same thing as the Fury, but has significantly higher survivability due to her having Tech Armor and its damage reduction. Why would you want to play as the Fury, who has less shields and no armor, when you could play as a Valkyrie with more defense?
Luckily, Bioware also threw in a number of hot fixes; adjustments made to the game's statistics without the need of introducing physical patches. When newer Vanguards and Adepts came onto the scene, people saw Drell quickly becoming outpaced in terms of performance. Drell had little shields and and even fewer attractive offensive options. Why play as the squishy Drell when you could play as a Krogan Battlemaster Vanguard? The Drell might have powerful Cluster Grenades but the Krogan could do almost the same damage by using Biotic Charge and meleeing everything afterwards. Shortly after Resurgence, Drell and Turians received impressive buffs to their passive skills, giving them significantly more weapon damage bonuses. To this day, Drell are still a niche choice for having the highest base weapon bonuses in the game at nearly 32.5%.
Early in the multiplayer life cycle, Infiltrators were definitely the most popular kit in the game. It's difficult to say no to a power that turns you invisible and boosts your weapon damage by nearly 80% on top of what you can already output. At first, maxing out Tactical Cloak would give sniper rifles a mind boggling 120% bonus! Not to mention nearly 8 seconds of invisibility to complete important objectives. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Soldiers, while popular in single-player, were definitely pretty weak in multiplayer. Early Soldiers were reliant on their weapons for damage but it can be difficult to get high end DPS with even the best weapon in the game, not to mention needing to top off regularly at ammo crates. Most of the Soldiers had powers that weren't worth comparing to even the free damage Incinerate offered.
Later, after Resurgence came out, the Tacticsl Cloak's duration was nerfed. It didn't make faithful Infiltrators move to another class, but it certainly put a damper on their beloved DPS. It did split the user base in half for the utility of Tac Cloak. Most still use the damage evolution for pure damage. But other Infiltrators, like the N7 Shadow or Quarian Male, will usually opt for a duration of 11 seconds to benefit their specific skill set.
Once Resurgence did come out, all the new character immediately became fast favorites. Geth were renowned for being glass cannons, being able to output ludicrious amounts of damage due to the buffs Hunter Mode conferred, and this is before the extra bonuses for using Geth weaponry. The Krogan Battlemaster Vanguard combined the best of the Vanguard class with the best of the hardy Krogan race. And Batarians had extremely powerful falcon punches. The Asari Justicar found a niche as a useful defensive, support class with her Biotic Bubble and even more Justicars found a niche in using their bubbles to throw on massive debuffs onto boss enemy units.
The first DLC pack hinted at the power creep with kits that already weren't all that popular such as the vanilla human kits like the Soldier or Engineer. Geth were extremely useful and the Krogan Vanguard was simply a powerhouse. And with new weapons coming out to supplement the other classes, even the older alien ones, the classes that were already unpopular became even more so. When Rebellion came out and introduced the Gear slot to further improve certain characters, the new weapons introduced in the pack increased the gap between characters like the Human Soldier and say, the Krogan Vanguard. The Reegar Carbine is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, and while it is certain powerful on a vanillla class like the Human Soldier, the Krogan Vanguard simply multiplies its power with his durability and utilities in close quarters combat.
Speaking of the Rebellion pack, the new weapons and equipment certainly made a bigger splash compared to the characters. Gear that can offer bonuses to shields and melee strength, not to mention the Reegar, the Krysea, and the Cerberus Harrier, which is now the most used weapon among N7 players. The new characters were rather mild by comparison, but the introduction of the Escort objective type was a big shake up. Escorting a data drone through hordes of deadly Reapers or Geth means smart players know that they're about to spend a few rockets.
Meanwhile for the characters, we only received three unique characters who swapped out certain skills by class. The Male Quarian Infiltrator for example had Tac Cloak while the Engineer version swapped it out for Incinerate. The Cerberus Defectors were woefully underpowered at the onset compared to how they are now with their balance patches. While their skills are interesting, both Lash and Smash shared a common trait in having tremendously long start up animations you couldn't cancel. Meanwhile, the Male Quarian had extremely powerful Arc Grenades that detonate on impact and Vorcha with true regenerating health to counter-balance their low shields which encouraged aggressive combat. Cerberus Defectors are still the least played class of all time while Vorcha and Male Quarians retain a niche for their powerful skills.
When Earth swung around, it introduced a bevy of unique characters who were all humans strangely. Most of the humans who were vanilla are hard to call powerful or unique but the humans from the Earth pack are differentiated as top of the line N7 operatives from Rio De Janero, with the aggressively biotic Fury adept and the tougher-than-a-krogan Destroyer soldier. Each of the six N7 characters introduced radically different ways of playing which introduced a breath of fresh air. The introduced weapons also had a time of extreme popularity that tapered off after a few weeks of time. The Typhoon experienced a time of domination among weapon-centric builds, especially with the Destroyer before he too was nerfed alongside the Typhoon. After their time in the sun though, the nerfs dampened most of the excitement to use them a lot.
Due to the nature of the RNG, usually when a new pack came out, most players were desperate to try the new content but instead got around to unlocking content from previous packs. It actually took me until last month to unlock the N7 Shadow.
Retaliation mixed the bag that Rebellion used, re-introducing old character classes but with different power sets to make them feel new. Many people had already played Geth as glass cannons but what about playing as Geth Soldier with Fortification to up your survivability and a Flamer powered by higher passive bonuses compared to Vorcha. Or an Asari with both Tech Armor and Annihilation Field for extreme CQC action. This was also the pack to introduce Volus as a sort of strange and unique alien class. Volus are extremely weak in direct combat but their unique power, Shield Boost, gives them a makeshift support role in the battlefield, refilling their shields and any adjacent allies. A lot of N7 operative would often times try to show off their skills by playing a Volus ironically but real Volus gameplay allows teams to survive in difficulties they can't normally compete in. The pack also introduced the long requested Turians who can roll. Except instead of rolling because apparently Turians can't roll, they have jetpacks to propel them for evasive maneuvers.
Of course, the biggest changer Retaliation offered was the return if the Collectors, who quickly became the most challenging faction to fit against. Many operatives agree that fighting Collectors is like fighting any other faction on a higher difficulty. Their ranks are composed of many units that force players to fight unconventionally as there are units that dangerous at both close ranged and long range. They also bring a lot of danger that changes the rules a lot, such as barrier that negate powers and attacks that reset power recharge timers.
Retaliation also refreshed Mass Effect's shelf life as a multiplayer by introducing player cards and challenges to show off your service in the war against the Reapers. If you've defeated a lot of Cerberus units, you'd receive a card called War Fighter, or extracting many times as kits from the Resurgence pack would make you an Insurgent. Completing all the challenges of course gave you the Best of the Best title featuring John or Jane Shepard.
Lastly, we finally come to the Reckoning pack, the final farewell to Mass Effect 3 altogether. Reckoning introduced several weapons that were unique to single-player like the Blood Pack Executioner and another six new characters, completely new. It brought some of the most rule breaking characters with characters with so much health due to their size, they can't take cover and one can't be sync killed! Some were received with mixed reception like the Krogan Warlord or Awakened Collector. Other had a fervor of excitement like the Geth Juggernaut or the Alliance Infiltrator. It was a fine way to send off the Mass Effect multiplayer, with a deafening confirmation that Bioware is moving on from the game and will leave it as is with no more updates or changes. In the end, even the buggy Talon Mercenary got fixed before Bioware moved on, leaving the exciting game that had been continually evolving for the past year to its fans to play in order to craft their own personal stories with their multiplayer characters.
Sorry Salarians. Looks like Bioware never got around to you guys.