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6:13 PM on 07.24.2015

Better with age: Konami's legendary, mystical ninja

Once upon a time, people liked Konami. The split between Kojima and Konami looks to be one of the most legendary of all time, going up there with the likes of The Beatles and Britney Spears/Kevin Federline. But we're concerned with this bad press for Konami because they made great games. And when I was a kid, none was more confusing and more gratifying to rematch than The Legend of the Mystical Ninja, though it's more readily known in Japan as being a part of the Ganbare Goemon series of games. Mystical Ninja was one of the many games that was well known for it's classic splash screen of a laser passing over the screen and revealing the Konami logo after a snappy sound effect.

"Doodoodoodoo deedee!~"

If it wasn't already apparent with its confusing localization name, I didn't understand the game at first on nearly every level. Culturally I didn't understand why I was beating up guys wearing octopus masks or straw hamper baskets on their heads. Mechnically I didn't realize the game has both RPG elements and more straight forward platforming gameplay. This was all compounded by the fact that I usually only got to play this game by visiting my cousin, who was the superior gamer in my mind with a robust collection of games spanning across a shelf and dozens of magazines with all the latest reviews, previews, and spikey headed fun factor designations. What's an 8-year-old to do? Git gud? NO. Play it short bursts when you're over and make little to no progress in understanding the game beyond, "Why is this guy getting so mad at me for not buying anything?"

As a child, I was just enjoying the flash and none of the substance. Move forward, hit stuff, die a couple times, game over, start again. It was frustrating to be sure. Goemon can't exactly take a lot of damage relative to the length of an entire stage (both town segment and action segment), and there pretty much zero mid-level health drops. While Mario can get multiple mushrooms in a level when his previous safety net gets used, your safety net in MN is basically your hands as you struggle to break your fall with your wrists. At least, that's how I viewed the game back then. You'll ocassionally grab a power-up to increase the range of your weapon, which is a godsend when the game can be ball crushingly hard. Grabbing a lucky cat turns your dinky pipe into a longer pipe until it becomes a chain of some sort. But taking damage reverts it one stage and this mechanic doesn't pad your health at all. Now imagine this torturous diffucult set against what might as well be a theme park that refuses to let you imagine the real world. This is framed in the context that an entire country's culture isn't a theme park but a collective, cultural identity. But lol Ebisumaru looks like a fat idiot amirite?

I've revisited the game several times throughout my life, each time understanding a little more about just how weird Japan is and how the true game mechanics are. For example, I started to get a better grasp of the in-game economy at work, such as buying armors to mitigate damage and help me get further in the level before getting frustrating and losing health. There are also the jutsu masters scattered throughout the game that give you powerful extra skills in returning for training and draining your health. As a kid, I wondered how I could ride an awesome tiger into battle or fly. I got a better understanding of seeking out the jutsu masters living in one of the random houses during the town phase. And now as an adult I see that the jutsus are rather tedious and one sided. You can only use the jutsu for the given level, jutsu dojos aren't clearly distinguished from other houses, making the job of finding them more difficult, and the jutsus themselves aren't really that helpful to begin with. The tiger isn't really that great and flying is situational.

But the real centerpiece to enjoying the games are the main platforming levels and the boss fights. Over time I come to an urge to really replay Mystical Ninja only to find myself mired in a tedious town phase grinding for money, for items, for pickups. But getting to the platforming action segments make up the bulk of my good memories and good gameplay. The first few stages exemplify what little I knew of the wild side of Japan's culture with the first few stages. There's a graveyard with bamboo pungi pits, umbrella demons, living fireballs, and a ghost lady wearing the typical Japanese undead headband. Later on you enter a ninja stronghold filled with clockwork ninjas, flipping trap doors, and secret compartments dropping bombs. Next thing you know you're crossing a bridge infested with octopi and fighting a Japanese lantern tree?

Even the box art typifies the usual Japan to U.S. localization attitude. The original Japanese art is happy-go-lucky, carefree, and utterly free of disdain. Just a ninja bouncing away from comical demons and his sidekick in a tutu.

Look at the American boxart and they made it borderline gritty reboot with an ugly ninja(?) riding a tiger staring down assorted weird Japanese monsters. Since when does Goemon wear a headband?

Oh Mystical Ninja, you're such a weird game. That's why it takes so much time and energy for me to completely understand you. But I'm glad I play you again and again at nearly every stage of my life just because I get a hankering for some Mystical Ninja. From the first time in elementary school, to emulation during high school and again in college, to finally just owning your virtual console release on the Wii U as an adult heading into the next stage of my life (marriage).

Thank you Mystical Ninja. You are so goddamn weird.


12:56 AM on 07.19.2015

Late night thoughts: better with too many hats

Life is always a whirlwind, especially when you have so many hats to put on. Can you imagine Andy Dixon having his family man hat, his work hat (I believe he works at a tech company?), and his Destructoid hat. I'd like to imagine his family hat is a bear hood, his work hat is a hard hat, and his work hat is some big, unspeakable eldritch head. My life is a lot like that right now, or a lot like Team Fortress 2 for a more anecdotal approach. Work, Destructoid, and fiance, all bouncing off each other like a scout pinballing off people with the Baby Face Blaster. One of these examples is probably a ghastly gibbus. Oh yeah, did I mention I'm getting married? All kinds of busy. These aren't even the truest of true late night thoughts. It's 2pm for me right now! Of course I'm now publishing this past 11pm.

I'm currently knee deep in wedding plans. I need to handle invitation duty and pop open Photoshop later to design the invitations because so far my fiance has only provided nice word documents with no visual element to them. I told her, "Look, let me work on this. I want to spice it up with the ideas we've been batting around for our wedding."

And do you know what I mean by that? Last year I described how Animal Crossing New Leaf became a big part of how I got my then-girlfriend to relate to me personally on video games. It meant a lot to me that I'd introduce her to my beloved series and see if we can't play together. Now, it'd mean the world to us if we can't leave our wedding guests party favors and knick knacks like Animal Crossing leaves or gyroids to decorating the tables as our guests file in. We also got the idea to tell the story of our relationship on signs leading up to the reception since it'll be in a restaurant at the end of a pier. It'll be at the Ruby's on the beach on the pier where we had our first kiss on the edge of the moonlit ocean. I still vividly remember how black the ocean looked and how brightly the moon left a glow against the sea. It was like we were alone together in the vast emptiness of space with the light of the moon shining down on us. I was hoping on a cake that featured Cyrus and Reese on top, the resident lovey-dovey couple in New Leaf. Maybe napkins printed with some of our favorite villagers and somewhere in this plan, a picture of our mayors in our most used outfits.

December 19 is still a ways off and I still have plenty of time to figure the details out (will we have Nook in the plans? Surely Isabelle has to be present somehow).

I hope you've all been hard at work with the monthly musing, better with age. Like I said, life has kept me busy except in instances where I have priorities the routine schedule such as my Wednesday recaps every week. I've been meaning to do my own monthly musing blog myself but I can never bring myself to find time to do so. The game means a lot to me on the topic of revisiting an old game over and over because each time I do revisit it, I get better and understand its quirks better. Not just from a mechanical stand point but from a contextual stand point as well. The game is a fiercely Japanese game from Konami in the 90s, back during a time when my only exposure to Japan was Neon Genesis Evangelion and sailor fukus. The first time I played through it, I didn't quite understand its mechanics as an 8-year-old. I just knew to move forward and smack enemies with my pipe. The second time around I had a grasp of the light RPG elements like the rest inns and the items you can buy to minimize damage plus I knew little more about Japanese culture like samurais, ninjas, and tropes like transforming cats. Now on my latest run, I'm wrapping my head around the special jutsus you can learn and just how difficult it is to preserve your items and health when a single hit takes off so much effort like a suit of armor on Arthur in Super Ghouls and Ghosts.

Did you figure out my game?

My armor is papier-mâché!

But hopefully you guys still have ideas to withdraw from your bank. To all the contributions so far, they have been riveting (especially when the recaps team tells me to read'em). James' entry with KotOR 2 and its philosophical conundrums was fascinating. I'm just sad whenever there's a comment saying how the game isn't worth playing or it hasn't aged well. The point is that revisiting this game opened up a door of exploring an entire academic field of study.

July 17 was the birthday of the Disneyland Resorts. And luckily for me, I spent the shift in Cars Land, far away from the hustle and bustle of Elias & Co. where hundreds of guests would crowd around to buy limited supply, celebratory 60th anniversary merchandise. I was just in Cars keeping the drink cooler filled and keeping the shelves lines with sillier and sillier merchandise like Cars characters cosplaying as Star Wars characters. I'm ok with Darth Mater (I guess) but Sarge as Emperor Palpatine seems like a scraping the bottom of the barrel kind of idea to me. Still, despite a long work week compounded by homework involving the creation of enterprise networks, they fed us all week as thanks with items like the Sonic the hedgehog special (chili dogs), Disney's infamous cupcakes, and even a goodie bag of anniversary gifts including an earhat.

Just a friendly reminder, the suggestion box for FPs is always open. I get PMs but also understand you need to worship me and follow my blog first before PMing me. In that case, support@destructoid isn't a bad place to send suggestions. I mean, we get everythign afterall. Press releases, complaints, petty complaints, applications. Might as well send something I can respond to afterall.

If you'll excuse me, I have an invitation to whip up, and some Animal Crossing images I need to Google.


11:24 PM on 06.28.2015

Time to pull myself away from Monster Hunter

I'm finally sitting down three months later and 400+ hours in to talk about Monster Hunter. I've talked about smaller aspects of my enjoying it but I have yet to really sit down and really talk shop on Monster Hunter, like one would do in an extended view. But I've finally slightly burned myself out after a run of failures and figured I could take this chance to finally talk about the game properly.

For me, I had no idea what Monster Hunter was until I got into it. But after playing it, I realize it is a Capcom game through and through. It can be very hard and unforgiving in the mechanics and how it controls. You're not just going to wail away on monsters and expect to come out on top that way. Whether you're hunting alone or in a full group, there will be times where taking an offensive stance on the monster simply is not a good idea. I've run for fear of my life anywhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes trying to gauge a good attack angle. Even if I'm not being specifically targeted by the monster, keeping pace with huge beasts that stride as far as a short jog for you can be a challenge.

The thing I've learned about Monster Hunter over the first month is that it gives back in enjoyment what you put in with interest, but it asks for fucking huge deposit. People consider G-rank the real game while low and high rank are considered tutorials by the hardcore hunters. Keep in mind low and high rank quests can span anywhere between 50 to 100 hours for the average gamer. But each tier is truly different in magnitudes of difficulty and preparation. The equipment available to you at low rank will quickly get outpaced by the damage in high rank, and again this will happen when you hit G-rank. Not only that but monsters that appear multiple times through the ranks will slowly get tougher not just i terms of health pool but also in move pools and even aggression and AI. A high rank Brachydios seems plenty aggressive enough, throwing exploding punches and making daring leaps to crush you. But At G-rank he gets tougher, such as doing certain attacks twice in succession (the flame pillar in particular) and Brachydios will even bum rush a targeted hunter for a pummeling. These additions in difficulty are before mentioned how much more damage they pump out.

Enjoying these hunts happens in three stages for me. The first stage is surprise and bewilderment as I hunt a monster for the first time. I'm cautious of what the monster is capable of and I take less risks. If I don't know for absolute sure that the monster is vulnerable, I'd rather watch from a safe distance until I've learned when the safe periods are before I encounter something new like a new attack or the rage mechanic kicking in. The second stage is the seasoned reaction, where I'm more familiar with patterns and make an effort to deliver more damage and take more risks. For Zinogre, I've learned that it's relatively safe to attack his hind legs, even if he's at a neutral position where what he does next is unpredictable. Even when Zinogre decides to lash out, my position allows me a degree of safety that I continue to attack from. Lastly is the expert stage, where I've become so familiar that I can take educated guesses about what to do in an effort to maximize damage and cut down on hunt times, even if it means some extra damage hear or there. Now with Brachydios, I'm try to take aggressive potshots whenever I can because I know I can flinch him if I'm good enough about dishing out damage.

So far I've felt very stream of conscious about putting my feelings down about Monster Hunter. I can't help it considering I've been playing the game for 3 months with such vigor. I think the only way I can organize my thoughts from here on out is just figure out a way to gush about the game. And the only way I want to gush right now is to talk about my favorite things in MonHun.

My top 5 monsters, according to personal criteria from challenge of the hunt, design of the monster, and the aesthetic of the weapons and armor they make.

5) Zamtrios: this thing is categorized as an amphibian, believe it or not. But Zamtrios and his variant, the Tigerstripe, have very dynamic fights, mostly because they have multiple forms they shift in between. The base form can flash freeze an icy armor over it's skin, then puff up into a hilarious wrecking blob, as well as dive into the ice and cruise along. The Tigerstripe can't freeze armor over its skin but is much more aggressive with it's blob form by inflating itself rapidly and trying to leap, crush, and roll over you with frightening speed. Zamtrios is susceptible to sonic bombs and has plenty of openings to exploit but despite that, Zamtrios can screw with your plans by bringing out the ice beam, whether Zamtrios sweeps it out in front of itself or spins on the ground and sprays it everywhere.

Zamtrios weapons tend to focus on creating very sharp, jaw-like designs out of a clear, ice-like substance with high raw, mediocre sharpness, and ice damage.

4) Seregios: the flagship monster specifically for 4 Ultimate is an exciting and unpredictable duel. One of its quests is very apt being named Death by a Thousand Cuts because that's precisely what makes Seregios challenging but not overly difficult. Seregios preys off of lazy hunters who don't pay attention and don't dodge roll with a debilitating bleed status that drains health any time you perform any laborious actions like rolling and attacking. Getting nicked by Seregios' flying razor scales once isn't a problem so long as you stay on your toes and roll away before they explode into hundreds of cutting shrapnel.

Seregios' weapons embody its evasive and aggressive nature perfectly. They have high raw and incredible natural sharpness and come with unique gimmicks to incentivize hunters to move around. Blademaster weapons restore sharpness every time you roll, which is good because the weapons are razor sharp but dull quickly. Even gunner weapons like the light bowgun auto-reload ammunition when you roll.

3) Brachydios: The explosive brute wyvern simply embodies so many quirky designs that are atypical when you use the word wyvern, which is a word most often associated with smaller, lesser dragons. Sure, he's technically a brute wyvern, but this thing is built like a cross between Street Fighter's Balrog and a dinosaur. Even without his explosively unstable slime, Brachydios is a dinosaur with stone boxing gloves for hands and a pompadour built to crush houses. Not only that, Brachydios is not the least bit slow or sluggish. Brachy will charge at you without a care for the world so long as it gets to punch you in the head. Raging Brachydios, as the name impies, is a variant that's simply always pissed off. And when Brachydios is pissed, things explode faster.

The Dios weapons tend to be the most balanced of the possible blast focused weapons you can craft, which is appealing for people looking to take the Dios weapons into a variety of situations. Teostra weapons have lower raw, higher blast and Molten Tigrex weapons have high raw but require their blast to be Awakened. Plus you have to admit, Lightbreak is a cool naming convention for your exploding weapons: Lightbreak Edge, Lightbreak Twins, Lightbreak Press.

2) Kirin: Everybody loves unicorns at some level. Turning a unicorn into a badass creature can be a little problematic with the unicorn's years of typecasting as a fluffy, seldom seen whimsy. Kirin holds the title as the smallest elder dragon in the series though, holding a title that's also held be the likes of a weather bending dragon and a pair of beasts known as the Black God and White God respectively.

Kirin may look like a unicorn from far away but it looks mean up close. It isn't afraid to remind you that having a horn means it can gore you. Kirins have complete elemental control over lightning and have some of the toughest hides in the game. The hairs on its hide are so tightly packed that they deflect pretty much anything from the head down. Oroshi Kirin, the subspecies, has the epic flavor text of hinting at their elusive presence by snap freezing the moisture in the air when nearby. Son congratulations on freezing to death, you've probably come close to an Oroshi Kirin!

Kirin weapons are unbelievably sharp. Their low raw is deceptive due since most of their weapons can reach purple sharpness without any help. But offsetting that low raw is great elemental damage. The faster the weapon, the better suited Kirin parts are for it and its elemental damage.

1) Teostra: There a many more monsters I'd love to recommend to the annals of hunting history. Nerscylla, Zinogre, Yian Garuga, and Ukanlos are all monsters I love to hunt and provide cool weapons. But Teostra has to edge them out for it's razor sharp margin for error. Teostra has some deep patterns that are easy to read and easy to exploit for damage. However, Teostra is also capable of some of the most destructive burst damage attacks in the game. Teostra doesn't just make explosions like Brachydios. He threatens you with an impending super nova if you don't get out of its way. Teostra's super nova is well known among hunters. After being enraged, you have 100 seconds before Teostra flies into the air and delivers and all-encompassing explosion that is all but likely to send your sorry ass back to base camp. Even before the super nova, G-ranked Teostra will spontaneously generate instances of explosions at specific points that will put the fear of our Lord in you. I've done many panic dives to get away from these explosions, in true action hero fashion.

Teostra weapons are also very regal, very red, and very gold. Truly weapons fit for a king. Their sharpness tends to suffer and their raw isn't so great either but this is because Teostra weapons focus on creating explosions from blastblight all the fucking time. Teostra's Emblem, a sword and shield, is legendary for its ability to generate explosions throughout the duration of a hunt, well into a a time when a monster's resistance threshold for blastblight has increased beyond most weapons.

Honorable mention to Chaotic Gore Magala: For some reason, the interstitial form between Gore and Shagaru Magala is way more intimidating. This thing is an abomination and not only does it look like an unpredictable mess but it fights like one too. It shares a of patterns with Gore Magala with the exception of being REALLY FUCKING STRONG. That's why I always describe my hunts with Chaotic Magala as knock down, drag out brawls. With the right weapon, you can shred Chaos Magala like paper. But Chaos Magala will also deliver unbelievable pain with its own brute force like a claw crush, ground smash, and virus wave projectiles. For every ounce of blood you draw, this thing will draw just as much from you.

Chaos weapons have ultra specific gimmicks dealing with the frenzy virus. They have both negative and positive affinity, wildly changing your damage output in a fight. But getting infected by the frenzy and purging it for its benefits adds the negative affinity to your positive value, making certain weapons reach an incredible 60 or 70% affinity before other boosts. That means doing 25% more damage much more frequently.

So I'm finally sitting down and gushing about Monster Hunter. It's just a super rewarding game with tough fights that don't improve you necessarily by increasing your agility stat or strength stat, but by forcing you to learn monster attacks and applying DPS efficiently. Maybe next time, I'll gush more on some of my favorite weapons, which run the gamut of jagged fangs to smooth, shiny edges. Until next time though, happy hunting.


2:20 PM on 05.11.2015

Salutations! This is Strider, AMA

There's a lot of stuff I want to do with what little time I have. I tell myself I'll put my thoughts down and proper and go in-depth with my experiences on Monster Hunter, from low rank to G rank. But that's not happening any time soon because I have to go through my list of candidates I have saved up and figure out how to motivate myself to do what is essentially work after I come home from actual work.

So I'm putting the community first. After this goes up, I'll start pruning my list of possible all stars, along with some suggestions I recently got. In the meantime, I am Strider, your co-cblog manager. At first, I didn't think I'd do an AMA because I who fucking cares who's my favorite Homeward Bound pet (it's Shadow, obviously) or what I had for breakfast. But my senior, Occams, did one a month ago. So in order to get senpai to notice me, I'll put out an AMA in the meantime while I look at possible p-p-p-promotions and pencil in a time in the distant future when I can finally do a big blog on Monster Hunter. See you guys in the comments. And remember, I'm watching you.


11:34 AM on 03.20.2015

The last Nintendo FNF for 03/20/15 - Dampé the gravedigger

Time to pull back the curtain: nobody can get into the Nintendo FNF account. Well, I suppose one person can but there are no copies to his keys. So, did I get you with that clickbait headline? This is the last time I address FNF as Nintendo FNF on my own goddamn blog. Nintendo FNF is dead and buried with my own two hands. Long live Nintendoid FNF!

We're making Shade's baby the successor to the old Nintendo FNF cblog because we can actually get through the front door. Expect to see a new cblog account next week so I can finally keep my own damn blog a little more tidy. You know my last cblog appears under my name in the staff roll right? I keep a clean house bitch!

New to Friday Night Fights? It's easy to get involved!

Each week, a bunch of us Dtoiders get together to play videogames online! It's a 100% community-run event, so feel free to join in or even host something yourself!
The planning for FNF starts in the forums, where community members volunteer to host matches and post their pertinent details (game, time, Gamertag, ect.). Then, every Friday, reminder posts go up here in the c-blogs followed by a recap post on the front page for last minute planning.

To join in, simply send a friend request to the match host! (Don't forget to say you're from Dtoid!) If you'd rather host something yourself, just post your details below in the following format:

Game Name
Wii U or 3DS
Host: Dtoid Username
NID: Wii U Nintendo ID or 3DS friend code
Time: Time in EST
[insert extra social media here]

Smash Bros. for Wii U
Wii U
Dtoid handle: Striderhoang
NID: Striderhoang
2pm PST | 5pm EST | 10pm Shadeoflight time
twitter: Striderhoang​

And remember to join the Nintendoid Google group to hear all the multiplayer requests you could ever need. Set your email to all for best results.


4:14 AM on 03.13.2015

Nintendo FNF March 13 - Still in it to win it

Have you wondered why I'm doing this on my own personal blog? Where Smurfee is? How they get the little M's on the M&M's? I'm sure those questions will be answered in all due time. But for now, wouldn't you like to race little go-karts instead? DEFLECTION!

In fact, last week's session with Mario Kart with Lemon Buster was really nice. I hadn't played online yet since I spend most of my online gameplay with Smash. Playing MK online was refreshing especially because it always felt silly and never felt personal. When you win, it feels great. When you take a less savory position, well that's Mario Kart for you. When I play Smash, sometimes it feels like slaving away in the salt mines, getting saltier and saltier by the minute. Can you believe there are more tracks on the way? I can't wait to see what kind of karts they'll release to match the Animal Crossing characters. But for now, we're still playing these same but fun games.

New to Friday Night Fights? It's easy to get involved!

Each week, a bunch of us Dtoiders get together to play videogames online! It's a 100% community-run event, so feel free to join in or even host something yourself!

The planning for FNF starts in the forums, where community members volunteer to host matches and post their pertinent details (game, time, Gamertag, ect.). Then, every Friday, reminder posts go up here in the c-blogs followed by a recap post on the front page for last minute planning.

To join in, simply send a friend request to the match host! (Don't forget to say you're from Dtoid!) If you'd rather host something yourself, just post your details below in the following format:

Game Name
Wii U or 3DS
Host: Dtoid Username
NID: Wii U Nintendo ID or 3DS friend code
Time: Time in EST
[insert extra social media here]

Mario Kart 8 last week was surprisingly fun edition
Wii U
4pm PST | 7pm EST

Super Smash Bros for Wii U
Wii U (duh)
NNID: bkeith
6 pm EST/ 3 pm PST
@KeithGeek on Twitter


3:17 PM on 03.12.2015

Strider's favorite ninjas

In case you haven't realized it, I'm a fan of ninjas. While samurai abide by a code of honor, wearing either sweet plate armor or comfy pajamas, and use really cool swords, ninja are better described as spies or mercenaries. They're commonly characterized with high mobility, their skill in stealth, and in a lot of cases a strong case for skill and power. They're not brute strength in media like games or movies but rather the agile type. They're masters of misdirection and assassination. In other words for games, a high skill ceiling. It's not hard to see why they're so cool. Sure samurai have cool swords but myths and legends of ninja depict them clinging to walls, running over water, throwing everything from knifes to grenades, and stabbing people in general. And they're just cool. No matter how you characterize them, whether they're stoic badasses or tongue in cheek goofballs, there's denying how awesome it would be to disappear in a puff of smoke only to reappear to stab people in the back.

There are a lot of awesome ninja to list. But what is a ninja? And how can we (and by we, I mean I) be more selective to make a list have more punch and finality? First, let's casually google ninja.

A ninja (忍者?) or shinobi (忍び?) was a covert agent or mercenary in feudal Japan. The functions of the ninja included espionage, sabotage, infiltration, and assassination, and open combat in certain situations. Their covert methods of waging war contrasted the ninja with the samurai, who observed strict rules about honor and combat. The shinobi proper, a specially trained group of spies and mercenaries, appeared in the Sengoku or "warring states" period, in the 15th century

We can safely establish that pop culture has obviously given ninja a lot of legendary characteristics such as elemental magic, the mysterious teleportation, and let's not forget the ability to ride man-sized kites to infiltrate enemy territory. For the purposes of picking out some of my favorite ninjas from an endless list of possible choices, the best are going to be picked by very basic criteria and rating them on a scale to five.

Mobility: Can the ninja outmaneuver his opponents in such a way that it gives him a strategic advantage?

Stealth: A ninja is, at their core, a spy. How well can the ninja hide their presence when they are in a situation where they are unwanted?

Raw power: A ninja is also basically a mercenary, which means deadly force is necessary. When running and hiding isn't an option, can the ninja even lift, bro?

Let's get the most obvious choice out of the way and hold him as an example.

Strider Hiryu
One of Capcom's cult classic icons. Despite near obscurity from a lack of games, Strider's name was never completely forgotten thanks to his inclusion in the Vs. Capcom series. Along with his unique games which featured nearly complete freedom in movement, the tagline to his most recent game is an excellent reminder: legends never die.

Strider Hiryu or simply Strider is apart of a worldwide mercenary organization of futuristic cyber-ninjas known as the Striders. Hiryu is the youngest to achieve their highest rank, Special-A, and is oftentimes depicted as the only Strider left as the organization has since been eradicated.

Mobility: Hiryu is well known for his agility. In almost any game, whether it's an action game or a fighting game, Hiryu is capable of air jumping twice to extend his range or simply change direction in mid-air. He has high foot speed and can climb nearly any surface thanks to his climbing hooks.

Stealth: Strider's games have never been about stealth, though they sometimes start with him entering enemy territory quietly. While he's usually seen swords a-swinging, it does stand to reason that his climbing hooks, which let him even climb hand-under-hand on the ceiling, can let him move about somewhat inconspicuously.

Raw power: Hiryu is described as being in possession of superhuman strength but it's never outwardly displayed. He is however, in possession of a sword that generates plasma so he can cut through anything. Not only that, he can arc it outward to create long reaching energy arcs.

Chosen over Ibuki as a much more interesting ninja, I call Guy The Sneaker Ninja. Originating from Final Fight before making a comfortable transition to Street Fighter, Guy is a no-nonsense, stoic ninja who is contrasted by his bright red gi and striking sneakers, not to mentioning hanging out with a hoodlum with a rap sheet and a mayor who moonlights as a wrestler.

Guy is best known for his command run, floaty jumps, an izuna drop, and his Seppuu Kyaku which is basically a Hurricane Kick that goes straight up with invincibility frames.

Mobility: Other than his command run which covers long distances fast, Guy is also known for his fast walk speed. This is also contrasted by his awfully casual yet intimidating walking posture. Nothing fancy but don't expect to keep him out with projectiles with his foot speed.

Stealh: Guy is from a beat'em up, so stealth has never been his thing despite having formal training in Bushinryu ninjutsu. The extent of stealth for him is if he'll walk by some oil drum or flying kick through them.

Raw power: On the other hand for Bushinryu, it's stated to be a blend of ninjutsu and street brawling. Despite a calm and composed fighting stance, Guy can deliver some powerful back hands, shoulder checks, and back drops. He basically goes from zero to kicking your ass in 0.5 seconds.

Using the name of a sort of Robin Hood figure from Japanese folklore, Goemon of Mystical Ninja fame is both a goofy caricature of a ninja and a badass who throws coins as shurikens and owns a robot.

Named Kid Yang in the West, Goemon usually embarks on a grand journey with his friend, Ebisumaru, to stop some unintimidating yet dangerous force from taking over the land of Nippon. And he usually does it by smacking a lot of people with a smoking pipe.

Mobility: By himself, Goemon's only notable agility is a fast worm crawl that lowers his profile significantly. However, Goemon can learn several jutsus that let him ride a tiger or even fly!

Stealth: Even Goemon's jumps tends to have a comical springing sound effect, which makes it difficult to be quiet in his endeavors.

Raw power: Like before, Goemon is capable of learning powerful jutsus that can clear the screen. He can extend his reach considerably with an extending chain pipe, but he loses it pretty easily after taking damage.

Galford D. Weller
There were two ninja in SNK's oft under represented Samurai Showdown, not counting the pseudo-Hokkaido ninja Nakoruru. While Hanzo was a more tradiitonal take on ninja, I've always thought Galford's garish appearance was more fun. Not only does he have an attack husky (who pile drives his opponents) but his back story is amazing.

Galford was born and raised in Texas. But one day his father was shot dead by a bandit. During his time as sailor with a stain of grief in his heart, he discovered ninjutsu in Japan, and studied it to uphold his father's sense of justice. He took the bullet that killed his father and smelted it into the ninjato he uses now. Wow.

Mobility: One of Galford's main strategies and gimmicks is to teleport near his opponent before throwing them. He was no slouch in the running department too.

Stealth: I liked Galford because he's more colorful than Hanzo but a loudmouth with a bright blue gi isn't going to go unnoticed. Galford fancies himself more as a hero of justice than an actual ninja so he's more likely to shout out evil doers than slink into the darkness to take them by surprise.

Raw power: Galford cheats a little bit. While he has his own martial training, most of Galford's power comes from his husky, Poppy. Poppy can charge at his opponent to headbutt, bite, and even pile drive people somehow. This duo ain't no slouch but keep those dog treats handy.

Chipp Zanuff
You know a character is from Guilty Gear when they have stupidly awesome names. Chipp Zanuff is a lot like Galford, not being strictly Japanese but becoming enamoured by ninjutsu. Unlike Galford's noble intentions, Chipp sounds like a weeaboo, shouting generic Japanese words while fighting. SUSHI! GEISHA! BANZAI!

Chipp was a lowly thug until ninja master Tsyoshi wandered into his life to set him straight. But then an assassin killed him, so Chipp set out for revenge. He also has some of the best character themes.

Mobility: If nothing else, Chipp is the absolute fastest and most nimble of Guilty Gear's characters. Quick run speed, triple air jump and dashes, and razor fast teleports that are core to his mix up game. Teleport right into their face, above them for a high attack, or up and behind them for a quick cross-up. If Chipp is standing still, he's either blocking or dead.

Stealth: Chipp isn't exactly the quiet type. I'm beginning to see a pattern in ninjas in fighting games. A lot of Chipp's special attacks are also quite bright and flashy. He does however have a move that makes him invisible on screen and he can even disappear into a flurry of leaves before slicing his opponent's neck.

Raw power: Not only can you beat Chipp in one and half combos, but he hits about as hard as a china plate in a world of cinder blocks and steel rebar. He certainly has some explosive attacks but they're mostly for the show, not the damage.

Bang Shishigami
Half Kamen Rider's belt, half honor bound warrior ninja, all manly muscle, Bang Shishigami has got an obnoxious mouth on him but he has the moves to back up his talk in Blazblue.

A ninja serving his lord until the war against NOL drove him and his clan underground. Now they wait patiently to strike back. Until then, righteous hero of love and justice Bang Shishigami will be there to punch evil in the gut!

Mobility: Bang isn't the fastest out there, but he can literally run through the air. He has an air kick specifically meant to cross-up and he has an attack where he uppercuts his opponent and teleports multipletimes to them to deliver a series of punches and kicks. Of course, if he can land four flaming punches with their seals, he unlocks his secret technique, the Fūrinkazan (風林火山). This state trades the ability to block normally with the ability to dash and air dash so fast and so many times that Bang to perform impossible combos by hitting them on one side and quickly dashing to the other side. He literally has combos in this form that become Dragonball Z episodes of pinballing people around the air.

Stealth: Bang is a ninja that exposes his abs and holds a giant nail on his back. He shouts a lot and his most defining attacks are burning, exploding punches. You take a guess.

Raw power: Likewise, Bang can punch explosions into people. He has a variety of trick shurikens to add to his offense like spider darts with extra hit stun and triple shurikens to lock his opponent down, and his ougi (finisher move) impales his nail into his opponent before delivering a supercharged hammer-punch to them, which of course explodes and somehow leaves him in his undies.

Mark of the Ninja
The unnamed ninja from Mark of the Ninja is tattooed with a mystical ink that bestows great power in exchange for his eventual sanity. While not great with future employment options, it certainly makes him the best there is for espionage and assassination.

Mobility: This ninja has all the great movement of a ninja. Good run, double jump, wall run, spider hang, ceiling cling, and even a grappling hook! Strangely, no one else on this list seems to have a Spider-Man like grappling hook ability.

Stealth: Depending on his equipment, he can run completely silently, perfectly hide in shadows, and navigate around the peripheral vision of his foes perfectly.

Raw power: This ninja depends on his tools and skills to remain hidden. While capable of assassination, this ninja is utterly outclassed in head to head confrontations. Usually he'll get knocked down before being riddled with bullets. Running away is preferable because I mean, what kind of ninja gets knocked down by patrol guards?

Might Guy
Possibly the only ninja that's not strictly a videogame character, though the Naruto series has had a load of videogames. Might Guy is best described as a ninja so bad at being a regular ninja that he trained himself to be the best unorthodox ninja there is. Rather than use techniques and ninjutsu, Might compensates his inability to use spell like attacks by punching things so hard that they shatter into billions of pieces.

Mobility: Most of the ninjas of the Naruto universe are pretty fast and agile in most aspects. Only Might can probably push himself to run like a sonic boom if he wanted to in addition to typical Naruto canon ninja techniques like teleportation, the kawarimi (that one where you switch places with a log), and wall clinging.

Stealth: Remember when I said Might Guy compensates for his weaknesses? Well, Guy isn't necessarily bad at stealth, since he isn't a respected jounin ninja for nothing. But he's never demonstrated any particular skill at being stealthy either. In fact, most times he enters a scene, he kicks someone in the face and yells, "DYNAMIC!"

Raw power: Might Guy breaks the system for power. Supersonic punches, mortal blows that burst into flames from the friction against the air alone, and a flying kick strong enough to distort the fabric of reality itself, rendering any defense useless. Uh, yeah, Might Guy can't breath fire or shoot lightning but he can kick you into literal oblivion.

A cyborg ninja that can cut just about anything with his high frequency sword, Raiden started out as a pitiful nerd in Metal Gear Solid 2. After becoming a cyborg however, Raiden became a legendary slicing machine, capable of cutting everything, enemies and Metal Gears alike, before cementing his status as an awesome warrior cyborg in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Mobility: As a cyborg, Raiden is virtually tireless. Most notable is a technique literally called the ninja run, where Raiden speeds forward, automatically deflecting all bullets with his sword. While Raiden has low instantaneous burst speed, Raiden can match anything in terms of speed over the long term.

Stealth: Raiden and stealth is weird. He's capable of stealth but its hard to be proficient with his unique brand of stealth. Stealth to Raiden is hiding in boxes, walk in blind spots, and viscerally impaling his opponents on his sword. He isn't incapable of stealth but it's not recommended either.

Raw power: Raiden's zandatsu is capable of cutting anything. It's easy to mention how he can cut anything and parry anything with his swordsmanship and high frequency blade. But know that he once took the blade weapon off a three-story tall mecha and used it against it.

Joe Musashi
Some may say the original videogame ninja from Shinobi. In his reboot, Joe is capable of combining speed with swordplay to slash enemies apart and stylishly let them fall at once at the sheathing of his sword. That's more of a samurai thing but oh well, we've established that ninjas can be spies and mercenaries.

Mortal Kombat has no shortage of ninjas that aren't quite ninjas. Sub-Zero combines ninjutsu fighting with cryokinesis and freezing cold power. Worth mentioning is his eternal rival, Scorpion and lizard counterpart Reptile. But Sub-Zero's always been my personal favorite. Especially when he gained the attack that froze the floor and made his opponent's slip and slide like idiots.

Ryu Hayabusa
The master ninja from a master class game in difficulty. Ryu Hayabusa carries plenty of weapons in the Ninja Gaiden series to dismember his opponents in a variety of ways. He's also been in more remakes of individual titles than I can count.

It's like she's wearing nothing at all! That aside, Taki from can jump circles around the rest of the Soul Calibur cast. One of my favorite attacks had her spinning her daggers like buzzsaws in her hands. She can also roll, flip, and create localized explosions to do juggle combos.

Unlike her sister Ayane, Kasumi has actually demonstrated the ability to teleport around her opponents to deliver powerful hand-to-hand attacks in Dead or Alive. Ayane in her own right delivers some powerful spinning punches and kicks, and both even guest star in Ninja Gaiden to become just as violent as Ryu.

The ninja themed frog from Pokemon Xand Y. In Smash Bros. he can teleport, create blades of water, and throw shurikens made of pressurized water. He's one of the fastest runners, true to ninja form, but also has one of the highest and fastest jumps, true to frog form. His counter even incorporates the Substitute move, both in Pokémon context and ninja context!

Sheena Fujiyabashi
She looks like a ninja at least from Tales of Symphonia. But Sheena's actually more of a summoner than a ninja. She fights with paper seals that somehow hit with blunt force but most of her job is to summon really powerful creatures to the fight.

Espio is basically Guy from Final Fight but a chameleon in the Sonic world. People often forget he acts like a ninja in Team Chaotix. But not only does he run fast (everyone does in Sonic) but he can turn invisible. Plus I'm pretty sure he's thrown a kunai at least once.

Half nurse, half ninja, all cleavage. Her shout outs to ninja moves mixed with hospital theming is quite entertaining in Skullgirls. Instead of a plain izuna drop, she bags her opponents in a body bag and proceeds to izuna drop them.

More like a rogue than a ninja in terms of gameplay mechanics, or an assassin for the sake of Borderlands 2. At least he looks cool as a cyber ninja. He can turn invisible to gank enemies with his sword or to snipe enemies, but in both methods he gets a damage boost attacking out of cloak.


3:21 PM on 03.06.2015

Nintendo FNF March 6th: The inside story

By now you know the drill. You should know the drill. Why aren't there drills in the Mario & Luigi series? Also, is Partner's in Time rare? I'll buy it next time I see a copy. But Dream Team just arrived, ahead of schedule (with a puncture in its case, of course), so I just need to wrap up the excellent Majora's Mask 3D and get to getting on Dream Team!

New to Friday Night Fights? It's easy to get involved!

Each week, a bunch of us Dtoiders get together to play videogames online! It's a 100% community-run event, so feel free to join in or even host something yourself!

The planning for FNF starts in the forums, where community members volunteer to host matches and post their pertinent details (game, time, Gamertag, ect.). Then, every Friday, reminder posts go up here in the c-blogs followed by a recap post on the front page for last minute planning.

To join in, simply send a friend request to the match host! (Don't forget to say you're from Dtoid!) If you'd rather host something yourself, just post your details below in the following format:

Game Name
Wii U or 3DS
Host: Dtoid Username
NID: Wii U Nintendo ID or 3DS friend code
Time: Time in EST
[insert extra social media here]

Mario Kart 8
Wii U
Host: Striderhoang
NID: Striderhoang
Time: 9pm PST | 12am EST
Twitter: Striderhoang


3:08 PM on 03.05.2015

Late night thoughts: Fapcast Q&A, Smashing sounds, and animu waifus

This blog is half hey! Fapcast is recording tomorrow and half shit I forgot to include this in my striderisms. So ever the preservist for blogroll integrity, I combine them into one moldy mess!

So yeah, Fapcast 21 is recording tomorrow. Shade will probably come on board, despite our recording time being in the 1-in-the-ungodly-AM for him. He's a trooper like that. You guys never listen to my suggestions but know that now that Shade's coming onboard, you can direct all your Dutch-related questions now! Also, Shade promises a returning guest to uh, return. COMMUNITY!

Forgotten from my striderisms earlier, my special Super Smash Brothers soundtrack gift arrived last week. And it's really cool! I guess. Yup, neato.


Ok, it's actually sinking in that while it's a great memento, it also reinforces, rather ironically, that the actual soundtrack is fucking huge. Because each disc specific to a platform is roughly 36 songs, and I believe the whole, complete, true edition soundtrack for between both the 3DS and Wii U version may number into what? Over a hundred songs? Actually, let's google the question. The first result is Kotaku (ugh) which says...

Yeesus Christ 437 songs. I knew Punch-Out's awesome Minor Circuit song wasn't on my discs but dear god based-Sakurai that really is a lot of songs I'm missing out on.

So yeah, I get a few of my favorites (including the awesome Xenoblade medley) but it looks like I have to resort to torrents to get a soundtrack that's probably gigs big. In fact, the whole soundtrack by itself will probably take up my allotment of music on my phone.

Ho my god ( •_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

Lastly, as seen on last week's Shade-isms, Shade's a Cana guy. Personally, I'm a Juvia fan. But I never saw a reply, so I decided to get on Google chat to start a fight. He respects the choice not being Cana and I can live with Shade being wrong. I realized I could fill a blog with anime babes and waifus and he said he's topsauce it. Well now that's I've taken most of my brain space getting other things out of the way, let's just narrow it down to a few rather than a bunch of waifus.

So first Juvia Lockser. First a misguided opponent to the Fairy Tail guild turned member after crushing on Gray hard. At first she had a Russian design to her with hardcore curls. But probably my favorite thing about Juvia outside of her flexible water combat strength and slapstick power up reasoning using her love of Gray is that her base design is different for nearly every arc. Plus the series explains her awesome change ups as her just trying to shake things up in order to impress Gray. My personal favorite one of her more recent looks, combining her original outfit with her hair down and more relaxed.

I feel a bit guilty about picking Nami. Mostly because Nami reeks of editorial vetos. One Piece started as a goofy shounen manga without much real sex appeal. But as the series continued and got more and more outlandish (for the better) the females also got more sexualized. But dammit if I don't admit if its not working.

But this isn't about quality characters, even though Nami's been through enough that you could bring yourself to like her character a little more if you closed your eyes. I mean, yeah, she's transformed into eye candy over a period of a decade. Feel free to ignore that she was essentially a map making slave before Luffy saved her. Feel free to ignore the fact that it was a running gag that she'd run away from a serious fight for such a long time that she eventually went, "Fuck this," and decided to level up her game to be able to fight C-tier opponents. Go ahead and ignore she has a freaking 6th sense for weather that lets her navigate a ship through a sea that pretty much thunders, hails, and water spouts for reasons best described as shits and giggles. Just feel free to ignore all that and just focus on 'plot development' because yeah, sure. Shit be sexed up in here.

Lastly is someone a bit less sexualized, Mikoto Misaki of Railgun fame. Listen here punk, she's an unabashed tomboy who could care less about her looks unless she needs something comfortable to move around in before shooting a quarter at you with the same velocity Navy destroyers shoot slabs of metal at three times the speed of sound. Her main power is electricity generation and manipulation, so she can static cling, gather iron particles in a vibrating chainsaw weapon, or just shoot lightning bolts at you. But hell, becoming a human railgun is way cooler.

And outside of being a reference away from on the X-Men, she's also waifu as fuck. Still cute despite being a tomboy? Check. Embarrassing attachment to children's toys and novelties? Check. Tsundere qualities? Her interactions with Kamijou Touma are endearing.

Waifus motherfucker, do you have'em?

Firion probably.


2:52 AM on 02.28.2015

Strider's top 9 Dtoid rivalries

Well, its time to compose my top 9 Dtoiders. And I have to stick with it because I have integrity. And without integrity, what could I be trusted with? But not to worry though because I have a clear cut list of choices. What better way to interpret the top 9 Dtoiders who influenced you then through good old fashioned rivalries. Rivalries fuel our sports, our economy, our shounen mangas, and of course our interpersonal relationships. It's the same here too. I've since jumped into other forays of Destructoid's communities: the FP and the forums. But my home has always been the cblogs, for better or worse. What started as a starry-eyed dream is now a much more grounded and thankful spot among such great writers and community members such as the people I'm about to list. Because it's thanks to these people and their own work that for the most, I decide to measure myself against and up my game.

I'll start with one of the most recent of additions, Luna Sy. A mysterious community member who's vaguely located out of East Asia who has the same stance I had when I first started here: take my privacy seriously and my real life out of my Internet life. But that doesn't stop either of us from participating well in the community and making eager contributions.

While it seems Destructoid is her first major community she's joined, she's made every effort to be apart of big things like Rebirthening, Seacrest Santa, Cblog Recaps, and of course her own cblogs. And that's where rivalry comes in of course!

I would've never guessed her English isn't good. Maybe that's because its typed out rather than spoken. But because of that, her blogs are always lousy with great pictures, visual content, and such pristine formatting. Her cblogs are literally the most visually appealing cblogs around and I'm not talking about the pictures.

Next up is a more legacy oriented pick, Beyamor. Do I know a lot of Beyamor's actual activity and contributions? No actually. But Beyamor was the one responsible for picking me out for Wednesday recaps duty. If I didn't become a Cblog Recapper, I don't know where I'd be with Destructoid. Who knows? Maybe I'd be slinging scathing op-eds like Kudo. Or worst, plugging Youtube vids like Johnny Burns!

Beyamor, thank you for being my gateway to the Destructoid community proper. Without your faith, I'd have become what I hate most: a creative leech.

Zombie Orwell is dedication in an account. I've only seen him break character once and it was for a deserved moment of intervention for a personal issue.

Zombie Orwell to me represents the core ideal of Destructoid's personality and humor. Always funny but just barely related to the topic at hand with an off-kilter sense of humor that's just acceptable enough for genuine laughs but random enough that it's very locals only kind of feel.

In case you haven't realized, Zombie Orwell as a character is literally, possibly George Orwell but as a zombie. Always parading himself as Destructzord's foremost undead Orwelling writer, with a writing style all his own: barely comprehensible but still just so that it's worth the laughs.

If you want real rivalry talk, bbain is where it's at. bbain is always such a top notch writer, with a style that always feels like wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket on a cold day. In a jungle of foul, vile jokes and potty humor, bbain's never debased himself with even a hint of a curse word. He's always finding such great topics to write about and I've nary seen a fuck from him.

bbain is like 90s cartoons in that it seems so wholesome and yet still entertaining. And because people in my generation grew up on 90s cartoons, we think fondly of it. Not like getting kids from today to watch old Transformers, which were basically 30 minute commercials. No, I'm talking Rocko's Modern Life with hidden adult jokes in everyday great humor. bbain, you're my favorite 90s cartoon!

I am a vain person. Or at least I like to think of myself as a vain person for joke purposes. And anytime someone compliments me or follows my work, it gives me sustenance which allows me to conjure terrible demons most foul to further my dark plans. Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon was one of the first people I've noticed to actually like my stuff not just once, or even twice, but consistently. Like, he usually likes my stuff! Like a fan or something.

Our tastes really just line up but nothing stirs the creative juices more than knowing at least one person out there is definitely reading something you've invested so much of your time into. It also helps that it's always real talk with HLBC. Epic games, action packed scenes, sexy women, the works. HLBC gets it.

Speaking of vanity, Jawshbutterballz gets a mention for always liking and supporting my twitter presence, especially liking my Destructoid card work. But Jawsh is more than that.

He's also the progenitor (or close to it) of the Gardevoir meme. An earnest, unabashed love of one of the Internet's leading waifus and an advocate of waifu love in general. Don't hide your waifu love everybody. Embrace it. It doesn't seem like there's a bad bone in his body. It's all love, even if its strictly waifu love.

Mike Martin may be complex. He may be multi-faceted. But regardless of how you see his vulgar, chillaxing posting attitude and his real life venting of his tough life, Mike Martin is the realest motherfucker this side of Joystiq.

But there's no need to dig too deep. All you need to know is that Mike Martin uses his experience to better others. And in between flashes of big bro Mike Mcphil, we get Destructoid's gritty, real sense of humor. If Andy Dixon is the lovable PG-13 dick joke, Mike is the AO, behind closed doors, unrated sex orgy comedy screened only for movie nerds.

Like I always say to Mike, how does that make you really feel? Of course he's already blogged about it so yeah, there.

The token Dutch guy. Ah yes, token Dutch guy. But Shade isn't just Dutch. He's more than a Dutch guy who came to America for several months. Yes, more than Dutch.

In all seriousness, Shade doesn't blog nearly as often as I'd like, discounting his Shadeisms like how Silverdragon describes his own Silverdragonisms was a weekly blog (don't count it). Shade's a smart guy if you couldn't tell as he works in the business of law. But he's not just book smart but street smart, cause he has good taste. And he has good blogs. Or Shadeisms, whatever. But his topics and range are enjoyable. And like I meant from the beginning, rivalries foster good content from both sides. Or at least my side. The rivalry thing is probably just in my head.

As you can see, a great deal of my favorite Dtoiders are from my generation of recappers. There's no helping the fact that I take notice of my neighbors after all. But if there's anyone here that's influenced me the most, it's someone who wasn't just a day recapping neighbor, not just a great writer, but also a wingman up for so much of my favorite games. Most of all, together, we birthed the legendary Destructoid N7 squad that saved trillions of lives across the galaxy. Just one ragtag group of aliens with a taste for min-maxing skill points and tearing through hordes of enemies without much of a care for self-preservation.

Wrenchfarm aka Nic Rowen is the person who inspired the idea of this list: rivalries. He's made some of the most enjoyable blogs I've had the pleasure of reading. He's a consistent fan of stompy robots, for better or for worse. Even past our N7 days, we've had our fill of Injustice and Persona 4 Arena before I stomped him a bit too hard into the ground with my Kanji.

But most of all, it's his quality in blogs. I read them and don't just think they're great. I want to measure up to the quality and volume of his stuff. It's no wonder he's a contributer now. It's a wonder it took them this long to notice. But on the community and on the comments, we're always there on the input. My most comfortable mood to write just happen to be Tuesday nights too, Wrench's prime time slot. It was bittersweet to see that I wouldn't be blogging in my usual Wrenchism groove when he went on the up and up. But the way the community has been traveling, it shouldn't be too hard of a loss considering it looks like we're going back to our roots and tapping into the community all the more.


3:51 PM on 02.27.2015

Nintendo FNF Feb 27th: land of the dead

Land of the dead isn't describing Nintendo FNF (though it wouldn't be inaccurate). I just reach Ikana Canyon in Majora's Mask 3D and it's probably my favorite area. Being the last major area and dungeon site means it's a lot more complex in both puzzles and themes. Kakariko village from Ocarina might have a graveyard in the back but Ikana Canyon with the Ikana Kingdom is constantly described as the land of the dead, where the dead wander, the bloodstained kingdom, and more. Doesn't that sound like a happy place?

Not only will the Stone Tower make liberal use of everything you've learned up to this point, including the utilization of all your masks somehow, but it's refreshing to see Zelda and Nintendo not talk down to you on a theme as mature as death and responsibility. Not only do spirits and undead linger with their attachments, but several prominent characters hang around out of a sense of duty and responsibility. Ikana Castle with its king, Igo Du Ikana, is probably one of the most striking features of any game area.

New to Friday Night Fights? It's easy to get involved!

Each week, a bunch of us Dtoiders get together to play videogames online! It's a 100% community-run event, so feel free to join in or even host something yourself!

The planning for FNF starts in the forums, where community members volunteer to host matches and post their pertinent details (game, time, Gamertag, ect.). Then, every Friday, reminder posts go up here in the c-blogs followed by a recap post on the front page for last minute planning.

To join in, simply send a friend request to the match host! (Don't forget to say you're from Dtoid!) If you'd rather host something yourself, just post your details below in the following format:

Game Name
Wii U or 3DS
Host: Dtoid Username
NID: Wii U Nintendo ID or 3DS friend code
Time: Time in EST
[insert extra social media here]

Super Smash Bros. Wii U: House rules. If +3 players, expect goofy options
Wii U
Host: Striderhoang
NID: Striderhoang
Time: 5pm PST | 8pm EST
Twitter: Striderhoang

I expect to get my Jiggs on tonight.


2:24 AM on 02.21.2015

Strider's forum safari guide

Salutations intrepid explorers! Have you ever perused gamefaqs? Commented on Kotaku? Strolled through IGN? Well here you are now dear expeditionite, reading the words upon website Destructoid dot com, wondering to yourself what thine eyes are exactly reading. There's a front page that makes liberal use of header pictures from He-Man, South Park, and communist China propaganda whilst the comments post wit which include pop culture references, Macho Man Randy Savage elbow dropping Jesus, and Gardevoir. Meanwhile every now and then a post is proclaimed as being promoted from the community blogs. There you'll find blogs such as op-eds about the latest controversy, human interest topics, fandom gushing, and people watching low-grade movies as a service to humanity. But your eye may occasionally wander over to the unassuming forums link and wonder, "Do I dare venture into the unknown?"

Well brave adventurer, I, Sir Strider of Hoang (it's Vietnamese), am here to render unto you the knowledge necessary to survive in the harsh wastelands of the Destructoid forums. Is it a manic jungle of elitists? Mayhaps. But it surely is also a gold mine of humor, discussion, discourse, friendship, and dick jokes. Especially now in a post-rape jokes world, since that is how osmosis naturally occurs wot have you! This guide will surely be your lifeline as you take the plunge into the vast ocean that is the forums. Where there are better people there. Also cocks.

Also pardon the imagery. We all know this is a website. You're not actually entering a jungle, or a grassy plain, or an ocean. But if you want, you can imagine it as a grassy jungle that's underwater. The final frontier they say back in Victorian England! Tally ho!

First of all, one must successfully integrate with the natives. Newcomers who still retain the smell of the outside world are immediately skewered by the locals' spears and depravity. Like a decontamination chamber, you must first enter the Meet & Greet + Forum Rules area. There you will discover that upon your first post that you will be adorned by a local talisman known as Reggie Fils Meat. Tourists are expected to make an introduction thread to introduce themselves and reveal more information about oneself, so that future enemies may formulate tactics based on your fears and weaknesses. Failure to do so will cause you to generate enemes immediately as opposed to years from now. Let's see an example of a typical introduction thread among the natives.

Once you've successfully infiltrated the herd, you're ready to explore to your heart's content. As an un-objective explorer with clear bias, I can safely say that I most frequently visit such locales such as Animetoid: Firion's waifu simulator, the badge threads, Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS, The Wii U thread, the Dtoider hookups thread, and of course Tales from the Workspace since I work at Disney but dear leader OpiumHerz tends to have the best stories that raise the bar.

While I'm at it, let's bring up the lovely forum admin. It was too long ago that OpiumHerz was an outspoken community member. Now with Myx's departure, he was given co-administration along with Nihil. The resident mods also help mostly with requests as the day-to-day schedule of the forums seldom ever leaves the abnormal (erm, more than what's normally abnormal anyways). There's not-dolphin Panzadolphin who helped create Scary Granules with Glowbear. There's also Bright-gavetheforumscancer-side with his trademark LSD cat avatar.

There are many smaller but important details to take home about such threads. Like how many people can't agree on good anime in Animetoid despite Firion being the posterchild and therefore, logically this means harem animes should be in vogue. Or how various sexual acts are being described in the Which Dtoider would you hookup with thread to varying degrees of sincerity. But there are certainly some bigger landmarks to point out before we talk about the locals only style hangouts.



The Arcade, the multi-purpose video gaming forum, has several threads and stickies constantly buzzing with activity and suggestions. First is The Arcade part 2: Revengicide, where general discussion happens. This thread resembles The Bar VI in The Bar, which is the general purpose chat thread. Only instead of a break neck pace conversation in The Bar VI, Revengicide is all about games and how much you love/hate games. Speculation on Metal Gear Rising 2, bagging on Capcom's draconian ways, and general purpose David Cage mockery, it's all here. Meanwhile, in What are you playing 2.0, people will drop in to talk about what they're playing, which is a great way to get suggestions on what to play next when you find yourself at a loss during your day off.

Speaking of The Bar VI, yes, that thread is in it's sixth iteration. Threads have a capacity of 1000 pages more or less. Once that threshold is reached, the thread is more or less retired and a new one rises in its place much like a mythic figure or The Terminator. That means that yes, the Bar VI represents more than 6,000 posts of aimless rambling, sex jokes, and generally good times. Of course, The Bar VI is the chat thread. The forum itself is called the Bar because people will talk about anything and everything to get a rise out of their fellow community member. Weird Youtube videos? Check. Shit talking on Facebook? Present. Selfie sharing? At your own risk explorers!



At this point you've no doubt noticed members carrying badges on their person. These badges represent small achievements within the community that gamify the experience a bit and make things a bit more interesting. There's a badge for being a featured comment on the front page for example. There's a badge for people who've ventured to a convention where Destructoid was active and assumed the robot head identity. There's even a badge for being a woman or being old. Grown a beard? There's a badge for that. Truly, if you must stand out, all you need to do is not shave for a few days and you've earned yourself a badge! Are you legendary? The community and staff will decide for you! Isn't that nice of them? You'll earn a micron of respect from your peers! Are you staff? Of course you aren't! But there's a badge for them! And all of forum staff are usually at hand to help deal with questions, requests, and support thanks to the recent restructuring that gives mods similar oversight as admin.


We are classy people

The forums are also known for being the birth place for Friday Night Fight's planning. In that forum, you'll find organizers posting weekly threads seeing if people would like to play or host specific events. These enterprising individuals then post on their respect community FNF blogs to announce the official line ups for Friday before Community Play Date Manager Michael Phillips (may not be real name) posts the entire aggregate to the front page for the masses. Not to say it isn't home to a few more granular offshoots such as a Baldur's Gate game.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the newly independent forum games board. Here you'll find a variety of community forum-based games such as the standard Werewolf, Muckfoot, Fiasco, word association, and even telecom-based tabletop games and RPGs! INTERNET!

Well then good adventurers, I have exhausted my personal experiences to their limit. I do hope you consider on joining the forums. Due to the nature of investing a lot time to communicating with people over the Internet, the forums feel a bit neglected from time to time, but the tight knit experience leads to rapport and an everyone knows your face-style sense of community. Please know that these experience are only my own as an independent explorer not affiliated with the Crown and that there are other adventurers besides myself who know the many complexities of the forums.

We're better people here.

Also cocks.


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