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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.


12:55 AM on 02.20.2015

Double 20's: Fapcast 20 question box is open and Nintendo FNF for 02/20


It's that time again! When speakers glow with the heat of verbal cursing and we all drop our pants to... wait, hold on. No, it's Fapcast questions for episode 20. Now with 30% more Dtoid staff.

This time on again-off again reservist and host of PStoid Nanashi will come on board to discuss how I shall always deny him of that American Dad reference he wanted for his recap banner. Also, more than likely I'll be able to talk Gurren Lagann. I plan on finally talking Smash 4 too.

Want a jumping off idea for a question we'll answer? How about what's your favorite kind of comment to leave on a Destructoid post? Do you leave reaction pics? Step it up to reaction gifs? Perhaps a witty one-liner or observation of anecdote. Or maybe you prefer getting into an actual discussion rather then leave a one off comment.

Recording begins at 4pm tomorrow in Friday the 20th. See you there!


Mike Martin also asked me if I was interested in helping to bring Nintendo FNF back up onto the forums, hoping a little exposure could jump start interest. While nothing beyond my own contribution has come to fruition and Nintendo is notorious for terrible net play design, there still lingers a ray of hope.

Mario Kart 8 still has its Mario Kart x Animal Crossing DLC pack in May. With a fresh set of tracks, at least one of which to be Animal Crossing themed, a decidedly less intimidating Villager to race as, Isabelle, and Dry Bowser, it should send a rescusitating shock into Mario Kart 8's multiplayer. There's also Mewtwo to return to SSB4 to all his Melee fans. Any extended treatment for Smash is good and we still haven't seen tourney mode or Miiverse zone.

Lastly is Splatoon, the 3rd person shooter we didn't know we wanted for the Wii U. Yes sir, Nintendo FNF ain't done yet and we haven't even thought what might be possible on 3DS.

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]

Since Nintendo has such atrocious social features, feel free to leave any additional communication channels. Like below!

Super Smash Bros. 4 Wii U
Wii U
Host: StriderHoang
NID: striderhoang
Time: 2pm PST | 5pm EST
twitter: striderhoang


2:23 AM on 02.14.2015

Late night thoughts: a new ninja in town

Dag yo!™ It's been nearly 4 years since I joined Destructoid. Believe it or not, my first cblog here was about Netflix's price hike. We can all guess how things turned out. So not only is Netflix still in business, but they're producing their own content. Meanwhile, I've stuck with the Destructoid community through thick and thin. My first FP came fairly early and I reminded everyone that as far as downloadable games went, why are you not playing Monday Night Combat? Jim Sterling has since left to pursue weird new journalism monies, Niero has come and gone and returned, community members have shifted their energies and participation, Urrday Legend went cold turkey along with AboveUp, Manasteel88, Law, Silverdragon, Beyamor, Qalamari, and many more. For a lot, Destructoid is a cool community. I certainly thought was much in my first few years. But this past year, it's become obvious that Dtoid is more like a second home. In addition to talking about games in my personal Facebook network and asking for opinions, I discuss the stuff here on Dtoid. I make cblogs about my favorite stuff like Pokemon or Nintendo, and I get on the forums to either dismiss other people's opinions or have my own dismissed. It's great fun!

What I'm getting at here, after that long ass introduction that totally buries the lede, is that I frigg'in love the community. And Andy Dixonimore has decided that in an effort to truly emulate the good parts of the American government, two pairs of eyes aren't enough. Between his own ball eyes and Occam's black grandma eyes, a third pair wouldn't hurt. So he asked me to come on board and do all the hard work (like a certain long ass recap filled, filled, with a lot of annoying and varying pictures). I decided to keep my handle like Occams before me. While I believe Occams wanted to keep his privacy as a resplendent black grandmother, I was simply attached to my long time handle. I've been using this username for the better part of 8 years, across nearly every online community I can think of. And since I'm still involved with the community as opposed to big time staff content, all the more reason to keep myself familiar with the community I've grown with. Oh yeah, I decided to change my avatar though but you've seen it on my sidebar before. It's grayscale now, like Mike Martin. And I get to be cblog co-manager/Ism. What's an ism? Is it a Striderism? It could be an X-ism. I used X-ism all the time on Street Fighter Alpha. Or A-ism. I like to air block after all, but the extra damage of X-ism is awesome too. But overall I feel like I get to have a lot more responsibility to help you guys while firmly remaining an active community member.

I'm sure Occams has long bugged Andy that they can't be the Three Musketeers if there's only two of them. Well, Andy once encouraged me to throw a CV at the face of whoever's in charge. Since the community is particularly bustling, why not bring someone onboard who's proven he's far too invested with the community and probably won't crash and burn from biting off more than he can chew in terms of creative endeavors. I mean hey, I recap TheKodu's constant op-eds. Truly I must care about the community if I read those.

So once again, I'm your new cblog co-manager. I like to think of Occams as Andy's assistant. So logically, I'm am Occams' assistant. But we're all here to look at your cblogs and highlight really good content that'll demonstrate to the world through our FP that, "Hey numbnuts! You think GamerGate is riveting material? I guess you'll never realize how amazingly personable and creative our community is like the kind of amazing plagarism people get away with, how there are novels of obscure game series, asking an 8-ball to predict E3, or censorship in other countries."

I'm sure we still won't be able to FP everything you guys feel is great. We only have so much time in the day to use, so much space we have to share with the big boy staff's content, so much quantifiable bias we can control before we decide that we just aren't interested. But hey, that's why there's now three of us. Just like the checks and balances responsible for the American government's swimmingly smooth procedures. Featuring community executive president Andy Dixon, community judicial court judge Occams, and community legislative C-SPAN Strider.

Will my position change anything? Hopefully for the community, yes, you'll see more volume and more diversity of front page promotion. But me? Naw son. This gigs all for love. It ain't paying any bills. Hell, it can't even supplement my bills. But the point being that I still consider myself a community member who loves to blog about nitty-gritty game mechanics and too-awesome to explain game lore. I'm still podcasting the Fapcast bi-weekly, I'm still recapping Wednesdays (which I hope doesn't mean more people are going to flood my day because they know that's my day), I'm still going to leave what I feel is witty comments on the FP, and I'm still going to post in the forums about how much I'm not going to watch Jojo because there's simply too much for me to watch I mean seriously there are three seasons for me to catch up on I want to watch something else.

As usual, I've let myself run overtime. Heck, I've helped promote one blog already but I won't be able to do much this weekend because I have Valentine's day with my girlfriend to attend to and she's made me promise to unplug for us time. But I promise that nothing will change but everything will change.

I am not a crook!


12:30 PM on 02.05.2015

Fapcast 19 records Friday! You got questions, we got guesses

We're back on a regular schedule! Me, Phil, and another brand new guest record a new episode of the Fapcast, Destructoid's #4 rated community podcast per Neilson family ratings for community podcasts that record on a Friday!

We're going to scour the blogs of the week and discuss what they bring to the community discussion at large! This is MikePhil's first episode since becoming our playdate manager! Also I'm calling him MikePhil to satisfy both sides of my recognition for his identity.

As usual, we'll pretty much answer any question, since we're a community podcast that discusses the community. Very circlejerky and all. Want something to jump off of in leui of another dick related question to pander to that we'll just coast on? Majora's Mask 3D just released! Nintendo's still got some tricks up its sleeve this year. Go ahead and send us Zelda related questions to celebrate the remastering of one of the Zelda series' most celebrated and unique titles! I'm also likely to bring up Smash Bros. too, especially with APEX passing. Not that I actually following APEX closely but we haven't talked about Smash 4 on the show yet.

Reach us on twitter @Striderhoang, @MikeMcPhil, @CblogFapcast, and @Cartalk. Ok, not really that last one.


3:09 AM on 01.31.2015

The nitty-gritty: the PlatinumStandard

The nitty-gritty is a series aimed at discussing the utmost granular game design choices and mechanics that makes our favorite games tick. No expense is spared in talking with the most obscure of lexicon and jargon in order really appreciate the nitty-gritty features of our games that we sometimes don't even notice.

PlatinumGames are masters of the action genre. As soon as you hear that the developer is PlatinumGames, people immediately picture a high-octane, adrenaline infused experience where the highs are high and the lows still leave your feet tingly numb. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Bayonetta 2 are two great examples of of Platinum's work. Both games are fast paced slugfests filled with grandiose set pieces and death defying encounters. On the surface both games should be mechanically similar yet when you start playing them they're very different. There are a lot of action games out there but what binds these two titles together yet makes them distinct? I want to talk about the nitty-gritty about what makes these games feel so good in practice.

Basically, Revengeance is ultimately a more offensive, aggressive playstyle while Bayonetta 2 is a more fluidity in movement, grace, and style. And while I ultimately want to gush about how much I love these two games, I want everyone to come out with an appreciation for how PlatinumGames can take a genre that's prone to repetition between titles and make them feel distinct. How does PlatinumGames make an action game where all you do is repeatedly wail on enemies, oftentimes with only one or two buttons, but still make every fight distinct and exciting?

Look at Revengeance and Bayo 2 from the outside and what would the average onlooker see? Probably high speed, visual noise with some semblance of violence. But when you dig deeper and really explore their combo system, you begin to realize that while both revolve on high speed action, they differ just enough to be a unique fighting experience. Probably an experience only someone with a long history of fighting and action games may sense granted, but a difference nonetheless.

So what do the two share that marks them as unmistakably P*? High frames per second. Call of Duty, as tired as the series may be, is always proud of its 60fps. There's a stark difference in control between the standard 30fps and the high watermark of 60. 30fps is pretty much a norm for most animation. Things appear to move normally when projected onto a screen and are perceived as such. Hit 60fps though and much more visual information is being conveyed to your senses. Halo has only recently joined the realm of 60fps and while the controls are the same, the gap between input and display will feel shortened. Popular buzzwords used like snappy and responsive are all we can use to describe how a game basically runs faster. And Revengeance and Bayo 2 run at these blistering rates in order to really communicate your thoughts and reactions to fast gameplay. It should be noted that Bayo 2 bascially runs at 60fps but will dip when the action gets heavy but this isn't really a concern until one or two encounters into the endgame where things get predictably wacky and flashy.

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is a great way to see the real difference in frames per second for yourself.

Another similarity is scale. Maybe other games will sick a big boss fight on you every level but in both Revengeance and Bayonetta, every other enemy is at least twice as big as you. Towering behemoths like gekkos and urbane are a regular occurence and its not uncommon to bisect majors enemies and generally reducing the big enemies you get used to fighting to ribbons.

Play both for awhile and the difference is much more pronounced if you reflect on your experiences with the different encounters.

Revengeace is aggressive, in your face, and emphasizes a rushdown, all-out attack mentality. A typical encounter with Raiden is to slice up your opponent as much as you can until you can finish them off in blade mode, exposing their nanofluids, and recharging yourself to restart your offense anew. Blade mode is a purely offensive mechanic, allowing for rapid, powerful attacks during time dilation, at the cost of rooting you in place. In fact, Revengeance focuses so much on offense that your only initial defensive option is to block except you can't hold up that block. The mechanic works more like a parry in that it must be timed, but when mastered, allows for immediately retaliation as your opponent either recovers from their attack or is staggered by your block. The first complaint new players will probably lodge is that Raiden lacks a dodge option, at least at first. This immediately sets Revengeance apart from other action games of its ilk since they almost always provide you with a get out of jail free card in the form of a dodge mechanic that is almost always usable at any point during your offense. Instead the game expects you to grasp the timing of the parry mechanics instead, which is an inherently more offense-oriented than defensive. Even when you purchase the evasive technique, it's built to attack as Raiden dodges with limited movement.

Revengeance typically rewards aggressive combat since your attacks carry a lot of weight, and parrying allows you to restart you attack immediately after blocking your enemy.

Compare this to Bayonetta. While Bayonetta is certainly aggressive, combat in Bayonetta is more fluid and stylish. She has a standard invincible dodge maneuver with her trademark Witch Time slow down to reward precise dodges. Bayonetta isn't about confrontational strategies but rather controlling the flow of combat to your advantage. Since certain combos allow Bayonetta to summon Wicked Weaves, which a giant, powerful, area of effect moves, players have to be mindful of how their combos flow, how strong each of their attacks are, and react to attacks by dodging them. Well timed dodges of course reward you with Witch Time, which in turn feeds additional offense. Bayonetta has a sort of give and take momentum as well as a mindful eye towards pacing and motion. Also, since Bayonetta has guns and a few other methods of ranged combat, Bayonetta is more flexible with spacing. The usual style and pace still applies though.

Bayonetta is like watching tai chi. It's fluid in movement, blending offense with defense through flowing evasion and punishing counterattacks.

Other action games certainly have their own unique strengths, but I love the speed and impulse of PlatinumGames' brand of action games. I know Capcom's brand of action rewards people who dig in deep and stretch their mechanics to the limit. It's apparent in the Devil May Cry series, God Hand, and frankly a lot of other series with a challenge like Ghouls and Ghosts, where learning how the mechanics work at baseline and how to abuse them to their boundaries is almost expected for record setting scores. But PlatinumGames has always felt empowering without overpowering you.

Capcom is also known for punishing you with huge demerits for even the slightest mistake. In Devil May Cry or God Hand, not messing up is a reward in itself while screwing up means getting your ass handed to you. Meanwhile, PlatinumGames lets the difficulty do all the punishing and rewards players who do well. Players who slip up aren't sent back to go without collecting money but players who do well are rewarded such as Raiden's blade mode or Bayo's witch time. Maybe that's why I love PlatinumGames so much. I strive to do well in a game and master its mechanics and Platinum won't withhold anything from me in my quest for perfection.


4:44 AM on 01.25.2015

Late night thoughts: Wind Waker Warriors and the Gardevoir experience

Another night for late night thoughts. Dtoid is certainly bustling this past month. I take back what I said describing Dtoid's comic book age phases. The very beginning was probably just Dtoid being small but tight knit. Let's call this the Pre-golden age or maybe the Classic age. Eventually there's got to be a Renaissance right? Maybe Renaissance is a better description now than the post-revival age? So Classical age, Golden age, Silver age, and what? Renaissance age? But there's never a shortage of discussion in Community Discourse. I mean, Robert Summa? I'm putting on my skepticals.

But enough about that! I realized I forgot some Hyrule Warriors DLC wish list items! While Shade revealed to me that a Hilda palette swap does exist (and its unlockables early in the Master Quest map too. I already got it), I still left out some choice ideas. It could function well too because Wind Waker isn't acknowledged nearly enough in Hyrule Warriors and the next two ideas are from that world.

Tetra and Spirit Zelda!

Why two distinct Zeldas? Because Tetra functions as Tetra and transforms into Zelda for certain attacks. Spirit Zelda on the other hand would be interesting in that you only see her a few important times. Most of the time, you'll be in control of a Phantom armor, and the armor can in fact be different depending on the weapon you choose!

Spirit Zelda can have access to different suits of armor as her weapon, from an old suit of armor, Darknut armor, to finally Phantom armor. Now I'm just spitballing live as I type this out, but in addition possibly moving like a Darknut in terms of combos, her special attack could be made as a callback to her game of origin. After all, Volga transforms into his dragon form during the game and Lana rides a Deku Sprout like the cavalry. Why not have Zelda in her Phantom armor leap onto a suddenly spawning Spirit Train as it mows down everything in front of you?

Game-Art-HQ, Reinhold Hoffman

That can be a freebie Nintendo. Now how about Tetra?

Tetra can move like Shiek. She is after all a nimble pirate of the sea and prefers a small dagger to a large cutlass. Her agility can be used to provide her with blazing fast, mobile strikes like how Shiek constantly moves forward in her combos to strike with her kunai. The different is that Tetra will transform into Zelda and fire her trademark light arrows.

The jury is out on whether she'll transform into Zelda for specific attacks or if Tetra will shift into a sort of Zelda mode like how Zant charges up a meter to go crazy-bonkers-insane with his magic and scimitars. It'd be simple if she'd use Zelda as combo finishers but it could be possible to make Tetra a stance based character and give her elements of Ruto's ranged tidal wave attacks but better. Or change her move set entirely into a combo that involves a rapid barrage of light arrows with range functionally similar to Link's fire rod.

Isn't that cool? How about some extra costume ideas. Just stop and think about it. Shiek fights with a harp. And who else uses a harp in Wind Waker? Yes, Medli. Yes, Medli alternate costume for Shiek. Ain't that wild? How about Wind Waker Ganondorf costume for Ganondorf? His sleeves fucking rocked it. They both use dual swords too, so how about complete the look by turning his twin great swords into twin cutlasses? Yes, awesome Strider.

Thank you Strider.

The Gardevoir Experience

The second bit of news is the reason I decided to do a late night thoughts. Also, this idea is partially to celebrate Gardevoir's inclusion to Pokken Tournament and go along with everyone's excitement of everyone's favorite rule 34 subject. But deep on the web exists this enjoyable doujin called The Sirknight Experience, with Sirknight being Gardevoir's Japanese name. Now if you've already closed the window because you saw the word doujin and thought you were going to be bombarded with Gardevoir hentai, know that this doujin isn't a hentai and that it doesn't even portray Gardevoir as some sort of bubbly, girlfriend-esque image.

Check it out in one of its first uploads, on Psypokes! Images here presented cut for brevity and context. Just see it on that link though!

The Sirknight Experience is an enjoyable, short doujin that portrays Gardevoir as a stereotypical middle aged Japanese office lady. That type of character trope is the constant butt of insufferable office gossip, is coming to the conclusion that they're over the hill, and is unmarried but always looking for Mr. Right. It also stays within its comfort level and uses the Japanese names for all the named Pokemon, which isn't always apparent because some Pokemon have the same name in English and Japanese like Latios.

Anyways, a quick summary and review of the doujin is that Sana the Gardevoir is experiencing a mid-life crisis: she's getting old and still hasn't married, let alone a boyfriend. She's actually 40 and can't find the right man. Not only is her boss setting her up on sketchy dates but her co-workers gossip mercilessly about Sana's prospects, despite the risk of getting Thunderpunch'd by her. Pokeblocks however, are all the rage and it seems to be the magic bullet everyone's been looking for because her friend Feebas suddenly evolves into Milotic.

"Bitch, I can hear you."

Also, I don't know why Gardevoir has a proper name with Sana while I'm pretty sure everyone is just called by their species name. I guess it makes sense in the end to give Gardevoir a cohesive name since she changes forms a couple times in the story.

Just as Sana begins to really doubt herself, we're introduced to her childhood friend Bakejirou, better known as Typhlosion in English. He's naturally the type who is not just Sana's childhood friend but was also the victim of bullying as a Quilava, to which Sana as a Kirlia would protect him. It's at this point where they catch up at a noodle stand where I really begin to love this doujin. There are tons of details for Pokemon fans to appreciate, from the Slowpoke acting as a seat cushion, the Wobuffet crying into his food with Meowth, to the fact that Feebas evolved into Milotic because it was taking beauty Pokeblocks. Every interstitial scene is packed to the gills with extra details that any fan of the series will just love, especially because we get to see our favorite Pokemon act like humans with day jobs, except they breath fire or are floating hunks of metal.

I just realized they're eating fucking Slowpoke tails. Team Rocket's blasting off again!

Also, why is Typhlosion patrolling the streets on a scooter? It's just barely worse than a mall cop on a segway.

Anyways, Sana is caught wondering if Pokeblocks are really the answer when the local shady merchant confirms to us that no, only the Feebas-species can evolve that way but if you've seriously played the games you'd know that. The shady merchant, a Cacturne (the only character in the doujin with defining physical characteristics by the way. Everyone else uses accessories while this Cacturne has purple hair), tells Sana that she has a secret method to help her regain her youthful looks and therefore, the confidence to really hook a man. Particularly to hook her crush, the hotshot Latios who just got hired at her company.

After explaining the basis for experience points and growth (i.e. how every RPG ever works), Cacturne sells Sana on the idea of sucking those nasty extra experience points out of her in order to regain her youth. But despite indeed coming out of the mysterious process looking a bit younger and getting all sorts of good reactions (she fucking turns down Deoxys-D. High standards much?), she finds out Latios isn't into final stage evolutions. While Latios' co-workers says he has a first evo complex, we might be more familiar with calling him a lolicon. I watch a lot of anime but somehow the impact feels way worse now.

So after ponying up for extra sessions to suck out enough exp to turn Sana into a Kirlia, she nabs the man of her dreams and even dresses up in a sweet female trainer cosplay. But we soon find out that Latios really is as gross as we thought because not only is he a lolicon but he's also got a huge soft spot for polygamy. Even after getting absolutely rekt by about a dozen of his scorned girlfriends plus his actual sister Latias, Sana is still sympathetic enough to carry Latios to the Pokemon Center. If it weren't for her hip giving out on her.

This entire family has weird taste.

Turns out it was too good to be true. The experience points being sucked out of her only reduced her abilities and powers, making her appear younger as she devolved. In truth, the matter of experience points had no bearing whatsoever on her actual age. So despite devolving into her Kirlia form, she still had the body age of a 40-year-old. Sana's rage induced retaliation was only a wimpy attack and she gets quickly dispatched by Cacturne's needle arm (this was of course made a long time ago when it made sense that a grass/dark-type would wipe the floor with a psychic-type. Nowadays Gardevoir's been retconned as psychic/fairy so the outcome would be very different, before even considering the mega form). She not only sucks out what remaining experience points out of Sana, but she's using the weird juices being sucked out by her crony Gulpins to cook up meth! I mean, rare candies! Or meth candies? No, it's rare candies, because it's pure, crystallized experience points.

Watashi wa kikendesu!~ I am the danger!

Typhlosion shows up though, having tailed a Kirlia he recognized as Sana. When it looks at first that the once cowardly Quilava gets laid out like an amateur, he quickly rises to the occasion as Typhlosion of the Flame Wheel Corps and puts a beat down on Cacturne.

In the end, Sana, as a Ralts, is given not just a stern lecture from her friend Typhlosion but a jar of rare candies that could transform her back. While she has the option to become a Kirlia and go back to [that creep] Latios, Sana comes to terms with how she is and goes back to being a Gardevoir, knowing well that she has Typhlosion, who will always be there for her. It not only ends on a cute note, but also on a classic anime/manga trope of a guy feeling a girls boobs on his back a he carries her off. Only we all know Gardevoir has that tough looking horn thing that's probably much less enjoyable to feel in your back.

Your welcome Gardevoir lovers of Dtoid!


2:57 AM on 01.23.2015

Cblog Fapcast records Friday evening! Send us burning questions!

It's been a longtime coming, but since I never know when to let go, the Fapcast is coming back for an episode. And while I loathe to do short form posts, I figure you've seen enough call for questions to be used to them. This episode will have me, your arrogant host, Phil, resident dickmonger, and a special community guest! Can you guess who it is? If you've seen me or Phil on Twitter, you probably already know.

But enough about that! What should you ask us? Well, in the spirit of everything goes because I never know just how many questions I actually get, just about anything. Other community podcasts seem fine answering inane questions like what kind of bread they prefer on their sandwich so I guess we could answer them too. But if you must focus on something, this episode's community segment will spitball on the brand new year and the new blood that's been pouring in these past few months. In my opinion as someone who's been around for three to four years, the time directly before me could be described as the golden age, where Dtoid grew and hit its stride. My period would probably be the silver age, when Dtoid hit its peak and held an identity. And we may now be entering the post-revival age, where there was a lot of reorganizing and restructuring of how the site views itself and how the community views it. We're now seeing lots of new regular participants, ongoing cblog series and views, and many new ideas entering the void of the Dtoid's rebuilding. Have anything to say about the way the site's been going? Think anyone in particular has been making the community a bang up place? We record Friday evening and send them in!

Sound off in the comments! You can also reach us at twitter @CblogFapcast, as well as the hosts of the show, @Striderhoang and @MikeMcPhil!


9:28 PM on 01.20.2015

Hyrule Warriors: celebrations, weapons, and wishes

Believe it or not, I really love Hyrule Warriors. Actually, that's probably not such a stretch seeing the comments for each new DLC release. But Hyrule Warriors has really grown on me as something Nintendo has always been really good at and has done multiple times already: creating self-referential celebrations of their games. Everyone knows Smash Bros. is basically a celebration of Nintendo's video game history and these days its dawned on me that Mario Kart is a celebration of the history of Mario games with their character rosters, tracks, and items. And since no one would ever expect a Zelda game that isn't an action-RPG, Hyrule Warriors fills a surprisingly well-rounded role as a Zelda celebration with all its combat and monsters to beat up.

There are exactly two different opinions to Hyrule Warriors: people who are fine with Dynasty Warriors and people who aren't. Even if you love Zelda to the point of giving Hyrule Warriors a shot, that means you were fine or at least not actively repulsed by its gameplay. Which is a shame for people who don't like repetitive hack and slash action games because there's the game is packed with cool references and action-oriented re-imaginings of classic Zelda items and characters. For example, who would've thought the wind waker baton could've made a great weapon but here I am, commanding the winds to create cyclones and decimate entire armies. In terms of a celebration of Zelda, its just like past Nintendo games, even though it wasn't made by Nintendo but Tecmo Koie. The story uses a plot device that allows many major Zelda characters from across time to be in the same place such as Ruto from Ocarina of Time or Zant from Twilight Princess. There is a treasure trove of weapons with unique combos, effects, and properties on top of the character's gimmicks, not to mention a few major items are important sub-weapons for all characters, so I get to see Ganondorf's huge gerudo-ian mitts trying to use a bow and arrow.

So why do I like Hyrule Warriors? First of all, Zelda celebrations, like I said. I get to see Zelda herself use the Dominion Rod from Twilight Princess and crush hordes of moblins. Second, the hack and slash mentality actually carries over surprisingly well for a fan of fighting games. The different repertoires of combos all have unique effects and uses such as how Link's 2-hit to strong with the gauntlets juggles enemies well for extra damage. Or there's the fact that certain characters play completely differently despite having only one or two weapons. Link has over 4 weapons with different attacks and combos but even though Ganondorf only has his great swords, he has a unique charge mechanic that gives him a powerful area attack which is a constant part of his gameplan.

I also love the expressiveness of the characters on Nintendo's HD console. I didn't get a chance to play Skyward Sword which featured a more expressive Link and Zelda. I look forward to either getting a disc or seeing a VC release of it now that Nintendo has figured it out. But I also jumped on the sale they had on the retail exclusive costume packs and there's something so absolutely charming about seeing Twilight Zelda smile so radiantly. In fact, I so rarely get to see my favorite Zelda characters smile and that's kind of weird because Hyrule Warriors is in the context of an actual war while most other games are adventures against the backdrop of a thinly veiled peace. When Link crushes monsters with the Spinner, he fist pumps! When Zelda uses the wind waker baton, she smiles and giggles! When Ganondorf kicks open a treasure chest, he has a sly smirk!

But most of all, I love the weapons you can use. This ties back to the Zelda celebration and references. The lore really gets acknowledged by the game when you use it yourself. The weapons are the whole reason I wanted to talk about Hyrule Warriors! So without further ado, here are some of my favorite weapons and by extension, characters in Hyrule Warriors. My choices are judged by a criteria of design, their visual flourish in combat, and actual effectiveness in battle. I also throw in my ideas for future weapon and character ideas too, because just like Smash Bros. there's always something else you wish for.

The Spinner
Link may be the baseline character with no special effects but he also has the largest variety of weapons to make up for it. All his weapons are really interesting to use like the fire rod or riding Epona. I actually love the gauntlets + ball and chain combo. But the spinner barely edges out its electrical element cousin for its sheer area of effect utility. I absolutely love the idea of Link using his golden gauntlets to not only crushing armies with a wrecking ball but also beating redeads senseless with his thunder fists. But the spinner, true to its name, spins everywhere, and tears up everything around Link. The spinner also ups the ridiculous factor, even compared to the gauntlets' ability to dig up and pile drive huge black monoliths into dodongos.

The spinner you see, comes in an infinite supply of itself which seemingly appears conveniently out of no where. The strong attack kicks out his current spinner into place, which then becomes a projectile when Link kicks out his next spinner to ricochet the last one. Link can also spawn a row of columns that sticks his opponent magnetically before bowling them over. He even spawns a gear tower from Twilight Princess out of no where, rides up it, then crushes it, creating an explosion!

Also, he can kickflip it in front of him, punch it, and send it flying forward like a Beyblade death missile. That move looks way cooler than it sounds, so I tried using a Beyblade reference to help you realize how ridiculous it is.

Giant's Knife
What's better than a giant's knife? How about a giant katana? Impa basically uses her own version of the giant's knife like she's right out of a samurai period movie because she keeps the thing rested in its hilt over her shoulder until she draws it for quick, fast cuts the break the pavement. It draws obvious design inspiration as a katana than a broadsword, and yet its immense size in the Zelda universe is less Buster Sword and more Biggoron's Sword.

The sword itself is really cool. But the water magic Impa infuses it with is equally, if not cooler. She can conjure a bubble of water to draw her enemies in, arrows of water to rain down, and even a small armory of swords made entirely of water to slash and rend her foes. But not that Impa is some mage, because the way she handles a sword as big as herself is much more entertaining than simply watching someone strongarm it. She swings with its inertia like its a flail and even continues the combos with her feet to preserve its deadly momentum. Her strong attack also lets her dash in on her target and quick draw them, which is one of the better utility moves in the game compared to janky projectiles or a different kind of strong attack.

Dominion Rod
Like the spinner, this item is extremely niche and didn't serve much purpose outside its intended dungeon from Twilight Princess. Also like the spinner, its really good as a weapon of mass destruction for Zelda to destroy entire armies. The rod has two modes: hammer statue and owl statue. While the rod let's fly an orb of light to pummel enemies, one of the two statues will follow its own preset path of destruction until you perform a specific combo that instantly summons it in front of Zelda do something like a hammer combo or a pinball bounce attack. The statue together with Zelda herself lets her cover an enourmous amount of space. It's like two fighters in one!

Zelda's other weapons are extremely different. The rapier has a light stock mechanic which augments her attacks when she's charged with light. It provides powerful area attacks but requires a lot of forethought to use effectively. The baton is the Wind Waker, which allows her to sweep enemies with gusts of wind, but it has surprisingly bad reach. Neither hold a candle to just how much mayhem the Dominion Rod can do thanks to the large size of the statues and senseless havoc you can make from just a few choice combos.

Also, her special focus attack simply causes a statue the size of a skyscraper to topple over onto her enemies. It's a simple, big magic trick but still pretty funnyto watch it fall onto a Gohma or say, Ghirahim.

Lana is about as divisive as Hyrule Warriors. She's very out of character with her perky personality and actual voice. You either may hate her as an eyesore or love her because she smashes dinosaurs and gives a victory wink to the camera. She also hums the Hyrule theme while using the summoning gates weapon so forget what I said earlier, you should love Lana.

But this isn't about the summoning gates. This is about the spear, in actuality, an overglorified deku stick. It doesn't look at all like an actual spear, but it does look like a stick! It can also summon the Great Deku Tree to mangle its foes in its branches, summon homicidal Deku Sprouts, and turn into one of my favorite items of all time, the deku leaf! Which of course you use to create hurricane walls of wind to plow through platoons and zip kick enemies while floating with it. It's seriously the best combo ever.

It's the little touches that matter. Not only can you ride a Deku Sprout like the calvary, your defense guard becomes the Kokiri shield. Awesome.


Ravio/Hilda alternate costumes for Link and Zelda
At first, I was trying to think of ways to integrate Ravio and Hilda as standalone characters. After some time though, I figured it be easier to consider them as skins and introduce the weapon ideas by themselves.

Admittedly, Hilda is just Zelda but purple. Ravio though is a great costume, with a vague rabbit hood, scarf, and cloak set. If Link can cosplay the postman and show of his legendary... legs, then Link can cosplay as a comparatively modest but interesting Ravio. What do you know about the postman, huh? Link can cosplay as the interesting, conflicted, and cowardly Ravio, who is an alternate version of him from Lorule. Wouldn't it be cathartic to see Ravio finally become the hero he could've become?

Oh, and spoilers I guess for Ravio.

The Ice Rod
There have been a lot of different magic rods in the game. In Link Between Worlds alone, there are three elemental rods plus a whirlwind rod. But the ice rod stands as something unique to contribute to Hyrule Warriors.

Yes, it would probably shoot shards of ice and summon spears of ice to pop up from the ground. It's intended use in-game though is dropping ice. What if its special attack, after filling up your special bar, was another callback? After all, Link conjures a flaming dragon reminiscent of Volga through the fire rod. So logically, what if the special attack for the ice rod was dropping a frozen replica of Blizzeta?

Just let that sink in for a moment. Activate your special attack and in addition to freezing your enemies in activation, you literally freeze the ground around them before its mirror sheen reveals Blizzeta is moments away from a total megaton impact. I'll take my checks in direct deposit Nintendo.

Vaati gets so little recognition nowadays. It may be because the entire subseries he's in, known sometimes as the Four Swords series, was done in conjunction with Capcom. Maybe Nintendo wants to make sure the series gets swept under the rug so people don't entirely catch on to the fact that Capcom was responsible for such great cult hits. But Vaati doesn't deserve this shabby treatment. Or maybe Capcom is holding joint rights to him and keeping him indoors Spider-Man style. Also, do you realize what this means for Marvel Vs. Capcom 4?

Ganondorf is capable of assuming his monstrous shape in certain combos. Vaati should also be able to do so himself since he's known traditionally to be a demon. Vaati's also always been known as a wind mage, so it's possible for Vaati to function like a better version of Zelda's baton weapon. And it's obvious his special attack should at least partially transform into his cyclopic form and really decimate the field. His personality has always seemed very Ghirahim to me, before Ghirahim. But let's face it, we'd just be interested in seeing a 2D character make it to 3D.

Roc's Cape and Pegasus Boots
Roc's Cape used to be such a novel idea. Leap across holes and chasms! But ever since Ocarina of Time and its 3D landscape with automatic jumping, it rendered the idea useless. Even in recent top-down Zelda games, map design never asked for the ability to jump as far like Roc's Cape might ask you to.

The Pegasus Boots have fared better in terms of survival. Which is where Hyrule Warriors comes in to bring Roc's legendary cape back to relevancy. By itself, maybe it just allows impressive jumping and gliding. But what if we combine it with a re-imagining of the Pegasus Boots? Magic boots that not only impart agility but immense kicking strength. Now throw in the cape for impressive gliding and air mobility and you have yourself a masterful kicking weapon in the same vein how the gauntlets is two weapons as one.

It could function as a cross between the spinner's ability to attack all around itself with high speed and the baton's wind strikes. But there's only two characters who'd fit the weapon's motif properly. Either Impa, with her athletic speed and build or Lana with her demonstrated history of acrobatics. Hell, one of Lana's guard point finishers just has her stomping on monsters with electrified feet. I love Impa but I feel Lana could make the visceral rush of flip kicking enemies into the horizon with what are essentially jet boots that much better with her own apparent appreciation of Zelda lineage.


1:57 AM on 01.10.2015

Gaming by region: Southern California

Holy cow, I've been meaning to throw this out for months but something always gets in the way, whether it's timely writing prompts (Giving Thanks, Gift of Gaming), big creative itches (finishing Pokemon, GOTY 2014), or just plain good old fashion real life probs yo (date days, holiday work season, school). But finally it's the new year, it's off peak at work (fuck that damn mouse and stocking merchandise), and an open schedule to write, dare I say, for fun?

Anyways, differences in culture always fascinate me. North American west coasters can wear shorts in October and just sweaters in January but Canada is the kind of place where you'd wear what? Three layers of clothing? So whenever I think about the UK, my brain stops working. America has GameStop and UK has... GAME? Man, I thought GameStop sounded dumb. Listening to Secret Moon Base and hearing Stevil say words like quid and what's a corn dog really drive home how universal and global games are and how I'll gladly label foreigners as weird while I drive 10 miles for pretty much anything, from shopping to pretzels.

I live in Southern California. Home of surf, sun, and celebrities. I don't live like the 2000's perennial The OC (now that's an old reference) but I can drive 20 minutes to the beach. But games can be different too, despite everyone all over the world playing them. Even four hours away in the central valley where my girlfriend lives, life can seem so alien. Fast Internet isn't as common and more people are at the mercy of either monopolies or slow Internet.

You can never have too many

I live near no less than 4 GameStops within 30 miles of each other. But despite that I still either go to a department store like Best Buy or download a game digitally. There are still a few mom & pop game stores but they mostly subsist for relic hunters or hardware repair. I live in range of service like Verizon and Time Warner for Internet. I used to use Verizon DSL but when I started working and earning my own paycheck in my parent's household, I pay my own premium on cable internet because fuck casual American DSL. I may be paying more for a paltry 18mbps down rate but when most of Asia can get 50mbps in their own Starbucks I just want what I can get within a reasonable budget. A lot of my multiplayer gaming these days is mostly online like you'd expect. Still, I also live near and work at Disneyland. My friends oftentimes set up multiplayer game sessions and even this past week I missed some sets of Smash.

In my immediate neighborhood, there's more elderly than youth but that doesn't mean I'm surrounded by old folks. I also live near a middle school. But the real source of community and interaction for me is my alma mater, California State University of Long Beach. Finding someone to game wirelessly with handhelds is easier in any school granted but I can name several campuses including my own that are within a 30 to 45 minute drive: UC Irvine, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, and a bevy of local community colleges. At least during my time at college, in my area, fighting games had a healthy market share as it was the favorite method of playing together. Nowadays, I know Cal State Long Beach's gaming club has expanded into eSports like RTS's and MOBAs. God bless our old school arcade with 3rd Strike but a massive rainstorm flooded it out and it was never the same when they replaced it with a PC and console gaming cafe.

Conventions like Anime Expo, Anime LA, and E3 are annual regulars for locals like,bringing a massive influx of gamers. It's also worth noting that I've been to Blizzard and Activision before as they're in the SoCal area. SoCal also has its fair share of fighting game scenes and surviving arcades like Round 1, Super Arcade, and lots of places that are variations of Family Fun (ironic considering the sodium levels you could detect in a typical fighting game). I loved Arcade Infinity as well when it was still up and running. It was sad to see it go but the owner was at odds with the landlord and the city of Rowland Heights.

Another sight, though it's not unique to my area, is the local swap meet. Mine is the Golden West College's weekend swap meet, which is home to two or three unique video game peddlers. Personally I don't trust a place that'll charge me upwards of $15 for a SNES game. I think it reeks of someone who've trying to snag an uninformed casual or a window shopping granny. But like any sweep meet/flea market, you never know what you'll find and the mystery is half the fun.

So that's the majority of my area. I live 45 minutes away from Los Angeles but in addition to that time sink, traffic is killer there. There are a couple of interesting things to say about that place but I don't go there often enough to care so much. Maybe you have something interesting to share about your home about gaming. I can hardly imagine a place with limited Internet or living close to a surviving arcade. But hearing about other people's set ups can be interesting.


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