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StriderHoang's blog

One year later: Animal Crossing New Leaf
1:26 AM on 06.08.2014
The 3DS user's guide to Disneyland (and other theme parks)
3:56 AM on 06.04.2014
The StriderHoang Series Dtoid Trading Card Roundup!
2:37 AM on 06.02.2014
Another goddamn 10 things about Strider
2:20 AM on 05.12.2014
Strider's top 10 Kirby powers
2:50 AM on 05.09.2014
The Rebellion Strikes Back! A primer to FTL's Advanced Edition
12:51 AM on 04.12.2014





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Community Discussion: Blog by StriderHoang | StriderHoang's ProfileDestructoid
StriderHoang's Profile - Destructoid




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About




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



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

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

Also, twitter


Introduction post

10 things about me

Another goddamn 10 things about Strider

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

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



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



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

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



Also, check me out on Bitmob!
Player Profile
Xbox LIVE:Striderhoang
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One year ago on June 9th 2013, Animal Crossing New Leaf released to a particularly rabid fanbase on the 3DS. New Leaf presented a logical jump for fans of the quirky slice of life sim game. Instead of playing as a strange midget 10-year-old, you play as a teenage something with far better defined proportions. Instead of moving into a strange animal town as a new resident, you are told to use your humanity to better a town of animals as the new mayor. Instead of being limited to designing simple square pattern designs, you can specify designs onto t-shirts, tanks, jackets, dresses, hats, or postboards. A host of new animals were introduced and the new multiplayer options along with an emphasis on taking photos to share added fuel to the fandom fire. So how was one year of Animal Crossing gone?

Meet colorful creatures and people


Very few of my original townies are still around. In fact, Hopper the grumpy penguin is just about the only original left. Jeremiah the frog, Bill the duck, and Lolly the cat, among others, have all left. But over the course of the year, many villagers have come and gone. In fact, having a storied history of villagers really makes your main street look impressive when all your past townies shop around as visitors. One kangaroo even moved back†and remembered my name from her previous stay in Harbor!

I'll miss old favorites like Lolly, who was like a university student, only a cat. She always asked me to catch fish and bugs for her to study.

Soleil was a snooty hamster obsessed with image. But with perfectly coiffed hair like hers, who could blame her?

Bill was a tiny duck with the best muscles on any athlete. When your house is your own personal bathhouse and swimming pool, I guess you would love to spend all that time exercising.

Annalisa was about ready to move out of my girlfriend's town when I happened upon her while she was packing and convinced her to move to Harbor. It's too bad the nicest anteater this side of Japan couldn't stay for good.

Snake, a pink rabbit training to America's Next Top Ninja. Pink probably isn't the best color for stealth but that didn't stop you from running laps around Harbor.

And a special mention to Rodney, the ugliest hamster around. I was glad the smug bastard moved out of my hoe. My girlfriend was less thrilled to find out he took a liking to Yerba Bu.



Of course, the game wouldn't be where it currently is now without its sizable multiplayer aspect. I even bought the game (and system) for my girlfriend and we play together regularly. A few times, neighbors would move over to our towns either out of curiosity or because we offered each other the right to convince prospective mover.

Besides my girlfriend though, I've played with a lot of other friends, both here and at work. Every other month I'd meet someone new at work who just bought a 3DS and Animal Crossing. And since I'd been playing since launch, I'd have the honor of handing down some helpful donations.

Collecting all the things


There's no shortage of things to collect in Animal Crossing. Grabbing stuff is probably 90% of the game and it appeals to the collectors and kleptomaniacs out there. Whether its all the masks of the Japanese theater set or the entire set of Astro furniture to make a room look like a space station. And it doesn't necessarily stop at complete collections either. I have a room with no official aesthetic unity according to the Happy Home Academy but I've created my own game room, complete with six back-to-back arcade machines that feature Mario and Luigi in a vaguely Street Fighter view.



The multiplayer aspect again rears its pretty face. Every so often I'd exchange items with my girlfriend, particularly when on the prowl for specific items. It's especially a factor since I had access to Gracie's rare item boutique earlier than her and again now that she's started over.

The holidays and events


My favorite holiday by far is Halloween. In fact, I don't like celebrating actual Halloween all that much but preying on my neighbor's base fears and dressing up as a bug with my girlfriend as a ghost must be one of the top 10 cutest things I could do in the game.

Nature competitions are often held on Saturdays too. Sometimes I'd cheat a little and pre-catch a ton of specimens the night before. Usually when the day of the competition came, I'd like talking to my villagers as they parade around town with their nets and fishing poles like they're hot stuff. I know my beetles were the best though. I have the entire bug series of furniture to prove it.

I even checked in on my town during New Years. I missed most of Christmas but I still managed to buy a Christmas tree in time for it and displayed it in my home so that everybody who streetpassed me at work knew I was celebrating properly. Thanksgiving was a time I could celebrate the hallowed American holiday alongside a particularly remarkable turkey chef.

Even simpler birthdays were fun to partake in. Finding a gift was always a special little moment. I actually gave Bonbon, who is a peppy bunny, a rabbit hood item. I gave Jeremiah blue furniture since he's such a big fan of the color. Of course my own birthday wasa nice occasion to see my local animals celebratemy special day and give me a birthday cake. And I should mention all the countless letters and gifts I gave to my girlfriend. On long days where we wouldn't see each other over Skype because of work, sometimes we'd just leave our gates open for us to visit each other. And on more than one occasion we'd surprise each other with letters with gifts.

And all the other mayors


A special thanks has to be had for all the people I've played with over the past year.

I considered Destructoid's own AlphaDeus an Animal Crossing philanthropist of sorts. The sometimes troubled mayor threw himself into the game and made incredible progress, to the point where he honored many fellow mayors with kind gifts and donations. I only wish Dtoid's former resident musician only the best.

ZombiePlatypus was one of the many people to share and help in AlphaDeus' large scale efforts.



Steffu of Almond, one of my friends, is also a talented artist. I'd enjoy her Swapnotes when the service was still online as well as more than one trade and favor. When Lolly was getting ready to move before I could convince her to stay, Steff offered her boyfriend to adopt Lolly rather then to let her fade into Animal Crossing oblivion.

My coworker, Josie, continues her interest in the game to this day. Though she worries for the day when Kyle moves out of her town. To be fair, I'd be the same way with O'Hare.



And finally my girlfriend, Adriana aka Kitty Olivas aka Miss G. For those empty days filled with wonder, thoselong nights together on the island, those days spent harvesting your orchards, or those days just spend idling on a bed together while we Skyped.

For most of the people who have moved on, it's understandable with it being a simple game. Animal Crossing has always been a favorite of mine since the Gamecube days. But for the past year, it's been something special for me and my girlfriend. Animal Crossing is a fine game to slow down with. On long, hard days where it seems like the world is crashing down around you, it's always nice to slow down every once and a while and talk to a rabbit wearing a straw hat about how vintage his book collection is.

Photo Photo Photo









Have you ever taken your 3DS to a major theme park and remarked at the surprising number of streetpasses you've received?

As many of you may know in my day to day musings, I work at the (alleged) happiest place on Earth. I work at the Disneyland Parks and Resorts, though not Disneyland proper. I actually work at California Adventure, which is an important distinction because we have alcohol and Disneyland doesn't. I also own a 3DS and like it quite a bit. This past May, I received my 3000th streetpass. While I have yet to take my 3DS with me to a convention where I'm likely to get over a hundred easy over the course of an entire convention, I do work at a densely populated amusement park five days a week, which attracts international attendance the world over. Compared to 3 days at a con maybe once or twice a year, I get 10 streetpasses on a slow day and up to 20 or more on busy days.

And I'm not the only person. Of course I'm not the only person who has a 3DS at the park. And not to take a cheap shot at Sony, but I've never seen any of my co-workers whip out a Vita. But I've worked at an amusement park for over two years, gathering over 3000 streetpasses, and meeting a variety of people both directly and in-directly with my 3DS. Here is my little manifesto of bringing a 3DS to Disneyland, what to do for sociability, what to expect from others, and in general amusement park musings with a portable game system.


1) Know the main thoroughfares

An amusement park is only as good as its design and layout. DCA's layout is convenient because it's possible to take two different loops across two sides of the park and be back at the entrance with no complications. If you're hunting for streetpasses, it pays to know the basic flow of foot traffic. It shouldn't take a rocket science to figure out where everyone is guaranteed to be at least once after you look at a park map.

You may be familiar with the name Main Street. For Disneyland, this is the first place you walk through, filled with shops and food to whet your appetite both coming into the park and out. And it's the only way in or out of the park with exception of the monorail. It's the same idea for DCA except its called Buena Vista Street and you probably should've already figured out where I'm going with this by now. Everyone entering the park is sure to pass through these areas, so no enterprising 3DS owner is going to weasel their way through your wireless net. It's always easy to figure where lots of people are due to roadways being big nerve centers in between lands, entrances, and exits. So over the course of a natural visit, you're bound to get a lot if you make the most of your stay and explore.


2) Employees like to be noticed

My current street plaza greeting is set to DCA Stores CM! Now passing by guests have a more intimate time at the park knowing the person they streetpassed is indeed an employee and likes Animal Crossing, as per my choice in a Nook hat. But streetpassing, as we all know, isn't some one way street. I've streetpassed a lot of other employees of varying degrees of customization and information.

One co-worker I've tagged about 46 times so far. We work together often and even if we don't work immediately in the same area (for example, next door), we know we were near each other. Another person, whom I know as Jujuboy, I've streetpassed over 50 times and I've never even met him, much less recognized him. All I know is that he's a DCA Foods CM and wears a bear hat, so I know he works on my side and most likely either serves people in a restaurant setting or works a cart where he hands people huge turkey drumsticks that taste like ham (we have a turkey leg air freshener. It smells like ham).

I've streetpassed with other stores CMs, food, janitors, attractions, and entertainment. Pretty much the only kind of person I haven't streetpassed are maintenance people and most of them are old fogeys who know their way with an electric wire but probably not a new-fangled Gameboy. But it's always a nice feeling when you walk around the park and take home a little piece of the park's experience with you. Who knows? Maybe the guy piloting your Jungle Cruise tour boat is a huge Fire Emblem Awakening fan?


3) You'll fill your world map fairly well, but mostly from Japan

Thousands of people come to Disneyland everyday. Many of whom come from out of state or even out of country. The price hike was done to stem the overcrowding and yet I'm pretty sure we're busier then ever. A lot of who you'll tag will probably be around the Anaheim area or a few hours out. Every so often though, you'll get someone interesting from out of the country. Maybe Canada or somewhere from Europe. Nine times out of ten though, it's from Japan.

Long before you fill any other territory, spend any amount of time in the park and you're bound to get a few Japanese streetpasses. I've almost completely filled the country of Japan. If there's one thing the Japanese absolutely love, its our damn teddy bear, Duffy the Disney bear.

You see, this isn't any other teddy bear. No, this bear has a storybook origin of being a special companion. Minnie, fearing for Mickey's sanity on his long voyages as a sea captain, because apparently he's always been a sea captain, makes a teddy bear which may or may not have already achieved sentience. It's not clear whether its already animated like the taxi cab that lives in Toontown on the other side of the park, or whether Mickey's sea madness gave the bear sentience out of necessity, like some big middle finger to Tom Hanks and Wilson. Regardless, Mickey enjoyed his suddenly magical friend so much that he recommended Minnie to make it a business that hopefully didn't become slavery. Thus, the merchandising of Duffy was born.

Did you like that story? The Japanese sure did. So much that they created Shelly the bear, Duffy's girlfriend which is exactly analogous to Mickey and Minnie, right down to the bow to signify this is the girl. To Shelly's credit, she has blue eyes and damn if a Japanese diehard won't make sure you know that.

Knowing the parity the 3DS has in Japan, its likely that just about any Japanese tourist will have a 3DS. What matters is that they bring it with them because they want Duffy merchandise hardcore. We have a five item limit because grifters will come by and buy as many bears as they can so they can fence it back home in their Asian country of choice at exorbitant prices. That's right folks, there are people developing a black market for Disney brand goods and boy does it sound lucrative.


4) There will be plenty of chances to play on your 3DS

So you've shelled out a proportionate amount of money according to how far away you live and you plan to live it up at the park, right? Why bother sitting down to play your handheld when you have an entire park to explore and enjoy. Well, whether you want to or not, you will be finding excuses to crack open your sleeping 3DS.

First are the lines. If you haven't been to an amusement park in a while, wait times can be 30 to 45 minutes for mildly popular rides. Radiator Springs Racers, the crown jewel ride in Cars Land, used to have face two hour waits daily. Something like 10% of your day devoted entirely to waiting for a ride. When you run out of things to talk about with your friends, your neighbors, and that weirdo wearing a jacket covered in pins, you'll break out your 3DS pronto. Maybe you'll make an impromptu wireless Mario Kart game?

And lines are everywhere. Wait times for rides, wait time for shows, wait time for food, and god help you if you need to go to one of the more available restrooms.

You'll probably eat. You like to eat right? Well, you're most likely not going to get right back into the thick of it on a full stomach. Maybe a quick game of Mario Kart while you digest? I know I ain't getting on Space Mountain on a full stomach.

And to me, the chief reason you'll be breaking out your 3DS in the middle of your expensive vacation is just fatigue. The park is huge and you'll be trekking a huge distance for your fun. You will eventually take a break on one of our many benches. You'll find throngs of people just chilling for a respite on benches, corners, and where ever else they can be out of foot traffic to just catch their breath. You know what doesn't demand a large amount of physical energy? Selling your perfect fruit in Animal Crossing New Leaf.


5) Shopping is fine too

You'd be surprised at what you may find sometimes. Keep an open mind and you may find something that will tempt you to impulse buy it. But some surprise shopping brings you closer to someone who may be streetpassing too, not to mention the passing traffic outside.

Let me put it another way. I work in the stores department of an amusement park and I still get surprised at new stock that makes me want it. Wreck-it Ralph pins, Captain America shields, and a conductor hat with Mickey ears on it are all things I've either bought or wish I bought. No matter how jaded I get, I sometimes wonder if the park wouldn't just pay me in merchandise. Plus I get plenty of streetpasses despite being locked to a store. I probably get more streetpasses working someplace like Buena Vista Street since I'm right next to the gate. But I still get plenty of action over at the pier where the crowds may thin a little bit. It's not like there will be a shortage of people plus I'll probably tag more Japanese tourists there since there's tons of Duffy stuff there. But fuck Mad T Party. Those guys are just interested in listening to bad pop/party music and must not be the kind of crowd to own a 3DS.


6) Pay attention to your stuff

Always keep your stuff on you and at least in your sight. Always.

If you're just resting or eating, you may surprise yourself at just how forgetful or careless you are. My advice is to never intentionally set it down unless you know it'll always stay in your peripheral vision. We're talking an internationally known theme park here. Employees are generally all about integrity but we can't do anything if the one of the 20,000 other guests get to your stuff first.

I imagine you're coming with a nice bag. A normal 3DS fits in your pocket but a bag should be an important consideration not only for shopping but for high speed rides. Screaming Through California has designated carry on pouches for a reason you know. That shit's got loop on it and at least if you're careless enough to forget to grab your stuff off a ride, chances are high a CM will get to it first and turn it into lost and found.

But hey, I own an XL and even that still fits in my pocket. Why risk it? Keep it in your hands or your pockets.


7) Check your streetpasses often

This is probably expected if you've been to a convention before with tens or twenties of people tagging you every minute but it remains here. You'll want to take any chance you get to clear your plaza and misc game features before it fills up and blocks future tags. I've had days where I've probably missed a few tags since my plaza filled up an hour before I realized it. It's good to check during lines, while you shop, while you eat food, while you eat snacks, etc.

Every so often, I decide to create personal messages to my streetpasses, especially after a lot of streetpasses. I see lots of people with messages of allons-y or sometimes I just send a topical message like how balls hot it is in Anaheim right now. Several times I've gotten messages of Yay Disney†and of course I'll congratulate them. Maybe I'll ask the foods CM how its going or wish my guests a happy stay. Then I'll play Kirby Triple Deluxe to pick up their key chains or check the HHA Showcase in New Leaf to remark how bad their home design skills are. Fun fact though: once again, the Japanese are really great at designing their Animal Crossing homes. I've seen a One Piece themed house. Crazy, right? Not to mention if you have the streetpass games, the variety in identities will be a boon.

So whip out you 3DS with pride if you ever stop by the happiest place on Earth. I'll be around DCA, serving up shirts and stuffed toys and watching the children prance around, driving their adults crazy until they buy a couple of margaritas or a few glasses of wine deeper into the park. I'll keep my Animal Crossing gate open start a quick game of Smash anytime for you. Just don't ask me to check you in.
Photo Photo Photo








Phew! I've been making these for nearly two weeks as a minor hobby in between work and school. But finally I feel satisfied with what I set out with these Dtoid Trading Cards: make cards for the community members who probably would never set foot on the forums and therefore would never have their shot at a trading card.

Marche has made around 36 cards over a period since the thread started. In a little over two weeks, I've addicted myself to making around 33 cards! So without further ado, here is the StriderHoang Series Trading Card Set!

Remember! If you have any ideas for cards, don't be afraid to make some yourself! And if you can't work any photo manipulation software, you can still leave behind a recommendation and their move set!






















Move set by Usedtabe




Moveset by The Artist Formerly Known as Blue Lion


Moveset by That Darn Blue Lion










Description by Luna Sy





































It seems there's always more to learn about your fellow Dtoiders. In addition to the new meat coming out of the word work to post theirs, a lot of people who have done the top 10 lists are also returning for 10 more things. So why not? You've read 10 things about Strider. Now read about 10 more things about Strider!

1. Due to our long distance relationship, me and my girlfriend make a date every month.
It's tough being in a long distance relationship. Zodiac Eclipse can probably attest to that. But other times I think to myself at least it's not as far away as her example. We all probably know at least one military couple, so those situations must be worse. At least I can drive to my girlfriend but the once a month frequency is due to the cost.

The drive to see my girlfriend of six years is four hours long. Approximately 2 hours through classic Californian highway arteries through Los Angeles and another two hours northbound on the 5, cutting through the Santa Clarita valley before being dumped like a log ride into the massive flats of the Central Valley like Bakersfield and Delano. At first, the whole ordeal was exhausting but eventually I gained a routine that makes the drive seem short(in retrospect).



I always take a rest stop halfway through, usually somewhere in the valley. And the years I've spent driving up and down this 220 mile marathon has really opened up my taste in podcasts. Listening to podcasts is easily what keeps my sanity on the drives.



2. We've been together for six years
I mentioned this earlier but I've heard a range of answers to me saying that we've been together for six years, from what're you waiting for to what's wrong with you? I've mentioned a few times in my Striderisms that we're simply not independent enough to be able to afford housing together, let alone jobs we can apply for that'd work in such a scenario. It's hard enough in this economy to find a job but two jobs that line up for two people? We're closer to finding jobs relatively closer and simply reducing the time to see each other. Anything can improve a four hour drive.

So what have we been through together in six years? We've both been to each others' college graduations, she's gone through two teaching gigs, I've gone through probably over four different part-time jobs, we've been to places like the Santa Monica pier, Little Tokyo, Disneyland, several different zoos, a couple of media events, she's taught English in South Korea for a year, inadvertently eaten at several historic locations, and we've had countless fights. But we're still together and love dreaming up of different child names (I'm partial to Olivia or Nico for a girl).



3. I have a black belt and quirky immunity related to that
I attribute my adult confidence and general transition away from being an awkward, shy teenager mainly to learning hapkido during my high school years. I was probably at the peak of my health due to my regular exercise and practice. I could leap over eight to nine crouching adults and my legs became finely tuned whips. Like riding a bicycle, you never really forget how to get that snapping sound from the perfect kick.

Between practice I also learned a degree of Brazilian jujitsu due to my master being proficient with both. If there's one thing you need to know about jujitsu, its that it teaches you the weak points in the human body and just how stupid whatever god was at designing us. If I were to use a joint lock to make a point in public, it'd be the simple wrist lock. Your wrist can only go in a certain direction so far before you're just trying to force it out of its joints. I, however, have freakishly flexible hands. Double jointed thumbs, rubbery finger joints, and a wrist that gives me a very high tolerance for extreme range. The wrist lock isn't a complicated move but while I generally win our stupider arguments with it (no, I won't play that new mobile game you found), she can't get me to tap out when she does it to me. Any attempt to exploit the mechanical weakness of my wrist generally ends with me yawning and maybe having a small grimace on my face.



4. This year was my second anniversary of working at Disneyland
California Adventure to be exact but it's been a big thrill ride it has. I've dealt with entitled jerkbags, adorable babies, lost children, lazy co-workers, remarkable co-workers, and seen what happens to the park when everything shuts down for the night.

I've picked up specialized skills like working the hat writing machines, stock running merchandise, and just recently how to work the Games of the Boardwalk, effectively satisfying my dream of being a carny. I've checked people into the parks and been a savior for their Disney day, from close friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, friends of my girlfriend, and everything marginally related to me before selling it out. Hell, I sold Oscar De La Hoya women's clothing before. Man are black cards cool to hold.

It's cool and also unglamorous. It's a cool job but ultimately still a job, particularly one near the bottom of the totem pole in terms of skill. When summer picks up, I may work shifts until 2:30am. Grad season is upon us soon and everyone will be praying about getting or avoiding dreaded grad shifts that can take you from 10pm to 5am.

I still have fun though. I get plenty of perks to enjoy the park myself like steep discounts and easy date plans with my girlfriend and in the end, I work at Disneyland, which is apart of a massive global company. There's opportunity somewhere for me here.

5. I'm always up for new kinds of food
Ever since The Avengers became a smash hit comic book movie, I've enjoyed a shawarma. You never appreciate food diversity until you realize just how common burgers, Chinese, and Mexican food is. One of my few favorite places closed down, leaving me with just one really nice place to get a good shawarma, Zankou Chicken. But shawarma is just one food. I also appreciate diverse pizza flavors. The kind of pizzas that share menu space with BBQ chicken. I've had Thai peanut pizza, taco pizza, chicken-peach-gorgonzola, and shrimp pizza. I've learned that Peruvian food does not skimp on the potatoes in their dishes. And I love both kinds of curry, soupy and katsu.

Of course, I've already mentioned how late I work. The most common food I grab after work is a burrito combo from Del Taco. A lot of places in the Anaheim hotel district are open 24 hours to accommodate the variety of guests and employees but Del Taco is always convenient. You won't believe how long a drive-through line for Jack in the Box can be at 1:20am. But Del Taco's always speedy for the guy who wants a bite to eat but doesn't want to stay out any longer than they have to.



6. POKEMON
I have writer's block right now so the next idea I had to expand upon was to talk about me and Pokemon, so hear it goesWHOOOOOAAAA!

Legendaries have a lot of weight in why I love certain generations and I swear I'm not being topical but Ruby/Sapphire was my favorite generation. Groudon and Kyogre are my favorite legendaries because of the old school nature of their rivalry, land vs sea. My favorite Pokemon is Aggron and when he was announced to have a mega evolution in X/Y, I knew I was building a team centered around him since Aggron himself is rather situational in use. I've had a lot of fun using Mega Aggron as a bulky, hazard setter but Greninja has proved to easily fit many gaps I have with it's solid power as a lead scout and momentum grabber. Other favorites to come to mind are Metagross, Blastoise, Togekiss, and Ursaring. The first shiny I ever caught was a Rhyhorn in Emerald's safari zone.

While it's certainly way easier to construct teams based around an anchor built to sweep and a supporting cast to him it, most of my fun comes from the defensively oriented teams I've constructed using the likes of Trevenant, Mega Aggron, and Tangrowth.

My favorite uber is Kyogre and my favorite move is a toss up between Aqua Jet and Bullet Punch. I also forfeited to Brightside in the first Dtoid XY tournament because I simply did not have any time to dedicate to trying to line up a match with him. If I end up doing the second tournament due to Brightside being burnt out on doing them, I'm making Skype and auto-sign on a pre-requisite to joining.



7. You never forget how to ride a bicycle and I never forget to play a fighting game
Ever since the post-modern revival SFIV did in the early 2008 (which is crazy to realize was six years ago), fighting games have been in my blood, sweat, and tears. Blazblue has a special place as being the first game to seriously teach me how to fight at an above-average level. I'm not saying I'd sweep a tournament but I've left Wrenchfarm and SuperMonk4Ever a shell of their former selves at games like Persona 4 Arena and Injustice.

I also had many occasions to improve myself in social circles since I had a circle of friends who were very much into fighting games in college. I watched them play fighters like Brawl on a Japanese Wii and KOF2003 before joining them on addictions to challenge like SFIV and Marvel 3. When I presided as president at Cal State Long Beach's Gaming Club (now the eSports Club I believe), I made a conscious effort to improve the visibility of video games to the primarily tabletop gaming club, with a biased focus in fighting games. I had an unfair advantage in experience but I also enjoyed just sitting back and watching the button mashers play too. I still mourn the loss of Arcade Infinity. In fact, I dragged my girlfriend to come with me to a lot of arcades back in the day.

I also hate the loser's mentality, sometimes known as a gentleman's honor. If you've found quotes and philosophies floating around describing players waiting for their opponent to get up in a fighting game, these are not gentlemen but salty scrubs who'd rather criticize their better's skill than aim to improve themselves. Even in cheap situations like spamming tatsus in the corner and extreme fireball tossing, I never bitch about my opponent and only live to improve my ability to overcome obstacles. If you're not doing something built in and intrinsic to the game like OTGs or air juggles, you obviously don't want to win. You play a fighting game to win, not replace the meta with some scrub mentality.

The fighters I've been profecient with in no particular order asides from series are Jin and Iron Tager (Blazblue); Rufus mainly, with Zangief on the side, and a bit of Dhalsim on the side (Street Fighter IV); Double as a single, occasionally using Cerebella as a doubles partner. I think I'm gonna try Squigly though (Skullgirls); Metaknight in Brawl but if there are objections I just as easily play Diddy Kong (Brawl); I played Falco in Melee though; Green Arrow with a side of Green Lantern (Injustice); Kanji mainly but I delved into Labrys and Akihiko (Persona 4 Arena); Makoto (Third Strike); any team with Spencer as an anchor or even a lead. Team mates I prefer include Nova, Hawkeye, and Frank West. Ironically, I didn't play Strider Hiryu much due to his high risk/reward playstyle (Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3).



8. I only recently got into PC gaming
I've never owned really great computers for gaming. Its only been recent where my school gave me a decent laptop capable of running something as simple as even FTL without chugging like a fat guy chasing a shawarma truck.

It's also introduced me to the concept of shopping for insane deals as if it were a stupid game with real life consequences. I already have Super Meat Boy on my 360 but I bought it for my Steam account when it went up for $3 on Steam. It's hard to even find time for all the games I've acquired for my library since I'll either play something I'm familiar with like FTL first or my 3DS. In fact, I haven't touched my 360 in a while for purposes of playing video games. It's been used mostly for streaming lately. Persona 4 Ultimax is looking mighty appealing though.

I've put some hours recently on Rogue Shooter but also Don't Starve since it went on sale a few weeks ago and I'm enjoying that survival bit. I also have sizable hours logged on FTL, Prison Architect, and of course TF2.I heard good things about Fistful of Frags. But since my background in gaming is on console gaming, I don't have the muscle memory to play FPS games on mouse and keyboard really well.

9. You should watch Kill La Kill
Well you should.









10. My first console was the NES but it really started with the Genesis
I got into gaming too late to appreciate the beauties of the NES. But I did get on to experience the power of blast processing with the Sega Genesis. You could say Super Mario World was a turning point for me but Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was my brain turned on and realized the beauty of video games.



Sonic one through three plus &Knuckles, Ecco the Dolphin, Vectorman (when's he coming back?), Altered Beast, Aladdin, Golden Axe, Gunstar Heroes, and freaking Earthworm Jim. Childhood was pretty good.

Of course, I think what I appreciate most is Legend of the Mystical Ninja for the SNES but that's for another time.
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After finishing Kirby Triple Deluxe, I came to the realization that not all powers, at least in Triple Deluxe, are made equally. Sure, that's always been the case but now more than ever do I see the Fighter power being nerfed and the Archer power being insanely flexible to serve a variety of uses. Kirby has never been about difficulty but rather whimsical charm, colorful design, and of course, creative powers. If anything, we enjoy Kirby to see what sort of crazy powers he can copy then use to decimate the unsuspecting local fauna. While not a definitive list acknowledging all of Kirby's titles and powers, these are some of my favorite powers across several console generations' worth of Kirby games.



Sword (literally every Kirby game ever)
Starting the list is one of Kirby's most classic powers and the de facto workhorse for simple hack 'n' slash damage. You can never go wrong with the sword with its easy-to-use grounded slash and aerial spinning slash. Over the years, the sword has gained new moves, becoming more sophisticated, and yet it's still as easy as ever to simple walk up to fools and chop them to pieces.

Sword is notable for always being present during a Kirby games' recurring boss fight: the duel with Metaknight. This chivalrous on-again, off-again anti-hero always presents Kirby with a sword to use for honorable, one-on-one combat. Hell, you even get the chance to play as Metaknight in some games and of course, you'll be using a permanent, enhanced sword power.



Mirror (Kirby Superstar)
Mirror looks like a palette swap of Beam but Mirror is potentially more useful in application. In Superstar, Mirror allows not only for constant DPS with its primary mirror wave attack, but projectile reflection with the same attack. Mirror also changes Kirby's dash to be a sort of graceful, floaty skid across the floor, which is mostly cosmetic but fits with another attack you may have spammed a lot, the dash attack. Splitting Kirby into two images forwards and backwards of his trajectory, it does decent damage, has good range, and it unaffected by stage geography, letting you attack through walls!

It's a shame Mirror was only in Superstar and that your copy partner was so ugly. But great balance in both offense and defense, you can't go wrong with Mirror. Unless you read further along for my absolute favorite Superstar power.



Rick the hamster + Stone = Balancing Boulder (Kirby's Dreamland 2)
Stone has always been a double-edged sword type of weapon. The ability to crush foes under the weight of a massive rock has always yielded results known scientifically as totally rad. But leaving your rock form while enemies or bosses were standing around was problematic. Enter Rick the hamster, Kirby's first animal friend. By using rock together with Rick, you evolve the base form stone to its next form: a boulder.

By turning Rick into a huge, circular rock, Kirby can continue to move by balancing on Rick while you steamroll everything in your path like some nightmare out of Wile E. Coyote. True to the stone ability, you fall like a rock off of high places because, well, you're a rock. Also, Kirby isn't a rock, so flying and leaping enemies can attack Kirby like, "Fuck this rock crap. I'm hitting the weakest link!"

Course, you can leave rock mode and just jump and start the whole process, complete with a crushing pressure that your enemies will surely either go to a doctor or a morgue for.



Bomb + Cutter = Exploding Ninja Stars (Kirby 64)
Kirby 64 makes all the sense in the world. Combine fire and ice and you become a melting ice cube! While mixing bomb with cutter gets you deadly, explosive ninja stars. Wait, huh? Ok, nevermind, that's pretty fucking sweet.

And it's not just a matter of simply throwing these babies and having them explode mere seconds after sticking to a target. Kirby has been a ninja in at least two separate games so he's capable of throwing these things so fast, they pretty much disappear from sight until they stop in their target.

I like a lot of bomb-based power combos in Kirby 64 but this one takes the cake for sheer speed and range. Also, they're fucking ninja stars.



Nago the cat + Cleaning = Cleaning Cloth
Those little broom guys have always been, literally, a powerless enemy. You couldn't copy anything useful from them. Then in Dreamland 3, you can finally copy their amazing ability to sweep floors and clean stuff! It was truly a turning point for the series. *Editor's note: no, it was not.

In Dreamland 3, a new friend in the form of Nago the cat joined Kirby's land based Aquaman antics, showing his gratitude to Kirby's friendship by holding him beneath his paws like a ball. Swallow an agent of cleaning and Nago will flatten Kirby into a towel that he rides and cleans like something out of an anime. You know, that trope where Japanese teenagers gain character and experience by laying down a towel and pushing it along a wooden floor to clean. These same teenagers probably kicked themselves when mops or Swifters were introduced to temple cleaning closets the world over but that's neither here nor now.

The Cleaning Cloth solves three problems at once: it gives you forward locomotion, it destroys enemies in your path, and leaves behind a clean sheen free of the blood and entrails of your foes you just vanquished.



Suplex (Kirby Superstar)
This power, only available by kicking Bugzy's ass in single combat (or two-on-one if you bring a friend), is absolutely my favorite power from Superstar. Though limited in use against boss enemies, Suplex sends Kirby hurtling forward, eager to grab any hapless enemy stupid enough to think things will turn out differently then before.

After latching onto Kirby's victim, you can proceed to slam them in any of four directions, so long as you also jam afterwards. Every time I decided to slam and jam, I usually used the backwards Big Suplex or the forwards Pile Drive but you can't go wrong with the Torrent Lariat or Back Breaker. I mean, Waddle Dees have backs to be broken, right?

Even against bosses, this power has its use by slam jamming debris from the boss into them, doing as much damage as a normal redirection attack. So if you wanna slam, copy Suplex. If you wanna jam, copy Suplex. Slam, jam, thank you ma'am, get on the floor and jam. Hey DJ, turn it up. Etc. Etc.



Beam (Several Kirby games)
Beam is another staple power that's been around like Sword. It takes the simple concept of energy projection, which aims to destroy everything in its path, and puts a cute hat on it. Think Scott Summers if he wasn't such a perpetual dick. I mean, no matter what alternate reality it is, Scott is always a dick. What is this? A universal constant?

Beam has come a long way from simply having Kirby wave his hand down and seeing sparks come out. In Superstar, Beam gained a ton of new moves like many attacks. Most notable was the charge blast, ramping its damage up considerably. The dash attack was underwhelming at first but became much more powerful in its most recent iteration in Triple Deluxe. But my favorite application was the dashing, jumping attack, where Kirby sprays the ground with a barrage of energy spheres.

Beam is like good old fashion vanilla. Simple but effective tactics. And what more do you want? Anyone can become a wrestler I suppose. Can you shoot energy beams out of your fingertips? If yes, please record yourself on YouTube and title it, "Not a fraud. THE REAL THING! BEAM FINGERS!"



Ninja (Kirby Superstar, Kirby Triple Deluxe)
The Ninja power was introduced in Superstar and proved to be a a complex but rewarding power. It has a great mix of effective ranges, from tickling enemies from afar with throwing kunai, to close range slice and dice using dashing strikethroughs and slashing shock waves. It even has a divekick, which everyone knows is a game breaking power.

The ability to attack from far from safety and to attack up close with much stronger attacks allows Kirby to either push his luck or keep on surviving. He even explodes after taking damage, providing a defensive measure with the ability.

Ninja changes slightly in Triple Deluxe compared to Superstar but retains much of its flexibility. Kunai from afar and this time, a sword for close range with significantly more range to his melee attacks. Triple Deluxe adds two new area of effect attacks but arguably the biggest change was to its defensive measure: instead of exploding automatically, after taking damage, Kirby can pre-empt damage by guarding at the last second to perform the classic kawarimi technique where ninjas swap their position with a mundane log to misdirect attacks. When Kirby does this, he's effectively invincible while the log holds his position for a finite amount of time until he reappears.



Archer (Kirby Triple Deluxe)
Easily the most flexible and easiest to use ability in Triple Deluxe is the bow and arrow he uses for his Archer ability. Kirby is capable of charging and shooting high powered arrows and can hit virtually any spot on screen by positioning himself and aiming up or down as he charges. The ability to charge and aim lets Archer snipe enemies, mid-bosses, and world bosses regardless of the situation.

The Archer also has two other notable moves. By running and jumping, Kirby can unleash a quick barrage of three arrows downwards to throw down very respectable, mobile damage from the air. Like a similar move from the Beam power, it also hikes Kirby upwards a bit, able to keep him aloft shooting downwards for an extended amount of time. Kirby can also utilize camouflage and allows almost all attacks to pass through him harmlessly. He can even shoot sneak attack arrows from his hiding spot. Kirby can't phase through all attacks though, particularly attacks where a large boss rams Kirby with their size but it's useful to avoid complicated pattern attacks. Kirby even has a CQC option by dashing and attacking, slashing twice with an arrow. It has an elongated animation, leaving Kirby vulnerable but it's great in a pinch.



Fire + Spark = Match Spark aka the Human Torch
We all know that despite Kirby looking all cute, he is actually a badass. He can do it all after all, assuming he consumes his enemies. Here's a real power to really drive home your strength to your foes though. You think you're hard? Trying lighting yourself on fire and running into people to set them on fire.

We're not talking Human Torch stuff exactly. Human Torch is ok with being on fire because that's his special power. Kirby's special power isn't exactly to set himself on fire but just careful fire manipulation. So the kid gloves come off and he decides, "Fuck you're couch. I'm lighting myself on fire and taking you with me!"

After generating enough static electricity with towel, he sparks into a regular California brush fire, running around like a mad man, obstacles and monsters be damned. Get in his way? You can't hurt him! He's already burning his flesh off just to hurt you. You think he gives a damn son?

There are tons of powers I decided to leave off the list from Kirby 64's Triple Missile's, to the classic Cutter, to even a redundant Copy power which produces a partner that can copy powers like Kirby but these are some of my favorites from my many years of playing Kirby games. What are some of your favorite Kirby games and why?
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Iíve plugged countless hours into FTL and I still donít consider myself good. While beating the Rebel Flagship is a challenge to most people it still seems like a dream to me, or at the very least a set piece you can never win against. Despite that though, I continue to play and have encountered a lot of the new content in the Advanced Edition and it continues to feed my addiction to seeing how far I can go. While I can attest to my ability by the fact that Iíve never beaten the Flagship, Iíve still picked up some tips along the way to really use a lot of the new Advanced Edition content. It should at least really help considering that as a rogue-like spaceship game, youíre probably having trouble picking up a lot of the new stuff.

Manning doors and sensors: giving your mantis something to do
The first major change you should realize for Advanced Edition is the ability to give sensors and doors a manned bonus. Manning these subsystems give them an instant +1 to their rank, potentially saving on scrap for upgrades. Imagine playing the Torus and saving on a mandatory door upgrade by sending crew to the doors. The Torus doesnít start with important weapons anyways!



To go along with this change, these two subsystems also have a special 4th upgrade thatís only obtainable if the subsystem is fully upgraded and manned. While crew wonít gain any experience for running these subsystems, they also provide a flat +1 to subsystems regardless of previous experience. So depending on the ship, you can juggle crew between these around these subsystems as needed. Got a mantis but have no teleporter? You might as well make him your communications officer and put him in sensors. Flying through a nebula? Sensors are useless anyways so send your communications officer to doors as security. As youíll realize, youíll also have someone ready to repair these subsystems whenever they hit by stray shots.

Keeping your crew fluid to in the gaps is important. Using the Torus as an example, its only starting weapon is a fast charging ion cannon that doesnít get much from a manned bonus. Since your entire crew is engi, setting one to the doors in case of boarding parties is important. But if no boarding party comes during an encounter, go ahead and give one engi experience as a weapons officer.

Mind Control: enemies amongst us
Probably my favorite new system in the game, mind control scrambles enemiesí minds and turns them to your side. You canít give them orders though, so theyíll generally follow enemy AI routines except on your allegiance. While you need some kind of line of sight to use mind control, it is one of the most flexible active systems, capable of fitting on a variety of ships from defensively outfitted ships to even boarding specialists.

First things first though: since you need line of sight, youíll need to upgrade your sensors or have someone man them for a +1. Slugs have quickly become one of my favorite races since they let you track life signs whenever sensors go down. While nebulas can render mind control useless, slugs keep them relevant regardless of the situation! Keep in mind that slugs are useful to use in conjunction with mind control but are immune to it as well.



Mind controlís best overall utility is aimed at the pilot. By turning the pilot, you drop enemy evasion to zero, you have someone damaging the helm, and reduce other bonuses by peeling crew away from their positions to deal with the turned pilot. A secondary target is anyone trying to repair damaged systems. This way, you delay their repairs and again, sow general chaos among the ranks. Another factor is mantis crew, who automatically become an asset with their increased attack power. Youíve hit the jackpot if the enemy pilot is a mantis. Lastly, mind control is a great defense against enemy boarding parties if youíre crew isnít prepared well for them. While you canít control them, you can easily manipulate them to your advantage. For example, in a two boarding situation, one can be turned to gang up on the other, then deal with him afterwards when the control wears off. In situations of one boarder, you can observe where he wanders off while brainwashed then vent the oxygen of his room, killing him with little trouble.

So the order of priority according to whatís present should be mantis crew, the pilot, repairmen, then boarders if you need the assistance.



Hacking: digital warfare
Efficient use of system energy usually means you either invest heavily in either weapons or drones. Of course, this means youíll be sitting on a small hoard of drone parts if you donít use them at all. Hacking is not only a great use of those drone parts, itís a great way to bolster your offensive presence. If mind control is mostly about disrupting enemy ranks, hacking is about disrupting ship systems and debuffing it.

When you first activate hacking in battle, youíll be able to target a system then have the option to initiate the hack right away or at a later time, plus the doors will lock to enemy crew like blast doors. You can only launch one hacking drone per battle though, so make it count! While hacking the helm or engine room will drop ship evasion, youíre often better off using your hacking for more direct means.

I recommend hacking either shields or weapons, where their respective energies are drained, giving you a timed advantage. Shields is useful on later sectors where enemies can have two or more layers of shields and cuts out the difficulty of piercing them. Hacking weapons can be vital in stalling for time before they launch their own salvos. There are of course other viable targets for other purposes. Hacking oxygen can make asphyxiating the enemy crew a very real possibility. Hacking the med bay can make boarding ships a breeze as itíll damage enemies and heal your boarding party! And probably the last thing worth mentioning is the synergy together with mind control. With hacks working to lock doors, your possible priority ladder on mind control opens considerably as they can be left to do more damage in one room without intervention. Mind control the weapons officer, lock the doors, hack the weapon systems, and give yourself a huge boon of time to work safely without fear of retaliation.



Clone bay: less fear, more bodies
The clone bay changes up how you approach dangerous situations altogether. Instead of sending crew to the med bay to keep them healthy and alive in a defensive posture, the clone bay encourages aggressive movement by creating a steady supply of bodies regardless of the dangers. While you canít heal conventionally, your crew does heal a moderate amount after every jump, with upgrades reducing the cloning time and increasing the health recovered per jump.

The clone bay is of course, the perfect companion to boarding parties. With little to fear from death, you can send out your most potent aliens to fight in strange and uncomfortable alien ships. Theyíll receive a skill penalty on death, but mantis and rockmen have little to fear from other aliens as long as theyíre not also mantis or rockmen. With a clone bay, you can send your crew into the jaws of danger such as putting out raging infernos and repairing hull breaches devoid of air.

Probably the best application of the clone bay is in handling random events. Lost someone to a science lab lit aflame? Clone bay. Distress beacon full of giant alien spiders? Clone bay. Slug ambush take out your chief engineer? Clone bay! Iíve even survived situations that wouldíve been a game over. My two person crew was not ready to deal with a mantis boarding party, so I did the only reasonable thing I could do in that situation and vented my whole ship of its oxygen. After dying predictably, the mantis died just moments afterwards. But after a few seconds of eerie silence, (and after closing my doors and letting the oxygen circulate) my two crew popped out of the clone bay good as new.

Of course, managing your clone bay is a different affair from managing your med bay. While med bay power can be strategically routed and rerouted back depending on the need, the clone bay is vulnerable during one critical stage: the cloning process; If the clone bay isnít on when crew dies and if it gets powered off during the cloning process, your crew will die permanently. This makes upgrades important more for increasing its system health then the actual upgrades, since a stray shot during the cloning process can mean certain doom for incubating clones unless the DNA Bank augmentation is installed.

Also be aware that a select few random events will still keep crew members from being properly clones. The mining colony plague event for example will cause your crew to stay behind in quarantine, making it unethical for you to make his clone. †And speaking of unethical clones, you can't clone someone who was sold into slavery. What a gyp!



Backup power: giving her more than sheís got
Iíve only recently learned that Iíve been upgrading my systems all wrong, at least under general circumstances. Upgrading both the system and reactor is costly so in order to meet the demands of space, you must upgrade systems and juggle energy channeling. But with the backup generator, juggling got a little bit easier. The best part is that the backup generator requires no power to use. Thatíd be pretty redundant! The backup generator is a subsystem that, when activated, immediately grants two bonus power for you to use as symbolized by red outlines, or 4 bars after an upgrade. This extra energy lasts for 30 seconds before it shuts down and recharges for 45 seconds.

Itís obvious that extra energy is great whenever you need upgrades desperately but lack the reactor power to keep pace. Quite possibly the most important way its an asset though is in nebulas, where you will sometimes encounter plasma storms that cut your reactor energy in half, though your backup battery is unaffected.

Youíre not going to want to use this energy for weapons or shields though, as 30 seconds to power them can mean those systems can shut off at inopportune times during charges. The backup energy is best saved to power engines or the various life support systems in a pinch. You can also strategically over-upgrade and use your backup energy at crucial moments.



The Lanius: oxygen is overrated anyways
If engis donít hit that robot itch youíre looking for due to their dependence on something as stupid as oxygen, thereís always the lanius with their unique quirks. They donít need oxygen and like hipsters, they reject it to the point of draining all of it from a room. If you want one guaranteed, you can ask a lanius merchant about their translation device, which turns out to be the lanius itself that happens to know English.

Everything about the lanius revolves around juggling oxygen as a resource. They canít share rooms with crew because theyíll suffocate them and theyíll drain all the oxygen of a given space no matter how many doors you open to equalize the pressure. Given this quirk, there are a couple of jobs they can do.

- They can repair hull breaches no problem. They donít need air, remember?
- They can do extra damage in combat by adding the damage of suffocation to their regular combat damage.
- They can snuff out fires a little faster as their drain precious oxygen from fires.

Itís important to remember that they donít play nicely with other friendly crew unless theyíre also lanius. So while draining oxygen would be fun for enemies, it makes planning attacks complicated when you canít keep the lanius together with other crew. You can however keep them on deck as security, keeping important rooms devoid of oxygen and suffocating potential boarders who want to get at crucial systems. Even when outnumbered, you can drain oxygen from a given space by opening a few doors and creating a no man's land. Since boarders like to move to where the oxygen is most concentrated in most cases, you can either manipulate them into fighting your crew in the med bay or just suffocate them. Just be careful about using the med bay defensively with your whole crew. Upgrade it as much as you can to offset at least suffocation damage or just keep the lanius out of it for your crewís sake.

Miscellaneous equipment: all the other stuff you canít afford

Charge weaponry
Most weapon types have a new fire mode model called charge. These weapons share similarities with burst firing variants with a twist for the patient type. While weak individually, every time the weapon fully charges, it stores the charge in a bank. Like Mega Manís patented Mega Buster, the more you charge you weapon, the stronger the potential attack as it releases all its charged attacks.

Charge weaponry typically do weak damage individually but charge relatively quickly, giving you different tactical options to how big you want your burst to be. You can stock a 3-shot ion burst to strip 3 layers of shields immediately, then rapid fire single shots to keep it down. Or you can shoot a steady stream of 2-shot burst lasers. Thereís even a unique missile model called the Swarm which encourages full charge shots to fire 3 missiles at the cost of 1!



Stunners
Although a new, rare occurrence on certain weapons, there are also variant weapons which are dedicated to stunning crew inside the ship. The most common weapon is the ion stunner, which combines the ion effect with stun.

Stun is pretty self-explanatory. Targeted crews are dazed and canít take any additional actions of any sort until they recover after a few seconds. It even affects crew manning the shield room if the attack only connects with the shield itself rather than the room. Probably the best utility to stunning is inflicting fires across the ship, stunning crew attempting to douse the fires. Theyíll be standing in a stupor in the middle of a raging inferno!

Chain weaponry
Chain weaponry have an interesting charge mechanic. Every time you fire it, the cooldown goes down to the point where the volume of your output becomes a massive asset. However, their initial charge times can be lengthy. In essence these weapons function like miniguns, needing time to rev up but once fully revved, will fire a rapid stream of destruction. One unique weapon, the Vulcan laser, is capable of shooting one laser every second after firing 5 volleys, trivializing shields!

There is also a chain ion weapon where its ion damage increases every time it fires.

Flak
A unique line of weaponry all in its own, flak cannons are like shotguns. Despite appearing as if it fires physical ammunition, it consumes no missiles and fires multiple fragments of debris in a moderate spread. Instead of seeing a crosshair when it locks, you see a red shadow showing the possible area the debris can hit, indicating that it can overshoot certain rooms. In fact, flak cannons are even more inaccurate than missiles. Theyíve been known to miss on ships sitting at an evasion percentage of zero.

Flak I fires 3 fragments while flak II fires an impressive 7 fragments. Like burst lasers, flak is useful for bringing shields down. In theory it works like burst lasers, shredding shields and hitting hull simultaneously. †In practice Iíve found flak unreliable on their own due to its extreme inaccuracy. Youíll be able to take 2 or 3 layers of shields down but the remaining damage on hull is low, if it even hits at all! Flak is better being compared to an ion weapon that can do damage.

Hopefully you go farther than I can. I actually have not recruited a Lanius yet nor have I unlocked the Lanius cruiser. Know that Lanius have interesting oxygen characteristics, draining oxygen from the room theyíre in and requiring no oxygen in return. This makes them interesting in boarding parties, extinguishing fires, and repairing hull breaches, but their ability to play nice with other crew members is a bit complicated seeing as how theyíll suffocate them.

Good luck out there and godspeed!
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