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1:07 AM on 09.30.2015

I need Monster Hunter X in my life and in english


1:03 AM on 09.26.2015

Plague of Shadows: a great excuse to get back into Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight's expansion is a great excuse for more Shovel Knight, even if you're not actually playing as the titular and agile Shovel Knight. While I've seen some people complain about how different Plague Knight is and how different his mobility is, I think they're not thinking of Plague Knight differently enough to really understand that he isn't Shovel Knight and needs a different mindset.

So first of all, why should you play the new Plague of Shadows expansion for Shovel Knight, asides from it being free? Personally, I figure Plague Knight offers a different way to play through Shovel Knight's enjoyable level design. Whereas Shovel Knight gets through meticulously designed stages with his shovel plunge and variety of sub-weapons, Plague Knight subverts the same stages with swift aerial movement. While he doesn't respond to a variety of melee situations well, Plague Knight is all about approaching combat from another angle. We're talking about a maniacal scientist who seeks to exploit weaknesses rather than face them head-on with his own mettle. One example is the giant spear wielding warriors from Mole Knight's Lost Civilization stage. Shovel Knight would have to engage them directly in most cases, avoiding their flaming crossfire attack and dodging their spear thrust. In most cases for Plague Knight however, I was able to sit comfortably from a distance and throw the right explosives that would reach my enemy from outside his effective range. The ability to approach combat differently is probably the biggest crux for playing Plague Knight. Shovel Knight really only fights up close with his shovel blade while his relics offer an opportunity to expand upon it. Plague Knight can change his explosives drastically based on a variety of different cases, powder, and fuses. I can attack enemies on different heights with the lob casing and the long fuse, create fire and forget defensive traps with sentry fuses, and even perform more adequately in close range combat with the boomeranging whirl case and impact fuses.

Plague of Shadows offers up an interesting, concurrent story running parallel to the main Shovel Knight quest story. I always thought the knights who make up the Order of No Quarter were really cool. Polar Knight's implied history with Shovel Knight, Specter Knight's mysterious immortality, Treasure Knight's obsession with gold and wealth. Plague Knight isn't portrayed as a dastardly villain but rather a social outcast alongside his arcane and scientific colleagues. Characters from the main story like Percy the horse or the Magicist appear again as nerdy foils Plague Knights socially awkward egomania. While Shovel Knight's feelings and guilt remind you as dream sequences involving saving a falling Shield Knight, Plague Knight has an underlying plot with Mona, the robed female Shovel Knight might've played a few mini games with. While she appears apathetic and quiet to the Shoveling Dynamo, Mona displays more dynamic expression in the secrecy of the Potionarium with Plague Knight. It's highly implied that the two are crushing hard on each other, and this is implied very early on. The rub is that being both the scientific types, they're either too shy to do anything about it or focus on the task at hand instead. Even collecting music sheets from the main game is given to Percy, the horse, who needs paper to write his notes on. In exchange for paper he can't use, not only does he give you gold but he offers love advice.

Overall, Plague Knight is about enjoying Shovel Knight again in a different way. It's not about enjoying it as a standalone experience for me but as revisiting the game in a different way. It's no wonder in order to play Plague of Shadows that you need to beat the game first. You'll enjoy the expansion more if you've played it before as Shovel Knight. While there's a code to unlock the mode straight away, it's highly recommended to beat the game first.

Shovel Knight was my game of the year last year. Any excuse to come back to such an excellent game is a welcome idea.


12:24 PM on 09.14.2015

So who has Mario Maker here anyways?


12:43 AM on 09.03.2015

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


12:25 AM on 09.02.2015

Pivot smash my way to victory


3:11 AM on 09.01.2015

Challengers wanted: Aggron the immovable object

From deviantart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


11:08 AM on 08.27.2015



2:42 AM on 08.27.2015

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


11:57 PM on 08.21.2015

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


2:07 PM on 08.19.2015

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


2:31 AM on 08.11.2015

Gone to Home Depot: Strider's favorite Splatoon weapons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


8:47 PM on 08.10.2015

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


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