1up.com has been making some minor news lately. 1up recently revamped the layout/look of their site and they let go of Scott Sharkey. However I want to share some thoughts on 2 of 1up's podcasts that are seeing some change.
The Retronauts podcast just put out its' last episode on Thursday. The Retronauts podcast had been around for about four years which include the "golden era" of the 1up podcasts, the deterioration of 1up, and 1up's current community focused state. The Retronauts podcast is unique in the sense that, aside from the retro news section, time does not effect episodes because of the subject matter. While its understandable Jeremy Parish decided to end the podcast due to quality concerns, it's still a shame that there will be no more Retronauts podcasts. If you haven't listened to it, I highly recommend looking at the back catalog to see if any topic catches your eye.
The Oddcast is 1up's podcast that covers slightly off-beat topics with a sense of humor. While no changes have been announced for the podcast, the absence of Scott Sharkey is going to change the dynamics of that Podcast dramatically. His really sarcastic remarks and dark sense of humor off set the more light hearted nature of the rest of the cast. Seeing as how the Oddcast was set to be 1up's de-facto premier podcast with the end of the Retronauts podcast, it is going to be interesting to see how the cast adapts to the lack of Sharkey's commentary.
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Note: For those who do not know what MUGEN is, check this for a basic summary.
This is not an apology for MUGEN. In fact I will go right ahead and say that currently MUGEN is not user friendly, lacks many features, is quite buggy, is hard to work with, etc. For a lot of people, it really isn't worth the hassle to put up with MUGEN's many problems. This limits its appeal to a very limited audience. This leaves us with the question though, "who is MUGEN for?" It's obviously not for those who want a perfectly balanced multiplayer game to play against comrades. It is also not for those who play fighting games in any sort of hyper competitive manner. Heck, its not even a good starting place for people new to fighting games since they may pick up bad habits from it.
MUGEN is for the people who like to see extremely specific match-ups. In the same manner that Street Fighter 2 Anniversary Edition could let you pit SF2 Championship edition Ryu against his Super SF2 Turbo counterpart; MUGEN lets you do that on a grander scale that crosses licenses.
MUGEN is also for people who are willing to go to great lengths to see a certain character in a fighting game. Make no mistake, this is not an easy task. Creating a quality character for a fighting game never was and never will be an easy task. But for the people that desperately want a Capcom VS DC or Guilty Gear VS Melty Blood, the tools are there in MUGEN.
Lastly, MUGEN is for the people who want a single player fighting game. As far fetched as that may sound at first for many fans of the genre, there are people out there who want more emphasis on the single player experience over multiplayer. This is where the character imbalances work in MUGEN's favor as you can choose what type of characters to fight as and against. Maybe Capcom was unto something with Red Earth?
Again, MUGEN is not a good fighting game for many people. Heck even MUGEN's own community hates calling it a game, and prefers to call it a game engine. What gets to me is when people say MUGEN has no soul, ignoring the original content made for it and the time it took to make that content. Besides, wasn’t the Marvel VS Capcom series tad bit unbalanced but featured the type of dream matched people wanted? ;)
tl;dr: MUGEN isn't for everyone, but it has its moments of awesomeness for the people that give it a fair shot
As I have been noticing on the boards, I think I'm in the minority that actually uses the achievement system the way its supposed to. I really only have two complaints about the achievement system though. Some achievements don't have any sense of… well achieving anything since people game the system, and the people who don't want to be affected in any way by it (follows and reviews) have no choice.
5th Set: Ducks in a row
Oh boy, this caused a lot of controversy amongst the more popular members if they didn't turn off their notification options. Other than that though the intended use of this achievement was basically as a gauge for popularity. Like most achievements in the system it was gamed. A simple "Hey I'll follow you if follow me" thread ruins the fun for this set. The way I went about the achievement is to find 25 interesting people and follow them. As for me having followers? That will come naturally, I hope.
6th Set: Famous Friends
A pretty easy for avid listeners of the podcast. Only two people seem to elude people. There is no excuse for missing the "hooded" fellow, in fact that was my guess for the most important man. The actual most important man is very much an obscure reference. Good primer though for those people that don't already know these people.
7th Set: Game within a game
This one is only as hard as the games your trying to get the achievements in. It does get the whole meta-game feel they were going for though.
8th Set: Generation Gap
Heh, this one gets easier the older you've been an avid gamer for. Hence why the founding fathers achievement gave me trouble :P. Pretty meh about this one though since some consoles were ignored for some achievements. If you're a younger gamer though, this does give you the abridged version of console history pre 16-bit era.
The quest system (and the new ER) in GB has got me visiting the site a lot more frequently. Since the quest system is only as good as the achievements though, I figure a pseudo review is in order for them.
1st Set: Broadcast News
While this is one of the easiest sets, this also the one that will take you 30 days to complete. That last achievement is easy but requires you post a little aside in GB for 30 days in a row. Pretty meh I achievements.
2nd Set: Broken Toys
Maybe the easiest scavenger set available. These things are so notorious that its kind of hard not to know about them. The last one though isn't easily searchable though (to the point where some people don’t even think the page exists). Pretty good starter set.
3rd Set: Canucked on the first day
While I did not get these, I think its cool that there are only so many of these out there; this makes these acheivements actually mean something for the people who got them.
4th Set: Catch and Release
The newest set by the time of this writing. This one requires a bit of detective work for certain games. With most modern games however, this is basically a non-issue and just requires speed to edge everyone else out. Quite a lot of work needs to go into these if you want the entire set, but it does get some love into the release section of games that don't normally get some love.