Keyboard Madness!

Me and SpecialBuddy decided to record some PC matches, to show the standard lag that we experience on PC, and to show off our keyboard skillzzzzz! Ten matches in total, there are a couple winners here, of course I beat him 10-0 (he ragequit once, what a scrubpants). Yep, never playing PC online again. I recorded skype chatter for your convenience. Enjoy. 
  
  

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3-Minute Fundamentals: Option Selects

An Option Select is a joystick or button input which functions as multiple possible actions simultaneously, letting the game engine decide the best counter to a situation. Specific instances allow only certain moves to come out, so you can worry less about your opponents options, and focus more on your own offense. 
 
In my second 3-minute fundamental tutorial (I know it's closers to 4 minutes, I really made it as short and concise as possible) I cover option selects in a general way that you can apply to any character. I go over the main archetypes of OP/SEL, such as Crouch Teching, Meaties (ground & air), and Buffering (ground & air).  Really busted my ass on the editing for this one, feedback is appreciated! Enjoy. 3-Minute Fundamentals Playlist.
  
  

 
edit: Score another for Event Hubs, and my first iplaywinner plug! yeaaahhhh boiiiiii.
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Blog About Blogs

I'm bored, so I figured I'd go through some of my old great blogs and link them all in one blog. Mind-blowing, I know.  
 

Textual

 

Visual

Start the Conversation

3-Minute Fundamentals: Hit-Confirming

This is the first video in a series I'm calling "3-Minute Fundamentals", where I cover aspects of competitive Street Fighter play in the span of (approx.) 3 minutes time.

Hit-confirming is the act of giving your mind enough time to react to a situation. Instead of going for an unsafe combo and hoping it'll connect, ideally you would leave "mental padding" in the form of quick normal attacks that can be linked together, which will give the mind the time to process whether your attacks are connecting or being blocked. If the attacks land, you can then go into a damaging combo, and if the attacks are blocked, you aren't forced to guess with a highly punishable maneuver. 
  
  

  

Song is "Speed Dry Manglehead" from the Jump Britain  OST, by Ian Masterson & Thomas Beach. I have some things in the works and they should hopefully come to fruition within a week or two. I'll let you guys know what's up.  Eventhubs again. Yeah.
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Tiny Improvements to SSFIV

So we all have heard at this point about the re-balancing and tweaking that is being done in Super Street Fighter IV, as well as new online modes that we as fans have been clamoring for since the release of vanilla edition SFIV. New stages, all character themes being included, the ability to save ANY replay to your harddrive -- but those are all major improvements. I'm not sure if it's too late for any of these pet peeves to be addressed, since they themselves stated the game is basically complete. But here's a list anyway! 
 

Button Mapping

 
As it stands, in SFIV and the beta version of SSFIV, the button mapping menu is identical. While this isn't such a big deal to those who play exclusively online (or use the default configuration), if you've ever been to a local tournament or watched a video/stream of one, you'd know how clunky the current system is. Everyone seems to have a different arcade stick, a different layout, or sometimes even a pad player wants to map focus and throw to one button where it normally isn't mapped as such. The whole process for this can take a couple minutes, and in the grand scheme of a large-scale tournament, it adds up. The current system has a list of buttons on the left, and allows you to "cycle" through options to the right of each button. Daigo at Season's Beatings for instance, he wanted to use the straight button layout, and everyone would fumble over this screen to try to get it set up right for him. Took forever. The way it should be done is HDRemix style, where the move names are on the left, and you just hit the button that corresponds to the function and are on your way.  
  

Poopy SFIV way on the left, awesome HDR way on the right! 

  

Restart Match

 
There should be a restart match option right from the pause menu for offline battles, straight up. Another proponent of "button checks" at local tournaments is having to restart the match after checking your buttons, because you spent time from the round hitting buttons and all that junk. As it stands, you have to go back to character select screen, re-choose your character and watch the match load up all over again. This can easily be fixed by just having a restart option right there, so after they map their buttons correctly with the sweet, new, fancy, quick way they can restart and have the matter dealt with in like 15 seconds instead of 2 minutes. This can extend to Online matches as well. Why do I have to go back to the online lobby after playing one match against someone? Can't we both just select restart and continue our battle immediately? It sure would save time in the long run. 
    

Challenge Ghosts

 
A little direction on the stupid challenges would be helpful, and I think a ghost performing the actions required to complete the challenge would help immensely. El Fuerte's hard trial #5 said to do three fierce punches, but to anyone that wasn't familiar with RSF loop, their mind would have been blown because they would be trying to link 3 fierce punches together, which is impossible. In general Capcom needs to think of more elegant ways to teach people the fundamentals of Street Fighter, but at the very least help a G out so I don't spend hours on someone's trial when I'm not even sure if I'm doing it the way they want me to. 
 

Other Stuff

 
A couple other things would be cool, but this is mostly stuff that doesn't really matter anyway. 
  
  • Ability to go into training mode on any stage
  • Ability to ACTUALLY mute the music (was impossible in SFIV)
  • More extensive training mode controls (gauges, recording, HITBOXES, etc.)
  • Player Data that is a little more consistent and makes sense
  • Changes Akuma's standing roundhouse back to the way it is in SF4. PLEASE?!
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GOTY 2009 - A Change of Heart

So I know I already did my GOTY 2009 stuff, but I have definitely done some stuff in the last couple days that has made me reconsider or add stuff. Those two things are mainly: I've played and beaten Uncharted 2, and I've listened to the soundtrack for the PSN game Shatter.  
 

  • The winner of the newly included best story of 2009 is Uncharted 2. The cut-scenes and delivery in this game are phenomenal, easily the best part of the game is not actually playing it. For whatever that's worth, this makes a story award an apt inclusion for 2009.
 
  • The new best videogame soundtrack of 2009 is Shatter. My god, I cannot believe how good this OST is, it's definitely shades of last year's winner, that being Bionic Commando Rearmed. While the tunes aren't familiar remixes of classic tunes, they share the same monumental electronic landscape feel, and completely blow the water out of anything else released in their respective year. 
 
  • While we're giving out new awards, I might as well give Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 the Best Setpieces in 2009 award. While Uncharted 2 had some great ones, the ones in MW2 just wouldn't let up and they were all ridiculously awesome.
 
That about covers 2009 now, for serious this time. lordofultima signing out.
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Sneaky Demons

This video is a moderately-sized tutorial on some sneaky demon setups I've been messing around with, a.k.a. gimmicks. Most of them involve Akuma's Super Demon, but one of them can all be applied to the Ultra Demon as well. The setups I go over: 
 

  • Tick Kara Demon 
  • True Tick Demon
  • Ambiguous Demon
  • Roundhouse Whiff
  • Roundhouse Dash
 
  
  
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Shoto Fireball Comparison

So yeah, with the inclusion of one more character that made the editing a lot more of a hassle, but here it is! The results are as expected, Ken's fireballs have bad frames generally, and with the exception of his ex fireball, are all slow. His ex fireball doesn't even knock down, that is so weird. But anyway. Did a shaku strength comparison for Akuma as well, just to cover ground fireballs. 
  
  

   
I also made a new footer for my videos that will be made in the far flung future of 2010. It's not related to Street Fighter, but it looks clean as hell. Thanks to videocopilot for the blueprint tutorial. 
  
  
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Fireball Test - Akuma vs. Ryu

There was a little deliberation on the Akuma SRK boards whether or not Ryu's fireball was vastly superior to Akumas, so since I didn't even know the answer I did some video testing. The results are that they look almost identical. It seems to hit in the same horizontal range since the opposing character enters block animation on the same frame, and the only fireball that didn't hit on the same frame was MP, Ryu's hits 1 frame earlier (which could just be the video dropping a frame). Some questions remain unanswered. Why can Ryu LP xx Fireball at any range for a combo, where as Akuma can't combo at all with LP xx Fireball?
  
   

  

Akuma: 
14 frame start-up 
44 frame recovery 
 
Ryu: 
13 frame start-up 
45 frame recovery 
 
If you guys enjoy these short analytical videos I can make more, I was thinking how cool it would look to see all the shotos fireballs in unison on the screen. Let me know.
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GOTY 2009: GET HYPE!

    

    
Since my Game of the Year awards were so gigantic last year, there was no way I could replicate it. So I did what any good person would do, and just half-assed the ones for 2009. Still took a pretty long time to put together, but it had nothing to do with the games or awards themself. I would have liked to do a gigantic feature like last time, but you see -- nothing came out in 2009, and what did I most likely didn't play. So we have a little predicament. Anyway, on with the awards! 
  
    
 
  

   

 These games captured the heart and soul of gamers around the world, all the while I breathed disingenuously. They're good, but not good enough to make up some dumb award category just so they can win. Call these honorable mentions I suppose.

 

Assassin's Creed II


 You are dead?
I really like this game a lot, mainly for the elegant mechanics for scaling buildings, and fighting tons of city guards. It's just a bunch of fun to do nothing in the game but run around on rooftops, a condition I like to call "Crackdown Syndrome." I grinded through this game in 2 or 3 days, accomplishing absolutely everything there was to accomplish. I even got all the treasure chests, and there's no award or achievement for that at all. That's dedication.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2


 Shootin' shit!
I bought this game for the single player, and I can't say I was disappointed. It was short and definitely sweet, the story may have not made much sense, but there were constant set-pieces piled on top of one another, that you couldn't possibly get bored of the campaign. A truly epic moment in most of the missions means this game is definitely great. Pile on top of that a good multiplayer component that almost everyone on my Friends List has, and you have a game with a long life.

Left 4 Dead 2


 Coach is the black dude.
Left 4 Dead 2 has been largely overlooked this year-end, if only because of MW2's super popularity. I'm sure early on next year when people get burnt out on Call of Duty, that they'll resurface in L4D2, at which point I am totally up for bashing zombies heads in with various blunt objects. The game is really a hell of a time, and I'm just waiting for that right opportunity to take advantage of that fact.

Torchlight


Clickin' shit! 
A game that literally came out of nowhere, Torchlight shocked me and I'm sure a lot of other people because of how polished and fun it actually is. If you like Diablo-style dungeon-crawling loot-hording games where you click the left mouse button a lot, then you'll love this game. I said it best in the video, "This is the best Diablo since Diablo." I wasn't joking. 
 
 
 



The pickin's were pretty slim for soundtrack of the year in 2009, but one downloadable title surfaced and clearly stole the show. It's a good thing this game came out this year, otherwise this category wouldn't exist either. I don't actually say who won this in the video, but it is implied.


Marvel vs. Capcom 2


 Gief lookin' all manly.
I don't even think I need to say anything about this soundtrack, other than the powers it has over you, may indeed "take you for a ride!" HO HO HO. It's jazzy-infused fighting game music, and it's as great (possibly greater) as the day the game came out. If you're not turned off by the chill bass lines and elevator style, you'll find a lot to love in this games music. 
  
 

 


  

There is one game I spent a particularly long amount of time with this year, but the problem was that it came out in 2008. Make one of these forgiving award titles however, and the problem is solved!


Dead Space


Wonderful sunset! 
I love Dead Space. I don't know how I didn't realize it's awesomeness back in 2008, but boy am I grateful for it in 2009. It let me sink my teeth into something substantially meatier than most of the actual 2009 releases, I must have played through this game 4 times this year. It's a scary game at first, but once you get past that you realize that it's a great shooter. The controls are so eloquent and functional (unlike some other survival horror games I know) and the combat is visceral and satisfying. Dismembering aliens never gets old, and I'm a sucker for sci-fi horror in the vein of Aliens, with a little twist of Doom 3. The final stretch of this game, the final boss of this game, the ending of the game. They are so amazing, and those alone make it worth the price of admission. Please play this game, I beg of you. 


  

This award celebrates a lack-luster disappointment of a game that while wasn't necessisarily bad, it could definitely be classified as "poopy."


Resident Evil 5


 Chainsaws are serious.
I'd consider myself to be a pretty big fan of Resident Evil games, but this one just doesn't do it for me. The strange co-op mechanic might be ok for online play, but why am I forced to deal with it in a single player game? The shooting just feels like crap as well, the movement speed is real slow, the setting doesn't interest me, and it's motherfuckin' broad daylight. The inventory management was also batshit annoying, just thought I'd throw that in there. Not very spooky. Not very Resident Evil. Not my cup of tea. 
  
 


  

Awards the best Street Fight of the year, a.k.a. this year's version of game of the year. There really was no deliberation here, and all of the people reading this now probably have already made assumptions on what I've chosen for game of the year. Well, just letting you guys know, you're all right.


Street Fighter IV



 Gief is looking mad hype in his Haggar outfit!
 
Hey look, SFIV won game of the year! Get hype!

  
I guess 2009 wasn't THAT bad of a year, but it just wasn't the nuclear catastrophe of video games that 2008 was. I don't feel so bummed about it now that I think for a while, since I was mostly playing SFIV for the majority of the year anyway. Sorry that some games aren't on here at all, I simply didn't play them at all and have no real opinion of them (Uncharted and Borderlands come to mind). Maybe I'll check those out in the future, maybe one of them can be my 2010 game of 2009. YOU NEVER KNOW. Until next year though, this is loltima signing out.    
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