Super Meant Boy

Why does playing Super Meat Boy for XBLA feel like the "Five Stages of Dying"?  First, there is denial: "I hit the jump button!  Jump!!".  Then there is anger: "This game is fucking stupid and I wish it would die in a fire!!!".  Of course then comes bargaining: "God!!  Please!  If you just let me get through this one stage I'll never kick a kitten again!".  Then ultimately there is depression: "Have I always sucked this much at video games?  My life is a lie." And last but not least we have acceptance: You delete SMB from your drive and turn off your 360.

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Game Informer vs. EGM?

I can't even recall the last time I read a video game enthusiast print magazine.  So, me getting a Gamepro, Game Informer and the new EGM this month is somewhat outside of my M.O.  I developed this urge to pickup said mags this month after listening to the new 1up's podcast with John Davis and the Editor-in-Chief's for Game Informer and EGM.  I've been listening to 1up and a slew (over 8 different ones) of other podcast for well over two years now.  I always felt guilty for not supporting the podcast/websites that put out a print magazine by subscribing.  I decided this month that I was going to find one of these mags and finally subscribe. Also, sorry for the crappy images but I couldn't seem to find current images of the new mags yet.
 
The first one I picked up and read was Gamepro's Summer Issue Special.  Now, I'm not familiar with Gamepro's release schedule and specials but I'm guessing this

issue isn't a standard issue of the mag and that I shouldn't use it as a point of comparison against the others magazines I got this month but there are few things that stick out.  I'm still a undergrad student working on his BS in History so I'm no grammar Nazi but I did manage to find at least two or three grammar errors and misspellings in this issue.  The whole book is basically a collection of top 10 lists (again, I know this isn't a standard issue) and I usually detest top 10 list.  The abstract art used throughout the issue isn't very good either and the pictures used often take up entire pages for not good reason with lots of blank page remaining.  In essence, I think this issue is a money grab and not all that great.  (I could not for the life of me find a image of this issue to put in this post!)
 
I can recall a time when Game Informer was a laughing stock.  The Gamestop employee's would unrelentingly try to push a subscription
on to you while trying to get your games and sometimes you would even cave.  I used to hate Game Informer for no other reason than the people on the podcast I listen to would put it down for being free and tied into Gamestop.  After reading this months Game Informer in my quest to find a good print mag for video games I must admit that I'm amazed at how much I enjoyed it.  The new full cover images are amazing and almost worth collecting on their own. When the hell did Game Informer get good? (I know Barns & Nobles seeded them money to up there production quality at some point)  This months issues has a feature article on Gears of War 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Little Big Planet 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. I've read ever article so far minus sports related items and I'm impressed with the writing.  Seeing Philip Kollars name in print for the first time in a while was nice, too. The only downside of course is that you still feel somewhat dirty knowing Gamestop has such a huge hand in the mag. and that the reason they get such good coverage is due to Gamestop's leverage in the industry. 
 
I haven't had a chance to dig in to the new EGM but the fact that it had SSFIV on the cover was enough to lure me into buying it.  Might update after I get around to reading it.  EGM is were I know the most people.  People who have sadly had to move on due to the closure of the magazine about a year ago.  The dreaded 1upocalypse.
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Finally modded my SE Stick!

I finally got my Sanwa pushbuttons and joystick in today!  It really is as easy as everyone claims it is to switch out the parts.  I only had one mishap and thats when I bent the connectors on one of pushbuttons I was replacing. Since I won't be using them again it isn't a big deal.  Here is a list of the parts I replaced (All parts were ordered from Lizardlick.com):  
 

Crappy cellphone pic.
6x Sanwa OBSF-30 Pushbuttons (Black/Grey) 
2x Sanwa OBSF-30 Pushbuttons (Black/Red) 
1x Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT-SK Joystick 
1x Sanwa Mesh ball (Black)        
 
Chad, the owner of Lizardlick, was nice enough to mix and match the buttons for me since he was out of the black/red pushbuttons and even threw in an extra one since I screwed up the order and only ordered 1x Black/Red (I still sent him the additional $3 of course but it saved me the extra S/H I would have had to spend to reorder a single button.) I also live in NC (where Lizardlick is located) so I received the the parts in only 2 days!  Also, thanks are in order to UnderWing for his advice on which stick to get since I was confused about the differences between the different JLF models (Get the 8YT, it slips right in without have to switch the connector).    
 
First impressions on the parts themselves is that they are extremely sensitive.  In the long run I know this is better but I'm screwing up all over the place atm, heh.  Recoveries and tech. seem to be easier but I'm such a scrub that it will hopefully pay off in time.  It obviously feels nicer and the pushbuttons have more substance to them so you can actually feel your presses rather then it feeling like your hitting thin air.  I think I'd like to add a different spring to the stick itself to up the resistance. Lordofultima has a youtube video for that (Sorry, don't have the link for it on hand).
 
Now that I've got this done I REALLY want to mod the art.  I really envy the plexglass art on the TE sticks but I can come out with some comparable in look (not in quality of course).  When I opened it up I noticed that the guts aren't overly complex and I may be able to remove them and reassemble them when I want to paint the case a matte black but I'd really like to have some schematics or guide on this process and so far I've had no luck.  Just some videos showing hyper timed footage that explains nothing.  I wanna trick i out with some Dictator/abstract art piece but I don't just wanna steal some Deviant art pics.  I know an artist and I might try to get an original piece done...you know, because I'm special and stuff.    
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Yay!

Order my Sanwa parts for my Madcatz SE stick today from Lizardlick.com! 
 
6x Sanwa OBSF-30 Pushbuttons (Black/Grey) 
2x Sanwa OBSF-30 Pushbuttons (Black/Red) 
1x Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT-SK Joystick 
1x Sanwa Mesh ball (Black)      
 
Those mesh ball tops are dead sexy!  More expensive than I had hoped but I could have went a lot cheaper with the ball top.  Now I'm a scrub with quality parts! ^^

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Every Fightstick has its time...

My Madcatz SE Fightstick is finally succumbing to the faulty washer issues that occurred when the initial batch of  units first shipped. Go to this link if you want a very brief description of said issue. I actually had to return the first stick I bought because of this issue.  
 
So, instead of just opening it up and fixing the issue and hoping for the best I think I've decided that its time to go ahead and get those Sanwa parts everyone is so crazy about.  I think I've settled on Bat top stick this time around and keep the square gate, its grown on me.  Watching some of Lordofultima's youtube videos it seems like the process its pretty straight forward.  I wish I could get a plexiglas art cover but alas the SE's can't use them.   
 
The TE stick is still to expensive for me at the moment though but I really want to customize my stickI. Iwanna style my stick with some Dictator art with some red ringed grey buttons, etc.  No Kinkos in this area to print it out at and I'm not really interested pirating photoshop to use Capcom Unities schematic for the SE.  I'll find a way somehow I suppose.  How much have you modded your Fightstick?

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First Fighting Game?

Since everyone appears to be waxing nostalgic with the release of SSFIV I was wondering what everyones first fighting game experience was and were did you first play it? You never forget your first and how you ran into them. 
  
This is going to be long, sorry. 
  
My first fighting game was Street Fighter II and I found in in a Food Lion near my grandmothers house while she was grocery shopping.  Spent a LOT of time in that store after I found out you could electrocute people with the green man.  I couldn't have been older than 11.  I guess I was somewhat of a bully because I would wait for people to put in their quarters and then run up to the machine so I could pick on them with Blanka. I was too young and too naive to beat the AI that was designed to eat my quarters.  Made a few of them cry and even had a mother yell at me for picking on their kids.  I just wanted to play a winnable game!  
 
I was so obsessed with SFII that when I discovered it was out for the SNES I drew up a contract with my parents that if they bought me a SNES and SFII that Christmas I would clean the entire house 3 times a month.  Come Christmas mourning I was so excited that I shook all the boxes under the tree until I found the box that was likely the SNES and proceeded to knock myself unconscious on a knick-knack mail box my mother kept in the living room while getting up from the tree..  They found me the next mourning lying on the floor with crusted over blood on my head still clutching the box. (This is the point in which my mother realized gaming was going to be a problem, heh.) 
 
I got so angry at SFII that I often verbally threatened the SNES cartridge with disassembly.  I think if I could find the cartridge today you could still see teeth marks on it from when I was trying to beat Hard mode with Zangeif to see if it had a different ending. (I was dumb) My next door neighbor at the time remarked that he saw me toss something out of my window one summer.  Five minutes later I came out of the house and kicked the item across the yard and 10 minutes after that I came back out and picked it back up and went back in the house.  I was to embarrassed at my nerd rage to tell him it was a game. To this day I play with my mic turned off while playing online because I know I'm going to flip my shit when something I perceive is unfair happens, lol. Street Fighter is the ONLY franchise that causes this to happen, mostly because it goes back to my childhood I think.  
 
And then it happened....I played Final Fantasy VI and for whatever reason I didn't get back to fighting games again until SFIV.  I'm sad that I missed 3rd Strike but not so sad I missed the EX series, lol.  Okay, I gotta stop now.  So how did you react to your first real fighting game experience?
   

  
This is going to be long, sorry. 
  
My first fighting game was Street Fighter II and I found in in a Food Lion near my grandmothers house while she was grocery shopping.  Spent a LOT of time in that store after I found out you could electrocute people with the green man.  I couldn't have been older than 11.  I guess I was somewhat of a bully because I would wait for people to put in their quarters and then run up to the machine so I could pick on them with Blanka. I was too young and too naive to beat the AI that was designed to eat my quarters.  Made a few of them cry and even had a mother yell at me for picking on their kids.  I just wanted to play a winnable game!  
 
I was so obsessed with SFII that when I discovered it was out for the SNES I drew up a contract with my parents that if they bought me a SNES and SFII that Christmas I would clean the entire house 3 times a month.  Come Christmas mourning I was so excited that I shook all the boxes under the tree until I found the box that was likely the SNES and proceeded to knock myself unconscious on a knick-knack mail box my mother kept in the living room while getting up from the tree..  They found me the next mourning lying on the floor with crusted over blood on my head still clutching the box. (This is the point in which my mother realized gaming was going to be a problem, heh.) 
 
I got so angry at SFII that I often verbally threatened the SNES cartridge with disassembly.  I think if I could find the cartridge today you could still see teeth marks on it from when I was trying to beat Hard mode with Zangeif to see if it had a different ending. (I was dumb) My next door neighbor at the time remarked that he saw me toss something out of my window one summer.  Five minutes later I came out of the house and kicked the item across the yard and 10 minutes after that I came back out and picked it back up and went back in the house.  I was to embarrassed at my nerd rage to tell him it was a game. To this day I play with my mic turned off while playing online because I know I'm going to flip my shit when something I perceive is unfair happens, lol. Street Fighter is the ONLY franchise that causes this to happen, mostly because it goes back to my childhood I think.  
 
And then it happened....I played Final Fantasy VI and for whatever reason I didn't get back to fighting games again until SFIV.  I'm sad that I missed 3rd Strike but not so sad I missed the EX series, lol.  Okay, I gotta stop now.  So how did you react to your first real fighting game experience?
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First Impressions: SSFIV

I managed to get my copy of SSFIV at 7:00 yesterday mourning and it was the beginning of a glorious day.  Well, except for the part were I  get my ass handed to me repeatedly. I have gripes but none of them concern the actual gameplay.  All of what I believe to be wrong with the game are cosmetic and logistical errors on Capcom's part.  

  • They removed the Indestructible song Wha!?!  
  • The new main menu background looks like Ryu and Ken are posing for a Yaoi manga cover.
  • Multiplayer matches are still a bitch to get going.  "Unable to Join Session!  You too fucking slow!"
  • New story-line cutscenes pales in comparison to vanilla SFIV's so far.
  • Overall, all of the menus feel lackluster and rushed.
  • The trails still do nothing to show players how the game works.  I think Jeff mentioned on the Podcast that the trail mode needs to teach Theory... it doesn't. Trail and error are the only way to finish them.  "Hope you know this guy has to be in the corner and it has to be a meaty hit for this combo to work!"  This was supposed to be for beginners like me!  The timing on some of these combos are so freaking insane no normal person is going to get it.  Unlike Dudley's Target combos which are for some reason ungodly easy.
 
Thats about it, rant off.  
 
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First Impressions: L4D 2: The Passing

So far the new maps seem like their missing the polish of the original games.  Bland textures, lack of ambient objects, etc.  This somewhat changes once you get to the second map and see the insane amount of options you have for paths to the end.  That Fallen Survivor is going to be the dead of many a' parties when some jerks tries to run it down for a bottle of pills, lol.  Avoiding spoilers I'll just say that the interaction with the L4D 1 survivors was kind of disappointing.  The big plat twist goes unmentioned and almost unnoticed unless you really look for it and the original gang doesn't even mention that it happened (unless its in some of the random saying I haven't heard).  All in all, its definitely worth the money for Xbox Live players and you'd be insane not to get it for the PC since its free.

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I would like some clarity with that, please!

So I'm hearing impaired so all of my purchases have to be made with this in mind.  When it comes to phones the number one thing I have to keep in mind is clarity of voice from the receiver.  I'm open to iPhone, Android or even a Windows 7 Phone (yes, I know they aren't out yet.) but I have little experience with any of these.  I know the Android has a number of different models but sites such as Ars Technica claim that the new Android phone Nexus One isn't as good as previous models when it comes to clarity.  My question: what phone have you used that has the best clarity?

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I'm confused.

I'm wondering the usefulness of the Blog area when its possible to hand out small updates a la Facebook style by updating your statues here on the site.  Its odd.

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