Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kamen Rider Super Climax Heroes Presents...Super Climax Battle Time Breakdown

With the game coming out next week we get our first peek at some real battles and how things function now. With many battles to breakdown and critique let us get to the proverbial bidness shall we.

Let's get to the you already know. The game now functions like Soul Calibur in the basic movement department ditching the sidestep for a full 8 Way Run mechanic. Without knowing if the game has a guard button I'm not sure how jumping works now. It may be that holding Up-Forward does that or that certain specials that control that factor. Also on display are Rider Arts which we now know cost 1/2 of a level of super meter and it would seem it can be activated at will shown by Blade repeatedly in this video. They are very telegraphed so you'll have time to get on defense or counter if need be. Also on display by Garren is a new mechanic which we'll dub Rider Burst for now which allows you to break combo strings for the price all of your Guard Gauge and any recoverable health you had that makes up for not having enough gauge to actually pull it off. Interesting to see that crumple stuns into a Rider Finale are still in effect here. How Rider Finales work in combos and juggles will be something interesting to experiment with after in Fourze how easy it was to add them to the end of juggles under the correct conditions. Also on display are transformations. It would seem you can Guard Cancel into a transformation for defensive purposes and also now costs 3 meters instead of the 4 it used to.


Now with this video we learn a lot more. Transformations can also be done mid combo to continue the string. This was possible in past games on either offense or defense but it didn't work like Meteor is using it here. There's an actual flow from Meteor to Meteor Storm and the string doesn't stop and Fourze is still in hitstun during this whole process. Having this in the game opens myriads of combo possibilities. Finding the right time to transform and the combo which you use will be key to a powerful offense. And the Final Reflect Chance which is also on display in the video has changed drastically. No longer is it a button masher. You now have to press the correct direction shown on the screen. Nice change.


Now we get a chance to see Wizard in action. It would seem that he as uses different styles it alters all of his normals, Shooting & Slash Strikes and spells he'll only use in that style. On display was Bind in Water Style and Defend in Land Style. Big may be just a spell for Flame and Hurricane styles and how it works in each form differs a lot.


We finally get a chance to see Joker & Eternal duke it out and man there's a lot to learn about them and the upgraded mechanics. Joker displays what seemed to be a version of the Rider Cancel that lets you do a jump cancel that costs 1 Meter. Just the same as a normal Rider Cancel. Eternal displays that you can at anytime activate Meter abilities. This is a huge change and for Assault characters and this'll be key in turning momentum at anytime and not just at full stock.

Clock Up is a whole new ballgame now on both sides of the ball. Clock Up can be started as long as you have 1 Meter instead of stocking to 4 and can be stopped at anytime during the duration. On defense you can stop Clock Up by hitting a Rider Burst during it. So it seems that you can stop those blockstrings now. What'll be key similar to the GNT/Clash of Ninja games is baiting a Rider Burst and then mounting on the offense once you do.

We learn a couple of important things from this battle. Ouja demonstartaes that Advent Cards can be used mid string so that means summons and weapon changes for those that have them are fair game and can be used smoothly within strings now. And something we saw earlier that "Rider Jump Cancel" seems to have another use as a homing jump. Still costs 1 meter but that's an awesome way to get right back to rushdown if you want to spend the meter to do so. And Leangle shows us you can still Guard Cancel summons but it now cost 4 meters instead of the 3 it cost in past games.

Well looks like we know why this game has Rider Burst now. As shown by Black RX, the stun is viable as all get out. He does a couple of stun combos that while this is taking place is able to activate "Old School Mode" and connect a Kingstone Flash before Fourze fully crumples to the floor. And it would seem that Hopping Switch is Fourze's Rider Art. Interesting that.

It looks like that Trial's Hyakuretsu Kyaku is DAT NEW OTG and his way to guaranteed damage. But since the Rider Burst is in play I'd be careful of abusing it. And it seems that Accel's Rider Art is a nasty standing stun that may be good for resets. That'll be tested by me and I'll report back on it. And PuToTyra has a nice stun as well and very comboable from what the video shows. These 2 will be characters that I keep a close eye on during my study.

All in all I'm more excited than ever to get this game and dig right on in to all the awesome upgrades to this fighting engine.


-Triple Da G.O.D.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Birds & The Down B's: A Look at Women In Gaming

I can safely assume that you didn't even know of this article's existence. You want to know why you didn't? Because I thought that certain people could be mature enough to accept the words below and understand how important they were then and still are now. I made the mistake of because the Super DBZ & Street Fighter EX articles got so much love that I thought speaking on a real subject that truly matters would at least garner some attention. It didn't. I made the attempt to get this to you guys through the same outlet that those articles did and I have to assume that those people read it, saw I was telling the truth and didn't want the boat rocked. At this point in time fuck you, your boat, the water that keeps it afloat and you once again. I understood then what I understand more than ever now. Words are power. And for the most part I make sure not to be careless with it and use it responsibly. I use these words to open minds and uplift. Not close minds and bring people down. I have the belief that my words can change existence and rock it to its very core. And that's why I do it. If my words and actions can open the mind of one person then I know I'm doing the right thing. If this article is proof of anything is that I have plenty to say and I'm not scared to say it even if you happen to be. To get where we all need to be it'll take time but humanity can get there if we truly want to.

And I know you remember this gem from #SkuillgirlsWinningWeek some time ago. The PSA that made us think and laugh. Just remember the message is wrapped in the comedy. Skullgirls is an awesome game by an awesome group of folks and we as a community should stand by that. I want to shout out everybody at Lab Zero and wish them all well in all they do. I applaud your courageousness in the fight to keep an awesome game like Skullgirls alive. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! 

So with no further ado let us discuss The Birds & The Down B's: A Look at Women In Gaming!

Originally this was just going to be huge ass reminder about picking up Skullgirls and the consequences if you didn't do so. The consequence being I'd come to your house with my Moe Moe Gangsta Edition Glock and put it to your head and make you. Regardless of all that the reason as a community you want to support the game regardless of your feelings are simply these. Mike Z is family and you support your family in their endeavors no matter how you feel or what you believe. Everybody involved in this wonderful masterpiece is putting their hearts and souls into this product and damn does it show every time I see it. So no matter what side of the fence you sit on when the game comes out, shower that love and say thanks to everybody involved. When I got to this point I started to see that looking at Skullgirls goes a whole lot deeper than the game itself and more of the feelings of those on the sidelines. And the more and more I thought about it the more and more I realized all the negative I was reading was just a rehash of every time I see women in gaming brought up. And this is what I plan to break you of today as I do always. To start thinking a bit more broader and a lot less closed-minded.

But where to begin. When it comes with games with girls that aren't so 101% wholesome some people back away and tense up for whatever reason. From what I read the reasons why some can't really handle the subject falls into 2 different catch-all categories. Embarrassment and just plain ignorance. So let's give embarrassment a go first. The embarrassment statement I see usually reads "If (Insert Name Here) sees me playing this what will they think of me?" When I think about it I can understand why people feel this way. To a degree. For some it's their belief system. For others it's a fear of losing respect from someone or disrespecting someone else. The flip side of this becomes more about you respecting yourself first. Understanding that it's perfectly OK with liking or indulging in something you enjoy. There are some things within that are just not the things you should be doing. It's up to you to know the difference. However, the question remains how do you break yourself of this? What you believe can be hard to break out of but it can be done. You just have to have yourself open enough to receive something new. It's not as easy as I'm laying it out to be but it can be done. You just have to want to break out of your shell and just do it. When it comes to the task of convincing others it can be bit difficult but that's a hurdle you can overcome too and sometimes you can bring them in on the fun as well. You just have to stand firm on the subject at hand. Not everybody will understand the things you do but you just have to make them respect it. Don't let what others do hold you back from doing what you enjoy. And if you have people like that around you then it might be time to take a look at those relationships really closely and reevaluate their meaning to you. Getting over embarrassment and the many pitfalls it presents is an arduous journey but well worth the trip. Don't let those fears stop you from enjoying something cool.

Well now that we've dealt with those embarrassed folks, let us now deal with those who happen to be short of open mindedness. Now I'm going to leave 2 statements here and I want you to read them both and think on it for a minute.

Statement 1: "Man, (Insert Gaming Genre Here) games suck!!!"

Statement 2: "I'm not going to play this game because it has a cast full of females!!"

Done thinking. Let's analyze. Now I wrote Statement 1 in very broad terms. That whatever person said this may or may not have had experience with whatever genre they think sucks. You can infer that that they may never touch that genre of gaming ever. Statement 2 on the other hand is a bit different because it simply infers that if it wasn't a cast full of females that this person may give that game a try under different circumstances. Statement 2 is an issue. I see this and varying versions of this same statement and this is a bad way to think especially if the game is within a genre you play regularly. What it says to me is that you're willing to miss out on something good because you don't agree with the choices made that have no gameplay implications at all. If this is you then this is something you need to break yourself from and ASAP. I can to extent say that some of the embarrassment catch all is at play here but sometimes it is about what you say and how you say it. You have to learn to be more open to things. People with mentalities like these let great things pass them by. We'll get into some of those things in a minute though. However, don't let something cool pass you because you have an issue with a cast of characters. It's just a bad look and makes you look bad too. Think about it. Really think about it.

Now that we've covered all of that, let's get into why this is even an issue to begin with. Let's start with a fact of nature. Women are human. Just as men are. But for some reason society however views women as the weaker sex. That is as far from truth as you can possibly get. Some of the strongest people I've ever had the pleasure of being around happen to be women. And when everything shakes out we're all still human first and that's how it should be but undoing 1000's of years of damage is something I can't do. But at least I can make the statement though. All the former is important to our subject because all those things feed into the thoughts and processes in how women in all facets of gaming are perceived. But what is the perception though? It ranges from misrepresentation to oversexualization and everything in between. The reason for the broad range of perception is because we ourselves are broad in our beliefs of what's right and wrong. What also comes from this same broad range is the perception of beauty from one person to the next. This is a huge lead in to what you happen to be presented with. Every single person has their perception of what beauty is and some are lucky enough to share that vision with others. And this is where the problems start. Not everybody sees things the exact same way. So what may be perfectly fine for you may not ring the same way with others. And people are very vocal from either side of the fence which then leads to more division. It does lead to the question of can that gap be closed. Now in my view it can be. More people just have to take a look at it from more than one side before making a final judgment. That's asking a lot of people in general but you can imagine how much of a difference it would make if we could. That is and will always be an individual choice. Just give it some thought is all I'm asking.

The question remains this. How do we proceed forward? Because this isn't going to be an issue that will disappear any time soon. Analysis of the past is one way. Understanding others is always a good idea. My favorite would have to be not to jump to conclusions. Lately, this one could've saved a lot of back and forth. I want to take some time to shout out Aris. Honestly, Cross Gate was stupid and he took the brunt of it because people need a story for their website. Which then follows up with people forgetting where they come from so that they can save face instead of holding down one of their own. Now I'm not saying rape is good however the FGC has been throwing that word around for years. Shout out to DEM STAIRS. We miss you. The point I'm making here is that people should do their research on the ins and outs of the FGC before making claims that aren't factual. Know what we call that in the hood? Actual journalism. Alex Ahad went through some of the same issues when it came to the look of Skullgirls. I for one commend him for standing up for his artistic vision when people blew that whole thing out of proportion. A panty shot is a panty shot. It isn't the end of the world. A panty shot may be the reason you even exist. Think about it. Tomonobu Itagaki had to deal with that same song for years because of the look of the ladies of Dead or Alive. He himself said that those girls are the definition of what beauty looks like to him. And he's free to have it because I got Hitomi out of the deal. Yosuke Hayashi, the new leader of Team Ninja is bringing the ladies of Dead or Alive back down to Earth as it were in 5 by making the females in the game look more like real women and this I have to applaud because it gives those who harped on it for perpetuating negative stereotypes about beauty one less thing to complain about.

But what about female characters in games? I gotta be honest. We've come a long way from Ms. Pac-Man that's for sure. When it comes to fighting games we have THA TRINITY. Chun Li is the strongest woman in world. She is known for those thighs though. Mai Shiranui is a ninja who fights for the glory of Nippon. However, when her name's brought up the attention is a bit more focused on her breasts. And Cammy White does her best work in a leotard. And we praise the cosplayers who have the courage to rock it. All jokes aside though when it comes to the three of them those character traits are parts of who they are and how we relate to them. What I'm saying with that is not all attention on the female form is or has to stay negative all the time. In contrast to that men don't get this much attention except every male protagonist looks like the same white man. When it comes to things like these people see what they want to see. A huge example of this is the portrayal of Samus Aran one of the Original Queens of Gaming in Metroid: Other M. She gained a huge share of detractors because according to a lot of people she set Women's Rights back a trillion years. My personal thoughts on the subject are the following. Samus kicked ass for years without as much of an actual utterance of anything that wasn't a recap or grunt until Metroid Fusion and then Other M came and shook that foundation of straight kick-assery that her character built over the years. But when people saw Samus embracing her emotions and taking "orders" now all of a sudden she's less of a kick-ass human being because of it. I for one applaud Yoshio Sakamoto for taking such a chance with a character like Samus. I feel that it was a way to see that because one kicks ass that it doesn't mean that they aren't allowed to be human and feel emotion. And the Adam thing as offensive as it came off to some was just a way to do the classic Square One reset approach and weave it into the narrative. When you look at like that it really isn't so bad now is it? We went through this when Bayonetta was making her rounds and Lollipop Chainsaw is getting it too with the portrayal of Juliet Starling. However, when it comes to those 2 games it is honestly genius at work by Hideki Kamiya and Goichi Suda for understanding that beauty and sex is the bow of the package and not the package itself. Lara Croft had the same issues for years. She was portrayed as a very headstrong woman but she happened to be well endowed in her chest area. And instead of focusing on the positive about her character and the gameplay in Tomb Raider it went straight to her looks and how that was teaching girls to reach to a standard of beauty that they themselves couldn't reach. But this issue didn't start with Chun-Li, Mai, Cammy, Bayonetta, Juilet Starling, Lara Croft or even in the realm of gaming. It will be a never ending struggle until each individual decides for themselves what true beauty means to them and how they decide to reach it. And people agree to disagree on that too. But what people do is their business and you just have to respect it. That word seems to be a running thing in this one but I'm not done with it yet.

Now when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex when we game or discuss gaming is when it happens to be ramped to a whole new level. To be honest with the fellas, some of you act like you never interacted with someone of the female persuasion before. And I can tell because you're trying way too hard. I can understand when a lady enters the room how your first instinct would be to go all Alpha Male and what not but this is something that you need to break away from if you have this issue. All the ladies want to do is game or conversate just like you're doing and not be given preferential treatment.  The simple solution is just make sure to respect others and always respect yourself. From what I hear most of them just want you to be you. Because if you can't be yourself then who can you ultimately be? It also comes to my attention that there are others who are just blatantly disrespectful. My advice to you is next time you want to say something out the way to a lady think about how you would feel if that was somebody you care about being talked to that way.  Like I've said this whole article is that women are human too. Treat them as such. The same goes for the ladies too. Just because you're a woman doesn't mean you're above respect for your fellow man. Respect is a 2 way street. If you give it, so shall you receive it. When it comes down to it this isn't an issue that will go away today or tomorrow. What we can do is sow the seeds of respect and tolerance today for a better tomorrow. Every step we take to respect ourselves, each other and our beliefs is one step closer for every one of us to be better people. And at the end of the day that should be the only thing we should truly strive for.

-Triple Da God

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gaming Bucket List: The Ninja Warriors Again (SNES/SFC)

In my continued quest to find games I want to play for #RunDatReXXX I seem to backtrack to games of old that I may haven't had the time or the feel like it to finish before that I do now. The Ninja Warriors Again is one such game and is one of the best Beat-Em-Ups on the SNES and can stand alongside games like Final Fight 3 & Rushing Beat Shura as such. I've known this for years to be fact however checking it off my Gaming Bucket List I have a new found love and appreciation for the game. To be honest I've been having a lot of these kind of epiphanies lately as I'm taking the time to explore games on a deeper level than I have before, ever! Now it's time to do what I always do and will soon become famous for...THE LONG WINDED EXPLANATION WHY!!. 

The Ninja Warriors Again doesn't rewrite the book on the genre and nor do I think that's what Natsume was even aiming for. The psychology of how things get done hasn't changed either. Know yourself. Know your enemy. Combine the two to hurt everything around you. It's this basic psychology that will keep you playing once the light bulb comes on because of how deep the combat is in this game. All of the playable characters are drastically different in all aspects which also mean how they get the job done is just as different. So question is how does the job get done? Glad you asked. Let me now proudly introduce the 3 Ninja Warriors at your command.

1st on deck is Ninja. He's the brute of the bunch and he lives up that and then some. Because he's the big man of the group he moves a bit slow but can pile on the damage quick. 

In lieu of a jump he has a booster jet that is wonderful for making his way around the battlefield and key for his offensive pressure. Knowing that however doesn't mean that you should abuse it because in a lot of situations it's very unsafe because of the startup time. Learning the when and where of the booster jet is key to mastering your use of Ninja. 

Some other things to keep in mind that his standing attack because of his size serves as a great anti-air, his normal combo ender his in front and in back of him and make sure you're throwing a lot. His throws do great damage and are great for crowd control. Knowing this will make Ninja the beast of the futuristic block.

Next up is Kunoichi and she's the balanced one of the bunch. At this juncture however let me define balanced. Balanced in this case means that she doesn't have a "thing" like Ninja's power or Kamaitachi's speed but she has enough of everything to still be a threat. 

A great normal attack and combo. Both standing and crouching. An easy to use and manipulative crowd control throw and she has the only usable and safe jump cancel from either of her available combo strings which is good for keeping your enemies in place. This however isn't for you to abuse but learning to abuse it properly is a huge key to keeping Kunoichi alive. 

I do suggest if this is your first time digging into the game is to pick Kunoichi to get used to the game mechanics and then branch out from there by giving Ninja and Kamaitachi a whirl.

And last but not least we have Kamaitachi. He's the one of the bunch with the speed and reach but less health in trade for that. 

Don't let that scare you away from giving him a shot because with all that he has at his disposal makes him so dangerous in the right hands. In my view he has the best combos in the game mainly for the speed in which they come out and the range that he can safely cover without putting himself in harm's way. Ninja & Kunoichi have this same ability but it takes some setup and learning about your enemies a bit more and them as well to be safe. 

However because of this awesome power of having great speed and reach he gives up the ability to just walk up and throw enemies like his comrades can. He can still throw, you just have to be very close and hope for the best starting out before you learn to throw consistently with him. It's worth the effort to learn and take full advantage of all of Kamaitachi's abilities because for the reason I stated earlier. 

Your investment in learning him will bear fruit. Fruit you can stuff down the enemy's throat as you cut them down. It'll be worth the effort. Trust me on that.

And now that you have a bit more understanding about the Ninja Warriors it's time to go into battle and do what it does. 

The Ninja Warriors Again is 8 non-stop action packed levels in which to kick much ass in. The premise of why is follows. There's a bad guy oppressing the good people so a scientist builds 3 Androids to stop him. There's a lot more to it and there's a huge twist at the end I won't dare spoil but it does in kind set up for a sequel if there ever was one. 

The music is great as well. Not every track is a classic but it does fit the mood of the game quite nicely. 

The game is quite beautiful to behold. Huge beautiful sprites, explosions, scantly clad ninja broads and more await your eyes to see. 

This is a game I urge you to play and discover all its secrets and depth for yourself. As usual I give you the roadmap to get from A to B however it's up to you to be courageous enough to take the journey. 

The game doesn't take too long to complete. Your first time through may take about 2 hours as you learn and experiment with the game mechanics. I can safely say that it won't be your last time through. With 3 different characters that bring with them 3 diversified experiences through the game you'll have plenty of content to last you quite a while. 

This game's only true fault is no co-op experience but you never know this could be on the comeback. They brought back Elevator Action so why not this or Sonic Blast Man?

In conclusion, please take some time to experience the The Ninja Warriors Again and you'll do what you always do when you're done...thank me later.

-Triple Da God

Monday, November 12, 2012

DoaBH Review Edition Presents...Guardian Heroes HD (XBLA)

If I'm about to call what you're about to read a review then I suppose I shall call it that. However as a genius I know better. The whole point of this is to get you to buy Guardian Heroes. Not because you should for your own good. But for the fact that I'm a huge Treasure Stan and if enough of you buy this then I get a sequel. For the record I've never heard of something called "Advance Guardian Heroes." Real Talk though, Advance Guardian Heroes was something but a true sequel it wasn't. It made references, had characters from the original but it didn't evoke the feel of the original so that's why it gets widely shitted on from holy heights every time it gets brought up. That aside I now have to convince you to buy this without saying too much about it. You guys know this song & dance by now. So let us dance to the rhythm and sing the praises of Guardian Heroes.


  1. This is the best and most affordable version you can get without getting protection and getting on eBay to be violated. $10 to be precise and the US version goes for insane amounts though however in contrast though the JP version doesn't go for so much. Neither option is readily available for your download consumption for $10. Affordable and easily accessible.

  2. I HAS WANT SEQUEL NAO!!! It's been said that a sequel is in the works and the whether or not we get it hinges upon sales figures of this downloadable treat. This also goes hand in hand with a possible PSN release as well. So if you happen to be on that side of the fence then this is your fight too.

  3. Technically this is 2 games in 1. You have the Saturn Mode which you either can play in all that 1996 glory or with some sexy HD makeup. You can also experience the Remix Mode which turns this game on its head in every way possible. I highly suggest playing Saturn Mode first. You'll have more appreciation for the changes Remix Mode gives. Know I did. And something about 12 player offline/online battles. That shit be ruthless dawg. Bring your high level characters or prepare for the wrong end of the business.

  4. This game is #FUCKAWESOME!!! Point. Blank. Period. When I played this for the first time I knew I was for in something special. Honestly, I had lots of fun just putting the hurt on things. When I got older and started to appreciate gaming more this was one of those games early on I really wanted to understand and appreciate on a deeper level. And I do now and just want to let you know that you can have that same experience if you dive in.

  5. Read reasons 1-4 until you buy the game. And then read them once more so you understand why you did the right thing for yourself and others.
Guardian Heroes is one of a myriad of examples of why gaming is so great. In 1996 this game was revolutionary for a lot of reasons. Reasons I shall let you discover if you haven't already. Reasons I honestly would love to include as added examples of why you should but you know how I do things though. So get out there and experience what I and many others already have. Guardian Heroes.

-Triple Da God

And if you need some visual proof of what I speak then please take a look at the above video. It was a complete show of the demo when it was leaked on Mexican XBL. And the reason why I have to manage 3 YouTube channels instead of the 1 I'd prefer. So do whatever it is that you do just make sure Guardian Heroes is on your To Buy List. Please and Thank You.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kamen Rider Super Climax Heroes Presents...This Game Will Be Our Hope!!!

As we inch ever closer to me breaking this game as I do every year it would seem a new trailer has hit and we have a lot of confirms which personally made me nerd out a bit. So who do we know about now?

Joker and Skull (W)
Saga (Kiva)
TheBee (Kabuto)
Delta (Faiz)

Both Joker & Skull have me on full nerd out mode right now. First Eternal and now this. SO HYPE!!!! All that's left is for Accel to have Booster Mode and that would cover the whole series being repped over multiple games. TheBee is a nice surprise as well. That was something I was just not expecting at all. Saga & Delta should've been in 2 games ago so good to finally see them as well. So all that's honestly left on my list is Kivala and since she was in Rider Generation 2 there's a nice chance she's somewhere. This trailer also shows off how the game is more like Soul Calibur at least in how it handles movement. 8 WAY RUN SUCKA!!!! That'll be something to get used to and show off as well. The only other honest question I have is will Wizard's other Dragon Forms be in the game? That question and more will be answered when the game drops on 11/29.

-Triple Da God

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gaming Bucket List: Bucky O'Hare (NES)

Whenever life has me not feeling as powerful as I know I am I seek challenges to fill that void. You've heard the Mega Man story and this is like that. Over the weekend I just randomly started to play Bucky O'Hare for whatever reason. Usually this ends a rage quit of some sort on the Green Planet to save Blinky but not this time. This time I didn't and this is the story of what I found on my adventure to save the crew of the Righteous Indignation and save the Aniverse from the evil Toad menace.

So before we start on our adventure to save everyone let me confirm what you've heard is the truth. This game is hard. Damn! Fucking! Hard! The irony in that is there's a code to make the game even harder. Why would anybody want to increase the frustration is anybody's guess but you do have the option. This game is also the future pedigree for a group of developers you maybe heard me gush over once or twice called Treasure. Just saying. Being honest though most of the game's difficulty is due to design but at the same time the game is so overly fair. Generous checkpoints and infinite continues. Play, Learn Adapt & Evolve. PLAE is so prevalent in this game and because there's a small consequence for continued play (We'll get to that in a second.) that the game becomes more like a puzzle game to learn and understand what your options are and how to best execute them. Question is, what are those options and how do you best take advantage of them?

Glad you asked. When you start the game you start with the Captain of the Righteous Indignation, Bucky O'Hare. The rest of crew's been kidnapped by the toads except for Bruiser who isn't even mentioned at all and they've been stranded on 4 planets and it's up to Bucky to save them. The thing is there's a method to the madness similar to another game you've heard of...Megaman. Each of the rest of the crew members has a special ability that's pretty helpful and one that you need to even progress on one of the planets. So where do you start?

The smart choice is and will always be AFC (that's Android First Class) Blinky of course who happens to stranded on the Green Planet. The Green Planet is the only one that won't really give Bucky any trouble and doesn't require the special talents of the rest of the crew to get around seeing as Bucky's special power is a Super Jump. He is a hare after all. The honest reason you want to save Blinky first is 3 fold. First, Blinky's power allows him to charge his boosters making platforming a bit easier to manage. The second is that Blinky's shot allows him to break blocks made of ice and stone that the other characters just can't. This is important. Very, very important. I'll explain why in a bit. Thirdly is that because of his stature his hitbox is a lot smaller than the rest of the crew and this comes in handy... a whole lot. Saving Blinky first is a small but effective equalizer against the platforming that you come across. I always used Blinky for platforming segments unless the situation called for something he couldn't handle. The thing is once you save Blinky you can save everyone else because the game has a small problem if you don't do this first.

This goes hand in hand with the 2nd member of the crew I decided to save and that being Miss Jenny, (Nerd Note Here. If someone decides to run it back again please cast Jennifer Hale as Jenny. She'd be more than perfect to voice her. Just trust me. Thanks.) Thing is that you can't save Jenny without having Blinky first because there are blocks that only Blinky can break so if you choose this planet anytime before this point then the game ends. This was one of those bad design choices we spoke about earlier. It really makes no sense that this is a thing to begin with. I have to assume that people rage quit on this game because of simply this one thing. Shame you did because you're missing out. But now you know the fact of life is "DON'T CHOOSE THE BLUE PLANET BEFORE SAVING BLINKY!!!!" The only thing you need to know about the Blue Planet is that Blinky slips and slides so it makes platforming as him a bit harder so switch between him and Bucky to make that a bit easier. Make it through all of that and you save Miss Jenny. Jenny from here on in will be your "sniper support." Jenny's shot is great because of its very long range and is good for clearing obstacles so Blinky can handle doing the platform thing he's built for. She can also charge her shot to give her self a Telekinetic Energy Ball. Referred in the game as a "Toad Turbo Ball." Just for I'm a fan sake, Jenny's a hot anthropomorphic psychic cat. That's her power. Let us never discuss it again.

After saving Miss Jenny I ventured to the Red Planet to save Deadeye. The Red Planet is my favorite for the simple fact of not only a Quick Man segment but there's a nod to Life Force as well. For the record Salamader > Gradius, have a wonderful day. With all that being said the Red Planet isn't that bad outside a jumping puzzle that had me stuck for a second. After taking care of that Deadeye Duck rejoins the crew and he's pretty much Bucky except instead of a super jump Deadeye can climb walls and a 3 Way Shot that fires at 45°, 90° & 135°. These two abilities don't come in handy right now but Deadeye will be pulling a lot of weight to come. Trust me on that.

With that business out of the way we hit the Yellow Planet to save Willy. This stage is wild and a lot of learning will be done here. This stage wants you to die. A lot. All you need to remember here is wait until things come to a complete stop and when you think it's safe please duck. This will save you a lot of frustration. Successfully make it through that and you'll in turn save the Righteous Indignation's lone human member Willy DuWitt. Willy is another Bucky clone except his weapon the Thumber can cut through multiple enemies and he can charge it. Just know that charging the Thumber is never a good idea except once and even then that's a gamble. You can choose at this point to put Willy on sniper detail or even switch to saving him before Miss Jenny if you'd like but that's a you choice and I'll leave that up to you.

OK. We've saved everybody but the Toad menace is still out there and they're not done with us. We're taken aboard their ship and separated from everybody. You start this part of the game with Bucky & Blinky and you're now faced with a decision you didn't even know you had. Do you save the rest of the crew again? The only crew member you have to save is Deadeye because the game forces you to more or less. Jenny and Willy are optional purely by accident to skip and not save but you want the whole family in tow so make sure to find them all. In a Mega Man twist you do have to fight them because they're currently brainwashed. The only hard battle is the first if you find Miss Jenny. Beating her is a tag team effort between Bucky & Blinky. Bucky can shoot up, down and through floors so take advantage of that factor. And when Jenny gets on the center platform you can line Blinky up for some potshot action without much danger to you. After saving Miss Jenny venture forth and find Willy. Bring out Jenny to take care of Willy with no problem. And then when you find Deadeye switch to Willy and he goes down in no time. The family that shoots each other stays together I guess.

From here on in the game gets crazy with the platforming and boss fights. Knowing your team is the only key to victory here. Without it you won't win. That actually goes for most team activities. Keep it in mind. The one thing I will drop knowledge on is this. The last stage is a SHMUP section and knowing your team is key here as well. Bucky can shoot from the front and the back. He'll be the main one you'll be using during this section. Blinky's shot here isn't useless as much as you don't need it. His hitbox is a tad reduced so keep that in mind. Miss Jenny still has her shot from the platforming section and so does Willy without the charge feature. Willy > Miss Jenny in this instance. No reason to use her at all here. Deadeye still has his 3 Way Shot and this is major to understand because this makes one of the bosses you fight a whole lot easier to take down so please keep it in mind. If you can make through all the game can dish then CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!!! I do have to say that beating this game is a feather in my old school cap and I will be coming back to it again soon. Don't know if I'll ever have the courage to do a playthrough for #RunDatReXXX but you never know.

We do however have something else I do need to speak on and that's the gameplay flow. The thing about that is that the consequence for learning and the inevitable dying that will take place is that when you finally figure it out you have to do it stricter confines because of how the game works.

You have 2 important commodities in which you have to manage, the Life Meter and the Power Meter. Throughout the game you'll see and acquire Life and Power pickups that boosts both meters. The Life one of course boosts your Life Meter and the Power version extends the Power Meter for Special Abilities. The design flaw here is as follows. Once you pick up a one for your Power Meter that pick up disappears from the game forever or at least until you reset and for whatever reason the Life version is the complete opposite however. This is when learning about the game goes on a complete slant. Like I mentioned earlier that whole "You gonna die a lot" thing and when you do your life meter is reset back to normal upon you continuing. So dying becomes major especially when you're in a boss fight because as you're figuring out what to do you're dying and continuing and when the light bulb does come on you don't have the room to take that extra hit and seeing that invisibility time is practically non existent is you'll take multiple hits and die quickly. On the flip side though at least for me was figuring it out in those confines made the wins all that sweeter with the added edge of difficulty that problem brings.

Maybe if those issues were addressed that it would be a more accessible game and more people would give it a go. The thing is that it wouldn't be the same game I'm proud to say I beat with no help whatsoever. I'm so glad I took this on and just as much to share the journey with you guys now.

Before I go, let me make sure to mention how great this soundtrack is. This is a Konami game so I'm not surprised at all however that doesn't mean I get the opportunity to downplay how great it is.

So go and give this one a shot and don't rage quit when it doesn't go your way. I've given you the tools so it's on you play this awesome game and execute. If I can then so can you. Have fun!!!


-Triple Da God

Friday, November 2, 2012

In Defense Of...The Most Underrated Fighting Series in History: Street Fighter EX

One of the most important things in due honesty I've ever written. I still read this article and the comments that accompany it and it reminds me that even though I don't agree with where the #FGC is and where it may be going that I believe somewhere deep that we can have all the success without losing what makes this community what it is and has always been. I still stand by everything you're about to read and I'm ready to defend it too. Street Fighter EX regardless of all that surrounds it deserves all the praise due for being innovative and Arika for being visionaries in making the attempt to do something new with the established norm. And on both fronts I can relate personally. So get those minds open and prepared to have them blown smooth off. Welcome to In Defense Of...The Most Underrated Fighting Series in History: Street Fighter EX!

I know when I said what I said about this game and the comparison to Street Fighter 4 that at some point I had to explain myself. But before I build my defenses for the oncoming storm maybe I should touch on something else. I think very few people understand the power of their words and the effect that it has on the things and those they touch. Because a large part of the community have taken their shots at EX and all that gets really said which I can condense into a statement is simply, "I don't quite understand EX and what it brings to the table." Whether that happens to be about the aesthetic values, gameplay or just plain this isn't the Street Fighter I know is just very unwarranted. The bad part about it is most of what is said is hive mind nonsense. This is all based on what I hear people say. And on that I have to assume that the most of the people saying these things have either only played the game in a passing fancy or their only experience is a YouTube video or 2 which does EX no justice at all. The thing that's crazy is the same things that EX did which people try to discredit it for SF4 does now in all its glory. However, I guess back in 1996 people weren't as open to a shift from Street Fighter's established norm. Just as right now that people aren't more open to something that isn't the force fed gospel from on high as it were. Furthermore, after EX dropped in '96 1997 would bring Street Fighter 3: New Generation and from what I've heard it kind of got a similar reception for similar reasons. But over two more iterations found its stride with 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike. So the SF3 series over time got into the hearts of people and found a place there. EX didn't get so lucky. The problem with this now is with the influx of new people introducing themselves to fighting games will only hear the negative on the subject because that voice happens to overpower the truth that EX is a wonderful game and is very, very, very eerily like the game that's responsible for the 2nd Coming in Street Fighter 4. And it is for that one reason that everyone introducing themselves to fighters now need to hear both sides of the story and those who've have been around for a while need to understand why the community as a whole needs to become a lot more open minded about these things. Because there are plenty of fighters that are special on their own merits that nobody sees or hears about because the same old thing is stuffed down everyone's throat. It's important that we learn what came first so that we can truly appreciate where we are now. Even though fighting games before SF4 wasn't as a barren wasteland as some like to portray that time to be, its just now that the community is getting the spotlight that it is truly worthy of. But my job is make sure that our storied history isn't lost to time. I think I've made my point here so let us dive right on in.

In 1996 the arcades were still at a high point everywhere and after the success of Virtua Fighter more fighters were taking the plunge into the 3rd Dimension in one way or another and of course the game that made the fighter what it was at that point did the same with Street Fighter EX. Now at this point I can't really speak on what happened here because I wasn't there but based on what the history tells us that it wasn't received too well by anybody. And it was for many of the reasons I listed earlier. But it begs the question of why? As far as I've experienced Street Fighter EX functions like Street Fighter in every way that I know of. From the classic motions to mind games and everything in between it all exists here. So what could be the hang up? I have to assume based on the evidence that a lot of it came from preconceived notions that because it was in 3D that it would lose itself in the transition. This experiment with Street Fighter in the 3rd Dimension however would actually happen years later with Capcom Fighting All-Stars. However, a very hive mind atmosphere combined with a close-minded attitude and a very cold reception all around was a major reason that never came to fruition. So it ended up that the lot of us never got to experience that at all. But if the world doesn't end on 12/21 then at some point Tekken X Street Fighter is supposed to drop and that'll be the series first real foray into the 3rd Dimension as a fighter if it proves to be similar to Tekken Tag 2 like the evidence points to. Tekken X Street Fighter will prove to be a true litmus test into "the question." Can Street Fighter function in the 3rd Dimension and not lose what makes Street Fighter, Street Fighter? However, the theory fighter isn't what you're here for either. So let us dive a bit deeper.

Street Fighter EX versus Street Fighter 4. How can I say this nicely. Dimps and Ono are SWAGGA JACKIN LEGENDS!! I do say that in jest but let me explain. You know those hard ass combos in Trial Mode. EX did that first and was a lot more original in execution. Not only were there combos but you also had to use moves in inventive ways to complete missions as well. It gave the game an extra layer of depth if you wanted to explore it as well. And some of the Expert Missions make some of 4's harder Trial Missions look like throwing a Hadoken. Let that marinate in your mind for a moment. Now think about that Focus Attack that you've grown so fond of and love so much. Know what they called that back in '96...THE GUARD BLOW!! The Guard Blow went through a lot of changes as the series went on but a lot of what it did is found in the Focus Attack now. In EX1, the Guard Blow cost 1 Meter and if it connected it put your opponent into an instant stun state. Starting to sound a bit familiar right? Now here's where things start to really come full circle. EX2 introduced an additional function for the Guard Blow called the Cancel Blow. Now the Cancel Blow worked similar to a basic Focus Attack Cancel except you're limited to canceling Special or Super Moves instead of anything like you would in that instance. The only time you can stun your opponent is when they're guarding your super or special. In any other situation your opponent is knocked down. EX3 however ditched this whole thing in exchange for the Surprise Blow. Surprise Blows only function the same as a Guard Blow only when hitting a crouching opponent. Other than that it works just like a normal attack but the reason that's the case is because of a new gameplay system in EX3 called the Momentary Combo. Momentary Combos allow you to transition from one special move to another just like if you could cancel one special into another. The activation for it is very similar to a Just Frame in which there's a certain time in which you can perform them. The cool thing about Momentary Combos are they don't cost meter but they do take a bit of time to learn the right timing to do them but it pays off in longer combos and are a must in high level play. In contrast though EX wasn't short of borrowing a feature or 2 from its brothers. EX2 introduced the Extra Cancel or Excel as it is more known by. It functions much the same as the Custom Combo from Alpha 2 & 3 except you can't be hit out of it. And like EX3's Momentary Combo is a must in your repertoire in high level play. EX3 also introduced a Tag System to the mix from the VS Series and that brought a whole new depth to combat with the insanity of Tag Combos and the Critical Parade. The Critical Parade is just like the Duo Team Attack from MvC1. And it's just as crazy in combat here as it was there. And it bears repeating that knowing the inner workings of how Tag System functions in EX3 are very important to high level play in that game as well. There are some advanced uses to the gameplay systems I talked about but I'll leave those to you to discover on your own. Now that I've explained that away let me change the way you think about things.

Now Street Fighter 4 is known for something called an...Ultra Combo. Which is one of the new gameplay elements found in fighters now to give people a chance to come back and win a match. You now might be asking how this figures into EX. In EX2 a move was introduced called the Meteo Combo. It's fancy talk for a Level 3. A really fancy Level 3. Whether you happen to knock your opponent into the Moon and back down to Earth. Or if you're wanting to shoot your opponent with a giant laser beam then we got that and everything in between. The point is that the flash of the Ultra Combo has been done. And it was done here first. But what about the comeback mechanic? That is something that EX can't take credit for. Now the comeback mechanic in some form as early as I can remember in a gauge form as a true parallel in my view was done by Power Instinct 2's Stress Meter. In PI2, the Stress Meter filled up when you got hit or when your attack was blocked. Hence why it was called a Stress Meter. Get it? However when I think about it the Stress Meter may be a parody of Samurai Shodown's POW Meter. As most things in the PI series happen to be parodies of the fighting game genre itself. The major difference between the two being you had a limited chance to act when you were in POW Mode but once you earned a full Stress bar it was yours until you invoked it. And even when I think about that I have to come to the originator of the "comeback mechanic" in the form of the Desperation Move in Art of Fighting 1. This was improved upon even further in Fatal Fury 2. *Insert Implied Sarcasm Here* SNK being the originator of something? Who would've thought. *End Sarcasm Here* But the comeback mechanic was around way before that. It's been around since...FOREVER!!!! Not in the form of a gauge. But inside the player who has the opportunity to make the comeback. And trust me if you're reading this that you've seen a comeback in some form at some point in your life no matter where it was you saw it. But it does beg the question of why emphasize that part of the fight? Now it's been said repeatedly that the comeback mechanics are built in to give someone who's down in a fight a chance to win. But who are they really for though? Personally I've gotten to the point where I understand the game for exactly what it is. Fighters now are made to make sure that everybody has a chance to win. Which secretly means everybody has a chance to spend money on said product. Even I understand that while the casual audience keeps the money flowing that the hardcore keep the game alive. And when you understand it like that it becomes a very symbiotic relationship. And it's how I've learned to accept things. I may not 100% agree with it but I do accept it. And I really think that's where we all need to get to so that as a whole we can be better.

To be honest, now of days when I think about Street Fighter 4 I think about that episode of South Park where Professor Chaos is trying to think of a new plan and General Disarray keeps telling him that "The Simpsons Did It." And all I've said proves that. That however doesn't make SF4 a great game or take away what it's done for the community. However, EX deserves to be showered with the praise and love that it is worthy of for pioneering what is a part of the everyday norm now. It's this reason that in my eyes makes Street Fighter EX the better of the two. What people enjoy about 4 now is what I and many others have loved about EX for years. EX is a deep fighter with so much explored by those who decided to give it a chance and with so much more potential if more do the same. I really hope you didn't show up to see me tear Street Fighter 4 a new one because I more than anyone is ecstatic that we have all these games to play now because of it. It will never mean that we should throw our history to the wayside because what fighting games have become because of SF4's influence. Or refuse to learn and respect the history of what fighting games were before SF4 because the games themselves are now ever changing what they are and mean. Now more than ever the adage rings true that "Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it." In this case it means that appreciation of what the past was all about from Heavyweight and Karate Champ. The boom of Street Fighter 2. The release of Virtua Fighter. And yeah, even "The Dark Years." To where we are now with the fighter being in a well deserved high demand. And with true understanding of all those events that the fighting game will continue to have a prosperous future right now and for a long time to come.

And there you have it. I hope you've taken something from what you've read and may now be a lot more open to give the EX series a shot. It's worth the investment in doing so. Because trying to make EX converts isn't the aim. It's all about making sure we appreciate our history so we don't go back to "The Dark Years." The whole point will always be to get you guys to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. And TRY is the key word. Whether you love it, hate it or whatever after the fact. The point is you gave it a try. And all I can do is commend your efforts because you had your mind open enough to do that. And the more I challenge the community I love to step outside of what you've come to accept as the status quo the stronger we'll ultimately be. So get out there and try it. Do something new and open yourself to new experiences. It's the only way you'll grow as a player no matter what your ultimate aim happens to be.

-Triple Da God

And when you do try, please let me know what it was like. Because I'm curious how the world after SF4 takes to EX. This will be an interesting experiment to say the least. Good luck. You'll need it.