After a little more than a week, a few thousand matches, and a hand cramp or two, I think a review of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 (Umvc3) is in order. I am very impressed with the overall rebalancing of the game. It seems Capcom really took the time to research problems within the original and tried their best to not make the same mistakes. For example, the DHC glitch is now removed from the game and I couldn’t be happier. Continue reading
I have never been into anime based on puzzle games, but that easily changed after finishing the series Hikaru no Go. The series starts with a simple concept. Hikaru finds an old Go board in his grandfather’s basement. When he finds the board, he notices blood on it but he is the only one that can see it. Sai, the androgynous ghost who resides in the board, arises from his rest and possesses Hikaru. After Sai explains why he possessed Hikaru and his mysterious past, he convinces Hikaru to play some Go. Hikaru takes Sai to a Go salon and plays another boy named Akira. Naturally, due to the guidance of Sai, Hikaru crushes Akira. Hikaru saying that his first time playing only furthers the plot. Akira trying to surpass Hikaru and figure out his mysterious strength, etc etc.
Now judging the series, solely on story line, isn’t fair when it comes to Hikaru no Go. I have watched this series twice in my lifetime. The first time, I was 13 and bored watching repeats on Toonami. The second time, I actually learned how to play Go before watching the series again. This made a world of difference and I suggest people follow my footsteps before watching the series. An understanding of Go, goes a long way. (<—see what I did there ^_^) Anime based on games/sport of any kind are usually hard to pull off and the audience usually needs understanding of the game/sport before really getting into the series. This is where Hikaru no Go really shines. Not only does the series do a good job explaining certain rules/elements of the game, but it also really puts perspective on the participants of this game. There are plenty of times, usually when Sai is teaching Hikaru a strategy, that the rules are explained in a simple and fun way. I found myself learning new things about Go by the third episode and I had been playing Go for about three months already.
Furthermore, at the end of each episode, more emphasis is put on GO and the community. The segment is called “GO! GO! IGOO!”. In this short two minute segment, being taught by real Go professionals, the series takes a Detective Conan puzzle approach. Different problems are given to the audience to solve by either next episode or the end of the segment. The cast even travels to different parts of Japan, China, and Korea to explore different Go communities around the world. This segment really got me into Go. Anyone giving the series a try will almost be forced to try the game at least once.
If I could compare the relationship of Hikaru and Sai to any other show, it would be a Zanpakto and a Shinagami without the blood and story inconsistency. Sai, in the beginning of the series, brought a lot of attention to Hikaru because he was playing based on Sai’s instructions. Hikaru naturally begins to learn the game and happens to be amazing at it. So the amount of games Hikaru gets to play start to change drastically. Naturally the relationship takes a hit and the characters bump heads. The thing that stood out to me most about this dynamic is that the relationship was very adult. No wimpy feelings, no crying, no inexplicable bitching. Both characters brought up logical points for how they felt. Not only did this dynamic exist between these two characters, but the whole cast. I concluded this was done purposely to give the audience an idea of how professional Go is handled. Hikaru may have been thirteen when he turned pro, but the world of Go was adult and he was treated as such. The series still has small humor bits and it is not always serious. The combination of these two elements makes the series a much watch for me.
Is there a flaw in the series? Yes. It has the same flaw as many series based on games or about detectives. The anime doesn’t spoon feed the audience every bit of information. Nothing is made apparent. The problem with this series and others, it isn’t flashy and will only grab a persons’ attention if they aren’t willing to give it up. For example, Bleach will can capture someones attention because of the weird looking monsters, hero with orange hair, and a giant sword or two. Compare that with an anime based on a strategy game that uses white and black stones……see what I mean? I personally don’t find this to be a flaw. But I also am a fan of many anime series that are known to do this: Monster, Detective Conan, etc.
This is a very good anime and should be watched for an enjoyment and educational reasons. Hikaru no Go is the full package when it comes to animation and voice acting, and goes above and beyond to make one of the oldest games ever created awesine. Long live Go and long live Hikaru no Go.
The wheel of fates are turning again and I am loving it. If you own Blaze Blue Continuum Shift and did not download the patch, stop reading the article, run to your PS3 or Xbox 360 and download it…..NOW! If you ignored my instructions, have the patch already, or just plain don’t care, you may or may not understand how epic this patch is. The patch was released around the middle of May and I have been playing the game since. I play it mostly on the PSP but the changes are the same for next gen systems. I love some things about the patch (Tager buffs FTW 🙂 !) and some things I don’t like (the return of Jin Kisaragi and his icy stare). But overall, this patch proves how amazing Aksys is as a company. Not only did they use Dustloop forums as a reference for changes, they actually did a lot of things people liked. For example, the nerfs to Bang Shishigami. All fans of CS2 pre-patched remember the walking nightmare Bang was. He had no bad matchups, amazing priority, super armor on one of his best moves, and is A FREAKIN NINJA. But with the application of this patch, he isn’t as difficult to fight. Below is a combo video, by Diamondtifa, showing his amazing abilities pre patch.
Furthermore Aksys went above and beyond and made room for a new DLC character. His name is Relius Clover and he looks really cool. In the video below people describe him as a mixture of Carl and any random character from Jo Jo’s Bizzare adventure. I can’t wait to get my hands on the character and try some sick MVC3 like combos.
This will come up in a discussion somewhere on the interwebs, so I might as well bring it up now. Capcom Vs Atlus, Fate of two DLCs. Now my stance on this is very complicated, so I will try to make this as simple as possible. I am for the Atlus/ Netherealm games method for issuing out DLC. The user chooses what they want to buy. This method may not be as profitable as Capcom’s, but it definitely allows more control in the user’s hands. For example, if I didn’t want Relius Clover (highly unlikely), I wouldn’t have to patch my game. In Capcom’s case, they package Street Fighter 4 : Arcade Edition and Ultimate MVC3 user’s have to by characters they do/ don’t like just for a rebalance of the game. Recently a youtube who goes by the name AngryJoeshow made a rant about this same subject. He only addresses Ultimate MVC3 but it is still worth the watch:
With the application of this patch, it is clear how Aksys got to where they are today. Constant interaction with the community of people who love the game, patches that actually make the game better, and kept promises of future content. I know this review is short, but there is nothing more I can say about Aksys without making you guys think I am on payroll. If you don’t have BlazBlue Continuum Shift, go buy it. If you haven’t downloaded the patch, download it already. I am proud of Atlus and you should be as well.
First let’s start with the soundtrack. The game offers a lot of cool remixes to the old school, and newer versions of mvc, mvc2, and street fighter franchise soundtracks. Some of these tracks do go unappreciated because the sounds characters make are much to loud to appreciate the soundtrack. For example, Guilty Gear is, in my opinion, the only fighting game that really has a perfect balance of stage music and character sounds. Fortunately Capcom has provided a nice gallery mode that allows game music enthusiast a chance to listen to all the tracks.
The game isn’t lacking in the graphics department at all. When I originally saw the style, I was very worried that the Capcom characters wouldn’t fit the comic book art style. However, from Amatarastsu to Zero look amazing. The art style is a new take on the water color style that appear in games like: Ultimate Spiderman and Prince of Persia 2008. I am even more impressed that the art style stays consistent; even during an insane hyper combo. Characters aside, the stages are a huge step up from mvc, and mvc2. The stages are composed of active sceneries that are detailed down to the rocks on the walls.
I hope you brought out the popcorn folks, and don’t forget the salt because I have a ton of things to say on this section. When I had first learned of the simplified, Tasunoko-esq, button system, I was highly dissapointed. Now that I have played the game for some time, I am even more dissappointed. I understood that capcom wanted to take a new approach to the way MVC3 would be played. But I find the button system the equivalent to playing ddr with your hands. Even in mission mode, most combos are composed of this ‘tap tap tap’ combos that are cool to look at but boring to execute. Mission mode further supports my point because if you into the Mission for every character, they have the same beginner combos. The only variation lies in the later combos, which only change because everyone has different supers. Unlike in mvc2, most people will be executing their combos like the next guy.
When gamers first pick up the game, everything will be new and exciting; however, this feeling quickly fades when gamers comprehend on the mechanics and realize that every match will almost be played the same way. Everyone comes out like metaknight from Smash Brothers Brawl; guns blazing and constantly repeating the same moves over and over again with little to no variation. Now if the person is winning, they will continue with their metaknight strategy. If they are losing, they turn into chungli from Super Street Fighter 4; an aggressive turtler. This is mainly due to the fact that majority of the cast can operate from almost full screen. I would go through the whole cast, but I will just mention the most popular characters: Arthur, Taskmaster, Storm, Sentinel, Modok, Magneto, dr doom, trish, hsien -ko, deadpool, and dante. Furthermore, even characters that you would think would not have this ability; have some shape or form of it. For example, Captain America and his annoying ass shield.
I do have something good to say about the fighting system, but it isn’t what most people would expect. The timing of execution is much stricter and I do appreciate that.
Ironically, this game has a pretty high replay value. But, not the kind we are used to from Capcom. He replay value of this game is more like Final Fantasy and Dragonquest, rather than Street Fighter 4. This game is great to play if you would like to collect things and unlock all the goodies in the gallery section.
Overall the game is definitely worth playing and purchasing. In the long run, this game will not live up to the hype and glory of MVC2, but it will have an amazing run. Recently Capcom patched the game. With this patch, Sentinel has lower health, and Akuma’s infinite has been removed. This shows me Capcom has high expectations for this game and that they are listening to their fans. But this in conjunction with the boring combo system, the game might end up only being enjoyable with frequent updates and content additions. Not that this is an overall bad thing. I just was expecting a more complete game; especially from Capcom.