14 Year Anniversary of the Sega Dreamcast

9 Sep
English: An NTSC Sega Dreamcast Console and PA...

English: An NTSC Sega Dreamcast Console and PAL Controller with VMU. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good evening gamers! On my social media feed, I was reminded that today is the 14th anniversary of the launch of Sega Dreamcast. This system was the beginning of the 128 bit era, and was the first console to embrace online gaming in a real way. This console, which I bought on the launch date with money from my summer job, would provide me with countless hours of entertainment.

Ah, the memories. Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure 1, and MK Gold were my preferred games at launch.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many man hours I logged into all of these games. Especially Soul Calibur. This was my introduction to a full fledged, 3D fighting game. One of the best fighting games ever was also the highlight of the system early in its life. Considering the consoles short life span, it had a great number of games. From Jet Grind Radio, to Space Channel 5, to Shenmue, to Marvel vs. Capcom 2, this system had some awesome game selections.  The first time I played Quake 3 Arena online was such a great experience (I did NOT win by the way) that I kept coming back for more.

The influence of the Dreamcast, with its online focus, encouraged me to go in the direction of the Xbox. Although it was short lived, the Dreamcast did have a strong influence on the game industry. What was your favorite Dreamcast game?




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Opinion & Analysis: Should Gene from God Hand been in UMVC3?

2 May

1st off God Hand is my FAVORITE action-beat em up in the PS2 era if not of all time next to Ninja Gaiden. I was so happy to see Okami and Joe make it to UMVC3 and I and others put alot of proof how fun Gene would be in the game and got Seth Killian and many other Capcom staff considering him, even the producer of the game Ryota Niitsuma. After seeing he was was two character slots away from being in, I was saddened.

After still hearing about how awesome he would have been cast in UMVC3. I decided to quickly analyze how he would be in the game against the top team in the game.
In a nutshell – I dont think Gene from God Hand would have been a popular choice for pros eventhough I LOVE the character. He would not have good air mobility and no invincible attacks outside of supers. He’d have to switch styles mid-game and may have had head-splitter and head-slicer as special move projectiles, although low durability.
Against the deadliest trio in the game, currently Morrigan Vergil Doom. He would get crushed like all the rest.
Gene would be able to cancel his moves if he got a hit with that HeadPan cancel from the Japanese version, but itd have to be carefully balanced, because it was broken in the Japanese version and never made the states.
Morrigan’s fireballs would eat him alive. He has no invincible moves other than that sway but he cant move while doing it, so if her fireballs are slow enough, it might hit Gene on recovery. It’s essentially like Joe’s Viewtiful Dodge.
Everyone can lose to Doctor Doom. He’s too ambiguous.
Same with the selfish brother Virgil. Put on “that belt” and your party is OVER.

All in All. He’d be another Iron Fist. Dashing in, no air mobility but Gene’s launcher would connect properly.
His supers would be awesome looking but he just would not be able to compete with the Big Boys/Gals.
The terrors of the game control a HUGE portion of the screen at all times for free. Something Gene can not do on offense or get around defensively.
I love ya Gene. R.I.P.

God Hand fans…rebuttal?

Chris G – Most Hated Man or Most Brilliant?

22 Apr

For let’s just say, a looong time Justin Wong was synonymous with top Fighting Game Player. The Justin Wong vs Daigo video from Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike and his matches against him in Street Fighter 4 put him to the spotlight even more. Like Christopher Gonzoles (aka Chris G) he is a master of multiple Fighting Games and excelled greatly at them, but there is one key difference now. NYChrisG as he is known has now, effectively replaced Justin Wong as the go-to guy when it comes to taking a tournament game. Interestingly that both dominant players are from New York City.

Japanese Pro Fighting Game Player, Umehara Daigo used to come America and everyone used to be afraid or excited to fight him in Street Fighter 4 but has since declined in winning in the states since 2010. So who is the new guy everyone scarily respects? Justin Wong? Daigo’s long time rival? Even though Justin Wong places well in tournaments and still a extreme force; Chris G is the man everyone fears now. Usually when he is in a tournament he’s the guy to beat! Whether it’s King of Fighters, SkullGirls, Injustice, Street Fighter, and especially Marvel 3. He’s a jack of all trades and deserves respect for placing top 3 in all of those games at Civil War this weekend. (4th place for SkullGirls).

He constantly practices key strategies to winning and some of us dont respect that? He doesnt always just play the best characters, he has demonstrated that he can go random and kill most people in the room. He knows the core mechanics of the game and how to read opponents. That’s exactly how a pro should think. His goal is simple: Just like Ryu…to get ‘better’ said in a tweet after Civil War. Which means his quench may never end.
The reasons why he wins so often…is he cheap? Or is he just that damn good?

Injustice: Gods Among Us – 1st Tournament Impressions

18 Apr

In the past year we have seen many fighting games released and have week 1 tournaments that didnt go very far in popularity, as in entrants to the actual tournaments weekly. Ive been paying VERY close attention to all of the media released for Injustice: Gods Among Us for months. From the celebrity showcases to the combo videos. Now we see how this game is in the wild and ofcourse, Day 1 Tournaments.

As in most 2D fighting games Zoning aka long range poking is pretty strong week 1. Injustice is no exception. Somethings that could deter that would make the game more official. In MvC3 I understand that if Magneto had his actual comic powers it would break the game.
But for the life of me I dont know why Bullets work on Wonder Woman, Doomsday and Superman. Or why Harley, Joker and Catwoman have the same vitality as them.

Here are few thing’s I would add to give the game more -Flava-
#1 No Zoom Out when characters are far. The characters move too stiff to naturally (aka obvious) get in close.
#2 Some sort of KO. They way they look when they get KOd now with all the flopping around looks just ugly. I nice ‘KO’ would much cooler
#3 Darkstalkers like health regeneration. It would create more incentive to GET IN and get the job done instead of just playing around with them. If there was a small regeneration of health the action would be much more intense.
#4 Clash system: Make it so the winner gets health AND keeps their meter. Why? Because just health is not enough to make comebacks or for the opponent to take seriously. Using all your meter for a comeback makes it that much harder. The action should be TENSE!!
#5 Zoners have their health reduced or their attack lowered. Doing only 2 moves across the screen should NOT be rewarding! And you can not Clash during those stray hits, so it’s another advantage they have to keep comebacks from happening to them.
#6 Cosmetic Change. Make the characters name more stylish. The Courier Style text is not really appealing.

SkullGirls – Side Game 4Ever

17 Apr

SkullGirls recently had a fundraising drive to insert an unfinished character into their game after the team was mysteriously laid off several months after the game released early last year. Everyone on the SG’s team was VERY pessimistic about it happening, as it is a very long and expensive process to insert a character and their moves and stage to make them fit with the rest of the cast to not ‘break’ the game. So they went to IndieGoGo to ask the fans for donations. What happened next surprised everyone! They needed $150K total for 1 character in 30 days….they ended up funding FIVE characters and a slew of other goodies for the fans within that same time period. Over $830,000 was donated from countries all over the world. With that kind of money you’d think the scene would be thriving with new blood itching to play…you’d be wrong.
I was mused to make this article after seeing a sign on stream at a major fighting game tournament. “$830k / 8 entrants”

The more popular games at major tournaments average around 80-150 entrants per game. Having only 8 is…um…a nice try. I thought long about why nobody is playing this yet received so much support financially. The support part is a mystery but the former, I can speak of from several experiences with the Lead Designer himself; Mike Zaimont
Forget the fact that the combos take forever and how virtually every move is safe (No Risk). The GroundWork for the game is where the game was doomed from the start. Whoever is in charge of making a game with a tiny roster into a Vs-type fighting game should not be making games.
Sure it’s a good idea when you have alot of characters but forcing it into a game with a small roster just because you like that game alot is unprofessional and laughable.

One of the things Mike Z (Lead Programmer) says as a defense as to why things are crazy and unfair in SkullGirls is, “Well, Marvel 2 (MvC2) had it” Instead of making SkullGirls into it’s own game he tries to mimic the ‘BROKEN’ (aka OverPowered =  obvious best characters, others are ignored for tournament play). MvC2 was famous for blazing fast speed and unforgivable traps and patterns. If you are winning, it’s a one player game; the other person should not be moving. With SkullGirls, he basically made a game where the game would be stale VERY VERY QUICKLY!
Only 8 characters with up to 3 of them onscreen in a match, with unlimited screen time with streams and YouTube. Then you have the ‘Broken’ ones dominating high-level play from Day 1 until now even after a patch to make them fairer. Makes it so nobody really wants to play it if A) You know what works 0r B) You know you cant get around it or C) You are not skilled or hungry enough to do a 100% life draining combo on someone. For Street Fighter Fans, it kind of like having everyone be Super Turbo Akuma in the game with more skill but just as deadly at all angles.

The aforementioned ideas are the reasons why it can never be on the main game roster. If the game was more lenient, simpler to control. One on One. If the all the characters had fair options. Marvel3, Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Persona Arena, work well because a large amount of the cast has options to save them. Eventhough SG has a very small roster if they get put in a predictable yet inescapable situation, the game is over. NOT a fun feeling! This game was modeled after Guilty Gear with really long combos and had a combo-breaking move called Burst but Mike Z says “[SG] doesnt need a Burst” Not why but, that’s all… Combos usually eat up 20 seconds. I bet none of you reading this have the fortitude to sit to yourself and count to 20 slowly in your head. That’s how long the average combo is. Imagine that feeling match after match? Will you get bored of it?

Will the new characters and upcoming patch to the game revive interest at tournaments? Only time will tell.


Capcom’s Most Popular Character Poll

10 Apr

I decided to write this after facing my MILLIONTH shoto (Ryu and his tweaked clones) in Sf3 3rd Strike Edition. Im up at 5am and as usual Japan is picking their beloved shotos as if there should be no other characters in Fighting Games. – Salty Rant


So in the recent Character Poll for Capcom: Ryu Ken Akuma and Chun Li were all top, over all of the other series’ veterans. No surprise actually. Ryu is the origin and the other shotos are staples in current fighting games and Chun Li is ALWAYS in the same game as Ryu whenever he fits in a game. I dont know why Capcom had this poll? It shouldnt matter what we fans think when it comes to the next fighting game. They should just build a engine around Ryu like they usually do and balance the cast around the new engine and balance out the game so Ryu doesnt spam the screen with fireballs and dragon punches and call it a day.

It was said the list encompasses both regions thoughts on who they like most. Japan influenced Akuma to be in the new VS series of fighters over EVERY OTHER CHARACTER in Capcom’s library. If you know Japan, you know they believe change to be scary! So it’s no surprise the tweaked palette swaps are sitting atop the thrown of bodies. It shows that even though a character maybe fun or well balanced or good for the surprise factor. Those 4 at the top are always a shoe-in for as many fighting games as they can be in.

Pot Splitting/Throwing Matches

10 Apr

1st of all. Pot Splitting is when 2 players at the finals of a Fighting Game tournament match decide before the match to split the winnings. Usually ist’s a 70/30 split for winner and runnerup respectfully, but if they pot split they both get 50/50 regardless of who wins or loses. That sounds good for them not to even matter about the final match but it mostly comes at the expense of the viewers on stream. Most of them can tell when players are not trying their best. When a viewer knows the combo or move could have landed but then the player decides not to go through it’s awkward and not the reason people look at a final match. If people want fixed matches they can watch Sports Entertainment.

Fighting Games now as of 2013 have reached a new level of sponsorship. They are getting more money thrown at them than ever before and if players are gonna do this lazy, drop combo stuff, they should be penalized. This is now for more exposure and more money, for that…there should be no excuse why you shouldnt play your best! If that player is sponsored vs the same team member sponsored. Kick his butt!!! Then you will get more notoriety and you will become more valuable when your contract is expiring.