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The realest of talk on gaming at large.

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What's The Deal With Tiers?

Seriously, what the hell is up with tiers? Do you know what a tier even is? You may not know it, but the game you are playing right now may be ran by rankings you may not even know exist. But, for those who do, they know all about the metagame, all about the game's mechanics and everything in between. You, on the other hand...well, feel free to stay in the dark. If your game has tiers, it would be to your advantage to know them in and out and what they actually represent. Or, you can keep chugging on in a game you'll never be good at. Maybe you'll be an exception, which wouldn't be surprising. Today's game tiers are more dynamic than ever and are not the same tiers they used to be in the past. Tier listings, or more commonly simplified to just tiers, are found in most games that have multiple playable characters with different characteristics. All fighting games have tiers that, to some degree, rank characters from best to worst depending on each individual character's attributes and metagame. Other games, like Pokemon, also have tiers that do the same thing. For example, in Super Smash Bros Brawl, the character Metaknight is ranked as the best character in the game, getting the top position in the game's tiers. Likewise, Ganondorf is ranked as the worst character, and thus, getting the lowest position. Though, when it comes to theorizing and everything else that goes along with the discussion of tiers, most are concerned with how they are truly constructed and how important they should be in determining the competitive metagame of a certain title. Many feel that tiers don't even exist or are even cyclic in change. This is mostly because playing as a top character doesn't necessarily mean that you will win and vice versa. That's not to say you should pick Ganondorf over Metaknight to be different. Ganondorf does suck, don't kid yourself. Get it together Kirby, when has being near him ever been a good idea? The famous Mark Twain once said,

Rapture

Rapture

 

VGC 2010 is Ours!

Updates? F*** y'all. Shit gets a new entry. Recently, I had been preparing for the Pokemon Video Game Championships Northeast Qualifier in New Jersey until I found out I couldn't go. I was devastated. Truly, I was. But, then, here is my shoutout to a one vVv Freedom. Honestly, this guy is the fucking man. Not only is he also a Pokemon enthusiast, but he agreed to bringing me to and from the tournament in order for me to compete. I honestly can't thank him enough. I'll probably let him kiss my trophy when I win it all. So, now Team Rapture is heading out to VGC Newark. The team consists of: -vVv Rapture -vVv Freedom -vVv Toxicity -vVv NoWater Toxicity will be meeting us there as another participant. NoWater is unrelated and doesn't even play the game. He won't be attending. We just made him our coach because he's cool. So, that's it for now. A lot to get done to get ready. Warstories, pics and video will be up of our awesome day at VGC. Wish us luck!

Rapture

Rapture

 

Rap Out of VGC Newark

Unfortunately, shit does happen, so I won't be attending VGC Newark. I go by the alias CCM (or CCM30) in the Pokemon community, by the way. Anyways, long story short, it got to the point where I found that I had no ride to the event. I tried to get rides from anyone, but it didn't work out. Being all the way in northwest CT and then going to New Jersey was going to be a hassle, I knew that from the start, but I hoped it would work out. I was going to run a team like this: Weavile/Lugia Kyogre/Metagross The specifics are secret, but that was the team. It went 32 straight matches with all victories and no losses on a double battle simulator that a lot of the VGC players go on. Needless to say, I knew I was going to do well. It's unofficial right now, since something could come up and I could get a ride, but the chances are slim to none. VGC Newark won't be my victory this year. However, I most certainly plan to bring myself to VGC 2011. I'm making sure I scrape everybody because of not being able to go this year. No mercy, I mean it. UPDATE: My mom said she will be able to bring me down to Long Island friday night to be in LI saturday morning, allowing me to potentially get a ride from LI to Newark early Saturday. Just a small glimpse of hope.

Rapture

Rapture

 

Grab Your Cameras: Gaming's Photo Ops

If one were to take a tour of the tremendously diverse landscapes of the gaming world, it would essentially be like tripping on acid while watching a slide-show of vacation destinations. At one point, you think you're trapped in an old western film. But just as you figure out that the trigger of a gun makes stuff die, you're dropped into the distant future with alien baddies staring you down. All of that time, however, you feel completely safe and content with the fact that you can just pause everything and go puke in the toilet if you wish. Joking aside, the truly remarkable settings of the video game world will literally suck players in this year as they have for the past several months of 2010. Bioshock 2 dragged gamers into the underwater hell of Rapture once more, while there was no escaping the epic mythical clashes of God of War 3. Still, while there has been a bit of a lull in the sightseeing as the summer months approach, be ready to grab your camera as quickly as possible. You won't want to miss some stunning photo-ops for the rest of 2010. Our first stop does indeed land us in the Wild West of old. On your left, you'll see a band of thieves kidnapping the warden's daughter, and to your right a furious race on horseback between grizzled cowboys. This is the world of Red Dead Redemption, a game that grabs you by your private areas and yanks you through the dirt and scum of the Manifest Destiny era. Every man carries a firearm and every firearm is packed with gunpowder, explosives, cannon balls, or anything else that will detach a head from a torso. Parents, please keep all children away from the handrails. You wouldn't want dirt in their eyes, or something worse, like a misfired .45 caliber bullet from a Mexican standoff. No, this was not intentional, but it's certainly worth a photo or two The world of Red Dead Redemption is nothing short of a breeding ground for the worst of the west. As the country expands to the far off oceans, the gangs of the plains follow suit. If any of you want to get off the ride here then get a move on as quickly as possible. You can run, but only the lucky can run far enough and fast enough to avoid the trampling horses of rogue banditos. The conductor has wiped the dust off of the train's wheels and we are now heading on to our next destination. On the way, please shield your eyes from the radiation bursts of the giant, tentacled monsters outside. We are passing over the planet Zebes, through the heart of Metroid: Other M. Don't be surprised to see the armor-clad space warrior Samus Aran fighting off the dreaded Space Pirates in heated battles of power and agility. This is what happens when you ask a female bounty hunter to make you a sandwich Of course, we also have on-board turrets for any passengers that are willing to help Samus fight off these creatures. She has her hands full as it is, as she just defeated the sadistic Mother Brain with the help of the last surviving Metroid in existence. Not much else is known about her newest adventure, but if you are still curious, feel free to hop aboard again and visit our Electronic Entertainment Expo destination in a few short weeks. As we exit this tunnel and enter this next area please keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle. You'll find that the skyscraper-sized monsters out in the ashes are very capable of grabbing appendages and dragging you into the core of the planet, as they have been for the past few months in the world of Gears of War 3. Don't mind the lizard people with the armor; the big guys with goo dripping out of their rib cages will be much more of a problem. Help them? They have guns, they'll be fine Over along the coastline is the "Raven's Nest", a collection of warships strung together as the last refuge of humanity against the Locust Horde and Lambent. No, we shouldn't help them. This is a tour, not a charity cruise. They have enough turrets, assault rifles with bayonets, and sawed-off shotguns. Plus, now they have some female soldiers to balance out the sausage fest. They'll be fine. Well, considering that almost half of you tourists have been either tagged-and-bagged by cowboys, mugged by spaced bandits, or dragged into the depths of hell by underground mutants...I think this will be the end of our tour. For all of those who will join us in our next tour, please be sure to bring your own equipment, some chips and Hot Pockets to snack on, and a helmet. You're gonna need 'em.

Rapture

Rapture

 

Messageboard Mechanics

It's funny how easily one of the most integral parts of an online community also happens to be the one most are, in terms of the subject, very lacking in the knowledge department. When it comes to forums, it seems like many people have enough brain power to figure out how to make an account (I may be giving some too much credit in that area), they seem to drop it all once they enter the forums. Though message boards are not the most complex structures out there, it is almost amusing how many conduct themselves with the fervor of a drunken prairie dog. Believe it or not, there is a lot that people can do wrong when part of a forum and it's extremely evident to any user with more than have of a working intellect. Naturally, when someone discovers a forum, the first thing they do is scan it as much as they can before having to sign up, and this action can be devastating, mainly because when someone finds a forum with a particular section concerning something they like, they automatically feel entitled to using said space to do whatever they want. Unfortunately for the rest of us, this includes all the emotional outbursts of a toddler that has had its candy stolen. The result is always the same. The person realizes that nobody particularly gives a damn about their opinions on a certain game. There are some exceptions, as some people do know how to conduct themselves, and I praise those people for doing so. The rest are stuck with two options. They either go the route of turning over a new leaf and starting over...or becoming an immature fuck that makes everybody cringe when they make an unfunny reference to a supposed mythical creature living in a Gears 2 map. At this moment, the range of intelligent individuals and those who are not begins to pan out. Some rise to the very top of the intellectual charts, engaging in healthy debate through the jungle of

Rapture

Rapture

 

MLG Smash Stream Fiasco

Sometimes I try really hard to defend MLG and what it does. Really hard. I don't know what it is, but MLG is seemingly cursed to have to mess at least one thing up with whatever it does. The world could hand MLG free money on a silver platter, and I would not be surprised if they left the money on a subway and a homeless Vietnam War veteran made the platter his personal bed. Nevertheless, I once again find myself stunned, jaw agape, with their latest gaming tournament, and with good reason. The tournament hosted three great games, all with extremely large and exciting crowds, but nothing truly beat the hype, excitement, and pants-wetting, tear-jerking and feverishly ridiculous action that was the Super Smash Bros Brawl competition. Too bad you had to be there to experience it. NO WAI MLGGGGGG Want to know why people were justified in being very pissed? Well, according to MLG, they lacked the permission to stream the game on their websites for all of us who could not attend. Why is that a bad thing? Well, let's just say that when it comes to making first impressions, MLG is less than an expert and more of a diseased Wal-Mart greeter. The Smash tournament was hyped to limitless heights. The whole community couldn't wait to watch their favorite Brawlers take to the first MLG Smash Bros event since Melee left the circuit after the 2006 season. Fans buzzed about the tournament for months, that is, until MLG issued their rules for the game. But, we got used to it. However, no word on the SSBB live stream, while the Tekken and Halo communities were offered HD capabilities to view their games. Ultimately, MLG was unable to get permission from Nintendo itself to stream the competition. And guess what? Instead of letting all of us know about it beforehand and keeping us up-to-date, the think tank at MLG decided to let us know one day before the tournament. But hey, at least we got a "live" blog that was updated every other hour. Come on MLG, is it really that hard to, you know, look into the future and predict this sort of stuff? We all knew Gears probably wasn't returning for the 2010, and that meant that we also knew that new games would show up. Smash was a big candidate to be on the circuit. So, wouldn't it have made sense to start working early to get permission? Even if Smash didn't show up on the circuit, it would be nice to have the rights just-in-case. Sure, MLG's precious little darling Halo 3 (nothing against Grifball, by the way) gets a full main stage and endless fan services, but hell, at least the fighting players got chairs! However, when Super Smash Bros Melee was on the circuit, they had no problem getting the game viewed by all the fans using the internet. Brawl shouldn't be any different. It's like dangling a Hot Pocket in front of a fat kid and watching him struggle to get off his sofa that looks like an elephant made residence on it. Smash has a huge community, so regardless of the situation, Brawl will always be a big game. However, that doesn't justify leaving it to the way side and not doing enough to remedy the blaring issue most fans had with the tournament. To be honest, MLG may even end up using this as an excuse to drop SSBB if it ever comes to that. Nevertheless, we all still hope to see the problem solved in the near future. If not, at least we'll still have the capacity to hear a Smash crowd so loud it can be heard on the streams of the other games. If that's not hype, then I don't know what is. What the fuck do you mean "no stream"!?!?

Rapture

Rapture

 

How To Get Known...Alternatively!

Hello there, avid gamer! Feeling down on your luck? No one wants you on their team? People booting you out of lobbies? No one answering your messages? It's okay, it's not that they hate you, it's just that you suck. That's right, all those days staying up thinking up your acceptance speech for when you are handed that big check were completely wasted! But, have no fear, as there is still hope. If you truly care about what little kids on the internet think of you, then becoming "known" is the best way to do so. However, if you really aren't good at any game at all (you know who you are), there are still other ways to make yourself look like a complete loser to the people around you. Break a Record Most competitive gamers need a lot of time to practice with their team. But, when it comes to breaking records, kiss your social life goodbye. Completely. While the only person you'll be fighting against is yourself and whoever has the highest record in the game you are playing, there's a good chance that when you are finished, no one will love you. Why? Well, once you break a record, you'll have to protect your title or people will forget you again. This usually means you'll try to make yourself feel superior to everyone else (because, for a brief period, technically you will be) until someone beats you. You do have to fit some requirements, however. Most of those who do break records lack social skills. These are the people who think eating out means food is delivered to your house, who think their basement is a sort of "man cave" and who think that it is more productive to watch reruns of Seinfeld than going outside and contributing to society. But, if you are already a lonely basement-dweller with the makings to be a record-holding douchebag, then by all means, go for it. Just don't let the door hit you on the way out. Isn't it awesome to not hold the big check? Become a Coach Then again, people still feel the need to be somehow involved with competitive gaming. Instead of, you know, contributing to society and making some money by getting a job in competitive gaming (yes, these exist), you can always go the lazy route and become a coach. Coaches are not the people that help teams get through bittersweet losses. Coaches are not the people that keep teams together. Coaches are the people that stand behind their mindless players barking irrelevant orders than his or her players probably didn't hear anyways. Grab a clipboard and you're ready to go. Chewing gum is recommended, too. Coaching is pretty much not even a valid activity, which is a great sign for all of you who can't handle actually playing the game. If you aren't good enough to play at a high level, the next best thing, people say, is coaching. But, then you'll be actually responsible for stuff. Oh mercy me, how awful is it to just think of it! You may actually have to interact with other human beings! People may actually want to talk to you about the team you are "coaching"! Be Annoying Finally, if all else fails, resort to a basic primal instinct and annoy the living hell out of every possible human being you can find that plays game. It may seem counter-productive, but you'll be surprised how fast people will begin to remember who you are. Sure, it may not be for the right reasons, but who cares? You'll be known! When people show up to tournaments, they will certainly know to look out for you! That may be true, but I'm still going to punch you To always be a good irritation to everyone around you, make sure that you leave not only a mental, but physical impression, too. Gamers will never forget the billions of questions you can ask them, but the icing on the cake is always to bump into one during a crucial point in the game. If you're experienced enough, you'll be able to pass the blame off to some little kid and watch the violence and child protective situations ensue! It'll never be easy, no matter what route you take, but remember this. If you are truly not good at the game you want to be known in, there are always other options. Be warned, however, as nothing truly beats actually being those players who are in the spotlight. But, being second banana is always nice, too.

Rapture

Rapture

 

April 2010 Gaming Preview

April showers bring May flowers, as well as give gamers another excuse to sit inside and play their favorite games all day. And to remedy any cabin fever you may have as spring begins, you'll be happy to know that the month of April certainly won't disappoint. Though much of it includes new expansions to previous games, at least we know the developers care

Rapture

Rapture

 

Disabled Gaming In The Community

Disabled Gaming In The Community The torch has been lit and the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games have begun in Vancouver, Canada. And while these talented athletes pursue dreams many thought impossible because of their limitations, many also are in pursuit of the pedestal in competitive gaming. Many of us take for granted the limitless options bestowed on us, but some aren't so lucky. Yet, luck may not be the correct term, because when you think about it, the differences are so slim that luck has nothing to do with it. Here in vVv Gaming, we have gamers from all across the world and from all walks of life. No matter what, we accept all newcomers and disabled gamers are no different. We have watched numerous gamers such as these seamlessly blend in with the community without any regard to the true differences between them and the rest of the community. And that's what is so great about it and that's how it should be, because in the end, it doesn't matter who your opponent is, he will still find a way to pump your character full of bullets and then you'll have something to talk about. Though many would see a disability as a disadvantage, there are many that would disagree. vVv TripleDigit, a vVv member who is missing part of his forearm, feels no discouragement because of his disability. "Being handicapped has indeed made me a stronger person," says TripleDigit. "It makes me push myself to do better every time I play and I enjoy that. I use it to my advantage." TripleDigit, who is passionate in art and music as well as gaming, has become an integral part of the community, becoming active and a wonderful part of the organization and he feels right at home. "People tend to treat me differently, but it really depends on how long they've known me," says TripleDigit. Still, he has continued with the application process, becoming friends with many a gamer at vVv and the rest of the competitive gaming community. But, how hard is it to truly play a game? TripleDigit is never one to put down a challenge. "Hardest thing in gaming would be the left bumper, but it's not always used, so I've gotten used to it." When it comes to his disability, he says, "When you put your mind to it, you forget that it's even there. Don't underestimate anyone who has a disability. They try harder than you think." And vVv TripleDigit is not the only disabled gamer on the rugged virtual slopes we call home. There are many, but you have probably never even realized it. When it comes right down to it, it doesn't matter what makes us difference, but that we are all gamers and that's what brings us together. An opponent is an opponent and an ally is an ally and nothing should go between the simple idea behind which we play video games.

Rapture

Rapture

 

Preparations for the World Tournament

Yeah yeah, Pokemon still on my mind. Anyways, the Video Game Championships are approaching with qualifier locations being announced in less than a month and rules already confirmed. I've been putting my team together and I think it's solid, but now it is time to put it to a real test. I found a VGC online tournament to prepare for the actual event and...I was late to signups. Luckily, however, I got a spot on the substitute list and I was called last night to participate in the tournament since one play forfeited. So, now I'm hopefully going to do as well as I think I will. Even if I get dropped by someone better, it'll help me anyways since I'll be able to make adjustments and be ready for the real tournament. So, I'll be making updates after every round and keep watching, since I'll be posting gameplay videos, too. Cheers, Rapture

Rapture

Rapture

 

Rapture picked up by vVv Above the Rest, Community Stunned

In quite possibly the blockbuster move of the century, Gears of War 2 team vVv Above the Rest has picked up vVv Rapture, a player who has won more awards in competitive gaming than Michael Jackson had before he changed faces. "We knew he was a hard guy to get on a team," said vVv Zodyak. "After being named Top Player of the Decade by numerous sources, we just couldn't miss the opportunity." vVv Rapture just recently came off winning the 2009 MLG season championship with THE NSANES, scoring more kills than anyone has in a match (a total of 82), as well as consuming the most Doritos in a minute (46.5). After leaving his team to pursue an acting career, he was sat down by vVv Zodyak, who was looking for a replacement for Stitches. "They came to me and offered me something I couldn't resist...I just can't say it in public." After scrimming the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League and traveling to Moscow to play professional homeless people in hopscotch, the team is ready to take the 2010 without fail. "vVv Above the Rest is now certainly above the world with Rapture on the team. The community should be stunned. He's the best." And vVv ReJ is not our coach.

Rapture

Rapture

 

February 2010 Gaming Preview

The first month of the new decade is almost over, and we've already been slapped in the face with more games than we can stuff our shelves with. Still, developers find new ways to continually cram new games in our consoles and, lucky for us, they will be coming up big in the month of February. February 2010 starts off strong with two big releases in Bioshock 2 and Alien Vs Predator, both coming out on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. Bioshock 2 returns us to the wonderful pipe dream of Rapture. While Rapture will still be as demolished and overwhelmingly unpleasant as before, how you traverse it will be quite different. Playing as the original Big Daddy, you'll lug around your new bling and cap some bitches with some new toys that are conveniently attached to your arm. New enemies called Big Sisters will be your main target, so making the most of your arsenal of weaponry and plasmids will allow you to open up a can of whoop-ass whenever you want. You know what's up Alien Vs Predator, on the other hand, may not actually suck as much as the name suggests. With three campaigns featuring the ugly-as-hell Aliens, devilish Predators and clearly underpowered Humans, you'll have plenty to do within the course of the game. Armed with long-range support weapons and cloaking devices, every player has a chance to do some real damage against the hellish enemies that lay before them. While the Predator species is an extremely well-armed arsenal of stealth features, the Aliens will take a more physical approach and the humans are going Rambo and bringing the common first-person shooter gameplay to the title. Hopefully this game doesn't flop, though it may not make a difference since these games continue to come out sooner or later. Next, the newest God of War...I mean, Dante's Inferno (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation Portable) will be hitting our consoles too soon for many gamers to handle. The comparisons to Sony's deity-slashing action series are more common than the crying randoms after a Gears of War 2 GB match. Dante's Inferno hopes to keep itself unique with a new view on classical venues, namely that of the first part of the epic poem: The Divine Comedy. Enemies like a gruesome three-headed worm and the Grim Reaper are only two of Dante's numerous opponents as he adventures through the several circles of Hell. Using Death's scythe and some spectacular magical attacks, the road to the devil may not leave you as empty handed as first thought. All crying randoms, please try this game out If you are looking for less gut-ripping and more mystery, Heavy Rain (Playstation 3) is definitely your game. A dark excursion to uncover the tracks of a serial killer leads normal citizens down into a twisted situation that may leave all of them completely dead. To avoid the worst doom imaginable, context sensitive events and quick-time actions will keep you alive as you investigate the world around you. Throw all you know about normal gameplay out the window. Just trying to wrap your head around the odd controls, which are mainly to give you more leverage in the unnecessarily huge amount of quick-time events, and you'll find your head being crushed by a runaway bulldozer that just happens to be rolling by while you fight some random garage owner that seems to have nothing to do with the plot. Sound crazy? That's what Heavy Rain is all about. PS3 owners, approach with caution. Heavy Rain doesn't always carry an umbrella, so you better learn how to swim fast or you'll drown like all the others that lack any sort of reflexes. But, there is no way in any shape or form that any of the previous games mentioned will beat out this one. Aha! I Found It! Hidden Object Game for the Nintendo Wii (I am not lying, that is the actual title) is definitely game of the year. Coming out for the Wii's downloadable WiiWare library, Hidden Object Game is essentially Where's Waldo and I Spy put together...except a billion times better. A new feature in the video game world called multiplayer allows you, for the first time ever, to play with your friends and spot out random objects in a random area for a random amount of points that you'll never care about. Truth be told, don't even bother trying to go for points, because your eventual object won't be finding the last object in a game board, but how to get up and turn off the console the fastest before your eyes bleed. Unless you are too good for Where's Waldo and his striped pants, don't spend the money. It's not even worth it for the people that can spare the money. No matter what console you own, games are heading your way. February is almost upon us and the gamers of our community should be perfectly fine with what the market is throwing at us. Except for anyone that has a Nintendo console. Revisit Super Smash Bros Brawl or wait for the new Pokemon games. Aha! I Found It! Hidden Object Game is the equivalent of killing yourself emotionally. Don't even consider it. Please.

Rapture

Rapture

 

January 2010 Gaming Preview

With the perils of the holidays finally over, some of you greedy bastards just can't get enough video games. Even after you (or, unfortunately for them, your parents) slaved to get the best blockbusters the consoles could offer in time for the fat man in red's arrival, there's still more work to be done. January is upon us. Sadly, we still have to wait a bit for Bioshock 2, but don't swell in sadness. Instead, sink your teeth into these titles that may quench your thirst for the rest of the year's gut-busting releases. First, Bayonetta, a game perfectly tailored for salon enthusiasts, hits the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on January 5th of the new year. Directed by gaming genius Hideki Kamiya of Viewtiful Joe and Devil May Cry fame, Bayonetta is all about hair, things made out of hair, beating the living hell out of people with hair, dressing in hair and having tons and tons of hair. At least girl lovers have something to stare at (unlike in Metroid, where the main character is a female, but dresses like R2D2). Oh, and everything else looks pretty good, too. Then again, you can always go the manly route and test your might in Mass Effect 2, the sequel to (you won't guess it) Mass Effect. Popping out of BioWare's loins on January 26th, Mass Effect 2 will grace your Xbox 360s and PCs with more gunslinging, weird looking extraterrestrials and intentionally laughable conversations. Commander Shepard is at it again, bringing back his scruffy wanna-be beard into action to save some humans and kick some ET ass. While a huge array of new weaponry is at your disposal, nothing beats the addition of more physical attacks, including bull-rushing any enemy in sight. Thankfully, however, we have some more RPG shooters heading our way, this time with some badass Borderlands downloadable content. If traversing a zombie-infested island wasn't good enough for you, then be prepared to take on Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot, which hits the Playstation 3 on January 7th and will be arriving on the PC sometime soon (the Xbox 360 installment is already out as of December 29th, but that's pretty close to January, eh?). New storage features and new Riot Mode arenas will hopefully get more people to buy an already stellar title. Hopefully if Borderlands 2 comes out, we won't see Mario Party 54...hopefully. I'm praying for no crappy games in the 2010 holiday season. While it hasn't been 40 days since the last one, Army of Two: The 40th Day heads to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on January 12th of 2010, letting players relive the third-person Army of Two chaotic cooperative action. The newest installment changes things up from the original, including the removal of the online multiplayer region-lock system. "Dynamic" gameplay has been a major selling point for publisher EA, who has boasted that these new improvements will make the game widely successful, even though these changes are carbon-copies of basic features from games released years before like Call of Duty 4. Still, nothing beats playing cooperatively with a buddy. Even if, you both yell at each other for wanting every weapon you come across. To be honest, I haven't finished Assassin's Creed 2 yet, and I'm assuming many of you haven't either, but Ubisoft was pretty bold back on the 1st of December when it announced two new DLC releases, Battle for Forli and Bonfire of the Vanities. I'm not sure what kind of secret messaging or hidden meanings Ubisoft will try to instill in us on the 31st of January, but mark my words, I swear the second mission will have something to do with fire. While it isn't confirmed that both missions will continue on some extending branch relating to the main story of the actual game, it has already been stated that Battle for Forli will continue on the story of one of the game's characters. Either way, except more free-running, throat-stabbing, and brain-crunching action arriving at the end of the month. Finally, two titles that have some sort of depression, Dark Void and Darksiders come bashing their way in at the end of this list. Dark Void, an adventure involving the Bermuda Triangle, an alien race with a very familiar name and aerial combat without planes, hits the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC on January 12th, while Darksiders ignores the PC side (sorry guys, need a tissue?) and will be released on January 5th only on the red ring of death and George Foreman's grill. Dark Void may give some of you seizures with the completely insane ways to kill people (and I don't mean stylized kills), while Darksiders puts you in the shoes of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to exact punishment on whoever started an apocalypse on the world prematurely. While both possibly controversial in their own way, Dark Void and Darksiders may eventually reinvent how we look at century-old myths only brought up by unsocial hermits. With huge releases like Bioshock 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction heading our way this February, it may be easy to overlook the month in between...unless you own a calendar or have some sort of common sense. All you gaming junkies will have plenty to stuff your face with. Whether it is more assassinating, more cooperative nonsense, more...whatever Borderlands is, or more space marines, January 2010 looks like it'll be starting off a great year in video gaming and another great year of buying expensive game discs. -vVv Rapture

Rapture

Rapture

 

Oh Yeah, These Are Still Here...

True, true, blogs section still lives. I have to thank NoWater a bit on this one. Not because he did something important, but because he did the opposite of that. Nothing. Let me explain. As many of you know, NoWater is one of my good friends here and when he went off for his trips around wherever he goes, I lost a companion on Xbox for quite sometime. Public games on MW2 aren't the same when you have the carelessness he brings and the humor he evokes. So, like he did, I took some time off from games. Hours that were dependent on my gaming were lost to other things. Namely writing, but not just that. And, as I spent less and less time on my games and more on things I enjoy just as much, I've come to the conclusion that everyone needs to step back for a bit and realize what exactly they are doing. I know many of you are fully set in what they plan to do with their lives and all of that and this isn't to encourage giving up everything you love, because you shouldn't and I didn't either. I've just realized that you seem to enjoy things more and maybe start to enjoy new things when you step back and look at the big picture. For all of you looking to be "known" and be successful in games, or anything really, make sure you are doing it right. And make sure it is truly something you love, even if it isn't what you want to do your whole life. I recently did so and now I enjoy gaming more. Not only is it because I'm on less, which allows me to enjoy it more when I do play, but I've opened myself to more things, as well. I've been writing more (I applied for vVv Content Team *hint hint nudge nudge on that application status*) and I've been considering starting training in Muay Thai or Aikido as I love fighting in itself...and I really can't box or kickbox for shit. This may just be for a new entry...because I was considering posting a story to use this blog from now on and that seems a bit out of my style. But, just go away from this from what I said. Or don't. This is more for me than anyone else.

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Update 11/2

November. Awesome. New update for all of you. First off, going through the whole staff process thingyamabobby. Merging and moving threads. A lot. Second, tournament updates. -29th Official: Website I go to holding 29th Official Brawl tournament. My matchup was supposed to be done today, but connection problems disallowed us from playing. Our matches in the first round have been moved to a deadline of Friday and I've been given a new opponent. Hope to play him sometime soon. -Special Occasion Marksman: Same website holding another Brawl tournament. This one is similar to the above, but only allows certain characters by fighting style. My first round matchup went well. I won my game 2-0 using Diddy Kong against his Samus. Close matches, but his approaches to the stage hurt him because I could just stand there and continually knock him back until he flew away so far he was KOed. I'll be waiting for all the first round matches to be done so I can continue on with the tournament. -31st Official: It is always the same website. 31st Official Pokemon tournament. Standard settings...except, a gimmick. All Pokemon have to be at least Water or Ice typed, save for one wildcard that allows for anything. My opponent hasn't gotten back to me. Deadline is tomorrow. I'm not really concerned with the Pokemon tournaments since I don't have teams ready, so I'm just putting Pokemon together and having fun with it. -20th Official: First Mario Kart Wii tournament I've been in. Should be fun. Registration still going on. -PKMN Sky Combat: Another Pokemon tournament that my friend told me to sign up for and that I'm just doing for fun. All Pokemon have to be of the Flying type or be levitating (either by species type or ability). Also should be fun. So, yeah, that's it for me for now.

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Update FTW 10/24

i liek updatez Some news on the horizon. Signed up for three online tournaments. Two for Super Smash Bros Brawl and one for Pokemon. The first is a general Smash Bros tournament. Large amount of players. No character restrictions. Just straight-up fighting. Going to be good. The second is a gimmick tournament, which allows for only characters that use projectiles. I'm pushing for Pokemon Trainer to be allowed, as he's my main, but if not, I'll stick with Fox and Diddy Kong. The Pokemon tournament is a tournament that only allows for Pokemon with Water or Ice types. I entered it just for fun, but I think I have a shot. Since I don't have a ready team yet, I'm just going to put together some random Pokemon, but whatever. There is a wildcard Pokemon that doesn't have to be Ice and/or Water, so that'll help. I can also use my strong Starmie and Weavile, who are Water/Psychic and Dark/Ice, respectively. I'll let you all know how they go. Ciao.

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In Times Like These, You Learn To Wonder How People Function

I have come to the conclusion that an unnecessarily large amount of people in our world today have less than half of a function brain. Why is this? How can I prove this? Well, I certainly did not open someone's skull and check personally. It is just that, at this point in my life, I have realized that people can be stupid. Really stupid. Frustratingly stupid. Let me run this down with you, because I feel some of you are in the same boat or are the cause of it. Today pretty much sums up exactly what I just mentioned. First, in History class, to make a point, my teacher decided to show how the younger generations don't know things they should know. So, he asked some questions, all of which were to be answered anonymously. The first question was about Obama's recent speech and what the purpose of it was. The second was a question on a certain celebrity couple and why they broke up. The third question was, if neither of the previous questions were answerable, why they were not answerable. Before I go on, let me elaborate on the anonymous factor. To be anonymous is to be unknown. When a teacher asks you not to put your name on something, generally, this means don't put your name on it. Out of a 26 student class, guess how many decided to leave their mark on it. 13. Half of the class couldn't follow simple instructions. Stupidity. And this is an AP Class, mind you. As far as the questions go, most of the class could not answer the first question. The second question was the most answered. Some people gave intricate details on the matter as if they were experts in the field and were paid to do so. The third question had almost just as much activity considering that whoever didn't know the Obama question or the celebrity question just answered with the fact that they didn't care, were indifferent or didn't know much past the scores of recent football games (considering, mind you, that "I don't care" is usually not an acceptable answer to any kind of question). Then, the day got even more god damn better. I went to Journalism class today,l which runs the school newspaper, as I do every 6th Period and did absolutely nothing. Why? I got my articles done when they were given to me. A week ago. Everyone else? Rushing to finish. Here's a thought. How about doing stuff early so you don't have to panic and rush to do it at the last second? At least give yourself some sort of time to work. Sure, I procrastinate as much as the next guy, but when I get around to doing something, I give myself more than enough time to successfully finish and look over my work. Because of my huge amount of freetime, I scanned over my articles again. Pleased with what I had written, I handed them off to my editor, who was to check them over. One of the articles was a game review (which I will re-do and post on the internet at sites like here at vVv, since I had to write a dumbed-down version for the paper). Not more than five minutes later did I get my review back with a big red X drawn over it. The editor, who isn't particularly bright to begin with and only got the position over people like me because of being a senior, told me that it was too opinionated and needed less bias. I 100% solemnly swear, in the most honest way I could ever think of, that this was my response: "Are you fucking with me?" She looked at me like I had two heads. I honestly thought she was fucking with me. It is a review. A review! The thing is meant to give opinion! That's the damn point of writing a review. People read reviews to get opinions on things, therefore, it would have opinion. Of course it will have bias. If I like a game, I'll let you know. I won't stand neutral because it isn't a news article! Not only that, it was for the Opinion section for the newspaper. She's the opinion editor! What the fuck. There, now you know that some people are idiots. Not all, but some. Living in the same world as them is hard enough as it is. Venting like this helps. Enjoy if you wish.

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Braw Update: 10/11/09

Hey cool, one month until MW2! Anyways, today I realized that I still need a lot of work in Brawl. The Battle Frontier tournament is pretty much dead, since the tournament organizer is no where to be found. In light of that, I signed up for a random 16-man tournament just for fun. I was doing pretty well until I reached the quaterfinals, where I went up against a guy from the Netherlands. Let's just say that I should have won. If I wasn't lagging because of the dude's horrible connection, I wouldn't have played like a half-retarded racehorse. I suicided once in each game because of the lag and, if I hadn't killed myself by accident, I easily would have won. Shit happens. Anyways, so yeah, still continueing to play Brawl. I need tons of work to become even remotely competitively successful, but I think I have a bright future in this. So, yeah, that's about it.

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Scribblenauts Review

Scribblenauts Nintendo DS With probably the most hype a DS game could have in recently memory, Scribblenauts filled our minds with hopes of creating a unimaginable array of new ideas and things to play with. A game that could please our every whim with the touch of a button sounded almost too good to be true. It certainly, and without a doubt, was. While Scribblenauts is definitely not the masterpiece many sought for their DS handhelds, it certainly rivals the latest DS releases at some level (which isn't much, considering I haven't bought a fairly good DS game in a while).. Still, it is almost disappointing that a game with that much flair and finesse could fall flat on its face with almost the same amount of skill. Scribblenauts is the game many of you waited for, will still play, but won't experience the same title many drooled over months ago. Scribblenauts is as simple as a game can really get at this point. Solve the puzzle, move on to the next one. Solve that puzzle, advance once more. Not that hard to grasp. That's really about it. Don't look for some sort of hidden campaign extra that sends you to the bowels of hell trying to save a damsel in distress. However, the system works well, for the most part. The levels are spread out in a fashion similar to the Super Mario Bros games of years past. Beating one level unlocks more levels to play. To advance to the next

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Brawl Update: Battle Frontier Tournament Preview

Lemme give you an update. I'm continuing with SSBB play. I figured it would be best to enter more tournaments to become a better player...so why not enter some free online tournaments at Smash World Forums? I recently registered for a 32-man tournament, which has just begun (I should be playing my first match within the next couple of days). It's one of the laundry-list of online tournaments being made every week at the forums, but I do get some prizes if I win (which I'm not banking on, but it's always good to try for the best position), including Wii Points (essentially Wii's MS Points to buy games and whatnot). The twist for this tournament, while running standard rules (like 3-stock, 8-minutes, no items, etc), is based on Pokemon, hence the title. I had to pick a certain phrase (these phrases come from the Pokemon game that describe the personality of each Pokemon) when I registered and each phrase has a certain amount of characters to choose from. When all 32 people were ready, the tournament organizer PMed everyone what characters they had to choose from, based on the phrase they picked. My phrase allowed me to pick from a decent list, but it did include one of my primary choices in matches, Fox. I went with Ice Climbers and Pokemon Trainer for my secondary choices, as those were the only ones I figured I'd stand a chance with. I'll let you all know how it goes. I still need a lot of work and I'm sure this'll be harder than the LAN tournament I won a little while back, but whatever. Wish me luck. EDIT: For now on, I'll be updating you guys on how I've done in tournaments...after they have finished. As these are made by random people and are online tournaments, sometimes they don't happen. With that in mind, previewing these kinds of tournaments may be fruitless since they may not happen. Just for future reference.

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Zombieland Review

When it comes to living in a world overrun by zombies, being lucky doesn't mean winning the lottery or getting a girl's phone number or finding a ten dollar bill on a curb. Being lucky means avoiding certain death at the hands of an insanely merciless defect of a human being. Being lucky means having people around you to help you survive and get through the day without being eaten. Being lucky, above all, means surviving in the world of Zombieland, and surviving is this world's main attraction. Zombieland is a perfect example of a comedy done right. It takes the theme and uses it perfectly to its advantage, creating a hilarious, yet surprisingly clever movie that is riddled with humor, shocks and, above all, Bill Murray. Starring a cast that fits each and every role to perfection, Zombieland isn't something you'll want to pass up. The horror/comedy starts off with the introduction of Columbus, a teen making his way to Ohio in hopes of reuniting with his family while utilizing a set of effective rules to keep himself alive (rules that are a reoccuring theme in the movie and pop up intrusively in the funniest of ways). Meeting zombie-killing badass Tallahassee and the cunning sisters Little Rock and Wichita, Columbus travels the country in search of some hope of survival, ultimately leading the group far west to the last place thought to be a zombie sanctuary. Along the way, they learn a bit about themselves, each other and many ways to end a zombie's miserable life. While you won't find Zombieland winning any awards for its simple plot, it is made up by the incredible acting that truly makes the movie that much more funny. Woody Harrelson, playing Tallahassee, couldn't have been better, while Emma Stone (as Wichita) and Abigail Breslin (as Little Rock) perfect their roles as a cunning duo doing whatever it takes to be safe. A bit is left to be desired by Jesse Eisenberg, who played Columbus. He fits the generic role of a socially-awkward teen that has been seen in movies like Superbad and could have been filled by actors like Michael Cera. He doesn't do much to make the role his own, and while he does do a good job at what he is given, it isn't something that'll stick out, save for the few spots of humor he gives (though usually sparked by other characters, namely Tallahassee). However, the movie itself is a bit misleading. The horror/comedy is more like a comedy with small bits of horror and most of those small bits are close-ups of zombies or surprising entrances of zombies. These small bits, almost all of the time, end with humor ensuing anyways, defeating the purpose. Those of you expecting to be truly scared will be disappointed, but don't expect to leave without a smile on your face. Zombieland is truly a hilarious movie that ranks with The Hangover in nonsensical humor. In the end, Zombieland is a movie that perfectly blends comedy with a zombie twist. Nothing gets old when it involves Woody Harrelson is taking out zombies with a huge array of weapons, whether it be pistols, a banjo or hedge clippers. And while Zombieland won't make you pee your pants, it may just have you in tears. With a huge amount of humor, an excellent cast and non-stop action, if you are heading to the movie theaters, don't miss Zombieland, or the zombies will get you.

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Practice Makes Perfect...But For What?

I don't know what to do with myself anymore. As a competitive gamer, I'm at a loss. I'm at a crossroads where I have many options, but I have no idea which road to go down. I have numerous games to play competitively, but what to pick? I have a problem. I expect success earlier than I will get it, if I get it. I did it with CoD4...Gears 2...now even Smash Bros. I won a stupid school LAN and now I think I'm good at the game, so then I play some legit people and get stomped and now I feel like a complete jackass. I promised myself that, by 2010, I'd have a game that I'd be going to events for. I'm hyped up about Smash Bros, but mostly because I'm trying to organize some vVv stuff for the game to add some new stuff to vVv, not because I'm good at the game. I want to play Gears competitively...that seems like my best bet, but I don't know how sturdy the game will be for next year. CoD is a viable option, but I don't know if I'd ever get to the point where I'd be successful. I really don't know. I'm leaning towards Gears right now...but I do want to stick with something and focus on it...Does anyone have any words of wisdom? At least something to cheer me up? Thanks...

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Rapture

 

Sometimes It's The Simple Things...

Like any Smash fan, I love good, competitive matches. When I want to see a good fight, I get a good fight. When I want to see a neck-and-neck fight between two extremely good players, I can usually find it. However, when I'm on the prowl for good matches to watch or past matches from years back on Youtube, I sometimes tumble upon matches that...well, don't fit the description of a neck-and-neck fight, rather, they are just really fun to watch. I won't spoil it, but it involves two players beating the living hell out of two other players in a game of Super Smash Bros Melee. It's Mew2King (Sheik) and Boss (Marth) vs. ephoenix6 (Captain Falcon) and Epsilon933 (Fox) Enjoy. EDIT: Another funny Smash match where Mew2King ends ephoenix6 in a friendly with relative ease. Mew2King (Sheik) vs. ephoenix6 (Captain Falcon):

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vVv = Domination, Even on the Local Level

Oh yeah, I'm doing this blog thing. To be honest, I've been very busy lately, so I apologize for no recent entries, but I plan to fix that, starting with this one, discussing a recent victory of mine in Super Smash Bros Brawl, representing vVv and getting that prize money. Today, one of my school's prominent clubs, "Key Club" held a Super Smash Bros Brawl tournament to raise money. This tournament, which had around 60 players, was offering only the 1st place finisher $100 for their victory. I wanted $100. The tournament was very simple. 4 stock, 8 minutes. Every match was a single-match series; Win and you move on, lose and you go home. No best two out of three or nothing. However, that did change when there was only 8 players left. The quaterfinals and semifinals had best of 3 matches, while the championship match was first to three victories. Every match was played on Battlefield, except for the championship match, which was on Final Destination. Don't worry about that. So, this morning, I got up to get there for registration at 7am. I packed my lucky Gamecube controller, which has a purple top and see-through bottom, and set off for school with my mom. After being dropped off, I made my was inside and signed in. From here, I'll describe the tournament, but only from the quarterfinals and on, since that's the only important stuff. So, 8 players left. In the quarterfinals, I was put up against some random freshman. I knew him from seeing him at lunch everyday, but that's it. I never would have guessed that he was a Smash player. So, we got setup. I quickly made sure that I made the higher player selection, since nowhere in the rules did it specify which player a participant had to be. Why is this important? Think of it like a little bit of host. The only difference is really makes is that when two players try to grab each other, the player with the higher player selection will usually get the grab. So, if I'm Player 1 and my opponent and I grab, I'll usually get it. It happens uncommonly, but it is always good to know. The match was pretty straight forward. As I had all tournament, I picked Sheik for the first of potentially 3 rounds in the series, while he picked Mario. I almost laughed, but I kept it inside. He was dominated pretty easily, but was prone to roll-dodging out of my reach, which made the game a little longer. I 3-stocked (won with three lives left) him in the first round. In the second, I again picked Sheik, while he changed to Lucario. Lucario gave me a bit of trouble because he gets stronger as his damage count goes up, but I once again 3-stocked him. Advancing to the semifinals for me. In the semis, I was placed against a friend of mine whom I have been playing Brawl with a lot recently. We were hoping we'd play each other in the finals, but this would have to do. We knew how each other played, but I hadn't played as Sheik against him as much as, say, Diddy Kong or R.O.B. This was new for him. Round 1, I picked Sheik, while he picked Wolf. He was completely taken off guard by Sheik's speed and finesse. He still put up a good fight, using his pistol to edgeguard me pretty well, but I managed to pull away with two lives remaining. In Round 2, he changed his game up by picking Sonic. To counter, I picked ROB and annoyed him the whole game with lasers and other items to throw at him. It wasn't the best choice against Sonic, since ROB is rather slow, but I kept myself focused and won, even if I only had one life remaining. Finally, I was in the finals against the person I knew I'd be playing. This kid is the president of probably the oddest club in the school, the Imagination Club. I don't know exactly what they do in there, but I know this particular member is a huge Smash advocate. In fact, he ran a Smash Bros tournament last year, but it didn't work out so well. I knew he'd be here and I wanted to play him. The kid bugs me. He's snobby, annoying and rude most of the time. We had played once before and I had beaten him easily. This was a grudge match. In the first of the best of 5 matches, I picked Metaknight. He picked Snake, but I stayed as Metaknight anyways, even though I knew MK isn't very good against Snake. It was a bad choice. The match was close, but it went to him. He started the series with a 1-0 lead. Next game, I switched back to Sheik and dominated him. Snake was no match for my agile Sheik and I 3-stocked him to tie it up 1-1. Afterwards, I played as Sheik again, while he picked Pikachu. A close match, but I 2-stocked him to make it 2-1. Frustrated, he wanted to make it interesting, picking Sheik at the same time I did. Sheik vs Sheik. Speed vs Speed. However, he didn't have as much control over her as he thought. I was able to dodge and counter his attacks and combos easier than I thought. While I did mess up trying to recover once, I finished with another victory, winning the series and the tournament. So, today was good. I got to take part in a fun Smash Bros tournament, rep vVv at a LAN (I didn't have a shirt, but I made it clear that I was from vVv numerous times), and I won $100. I'm going to see if anyone took pictures for me to post, but if not, just know that I gave people the business. Wewt.

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Because Updates Are Cool...

Let's just say this week hasn't been all that great. I got sick. My mom is sick. I've gotten into a bit of a predicament with some people, but I digress. Should be fine right now. Anyways, continuing on with this blog thingy, I'm currently working on a review for Scribblenauts, as well as a review on another game, both of which will be released in coming days. This also holds true for another entry, but I'll hold on giving out information on that one, too. So, sorry if I haven't gotten anything worth reading about out in the past couple of days, but turmoil gets to me. Thanks for sticking around.

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