-Voice of JST- #38: DOA5 Costumes Banned From Tournaments?

In this episode, I discuss how I feel about the decision of the DOA community to ‘soft ban’ certain costumes from being used in DOA tournaments, in order to improve the game’s “public image”. I give balanced views of the decision and explain the intended benefit of this decision, but also my personal gripes with it and why it’s ultimately very silly. Let me know your thoughts by commenting on this blog post, the youtube vid or wherever you see this posted.

Follow me on Twitter: @JusticeSoulTuna
Like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/justicesoultunapage
My Tumblr: http://justicesoultuna.tumblr.com/
Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/2VLNMF1SQ6ZAQ
Donation Link: http://tinyurl.com/donateJS

Voice Of JST #37: Is Winning The Only Thing That Matters?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a Voice of JST, but I decided to come back with a topic that had been on my mind for a while. I discuss the aspect of winning and achieving things in games and how without it, it’s hard to feel motivated to stick with games. Let me know what you think of my talk and be sure to share your thoughts too in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter: @JusticeSoulTuna
Like me on Facebook: facebook.com/justicesoultunapage
My Tumblr: http://justicesoultuna.tumblr.com/
Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/2VLNMF1SQ6ZAQ
Donation Link: http://tinyurl.com/donateJST

I Received A Gift! New Headset From My Amazon Wish List!

2015-02-20 11.58.13To my complete surprise and joy, I was gifted something that was on my Amazon Wish List! I got the headset you see in the above picture, one I’ve wanted for a while. It was gifted to me by none other than this really cool dude I know on Twitter, @FGFatacon. I was really overwhelmed that he’d buy this for me, especially since I’ve needed a new PC headset for years. I wish there was some way I could repay him! Maybe one day. Still, I really want to thank Fatacon for the gesture. For a while I felt like there were no surprises in my life and things were just really dreary. This was a much-needed boost. Thanks man =] And hey, if you wanna help me out and get a potential shoutout, you can donate/gift me to if you want. Links are down below.

Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/2VLNMF1SQ6ZAQ

Donation Link: http://tinyurl.com/donateJST

Support Me For More Content!

JST 2015 proto 6SHILLING TIME.

I don’t normally do this, but since it’s something I do moderately care about, i thought I’d share it. Obviously most people who follow me know that I’m a game journalist and YouTuber, and I usually upload FGC related content. You also might know that my capture card sucks and I’m not always up to date with games to play/talk about. As such, if you wanna help me you can doante to my Paypal or buy me something on my Amazon wish list.

Any donations/purchases will be announced on my Twitter and maybe tumblr too, to let you guys know. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard my social media pages with links, but every so often I do like to beg, haha. If you want to support all that is JusticeSoulTuna, then consider donating!

Amazon wishlist: http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/2VLNMF1SQ6ZAQ
Donation Link: http://tinyurl.com/donateJST

Internet Arguments: An Exercise In Futility

1939825_770865032952042_3367443899168101976_nRecently I’m beginning to feel like there’s no real purpose to arguing with people online. Just like when I finally realized I can just mute people on Xbox Live, I’m beginning to lean more towards ignoring people than engaging in any kind of keyboard warrior shouting match. Sure there’s some important conversations to be had, but they have to be done in the right ways. Places like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are just breeding grounds for ceaseless bickering that has no real goal. And that’s my problem.

I used to think that some kind of logical ultimatum could be reached by talking to people online. I’ve been naive. Fact is, you’ll meet very few people willing to have an actual, logical conversation. Twitter is by far the worst place to try to do so. 140 characters per tweet lacks nuance, and long strings of conversations through tweets are tiring. I learned that the hard way when I first joined Twitter. In the end, it boils down to one person’s opinion versus another person’s.

The rough part too is that sometimes you get in too deep. You’re having these jousting matches with people who, most of the time, you can’t see or hear. Furiously typing away as you try to one-up each other with words. Sometimes the personal investment you put into the argument might get to you, especially if it doesn’t go your way. I remember many occasions where my head would feel dizzy at the sheer ferocity of the argument itself. All to what avail? To either agree to disagree, or be faced with their maddening ignorance? It’s a legitimate waste of life.

I’ll admit, there are some times when you can have a fair and decent debate with someone online, and hey, maybe you’ll learn something too. These worthwhile experiences are few and far between and I could hardly say it’s worth the trouble just to get them. There must be something wrong with us as humans that we feel the incessant need to argue with someone about something they likely have their minds convinced about. It’s a bit of a vice, I know. But honestly these days, I don’t see the point. Arguing with random internet strangers is usually a waste of my time, intelligence and (in extreme cases) emotions. I find my time better spent finding things I enjoy and sharing those, than dedicating any attention to some ignorant fool.

ASM1: A Bigger Nightmare Than The Bal 27?

Asm1Now, don’t get me wrong: the Bal 27 was pretty hard to deal with in its time. But even before the nerf, I never felt like the Bal 27 just stopped me from being able to play the game. Gun fights with it actually felt do-able, as long as you kept your wits about you and had good movement. Honestly though? The ASM1 makes me feel like I never get a chance.

See, people complained about COD Ghosts cause of the ‘time to kill': basically the average time it takes a player to die in a gunfight. In Ghosts, it was roughly a second or two, so really unforgiving, but that’s just it though: nearly every gun could do it. That was Ghosts’ whole meta-game, dying instantly meant you had to be really careful, and personally I enjoyed it. The much more in-your-face, aggressive nature of Advanced Warfare is a whole new pace and adding a longer time to kill meant we could enjoy engagements. However, as well all know, any gun (or guns) that effectively break the rules of the meta have always stood out. COD4’s Ak 47, MW2’s UMP45, MW3 Type 95 (pre-nerf), Black Ops II’s MSMC and so on. I feel like the ASM1 is the next in that series.

I should make it clear that I’m not the type of guy to get mad at gun balance or think that anything should be nerfed most of the time. I love strong features in games, be them top-tier characters or good guns. I don’t even hate the ASM1, I use it myself for ranked matches and sometimes in general matches. I don’t even necessarily think that the ASM1 should be nerfed at all, but the unfortunate truth is that the balance is lop-sided. The AMS1 has the highest damage out of all the SMGs, which in itself isn’t a big deal: the problem is how despite its weaknesses compared to other SMGs, it somehow bypasses all that and wins engagements most of the time. Even against the Bal you have somewhat of a chance, but the ASM1 kills you almost instantly. It feels like I never even get a chance to shoot.

Obviously, there are some factors to consider regarding the AMS1’s dominance. Players could be much better now than the first few months of the game, there can be connection issues, and sometimes people get clean shots. However the sheer consistency of the gun makes it hard to think any of those are the real issue. Sometimes it IS the gun and not just random factors.

I’m sure Sledgehammer Games is considering what to do with the ASM1 (and probably game balance as a whole) at the moment, cause I know they’ve been keeping a close eye on both the competitive and casual side of the game. The problem with nerfs in any competitive game is how it merely shifts the tiers; one thing loses the top spot and another one takes its place. For all we know the AK12 could be top-tier next patch, then we’d have to deal with that, haha. But for now, I think the ASM1 need some fine tuning to adjust the oppressive nature of its power output.

I don’t mind a challenge and I don’t mind top tiers, but when something makes a game nearly unplayable, even if you’re using the same gun, then something’s got to change. Hopefully the change will be for the better, because I think the game is fairly balanced for the most part. I still want the ASM1 to be good and use-able, just like the Bal still is, but something needs to be done about it effectively stops players in their tracks.

Ultra Weekly Highlights #10

Oni SuperThis week’s episode is mainly from matches against a friend who is, let’s just say, a lot more random that people you’d meet usually. There’s some cool stuff I manage to pull off during the matches, but there’s also some head-scratchers in there too. The second to last clip is definitely the most impressive this time, so look out for that one.

The Uncanny Cake of Unfamiliar Experiences

Pound_layer_cakeI can’t remember who it was exactly that said it, but someone on the internet made an interesting analogy using cakes. Yes, cakes. They said that we often claim we want new things and new experiences, kind of like wanting a new cake than the usual one we always eat. However, when we do get that cake, we find that we don’t quite like the taste and we realize that we actually crave the familiar feeling of the old cake. I’m likely paraphrasing (and possibly butchering) the good analogy they used, but the message itself was intriguing. I at least like what they meant by it.

It’s true to an extent, that we try to find new experiences because either we get tired of our current one or we want a change of pace. But sometimes when we try the new thing we end up not enjoying ourselves, ironically because it’s not like the old thing. This can apply to movies, games, TV shows, music, anime or whatever; we all have our comfort zones and rarely do we step outside them. Upon doing so we quickly understand just how uncomfortable being outside of your comfort zone is.

Sure, we all claim to hate tropes, stereotypes and cliches, but a lot of people rely more of them in their entertainment than they’d care to admit. Of course the guy saving the day and getting the girl is tired and old, but imagine your shock/horror when instead everyone dies at the end, leaving you unsatisfied. Now, I’m not saying that artists and storytellers shouldn’t strive for unique stories, far from it for me to say that everything should be played safe. However, ‘different’ doesn’t automatically equal good, and writing a narrative that sits outside of most people’s comfort zones won’t always go down well with people. It takes masterful execution to accomplish something that’s both different and satisfying.

I don’t know the exact science for it, but there’s probably a point in all our lives when we eventually find what best suits us. Whatever cliches or stereotypes we tend to gravitate too might just stay locked for a long time. We like the familiarity of the cake we consume all the time, and try as we might it’s hard to get away from it. Sometimes we fully accept new cakes and consume them just as easily, and they soon become part of what we like. People are complex, emotions aren’t always set in stone and we’re free to change our minds about things. The length to which we think we’re willing to go to gain new experiences is surprisingly limited. I’d even go as far to say that what we want are new experiences that are different enough that it’s worthwhile visiting, but familiar enough that you feel at home with them. As I mentioned before, it’s hard to execute such a feat but if it can be accomplished then you’ve found yourself from gold. Until then, don’t hate the familiar cake, sometimes it’s all you need.

Getting Serious In Competitive Gaming

For the longest time I never cared much for being too serious while playing competitive games. Mainly because, at the time, I was barely good enough to handle myself, never mind playing on a competitive level. As time went on and my general skill across several different game genres went up, I began to get that competitive edge that I never knew I had. That I never knew I wanted.

I’ve played fighting games for years but I’d always just try to play for fun without getting in too deep. Truth is, I’d always been competitive deep down but I didn’t want to admit that. Admitting it would be appearing as a sore loser during play sessions with friends, while simultaneously hurting their enjoyment by being ‘too good’. I know that sounds odd, but as a kid no one wants to be in that scenario. Called ‘cheap’ or ‘unfair’ just because you beat them at a game. It’s why I kind of held myself back, believing that I could always have fun as long as I never really tried.

Truth is, I was deluding myself. I, more than anyone, wanted badly to win. All the time. I wanted to be better than people, I wanted to strive harder and achieve more. But from years of being made to feel bad in school for being ‘smart’ or ‘strong’, you can imagine how it affected me. I also didn’t want people to feel bad, so I constantly let myself be the underdog so everyone else could have fun. Sad thing is that it meant I wasn’t having fun. It meant that I was always losing and watching others do what I wanted to do. I’d have never said it then, but it almost made me want to stop playing games.

Now, before you think I’m being pompous, I don’t presume to say that I was a perfect player. Not at all. I had the capacity to grow and the drive to win, I just never utilized it. If you want to see how bad I used to be at fighting games you can just go to my YouTube and go to all the early BlazBlue and SSFIV replays. I’ve come a long way since then. It’s part of why I’ve decided to not take those vids down: as crappy as they are, in terms of quality and gameplay, they’re a reminder of my progress. So yeah, I wasn’t the best at competitive games for a long time, but I wanted to be better. I wanted to win.

My main custom character in AW. Got the loot variant Bal 27 too. We unfair now.

My main custom character in AW. Got the loot variant Bal 27 too. We unfair now.

These days I spend a lot of time grinding it out in each game that I can, trying to figure out how to develop my own unique style, as well as learning from others. I finally decided to jump into Ranked play in Advanced Warfare, although it’s still stuck on pre-season at the moment for Xbox 360. I’ve enjoyed playing AW normally, just like in other CODs, but I couldn’t help but feel like there was something I should be doing that I just wasn’t figuring it out. It then dawned on me that I felt that I was ready to tackle the truly competitive side of COD, so I began to play ranked matches. I played a few ranked matches in Black Ops II, but only for a short while. What really drove me to do it was the confidence in my abilities after a long history with the COD games. As my followers likely know, I’m a huge COD fan, and I buy each game every year. With Advanced Warfare, by my 3rd prestige I felt like I’d already come to grips with the new mechanics and the new meta, and it was time to test my skills properly.

After years of playing COD and being consistently decent, improving in gun skill and learning how to win engagements, I needed to know if I really had that competitive edge. It’s nice to see my name at the top of scoreboards in public matches sure, but you can only know how good you really are when you go up against others players who are playing to win seriously. So far, Ranked play has been very enlightening. It’s had its ups and downs, mainly to do with players leaving the match and causing the player counts to be uneven. There’s also the fact that I’m playing solo; I don’t have a team or clan to play with, which means I can’t reasonably rely on people and there’s a chance they’ll leave the game. Regardless, I’ve been trying my best to finally get serious with COD after years of just kind of leaning back. I don’t think I’ll be ‘MLG pro’ or whatever, but I’ve always wanted to see just how far I can go against skilled players.

I wouldn’t say that I’m completely serious in all the games I play. In games like League of Legends and Smite, I’ve dabbled in PVP (mainly in Smite, Arena is REALLY fun), but for the most part I take it easy and just enjoy fighting bots. I think that in time I’ll begin to play more seriously, with experience and hopefully with a better laptop too, haha. I’m hoping I get a Xbox One eventually because I’ll definitely want to play Smite on there, especially since I already use a 360 controller for the PC version. It’s a bit hard to play PVP on my laptop due to the hardware not keeping up with the action. Not much I can do about that for now.

So in general, I’ve always had the competitive spirit but I only recently felt the motivation to pursue it. With fighting games, I may enjoy making combo videos and compilations but I also strive hard to be decent enough to win consistently. I can never rest easy on my skill, there’s always more to do. And with other games like COD and Smite, I tend to play casually but I am getting more into the competitive side there too. For me, it’s not necessarily about being the best or winning tournaments; I want to be able to get to the point where, regardless of if I win or lose, I can be content with how I played and the progress I’ve made. That’s the satisfaction I need.

The Careless Celebration of Ignorance

10369922_499953376815856_6850768224922527259_nI once heard someone say to me that ‘ignorance is celebrated’ and I didn’t quite get what they meant. Call it my serious naive attitude, but I still had some general amount of faith in people and I just assume people were ignorant either by circumstance or a lack of knowledge. I’ve soon come to find that the truth is much more sinister.

A saw a guy once that I really respect, I think his name was Tyler King. The guy was in the comments section of an article, arguing with tens of people at a go. He wasn’t swearing, being belligerent or disrespectful at all. He calmly, with a sense of witty banter, explained things to them and debated rationally whilst they were assaulting him with illogical assertions. I remember feeling overwhelmed; it was phenomenal, to see someone casually argue with that many people and keep his cool. I always hated being outnumbered in arguments and I always back out when I know it’s just a strength in numbers battle. But man, he really inspired me. To an unrealistic standard. I do not have that level of patience.

I thought, once again being naive, that all it took was for people to be aware of the information for them to be enlightened. That all you need to do was inform someone of information so that any misunderstandings are cleared up. But in the past year or so I’ve met people who willingly choose to ignore said information and just continue to be illogical. People actively choosing to reject information either because it’s inconvenient to their own beliefs or they refuse to accept that as the truth. And I’m not talking favorite flavors of ice cream here, I’m talking about cold, hard facts. And then, these people act smug, they act smug in their intentional disregard for the truth, and proceed to treat you like a fool. Ignorance is quite literally celebrated.

A friend of mine in the past once said to me that ‘You used to be a nice guy, but you just stopped trying’, referring to an attitude change I underwent during my teenage years. To be honest she was kind of right, just perhaps for different reasons. I used to be called a nice guy because I was welcoming, open and understanding, and even those who acted out-of-line I would treat with a level of respect. Funny, considering a friend of mine at the time told me that I was ‘too nice’. Conflicting though that point may have been, but that too I can agree with. I naively let people fool me into thinking there was more to their idiocy than, well, idiocy. I used to think that the statement ‘people are stupid’ was a callous and cold disregard for humanity, so misanthropic in its nature that I rejected it outright. Simple fact is, a lot of people are just stupid. And there’s no amount of research or scientific information that could change that.

The moral of the story is that for me, my trust in people is at ground zero. Destroyed by the faith I placed in people that was casually used to slap me in the face. These days everyone starts off with an equal level of reliability until they prove otherwise. If someone’s cool and helpful, that’s good, I can rely on them to be a certain way. If not, then they might as well not exist. I may joke about it, but I’m not at all misanthropic. I wouldn’t spend so much time on making YouTube videos, writing game articles and posting images if I didn’t want people to enjoy things I share. I do believe in the capability of people to do the right thing and be informed. The sad thing is though, I’ve been horrendously let down by so many people in recent months that it’s hard to know who to look up to. Deep down I always sort of felt that it was all too perfect, that you find someone who shares a common interest and inspires you. But the gap where you end and they begin is much wider than you think and once you notice it, it’s hard to ignore. I try now to lead by example and at least be the only person to say the logical thing, even if no one else chooses to.

I may still respect Tyler King but I sure as heck can’t follow his example. I’m too angry and frustrated to afford people that level of leeway and I’ll never let people make a fool out of me when I know they have no intention of wanting to learn the truth. Life is a series of bullcrap by bullcrap artists, and the eager lap dogs that eat it all up. All I can do is continue to spread upright ideologies and find people who have common sense to converse with. This doesn’t mean I’m setting up an echo chamber, I aim to debate and even argue with my intellectual rivals within reason, because I actually get some kind of weird enjoyment out of that. However, if someone so much at hints at being a clown then they will be treated as such. No more mr. nice guy, as it were.

And that’s it really. There’s not much more I can say beyond that. I once believed in people so much, but now I have next to nothing to believe in. I used to be incredibly accepting of things but now I’m so apathetic to it that I can’t even be bothered to give it the time of day. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m handling things in the most optimal way but as a human it’s simply a coping mechanism. What can I say, I fully admit that I’m not the paragon of peaceful virtue I once used to delude myself I was. Now I’m just another dude on Twitter that rants about stuff that’s never gonna change. It’s why I put all my effort into producing things I can be happy with and proud of. Like I mentioned earlier, if there’s no one to look up to, then I’ll do my best to not be like them and act in a manner that is right and fair. So at least then I can be at peace with myself even if I don’t trust others. It’s all I can do.