Watch Me Mess Around In the Black Ops 3 Beta!

I FINALLY got a Xbox One this week, just in time to play the Black Ops 3 beta. It’s really fun and I’m content to buy the full game when it launches. I’ve been playing as Outrider, like everyone else, and a bit of Ruin on the side. Below is a bit of gameplay I’ve put together. Hope you like it!


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My First Experience Watching A Let’s Play

Kingdom-Hearts-kingdom-hearts-keyblade-wielders-30842897-1600-1200The first “let’s play” I ever watched wasn’t even called a let’s play at the time. Back in the day, all gameplay videos were “walkthroughs”, even if the person was playing it for the first time. I imagine this was also before people were even aware of the appeal of let’s plays, given that this was long before the uprising of YouTube, especially for gaming.

It must have been around 2006 when I popped onto Gamespot to see gameplay videos of Kingdom Hearts II. Back then, I used Gamespot to see not only previews/reviews, but also user submitted content such as combo videos and walkthroughs. It was then that I stumbled across a group of players playing KHII for the first time, about 3 of them if I recall correctly, and they were giving witty (but not forced) commentary during the gameplay.

What really engaged me about this was that it wasn’t just some paid reviewer talking over the game, or some PR agent trying to sell it to you; it was gamers, just like me, enjoying the game for the first time. This was particularly enjoyable for me because it reminded me of all the times I would spend with cousins and friends, playing/replaying games. We’d done this for games on the N64, Gamecube and PS2. It was how I was introduced to Smash, Mario Kart, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and other Gamecube games.

So, in the spirit of nostalgia for my couch gaming experiences, I was immediately attached to this “walkthrough” of Kingdom Hearts II. See, I didn’t have the game at the time, and my only portal into the game was through the gameplay from the users on Gamespot. Once again, this was pre-YouTube’s gaming boom, so I didn’t have anywhere else to find the content. That said, once gaming on YouTube started to build up a year or so later, I’d spend several after school days watching gameplay of Sonic Adventure 2 and Kingdom Hearts II.

These days, let’s plays are a thriving business which pull in thousands of views and generate tons of revenue content for YouTubers. As such, it’s a big competitive market and regular joe schmoe can hardly get anywhere without any luck. It’s tough, for sure, and even with my attempts at making let’s play content I’ve only received relative success. I can also see some people’s issues with let’s plays, given how saturated they are now, and how a lot of them aren’t even good.

Personally, I can’t hate let’s plays as a concept, given my history with them and what it means to me. Like with anything else in life, there’s good and bad things about it, so I don’t like all let’s plays or let’s players. However, I greatly admire those that made it something with great gain; being paid to play games and be with a community of dedicated fans is a dream of mine. Perhaps, most gamers’ dreams, to be honest.

Well, now you know my history with let’s plays and why I enjoy them so much, and why I have half-assedly (but earnestly) attempted some. Hopefully, with the newer consoles it’ll be easier for me to push out more content like that. Please look forward to it!


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Counter Strategies

Bu1_f50IgAAOcBaOk, so let’s be honest: games aren’t always well balanced. Even if the developers try their hardest, something is always going to be more powerful than everything else. And that’s fine. It makes things exciting, and it gives people something to strive to beat.

If you feel like you’re either above using “overpowered” things (which is silly. pride hurts, friend), or you’re not comfortable with using that thing (which makes more sense), then no problem. There’s more than one way to beat the best, and it doesn’t always involving copying them.

A counter strategy is simply one which involves thinking of how to defeat an element of a game without using the thing itself directly. It’s foolish to think that by simply picking the powerful feature you’ll be good, because ultimately it can only do so much without being in the hands of a skilled player. Instead, ponder on what else in the game seems viable.

Guilty_Gear_Xrd_SIGN_01

In fighting games, counter picking is a strong part of competitive meta

There’s a belief that using the best feature means that there’s no way of being stopped, but this is incorrect. Sure, it’s difficult to go up against it, but it’s not impossible. Actually, what tends to happen is that players fall into a false sense of security with their position. If they’re rarely challenged, or they get a ton of mileage off of the powerful feature, they might overlook other aspects of the game.

This is where you come in. Experiment with all other aspects of the game and keep in mind this: what’s the 2nd most powerful feature? What has a unique trait, despite its other weaknesses? What is this feature good at, that the most powerful feature can’t do? It’s that mindset which gets you thinking about how to counter not just the features at the top, but the players at the top as well.

Now, we get into a concept known as a hard counter. Just because something is powerful, it doesn’t mean that it’s flawless. Usually, the most powerful feature has a glaring weakness that is rarely exploited. Yes of course, the strongest thing still stomps the rest 7-9 times out of 10, but finding that opening where it falls short, is key.

You sometimes find champions in League of Legends that have just one thing your character can’t deal with

You sometimes find champions in League of Legends that have just one thing your character can’t deal with

Hard counters are a way of completely shutting down the feature, using the strength which your feature has and the opponent’s feature doesn’t. Overall, your feature isn’t all that good, but it excels at one thing, and that one thing can beat even the best.

A counter strategy is not a guaranteed win, and in the end you can only get as much out of it as you put in, where necessary. If you never get the chance to implement your strategy, you’ll fall short despite how hard you try. Also, it’s important not to fully rely on that strategy. Adapt and evolve; sometimes during a match you’ll be forced to break your normal pattern and adjust your movements to deal with how an opponent plays.

To summarize, a counter strategy is your go-to option when it feels like one thing is dominating. It’s not perfect, but it can mean the difference between having a chance to fight back and being completely overwhelmed. You don’t have to fight fire with fire, when you can find the right hose.


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Entertainment Isn’t Safe

special snowflakeDespite whatever misconceptions you might have about how entertainment might work, it actually isn’t designed to appeal to just you. Whoa. That’s crazy right? The idea that sometimes things are made to entertain people, and that person might not be you? Amazing.

Ok, to cut the sardonic prose down, here’s the cold truth. Entertainment isn’t safe. Entertainment isn’t nice. Entertainment isn’t friendly, or welcoming, or accomodating. It’s entertainment. It’s not a person that needs to weigh its speech and find a way to please the lowest common denominator. It’s not your mom, dad or legal guardian who’s going to hold your hand and tell you everything’s going to be ok. It’s not an entity that can be tied down or controlled to fit your weak sensibilities. It’s a part of media. It’s not just one thing.

The persons who believe that their own hurt feelings are paramount to anything need a serious reality check. Of course, constructive criticism is useful for entertainers, actors and producers to better handle their craft. People are free to express their concerns and any valid complaints should be listened to. But that’s it. Acting entitled (and that’s a slippery slope of a word, I admit) to something and think you either deserve/require/demand it is completely absurd. On the basis of logic is one thing, but complaining based on subjective emotion is just laughable.

If something bothers you so much that you feel the need to whine about it, why not take that effort and make something for yourself? Create, write, draw, build, act; do something. Because then, you will have carved out your own piece of the pie. Blazed your own trail through the media. Whatever you have created is yours, and you are free to do with it as you please. But don’t act like you have any right to control what others have made. Critique, criticize, belittle, mock, parody, denounce, boycott and lambast all you want. But do not demand change nor expect it.

I repeat once again; entertainment is not safe. It is not a cushion to fall back on when you feel like life is unfair. Some things, even in entertainment you enjoy, might rub you the wrong way. You may disagree with it, or take issues with its presentation of certain elements. You can choose one of the following: ignore it, acknowledge it and accept the parts you’re ok with, lash out at it. All of these are your choice and I’m sure you know which one will get you a type of reaction.

Can entertainment make us feel safe? Of course. We retreat to the corners of our niches because we appreciate particular tropes, ideas and conventions. It’s why we revisit the same types of movies, TV shows, music, video games and other media. However, do not mistake comfort for security. Things can change, people’s ideas may alter and the entertainment will be affected directly as a result. We do have some sway in making these changes and we can suggest nuances to the creators. That said, our reach can and should only extend as far as that.

Being offended is not a legitimate concern to be addressed. Acting like entertainment has somehow ‘betrayed’ you is ludicrous. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. That one nitpicky thing you had a massive tantrum about might just be someone else’s favorite segment. Entertainment may have targeted demographics or some kind of core message, but the entity in isolation doesn’t pick favorites. A piece of media isn’t designed to make everyone happy all at once, at the same time and for the same reasons. Nothing can do that. So why expect it?

The bottom line is that entertainment, as a term, is meant to entertain. That means it can be offensive, shocking, morally questionable, strange, disgusting or insane. But it’s entertaining. What it isn’t is safe, secure, or free from error. If you want your entertainment to be better, then make some suggestions. If you want entertainment for yourself, then make it yourself. If you want entertainment for yourself, but all you want to do is complain and not put in the effort to either be reasonable with criticism or creating something with your own hands, then sit quietly and watch as the world passes you by. Because nothing will ever please you.


If you liked this rant, take a look at how I feel about Yukino in Oregairu 2 (if you watched it), or what I think of the rats in Lords of Shadow 2 (or how game design can be funny at times).


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Street Fighter x Tekken @ EVO 2015 – Top 8

You just can’t seem to kill us off huh? Thanks to the community, we were able to have a SFxT side tournament at Evo 2015. Streamed by Panda x Gaming and commented by Psychoblue. Shoutouts to all the players there!

Also, you can read about my crazy idea to create a mod for SFxT, to make it more ‘hype.


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My Destiny Character’s Progress [Part 2]

Click here for part 1.

After hitting level 20, it really felt like that’s when the game began. I mainly spend time completing bounties and playing the Crucible, to level up each reputation gauge and get new gear. I’ve found that playing the game at least once a day to complete all bounties/challenges help you progress, and every so often you’ll get a nice surprise.

The extended game of Destiny is really fun if you enjoy just sitting back and shooting some enemies. The Crucible can be a bit imbalanced, especially because of some Hand Canons, but for the most part it’s all good. Check out my character progress since last time!

P1 P2 P8 P9 P11I’m really happy with how my character’s developed. Everyday, I can’t wait to see what new stuff I get!


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Project: Cross Xtremes [A Street Fighter x Tekken mod concept]

ryu_and_ken-HD(skip to the first line break if you want to read about the concept)

I’m currently watching the top 8 of the SFxT tournament at Evo 2015. It’s really awesome to see SFxT tournament play again! Psychoblue is on commentary, and during one of the matches he said (something to the effect of) “the game is coming to the end of its lifespan”. This comment kind of floored me.

I mean, he’s not wrong exactly. The game is hard to maintain, and tournaments are all but done for it. I spoke at length about the difficulty of fighting game longevity, and how SFxT’s biggest weakness is its lack of accessibility. As much as I love the game, I really want to move on, get a current gen console, and pick up new fighting games. I’ll always enjoy the game and play it from time to time, but the brevity of that is hardly sufficient.

For a long time, fans of the game have wrestled with the idea of making the game ‘hype’. SFxT certainly has a ton of presentation problems: forgettable/unlikeable music, unremarkable or awkward stages, elements such as quick combos and gems which are hardly explained about these days. That said, this game is not the first to suffer from glaring issues such as these, so I can’t give it that much of a hard time. Regardless, just something about SFxT is ‘unhype’, even without all those issues.

A conversation with different SFxT players has offered some perspective on this. What other fighting games get that this game doesn’t is the prevalence of threat. What I mean by that is the ‘danger’ is always in the game, but the threat isn’t. Look at Soul Calibur, BlazBlue, Dead or Alive, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat etc; there is a considerable threat at all times. The threat of being ringed out, the threat of losing a ton of health to an Ultra combo, the threat of being countered and being on the ropes. There’s an element of tension in the gameplay that is noticeable both while PLAYING and WATCHING.

The problem is, SFxT is too honest. Yes, that’s a cliche. We say that about King of Fighters XIII, almost jokingly at times. But it’s true. The game is fairly well balanced; you always feel in control, a match is never over until it’s over. That’s what makes playing it fun, but I can see how watching it isn’t fun for a lot of people.

As I said, there’s always the ‘danger’ in the game i.e. eating a big combo or getting hit by a set-up, but there’s no formidable ‘threat’. Threat is the potential OF danger. That’s the key.

Semantic word play aside, the crucial point, is that what SFxT’s missing is threat. That fear and tension that makes the whole experience exciting. But, it doesn’t need to come from everything being broken or unfair, it just needs to have the right balance of control and wackiness. So I got to thinking about it.


While I know Capcom has definitely abandoned this IP, what if there were a way for us, the community, to do something with the game? Modding on PC is powerful because it means you can push the design of a game in any direction while still maintaining what was in the original context. A wishful dream of mine led to the concept which I dubbed:

Project: Cross Xtremes

Or you could call it ‘Cross X’ or ‘Cross Tekken X’. Because who doesn’t love edgey titles with improper pluralization (or the reverse, such as ‘Armored Core For Answer’ which would have made more sense as ‘For Answers’ cause at least that’s grammatically correct…). Anyway, this is the name of what could (in theory) be the way to make a ‘hype’ version of the game.

What if there were a way to create a mod of SFxT, on PC that is, to mess with certain core settings of the game and emulate an all new system? Even if that’s not possible, even for the best modders, it’s been intriguing to think of new ideas for the system mechanics. If, in a perfect world, we could make SFxT ‘hype’, then perhaps this is how we should go about it.

sfxt-1.jpegNormals:

I don’t believe, for a second, that anything fundamentally needs to be changed overall. Boost chains aren’t the devil everyone makes them out to be, nor are the combos themselves anything bad. However, I do think that at times the footsie game lacks a certain finesse beyond getting boost chains or combos. Here’s a completely crazy proposal:

> Increase ALL CASTS’ ground heavy punch/heavy kick by 10 damage.

Whoa JST, you crazy, right? Maybe. Think of it this way. In a lot of fighting games, normals can win entire matches because of the damage they do. In SFxT, combos meant that normals had to do a bit less damage, and that was fair. But it also meant that the ground game wasn’t as exciting from a purely normal button standpoint. If every character’s heavy button option did just 10 damage more, we’d see a much scarier neutral game. Hence, the ‘threat’ we are looking for. I wouldn’t want any other normal button damage to be increased.

I’m crazy but not stupid. There has to be a balance for that. Characters shouldn’t be able to just swing those buttons for free. I believe that, like with SFV and other games, heavy buttons on block should be more punishable as a result. Both on block and whiffed. A heavy button should be a guess, a punish, or in a combo, and with extra damage it shouldn’t be a go-to option. That way, you’re not free to just throw out the button from any range and expect to get away with it.

Don’t get me wrong. Combo damage will sky-rocket. SFxT is already a 2 combo game, and it could become a 1.5 combo game with my suggestion. Maybe the scaling could be adjusted to compensate for this. However,  it’s a price to pay to increase the threat and increase the hype. People love high damage games with tons of risk. Long combos tend to be unfavorable outside of combo videos. SFxT is a high damage game already, but that’s not the public impression from the past. But obviously, this is all conjecture and brainstorming and I welcome any criticism.

Throws & Wakeup:

This is an easy one. If throws aren’t hard knockdowns (just like in SFV, and most fighting games for that matter), it means less breaks in the gameplay and much more active play. It creates new room for set-ups and split decision making. Do I quick rise and think of a wakeup option? Or do I delay my wakeup instead? Do I roll if they’re not in grab range? And so on. I’ve never been a fan of hard knockdown throws, particularly in SFIV, and one thing I loved in Omega mode and the little I played of SFV was being able to quick-rise throws. That’s just how I see it.

In fact, I believe that if nothing except super arts, cross arts and cross cancels did a hard knockdown, that would help the overall flow of a match. Instead of a game of cat and mouse where you can just be hit with a crouching roundhouse over and over, making it so that you can instantly get up keeps the action going. It means more options for the defender, and more things to think about for the attacker.

SFV had the right idea with this; a feature which so many fighting games have but SFIV doesn’t, and it was a carry-over to SFxT. The faster the action, the better, but we can still have the option not to quick rise, so people can take the time to think if they want.

21_sfxtupdate04tPandora:

This to me is the most important. Not just because Pandora is one of my favorite mechanics of all time (and I’ve made a ridiculous amount of videos about it), but because I know enough to see why it’s one of the game’s biggest stumbling blocks. When a mechanic that’s central to not just the gameplay, but also the story of the game, goes under-used/unused for 90% of matches, that’s a waste. I have argued chapter and verse that I believe Pandora is fair, and I stick by that. But if I could mod it, just as a test, here’s what I would do.

> Remove the death penalty

Now that I’ve got your attention, let me explain. Most people hear about the pandora mechanic and instantly think ‘that’s stupid’. Why use something that would effectively end the match for you? Even top players admit it’s very situational and that hinders its extended viability. I remember that in one or two of my Pandora videos, I received comments where people were actually intimidated by the mechanic because it seemed hard to execute and only really good players can do it, because the margin of error is too small. The situational nature of the mechanic is considerable.

Sure, you can make the case that most mechanics are situational, but the punishment for messing them up isn’t insta-death. Missing an alpha counter isn’t the end of the world. So while I don’t believe Pandora should just be X Factor, I too see how the death penalty puts people off. A potentially game winning mechanic should be, at the very least, accessible to even the worst player. Players shouldn’t be scared to utilize a game mechanic. BUT that doesn’t mean it should be free or easy.

Like I said, I’m crazy but not stupid. I recognize that Pandora killing you is harsh, but we can ease the harshness and just make it a fair penalty. Let me elaborate:

> Pandora has no death penalty

> Using Pandora grants you 1.15x damage, which you can also receive

> When the 10 second timer ends, your second character is gone. No switching

> You are unable to build meter

> Your health points remain at 25% after Pandora is over

See, THAT’S how you make the mechanic punishing without it being an instant loss. I thought of this when I considered mechanics such as Rage from Tekken and Instant Kill mode from Guilty Gear. The conditions surrounding these mechanics put the character in a compromised position and put the onus on them to finish the match. What they don’t do, however, is kill the character just for messing it up. Don’t get me wrong, those conditions mean you’ve all but lost. But you are still in the game. That sends a much better message than an insta-death.

With this, Pandora will still be a massive risk but the opinion of it will change. We could potentially see people use it more because now they won’t die. Yes, I get that there will be YOLO moments and people could Pandora at random, but the penalty is still high and you still have to use the mechanic properly to win. All I would want is that little extra push for people to think about using Pandora. How successful they are with it is a whole different story.

Other mechanics:

After careful consideration, I believe everything else is just fine. I wouldn’t want cross assault, super arts, cross cancels or gems to change. They have already received some adjustments in the ver. 2013 patch and I feel like they are the least problematic parts of the game. If you believe they need any changes, please let me know.


To re-iterate: with changes such as these, the game retains its core gameplay and continues to be SFxT without having to remove what makes it fun. But we increase the threat, we make players take bigger all-or-nothing risks, we drive the excitement up. In theory. Once again, this is all speculation and wishful thinking. I don’t, for a second, believe this would ever happen, but it’s nice to imagine it.

So what do you think? With changes like these in mind, would the game be better/more exciting? Or am I going to break a perfectly fair game?


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Fighting Game Longevity (Or Lack Of It)

I realized something this weekend regarding SFxT, about one of its major flaws which I overlooked: its accessibility is painfully low. By that, I mean it’s not a game which can be played properly without several pre-requisites: you need to have the ver. 2013 patch, you most likely need the DLC characters too. Heck, you might have to also disable quick combos depending on how you play. This…is a problem.

I visited Heart of Gaming in London, after a brief hiatus due to Evo and some other things. I was surprised to see a rather ridiculous amount of Smash players in the area I normally visit.

2015-08-09 13.36.14

UK Smash scene out in full force!

This was fine though. It was awesome to see that we had THAT MANY Smash players in the UK. Cool to see them coming out to support their scene. Meanwhile, I was looking around to see if any of the usual SFxT guys were around. No such luck.

I decided to practice some more Guilty Gear Xrd, since I don’t own a PS3 or the game. It was fun, except the PS3 pad I bought is small and it messes with my inputs. Which is funny, because playing Skullgirls on PC with that pad works just fine, but playing an actual PS3 with it makes the inputs very sensitive. Well, that’s a whole different story.

After attempting some trials with Ky Kiske and inevitably tackling the Arcade mode, I decided to try and play SFxT, at least to practice. To my dismay, none of the consoles there had the patch or the DLC. Which is no one’s fault, to be fair. It’s hardly the staff’s responsibility to chase up every silly nuance modern fighting games have in order to function.

Eventually, I settled for messing about with the USFIV arcade cab, both to have something to do and to practice playing arcade stick. I was then challenged to some games by a friendly passer-by, and I took his offer. Like the massive idiot that I am.

SFIV may be frustrating, but it has its charm

SFIV may be frustrating, but it has its charm

Ok fine, I’ll admit that it was fun at first. We played Omega mode and I cackled like a villain when I hit him with Juri’s overpowered super move. It was especially priceless since he had the health lead and thought he there was nothing I could do to win. That is, until I built enough meter to activate the super on reaction to his fireball. Poor guy didn’t see it coming.

This delight wasn’t meant to last, since we decided to switch back to regular USFIV. Which was a mistake. And I am an idiot for thinking I would enjoy that. I was instantly reminded why I don’t play that game. Alas, the situation is far too complex.

Y’see, I was at HoG (Heart of Gaming) for about 2.5 hours at that point. I’d only messed about with GGXrd and I was starting to feel some effect of the sunken cost fallacy. Basically, I had paid the entree fee (a good sum of £10, which is fair) and I felt like I had to do something or the 2 hour trip from South London to North Acton would’ve been wasted. Since SFxT was a no-go, I felt compelled to play the only game around. SFIV, in this case. Which, to re-iterate, was a mistake.

Call it a flashback, but I was immediately taken back to 4 years ago, when I visited a FGC venue in Birmingham during my University years. I went there hoping to play with people offline for the first time in ages, and I even took my copy of BlazBlue with me. To my dismay, none of the Xbox 360 consoles there had the Continuum Shift II patch for BlazBlue, so I was unable to play it. To top if off, the main consoles there were PS3s and everyone was playing…Marvel vs Capcom 3. Which I decided to play. Like the idiot I was then too.

This is the crux of the problem. It’s hard to maintain fandom for a niche fighting game when the game itself doesn’t make it easy. First of all, if your game doesn’t work straight off the disc, then chances are you’ll run into issues trying to play it at certain venues. Secondly, the prevalence of the main fighting games currently, i.e. SFIV, mean that you’ll either play that and feel like you haven’t wasted your time, or sit like a loser in the corner and play nothing. Either option is just sad really.

I used to play a ton of BlazBlue, Tekken and Soul Calibur. These days though...

I used to play a ton of BlazBlue, Tekken and Soul Calibur. These days though…

In the past, I forced myself to play SFIV and MVC3 because my friends did and I didn’t want to feel left out. I always had a crappy time and I was never happy with what went on, but they would all laugh and joke, so the atmosphere was infectious. The same problem is emulated even in offline scenes, where you want to play the game you like, but either there aren’t any players there, the game isn’t even up-to-date, or no one cares and is playing the big mainstream game. Or all of the above.

I love SFxT. Everyone knows this. And that’s not going to change. However, I can’t shake the feeling that I need to get into something else. Well, at least something other than what I play already. 3D games are big at the start, but fizzle out down the line. You’d be hard pressed to find someone playing Tekken Tag 2 or Soul Calibur V these days, especially in the UK. Anime games have ok followings, but without a PS3 you’re out of luck, particularly when the game wasn’t out on Xbox 360. Like BlazBlue Chrono phantasma for example *sigh*. And even if you have a game such as SFxT or maybe Skullgirls that’s cool and you have people to play with, when the console doesn’t even have the latest version then well damn.

I worry about SFxT. Because when the dedicated players like myself and the people at HoG aren’t there to set things up, what will keep the game going? People who buy the game new won’t have the DLC characters or the patch (without an internet connection). So it’s really not the kind of game you can easily play, and that’s really sad.

A fighting game’s longevity is more than stream hype, tournament numbers or big personality feuds. A game will stay alive as long as there are players to play it. But, this isn’t helped when it’s hard to even get the game going due to there not being a definitive version of the game with all the content. When I played USFIV, all I had to do was ask the HoG staff for the USFIV disc and we were good to go. All those Smash players who attended just brought their Gamecube controllers and sat down to play a game which didn’t require much set-up. But what was my choice? Playing GGXrd alone, or playing USFIV which (for the billionth time I’ll mention it) was a mistake.

Although, the 15 or so minutes I played Street Fighter Alpha 2 with SFxT player Jish was hilarious. So thanks to him for that.

sfa2sakura1


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My Destiny Character’s Progress [Part 1]

I bought Destiny last week for Xbox 360, since I badly needed something with longevity to play, and I realized something: I actually forgot how much I enjoy the game. I sang the beta’s praises last year, not out of trying to inflate the hype, but because I legitimately liked the game. The full game is even better and I’ve loved playing it.

As with all games where I can customize my character, I take great pride and admiration in my character’s progress. I’d even say this kind of customization is in the top 5 things that draw me to a game. In the week since I started playing the game, I made fantastic progress and my character’s appearance has evolved considerably. Take a look at the photos below (taken from my camera phone, not in-game. 360 doesn’t have a screenshot capture, unlike Xbox One T_T)

Day 1

Day 1-2Day 2

Day 2-1Day 3

Day 3-1Day 3-3Day 4

Day 4-1Day 4-2Day 5

Day 5-1 Day 5-3 Day 5-5Day 6

Day 6-1 Day 6-2Day 7

Day 7-1 Every day, it feels like the progress I make is in leaps and bounds, though I admit it slowed down towards the later levels. I’m currently level 29 and I’m focusing on completing challenges to boost my stats/weapons, and playing the Crucible. I’ll be honest, Destiny’s PVP is some of the most fun I’ve had with a 30fps shooter since Crysis 2/Crysis 3. I wouldn’t say it’s perfectly balanced, but the element of skill is pretty important. You get a rush from making the right guesses, reacting to other players and working together with your team. It’s just really fun!

Playing Destiny so far has actually convinced me to get The Taken King expansion (which I was only peripherally aware of, until recently). Since I’m coming to the end of my character’s level-up potential, I’ll definitely want to progress even more. The best part of the new expansion is that I’ll get the previous 2 DLC expansions, so I can play around with that and take on the new story content.

On a more personal note, I’d like to express why I care so much about Destiny. I recognize people’s valid criticisms of the game and I agree with them to an extent. This game can be seen as a hollow experience, with lackluster story and repetitive gameplay. But the thing is, it’s exactly what I needed despite those flaws.

It came at the perfect time in my life, quite honestly. Coming home everyday and just sitting down, chilling with podcasts, Twitch TV or music in the background and grinding gameplay for resources is very cathartic. Getting back into console shooter PVP, after months of not having XBL gold, is very satisfying. But most of all, Destiny is doing its best to fill the void in my life that was created when my experience with Advanced Warfare’s 360 version went sour.

Destiny on Xbox 360 is not a half-assed port of the Xbox One version, it is a fully featured, beautifully detailed game on its own merits. Sure, the next gen versions look better, but even with the comparison it looks SO GOOD on 360 anyway. The levels look fantastic, the presentation is smooth, the armor detail and guns are well done. I never once felt like I’m getting a nerfed experience because I bought the 360 version. Heck, I forgot I was playing a Bungie game; Bungie, the developers who made the Halo series that I love so much. They put the thought and care into this version of the game that makes me not just appreciate the gameplay, but appreciate the experience too. Every day, when I’m done with the action, I head back to the Tower and just let my character relax and enjoy the view.

Day 4-3If this is the last 360 game I play, then this was a fantastic send off. Destiny isn’t perfect, no way. But it doesn’t need to be, and what it’s done for me is even more valuable than being a more sophisticated game.

So that aside, I’ll be doing more character progress updates in the future, especially if my character gets some cool stuff to show off. If you read this far, thank you. If you feel so inclined, why not considering donating/gifting me to help me get more content to make vids or talk about? Your contribution will be highly appreciated :)


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-Voice of JST- 39: My SFV Character Wish List

A new Voice of JST! It’s been a while, but I felt like making a new one. Specifically, to talk about what characters I want to see in SFV. Give it a listen and drop a like if you enjoyed it :)


Follow me on Twitter: @JusticeSoulTuna
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