A directionless post on Super Street Fighter IV

Bypass Super Street Fighter IV? Pshaw. That game was a must-buy for our PS3 in 2010. And good thing too because we were sorely lacking in fighting games for that console. (Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was still a year away.)

Super Street Fighter IV cover art © Capcom, Sony

Super Street Fighter IV cover art © Capcom, Sony

As I sit here recalling the game, I’m realizing that I have little in the way of opinion about it…as a fighting game. It’s a Street Fighter game, undoubtedly. I l-o-v-e- Street Fighter games. The controls, the characters, they’re pretty much as perfect as can be. The cast of fighters brims with old favorites and a few new faces. I played through the game twice, once with Zangief, because of course, and once with Rose, whom I really enjoyed from Super Street Fighter II Turbo and was quite happy to see again. But I only played through it twice, this despite the amazing roster, the pretty renderings, and the integration of intriguing if minimal stories in arcade mode. Yes, I played through it with other human beings, but on my own, I only saw two characters through to fruition.

Continue reading

Project 151: The home stretch…maybe? Maybe not.

For some reason, my last Project 151 post feels like it was f-o-r-e-v-e-r ago. Maybe that’s because this last month of play has consisted of two things: obtaining the final badge and grinding. Lots and lots and lots of grinding. So MUCH goddamn grinding! {sob}

It doesn't feel like I've put in 50 hours, but there is it.

It doesn’t feel like I’ve put in 50 hours, but there is it.

With that in mind, I’m just gonna ask outright: what in the world do I have to do to beat the Elite Four? If you have any tips, just head right to the comments, because it’s taken nearly all my willpower to NOT go online and be a big cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater.

In any event, if you’ve been following along with me here, you know that since my last post, I only needed one more badge to complete the set of eight. Turned out that this meant I needed to do a little backtracking. I knew I needed to head to a gym, but it took me some time and traveling to figure out which one I hadn’t been to yet. So I spent a couple playthroughs just wandering from town to town. It wasn’t a total waste as I took on some trainers that I had previously missed and was able to level up my team pretty well, which at that point consisted of Charizard, Pidgeot, Snorlax, Victreebel, Persian, and Nidoqueen (occasionally switched out for Onix).

Gettin' busy with the TMs.

Gettin’ busy with the TMs.

Continue reading

Three years in and there’s no stopping this train now! (Though it might have to slow down a little…)

Fireworks over Syndey has nothing to do with this anniversary. I just thought it was a cool picture.

Fireworks over Syndey has nothing to do with this anniversary. I just thought it was a cool picture.

Let’s see…if the two’s are “terrible,” then what are the three’s? Tumultuous? Terrifying? Tormented? Maybe a little of each as I write this with a touch of bittersweet that tugs at my words. Because folks, it has been one hell of a year.

Or maybe you were too busy to notice, because I sure was. Like, wasn’t I just thinking about new ways to spice up my blog, and here we are suddenly in November and I’ve no clue as to how I got here. But before my confusion gets the better of me, let’s kick off this little birthday celebration with some good stuff.

Continue reading

Totally 80s: Pee-wee’s Playhouse

Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at the decade that was ruled by big hair and bigger egos. Every other week I’ll be covering pop culture tidbits from the 1980s, sharing memories, choking on the ridiculousness, and maybe offering an insight or two into what made the 1980s so great/bad/silly. Serving as my inspiration are two lists from Buzzfeed, and I’ll include links to the original list items in each post. So throw on your neon windbreaker, lace up your hi-tops, and adjust your Wayfarers, because this DeLorean is taking off! (Ugh. Did I really just type that? Gag me with spoon, seriously.)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

List item #35 from 50 Things only ’80s Kids Can Understand

Pee-wee’s Playhouse and a big bowl of cereal was the highlight of Saturday mornings.

Twenty-four years ago this week, on November 17, 1990, the last episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse aired. It’d be foolish of me to sit here and spout anything other than “meh” about that event because until I did some online searching about the unsinkable Pee-wee and his playhouse, I had no clue as to the show’s duration. Though I avidly watched Pee-wee’s Playhouse for as long as it was on, I wasn’t watching with a mind towards its cultural significance, but rather with that part of my brain that refused to grow up. That part that still got a kick out of watching [old and new] Saturday morning cartoons (Garfield and Friends preceded Pee-wee’s Playhouse, so there was that), re-runs of The Muppet Show, and vignettes from Sesame Street. And the “childlike sense of wonder” that I retained despite being an anti-social teen who was trying desperately to “be adult” was what Pee-wee’s Playhouse was all about. It was one of many shows that straddled quite brilliantly the line between being a kid’s show for kids and a kid’s show for kids who wanted to be (or had to be) adults.

Continue reading

The Story of a Forty Dollar Tablet

cary:

Sometimes investing in technology is meaningful. Other times, it’s an experiment. The latter was certainly the case when I picked up (mostly on a whim) a new tablet for $40. Yep, f-o-r-t-y dollars! I could hardly believe it myself when I saw the thing on sale, but there it was. Something called a Nobis 7 for forty smackarinos. After using it for a a couple weeks, I wrote up the post below about it for Geek Force Network. If you’re in the market for a cheap, non-bells-and-whistles tablet that’s questionably constructed and is the exact opposite of “sleek,” yet contains the exemplary guts of any current, brand name Android tablet, then click the link below to see if the Nobis 7 might be right for you!

Originally posted on Geek Force Network:

I currently own a Nexus 7 tablet, and it’s been one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time. The thing is fast and powerful, perfect for writing, web surfing, and moderate gaming. Being quite happy with it, I had in mind obtaining something a little cheaper for work, something I could use essentially as a digital notebook. Over the course of several months, I kept an eye on sales and Amazon just to see if something interesting popped up. I aimed to keep my potential acquisition in the one hundred dollar range with hopes of finding something for a little less than that. The mere thought of getting a tablet for as little as forty dollars never crossed my mind.

Only then, it crossed my path.

While skimming through the sale circulars from the Sunday paper a few weeks ago, a little item caught my attention:…

View original 991 more words

“Over 45 Radical Games in One!” Well, make that 44, and counting.

I’m pretty sure that I was one of only a handful of children equipped with a video game mindset who did not play Pitfall!. I didn’t play Pitfall! on the Atari. I didn’t play Pitfall! in the small, old-timey arcade in our local movie theatre. And I didn’t play Pitfall! at my friend’s house, despite the fact that her family had a killer Atari setup. The game was never in one my uncle’s famous mystery boxes that appeared at Christmas and a copycat of it never appeared on any one of a dozen 1001 Great Games on CD! CDs that we had. Oh, thanks to TV, I knew what Pitfall! was – jumping over crocodiles, avoiding scorpions, climbing ladders, etc. – but it simply never entered my life in a meaningful fashion. Not in 1982. Not in 1986. Not in 1992. Not ever.

Until…well, I want to say 2002 to make it all anniversary-like, but I think it was 2003 or 2004 when we picked up the Activision Anthology for the PlayStation 2.

Activision Anthology cover art © Atari, Activision

Activision Anthology cover art © Atari, Activision

Continue reading

Me, Myself, and Video Games

cary:

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, I’d think my shtick should be obvious by now — game memories, nostalgia, reflections on the past. Well, what I’ve not done here but decided to do over on United We Game was to look back upon my gaming past and sum things up in a nutshell. 2014 has brought about for me a number of reflective instances in thinking about the role that I want video games to play in my life moving forward. But as with so many things, it’s important to remember where you’ve been in order to see where you’re going. If you want to see where me and games have been, click the link below. And please leave your own (brief or not) histories with games in the comment section (on UWG)!

Originally posted on United We Game:

Image by Flickr user Dave Carter (cc)

Image by Flickr user Dave Carter ( cc )

Maybe it’s in response to the recent controversies in gaming revolving around journalism, sexism, and criticism, but lately I’ve noticed an uptick in articles around the blogosphere about why folks game and why video games are important to them. These articles aren’t meant to stir the angst-ridden pot any further, but rather serve as affirmations of community, inclusivity, and positivity. Seeing as how United We Game revolves around these very principles, I thought I’d post my own story. I know that I’ve touched on points from my past here and there in my Internet ramblings, but I don’t think I’ve ever compiled them all together into a cohesive narrative. So here goes.

I was born in…

View original 1,142 more words

Totally 80s: The New Kids on the Block

Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at the decade that was ruled by big hair and bigger egos. Every other week I’ll be covering pop culture tidbits from the 1980s, sharing memories, choking on the ridiculousness, and maybe offering an insight or two into what made the 1980s so great/bad/silly. Serving as my inspiration are two lists from Buzzfeed, and I’ll include links to the original list items in each post. So throw on your neon windbreaker, lace up your hi-tops, and adjust your Wayfarers, because this DeLorean is taking off! (Ugh. Did I really just type that? Gag me with spoon, seriously.)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

List item #51 from 53 Things Only 80s Girls Can Understand

You loved NKOTB and had memorabilia mostly of your favorite one in the group.

(Aside: It’s easy enough to argue that the NKOTB probably reached the heights of their popularity in the 1990s, but their rise to super stardom began in the 1980s.)

The New Kids on the Block

Um…sure. Whatever.

This list item is one that did not pertain to my life literally, but rather it foreshadowed one niche that of my personality that now defines me – that of the distant, general fan.  This is a really convoluted way of saying that oh yes, I tried with all my awkward teenage heart to fawn over the New Kids on the Block like practically all my female classmates, but…I just couldn’t.

At the risk of becoming even more wordy and circuitous in trying to explain that, let’s travel back to the late 1980s. I’m a horribly discomfited middle-schooler (getting ready to transition into high school) with few real life friends. That’s not to say that I didn’t try to make friends. In fact, I tried all sorts of dumb ways to get to know my classmates better, none of which ever proved fruitful. Though my attempts at being personable never won many people over, I was often able to reach a common ground with others through music. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I was a HUGE fan of Top 40 radio at this time, and the knowledge that I gained by regularly listening to the latest and greatest the pop world had to offer helped me avoid full-on outcast status. Though I didn’t like everything I heard, I could at least hold my own in “Madonna vs. Cyndi Lauper” arguments, discussions on Bruce Springsteen’s patriotism, and debates on George Michael’s turn from bubblegum prince to sex machine. Problem was, though I was devoted to music in general, I wasn’t particularly attached to one pop star or act over any others. Sure, I liked some songs more than others, but I didn’t sport band shirts or plaster my walls with band posters. If someone had then made a slightly cheeky shirt that simply said “MUSIC,” I would have worn that sucker out.

Continue reading