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JLM

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  1. Eleague group D was so good. I've enjoyed the whole event so far. Sajam has grown into an excellent commentator and they have Zhi as a studio pundit, so I'm a big fan. I watch it on the SF5 RBK Youtube channel the day after it airs though, as there are still way too many long breaks because they insist on that Esports format. Group D was the real group of death. Infiltration/Daigo/Fujimura/Haitani in one group with only two spots in the finals available. I'm glad they invited IDom as well. Thoroughly deserved, NLBC is a hotbed of young fighting game talent at the moment. Infiltration vs. Daigo was one of the best SFV matches I've seen so far, but I think I liked Daigo vs Fujimura in winners even more as it was such a vintage Daigo performance. Balls of steel on that man. I enjoyed North West Majors too. Love seeing Problem win a U.S. major, though it was a tad disappointing he was using Abigail instead of Bison. I totally understand though; he's been running into Justin and Nuckeldu a lot lately and Bison has issues with both of their characters. Menat vs Bison looks like a nightmare but Abigal vs Menat is looks to be a big win for Abigail. It doesn't look like it would be on paper when Menat has such incredible space control and is so slippery, but Abigail wins through sheer health and damage. Problem kept doing armoured run into punch in the mid range, taking any number of standing fierces in the process because he knows he will corner her eventually, and the more fierces he takes on the way in the closer he'll be to V-Trigger when he gets there. Menat also has no defensive options outside of super, so if he gets her there with anything less than full meter she is doomed. I think the match up highlights the problems caused by the game's lack of defensive options, the potency of V-Triggers and the lack of chip kills. The dynamic in that sort of match up is normally that the lame character picks away at the big body character, and the big body has to sacrifice some life to get in and try to build meter/resources when he gets the opportunity. In this situation, sacrificing the life *is* what builds the resource, so the correct option is to run face first into everything until you can kill in 1-2 hits. The lack of chip kills means that the lame character still has to actively close out the match, when in almost all other fighting games the zoner's job is effectively done if they've successfully whittled away 99% of the grappler's life. Lastly, the lack of escape options means that the zoner is *dead* if they get tagged even once, even in the mid screen. I dunno, maybe it's just that Abi needs a health/damage/trigger nerf. There isn't much of the character left if you do that though. Maybe he's not a very well designed character, but I suspect he is performing exactly as intended. He's certainly not boring to watch I guess. Outside of that, Chris Tartarian played some of the best Streetfighter I've ever seen from him. Outstanding reads on his uppercuts, insistent but measured Ken rushdown, good spacing, great decisions. Very impressive performance all round. That BST sponsorship has done wonders for him. Lastly, it's going back a bit now, but on the subject of vintage Daigo performances, his match with NL at Stunfest was truly magical so I'm re-posting in case anyone missed it the first time: You don't often see Guile put the fear of god into a Cammy player but Daigo did everything he could to achieve that here. I sometimes think Justin, Valle, John Choi, Ryan Hart or Bonchan might be my favourite fighting game players, then I remember that the correct answer still has to be Daigo. Will have to check out some Cody soon. I see Momochi and Poongko have been grinding as they always do with the new characters. It's great that it's always both of them too, as their approaches could not be more different. Still not playing any SFV sadly, but at the highest level there's plenty of good stuff to watch. Actually looking forward to SFV Evo top 8 this year. Lastly, Ibuki's VT2 is completely and utterly absurd. If she gets to keep that all the way through this season then Fujimura is going to remain a huge problem.
  2. It’s mad that it doesn’t have sound options. What an odd basic feature to leave out. It’s a pain for Twitch streamers too, as they tend to lower the game music to put their own on but still want the SFX. That may not seem like a big deal, but those guys provide such good free promotion for a game like this.
  3. Brook converters are great, would thoroughly recommend them. I have the 360 to PS4 one (it's actually my third one as they tend to vanish when I go to big tournaments) and it works perfectly. They get right on top of it every time a PS4 system update stops them working too. The update is usually available the same day and updating them could not be more straightforward.
  4. VT2 looks especially fun. That top 8 was really good too.
  5. I'd like him to still have the handcuffs on as default and then he bursts out of them when he's in V-Trigger to unleash his true punchin' power. Also he had better still HA-HAA obnoxiously.
  6. Agreed with one of my SF nerd friends that we'll watch it together. Really looking forward to it. Excited to watch KOFXIV too, as it features Manchester's own InfernoKong against Xiao Hai, who is probably the best KOF player of all time. So happy for Harry that he made it to grand finals and got to face such a beast of a player. I ended up watching Toryuken top 8 live.
  7. JLM

    Relaxing games

    Absolutely spot on there. Then with the sequel they seemed to think that the fraught bits were the fun bits. I honestly wanted Trouble in Paradise to be an expansion pack that left the formula alone. They largely did, but they added that thing where Professor Pester turns up every so often and kills one of your most valuable Pinatas unless you pay him off. Once he's been in your garden for a set amount of time, he will lock in on his target and you won't even have the option to pay him off any more. So to get my relaxin' time back I had to farm money to make sure I could pay him, and even then I sometimes missed his arrival and lost one of my prized piñatas. I did not want my relaxin' game to feature periodic shakedowns by violent criminals. On the plus side, they added penguins.
  8. My god I cannot stand MenaRD's gameplay. I love what he does for his scene and the passion from the DR scene across the board is great to see, but his gameplay highlights everything I hate about the game. Don't get me wrong, I don't buy the idea that he's a fluke or that his wins don't count or any of that nonsense. His results can't be argued and he's beaten some of the greats on multiple occasions. I still hate it though. The game is still skewed way too heavily in favour of offense and his playstyle is all about that. Playing the percentages and doing stuff until it works. He knows he can throw out ten sweeps per round because he only eats a sweep in return and the reward on hit is enormous. The first round against Nuckeldu, the first sweep he did was inexplicably safe on block and he whiff punished the attempted punish from Du. Then with a 60% life lead he does four more sweeps and walks into buttons until he's dead. It doesn't matter though, because there are only occasional rounds like that and the rest of them his (to quote Ultradavid) "willingness to just do it" will pay off. Same with the Bull Horns through projectiles. He does it through some booms, and he also does it on "reaction" to nothing and gets blocked and punished. When it hits the commentators go "oooh the reactions", but if it's reactions why is he throwing one out against a stationary opponent? He's doing it because the risk/reward of throwing it out is worth it. Like I say, it's not that I think he should change what he's doing or that it's not legit in this game, I'm just sad that the way the game is makes it a Capcom Cup winning play style. On the plus side, I still love Problem X's Bison and it's great to see him doing so well. That and Infiltration's Menat are my favourite things in SFV by some distance.
  9. JLM

    Slay the Spire - Roguelike Card-em-up

    Only played a couple of games as The Defect. My two friends who are about as obsessed with this game as me have been playing him loads though. They both reckon he's the most fun of the three characters at the moment. He's an interesting build for sure. Quite squishy defensively but you can mitigate this, and its attacking power can be quite obscene once it gets going. I want to wait until he's added to the main game before delving into it too much further. I'm looking forward to trying some daily challenges with other characters using some of The Defect's more whacky cards. I have been playing The Silent in the beta build too, just to see what's changed and to fight some of the new enemies they've added. The snake enemy they've added that has Constriction as its passive ability is quite brutal. At the end of each turn it does 10 damage as standard, and it's usually attacking for 20-25 on top of that. Getting that really early on in the run was quite a pain and I took a fair bit of damage. I love that Nightmare catalyst scenario above. Last Nightmare build I did I ended up nightmaring Noxious fumes+ and Dexterity+ and taking any little hits needed to make sure I had that set up. Then it was a case of tanking the rest of the match, sprinkling in more poison when needed and otherwise blocking everything. I quite like this game.
  10. JLM

    Slay the Spire - Roguelike Card-em-up

    Ha, don't get me wrong, I still get destroyed a lot of the time as well. My last run last night was a disaster. I had a glorious long term strategy in mind but got over excited about stripping the deck down in preparation and died on the first elite because I thought I'd still be able to sneak the win and get a relic. It happens, but yeah, making the jump from exclusively getting wrecked to getting a few wins has mostly been about not accepting every shiny new toy I'm offered. I rarely die on the first boss now, but still die on the third boss quite frequently when my builds are not quite as ingenious as I thought they were. My preferred plan with The Silent by default is to try a poison-heavy build. I absolutely love bouncing flask, crippling cloud, catalyst and corpse explosion. If I get hold of any of those early then I will often upgrade them and tailor the rest of the deck to suit them. If not, I will see what my relic/card situation is and adapt accordingly. There is a poker hand element to it as well, where I'll sometimes have three out of the four cards I need to do something deadly and I have to decide whether to go for versatility or hold out hope that I'll find the missing pieces before the end game. The choke strategy came about because I got Choke+ right at the beginning when given the option to transform a card. I then decided that every other decision I'd make would be based around maximising choke damage. So I picked up anything that cost 0, anything that let me draw/replace/re-shuffle at low cost and then some heavy duty blocks thrown in to let me survive all my shuffling. So I could do something like choke and then backflip plus to put some block on and get some cards. This would leave me with choke applied, a bit of block and loads of cards. I'd then continue playing cards for as long as possible with 0 energy. So I'd do something like deflect , prepared+, calculated gamble+, then slash and neutralize. So for 3 energy I've played most of my deck, put one some block, applied weak and done loads of damage. Because I'd committed to this idea early, I spent all of my gold trimming off stuff that wasn't conducive to this plan, and also rejected any cards that cost more than 1 energy as my primary objective was to play as many cards as possible. I think the daily challenges have been very helpful for exposing me to prettymuch all of the cards/relics the game has to offer. It's not representative of the main game's difficulty but it gives you loads of ideas about synergy because you get to try everything out and see what works. Would have taken me a lot longer to familiarise myself with all the colourless cards etc. if I'd waited to see them in regular climbs. This has gone long, but in short, try and have an idea of a strategy in mind and be strict with yourself about what you're offered.
  11. JLM

    Slay the Spire - Roguelike Card-em-up

    I have logged 60 hours on this game already. I am absolutely obsessed. I had originally been playing the daily challenges but have no managed to wean myself off these and start doing regular climbs. I've been playing The Silent almost exclusively as I really love her array of gimmicks. Past couple of victories have involved the most delicious shenanigans. First one revolved around Choke+, which does 12 damage initially and then 5 additional damage every time you play any other cards during the turn. Combined this with two copies of backflip+ to draw more cards, Prepared+ to draw and discard two cards for no energy, tools of the trade that allows you to discard and draw at the start of every turn, and calculated gamble+, which lets you discard your hand and replace it for 0 energy. Then the rest of the deck was a whole bunch of cards that cost 0 energy like deflect, slice and neutralize. So I'd apply the choke and then shuffle through the deck over and over again to keep stacking damage. It was pretty cheap. I loved it. The second one was exclusively blocks and poison. Paid and used question mark events to remove all of my strikes and most of my defends. Got deadly poison, poison stab, crippling cloud and bouncing flask to stack poison, then Catalyst+ to triple it. Also had "The Specimen" relic that means when an enemy dies they pass any remaining poison to their allies. It was beautiful. The only thing missing was corpse explosion, which is fast becoming one of my favourite cards. Corpse explosion+ is ridiculous. It removes the target's poison and does damage triple to the amount of posion they had stacked up, and does that same amount of damage to any of their allies. Had one match with it against The Collector boss who spawns minions. Kept stacking up poison on him and then corpose exploding him to kill both minions. I love some of the magical runs you get where the stars align on your relics and give you a built in strategy unique to that run. Had one build where I traded in my starting relic and got Ninja Scroll, which gives you three shivs at the start of every combat, then I got the kunai which gives you +1 dexterity every time you play three attacks. So every match I'd have +1 dexterity at the start and could stack from there to get absolutely ridiculous blocks. Regular defends doing 15 etc. This paired up beautifully with wraith form+, which gives you four turns of "intangible", which lets you take 1 damage from enemy attacks, with the downside being that you lose dexterity at the end of every turn for the rest of the fight. So I'd stack up an absurd amount of dexterity, block everything thrown at me and then activate wraith form with the double edged sword aspect of it completely removed. I am in love with this game. I totally agree with the advice about keeping your deck small. It is really really easy to have your head turned by the merchant, the events that let you do whacky stuff to your deck and by the cards you're offered after combat. Do not do this unless it benefits your strategy. My initial mistake when I was getting wrecked every time was to make these outrageously bloated decks full of absolute madness but could not reliably execute any of it. It also makes you very vulnerable to curses/dazed/slime etc. because you're already struggling to get to the stuff you want and the enemies make this worse. I had losses where I'd been doing burst+ adrenaline + into doppelganger+, so I'd have something ridiculous like 25-30 energy but then nothing to spend it on because my deck was a bloated mess. If you visit the merchant and he doesn't have anything you actively need, spend the gold to get something removed and streamline your deck. This is more valuable than buying something just because it's there. I find that fewer than 20 cards with the option to shuffle about a lot has been great for me. It's all well and good having Apotheosis+ but your upgraded cards are wasted if the right ones never come up when you need them to. There is some element of luck of the draw of course, but you can definitely mitigate this by making your deck small, flexible and stripped of chaff. That screen shot with the hand full of dazed and a strike. Can see that tools of the trade and a thousand cuts are both activated and the enemy is poisoned. It's little bits of a number of different strategies that aren't really working together. Removing strikes and blocks means that the one non-dazed card would be more likely to be something you've chosen. Probably wouldn't bother with activating two powers against an enemy who gives you dazed cards whenever you play a non-attacking card either. If your build revolves around drawing/shuffling/stacking energy and you play loads and loads of cards per turn, then a Thousand cuts is a great compliment to that. If not then I'd maybe leave it out as it doesn't give you good value. Say no to unnecessary cards, guys, it could save your life.
  12. Poor Vega. They really do not like that guy one bit.
  13. Eventhubs have done a silhouette breakdown here:
  14. So Them's Fightin' Herds is utterly fantastic and I love it to bits. It's like Skullgirls for people like me who cannot do Skullgirls. It looks lovely, the dynamic music is wonderful and the character builds are all excellent fun to play and distinct enough that they offer completely different playstyles. It also has really satisfying game feel about it. All the hits feel solid and thwacky and this adds a lot to the fun of doing the combos. Makes me hit the buttons harder than necessary, which, as I've mentioned before, is a very important quality for me in a fighting game. One utterly EXCELLENT feature it has is that you can save any combo you do in training mode and then export it for other people to download and add to the list of trial combos in their game. There was some guy in a lobby asking for help learning one of the characters and another dude said "I've made my own set of what I think are the five most important combos you need to get started with her, I'll send them over". Also if you find a Youtube video with combos, some smart folks have included a link to download the little file you need to add it to your game. How great is that? That needs to be in all fighting games. Earlier in the week I played against a guy online who was doing a b'n'b combo with my character that was so much more efficient and useful than mine that I have stolen it outright. The problem is I had already clocked about 40 hours of gameplay using my previous combo. So I played against my friend offline on Monday evening and lost 45-15, never landing more than half a combo on any given hit and getting incredibly frustrated. So yesterday I practised. I made a playlist, I went into training mode and did nothing but that combo the whole time I was in there. I kept doing reps of it from left to right until I mentally tuned out and couldn't do it any more. I then went into a lobby and beat up some guy and hit it every time I went for it. Then I get a rage message "oohhh, really skilled guy, I hope you enjoyed doing the same fucking combo five times". I don't think he could possibly know how happy that message made me. I resisted the urge to reply, but wanted to say "I did! I did enjoy it! I've really been struggling with it and this is the first time I've landed it consistently in a match. My practise has paid off. ". I like the fight games.
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