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  1. It was never my favourite fighting game, but I put quite a lot of time into a couple of iterations of BlazBlue last generation. Arc System Works definitely weren't scared to make drastic and sweeping changes in the name of balance between iterations of the game, but I remember getting particularly burned by one patch in Continuum Shift, the second game in the series. I'd actually started playing Ragna, the ostensible main character of the series, and was finally starting to invest some proper time into learning the character and game, as I was enjoying it much more than the last game due to the bigger 'muk community around this one. Like any other fighting game, I'd drill my bread and butter combos, hit confirms and pressure sequences for hours - there's nothing worse than dropping your chance at victory because your hands aren't listening to your brain, after all. But moreover, I'd actually spent a reasonable time learning matchups, as if there's one thing about ASW games that doesn't compare favourably to say, Street Fighter, is that a lot of the moves in their games aren't instinctually legible. You watch Ryu do any of his normal moves and you can guess whether a kick is light, medium, or hard. BlazBlue? Not so much. The speed of a normal in BB can probably tell you whether the button was light, medium, or hard, but the inclusion of the "drive" button, the OTT character designs and inclusion of weapons meant that rote learning was the only real answer to learning matchups. And this is important as it teaches you when to attack and when to defend against each character, and much more besides, but before this turns into a deep dive deconstruction, just take my word for it that the game took a lot of learning! Anyway, I had finally got a decent grasp of this Ragna character when a huge balance patch came out which basically threw the baby out with the bath water. While all his normals and specials looked the same, his combos fitted together totally differently. The best thing about the character was the incredibly satisfying juggles you could perform from his uppercut, but now they were gone. Even his methods of pressuring the opponent had changed. All of my knowledge of the game was completely useless, and worse than that - all my muscle memory, every instinct of how I should control the character was all subtly off and liable to work against me. I tried for a little while to adapt, but thought it would just be easier to learn a new character instead of fighting old habits. Unfortunately, no other character ever felt right in the same way, and I just gravitated back to Street Fighter. Which probably would have happened sooner or later anyway!
  2. I've been back on this after a couple of weeks off and it's still a joy to play, even if every decent A20 run I've had has ended on the verge of success. Haven't had much in the way of interesting decks, except an extremely swingy deck that relied on reaper to claw back 60-odd health every fight as I had almost no block, but a fuck tonne of strength thanks to picking up pandora's box after act 1. Two limit breaks, an inflame and a spot weakness is too much many strength cards, but it was almost certainly the best result I've ever had from taking pandora's. The biggest lesson I've learnt though is never, ever forget to put incense burner on the right number. It reaaaally sucks to lose a run to that! I need a mod that inserts a pop-up asking "is incense burner on the right number?" whenever I'm about to deal lethal damage to an enemy. Especially when fighting the last elite before the big boss!
  3. So I've played this for a few hours now and finished a run with each of the first 5 characters. I think it's neat, but honestly a bit lightweight. As a Terry Cavanagh fan, that's a little disappointing. I have a feeling this is because I've only played the first ep for each character, which seems to be very heavily tutorialising each character's mechanics, so it's understandable you might want to hold any truly weighty decisions back until the player feels they have the lay of the land. Seems like there's plenty of content to get through though, so I'm very much hoping it'll get a bit more interesting as it goes on. I think perhaps my biggest barrier to enjoyment so far is the UX though. First of all, it's harmless enough, but I'm not a huge fan of the Kate Beaton / Tumblry art style. And as much as I love the Chipzel tracks in Super Hexagon, the music in this is waaay too extra. Some of the chiller tracks are nice, but the 10,000 BPM battle themes start to grate extremely quickly. I don't feel it really fits the art or even the playstyle of the game - I want to sit back and ponder my choices, but it's like the music is yelling at me to GO GO GO! My biggest UX gripe is the controls though. For one it's pretty clear you're beta testing a future tablet app - the layout and complete lack of hotkeys for basic and repeated actions like checking the enemy's attacks and ending your turn get annoying fairly quickly. Also, the simple act of placing a die on a card feels sadly weightless. I would love it if this were juiced up a tiny bit with good sound effects of a tiny bit of screen shake or something to sell the physicality of using dice, as it is now it all just feels a bit flat and placeholder. The classes are all interesting though, and I like all their gimmicks. Especially 3 and 5. Those are rad. 4 can fuck right off though. Love the heartbreaking decisions you're forced to make when the game makes you choose which of your beloved (and likely upgraded) cards you must sacrifice, but I feel like choosing the wrong gizmo can mean instant failure in the next fight, meaning knowledge of your next opponent is a bit more relevant than the other characters. Which seems especially harsh as there's no way to see which enemy you're fighting next on the map when you're making your choice of gizmo to create - or even check what your current gizmo is when looking at your inventory screen - a crazy oversight IMO!
  4. Awesome! I think I'll check this out RIGHT NOW.
  5. HOLY HECK My girlfriend just beat the entire game with Runic Dome (cannot see enemy intents) replacing her starting relic this morning. Jesus.
  6. OK, so this is his AI routine:
  7. Oh FUCK YES! Xrd is definitely my favourite fighting game of the current generation but I totally missed playing the game at its peak player base. Definitely excited to get on the next version day 1!
  8. Ascension adds a difficulty modifier to the game. For each ascension, a new, stacking modifier is added. These might not seem wildly difficult at first either, but every five levels or so will represent a significant bump in difficulty.
  9. I’m very glad the winner finally joined the pantheon.
  10. @JLM Big bird looks a tiny bit like jorbs. Maybe it’s just the glasses, or that last camera angle, but that smile...
  11. Well, fighting games are pretty fucking okay
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