Archive for the 'Gaming' Category

02
Mar
09

Street Fighter IV: A Beginners Blog (Part 1)

1.1 Welcome To The Street Fighter IV Beginners Blog

Given my history with videogames it seems odd that I would have overlooked one of the biggest franchises in its history, but it’s true.  Up until now, I have never actually owned a Street Fighter game.  Yet, I know I’m not alone, I have been asked by quite a few people whether the game is actually accessible to newer players as the fighting genre tends to be one that caters more for the elite.

Now while I am a beginner to Street Fighter that doesn’t mean I have ignored the genre completely.  Indeed, I’ve been playing the Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive games since their conception, so I do know about the strategies and tactics needed to, not only start learning the basics of a fighting game but also some of the high end stuff like “dash-cancelling” a move animation to link into other combos.  But seeing as this is a beginners blog, I wouldn’t expect much talk of this so don’t worry if certain terms impenetrable at the moment.

And so the purpose of all this is to, hopefully, get those who are teetering on the edge of buying the game to actually get in there and also to chart my progress in the learning process.  You could say it’s a hand-in-hand thing.

1.2 Starting Out

Controller Choice: an Issue?

The first choice you have to make about getting into street fighter is what controller you want to use.  This is where many people become baffled and think you really need to spend £190 to play the game properly.  You don’t.  Even though Capcom themselves say that the game is best played on an arcade stick, with the tournament ones costing £150 or an official Hori Stick costing around £40-70, it really seems unnecessary.  Besides, the game has been adjusted so that inputs will be picked up on a regular controller.  I, for one, am one of those that decided to use a regular 360 pad mainly due to my inexperience with fight sticks and also the reluctance to spend £100+ to play something.  While the D-Pad on the 360 isn’t as great as I’d like it to be, even though I’m an analogue stick user, there is a solution available in the form of the Mad Catz 360 fight pad.

While this debate is likely to rumble on, probably to the extend of a future patch, the regular 360 pad isn’t as bad as people are making out.  While you may struggle through the first night of play you will eventually get to the stage where you can pull off the moves every time; it just takes practice.

1.3 Getting into the Game

While intuition might tell you that ‘Arcade Mode’ is the best place to start, it might not actually do you any favours.  Arcade Mode is normally set to the medium difficulty and, as can be told from previous experience, you will be overwhelmed by the A.I.

My advice when starting out is to head straight to the training modes and leave the arcade until after you’ve picked up the basic mechanics and have set the difficulty to ‘easiest’ or ‘easy’.

1.4 Learning the Basics

The main difference from Street Fighter from the likes of Soul Calibur and DOA is the amount of input you have for moves in the game.  While DOA has 2 attack (1x punch & 1x kick), a throw and a block button SFIV has 6 main attack inputs (3x punch & 3x kick) as well as combinations of these being throw and focus attacks.  Not to mention there is alot of directional input required to pull off your special moves compared to other fighters.

Luckily enough the games training modes provide enough enough tuition to allow you to grasp how SFIV actually works.  In Challenge mode you will find everything you need when starting from scratch; your first port of call should be “Trail Mode”.  This mode gives you a series of commands to perform that gradually become more complicated.  This shows you how to pull off your characters basic move-set, specials and takes you through to advanced combos.

Other vital modes in the games challenges are “Time Trails” and “Survival” these two modes are set over 20 stages and start out on the most basic difficulty and go on to the harder ones further down the line.  This will allow you to use the moves you were shown in the trails and make you comfortable with fighting against the A.I, as well as slowly bring in tactical thinking including when to block, when to use your Specials and Ultras, etc.  Always remember that if you happen to forget the button combination for a move you can look it up by accessing the games move lists from the pause menu.

1.5 Expanding the Roster

Now that you have a rough grasp of the basic mechanics it’s time to get some more characters to play as.  In order to get the likes of Rose, Cammy, Sakura etc you need to now play through the arcade mode.  So, with the difficulty set to easiest, you should be able to walk through the mode and grab all of the characters missing from the roster.  The quickest way to do this is to set the number of rounds to 1, this means you wont have to re-do 2 more if you lose.  Even if you do lose a fight, as you’ll see when you reach Seph in the final stage, you can simply continue and will not affect the unlock of the character you are after (with the exception of Akuma and Gouken, but then they also have different requirements to unlock).

Again once you’ve unlocked more characters you can learn how each of them actually works, the tactics required to pull off moves and in the process learn what their weakness are for fighting against them.

Next time:

Tactics
Charging
Fighting Against Seasoned Players

05
Feb
09

E3 Returns

After several years of being downsized it was announced recently that E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, will return to the LA convention centre on June 2nd of this year. This means the return of massive multimillion dollar booths, loud music and (the most missed aspect of E3) Booth Babes. Details are still sketchy on what are likely to be press days and what days may be open to the public but the ESA has released a list of attendees that have signed up so far:

A
Activision Meeting Room #510
Activision Booth #5322
Atari, Inc. Booth #501
Atlus U.S.A. Booth #4023
Azuradisc, Inc. Booth #2836
B
Basco Distribution Booth #2940
BDA Booth #5167
Bethesda Softworks Booth #4455
Brady Games Booth #4773
C
Capcom USA Booth #4956
Capcom USA Meeting Room #501A
Capcom USA Meeting Room #507
CH Products Booth #506
Conny Booth #247
Creative Mind Interactive Inc. Booth #2953
CTA Digital, Inc. Booth #4967
D
D-BOX Technologies, Inc. Booth #2817
DDR Game Booth #2838
Digiwinner Limited Booth #2902
Disney Interactive Studios Booth #1001
dreamGEAR Booth #4500
E
egameforless Booth #2801
Eidos Interactive Booth #2446
Electronic Arts Meeting Room #407
Electronic Arts Meeting Room #406A
Electronic Arts Booth #1501
Electronic Arts Meeting Room #406B
Epic Games Meeting Room #302
EZ Games Distribution, Inc. Booth #2928
G
Game Center Distribution Inc. Booth #2906
Game Outlet Europe Booth #2830
Game Source, Inc. Booth #2846
Gamepark Holdings Co. Ltd. Booth #500
GAMETECH Booth #246
GelaSkins Booth #2934
Graffiti Entertainment, Inc. Booth #502
H
Hori (U.S.A.), Inc. Booth #4872
I
iBeta Quality Assurance Booth #547
IGN.com Meeting Room #501B
IGN.com Booth #2841
Innex, Inc. Booth #2947
Iron Will Creations Inc. Booth #2915
J
J.F.J. Disc Repair Booth #504
K
K2 Network Booth #2811
Kaltman Creations Booth #447
KOEI Corporation Booth #535
Konami Digital Entertainment Booth #2401
L
Logic3 Booth #4673
M
Majesco Entertainment Meeting Room #514
Majesco Entertainment Booth #4972
Matcom Distribution Booth #3147
Mayflash Limited Booth #401
Microsoft Corporation Meeting Room #404A
Microsoft Corporation Meeting Room #404B
Microsoft Corporation Booth #1523
Midway Booth #1
Midway Meeting Room #401
MTV Games Booth #2023
MTV Games Meeting Room #303B
N
Namco Bandai Games America Booth #822
Nintendo of America Booth #4923
NYKO Technologies Booth #4512
P
Penguin United Booth #3029
Performance Designed Products Booth #2822
Prima Games/Random House, Inc Booth #5073
R
Rampid Interactive Booth #2837
Rebellion Booth #4873
RTI Disc Repair Booth #2930
S
Scanavo North America LTD Booth #404
SEGA of America, Inc. Booth #2001
SEGA of America, Inc. Meeting Room #307
Sony Computer Entertainment Meeting Room #505
Sony Computer Entertainment Meeting Room #506
Sony Computer Entertainment Meeting Room #504
Sony Computer Entertainment Booth #4622
Sony DADC Booth #4973
Sony Online Entertainment Booth #4600
Square Enix, Inc Meeting Room #306B
Square Enix, Inc Booth #1546
T
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Meeting Room #403B
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Booth #2
Techart Entertainment Limited Booth #3031
THQ Meeting Room #515A
THQ Meeting Room #512
THQ Booth #407
Turtle Beach Booth #2805
U
U.S. Games Distribution, Inc. Booth #2860
Ubisoft Entertainment Meeting Room #403A
Ubisoft Entertainment Booth #1022
USERJOY Technology Co., Ltd Booth #3034
V
Video Game Advantage Booth #2803
W
Warner Bros. Interactive Booth #2047
Warner Bros. Interactive Meeting Room #306A
Z
Z-Best Audio & Video Inc. Booth #546
ZeroPlus Technology Co., Ltd Booth #3028

While it’s heartening to see that E3 is returning to the flashy media event that it was formally it’s odd that now is the time that they’ve chosen to do it. The recession has hit many companies hard; EA, Microsoft, Sony and just about everyone else has announced some form of downsizing or layoffs, so where are these firms likely to get the money to take part? The same can be said of the enthusiast press, with most of the gaming magazines gone, sites laying off writers on what seems a weekly basis, who is actually going to cover the event. Indeed IGN is the only media company currently signed up, notice the lack of a prominent gamespot booth?

So while ths is  exciting news there are probably alot of aprehensive people worried at how the whole thing is going to turn out.

Mark

31
Jan
09

New “Batman: Arkham Asylum” Trailer hits

One of this years games that seems to have slipped off many radars has been “Batman: Arkham Ayslum”. It’s been a while since there was a good Batman game (that didn’t involve lego) and this looks like it could have the potential to break the trend. See the new trailer below:

While the quality of the trailer isn’t that great, blame youtube, you can find a better one over at Giantbomb.  The atmosphere seems to be darker than in previous games and almost gives off an almost  Bioshock or Condemned vibe.  Lets just hope that the gameplay mechanics hold up, as that seems to be the failings of many a superhero game outing.

Either way it features Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy, which instantly means it will be awesome.

Mark

10
Jan
09

RIP 1up and EGM

I’m a little late with this one due to deadlines and whatnot but tardiness should not be percieved as not caring.

Earlier this week prominant game site 1up.com (formally owned by Ziff Davis) announced that they were to be taken over by UGO.  While I have never heard of them, think it’s an american thing, they seem to be pretty big.  This was to be great news, especially seeing that Ziff Davis had filed for a chapter 11 last year (the equivalent to administration in the UK), and would hopefully “save” 1up.com.  This was not to be.

While the official press statements have said that UGO wanted to salvage as much of the site/podcasts and EGM Magazine (1ups only print publication after the closing of GFW Magazine) as they could, most of it had to go due to “what was profitable”.

As a result over 30 seriously talented people have lost their jobs over at 1up.  And while this may not concern many of you, this kinda hits home alot for me personally.  Without 1up I doubt I would ever have gotten the motivation to do a podcast, ever.  These guys had the talent and personalities not just for me to listen to one but hundreds over the years that I visited the site. 1upyours, The 1upshow, GFW Radio, Retronauts, Legendary Thread, EGM Live, 1upFM, LAN Party. These were all awesome!

Long live GFW

Long live GFW!

 

I was genuinely upset at the news and was following the updates on twitter and GAF until 3am the day it broke; the fact that so many people were given one days warning that they had no job to go back to this early into the new year is heartbreaking especially as these people were willing to open up their lives for us on the Internet.  Something that takes some serious balls to do.

So what can I say other than I hope everyone who worked at Ziff Davis speedily finds a new job, god knows they have enough creative abilty to make even me want to hire them!

But also I hope those that are left assert themselves and try to get 1up back to where it was.   While the site and content will never be the same again, with the backing of UGO it now has the power to become something different and hopefully they will keep the integrity that 1up and EGM were infamous for.

No doubt I’ll be bringing this up on the podcast soon but I wanted to write something down.  Keep on trucking guys, I’ll be following you on twitter!

Mark

21
Oct
08

Offline = Busy Time

Apologies to everyone for the lack of updates and presence in the online world but coursework season has hit me like a brick to the face.  So chances are I’ll be a little quiet for the next couple of weeks.  Dont get me wrong, I’ll still be doing the podcast every friday (with the possible exception of one on Halloween, but I’ll address that at a later date) but I wont be on Live or WoW for that matter in the meantime.

So I’ll give you some news to tie you over until then.  Yesterday I got to play a near final build of Little Big Planet and I have to say I really enjoyed it, the game is very simple with a lot of depth lying underneath the surface.  While the Sony PR rep wasn’t familiar with the level we were playing co-operatively, so it actually made it more interesting to actually work out the puzzles that had been created in the level, especially so for the sony rep who ended up taking a picture of me playing… why, I’m not sure but as long as I dont appear on any marketing panflets with a photohopped grin on my face I’ll be fine.

Seeing as my flatmate will be picking this up on release it’s going to be interesting to see how exactly the editor handles and whether it, while seeming as though it should be a mod tool on PC, handles well on the PS3.

Well, that’s your lot for a while.  Have this to keep you occupied:

Mark

08
Oct
08

Calm Before the Storm

In a tribute to GFW Radio: “Aaaand we’re back!”

With Novatech doing an unbelievably fast turn-around on laptop repair, things are back to normal.  That horrible feeling of having a missing limb by not being able to connect to the net is gone.  Plans are also in place to get a new podcast sorted ASAP, I’m just about to place an order on some mics, so there should be something to show very soon.

My pile of shame* (*may not be actual size)

Games updates have been, admittedly, slow.  I’ve spent the best part of the last month re-reading the Belgariad by David Eddings and savouring each morsel as if it were cake.  Damn fine cake. 

Yet, while there has been a drout of games being released, I’ve went back to my rather large pile of shame (i.e games I’ve bought but haven’t finished yet) to play when I’m not head down in a book.

First on the list is Orange Box.  I haven’t a clue why but I put off playing Half-life 2 and it’s episodes for an incredibly long time, which seems foolish now as these are some of the finest games I’ve ever played in my 18+ years of gaming.  Valve have every right to be proud of the amount of awards that the series has earned.  Taking them as a whole the entire thing feels varied and while there could be a risk of having the ‘jack of all trades master of none’ everything seems to be completely honed and polished meaning that nothing hinders the experience.  Puzzles and set pieces throughout are never overly complex or difficult but still seem challenging and incredibly satisfying when accomplished.  Especially at the ball bustingly awesome ending of Episode 2.

The only problem I can find with the it is once you’ve finished episode 2, marvelled at it’s ending and look back over the entire experience it dawns on you that you’ve got one hell of a wait ahead of you for the next one.

Seeing as there’s still some time before I become buried alive by new releases next up will be Call of Duty 4 and Burnout: Paradise (especially seeing as there’s the new bike updates) while playing some spore in between.  There’s probably some uni stuff I should be doing too but… yeah!

Mark

21
Sep
08

Late Night Posting & the Problem with PC Gaming

Seeing as the people downstairs appear to have the mental capacity of five year olds and continue to play obscenly load (and unmistakably bad) music at 3am, I may as well update things here.

First thing to point out is that regular readers of the blog will have had a podcast thrust onto them yesterday, apologies to all those who didn’t know what it was.  Explanation time.  Cali-Otaku is the anime/manga society for Glasgow Caledonian and this is our new podcast.  However, just because we’re an anime society doesn’t mean that that’s all there is on there… hell no!  We’ll also verge on to the realms of video games (now there’s a suprise) and various other off topic shinanigans.  Thanks to everyone who’s listened to the podcast so far and I know we’re having a few teething problems but these should be fixed when we come back to it after a couple of weeks.  I’m still getting used to using Audacity to edit and it’s pretty time consuming to learn and produce something coherent at the same time.  Also we’ll be increasing the number of mics fourfold which should solve the delays of passing the one mic around and thankfully we should be able to record in a quiet room as opposed to the deafning levels of noise that was going on in the freshers faire.

One area that I wanted to discuss on this weeks podcast, that I didn’t really get a chance to go into, was the Spore DRM issue.  Those not into games wont know the horrors of DRM (digital rights management yet) but there are examples of it already in meansream products such as Blu-ray disks.  Anyways the issue concerning spore is that EA made some pretty bad decisions concerning how to handle copyright protection with Spore and chose to give the user 3 strikes:  This means that the game can only be installed on any machine a total of 3 times before a new code has to be requested directly from EA themselves.

Now while I’m not a fan of the approach EA have taken, it’s the action of the PC gaming ‘elite’ that has me baffled here.  PC gaming has been plagued with piracy and as a result many of the highly respected developers are turning their attention to consoles as a ways to make money and leave the PC platform as a second thought.  Never ones to take things like these lying down whine constantly on forum boards and project venomous bile at any execs that dare step away from their beloved platform.

Yet, when a game that comes along that has been built from the ground up for PC the community turns a blind eye and heads the the Isohunts and the piratebays to illegally download the game.  Crysis was the first game not so long ago to suffer this effect and Crytek, the developer behind the game, lost millions in revenure and has since re-evaluated it’s postion on PC exclusive development.  Spore too now has this problem and even since before it’s launch has seen obscene amounts of piracy.

PC gaming is in crisis at the moment and it doesn’t help when the users themselves who claim to be supporting the system illegally download these games, that could salvage the platform, then hide behind thinly veiled excuses. Such as “requirements being too high” or “a draconian DRM system”.  If you plan to be rebellious about it just don’t buy the stuff on offer, don’t download it because it makes it’ll make you sound like such a fucking hypocrite when the ‘PC gaming is dead topic’ shows up again.

If PC gaming is dying, then it’s you people that are killing it

Mark




Welcome

I'm Mark Gibson & this is another one of my blogs where you're likely to find musings of daily life, gaming & just plain rambling.

Currently Playing:
Modern Warefare 2
Borderlands
Forza 3


Currently Watching:
South Park


Currently Listening to:
Cage - Depart From Me
Flobots - Fight With Tools


Currently Reading:
The Wheel of Time (again)


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