Street Fighter EX Collection Wishlist

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, Street Fighter on July 31, 2017 by slateman

With Arika moving forward to release a new fighting game next year, we’re set to see Kairi, Skullomania, Garuda, Darun and Hokuto return to the ring.

There is no official tie to Street Fighter EX just yet and it may remain that way. However, it seems evident that Arika and Capcom have
some open relationship going, as EX characters appeared on the CFN portal.

It’s never been a viable topic to even imagine an EX collection, but with the new changes, one might wonder: could this actually happen? Certainly I am not the only person who would be elated if Fighting EX Layer (unofficial working title) actually turned out to be SFEX4, however it is ultimately extremely unlikely. The small Japanese team was taking input from people at SDCC which means they don’t have the big backing Capcom would offer, particularly with the name Street Fighter affixed. However, one could just imagine the possibility of a collection of the first three SFEX games actually coming to be.

They would likely have to come to the PS4 only, as the trio of games never appeared on any other home console. And while the first two games had basic arcade version that differ from the final ports, it seems unlikely those versions would ever be playable. The only real issue would be the requisite online play. Outside of that, the remainder of the games could truly remain the same. From the great trials to the training mode to the arcade options, it could be a very straightforward game. I don’t need enormous major changes. Just a nice game choice splash screen and the full games ported over. However, maybe I’m being naïve. Perhaps it’s not quite so simple without fully remastering them. If it were possible, I would gladly plunk down the cash for:

  • Street Fighter EX + Alpha (PS1)
  • Street Fighter EX2 + (PS1)
  • Street Fighter EX3 (PS2)

How sweet would that be? As usual, the sheer awesomeness is directly proportional to the unlikeliness of it actually happening. *sigh*




Netflix’s Castlevania: Slow Start – Great End!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, TV with tags on July 31, 2017 by slateman

The animation in Castlevania is remarkable and the short, four-episode series simply looks great. Each of the roughly twenty-minute episodes is over as soon as it begins, but the series takes a little while to really get rolling. I know setting backstory is important, but I was, quite frankly, bored halfway through the second episode. Trevor, my favorite Belmont for obvious purposes, seemed more annoying than genuinely vested in the task and dialogues just went on forever. However, as the end of episode three leads into the finale, the story takes shape. The final battle sets the tone for what should be a very exciting second, eight-episode season two. However, I should be wary to note that the shortcomings of this season are likely going to return. The fitting end to this season was particularly special, especially for anyone whose favorite of the original Castlevania games was number three, which, truly, is a vast majority of classic fans. I don’t know if we’ll see Grant’s return, but as is, the three protagonists are diverse, strong and well-voiced. Richard Armitage does a spectacular job and I look forward to the second season’s arrival. It should be fun.

Fargo Binge: Over!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, TV on July 30, 2017 by slateman

I watched the film back when it was new, but I’d heard good things about the FX TV show. With my wife and I running out of things to watch, why not try something new? And after just a few weeks, we’ve binge watched all three seasons and the film itself. It’s pretty look to see all the nods to the movie in the show, but it was clear: the first season was the best.

The show was quaint and entertaining, but the TV show is when it came into its own. And each season had a standout actor or actress: Martin Freeman and Billy Bob in the first, Kirston Dunst in the second and Ewan McGregor and the slimy antagonist from the third. And Dunst was spectacular. I’d highly recommend watching the first season and maybe even the second, all while remembering the latter’s finale was rather weak. In the end, a very entertaining show and now the wait for a possible fourth season begins!

New 4×4 Record!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing, Cubing Records, High Scores/Accomplishments with tags on July 27, 2017 by slateman

On the same day that Feliks broke the 7×7 world record, with a 2:08 showing, I managed to shave four seconds off my modest 4×4 personal best. A 2:14+ time may seem quaint to these speedcubers, but it’s the best I’ve ever done. My newest cube, a stickerless QiYi MoFangGe Snow Leopard, isn’t really great. It’s exploded several times and I am pretty sure I lost a record just in trying to keep it from doing so again. However, a parity-free run this morning yielded a pretty good time. While I don’t think a sub-two-minute run is ever to be in the cards, I’ll remain humble with this new record.

Goodbye, All: Final Fantasy XII

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games with tags , on July 11, 2017 by slateman

I never could put my finger on just why I never completed FFXII. While I haven’t finished any Final Fantasy game after the illustrious FFVII, I quite enjoyed both IX and XII. VIII and XIII didn’t interest me, XI and XIV required an online dedication and XV just didn’t sway me with bros and a car, despite its generally-favorable reviews. Oh, and X – I don’t know why I didn’t finish that either. It was enjoyable the two-dozen hours I put into it.

I digress in a bevy of Roman numerals. FFXII had just a different feel to it; its gameplay was a stark departure, its return to Ivalice from the awesome FFT was a rare revisit of an old theme and the artstyle remains one of my favorites in all of gaming (alongside FFIX’s!). But the reason only just became clear to me: children. I got married in January of 2006 and it’s hard to believe I moved to Maine when the PS2 was still the latest and the greatest. (I don’t care that the 360 came out a few months prior.). As much as I liked the twelfth numbered installment, I never gave it enough time. And as literally every other main entry was made playable on current systems, I just waited for #12 to arrive. As the last of the older titles, it finally has and I’m drawn in again by that gameplay and artstyle. If it is as good as they say, and as my memory tells me, I might be MIA for a while. Perhaps that God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta playthrough may have to wait a little bit!!!

God Of War: Chains Of Olympus – Impressive

Posted in Best / Worst, Games with tags on July 10, 2017 by slateman

It’s been over a year since I revisited the God Of War series. I played through the remasters of all three games and was impressed at the storyline, the gameplay and most of all, the anger. Just after, I began playing Ascension but lost interest as the story was just nonsense and the anger was been-there, done-that.

As the new title approaches, I find myself intrigued at the possibilities. It could be good! Combining the classic Kratos with a new tone, setting and scenario is really the only way to reboot the series IMO. The brutality of GOW III was about as far as a game could convey anger. But while the trilogy is done and over, I’ve only ever tinkered with the handheld adventures. The remastered PS3 versions were on sale this past week: both for $2. A buck per game? Let’s do this.

Tossing Chains Of Olympus on Spartan difficulty (hard mode), I went through a game that was very clearly designed for handhelds. Environments were reused and cut-scenes were particularly ugly. However, the gameplay was, for the most part, solid and the entire experience was rather pleasant. Barring some middle segments that dragged as you ran loops through areas and and end-game portion that felt like wave after wave of enemies – the overall game was quite good. The most noteworthy area lied in the later story. Spoilers incoming. The tale itself just seemed an excuse for another game, but Kratos’ plight towards the end regarding his daughter was notably mature. The choice between her and humanity was unfair and it gave depth to the fires that fueled the epic finale of the series.

Now with the first game out of the way, it’s time to start up the sequel which, I’ve heard, is even better. Not sure if I’ll try this one on Spartan difficulty or not!

Vintersorg: Till Fjälls Del II – A Worthy Sequel?

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music, Reviews with tags on June 30, 2017 by slateman

The way I figure it, Vintersorg has gone through three phases. First, you had the original, folk-inspired, awesome, initial era. This was
followed by the progressive, non-Swedish and in retrospect, rather brief, second phase. I lost a lot of interest at this point. However, 2007’s Solens Rötter was a return to form that was all but perfected in the next releases. Jordpuls was brilliant and Orkan was 2012’s Album of the Year. Naturbål was no slouch, but perhaps more of the same wasn’t quite enough.

And while each release was solid and spectacular, I can see why something needed to change. So when it was announced that album #10 would be titled Till Fjälls: Del II, it piqued my interest greatly. But it also made me wonder. C’mon, how many bands can truly put out a sequel to something as awesome Till Fjälls? Can anything really live up to the first two LPs?

With a few spins under my belt, the answer simply is, “no.” Part II is on par with Naturbål and Jordpuls, but it’s no Orkan and it certainly isn’t in the same league as Vintersorg’s first few releases. Mathematically, it is sound. It is exactly what I would hope for. But it is not as rooted in the folky tradition. It is not nearly as catchy. There’s nothing as hum-worthy as För Kung Och Fosterland or the title track. Actually, Tillbaka Till Källorna is perpetually stuck in my mind these last few days. Additionally, the mix is questionable. Drums are awfully low, particularly bass drums, which is really quite strange.

In fact, the biggest downside of this album is its name. Just giving us the fourth and final entry into the earthly elements series would have been just fine. But that damn Till Fjälls name just gave me a sense of expectation that was almost impossible to live up to. (Edit: But with each subsequent listen, it grows on me.)

A side bonus is that I understand some of the lyrics and song titles now, with a little Swedish vocabulary.

New FAQs: Nex Machina & MVCI

Posted in Blog, Games, Guides, Street Fighter on June 28, 2017 by slateman

With summer vacation upon us I tossed together a pair of new FAQs. The Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite story demo is out and I figured I’d organize the skeleton of what may be a future FAQ. For now it’s just a complete move listing, but we’ll see if the game is good enough to expand it.

Second is a Nex Machina Secrets Guide. This details locations for every hidden exit, secret human, beacon and visitor and was a fun one to write. Just quick updates for today, but it’s been a long time since I worked on two FAQs in such a short span of time.

Tons Of Rock: Slayer, Emperor, Awesomeness.

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music with tags , on June 25, 2017 by slateman

My trip north on Friday was amazing and it’s one I will not soon forget. Seeing Emperor play all of Anthems and seeing Slayer for the tenth time…In Norway!? Just amazing. I’ve written up my review replete with some good photos, but I’ve also uploaded a video with some short snippets from the show. Figured I’d share here as this is the most updated section of my site. Enjoy

Nargaroth: Era Of Threnody – Spectacular!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music on June 9, 2017 by slateman

I’ve never listened to this German band, but I’m quite impressed with this album. Barring a pair of so-so rock-inspired cuts, the rest is a gritty, harsh and eclectic mix of black metal, Italian-sounding arrangements, melodic interludes and straight-up awesomeness. Hardly a review, this is just a friendly suggestion to check the album out. It’s got it all and will certainly be among the top albums of the year six months hence.