Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mt. Bristle is as dreadful as ever.

I started a new game in MD2, and it took me three attempts to get all the way to the top. And this is only the THIRD DUNGEON IN THE GAME - before you're even given the option to revisit prior dungeons at that. I did remember this game's difficulty being absolutely dreadful, and I also remembered struggling with this place the first time around, but sheesh. This may be the only game in existence that gets this hard while still throwing early-game tutorials at you. (cue neverending list of likewise games in the comments)

Heck, even after returning with slightly higher levels and extra team members to do some missions it was still a pretty scary process. Those Starlys and Doduos just hurt so much, and if you thought abilities like Poison Point were intolerable in FRLG, here you have to contend with Spinaraks, Nidorinas and Nidorinos at a point where your stock of Pecha Berries might not be up to par, and the game keeps throwing RAWST Berries at you instead. Oh, and EVERYTHING seems to trigger Poison Point if it's done at melee range. Even stuff like Ember or Absorb.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mega Gengar, too uber for ubers?

I think we all knew it'd come down to this eventually, even if we didn't know when it would happen or what would be targeted - we now have a suspect test ON THE UBER LADDER. The target? Not Arceus, not Xerneas, not Kyogre - no, it's Mega Gengar. Indeed, just packing it is usually synonymous with getting one KO out of it, allowing powerful sweepers to rip through the rest of the team now that a crucial hole has been punched into it. I think everyone realizes that had it been any tier but ubers, Shadow Tag as a whole would be very much deserving of a ban (and yes, even Gothitelle can have an easy time tearing through shit, before you ask). However, there's the ethical issue of ubers being where all the overpowered shit goes anyway - including Mega Gengar. So there are huge disagreements on whether ubers are a banlist or a full-fledged metagame. And it's not hard to see why - the uber list is, at its core, a list of Pokémon that break OU and are therefore banned from it. Ergo, a banlist. But at the same time, any ladder whose core element is allowing these Pokémon is also a metagame. Furthermore, ubers are the third most popular ladder on Smogon, behind OU and UU, so clearly it's a popular metagame to boot.

With that said, why Mega Gengar instead of Arceus, Xerneas or Kyogre? Well, those three can be checked, for one. It's not easy, hence why they're so popular to start with, but it can be done. Mega Gengar just comes in, Taunts, Destiny Bonds, kills, GG. Stall suffers enormously as a result, and it's enough to invalidate an entire playstyle.

It goes without saying that there are other things currently banned from ubers, like OHKOs, Moody and Swagger. These, however, were banned due to their random, no-skill nature. Getting rid of Mega Gengar, though, is something that many people fear may take us down a path where they don't want to go. It'll be interesting to see how this goes.

Friday, July 25, 2014

To the old couple in the Altima...

...who was following me between Warwick and Victoriaville at 5:15 PM:

While I appreciate your attempt at assistance, me rolling at the speed limit was a conscious decision, so I didn't need you to try and push me with your bumper to make me go faster. The gas pedal wasn't optional on my car, after all.

While I'm at it, if you weren't so intent on helping me go faster and instead kept your distance, you might not have needed to go all the way on the reverse lane to see the incoming traffic, thus not needing to jeopardize your own safety to see that it was a terrible idea to pass me.

By the way, those double yellow lines on the road? They mean DO NOT EVER OVERTAKE. They're there for a reason.

And finally, turn signals can, in fact, be turned off. So after backing off of an ill-fated attempt to pass me, you don't need to keep it flashing for five minutes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Random ramblings: searing sticky summer edition

- If you ever needed proof that my head is all kinds of messed up... last night I had a dream that I returned to LPing. And I swear that while this was going on, I could feel another fragment of my subconscious telling me, maybe making a comeback would indeed be a good idea? So how does that work? Do I have multiple something? Am I losing my grip on reality?

Of course, when I woke up, I made a point to tell my brain, thanks for the offer, but no, I quit for a few reasons, and they still apply today.

- Apparently the decision of putting Greninja in SSB4 was made before X and Y came out. This really was quite a gamble, because at that point no one had any idea if it would take off. Imagine if they released a Smash game early in gen 5, and decided to put Zoroark in the game before BW1 came out. This would've turned out to be a tragic decision, because no one gives a fuck about Zoroark. It really never took off the way Lucario did. So in a way, they really, REALLY lucked out with the Greninja pick. Just how much, do you ask? Well, in the unweighted Smogon OU stats, Greninja is a very close second behind Charizard, while in the weighted ones Greninja is all the way down to 17th (Charizard is 12th). This suggests that Greninja is indeed a formidable fan favorite, maybe even to an extent we haven't ever seen out of a non-gen 1 Pokémon.

- One excuse I've seen people give for not banning Aegislash: it's not as broken as Mega Kangaskhan was. Sorry, but why should Mega Kangaskhan be the baseline for what's OP and what's not? Hint: it shouldn't. Damn thing was so cheap Stuart Ashen could've reviewed it.

- So sick of the Koopaling bashing. So I was shown this article about video game characters no one picks, and while I can't give my two cents on most games in there because I don't know shit about fighting games or LoL, the MK8 Morton entry is absolute shit (and it has nothing to do with the fact that I main him). Where do I start? With the fact that in any game, people tend to gravitate towards top-tier characters, and Morton is one of them (along with Roy, for that matter)?

So now that that's covered, let's move on to what I was talking about: suddenly the Koopalings are the most uncool thing ever. Between their appearance in SMW in 1991 and their return in NSMBW in 2009, they've made one appearance in Superstar Saga. Otherwise, total hiatus for 18 years. And during those 18 years, people complained that the Koopalings were given the shaft, while giving the decidedly less popular (at the time) Bowser Jr. all the attention. LEAVE MY MAMA ALONE YOU BAD MAN.

So what the hell happened? The only thing I can come up with is that most gamers nowadays weren't even alive back during the Koopalings' salad days, and have no idea what they meant back then. I can't explain the outrage at them making the cut in MK8, but not Bowser Jr., any other way. Sure, the roster has its flaws. Baby Daisy and Baby Rosalina are the worst offenders, there's no reason to have them, period. Pink Gold Peach is also... well, you know, but there's a fairly valid reason for her being around. See, in order to avoid the MK7 fiasco, they had to shove Metal Mario in a different weight class from the other heavyweights, but he couldn't be alone in that class, so they needed another average-hitbox heavyweight, and thus Pink Gold Peach was born.

But the Koopalings? Really? I think if there's one thing the MK8 roster did exactly right, it's have them in there. Sure, getting rid of Baby Daisy, Baby Rosalina and the red-shelled Lakitu in favor of say, Bowser Jr., Diddy and Dry Bowser would've singlehandedly solved most of the complaints regarding the roster (including the overabundance of lightweights), but claiming, like some people do, that the Koopalings are all basically the same thing are just way off. Each of them had their unique charm back in the day, and if you're too young to remember the horror of facing off against Roy and his shockwaves for the first time, at least give them the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, right, this is the internet. Benefit of the doubt? What's that?

(By the way, I see a LOT of Koopaling players online. A lot of Iggy and Larry, among others.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good things exist to be ruined.

I was coming back from work, and on the radio they were talking about a Montreal restaurant that started selling poutine burgers. You read that right, POUTINE BURGERS. Seriously? Poutine is the meal of the gods, so why is everyone so desperate to create new and innovative ways to tarnish it, from replacing the gravy with spaghetti sauce to putting it in a bun? And besides, how are you supposed to hold such a burger? Typically, things you put in a bun are consistent enough to stay in it without dropping off, which of course isn't the case of fries and cheese curds drenched in gravy.

But still, POUTINE BURGERS. What next, poutine ice cream?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wait, traction is important in MK8?

So apparently the setup I use (the infamous 4.25 speed/4 accel one) is total crap because it has 1.75 traction. That's not me saying it, though. They say it's a death sentence on tracks like Dolphin Shoals and Sherbet Land, but to be quite honest I never really noticed anything in the latter (unlike N64 Sherbet Land in MKW with the Flame Runner, where yeah, you're fucked), and as far as Dolphin Shoals goes I only really feel the lack of traction in that one sharp turn before the !/$?$%ing segment with the pipes, and I'd say the reason why I struggle with this track is because I just suck at it. So as far as I'm concerned, traction's use is extremely marginal.

And even so, even if it was a huge difference maker on these two tracks, I'll gladly take sucking at them in exchange for better performance in the other 30. MKW had the same notion, where Sherbet Land and to a lesser extent Shy Guy Beach were misery for the best vehicles, and yet I don't remember anyone serious about winning using the Magikruiser just for these two tracks. It was Flame Runner and Mach Bike as far as the eye could see, Sherbet Land and Shy Guy Beach be damned.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Who the fuck is Hatsune Miku?

And why should he/she/it be in SSB4?

Monday, July 14, 2014

The full scoop on Mega Metagross and Mega Diancie

When the first CoroCoro scans leaked a few days ago, some people were able to figure out that Mega Metagross would get Tough Claws, despite how blurry the scans looked. This has been officially confirmed, meaning Metagross basically gets a free Life Orb boost on every move it commonly uses bar Earthquake (at the cost of getting hit by Intimidate if you care about that, I suppose). YES PLEASE. Perhaps more important, though, is the fact that we have details on the stat boosts it will boast, with a significant boost to speed as the highlight. And with 100 points to distribute in five stats, if Speed gets the biggest cut it will definitely be enough to land it in triple digit territory. We've seen the good it did the likes of Gardevoir, Medicham and Lucario, so if anyone still has doubts on Metagross' return to OU, I don't know what can convince you. Also of note is the fact that every stat will get boosted, including some wasted points in special attack. Oh well, this thing looks like enough of a beast already, we don't want it to be sent to ubers before the end of the year, right? Still, remember that Metagross is currently out of the top 100 in OU, and is in the lower half of the UU tier, so it absolutely needed help.

As for Mega Diancie, a drastic shift in stats has been suggested, with "extremely high attack and special attack" and "blindingly fast attacks" offset by drops in both defenses. Considering regular Diancie has 100 in both attack stats and 50 in speed, something tells me we're going to be dealing with very significant boosts, especially in speed, which means the defense losses won't be as marginal as Garchomp's speed drop (from a numerical standpoint, I know that speed drop cripples Mega Garchomp greatly in practice). And since Carbink and Diancie have both been all about multiples of 50 so far, my educated guess is that Mega Diancie will be having 50 in HP, 100 in both defenses, and 150 in both attacks and speed. Basically Deoxys-RS without the obscene movepool, but with workable defenses and freaking Magic Bounce. Speaking of which, it really does look like Gamefreak really wants to avoid making an incredibly bulky Pokémon with Magic Bounce, hence this major shift. Otherwise we would've seen a Mega Diancie capable of setting up some Calm Minds with impunity, then putting on the hurt with its admittedly few special attacks.

Now, with that stat shift in mind, how would such a Pokémon be used? Calm Mind sweeper anyway? Maybe use that speed to set up Stealth Rock and screens like Deoxys-E did? I'll be honest, it's hard to say, for the simple reason that ORAS will likely bring about several tutors, and some of them are bound to help Diancie. So it's definitely not guaranteed that Mega Diancie will be going in with nothing but Moonblast, Psychic and Ancient Power on the special side, and Diamond Storm and Return on the physical side. Besides, it's a Pokémon with a BST of 700 and Magic Bounce of all abilities. People will find a way to make it work somehow, that's a guarantee.