Friday, July 21, 2017

Chamberlain was right: watch the EVO 2017 SFV top 8.

There are three principal characters, in my opinion.


1 - Tokido, the Japanese player who's been rocking Street Fighter at the pro level for decades, who will go on to win this tournament.


2 - Punk, a handsome, exceptional eighteen year old American kid who is favored to win, and spends the entire tournament beating the shit out of everyone he meets.


3 - FChamp, an American Dhalsim player who makes it to top 8 and gives Tokido his best competition outside of Punk.

To get the whole picture, start watching this video at this timestamp (3:26:36).  Those are day 2 matches, and we begin with Justin Wong's Karin standing up to Daigo's Guile.  Guile seems to have replaced Ryu in this tourney - there's not a Ryu or Ken to be seen! - and it's just cool to watch these two titans throw down in such a friendly, professional way.

Immediately following that match, though, is the first meet-up of Tokido and Punk, which sends punk to top 8.  Meanwhile, Dhalsim main FChamp takes out a Laura and a Cammy to earn his place in the finals, and Tokido wins his next match to claw his way into the top-8 losers bracket.



The video of top 8 is three hours long, but here are the matches that make up the narrative in my head:

0:05:22 : Punk uses Nash's speed and zoning to shut down ItaZan's Zangeif. He remains favored to win, but ItaZan remains in the tournament.

0:36:49 : FChamp's Dhalsim meets Tokido's Akuma, and his patient, intelligent play cannot withstand Tokido's aggression.  This is actually my favorite match of the entire tournament, and a compelling argument for how beautiful Street Fighter V can be as FChamp slips and slithers around Tokido's fireballs.  It's the fight of FChamp's life, and he keeps it together, but Tokido beats him and stays in the game.

1:13:45 : Tokido's Akuma thrashes NuckleDu's Guile, and keeps himself in the tournament.

1:46:14 : In the Winner's Finals, Kazunoko's Cammy can't stand up to Punk's masterful Karin.

1:53:39 : Tokido has to take down ItaZan's Zangeif to stay in the game, and the top-eight wrestler finally goes down to Tokido's insane Akuma, which puts Tokido into the Losers Finals against Kazunoko's insane Cammy.

Defeating Kazunoko, once again, keeps Tokido in the game, and he moves on to the grand finals against Punk's Karin.

Punk has dominated every player he's come up against - including Tokido himself the previous day - and here Tokido has to defeat Punk in not one set, but two in order to reset the bracket and actually have a shot at winning EVO 2017.  He can't lose a set, while Punk can give one up and remain in the game.

Punk went into it with a lot of nerves, you could tell, but he was still very confident.  The stadium is chanting "U.S.A!  U.S.A!" - this EVO is his to win, and... it all falls apart.

Punk is a better, nastier player than we see in these final scrims against Tokido.  Karin and Akuma are both aggressive, rushdown fighters, and Punk has gotten this far by maintaining an incredible, predictive game of keeping his positioning perfect to remain safe while punishing every whiff by his opponents.

But at some point in those first three matches, the pendulum swings.  Tokido begins successfully predicting like every mix up Punk sends his way, and brutally punishes it.  He hammers a full set out of Punk, and resets the bracket.

It's all slipping away for Punk.  This was his year.  This was his chance.  This was the year an American would win EVO, and it was supposed to be this upstart eighteen year old kid.  The tournament was his to win, and he's lost his advantage over Tokido - a player twice his age, who's seen it all.

They go into the next set - Punk can still do this!  The stadium crackling with electricity.  His family are freaking the fuck out in the audience - he can still do this!  But...

Tokido had his number.  Tokido was completely, entirely, in his head.  He knew what Punk was going to do before Punk did it.  He hammered the American until Punk was terrified of displaying the kind of clinical, perfect aggression that earned him a place in the top two - terrified of getting that close to Tokido's horrific Akuma, terrified that this was all falling apart.

And Tokido just kept his cool.  He had been working on calming exercises, lately, the announcers told us earlier, to keep the tourney nerves at bay, and age and professionalism simply overcame youth and skill.

Skip ahead to the award ceremony at 2:52:00 and watch Punk desperately try to stop himself from bursting into tears as he receives his second place medal.  My heart breaks for him.

This was it.  This is what he was working so hard for, and he could only watch, horrified, as his dream crumbled in the shadow of Tokido's Akuma.  You feel like it was less that Tokido defeated him than that he simply lost.  He, Punk, failed.  Yes, you got second place in the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, standing among the Gods of Street Fighter and holding your own, but you lost, Punk.  You could've beaten him - you know you could've, you did it 24 hours earlier! - but you lost.  You had it and you let it go.  You believed in yourself, and you let yourself down.

Or perhaps more likely, I'm imagining the same cruelty in him that I had, when I enjoyed a similar failure, scratching at the ceiling of my craft at his age.

I call this piece Child In Agony.

He pulls off his glasses and wipes at his eyes as the medal is placed on Tokido's shoulders.

Don't think this was it, Punk.  Don't think this was your only chance.  Don't think that you've peaked with EVO 2017, 'cause we all want to see this rematch in 2018 - and as a North American, I really wanna' see you win it.

This was awesome.  Chamberlain was right.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 81 : Floccinaucinihilipilification!


Wiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - Floccinaucinihilipilification!


THIS WEEK!
  • Chance tries something... new?!
  • War for the Planet of the Apes is apparently really quite good!
  • Chamberlain watched EVO 2017 coverage so you don't have to!
  • And how hyped are the boys for the Ataribox?
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Woot woot new Kingsman: The Golden Circle trailer!



Also this:



Man.  Some days life is good.

Behold, Pyre's launch trailer.



Now there are people out there who think that Pyre doesn't look very appetizing because it seems a bit of a departure from SuperGiant's previous action-RPGs - the ridiculously good Bastion and the insanely good Transistor.

But here's my take.

SuperGiant Games made fucking Bastion and Transistor.  I'm day-oneing whatever they make next, I don't care if it's a ping pong game.

Well those are some neato sales on PSN.


Quickfast, for today is my Friday and I intend to spend it watching as much Game of Thrones and Late Night With Stephen Colbert and playing as much 99 Vidas (maybe) and Diablo III (definitely) as possible.

Okay, so - PS4:
  • Bastion is $4.49
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered is $2.99
  • The Legend of Korra is $5
  • The Order: 1886 is FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS AND SOOOO WORTH IT. If I don't already have this digitally, I'm jumpin' on that. 
  • Batman: Arkham Knight is $15
  • Batman: Return to Arkham is $20 (which is super-tempting - how much would a physical copy run me?  Hmmm $40 off Amazon.  A terrible choice to have to make...)
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer is $4.50
  • Broken Age is $5.39
  • Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition is $6
On Vita... 
  • Broken Age is $5.40
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer is $4.50
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered is $3
  • Grim Fandango Remastered is $3
  • Slain: Back From Hell is $6

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I think we all want Guillermo Del Toro to be incredible again.

Behold, the trailer for his next flick, The Shape of Water.



I feel like Del Toro's been on a downward trajectory for a while.  S'like... from 2004 on:

Hellboy - pretty darned good!

Pan's Labyrinth - this is a masterpiece and Guillermo Del Toro is a fucking genius.

Hellboy II - pretty darned good!

Pacific Rim - pretty darned shitty, with some amazing kaiju/giant robot fights!

Crimson Peak - really nice... costumes?  Yeah.  It had nice costumes.  I guess...

So I really want the Pan's Labyrinth Del Toro back.  A lot of people are already saying The Shape of Water basically looks like a Hellboy prequel with a focus on Abe Sapien - he's a fish man who eats eggs, enjoys classical music and the time period would actually line up with Hellboy chronology - but I'm hoping it's purely original.  At the very least, having a mute female lead is an unusual choice!

Well hello, Beautiful.


I am gonna' read the fuck out of you and then never touch you for years.  Such is my love.

Lucio, you know goddamn well you can use Soundwave to initiate


Held your ult too long.  That's your problem.

Also a new digital Overwatch comic is out today, featuring everyone's favorite foul family of felons, Talon!  If these aren't all new legendaries I will be so smad.


This has to happen. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Man I haven't blogged in like a week. Let's break it down.

First of all, Doomfist comes to Overwatch on all platforms on July 27th.



They put out a cool behind-the-scenes vid giving a bit of insight into Doomfist's creation - most fascinating to me is that the character didn't even really exist when the kid gazed in wonder at Doomfist's gauntlet in the game's announcement trailer.  They just loved the name and the idea and started getting to work on him long after they should've.  Oh, and Terry Crews spoke to PC Gamer about the whole Doomfist thing - among other things!

What else... what else... Ooh!  There's a sale on PSN right now, and Salt and Sanctuary and Darkest Dungeon are both on sale, for $10.79 and $12.49 respectively.  I highly recommend both, but if you can only afford one - Darkest Dungeon.


Undertale's PlayStation release got a date today - it'll launch on August 15th on PS4 and Vita.  Noice!

Oh, did you see the trailer for Tooth and Tail?  It's a pixel-art RTS with cute mouse soldiers!



It'll be on PC and PS4 in September.  Apparently it was built with a controller in mind - we'll see.

Did you see Atari's ridiculous console announcement?  That's totes cray. Hahaha they wanna' crowdfund it that's hilarious.

But what have I been up to?

I've been playing Diablo III.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Oooh there's a new 99 Vidas trailer.

Lovely!

Housemarque's Matterfall launches August 15th.

When Housemarque's Nex Machina launched in June, I remarked that I wondered what the heck was going on with the studio's mysterious Matterfall.  Whelp!



Launches August 15th.

Days Gone alternate E3 2017 gameplay walkthrough.

So remember the Days Gone demo from this year's E3?  Basically the player takes out a bandit camp by using a horde of zombies to overrun the place.  Ever wonder how it woulda' looked if he'd not freed a ton of zombies and just killed everyone in the camp himself?  Well...

Sundered launch trailer!

Oh my that's less than two weeks.  Yum yum.



I wonder if copies of Jotun are still up at Limited Run Games..?

Nope.  Not for another five hours.  Copies tend to sell out pretty quick, so Limited Run does a thing where they open up half of their allotment for orders in the morning and the other half about ten hours later.

I think... I'll check that out tonight when the second half goes up.  Hand-drawn animation gets me every time.

OOOH check this out - to celebrate Sundered's launch, Thunder Lotus has made Jotun: Valhalla Edition free on Steam today!  Looks like my next hour's plans have been made.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Chamberlain & Chance 80 : Two On One is Fair.


Wiiith Alex!  Alex thisChamberlain that podcast on iTunespodcast on Google Play

Chamberlain and Chance - Two on one is fair

THIS WEEK!
  • Chamberlain says Far Cry has better combat than Horizon: Zero Dawn!
  • Alex has seen Spider-Man: Homecoming, and does not agree with the consensus!
  • Chance dives in to the hottest game of the summer!
  • And does Chamberlain seriously think Far Cry's funner than Horizon?  Like, seriously?!
You'lll have to tune in to find out!

What is the fucking deal with these Overwatch PTR changes?


A new patch went up on the PTR today, further nerfing Doomfist's mobility (see below), but it makes some changes that like nobody asked for and the community is like "what the fuck?"

Here are the deets:

Doomfist
Rocket Punch
Total distance traveled reduced by about 20% (This change has been on the PTR for a little while now) 
Seismic Slam
Added a new UI indicator to show how much damage it will deal, and how much it dealt. Previously this was only indicated by the default crosshair filling in, but this is only visible when using the default crosshair. The new indicator should always be visible, regardless of any crosshair changes. Also, targeting this ability while in the air is now restricted to locations lower than your current height. 
Basically, Doomfist was able to gain upward mobility from what was intended to be a slam down once he's up in the air.  Instead, some people were doing rising uppercuts into an upward-aimed Seismic Slam to, for example, get over the buildings to the left of the first Eichenwald choke.  Silliness.
McCree
Flashbang

Now slows targets significantly when they are stunned. This makes them less likely to slide away around a corner or something similar once they are stunned. 
As a Tracer main, I find this offensive and racist
Reaper
Shadow Step

VO and SFX distance dramatically reduced. 
Honestly, this is a good change and something the entire community has been suggesting for like a year.
Reinhardt
Hammer

Swing speed increased by ~10%. On top of the swing speed increase, we've gone through and tweaked many timings and other things about the Hammer to make it more responsive. Overall it should feel a lot better to swing and make contact with enemies. 
Charge
Impacting another charging hero (Doomfist or Reinhardt) no longer deals damage to both characters, but still causes a knockdown on both. 
Rein has been kinda' broken for a while now - Google how bugged his Charge is, lately.  His hammer swings have been failing to register for what seems like months, and this seems like it's kind of making changes to him instead of just fixing whatever code they broke months ago.

But here's the ridiculous shit:
Zarya
Graviton Surge

Now disables all movement abilities of affect targets. This is similar to how Junkrat's trap affects abilities.
What the fuck?!  Mercy can no longer Guardian Angel out of a grav, Tracer can no longer double-blink out of it, Genji can't dash out, D.Va can't booster-rocket out, Rein can't charge out?

This seems like bullshit for multiple reasons.

The first and biggest reason is that Gravitron Surge is already one of the most powerful and important ults in the game.  It's an ult that sets up the enemy team to get insta-wiped by an offensive ult from Doomfist, Genji, Pharah, Reaper, Tracer, Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat or D.Va - or just by your team focus-firing into the giant glowing target.

Its only competition for its ability to set up team wipes is Reinhardt's Earthshatter, and it's a lot harder to get value out of Earthshatter than it is a Grav Surge.  Any shield (Orisa, Rein, Winston, Zarya, Mei's wall) will stop an Earthshatter from taking effect.

Zarya's ult can only be stopped by a D.Va's lucky Defense Matrix or a Genji's lucky Deflect. It is basically the most powerful and important ult in the game, and it doesn't need a buff. 

Second, there aren't all that many heroes that can escape Zarya's Grav in the first place.  Orisa can use her Fortify and walk out (she can still do that on the PTR), Genji can dash out, Tracer can double-blink out, D.Va can Boost out and Mercy can Guardian Angel out, if she has a perfectly-positioned ally to fly to.  That's less than a sixth of the game's fucking roster.  Maybe Pharah can Jump Jet out?  I'm not sure.  Maybe Reaper can Wraith out?  That's still seven out of twenty five heroes.

Well, I guess plus Doomfist.

And I think that's the Why, here.


I think almost all of these changes are less about the heroes themselves and more about how they interact specifically with Doomfist.  Reinhardt's change is obviously a response to Doomfist.  McCree's change makes him a stronger counter to the brawler, who's always flying this way and that - not a great target for getting flashbang'd - and with Rocket Punch on a four-second cooldown, Doomfist would always have an option for escaping Zarya's Grav.

It just feels like fixing a broken vase with a hammer, is how it feels from my end.

And it makes me wanna' play more Zarya.  And Reaper.  That Reaper change has been the right thing to do for a year.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Doomfist's unlockables are now up on the PTR.

Here's everything:



Here are his Legendaries:






Here's one of his sprays - the input for the Shoryuken ha ha ha:


And here's what most folks agree is his best skin - an Epic called Painted:


And here are some Overwatch comics I found today:








Hahahah McCree stares at his sammich >.<

[update] Holy crap Miro (legendary Windston) playing Doomfist is better than Seagull lol.



[/update]

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Shakedown Hawaii is important to me because it's on Vita.



And it's coming to PS4, Vita, Switch, 3DS and Steam "this year"!  Noice.

The Mercy Nendoroid is revealed and available for preorder!

And lo, both my Overwatch mains are now in Nendoroid form - and they are both powerfully adorable.








I'm so glad they gave her the faceplate just for the Battle Angel pose.  And the Caduceus Blaster!




Well now I... now I kinda' hope she has the blue beam too.  Not that I wouldn't just put her in the Battle Angel pose and leave her there.  Annnnd preordered!



-source-

Monday, July 10, 2017

Oh lordy, that's lovely.

In my daily poke-around for Overwatch fan art, I saw this Bastion piece that was immediately apparent as the work of Justin Currie.

Beat-up-Bastion 

Justin Currie, of course, is a perennial favorite at my local comic con, and I haven't failed to pick up a piece or four of his works every year for the past half-decade or so.  He did a Zenyatta that I'm quite fond of last year - for a promotion Blizzard put on - and Currie's Zen still hangs up at my desk at work (along with Fear My Song, Plunge, A Fine Lunch Sketch - probably my single-favorite thing of his - and, of course, Aah! A Snake!)  Really, all of his stuff is pret-ty damned awesome and I encourage you to check him out - but neither his catalog nor the above Bastion piece are the reasons for this post.

Upon seeing Beat-Up-Bastion, I realized it's been months since I checked out what he's done, so I poured through his recent stuff and - ooh look at that, he's got a D.Va piece.

Upgrading The Rig

Nice.  Anyway, that's not the point either.  The point is this:

The Secret of Nimh

Holeeee shit.  If he doesn't have this at C4 this year I'm going to have to like, bully him into producing prints for me to order or something.  I need multiple copies of this.