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Darkshaunz
The Boxing Match of the Millennium

In the past three days, my facebook feed has been inundated by people that have apparently been consumed by the art of pugilism. Pugilistic adventures for the most part, involve two intelligent organisms pummeling each other in the face until somebody wins (nobody wins, in reality). However, this was not a match between pugilist men, it was a fight of titans. If my facebook feed was anything to go by - it would determine the fate of our world. I had nary a time to weep for our world hanging precariously by a thread, with all its intrigue and mysteries being determined by a serial wife-basher and a born-again Christian that is staunchly anti-abortion. It did however, seem completely appropriate that both individuals, noted as being of the order mammalia, were going to make an unholy fucktillion amount of money.

I know some of you couldn't afford the USD$350,000 tickets to see Goku fight against Perfect Cell LIVE. I know some of you couldn't even afford the USD$100 pay-per-view fee to watch it like the hunchbacking husks of humanity, curled violently as you do to crane your body to gaze longingly into the screens of your mobile devices. Rest easy, because I watched it all unfold with my own eyes. I did this using the power of time travel - where I moved my body through the sands of time to land in the future, when the entire fight would be free to watch after the fact.


xMONEYx_FLERD MERWETHER_xMONEYx

This guy is basically Balrog from Street Fighter. He is all about the money, and beating women. He is also a part-time boxer, and is known for his technical ability to game a system of fighting that basically makes him Hitmonchan with Agility, Minimize, Mach Punch and Swords Dance. According to my Facebook friends, this guy is basically SATAN and he betrayed God. I think he is also responsible for Ebola, The Black Plague and SARS. Everybody said that he was all about the money and didn't care for much else, and I'm inclined to agree. In a way though, Flerd Merwether is the best representation of 21st century humanity - materialistic, short-sighted, deluded and utterly wasteful (he throws away every trainer he uses just after one session). Nobody wanted him to win, which was very hilarious to me because I knew that if he did win, a veritable shitstorm would be unleashed into the virtual muck we call the internet. Still, any guy that can buy an entire country and instill this much hate is worthy of some of my admiration, because for a weekend, he had everyone by the balls - especially his opponent.


PAC MAN SONIC MARIO ZELDA

On this corner, the underdog rags-to-riches humble Filipino politician who should have stopped boxing already. If you didn't support this guy openly on facebook, twitter or tumblr - I suppose you would have been taken aside to be bashed and humiliated on the streets. Supporting FLERD MERWETHER instead of this God-loving punching guy who had to drink water for weeks for a lack of money is like saying you want to fuck everyone in the face and shit in their mouths. Also, he doesn't believe in abortion, which was awkward for some of his female fans who didn't know that.….but not entirely unsurprising either way! Known for his aggressive style, I don't doubt that Senator Pac Man Sonic Mario Zelda is indeed a fine warrior. Though I might doubt his intelligence as a member of our species. This guy agreed to essentially ever retarded demand that FLERD MERWETHER listed. Apparently this fight was put off for many years because of the two of them not agreeing to the terms. Yes, this makes sense because the completely one-sided terms were dictated by a crazy wife-basher and I suppose God was telling Pac Man Sonic Mario Zelda that the other guy was SATAN.


THE NEGOTIATION

Merwhether Promotions would get the "Lion's Share" of the earnings from this "fight". Merwheter would also dictate all the terms, including All-MURICAN judges, the venue, the time, and which arms of his opponent he would sacrifice to Ares, the God of War. Nintendo Promotions agreed to all of this bullshit, because 40% of a fucktillion dollars, is still enough money to fund NASA for the next decade.


THE "FIGHT"

It started with a lot of yelling, chest thumping and general baboon-like behaviour from both the contenders. The best description I can give: It's like if you showed a pair of alpha-baboons a clip from 300, and then shot syringes filled with testosterone into their eyeballs. Baring their teeth, which is the simian facial expression of territorial dominance, the two circled each other like a marauding pair of vultures - lured by the scent of the dying carcass formerly known as professional boxing. Then came the first punch, from Senator Pac Man Sonic Mario Zelda, this punch was nothing like you've ever seen. By lowering his spine and then twisting his body (just like he would to cut grass for rupees), he created a miniscule vortex punch that actually caused some Tornado chasers in Oklahoma to flinch. Unfortunately, his opponent - Flerd Merwether used this opportunity to go into parallel side of this straight punch and into a hug. Overcome by this sudden display of affection and human understanding, Pac Man Sonic Mario Zelda thanked God, Jesus Christ, Allah and Buddha for converting SATAN into a machine of love and feels. Unfortunately, the referee (also chosen by Merwhether) decided that peace and love in the New World Order as unacceptable and broke them up.

The final leg of the fight was a spurious display of man-love and what is known as "Outboxing". Merwether, an expert "technician", "tactician" and "strategist" inside the boxing ring knew the technical rules of boxing so well that he could just Outsource all of the actual boxing to the three American judges, which he chose. The technique he employed was simple: run the fuck away from the Hylian warrior because this Filipino had the triforce of power. The tactic was also to land sniping-punches with deadly accuracy, taking advantage of his greater reach, imagine a giraffe boxing a rhinocerous. Don't stop imagining that by the way, because it's definitely more impressive and entertaining. His overall strategy though, use the power of love and intimacy to man-hug his way to victory. Apparently Flerd Merwhether was supposed to be docked points for excessive displays of affection to this digital-man-beast hybrid of everyone's beloved video gaming franchises. Ah, whatever. Anyway, the fight ended after twelve rounds (Illuminati Lizard People confirmed) - and the world awaited the heart-racing results of who would win.


THE "RESULT"

Should have surprised nobody, but instead surprised almost everybody. This is the same group of people who decided that in less than 48 hours, they were qualified to comment anything worth a damn about professional boxing. You see, there are actual rules of scoring in boxing, and this made a lot of people upset. It turns out that FLERD MERWETHER had the superior technique and technical knowledge to game the system to his advantage, in a ring where the referees and judges were already being paid in 10 kilo blocks of crack cocaine. Wow, what a surprise that he won! I guess Senator Pac Man Sonic Mario Zelda is now forever a loser, being a millionaire at least 200 times over for essentially getting a free man-hug therapy session for not one, but TWELVE sessions. The two of them are winners, and big ones at that. The losers are the people getting upset about an arrangement where two rich men agree to screw everyone around them to get even richer. Suckers.

Shut the fuck up about the rematch and watch a real televised sport instead, like soccer, basketball or ice hockey.

- Shaunz
Shrewmkin
You are right Shaunz, there is a way to scoring when it comes to technique and a lot of things, which Mayweather has damn good accuracy in his counters and punches. Mayweathers power punches seemed... Less than what was actually counted on the card, but meh they probably include counters as Power Punches.

The real issue is he didn't get fouled for the unnecessary clinches, intentional headlocks and elbow locks (during the clinch break up) and many other things like low blows and cheap kidney shots during clinch break ups.

It's a Mayweather fight... You shouldn't expect him to win by KO anytime soon as he will always go aiming for a decision.
Darkshaunz
The Curious Case of Resident Evil: Revelations 2

This weekend, I clocked in my 125th hour on Resident Evil: Revelations 2. It was a bewildering thing, because it's been a while since I sunk in this much time into a video game. Final Fantasy XIV notwithstanding, of course. My playtime with Resident Evil is in fact, this exceptional thing in my games library on Steam. My Steam list mainly consists of sub-10 hour games. Games that were not in any means bad or terrible, but just failed to capture my attention any longer than 5 hours. I was reflecting on this fact, that there was a huge disparity between 90% of my collection and this one game.

I thought about why I bought most of those games, and it mostly boiled down to: i) The trailers and marketing material looked really good, and ii) I was bored, and had spare cash laying around. Very few of them lived up to my expectations, or the hype (obviously). Still, I bought them - I suspect mostly out of impulse. This fact took me aback, because I'd like to reason that I am one of those new-age informed and savvy consumers. It turns out that boredom and a disposable income does have its trappings, and it far surpasses any well-reasoned plan to wait until reviews are out. Sometimes though, the game was just doomed from the beginning. An example of this is my copy of Mortal Kombat X - which suffered from a horrible PC port all the way till today. The launch of that game was literally just a menu screen, and the rest of the game failing to download. Then recently, there was a huge disaster after a 15GB patch wiped all save data - and then a follow up 15GB patch to fix it....didn't. It stung that I pre-ordered that, and now it's uninstalled from my PC with about 6 hours played on it. It is at this juncture, that I suspect I should elaborate on how outraged I am at being served a steaming heap of a PC port - yet I feel nothing. Partially because it's this sort of low quality bullcrap that's been peddled to me over the years, and also because I didn't really care for Mortal Kombat X on a more fundamental level as a Street Fighter veteran.

Then I looked at Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and pondered - why was this game different? There was little to no hype for this title, because it wasn't even considered a mainstay Resident Evil title, more as a low-budget side production. It also sported a short campaign, about 8 hours spread across 4 episodes - sparse by today's standards I am sure. This spurred me to go deeper into my psyche, because technically - none of it made sense, about how this game could have mesmerized me for so long. When it came down to it, it actually had a lot to do with my own sentimental love for the Resident Evil franchise. I just loved the world of Resident Evil, the monsters, the characters and the oftentimes B-grade horror movie plotlines that accompany them. It was just a charm of the IP, and something I couldn't quantify in terms of content-hours or some sort mechanical skill ceiling that only hours of practice could achieve. Even if that prized IP were in the hands of Crapcom, a company that has in recent times been beset with financial difficulty and DLC-money grabbing drama.

As you read this, Revelations 2 has less than 600 players online playing the game at any given time. In fact, the last time I checked - around the evening in GMT+8, the game had about 548 players online. It's a dying game so early in its life, and this fact legitimately makes me sad. I've formed very many new co-operative friendships with people from Australia, Malaysia, America, and even Italy, as the few people left playing Revelations 2 co-op link up like true survivors in a closing window. I suppose that's just the gamer I am, and I thrive in the titles that have historical and sentimental value to me. I'm willing to go above and beyond to keep playing a dying title - by forging connections with people possessing that similar and unshakeable love for Resident Evil, even though there are these other AAA titles with more than 10,000 people playing on Steam at any given moment.

The kicker in all this - Resident Evil: Revelations 2 cost half the price that Mortal Kombat X did, which empirically had ten to twenty more times of content than Resident Evil did in all four episodes combined. So I want to find more Resident Evil titles, I'll have to take myself back to remembering the games, places and characters from franchises past and see if I can piece together the mosaic games that drives me to feel as strongly as Revelations 2 does.
Darkshaunz
Completely obscure achievement, but one that I'm proud of nonetheless:

Placing 58 on the Top 100 co-op leaderboards for a RE:REV2 raid event.



There's just something nice about seeing your name on a leaderboard. The challenge is to complete a Level 70 stage with the lowest level characters possible. I did this with another co-op partner on Level 5 characters, we completed the level after 9.5 minutes. I nearly died many, many times.

There are some pretty decent rewards for people that place in the Top 100 or better.
Darkshaunz
Thanks, Revelations titles are usually developed low-budget spin-off series of the Resident Evil franchise.

As for the ammo situation, the trick is to have someone in the team with Bewilder - which causes monsters to fight each other for a few seconds.
Darkshaunz
Dry Stuff

Usually I reserve this space for musings of a more virtual kind, because that is generally more interesting than stuff happening in real life. However, a recent signing event in China has really serious consequences for Malaysia. China and Thailand have officially come to an agreement to build the Kra Canal, which is going to be S.E.A's Panama Canal project - allowing vessels to cut right through the Thai peninsula and into Chinese water lanes. The Strait of Malacca is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, and my home country is blessed to be on the receiving end of a lot of maritime business. Close to 16 million barrels of crude oil passes through the strait, and by default - through the major ports of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Once this canal is completed, tankers will cut around 1,000 KM from their journey. This will effectively decimate port trade for every country that isn't Thailand and China. With oil prices already at record lows, this was not news I wanted to see. China has long pushed for this project for decades, as the Chinese has dubbed it their "Energy Silk Road" but were always knocked back by the Thais. I am not sure why they have changed their minds, but their decision from today onwards will shape the geopolitics of the region forever. Although Malaysia (and indeed the SEA region) has never had great relations with one another, I am sure that the Indonesians and Singaporeans can see eye-to-eye with Malaysians about this alarming development. The Burmese have also offered to build oil pipelines for the Chinese.

Although the first foundations for the canal are yet to be laid down, entirely different foundations for the region have been set, geopolitical ones. The Kra Canal may be the invisible demarcation line that will soon split the region into two divisive spheres of influence - a Chinese dominated north, and a Western-supported southern sphere. More than any driving motivator for conflict and tension, money reigns supreme. China, and by extension the Thais - may have done what people in this region thought impossible, unite the administrations of three usually-opposed neighbours to a common cause: Try to avoid an economic catastrophe affecting hundreds of millions of people.
Darkshaunz
Hatred - a game so feared that Twitch banned it



On June 1st 2015, the internet (by that I mean 4chan and Reddit) will finally get to play, talk about and argue endlessly about Hatred. Hatred is a game by polish developers Creative Destruction. The creator of this title sees it as the true spiritual successor to Postal 1, and also happens to really hate the concept of political correctness. This project, according to the creator - was basically to stir the hornet's nest on the more recent inflammatory issues of what is "socially acceptable" entertainment. I've read somewhere that the CEO of this polish studio is a neo-nazi skinhead, which makes things even more interesting. Little is known about the game's mechanics, but you can glean some information about what the "gameplay" entails from this summary provided by the ratings assessment board:

Image

Personally, I think the creator will get exactly what he wants. The media of the world will receive Hatred willingly, and lovingly - because it's such an explosive topic and it has all the qualities of an engine that drives divisiveness and animosity within the social sphere. My main issue with the game is that it looks like it will probably wear out the novelty really fast, because the premise doesn't sound all too interesting. Realistically speaking, you could already just shoot up people and cops in Grand Theft Auto, and probably in more creative ways because of the greater selection of weapons and vehicles. GTA V also has an actual colour palette which is used in the game, rather than predominantly edgy grey tones. What the game boils down to, essentially is a middle finger to the politically-correct social justice warriors that have drawn battle lines with contemporary entertainment.

Hatred is a game that will see the protagonist slaughtering innocent and helpless human beings regardless of sex, gender or race. It is a game, but in essence - it was intended as something more than that. Personally, I don't care for the game, but I think we could use more games like Hatred. The game may be a window into how the creator really feels about the video gaming as an industry, his hatred of people that are not of his lineage or race, and a personal stand against what is an increasingly hypocritical society.

Just remember, No Russian.
Darkshaunz
Concerning Heavensward

In 10 days, Early Access for FFXIV's first expansion will begin. I'm excited and looking forward to it on the surface, but I think I have quite a few more misgivings about the game than I let on. It is perhaps a more obscure concern when you consider all the amazing new functions and features that the expansion will tout. To me though, FFXIV needed to do this in order to preserve the longevity of the game's future in a strategic sense. Unlike some pundits and rabid fanboys, I don't see the game as being on the precipice of being a dead game, nor do I herald the game as the definitive answer to the unkillable titan in WoW. To me, FFXIV serves a niche, and it does its own thing to a somewhat respectable degree of financial independence. Having played 1.0 - I know that Yoshi's done the impossible with ARR, but all the same, he has made a few terrible decisions.

  • Housing - He promised that guild housing would be affordable by even a small guild. It really wasn't (and still isn't), and we only have a house now because of key individuals that pretty much emptied out their bank accounts. Without a house, we would have ZERO opportunity to build an airship in time for the expansion. I don't take for granted how lucky I am to be able to have a plot of land to call home in Eorzea, but it should not have been that arduous a process.
  • Bards - All I need to say is, Yoshi-P really had no fucking idea what to do with us. So, he nerfed our damage output by 20% and called it a day. Then, he gave us a terribly useless limit break (because reasons). There's a sort of in-joke now that if you have multiple bards in a raid/group, that it was going to be a long day due to a lack of damage. What's sad is, I can't refute that on comms because it's just facts, numbers-wise.
  • Hunts - If you ever wanted to see the results of a new in-game mechanic that would bring out the worst traits in human beings, look no further than hunts. Due to my long exposure to the "hunting community", I've seen public shaming, the formation of underground hunt monopolies and endless trolling (tanks resetting hunt mobs as a form of harassment). I hunted a lot because it was the best way for me catch up after a long hiatus from the game, and I would have definitely preferred an alternative.
  • Raids - Gated content sucks. I understand why it's there, but it sucks because there is no avenue for specialized practice in order to overcome phases. After weeks of wiping on Turn 9, I remembered why I quit FFXIV for months after failing to down Turn 5 all that time ago. The only saving grace was that the expansion was just around the corner. It sucks that I want to do the new FCOB shit with my bros, and I can't. At the same time, I sympathize with the people stuck at Turn 9 like me. It's just a shitty, and bad situation, period.
  • Story - The story was also a large reason I really loved FFXIV, and in the most recent story arc - the story transformed something I loved into something I now ridicule and chastise. In the current build of the game, your hero-character is reduced to a helpless and cowardly observer, forced to watch two years of your efforts int the story be nullified with absolutely no payoff whatsoever.

So even if you discount Bards because we will be getting a stance to compensate for our pathetic damage output, that's still arguably four important facets of the game that should and could have been handled better. Unless you believe that player housing, open-world content, end-game content and lore aren't important in an online role-playing game, in which case, you'd be certifiably insane.

Vertical progression is how FFXIV operates their loot treadmill, which isn't controversial or innovative in my view. I actually find Diablo 3's loot system to be far more innovative when compared with FFXIV. Yes, I know it's a bit moot to compare a small-scale hack and slash with a MMORPG, but Diablo 3's current gear progression goes sideways as well as upwards. This allows people to be more creative with their builds, and not everyone has be pigeonholed into a certain structure in order to have fun and be useful. Those I played with noticed how much of a great impact this had on me, because in the early days - I spent most of my playtime lambasting Diablo 3, but if you read my latest post about the game in the Diablo 3 subforum, I've done a total one hundred and eighty turn on my original perspective. I'd love to see even just one alternative gear-set in FFXIV for each job/class as a sidegrade option.

Raids, then. It is my staunchest belief that Yoshi will continue to use gated content in Heavensward. Most of us in the FC will see no problems with Alexander Normal at first, because it will be just like Binding Coil of Bahamut. After all, there is only one raid (not counting savage), so the gap in people completing stuff won't be as apparent. Eventually though, and inside we all know this day will come - the last turn of First Alexander will serve as a gate to the second part of the new Alexander raid. It's not something to be concerned about at this point, but I know that time will come when some of us will be much further progressed than others, and the few left behind will be forced to find something else to do - or stop playing the game. Nobody says it, and I don't really bring it up - but I know that you guys understood on a fundamental level that had I not gone and done my "side projects" as I called them, or understood that the expansion was just around the corner - I would have definitely unsubbed by this point.

I'm still excited, but with guarded optimism.

- Shaunz
bladearts
A lot of good points there Shaun. I'm thinking I wouldn't have continued playing if I didn't find a secondary thing to do like role-playing. Even then that's a stretch. I'm hoping Heavensward reignites some of the passion the start of launch had.
Darkshaunz
Not the Final Fantasy VII remake, but arguably much more important



Remember that Summer Lesson VR game I posted about before? Well TEKKEN Project is adding yet another educator to their roster.

I'm assuming this AI will will teach you how to sing and play the guitar. Which is just as well because I don't know how to do either of those things well. Once I become a famous singer/songwriter though, it will be an awkward moment to answer the question, "who inspired you to play the guitar and sing so well?".
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