Category Archives: Reaction to

Reaction to Civ Battle Royale Part 39

So for the past eight months or so, I’ve been following Civilization Battle Royale Mk. II on the civbattleroyale subreddit and it has been amazing.  For the unfamiliar, this subreddit follows a huge game of civilization where 61 A.I. civs fight for global domination in a winner-take-all story.  I’ve been following this closely and now, I wanted to release my reaction to the latest part (39) as it has been a doozy.  This article is for all the fans of CBR!

Map created by /u/LacsiraxAriscal

Summary

-The War of Oceania Supremacy explodes across the Pacific Ocean as Vietnam, Australia, Kimberly, and Champa fight tooth and nail. Kimberly and Australia flip many island cities and the infamous Wobbegong Navy is neutered thanks to Kimberly’s smaller, but more modern, navy. Kimberly has lost its Red Fort though and this likely signals a turning point in the war. Now, Australian troops head west towards Kimberly’s core, costal cities.

-War of North American Supremacy continues to be a bloodbath draw with the Inuit having a slight upper hand over Canada and Texas. The Inuit have several times come close to occupying Ottawa’s territory.

-Brazil solidifies itself as the ruler of South America thanks to its amazing invasion into Argentina.

-Israel is eliminated by Armenia making it the 17th civ to be eliminated.

Lower Half Civs #23-45 (as of Part 38)

This was a bad part for: Sparta, Israel, Argentina, Portugal, Ayyubids

The writing was on the wall by the end of Part 37 that Israel and Argentina were going to have a bad time in Part 38. Sparta was the civ though that had a chance to recover against Sweden and reclaim core cities. This didn’t happen and instead, Sparta lost additional cities in this brutal war. But hey, at least they got Rome? This would be an achievement if it was from any other civ except Portugal. Speaking of which, Portugal lost its final core city to the Buccaneers which really sealed the deal that Portugal would in no way recover. Ayyubids also lost its capital to long-time rival Carthage, which divided the country up into four city states. Woof. Good luck trying to come back from that.

This was a good part for: Armenia, Carthage

Armenia, surprisingly, joins the small list of civs that dealt the killing blow to a civ. Thanks to a free city from the USSR awhile back and now Jerusalem, Armenia looks good but now needs to tech up fast and continue to pick off lesser civs (Ayyubid looks delicious right now). Carthage is also the surprise winner here as it finally became serious of its half-assed war against the Ayyubids and captured its capital, Cairo, effectively splitting the rival nation up into four parts. Although Cairo may flip, Carthage should hold sway over it by the end of the war. Carthage’s tech lead may also spell the end to the Ayyubids in the near future.

Upper Half Civs #1-22 (as of Part 38)

This was a bad part for: Vietnam, Kimberly, Canada+Texas

Really, the suckers in this part are the losers in the Inuit and Australia wars. Poor Vietnam, although your Unique Unit may be a fantastic defensive bonus, it sucks for Battle Royale in that it can’t capture cities and it seems Vietnam hasn’t figured that out yet. Kimberly’s strong fight against Australia finally falters at the end of Part 39 as Australian soldiers head towards important, western coast, core cities. Expect Kimberly to tumble in the rankings—and as a regional power—by the end of the next part. Over in North America, Canada and Texas are having a rough time against the Inuit despite their consistent troop supplies. Although their hardy defenses are something to praise, I have to point out that they aren’t making a strong offense into Inuit territory. Sure, by the end of the war, all three civs may be worse for wear, but the Inuit will still have its core cities unharmed while Canada and Texas’ will probably lose a few. If Canada and Texas want to turn the tide of the war, they better beg to neutral Blackfoot for help.

This was a good part for: Brazil, Boers, Buccaneers, Inuit, Australia, Sweden

Australia and the Inuit may be winning their respective wars but city flips and loss of units is hurting their cause significantly. Out of the two civs, the Inuit is the one that’s probably better off as they still retains their core, and so far unflipped, cities, and they are making decent strides into Canada (and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Inuit managed to capture Ottawa by Part 40). But the civ that has the best progress so far is Brazil as they are waging one of the most efficient wars we have seen since the Boer-Zulu war. Argentina is now reduced to one city that is nestled in the Andes Mountains with barely an army to defend it. At this point, Brazil doesn’t need to take them out but it looks like they’re going for it so good luck there! In Europe, Sweden’s progress has been stellar against Sparta but I worry this may be the end to their expansion. Sparta still has a strong Mediterranean navy fleet that can easily recapture coastal cities. Sweden should peace out soon instead of fighting for pointless coastal cities (hopefully, other civs like Carthage will jump on Sparta, further fueling Sweden’s successes). Finally, Buccaneers wisely peace out in their successful Portugal War and now rebuild towards their next fight, good job Buccaneers!

Although Boers didn’t fight anyone and largely stayed out of the limelight, they still get a shout out for being the first civ to reach the Information Age! This is in relation when other civs are still reaching the Modern Age such as Mexico. The Boers are doing fantastic and we are eager to see them fight their next foe.

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Confidence Restored: Reaction to Jurassic World and The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer

Two teaser trailers for two very hyped movies have been released less than a week apart from each other. The Jurassic World trailer came out on November 25th while Star Wars VII came out on November 28th, 2014. These trailers, both covering very different franchises, are connected by a very important trait that will help make 2015 a very special cinematic year.

These two movies are representing franchises that have become on the whole tired and stale.  For instance, the last Jurassic Park movie was released in 2001 and that was on the whole not very well received and was quite underwhelming.  There were a lot of neat ideas in it that just didn’t play out like they should and there were a lot of missed opportunities.  The climax against the Spinosaurus was anti-climatic and the confrontation with the Velociraptors didn’t have any consequence.  Also, the only people who died were at the beginning of the film despite the protagonists many chances of facing their demise (*cough*BILLY*cough*).

BOOO! Also, how could you not know that was a Spinosaurus???? Image from http://jurassicpark.wikia.com/wiki/Billy_Brennan

Jurassic Park III’s performance certainly put a damper on the franchise and with the death of Michael Crichton I thought the film series had finally come to the end.  So imagine my surprise when I heard they were making another film…

That same surprise was magnified greatly when I heard that Star Wars was also getting a sequel.  The last three films, AKA “the prequels,” were certainly met with its fair share of criticism.  When I heard how George Lucas wasn’t going to make more films due to the response from the fans I was quietly rejoicing.  I like Star Wars but maaaaan I don’t want those kinds of films again!  To be fair though, Star Wars, unlike the dormant Jurassic Park, has quietly simmered throughout the decade with the release of a moderately successful television series, some video games, and more.  Star Wars has always been in the background of my mind, never fully forgotten but never fully focused.

And with a resounding “eh” we watched it. Image from http://www.scified.com/community/forums/topic/38773

And now, both franchises will see their release in 2015.  It cannot be stressed how important these films are to their franchises, especially for Star Wars.  The success of the franchise depends on them.

As such, the success of a film can depend on their first trailer.

So how did they do?

For starters, the Jurassic World trailer made me giddy as hell! When this trailer was released all my paleontology buddies, including yours truly, was posting this trailer on their Facebook wall and commenting back and forth on the prospects of this movie.

AND OH MY GOD THAT MOSASAUR! AFAKJBAESWIFDSFOAIDPSF

This trailer looks awesome!  My prospects for the movie went up many times after I saw it.  I couldn’t help but laugh when they were talking about the genetically modified dinosaur.  It’s great!  I can just imagine if Ian Malcolm saying something like “Life will find a way, bitches!” if he heard about the crazy dinosaur breaking through the park.  Chris Platt also looks good but I’m kind of concern about the boy…the Jurassic Park movies always have kids and they can be misses.  This kid looks like he can be as stiff as Sargent Bland from Godzilla.  I’m hoping we can get some awesome adult protagonists like in the first movie.  We’ll see…

I was at first critical on the Star Wars trailer but after viewing it for a second…and third…and fourth…and fifth time, I had a change of heart.  My initial concern came from the abundance of CGI.  I remember reading an article a year ago that the Star Wars production team was going to use a more diverse set of special effect tools instead of just CGI for their films.  The trailer didn’t showcase that too well.  But what the trailer did show were some very nice costume designs AND everything doesn’t look clean anymore!  Okay, that may have come from left field but in general, the prequels’ sets and props look quite sterile and bland while the original trilogy’s props have a more dirty and used-look to them.  This trailer brought back that used appearance and it looks really nice.  I also love that broadsword lightsaber.  Everyone has been poking fun at it but I like it, it looks kind of cool and not exaggerated.  I’m all for continuing the series forward with new and inventive ideas as long as it doesn’t look ridiculous.  Oh and that final scene with the Aluminum Millennium Falcon was AMAZING.  If I wasn’t convinced before watching the trailer, I am now thanks that that one scene alone.

And why?  Why did my cautious attitude toward both of these new films break down and replaced with newfound confidence?  If I were to point to a single source it would be the music.  Both of the franchises’ famous themes, composed by the great John Williams, made a smashing return in the trailers and salivated your nostalgic mouth.  It gave us, the fans, the restored confidence in these films.  They haven’t forgotten who they are and why they are good.  They are going back to their roots while bringing something new and exciting to them.  The slightly tweaked themes are probably the symbol of both of these new films and what they represent for their franchise.

And with that, dear readers, I leave you with this.  In the Jurassic World trailer, we are revealed that the park has officially opened but something bad has happened to it.  Not a huge surprise mind you but it’s still nice to get that confirmation.  But that’s Jurassic Park!  The whole franchise is one big analogy for Chaos Theory!  Shit’s gonna go down!  But what about The Force Awakens?  Very wisely done, we are not revealed what the plot will be…because unlike Jurassic Park, Star Wars does not have to follow a strict plot device.  And now that the new films are true sequels, they are no longer constrained on what will become.  They are now their own identity.  And what that identity will become will be most interesting indeed…

Reaction to HORI Battle Pad for Wii U

Unlike a lot of people, I decided to opt out of the Super Smash bundle as I thought it wasn’t really necessary to own another Gamecube remote when I already have four.  Instead, I decided to get the game and the Gamecube remote converter separately.  Unfortunately, despite my preorder, the Gamecube converter was already sold out and won’t be expected to ship to me until the middle of December.

Fortunately, before the release, I preordered  the HORI Battle Pad for Wii U (Mario Version) with Turbo.  Lots of title fluff for just a Gamecube controller that connects to your Wiimote.  That’s basically what it is too!  If you have more than four players who just have to have a Gamecube controller than these controllers can solve that for you.

The fact that this is a wireless controller means you aren’t constrained to how close you have to be to the TV which is nice.

But the main thing I want to say is that it’s basically like a Gamecube controller with some exceptions.  For one thing, it lacks the reassuring weight that the normal controllers have and I assume that’s because the important stuff is on the Wiimote and the controller simply acts as a button receiver.  There’s also an extra Z-button on the left side of the controller.  The shoulder pads also lack the usual “pressing-down-until-it-clicks” method.  They’re just simple buttons which I find funny but I assume they’re designed like that so they could imitate the Wii U Pad.

The Turbo buttons are also strange but basically they’re similar to the NES Max.  While pressing the Turbo button you then press another button and it does that action for a certain amount of times per second.  I haven’t used them yet as I haven’t found them necessary so I can’t comment how well they work or not.

But let me just end my reaction here and say if you want to play Smash Bros on the Wii U and are looking for a good wireless controller then this will work great for you!  You’ll look over its slight peculiarities five minutes in and after that you will be smashing away while having a good time!  Have fun smashing!

Reaction to Nintendo Direct August 29th 2014

If you haven’t heard yet, Nintendo is releasing new 3DS consoles.  You can read all about them HERE.

Ever since I got my Pokemon X/Y themed 3DSXL last year, I have been a big fan of the 3DS and its games.  Nintendo has been hitting all the right notes for its handheld console as opposed to the slowly improving Wii U.  Do they do it again here?

The “New 3DS” looks great in my opinion.  Slight improvements in the design make them shine including the colored X, Y, A, and B buttons.  The new buttons at the shoulder and the rearrangement of the volume control give them an additional bonus.  This is definitely a system that looks fun to play.

The added C-button concerns me though.  On the one hand, it’s great that Nintendo added it to the console as now we can play 3DS games, like Metal Gear Solid 3, without resorting to the 3DS pro pad.  However, the C-button looks unreliable as I can easily imagine my thumb slipping over it.  But I’ll reserve my judgment on that once people test how reliable it is.

The boosted battery life is a definite plus.  It was also one of the key reasons why I shirked the regular 3DS and went for the XL instead.  A longer battery life means the 3DS can become a more portable console.

The most controversial aspect surrounding the “New 3DS” is the boosted CPU power.  This, combined with the extra buttons, means that games like the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles rerelease are not compatible to older models.  Many people on the internet, including myself, are concerned about this.  What does this mean exactly?  How many new 3DS games will be required to play on the “New 3DS?”  Do I have to give up my old 3DS for these new ones?

I can’t speak for other gamers but I have grown attached to my 3DS console thanks to its Pokemon Theme and the places I have taken it.  It will be hard for me to give this console up.  The only two ways I will get a new console is if it’s a new console generation (which in this case, I think it’s not as it’s still relying on the 3DS brand name but then again so does the Wii U…) or if there is a new Pokemon game that requires the “New 3DS.”  Pokemon was the main reason why I bought my DS and later my 3DS in the first place.

It seems like Nintendo might finally have stumbled for its 3DS.  After a slow start, it has picked up speed and has become one of the best consoles currently out there.  Now with this new console coming out, people might not be so incline to buy it and instead stick to what they have.  However, Nintendo usually listens well to its fanbase so perhaps it might make some changes.  We’ll just wait and see…

On a more positive note, let’s talk about Xenoblade Chronicles!  When I first saw the trailer I had nooooo idea who this guy was and originally thought he was some Final Fantasy character.  After doing a little digging to learn what the hell Xenoblade Chronicles was, I was surprised to see it came out exclusively on the Wii and is lauded as one of the best Wii games of all time.  This surprised me as I never heard of it before (but then again, I’m more of a handheld guy).  Now, after reading reviews of it and seeing the gameplay in action, I want to try this game out!   It’s likely I won’t play it on the 3DS since it won’t come out for a while and I’ll probably not get the “New 3DS” so instead I’ll just play it on my Wii U.  That’s going to be on the backburner though for now as Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright comes out today!

Finally, Shulk looks like he’ll be an interesting fighter with his ability to change skills in-battle and his future sight…thingy…I’m kind of disappointed we got another swordsman but whatever.  He looks like a character for more advance players as you have to do a fair bit of prediction to beat your opponent.  His large sword also gives him a fairly large swinging range but no projectiles (as far as I can tell).

Final note: my friend brought this up as the “New 3DS” is similar to the expansion pack for the N64.  So you couldn’t play games like Majora’s Mask or Donkey Kong 64 on it.  But then again, not many games used this feature.  Perhaps a similar fate is in store for the “New 3DS?”

Reaction to WiiU Converter for Gamecube Controller

Nintendo of America revealed today on their twitter account that the WiiU version of Super Smash Bros will be playable with Gamecube controllers.  I AM PUMPED!

When I heard about this I was deeply surprised.  Nintendo taking a step back and using Gamecube controllers on the WiiU is a shocking move on their part.  From this little reveal, there are already big and great things ahead for Nintendo.

The fact that Nintendo is now allowing Gamecube controllers combined with the “For Glory” online mode means that Nintendo is recognizing their hardcore audience.  They are connecting to them while still embracing their casual audience.  As such, I expect we’ll see more news in the future, not just on Super Smash Bros, but other games as well that will appeal to the hardcore gamers.

But they are introducing an add-on converter to the Wii U.  This converter will cost them money and they want to make sure that it is worth it.  As such, I strongly believe after looking at the photograph that Nintendo will sell new Gamecube controllers!  I’m really excited about that.  The Gamecube controller is one of the best controllers in video games.  It feels so great in your hands and the buttons are placed in just the right manner.  Also, many of the old controllers have become broken, dirty, or unplayable.  If Nintendo decides to sell new controllers many of us would gladly buy them just as we did 13 years ago.

This WiiU converter also means that Super Smash Bros won’t be the only game that will be compatible with the Gamecube controller.  If Nintendo will allow it, other games can latch onto them as they can serve as great multiplayer controllers.  Mario Party could work well with it and hell, though this is doubtful, they could add an update to Mario Kart 8 so it too could be compatible with the controllers.  In all honesty, these controllers are way better than the WiiU gamepad and the Wiimote, please Nintendo, make it happen!

I was already pumped for Super Smash Bros on the WiiU and now I’m almost doubly pumped, I’m really looking forward to see what Nintendo has to offer to us at E3!

What are your thoughts on the WiiU Gamecube controller converter?