22 September 2016

FMA King of the Ring 2016 CAWs Day of Reckoning 1 (GameCube)

Upon regaining full control of the company, Elfgore, Iain and Ellen were joined by the nWo consisting of Harpo, Blackjaw and Oz. He announced a 32 man and woman King of the Ring to unify the two world title belts back into the Undisputed Championship. The Elfgore Family would fight in No DQ matches while in the tournament to give them a level field (and to keep Ellen in the matches) while Blackjaw would get a rematch if he loses his title during the tournament - both titles are forfeited when lost, but can be retained all the way to the finals.

Bold = winner, Italics = player one

Round of 32

Raw 5/09/2016

Cheetah vs. Killalot 12:30/15

Cheetah dominated the Golden Man and moves on to the next round.

Ellen vs Edit Man 11:10/15

Ellen uses the stipulation to her advantage and beats up the referee for a bit. Edit Man puts her through training school but ultimately the trillion dollar princess rolls up Default for the win, surprising many.

White Attack vs. Wolf 10:10/15

Wolf almost had him at various points but after four Baldo Bombs he succumbed to the Great White.

Black Attack vs. Terrorist 11:51/15

A determined Terrorist assault was weakened by an early Bear Hug which left his torso badly injured. Two Iron Claws followed later on and left him bleeding. He managed not to submit but was pinned.

Caflena vs. Whitesmith BYE

Ling vs. Blackjaw 13:45/15

A brief promo by the nWo stating they would not go easy on anyone was followed up by a rapid Blackjaw victory, though Ling almost got the roll up a Razor’s Edge finished her off.

Smackdown! 10/09/2016

CaoCao vs Hitler 5:15/15

10 Nazi Stunners, an 18 count on the outside, 4x Caodrivers, 3 near falls, bloodshed, it all led to the Warlord Lady submitting to an SSTF.

BBJ vs Oz 12:03/15

What could have been a great match was ended by Oz DQ’d for sidewalk slamming the referee.

Waste vs. Optimus Prime 14:09/15

The heavily injured Autobot and US Champion was crushed by Waste. He should really just stay in NXT for a while.

Savage-Feaster vs. Elfgore 13:13/15

Though clearly outmatched, the President defeated S-F by way of three chairs, one announcing table and one superkick.

Baseballman vs. The Blacksmith 11:46/15

Baseball nearly managed a win, but the Tank used multiple headbutts to sap away at him and picked up a surprise pin.

Lennox vs. Disciple BYE

Sunday Night Heat 11/09/2016

Iain vs. Sketlon 10:20/15

Sketlon nearly lost it but a Cross Power Bomb Pin scored him the victory. Iain put up a great fight.

YUGOSLAVIA vs Harpo 13:36/15

The European Champion, the Dinosaur Who Happens to Wrestle went down like so many others to assorted Liquid Strikes and a Confetti Kick.

Aryan vs. Nulk 13:38/15

This one could have gone either way, but the Strongest Man defeated the Master Race.

ET vs Coldsmith 8:09/15

A return to the classic rivalry. 4 Golden Chokeslams severely injured the alien, as well as 2 sets of Multiple German Suplexes. The alien countered with 3 Space Bites but missed all 4 of his attempted 450° splashes, suffering another STF submission finish in this tournament.

Round of 16

Raw 12/09/16 Round of 16

Cheetah vs. Ellen 15:43/20

She tried so hard and broke a number of weapons of the giant’s back but in the end a Buzzsaw Kick and an FU defeated her. She did well!

White Attack vs. Black Attack 15:20/20

What should have been an epic match was brought short by the referee DQ on WA. Both were badly injured by heavy offence early on, but a missile dropkick by WA connected with the referee by mistake we imagine and ended in a DQ. The two brawled for some time afterward - a rematch is almost certain.

Blackjaw vs Caflena 11:46/20

Seeking revenge for his attacks on female wrestlers, Caflena nailed the Walls of Cathay on him after one minute, badly damaging the World Champion. She would go on to counter the Black Edge a minute later and hit the champ with a frog splash and another Walls of Cathay, almost giving her a win. Blackjaw assaulted the referee and hit Caflena with a Black Edge, and wasn’t DQ’d. Caflena got revenge with a Figure 4 Leglock on the outside, which the champion reverse and did another Black Edge on the outside. An 18 count followed, with both scrambling back into the ring. Caflena failed to hit her Momentum Shift on the resurgent Blackjaw and submitted to an Iron Claw.

Big Boy Joe (BBJ) vs Hitler 14:04/20

Hitler never showed up for this match and was kicked around the ring by the giant freak. He submitted to a Mandible Claw.

Elfgore vs Waste 12:34/20

The Necut Champion faced the Chairman - and lost! Despite all the mind games and numerous attacks on each other, Waste just did not perform in this match. Elfgore managed to land a Sharpshooter on the heavily injured champion and scored a win, vacating the Necut Championship.

Blacksmith vs Disciple 17:55/20

Despite great promise, and even a Discipline Slam at 18:50, Blacksmith recovered and hit Disciple with the Jackhammer and won.

Harpo vs Sketlon 18:40/20
Having won almost all of his recent matches in squashes, it was a refreshing change to see the KOTR 2015 defeated by two cross powerbombs rapidly executed early on.

Goldsmith vs Nulk Wulken 15:25

One of the greatest rivalries in the sport, Goldsmith dominate the usually on form Nulk and hit him with numerous Golden Chokeslams. A failed attempt to make Nulk submit by an anklelock resulted in a simple pin finish.

Smackdown! 17/09/16 Quarter Finals

Cheetah vs Black Attack 28:36/30

A relatively tame match, plenty of counters and reversals in the start, with Cheetah slightly more in control. Cheetah avoided an almost certain bear hug, the hit BA with the buzzsaw kick and an FU, followed by a rope break pin. He simply moved BA and pinned him in the middle instead.

Blackjaw vs Big Boy Joe 25:35/30

Claw versus Jaw - a Mandible Claw on Blackjaw at 28:30 was countered by two Black Edges later on. BBJ landed another Mandible Claw ad Blackjaw submitted - the World Championship was now vacated, and BBJ moved onto the semis.

Elfgore vs The Blacksmith 23:42/30

The Chairman vs the Iron King. Numerous chair shots made Tank bleed mere seconds into the match, with Elfgore dominant. Numerous failed attempts by him to lift the Blacksmith into the table followed, with Blacksmith reversing Elfgore into the table instead. A back and forth bout ensued, Elfgore managed to get his first superkick in only to suffer the Jackhammer on the outside a minute later. Superkick #2 followed at 24:20 in the ring, with Blacksmith kicking out at 2. Both sides looked set to finish the other when Elfgore reversed Blacksmith into a back suplex pin, winning at last.

Sketlon vs The Goldsmith 21:55/30

So much rode on this bout - redemption for a failed reign two years prior for the Heartbreaksmith and for the skeleton to prove he still ‘has it’. A Golden Chokeslam after one minute netted a mere 1 count for the smith, while multiple German suplexes would follow. Sketlon managed to pull off an armbar on Goldsmith, followed by an RKO Momentum Shift which resulted in a 2 count. Rope break pins followed for both sides. A cross powerbomb pin at the five minute mark almost finished Goldsmith. Both would miss a series of aerial moves. As they began to tire, Sketlon failed to pull off a cross powerbomb pin, with Goldsmith slamming him to the mat only Sketlon to bounce back and succeed in his finisher the second time around, moving onto the semi finals. Goldsmith joined Sketlon in his celebrations, turning face in the process.

King of the Ring 2016 18/09/2016 Semifinals and Final

Cheetah vs BBJ 29:00/30

Cheetah dominated from the outset and finished his opponent with a Hip Drop pin.

Elfgore vs Sketlon 24:56/30

Sketlon broke a sledgehammer off the referee early on, while Elfgore did not miss and broke a number of weapons off his rival’s back. A near fall at 28:07 came from a Sketlon Hip Drop Pin. The referee was downed for Elfgore’s back drop pin a minute later. Superkicks failed to net Elfgore an early win. Another near fall for Sketlon occurred at 25:55. Three more Superkicks eventually downed Sketlon for a pin, he got up immediately after the first two.

Final

Elfgore vs Cheetah 25:36/30

Despite not being able to lift the majority of his opponents and giving himself and his children a special stipulation rule wherein there would be no DQ in their matches, Elfgore completely flattened Cheetah from the start of the match. A surprise buzzsaw kick three minutes in almost saved Cheetah but a number of superkicks left him bleeding and battered in the ring, with the chairman himself being crowned KOTR 2016 and receiving the re-unified Undisputed Championship.

Aftermath

Iain never made it out of the first round, Ellen at least made it into the 16 while Elfgore went all the way and finished at the very top. This may have been due to the special No DQ rule. Very few of the usual suspects made it to the semis, but there were plenty in the quarter finals only they didn’t advance. Cheetah was a surprise finalist after returning only recently. The success of the 32-wrestler tournament may see another one in the near future.

The Hardcore Championship has been unified with the two world belts as of Raw 19/9/2016, wherein Elfgore celebrated with his family while the nWo were much more jaded. Oz still has the Intercontinental belt, while Blackjaw lost the World title and Harpo has been without a title for a month. Looks like a month of infighting and bullying involving the Elfgore-nWo faction before Hell in a Cell. Some have also taken issue with Elfgore claiming himself the greatest Hardcore wrestler ever. The European Championship is still held by YUGOSLAVIA while Optimus Prime may have to vacate the title due to terrible injuries.

Various wrestlers seek to unify a coalition of sorts to oppose this faction, while the Aryan Nation are certain to continue to side with Elfgore. Others seek to keep their heads low and compete in the Survivor Series, which will be exclusively tag team orientated. The Smiths, the Freakz and three of the four female wrestlers on the roster will certainly ally to oppose the current dominant faction.

09 September 2016

100th post and Review enjoy/hate #10 - Final Fantasy VIII (Steam version)

Woohoo, 100 posts on blog #2, the main one. The first blog still exists but I abandoned it after leaving secondary school/going to university. I never really 'got' tumblr or Instagram but I may expand in that direction at some point in the near future.



Steam is great - I really enjoyed buying DVDs of stuff I liked when it was cool to do so 2004-2010 or so. I like to think I have good taste in movies/video games etc so thankfully I didn't buy that many DVDs before they no longer were cool/practical. Steam allows me to be a bit of a connoisseur once again, I buy games I know I will play and enjoy or have been sufficiently researched by me. Some of the games/movies I own digitally or solid copies are shite, but I like them anyway. Not so many games, but in movies Beowulf (2007) comes to mind. Ho ho, deserves a re-watch. Some DVDs I bought thinking they'd be great (and without watching them prior to that) and was severely disappointed - The Patriot (2000) comes to mind. SO anyway, one of those games I bought recently was Final Fantasy VIII - 8 for those born after 2000 or thereabouts, ha.

I'm not going to post any kind of plot summary or try to sell the game really, this is an extremely subjective review I do for my own amusement. Also, screenshots are from my first playthrough on Steam.


Final Fantasy VIII


I first played it properly around 2007 or 2008 I think. I may have played the first few scenes a number of times prior to that, I only dicked around Balamb Garden, the starting area, and didn't get the plot going. According to my YouTube playlists which date back to 2006 I started adding FFVIII soundtrack stuff around 2007 or 2008 so that's when I played it and finished it, along with 7, 9, 10 and 12.
I have completed it a number of times, while I have got all the GFs and whatnot (and possibly killed Omega Weapon, not sure must check memory cards) I have not played many of the mini games bar Triple Triad, which is great. I competed the Obel Lake Quest but it wasn't too exciting.


Plot


There are four discs (gets electrocuted). This game is like 7 in that it is set in the modern era to some extent. The first disc has a pretty tight, action-packed plot that is highly entertaining but never gets too silly and leaves you a bit of time to explore but you are mainly confined to the Balamb and Galbadian continents, which is fine, you see the whole world by the end of disc one in FF7.

After disc two things get kind of insane. Like all FFs have a load of ideas and seem to do almost all of them - if they say there is a horrible scary dungeon at the edge of the world, you can probably fly there later. But a space station?

With only like 15-20 named, important characters and NPCs it is pretty damn tight in drawing them all together and their various interactions. It does have that problem of some of the main characters not getting fleshed out enough - Irvine certainly, not that it fecking matters. It isn't as bad as 9 where some of the others just fade into the background completely.




Soundtrack

Probably one of the best soundtracks, my gods it is glorious. I say this after buying the PC version which was all MIDI and it sounded awful initially. It was fine and for 12 euro who can complain but a simple mod called Roses and Wine almost brought tears to my eyes when it replaced the MIDI soundtrack with the original. There are so many good ones it's hard to limit it - Deling City, Esthar City, the Laguna battle music, Time Compression and Ultimecia Castle are probably my favourites.


Appearance


Realistic proportions were done for the first time here and it works out really well. The Steam version is great too with sharpened graphics especially on the character models but they appear to have copped out in a few scenes. There is an option to use the traditional graphics but I could just boot up the Playstation or figure out how to emulate discs for that lol.




Gameplay

One of the weirdest until 10 and 12 came along and did it different again. 'Junction' GFs/Aeons/Summons/Espers to you, draw magic spells from enemies/bosses and 'junction' those spells to your strength, magic, HP, spirit/vitality etc to increase them. It is possible to stay low level and junction 100 powerful Ultima or Meteor spells to a stat like strength and kick ass (great way to play).

Avoiding levelling up conventionally is almost by the game, bosses don't give EXP but they do drop AP to level up your GF's abilities such as Card Mod (turn weakened enemies into cards, avoid EXP but get AP again). I love it. While I don't mind grinding levels *that* much it is nice to sit back and have a think about what spells should be junctioned to what stats, which GFs to give to various people to assign different abilities (Diablos eventually gets Mug, should I have the main guy Squall do that or my tank/mage?).

You can set the combat to be very fast (yes, but watch out for some enemies) or very slow (gods no, but easier perhaps). The enemies and bosses mix things up enough to keep things interesting and if like me you only fight bosses and some scripted enemies there is enough variety to keep you entertained.

Many complained and still complain about endlessly drawing magic from enemies and I never got that. I would spend an hour at the start of the game drawing 100 Fire, 100 Blizzard and 100 Thunders and maybe a good few Cures and Scans as that is all that's available at the start. That's all you really need. If you fight a soft boss who has Protect and Shell, grab them too. Grab any buff/recover spells you may need along the way, Regen or Haste or Life certainly. With magic refine abilities via GF you can skip getting Cura and Fira and whatnot and just get Curaga and Firaga. It's easy to get by at a low level fighting bosses and whatnot until you get access to Ragnorok and can just fly to the Island Closest to Hell/Heaven and spend and hour here out there drawing form the various powerful spells you can find. 100 Ultima on Squall's Strength at level 7-15 and you can defeat Bahamut and Ultima Weapon no problem at all in the secret dungeon. Lots of Renzokukens, maybe Mighty Guard or two.




Side quests/mini games


There aren't that many, they are generally quite entertaining. Triple Triad, the card game, is pretty great. I was big into Yu-Gi-Oh! cards around the time I played it, while maybe in 1998-9 it resonated with Magic and Pokémon fans. If you've ever played or collected a trading cards game, you'll probably enjoy the game itself and collecting the unique boss/GF and character cards scattered across the world.

I love Triple Triad, I usually wait until I get the Ifrit, Sacred, Minotaur and Diablos cards (all good strong corner cards) before I start playing, so usually around the end of disc one and certainly as soon as I'm back in Balamb Garden in disc two. I keep declining to play until they agree not to mix up the rules and just brute force my way to victory. Doesn't always work as in space (!) you have to use all the rules such as Random card selection and whatnot but that can't be rigged a bit by modding the common cards. Managed to win the Alexander and Laguna cards easily this time on the space station though it can be a save and reload matter sometimes. Getting the Edea card off Edea was much tougher, it usually is.



In conclusion



 Probably my favourite FF, certainly the easiest if you know how to junction and level. It's also probably the shortest, I have finished it in 20 hours or so on the PSX thanks to Encounter None. I really enjoy 7,8,9,10 and 12 - I have yet to properly play 6, having played maybe a fraction of it but I enjoyed it. I may go back after reviewing them all on this and do some sort of comparison if that is even possible.

I never really cared much for achievements 2007-2013 but in recent years it is a nice way to replay a favourite game in certain new ways. It was really fun to play Fallout differently to get different achievements; there are 45~ for FFVIII on Steam and I got 25 or so on the first run, I could probably reload a save and crack out another ten or so but I am going to move on, I played this pretty intensively over a four day period. Some of them I'll probably never bother to get - kill 1000 enemies? That ain't Final Fantasy VIII!