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Neyo

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Found a music artist named Rakoon. They’re an electronic club musician who also does some remixes. Pretty dang fun. And a lot chiller than the stuff I normally listen to.
 

Neyo

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But also, those album covers are the epitome of modern minimalist pop art. Chef’s kiss
 

Neyo

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Elden Ring review soon. This will be structured and divided up a lot more into separate posts, since I’m on my phone. Also, I’m covering A LOT.
 

Neyo

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In order to understand this Elden Ring review, you will probably need to understand my playthroughs. So here’s part one of my first run of the game (I’ve done 2 so far, with a third up in the air and unlikely to be done soon):

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRETY OF ELDEN RING

Character: Tree Frog 2. This is the distant relative of Tree Frog, the character I had in my Dark Souls 2 playthrough (first souls game I played). I choose Swordsman class, since I heard dual wielding was in the game, they didn’t have a shield, and had dope armor.

Tutorial: Breezed through it, no major events happened.

Beginning the story: I walk into Limgrave, the first area of the game. I get the horse and make a deal with the lady who gives you it. I get bored and annoyed with the open world after finding a giant ax and a big longsword, as well as a couple ashes of war (unique moves and abilities you can place on a weapon). I get a little bit annoyed with the perceived fundamental lack of anything to do in the game, and run past the first main mini-area. After riding my horse to the new area bed getting increasingly frustrated without anything to do, I enter Liurnia. This is where the story really kicks off.
I run around for a bit, then notice the huge castle in the center of the swamp/lake that makes up the region, I run there. After arriving and dodging through multiple platoons of soldiers and several barricades, I reach the blocked entrance, discovering a map with an X on it. I kid you not, the only way to get inside the castle is to solve an “X marks the spot” puzzle. So cool. Intrigued, I run to the location, and discover a dragon guarding a treasure. So I run past the dragon and barely escape before making it back. Then, I enter the castle.
My feelings towards the game have become more positive by this point, and they’re about to get a whole lot more positive. The area I’m going through is a whole lot more linear, which I personally prefer to the open world I’ve experienced so far. And it turns out, this place is essentially Hogwarts, but if it was a lot darker and every non-Muggle wore what looked like the Burger King mascot head over their own. (Seriously, search up Raya Lucaria Sorcerer helmet, it’s hilarious). After running through the area, I pick up some Marionette Archer Spirit Summons (little helpers that make boss fights a bit easier through distracting and damaging bosses. They’re usually just normal enemies that are on your side, but there are unique ones, too.) I advance to the final boss of that zone, and pick up a Burger King helmet to wear (that I would wear for the rest of the playthrough). I kill the final boss of the zone, who starts out as a crowd control boss, but becomes much more conventional and dangerous as the fight progresses. After killing her, I decide to put all of the points I got into health and strength, and decide to do a strength build from that point onward. So I take the axe and go back to the first intended boss zone, Stormveil Castle. I get through it fairly easily, and kill the boss of the area, taking his axe so I can dual wield axes. I venture into the hellscape that is Caelid, and dodging giant malformed crows and dogs, duck into Caelid Divine Tower. There, I confront my greatest enemy of the game: The Godskin Apostle. I cannot understate my hatred of and rivalry with this stupid, awesome optional boss. Since I refused to back down against this guy, it took six hours and some clever usage of spirit summons and ashes of war to get through this. My reward, his clothes and sword. Since the sword required faith to be used, I started putting points into that. Eventually, I realized that the sword in its current state was kind of awful, so I stopped trying to use it. And I ventured on the Redmane Castle, where the major boss of the zone was focused. And promptly stopped, because the boss before the major one was too difficult for me at my current level. So I skip the area for now, and head to midgame: The Altus Plateau.
 

Neyo

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Also, here’s what my characters looked like at the end of my runs:
2051197F-9F61-427F-BB87-DBB20795DCF9.jpeg
01A08BDA-2F15-4DF5-812D-9678609D7CD1.jpeg
Sorry for the really bad image quality.

But my birthday was quite nice :)
 

Neyo

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FINALLY A NEW SILKSONG TRAILER AND ITS GOING TO BE RELEASED WITHIN 12 MONTHS!!

Ending unlocked: Clown No More

The funny thing is, the trailer doesn’t actually tell us much about the game, but the fandom is going batshit insane because we’ve had essentially radio silence for the past 3 years.
 

Neyo

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First run of the game, part 2:

After venturing into the Altus Plateau, I realized that my character was more defined than just a tree frog. So I went to Renalla (The final boss of Raya Lucaria and one of the few bosses that survive encountering the player, giving a respec tool instead) and renamed my character to Burger Frog. After running around the Altus Plateau, and not really doing anything that would matter that much, I eventually got enough points in faith to use the sword the Apostle dropped, at Godslayer Greatsword. However, I was underwhelmed and decided to stick with the double axes for the rest of the playthrough. However, now I had a lot of points in faith to use, and decided to accept communion at the Church of Draconic Communion, and thus gain a ton of cool dragon incantations that let me spew fire and clouds of rot with a dragon head. Dope af, as the kids say.
Anyways, after getting all the cool spells, I ventured into Leyndell, the capital, and got through it without incident. However, during this time, I was curious about the sewers, because they seemed to be much bigger than they let on. In the sewers, I encountered the loathsome Dung Eater, and after understanding the lore, wished to not interact with him for the rest of the game (though I did do part of his quest to get a really cool-looking sword). Even deeper into the sewers, I encountered a boss, Mohg, who will not become relevant later in the game. Past him, through a secret path, I got into the lowest part of the sewers. After getting a couple incantations and doing a stupidly hard platforming challenge, I reached the Three Fingers. They touched me, and I was viciously burned, thus becoming the Lord of Frenzied Flame.
 

Neyo

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After getting fingered by some smoking hot hands, I ventured past the capital into the Mountaintops of the Giants. Here, I…killed the main boss and a dragon, and did very little else. By now, my flowchart for fighting bosses was:

Rot Breath -> Freeze Breath -> jump attack until one of us dies.

In any case, I got teleported to Tornado Town (Farum Azula) and killed the Godskin Duo and helped a bunch of people out with them, via online summoning. Then I defeated Maliketh, the Black Blade.

The final two bosses, Godfrey/Hoarah Loux and Radagon/Elden Beast, were pretty much the opposite of each other. While Godfrey is an amazing fight with spectacular visuals, gameplay, and music, Radagon is merely serviceable as a final boss. Same with the Elden Beast.

However, I defeated these two and took the throne as Lord of Frenzied Flame, and cleansed the Lands Between, so they might be molded superior.

Time for New Game+!
 

Neyo

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New Game+ Playthrough:
I decided to go with a mostly magic build (with a conventional weapon added in, so I wasn’t completely helpless in special scenarios) because I heard that magic is incredibly powerful.

(TL;DR: In certain cases it is, but otherwise it’s somewhat balanced).

So I loaded up a new save file and started gathering all the stuff I needed for a very broken magic build. Most important was the spell Comet Azur and a specifc reusable potion. Comet Azur shoots a massive beam of blue light at a target, and can be held. For many bosses that aren’t evasive or are slow, this can cut through most of their health bar.

Once I did this and started actually playing to do all the stuff I didn’t do last game. I completed Ranni’s questline, to get a new ending, and it was really well done. I completed Sellen and Thop’s quest lines ( I killed almost every major boss, including Malenia, Blade of Miquella, who you may have heard of if no other Elden Ring characters. I killed Mohg, Rykard, got every major Spirit, Spell/Incantation, and weapon, and gotten the Age of Stars ending.

For New Game+2, pretty much just did a speedrun to get the final ending (Goldmask’s Elden Lord ending) and with that, I 100%ed Elden Ring. 10/10 game. A more comprehensive review is next/soon. I have a lot of thoughts on this one.
 

Neyo

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PSA: Don’t go on the American Politics thread. It’s a vague mixture of hopelessness and chaos you don’t want to interact with.
 

takoyaki

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PSA: Don’t go on the American Politics thread. It’s a vague mixture of hopelessness and chaos you don’t want to interact with.
there's a lot of reports coming in from there sometimes. easily maybe the most dramatic place we have here i think!!! spoooooooky
 

Neyo

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Overview of Elden Ring:
One of the best games released in the past few years, if not ever, Elden Ring is a masterclass in storytelling, level design, character design, hiring George R. R. Martin, and excellent gameplay formulae. Every choice you make feels meaningful, no matter if it is what weapon to use, what bosses to fight, or which characters to aid. With a huge variety of weapons, no two playthroughs are the same, and with the addition of a more streamlined online experience as well as the new Spirit Summoning mechanic, beginners to the genre have a much easier time with regards to the skill floor. Furthermore, the huge open world filled with meaningful upgrades, secrets, and characters allows one to just say “F*** it” and run around with no clear goal in mind. It’s like Breath of the Wild, but for adults, and much more difficult.

10/10 shmekels. I can very easily see this winning game of the year, and this is probably THE game to play if you want to try out the Soulsborne genre.

Note: I really wanted to write a much lengthier review, but it felt disingenuous to do that, since I can’t really do it justice no matter how long the review is. The only place the game really fails is in the music, which is fairly lackluster. However, pretty much everything else makes up for that.

See ya! :bulbaLove:
-Neyo
 

Neyo

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John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
 

Neyo

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So the drawing bug hit me, as it does every once in a while, and I drew some video game characters that I really like. I drew some better than others, like I don’t think Kommo-o looks great, but I like what I did with Shabriri.
Anyways, this features characters from:
Pokémon
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Elden Ring
Hollow Knight
And the two characters I main in Smash Ultimate.

8B2B4E53-B613-4614-BD64-84F5DED81BCD.jpeg
 

Neyo

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Happy 4th of July, America’s birthday.

Honestly, I ordinarily am somewhere between slightly positive and lukewarm on national holidays such as this. I do understand that terrible atrocities have taken place on American soil, and that the politics of the country in terms of division and extremism are really bad currently (not to mention the Roe overturning) and that is why a not-insignificant portion of the country has a very negative perception of patriotism as well as America in general.

However, I do think there is merit in appreciating what an impressive accomplishment that the existence of the United States is. A ridiculous fight against a superpower, several years of extreme instability, a civil war, incredible social upheaval in the past two centuries, two world wars and massive depressions in the economy, a huge pandemic, and now political division, and still she stands, despite being worn and torn.

America is by no means perfect. It is messed up, unfair, and chaotic. But, it has one massive strength that causes it to endure: an ability to reform.

So don’t give up all hope for the future. The storm may be fierce, but, there’s a gleam of sunlight on the horizon. And if the country as a whole is determined to get to that sunlight, it is achievable.
 

Neyo

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You know, the Sonic franchise just seems like a fun franchise to be into. I understand that a large number of games that it has had are not good or well-received, but there’s just a charm to the series that you don’t really find that much in other franchises, particularly as an outsider looking in.

This is foreshadowing.
 

Neyo

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I’m back!
Team Sonic Racing: A Flawed Masterpiece of Kart Racing Games

When this game was made available on PS+, I though very little of it. But, as with many Sonic games, I thought, it would be funny if I tried this game, even if I don’t end up liking it.

Little did I know this silly little SEGA IP deal would become one of my favorite games.

Modes: This game has 3 major modes, Adventure, Grand Prix, and Exhibition match. They’re all pretty much what you’d expect from a Kart racing game. A story, set tracks of four, and a free play.
However, the story mode also goes on pretty long, has a bunch of challenges within each level, and a couple side modes in each chapter. Also, the story itself is really weird. It seems like everyone’s just standing in a room, talking, and coming and going as they please. It’s like Waiting for Godot, but with Sonic characters.
Anyways, there’s two modes within Grand Prixs and Exhibition matches: singles and teams. Singles is fun, but you can kind of tell that the game isn’t really balanced around it. Now, teams, though is another beast. It is the main focus of the game, and there are a few different mechanics that change the way the game is played: exclusive items for different character types, item transferring, Slingshots and Skimboosts, and Team Ultimates. These all give each person on the team a different role to play, and all revolve around a sense of cooperation. I won’t explain it all here, but basically, you want to transfer items to and Slingshot/Skimboost your teammates to build up a meter that gives you a massive boost and can change the outcome of a match easily. Very fun to both work with people (preferably IRL in local coop) and go crazy fast.

Characters: I really like the character selection in this game. Not necessarily the characters chosen for the game (though I do like some of the choices they made), but rather, the type selections and character deviance.
There are 3 types of characters in this game: Speed, Technique, and Heavy.
Speed types rock in Singles, and also do well in Teams. The signature ability this group gets is that they get a benefit for going fast and boosting a lot.
Technique types maintain top speed on any surface, and automatically magnet coins, a thing that boosts you a little during races. They’re very good in Teams, since they usually assist teammates well, and a little bit better in Singles.
Heavy types are absolutely terrible compared to the others, but if they could stand alone, they’d be fine. Their ability is that they can crash through certain on stage obstacles that can fairly easily be avoided. They do better in Teams because their weaknesses aren’t as apparent there, but in Singles they just get left behind if the stage is bad for them. But they do get the best items, so I guess that makes up for it?
Speed Types: Sonic, Amy, Blaze, Shadow, Metal Sonic.
Technique types: Tails, Chao(s), Silver, Rouge, Eggman.
Heavy types: Knuckles, Big, Vector, Omega, Zavoc.

Stages: Honestly, the stages available to play are good. They’re well designed, and often have a bit of branching within the paths, a little bit like good Sonic levels. There are certain stages that benefit certain types better, which I think is so cool, because that makes counter depending on the stage chosen. The visual design is neat, and most of the levels are bright and sunny. The only problem I have with this stage list is that there isn’t a Green Hill Zone level.

Customization:
This game has something somewhat akin to Rocket League-level visual customization, with Mario Kart gameplay/stat customization. Both are really good, and I like both, since they offer a lot of flexibility.

Items: The items in this game are pretty good. Nothing crazy, but they’re good fun.

Visual design/UI: Nothing egregious, nothing crazy good. Perfectly acceptable. The game does a very good job at selling the idea that you’re going really fast, and I’m impressed with that.

Soundtrack: Very good. Full of fun songs, though it is a little difficult to hear some of them over the SFX and voice acting.

Voice Lines: While the voice acting and dialogue in the Story mode is not good, during the races, it’s pretty fun. A lot of characters have unique interactions and voice lines depending on what happened to them and who caused it. It feels like each race, a new interaction occurs, which is really exciting and interesting.

Overall, great game. It does nearly everything perfectly well, and it’s fun to play either alone or with other people. The only thing I have a problem with is that sometimes the customization doesn’t feel that impactful, and that drags it down quite a bit, but other than that, great game.
8.5/10 shmekels.

Bonus part: small life updates.
I bought a puzzle that will be awful to try to complete. It’s based on the American Gothic painting (once you see it, you’ll recognize it), and since it’s both a 1,000 piece and the painting uses a lot of flat, uninterrupted colors, it will take a while.
EF5003BD-8A35-4A1B-86BE-60B799AA4D76.jpeg
Also, here’s a picture of my Smash Mains. I just want to see the world burn.
ABFF065D-F4CF-4061-A99A-2D9BCD39C9A7.jpeg

-Neyo
 

Neyo

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Let's put the Abzú Diver in Smash, because why not? It might be fun, but likely nobody cares, since nobody played Abzú. lol

The overall concept here is that the Diver would be focused on defense until their meter fills all the way up. Let's call this the "Gatorade" meter. You build up the meter by doing damage until the meter fills up completely. When Gatorade is active (a 20 second boost), the frame data, damage output, and mobility of Diver becomes increased, while the hitstun recieved, damage input, and knockback output of Diver decreases*. Furthermore, several moves also change. Think of Shulk's Monado Arts and Cloud's Limit for a clearer picture. Basically, they play like a bait-and-punish character until Gatorade activates, resulting in a rushdown combo playstyle shift. Gatorade is designed so that you usually get it at the end of every stock.

Stats:
Jump height: About equal to Corrin, pretty good, nothing crazy.
Weight: Lightweight, about Joker-level weight
Air acceleration: Medium
Gravity: Low
Run speed: Below average
Initial dash speed: slightly above average.
Very low crouch, but no crawl.
Quite tall.

Stats (Gatorade):
Jump height: same
Weight: same
Air acceleration: Very fast
Gravity: Slightly increased
Run speed: Above average
Initial Dash speed: same

Attacks:
  • Jab 1, 2, 3: Quick, short punch followed up by a stomp and then a small blast of water that sends directly upwards. Medium knockback for a jab like this.
  • Dash attack: A dolphinlike leap forwards, similar to Simon's down tilt. Very unsafe on shield, but good damage and knockback. Possesses good kill power past 150% on middleweights, and sends at a diagonal angle upwards.
  • Forward tilt: Scuba diving flipper extends from foot as kick comes out. The range is very good good for a forward tilt (imagine ZSS's but longer), but the flipper has minimal knockback and damage (kind of like the first hit of a jab attack, with the sweetspot on the foot dealing the most knockback and damage. Sends directly forward. Can be angled
  • Down tilt: Geyser of water sends directly upward, with no kill power at all. Designed to be a combo starter. Slightly longer range than most down tilts.
  • Up tilt: Diver looks upward as a burst of water surrounds her head and shoulders like a halo. Sends at an 80 degree angle, should hit after landing a down tilt. Also designed to be followed up with after hitting with it.
Attacks (Gatorade):
  • Jab 3 launches farther.
  • Dash attack kills at 125%, larger hitbox with water swirling around her.
  • Forward tilt gains increased knockback, and the entire flipper is coated in water, giving it additional power and making the entire foot a sweetspot.
  • Up tilt has a larger hitbox, with less knockback.
Aerials:
  • Neutral Air: Water burst, similar to Greninja's neutral air. Combo tool.
  • Forward Air: Water blast from the palm. about the same range as Wolf forward air. Combo finisher.
  • Back Air: Electricity burst from the back. Very good kill power, but mediocre startup. Mediocre range.
  • Up Air: Diver pulls her entire body upwards, and a blast of water erupts from her chest. Excellent juggling tool. Large amount of endlag.
  • Down Air: Diver extends fins from feet, and does a double kick. The fins have neither good hitstun or knockback, but the feet have sweetspots that send forwards. Below average startup and endlag.
Aerials (Gatorade):
  • Forward air gets more range.
  • Up air gains more range.
  • Down air changes similarly to forward tilt, making the entire extension a sweetspot.
Smash Attacks:
  • Forward Smash: A punch with minimal range. A lot of endlag if it whiffs. If it lands, a burst of electricity stuns the opponent, then a burst of water explodes from the fist.
  • Up Smash: A swirling vortex of water surround the Diver as she meditates midair. A school of fish swims within the vortex. The way this works is that the water sucks in the opponent and functions as a windbox, while the fish are the actual hitboxes and deal damage. When the move ends, the vortex explodes, launching opponents with good power. Charging extends duration. The height of the move is a little less than half of Palutena's up smash, and a little taller than it is wide. Large amount of startup and endlag.
  • Down Smash: Two small waves of water flow at the Diver's feet. Functions a "get off me" and roll read tool, but very little else. Minimal kill power, since its focus is to make distance. Lots of startup lag.
Smash Attacks (Gatorade):
  • Forward smash gains more power
  • Up smash gets a larger vertical windbox (waterbox?), more kill power, and more fish.
  • Down smash gets nothing.
Special Attacks:
  • Neutral Special: Chargeable projectile that cannot be held/stored by Diver (similar to Sephiroth neutral special). The drone can't be reflected, but can be pocketed or destroyed by other players. The Diver holds one of the drones you can find throughout Abzú, and charges it up. It has three stages, each doing more power and gaining more range. Speed stays the same throughout. The third stage stuns opponents, similar to Corrin's projectile. When reflected, the drone is destroyed, but does no damage to the reflector. Can be cancelled.
  • Side Special: The Diver emits a sonar pulse from her head, turning opponents around and neutralizing projectiles by basically deleting them. Very quick, similar to Mario's Cape, and has longer range.
  • Down Special: A quick meditative state is activated, applying a buff. This buff makes it so that the Diver's next attack that lands does more damage, knockback, and fills up the Gatorade meter a large amount, but if she's hit, the buff disappears, the damage received is increased, knockback received is increased, and she loses some of the meter. This can be done twice a stock.
  • Up Special: The diver balls up, then swims quickly in one direction, chooseable by the player. The uncharged version does very little knockback or damage, but is quick. In the charged version, Diver rides a shark for the same distance, resulting in a very powerful up special.
Special Attacks (Gatorade):
  • All stages of neutral special stun the opponent
  • Side special is replaced entirely by the Diver rushing forwards with a wave of water in front. This wave reflets projectiles. Quick startup, can be charged, and quite a bit of endlag.
  • Down special is also replaced, by a two use move. This move shares the same pool with the buff special so you can only use them a total of two times. This new move is similar to up smash, but has more utility as a combo tool. Essentially, a vortex of water surrounds the Diver, sucking in nearby opponents. When this lands, the opponent is stunned for a good period of time, allowing for a follow up with a combo or a punish with a smash attack. A bit of endlag, so you can't just spam this.
  • Up special gains super armor during charge up.
Grab:
  • Grab is a short range grasp with Diver's hand.
  • Up throw is a geyser of water that throws the opponent directly up for juggling.
  • Forward throw is a wave that sends directly forward.
  • Back throw is a kill throw past 135%. Otherwise, pretty much only useful for getting the opponent offstage. Casual throw backwards, then the drone rams into them for a second hit. Like Falco back throw.
  • Down throw: School of fish fly into the opponent, then the opponent goes diagonally upward.
Final Smash: Then Were Created the Gods in the Midst of Heaven
Huge water pulse in front of Diver. The opponent is thrown into the giant machine present in the finale of Abzú, and then Diver pulses and releases a huge wave of energy encompassing the entire machine, destroying it. Instantly KOs any opponents above 100%.

Notes/Aesthetic features:
  • When Gatorade is active, Diver glows, similarly to the finale of Abzú.
  • When doing any attacks where the water comes from Diver, the water looks like the Primordial Essence from Abzú.
  • I didn't particularly want to balance this character well, since it's more fun and this is more concept than anything concrete. Also, I spent way too much time on this.
 

Neyo

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Hey, I made progress on over-summer school work! Now back to procrastinating.
 

Chorizauriod

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Education Hot Take:
History is one of the most important classes you can take (in general), because it allows you to have a better understanding of the past, and therefore, current events.

I've been recently falling into the same conclusion, if we as a society could understand the past and current events we could move towards a better future, that is, we now in the present would be a better society. Problem is (at least to me) I am not very good at reading history, digesting it in a way in which I can have a better understanding of the present and have a better idea of the future. For example reading about Napoleonic wars it's very interesting (and I've watched so many videos about it) but I don't know how to apply that knowledge to 2022 :confused:... I don't know maybe I'm overthinking it or maybe it's because I wasn't good in history back in high school. If there were many apps to learn history in a fun way and short bites like there are for math I would've seen beyond of what I did, these days I see there are tons of apps/online websites to learn math (like this math app my niece uses all the time) and many are for free and none for history......... hmm or maybe there are it just that I'm not looking for them :unsure:.

Anyways, yep, history I now see it's super important to teach kids in general and I'd say that it'd be great if we as a society we could somehow make history more appealing to students. (y)
 
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