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The blog of Phoenyx

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As the title says, things didn't go as planned.




It may not look too bad, but I have to show you some trouble spots.




Severe warping around one side of the print, resulting in a malformed motor mounting point.




CURA actually thought I wanted to print the interior of the holes of the upper frame mounts, as opposed to the geometry of the frame mounts themselves. I don't know if this is CURA's fault or Sketchup's, though, but seeing as though I have had issues with Sketchup before and not CURA, I guess a few more precision F-Strikes directed at Trimble Navigation are needed. (EDIT: It turned out to be CURA, actually. It didn't like the overhanging parts.)


Oh well, at least I can stick this in an arena for another bot to chew on as a durability test. Or just sick my antweight on it. (EDIT: Already did. Turns out there were more problems than just a bad print. The box portion of the frame held up but the weapon mount got torn apart pretty bad.)


So, I decided to start work on a new combat robot earlier today, and I actually decided to 3D print it. Which is an especially odd choice for me since I don't personally trust 3D printed components on combat robots. 3D printed robots tend to not hold up that well, as the material tends to split from hard impacts.


But then I discovered a material called HIPS, or High Impact Polystyrene. This material can take some pretty decent impacts, and although the separation issue is still present, it's diminished. Plus, I don't need to spend eight hours dehydrating the filament in a toaster oven like I do with Alloy 910, which is the other filament I have on hand.


So, I started up Sketchup and after about an hour and a few precision F-Strikes directed at Trimble Navigation I came up with this:




A simple and effective horizontal spinner inspired by M.O.E., Last Rites, Tombstone, The Mortician, Suitcase Nuke, BEST KOREA, Better KOREA, The Cuban, etc. etc. etc.

It's actually a decent-sized robot, as the frame is 101/2" long and 8" wide. The primary frame barely even fits on my 3D printer's print bed. That being said, while I could technically print this all in once piece, the upper frame obviously overhangs way too much. I'm already having to use excessive amounts of support material already.


Anyway, now I have to wait 16 hours for the print to finish.



Part 2 will be coming out when the print is finished.


Smash4 - Roy Combos

I've been messing around in Smash 4 lately, doing some practice and experimenting with my current main, and I've come up with a list of combos.
Combos marked with a [*] are ones I discovered myself. Combos marked with [^] are ideal combos. Note that these combos may not work on all characters. This is also not a complete list and I have likely missed quite a few.

Jab -> D-Tilt

Jab -> F-Tilt

Jab -> F-Smash

Jab -> Dash Grab -> D-Throw -> any combos out of D-Throw

U-Tilt -> U-Tilt -> U-Smash

D-Throw -> Flare Blade *

D-Throw -> Double Edge Dance

D-Throw -> Blazer

D-Throw -> F-Smash (only at low percentages) *

D-Throw -> U-Smash

D-Throw -> U-Tilt -> U-Tilt -> U-Smash *^ (DOES 46% with minimal effort!!!)

D-Throw -> Jab -> Blazer

D-Throw -> Jab -> Dash Grab -> D-Throw -> any single move that combos out of D-Throw besides Double Edge Dance ^


UPDATE: It turns out that LDCAD is actually what I'm looking for, believe it or not.

While trying to design a 1997 UFO themed MOC, I ran into an issue. Particularly, the fact that LEGO Digital Designer is missing several parts needed for the build, such as the 14x14 quarter-saucer segments that make up the hull of the Alien Avenger and the prow of the Interstellar Starfighter. I can't even begin to understand why TLG doesn't include older bricks in LDD. I know LDD is intended for designing models to then purchase the parts for and build, but the thing is a lot of old parts are still available on the resale market.

So, I did what any sensible person would do and downloaded the full LDraw suite... only to rediscover why I don't use LDraw. Pretty much every CAD program that uses LDraw is either broken (I might address that in a future entry) or has a very clunky interface that I can either barely use or can't use at all (if there is an LDraw program that lets me move and rotate bricks without having to constantly switch between tools, please let me know). I really don't get why software developers pay so little attention to the usability of the GUI. I'm not talking about GUI complexity, and I don't care how many widgets are on the toolbar. What I take issue with is when you're forced to use every single tool and option to do something as basic as placing something in the workspace. EAGLE, a program for making circuit schematics and PCB blueprints, doesn't force you to do this. Autodesk Inventor doesn't force you to do this. Sony Vegas doesn't force you to do this. So why do the developers of LeoCAD, MLCAD and LDCAD think it's ok to force the user to go through the entire interface in order to get anything done?

My bottom line is that there isn't a LEGO design program that can really be considered a viable option, at least for me. I'm sure that other people can relate.


I can't take it...

I'd hate to be saying goodbye to a forum I felt at home on, but it's what I must do. I can't take the stress.

I have a few things to say before I go.


You are an inspiration for everyone, including me. You also made this great place. I'm sorry that some people had to ruin it for everyone.


I wish I had gotten to know you better. Form what I do know, you were one of the best forum moderators I have ever seen, if not the best.


I know you can work through your problems. Keep at it, man!


You had your moments, but you really inspired me to improve my programing skills. I'll keep in touch.


You have an awesome sense of humor, and you helped me out through hard times. I thank you for that. Send me a friend invite on steam, k?


Without you we wouldn't be able to mod anything in LR1. You have contributed a LOT to this forum.


I'll continue to talk to you on Steam. I don't leave my friends behind.


You probably won't believe me when I say this, but I considered you a friend of mine and still do, plus you helped me out through some hard times in the past. Keep in touch.


I talked to you more on Minecraft, so I have to thank you for helping me out with the server.

The Doctor:

I wish we got to know each other better. I know we would have been great friends.

Unfortunately, I also have some stern words for a certain member.


My emotions are wanting me to vent at you in a hurricane of anger and hate, but rather I'm going to say that you need to work on respect for people and kick the attitude. You won't make friends and influence people by constantly bashing them for simple disagreements and bullying them into submitting to your beliefs like the dictator of a third-world country. Until you learn to respect the people around you, you will not be the protector of human rights you believe yourself to be.


I haven't played UMvC3 much, but I have watched a ton of videos and am well-versed with fighting games in general. Thus, I've decided to come up with a tier list of my own.

Above everything else, keep in mind that tier lists should not be focused on at any level of play. This is just to categorize each character in terms of in-game capabilities and in no way takes strategy into mind (with one exception, see below).

Standard Tiers

Top Tier+: Zero, Morrigan

Top Tier: Wesker, Vergil, Magneto, Spencer, Dr. Doom, C. Viper, Wolverine

High Tier: Dormamu, Amaterasu, Frank West, Dante, Felecia, Akuma

High-Mid Tier: Taskmaster, Strider Hiryu, Viewtiful Joe, Super Skrull, M.O.D.O.K., Hulk

Mid Tier+: Jill, Firebrand, Spiderman

Mid Tier: Hawkeye, Trish, Haggar, Chris, X-23, Nova, Ryu, Storm

Mid Tier-: Thor, Nemesis, Captain America, Deadpool, Rocket Raccoon

Low-Mid Tier: Dr. Strange, She Hulk, Chun Lee, Sir Arthur

Low Tier: Tron Bonne, Iron Man, Shuma Gorath, Iron Fist

Bottom Tier: Ghost Rider, Hsien-Ko

Additional Tiers that don't fit into the standard scale

Cheap Tier: Phoenix, Sentinel

Wildcard Tier: Phoenix Wright


Q: HEY! WHY IS <insert character here> <insert tier name here> TIER? DO YOU LOVE/HATE THAT CHARACTER MUCH?

A: This list is based off of my observations including total damage output, priority, cross-up potential, ease of use, and potential combinations with other characters, as well as tournament performance. If you play Hsien-Ko, then that's fine even though she's bottom tier. Tier lists for fighting games only show how well characters match up on paper.

Q: What's with the additional tiers?

A: Phoenix and Sentinel are actually High Tier and Mid Tier respectively, but they have a highly exploitable attack or ability that must be dealt with in a specific way. Phoenix Wright is an extremely unpredictable character due to how his stances work and thus cannot be firmly categorized in any way, similar to Roll in Marvel vs Capcom 2.

Q: Why is Morrigan Top Tier+?

A: Normally I would count this as question 1, but Morrigan is a bit of an odd-ball. Mainly, it's due to how she combos with Dr. Doom to essentially turn UMvC3 into a bullet-hell game. Although this would technically qualify her for Cheap Tier, her bullethell strategy is difficult to pull off and thus not easily exploited. Without it, she would be mid tier at best.


Alpha Centari B, the secondary star of the closest star system to earth besides our own, apparently has a new companion. First noticed on October 18th, scientists have recently revealed that a rocky planet 1.13 times the mass of earth orbits this neighbor of ours. However, this planet has orbital period of 3.236 days, meaning that it's extremely close to its parent star, and thus way to hot to be habitable.

Xavier Dumusque of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland and his colleagues discovered this planet using the HARPs spectrograph to break apart light from Alpha Centari B. After filtering out starspots and other noise, they found a tiny fluctuation that they claim is caused by an earth-mass planet. Other observatories will check soon in an attempt to either confirm this planet's existence or disprove it.

As planet-finding techniques become more precise, scientists continue to discover unexpected worlds - but just one 4 light-years away is especially exciting. Now it's only time before this planet's presence is confirmed.

Source: Astronomy Magazine, Vol 41, No. 2



I know it's been a long time since I reviewed any RC stuff, so let's begin.

I must confess, I'm a total newbie with RC helicopters (at the time of writing). I'm still learning to fly a true CP heli, which is actually nothing like a FP helicopter like the Blade mSR. A CP heli is set up with blades that can change pitch in-flight based on the throttle setting, potentially allowing the helicopter to be able to fly inverted. FP helis cannot do this, and in addition many FP helis are designed to be able to self-right. This allows beginner pilots to have an easier time learning the controls, but restricts the capabilities of the heli itself. Thus, CP helies are faster and more agile, at the expense of being much harder to fly.

To explain what it's actually like to fly one, well... I can't. There's nothing similar, not even flying a full-sized heli. If you want to see for yourself, I'd at least recommend getting an RC aircraft sim like Realflight G6 or Phoenix RC flight sim.

Now for the review itself.

First Thoughts

I was hesitant at first. I had been warned to steer clear of flybarless designs, as they were supposedly unstable. When I finally got my mCP X in the air, however, I soon learned otherwise. It's more sensitive than similar designs with flybars, but the AS3X electronic stability system takes care of any inherent instability that a flybarless machine has.

Good for beginners, better for experts.

Due to the flybarless design, this heli is quite twitchy. By twitchy, I mean it will react to even the slightest input. Imagine playing a video game with a joystick set to 0 deadzone and full sensitivity - that's how sensitive it is. A light and steady hand is required to fly this thing. This said, as a micro heli the mCP X v2 has the same durability as the more beginner-friendly helis, and if something does break you won't break the bank trying to fix it.

The mileage of a Hummer

The battery life with the stock 200 mAh 1-cell Li-Po battery is barely adequate. Five minutes is expected with basic hovering, while the battery might be capable of three minutes at most when flying aggressive aerobatics (though I have yet to test the latter). The AS3X system is to blame here, as it constantly makes minor changes to the blade angles in-flight, even when you're not giving it any input aside from throttle/pitch.

If you need help setting up the heli, check out the enclosed instruction book

One thing I like about this model is that the instructions tell you how to set up your transmitter's rates, exponential, travel, reversing switches and swashplate settings if you have a Spektrum DX4e, DX5e, DX6i, DX7 or DX8, and the Bind-N-Fly version of this heli (which is prefered over the RTF as the stock transmitter is not designed for a CP heli like the mCP X). I was able to get this thing into the air in as little as 30 minutes, which is the typical amount of time required to charge the battery at a 2C rate.

Crash Test Honor Student

Durability, as I said before, is great. I've crashed a few times (although so far I've only had one major crash) and the only damage was a broken rotor head link and an insignificant crack in one of the main rotor blades. Nothing major, as the heli comes with spare links and blades on this thing are cheap. It was grounded for a few minutes as I put a new link between the swashplate and the blade grip, though.

It's all in the box (mostly)

The Bind-N-Fly comes with a Celectra variable-rate charger, two batteries, a charge adapter, a set of performance blades, a set of high-speed flight blades, four spare links, a spare tail rotor, and two screwdrivers of different sizes. The RTF also includes a usable but inadequate transmitter that also comes with the RTF versions of the mCX, mCX2, mCX MP300, mCX tandem, mSR, mSR X, 120CX and 120SR, as well as 4 AA LR6 alkaline batteries for said transmitter. I do not recommend the RTF. The stock equipment is pretty good to start, but you'll definitely want extra batteries for the heli itself. I also recommend getting extra blades and tail rotors.

If looks could kill...

...then this heli would cause a lot on injuries, but not deaths. The paint scheme is alright but color sense takes a back seat to visibility. Admittedly, I think that's a good idea as this heli is quite quick, but it could use a little contrast between light and dark colors.

Something to note

The tail of this heli is known to kick-out during aggressive aerobatics, but this seems to be an issue entirely with the size of the aircraft.

The Good...

Durable, affordable, stable, agile, visible, fast, and as capable as the larger helis. A great value too.

The Bad...

Tail tends to kick out during aerobatics, twitchy, low battery life, RTF needs a better transmitter.

...and the Ugly

The colors are a bit blinding up-close.

Bottom Line

I'd recommend this to anyone who can handle a CP Heli. It's also one of the better choices for anyone who is ready to step up to a CP from a FP or Coaxial.


Durability: 10

Agility: 10

Speed: N/A - It's a helicopter, not a jet. Why would you want to go fast?

Aerobatics: 7

Stability: 8

User-friendliness: 10

Value: 8

Final Score:



Just a test...

Yet Another Sprite Comic


No. :tf:: Reploid PhoenyX and Mavrick PhoenyX

Yeah, it's another "uncreative" Megaman themed sprite comic. It's unrelated to RRU or Operation: Ready to Le, and really serves no purpose than to test out something I'm wanting to try making.


Any thoughts?


Alright. I'm sure the title is self explanatory, so I'll skip the basics and get into the details (like the deck I'm going to run).


4x Mewtwo EX

4x Sableye

4x Terrakion

2x Darkrai EX


4x Cheren

4x Professor Juniper

2x Skyla

2x N

4x Pokemon Communication

4x Ultra Ball

4x Plus Power

1x Computer Search


4x Fighting

5x Darkness (basic)

4x Darkness (special)

4x Double Colorless

4x Prism


Use Sableye to recycle search item cards. Bring out Mewtwo EX ASAP. Use Terrakion as a revenge killer and Darkrai EX to assist with retreating. KO opponent's Pokemon. Draw prizes, preferably two at a time due to the EX rule. Win before opponent can even get set up. Dominate tournaments. Go to tropical location. Become world champion.

Possible changes:

Against a Keldio EX & Blastoise heavy field:

-1 Mewtwo EX

-1 Terrakion

-4 Darkness Energy (basic)

+2 Zekrom

+4 Lightning Energy

Zekrom will really help in keeping Keldio EX in check. Mewtwo EX is also really good in this matchup, but may have trouble getting a 1HKO.

Against other Mewtwo EXs:

-2 Terrakion

-2 Fighting Energy

+2 Darkrai EX

+2 Darkness Energy (basic)

Focus more on using Darkrai EX, as it resists Psychic types. However, if you can get the initiative in a situation, by all means use Mewtwo EX to get a KO on the opponent's Mewtwo EX. Make sure to watch out for Mewtwo EX in any matchup, as a lot of decks run it as a tech.

Against Eels, anything with Darkrai EX:

-4 Darkness Energy (basic)

-2 Pokemon Communication

+2 Fighting Energy

+4 Pokemon Catcher

Pokemon Catcher is crucial in a matchup like this, as you need to focus on killing your opponent's support. Since both Elektrik and Darkrai EX are weak to fighting, Terrakion and Mewtwo EX will swap roles.

Against Serperior:

You don't have to change anything, but be careful with Terrakion as it is weak to grass. If you do use it for a revenge-kill, you'll be trading prizes next turn.

Against Zoroark:

-2 Darkness Energy (basic)

+2 Fighting Energy.

Again, you'll want to use Terrakion more in this matchup. If Darkrai EX is common in Zoroark decks, treat them like Darkrai EX decks.

Against Ho-Oh EX:

Do nothing. Mewtwo EX hard-counters Ho-Oh EX.

EDIT: Deck list edited. Turns out Computer Search is an Ace Spec and is limited to only one per deck.


Sirius Wars

Alright. I'm finally ready to distribute an early alpha of Sirius Wars, a bullethell shooter I've been developing and have kept relatively under wraps until now. Version alpha 2

The game is being developed on the Danmaku Time engine, an open source (BSD License) bullethell shooter engine written in Java.

The game itself is being distributed under a modified BSD license. Do not use any files in the res/snd, res/img, res/script/chars or res/script/stages directories for commercial projects without my permission. A copy of the license is included with the game.


I've noticed that there hasn't been a post or blog entry yet on how to get the idiots in orange to do what you want them to. I've decided that it's better late than never.

Sorted in order of usefulness.

  1. It's faster and more reliable to click on a rock raider and tell them to get into a vehicle than to click on a vehicle and select "Get Driver". Sometimes doing the latter will cause the game to select a rock raider that is currently busy. Some times this causes the raider to ignore that order, leaving the vehicle untouched and forcing you to teleport it back to the LMS Explorer and teleport another back down.
  2. Use your priorities menu. If you need a wall reenforced or a building built quickly, set your priorities accordingly. It will save time and you won't be scratching your head over why your rock raiders are ignoring orders. It can also sometimes be useful to disable certain priorities - you don't need your raiders shoveling rubble or collecting ore when you need to gather energy crystals to power your support station.
  3. Don't bother with Hover Scouts or Mobile Laser Cutters - The former is useless, and the latter are usable only when hunting sleeping monsters. Save your energy crystals for other things, like Chrome Crushers or Small Transport Trucks. The same applies to a lesser extent for the Tunnel Scout, Tunnel Transport (if modded-in) and all watercraft except for Cirevam's Assault Cruiser.
  4. Don't be afraid to evacuate your units when necessary. You can get them back if you teleport them out yourself, but not if you let them die (or intentionally kill them). If your chrome crusher gets swarmed by monsters, beam it and the driver up.
  5. If your raiders are shooting at a monster just out of range, move them in closer.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments below.


Writing ideas - setting

I'm rolling some ideas through my head, and I would like some opinions on them.

I'll list the setting factors in the order of how this page on TVTropes lists them

Base genre: Science Fantasy and Dieselpunk with a bit of Cyberpunk thrown in for variety.

Mythology: Ancestral with an emphasis on specific heroes, similar to ancient China. Mainly there just for a bit of background flavor.

Population: A handful of races. Humans (not quite - they have a few characteristics that in other works would seem slightly elfish), something similar but not exactly like Dwarves (especially since they're not short, and not all of them have beards), and a Cat-people race that borders on human-like (as in ears, tails and some fur). All three main races share a common but now extinct ancestor race, the Originals (which are exactly like us). There are a few minor token races, but they're normally not important to the story.

Everyday People: are everyday people. They're not useless, they're not awesome, and not all of them are jerks. They're just people.

Politics: Multiple nations. Most of them either corporate states or monarchies. One's a democracy, but it's pretty small and acts more as an oasis for those running from the other governments than an actual nation.

Tech: As the Dieselpunk setting suggests, think 40s to 60s with most tech. Transportation is a high-tech anti-grav version of the 70s (think flying muscle cars, hover-buses and giant airborne passenger liners) thanks to Magi-tech, while computer and medical technology is at modern-to-"20 seconds in the future" levels.

Magic: It's there, and some of the more advanced technologies owe their existence to it. Mainly explained as a fifth physical force that has the ability to counter the other four, so it's technically still a part of physics.

Accepted Morals: Depends on who you ask in most cases. Of course, abstinence is considered a virtue by all in the setting.

Overall Tone: A "Crapsaccharine World", so to speak, though the "saccharine" side to it isn't exactly a utopia either.

Sci-fi hardness: Mostly solid, since magic (and it's actually called that in-context) is just a fifth fundamental force that's just easier to harness than the other four. In other words, a one-miracle universe.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Keep in mind that suggestions of romantic vampires, zombie apocalypses or voracious swarming aliens will be printed out and ground into a poultice to replace my toothpaste before being deleted. :tf:


Game Review - Mario Kart 7

First off... I'd like to say I'm actually not as disappointed as I thought I would be. That said, I can't just summarize the review like that.

Graphics: Impressive... for the 3DS. The lighting is on par with Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, while everything else (even resolution) is equivalent to Mario Bike Kart Wii. Also, it's the first handheld Mario Kart title to not use sprites for items and track objects. Overall I'd say it's a turn in the right direction in this factor.

Sound: I've never been a fan of the soundtrack in the most recent Mario Kart games, but the remixed themes for the retro tracks as well as the themes for Neo Bowser City, Bowser's Castle and Rainbow Road, plus the results screen themes made me have a nostalgia attack (especially since the first Mario Kart game I played was Mario kart 64). I know Neo Bowser City doesn't sound very nostalgic upon hearing it for the first time, but if you listen closely, you can actually hear the theme from Toad's Turnpike in it. I honestly have to say this game has one of the stronger soundtracks in the series. As for sound effects, it's typical modern-generation Mario Kart fare, though I do think Metal Mario's voice clips were lazily made, since most of them are completely identical to Mario's (it makes it worse for me since Metal Mario is my main).

Gameplay: Ok... Rant Time. First off, I hate the idea of hard equalizer items like the Blue Shell of DEATH (interesting how it has the same acronym as the infamous Windows Critical Stop Error's fan-nickname). However, Nintendo did kinda nerf it this time around. It still explodes, it's still almost undodgible (actually, i think they've perfected it this time - I have yet to see a reliable method of dodging this demon), and it travels along the ground like it did in Mario Kart 64, but at least it no longer takes your items from you on impact, meaning that you can potentially defend yourself from getting combo'd now.

Ok... that doesn't seem like much of a nerf, which is my point anyway.

They got rid of the Lightning Cloud and Mega Mushroom, but the kept the Bullet. Honestly, I would have preferred the Mega to stay and the Bullet to be scrapped, because the idea behind the Bullet is fundamentally flawed. They're intended as a way to catch up to the rest of the pack if you're falling behind, but because the only way to fall behind is if you can't drive at all, then it becomes another hard-ish equalizer (the -ish is because bullets tend to drop you off in bad locations, like in the middle of a turn with no edges. Then again I RARELY get these things since I'm usually the guy in first, getting pummeled by blue shells). [/rant]

But then there's the 7. Yes... the 7. If you HAVE to have an equalizer item, then THIS is how you do it. For one item box, you get a mushroom, a red, a green, a banana, a bomb, a blooper (useless) and a star. They're are extremely rare and take a ton of skill to actually put to good use, but they're powerful in the hands of a good player. The three times I've ever gotten one (again, it only appears in lower places), I was able to not only make a comeback but put a TON of distance between me and my opponents. However, most people seem to waste this thing entirely, maybe gaining a single position if any ground at all. Smart use of the "weaker" items in the group is crucial!

Snaking's back! :P

Well, sort of... It's possible to snake, but it's not as easy as it was with Double Dash or DS since the drift system is based on drift time. You need a decent amount of track width to get it to work, and you need to be quick on your reflexes and boost as soon as you see sparks before immediately starting the next drift. It's also not much faster than some of the faster cart configurations. Speaking of which...

They finally did it. You can customize your kart, and I'm not talking about simple paint schemes. Probably the best thing about this game is the fact that you can chose your chassis, wheels and glider (more on that later) to tweak your kart's stats. Of course, it's not really worth it to use anything but the Red Monster, Mushroom or Gold wheels, or the Swoop or Paraglider glider wings, but that doesn't mean you have to... that's just the current Metagame scene and you'll see all sorts of combos online. Pipe Frames with the Stardard wheels (Nostalgia Attack again... that's the original kart from Mario Kart 64!) and the Paraglider (because it makes sense), and I've seen all the gold parts at once (Parade Kart from Double Dash).

Gliding is a new mechanic that adds to the game and makes it unique in the series. Take a ramp with a blue boost panel and you are launched into the air. Unfortunately (or fortunately, since it creates a bit of a skill divide), it breaks one or two retro tracks that were updated to have this feature, namely GCN Dino Dino Jungle where a glide ramp allows you to bypass the hairpin right after the long bridge.

Underwater sections have also been added, but I really can't say they're worth much mention.

Storyline: Since there isn't a story (not that racing games need one) I'll use this section to list the new characters.

First off, Waluigi isn't in this one. NINTENDO, Y U NO LIKE WALUIGI?!?!

Now for what they added...

Shyguy is now legitimately playable. Not that he matters anyway. What next... a Goomba? Or what about a Wiggler...


GAH!!!!! Er... Moving on...

In addition to that... thing... we have another... thing...

Honey Queen has been added to the roster too. An unmemorable character from Super Mario Galaxy, I really don't see a reason to talk about her.

Anyway, Lakitu FINALLY gets down from his cloud and competes. Well, it's actually a different Lakitu withb a red shell, but still, it's a nice change from seeing him having to fish you out from out-of-bounds all the time.

Finally, we have Metal Mario. Not very original, but if you're after top-speed then he's your man, er, living metal construct.

Of course, Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Koopa Troopa, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Wario, Daisy, and Rosalina are also in there, having appeared in at least one other Mario Kart game.

Multiplayer: An improvement over previous titles. Now allows for lobbies in both local and online modes. Lag comp is bad though, though the really good netcode reduces lag to begin with.

Modability: I've seen a few cheat codes but that's about it. The e-Shop release might make it easier to do so though, since it's no longer necessary to rip the game from the game card.

Bugs: Hitboxing is a bit disjointed with track objects and items. BSODs will teleport back onto the track if they fall down a pit.

Other: 3D makes this game easier. Also, ergonomic updates to the DS series of systems would be really appreciated, and I'm not just talking about rounded corners.


Graphics: 9/10 if you factor in the limitations of the hardware, otherwise 6/10

Sound: 8/10

Gameplay: 6/10, though Your Mileage May Vary

Story New Characters: 4/10, but if you pay no attention to the giant... caterpillar thing... then 6/10

Multiplayer: 8/10

Modability: 2/10

Overall: 6/10, 8/10 if you consider the current state of the kart racing genre.

Best For: Kart Racing fans, Mario fans, Casual Gamers, Nostalgia, just having fun. Also, some competitive gamers might like Time Trials mode and Online Multiplayer.

Kryptonite: Gaming Hipsters, People who think video games are "SERIOUS BUSINESS", Nintendo anti-fans, CoD fanboys, "Uber-1337 Gamrz", Gaming Elitists, people without childhoods, people who tend to ragequit, the Angry Video Game Nerd.

Recommendation: if you already own a 3DS, are looking for just any game and have $40 USD to waste, then give it a try. I enjoy it (mostly), but I really can't guarantee that you will. I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to get it though.


First thoughts - Pokemon White 2

I want to like this game. But as USUAL Nintendo messes up something. White 1 had a relatively short storyline that, although philosophically deep, wasn't very engaging. Pokemon White 2 has fixed that issue, but also has probably the most stupid mistake in the game. They expect you to level grind before the first gym leader, but you'll find that to be ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE with the system in place. There are way too few trainers before you reach that area, and the wild Pokemon in the area are some of the weakest "com-mons" ever. Some examples: Sunkern (known for being the weakest Pokemon in terms of stats) and Azuril (right behind Sunkern). They don't give ANY worthwhile exp, and I bet they actually HURT your effort values.

I can't really give a full review as I'm absolutely stuck and am considdering resorting to trading over my White 1 competitive team and just steamrollering the game. A VETERAN competitive battler resorting to borderline CHEATING! When that ends up being an issue, you know the game wasn't properly planned.


Game Review - Robot Arena 2

This is a game that I want to review, but at the same time I dread to review. This is a game that is both innovative and lackluster, both fun and boring, and both a technical marvel and a glitchy mess that makes Sonic '06 look like a masterpiece.

This game is called Robot Arena 2. Made by Infograms, arguably one of the worst games developers ever.


I really don't know how to define it. A lot of people call it a hack-'n'-slash RPG combined with a simulator, but I consider it more of a sports/action/simulator game.

One look at the menu and you know this game isn't a blockbuster hit. The "utility" buttons are your standard fair, although there isn't any control preferences in the options popup menu. Strange, isn't it? More on that.

Usually I would click the first option, but this game is a bit different than other games, so let's see what's available under Team HQ first...


WHOA!!! Hello there. You can create your own teams, as you can probably see already. You're probably starting to see what's coming, so let's dive into the deep end and build a robot.

Before we do that, though, we need to create a team. Granted we could just use a pre-existing team, but that would ruin the review.


Now we have ourselves a new team. Of course, this team doesn't have any robots. Before we build something, though, let me show you what everything else does.

You can see that the Robot Inventory is the default. League Standings shows how well your team is doing in the current season, Event Schedule is the different "Career Mode" events, and Team History is the different trophies and stats that you have won.

Alright. Now for the meat of the game.


This is the blank slate that you can use to create a new machine. There are three different weight classes, Lightweight, Middleweight and Heavyweight. We'll go for a Middleweight robot, just under 400KG. Note that the weight system isn't realistic.

When you click the Chassis tab, you will see a screen with two buttons. Hit "Design Chassis" to start.


You basically draw your chassis similar to MS Paint's polygon tool. You're limited to twelve points, though.

You can then set your chassis height.


Set your chassis as low as possible, though make sure you can fit the components you want inside the chassis. This will make your robot harder to hit, although it will be at a slight cost in HP.


You can then chose your armour. Plastic is the lightest, but the weakest of the four choices. Aluminum is slightly stronger but also slightly heavier. Titanium is stronger than aluminum but heavier, and Steel is the strongest and heaviest choice.


If you don't set your armour, your robot will be equipped with Dual Strength Aluminum. DSA weighs as much as aluminum but is almost as strong as steel. I highly recommend using DSA rather any of the normal choices. Use plastic if you need the weight for your drivetrain or weapons, but don't use aluminum, titanium or steel!


When building your robot, you place components inside your chassis. You can also use extenders to attach most components outside the chassis, or in ways that would otherwise be impossible.



There are many glitches that you can use in this game to your advantage. Some may allow you to increase the power of a flipper or spinner, or cause a robot to spazz-out spectacularly and beneficially, but most just allow you to place things in ways you normally wouldn't be able to. Also keep a look out for stacks, where you can attach components that overlap other components.


Make sure your chassis is tightly packed. Empty space is wasted weight.


Remember when I said there weren't control options? Well, I kinda lied. You can set your controls any way you want for each robot.

Now we can test our robot, but first we need to make it look better than just plain DSA white.



If a robot is shiny, chances are it is using regular armour. If it is dull, it is using DSA or Dual Strength Steel. DSS is only available to the AI, so watch out!

That's better. Now to take the thing to the garage.


Looks like we got a live one. In case you're wondering if I'm using any glitches, I used DSA for armour and a glitch called the eFFe glitch to build the weapon spinners. Check out the Robot Arena 2 Wiki to learn more about RA2 glitches.

Alright... let's get into a tourny.


GAH!!!!! Windows 7 Crash edition has struck again! I really need to finally download that upgrade to Ultimate so I can install Windows XP mode...

Still, it's pretty easy to get the hang of everything.

Now let's check out Exhibition mode.


This is where you can create your own battles. You can set up a match with the AI, or have the AI fight itself. The AI is pretty dumb, though some times it can get some cheap wins by pinning you and somehow not getting counted out while you're being counted out. Also, Emergency, a giant of a heavyweight flipper, will dominate your early days with this game.


Here I'm driving a robot I built before called Ad-Block Plus 2.0. It's a Middleweight Popup (a type of robot that combines both a flipper and a hammer into one weapon system to strike at the bottom of the chassis) that can do on average 800 damage a hit. That's actually pretty impressive, although the bot needs a bit of fine-tuning before it can go toe-to-toe with the best robots out there on the internet. Speaking of online...


This is the network multiplayer selection screen. Don't bother with this for internet games - the lag is so bad it's unplayable.


When building competitively, it is ok - encouraged, in fact - to exploit glitches. You won't get too far without doing so.

Now for my verdict and recommendation...

Graphics: 3/5 For its time, being able to basically make your own graphics in-game is impressive. However, everything else is basic N64 polygon counts with PS1 textures.

Gameplay: 4/5 Except for the glitches and buggy physics, the game is innovative and plays quite well.

AI: 1/5 Cheap and lazy.

Sound: 2/5 Cheap and lazy folly. Quality is good, though.

Music: 2/5 A bad mashup of slow, poorly written industrial music, but you can easily mod your own music in.

Moddability: 5/5 One of the best games when it comes to modding. There's a forum called GameTechMods that has an entire section devoted to modding, and they've already developed the one tool necessary - an archive decompiler. Everything else can be modded with commonly available programs.

Overall: 3/5 Nothing spectacular, good or bad. It's a decent time-waster and a great game for modding, but nothing else.

I recommend this game. Despite its flaws, I can easily recommend it. It's a game that was overlooked by a lot of people, and even though it's nothing special it still deserves a look.

Best for: Fans of Robot Wars, Battlebots and Combots; modders; people with too much time on their hands; underground competitive gamers who want a different experience

Mismatch: FPS junkies; UBER-1337 GAMRZ; People who don't like glitchy games; People who don't like exploiting glitches; People who don't like old games


I accidentally my computer


Alright... I'll keep it short.

Motherboard fried.

Had person come in to replace motherboard as I had a trip to Chicago coming up.

Computer came back five days late - HDD was wiped with excuse that "everything was corrupted"

Finds out that some data was saved. Suspects treachery.

Is preparing lawsuit against technician.

'Nuff Said.

Oh, also I failed in the Golden Demon painting contest.



I'll make this a list...

1. Source SDK

I know, I know... source is outdated. Heck, it even annoys me because of that. I still like it because of VALVe's business ethics. Yeah, VALVe time isn't exactly the best business ethic, but they are really open to the use of their software unlike other companies. Also, you can actually edit the source code of the engine for your mod. I'm really confused as to why people downplay the Source SDK in favor of Unreal (although CryEngine I can understand - I've never see water effects that good).

2. Microsoft Virtual PC

This is one that really makes me scratch my head. Microsoft Virtual PC is easily and readily available, runs on any modern version of Windows, and integrates well with your computer's drivers (the only OS I've had issues with is Freespire, since it's not compatible with any standard drivers and requires open-source equivalents). Why all the hate? What makes programs like Virtualbox or VMWare superior? The only things I've heard about other virtualization programs is that they have problems with drivers.

3. Linux - Most if not all flavors

I know there actually are quite a lot of Linux fans on RRU. But there are tons of Linux haters in the world in general. My personal experience with Linux has been mostly good, and most of the people I've talked to also have had good experiences with different flavors of Linux. But when I talk to most people who know of Linux, they go out of their way to bash it, saying things that immediately give me the impression that they have never even touched it. I really don't get it.

4. avast! Antivirus

Most people tell me that it doesn't work and eats up system resources. I've never had those issues. Honestly, if I had an issue it's that avast! works TOO well and tends to overreact, and it seems to be pretty light-weight on my machine. Have most people who hate avast! even used it yet, or are they just assuming it's like Norton or Kaspirsky because they haven't heard of it?

5. Sony Vegas Movie Studio.

I admit I have an older copy (Vegas 9 Platinum with the pro resource package), but I've never really had problems. Yet everyone tells me to ditch it for Adobe Premier and After Effects. First off, I hate Adobe's stinking guts almost as much as Nintendo (for their worse-than-ACTA legal policies) and Apple (for existing), but that's besides the point. Objectively, I see no reason to make the switch. I can do everything I need with Vegas and a few other programs, why should I purchase an entirely different program and have to learn how to use it?


Alright, I might as well make a top-ten. It was going to happen eventually. These are the easiest bosses in video games I have personally seen.

First off, the rues.

1. With only one or two exceptions (and you'll see why), they can only be from games I have played.

2. Only one boss character from each franchise.

3. RPG bosses are kept to a minimum.

Now the list:


If you're wondering why RPG bosses are being kept to a minimum, it's because of Lance from Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold and SoulSilver. Of all the champions in Pokemon games, he is the lowest leveled, meaning that if you sneak a team of Lv 100s on to your game he's a pushover. Also, Kingdra and Froslass wreck this guy, so it's not even necessary.

9. (Flame Shield Engaged)

"Welcome... TO MY LAIR!" Alright... a lot of you are going to wonder why Wheatly from Portal 2 is on this list. The answer: He has an extremely slow and predictable attack pattern, you have plenty of time to defeat him, and the method you use to defeat him is completely obvious. GLaDOS was easy. Wheatly was easier. Deadly lair my foot.


You get a guy in black armor with a red laser sword. I get a giant floating monkey head with mechanical hands. Andross (hard route) from Star Fox 64 is anything but hard. If you have the hyper laser equipped you can burn through his first stage in under a minute, and his true form's only difficulty is his annoying tendency to teleport behind you. You almost can't die from this guy. The assault carrier is harder!


You know what annoys me? Artificially lengthened boss fights without any actual content or challenge. The worst offender? Daemon Prince Kyrus from Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War 2: Retribution. He can do some damage, but by the time you reach him, you just can't lose. He starts by summoning three towers that make him invincible, but they go down in less than a minute, and you can just spam Predators/Chaos Predators/Leman Russes/Falcons/Looted Wagons/Tyrant Guard constantly. Once the towers are down, he goes down at a steady rate. You'd expect more from the former chapter master of the Blood Ravens...


The 2D Sonic games weren't extremely hard, but they made you earn your victory sequence and staff credits. However, the games weren't exactly known for difficult bosses. Enter Dr. Robotnik's stupid little Drill Tank from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a boss that practically insults the average person's intelligence. First off, it's not creative, but that's something else entirely. This thing is pretty easy - just jump on top of it. You can usually beat it in the first pass without getting hit.


This is the second exception to the RPG rule, and for good reason. You try and kill him normally, and he destroys you. So why is this next guy on the list? BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT! Gogo the Magical Mimic from Final Fantasy 5 is one of the easiest bosses I have seen. You just stand there, staring at him, and he dies in five minutes. Yawn...


What happens when you take a basic enemy and make it a boss? Usually you get a creative twist to that enemy, or at the very least you get a giant, super-powerful version of it. Not so with the Arena Waddle Dee in Kirby Superstar and Kirby Superstar Ultra. Just a basic Waddle Dee, nothing else. Of course, don't stare into his beady eyes...


There's not too many actual bosses in racing games. There's also not too many things in F-Zero that are easy. This is why I was surprised when I found Megan, the staff ghost of the Championship mode of F-Zero Maximum Velocity, to be unusually easy. I beat her on my first try with arguably the worst machine in the game, the Wind Walker. Next...


Have you ever heard of a boss that is afraid of heights? No? Then you haven't played Chrono Trigger. The Golem Overlord will power up a huge attack, but then he won't do anything... he's afraid of heights. After a short while, he'll just jump off. I know he's from an RPG, but he technically doesn't break the rule - a boss like this in any game would be easy.

1. (Flame Shield Engaged)

This last one breaks every single rule, plus he's the most overrated character in video game history, PLUS he's the worst Villain (I won't say worst boss character, but he'd make a better Giant Space Flea from Nowhere than a plot-important character).

You probably know who I'm talking about. He kills people because his mother tells him to. The only thing he has going for him is that he looks bad-###. That's ALL he does.

Yes... I'm talking about Sephiroth from Final Fantasy 7. Not mutant angel Sephiroth, just the normal one in the planet's core or some pocket dimension or whatever. We all know that Omni-Slash will kill him in one hit, but did you know that even an automatic counterattack can? Yes. You can beat Sephiroth... wait for it... BY DOING NOTHING! If you attack, he dies quicker than Dr. Robotnik's Drill Tank and the Arena Waddle Dee, and if you don't attack he dies quicker than Gogo and the Golem Overlord. He can't kill you! If Square Enix should of just made it a cut-scene, as there is NO POINT to this battle besides closing the story.

Yeash... need I say more?


I was playing TF2 a few days ago. Jarate Sniper on Dustbowl.

Anyway, we were on the final point. We were holding the other team back well, but that's not too much to brag about on the 0% Seriousness of Dustbowl.

I usually can't snipe, but for some reason my aim was particularly good that day. I got a total of 10 kills and a ton of assists during the round. Four were no-scopes, three were melee with only one of them being a crit due to Jarate/Bushwacka'. We still ultimately lost, but it was fun.

I also out-scored a pocket-medic on Gorge as a scout. Lost every round, but then again this was a VALVe server so it didn't really matter. Nothing is competitive about VALVe servers, people just fool around and DM half the time. Surprisingly, there was only one SMG battle sniper.



Welcome to my new series of blog posts featuring things that I completely overlooked with repairs and fixes every month...



To kick it off...

Fail #1: This is a TF2 related one. You should probably know that for a while I was having issues with constant crashing. Go figure that I start prying through the Lua scripts and my computer settings when all I really had to do was set compatibility mode to Windows XP SP3.

Fail #2: I have a Team Losi Mini-8ight 1/14 scale 4WD buggy I have had a few problems with. The front wheels wouldn't spin when I hit any amount of throttle. I pulled the entire front gearbox apart in an attempt to fix it, but found nothing wrong in there. Fast-forward several months, perhaps even a year, and I finally figured out that the front setscrew backed out. D'oh! Probably the dumbest thing I've ever did.

My response to all of these:


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