Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Interim Leave

Sorry I haven't been updating lately, life has kept me fairly busy the past week.
Will return to regular updates shortly~

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Problem with Android

A good article about the major issue with the Android OS on mobile phones at the moment.
Anyone that owns an Android based phone, and has a few friends that do, is probably already aware of the issue at hand.  The Android OS has become splintered by different phone manufacturers, with each one doing his or her own thing with the OS, making it a nightmare for developers to ensure that apps designed for the Android OS work across all the platforms.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apple Awarded Patent for Sexting...?

An interesting article (linked via Slashdot).  Apparently Apple has been awarded a patent that lets parents filter what their children's phones send and receive.

I'm somewhat for this, in the sense that I do approve of parental controls over their kids phones, especially younger kids.  But at what point do we say, hey, you're overstepping your bounds into our privacy, cut it out?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Pope is Sort of Right?

I don't agree with everything he's saying, but he does sort of make a point.  People these days are having a harder time separating reality from fiction.  What're your thoughts on it?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Was gone for the weekend, am back now!

Enjoyed my weekend off, now that I'm back, here's an entertaining picture from the Guardian about the explosion of patent lawsuits in the mobile phone industry.

It's just constant lawsuits these days...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

What is BlazBlue? Part 1 - Arc System Works

Hey there, I've noticed a few comments of people wondering a little bit more about BlazBlue.  What is it?  Why does it look so crazy?  What the hell am I even reading?
That kind of stuff.
So I'll do a multi-part blog over the next few days to hopefully explain what BlazBlue is, how it plays, and things along those lines.

Let's start off with a brief history lesson.

BlazBlue (ブレイブル) is a 2D fighting game developed by Arc System Works.  2D fighters have been around for a long time, previous major titles in this genre include, Street Fighter, which most of you are familiar with.  There's also King of Fighters, from SNK, Guilty Gear, an earlier ASW game, Melty Blood, a doujin game, Arcana Hearts, and many many others!  What they all share in common is how the game is.  That is, it is 2D.  Fighting games can be divided into two categories; 3D and 2D.
2D fighters are like BlazBlue and Street Fighter, there is no foreground or background to step into, forcing you to fight on two axis, X and Y, in this case, Forward and Back, and Up and Down.
In 3D fighters, like Tekken or Dead or Alive, there is another area, known as Foreground and Background.  Characters may step towards either one, therefore adding a third dimension to the game, the Z axis.

BlazBlue is considered the spiritual successor to Guilty Gear, ASW's most well known franchise, and by many considered to be the best 2D fighting game of all time.  There were several installments of Guilty Gear, and it has been praised for it's rich and varied cast, and extremely deep gameplay.

Here's an example video of Guilty Gear play (excuse the poor quality) of two extremely well known 2D fighter players, ( ぶっぱ) Buppa and (k a q n)  Kaqn.  Both of these guys have been playing for years.

As you can see, Guilty Gear is a VERY fast paced game, which is one of ASW's key features in their fighting games.

Moving on, eventually ASW lost the rights to produce Guilty Gear (blame Sega,) and instead created a whole new franchise, this is what we know as BlazBlue.

Same two guys, only now in the BlazBlue franchise.

To sum this up, BlazBlue is ASW's new 2D fighter, and hopefully it'll be here to stay.

Brief Explanation of Haku-men's Heat Gauge

Haku-men's specialized Heat Gauge, also known as Magatama, is a unique characteristic of Haku-men.
Haku-men builds his gauge slowly overtime, if no action is performed.  Landing attacks generate a portion of a Magatama (up to a max of 8 Magatama, or the equivilent of 100% Heat.)  Countering attacks with his drive generates 1 Magatama per counter, except for 6D.  Instant Blocking generates 1/3 of a Magatama.  Cutting a projectile generates 1 Magatama.

However, all of his special moves consume Magatama.  Here is a list of which move consumes what.

Gurren - 214A (1 Magatama)
Renka - 214B (2 Magatama)
Kishuu - 623A (1 Magatama)
  ---> - Enma - A (1 Magatama)
Zantetsu - 41236C (3 Magatama)
Tsubaki - j.214C (3 Magatama)
Hotaru - j.214B (2 Magatama)
Kokujin: Yukikaze - 236236D (4 Magatama)
Kokujin: Shippuu - 632146C (4 Magatama)
Kokujin Ougi: Mugen - 214214B (8 Magatama)
Aku Metsu - 28D (8 Magatama)

Now for how useful each for it's cost.
Gurren is a fantastic move for it's cost, and is used in many combos for it's wall bounce properties, outside of combos, it's use is very limited.
Renka is one of Haku-men's best uses of Magatama, fast, hit's low, and leads into two of his best combos.  Renka can be cancelled at any time into Kishuu, so for his most essential combo, his Falling j.2C combo, it goes Renka (First Hit) > Kishuu > Enma.
Kishuu is a good move itself, providing limited invulnerability, but outside of combos it also has limited potential, especially with it's follow up Enma.
Zantetsu has lost some of it's wham in Continuum Shift, and is generally not used, the 3 Magatama has better uses elsewhere.
Tsubaki can be used from a hop cancel or in air, but it's generally not the best idea to try to start a combo with it.  However, on counter hit, Tsubaki leads to an incredible amount of damage.
Hotaru is hands down the BEST use of Haku-men's Magatama outside of combos.  On Fatal Counter, you can land combos of 5k+ damage, with ease, in most cases breaking 6k or 7k.  During combos, Hotaru has very little use.
Kokujin Yukikaze, Haku-men's distortion counter, is very flashy, seems neat, but at it's cost, is not worth it.  There are better uses for the gauge.
Kokujin Shippuu has almost no use outside of combos, and even in combos, very limited use.
Kokujin Ougi Mugen is a great follow up for 6D, if you know his guaranteed kill combos.  Other than that, it's a gimmick that most avoid.
Aku Metsu is his astral, and's an Astral.  It's a waste of gauge guaranteed, but it looks cool, and that's why people use it to finish someone off.  The real thing is, if you have this much gauge sitting around, you're doing something wrong.

Our failure regarding the ACTA

Looks like our negotiators caved in on the ACTA, and while it's better than the original draft, it's still going to cause problems in the future, almost guaranteed.  Take a read, it's an interesting article.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Interesting Article for you iPhone 4 Users

Apparently the iPhone cases are trapping small particulates, dirt, sand, etc, next to the glass of the iPhone 4.  This causes scratches over time, which develop into cracks, which eventually shatter the glass on the phone.  Good one Apple :3

Miniature Robot Controlled by Rat Brain!

I found this to be pretty amazing.  Culturing Rat Brain cells into a network which is able to communicate with the mini-robot?  That's pretty crazy stuff.  What's next eh?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BlazBlue Mechanics!

A quick primer on mechanics of BlazBlue that one should probably understand.

Now for what each one is.

1.)  Health Bar - This one should be pretty self explanatory, this is a character's health bar, with the character portrait to the side.  This hits zero, you're KO'ed.
2.)  Barrier Bar - This bar represents your current Barrier Gauge left.  The barrier gauge is a special gauge that's consumed by pressing Back and A+B.  This form of block reduces chip damage (minor damage taken while blocking attacks), pushes the opponent back, and is able to block certain attacks that are otherwise unblockable.  If you deplete this gauge, you are put in Danger mode where you take increased damage.
3.)  Burst Gauge - The Burst Gauge in Continuum Shift is different than in Calamity Trigger.  At the start of the fight, each player has one stock.  When a player loses a round, they gain another stock, up to a maximum of two stock.  When you burst (A+B+C+D) one of two things may happen.  If done while an opponent is striking you, you will perform a Defensive Green Burst, which will knock the opponent off from their combo (note, this sometimes cannot be performed during certain attacks).  And when used when not being struck, you perform an Orange Offensive Burst, which if it hits the opponent, the opponent will be launched into the air, vulnerable to combos.  You are alloted a maximum of two bursts within a fight, once used, they will not restock.
4.)  Guard Primer Gauge - This is the Guard Primer Gauge, which replaces the Guard Libra system in Calamity Trigger.  Each character has a set amount of Primers, this is character dependent.  As you can see in this picture, Haku-men has six Guard Primers, Tager has ten.  Offense oriented characters tend to have fewer, as well as smaller characters.  Certain moves, when blocked, will remove a Guard Primer.  When all Guard Primers are removed, it performs a Guard Crush, which leaves the player in a vulnerable state for a very long period of time.
5.)  Round Time - Time left until the round is over, no explanation needed.  At the end of the timer, whoever has the highest health wins, or if health is tied, the round is a draw.
6.)  Heat Gauge - The Heat Gauge is much like the Tension Gauge from Guilty Gear, in that it's a gauge used to execute specific moves, in this case, Distortion moves.  However, the way it's built is completely different.  Heat is built through several means, landing attacks on an opponent, blocking attacks from the opponent, being struck by the opponent, Instant Blocking (essentially, blocking a split second before a move lands) an opponents attacks, or being at 20% or lower life, you will slowly generate heat.  There are two exceptions to the standard Heat Gauge.  These are Jin Kisaragi's Gauge, which builds exactly the same as everyone else's, except he is able to expend 25% of his gauge for special attacks using his Drive, and Haku-men, who does not have a standard Heat Gauge, but instead has Magatama.  Haku-men's Heat Gauge warrants it's own explanation.
Haku-men's heat gauge is divided into 8 Magatama.  Haku-men's gauge also replenishes itself constantly, unless a move is consumes Magatama, which pauses the gain for a moment.  All of Haku-men's special attacks take Magatama, ranging from one to all eight Magatama.  When Haku-men lands either his 5D, 2D, or j.D counters, he gains one Magatama.  Cutting a projectile with an attack also generates one Magatama, and Instant Blocking generates 1/3 of a Magatama.  Haku-men is extremely reliant on his gauge, and requires Magatama to perform the majority of his combos.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On Haku-men's Drive, Zanshin

The distinguishing feature of Haku-men is his drive move, known as Zanshin.  With it, Haku-men is able to literally counter any attack in the game.  The tricky part of course, is timing.

There are four Basic Counters, one Distortion Counter, and one Astral Counter.
The four Basic Counters are as follows.

5D - Haku-men's standing counter, this move has a longer startup than his other counters, thus requiring better timing.  However, it is active for a longer period of time.  The problem with this move, is it's absolute lack of being able to combo anything afterwards.

6D - Haku-men's forward counter, this move catches the opponent, and then shoves them forward.  This move causes the opponent to become "dizzied" in a sense, allowing Haku-men to follow up with fairly decent combos. This move has almost no startup, but a short window during which it will catch a move.

2D - Haku-men's crouching counter, this move is much like 6D, it has a very fast start up, but a short window in which to actually counter the attack.  2D will flip the opponent to the other side of Haku-men, causing them to bounce off the floor.  2D doesn't combo as well as 6D, but it's still possible, generally 2D is followed up with 5C > Renka.

j.D - Currently Haku-men's best counter in game, j.D is much like 6D and 2D, fast start up, small window.  Haku-men catches the opponent, and launches them into the air.  The beauty of j.D is that amount of time the opponent is unable to tech out, which lets Haku-men perform VERY punishing combos.  The average combo after j.D does roughly 4500 damage, which is a huge portion of someone's life.

After those, Haku-men has a Distortion Counter.

236236D - Kokujin Yukikaze! - Haku-men's Distortion counter, has almost no start up, is able to catch projectiles and still trigger, catches high and low, and does a large portion of damage.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of it, it does not combo well.  It's a flashy move, but it doesn't get a lot of love.

And lastly, his Astral Counter

Down Briefly, then Up D - Aku Metsu! - Haku-men's Astral is just like his Distortion counter, same type of window, same basic concept, only it's even flashier, and of course they die if they're caught in it.

Laptop Heat May Cause "Toasted Skin Syndrome"

Found that to be a pretty interesting read, apparently the heat when working on a laptop for extended periods of time can cause damage to the skin.  Note to self, never do any long assignments on a laptop.

In Depth Analysis of Hakumen's Moves

Earlier post listed all of Haku-men's moves, now here's a post with a bit more about each one, why they're good, why they're bad, etc.

Let's start with his A moves.

5A - A quick standing jab, it's not particularly useful anymore, but in some cases, when you're standing right next to an opponent, and they're jumping in the air, you can land a quick counter hit on them for a decent combo.

2A - Crouching Jab, and very useful.  Isn't nearly as spammable as other peoples, but the timing on it can throw people off, and lead into fairly powerful combos.

6A - Nerfed from Calamity Trigger, the shoulder check move is still extremely good, with upper body invulnerability (which translates to any mid attack won't land on him) and a VERY long hit stun.  On Counter Hit this can land a bit of damage.

j.A - A quick air jab, not particularly useful.

j.2A - Previously assigned to j.2C, this move is now on A.  A fairly quick attack using the blunt side of his sword, this move is used a lot in Haku-men's air combos.  As well, against characters like Hazama, it makes for a decent approach tool to cut Ouroboros.

5B - A quick standing kick, but you definitely shouldn't be just throwing this one out, as it has bad recovery frames.

2B - Crouching kick, comes out a little slow, but strikes low which is nice.  Combos into Renka nicely as well.  Recovery is a little long though.

6B - Ahhh, the curb stomp.  A fantastic move to use for Haku-men's mixup and pressure games.  This comes out as an Overhead, it's fast, and on block it breaks a guard primer.  Properly mixed with 6A and 2B, it'll leave the opponent guessing what to do next.  Also has lower body invulnerability, which means any low attack will miss Haku-men while this move is going.

j.B - A quick air kick, is fairly good at knocking other players out of moves in the air.  Of your air moves, this one is pretty safe, though it's a short range.  If you're that close, you have better options.

5C - Vertical slash, has a very tall hit box, and comes out at a decent enough speed.  Okay recovery, but definitely not something you want to use a lot.  There are better moves to be attempting to land combos with.

2C - A very powerful move for Haku-men.  The rising vertical slash has a very large hit box, is air unblockable (the opponent cannot normal block this move if they are airborne, only barrier block,) and leads into decent damage as well.  The downside is, it has bad recovery.  Use it to punish sloppy attempts at closing in via air.

6C - A very long horizontal swing, leads to a Fatal Counter on fully charged hit.  The damage on this move is massive, and it has very low proration, on Fatal Counter, you can even fully charge another hit for 3700 damage from just TWO moves.  Unfortunately, it's a slow move with long recovery.  Does break guard primer on hit as well.

3C - A sweeping swing, long range, very good damage, leads to a rather simple and good combo.  Recovery isn't too bad.  This move is best when used out of the opponents range, but still in Haku-men's, as it's fairly safe from a distance.  Up close, you're better off using other moves.

4C - Brand new move for Haku-men in Continuum Shift, this move covers roughly have the screen.  It has a MASSIVE range, one of the longest in the games.  The downside?  Almost no ability to combo off it.  It's a quick thrust, and it makes for good zoning, use it a lot to keep players at bay.

j.C - A new move for Haku-men, it's a very long range horizontal slash, can be used in combos, but generally not to start combos.  Has good damage, good reach, it's a very good zoning tool.

j.2C - Haku-men's old j.C, essentially unchanged, downward swinging vertical slash, this move is used in Haku-men's falling j.2C combos, which make up a large portion of Haku-men's combos.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Found Liable on Patent Suit

I try to keep up on tech news a lot, and an article linked on CNet caught my attention.  Apparently Apple has lost a patent lawsuit regarding their Cover Flow tech used in most of their software.  Normally I'd write this off as a patent troll just suing, but the owner of the patent is a Yale University Computer Science Professor.  It seems this patent may actually be legitimate versus the many other patent troll companies out there.

Haku-men Basics and Directional Notation

All right, time to get to the basics of Haku-men.
For reference purposes, here is how directions will be explained.
In a 2D fighter, the D-Pad has 8 directions of movement, and then neutral, these directions are Up Left, Up, Up Right, Left, Neutral, Right, Down Left, Down, Down Right.  If you take a gander at your numpad, you'll notice this corresponds perfectly with 1-9.

1 - Down Back
2 - Down
3 - Down Forward
4 - Left
5 - Neutral
6 - Forward
7 - Up Back
8 - Up
9 - Up Forward

There's are all with the assumption that your character is on the left side of the screen, facing right.

So, if I were to say, 214B, that would be the equivilent of a Quarter Circle Back + B, or Down, Down Back, Back, B.
A = Square, B = Triangle, C = Circle, D = X, j. = Jump, JC = Jump Cancel, 66 = Forward Hop

Got it?  Make sense?  Good!

Haku-men's movelist.

Basic Moves
5A - Standing Jab
6A - Forward Shoulder Check
2A - Crouching Jab
5B - Standing Kick
6B - Downward "Curb Stomp"
2B - Crouching Kick
5C - Standing Downwards Vertical Slash
6C - Forward Horizontal Slash
2C - Crouching Upwards Vertical Slash
4C - Long Range Thrust
3C - Sweeping Slash
j.A - Jumping Jab
j.2A - Jumping Blunt Sword Attack
j.B - Jumping Kick
j.C - Jumping Horizontal Slash
j.2C - Jumping Vertical Slash

Special Moves
214A (Gurren) - A fast dash attack using the bottom of the hilt.
214B (Renka) - A quick kick attack, striking low first then middle.
623A (Kishuu) - A forward dash that does not strike on the first move.
   --> A (Enma) - A follow up after Kishuu, does an uppercut that launches the opponent up.
41236C (Zantetsu) - A fairly fast attack that strikes high first then low.
j.214B (Hotaru) - A fast kick attack that is completely invulnerable for a decent period.
j.214C (Tsubaki) - A quick 360 air slash.

Drive Moves
5D - A Standing Counter, has longer startup than the rest, slams enemy into ground behind Haku-men.
6D - Forward Counter, does no damage on counter, but staggers the enemy for a brief period.
2D - Crouching Counter, Haku-men flips the opponent to the other side.
j.D - Jumping Counter, Haku-men flips the opponent into the air.

Distortion Moves
632146C (Kokujin Shippuu) - Haku-men raises his sword in the air, then brings it down in a vertical slash that also releases a projectile afterwards.  Can be charged.
236236D (Kokujin Yukikaze) - A special counter, if landed, Haku-men freezes the foe, and performs a VERY large counter attack.  Stylish, but not terribly effective.
214214B (Kokujin Ougi Mugen) - Haku-men releases his built up energy and gains infinite magatama for a period of time.

Astral Move
Hold 2 Briefly, then 8D (Aku Metsu) - Haku-men's astral move is a counter, when successful, the screen turns Black and White and cut strokes appear in rapid succession.

There, that's just a brief intro into the movelist of Haku-men!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Welcome to my little slice of the internet, that I shall be dedicating to my favorite past time.
That past time of course, is BlazBlue.
Firstly, a little bit about BlazBlue...

BlazBlue is a 2D fighter developed by Arc System Works, better known for their previous franchise, Guilty Gear.  BlazBlue is essentially the spiritual successor to Guilty Gear, as Arc no longer has the rights to Guilty Gear.  Arc System games are known for their fast pace and often highly stylized combat systems, and BlazBlue is no exception.  BlazBlue first came out in 2008, with BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, and it's sucessor Continuum Shift was released in 2010.

BlazBlue has a cast of 15 characters currently, with a 16th planned for a future release date via DLC.
As you could probably tell, I main Haku-men.  In Calamity Trigger, I originally played Jin, but found him less enjoyable when Continuum Shift rolled around, so I switched over to Haku-men.

Anywho, future blog posts will provide information about Haku-men matchups, videos, combos, all sorts of things a Haku-men should know!