Category Archives: Blogging

A nerd talks about her favourite characters #2 – Akuma

Hey, we’re back again. This time with a very mysterious, and pretty bad dude, Akuma.

When he first showed his face, or maybe didn’t show his face at all since his portrait was blacked out, Akuma could only be accessed in an iteration of the original Street Fighter II with some dank codes in the character select menu.

Personally I was a little too young for these games so I don’t really know all the details, but I think it’s very specific on what you have to do and when you have to do it to play as him.

Just as well too, the dude is broken as heck! In the early games especially.

Since then, I know Akuma has been a little less devious when it comes to hiding offscreen on character select menus. Take his not-so-hard-to-find appearances in Pocket Fighter and Street Fighter vs X-Men. Just move one along where the rest of the characters spots and oops! There he is.

And eventually he just stopped hiding off the roster and finally managed to just stay with the others. Come on Akuma, I know you’re not exactly the friendliest guy… But it wasn’t that hard, was it?

So, Akuma is a shoto. Basically he fights a lot like Ryu and Ken, right?

So what’s the big deal about this guy?

He always comes packed with air fireballs, which I tend to abuse a bit when I can. Other shotos have used them before, but he always has them. Always.

There’s always subtle differences, but Akuma has always done a lot of damage, and in return doesn’t have much health. There’s a joke I’ve hung onto that he’s so good at fighting that he’s never actually been hurt before, so that’s why he never has much health.

And of course probably the most iconic thing about him; The Raging Demon. Akuma’s very memorable super move has him dash across the screen on one leg to grab his opponent, the screen goes black and flashes a lot with some hit sound effects. Then when everything comes back, Akuma is stood with his arms broadly out at his sides and with his back to the camera. The symbol on his back also flashes a bit.

When we first started playing Street Fighter, I was so sad when my friend figured out he could jump over my Raging Demon. But I guess it wouldn’t be fair if there weren’t little ways around it…

(But it would be fair if I could get it off after two hits, sure on block, without Zangief grabbing me as I was starting it up! What the heck!!)

So yeah, I play Akuma. A lot. He appears in pretty much every game I play.

Street Fighter games… Marvel vs Capcom games… Oh, and Tekken.

That one time Akuma just sort of barged into Tekken and even into their actual, real, canon story mode? Trust him to waltz into another franchise, including its story mode.

Stuff like that is only part of the reason I love Akuma so much.

It’s not very hard to state that he’s extremely cool. One of the coolest in Street Fighter honestly, and that’s saying a lot! He’s got the gi going on as well as those big beads around his neck, but the things that stick him out to me are his iconic red, tied up hair and his dark, red eyes.

Akuma’s not such a good dude, trying to force an evil energy out of someone that seems as good and pure as Ryu. On top of that, he’s just not so nice anyway, you know? He doesn’t seem to get involved with Bison and all the other problems characters have in these games, but he causes enough trouble on his own.

Other than trying to make Ryu possibly even worse than him, Akuma craves to fight only the strongest of warriors. He’ll turn away a fight if he feels his opponent is too weak for him, and even leave in the middle of one if he figures that out during.

The example of that is in the story of one of the Street Fighter III games I think. Basically this old dude, Gen, is having a full on fight to the death with Akuma. But somewhere down the line, Akuma discovers that Gen has a terrible, fatal illness…

What does Akuma do?

He sort of just gets really salty and leaves without another word. That’s my Akuma alright, too salty to stick around even after fighting the guy for a bit.

I find his attitude and general terrible nature absolutely flawlessly linking in with his design, and his badass fighting abilities.

Akuma is just an extremely iconic kind of character that can’t really be done the justice he deserves by someone just trying to explain how great he is.

Plus, I have too many inside jokes with a great friend of mine that just make me love him even more. Of course that’s all stuff that makes the two of us laugh, and it’s rather out of character, but that’s the fun in making those jokes in the first place.

So yeah, in summary…

Akuma is very badass, edgy and the saltiest winner in the world. What a guy.

Next on the list is a much nicer character, Ken Masters! There’s going to be lots of Street Fighter up in here!

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A Nerd Rambles about her favourite characters #1: Strider Hiryu

First off, wow, I really left this place for dead. I thought I could try be cool and unique by just finding writing prompts and only doing those but it ended up being very draining and well, I could really do myself some favours to blog properly.

So with that briefly out of the way, I want to start talking on here about stuff I’m pretty passionate about.

So I thought of this little ‘series’, if you will.

Me and one of my best friends put together a list of our top 50 fighting game characters of all time! I want to go down the list as far as my willpower takes me to. Hopefully from 1 to 50, like I said, I gotta do more stuff here.

Well with all that fluff out of the way, his name is up there. Strider Hiryu, my favourite character of all time. He took that spot fairly recently I would say, but I guess I never really had a super duper favourite before him. Just a lot of favourites that I really liked.

Let’s start with what drew me to him to begin with; His design. Strider is just about everything I could love about a character design. A badass ninja (I am pretty into ninjas!) with really funky ‘anime’ hair with a really cool long as heck red scarf, very nicely matching blue gi, and well, another element of a character I can enjoy is a young ‘expert’ at something, and that Strider certainly is.

pocket_fighter__strider_sprite_by_sephysnu-dbwmjs0Look at this lil guy! I tried to recreate the art style of a very charming Capcom game Pocket Fighters, because I would do ten backflips if I could ever officially see him in that absolutely precious art style.

So yeah. I kind of love everything about his design. Even his weapon! I haven’t seen much like it, so it’s a thrill to watch him in action swinging that thing around.

I was just too young, and brought up in the wrong place, to grow up with the arcades. So my actual first exposure to Strider was in a game I love very much; Marvel vs Capcom 3. I got myself back into it recently, and fighting games in general, with a lot of motivation from that great friend of mine I mentioned earlier.

And speaking of that game, I guess at this point, it’s no secret that Strider is probably my favourite in that game! I just love how he plays. I figured out some funky combos (or at least funky for me… I’m not the best, I just like the genre) and can clean up a team of three with this kid by himself, when I play my cards right.

He’s quick, he’s got great range in terms of both projectiles and wall-bounce based attacks, and I just find him very rewarding to get things right with. He’s one of those characters where most of the things you can do end up looking quite flashy, I suppose.

I played the reboot of his franchise too, and I really enjoyed it. There was probably a lot I missed as someone who never got to play the original, I kind of didn’t really like the way the story was told, but the gameplay was solid!

Strider felt like… Well, Strider.

I understood what I was doing thanks to playing him too much on MVC3, and he was just super satisfying to control. Again, he was super fast. His jumps were fun, there wasn’t much better than climbing all over the walls with him.

But perhaps the thing I can take from his rebooted game to describe the icing on the cake for why I love this character so much is in the very ending segment of the game…

Spoilers ahead, if you’re bothered!

Strider takes the fight to Grand Master Meio, an evil overlord-type that has overthrown the city he was sent to, to destroy the Grand Master. After beating him the first time, he throws himself into a portal, and the next time you see him, he’s some sort of round abomination of an alien thing… In space!

So take that into mind. Strider doesn’t even think twice about getting in that portal to finish this off.

When it’s all done, Strider hitches a ride on Grand Master Meio’s squirming, huge body that falling back to earth. He’s pretty calm about it, just stood over the squirming form of a human beneath him with his arms folded while the credits roll.

And then, after all that.

After seeing this dude turn into a huge, round, weird alien thing…

After riding said weird alien thing back to planet earth…

The only thing Strider does is land in front of the temple again and calmly state “Mission Accomplished.”

I actually giggled to myself when I first saw it, because I was still recovering from how weird everything got and here Strider just shrugs it off like he does this every day. That’s my final reason for my love of this character; Nothing phases him!

He’s very calm, like… VERY calm. His quiet and serious personality is portrayed so wonderfully, it just sort of adds to how badass he is on top of his already badass design.

I’m not even sure if this all makes sense to anybody but myself, but even if not, I have something I can actually come on here and ramble about in a blog format.

So look forward to sometime soon issue 2 of this ‘series’, featuring Street Fighter’s mysterious and menacing baddie, Akuma!

Normal Life Woes

I’ve been on two holidays back to back, and have been extremely tired and lazy ever since I got home.

I had an amazing celebration of my 21st birthday going to Disneyland Paris with my mother, and then went to a popular spot in Britain called Whitby, where I did a bunch of fun little activities all day.

Both were great, but completely wore me out. I’ve been a little sad since I got back I guess? Not really sad but, I’m supposed to be helping out with some project, but I’ve just had 0 motivation for it. There’s so much more I’d rather be doing and I’d just… Rather not, honestly.

It sounds pretty bad of me, and saying it here makes me feel bad, but I can’t just magically fix my more depressive issues to kick myself back into gear.

But I guess everything seems a bit boring once you’ve been to Disneyland for a little while.

I need to make this blog more active, I need to do more writing prompts and try market my book a little more. I hope I can do that in the near future!

Getting Carried Away is a Good Thing

What on earth am I talking about?

Well, lately I have been on a bit of a mad rush of making new stories and characters. I still have a lot to finish, and now I have a lot to start as well. But I really don’t think it’s a bad thing at all!

Getting the creative juices flowing like they are can be pretty motivating. It’s honestly been a few years or something since I had so many new ideas, and I still feel that same wonder I would have all that time ago.

It’s a lot to keep up with, I doubt I’ll ever really keep up with all the ideas I have, but I don’t mind that. It just proves to me that I have a pretty active imagination, and that I’ll always have ideas! I want to write, so I could never really say it’s a bad thing.

I’ve just been able to get inspired by big or small things, just like I used to. I can’t describe it properly but it’s absolutely amazing to feel so inspired again!

Not that I’ve lost inspiration for my other work, but thinking of the new ones really does put a kick in my step.

It’s just a matter of writing them all, which might just take forever, but that’s fine! Maybe I should get my butt in gear and try keeping up with some writing prompts here again, too.

Either way, I’m pretty happy with where I am with all that.

Other than that, I guess it’s fun to mention that in just two days I’m going to Disneyland! It’s a 21st birthday present from my mum, so I’m really looking forward to that. I love Disney, Disney owns Star Wars and Marvel now which I also love, so I’ll basically be in paradise for a few days! Maybe coming home with a bit more than I can really carry.

Eh. Worth it.

Short update, but I really wanted to share how excited I am about so many new stories! I’ve been able to recycle old characters rather than get rid of them, so that’s always good.

Thinking: Motivation

Motivation is interesting… Because it can be hard to really point out what it is and where it came from. For example, what’s your motivation to get out of bed? Are you going somewhere, have something to do?

What motivates you to finish that project? Is it a passion project that you care about, or is it something you signed yourself up for?

Motivation is kind of a drive, a reason to do something. I find myself losing it a lot of the time, it’s very easy to lose sight of what you were originally looking at to push yourself forwards.

I feel unsure that I can ever really get a job, it’s just not happening. Any help I get is extremely temporary right now.

But I guess I also find myself thinking, at times like these, where I find myself remembering the drive in the first place. I can’t just give up, that’s really not an option. And maybe if I keep at it, I can make it somewhere with my art and my writing. They’re the most important things to me, so they’re what I’d want to progress with.

But sometimes you need to start from somewhere lower. Somewhere you might not really want to, but everyone starts somewhere, I suppose. I’m going to have to go to the job centre when I come back from a holiday and I’m pretty frightened. They’re very cruel when it comes to cutting off money, they did it a lot to my brother, I’m sure they’ll do it to me.

My motivation, however, is what I figured out yesterday. When really being asked, “What really pushes you to want a job?”

Of course, the very obvious answer is money.

But there’s more personal layers to it then I ever really realised before.

I lost my sense of self worth two years ago. Two years ago I had a fight with a friend that I thought meant a lot to me, and then not long after on the morning of my birthday, my grandmother died.

At the time, it was devastating. I felt like I’d lost everything, and it made getting through university so much harder. That was one of the reasons that particular university seemed so good.

Then I’d have to catch glimpses of this person I grew to loathe after having cared for them so much for a few years. I would feel alone, even after trying to get help. Nothing got better.

I feel more sure of my real circle of friends now. But the damage still remains. I have terrible anxiety and it hurts to be alone so much, and really, that’s one of my drives to get this damn job.

To be able to feel like I matter again.

To be able to love myself again.

I had only just built myself up when I left college, I was so happy with myself. After a whole life of hating myself, I finally felt good. But then it all got torn down over one summer of my first university year.

My motivation stems from being pushed on by my friends…

And by wanting to feel worth anything again.

Thinking: Inspiration

You can get inspiration for creative endeavours from just about anywhere. Maybe you play a video game and think of an idea for a protagonist in a story that shares some of their traits.

Maybe you watch a movie and adore the setting, and would love to take a spin at it yourself.

The simplest thing can inspire you…

We all say that nothing is truly original. And it’s true, because sometimes you can end up using inspiration without even noticing. You’ll think of something that works, while forgetting it’s from something you’d seen before.

But it’s not a bad thing at all.

There really is no completely original ideas to have now, but there are still different ways to approach the same idea. There can still be so much heart and passion put into something that was driven by something else.

We can all even find that our roots of being heavily influenced by certain things can eventually push us to try and be more unique, to put real heart into our ideas instead of relying on what we already know.

I used to be so big on the Sonic franchise. When I was younger it was what got me into art, it was one of the games that got me into storytelling. Particularly Sonic Adventure 2. I was too young to really consider any of its problems, I suppose.

But that aside, I used to just draw them. Just write about these characters that weren’t mine, making my own universes and interpretations of them.

Then I moved onto fan characters.

And then eventually…

I started making my own characters. My own stories and universes.

It has been a long road, over ten years at this point, but I think it’s important to remember what shaped me into who I am today. My tastes back then still kind of stay with me, and I feel confident in my ability to interpret ideas into my own because of where I started.

I get a little embarrassed about it sometimes, but I still have those fond memories. And most importantly, I still have that same inspiration I had back then.

I can observe an idea, and if I really like it, I can interpret it in a way that’s unique to me. Of course there will be other people that might do things similarly, but in the end, I know that I can really put my heart into my own creative projects.

I can chase a dream I never realised I had for years, to become a writer.

I just enjoy the humble beginnings I had, I suppose. No one really bothered to be harsh on my older art, and I never shared my older stories anywhere. I never had a knock in my confidence so I was always able to push on.

That being said, if anyone has, I really hope they don’t give up! If you’ve been told something kinda mean, you should either try ignore it and keep trying, or (oddly enough) use it as fuel to keep going. Some people get pretty far using spite like that, oddly enough.

Yeah. Random thoughts as usual.

A fun day out

It was nice to finally get out of the house for once.

There is a festival in my hometown every summer, it’s really nice, it invites lots of different cultures to present an act of some sort. Dance, theatre, this year there was even a set up for VR!

It responded to swinging on a swing, it was very cool honestly.

Really though, I usually look forward to it every year, but I wasn’t that excited this year. I always go with my mum, and her work schedule has been kind of crazy and it prevents her from staying out and doing too much, a bit of a shame.

But anyway, I never enjoyed it as much as usual, but it was still a fun day. Always some quirky acts around for it.

My personal favourite because of how… Random and pretty funny it was, was this bin that ‘moved around by itself’ and even squirted water at people in its way. It was remote controlled but it just looked so funny.

Then the other great ones were the VR one I mentioned before, an aero acrobatics duo and the most impressive was certainly a trapeze act. A very thin rope, with some very talented acrobats performing various tricks on them, and narrating a little story to go with it.

I really enjoy this sort of creative theatre, I like the thought that everyone can watch and go away with different interpretations of what story was being told to them.

Well, anyway, that’s been my day. Hoping I can write some more cool stuff soon!

Thinking: Positivity

It can be hard to stay positive these days.

There’s a lot that can weigh someone down. Sometimes it can feel like you’re completely alone even though you know you’re not.

But recently I discovered…

It’s so unhealthy to depend your mood on other people. It’s what I always have done, I’ve always waited for a certain someone of about three people to message me and only then would I be any kind of happy.

Only recently did I realise just how unhealthy it really was to do that. How easy it is to convince myself that someone doesn’t like me just because they don’t have time to talk. Just because they find a special someone, I assume that means I get replaced.

It happened to me before and that’s why it frightens me. The last time someone said “we shouldn’t talk as much”, I was abandoned by one of the only friends I really had. Ever since then I’ve been terribly depressed, and always anxious when I notice someone talking to me less, or differently.

But starting yesterday I realised…

I don’t need this.

I don’t need to make myself so unhappy and unhealthy just because people don’t have time for me, patience for me…

I can be happy on my own. I can block out the world, block out my friends when they’re ignoring me, and just be at peace with myself.

I did that last night and honestly it worked for me. I shouldn’t be checking my phone and wondering if anyone cares about me…

I should be taking care of myself and blocking out such negativity, realising that it’s okay to be alone sometimes.

Love your friends, but love yourself.

The power of Nostalgia

I’ve been having a very nostalgic day.

A nostalgic day that saw me sitting and watching through all 300 of the tower challenges in Mortal Kombat 9. Yeah…

Pretty lame in some people’s eyes, but it brings me a lot of great memories.

You see, one of my best friends has gotten back into fighting games, particularly Marvel Vs Capcom 3, we played it so much together a few years ago. He’s gotten back into it and brought me a lot of great memories.

But it also got me thinking about the other games we were playing around the same time. One of those was indeed Mortal Kombat 9. We beat the story mode together (much frustration with the final boss. He took about half an hour for us to beat.), we beat a bunch of arcade modes together to see the cheesy endings.

And what most people spend a lot of their time on that game on… We beat the 300 challenge tower together.

The missions all vary on the character and objective. We’d pass the controller to whoever liked the character better, and on the missions where you got to choose, it was just sort of a back and forwards until someone finally did it.

It’s pretty weird to be so nostalgic for a game that isn’t even that old. It isn’t even that old and it barely holds up to the same graphical quality as Mortal Kombat X… But it still holds a special place in my heart.

All those great memories and so many more.

I just got very invested in that nostalgia today and well… That led me to a five hour video (that I’m still watching as I write this) of the challenge tower! I could have forgotten how frustrating the very last challenge was if I didn’t watch it take some pretty skilled players about 8 hours to beat it.

Damn Shao Kahn, man. He’s never easy but he’s a bit ridiculous in that game, haha.

Essentially the point is, nostalgia can make you do some pretty wacky things! It’s great to remember such good times when so many darker ones are going on right now. Remembering jokes, the game itself, just a lot of little things that completed the experience for us both.

I wonder if I’ll get so into this nostalgia that I’ll watch the story mode again, too…

But I digress.

As long as ‘nostalgia glasses’ don’t prevent you seeing any flaws in anything, I honestly feel like having such an old fondness of something can be the best thing to happen to you. So maybe a few years in the future you’ll stop and remember it, and maybe even go on a happy trip down memory lane as I have today.

A bit of a mellow entry today, but I just wanted to talk about how… Peaceful this nice little nostalgia trip has made me.

Are you very nostalgic for something that’s not really so ‘old’?

Distractions, distractions… And mental health too

Gosh, I really need to be a little more active here.

I am falling apart and even after each time I come on here and try to preach about being positive and having rad friends that will always let you vent to them, and whatever the hell else I ramble on about.

I just…

My life isn’t starting.

I’m not earning anything by myself, I’m trying my hardest to do anything at all and no one seems to be listening. No employer gives me the time of day, so I’m stuck without any money probably for a while…

I have been through some nasty suicidal phases of my life. I’m sure almost everyone has in this day and age. There is so much wrong with the world we live in, it’s easy to get lost in the darkness and see no other way out.

I always try to stay positive, to tell other people to do the same…

But all year I’ve been trying to get a job. When I reach out for help and offer what I can in return, it’s a miracle if anyone at all responds to it.

I guess this is some of that venting I was talking about before, haha. What I’m trying to get at, rambling aside, is that I have gotten into another very dark period of my life. I just don’t see things improving.

I feel patronised when I try to let my frustrations out, I always get the same “you have no experience” or something like that. It’s just even more frustrating because… What do you think I’m trying to get?? Do you think I’m throwing myself in the deep end trying to get a really good job right off the bat??

Everything I want to do with my life is such a hard field to get myself into. Everything I’m trying seems pretty hopeless right now.

And really, it feels like no one would be missing much if I was gone. I won’t do anything stupid, but god I want to. I’ve wanted to for years.