Just a few more days until a month long freedom. Been mostly reading and playing some DotA on the side since nothing really interests me on the console. Actually that’s a lie since I’m playing Dark Souls 2 again since I made a new file to play as a Hexer while I accidentally deleted my Sorcerer build so I might as well replay the game with some emphasis on magic again. But there’s not anything else I’m doing other than that and getting more of the Rewatchable stuff being finished up. So it’s a rather uneventful week while I try to get other obligations finished before lazing off for around a month.
This week’s theme is something a lot of the newer, or rather, late newcomers to the Under Night series will no doubt hear the most or the least from its soundtrack. That theme of course is the Online Mode theme, a nice little techno-jingle that will either remind you that you bought the game a little past its online activity periods or prove itself a light in the darkness when a rare Lobby shows up. We’ll get on to bigger and better things afterwards so stay tuned!
A week break will soon become a month break in a few days but that means these are technically the busiest times for me. It would feel that way if I didn’t work ahead and get most of my work done so there’s not much else to be said. I’ve been taking a break from fighting games and been playing some DotA and some San Andreas again while I try to find my copy of Sleeping Dogs since I’ve been meaning to play for that for a while and I definitely some change of pace. Perhaps I should do the unthinkable and actually play the games I bought during the Summer Steam Sale.
Anyways, let’s get through this week’s theme while I write up more stuff for people that’s not Jojo. I’ll run out of those small-segments in due time but I still have a hefty amount to talk about since some series, believe or not, are technically “new” content on this site I haven’t addressed before and that’s always fun.
This week’s theme is the other newcomer from the PS3 port of EXE: Late, Byakuya. As far as story goes, Byakuya doesn’t really say much but acts as the bodyguard and “little brother” to another character, a girl named Tsukuyomi. Tsukuyomi is the real focus on the story mode as she and Byakuya, students from another school with their distinct uniforms head out into the night for Tsukuyomi to investigate something of her interest. A good amount of the characters note on how Tsukuyomi cannot fight but is a vessel for an abnormally prolific EXS known as Sephiroth and for some reason, she is unable to utilize it. In her stead, Byakuya fights the duo’s battles with a strange set of “knives” that float behind him. He is noted to be freakishly powerful and even Merkava makes mention of something inhuman in him and how they’re similar from just investigating his “stomach”. By the end of the arcade mode story, after beating Hilda out of the Altar of Light and Dark and preventing the mass of EXS from surging, Tsukuyomi more or less reveals after the fight that her journey was mostly to find some answers to her condition and explains that her abilities became null after betraying a friend. She reveals a scar that signified the event and apologizes for bringing Byakuya with her through the night and reveals that they’re not really siblings. Tsukuyomi tells Byakuya to do as he wishes but Byakuya decides to continue helping her as his plot apparently has something to do with his admiration towards his real sister who is presumably dead.
In game, Byakuya is pretty damn annoying to fight against since his EXS abilities known as Dark Spikes, Chelicerae. 8 floating knife-like extensions that build up the image of him being some sort of arachnid and since they’re not really attached to him nor held by his hand, they work off a different hurtbox values and essentially gives him even more range to fight back with. His moveset is however extremely limited but doesn’t bar him from being a completely annoyance to fight since nearly all of his moves hit multiple times and his normals are excellent. His go-to combo starter is his multi-hit special that mostly sets up for other parts of his kit. Alone, it has three rekkas that can be repeated and the first two reps are usually made for combo extensions and filler while the third is exclusively used for combo enders. Byakuya has his pseudo-projectile which solidifies his entire theme of being a creepy spider since he can set up web-traps that appear on the screen. He can place them and follow up with said attacks and this can be done inbetween his previous special that make up a core part of his combo game. Getting hit by these webs also steal a block of GrD so it’s extra annoying. His last special is his ground-web ability that has him dash toward the enemy and reappear on the other side and he sets up an unblockable trap beneath their feet and is mostly used to catch people off-guard while the super versions is used to extend combos. He’s an absolute pain in the ass to deal with and his Force Function is essentially a fake-web that also doubles as a standing, ranged overhead.
I’ve gotten myself a few extra days off so I’ll be finally able to get some non-Jojo stuff up and probably something else related to that up after this. I’ve been wracking my head if it’s a decent enough length to warrant the post but I’m guessing anything that isn’t Music of Jojo related would be alright at this point. Aside from dealing with my boredom through writing, it has once again dawned on me on how much fighting games can entertain you for only so long and now I’m just craving an RPG on the side. Maybe I should replay something or get back into breeding my Pokemon again.
Anyways, while I figure that stuff out let’s get into our music showcase.
This week’s theme is Nanase’s theme, a relative newcomer to the Under Night cast where she was added in to the console release of EXE: Late. Nanase is a second-year middle schooler who came under attack from a Void where Hyde came and saved her. However, this was after she was bitten and she blamed Hyde for “defilingher body”, a quote that is as understandably misleading as much as it is uttered by her in front of others. Nanase’s powers manifested through this event and her EXS of Vengeance came in the form of wind manipulation, where she became able to call forth a large blade and some fashionable wings on her shoes. She soon made a name for herself in the In-birth world, the Windmill, but she’s more known for stalking our main man Hyde in an attempt to exact her vengeance. Her story mode is as anime-cliche filled the entire series gets as Nanase hunts down Hyde and runs into a lot of the female cast that easily mistake her accusations which of course amounts to a misunderstanding and it being cleared up by the end.
Nanase’s emphasis on wind has her naturally be a relatively speedy character but most of her power comes from her aerial moves. While her normals are decent enough, a large variety of her combos come from aerial links and command normals that lift herself and her enemies in the air for longer and then slam them down after she’s done. Her projectile is also only available as an air command and sets up for some decent wake-up pressure. Her ground specials are well rounded: She has a solid reversal and her Charging special has 3 follow ups that mostly serve as a means to break the enemies guard or utilize it as combo filler. However, not too many of them are safe and Nanase’s biggest weakpoint is that she has little means of breaking into a well-rounded defense and she’s better off contesting others and getting counter hits to start up her combos. However, her speed and agile abilities in the air, supplemented by her command jump/increased air-time Force Function mostly keeps her in your face waiting to bait out a stray hit. Because once she opens you up, it tends to hurt.
Currently in the middle of overworking myself so I can relax for the weekend. Not much else to say other than balancing out work and practicing fighting games but I will mention I’m working on something for the site on the side. That’s right, something that isn’t a music post or a Jojo post in months, huzzah. Look forward to that since “that” is also something I plan on working on right now so I’ll see you again soon.
This week’s theme is the first Vs. theme featured in the series and its between Gordeau and Chaos, two close friends by story regards. Since I already talked about both, I decided to talk about the other Guest Character that I wasn’t able to feature, Akatsuki. Akatsuki, like Eltnum, comes from a completely different game-series, in his case, another doujin fighter by the name of Akatsuki Blitzkampf. I can’t even begin to tell you it’s entire story but Akatsuki is a cyborg soldier who served in the Imperial army but was lost during a turning point in the war. Akatsuki, believed to be dead, returns 50 years after the war to continue his work and dealing with some related stuff since the war is obviously over. One fun note, this is the game where you can play as a fucking Tank that takes nearly all of the screen, it’s fucking nuts. Anyway, Akatsuki in UNiB sort of goes through the same story-wise. He arrives in Japan during the Hollow Night and finds himself fighting through a bunch of people and then deciding to leave, that’s quite literally it. His moveset is heavily derived, like Eltnum, from his origin game and his “EXS” is his mechanical abilities called the Blitz Motor that infuses his punches and kicks with electricity. For a good chunk of his gaming scene life, Akatsuki sat at the ass-end of the tier lists because of his power mobility and unorthodox combo routes. He had issues moving around, which is critical in UNiB given the range of some character’s moves but even so, his damage was pretty decent if he could actually ever get his hands on you. Come UNi[st] and Akatsuki’s movement still remains poor but his extra options in opening people up like the lightning infused can-opener he is now rocketed him up to top tier.
But that’s practically unrelated to this week’s theme so, oh well.
It’s strange that I’m once again talking about Blazblue when the main coverage of the weekly music posts are Under Night. Both the new content in Blazblue and with its far more active playerbase definitely help in its favor but make no mistake that there’s some undeniable charm in Under Night and the lack of a unifying plot has thankfully avoided a lot of anime-fighting-game cliches from taking root in the series. Sure it still has a few but not as much as I imagined it would, and that’s a great thing. But there’s precisely not much else going on specifically to mention in this little post. But hey, just explaining my slight logic seemed to have taken enough space.
Anyways, I seemed to have gotten way too negligent so let’s just cover our theme of the week. This week’s spotlight is the theme of Kei Asumi, or just, Chaos. Chaos is the logistics and strategist for the organization of Amnesia led by Hilda as well as a personal friend to the resident macho-man, Gordeau. When Gordeau left to independently hunt the Crimson Knight, Chaos remained by he was also shook by the death of a friend and conspired with Gordeau while still keeping up with his duties in Amnesia. Gordeau usually lazes around at Chaos’ rather spacious house when he’s not working and the two are pretty close friends since both their routes involve the other in some way. Gordeau is sent off by Chaos in the former’s arcade mode and seen at the ending while in Chaos’ arcade mode, he decides to stop Hilda from overdosing on EXS after Gordeau apparently is beaten by her. His arcade mode ends with him subduing Hilda and plotting on how to hunt down the Crimson Knight. By Gordeau’s accounts, Chaos wasn’t always the nerdy looking bookworm he is now but used to be a violent thug which originated his nickname Bloody Chaos when they were younger. Gordeau admittedly states that he had rarely won against him in a fight.
Now if UNi[st] didn’t exist, this would have been funny but around the time UNIEL was the up-to-date version of the game, Chaos was ranked with Akatsuki in the bottom tiers of play. Both had obvious flaws in their mobility and general neutral game but as of now, Akatsuki stands proudly in the Top Tier seat while Chaos now has a respectable seat on the Mid-Upper tiers and seeing way more play. Chaos is the game’s puppet character around the lines of Zato and Carl/Relius from Guilty Gear and Blazblue respectively. The game’s system however makes him way easier than any of those characters but given the style of UNiB, he’s not the easiest character to get used to. Chaos’ “puppet” is a mix of the inner representation of Chaos’ inner violent nature and also a demon manifested from the book he uses in combat, the Chaos Codex and this is reflected in his EXS abilities of Illusion named Umbral. Chaos’s normals focus heavily on juggling and launching people into the air while his friend, Azhi Dehaka, has 4 moves to cover his master with. There’s the Claw Swipes that either goes horizontally forward or at a rising angle. The Fire Breath that can be charged and used to zone. The Tail Swipe that acts as a wall bounce as well as a reversal tool if spaced correctly. And finally the teleport where Azhi is either de-summoned to strike immediately in front of the duo or track the enemies position. It goes without saying that if Azhi is destroyed by an enemy attack and rendered unusable for a few seconds, Chaos is at a complete disadvantage but he does have two skills on his own that helps him survive. Chaos can send out his book to act as a projectile and it conjures a shield around itself to eat up and throw back an opponent’s own projectile and this also catches anyone trying to jump at you. Second, his Force Function, which is honestly underwhelming but nonetheless useful is a cross-up hope. Special shot out to his VA, Matsuoka who I never really found a voice work I liked by Chaos’ orders to Azhi is pretty fun to hear.
The newest Blazblue came out and I’m in a frantic mess in trying to absorb all the new information and muscle memory I’ll be needing to drill into my mind and hands in the upcoming weeks. I had 2 characters I played actively while I had 2 substitutes if I got bored. Now I have to relearn at least 3 out of those 4 characters while diving into deciding if I want to learn 5 out of the 7 new characters. It’s quite the dilemma here since it’s practically a first time experience at this point with how many things got changed for the characters I use. I’ll be spending a lot of time practicing.
However, I can speak more of that next time. We’re still a while to go before we stop our Under Night music train. This week’s theme is one of my absolute favorites from the series and it’s actually a remix. Sion is a Guest Character along with Akatsuki from French Bread’s previous work, Melty Blood. Although they’re not a part of TypeMoon, Melty Blood gained enough of a fan-following for it to be published by them as an officially released game when it was previously a doujin fighter. Melty Blood’s legacy and Sion’s lofty position in the upper-half of the tier list is actually the basis of her story mode. The game and Sion herself makes no attempt to hide the fact that she’s a guest character and she goes around her Arcade Mode belittling others over her superiority and seniority.
Sion or in this, Eltnum plays as an aggressive character whose variety of specials and command normals help her break her way into your defenses and constantly be up close. The wire-based Etherlite provides her with a respectable range for her initiation and always keeps her pressure close to you. The shortest possible combo-enders are where she uses her wires to grab and force a knockdown, preparing you for the inevitable scramble to block her mixups. Her lengthier combos however facilitate the use of a few core moves she has which always end up playing out in a similar fashion. First, is her gun. As if her range wasn’t great enough, Eltnum’s gun provides essential combo filler when she knocks you down and she will do this a multitude of times in the middle of the combo. Second is her launcher who provides her with the game’s only superjump ability where she is able to style on you in the air, a feat only shared by one other character. Eltnum can also not decide to aircombo or even airgrab you, apparently a move reserved for her and Akatsuki, she can land faster and continue her staple combo chain of Etherlite strikes and her other launching kick to immediately smack you down with her overhead and proceed to fill you full of holes. She was the first character I picked up until the intricacy of her combos, mostly involving a lot of whiffs and strict timing, decided for me to learn someone more basic. Plus it felt sort of off in my head that I was thinking of maining a character whose not technically part of the series. I’m just that sort of person, like how I play Pokemon and only use pokemon from that generation in my team. Alluding to her usual comedy routine back in her universe, her EXS is that of Precision, Analyze. Guess Calculations would be too blatant.
But by god does her theme absolutely rock. It’s a remix of Melty Blood Actress Again’s opening theme and it’s one hell of a sexy tune.
Not much really going on other than regular stuff. I did previously mention watching some new stuff aside from Jojo this season as well as planning some posts explaining what other series other than in the form of anime I’m entertaining myself with. However, most my free time is spent rewatching some older series, older western cartoons, and practicing fighting games since the newest Blazblue comes out in a week. I could do some Blazblue music spotlights but to be perfectly honest, I barely even like the cast in the plot-standpoint but Blazblue boasts some serious playstyle diversity in said cast. The cast itself is pretty fucking enormous and if anything, I sort of appreciate the smaller collection of fighters that fighters like Under Night have but no doubt, that will change over time as well.
And isn’t that just an easy segue into our theme of the week. Hilda is the final-boss character for a grand majority of the cast (while others either fight Hyde or their respective rivals like Orie fighting Merkava) and she is better known through her alias, Paradox. She leads the group Amnesia along with two other playable members while a few named but only mentioned characters exist in the organization. Hilda is dead-set on utilizing the mass of EXS around the Altar of Light and Darkness to ascend into a being known as Re-births who stand above the In-births and be grouped among the strongest EXS users who we only know are Kuon and the leader of Licht Kreis. Of course, this stands in the way of a lot of people and she holds particular interest in Hyde’s Insulator. It’s sort of tough to have a proper “story mode” when a character is a primary antagonist and is usually holed up in their lair. I’m not sure how all of you judge age by looks but her Character Select art seems definitely older while her in-game Story Mode art seems way younger and it turns out that Hilda is around 2 years older than Yuzu.
Hilda is the character that I thought Vatista would be which makes her the cast’s Zoner and Murakumo-styled character. Most of Hilda’s normals and specials are “projectiles” in a sense that her main form of combat is summoning spears of light-dark material, which coincides with her EXS of Light and Dark, the origin of her nickname as Paradox. These spears are separate from her own hurtbox so fighting back against her is a bitch unless you have someone with decent range. Hilda’s moves while immensely useful and boasting in range, suffers from very limited combo options but she can always set up for wake-up pressure with her Condense Gloom which sets up an orb that sends out numerous small projectiles at a given area to cover herself with. With mobility being limited compared to other anime-styled fighting games, Hilda is a tough nut to crack both because of her immense range and relative safety in pressuring and whittling you down, a bit more so than Vatista I feel.