A new Angel is Advent

After a few years jumping around different fighting games, and almost retiring with Capcom VS SNK 2, I finally found another fighting game that catches my interest.  In the past, I had a slight interest in Street Fighter 2, and it wasn’t until my friend presented Street Fighter Alpha 2 to me on the Super Nintendo (Super Famicom) did I get seriously involved in the fighting genre.  Before SFA2, I occasionally played other fighting games like Clay Fighter 2, the tune is still stuck in my mind and the clunky Mortal Kombat games, which I dearly loved for their Sound Effects and Fatalities.  However, I only played them out of niche interests and not really for a challenge.  With our primary school summers free, we would train day and night using a variety of characters.  He would constantly use Ryu and Akuma, so I went with Ken and other characters that could speed past fireballs and Shoryukens (Upper cuts).

However, those years of training made me strong playings as the second player (P2), so in the arcades the challenge was to adapt to the joystick and then getting my character to the other side (or choosing P2).  I didn’t come to shine until I started getting into other fighting games like King of Fighters, where I learned that fighters were more balanced, and contained a much larger cast and move list.  When I got back to Street Fighter Alpha 3 for the PS2 and SF3, I had improved immensely.  I began to bore of Street Fighter due to the long period between games.    I had a taste of other games like Capcom’s other flagships like Rival Schools, Dark Stalkers, Gem Fighters, SF:EX, Marvel VS Capcom and other SNK games like KoF in 3D, Fatal Fury.  After a while other fighting games started to emerge like Guilty Gear, BlazBlu, etc.  However, I began to get bored until I got Capcom VS SNK.

For once I could choose my favorite characters from both games, but I was a little disappointed they weren’t the same characters (moves list was crippled for SNK characters).  However, the game was well polished, the controls were smooth and I dominated.  I was able to dominate in arcades before I decided to get the home version and although Capcom VS SNK2 disabled the use of 4 characters I could still do formidable damage with 3.  Blanka, Cammy and King were my flagship characters.  Yuri was a good backup for me and the usual Ryu-Ken-Akuma team up guaranteed me a good variety of teams.  I won a match in Japan in 2001!  Of course I gave mercy!  Then I came home to win a lot more times in arcades before finally losing.  When I lost at last, the streak continued, however before I lost I was already losing my love for the game.  I had used all the characters, I had found my favorite, and besides Blanka’s special, I had mastered most the moves.  Since then I’ve been bouncing from fighting game to fighting game.  Occasionally, I would play them again and still have fun, but SF4 came and went, and I was less than impressed.  New KoF’s came and went without my favorite character, King, and I passed on it. I was about to give up on fighting games, as I have on RPGs, but then I came to Japan.

 

In Japan I discovered Arcana Hearts 3.  Before Japan, I had seen Arcana Hearts 2 in shelves and magazines, but paid no heed to a game full of girls.  I liked a game with a good balance of males and females, but I thought to myself, most games had only male characters for the longest time with the token female character.  I decided to play the game, and at first I wasn’t too impressed with how it resembled other games.  However, there was a lot of innovation in terms of expanding on what other fighting games offered.  There were over 20 characters and each character got to choose from over 20 different alignments which would affect their special and regular moves.

Starting off with the first character I saw on the select screen WeiB, I gave the game a go.  It was a fun time learning how to use the characters for the first time.  I felt like I was learning how to play fighting games again, and it was refreshing to say the least!  The art isn’t the best, but it fits the style well.  The moves are flashy and the differences in characters meant a lot of innovation was placed into their design and move list.  I didn’t do too well with WeiB, so I tried to use other characters like Konoha, but that also ended poorly.  I really enjoyed trying out new characters, but I think I may have found my favorite so far.  Maori, the priestess, with an alignment to LOVE, gives me an incredible amount of on screen clutter to confuse the enemy.  The side characters help me reduce my enemies combos and allows me to use my dradle to strike close and long.   I finally made it to the 3rd pre-boss today with Maori, but lost horribly, and my friend joined in.  I eventually lost, but I gave her a try again, against Blitz, who is a pro at the game.  I beat his best character, but lost against his sword wielding, Earth aligned character.

I hope to expand on my skills when I pick up the PS3 or Xbox360 version.  I also plan to pickup an arcade stick!

Thoughts about teaching

Doing a job is strange.  Does one ever consider the nature of their job?  Everyone views their jobs in 3 or more different ways.  They’re either happy, content or hate their job and everything in between.  However, I feel my job has an existence of its own.  Its alive and biological, made up of many people from the top, bottom and the customers.  I’ve only been here for a year, but my job still feels fresh.  My last job lost its freshness sometime around 3-4 years.  The final part of  my past job felt like a grind.

Today was my first day teaching a children’s class with Alicia and by myself.  I can say that my job certainly feels fresh and condescending at the same time.  The first class had some pretty restless kids, mostly this one kid who kept teasing and bullying Alicia.  I felt bad that I couldn’t keep them from picking on her, but at the same time I was trying my best to facilitate English to them without running out of time.  With a lot of help from Alicia in the background and in the end, I managed to finish and facilitate some vocabulary and activities.

My second class with a pre-shine Beat starter student, went really well.  I felt I really taught her some strong vocabulary words within the scope of the letters B, R and T.  Since she was a new student, there was no homework check.  I started out by introducing a few of the book’s main characters, and a “Hello” introduction portion.  I followed up by presenting A-Z and she answered almost every picture perfectly.  So I moved on the the picture books.  It was a but more difficult guessing what each picture meant, asking questions, and spelling them.  Afterwards, I made her ask me!  We did the activity book, and finished it fairly quickly.  Her handwriting was very neat, and there was no need to teach her any cursive.  We finished so soon I had to make up some more games, 3 very terrible maze games, and actually stumbling into the activity pages!  (which I shouldn’t have done.)  We finished off with candy and stickers, and passport before heading off.