Let’s Talk Character Designs: Guilty Gear Part 1

Back to talking about character designs for the third time. I really just enjoy talking about how amazing characters can look. This time I will be talking about my favorite fighting game franchise, Guilty Gear. A series that started in 1998 and it is still a rather niche series. I do feel the time is coming for Guilty Gear to get a bit more fame, hopefully this new Dragon Ball fighter will get people to notice Arc System Works more. Either way I love the designs of Guilty Gear, they stand out in many ways and for the first part I will look at the original roster and even talk about some redesigns too for these characters.

Sol Badguy

 

Sol Badguy is easily my favorite protagonist of any fighting game. Again just like the roster in general, Sol really stands out in terms of the main character. First off that name is fantastic, but we are looking at designs here. I will say I like how they design him in Xrd more even if they did just buff him up. Now one thing that is rather silly in his designs would be all those belts, man Sol out does Final Fantasy characters. The belts never do distract me though as they blend well with the clothing. I enjoy the one on his arm the most. All the belts just get me to look around his body and knowing how belts work makes me think he is holding something back. That is what Sol literally is since his human form is something he made as he hides his Gear form. I also think his bigger body works better with the belts since they look like they are being used to hold something in. Then with the Xrd design I love seeing how he encase his sword, the Fire Seal into a case and it is called the Junkyard Dog. The whole thing looks like a big lighter which fits with the overall fire theme Sol has. Then top of that with the overall color scheme of red and black. I am interested to why they added the white cross on his stomach area. Then a small note will be the hair and I prefer the first design’s hair because it shows off the headband more, but the hair for the Xrd design works well with Sol’s bigger body. The last touch is his belt with the word “Free” on it. Funny enough Sol may seem to be free, but he sees himself trapped in his own life. Again Sol even holds himself back so the belt is pretty much representing what he wants to be, free. Overall both of these designs have many similarities, but the Xrd design to me shows off the restrained aspect more.

Ky Kiske

 

Ky only has small changes compared, but I will say I like Ky with shorter hair more. Then with the swords, I like the Xrd sword better than, even if it is a weaker sword. The belts come out again with this design and knowing Ky Kiske as of now, there has been a restraining aspect with him too. Now for an unusual design choice for Ky would be the blue and white color scheme. Ky is famous for his lightning magic and I am so used to yellow characters representing lightning. I will say the only other character I can think that is a lightning user and has more of a blue look would be Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Personally I prefer seeing the blue lightning it is more like how we actually see lightning and for a kid who grew up with Pokemon, I saw tons of yellow lightning. Still the blue and white color scheme works with how Ky acts, he is a perfect warrior who is reliable and knowing how he interacts with Sol and Dizzy, that is understandable. The best touch is his belt saying “Hope” on it. Ky is a man all about freedom, he fought in the war facing the Gears and as of now he wants Gears and mankind to be together. So Ky keeps representing hope both on and off the battlefield.

May

 

May barely has any changes, but one small difference I have noticed and that could just be how the Xrd art shows the character. In the Xrd art though I can see more of May’s skin and it is a small amount, but it is noticeable regardless. Looking closer in and do not find me creepy for this, but the Xrd version of this design has her being more of a flat chest. Actually the more I am looking there are many small detail differences that go back and forth. The original design had more belts than the Xrd May and again it could just be the difference of art, but Xrd May is brighter. Orange is used to be the color of adventure and May is a pirate girl, so she is always on an adventure. This color is even used to show optimism, so I feel they made the orange brighter in the Xrd design is to better showcase this since May is a bright person in terms of uplifting others. Reminding me of the pirate aspect, she has a total of three skulls in the Xrd design as the cuffs she has got changed to look more like skulls. Belts are around again and while in the original design it is quite toned down compared to Sol and Ky and just look quite normal. In Xrd she has lost more belts, but she has one big one! It even looks loose and May is someone who does not restrain herself which speaks clear because of that anchor she uses! Then on the Xrd design there is a little more text on her clothing. I cannot read the one near the anchor symbol, but I can clearly see the heart next to the “J” which clearly shows her love for Johnny. What an interesting look at first I thought there were barely any changes, but there are actually quite a lot of small changes. I personally like the original design better, but the Xrd design really has some new details that I really enjoy.

Millia Rage

 

Now I get to the character with the biggest change of her design. I am so glad they changed Millia’s design, I do not hate the original one, it is just the Xrd design has so many awesome details. To be honest when I first played Guilty Gear, I thought she was Ky’s sister because of the blonde hair and blue and white color scheme. Of course there are belts still around, but the Xrd design has one! In terms of headwear, I love the hat more than the headband. I still have no idea what those letters and numbers mean though. Now the difference with the colors do have meaning as well. In the past, Millia say herself to be a perfect assassin originally, but things got pretty bumpy for her regarding Zato and Venom. Now her Xrd color scheme is mostly yellow which does have a sign of hope and since Zato came back in Xrd, but not as who he was, Millia is hoping that he returns to normal. Also yellow does show happiness and since Venom and Millia worked out their differences, Millia probably feels better about herself. I also enjoy the change of her tights since it was an under shirt for the original design and now she wears leggings, it is a complete switch around. Also with the art, Millia does not have her hair in roses compared to the Xrd art. Again that has meaning since it shows a new beginning! It even works with the idea of hoping to be remembered and Zato did not have his memories when he came back from the dead. The newer design to me just screams more character for Millia and her new look alone easily jumped her up in my list of favorite Guilty Gear characters.

Zato-1/Eddie

 

Zato and Eddie pretty much kept the same design over the years of the franchise. Zato was the original, during sometime Eddie took over, and then they both died because their body could not hold up anymore. Zato comes back from the grave though in Xrd and I am happy they did not give him a new design too. Zato’s look is pretty basic with a great use of black and changing even the tiniest aspect would probably be too much then. Even adding something new would be drastic. Now the shadow beings both them use may look different, but that is because it can freely change. It may seem harder to see the red for Eddie on the left, but the eyes are still red meanwhile the Xrd design for Zato has the shadow glow red. I do enjoy what both of them wear over their eyes, there is always something daunting about a man who can fight without vision. I then noticed something on Zato’s Xrd design where you can red “Walking Shadow” on his arm. Overall, the color black is a mystery and will remain as a mystery and Zato and Eddie do show that well since they have a simple design, but always leaves me asking what is up with them.

Potemkin

 

I am so happy that Potemkin got a new look in Xrd. For the longest time I never truly liked this character’s design in the original games. Sure the armlets he wears are cool, but I never liked the brace around his neck. To me his old design never spoke true to the character, but the Xrd design shows the soldier aspect so well! Literally his helmet is the same as the Prussian soldiers. The spike on the helmet and the little flowing cloth is an exactly the same look. Then the armlets got even better since they are attached to the overall armor makes it look more complete. I do love seeing the words “Burly Heart” which was his character theme song from the previous games before Xrd. Along the armor and helmet are more symbols representing his nation which again fits so well with the soldier theme. What is also interesting is that his armor has a bar code on it, high chance it is a way to number off the soldiers. Now the overall uniform with the green look with the display of buttons not only reminds me of his other wear which was seen in some art from the game, but it is a complete reference to the Nazi’s uniform. Anyone who knows of Prussia easily knows of their history with Germany. The man even has a band on his left arm which again is just like the uniform. This is so the best new design only because it completely saves the character in my opinion.

Chipp Zanuff

 

By the way Chipp is before Black Star, I feel like saying that since friends of mine always keep telling me this! Either way this American ninja wants to become president! Yes I am not lying, this is a man who says he is Japanese, but he is actually American. Now ninjas have always been shown differently in the media and while some are extremely inaccurate, I feel Chipp is on purpose. Chipp does work with the common martial arts of the ninja, but other than that he does not look like one at all. He does not hide himself in any way and does not even have the color blue which was the true color of ninjas or at least the original color. Chipp wears fish nets under his shirt which I guess is supposed to be close to chain mail? Back to topic of belts now, he has four, two on his leg, one on his neck, and one around his waist. The one around his neck works more like a choker though. My favorite aspect of his design will have to be the awesome sickle he has on his arm! Now for differences there is one small difference which would be the chest area. In the first design he had simple silver buttons, but for Xrd he has a ninja star front and center. Chipp is trying to hard to be a ninja that he does not fit the bill which is why I like his design none the less, it fits his character and still looks better than any ninja from Naruto.

Dr. Baldhead/Faust

 

Now we get to possibly the craziest character of all Guilty Gear. Originally he was called Dr. Baldhead and was out for revenge, but later on he turns a new leaf and becomes the travelling doctor, Faust. Still carrying the giant scalpel as his weapon of choice which obviously points to his doctor origins with the original design. Now Faust starts to look more like a doctor with the white coat he wears and he still does sport green with his pants. Dr. Baldhead looks like a psychopath and he was so the first look gets that down well thanks to how he crouches. With Faust he really comes off more comical and the biggest indentation of that would be the paper bag covering his face. With his Xrd look they added those two big red crosses which easily references the Red Cross. So the overall design aspect really comes to the transformation Faust had from his murderer look to the doctor. One is crazy and the other is silly, quite a transformation.

Axl Low

 

The obvious elephant in this room is that Axl Low looks very much like Axl Rose from the popular band, Guns N’ Roses. Even the name is a bit too on point. Both real life figure and fictional character have the bandanna, long flowing hair, and both love to show off their nationality. Axl is British though which is a big key difference and that could because of the band being popular in that area? The band has done some performances in London before, so maybe? Axl then changes where the flag is shown for his clothes and I am for a fan of having it around his legs, it flows like a flag. Now Axl keeps the jean jacket and jeans, but he goes for jean shorts in the Xrd design. I also think this is a reason why they moved the flag in the lower area, is that there is more of a balance in the Xrd design. Most of the color for the original look is in the upper area. Funny enough there seems to be no belts in the original design, but in Xrd he wears a belt for his pants and another one like a tie? It looks like a tie, but it is also a zipper of some kind. Then there is a white “X” on his headband for the current design, Axl Rose always had different headbands so the change of design is probably a reference to that.

Kliff Underson

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Kliff is from the original game, but later on in the series he would not be part of the roster until Guilty Gear XX. The reason is well because death is a bitch (not sorry for the spoiler). For the newer game they did make new art for him and it really captures his image better. You just got to love how the sword is pretty much the same size as this old man. With belts, it looks like he has one normal looking belt, well except for the size. On the piece in front of his face, you can clearly see scratches on it, along with the sword, and even see scars on his face. This is a man who fought many battles and it shows. He has a simple use of the color brown which is the color of the Earth as he was one of the strongest humans around (old age catches up though). Along with the color meaning, Kliff is one of the most reliable characters in the series. He trained Ky Kiske into the man he is now and even trusted Sol Badguy with the Fire Seal. Overall, he may seem menacing in the newer art, in the older arts they easily make him look a bit relaxed.

Justice

Justice

Now I get to the original boss character and man knowing that this is Aria, is still shocking. Aria was a woman and for the earliest time we barely knew any of this. All we knew that when Sol killed Justice, we hear her say his real name. Anyways onto the design, man Justice is creepy looking. I really enjoy how sleek she can look with the white armor, but when you see what is not covered in the white armor gives off this horror-like vibe. The claws really show that off, imagine those sinking into your skin. Now I will get the elephant out of the room and that would be what Death Battle called the “Blue robo penis!” Yea it does rather stick out (I should have used a better word) compared to the overall design. I have to wonder if that part is actually on her or the armor. With Justice I feel she has this interesting combination of what makes Guyver great and what even makes a Gundam look nice.

Man this post took some time to make, there will still be more characters to get done. I cannot wait to do the part two post since I will be starting off with my all time favorite fighting game character. Either way I feel for the next design post, I want to dabble into some Toku and high chance it will be Double and not only the riders, but some Dopants as well.

Baiken Green

Godzilla VS Hedorah: A Childhood Classic

There have been two deaths regarding the Godzilla franchise this year. One being Yoshimitsu Banno the director of this movie and the other being famous suit actor, Haruo Nakajima, a man who played Godzilla for the first twelve movies in the franchise. As for my history with these men’s work, Godzilla vs Hedorah was always the film I would rent the most at my video store. I remembering watching it at home and even on a portable DVD player when I was my grandmother’s house. I took many opportunities to watch this film. Then still to this day, I watch the film and is one of my personal favorites of the franchise. Godzilla VS Hedorah (or Smog Monster) has a bad reputation with fans because of what transpired. What happened was that Banno got full control through a series of misfortunes. Now Banno would have been director regardless, but Ishiro Honda would have been looking over like he has done before if it was not for some hospital visits. When the film was released, it got some interesting reviews… Either way it led to Honda telling Banno that he would never direct a Godzilla movie, ever again, ouch.

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With that said to this day people like to call this one of the worst Godzilla movies because of Honda’s opinion. Now I will admit there are flaws in this movie and people not liking it, is quite understandable. Personally, I think the Godzilla franchise has done worst before and after this movie. I will admit the biggest flaw right here and right now though. There is an odd clash of what is happening in this movie. We got a monster made out of pollution so an obvious go green message is attached to this film. At the same time this is a giant monster flick and even psychedelic movie. Nature, monsters, and rebellious youth drinking and partying like no tomorrow. I can easily admit that this clash easily brings a bizarre series of things, but I love the chaos that is presented. I just love to pick at this film since there are so many scenes to work on here. Not only that, but there is some great things presented in the film as well.

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By the way this poster is amazing!

For how much people like to off this movie there is one notable aspect of this movie that people love to talk about. It is the final scene where Godzilla makes himself fly by pointing his atomic breath downwards. To me there are many chaotic moments that just work because of what has been established already in this film. We had a scene at a bar where a man is just seeing fish heads on everyone and even Hedorah himself is a far stranger creature than your usual monster fare in Godzilla. Other things that accompany this strange movie is a great soundtrack that people love to mention surprisingly, mostly the song where Godzilla is flying. The track I loved the most is the opening track, Return! The Sun. It a surprising song that sounds great upbeat, but when hearing “God is dead” that really takes an interesting turn for this film. It really works well with the youths of the film.

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Reminding me of what else is dead, tons of characters get killed in this film. This is not the first time death was in Godzilla for the citizens, but around this time Godzilla kept this child friendly attitude. With that there was no death on-screen for some films or they did a more simplifed matter of it. In this film, people are turning into skeletons, falling off of buildings, and even drowining in Hedorah’s pollution. Even many of the rebellious youth get killed off and originally they were expecting their deaths too. This film has a surprisingly dark attitude and yet again as I established can have its loopy moments. To me though it did not feel out-of-place. This is a film that got me to understand that death is scary, but people got to cope in any way they can. This leads to some humor and this stayed true to me since many things I love today has death presented in different fashions. The most notable one has to be No More Heroes (yes I mentioned No More Heroes again).

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So with what I have said, I easily love Banno’s uncontrolled style with this film. It had a strange premise and so I feel like the overall strange factor just fits. Now on top of all this, Godzilla himself was a blast. Now again this was still that kid favorite Godzilla, so he got his poses and is treated more like a hero. Now while this is completely different from the original Godzilla, I still love the 70’s era Godzilla. Most of it has to because of the suit acting which I know Nakajima did not do all of that, but he did set a standard of what others had to follow-up on in that era. Godzilla really sways his body around and seems to act over-confident. Then later on I can easily tell that Godzilla is getting a hang of things and even learning. I love the use of body language since I can tell all of this without any dialogue being presented. That is probably what Nakajima did the best that other suit actors followed, he knew how to use that body language to move scenes.

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On top of all of this, Hedorah is still my overall favorite monster in the series. How Hedorah was presented was amazing to me. The scary thing is that Hedorah is still considered to be one of the strongest foes to Godzilla, regardless of what Final Wars did. Hedorah even has a strong presence in some comics from what I hear. Well his first introduction is a strong one. You got a monster that is growing bigger and bigger, he even gets bigger than Godzilla. With that then he is causing some massive damage to the city and even killing citizens left and right. All Hedorah had to do was fly above people and they would die from his fumes. He was quite a terror and that design of his still impresses me. I love seeing the blood ooze from his eye, it is an interesting detail on this pollution creature where his pollutants even hurts him. The only reason Hedorah lost was because Godzilla found out how to use the human’s machine to his advantage, imagine if that was not there! Even when it seems he is losing there is still something going on, the ooze can easily fly off of him, but that ends up hitting people and still moving on its own. For Godzilla, that does not matter, but for passing by people or even ones inside their homes can get killed still. Hedorah really left a big impression on me when I was seven, eight, or nine… I rarely remember my age in general.

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This film may have not been my first Godzilla, but this is the one that stuck with me the most during my childhood. This is simply a film I love to pick at and see what is going on. Strange visuals, still having some great monster action, and still to this day Hedorah is my favorite monster in the franchise. To those who worked on this film, I thank you. Here’s to Yoshimitsu Banno and Haruo Nakajima.

Why Kamen Rider Skull Is The Best Modern Rider

I have tons of posts in the works right now as many of them are going to be long like another character design post and more about Baby Driver. To get something off my mind though I simply wanted to talk about Kamen Rider Double. This show is still my favorite Kamen Rider series to this day and I still debate if my overall favorite Toku show is Double or Metalder. Either way, even if modern rider has not gotten my eyes, I can still watch Double again and again. Double was the beginning of a new era for Kamen Rider and it started off great. For me Double is not only important in some good story telling for the franchise, but also for great world building and amazing ascetics. I have a personal taste for the noir style and the whole cyber punk look is something I wish can be done again (Build is getting really close to this style). I got some hopes for Kamen Rider Build, but still after Double the franchise seem to hit an interesting time. Sure I still liked Fourze, Wizard, and Gaim, but OOO is rather disastrous and shows like Drive, Ghost, and Ex-Aid failed to catch my attention when they first came out. I tried to give Drive and shot and I still want to as well, but still that initial feel was not good. A show like Kamen Rider Double had the best of both old and new, remembering what made the franchise great while taking a nice step forward. One of those aspects had to be Kamen Rider Skull.

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I been having some thoughts on who my overall favorite Kamen Rider is. When Double first aired, it was Accel, but the more I really look back, Skull is really important and awesome! Kamen Rider Skull is first an homage to the Skullman which again connects well to the past of what Kamen Rider could have been. Also being a lone rider harbors back to many original rider series even if they had team-ups a couple of times. The look of Skull is simple and yet a strong image. The first thing about is image is how the suit actor portrays the body language. The man has a relaxed look even while fighting, his arms usually stay down when he is standing still or even during some attacks. Also how he carries his hat around even when transformed gives off that cool and relaxed vibe as well. The skull motif is a bit scary and then add the whole relaxed feel to how the man carries himself, to me adds more horror to the look. Again Skull has a simple design, but what adds more to the look is how it is carried which I think speaks nicely for the suit acting.

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Narumi Sokichi’s actor, Kōji Kikkawa did an amazing job portraying the hard-boiled man. We all know the joke that modern rider has and even before the Neo era. There are many pretty boys playing Kamen Riders. A slight problem I have with that is that I miss more of the manly men from the Showa era. Now there are some actors in the newer series that can actually carry themselves and some shows actually knew how to work around with these younger men. Even some actors did great like Renn Kiriyama for example. Even if I do not like Tendou Souji, I cannot lie and say that Hiro Mizushima did well presenting this man who thought he was the image of perfection. Koji though to me felt like he brought back more of that Showa manliness. Not only in term of age, but along with his emotional conflicts and how he shows his emotions. Hard boiled is the best way to describe it. He is strict and still caring, really reminds me of Ichigo and Nigo, straight to the point and yet hard as nails.

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Next would have to be Skull’s story. Narumi Sokichi is the hard-boiled man who Shotaro wanted to be and worked with for years. Shotaro was impressed by the man when he first fought a Dopant even without the Skull memory. The Dopant he faced was the Spider Dopant and for who it was really tested Narumi. He had to fight his own partner who wanted to use the Gaia Memories for simply protecting someone and lost control of himself. There is even a battle scar left on Narumi since Spider had a special ability to harm not only his targets, but the ones close to him. A little spider stays dormant inside Narumi’s body even if he did defeat and kill his partner because the Gaia Memories being handed out like drugs were far more out of control than the ones in the series. Narumi had to stay to defend the windy city not only because he has a job to do to try to stop Gaia Memories from appearing in his city. He also had to stay away from his family since the bomb spider would harm them if he ever returned.

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This is a story I want to see more of in Kamen Rider. A hero has to face a challenge of some kind and at times there can be no end to this challenge. Narumi can never reunite with his family and still fights despite of that. Even with scenes prior he had to kill his partner and work with Shroud behind the scenes, so he was pretty much alone until Shotaro came to join. The hardest part about it is the fact that death is right around the corner for Narumi. He killed his partner and who knows if his family will try to see him again. Then we all know his fate in Begins Night and the first episode of Double where he is gunned down. A hero is someone who can die as well, this threat needs to be established because it keeps showing the hero’s determination. Even if he died in the first episode of Double, the impact he left on the entire show is large and the show itself explored that in many episodes. I still would love to see another film around Skull showing the first time Shotaro came to work for Narumi, but at this point I guess this will never happen. Narumi Sokichi, Kamen Rider Skull is clearly the best take on modern Kamen Rider, he is given what seems like a gift and in reality it ruins his life. Narumi never shows that despair though and keeping protecting the city and the people he cares for, truly a hero, a Kamen Rider.

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So those are my thoughts about Kamen Rider Skull, a rider that does have limited appearances and carries the image of what Kamen Rider means in the best way. A lone hero that despite everything still fights the good fight. Kamen Riders in the Showa era lost tons of people close to them and even if they feel despair, they try their best to not show it. It is not only for themselves, but for the others that are still alive. I do feel that many modern riders are lacking this element from the franchise though. Things are a little too fluffy and some just make fun of death. To me it really ruins what is clearly the most horrifying aspect of being a hero. The end result is me not caring for the heroes since I know their struggle is not that hard. Even if a show is more comedic, this risk can still be shown and Double can be extremely funny, personally some of the best comedy from the franchise. Even a show like Carranger has me caring for the heroes. Maybe next time I will take a deeper look into where modern rider lost this effect and how did it end up hurting the franchise. For right now though just remember to be a hard-boiled man.

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EVO 2017: Fighting Games Making A Comeback!

Last weekend, the biggest fighting game tournament happened. With games like Guilty Gear, Blazblue, Street Fighter, Tekken, and Smash Bros Melee and 4 there was a lot to be excited about those days. Well on Sunday we got all the reveals and a majority of them did extremely well of getting people excited for what is coming up. I am simply gotta go through them in any order I want to, probably save my favorites for last.

Street Fighter V: Abigail

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Reveal Trailer

I will get the hated one out-of-the-way first. To be honest, I like Abigail. For a large character, he does not have a focus on command throws which Street Fighter is quite known for with large fighters. I will admit, his size and overall look is odd. Hell him acting like a child just keeps adding onto his odd image. Personally, it started to rub off me though. For a Final Fight character I am not surprised that this guy is not sane. Some people wanted him to be a serious gang member, but I would find that boring in my opinion. Street Fighter has been good with making some weird characters, so Abigail seems to fit in well with the franchise. I think his play style also fits with what Capcom has been doing with Season 2 of SFV. Abigail looks like he can have a good combo game which again, most large characters are not known for this. I love seeing him bounce people off the wall into many other options he has, his V-Skills can do some great counters into combos as well. Overall, I think people just do not like this character because of what else we got. I think SFV will still be fine and Abigail will get his time to shine when he is released which is quite soon so there is that.

Fighting Layer EX

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Trailer

ARIKA is coming back with a new fighting game which was a surprise from last year. This time people got to play some of this new project and the company got to reveal more for the game. Now for those confused, ARIKA made a game series called Street Fighter EX which was a spin-off series that put Street Fighter in a more 3D fighting game. The series started out strong, but later installments got it a bit tough for the console versions. The series still had love from the fans and for the longest time so many characters just faded away. Now many of the exclusive characters from the EX series are coming back in a new game. Characters like Kairi, Shirase, Garuda, Darun Mister, and most importantly Skullomania are back into the scene! Skullomania is one of my favorite Street Fighter characters in general, so seeing him back got me so excited. I do not know much about this game, but it seems to be a continuation of the EX series in terms of style, but who knows what surprises this game can have.

Jedah and Gamora in Marvel VS Capcom Infinite

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Game Footage

Capcom decided to show more off for the upcoming crossover game, since this could be Marvel VS Capcom 3’s last time at EVO. Many already know what the roster of the game will be since a leak came out and it is accurate right now, the only thing it did not have was Zero, but everything so far is spot on. They first shown off Gamora who was shown in the story mode trailer and now seeing her fighting really makes me impressed. I love her style of swords and guns. Her animations look well as she jumps off walls with good projectiles and she can jump right in with close range combat too. Jedah then looks like the best character in terms of animations. There is constant animation on the character as the blood flowing out of his body more looks like purple goo, but oh well at least that looks awesome. I love seeing that Jedah is keeping his air movement and zoning properties to the game. The best part about the reveal is that we got it through expert players playing the game. It made the reveal more honest than just seeing a trailer. Also with veterans to Marvel VS Capcom playing and saying good things about the game, makes me feel more conifdent to pick up the title.

Trunks in Dragonball Fighterz

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Reveal Trailer

What used to be my most anticipated fighting game title got a nice reveal with Trunks. The Trunks we are getting would be Future Trunks which is the first time we saw this character in Dragon Ball Z. So far Trunks seems to be the character I want to play as the most. The mixture of projectiles and sword combos really interest me. Trunks has some great zoning options and mix that with the awesome visuals of the game we got ourselves an exciting character. Then for one of his super moves, it looks like it could be a command grab super since I see Trunks throwing a character up into the air before doing the big attack. Either way, the best Trunks is in the game and I cannot wait for who else will be included.

Geese Howard Invades Tekken 7

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Best Trailer of EVO

Tekken 7 is slated for some guest characters to increase the life of the game. The first character was Akuma from Street Fighter and now Geese Howard from Fatal Fury and King of Fighters is going to take his shot at Heihachi. I have to say what a perfect character selection. I was expecting a Guilty Gear character because Harada has visited Arc Systems Works lately, so I will expecting that later on. Either way Geese fits so well into Tekken. First off, he is a terrible father just like Heihachi so they got that in common. Then just like Akuma, Geese is going to have his trademark moves and even special abilities from King of Fighters. Geese got his projectiles, counters (predictable!), and even the Max Mode functions as we can see Geese glow gold in the trailer. I am also going to guess with that then, he will have a special meter of some kind just like Akuma and Elize. If Tekken got more amazing characters like Geese coming, Tekken 7 is going to live for a long time.

Blazblue Central Fiction Adds Jubei

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Reveal Trailer

Jubei has been a character that was asked to be in the roster by so many fans. First his daughter got in, then his wife, and now he can finally join the roster! Jubei has been a character in the story mode since the first game and he was never a push over, being known as one of the legendary six heroes. Jubei seems to be a big follow-up character with good movements all around. He even has a counter and a projectile by the looks of it. Jubei even has a move where he places marks in the air which can have him do attacks through them and maybe for movement options as well like Bang. So I imagine that he will have Tao’s combo possibility which means his attacks will not be too strong, but mix that with options that are similar to Hakumen and even Bang. I cannot wait to play as Jubei and he is slated for the Summer of this year, so again another close one.

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle

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This is REAL!

So not is only Arc System Works doing a 3v3 fighting game like Marvel VS Capcom 2 and 3, but they are also making a crossover fighter with a tag system too. I love this company so having a crossover with their franchises is a godlike idea for me. Too bad they did not add Guilty Gear characters, I guess they are not making new sprites for this game which could make it easier to have more characters. Yet they are adding RWBY to this roster, I am still expecting to have at least Sol Badguy as a guest character for this game. Still the possibilities of having Blazblue, Persona, and Under Night In-Birth characters is going to be amazing. I do hope for a big roster that can add many characters to balance each of the three franchises. I bet RWBY will have their four main characters and I am not a fan of that series, but seeing how this product is growing is nice to see. Overall I am overly excited for this product because I love Arc System Works and them going for a crossover fighter with big names and a mixture of smaller names is great. The big products like Blazblue and Persona will get it to sell and hopefully the smaller names will get more love through it.

So those are my thoughts about what we got at EVO this year. I am sad that there was no Smash news on top of everything because why not reveal something for that. I guess at this point the next Smash game will be brand new and not a port of Smash 4 for the Switch. Which makes sense for Sakurai since he usually makes a product unique for one system. Either way there is tons of excitement coming up for me as a fighting game fan and I hope more people will be getting into these games. I know Dragon Ball and Tekken will be getting love, but I do hope the new Blazblue project gets popular, along with the new EX game. Then hopefully Capcom can save Street Fighter V for the fans and Marvel VS Capcom Infinite does well since it is sweating time for Capcom right now. There are some new kings in the business.

Baby Driver: The Killer Track

This is the first time I am talking about a recent movie and I could have written a review for Shin Godzilla, but I want to see it a few more times before doing a full review. Now with this movie, at this point I have seen this four times. So one must assume that I enjoyed this movie to go see it four times. Well you are WRONG! Nah, just kidding, I really loved this movie from my all time favorite director Edgar Wright. I am not saying one of my favorite directors, this is my favorite director. I have no doubts that Edgar is my favorite. I have talked about his films on websites before with so much positivity that I just make sure to catch myself up with his works. With Baby Driver in his collection, I feel this is going to be a new big step for Wright just like how I feel Scott Pilgrim was a nice stepping block as well. There is still that unique feel of this director, but he clearly shows new direction with possibly the best usage of a soundtrack. This is also my favorite film of 2017, I do not even care what else is coming this year, I know this is the movie of the year.

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So before getting to the plot of this movie, I want to talk about the soundtrack since the songs came before the movie itself. I am not lying, the idea of the soundtrack being the building blocks of the movie was the actual idea. This sounds crazy, but when knowing how certain songs do have similar lyrics or feelings to them, it seems possible to construct a movie with it. With this idea the soundtrack itself has become a character in the film since it is moving the plot in a strange and exciting way. Some songs are used more than once, but when you hear it one time and know it is coming again quickly establishes the mood of the scene. Even when you hear certain tracks for the first time in the movie, the first notes really makes things clear. Then with how sound effects flow with the songs makes things feel natural and not a gimmick. I have to say after watching this movie, really gives you a sense of rhythm since you were naturally paying attention to the sounds of cars, guns, and other random noises go in sync with the music. In terms of the sound editing, this is so far my favorite mix and if this does not get any awards for it, I will slap someone!

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Along with the amazing soundtrack being fused with great sound editing, there is then Edgar’s directing. I love how everything moves in his movies since nothing is being ignored. When something is in motion it will stay in motion even when off camera. I feel that more films need to be doing this, since it is extremely important to keep that flow. It is exciting to pay attention to when things are moving, it works with your sense of object permanence, which again thanks to how Edgar directs his films, comes naturally. Then with things not being forgotten, there will be many lines being used again in different context though. Or they are being used to easily connect elements. Edgar has a great sense of foreshadowing because it can be quite random to a normal viewer, but thanks to how Edgar repeats these aspects, makes the joke funny and engaging. Watching his films means you have to pay attention since he loves to play with your ability to pay attention. With Baby Driver so far, I keep noticing new things and this is four times so far and I still find new things. The same can be said for Hot Fuzz since I have watched it over ten times and can find a new small detail somewhere.

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Now the basic story is a young boy trying to get out from the bad crowd. The main character, Baby has been the driver for these trained criminals. They keep robbing banks or any place with profit and Baby has been doing this for about a decade. He gets himself stuck because of one bad move in his past and is working to get himself out, but he learns that it is not easy at all. Along with this when he is thinking he is getting away, his foster-father tries to get him on a better path and Baby starts meeting a new girl in his life, Debora. Baby starts to makes moves on Debora and even his foster father approves of this and gets him a real job too. Sadly, Baby is called back to the car for another job by the big boss that could easily ruin his life. Along with him he works with certain criminals and gets associated with three specific ones. Buddy and Darling are a couple and are surprisingly nice to the young man, Buddy even shares the same taste of music. Meanwhile, a man named Bats thinks he is quite bothersome and a little too strange, and he is a bit too trigger happy. Overall the characters do seem quite simple, but Edgar Wright hides many details of who they actually are in the dialogue or in brief shots, like their real names.

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The action of the film is incredibly high as this is not Edgar’s first movie with car chases or using cars in action sequences. This is more of a heist movie though compared to something like Hot Fuzz with the focus on gun play at the end of the movie. Baby Driver really does great with car action and it does not get too crazy at the same time. It is a reason why I am not the biggest fan of Fast and the Furious because the cameras in those movies can be a little out of control in the wrong way. With Baby Driver, things do move fast, but your eyes can easily follow the action. You can see the direct paths the cars are moving and see each impact. Thanks to the easy to follow action, you can also pay attention to the lines being spouted out during those moments. With the use of the main character being called Baby, there was a nice streak of jokes where the robbers were wearing Austin Powers masks where of course they had to say “Yea baby!” The action is presented so well too that even when you are not seeing it, there can be brief moments you see the action in a corner or something as such and with what happens afterwards, you can easily imagine how things were going down.

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Baby Driver to some may seem like a basic movie, but with the four times I have watched this movie, I can say this is clearly an Edgar Wright product. There are many little details sprinkled around that ends up adding so much details. One I will say is a surprising parallel between Baby and one certain character, which I found with my fourth viewing. Then for in terms of acting I ended loving John Ham’s performance as Buddy the most because Buddy easily goes through a nice 180 for his character and made it feel understandable while scary at the same time. An honorable mention will be CJ Jones as Joseph as this man was able to show off emotion so well and his performance made him my favorite character in the film. I say go see this movie whenever you can because not only did Edgar Wright put his quality in this, he even put his heart into this film since this has been a movie he has been wanting to do. Edgar Wright, you are one of the most talented directors around and my personal favorite.

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Let’s Talk Character Designs: No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle

I had so much fun with the first No More Heroes post that I just want to get right to it again. High chance these will be the posts I could be doing the most. I just enjoy character designs when they are extremely good. It will be interesting when we get to bad character designs, I wonder who will get the chopping block? Either way I had talked about Kozaki and his work on the first No More Heroes and now we get to his work on the second game.

Travis Touchdown (NMH2)

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So here is the second design of Travis Touchdown. Now there are many common elements from the previous design. Travis still looks the same which means the Johnny Knoxville similarity stayed around. The ripped jeans are present and they look even more ripped. What is interesting in the second game, Travis is regarded as a legend of Santa Destroy, so I bet he did more fighting before the events of the second game. He is sporting a new jacket which I personally love more than the first one. The stars acting as the buttons does point to the idea of Travis being a legend of some kind. The best part of the jacket is the “X” on the top of the backside where below that you can see the tiger skin pattern of the first jacket design. It has that new vibe and yet still rings of the original so it is like Travis sees himself in a new light, but still remembers how he got here. The biggest change would have to be his insane belt! It wraps around his leg and in the game when you get new weapons, Travis keeps all of them on him. So even if Travis still has that chaotic look, he is starting to look more of a professional and the belt shows that off well. Also in this picture we see the Rose Nasty the final weapon in the game to get and showing this off in the character art was a smart move. Back then Travis stuck to one Beam Katana and now things have changed where he needs to unleash his chaos at twice the power. Overall, this is a great new design for the main character as it clearly shows how much he has changed while still keeping the characteristics that we loved about him before.

Sylvia Christel

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This time Sylvia can be mentioned since she keeps this design for the majority of the game. There are still some other outfits or hair styles, but for the most part this is the design they stuck with for a majority of the game. With the first design for her, it was a simple black outfit with some nice white frills. The second design sports a tan jacket and you thought her mini skirt from the first design was showing off her legs, the short shorts Sylvia wears in this design just shows off every aspect of her legs. She still has the high heels and exposing cleavage. The shades are a nice touch giving off the feel this girl is a model on her day off. Sylvia has always kept the beauty that can kill look and that is done with showing these business looking outfits on her and yet she spices it up in her own ways. Sylvia baits people with her looks and I saw this design has the work ascetic done better. The previous one mostly had beauty while I feel the second design still keeps the sexy look while having more of a business feel. Still in the end, Sylvia is a woman you do not want to be acquainted with because her looks can drag you into a deeper ring than seven.

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Skelter Helter

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Who remembers Helter Skelter? Well we get his younger brother in the second game and if you want to learn more about these two there is a cool mini comic called “No More Loser.” Anyways the first thing to mention is that like his older brother, Skelter keeps the grey tone of color. Just like with the previous brother, this means they are just nothing in the end which for the younger brother means something a bit different. Before his death, Helter would warn his brother to not get involved with a woman named Sylvia, but sadly the young brother wanted revenge and became an assassin just like the other. Before becoming the assassin he was going to college and even graduated, but when he took revenge it all went away into nothingness. The final tidbit to go on would be how this character has a huge resemblance to Cloud Strife. This was made because this character just became a near spitting image of his brother and is living his life. Sort of like how Cloud was with Zack Fair. It is easily showing off how crazy this man has gone for the sake of revenge and tried to have Travis remember his brother.

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Nathan Copeland

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Nathan Copeland took some time for me to really appreciate. Again during the early days of enjoying No More Heroes, I simply loved him for his death scene. Now thanks to learning more about literature and playwriting, I just adore how this character speaks in a Shakespearn tongue. This guy will go on about the divinity and deliverance and while his design still shows off the rapper, there are so many great designs that establishes his religious angle. They can be hard to see, but for both his hat and necklace they have a skull and a cross. The skull shows death obviously and seeing the cross behind it does have some sting. Nathan followed the divinity all the way even through death itself. Another nice tidbit is that on the back of his jacket says “Father” This is an obvious reference to God and in a nice little draft piece we can see he could have had one more thing that establishes this with it literally saying “I love God.” Even his color scheme really helps with this as the yellow shows hope and enlightenment while the overall black leads to a mystery. Nathan is a surprising character where he may seem excited and joyous, but in the end Nathan has talked about how unsatisfied he has been before. Nathan just keeps making me enjoy him more and more I look into him, his personality and lines always got me to remember him and now even his obvious rapper look has just been a diversion to his religious angle, simply amazing work.

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Charlie Macdonald

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Charlie and his groupies are pretty simple, but there is a nice use of color scheme again. First off, Charlie is huge! This is easily a joke towards steroid use. Also I feel like the cheerleaders soon lead to Lollipop Chainsaw, but even this girls beat Juliet in showing skin. Simply all of this over sexual and over muscular designs are making fun of American football culture. Now for color scheming there is yellow again which shows off excitement and these guys are excited for violence! The new color here though is green which shows balancing. Green is usually used for a peacemaker, a man who can unite others. Charlie easily has done that since in his team he holds ranking numbers 49-25! Another design to talk about though would be his giant mech, the Santa Death Parade! It is a giant robot that still keeps the green and yellow color scheme which this team literally are working together to pilot it so that is an obvious sign that the color scheme angle is true. Yet the overall color of the robot is black which is probably showing in the end they are still hiding things, high chance is that they are just secretly blood lusted as everyone else and that drove them insane to the point where it became their motivation. Also it could be to show even with their teamwork, they just found the easy way out of a fight because a giant robot could easily stomp a person to death. Some interesting ideas presented with such three simple designs. (PS. The robot is straight up a Gurren Lagann reference)

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Matt Helms

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There are many obvious design aspect for Matt Helms and that would be horror! His body type being a large overweight man with a bloody outfit easily references Leather Face. The helmet Matt wears is similar to an old school hockey helmet which easily points to Jason and his hockey mask. The use of the axe/flamethrower are probably references to Evil Dead and The Thing. Then there is the actual head of Matt Helms and what really makes it creepy is that in the concept art, he has rosy cheeks! This doll face easily points to how horror films love to use dolls. There are so many horror franchises that use this as the biggest one would be Child’s Play. The overall color scheme Matt has is white and orange, again white is perfection and the orange is showing joy and creativity. Knowing what Matt actually is, a child who swore revenge with hell fire and now simply haunts the living it is eerie knowing he just has joy with it. I bet Matt even created this large husk of a body which points to the creative aspect. Overall, if you are a big horror fan, you will love Matt Helms design. It has many references and really creates its own image at the same time, I would watch a movie with him as the killer.

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Cloe Walsh

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Credit to this amazing cosplay done by Blast!

Cloe Walsh is such an amazing design. It is so sad she has the easiest fight of the entire series. This design just gets my attention in many ways. I really love the fish nets she wears as it is a sexy design while still wearing actual clothes. Cloe really works with sexual themes which is not new to No More Heroes. Bad Girl had an odd way of showing the dominatrix, Cloe easily has many BDSM aspects. Again the obvious ones would be the fishnets, high heels, and the small use of leather around her body. Personally I do find her quite attractive as I do like the aspect of a woman having a bit of a bite to her. Again Cloe easily has the strong aspect done thanks to those interesting straps around her leg that give more focus to the high heels. The chained armlets she also wears which consists of leather belts makes me think she could smack you around with them. The final piece here would be the tattoo she has on her arm. It is a little hard to see, but it is a snake and roses. Knowing that Suda 51 is a big Batman fan, Cloe is a huge reference to Poison Ivy as both use poison and their looks to kill. Both have that sexy appeal and the dangerous approach too. Cloe is simply a great revision of Poison Ivy.

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Kimmy Howell

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Shinobu gets a completely new design in the second game so the team decided to do a new school girl design with Kimmy. Now what makes Kimmy different is that she is a reference to the Yandere trope. Someone who is in love with a man and that soon leads to them thinking of murder. The trope works extremely well when the girl looks innocent and Kimmy is as innocent as they come in terms of looks. The freckles and glasses, the cute bunny, the recorder, the neatly braided hair with hair bands in it, and the overall outfit she wears. The sweater vest really works well because who ever felt scared by a sweater vest? Kimmy even has calming blue eyes and with glasses they can make eyes seem a bit larger at times, which could be a Moe~ reference. Then her dual blade’s color is red which has been brought up time and time again. For Kimmy it is clearly passion as Kimmy is motivated to kill her idol, Travis the Great. Even her little bunny is in a little dress with ribbons on the ears, Kimmy makes some desserts look bitter in comparison! In the end though, in the world of No More Heroes, everyone is out for blood!

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Dr Letz Shake

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Well I got to talk about Letz Shake from the previous post, so it is time for the machine itself. Dr Letz Shake is a cool robot design. My favorite part of his design would have to be that 8-bit face he has. It has many emotions and it is a cute and easy way to express his emotions during his countdown. Compared to his previous design, I love that he got more width to him. It is a drastic change to his overall size and with those hammers having big caution colors really gives the dangerous vibe off. Even just looking at the wires with how it all connects is good attention to detail. Since these four parts are new for him, seeing the wires shows off how these parts got added. The overall color change from green to black was also a good decision as well since the colors of yellow and orange stand out thanks to the black. Then to finish things off, on his right you can see Henry as a statue and I do love how you can still see that during the fight. Sure we finally get to fight Letz Shake, but still seeing Henry just reminds me of the time he stole that first fight.

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Shinobu Jacobs

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Shinobu makes her return in the sequel as a playable character and with this new design. this girl is no longer in school so she ditches that outfit. It is fun to see what has retained from the original design though. Shinobu still has those flower stockings and on the hilt of the sword is the little tail, but the Bizarre Jelly key chains are gone. Funny enough for Shinobu’s new look we actually get to Gothic Lolita again. Shinobu is wearing a black dress that has many frills on it. I also do love how the hilt is on her back this time with a complete strap and everything, it really shows how more of professional she has become compared to her original design where the hilt was just tucked in with the school outfit. I even adore the scarf she has because that is so a Kamen Rider scarf to extreme lengths. Shinobu shows off a new look and her reasoning for the Lolita look could be to get Travis’ attention, again this style of fashion can be a fetish for some and for anime loving Travis, we know that would be one of his things. Another possibility is to show that Shinobu is more mature and not a school kid anymore so she feels free to be herself. Finally, the last tidbit to bring up is that she wears a glove over the hand that was sliced off from the first game, I wonder what that could be a reference too (insert sarcasm here)?

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Million Gunman

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While this character does remind me of Dr. Peace, the only big reason why that is would because of his age and the golden gun. Other than that, Million Gunman has a sweet rich man design. He does look rather different in the concept art compared to the actual game render. The render really made him look way older, in the art he looks like a forty year old man. My favorite part of his design would be the half glove he has, it is on his gun hand which really shows how much he has used that gun. The sweet scarf is a nice addition with the lion emblems on it. It is a lion with a crown and sword and the lion is considered the king of the jungle, quite easy symbolism there. What also helps show this demeanor would be the face, quite a mad old man he is which fits with the opposing lion emblem. Overall, he may not a memorable boss in the franchise, but the design is still top-notch.

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New Destroyman

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Destroyman comes back to fight Travis once more, but he gets a different foe this time around, or I should say him and his partner. I will say the choice to have two of him was just genius. Each one of these men have robotic halves which clearly shows how he died in the previous game. When looking at the robotic sides they are quite freaky! Just seeing the face itself really gives away the superhero vibe which shows that Destroyman is quite a monster. Back then his first design was just making fun of superheroes, now we are just seeing the monster he truly is now. A fun design choice is that both of them have a different color of energy. The vulgar one has red which shows the passion he has and that he is ready to take action whenever. The blue side though shows trust which is what Destroyman loves to do to trick his foes. Also for the red side of Destroyman, having that red-eye really just makes that half of the look like a new type of Terminator and knowing Suda 51, that is probably him having fun with referencing the franchise.

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ryuji

Remember when I talked about Jeane with the color scheme of red and white? Well Ryuji is simply a new way to use that scheme. White is perfection and the red is showing passion. A samurai would easily want to establish the sense of perfection since they are a true warrior in their minds. Now the passion side of things is because this is not Edo Japan here, this is modern-day with assassins killing each other. Ryuji is just showing that he is like everyone else, out to kill with some sort of pleasure with it. The other reason for the white and red color scheme is because of the samurai garb and to show off the dragon aspect as we can see the flames of the dragon on his logo. A very interesting design choice would have to be the X-shaped scar on his mouth which could show his silence as this man does not talk all that much. It also could be a reference to the new sword Travis gets since one of the motions he does his finishing slashes is a “X” formation. Then there his is weapon which is a long beam katana, but what is interesting about the weapon is that it looks like two hilts put together. There is a dragon holder in the middle which really makes it look like Ryuji put two hilts together to make a longer weapon. Finally, the biggest reason why he is the dragon is because Travis is the tiger, it is literally an Yin and Yang concept.

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Henry Cooldown

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Onto Henry who also became a playable character loses some of his old clothes as well. First off I loved the coat he wore for his first design, it perfectly fit his professional look. Well things have changed for Henry and it does feel like he is more of a rogue now than anything. Henry was just kind of around and all we really know is that Slyvia and him had a divorce. Henry probably quit that job of his and has just become like Travis, a legend roaming about. The first design really makes sense for Henry since he was not fighting in the ranks and kept hidden and with that big coat it is hard to really describe him. Now Henry has more distinct qualities with this design as my favorite part would be those chains on his pants. They really make a cool pattern with his pants that already have that big belt buckle. You can tell that Henry has some sort of pocket watch via the concept art and the skull he wears on his tie gives off that little vibe of an assassin. The second design for Henry is still classy and I am glad he can have this look, but his first design was more of my taste still.

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Mimmy

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This is the boss fight Henry has to deal with as he was resting in Travis’ bed. Henry has one crazy dream during that time and Mimmy is a clear representation of what Henry probably had to hear in his subconscious the whole time. Travis loves his magical girl anime and with Bizarre Jelly 5 having way more moe~ elements to it, Mimmy is clearly a representation of that style as well. If you want more proof of moe~ she is wearing a white school swimsuit. Then the final proof of moe~ would be the kanji on her back, it literally says moe~! The giant mech hands could also be from Travis’ entertainment since he did have a giant mech of his own which was in the original Bizarre Jelly. Now the biggest thing people love to talk about Mimmy is that she has the number “42” on her swimsuit. For those who do not know the meaning of “42” it is supposed to be the answer to the ultimate question of life which comes from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” No one knows the question or even how the answer even works, but it is supposed to be about life itself. So for a man like Travis who loves his shows, Mimmy is showing how absorbed Travis became with them. These shows have become apart of Travis’ life and this delusion Henry has is showing that. Or maybe Mimmy is actually a god!

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Margaret Moonlight

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Now I get to my overall favorite boss in the entire franchise. Margaret has the best of everything, her fight, her music, and even her design are just the best! Gothic Lolita was mentioned before with Bad Girl as she shown a sweet look off, but this girl is showing a different side of it. She is showing the gothic side of it as she sports a white and black color scheme. Along with that she does have more of the classic side as well since she has frills with her clothes. I do love how they show the iron bars because it is showing the framing of those dresses while not having the dress cover them. Now the reason why she has more a gothic look is because she sees herself as the reaper, the angel of death. How the design shows this off along with her outfit would be her weapons. The scythe/gun weapon perfectly shows both the aspect of repear and angel. The reaper part of it is simple enough with the scythes being used. Margaret can also change this weapon into a sniper rifle or two guns and when they fire, crosses appear. On the weapon itself are angel wings. Everything about Margaret is just perfect and I am still hoping she has another appearance in the upcoming No More Heroes project.

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Captain Vladimir

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Captain Vladimir is a basic design of a crazy astronaut, but there is easily some odd tidbits in it. I have to say I love seeing the wires all around untangled and in a mess. It gives this eerie vibe to the character as even if they are plugged out of something, seeing them float around makes it feel that they still work. Then there are the many symbols on his suit and they are just so random. First off they are everywhere which just adds to the randomness because they never seem to be that close to each other at times. In the middle of his chest, it looks like an old school video game controller, kinda like a SNES controller. There are many star symbols around him which makes sense he is a spaceman and then there is just random science symbols around. This design sounds simple on paper, but Kozaki just found his ways to make even a spacesuit strange.

Alice Twilight

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Onto another fan favorite and there is a lot to enjoy with this design. The easiest aspect to get from Alice is the spider motif. She uses six beam katanas and I bet someone is going to say that spiders have eight legs. Yes, but there is something to Alice’s character that helps this design aspect. Alice is ranked second of fifty-one assassins, she easily had many fights and since she wants to get out, I bet she had some close calls before. Alice could have had more beam katanas and simply lost them in battle before the one with Travis. Many spiders go on fine with missing a leg or two. Another pointer for this design choice is the skull on her outfit, skulls like that can appear on spiders and it usually tells you they are dangerous. The closest one would be the Black Widow Spider funny enough Alice is a widow so the design choice just speaks more and more here. Now the use of pink mixed with the sorrowful black does show the softer side of Alice. She speaks philosophy that even Travis starts to ask and even though she was about to die, she went off with some strong lasting words that really makes things sad for Travis killing her. Alice is similar to Jeane where there is a back story that is hidden within the game and Alice sadly got trapped in the violence since black is a color of mystery and even death.

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By the way I adore the concept art with her in a dress, a nice connection to the widow aspect.

Jasper Batt Jr.

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Well we get to the boss that for me makes the original game better than the sequel. Now while I did not fully enjoy the boss fight in general. I will not lie on the fact that Jasper works as a character and design choice. A big thing to get out right now would be his color scheme. There is not too much point going through the meaning of colors with Jasper since he is a combination of the Joker and the Riddler. Suda is a big Batman fan as I said before and this is just him making his references again. Jasper in his kid form is quite shocking because the last time we saw a kid was with Matt Helms, but that was like a spirit of the damned, this time it is just a kid. Sure Jasper has done his shares of murdering, but getting to number one and seeing that it is a child is quite daunting. Travis just sliced through many challenging fights and now we just get to a kid in a giant toy car. That pizza tattoo is also really big and funny enough that is not on Jasper when he enters his giant form. So far though the person we are getting revenge on is a kid and even when Jasper buffs up he now just looks like a wrestler which is sometimes a child’s obsession, even Travis’. It is amazing how silly this all gets and I hate to repeat myself, but this is the person we are getting revenge on! Then in giant form he looks like a blimp you see during parades and the whole time fighting this guy, nothing feels right. Things would feel fine if the fight was with a grown man, but no it is this kid and no matter how many times he changes he cannot hide his youth. In the end Travis killed a child and even for how evil he was, it just leaves a bad taste. Overall, Jasper is a great design and works for what Suda was trying to do with the concept of revenge, but that does not excuse for how the fight plays out.

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Well this took a lot of time to get done. I am sorry if anyone reads this whole thing in one go. I will make sure for next time that I split a post like this into parts. I better do that next time because high chance I will be taking a look into a fighting game roster and those have a lot of characters. Either way, No More Heroes has my all time favorite designs for their characters. The designs speak a lot about the characters and they are all radically strange in their own ways.

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Yusuke Kozaki, I cannot wait for your work in the new game!

My First Try With ARMS

ARMS is the one of the upcoming games for the Nintendo Switch and it actually releases on my birthday which is June 16th. So I have some personal joy with any media being released on my birthday, hell I remember the first time a movie came out on my birthday which was Around the World in 80 Days with Jackie Chan. Funny enough I got the movie on DVD as a birthday gift when I was a kid and I never opened it, it is still in the plastic wrap. I can easily say ARMS is going to be opened when I get it and from my first run in with ARMS, there is a good chance this could be one of my favorite titles this year.

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One aspect that got my attention would be motion controls. I know that most people hate them and call them the bane of gaming sometimes. Personally I think that is done because of terrible games that were just meant to be shovelware. Some companies wanted a quick buck so they made terrible games with barely working controls. There is also the Kinect which sold well, but died with a terrible history with the people. There were actually some games that did work, they were simple and that is how motion controls started. Some great game designers learned the basics of what motion controls could do and we got some amazing titles from this early era. No More Heroes 1 and 2 of course! Red Steel 1 and 2 were nice titles as well, quite ambitious too during the early days. Madworld a game developed by Platinum was an extremely gory game for the Wii and still to this day fans love to debate which is better, No More Heroes or Madworld, for me it is No More Heroes all the way.

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Back to the subject though, ARMS is a fighting game with motion controls and there are many bad fighting games they tried motion controls before. There is a Bleach video game on the Wii which I own sadly (hey I was young and liked Bleach, many of us did in the past and we all regretted it). It literally just played with just flailing the controllers around and hopefully you got a win! Then back to the Kinect there was Fighter Within and my oh my that was a disgrace! This time you just flail your hands and feet and hopefully you win! There is a secret technique with that game though where if you crouch and keep punching the computer AI has a hard time dealing with it. So the idea of motion controls with fighting games has been hard. ARMS is showing that this idea actually works though.

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I even did a video on the terrible Bleach game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF7EPQ7n24A

The motion controls really work well and it took me only a little time to know how to play the game. There was barely much of a tutorial too. It starts to feel natural pretty quick which is great for any fighting game. ARMS even has some nice use of mechanics thanks to how stages are made, good mixture of weapons, and strong character variety. The stages are very different while the basic stage already shows how jumping really helps because of the springboards around the arena. There will also be some good use of springboards in other stages too because I remember there is one stage where it is in the center, but something is covering it. By destroying the floor panel will reveal the spring which is a spider’s web. There is a nice stage with stairs that gives you the taste of both low and high ground. The laboratory has many pillars which block your attacks and they can be destroyed. I know there will be much more later on in term of stages, but so far the design of them feel great and highlight the basics for advanced play.

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The weapons are well thought out thanks to light, medium, and heavy. Light weapons are the quickest and usually have some tricks to them. Mostly those tricks would be curving the weapons themselves. The risk with them though is that they can barely deflect weapons that are heavier. The medium ones are basic punches and some can have elements of homing or multiple shots. The heavy weapons are slow, but can just tear through other weapons and my favorite one if charged can stun foes. Yes there is even charging your weapons which is done with guarding or holding the jump button. Be warned though there are grabs so charging too long can get you tangled. There is even a special meter which is a triangle bar that fills through combat. People can guard against them, but there is chip damage which is something that I miss in some current fighting games. The overall use of weapons can get insane too, some are laser firing weapons, blobs of goo that slow down foes, shields that keep moving while deflecting attacks, boomerangs that really turn, or hammers that go up and then smack you! Overall I am happy with the weapon use and changing between rounds will probably become extremely important when the full game comes out.

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The characters also get my attention. I love their designs and all of them got something different going on. Spring Man and Ribbon Girl feel like your basic choices to learn the game and if you are strong with the basics you can really have these two become strong fighters. Master Mummy and Mechanica are big heavy-weights and again thanks to what weapons they get does change their style up. Ninjaro is extremely fast like Min Min, but the ninja can vanish while the ramen girl can deflect attacks while jumping. Helix is probably the most different character around where he can extend and shrink his body. Even his weapons are unlike the others where he has the blobs of goo and the shields. There are even more characters coming where Kid Cobra seems to be focused on those slappers, Twintella floats around and shows you how she is the ice queen, and then there is Byte and Barq where their teamwork will stomp out foes.

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Min Min is my favorite so far.

There are even many other fun options for ARMS which is a big plus. You love Tekken Ball? Well ARMS has volleyball as well and with the mixture of weapons you can do some interesting tricks and spikes. There will even be a basketball like mini game where you can dunk your foes. So there will be many fun things to do and with the thanks to good motion controls this game feels as smooth as the frame rate. Sixty frames per second is important to any fighting game and I am happy to see that ARMS is working with well with frames. I will say I had some little issues with the online play where some of my attacks went through others and when they disconnect could make it a win or a loss for you depending if it is a single, free for all, or team match. This is a demo and not the full product and if the online can be like Splatoon we should be in good hands.

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I will easily be playing ARMS again when the next demo run comes out for the weekend as my username is Godzilla60. If you find me facing you or on my side, be ready to give me your best use of ARMS!

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 You can also watch my first time with ARMS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZd3-2kEdHc

Let’s Talk Character Designs: No More Heroes

Something that always get on my mind would be designs. To be honest most of my favorite things usually catch my attention with their character designs. This was even one of the big reasons why something like Ace Attorney always stayed in my head. Character designs to me are some of the most important designs to any visual entertainment. Sure the posters for a movie are important too, but in the end there has to be that character that just makes the franchise. The early days had it pretty easy where a single man in usual martial arts gear worked for both Street Fighter and Virtua Fighter (even though I prefer Akira’s alternate design). I will easily bring up many series and games into this discussion. To start off though it has to be No More Heroes, my all time favorite product. It even has my all time favorite character designer, Yusuke Kozaki who has worked on both games and is working with the current project as well. Kozaki has also helped with other Grasshopper projects and even some big Nintendo products as well. To me though his greatest work comes from No More Heroes and I will go over pretty much all the designs of the first game.

Travis Touchdown

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Of course we start off with the main man himself, Travis Touchdown! Now something that has been obvious and revealed is that Travis’ design was inspired by Johnny Knoxville a man famous for the Jackass series and movies. A big reason why they went with this choice is that Johnny is very much a man who did not care for what people thought of his choices. Johnny was also quite destructive with his choices and if you have ever watched Jackass, you clearly know what I am talking about. One clip that Suda made people watch to get the feeling of Travis was the clip of Knoxville with the baby crocodile.  Suda said that would get the team to feel who Travis would be. How I feel about Travis in the first game is that he is a destructive man both to himself and others. A small aspect that can also show this would be his ripped jeans, quite small detail, but to me this does show some recklessness because I bet he ripped that himself. Travis does have some flash to him as well with that amazing red jacket and then the anime t-shirt have this interesting clash. Again a jacket like that easily has this punk feel to it. With the anime shirt it kinda destroys that image because it has these three cute girls on it. The badass jacket does not work with cute anime girls and yet that shows the chaotic mess Travis is. He wants to appear like a badass yet he cannot hide his obsessions because he loves his magical girl shows. Then there is the Beam Katana, I have talked about this thing before and it is a giant penis! Travis jerks the thing off to charge it and again it just adds to his attitude. Imagine someone with a flashy blade and just jerking it around, what would you think? Overall, Travis is a punk with a reckless attitude and again his design is short and simple by showing that.

Death Metal

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Death Metal has always been one of my favorite designs in the whole series. I find it interesting that No More Heroes starts off with two old men for the two first bosses. Both easily show wealth in different ways. Death Metal shows his wealth in a more scary fashion since he has these piercings in his face and that tattoo would so fit in a Yakuza. So this easily establishes that Death Metal has easily killed some people in his life. Now his age really does fit in with another style then. Something I have seen in Yakuza films or even in the video game series, Yakuza is that some of the characters have a sense of honor towards themselves or their gangs. It is quite hard to see in this image, but seeing the character move around and express really shows more of an honorable man. The man even talks about titles like the “Holy Sword” so he has honor in his fights. So we have a quite scary demeanor and yet an honorable man in the end. Then for a small tidbit, his tattoo really shows off the aspect of death and maybe it did seal Travis’ fate if we base that on the original ending.

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Dr. Peace

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Dr. Peace easily shows off his wealth through his fashion and weapons. He literally has golden guns! He is a well dressed man with that nice suit too. The bird on his back which could be a hawk or an eagle does show his Native American roots. This character also shows off many western stereotypes, back to is guns they are revolvers which are the suitable type for showdowns. His shoes both add to the classy and western ascetics because they are slightly plated and really work well for dress shoes. Then something that is interesting that connects back to Death Metal would be the flames both of these characters have. They are both older men and there is a saying for romance with the old flames, but these old flames do not get to reignite, they burn out just like some older men do in general. Both Death Metal and Dr. Peace work well in contrast to each other, both old flames that die out and funny enough both of their names start with the letter D, you know for death which is a common thing in the old west as well.

Shinobu

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One of the fan favorite characters in general and I will say I do love the No More Heroes 2 design more, but the first one has more to say about who Shinobu is. Clearly she is a school girl and she clearly works with the darker skin look which comes from a look that some girls get. Usually it is more tan that just black, but there is no doubt Shinobu is showing this theme. The big hint would be how the lips really stand out which is a common thing with those girls. The kogal style has these tanned girls with interesting additions to their school outfit and again their lips always stood out. Shinobu even has some additions to her uniform and I love the flower in her hair, showing a growing woman. Now the best part of her design would be her sword or the case of it to be more exact. It actually adds some innocence to her since she is just another product of someone who is a bit obsessed with what they like. She has little charms on her case which is similar to the charms that usual girls would have on their cell phones. She literally has the same girls that Travis has on his shirt. A cool way to connect the two characters and a good reminder of who they are. Shinobu is one of the best school outfit designs I have seen, it really stands out and has a bit of bite to it as well.

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Destroyman

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Another character with the letter “D” in the beginning, again this was clearly a motif here. Anyways, Destroyman is one of the best parodies on superheroes. He easily goes through the concept of who is the real identity issue, but that is more of his character. The design of Destroyman really points to Superman and some Japanese heroes like Kamen Rider. He clearly has a red, white, and blue color scheme going on and there are even stars on this outfit, AMERICA! Even Superman has a red and blue color scheme going on and he is a white man so red, white, and blue, AMERICA! Destroyman even has the silly look of having this underwear like thing outside of the suit which only took just recently for Superman to have a design get around that. Destroyman also has this big “V” on his chest, this is clearly for the meaning of victory because heroes are victorious! Then we get to his belt which again that is more of a Kamen Rider accessory and it has an “X” which points to Kamen Rider X. Also for an interesting side note that really makes me think is that on his back is this gadget that looks like a spine that is connected to the belt. High chance it is for how Destroyman can shoot beams from his head. Destroyman is one of the best bosses from the first game and his radical design really makes him memorable.

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Holly Summers

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My favorite boss from the first game and the one that made me get into analyzing No More Heroes in general. She is a really special character to me and she is a simple design, but again there is a lot to say about it. The most obvious thing is her prosthetic leg. It is an obvious battle scar since she is armed to the teeth and the whole stage getting to her is full of army men. She is a general of some type I just know it. Holly is also a model from where she came from and again her figure and being able to show it off with a bikini points to that well. The swimsuit even has a camo color scheme and even though she looks good in a blue bikini in the PS3 Very Sweet Mode, I prefer the green camo since it works with her theme. Also the model and army theme work together when it comes to her weapons again she is armed to the teeth with grenades and surprisingly enough she wears them like a fashion design. She even wears a high heel on her actual leg which again points to the modeling aspect. My favorite part of her design though would be her eyes they have eye shadow around them and while that is a beauty aspect to me it also shows how hard she works herself. To me it shows how tired she is because if she is a model and some sort of general or war leader, that must be tiring! Overall, an extremely beautiful woman who clearly shows that roses have thorns or to be more accurate… explosives.

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Letz Shake

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We never got the chance to fight Letz Shake himself, but god damn he still has an amazing design. Now if Travis is more of a punk in terms of him just being an idiot, Letz Shake is the punk in more of a musical stance. Again Suda 51 loves his punk, so of course this would fit in somewhere. Letz Shake also has this Mad Max feel to him. The crazy hair, the scarf over his mouth, and the guitar! Along with that would be the wristbands he wears, the black leather coat, and how he shows off his chest. There is also a diamond thing going on in the chest region. Also another reason Letz Shake gives off a Mad Max feel would be the giant machine he has with him. Mad Max usually shows off some crazy vehicles and this giant brain can still move around on its own, so I can imagine this thing being used in Mad Max. Again we never get to fight him, but this crazy punk still leaves a nice image.

Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii

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Look how sparkly this man is! Harvey is an amazing magician and his design really shows that well. My personal favorite touch would have to be the mask he wears. The spilt mask really gives off the dual personality concept. One is the magician and the other is a killer! The use of blue and adding sparkles to it really feels magical to me. I do remember when some movies or even a Grasshopper game, Killer is Dead, they would use blue for darkness. I feel like that is why they are doing with the use of blue and the sparkles are stars. It gives off this mystic feel to him and magic is quite mystical. What also helps with that space and mystic feel is how the blue soon turns to pitch black at the end of the sleeves. Another cool addition to his design would be his two swords. One has a skull with red lights around it, clearly showing death. The other has an angel with blue lights around it and while the skull and red is threatening, the angel with blue is so calming. It is the dual reality of a magician’s performance, while it can be scary and life threatening a performer must keep calm. Also the wings of an angel could be a reference to pigeon wings. An amazing magician with a design that is as wonderous as his performances.

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Speed Buster

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To start off this character is a witch and an interesting tidbit I just noticed in the art is that at the bottom of her dress are those same sparkles. Again this is showing off a mystic vibe since this character actually has real magic. Her being old and yet still wearing high heels, fish nets, showing off her back, and having a large chest tries to give off a cougar feel to the character. Speed Buster always likes to talk about how foolish men are and seeing how she dresses, she likes to still think she is well… still in the market. Her most amazing feature has to be the cock cannon she has called the Buster Launcher. I also feel this character has a huge rack just because her actual name and her weapon name have “bust” in them. What is interesting about the cannon is that it hides like a shopping cart. She literally has groceries in the cart too. This easily just works with the old lady cliché and again this works with how Speed Buster says men are foolish, since some men do help an old lady. Now the chicken theme with the cannon is a huge joke to a penis and since Speed loves to make fun of men she is literally just showing she has a bigger cock than them. Speed Buster is probably the most bizarre in terms of designs for the first game, mostly because of that god damn cock cannon!

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Bad Girl

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If Holly shows roses have thorns, Bad Girl shows that some roses has a baseball bat! Bad Girl is literally wearing a Gothic Lolita outfit. Bad Girl has more of the Sweet look going on and high chance that is used because Bad Girl is not sweet at all. It is meant to be a polar opposite to really establish her character. Again the bloody baseball bat with the pink outfit is really confusing and scary. Bad Girl is even a blonde bombshell a sexual cliché in American culture. Bad Girl has many sexy traits to her and that is all there because is a clear representation of a dominatrix. They just decided to change her style of wear because in the end the Gothic Lolita still has some sexual drives to it just like the leather of a usual dominatrix. Bad Girl is easy to talk about because of how clear of what she is, but it is so shocking to see how they portrayed this with the concept of a “sweet” design.

Jeane

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This is my absolute favorite design in No More Heroes 1 and it my second favorite overall in the franchise. Jeane really comes off as a fighter in the purest sense. So many of these previous assassins have crazy themes and then Jeane is the closest we have to a real fighter. Just by looking at her you can tell she has a kick boxing style. In her design card, on the side of her boots you can read “UWE.” High chance this is just a reference to UFC as her wear really shows off that look. The tank top, the gloves, the shorts, and her overall build is just like a female UFC fighter. Then the overall red and white color scheme work so well with her pale skin. The white really stands out and it really helps make the red stand out even more. What I love the most are those markings she has on her body, I guess they could be tattoos though. Red can be shown to mean the will to survive and knowing Jeane’s character, yea she really did all she could do to survive. The red also gives this masculine feel which could have been hard to show with a female character. I even love that her eyes are red, this is literally a person full of energy. Jeane even has some sexual things in her story which again red shows that off. The white then can actually show how she perfected her style. Jeane is a professional fighter and has trained to work with her energy and control it for her fights. I just adore this design since it is a simple use of white and red, but there is so much done with it to make her feel empowering.

Henry Cooldown

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If Jeane shows off how a real fighter looks like, then Henry shows what a hitman looks like. He is well dressed, but the big coat gives off this mysterious vibe. Something that would blend in with the crowd. Even when Henry walks during his battle, it really gives off this menacing feel. It feels like a literal assassin hunting you down. Now an interesting touch to Henry is his sword having purple energy to it. Purple has the stimulation of red and also has the calmness of blue. Again this speaks true to Henry since he walks slowly and calmly, but when he goes in for the strike he goes all out. I will say I also like his first look more than his second look because having the coat really establishes his hitman feel. Also another cool design aspect that is present in some other characters would be a cross. Henry literally has that with his sword. It is quite a religious symbol of death since the cross has been used for execution something assassin are quite familiar with. Henry just literally waves that symbol around.

Helter Skelter

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To finish things off I want to speak about the first character we saw for No More Heroes. This character was only in the trailer and still to this day I cannot forget this character. I said before that characters can attract the viewer and that is what happened with me and Helter Skelter. He looked like a main character right off the bat and one aspect would be the white long hair. I cannot tell you how many important characters in entertainment have white hair. It literally became a trope back in the days. What is cool with this design is that he is a precursor to so many design aspects. First off, he has the cross on his sleeves and wears one has a necklace. The classy look is around which I have talked about before with Peace and Henry. There is even a demon like face on his belt buckle which reminds me of Death Metal. Even his name points to many design aspects of No More Heroes, as it comes out as “in disorderly haste or confusion.” You clearly see how confusing these characters can be simply based on their designs. Even if this man has white which is perfection (a pointer to Jeane) another big color would be grey the indecisive color and the unemotional color. This character was just nothing in the end which is funny because he was just in the trailer. All of this effort and this is my third favorite design in the overall franchise and he is only a character for the trailer, just amazing.

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He is also one the only character with smoking, probably really pointing to how he is going to die soon (smoking kills, do not smoke this has been a lovely PSA from No More Heroes, now go out and kill some assassins).

This is why I love character designs when they are done right. It really shows hard work that they really made these character stand out and easy to understand who they are. It is a great use of visual arts which is something I love with Suda 51 and his works in general. So much just speaks out loud for No More Heroes and most of it is thanks to those amazing character designs. Now for the reason I did not put Slyvia in this post, is because she has so many outfits and is simply a tease for Travis. There is also Dark Star, but in the end he is literally just a Darth Vader rip off for the sake of a joke. Dark Star still has a nice design, but just not enough to talk about. Overall the designs for No More Heroes have stuck with me over the years and are the best in video games to me. Next time I go over character designs it could be a two parter for a certain fighting game franchise or simply the second No More Heroes game.

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Still excited for the new game!

My Top Ten Favorite Street Fighter Characters

Last time I got my least favorite characters out-of-the-way because I was a bit loopy from medicine when I had a terrible cold. For some reason I wanted to have an unfiltered hatred presented in that post, now I did edit it later on the road to make sure I did not go too crazy. Either way I am feeling better and I know I can easily talk about my favorite characters without being in a craze.

10. Rashid

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To start things off I want to talk about my favorite of the newcomers to the franchise. Personally I feel Street Fighter V did very well with its new characters. Sure Fang is laughable on the tier list, but I really enjoy him has a character and his play style is still quite funny to use. Laura is an interesting projectile/grappler character with some revealing aspects… Even the recent addition of Kolin is strong as she feels like a new type of character in the series. Then there is Rashid who to me is the best around and many agree. Rashid is first off a nice person and has a good attitude about things, he even has good comic relief moments. I was surprised to see Rashid get a large amount of love in the story mode and it really made me like this character way more. Rashid took on a lot already and sometimes giving the new blood huge focus can go wrong so quickly, but give Rashid an awesome design and amazing fighting style and barely anyone would complain. His tornado style is a great mix up tool in terms of projectiles and his V-trigger with bigger tornadoes is fun to watch. His Critical Art is some of my favorites since surrounding foes in wind and your kicks is both awesome and funny at the same time. Finally, I also feel his English voice actor Ian Sinclair did extremely well with the role. Then of course we cannot forget about his awesome theme song… RASHDIOOO!

9. Alex

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Alex is yet another risky character in the franchise. You think Rashid had big impressions to work with, well Alex was going to be the new face of the franchise. People tend to forget what happened with Street Fighter 3 when it started. It was a new age for the franchise and Capcom wanted to make a completely new roster which looking at the majority of the roster are some my favorites even if there are some misses still. Alex being the new main character is really interesting since he did not play like Ryu at all. Alex is a cool mixture of a rush down and grappler character. Alex has some of my favorite grab specials in fighting games and what easily helped that was his appearance in Tatsunoko VS Capcom where the guy can throw Gold Lightan around! I will say his appearance in Street Fighter V could be better, but it is better than his initial reception where people just hated the guy because he was not any of the classic characters. Street Fighter 3 characters had some hard times in the beginning, but now most of these guys do get the love they deserve thanks to the one of the best fighting games called 3rd Strike!

8. Urien

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Wow another Street Fighter 3 character and this is clearly not the last one. Now the reason Urien tops Alex is because I do feel his Street Fighter V appearance is stronger. Urien in Street Fighter V is getting tons of love and his reveal really got people pumped (look up L.I Joe’s reaction). Again Urien was this unique character in the series where he had these strong projectiles, but can also be a counter to projectile characters. Urien had these intense moves that could get him close while avoiding fireballs. Then there is the famous Agesis Reflector that is doing extremely well as his V-Trigger in his current style. Another reason why Urien is a strong character is because his is canonically one of the strongest in general. We all know Gil is stronger than him, but Urien is pretty much right below him. I do love his costume choices as well since there is the classic banana hammock, but I will say I do love seeing Urien in a suit, nothing beats class in a fighting game.

7. Cammy

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Out from the classic era of Street Fighter 2 one of the newer additions are my absolute favorite. An honorable mention would be Fei Long, but to be honest he is just Bruce Lee. Cammy is more of her own character and she had some ups and downs in the franchise. Who remembers the original ending she had in Street Fighter 2 (have fun watching that)? Still how Cammy is implemented in the story is nice as she is kind of like Zero from the Megaman series. Cammy was an experiment for Bison since he needs to find a body to use later down the line. Cammy is the best of the dolls that Bison created and Cammy is the one that soon broke free and became one of the good guys. I do enjoy that aspect when a villain’s greatest invention actually turns out to be the hope for many. Cammy has a cool style of fighting where she jumps around to get a punch in or do some awesome slide kicks! Then we cannot ignore her design because we all know her pose from the games with that insanely tight uniform!

6. Akuma

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Akuma is on everyone’s list, end of discussion. I mentioned Akuma when I talked about Necalli since to me Akuma is one of the best chaotic neutral characters. Whenever Akuma shows up you know there is going to be an intense fight. His first appearance being a secret character shocked many and him being a hard fight made him memorable. What also makes Akuma awesome was the many incarnations of him in spin-off titles or boss variations of him. Shin Akuma destroyed a meteor, Oni is Akuma at his peak, then Cyber Akuma is too amazing to look upon. Akuma is extremely popular and many are loving his new style in Street Fighter V where this Ryu variation took a new path. Akuma is even appearing in Tekken, how crazy is that?! Overall, Akuma is easily one of the strongest fan favorites and he still to this day is looking for a worthy foe.

5. Dudley

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I mentioned with Urien that I do love having class in fighting games, well Dudley takes that to a new level. His talks like a gentlemen, acts likes one, and even tosses roses around. I do like my close range fist fighters and I will say the new Balrog is my favorite incarnation of that character, but Dudley is still my favorite boxer of fighting games. I do love his Cross Counter ability with that silly animation when he enters it. The way he boxes and still keeping style is amazing. Then there is his voice clips from Street Fighter 3, Uppercut! I will say his appearance in 4 is not as strong as it was in 3, but I still did enjoy his arcade story. He surrounds himself with a rose garden and travels the world to find the perfect sparring partner. Dudley basically works with concept and visual appeal and he just does that extremely well.

4. Ken Masters

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Ken has always been one of my favorites. I enjoy him way more than Ryu in style and character. Ken made me love with the aspect of fire fighters which is clearly seen with my enjoyment of Sol Badguy. To me Ken just fits more of my playing style compared to Ryu as well and since Ken has been in mostly every Street Fighter title, there is a lot to enjoy about him. First can we all mention that 3rd Strike Ken is the greatest, EVO moment #37 anyone? Out of the voices for Street Fighter characters both English and Japanese do amazing with the character as the current voice actors would be Ruben (Dante) for the English and Yuji (Red Racer). I have to pick between two of my favorite goofballs, that is just impossible! A big reason why I enjoy playing as Ken more is because of his hurricane kicks and his special moves. Amazing combo moves that can really change-up on how you use them. Also I extremely love his look in Street Fighter V, sure in-game it could look better, but the concept artwork for him is amazing. Then those fire kicks really come out strong in the recent title. Ken Master is an aggressively fast character and I will always pick him before Ryu.

3. Charlie Nash

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Originally I was thinking of making this a tie between Nash and Guile, but in the end I have to go with Nash in the end. Now what can get confusing is his name since in America it was Charlie and in Japan it was Nash. Pretty much I just put the two together and I think that is how many do it now these days or Charlie was like a codename for Nash. Either way it is Nash now because of Street Fighter V. Reminding me of that there will be a spoiler or two right now. Charlie is one of the rare characters in the series where he died. Sure he came back in Street Fighter V, but even then he sacrificed himself to take down Bison then. I will say this is probably a huge reason the character left an impact on me because he is simply not around anymore. Nash was even the man who taught Guile the moves we all love, Sonic Boom, Flash Kick! Charlie was even an early threat to Bison so much that Bison had to cheat to kill him! His design in the Alpha/Zero series is fantastic and his design in the recent title was surprising and awesome at the same time. I did love his teleports and how strong he was in Street Fighter V originally, but now with those recent patches he is still fun to play as, it is just the reward is not there anymore. Overall, Charlie or Nash whatever you want to call him he will always be remembered for what he did in the series.

2. Q/Skullomania

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Both of these characters really fit in the weirdo territory. Q is silent all the time and we really do not know what his deal is. Skullomania is simply a Kamen Rider in Street Fighter which I have no problem with at all. Both of these guys are just odd characters. Even how they fight is strange compared to previous characters. Q is slow, but has an ability where he can give himself a strength boost. Q’s grabs can be intense with that ability and he does have unique ways of approaching you. Skullomania is a faster Q in many ways. Strange fighting habits, but can easily get to you with his moves. In terms of designs both of these guys work on the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori’s characters. Q is a clear tribute to Robot Keiji K and Skullomania is based on the Skullman which was an early rough draft for what Kamen Rider was supposed to be. So both of these two characters work well with concepts and other characters that I love. Q and Skullomania really show the love of the original and also being their own character at the same time.

1. Juri

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I do love my kicking styles in anything fight oriented. I will say when Street Fighter 4 first came out it did not really get my attention. Then came along Super Street Fighter 4 with a bigger roster and the addition of Juri. First off in terms of designs I absolutely love both of them, even her alternate costumes are pretty great too. I usually like hair for female characters to be more straight down, but Juri really works well against that. It just adds more evil to her design. Juri even has the sexy appeal by even having more clothes on that many other characters. One of big things would be her legs and yet she wears those baggy pants and her V appearance she has a whole bodysuit on. The long belt in her 4 design really helps focus on the waist down and the spider on her back really does show you her legs are deadly. The eye patch on her V design puts more focus on the eye.  Juri simply has my favorite designs in Street Fighter and her sadistic nature is right up my alley. You think Tharja is sadistic? Juri would love to crush every bone in your body. Juri’s English voice actress, Jessica Straus do so well with showing how much pleasure Juri has with fighting. Juri is overall my favorite Street Fighter character around, awesome designs, my prefered fighting style of South Korean kick boxing, and a voice that is both delightful and terrifying at the same time. Juri even comes from the series of Street Fighter where most of my hated characters come from, how funny is that?

My Top Ten Least Favorite Street Fighter Characters

As you probably noticed from my favorite characters list, I enjoy fighting games a whole lot. A big reason would be for the roster of characters. Fighting game characters always stand out to me because they have to get appeal straight from their designs. I would say Guilty Gear has the best designs which always got my attention before actually playing it. Changing the subject though there is Street Fighter, the franchise that made this genre into what it is now. There are many characters and so with that there are going to be some flukes. Now I am not basing this on stats or anything like that, I am just looking at this with design and how they are as characters.

10. Yang and Yun

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To start the list off these two have always been characters I never liked. What is their thing, hip hop! Yes Street Fighter 3 did move to this new mood and they just wanted to show it with two new characters. Personally that is all I feel from them. Even in their appearances in the Street Fighter 4 series really gave me nothing to go crazy for. I will say I am more for Yang because I like his hair, but then both of their play styles are just not for me. I know Yun in Street Fighter 4 was insane and is still probably the best character of the game, but I cannot play as him. If I ever played as them I was forcing myself to learn their moves, nothing felt natural with them. These two are not terrible characters, but just two I have the most neutral feelings about which is bad as well.

9. C. Viper

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I know this character is actually quite popular among fans, but I just hate this character. What always got me to not like her would be her hair. I have never been a fan of her hair and it is the most appalling feature in her design. I have seen people drawn her with the hair down and I feel the effect is better. Long red hair really stands out and yet for some reason she has it bunched up in some pompadour and pony tail. Also she is a red-head so of course she has fire moves! Personally I enjoy Ken as my fire fighter. The thing that gets me with C. Viper is that she got into Marvel VS Capcom 3, I guess she was popular enough. In terms of an actual character though, she is just agent women which again if I wanted that, there is Chun Li. C. Viper just seems to be borrowing aspects from other fighters and just had to have odd character designs to make her stand out, also boobs.

8. Twelve

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This is just a boring character. Pure white, acts like goo, and transforms into other fighters. I feel there is only one character that has done the transforming aspect well in fighting games and that is Double from Skullgirls. With Double all of her moves are composed of what the other fighters have. With Twelve it is just a special move and you just become the character. Even then his move set is nothing to rave about. I will say I like how he flies and that is it. To be honest I do not have much to say about Twelve since there is really no character to speak of in terms of story. This one is the hardest to talk about since he is just some clone creature.

7. Seth

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Reminding me of uninspired, Seth is simply a slightly better Twelve, but why is he higher than Twelve. At least Twelve has some connections with Gill and Urien who are cool characters. Seth is connected with Bison and who isn’t? I actually enjoy Shadaloo’s characters, but Seth never impressed me. The silver body has been done to death in many entertainment mediums, his personality is just arrogance. Sure Bison is arrogant, but Bison is so evil about it and he does have his moments where he breaks into rage. Then I hate it when a boss character is playable and is nothing like their boss incarnation. Seth has some of the worst stats and ultra moves which sucks if you pick this guy expecting some strong moves. I understand balance, but the Seth that is playable is just a lie!

6. Necalli

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When I was making this list I thought I would not bring up Street Fighter V. To me this cast feels the strongest so far since Street Fighter 2. Again the third game has some misses and the fourth game has too many characters which just means there are going to be bad ones. The fifth installment gave us fan favorites and all the new characters really have a cool presence, except one. Necalli to me is just boring which is sad because I remember seeing his first trailer being excited for him. He looked like some out of control creature to be feared and yet his involvement in the story is literally nothing. In the end he was just a test for Ryu which we have Akuma for that! I generally even like Necalli’s design, it is cool when he enters his V-Trigger. The overall effect he has though in the end was nothing. It just felt like he appeared and left so this character really came to a disappointment. Maybe further in he can get better, but as of now he is quite underwhelming.

5. Abel

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Now we really get to the characters that I just hate. There are not many good fighting franchises where I have characters that I purely hate. I think even some bad fighting games have better characters compared to these five characters. Abel is the beginning of this because to give credit he is a good character in 4 in terms of game play, but I just hate everything else about him. He is a boring character and his only shocking thing was the sonic boom which meant he was connected with Nash the actual cool character. That is a sin for a character at times, making you think of another character. It is like a teaser and this is true because Nash came back in Street Fighter V. Even with that his interactions with other characters are just boring. The only one I liked was in Street Fighter X Tekken where he wanted to have Kuma as a pet. Finally his design is just that blue guy with blonde hair.

4. T. Hawk

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Early Street Fighter characters can be quite hard to talk about. Again there was barely any story in these days of Street Fighter and anyone can just do whatever with it. Just look at Street Fighter the Movie. Even then though barely anything was done with T. Hawk. At least later on someone made a cool Native character in Killer Instinct, but this character is odd. I do not like his body build at all, he is a big man, but he still has this hourglass like shape. He looks uncomfortable the whole time, he is just wearing tight pants or something? To give credit they did not give him any cliché weapons that some tribal or native characters can have, but his style is boring to me. For grapplers Zangief has always been cool, getting his body fully into motion and fully grabbing the character. T. Hawk just uses his arms which really makes me believe his waist and below are just waiting to break down. Then I said he has no weapons that are connected to any clichés with his race… well many of his moves are though… Overall I feel like this character is just an odd choice in the roster, he just stood out for the wrong reasons.

3. Shadowgeist
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You know who is cool? Skullomania! I love the skull man who is a direct reference to Skullman and even Kamen Rider. Skullomania even has a simple design that really works. It really looks like a suited hero. Take that concept again and just put the scale to over the top and we get Shadowgeist, a variation of Skullomania. There is just too much in his character design. He is a huge man so I guess the designer just had to fit whatever he could into this large man. Than let us just add a cape for no reason. I missed when Skullomania had the belt in his design, but hey Shadowgeist has one and it is a sun. Wait his name is Shadowgeist with a sun motif? Then he even has some scales on his design for some reason or maybe it is solar plates. Again this character just confuses me and his personality is literally Skullomania 2.0 which a revenge story this time, trying a little too hard on that Kamen Rider reference there. At least with Skullomania he was simple with it and reminded you of what makes the reference cool. Shadowgeist feels more like a modern rider before the modern era even came, confusing designs and over the top choices just to make him stand out.

2. Dee Jay

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The other Street Fighter 2 character that I absolutely detest. First off, I always thought this character was a villain. His big body and that grin of his always gave off this evil vibe to me. This guy is a good guy though and just does things. I will say out of all the racial stereotypes, I really hate the Jamaican ones the most. I will say I really loved the movie Cool Runnings which had some. Dee Jay just reminds me of the worst though because he is really has no character other than that. Just give him some maracas and we got ourself a character. I also feel that other fighting games did the dancing fighter better. Even the EX series did better with another dancer character. Dee Jay just felt like a prototype and even his later appearances did nothing to improve him, to be honest I think they did worse with the character over time.

1. Rufus

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Now we get to probably my overall most hated fighting game character of all time. Rufus just bothers me in the worst way possible. The guys at Capcom happened to see Bob from Tekken and wanted to do that character. The major difference is that Bob is awesome! Bob is a fat fighter, but how he acts is suave and gentle. Seeing him for the first time and knowing how he actually acts is quite surprising. Rufus is pretty much what you expect though. A fat silly man… because we do not have enough of them! Sure in fighting games it is rare, but the overall fat silly men are high. I also hate Rufus’ design with the only color being yellow! There is some black mixed in, but the over tone of yellow is blinding! Then for some reason he leaves his suit open in the middle. The worst part of it is that we see his god damn happy trail, learn to cover stuff up like that! I know he is a comedic character, but he is so annoying with it. What is funny about Bob is how much of a surprise he is and how he fights a stereotype, Rufus is just the sterotype!