Jamison Trumpets

The Penny Arcade Report

February 21st, 2012 by DanielRGT

Hey, it’s a new post!

I felt like it was necessary for me to make a post showcasing The Penny Arcade Report and why it is much cooler than you. You’re probably going over all the reasons that you’re incredibly cool, but I have to burst your cool bubble and show you why the Penny Arcade Report is one of the best things to happen to video game journalism in a long time.

I’ve had a big problem with the state of video game journalism for a long time. Being a former video game journalist myself (albeit not a very notable one), I know what it’s like to try and write news articles for a website. It’s very obviously different than writing for my personal blog.

Firstly, you have much less freedom when writing for a website. That’s sort of a natural realization though, isn’t it? The site has a certain image it’s trying to present, and if nine of the ten articles I’ve written are showcasing which video games have cocks hidden in them they are going to have trouble with me. Websites define how good an article is based on how many views, or “hits”, it gets. What type of articles does this produce? Well to be extremely blunt, it produces utter shit.

Ben Kuchera maps this out much more eloquently than me however. I’m not a weaver of words such as Ben or Tycho of Penny Arcade, but I try my best. Kuchera puts it as such:

“The super-blogs push content out at a furious pace, but the open secret is only a few interesting things happen each day in the world of video games. Everyone runs two or three interesting stories per day, and the rest is filler. The continual, relentless publication of stories that don’t say anything of worth, re-write an existing article, or exist only to grab page views with a few sexy images can be numbing. This is why so many people don’t take video game news seriously: there just isn’t enough out there to fill out a schedule that demands a story every twenty or thirty minutes.”

Wasn’t that a nice quote? He doesn’t even use any naughty words like I do! Truly this showcases the difference between a professional and an idiot, such as myself.

Back to the original topic which I brought up though (Remember what it was? It’s up there, where I said you have no freedom!). There’s a lot of rigidity involved in video game journalism. Articles end up being bland, mediocre, uneventful, and sometimes even completely nonsensical. Factual inaccuracies make frequent appearances in articles nowadays. This leads me to my second point.

Since articles are being shit out at an alarming rate, then the magic of “The Editorial” ends up becoming a dream rather than a reality. As a child, I have fond memories of reading video game magazines. The most notable in my memories would undoubtedly be the classic “EGM” (Electronic Gaming Monthly). It was my dream to write for this magazine, and it’s unfortunate but now that dream can never come true. EGM has since been out of print for several years now and it has everything to do with the internet.

Why have a subscription to a magazine that gives you month old news when you can get instant “gratification” from the internet news? I understand why magazines basically died out; even magazines like Game Informer need the endless bickering of a GameStop employee to shove their subscriptions down your throat.

Is that a good thing though? Obviously in magazines you had to wade through endless pages of advertisements, but what you got in return (at least in my opinion) were articles that seemed like they had actual content. Articles with some meat on their bones. Not every article was a winner, and of course even magazine journalism had its faults; however, I felt more comfortable reading those articles than the drivel that ends up on gaming websites nowadays.

Seeing an article with an outrageous headline to draw readers in isn’t gaming news. It isn’t even entertainment. It’s a poor attempt at drawing in readers that will eventually become enraged at the article as a whole. At that point, however, it’s too late. The person clicked on it, so the people running it count it as a win. “These types of articles interest people, look at all these hits!” The data ends up being read over the general response from the “crowd” as it were.

Gamers complain about all these types of articles, yet this is the norm; this is the standard of living we have become accustomed to. We read an article and go, “That article had no content,” then we are right back to the news feed to say the same thing about the 20 other articles being released. One could say it is an exercise in masochism how much gamers put up with this shit, but the reality is that there isn’t really an alternative. It ends up being “read this bad article” or “read no article.”

Why am I telling you this though? Chances are you aren’t a video game journalist, you’re a “consumer” such as myself. You’re one of the many readers who’s been victim to this type of poor writing and structure. You already know all this information. So what’s the point of me telling you, right? It’s sort of like me beckoning you over on the street and unveiling to you that yes, people tend to cry when they are sad.

I could lie and say that I have some sort of naive optimism that video game journalist will read this blog (which currently averages about 1 reader a month, usually myself) and change their ways. I could do that, or I could say that there are people making an effort to fix this type of shoddy journalism.

I mentioned it at the beginning of my post, Penny Arcade brought on board Ben Kuchera (the guy I quoted above) to present to you The Penny Arcade Report. They brought him on board awhile ago, but I suppose you could say that The Penny Arcade Report started up extremely recently, as early as yesterday or today.

What type of things can we expect from this endeavor? Well, if what they say is any truth at all (and I trust Penny Arcade’s backing, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the odds are high that it will be) then we will be seeing journalism that is respectable. Interesting articles about gaming? On the regular? How could this be possible?

So what is this blog post about anyway? Is it an advertisement? “Sure seems like it” you might be saying. You could be right, honestly. I’m trying my best to put this new thing out in the open. I don’t really see video game websites advertising this type of things to be honest. It’d be like if a new restaurant came out claiming to be way better than Red Robin and then Red Robin said, “That place is fucking banging check that shit out! Way better than us!” It just wouldn’t happen.

I want to see video game news that isn’t complete horse shit. I want to see articles with intelligent points and proper research done. I want to see news that gets my brain working. I’m tired of what video game journalism has turned into. I used to really want to be a video game journalist when I was younger perhaps out of some naive image I built up in my head. As I grew older, however, I soon realized that the field I wanted to join was turning into what it is now. There’s almost no part of me that wishes to be a part of video game journalism now, which is a shame because part of me thinks I would do okay in that field.

However, if journalists step their shit up and take a look at the type of things Penny Arcade is producing via The Penny Arcade Report I may be able to have that dream yet again. Is this about me? Not even a little bit, but everyone is a little selfish.

Best of luck to Ben Kuchera and The Penny Arcade Report. This is the first sign of hopefully better news; I’m hoping others will follow suit in whatever way they can.

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Follow Jamison Trumpets on Twitter. @JamisonTrumpets

Like this article? Let me know! E-mail me at jamisontrumpets@gmail.com

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Dreamhack, SRK, and Why People's Opinions Are Stupid

November 29th, 2011 by DanielRGT

Some would say that I like to browse the internet. This is not entirely incorrect, but one of the main sites that I browse/peruse would definitely be the fighting game community’s center hub of Shoryuken.com also known as SRK. Recently, SRK has had an influx of new writers adding new content for them. They had a hiring and I guess these are the people they chose for the job.

They should reconsider their position on these new writers.

Despite this blog post’s title, I am not opposed to people having opinions. Opinions are great. They stir up debate and (occasionally) create fodder for some really dope ass conversations. I am fully in support of such products. Where opinions become bullshit is when people’s opinions are fucking retarded.

You may be saying, “You can’t say that about opinions! They are opinions, everyone is entitled to them!” You would be right except for the part where you are wrong. Everyone is entitled, nay privileged, to having a butt. People use their butt for many things, primarily they use it to defecate. The majority of people, and I use the word majority with the deepest expression of sadness on my face, use their butt to insert things into it. I’m not taking a shot at homosexuals, I’m saying that people take the time to put shit (not literally, because actually shit is the only thing that should exist in a butt) up their butt that has no business being up there.

My point is that people are entitled to their opinions, but that doesn’t mean that their opinion makes any fucking sense. Which brings me to the point of my article. Recently on SRK, there was a post concerning DreamHack, a huge competitive gaming exposition. Since SRK is a fighting game website (primarily), the post concerns the fact that in the middle of the Starcraft II semi-finals, they ran the Super Street Fighter 4 AE Grand Finals.

The tone of the SRK post is mostly disbelief that people watching could be so upset at such an event. The SRK article quotes a tweet made by an irate Starcraft II fan which states the following:

@terranfromtheyear5000: When you watch the Superbowl, They don’t play have [sic] the MLB World Series at half time do they? I want SC2, that is all.

The article quotes this tweet more in jest than anything, as if to say, “Check out this tweet made by a complete retard. This guy is wrong. The issue here is that this guy is absolutely correct.

Please don’t misunderstand, I love fighting games and I enjoy Starcraft II a lot as well. I think both games are incredible spectator sports as well as incredible games to play competitively as well. I think the issue stems in the ridiculous time slot the Grand Finals of SSF4:AE existed in. It was clearly placed there as if to say, “Hey guys check out this game! We’re relevant please look at me. 🙁 “

While I definitely agree that Starcraft II is astronomically more popular than fighting games as a whole, I don’t think that fighting games have to resort to ridiculous ploys such as that to attract fans and viewers. In fact, these types of shenanigans just make the fighting game community look bad as a whole. It makes it look like the guy who desperately seeks attention at all possible moments of the day. We all know that guy, he’s the person who in the middle of a party will do a headstand or start break dancing to get enormous amounts of awkward attention. Most people are in agreement that we fucking hate that guy.

Fighting games don’t have to resort to doing headstands at awkward moments during gaming expositions, they are already growing at an exponential rate. I only joined the fighting game community in late 2007 (basically right before Street Fighter IV came out) and the fighting game community has nothing but quadrupled, if not quintupled since my entrance. I can’t take credit for all of it (or any of it for that matter), but fighting games are not so deep in the mud as far as interest and hype that we have to sandwich our Grand Finals in between other games’ semi-finals.

Yet the whole SRK article consists of nothing but snotty “pishaw” attitudes and quoting “sensible people in the Starcraft community” to try and push its absolutely fucking retarded point. All the while they quote djWHEAT, who is not specifically someone in the Starcraft community. djWHEAT has been engrossed in the fighting came community for a long time, he’s just not as knowledgeable about fighting games as he is about Starcraft.

While I agree that e-sports are e-sports, and therefore Starcraft players shouldn’t complain about the existence of other games the biggest issue is the time slot in which the game was placed in. I could make the same analogy that the guy in the twitter post made, but he’s absolutely correct. If I’m watching Scrubs, I don’t want to watch ER sandwiched in the middle of my Scrubs episode. If I’m watching basketball, I sure as hell better not see any fucking hockey anywhere or I will go apeshit.

The time slots for these games should have been placed separately. Period. End. Starcraft from X o’clock to Y o’clock and Street Fighter from Z o’clock to A o’clock. Stop trying to support headstands fighting game community, I know we’re better than that.

Want to see Jamison Trumpets play fighting games? He goes by the handle DanielRGT when playing, check him sometimes on Monday’s at Option-Select’s Mixup Monday Stream.

Words an English Teacher Should Know (But Doesn't)

May 27th, 2011 by DanielRGT

I have a friend who is a middle school English teacher. I’ve known him for several years now and there are things about him that never cease to amaze me about him. The one thing that amazes me the most, however, would have to be his keen and almost encyclopedic knowledge of Webster’s Dictionary of the English language, except that I would like to ask that you respectfully replace “Webster’s Dictionary of the English language” with a song entitled “Slaves Built the Pyramids.”

I don’t claim to be some sort of English savant that hangs out with English every Saturday to play poker or some shit, but I do consider myself at the very least above-average at the incredible craft that is English. When one encounters an English teacher, the natural reaction would be to most likely humble yourself in the English department of your life. The main thought that comes to mind is, “This guy’s an actual English teacher, if I try to flaunt my fancy-pants English around he may trump me with the use of intimidating words and these semicolons I hear so much about.”

Thanks to my friend the English teacher (who for the sake of anonymity we will call “Buddy” from now on), I have never encountered that situation. It wasn’t until after I had met and talked with Buddy that it was revealed that he was an English teacher, which admittedly confused me. Talking with someone you can usually get a good feeling about their understanding and grasp of the English language, and my immediate reaction when talking to Buddy is that he was kind of a “bro”. So when the information that he was a middle school English teacher was revealed to me, I was immediately suspect.

“There’s no way,” I thought to myself. Now, I wish that the end of this long story was me being proved wrong and he actually has a shrine to Mark Twain in his closet, but alas life is not like in the movies. Everyday I am only reaffirmed of my initial thought when dealing with Buddy. Don’t get me wrong, Buddy is a nice person and that’s all well and good, but Buddy chose a strange profession for one still attempting to excavate past the meaning of high school level vocabulary and writing.

As such, I felt it only right to present you (the reader) with some of my findings. I shall update this list weekly (or bi-weekly depending on if Buddy’s having a good vocabulary week) with words that I think a middle school English teacher should know but quite frankly does not. This isn’t meant to be a big list trying to make fun of Buddy, except that just kidding it totally is.

The List

  • Solace – As Buddy put it when he had to look it up when I used it in a text message to attempt to demean him in some way, solace means “something that gives comfort.” It’s a very basic word that I knew, when sending a text message using the word, Buddy would have no clue what it would mean. After spending many years being friends with Buddy, it’s almost guaranteed which parts of the dictionary will confuse him the most. The X session probably just looks like mayhem to him, or possibly an MS Escher painting. Actually, Buddy almost guaranteed has no clue who MC Escher is.

  • Parthenon – Admittedly, the Parthenon isn’t really a vocabulary word as much as it is a place. The reason it’s listed here, however, is that Buddy is much older than I am. I’m currently 21 and Buddy is about 26. Not everyone knows exactly what role the Parthenon played in history, but goddamnit if you’re a 26 year old middle school English teacher I would hope that you would know how to recognize and  pronounce the word. Buddy pronounced it “Parthemom”, which brings to mind the question what does Buddy think a parthemom is? It’s got the suffix -mom, which might imply maternal aspects to this building. This might be the club house for moms who like to…parthe…things? Maybe parthe has to do with partitions? It kinda sounds like part, as in to part like the Red Sea. Yes, this makes sense. This is what it is.

  • Intercourse – Get your mind out of the gutter sonny, I’m talking about the literal definition here. Admittedly, this may have less to do with Buddy’s grasp of the English language and more a result of the society we live in today. I would be more inclined to believe this statement if it weren’t for the fact that Buddy is an English teacher. Intercourse literally means “dealings or communication between individuals, groups, countries, etc.” When two people talk with each other, they are having intercourse. This is something I learned my freshman year of high school; this is something that Buddy never learned. This goes back to Buddy’s “brotastic” personality. Buddy’s world revolves around making inappropriate sex jokes and farting every 5 seconds, so it’s not odd that when he hears the word “intercourse” he immediately wants to start talking about his sexual escapades. Except that Buddy is a middle school English teacher. Welp.

Expect this list to grow exponentially (Buddy knows this word) as I find more words that Buddy should yet doesn’t know. It’ll be like a science experiment, except that my thesis has already been proven so I’m continuing it for the absolute shit of it.


FM Radio vs Satellite Radio vs My Goddamn iPod

December 4th, 2010 by DanielRGT

Since I’ve been home for so long in Miami, I have had to drive everywhere for the past year or so. Miami isn’t really a convenient place to walk anywhere, and taking the public transportation here is the same as:

A) Asking a stranger on the street to steal your money
B) Asking a stranger on the street to stab you
C) Asking a stranger on the street to stab you and steal your money, not necessarily in that order

Like any normal person, being stabbed and mugged is not in my to-do list for the day (at least not on a Monday) so I generally like to avoid that outcome. So I end up driving everywhere to do the things I want to do. The nice thing about driving is that you don’t have to deal with strangers, but the annoying part is that if you aren’t driving somebody it’s pretty boring. This is where music plays a key factor in an enjoyable driving experience.

It is of my opinion that if I own an iPod, then I shouldn’t have to listen to my stupid radio. Originally, I used to have one of those radio-wave iPod things for my car that would transmit my iPod to a radio station that I could tune into and enjoy immensely, but thanks to the ever prominent scientific law that states, “anything you touch must either erupt into flames or be grinded into dust over time by the universe.” This time the device decided to be grinded into dust, and is no longer with us on this planet (or rather it still is, it’s just in many pieces).

So lately I have been stuck listening to the radio. It’s not necessarily a bad thing really; occasionally the radio plays songs I really enjoy. If I’m very lucky they will play them in succession and by the time I am out of the car my day is already on a high note. Unfortunately, much like the ever fluctuating stock market, radio stations in Miami are constantly changing.

When I was growing up, I only knew of about 5 or 6 main stations that people enjoyed. They were the following:

1) Pop Channel. Your generic piece of shit pop channel that plays generic piece of shit pop
2) Classic Rock Channel. Your generic classic rock channel that plays the same old classics, a lot.
3) Oldies. Your piece of shit disco channel that plays really bad music (i.e. disco)
4) Spanish Channel. Your piece of foreign shit channel that plays songs where you have no clue what the singer is saying, but there sure are a lot of trumpets in these songs.
5) Rap Channel. Your generic piece of shit rap channel that doesn’t play music, because rap isn’t music.
6) Alternative Rock Channel. Your generic piece of shit ROCK CHANNEL that plays rock songs that are ass.
7) Bonus Smooth Jazz channel. Only played to set the mood before trying to bed someone.

While I wasn’t too fond of the radio, at least there was some variety in the things you could listen to. There was essentially a station for everyone; life was simple and people lived happy lives.

Now, however, thanks to the wonderful world that is Miami we have had a hostile takeover in radio stations. We still have the pop channel and the classic rock channel, but basically every other radio station that I grew up with has turned into something completely different.  First of all, the oldies channel one day with no warning whatsoever decided that rap was a much better genre to play instead. This must have surprised many people who tuned in the next morning to suddenly hear songs about “dat ass” rather than songs about souls and trains and shit.

Just recently in fact, the station that used to play rock music just recently underwent a hostile takeover by a gang of mothers and they have  decided that what once was a place for distortion and shitty rock solos is now a place for holiday themed christmas music appropriate for all ages. The idea is that rock music is the devil and that if you listen to rock music your head will explode because of the pure evil that seeps into it. This is, of course, a ridiculous notion since there’s only like a 5% death rate by head explosion due to rock demons these days. Unfortunately, the mothers won the station though and have begun playing music geared towards their market group: mothers who hate loud noises and like shitty Christmas jingles.

Unfortunately, the stations that haven’t changed (such as the Classic Rock Channel, which is my channel of choice) ends up becoming annoying as well. You turn it on and hear a song you like and say to yourself, “Yea, this song is really great!” Then you realize that the song they just played is one of the 20 songs they are willing to play on that radio station. Every 20 or so songs, the same Bon Jovi song will come up and after that the same shitty song declaring how one should pour sugar on me is played. It’s annoying when you loathe these songs with a passion.

Then there’s satellite radio to deal with. Satellite radio is pretty cool for some people because there are so many stations to choose from. They can choose from 80s music to 70s music and they can keep going back decades until the music being played is simply the sounds of rocks being hit together to form a caveman symphony.

This becomes a problem, however, when the choices become too detailed or too hard to decipher. When the title of  the channel is called “Vinyl”, I have a hard time deciphering what the FUCK that means without having to listen for a song or two to see the genre. The words suddenly have no meaning to me anymore, and they could literally put any placeholder word to replace them and I wouldn’t know the difference. In addition, if I am driving I don’t really want to take my eyes off of the road to navigate the hundreds of channels available to me on top of trying to decipher their hieroglyphics. It’s a bit hard to explain to the officer that the reason you rear ended the person in front of you is because you were having trouble understanding what the fuck Vinyl means.

The ultimate end-all of music in the car ends up being your own personal music device. With the iPod, I choose what I want to hear and not some shitty DJ who is always annoying and enthused about shit I don’t care about (example: farts). The only downside to this is that if you are in a car with people all of a sudden, your taste in music is suddenly exposed. If you’re on a date with a girl and you turn on your iPod to shuffle and it pops up “YMCA” which you put as a joke, your date is immediately ruined unless you can come up with a godlike save to explain your interest in gay music (Protip: you can’t).

Fighting Game Corner: Newer Player Rant

September 17th, 2010 by DanielRGT

If you’ve hopped onto this train known as the  “Street Fighter 4 & Friends Express” in the past year or so, you’re probably new to the whole fighting game scene. Don’t worry, I used to be new to the scene too at one point (This was back in the mysterious era known as 2008); however, the scene was considerably different back then.

To begin with, the newer players weren’t quite as (for lack of a better phrase) fucking annoying as some happen to be right now. It’s to be expected, I guess, that when a newer game comes out and the scene rapidly expands there will be some annoying people along the way. It’s not like all the new players are annoying, just the very outspoken ones are.

A lot of their obnoxiousocity (a word I invented to spite you, personally) comes from the fact that they really don’t know any better. What constitutes a broken character? What move is “too good”? What does a character really need to get better as opposed to what you personally wish for your character to have? It’s questions like these that a lot of new players, honestly, don’t know how to answer while thinking logically.

The largest example is when Street Fighter 4 first came out. In the first Street Fighter 4 (Author’s Note: For those who don’t know, there are 2 versions. Street Fighter 4 and Super Street  Fighter 4. I will shorten these from now on as “SF4” and “SSF4” or just “Super”), Sagat was a very powerful character. A lot of what made him so good was his fantastic fireball zoning, his high damage output, his corner pressure, and his fantastic anti-airs (which correlates directly to his zoning). To some, he was easily considered the best character in the game, and you would have been hard pressed to find somebody who would have disagreed.

To veterans and better players, Sagat was very good but he was in no way unbeatable. To me, Sagat was only as powerful as the player controlling him. Of course, I ended up losing to Sagats all the time. After all, he’s a lot more powerful than the character I chose to play (Sakura)! To beginner players, however, their frustrations took over and they deemed anyone who played Sagat as “gay”, “no-skill”, or a “tier whore.” There were even some lower-end tournaments (very local, and very small) that ended up banning the use of Sagat, simply because they felt he was “far too powerful.” Other tournaments and events banned the use of characters such as Gouken or Seth, two very mediocre characters that have to actually work very hard to acquire their win. Why were these characters banned? Quite simply, the organizers found one thing to be far too “overpowered”, didn’t want to deal with it, and banned it on the spot.

Their approach to other things was fairly ignorant as well, but less on the complainy side and more on the irrational side. When it comes to fighting games, it is generally characters with halfway-decent mixups that tend to be very strong characters. This doesn’t apply to ALL characters with good mixups as having several tools is vital to being viable, but having a good mixup can do nothing but help your character.

To the people who don’t know what a mixup is, let me briefly explain. A mixup is a situation in which you force your opponent into a situation where they are forced to guess, and their guess will determine whether they blocked your combo or got hit by your combo. A basic example is with my main character, Sakura. Sakura has a move that launches her opponent into the air, and from this point she can dash under her opponent and when they land they are forced to guess in which direction to block.  If they guess incorrectly, they will eat a combo; If they guess correctly, they will block the combo or have done an invincible move to hit her out of the mixup entirely. Mixups are not specific to Street Fighter, and have ranged as far back as dinosaur times (Example: The velociraptor mixed up the T-rex and did a stylish combo on him to end the round. However, the next round they both got unblockabled by an asteroid).

To experienced players, they recognize that some mixups are harder to get out of than others. Some mixups only escape is to block the attack, no one move will get you out of it. Other mixups are weaker, and can be beaten by things as simple as a backdash or jumping away. For the newer players, they want this very simple solution to escaping mixups for ALL mixups. Basically, they believe their character should have all the tools to never be mixed up. I may be exaggerating a tad by saying this, but if you read some threads about things people want for their characters you will see things like, “I want my character to be able to do this particular thing, just like that completely different character.”

A lot of the times, the wish will be for a “good wake-up option.” To briefly describe what a wake-up option is,  it is an option your character has after having just been knocked down. Characters like Ryu have an uppercut which is invincible on its startup; this is a very powerful wake-up option. Other characters have considerably weaker wake-up options, but the reason for this is probably very simple. In SSF4, Cody has very limited wake-up options. To begin with, his defensive options (excluding his extremely reliable anti-air) are very limited. The reason for this, put simply, is that his offensive options are abundant. I won’t go into details, but anybody who is familiar with Cody’s gameplay will know that he is very strong offensively, and considerably weaker defensively. This is how he was made, and honestly I have no problem with this.

Newer Cody players, however, feel frustrated that their defense is so lacking. You can often find them asking for a “better wake-up option” to deal with pressure from other characters. There are simple ways to up your defense regardless of what character you are playing, in fact the mechanic is built right into the game! Every character has the ability to block, this is a universal game mechanic that nobody is exempt from. Blocking intelligently and correctly can be difficult sometimes, however, and the urge to attack someone who is currently on the offense can be unbearable at times. It’s patience that really gets you through when your opponent is being relentlessly offensive, and while you’re on the defense you can find a moment to turn the tide of the match into your favor.

Am  I just going to talk about how much I hate newer players? Maybe, but if you’re a newer player who’s genuinely interested in getting better and you feel like a lot of the reasons you are losing are basic fundamentals, let me shamelessly advertise a website called Option Select. As far as Super Street Fighter 4 goes, it has tons of useful information that could help up your game tenfold. Firstly, check out Ryan Hunter’s  blog portion of the website where he gives you 5 Tips for a Beginner. As well, you can find information on more fighting games than just Street Fighter 4 at Shoryuken. Lastly, if you want more information on any of the fighting game terms I used in here (such as mixup), check out the Term Glossary for tons of definitions of fighting game/super street fighter 4 related terminology.

Lastly, I apologize for a  rant-post. I usually like to keep my blog posts in the realm of humor articles, but this is something that’s been bothering me for a long time. The Fighting Game Corner, for the most part, will be only “mildly” humorous as far as comparing it to my other works. I take fighting games pretty seriously, and it’s one of the things that I find most enjoyable at the moment. As such, I want to be able to write articles with at least some type of serious composure, even if I throw in a joke or two here and there. If you’re not saavy with fighting games and don’t plan to become so, the Fighting Game Corner may not be the place for you.

Jamison Trumpets Abroad, International Edition: Aruba

June 7th, 2010 by DanielRGT

So last week, my cousin had a wedding in Aruba. I was super happy for my cousin, but unfortunately the wedding was to be held in the island known as Aruba. Of course, I had to deal with my arch-nemesis, the airport & airplane combo. It was devastating, no doubt.

But as soon as that horrific experience was over, I was ready to have some fun out and about in Aruba. I was raring to see something I’d never seen before, after all I was out of the country, I was out of my state. What would it be this time? I remember thinking to myself while I was in France, “GODDAMN I AM COLD RIGHT NOW.” While in Spain, I thought to myself, “GODDAMN I CAN’T UNDERSTAND THESE PEOPLE RIGHT NOW.” While I was in Argentina I thought, “GODDAMN I AM A 2 YEAR-OLD CHILD RIGHT NOW.”

So what exclamation of god-damning would I be doing this time? How would this differ from my home. Let’s see, maybe I can make a list of the differences that I personally saw.

MIAMI

– Warm Tropical Climate
– Beaches (Of Unsatisfactory Condition)
– People (Mostly Ugly) in bikinis and swim trunks.
– Reasonably priced items
– A variety of stores in which to choose from
– Can often find restaurants that give out free-refills

ARUBA

– Warm Tropical Climate
– Beaches (Of Mostly Unsatisfactory Condition)
– People (Mostly Ugly) in bikinis and swim trunks.
– Absurdly overpriced items
– Absolutely no variety in stores in which to choose from.
– Filled with locals who thrive on tourism and very clearly want your money
– Would be hard-pressed to find the crazy son-of-a-bitch restaurant willing to give out free refills.
So far there is pretty much one key difference between my home of Miami and the island of Aruba, and it is the fact that I was thinking, “GODDAMN EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE RIGHT NOW.”

There’s nothing that isn’t overpriced. You’ll see how I mentioned free-refills, because that’s something people usually take for granted. Reasonably priced drinks are also something taken for granted. When you order a beverage at a normal restaurant, you’d expect it to run in the range of maybe 1 or 2 bucks, but you get the benefit of free-refills. In Aruba, your delicious beverage will cost $4.00 per drink, and of course they serve you the smallest glass they have filled with expanding ice that sucks out most of your beverage using ancient Aruban technology.

Then while you walk around Aruba, you go searching for some stores that you could possibly by something touristy in. There’s plenty of those around, except they are literally all the same store. Every single tourist shop you enter will sell the exact same tourist things that last one sold, and the only difference is how they are priced ($100 for a gift card or $101 for a gift card). They all sell the same shitty marble turtles, they sell the same shirts that say shit like, “ARUBA: THIS IS ONE HAPPY ISLAND (Until you see the prices).”

I’m only kidding about the paranthetical, I probably would’ve bought the shirt if it had actually said that. No, the shirts simply boast about how they are the happiest freakin’ island ever goddamn they are the happiest people please for the love of God give us some money we have so many families to feed.

The next type of stores you will find in Aruba are jewelry stores. That’s it, there are 2 variations of stores in Aruba: tourist stores and jewelry stores. The odd part is that you will find upwards of 4 or 5 jewelry stores next to each other. You’ll see a jewelry store, something like “GOLDMAN’S JEWELRY: 70% MARKUP (NOW 50% OFF)”. Right after that store you’ll see a second one, “DIAMAN’S JEWELRY STORE: WE ACCEPT SOULS AS PAYMENT!” Right after that one, you’ll see the third jewelry store (“SHAMELESSLY EXPENSIVE JEWELS: WE DON’T BEAt AROUND THE BUSH.”). After that, there’ll be a fourth and a fifth one right next to each other without anything in between them. It’s baffling to be perfectly honest, how could those stores possibly survive with so much competition.

Overall, Aruba was pretty bad. I don’t see much of a reason to go there (unless you really don’t  like money, then it’s pretty awesome actually). We spent a whole week there for something that should’ve been 3 or 4 days, so overall Jamison Trumpets was not pleased with his vacation.

Aviation (And Other Things Made by the Devil)

May 23rd, 2010 by DanielRGT

I hate airplanes. There’s just something about packing a bag, getting to an airport (Just kidding there’s traffic!), waiting in seemingly endless lines to check my bags in, waiting in seeming endless lines to put all of my stuff through a special x-ray-o-matic, waiting for a seemingly endless amount of time as they personally inspect my bag because it’s got hella suspicious stuff in it, and then walking across the entire length of an airport to get to my gate only to find that it’s not really my gate anymore, it’s some other douchebag’s gate.

When I’m told that my gate is a certain place, I expect it to be in that specific gate. I don’t get this gate-switching bullshit. A specific plane goes to a specific gate; so, what, does a mysterious second plane (in true Miami fashion) cut the other plane off and steal his gate. Are not all gates created equal?

For the extremely small percentage of you who haven’t really flown, allow me to walk you through the process of preparing and taking your flight to a destination.

First, we start off by packing your bags. This is a very complicated process that involves exact knowledge of the location you’re going; or at least this is what I have been taught growing up. Normally, when I pack my bags I use the very popular method of grabbing any clothes within eyesight and clumsily stuffing them into an either undersized or completely oversized bag (It is constitutional law that there is no middle ground when it comes to bag sizes). My parents, on the other hand, use the method of meticulously going through every single one of their outfits and seeing if they are appropriate for their destination (Answer: No). They then, with (I imagine) the help of some crazy origami secrets, fold their clothes so neatly and perfectly that even after packing the majority of their wardrobe it would not be too far-fetched to say that you could fit much more in there as well, such as the entire state of Rhode Island. They are, of course, using the undersized model of suitcase; with the oversized bag they could easily fit all of Europe.

The next hard part is actually getting to the airport. One would imagine it’s just a simple drive to the airport, you drop off your loved ones (or park in an overpriced parking garage), grab your bags, and enter the lion’s den. This just goes to show how absurd some of our imaginations can be. It could be that I live in Miami, but whenever I go driving to the airport it ends up being as difficult and dramatic as a season of 24. Foiling a terrorist plot would actually be more appealing than driving to the airport in Miami to be honest. Traffic, for one, is horrendous. It could be that people have one common destination (Hell) and so they are all backed up trying to get there, but when there’s traffic in Miami it does not turn into bumper-to-bumper slow-moving bullshit traffic. People get restless, and they get impatient. People in Miami can’t spend very long without cutting someone off, honking their horn, flipping people off, running red lights, switching lanes without any warning, performing illegal U-turns, or foiling terrorist plots on the road.

So you’ve finally arrived at your airport, and boy are you relieved to be here; except your relief is soon replaced with horror as you realize there’s still a fuckton of things to do. You probably have bags to check-in, and this is another stressful process you must endure. We all know that you can only take a small “carry-on” sized bag onto the aircraft, which can be a problem if you use the “Grab-Anything Method” of packing as our bag is probably about three times its normal size now. More than likely, you’ll be asked to pay the airlines an absurd amount of money to take your bag and gently place it on the plane, which of course in “Airline” means to load your suitcase into a cannon and fire it into your plane (or towards the general direction of your destination).

The next part includes standing in a ridiculously long line waiting to put your shit through an X-Ray, walk through a metal detector, get searched, and then promptly deemed as “extremely suspicious” by the airport staff. Hold on though, because before you can even get to that fairy-tale experience you have to show a minimum of 30 airport agents your ID and boarding pass. This is of course so they know which gate to change once you get past their security measures.

Getting through the X-Ray machine section is no easy task either, because not only do you have to put your bag through the machine, you also have to take off your belt, shoes, jacket, and then depending on how many tips you get you can see where you go from there. Then of course you walk through the metal detector and upon reaching the other side of the gates of hell, you realize your stuff has been confiscated and a man is looking through it trying to find anything “suspicious.” To do this, they use their Clean & Clear oil pads to swab your bag, and depending on it’s acne level they determine if it’s a dangerous bag or not.

After getting past that point, you always want to double check what gate your flight is going to take off from so you head over to the special TV section of the airport. Here you can find useful information like the gate your flight will not be at. You can also check if your flight is delayed at all though. A good way to do this is to check if your flight has the words “On Time” after it, because this means it will most certainly be delayed a minimum of 3 hours.

Of course, the gate in which your flight is supposed to be at is at the opposite end of the airport from where you currently are, so it’s pretty common to have to walk a great distance to get to your gate. Only, as I’ve mentioned, your flight is really playing hard to get and has switched gates entirely, most likely to a gate at the opposite end from where you currently are standing. This involves a great deal of walking, swearing, and purchasing of beverages at your nearest newspaper outlet. Some people will buy plane tickets for the benefit of all the great exercise the gate changing does.

Now, after waiting for several hours and struggling to find something to do they begin boarding the plane. They will always, of course, begin by calling the people who are definitely not you to get on the plane. After several more minutes of waiting, they finally call your group to board and as you get on you realize that as you get closer and closer to your designated seat you see an exponential increase of babies and fat guys. This only spells trouble for your trip as you will most certainly have to deal with a 3 hour long flight (which will get delayed even more while on the ground because the pilots are having a hard time preparing their “smooth-jazz” pilot voice) filled with crying infants and bad B.O.

When you finally arrive at your destination it’s a great load off of your mind because you’re no longer in a enclosed death trap 30,000 feet off of the ground. It’s great to be on solid land again, only you can only be happy for so long as you remembered that you checked bags into the airplane, which means you must retrieve them from the airport.

When you get off the plane, you must immediately head towards an enchanted forest known as the “baggage claim.” The baggage claim is where you wait even longer for airport employees (who get cigarette breaks every 5 minutes) to throw your bags onto a conveyor belt. It’s common knowledge that they pick one set of bags to place on the conveyor belt dead last, sometimes 50 minutes after the baggage claim has started moving. This is their idea of a practical joke. Ha ha! It sure is funny!

There is only one conclusion I’ve drawn over years of experience, and it’s simply that flying is one of the worst experiences of my life, always. There has never been a time that I have been excited to get on an airplane. In fact, it is not uncommon for me to have vivid nightmares of an airport agent to swab my bag with oil pads and find out my bag has a horrible case of acne, and as a result I am deemed the most suspicious person of all time.

WeB^U Comics

May 20th, 2010 by DanielRGT

There’s a lot of things I’ve learned these past few years. First, it’s that shoeboxes do not make ample shoes. In fact, despite their name, they are quite uncomfortable and difficult to wear.

Second, I’ve learned that making webcomics is a hard business to be in. When it comes to video game webcomics, there’s a certain art of being able to portray a punchline and some sort of message about the video game in question in about 3 or 4 panels. There are some sites that, with a very high percentage of success, complete this in a way that is truly spectacular (e.g. Penny Arcade). Then there are other sites, with one in particular having a negative percentage of success, that fall flat on their face and, if there really is a merciful God, those sites fall under.

Just kidding though, because bad webcomic websites never fall under. The creator has some disillusioned fans who, for whatever reason, have stopped taking their meds and found the awful webcomic as a source of…something. It can’t really be identified as entertainment because by definition, entertainment is meant to be entertaining.

Certain webcomics (and I don’t intend to name any here, but I will tell you the one I’m talking about rhymes with Patrol, Palt, Pelete) have been going on for a long time with no rays of light, no tunnels of hope, no possible chance to become, at any point, an interesting or humorous webcomic. On the contrary, their stubborn attitude towards their critique digs them farther into the ground of awful writing, awful drawing, and 4 panels filled with nothing but nonsensical text (Sometimes you can see smidgeons of what could possibly be art, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet).

I don’t claim to be an expert in webcomics, but I do know a funny and interesting webcomic when I see one. First off, we should go over some of the basics of what makes a webcomic interesting. Webcomics, much like you’re regular run-of-the-mill comics, involve the use of art and text to portray a funny joke, an interesting tidbit, or artsy-schmartsy something-or-other. That’s right, webcomics don’t necessarily need to be funny to be in anyway a good webcomic. If it’s interesting to a particular group of people, and one can see how one might feel that way, then overall it’s probably an ok webcomic.

The most well received webcomics tend to be the ones that are funny, because often times when one thinks of comics they think of the “funny pages” in the newspaper. This means that these webcomics follow a general formula. Generally there are 3 or 4 panels, and the first 2 (or 3) will be used as some sort of set-up or lead-in into what is eventually going to be a great punchline. Sometimes, punchlines can appear in the middle panels, and the last panel can be a sort of resolution or funny comment on it. Penny Arcade does this a lot.

Like I said, I’m not expert in webcomics so I’m being fairly (very) vague here. But even the common idiot can understand what I am trying to say. Namely, I’m trying to say that humor webcomics are meant to be in, some form or another, humorous. There is many a recommendation to do this, and here are just a few:

1. KEEP TEXT TO A MINIMUM

This is not to say that you shouldn’t use text in your webcomics, but really try and make every word count for something. There are so many comics that just have bubbles of useless text that really need not exist. There’s one in particular that if it removed it’s 4 panels of War & Peace sized text, it would improve significantly (mostly because your brain would not be melting because of the awful quality of writing).

Text is a good thing, just not in excess. If you have a lot of text, there better be a damn good reason for it.

2. BE FUNNY

It goes without saying that if you are trying to make people laugh, odds are you should try and be funny. Jokes have things called punchlines, which is usually the part where the person laughs. If you’re writing a comic and you’re not able to pinpoint the punchline of your comic, you are doing something wrong.

Also, when someone asks you where your punchline is and you respond with, “Every panel is a punchline!” You are most certainly an idiot and an awful webcomic creator and should probably find a new profession immediately (such as politician).

3. DO NOT NAME CHARACTERS ETHAN

That name really sucks, you know?

4. CHARACTERS (SURPRISE!) NEED TO HAVE CHARACTER

Characters (as their name implies) have character. What this means is that they have a personality, they have strengths and weaknesses. A character who is just some wacky, brainless, can’t-do-everyday-things is not a character, he’s a mentally challenged person that requires medical help.

This is not to say that I look down on mentally challenged people, but it’s never in good taste to poke fun at them. They can’t really help it, you know? To base a series off of an idiotic character who is completely incapable of doing anything right, much less string together a coherent punchline, is just in poor taste.

Also, to write this character as someone so stupid that, much like an amazing game of Tetris, all the blocks fall into place for them to receive countless royalties, treasures, and what pirates call “booty.”

These are but some of the things to keep in mind when making a webcomic. You might notice that, without mentioning any names, I have singled out a particular awful webcomic in this post. A webcomic so horrible, so evil, that words appearing on syndicated television could not describe it (though blaring profanities could!). A webcomic so awful, that it’s mere mention makes people see nothing but flashes of pure white rage before their eyes. A webcomic so dumb, that only the dumbest and lowest of human beings could appreciate it for what it truly is. A webcomic so poorly written, that Stephenie Meyer constantly dines with its creator on weekends to discuss awful writing, and all awful writing related materials. A webcomic so poorly drawn, that my artists rendition of a falcon (as in the bird) dressed up as a clown (as in the circus) is far beyond what this webcomic’s creator could ever produce. A webcomic so disillusioned that the creator has created a fantasy world in which he is great, wonderful, and awesome and all the others who critique his webcomic as horrible have no idea what they speak of. “They’re simply jealous of my genius,” is probably something he says frequently.

Yes you may have noticed I was singling this webcomic out. I have to respond, however, with a simple, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Castlevania: Haelp I'm Confused

May 19th, 2010 by DanielRGT

There’s a lot to be said about Castlevania. There are castles, certainly, and on top of that some obscure and unidentifiable substance known as “vania.” On top of that, there’s Dracula (or his surprise twist of a son, Alucard), Death, zombies, ghosts, zombie-ghosts, ghost-axemen, axemen-zombies, medusa heads, and fishmen.

It was certainly an original game when it came out for the NES, but when people go around spouting how good these games were, I get a little confused. The first source of my confusion stems from the fact that all old castlevania games, without fail, are fucking awful. I mean it, they’re really bad. Like any movie with Pauly Shore bad.

The old games, using a mixture of brilliant game design and mechanics, bring together the best parts and memories of falling in pits of water (and subsequently dying), attempting to hit some unreachable enemy (Spoiler: He can hit you), getting hit by random flying medusa heads or other related projectiles and falling in previously-mentioned pits of water, and attempting to jump across a chasm that was specifically built to harbor your doom.

Actually the only thing these games really have going for them, which is probably why people enjoy them so, is because of their exceptional music. It’s actually beyond exceptional, but I don’t want to spend several lines having a figurative boner over these tunes, so suffice to say the music is excellent. Which brings me to why I believe people play these games.

Good music in a game has a powerful effect on people. There are games I have played longer than I really should have (such as Castlevania) because of their music. Hell, I will sometimes even leave the game on, not move my character, and go and do something else because I want to listen to the music.

This does not, however, tell me that the game is good. If the game is a piece of ass, the music will not suddenly turn the game into a masterpiece. On the contrary, I feel pity for the game because it had such good music but was left to be a miserable pile of shit that not even its own mother could love.

This does not explain, however, why people like old Castlevania games. Pretty much everything before Symphony of the Night is an awful game and should feel awful, but you will see over and over again how much people liked the first Castlevania, how Castlevania 4 is the best game ever to have existed ever always, how Richter would look so cool in my apartment.

I’ve got to tell you I’m sick of it. Good music does not make up for poor gameplay and horrible jumping mechanics. Actually the only old Castlevania game with okay jump mechanics IS Super Castlevania 4, which is probably why people tend to enjoy it so much. It’s not a very good game, but even a pile of dirt will shine gold if compared to the previous piles of excrement you saw earlier.

Marvel vs Capcom 3

April 20th, 2010 by DanielRGT

So it’s finally been announced, and I would really like to say that I’m fucking stoked for this game. Unfortunately, with the way the teaser looked, I can easily say that I’m skeptical about what may happen to one of my favorite fighting game series. The producer of this exciting new game is the same person who produced Tatsunoko vs Capcom (TvC), and while I enjoy that game I hope they keep a couple of things from that game out of my Marvel vs Capcom game.

The first issue  I’m worried about is whether or not the art style of TvC will go well with this new MvC. My main issue isn’t the art itself, but more how this will look with Marvel’s intense speed. The next problem comes if they don’t maintain that  intense speed, because while TvC is fun it isn’t nearly as fast-paced and exciting as MvC.

These are my main issues with the teaser (and while that was not a long list of reasons, it’s a teaser so it isn’t really forthcoming with information), and anything after that is simply me wondering what they are going to do with the game. While I loved MvC2 (Marvel vs Capcom 2 if you’re dumb), this is a new game so I expect to see something new to the table. MvC2 and MvC1, while the art styles are similar (really, identical) they are two different games. Marvel 2 places a greater value on assists than Marvel 1 (which has a drastically different assist system than 2) and it of course upgraded the standard “2-Person team” into a “3-Person team.” It was an exciting transition to be sure.

Now that the new one is coming out, I hear a lot of people (a.k.a. idiots) bitching about change, using such phrases as “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is a poor choice of words to use when it comes to Marvel considering that Marvel vs Capcom 2 is one of the most broken games of all time.

Don’t get me wrong, the game is fun as shit.  It’s one of my favorite games, and while I’m not exactly great at the game it’s still boatloads of fun. This doesn’t change the fact that the game is broken, it’s just wrong. If you don’t know anything about the game, you’ll probably take a look and say to yourself, “Wow, what a wide selection of characters!”

This is your first mistake, because you are seeing the forest when there is a pack of bears ready to maul the fuck out of you right in front of you. These 4 bears are named Magneto, Storm, Cable, and Sentinel. They are kings of the forest, especially since the forest is just a bunch of trees and these are fucking bears.

What I’m saying is that these 4 characters are the best in the game, and there is no dispute on the matter. There are many different fighting games where people say “This character is the best”, but there is room for interpretation. This is not the case with Marvel, anyone who argues that Sentinel is not the mac daddy of all giant rapist robots from the future is clearly wrong and doesn’t know what they are talking about.

Which brings me back to my point (which was Marvel vs Capcom 3 in case you drifted off), Marvel vs Capcom 2 is EXTREMELY broken, so by all means attempt to fix it. However, I’m hoping that they hire those ass-crack piece of shit plumbers who you hire to fix your pipes, and they do the job, but in the process they kidnap your children.

I’m hoping Capcom keeps that plumbing past-time in mind when making this game.

Jamison Trumpets: The Blog of Daniel Rivera
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