So wow, can you believe this is my 500th video upload to YouTube? I mean, honestly, I wouldn't have noticed, but I happened to have slacked off on putting videos into their proper playlists this week...and when I finished, I wanted to check to make sure that the numbers of videos in my playlists matched the numbers of the uploads. Well, besides that widescreen capture test I used the SoulCalibur II opening for, that one doesn't fit with anything else and just sits alone.
Anyhow, funny coincidence, I guess...although I don't really consider it to be all that terribly meaningful in and of itself. I'm just really surprised, since most of everything I share happens to be exceptionally oddball, relatively obscure, and maybe even a little unpopular in the mainstream. I confess of course that this is due to my myriad of eclectic interests and irregularly strong enthusiasm for sharing that with others. If you're actually reading this, I can only assume that you don't exactly dislike what you see, and if that's the case, I thank you for your attention and willingness to share in the general zaniness that I both generate and seek.
Okay, so the story behind why I actually got into this one is a rather long and awkward one, but here goes an attempt at a slightly abridged version:
I'm somewhat drawn to the Naruto series now and again, but I've definitely been neglecting it since the absolutely massive block of filler that struck the anime prior to marching on to Shippuden, the Part II of the tale that is Naruto.
Anyway, I was content leaving things to be for a while, and then Overhazard decided to start uploading footage of Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, an absolutely beautiful adaptation of several arcs of the story into a video game with strong cinematic presentation...it's truly a sight to behold, and as such if you haven't already seen that game in action, I definitely recommend it.
So that caught me in a moment of curiosity as to what the recent Wii offerings were like...I had initially dismissed the Clash of Ninja series for being rather simplistic and underpopulated, but the series has really hit its stride and come a long way from relatively humble beginnings.
Probably the biggest factor that inspired me to take the plunge was noting that the developer behind this series is 8ing, which you may be familiar with from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom as a rather high-profile product of theirs. Oh, and color me surprised and this was something I happened upon by accident, but 8ing also happened to be behind development of a certain other little game that I've been showing you a bit of lately called Castlevania Judgment in conjunction with Konami.
Add to that the fact that the game was cheap, features Wi-Fi, and even a positive reception to a notoriously harsh critical standard for "licensed games" as a sort of second-class citizenry of the software world...and I decided that it was worth taking the plunge.
Amusingly, this means that as the Overhazard likes to put it, I have completed the "trifecta" of the flagship Jump series in a manner of speaking.
Anyway, the game is an interesting case, a fast-paced and reactive fighting game that appears on the surface to be exceedingly simple and outmoded...but the simple dynamics of adding in substitutions and the exceedingly rapid pace at which the game itself moves actually make the simplicity of the controls into a great asset.
Thus the emphasis is not on a the technical proficiency of a player or how many quarter circles or dragon punches they can perform in rapid sequence, it's the quickness of the eyes, tactical efficiency, and adaptiveness of those engaged in the battle which determine the outcome. If that's not a faithful conversion of "ninja combat" into a video game, I don't know what is.
I'm still learning, and I've got a long ways to go, but the result is very satisfying.
Jiraiya is a lousy teacher, you know? He tells us how to control the game...but really relatively little as to how to play it. Most of that I picked up along the way...the hard way...with much beating of my person and player characters involved. That almost seems to be something like what Jiraiya might do...
So Jiraiya uses the Zen teaching method? Very little is explained, and yet somehow you're expected to learn and even improve greatly within such a setting by feel and observation. I don't like it, let me tell you, but maybe I do consider myself clever enough and quick on the uptake to the point that I can at least gain a basic understanding of something, even in such a situation...just don't expect me to like it or find it to be particularly effective even so.