Kurayami Monogatari

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Koda Kumi – FEVER KODA KUMI LEGEND LIVE September 2, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — solarblade @ 5:48 am

fever

Track Listing

  1. SO FEVER
  2. Cutie Honey
  3. Butterfly
  4. Kimi Omoi
  5. you
  6. Koishikute
  7. NEVER GIVE IT UP

1. SO FEVER

This mini, opens with a song that eerilly reminds me of one of Kuu’s older songs, “Get It On” with the kind of Indian vibe mixed in with her ero-kakkoi style.  I kind of dug it because Kuu sounds into it and exudes such a sexy atmosphere and the arrangement is just as slithering and sexy.  Though for some reason, I thought there’d be more to it and a stronger arrangement, but I still liked the feel the track brought.  Maybe a little more bass would’ve made it a stronger song, but it’s solid overall.

2. Cutie Honey

Man, how many time do I have to review this song?  From her “LOVE & HONEY” single, Cutie Honey is a cover of course of a classic theme and she brought a groovy style to the tune that I instantly fell in love with.  Of course this was like the second song that I fell in love with (“real Emotion” was the first”).  This song is just a cool song and it’s easy to see why it’s one of her most popular songs even to this day (figures why it’s on the mini in the first place).

3. Butterfly

Funny that this is after since they were released around the same time frame.  It also has a certain jazzy tone and almost sounds like a clone to “Cutie Honey” with the string bass love and almost similar melody.  This one definitely caught my attention because of Kuu’s smoky alto vocals that just wooed me throughout.  Still, there’s just no way that people couldn’t say this sounds like the previous track in SOME way.  Cool song though, has a lot of cool elements to it.

4. Kimi Omoi

Then the mini goes into straight ballads starting with the only new one, Kimi Omoi.  I’ve said this MANY, MANY times, but once you heard one Kuu ballad, you’ve heard majority of them and this one is no different.  It’s a pretty basic ballad from her utilizing the typical instrumentation.  Also, Kuu sounds really pleasant so there’s really not much else to say, but it you’re a fan of her slower works then you’ll be fine.

5. you

At least you isn’t a total snoozefest.  It’s more in the range of her R&B ballads which does set itself apart from “Kimi Omoi” and “Koishikute” at the least.  It’s still the normal shtick with extra bass synths and more piano involved.  There’s not much to really say here, but I did enjoy this song quite a bit back then and even now.

6. Koishikute

One of her more recent ballads, Koishikute comes in with a more dramatic arrangement than either of the previous two tracks and I liked that about this song.  Being the lone ballad from the “Bon Voyage” era, I think it managed to stick on me in a good way because the arrangement is beautiful and Kuu sounds really good here.  Definitely the best of the three ballads on the mini-album.

7. NEVER GIVE IT UP

Closing out the mini is the final new track.  It’s funny because it doesn’t sound like a dance track nor a ballad XD.  Actually it’s an upbeat rock track and Kuu’s past endeavors in the genre have been met with mixed opinions.  With NEVER GIVE IT UP actually sounds great and Kuu sounds right pulling this off…that’s a first!  My only qualm is that it is shorter than 3 minutes and honestly it could’ve been better longer.  Not bad!

 

 

This was such a random release!  Being a special CD release (some say the new songs were tied to Pachinko) makes this such an odd release.  Even at that, the new tracks got PVs too!  To be honest, for the most part I actually enjoyed these songs more than the stuff from “HOTEL”.  NEVER GIVE IT UP is probably my favorite of the single with SO FEVER behind and Kimi Omoi in the back.  I’m not sure why the other 4 songs were included (especially 3/4 were around the “BEST ~second session~” time…not sure what the meaning of this was…I wonder if the 3 will be included on her next album as well…

 

BoA – WHO’S BACK?

Filed under: BoA — solarblade @ 5:11 am

whosback

Track Listing

  1. First Time
  2. Shout It Out
  3. Only One
  4. FUN
  5. Message
  6. WOO WEEKEND
  7. Milestone
  8. I SEE ME
  9. MASAYUME CHASING
  10. The Shadow
  11. close to me
  12. Call my name
  13. Baby you..
  14. Tail of Hope

1. First Time

Opening the album is the ONLY new song of the album, First Time.  I felt like BoA opened up things with a pretty solid track with a nice beat and cool vocals that came along with it.  It does have a similar feel to other songs on the album, but it works because a lot of the songs are pretty strong so it’s definitely fitting.  I do wish there were more new tracks, but First Time made a lot of sense and did its job, not bad!

2. Shout It Out

As the rest of the album is old songs, Shout It Out is the first to come up and it was her 6th A-side.  Given that it’s the funky song, Shout It Out was a breath of fresh air amongst her upbeat songs and BoA sounded lively and fitting to the atmosphere.  There’s just something about the beats and piano chords and the attitude that caught me off guard and just worked all over.  Great party song for sure!

3. Only One

Many had thought that the era started with Only One because she had gone on a lengthy break and released another Korean album and returned to Japan by self-covering it in Japanese.  Turned out it was the 3rd A-side released for the album.  To me, the song was pretty low-key and chill which is one of BoA’s strengths and I was happy to see something like this (add an extra dance beat and it could’ve been another “Eien”).  It’s a nice track, though it does get passed up by many other of the songs on the album.

4. FUN

Funny enough, it is the only B-side that isn’t bunched up with the others on the album.  As the coupling from “MASAYUME CHASING”, I was so happy to see the track included since it’s upbeat and really shows off an exciting party vibe, almost like “Shout It Out” but with more synths involved.  BoA also sounds vocally upbeat and I just find myself humming the tune everytime it comes on.  I also get this feeling of a beach party too, but it could just be me…I definitely loved this song for sure!  Although that outro…was weird IMO

5. Message

Seems like after the “FUN” wore off, Message comes in with a lighter vibe and gives us this cool and chilled out atmosphere.  I do like the acoustic guitars mixed with BoA’s R&B style and when I first heard this single, I fell back in love with BoA’s music for sure.  There’s just something so relaxing but cool about this song that I just dug everything…she sounds great and this song was a pretty great entry to her discography.

6. WOO WEEKEND

Like I said above, many had thought “Only You” started the era off while everything before it was jut kind of best album fodder.  The next three tracks weren’t in that list so seeing them make the cut rather surprised me.  Going back to mid 2010, WOO WEEKEND really doesn’t seem to fit the album because while the funky vibes are cool and the 80s pop is neat, there’s just something that doesn’t fit here.  It lacks a lot of deep beats (honestly could’ve used some).  I do like it’s another upbeat inclusion, but I don’t seem to connect much as I did back then.

7. Milestone

Released as BoA’s first DVD single, Milestone kind of was in the middle of all these different releases she was putting out (well avex more like it) and in the hubbub, we had this ballad.  After these upbeat/R&B songs, a full ballad seemed so random on this album.  A simple piano/strings ballad, Milestone did good for BoA’s vocals for the most part, but I still feel like the song is way too short and it ends way too abruptly (I kind of wished they had address that problem on the album, but they didn’t).  Didn’t care for this track with its problems.

8. I SEE ME

Released as a digital single before being included as a B-side on “Milestone”, I SEE ME still sounds leaps and wonders better than its A-side.  Another ballad, I SEE ME picked a nicer style to take over and BoA sounds a lot more smoother and good.  It’s got a nice classy sound and BoA just gave a nice performance and the chorus is so nice and memorable in my opinion.  Definitely sounded the closest to the remainder of the tracks to be honest.

9. MASAYUME CHASING

Moving from the OLD songs to the 7th A-side and final before the album’s release, MASAYUME CHASING was a huge song for BoA being tied to a pretty well-known anime, Fairy Tail.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but this song started off a lot like “Tail of Hope” but quickly gained speed and a cool melody and dance beat that I really dug through the entire song.  It really doesn’t come off as an anison track which is definitely a plus too!  Even the rapping section is quirky and charming…I don’t know why but it was a lovely song and it still is today!

10. The Shadow

Moving into a string of B-sides, the first was from “Only You” and is also a Japanese self-cover.  I do remember it being one of the better songs from the Korean album, so I was excited to hear this in Japanese and it didn’t disappoint.  I also stand by my original stance that this song sounds rather mechanical lyrically and it does somewhat bother me, but it has a nice attitude and BoA of course sounds great, especially in the chorus.  It’s OK, but I do wish it didn’t sound like clockwork.  Still it’s worth a listen!

11. close to me

Then the B-side from “Shout It Out” appears and I was surprised she was singing a lot of this song in English alongside her Japanese which is a nice treat.  I remember this song was such a 180 from its leading song by having a somewhat BONNIE PINK-like atmosphere to it.  It’s definitely one of the more sentimental ballads of the album and I personally loved it since she sounds so good in a deeper tone and the lyrics stood out to me (could be the English though).  Very nice!

12. Call my name

Even though it isn’t a B-side (sister A-side to “Message”), Call my name is still my favorite song from this album hands down!  There’s something so mysterious and cold about this song that just caught my attention and kept itself on my mind ever since the single release.  BoA’s performance is just as compelling as the song’s arrangement and I loved every second of it.  Even when the chorus throws a double vocal melody that added this wonderful mix of notes and harmonies.  I don’t know who arranged this but this was FANTASTIC…one of her best songs in her career yet IMHO!

13. Baby you..

It’s the B-side from “Tail of Hope”!  Actually it’s really another Japanese self-cover, but it’s of a digital single from Korea, “Geuleon Neo (Disturbance)”.  Why the name chance beats me, but hey it’s here.  There’s something about this song that kind of just reminds me of “Only You” with the chilled atmosphere, but also hides a certain R&B flair.  I never was one for Disturbance, and the self-cover doesn’t really do much to sway me in a direction.  Though it’s not a bad song at least.

14. Tail of Hope

Ending the album is the A-side, Tail of Hope and I found it interesting it wasn’t “MASAYUME CHASING” since it was the big one.  Though given it’s upbeat sound, Tail of Hope made sense to close things out on a strong note.  Like the aforementioned song, it’s got that same breezy atmosphere with slapped beats and sparkly synths added to the arrangement.  Made for a pretty nice closure to the album!

Tracks Recommended

  • Call my name
  • MASAYUME CHASING
  • close to me
  • FUN
  • Message

Song of Avoidance

  • Milestone

There’s really two ways to look with this album, if you’re a casual fan trying to get into BoA (though by now I think she’s well-known in the community) WHO’S BACK? is probably her best album in a LOOOOONG time, a lot of these songs are well-produced and well-sung.  All of these songs were a LOT better than anything she pulled off in “IDENTITY” so that’s a great thing for me since I was sorely disappointed in that one.  HOWEVER, only one new track?!?  That’s terribly weak for BoA, especially since her last album dropped back in early 2010.  Overall, awesome album, but definitely wasn’t worth the wait nor the amount of anything new here (First Time wasn’t worth the wait).

 

FLOW – Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 2:46 am

aiaiainiutaretebyebyebye

Track Listing

  1. Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye
  2. FROGS ~Keronpa Teikoku no Gyakushuu~
  3. Samurymaflo 2014
  4. Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye -TV Size-
  5. Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye -Instrumental-

1. Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye

Onto the next single, Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye already kicks off on a heavy and fast note and honestly, I do love FLOW’s songs when they’re heavier and yet keeps the atmosphere familiar.  I’m loving KOHSHI and KEIGO together and the chorus is so badass and so catchy to just shout along with.  It’s just fun and exciting and definitely one of the best A-sides I’ve heard in a long while from the band, so in this case AWESOME JOB!!!!

2. FROGS ~Keronpa Teikoku no Gyakushuu~

Interesting title aside, I wasn’t sure what to expect from FROGS and it’s just as weird as the title.  It’s a bit more poppier than I expected but the arrangement is quirky and something you don’t see too much from the band.  Though what killed me was the HEAVY amount of auto-tune in this track, it’s really hard to tell the vocalists apart here so I’m just lost listening to this track.  Is there a 3rd singer?  I don’t know but I just can’t take this tune seriously.

3. Samurymaflo 2014

I had assumed that it could’ve been a self-cover because of the 2014 song but I can’t seem to find if this is the case or not.  Samurymaflo sounds interesting because it has a certain punk rock feel which I can always get behind with the band.  For the most part, KOHSHI, and KEIGO are rapping in this song and it’s been a while since we’ve had a tune that focused on this side.  It’s edgy and FLOW’s energy is out of the roof.  Definitely a cool song if you like FLOW’s more rapping-side.

 

 

FLOW closes out their “26 a Go Go!!!” with a pretty bizarre single IMO.  Well, OK, Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye and Samurymaflo 2014 was pretty fun songs and showcased the band’s wild energy in two jam-packed songs!  The bizarre song though is FROGS and it just made me confused and wondered why’d they release a song like this (and it got a PV too x.x).  I can’t wait to tackle this album!

 

FLOW – SNOW FLAKE ~Kioku no Koshitsu~/PULSE

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 2:21 am

snowflake

Track Listing

  1. SNOW FLAKE ~Kioku no Koshitsu~
  2. PULSE
  3. Phantom

1. SNOW FLAKE ~Kioku no Koshitsu~

Yeah, I’m going back XD.  SNOW FLAKE is actually a ballad im comparison to the other A-sides from the
“#5″ era so I was worried that it’d be pretty unremarkable to listen to.  Actually I kind of enjoyed this because KEIGO had a much prominent since he does have the deeper vocals in comparison and he sounded really nice!  I was surprised they had that triplet section at the end of the choruses…definitely was a surprise.  Overall, the song is a pleasant experience overall.

2. PULSE

On the other side of the coin, PULSE is a heavier track and sets itself next to “WORLD END” and “WORD OF THE VOICE” where it’s a pretty strong rock tune all-around.  Of course it’s a lot of the two leads singing together and they always sound good harmonizing with one another.  I quite found myself loving the energy and sound from the band here too.  Yeah, definitely the better A-side for sure!

3. Phantom

As the lone B-side, Phantom is the more experimental track from the single that sounded like it’d have been perfect on “MICROCOSM” (granted the album didn’t exist at the time).  It takes the edginess from “PULSE” but throws some synths in there to kind of give it a more electro-rock touch.  I quite enjoyed it and it didn’t sound out of place (like some of the previous B-sides have been in the last era).

 

 

Closing the “#5″ era, SNOW FLAKE ~Kioku no Koshitsu~/PULSE is probably my favorite single released.  None of the songs felt underwhelming and to be honest, I was disappointed that Phantom isn’t on the album.  SNOW FLAKE gave us a lighter side to their music and PULSE & Phantom gave us our cool rockin’ songs.  I’m definitely excited to review this album now~

 

FLOW – Tokonatsu Endless

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 2:05 am

tokonatsuendless

Track Listing

  1. Tokonatsu Endless
  2. Itohen
  3. FTM ~Theme of Grand Final~
  4. Tokonatsu Endless -Instrumental-
  5. Itohen -Instrumental-

1. Tokonatsu Endless

After the excitement of their “FLOW THE MAX!!!” album, I was curious to see how they’d move forward as a band.  Then we got Tokonatsu Endless which is a bit shift for the band moving from their anison rock sound for a more poppier sound.  Actually the tune really gives me a different interest with the synths taking precendence all over the track!  It’s actually kind of catchy, but doesn’t have much power to it as per their previous releases.  Though I wasn’t expecting KOHSHI to be hitting these high notes all over the track…risky move there bro!  Different for the band, but not a bad choice.

2. Itohen

The first B-side, Itohen, sounds more like the FLOW I”ve quickly grown into.  It reminds me a lot of their tracks that has a similar glow to it (most of their songs from their last album, comes to mind).  It’s a basic song for the band and of course KOHSHI and KEIGO sing most of the time together and pulled off a pretty good song despite not bringing much of anything new to the table.  Actually KEIGO led a lot of the song, so it’s a pretty cool song and the final chorus is pretty sweet including backing lyrics.  Overall not bad and slightly better than “Tokonatsu Endless” here.

3. FTM ~Theme of Grand Final~

Weird that the other B-sie is an instrumental piece from the band.  I do like the fanfare opening, but saying ~flow the max~ seems a bit weird because it was their last album…why is it here?  After the introduction, we move into a cool arabesque/dance mixture that kind of makes me tilt my head in confusion.  Just seems a bit of an unusual track to include on this single.

 

 

FLOW kicks off a new era with a pretty solid single I suppose.  Tokonatsu Endless doesn’t give me the worries I had when they did “NUTS BANG!!” so long ago, but it does show off a lighter side to FLOW which I’m not sure if I really love or just feel worried.  At least Itohen gave me a proper track from them that while was safe for them, worked me over.  Though ending with FTM seemed so out of place musically and literally because of its “FLOW THE MAX!!!” referencing.  Might have been a tour intro or something?  I don’t know it was OK at least.

 

GENERATION 4: Complicated yet? August 31, 2014

Filed under: ~Teh Pokemon: 4th Gen~ — solarblade @ 1:39 am

Welcome to our 2nd installment of the Sinnoh dex! Shall we get started?

026: Burmy, 027: Wormadam, 028: Mothim

burmypburmygburmyswormadampwormadamgwormadamsmothim

Starting this list off, we get our what I can assume is our early Bug Pokemon.  However there’s quite a twist with them.  Burmys come in three different flavor a Bug/Grass, Bug/Ground, and Bug/Steel (green, tan, pink) respectively.  The first you can get through just fighting in grasslands, the 2nd in desert settings, and the 3rd in cities (like Pokemon battles).  They all evolve at level 20 and depending on the last look it had it’ll be permanant on your Wormadam.  Also only females evolve into them.  As for the males, level them up to 20 as well and it’ll evolve into the Bug/Flying type Mothim.  None of them are too viable or were that interesting to me (except the Bug/Steel Wormadam) otherwise it’s kind of meh in the long run.

029: Combee, 030: Vespiquen

combeevespiquen

Wait we have another Bug/Flying type?  Yup one that’s based on bees (weird Beedrill is jealous).  Combee is rather cute looking and the whole honeycomb look is different and yet awesome.  However, the females are the only ones that can evolve to Vespiquen at lvl 21.  Definitely looks threatening and the fact it learns 3 signature moves is just awesome.  One of my favorites of this Generation.

031: Pachirisu

pachirisu

So our Pika-clone for this Generation is an electric squirrel? Yup Pachirisu is the new one and of course it’s mad adorable!  Initially writing it off as weak it actually became a VERY noticeable Pokemon in the metagame recently due to its epic battle in the Finals at D.C.  Interesting Pokemon and for being a basic with no evolutions, definitely took the stand and made itself known!

032: Buizel, 033: Floatzel

buizelfloatzel

One of the early Pokemon shown off to the fans, Buizel was just MAD cute.  It does seem like it takes a little of its creation from Miles Prower, but I also think it doesn’t as well.  I do love the floatation device it wears and moreso on its evolution, Floatzel.  As Water types, they aren’t too fantastic, but they’re just so adorable!!!!

034: Cherubi, 035: Cherrim

cherubicherrim

It was only time before they would show off a Sakura-themed Pokemon and it came true with Cherubi and Cherrim which definitely takes itself literally.  Being a pure Grass type it’s still one of the more weaker inclusions which also includes Cherrim’s rather odd gimmick.  Normally Cherrim is not what you see above.  It actually closes itself off until Sunny Day (or an ability that makes it Sunny) is used, then it opens its leaves and reveals the happy-go-lucky Pokemon.  It’s a rather meh concept and kind of wish was gone, but what can ya do.

036: Shellos, 037: Gastrodon

shellosgastrodon

So the next Pokemon I remember was a little curious amongst fans because they resembled Lapras (especially the blue ones) actually these were the first Pokemon that were different from placement in Sinnoh.  The pink ones are the West Sea variation while the blue are the East Sea variation.  Shellos are Water types while Gastrodon gains the Ground type.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for the variations, this would’ve been forgotten amongst some of the other in the Sinnoh generation.

038: Ambipom

ambipom

So a lot of this Generation is about the past 3 gaining evolutions and pre-evolutions.  The first to really show off is that Aipom gains an evolution.  The only way to get one is actually teaching Aipom Double Hit and then leveling it up.  To be honest, Aipom was probably my most forgettable to memory Pokemon in Johto so I find it really odd that it got an evolution.  Even then, I don’t seem to recall Ambipom much anyways…Weird right?

039: Drifloon, 040: Drifblim

drifloondrifblim

Our next Pokemon is another one that just surprises me a lot!  I remember that Drifloon’s were rare-ish to get (it actually appears once every Friday at the Valley Windworks in Diamond/Pearl.  As the only Ghost/Flying in the series so far, the Drifblim line is kind of dark in its entries but so cute (especially Drifloon).  I really like them and I’ve used them in a lot of games just because they were so viable for the games for me…One of the best lines from Sinnoh.

041: Buneary, 042: Lopunny

bunearylopunny

Eh? Another Normal type line?  Based off the simplest bunnies!, Buneary and Lopunny did throw some fans for a loop since the latter looked a little too sexualized which I doubt GameFreak would pull.  Honestly, I couldn’t get into them because they didn’t seem like they’d work on my team.

Though in OR/AS, in a freaky twist, Lopunny gains a Mega form and it looks quite badass and less sexualized than it’s non-Mega look.  Not sure what it’ll bring to the table besides raised stats but I hope it’ll be stronger.

043: Mismagius

mismagius

Soo, my favorite Pokemon of ALL TIME, Misdreavus had been known in Gen 2 as the only pure Ghost-type available and now in Gen 4 is able to evolve into the darker Mismagius!  Using a Dusk Stone, a lot of its stats went up and became a powerhouse for Ghosts  Although I still prefer Misdreavus due to my nostalgic trip and love.  Still I actually own one that I’ve used since Pearl so it’s a pretty awesome inclusion.

044: Honchkrow

honchkrow

Like Misdreavus, Murkrow also had gotten a new evolution to bulk up its stats and become a little more useful all-around.  I do love its feathery hat and it’s kind of grim appearance.  Being the Dark/Flying type still, Honchkrow did slightly stand better than the previous Pokemon, but I did somewhat enjoy using it in X/Y for later battles online.  OH YEAH it also evolves with the use of the Dusk Stone!

045: Glameow. 046: Purugly

glameowpurugly

Then, we get into our Generational cats and is probably my least favorite Pokemon from Sinnoh.  I don’t know why, but I can never seem to remember anything about its stats or moveset (though being Normal types).  Add-on that I think Purugly is kind of fitting to its name honestly.  They just did nothing to me.

047: Chingling

chingling

Another Pokemon I was surprised to see was a pre-evolution for Chimecho!  I never thought Chimecho needed a Baby Pokemon because it was rather weak it comes to other Psychic types but I suppose I was wrong.  Of course Chingling is weaker than its evolution, but it’s so cute and it’s a bell…what more do you want?

048: Stunky, 049: Skuntank

stunkyskuntank

Hmmm, another Pokemon line that I just didn’t care too much is our Poison/Dark line here. The Skuntank line didn’t seem to impress me much because skunks are well ones that don’t seem to be animals that I could care about.  I think they would’ve been useful if not for the fact Drapion had also existed and it is more useful than Skuntank.  I really should look more into this guy and see how capable I can be with him 0.o

050: Bronzor, 051: Bronzong

bronzorbronzong

The final Pokemon on this post, we have Bronzor and Bronzong, our Steel/Psychic types.  Even though the typing isn’t new, I also warmed up nicely to them because they were different and covered types that I love!  Bronzong is quite nice with its defense and it definitely can hold its own in battles too, I don’t recall using it in the Elite Four but it definitely was an interesting Pokemon eeven if it is surpassed by others.

NEXT TIME: MOAAAAAR

 

Let’s Talk about Smash Bros.! From the end of E3, Comic-con to End of August! August 28, 2014

Filed under: ~Video Game Writing~ — solarblade @ 4:43 am

640px-Logo_EN_-_Super_Smash_Bros__Wii_U_3DS

So here we are again talking about Smash Bros. with a two month gap almost there’s been quite a lot surprisingly in that time ^_^.  New Characters, items, stages, etc.!  So let’s get to it shall we!

Stuff to do

We see things like Classic mode coming back and the aforementioned Smash Run as well.  Though we got some new things like Target Blast! which combines the Home-run Contest and Target Smash into one glorious mode (even though it just looks a lot like Angry Birds) and Trophy Rush (which we don’t really know much about…).  Also Spectator mode and Challenges are back as well adding more to an already jam-packed 3DS game.

Characters

Well there’s been a couple of Miiverse posts that told of some changes amongst the characters, but most of this news really came from Comic-con where they had a 3DS tournament where Bowser ended up winning the whole thing.  I mean wow was he boss or what!!  I really didn’t follow too much on the specifics there because it didn’t seem to have importance besides the fact that Bowser went OP lol.

We did learn more that each character will have 3 customizable moves for each of their specials, which is cool…like I said before, I wonder how tourneys will take this in account.

There was also quite a number of alternate costumes shown of like Skyward Sword Link, Light Suit Samus, NES Open Tournament Mario, and Sakurai said there’s more in store and the Miis have a LOT of different options for outfits (maybe Tomodachi Life references?).

Most of the character centric additions was more on the Miis, Palutena, and Pac-Man.

  • Miis - So like I said in the previous Smash post, they’re classified under 3 styles: Brawler, Swordfighter, and Gunner.  Though we learned that they’re also classified by how big and tall they are so it affects their gameplay a bit!  The shorter ones are quick on their feet while the bigger ones are slower but packs more punch!  Also there seems to be a lot of different outfits for em.
  • Mii Swordfighter – Has a side special where it throws a chakram exclusively, there’s others but it sounds like it’s a little more confusing with the other throwing attacks.
  • Mii Gunner – Its side smash is the farthest in the game.
  • Palutena - Heavenly Light racks up damage but doesn’t stun.
  • Pac-Man - A lot of things have been shown, Pac-Man’s B attack shuffles through fruits for attack, one of his taunts is a nostalgic trip, and one his alt costumes has him wearing his Adventures shoes

Though the biggest thing was that we had a reveal trailer in July!  Let’s talk about that!

The thing I’ll mention is that Captain Falcon and later on in August, Metaknight was confirmed, but there doesn’t seem too much changed about them, though let’s talk about the real stars from the trailer.

lucina

The first shown was a surprise to me with Lucina being the first revealed from the trailer.  I loved her in the trailer, she seemed to work before almost getting Falcon Punch’d in the face.  Beyond that, we learned quite a bit from Sakurai.  According to his Famitsu column, he said that she was initially supposed to be just an alternate outfit for Marth (makes sense because in Fire Emblem: Awakening she parades a lot of the time around as him).  Though I’m not sure if her inclusion is going to really make anyone happy (besides her fans) because she is essentially Roy without the weight.  I suppose it’s nice but we’re dealing with clones again?!?  I don’t know where I stand, I suppose she’ll be good with novice players but I don’t know…Lucina isn’t doing much besides the fact we have another female!

robin

The other surprise we got was that it wasn’t Chrom chosen, but the avatar that you start off with in FE:A, Robin!  When I watched this trailer it took me a while to remember this character and was curious to why Sakurai chose him/her and it was basically because he brought something different that Chrom couldn’t (makes sort of sense, yet they added Lucina?).  Equipped with Levin Sword and Tomes, Robin bring a bit of an interesting moveset that deals with both of them.  Eventually both the sword and tomes lose power (the latter abandoned and the former replaced by the Bronze Sword).  Also specials are circulated around the tomes which come in different colors depicting different elements.  Also Robin’s final smash summons Chrom as well ^_^.

shulk

Closing out the end of the month, Nintendo held a JPN-only Direct focusing on the 3DS and the first thing we see in the introduction is our newest contender, Shulk.  Coming from the big hit, Xenoblade Chronicles, this sword user definitely stands out amongst the cast in a good way.  With his Monado by his side he comes in with an interesting attribute.  His Monado can change modes where different stats are raised AND lowered depending on the situation.  Makes me wonder how Sakurai will manage (15 different Monado settings?).  Either way, he looks badass and a welcome addition, even though he was leaked a week earlier.

======================================

So the Gematsu leak is sort debunked with Chrom deconfirmed, though it doesn’t mean that Shulk and Chorus Men aren’t still up for it.  So it’s open season again!!!  Although it still is somewhat in the open as this leaker probably learned it before the roster was concrete.

Items

So there wasn’t as many items shown off after the E3-palooza that happened, but there was some new ones!

  • Boss Galaga - At first I thought it’d be an AT, but it seems the Galaga bugs are actually an item.  Strangely enough it works like the Beetle where it’ll drag you up (and possibly off the screen).  Interesting item, but I want to see more of it!
  • Daybreak - Another Kid Icarus item?!?  Yep, Daybreak is another weapon from the series and just like the Boss Galaga, resembles another item, the Dragoon.  How so? Well it comes in three parts and once you obtained them it fires a super powerful beam.  Man, the Dragoon AND the Daybreak…it’s a real chase now!
  • Special Flag - The other NAMCO item, the Special Flag is quite a head turner.  If you pick it up and manage to hold it a while you gain an extra KO for your score in Timed matches and an extra life in Stock matches.  Though knowing that, I wonder what’ll it’ll do if the Money matches return.
  • Fairy Bottle - So at E3 people were confused to why this item didn’t work and it’s because it was mis-utilized.  It’ll only take off the damage when you exceed 100% damage or higher.  Otherwise it’s useless!
  • Beehive - Basically you toss it at the opponent and it’ll sting them, however if you attack it, they will come after you (sounds just like the Cucco item eh? Cept it doesn’t take a certain amount of damage to initiate it)

Assist Trophies

  • Takamaru - Probably the first big deconfirmation was the Samurai from The Mysterious Murasame Castle, Takamaru.  I, back in the pre-Brawl days really wanted him to join because he was well, a samurai and could’ve stood out amongst the other sword-wielders.  Though, I’m just happy that he made as an AT and possibly could be raised in the next iteration.  He uses one of his weapon choices of the rooks (not his sword mind you).
  • The Prince of the Sable Kingdom - How bout this for a stretch, another originally JPN only character from Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru the Prince was a rather surprising inclusion as an AT, but a nice one at that.  Supposedly, he turns into a frog or a snake and unleashes attacks on the opponent…what an odd guy xD.
  • Nightmare - One of the final bosses from the earlier Kirby games, Nightmare comes up in his orb form and prolly roams around the stage and then turns into the Nightmare Wizard and blackens the screen ala Togepi
  • Ghirahim - The final boss from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, he was another character that many people wanted to see playable, though just seemed to not be in the cards.  Basically in Smash, he runs around attacking with his sword and knife and can teleport if he falls off the stage.
  • Phosphora - Flies around the stage and shooting lightning bolts, but you can stall her by attacking.
  • Ashley – Definitely took Luigi’s old FS and uses that to disorient opponents
  • Dr. Kawashima - Ahhh, the floating head of a Japanese doctor from Brain Age is an AT.  From the descriptions he throws number bubbles out at people and if the numbers collide and equal 10, a big explosion ensues…what a strange concept but original!

Pokemon

  • Victini - So since the last post, we got some clarifications!  Victini uses his ability Victory Star to help the player endure attacks without flinching and powers their attack up, Neat!
  • Xerneas - Uses Geomancy (obviously) to raise launch power for all characters on the field with more importance to the user that released it.  Not sure what that means exactly by “launch power” though >.>
  • Zoroark - From what I can gather from the Famitsu picture, Zoroark just slashes opponents and the final one slams them into the ground.

Stages (3DS)

  • Pac-Maze - The first stage shown after E3, we had a small glimpse of this stage during Pac-Man’s reveal trailer.  Though we learned a bit more about the stage’s quirks, notably eat 100 of the little pellets and you’ll get power pellets and eat those pesky ghosts (to what extent goes though is still unknown) but hey definitely brings the nostalgia.
  • Find Mii - The Dark Emperor gives different statuses to the player (unsure if it’s negative or not)
  • Wily Castle - Yeah, we get the WiiU stage on the 3DS except it’s DAY TIME! Yeah, nothing else to mention it’s the same even down to the Yellow Devil’s appearance.
  • Tomodachi Life stage - From what it looks like it’s almost the successor to Luigi’s Mansion.  With the rooms and building status.  It also takes the different interiors as well as using your Miis on your 3DS.  I like the looks of it and hope it becomes a favorite of mine.
  • Paper Mario stage - Finally we get some Paper Mario representation with a stage and interestingly enough it’s a transforming stage as well.  So far we have Paper Mario: Sticker Star & The Thousand Year Door.  There seems to be more surprises in store.
  • N’s Castle / Unova Pokemon League - With only a picture initially shown, there was not indication of what it could do.  However, when the Famitsu pics leaked recently, we see that well Reshiram, Zekrom, and Milotic were involved and the stage does different things…Is it a successor to Spear Pillar.
  • Game Boy stage - I am rather unsure of what this is about…it’s the first screen you see when you turn it on…although why is Dedede and Kirby there…
  • Brinstar - Again?  I’m really tired of seeing this stage.  Yes it is the return of the stage that’s been in all of the Smash games…I would’ve taken Brinstar Depths instead (or Norfair).
  • Yoshi’s Island (Brawl) - Yup the brawl stage returns!
  • Distant Planet - Nothing changed here either
  • Mushroomy Kingdom 1-1 - While I wouldn’t doubt that 1-2 is also here, we only got to see the desert-like ruins of the former shown in video format.

Stages (Wii U)

  • Mushroom Kingdom U - The only new thing we learned was that Nabbit is a part of the stage as he runs up and bags people…not sure what else Nabbit does, but it’s great to see he’s getting some love.
  • Great Fox - Not much is known, just the shot of it, the new Corneria perhaps?

TEH BIG LEAK?

So in the last week we had gotten picture leaks of what was “most” of the roster of the game and most had written it off and moved on until in the last few days we got Videos that pretty much looked VERY legit and shockingly took the forums by storm. The leaks in question included the return of Ness, Falco, R.O.B., Ganondorf, Wario, Mr. Game and Watch, and Jigglypuff as returning veterans and Dr. Mario from Melee!.

However the main focus was on the new fighters that included Shulk, Bowser Jr., Duck Hunt Dog, and Dark Pit so let’s talk about them!

EDIT: With Shulk’s reveal and his official art on the main website, I think it’s safe to say that the roster pic that was leaked last week is actually legit and all the characters mentioned are playable

  • Bowser Jr. -I kind of thought that we had our Mario representative in Rosalina & Luma but nope.  Fighting in his Koopa Clown Car (ala in a fashion similar to MvC2/3’s Tron Bonne and SFxT’s Pac-Man, Bowser Jr. is definitely an idea that we haven’t seen in the Smash series and it looks neat (and the rumor that his alternates are actually the Koopalings would be some interesting too).
  • Duck Hunt Dog - I was definitely not expecting the DHD as a character for sure so seeing him on the roster was eye-opening.  Not sure what his moveset will be like (sounds like it’d involve the Ducks).  With no video footage compared to the previous two…it’s rather shrouded in mystery.
  • Dark Pit - I know I’ve mentioned it before, but having Dark Pit being in Palutena’s reveal trailer (also in her poster art) kind of madeit increasingly look like he’d be in the game.  As a clone, obvious, but I hope there’s something a little original to him (like I said before give him Pit’s Brawl moveset and we’re good!).

So there’s the list and the leaker had said that this wasn’t the final roster which means there’s more surprises!  Now why is this being written up?  Well, it’s basically legit at this point (at least with Ganondorf, Bowser Jr., and Shulk).  Since the videos were put up, Nintendo has since taken them down which means it’s pretty much nailed.  Though what’s with the missing characters well…

  • Squirtle/Ivysaur - With the split of the Pokemon Trainer, it was kind of shocking to see that Charizard was the only one to be given the green light.  Squirtle’s chances were shot down even further when Greninja was announced as well.  Despite the fact that both have unique movesets, it just wasn’t meant to be.
  • Wolf - To me, Star Fox needed some kind of representation and was disappointed to see that he was missing.  I still am not too big of a fan of his pseudo-clone feels but he at least stood out to me than Falco has.  Still…dropping a villian?
  • Ice Climbers – Sakurai has stated he had problems with the Ice Climbers since the beginning, but I guess it was too much (maybe Rosalina & Luma took more precedence) and dropped them. It would be really difficult to manage 8 of them on one 3DS I bet.  It would’ve been easy to place them in the Wii U version but they’ll both have the same roster list (unless this cross-system play will give them more time to finish it up?).
  • Snake - 3rd Party, too late?  There really isn’t a full reason, but Snake not making the cut doesn’t surprise me in the least.
  • Lucas - Well, I really don’t know why he was cut beyond being fat cut from Earthbound (and the lack of the series going anywhere).  It would’ve been great to have see him, but Ness does take first dibs).

So after that there’s been extra rumours talking about the potential remainder of the cast or DLC which had Wolf, Ice Climbers, Lucas, and Snake but some exras that caught my attention.

  • Mewtwo - Ever since X/Y the amazing amount of need from Mewtwo is quite large.  After the absence of it in Brawl, Mewtwo has had a large outputting from fans and even Sakurai kind of played with the idea so there might be a chance.  Honestly, his chances are high and would make sense since he was the only character from Melee with an original moveset missing in Brawl.
  • Ridley - I mean the huge amount of teasing that has been going for Ridley is just ridiculous, but it seems that he could be a big important character.  To me, the Pyrosphere tease was just killing and the fact there still might be a chance is great!  Just a matter of time to see if this is a thing or not!
  • Dixie Kong - I don’t get people saying that it’s been so long since DK has been represented when Diddy had joined RIGHT at the last game.  Anyways, when it comes to Dixie she’s such a needed character coming from DKC2 which is a VERY high-praised game.  I would love to see her as she would bring some interesting mechanics with her hair and agile style.  Though King K.Rool fans might be sad with all this going on.
  • Impa - I personally saw this as a random thought and inclusion (if that’s the case) but theres still a chance as Impa has been a rather well-known name throughout the series in Legend of Zelda.  Some people say it could be a Sheik clone, which makes sense but also would show a little more with her sword (from Hyrule Warriors).  There’s been a pic floating of a character head model for Wolf and Impa…so it could go either way.
  • Mach Rider - This one seems random but more plausible than Impa because Sakurai did want him back in Melee and it would make sense to try it again.  What would he bring is rather unknown, but a character that has a slightly more mature look would be cool to see.
  • Chorus Men / Marshall - Even though Gematsu is basically shot, the Chorus Men still do have a chance and even if it is Marshall by himself, it’d be also interesting to see what Sakurai would come up with as his moveset.  With the fact we still have some representation through Smash Run…one can just wonder.

 

NEXT TIME THE OFFICIAL ROSTER/STAGES/EVERYTHING!!!~~~~~

 

 
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