Spontaneous Saturday 1/31/15: Wake Up, Girl Zoo!

First off, this is a spin-off series, so it’s recommended to watch the original series first, starting with Wake Up, Girls! Shichinin no Idol. The story is basically about a group of seven idols with a manager and co-manager whose aim is to make it to the top. In this spin-off, however, they are more like animals than idols, and their idol group has become a zoo.

First, a brief mention about the characters (from left to right in the above image):

  • Okamoto, Miyu: hawk
  • Hisami, Nanami: wolf
  • Katayama, Minami: tiger
  • Shimada, Mayu (“Mayushi”): lion
  • Hayashida, Airi: shark
  • Kikuma, Kaya: crocodile
  • Nanase, Yoshino (“Yoppi”): bear

Now, some brief synopses of episodes 1-8 (the only ones I have watched at the time of writing):

  1. Based on the events of Shichinin no Idol, this shows how the idols…er, zoo animals got together.
  2. The animals are at an aquarium, hoping to raise funds, with Airi and Kaya on display in an aquatic tank.
  3. One night during a sleepover, Minami mysteriously goes missing, and the others go searching for her.
  4. Miyu shows off a dating simulator centered around herself.
  5. Mayushi, Yoppi, and Airi talk about using figurines to raise money.
  6. Miyu, Nanami, and Minami hand out fliers.
  7. Nanami suggests several ideas of animation improvement with the intent of bringing in more guests, and Yoppi evaluates those ideas.
  8. A so-called “wrestling match” goes on, which is more of a debate between Mayushi and Yoppi featuring Airi. Matsuda (the co-manager) and Minami provide voice-overs.

While the show is ranked lower than 6000th on MAL, I really enjoy it. It’s animated very similarly to Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Yoku Wakaru Mahouka, and it’s actually quite humorous at times. Probably the best part of it is the ending theme, which is usually accompanied with a cute little dance number that changes depending on the happenings of the episode. While episodes 1 and 3 are the most normal, all of the other episodes have some sort of gimmick.

  • In episode 2, since Airi and Kaya drowned in their tank, they could not take part in the dance.
  • The ending of episode 4 is a photo compilation of what all of the girls would look like if they were a part of a dating sim, drawn in the traditional style rather than the Yoku Wakaru Mahouka style.
  • In episode 5, Airi got eaten, so she could not participate in the dance.
  • In episode 6, Miyu, Nanami, and Minami are giant and, while the other four are on a building, the three are in the background. This is probably my favorite.
  • In episode 7, Nanami has a weirdly drawn body that is akin to a statue (i.e., she cannot change her pose).
  • The ending of episode 8 is pretty much a flashback of what happened in the episode, plus a bit of aftermath.

With these gimmicks, when I was first going through the series, the ending theme never got old, even though it isn’t near my favorite.

Overall rating: 9/10. Great spin-off series, even if it only slightly resembles its original counterpart. Every episode is 3.5 minutes of cute animation and light humor.

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Poké Monday 1/26/15: Floatzel

Once again, I have failed to deliver overnight because of other matters. Apologies. (Don’t be surprised if this happens from time to time.)

RN(U)G 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Water
Base Stats: 85 HP, 105 Atk, 55 Def, 85 Sp.Atk, 50 Sp.Def, 115 Speed
Abilities: Swift Swim, Water Veil (HA)

Usable moves: Agility, Aqua Jet, Aqua Tail, Baton Pass, Blizzard, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Crunch, Façade, Focus Blast, Focus Punch, Frustration, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Ice Fang, Ice Punch, Iron Tail, Low Kick, Me First, Payback, Protect, Pursuit, Quick Attack, Rain Dance, Rest, Return, Roar, Scald, Sleep Talk, Substitute, Surf, Switcheroo, Tail Slap, Taunt, Torment, Toxic, Waterfall

Overview

Floatzel is fast. In fact, it is the 6th-fastest Pokémon in NU (behind Zebstrika, Swellow, Electrode, Accelgor, and Ninjask, in ascending order of Speed; tied with Persian and Sneasel). Unlike most other physically offensive Water-types in the tier, it does not need setup to wreak havoc, and such behavior is ill advised due to its frailty. It does get Bulk Up, Agility, and Baton Pass (and Power-Up Punch, but apparently that’s not considered “usable”), but it’s not the type of Pokémon that should be dedicated to setup. After all, the Baton Pass Clause (that all teams are limited to one Pokémon with Baton Pass) is a thing in NU, so it’s best to not have Floatzel take up that slot and instead find an alternative like Gorebyss. Instead, use it for what it’s for: Switcheroo. You can take an opponent’s item in exchange for a hindering one like a Choice Band or a Flame Orb (the latter of which Floatzel can hold without worry). Its physical movepool is nothing to write home about, but it’s enough to get by.

Set

Floatzel @ Choice Band
Ability: Water Veil
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Switcheroo
– Waterfall
– Ice Punch
– Frustration

As established before, Switcheroo is what distinguishes Floatzel as an offensive presence. With a Choice Band, this is effective on walls like Audino and Lickilicky that rely on their utility to function. Waterfall is its main STAB; you could run Aqua Tail for more power, but the power boost is so situational that it’s not worth the 10% miss chance or lack of flinch chance. Ice Punch can nail Grass-types (particularly Cradily) on the switch, most of them for at least a 2HKO (exceptions: Gourgeist-XL, Tangela, 35.5% chance to 2HKO Vileplume). Now, you may be wondering, for one reason or another, why I have Frustration. It is the exact same thing as Return, except it messes with max happiness Ditto (note that max happiness is the default on Pokémon Showdown). It’s also because, while I was testing teams, I was frustrated that Floatzel didn’t get to do anything with the first set I gave it (Flame Orb with Switcheroo, Waterfall, Power-Up Punch, and Baton Pass). At any rate, the main reason for the move is to hit opposing Water-types that don’t mind its other options much. The coverage is good and the move itself has super reliable damage output.

Other Options

I mentioned Flame Orb before. Using Switcheroo with this item has two primary uses: reducing the potency of a physically offensive threat and causing residual damage to walls that use Leftovers or Eviolite to sustain themselves. (Well, Toxic does a better job against Pokémon that have recovery, but I guess Flame Orb Switcheroo-ing is handy against Rest and Heal Bell. Toxic Orb is too, but Floatzel doesn’t have the immunity.) This may not do it justice due to, once again, its frailty, but it could be used as a last ditch effort (but then again, isn’t that also the case with Choice Band?). Focus Punch could maybe, and I mean maybe, be used as an option over Frustration/Return on the Choice Band set to punish with predictions.

Now, if you really want to use Baton Pass Floatzel, even though I wouldn’t recommend it, I’m not stopping you; the option is there. I’m thinking a set with Leftovers max HP max Speed Jolly (4 Atk) with Bulk Up, Waterfall, Substitute, and Baton Pass would be your best bet.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/VLWGrzSJ

Now, I have something to say about this team. I think this is the most success I’ve had in quite a while with building sample teams. It’s a bit like the previous one, using Pikachu-Belle (I like using Pikachu-Belle in NU) with Fire and Grass offense (plus the added bonus of Water) and a defensive “core” (bereft of recovery) of Mega Steelix and Mantine. This time, I actually have a replay of the team in action:

http://replay.pokemonshowdown.com/nu-205669737

(vs. Poliwrath, Weezing, Audino, Steelix, Exeggutor, and Rapidash)

You can see that Floatzel uses Switcheroo on the Audino on turn 11, which turns out to be quite helpful in the long run of the battle. I think my predictions were pretty on point as well (except that Earthquake on Exeggutor was a mistake).

Top Three Thursday 1/22/15: Favorite video game characters

Note to followers: the reason why this is later than usual is a simultaneous effect of college and lack of inspiration.

3. Rita Mordio (Tales of Vesperia)

The Tales series (or at least what I’ve played of it) has a number of likable characters, but Rita Mordio is the one I prefer the most. Even though she’s young (which has nothing to do with why I like her), she’s renowned as a “genius mage” and doesn’t afraid of anything. Being a resident magic user in Tales of Vesperia, she is a helpful ally in combat and definitely a force to be reckoned with. Her no-nonsense personality is also something to admire.

 

2. Yoshi

This character is one that I have liked for so long that I can hardly remember when I started liking him. Perhaps it was during the early years of Super Smash Bros. Melee. Heck, maybe it’s because of Smash Bros. that I even like the character over someone like Dry Bones. What’s not to like, though? He’s a green dinosaur who can eat things and lay eggs (despite being allegedly male), he lets Mario ride him in Super Mario World and Galaxy 2 (and doesn’t seem to harbor any ill will, even when being sacrificed in Mario’s favor), and he’s no wimp in the Smash Bros. series. In short, he’s a kind and helpful ally.

 

1. Nowi (Fire Emblem Awakening)

To quote what I’ve said before (in Top Three Thursday 7/24):

“Nowi may be a thousand-year-old girl in a child’s body, but that’s not why I like her (and, at the same time, I don’t hold it against her). Rather, this also dates back to my Hard playthrough [of FEA]. Even though Nowi’s stats are not stellar when you recruit her, she can really grow in a way that will make you wonder how she was ever weak in the first place. After 30 levels, Nowi (and manaketes in general—here’s looking at you, Nah) can sponge (and dish out) hits about as well as a General like Kellam could, and manaketes take magical hits (and Hammers/Armorslayers) much better. Also, don’t forget that the basis for my profile icon is Nowi in dragon form. Nowi’s [childish] personality is humorous too.”

Spontaneous Saturday 1/17/15: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Because this blog is called Vouiv-review, I actually decided to do something a little review-like. This post will consist of two parts: a review part and an anecdotal part.

Review

Overall rating: 9.5/10. It’s a Super Smash Bros. game. It has a broad selection of characters (which improves after every installment) trying to rack up percentage on each other and knock each other out of the field of play. I’ve been on the hype train since the first installment, but I don’t remember said installment too well. I haven’t played Brawl in longer than I can remember and I haven’t played Melee since summer 2014, but I will offer this much: this game has enough playability to last at least a month. I have no say on the 3DS version because the only experience I have with that one is through the demo.

Even though they’ve removed a few characters from the roster since Brawl (Pokémon Trainer, Ice Climbers, Lucas, Wolf, Snake), they made up for it with original new additions (Rosalina, Bowser Jr., Little Mac, Palutena, Robin, Duck Hunt, Greninja, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Shulk, Dark Pit, Lucina, Pac-Man, Mega Man, Mii Fighter), changes to existing characters (Samus/ZSS and Zelda/Sheik separated, Pokémon Trainer replaced with Charizard), returning additions from Melee (Dr. Mario, and Mewtwo via DLC), and custom moves that bring to mind similar characters (Ness with Lucas moves, Fox with Wolf moves). I say it’s a fair tradeoff; even though I will miss some of the veterans (especially Lucas and ICs), I have no right to complain about their omission.

Other changes from Brawl:

  • No more random tripping; good riddance.
  • Pit codecs in Palutena’s Temple. This presents entertaining skits involving Pit, Palutena, and Viridi with sprites from Kid Icarus: Uprising, with Dark Pit featured in his own skit and Chrom with his Fire Emblem: Awakening sprite featured in Robin’s skit.
  • The stage selection has changed quite a bit. Good riddance to New Pork City. Palutena’s Temple has those codecs. Boxing Ring has a title for every character plus a number of alts (all listed here: http://pastebin.com/iZet7GNP). Omega form is the bomb.
  • They removed gliding, which I suppose was an unnecessary mechanic to begin with.
  • New ledge mechanics. Before, you could not grab the ledge if someone else was doing so; now, grabbing the ledge while another fighter is grabbing that ledge, one of two things can happen: 1) you grab the ledge and push the other fighter aside, or 2) you grab the ledge and the other fighter is unaffected. The latter only happens if the other fighter is about to climb up the ledge. Also, ledge immunity only works for the first ledge grab unless, after the first ledge grab, you touch the ground or are hit in midair.
  • Custom parts. Headgear, equipment, and special moves can be used to enhance characters. This is optional, but it flatly cannot be used in Stadium modes (or competitive play, I’m assuming).
  • Smash Tour, to which I like to refer as Smashio Party (because it’s a lot like Mario Party). This game mode is required to unlock 5-10 challenges (I don’t remember the exact number) and, in a manner of speaking, it enhances Smash 4’s potential as a party game.
  • 8-player Smash. I don’t know how to feel about this. Fighting seven people at once is difficult, relatively speaking, and some of the stages make it seem really cluttered (here’s looking at you, Yoshi’s Island). Still, without it, Classic mode and Special Orders would not be the same.
  • Speaking of Classic mode, it and All Star have changed. I don’t know to what degree because I don’t remember the modes in Brawl, but chances are it was for the better. Master Core is pretty much the most notable addition to Classic mode—a fun boss, but not easy to KO on the first try, especially going through 8.0-9.0 Master Fortress. Kinda makes up for lacking an adventure mode.
  • Freeform Stage Builder. No more having to worry about placing blocks and stuff on a grid. I haven’t dabbled much into this, but it’s really interesting, the potential involved in this new paradigm. Here are a few examples of this potential:

  • Special Orders. On one hand, there are Master Orders, which present a trio of tickets that each cost more gold and yield better rewards depending on their difficulty. On the other hand, there are Crazy Orders, which require a one-time entry fee (or a pass), go through a series of ticket trios that advance in difficulty as the turns rack up, and remember most of the percentage taken from prior tickets. These modes are far from trivial as far as solo play is concerned; besides that there are challenges involving them, they (especially Crazy Orders) are pretty much the best way possible to gain things like gold, custom moves, and headgear.
  • Trophy Rush. I feel this is not a very efficient way to gain anything but trophies (it’s difficult to make the slightest bit of profit in gold, and custom parts are few and far between), but it is required for challenges and…well, it is innovative.
  • Trophy Shop. It’s quite a trip through the menu to swing by periodically, but it’s a nice and direct way to get missed trophies.
  • Photo Studio. This can be accessed through Trophy Hoard and requires an SD card (apparently). I realize there is a feature just like it in Brawl, but they improved it by making it possible to adjust the height and size of trophies. I don’t have the creative brain to put the feature into practice, but here’s an example:

  • Target Blast, which looks somewhat like Angry Birds. Not a very interesting game mode; I only played it for the challenges.
  • amiibo and new online play, with which I have no experience whatsoever.
  • There’s also apparently a function where you can draw on snapshots, but I can’t seem to access the snapshots I take for some stupid reason. Honestly, when I accidentally take a picture of something, it says I took the photo, but when I go to the album, it’s completely empty. Still, the snapshots can be accessed on the SD card through a computer but not deleted, which is the weirdest part. Like, what the heck…
  • Other less important changes like new alts, new Pokémon and Assist characters, lower item limit in Training mode (which is quite a bother), Mii Fighters instead of Alloys, more controllers (Wii U gamepad and pro controller, 3DS with a copy of Smash Bros. 3DS), new music additions (Grand Finale from Bowser’s Inside Story and Psycho Bits from Metroid Prime Hunters are my personal favorites), new and longer Masterpieces, and that the percentage option in Training mode sets both fighters’ percentages rather than just the computer player.

That’s all from a review standpoint. Now for the anecdotal part.

Anecdotal

I’ve put 100 hours into this game, none of which I regret. However, the experience was not without issues. For example:

  • As mentioned before, the snapshots are behaving weirdly. Why do I not have access to them through the Album, even though they’re clearly on the SD?
  • A few days ago, the disk got scratched to the point where the Wii U could not read it if I loaded a certain character’s custom move screen or initiated a battle in Crazy Orders (RIP pass). So, I had to get it cleaned. That’s ridiculous, a game’s disk getting scratched without even three weeks of ownership. I mean, the Wii U was moved around with the disk in it, but that shouldn’t matter too much…
  • This is not exactly an issue, but I still have 3 challenges left to complete, all in row 1: “Clear Classic at intensity 9.0 without losing a single life.”, “Collect all of the special moves.”, and “Collect all of the custom headgear.” As a way to challenge myself, I decided to use as few custom parts as possible. The five challenges I’ve had to hammer are:
    • Row 1 column 6 (“Clear Solo Classic in 12 minutes at intensity 9.0 while playing as Marth.”) – Classic on 9.0 is difficult as it stands, and I don’t want to do it as a character I’m not used to, let alone in a limited time.
    • Row 2 column 1 (“Clear All-Star on hard difficulty with all the characters.”) – Too tedious, and All-Star with 8 characters was hard enough. I just can’t be bothered taking on such a challenge with every character.
    • Row 2 column 2 (“Destroy a total of 50000 or more blocks in Trophy Rush.”) – I thought this would be a gimme, but when I went through the entire roster and encountered a 5000 block milestone halfway (and realized there’s no way to keep track of the blocks you’ve destroyed), I just gave up and smashed the case. Funnily, this was before I got 8 fevers with Dr. Mario.
    • Row 2 column 8 (“Clear Crazy Orders after 20 or more turns while playing as Mario.”) – I’ve tried this many, many times, but I just can’t seem to complete it. I really thought I could if the odds were in my favor, but I just couldn’t. Heck, I don’t think I can complete 20 with anyone.
    • Row 12 column 7 (“Recover the stat boosts a Metroid stole from you in Smash Tour.”) – After I dabbled into Smash Tour and got all challenges but this, I decided I didn’t want to continue any longer and, well, I just didn’t feel capable of making this particular situation happen.

In Classic mode, I managed to beat 9.0 as Captain Falcon, 8.0 as Yoshi and Charizard, and 7.0 as everyone else (Mii Fighters included). In All-Star mode, I beat Hard as Captain Falcon, Yoshi, Lucina, Bowser, Kirby, Duck Hunt, Ike, and Toon Link; Normal as Mario, Robin, Marth, Palutena, Charizard, and Lucario; and Easy as everyone else (for their trophies). I got every reward in Events, the particular toughies being “The FINAL Final Battle” (which I did as Toon Link…somehow), “Unwavering Chivalry”, and “Kirby’s Crazy Appetite”, as well as the challenge requirement to beat “All-Star Battle: Secret” on Hard (which I did as Bowser). “Wrecking Mario” was no easy feat either.

I didn’t spend much time in Stadium, mostly limiting myself to whatever was required. My Target Blast record highs are not impressive, but I’ll list them anyway:

  • Stage 1: 225310 as Ike
  • Stage 2: 317250 as Ike
  • Stage 3: 495020 as Fox (had to look up a video for help on this one)

My record highs in Multi-Man Smash are:

  • 10-Man Smash – 15:40.21 total; fastest 11.56 as DK
  • 100-Man Smash – fastest 2:07.28 as DK (not completed with all characters)
  • 3-Minute Smash – 363 total (among 3 characters); highest 122 as Bowser
  • Rival Smash – 332 total (among 7 characters); highest 92 as DK
  • Endless Smash – 346 total (among 4 characters); highest 125 as Palutena
  • Cruel Smash – 28 total (among 4 characters); highest 12 as Palutena

Incidentally, here’s how I managed to get 8+ (10, to be exact) Cruel Smash KOs as Lucina:

Home Run Contest total is 19230.6 ft among 9 characters, with the highest being 5595.8 ft as Ganondorf. I noticed about HRC that the mechanics have changed; bat throws don’t have as much knockback as they used to, and the barriers are apparently infinite much sturdier.

In Crazy Orders, I could only clear as high as 13 with Mario, 11 with Yoshi, 5 with Palutena, 11 with Greninja, 12 with Captain Falcon, 12 with Lucina, and 2 with Villager. Note that clear scores are only recorded when Crazy Hand is defeated, so I could probably do better with most of these characters (especially Palutena and Villager).

In recent happenings, I managed to accumulate over 300000G (which is stupid that they don’t tell you to “accumulate”, but rather, to “collect”; ambiguous wording can be quite problematic at times), and my elder brother and I got rewards for all the Co-op Events but “The Ultimate Battle”; we managed to beat Normal mode, but Hard just seems out of our reach for the time being. We had the second-hardest time with “Final Battle Team-Up” and the third-hardest time with “Secret Smash”.

In summary, Smash for Wii U a great new addition to the Smash Bros. franchise with plenty of playability in Challenges, as well as features through which to express creativity (e.g. Stage Builder). I suppose the main issues as it stands are the tedium involved in some of the challenges and my inability to do anything with the snapshots I take, both of which are nothing in the face of what the game has to offer.

Currently, my three characters of choice are:

  1. Captain Falcon. What little chance I have in competitive Melee I owe to this character. His aerials are great, his smashes are powerful, and his specials are fun. It’s always nice to get a good Falcon Punch on an opponent, however infrequently it happens. Thankfully, thanks to the new ledge mechanics, Captain Falcon doesn’t have to worry about getting edge-hogged any longer.
  2. Yoshi. He’s been one of my favorites since the days of casual Melee, and apparently he’s high-tier as well. Yellow Yoshi all the way! (Too bad there’s no orange.)
  3. Lucina. I’ve mentioned before how much I like Fire Emblem Awakening, and the best part is that Lucina has an alt with Nowi colors (the green one). That is why I am so interested in the character.

 

1/25 update: First of all, the photos are now working the way they should (although it’s still beyond me, what was going on before). Second, I’ve decided to break my vow of not using custom parts, but only for 9.0 Classic deathless (which is obscenely difficult, if not impossible, without) and the co-op final event (which was so much more of a cinch with parts than without).

Nowi Wins That’s all for now!

Poké Monday 1/12/15: Heatmor

RNG 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Fire
Base Stats: 85 HP, 97 Atk, 66 Def, 105 SpA, 66 SpD, 65 Spe
Abilities: Gluttony, Flash Fire, White Smoke (HA)

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Amnesia, Body Slam, Curse, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Focus Punch, Frustration, Giga Drain, Heat Wave, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Hone Claws, Knock Off, Low Kick, Night Slash, Protect, Pursuit, Rain Dance, Rest, Return, Shadow Claw, Sleep Talk, Solar Beam, Stockpile, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Sunny Day, Superpower, Taunt, Thunder Punch, Toxic, Will-O-Wisp

Overview

Heatmor is one of the unfortunate Pokémon to be categorized as slow and frail. You could say it’s like Seviper, only with slightly more bulk and better STAB. However, it does have two moves that give it a niche over other Fire-types: Sucker Punch and Giga Drain. The former makes it the only Fire-type besides Flareon to put a priority move to effective use, while the latter gives it a means to deal with Water-types like Seismitoad without the use of Hidden Power. It’s also the only Fire-type in the tier to learn Knock Off, although Sucker Punch is more preferable because of Heatmor’s sluggish Speed.

Set

Heatmor @ Life Orb
Ability: Flash Fire
EVs: 180 Atk / 252 SpA / 76 Spe
Rash Nature
– Fire Blast
– Giga Drain
– Focus Blast
– Sucker Punch

This set brings out the best in Heatmor’s potential, relying on its decent offensive stats and interesting movepool. Flash Fire is the preferred ability because White Smoke does nothing but prevent Sucker Punch from being weakened, which is pretty much only useful against Tauros. The Speed EVs serve to speed creep past uninvested Seismitoad, Special Attack EVs are maximized for optimal offensive prowess, and the rest is dumped into Attack. Rash vs. Mild is a matter of preference, and I just based the choice on Heatmor’s B/W analysis for lack of anything better. Fire Blast is its main STAB and is the 5th-hardest-hitting Fire Blast in the tier (behind Mega Camerupt, Magmortar, Pyroar, and Typhlosion). Giga Drain is, as mentioned, the niche of Heatmor, which allows it to hit Water- and Ground-types for nice damage and also recover HP lost from residual damage. Focus Blast is for hitting Normal-types and Rock-types harder than any of its other options; this is especially useful against Bastiodon and Probopass. Sucker Punch is a priority option to help its slow Speed and pick off faster threats that need KOing.

Other Options

As mentioned, Knock Off can be used instead of Sucker Punch if you want to forego priority in favor of pure wallbreaking, although Fire Blast outdamages Knock Off by far. That seems to be the only other option, although if you want to go pure special, Hidden Power Electric is an option to destroy the likes of Pelipper and Swanna (although beware the latter because it outspeeds and OHKOs Heatmor).

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/69PJRUpM (lacks hazards)

Top Three Thursday 1/8/15: Video game music

First and foremost, keep in mind that this is based on personal preference. Are we clear? Good.

3. Gym Leader Battle (Pokémon X and Y)

This is the type of music that gets me into serious mode, especially with Maison battles in Pokémon Y. It is somewhat disappointing that they replaced the X and Y music (but not the Trainers) in the transition of the Maison to ORAS. In ORAS, the best Maison track I could find is the rival battle theme, and that just doesn’t swing as well with me.

 

2. Climb Up! And Get The Last Chance! (originally from F-Zero X, also in post-Melee Smash Bros.)

One day, I was perusing My Music in Smash 4, and when I previewed this track, something in my mind stated, “Hey, I like this song.” Perhaps it was a faint memory of the part of the Subspace Emissary in which the song in question was playing. That’s the only possibility; I haven’t played any part of the F-Zero franchise outside of the Brawl masterpiece. At any rate, it is a good song that carries a hint of inspiration.

 

1. That Person’s Name Is (Bravely Default)

Never have I ever wanted to play a game until the end just because of its music…until I played Bravely Default. Seriously, the soundtrack is just amazing, no doubt about it. Some of the songs are really catchy, two of them are on my iPod, and this one in particular is nothing short of addicting. Back when I was playing through the game, I would boot it up and think, “I wonder when the next asterisk boss is; I want to hear that music again!” It’s not just a one-and-done track either; it comes up at least 6 times in the entire game, more than 30 if taking up side quests. In a nutshell, it’s catchy, addicting, and a great battle theme in general.

Spontaneous Saturday 1/3/15: 2014 recap

Well, it looks like 2014 has come to an end and 2015 has just begun (well, “just” in this case is more like two days prior, but that’s beside the point). Thus, I have decided that I will provide a recap of what has become of Vouiv-review from its creation until the end of 2014.

June 1: This was when I decided to create the site and thus start with a Teaser. Initially, I formulated a paradigm that covered Throwback Tuesday, Top Three Thursday, and Spontaneous Saturday, all within a week, with a week-long break after. The purpose of the Teaser was to provide a preview of what was to come. In doing so, the things I described were Amazing Island (Throwback Tuesday), my top three anime (Top Three Thursday), and spring 2014 anime (Spontaneous Saturday).

June 10: Throwback Tuesday: Metroid Prime Hunters. The game is the first of only two Metroid games I have played in my life.

June 12: Top Three Thursday: Katawa Shoujo heroines. I had completely finished Katawa Shoujo at the time and it was quite the fine visual novel, so I felt I would talk about three of the main five heroines.

June 14: Spontaneous Saturday: Conceptis Puzzles. I have been into Conceptis puzzles since I discovered Calcudoku on OneMoreLevel, which is far enough back for me to not know (or care) the exact date, so I decided to discuss a few in detail—particularly Sudoku, Calcudoku, Kakuro, Battleships, and Skyscrapers.

June 24: Throwback Tuesday: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. One of my favorites for the Gamecube, but it is pretty difficult/painful to optimize. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I could 100% the game again.

June 26: Top Three Thursday: SGDQ 2014 moments (so far). I was absorbed in SGDQ at the time, so I decided to talk about MattyIce3131’s blindfolded Super Meat Boy world 1 run, TheBlazeJP’s Trials Evolution run, and Cosmo’s ZZT run. On that note, this year’s AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick, the winter equivalent of SGDQ) is scheduled this month from the 4th to the 10th.

June 28: Spontaneous Saturday: Water. Water is not something we can take for granted. Because it is my most consumed beverage, what I bathe in, and much more, I actually decided to review it in as much detail as possible. This looks to be the most terse post I have on the site.

July 8: Throwback Tuesday: Azumanga Daioh. This was honestly a topic for lack of a better topic, and I was somewhat reluctant to talk about it. Even so, I managed, and it’s not that I don’t enjoy the anime; on the contrary, it’s pretty good. It is, in fact, the first anime I have ever watched completely.

July 10: Top Three Thursday: Team Fortress 2 classes. Ah, the good old days when I could play Team Fortress 2 without fear of endangering my keyboard. This post talks about Scout, Heavy, and Pyro.

July 12: Spontaneous Saturday: Conceptis Puzzles part 2. Here, I decided to expand upon my 6/14 post and talk about Tic-Tac-Logic, Hitori, Fill-a-Pix, Pic-a-Pix, and Nurikabe.

July 22: This was when the paradigm shift happened. Rather than the initial paradigm described before, I decided to replace Throwback Tuesday with Poké Monday (where I talk about random Pokémon and their competitive value), as I was running out of potential topics for Throwback Tuesday (if I’d had any at the time) and…well, the rest of the reason is in the post titled Schedule Update. Also, I decided to space everything out more because a whole week of respite is too much and so is a whole week of work. Therefore, the new paradigm is as it has been up to today: Top Three Thursday, Poké Monday, and Spontaneous Saturday, in that order, each cycle spanning over two weeks.

July 24: Top Three Thursday: Fire Emblem Awakening characters. The game remains one of my all-time favorites, as well as the basis behind my profile icon. The list is based on preference, not the metagame.

July 28: Poké Monday: Gigalith. Stealth Rock setter in NU with fewer weaknesses and better stats than Golem.

August 2: Spontaneous Saturday: Codecademy. This is where I found tutorials on a number of programming concepts, including new languages alongside the Java and C++ I had known previously.

August 7: Top Three Thursday: Pokémon. While it was a topic for lack of a better topic, I think it went over well, all things considered. The list is based on preference, not the metagame.

August 11: Poké Monday: Litleo. An interesting Pokémon in LC known mostly as a Fire-type special attacker with unique typing that can also, if given the opportunity, make use of its Moxie.

August 16: Spontaneous Saturday: Thoughts on Summer 2014 anime (5-6 episodes in). I gave my impressions on Jinsei, Majimoji Rurumo, Persona 4 the Golden Animation, Re:_Hamatora, and Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance, as well as a brief statement on a few slightly older series, mid-progress.

August 21: Top Three Thursday: Video games I play on a regular basis. That was then and this is now. Now that I am in possession of Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney (which I’ve almost completed) and Super Smash Brothers for Wii U, as well as Pokémon Omega Ruby, I am more focused on those games for the time being. However, I might get back to one of the games listed, namely Fire Emblem Awakening; I still have yet to complete that support log (without backup saves, as I’ve said before).

August 25: Poké Monday: Latios. Specially offensive Dragon-type in OU that can also put non-offensive moves to use, but not as much so as his twin sister. Keep in mind that this analysis was written prior to the release of Mega Latios (in ORAS).

August 30: Spontaneous Saturday: Conceptis Puzzles part 3 (finale). I decided to wrap up the topic of Conceptis puzzles by talking about Link-a-Pix, Hashi, and Slitherlink. Looking back, what was I thinking with that third point in the second bulleted list under Hashi?

September 4: Top Three Thursday: Twitch Streamers. This list is based on personal preference, not the overall success of the streamers. All of them are still entertaining to watch, only I don’t hang around Cirno’s stream as often.

September 8: Poké Monday: Makuhita. A Fighting-type in LC that is almost, and I mean almost, outclassed by Machop.

September 13: I posted and front-paged a little information about myself: “who I am and what I am doing”, as a replacement for the Spontaneous Saturday scheduled for that day. Basically, I do this for fun.

September 18: Top Three Thursday: Grammar Pet Peeves. My attempt was to raise awareness about grammatical errors (but actually more like usage errors) that I see frequently.

September 22: Poké Monday: Bronzor. A utility Pokémon in LC that is worsened due to the Steel-type nerf and Knock Off buff of gen 6.

September 27: Spontaneous Saturday: Because it’s fun. A random rant about fun and what it means.

October 2: Top Three Thursday: Anime theme songs. Some Japanese music has really captured my fancy, so I decided one day to make a top three about it.

October 6: Poké Monday: Malamar. A Pokémon in NU with only one thing going for it: Contrary Superpower. Note that this is also pre-ORAS and that Knock Off is better than Night Slash on every set.

October 11: Spontaneous Saturday: Fall 2014 anime. I analyzed what I thought of the first episodes of Log Horizon second season, Trinity Seven, and Hi☆sCoool! SeHa Girls.

October 16: Top Three Thursday: Bravely Default Jobs. I gave my opinion on 3 of the 24 jobs available in Bravely Default, as well as a few mentions of other abilities, based on their in-game prowess and my personal preference.

October 20: Poké Monday: Lampent. A NFE (Not Fully Evolved) Pokémon in NU with unique typing and the niche of being the only Fire-type in the tier with access to Trick Room.

October 25: Spontaneous Saturday: Idea Dump. I had no specific topic in mind, so I just threw a bunch of random things in the post, namely data from Fire Emblem Awakening and Bravely Default, and some duos in anime that I find remarkably similar.

October 30: Top Three Thursday: Ghost-type Pokémon. In early celebration of Halloween, I found it appropriate to discuss Ghost-type Pokémon. Again, the list is based on preference, not the metagame.

November 3: Poké Monday: Claydol. A utility Pokémon in RU with feeble offensive prowess but usable bulk and okay typing.

November 8: Spontaneous Saturday: How I approach video games. A random rant on what I thought to be an oddity in my preference for video games. Really, though, it’s just a matter of testing the waters.

November 13: Top Three Thursday: Surprises in anime. Some anime series are fairly predictable, while others have unexpected surprises. This post covered a few that were particularly surprising.

November 17: Poké Monday: Thundurus. An OU Pokémon of two forms: one has the choice between Prankster and Defiant, and the other requires a buff in Speed to be usable.

November 22: Spontaneous Saturday: Pokémon HeartGold Super Randomizer Nuzlocke progress. Pokémon are nicknamed after Twitch emotes. As of now, I have no motivation to make further progress.

November 27: Top Three Thursday: Starter Pokémon. This post is about my top 3 starter evolutionary lines, based more on preference than on the metagame.

November 29: This was when I made a minor change to Poké Monday: “if the randomized number corresponds to a middle-stage Pokémon whose evolution is in NU (just as in this case) or a Pokémon banned from LC whose evolution is in NU, I will randomize again.”

December 1: Poké Monday: Carbink. A Pokémon in NU with pitiful offense but some neat utility options.

December 6: Spontaneous Saturday: Progress through Omega Ruby. A report of my progress when I had 6 badges.

December 11: Top Three Thursday: Anime characters to whom I can relate. I was reluctant to do this one as well, but I had no other real topic in mind. Some anime series are completely far-fetched, but that does not mean that they are devoid of relatable characters.

December 15: Poké Monday: Rapidash. A Fire-type physical attacker in NU that has an interesting niche over other Fire-types: Morning Sun.

December 20: Spontaneous Saturday: Idea Dump 2. Here, I felt like disclosing goings-on between Poké Monday and then, namely the anime I have watched and any projects in Pokémon Omega Ruby that stand out.

December 25: Top Three Thursday: Ice-type Pokémon. In celebration of Christmas, I found it appropriate to discuss Ice-type Pokémon. Again, the list is based on preference, not the metagame.

December 29: Poké Monday: Sandslash. A Rapid Spinner in NU with arguably the best typing of its kindred; can also set up Stealth Rock.

Nowi Wins Here’s to another good year!