Smash Bros U: Smashing the Underdog

Like a lot of gamers, I spent a good number of hours today waiting in line at BestBuy for a chance to spend two minutes with the new Super Smash Bros, which is scheduled for worldwide release during the holidays. Two minutes is not a lot of time to develop an in-depth analysis, but experiences from my limited playing time plus released information suggest a disturbing trend that must be addressed. Smash Bros 4 may eliminate some of the issues of Brawl, and may provide a more fun and level casual environment than Melee, but delivers these changes with a cost — the severe weakening of intermediate underdogs.

Waiting in line for just two minutes of Smash is an intense experience indeed.

Waiting in line for just two minutes of Smash is an intense experience indeed.

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A Humble Bundle of Violence

Warning: There are pictures of video-game violence in this post. Not be suitable for young children.

As many tech-savy people are aware, last week EA tried to improve its reputation by participating in an enormous charity event — giving 8 games away for practically nothing with all proceeds going to charity. Virtually every gamer that isn’t boycotting EA probably has all of those games in his/her library by now. All 8 gory, bloody, reprehensible games.

I think I’m in a unique position to criticize such games. Why?

Because I love them.

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Android 4.x: A n00b’s First Look

A little Christmas gift I’ve been saving for myself is a non-contract Samsung Galaxy Reverb, which I picked up for $100 (normal price $200) online on Black Friday. Combined that with Virgin Mobile’s $35/month unlimited data plan, and I felt I was getting a pretty good deal. (Though I wanted to withhold judgment until I actually got to use the phone.)

I’m staying in a rural area over Winter Break, and don’t have good enough cell service for activation without driving somewhere (which says something about the quality of Sprint/Virgin’s network). However, I was able to activate the phone, connect it to wifi with ease, and explore several of its features. Since this is my first time owning anything above an even remotely modern smartphone, I decided to post my first impressions as a moderately knowledgeable Android/Linux user. Continue reading