Category: Default

Melt & Pour Domino Soap Tutorial

Hi, I’m Alina Tytarenko from Dobre mylo. Thanks for joining me on today’s episode. I’m going to show you how to make these adorable domino soaps using melt and pour soap.

[music] These adorable soaps are scented with a very masculine, clean fragrance called Tobacco and Bay Leaf from For our base, I’m going to use a combination of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour and Honey Melt and Pour. Boiling these two bases together gives me the beautiful, natural color of ivory that dominoes used to be made out of. [music] We won’t need to add any color because the combination of the Goat’s Milk and the Honey Melt and Pour produce a beautiful color on their own. But to create our black dots, I’m going to use Black Oxide.

First, disperse your Black Oxide, use 1/8th teaspoon by volume, and 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. Mix this in well, using either a spoon, or if you really want to get it super mixed in with no clumps, use a mini mixer. This will give us the perfect black.

Set your colorant to the side and now chop up 5 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour and 5 ounces of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour. Add your 5 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour and your 5 ounces of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour into a heat-safe container and melt it in the microwave on 20 or 30 second bursts. Check every 20 or 30 seconds and stir in between bursts until your soap is fully melted.

Add .1 ounce, so 1/10th ounce, of the Tobacco and Bay Leaf Fragrance Oil and give it a good stir. You want to make sure all of that fragrance oil is fully incorporated in. If it’s not, it can pit and pock mark your mold, ruining it.

Pour your melted soap base into the bottom of a Guest Square Tray Mold. Finish it off with a few bursts of rubbing alcohol to get rid of any excess bubbles that have formed. Let your soap harden up for at least 1 to 3 hours until it’s fully solid.

Take a straw, notice I’m using a slightly larger straw than your typical straw. This is about 1/2 centimeter in diameter, but you could use a traditional straw. Just push it down into your soap base and then kind of turn it while pushing it down. Pull the straw directly out. Notice a little bit of the soap comes with it.

That’s okay. And there’s a good looking cut out there. Repeat that again and again in a domino pattern. Remember that two squares make one domino, so be thinking of your pattern while you’re making your holes. This one didn’t really come out all that well. I’m just going to use this Clean Up Tool, you can get these from, to make that a little more circular.

That looks better. Now that all the dots are made, it’s time to start pouring. Now I learned by trial and error and figured out that if I just pour the black soap now, the black soap just sort of seeps underneath that ivory layer. So, we’re going to create a seal. Melt 1 ounce of the Honey Melt and Pour Soap in the microwave. This does not take long to melt, just about 20 to 30 seconds.

Be careful, you could easily boil that soap in the microwave. Spray rubbing alcohol liberally all over your first layer. There we go and then use a dropper to just from a seal, a very small seal, in each of the dots. You’ll have most of your 1 ounce of melted melt and pour left after this. There we go, all filled up.

Now we’re ready to make our black soap. For the dots, melt 6 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour Soap in the microwave. Remember cut those up into small little bits before you melt them. Melt on 20 to 30 second bursts.

Once your soap is fully melted add 1/2 teaspoon of the dispersed Black Oxide. You can see if it’s dark enough by putting a little bit of something that’s white colored in there. Is that opaque enough?

If not you can add up to 1/4 teaspoon more of your dispersed Black Oxide. Don’t add much more than this because if you add too much of the Black Oxide, it will lather black or gray in the shower. Temperature is important. Monitor your temperature and make sure it’s around 125F to maximum 130F degrees.

If it’s much warmer than that, it will melt your first layer. Once your soap is at the right temperature, add fragrance. add .2 ounces of fragrance oil to your black soap. Spray alcohol on that layer. Spray it liberally, allow that second layer to harden.

Now melt 6 ounces of Honey Melt and Pour and 6 ounces of Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour in the microwave on 20 to 30 second bursts. Stir in between bursts to make sure that the soap is melting evenly. Just like with the second layer, make sure that your temperature for this third layer is between 125F and 130F. You don’t want to accidentally melt that second layer.

Add the rest of the fragrance to this layer. Stir, stir, stir. Remember we don’t want any fragrance oil that’s not fully incorporated in. Spray alcohol on that second layer.

Spray it liberally. It will help those layers stick together. Now gently pour down the sides of the mold. For your final finishing touch, spay with alcohol and allow the soap to harden for 2 to 3 hours before you attempt to pop it out. Finishing and cutting the soap is easy. Pull gently away from the sides of the mold.

Notice the airlock is breaking. Don’t force your soap. If it’s not ready to come out, wait for another half an hour to 45 minutes.

Gently push down on the top, and there we go. Take a non-serrated knife and gently and firmly just start cutting in the areas where there are cut lines. That’s the nice thing about this mold, you don’t have to freehand anything.

Remember the dominoes are one-two squares so be thinking of your design while you’re cutting. This mold yields eight total dominoes. Once you’ve got it all cut up, your eight bars of domino soap are ready to be wrapped.

Wrap in shrink wrap or saran wrap and they’re ready to use right away or give away or sell. Until next time, thanks for joining me here. Happy soaping.

Categories: Default

Nintendo Switch Pro Grip Elite Bundle

Today we’re finally reviewing the Pro Gaming Grip Elite Bundle by Satisfye. (techo music) Welcome to It Came From A Box this is Sergio A.M. and awhile back Satisffye sent us prototype of this grip which we checked out right before they launched on Kickstarter. Fast forward to today 18 hundred people raised over 67 thousand dollars to help make the Pro Grip a reality. The final production version is now rolling out to backers and Satisfye sent over their elite bundle for us to review which includes a custom new case specifically made for the Pro Grip. But that’s not all because we’re also giving away three of them, more on that in the end but first let’s take a look at everything inside. Lets start with the grip which you can tell is big , but works well with different hand sizes.

I have huge hands and I love it. My wife’s hands are about half the size of mine and she can still use it, but my six year old can’t really reach the buttons so it may not be kid friendly. Right away you can see and feel that it’s well constructed.

it’s very tough and rigid, not at all flimsy, and its made of a hard TPU except for the back of the grips, which are made of a non-slip rubberized TPU. Now looks can definitely be deceiving because this large grip weighs in right under five ounces, so it’s actually very light. Now attaching the switch is easy, it’s designed to perfectly fit so all you have to do is just slide it in and vice versa to remove. Inside each grip you’ll noticed a small rubber piece right in the middle and that creates a bit of friction to keep the console from wiggling around so it stays nice and secure within.

Then over to the bottom we have these hooks which hold the switch in place but can also be used as a stand so you can display your switch in this kinda cool unique way. For those wondering, no you cannot remove the joy cons to play in table-top mode because the grip is designed exclusively for hand held mode. Alright so in hand it feels very comfortable. Way better than the joycons because it keeps your hands, your wrists in a natural 35 degree angle and the rubber TPU in the back truly gives you a non-slip secure grip. And unlike other grips out there this one is A symmetrical and designed to combat the cramped position of the right joy cons analog stick. SO instead of using it with your thumb in these weird positions that hurt over time, the Pro Grip adds additional space so your thumb can land in a natural position.

This enhances the ergonomics so you can play longer and help reduce fatigue. Overall I think this grip nails everything that I’ve ever wanted in a grip. It feel amazing in hand and it gives you the ability to play longer.

So due to its large size the Pro Gaming Grip obviously won’t fit in most carrying cases, so if you plan on taking it on-the-go this is why you’ll want the elite bundle that includes the Pro Case that’s custom made to fit the grip. Before the grip Satisfye made the switch case. Very well designed, constructed, they know what they’re doing so you can trust them with this one. Similar to that case, the exterior is made of a soft textured leather that feels great in hand. We have a long and easy-to-hold rubber grip at the top and getting inside is a breeze with these smooth action zippers.

Inside right down the middle we have two flaps. Each has 10 game pockets so in total they can hold 20 games. On the back of the top flap we have a zipper compartment which is great for all those store specific cards you always forget to use, as well as secrets or other paper-like things. And the bottom flap is lined with soft microfiber to protect the console’s screen. Then at the top we have a zippered compartment that can hold all types of accessories such as: cables, adapters, or extra joy cons.

But it’s not roomy enough for something like a joy con grip or pro controller. Finally at the bottom we have a custom molded slot to fit the grips A symmetrical design along with a Velcro strap to keep it in place. But there’s more, under that we have a large slot for a battery bank.

We’re using the one by GuliKit but you can use small or larger ones as well and this elastic strap will keep it securely in place. Now included with the elite bundle is a very nice, low profile, braided, 2.4 amp, USBA to USBC cable. And unlike the official cable this one works specifically with the height of the grip , either standing or in the case so you can charge on-the-go.

Very awesome feature. Overall a fantastic case, well designed with great materials that suits this grip perfectly. Now the last thing are these tiny things and these are thumb pads. We mentioned thumb pads before, they come in all shapes, sizes and materials. And personally we do find that they can enhance the use of the analog sticks.

You get four. They’re con caved with the Satisfye logo in the middle and they have these little ridges on the sides which helps keep your finger in place. So a nice little addition that can help improve the analog sticks while also protecting them. So if you’re someone who’s experienced any fatigue while playing the switch like we have, or if your looking to enhance the ergonomics to get a better grip on the console, you owe it to yourself to check out the Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip. We love it here which is why we spoke with them and they agreed to send out three elite bundles for a giveaway.

To enter, first subscribe, it helps us grow so we can continue to make videos like these and hopefully one day do this full time. Second, comment below and let us know why you need the Pro Gaming Grip with the hashtag Satisfye. Three weeks later, we’ll choose and announce the winners on Twitter but there’s a catch.

Winners will receive the elite bundles around mid October, after Satisfye completes all of their Kickstarter orders because it’s only fair. Alright so you heard why we love it, let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, now that we have our hands on some of the most popular Nntendo switch grips out there, we’ll be doing a massive comparison of all of them.

So subscribe and ding the bell to stay notified. Once again this is Sergio A.M. and I’ll see you for the next box. Thank you so much for watching. If you like this video and wanna help us out, you can do so by clicking that thumbs up button and while you’re at why not subscribe for more content. It’s free! We also love to hear you out so please leave a comment down below or talk with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

I’m Sergio A.M. and I’ll see you for the next box.

Categories: Default

Next-Gen Gaming

More than anything else, gameplay graphics that approach real-world, life-like fidelity elicits a huge “wow” expression from the gamer, so realism is the first criterion. Next, since there are more ways to create impressive graphics than with photorealism, art direction and aesthetics will be taken into consideration. Finally, to appreciate what goes on behind the scenes, graphical technology will play a factor in game ranking. There were a lot of hard decisions, especially near the top of the countdown.

Oftentimes, however, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so there is room for discussion and debate of the rankings. After watching this video, let me know your thoughts about what games were too high on the countdown, what games were too low, and what games weren’t included but should have been. Now, let’s shift gears, and speed into game number 10. Racing games aren’t generally known for their graphics, as the genre isn’t as popular as more mainstream genres like shooters and action games. Nonetheless, Grid: Autosport, a PC exclusive title, delivers the best graphics out of any racing title. The game released with a free high resolution texture pack download, bringing your car textures to 4k resolution.

There are advanced lighting, shadowing, and reflection graphical effects such as global illumination and ambient occlusion, that apply not only to cars and the racing circuit, but also to the backdrop scenery. You will probably crash a few times because you were looking at the scenery instead of focusing on the race. Car damage is realistic and highly detailed, and how smoke billows from burning rubber and dirt kicks up as you skid across grass is well executed.

Other racing games have crowds and foliage that look like cardboard cutouts. Grid, on the other hand, has crowd models that could pass for NPC characters in console versions of Watch Dogs. The biggest criticism I have for Grid’s graphics are the car interiors are very plain and less pleasing to look at than other parts of the game. Racing purists might find Grid’s gameplay subpar, but visually, Grid is an excellent choice for a sim setup.

Gamers with multimonitor setups should definitely give Grid a try in Nvidia Surround or AMD Eyefinity. Project CARS, releasing later in 2014, will attempt to dethrone Grid for best graphics in a racing game, but for now, Grid:Autosport, accelerates into 10th place on the countdown. While Rome 2 Total War, may not look as good as many other games when compared on a pixel-to-pixel level, the scale of what the game accomplishes visually is nothing short of astounding. The game renders literally thousands of units on the battlefield, all of which are individually detailed and have their individual physics. The battles are massive with a cinematic scale, and you can zoom in to focus on unit-to-unit warfare. The game launched with a lot of technical problems, including lack of multi-gpu support, but many patches have allowed the game to run a lot more smoothly.

Real-time strategy is a genre that has diminished relative to MOBA-style strategy, but Rome 2: Total War shows that the genre has unfathomable limits in what it can accomplish technically. Rome 2: Total War, commands 9th place on the countdown. When I released my best graphics countdown in 2013, there was, putting it mildly, an uproar from the Playstation community when I didn’t include “The Last of Us.” In all honesty, there was no justifiable reason to include a title that ran at 720p and 30 frames per second in the same countdown as games like Battlefield 3. Developers face an uphill battle when designing games for consoles due to hardware limitations. Naughty Dog is one of the better console exclusive developers, because of their dedication to optimizing their game engine for PlayStation hardware. With the improved hardware of the PlayStation 4, Naughty Dog finally gets the opportunity to release the game the way it should be played.

“The Last of Us: Remastered” for the PlayStation 4 runs at a rock-solid 1080p, 60 frames per second. Taking place after the world is ravaged by a rapidly spreading infection from the cordyceps fungus, the game follows Joel and Ellie as they travel across the remains of the United States, trying to survive and hold on to the last remnants of humanity as they know it. The narrative is compelling, and the accompanying gameplay is just as enticing.

There are brutally violent moments, but the violence in “The Last of Us” is fitting and representative of the undertone. Post-apocalyptic America is hauntingly portrayed. The destroyed environments evoke empathy for the characters and their situation.

Naughty’s Dog’s artists outdid themselves in designing the environment. Realism in graphics is achieved by meticulous attention to detail. Character movements and animations are created through motion capture technology. Even with lower quality textures and less advanced graphical technology than PC games, “The Last of Us” manages to let the gamer suspend disbelief and truly immerse themselves in the world through convincing character movements and unimaginably detailed environmental design. “The Last of Us: Remastered”, stabs its way into 8th place on the countdown.

Another console exclusive game, “Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes”, is less of a game, and more of a tech demo for Konami Fox Engine, but that doesn’t mitigate the impressiveness of the game’s visuals. The game runs at 1080p, 60 frames per second. As a PC gamer, the game’s graphics surpassed my expectations of what the PS4 could accomplish. The game takes place during the height of the Cold War, and as Big Boss, you infiltrate an American black site in Cuba to rescue two prisoners. One of my favorite actors, Kiefer Sutherland, who many of you know as Jack Bauer, plays Big Boss, and does the voice acting and motion capture. The animations have an extra layer of convincingness due to the utility of motion capture technology.

The texture quality is nothing to scoff at and the graphics have excellent high performance antialiasing. The game’s director, Hideo Kojima, has quite the ego, but he also has a perfectionist drive to match. For Metal Gear Solid 5, he will oversee every possible detail of the gameplay and graphics until it meets the lofty standards he set. If you are an aficionado of high quality gaming graphics, Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes is definitely a game to tide you over until Metal Gear Solid 5 releases with the Fox Engine running in full gear.

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes infiltrates into 7th place on the countdown. Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel game to the much venerated Arkham series of Batman games. Unlike many of the other action heroes on this countdown, Batman has no need for weapons as crude and uncouth as guns, and dispatches enemies his fists and sophisticated gadgetry. The gameplay is classic Batman: strike from the shadows.

The fighting controls are tight, combos are satisfying to execute, and the combat flows like choreography. Arkham Origins gives you an open world to explore as you exact vigilante justice on common thugs and supervillains such as the Penguin. Arkham Origins’ visuals are not as realism inspired as many other games on this countdown.

Instead, the art design is modeled after comic books. The game does look like a comic book coming to life, which gives it a uniqueness advantage over almost all mainstream titles. The PC version of the game is rife with advanced graphical technology. Nvidia’s gpu accelerated PhysX allows for dynamic smoke and Batman’s cape physics.

Nvidia’s TXAA technology allows for efficient, high quality anti-aliasing, and realistic shadows are rendered via advanced horizon based ambient occlusion. Although many critics panned the gameplay for being too similar to previous games in the series, Arkham Origins is still a very welcome breath of fresh air compared to the oversaturation of the triple A gaming market with shooter after shooter. Batman: Arkham Origins dive-bombs into 6th place on the countdown.

Sam Fisher appears to be pulling a Benjamin Button, becoming more agile and physically capable as he ages. The first of many UbiSoft games on this year’s countdown, Splinter Cell: Blacklist is the latest game that follows Fisher and the Fourth Echelon Team, now independent of all government ties save for the President. Much like Batman, Sam Fisher operates from shadow to shadow, his presence little more than that of a ghost.

Blacklist allows the gamer to play with conventional stealth tactics, or run and gun. Returning from Splinter Cell Conviction is the mark and execute feature, which allows for quick dispatching of multiple targets. In a game where shadow and light are life and death, respectively, it is fitting that the shadowing and lighting effects are some of the best in gaming. Although Blacklist was developed from a rather old engine, Unreal Engine 3, modern Nvidia technology has allowed the graphics, much like Sam Fisher, to look a generation younger.

Nvidia’s advanced horizon based ambient occlusion creates realistic environments, and TXAA polishes jagged edges around geometry. Like the 2nd best game on last year’s countdown, Metro: Last Light, Blacklist includes a very underappreciated gameplay feature that has been present since the first Splinter Cell: You have the ability to shoot out lights to create your own shadows and paths around enemies. Motion capture based animations add to the realism of character movements, and stealth takedowns are more satisfying ever. Splinter Cell: Blacklist strangles its way into 5th place on the countdown. For the second Ubisoft game on the countdown, the Assassins take to the high seas as pirates in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. You play as Edward Kenway, grandfather of Connor Kenway, the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed 3.

The waters of the Caribbean Islands are open for you to pillage and plunder as you see fit. If you were to break down the graphical analysis at a microscopic level, the game may not overwhelm, but as a whole, the visuals are stunning. You have large cityscapes to traverse, and the series’ sheer verticality is unmatched.

The game is rife with Nvidia graphical technologies. Advanced Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion and Global Illumination contribute to realism in scenery lighting, and TXAA returns as an efficient form of antialiasing. GPU accelerated PhysX makes for dynamic particle and smoke effects, increasing the intensity and immersion of gunfights with black powder weaponry. Naval battles are epic engagements, especially when multiple factions are involved. The game provides near-endless secrets to discover, treasures to uncover, vistas to observe.

Visiting Nassau in the game is the next best thing to visiting Nassau in real life. A strong entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise of games, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag does a leap of faith into 4th place on the countdown. As the third consecutive Ubisoft game on the countdown, Watch_Dogs received a lot of prerelase controversy because the final release graphics on consoles did not remotely resemble the graphics of the game build Ubisoft had shown at gaming press conferences.

Nonetheless, the PC version of the game does have easily accessible game files that recreates the splendored graphics in the demo build. The game takes place in a near future imagining of Chicago, where all electronics are connected via a central operating system, or ctOS. You play as Aiden Pearce, a skilled hacker who takes advantage of the communications hyperconnectivity to complete objectives. WIth control of the city’s infrastructure, you can manipulate traffic lights to cause accidents, rupture pipelines, control bridges, and even cause blackouts.

Watch_Dogs features best the implementation of Nvidia’s graphical lightning technologies of any game, and this allows for creating high fidelity scenes of nighttime Chicago. The game looks even more realistic during rainy weather scenes, as the reflections are extremely high quality and add to the visual realism. The geometry shaders are first-rate, the long draw distances are impressive, and the depth of field gives additional substance to each scene. The reason Watch_Dogs did not make the finals of this countdown are that smaller details, such as weapon and npc character models, do not have the same level of polish as the rest of the world. Regardless, Watch_Dogs is an immersive graphical experience.

There are hours of gameplay to be found just walking around, ignoring missions to look at the expertly crafted virtual landscape. Watch_Dogs hacks into 3rd place on the countdown. The runner up in this year’s best graphics countdown, ArmA 3 is a game that prides itself on being the most true-to-life combat experience that you can have sitting behind a monitor in an air-conditioned bedroom. Everything about the game tries to be as realistic as possible, and realistic visuals definitely help in the immersion.

Sandbox mode allows you to play on the island of Altis, with an area of 270 square kilometers in which to roam around. All the character models, weapon models, structures, vehicles, and vegetations are meticulously designed. The ArmA 3 engine, Virtual Reality by Bohemia Interactive, is a technological marvel, allowing for sophisticated graphical effects and some of the longest draw distances in all of gaming. The game engine was created with modder resources in mind, so some of the weaker textures can be further improved upon.

ArmA 3 was not optimized, meaning poor framerate performance with low system resource usage, so it takes a strong PC to be able to run the game at its high graphical settings. Even then, the game was designed with longevity in mind, and the graphics will continue to impress well into the future as technology evolves and gamers are better able to run the game with playable framerates. ArmA 3 scotches to 2nd place on the countdown.

Winning the top spot on this year’s countdown, Battlefield 4 is the benchmark by which all other games’ graphics are compared. Every gameplay moment plays out like a set-piece in a Michael Bay movie. The Frostbite 3 engine enables unparalleled environment destructibility, even allowing for an entire skyscraper to collapse.

Destruction is not just eye candy: you can destroy or create cover to generate choke points for a tactical advantage. Battles take place on very diverse settings, from snowy mountains to urban jungles, and from islands to deserts. No two battles play out in the same way, because of how many unique ways you can destroy the environment. The textures are polished and models are detailed. Ambient occlusion technology allows for realistically lighted scenes. The maps are large, with long draw distances that make extreme range sniping very satisfying.

With high-speed low-drag gameplay that matches the graphical intensity, Battlefield 4 jihads into 1st place on the countdown. This concludes my 2014 countdown of the best graphics in video games. You could have been watching any of the millions of other gaming videos on YouTube, but instead you’re here, listening to my semi-coherent droning. I really appreciate your time on my videos. Be sure to leave a comment on your choices for what games on the countdown were too high or too low, and what games you would have included instead, and be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss next year’s countdown.

My name’s David, and I’ll see you next video.

Categories: Default

Why Fighting Games Are Hard

One thing you hear constantly about fighting games, is that they’re hard which is often cited as the reason for why there aren’t more people playing them. But I don’t think the problem is that newcomers can’t win I mean, this is my cousin playing Ultra Street Fighter 4 for the first time on the hardest setting with two minutes of coaching. He beat the game in ten minutes on his first try getting multiple “perfects” on the way, and thought it was really easy Okay, obviously the enjoyment he’s going to get out of the game using the lariat trick is going to be very limited and beating the CPU is about as gratifying as cooking instant Ramen. He needs a human opponent, because in fighting games, it takes two to tango, right? So I coached my girlfriend for two minutes, and had her play him.

He won again… but still no satisfaction. This all probably seems really silly, but the point I want to make is that when people say fighting games are hard, they mean it’s hard to get to a high enough level to enjoy the game, not necessarily hard to win. But what’s making it hard to get to that level, and what can be done about it?

The first thing people mention is the execution. And it’s true; execution can be very difficult, whether it’s a special move, or a combo. In fighting games that run at 60 frames per second (FPS) there are often what’s known as one-frame links, which means you have a 60th of a second window to time a hit. Not even the best players in the world are able to land these all the time, and missing them can cost you the game.

But because these one-frame links are so hard, newer games like Street Fighter Five (SFV) are widening the window to a minimum of three-frame links, which is around a 32nd note at 150 bpm for you musicians out there \m/ This is much more doable, and without too much practice, most people should be able to nail this most of the time. Great, right? Personally, I think we can keep the one-frame links, as long as they’re not mandatory to get great at the game.

In basketball, 3-pointers are hard to nail, but Shaquille O’Neal is still a legend, while having one of the worst 3-point records in NBA history. If we remove the 3-point line entirely, because people thought it was too hard, then we wouldn’t have moments like these. I don’t think difficult execution is a problem, as long as it’s not required to be good at the game.

Take Ryu’s Solar Plexus move, for example. The easiest thing to do is mash into Dragon Punch, which has a large input window. But if you want that extra damage, you can add an extra hit with a one-frame link. The key here is that you can choose between the easy… …and the hard combo.

Daigo Umehara mostly goes for the harder combo, and Alex Valle, not as much. But both are great players. I hate doing one-frame links as much as the next guy, but I like them there as an option. But what about the fundamental aspects of the game, that define the difficulty of the entry barrier? I’m talking about special moves, blocking, throwing, and things that most fighters share. Well, there seems to be two approaches to this. The first is to go here:

One, is to simplify the moves. The free-to-play PC game Rising Thunder (RIP), has made all special moves available at the touch of a button, but my favorite idea that helps newcomers in this game, is the ability to choose between an advanced attack-canceling system known as Kinetic Advance, and a simpler option of Kinetic Deflect, which gets you out of a combo by pressing two buttons at once, which is easy to do and gets newbies out of the frustrating situation of watching their character get their ass beaten for ten seconds straight. These measures have definitely gotten some of my friends into the game, who otherwise wouldn’t have.

But I noticed a lot of people were still getting frustrated by classic shenanigans, like tick throws and spamming fireballs. So while simplification is one method of drawing people in, Education, is the other. But this is another huge topic, that has many approaches. Personally, I think a well-made video with clear explanations can help a lot. Thankfully, there are more great resources out there than ever before, and most I’ve seen are made by fans of the game. As great as all this user-made content is, I’d also love to see game companies make some official videos that are linked to the game’s tutorial modes.

Speaking of tutorial modes, the show Extra Credits has suggested improving tutorial systems, and had some interesting ideas on using the single-player mode to do so: Dan: You could do things to make players more aware of how to use these concepts, things like, having the game go into slow motion with a big, “REVERSAL OPPORTUNITY” flashing on the screen when this concept is introduced. Gerald: but more than anything, I think they inadvertently illustrated the biggest reason why fighting games are so hard to enjoy for new people. Dan: The thing to recognize, is that fighting games will never reach the audience they could until they do more to help people get to the level where they can experience real, fighting game, play.

Gerald: This mentality of “you game companies better help us get good or you won’t get as many sales,” fails to understand that getting to high-level play is up to the player, NOT the game companies. I mean, Capcom made an inflation-adjusted amount of 3.5 billion dollars on Street Fighter II, without any tutorial mode, or even a training mode. Dan: Fighting games need to move past being an informational brick wall, and instead, graduate their new players from the “button masher” to the type of player who can think through the problems that a fighting game presents. I propose that single-player is the best place to do this, it being the safest space in the game outside the pressures of competition or other people. Gerald: I’m all for better teaching tools within the game, but you’re not getting to high-level play by doing multiple-choice quizzes in single-player mode, and that’s BECAUSE it’s the safest place in the game. The reason why I think it’s so hard to get to that satisfying, high level of play in fighting games, is because you have to get out of your comfort zone, and get bodied by real people over and over again.

I mean, you’re playing a one-on-one game, where you’re represented by a character on the screen, who screams in agony when you fail to block, and no one is there to help you. There’s no save-and-reload feature, there are no teammates to share the blame, and when you lose, the game will write a personal message for you in huge letters, and an announcer will read it out loud. As a bonus, in Mortal Kombat, you get to watch your character die a horrible death, which happened because YOU failed to defend yourself. Then, in order to improve, you have to watch yourself losing all over again in a replay, to find out what you did wrong. And on the journey to getting good at the game, real people will insult you for losing, hate you for winning, tell you to quit, and sooner or later, you’re going to get taunted and “perfected” by a young kid, and when you have an emotional reaction to that, you’ll be told to man up by an old-school veteran, who has knife wounds from winning too much in SFII in the 90’s at his local liquor store. Okay, now I’m exaggerating.

But the point is, no amount of simplifying gameplay and tutorials are going to prevent these kind of things from happening, and in this light, it’s understandable why it’s so hard to get into fighting games. Being salty is not a great feeling, but you can’t avoid it any more than you can avoid falling when learning how to skateboard. Now, I’ve painted a pretty grim picture of fighting games, so I want to say that the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and that winning the right game can vindicate all the frustration you’ve been feeling up to that point, and it’s something you can be proud of. When you “level up” in a fighting game, the attributes that improve your play are stored in your own brain, not on some server run by a giant game publisher. There’s a unique satisfaction you get from beating an opponent you couldn’t beat before, or beating someone you were expected to lose to.

As a matter of fact, beating the right person at the right time can start your fighting game career, or at least make you famous as the guy who beat so-and-so. Because matches can be over so quickly in fighting games, the potential for blow-ups and upsets are high, and when they happen, it gets hype as hell. [speakers disintegrating] But there’s a trade-off: Whenever there’s a hype moment, there’s going to be a very salty player at the receiving end, which, to be philosophical, completes the Yin and Yang.

So even though learning to get good can be discouraging at times, it’s part of the journey, and the vast majority of the people I’ve met, online or in-person, have been really supportive, and sometimes, you’ll even have players fighting to teach newcomers how to play the game, which is pretty fitting for this ridiculously competitive community. Let me know what you think is the hardest thing about fighting games in the comments, and subscribe for more videos like this. Thanks for watching, and seriously, thanks for helping me get to 10,000 subs. See you guys after SFV comes out.

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