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A.M.B.

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  1. I said it here but I think Aljo deserved the win last time, it just sucks that round 1 was the deciding round, and Yan’s 4/5 more impressive than Aljo’s 2/3. It’s just a fault of the judging system. This one I don’t understand at all though. Any time O’Malley looked good Yan would immediately punish him and even the score. You can say it was even on the feet but Yan had 5 minutes of control time, and not just holding him down. They should do what they did after Aldo/Moraes (which I thought was more of a toss up) and reward the rightful winner. Not that I expect that tho.
  2. Islam just won me 40 bucks in a friendly bet, 20 for him winning, 20 for the arm triangle finish. That ending sequence was exactly how I saw things going, though it’s hardly a controversial opinion.
  3. The term robbery is definitely overused, but that’s one if I’ve ever seen it. Feel for Yan, I still view him as the best in the division but now he’s probably looking at 2-3 more fights for a title shot when it should be his next fight. Maybe they’ll do him vs. Chito for the #1 contenders position while O’Malley gets a shot he doesn’t deserve.
  4. Just finished my second full play through. First time took about 70 hours missing a lot of stuff, this time I pretty much did everything in 90 hours, only thing I really missed is Corwyn’s quest. Still not the biggest fan of the end game. Maliketh just makes me dizzy. Malenia basically came down to hoping the RNG wouldn’t do waterfowl dance too much. Hora Loux was a joke after Maliketh. Elden Beast gave me some issues but feels nerfed from when I first beat him. Being familiar with some of the levels actually helped my enjoyment though, I was kinda overwhelmed in my first play through, second time I was able to fully explore things. I still think DS3 bosses are the peak of the series though, IMO nothing in this game comes close to fights like Lorian/Lothric to me. Level design has too much repetition for me with the catacombs and whatnot, but the legacy dungeons, specifically Stormveil, Raya Lucaria, and Leyndell are the best of the best. But I’ll be going back again. Build variety is insane here and that’s my favorite part. Pretty much every Souls game I’ve beat multiple times since going through then with a different build feels like a whole new game. I’ve done an int build and arc/faith with some dex, maybe I’ll just go pure strength next time. Also doing an SL1 run in Dark Souls right now, beating O&S was an incredible rush. The DLC is daunting though. It’s very weird, these games always seemed so stressful to me as a more casual gamer who likes RPGs and Stardew Valley-like games where I could just turn my brain off. But now the entire series are my comfort games I keep going back to.
  5. Really not Hunter? Maybe I’m crazy but at this stage he’d get my vote. AEW ticket sales are way down while WWE’s are up, their ratings are up, as well as overall interest and trust with the fans again. It seems like by most metrics their booking is beating AEW’s. You can say a lot of that interest is just from Vince leaving but I think that would have fizzled out real quick is the creative wasn’t consistently solid. Sami Zayn and the bloodline is the most entertaining act in wrestling week to week for me and sure, that’s mostly on Sami being amazing, but ultimately the booker is the one giving them the time. Hunter has done a great job rehabilitating a lot of their talents.
  6. I do kinda regret not going to one of their SoCal shows, but the point about roster rotation is really what makes it hard for me to be more than a casual viewer at this point. I totally respect trying to give guys a lighter schedule in such a physically demanding line of work, but a lot of these guys seem to be wrestling like once or twice a month at this point. It’s why I’m actually preferring WWE’s product right now for the first time since AEW has existed, since their TV feels more episodic and I know even if I don’t like a certain segment, I’m still gonna get to see the wrestlers I do like if I keep watching. And the programs will carry on instead of being suspended for a few weeks. Also WWE is way less squash matches at this point, AEW’s booking is way too predictable for me, and I’m tired of the big AEW star vs. some outsider I’ve never seen before as the top featured matches. I mean Jericho/Bandito was awesome and for once I actually bit on the near falls but that’s why I remember it so well, thinking the outsider could actually win felt like a first.
  7. Yeah crucible knight was the only hard one early game for me, which is really not much of a problem if you come back at a higher level. The ones in Altus plateau and especially the one at the end of Ranni’s quest gave me fits
  8. Yeah he’s probably just worth coming back to, I think I spammed him with rotten breath too. Godskin noble (or whoever the fat one is) is possibly my least favorite of the reoccurring bosses, his rolling attack is the absolute worst to dodge and usually traps me in a corner. And unfortunately from what I remember Godrick’s rune is pretty much the best one you’ll get all game and I didn’t use anything else. A big revelation in my second playthrough was using map markers too, maybe I’m just dumb but I never used them my first playthrough and missed so much, especially bosses I wanted to come back to.
  9. Who cares about who’s an “actual star” when ratings, attendance and buy rates haven’t changed (if not declined). Sting, Danielson, Jericho, and Christian are “actual stars” by all measures and don’t really move the needle. They also haven’t deliberately buried the company for the whole world to see. And who’s to say who’s spoiled? A tag team that never had a major contract deal yet managed to completely shift the paradigm of how much non WWE-employed wrestlers can earn, or a guy who’s leveraged his WWE fandom for the last 7 or so years to be in positions they had no business being in? Without getting into anything in terms of in ring talent the Young Bucks are the first people I’ve ever seen in my life to go beyond the Indy scene into mainstream outlets like Hot Topic, selling out stadiums, and securing major deals for any company they work for. And I say this as someone who’s not the biggest fan of them in ring (Matt bothers me more for whatever reason). That takes real talent and drive when you don’t have billion dollar companies, PR teams, and agents behind you. No one has been able to turn a New Japan run into something world wide, so again I have to point out that that these guys are more “punk” than Punk, and that being an “actual star” is the only thing that makes these things possible.
  10. Didn’t realize there was a thread for this outside of the AEW board so I never really posted my thoughts. Don’t really feel like going through 25 pages and I’m sure it’s been touched on but the ultimate irony of this situation to me is that Punk was mad Page made him look bad, but instead of handling it privately he drew way more attention to it, now everyone has gone back and watched that Page promo, knows the words behind it hold real weight, and won’t forget it any time soon. This could have all been brushed under the rug. The funny thing is, watching that promo at the time, I thought the lines were good, but the whole “I’m defending AEW from you” bit was just a variation of Kingston’s promo months earlier. I feel like the “worker’s rights” line must have really gotten to him, since he didn’t get a comeback, whereas with Kingston he could always use the “you’re fat and wasted your potential” bit to get a bit of a receipt. And yes, the whole “these guys have done nothing in this business” line is the most egregious to me, since the Bucks and Omega have done more for Indy wrestling and getting journeymen paid than Punk could ever dream. The weird cringey Christian dorks are ironically way more punk than Punk. They did things their way, never “sold out”, and brought their friends along with them. In ring wise Punk’s best matches have always been against the real best in the world types, like Samoa Joe and John Cena. I really haven’t loved any Punk match since he’s got back besides the Eddie Kingston one. So I would just dump him. Ratings don’t seem to have changed much in the long run, houses seem down, l think AEW has much bigger problems to address than losing one very volatile talent.
  11. Radahn took me the most attempts of any boss the first playthrough, now I always beat him first try. I assume you’re on your horse for most of the fight, I just run around on horseback dodging his attacks and getting every summon activated. Rotten breath dragon Incantation makes this battle a joke once the summons aggro him. If you can just set up all the summons and use some kind of ranged magic or pick your shots with big jumping attacks that should whittle him down quickly. And I just use the Elden Ring wiki to find out where the upgrade stones are just to get a sense of what level the game expects my weapons to be at. playing this game for my 3rd play through now. It really is incredible how many new things I keep finding, though this is the most completionist run I’ve done yet. My int build run was fun but felt somewhat limited, most spells didn’t feel worth it and the Moonveil was just too good to trade out for anything. I did a Guts cosplay for my second run and it was really fun and god damn is the greatsword op, but it got a little boring having to use the same weapons through the whole game. My latest faith/arcane build has been the most fun. Faith has been buffed to have way more viable offensive options than DS games before, and Arcane mixes well with it, giving you bleed, poison, and magic options. The dragon incantations, coupled with my seal that scales with faith and arcane, and lightning spear have been shredding through everything.
  12. I do kinda like this card more, though I was interested in the spectacle of the top two fights, they’re much more balanced now. I feel for Leech big time though. Dude was all ready for the press conference with his nice suit, and likely on his way to the biggest win of his career, now he’s taking on a much bigger dude and isn’t getting much of a rub from a name if he manages a victory.
  13. Funny cause if there’s one match I’d be happy to pay for on the All Out card it’s the free Kingston vs. Ishii match.
  14. I’ve been down on AEW since the start of the year, it’s just been way too interference/beatdown heavy, as well as giving too much TV time to guys I don’t enjoy like Adam Cole. Guys who should have got a payoff for all the hard work they’ve put in like Santana and Ortiz and Best Friends seem to be getting skipped over so we can make room for guys like the Trustbusters. Haven’t watched WWE in a long time but Summerslam and the last RAW were way more up my alley production-wise than anything AEW has been putting out lately. Though I thought some matches in Summerslam could have used a little more action or pizzazz, AEW is the opposite, where they need less flashy moves and more moments for things to breathe, especially post match. People say WWE matches all feel the same, but AEW lately feels very samey, especially tag matches where the biggest spot in the match is always the big guy doing a dive last. There was like 4 of those bits on the last PPV. It’s basically a slightly better TNA at this point to me.
  15. Haven’t really touched this thread in months, I beat Elden Ring in early April and have a hard time even putting things into words. In many ways it’s the best game I’ve ever played, but just like any of the other Souls games, it’s got glaring flaws that seem pretty easy to fix in hindsight. Going back to DS3 recently really illuminates how much more fun the difficulty was since it was linear and nicely curated. Elden Ring was always either too easy or too hard. And yes, I do believe Souls games can be too hard, 1 and 3 are definitely not it, but the endgame in Elden Ring, even with different builds and being more familiar with the area and enemies, is really not that fun for me. Huge parts of the game were just a running simulator, as there’s zero reason to engage with most of the enemies, unlike the Souls games where I always felt inclined to clear out every room, maybe skipping the occasional enemy. You can get killed sooo quickly in the end game by certain enemies that it’s just not worth it to fight something for a few measly runes. I mean I totally get it when you’re running away from the Tree Sentinel in the beginning and how good it feels to come back and kill him, but right at Stormhill in my first hour of playing I remember just feeling guilty that I was simply running past the troll the game was seemingly encouraging me to fight, but what incentive is there to not just run? Bosses being repeated also felt really cheap and uninspired to me, I did like the iterations of Margit, but the reuse of things like Erdtree Guardian, Tree Spirits and Sentinels was a big bummer, as it actually took away from their first encounters for me and made them seem less significant in hindsight. The Souls series, especially since DS1 was my first one, was a real paradigm shift for me since I was so burnt out on open world games at the time. It gave me an open world with no bloat, no wide open areas to comb through for trivial rewards, but a claustrophobic meat grinder that beckoned me to internalize it. Off the top of my head I cant think of a single boss arena in Elden Ring that made me engage with the terrain, they were all wide open spaces with maybe the occasional pillar to create distance, where DS1 had a unique arena for almost all its bosses that added an extra layer of complexity beyond just learning their attacks. Combat was also kinda frustrating for me, I ended up cheesing way too many bosses with a spirit ash, OP spell, or with my str build character, jump attack till posture break ad nauseum. In general I just found it way too fast. I think there’s a fine balance between too slow and being way too fast and twitchy, and it definitely felt too fast here. Joseph Anderson’s review is spot on with how they ask you to learn way too many combos and fake outs if you’re actually trying to master precise evasions. The battles often come down to trading damage and finding exploits. Exploration was pretty cool the first time, but the second time through, which was more of a completionist run for me, things like the Catacombs got pretty exhausting. I think it would have been much better if they were all interconnected, spat you out at a few different locations like Siofra River, and had more shortcuts to be discovered. Discovering Siofra River was incredible, but again, I found myself just riding around, running past enemies and scooping up the items. Souls games were much better at making certain areas impassable without clearing out some enemies since they weren’t so wide open. The size of the map was also pretty difficult for me, there’s a reason all these sandbox games have a bunch of icons and blurbs on the map, it’s because when a game is this big it’s really easy to forget where you’ve gone and what you’ve done. I don’t have the best memory and had to resign myself to the fact that I would miss out on a lot of content, and even if there was stuff I remembered to come back to later, i was probably overlevelled and the loot was inconsequential to my build anyway. I was one of the ones who thought FromSoftware didn’t need some busy checklist of a map until I actually had to engage with the enormous scope of it. I also didn’t give two shits about the crafting system, things were already fine in DS, now items are just further fragmented and it really adds to the bloat. I don’t think I crafted a single item besides the pickled gold feet for exp in both of my playthroughs. I also didn’t even really notice or care to get in to the great rune mechanic my first playthrough. My favorite part of the game was definitely Stormveil Castle, which is kinda sad to me looking back considering how early on it is. But it was even better on replay as well since I found a completely different path through it. That part was as good as a Souls game gets for me, so it was really sad I didn’t get more of that. Raya Lucaria didn’t quite feel as interconnected to me, and by the time I got to Leyndell I was at like 70 hours and just wanted to beat the game so I ran through it without much curiosity. Crumbling Farum Azula and the Haligtree were huge disappointments, just wayyy too cheap with the enemies. Once again I just sprinted through them. I guess when I replay this one day down the line I’ll have to just go from one legacy dungeon straight to the next one because a lot of the side content and grinding in between them just added to my fatigue and took away from my enjoy of the most finely curated areas. Also wish they did more of a DS2 level curve since that would add to build diversity, and since I could only commit to leveling a few stats I had to disregard a lot of the equipment I found. Also I think a lot of what I say might not apply to newcomers to the series, as having spent hours upon hours in Bloodborne’s chalice dungeons made the Catacombs a lot more uninteresting to me. If you don’t know how boss arenas in DS1 were half the battle you might not even notice how lacking they are here. Anyway, this is why I didn’t want to write this review, I’ve been rewriting this for an hour and it’s still just a mess of my thoughts about how the game is too big, bloated, and difficult, but still somehow it’s the best new game I’ve played in years.
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