We don't always like being nonplussed

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pokemon Weekends: Now, it can be Nown.

I thought it might be a good idea to take a break from the big Flailthrough over the weekends and talk about what I'm sure is on all our minds: Pokemon. Specifically, an important discovery I made yesterday:

Presumably they are super-effective against Oompa-Loompas.

That's right- Unown are actually Vermicious Knids. Or perhaps they evolve into Knids, I'm not certain. Or maybe from. But clearly there's a connection.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Flailthroughs - Jump Superstars! (Part 5)

Alright, it's onto one of the next stages! At this point I've gone through stages 1-1 through 1-6, so I might as well try 1-7 before I move on to what seems to be stage 2-1. I enter the stage in hopes of more box combat, but am instead met by another treasure trove left by the fruit pirates, so it's not so bad. I beat the barrels and poorly constructed chests into piles of goo, collecting their fruity innards, including several items I have never seen before. Curious as to what the victory conditions are, I decide that it must requite me to beat the clock, not literally, and wait to get out of the stage...

I am wrong.

Three tries later I'm fed up for the time being, and I decide to head to the next stage to see what I can find... and discover yet another green box. At this point I'm already strategizing, doing my best to figure out which of the possible super attacks I'm supposed to use, or which items I'm supposed to tap in which order... and the stage ends... What? The stage literally lasted long enough for the pirate to babble at me for five minutes, then end completely... I have no idea. Well, time to mess with some menus.

I press the start button and discover that the previously blacked out option is now lit up, and I'm curious and excited to see what happens... A fifty minute walk through... Neat. On the plus side, at least I got to see them reattach Luffy's severed head to his zombie like torso, and I think once the therapy that it will require to repress that mental image is paid for, I'll be better off. It takes me a bit of time, but I've realized that this is the menu option where you do stuff with panels... What? Who knows? But on the plus side, I don't know what else is going on anywhere else and it still hasn't stopped me.

After playing around for a few minutes, I manage to re-capitate three people! Neat! I now seem to have Bobobo, who I had before; Luffy, who I had before; the other guy from One Piece (have fun guessing that one), and a pile of people, including the the girl from One Piece with mutant proportions, another Luffy and... people. I'm sure they all have personalities, but we'll learn about them later... OH! I did learn that our friend, Generic Kid, is some sort of football manga, and that the strange blur that took out the evil cardboard box was apparently him flying at it full force, like some sort of dorky bullet shot from a tornado.

I return to stage 1-7, where I spend the better part of 2 hours trying to figure out what the hell the stage wants me to do. As my mind starts to go, I find myself simply wandering around and trying any insane thing I can think of: destroying barrels and chest by only hitting them with a specific button, only collecting one kind of fruit, not collecting ANY fruit, ect. Finally, I get bored with this and see how much of the walls I can destroy, hoping the world will collapse down and kill me like the falling sky... "CLEAR!!" WHAT?!

Here is where I pause to have a minor conniption fit, but recover with the aid of Pepsi, which is the source of all of my power and sanity, at least some days. I don't seem to have given this stage a crown, but I did open up a new path to a bomb stage, so I'm hoping it'll turn out interesting.

SWEET! Bobobo! This stage is like liquid insanity, and I think I want to drink it. The moving walkways that do nothing but drop enemies onto bombs if you've rigged it right, and the background that seems to be a castle in some sort of pumpkin, not to mention the cast of the manga all having the most insane, and pretty disgusting attacks all support this analysis... But then, what do you expect from someone that beats you to death with nose hair? As usual, Goku turns out to be my hero for this mission, because he's the only one I've found so far with a really kick ass long range attack.

Well, it looks like I've opened up a new stage, and at this point I'm going to guess it has fruit pirate loot in it, since that seems to be the growing trend. Let's see what happens...

I was not disappointed! I still have no idea what it is I'm suppose to be doing, but at least I know those wacky, syphilis-ridden buccaneers are all over the place still. After a few minutes it seems that, purely by accident, I have learned the key to winning: shoving treasure chests around like some sort of school yard bully on crack, and beating up other objects with them. I feel somehow accomplished that it took me less than fifteen minutes to figure out what five year-olds have always known: if you knock a fat guy into a skinny guy, it hurts them both.

As I watch the end of the stage information roll by, it would seem that I've unlocked a number of things about which I'm quite confused. Not a big deal, so far I've been confused about everything else that's going on, why should this be any different? The only thing that worries me is that one of the things seems to have a heart in it, and I've started to wonder if the game is falling in love with me... Well, I am god after all, it's only natural to love your savior.

Sorry this update wasn't too interesting, but here's hoping tomorrow turns out to be more confusing.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Flailthroughs - Jump Superstars! (Part 4)

 It's a new stage! This time I seem to be in a special stage on the world map that is in a red box with a yellow star bust, and a large 'B' in the middle. Obviously this stage is a bomb, and I have to defuse it before it explodes! Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Well that's a shame because that's not what it is.

I enter the stage and discover that I am fighting on the pirate ship! Neat! It's kind of a shame that the last stage was the one that looked like it was on top of the ship on the world map.Anyway, at this point I assume I'm either fighting the fruit pirates, or I'm going to be fighting the floating head. But no! It's Luffy! I thought we were friends, but the hyperactive little bastard seems to be trying to bite chunks out of my ass. Apparently not only do I have to beat him, it seems that there's no limit to the number of times I have to beat him, oh lovely! I have to beat him throughout the timer, until it reaches zero.

But what's this? It seems now that if I stand by the edge of the stage and beat the wall that it eventually breaks through, and I can then fall to my death outside the stage wall. Neat. But I'll admit it does help, because now all I have to do is stand by the hole and push our stretchy little pirate friend over the edge. Over, and over, and over again, until it starts feeling almost zen. I begin watching TV as I wait for the timer to run out, then look down as it does, surprised that the battle is over.

Oh, and did I mention that I was using none of the previous characters I had become used to? It seems that I'm now allowed to switch between groups, so I can pick my team. I didn't know that's what it was, I simply pressed down till I saw Goku, and thought, "Hell yeah, Goku, whatever this is will be awesome." I'll admit, it was awesome.

On to the next stage!

What the dick?

Our old enemy the box is gone and seems to have been replaced by... A GREEN BOX! Gone are the evil eyebrows of yesterday, only to be replaced by... glasses? A giant nose? That's right, I am fighting a box that is a hybrid of Groucho Marx, and a leprechaun. This is the ultimate weapon of the box people, and I must admit that I am more than a little afraid.

I do not know what I am supposed to do right now. First I hit the box, though it did nothing in response. Then it stopped letting me attack, but I learned that if I tap the characters' images at the bottom of the screen, it unleaseh a powerful attack... as we all do when someone pokes us hard in the face. As happens in real life, when I kill the box it drops a small pile of tokens labeled "P", which I suspect are tokens for a urinal. I shall continue beating it for the time being, in hopes of ending its eternal, painful existance.


I have discovered that tapping the panels alternately like some sort of insane pianist makes you switch characters mid-attack! This is one of the most confusing aspects I have ever found in a video game, as most tend to refuse to let you do that sort of thing unless you're exploiting some form of glitch. On the plus side, I think this might be the last I see of the Uber-Box.

Back at the world map, I see that now I have unlocked two new stages, as the road now forks in two different directions. Neat! It also made a third path back to a stage I've already been to, so I'm wondering if I have to go and beat it again. Did I miss something? It has a crown for Pete's sake! It's obviously that awesome that they want me to beat it again... Well screw you!

More on this game tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Flailthroughs - Jump Superstars! (Part 3)

The Box has returned!

On the third stage I have found my old enemy. Apparently my sound thrashing wasn't enough for him the first time!... And doesn't seem to be enough this time, since it looks like when I beat him it simply starts me over, and the floating pirate head begins asking me questions, then yelling at me. I can only assume that my avatar is angry at me because I'm wasting my time fighting cardboard boxes, rather than the armies of my rivals. I would enjoy to bathe in their blood, I will admit, but if that cardboard is sassing me, then I'll have its pulpy hide!

Ok, it seems what the head wanted me to do was beat it to death with my foot. I have gathered this now by the up arrow that appeared, the up arrow being the universal signal to kick something, as I should have remembered. Once again, I am met with multiple exclamation marks and fire, so I can assume this is a great victory on my part, and it makes me realize something important...

It's the cardboard that destroyed the worlds! This all makes sense now! Obviously I am a just and caring god, fighting against the boxy minions of the unholy in an attempt to win back reality for those who are not, like, totally square, dude.

I am also met with having won something!... Or unlocked it!... Or... who the hell knows? All I know is that there are FIVE exclamation marks, and this must be something very important. Perhaps it's the key to winning the game, or frightening off the evil box gods? Who knows? I can't read a word of it. Now, back to the world map.

And there's something new... I note that when I beat this stage, unlike the others, there is a crown on it. It could very well be that this was... THE KING OF THE CARDBOARD BOXES! The very thought of this possibility sends a shiver down my spine that will likely need extensive muscle relaxants to undo the damage it caused in its passing. I believe at this point I know what the exclamation points represented! And, on top of that, I've opened up a route all the way to some sort of pirate ship... Neat!

Perhaps it was left behind by the fruit pirates? Yo ho ho and a bottle of kiwi, me matey!

Ok, what the hell is going on! Suddenly I find that I am no longer Luffy, but now I am that lovable scamp, Nult, from the hit series Naruto. On top of this confusion, THE BOXES ARE NOW ATTACKING, AND LORD HELP US THEY ARE POWERFUL! I try to fight back as best I can, but I find that while I had nearly mastered Luffy's moves, our blond hero has NONE! Seriously, NONE, not even a freaking kick! FALL ON HIM! SOMETHING! He's cardboard! Throw a glass of water on him and watch him melt!

... Ah, so that was it, was it? I had to learn to block, and this was so important that it became necessary for me to be smacked around like a little bitch by packing material? I'll remember this, Box, mark my words! So after I managed to find the down button, the stage ends, but before it does I now notice that the bottom screen of the DS is filled with the images of Generic Kid and Girl From Romance Manga. I have no idea why, but I will assume they are cheering me on for my valiant ass whooping. It's just a shame that it was my ass.

And I was wrong! The stage isn't even over yet, not that I could tell. It seems that I was to have my revenge on the box before I left. It's important, in my opinion, never to let paper products think that they have the better of you, painful cuts be damned!

And it's not over yet!

After having been beaten by, then beating the box, it seems that I'm being given new instructions, this time with handy arrows! I'm being told that I should click on Generic Kid, and so I do... and have NO CLUE what just happened. Since I am looking at the lower screen what I see is a blur out of the top of my eyes, and then the box flies off screen... Is Generic Kid some sort of ultimate super weapon, or is he just super effective against cardboard? Who knows? But I do know that Girl From Romance Manga makes the bar below my health sparkle... clearly, she has turned it into a vampire.

More tomorrow!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Flailthroughs - Jump Superstars! (Part 2)

I beat the tar out of a cardboard box. This is apparently such a great feat that it warrants the use of three exclamation points (and multiple applications thereof) and fire. Now that I think about it, why didn't we just use the fire on the box? It is cardboard's natural enemy, much like giraffes and tractors.

Anyway, onward to the next level!

At this point, I'm expecting another cardboard box. Perhaps the brother of the evil eyebrowed box I just killed, perhaps his son out for revenge, a young shoebox all alone in the world with only vengeance in his heart now that there's no room for love... Well, I was wrong, but perhaps later I'll run into him when he's grown up into a big, strong refrigerator carton. One can only hope.

What I'm actually greeted with is an army of oil drums, which is good because I've always thought those bastards were too cocky for their own good. Not only them, but treasure chests! Hot damn! Is there some sort of item system I'm not yet aware of, or better yet some of those magic manic panels?... Nope. As I hit the first barrel, I am greeted by a rain of fruit, springing forth from them as though they had escaped some sort of horrible tropical prison, glad to see the sun for the first time in their short, ripe lives.

I'm forced to wonder about that conversation, though, and I believe you should all do the same. Picture this, if you will, an army of pirates landing on a desert island (with floating platforms) looking for a place to hide their loot.

First Mate: We've landed on the insane space island, Captain. Should we start looking for supplies?
Captain: No! And as a matter of fact, I think we should leave the ones we have behind! A pirate isn't a real pirate till he has scurvy, and I see too many men on my ship walking around like... well, just walking at all!
First Mate: Alright... but while we're here, should we at least bury the treasure? We're on the run, and the extra weight would make us move a lot faster in the water.
Captain: No! But what I want you to do is take all of the treasure and dump it over the side of the ship, then put fruit into the treasure chests! That will surprise those English dogs! Come to think of it, don't even bury the chests! Just leave them easily accessible, so that anyone can track them down! Oh, and use those thin chests that people can punch through, ok? I love them! So glad we got them on special!
First Mate: ... Sea turtles.
and so on.

Now, on to the menus. I've noticed that at the top of the screen there are four options, nicely labeled in English to correspond to the buttons. They also have handy symbols that tell me that one is a poorly constructed box, or possibly the main area for a habitrail, one is the inside of a three slice toaster, one is the U-Bend in a toilet, and the other seems to take pictures of you while you sleep. For now, I'll pick the toaster.

When I enter the toaster, I am greeted with a list with three options, one of which is black and i cannot pick. I decided to take the second and see where it leads, and am greeted by a scrolling list of Katakana, with odd symbols in the upper screen that seem to mean something. This is how it appears:

"*Football symbol* (Katakana) 21"
"*Strawberry Symbol* 100%"
"*Some symbol I don't know* Naruto (Katakana)"
"*Red katakana* (katakana)-(katakana) - (Katakana)-(kataana)"
"*Pirate flag with hat* One Piece"... Somehow I think I know what this one is.

Now there are a lot of other menus here, but I'm going to assume that they do nothing, since it's much easier to wait and find out later that they're vitally important and that I've missed something. I did however seem to do something that made the screen above display images of the characters, so I now know my party!... If it's a party, I haven't figured that part out yet.

I have Generic Kid,
I have Girl From Romance Manga,
I have Nult,
I have Bobobo,

and I have Luffy attempting to eat my head, apparently.

Now, onto stage three!... Tomorrow!
 (At press time, there were no listings on Amazon for 3-slice toasters- only the boring 2- and 4- slice models. We at Flailthroughs regret the inconvenience.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Flailthroughs - Jump Superstars! (Part 1)

To start my first official Flailthrough, I decided to pick a game that I had not played before, and in fact would have limited knowledge of the characters. To this end, I picked Jump Superstars, a game that has been around the house for some time unplayed.

A cast of Thousands awaits you in Jump Superstars! ...who are they?

I say limited knowledge because of the characters in it, the totality of which happens to be:

  • Goku from Dragonball Z
  • Nult Uzumaki from Naruto
  • Kenshin Himura from Ruroni Kenshin
  • Luffy from One Piece
  • Yugi from Yugioh
  • Light Yagami from Death Note
  • Jojo from Jojo's Bizzare Adventure
  • Bobobo from Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
  • Ichigo from Bleach
  • Yusuke
  • And finally the kid from Shaman King, whose name escapes me at this point in time, but I will call The Stoner.

I'm sure that I have/will misspelled the names, or get the series wrong, but in the true spirit of Flailthroughs I have no intention of looking them up, as that would spoil the game.

The first thing I note about this game is that it happens to be in Japanese, which is no surprise. As I understand it, a large aspect of this game is to somehow fit together panels to form comic books, thus somehow completing some sort of summoning ritual to bring forth the dread lord Azatoth... though it is possible that I have misheard this, as it comes to me secondhand.

At the title screen I am confronted with five options, the first one reading something like "J(katakana)" which I will guess has something to do with starting the game... Either that or it is insulting me, I have no way of knowing for sure. The second option is something along the lines of "(Kanji) (Katakana)" which confounds me more, though I will be vigilant. The third option consists of three simple symbols, so I have decided to pick that one first... lets see what happens...

Success!... Of a sort. I have discovered the screen where you create pages. The people shouting in Japanese, smiling, frowning, and in some cases crying, lead me to believe that that this panel likely represents the creator having some sort of nervous breakdown while designing this aspect of the game. This is a good sign so far.

At this point I have decided to make my way back to the title screen and pick the option, "J (Katakana)" to see if that will allow me to start the game... and I am met with success!... I think! I tap the option, and am greeted by many fragmented masses of land, floating through the void of space... Is it possible that I picked the wrong option? Did I just destroy existence? I sure hope so, as that would make this the best game that I've played in ages.

Text that I cannot read begins to scroll by as I watch the screen flash and the worlds black out... so far it's still looking like I am the bringer of chaos and death, and I'm really enjoying myself. After a moment, a floating pirate head, the Shonen Jump logo, begins to drift through space. It is sweating and moving about nervously, possibly shocked by my destruction of all creation. It floats down to the only area of land that has not been destroyed in order to escape my demonic wrath... or possibly that's just how I see it. What can I say? I'm an optimist.

Holy shit! Sparkles and spinning disembodied heads! Is this some aspect of the game that involves playing a shell game with noggins replacing the cups? Must I search under them to find a brain? Given the characters that I see flying across the screen, I would have to believe that this game is rigged, as I saw who I believe was Luffy, Bobobo, and Nult.

I see a world map now, and I attempt to click on the flag that seems to mark my victory over this land, deciding that this would be a bit more interesting than trying to figure out the menu system for the moment. I am instantly sent down to a side view world where I am Luffy, being instructed by the floating pirate head. It now seems that this head is actually my Avatar, the planar representative of my divinity... But wait! Luffy seems to be being told that he needs to kill a cardboard box with evil eyebrows... No wonder this war ended so quickly!

Monkey D. Luffy vs. The Cardboard Box.

... Okay, I walked into the box and died. Perhaps I'm not a very good god, but after roughly seventy-seven screens of random Japanese text with random letters and symbols thrown in, in way of instructing me what to do, suicide was the only option. But I am a just god, so I seem to have given myself another chance. Yay me! Now I will beat the tar out of that box!

Stay tuned for the next update to see what happens!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beginning Tomorrow: Epic Flail

Tomorrow, That Guy begins his recount of a totally blind playthrough of Jump Superstars for the DS. I've gotten previews of the first couple chapters, and it is awesome. He's a much better and more inspired writer than I am, and I'm looking forward to it. We've also acquired a DSi XL in the hopes that it will make for better pictures to go with our Epic Flails; oh how we suffer for your entertainment! So yeah, we're all set up and the fun begins tomorrow- please look forward to it!