Grab Bag 10,000

I’ve moved onto Nightmare mode in Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, and while it looked for a hot second as though I would be forced to eat each and every word about how the game was too easy for my liking, I managed to hit a groove with it. Nightmare mode is harder, naturally – you only have three characters to work with instead of four, there are additional enemies here and there, and most of the bosses have slightly meaner attack patterns. The biggest changes appear to be in the last level and final boss, which are completely different. I say ‘appear’ because I haven’t finished it yet. The level is manageable, but the boss is a motherfucker, and I can only assume that it has multiple phases that I have yet to see. Still, that doesn’t elevate the difficulty of the game as a whole up to the level of Castlevania III. There’s still one more difficulty mode to unlock, so it may yet get worse.

-While I stand by most everything in last week’s Mega Man 2 mini-guide, I did experiment with doing Flash Man before doing Wood Man, and the results were tremendous. Here’s the deal. Wood Man’s stage has a gauntlet of three mini-bosses. They’re these three sequential rooms, each of which contains a big, robotic dog that shoots fire. The first one is pretty straight forward, since that room is arranged in such a way that you can easily dodge its shots. The second and third rooms, however, are arranged in such a way that dodging each dog’s shots is pretty much impossible, especially when you’re trying to get in your own shots. However, if you have the Time Stopper, you can activate it just before you move from the first screen to the second, and then walk through the next two screens. The second and third dogs won’t even spawn. Neat, huh? Special thanks to this speedrun for showing me this trick.

-This is news from last week, I know, but I am deeply ambivalent on NXT’s impending move to USA, at least from my purely selfish perspective as a consumer. Obviously, the fact that this means more pay for the performers is unambiguously a good thing, however, I still intend to watch AEW once it premieres, and if that means I don’t get to watch NXT much (if at all), then so be it. Also, I think one of NXT’s greatest strengths, as a TV show, was that it was only an hour long. One (and only one) hour is the perfect length for a weekly wrestling show. You can have a fair amount of matches, competitive ones, even. You can showcase less prominent roster talent and let them gain popularity/hone their craft slowly, and advance the major stories without overexposing them or the performers involved. Expanding NXT to two hours is going to upset this balance, and maybe it will still be a good show from week to week, but I’m not optimistic, especially given that Vince McMahon is sure to become more involved in the booking. That can only end in useless parity booking, scripted promos, and tears. I’m low-key considering canceling my subscription, since I would mostly use it just to watch Takeover, and $120 a year is kind of a lot for something you only use five times in that year, you know? I don’t even care to watch the big main roster shows anymore – SummerSlam, ostensibly the second biggest show of the year, came and went without my giving a rat’s ass. Even if NXT’s weekly show will be put up a day later, I’m still not sure I care that much.

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