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For those of you who don't get the poorly written title of the thread, this is about ERB, more commonly known as Epic Rap Battles Of History, and unfortunately, it's also not about how good I think their overall content is. No, instead I'm going to talk about how Nicepeter and EpicLloyd, the creators of ERB, are apparently taking it upon themselves to use their content to push stupid agendas instead of just making it entertaining. To further explain, here's a battle that ERB did not too long ago: Thomas Jefferson vs. Frederick Douglass. And here's a battle they uploaded today: Bruce Banner vs. Bruce Jenner. You see a theme here? The battles were clearly decided as who would win during the writing process, instead of normally leaving it up to the viewer to decide. Douglass was outing Jefferson as a racist and Jenner was made to look "stunning and brave" by completely owning Bruce Banner/The Hulk (a complete waste of a character(s) for a rap battle, btw). Oh sure, the "You Decide" screen still plays, but that might as well say "We Decided, and these people win. Don't agree? Congrats then, you're racist and/or transphobic. Eat shit." Now, I don't want to completely trash ERB for what they did for the sake of finding some kind of light at the end of this very dark and offensive tunnel. At the very least, I can say that they had good intentions in mind. The Jefferson/Douglass battle was obviously uploaded due to Independence Day coming up soon, and the Banner/Jenner battle could easily be linked to the recent Orlando shooting, and ERB even managed to get a real-life transgender rapper, No Shame, to play Caitlin Jenner. But even after all that, the bottom line is that they let bias get in the way of their creativity and it severely hurt their content as a whole. And no, I'm not racist and I'm not transphobic. Thomas Jefferson wasn't racist and did the best he could do for our nation at the time and Caitlin Jenner is... an attention-seeker. And she killed someone. Those are the only views I hold regarding these two battles and they have nothing to do with the color of one's skin nor their sexuality, but rather the presentation of the battles and the character of those who created them and the people who they are centered around. ERB, I love your content, but this has to stop right the Hell now. Side note: if you want a deeper analysis of just how biased the Jefferson/Douglass battle is, as well as a take on what the battle would be like if it wasn't completely written in Douglass's favor, check out this awesome analysis video by YouTube rapper Matt4yo (who I expect to make a video addressing the Banner/Jenner video as well):
I decided to bring back this little series of mine because I finally another relevant tidbit to discuss after what seems like ages. For those of you not acquainted, this is a series where I discuss various tweaks that I feel should be made to the overall Kingdom Hearts formula, i.e. the basic structure that follows all games, more so in the more important titles, and can be applied to Kingdom Hearts III and/or any future title in the series. Today's topic is about what I feel is an essential piece of what makes any good Kingdom Hearts game last: the ability to literally play it over and over again. I mean, really, that's a good point to make with any game, am I right? But, let me explain further: Olympus Coliseum. The Underdrome. The Absent Silhouettes. The Garden of Assemblage. Mirage Arena. All are great examples of giving us, the player, a well of playable boss battles to explore and experience over and over again. The challenges are always stacked higher and higher, the difficulty rises, and there's always a couple of surprises in store. You understand what I mean, right? Boss battles are a great part of the series as a whole, and being able to revisit them later in the game with new avenues to explore, and being able to stack the deck higher against yourself while doing so is a great experience. Here's the gist of what I'm saying: I want the series to give us more chances to replay boss battles, and I don't mean just by starting new games obviously, I mean all in the same campaign and with higher risk and reward. Like, for example, imagine if a game gave us the Mirage Arena mission Villain's Vendetta in the form of being able to replay through every major boss battle in the main story on a continuous loop until the end (ex: if this was being utilized in the original Kingdom Hearts, we would fight Darkside, then maybe Leon, then Guard Armor, then Trickmaster, then Cloud, then Cerberus, and so on.) and give us various different levels of difficulty and challenge while doing so, like choosing to fight them all at twice their original level, or without help from party members and etc. This can also include any "bonus" boss battles that are available, similar to the Organization XIII Replica battles. Now, I make the point to specifically cite boss battles as repayable content because it's pretty much the best option when doing something like this. Don't get me wrong, it's fun to collect Stickers and make Ice Cream and fight the Mushroom XIII and all that, but an experience like that can be fleeting at best. If you ask me, any side challenge in any game that just involves collecting things with subpar rewards at best just needs to not even register as a possible mechanic anymore. Take the card collection in Re:Chain of Memories for example. Yes, I've cited this game as my favorite in the series, but even I can admit that collecting literally every card in the game, on Sora's side specifically, is just not worth it in the end (okay fine, I've never done it myself, but even if I did, there would still be no point anyway, so there). I mean, once you have all the Keyblade cards from KHII and Days, the enemy cards based on the Organization members and then get the super holy mega awesome "Gold" and "Platinum" cards which apparently have value in them for some reason, can you, like, use them for anything? Not really. They're just there to have. By then, you'd be done with the entire story and just left with roaming the various floors and maybe replaying the final battle against Marluxia. But that's it. Shouldn't there be more to it than that? I think I've made my point clear. Feel free to leave your own ideas and suggestions.
This is a little something for the shonen fans out there. Fans of the other genres can join in too, though. (If that's possible. I mean, I don't know too many battle manga or anime in the shojo genre except Sailor Moon. ) Now, we all have our favorite characters from our favorite anime or manga, and I think all of us can agree that we've thought of two different characters from two different properties duking it out to see who's better. Let's be honest, cross-overs are awesome. That being said: if you were to pick two of your favorite characters to have an old-fashioned melee, who would they be? Are there any stipulations to the fight? And what exactly is the relationship between these characters that entices you to see them fight? I have my own battles, of course, so here they are: Might Gai (Naruto) VS Alex Louis Armstrong (Fullmetal Alchemist) Both Gai and Armstrong are known to be incredibly enthusiastic and eccrentric men, and can be prone to look silly or even flat out ridiculous at times. However, don't let that fool you, these guys are BEASTS. Gai is the best taijutsu user (which in Naruto is basic hand to hand combat) in the entire world, pretty much, and he has been known to trade blows with the strongest ninja using the power of the Eight Gates, a special power that allows him to increase his speed and power through unlocking specific gates in his chakra network, and through that has mastered powerful taijutsu attacks that will WRECK YOUR SHIT. Armstrong is no slouch either. He's the best built of all the Alchemists in the Ametrisan State Army and easily the strongest in both durability and raw power. With the aid of two metal gauntlets strapped to his fists (both marked with transmutation circles), Armstrong transmutes objects mainly by punching them, and when he punches, you will FEEL IT. Stipulations: Gai can only fight hand to hand, no weapons or ninjutsu; Armstrong's moveset is purely his Alchemy so he's fine. The winner: I'll have to give it to Might Gai. The Eight Gates may have it side effects on the body, but if Might Gai uses enough power, he can one-shot Armstrong in a millsecond. Before he does though, I'm sure these two would have a sure-fire slugfest with each other before Gai uses it as a last resort. Ryuko Matoi (Kill La Kill) VS Casshern (Casshern Sins) Ryuko and Matoi are both experiments gone wrong. They were separated/abandoned by their creator; one searches for their place in life while one struggles to accept the place that they have. But through all that, they both still kick major ass. Ryuko is the protagonist of Kill La Kill, wielding the powerful Scissors Blade, a half-scissors blade that is able to cut Life Fibers, which are otherwise indestructible. and the battle outfit Senkentsu, which when activated increases her power immensely. Casshern is the protagonist of Casshern Sins, a dark gritty reboot of the classic lighthearted series Casshan, an anime that inspired the creation of Mega Man. He's a cybernetic warrior, a former assassin, and a killing machine; his speed is his biggest strength, able to zip in and out of sight faster than the eye can see, while delivering powerful and impactful strikes all the same, making it incredibly hard to even touch him. Stipulations: Ryuko can only use Senketsu and the Scissors Blade at their lowest power, and cannot use any attacks used on Life Fibers since Casshern has none. Casshern is allowed to go into his berserk mode but cannot try to disassemble Ryuko since she is not a robot. The winner: This one, I admit, is a tie for me. Yeah. They're both really strong and almost indestructible. I honestly think they'd beat the hell out of each other until they're both knocked out. Goku (DragonBall) VS Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece) Two protagonists of their own popular shonen series who share a number of traits: energy, friendliness, simple-mindedness, grit, determination, and the most notable: they're ability to eat massive amounts of food in one sitting. Goku needs no real explanation. He's f*cking Goku. He's the strongest Saiyan warrior alive, mixing in his martial arts teachings under Master Roshi in the Turtle School (with attacks like the Kamehameha), the teachings of King Kai (with attacks like the Spirit Bomb), his ability to transform into a Super Saiyan, a form that is able to increase his already great power immensely, and overall, being an ace when it comes to punching faces and kicking ass. Luffy is also one with little explanation needed: the leader of the Straw Hat Pirates, he's considering one of the most dangerous pirates alive, given his reckless nature and the power of his Devil Fruit, the Gum Gum Fruit, which has turned his entire body into rubber. This makes him insanely durable to common attacks and he is able to channel his rubberness into powerful strikes, along with the power of Second Gear, a technique that acts as a substitute for steroids essentially and increases his stats immensely. All this and more are in his ever growing amount of moves. Stipulations: Goku must stay in base form as going Super Saiyan might be too much for Luffy to handle; Luffy himself is allow to use Second Gear as it will put him and Goku essentially on equal grounds. The winner: As much as I feel like i'm playing favorites with this one, I'm going with my boy Son Goku. Even with Luffy's Second Gear, Goku is still able to get stronger when he's at near death thanks to his Saiyan genes. So even if Luffy beats him within an inch of his life, he'll still have enough gas to keep going. And Luffy is still human after all; he can be hurt by really powerful attacks. Leave your own dream battles below. NOTE: We're ONLY talking about anime and manga characters here. So no video game character, no comic book character, or anything of the sort. Strictly anime and manga only. If you go and do that anyway, well then, you're dumb.