Profile picture of Marcel

Fresh outta college, one of those stereotypical, bumbling jobless “journalists” wanting to become a “vidya gaems jarnalist”. And so the hunt for a job he likes begins! And no, he’s not going back to school to become a pharmacist technician, like his mom nags him to be.

Location:Westminster, CA

stories by Marcel Hoang

Skullgirls and the art of combos

Whether you play King of Fighters, Street Fighter IV, Blazblue, or Marvel, performing combos has always been an important part of the game. Combos usually felt familiar no matter what game you played, but Skullgirls has put a spin on the combo system that feels brand new and foreign. There are no new terms of mechanics. Everything is just renamed to fit Skullgirls’ theme such as blockbusters (supers) and dramatic tension (meter). And yet executing combos feel new, even after getting familiar with your chosen character. There are new rules and mechanics in place that make it different from Marvel 3 or Street Fighter IV.

Gachapon Effect 3

A drell mercenary hobbles into the mess hall of an Alliance base. He had just returned from a harrowing mission with his squad to take back a firebase which was overrun by Cerberus agents. Tired and injured, he inserts credits into a the base's gachapon machine. Eager to see the results of his work from the previous mission come to fruition, he receives a large crate. Inside, he receives several packages of ammunition, another pistol (for the fourth time), and a full-sized krogan soldier. Finally! It took him 60,000 credits but he had finally earned himself a krogan!

A welcome brochure to Gotham City Impostors

Thank you [initiate's name] for joining the [Bats/Jokers]! You'll be happy to know that you are joining one of Gotham's most illustrious groups, tasked with upholding the beliefs of our specific patron's ideology regardless of their consent! With us, you'll have access to some of the finest equipment a blue collar wage can afford including military grade assault rifles and explosive ordinance constructed from ordinary household chemicals and cleaners!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Skyrim Travel

Welcome to Skyrim! The northern most province of the land of Tamriel! One of Nirn’s last, untamed frontiers! We understand that your head may be spinning at the prospect of just where you will go on your vacation. But we here at Dovah Enterprises' want to help you not only enjoy your visit to Skyrim, but also assist you in surviving its numerous dangers.

5 Things Skyrim Improved Over Oblivion

Skyrim is unlike any of the other anticipated games I've seen this year. When you scrolled through comments, whether YouTube or your favorite game news media site, Skyrim's fans were more than happy to remind us that Skyrim was coming, either through a simple reminder or a more brazen, “Skyrim!” scrawled across their post in all caps.

A poor gamer’s calendar: 2011

In spring and summer, one thing was for sure: fall was going to be an absolute deluge of high profile, must-play games. If games nowadays are $60, then before tax is even factored in, you could spend upwards of $500 if you buy every significant game released this fall..

5 Reasons Why Gamers Should Watch Regular Show

Regular Show appeals to me a lot. How every episode goes is fairly predictable. Main characters Mordecai and Rigby are 20-something-year-old slackers who work as groundskeepers at their local park alongside and unexplainably weird selection of characters from a yeti to a anthromorphic gumball machine. And while the problems they encounter during their time seem regular, the process in which the problems magnify and how they're solved are decidedly not regular.

A simplified history of Pokémon’s metagame part 3: Ruby and Sapphire

Ah, the RSE generation. Personally my favorite generation even though the game itself is probably the guiltiest in terms of padding game design as over half the routes were waterways meant to be traversed via Surf or Dive. This of course meant endless random encounters and trainer battles. While the game touted new additions such as abilities and double battles, my favorite thing about the RSE generation was the addition of abilities taking advantage of the changing weather conditions.

A simplified history of Pokémon’s metagame part 2: Gold and Silver

Of all the things that stick out in the metagame of Pokémon's first generation, the lack of a hard counter to psychic-type was most glaring. Alakazam was top dog and nothing could stand up to its dominance. So when Gold and Silver (and eventually Crystal) came out, the metagame was shook to the core as the world seemingly changed around Alakazam. Thus Gold and Silver signaled the beginning of the end for Alakazam's glory days.

Arcade Infinity closing its doors: The end of an era

This January 15th, I will go to the (semi-) famous Arcade Infinity for the last time. AI has had its fair share of skilled players, celebrities, and crowds walk through its doors, but after the 15th those doors will close forever. A long history of rent hikes and waning business has finally driven AI's health bar down to zero, and it was down to its last round.

How Black Ops Redeems Call of Duty’s Multiplayer

It's officially been a week since Treyarch released Black Ops, and I can finally recount the number of things I've neglected due to its multiplayer: talking to my girlfriend on the phone as she teaches overseas, hunting for a job, ghost-writing essays for my sister, and of course, writing for myself as a hobby and career (with the exception of writing for Halfbeard's HUD — when it comes to meeting deadlines for other people, I don't want to disappoint.).

Reinvigorating Capcom’s Music With Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

When this month's writing challenge was created, I knew immediately who to go to. I had worked with Jonathan Oyama at the Daily 49er at Cal State University of Long Beach. He was assistant diversions editor while I had signed on to be the assistant online editor. I also introduced him to Bitmob in the first place! It was great looking over his notes as he had experience at editing while most of my work was focused on web content. It goes to show that you can always smooth out things you didn't realize could be smoothed out when someone else looks over it.

Halo: Reach Game Night – Fragging Like It’s 2004

The Halo: Reach Game Night was a big success in my opinion. All manner of carnage was let loose, and many a bitmobber felt the pangs of victory and the sting of defeat. I managed to get into a lobby with Bitmob  Demian while also getting in one last game of headhunter with Bitmob Shoe. Here are some interesting highlights I picked out. Be sure to see them full size by clicking on the picture!