Your Pandemic Hobby (or Obsession)

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
So, over the pandemic, with Mortal Kombat 11 reigniting my love of the fighting game genre and taking it to new heights, I picked up quite a peculiar hobby/obsession in the form of arcade controllers. But I realize people had many different ways of coping, or NOT, with lockdowns and the pandemic in general, so share those hobbies here because I think we'll see some interesting and unexpected pastimes (also, this otherwise will be a very short thread with one big post about my dumb video game controllers, which honestly probably isn't very interesting =).

Speaking of which... my pandemic hobby, which is basically the latest iteration of a lifetime obsession with collecting: cards, comics, guitars, thankfully not Berserk statues because I'd be homeless, and now arcade controllers of all things (keep in mind the buying and selling are part of the fun)! Here's basically all the one's I've owned in my life, most of them in the last two years, and many of those already long gone, with pictures (some too big, some too small depending on if I shot them or had to retrieve them from eBay etc, also if I don't have one I tried to use an obvious product photo):

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NES Advantage - Technically my first arcade controller, and I still have it! I obviously wasn't thinking about them like this as a kid when I probably just wanted to spam turbo.

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Mayflash F101 - Got this one for "authentic" arcade gameplay and got hooked. Good top of the desk stick for PC gaming, though it's small, not much room for the hands, light weight so it will move. The generic components aren't bad, and I enjoyed playing some Third Strike and Streets of Rage 4 on this. Shortly after a friend got me Injustice 2 for PS4 though and I had to switch to the other entry level stick I considered...

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Mayflash F300 - Bigger than the F101 and compatible with almost everything system by plugging in a native controller through a bypass. This one is just advanced enough to make you want something better though.

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Hori RAP N SCVI PS4 - Picked this up dirt cheap on Amazon, and probably should have just stopped here (after this is when the "collectable" aspect kicked in =). This stick is huge, arcade authentic, has a ton of extra features like turbo, NOIR layout, headphone jack, a cool start button switch cover like it's connected to a bomb or something. Oh, and it's natively PS5 compatible (which obviously bacame very important)! Only drawbacks are the Hori Hayabusa parts, though those were easily switched, lack of padding on the bottom for lap play (it has feet), and fatally, the flat edge of the play top hurts the wrists/forearms... It's funny, but the shape of the box and comfort kind of become the deciding factors when all the parts and components are pretty much standard (any stick that aches or leaves a crease/mark on your skin is abad design for you). Oh well, it was almost perfect. I still consider making this my main stick with custom art, etc, but it'd be a lot of work for a middle-of-the-road commercial stick.

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Mad Katz Fightstick SFIV - The one that started the modern Fightstick boom along with the mad Katz TE. I wanted one of these as a good cheap PC stick, and got one with Sanwas instead of the shitty default generics. I subsequently switched those Sanwas into the Hori above as you can see and put the flat black Hori buttons from the RAP4 below in here (that's not even the most convoluted parts switching I performed =), which feel great. With this and the one above, the F101 and 300 we're obsolete, so I returned them.

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Mad Katz Fightstick Pro - Not a bad stick, you can get these cheap, it has a good arcade build shape and Sanwa parts, much better than the vanilla SFIV stick and has a lot of desirable features for less... but it's not great either, and really only good for PC with the Xbox version at this point. Eventually sold with a Hayabusa lever switched in.

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Hori RAP4 Kai - My absolute favorite Fightstick design, not so much for the look, which I do like, but the feel: the front edge contour is perfect for the wrists, I never notice or have any discomfort or execution issues, and it has a front facing arcade style 24mm start button, which I just like for that authentic feel (Start is an important arcade button =). The only drawback to this model is the stock Hori parts and lack of a headphone jack on models before the V (which is a bit pricey at $200+ since you can easily snag one of these for $60-$70 and just stick Sanwas in it, which I did). If I had to start over and just buy one stick, it would be one of these with Sanwas or an Obsidian.

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Mad Katz TES+ - One of the most advanced Mad Katz tournament sticks, same control panel as a TE2+ in the classic TE package, unfortunately this panel was also famous for malfunctioning boards, which this was afflicted with and returned because of. Bummer, but it's a little cheapie feeling anyway despite the pedigree.

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PDP Mortal Kombat TE - It's a Mortal Kombat style arcade setup with a lift open top. Got it cheap, build quality is heavy duty like a US arcade machine, but the components likewise suck. Not sure I'll ever sell it due to the heaviness and relative lack of value. Every once in a while I like to use it with MK11 or something before being reminded that, unlike Street Fighter, modern MK games were clearly made for handheld controllers!

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Razer Panthera SFV - Another cool model and edition. This one has a top that opens up with a little hydraulic arm and comes with a detachable cable and instantly switchable ball and bat tops. Sold because the top was bendable and squeaky (the downfall of most open top "lunchbox" style fightsticks), it doesn't have a headphone jack, and it became quite valuable on eBay for a time so I struck while the iron was hot and doubled my money.

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Victrix FS Pro SF Ken - Arguably the most high end fightstick on the market, complete with customizable color changing LEDs, and a special Ken edition to boot (I had 218 out of 250, which is a number with special significance to me). Sold anyway because for all the fanciness I didn't actually like the cold, hard feel of the body (aviation grade aluminum =), particularly how it felt on the wrists or the way the dust cover would bunch up on the stick due to the surface not being flat (I fixed this by modding another cover, but should one have to on a high end product like this?). Plus, this thing is just too expensive and worth too much when it works no better than any Sanwa parts stick. So I cashed out relatively quick.

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Hori Fighting Stick Wii - Just grabbed this for arcade games like SF Alpha 2 on Wii U (which I achieved a max possible score on using save states, even though that also meant dying 99 times =). Feels decent but it's a pain in the butt to get working with the nunchuck, regular Wii mode, etc. Got it cheap so I'll hopefully get a good return on it.

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Hitbox - The original Hitbox controller was revolutionary and the latest edition is extremely sharp looking. Unfortunately, so are the edges on your arms and there's no room for your hands, plus it's missing some key buttons. Beside the play buttons it only has four, and you really need six: home, options, share, L3, R3, and touchpad press. Sold for this, lack of headphones and PS5 compatibility, and for a decent sum.

A quick aside about an important aspect of hitboxes: SOCD cleaning. SOCD = simultaneous opposite cardinal directions, and the "cleaning" is basically how the controller handles them because, unlike a stick, on a keyboard or hitbox it's possible to hold forward and back simultaneously, which, before games had their own SOCD solutions, could result in fun stuff like blocking even as you moved forward! Traditionally accepted SOCD is that forward + back = neutral, up + down = up. The biggest alternative to this and default with keyboards or when no SOCD is present usually is last input wins, which means if you're holding back and then press forward, forward will override back rather than reading neutral, which benefits blocking and charge characters, but not necessarily shotos, because it obviously changes some possible input shortcuts. I used to prefer last input wins because I practiced hitbox style on a keyboard and got used to it before buying (I wouldn't want to make an unnecessary impulse purchase =).

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RAC-J800 Hitbox - A knockoff hitbox I used to experiment with last input wins SOCD cleaning on a proper hitbox rather than a keyboard. This was a pain in the ass to solder because the pins were so small and close together it was hard to connect the two I needed for the SOCD without getting the pin between them too (I'm also not good at soldering =). It was fun to experiment with modding and a different play mode, I called it "The Black Box," but sold it because it obviously wasn't the best quality and I got some better models with switchable SOCD anyway.

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Hitbox Cross|Up - An experimental Fightstick/Hitbox hybrid some consider like cheating for the multiple possible simutaneous inputs and shortcuts. Sold for lack of interest/use. It's a cool idea, but I'm a simple man. If anything, I'd want one of these that also had a hitbox style directional control layout to the left of the stick (I actually learned to play only the buttons on this hitbox style, left hand over right, but it wasn't the most comfortable way to play).

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Sega Virtua Stick Pro - The "holy grail," this is basically a replica of a Sega Astro City control panel, and can even interchangeably fit an authentic arcade Astro City faceplate (and artwork!). Very cool, but I got it cheap because it's not in the best working order, and I still haven't decided if I want too keep this as stock as possible or mod the hell out of it. In any case, not very practical, and I should probably just fix it as little as possible and sell it for the potential bucks.

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Hori RAP 4 Kai Hitbox - I love this thing, again, it's my favorite stick, the RAP 4, but with a Hitbox conversation. I wasn't able to get SOCD switching working as I pleased though, it's somehow different on each side (I've heard this has to do with PS4 USB protocol not being natively setup to handle simutaneous opposing directions, with variable results such as this), and it has the same drawbacks as any RAP 4, specifically the lack of headphones. Still, a one of my happier acquisitions, even if I end up selling it for redundancy.

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AllFightSticks Hitstick - A very unique combination fightstick and hitbox from a big custom fightstick company, with the the complete hitbox layout on the right and a stick on the left. This is really cool, and I added a phreakmods detachable stick so you can pull the stick out at will to make it a pure hitbox. It has all 24mm buttons, so traditional double tapping needs a little more precision than a regular stick, but you can cover more ground generally. The drawbacks are are no headphones and it doesn't have native PS5 support, but it's Brook board is compatible with the PS5 upgrade. I don't know if I'd go to the trouble of adding those things though because the biggest problem is weight... it's a BIG 18" steel case, which is cool, heavy duty as can be, like a tank, but it feels like it in your lap and weighs a fucking ton. It's the only fightstick I can say doesn't hurt my wrists but hurts my thighs.


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Jasen's Customs Panzer III Hitbox - Another iconic name in the fightstick community. This custom steel case hitbox has firmer Seimitsu buttons, a tourney switch and universal fight board. It's also heavy duty as hell. I've had some SOCD issues with this as well though (the weird different SOCD on each side thing, even on PC, and after I switched it back to f+b=neutral... WTF?), it's not native PS5 but, again, upgradeable. As cool as the boutique custom models are, specifically for the build quality, modified commercial sticks have great designs, features and are just easier a lot of the time.

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Hori Fighting Edge Hitbox - This converted Fighting Edge hitbox might have the most, best combination of features. Aluminum top, Crown buttons, an arcade start button but moved safely away from the rest, all manner of turbo and tourney switches, last input wins SOCD actually works if desired, great comfort, size and weight, etc etc. For those reasons I have no intention of ever getting rid of this because I don't have anything that can do it all better. If anything, I might switch the buttons for traditional Sanwas.

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Qanba Dragon - This was purely opportunistic, like I literally just made a low-ball offer that was accepted, so it's a top of the line stick and a pretty good replacement for the Victrix at a bargain price (and I like the design better). It's only real drawback is it's HUGE, like it won't even fit between the arms of my recliner. Oh, it has the coolest open top design I've seen, extremely firm and basically feels like the hood of a car. That's how big this thing is. It also has some cool arcade style lights and basically feels like a mini arcade machine in your lap.

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Qanba Obsidian Hitbox - This has been my "white whale" for a while now (but as you can see, there's always a bigger fish =). A Qanba Obsidian with professional hitbox conversion from Arcade Shock. These are no longer widely available and I don't think they sell the DIY conversation kit anymore, so you basically have to get one made, or get a kit from overseas, and of course YMMV on the quality of installation going that way. Anyway, it looks and feels great, has all the bells and whistles you want and is future proof for hopefully the next half decade with PS5 (unless they deactivate ALL the PS4 sticks when SF6 comes out or something; wouldn't put it past them =).
 
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Simply amazing, Griffith. I'm very curious what others have done during this period as well.

For myself, life carried on the same as always. I never stayed home (minus the occasional trip to the bar), nor was affected in my line of work. Face masks were late to the party (fall of 2020) and quite the annoyance.

Daycare went up when school closed. My wallet felt it more than my day to day. Played a little more guitar until a someone moved into my basement room. :shrug:I know of others who were in other states. I feel lucky in comparison.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
W...wow Griff! That's like a room or two's worth of stick. So I'm assuming you only had 2-3 of these at any given time. Those sticks ... without sticks really threw me. How would you pull off something like Zangief's spinning piledriver?

Anyway, this is quite a bit of passion for sticks! I've never been into arcade sticks myself. I always felt more accurate with a d-pad where my thumb could feel the directions I was pressing. My favorite fighting game controller is still probably the Saturn d-pad.

My only real pandemic hobby was teaching myself Japanese. Really just re-learning the basics I had forgotten in college. I was a few months in when the pandemic hit, and I carried it halfway through 2021 with about 220 kanji memorized. Miura's death put a dent in it though. I stopped feeling the hunger to keep progressing. So I dropped the program I was using (Wanikani) and I haven't touched my flashcards in a few months now.

I also spent about 6 months working on a Berserk fanfic. That was fun. And it got me to pick up creative writing again after a long time dormant.
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Judging from the reactions to my post I should have made the subtitle of this thread: (When did you turn into a Nutbar?) :ganishka:

Aaz shouldn't be surprised either, I told him about it, he just didn't know... the extent. I'M NOT CRAZY!! :mozgus:

Anyway, I actually forgot one because it's technically not mine:

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Hori Fightstick Mini - I got this for my daughter's birthday so we could play together because she said the other sticks were too big. Of course, that hasn't really happened anyway because she was just humoring me and I basically couldn't take a hint ("I can't play with you because I have to wash my hair, daddy"), so now I use it to play 2-player Shredder's Revenge with my wife or brother-in-law.:shrug:

For myself, life carried on the same as always. I never stayed home (minus the occasional trip to the bar), nor was affected in my line of work. Face masks were late to the party (fall of 2020) and quite the annoyance.

We're still mandatory masking at my work. It went away for literally the three weeks I was out on parental leave, then there was an uptick in cases, and by time I returned it has just gone back into effect. I don't mind though because I'll probably keep it up until the baby gets vaccinated. At least we don't have to PCR test anymore, but I did an antigen today because pretty much everyone I share office space with went out with it. :magni:

Daycare went up when school closed. My wallet felt it more than my day to day. Played a little more guitar until a someone moved into my basement room. :shrug:I know of others who were in other states. I feel lucky in comparison.

Yeah, who knew not going out could be so expensive? It's worse now though with the $6-7 gas, I'm basically paying paying three figures a week to drive to work. More guitar is always nice though!

W...wow Griff! That's like a room or two's worth of stick. So I'm assuming you only had 2-3 of these at any given time.

Well... in any room at a given time that's true! But yeah, I'm hoping to get it down to about 3-4 total when all is said and done, not counting the NES Advantage since that's more sentimental.

Those sticks ... without sticks really threw me. How would you pull off something like Zangief's spinning piledriver?

Yeah, command characters are definitely a challenge, but the point is that once you master the hitbox button controls you'll be more precise and consistent than on a stick, at least theoretically.

Anyway, this is quite a bit of passion for sticks! I've never been into arcade sticks myself. I always felt more accurate with a d-pad where my thumb could feel the directions I was pressing. My favorite fighting game controller is still probably the Saturn d-pad.

It depends on the game for me now. I prefer stick for Street Fighter and Capcom style fighters at this point, or, I guess I should say an arcade controller (actually, a stick for classic stuff, a hitbox for modern Street Fighters like IV and V; this the appeal of the "Hitstick" hybrid), and definitely a gamepad for Mortal Kombat, but with the d-pad either being separate directional buttons or individual switches for precision, so the same principle as the hitbox (actually, my fightpad of choice's d-pad somewhat resembles the Saturn one, but with the aforementioned switches). BTW, one of the sales pitches for the Cross|Up was it's supposedly viable for any game using the two modes of directional inputs like two analog sticks, but even I never saw the appeal of playing this way.

My only real pandemic hobby was teaching myself Japanese. Really just re-learning the basics I had forgotten in college. I was a few months in when the pandemic hit, and I carried it halfway through 2021 with about 220 kanji memorized. Miura's death put a dent in it though. I stopped feeling the hunger to keep progressing. So I dropped the program I was using (Wanikani) and I haven't touched my flashcards in a few months now.

I also spent about 6 months working on a Berserk fanfic. That was fun. And it got me to pick up creative writing again after a long time dormant.

I'm sorry what happened to Miura sapped your enthusiasm for reacquainting yourself with Japanese, though understandable if that was a major motivator in the first place, or just too painful a reminder after. BTW, did his passing have any effect on The Protector since you were in the middle of putting it out then, or had you already put the finishing touches on it long before that?
 
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Good God, my Griffithy fella! That's quite the collection you have there! That Soul Calibur one is my favorite among the collection!

As for me, the pandemic reignited a hobby I had not indulged in for nearly a decade: card collecting. I love TCGs, having grown up with a whole bunch of them. Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh!....you name it! So it was quite a fun activity hunting down rare cards and old favorites, though it was quite the task at times (do you know how much a fucking Charizard costs today?!). I got some good returns on my investments though, landing some cards that are worth at least $500 today and (hopefully) much more later on.

Here's what I have so far, all stored in one sturdy album:

First off, Yu-Gi-Oh!:
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Now, this takes me back to my teenage days! I've had some of those cards since I was 13. It's also the only card game I actually know how to play. Good times, good times...

Edit: Well, I just found out that the man responsible for these good times I've lived, Kazuki Takahashi, has passed away. Another childhood hero, gone. RIP you absolute legend...:judo:

Next up, Magic the Gathering:

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Quite the small collection, I'm afraid. This is the TCG I'm least familiar with, but I've always been fascinated by it. The rules seem overly complex though, so I haven't bothered playing it (there's also no one to play it with where I lived at the time; it was all Yu-Gi-Oh!).

Now, to go further back into my childhood, Pokemon:


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These are the only cards I could salvage from my childhood days (minus some new ones I acquired at adulthood, such as Mew and Mew-Two). I've always wanted to restore my original collection, all classic 151 pokemon, but I've had no luck with that so far. Back in 2020, I purchased the whole collection for a good price on EBay, but restrictions made it impossible for me to get the package. Instead it got returned to sender, and I waited 6 months for a refund. Yikes.

And finally, Digimon:


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I've had all of these since I was 13. Back in school, all the kids, being the silly little shits they were, gathered into one of two camps: you were either a Pokemon person or a Digimon person. I was both and wasn't ashamed of it!

So there you have it, my collection. I hope to go back to expanding it again one day!
 
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Rhombaad

Video Game Time Traveler
I really got into cooking. My meals were pretty bland pre-pandemic, but now they’re great! My wife says they’re restaurant-quality, but I don’t know about that. :ganishka:

I started off with a lot of Italian recipes, then moved into Asian, Spanish and good old fashioned American. I want to try my hand at French, but it’s intimidating.

Right now, I’m mainly cooking cheaper food because of gas and grocery prices. We had some hot dogs and potato salad for Independence Day, and this week I’m gonna make us some proper cheeseburgers. Gonna mix the ground beef with egg, bread crumbs and spices. It’s making me hungry just typing about it! :chomp:
 
Though I did lots of things half-assed (learning Japanese, reading new books of this decade, organise old photos, documents etc. none of these have been done to a proficient level yet two years later, lol) what I actually started as a strong hobby this year (two years later, lol) is running. I started in march, I think? doing 30 min jogging without stopping, then next week 35 min, then recently I did a stress circuit of 5 min running on Wednesdays where I end up dead, lol. So far, I can jog/run (but mostly jog, lol) for 1 hour 10 min. it's really fun, but I'm still a big belly man :sad:
 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Haha well yeah, I figured you had one or maybe two! :ganishka:

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As for me, here's a pretty good summary of my pandemic activities:

That was all of us at some point.

Griffith did nothing wrong
Griffith is a hitbox user.

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Good God, my Griffithy fella! That's quite the collection you have there! That Soul Calibur one is my favorite among the collection!

Thanks, I see you're serious about collecting yourself! And yeah, technically that SC one was a birthday gift and a steal at like $67 off Amazon. All the more reasons I should keep it and sell the rest. But, that wrist thing...

I also kind of want to change out the art for a custom one of Ken in his purple gi (my starting with the Alphas; my daughter calls me "Purple Daddy" =), maybe add some purple LEDs to the case, etc... that's too much work though for a mid-level stick (the affordability is part of the appeal), and I like the Soul Calibur artwork too, reminds me of Berserk, obviously.

As for me, the pandemic reignited a hobby I had not indulged in for nearly a decade: card collecting. I love TCGs, having grown up with a whole bunch of them. Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh!....you name it! So it was quite a fun activity hunting down rare cards and old favorites, though it was quite the task at times (do you know how much a fucking Charizard costs today?!). I got some good returns on my investments though, landing some cards that are worth at least $500 today and (hopefully) much more later on.

This takes me back to my card and comic collecting days, no card games though, Marvel superhero cards, I can only hope mine are worth anything though. I'm sure those "Marvel Masterpieces" are really wanted in The Louvre by now. :carcus:

I've had all of these since I was 13. Back in school, all the kids, being the silly little shits they were, gathered into one of two camps: you were either a Pokemon person or a Digimon person. I was both and wasn't ashamed of it!

I could be wrong since I'm not initiated, but isn't Pokemon the much bigger dog in this fight? Knowing both, were the Digimon kids more unique, contrarian or just weird? Was it secretly the superior game with more depth? My friends only played Magic but I never partook.

I really got into cooking. My meals were pretty bland pre-pandemic, but now they’re great! My wife says they’re restaurant-quality, but I don’t know about that. :ganishka:

I had a similar pandemic cooking arc in that I made bland dinners for a year until I started providing restaurant-quality meals... from restaurants. =)

what I actually started as a strong hobby this year (two years later, lol) is running. I started in march, I think? doing 30 min jogging without stopping, then next week 35 min, then recently I did a stress circuit of 5 min running on Wednesdays where I end up dead, lol. So far, I can jog/run (but mostly jog, lol) for 1 hour 10 min. it's really fun, but I'm still a big belly man :sad:

I took up running in my mid-20s and had quite the routine at the time: I'd make myself a grilled chicken omelette or brown rice, hydrate, and hit the road by noon, every time listening to Metallica's Load (how was the show, @NightCrawler?) on a portable SEE-DEE PLAYER! I chose that album because this process would scratch the hell out of the disc and that was the one I both didn't mind listening to, and destroying, for this purpose. My big thing was I ran at high noon with no hat or sunscreen on concrete (eventually I moved to the asphalt at least =)! I got so used to it that when I tried taking a girl from my old high school track team out on a little run date she eventually started yakking on the side of the road and informed me just how stupid my routine was. :ganishka:
 
Jesus Christ, griffs. :ganishka: Though, I run in concrete a bit when I head home, I guess. To be honest, my feet are always planted wide and I ignore the pain so far... but when I don't stretch properly I'm always in a bad mood. I steal my wife's airpods nowadays (if I don't bring shorts with zipper pockets, I can't run comfortably), but when I was younger I went through diskman (which died just by walking), the new walkman? the one with mini disks? my cousin stored the music there since it was his, but I used it a bit for casual jogging, I never liked listening to music while doing nothing as a kid, lol. And then just cellphone music through normal earbuds till these airpods... not to lie, they are cool sounding, but if you touch them to accomodate them they usually pause the tune, heck.
 
Thanks, I see you're serious about collecting yourself! And yeah, technically that SC one was a birthday gift and a steal at like $67 off Amazon. All the more reasons I should keep it and sell the rest. But, that wrist thing...

I also kind of want to change out the art for a custom one of Ken in his purple gi (my starting with the Alphas; my daughter calls me "Purple Daddy" =), maybe add some purple LEDs to the case, etc... that's too much work though for a mid-level stick (the affordability is part of the appeal), and I like the Soul Calibur artwork too, reminds me of Berserk, obviously.
Gotta confess: I barely have experience with fighting sticks, so here's a question Purple-sensei: how do they compare to a regular controller? I see some of them even have unlabeled buttons! Also yeah, I played Soul Calibur (2 and 3) long before knowing about Berserk, so seeing Siegfried again and what his sword looks like, the first thing that came to mind was "Ah, so that's where they got the design from".
This takes me back to my card and comic collecting days, no card games though, Marvel superhero cards, I can only hope mine are worth anything though. I'm sure those "Marvel Masterpieces" are really wanted in The Louvre by now. :carcus:
Well, you never know, right? I say dig up those cards and check. You may be sitting on a small fortune without knowing. To give you an idea of potential value, have a look at this: https://www.one37pm.com/popular-culture/top-marvel-rookie-cards.

Some of those Marvel cards are selling for hundreds. And if you happen to have some of them and they're still in good condition, all the better!
I could be wrong since I'm not initiated, but isn't Pokemon the much bigger dog in this fight? Knowing both, were the Digimon kids more unique, contrarian or just weird? Was it secretly the superior game with more depth? My friends only played Magic but I never partook.
Oh yeah, Pokemon is far bigger it's not even funny, especially as the years passed. It's just that, after the initial Pokemon craze calmed a little and kids were introduced to Digimon (my parents' reaction was hilarious to this btw. "Not more of this shit!"), it was the "cool" thing to be a Digimon fan now. It wasn't about the games themselves, as no one knew how to play them anyway (it was all about collecting). I think we just "grew up" a little at the time. I mean, Pokemon are all cutesy and shit, while Digimon looked more badass. Compare:

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Now Charizard is awesome (and worth hundreds of thousands of dollars today, not kidding), but Metal-Greymon is fucking badass! Naturally, we being boys were instantly hooked!
 

guuuuuuuuts

Excited for the next chapter!
My interests steered severely into modular synthesis. Music has always been my main "collection" hobby as a former touring musician, but now I have a massive synth rig, which I use for testing unreleased modules as a part time gig. It is epic. Very useful for patching in skype / zoom calls and discretely laying beats or other bizarre soundscapes under a podcast or phone call for my own enjoyment. It also features four stainless joysticks and two arcade buttons.

Also, I have an arcade stick, which I've kept since college. It is the Hotrod SE.
 
I didn't exactly get a new hobby / obsession, but I during that time I did explore some new stuff and one new activity in video making.

I didn't start the video stuff rightaway, so here's how it went: the lockdown obviously gave me more time to watch films and show, so I ventured into stuff I didn't go to earlier. I got a new appreciation for some horror films / anime, it mainly started with the Alien franchise for which I got a newfound love, making it one of my favourite sci-fi series now. I think this also led me to enjoy and appreciate more intense / violent works such as Hellsing Ultimate, Gundam Thunderbolt, the Yoshiaki Kawajiri films, but also The Shining, Doctor Sleep. In general, now I'm more open to more intense works than I used to be earlier. I'm not sure if it's a way to blow off some internal steam or as catharsis for something subconsciously bottled up inside me... I'm not sure about that.

Anyway, this new appreciation for the Alien franchise led me to try some music experiments: what I try to is replacing the original score from a scene with music from a different score. I can't really do proper video editing at the moment, but I've been quite cabable in audio editing for a while, mainly working on custom edits of soundtracks, they are one of my core passions and one of the fundamental elements I care and look forward the most in films / series. I often think of and ruminate about music, even what could be more fitting or not. Especially for Berserk, I like to think about what music would I fit for some key scenes, what I enjoy or not of some of the existing music, or wondering which composers I would like to see involved for a potential new adaptation, etc. etc.
I actually got a few ideas and surprisingly succeeded in making a few videos for scenes from both the 1997 adaptation and the trilogy, replacing or adding the music from the Alien³ soundtrack by Elliot Goldenthal, to which I got particularly fond of during the pandemic (after rewatching the films as I mentioned earlier). I loved it so much that it was my go-to music for reading the new chapters of Attack on Titan while it was still publishing, it legit was my headcanon soundtrack for the manga! Yet, only later I began to associate it to Berserk and experiment with music replacement of specific scenes.
I also have another non-Berserk related video experiment I tried to work on, but I haven't gotten to finish it, I hope I'll manage to do that at some point.

The activity itself is quite limited by how many flashes of creativity I get and the actual possibility of achieving a music replacement (sometimes the new music doesn't actually fit and it was only in my mind, other times it's just not possible to isolate the dialogues / SFX without the original music invading all audio channels), not to mention that with the programs I'm using it's a nightmare to even cut video clips at the right moments, they're not as precise as I'd like them to be, so it's also very time consuming when I get to work on these things.
So far I only got two videos on YouTube, both having moments from the Eclipse, I got a few more on Google Drive (I'm not fully satisfied with them but they're still watchable). I don't know if I can link those other ones here of if it's better to stick to YouTube.
Anyway, take a look for the first two I did if you'd like!

Sadly in the second half of this, there's still "Murder" in the background and I couldn't remove it, but it weirdly fits somehow.

 

Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Jesus Christ, griffs. :ganishka: Though, I run in concrete a bit when I head home, I guess. To be honest, my feet are always planted wide and I ignore the pain so far...

I started getting real pain in my shins, thus I made the switch to asphalt. I actually did a three mile run barefoot on concrete once, but after that foot pain, never again.

when I was younger I went through diskman (which died just by walking), the new walkman? the one with mini disks? my cousin stored the music there since it was his, but I used it a bit for casual jogging, I never liked listening to music while doing nothing as a kid, lol.

I had one of those too I got from an ex-girlfriend, and yeah, it would skip if you didn't compensate for it in your running motion and then after a while I couldn't get it to stop regardless, thus I made the big switch to... Compact Disc! I'm also someone that very rarely just vibes out to music as a sole activity, like just putting on an LP and listening on fine speakers or headphones while sitting in front of the stereo and staring at the album cover or liner notes. The car is really the ideal music listening situation to me, I'm literally and figuratively going on a journey with the music. It's also the only way I effectively move to music these days. =)

Gotta confess: I barely have experience with fighting sticks, so here's a question Purple-sensei: how do they compare to a regular controller? I see some of them even have unlabeled buttons! Also yeah, I played Soul Calibur (2 and 3) long before knowing about Berserk, so seeing Siegfried again and what his sword looks like, the first thing that came to mind was "Ah, so that's where they got the design from".

It's a whole different discipline from a regular controller, so it doesn't really translate or matter if you know what the buttons actually correspond to on a pad (I still don't know which are R1, R2, L1, L2, etc =) unless you're trying to do something with it outside the fighting game, which I always find awkward as hell. Basically, you just need to know what the two rows of three buttons do for each game, whether it's a fighting game or beat 'em up. Street Fighter I guess is the most fundamental, with the top row being your three punches and the bottom kicks, but most other games have different arrangements, buttons for special/power attacks, etc. Mortal Kombat is a real weirdo in that it has it's own arcade unique arcade button setup and now a different translation for standard fightsticks, which I find terrible. To put it in perspective, Mortal Kombat hasn't been made for arcades in decades, it's designed for controllers, whereas Street Fighter still has an arcade presence and even if that's not the case many of these games will have those legacy controls in mind (even MK). The worst thing that happens in SF is when they add a new mechanic that requires you to push a face button and shoulder button, which is natural as can be on a controller, but can sometimes be very UNnatural when they're all face buttons and sometimes located at odd angles from each other.

Well, you never know, right? I say dig up those cards and check. You may be sitting on a small fortune without knowing. To give you an idea of potential value, have a look at this: https://www.one37pm.com/popular-culture/top-marvel-rookie-cards.

Some of those Marvel cards are selling for hundreds. And if you happen to have some of them and they're still in good condition, all the better!

I actually DO have some of those, though those old school ones in particular may not be in the best condition, especially if I got them taped inside an action figure blister-pack or something. Maybe I'll see if my collection is worth something, though I'd hate to sell too soon before their worth millions of dollars, per my plan childhood investment plan.

Oh yeah, Pokemon is far bigger it's not even funny, especially as the years passed. It's just that, after the initial Pokemon craze calmed a little and kids were introduced to Digimon (my parents' reaction was hilarious to this btw. "Not more of this shit!"), it was the "cool" thing to be a Digimon fan now. It wasn't about the games themselves, as no one knew how to play them anyway (it was all about collecting). I think we just "grew up" a little at the time. I mean, Pokemon are all cutesy and shit, while Digimon looked more badass.

That completely tracks and all sounds very familiar. :ganishka:

Now Charizard is awesome (and worth hundreds of thousands of dollars today, not kidding)

I was investing in the wrong cards!:isidro:

My interests steered severely into modular synthesis. Music has always been my main "collection" hobby as a former touring musician, but now I have a massive synth rig, which I use for testing unreleased modules as a part time gig. It is epic. Very useful for patching in skype / zoom calls and discretely laying beats or other bizarre soundscapes under a podcast or phone call for my own enjoyment.

I'm a big music collector as well, at least formerly. Specifically guitars and bass, as well as just practical things like, "I need a keyboard or drumset for this project..." I also got very into effects in the end, specifically pedals but also a cool, weird vintage Ibanez HD1500 Harmonics/Delay rack. Got it off Guitarcenter.com for like nothing (they have some great finds on there). I was basically trying to recreate Cliff Burton's sound on the cheap using that, a vintage Morley Power Fuzz Wah, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Boss Compressor and a Mesa Boogie distortion pedal with actual tubes that I ran the bass through like a pre-amp into my amp speaker, and... it worked great! I recreated a lot of his latter day sound and effects, at least the parts that didn't come from his fingers. Eventually, I just got the Aria Pro II and Mesa Boogie D-180 and it was much easier to get that sound, though not so cheap (fightsticks are a much more affordable alternative, with better returns actually =).

It also features four stainless joysticks and two arcade buttons.

Also, I have an arcade stick, which I've kept since college. It is the Hotrod SE.

Now you're talkin', and that's a sweet looking American-style stick, very unique from what I'm into other than the MK one.

I didn't exactly get a new hobby / obsession

I beg to differ... :griffnotevil:

Anyway, this new appreciation for the Alien franchise led me to try some music experiments: what I try to is replacing the original score from a scene with music from a different score. I can't really do proper video editing at the moment, but I've been quite cabable in audio editing for a while, mainly working on custom edits of soundtracks, they are one of my core passions and one of the fundamental elements I care and look forward the most in films / series. I often think of and ruminate about music, even what could be more fitting or not. Especially for Berserk, I like to think about what music would I fit for some key scenes, what I enjoy or not of some of the existing music, or wondering which composers I would like to see involved for a potential new adaptation, etc. etc.
I actually got a few ideas and surprisingly succeeded in making a few videos for scenes from both the 1997 adaptation and the trilogy, replacing or adding the music from the Alien³ soundtrack by Elliot Goldenthal, to which I got particularly fond of during the pandemic (after rewatching the films as I mentioned earlier).

As someone that's gone down the video and music/sound editing rabbit hole a couple of different times, and with Berserk specifically, I love how specific and esoteric an endeavor this is! I often found myself asking why I was doing a project like this, and the answer is largely in the doing I guess.

I loved it so much that it was my go-to music for reading the new chapters of Attack on Titan while it was still publishing, it legit was my headcanon soundtrack for the manga!

I had some weird ones for Berserk re-reads sometimes, like The Cardigans.


Well, an update on my madness, and it's clearly out of control and I need help at this point, but anyway, after dancing around these Mad Catz sticks for a while, I finally picked up a couple of TE2s: The Ken focused, and rarer, "Rivals" edition as well as the iconic TE2+. I have half a mind to try transferring the electronic controls and components of the TE2+ into the Rivals shell to make a custom Mad Catz TE2+ PS5 model (with personalized colors, though that's a lot harder these days), but only if I end up really liking these sticks and/or it's reversible for resale, especially for the Rivals (otherwise I could just stick the artwork, or any artwork I wanted, in the TE2+ and call it a day; that's probably the correct answer =). If I wanted to do the ultimate Frankenstein job though I'd get the light up LED board from the Killer Instinct model and turn the best of the three into one like some super Strat (see, this is fun =). Anyway, here they are:

j99OKRa.jpg


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It's cohesive, but I'm not a fan of the orange, and would ideally switch it to red. From a personalization standpoint though, I'd go with purple since I've rocked purple gi Ken since it was his alternate color in Street Fighter Alpha 2 as I've noted before. Purple buttons, a bezel and side panels accenting the white would truly be the stick of the Falcon, and I could even keep the yellow buttons for contrast authentic to Ken's Alpha colors (and the Lakers to boot =).

dDvftJ1.jpg


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Like I said, it's an iconic stick, the last of the legitimate Mad Catz line, but I'm not crazy about the colors/design. Maybe I'll feel differently after some time with it. Ironically, I still didn't get the one I consider one of the most beautiful sticks ever made, the TE2 Street Fighter V "Chun-Li". It's overpriced and I'm not a big Chun guy though.:shrug:

Anyway, time to go SELL some sticks to offset these...
 
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