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TopStarRacer Blog

Preordered Special Pokemon X and Y 3DS XL

Ever since Pokemon X & Y were announced in January, I have been debating with myself on which 3DS to get for the games. I have gone back and forth between the two of them, choosing the standard 3DS because of price and the XL because of battery life.

The recent Pokemon Direct announced the special Pokemon X & Y 3DS XLs coming out on September 27th. Once I heard that my decison was now whether to get a red one or a blue one. :P

I went to GameStop today and preordered the red one. I've never recieved a special edition console/handheld before so I'm super excited to get this one. :D

Only 35 more days until Pokemon X and Y will be coming out!

Pokemon Black and White 2

I was never expecting there to be two games for the "enhanced" version of Pokemon Black and White. I was expecting, as many were, a version titled something like Pokemon Gray or Pokemon Rainbow.

I guess Nintendo wanted to break the cycle. I'm surprised yet interested by these...:o

Do You Know Your Google ABC's?

I was on Google and I was curious as to what the first suggestion would be for each letter I typed into the search bar. The results are as follows:

A - Amazon
B - Bank of America
C - Craigslist
D - Dictionary
E - Ebay
F - Facebook
G - Google
H - Hotmail
I - Ikea
J - Jcpenny
K - Kayak
L - Lowes
M - Mapquest
N - Netflix
O - Orbitz
P - Pandora
Q - Quest
R - Redbox
S - Skype
T - Target
U - Usps
V - Verizon
W - Weather
X - Xbox
Y - YouTube
Z - Zillow

Interesting results, some not so surprising. :P

The Afterlife Seems Oddly Familiar

Well today is May 22, 2011, the day after the last day of Earth. The afterlife seems so much like life was on Earth. Hmmmm. This is so disappointing. :( I was expecting zombies to invade, earthquakes to happen, and death. Guess I'll have to use my baseball bat for something more constructive now. :roll:

Oh well. Who's ready to countdown to the next last day of Earth, December 21st, 2012? 8)

~ TopStar

Are You a Man or an Iron Man?

A friend of mine brought this up today and I found it to be funny:

We know that the word "Male" means man right? What does "Female" stand for? Woman? Wrong. If you take apart the word "Female", you get this:

Fe male

Replace male with man:

Fe man

If you look at a periodic table of elements, Fe stands for Iron:

Iron man

;)

I'm not sure why I found this to be funny. :lol: So the next time you see a friend of yours, ask them this: Are you a man or an iron man? It actually works best on guys though. :P

If that random fact wasn't enough, here's one more: The Google search bar can hold up to 2,048 characters. Best find another search engine if your searching for something 2,049 characters long. :lol:

...Ok, I'm done. Hope everyone had a good weekend. It rained non-stop all Saturday and Sunday. :(

~ TopStar

GameSpot Finally Fixes My Join Date!

GameSpot finally fixes my join date from February 2nd, 2010 to February 1st, 2010. I actually joined this site on the 1st of February but for the last 15 months, my profile always said the 2nd of February. :?

Looks like I can celebrate my 2nd year anniversary on the actual date instead of the day after like I did several months ago. Unless the site changes it again, that is. The image here shows my profile with the February 2nd join date.

Out of all the glitches this site has, they fixed the least important one of them all. :P Not sure if it was the new design (which I don't think is too bad to tell you the truth) or something else that caused the change. I know I'm not the only one that's had this happen.

Anyways, hope all the mothers out there had a good Mother's Day and I hope everyone out there treated their mom's well today (like you should do every day, right? ;) )

That's all for now. :)

~ TopStar

TSRB #021: TopStar's ExciteBots Journey Part XIII - What Lays Ahead

Now that I've achieved such a grand milestone in ExciteBots: Trick Racing, what will there be to do next? Will I quit this game forever? What will happen to the all the stats and the rankings that I have kept track of over my months here? So many questions, I have the answers. ;)

First off, ExciteBots: Trick Racing is officially my all-time favorite game. There has never been a game in my past that has sucked me into such an extraordinary experience. This is the kind of game I could never leave sitting on my shelf untouched for fifteen months straight. This is the kind of game that you will always come back to when searching for a game. It has so much to it, so much depth. This game goes far deeper than any of the Mario Kart racing games could. This game may look like Tic-Tac-Toe but it plays like chess. This game may look like it's only for kids ages 5-12 but it can be played for all ages, 5 to 85.

So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that ExciteBots is a game I will never just quit cold turkey. I will always come back to this game when I feel the time is right. The time now however, is the time I need to give this game a long deserved rest. How long of a break it will be depends. It could be a month or several, whatever it takes. I have a long list of games I need to catch up on as well as some newer games I recently received that I'd like to put some more time into. I'm not saying goodbye to EBTR forever.

Over the last year I have been keeping track of everything statistical for the ExciteBots Community. I will continue to do so for as long as the community is still active. Several of the statistic threads will be left now for others to edit seems how I won't be online racing to update them. Those include the Excite and Poker Win Rankings, the Online Racer Index, and the new content of the Online High Score Rankings. I won't be around to update everyone's win counts, stats in the index, or add new scores of racers I've witnessed online for the rankings. It'll all be up to the community to keep such things alive. What is my confidence level towards all this remaining successful? To be honest, it isn't very high. :(

The other day, BTC and I were communicating via the instant messaging system, xat, and he and I were discussing the recent activity level of the forum. As Cody put it several weeks ago:

This is dieing!!!!CodyRs13

Yes. This place is growing ever more quiet. BTC, being the awesome optimistic lobster rider that he his, came up with the theory that maybe, just maybe, a new generation of racers will rise and start a newer community when BIG AIR and myself leave. While this may seem like a possibility for games such as the Mario Kart Wii and DS, to me this seems very unlikely for a game that went virtually unnoticed.

I really hope that those of you that are still sticking around can do your best to keep this community afloat. Barbie – Good luck on your 9's. (I might sneak out of retirement to be there for it ;)) Same goes to FLASH, Jmv Rce, Aaron (if you ever get your Wii repair :?), GAMBIT (if you ever stop working :P), teknik (if you ever stop playing MH3 and other games), Feeble (if you ever stop breaking fingers and going to the dentist :P), and the various others I've failed to mention here. :) I do feel a little hope that things might pick up once the summer season arrives but I'm not expecting such an incredible outcome. Afterall, we didn't get much of a boost after this past holiday season. :roll:

So with all that said, I wish the community the best. Contribute, contribute, contribute I say! :) I'll play my part in updating, you guys play your part in contributing. :) I've been doing both for too long! :x If any of you have questions, I'll always be nearby. ;) Thanks for all the fun times and memories everyone! :cry: EBTR forever!

Now I'll officially say goodbye, err enter retirement, with the same cheesy line I used to end my first post to this community. :P

- TopStar Out!

TSRB #020: TopStar's ExciteBots Journey Part XII - The Grand Finale!

Fifteen long months ago, I embarked on my biggest video game journey ever. Little did I expect this to come from one of my lesser anticipated Wii games that Christmas. ExciteBots: Trick Racing has without a doubt changed the way I look at video games.

So much has happened on this adventure. I can remember the early days of opening the game and playing through the many offline features. I can remember finding the GameSpot/GameFAQ forums for this game and meeting so many of the familiar faces I had raced online. I also can't forget my daily record-breakings and the completion of my online 9's. Not too long after that did big projects, such as the Online Rankings and the All-Bots / All-Courses Guide, began to shape a stronger community. The summer of 2010 was one of my biggest highlights in this journey, not just because of the high activity level the online was having compared to the winter and spring, but because it was this summer season that I achieved my record-breaking 5,633rd Excite Win, the win that put me on top. Many events happened after claiming such a title to my name as well as further advances in the ExciteBots Community. As autumn arrived, thoughts of how and when I should retire from this game started to occur. This is where the story last left off. How did my last three months of ExciteBots go? Did I get my 10,000th Excite Win? Did it cap at 9,999? And, what I know all of you must be asking yourselves, am I quitting this game for good? (For those of you haven't read the first eleven parts to my story, now would be a good time before reading any further.)

As my one-year anniversary passed and the holidays were rapidly coming to an end, it was time to look ahead for the new year. I was around 8,500 wins at this time and was getting closer and closer to 9,000. BIG AIR had recently passed JamesSk's Excite Win count. ;) PAROX and Axcel were unfortunately slowing down in their activity on the tracks and on the forum. :( PAROX was nearing his 9's as well; he only needed less than a million stars left before maxing them. :o Barbie, well, she was sloooowly getting her 9's, still millions of stars away. (Betting only in poker races will do that to you. :P)

Other things in the community began to change as well. BTC finally finished his ExciteBots Community Forum for which more options were available to us. Despite the lack of activity there, at least it serves as a good place to store the countless number of records and statistics this game has to offer. :P I was starting to get a little angry with all the record threads being auto-locked if left un-posted in for a few weeks. :cry: Much thanks goes to BTC for creating the place. ;) JOOM, aka JustOneOldMan, also had his own community for which also had plenty of options. :)

The Online Rankings was also upgrading during this time. I had finally collected enough scores to expand the rankings to a Top 100 scores per course system. That's the highest I'll ever be expanding it. :o I have a couple of reasons for doing so too. Number one, I don't see a point in recognizing anybody lower than 100 considering the difference between rank 1 and rank 100 is quite large. Number two, GameSpot/FAQ doesn't allow for such gigantic posts. :P BTC's forum helped solve this posting problem but I still wanted to keep the rankings here. I decided to scrap the old method of having five threads, one for each cup school thru platinum, and have a single thread dedicated to that week's update. This change shrank that board a little bit but in the end it has helped keep the history of the rankings here a little more organized. :)

Besides the rankings, other things such as the achievements thread were getting makeovers. The achievements thread was officially renamed as the ExciteBots: Hall of Fame and was now detailed with the dates in which each player achieved their milestones. :D Credit will go to BIG AIR for coming up with that idea. Various other threads such as the Bad Beat Records thread and Full Room Records thread were also getting formatting facelifts. 8)

January 18th, 2011 was the day I achieved my 9,000th Excite Win. At this point, I was only 1,000 away from finding out the last major mystery this game had posed. :D Based on my early months of racing, 1,000 wins in a month was easily done. ;) However, with my busier schedule this time of year and my lack of momentum, 1,000 wins in a month was near impossible. :roll: Yet, I set February 20th, 2011 as the day I hit 10,000 excite wins. I had no idea what I was thinking. :shock:

PAROX completed his 9's in January, JOOM and NOBAMA! were still quitea waysoff, and Barbie was miles behind. :P Speaking of Barbie, she revealed two major plot twists yet again on the community. She revealed to us that she was the player that was at the time going by 2012 (which was previously going by HarDHar before that) AND that her husband was her acclaimed neighborhood friend Miley. Oh, did I mention that her husband was the long lost !DANNO! that I remembered racing back in my newbie days? Seriously, Barbie is the queen of daytime drama on this forum, because it just feels like I'm participating in an episode of One Life to Spin or As the Bot Turns. :lol: You are one clever woman, Barbie. ;)

The MegaBowl aka ExciteBowl X, was planned for February since January we couldn't get everyone schedule's working. BIG AIR, CodyRs, SNOOOOG, PAROX, FLASH, and myself were all to be a part of this tourney. Unfortunately, day by day went by without results of a good date and time for this tourney. Every time we had a working date, someone couldn't make it. Finally, on February 5th, I decided we'd have the tourney regardless of who showed. :x BIG AIR and SNOOOOG were the only two that joined me. :cry: FLASH did join a few races before the end but CodyRs and PAROX never made it. :( So much for creating one last epic ExciteBowl before I retired the wheel. On the lighter side, the races I did have with BIG AIR and SNOOOOG were great. ;)

Besides the unsuccessful MegaBowl, other tournaments, might I say many, were buzzing around this time. There was a tournament which BTC hosted (first time he's ever hosted :o), another tournament for beelining, another tourney originally thought of by LOONEY!, and a second-tier tournament. There were a few more tournaments/events that were mentioned but never played. They were CodyRs' ExciteBowl XI: Lizard Lockdown, JOOM's Fox and the Hen Event, and BIG AIR's Power Pairs Poker Tournament. All of those would have made good events and hopefully they'll get tried out sometime. :)

Despite the passing of the holidays, the online wasn't showing any improvement in activity. There were, however, some newer faces that started making names for themselves online. DYLAN, Jims, WolfGrl, phantom, badASH., PJs, and METROID just to name the big ones. Many faces from before the holidays had unfortunately disappeared. PUP MAN, ALEX123, What???, and 11111 were just a few that vanished from the online. :o

February 20th was approaching fast, so fast in fact I wasn't sure whether I'd make it to 10,000 excite wins AND 1,000 poker wins in time for the event. I had too much going on during the weekdays that playing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays were my only options. How was I going to celebrate the event you might be asking yourself? BIG AIR suggested this wonderful idea where we both achieve our retirement milestones at the same time. He would achieve 6,000 excite wins while I achieve my 10,000th. Throw in DynamO's and Barbie's approaching milestones and the event would have been a mega-milestone spectacular! :D

Things didn't quite work out that way. :oops: I was burning out and was not going to make it to meet my February 20th deadline. Not to mention that a week before the 20th, I found out I had long lost family visiting that weekend. :shock: So, because of the new change in plans, everyone moved passed their milestones without me. :? BIG AIR had been waiting over a month for my event just so he can get his 6,000. What a friend. :P

Now, when was I going to have my event if it wasn't going to occur in February? I was still 300 or so Excite Wins off and 50 Poker Wins off. I knew the first couple weeks in March were going to be hectic for me, even on the weekends. :( With all that in mind, I decided Sunday March 20th, 2011 to be the day the event will be held, the day I will achieve my 10,000th Excite Win and 1,000 Poker Win. :):D:)

The month of March had a few players hitting some benchmarks. JOOM achieved his 9's and was continuing his journey onward to 2,000 Excite Wins. Same scenario happened with RATROD, CodyRs' Uncle. NOBAMA! hit his 9's as well. He'd been a regular for as far back as April. :o I too was hitting some benchmarks, score wise. I pulled a score of 600 in Bronze Kilimanjaro, in a FULL room. 8) That has been something I had been wanting to do for a long while. :D I broke three open room records too, two in both Egyptian courses and one in Platinum China. The first couple weeks of March when I could race, I was on FIRE! 8)

All the high scores I was pulling sparked my curiosity. I was curious as to what my top 25 scores for each course would look like. ;) I figured with all the recordkeeping I'd been doing for the EB community, I could probably dig up all my best scores from the past year of racing. :) I began constructing it and I'm still working on it as of this story, slowly but surely working on it. ;)

March 20th was upon us. Soon the truth of the 5th digit would be reveal. The debate of 9,999 vs. 10,000 would finally be settled. The nonbelievers, theJude and BIG AIR, believed it will cap at 9,999 because all the star stats capped at 9,999,999. I found their theory to be rather convincing because if the developers never thought anyone would make it to 9,999,999 in stats, then how on earth could anyone even make it to 9,999? :lol: It would of only make sense that 10,000 would be impossible to get considering the amount of time needed for it. However, on the flipside of the argument, we've theorized that the developers probably used the same size for each number field and that 7 digits were possible in each of them. Heck, even the number of characters allowed in the screen name is seven letters, as DynamO had pointed out. :lol: Man, I've enjoyed the back and forth debating. :)

On the last few days before the 20th arrived, I was slowly inching my way to the wins I needed to prepare for my spectacular finale. The events that were to occur in the spectacular were four standard ExciteBowl races, a maximum star run in School Mexico, an attempt at a full room tie in School Canada, poker race(s), a maximum star run in Crystal Nebula, and a School Finland Smash-fest.

The ExciteBowl races consisted of the best courses in the game to farm and collect stars. These courses were Bronze Kilimanjaro, Silver Egypt, Gold Scotland, and Platinum Guatemala. These races were to run like an ordinary race would online.

Next came the special events. The School Mexico maximum star event had the goal that everyone in the race needed 300 stars or more in School Mexico by what ever means necessary before the in-game clock ran out. The School Canada full room tie event followed and was for my 9,999th Excite Win. The mission here was to have everyone tie with an exact 200 by means of systematic placing and crossing the finish line. The poker race(s) would be run with the lobster only and would occur as many times as necessary until I achieved my 1,000th Poker Win. Then, for the biggest milestone you could ever have in ExciteBots, came the Crystal Nebula maximum star event. The goal here was similar to the School Mexico one except 600 was the required star amount for each racer before the automatically in-game clock ran out. Whether it turned out capping or not capping, the night was to end with a bot smash fest on the ice in School Finland using nothing but heavyweight bots.

The day had arrived, Sunday March 20th, 2011. I spent the morning getting my last two or three Excite Wins and Poker Wins for the event. I also took out my alternate, MicroTS, to help pass the time. 7:00pm my time was when the six of us were to gather in the Friend lobby hosted by me for the celebration. BIG AIR was getting his video materials together that afternoon so he could record the historical event. :) theJude was spending the whole day snoozing and Barbie, Dragon, and DynamO were doing their things. I was counting down the hours before the big event arrived.

After finishing dinner, it was time for my finale!!! :D We all made it successfully in my lobby with minor connections issues. The six of us used the xat feature on BTC's forum for instant chat during the races, something BTC introduced to us a short while back. :)

I have to say the event was a total blast. I really wish I could re-live the experience over again. :D How exactly did the super spectacular celebration go? Below is the post I made after the celebrations had ended:

Where to begin? Well it all started back when my mother and father…

FAST FORWARD

…And there I was. Watching the Crystal Nebula rankings as the timer counted down from 20 to 0. Then,I was in the lobby. I pressed the A button to view the stats, to view the 10K that I most heavily anticipated, and….

REWIND

I beat JamesSk in Silver Egypt! My first ever victory over him!!!! 388-388.

TOO FAR :x (you gotta hate these remotes!)….PERFECT

Tonight was a night of epic proportions. It began with a 4-race series on some of the most soil rich courses a farmer could have. Bronze Kilimanjaro was a blast. Did better than I did earlier in the day. It felt SO good to hear that BIG AIR crashed into a tree near the finish line with only seconds to spare. Exactly what happened to me. :twisted: Payback. Silver Egypt I came close to my full room record. :o theJude broke his personal best which was also a good thing to see. Gold Scotland had me worried. :? I was crashing everywhere and even failed the first tree run on lap 1. Barbie's speed wasn't helping either but I managed to pull through. There was a tie for 2nd 367-367 between DynamO and BIG AIR. ;) Platinum Guatemala was another fun one for number 9,997. I enjoyed seeing BIG AIR disqualify again. :D Can't wait for the world to see your excellence BIG AIR. :twisted: ….wait, you didn't record those. You lucked out BIG time. :x :P

After the main races came the event races. First, for #9,998 was the School Mexico 300+ run. I was doing phenomenal the entire race that I wish I was running it for real. Seriously, I was flawless. 8) Anyways, I came in first with 402 from 5th bonus. BIG AIR followed with 341, then theJude with 334, Dragon with 320, DynamO with 310, and Barbie with 258. Someone should of gave Barbie first. :roll:

So excite win #9,998 was in the bag and it was time for the School Canada tie event. 8) IT WAS A SUCCESS!! Ok, so if you consider the difference between 1st and 6th of 201 stars to be a successful full room tie, then yes. :P Not a single one of us tied and BIG AIR disqualified. :( Oh well, it was worth a shot. ;) Win #9,999 check. :D

Poker was next. Don't worry I took a pick of my 9,999/999. I successfully took the win with 385 to Barbie's 243. :D poker win #1,000 complete. The mystery of the 4th poker digit had been solved…..oh wait.

Then for the moment of truth: The Crystal Nebula 600+ looping event. It wasn't as successful as the School Mexico one. Two DNF'd and theJude was 6 stars short. :( *sighs* It's the thought that counted I guess. I pulled a 703, BIG pulled 673, and Barbie pulled 644. ;) I KNEW you could do it Barbie!

…And there I was. Watching the Crystal Nebula rankings as the timer counted down from 20 to 0. Then, I was in the lobby. I pressed the A button to view the stats, to view the 10K that I most heavily anticipated, and….

And…

And…

(audience member screams: GET ON WITH IT)

*Dodges tomato*

Ok, ok……10K EXCITE WINS BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111one!!!!!111one1111!!!! (that was for you theJude ;))

Yep. 5 digits. The final big mystery of EBTR has been solved. I not only have the most wins, but now I have the extra digit to prove it. 8)8)

The night ended with a two race smash fest, School Finland being the best. I stood position as my guests knocked me dead. I can't wait to see the video. :lol: I was being punched, kicked, slapped, and rammed all over, left and right. If the footage is good, you might need to add some dramatic music and slow-mo to thevideo BIG AIR. :lol: We should beat me up more often. :P Silver Finland was an extra encore smash-fest on the ship. Not as much smashing on this one though.

And there you have it folks. Sorry if this seems rushed but I have an awful headache right now. Need to go to bed. Tonight history was made! Cheers to you all. I'll have more in my blog tomorrow as well as the images up. :) Thanks everyone!

TopStarRacer

Despite my headache I had that night, I had a phenominal time! :):D:lol::P;)8)

How did BIG AIR's videos turn out? :D See for yourselves:

1. My 10,000th Excite Win Crystal Nebula Race
2. The School Finland Smash-Fest After Party

BIG AIR - Excellent job all the way! :D:D:D

I also set up a special album that afternoon dedicated to my ExciteBots Milestones. The Special 10,000th Excite Win Image can be found here. :)

I'm apparently going to exceed the character limit for a blog post. :P To Be Continued (one LAST time.) :)

TSRB #019: Thoughts on the ExciteBots Courses - Silver Cup

Silver Mexico
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A short course. Easy to get a win on because of it's hidden jump combos.:) The paths in this course are pretty straight forward. Not a whole lot of off-road action can be done here. :roll: Since this course is one of the short ones, first place bonus can be very important if you're racing some tough opponents. :o

Silver China
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My favorite of the two raining locations. It's one of those courses that isn't too long and isn't too short. :D I love all the drifting and tree runs you can get here. So many hidden tree runs. :) Drifting in the water is so much fun, especially since you won't overheat when you use the turbo. ;) A very well-balanced course.

Silver Kilimanjaro
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The course where improvement has always been an option for me. There's more possibilities than meet the eye here. Once a course where 400 was unthinkable for me is now a course where my record is over 500. 8) Barrier reflections and awkward zig-zagging is the key to master high ones here. Don't forget those air spins either. ;) Oh, and avoid that very random dinosaur skeleton. I have no idea what activates that thing. :question:

Silver Finland
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The home of the axel trick! :D This course has ice all over it, enough of it to help one pull outragously high axel spins. This course is shorter than the School Cup Finland and is a lot easier to lose if you screw even a few small things up. :? There's quite a few shortcuts that make grabbing the placement bonus stars easier, in case one needs to recover from stars missed from crashing. :( I enjoy the course and what it offers as far as tricks go. The super drifting at the beginning of the track is pretty cool. :)

Silver Egypt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A lot of labor needs to be put into this course for high scores. :roll: Everything from air spinning, jump comboing, barrier reflecting, sandwich snacking, and butterfly catching. Certainly not one of my favorite courses. However, like Bronze Kilimanjaro, I really like the detail and off-road depth of this place. So many possible jumping spots and pathways. :) It's a great course but not one I'd like to race very often.