StarSlay3r's Gaming Blog

Just me writing about my love of gaming and gaming related experiences.

I was very excited when I checked my inbox today. I saw a message from a DM at Starlight. I hope they're ok with me posting this... I was (still am) Very excited about the email and wanted to share it. I'm glad that they appreciate my help and I hope that I can help them in a much bigger way in the future. If you haven't already heard about what I'm currently up to with starlight please read my previous blog. Thank you!

Dear Ciji,

I wanted to take some time to introduce myself to you as I am new at Starlight Children’s Foundation. I was looking over all of our wonderful FirstGiving volunteer fundraisers and am simply astonished that so many wonderful people like you have volunteered to help!

I see that you started your page on 4/28/2009 and have set an ambitious goal of $5,000! AND you have already raised an impressive amount of donations! And may I just say that your page is fantastic. I love how you speak about Starlight. Your passion for the project really comes through; it is inspiring even for those of us who work here!

Thank you for volunteering for an organization as worthwhile as Starlight Children’s Foundation, your work truly makes an indelible impact on the lives of seriously ill children and their families.

Looking forward to working with you in the future…..

As you all know I've been talking about how Starlight is my favorite charity... well, I'm trying to help them out right now and I need your help! My goal is to raise $5,000 for the Starlight Childrens foundation to help ensure that they can keep providing the children with things like "fun centers" and to help more children's wishes to come true!

Please, read about the foundation I'm supporting and, if you can, donate to this great cause. If you can't donate please help spread the word about this page to your friends/family. Together we can help these children get their wishes and ensure that things like the fun centers remain readily available for the kids in their time of need!

About Starlight: When a child or teenager has a serious medical condition, everyone in the family is affected. For nearly 25 years, Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation has dedicated itself to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. Starlight’s programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Through a network of more than 30 offices, Starlight provides ongoing support to children, parents and siblings in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with an array of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings. Programs are also delivered internationally through affiliates in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Why am I asking the gaming community to help Starlight? Because gaming is one of the many ways that we can help distract these children from their pain. Games distract you when you're in a bad mood or just need to relax and have fun right? Well help these kids experience that too! Companies like Nintendo and Harmonix have already teamed up in an effort to help this great cause by donating.

Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation partnered with Nintendo of America more than 15 years ago to create Fun Center mobile entertainment units. Including a flat-screen TV, video game console and DVD player, each Fun Center can be rolled right up to the side of young patient's beds or anywhere in a hospital setting. For children who may be anticipating surgery, enduring long outpatient treatments, waiting in the emergency room, or fighting loneliness after visiting hours have ended, Fun Centers provide a welcome respite.

Harmonix and MTV games announced that they would be donating a $50,000 gift to Starlight Children's Foundation. Paul DeGooyer, Senior Vice President of Electronic Games and Music for MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, added: “We’re very excited to be part of a program enabling Starlight kids and their families to rock out a bit through our placement of games in hospitals and at family events, facilitating once-in-a lifetime getaways, and donations. It truly is a privilege to help Starlight and its mission.”

GAMERS UNITE! Together we can reach the $5,000 goal I've set and then some! Much love! Thank you all for your continued support! <3

To donate please go to: you can also go to to view more information about the group. Thank you and please help spread the word!

Ciji "StarSlay3r" Thornton

Well, money is tight this year since I haven't competed in Guitar Hero for a while. :p This year I'm trying to attend the Iron Man of Gaming amongst many events. Screw attack just posted a video of their event so I figured I'd show you all what exactly the Iron Man of Gaming Is.

If you haven't already learned this about me... I AM an all around gamer. While I excel and am known for Guitar Hero I have always and will always play all different types of games both for fun and for competition.

If you've seen me on Xbox live playing Dig Dug and on youtube watching Mega Man runs... now you know why! haha Yes this is the REAL test to find the Ultimate Gamer! I hope to see you all at the Iron Man of Gaming this year! I'm going to keep on busting my ass on SFIV and keep trying to attend events that will enable me to show off my other gaming skills and see if I can keep up with the big dogs like Jamal from our show who placed 3rd overall at Iron Man last year!

I'm extremely excited with everything that's been happening lately. After a big let down from finding out gootecks isn't really that motivated to help me do well anymore (he's too busy doing his own things it's ok) I have a lot of support from the nations top players keeping me motivated to keep going.

I noticed that more and more lately because of this tv show people are coming from all over the place challenging me. On my youtube I get comments "I could take you!" and all this. The only game I really played competitively lately was Guitar Hero. DDR I play for fun so... yeah if you can get AAA on Expert... that's awesome! I play once a week or so! haha I mean really, you guys are taking the fun out of the game. WCG Ultimate Gamer is just a tv show... and while I'm a competitive person I play 90% of the games that I do FOR FUN, but I just happen to be at a high level for them.

Moving on... The SRK guys seem to be my biggest haters. While I regret posting my original message to them (thinking they'd welcome me) it seems as though they ALL focus on things that I say and turn them around to make it out like I'm just "another girl looking for attention" when in fact I'm just "another player looking for help and guidance from the more advanced players". Luckily the people that matter (the people who actually play SFIV and WIN) have been keeping in touch with me offering their help, so it's not an entire loss.

Encouraging words:

When I first met Mike Ross at Arcade Infinity: "Are you that Star girl? I read about your progress, you go girl! Ignore the SRK guys, you go for it, you make top 8... you do what you gotta do!" Also "I'm glad we got to link up too because I really want you to excel in SFIV :)" Thanks for the support Mike... I'm amazed at your talent and I'll continue to watch and support you! You rock!

Justin Wong after I told him I'm trying to get good at Street Fighter IV and saying he should stop by AI if he's in LA: "I been to arcade infinity before. haha sf4 is the best game ever. maybe ill show u a thing or two online if nething if you like " Thanks for offering me some help Justin! You're definitely someone I'd LOVE to get a few tips from!!!

Jack aka Jack Daniels: "Once I train with you and combine everything I know with the knowledge of the other 2 top Sagat players you will be one sick ass Sagat player. You will be the 4th Sagat player of SoCal!" After seeing Jack play and dominate at AI I know that he can help me with my character!

Many of the players at Arcade Infinity are also saying things along the lines of "We want to help you be great at this game... we can see you're serious about this and it's awesome!"

From ALLDAY: "Hey Ciji. My friends and I run the 3rd largest Fighting game Tourney in the US. Lets get you trained up so you can kick some ass. Your friends list if full as is mine, so I've deleted a space for you. We are serious here about helping you become the first world class female SF player."

:D Thanks to all the friends who are helping. I know I need all the help I can get... but I'm going to keep practicing, keep training, and keep on attending events like last nights tournament to see how you guys do it!

Last night, by the way... WAS AMAZING! By last night I mean the Street Fighter IV tournament at Nucleus (above) in Alhambra. I told Joel Gourdin (the host of WCG Ultimate Gamer) about the show and he stopped by and checked it out. Luckily I actually got a pic WITH him (right) this time instead OF him. hehe yay!

Going back to the actual event though...Oh my gosh! I twittered about it the whole time but I wish I could have written an article on it or something. Unfortunately Mike Ross got knocked out his 3rd match by Mike Watson. (left) Combofiend came in third, the well known Mike Watson came in 2nd and Kai came in 1st. The battle between Kai's El Fuerte and Mike Watson's Chun-Li (right) was amazing... back and forth back and forth 1-1 2-2 3-3 then FINALLY it was the final match... literally (---) health left and all it'd take is a two hit combo from either player. Mike Watson messed up and Kai took advantage of it winning... the crowd went WILD and the energy in Nucleus was just awesome. I really love the energy at Street Fighter Events... I just hope that one day I'll have people screaming like that for me. I know I have a long way to go... but I'm going to keep practicing my ass off to get there!

The artwork at Nucleus was also bad ass. There was a lot of amazing pieces that I wish I could have got my hands on but I unfortunately was in no situation to dish out that kind of cash. $$$ I need to save up that money for tournaments and events this year! There was also a cosplay contest of which I have no Idea who won going on. I think the best costume however was a girl who dressed up as C.Viper (left).. she had the most accurate outfit/accessories/overall look. There were WAAAAY too many Chun-Lis walking around. I think she is BY FAR the most cosplayed character of any video game. heh
It was good to see some guys getting into the Cosplay too! I saw most of the male characters from SFIV represented even El Fuerte! No cooking hat though, just the normal luchadore mask.

I started this blog writing about a certain SF4 forum online but have decided just to delete any reference to them since it's not really helping my situation at all. :-p Here's what's up with SF4.

I've been practicing hard since I started last week and have made significant progress. I still have YET to play with gootecks in person, we have only talked on the phone a bit and via aim and text. He's been too busy to really do much w/me yet. A few days ago I got some rounds in with the person who got 7th place at AI at the tourney last Saturday and I kept him on his toes. His quote: "Holy crap! You're good! I seriously think that if you put the time in you will be better then me." Yeah, now he took it easy on me at first as he underestimated me then he had to step his game up it went from us back and forth 2-1 then him 3-0. Once he unleashed hell on my ass I was happy if I could even get 1 round out of the best of 3. haha I also had a chance to practice with Joel Gourdin who has an 80% win rate for total online ranked matches... this guy is GOOD! I had a tough time with him on best of 5 matches and he definitely taught me some good techniques vs Dhalsim (his character of choice). With Dhalsim I lost every time... I could only keep up when he played other characters, even then I only got one round ... maybe 2 tops I think once? for best of 5.

Dhalsim is a character I've been having a hard time with... while he's easily hurt, it's hard to get close to him. I've learned the hard way about his damn knee (no jumping at him :p) slow fireballs and annoying ass Ultra. GRRRRRR! I've found that the EX-Tiger Knee Crush is def. my best friend when against most opponents, but I'm trying not to over use it so it doesn't get predictable. I just like how that particular move voids out a lot of other character's attacks.

Progress: I've played well over 120 or so matches now... not a whole lot for a week but I'll do more as the weeks go on. This saturday is yet another SF4 tourney at Nucleus in Alhambra. I will not be competing but will be attending, watching, and learning from the pros. I have found that watching videos and attending tournaments is another way of learning how people play with the characters, what moves are most commen, and what moves a player can use to counter attacks as well as learning which moves can enable a character to pass through fireballs or stop a characters Ultra from connecting. Today I basically got bitch smacked by Dhalism by Joel and it totally stopped my Ultra and I just stood there like WTF was THAT?!?! We both laughed about it and Joel said he had never seen anything like that before. Glitch or not, that was weird, and something new that I learned to watch out for.

I think gootecks' forum is probably my best bet for getting hardcore SF4 players that are actually nice. And because some people keep TROLLING MY BLOG Trolls to post random comments on my blog. To my friends, feel free to post, I will approve all comments that have helpful tips or have something kind to say.

UPDATE: 4/24/09 10:06am

My SFIV regular edition Madcatz stick is supposed to arrive today. I hope that they deliver it even though there's no one home to accept the package. :p I originally wanted to go home, play with the new fight stick and see how different it is, then go to Arcade Infinity and meet up with the guys for some SFIV action... but now I'm deciding to stop by, pick up the package then go to Arcade Infinity immediately after. I won't be able to head out there til around 7:30ish so I want to make sure I can still catch Jack and them there. :D Jack has agreed to help me with Sagat since he's one of the best Sagat players there. I'm pretty excited because all I know how to do is all the basic moves, supers and Ultras... I can do EVERY move he has but don't know how to string them together for deadly combos yet... that is why I need help from someone who is familiar with the character.

Well... back to work I go. Break isn't over yet but I want to get to answering some emails! Thanks to everyone for asking me advice on all your gaming needs and for all the fan mail about the WCG Ultimate Gamer show. Yeah it sucked to lose on episode 6 but I'm still proud of myself. Mark being in first place and me being last in NBA Live and only having maybe 8 full hours of practice time and running a 14-20 game... I think that's pretty damn bad ass especially since it was REALLY 14-17 and he threw a 3 pt shot from half court last second (yeah I keep talking about that because it was an amazing final shot that seemed impossible). The fact that I picked up a game I NEVER played before and learned it well enough in 8 hours to compete against someone who had been playing since the game was released and actually keep him on his toes until the 4th quarter. It's things like this that make me believe I can do this with SFIV. Dedication+Time+Skill= pure pwnage... Can't wait to learn some moves from the guys!

Oh and events I'll be attending this year so far: Evo (workin on it) E3, E For All, PAX 09, QuakeCon and the Iron Man of Gaming. I will also be attending a WCG event or two if they're local, but not to compete as I stated earlier... I left the GH competitive scene. :D See you all this Summer/Fall!

Ok guys, you wanted to know so here it is... THIS is how serious I am about this whole SF4 thing...

I am OFFICIALLY retiring from Guitar Hero. I may play for fun here and there but I WILL NOT be competing anymore. I will NOT be competing in the World Cyber Games for 2009 (I will forfeit every match for the 5 weeks I signed up) and I WILL NOT be attending any tournaments exclusively for this game. I WILL NOT be practicing for this year as I am dedicating all of my free time to getting better at Street Fighter IV.

Gootecks ( has a dream and I want to be there to help him with it. I really believe that I have to potential to go really far with this game and I hope that you all will stand by my side as I go from Scrub status to Pro status. I don't care how long it takes, I will play 40+hours a week every week until I am ranking top 8 locally then I want to go into overdrive mode playing 60+hours a week.

To help make this happen I am getting rid of my Guitar Hero items to help so I can get some top of the line Street Fighter equipment and to help get me to Evo this year. I will be selling my GH3 wireless les paul, my Guitar Hero 3 Wired Les paul (rare find) with the Gamespot rocktacular tournament skin from my 3rd place victory on their Tournament TV show, some StarSlay3r skinned Explorer wired controller as well as my Astro Guitar Hero case (holds 2 guitars), my soft guitar hero coffin case bag, and lastly... my guitar hero HARD coffin case. YES I'm selling it all, if you want it autographed or want an autographed picture with it I can do that. :D I have posted some pics in my twit pic album if you want to see my Gamespot Rocktacular guitar and Coffin Case along with the Astro case.

I hope to show the world that I am VERY serious about this... I hope to gain enough attention to actually get some supporters and companies to have my back on this. I NEED to get good at this game... well not good but REALLY GOOD. I mean seriously I've got to catch up to guys who already have over 500+ hours logged and have completed over 1000 online matches. I have a LOT of catching up to do, and I KNOW I can do this. I have faith in myself and gootecks has faith in me. He is helping me train and is taking the time out of his busy schedule for me which should show you all that he knows I have potential. My goal is 6 months to start being the top female as well as ranking high with males as well. This is just a goal, but I think it's a reasonable one.

Goodbye Guitar Hero... Hello Street Fighter IV. "Street Fighter Will Change Your Life" he said... is he right? It was destiny that gootecks and I met that day... and I am forever in your debt gootecks... I will make you proud... I will practice my ass off... and I WILL be whooping ass in Street Fighter IV before you know it!

Today I went to a Street Fighter IV tournament at Arcade Infinity (not my first) but I started comparing GH tournies to SF tournies and I'm amazed at the differences. SF4 is very underground and guitar hero is so mainstream... the people that exceed in guitar hero get very little respect and no one is chanting out their name at tournaments or screaming for them when they hit a star phrase or nail a solo... because no one really cares. Street Fighter IV is a game of skill, mind games, and the crowd LOVES IT! I have never seen people watching a game get so into the match that they screamed, yelled, swore, jumped around, high fived and the like... it was amazing to see people get so pumped up. I really think that Street Fighter is THE game that should make everyone drop whatever they're doing and play... this game is amazing. Click HERE to see/ hear what a Street Fighter Tournament is like... AMAZING I tell you!

I just hope that in the end this is the right choice. I trust gootecks entirely and leave my gaming career in his hands... I will do everything in my power to succeed at this but ultimately I need his help and support in this... so please ... don't let me down boy, and I promise the same.

This is a common problem... Since SO MANY of you are having this problem I have turned this from a response to a blog. I will add more tips daily as you guys ask more questions. If you have a question on how to do something post on here and I will comment back in a new blog. :D

The question:

Sean said...

I just started getting into GH/RB and I can't seem to get Orange Fretting down, I think my hands are stupid. Any advice before I go lefty?

The answer:

Learn this NEW hand position...

Move your hand down so your pinky is sitting on orange and your index on red. It's easier to stretch your index to green than it is to stress out that poor pinky. Once you are comfortable with this position the next step is to learn to transition from the index on red/ pinky on orange to the index on green/ pinky on blue positions when necessary so that you can use your two strongest fingers (index/middle) to hit whatever notes are more prominent during that section. If you see a lot of green/reds approaching move your hand to the first position (g/b) and if you see a lot of yellows blues and oranges move it to the second (red to orange) The goal is to use your pinky as little as possible however shifting your hand around as needed to try to hit a majority of the buttons using only your index, middle and ring fingers.

Trills (a series of back and forth notes) that consist of Oranges and blues should be hit using your index/middle or middle/ring fingers since they're stronger and easier to control, however it's tricky to shift your hand down that fast then repositioning it to the red-orange position without missing notes.

Another method is to learn "tapping" videos can be found on youtube. This technique is when you strum with your right hand then bring that hand up to the frets using it to tap on the blue/orange buttons during hammer on/ pull off and slider sections. This is especially useful for songs like "Spiderwebs" on GH: World Tour, "Our Truth" on GH: World Tour, and "Through the Fire and the Flames" GH3 as well as other songs of the like.

I want to make a youtube "HANDS" video for you on a song that you have trouble with so you can see what I'm talking about. I'll try to do a picture in picture if possible so you can see how I shift my hand. Please send me a message with a song you'd like me to show you the technique for. :D

I hope this helped. If not or if you need further explanation let me know. :D

April 1, 2009

Bad sport of the week (episode 4)

Ep4_bad_sport.jpgWhat the heck was Ciji thinking? For the first time on the show, one of the contestants considered gaming the overall competition instead of whatever was in front of her nose. Up to this point, everyone has been focusing on the game of the moment, competing only at the current task rather than the big picture.

In this past episode, Ciji finally shows a little forward thinking with a way to drop herself into the elimination challenge against someone who would be a threat later. Robert? Dante? Even poor Jamal? And in the process, she would keep Geoff around, who she could probably beat later on. She puts forth an excellent plan to throw the isolation challenge and then reneges on it.

The moment she started moving her feet in time to the beat, I knew two things: 1) Geoff was going to lose that episode, and 2) Ciji wasn't going to make it to the end. Yet for some strange reason only she is privvy to, she had to play out the song.

For me one of the most lasting images of the show will be the picture above, after Ciji finished the song in the isolation challenge. She figuratively and literally turns her back on the competition as a whole. Ah, Ciji...

Posted by Tom Chick at 4:01 PM

Oh Tom... if you only knew. Hell MANY of you are saying the same thing. "I can't believe Ciji did that" Let me clue you in.

Geoff and I had a NICE LONG discussion... as did Jamal and I, Swoozie and I and Rob and I. Rob and Swoozie say "I won't promise to put Dante against you..." Rob says "I want Jamal out" as is made clear watching the episode. Jamal of course promises to put Dante against me if I lose. Jamal also says "if Rob or Swoozie wins it might be me VS you... don't risk it". Geoff says "I'd owe you big time if you did it, but I wouldn't risk it... it's MY TIME. I knew this would happen."

Did you not see the tears in my eyes as Joel called out his name? What you didn't hear were the words "I'm sorry Geoff" as he called his name. My statement "I did what I needed to do" was to tell Geoff I didn't drop out, and to make Dante THINK I did... it was to give everyone the impression I did WHAT I SAID I'D DO, but Geoff knew.

Dislike my decision all you want... you say I should have kept him around to easily eliminate him later... how dare you. I love Geoff... he's a GREAT friend, I'd never intentionally keep him around for "easy pickings"... he's a fighter and since Amy has been posting all over the Frag Doll forums this info I'll post it too... Amy failed, so did Mark. That's 3 Failures... Geoff just had to last a bit longer than them.... I had faith he could stay out of last on his own so screw what you say... I'm not a poor sport... I'm a good friend. The decision to play was a tough one... but once I started doing it the thoughts of the $100k and my daughter gave me motivation to keep going. Like the episode showed... I actually half assed the beginning thinking... "should I fail now... risk it all... or keep going?" After all the fighting I was thinking of throwing it still based off my disliking for Dante.

In the end... I did what I NEEDED to do. I am still in touch with Geoff and he's not mad at me for my decision... he's the one who helped me make it.

To Geoff... You did great... See you at the World Cyber Games this summer.

Well... it's that time of year again. The World Cyber Games qualification rounds begin at the end of this month I believe. I have signed up for a few of the west coast dates but am giving myself 1 month to prepare.

I haven't honestly played Guitar Hero World Tour for more than a total of maybe 10-15 hours since I came back from the reality show. Having Rock Band as our first challenge meant that we had Rock Band around the longest and since I REALLY hate the Rock Band guitar I played the drums a lot. Once I left the house I was already up to Expert level and with a 2 week break off work I worked my way up to Expert level on Guitar Hero World Tour with their drum set as well. Ever since Metallica came out I have been playing Expert+ on that having a BLAST! I really LOVE drumming and want to show off my skills. I'm not JUST good at guitar, my skills translate into other games and instruments as well... Every rhythm game I play I can play on Expert difficulty. :D Well... getting back to my point... I recently have been practicing World Tour on Guitar again for WCG. I am SOOOO bored! Really I can 100% about 60 or so songs I think? Something like that... and I am not having fun. Why? Because it's getting too technical now. Yeah I can 100% the songs but now I have to memorize star paths of my own or go on youtube and scorehero and research star paths on there. It's a pain in the ass... I play GH for fun, and while I love to compete, this is the shitty part of it. I am stressing out trying to memorize too much at once...

On top of GH I really wanted to enter the WCG for Virtua Fighter. While I didn't fair so well on the show, I am actually really good at the game when it comes to person vs person instead of person vs ai. I will have to see if I can borrow an arcade stick or get a cheap one for the qualifiers and if I make it to nationals get a nicer one.

Yeah... so this is my schedule for the next month or so. Work M-F 8:30 to 5:30 and I usually get home around 8pm (stupid traffic) Mondays I watch Heroes so I practice around that, Tuesdays I watch the show at 7pm so I rush home ASAP to watch it and start practicing from 8:30 to 11 or so, Wed-Fri Practice from 8:30 to 11 or so and Sat/Sun Practice as much as possible around errands and such. Somewhere in that schedule I have to make time to visit either the arcade by my house to practice DDR or to Arcade Infinity to practice Beatmania, Drummania, Guitar Freaks, DDR, Para Para Paradise, DJ MAX Technika and Pop n' Music.

I really want to get my name spreading around the Arcade scene again. Everyone used to know me at Gameworks in MI because I was always there KILLING on DDR and Indy 500. I couldn't be beat at Indy 500 (except one guy who worked there cuz he practiced every day to beat And was in the top 30 for DDR players in MI (which isn't saying TOO much but I was still kinda proud of it) I just hated not getting at least top 10 in the DDR tournaments there... people are SOO good at that game! But yeah, I definitely want to show off my skills at Arcade Infinity more, it's a shame it's so far away.

If only I didn't have to work so much. I think right now my job sets me back the most in pro gaming. If I didn't have to work 40-60 hours a week I could practice 60-80 hours a week (like I do when I'm on vacation from work) and could REALLY get on top of those leaderboards!

Well... break time is over. :sigh: I'll write more later.