Street Fighter

GH43: Bayonetta, Street Fighter, and Game Awards

GH43: Bayonetta, Street Fighter, and Game Awards
Gamer Heroes

 
 
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We recap some of the Game Awards including what we do and don’t like about the concept. Then we talk tons of news including a bunch of video game announcements from Street Fighter to Bayonetta, Outlast, and more! And yes, we gripe a bit about Destiny 2’s new level capping system.

01:40 – Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

06:00 – SoulCalibur VI

11:50 – Bayonetta 3, 2, 1

16:00 – Outlast on Switch

21:40 – The Game Awards

29:00 – Detective Pikachu Cast

31:30 – Destiny 2’s Content Lock

41:40 – Currently Play: Doom, Stick it to the Man, Resident Evil Revelations

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Podcast Credits

Hosts
Jon Czerwinski
Derreck Mayer

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

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GH43: Bayonetta, Street Fighter, and Game Awards

The Best 50: Heroes of Women, #50-41

It’s not everyday that a hero comes along and changes the course of American history.  For the next five weeks, we count down the 50 best women heroes in fiction. Heroes were chosen from every platform of pop culture including film, TV, literature, and stage.  They were also inspired by you, the fans, on the many polls that the Heroes Podcast Network can offer. Lastly, the women were chosen based on their iconic statuses, fandom following, and the admirable qualities the individual characters possess.

Looking for a bunch of dudes? Aren’t we all. Don’t worry; the 50 best men heroes in fiction is up next! But what about the great baddies of history too? Yep, that list is in the works as well! Now, enjoy the countdown. Here’s #50-41 of the best Heroes of Women.

50. Crysta

Tumblr_static_crysta-fern-gully-animationanomaly-com

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest and Ferngully 2: The Magical Rescue
Crysta is a little fairy living in a pristine Australian rain forest, devoid of human interference.  She begins the movie as naive and careless only to have her world turned upside down by a bat who had been tested on scientifically by humans, and by a logger named Zak.  When Zak and the other loggers accidentally release Hexxus, a toxic spirit that feeds off of human pollution, it is Crysta who steps up to fight.  She realizes the gravity of her role in life, as a protector of the rain forest, seeing incredible growth over the course of the film.  Crysta seemingly sacrifices herself for the sake of her people and the rain forest itself, demonstrating unmatched bravery and selflessness.

49. Tina Belcher

Tina-Belcher-Bobs-Burgers-FOX-061515-1276x850
Bob’s Burgers
Often the kinder, gentler Belcher, Tina is the voice of reason among a household of chaos.  She’s also incredibly complicated for a 13 year old.  She writes erotic “friend fiction,” being bold enough to use real people as her subjects. She has the most open obsession with people’s butts (notice I wrote people). She embraces who she is without fail, never apologizing for her quirks or flaws. It takes a tough kid to talk openly about the horror that is puberty and yet, this chick sings about it in a musical revue. She’s a modern role model for the aggressive world we have come to known.

48. Major Motoko Kusanagi

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Ghost in the Shell 

As a heavily modified cyborg, Motoko stands out as one of the best detectives, proving her incomparable in her field.  While the many adaptations of the story have played around with the character, Motoko has always remained an incredible example of strength in both integrity and intelligence.  She consistently is an effective leader among her squad. Her search for existential meaning in life; her search for a soul (or ghost) is what makes her so easy to relate to. It is easy for a viewer to become enraptured in her quest to understand her purpose in life since that is a similar feeling a lot of people have.

47. Tracer

thumb-1920-690653
Overwatch
A rather recent addition into the fictional world, Lena Oxton, or better known as Tracer, has since become a phenomenal break out character of the popular Overwatch video game. She’s been a ray of sunshine amid an epic war. As such, fans of all demographics have latched onto her as a feminist and LGBTQ icon.  Her popularity now outnumbers almost all other Overwatch characters (or even video game characters in general). It’s never easy for an optimist with a tragic past to rise above but Tracer has and she seems to be here to stay.

46. Elphaba Thropp

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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
No one has ever said life is easy when you’re green.  As an expansion of a beloved villain, Elphaba gave so much more to the story the world is already familiar. She faced incredible odds including political corruption and was brave enough to be the only one in Oz to stand against it.  While many have yet to separate the wicked from the witch, she remains a definitive hero among dedicated fans. She gave us all hope that while we may be a villain to someone, we’re so much more, and ultimately, we are the hero in our own story.

45. Chun-Li

chunli
Street Fighter franchise
It’s hard to believe that Chun-Li wasn’t in the original Street Fighter game. She was, however, the first female fighter in the game, and one of the first characters with real development and growth behind her inception.  At first, she fought to avenge her father’s death, but eventually she learns to accept loss (something we all are faced with, but not all of us are capable of achieving) and pursues justice instead.  Now she fights to protect those who cannot protect themselves, helping anyone and everyone who needs her. Immediately fans latched onto her spirit and have made her a staple to any aspect of the franchise, no matter what medium or platform it exists.

44. Helen Parr – Elastigirl

quelle-heroine-es-tu_quiz_disney_elastigirl

The Incredibles
She’s the hero we all want to be. She’s the mother and wife we all want to be. She’s an absolute fierce woman that is the true hero of The Incredibles. When Bob is off glory-hunting, Helen is maintaining a family of supers who are also completely focused on the themselves and not the family as a whole.  She’s a perfect example of a hero in general which is made even more apparent by her imperfections. Just like everyone else, she has issues with her body. But she doesn’t let it get her down long. She becomes plagued with doubt over the potential end of her marriage, but she is reminded by a good friend that you have to believe in how amazing you are as an individual and go after what you want. And Helen Parr gets what she wants.

43. Zoe Washburne

firefly-zoe
Firefly and Serenity
When this list was first proposed and a poll of the best female heroes went up, every single woman from Firefly was suggested. Ultimately, we chose the dedicated second in command on board Serenity.  Zoe Washburne may just be the strongest woman on this list, as far as integrity and loyalty are concerned. She manages to be both a dedicated crew member and a dedicated wife, which is portrayed simultaneously, instead of other female characters that can only be one thing at one time. To watch her mourn her husband’s death is to see Zoe’s true nature in a small amount of actions alone. She is both heartbreaking and admirable.

42. Turanga Leela

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Futurama 
Often stuck being the voice of reason among a circus of complete buffoonery, Turanga Leela is by far the fiercest of the Planet Express. She demonstrates bravery when others run away (her entire crew will run away). She generally has the best judgment among the rest of the cast as well. Leela is a courageous, independent, and loving woman, who brings an adhesive-like trait to keeping the Planet Express crew together.  And she has a tale of self discovery which rivals any live action drama on air now. Believing she was the last of her kind, Leela would go to any length to learn the truth about herself, and the episode where she finally finds her family is among one of the most touching of the series.

41. Jessica Jones

marvels-jessica-jones
Jessica Jones, Marvel universe
It’s not every day where a fantastic hero is hiding among the riffraff of side characters, but such was the case with Jessica Jones. Created in the early 2000’s, it wasn’t until her 2015 television debut that the world took notice of the dynamic character she had always been. That was partially due to her mature nature, being a rated-R Netflix show and all. But it was also because of the relate-able dark themes of the show, such as PTSD and rape, that made people take notice. Jones has lived what can only be described as a messed up life, and as such, she’s kind of a messed up person. She’s never apologetic, though. She never stops trying to do the right thing by everyone, even as it pushes her to her very limits. She overcomes what so many may not even have tried.

So there you have it, our first 10 women heroes. What do you think of our list so far? Tune in for #31-40 here!

The Best 50: Heroes of Women, #50-41

GH18: Super Ultra Injustice

It’s all fighting games this week as we return to talk Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, Injustice 2, and Super Smash Bros. Switch rumors!

Also, we’ve made some changes with a new hosting service, so we apologize for any complications or confusion. It’s the same show, same hosts, same site, but better than ever. So we hope you enjoy our latest episode.

2:25 – Injustice 2 Live Tournament Details (cont’d at 13 min)

3:00 – Injustice 2 Discussion

14:30 – Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challenger Discussion

20:00 – Virtual Console Dreams for Switch

23:00 – Unreal Engine on Switch Possibilities

27:00 – Super Smash Bros. for Switch Rumors plus Splatoon Chat

34:00 – Closing and contest info

Don’t miss our live streamed Injustice 2 tournament Sunday, June 4th at 3PM EST (2PM CST) at twitch.tv/heroespodcasts!

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Gamer Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Jon Czerwinski
Derreck Mayer

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

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GH18: Super Ultra Injustice

Gamer Heroes 06: Street Fighter Goes First Person

Pokemon Go finally releases some Gen 2 Pokemon along with some other gameplay changes. Crash Bandicoot returns this summer. Street Fighter enters the FPS world for some reason. Bethesda looks to make us all Prey, and finally, what’s the deal with DLC? All this and more on this week’s episode!

1:30 – Street Fighter Goes FPS

18:30 – Pokemon Go Gen 2 Update

25:15 – Crash Bandicoot’s Return

31:15 – Bethesda’s Prey

21:30 – Handheld Gaming: Nintendo DS & PS Vita

41:45 – DLC’s Taint on Video Games

57:45 – WoW and the MMO Tangent

1:02:10 – Closing

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Be sure to join us next week and head over to iTunes to drop us a review (see link below)! The first person to drop us a review on iTunes will get a TBD Steam game from us!

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Gamer Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Jon Czerwinski
Derreck Mayer

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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Gamer Heroes 06: Street Fighter Goes First Person

SH S3E05: Video Game Movie Adaptations

Sure, there’s been plenty of bad video games based on movies but we’ve also had our fair share of terrible movies based on video games. Jon of the Gamer Heroes podcast joins Ryan and myself to talk about some of the best and worst video game movie adaptations. We go back to the days of Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter all the way up to 2016’s Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed. See which ones we thought pulled it off and which ones we think were better left in the cartridge.

Be sure to head over to our Facebook page at let us know which video game movie adaptations are your favorite and which you think is just the worst.

Also, go to Screen-Heroes.com right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

Want to join the conversation? Join us live every Tuesday night at 9PM EST on Twitch to chat with us! We’ll answer questions and note comments live on the broadcast! Follow at: twitch.tv/heroespodcasts

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Video Game Movie Adaptations Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Jon Czerwinski

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

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SH S3E05: Video Game Movie Adaptations

GH02: Nintendo Switch Presentation

It’s all Nintendo Switch as we cover the ins and outs of the Tokyo Nintendo Switch presentation. The event covers everything from release date to price to tech specs and games. We go into detail about what we love, what we are disappointed about and finally, our overall feelings about launch day. Should you rush out to pre-order or stand in line? Listen in to hear our take.

Please be aware that this show is marked as explicit content and will contain adult language.

Subscribe to us on iTunes, Google Play, or Feedburner with the links in the bottom of the show notes!

  • List Price: $299.99 USD
  • Launch Date: March 3rd, 2017
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild slated for March 3rd release
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe slated for April 28th release
  • Splatoon 2 slated for Summer 2017

Be sure to join us next week as we cover some mobile games including a unique MOBA not found on PC!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Gamer Heroes Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Jon Czerwinski

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

Google Play Subscription Link
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GH02: Nintendo Switch Presentation

The Magic Circle and the Rise of Modern Board Gaming

Board gaming as a hobby is on the rise, and not just in the United States. Perhaps you’ve barely noticed, wondering why Target or Walmart now has a lot more shelf space devoted to (mostly terrible mass market) games. Perhaps you only play video games and don’t get what all the fuss is about. Perhaps you’ve seen the Wil Wheaton Table Top show on YouTube and wonder how on Earth there can be so many games they play week after week. Perhaps you know someone like me who has a whole closet full of board games of their own and is always proselytizing the hobby. Or perhaps you are already like me, and you don’t wonder why anymore.

Today I want to talk about why we play games and how that relates to why board gaming is on the rise. That’s a pretty abstract concept and one with a lot of room for personal approaches and opinions. We’re going to get a little theoretical and while many of the things I’ll be talking about don’t apply exclusively to board games, my hope is to convince you why so many people are putting down controllers and playing with dice and cardboard instead.

We need to start with some background. When I talk about Modern Board Gaming, I am not referring to many of the games that used to (and in many people’s minds still do) define this hobby. I’m not talking about Monopoly or Scrabble or Sorry or most of the games that many of us played when we were kids. While there’s nothing wrong with those games (except Monopoly, which is a terrible game, but that’s another topic), they just lack something. Playing Scrabble isn’t an experience, it’s a pastime. When my family sat down to play Uno, which we did a lot, it was fun to be together, but aside from the occasional stories of when someone got stuck having to draw a ridiculous amount of cards, playing always felt more like a way to just enjoy spending time together as opposed to playing a great game.

Playing Chun-Li is bad, and you should feel bad...

Playing Chun-Li is bad, and you should feel bad…

As I got older, two games dominated much of my teenage years: RISK and Street Fighter II (for Super Nintendo; it just wasn’t the same experience on Genesis). I had a circle of friends that got together weekly or bi-weekly to play RISK. The games were cutthroat. We had our own set of house rules that had evolved over time, and we loved it. Similarly, many of us really got into playing the Tournament mode in Street Fighter II. Everyone got to pick a character, and we would run through tournaments or call next any chance we could get. That experience also developed it’s own set of house rules (like using Chun-Li was cheap and always a sign of desperation). Trash talking was a requirement at both games.  It occasionally got heated, but we enjoyed playing together and when we weren’t playing, we were talking about things that had happened last time or planning the next time.

The Magic Circle and Gaming

These gaming experiences first introduced me to the game theory concept of the Magic Circle. Johan Huizinga is credited as the originator of this theory. In his work “Home Ludens” in 1955, he describes it like this:

“All play moves and has its being within a playground marked off beforehand materially or ideally, deliberately or as a matter of course… The arena, the card-table, the magic circle, the temple, the stage, the screen, the tennis court, the court of justice, etc., are all in form and function play-grounds, i.e., forbidden spots, isolated, hedged round, hallowed, within which special rules [apply]. All are temporary worlds within the ordinary world, dedicated to the performance of an act apart.”

A much better description of the Magic Circle can be found on the Extra Credits YouTube channel, a fantastic channel focused primarily on video game design.

The key thing to understand about the Magic Circle is the way it enables experiences. We define a space in which we can change the way we act, change who we are, accept that things behave differently than reality, and as long as we agree to commit to that change in reality and are surrounded by others who also agree to that change, we can actually experience what that world is like. It’s what allows us to act like jerks to our friends in a game, then walk away from it without holding on to that anger (which is usually what happens… usually) because those actions took place within the context of a game where such behavior is expected.

This is not an experience you can get playing Monopoly or The Game of Life; you never actually felt like you were going to college or building hotels, those were just actions you took. In my mind, this experience was perfected by video games with the introduction of split-screen multiplayer. When I try to recall the best experiences I’ve ever had playing video games, it’s been when several friends and I have sat down to play Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64, or Perfect Dark, or Halo 2 on xBox, or Time Splitters 2 on the PS2 (from which I still have a slightly irrational fear of monkeys). We’re all there, sitting in the same physical space, fighting either against each other or against a horde of Bots (or just one DarkSim in Perfect Dark), peeking at each others screens, laughing, trash-talking and playing round after round after round until my fingers hurt.

Anyone who has played this game remembers that sound and the moment of panic when you try to figure out if you're in first place

Anyone who has played this game remembers that moment of panic when you hear the monkeys coming and scramble to figure out if you’re in first place.

Somewhere this experience went away, replaced with online multiplayer.  There are plenty of reasons for this, and plenty of new experiences to be had, but I don’t think it ever spoke to me the way it has others.  Trash talking with strangers through a headset just isn’t the same as trash talking with my friends in the same room.  For me, the Magic Circle broke. MMOs try to recreate that feeling to an extent with guilds and raids, building player communities and relying on graphics and sounds and animations to create the feeling of immersion.  These types of games can create a great single player experience, but I have never felt like that’s a great shared experience, though I will admit that MMOs in general have never been my thing. I found that what I was missing, and what I was really looking for, was that same sense of shared fun I had while playing those great split-screen games.

That’s when I was introduced to the world of modern board games. Games like Monopoly and RISK dominated the gaming world until the 1990s, which saw the release of two huge games that still resonate strongly: Magic: The Gathering in 1993 and Settlers of Catan (now rebranded to be just Catan) in 1995. These two games would bring a massive influx of new gamers into the hobby, and though it began slowly, the hobby has been growing steadily year after year since. Now, there are thousands of games being released annually, and cultural awareness is beginning to seep into the mainstream. But why? Why is it surging the way that it does?

The chief reason I believe they are surging is because of the experiences modern games create. Gone are the days of having to settle for games that just an OK way to kill a few hours on a rainy day. The last five to ten years have seen a wave of games created that are not just fun to play, but which also create vivid, compelling experiences during play. Game designers today understand the power of the Magic Circle and encourage players to commit to the experience of playing their game and embrace the setting and theme. When you do, you get the emotional payoff you get from truly great entertainment. You get stories that endure, and experiences you are eager to repeat. To demonstrate this, I’m going to give three examples of games released recently that I think really excel in this regard and that I’m always looking forward to playing.

Specter Ops by Plaid Hat Games (2015)

specterops

Specter Ops is a One-vs-All style of game where one player plays an agent trying to infiltrate and sabotage an evil corporation’s facility. The other players at the table play hunters trying to track the agent down and eliminate him before he can complete his mission. The agent’s location is secret as long as he remains out of the direct line of sight of any hunter player, and he records all his moves on a pad of paper with a representation of the board map on it. The agent also has a limited supply of equipment he can use to confuse or escape the hunters while attempting to complete his task. The hunters in turn all have special abilities that help them narrow in on where the agent might be hiding or where he wants to go next.  The agent wins if he can destroy three of the four key objectives spread across the board and escape off the board in 40 turns.  Anything short is a victory for the hunters.

This is basically Metal Gear Solid: the Board Game, except the soldiers hunting you are your best friends. Unlike other hidden movement board games, the hunters from the beginning have a rough idea where the agent is hiding. Games feel incredibly tense, with the agent player always sure he’s about to get caught and the hunter players always afraid they’ve been given the slip. During the hunters turn, they all get to scheme together, out loud, to try and figure out how best to track you down while the agent does his best to keep a poker face on, hoping not to be discovered. When the game is over, regardless of which team wins, you have the ability to replay the agent’s turn and relive the match again, discussing where you made clever moves and just how close the hunters were at various points in the game.  I have yet to introduce anyone to this game that hasn’t immediately wanted to play it again.

Legendary Encounters: Predator by Upper Deck Entertainment (2015)

legendary

The Legendary system is a deck-building system, similar to earlier games like Dominion. Players start with a small deck of cards that gives them a limited amount of combat strength and recruiting power that they will use to buy additional, more powerful cards to add to their deck, which grows in power over time. This game recreates the events of the first two Predator films, allowing players to recruit characters from the movies and try to survive, either as humans trying to outlast the Predators, or as Predators tying to hunt the best game and have the largest trophy collection before the end of the game.  Mechanically, this is one of the strongest deck-building games in print right now.  It should be noted this game is for mature players only. The artwork and theme is definitely inline with the movie in terms of violence portrayed.

There are so many great thematic elements woven into the core mechanics of this game. Having the option to play cooperatively against an increasingly difficult assault of mercenaries and Predator attacks feels very tense. When you win, if you do, it’s incredibly satisfying. The game rewards you for working together as a group, so you feel invested the entire time. Where Legendary Encounters: Predator shines compared to its peers is the option to flip the table and play competitively as Predators. Very few of the rules change, but the feeling of the game shifts dramatically. All the mechanics fit the Predator mythology perfectly. And, in a tidbit I feel was designed to make me personally happy, you can combine this version with the Legendary Encounters: Aliens game to play Predators vs. Aliens. I’ve done it, and while I don’t think it’s actually possible to complete the entire scenario, it’s action-packed and brutally unforgiving, which may sound like a bad thing, but not for this franchise. I found it incredibly enjoyable and thematic, and couldn’t wait to play it again.

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game by Plaid Hat Games (2014)

deadofwinter

Plaid Hat Games does a tremendous job designing games with great theming. The easiest way to describe Dead of Winter is to say it’s The Walking Dead set in the arctic north. Dead of Winter is a cooperative game for three to five players with a traitor mechanic, similar to games like the Battlestar Galactica Board Game. This means that while all players are working together to attempt to accomplish a common goal, each player also has a personal goal to achieve that may include betraying the rest of the group to their death and your victory. Each player controls a group of survivors who either perform tasks inside the Colony, the survivor’s arctic headquarters, or venture out to various locations in this abandoned town looking for resources. Each game is scenario-driven, meaning there is a specific objective that has to be met to end the game before a certain time limit has been reached and before the colony’s morale is eradicated. A player only wins if both the story objective was satisfied AND if they completed their own personal objective. This creates situations where even non-betrayer players are forced to sometimes make decisions that benefit themselves at the cost of the colony, and suspicion at the table is ever present.

This game is the clearest example to me of a game that really creates and relies on the Magic Circle to be successful. There are survivor-specific events contained in a Crossroads deck of cards which are assigned each turn that help reinforce the narrative immersion in the setting. The game does such a fantastic job of creating suspicion – even without the presence of a betrayer in the game – that really reflects the game setting well. This element perhaps more than any other is what makes this the most successful zombie game (among the many undead hordes of terrible zombie games) ever made in my opinion.  It’s much more concerned with the interactions between characters and players than with the need to continually fight off the undead, though that threat is always there. This game encourages you to be cagy, to distrust your best friends, to know, in your heart of hearts, that one of your friends has been lying to you the whole game, waiting to betray you at just the right moment and win. And when they pull it off, it’s amazing, and all the mistrust evaporates once the Magic Circle is complete. Even having been betrayed on the cusp of victory, the experience you create stays with you.

This is just a very small sampling of the kinds of games being made today. The world of Modern Board Games is growing all the time and the quality is getting better and better. It costs $13, give or take these days, to go see a great movie. For $50, I can buy a great board game, have the experience of living out my own movie with my friends, and can do it over and over again until I get sick of it, with each experience being unique and memorable.

What games do you like to play with your friends?  Which games help you create the best stories?  Let me know in the comments below.

The Magic Circle and the Rise of Modern Board Gaming