Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wtf that typeset is huge!

I just started reading Night of Knives on the bus the other day. I am over halfway through this thick, thick book now, with just a few hours reading, purely because the publishers felt the need to make the book look bigger by increasing the typeset size.

I know it's a fantasy book, whichever publisher you are. (I can't be bothered to go find the novel or look it up, so fuck you.) And I know the main-line Malazan books are uberthick, but for fuck's sake, don't deceive me into thinking the book is going to be superdense. If it's only half as thick as Toll the Hounds, don't increase the size of the text to make it the same thickness. That's just fucking stupid. It makes me feel like I'm reading a book for morons, the typeset is just that goddamn big and spacious.

Did I mention the inch of empty margin at the bottom of each page? Shit, son.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Book Drive

Current status of books:

Sharpe's Eagle: DECEASED, Awarded Posthumous Medal of Valour
Sharpe's Rifles: DECEASED
Old Man's War: DECEASED, Awarded Green Heart
The Lies of Locke Lamora: Missing In Action
Night of Knives: Active
Watchmen: Discharged, S.8 (re: Kovacs, W.)

I've recently picked up the following:
Judas Priest: Heavy Metal Painkillers - I love this band. However, I've actually had this book since July and haven't done much with it. Silly of me, but it's BIG and UNWIELDY.
Toll the Hounds - Jesus, I had no idea this was out so soon. I go to see Judas Priest in concert, and while I'm killing time at Chapters, I see this book, let out a yip of delight, and buy it on the spot. It is a deadly, blunt-trauma tome. I plan to muscle through it this long weekend. Motherfucker, is Steven Erikson ever a goddamn writing machine. Christ. And he puts out good novels, too, which is the incredible part.
Bauchelain and Korbal Broach: Volume 1 - So... instead of getting two books, I got one compilation with a third book I didn't even know existed. Sweet deal. Thanks, overly generous father-in-law!
Shake Hands With the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda - I have been looking for this book since the dawn of Time. It's a huge seller here, and bookstores can't keep it on shelves long enough for people to find; so of course, when I'm not looking for it, there's a fuckton. Of course. BUT NOW IT IS MINE.
How to Lose a Battle - Seemed funny, like a more historical, less absurd-tech based My Tank is Fight!, which I loved. I enjoy reading about peoples' stupidity.
The Volunteer: A Canadian's Secret Life in the Mossad - I don't know why I got this, honestly. I'm not Jewish, and all I know about the Mossad is from Steven Spielberg's Munich, which was a good movie up until the part where the Israeli athletes turned out to have been killed by Greys. Also, Eric Bana neglected to Hulk out when he smashed the terrorists. Puny human.

All I can say about my book haul is that, so far, I have enjoyed the books I read. I did read part of Old Man's War from the eBook, because I didn't feel like getting out of bed.

Also, cosplayers scare me. If I ever see a 13-year-old dressed up as Sora from Kingdom Hearts again, it will be far too soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's curious...

Watching the sheer volume of pornography that I do, I have noticed a curious thing. Female stars are expected to perform with other female stars, i.e. lesbian action. In a hetero movie, there is almost always one scene with two chicks, sometimes also a man, who all get it on. If two male actors are in a scene together, they're on opposite sides of the woman, and the closest they get to gayness is sticking their dicks in the same hole.

Now, this is not a complaint by any means. I am not saying I want to watch men fuck the shit out of each other. However. It is patently unfair to the women in these films. Maybe Brooke Haven doesn't WANT to fuck a woman. But to make it in porn, she has to. It's part of the job of a porn starlet. (I bring up Brooke because she has, apparently, vowed to no longer do scenes with men anymore, presumably because she doesn't like being CHOKESLAMMED and GAGGED WITH MONSTER COCKS all the time. But working with other women won't change this; the monster cocks will become monster strap-ons, and Nicki Hunter will still chokeslam the shit out of Brooke, so nothing has really changed.)

Basically, what I'm saying is... if Lee Stone is in a scene with Jean Valjean, they should at least kiss, or fondle each other. They don't have to suck each others' cocks, but at least acknowledge one another in a orgiastic way. Because, frankly, I've watched enough gay porn to know how shoddy a lot of it is, and a quality straight actor like Lee would do a ton to improve those films. A bunch of twinky Czech guys just don't put on a good show, I'm sorry.

Pay attention to the men the next time you watch a skin flick. They studiously ignore each other. Even when they're banging the same girl, they never look at each other, never speak to one another, nothing.

And, let's be honest. Men aren't the only consumers of pornography anymore, if ever they were. Why should women who don't like girl/girl have to deal with it? I say, put some boy/boy in the hetero movies to make the men uncomfortable, too. Or just remove the girl/girl stuff to its' own films.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Books for the Book Throne! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!

I bought a handful of books today.

Old Man's War, by John Scalzi - I've had the eBook of this for months now, and never fucking touched it. Not for lack of interest, just... I hate eBooks, generally. I like having the book in my hands, yet I download all of Tor's eBook offerings. Someday, perhaps, I will give a shit and read them. I ended up getting this purely off how much I enjoy Scalzi's blog.

Sharpe's Eagle & Sharpe's Rifles, by Bernard Cornwell - I enjoy the terrific Sharpe movies produced by the BBC what seems like ages ago. I adored Sean Bean long before I saw them, and Sharpe didn't hurt that at all. So I got these; Eagle is the first published novel and second film, and Rifles is the first film, and like... 7th novel published? It's fucked because Eagle is supposed to be Sharpe adventure #7, and Rifles is #5. Or something. I just hope they don't suck.

Night of Knives, by Ian C. Esslemont - Mmm, Malazan goodness. In lieu of a new book from Erikson (Toll the Hounds cannot come out soon enough,) I get to read a sidestory by the other guy who invented the Malazan world. Is this sweet? Seems likely. One day, I will actually receive my copies of Blood Follows and The Healthy Dead, but I'm not holding my breath.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch - My favorite author of all time says this book is good. Who am I to argue? And with a title like that, you know the potential for awesome "comedy of errors" is lurking in every blast of dialogue.

I'll post more about them as I finish each book. But first, I have to finish rereading Heroes Die. I only have a few months until Caine Black Knife shows up in my mailbox, and I still have to reread Blade of Tyshalle first!

Oh, and because I've just got a seriously unfunny post about Hellboy II sitting unfinished in Blogger's queue, and I can't figure out a way to salvage it, let me just say this. It was decent, but not something I think I'd ever buy or see again, if I could help it. (My clever title for the post was "Au-rmy.") I'll just watch the first film again if I ever require more Ron Perlman.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wallcock? Han-E?

I've seen two movies of late. Both very good, but I don't have a lot to say about either, so I'm slappin' em together!

First up, Wall-E. A clever movie, all in all. I liked the absolute minimalism of it. Let this be a lesson to you, Hollywood! Lots of dialogue does not a great movie make! You can have a compelling story with tons of emotion without people barfing up dialogue all over the place.

Wall-E himself hardly says more than "WALL-E", "EVA", "DIRECTIVE". Eve says hardly more than that, herself. And yet they're incredibly captivating characters. The animators deserve awards upon awards for creating this wonder. The story was so wonderful, the characters so real, that by the end, I was moved to tears.

However, being a Manly Man, I refrained from public weeping. I believe my Manly Response to this movie was breaking the front legs of a homeless man's dog, after gouging out the man's eyes in an alleyway. Then I engaged in a three-way with prostitutes whom I promptly tortured and murdered.

Anyway, loved it. Expected a good movie, was satisfied by it being such a thing. Yay!

Next, Hancock.

This one is strange to me. I Am Legend looked like a really great movie, with a lot of drama and cool stuff. Hancock looked like a "turn off brain, recieve bacon" kind of movie, with awful writing and bad acting. Little was I to know, but my impressions of both Will Smith movies were actually for the other!

Hancock is actually a good movie. (I know, believe me. Just as surprised as you.) The movie was well-written, Smith delivered a nuanced performance, and the plot twists were nice instead of fucking dumb. Easily seen ahead of time, but still nicely done and inoffensive. The kind of plot twist which is required to make the story work, and that's welcome from the "Well, we need to put one in now. It's 70 pages in, and the formula says so!" style of plot twist.

I love the idea of a superbeing who doesn't want to be a hero in a costume and shit. Marvel movies pretty much always have the people instantly jumping into costume and Fighting Crime. Hancock just seems to want to be alone, but can't not save people. And he's a drunken asshole, so people hate him. It's a nice twist on the usual stuff.

I realized just now I keep using the word "nice." Well, Hancock IS nice. It's a nice break, both for superhero movies and for Will Smith's career. Superhero movies are taking themselves too seriously, and so was Willie, despite his increasingly-bad acting choices.

Also, Jesus Christ! Charlize Theron really blends into shit, doesn't she? I didn't realize she was in this until the credits ran at the end.

So, uh... arbitrary movie rankings?
Wall-E: 4/5.
Hancock: 4/5.
Conan the Destroyer: 5/5.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Terrible Movie

It's another installment of "D Bitches About Some Fuckin' Movie". Today, the latest Indy, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Before I get to fine detailed points, however, I just want to give a shout-out to the Greys. You big-headed, googly-eyed alien motherfuckers get a lot of currency out of looking as unthreatening and awe-non-inspiring as possible in this cynical movie-going age, and I'd like to congratulate you on this. Scary movie monsters have come and gone, some have come around again, and some are even still scary. Some have transcended their origins as "scary" and become "cultural" and "significant," which is a hilarious way to describe Wolf-Man, but ok, AFI; we'll roll with that one.

Anyway. The Greys. Since the whole "Roswell" thing, the idea that aliens are bipedal like us, but with a big head, big glossy black eyes, and no external features has become pretty common. It's everywhere. Hollywood loves those guys, and Steven Spielberg is no exception. He loves them, perhaps, more than he loves appropriate characterization and coherant plot lines. But they have never been scary. Not in even the awesome flashback during Fire in the Sky, where everything else in that scene was creepy and frightening, were the Greys remotely scary or inspiring-of-awe.

Steven. Pal. Buddy. Please. I get it, really, I do. You like the idea of Greys. Every alien that appears in your movies is some minor variation upon them. Christ, even the fucking robots from A.I. were goddamn Greys. The Martians in War of the Worlds? Greys. Close Encounters? Greys. The Precogs in Minority Report? Greys. Seriously, Steve. You're actually worse than Jim Cameron and his hard-on for WATER. I never thought I'd say it, but someone is more irritating than James fucking Cameron. Go figure.

Anyway. On to me bitching about the movie, which is what you came for. When I first read about Crystal Skull, I read an interview with Spielberg. He said that he had to study the old films to get back into the head of the man he was 20 years ago, so that this new film would stylistically mesh with the old ones. I don't know what old Indy movies he studied, but this new Indy stunk of modern-Spielberg bullshit shenanigans. CG everywhere! Unrealistically-moving cameras! Motherfuckin' aliens! An insistance on style over substance!

Seriously, this is the movie we've been waiting for twenty years to get? This wasn't an Indiana Jones. For fucks' sake, the relic wasn't even magical; it's a fucking alien skull that somehow gives you mental powers because OMG Greys are a hivemind or something. The fact that Steven felt we needed to know exactly the mechanism behind the relics' power shows just how far he's moved from Last Crusade. In Last Crusade, we were told it was the Cup of Christ. It was his drinking cup at the Last Supper and held his blood after the Crucifixion. Christ being Christ, his cup is gonna be magical. Magical rocks from the gods ruled the day in Temple of Doom. The Ark contained the remains of the Covenant, which was touched by God Himself. Powerful stuff. No more explanation than that. So why the modern-scifi compulsion to technobabble an explanation out? Fucking idiots. Grow a pair and count on your audience to accept it without wasting my time.

But Spielberg isn't all to blame. I blame George Lucas just as much. These two yutzes came up with this movie themselves. (David Koepp may have written the script, but he did so with their outline in hand.) Lucas seems to have this ruining-a-classic-trilogy thing down by this point, and it showed.

Art is a funny thing. When you're suffering, art comes easy. It's full of your agony and pain, and good art shows that struggle. By now, George and Steven are fatcats. Huge success, huge money, no problems doing whatever they want. No edge. No hunger.

No good movie. This wasn't an Indiana Jones. This was bad fanfic, and I'm ashamed of Lucas and Spielberg for trying to pull the wool over our eyes on this.

Also, Shia LaBeouf? Fuck off.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Gaped Crusaders!

So, I have been working in the pornographic film industry for almost two weeks now. Interesting? You bet.

For those interested, this is a rundown of my day: I arrive at my place of employment. I grab some DVDs off the shelf, place myself at my too-small station, and begin (or resume) watching PORNOGRAPHIC FILMS for, most likely, the next eight hours of my life. Because of how small my station is (I am tall), by the end of my shift, I have developed intense backpain that no amount of Aspirin can quench. Which leads to headaches. Which leads to me passing out when I arrive home, no matter how little I do in the day.

That's all I got to say right now. Thinking about my job while I'm not there causes me pain.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Day at the Movies, Part II (Holy motion sickness, Batman!)

You know, for a movie called Speed Racer, it was actually fairly slow, with not as much racing as you would expect from a movie with "racer" in the title. Strong start, strong finish, but the movie sorta falls apart in the middle. But hey, at least the Brothers Wachowski were kind enough to leave out the painfully obvious Christ metaphors this trip.

Now, don't get me wrong; the racing that is there is incredible. The massive rally race that opens the final third of the movie is a great feat; Phantom Menace's podrace has nothing on Speed Racer. However, in this entire film, there are only four races. The first, we catch only the final lap of, and it's chock full of exposition as well as a ton of over-used transitions that, sadly, don't disappear from the movie ever. (If you enjoy seeing peoples' heads used as fucking wipes to a flashback, sure, you'll love this effect. I, however, am not a retard, so I got frustrated really quick.) The second race, we only see a minute or two of, and that's entirely to illustrate how the evil villain, Royalton, is an evil villain. As if his disgustingly stained teeth and threatening demeanor weren't enough, right? (Yes, we get it, he's bad. Did we really need to have the fat kid and his goddamn monkey figure it out in their own scene? Christ.)

The third race, the cross-country rally, goes on and on, and is wholly worth the price of admission, hilarious plot holes and all. When Korean popstar Rain, playing Japanese racer Togokhan, gets poisoned after the first day by ninja clad in iridescent sneaking suits, Speed and Rex Racer Racer X devise a sneaky, sneaky plot, wherein Speed's longtime girlfriend will pretend to be Togokhan for the next day of racing. Togokhan, as it turns out, isn't badly poisoned, he's just in bad shape enough to not be able to drive in the morning. Or something. It isn't explained well, if at all.

Anyway. Trixie dresses like Togokhan. Togokhan's sister takes Trixie's place in the spotterchopper, and Togokhan dresses up like his sister and leaves on another helicopter-thing. Trixie isn't that bad a driver, frankly, and she kicks a ton of ass on the road, while Speed sits there bitching about how you can't trust something that bleeds for four days every month and doesn't die. I guess? I mean, I can't figure out exactly what Speed was complaining about. I guess they spun the wheel of "Who Will Speed Dislike This Scene?" and it landed on Trixie.

After a bunch of driving, wherein Team Togokhan presumably kills a dozen other drivers by blowing their cars up, they enter a valley to swap everyone back to their places. What follows is an exercise in terrible editing and overreliance on special effects, with mobsters randomly appearing, armed to the teeth, and getting their asses kicked by a morbidly obese John Goodman, a boy and his monkey, a popstar who's allegedly recovering from poisoning, and a handful of girls led by Emily Emeril Emile Hirsch. Racer X was somewhere in there, too, but he's an incredibly deadly man, and thus not worth showing much, apparently. After beating up and arresting all the mobsters, the racers get going again, having to regain their positions after spending not only a ton of time beating up criminals, but also a ton of time just standing around jerking off before and after the fight. Seriously, just fucking GO. This movie is called Speed Racer, not Painfully Tedious Dialogue Racer, after all. And again, Speed murders a man at the climax of the race. Team Togokhan wins, and everybody's happy!

Well, until the soulless Korean sensation doublecrosses not just Speed, but apparently Interpol as well. Then nobody's happy. Speed is mad, so he goes driving. An understandable reaction. Togokhan used Speed purely to drive up his company's stock, and Speed angry! So he goes driving. Racer X shows up in the Xmobile, and the "Who Does Speed Hate?" spinner lands on Racer X, who is promptly run off the road by our noble hero. They talk, Speed accuses X of being his long-thought-dead elder brother, Rex Racer. X reveals himself, in a pleasant plot twist, to be someone else incredibly boring. Yes, it's Jack from Lost! Proving himself incapable of having any charisma at all, Matthew Fox forces out a grating speech, designed to inspire Speed and torture us. (After all this, however, we find out that X actually is Rex, but with plastic surgery, the miracle medical procedure that can make you look like an entirely different person with different bone structure, eye color, voice, and everything! So much for a cool plot twist.) But, it could have been worse. Apparently the part of Racer X originally went to Keanu Reeves, proving the Wachowskis have no idea that real actors are people, not cardboard cutouts.

After this, Togokhan's Japanese sister, played by Chinese actress Yu Nan, gives Speed a way into the Grand Prix, the most fixedest race that was ever decided ahead of time. I'm sure you know what happens here. Every single racer is out to kill Speed, and in the end, Speed duels with a character briefly introduced much earlier in the movie and never seen again until now. (This is what's called an emotional climax by bad writers.) Speed wins, setting new records, winning a ton of money, and showing that If You Have Enough Heart, You Can Change The World or some impossibly naive bullshit like that. Royalton goes to jail, Speed's family troubles are miraculously solved, and we get to watch the credits while our stomachs settle from the nauseating final sequence of the race.

Despite the above bashing, I liked this movie. Not enough, I think to ever own it or watch it again, but it was decent. Sure, it exists entirely in a fucking greenscreen stage, which drove me absolutely batty because it was poorly composited, but the graphics were incredible. The races were top notch, and since I was there to see sweet races, I was happy. I would have been happier with tighter editing, better writing, and more interesting acting, but whatever. It's a Wachowski film. If you expect it to be anything other than a graphically-superior, poorly acted, overly verbose psuedo-art house melange, you entered the wrong cinema, my friend.

So, I suppose all this is to say... if you're going to see Speed Racer, see it now. Don't wait, just go. It'll probably suck on video, anyway.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Day at the Movies, Part I

Some people say Iron Man follows the "formula for the superhero movie." I think those people are deeply stupid. Let's compare Iron Man (which I saw last night) to Spider-Man (which I saw seven years ago), shall we?

In Iron Man, our protagonist is Tony Stark. He's wealthy, he's successful, he's charming, and he totally bangs a ton of hot babes. In the first ten minutes of the movie, he meets a woman who dislikes him and reduces her to a ravening, cock-thirsty slut. Everything is turning up Tony, so to speak. Unfortunately, or not, he gets captured by terrorists. (The movie sort've belabours the idea that these terrorists aren't Arabs by having them all speak different languages, so half the guards can't communicate with Yinsen and Tony. Brilliant move on their part.) Tony's injured, and to save his life, a magnet is implanted in his chest. He builds a better one shortly and uses this device to power his escape vehicle, the Mark I. In all this, he also finds out that the weapons his company produces are winding up in terrorist hands. After destroying all the weapons at that camp, he makes good his escape and finds his way back to America where he embarks upon a crusade to keep the weaponry he designed out of the hands of the bad guys. He builds a new, more powerful suit, and becomes the invincible Iron Man.

In Spider-Man, our protagonist is Peter Parker. He's a dork, he's broke, the girl he loves barely knows he exists. In the first ten minutes of the movie, he not only misses his bus, but when he gets on, not even the other fucking losers will sit with him. Nobody likes Peter, and his life is going precisely nowhere, fast. Sure, he's smart, but it's high school; nobody gives a shit. On a field trip, Peter's bitten by a radioactive spider, and he gets incredible powers, such as being strong, being fast, and shooting webs. You can still kill him with a bullet, but that's ok, he's Spider-Man! He accidently gets his uncle killed, and that makes him realize that With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility, a theme we will have explicitly crammed down our throats with each passing sequel. His powers don't increase, and by the end of the movie, nothing has really changed all that much for Peter. He's killed his Uncle Ben, and his best friends father, but he's still poor, he still doesn't have the girl, and is life is still pretty much headed nowhere. He just sticks to walls now and has to deal with an incredible amount of personal guilt, which gets piled on higher and higher until it becomes kinda funny.

I don't see much similarity. There is some, but as research has shown, all stories are essentially the same story. So there's no reason to suspect Iron Man of shitty writing for this. In fact, I think the writing was pretty damn good. Many comic movies follow the "superhero formula" to the letter, and that framework is fairly solid, however. It's what you hang on that frame that makes the movie good. If you hang repetitive plot points on it, with flat actors (Tobey Mcguire) and tedious dialogue, your movie will suck. If you put interesting elements on it, though, you get a brilliant movie. The Punisher, Ang Lee's Hulk, and Iron Man are all good examples of this brilliance. (Why people objected to a movie like Hulk, I don't know. The Hulk is a very psychologically-driven character, so why wouldn't a movie about him be psychologically-driven, as well? This new one coming out with Ed Norton looks like Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, which is actually a pretty fun video game, but will just be a worthlessly banal popcorn flick making crude japes at the mental issues surrounding the Hulk without exploring them in earnest. Just lots of smashy-fighty!)

Tony Stark is an odd choice for a hero. He's a womanizing, arrogant drunk. Well, he's not a drunk in this movie, but perhaps the next. Regardless, Tony is not a "good" person. He's a real bastard, and he understandably makes a lot of people violently dislike him within the movie. This makes his transformation into Iron Man that much more potent, because it's a real shift. He doesn't go from "dorky kid" to "dorky kid with superpowers"; it's a complete paradigm reversal from "arrogant, blithe merchant of death" to "socially concerned, determined man with superpowers." It's a more real storyline. More honest. I wish we had more honest superhero movies. In the past few years, we've gotten precious few. Spider-Man 1 & 2, Hulk, Punisher, Batman Begins, and Iron Man. (Persumably The Dark Knight will fall in here, too, but I'll wait until I see it to pass judgement.) Instead, we get crap like Superman Returns, X-Men: The Last Stand, Elektra, Spider-Man 3, and Blade: Trinity. Seriously, writing good movies isn't that hard. Just take some time, and wait for a good story to come along, don't crank the movie out because you can.

I'm gonna go take a Valium, and when I come back, I'll talk to you about the other movie I saw recently, the Wachowski Brothers' childhood fanwank, Speed Racer.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Unity

I tend to avoid computer games. I don't know why; I've enjoyed them in the past. I loved Starcraft, as I've mentioned before, and Diablo I & II were awesome games. I take another crack at slaying the Lord of Terror every now and then, for old times' sake. Age of Empires was good fun, too. Back in the days when everyone had a dial-up modem, I would dial my friend up, he'd turn on the modem, and we'd play a huge bout. Awesome use of a PA day.

But those games have something in common. They're mouse-based, almost entirely. There's some keystrokes here and there, but you can get by with hardly ever touching the thing. I find keyboards awkward to wield when playing something. FPS's are really awkward for me, usually because my hand twists into a malformed claw within an hour or so. I have the same problem with Metroid Prime 3, truth be told. The whole strafe thing always confuses me. I suck at that style of game, I admit. (The GC Prime games, though, I'm fine with. Strafe is an option, not mandatorily mapped to the joystick. I have a much easier time of it.)

Those ZBoards tempt me, however. I would outfit a powerful rig just for the sheer geeky joy of having a ZBoard with a couple of keysets. Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is my largest succubus looming on the horizon. Damn you, epic sword-and-sorcery storylines! Damn you, any-Conan-merchandise-ever-created! (Except for Robert Jordan's miserable fucking excuse for Conan novels. Conan is not a nimble thief modeled after Fabio. He does not crush nubile young princesses to his manly bosom, ravishing them repeatedly in a romantic way. Conan is a slayer of men. He trods the thrones of men beneath his jeweled sandals, grinding the bones of his foes into powder. Goddamn you to hell, Robert Jordan. You son. Of. A bitch.)

So imagine my glee this past weekend. I discover the old RPG milestone of Fallout is entirely mouse-based. I torrent the shit out of it, and have some fun killing radscorpions. I clear out a raider camp (to absolutely no gain, I should add. Shady Sands is a cheapass motherfuckin' town, I tell you what.), and realize I have just under two months left to save my Vault from an uncomfortable thirst. So I follow up on the clues I have, discover Vault-12 is buried beneath Zombie Town, aaaaand I've apparently skipped almost half the goddamn game.

What the fuck, man? What kind of asshole builds into the game the ability for the player, at level 3, to bypass the main quest completely and wind up knee deep in the final quest? Jesus. Thank God I have old save files.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I listen to a lot of foreign-language music. I don't know what any of the songs mean, and have been surprised several times when I look up translations of the lyrics. A hard rockin' song with aggressive guitars usually turns out to be a sensitive song about love and loss, when one is listening to music in a different language.

Thusly, I am embarking on an epic quest to learn several new languages, so I can enjoy these songs more fully. Thank you, Dr. Pimsleur, for your easy-to-use language aquisition system! I'm soon to embark upon the Quest for Nihongo. Just have to learn French first...

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Series of Tubes

So, I'm reading a review for a random, unnamed game, and it's mentioned that "online capability" would have made the game much better. You know, "good game, but online multiplayer should have been included" kind of argument. I'm sure you've seen this before. And it's a valid point, sometimes. If you like to go to World War II Germany and kill a bunch of Nazis, as I sometimes do, why not pair up with Tommy from Yorkshire?

However, this is where I take issue.


Besides, I don't play online anymore. I used to, and it was sometimes fun, even. I liked always having my defense up first in Starcraft, and being able to hold off the first inevitable Zergling Rush. I always got schooled by the inevitable EveryZergUnitPossible Rush, but that's the way she goes.

Now, though, I like the immediacy of playing against a couple of guys in the room with me. After many nights spent playing fighting games with DDR mats and Mario Partying until the break of dawn, I've grown accustomed to playing multiplayer games with my friends on the couch. It's just more fun than staring at a screen alone, having fun over the internet.

(I'm astounded. I wrote this post a week ago, and Blogger actually saved a draft SOMEWHERE, only to not tell me until just now.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Thank you, Star Fox: Assault. You're a fun game, and I do enjoy playing you. The mix of infantry, armored corps, and aerial gameplay is seamless and absolutely the most fun I've had lately with a new game. (I know it's old, but it's new to me, so fuck off.)

However. I would appreciate some way of understanding where things are. The radar is not always helpful. Rogue Squadron II had the radar show the elevation of enemies, which let me know exactly where I needed to go. Your radar is, how shall I put it... fucking retarded?

Also, the Landmaster is absolutely no good to help my allies when they're being chased in their Arwings. It just fires too goddamn slow, so I keep losing that dumb bitch Fox married. Maybe you shoulda stayed in the kitchen, Krystal, instead of deciding to be an inept fighter pilot.

Other than that, I love you, Star Fox: Assault. I just wish I could choose to play as Falco in the single-player campaign if I wanted.

Friday, April 18, 2008


My cellphone is a Motorola V300. One of the built-in ringtones amuses me. I hear many people using this same ringtone on their own phones, and given how I myself used it, I have to wonder.

How many of those people imagine that THEY are Solid Snake, receiving an incoming Codec call from Mei Ling, saucily dispensing Chinese sayings?

I know I did.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I had a nice long post about playing Final Fantasy VI, but Blogger decided to be shitty as fuck and delete it right out of my edit-window while trying to save. Thanks, Blogger!

Anyway. Let's try this again.

I'm playing Final Fantasy VI now, as well. If you've played it before, you will understand my hatred of fighting Kefka in the mines at Narshe. There's no warning that he's coming, and essentially no way to grind ahead of time once you realize he's showing up.

I don't mind grinding. If the game has a fun combat system, grinding can be the best part. It's even better when the game you're playing has a recognizable dungeon stucture, so you can prepare for the boss battles by grinding the whole level over and over again. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't really see this boss battle coming.

You go into the mines to find the Esper from the start of the game. While you're in there, expecting that your boss battle will be with the powerful magical being, Kefka shows up with twelve squadrons of men, who you proceed to fight. Obviously, you can opt to not fight all of his goons, but I always do. When you get to Kefka, however, he's a monstrosity with over 3000HP. He slays your little sub-group, presumably by casting Ice 2 every second round, and his health resets.

This means, obviously, that if you didn't structure your groups properly at the beginning of this battle, Kefka takes his massive, uncircumsized cock, and shoves it roughly into your ass, repeatedly, until you die of massive internal bleeding. I could have set my teams up the way GameFAQs suggests. One group containing the swordsman Bastin, the renegade General Juka, King Colt's brother Morse, and irritatingly flimsy protagonist Terra. The other, presumably, containing King Colt, Momo the wildling boy, and John Locke the incompetant thief. This sounds great, until you realize one group has both healers, all the powerhouse characters, and the magical lightning rod. So your other group gets to spend all its time using potions in between rounds of mediocre damage. That's wonderful! Just how I want to spend a battle; constantly healing.

Speaking of healing. You're tasked in this same level to protect some guy. Mannon or Mandon or Bandon or something like that. When he was in your party, he could heal awesomely. One move and he'd give everyone an extra 200HP. But now, all he can do is tell you to keep people away from him. How about you heal my parties, you fucker? That'll keep the badguys away from you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Les Enfants Terrible

I'm playing through MGS: The Twin Snakes again. Every time I run into a boss encounter, I pull up short.

I know what's coming. I know I can beat them. However, I still have this nearly paralyzing distaste of fighting tanks and helicopters and stupid bitches I can't see hiding in a tower somewhere.

Fuck you, Sniper Wolf. Fuck you to death. Snake Eater did the sniper battle so much better than this, it's actually painful to play this one again.

Looking forward to fighting Vulcan Raven again, though. I seem to recall he was fun, if just a tad terrifying.