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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Search Terms That Reach This Blog

I've been at it for a year now (Happy new year!), and I thought I'd share with you the most entertaining aspect of this blog: what people punch into a search engine that leads them here.

  • why so much insest on hbo
  • big throbbing cock
  • monkey give hug
  • 10 year daughter drawing disturbing pictures
  • gimp suit
  • bigfoot masturbating
  • power sluts
  • "his leather pants" (yes, exactly that, in quotes)

The most common search I get, though, scares the shit out of me; because more than Skyrim, more than dickbus, more than any other search term, I get people looking for 3d pedo.

  • 3d pedo
  • pedo 3d
  • pedo
  • pedo box
  • 3dpedo

Somewhere earlier in the year I posted about the 3DS and made the grievous error of putting the words 3d and pedo together, and now pedophiles everywhere are convinced that my blog offers the latest in pedophilia technology.

Years ago, if you had asked me how many pedophiles are living in the entire United States, I would've said maybe a thousand out of three-hundred million or so people. Just the concept is so fucking bizarre that I could not comprehend a large body of adults, a fucking sub-culture, revolving around this shit.

And then I saw To Catch a Predator, and at first I thought they were making it all up. It took a few episodes to clear up my naivety, but when it finally clicked, dear god, there was a parade of dudes marching into that god-damned house. A parade of dudes! People are so fucked up it's unbelievable.

So, there you go.
I tried to post something cute, like how someone typed in 'bigfoot masturbating' and ended up here. And instead I ended up talking about the sexual exploitation of children.

Happy new year, pedophiles!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Just a Quick Tip

Do not put kiwis into a juicer. Somewhere in the middle of the juicing process, they turn into fruity jalapenos. Even the generous helpings of oranges and bananas I threw in couldn't hinder their sinister delivery. Treacherous.

Actually, I take that back. I coughed and felt sick after just a sip, but it still tasted crazy good.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas! Let's Talk About Vampires!

Vampires are great. What other fictitious monster has both poorly planned romance novels and nightmarish horror stories housed under the same name and concept? What other made-up creature has ever played such a strong role in popular culture?

A few years ago I finally saw Fright Night(1985), and right on the spot it became my favorite vampire flick of all time. I mean, holy crap, Marcy Darcy freaked me out. Defend CG all you want, but 80's make-up effects had their own kind of unnerving quality.

But oh my fucking god the Fright Night remake!

New favorite vampire movie. Right there.
Oh yeah.

Remakes are everywhere, and usually I can say with smug confidence that the original film they did in nineteen-eighty-whatever is better, but the new Fright Night is good stuff. Good, good stuff.

Colin Farrell as Jerry the vampire? Sure, whatever, or at least that's where my head was when I started the movie. The guy isn't a bad actor, but despite being in plenty of movies, I can't name one off the top of my head.
But he totally rocks this movie, and I think it's for the same reason that I don't find him that interesting in other roles: he's a very subdued actor. Colin Farrell does not deal in ham. He doesn't jump in front of the camera and shake you out of your seat. That's not his style. So when you give him the role of an otherworldly predator trying to blend into a suburb, he does it extremely well. And you can tell that he had all kinds of fun playing the role of a smug killing machine, which for most actors would mean throwing the, "I'm a super cool vampire!" crap right in your face, but Colin never goes there. Such a good villain.

The same goes for the rest of the cast. David Tennant was pretty-much born to play a burnt-out Vegas showman sitting around shirtless, trying to rearrange his leather pants so his crotch has some room to breathe. Whoever picked out the cast did a very good job.

Favorite scene in the movie: the beer scene.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Have a Purse

Years ago, I bought this cooler/icebox/igloo thing. I was living in warmer climates, usually made a lunch for myself, and it was nice having something that would keep it edible until noon. It was a good purchase.

Years went by and I no longer used the cooler as a lunchbox. Instead of a meal I started stuffing other random items into it: chap-stick, an extra shirt, maybe a grocery item or two. It was so god-damned convenient. How could I resist? How could I know?

And now? I take it everywhere. Instead of leaving crap lying around I just haul it all over the place in my cooler. I'm more likely to forget my wallet than I am to forget this little blue guy.

So how about we open it up and take a look inside.
Let's do an inventory of my dark descent:

  • 1 paperback: Christine by Stephen King
  • 1 iPod, with earbud headphones
  • 1 pair of wool gloves
  • 1 expired insurance identification card (I should probably toss that)
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 pair of prescription glasses in a Dolce&Gabanna case I randomly kleptoed years ago.
  • 1 Christmas gift, which shall not be named
  • 1 package of expired BJ's coupons
  • 2 tubes of chapstick
  • 1 multi-ink pen
  • 1 sharpie
  • 3 packages of Stevita sweetener
  • 1 notebook
  • 10 or so receipts
  • And a bunch of other crap.

So there you go. All that's missing are the tampons.
I have a plastic purse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Like it, sounds like weather channel music.
sounds like grocery store music
Sounds like something in a lobby or elevator :D

I would stay in the elevator and listen to this. :3
warning: extreme smoothness approaching!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This song is straight from the game itself, not a companion soundtrack or anything like that. It's for some kind of red chocobo boss fight, or something. I don't think it could be any sillier.

My relationship with the Final Fantasy games has been strained for years, now, but my love for their music has never swayed, and judging by this song, it never will.

Youtube comments after the jump, because I love them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm Just Outside of Riften,

And I'm about to talk to the guard at the north gate when I hear this roar echo through the mountains. I look up, and way up above the city I see this dragon riding a thermal. Probably fifty feet from head to tail. Breathes fire. Mean as shit. And he's not even hunting. He's just showing off his wingspan and practicing his roar.

He's reminding everyone who really is in control of Skyrim, and it isn't Ulfric or the Empire.

"You bought this game because of meeee...."

So I casually lift up a hand, stretch out my digits, and out comes raw, magical energy like I've got an arcane firehose attached to my palm. You can't stand anywhere near it. You can't even look directly at it. Ask Lydia when she's not walking into trees. That bitch is completely blind.

The dragon flash-fries on the spot. He is dead. Dead, dead, dead. Dead before what's left of him ever hits the ground.


The only part I don't get about Skyrim--What I really don't get--Is why the hell, when I turn back to the guard who witnessed the whole thing, who just saw a dragon pop like a mosquito in a bug zapper, why does he think it's a good idea to go right ahead and attempt to shake me down for a few septims?

And why the fuck, when I tell the cocky bastard to get bent, do I fail my intimidate check? I told the guy, "Don't mess with me." and do you know what he did?

He laughed in my face.

I just stared at him as the ashes of a winged god fell down around us.

And that's the lesson here: crazy always wins, because I was outright terrified of this nutjob. You want a few septims? Sure. Go ahead. Just let me get into your dirty town so I can pawn off my garbage. Lydia, come on. Follow my voice.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Video Game Characters Dancing, And That's It

I've watched this stupid video about ten times, now. There's nothing inherently special about it, but... here we are.

I'm beginning to believe that I'm easily entertained.
Like, jingly keys easily entertained.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Good XBLI Games!

Normally I'd be oozing sarcasm, but not this time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cocaine-Powered SUV

From my rear-view mirror I watched as an SUV swerved into my lane, right behind me, and accelerated.

My exit was less than a quarter-mile away. The SUV had about ten feet to go. There was no room for escape. I said, "Oh fuck."

Taking a closer look in my rear-view mirror, the first thing I noticed about the driver was that her eyes were closed and her head lolled back. I continued saying, "Oh fuck." like a mantra.

The rational part of my brain began presenting some very morbid calculations, like the mass of my clunker Nissan Sentra versus the mass of a full-sized SUV, the last time I had my air bag inspected (I believe the owner's manual recommends a check-up every five years), and the average competency of a driver on the freeway when her eyes are closed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sexy Future

Remember back in the 80's (if you're an old fart like me) when you wondered what the hell the future was going to be like, and then it happened and it wasn't like anything anyone expected? (Don't kick that poor thing! Are you nuts? Any movie that starts with robot abuse ends with piles of dead bodies!)

Well, guess what? Sexy future is back, and oh my god is it sexy.

You see? This is what we all thought the future would be like. About god-damned time!

Monday, December 5, 2011

DBZ Abridged

There's a warm place in my heart for Dragonball Z. The show had a green guy in a turban, a bald midget, a pig-man, some kind of catfish sensei who lived on a tiny planet at the end of an enormous snake road somewhere in the afterlife, and Bulma.

I'm pretty sure the original storyboard was written in feces by some schizophrenic in a psych ward and then re-interpreted by a team of animators who studied the shit-stains with very serious faces.
At one point in the show some guy casually blows up the Moon. There's no logic here, but so much enthusiasm. It's a beautiful show. Very slow, though.

That's why I love Team Four Star. These dudes have taken the DBZ that I was exposed to at a formative age and condensed it into a smaller, more direct show that's easier to digest, and probably a lot better.

Why? Because they're good people. That's why.

(I'm pretty sure that Team Four Star has better voice actors than the actual show)

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm Going to Fix Skyrim

The tryst with Morrowind and the honeymoon with Oblivion are over, and now we're left with Skyrim's sagging tits. It's really sad.

I'm hoping Bethesda will get their shit together and attempt a sixth Elder Scrolls game.

And if they do, they should take my advice on a few things.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Horse

"Hey, Horse. Let's go on an adventure!"
"Sure thing, Justin!"
"This is awesome!"
"Hold on, buddy! There's some bandits heading our way."
"I can't... I can't cast spells while I'm riding you. Do I have to get off?"
"Okay. Just wait here while I--Where are you going?"
"I'm going to kill those fuckers! I'm going to kill them with my hooves!"
"What the hell is wrong with you, Horse?"

When Vigilance died, I was tearing up.
When this stupid god-damned horse died, I threw a bunch of fireballs at it.

If only horses were better protected. Some kind of armor, perhaps.

(That's the only DLC I ever bought for Oblivion. My horse looked PIMP.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Something Not Skyrim

I was digging through my e-mail archives, looking for something that someone sent me years ago, when I came across this e-mail written by a total douche. It was really self-obsessed, and arrogant, and not funny, and all I could think was, "Who the hell is this asshole?"

Turns out the search I ran was digging through my Sent folder and the e-mail was from me.

And just like that, all my hostility kinda pooped out into confusion.
Granted, it was pretty neat to experience a genuine moment where I got to step outside of my own ego and take a good look at myself, but on the other hand, what a dick. I always assumed that if I ran into myself in a sci-fi sort of circumstance then we'd get along pretty god-damned well, but now I don't know what to think.

Fuck it. Let's go back to Skyrim.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winterhold: Defense Against the Dark Arts 303

Lesson 1: Dual-casting is For WIZARDS

Being a wizard, you'll never produce the DPS that a warrior can generate, but the one thing you do have going in your favor is dual casting. One spell. Both hands. And that dual-cast perk on the Destruction skill tree. You'll need that.

Just dual-cast a cheap, single-shot spell, like Firebolt, and you're almost guaranteed to stun your enemy, which is just about the best defensive measure a wizard can have, but remember to wait until your opponent is completely finished being stunned before dual-casting another spell, or it won't reset the stun.

Lesson 2: Never Pull Out Your Biggest Gun

This troll is just asking for a firestorm to char him faster than dragon's breath, but control your urges, Wizard, and reserve your power!

Whatever your biggest, most destructive spell is, you should never use it. Always use the second-strongest spell in your arsenal and dole out your magicka responsibly.

Of course, while this is logical advice, I've never been too good about following it, myself.


Lesson 2.5: Never Pull Out Your Biggest Gun, Unless it's Awesome

A lightning bolt is a beautiful thing, but oh my god is it expensive.

Lesson 3: Stun and Cook

This pic doesn't have anything to do with casting a wall spell on a stunned enemy, but I just thought it looked cool.

The wall spells are super cheap to cast, and if you can get your opponent to stand on top of one they'll suffer an incredible amount of damage. A well-timed, dual-cast Firebolt works perfectly to keep the badguy on top of your damage trap. The Paralyze spell from Alteration is even better.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Winterhold: Defense Against the Dark Arts 202

Tolfdir does a reasonable job of teaching novice wizards the ropes, but I thought I'd add a few things.

Lesson 1: DO NOT launch a spell into this.

Unless you're this guy, just hold back the magic and save your energy

You'd be amazed how many times an ally can jump in front of a fireball at the last possible moment. It never, ever goes well.
Either wait until someone personally goes after you or use a spell that chooses it's own targets, like grand heal.
The same goes for when you're travelling with a companion. Take the time to reposition yourself and perform clean shots. Otherwise, just use restoration magic. It's safer than a lightning bolt.

Lesson 2: Restoration is More Efficient than Destruction

If you ask me if I'm a priest one more time, Lydia, the next spell I send in your direction is going to cook you from the inside out.

This is assuming you have a buddy/summon or two to employ healing spells on. A master healer can survive just about anything without losing any magicka at all, whereas a master of destruction magic can still run out of power really fast without doing much damage at all.
I hate to say it, but in Skyrim, destruction magic has a real curve on how useful it can be.

Lesson 3: Wards Are Not Shields

This is what a functioning ward looks like.
If it's transparent, it isn't working.

  • Wards drain your magicka faster than you can imagine.
  • Wards are only good for stopping spells and dragon's breath. Arrows and axes go right through.
  • Wards take about two seconds to charge up before they're capable of stopping anything.
  • Never hold up a ward in the middle of a magical duel unless you're charging the enemy or running for cover. You'll lose all the magicka that you should be using to cast fireballs with.
  • To make wards work in your favor, wait for the enemy to create their own ward, then summon a spell into your hand but don't release it. The enemy wizard will be too damn stupid to save their magicka and waste it all holding up a ward against a spell you never even threw.

Lesson 4: Always Hit Hard at the End of a Wizard Duel

Don't blow your magicka wad right at the beginning. Most wizards know restorative magic, although they never pull it out until they're really low on health. Don't give your enemy enough time to heal.

Take your time with these sorts of fights, maintain a healthy reserve, wait until your enemy's health bar is at least below 25%, and then unleash your true power.

And remember that when you're holding a prepared spell, you can't regenerate magicka.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


"Only five-hundred septims, and the dog is yours." The man told me. The big, shit-eating grin never left his face.

I looked down at the scrawny mutt and tried to figure out how any animal could cost five-hundred septims. Better yet, why the hell was I considering spending my mead money on a travelling companion? In all my adventures, except for that one time with that stupid priest, I've never traveled with anyone in Skyrim, and now I'm going to pay money for a dog to follow me around? I'm a wizard, and wizards don't need backup.

The second thing that was upsetting me was the dog's name:


Who names a dog Vigilance?

I'll tell you who: Some stuck-up dog breeder who forced this poor animal to learn tricks and crap since he was a pup and never once let the little guy just be a piss-on-the-carpet, eat-the-garbage dog.

And then he gives the animal a stupid fucking name like Vigilance (which isn't even a real name; it's an advertisement!) and tries to sell the dog off because he never gave a shit about him, anyway. It's always been about the money.
The poor thing's probably never had a moment of freedom in his life.

I reached for my money pouch, "Give me the fucking dog."

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Priest and the Wizard

I arrived in the town of Dawnstar just after the sun had set. The town welcomed me more warmly than they'd welcome the average college wizard, which is to say they didn't chase me into the hills.

Passing the barracks, I overheard a conversation. Something about bad dreams. Worse than bad. Nightmares.
The eyes of the soldier were bloodshot and sunken. He looked absolutely miserable.

A group of miners walked by, heading for their homes. They were trading dark humor about the sleep they wouldn't be having that night.

Everyone I passed, everyone in town, looked like they haven't slept in days.

Something unnatural was happening in Dawnstar.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Good In-Game Reads in Tamriel

The Doors of Oblivion - This is the account of Morian Zenas' apprentice, who shared a psychic link with his master and was able to pen the wizard's ill-fated travels to Oblivion. The story, as a whole, has a Lovecraftian edge to it, and if you've already read Morian's On Oblivion then this feels like a behind-the-scenes look at the Daedric realms.
The Daedra themselves are supposed to be Tamriel's version of demons, but the way they present themselves reminds me more of faeries who are really into metal, and their Daedric lords are as dysfunctional and powerful as a Greek pantheon. Stories about them are always interesting.

The Black Arts on Trial - Should Necromancy be taught as a legitimate school of magic? This intellectual debate on the arcane art's most controversial subject might make you think twice about bringing something back from the grave.

Racial Phylogeny - Some pervert muses in an academic manner about all the different fantasy races in Tamriel, and whether or not they're compatible for fucking each other.

The Elder Scrolls is the only series that allows you to walk into a fictional library, pick up a fictional non-fiction book, and read it.

I love that!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Winterhold College

I have arrived!
An entire castle full of magical talent. A lifetime worth of knowledge.

And no, I don't know what that glowing pool is for, but they've got those things all over the place--Even in the living quarters, which doesn't seem very accommodating.

Those magic pools make a lot of noise.
You eventually get used to the sound, though. Like a washing machine.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Purple Trees

In Morrowind you couldn't throw a stone without hitting some ancient wizard, and Cyrodiil's guild of mages has a chapter house on every corner.

But Skyrim?
Wizards are a rare, unappreciated breed up in the north.

Court magicians are barely tolerated and the only legitimate center of learning for us erudite Hufflepuff-types is a decaying academy hanging from the edge of a cliff on the edge of the map.

And that's where I'm going! Screw epic dragon battles. I wanna read ancient tomes in some moldy, old library. How awesome is that?

I guess I could've taken a coach, but a true adventurer travels the countryside on foot.
It's more epic that way.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good News! Skyrim Doesn't Suck!

Check out my dude!

When a game asks, "How big of a beard do you want?"
Then the only proper answer is, "How big do they get?"

You know how some people like to make their character look exactly like themselves? Well, I decided to create a character that will look exactly like me after I'm finished playing Skyrim.

In case you couldn't tell by how awesome he looks, my dude is a wizard. I don't bother with swords and crap. I don't even strap on any armor. I just crawl out of bed, throw on a robe, and that's all I need to scare the shit out of the local bandits, because when I lift up my hand, people die.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Holy crap Skyrim. Gonna play it. Who knows how long. Maybe it'll suck. Probably not.

I've stocked the pantry with food. I've mothballed all projects. I've even scheduled an oil change early tomorrow, which is on the way to Gamestop, so I don't have to worry about my car a week from now when I'll be lucky if I'm not wearing a catheter.

My greatest nemesis at this point is fate.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just a Week, Now

Skyrim is coming out really, really soon. All pretense of holding onto my shit is gone. I have no shit.

This mouth-frothing level of anticipation has only happened for me two other times:

My first oh-shit-I-must-have-this-game-now psychotic breakdown was for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. When this game was delayed for a few months I was inconsolable. At one point my mom told me that there was a truckers' strike and that's why Toys 'R Us didn't have the game yet. I still don't know if that actually happened or if she was just looking for some way to shut me up.

The second was Final Fantasy 3 (FF6, if that's your thing, but we both know what was written on the fucking box). I had this tiny preview of the game in Nintendo Power that I would literally fawn over for hours. When the game finally released and I had a copy, my life should've been perfect, but I had two stupid brothers with equally distinguished taste in video games.

We all dreaded that stupid egg timer we kept on top of the television, but it was the only way we maintained any order in the house. By the end of the first day, we'd played the game a measly two hours each. Just enough to whet our appetite. Just enough to let us realize that all of the hype we'd built up for this game didn't even come close to justifying how good it was.

I'd just played the best game ever, I only played it for two hours, and now I was supposed to go to bed?

I'll admit, I got greedy, but there wasn't a chance in hell of me sleeping that night, and if my brothers were capable of slumbering when Final Fucking Fantasy 3 was sitting in the house then didn't that prove that I deserved to play the game more than they did?

Nobody knew I was up all night. Nobody, that is, but Final Fantasy 3, which logs every second of playtime and displays it right on the file selection screen.

When everyone woke up and realized that I was hours ahead of the pack, I wasn't allowed to play for the entire day. It was horrible.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Some Dude Yells About Megaman for Twenty Minutes

Egoraptor made his fame creating shorts about video games that looked like they were drawn during art therapy in a psych ward.
And that's all I knew about the guy. He was some kind of nut-job with talent.

But I had no idea the son of a bitch also had a solid grasp on game design.
Seriously, when I started watching this video I looked at the twenty minute timer and thought to myself, "There's no way this dude is going to spend twenty whole minutes talking about Megaman."

And then he does. And I was humbled.

And I found another, which is just as good:

To anyone who isn't a game developer, this stuff is probably going to come off as pretty boring, and even if you are a gamedev then you might find Arin's style to be annoying.
But to the three guys left, pay close attention because this dude really knows what he's talking about.

I hate to admit it, but I learned more from watching these videos than I ever did during a legitimate class on game design.

Friday, November 4, 2011

PennDOT Plays a Practical Joke at My Expense

I ran into a traffic jam while commuting home. About ten minutes into the jam I scooted past a sign that said, "Left lane closed in half a mile, merge right."

So most everyone was merging to the right. Or trying to. This was a two-lane highway, and while I'm sure other states are guilty of this (I'm going to single PA out, anyways, because even PennDOT says to do this), when Pennsylvanians see a "merge left/right" sign they don't wait until the road actually becomes a single lane to begin merging but instead they immediately force themselves into a single lane of drivers, even if that means for the closing lane to just stop completely and wait for an opening. In light traffic, sure, this works great; but in heavy traffic this isn't the ideal way to merge.

But I'm not writing about how to do things the right way. I'm writing about how Pennsylvanians do things their way, and it's sort of an unwritten rule to absolutely fuck over the closing lane, so you can bet that the second I saw that sign I joined the herd before a vigilante sixteen-wheeler leaped out in front of me and braked hard, which is a tactic they use around here because they're all fucking psychos.

About a quarter-mile after the last sign I pass another one. It reads, "Right lane closed in half a mile, merge left."

So now everyone is confused. You've got some drivers trying to merge left, others trying to merge right, but most of them are convinced that they're in the correct lane and that they're entitled to the right of way and need to do their best to keep the other lane from merging into theirs. Just imagine a traffic jam, only everyone is twice as angry and frustrated as normal. It was fucking dangerous.

After about fifteen more minutes of tense stop-and-go, the traffic begins to clear up and I get to accelerate out of the mess.
There was no lane closure. No construction crews. Nothing but those two signs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Run, Isaac!

What the hell is wrong with game developers?
You couldn't just have an elf or a barbarian running around a dungeon, battling orcs? You had to go with a naked boy who uses his tears to kill mongoloids?

Video games are so edgy.

(Isaac is part of the latest humble bundle, in case you were needing a fix for a really good roguelike)
((And Newgrounds offers a demo))

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Scariest Movie Scene Ever

"Scariest Movie Ever" would've been cooler, but there are way too many movies that freak me out, so I'm just going to pick one scene and go with that.
The scariest movie scene ever!

Have you ever seen House on Haunted Hill? The 1999 version?
Most of the film was kind of goofy, none of the characters made any sense (even by horror movie standards), and by the time they get to the 'evil ghost flood' chase scene at the end, there's absolutely nothing scary about it.

But then you get shit like this:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm Losing My Shit

Skyrim has become the anticipatory equivalent of inoperable cancer. I can't even play games these days without thinking about how much better the game would be if it were Skyrim.

If I had that helmet I'd wear it all day long, even to work, like some kind of psycho.

Will Skyrim live up to my expectations?

I'm positive that it will, because all I'm picturing, all I'm expecting, is an expansion to Oblivion with new towns and lots of snow, and that's more than good enough for me.

And if the game happens to be a million times more awesome than Oblivion then fuck yeah.

If I had the choice between playing Skyrim or never playing Skyrim and winning the lottery, I'm not entirely sure what I'd choose, but if I lose any more of my shit then Skyrim is going to win.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Scariest Anime Ever

Ghost Hound is the kind of nightmare a nightmare would have. It's Twin Peaks and meth and peyote and more meth all taking place on the other side of the universe. Ghost Hound still scares me. I've mostly recovered from Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but Ghost Hound still scares me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Scariest Story Ever

'Tis the season for rotting ghouls, rotting pumpkins, and rotting teeth.

I'm in the mood for scary shit, and the scariest story I've ever read (NOT the best piece of horror literature (Pet Semetary). There's a difference) is a short story I only discovered about six months ago, and just thinking about it still freaks me out. Fucking goosebumps.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


This wonderful image is courtesy of Lumberjack, a new XBLI game. I honestly can't look directly at this pic without cracking up.

How good is the game? I have no idea.
That is how much XBLI has wounded me. That is how much eating downloadable shit for the past year has damaged my faith in these games.
When I can look at a cartoon deer being butchered alive by two cheerful psychopaths and not immediately purchase whatever it's attached to, then you know that there's something wrong with me.

If you're going to make a bad game, please don't give it a fun art style or a nice title graphic. Just make it look like shit so I can gloss over your product and use those ten minutes to play something fun.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This is Fun

The monochromatic style, the perspective segues, the musical breakdown, it's all really cool stuff wrapped up with a good beat.
All music videos should be this overwhelming.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Michael Crichton's Timeline Transformed into a One-on-One Dialogue

"So I've got this time machine, only it's not really a time machine because instead of travelling through time you're sent to another universe that looks a whole lot like the past, because in the Multiverse, anything is possible. Have you ever seen Sliders?"

"Yeah. Fun show. The Multiverse machine sounds cool, though. There won't be any butterfly effect paradoxes or anything like that if you're just travelling to another universe instead of another time. That's cool."

"Oh, no. Actually, you can change the past. Earlier in the book there was some dude who traveled to the Multiverse version of the 1300's and left a message for all his historian pals to dig up later in this universe."

"How'd he do that?"

"How should I know? I only built the thing. Maybe it really is a time machine. By the way, there's no such thing as a paradox. That's total bullshit. They don't exist."

"I'm a little lost. I thought you were selling me on the idea of a Multiverse machine."

"Shut up for a second. I'm trying to explain paradoxes, which don't actually exist because it's really, really hard to do something that would cause a paradox. Like, how could you possibly kill your grandfather? Wouldn't that affect you morally? Like, wouldn't you bitch out before you could pull the trigger? And what if he had armed guards? And even if you did, it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, so it doesn't really count as a paradox. That makes sense. By the way, I'm the smartest character in the novel. We established that very early in the book."

"Okay. How does it work? Do I stand right here?"

"Yeah. Perfect. Now we're going to scan your body with super-computers, collect your sub-atomic information in a bunch of JPEG files, and then we'll send your information through the Multiverse, just like a fax machine. Have you ever used a fax machine, before?"

"What year was this book written?"

"Recent enough to know better. Are you ready for the laser?"

"Wait. What laser?"

"The laser that's going to kill you, of course. Right down to the atom."

"How does that help me travel through time? Multiverse. Whatever."

"The laser is going to kill you because the Multiverse has these weird equivalent exchange rules that I'm never going to bother explaining. If we kill you here then the Multiverse will make a duplicate version of you in the universe we're contacting."

"I don't get it. What's with all the JPEG scanning? Aren't you going to send that data through the Multiverse and replicate me somewhere else?"

"We're going to fax the data, and yes, that's the idea."

"So why kill me?"

"I just told you that I wasn't going to explain how the Multiverse works. Now do you want to time travel or not?"

"But I wouldn't even be the one time travelling. It'd just be some JPEG version of myself, which I'm still confused about."

"Hey. Don't be a bitch. The fax doppelganger version of yourself will think he's you in every conceivable way. To any outside observer, you're exactly the same person."

"But I'm not an outside observer."

"No shit. Why do you think I only send other people into the time machine?"

"Okay. Hold on. Even if I did agree for you to kill me and fax me in JPEGs to another universe,  how would my doppelganger even get back? Is there a laser on the other side that's going to kill him, too?"

"Don't be stupid. He'll have this little wafer that he can click and instantly return back here, unharmed, whenever he feels like it. Okay, hold still and try not to piss your pants. Your doppelganger is going to be wearing those in a few minutes."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

XBLA is Actually Kind of Fun

XBLI is a lot like playing a slot machine.
Most of the time you're just performing a meaningless chore and throwing your life away, but you keep doing it because there's a tiny, tiny chance that you'll hit the jackpot and get to play something good.

But, for reasons I haven't really bothered to look into, XBLI's one-crap-game-uploaded-every-ten-minutes standard seems to have slipped and I haven't been able to download any garbage onto my 360's hard drive for almost a week.

I've been forced to start digging into the XBLA library.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things About the Future My Younger Self Would NEVER Believe

"Sonic and Mario are in the same game."

"Malcolm's dad cooks meth and liquefies corpses with acid."

"My Little Pony is back, and it's main demographic is 20-30 year old men."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


When I work in a grocery store, despite wearing an entirely different outfit from that of the store employees, customers ask me random questions every day.

I've been asked where the bread crumbs are hiding.
I've been asked if this coupon is still valid.
I've been asked (told) to go into the back and find more of whatever is missing from the shelves.
I've been asked if I found Jesus.

This stuff happens on a daily basis, and I've never given anyone a satisfactory answer to any of these questions. I never know where the bread crumbs are, nobody keeps track of the validity of random coupons, the product you're looking for isn't hiding in the back, and I don't discuss religion with strangers.

But do you want to know the weirdest question I've ever been asked?

Monday, October 10, 2011

What I Learned From Atom Zombie Smasher

If civilization ever happens to crumble under the weight of an undead apocalypse, video games have taught me that I will be more than capable of single-handedly murdering hordes of hollow-eyed cannibals, and I could probably do it all with little more than a baseball bat and a couple of snappy one-liners.

Video games have taught me this lesson so well that I'm convinced there have already been at least three zombie outbreaks in the last year, but we never heard about them because they were almost instantly obliterated by one or two local Left4Dead vets, so hard-wired to perform head-shots to zeds that they probably killed a hundred or so before the killing even became a conscious act.

So while games like Left4Dead taught me that I will transform into an unstoppable killing machine during a zombie invasion, Atom Zombie Smasher taught me that I should never be in command of anything during a zombie invasion.

I should never lead troops.
I should never direct a city-wide evacuation.
I should never be the one who decides who lives and who dies.

You would all die. The living dead would find you in your homes and devour you alive. It would be the most horrible thing ever and it would be entirely my fault because I don't have a fucking clue how to evacuate a city full of helpless, innocent people before all of their lives are snuffed out in unspeakable ways that would make burning to death look like a sleeping pill overdose.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I don't like the breakout genre.
90% of the time you're just watching the damn ball do it's own thing. I don't like breakout games for the same reason that I don't like pinball games. There just isn't enough interactivity.

But to be fair, ball-paddle gameplay has never been given much love. Have you ever played a breakout game that felt polished? With lots of features and a story and really, really nice graphics?

Wizorb is the breakout game that all other breakout games want to be. It's probably the best thing XBLI has received in the last few months.

The music is pretty flat, though.
And my deep love for the Shining Force games might be coloring my opinion on Wizorb's aesthetics.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Maldita Castilla

Some dude decided to make his own Ghosts and Goblins, and although it's not a full game yet, he did a great job with the first level.

And the technical atmosphere is very professional. See that glare in the corner of the screenshot? That's not because this was a photo taken of a television screen. What you're seeing is a screen filter that was inserted to help immerse you in the gaming days of yore.

Of course, that's nothing compared to the authenticity of the music and sound effects. Anyone who's ever been in an '80s arcade is going to feel right at home playing this game.

I can't say the game is as hard as it's inspiration (at least on the first level). For starters, there's no red demon.

(This isn't Locomalito's only game. He's done a lot of other amazing shit, too. Treat yourself with some expertly crafted arcade culture!)

Saturday, October 1, 2011



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Level Design: Controlling Tributary Paths



I've been doing level design for a Metroidvania type game. Up top is one of my old designs, and below that is a much newer map. Here are a few things I've learned over the years:

  • Centralized locations (big rooms that connect to lots of other tributary paths) are a good thing. From these points the player can launch expeditions into your smaller, more dangerous, locations; and feel like they can return somewhere afterwards.
  • Tributary paths should not continue forever and/or randomly connect to other tributaries. The player will lose any sense of placement in your overall design and randomly wander your world with no sense of progress.
  • The only time you end up with too many rooms is when you run out of unique ideas for those rooms. After that, don't bother adding anything else.
  • Compact maps are better. On an aesthetic just-looking-at-a-bunch-of-rectangles level of thinking, they're better.