@LowBitLovecraft     Morgopolis Studios                                                 Good Stuff! About

Monday, January 31, 2011


Let's kick this off properly.

I'd love to know when this song clicked in my head as something I enjoyed.

Did I love "Cannonball" on my first listen? Did I feel the same way about it then as I do now?

I don't know. I can't remember and it probably doesn't matter. I guess I'm just happy to see an old friend.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dude. The 90's. It Happened.

By chance, I stumbled across a short musical number,

And it was like being hit in the face by a 1994-shaped lightning bolt. I was like, fuck 2011. Where's my flannel? Where's my dial-up 28.8kbps modem? I'm doing it, man. I'm going back.

I've been posting this blog for, what, a week now? As far as I'm concerned it's old and crusty and nobody wants another article on the ending of Assassin's Creed 2. Screw that trope. It's been done to death.

It's time for a themed week.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Global Game Jam Unlocked. Culture +10

The 2011 Global Game Jam is here and the most brilliant programmers of our generation are pooling their collective erudite knowledge to forge works of binary brilliance.

You're thinking it too, right? This guy's a god-damned genius.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For Has Arrived

I beat Fallout: New Vegas!


Open-world Bethesda epics are almost their own genre and I love them like they were my kids (although I couldn't tell you what box I shoved Morrowind into...)

But New Vegas is special. After playing Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3 (same shit, different textures) I can honestly say that in a lot of ways New Vegas is the best of this lineup.

But in every other way it's the worst.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tiny Screenshots of Tiny Barbarian

Her full red lips smiled, and from her slender feet to the blinding crown of her billowy hair, her ivory body was as perfect as the dream of a god. Conan's pulse hammered in his temples. - Robert E. Howard "The Frost-Giant's Daughter"

"The Frost-Giant's Daughter" is a short story about Conan just finishing up a battle out in the middle of the tundra when he encounters a beautiful, naked woman. She mocks Conan, making the barbarian both angry and horny, so he chases after the bitch on a quest to rape her.

But the frost-giant's daughter has set up a trap and Conan is ambushed by the woman's two frost-giant brothers. Conan, being Conan, slays them both and crushes the woman in his embrace. Lucky for her, Ymir is her dad, so she just calls out her old man's name and rides a beam of light out of the arms of her frustrated, would-be rapist.

So what does this have to do with Tiny Barbarian? The game is based off of the story. Yes, it's a game about rape and it's adorable!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lady Liberty-Man

I was driving to work this morning. Nothing new about that.

There was a decent amount of snow coming down. Nothing new about that, either.

A man dressed up like the Statue of Liberty was dancing on the corner of the intersection like it was his last day on Earth.

That's kinda interesting.

Not only was this guy getting down, he was good at it, and he was unstoppable. Ten kids riding a sugar high couldn't have kept up with him. It was like witnessing a shaman channeling some deep, spiritual energy and releasing it all into Motown dance moves.

You've got to understand something here: people weren't coming into work today. There was some real snow coming down. You could die in this weather if you gave it the chance. What the hell possessed this man?

You know those guys who stand on street corners and spin signs? Yeah, those guys. They just stand there and listen to their music, spinning some sign advertising a development or something until their shift is over and they can collect their paycheck.

This was a higher form of those guys. He was alpha those guys. He was a genuine performer, the sign of his employers was left forgotten in a snowdrift and you know what? He didn't need it. He didn't want it. Putting a sign in front this guy would be putting a sign in front of magic.

You want to bet he got a lot of beeps? There wasn't a car that passed him that didn't hit their horn, and I'm not talking about timid, little taps, either. People played their horn like it was a (crappy) musical instrument. Drivers couldn't dance in their cars so they danced on their horns. Alpha those guys didn't acknowledge his audience for a second. He was in the zone.

Fast-forward to five hours later and I'm driving in the other direction, and guess what? He's still out there, but he's no longer dancing. No. He's shoveling snow off of his little area of sidewalk because it snowed so much that he didn't have anywhere left to dance.

And he's shoveling the snow with his sign.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dear Tailgater,

Now that we've spent the last twenty minutes together I thought I'd confide with you my true feelings.

I understand that you're in a hurry and the position you've taken deep up my ass has made that urgency very clear. Perhaps you could recognize that, despite going ten miles per hour over the speed limit, I'm using the slow lane and I'd prefer not to drive any faster in my ancient commuting vehicle (I'm sure, from your proximity, you can determine the age of my car). Most motorists find this a reasonable situation and pass me by, but you're still well within my comfort zone and I can only guess at your reasons.

I've considered that perhaps you're turning off at the next exit, but if you are waiting for the exit then you should know that there's about eight more miles to go and that's a lot of time left to spend staring at the back of my vehicle.

I've also considered that you might be uncomfortable using the fast lane to your left, but nobody is on the road except for us, so maybe there's a different reason for your urgency.

I've even considered dyslexia. Maybe you don't know which lane you're in. If so, then I apologize for upsetting you, even if it was unintentional.

But when I gestured towards the no tailgating sign posted in bright yellow on the side of the road, you sped up just a few inches closer to my bumper. It's nice to see that you have a sense of humor, but if I need to hit the brakes, for any reason, we're both going to die in a horrible car accident and that's not cool.

Whatever the reason, please back the fuck off so I can mellow out and listen to my Smodcast in peace.

Sincerely (I mean it. Back the fuck off),

Monday, January 24, 2011

So I Got Into a Fistfight With the Pope...

You're a heretic just for reading this

Assassin's Creed 2 takes place in Italy during the Renaissance and follows the ten-year journey of Ezio as he seeks vengeance against the organization who murdered his father and brothers. Cool idea for a plot, right?

So why am I punching the Pope in the face?

Here's the set-up:

The game is nearing its end and Ezio has discovered that the ring-leader, the final target, is the Pope. Not missing a beat Ezio (you, the player) charges into the Vatican, murdering about a thousand God-fearing guardsmen along the way before you get to pounce on the Papal.

But he's a sneaky religious figure-head and our heroic sociopath loses his element of surprise.

Look out, Ezio!

Ezio is now exposed, caught out in the open against an overweight, middle-aged man. What can he possibly do against those odds?

He throws his weapons away, of course! All of them! He throws them all away!

At this point in the game I felt a disconnect from what Ezio wanted to do and what I wanted to do. Ultimately, though, Ezio gets to decide how I play this game so I just had to deal with the situation. Why a veteran super-assassin would feel it necessary to throw away all of his advantages just so he could have an even fight with a man who's obviously physically inferior is beyond me.

"I can kick your fat ass all the way to Greece!" yells Ezio.
"Bring it!" says the Pope.

Obviously, the Pope never had a chance. Ezio wins the fight, he goes in for the kill...

Ezio looks down at the man responsible for ruining his life. The driving force behind his ten-year killing spree. He stares into the eyes of the monster and says, "You know what? I think I'll let you live."

"Wait a second. You're serious? I can go?"
Just a little background: the game makes it very clear that the Pope is a mass-murderer and a child molester (actually, all of your targets are super-evil. How convenient for Ezio that he never has to second-guess his moral compass). So without even taking into account Ezio's personal vendetta against this guy he really deserves some brutal, old world justice.

Holy shitballs, Ezio. Are you really going to let this bastard walk? Why did you become an assassin in the first place? When an assassin doesn't kill his target it isn't called a plot twist. It's incompetence.

I'm sure your dead father is very proud of you, Ezio. Next game, how about you sit in the back seat and let me drive, okay?

(By the way. The Pope was fighting Ezio instead of escaping because he wanted to enter a secret Space Temple hidden under the Vatican. And at one point in the game, Adam and Eve performed parkour to escape Sun aliens. Did I just spoil the entire game's story for you or did I just save you from the Ark of the Covenant? Think about it.)

Fun game, though.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who Says Video Games are a Bad Influence?

I dug this little gem out of my box of well-preserved childhood art.

I'm guessing I was ten when I drew this, but I might have been younger. Eight, maybe?
Judging by the lack of shirts I'm pretty sure I was playing a lot of Contra at the time, but it's possible that this is a combination of many video game influences (and my own perverted head-space).

The funny thing is, my tastes in entertainment when I was ten and my tastes in entertainment today haven't changed an inch. I look at this picture and think, "Yeah, that's awesome."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Raisin Squares

I wish I could say that living in the United States is awesome, but we're third-world when it comes to our cereal. Where the hell are my Raisin Squares?

To the uninitiated this might look like a dull, health-food cereal, but you're so wrong. Shredded wheat, raisin and milk is a comfort food combination like none other. These simple ingredients combine into an alpha food that's greater than the sum of it's parts.

And now they're gone; and not only are they gone, but they've been replaced by powder.

And I don't even want to think about Strawberry Squares. Did you know those things had genuine Smucker's jam in them?

It's not all bad, though. Kellogg's recently released a new product: Mini-Wheats, with a touch of fruit in the middle!
Is this the spiritual successor to Raisin Squares? Not exactly.
The fruit doesn't taste as good as my nostalgic memories of discontinued cereal brands, and it certainly doesn't taste like blueberries and strawberries (and, for some reason, they're frosted, which doesn't help at all).
But they aren't bad, and the texture is very close to Raisin Squares, although it's a little bit soggier.

According to my sources, they (Kellogg's) do still make Raisin Squares, just not in the United States. Canadians, for instance, supposedly eat Raisin Squares whenever they feel like it. There's a Kellogg's plant up there that cranks the stuff out.
Now here's the strange bit: Raisin Squares are still made in the United States. There's a plant in Lancaster, PA that still produces the cereal, but only when the Canadian plant is down for cleaning or whatever other reasons. The tragedy is that all of those boxes of Raisin Squares get shipped right out of the country so they can be enjoyed by Canadian digestive tracks while Americans are stuck with those terrible powders (which are actually very popular).

I've also heard that Raisin Squares (and the other fruit-filled Mini-Wheats like Strawberry Squares) were discontinued partly for their lack of popularity, but also because they were the toughest cereal to clean up when a line was run through the plant. Powders are easier to deal with than Smucker's jam.

As I write this, I'm choking on a tiny piece of Raisin Bran Crunch. It's like cereal-flavored glass and, so far, no amount of milk has softened the little bastard. Raisin Squares never treated me like this. Raisin Squares respected me.

I'm Growing a Literary Vagina

I just finished reading my first Danielle Steel novel. Not many guys can say that.

The main character, his name is Charlie, is described as this incredibly handsome man. Steel doesn't play around with words, either. That's not her style. Charlie is handsome is pretty-much what she wrote. Women are falling all over this Charlie guy, and, of course, he doesn't know how handsome he is, because that lack of ego just makes him that much more handsome. Charlie is handsome, and that's the problem, because the conflict of this story is that Charlie is trying to get the girl.

Who cares if Charlie gets the girl? Can we really doubt for a second that he wouldn't?

What if Charlie weighed over three-hundred, or had horrible burns all over his face? What if the woman of his dreams couldn't even look at him? How could Charlie possibly get a date then?

The fantasy equivalent of this would be if Frodo of the Shire was the best warrior in Middle-Earth, and instead of risking the lives of himself and his friends to destroy the One Ring he single-handedly slays an army of orcs and then gives a really bad one-liner as he decapitates Sauron.

Maybe (probably) I've got this romance genre thing all wrong. Maybe it's all about the big, happy ending and the conflict should just take a back seat.

If that's the case, then the romance genre is the least realistic genre in literature. I'll believe in hobbits before I'll ever believe in Charlie. Who can possibly become immersed in a story where everything is perfect?