Does whatever a spider can! Let's discuss Spider-Man: Homecoming!


May 30, 2013

I Hraet You (61)

Beat 61: On the Road to a Rabbit

Somehow, Lloyd didn’t find much solace in noting that the desk before him had gotten no less cluttered since yesterday.  If anything, the towers of paper and bunches of pens looked more massive than before.  But even so, they looked slightly smaller, if only because of the even-larger throne that loomed from behind.  He’d half-expected the smell of dried-out fish, but instead he caught wind of something very near to burgers and ice cream -- or a few super-sized shakes, perhaps.  He wasn’t sure if his mind could handle the image of a shake made from burgers, though.

But he kept his mouth shut and his hands on his knees.  On his left, Trixie fared no better; she might have had four years and almost three inches on Lloyd, but she looked like a preschooler who’d gotten caught making off with the cookie jar.  In stark contrast, Mrs. Overdose looked about ready to take a nap.  Somehow, the sight of cabinets and framed photos of fishermen didn’t do it for her, so she just swished her reed idly through her mouth.

Trixie nudged Lloyd in the elbow.  “So what happens now?” she asked.  “Ya already got expelled once, didn’t ya?  He can’t do it again, can he?”

“Of course he can’t,” Mrs. Overdose answered.  “And he can’t expel us, either.”

Trixie breathed a sigh of relief.

“He’ll probably just have us all arrested.”

Trixie looked ready to throw up.

May 29, 2013

Idea for a Webcomic...

So if you remember this post, you may know that my brother and I have had on-again, off-again discussions about making our own webcomic.  Or maybe just a comic in general.  Or some kind of story, at least.  Truth be told, it wouldn’t be the first time; with him on art duty and me on story duty, we actually made a couple of little picture books when we were younger.  We made a story about hamster commandos, and another story about stick figures roped into a magical world.  And…well, I guess that’s about it, but the point still stands -- if the two of us sat down and put something together, I have a sneaking suspicion we could make a truly astounding (or at least mildly entertaining) product. 

The problem, of course, is that we actually have to sit down and decide what kind of story we’re going to make.  If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you probably know what my tastes are by now -- and I’m almost certain that a lot of my tastes aren’t going to appeal to dear old big bro.  Troublesome as he may be, I don’t think that he’s so difficult as to shoot down any idea that isn’t his own.  And indeed, the two of us teaming up to make a comic seems like a potentially-smart move.

Well, either that, or an abysmal space-time vortex that removes the very concept of joy from the universe.  Could go either way, I think.

May 27, 2013

I Hraet You (60)

Beat 60: Snakes on a Plain…Rampage

Arjuna fell backwards, and scampered behind Lloyd like a frightened crab.  “I knew it!  I knew it!  I knew this would happen!”  He managed to climb to his feet, but did so while using Lloyd as leverage -- and cowering behind him, of course.  “See?  You really are a troublemaker!”

“In many ways, yes,” Lloyd admitted.  He took a step back, forcing Arjuna to do the same.  “But in this case, I can’t quite think of a reason why I’d be targeted.  Least of all by serpent lovers like these.”

One of the masked men chuckled.  “Purple hair, glasses, and talks like a doofus…that’s our man, all right.”  He popped his knuckles, while the thug on the left brandished a chain, and the one on the right showed off his spiffy new crowbar.  “All right, b’s and g’s -- hand over Shakespeare without a fight, and we promise we won’t hurt any of ya…much.”

That got a response -- because nothing could rouse a student council like the threat of violence.

May 26, 2013

Let’s discuss Final Fantasy 13-2 (Part 2).

“A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don't know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth reading.”

Yeah…I’m going to have to debate that opinion.


I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this...

Welcome to the end, people.  Spoilers -- and the strongest opinions you’ll hear all day -- to follow.

May 25, 2013

Cross-Up has leveled up!


Is it just me, or does this place look kind of…different all of a sudden?

May 24, 2013

Let’s discuss Final Fantasy 13-2 (Part 1).

Show of hands: who here has heard of Kung Fu Jesus?

He’s known for a few Let’s Plays, his God Hand LP well among them.  I haven’t seen his work before, but I’ve known about him for a while…and by coincidence, ended up finding out he and his posse did a blind LP of Final Fantasy 13-2.  And what started out as a simple playthrough ended up becoming a 100% completion run.  And they did it.  It took them a whopping eighty-three hours, but they did it.  Indeed, in the final video each member of the posse talks in turn about how terrible the game is and why it’s terrible.  That might have just been a consequence of plunging head-first into the abyss of insanity, though (which you can see just by looking at the video titles and the descriptions).  Frankly, I’m surprised none of them are laid up in rubber rooms.

So you’re probably wondering why I’m bringing up 13-2 after I slammed the book shut on the game; making this post seems largely unnecessary, and even harmful.  It goes beyond just beating a dead horse; it’s more like digging up a dead horse’s corpse, performing black magic to turn it into an equine undead, slashing it to pieces with Frank West’s paddle-saws, kicking the pieces back into its grave King Leonidas style, and then doing the same thing after a five-minute recess and a swig of root beer.  I acknowledge that.  But I said I was going to finish the game, and there’s been a part of me that regrets not being able to.  It felt like I was leaving so much on the table.

So it’s time for me to fix that.  Will Final Fantasy 13-2 find redemption at long last?  Will there be a glimmer of hope in its final hours?

No.  No, it won’t.  It just gets worse.

Spoilers inbound.  But whatever.  If you’re playing this game for the story, I would recommend a reconsideration of your tastes and standards.

May 23, 2013

I Hraet You (59)

Beat 59: For Want of a Nail (Gun)

“I wonder if ‘being held at gunpoint’ is going to be the trend of the day.”  Nevertheless,  Lloyd held up his hands and offered a disarming smile.   “Pondering aside, let me be the first to say there’s no need for violence, Arjuna.  We’re both more than capable of talking this out.  Lay down your arms, and I’ll gladly prove I’m no reason to brandish a crossbow.”  He took a step forward, and --

Ka-SWISH-GRESSIVE NEGOTIATIONS!

An arrow whizzed by Lloyd’s ear before he could even bring down his foot.  “…Okay, I can see you’re more than a bit serious about puncturing my brain,” he said, leaping back two feet, “but I’d really prefer if you didn’t.  I like my skull the way it is, you see.”  He pulled his foot away, and took another step back just to be safe.  “See?  I’m no danger to you.”

“D-don’t screw with me, Lloyd!  I know you!”  Arjuna started to take aim, though Lloyd wondered if he’d manage another warning shot with such a shaky grip.  “I know you’re trouble -- especially now!  Especially since you’re here!  Especially if you’re near me!”

Lloyd could only (try to) smile, hoping that it’d help disarm Arjuna.  It didn’t, of course.  If anything, he looked more and more eager to pull the trigger, his eyes bulging and knees knocking.  A part of him doubted that his crossbow -- a small mishmash of plastic, duct tape, poorly-sawed wood, and even bits of cardboard -- could fire a lethal bolt.  Then again, considering that Arjuna’s first shot still hung from the wall, Lloyd didn’t have much reason to doubt his handiwork at the moment.

May 21, 2013

Manly Songs: Theme of Jin

You know, I’ve always found iTunes to be a little redundant.

Admittedly, this is coming from someone who’s always at least two years behind on the latest tech trends (ask me about my cell phone!), but I have to say I don’t see the point behind some of these music services.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating pirating music; I’m just saying that if you’re out for good songs, you won’t be left wanting -- and you don’t have to spend a cent.  I’ve made a couple of full CDs out of songs from Newgrounds composers, and gotten some great satisfaction out of them.  OverClocked Remix is absolutely packed to the brim with high-quality, high-impact tunes, and can applea to your sensibilities whether you know the game songs each remix handles or not (pro tip: go download EVERYTHING by Sixto Sounds).  Artists will occasionally offer entire soundtracks online for free, whether they’re by game composers or not.  And that’s ignoring the existence of YouTube.

The tradeoff for this is that I’m severely limited in my knowledge of current music stars and trends; IIRC when asked about what the difference was between the music of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, my response was “Maybe they’re isn’t one, and they’re both robots out to conquer the world with audio-based brainwashing for their villainous overlords.”  I don’t know what a Nicki Minaj is supposed to be, but it sounds unpleasant.  Even meme-tastic songs like “Gangam Style” and “Call Me Maybe” (I think that’s what it’s called) are lost on me.  Then again, the tradeoff for that is an intimate connection with video game music -- and when that music is firing on all cylinders, man oh man is it something else.

Which brings me to today’s post -- and the Repository’s first video game-themed song.


May 20, 2013

I Hraet You (58)

Beat 58: It Can’t Possibly Go this Well, Right?

“I’m still not satisfied,” said JP.

Patton pulled the van into a distant parking lot and turned off the engine.  “Can’t say I blame you there, son,” he said with a slow shrug.  “But right now, I’m starting to think we’re running low on options.”

“Don’t remind me.”  JP tapped his against the van’s floor with arms folded; every so often, his foot would knock about a slim duffle bag.  “I would have liked a little help here and there -- but so far, nothing.”  The tiny tween shook his head and sighed.  “What was I thinking, expecting rational thought from someone here in Porbeagle?”

“Mmmm.  Can’t be helped.”

May 18, 2013

Let’s discuss some (more) good JRPGs.

Welcome back.  Ready for another round (finally)?  Cool.  Let’s start with a test of will.

Before I say anything else on some old JRPGs, I want to make one thing in particular clear: personally, I don’t JRPGs are doing so poorly this generation.  That’s not to say that the genre as a whole has been without problems today or yesterday (it hasn’t), or that they’ve been immune to the changes of the industry (they haven’t).  If you’ll let me be a little bold -- or let me repeat something I’ve said in passing before -- I think we have the current-gen misadventures of Final Fantasy to blame for JRPGs falling out of favor.  Whether or not the franchise has been good for years is and always will be up for debate, but there’s denying that it’s the biggest name and face of the genre.  If it falters, everyone else falters -- it’s the engraved assumption that if “the best in the genre” can’t put out a good product, none of them can.  Granted other titles have made their failures apparent as well, but when you consider which company’s name is on the label of those boxes…well, pattern recognition is unavoidable.

But make no mistake, we have gotten, are getting, and will keep getting good JRPGs.  A little while ago, Ni no Kuni came out -- and while I haven’t gotten around to playing it in depth just yet, from what I gather it’s a solid (if not great) game that’s not just a rise to glory for the genre, but maybe one of the best JRPGs in years.  This, of course, is the same slot that Xenoblade Chronicles occupied not too long ago.  And before that, there was still Lost Odyssey.  And let’s not forget the release of a handful of Atlus/Shin Megami Tensei titles, each one deserving of its own sort of praise.

Speaking of which, I’d say it’s about time to give one of those games its due.  So let’s get in deep with some good JRPGs…with the Fair Lady Hendricks -- and later in the post, the TRUE face of beauty -- guiding us. 

How do you like your carrots?  Dangled on a stick, or past a ring of fire?

May 16, 2013

I Hraet You (57)

Beat 57: Putting the “AHHH!” in Entourage

Lloyd might have kept himself busy at the moment, but he didn’t dare ignore the footsteps echoing down the hall.  He craned his neck toward it, and his hopes -- for once -- weren’t dashed; Trixie lurched out of the hall with a yawn, stretching her arms and limbering up her back as sexily as possible.  She pressed a hand against the wall for leverage, and for a second Lloyd almost felt the need to do the same.  “Ugh…hey, pal, I ain’t about to start whinin’ about yer hospitality, but I’m thinkin’ maybe that bed o’ yers ain’t right fer me.  Too classy an’ all.”

“Ah, my apologies, Miss Walters,” said Lloyd.  “I’ll keep your preferences in mind for tonight.  Though I wonder just what I can do about it outside of offering a new mattress.”

“Don’t stress out over it.  I’ll just…”  Trixie rubbed her eyes.  Lloyd would have loved to to hand her a plate of pancakes.  Instead, the most he could offer was a full view of the prince held at gunpoint.

May 15, 2013

You’ve (Probably) Already Turned Japanese


I really think so.  

...Well, wasn’t that the best twist on a song you’ve ever heard.  Anyway, let’s move on to some postulations.  It’ll be fun.

May 13, 2013

I Hraet You (56)

Beat 56: The Foundation of a Good Morning

“The Prince of Love has returned!”

The doors to the castle began to spread, spilling light into its grand hall.  As the doors cracked open, the servants rushed to action; a dozen of them threw the red carpet across the marble floor, and as it rolled open scores of trumpeters moved into position.  They raised their horns high and began their song of triumph, whilst maidens danced and flung about clouds of confetti.

They’d moved just in time.  For just as the first round of confetti hit the ground, the prince strode into the grand hall.  The horns began their crescendo anew as he advanced down the carpet -- a knight whose gleaming armor nearly outshone the sun.  Silver and white plates of metal rustled with each step -- graceful, agile steps, far from those of the common soldier -- and their amethyst trimmings saw neither scratch nor scuff.  He greeted those that fawned over his return with a wave, his gauntlets giving off a lustrous glow, and his violet scarves rustling in the wake. 

As he walked past cheering subjects and stone columns, he couldn’t help but smile warmly -- and then, realize that they’d yet to see his face.  An issue remedied easily enough; he pulled off his helmet and held it under one arm, allowing himself a moment to take in both fresh air and beaming sun.  And his subjects’ cheers reached a fever pitch at the sight of his smile.  His luxurious violet hair.  His glimmering hazel eyes, no less radiant from his trusted spectacles.

“My liege!  Welcome back!” they cheered -- servants, and squires, and soldiers, and anyone who’d followed him into the castle.  “Welcome back!”

And Lloyd couldn’t help but laugh.  “It’s good to be back.”

May 10, 2013

Iron Man 3: American Business

So apparently, my brother reads this blog.

It was during an update for Black Ops 2 (joy of joys) that the topic shifted to my distaste for CoD.  See, he’s under the impression that I only like Japanese things, given my talk about Kingdom Hearts and Halo.  Of course in saying so that he revealed that he only SKIMS the blog -- maybe getting no further than the titles -- considering that I’ve slammed both Japanese AND American games.  Apparently he missed the weeks I spent tearing into Final Fantasy 13-2, or how I’ve willingly explained that Japanese media has its faults, or even that I laid into Kingdom Hearts 2 on multiple occasions…which you think he would have found instantly, considering that they’re under the same tab.

And this whole “I hate American games” business?  Yeah, no.  I hate terrible things.  If a game gives me enough reason to pick it apart, then I’ll pick it apart -- but if it does something right, I’ll say so.  I’m pretty damn sure that even though I said Halo 4 was awful in general, it had a bright spot via Cortana -- and by extension, the biggest issue was that she was so underutilized in comparison to a refrigerator on legs.  I’m ALSO pretty sure that I’ve praised Far Cry 3, PlayStation All-Stars, Ratchet & Clank, and most recently BioShock Infinite in more than a little detail.

I like American books.  American TV shows.  American movies.  American comics -- with my favorite hero being, you know, Captain America.  If the work is high-quality, then I don’t give a damn about its country of origin, and neither should anyone else.

I’ll get deeper into this topic another day, but for now we’ve got another issue to discuss: Iron Man 3.  Is it good?  Is it bad?  Well, I know one thing for sure: it’s definitely American -- and in a lot of ways, that’s all I could ever ask for.

You know, this is usually the part where I say SPOILER ALERT, but for once I think I’ll hold off.  It’s not that there’s nothing to spoil -- there is, and quite a bit of it -- but I feel like it’s time to do something a little…different.

May 8, 2013

The Volties: My Top 10 Favorite Game Characters

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this at one point, but I’d say that for the moment it’s impossible for me to make a “Top 10 Favorite Games Ever” list.  As you can imagine, I’ve played a lot of games.  And as much as I would like to make a definitive list, I don’t feel like I can without replaying the titles that would have been in the upper echelon.  And given that I don’t have a fair number of the games I’ve played (and the means to play them), seeing how they withstood the test of time and my “evolving tastes” probably isn’t going to happen.  

But then a thought occurred to me.  I might not be able to honor certain games, but I can still honor certain characters.  That much should be significantly easier…and possible.  All I need is a little consideration, some fond memories, and maybe a little root beer on the side.

So let’s have at it then, shall we?  These are my favorite video game characters…because if the Nostalgia Critic is doing it, then surely no one else has ever thought of it before.

May 6, 2013

Notes on I Hraet You

Welcome to the notes page for I Hraet You!  Here you'll find a random assortment of information about the story -- kind of like DVD extras, only not in a DVD or consumable without a minor commitment to digesting the info at hand.

Work with me here.  I'm a typer, not a movie-er.

...

Anyway, read on for some cool-ish information you won't see anywhere else.  Because really, how many people do you know that would go so far to construct a world destined to revolve around a kinda-sorta-psychic harem hunter?  Besides you, Jeremy?  Whoever you are?

...

I'll get the non-sequitur down someday.  

May 4, 2013

Let’s discuss BioShock Infinite (Part 3).


And here we are at last -- the ending.  Where to begin, where to begin.

Warning: it all ends here, folks.  If you’re ready to take the plunge, read on.

May 2, 2013

Let’s discuss BioShock Infinite (Part 2).

Before we keep going, there’s something that I want to bring up.  Something that’s…well, not critical, but I think it’s an important distinction to keep in mind.  Basically, the word of the day is “preference”.

In the last part, one of my biggest issues with the game had to do with Elizabeth.  Not because she was a bad character (she isn’t), but because I wanted her to take the leading role instead of the steely private investigator Booker DeWitt.  That desire is still within me.  I still think there’s something to be had if Elizabeth was the star -- and while I can’t quite come up with a way to tweak the gameplay to suit her, it’s still a possibility that might have worked with a little elbow grease.  But here’s the thing: even if they COULD have made the game from Elizabeth’s perspective, I’m not saying they SHOULD have.  Nor am I saying the game is any worse off because of it.

That’s the thing about preference.  In the case of Infinite, virtually everything that’s on display here is objectively good.  Mechanically airtight, intellectually satisfying, sensually appeasing…like I said before, the high marks it’s earned from magazines and websites are more deserved than with dozens of games released this generation.  Granted a TENOUTTATEN only means so much, but surely you get the point.  In the case of preferences, people prefer what this game has to offer.  There’s not much for them to complain about.

Except for the ending.

WARNING: GOOD GOD, DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED THE GAME.  I’M NOT PLAYING AROUND HERE.  GO.  LEAVE.  DON’T READ.  DON’T MAKE ME DISABLE YOUR INTERNET FROM HERE.  BECAUSE I CAN, THANKS TO THE POWER OF ANTI-SPOILER TECHNOLOGY.