So. Guess what I learned?
July 31, 2013
July 30, 2013
Let me be perfectly upfront: I don’t care for Wolverine.
I don’t necessarily hate him, but I don’t think he’s the coolest member of the X-Men. I’ve always had a soft spot for Beast and, to some extent, Cyclops. Yeah, I know, real shocker -- Voltech doesn’t like the surly, ultra-popular badass anti-hero! How very unprecedented! That is, assuming that you’ve read anything I’ve written in the past year here or elsewhere. Among other myriad topics. What can I say? I love my soapbox and megaphone.
Whatever the case, even though I try my best to be impartial, you and I both know that’s impossible. Opinions and preferences are going to bleed into anything that anyone writes when it comes to trying to offer a judgment. GameInformer will take shots at JRPGs in previews. Destructoid’s Jim Sterling will bring in allusions (justified allusions) to problems with the game industry if the game he’s reviewing makes a related faux pas. MovieBob + JJ Abrams = not a good idea. Now, I’m confident that all those people and more can set aside their preferences and offer up a clear-minded analysis. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be trustworthy. And if I’m going to be trustworthy in kind, I have to do the same if I decide to review something.
…It’s a good thing this isn’t a review, then.
Spoilers -- some, but not a lot -- inbound. So if you’re eager to see the movie, you might want to Berserker Slash your way out of here. I’m about to Fatal Claw the rest of this post with potential threats to your viewing experience, so don’t get too crazy with your Machine Gun Claw.
July 29, 2013
Beat 78: Oh, Assist Will Work Nicely -- That Starts With A
Just seconds ago, Deirdre looked furious enough to roundhouse-kick Lloyd’s head off his neck. But seeing Lloyd fumble with that quill pen turned her grimace into her typical sultry grin. “Having a bit of trouble there, boy? Come on, now -- getting into action shouldn’t be that hard, now should it?”
Lloyd’s eyes darted between Deirdre and the pen in his hands. As long as Deirdre was caught in those vines, he still had some breathing room -- at least a few seconds’ worth of it. “Er, if I could ask that you allow me a minute or twenty to find out how to use this, I’m almost certain you’ll be well-rewarded.”
Deirdre waved her hand, and the vines around her legs sank into the audition room floor. “I’m coming for you, boy,” she said with a chuckle -- and sure enough, she floated towards him at a steady clip.
“I don’t suppose this is the feather of a silly cap?”
“Are you asking me that?”
Lloyd’s shoulders slumped. “I figured I might as well.”
July 26, 2013
Spoilers. Zombies. Opinions. You know. The usual stuff. Read at your own risk, and…
I miss the days when games didn’t make me sad and tired.
July 25, 2013
Beat 77: Alterations, Altercations, and Something Else that Starts with A
Well. That was interesting.
Lloyd opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling -- at least he would have if a ceiling hung above him. It didn’t. Blue skies and fluffy clouds stretched as far as his eye could track, with the occasional seagull flapping about for shores unseen. He sat up, expecting a solid floor to make the task as simple as possible; splashing waves greeted his palm instead, and a few gentle waves dashed across his body. His body, he noted -- the extravagance of Lloydellina’s frame had been replaced with his svelte (and still-bandaged) form.
This ocean again. Lloyd stood up and patted his body down, taking in the serene surroundings. But why this time? Last time it was because the park’s Ferris wheel nearly claimed my life. This time it was because… He crossed his arms and nodded to himself. Let me think here. I was trying to overwhelm Miss O’Leary’s other self -- and myself, at that moment -- by trying to imagine the circumstances that Miss O’Leary herself must face on a regular basis. A bit of empathy, assuming my terminology is right. I can only wonder if it worked…or, given my surroundings, if I’ve failed entirely.
He smiled nervously. Or perhaps this is an overwhelming success.
July 23, 2013
There’s a scene relatively early on in Pacific Rim where our hero Raleigh is giving the audience a voice-over to explain the mentality behind piloting a Jaeger, the giant robots employed in the future to fight off the kaiju invaders. He says something to the effect of “standing up” and “looking forward” -- or more specifically, he mentions that normally when there’s a hurricane coming, you run and hide. But when you’re in a Jaeger, you feel like you can stand up to it. You have to fight the hurricane.
That…sounds like a really dumb idea, even if you’re in a giant robot. A hurricane is a swirling mass of wind, water, and debris, isn’t it? That really doesn’t strike me as the kind of thing you could get rid of just by punching it. It sounds cool as hell, sure, but pretty impractical. Still, it’s something you can chalk up to the nature of the movie and the universe therein. It’s a world with giant robots and giant monsters. It’s not supposed to make sense; it’s just supposed to be cool.
Except that mentality doesn’t really work for Pacific Rim. Believe it or not, this isn’t necessarily the sort of movie where the “turn your brain off” mantra can come into play. The movie is inherently dumb, but if you take even a few minutes to listen to these people and get invested in their world, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. Surprised, and rewarded -- and walking out of the theater with a smile on your face.
I know I did, at least.
There are likely some SPOILERS to follow, but there shouldn’t be anything too heavy here. Besides, you shouldn’t even be reading this post anyway if you haven’t seen the movie; go out there and watch it so it can beat out Grown Ups 2.
Do the right thing. Don’t let Adam Sandler win.
July 22, 2013
Beat 76: Myriad Methods to Break the Camel’s Back
Deirdre raised an eyebrow. “Oh? Did I hear that right? I must have misheard -- because I could have sworn I heard you call me ‘Miss O’Leary’. Didn’t I just tell you to call me Deirdre?”
“You did. But it seems like a bit of a misnomer, given that -- as I understand it -- you and Miss O’Leary are one and the same.” Lloyd stroked his chin. “It goes beyond physical similarities, of course. We’ve only had a brief time together, yet the similarities are all in place. It’s only a matter of proper application on my part; after all, if you ARE the same, then you both have the same shared set of strengths and weaknesses.”
“Weaknesses? Ha! I have no weaknesses, boy. Get that through your purple head right now.”
“I would watch your words carefully. Those that utter such a phrase tend to be proven wrong soon afterward -- spectacularly.”
July 19, 2013
July 18, 2013
Beat 75: Inappropriate Diction for Sixteen-Year-Old Girls
This is not a good situation to be in.
Using the back wall as leverage, Lloyd picked himself up and stared ahead gravely. That seems to be the theme of this past half-week or so, but in this case it applies now more than ever. In the past, it was only my own life and my own well-being at stake. Even if I were to err severely, the damage done to Miss O’Leary could likely be repaired.
He covered his mouth. But it seems I was much too hasty, as usual. I’d proclaimed that saving Miss O’Leary meant bringing an end to her trusted advisor. I’d said so in earnest fervor, but only now am I beginning to realize the weight of such an act. His fingers tightened. To take the life of an incorporeal consciousness…is it no different from murder? Am I in the moral right to do such a thing? What must I sacrifice to help another -- and what consequences would follow? And most importantly…
He shot a finger at Deirdre. “Where did you learn how to FLY?!”
July 16, 2013
July 15, 2013
Beat 74: Rabbits Bite Harder Than You Think
Trixie rubbed the back of her neck. “All right, one o’ y’all is gonna have to explain all this to me. ‘Cause right now, this ain’t clickin’ for me, and it’s startin’ to gimme a real headache.”
“Oh, don’t worry. I intend to,” Lloyd said with a nod. “You see -- oh wait, you know what I just realized? I didn’t give my first secret technique a suitably-proper name. This requires an immediate remedy! So henceforth, you can consider it to be known as The Supra-Dazzling Un-Logic Carnival: First Move…” He stole a glance at the shotgun in her hands. “Er, then again, I suppose the renaming process can wait. And explanations are in order, I suppose.”
“Yes. Now then, where were we?” He shifted around in the chair -- still bound, of course. “Besides a double-sided hostage situation, of course. But I’ve long since grown accustomed to that.”
“Stockholm syndrome’s a hell of a thing,” said Mrs. Overdose.
July 13, 2013
How does the saying go…? Ah, yes -- get HYPE.
I should probably start by saying that I’m not very good at fighting games. I’m no Flowchart Ken, but I’m in this weird purgatory where I’m several steps above a “scrub”, but several steps below someone who actually practices with the game on a regular basis -- so yeah, you won’t hear about me taking any tournaments anytime soon. But I still enjoy the concept of them, and the potential each one holds. The end result may always be the same, but how they go about it varies wildly. Not to mention the joy (and despair) that results from playing as your favorite character. Truefax: the only reason I’ve played Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is because I get to
lose with play as Phoenix Wright.
So in honor of the battles destined to rage at this year’s big battlefield, let’s talk about a whole mess of fighters -- old ones, new-ish ones, and more. So oil up your arcade sticks; it’s time to DP our way into some tatsunical combos!
…Tiger knee motion.
July 11, 2013
Beat 73: The Path to the Future is Paved with Podiatry
“Hey, old lady! Ya wanna warn a gal ‘fore ya go tossin’ guns all over the place?” Trixie considered herself -- and the others, by proxy -- lucky that she’d made a decent catch; otherwise the room would need a deep scrubbing and a few body bags. But by the looks of things, no one had bothered paying attention to her or the threat of death. “Y’all just keep on ignorin’ me then…I don’t even care…”
And they did. Mrs. Overdose in particular; with a few swings of her legs, socks and shoes went flying through the room. She folded her arms tightly across her torso, and took a seat on a Lloyd statue with a thunderous drop. With the proper positioning assumed, she dropped a foot atop Sheila’s lap, and looked up at her with an intense glare.
An intense glare, and an excited smile. “Let’s get this party started.”
July 10, 2013
Hoo boy. Playing The Last of Us has really been taking it out of me. Especially with these posts I’ve been doing. I mean, it’d be all right if I was having the blast with the game, but right now it just feels like I’m forcing myself to play it. Not a good situation to be in…
Whatever. I’ll just use this post as a break. It’s been too long since there was a Manly Song post. Too long, actually. It’s true that there were those other posts from a while back with video game and anime songs, and the official post with Jin’s theme, but…I don’t know, it feels like there’s something missing.
I guess I haven’t thrown anything up into the Repository since I started this thing, but that feels a little dishonest. This is supposed to be about others contributing. Then again, I can’t get others to contribute UNLESS there are posts, so it’s only fair that I pop in every now and then, right? But on the other hand, those posts have some other songs listed; it’s just a matter of listening to those and giving proper attribution. But I wonder if it’s all right to count those…well, they probably are, but…
Ugh. There I go, over-thinking things. I think I’d better go take a break; cooling my head could do some wonders. Besides, I could sure go for some hot dogs. So I guess I'll switch off for now.
…Oh? What’s this? “Cross-Up”? Well…this sounds like fun.
July 8, 2013
Beat 72: Corn of Coercion
Less than a day ago, the O’Leary family needed a new table for the kitchen. Now they needed a new kitchen.
Only one out of every four cabinet doors remained on the hinges -- and even those that did hung haphazardly off them, half-shredded like all the others. Plates once used for fancy dinners had long since doubled as throwing stars, bludgeons, and the occasional impromptu knife, with shards thrown across and through wood and tile alike. The refrigerator looked as if it took a head-on blow from a train, spilling its contents all over the floor. It might have been a fire hazard if not for the gash-laden walls and the wires that swung from them; those could pose a risk just as easily. Then again, considering the columns of smoke drifting about, fires didn’t seem to register as much of a problem.
Jane certainly didn’t care. She just stood her ground, scratched up and sweat-laden, as she ran a fist past her stinging cheek. “Heh heh…you can put up a good fight. I’ll give you that much, Sheila.” She spat a few drops of blood out of her mouth. “Guess you inherited something from me after all.”
July 6, 2013
I sat down one day to eat some fish and salad, with an episode of Monk playing not far away. As it was playing, I actually started getting invested in the show; I regret not watching it in its prime, and in spite of liking the show now I still can’t seem to commit to watching it on its usual time slot. Still, I’ve seen enough of it to know about certain plot threads -- and this episode in particular seemed primed to explore the mystery behind the man who killed Monk’s wife. I was ready for that episode. I wanted to see where it went. I started thinking about The Last of Us, for whatever reason.
Something about the mystical combination of salmon and Randy Newman got me thinking about the game in earnest. And then, suddenly, I had a thought. An insight. It all started to come together.
It helped to explain why, even with hours left to go on clearing the game, I have the opinions about it that I do. And that opinion? Well…
WARNING: Hi there. You know, we’ve had a lot of fun tonight, but on a more serious note it’s important to remember the importance of protection…from SPOILERS. Spoilers ruin stories for people that haven’t gotten around to experiencing them in person. For some people, that’s okay -- and they don’t mind reading posts like this. For others, that’s no good. So be wary of spoilers. Know what you want out of life -- and then, reach for your dreams.
The More You Know.
July 4, 2013
Beat 71: Well, When You Put It That Way…
Lloyd didn’t get any sleep.
The gears in his head buzzed and drudged in an attempt to form a single coherent thought. They couldn’t. They tried, but failed. Many, many, many times.
He could still call up vague memories of what had happened that night. The bits about the machete and the bottle came easily enough, but everything after that had blurred almost beyond recognition. He could piece together images of some very harmful instruments. A few meals that made him wonder if his injuries had left him with infrared vision. A few screams about love and violence. And the pain. So much pain.
So Lloyd didn’t bother going to sleep. He just lay on his side, refusing to move the arms and legs now chained to that chair, and stared at the ruptured wall ahead. Sheila’s bed -- what remained of it, at least -- had been crammed into the hole, along with some planks of wood and a few blankets. Sheila herself slept soundly a few feet away, her legs shifting across a too-small blanket, and her arm wrapped around a Lloyd-faced pillow. And as she turned once more, rattling with mucus and muttering sweet nothings to her pillow, Lloyd finally formed a full thought.
I’m going to die in here. Three seconds later, he fell asleep.
July 3, 2013
(Probably not, but…hey, I like cooking competitions. So let's see where this goes, shall we?)
If you can read those words and not feel a searing wave of disdain and hatred, then you are a more fortunate man than I. See, my brother -- apparently, like a large enough audience -- is a fan of the reality TV series Jersey Shore. And in one, soul-scorching instance, I watched an episode with him.
What did I see? By Odin’s beard...
July 1, 2013
Beat 70: The Shiv Quota Has Not Been Met
Well, now. This day has turned out to be particularly terrible.
A part of Lloyd -- the part currently allowing him to let his face stay planted in the grass -- wanted to just go to sleep and pretend everything that had happened thus far was just the stuff of some stalker’s deepest fantasy. But another part of him realized that this WAS the stuff of some stalker’s deepest fantasy. A fantasy that had gone horribly wrong given the nature of reality, but a fantasy all the same. And now that he had a moment to reflect, it was a fantasy he didn’t much care for.
I think it would be best if I made a tactical retreat, Lloyd thought, hoping that a worm hadn’t crawled into his mouth. I made the grave mistake of engaging with Miss O’Leary in her home -- giving her an advantage that she likely didn’t need. Once I’ve my bearings, I’ll be certain to resume quickly enough. He sniffled. As soon as I get my stomach pumped, that is.