31 October 2008

All is forgiven

Oh my gosh.  I don't have time to write you a full-blown post, but you simply must read the end of the hat-guy-for-internet-secretary saga (part 5) on www.xkcd.com

I...just...I love hat guy.

29 October 2008

Time to draw the line.

Hey e-aaghers!

Like superheros?  Check out Evil, Inc.  www.evil-comic.com

Anything that goes under the webaddress evil-comic.com has to be good, right?  Or bad...whatever.

Also, the hat guy is being appointed to a fictional cabinet post.  I especially love Wednesday's strip where they're going through all the times he's been arrested.  Amazing.  (sorry, hat guy on xkcd if you didn't figure that out)

And then there's today's strip--just posted--Tron Paul!

I like how the hover-over-the-strip comment is simply, "It's time to draw the line"

26 October 2008

Mr. Saturn lives

(...but you wouldn't want me to tell you where or when and ruin it now, would you?)

Today a comment on music in gaming.  While classic anthems like Mario's eternally reinterpreted theme (like this, 

Greg Patillo on the beatboxing flute) and Zelda's many themes are cornerstones to the gaming world, I find that rpgs continually supply notable original music.

For example, I've played so many hours of Oblivion, that when I finally started listening to the soundtrack (courtesy of Alpha) it made me feel like I was home.  It was a great feeling.  Maybe it has to do with emotional intensity.  *shrug*

So, when I say that the music in Mother plays a big role, it's partially this and partially an interesting facet of Mother itself.  Obviously the music from Earthbound--often reproduced in both Mother and Mother 3--is quirky and gives character to the series.  However, I've discovered that this third in the trilogy pulls a stunt that echoes the Mario RPG series:  there are timed attacks.

But they're not JUST timed attacks.  They're in time with the underlying rhythm of the battle (which you can hear if you put the baddie to sleep).  What's more, I'm told you can achieve up to a dozen or more attacks in the row if you take the rhythm into account.  I've still only managed three, but the damage stacks like this: if your original attack was 80, with an extra hit (two total) you could deal out 95 or 100 damage.  Just IMAGINE if you could rack up 10 hits.  You would own the enemies.  No questions asked.

But...I'm not sure how feasible it is.  I'm a musician and I'm having a hard time doing more than two.  I've done three, like, once or twice.

25 October 2008


Just as I've been taking a break from blogging about Mother 3, I've been taking a break from playing it.  This is partially due to being in a fire level that's handing my ass to me, and partially due to being busy in real life.  Oh presentations and critiques....

Anyway, on the webcomics front the halfpixel guys have started up webcomics.com (no www before it) as a center for articles about webcomics.  It's interesting--there's a bit of talk about making webcomics, specific webcomics, etc.  Apparently (according to Scott Kurtz) the Penny Arcade guys bought it and gave it halfpixel in the spirit of brotherhood or something.  How awesome is that?  It is, however, in it's infant stages as far as articles goes because it went up this week.  So, if you enjoy being among the first to enjoy a good thing, stop over there.

Their podcast, Webcomics Weekly, however is not new and you can now listen to it on the top of their homepage.  Good planning, methinks.

Furthermore, I've recently picked back up Fchords.  It's Kris Straub's other (3rd) strip besides chainsawsuit and Starslip Crisis.  I've read comments of his about it saying that it's kind of the strip he's always sort of wanted to make.  No surprise then that the main character, Ash, looks like him.  Quite a bit like him, lol.  Apparently he's a musician, too.  Explains a lot, that does.

Anyway, Fchords ( http://fchords.com/ ) is relatively new:  as of this summer or something.  It's about a couple of guys who record music for commercials but dream of making the big time.  Relatable, obviously.  (Ash:  "Please don't tell me I stole from Dido...I have a new idea!  Let's pretend this never happened.")

19 October 2008

It's a Pig's Life in the Modern Army

(my personal homage to Monty Python.  If you get the reference, good for you.)

As you will discover by even starting Mother 3 (or watching the trailer on their website or youtube) there's a pig theme going for the bad guys.  *I* haven't even figured out why yet as I'm nearing the end of chapter 5.  In my brain they're all Pokey hiding under those masks.

And as a continuation to the animal theme, you save your game with frogs, and two of the playable characters are animals.

One of those animals is a monkey.  I feel that the monkey's chapter is something of an interesting directorial choice (if this were a movie) because for reasons I won't tell you, his story takes us behind enemy lines.  Unfortunately, the monkey isn't exceptionally strong himself, but they give you a non-controllable companion who keeps you from being a monkey pancake.  This also means that in the short spurts that you separate from this companion (such as running a *cough* errand) be extra, extra careful not to pick any fights.  Your little monkey friend doesn't deal out enough damage to be more than marginally effective by himself.

Now, if only your companion weren't scum....

18 October 2008

Thieves and Ghosts

My favorite part of Mother 3 thus far is Chapter 2.  You get to play as a thief who's getting his first chance at doing real thieving.  His array of skill moves is pretty snazzy.

So where does this thief go to steal something?  An old, haunted castle.  Brilliant!  Some of the ghosts are actually friendly and I enjoyed talking to them.

I've gotta say, again, that there's a departure in feel from Earthbound in this area, but that there's some justification in the long term.  What this part does remind me of is Legend of Zelda when you're first sneaking into the castle at the beginning of the game.  Or maybe a little bit of Spike McFang.

This chapter also introduces the traditional Mother game zombies:  there were zombies south of the first city in Mother, north of Threed in Earthbound, and now north of the main city in Mother 3.  Ironically, there's a sign in front of the graveyard talking about how zombies are not allowed inside.  Oops!

Next time:  Monkeys and Frogs and Pigs, oh my!


The English patch for Mother 3 came out yesterday morning.  Like normal people, I had to work, so when I got home I made myself a sandwich and sat down to play.  The hard part is deciding which of my many, many observations are important enough to share.

For those of you who don't know, Mother 3 is set up in Chapters.  Each chapter features a different main character whose special skills can be quite different.  Each chapter is also a relatively different flavor.

For example, chapter 1 features our main character's dad, who I call Damien, and their faithful dog, who I've called Puck like the character from Shakespeare.  Damien and Puck go out to deal with a suspicious raging forest fire.  Now, this takes place in a small village where everyone knows eachother's name and there's no such thing as money.  The original state of the village is an important factor, actually....but the thing is that it doesn't give you an Earthbound-y feeling.  In fact, it doesn't really until chapter 4 (where I am).  But, that has to do with a plot point, so I accept the original non-Earthbound-iness.

As to gameplay, the controls feel a lot like its predecessor.  There's a dashing feature (not dashing as in charming but dashing as in running) that's an interesting addition.  This means that if you plan it right, you can zip by certain enemies.  You can also ram into monsters that are too easy for you and insta-kill them (for no experience points).  It's especially fun to do in the Pork Bean or whatever it was called in Chapter 3.  But I digress....

To be continued:  Next time read about my favorite part so far!

14 October 2008

So very excited...

...I don't know what to do with myself.  The Mother 3 fan translation project is done and they're releasing the patch by the end of the week.  I remember playing Mother 2 (Earthbound) the first time so many, many years ago (had to've been something in the range of a decade ago) and finding out that there had been a proposed sequel that we were never to receive.

And now we ARE receiving it.  Everything's come full circle.

To be fair, there are those who've been watching the translation project since it's beginning who deserve to be more excited than me, but I'm still excited.  So very, very excited.

Which means I ought to be careful not to have unreachable expectations.  Although, I've played half of the first chapter in Japanese and found it notably un-Earthbound-like, so maybe that means that my expectations are somewhat low.  I'm just excited on principle, methinks.

And when I say I played that half-a-chapter in Japanese, that doesn't mean that I understood bunches of it without a walkthrough.  Cut me some slack.  Considering THAT translation was very dry, maybe the official translation (by a professional translator who's a series fan) will put some of the Earthbound back into it.  Maybe.  *shrug*

13 October 2008

Nook's political spin

Alpha recently sent me a video of the new Animal Crossing for Wii.  I must say, I have a love-hate relationship with Animal Crossing.  It's like Harvest Moon but with no farm and more furniture.  And giroids.  However, for some reason I still put in enough time on the original to pay off my house....huh.

That reminds me.  Chainsawsuit did an Animal Crossing reference strip a month back or so.  Let me see if I can find it... **time passes**  Ah, here we are:


I totally feel that way about Tom Nook.

After 5 years your town would also be the Congo because the massive amounts of weeds would form a spontaneous video game jungle.  Cause and effect, you know?

11 October 2008

Perspectives on Reboot for the modern gamer

So Arthur in today's Sheldon asks a good semi-philosophical question.  He asks:  in the tallest building in the world, if there happens to be a bathroom on that floor, did someone bother to put in curtains?

My instant thought was, what about slightly deranged helicopter pilots?

Just a thought, lol.

And for those who remember Reboot (the show), might I recommend going back and rewatching some of the early episodes?  It's interesting to hear them talk clearly intending to sound cutting-edge ("Alphanumeric!" Enzo always yells), and to see the old-fashioned games.  Like, the user in Episode 5 is all blocky with a ponytail.  I mean, the main characters aren't blocky, but the user's character is.  Fascinating.  And it's interesting to think about all the games we've played (and hopefully won) and see how they would destroy Mainframe little by little.

Maybe Alpha wouldn't hate losing as much if he realized he was just losing to a guardian protecting Mainframe.  Lol, then again maybe not.  And how would MMORPG's work in that visualization of the computer.  What if Bob got stuck in EveOnline, for example, he'd never, ever get out because you couldn't beat all the users.

And if the user (us) lost as often as the one in Reboot does, would they continue trying games?  That explains why they don't necessarily replay games during the series.  It's an argument for buying console games.

What happens when the user cheats?

Food for thought.  Watch Reboot on youtube and ponder. (Coffee tawk.  Tawk amongst yowrselves.)  Lmao.

10 October 2008

The claw demands...a soda.

Feeling sick...can't write post....

'The claw demands blood!  Also a soda.'

And on today's Penny Arcade, they comment on the creator of Black and White and Fable's interest in creating a game that would interest non-gamers.  I mean, they poke fun at the idea, but isn't that what games like the Movies and Sims already do?  (I mean, besides drawing in the creative types and kid sisters?)


Also, that's what Rock Band and Guitar Hero (and Wii in general) are doing, I think.  I've met people who don't game who love these titles.  Are we saying there's no hope?

08 October 2008

V splits

Aloha todos, e-aaghers.

Just a note to remind you to stop over and read Alpha's comic, Gavalier's World of Warcraft.  The mafia makes an appearance in WoW and drives the plot, so it's definitely worth it.  Make sure you tell Alpha how much you like his work.  You can plaster him with comments on his blog.

On other fronts, if you've not kept up with Rich Burlew's OOTS, Varsuvius has recently vaporized a plot point, literally--to the reader's relief as he explains--but today he's parting ways with Durkon and Elan.  *gasp*  I wonder how many more years will go by before the group is reunited and Roy is resurrected.  2?  3?

Which reminds me, they ought to have a sequel to the Order of the Stick board game, which takes current events into account.  And makes the shortened version a little more...shortened?

07 October 2008

Samba to Salsa

Well, Chicago has spent the afternoon living up to its windy, rainy stereotype.  Ugh.  And I didn't wear my rainboots.

Today's strangest-thing-I've heard-in-a-while goes hands-down to the latest Flintlocke comic on gamespy: http://pc.gamespy.com/flintlocke-vs-the-horde/episode-5-talkin-bout-locks/917205p1.html

I'm talking about the final panel.  Yeah, you'll figure it out.

And apparently Kris Straub of Starslip Crisis is offering his alterna-strip free to college newspapers so as to get the URL out there.  I'm referring to www.chainsawsuit.com .  So, if you work for a school paper, perhaps you should consider it, eh?

On the gaming front, I've been catching advertisements occasionally for Samba de Amigo for Wii that came out last month.  It seems like the modern day answer to Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.  I'm curious to see how difficult it is to differentiate between the 6 directions instead of 4, and there's a battle mode that sounds promising.

Here's Nintendo's site page on the subject:

Now, they just need to incorporate the balance board and call it Salsa de Amigo.

06 October 2008

Not guilty enough

I killed an entire Saturday playing emulator games.  I feel a...little guilty about it.  Almost not guilty enough, lol.

What I discovered is that, one, it's a good thing I've never owned my own gba, because I'd be very broke.  Two, they used the same template to make several maxis games such as Bustin Out and the Urbz.  Three, no matter how old I get Harvest Moon has the ability to suck away my life.

Life minesweeper as I said before.  But I digress....

If you keep up with Sheldon at all, you'll notice that Shel's multibillion dollar company is in trouble, and he's going to Dubai to get a loan.  Dave Kellet always impresses me how he manages to take current events as inspirations for an entire series of plot points.  Now his crew is flying to Dubai and today's actually has Arthur and a plane stewardess discussing the $1000 bill they've given him for a napkin.  Lol.  I'd totally be like, 'Excuse me, I think I've spilled my drink all over myself.' and then suck it up and airdry.

03 October 2008

Raisins and xkcd

Leave it to raisins to be the only thing in my pantry with just one ingredient under the ingredient list:  raisins.  Also, I did a google search for uses of the word, definoodley, and only my blog popped up.  Hilarious.  :)

*cough*  Right, back to relevant topics....

Alpha telling me that they've recently added bejeweled to WoW when you're flying on a Griffin or whatever just to pass the time, and that you can play it whenever you want.  It's like they're acknowledging that sometimes you gotta wait a long time.  I'm not criticizing so much as observing.  It seemed appropriate, then, that today's xkcd is related to this topic:


The guy who started putting Minesweeper on Windows owes me months of my life back.

02 October 2008


To all the e-aagh-ers (I feel like that's potential for a nickname.  Hmm....) I'm Office-less (the show) tonight due to the VP debate, so I've fallen back to writing.  May I emphasize the Office-less part and make it clear that I'm rather sad about it?

Anyway, a couple of weeks back someone referred me to the-editing-room.com, and I'd recommend it.  Definoodley.  They do "abridged scripts" of well-known movies such as Indiana Jones and Cloverfield, which are pretty damn amusing.  Start here:


If you're a don't-ruin-it-for-me person, obviously websurf with discretion.  I'd never seen Cloverfield for example.  *shrug*  There are some movies that I'm more concerned about than others, you know?

And may I recommend today's Looking For Group?  Richard sings that boom de yada boom de yada song...sort of.

Peace, fellow e-aaghers.