Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Unamommer is my new Favorite Site Ever

Monday, August 30th, 2010

In a thread over on NeoGaf, I got linked to a blog called the Unamommer (awesome name, btw).  The thread in question was discussing the recently released Elemental: War of Magic, from Stardock entertainment.  The nerdier parts of the gaming Internet have been abuzz about some controversy about the game's release, but I don't really have anything meaningful to add to that particular discussion, so I'm mostly going to leave it alone.  Elemental could use a little more polish, certainly, but it'll come.

Instead, I want to talk about the Unamommer blog, and particularly her take on Elemental: Destiny's Embers.  Destiny's Embers is a novel accompanying the War of Magic game, set in the world of the campaign, and presumably crossing over at some point.   If you're like me, you have already instantly written it off as terrible by virtue of it being a game-related novel.  This is where the Unamommer comes in.

The Important link gets it's own line:

Unamommer » Blog Archive » Elemental: Destiny’s Embers

From perusing her site a bit, it seems like the Unamommer's M.O. is to read bad books, and then write snarky reviews about them.  Some choice quotes from her review of Destiny's Embers:

In my last review I drew a distinction between fun bad and facepalm bad.  Fun bad books may have terrible plots or characters but there’s a baseline level of competency that keeps the book readable.  Sentences may be simple, but they are still constructed in a way that generally makes sense and the writing itself fades to the background, leaving you focused on what the actual story is trying to tell you.  Elemental is not one of those books.

Her favorite Character in the book?  I'm glad you asked:

The dress is actually my favorite character in the book. A few short pages later she is accosted by bad guys and they have a conversation about the dress. Her thoughts reveal to us the backstory and political importance of the dress. After she is rescued from the bad guys by the clever orphan boy she has a crush on and a handsome knight, she flings herself into her father’s arms while sobbing and he stops to notice the dress before noticing the knife wound on her neck.

Sounds like that character had a lot of competition though:

So anyway, the story follows a couple of difference people around. There’s the Clever Orphan and the Magical Princess who are off to find some sort of magical artifact that is a circlet that is also an orb. Along the way they pick up The Bad Guy’s Henchman Who Is Not Half As Clever As He Thinks He Is, a golem, and a Thief With A Heart Of Gold who has been cursed to be unnoticeable to everyone except the orphan because the orphan is, obviously, special.

I highly recommend heading over there and reading the rest of the review.  It's fantastic.  Anyway, Mrs. Unamommer, I have subscribed to your blog, and hope others do as well.  I look forward to the next review!

Yakuza 3 reviewed by Yakuza – Boing Boing

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

This was a great idea for a feature.  Read what actual Yakuza guys have to say about the game Yakuza 3:

Yakuza 3 reviewed by Yakuza - Boing Boing.

Kiryu is fighting all the time. He's gotta be a fucking idiot. No yakuza is going to run around getting into fistfights like that. Especially not an executive type. He'll wind up in jail or in the hospital or dead, maybe even whacked by his own people for being a troublemaker. These days, he'd probably get kicked out before even going to jail. Guys like that start gang wars and nobody wants that now. When a yakuza gets into a fight, it's serious business.

Bad Pitch/Good Pitch: Orgy Porgy

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Bad Pitch/Good Pitch is a recurring feature in which I take some sort of creative work, and pretend that I am pitching it to the executives.  One pitch is terrible, and would never get the project greenlit, and the other is presumably better.  In theory, both are factual portrayals of the content of the project.

Bad Pitch:  A society is built entirely on the premise of pleasure and stability as the highest goal of society.  Citizens routinely engage in sexually promiscuous acts, including orgies, while taking a euphoric drug called soma.

Good Pitch:  Wait, that was the bad pitch?  How am I supposed to compete with that?

Show ▼

Gaming Squared: WoW Chat Bomber

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Frequently while playing one game, I find myself creating a second game for myself on top of the original.  In this column, I detail these.  I do so partially simply to share the game-within-the-game, but also to explore what lead to the embedded game's creation.

I feel that I need to preface this particular entry by noting that I'm writing about a game I haven't played in nearly 5 years, and so there's a very good chance that World of Warcraft is significantly different now than it was when I played Chat Bomber.
Chat Bomber is a short game that was played in the short time span between taking off on a gryphon from Ironforge, and landing at my destination (which caused me to switch chat channels).  In this time, I would introduce a new topic into the chat channel.   I won the round if Ironforge chat was still discussing this topic upon my return (after the instance run, or questing, or battlegrounds, or whatever I was up to).

While I suppose chat bombing is kind of a trollish game (sorry Uther server of 5 years ago!), I found myself fascinated by the fact that a couple of hours would pass, I wouldn't recognize any of the users involved in the discussion, but it would still be ongoing.  Naturally, this worked best with controversial openers (the simplest, most effective one at the time was always a strong opinion, whether positive or negative, about President Bush), but the controversy wasn't necessary.

Ultimately, there were two reasons why I created this particular game.  First, I've long found chat rooms to be the extra fine, vintage variety of Internet inanity.   Not only was the level of discourse often banal, there was often a dearth of discourse entirely, with chatters seemingly shouting into a void only to be responded to with a nonsequitor shout from another chatter.  In a way, I looked at it as a challenge to actually create cohesive conversation in the channel, with as few messages and as little time as possible.  The second big reason that I made the game was that at the time, riding a gryphon was a serious bit of downtime.  After you'd done a given flight path a few times, the landmarks no longer impressed, and aside from the "bio break" or snack grab, there wasn't much to do during the interval.  Those are the times that I find myself creating my own fun.

Bad Pitch/Good Pitch: Orphan

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Bad Pitch/Good Pitch is a recurring feature in which I take some sort of creative work, and pretend that I am pitching it to the executives.  One pitch is terrible, and would never get the project greenlit, and the other is presumably better.  In theory, both are factual portrayals of the content of the project.

Bad Pitch

The main character is a rich orphan living in his inherited mansion.  He drives around in an expensive car with little regard to traffic laws or public safety.  He's the creepy brooding type that doesn't really make close friends, and spends his spare time figuring out the best way to take them out, should he ever have to.

Good pitch

The main character's parents were killed before his eyes when he was just a kid, and he swore to do everything within his power to clean up the criminal element of his city.  Fortunately, he inherited massive riches, and after dedicating his youth to training and developing crime fighting technology, he now patrols the city from a gray area outside the law, specializing in those criminals that are similarly beyond the law's reach.

Show ▼

Bad Pitch/Good Pitch: Archaeology

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Bad Pitch/Good Pitch is a recurring feature in which I take some sort of creative work, and pretend that I am pitching it to the executives.  One pitch is terrible, and would never get the project greenlit, and the other is presumably better.

Bad Pitch

It's a story about an archaeologist on a dig for a religious relic in the desert.

Good pitch

Did I mention that the relic has incredible power, and he's racing against the Nazis who want to use it to help them conquer the world?  Also, the movie will feature incredibly meaty sound effects when he punches guys, which he will do frequently.

Show ▼

Game students: quick read

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Patrick Klepak over at MTV Games has a great little blog post about watching his girlfriend (a casual gamer) tackle Left 4 Dead (her first shooter ever).  I've mentioned to some of you before that watching inexperienced gamers play games is both extremely educational and extremely entertaining, and this little write up captures that well.