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Manic Maverick's blog

2:22 PM on 08.19.2010

A Belated Introduction

Well, it's been close to 8 months now and a first blog post involving a review that's been done three or four times before definitely doesn't come close to cutting it. As for the forums...those are the forums.

I figured it was about time I made a decent introduction. When I first signed up I sort of fell right into the mix—however harsh the fall was—and never looked back. But I could never call myself a true Dtoider until I did look back, establishing who the hell I am. If you don't feel like knowing about numerous aspects of my life and how I found this glorious website, then you can go ahead and close the page. If you want to know who Manic Maverick is, then brave the waters of this exceptionally long post.

Sometime back in late 2008 or early 2009, I began seeing a friendly, green robot. He seemed to be stalking me, popping up in the most unlikeliest of places. Google searches, Wikipedia articles, other gaming news sites, my shower, YouTube, and tonnes of other places. It was a bit disturbing, seeing as how prior to that I had never seen anything involving Destructoid. It was as if the site had decided one day that I was a fun person to stalk.

Whenever I passed Destructoid, it was to read an article. I think I read some of Jim Sterling's writings, as well as Anthony Burch and some others. The articles were great to me because they were so raw and straight to the point. I didn't feel like the writers had ties on that were too tight around their necks. Although I was seeing Destructoid a lot, it didn't really become blatantly in my face until a bit later. I had been watching Storm's Adventures on YouTube since around November of 2008, so when he was signed onto the Destructoid crew I began seeing Mr. Destructoid's big, blocky head even more than I had.

Maybe in July or August of 2009 I was shown the I Love Video Games episode of Hey Ash, Whatcha Playing?, which immediately turned me into a fanboy of the show. And there was the Destructoid logo again, beckoning me ever closer. What was with this robot? Didn't he see I was busy with other things, like browsing IGN? Like with Storm's Adventures, I didn't follow HAWP back to Destructoid, but rather watched most of the episodes on GameTrailers.

Finally the day came. It was January the 24th, 2010. I had become bored with the same old gaming news sites, wary of the forums I frequented, and all around tired of the internet. As an avid fan of all things internet related, that was a bad sign. A bad, depressing sign. But, wait! Suddenly, nearly out of the blue, I remembered about “that one site I kept seeing”, the one whose articles seemed more interesting than the mass-produced feces floating about the internet. The one with the robot that seemed to be grinning at me in triumph, screaming “Sweet!” in front of a background resembling that of the Rising Sun. I had completely forgotten the name, but watching another episode of Storm's Adventures quickly changed that.

Wii TV!

...No, that wasn't it.


I had never actually payed attention to the site when I passed through it the first five or so times. But this time I stopped and looked around, feeling the general demeanor of the place. I read about its creation, the hard work that was put into it, and I fell in love with the raw energy of it. To think I had gone nearly 4 years without the site was sad. I had missed out on real gaming news and a real gaming community. But I was determined to change that.

I lurked the site for about two days, while writing my first c-blog entry. At the time I was hyped up for The Secret World (I still am, but I'm a bit less rabid), so I couldn't resist making a review (or a preview, I guess). When the c-blog finally went up, I sat around for hours, checking it over and over to see how many replies I got. I continued checking. There...was nothing. That was until a day or so later, when I received one comment. One comment? Well, that made no sense. I—Oh. It appeared that it had been written about on numerous occasions already. Thanks for replying anyway, Phantomile. It at least gave me a little hope for the future.

But that didn't stop me. My next c-blog got the front page with over 60 comments. I was completely baffled. Of course things died down very quickly after that and I barely receive many comments anymore. But it was a fine start. At the moment I still feel like I'm starting, despite the numerous months I've been here.

Destructoid has history. Four years of great people, great bonds, great memes, great podcasts. Imagine trying to fall into that but accidentally landing two yards past it. It feels like I have a brother whose birthday I missed three times in a row. How does one make up for that? You can't. All you can do is ride along and hope the days that follow are just as epic as the days you missed.

So that's how I fell in love with Destructoid. I haven't been doing a lot of c-blogging since I haven't been playing a lot of games recently. But I plan on blogging more, one way or the other.

With that behind us, I'll tell you about my interests and hobbies. I'm a graphic artist. That includes anything having to do with graphics and art: Illustrations, concept art, logos, t-shirt designs, animation, 3D modeling, whatever comes my way. While I love all things having to do with art, my main goal is to become an animator. At the moment I have tonnes of unfinished, half-assed animations sitting on my computer. Most of those were created through pushing myself into animating, rather than through inspiration. I seem to have a hard time finding inspiration these days, so any inspiration I find appears in short spurts. I yearn to locate a constant stream of inspiration, something I can draw creativity from on a daily basis. As you might expect, finding that constant stream has been hard. A lot of the time you can't just ask someone how they get their own inspiration, because everyone is inspired differently in their lives. So, my search goes on.

You can find most of my uploaded artwork on my deviantART gallery and my Tumblr.

I also enjoy making music, despite my inability to play an instrument. I've been composing songs on computer programmes ever since I was about 13. My first music programme was a MIDI composer called Music Master Works. You should have heard my first song. It sounded like a dozen cows being raped by lawnmowers made of cottage cheese. I thought they sounded amazing, but like every early work, when you listen to it some years later you want to throw up in your mouth a little bit. But as time passed I began to develop a better ear for music. I started using FL Studio when I was 18, which is when I became obsessed with Trip Hop, Industrial, Electronica, and Electro music. Then I stumbled upon Chiptunes, which I immediately fell in love with out of both nostalgia and the sheer creativity of it, and started doing that in FL Studio as well, despite it being the non-standard way of creating chiptunes. It was only until recently that I actually acquired a GameBoy with LSDj (from our very own Xibalba), and I'm currently learning the ropes. Maybe one day I'll be as good as some others.

You can find the music I have online at my YouTube channel.

Other obsessions of mine include anime, horror, and of course video games. I've been gaming since I was about 3, first smashing buttons in the arcade and then moving onto the NES. The first few games I played a lot of were Super Mario Bros, Little Nemo in Dreamland, and Solstice. Then I moved onto other games like Super Mario 2 and 3, The Legend of Zelda, and the original Megaman series. From there I went the Sega route, getting a Genesis rather than a SNES. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten both because each system was filled with amazing games that I enjoy playing to this day. Key Genesis games included the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Out of this World, Vector-Man, and some others I can't remember off the top of my head. Blowing on cartridges, tapping the game system, laughing (and crying) when the characters on the screen turned into numbers and symbols...I loved it.

There was not a point in my life when I wasn't playing a video game until recently. As of late I've been spending less time gaming because...well...I'm broke. But that never usually stops me, because I'm a big fan of indie games. It's like getting a hamburger from Burger King compared to getting a hamburger from the small, family-owned hamburger place down the street. The first will be tasty but essentially made by robots, while the latter will be filled with love, care, and hard work. I consider indie games to be the hamburger from that family-owned place down the street. Just like I consider a lot of the early retro games to be as well. Yes, you can eat video games.

As I mentioned, I love horror. Like video games, I've loved it since I was very small. My interests moved from spooky ghost stories to those Goosebumps novels to Tales from the Crypt to the Silent Hill franchise. My first big crush was Elvira, and my second was Frankenstein's bride. That's probably why I'm so attracted to goth girls. But that aside, I found myself reading Stephen King and Clive Barker when I was 10. Then I moved onto Brian Lumley and his twisted Necroscope series. Some years later I found Lovecraft, who remains my favourite writer to this day. I've always enjoyed the idea of the human mind being too weak and feeble to understand the universe, and that idea I found everywhere in Lovecraftian fiction. And don't even get me started on movies and video games. I think my favourite type of horror would be the horror found in Japan and East Asia. It's surreal, plays with your mind, and goes about scaring you in different ways, rather than the mindlessly drab “boo” horror of the west. Not to say that all western horror is terrible, but I get a lot more out of Asian horror.

I love all things Japanese, despite my general lack of understanding of the language. I took French in high school. French. Who in their right mind takes French in high school? Me, I guess. Though I used to always hang out in the Japanese class with my more logical-minded friends during lunch. Despite my terrible life choices, Japan has remained a favourite of mine. Anime, manga, toys, games, food, culture, I love it all. Am I the best person to approach when it comes to Japanese trivia, though? No. But that won't stop me from loving it anyway. Usually going hand-in-hand with this love for Japanese culture is my love for all things cute and adorable. This is coming from a 6' 3” guy who used to curl 55lbs back in high school. When I'm having a bad day and need to be reminded that there's a good side to the world, I can look at the cutest thing ever and get all weak and wobbly with happiness. It's the simple, undiluted return to innocence that draws me in the most.

So, where did I get the name Manic Maverick? Well, as you can tell, I'm an odd individual. I've been odd my entire life and have enjoyed every moment of it. I have a nearly inherent way about me that demands that I be different and go up against the crowd. I strive for individualism and control of my own life. I strive to do good in the ever-growing face of evil, whether it's saving someone from being hit by a train (I do that like...8 times a week) or comforting someone when they're down. I've always been drawn to the word “maverick” because of that, and...because it just sounds awesome. I originally used to go by Maverick Wolf (wolves were and still are one of my favourite animals), but I started seeing others with the name so I switched to manic (which was a more creative choice, I admit) due to my nearly obsessive need to go against the common flow. However, over the years I've learned that being an individual doesn't always mean going against everything that the common flow has to offer, but it means to do and enjoy what you feel is right to you and no one else. Just make sure Sarah Palin doesn't steal your name. That bitch.

So that's me, in an awkwardly-sized nutshell. I'm pretty modest, so writing this all out felt weird to me, as any smaller intro does. I haven't touched on every aspect of my being (Ew...), but I think that's enough for an introduction. If you want to know more about me, I'm always up for having a new friend, despite how shy and introverted I am. That sounded corny.

Well, there you have it. Now, where was I...   read

2:55 PM on 08.17.2010

The Hermit's Guide to Partying

As you may know, this weekend was the Worldwide NARP. People went around and NARP'd with other people, who in turn NARP'd while NARPing their big, juicy NARP-NARPs. It was a very large NARPogy of NARPic proportions. NARP.

On and off for about two years I've been a reclusive, grumpy hermit, scoffing at the outside world like it had waved its genitals in my face while singing old Cher songs. Despite how much I wallowed in my reclusiveness, I always yearned to become social again. After all, I used to spend many a day and night socializing and “kicking it” with my, how hip people say, “homies”. These “homies” are across the state, however, and I have yet to acquire a second group of “homies” that live closer due to my lack of real job or enrollment in school where most friendships develop. Because I totally make friends easily. So, when I heard about the glorious Worldwide NARP, I felt as if I had been given another shot at becoming social again. Rather than being a reclusive, grumpy hermit, I would become a reclusive, grumpy ex-hermit who knows a lot more people than he did before probably. So I hopped aboard the Bay Area Rapid Transit, determined to make my first big NARP the best NARP on the face of the NARPing NARPlanet.

When traveling to the San Francisco meet-up, I passed the house about three times. I was searching for yellow doors, and I saw no yellow doors. Where were the yellow doors? What was a man to do with no yellow doors? Had my GPS navigation system failed me? Had I suddenly come down with an incurable brain-eating disease that didn't enable me to see or think straight? No, it was none of those things. The um...The doors were open.

I was like a puppy trying to swim up a waterfall.

When I first entered, I immediately noticed a couple of familiar faces, like Bleach Boy who I knew was going to be there. It was strange, seeing faces I had only seen in still-images on my computer. Then I noticed that nearly everyone in the room had paused to stare at me. What was I supposed to do? A victory pose? Interpretive dance? Perhaps erotic strip-tease? I did an awkward wave and then quickly followed Tactix about the place as he gave me a tour. I met Hamza for the first time, and I couldn't help but stare at him creepily because internet. Then I watched people rape a Native American girl while they sang Disney music. I nodded in approval.

I made my way back to the kitchen with Tactix. He offered me some alcohol, I offered an apology, he gave me Pepsi One instead, I gave a thumbs up. Of course I'm not a huge fan of Pepsi One, but in a house filled with alcohol it was the only beverage I could bare the taste of. At least Tactix didn't give me the Eye of Disapproval. I think.

I ended up back in the main room where people were playing Rock Band. I was offered chips, got mauled by the cutest dog ever, and played the quiet game. Little did I know that I would be playing that game a lot as the night progressed.

I started seeing more familiar faces, like AznHeadbanger, Stella Wong, Rey Gutierrez, and some others I can't place. I remember passing Stella in the hallway, and she looked at me with this expression of perplexed horror on her face. I must have grown horns out of my nose and unknowingly summoned Yog-Sothoth to grind the Earth into bits. That's the only explanation. It's okay, Stella. I put the Necronomicon back where I found it. I swear, I'm not that scary.

Most of my time was spent wandering around. I'd lost track of the people I was familiar with, partially because they were drunk, partially because they preferred to hang out with more social people, and partially because they were still completely new people to me.

I played a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Brawl using the classic-controller. As you would guess, I didn't last very long. No GameCube controller, no win. But it was fun nonetheless. It reminded me of hanging out with my Orange County friends, back when all we did was play Brawl all day. Then I snapped to reality and my stomach churned when I realized that I had no idea who these people were.

I felt bad. Why couldn't I approach anyone and hold a normal conversation? No one was trying to strangle me and poop in my mouth. No one was shouting “NOOB!” and sacrificing me to Samael. Then what was it? What made me different than all of the extroverts frolicking about the place? Oh, right. Parties. I had completely forgot. After two years of vampirism, two years of shunning the light and yet wondering if the social world still had room for me, I had forgotten my distaste for large, rowdy gatherings. The loud noises, the crowded rooms, the smell of stale alcohol, the strange looks you get when people notice how out of place you are. I had never enjoyed large parties, even before taking up the hermit lifestyle. I had always been one for small gatherings of close friends, riding around town at 3am, avoiding crowds like the plague.

This isn't to say that the people partying that night were in the wrong. On the contrary, they were in the right. And so was I. Everyone has a different lifestyle. Some prefer to crush beer cans over their heads and dance, others prefer to kick back and relax. When I remembered that, I did just that: Kicked back and relaxed.

I watched people play the Scott Pilgrim game, which looked amazing. I didn't play because I'd rather wait until the 360 release. Then, after watching CrimeMinister beat Hamza's spectacular rape score in Custer's Revenge (It's not often you see an entire group of people cheering someone on as they rape a helpless girl), I broke out my sketchbook and failed at drawing due to lack of concentration. Must have been thinking about rape too much. But apparently my horns had retreated back into my head, because Stella complimented my artwork drunkenly. That meant a lot, since she's happily married to Mikey Turvey (don't question it) who happens to be 400x better at art than me. Then again...Stella was drunk. Tactix complimented my art as well, but I'm kind of attributing that to his extroverted need to converse with introverted people. He's a pretty cool guy who doesn't afraid of social interaction.

I ended up playing Custer's Revenge and Megaman 2 until about 3am. Rape, robots, rape, robots, rape, robots, rape, robots, rape, dragons, robots, dying five dozen times, rape. I eventually said good night to the people in the room, who either didn't hear me or didn't want to (I have a tendency to do the Grumpy Mumble), and went downstairs to get my blanket out of Tactix's room so I could go to sleep.

The room was locked.

Well, fuck. I went to the living room and looked around, trying to remember if the floor was carpeted or not. Maybe I could use the carpet as—It didn't matter, because there was no space to sleep whatsoever. I was so tired that I gave thought to just jumping into the bed that was there and either launching the people sleeping there off or using them as blankets and/or pillows. But no, I instead headed to the kitchen. Yes, the kitchen. I took my jacket off and sat down, leaning against the oven, eyes wide open. I continued leaning against the oven, eyes wide open. At 4:30 I was still leaning against the oven, eyes wide open. Fed up and shivering uncontrollably, I crawled drowsily toward the living room and collapsed halfway out of the kitchen. I used my arms as a pillow and my body forced itself to shut down. The music from Custer's Revenge that had been stuck in my head all day faded away into black, like everything else around me.

I awoke at around 7am, still shivering. I sat there for a while, hoping I could go back to sleep, but I couldn't. I got up and, trying not to trip over people in the living room and squash them beneath my hulkish form, checked Tactix's room, which was unlocked. Yatta! I crept in and grabbed my messenger bag, then went to the other part of the house to grab my sketchbook and shoes. I made my way out of the house with a look of determination on my face. I would sleep in my own bed, and it would be the greatest sleep any man had ever experienced. I felt bad for leaving so early without saying bye to at least one person, but I really had no other choice. They probably didn't even notice I had left when they awoke. Win/win situation.

After going through another navigation problem (it appeared my brain-eating disease had returned), I made my way to the Bay Area Rapid Transit and hopped aboard. I was tired, aggravated, and yet somehow fulfilled.

Then I ate doughnuts.

All in all, the party was enjoyable. Despite being the loner in black in the corner, I had as good of a time as I could have, given my preferences. Everyone seemed cool, it was all put together superbly, and I raped a Native American girl 150 times. Although I expected more from my first large NARP, I still left feeling accomplished. Sometimes it's important to experience things that you normally wouldn't experience. You can look back on the event and say “I was there that day”. Of course you would rather stay clear of the awkward memories. Trust me, those awkward memories will stick with you until pretty much forever.

Will people see me again? At some point, whether you like it or not. Will people see me at another large party? No, but thanks anyway.

Love you, Dtoid.


9:15 PM on 08.12.2010

Tasty Chips!: New Caves (Brother Android Cover)


As you can tell, I finished and beat Hero Core the other day. It's an amazing game, done by Daniel Remar who is the same guy behind Iji (which I still haven't gotten around to playing). The music in the game (done by Brother Android) was amazing and brought me back to the first time I played Metroid so many years ago. It's dark, eerie, and definitely gets your blood moving. The song that popped out at me the most was New Caves, which got me headbanging while flying through the amazing bullet hell that was the game. The game has several areas in its open world, and each has its own song. Another resemblance to Metroid, which I didn't mind in the least. I always ended up going back to the New Caves section just to listen to the song.

Of course, inspiration came to me and I couldn't resist doing a cover of the song. So this is the latest Tasty Chips. I have Brother Android to thank for actually making the chips tasty.

On a side note, Xibalba sent me a GameBoy with LSDJ (a chiptune programme), so I'll finally have something real to play with rather than chiptune plug-ins. It should be here around the 18th. Thanks, Xibalba!

For more music you can check out my YouTube channel.   read

2:05 AM on 08.03.2010

Dustforce! Jet Set Wuxia

So, I just got finished playing about 30 or so minutes of the Dustforce! demo, which isn't saying much because I really didn't get that far.

In Dustforce!, you go around sweeping. You use a broom. You wear puffy clothing. There's pretty much stuff to sweep everywhere, because the world is a very uncleanly place filled with very uncleanly people. Those same uncleanly people find it important to fill as many uncleanly walls, ceilings, and floors with as many uncleanly spikes as they could manufacture in their uncleanly factories. Dicks.

What makes this game great is the fact that you're pretty much a ninja with a broom. Imagine walking into a facility and seeing the old, feeble janitor (who probably has Parkinson's) running up walls, clinging to ceilings, and swinging his broom about like he'd just taken all sorts of Viagra. That's what this game is like. But replace a random facility with beautiful, serene environments and chiptune music you could listen to all day.

When you first start playing, skipping the tutorial is detrimental to your health. Of course. Unfortunately, playing the tutorial and beyond is as well. The game is hard. It's mostly to do with the controls and the need to have reflexes like a velociraptor. There are spikes all over (the ground, the ceilings, the walls, your neighbor) and you're constantly in danger of being impaled or falling to your death. Any slight misstep, like jumping a millimeter closer to a set of spikes than you should have, could mean oblivion...At least that's what it seemed like from the bit of the game I've played. Maybe my velociraptor skills aren't as spot-on as this guy's:



Dustforce! feels like the skaters in Jet Set Radio were taught Wuxia, given brooms, and made to traverse across dungeons and meadows. The art is beautiful as well, taking on a style that feels like Hayao Miyazaki just got finished playing twelve hours of Team Fortress 2. Just...not very Team Fortress 2.

Earlier I mentioned the music: It's done by Robot Science, a musician from Berkeley, California (Hey, he lives a city away from me). It blends the realms of chiptune, electronica, and ambient music very well and gives the atmosphere of the game that extra bit of something. You can download his album, Square, off of his website for free (or with a donation), which I'm pretty sure includes the music from the game.

Something else that is included with the Dustforce! demo is a level editor. I'm sure it's very fun. You could probably make levels that have things in them. Like bears or something. I wouldn't know, however, because the game crashes whenever I try to edit.


Despite that drawback, I find it great that Hitbox included the level editor with the demo rather than releasing it when the full game came out. When you're tired of flopping about walls with a broom in two levels you have something else you can do that's just as fun, if not more. At the moment there are only three level packs--the Tutorial, Autumn Forest, and Dusty Keep--but I'm sure when the full game comes out, with its many levels, we will have a lot more choices. And bears.

All in all this is a great game, especially for a demo. If you want a pick-up-and-play that is fun, challenging, and beautiful all at once then I suggest grabbing the demo, or at least the game when it is fully released. Just be ready to get your pants dirty...from both sweeping and massive orgasm.   read

9:27 PM on 07.23.2010

My entry for the Dtoid + ASTRO contest!?

This here is a contest that Dtoid is running with ASTRO. It is a contest about headphones, art, and glory. It is a contest that I decided to enter, because I can't pass up an opportunity to make art. Even if I've been having an epic artist block. As usual. That will be fixed soon. Luckily there wasn't a lot of detail I had to pull out of my ass, so it was easier to design than other things. Not that it took any less time though.

This here is my entry with the pictures:

Could you see this on the side of your headphones? I really wish we could submit more than one entry, because I seriously had a thousand and a half ideas. I went with this one because it was relatively simple and felt like it fit well with a headset. But who knows, I don't make headsets and have never owned anything from ASTRO.

We'll see, I guess.   read

3:21 PM on 07.21.2010

The Stranger in the Chasm

Who are you? How do you view life? What is your system of morals, if it exists? I'm sure you could give me answers for all of those, and then some. You could tell me that you're just a plane guy or girl. You could tell me that your view on life is a simple one: Live to the fullest. You could tell me that it is important to treat others the way you want to be treated. That's all well and good, but are you sure of yourself? Do you actually believe any of that? “Of course I do,” you would say. But as you walk away there will be a hint of wonderment in the back of your mind.

We go through life knowing who we are within. No one else knows our true emotions but ourselves. But then, seemingly from out of the ether, something comes along and slaps us in the face. The slap brings with it a question: Do we actually know ourselves? Coiled deep, deep, deep, beyond our subconscious mind, there is a Stranger. We can't see its face and it hides itself amongst the tendrils of our being. The Stranger only shows itself when we are at our weakest or when our guard is down. And it surprises us every time.

Games are a leading example: The Stranger is obvious and apparent when you're made to witness the deaths of hundreds of people in an airport, like in CoD:MW2. You could sit back and watch, or you could join in the slaughter. In either case, you're disturbed and mentally scarred by the apparent realization that there is something horribly wrong with you. That hits you like a tonne of bricks, but what hurts worse is when The Stranger sits down and festers. In Limbo, you're forced to use your head to solve puzzles. These aren't ordinary puzzles, however, because a lot of them involve doing disturbing things. These things include throwing a corpse into a trap after using it to cross over water, or severing a spider's limbs in order to use its body as a means to cross over spikes. You think to yourself “How did it come to me so easily? Why did I think about using a corpse as a way across the water rather than something else? Why did it come to me so easily?” They're not things that are straight and blatant, they're minor things that, in their simplicity, show you that they could almost be natural.

The good news is that questioning yourself means you haven't hit rock bottom yet. Without questioning yourself, it means you either don't connect with games very well or you actually find rolling bloody spider torsos around arousing. The former is alright and not uncommon in the least, but the latter is something you should get taken care of. By questioning yourself, you know what shouldn't sit well in your stomach. By questioning yourself, you combat The Stranger and don't let it become you.

Can we ever escape The Stranger? Not completely. The Stranger is, in essence, our inherent need to rebel. All of our life we are told to be a certain way, to live a certain way. In our natural freedom, we want to make our own road rather than ride down another. This is, of course, a very good thing and quite encouraged. We are ourselves and no one else. But when society presses something into your face on a daily basis (such as being moralistic and following the rules) and commands that you believe in or follow it, The Stranger shows itself. It shows itself in large ways, such as people who become Atheists in order to rebel against a certain deity (as opposed to actually not believing in the deity), or small ways such as subconsciously waiting eagerly for stories of death on the News.

At the end of the day, being moralistic doesn't mean following rules and guidelines set up for you by your government and city. Being moralistic doesn't mean listening to what your friends and family say is right. Being moralistic is about viewing the world as an extension of yourself and accepting it, in its flaws. If we could all just accept each other and not pull one another deeper and deeper into The Chasm of the Stranger, then we would be better off. We don't need to listen to what society tells us is moralistic and right, because we should already know.

Listening to ourselves gives us less of a reason to rebel against things that shouldn't need rebelling against, less of a reason for The Stranger to fester and boil. We wouldn't have to question ourselves because we would be living life by our own rules instead of someone else's. You wouldn't help an old woman across the street because society wanted you to, you would help her because you wanted to.

Heed these words: When you're running about in games, throwing corpses into traps or shooting people in airports, don't let the sudden slap in the face make you think you're a bad person within. It just means you need to accept the world and start listening to yourself. Then you could finally see The Stranger's face and send it to oblivion.

It's interesting how one can learn valuable life lessons through the most simplest of video games.   read

8:23 PM on 07.14.2010

Alternate Reality: More Details Like Hearts

"I like games where you rewind if you die, but it still needs more details like hearts."

These moving, heartfelt words were spoken by Jim Sterling's step-son. It is astonishing to see one so young as he put forth ideas and theories so innovative and powerful. When I was Step-Sterling's age, my mind was not nearly as developed as his. I'm sure you could say the same for yourself, your family, and your friends.

In the end, what doesn't need more details like hearts? If you're baking a cake and burn yourself taking it out of the oven, having hearts above your head will remind you that you should probably use a health potion. If you're running down the street and head straight into a pole, the hearts above your head will remind you that you've still got five hearts left and it really wasn't that bad of an accident, even if you looked like a right dumbass. And, after a nice refreshing soak in the tub, those same hearts will tell you how good it felt.

Imagine a world where men, women, and children didn't know how much HP they had left. You would get some who would sit in their homes away from sharp objects or other things that may be harmful to them. They wouldn't go near the kitchen for fear of being impaled as soon as they walked in. Turning on any electronic devices would be the worst thing imaginable, because who knows how many times they could get shocked in one sitting?

On the other hand, you would find people who were completely oblivious to the fact that they had no details like hearts. They would go to forests across the world and wrestle bears, or put their genitals into piranha tanks. They would even go snorkeling. All the while they would pay no mind to their HP, which would diminish more and more with every dangerous feat they attempted to accomplish.

In the end, the world would be reduced to ruin. There would be havoc on the streets—men fighting bears, women eating their children—while others sat in fetal positions in their bathtubs dreaming of better days. The latter would die of starvation, while the former would die of many other things, like snorkeling.

Their only save would be, of course, going back in time. But what's the use of going back in time when they would just relive the same catastrophic experiences over again? They would dive into an endless cycle of pain and anguish. The human race would hurtle around a Mobius Strip, destined to repeat their tired and miserable lives over and over ad infinitum.

Many years ago, in the time of cave men, we had health bars and hearts. We worshiped them and put them on pedestals, understanding their importance. Humans were healthy and powerful, always keeping track of their HP as they hunted and fought. If they died, they merely traveled backwards in time and did things differently. Did you know that fire was invented for the sole purpose of testing to see if one's health bar was functioning properly? They would sit down on a camp fire, and if their bar began to diminish then their HP was working properly.

But alas, the years progressed and we began to forget about our health bars and hearts. People began tucking them away beneath their beds and burying them within forests across the world. Those same forests where men recklessly fight bears today.

"...we owe a cock to Asclepius. Please, don't forget to put in more details like hearts." Socrates, a Greek philosopher of old, said this on his death bed. Asclepius was the Greek god of health bars and curing status-effects. Even Socrates understood the massive importance of hearts. I am sure he would have gone back in time and not died, but he had to make a symbol of himself and remind the world about HP.

More details like hearts. This is the solution to all of our problems. Global warming, famine, war, HIV, snorkeling, and cancer. All of these things would be no more if we allowed those beautiful red hearts into our lives. Step-Sterling has done so, and I think it is about time the rest of the human race did so as well.

The holocaust might have never happened.   read

10:50 PM on 07.01.2010

Bit Transmission Contest: Hangin' Out, Playin' Games

Bit Transmission is giving out their first sprite pack, and they're kicking it off with a contest. To enter you have to use the sprites in a picture. The sprites can be edited and placed anywhere that isn't your pants.

This is my contest entry:

It was fun doing this, and I actually learned some new techniques. I'm surprised I was even capable of finishing it, because of my whole artist block thing. It looks like doing this picture (among other things) cured it, however. So if I don't win the contest then I'll still walk away with something good. And maybe even a new handheld in the works. Who knows.

Anyway. Consider this a gift (contest aside) to Conrad, Jonathan, and Colette, for being awesome people. I'd give you large, manly bear-hugs, but you're currently in the shape of a computer monitor on my desk. So that might feel awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Which would be me.

Video games.   read

3:40 PM on 06.30.2010

Sucks, doesn't it?

You know when you flush but there's still a piece left in the toilet? You know when you're eating cereal and you spend 10 minutes trying to grab that last Cheerio and then just end up slurping it down with the milk? You know when you're alone in the house but you end up talking to yourself about stupid things?

You know when you go into a store thinking you'll only buy one thing but come out with a filled shopping cart? You know when you look on your shelf and realize you have three of the same handhelds that are only slightly different? You know when your body spazzes out as it makes an impossible attempt to burp, sneeze, and cough at the same time?

You know when you're taking a great picture but someone in the back suddenly pulls a lemon-face and ruins the entire thing for everyone? You know when you grab a large wad of guacamole with a chip, shove it into your mouth, and realize that the guacamole is actually wasabi? You know when you're making coffee and you pour everything into a cup with no handle?

You know when you spend a half hour playing with a hilarious glitch in a game and forget what your original mission was? You know when your friend closes the car windows, locks them, turns on the heat, and lays a massive fart? You know when you make a sudden outburst in your sleep and wake yourself up?

You know when you eat a toaster but can't find a knife that can cut through metal? You know when you try to pee on the sun to cool it off on a hot day but end up peeing on your grandma? You know when you take out that little piece left in the toilet so no one sees it and the only place you can put it is in your pocket with your cellphone, and then someone calls your cellphone so you put the phone to your face and get the linty poop smeared all over your cheek because it had stuck to the phone in the heat of your pocket?

You know when you make a blog post and have a dozen references and philosophical theories and quotes and pictures and twenty paragraphs when all you wanted was to write a quick opinion?

Yeah. Sucks, doesn't it?   read

4:03 AM on 06.20.2010

Tasty Chips!: D.K.D.R.

Every now and then I create a chiptune (with modern elements) or two and upload it for your pleasure. And stuff.

Today's tasty chip has a heavy dose of Electronica. And robots. And Electronica robots. That shoot, Work with me here, guys...

See if any of the...pseudo lyrics sound familiar. That is if they're not too crunchy sounding. But chips should be crunchy. So stop your complaining.


For more music (and other stuff), visit   read

5:23 PM on 06.17.2010

Manic Maverick Makes Pictures for People on a Website About Video Games

Greetings, my little peaches! I promised a blog post [ages ago], so here it is.

Sometime back in March I sat down and thought: "The four-year anniversary has come and gone and I just got here. But I feel like I've been here for four years. Sort of." My mind wandered some more and I continued: "How can I show Destructoid how much it means to me? What can I give Destructoid that is from the heart?"

I decided to do the only thing a broke, hermit artist could do: Make artwork.

We have several artists here, so doing artwork for the Destructoid community isn't exactly new, nor am I as well-renowned around the site as Ashley "Blavis" Burch, Mikey Turvey, or Phallus Knife Fight (and even others). Nonetheless, I put enough work into the art to cost $100 each, and yet I do it for free.

You might spit on my artwork and call it poopy (because that is a word everyone uses). Or maybe you'll love it. Who knows. There are a lot of people who seem to enjoy what I've been doing for the community, so that's evidence enough that I should keep going.

I currently have a list of over 30 requests, some of them done, some of them to be done in the future. You can find the forum post here, which is where all of the requests take place. The requests can be anything and everything. Of course most of the requests have to do with video games, which I am totally okay with. I enjoy drawing some of my favourite characters in hilarious/awkward/sexual situations.

The requests are currently closed, but once I finish the current list off and then take a(nother) break I'll open them back up. Then anyone can go to the thread and submit a request.

As of the past couple weeks I've been at a slow drawl due to opening Photoshop, adding to a picture, and then closing it because I don't have enough motivation. Why is this? I have no idea. It might be because I haven't done any personal work for months and I could be suffering from epic withdrawal symptoms. But who knows? In any case, I'm trying to get back into this. I'm sure Psycho Soldier (and everyone else) is throwing darts at a burning picture of me on her wall as I type this. As a side note, these pictures aren't the only thing I do--I even have pictures I promised people elsewhere that I have yet to finish.

Right! So here are the pictures that I've done thus far. If you don't feel like reading about each picture then you can just head on over to the gallery at the bottom and flip through them. Boom.

For: jhitcher42

- Jhitcher42 wanted Naoto from Persona 4 with some of his features. I haven't played a second of Persona 4, so it's not as great as it could have been if I'd played it. I also went into this one feeling like I should combine two of my styles, anime-esque and without lines. While I like how it turned out, it's not the best piece. I'm thinking about redoing it.

The Man, the Legend
For: Gobun

- Gobun wanted...himself. I had no idea what to do, so I figured I'd draw him with his typical demeanor, saying his typical phrase. Because he is Gobun. Hi, Gobun.

Jesus Christ wearing a viking helmet and wielding a battle axe against giant scorpions on the slope of an erupting volcano!?
For: Mxyzptlk

- Mxy wanted...uh...that phrase there above! As soon as I sat down to draw it I knew exactly how it would look, and I didn't get that far from what was in my head. The axe could use some work, but all in all it's one of my favourites. And others' too apparently, since it was used as a blog post header and is now my title in the forum. Maximum brofist to Mxy.

Mr. Slacker
For: Ali D

- Ali D wanted himself as a slacker. I basically drew a self-portrait and then replaced myself with Ali D. I also added that wonderful catchphrase on the Slacker Board in the back, for great justice. Also boobs.

King of Retro Metal Mountain
For: Torzelan

- As soon as Torzelan explained what he wanted (him standing atop a mountain of retro games, consoles, etc, while playing a guitar), Thunderhorse by Dethkok immediately began playing in my head. I think I was listening to that song, or another of the same band's, as I did the picture. Or something. Anyway, I would have sat there for seven months if I drew out every single object on that mountain, so I had to make things a bit more simple. But I think I got the gist of it. May the bleeding gods of metal shine their unholy sweep-picking down upon you, Torzelan.

Megamayun Vawnut
For: Phantomile

- Phantomile wanted Megaman Volnutt of Megaman Legends with Kamina sunglasses, striking a pose. As an avid fan of the Megaman Legends series (and Kamina sunglasses), this was a really fun one to do. I had no idea what to do in the background, so I decided to put him on top of some ancient technology or something. He needs some Sir-Mix-Alot playing or something.

For: statesman1114

- Statesman1114 asked for the Philosoraptor and Jesus brofisting. This is a picture of the Philosoraptor and Jesus SUPER brofisting. I put the picture on the Super Nintendo. I...really have no idea what else to say about this. I think the picture speaks for itself.

The Eating of Capitol Hill
For: KD_Alpha

- KD_Alpha asked for a bunch of politicians getting eaten by zombie robots with Capitol Hill in the background. As the cynical bastard I am, I had a great time doing this. I'm also a huge fan of zombie robots, so that was a plus. Capitol Hill is complex as fuck, however, so I had to simplify it. I think it turned out nicely, however. If you want to talk politics, expect a lot of grumpy sounds and rude gestures from me.

Penguinamus, Destroyer of Worlds
For: Office Squid

- Office Squid asked for a penguin fighting a dragon with an elemental sword. I decided to go with darkness, because...well...darkness. He also wanted me to go for a more "brushy" look rather than cartoony. That doesn't make sense, but...your mother. Anyway, another one I had a great time doing. I think I was listening to death metal for this one too. Rhapsody or something. Also, muscular muscles.

For: ryan moss

- Ryan moss asked for him standing on a train with a catapult on it, pointing forward with a joint in his mouth. It actually took me a while to get around to finishing this because drawing a train isn't that easy. However, the more you draw trains the easier they become. I just fucking hate the wheel area. Dumb trains and their wheel areas. Who has wheel areas, anyway? Fucking spinny crap and...Uh...What was I saying...Yeah, this one has a comic vibe to it, with the words and speech bubble. I tend to put those in a lot of pieces. Also, apparently ryan moss has sanpaku eyes. I dunno, man.

The Dual
For: Jesus H Christ

- Jesus H Christ wanted him playing Connect Four with a horribly mortified-looking Solid Snake of the Metal Gear Solid series. It was easy making the foreground, but I had no idea whatsoever about what I was going to do with the background. So I made a floor and figured I'd throw some words with letters in. Congratulation! My only problems with this picture are that 1) Snake would probably CQC me to death if he saw how small he looks, and 2) JHC's face looks like a dying Jabba the Hut sat on it. Yet another piece I'd like to go back and edit. But otherwise, I like how it turned out.

So that's it for now. I've got about 25 more pieces to finish, and that will be the end of the current batch. Again, here is the main request thread if you want to see everything in action. As of this blog post it's going quite slow at the moment, but I'm doing my best.

Sorry about the requests being closed at the moment, but they'll be back up sometime in the future. Until then, sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch me sweat!

Once I've got another hefty few done I'll put up another blog post. Love you guys.   read

5:16 PM on 06.16.2010

New Silent Hill (E3 2010): Horrorgasm

(Updated video)

If you know me, then you'll know that seeing this video here for the new Silent Hill (Silent Hill 6? Silent Hill 8?) has made me the happiest man on the planet. I've loved Silent Hill since the very beginning, and, while there were obvious pieces of turds like Homecoming, it has remained one of my top favourite video game series ever made.

To me, horror is the greatest genre ever made. As Lovecraft says, the strongest emotion of mankind is fear. I love the heart-pulsing, the paralysis, the feeling of helplessness. Horror also breeds other strong emotions through feeling safe after a long journey through hell.

Outside of movies and books, Silent Hill was the thing that kept me obsessed with horror. If this turns out to be a great game (and who knows, it could be supremely shit), then I'll have another to add to the list.

Will Daniel Licht be a good replacement for Akira Yamaoka? Never. Will he do a good job with the soundtrack? We'll see.

Time to change my pants.   read

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