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Manic Maverick's blog

4:01 PM on 09.10.2010

It's Friday: Put on your grumpy pants.


It's Friday, and I punched twelve old ladies today. Right in the face place. I did this video four times in all. The first three takes either crapped out before I could save them, were too long/large to edit, and/or the sound fucked up. So I figured I'd just do a shortvlog today. One filled with rage-faec and rape-faec. Definitely not the bright and laid-back feeling of the other installments, but hey...what can you do. I need to figure out an easier way to do these things. My computer seriously hates Fridays, it seems. It must work for Activision or something. Dick.

Anyway, what are you guys doing this weekend? It's Friday.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Recettear on Steam
Some game about a guy that pees in a toilet. Forever.
Gunsmith Cats (I saw some of this a long time ago, but wanted to finish it)
September NARPs
The Electric Hydra Forums (Check out that banner. Some guy that looks like me totally made it)
brb, punching babies

Music: "Fairway (Supercar Cover)" by Katon   read

2:00 PM on 09.03.2010

It's Friday: Pacefalm

It's Friday, and that is not a video. Just in case you were wondering. I solved the sound problem, but it was only until after I finished recording this morning that I realized my mic was muted. The second take was shitty. And, due to technical difficulties with the new recording programme I've been using, the file ended up being somewhere around 9 GB. This made it literally impossible to edit. What's a guy to do? Record for a third time, which would end up being shittier than the second time?

So, "Fuck it", I said. No video this week. But no, you haven't gotten off that easy. Here's what I've been doing this week:


Chakan: the Forever Man: I used to play this game a lot when I was younger, on the Sega Genesis. You play Chakan, a warrior cursed to walk the planet forever after defeating Death himself. In order to break this curse, you're forced to destroy daemons. It's only until all of the daemons are slayed that you can rest in peace.

It's a beautiful game, in that the scenery is very dark and gloomy. It reminds me of the Legacy of Kain games. In fact, a sequel was being developed for the Sega Dreamcast, but the work they put into that was instead transferred to Blood Omen 2. I would love to see a modern-day adaptation of Chakan, however. It's a great game, and Chakan himself is one badass motherfucker.

Depict1: I'm sure a lot of you have played this already. You're some guy (or girl) going about levels. You learn what to do via this disembodied voice. However, you soon discover that everything this voice says is complete balls and you instead go about things your own way. I won't give away much, but I really love the way they twisted the idea of a "trustworthy in-game voice" into something resembling Portal's "GLaDOS". Also, the sprites and environments are beautiful.

Fathom: Ever wonder where the music used to advertise Once Upon a Pixel at the end of some of the HAWP episodes came from? Well, this. Fathom is a game about robots. And dying. And fish. I don't think I was playing it correctly, but hopefully you will. It reminds me a lot of the Sacred Grounds level of Cave Story because of the general fast-paced gameplay and style of sprites.

Catherine: This is an action-adventure horror game coming from Atlus, the makers of the Persona games. This hasn't come out yet, but I am immensely stoked. You play Vincent, a salaryman (binkan, binkan~) who meets a 22 year old hot chick. She's young, vibrant, and sexy, while Vincent is in his 30s and in that awkward age where you know the young and vibrant days of your life are completely over.

He starts having disturbing nightmares where he is forced to climb staircases and run from monsters and such. This is where the action of the gameplay comes in, while the adventure comes during the real-world gameplay where you go about the city. Apparently there are connections between the real world and the dream world, because at some point they say something about "When you have a dream that you're falling, you wake up dead". Which could be supernatural or not.

There's also a heavy sexual undertone to the game, stemming from Catherine's overactive sexuality to Vincent's complete sexual deprivation. I really hope that we get to see this manifested in Vincent's dreams in the form of disturbing visuals and such, like they did in Silent Hill 2.

I'm unsure when this will be released elsewhere, but it will be in Japan sometime late this year.


Anime: I've been on a Satoshi Kon binge lately. It all started with his death. It hit me really hard, since the mere thought of his death seemed impossible. There are people in this world that seem too epic and indestructible to pass away, you know? Satoshi Kon and Hayao Miyazaki have been two of my artistic idols, so having one die has left a void. So, when I was finished punching babies after hearing about Kon's passing, I pulled out the kleenex, cranked up the Susumu Hirasawa (He did a lot of music for Satoshi Kon) and began watching all of the Kon movies I haven't seen yet.

I watched three of his movies this week: Paprika, Perfect Blue, and Millennium Actress. Those are in order of preference. I love all three of them, but I preferred Paprika overall because it was beautiful, creepy, and a complete mind-fuck. Perfect Blue came in second because, while it was creepy and a complete mind-fuck, it was lacking the overwhelming beauty of Paprika. Millennium Actress was amazing as well. It was beautiful and I loved the movie-in-movie-in-movie style. But I need my creepy horror fix, so I put the other two before it.

I watched these on Anime-Movie-Site, which is probably the most original name for a website ever. It is a great site though, because it's filled with every anime movie...ever. It's like entering a room filled with pretty ladies covered in bacon. Heaven. I'm all caught up with K-ON!!, so once I finish my Satoshi Kon binge, I'll probably start watching a bunch of other movies I haven't seen yet. That should be fun.

Septembeard: Today I am clean-shaven. On my face, I mean. Septembeard (like Novembeard) is when you go an entire month without shaving and then compare your epic Beard Progress with others who did the same thing. I doubt my beard will compare, however, because it tends to grow back in quickly but takes a while to get any longer. It'll be fun, though, and I get to look like a bum.


Today, like last Friday, I am tired as hell. And quite grumpy due to this video messing up. I really hope you guys don't mind reading a wall of text--Oh, what am I saying? You guys read walls of text on a daily basis.

I think I'll take a nice, long nap today. Then I'll wake up, work on an entry for the Summer Arcade Contest, and then start up some anime movies. If anyone has any recommendations, especially something in the realm of creepy, disturbing, horror (that isn't Kara no Kyoukai because I've been watching that on-and-off already), I will give you sex. Lots and lots of sex.

That's it for this week. Hopefully next week's post will be a lot less bumpy and grumpy. Let me know what you're doing this weekend. It's Friday.

(Keeping with a short tradition, this week's chiptune is "Cosmic Giggle" by sidslimed)   read

6:10 PM on 08.31.2010

Dear valued customer

This is a story of heartache and betrayal. Of sadness and torment. The strange and obscure tale begins with a strange and obscure letter from All of Microsoft:

Dear valued customer,

All of Microsoft is very proud of our loyal community. You have stuck with us for years, never swaying in your love for our products. We felt that in order to show our appreciation for your continued use of our products, we must spew our hot, anal excrement all over your pillow and/or bed. Doing so will ensure that we can be with you both during your time on Live as well as when you sleep.

We will keep you warm during the night. You will smell our wet, steaming appreciation each and every time you lay your head on your pillow and snuggle in close. But you must make sure to keep your room humid or our gift will grow stale and harden. If that does happen, have no worries. By that time it will have absorbed into your blanket, so the hardening would merely make the blanket more comfortable to sleep in. We thought this through.

A representative from Microsoft will be by shortly to deliver your present.

All of Microsoft

At first I didn't know how to take this. A present? Anal excrement? They had to be joking. Why would All of Microsoft send me a letter telling me that they were going to poop in my bed? Was it some kind of viral marketing campaign? Or was it someone pretending to be All of Microsoft? I was so puzzled that I left it alone.

A week or so after I received the letter, there was a knock at my door. I opened it to see an obese man in a thong. He held up a badge which read “All of Microsoft Representative”.

“Hi, I'm All of Microsoft. I'm here to deliver your present.” The man said, cheeks flapping as he talked. Both sets of them.

“But...I don't under—“ I began, but the man pushed past me.

“No time to lose.” The man said, scratching his bare chest. “Bedroom's this way, then? Alright, I'll make this quick.”

I stood there, bewildered. Then I realized what was happening and snapped out of it. The next 10 minutes went by in a flash. I rushed into my room and stood there, watching the large, hairy man squatting over my bed.

“Have a seat!” The man waved in the direction of the chair in front of my desk as if I had walked into his own room.

I blinked and looked at the chair, then back at the man. Then I looked at the bed. There were large, brown burritos already littered about the place. They contrasted the pale white of my blanket and wall. And then the scent...

Everything went black.

When I awoke, I found myself sprawled on the floor in the middle of my doorway. I must have fainted. I stood up woozily, covering my nose to get away from the horrendous smell of fecal matter. I had apparently been out for hours, because flies had began to show themselves and feast upon the chaos that had covered my bed.

Still unsure of what was happening, I sat down in front of my desk, staring at the bed. I grabbed my cellphone and called All of Microsoft support.

“Um...Hi...So, there seems to be a....a little problem.” I had to get up and leave the room, because the idea of opening my mouth amongst the mess seemed impossible. I sat down on the couch in my living room.

“I'm All of Microsoft. State your problem, sir.” The woman on the phone said.

“Well, a representative from you guys came to my house and he pooped all over my bed,” I said. “There's shit everywhere.'s really uncomfortable.”

“I'm All of Microsoft.” She said.

“Y-yes...Yes, I know you are. Is there anything you can do about this problem?” I said, already becoming annoyed at the woman. Was she even taking this seriously?

“Well, if you have a problem with your subscription we can send another All of Microsoft Representative to remove your present,” The woman said. “I'm All of Microsoft.”

“Yes! That would be perfect! Please do that, thank you!”

The next week was torture. I closed off the room from the rest of the house in order to escape the stench, but the door seemed to hold nothing back. The fumes were almost visible as they flowed through the crack under the door. I could barely sleep each night as I slept on the couch. I would fall asleep and then suddenly shoot awake as I inhaled deeply, the scent stinging my nostrils like vinegar. I would swat at flies every five minutes, which soon became a natural twitch that still plagues me to this day. After a week I had become a mumbling, shaky mess. I was a shell. I couldn't bare the thought of going outside, for I knew I smelt of the travesty that had befallen my house.

Finally the day came when there was another knock at the door. I went to the door, tripping over myself as I did so, and opened it. It was the same man from before.

“Hi, I'm All of Microsoft. I'm here to cut your subscription to our newest product.” He pushed past me again and disappeared into my room. “I'll be only a minute.”

I didn't have the nerve to follow him, so I sat down on my couch and stared blankly at a wall. I tried not to pay attention to the odd noises. After five minutes the man exited my room.

“All done!” He said.

“Uh...You've got something...right there.” I said, pointing at his lip.

“Oh, hahah. Silly me.” He licked the brown smudge off of his lip and his eyes rolled upwards in ecstasy. “That taste never gets old. Alright, so we're gonna have to charge you a clean-up fee.”

“Clean-up fee? Why the fuck would you charge me for something you did?” I screeched, nearly losing it. This was preposterous! After all this time they were still trying to get away with murder.

“Whoa, no need to freak out, sir. I'm All o—“

“All of Microsoft. Yeah, I know.” I nearly spat. “How much am I paying you?”

“You'll be getting a letter in the mail soon with the amount.” He hurried out the door before I could make any more angry faces.

That night I slept in my own bed. Finally, it was over. I could get back to my normal life and play video games again. No more swatting at flies, no more hours spent bent over a toilet. There was only that small problem of a fee. But it couldn't be that bad. For once, I was finally sane. I was free.

Then...a second letter came into the mail:

Dear valued customer,

All of Microsoft thanks you for your time spent with our product. We are disappointed that you did not find it helpful in your daily activities. Maybe one day in the future you will change your mind. For now, as payment for the clean-up, we have decided to increase the amount you pay for Xbox Live Gold.

Thank you for your loyalty.

All of Microsoft

My world shattered.

I found out after this incident that I wasn't the only one who went through this ordeal. There were gamers all across the world who fell into this trap. All of Microsoft got away with their villainous scheme and the world was reduced to ruin. Those who hadn't invested much money into Xbox Live had an easy time coping because they either cut off Live altogether or moved to an entirely new game system, just before the doors closed on them forever. They were free and their world was bright and peaceful.

But others who had spent a lot of time and money on Xbox Live had no choice but to succumb. We were All of Microsoft's eternal slaves and there was nothing we could do about it. There were statues made in their honour and put up on every street corner. Passing one without praying to it was a blasphemy that would have you thrown in jail or silenced forever.

I type this out in a dark, musty room. I am alone here, amongst a plethora of Xbox 360 games that I can't help but buy more of. I can't remember the last time I saw the sunlight. Maybe the sun just doesn't shine anymore on this part of the world. The week spent amongst the scent of feces seems like forever ago and something trivial in comparison to this torture. I know there is a beautiful world somewhere outside of this limbo. But I don't know if I will ever find it. This could have all been avoided if we'd realized All of Microsoft's motive from the beginning. If we had only seen how false that gleam in their eye truly was, we could be dancing happily with Nintendo and Sony under a beautiful, blue sky. If only Sega hadn't stopped producing systems...

But there is no use for "if only". For I have no money, and I must scream.   read

3:05 PM on 08.27.2010

It's Friday: Sh***ing hamburgers.


It's Friday, and you have to turn your sound up again. I swear, you'd think a crappy Microsoft webcam would have better audio than this. And less static. Also, fuck sirens.

This video was made and edited by a sleepy bastard, so it's not as great as it could be. I'm not as "uppity" as I was in the previous video. Which is saying something.

I apparently found no new websites this week. That's sad. I need to get on that for next week.

What are you guys doing this weekend? More than me, I hope.


The Secret World
New TSW footage
Yume Nikki
Anamanaguchi concert
PS2 crisis.
Dtoid t-shirt
Sticker website

Music: "Space Cats" by Jonah   read

5:30 PM on 08.26.2010

Teh Bias: Walking with the dead.

I have played many game genres in my time. Many settings, many storylines. My interests range from retro platformers to fast-paced FPSs to JRPGs to so much more. I could give you a list of many of my favourite games, but at the end of the day I know I will eventually grow tired of them. They will have become stale, broken shells of their former existence. And they would either collect dust in my closet or end up in the hands of some merchant. I've grown to live with the fact that many of the favourite games that I cherish and hold dear now I will eventually forget about in the long-run.

And yet I know one thing will remain. After all of the broken pieces of past favourites have been swept into the sewers, when I've grown old, grey, and senile, I will still have one last thing to keep me entertained. Out of everything I have played and will ever play, the one thing I know I will never grow tired of is being afraid.

The horror genre stands upon a pedestal for me. It has always been my preference, even when I was a tiny little bastard creeping about the house terrifying my family. Vampires, ghosts, zombies, mutant freaks, lab failures, serial killers, murderous teddy bears, eldritch monstrosities, ancient death gods, creatures we could barely wrap our minds around lest we implode. All of these things and more have been a part of me for as long as I can remember.

There are several reasons why I love horror, but the main thing that draws me into the macabre and terrifying is the struggle of the human mind. Horror plants itself into the ground before our feet and challenges us. It teases us, saying “I dare you to lock eyes with me, for I am everything you dread and wish never existed”. At first we fail. We cringe and draw ourselves away from this wretched thing, hoping it will fade away into oblivion and dust. But, the longer we close our eyes, the longer the darkness stays latched onto us. Our only choice when presented with fear beyond our darkest nightmares is to stand up and face it.

Horror is about moving forward. Removing the shrunken heads and banshees, we can compare it to everyday life. Fear of meeting new people, fear of traveling beyond your front lawn, fear of riding in a plane, fear of large crowds. It all balls down to fear of the unknown and the incomprehensible. “What is that?” You would rather not find out. “What would happen if I did this?” You would rather not find out. “Are they friend or foe?” You would rather not find out. Humans usually refuse to put themselves into unknown situations because something might go wrong. It's a common survival instinct to be wary of new and unusual things. However, just because it's common doesn't mean it's a good thing. You will suffocate if you hold your breath for too long. There comes a time when you need to rise up and stare into the abyssal unknown. When you see people jump straight into new situations with no second-thought, it means they have found that strength that allows them to stare the unknown in the face. And the unknown has a lot more to offer than the known.

This transcendence from weak and frail to strong and aware is why I prefer horror video games above all else. I get to experience the feeling of moving past my fears. I love being afraid in games because I get to say “I surpassed my darkest nightmare.” There are thousands of games that make you feel challenged, but nothing digs deep into your core like horror does. When I finish a game where I had to brave the dark corridors of the unknown, I feel more accomplished than with any other game I've set my hands on.

I admit, I am also a fan of the bizarre and abnormal. This plays a large role in my preferences, drawing me to horror like a fly to a corpse. You won't find me far away from games like Silent Hill or films like Uzumaki. This obsession with the strange and odd probably stems from my initial obsession with the macabre, but it also stems from growing up cynical and wary of “normal” things. I don't want to experience what I can experience on a daily basis outside of video games. This is why I dislike sports games and have a hard time getting into some rhythm games. But that is merely the tip of the pen. Games display plenty of odd and quirky things. Who goes around eating pellets while being chased by ghosts? Not me, at least. So when I see something that goes even beyond the usual bizarreness in games I am immediately enthralled. I fell in love with Soul Reaver not just because it was about vampires and dead things, but because it gave off this powerful, dark, and creative atmosphere that you rarely find in vampire stories, especially as of late. I fell in love with The Secret World not just because it involves ancient evils rising up from the netherworld, but because it puts us in a very familiar setting that is suddenly filled with the world's darkest, innermost fears.

You cannot put a number on how many times I have awoke in a cold sweat, overflowing with ideas and inspiration. I go to sleep at night hoping that I will have a heart-pounding nightmare, something that will make me sit up in bed clutching the sheets. When I awake with my heart pounding in my ears at 3am I know I've accomplished something. While I love lucid nightmares—I can morph the world into an even more ghastly place, create new monstrosities, make fear into clay—I am even more inspired when I have no control. I like being tossed around by my innermost fears. The more I am tossed around, the more I struggle to regain my composure. The more I struggle to regain my composure, the stronger I become. Then I am able to defeat the evils plaguing my subconscious. However, I have not once had a dream where I destroyed the antagonist. I always wake up just before I do, or just before being killed myself. Maybe I don't want to destroy the antagonist. Maybe I'm having too much fun.

But I always ask myself: Is this odd fascination with blood-curdling screams and dim-lit corridors shared throughout the gaming world, or am I amongst only a few who hold the genre so ridiculously close to the heart? As I mentioned, I grew up obsessed with horror. It is, almost literally, a part of me. Has my becoming intertwined with the genre given me rose-coloured glasses? Surely horror can't be the only genre that tests your inner strength and will to push forward. And yet, despite how much I search, I still come back with horror set upon a pedestal. A giant, bloody pedestal covered in bodies.

Take indie games, for example. A lot of people enjoy them because—get ready for my usual analogy—they're like that hamburger you get from the local mom-and-pop restaurant. Instead of the burger being tossed together almost robotically by big-name organizations, the burger is prepared lovingly and from the heart. That is one side of the story. Something a lot of indie gamers don't admit to much is that half of the reason they play indie games is because they're broke and can barely afford anything else. Maybe they grew to love indie games over time, but the majority of them originally started because they wanted a game they didn't have to pay much (or any) money for.

Can this be applied to why my heart flutters when seeing a zombie's eye open before it chomps down upon a surprised victim's windpipe? Is there some drab, underlying reason for this obsession, or is horror truly what I make it out to be?

Maybe I've gone mad. Maybe these thoughts and preferences come from the mind of a possible mental patient. Maybe I am actually in a padded cell, dreaming of disembodied heads and onryo ghosts and gaming news sites. Or, what if the true horror of it all is that what I see in my dreams, those horrific images of death and decay, are what the world truly is?

Don't be silly.

Touching back on solid ground, I will never know if I am truly biased or if my views are shared throughout the gaming universe. But it doesn't matter. I am the Horror Enthusiast and will be nothing else for as long as I live. All I can do is smile and frolic about in graveyards and morgues, happily daydream of cities teeming with the undead, search libraries for ancient books written by mad Arabs, wondering if my sanity snapped at birth. If it did snap at birth, then oh well. I'm having a good time.   read

3:10 PM on 08.20.2010

It's Friday: Exploding babies.


It's Friday, and today I figured you wouldn't mind staring at my pale-as-hell face for a little while. I loved the idea of Topher's READY TO FRIDAY posts because Friday, but those left with him. So I figured I'd do something similar, even if no one watches them. These, however, will be me babbling on about random shit that usually includes video games but doesn't always include video games. I was gonna call this READY TO FRIDAY originally, but that would probably be ripping off Topher. Though let me know if you'd rather I called it that. Or you could just let me know if this is shitty and you never want to see my crappy-webcam'd face again. I could understand your logic.

Tell me what you're doing today/this weekend in the comments! It's Friday.

Space Barnacle
Hero Core
Worldwide NARP
My failure at social skills
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Servbot Bobble Budd
Cute Overload!
HJ Freaks
Horror podcast, anyone?

Music: "Famicom" by Je m'appelle   read

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

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