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Last week, The Defenestrator put out a call for questions to our anonymous contributor The Badger. Our community members sent a cavalcade of good, inspired and/or silly questions, and The Badger posted what I will generously call 'responses' to those questions. Problem is, those responses suck. In many unique and interesting ways.
So that's why I did the only thing a reasonable Destructoid member reasonably could do. I went to Dtoid's other (favorite) resident furry animal, The Wombat, and asked him the exact same questions. Word on the street has it that me and Wombat are pretty close, so it was a really quick and easy thing to do. At any rate, many thanks to myself for facilitating this interview, myself The Wombat for answering every single question despite the many difficulties involved in typing with claws, myself for taking the time to give it to you guys in blog form, and I suppose some of you for asking the questions in the first place.
We'll begin with JawshButturBawls and the question on everyone's lips: Gardevoir?
Of course Gardevoir! All Gardevoir, all the time.
Two things though:
1. Why the hell is there no wombat Pokémon yet? Everyone has been asking for it, but Gamefreak just won't listen to reason.
GoofierBrute just wants to hang: What's The Badger's fondest gaming memory?
How should I know what his fondest memory is? Jeez, think these things through people!
Anyway, I'm guessing something involving death and destruction, because he's hardcore like that. Gotta keep up the cred for the kids, you know?
Now, because you must also be dieing to know what MY fondest memory is, I'll tell you. It's a recent one, and it involves people in catsuits:
It's fighting Meowser in Super Mario 3D World.
Dreamweaver is having an identity crisis. He asks: Am I the Badger?
You're not, don't worry. I may not look it, but I'm a certified expert on multiple personalities due to my lifetime of being a wombat. If you don't understand why that's relevant you clearly don't know us marsupials very well.
Anyway, the real question here is, "Am I a cool dude?"
I only have one answer to that: you're Dreamweaver; you're not just cool, you're absolute zero. You're Sheer Cold. That's right, you're so cool that it one-hit KOs people.
Cannibal Steven is an odd young lad: What's the Badger's favorite snake-related-transformation-
Again, don't ask me what the Badger thinks. I may have psychic powers but I'm not a bloody mindreader. So inconsiderate.
The question seems...oddly specific. I'd love to know what brought this on. I'm going to cheat and not name a movie, but a TV series. Namely, Beast Wars. Because oh fucking hell yeah, Beast Wars.
Quickstrike's snake is a tail in his scorpion form, but becomes his arm/laser in robot form. Let me reiterate: THAT SNAKE TRANSFORMS FROM A SCORPION'S TAIL INTO A FUCKING LASER.
FullmetalJ has his priorities in order: What's your favorite David Bowie album?
See, this guy knows how to ask proper questions directed to the proper person. My answer is that I don't listen to David Bowie but "David Bowie flying in on a tiger made of lighning" is one of my favorite Cards Against Humanity cards.
Demo-Grafic is keeping up with the current events. He wants to know: If you are an industry insider, then maybe you can answer why the vehemently "anti-Gamergate" gets so much more instant press coverage? I've honestly seen far worse things said on their side than anything, yet no gaming site is willing to touch it when their nastier behavior is brought to light.
Who ever said that I was an industry insider? I'm just a wombat, silly.
Scrustle has one of those cool plastic pipes that blows bubbles and a nice deerstalker cap: What parts of the industry have you worked in? As in, are you a developers? Have you worked with different kinds of studios? If so, what kinds? Or are you a blog/site writer? Have you worked at different sites? How has your experience working at different places compared?
At one point I was the mascot for the company who made Sword & Sworcery and Super Time Force. That is until those jerks replaced me with a Capybara.
I was also the PR person for Fez once, but then the dev decided that he prefers aquatic animals and, quote, 'doesn't need a PR animal, because I'll just do my own PR.' A tale of caution, friends.
Finally, I was the nude model for Hatoful Boyfriend: Wombat Edition, which never saw the light of day. Strangly, the pictures I shot did end up on the internet the next day on a sketchy "Candid marsupials caught in action' website.
- Censored by Mr. Destructroid for privacy reasons.
The Defenestrator asks: What do you think of the rise of YouTuber's and the Let's Play scene versus the current model of game blogging?
I love it! You know me, as long as people are having fun with video games, I'm down with it. I'm a little worried about the people who do Let's Plays of explicitly bad games, but as long as they're doing it with friends I'm sure they'll be alright.
Besides, when you have skills like playing Super Mario 64 with your feet, the world deserves to see.
Enter the Dragon! KimikoLoco wants to know: So, why are "nerds" in game journalism not held to the same standards as nerds in print journalism? What is so special about them?
I don't know what the fuck you're talking about, kid. Are you asking me why society doesn't care about the people who write about Mario Bros. for a living as much as the people who write about world politics for a living? Ask your English teacher.
I'm so sorry about that, I don't know what came over me. I mean, who the fuck even writes that sort of crap? If you don't understand the question could you not, oh I don't know, ask for clarification?
Back to the question at hand then. The reason for this is twofold.
First, nerds write about the nerd things they enjoy, and nobody wants to be the one to burst their bubble. We've got too few happy things as it is, and removing a sparkle of Nerd Joy(TM) from the world is something few people would want on their conscious.
Second, nerds are not held to the same standards because unbeknownst to anyone, nerds posess powerful magical abilities that could spell the end of the world as we know it of we pissed them off too much. Push a nerd just a little too much, and they develop acute telepathy with which they'll make you think you just got a leg cramp. That is an agony we should all strive to avoid, and that's why we cut nerds some slack when they don't jurnalizmer hard enough.
Destructoid's resident magical girl Brittany Vincent has a fastball, high and inside: Why are you so afraid of coming out and saying the things you do using your real name? You're "in the right," at least in your eyes, so why not go public with your opinions? You mock journalists for obeying rules so as to not lose their jobs, but yet you fear for the loss of your own?
Oh Brittany, Brittany, Brittany. If that is your real name.
I remain anonymous for one reason only, and that is that I have to protect my secret identity. Remember that time in Iron Man 3 where he invited his enemies to come blow up his house, and that's exactly what they did? Well, I don't want to be that guy. I don't have an army of superadvanced power armor to keep myself safe. I mean I've got that old hand-me-down I got from Samus, but it doesn't fit and the whole rolling up into a ball thing is killer on my back.
It's a dangerous business, playing video games and liking them. What if I didn't like a game hard enough, and people would try to tell me I was wrong?! It would be chaos, surely. Can't have that.
Oh, and for the record: I only mock jurnalizmers lovingly.
Handy also wants to clear the air: You’ve expressed contempt for gamers, publishers, PR, journalists, critics, their audience, and developers of both indie and AAA games, why continue to work in an industry that doesn’t pay well and where you hate everybody?
Handy, I'm hurt. I never said any of those things! Maybe you didn't quite understand my first blog or something? I don't know what happened here, but let me just spell it out to avoid further confusion: I love gamers, (some) publishers, PR, journalists (I'm not entirely sure what those are to be honest, are they kind of like jurnalizmers?) and developers of both indie and AAA games.
I continue to work in this industry because even though it doesn't pay well I love everybody. Also, because this is the industry that gave the world this:
That is a service that deserves to be repaid.
PhilKenSebben is taking a short break from his usual debauchery to wonder: Why should anyone believe you or care about what you say? You give no facts to anything that isn't already public knowledge, name no names and are just a moniker, ranting on a blog.
There is a very good reason why you should believe me: you know I'm right. I love video games, you love video games. I love Destructoid, you love Destructoid. And when people agree with you, that means nobody can ever criticize you anymore ever. It's all very straightforward really.
Additionally, when I was 16 I was cursed by a witch (of the sexy variety, fortunately) so that I won't be able to tell lies ever again. Go ask her, I'll wait.
Papa Bear Neiro is considering a career change: Teachers get paid less than McDonald's managers. Can get them some Nintendos?
Oh heck yes we can get them some Nintendos! We should ask RedHeadPeak about distributing some 3DSes among teachers, I'm sure he'd be down with it. I'm not paying for it though, fair warning.
Destructoid's "Chilly" Bill Platt turns up the heat: If you knew about the rampant corruption as far back as 8 years ago, why did you wait so long to say something?
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "rampant corruption", but I do know that Metroid Prime 3: Corruption came out 8 years ago, so I'm just going to assume you mean that. So why didn't I say something about it back then? I was too busy playing it, obviously!
But sure, I'll do some catching up: Metroid Prime 3 is a great game. The new Wii control scheme works like a dream, the environments look better than ever (dat Skytown) and people like Rundas are some of the better new additions to the series. It may not quite be on par with Metroid Prime 1, but it's a very worthy entry in the series. Be sure to pick up Metroid Prime Trilogy once it comes up in the WiiU eShop!
EdgyDude will cut you if you don't answer: Why post here? I mean why of all sites that could host your opinion why pick the one that decided to be neutral and stay out of this whole GG issue from the start? Why not post in another site that falls in line with your POV instead of this one
Jeez, someone clearly doesn't want me around. What did I ever do to you, EdgyDude? Fine, I'll leave just for you, I hope you're proud of yourself. I'm not going to cry either.
Don't touch me.
Fuck, now look what you did.
Sir Davies just finished the 50 Shades Of Grey books and desperately needs to know: Do you look yourself in the mirror when you masturbate?
Have you ever seen wombat claws? The last time I masturbated I was at the vet's for a week.
hlarge4 is in the midst of an existential crisis: Am I part of the problem if I just want to play games?
You're part of the solution, my friend. Not like that EdgyDude up there, the big meaniepants. If anything we need more people like you who can just sit back and enjoy the things specifically made to be enjoyable. Play the games you want to play, have fun, and let nobody tell you otherwise.
MuppetTechNews menah menah: why is holmes such a wuss? as in why play the neutral game so much..its annoying.
Holmes is kind of like Nintendo in that we all love him but sometimes we just don't really understand what he's doing. He works in strange ways.
Ragnar DragonFyre has gazed into the abyss and would like to know: What's it feel like to tell the truth, only to have your audience get offended by the truth? Does it make you want to give up or re-double your efforts?
Oh dear, I offended people?! Ohshitohshitohshitohshiiiiii-
Who are they, where can I find them, and what kind of candy do they like? I'm going to make it up to them ASAP. I suppose that counts as "re-doubling my efforts"? In that case, there's your answer.
JoeyMcJoeJoey is not to be trifled with, sir: Badger. Do you believe you're the hero gaming deserves? Or the one it needs? And secondly: Wanna fight?
It's Wombat, thankyouverymuch. Mister Wombat to my girlfriend, Doctor Wombato to that weird hobo down the street. At any rate, I'm not a hero. We've been over this. I'm also not a big fan of the Nolan Batman movies, so the whole deserves vs. needs things is kind of lost on me. However, I do dance with the devil in the pale moonlight.
As for the second question, hit me up in Smash Bros. I'll give you a grand helping of Luigi to the face.
pk fire wants you get comfortable and maybe give you a surprise back massage: What was your most awkward experience in your professional working environment?
The fucking Capybara, above. That just hurt, man. We had such a good thing going on, and then they fire me for a capybara of all things? Who the hell chooses a capybara over me?!
Retrofraction is a stickler for good hygene: What conditioner does the Badger use on its fur?
According to the Badger himself: "The same stuff Jesse Venture waxes his mustache with."
I'm going to have to try that.
Isay Isay say: So is the whole Badger persona a cathartic exercise for you?
I don't know if the Badger is a 'persona' or totally legit. If nothing else it's not cathartic for me, because I'm not the Badger. I'm honestly starting to wonder when this will finally get through to you people. I'm going to give Shade a real talking-to for getting me into this without checking out the questions first. IT WAS THE LEAST YOU COULD DO SHADE! I could have been playing Bayonetta 2 instead of doing this and you couldn't even be bothered to check whether I could actually answer any of these questions?
Finally, Reinhold Hoffman wears his sunglasses indoors and already knows the answer but asks regardless: Who are your favorite commenters on Destructoid?
ShadeOfLight seems like a swell guy when he's not tricking me into these kinds of interviews. Other than that, I know that Destructoid has some Canadian commenters and I can say from experience that Canadians are great.
Actually, most of the regular commenters are my favorite. Not to mention the sexiest. That Nekrosys dude worries me though, he keeps trying to turn me into a platypus. Do you have any idea how much it hurts growing a beak?!
- Pictured: agony.
A big thanks to the Wombat for answering all of our questions. I apologize for putting him through this, but something had to be done.
Lately we've had some people here who thought they could turn us on by listing some of their favorite fetishes in video games and otherwise. Well I think I speak for at least one person when I say that they utterly failed. I mean, spiders? Eight legs, but no skill. Succubi? Who the fuck would be turned on by a literal seductive sex demon? And humans? That's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard. I mean, have you even SEEN me? Not in a million years.
So instead, let me do this the right way. These are the things that get me turned on. I'm pretty sure that means they are the universal standard of sexiness, because that is precisely how fetishes work. Also fair warning: all or some of these may actually be true.
10. Destructoid Cblogs fads
- When we all join in.
There's nothing better than some group action if you ask me. And if the group in question consists of all of our Dtoid friends, it's like a little slice of heaven coated in paradise. That's why I love it whenever the Cblogs gets a new blog fad going. Dibs, fetishes, random excitement, 10 things, it's all in good fun.
Sometimes I like to start, sometimes I like to join in later, and sometimes I just like to watch. Whatever the scenario, one thing's for sure: it always gets me off.
- Dem curves.
There's something profoundly erotic about bows. The curve of the wood, the tightness of the string, the tension before release, the arrow plunging straight into its soft fleshy target...
Okay so I just made all of that up on the spot. But damned if it didn't sound convincing.
Whatever the case may be, at the end of the day bows are just cool, as are the folks who wield them. None of this "up close and personal" bullcrap, just a nice clean shot from several yards away is all you ever needed.
8. Femme Fatales
- Danger is sexy.
There are so many examples here; you've got vampires, demons, assassins, witches, and who knows what else. Not succubi though, that'd just be weird. It's often said that women go for the bad boys, but if we're going to be honest with ourselves, men aren't that different. There's something to be said about the woman who could rip either of your heads off if you so much as looked at her wrong. An air of mystery, of danger, goes a long way sometimes.
Especially of they look like this:
- Awesome rack on her though.
- Lean green sex machine
What, do I really have to repeat myself? WE'VE BEEN OVER THIS. Everyone is already firmly aware about Luigi's appeal, and then some.
6. Cat girls
One could theoretically argue that "cat girl" falls under "dangerous" and is thus already covered by entry #8. To that I say "Shut the hell up, it's hard enough to come up with 10 of these as is!"
Besides, don't cat girls have a sex appeal all of their own? You know they do! The cute little ears, the (hopefully prehensile) tail, the eyes, the agility, the fur and claws: cat girls are the whole package! That is if you weren't looking for anything doglike, but let's not kid ourselves here.
Let me give you an example. Do you know how sexy Rosalina usually is? Actually pretty sexy, but there's only so much you can do while trying to retain that regal air about you. So let's see what happens when we cattify her:
Hot dang son, girl cleans up nice.
That's the power of cats right there. And Rosalina's not even a natural catgirl! Watch what happens when we find someone au naturel.
Truly, their own spot is well deserved. And not just to drag this out to 10 entries I swear.
5. Credits Music
- The afterglow.
JoyfulSanity says that Battle Themes are often great. He's not wrong, but I've got a different proposition. The best, and therefore sexiest, music in video games is also some of the most underappreciated.
Can you hear the sexy oozing from that song? It's like porn for your ears.
The Credits Theme is almost always one of my favorite songs on the entire OST, even though you're only likely to hear it once. Maybe a handful of times if the credits aren't skippable. I love them because there's often such an amazing sense of accomplishment associated with them. You just beat the final boss, saved the world, and now you're being treated with a victory lap of amazing music accompanying the names of awesome people.
The game is doing nothing short of celebrating you, and the music is specifically made to convey that perfectly. It's the best feeling ever.
(Note to self: this entry needs to be a full blog someday)
4. Art Styles
- Draw me like one of your Japanese watercolors.
Realism is boring. There, I said it. Games trying to emulate reality as best they can with CGI are completely on the wrong track. The Dead or Alive girls aren't hot; they're just creepy. They're lifeless and weird and gross.
- With some exceptions.
What you should do to make your game look as sexy as possible is something completely different. You have to develop your own style to stand out from the crowd. Use that color, accentuate those lines! Do whatever you need to do to make people notice you. It's how old 16-bit sprites still manage to look good today, while the polygons of yesterday have aged faster than prepubescent boys could fap to them.
Okami? Show us how it's done.
Oh yeah. Just look at that art. Isn't that just the artiest? It is.
Holly Valance eat your heart out. (Also, marry me?)
- Where you see "palette swap", I see "threesome".
Have you ever come across a woman who was so beautiful that you thought to yourself: "Damn, I wish there were more of her!"? I know I have.
Well that, my friends, is exactly the kind of predicament God invented twins for. Or in the land of video games; palette swaps. You can have two of Samus:
More Kirbys than you'll know what to do with (if you lack imagination):
And finally, alternate timeline Lucinas:
- T&A is overrated.
If you scroll up just a little bit, you may or may not notice how most of these people are covered to a more or lesser extent, but still manage to show off their midriff. There's a very good reason for this, namely that there's nothing sexier than a well-toned core.
Don't believe me? Feast thine eyes.
(...What? Just because I'M into girls doesn't mean I can't be objective about this!)
You knew Eevee was cute. Fluffy. Adorable even. The adorablest. But did you know that Eevee's sexy too?
You do now. You're welcome.
Yes my friends, it's that time again. A new popular fighting game is coming out very soon, and the hype is rising. 3DSes (or is that 3DSi?) are being pushed to their limits, minds are filled with thoughts of combat, and bodies are being readied.
This can only mean one thing. It's time to tear yourself away from whatever unimportant shit it is you're doing right now and claim dibs on your favorite character before one of the cool kids runs of with them! Remember that all is fair in love and dibs, so you've got to be quick!
In fact, while you slowpokes weren't paying attention I went ahead and got the first pick.
I HAVE DIBS ON LUIGI, and don't let me catch ANY of you trying to violate this sacred pact. I know all about you dirty Luigi-stealers and I won't stand for it; is that understood!? Good.
Now I know that you are all intimately familiar with the many many reasons why Luigi trumps everyone, and I don't want to sound patronizing by explaining to you what you already know. Yet the ancient laws of dibs stipulate that I explain my choice, and I am nothing if not a loyal dibs-abiding citizen.
So why the Lean Mean Green Machine, Mr. L, the Green Thunder, the Eternal Understudy, the King of Second Bananas, the Other Guy?
1. Luigi beats Mario at his own game.
Let's say that you were this world-famous plumber whose sole claim to fame is that you can jump a whole bunch. Jumping is cool, being world-famous is cool (trust me on this one), and while occasionally a giant turtle kidnaps your girlfriend you have a good lot in life.
And then it turns out that your little brother jumps better than you.
Look at that pathetic red guy, just barely able to clear that tree in the background. Look how much he struggles to lift his fat ass off the ground even the shortest distances. Then look at Luigi's gloriously majestic leap. Now that is what you call a jump. What's more, the guy doesn't even look like he's putting in any effort. "Oh I'll just jump like a goddamn superstar real quick, because that's how I roll", is what he seems to be telling the world.
And it's been like this ever since 1988, when Super Mario Bros. 2 first recognized Luigi's clearly superior abilities. Ever since that time Mario has essentially been delegated to the loser bench, because who the hell cares about a plumber who can barely even jump?! I know I make MY plumbers do jumping contests to win my favor, and I can't be the only one.
"But Shade," I hear ye unbelievers ask, "if Luigi is truly better than Mario in every way, how do you explain his slippery running controls?" A fair question for those who lack an insight into Luigi's mind. The explanation is simple: Luigi gimps himself to give everyone else a fighting chance. Already when Bowser kidnaps Peach Luigi has to constrain himself so that Mario doesn't feel left out. He has to give his brother the impression that he matters, and with all of the ladies Luigi's already getting he couldn't care less if Mario runs off with Peach. So when Mario finally caves and asks Luigi for his help, it goes without saying that Luigi doesn't want to solve all of Mario's problems in like five minutes tops. That wouldn't be very sporting, and Peach would drop Mario like the useless sack of bricks he is. So in order to not outclass Mario too much, Luigi pretends to have problems with running. He's a bro like that.
Luigi is taller than Mario, slimmer than Mario, younger than Mario, I'm going to assume more intelligent than Mario, has a better mustache than Mario, jumps better than Mario and just allround is a better person than Mario. Or anyone, for that matter. Both the ultimate lady's man and a man's man, Luigi is the best there is. Captain Falcon eat your heart out.
2. Luigi is the original Green.
Did you know that Shigeru Miyamoto invented the color green just for Luigi? It's true!
Before his first appearance in 1983, there was no such thing as "green". Traffic lights were red and blue, trees were bright orange, and grass was purple of all things. Can you imagine what purple grass must've been like? Unsightly, that's what!
But with Luigi's first appearance in Mario Bros., the world was forever changed. At first people were dumbstruck by this beautiful new assault on their eyes. Then slowly but surely they grew to accept the color green for what it was, and began to incorporate it into the world at large. And that is how we eventually ended up with green grass, green traffic lights and green energy. Unfortunately that knowledge has been all but lost to the new generation (I blame public education), but I for one shall never forget Luigi's profound impact on all of our lives.
Indeed, there's a very good reason why they call Luigi "mr. Green". He truly is the mr. Green.
Incidentally, this is also the explanation for why Luigi was so awesome in his role as Grass in that famous musical "The Mystery of the Fiery Hat of Social Awareness." But don't take my word for it:
3. Luigi has a killer airgame
I already talked at length about Luigi's stellar jumping abilities. But while these may serve him well in mainstream Mario games, they truly shine in Smash Bros.
Personally, I'm a huge air player in Smash. This is an element that no other fighting game series can truly match, and one that I like to exploit to the fullest extent. There's something incredibly satisying in tossing your opponent off the stage and then jumping after him for the finishing blow.
Given my love for aerials in this series, it should come as no surprise that Luigi and I get along incredibly well. Almost like a reverse Little Mac, Luigi barely has any reason to ever be on the ground at all. I'd go so far as to say that anytime you spend more than 10 seconds not being in the air as Luigi, you're playing him wrong. He jumps high, falls slow, and has some quick aerials at his disposal that hit surprisingly hard and are easy to chain together. In Melee his biggest strengths were his forward and down air. In Brawl his forward was nerfed while his backwards was improved, so all that really changed was which direction you needed him to face. His down air remained good and his neutral was more relevant than ever.
I love playing Luigi for his ability to quickly dish out more aerials than you can keep track of, and for being able to follow your opponents wherever they may go. With his vastly improved recovery options in Brawl, there was almost no place to run from this guy. Pair that with a good forward Smash, an incredibly useful all-purpose Down-B and one of the weirdest yet most satisfying Final Smashes, and you've got my favorite fighter in the game.
In fact, Luigi is so good in Smash Bros. that he can win against anyone by doing absolutely nothing.
4. Luigi has character, dark secrets
Out of all of Nintendo's characters, there aren't many that you could say truly have a personality to them. Luigi though? All of the personality. All of it.
In all of his recent appearances, Luigi has been the coward of the group. That alone set him apart from everyone else. While Mario would just blindly rush into a house full of ghosts like some kind of disinterested stoic, Luigi is more mindful of his surroundings and has the decent sense to be scared out of his wits. Good on him. Of course I would argue that this is simply a ruse to make Mario feel better about himself, but the point still stands that there's more to Luigi than meets the eye. Whether just a coward that faces his fears to save his friends or the ultimate hero who pretends to be scared so his brother doesn't look as bad, it's clear that there's more to Luigi than just his staggeringly good looks.
What makes Luigi truly unique, however, is his dealings with his dark and mysterious past. We know little about where Luigi came from and what made him who he is, but he has been dropping hints that there may be something sinister going on for years now. What is the Negative Zone, and how is Luigi able to summon it? Why did he change into Mr. L so easily in Super Paper Mario? What exactly did he do with Princess Eclair of the Waffle Kingdom and how is he able to come cheer on Mario while also being on his own quest? Just what did he see when he stared into the abyss of Shy Guy's face?
There are hidden depths here that need to be explored, and I think spending time with Luigi in Smash Bros. 4 is the way to do it. There is...something behind Luigi's eyes, and we need to find out what. For all our sakes.
5. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THIS SUAVE MOTHERFUCKER
There's only so much Luigi that I can explain. Some things you just need to see for yourselves.
- Cutting a tree down with fingerpistols.
- Having the very best V for Victory sex.
- Reprising his role as Grass.
- Blasting off again.
- Coming back to annihilate fucking everything
- And finally, leaving his mark on the world.
Call your dibs now!
I think that just about covers it. By way of REASONS and LOGIC I have carefully explained why I have dibs on Luigi for Smash Bros. 4 for 3DS. He is mine and mine alone, so you have been warned. Now I know that all of you fellow Smashers are very upset, but there is no need to cry longer than a couple of days or so. There are still plenty of characters left in the game, and while they may be a far cry from the man in Green that doesn't mean they couldn't be somewhat decent still. I guess, maybe? If you squint?
You can still call your dibs. You have that power. It's been inside you all along. Go out there, and claim your Smash Bros. character before everyone else does and all you're left with is Jigglypuff. Or heaven forbid, Dark Pit. I look forward to seeing your no doubt well-reasoned blogs on the matter.
At any rate, I think I've made my point here clear. Luigi is amazing, Luigi is great, and Luigi is mine.
When I sat down to write my Recaps a few hours ago, I realized that it has been at least a couple of weeks since I talked about what my stay in the US is like. I mean, I still really want to talk about Bravely Default as well (Weapon Magic + Two Handed + Valkyrie = fun x profit), but for now it might be fun to give you guys another outsider's perspective on your country. It turned out so big that I figured I'd just go all out and turn it into a blog!
First things first: everything is still going well, and I'm having tons of fun. So yay!
Second: over the past few weeks I've been doing a lot of experiments. Food experiments, that is. What I mean by that is that I've been sampling damn near everything I could get my hands on. Food you can't get in the Netherlands, food you could but prepared slightly differently, food I've never even heard of, the works. In particular I've been focusing on those foodstuffs that you often hear about in movies/cartoons and the like but which I have never actually seen before in real life because the Dutch aren't exactly the biggest demographic in the world. It's been a great experience, although those extra pounds are quickly starting to add up. For now though, that's future Shade's problem.
So let me take a moment now to share some of my results!
1. General comment: Choices. Like, way too many of them.
Okay, before we go into specifics can I just say something here? Realtalk, America.
You seriously don't need twenty different kinds of everything.
When I ask for a burger all I want is a goddamn burger. What I don't want is be dragged into a WRPG Dialog Tree about what kind of burger I'm going to eat. Rare, Medium, Well-done, it honestly isn't that big of a deal. And how the fuck is Medium-Well even a thing? Also, when I tell you that it doesn't matter whether you give me French fries or fried potatoes as a side dish, it genuinely doesn't matter and looking at me sheepishly until I've made my decision isn't going to help either of us. You're the experts here, just give me whatever's good!
Similarly, what am I supposed to do with this:
That's peanut butter. Which is to say that ALL OF THOSE ARE PEANUT BUTTER. This isn't even all of it, I could very nearly make a panorama photo out of this. Are Americans just so picky that they just want their one very specific kind of peanut butter and nothing else? It boggles the mind.
Okay, by now you may be wondering why this is so weird to me (disclaimer: I'm obviously not actually mad). Well, in the Netherlands we don't get nearly as many choices of foods. When I go to a Dutch restaurant, I pick something from the menu and that's it. They're not going to ask how I want it prepared: they'll just prepare it like they always do for everybody. At best you can ask them to skip the sauce or toss in some extra bacon, but otherwise what you see is what you get. And that's fine, really. I trust the kitchen staff to whip me up something good; they'd be out of business already if they couldn't. As for grocery stores: when I go to my local Dutch grocery store, they will have two different kinds of peanut butter: creamy and chunky. If they want to be fancy they'll have four kinds: name-brand chunky/creamy and cheap chunky/creamy. That's all you're going to get, and I've never felt like I was missing out in my peanut buttery life experience. This coming from someone who eats it by the truckload.
I will say that the variety here is quite amazing sometimes, and it makes the experimentation process that much more fun.
2. Pig in a blanket
A hotdog, yet not a hotdog. Also much better than the regular variety.
3. Ben & Jerry's Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream
This may sound weird to you. But yes, even foreigners watch Stephen Colbert. I'm one of them, and a huge fan to boot. Unfortunately, while Ben & Jerry's certainly exists in the Netherlands we don't get nearly as many different flavors (see #1). As a result, I've never had Americone Dream before.
That is, until:
It's great! I love caramel something fierce so this was like heaven in a cone. Comedy and ice cream, is there anything the man can't do?
4. Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew is not a thing overseas. I don't know any store that sells it. I tried it here in the US because of the meme value. You know, the whole Doritos and Mountain Dew thing? (we do get Doritos in the Netherlands by the way)
The good news is that I now know why nobody sells it overseas. The bad news is that this reason is because Mountain Dew is terrible. I'm pretty sure that so far this was the only experiment that I can say legitimately failed. Almost everything else has been either good or at least edible, but Mountain Dew fucking sucks.
5. Breakfast Pizza
Come on America, you don't eat pizza for breakfast. There are rules. Just like you're not supposed to have alcohol until at least somewhere in the afternoon, there are hard limits on pizza-time. Breakfast does not fall within those limits.
No matter how great it would be if it did.
I thought I knew what burgers were. I really did. You go to McDonalds, they put some meat on a patty and slap some cheese on it, and you've got a burger. This is far from uncommon even in Europe, so what could they do in the US that completely overturns this completely normal burger dynamic?
Turns out, everything.
American burgers rule.
The Netherlands doesn't have burger places like you do here. You get burgers at McDonalds or Burger King, but there's no such thing as "Bobby's Burger Palace" or "Bolt Burgers" which serve burgers topped with everything but the kitchen sink. The fact that these places tend to have much better meat also helps matters tremendously, not to mention that they make them so big they literally have to stick a cocktail pick into it just so it doesn't fall apart.
I'm especially partial to a heaping helping of bacon on my burger, but the variety of cheeses here is also nice. The weirdest one so far I've had today though; a burger with cheese and potato chips. Because that is a thing now (not going to lie either, it kinda works), and that's simultaneously weird and amazing to me. Apparently these guys once had a meeting and someone went:
"You know what, people love burgers right? You know what they also love? Potato chips."
"We're doing this."
I fucking love this country.
7. Lack of licorice, frikandellen and stroopwafels
It's not all good, having to eat in a foreign country. For the most part I've been able to eat what I always do. I've got my veggies, meat and potatoes, and as far as afternoon snacks go it's not like chocolate chip cookies are like this alien concept to me.
Nonetheless, there will always be some things that you miss out on. The things I miss most right now are Dutch licorice (are the Dutch seriously the only people who like licorice? The stuff is everywhere where I'm from), stroopwafels (which are cookies filled with caramel syrup and are thus the bestest thing ever) and the frikandel (an almost exclusively Dutch snack food sausage that you eat with your French fries. Trust me, they're amazing.)
- Frikandellen, one filled with ketchup, mayonaise and topped with onion.
- And stroopwafels. You have no idea how badly I want these right now.
8. My fortuneless Fortune Cookie
Chinese restaurants are huge in the Netherlands. I wouldn't be suprised if a good quarter of all the restaurants in the Netherlands was some sort of Chinese place. More power to them, because Chinese food's great!
Yet despite the incredible number of these places, I've never had Fortune Cookies before. It's not a thing that Dutch Chinese restaurants will give you, because apparently there's this sense that it's stereotypically American or something like that. I dunno, it doesn't make much sense to me either.
So after my first meal at this local Chinese place in the US I finally got my first Fortune Cookie!
...and it was empty.
I have no fortune.
9. Oreo-flavored everything
You can get Oreos in the Netherlands, but only in their normal cookie variety. It turns out though that Oreos can be put onto almost anything to make it amazing. Chocolate-centered Oreos, Oreos with peanut butter, Oreo ice cream and I swear to god the moment someone thinks to put Oreos on a burger it will absolutely happen.
It's pretty safe to say that I've never appreciated Oreos quite in the same way as I do now. They're much more delicious than I ever gave them credit for and really do make everything from yoghurt to ice cream that much better. Remember though; in the Netherlands they compete with stroopwafels, which is not a battle that one could win. Which leads me to the following conclusion:
Caramel Oreos, guys. Make it happen.
- Well I'll be damned.
10. American Beer
By now it may start to sound like American food is inherently better than anything in Europe, or that I led a sad existence in the Netherlands before coming here. That obviously isn't true. There are many things in the Netherlands that are great as well, and not all of my US experiments have been entirely successful.
One thing in particular that Americans aren't very good at is beer. Almost all of the US beers have been decidedly inferior to anything German, Dutch or Belgian. Given the choice I will order Heineken at any bar that has it, because there's really no contest here. The only beer I've found that's somewhat decent is Yuengling, but even that just tastes like not-as-good Heineken.
You've got to step up your game guys, this is a vitally important area you're missing out on!
Upcoming experiment: Twinkies.
And those are the current results of my US food experiments! I've gotta say that in most areas you guys have done a great job, so be proud! Nobody does unhealthy foods quite as well as you do, and that's gotta count for something. I'm not done yet though, I've got a couple of months of experimenting ahead of me still.
Next up on the list is getting myself a Twinkie. Because Zombieland.
I shit you not, that is literally the reason I want one.