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11:06 PM on 11.03.2008

battle beast

these are one of the computer games that i find in the mac department at work.

first of all, i don't think this is anyway related to the figurines "battle beasts". note the plurality of thine beasts.

and this is the only image i can find of the cover of battle beast. i'll try to describe the awesomeness in strict detail.

- to actually realize how old this game is, it doesn't even come in a small case like they do now. this comes in a big ass oversized game box. this was back when game companies were like "endcaps. endcaps. endcaps" rather than "Good game. good game. good game".

- on the front of the box is artists rendition of two of the "battle beasts" doing what looks like a flying headbutt. in any regular situation, both of these beasts would be rendered unconscious and/or dead. BUT both of these beasts heads are made of metal. in the middle of said headbutt are threads of lightening to signify the fact that, yes the scientists are right, creationism be damned. not only has biology tempered these beasts' craniums for battle with steel and bolts, it makes them emit lightening as if their brains were the clouds above. and that's dove.

- of course the title is on the game. much like my subject line. now usually most video games would give a subtitle. like "thunderstrike: the reckoning" or "undercrotch: free your mind". this one is BATTLE BEAST: The ultimate fight game. fight game? nevermind. grammatical error aside, it defines hubris.

- so of course here's the plot. we're going to play a game. read the following passage while drinking milk. as you read the passage, feel free to laugh and allow as much milk to pass through your nostrils as possible. if you have more milk on your lap and shirt than in your stomach, congrats. you win a copy of battle beast:

(btw, i am NOT editing this in any way to seem funnier.)


the evil toadman is breeding toads and setting them loose on the city. in an effort to control panic and smash the growing toad menace, the "general" created battle beasts, the ultimate in home protection, who morph into ferocious toad killers, programmed to destroy.

(still here? okay)


kill deadly toads while fighting defective renegade battle beasts head to head to gain power and points. learn strategies as you fight through nine scenarios of increasing difficulty on your way to meeting up with the evil toadman in a rousing final battle to the death.

BATTLE BEAST: The Ultimate Fight Game

- now pretend you're a designer for 7th level, inc. someone goes "i have an idea. an evil toad man makes toads and they start to wreak havoc around the city". now i'm usually not on the precipice of common sense but i think i'd be the first to go "stop drinking the bong water". the fact that there's an impending "toad menace" in this town is beyond me. where are the fucking cops? toad menace? wtf are these toads doing? if they aren't as dangerous as the ones at the end of magnolia, fk these toads.

- and as standard with all video games, you have bulletpoints describing the benefits of said game. the first one says:

spectacular gameplay that blows away mortal kombat, street fighter and PRIMAL RAGE. PRIMAL RAGE. PRIMAL RAGE? the dinosaur game where there was a fatality where you pee acid on your opponent? really? you name two of the best fighting game franchises in video game history and your third is PRIMAL RAGE? that's like saying your three favorite directors are spielberg, coen brothers, and uwe boll.

- another one that sticks out (because they kinda put tape on top of whatever was on the box before. i guess they were censoring something?) is:

fire rude interactive taunts at your opponent such as "you're dead meat" "whimp" or "i'm taking you out!".

which country do you live where these are real rude insults? the last time i told someone they were dead meat, we violated each other's restraining order.

- by the way the game is for any MAC computer with a 33mhz or greater processor. including power mac and OS 7.1 or greater. 12MB or more ram is required. with 8.5MB or more of application RAM. and a CD-ROM drive. also required: low sense of worth.   read

6:16 PM on 09.07.2008

the game beat bow wow @ madden.

now i have to say right now. i cannot tolerate bow wow at all. i think he's like 23 now and he's still calling himself bow wow. game. he's cool. i got both his albums and i dig em.

but here's how it starts. i'll go through everything.

not safe work for random n-words and curse words and bow wow's fucking face.


game replies live from his tour bus. game also says if he wins, he wants 100k and singer ciara to pleasure everybody on the tour bus. with her mouth. smh. now i'm not saying that i would turn down a good bobby knobby from ciara...but i definitely wouldn't share her.


bow wow posts up. literally a couple of hours later and he's apparently like...getting a rectal exam? dude sit down. nws because it's bow wow again. the hubris on this kid.


game replies. once again starting his video with "yeeeah lil nigga" i have to admit. that shit is pretty funny. and lol @ the bus driver.


then here's the showdown. game says "i came to kill a puppy". these guys are hilarious.


then the post game shit talking. which is too hilarious for words to even describe on a human level.


i swear. i love hip hop. at least they're not shooting at each other or making dumb videos with guns and or weed in them.   read

4:19 PM on 09.07.2008

i'm black yall i'm black yall i'm blackity black cuz i'm black yall.


generally being a black man in a multicultural america, i'm usually reminded of race everyday. it isn't as bad as many people would expect. however, i've been on this earth for 29 years and 2 weeks and it gives me a chance to analyze certain aspects of culture as i see fit.

so now recently i've been turning my attention towards video games. why? well video games don't have the same standards as movies and tv. video games don't necessarily have to be pc while movie execs and tv producers are questioning everything about the product. there are focus groups for video games but there aren't sponsors. if you put a stereotypical character like cole train from gears of war in a game, you don't have groups protesting the sales of the game at walmart.

(side note: i personally don't find cole train stereotypical as far as race is concerned. he was a football player. most of them act like that.)

so in the past few days i've been pretty much going through a majority of the games i own (and don't own) and have played in the past and decided to write about certain characters. if they were done right. and what could be better done.


barret wallace (final fantasy VII)

who is he?

stereotypical, potty mouthed leader of the eco group AVALANCHE in the city of midgar. and he uses a gun. smh. a gun.

how black is he?

well, since black people curse a lot and use broken english. i suppose he's pretty effing black. i swear at one point i saw him say "i say we go ova tuh duh shinruh towa to take caruh doze deah turks. yessuh, cloud!". also he had a really bad temper, beating the crap out of anyone that opposed him. which is pretty black. but i guess it could be pretty italian of him too. and he HAD A GUN FOR AN ARM. you can't really tell from the terrible polygon graphics but he actually turns it sideways like the real gangstas do. and in advent children, he had cornrows.

but he wasn't all bad was he?

no of course not. you'd suppose he was pretty intelligent, seeing he could recruit people into AVALANCHE to follow his cause. he was also a great protector as evidenced by taking marlene after dyne supposedly died *spoiler alert*. he was a very loyal friend and partner, sacrificing himself for the greater good when needed. AND HE HAD A GUN FOR AN ARM.

how could you make him better?

i'd seem like a fool if i wanted a character changed from a game that was made over ten years ago. i'd like it if he spoke like everyone else. considering he was in a mining town, maybe everybody else talked like that too. (wait...he was the only one that talked like that? well...that's fucked up) but hey, you have to take what you get. although barret is sinfully stereotyped, he's still a great character and there's more to him than the broken english, the cursing and the GUN FOR AN ARM.

blackness accuracy: 5 out of 10 earth wind and fire albums.

although there's a lot of stereotypes throughout, i'd still have to give him a pretty average score. points are definitely knocked off because he didn't die in the story. that's worth about a million blackness points.

staff sergeant griggs (call of duty 4)

who is he?

second in command behind lieutenant vasquez and SAW gunner for the marine force recon. he nearly dies in the *spoiler alert* nuclear explosion in that "unnamed middle eastern country" and joins capt. price's team to find zakhaev.

how black is he?

oh yeah, i'll tell you who he definitely is. he's definitely the hardcore black marine you'd meet in real life like i did when i was in the marine corps. he was about business but knew when to have a laugh. what i like about this character that there's really no big whoop because there's a black character in a game. he's part of a cohesive team brought together to take down a one armed russian with nukes. and isn't that what we all look for in life?

but but...he rapped at the end. isn't that a stereotype?

it seems like a stereotype but not let's get TOO naive here. black people know how to rap better than most white people (eminem, evidence and aesop rock notwithstanding). and yes i know he turned on rap music at one point (sean price, even) but what black person do you know under the age of 30 that doesn't like rap music? i sure as hell don't.

how would you make him better?

i wouldn't do a damn thing. i explained it above. his blackness wasn't put out there for people to pick apart. he wasn't the only person in the game cursing and beating the crap out of people. sure he was the only one rapping but i don't think anybody wants to hear capt. price rapping. which i'm sure will be a hoot.

blackness accuracy: 8 out of 10 fried fish dinners with hot sauce.

this was a perfect black character in a near perfect game. i'd say he's one of the first black supporting characters where i actually enjoyed his performance. and considering the fact that it was played by mark grigsby, the lead designer of the game pretty much explains it. the character nailed it. until he died that is. (the game came out like a year ago, screw your spoiler warning).

well that's it for right now.
i'm going to update with hopefully two black characters a week and if you can think of some for me to grade, let me know. i'm open to suggestions.

thanks for reading.   read

1:44 PM on 09.07.2008


okay so i race down to the flugtag, camera in hand. i jump on the bus, head east and get to the beach. there's a big crowd there and i'm enjoying myself. i went to a lil stand to grab a couple of hotdogs and the events about to start.

i hand my hotdog to my friend so i can get my camera out's not working. wha?

i notice that my camera was lighter than usual. shit. i left the battery in the charger.

i snatch the hotdog back. and watched as the fucking crustacean avengers win first place.

but with that out of the way.

to commemorate the season opener of FOOTBAAAAAALL (i'm in chicago, we have to say it like that), i thought i'd share my baked chicken recipe.

and if you're not going to watch football and play games today or some crazy shit like that. i'll just give it a cool video game themed name like "link's thrown chicken" or whatever.

link's thrown chicken (or how i oven bake chicken)

3 or 4 lb chicken, either already cut up or a whole chicken.
olive oil
can of beer
salt and pepper
lemon pepper
garlic powder (but i like using adobo)

- preheat your oven to 400 degrees. while that's heating up, wash your chicken and dry with a paper towel. coat the bottom of your roasting pan with the olive oil. lovingly put some olive oil and rub it in. like you would do a girl. except the girl is made of chicken skin.
- season all of the pieces with the salt, pepper, lemon pepper and garlic powder on both sides. arrange in the pan so the largest pieces are in the center like the thighs and breasts...heh heh.
- take that can of beer and maybe 1/4 cup of water. pour the water in the pan (but not on the chicken). then pour the beer in the pan the same way. let it settle so it coats the whole bottom of the pan.
- bake in the oven for 30 minutes. baste as it cooks. then lower the heat to about 350-375 and bake for another 13-36 minutes (approx 13-14 minutes per lb in case you have more than 3 lbs.) until the juices run clear (heh heh...juices). if the internal temperature is around 180 degrees you're good togo.
- take roasting pan out of oven and cover with foil for 10 minutes before serving.


well today i'm just going to watch the rest of the games and my roommate and i are planning on throwing another party. last time it was a wii party. but since the wii is a piece of crap now, i think i'm going to center it around retro games. if anybody wants to donate an nes, let me know. kidding.

no i'm not.   read

1:40 AM on 09.06.2008

giant duck hunt duck plunges into ocean. dog mourns.

tomorrow is the redbull flugtag here in chicago @ north beach @ 1pm.

in case you're unfamiliar with the flugtag:

from wikipedia because i'm too lazy to come up with a smart assed way of putting it:

Red Bull Flugtag (German: flight day, airshow) is an event owned and operated by Red Bull in which competitors attempt to fly homemade human-powered flying machines. The flying machines are usually launched off a pier about 30 feet (9.1 m) high into the sea (or suitably sized reservoir of water). Most competitors enter for the entertainment value, and the flying machines rarely fly at all.

well i'm telling you that in order to tell you this. a group of godlike men who name themselves the nintendudes are entering the competition. as you can tell by that detailed sketch, they plan to fly on a giant duck into lake michigan.

the nintendudes' skit will comprise of a midi version of the duck hunt theme song and a shredding guitar solo by some guy named brett.

they also promise that the skit will “melt faces and wet pants with excitement.”

so tomorrow i'll wear my least favorite jeans and boxers and attend with camera in hand. hopefully i'll have pictures later that day after i sober up. that's if i'm able to roll out of bed before noon on my day off.

and i'm sure there's going to be a team or two from chicago but c'mon. it's the duck from duckhunt. fxck home team advantage, i'm rooting for the fxcking duck.   read

11:26 AM on 09.05.2008

oh my failed youth: virtual boy

i'm quite possibly showing my age but i owned a virtual boy when it was released.

that red and black hunk plastic fail with a tripod and a controller: i owned it.

i owned two games for it.

around the time of release i worked at picadilly's cafeteria for tips and 3 dollars an hour,
bussing tables and cleaning bathrooms. my moms helped me go get a work permit and i
was saving money. eventually i was known as the kid that had almost every video game
system out.

remember all of those stories about someone mentioning going to their friend's house to
play street fighter alpha on playstation or chrono trigger? i was that friends house.

this kid i went to high school with caught up with me at the mall. the conversation was
pretty normal for a pair of 15 year olds: video games, girls, video games, wutang, girls.

i don't remember much about the conversation but this stuck out: "virtual boy came out

wait wha?

"virtual boy"

have i been bussing tables for too long? did i oversleep half of the summer? what the hell
happened to me? i totally forgot the virtual boy was coming out. it's virtual. and it's a game
boy. it's a headset with a fucking controller attached to it. it's the future. so we run over to
babbages (which it used to be called before it was called gamestop or software etc or EB or
whatever the shit it's called now) and i'm leaning across the counter like a drunken maniac.
huffing and puffing. in between each puff i say each syllable.

the associate behind the counter, opened his mouth. but nothing came out. "you might want
to check toysrus".

time to run again.

if you live in chesterfield, virginia you might know the distance between cloverleaf mall
(well what used to be) and what used to be nationwide insurance. nationwide insurance
used to be a toysrus.

please don't ask how they managed to turn a toysrus into a nationwide insurance. long john
silvers is still around but for some reason toysrus just couldn't make it in this high paced
retail market.

they had one in stock.
the girl told me to pick it up in the front and i had my money all ready. i bought mario
tennis and teleroboxer, the "boxing simulator".

i rushed home with virtual boy in tow, took it out of the box and plugged it in.


first thought: this thing is fucking huge. when i heard about virtual reality i was thinking cool
classes with a couple of wires. this thing was like kanye wests sunglasses with terminators
sunglasses glued to them and there was a buncha shit that they decided to glue on them.
like a whole nother console.

second thought: the controller had two d pads. one on the left. one on the right. as a matter
of fact, that controller was pretty freaking symmetrical, looking back. and i'm not saying
this as a negative. it's about time the gaming industry stopped shitting on left handed
peoples hands.

third thought: this display shit is RED. like...blood red. the display was so red, snoop dogg
came by and shot at it. and it flickered. if you played it for more than 20 minutes, it'd feel
someone unhinged your skull and peed on your brain. it hurt that bad that
i'd compare
it to being peed on the brain.

fourth thought: i hope toysrus has a lax return policy.

eventually, i did sell the virtual boy. some time later, i come to my senses and put an ad in
the local penny saver: "selling virtual boy. pls buy. $60 incl 2 games"

i got a call a week later, some guy was like "do you have teleroboxer with it?" i replied.
then he goes "what about wario land?"

i didn't get wario land. i wasnt' going to wait to sell this thing because i wanted to play one

"i have wario land"

i was so happy to finally sell this waste of time and money. i met with the dude in front of
cinnabon at chesterfield town center. i had it with me. he goes "i just want to buy
teleroboxer. i already have a virtual boy."


he walks away and he pauses, turns around and looks at me, "good luck selling that virtual
boy. i tried to sell mine for a good price."

was this what my future held? buying virtual boy games from a 16 year old in a suburban
mall? if i wasn't to get rid of this thing soon, it would manifest itself into me becoming some
sort of virgin living in my mothers basement. playing virtual boy. buying wario land for 8
bucks at putt putt.

a little bit later i got a drivers license. i threw everything in the trunk of my chrysler laser
(you know...the car deedee mccall drove in "hunter"? that...with paint damage) and drove
to the furthest pawn shop i could find on a fourth of a tank of gas.

this old man wearing a newsie hat was sitting in a stool, chewing on an unlit cigar in a pawn
shop. he says "how ya doin? i'm a cliche. how can i help ya?"

i took the virtual boy out and he looks me up and down. look at the system. looks back at
me and says "...the fuck is this?"

"it's a virtual boy"

"whatsama boy?"

"it's a video game system you put on your eyes"


there was this long pause as i hand it to him so he could take a look at it. he fiddles with
the controllers and the cables. then he looks at me and goes "how much you wanna let it go

all i needed was gas money to get back home and maybe some money to go to hardees.

"all i needed was gas money to get back home and maybe some money to go to hardees."

i really didn't say that but it wouldn't have made any difference.

"sold!" his voice jolted me and he gives me 30 dollars.

30 dollars?

i paid almost 200 dollars on this system.

i got back 30 dollars for it almost a year later.


"what about 60? theres a game with it and it's in perfect condition."

he pauses again.

"SOLD!" and hands me 20 more dollars.

i say thank you.
he says not one word back to me and continues to examine his brand new alien technology
as i walk towards my car with my 50 dollars.

i bought the new ghostface album with some of that money (ironman).


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