This picture is completely unrelated to anything, ever.
Hey guys! Holy Bananas, I never write in here anymore. I feel like a jerk because I used to come in and say hello but now I just start fights with people on YouTube and Reddit and try to get more popular on Twitter and long story short, I feel like a jerk for not writing in my Cblog. I am terrible at utilizing my free time on the internet.
I don't know if you guys have been watching The Destructoid Show (It's totally fine if you're not, I am obnoxious) but that's going strong, and we're gearing up for our last little push of busy-holiday-crunchtime. We usually have to double-up on episodes before the holidays so that we have enough content for when the studio's closed, which is fun, but tiring. Working on some GOTY shit right now, possibly some fun stuff involving Skyrim. I'm also doing Podtoid every week, which people seem to enjoy, and I'm on another podcast with some gaming industry folk called The Comedy Button.
Anyway, I'm rambling and just shamelessly plugging things and that's really boring. The main reason I'm writing this post is because I wanted to post a link to this video-unboxing of a care package Occams Electric Toothbrush AKA Hugh sent us. Us being me and Gennhaver AKA Jenn. She's been equally terrible about posting on here, but to be fair, she's in grad school. I'm just lazy.
(I couldn't figure out how to embed it. God, that's embarrassing. Embedding YouTube videos into posts on Destructoid is half my job description.)
Anyway, Occam, we love you. Thank you so much for the treasures, I'm seriously stoked on the Boba Fett stuff -- Both of those came out in the height of my buy-anything-with-Boba-Fett-on-it phase, but for one reason or another, I never got either of them. I'm as bad at collecting Star Wars memorabilia as you are amazing at finding gifts. The Talespin toy is straight out of my childhood, and Girls And Corpses magazine is something I'm proud I now own, and for all the constant Robocop worship I do, I didn't actually own the second movie. You're a magical person.
But yeah. I fucking love this community, you guys are rad. I constantly feel guilty I'm not around more on here/in the chat/on the forums. I'm also desperately hoping I can make it to PAX East, and if not, I am going to hug all of you at PAX Prime.
Ever since we started taking movie suggestions for our totally-not-an-obvious-product-tie-in Destructoid/Netflix movie club, people have been yammering at us to watch The Room. No. I've seen that fucking movie enough times.
In fact, here's a video from last year in which I dressed up as Tommy Wiseau. Holmes and I spent an afternoon shooting this, for reasons that escape me. We still have that wig at the studio. Maybe I'll do more dumb impersonations sometime.
Confession: I'm posting this blog because I needed a place to embed the video so I can link it to our producer, and the original post this was in got fuckled.
Hey dudes. Long time no blog. I feel like I've been really bad about writing lately, personally and professionally. I've got a pile of previews I should be working on, but so far my attempts at writing them have consisted of me typing introductory sentences, staring at them, deleting them, and then swearing. Fucking writing. So stupid.
Anyway, Wondercon was this weekend and it was magical. Haven't been to a convention since San Diego Comicon back in 2007. Back then, I didn't know how to talk to girls, didn't party, and didn't host an internet TV show about cool nerdy stuff. Also, San Diego is one of my least favorite cities, and I don't think I can even explain why. It's like Diet LA.
But yeah, Wondercon was a blast. One thing that I noticed -- I'd kind of anticipated it -- was the sudden popularity of Deadpool. This guy:
He's popped up in a couple games, but his recent inclusion in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 seems to have given him a big boost. He was in that wreck of a Wolverine movie. There's been talk of a solo movie for like five years now, and Ryan Reynolds is probably gonna play him. I'm totally cool with that, because Ryan Reynolds is fucking awesome. "Definitely Maybe" is like my favorite movie ever, and if you watch that with a girl, she'll totally make out with you.
Um. But yeah. Deadpool.
Deadpool's been my favorite Marvel character since I was like seven years old. No exaggeration. I'm not sure what my first exposure was. Probably on an action figure cardback, or as a trading card. I just saw him and was like, "Damn, a ninja with guns! Cool!" Of course, he's also a hilarious and fascinating character, otherwise I wouldn't be a fan.
This is my big fucking stack of Deadpool comics. I've read almost every comic he's appeared in. AND I have his action figures. I am obviously the best at Deadpool.
At Wondercon, I must've seen two dozen people wearing Deadpool shirts, and two or three people actually cosplaying as him. This is weird for me. The knee-jerk reaction is get all pretentious about how I'm a bigger fan, and I was here first, but that's stupid. People liking Deadpool is good, because it means he won't fade into obscurity. It means they'll make more action figures and comics and hopefully the movie isn't a fucking mess. This is good for everyone involved, so more power to ya, Deadpool.
But still. I was totally here first, and I'm a bigger fan than you. And I needed to come out and make an official statement about that.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go out and read some Deadpool comics. I'd recommend Cable & Deadpool volume one, it's a good starting point.
I was playing Pokemon when I read about the earthquake in Japan. Chad sent out an email to all the Destructoid editors, making sure Dale North was okay. He lives in Japan, so this is scary shit. Don't think he can get email, but he's been Tweeting that he's okay. I tweeted at him that I'm glad he's alright.
I went back to playing Pokemon, because I didn't really know what else to do. Tweeted some bullshit about losing an online battle, and kept playing. Someone tweeted at me, probably quite disgustedly, "You know there was just a massive earthquake in Japan, right?" and I fired back something about how "No shit. What do you want me to do, go buy a bucket and a plane ticket?"
Then I started watching the Al Jazeera video feed, and I got that tight feeling in my chest. I deleted my tweets, because they seemed insensitive, and I felt like a dick for sitting there playing Pokemon while horrible destruction was going on. And then I felt like a dick for deleting the tweets to protect whatever image I might be trying to maintain.
And then I just watched the video feed, and read Twitter, and felt worse and worse about everything.
Japan is an amazing place. There's nowhere else I want to visit as much as Japan. It's Japan. It's awesome. Obviously, I love video games and anime, and they come from there. Now there's a big fucking disaster ruining peoples' homes and nobody's even mentioned the word "body count."
It doesn't matter if my favorite things come from Japan, or if I appreciate its culture. What matters is that human beings, somewhere, are suffering a great deal. The knee-jerk reaction is try and help -- which is something I intend to do however I can -- but at the same time, Japan is five thousand miles away.
There's a tsunami warning for San Francisco in seven hours. That's a scary fucking concept. SF is fifty feet above sea level and I live about a mile and a half from the water. I'm sitting here, reading the internet, and getting scared.
I've lived through a tsunami warning before. I was playing bocce ball on Venice beach sometime last year. We had the time the wave was predicted for, down to the minute, and we stood there watching the ocean. Nothing happened.
Reading the official bulletin, a tsunami "watch" is the lowest level of alarm. Sort of like the neighborhood watch, except instead of a break-in, the worst case scenario is a killer fucking tidal wave.
The information age has brought forth a lot of amazing things. We know what's going on around the world, as it's happening, but that's not always for the best. I've lived in California for ten years, and in that ten years, I've felt two earthquakes, and one of them I wouldn't have realized was an earthquake if I hadn't checked Facebook.
Assuming I don't get washed away by something out of a Roland Emmerich movie, first thing I wanna do tomorrow is talk to someone at Revision3 about doing some charity fundraising shit. Right now, though, there's really not much I can do that's productive. I looked around for some kind of charity effort, and nobody's listed anything official yet.
Aside from my absolute terror at the thought of a tidal wave hitting SF -- seriously, I have fucking nightmares -- there's still that long-distance feeling of guilt. Before the internet, it wasn't like this. Yes, regularly scheduled program would be interrupted with emergency broadcasts, but it wasn't like Twitter or Facebook.
Maybe that was for the best, but I think ignorance is bliss. And they just bumped this up to a Tsunami warning. What the fuck does that mean? I don't know. I need to get off the internet. It's just making me worry.
I wrote this because I just needed to write something, so if it looks really stupid in the morning, please disregard it.
Hey everyone. Tonight, we had a rather entertaining episode of The Destructoid Show ready to go up, but the evil ghost of Jonathan Holmes that haunts our studio set fire to several of the editing bays and our producer, Zac Minor. It was a true american tragedy, and one that could have been prevented if we'd bought robot guard-dogs like I suggested.
The audio was all out of sync, which makes videos almost as unwatchable as when the audio is N*Sync.
My girlfriend's out for her friend's birthday, and I'm home alone, so I figured I'd write in here. Been quite a while since I posted anything, and even longer since I posted anything that wasn't about Bulletstorm. Since then, I've gotten quite comfortable hosting the show -- or at least I'm enjoying the fuck out of it, and not feeling terrible nervous beforehand -- and I've started actually writing some posts for the main page. It's pretty exciting to write stuff and have people actually read it. Makes me feel like less of an on-camera-only Ryan Seacrest-ish douchebag. Writing is something I really love doing, even if it's about professional wrestling games for the iPad.
If you guys recall, we did that ridiculous Charity Water livestream a while ago, and I was mailing drawings to anyone who donated twenty bucks or more. I am almost done doing that, I think I've got one more letter to send out. If anyone doesn't get theirs, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll make it happen. My inbox is jam-packed full of sexually-charged emails from Tara Long, as well as threatening notices from Cliffy B's lawyers. Hah, I kid, I kid. (Tara usually just sexts me.)
On a relevant note, can you believe that whole sexism debacle with Jim Sterling and Anna Anthropy? I'm not trying to open up that whole can of worms again, but I think both of them were acting like a couple of obnoxious teenagers. I don't think the issue is homophobia or sexism, I think it's plain and simple civility. It's 2011, and we're (sort of) adults. Calling a woman a cunt is never going to go over well, and telling a man he's a closet homosexual... Well, that'll probably make him want to call you a cunt. There's a fine line between friendly rivalry and two people screaming insults back and forth at each other in 140 characters or less.
That whole ordeal just made me facepalm, and then imagining what it would be like if everyone in this industry put their differences aside and did our own rendition of We Are The World.
But ew, fuck that. I should probably say something inflammatory on the show sometime soon, it's been a while since I got anyone properly pissed at me.
I dunno if you guys saw, but earlier, I linked to my old DeviantArt page on Twitter. It's from like, four or five years ago, but I feel like we know each other well enough now. Go check it out, there's shit on there dating back to high school. Here are a few cherry-picked favorites:
Always had a thing for Nosferatu.
Bossk sucks. Period. Stupid Trandoshan asshole.
That'd be the best buddy comedy ever.
Speaking of Thundercats, I used to spraypaint my shirts and wear them.
,,,But I wore weirder stuff...
That was my infuriating old PC. Thing had a 10 gig HDD. Insanity.
L-R: Boba Fett, Nosferatu, Mumm-Ra, Eazy E, and Danzig.
Used to listen to a lot of power-metal.
Also, super into zombies:
There you have it. Old things. Lots more on the DA page.
As you guys know, Iím not super-excited for Bulletstorm. I never planned on talking about it this much, exactly, because I typically try to avoid focusing on things that I donít find super-fascinating. However, the amount of rabble-rousing I accomplished with my now semi-infamous ďCliffy B rantĒ has led to me being that guy who hates Bulletstorm with a furious passion, thinks violent games are for antisocial man-children, and feels that all games should be more like Stars Over Half-Moon Bay.
This is not the case. I love mindless virtual killing and childish antics in a video game. In my life, Iíve probably completed about six missions in all of the Grand Theft Auto series, because I spend the majority of my time in those games punching old women and blowing up cars. I can appreciate innovative gameplay and the importance of a good story, too, but I think itís funny to shoot dudes in the face.
I also appreciate humor in games. I think itís one of the big elements thatís been left out. You ask people about games that are known for their comedy, theyíll probably say Conkerís Bad Fur Day or Portal. Try and name ten games that youíd say are, without hesitation, funny games. Itís kinda tricky.
Bulletstorm is being played up as a ridiculous, over-the-top shooter that encourages creative gunplay and doesnít take itself too seriously. Itís a game where you can shoot a man in the crotch, get bonus points for that, and then use an electric whip to punt him into a giant venus fly trap.
Why wouldnít I be excited for it? Well, aside from the fact that I donít like Cliffy Bís haircut -- I know it's not his game, but he's the one plugging it. That's the downside of having a hype-man, people tend to associate him with the cause he's promoting. Dude, you're getting a Dell! -- Anyway, Bulletstorm seems muddled. To call it over-ambitious isnít quite right, but it seems like a game thatís attempting too many different things at once. Hereís the premise, according to Wikipedia:
ďBulletstorm takes place in a futuristic paradise setting where a confederation is being protected by an elite band of epic mercenaries known as Dead Echo. When Dead Echo member Grayson Hunt, voiced by Steve Blum, and Ishi Sato discover that they had been working on the wrong side, they betray their squad commander and end up being exiled to the edges of the galaxy.Ē
Okay, so. Itís about space guys in a universe thatís totally new to us. Weíve got a new hero named Grayson Hunt. This could all be very promising science fiction. Oh, but wait. Nevermind that. The reason Iím supposed to be excited for the game is the crazy shit you can do with your guns and laser-lasso and giant boots.
Dude, you're wearing more straps and zippers than an entire ska band.
Why bother making up characters and a plot if the main focus of Bulletstorm is the insane gameplay?
Back in the early days of the first person shooter, you didnít play as a character. Remember the heroes of Doom, Wolfenstein, and Quake? Exactly. And how about Epic Gamesí first big hit, Unreal? Your character didnít have a name, and that franchise didnít really blow up up until Unreal Tournament came out. And the plot of UT was pretty straightforward: Shoot dudes.
Playing a game with barely any plot is fine with me, assuming the game is fun. And if youíre letting me play with super-cool weapons, I really donít care what character Iím supposed to be controlling. Just donít half-ass it. Unreal Tournament was fun as shit because it wasnít being served with a side of terrible story. A gun that shoots ricochetting circular sawblades is a fine substitute for story.
On the subject of Gears of War, a gun with a chainsaw on it is fucking awesome. It is, also, totally ridiculous. From what I can tell, that series is not supposed to be funny, and I therefore laugh AT it, not WITH it.
Now, letís talk about Duke Nukem Forever, and why Iím excited for it, in spite of my apparent distaste for all things fun and stupid.
I like video games that look like something you'd see airbrushed on the side of a van
The character Duke Nukem first appeared as the hero of a self-titled 1991 platformer, which was about as adult-oriented and violent as Kid Chameleon. You were a musclebound guy in a red shirt boots with a gun who ran around picking up cans of soda and footballs. In 1996, Duke Nukem 3D came out. You were still the same character, really, except now you swore a lot, used steroids, and threw twenty dollar bills at strippers. Also, the game was a gory first-person-shooter. But you still played as Duke Nukem.
According to his creators, Duke Nukem is a cross between John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The majority of his one-liners are stolen from John Carpenter movies or the Evil Dead trilogy. Heís established as a world-renowned womanizer, he loves beer, and he kicks ass. All these complex facets of his multifaceted character are established in Duke Nukem 3D with three ending cinematics, a handful of title cards, and grainy in-game dialogue. At the time, the game was quite heavy on character and plot for an FPS.
If you havenít picked up on it by now, Iím a fan of Duke Nukem, and Iíve been one since I was ten years old. Iím biased, duh. However, there are some glaringly obvious differences between Duke Nukem Forever and Bulletstorm, and when people say ďDude, theyíre both stupid/fun shooters, whatís the problem?Ē it makes me facepalm so hard and curse at you through my computer screen.
Bulletstorm takes place on a distant planet covered with weird plants, and it makes no attempt to connect with my boring life on earth. Itís just wacky science fiction.
"We've gotta defeat the evil Plantazoids and rescue Queen Chrysanthemum!"
Duke Nukem, however, takes place in the not-too-distant future of America. There are still strip clubs, beer, and football games on TV, but there are also shrink rays, aliens, and flying cars. Itís relateable.
"Those alien bastards can fuck up outer space all they want, but when they mess with America... It's WAR."
This is just a manner of personal taste, so you donít have to agree with me, but hopefully you can see how glaringly different it makes the two games.
I donít insist all fiction be grounded in earthly reality, because that would be boring, but sometimes I really just donít care about space shit. Bulletstorm is one of these times. Because it's such a fun, silly game, I really don't know why it looks the way it does. Instead of a bunch of space-assholes with high tech weapons fighting mutants and plants on another planet, it couldíve taken place on earth. In modern day. The bad guys could still be mutant aliens, and the crazy weapons could have been made by a wacky inventor.
To say Bulletstorm is unimaginative would be incorrect. It's just imaginative in a way that I'm not interested in. Instead of outer space, it coulda taken place in Victorian London, and everything would've been steampunk. Still wouldíve been a crazy and ridiculous game, but it wouldnít have completely blended in with the nine billion other games that take place on planets that I donít care about. Name me one good Steampunk first person shooter. And donít say Bioshock, because that shit took place in 1960 and there weren't any zeppelins.
I will give Bulletstorm credit for being colorful. Too many games these days mistake ďrealisticĒ for ďeverything is covered in mud and dirt.Ē Other than that,though, I donít think the art direction showed any innovation. In ten years, will Bulletstorm look cool, or will it look like what people thought was cool in 2011?
The look of Duke Nukem Forever reminds me of Idiocracy. Itís a satirical caricature of American Culture. It's like if the whole world was a Kid Rock video.
All hail President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho Graphics aside, the appearance of Duke Nukem 3D is as relevant as when it was released. Dukeís character has never been cool, heís just a generic action hero, and no oneís tried to give him a hip new makeover since his creation. I applaud this. He's always been a hackneyed pile of cliches.
As a character, whose design looks more dated: Mario or Crash Bandicoot? Mario looks like a cartoon plumber, because thatís what he is. Crash Bandicoot looks like the lead singer of the fucking Offspring, because thatís what was cool when someone was designing him.
Oh, go fucking hang yourself, you x-treme alternative shit.
It seriously comes down to pretentious art-faggy nitpicking, and how Iím just not a fan of how a lot of games look these days. The fact that Duke Nukem Forever hasnít been redesigned as something hip and relevant pleases me. It just looks like the logical progression of the style Duke Nukem 3D had thirteen years ago.
After all the fussin and a-feudiní Iíve been involved in over Bulletstorm, I am actually kinda curious about it, so I'll probably play around with the demo soon. Duke Nukem Forever, however, is gonna be tits. Like, for realz.