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otakunoise's blog

8:29 PM on 01.24.2011

gaming and the art of motorcycle maintenance.

On October 5th 2010 I was blinded by the light... of an oncoming white Chevy Silverado that failed to yield during a left turn. A Chevy Silverado that knocked me off my white 1966 Honda CA95, twenty feet through the air, crushed my left hand pinky and broke both bones in my lower left leg. I had just met the person every motorcycle rider fears the most, a guy behind the wheel of a giant truck who just isn't paying enough attention. Life hasn't exactly been the same since.

A visual tour of what happens when a human body meets a truck at 30mph.

I always wanted to be robocop when I grew up.

The first thing they tell you when you wake up in the hospital after an accident like mine is that you're lucky to be alive. I was wearing a helmet. Nurses that have been around long enough have a habit of knowing which ones were wearing a helmet. They comment vaguely about the ones who don't.

After the congratulations about your place amongst the living is when they start hinting about the months to come. They're clever enough to never be exact in their answers to your questions. It's only now, months later, that I appreciate their appropriate method of evading my questions. No one wants to tell you that you aren't gonna be walking without crutches for the next four months, or if worse comes to worst that you won't ever walk without crutches ever again. In my case, it's still a matter of time and medical procedures that will tell. I had surgery numero dos about three weeks ago. If you ever have the misfortune of having to have a bone graft don't worry they aren't as bad as they sound.

The biggest issue becomes boredom. I'm still technically employed at the coffee shop I was working at for five years, but I can't technically go back to work until I can walk without crutches again. see what they did there? Luckily, my hands healed up fine, thank you universe, which has given me the option of delving into ways of staying productive and keeping myself occupied otherwise.

I love analog synthesizers. So I've spent a lot of time with this little piece of work.

I won't dwell too much on this little monster, but everyone in the world should own one of these bastards.
For those that are interested, here's the link:
It should be noted our site isn't exactly safe for work. (NESFW)

My other love is video games. I'm actually here recovering in the home of my uncle who first introduced me to video games with "super mario bros" for the original NES. I don't think he's aware of the overwhelming impact that's had on my life up until now and definitely here in the "interim."

So if you ever find yourself confined to a bed for an extended amount of time, here is a short list of the games that have helped me through the thick of it.

I replayed Demon's Souls. AGAIN.

I really can't overstate how amazing this game is, but it's also a game I never ever recommend to my friends. People say that sleep is the greatest thief. These people have never played Demon's Souls. It'll eat your soul and steal your precious time, and for people in my situation that's a wonderful thing. I really can't wait for Project Dark, but I hope I'm not on crutches by then.

Bayonetta never gets old.

For the bed ridden, Bayonetta is invaluable. If you get sick of all the motherly vibes all your female friends keep giving you Bayonetta is always there to sexy things up for you with guns and violence. It doesn't hurt that the game is one of the best examples of action gaming ever made. a sequel can't come to soon.


My gaming experiences are limited to what's on the ps3, so until about a week ago I've never really been able to get in on the action. I'm glad bioware finally brought it over, because for people in my situation games like this become a pretty big deal. My commander Shepard looks nothing like this guy, and most people that have experienced Mass Effect 2 know why that's awesome.

I'm keeping the list pretty short, because I don't want to start ranting about my time with the ps3 version of black ops. RANT.

I guess I have a new appreciation for the people that take the time to create these experiences, and sites like destructoid that keep us informed about them. the alternatives are pretty scary when you spend some time with present day cable television.   read

9:50 AM on 12.25.2009

unofficial ten year high school reunion and how gaming breaks the ice.

This picture basically sums up what I expected meeting up with all the old high school faces would be like, or at least how I had hoped it would end up.

Here are a few key details to paint you a picture of the town I grew up in. There's a thirteen story abandoned hotel downtown that has been invaded by bored teens for decades, and now it's being turned into condos. Some of my best friends in high school were Brea and Zane Grant, and well we don't talk very much these days.(I'm sure that's more my fault than their's btw.) A lot of people who you could never imagine being fathers and mothers now have huge families to feed. There are still far more churches than our small city has ever needed. Finally, The kids that were wealthy in high school are still wealthy and still don't have anything to worry about, but now they have snot-nosed contented little clones of themselves running around to deal with.

I'm mentioning all these things really just to illustrate how things can, and in most cases will, change drastically as we get older and larger expanses of time pass.

These are the circumstances I was faced with as I walked into the OS lounge. The OS is one of two bars located in Marshall and the other being a bar called "Chances" located in a hotel called something like "Special Guest Inn" made the choice a lot easier for us. We did end up at "Chances" one night too and it was about as hilarious as we had expected, but this story is about the OS lounge.

I had expected to run into a couple of familiar faces, but what I was facing was a full on reunion. It went about how you would expect. I didn't recognize some people, some people didn't recognize me, some people recognized me and didn't talk to me, and likewise I didn't talk to them either. Most of all, there was this all encompassing feeling of dread and awkwardness as people were telling me about their jobs, introducing me to husbands and wives and telling me about their kids. One guy even asked me what I had been up to since I had dropped out of high school, at which point I had to remind him I graduated with honors. Eventually, I settled in with some of the more familiar faces and the questions were finally asked, " So what have you guys been playing? What systems have you got? What system do you think is better?" That's when I realized that all the kids that I knew that grew up gaming were still gamers, and although gaming itself had changed a lot in ten years that only gave us more to talk about. Our generation had grown up with the original nintendo entertainment system, and it's an infatuation that has remained a constant amongst most of us whether we've gotten real jobs, have kids, or not.

On a final note, if you're ever in Marshall and looking for some killer karaoke Chances is located at the intersection of HWY 59 and I-20.   read

10:00 AM on 10.24.2009


the psychic paramount.
big business: ex karp and murder city devils, and now practically members of the melvins.
converge (one of the only bands like this worth listening to anymore. this video is fucking silly though)
torche: ex floor. there isn't a video on the internet that display how heavy this band is live. they've been doing it for years, and they've been doing it consistently better than most.
lightning bolt... on john peel.
the fucking champs. this song is called flawless victory the liner notes go like this:
johnny cage hasn't even touched you yet and you've already reached the end of the second bout. "how the myopia of stardom interferes with the rigid discipline required of a true martial artist," you ponder, ducking another of cage's clumsy power-balls. you fire off a final freeze-blast, striking your opponent squarely in his mid-section. cage is now a frozen statue, the tableau "ice adonis." "fuck him." you mutter as you deliver the coup-de-grace upper-cut, spraying your ninja's mantle with blood. grabbing a handful of hair, you lift up the head of your limp defender. " it is written in the code of the assassin that his opponents are to be humiliated to the fullest extent," you announce. giving the head a decisive yank, you feel the click of a spinal cord tearing free from its base. holding the detached head -- high above your own - the red on your clan's vestige is the only thing you will carry away from the fight.
video game related genius.
boards of canada. somebody really needs to get this band to design the sound for a game though.
if you don't like the smiths i don't want to know about it.   read

1:27 PM on 09.20.2009

how i found devil may cry and what i did to it when i found it.

Hello again. It's been nine years since the first Devil May Cry game was released for the PS2, and as avid a gamer as I was then for some reason I never played it. There really isn't really all that much of an explanation for it either. the only thing that I could think of is that Silent Hill 2 was released somewhere around the same time, and when it came time for the money burning a hole in my pocket to get spent... it went to Konami. I didn't have a lot of friends with the same taste in games as me growing up. Most of them were totally immersed in sports games, and unless we're talking mutant league football than I'm not really interested. So, it just never really came up.

However, about in 2005, I think it was, I found myself in a store, and staring at Devil May Cry 2 on the shelf. I had always heard great things, and I knew little to nothing about the gameplay, storyline, etc. However, when I got home and popped it in I felt fairly disappointed almost immediately. I just didn't get the appeal I mean.

I think most of us are pretty excited about this nonsense coming out in January.

About a week ago I was in a local game crazy with my friend Mike, who doesn't play videogames, and I trying to explain what Bayonetta is to him. It's a lot harder describing these kinds of things to someone who has no point of comparison than I expected, but I blurted out how excited I was for the game to be released in January. His response of course was, " January... that's still a long ways off." A difference I think most of us can understand is video game blog reading time vs. those who don't play or read about video games time. However, it occurred to me that January, in reality, is indeed a long ways off. It's no secret that Hideki Kamiya was the mind behind Devil May Cry, as well as the upcoming Bayonetta, and so while I was thinking about it I decided to pick up the fourth installment for PS3. Devil May Cry 2 had left such a weak impression on me I forgot I ever even owned it. Although, I know Kamiya had nothing to do with it, but either way people change as do their tastes. I hated onions when I was five, but now I rarely eat anything that doesn't have them in it.

Devil May Cry 4 had an entirely different effect on me than DMC2. I was hooked by the cornball humor, the horrible soundtrack (imho, but i found it hilarious), and the non stop hack and slash fest. Something about the mixture of these elements that is DMC make it something of a extremely pleasing guilty pleasure. I was trying to explain the feeling to a friend of mine who knows I'm the kind of guy who sits around with The Smiths on repeat, like I'm doing right now actually. Anyway, I was explaining that somehow the mixture of bad music, bad dialogue, but truly challenging and immersive gameplay becomes something entirely different than if you were to focus on any one of these things independently. Actually, The Smiths are a perfect example of the same thing in a musical form. You can hear about it, you can even give it a try, and in fact at first it might really rub you the wrong way. However, given enough time eventually something clicks, and by then they have you glued to your television, or stereo, for hours. Something else about the series that really resonates with me is their use of religious imagery, especially themes usually used for good/heaven/godliness, being used to depict ultimate forms of treachery and, as silly as it sounds, evil. that's something that grabbed my attention. It felt sort of like the developers were saying that for all the cornball zaniness going on there's also some serious themes we're trying to deal with as well. that alone really made me sympathize with the DMC universe, and that isn't something I normally find myself doing with any game. I'm not really going to go into any great detail about my religious views, but recently I was asked on facebook to join the group, "American for Sarah Pailin." Unfortunately my curiosity was already peaked, and some of the trash I was reading seemed to come from a truly delusional religious state of hysteria. One of my favorite authors put it this way, " Never put all your faith wholeheartedly in your own belief system, or never believe to much of your own B.S."

After finishing DMC4 it was a given that I had to track down the other games in the series. It just so happened that DMC3 happened to be the first.

I was disappointed I couldn't track down a copy of the first installment, but as DMC3 acts much like MGS3 is a prequel to the events of the first installment of that series. Skills I had already developed playing DMC4 really helped out a lot when playing DMC3. I had already read to expect extreme difficulty in DMC3, and I definitely found myself feeling a lot more frustrated in places than I did in DMC4. However, a couple of days rolled by, and DMC3 was finished and shelved, for the moment, with the other guys over there.

It was one full day before I found myself ravaging game shops here in austin looking for the first DMC. I came to find it in press play in the highland mall here in austin, who I might add also have sealed new copies of the original Katamari Damacy on sale for $22 FYI. (to hold us over for two days) sidenote: my entire game collection was stolen about three years ago, but that is a blog post in itself for a later date.

I thought NES Ninja Gaiden was hard.

I can't even imagine what my experience with this game would have been if I had in fact bought it in 2001. It's difficult to speculate how hard I would have been throwing my controller, but this mother is easily the most difficult of the series, imo, on first playthrough. I had heard DMC3 was the truly bad one, and so I thought the worst of it was over already, and even felt a bit like a badass, it being a cakewalk really. However, Kamiya-san put the breaks on all that shit, and gave me the whole humble pie. There were points where I was literally mouth agape at the "you are dead" screen. I think the completion of playing the first DMC has to be a benchmark experience in any serious gamer's history. It just so happens mine happened nine years too late and earlier this morning. There is a certain genius to the creation of a game like DMC that juxtaposes cheesiness/serious themes/extreme difficulties/"bad" music, which upon completion says alright you made it through the first time now it's time for the real deal. The level design in particular shines in the first installment.

oh, and let's not forget the ladies.

Now, I truly cannot wait for Bayonetta to make her debut in January, but it's a good thing Katamari Forever comes out in two days.   read

12:01 PM on 09.14.2009

first blog: the day i beat ninja gaiden.

Hello all, welcome to my first blog. I assume many people post pictures of their collections, setups, etc. However, of the many random things I do own not one of them is a digital camera. I'll have to get on with that, and it'll be around at some point. However, another momentous occasion for me happened recently, and as I've been frequenting this site at an almost obsessive rate it seemed as good a time as any.

It's fair to say I grew up within the world of video games. I wasn't by any means a total loner, but as I lived across the tracks ,so to speak, I found myself distanced from a lot of the friends I wanted to hang out with. Systems like the NES, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo provided a form of escapism that provided a much richer experience, than my rural east Texas surroundings. all back woods and southern baptists, both of which aren't exactly my cup of tea.

The above image is one in particular that has been seared in my mind since those days in rural middle America. I spent countless hours fighting the demonic jaquio's evil hordes. Many, many, frustrated hours cursing flying ninjas, and practically frothing at the mouth when my ryu would fall into one of many cruel enemy juggles.

As a nine year old I simply did not have the capacity to deal with the evil tecmo developers cruel tricks. However, the more frustrated i became the more I felt compelled to return again, and again, to the universe of Ninja Gaiden, and allow myself to get shit canned all over again. It was a vicious cycle, but it's one that cemented in the fact that I was developing a passion for these things called video games that was more than a passing fling. The pinnacle of this experience, as a child, was finally reaching the masked devil, only to be obliterated in what was probably less than 30 seconds. The shock of being sent back to 6-1 sent me into a fit of actual rage, and sent my controller flying at the screen.

Fast Forward to today. I recently was in one of my oh my god I need a q-tip fits, and while searching my new house I moved in I found a closet I hadn't noticed before. My curiosity was peaked, and the first thing i see when i open the door is a large plastic container, and the game facing me through the plastic was none other than Ninja Gaiden. As soon as my room mates got back I asked them about the box, and shortly there after we were on our way.

First thing was first though. We needed a konami code run through on contra, which was a breeze even after all these years.

The next order of the day was a return to the scourge of my childhood. It's pretty amazing how much a person can retain over ten years as I flew through the first four acts without losing a life, but it was after Bloody Malth that once again frustration began to settle in. Controllers didn't fly as much this time around, but it was here years later that I began to truly understand the logic in Ninja Gaiden. Anticipating enemy attacks, ways to fly through situations unscathed, and developing actual strategies. It might not be entirely accurate, but in this sense Ninja Gaiden essentially becomes a strange hybrid action/platformer/strategy game with the added spice of puzzle elements. Every screen is really just a large puzzle, and every enemy encounter has a certain solution. In this sense, the genius of the developers really shines through, rather than the challenge being a result of bad game design.

Jaquio deserves special mention as he is probably one of the most difficult bosses I've ever encountered, and that statement goes across all platforms to date.

My first Ninja Gaiden completion was not a clean one. I spent many frustrating continues back at 6-1, but determined after all these years to get the job done. However, with persistence comes success, and eventually even the demon itself fell under my sword. Something about completing a game of this difficulty that I had spent many hours of my youth playing came with a strange sense of real accomplishment. The ending accompanied by a real satisfaction, and some unfortunate and hilarious female objectification.


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