I am also a contributer on Damnlag dot com. You can read my column, Broken Pixels and check out all the other great stuff we've got going on there. Just remember to wear pants.
Anyway, about me...
My name is Jack Ninivaggi AKA Wandering Pixel, and I'm here to rock your world! Or at least cause some sort of tremor.
I live over on the east coast in New Jersey. My favorite types of games are those that have great writing. I'm going to college right now and plan on majoring in either communications or literature. When I'm not playing games I'm either reading a book or comic, watching a movie or sleeping. I'm a huge fan of animation and my favorite thing to do is watch old animated films, I'm also a theater geek, and frequently make trips to New York to watch the latest musicals and plays on Broadway. one day I plan on making a living by writing, though I haven't yet decided what kind of writing I want to do. Anyway, this is my blog. Enjoy!
Video games have given us some of the most memorable and influential characters in entertainment: Mario, Link, Pac-Man, and Gordon Freeman to name a few. These characters have become household names as synonymous with everyday life as John F. Kennedy and Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, not all of gamingís most memorable characters are memorable for good reasons. Some of them are remembered for being some of the most annoying dicks in all of entertainment.
These creatures go by many names: douchebags, assholes, bastards, and cheap-asses. However, the most common name in usage is dicks. Gaming is filled with some of the biggest dicks youíll ever be forced to interact with. Here are just a few examples of gamingís biggest dicks.
Lakitu (Super Mario Bros)
Metadick Rating: 73
Biggest Dick Move: Destroying the Flow of a Mario Level
In Super Mario Bros, Goombas, Koopas and Piranha Plants are pretty easy to take down. Even Bowser becomes a cake walk once youíve got the timing down. But then there is Lakitu, a turtle who rides on a cloud and drops spiked turtles in your path. Your first instinct is to run away, but Lakitu breaks the rules and follows you through the entire level. Even if you do manage to take him down, another one will appear a few seconds later to continue the spiked shell carpet bombing.
Every game has that one enemy who makes you cringe every time you see it. Lakitu, however, is definitely among the worse. In recent years, Nintendo has attempted to clean up Lakituís image by making him into Marioís private helper. He does the countdown in Mario Kart as well as hold the camera for you in Super Mario 64, but donít be fooled. Lakitu has not change his ways, heís just as big a dick now as he was then. Heís just biding his time until Mario lets his guard down, and when he does, BAM! Spiked turtle shells will rain down upon the earth just as it was predicted in some religionís Holy Book.
It also doesnít help that he handles a camera about as well as Michael Bay.
Slippy Toad (Star Fox)
Metadick Rating: 80
Biggest Dick Move: Existing
Some people say that Slippy is the Jar Jar Binks of the Star Fox franchise. I think itís an insult to the good name of Jar Jar Binks. At least Jar squared only appeared prominently in one movie, and he didnít try piloting one of the ships. Slippy has not only appeared in every single Star Fox game, including Star Fox Adventures (seriously, they took out Falco but kept this guy), and he is probably the worst driver since Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 4. There needs to be a rule that when a fellow pilot gets their into trouble that many times, friendly fire should be overlooked in favor of the mission.
Iíve always theorized that Slippy is actually a spy, sent by Andross to sabotage Star Foxís efforts through the power of annoyance. Then again, maybe Andross just did that in the hopes that Star Fox would realize Slippyís facade and execute him, that way Andross wouldnít have to fill out all the paper work.
There is also the issue of his name. Seriously, Slippy Toad is the best Nintendo could come up with? Maybe you need to get a certain amount of kills before you earn your the honor to use your last name in the Lylat system. Until then, youíre just referred to by your nickname in middle school.
Otis (Dead Risisng)
Metadick Rating: 92
Biggest Dick Move: Not Shutting Up
When I was a younger man, I had a friend whose grandmother would always call him up with questions. ďHow do I change the channel on the TV? How do I check my email again? Why does the DVD player keep making that awful humming noise?Ē After these calls, he would always moan about wanting to strangle her with the phone cord. At the time, I thought he was being a little bit extreme, but after playing Dead Rising, I think I finally understand where he was coming from.
Otis is the Willamette Mallís best, and keeps you up to date through a two-way radio on all the latest developments. He lets you know when there are survivors nearby, what everyone is up to down at the security room, and tells you about whatever weird stuff he sees on the security cams (which he learned how to use after years of spying on the womenís dressing rooms in-between shifts).
Otis might seem like a huge bit of help, but he chooses to never shut up. When fighting off hordes of the undead, the last thing you want is some old guy calling you up to tell you that he saw a girl going into the hardware store. Thanks Otis, Iíll check that out once Iím done taking care of the other two hundred things Iíve got going on. Whatís that? Little Timmy is stuck in the well? Why donít you pull out your tongue and use it for rope. The back of the box says that anything can be used as a weapon, so why canít I shove the damn radio up a zombieís ass so Otis can bother somebody else?
Otis is the kind of guy Twitter was made for. Like the worst celebrities, he feels the need to let everyone know what heís thinking about every few minutes, but unlike the drunken ramblings of Lindsey Lohan, Otis isnít very interesting. I imagine his Twitter page looking something like this:
Otis: Dry gum underneath table at the food court, only slightly chewed. JACKPOT!
Otis: Put a sign saying do not enter on the menís restroom ROFL!
Otis: Casual Friday ;D
Otis: New Justin Bieber album OMFG!!!<3
Prophet of Truth (Halo)
Metadick Rating: 86
Biggest Dick Move: Being A Pretentious Religious Douchebag
The Prophet of Truth is the main antagonist of the Halo series and the religious leader of the Covenant, a group of half a dozen species of aliens that are hell-bent on spreading their faith throughout the universe. So theyíre sort of like Jehovah Witnesses, except instead of handing out pamphlets, they shoot lasers.
Truth looks to be a cross between Pope Benedict XVI and Kermit the Frog. Unlike most video game villains, Truth believes that he and his Covenant are the good guys and the humans are the evil heretics. Iíve always felt that villains are much more threatening when they think theyíre doing good, rather than being conscious of their own malevolence. Then again, Truthís plan for Spiritual nirvana involves unleashing an alien spore to wipe out all life in the galaxy, so maybe heís a bit more Charles Manson than Benedict.
The real problem with Truth (besides his lust to end organic life in the universe) is just how pretentious he is. He assigns almost everything a biblical name: Halo, Flood, Arbiter; etc. Hell, he names all the covenant ships after different spirits. I get it Truth, youíre a holy dude. You donít need to name your cat Mary to prove it. He also wears a stupid hat, which is essential to any religion, but hey, at least he doesnít assign a specific day in which you have to waste ten hours of your life worshipping him.
Metajerk Rating: 95
Biggest Dick Move: Immortality
In recent years, The Twilight Saga has turned vampires into the romantic dreams of twelve year old girls, but before Anne Rice and Stephanie Myer ruined everything, vampires were some of the scariest movie monsters around. This especially refers to the granddaddy of them all: Dracula.
Bram Stokerís creation has sunk his teeth into about every form of entertainment imaginable. Games are no exception. His most famous appearances are in the acclaimed series from Konami, Castlevania. In the Castlevania games, Dracula spends almost his entire existence battling the Belmont family, who, generation after generation, explores Draculaís castle and drives stakes through his heart. Every family has its rite of passage, for the Belmontís itís killing Dracula. Itís surprisingly easier than studying for a Bar Mitzvah.
What makes Dracula such a dick? I could talk about his tendency to drink human blood, his egotistical mannerisms, or his mind controlling powers, but the worst thing of all is that he wonít fucking stay dead. Heís been stabbed, set on fire, crushed, pounded, drowned, and dematerialized down to the last atom, but the guy just wonít stay dead. Whatís even worse is that heís always capable of raising an undead army at a moments notice. Is there some kind of supernatural monster union Iím not aware of, or does he get them on loan from Universal Studios. He also wears Eighteenth Century clothing in modern times, which is like having the word ďprickĒ tattooed across your forehead.
Do you like booze? Do you like beautiful women (or men)? Then you've come to the wrong place. This post has neither booze nor beautiful women (or men). But wait, don't leave! Maybe there's still hope. Just listen to what I have to say first and afterwards I might throw you a bone. You still here? Good. Let's get to the important stuff first.
As of yeaterday I am now a columnist for the hot new new video game blog site known as http://www.Damnlag.com. It's what all the cool kids are doing! Damnlag is sort of like Destructoid, only younger, not that Destructoid is old. Mr. Destructoid dioesn't look a year over twenty six. Anyway, you should come on over to Damnlag sometime, why? Because I have a column! It's called Broken Pixels, I will be updating it every Wednesday with various rants, ravings, and musings for your reading pleasure. My first column is called Five of Gaming's Biggest Dicks and I implore you all to check it out.
I'm not the only guy on Damnlag dot com. You can check out other collumnists like Steve Bogda's The Nintendo Dude, Josh Michaelson's Gotta Rant 'Em All!, Jaleel Boone's Combo Breaker, Zack Rovinsky's Scilence Please, Paul Cross' Diva Down, Sebastian Wolff's The Weekly Game Concert, or you can check out The NPC's, where we voice our opinions on current issues facing the industry. So, as you can see there is a lot to do. That's not even mentioning all the news, reviews, and our upcoming Podcast called Gamepocalypse Now. As previously stated, Damnlag is a brand new website, and if we want it to continue to grow, we need to more traffic. By visiting the site you are not only getting great content, but you're also supporting independent video game blogs like Destructoid and Giant Bomb. So show your support and vote with a click of the mouse. Or would you rather just read IGN for the rest of your life?
I thought so.
Thanks for reading, I hope I'll see you all around Damnlag eventually. Spread the word to your friends, and thank you for indulging me in my shameless self promotion, and don't worry, I'll still be writing for Destructoid. I mean, this place is like the dysfunctional incestuous family I never had or wanted to. So don't stop reading my blog, just make sure you also check out my new column when your done.
Five years ago when the Xbox 360 first launched, Xbox Live Arcade, while a neat idea, seemed destined to just be a platform for old Arcade and Atari ports. Who would have thought that in only a couple of years, Microsoft's "Arcade" would be home to retail worthy games like Battlefield 1943, Braid, and most recently Blacklight: Tango Down.
Developed by Zombie and published by Ignition -- BTD is a multiplayer only first person shooter in the vain of Call Of Duty and Battlefield. The game's story -- what little there is -- is based around the idea of "Net Warfare," which basically means that everything in the game is glossed over with neat looking digital effects. Beyond that, well, I think it takes place in europe, and there seem to be terroists or something. Blacklight isn't very clear what its story is, but luckily that doesn't matter since the entire game is based around multiplayer.
Why are war torn cities always so drab? A bit of red or blue never hurt anyone.
Blacklight: Tango Down (XBLA, PSN, PC) Developer: Zombie Publisher: Ignition Released: July 6, 2010 MSRP: 1200 MP Xbox 360, $14.99 PSN and PC
Blacklight: Tango Down is a level based first person shooter like Modern Warfare 2. As you gain experience and level up, RPG style, you'll gradually unlock new weapons, grenades, armor, and accessories to decorate your guns. In fact if you've played either of the Modern Warfare games you're going to feel right at home, since even the control scheme has been ripped from Infinity Ward's playbook.
All the standard modes are here, including: free-for-all and team variants of Deathmatch, domination, capture the flag, and King of the Hill. All these modes can be played across the game's twelve maps that support up to sixteen players. As you can tell, there isn't much here that you haven't seen before, but it's all done extremely well. This ends up being both the best and worst part of BTD.
On the one hand: although it borrows heavily from other first person shooters, it pulls it off with a solid level of polish. On the other hand: although technically solid, there is very little that you haven't seen before.
The inability for soldiers to look left will be the leading cause of death in future wars.
That's not to say that BTD is completely devoid of originality. The unique net war aesthetic I mentioned before, helps give the game a unique visual presentation, which helps make up for some of the games graphical jankiness. There is also your helmet's HRV (Hyper Reality Visor), which is basically your HUD, has a neat little trick that allows you to see through walls to find your targets, instead of the traditional mini-map. There are also Digi Grenades. These are like smoke or flash grenades, except they create a corruption sphere that messes with enemy HRV, blinding them, which give you a chance to get an easy headshot. At least that's the idea. Unfortunately, Digi Grenades also blind you and your teammates when you get close, making it difficult to use unless your equipped with a long distance weapon. Besides the Digi Grenade though, all the other weapons are your standard shotguns and assault rifles.
Oh, I should probably mention that there is a Blackops mode that allows you and up to three other players run and gun your way through a couple of linear levels. However, it can be completed in a couple of hours and often feels like an afterthought. It can be fun for a bit, but by no means is it worth the purchase alone
Peaking around this corner would be a lot easier if I could see out of this damn thing!
At the end of day, Blacklight: Tangodown is a solid, but generic, multiplayer focused first person shooter. It is certainty competent, but there are other shooters, a lot of other shooters that do what BTD does better. With that said, for fifteen dollars (1200 MS funbucks), you're definitely getting a lot of bang for your buck.
You won't feel the earth move, but it'll definitely jiggle.
Score: 6.5 -- Alright(6s may be slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.)
Huh... what? Sorry, I'm sort of drifting in and out of consciousness. See, my friend got these totally legal fireworks and we came up with this game where each of us holds a lit fire cracker in his or her hand while in the pool, and the last one to chicken out and drop there's in the water wins. So, yeah, I won. Now my fingers are gone, I'm losing blood, and... I can't really remember anything after that. My friends said I should go to the hospital, but I'm a man, and hospitals are for women. Besides, I still have one good hand, which is how I'm writing this right now.
Anyway, not much going on here, so I thought I would write an article on the best 4th of July video game ever: Metal Wolf Chaos.
Originally released for the Xbox back in 2004, Metal Wolf Chaos you play as the president of the United States, Michael Wilson, who must save the good olí USA from the Vice President, who is actually an evil fascist/dictator/terrorist/Dick Cheney, and his army of rebels. Youíll travel to all sorts of exotic, but American, locations like New York City, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Chicago. You must defeat the Vice Presidentís army and complete objectives to liberate each of the major cities, before doing battle with the VP himself back in Washington D.C.
Did I mention all this is done using robots?
Yeah, the president is highly skilled in the piloting of robot battle suits, and he uses his ultra patriotic mecha firepower to blow shit up real good. The Vice President also has a robot suit, which is black. That means heís evil, obviously.
Remember that movie where Harrison Ford was the president of the United States and he kicked the bad guy out of Air Force One? Well, take that scene, times it by twenty, throw in Michael Bay inspired explosions, and robots, and a hot secretary, AND have it developed by the Japanese. You now have Metal Wolf Chaos. Congratulations?
Itís difficult to describe the brilliance of this game through words; also Iím starting to drift out again. So here is a video you can watch to help you fully appreciate the artistic merits of Metal Wolf Chaos.
I'm not going to relay the plot of the Twilight Saga to you, partly because I don't care, and partly because it's a plot that can be easily summed up as, "Horny teenage girl has a monster fetish." I'm sure there is some deep, underlining message about love, trust, and protection, but I was too busy mixing Resses Pieces into my popcorn to notice.
Recently, my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided, against my better judgment, to read all four of the Twilight Saga novels. Two pages into book one, I got bored, and decided to just watch the movies instead. So, over the course of a Tuesday afternoon, I watched all three current films -- the third one having been acquired through not-so legal ways.
Lets start on a positive note with a few things I liked about the films: they are well directed, (mostly) decently acted , and I actually kind of dug how the werewolves turned into actual wolves, as opposed to the usual half man half wolf hybrid. that doesn't mean I like these films. OK, now on to the hate. These movies suck. They are poorly written, incompressible, and worst of all, offensively sexist.
Has there ever been a more miserable looking leading lady? With the exception of Halle Berry from Monster.
Let us start with the film's "heroine," Bella, heroine being used loosely since that might suggest she does something heroic. Her talents seem to consist of getting kidnapped, failing at mind games, and feeling depressed. Oh, God, her depression. As someone who suffers from clinical depression I guess I should have some sort of sympathy for her, but damn is she annoying! I know for a fact that I'm annoying when I'm depressed, everyone is, but her depression stems from the dumbest things. She constantly seems to question why people like her and when she finally grows a pair and decides to do something, she always ends up getting kidnapped, and or being beaten nearly to death. I actually laughed at the end of the first Twilight when that other vampire (Jim, James, John?) punches her and she goes flying. The way she reacts, you'd think she was made out of styrofoam.
I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what all these guys see in her. These guys could probably get any girl they want, and yet they're fighting over this mopping bitch. The fuck?
Don't think that those two pricks are getting off the hook either. Both of them are border line stalkers, and both put their entire families and friends in danger, just to save a girl they barley know. Even worse, their idea of "protection" is basically controlling every aspect of Bella's life. Is this what teenage girls find attractive? Being locked up and told what to do by handsome men? The other characters aren't much better. Actually, I'm not entirely sure who the other characters are. They all sort of mesh together into one big, pale faced, scrawny, awkward teenager. Except for Edmund's sister, Alice. I think she's pretty hot. At least when she isn't trying to act.
This concept of protection is the thing that bothers me most about Twilight. The message of the films seem to be that you must rely on others to save you. Bella is constantly in danger, but doesn't do jack-shit about it. She's is the worst kind of damsel in distress, a bitch who relies on the charity of others. Is that the message we want to send to young women? That they are weak, pitiful, must rely upon men to fight their battles for them, and live only to be used for sex and breeding children? Well, I suppose you would if you were a Mormon, like Stephanie Myers (the one who conjured up this crap) practices. So, does that make the Twilight Saga the Mormon equivalent to Battlefield Earth? If so, Scientology wins, and I take back everything I said about John Travolta's dreadlocks.
Go forth, Joseph Smith, and spread the word of God. Also, vampires.
I tried, really, I did. But... oh sweet mother of God, help me. I just can't. The concept is pretty neat, but the the plot just seems to drag on and on forever. Relentlessly shaking me awake every now and then with a few minuets of action, or a hot sex scene. And by sex I mean characters stare longingly while talking about all kinds of random emotional bullshit while I sit rolling my eyes. Nobody in these films seem capable of articulating a comprehensible sentence, which is appropriate, considering that they basically skip months worth of school.
Every character is basically just one big whiny sack of hormones, following Bella wherever she goes. Except for the parents, who are basically useless. Seriously, these movies have some of the worst parenting, ever. In one scene, Bella comes back from her first date with Edward, screams to her dad about how she hates him -- keep in mind her father doesn't even know who Edward is -- and later says she's going to Arizona, and the father lets her. In fact, her father, nor any of the adults in this film, seem interested in what these kids are up to. If Bella was my daughter I would just put her in a time capsule, bury her in the backyard, and wait ten years to dig her up.
So, there you have it. Let the record show that I have successfully watched, and survived the Twilight films. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash the taste out of my mouth with some Harry Potter and, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. Oh, Hell, better throw in some in some of The Matrix, just in case.
What's this shit about video games being for the hardcore? Video games are for geeks and losers who like to jack-off at pictures of fourteen years olds on 4chan. I work out at the gym everyday for six hours, try finding a fatty gamer who even knows what a gym is. I have a mega hot girl friend who sucks my cock whenever I tell her too. Her mom and sister are really hot too, sometimes we have a foursome while my buddy Dave video tapes us and puts it on my website. Yeah, I got my own website, I post pics of myself flexing for all the ladies out there. I mean come on who plays fucking video games? Killzone and Gears of War (not that I know what those are) aren't half as badass as me without my shirt on. Nothing beats my-modda-focking biceps, bitches!
Whoever says video games are artistic, fun, and promote socializing is a fucking idiot. I've gotten so much pussy that I could open a shelter for cats. I'm surprised my huge, sixteen inch penis hasn't fallen off yet from all the tail I score at the clubs every night. I'm like Tom Cruise, except I'm not gay, and I'm a better actor. Also, one time I got an offer to play in the NFL on any team I wanted, but I couldn't do it because I was already planning on being the first man on mars. I'm gonna punch a motherfucking Martian, man!
Blows your cock off doesn't it? I love my bros by the way. Not in a faggy, rainbow lover kind of way, I mean even if I was gay, and I'm totally not, I could probably score the hottest guy in the world. I'd get so much ass very night, then I... well... uh... anyway, the 360, PS3, Wii, and Atari are all stupid. If you want to be as awesome as me some day, forget it, but you might be able to get close if you work hard enough. I wouldn't know about any of that though, I'm fucking rich, and I can hire bitches to do hard work for me.So, ee ya, I've got to go lift weights, hang with the guys, solve world hunger y punching it in the face, and pleasure my girlfriend. "I'M THE MOTHERFUCKING BEST YEAAAAH!!!!"