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Shoot the Breeze: Pineapple Cacophony


From the endless forest of scripture trees, all covered in the ivory ivy of time's filigree, comes the stirring of the Middle Gods, they, the Dixkin, who bespoke the sturdy lands of our wide world. The Gods who followed the Old, those of the wild flame, and preceded the New, those who now stir the pages with their endless winds. Can you feel the boisterous tremor in your marrow? They are come.

Which is to say that I've had a couple beers and find myself reflecting on the welcomeness of Om Nom's return to the blogosphere. About time I oiled up the ol' keyboard and tapped out a few letters myself, isn't it? Sure, why not.

I've been doing videogames with The Binding of Isaac a lot. Like, hella much. I think I'm almost at a staggering fifty hours of my life by this point. Fifty hours? Good lord. That's a straight two days of my life. What's worse is that I probably swore through at least 25% of that. That's, what, twelve hours? It's like a regular shift plus overtime all spent indelicately disparaging my ability to play the game and questioning my worth as a human being.

Pretty good way to pass the time, all told.

I bought the The Wrath of Lamb DLC. It's dece. Legit dece. The nature of the game under the extra content is interesting. At least going off my anecdotal evidence - as good as scientific fact around here - it's become easier to become grossly powerful, but at the same time, it's easier to get killed. I mean, you get mega swag insofar as collecting things, but the new enemies are trickier and deal more damage.

The new angel rooms are sick. And tight. Sick tight, yo.

But the spider guys are Satan's dong swaying gently to the rhythm of Cocorosie.

You may not know this, but I hate Cocorosie.

I mean, I love, what, like 80% of the sounds Cocorosie make. Beat box dude and operatic chick are rad. But then the raspy troll starts hacking out that sinus-y, phlegm-ish vocal nails-on-chalkboard and I want to forget that music, as a concept, is a thing that has ever existed.

Uh, this is them, FYI.

Anyway. The DLC kind of plays up the best of Isaac, which is to say, decking out your neglected child in the hellish garb like some sort of Occult Barbie. Watching as a toddler is transformed into a hulking demon draped in underwear is supreme, so with the seeming bounty of items, the DLC hits the nail on the head. The meaner enemies are about the only reasonable way of balancing out the upper awe factor. In that regard, it's done well.

That said, I'd be down for, like, a switch I could flip to go back to the days before spiders. The un-spider switch. Mad down.

The challenges that accompany the expanded core game are pretty good too. They offer slightly different twists on the normal play style, which is fantastic. Not radically different, but focuses on certain powerups, say. Anything mixing up the game to keep it fresh is good in my books. Challenges, extra characters, whatever.

Except for Samson. Guy's a wicked turd.

Aight. What else. Uh, man, I don't know if I can go back to Dark Souls. It's like, wow. Okay. The bar for playing the game is somewhere up there and I'm, man, I am miles under that bar. I am squinting up at that bar in the impossible distance. I am hiring top scientists to build a rocket to that bar. Our space program rivals Cold War Russia. Millions have been invested in a pen that writes in bar-space.

I'm at a part with these ghosts. Hang on, let me stop you there.

Ghosts. Ghosts, for Christ's sake. Ghosts.

And these aren't your namby-pamby Casper and Friends mischievous sprites. They are goddamn ghouls. They wreck your swag. Your swag is all kinds of wrecked. You have been denied swag insurance because the magnitude of their wrecking transcends time to become a pre-existing swag condition. Their wrecking of your swag is a fixed point, a truth constant in all universes.

I have no idea how to hurt these smug spooks. But I mean, whatever. I've been defeated before. The real problem is that I got into this discussion with a friend about Dark Souls vs. Skyrim where he argued for the latter because of its fun factor and I swung for the former because the sense of achievement it affords is damn near life-defining.

And to make sure I wasn't misrepresenting myself, I went back and played some Skryim.

And it was fun. And easy. It was easy to have fun.

It was this moment of, hang on, yeah, videogames. You play them. It doesn't have to be work. I don't have to be cringing while I do this.

Don't get me wrong, Dark Souls is important and I'm not done with it. It's just, I think I've exhausted myself for the time being. It's a lot. There's a lot there. It's like entering a hot dog eating contest, y'know? You take this casual thing and push it to its extreme and there's this beautiful artistic science to the act but me, I'm okay gumming a wiener over off where nobody's watching.

Oof. Okay. One more story. One more tale. What yarn can I spin for you?

So, the latest Humble Bundle yielded Lone Survivor. I assume you bought it? At this point, the Humble Bundles are a deal in name alone. They are a mandatory tax. The games are just a kickback.

Anyway, I haven't played too much of this guy and I'm torn. On the one hand. I think the idea of a possibly delusional protagonist is neat. This idea that the world through his eyes is maybe not the one we should be seeing, that's solid stuff. On the other hand, at a purely mechanical level, I don't know if I have the enthusiasm to carry myself through this guy.

It's fine, so far, it's just that, for me, the possible intellectual payoff carries the narcotic gameplay in its tow rather than being really complimented by it. I mean, mechanically, it's reasonable for what it is, but what it is is this slow, methodical survival fest and interest-wise, these days I'm more of a Canabalt kind of guy. What that means is that my progress through the game looks like it might be of the dragging-your-heels variety than one of untarnished enjoyment.

I don't know, that's a pretty harsh evaluation for all of twenty minutes. We'll see. Again, it's not the damn thing is bad, it's just maybe not where my head is at. Still, I'd love to play through 'er, so who knows.

Yeesh. Am I crappy writer or what? Ah well. Promised myself I'd get a blog out, come hell or high water, so even if we've got more than our share of both up in here, I'll send this guy out into the night. Still, I am feeling encrusted in rust. It's an unsteady writing, to be sure. That said, it's a pleasure to do it again.
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About Beyamorone of us since 1:10 PM on 06.24.2009

I知 a gamer. Take a minute and get over that shock. I can say I知 an Xbox man, though I値l support anything that advances gaming (I love you Sackboy). I致e also got a DS Chunky, so I can take this whole nerd thing on the road.

As far as genres, shooters and western RPGs top my list. Halo, Fable, and Morrowind, for instance, rock my socks hard. Of course other things, stuff like Animal Crossing and Kingdom Hearts, do their share of stocking rocking.

In the world outside of buttons and pixels, I知 an engineering student (that nerd thing I mentioned? I do it hardcore) on the west coast of the Great White North. I知 a fan of a harder rock, bands like Breaking Benjamin and Hurt, though I値l kick it (very much figuratively) to stuff ranging from The Fray through Franz Ferdinand to Five Finger Death Punch. Optimus Prime is my hero, but I do love Starscream. Finally, thumbs up to you for reading this. You池e never getting that time back.

Kirbey by the talented and generously endowed (probably) Enkido