Friday, December 24, 2010

Aquaria Review: Life is Much Better Down Where it's Wetter

Water levels have gotten a bad name in videogames, somewhere just above "Sewer Level" and a bit below "Ice Level." This is justified, as the control schemes for said levels tend to be atrocious. However, there is a game that proves conclusively that swimming controls can not only be tight, but also fun and engaging...

Ecco the Dolphin for the Sega Genesis!

And it's various sequels!

...but also Aquaria!

In this impressive debut from ambitious indy-developer Bit Blot, you swim around exploring a massive aquatic environment as a mermaid-type creature named Naija, and the controls for doing so are rather impressive; the entire game can be played comfortably with just a dual-button mouse, leaving your other hand free to hold a tasty beverage or pastry. To swim, you hold down the left button (no rapidly tapping A here), and the distance at which you position your cursor relative to your avatar determines Naija's speed and direction. It's not only intuitive, but it allows a high degree of control once you master it, allowing you to effortlessly dart between obstacles and enemies, push off from surface to surface, and stop on a dime (or sand dollar) to avoid danger.

And you will be thankful, because danger you will find. This game may be about a singing mermaid, but it's not for sissies. It's by no means the hardest game I've played, but it will challenge your gaming skills, particularly if you go after some of the optional side-bosses. For example, there is a crab boss who hangs from the ceiling and is immune to all your attacks. When I finally realized what the game intended me to do, I believe I said "are you mad?" out loud. Perhaps I failed to try some easier maneuver that would have worked, but frankly I wish I had this reaction to games more often.

I must admit, when I first started playing Aquaria, I wasn't hooked. It seemed reasonably well made, with excellent production values, but I'm not a huge fan of exploration games, and I found myself getting lost and a little bored. I had gotten the game as part of the Humble Indie Bundle (possibly the best $25 I ever spent, even when I could have paid a penny, or saved that penny by pirating it, like 25,000 people apparently did), and I had no particular expectations about Aquaria. After having some trouble getting Penumbra to run properly, I decided to give it a fair shot. Here are my three basic Aquaria tips for anyone playing for the first time.
1: Use your map. The world of Aquaria is larger than you think. Much larger. Even when you are confined to a smaller section of it, getting your bearings is crucial to avoid just swimming around aimlessly.
2: Save often. This game doesn't mess around. There's no auto-saving here, and save points are not all that abundant. If you pass by a save crystal and don't bother to use it, you will likely regret your decision.
3: Mark locations on the map. This isn't critical, but as this game is in the style of a Metroidvania, you will find yourself wanting to go back to some particular feature you saw, and not being able to remember where the heck it was.

Once I had put an hour or two into the game, I started to realize that there was a lot more to it than my initial impressions had led me to believe. Yes, the game's main focus is exploration, but along the way you face many challenges, and the game slowly unveils a plethora of interesting abilities to deal with them. Rather than revealing its hand from the get-go, there is enough interesting content to discover that the experience continually gets better as you play, which for me is an extremely rare quality. I'm glad this is the case, because the game took me about 20 hours to complete, which I wasn't expecting from an indie title.

The world itself is huge. When you start out, you have no idea how flippin' massive Aquaria's game world is. With no hub world, and the ability to "teleport" only gained late in the game, traveling from one place to another can be quite a daunting task. However the game's inherent challenge and its variety of locales and enemies generally keep traveling from becoming tiring. I tend to dislike exploration and travel in games, but the slow pace works, and is I think necessary here, to create a world that feels truly epic and immersive. Also the game never feels like it's sending you to and fro arbitrarily in order to pad its length. On the contrary you often get very little indication of where to go, and are free to explore the world pretty much however you wish, but you ought to pack a lunch.

Which brings me to one of the coolest features in Aquaria: the recipe/cooking system. Okay, no, hear me out. Remember what I said earlier about this game not being for sissies? You're just going to have to trust me when I say that the recipe system in Aquaria is one of the most interesting and well designed and fleshed-out systems I've ever seen in a videogame. The idea is that slain enemies and plants will drop a wide variety of ingredients (and logical ones; no squirrels and amorphous blobs dropping coins and broadswords here). You are then able to combine these ingredients in your inventory to create food items that provide various benefits when ingested, like healing or stat boosts. As the game progresses, you will encounter new ingredients and recipes for more and more powerful dishes, and like Eternal Darkness' brilliant spell system, you are free to experiment with combinations of ingredients to try and discover recipes yourself. Instead of grinding through combat for experience points, you'll find yourself hunting down particular enemies just because you really want to make some turtle soup. And dropped ingredients don't blink out of existence, they simply float down into the depths, requiring you to delve down after them. The whole system is extremely well balanced - ingredients are plentiful, yet you never have enough of what you need and will be forced to make legitimately difficult choices as to how to allocate them.

The other thing that really stood out to me was the music. For weeks I've been unable to get the main theme out of my head, and for once I'm glad. Many of the songs in the game riff off of this melody in interesting ways, and a huge factor of my enjoyment came from the way the music set a strong tone throughout. Music also plays an important role in gameplay, similarly to the way it's used in Ocarina of Time, except that you often have to sing a little tune in the heat of combat in real time. I actually wish that the tunes were a little more difficult to play and to remember, since these are some of the most intense moments of the game. The story is nothing revolutionary, but it gets the job done, and the excellent and abundant narration, combined with the music, really makes the experience.

On the negative side, the admirably simple controls don't always work the way you want them to when trying to perform certain abilities. And the lock-on system for projectile attacks is fine most of the time, but on a couple of boss fights I had to switch the auto-aim off to actually hit anything. The whole thing feels pretty darn polished though, and not just for being an indie title. The biggest disappointment is that the secret ending teases at a sequel that will probably never be.

On the surface, what might initially appear like a lame concept (seriously it's about a singing mermaid baking cakes) or a Zelda ripoff belies one of the most unique and engaging games I've ever played. It also goes to some surprisingly dark places (figuratively and literally), and in the end Naija probably racks up a body count comparable to that of Kratos, including deities.

To the prospective consumer: if you like exploration adventure games, this is a must-play. If you don't, give Aquaria a shot anyway. It just might surprise you.

And to the developers, Alec Holowka and Derek Yu: thank you for crafting this unforgettable experience. Aquaria is the kind of game that makes me proud to be involved with the hobby. Also I beat your stupid hanging crab boss.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The thing with The Thing

So I got around to watching John Carpenter's 1982 remake The Thing. I'd never watched it before, and for the record, I thought it was good. A couple of things struck me about it though.

Firstly, in my opinion, the film would be exceedingly middling without the fantastic practical effects on display. That is, if the alien were CGI, I feel the whole thing would be exceedingly meh. The plot and characters are decent, but not exceptional. The film does succeed admirably in creating mood and tension, but I feel this is as much due to the creature effects as anything. This isn't to knock Carpenter's directing or the soundtrack, both of which are excellent, but if The Thing were released today with the standard computer effects, I doubt it would attain the cult status that it has. Perhaps the 2011 re-remake will test my theory, assuming it doesn't suck altogether.

This isn't a knock against The Thing. There are a great number of excellent movies that would be hugely diminished if their practical effects were removed: 2001: A Space Odyssey; King Kong (1933); Team America: World Police. At the time though, The Thing received critical flak for having too much style over substance, and I feel that our opinion on the film (currently 80% on rotten tomatoes) has morphed partly due to ennui over CGI and a collective nostalgia for physical objects.

Overall, I think that CGI has improved the medium of film by making it possible to show almost anything at an acceptable cost. This in turn affords screenwriters more creativity, and consequently more films with fantasy elements are being released today than ever before[citation needed]. The problems come when directors and studios come to see CGI as a panacea, forgoing all other types of effects. Plenty of films, even horror films like Drag Me to Hell, use CGI heavily and are better for it. Then you have Peter Jackson's King Kong, which features excellent locations done in miniature, and dinosaurs that look worse than Jurassic Park, a film that came out twelve years earlier. I think the rule of thumb should be this: if it's magic or something ephemeral, use CGI, if it's something physical, strongly consider some sort of practical effect.

But getting back on topic, while the pacing and atmosphere in The Thing work well, the plot has a few issues, and I want to bring up the most major problem I had, and please keep in mind that no normal, well adjusted person would be as bothered by this as I.

A certain ways into the movie, the characters collectively realize that the alien is taking human form. To ascertain whether one of them has been taken over, the doctor proposes the idea of a blood test. They'll each donate a sample of their blood, and each in turn will be mixed with a sample of regular emergency blood that they know to be untainted. Based on previous observation of the interaction between alien cells and normal cells, if a reaction occurs, then that donor is infected. This plan is scrapped when it is discovered that blood bags in storage have been tampered with (e.g. they have tentacles growing out of them).

The issue I have is that with the established fact that alien cells react with normal cells when the two are mixed, the previously described experiment could easily be performed without the uninfected blood bags. What the characters need to do is mix blood samples between every combination of two people. If there is a reaction, then one of those two people is an alien. After running through every combination, based on who reacted with who, you could divide everyone into two groups, Group A and Group B. Everyone's blood would react with all members of the opposing group, and with no members of their own group. As is stated at one point in the film, the infected must not outnumber the uninfected, or else they would simply reveal themselves and overpower them (ala Werewolf/Mafia). Thus the smaller group are the ones infected, and they may be promptly disposed of by the larger group.

Also there are no shape-shifting aliens in Antarctica, so there's that too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

stay out, we also have topless fur-protesters

To solve the Amero-Mexican boarder crisis, PeTA has provided this helpful sign in order to deter illegal immigrants.

translation: "If the boarder patrol doesn't get you, the chicken and burgers will. Go vegan.", that's really what it says.

Because a hungry Mexican attempting to sneak across the border will verily be deterred by a delightful carnival showcasing America's wondrous bounty, overlooked by a jealous sun, and contrasted with Mexico's apparent paucity and relative dourness.

Or maybe the ambulance is meant to warn them of medical premiums.

Monday, October 25, 2010

you totally deserved it

Today, I tried to resurrect my mother using alchemy but ended up exploding my brother instead, so I had to bind his soul to a suit of armor. Also, I blew my own arm off. FMA

Saturday, October 2, 2010


To quote the description: Sintel is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender.

And boy does it ever validate. If all fantasy were this well executed and conceptualized, then, um, that'd be ace.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Resistance Review: Voltage over Current

I like Werewolf. Quite a bit actually. I’ve not had the opportunity to play it a lot since most groups I game with are Euro players more interested in strategy than player interactions and more irritated than some by the early and repeated player elimination. Getting enough people together to make Werewolf interesting can also be prohibitive, but there’s nothing quite like a well run game of Werewolf with a group that’s willing to really get into it, especially when played at a convention with 30 other people (I won that one, by the way...).

There are a number of recent Euro/Ameri-style games that use a traitor mechanic (including one of my own designs if it ever comes out), and I tend to play a lot more of these due to the reasons above, but they rarely evoke the same level of involvement and pure character analysis that a good game of Werewolf does. The Resistance successfully straddles the line between Werewolf and more "gamer-y" games with a straightforward system that provides significantly more information and clues as to who the "spies" are, while remaining open enough that the interpersonal aspect remains front and centre.

The system is extremely simple, to the point where everyone I brought this out with seemed initially dubious that it would even be interesting. There are two phases of voting in each round, the first done publicly with everybody to determine which players will comprise the "Mission Team," and the second done secretly by the mission team to determine whether that round’s mission was successful. Accidentally putting even one spy on the team is potentially disastrous since it only take one to sabotage a mission, but then again the spy may choose not to do so in order to earn the group’s trust.

Once players get into the swing of things, they may be surprised at the amount of subtlety present. There are a number of different ways to suss out who might be lying, and equally many ways to lie and subtly manipulate. I definitely recommend playing with the plot cards as these are anything but fluff and add a lot of complexity to the deduction while being quite straightforward and adding minimal randomness. The game definitely rewards being able to successfully read people and lie, but it also heavily rewards logical deduction. I frequently made my head spin trying to form an explanation for myself of who the spies were that could even match up with everything I’d seen and heard, regardless of who I suspected, realizing that my two prime suspects couldn’t both be spies, unless Player A was more savvy than I thought...

Despite its simplicity, the game is a tiny bit fiddly. There are several different sets of cards, and the way the mission cards need to be repeatedly sorted and passed around can cause some confusion. I haven’t thought of any solutions, and it’s more than acceptable given the game’s strengths, but it did turn off some players at first. For example, players are asked to close their eyes at the start ala Werewolf to allow spies to identify each other. At first several people scoffed at this as seeming stupid and unnecessary, and there is even a variant in the rules that allows skipping this step, but after a half-dozen plays I definitely think it improves the game in a number of ways if the spies know who each other are from the start.

If I were to point to any serious flaw, it would be that some games are not going to be as interesting as others simply because players get lucky and manage not to send the spies on any missions. This happened in my first game before we had gotten into the groove, and it seemed as though the game was outright broken. This situation is rare though, and the game is short enough that it shouldn’t be a big deal to ride out the occasional session where the resistance just gets lucky and the spies can’t do much except impotently scheme and pretend to look pleased, and if your group has eased into the accusatory spirit then even these less-interesting sessions are still enjoyable.

The game also seems noticeably better with more players. As I say, I’ve only played a few games, but I had a lot more fun with seven players than with six. The deduction becomes a lot more complicated, and there are more people trying to talk at once (which you want in a game like this). More players also makes the above issue occur less frequently.

The Resistance doesn’t quite scratch all the same itches for me that Werewolf does, but it has a number of notable advantages over it, the main one being no player elimination. And while I prefer it with more players, The Resistance does work fine with as few as five, which is not something I can say for Werewolf. It also feels like less of a popularity contest as there is more tangible evidence on which to argue your case (even if you’re a spy).

Despite the fact that there is more information on which to base your decisions, I generally prefer games with a little more "game" to them apart from the social aspect. My favorite hidden roles game is probably Battlestar Galactica since it combines the sociopolitical element with solid tactics and strategy and a well-fleshed-out theme. But it must be noted that Battlestar achieves its level of player involvement largely through it’s considerable gamelength. The Resistance had us vehemently arguing and hurling complex accusations in minutes.

In the end, if these sorts of social deduction games just aren’t your cup of tea, I don’t think The Resistance will convert too many people, but if the concept sounds at all interesting, or if you like Werewolf/Mafia but wish it didn’t have player elimination, then I suggest checking out The Resistance. On the other hand, doing so might put you on some government watch list, so maybe it’s safer if [Message Redacted]

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sonic Doesn't Need a Story

I'm not sure that Sonic, Mario and Zelda can't and shouldn't be improved by bringing in more compelling narratives than the standard "save the princesses/toads/the woodland creatures" scenarios, but the transition has been demonstrated to be far easier said than done. While Mario has been content for the most part to wallow in the purity of its established formula, the new generation of Sonic games has boldly and consistently explored new horizons, with decidedly mixed results. Mixed enough that Sega has decided to go back to its roots with Sonic 4, which is where Nintendo has been all along.

That's not to say that Nintendo has never ventured outside its comfort zone. The franchise of Mario's RPGs (with the first installment admittedly created by Square) has consistently mixed up Mario's formula, and with good results. But for the most part, Nintendo seems stuck in the 80s, while other once-proud franchises blindly flail around for new ideas, eventually attempt to grab onto their cache of nostalgia like a polyester life-preserver, and are finally lost to the annals of history and the bargain bin (*cough*Mortal Kombat*cough*). Some might attribute Nintendo's recent success solely to their having a larger cache of nostalgia than most to fall back on, but I believe an equally important factor is that for three decades they have been perfecting a way of doing their thing, while by comparison Sonic only ever kind of worked in 3D, and Sega apparently lost the formula after Sonic Adventure 2. It would be ironic foreshadowing if an employee dropped it down the toilet.

I think most would be willing to grant me that games like Mario Galaxy and Mario 64 essentially have no story, and it's clear that although the ideal goal should probably be a good story, no story seems easily to trump a bad one. Back in the day, games like Super Turrican and Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania and Ecco the Dolphin and Zelda felt super epic because their lack of a fleshed-out narrative, and their simpler graphics, forced and invited us to fill in the gaps with our own imaginations. Another World exploited that simplicity and subtlety to create one of the most narratively rich and compelling games I've ever played. As graphics improved, and as it became easier to incorporate story into games with things like spoken dialogue and better cutscenes, gaming worlds began to feel less epic and expansive, and the stories started to sound dumber and dumber as they began to be told more explicitly and completely. We finally saw our beloved franchises recreated in glorious technicolor and quietly said to ourselves "is that it?"

I personally have no idea what the plot for Super Turrican was, but I do not wish to go and find out. It cannot possibly measure up to the fabulous mythology I build for myself as a six-year-old boy, spurred on by the captivating music and 16-bit graphics.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Various Ideologies Analyzed in terms of Objectivism

Objectivism: A is A

Agnosticism: A is impossible to determine

Liberalism: A is whatever

Conservatism: A should only be A

Communism: A is ours

Despotism: A is mine

Anarchism: Screw A

Capitalism: A is for sale

Agrarianism: A is 2A

Dualism: A is A and a

Idealism: A is A

Subjectivism: A is A to me

Darwinism: A was B

Absurdism: A is B

Postmodernism: B is A

Surrealism: A is sandwich

Nihilism: There is no A

Rastafarianism: A mon!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Science Fiction/Double Feature

With the introduction of "Less-price-gougey Tuesdays" at the local cineplex, I got a chance to see both Inception and Predators one after another, and I'll try to give my thoughts on them without giving away too much.

I can't get very specific with Inception without getting spoilery, so I'll keep my critique vague. All in all, I thought it was awesome, but I do think it ran a bit long. The concept behind the film, of invading and navigating other peoples' dreams, amply warrants an in-depth treatment, yet as cool as the premise is, I didn't feel that it was explored to its fullest potential, and at two-and-a-half hours the screenplay dragged in places and at times even felt repetitive. I have the feeling that this was somewhat intentional to drive home the dreamlike aesthetic that the film does effectively convey, but I also feel that an already impressive film would have been made stronger had a few more minutes been cut, and I would likely be inclined to re-watch it more frequently. As it stands, Inception is still better and more original than the vast majority of films released, and probably the closest thing to a big screen adaption of Psychonauts we can hope for.

With its themes of what is really real, and of plugging into other realities, comparisons with The Matrix are inevitable. I wouldn't say that Inception is in any way ripping off The Matrix, but I also feel that The Matrix succeeded in a few areas where Inception fell short, particularly in terms of its action sequences. With the exception of a fantastically trippy setpiece in a hotel hallways, Inception's action falls drastically short of it's potential. This is not to say that the action is poorly shot or choreographed, but that because we are working in the realm of dreams, where conceivably anything could happen, a series of gunfights and car chases with generic goons just feels like a bit of a cop-out. Where The Matrix wowed us with its funky wire-fu and novel bullet-time effects, Inception sort of goes out with a whimper.

To be fair, Inception is meant more as an "ideas" film than an action film, and in that regard it holds up a bit better. Whereas the ideas behind The Matrix don't hold together all that well under closer scrutiny (such as the machines not having any apparent way of drawing new energy into the system they have constructed), Inception has a little more depth and ambiguity to pick at. That's not to say that the film is devoid of gaps in logic (there were a couple points I didn't get, but I won't pass judgment until I have a second viewing), but there are plenty of things that the films leaves you to turn over in your mind. But again, because so much could have been done with the concept, the result ends up feeling a tad disappointing. In particular, I would have liked to see more of the universal aspects of dreaming covered in some way, like when you're trying to run away from something and suddenly it feels like you're moving through molasses, or when your teeth don't seem to have been quite put in properly. I realize that the film is expressly trying to make us question what is and isn't real, but I can't shake the feeling that opportunities were missed.

A common complaint I've heard, of movies in general, is that the "dream-within-a-dream" is purely an invention of Hollywood and that this never happens to anyone. I can attest firsthand that this does happen in real life, and that it as trippy as balls. You wake up and say something like "what a peculiar dream that was. I'd best return to reality with a nice bowl of cornflakes. Then maybe some goldfish polo. I do hope the Queen has a spare dachshund." Later you awake in a cold sweat with the feel of scales and victory still on your palms.

Or maybe that's just me. I'm just gonna move on to Predators now.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Predators is the first film to feature the titular character, since the 1987 original, that wasn't awful. To be fair, I never saw the sequel to Aliens vs Predator, and I remember somewhat enjoying the first AVP film, probably out of some perverse fondness for the games, but I think I wouldn't be remiss in saying that both franchises went significantly downhill when they tried adding numbers or subtitles to their names. Just adding an "s" seems empirically to work out better. For the next installment, I suggest Predators'.

This is a film that I think would greatly benefit from a lack of foreknowledge. If you were somehow able to go into this with no idea what to expect and no knowledge of the original, or even just no idea that this was the movie you were going to see, I think the film would generate a respectable degree of tension and excitement. As it is, it just sort of feels like an homage, like it's just going through the motions (♪walking through the part♫), with little by way of surprises (and a painfully obvious Chekhov's Neurotoxin).

Unfortunately, the Predators are the weakest part of the movie. There's none of the unfamiliar menace they exuded in the original, and not even any of the cheesy badassery from AVP. After all these years, we finally get a Predator on Predator fight, and it looks exactly like what it is: two guys in rubber suits wrestling. I often argue that less is more, but sometimes it's just less. The Predators also seems considerably easier to kill in this installment; I guess they adhere to the law of inverse ninjutsu.

It's weird to see Adrian Brody take up the role once filled by Arnold "Aaugh" Schwarzenegger, but I would say that the cast is probably the strongest part of the film. The personalities are more diverse than the original, and I even like Topher Grace's weirdly-out-of-place doctor character. It was pretty funny to see Danny Trejo show up at the beginning when the previous trailer had him being a badass in Machete, only for him to be pretty much the first to die (that's not a spoiler, he's ethnic). When they're all just confusedly creeping about the jungle, it feels like a good episode of Lost. It's just a shame that the Predators are less menacing than the smoke monster.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Return of Jokes?

You're such a geek you think Linkin Park is why Epona won't go.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Jack Sandler

One mystery they never explained...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Battlestar Galactica Boardgame Reviews

I just so happen to have in my possession both the Battlestar Galactica boardgame released in 2008, and the Battlestar Galactica boardgame released in 1978. To aid the prospective consumer, I have drafted a comparison of the two games highlighting some of their features and discrepancies.

In the 2008 version, humanity is on the brink of annihilation. Impeded only by a handful of brave Viper pilots, swarms of Cylon Raiders continually threaten to wipe out what remains of the fleet. Heavy Raiders bring Centurions onto Galactica that march inexorably towards the ship's vital systems, and the fearsome Basestars ceaselessly pump out reinforcements as their guns pummel Galactica unless silenced with a nuclear explosion. All the while, internal politics exacerbated by hidden Cylon agents threatens to tear the fleet apart from within as the humans struggle desperately to hold it together long enough to reach Kobol, the signpost to Earth.

In the 1978 version, there's a single defenseless and inanimate Cylon Raider that gets dragged around a lot. If you drag it into your corner, you win! All the other Viper pilots are trying to stop you for some reason by blasting you to pieces. Perhaps all the pilots are very drunk.

In the 2008 version, you can play as William Adama, Starbuck, or perhaps the enigmatic Gaius Baltar, any one of whom might turn out to be a Cylon agent secretly working to destroy the fleet.

In the 1978 version, you can play as blue.

The 2008 version uses a simple d8 to resolve ship combat (among other things), but the heart of the game's conflict is in the skill check system where players contribute cards to a face-down pile to deal with various crises. In each check some colors of cards will be helpful while others are harmful, and the cards are shuffled before they are revealed so it is unclear who has aided the humans and who has sabotaged them. The Cylon players will need to be subtle and choose their moments if they are to successfully destroy the humans' chances of survival without arousing too much suspicion.

The 1978 version has arguably one of the most ridiculous combat mechanic ever conceived. By playing a "laser torpedoes" card, you get to spin the spinner. The number result (from 1 to 6) tells you how many further times you get to spin the spinner. Each of these times, you check which of four colors the spinner is pointing to, and all the enemy Vipers in that quarter of the board get shot. By playing one laser torpedoes card, you could realistically shoot all, none or some of your opponents. Who knows? At least the mechanic is entertaining, in a putting stuff up your nose kind of way.

I would recommend the 2008 version to anyone who doesn't mind a somewhat longer and more complex game. The only real gripe I have with the game is that it can go upwards of two hours which keeps it from hitting the table as often as it would otherwise, but I still have a great time every time it comes out. Extra recommendation if you're a fan of the show, or enjoy an excuse to lie to peoples' faces.

I would recommend the 1978 if you have a sense of humor and would like to compare just how far boardgames have come in 30 years. Extra recommendation if you're a fan of Plan 9 From Outer Space, or anything else that sucks in a brilliant way.

In conclusion, the series finale was somewhat disappointing.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Michael Bay's The Dark Knight - by Michael Bay

Did you know that an early script for The Dark Knight was submitted by Michael Bay, but this version was rejected on account of it being terrible ... and made up.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blog Entry

BriTANick has been my favorite sketch comedy group for a while, but I absolutely love everything about their latest video.

You can check out their other stuff here, or listen to more meta-humor in the same vein.