Sunday, December 26, 2010

SMB: The Lost Levels

I've been playing this game off an on for the past few days. It was six bucks on the Wii, and a fairly good deal at that. I had it on Super Mario All-Stars a long time ago, but I'd never played it in 8-bit stylings. To give you an idea, it's graphically just like the original Super Mario Brothers. The only difference is that the brick ground has been replaced with dirt. Even so, SMB: TLL is a totally new game. It is HARD.

Most people with halfway decent reflexes have mastered the original SMB. It is a pretty easy game, especially when you use warp world. I've played and beat the first game probably a hundred times, and I just wasn't prepared for the level of difficulty in this game. It is harder than Zelda II, Castlevania II, Contra, and Metroid put together. I have gotten at least a hundred game overs, most of which came on worlds 3 and 5.

There are places where you either jump on a turtle at the right time or you die. SOme of the jumps they expect of you are unreal. The worst one so is on 4-3, where you have to make a leap of faith across the screen with no ground below you, and just hope that floating turtle is in the right place.

As IGN said, it's a lot like a fan hack. Having said that, it's a pretty good fan hack. I've always loathed our SMB 2. Why couldn't we have this game? Heh heh.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A testimony to My Immortal

All I want for Christmas is My Immortal: The Motion Picture. Someone should make this saga. Seriously. For clueless people who stumble across this page, I'm not talking about the song. That's good, but the fanfic of the same name is better.

It is a masterpiece of a different kind. My Immortal is either: A) The worst fanfic ever, and something that makes Ed Wood look like Alfred Hitchcock. B)The greatest act of trolling in the history of man. Those who profess to be trolls should worship the writer for bestowing humanity with such a hilarious act of parody.

I lean toward the latter, if only for the reason that no human being could possibly be that incapable of typing. Even on a phone with very small keys, you're just bound to get a few words right. This smells of design. Furthermore, the wording of these sentences is purposely funny; I have no doubt of that. The attempt is to impersonate a twelve year old girl who saw Evanescence and decided "goff" was hot. How can you use the word 'fuck' in a sentence, and then decline to describe human anatomy? It defies logic, even the logic of twelve year old girls.

I want to finish this saga, but I always seem to get confused or lose all control and burst into non-stop laughter. What makes it even funnier is that people can't see the writing on the wall.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

When Roleplaying Goes Wrong...

There is a certain bliss in taking on the mannerisms of a character for RPGs. It's enjoyable, and can sometimes completely usurp your own personality if you let it. I myself have questioned certain facets of my own worldview due to things that emerged in RP. In certain ways, it could be a good thing. If helping out some beggar character encourages you to give to charity, that's great.

However, the brief erasing of these lines between character and player could also become a very bad thing. What if the line stays erased? What if you go around telling the world that you are an elf, orc, goblin, fairy, gnome, or some other mythical creature? What if you create an entire belief system to justify these increasingly delusional stances? This, my friends, is when you are part of the weird subculture called 'Otherkin'.

Google it. I've read about religion so much that you could it an obsession. There are similar ideas within the new age movement that many people actually consider reasonable. As cool as it is, this idea of being orcs, goblins, and whatnot, I have a hard time extending the respectful 'whatever' I do to most other religions -- and this definitely falls into the category of religion.

This reminds me of the whole psychic vampirism... thing. I had a semi-friend who considered himself as such. I never questioned it, but one day he went all out to convince me that the psychic vampires are real. I guess I should have said, "Maybe.. uh.. who knows, right?", but like all blood leechers, he was fairly irritating and I responded with: "Fuck no vampires, psychic or otherwise, are not real! Science! SCIENCE! SCCCCCIIIEEENCE! Draining energy, feeding off auras, and all that shit... not real!" He blocked me on facebook, and we haven't spoken since. I should apologize I guess. Or expose him to sunlight.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Screw the Consciousness Shift!

2012 doomsday hype has been on mind of late. I rather like the cataclysmic images of the would-be apocalypse, but this isn't what I've sat down to write about. Rather, I seek to speak on the other end of 2012 speculation: this notion that a new age will be upon us.

What is the new age? Put simply, the new age is the passing on of the old age. What is the old age? The old age is our age, which is, by all accounts, not too swift of an age.

What is wrong with our age? Many things – not the least of which being material problems such as war, plagues, famine, pestilence, and death – are wrong with our world. Presumably the new age will do away with most or even all of these problems. Who is to say? It's new, and we haven't seen it yet.

There is another problem that the new age seeks to eliminate, and it is the one that brings me to typing this. It is also the problem that makes me chuckle, for reasons I shall soon explain. The new age will apparently cause either a complete shift in humanity's collective consciousness, or awaken individuals who previously clung to old age ideas, religions, and philosophies. Think about that.

This is what 2012 new agers think will bring total world peace and harmony. People who disagree with new agers will suddenly experience an awakening, and automatically begin to think as they do.

This is a recurring theme through history. “If everyone comes to think just as I do, the world will be a better place.” It's very much part of the 'old age' new agers wish to see eliminated by the stars. Satan cannot cast out Satan, and collectivist prophetical babble cannot cast out collectivist prophetical babble.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Story Isn't That Important...

This is the attitude of Nintendo when it comes to Zelda games. I hear their points, and I suppose they do make sense. However, they seem to be using this logic as a byline to totally screw up the Zelda storyline.

"As we all know, the Hylians are the closest race to the gods..." Jackass from TP.
"But wait... surprise! There's an even closer race to the gods: Chickens!" Same Jackass from TP

I remember playing A Link to the Past and loving the storyline about the lost civilization of the Hylians. It went without saying they were the most advanced thing since sliced bread. But now, that's all in question. The Oocca, glorified chickens, are actually the species the gods created, and those chickens created the Hylians.

What. The. Fuck? I'm not the only one that feels this way about the Oocca. Many people I've talked to agree that this Oocca business runs the storyline through a shredder.

But like Aonuma says, the story isn't that important. And that means he can utterly destroy it with whatever craptastically awful detail that comes into his mind.

And this shit continues into Skyward Sword. Link is from the Sky; probably the same place where the Oocca are in TP. Damn. There's been a murder my friends: And the victim is the Zelda Universe.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Metroid: The Other Red M

Seldom do I speak of games outside of the Zelda canon, but I've been playing "Metroid: Other M" a good bit lately. There are a few things I wanted to shout into the tubes about it, so here I go.

When I was a young lad, my mom got me "Metroid 2: The Return of Samus" for my birthday. At the time, I didn't really understand what the game was about, and I just wandered around cluelessly shooting stuff. I played it off and on for a few years, and then one day I figured out you were supposed to kill the eggs. I did some asking around at school, and found out that the eggs were Metroids, and that the object of the game was to kill them all. I never did finish Metroid 2, but I had a lot of fun failing at it.

Then, last week, I was given a 100 dollar walmart gift card, and decided to get a Wii game. It was then I realized that the vast majority of Wii games SUCK. I saw Goldeneye, Super Mario Brothers, and the new Donkey Kong. Pondering for a moment, I leaned toward Donkey Kong, as it too had been a faithful childhood friend. And then, I saw Metroid: Other M, presumably a sequel to the magical Gameboy game I'd enjoyed as a child. I debated some more, but I got it.

Now, how far have we fallen Samus? Not that far. There are a lot of cool things about this new Metroid. It stays true to old school Metroid form in the sense that you're going room to room and exploring. The ball is there, and I love the ball. In addition to the platforming, the game occasionally relies upon a FPS style of gameplay. It's a good mix, and it's fairly easy to pick up the gameplay style.

I didn't know what to think about Samus as a kid. I liked the idea of playing as a Bounty Hunter, presumably an ordinary person who kills these things for fun and profit. But, Other M has deemed Samus Aran is a 'child of destiny' like Link from Zelda. She has the dead parents, everyone looks up to her, and she only wants to do good. Bad move, Nintendo. Bad move. It works with an actual messianic character like Link, but not with Samus! It's shameful to see these long cutscenes where Samus gives long moody monologues about her dark past.

Even so I like this game, and wanted to ramble about it. Death to the Metroids!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Majora's Mask: The Marketing

I don't know how many of you remember the marketing campaign for Nine Inch Nail's album Year Zero. Trent Reznor hired a few companies to create an awesome experience and really bring the concept album to life. Visit Another Version of the Truth for a good look at the idea. America has been taken over by neoconservative despots.. a resistance forms. etc. I liked this idea, and I think it's one of the coolest things to ever hit the web.

Anyway, I mention that because I just came across some old, but pretty interesting Zelda related news. When Nintendo got ready for the release of Majora's Mask, they tried something similar. It might have been the great granddaddy of the campaign that turned out to be Year Zero.

Radio Zelda is now transmitting...

Check out the archived version of the site, It appears to be some sort of radio show devoted to events in the real world that aren't really happening. The moon is getting closer to the earth, a rift has opened between parallel universes, scientists are searching for an individual with a bizarre genetic anomaly, people are panicking and demanding answers...

Now, sounds like a hoax right? Wrong. Computer nerds who know (or in my case, don't know) use the whois command. It'll give you the registration data for any domain name. And what is the whois data for you ask?

Domain Name..........
Creation Date........ 2000-08-01
Registration Date.... 2009-07-05
Expiry Date.......... 2011-08-01
Organisation Name.... Nintendo of America Inc.
Organisation Address. 4820 150th Ave NE
Organisation Address.
Organisation Address. Redmond
Organisation Address. 98052
Organisation Address. WA
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

That is correct. Nintendo tried to go viral with a Zelda game. And I bow my head in veneration to such a sweet attempt. They event went as far to give "Radio Zelda" an affiliate site, (archived). The whois data turns out much the same. Z-science was apparently the site for the research group JRAMOA, the group of scientists who inadvertently brought our doom. Note how JRAMOA is an anagram of Majora. Others can be found on the archived version of the site.

Furthermore, both of these domain names currently redirect to

As if all that wasn't enough, fans eventually took the audio from Radio Zelda and the actual radio ads and created this fantastic footage of the apocalypse Nintendo was perpetuating. Rock on.

Long story short.. I thought this was cool. It didn't quite get the play that Year Zero did, but I think it's just as cool since I like both Zelda and NiN.