Saturday, August 18, 2007

WooTBASH: Week 4

It's been one season and four more weeks and it still amazes me how a bunch of real people who we're watching live somehow manage to react to the animations and greenscreen effects.

The most notable part of this episode, of course, is that Stan Lee is an amazing sellout. This episode revolved almost entirely around tracking down a villain who stole an Esurance check. They were even "aided" on the mission by short animated scenes from their mascot, Erin Esurance. Tune in next week when the Geico cavemen attempt to kill Snuggle Bear. Can our heroes stop them in time to have hamburgers with Ronald McDonald? Spoiler alert: the Hamburglar may have already stolen the burgers.

Of course, Basura went home because she ignored a woman who lost her kid. Stan, get a clue. Hiding a person who has lost a child in the crowd of people to test the heroes' heroism only works when you haven't already done in five thousand times before. Yet somehow Basura still failed. It's unfortunate, but won't get in the way of Stan Lee's master plan to create the perfect superhero by frankensteining together Basura's chest, Parthenon's ass, the Defuser's biceps, and Hyper-Strike's hair. I'm not sure where the head, torso, forearms, or legs will come from. But to complete the analogy he'll need the brain of the stupidest contestant: Ms. Limelight.

I actually find the ending teaser kind of interesting: Dr. Dark has acquired Stan Lee's DNA from his pencil, presumably so he can create Anti-Stan Lee (Eel Nats?) who will draw supervillain comics. Perhaps this will fuel the spinoff series, Who Wants to be a SuperVillain. Is it just me or would that be a way more badass show?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Video Game Review: Suckitude reaches level 10.

And after I heard so much good about you too, Dungeons and Dragons Tactics. You disappoint me. Where to even start?

Character models are ugly. I mean really ugly. I mean giant bloated head ugly. Literally.

The storyline is lame and since cutscenes are non-alignment specific don't be surprised when your chaotic evil sorceror talks like an honorable knight of virtue and justice at all times.

I'd rather not talk about gameplay but I suppose I have to. DnD fans might like this game, which stays true to DnD rules. Unfortunately, it allows no multiclassing or prestige classes, the two additions to normal DnD which allow the most amount of character customizing. Wizards and psions are not allowed to be specialists in this game either. This is okay for wizards, but it renders the psion UNPLAYABLE, since all of the good psionic powers belong to specialists only.

Then there's the inability to sue potions on your team mates, or anyone besides yourself, most likely a sad excuse for forcing you to use clerics. I actually looked in the book because I was certain there was no way they could be stupid enough to make you unable to heal your own teammates. I turned to a section marked "Restoring Hit Points" and found that it consisted almost entirely of the following quote.

Hit points decrease due to attacks and increase due to healing.

Thanks, asshole.

Annotation from The Future:

Those of you who aren't into pen-and-paper gaming might not know this, so let me let you in on a secret. There's a common prejudice among tabletop gamers that computer RPGs such as Final Fantasy and Baldur's Gate all suck. Basically, the belief is that they're all just shallow and pathetic attempts at recreating tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons in a simpler form that's easier for stupid people to use and enjoy. This prejudice is so widespread it's even reflected in the pronunciation of the acronym CRPG as "crappage."

While I don't share that prejudice myself, as near as I can tell the makers of D&D Tactics were trying their hardest to prove it correct.

KR Rating: [1] HORRIBLE

Television Review: How to get more sucking up in your roast.

Ever since Comedy Central took over the roasts from the Friar's Club they've gone steadily downhill. Does anyone else remember back when they were roasting people like Hugh Hefner and Chevy Chase? Back then the roasts were funny, and more than that they actually felt like an honor.

The first roast Comedy Central did, Dennis Leary, was still almost watchable. But even then, it was obvious that it had immediately degenerated into toilet humor and corporate nepotism, with every single roaster being somehow involved with Comedy Central programming. I watched the roasts of Jeff Foxworthy and Pamela Anderson mostly out of curiosity. My curiosity almost got me to watch the Roast of Flavor Flav too, until about three minutes in when he descended to the stage on wires and lead the audience in chanting his name. I was then able to thank Comedy Central's shameless ass-kissing for reminding me why I hate the roasts and turn it off.

I spent the time I would have wasted watching this dreg by debating with myself what kind of celebrity Flavor is. It was a tossup between D-List for "Does anyone know who the hell this guy is?" and W-List for "Why should I care?" but in the end I think I made the right decision when I went with F-List for "Fuck this crackaddict waterhead up the ass with his own viking helmet."

I really liked the commercials too. Have you seen the spelling bee commercial, where Flavor "humorously" misspells boy as "BOOOYYYEEEE!" and it's declared correct? Here's some more spelling humor: Flavor Flav is actually spelled F-U-C-K-I-N-G L-O-S-E-R.

And that's how you do a roast, you pansy ass punkbitches.

Annotation From the Future:

Actually, it's even worse if you know who Flavor Flav is. Seriously, how does a person conjure an entire career out of being the annoying guy who screeches in the background of Public Enemy songs? From what I can tell, he must appeal to the public desire to be stupid and annoying without any consequences, because the idea that people actually think he's cool is too sad for words.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Television Review: WooTBASH.

As you assuredly know, back in July I made a post mocking the contestants on this season of Who Wants to Be A Superhero, hereafter known as Wootbash or "that superhero show". Well, the show's gone through three episodes now and I have to admit that I wasn't really that surprised to find that this year's contestants weren't as lame as I thought they'd be. That said, there's some things I like and dislike about this season.

I like that the show seems to be running longer. What I mean by that is, in the first season they ran two eliminations an episode and the show went for six episodes. (Presumably because they wanted to do an entire season and weren't sure anyone would watch.) The result was most of the airtime was spent on challenges and we never got to really know any of the contestants. This year with the exception of the third episode there's been one elimination an ep, thus stretching it out and giving us more time to get to know the people.

The bad news is that the challenges seem to be edited more erratically. In the first season every contestant was shown one by one and so we got to really see who was doing well in what way. In this season it flashes back and forth between each contestant and it can be hard to really get a grasp on what's going on or how each person is doing.

With all that said, here's my current take on each of the cast.

The Defuser
I kinda like him, kinda don't. As a police detective (both the character and the real guy) he has a real take charge personality which I must admit I find appealing. Unfortunately, when he goes into "cop mode" he has a tendency to miss important details and he sometimes forgets that he's talking to real people. He has a tendency to treat everyone like a suspect and as a result he comes off as kind of an ass.

Ms. Limelight
I'm not sure if it was the inordinate amount of tanning or the peroxide in her hair but something fried her brain. The woman is a ditz. When Stan Lee asked about her character to get direction in designing her new costume she couldn't even name a single one of her superpowers. She was eliminated this episode for being generally cowardly and cracking under pressure like a lightbulb in a vice grip. How the hell did she even get on the show?

Hyper-Strike is the kind of guy who you're almost certain you'll hate until you actually get to know him. He's actually a pretty cool dude, even if he is as my friend says, a "yuppie ninja." Stan Lee was kind of a prick when Hyper-Strike said he didn't like his costume, which is very confusing given how upset he was at Ty'Veculus last year for lying about not liking the costume. You just can't win with Mr. Lee, can you?

I don't know much about her still. But that's because she never really does anything. Sidekick material at best.

He was eliminated because he chose to have his entire team be attacked by bees rather than intentionally misspell a word. It's kind of cool that he was willing to face his fears and stand up for truth. But still, what a dick.

I actually do really like her basic concept. Most superheroes are super wealthy and have tons of stuff, but she lives in a dumpster and has to make everything herself. Nonetheless, much like Whip-Snap she never really seems to DO anything.

Mr. Mitzvah
Kind of an interesting backstory here. Mr. Mitzvah's creater, Ivan Wilzig, is actually super-rich in real life and is semi-famous for his charity, the Peaceman Foundation. Apparently something of an eccentric, he has taken to dressing up in a cape and calling himself Peaceman. He got on the show as Peaceman but due to conflict of interests (he didn't want to give up the copyrights to Peaceman) he changed the character to Mr. Mitzvah. Surprisingly, given he's a famous charity worker, he is a humongous douchebag and was eliminated for general dickishness.

Eliminated because in a challenge to get information from a break-in victim she turned retarded and spent the entire time talking about her powers instead of, you know, HELPING. Aside from that, she was mostly just there and had no real character traits at all, much like the other ladies.

Hold on, my gaydar just exploded. We need you to turn it down a few clicks, Parthenon. We need you at a 10, right now you're at about five trillion.

I said she was this season's Fat Momma but she's not anywhere near as likable or even as interesting as Fat Momma.

That's actually another major problem this time around. I mean, what's with these people? Last time they had real character. Whatever you say or however you feel about Fat Momma you have to admit that she had a very distinct personality. The final three: Feedback, Major Victory, and Fat Momma all had very distinct personalities and very good motivations and I think most people can say they really liked them. With a few exceptions, this year all the girls are totally bland and all the guys are dicks. HOPEFULLY we'll see more character as the show progresses but as of now I can't say I really care for any of these people.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Video Game Review: Irrationality to follow.

I'm back with a semi-review, and for once I have nothing mean to say. Rather, I wanted to talk for a moment about a particular aspect of many games: the irrationally unlocked secret. As far as I can tell the first example of this was a rumored secret in Final Fantasy where if you clicked on flower pots it would unlock a powerful weapon in a hidden dungeon. It wasn't true, of course, but it started a trend.

So many games had insane secrets like this. In the NES days a lot of games had hidden areas that you could only enter by walking into random walls and which contained hidden messages from the game's designers. (Fun Fact: This trend started because back in the early NES days video games were still thought of as pointless time-wasters and so it was considered in bad taste for programmers to put any sort of credit on their work. Editors would often even go so far as to remove credit sequences from games. That practice changed, obviously, and many games just used it to provide fun and unique messages or as a throwback to that time.)

The Guardian Legend took the idiotic secret to a whole new level by programming their game so that at one point you can only proceed with the game by mindlessly walking into and out of an unnamed room something like 20 times.

Even today games like Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin contain insane secrets. In PoR, the secret is that if you kill 1,000 of the Old Axe Armor enemies you unlock a special mode where you can play as one. I actually kind of wonder how people found out about this, given the Old Axe Armor is a rare enemy. Most likely Konami released the information themselves, but I like to think it was just some bored kid who decided to kill 1,000 of every enemy just to see what would happen.

I actually kind of like these secrets because they force you, even if just for a little bit, to be retarded and do things no sane person should do in exchange for prizes. It's kind of like being on your very own mini reality show, only with crappier prizes. I would say with less human interaction but no one willing to humiliate themselves on national TV like that still deserves to be called human.

Hmm. So much for not saying anything mean.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Baby Review: My new nephew.

In case you're wondering, the reason I haven't posted lately is because I have a brand new baby nephew. His name is Matthew Logan, he weighs eight pounds and one ounce, and he was born on August 6th. He sleeps a lot and scrunches up his face sometimes. I give him a 4 out of 5.

Annotation from The Future:
My (now ex-)sister-in-law was a bitch. That's all I have to say about that.