"As a hairdresser my
clients ask me about everything, from boyfriends to beauty treatments..."
HOW MANY TIMES DO WE NEED THIS COMMERCIAL TO AIR
(not to mention my nagging thoughts about how it typecasts all woman who visit supermodel metrosexual hairdressers as vapid and whatnot but I should stop talking from now on)
So as you probably gathered, I was given the opportunity of visiting a bunch of friends, partying hard and having a good time, but only in between being carted all over the place hither and thither due to the schedules of the people dropping me there, so I decided to give it a miss and have been watching TV and playing games all day. Totally worthwhile!
I am so lonely. =(
I finally saw an episode of Joey after so many years of hearing how crap it was, and I wasn't that repulsed by it. Friends was barely the epitome of entertainment, but for shallow, insipid fluff I could tolerate it, and the only difference Joey seemed to have was the fact whats-his-face playing Joey was betting it'd be an easy money-printer for himself. Which it wasn't. Also, playing Metal Slug with a horizontal Wii Remote is strangely incredible.
In other news, and actually related to the news, I haven't been giving a shit about the news. There's plenty of hot topics at the moment I bet, but I really just do not give any percentage of a shit. Gas crisis, presidential run-up, Russia going kill-crazy - they've been going on for way too long and I never cared at all in the first place. The world's kind of going to shit anyway, so I'm content just not paying attention. Weren't we causing a huge fuss about global warming just a few weeks ago? I don't know.
What I do know is that I AM ENRAGED. There was a two-headed turtle and nobody told me? And it was kidnapped and is very likely to die without the proper care? That's blood boiling, that is.
Though I suppose it shows my attitude to the current news. Enough about us ol' humans, how are the other inhabitants of Earth keeping up?
Well, the interesting news about them, not just the old "they're going extinct!" or "we're fucking up their habitats!" news. We've heard plenty of that.
I think I'm just hypocritical.
Mario Kart Wii clearly has more emphasis on wackiness, unpredictability and mayhem, as evidenced by the constant ramps, how many things give you boosts, the frequent lightning strikes and wacky items, but just like Mario Party, for this to work you need a jovial group atmosphere going on. Which I've only had once so far, and everyone was just just too confused by the dodgy levels to truly be having a laugh.
Playing alone, this just results in you calling Baby Mario a son of a bitch and threatening to Toad if he zips in front of you at the finish line just one more time he will be skullfucked. I am goddamned serious, and I sincerely wish I wasn't. When I began playing the game the fact the computer characters would barrage you with red shells, lightning and a Blooper smearing the screen all simultaneously was common hat, and although absurd, I still won the race. Now that I'm onto the biking cups now, that humility has vanished. See, the bikes can get a burst in speed by speeding over ramps. Karts can do the same, so no biggy. Bikes can also get turbo dashes by drifting, just like karts. What the karts can't do, though, is pop wheelies and gain speed just by doing so, which can be done anytime they want by the bikes at expense of tightened control. The computers will do all manner of trickery to gain their improbable burst of speed, and sure, you can do the same, but the method to doing wheelies isn't exactly well-grounded. You wiggle the Wii Remote. But it only works when it wants to. Wiggle in vain, it'll refuse to go until the most inopportune moment, like when you face ever so slightly towards that cliff, or straight into a wall. Plus, do you have to wiggle it this way? Or that way? You never know, and it constantly varies!
Not to mention that drifting in bikes is a constant threat to your victory. The Flower Cup in 100cc, I can do just fine in the first three races, but put me on the mine cart stage on a bike and I will quite literally go to pieces. The karts have very restrained turning, which on a precarious level such as that is more than welcomed. The bikes are much looser, and it's difficult to find a corner you can legitimately drift on without crashing into something. Of course, the computers will just drift their way to miles ahead of you with the greatest of ease, but attempt to do it yourself and you'll come a cropper. It is an absolute struggle to get in the top 4 in that course for me, let alone coming anything higher than twelfth.
Also, the computer characters just pull magic out of their asses. Nothing new in the series, but you've got an additional four of them to compete with in this one, so damn them to hell.
okay I'm done
(FUCK THE AI)
While out for a walk, I stumbled upon the beautiful Colin Glen Forest Park that I'd never seen before, which also happened to be a mere five minutes away, making its discovery that more embarrassing that I'd been oblivious of its existence for about fourteen years. It's right next to an excessively busy road, and it leads into another neighbourhood, but it's somehow in the thick of a wonderfully serene wood, full of those chunky, twirly trees, streams and waterfalls, bits of ruins, crazy-huge bridges and more. It didn't seem to really lead anywhere, just going on all these branching, weaving paths that went up across hills with a view of the countryside, a horizon of trees and all kinds of joyous sights, and I'm sure if I'd gone all the way I would've ended up somewhere in Morocco. Vegas even had a bit of fun splashing about in a stream, which is something she never really does otherwise, so it was kind of completely incredible. I was constantly laughing in excitement at just how mesmerising the location was, and it was just a surreal, blissful experience. I saw plenty of paths that practically begged for me to follow them, but I opted to save them for another time.
I stood and admired the greenery, knowing that sooner or later, it would be replaced with more bloody houses or an apartment building or something, and to express my appreciation of its current existence, I hugged a tree.
I am officially a total fagass homoroid and should probably be stoned (with my consent first).
Then I heard around 1950 the mayor's daughter was murdered there.
Suddenly I'm a little less anxious to head back.
In other news, candy!
I picked up a tub of sweets called "Fun Gums," with images of jaws munching on crap on the label, so obviously it's got a tooth-related theme. And it shows! There's a set of teeth, a yellow toothbrush, and what I'm assuming is a sole loose tooth but could be a mushroom for all I know. But that's where it runs short. Why is a regular cola bottle in the assortment? Because... they rot teeth? A gummy bear? Like, bears have teeth, but they'll remove yours if given the chance. A spider? I thought maybe it was an anthromorphic representation of plaque at first, but yeah, serious straw grabbing. And then it just goes nuts. A tennis racket? Why is a goddamned boxing glove in here?!
Seriously. The bottles and bears I can get behind, being staples of the gummy sweet, but you only see tennis rackets and boxing gloves in the more gimmicky ones, so why they're here is just plain barmy, yo.
I forgot how dull the Golden Axe games were. I mean, they're okay, me still thinking brawlers are kinda fun, but there's just very little happening in them.
So there's this ad for DFS furniture on television, featuring a variety of folks doing air guitar while Rock Star by Nickelback plays, yeah? It's one of those ads that's nothing special, but not horrid either. What would otherwise be a non-sequitur to sofas and chairs is explained by the narrator going "you don't need to be a rock star to afford our great offers," and proceeds to list down the amazing prices. Nothing bad. Nothing special.
And then after urging everyone to head on over to DFS, it ends with "it rocks!"
You know, just in case all the visual messages and the song weren't enough.
It ruins the whole damn thing.
Having Mario Kart Wii does kind of fill a hole for frantic action all up in this joint, but I'll blatantly admit that it wasn't until I got me some Virtual Console action that it felt positively sorted. Donkey Kong Country, as aware as I am regarding your flaws, I will love you ever biased.
Also hey hey hey SUPER MARIO ALL-STARS BABY
It's kind of sick that I bought Twilight Princess for the sole purpose of playing retro games. Well, mostly. I'm kind of vaguely not really interested in it, but given the choice between Super Metroid and lots and lots of story I won't give a hoot about, I think it's obvious.
I'm onto chapter 4-2 in Super Paper Mario, and although I'm enjoying it, I feel I'm not enjoying it anywhere near as much as I could be had the game been different. On first sight, it's a Mario platformer without the run ability, and the chance to look at levels in 3D and play as Bowser and Peach, which is pretty rad. I think I'm struggling to move past that perception though, as like the other two games, it's an RPG. With a large emphasis on goddamned prophecies in the story. And being an RPG, there's less emphasis on mass murder of mushroom monsters and leaping over pits and more on solving puzzles. Which, in turn, involves actually stopping, looking around, exploring and backtracking. Which is all fine and well and probably enjoyable, but whenever I play it my mind keeps focusing on side-scrolling action bay-bee, which it almost is but for the most part isn't.
I think the problem lies in the fact it's for a console. As you're probably aware by my mindless game-related ravings in the blog, I'm practically dying for some 2D side-scrolling action on a console, but they all get relegated to handhelds and thus kind of lack a certain charm. New Super Mario Bros.? It had flaws, but I enjoyed it, though I'm positively certain that my enjoyment and sense of wonderment would've bloated tenfold had it been on a big screen. Similarly, since Super Paper Mario is technically a 2D sidescrolling, but has lots and lots of emphasis on switching to 3D and all the nooks and crannies of exploring and blah-di-blah, I just keep thinking "get to the action!" I think I'm more suited to disappointment of a rock-awesome concept on a handheld, so slap it on the DS and I would be perfectly happy the way it was. But as it is, MORE STOMPIN' LESS TALKIN'
It doesn't help that although the actual worlds themselves are fairly fast-paced and relatively engaging, once you leave them you have to find the Heart Pillar to open the next world, sort out whatever other mandatory quests need solving, and do all this horrible looking around boring town areas to find some new ability. I know it's meant to make you get more use of your gained abilities, but that's only fun when you're in danger of being murdered at the same time. Plus all the floors of the town look similar, and half the time when I think I'm meant to find some new nook/cranny, I just have to revisit a place I've been to before and do something new. Frustrating and unrewarding!
But, yeah, despite all my whining, I'm still enjoying the game. Just not to the extent I wish I was.
Transformers Universe finally showed up in stores; Toymaster in Stewart Miller, to be precise, but they're still for the goddamned £13 price that every UK sales place has them for, even though they're meant to be £10 and are retailing for $10 in the US of A; not to mention there was only one Prowl and four Sunstreakers, and no Octane or those big dudes. Regardless, I had to give in to my Prowl lust, and here's my review.
IT'S PROWL YOU GUYS
The stability is rather awkward and I haven't sussed out how to turn him back into a car since you practically have to cram every limb and orifice back inside his body again, but still, lovely looking figure. And it's EFFING PROOOOOOWL
Seriously, that's what I keep saying every time I look at the figure.
As much as I wanted to loathe it to all hell, I enjoyed The Dark Knight. I loathed Batman Begins, and found very little redeeming value from it outside of Morgan Freeman's performance and Alfred, so I was all geared up to feel the same about the sequel.
The problem is that The Dark Knight totally changed the formula, and is way different than the first one. Instead of the ludicrous ninja Batman and half the male cast looking alike and the rather dull villains, this just gets you some explosive Joker action, throws in the typical psychological Batman battles and, you know, makes a movie that would've made a better first impression than the movie that came before it.
Joker was kind of superb, but the whole internet's saying that, so I'll move onto more interesting comments: Pissing and whining! Batman's voice was growly in the first one, but the growlitude was increased all the way to 11 in this one. There's obviously better things to whine about, but seriously! Despite the craziness of the Batmobile, the Joker's crazy schemes and all that jazz, the movie seemed relatively sane until that crazy stupid mobile phone shit was brought in at the end. As an eavesdropping device, fine. As a Spider Sense CGI demonstrator? Not so good, and really pretty stupid, especially when he didn't even need it anymore yet still had it impair his vision during the Joker's fistfight. And Harvey Dent's decline into Two-Face was kinda cool but his care for whats-her-face didn't really seem like much until he went kookoo, though again, the kookoo aspect probably caters for that bit. And yeah, I had no idea what he was doing by knocking over the oil drum. I thought he was trying to drink it and drown himself or something, but I've no idea. Also, isn't it great how it only shows one of Commissioner Gordon's children the few times you see his family before his wife is later told to "flee with the kids," plural? Little things like that, y'know. They bug me. And the length. It works for the story, but not for the action. I've no complaints about the story, but the length is just one of those things that always bugs me. It needed to be that length to get all the story in, but naaag!
On the bright side, the action scenes no longer have spazzy cameras, so you can actually see what's going on. Problem is, all the action scenes seem to have impromptu conclusions. Batman jumping out the window to save the girl who later dies? I was expecting him to run back in and finish that shit off, but no, you don't see how Joker leaves, if the police arrive or anything, it just goes to the morning. Oh well.
I still enjoyed it, though, and the psychological theme worked for me, so as much as I'd like to be edgy and spiteful, it wasn't a complete waste.
Due to a small donation to Scary-Crayon that I was really just using to make sure PayPal was working, Wes got me a bit of that plug action going!
(I should learn some new Japanese words to use for generic exclamations of excitement. Like Suteki!)
As evidenced by the fact Scary-Crayon is linked to right on the front page (and, you know, I donated to it), it's a pretty swell place full of articles, reviews and ramblings written way better than I could, and with it having a fixation on toys, games and a bit of sci-fi, it's no wonder I'm in love with the place! Check it out if you haven't already.
And hopefully I'll actually get around to some new content around this place. I never even got around to that pissing and moaning about how much Death By Stereo sound like audio shit! (probably for good reason)
Ten days into August already? Man, fuck time. U'm making a stand you gusy 'yhear
i want my time back assholes
i'll beat your asses to reclaim my cocktail dress wearing time
i'll beat you out a window
andyo yur little dog too
(believe it or not, i'm juust extreemely tired, not durnk. hilarity!)
(no srsly. tiredness.)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army rocked my socks a fair amount. I won't try pretending it was sophisticated entertainment, and will simply state that it had lots of action, lots of monsters (costume monsters!), and lots of ass-kicking, plus the main duo get drunk on love and listen to Barry Manilow. That's me satisfied.
"Bumblebee's always ready for action!"
"Starscream will blast anyone who gets in his way!"
Ah, the Animated Activators biographies are great in their simplicity. The figures themselves are pretty rad too, even if Bumblebee's flap hands are a bit distracting. If only the Movie line's Fast Action Battlers had been at this size, then they wouldn't have been so redundant.
I spent the morning playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl and watching cartoons on Sky. Completely ignoring the need to work is a joyous activity.
Channel 627, KIX, seems to contain nothing more than Spider Riders, Zorro: Generation Z and strangely enough, Transformers. I thought it was a misprint or one of the Unicron Trilogy shows or even Transformers Animated, but nope, it's the original Generation 1 cartoon! Watching it on DVD feels fine, but watching it on public television somehow feels wrong, and maybe a little dirty. Spider Riders is something I'd almost like to be interested in, being a collaboration between Japanese and Canadian studios, but it's just horribly generic and, much like the Art of Fighting movie, filled with hideous pauses in sentences so the lip-syncing remains intact. Not to mention the fact that it's kind of shit. Like a lot of anime! Zorro: Generation Z I didn't see an episode of, but the trailer looked like it was spliced from every piece of bad animation ever, so that was a major turnoff. The official trailer looks a bit nicer, but yeah, I'll give it a miss.
Best of all, they show Mario cartoons in the evening! They were showing the Milli Vanilli episode of Super Mario Bros. 3 a while back. Bodacious.