Max Ernst

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Everything posted by Max Ernst

  1. Only Nick knew the glory of Wetrix:
  2. Sometimes games are meant to be scary. Sometimes, they aren't, but you are terrified anyway. This thread is for those games that put you in a situation that make you terrified, even though there is little chance that the developer intended them to. I'll rattle off a few of mine: Whenever I am swimming in water and I can't see clearly. Remember in Half Life 2, and you were on the coast, and you went to swim out far and the little jibblet fishies ate your face if you swam out too far? Awful and horrifying. Also, the rad fish with cool-guy shades in Super Mario 64? Horrible and scary. Whenever the game breaks and I clip around the map. This just feels so disconcertingly wrong. I played GTA IV recently, and I climbed through a window and fell through the map. It was awful. Awful, awful awful. Whenever a character model starts flipping out, I feel like I am watching a David Lynch film and it's not Dune. This gross video is a good example of it (1:53) Whenever I am running from something and I am running toward the camera. It isn't fun but also it can be very scary even though the context could be as innocent as a pie chasing a young boy who is trying to stay healthy. That was a bad example, and probably a worse game if it were ever developed, but I don't like doing this. I yell progressively louder the closer the chaser gets. Birds are meant to be silly enemies but they are real scary. I guess developers use birds as an entry-level enemy, because what bad-boy protagonist is killed off by a beak? They aren't meant to be scary, just annoying. However, a flock of birds swarm at my character's muscle-head, and I am on the floor wimpering. If you are a developer and you ever thought "woah, if we had a flock of birds attack the player they would think "this is easy because I have a gun and they are dumb animals". What player progression. Also, lets make them shriek because loud noises are charting well at our focus groups", then you are a bad person. Doesn't matter what kind of bird either. The titular character from the Sega Dreamcast game Seaman. When the human race dies out and is finally judged by God for the sum of its actions, this will be our downfall.
  3. Books, books, books...

    The new Franzen book is so bad I hope it makes people realise Freedom was garbage and the Corrections was pretty awful.
  4. What's your stable of staples?

    I still jump in Team Fortress 2 from time to time and play it mindlessly. I like listening to music at the same time and it's a good way to unwind. Otherwise Age of Empires 2 or Grow Home. I don't play many other games because I don't really play games much anymore!
  5. Books, books, books...

    I'm reading The Bell Jar, which I have resisted because it has become shorthand for COLLEGE ANGST. It's actually super legit!
  6. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Beats Radio is actually pretty neat and I like Q-Tip's show a lot. The St Vincent show is pretty good too but nothing can top the conversation she had with the 7 year old girl in the first episode.
  7. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Bad news of the day: the song they released isn't very good
  8. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I am reminded of this dreadful AV Club article for whatever reason. Also that song is really good and the first Clams instrumental tape is really solid. New Protomartyr record out soon so I am going to play their last record on repeat to get ready. Here is the cool single/video:
  9. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Also I'm listening to the Disintegration Loops a lot because its so good.
  10. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I think Shyne part 2 is probably his strongest effort but I really like the new record a lot. He's an important voice, and I'm glad to see Clams get more work.
  11. Books, books, books...

    Goon Squad is alright but the depiction of 80s punk rock culture is really off. Bugs me because it is one of my favourite movements in modern music and its such a bummer that a haphazard Dead Kennedys reference is basically the extent of Egan's research. Also, the Nine Inch Nails cell phone songs for babies was really stupid.
  12. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    I don't know why only two of those embeds are working what the hey. Click those links.
  13. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    Hey, I have been on a massive Chinese/Taiwanese music kick thanks to this bandcamp label. Bandcamp is the best service. The best and most well-known is PK14's 1984. This band who has been paying their dues for a long time saved up their cash and got fucking Steve Albini to produce this record. It sounds so great, and the band is firing on all cylinders here. Their music can be described as tightly wound, nervous rock music, but that is a terrible description and I regret saying it already. Here is a good cut (which sounds a little more like Modest Mouse than the rest of the record does but them's the berries): Hedgehog are also cool and good. They are bit lighter pop-indie-rock sound, but they are so great. Here, some kind soul uploaded one of their better albums on to youtube: Another band is Carsick Cars and they make catchy songs that have big guitar freakouts. I am tired and cant be bothered to write more about them so listen to this: This band isn't from this region of Asia at all, they are from Japan. They are called Microcosm, and I can only find two songs of theirs online. I once saw a listing for one of their EPs on Amazon Japan and I would have paid $50 for four songs plus shipping so I declined. This song is amazing and would be your Stereogum number one Pitchfork Best Endorsed Track if it were in English and released on 4AD or whatever: I hope someone here listens to these bands because I spent ten minutes on this post!
  14. Job Hunting

    Oh hey, in February 2014 I secured my dream job after doing a terrible career move and graduating with a Honours in the Sociology and Philosophy of Science. For privacy reasons I would rather not mention the type of work I am in, but I am really happy with it and it basically gives me a lot of opportunity to move forward and upward. Salary is decent considering I have been there for less than two years, and I have a lot of opportunities to move around and soak up as much experience as possible. I just wanted to pop in and say that I get the search grind, but if you studied in school (or even if you didn't), all you need is your foot in the door. It will change everything. Chin up.
  15. Books, books, books...

    Finally reading Stoner. It's very good and I like that its about a guy who avoids dying in the War and does nothing with the opportunity. That's a neat premise.
  16. Recently completed video games

    The entire premise of the game uses Mexican culture/history as wacky window dressing for their mashup of well-established, but still very much sacred, game mechanics.
  17. The Dancing Thumb (aka: music recommendations)

    It bums me out that Vic is chasing some TNGHT horseshit sound and latching on to Ye's worst tendencies instead of sticking true to his instincts and making weirdo rap with that 99 Eminem flow. Case in point:
  18. Recently completed video games

    I just had my first cultural victory in Civ 5 with the Brave New World expansion. It was cool and good and the best bit was when Gogol was born and then wrote Dead Souls in my city.
  19. Recently completed video games

    Ayo you want memes? You want references? Do you like Family Guy? You want the games of your youth? Are you the type to complain that the golden age of games of gone? Boy have we got the game for you. And let me tell you- it's totally random.
  20. Recently completed video games

    It's this gross referential stuff plus the TOTALLY RANDOM humour and the gameplay is twitch retro mashup of genres basically designed to played with your neckbeard.
  21. Recently completed video games

    The video game equivalent of a Reddit thread. I regret every second I spent playing this.
  22. Books, books, books...

    Masters of Atlantis is also cool and good. But Gringos is my favourite.
  23. Books, books, books...

    Hey you guys should read Charles Portis because he wrote True Grit but all his other books are so good.
  24. Fallout 4 — Boston Makes Me Feel Good

    Also this is a good bit of games criticism.
  25. Fallout 4 — Boston Makes Me Feel Good

    I can't wait for the Obsidian spin-off in which the writing is better, the world building has subtlety and recognises that to feel a post-apocalyptic (ugh) world, you need to feel that you aren't that significant- because everything is hopeless. Also remember when the President was a computer in Fallout 3? Remember? That was designed to be a big reveal that MADE YOU THINK. I know I am being super shitty on Bethesda but they build these huge worlds and then ruin them by having people spew lore and exposition at you. All the characters feel like archtypes and all your choices are pretty simple (gee, do I blow up a town or do I let them live, I wonder what the moral choice is's so complex!). It was nice playing New Vegas because the companions were memorable, each final outcome was loaded with complexities and positives and negatives. Do I go with NCR, even if they are a bloated bureaucracy that will slow things down on the strip, but at the same time provide it structure and security? Do you enable House to rule? While he is a paranoid who will do a lot of shitty things to maintain to his rule, the people enjoy a brief bit of respite on his strip and are thankful to have some happy moments away from their shitty lives. New Vegas is a game that created a bleak, sparse world. It gets knocked for not because the tourist-landmark-roadtrip that Fallout 3 is, but that's what I love about it. It's a game where you sense the helplessness of the little communities that struggle to cement themselves among the nothingness. It's a game where you see nothing but sand to the horizon, and then filled with fear when the clean horizon is broken (by what? a ranger? Ceasar's troops? A scorpion? A merchant?). It's a world where people are trying to keep their chin up in the face of the worst living standards, and doing everything they can to hide it. In a world where civilisation has essentially hit the reset button, cultures have approached the rebuilding phase employing a range of ideologies. When these ideologies clash in the context of hardship, their worst elements come forward. Fallout 3/Skyrim posited large, dense worlds ful lof busting towns and communties. When you poke at the edges, you realise how shallow these towns are, with their limited population on a constant loop and barking the same handful of lines at you. New Vegas makes no such assertion- this is a small world, littered with small communities. With the limits of game technology, the realities of game development, and the parameters of the world it suggests, there can be no other way, really. Anyway, I will play Fallout 4 and will probably enjoy it because I like exploring, but it's inevitable shortcomings in its storytelling will be what I remember when I walk away from it. I just wrote all this without an edit or a reread so it hope it makes sense and that I realise I just criticised a game that I have yet to play but I have played every Bethesda game so I don't feel too bad about it.