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Everything posted by tegan

  1. So I was discussing this with Sno the other night: it's no secret that The Simpsons has become increasingly played-out and desperate over the years and only continues to exist due to a combination of increasingly hackneyed gimmicks (look forward to the death of a mystery character plus Family Guy and Futurama crossovers this fall!), the complacency of Neilsen families, and sheer momentum akin to that of a corpse being rolled into a ditch. But what is the definitive nadir of the series? The single worst moment; be it the moment most characteristic of the show's faults, the point of no return for the way its characters developed into hollow two-dimensional caricatures of themselves, or simply the most tasteless and conspicuous marketing ploy. I encourage discussion, but open by nominating a few examples: Lisa the Simpson I choose to open with the potentially controversial choice of an episode from the tail end of the Classic Era of the show, but I feel its an exemplary example of the way the show would perform character assassinations and then codify their replacements as the real deal, Invasion of the Body Snatchers style. This episode had potential as a story about Lisa growing as a person, or learning to be more tolerant of her less intellectual family, or overcoming a frustrating rut in her life. Instead, Lisa learns nothing and is told, in very matter-of-fact terms, that she is genetically superior to the rest of her family. Let that sink in a bit. Since this episode aired, every time Lisa -who has traditionally been the writers' liberal soapbox character- has a difference of opinion with anyone in her family, it's presented with the understanding that Lisa is naturally always right and that her family is naturally always wrong. On top of just making her plain preachy and annoying, she's been robbed of the ability to learn or grow from failure or ceasefire the way she did in, say, Lisa's Rival or Lisa the Vegetarian. Treehouse of Horror XXII Treehouse of Horror has become almost a seperate entity from the show itself, always garnishing significantly higher ratings than the rest of the season since even the most jaded fan will usually tune in out of sheer morbid curiosity (myself included). Naturally, like the main show, TOH has also gone downhill and drifted ever further away from its roots, with this being perhaps the most distant from the core concept of TOH. The episode is divided into three parody shorts based on parodies of the likes of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Dexter, and Avatar; which, as you may notice, are not even remotely Halloween or horror-related AT ALL. There's also an overly-long intro sequence based on 127 Hours and the first short quickly devolves into a half-baked Spider-Man sketch. The thing about parody is that you have to choose source material that's either extremely timely or has been accepted into cultural canon, and you have to be on the nose. This does neither. The chosen sources for each sequence were well past their sell-by date (127 Hours had come out a year previous, Avatar 2 years, and TDBATB and Dexter about half a decade) but weren't old or memorable enough to be considered classics, and there's a flagrant lack of understanding of the material that makes it irritating for anyone who's seen it and boring for anyone who hasn't. The TDBATB sequence loses steam halfway through and turns into Spider-Man (because we all remember the Turn Off the Dark injuries, right?) once the writers realize they can't squeeze blood from a stone. Double Double, Boy in Trouble "And did someone say 'long lost triplets?'" I don't even have anything to say about this one. I think that promo art speaks for itself. This isn't the first time that a deliberately bad episode premise was joked about in a previous season and then made reality, either. See also: Moe getting a cell phone, Selma marrying Grandpa Simpson, and robot Marge The Tik Tok Couch Gag Apart from the shameless Top Fourty sycophanty and network interference (this originally aired during a special "music week" on FOX where every show would have a musical guest or sequence), here we have a prime example of modern Simpsons' complete and utter lack of understanding of who its characters are and what they stand for. Take a look at which characters they chose to lip-sync for the sequence: Lisa, Groundskeeper Willie, Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers, Mr. Largo, Otto, Nelson, Moe, Marge, Comic Book Guy... None of these characters should have any interest in a vapid pop song about partying. Like, at all. These characters you love are dead, and now you get to see their corpses puppeted around Weekend at Bernie's style to sell iTunes downloads. In conclusion, The Simpsons is a land of contrast. Thank you.
  2. For stupid bullshit that's not really worth making a thread/dredging up an old thread for. So I realized last night that it's really weird that we're calling the Wii Fit Trainer "Wii Fit Trainer" in Smash Bros. Why doesn't she have a name? Giving concrete names and personalities to semi-obscure characters that really only serve as instructional guides is kind of a traditional Nintendo thing.
  3. I looked around, but couldn't really find a catch-all thread for sharing books and other writing about games. StoryBundle is currently doing a big bundle of great books about games. It's all DRM-free and sold in the same beat-the-average price structure as Humble Bundles. Oh, and you can donate a portion of what you spend to Pixelles, a non-profit initiative for women in games. I picked it up last night. There's some stuff in there that I'm really looking forward to reading (having peered just a little bit into the abyss of Wisdom Tree, I'm very interested in jumping into that), but the real standout here is Ray Barnholt's Scroll magazine, which I'd been wanting to nab for years now after hearing him talk about it during his many appearances on Retronauts. If you beat the average, you get all 12 issues for half the price of the ebook edition of the magazine, so it's great value anyway, and I love Barnholt's dedication to covering very off-the-beaten-path games and companies. You want an interview with the My Summer Vacation guy? Got it. You want to know more about Japan-only original Xbox games? It's covered. You want to read about Artdink, the developers of No One Can Stop Mr. Domino for the Playstation? There's a whole dang issue about it. Really great stuff.
  4. I figured we needed a catch-all GB thread because we generally have a lot of GB discussion, but cluttering up other threads. I just wanted to start off by saying two things: 1) Last night's GB Unplugged was tremendous. 2) Metal Gear Scanlon 3! So good! I can't wait for the ladder sequence. Not for honour, but for Drewwwww. 3) So does Danny O'Dwyer work there now or what? I mean, I know he still works for Gamespot, but he's just there seemingly all the time, even as a seemingly permanent fixture of the site thanks to Danswers and the DnD campaign.
  5. We need a thread for those little moments you can't help but capture. To get the ball rolling, presented without comment:
  6. We're all nerds here; let us discuss science fiction television shows from a quarter of a century ago. So I'm a pretty big MST3K fan, and as part of my ongoing project to get the entire video contents of my harddrive working on my HD box I ended up redownloading the entire series this week and watching it again. I always preferred Mike, but right now I'm going through some of the really early Joel stuff and it's often much better than I remembered it. I've heard a little of Rifftrax, but it feels weirdly more hollow when I can't put goofy robot faces to names and when all of the pop culture jokes are references to things that actually happened in my lifetime. Also as part of my organization efforts, I tracked down scans of the DVD art for every episode that's been officially released and I'm making custom thumbnail art for the rest (which is most of them). It's tough work but oddly soothing.
  7. HOWL O'WEEN (Halloween)

    ITs MO'FUCKIN HALLOWWEEN I fucking love Halloween, which is why I'm making this thread a month and a half early. I need to cram in as much terrible pumpkin-scented crap and as many Halloween specials and old monster movies as possible. What's on everyone's agenda/playlist? I either have or would like to watch the following before Halloween season 2014 is over (open to suggestions): ☑ Dracula ☑ Frankenstein ☑ The Mummy ☑ The Wolfman ☑ The Invisible Man ☑ The Creature From the Black Lagoon ☑ Bride of Frankenstein ☑ Young Frankenstein ☑ Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein ☑ The Monster Squad ☑ Night of the Creeps ☑ Ghostbusters ☑ Sweet Home ☐ Hausu ☐ Beetlejuice ☑ The Thing ☑ Alien ☐ The Whisperer in Darkness ☐ Creepshow ☑ Little Shop of Horrors ☐ Trick R Treat (this movie is great and I wish more people would watch it) ☑ Treehouse of Horror I-VIII, plus the new one if it's out by then ☑ at least one episode of The Real Ghostbusters ☑ a whole shitload of Scooby-Doo probably ☑ and also some Gravity Falls ☐ It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown ☐ "Night on Bald Mountain" from Fantasia, at midnight on Halloween. It's tradition.
  8. Splatoon is Ink-redible

    It sure is! So this is the best thing Nintendo's done in a long, long time. As someone who normally never plays shooters, I'm strangely really good at this? I played a dozen or so matches, only lost once or twice, and was pretty consistently the MVP despite usually being the lowest-level player. Neat. NNID: UnitNumberFive in-game name: teg (19.2% Sno? You can do better than that)
  9. Keiji Inafune is Kickstarting a new game that does a greater service to Mega Man than anything Capcom has done with the character in years. It looks fantastic and it's gaining a thousand dollars every few seconds.
  10. To combat all the stress and depression everyone seems to be under lately, I propose a thread consisting entirely of gifs of baby animals. I guess videos and still pictures are acceptable too.
  11. Cartoons!

    As a counter-point to the anime thread, a western animation thread! I've been watching Adventure Time recently. I watched the first season ages ago and didn't really think it was anything special, then finally gave it a chance again starting with "What Was Missing." Turns out it's really good! I think what I like best is the really gradual world-building that's going on. Any other show would insist on making it a big dramatic reveal that This show just kind of lets you gradually come to the realization yourself by making it gradually more explicit without really drawing attention to it. The recent "Simon and Marcy" really kind of hammered it home by Also Marceline is the best character and that episode with the fucking deer is the creepiest goddamned thing I've ever seen in a kids' show.
  12. Makin' a new thread 'cause I don't want to clog up the 3DS thread or rename the X/Y thread. So a bunch of stuff just got leaked from CoroCoro and posted on Serebii. Here's the rundown: New Mega Evolutions for Diancie (what? Diancie's not even released yet...), Sceptile, and Swampert. Mega Diancie is still Rock/Fairy with its ability listed as "???," Mega Sceptile is Grass/Dragon with Lightning Rod (what?), Mega Blaziken we already have, and Mega Swampert is Water/Ground with Swift Swim. Not gonna lie. New Swampert looks pretty ridiculous. Such tiny, tiny little legs. Also: ACRO BIKE CONFIRMED. Trainer redesigns are based on Emerald, so I assume this is actually going to basically be an Emerald Remake in much the same way that HG/SS assimilated a bunch of Crystal stuff. I quite like these new designs. The shoes are dumb, but never again will Brendan's hat be mistaken for hair. Note the new "Mega Bangle." I love that the Team Magma grunt uniforms remain pretty much the same while the godawful Team Aqua grunt uniforms got a complete overhaul. I hope these guys are still complete idiots. Also, new admins for each team. Steven "I collect rocks and rock accessories" Stone will have a Mega Charizard X and have a new storyline about hunting the secret to Mega Evolution. The only surprise here, to me, is that he has a Charizard. That's not rock-related at all! Not Mega Aggron? Not a new Mega, like, I dunno, Metagross or something? So here's the big thing people were wondering about: the cover legendaries are indeed new forms for Kyogre and Groudon. I guess they`re supposed to be a new thing called "Ancient Devolution," with the new forms being referred to as Primal, Prehistoric, or Primeval Kyogre and Groudon. No idea if this is considered a Mega Evolution or a Form Change or what. Oh well. Neat. So that's that! I'm guessing this stuff will all probably be seen at E3.
  13. So, as you may or may not know, Super Metroid -a game which is now old enough to legally drink in Canada- just came out on the Wii U virtual console for thirty cents this week. Miiverse integration has provided an absolutely fascinating look at two types of players: Veterans who are breezing through and using screenshots to show off their sequence breaking techniques Kids playing for the first time and being either astounded at how good the game is, or are completely lost and keep asking why metroid cant crawl Personally, I'm a huge Metroid fan. I never played the games at all until a few years ago, when the Metroid Prime trilogy came out for the Wii. I would have been nineteen at the time. Since then, I've played Metroid every time I feel hopeless. My playthrough of Prime 1 was over the period where I came out and my social life went to hell. I didn't finish it until some time after I had left home. A long period of unemployment followed that, where I got through every major game (I skipped the second half of Metroid 1, plus I skipped Prime Hunters and Pinball); with the last game I finished being Super Metroid. Playing it now (in a suitably hopeless time) feels entirely different from playing it that first time. My mental process has changed from "now what's the next part of the map I need to go to" to "look at all of these places I can go to!" The game has become a completely different animal based entirely on skill and experience, and that is rad. I'm excited to see where this goes.
  14. General queer thread! ...Sententia made me do it. SO! This week DOMA and Prop 8 were both finally killed, which has been a pretty big deal. Less talked about, though, was the fact that infamous ex-gay group Exodus International not only closed forever, but issued a formal apology for basically ruining peoples' lives for 37 years. So yeah! Big week!
  15. HP Lovecraft

    So I was listening to that episode where Jake talks about The Bloop, back before it was identified; where the thumbs briefly talk about HP Lovecraft. Lovecraft is hit or miss for me. On the one hand, "The Colour Out Of Space" is the secret best Lovecraft story, and possibly my favourite horror story ever. The idea of the invasive alien force being a previously-unknown colour so perfectly encapsulates the way Lovecraft used the inherent vagueness of print to induce terror; that he wrote not about the unknown, but the unknowable. On the other hand, stories like "The Thing on the Doorstep" or "The Outsider" are pretty lousy or reductive versions of other horror writing. He was also pretty shamelessly racist, even for someone of his time, and it makes his work borderline unreadable at times ("The Rats in the Walls" features a very unfortunately-named black cat, named after his actual cat, that gets mentioned by name in like every paragraph). Just the same, I figure there's a good likelihood that there are some fans around here. Side note: I've always hated the single piece of artwork that they always crop and use for Lovecraft book covers, because it uses incredibly generic imagery to try to convey a very unconventional type of horror writing. I always joked that it looks like a metal album cover. Then I found out it's from an actual metal album cover. Welp.
  16. Lego is Still Cool

    Time for Lego with Teg-O. So I know it's kind of dumb, but I'm still a big fan of Lego. It's one of those rare toys that actually becomes much better as an adult when you's better at figuring out things like aesthetics and engineering. Last night before bed I suddenly thought of a hip joint that would let me make bigger, better, more stable robots, and this morning I put it into practice on a base frame. So far so good! I'm gonna' need more joints and I have no idea how I'm going to flesh it out (probably gonna' need to buy a whole bunch more plates, so I might make my first-ever Lego bulk order once I figure out what I'm gonna' do with it). One thing I thought of too is that now that I'm building a bigger robot, I finally have the space to make more articulate hands. Again I built up a quick framework as a test run. The fingers can't quite flex as far apart as human fingers can, and each is missing one phalange for space-saving reasons, but the thumb is fully opposable and each finger has a fairly wide range of motion. Unfortunately it may be too big for this particular model. Oh well. I may be able to truncate it down into something more manageable, and if not it was still a good experiment. Today I'm gonna' be doing a toy store run to see if I can get my hands on some older sets with parts I'd like at a discount, plus I know that Chapters is having a 20% off thing right now, because Chapters sells Lego for some reason. Wish me luck!
  17. So there is a new SSB game coming out. Two new games! One for 3DS and one for Wii U. Naturally, I predict that the full title will be "Super Smash Bros. F3UD." Now that we've got the bare minimum of concrete visual information about the game, it's the perfect time to talk about it and make wild predictions! TRAILERS! WEBSITE! Observations and Speculations: Every time one of these games comes out, I'm always struck by the graphical fidelity on display with Mario's character model. When Melee came out I was all "YOU CAN SEE THE TEXTURE OF THE DENIM IN HIS OVERALLS" and now I'm all "YOU CAN SEE THE STITCHING IN THE BRIM OF HIS CAP;" but in every case, he still has a hilarious rubber mustache. I really, really like the inclusion of Wii Fit Trainer. I'm always hoping for more female characters in SSB, and Wii Fit is such a perfect, uh, fit for the series. It's a popular and recognizable Nintendo franchise and the character's portrayal is the sort of self-parody that Smash is known for. She seems to handle like Zero Suit Samus, too, which was one of my favourite characters in Brawl. Mega Man looks rad as heck and I'm glad that they're sticking as close to the NES design as they possibly can, particularly focusing on Mega Man 2. Rush seems to be present too. I think Rush probably works like Sonic's spring did in Brawl. The Yellow Devil's present in some capacity, too, which is cool. The best part of the Wily's Castle stage is that it still retains the Wily Castle Mystery Pipe. The Animal Crossing Villager is on the same level as the Wii Fit Trainer for me in terms of cleverness. The only things that bug me aaaaare... 1) I just know that axe is gonna' have limited uses. 2) it seems like a missed opportunity that they're advertising using the male Villager. Animal Crossing is ridonkulously popular with women. I'm sure the female Villager is in there as a costume option or something, but she's not present in the promotional material at all. I get that they're probably concerned that the type of players who like Animal Crossing might not like a fighting game, but the whole deal with Smash Bros. is that you don't play it because you like fighting games. The genius of Smash is that you play each character as though they were in their own game. For instance, if you've never played Smash but you HAVE played Metroid, you're going to get a handle on using Samus pretty quickly because you know exactly what to expect from her moveset. If you're not playing professionally or with jerks, Smash is very inclusive. 3) dude planted his trees way too close together in that opening bit. Some of the gameplay footage shown clearly demonstrates Mario using FLUDD again, just like in Melee, which is a fucking weird thing to bring back but okay. I am okay with this. Mario Sunshine HD confirmed? (probably not) They seem to be going with a very slightly modified Twilight Princess Link again. He's using the TP Bombs, Hylian Shield, Master Sword, Hero's Bow, etc. He even has the arm brace thing. Kind of odd considering that they've got Skyward Sword Link now. Even with Wind Waker being rereleased, I don't think Toon Link will be returning, since Spirit Tracks Link appears to be a background character in the 3DS version of the game and it would likely be too visually confusing. I'm willing to bet that, if there's an alternate Link, it'll be the the Link from the new 3DS game. LTTP style Link sounds like it could be pretty swag. Samus is wearing the Other M Varia suit rather than the Super Metroid Varia suit that's been in a constant in Smash since the first game. This might mean she'll play differently from the heavy, clunky Samus of Brawl; since the Other M version of Samus was notably more agile and melee-focused than Samus usually is. Hopefully Adam will authorize the use of smash attacks. I'm glad that Final Smashes are back, but I really hope they rebalance some of them. I remember playing against my friend when he used the Landmaster on the OG Mario Bros. stage. Turns out it's exactly large enough to stick in between the top two platforms and can't move out of that position! obligatory Pokémon speculation: Lucario kind of sucked. I predict that Mewtwo comes back, but it's in that weird new form they introduced for X and Y. I expect Sonic to return since Sega's all buddy-buddy with Nintendo right now; but probably not Snake. It would be unfortunate, because I always felt that Konami understood the point a lot more than Sega when it came to the third-party characters in Brawl. Snake has the hilarious codecs and all kinds of wink-wink-nudge-nudge stuff in Subspace Emissary (eg: ), whereas with Sonic felt like a corporate agreement. His reveal trailer was just him beating up Mario for three minutes, he only appears at the very end of Subspace Emissary (showing up to save the day at the last minute); even in the UI stuff his franchise is always capitalized for some reason.You know how there's that awkward bit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are skydiving? That's in there because Disney and WB would only agree to lend their characters if they shared exact the exact same amount of screentime and screen real estate. That's how Sonic feels in Brawl; like he's there on contract rather than for fun. Sorry to rant. Namco-Bandai is helping out with this one, so they're probably going to put in at least one Namco-Bandai character. The realist in me says Pac-Man. The optimist says Klonoa. The pessimist says some fucking Tekken character. Tegan-approved speculative additions: either Malo from Pushmo or Dillon from Dillon's Rolling Western for modern franchise representation; female alternate costumes of characters with female counterparts like Villager or Pokémon Trainer; Bayonetta perhaps since that's an exclusive now, at maybe a Wonderful 101 character; someone from Fire Emblem Awakening; retooling of clone characters like Ganondorf to make them more distinct; Luigi finally gets the goddamned Poltergust; Toad (bonus points for removing Peach and adding an additional Toad); Shulk and possibly another party member from Xenoblade because why not; obligatory retro entry will probably be Little Mac; Chibi-Robo to account for the bizarre announcement of a Chibi-Robo special edition Wii U and recent surprise revival of the character; Jill from Drill Dozer because she's rad; another character from one of the single-representative entries like Metroid and F-Zero; some rejiggering of Captain Olimar to incorporate Rock and Flying Pikmin; and probably another Kid Icarus character. That's for starters, anyway. Gradually attempting to pull Jake back in.
  18. I figured we needed a catch-all thread for Nintendo Directs since they come fast and frequent and usually get shuffled into the 3DS, Wii U, and business threads. There's a new one tomorrow! I predict Splatoon, Mario Maker, maybe a little Xenoblade, and not a whole lot else.
  19. There's so much interesting/terrible crowdfunded crap these days that I figured a catch-all thread was a good idea. Mighty No. 9 is getting a second go, in case you missed it the first time around. Their first goal is to fund full English voice-acting for the game, which we can only hope lives up to the precedent set by the Mega Man series. Or if you're not into Mighty No. 9, you can fund this guy's potato salad.
  20. So there's a neat-looking Kickstarter going on for a game called Chroma Squad. It's a turn-based strategy game with the framing device being that you're actually filming a goofy Japanese superhero show from the eighties. So you're never managing more than five units and you have to keep things like your effects budget in mind, etc. Right now it looks charming, if rough, but I'm interested just on the virtue of having such a nonstandard setting and theme. I figured that you guys might appreciate it more since everyone else here is a strategy dork.
  21. Life

    About a month ago, I had a job interview with Sears. They told me almost immediately that I got the job, then spent weeks waiting to get back to me about when I'd start training. I finally started just last week, and just this morning I got fired before even working a single shift. Apparently I didn't ask enough questions during training and decided that I "have no personality." I have some suspicions that they might have looked at my medical records and fired me based on my sexuality or clinical depression, but obviously that's just speculation. It took me months to find this job and I was counting on it to get me out of debt. The only income I have now is from my Patreon. I'm way behind on my rent and bills and I don't know how to explain this to my landlady. I just wanna cry.
  22. And it is amazing and beautiful. Maybe actually worth the half-decade wait.
  23. Life

    I have a whole lot of things on my plate that I'm stressing over, and yet all my little insecurities keep bubbling back up anyway. I came out to a friend the other day, and even though it went really well, deep down I feel like I've ruined it, and now it's just a slow familiar wait for everything to go wrong. Every single person I've ever told has eventually come to hate me. My own parents couldn't bring themselves to love me, how could anyone else?
  24. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    So I bred this shiny Drifblim but didn't fully flesh out what I wanted to do with it first. Here's what I've got so far: Drifblim lv. 100 Bold EVs: 252 HP/252 Sp.Def/8 Def. Unburden @Red Card -Recycle -??? -??? -??? Available Egg Moves: Memento, Destiny Bond, Disable, Hypnosis It didn't get perfect HP, sadly, and I deliberately bred it for a crappy Attack stat. It pairs well with things that set hazards, but can't set hazards itself. Suggestions welcome!
  25. Mad props to Drew for being able to void laughing for 18 minutes in one take. Unless it took more than one take, in which case mad props to Drew for being able to eat multiple bags of Red Vines in one go.