Monday, February 28, 2011

Dillon's SAW

So folks! I have finally decided what to make an article about. Welcome to Dillon's SAW, Story A Week. Each week of my 3 part experiment I will come up with an idea or look at a writing prompt and write a story around it. I am having an idea block so, writing prompt it was! This week's prompt is:

The story is about infidelity, the main female character is a paramedic, the main plot device is a pair of boots, and it takes place in a jail cell.

Friday, February 25, 2011

FLCL Will Make Your Collection Whole

-A DVD Review by Darris Pratt-

Final Box Art - FLCL: The Complete Series

Imagine your favorite TV show or movie. What do you like about it? The characters? The plot? The art style or design? Maybe it's the soundtrack you love?

For me, it's all of these things, and in one series. FLCL is a six episode series that demands you to view it more than just one time. It's a series that makes you learn more about the people involved; the artists, the studios, and the musicians. It's a series that makes you understand why every little thing is done for a purpose, and that the smallest noise or action from a character has a meaning. It's a series called FLCL.

Mamimi, Naota, and Haruko

For people that don't know the story, or haven't seen the show, here is a small description. FLCL is a story about Naota, a young boy tired of the immaturity of those around him. Immaturity from his older brothers ex-girlfriend, immaturity from his Father and Grand Father, and immaturity from a stranger that is thrust into his boring, uninteresting town. This stranger crashes her Vespa into Naota, and then after making sure he's still alive, bashes him in the head with her bass guitar. This gets Naota directly involved with a giant corporation, aliens, and robots that start expelling themselves from his head.

A tad confusing, but that's the point.

It's a interesting relationship.

The music for this anime is a very high point. It's all done by the Japanese group The Pillows, and it fits the series like a glove. Every single scene is filled with their music, very subtly easing your brain into the actions occurring on screen. The style of The Pillows is very ranged; from slow, strumming, and silent, to fast-paced, crazy, and intense. The music will stick in your mind throughout every episode, up until the last, action packed scene.

The music makes the scene

This re-release of The Complete Series has been a long time coming. It had been released at one point, but it was a very limited release, making the copies that were out there run for upwards of $200. When it was announced that Funimation had picked up the rights to the series, they then announced that a DVD and Blu-Ray release of the series was on the way, making many a fanboy such as myself very happy.

The series is all on one disk. It includes the original Japanese audio track, as well as the English one, and includes subtitles. Extras on the disk include: Director Commentaries for every single episode, anime videos for most the The Pillows featured songs, the full "Ride On Shooting Star" music video shot by The Pillows, and the Textless Closing video.

They packed so much content into this one disk that I was a little disappointed that there wasn't another disk with even more extras, but the price I paid ($17.99 on Amazon) was well worth it.

Mabase, a town where everything is normal

I've been a huge fan of FLCL for quite a long time, and I've always wanted to be the proud owner of it. I've wanted to have it on my shelf, to have it in my collection next to my Cowboy Bebop DVDs and my Evangelion collection. Now that I have that chance, I've realized it was well worth the wait. It has aged so well, it felt as if I was watching it for the first time all over again.

Well, at least I like it more than old bread...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Year of Zelda - Week 1

The 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series is tomorrow (In Japan). To celebrate this milestone in such a fantastic line-up of video games, I have decided to play through every game in the main series, starting with the very first game for the NES, 'The Legend of Zelda'.

As I started to play this game, deciding ahead of time that I would not complete the game 100%, but just beat the game, I could not help myself. I've played this game so much as a child that I knew where all the secret locations were and how to get them.

So, I've changed the rules for the year.

I will beat every Zelda game in the main series 100%. I will find every important object and collectible in every game.

Lucky for me, the first game only has a few items to collect. So, lets get started!

The title screen for the first game.

The Legend of Zelda was released for the Nintendo Famicom in Japan on Feb. 21, 1986. It was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System over a year later in the US on Aug. 22, 1987. Although it wasn't the first adventure game ever made, it was an amazing game for its time. In the game you play through 8 different dungeons, solving cryptic puzzle along the way. I started playing about two days ago, and beat it 100% about an hour ago.

As you start the game, you stand outside of a small cave, with 3 paths leading in three different directions. You don't start with any weapons or items. After walking into the cave, an old man gives the the message, "It's Dangerous To Go Alone, Take This!", giving you your first sword.

There are three swords you can get through the game; the first is a sort of wooden sword, the second is the white sword, which you can obtain once you have 5 heart containers, then the magical sword that you get after having 12 heart containers. Each sword gives you more and more power. As soon as you start the game you can get the first sword after gaining a bit of money.

In fact, if you can get the bombs early, there is a lot you can do before even getting into the first dungeon. With the bombs, you can get to the areas that give you early heart containers, making it a snap to get the white sword right off the bat. Also, you can get into the special caves where "It's a secret to everyone!" to nab two early bumps in your money, making getting the blue ring easy as well. With the blue ring, your tunic goes from green to white, and you take half as much damage.

With these upgrades, taking on the first dungeon, The Eagle, is extremely easy. After beating the boss at the end, and obtaining your first piece of the Tri-Force, you're on your way. You need more money to buy the blue candle, but it is well worth it, as it allows you to burn trees on the overworld map to find even more secrets. Doing so will even bring you to a dungeon very later on, the last before taking on Death Mountain.

So, after beating The Lion, getting your last Heart Piece and last Tri-Force piece, you can finally go to Death Mountain, and this dungeon is huge. The most important items to find in here, though, are the Red Ring, and the Silver Arrow, as its the only item that can defeat Ganon. So, you get the arrow, find Ganon, then lay down some whoop-ass, delivering the final blow with the silver arrow. He turns into ashes, leaving his Tri-Force of power behind. In the next room, you find Zelda, and finish the game.

After beating the game for the first time, there is an option to play through the game again, but where the dungeons are a bit different, but I think this playthrough is enough for me.

Next time, Zelda II. Zelda II is a much longer game, and will probably take me much more time, but I found it to be a very fun game as a child, and can't wait to run through it again!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Assassinate your Thursday: 17 February 2011

Ahoy, those who would ask how the practice on Thursday went; here is a literary masterpiece brought to you by me explaining all there is to explain about our hardcore adventure into assasin land, just like Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja!
Oh, how I miss you Chris Farley.

Look at how great we are? We did good off the bat, we had a good warm up and Ryan did awful.
Look at those points! Seriously, we're like the greatest team since the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team! Look it up.

Ryan got kicked, and then we rolled. The two other guys on the opposing team left before we rip their eyes from their heads! Yay! Yeah! LEET! 1337!

And then this shit happened. We were beaten by a better team. Seriously, at the beggining we were rolling them left and right and they STILL maintained a positive lead on us, it was rediculous and we did a damn good job, I thought. The simple fact was they were just plain better, there were no tricks or travesties we simply need more practice and a rematch.
Last match image courtesy of Darris's cell phone. We won, of course.
Overall we had a good run but only practice and getting the rest of the level perks and abilities will give us the ability to properly formulate our strategy for tournaments.

Side Note: Let's imagine for a second that the human spirit is an incredibly complex and powerful thing that is not bound by laws of simple religion or philosphy. Let's imagine that the spirit defines the world around it, that the energy and flow of life and the abundance of it all are all connected within the weave of the universe. Let's pretend that a spirit defines it's own afterlife, shall we?
I'm bringing this up because I was thinking today about Christianity and insanity. If someone is insane and commits terrible acts, does that person go to Hell? The thing about being crazy is that you don't know that you're crazy, you're inflicted with an ailment and though you may do horrible things does this tie your soul to an eternity and Hell fire? What if your mind is so corrupted it actually bleeds it's poison into your spirit?
A child molester can not help his condition. He is attracted the object of his desires and he can not help it, thus the insanity. Yet, if a spirit was so corrupted and no fault or sin could be found within his own mind would he go to a Heaven filled with victims? What of the serial killer, the rapist, the conspirator, the glutton, the traitor, who hold no remorse for the way that they have lived? Just some food for thought. And to balance it all out:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Terrible Google Image Comics - 2/18/2011

I was told to make a fantastic comic this week, so I set out to do so. I came up with an idea, sketched out the layout for it, got the text boxes where I wanted them to set, and then set out to actually draw the thing. That's when I realized, "Jesus Christ, I will never finish this thing if I draw out each frame." Here, just look at the first frame:

This took me hours to do. It's shitty and it was for a shitty comic. It was at that point I decided to redo the whole comic using google images to make most everything, because fuck it, I'm lazy.

Here's the abomination I crapped out:


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reach for the Tuesday: 15 February 2011

Another Tuesday Halo practice for the books and a glorious day for Raptor Inc.. When you look upon these results I want you to smile and think of all the good we do for the world by spending our free time playing video games. Sure there's hungry homeless out there and children that need mentoring but you know what? They're homeless for a reason and those kids need to learn for themselves that AIDS is forever and heroine only leads to being a celebrity and making all your wildest dreams come true.
She knows.

Why hello there first round of the evening! Dillon took a good lead and we did surprisingly well considering we had no warm-up and we rushed right into ranked play. We may have been playing against people who play with their controllers in their mouth. A Type 2 gamer if you will. More on gamer types in an article to follow. I got 7 assists this round, I couldn't kill shit but dammit I was a team player.

We had a good strategy the whole day, stay close to someone. If you got seperated from a team mate, you get back as soon as possible, don't worry about them coming to you, you go to the group and hold fast, find a choke point and let the other team beat themselves against it.  

The placings were the same as the first round. Dillon was sick this whole day and we have found he plays better when he's closer to death. When we play a tourney I'll be sure to poison him before the game and promise the antidote only upon a performance I deem worthy of life. We had a good 10 point lead in the beggining and then began to dick around and almost lose but we won anyway. If you're Blue and on Pinnacle than you're garunteed to get all the power weapons before Red team except for one sniper rifle so that doesn't hurt either.

The most interesting match of the day was our final match. We got all cluster fucked at the begining because no one called out what weapon they were going for like we usually did, we kinda just went with it. Needless to say we ended up holing up in one of the bases (we were playing on Asylum) and go with our usual strategy. When we started to break Dillon had the fantastic idea to sneak around behind the enemy team without telling anyone and attempt to assault them on his own with a brash display of daring heroics. He was murdered. When I asked him what he was thinking he responded: "I got this".
 We kept the fight up in an otherwise close game, it should be noted that Darris tried to pull a Dillon lone gun manuever later in the match and we had to ask him if had become Dillon, to which he offered a resounding no. We beg to differ. This was a clan match by the way. And the other clan? Look at the results.
Overall 'twas a a damn good day. I honestly think we got lucky but hey, we took out some rival clans and had fun doing it and that's all that matters. Viva la Raptor Inc..

Side note: I was thinking today about things that I hate and chihuahuas came to mind. I fucking hate chihuahuas. Any person who claims one of these creatures is a sad being indeed. You only need one of these rat shit things if you want something that could possibly be more pathetic than your own sad existence. They piss and run at the sight of anything bigger than a soccer ball, they bark like a smurf cracked out on ice, and they feel like a wriggling, twitching sack of epileptic slinkys. Fuck you, that's a damn good analogy. Oh, and they're disgusting bug eyes give me the creeps. I make sure that if I am ever forced to be around one of these creatures I wait until we're alone then I kick the living shit out of them. Then giggle my mother fucking head off.

I hate you so much.

Monday, February 14, 2011

For The Love Of It

How is it we love?
a common connection from one person to another?
perhaps its all just chemical
perhaps its all just mental
you've seen it all before
Very strange, love is
a feeling of drowning while lying in bed
love can bring amazing joy
even in the darkest of days
never the same for more than a moment
though, it can be measured
in how sick we feel while our love is away
now that we know it has gone
every time
so how does this feeling connect us all?
Dreams? secrets? hopes?
all of these things are connected
you just have to know its there

Valentine's Day is an interesting holiday we celebrate, is it not? It's basically just a day for stores to sell you more chocolate than usual, but it does have a deeper meaning than just commercial. It's literally a day we honor love. Love with someone we care about or treasure. Not the kind of love you give to just anyone, but to someone you share the moments of your life with. Its a time of reflection with all the people you love or care about, without having to shell out, like at Christmas. Valentine's Day is the one day love gets more appreciation than ever before.

And I love chocolate.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Psychology of Video Games

So I've been noticing lately how well we do in video games compared to how/who we play. There is always that study that shows red team is more likely to win over blue team due to the surprise and quick reaction to their color, usually drastic and inaccurate, thus causing the opponents to flail a bit and giving red an advantage over the calm colored blue team.


But lately I've been noticing in our Assassin's Creed practice rounds that we play best as the character we like best. If you look in the article below, you'll see that Frankie does best as the priest, his most used character, and finishes first. I have similar results in that when I played the doctor, my favorite character, and finished first. Darris, being varied, is hard to compare, but he used to play as the Hellequin a lot, and, as the score shows, he did much better playing as her. Ryan's score never rose above 4010, but we also did not play as one of his characters (the engineer I would say).

Doctor is Better

This applies in most video games, if you play a faction you don't like, or a game mode you hate, you tend to play worse, even if you think you are giving your all and are trying to play without apathy. Color has a role in Deathmatch mode as well. If you like green but hate purple, you will be better as green but worse as purple. Same with opponents, as well as yourself. If you like the green and are used to it, you may have a slower reaction to it, putting you at a disadvantage, but, if you see purple, you just may hate it so much you are better at killing it, but this may lead to the red team problem and you flail and miss frequently.

You Will Always Suck as Purple

In ways, it's just like real life. If you are working with someone you like, the job will get done with more quality, but with someone you don't, it will be rushed and poor. Fighting someone you hate can get you better results, if you take it smoothly. All in all, it's just like your elementary school teachers told you, if you like who/what you are, you'll like your results.

This Guy Knows It

The Dragon's Cave

So, this idea came from a text I sent to Frankie, when he asked me to tell him a story.

"There once was a knight and, being a knight, went into a cave to fight a dragon. He met the dragon and, as it reared to breathe fire, he held his shield high. He was incinerated. The shield was wooden."

He said it should become a comic and thus this was born. I would release my mediocre version and he would redraw it into an epic version is the plan. Oddly enough, this is some of my best drawing in a while, especially the dragon view. I noticed the time and said, "Oh shit! I forgot to put in fire but don't have to time photoshop some or draw some!" and thus I cut some out and put it in. I am still deciding whether or not to color this, it's weird, though expect improvement.

Side note, I have an article coming up, on some of the psychology used in video games. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Assassinate your Thursday: 10 February 2011

So we've split up practice the last two weeks in a bit of experimention. Not like your sister with this:
But experimentation in the sense of seeing how many types of game practice we can forcibly stuff into the asshole of a week. Much like your sister and the item shown in the picture above. You see? We do have a lot in common.
Thursday is AC:B day. We're better at this game than we are at Halo but we play both. You following me? Good. Now pay attention and keep up, won't you? In this game it's all about the quality, not the quantity, obviously we fought a team of 3 and rolled them a bit even though they had almost the same amount of kills. Ryan got more points than Dillon this game which is weird because he was trying to poison shit the whole time and failed miserably but that didn't stop him. Nothing can stop ol' Ryan. He's like the the glue. We are like the shoe box. Together we form a diaroma. Of awesome. In the elementary school class of badassery.
Check out the super sweet blurry action cam shot! We lost this one, in fact I did terrible. Why did we lose? We were running around like idiots and not working together. You can pull positive on defence if you work together in this game and beat the shit out of your pursuers but it's hard to do if one guys running on top of bookshelves, another is masturbating furiously in a cart of cherry leaves, the third guy is on Twitter, and the fourth bloke is getting stabbed repeatedly in the neck.

Round 3. AC:B doesn't have a ranking season like Halo so we basically play until we had our fil. Ryan was pretty pissed at himself at this point but we still won.

I got booted from the fourth round so you'll have to trust me when I say we won. In substitute here is a meme. Can you answer the question? Even if you think you can you're only lieing to yourself. Asshole.

Not much to complain about here, could work a bit more on team cohesion but over all we do pretty good.

This was our most quality round in my eyes. We dicked around a bit but in the end gave the other team a damn good thrashing. Final thoughts: Aside from communication and a bit of a spotty warm up we're a pretty good team and I know once we get to tourney's we won't have to worry about AC:B. And so I leave you with this link to NOOOOOOOO!!! The Super Cut. Enjoy.

A Time to Remember

While looking over my gaming library today I noticed something. I have just about every 'Legend of Zelda' game. With Skyward Sword, the newest Zelda title slowly approaching, I've decided that I'm going to go ahead and play through every Zelda title, except those rubbish CD-i ones. That means both NES games, Link to the Past, both 64 titles, and all the Gamecube titles. I will also be doing each of the hand-held titles as well, just for good measure.

I WILL BE PLAYING THROUGH EACH OF THEM, ALL THE WAY THROUGH. I will not be going for 100% in each game, but I will strive for a good run, and document every step, as we get deeper into the year.

The list of game's I will be playing and posting about include, and in order:

The Legend of Zelda
Zelda 2
A Link to the Past
Link's Awakening
Ocarina of Time
Majora's Mask
Oracle of Season
Oracle of Ages
Wind Waker
Four-Swords Adventures
The Minish Cap
Twilight Princess
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks

Thats 14 games in total, all documented, played, and commented on in the coming year, so look forward to that! I'll start next week with The Legend of Zelda!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Reach for the Tuesday: 08 February 2011

First game of the day. We suck. No literally. From the get go our cohesion was shit, we had no direction and we spent more time arguing with each other than actually playing. Dillon was basically carrying the team which was inexcusible because it's fucking Dillon. I am pissed at this point.

Oh look we pulled it together to win a game! We are up against a shite team on Cage, we held down the castle center of the map and worked together to pull off a clean victory. Red took the lead about halfway through the match and I thought we were lost but good communication and the ability to poke an eye ball out of our assholes saved the day. Not to mention power weapons.

Rolled. That's the only word I can use to describe what happened to us. We're good, don't get me wrong but we're not COMPETION good. We're the kind of good that happens from playing video games all our lives and can twitch off some good shots, but when it comes to competitive play we're not all there. I believe this is because A. We don't get into the game. B. We argue with each other more than we talk strategy. C. We have no plan. These are issues to look over. The Blue knew where we were at all times, pinned us down at out spawns and made sure we could never regroup in time to fight them off. We would focus on one and then get pummeled from a different angle. The assist count says it all.

We could have one this one, we were up against 3 guys who only had the jump on us because they knew where the power weapons spawned. We were playing on a map we didn't know (Anchorage) because Ryan didn't have the map pack until tonight and we basically got out equipped. We were Native Americans fighting off the American Army. Didn't work. Don't you bring up Custer's last stand on me, that was a fluke. Fuck you. I hate you all. Thank the Gods Thursday is AC:B practice.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011