July 2011

Who’s ready for round two of Repository of Random highlights? Here’s part one for anyone that missed it. But before all that…

So I Pissed A Stripper Off

Previously, I passed along my favorite recent posts from GameSetWatch, and again must reminder everyone that there’s TWO sites that I contributed towards full-time (hence why this blog gets barely any attention these days).

Though also once more, most of what I post is there is for a mainstream audience… but that doesn’t necessarily mean I post mainstream stuff. Guess it falls within that range, generally speaking. Then there’s times in which… well… here’s my faves from that end:

- Witness not just one, but two girls dressed like Laura Croft pole dancing! And then scroll down to the comments section, where I get yelled at by one of them.

- While everyone was off, enjoying fireworks and hot dogs for the 4th of July, what was I up to? Busting my hump and doing my job, that’s what. Mostly cuz I enjoyed the 4th on the 3rd (that’s when John‘s BBQ in LI was this year).

- Okay, clips of folks going up to fast food drive through and grabbing ice cream at the top? Whatever. But dressed as Ash from Pokemon? Now that’s funny.

- Naturally I had to post about the nude Sylvia Christel viewer in the Japanese version of No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise somewhere. BTW, here’s a far better, and more detailed look at the goods.

- Her name is Keisha Fabo and she is every Sims’ nightmare.

- The game Audiosurf is ultimately only as exciting as your music folder. Well, do you have any mp3 files from porn inside?

- Okay, pretty much everyone and their moms know already that Freddy Krueger is coming to Mortal Kombat. But don’t care, reposting anyway; it’s all I could talk about at last weekend’s Anamanaguchi show.

- Her name is Lara and she likes to play video game music on her violin, often dressed as a character from the same game.

- And finally, the first of several reports from all the press events that’s been happening in NYC as of late, kicking off with Namco Bandai. Am only rebroadcasting it here simply because even I can’t believe what an Ace Combat fanboy I’ve all of a sudden become.

Oh, and a few extra GSW links, new ones since last time:

- Only three hours left to go to fund Robots Love Ice Cream. Cuz anyone who has the box of U.N. Squadron for the SNES on his desk while making games surely deserves the support!

- For fans of Jet Set Radio and Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (which everyone said was really good, but Marc Ecko telling everyone at GDC how they’re assholes and how amazing he is after just one game under his belt left a bad taste in my mouth), here comes another that deals heavily with graffiti culture (why there aren’t more, I still don’t get either).

- Even though Mega Man Legends 3 fans aren’t making the games themselves (even though Capcom said it was totally cool… more or less), they’re still trying to get the project officially restarted, and thus far things are going great I guess?

- And using an old Chris Crawford game to understand the nuclear meltdown that happened in Japan after the earthquake and tsunamis.

Okay Am I Being Cursed By God 4 Fingers A Girl’s Butt?

Anyway, enough with the plugs (hey, the only way I’m going to keep my jobs is if folks know about and check out my work, so please, click those links), cuz it’s time for…

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07/29/2011

158. Glasses. (part one of three)

by Matthew Hawkins

EDIT: So much for getting back on track; been almost a month since my last update, after suggesting that they’d be more frequent at last. In my defense, the following was supposed to go up last Saturday night. But I did something stupid to the backend, and have been so swamped with work that tonight was my first chance to really roll up my sleeves. Anyway, am keeping things as is for various reasons (mostly laziness) and just dropping in edits whenever applicable…

“I see you’ve met Karl.? – Bit Shifter

I could have never predicted, when 2011 first began, that things would be so radically different in just half a year’s time. I use (and overuse) the word “crazy” a lot, but there’s really no better apt description… these are crazy times for pretty much everyone, myself included.

Apologies for being vague and overdramatic; as previously noted, this ain’t the best place to dig into personal (as well as professional) drama, but I will say that two weeks ago today saw something finally coming to a head. Since then, I’ve been trying my best to get things back on track, which hasn’t been easy since, again, so much is happening.

… Along with a totally unforeseen clusterf*ck in the past few days alone, but again, less said the better! Anyway, highlights from the past few weeks include:

- A chiptunes dance party in which I learned about the current state of Gargoyle (you know, the old Disney cartoon) fandom, some guy who’s annoyed by orcas constantly talking to him (he’s apparently from my hometown, big surprise), and other bits of furry related info.

- My very first taste of alternate reality gaming at long last, which took place in the financial district and was completely driven by text messages. A few of the characters I ended up interacting with included a very friendly Albanian dry cleaner and a nervous investment type that gave a speech about heroin at an Irish bar.

- Saw Harry Potter 8 (before most folks, not to brag, but power of the press and all… or more so, knowing someone that actually covers such stuff and who had an extra ticket). Not sure what else needs to be said, since everyone’s seen it by now, except the obvious: holy sh*t was Emma Watson hawt.

Still, in many ways, nothing will ever top Hermione in part 3. And yes, I know how old she was in that, deal with it. Though speaking of the press…

- Attended a couple of functions, Namco’s, EA’s, and Sony’s to be precise, with Microsoft later this week. EDIT: which actually happened last night! Cannot wait/will be mortified to finally see footage that Steve shot of me playing Kinect Disneyland; hopefully his iPhone fell on the subway tracks on the way home. Anyway, back to what I had typed up originally….

Okay, going to bitch about work after-all, mostly to see how many folks are actually paying attention: it’s bad enough that I’m always the guy who asks all the questions whose answers end up in everyone else’s reports. But when the moment of truth comes to finally get my hands on the controller, and said folks then pull the “sorry, I need to step in cuz, I’m from like a big site & I have a deadline to meet” power play? Best part is when the PR person apologizes afterward, though there’s none need, since I know the deal (plus they’re just doing their jobs).

The knuckleheads that start blogs just so they can crash the party and beg for games are equally tiresome, though thankfully I had no unpleasant encounters with anyone carrying around a wrestling belt (this particular time at least). On the plus side, finally got the chance to meet Jonathan Mak, who was demoing his new PlayStation Vita title, and Robin Hunicke, on-hand for Journey, at the Sony thing. Was also kinda impressed by Shadow of the Colossus HD! Perhaps some of you might have caught me bitching about Team Ico and Kojima Production’s stuff being beefed up for the PS3 at GSW some time ago. I’ll be explaining myself over at Guyism in the days to come.

- BTW, not everyone who writes about games are annoying douchebags; also got the chance to get drunk on a boat with Tracy (by far the best damn female game journalist working today, FYI) and her bf Jesse (and an equally rad photographer, also FYI). Definitely one of highlights of this summer thus far. EDIT: just to make it crystal clear, Steve is definitely NOT one of those folks I was bitching about earlier as well. If anything, I’m the idiot for constantly distracting him with pro-wrestling chatter. But hey, the CM Punk angle going on in WWE at the moment is seriously the best thing they’ve had going in like ten years!

Oh, and something else from a press function that I just remembered: can’t say what I played just yet, since it’s still under embargo, but had to check out a first person shooter earlier this week. As most folks know already, I can’t handle FPSs for any length of time, due to motion sickness (it’s an Asian thing). It mostly depends on the game; the better the frame rate, the longer I can last, but the best I can do is maybe half an hour. Well, I knew going in that a lot of time would be spent on this just one title, but had no idea that I’d be asked to play for an hour and half! Came dangerously close to getting sick at the thing. But anyway…

- Finally got the chance to check out The People’s Improv Theater with Colleen! Rather odd, considering what a Upright Citizens Brigade Theater diehard I used to be, especially during the days Ali Farahnakian reigned supreme (and whom I became a fanboy of). Even now I don’t understand why I never bothered to check out the place he established after his exodus at the time, though I certainly feel stupid for being late to the party; a single show illustrated why I no longer bother with the UCB. For one thing, the sketch groups I saw were totally devoid of the token hot chick whose not at all funny and only there cuz everyone else in the troupe wants to bang her. Me thinks the PIT will be my new regular hang out spot!

- My apartment almost burned down, no joke. There was a fire directly next door that I basically ignored at first; smelled something funny one morning while doing work and didn’t think of it, until about 10 (no joke) fire trucks all arrived outside my building. My heart immediately sank; the last thing I needed, in the midst of dealing with stuff, was for all my shit to burn down. Then came the dreaded “jesus, what do I take with me if I really am going to lose everything?” train of thought. Which was my MacBook Pro btw, and not any of my little plastic ladies, contrary to some assumptions. Thankfully it got contained real quick and got to enjoy watching my super freak out as the firemen unnecessarily destroy windows (they, they like breaking stuff, it’s one of the few perks of their job).

- Been using OS 10.7, aka Lion, since day one. The verdict? A f*cking mess, there’s really no way getting around it. Sure, Mission Control finally unifies Expose and Spaces quite nicely and elegantly, plus there?s a bunch of neat flourishes, but many of the core elements of the overall Mac experience is hopelessly broken. Never-mind how buggy and unstable Preview and TextEdit have become (which I guess can be dismissed since anything under .0 will be wonky… though both were quite rock solid ever since the early days of 10.0, and remained as such until the final days of Snow Leopard, so not sure what the hell happened), nor the ill conceived attempts at bringing iOS-specific behavior into OS X, which can ultimately be turned off.

For reals; all the gestures one needs to remember and keep straight is a joke. But no, what really pisses me off is baffling level of retardedness as it pertains to how you’re now supposed to interact with your work, and how it also bogs everything down, literally. Because the idea of quitting an app and having your work be right there when you restart, even if you didn’t save, is great… if a program accidentally crashes. But sometimes (most of the time actually) you quit a program and want whatever you were working on to be nuked. Basically, you have to now think about quitting in a specific manner so info that you don’t need anymore doesn’t follow you around. Which an obnoxious waste of time and energy. Further, this constant keeping track of everything slows everything down.

Again, the idea of working on a TextEdit file and being able to see every little change you made up till that point via Time Machine sounds great in principle. Yet, much like Google Wave, in practice it’s impossible to actually do, and thus rendered pointless. Ultimately it’s the core belief behind such a system, which is that the user is retarded, a stereotype that Windows users have had for years, but is finally validated by Apple of all folks. Further proof is taking away the Library folder in the Home directory (it’s actually hidden), which absolutely reeks of Microsoft. Or maybe it’s for the best, because if everyone had access to all the stupid files that keeps track of every minute action, which again slows the computer down and hogs space, they’d be pissed.

Wouldn?t be shocked if the performance loss is yet another passive aggressive attempt by Apple to have everyone upgrade their hardware, and given how my MacBook Pro is not even a year old, screw that noise. Sorry, but I am not going to buy an admittedly faster, yet 50 times smaller and 100 times more expensive solid state drive. Which Apple bloggers love cumming all over themselves whenever the topic comes up. These are same people, btw, who have been Lion’s biggest evangelists. And I probably wouldn’t have any problems either if all I did all day was swipe back and forth between desktops like a monkey and just launched Reeder.

At least I now only have one POS OS on my Mac; original plans of having two operating systems, both numbered seven, vanished when I attempted to log into Windows 7, right before upgrading Snow Leopard. Simply wanted to check out a game real quick, but couldn’t do jack thanks to MS’s absurd implementation of updating their crap. After being forced to sit idly for almost an hour, did a hard reset and wiped the sucker out. Sucks, cuz that means no Touhou Project and assorted other indie games for me, though to be completely honest, the only things I ever played in Windows was creepy hentai games.

- Moving on, went to another chiptunes dance party, the big Anamanaguchi show in Brooklyn last night to be exact. They seriously never sounded better, though the recent audio upgrades at the Music Hall of Williamsburg certainly helped I guess. Was also nice see Mia‘s debut as a chiptune visualist (she didn’t actually do any of the actual programming, but contributed much of the actual art used). Though I also wanted to check out the poster that Cory and Mar? did for the show in the flesh…

… Even though it wasn’t advertised, Attract Mode was definitely in the house! Though oddly enough, the best part of the entire evening? The bagel crisps.

- Which also means I’m not in San Diego at the moment, for Comic Con. Sucks, cuz it would have been the perfect chance to hang with so many ex-NYC pals now living and working in LA. Anyhow, here’s a little something Hilary just passed along from the show floor…

Yes, My Review Of Horny House Of Horror Is WAY Overdue

Enough beating around the bush: I realize many have been expecting a New York Asian Film Fest report by now, especially since it wrapped up a good whiles ago. Unfortunately, I’m still not ready quite yet. As a result, I feel supremely embarrassed and also guilty. Not only because I’ve dropped the ball two years in a row now, but due to how the Subway Cinema guys (those ones who run the fest) totally hooked me up; I should have easily had half of my reporting up before the firm frame hit the screen.

Once more, apologizes. Though it has been nice to know that so many folks actually care what I have to say about a bunch of Asian flicks that most will never get the chance to see… which I guess is their point. I promise everyone that I’ll have something next time! Along with my also way overdue Child of Eden review. lulz.

“… There is no way on Earth that Aeris would ever fall for a sociopath, anarchist killer like Joker.?Just wouldn’t happen.?

Meanwhile, hopefully everyone has been keeping up with me over at the new job, aka GameSetWatch 2.0 (and also the main reason why updates on this end are so infrequent). For those that might have missed them, some notable/favorite recent posts of mine:

- Google does WarioWare.

- Star Fox via puppets and David Bowie.

- Sakura (from Street Fighter) X The Ring?

- There’s nothing more that I love than animu chicks crossed with WW2 machinery.

- For those of you who have the 8-bit tie, how about some 8-bit glasses

- The latest from Justin Wallis mixes chiptunes, DSi photography, and his usual cute drawings.

- An augmented reality version of Pong.

- At long last, the ending to Shadow of the Colossus made clear.

- A documentary about a Japanese fighting game tournament in which the winners are sent to take on America.

- Duke Nukem Forever X Nyan Cat?

- Another healthy does of all the game related crap I stumble across on Tumblr

- A video game tribute, via some fried chicken joint at the San Diego Fair.

- The folks behind Professor Layton and is making a hostess game?

- The record for the lowest possible score in Super Mario Bros.

- At last, games based off of Bollywood flicks.

- 31 days of Samus.

- The next wave of Uniqlo X Monster Hunter.

- Basically, if you die, so does part of the game.

- Disaster Report fans rejoice: the series might live on after-all.

- I could watch Tim Schafer hanging out with Cookie Monster all day long.

- The creator of Mega Man as a special attack in a JRPG.

- A look at how how very different the Super Mario Bros Movie could have been.

- 375 of you fave characters, all Mega Man-ed out.

- The Legend of Zelda X Magic: The Gathering.

- The creator of Katamari now lives and works in Canada.

- Part one of my Game Plays 2011 report.

- There’s only one game related Twitter to follow and it is Peter Molyneux 2.

- Have you heard: Snatcher is coming back… in the form of a radio drama?

- About damn time: the very first commercially available in America otome title is on the way.

- It’s Mario teaching English… to German school kids? And by robbing banks?

- Ubisoft X Nyan Cat?

- For those of you who haven’t heard, Mega Man Legends 3 has officially been canceled. Sorry, but called it like ages ago. BTW, I also note in this most recent post that Capcom basically said other could continue working on the game, even on a legal level, something most others have missed!

- I’d totally love to wear this Famicom shirt, but don’t think you can

- For those who also haven’t heard: Suda 51′s latest game involves cheerleaders, zombies, and chainsaws

- Also about damn time: a video game by Deepak Chopra.

- A Lepos video game might actually be happening?

- iam8bit is about to make a super-sized comeback.

- Meet the 99 year old Japanese woman who keeps her mind sharp by playing Bomberman every single day.

- Part two of my Game Plays 2011 report.

- Hey, remember that game in which the gameplay consisted of flipping over a table in the fit of rage? Guess what: they made a sequel.

- Final Fantasy X Batman. And hey, bonus video time! The follow had to be removed from the post, due it being NSFW, since GSW has standards and al. Not here!

- It’s not just a video review for a SNES flash cart, it’s a seventeen minute long video review for a SNES flash cart.

- For both brand new parents and fans of Yoshi’s Island everywhere.

EDIT: and here’s my most recent stuff, since again, this list was originally produced on Saturday…

- Problems with the architecture of the hotel in The Shining, as demonstrated in Duke Nukem. I still can’t believe I was allowed to post something from The Labyrinth of the Psychonaunt!

- It’s a gaming shirt should appeal to both Fallout fans and med students studying psychology.

- So how are you spending your summer? Well, this guy is teaching his robot how to play DDR.

- Not to toot my own horn, but I believe I’m doing a fairly decent job over at GSW, though I’m particularly proud of myself for reporting the King of Fighters X the NBA

- My second Tumblr dump for GSW for the month (only two? yeah, I know)…

- I wish I was in Vega right now, for EVO 2011, but mostly to pick up one of the new Meat Bun shirts that’s debuting there!

- The Legend of Seinfeld: The Ocarina of Nothing.

The Dog Has A Gun And Refuses To Take His Medication

Back to Tumblr, cuz it’s been such a long ass time since I last presented my hand-picked highlights of internet lol, via my Repository of Random, me thinks it’s time for another!

BTW, I realize how silly it looks, to bitch about not having enough time to file a NYAFF report, yet still being able to post and repost nonsense literally every 20 seconds. But hey, when it’s literally your job to scour the web for wacky game related content, you’re going to come across plenty of equally wacky non-game related goodness. Thank God Tumblr makes it easy so to compile and distribute…

… More to come!

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07/01/2011

Face The Facts

by Matthew Hawkins

Today’s second attempt at a Coney Island sojourn was successful! Just got back from a quite relaxing afternoon and evening spent with Joe and June; mostly chilled on the beach, went on one of the new rides, had way too much Nathan’s, played some skee ball and Ms. Pac-Man, checked out the Coney Island museum, almost got a Koko the Killer Clown shirt, discussed future projects, plus got sun burnt. Even got the chance to finally set foot on Beer Island; the place as a whole is definitely superior when it’s not insanely packed, like on most weekends.

Wanted to take pictures, but traveled super light, on account of not wanting sand to get into everything. Thankfully the iPhone’s camera is superb, but it’s almost impossible to see what you’re shooting under direct sunlight. At least this came out. Anyway, had such a great time that I’m going back tomorrow! To check out some wrestling thing, at the stadium, to be exact. Though my mini-vacation came at a cost; am behind on various things, so might have to pass on seeing Ric Flair in the flesh. On the plus side, that means I’ll be around to catch the midnight screening of Horny House Of Horrors at the NYAFF.

Anyway, real quick, forgot to pass along last night: I mentioned my most recent Kickstarter update, in which I apologized for the delay, explained what’s been going on, and offered a new timeframe for completion (the end of August). But I forgot to actually pass along the link, which is here. Furthermore, I also passed along the final cover for the upcoming zine, which I’ll do so again here…

… Seriously, isn’t just beautiful? Again, props to Farel and Cory!

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