Sunday, August 31, 2008

Awgh, Aww, Aw Yeah: Awgust 2008

Hey guys, how was your summer? Mine was pretty good, as I did a lot of things. One of those things was NOT keeping up with my blog update schedule! Ha ha!

But I'm back, because I do still really like the idea of having a regularly maintained blog where I write about all the things I enjoy (and some things I don't but still apply to my nerdy, sexy interests), so here I go again! And dang it, I'm gonna keep picking this internet horse back up until I'm satisfied I've gotten things right! Or, you know, till my laziness consumes me more than my interest in this does. Anyways!

I'm going to kick this bitch off with a little experiment that I might turn into a monthly thing if I enjoy it enough. It is called Awgh, Aww, Aw Yeah. Basically the post will consist of something this month that annoyed me or that I thought was awful (Awgh), something that was adorable and/or really sad (Aww), and finally, something that was really freakin awesome and most likely my obsession of the month (Aw Yeah!). That way I get to write a-plenty and you, the reader, get a nice varied serving of emotions on a single e-plate! So let's get this started and see how this goes.

Awgh: Tim Buckley's Drama Comix, I mean Ctrl+Alt+Del

I know I'm way later than the rest of the internet when it comes to complaining about this, but the obnoxiousness has been back in full force lately so I'm going to do it anyways. Now, I don't hate this comic as much as the average person on the internet who enjoys hating things, but it's definitely not one of my favorites. It's actually pretty good stuff on occasion, but more often that not it just seems to be lacking a few things. Like, you know, effort. And especially recently, humor.

Up until a few months ago, it was a pretty basic gaming comic about gamers who say witty things about video games and also occasionally play them. You had Ethan the crazy eccentric witty gamer, Lucas the realistic down-to earth witty gamer, Lilah the female witty gamer, and Zeke the wacky robot who makes robot jokes but also mostly acts like a human witty gamer. When they weren't saying witty things about video games, or doing witty things involving video games, they'd have mostly light-hearted story arcs that focused on their own lives. In one of these arcs, Ethan starts dating Lilah, and he eventually gets engaged to her, and then he impregnates her. And at that point it was kind of weird, but okay this can still be a good comic, he can have a son or something and the series wouldn't neccessarily turn into "Parenthood Phunnies".

Well uh, Lilah has a miscarriage. The author writes an accompanying journal post about how his ex-girlfriend had a miscarriage and he wanted to use his webcomic as an outlet to vent see how the situation would affect his own characters. Well I dunno about the characters, but the whole thing has affected me terribly. Especially when the robot started getting involved. Why did the goofy robot character have to play a part in the EXTREMELY SERIOUS miscarriage storyline!? It was so awkward and terrible.

And even after that, I tried to find optimism in the situation. "Well, maybe the drama's out of his system now and future strips won't be so bad." Turns out uh no that doesn't happen. Not only has the miscarriage created a "terrible rift" between Ethan and Lilah's "precious love", now there's a new storyline where OH NO LILAH'S RICH EX-BOYFRIEND IS COMING BACK INTO THE PICTURE, and OH MY GOSH LUCAS' GIRLFRIEND IS A-SLEEPIN AROUND! GASP! Not only have these plot "twists" been a pain in the ass to read, but they've also been, for the most part, boringly predictable. It's gotten to the point where I feel like I'm still reading comedy, it's just unintentional comedy now. It's turned into one of the many decent comics turned mediocre that I can't stop reading. I try, but I've become addicted, and now I'm doomed to eventually read a comic where at least one of the title characters falls to their knees under the weight of their own despair, every three panels.

Anyways time to talk about things that are cute.

Aww: There she is!!

I'm probably late to talking about this too, since it's apparently been around since 2004, even though I just discovered it. In any case, my "Aww" for the month is this little series of Korean flash animations called There she is!!. You can tell right off the bat that it is an exciting series, because there are two exclamation points right there in the title! I'd highly recommend watching all four installments, because they're adorable. Well actually the fourth one not so much, but I'll get to that in a second.

If you want to know the basic gist of the series before watching it, basically it is about a bunny (named "Doki") who falls in love with a cat (named "Nabi"), in a world where love between the two species is forbidden. The episodes generally involve the antics of the bunny going "Aw I love you let's be in love!", and the cat going "Aw man I don't wanna be in love with a bunny it's socially unacceptable get away from me!", and then the cat eventually going "Aw man I am in love, crap". Apparently it was made as a social commentary on intermarriage between Japan, North Korea, and South Korea, but most importantly it is a cartoon abut a cat and a bunny being cute together while catchy Korean music plays in the background.

The series is supposed to have a total of five episodes, of which only four have been made so far. I hope the fifth one gets made soon, because the fourth one ends on a really, really depressing cliffhanger that completely changes the tone established in the previous three shorts. It's up to the fifth one to redeem that by being TEN TIMES AS ADORABLE, so that BETTER HAPPEN.

Aw Yeah: Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers is a little project, well, more like a huge, year-long project, made by The Behemoth, the team responsible for Alien Hominid. It's a side-scrolling beat-em-up game that basically takes every other side-scrolling beat-em-up ever made, then takes the best elements out of all those games and puts it into a single package. You've got your mounts from Golden Axe, your RPG elements from Gauntlet, your elevator stage from TMNT, and when it comes time to kiss the princess, you have to beat up your fellow players to win the chance to do it, just like in Double Dragon! Also there is a shitload of unlockable characters, weapons, and adorable animal powerups, which all give the game a pretty immense replay value after you've beaten the game once.

Really, I could have given an "Aw Yeah" to Xbox Live Arcade this month in general, since it's been just plain great lately. I mean, in August alone we got the following besides Castle Crashers:

-Braid, this nice, artsy little game with an apparently amazing ending that I haven't seen yet cause I still need to beat it.
-Bionic Commando: Rearmed, a remake of the original NES game, which modernizes the game fantastically. What I've played of the game is great.
-The demo for Star Wars: Force Unleashed, which turned the game from a "must rent" to a "probably buy" for me. You just feel like a total epic badass while playing.

And yet, although Force Unleashed earns a close second, Castle Crashers without a doubt is the most fun I've had all month. The cartoony art style is brilliantly done, and the gameplay is fairly simple but also pretty engaging and addictive. The coup de grace, though, is the game's silly sense of humor. Some of it is over the top, sure, like the fact that there is an entire level dedicated to pooping forest animals, but the juvenile humor is crafted in such away that it definitely works in the title's favor. Every time I play through the game again, I find a new goofy little thing that makes me giggle. Sure it has online issues and other glitches and bugs, but those'll be fixed soon with a patch, and even with those flaws it's already one of my favorite games out of the ones I've played on the 360, hands down.

So yeah, that was my month. I laughed, and I cried! And uh, got angry I guess.

Bye! Read more!