In case you missed it: remixes of Yuzo Koshiro’s Go Straight from Sega’s classic Streets of Rage 2 are everywhere, and we collected several of the best renditions in The Best of VGM earlier this year. But this mashup with Michael Jackson’s Bad is on a whole other level.
Maybe you already knew this, but Michael Jackson was a huge Sega aficionado back in the day. Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker was a Sega Genesis exclusive, designed at least partially with the King of Pop’s input, and legend has it that a few of his uncredited compositions found their way into various Sonic games (Ice Cap Zone, perhaps?) He also made a cameo in Space Channel 5 on the Dreamcast, which was already completely insane without “Space Michael”.
If chiptune had been a thing back in the 80s, perhaps this mashup could’ve been the true version of Bad, knowing Jackson’s affection for video games. That would be an interesting alternate universe to live in.
When I read it, it seemed like a book that wasn’t supposed to be published.
No apologies: I fall firmly into the “hater” camp regarding Twilight. Everything it does, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was doing better almost fifteen years ago, or had the good sense to avoid. There was no “imprinting” on infants or vampire teeth cesarean sections in the backseats of cars on that show. Sure, Dawn sucked, and Willow’s magical drug addiction bordered on character assassination, but that’s as low as the series got.
With as dreadful as Twilight is, sometimes it can be hard to separate the actors involved, to remember that most of them are above the material or only really in it for the paycheque. Robert Pattinson has done plenty of eyerolling print interviews going on about the crazy-ass fans who have approached him over the years with open cuts asking to be “sired”. Kristen Stewart shares his attitude, she just isn’t as outspoken about it. Even the great Graham Greene was involved at some point – yes, that Graham Greene. Again: paycheques. Fat ones.
So if you’re anything like me, the interview supercut above will make you smile. Watch that, then avoid movie theatres for the next few weeks. With any luck, the storm should be over by the time The Hobbit opens on December 14th.
Not content to call it day with April’s bacon experiment, Burger King has upped the ante: starting this Saturday, wander down to your local BK in Japan for their new all-you-can-eat buffets which include Whoppers, fries, onion rings, and cokes.
Of course, the event is timed at 30 minutes per session, starting the second you finish paying, and you can’t simply stuff a duffel bag full of Whoppers and walk out, either. Though I can’t imagine they would turn away repeat customers, even if they return every half-hour, basically turning into the Homer Simpson of Japan.
Years ago, a friend of mine would challenge folks to eat 10- or 20-patty burgers at McDonalds or A&W, which was always a riot. It would be nice if promotions like this could be transplanted to North America just so I could satisfy those weird urges again, like seeing how many onion rings I can devour in 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic over here would probably result in such a spectacle being greeted with distain. We missed out on the Windows 7 Whopper and the New York Pizza Whopper as well, much to my annoyance. Americans are why rail-thin Canadians like myself can’t have nice things.
Therefore, I challenge everyone on this side of the pond to get healthier. If Japan can get away with this stuff as an occasional treat, so should we!
Welcome back, kids. RAW Rambling this week is brought to you through a thick mental fog, which is what happens when proper sleep eludes you for a couple days. I could wake up one day to discover that I’m suddenly a wrestling booker. Who knows?
What was I saying? Lost my train of thought there. It’s lucky for me that I already write these things in such a haphazard fashion. Get off my porch!
Last time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer WWE RAW: Team Punk became Team Ziggler as the entire setup for Survivor Series was rewritten on the spot to abruptly insert John Cena back into the title picture. There was also a romantic dinner next to a fuse box. Brad Maddox, or “WWE Evil Referee #347”, challenged Ryback for a contract opportunity. Jane Fonda and “the wizard” were the last two people out of Atlanta before it sank. And now the conclusion!
• Randy Orton bores the hell out of me, but they’ve put him against Dolph Ziggler to jerk the curtain, so that’s something. Or it would be something under better circumstances, as opposed to Round 3 (4?) of Alberto Del Rio run-in interference. Do we really have to play that same card every week? If this were one of the games I’d suspect that the random plot generator is broken, stop playing and wait for the next patch.
• Everything old is new again: Theodore Long plays GM for a moment and surprises everyone under the age of ten by making another tag team match. Never think too hard about the WWE’s fictional chain of command unless you want to lose your damn mind. Also, there’s a YouTube supercut for this!
It would also be a great drinking game rule.
• Ziggler points out the unintentional comedy in John Cena going to dinner in his ring gear. Didn’t you know, Dolph? John Cena only owns one set of clothes. He’s like Tom Hanks’ character from The Terminal, but at least he wasn’t stuck with jorts for months at a time.
• Is it too late for us to dub this AJ/John Cena storyline “the fuse box scandal”? C’mon, let’s do this.
• The only way out of this voicemail weirdness that’s been added to #fusebox is to reveal that AJ did leave those messages on John Cena’s phone, but it was “the other AJ”, y’know? The AJ with all the headless barbie dolls or whatever. The AJ who kept us all guessing during the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/Kane storyline, the AJ who put two of those guys through a table and YES’d her way to the end credits, the AJ with a “Summer of” attributed to her. The AJ we liked.
• Two William Regal matches in as many weeks? Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list? If either the BRASS KNUCKLES~! or Tajiri show up next week I’ll jump out of my chair.
• Free idea: have William Regal (the voice of NXT, if you’ve forgotten) resurface in a few weeks leading a third Nexus faction against Big Show. May as well, right? What else of interest are they doing with that title? Nexus could even tear the place apart again, just for old time’s sake.
• If there’s another way to overdramatize the Jerry Lawler situation, the WWE hasn’t discovered it yet. Adding a CM Punk interruption to Lawler’s return speech does however accomplish three things. First: it further cements the fact that the WWE will exploit any situation up to and including near death if there’s a story in it somewhere, while still firing guys for making Kobe Bryant jokes. Two: it lends credence to the crazy moon landing-level arguments about Lawler’s heart attack, which isn’t an element of the fanbase that you want to encourage. Third: it proves that absolutely nothing will get CM Punk over all the way as a monster heel. Lose-lose-lose.
• On the other hand, Paul Heyman is always gold.
• I can’t even remember the last time I saw an eight-man tag match with four teams on two sides. This is exactly why the tag division is the best thing the WWE has going right now: it’s moving things forward, trying different combinations of people and stories in fresh ways, and elevating everyone involved, including a lot of people who really need it. They’re even mixing in subplots from elsewhere, like the Del Rio/Rosa thing. Contrast that with the WWE Title and World Title scenes and you have to wonder sometimes where the problem is.
• Tensai and Brodus Clay should have a battle to decide which giant can sink to the bottom of the roster the fastest. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of them show up on NXT and lose to Seth Rollins at this point.
• Since the Brad Maddox thing seems to have been either a gigantic red herring or a time delay capsule to be popped at Survivor Series, maybe they can keep using the promise of a $1 million contract as a carrot-on-the-stick for Ryback’s future challengers. Or they’ll just redshirt Maddox constantly and keep bringing him back from the dead for laughs, like Dr. Forrester or Axel.
• Daniel Bryan’s jealousy of The Miz tagging with Kane, followed by his half-hearted and vaguely sarcastic cheering during the match, keeps the Hell No awesomeness going full-tilt. It’s also probably the best way to keep Miz’s face turn alive. Go ahead, try to boo anyone connected with Hell No. It just can’t be done.
• Only Michael Cole could get that excited about a Kid Rock/Flo Rida double bill.
• The end of the Punk/Cena main event could be my biggest chain of consecutive facepalms in ages, if it weren’t for the time I spent scrolling through certain Twitter hashtags after the election last week. Too much damage has already been done to Punk’s reign that having him watch feebly as Cena and Ryback play schoolyard tug-of-war with his title belt… there’s comedy in that, but only in the “what the hell are they doing” kind of way. You know those uneasy laughs and pained forehead rubs you see whenever someone drops phrases like “WCW Champion David Arquette”? We’re not there yet, but we’re inching ever closer. Your main championship and the dude holding it should never be a punchline.
That’s all today as I’m groggy enough to be well beyond the help of even the damn finest of damn fine coffee. I’ll see you all next week, by which point #fusebox will surely be trending worldwide on Twitter. So GET ON THAT!
The Xbox Live Indie Games section is a world of infinite possibilities. Eager, hungry game developers from all walks of life, striving to paint their creative vision for you to notice, interact with and reflect upon. Think of it as the video game equivalent of a local art gallery, a small regional orchestra or a newly opened community theatre. Now imagine all of them manned by bored Hooters waitresses while their bosses breath heavily and drool on all the furniture.
Video games have always tried to incorporate titillation, of course. From the infamous Custer’s Revenge to Lara Croft’s obnoxious breasts and Fear Effect 2’s worst implied lesbianism ever, we’ve had our share of shoddily portrayed “mature” subject matter. This is different, however. These games aren’t so much cynical corporate attempts to turn your biological urges into profit as they are pleas for understanding and help from a world of sexual relations seemingly alien to their developers.
Yes, when very lonely people try to code games one handed, we’re left with a weird and often unsettling mish-mash of half-assed gameplay and juvenile sexual titillation. Yeah, there’s the usual Japanese tosh available but make no mistake, it’s not all anime bouncing in these parts. Take a look at the five main categories these oddities come in.
1. Watching Real, Uncomfortable Women Stumble About
Are You Smarter Than A Cheerleader? Here’s a better question: Who actually wants to play a game about defeating the most awkward and uncomfortable looking girls in cheerleading uniforms in 80s cartoon trivia except the most developmentally-arrested toolbag suffering from some sort of nice-guy syndrome stemming back to high school? I’m sorry she never noticed you pining from the doorway, buddy. Let’s move on, all right?
In this category, we’ve also got Hell’s House. “Hi, this is the house belonging to Hell. Do not trespass or Hell will chase you off the lawn with a rake and perhaps will encourage the Neighbourhood Watch to be more vigilant in order to protect his resale value.” This game is the spiritual successor to the Sega CD’s Night Trap and that means everything that it implies.
Why the fuck can I play what amounts to Night Trap 2 in 2012 on my Xbox 360? The Sega CD didn’t fail because there wasn’t enough Dana Plato “interactive movie” video games for it. Is this what nostalgia has wrought? Watching Whatever-Letter-Comes-After-Z list actresses blunder around in nighties?
2. Someone Tries to Craft Their 3D Porn Models Into a Game
Bureau – Agent Kendall is about a furniture sales agent. No, it’s about a large chested secret agent whose shirts pop open a lot while supporting some of the most lovingly rendered cameltoes in video game history. Island Adventure :The beginnig (sic) is a game in which I don’t need to describe anything because you’re still staring at the horrible mutilation of “beginning”, aren’t you? Suffice to say, you get to gawp at a badly rendered model of a woman in a small bikini while making badly spelled innuendo remarks at her as she holds a spear to your throat.
Almost 50% of all video game players identify as women. The average age of a video game player is approaching 40 years old. This is basic demographic stuff. Making bullshit like Incident of Dreamy Vale Church, a game in which you indulge your British policewomen fetish with 3D models as you mow down waves of skeletons is the equivalent of marketing fighting games to spousal abusers. You’ll likely find some strange individual willing to drop the cash but at the cost of an entire demographic.
3. I Drew Some Pictures, Can I Have a Video Game Now?
Some people can draw. Perhaps not at a professional level but they are capable of illustrating a plausible representation of a human being. Luckily, instead of getting together with someone with an idea for a video game they can instead just make their own half-assed title as a showcase for their sketches.
Mystic Forest, pictured above, is a bizarre psychosexual screed masquerading as a visual novel video game. As a project for therapy, it is meritorious. As an allegedly entertaining interactive form of media, it is less so. It really simulates the mind of a misogynistic lunatic as you get to meet evil women, weak women, evil weak women and weak evil women, all while complaining about how they are all weak and/or evil. It is the electronic incarnation of someone declaring their previously wonderful ex to be a complete bastard once they break up.
But not everyone draws as a form of anger management. Let’s Get Fiscal is just someone’s collection of topless girls bathing with people in gimp suit illustrations used to frame a mediocre side-scrolling fighting game. If that sounds too fancy, you can always try out Trailer Park King where you get to chat up boss eyed trailer trash in Canadian flag bikinis as they try and sell you skunks and raccoons. It’s the Edmonton dream, baby!
4. The “Dating” Game
Who’s Gonna Get The Girl? Not the developers of this title if the gameplay is anything to go by. Although I think we can all agree that comparing bodily features to greasy fast food, as shown above, is the single most attractive thing in the world. Girl, you got buns like a BK Whopper, all soggy and lopsided and filled with Grade F meat. Girl, your box is even better than a Chicken McNugget box when they accidentally put in an extra piece. Girl, I liked the way you put that hot dog in your mouth until you, y’know, bit it in half and chewed it up. And so on.
While WGGTG has you pursue a fast food aficionado, So Many Girls So Little Time on the other hand, is a dating sim where you perfect the art of duplicity to juggle multiple partners without each of them knowing about the other. Serious look at a society hostile to polyamourous lifestyles? Haha, no. You’d almost feel bad if the women weren’t depicted as brainless bimbos, even the CEO who giggles “my job is pretty cool” as she lounges on a bed. I’m sure it is, Fortune 500 company leader. Tell me again about nail polish.
5. The Angry Young Nice Guy Virgin Guide to Sex
Indulging in a little dating fantasy land is all fine and dandy but sometimes we all need a little help figuring out what makes real people tick. Virtual Attraction aims to tell you the secrets of what a woman is attracted to. Spoiler alert: You should wear a big hat, be obnoxious and tell her she’s dumb so she doesn’t get any bright ideas about having self-confidence. I hear Virtual Attraction got a sequel, presumably became the woman hive mind has adapted to the original title. Rotate phaser frequencies, gentlemen, and attack again. Assimilate this!
A combination of dating advice and dating sim, Dont B Nervous Talking 2 Girls simulates a world in which every conversation with a girl has a 50/50 chance of ending with the woman threatening to call the police. As common an occurrence as this may be for the target audience, I think it has less to do with having to navigate the mysterious oceans that is the female mind and more to do with a complete lack of empathy and showers.
But what of after you’ve knocked a female out with your club and dragged her by the hair back to your cave? Well, Get Your Girlfriend Into Games is a set of minigames “designed” to get your girlfriend into video games, as opposed to shoes or earning less than the national average wage, those traditional female hobbies. “Suitable for children too!” the game exclaims. I mean, shit, do I need to write a joke for that? Okay, here’s one: If you use Get Your Girlfriend Into Games as a tool to engage your love interest in your hobbies, you should probably start over and let your little sister’s best friend out of that cage.
BONUS ROUND: Hot Potato HD
Hot Potato HD is a game in which you pass around your Xbox controller until it vibrates. The end. But it does have a woman trying her hardest to look sexy while fellating a dirty potato on the title screen. You couldn’t even run that thing under the tap?
All of these games are strange, some of them are disturbing. In general, they’re the products of unreleased sexual frustrations. How have we come to this? Is this what happens when a society becomes so sexually repressed it cannot handle sex on its own merits and now has to figuratively masturbate under a trenchcoat until it seeps into everything?
I actually think some games should have a lot more sex. I’m not even talking about so-called classy sex. People have stupid, meaningless, objectifying sex all the time and that’s wonderful but this stuff being served up isn’t sexy and barely qualifies as sexual, it’s meaningless fodder. As Shakespeare put it…
It is a cumshot
Made by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
The problem with Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale isn’t the awful title, the obvious similarity to Nintendo’s Smash Brothers franchise, or the questionable depth of Sony’s roster of first-party mascots. That depth is there; the larger concern is whether or not anyone still cares about the characters Sony is digging up. It’s more of an illusion, some vaguely legendary history that only exists because it’s being forced to exist.
No, the real weakness with All-Stars isn’t the cast, but rather just how loose or nonexistent the connections are between that cast. That’s not so say that Mario was ever hanging out with Captain Falcon or that Princess Peach was fooling around with Link while the plumber was out on one of his “jobs”, but Nintendo’s ensemble at least shares a strong aesthetic similarity. Like the Disney princesses or Pixar’s bottomless menegerie of talking animals, you can buy those characters existing within the same world even if you know that they don’t.
Sony doesn’t have that advantage. At best, they have one foot out of the bed here: about half of the characters in that trailer could co-exist in the same manner as Nintendo’s cast, if it weren’t for that other half also being there. Parappa, the skeleton thing from MediEval, and Sack Boy? Sure! Those three plus Nathan Drake and the guy from the Killzone box? Now we have a problem.
Solid Snake worked in Smash Brothers Brawl because he was reworked just enough to fit in with Nintendo’s other human characters. In the case of All-Stars, it’s cute lil’ mascots versus “dudes with guns”. There’s a weird disconnect at work here, a style clash, and it makes Sony’s line-up of first-party franchises look even less cohesive than it already is. That’s the weakness.
When your anthology collection of historical characters falls behind Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing in terms of optics, you’re doing something wrong.
Now that the election is finally (finally!) over, NASA has started to slowly unveil its future plans, secure in the knowledge that a president who isn’t totally ass-backwards on science is sitting in the White House for another four years.
I’ll give it to you in Gnomish.
Phase 1: Get probes up on the moon to look for water. We already know it’s there because NASA bombed the moon back in 2009 and unearthed rather a lot of it. Turns out that parts of the lunar subterranean are wetter than parts of Earth, such as the Sahara. Before you say “well, duh” keep in mind that this is the moon we’re talking about here.
Phase 3: Build the Newt Gingrich lunar colony on the far side of the moon, where A) no one can see it, just to troll moon landing-deniers even further, and B) to give college stoners another reason to throw on Dark Side of the Moon.
Phase 4: Construct new stations at the Lagrange points to facilitate our new moon base and further fiddly-pokery around the rest of the solar system. Mass Effect was right!
Phase 5: Get Your Ass To Mars! If the unexpectedly-long lifespan of Opportunity was any indication (eight years and counting!) Curiosity will undoubtedly still be roaming around by the time we get there, probably quite lonely. Hang in there little buddy.
Phase 6: ???
Phase 7: Profit!
Before you start packing your bags and flipping the bird to all the landlubbers you can’t wait to leave behind on Earth, keep in mind that all of this will still likely take two or three decades to accomplish. Unless that crazy Mars-based reality show actually takes off, in which case, enjoy your deathtrap, ladies!
It is, of course, really nice to see that the wheels are in motion at all. That said, if the old Soviet Union is ever going to break out of its zombie slumber, now would be a great time.
Picard and Riker both had maneuvers named after them, but neither involved flying a space fighter without a cockpit window and shooting at shit with a sidearm until it dies. Take that, Trekkies! Take that, suspension of disbelief!
Maybe this is why Blood and Chrome didn’t make it to television: Battlestar Galactica, for all its killer robots, ethereal “head people”, and invented expletives, was (relatively) grounded in reality. There was some science in that science fiction and even when there wasn’t, the gritty “you are there” style remained, which made it easier to swallow the occasional bouts of Lynchian weirdness. Or maybe it was just “Brannon Braga” weirdness.
The Sci-Fi Network SyFy airs far more ridiculous spectacles than what’s in that preview above, of course; we’re taking about the cats who thought Mansquito was a good idea. But if this clip is any indication, maybe the producers blinked at the last second and pulled some strings.
Kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy.
Should you require more, the decidedly less crazy launch trailer can be found below. Unfortunately, the really really awesome teaser from way back in March set to Trent Reznor’s version of Immigrant Song (itself lifted from the American Dragon Tattoo trailer) has yet to resurface legally. I guess that’s what DVDs are for.
Look, there it is right there. Crouch into sneak mode and hit play before it runs off.
It never seems to matter if you’re injecting an existing franchise into an MMO format or rolling something new, the same genre trappings are almost always there. Soft lighting? Check. Smooth rounded corners on nearly everything? Check. Slightly oversized environments designed to accommodate the mere possibility of large crowds? Check.
That said, at least the combat is looking somewhat more active than the usual MMO routine. The music is well in-line with Elder Scrolls past (Jeremy Soule again, perhaps?) and there’s potential in the backstory. Whether or not any of those positives will be enough to hook series fans or newcomers for more than the expected 14-day trial period, that remains to be seen.
The easiest jokes to make could very well be the most truthful: “Bethesda’s offline Elder Scrolls games are already buggy as hell so imagine how janky the MMO will be”; “if there’s a PS3 version it’ll never be updated”, etc. Regardless of all that, I can’t wait to find out.
Twitter can be an easy service to look down upon, or overlook entirely, thanks to the many excesses of its userbase. Endless trending hashtags about Justin Bieber and One Direction, the stereotypical tweets about food or bowel movements, etc. Appreciating it can be difficult sometimes.
This is especially unfortunate because a lot of very funny and insightful people are on Twitter and nothing brings out the best in them quite like an American election.
So feast upon these, the best tweets I personally observed during last night’s battle for the White House. And for dessert we have the opposite form of Twitter comedy, a slice of digital schadenfreude: the rapid decline of Donald Trump’s mental state. You can find that on Page 2.