Thursday, March 31, 2016

OverAnalyzed: Devolver Digital, Purveyors of Pixelated Pleasure

This isn't so much an analyzing of specific games Devolver has published. Rather, this is an analysis of why there are so many of them in my Steam library or on my radar to play. Let's count them down. 

  • Hotline Miami
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
  • Eitr
  • Enter the Gungeon
  • Downwell
  • Gods Will Be Watching
  • Heavy Bullets
  • Titan Souls
  • Luftrausers
  • OlliOlli
  • OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood
  • Not a Hero
  • Broforce

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Nofriendo"

The Nintendo Treehouse parted ways with Alison Rapp today. If you're not a gamer, that doesn't mean anything to you. It does to me. I wouldn't call her a friend--just one of hundreds of people I follow on Twitter. I don't agree with a lot of her political and social views. But I like hearing them. 

GooberGate (not going to dignify them with what they call themselves)--the gaming equivalent of Donald Trump--don't like Alison Rapp. Among other things, they blame her for the "failed localization" of several recent games. Despite the fact that she didn't have anything to do with those games. So they decided it would be a grand jape to get her fired.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Poem: "The Gentry-Road of Esicir Riada"

It’s a long, winding road from Galway to Cloonfush
Through wasteland filled with wails and rasping teeth.
If you stop your market cattle and bid them hush,
You can hear a fairy-woman laughing on the heath.

Years ago a drover camped in the early dark
And ate his bread; his herd munched road-brush.
He fueled the fire and hummed “The Red Lark;”
Thirteen horses flew by in a headlong rush.

As the riders thundered by, a woman shrilly laughed—
The kind of laugh that wives and parsons fear,
Which drives a steady sane man daft.
The night wore on but her voice lingered in his ear.

Down off the high road the hapless fairy-mad
Gibbered, and ground their rotting teeth;
The lowing cattle began to freely gad,
And the fairy-woman still laughed wildly over the heath.

Out in the dark echoed the glassy trill
Of the unseelie woman’s ghastly glee:
He shook with a fearful, sinful thrill
And joined the dead in the high road’s shadowed lee.

It’s a long, winding road from Galway to Cloonfush
Through wasteland filled with wails and rasping teeth.
If you stop your market cattle and bid them hush,

You can hear that drover screaming on the heath. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The road from Galway to Cloonfush is actually quite nice. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "The Easter Rising"

One hundred years ago, Irish freedom fighters began what is known as the Easter Rising. Though it was unsuccessful (they vastly overestimated the amount of support they would receive from the general populace), the aftereffects of the Rising--including a groundswell of public sympathy after many of the Rising's leaders were executed--set in motion the beginning of Irish independence. So yeah. That's why the second half of these songs are Irish/Irish-themed. 

Laura Marling - "Crawled Out of the Sea"

Chicha Libre - "Primavera en la Selva"

Tengger Cavalry - "Hymn of the Earth"

The Men They Couldn't Hang - "Shirt of Blue"

Shane MacGowan and the Popes - "Aisling"

The Dunn Boys - "St. Jerome"

Sinead O'Connor and the The Chieftains - "The Foggy Dew"

W.B. Yeats - "Easter 1916"

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Poem: "Dandelion"

I feel like a dandelion,
All my constituent parts scattered.
The only part of me remaining
Is my bare stem.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I don't have enough cool stuff for Cool Stuff Sunday so you get a poem instead. I had an Easter poem but I can't find it so you get this poem instead. What's that? You're disappointed? Ask your family about disappointment. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Five, "These Games Deserve the Golden Axe"

It is my contention that of, all the consoles I have ever played, the Sega Master System has by far the most flawed and disappointing library of titles. As a rule, out of every three games I play, I love one, am indifferent towards another, and loathe a third. This rule applies to both modern and classic games. The Sega Master System has defied that rule. At this point, I've played around 50 games for the Master System. The pattern indicates that I should have enjoyed roughly 16 games out of those 50. I have enjoyed 7. That is abysmal. I am disappointed. Let us talk about some of those abysmal games. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Last Month's Games: "A Satchelful of Disappointment"

It has been quite a long week. For example, I couldn't wear my contacts today because my eyes were bothering. Got home this afternoon and put my contacts in again--I had them on inside-out. I didn't even know that was possible. Seriously. Did you know that contacts have a right and wrong side? I didn't... Anyway. I played games this month. Here are some of them. Not all. Just some. Some 41. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Story: "Duinn"

A willow tree stood near the ford. Its branches shrouded a boy from the grey fungus-light. He lay there, tartan sopping with blood. The wound was mortal. An arrow to the gut killed men as it killed deer—slow but certain. But while he lived, the ford belonged to clan Drugaine. Drugaine, last of the high clans. Long may it last through the lightless years. The barrow-folk could not prevail while Drugaine stood.

In the half-light of morning, a barrow-folk raiding party attempted to ford. Clan Drugaine drove them back. Crows stooping upon worms. Last night, he was a cowherd. This night, a corpse. But for an hour in the bleak spring, he felt the glory of the old days before the pall: The cattle-raids, the great battles, the clan-feuds. Petty rivalries which blinked out with the first star. Now the sun shone like the moon, and the moon like a ghost’s dream.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Computadora"

I'm trying to figure out a conundrum. Inside my computer, I have a 500 gig SSD, a 1 terabyte HDD, and 2 terabyte HDD for backups. Outside my computer, I have two 5 terabyte HDDs, a 250 gig HDD, and a 500 gig HDD. The 5 terabyte HDDs contain a (duplicated) massive music, movie, and TV library. I wish to make them more redundant, because currently the slightest clicking noise from one of them and I tense up, fearing the worst. 

It is, to say the least, an interesting conundrum. I could, in theory, transfer all the media to the internal drives, then set up the 5 terabyte external drives in RAID 1. But, that would take a ridiculously long time. Longer than I care to spend. 

I guess I could just stop worrying and learn to love the possibility of data loss. It's not like it's anything important. Just media. That's pretty minor in the grand scale of things. Still. It's a conundrum that intrigues me and I want to spend some time figuring it out. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Poem Tuesday: "For the Mighty"

Woe to you, all the earth,
For the mighty pass on.
For the mighty pass on,
Leaving us behind.
They shall never leave their tombs,
For they pass on.
There shall come one unto the mighty,
Who pass on,
And she shall be clad in the colors of death.
Before her go the mighty,
Who pass on.
In her left hand is a sword of torment,
Scourging the mighty who pass on.
Before her, the mighty pass on
And cross the white river.
Upon her head are seven crowns
And in the seventh crown a star,
The name of which shall be known
At the last days.
For the mighty pass on, and she is coming,
And she will need skin boats.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Noooooo clue what this one means. You tell me. No, really. Tell me. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Curse the Wind Which Shakes the Barley..."

I am so far behind on my writing... I need to get a story written by Thursday and I've barely started. ACK. Anyway. Music. That's a thing, roight. It was St. Patrick's Day this week so a few of the songs are Irish, and from there it just sort of shifted into folk-influenced music, a trend which is carrying over into this week. Anyway. 

Isles and Glaciers - "Clush"

My Chemical Romance - "Na Na Na"

Caspian - "Arcs of Command"

Bananarama - "Cruel Summer"

Flogging Molly - "Drunken Lullabies"

Shane MacGowan and the Popes - "Aisling"

Dalriada - "Moldvageddon"

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Worm Fodder: "Des Boskin"

Poor Des. Another character whose story ended prematurely thanks to the whims of the almighty beings controlling his fate. Truly a tragedy. Granted, he kind of deserved it, but... 

NAME: Desrael "Des" Boskin

SYSTEM: Dungeon Crawl Classics

LIFESPAN: Three sessions

ABOUT: Fate held a great fascination for Des. He trusted his life and livelihood to the vagaries of dice, cards, and other games of chance. Thought his luck often failed him, and though his charms often fell flat, he never stopped believing himself to be a consummate rake. He was often known to say, "What a day. What a lovely day."

NOTABLE FEATS: Survived a town filled with cannibal gnomes for weeks; escaped the town of cannibal gnomes into the Deeproads, taking a gnome hostage; was pursued through the Deeproads by an insectoid dragon that sounded like this (play on half speed for full effect); accidentally fed gnome hostage to insectoid dragon, which then obliterated the city of cannibal gnomes. 

CAUSE OF DEATH: In the Deeproads, killed by Gold Eaters for his gold. 

Cool Stuff Sunday: "My Immortal Death Skateboards"

Oh hai dere. I can haz ramen? I EATZ UR RAMEN. MMMMM.

Dirty Laundry is one of the only fan films to get a big-screen actor to reprise his character.

Bloodborne is getting a card game... I guess I have to buy this now?

Richie Jackson's new Death Skateboards part is one I've watched several times now. Some crazy stuff in there.

Rumor has it Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming in 2017.

The ancestry of the Irish is being re-evaluated with a new discovery under...what else? A pub.

Modern country is a bit repetitive...

How to pick a lock with a bobby pin.

Have you ever wanted to listen to My Immortal being read, with all its typos intact? No? Too bad.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Worm Fodder: "Aloysius the Sane"

Aloysius may or may not have been designed while I was watching Berserk. Why else would I design a heavily-armed man with a massive sword? The fact that he was a religious fanatic was just icing on the cake that was "Guts Hueg." Sadly, this campaign was short-lived, but I would love to revisit his character, since I rarely play stoic military types. (Usually I end up playing garrulous high-INT sorts). 

NAME: Aloysius "The Sane" Abascal

SETTING: Pathfinder

LIFESPAN: Uncertain

ABOUT: A member of an elite inquisition cadre sent to root out heresy. His companions were Miguel the Vestal, Kaya the Bloody,  Dunstan the Crippler, and Gareth the Wise. Aloysius was obsessed with distinguishing himself from his mad cultist father, Aloysius the Demented. 

NOTABLE FEATS: Bashing a spinosaurus into submission while on a river-boat. 

CAUSE OF DEATH: Probably killed by some unspeakable Outer Being while hunting cultists. 

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Four, "The Ecco of a Half-Decent Game"

Car is fixed. Yay. Three hundred dollars later. Boo. Anyway. Went shoe shopping. Unsuccessfully. Ate Mediterranean. Successfully. Played Sega Master System games. Disappointedly. Seriously, Master System. You aren't exactly doing what Nintendon't.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Last Month's Books: "A Coven of Dreams"

Very short introduction today, as I've places to go and things to see. Had a good week, hope my car gets fixed tomorrow, looking forward to Dark Souls III, looking forward to Salt and Sanctuary, enjoying Not A Hero. Tallyho!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

OverAnalyzed: "The Walrus"

Consider now the walrus. Why, you may ask, the walrus? The walrus, my friends, is a criminally overlooked household fixture. Many pay no heed to their walrus, save to toss it an occasional dish of scraps. But I am here to tell you: The walrus is a versatile beast!

What, you now ask, can a walrus do? Many things, my friends, many things.

Do you lack a can opener? A walrus tusk, properly sharpened, will do the job! Do you require a place to store notes? Pin them to your walrus’ blubbery flank!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Automote"

Is adulting always going to be like this? Just when I think I've got this stuff on lock, something new comes in and throws me for a loop. First it was insurance stuff, now my car's making noise like a little green dude is banging around the undercarriage with a lead pipe. So yeah. I'm not having the best day. 

Anyway. As Monty Python taught me, time to look on the bright side of life. Spring is on its on way, I can skateboard again, Dark Souls III is approaching, I'm slowly getting into shape... I've been writing SOMETHING every day... Can't complain too much, I suppose.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Poem: "Sparrow's Lament"

A briar-bird sings emptily,
"Snow drips from a tree.
In a velvet gown
They laid her down
And went back to their rest."

"On her grave they left a warning
For her hair was black as mourning.
She loved and died,
And no one cried,
Save I who loved her best."

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Yeah, I'm not sure the quotation marks worked right. I don't really care, honestly. I'm a little more freaked out by the death rattle my car started making, honestly. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Trophy Lost in a Crowd"

Ahhhh. Just finished a great game of DCC. It was an excellent dungeon, designed by one of the other players. We probably shouldn't have stepped on the Pear of Eternal Life. Huh. Yeah. Probably. 

The Dead Maggies - "Jorgen Jorgenson"

Mischief Brew - "Coffee, God, and Cigarettes"

Drug Church - "Hit  Your Head, Greedy"

Beast in the Field - "The Sacred Above, The Sacred Below"

Bat For Lashes - "Trophy"

Fantastic Negrito - "Lost in a Crowd"

Don Henley - "Dirty Laundry"

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Can we get rid of Daylight Savings already? It made sense when farmers needed the extra daylight, etc. etc. But now tractors have floodlights, and most of us aren't farmers anyway. All it does anymore is screw up peoples' sleep schedules. Like mine. WHAT ABOUT ME, PEOPLE?

Vampyr is a game that's looking a little Dark Soulsy. And I'm okay with that.

The Sinking City is an open-world Lovecraftian investigation game. I likey. 

Wonder how the holochess board was animated in The Force Awakens?

"Stormtrooper" is a song about a stormtrooper. I'm...enthralled. 

The Division's hostages are just lazy

Fallen London is coming to iOS and Android. It's a text-based game set in the same world as Sunless Sea, and it's pretty cool. 

A baby can beat Street Fighter V's story mode. No. Really

Adam Savage builds a Hellboy sword. It's cool. 

Han Solo's *plot point* made his character better

Industrial Light and Magic has released an art portfolio for The Force Awakens

Kingdom Come: Deliverance looks interesting.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Three, "Dead Dud Dragon"

Ah, I do love me some cheap ramen. Mmm. Delicious. In the background of my computer, I'm transferring 4 terabytes of data from one external hard drive to another. It feels a bit ridiculous. Anyway. Old games. Terrible old games. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Last Month's Games; "Games I Should Have Liked But Didn't"

Another week, another week's pay. Or however that saying goes. I don't really care. It was a pretty solid week, all things considered. Worked, wrote, read, played games, slept, repeated. I could live like this. Let's talk about games. Most of them I should have liked but didn't. One I should have liked and did. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Story: "Net Maski"

James Hopkins was the sort of writer Hollywood loves. You know the type. Starving artist, typing away at night in a dingy little one-room apartment while he worked a bland data-entry job for minimum wage. Unfortunately for Jim, Hollywood wasn't directing his life, so neither a tragic death and posthumous recognition nor a loving spouse and fulfilling career lay in his future. Instead he worked at data entry. At lunch he wrote one-act plays centered around themes of ennui and disillusionment. In other words, he had a Bachelor's in English.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Arcade"

I woke up this mornings with memories of arcades. No, I didn't watch Wreck-It Ralph last night. But all the same, I've spent the day thinking of two arcade cabinets in particular. My hometown didn't really have arcades, see. I grew up at the tail end of arcades being a thing. Even the local movie theaters only had one or two dingy cabinets, maybe Area 51 or Street Fighter. If you wanted a "real" arcade, you drove an hour or two to Chuck-E-Cheese. (Or was it Freddie Fazbear's? Eh.) And Chuck-E-Cheese had two cabinets that lured me in every time I got to go there. I spent all my tokens on two games in particular. That, and skee-ball, because the attendants didn't care that you could stand right up by the skee-ball targets and just drop the balls into the 10k point hole. Easy way to get some tickets for cheap tat. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Poem: "Anord"

I am the better demon of your nature. 
Against law I stand, 
A prince of chaos
Upending your stagnant life.
I am the seven-year itch. 
I am the lust for glory.
I am the hunger for power. 
I speak in the tongue of a clanging alarm
As you sleepwalk off to sacrifice yourself
To corporate idols. 
My avatar is your half-finished novel, 
Your neglected bandsaw, 
Your unborn child. 
My commandment is this:

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *
I actually quite like my job. That said, if I could support myself by writing, I would. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "The Captain is Too Old to Die Young"

I got picture frames for all of my posters today. Now my apartment doesn't look like a college dorm anymore. Well, at least not as much. Also, I'm going to make a lightsaber this weekend. Just a cheap one, out of plumbing parts. Or something. I dunno. Anyway. Music. 

The Dreadnoughts - "The Skrigjaargen Polka"

Leonard Cohen - "The Captain"

Motorhead - "Brotherhood of Man"

Honeymoon Suite - "New Girl Now"

Sandrider - "Crysknife"

Brother Dege - "Too Old to Die Young"

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "Star Wars. And Some Other Stuff, I Guess."

I am writing this while asleep. Metaphorically. Literally. Wishfully. Something. Whatever. I should try automatic writing. Just put a pen in my hand and go to sleep. Wake up wondering why there's ink in my ear. 

Daisy Ridley has insider info about Star Wars: Episode VIII!

This dude's Starkiller cosplay is...killer. 

How to make your own lightsaber for cheap. 

These Star Wars posters are great. The first appearance of a Star Destroyer in every movie. 

Mark Hamill is vicious

The Knights of Ren are cool and I hope they're still cool when the movie is over. 

Apparently Deadpool is getting an X-rated cut. Apparently. 

Literary criticism of the Mr. Men books is a thing now, I guess? 

I always said Dark Souls was a Gothic series, and Miyazaki himself using Gothic/Romantic terminology to discuss the series only further proves I'm totes right. Seriously. "Sublime" is a key word for Romanticism and its Gothic offshoot. 

You can make music using only Windows XP and Winows 98 sounds. Why? No idea. 

I'm pretty sure Keanu Reeves is actually just John Wick in real life

Pirate skeletons under a school? Probably a sign you've got ghosts. 

Want to read about Celtic treasures? HERE

Is the next Battlefield game going to be set in World War I? Let's hope so

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016

Last Month's Movies: "Oh, You Vampire of the Soul..."

Just got back from my company's holiday party. Yes, our holiday party is in March. It makes sense, okay? Anyway, while I munch my Taco Bell cinnamon twists, here's some movies.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

OverAnalyzed: Muffled Voices in Dark Souls

The Souls series does a lot of things right, including sound design. Someday I'll write a longer piece breaking down sound design in detail, but for now I want to focus on one element in particular. Voices. The voices of those who wear helmets. See, the thing about helms which cover the face is that they muffle the voice. It's easy to forget that. But FromSoft didn't. If a character, say Siegmeyer of Catarina, wears a helmet, their voice has a muffled and echoing quality to it. It's a small thing but it's so incredibly indicative of the work FromSoft put in. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Incandescence"

I am angry. Very. Sickeningly. Angry. Incandescent. At a lot of things. Events at my alma mater which have made me realize how truly screwed-up many things are in higher education, particularly in how sexual assault is handled. The political system and the fact that one of the two major parties has a frontrunner endorsed by the KKK while the other is split between an impractical socialist (whose ideals I respect nonetheless) and a career politician who embodies The System. My own failings as a human being. The horrible nature of the world. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Your charnel mouth spews hatred
Like Satan's bile.
That's an affront to the father of lies,
To associate him with the foulness you spread in the name of faith.
Judas Iscariot is morally superior to you,
He who betrayed the Christ
For thirty pieces of silver. 
You'd sell the Christ
For thirty seconds of primetime. 
The woman at the well was more an authority on the sanctity of marriage
Than you who blatter about "family values” while indulging in perversion and abuse.
A millstone awaits,
You who shelter molesters because "they repented;"
You who destroy the earth because "the earth and all that is on it is ours;"
You who pick and choose which scriptures to interpret literally and which to ignore, stoning gays but wearing polyester;
You who sacrifice the young and impoverished upon an altar of your greed, an Abraham to generation of Isaacs with no angel to intervene; 
For all your hypocrisies too numerous to name--
Jesus wept. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

And yet. The light is winning. The light will always win. It must. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Poem: "For the South"

When the blood-gold
Piled on my lawn
Is swept away by white,
I turn to the south and shiver.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Oh, hey! I finished the cycle! Look at me go.