Saturday, April 30, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Ten, "A Lackluster Finish"

FINALLY. I'm finally done. No more Master System games. Thank you! THANK YOU! PRAISE THE INCANDESCENT SUN! OH IT'S GOOD TO BE FREE. FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST! (No, I am not comparing playing the Sega Master System to slavery and the civil rights movement). 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Last Month's Games: "Killer Is Dead, Gods Will Be Watching, and the Devil May Cry"

I said it once, and I'll say it again. Next month, my game reviews are going to be Saint's Row IV and Dark Souls III. Nothing else. I may have a slight obsession. (I'm on NG++ already)... But for this month, here you go...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

OverAnalyzed: Dark Souls as a Gothic Text

Creeping shadows in the corner of the eye, or piles of corpses littering a dungeon? Gothic literature is divided into two main categories: Terror and Horror. Terror Gothic is exemplified by Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, wherein feelings of helplessness and fear are cultivated by protagonist Emily’s helplessness against the schemes of rapacious Count Montoni and her own uncertain mental state. By contrast, Horror Gothic is found in books such as Matthew Lewis’ The Monk, which evokes feelings of shock and disgust through the violence and transgressive sexuality presented within. Elements of both Terror and Horror Gothic can be found within video games such as the Silent Hill, Castlevania, and Resident Evil series, Alien: Isolation, and the dark-fantasy role-playing series Dark Souls. In particular, the Souls series combines Terror and Horror Gothic to create a new style within Gothic media. Additionally, the Souls games’ use of video game mechanics allow for a deeper experience of the game as a whole.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Motivation"

I'll be honest. I don't want to write anything today. This counts, right? Close enough? I'm tired and feel burnt out. I'm NOT burnt out, but I feel that way. I don't know. Food will make everything better... Food won't make everything feel better. This happens on occasion. (The burnout, not the food thing). It's a part of life. I wouldn't mind nearly as much if it didn't feel so terrifyingly close to depression. In part, I'm genuinely tired and burnt out. (I know I said otherwise a few sentences ago. I lied). But it's also just part of who I am. I cycle through enthusiasm and ennui. Whatever. This has no point. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Poem: "Absentia"

Your absence
Is the unscratchable itch
On the sole of my foot.
I would flense off my skin
To remove that itch.

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

I'm so romantic. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Black Coffee, Help a Fella..."

I am tired. I am always tired. This is no doubt exacerbated by the fact that I've been working two jobs for the last two weeks. During the day, I work at my IT job. At night, I play Dark Souls III. (I did the math. In two weeks, I've put 70 hours into the game. That's a nearly full-time job). And I wouldn't have it any other way. Let's listen to music.

The B-52s - "Rock Lobster"

Tyr - "By the Sword in My Hand"

Weddings, Parties, Anything - "A Tale They Won't Believe"

Paramore - "The Only Exception"

Blue Oyster Cult - "Burnin' For You"

The Careless Lovers - "Black Coffee"

The Moody Blues - "Nights in White Satin"

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Worm Fodder: Sean Felair

Sean is another character who didn't live as long as he deserved. It's the problem with collaborative games--no matter how invested you are in a character, if the other players (or the GM) decide that they don't want to continue... Well, the effort you put in is gone. Of course, the reward is worth it. But sometimes it's still discouraging. At any rate. 

NAME: Sean Felair

SYSTEM: D20 Homebrew

LIFESPAN: One session

ABOUT: Sean was a joint creation between myself and the GM. At one point in his life, he was a high-ranking government official, But greed got the best of him and he began selling state secrets. Until he was betrayed. At which point, "Escaping the city through the sewers, you set off to Archmouth with only two pennies in your pocket, desperate to salvage your life. That was five years ago. You have made some progress. You had two pennies. Now you have seven."

NOTABLE FEATS: Sean wound up indentured to a very angry dwarf commander; tried to rob said dwarf; stormed a giant walking statue; dueled a shape-shifting mage; shut down the walking statue via jamming gubbins in gears; was killed by the statue's sudden deceleration and thunderous collapse. 

CAUSE OF DEATH: Game--Gravity; Reality--Time constraints. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Nine, "Sanic"

Oh, praise be. We're almost done with the Master System. Praise the sun. Praise the gloriously incandescent sun. (And that reminds me I want to play Dark Souls III, so let's get these games over with, eh?)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Last Month's Books: "Once There Was a Blogger Who Tried to Write a Book"

So I finally got around to writing reviews for my recent lunchtime reads. Let's run through some of them (I always leave a backlog because I'm not stupid). Also, I don't know exactly what's in a Dark and Stormy but it tastes delish. So I'd better hurry before my words go all skrownky. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Story: "The Last Immurement"

Long ago in the time of kings, many dark and bloody superstitions flourished. The Bleis Lavaret, the wolf-in-men's-flesh of France. The Chorazos Cult, reviled throughout England and Scotland for their outlandish practices. The Cult of the Bloody Tongue. Scaphism. Human sacrifice. And immurement--the walling up of the living inside some structure, whether as punishment or as a guardian for the construction.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Zero, Zip, Zilch."

Look. I...I...I got nothing, okay? Work is going well. Life is okay. I'm trying out a variant of a low-carb diet (reduced carbs, essentially). I'm playing Dark Souls III. I've got no topics bubbling in my brain to talk about. This is essentially placeholder text.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Poem: "Last Will and Testament"

I commend my legacy to my enemies,
My possessions to the highest bidder,
And my soul to whoever can find it.
For it is very small.

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

I'm playing Dark Souls III. Of course this poem involves souls. Don't be silly.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Variety Hour"

Dinner is cooking. Dark Souls III awaits. I have a story to write. Let's make this quick. Music. From last week. Shocker. 

Ennio Morricone - "A Gringo Like Me"

Damien Rice - "9 Crimes"

Twisted Sister - "We're Not Gonna Take It"

Chumbawamba - "Tubthumping"

Pantera - "Cemetery Gates"

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "How to Not Be Seen"

Do you have garlic bread? GIVE IT TO ME. I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DON'T GIVE ME YOUR GARLIC BREAD. Seriously, though. I'm really hungry for more garlic bread. Please? How about if I tell you about cool stuff on the internet?

A Dark Souls board game is entering Kickstarter this month.

The new Suicide Squad trailer looks better than the previous ones, I think. (No, it's not because of Margot Robbie. Okay. It's a little bit because of Margot Robbie).

Want to frustrate invaders? Hide in plain sight.

J.J. Abrams sez that Rey's parents weren't in The Force Awakens. Daisy Ridley knows who they are and doesn't think it's important. HMMMM.

This list of people barred from a London pub is...a thing.

Comments on the internet aren't nice.

Drone warfare is awful. So is the kill list.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Eight, "Can I Stop Now?"

I've got like one more week of Master System games to slog through. Never have I been so happy to be done playing a system's games. I would literally rather play those cheap handheld Tiger Electronics games than most of the games in the Master System's library. That bad. Anyway, I'm posting this blog, then I'm looking for places to submit poetry, then I'm playing Dark Souls III. Just assume I'm always playing Dark Souls III, really.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Last Month's Games: "Decidedly Undecided"

Oh hey. Next month's reviews are going to be two games: Dark Souls III and Saints Row IV. Both great games in their own way. Really really loving Dark Souls III. Just beat the first Lord of Cinder, and pushing for the next one tonight. Ohhhhh yeah. Yeah. WOO. Let's talk about games.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

OverAnalyzed: "How to Write a Nautical Horror Story"

This week, we've got something a little different. A little...more personal. I've been a bit engrossed with Dark Souls III, so writing a fully-thought-out OverAnalyzed wasn't going to happen. However, I thought it would be cool to show how I go about writing short stories. In particular, the story "The Last Tall Ship."

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Retirement"

I'm too old to skateboard anymore. No, I didn't break my wrists or anything. I just realized that...if after five minutes my joints hurt worse than after a forty-five minute workout... I might be too old. Oh well. I have Dark Souls 3 to comfort me. And that is why this post is over.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Poem Tuesday: "To Father Dagon"

Bubbling and foaming in the pelagial deep,
Ichthian dreams welter forth unhealthy,
Drawing the Innsmouth Taint to home.
Cold stars align unblinking in a grim pavotte;
Ten thousand years bear fruit at last.
The slumberer shifts whale-like and fitful;
Signs break forth pox-like upon the earth.
Fishers haul in creaking nets, rejoicing—
No messiah blesses this day’s catch,
Only He who comes before,
High Priest of an ageless sacrament.
As in a great salt-stained unbirthing
The piscine faithful stride unto the sea:
Evolution’s course reversed.
And one foul book gives tidings
Of Great Cthulhu and of drowned R’Lyeh.
Now we shall see that which dogs howl at in the dark.

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

I'm currently playing Dark Souls III, and just finished collections by Thomas Ligotti and Robert Bloch, all of which utilize the Cthulhu Mythos in one way or another. Hence, this seemed fitting. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Classic Rock to Play Dark Souls III to I guess?"

Dark Souls III is live. I'm writing this while I eat before I go back to playing. Hurry up hurry up hurry up.

Tiamat - "Best Friend Money Can Buy"

The Rolling Stones - "Satisfaction"

The White Stripes - "Blue Orchid"

Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Have You Ever Seen the Rain"

AC/DC - "Thunderstruck"

Led Zeppelin - "Kashmir"

Cream - "Tales of Brave Ulysses"

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "If Yes, Star Wars"

OH HI. DIDN'T SEE YOU THERE. *closes episode of weaboo trash anime* It's for a satirical essay, I swear! So a bunch of really cool stuff dropped this week. Want to see it? YES YOU DOOOOOOOO. 

Thrasher's King of the Road series is going to be...a thing in the vein of Steve-O and Knoxville, but with more skateboarding, I guess? 

Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay has leaked. Oh yeah. 

This fan art of Kylo Ren is spoileriffic and great. 

A dude created custom covers for the Blu-Ray Original Trilogy and they rock

Ever wonder which meal in Wuthering Heights was the saddest? Here you go. 

If Ayn Rand wrote The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, it would have been very different. 


If you want screenshots of the Rogue One trailer for wallpapers, here you go. 

If you want Star Wars propaganda posters, here you go. 

If you want to learn about good flag design, HERE YOU GO!

Burr and Feinstein released an anti-encryption bill, and it's ridiculous. In a scary way. 

The Banner Saga 2 is going to be greeeeaaat!

Oh, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a thing

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Seven, "Psycho Fox Does Not Psycho Rock"

Ah, Saturday. Lovely Saturday. For you, it was the sixth day of the week. For me, it was just another Saturday. Go get some Swedish Fish and let's talk about awful old games.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Last Month's Books: "I Hated, Hated, Hated Some of These Books"

I tried going on a low-carb diet. For someone who centers most meals around carbohydrates--rice, tortillas, popcorn, potatoes--it was hellish. I am not going to stay on a low-carb diet. But I AM going to eat more meat and veg, and fewer carbs. Oh, and no sugar and a drastic decrease in caffeine. That should help a lot. What does this have to do with books? Bugger if I know. Let's talk about books.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Story: "The Last Tall Ship"

Drowning is a terrible death. In my few short years as a port-town doctor I have seen many drowned souls, man, woman, and child. Every face bore a rictus of pain unlike any other I can recall. The few survivors say it is akin to your own body strangling you.

And yet, after three days adrift in a lifeboat, I began to find drowning somewhat appealing. Had I not been certain Aunt Mathilde drowned, I should have cursed her name with a great deal of rancour.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wandery Wednesday: "Procrastinate"

I should be writing a short story. I started writing last night. And then I stopped because my eyes hurt and I wanted to go to sleep. My eyes hurt a lot lately. I blame over-straining them working on projects late into the night. Should probably stop doing that. Should probably also not wear contacts when my eyes hurt, huh? 

The story is about a man who is shipwrecked. That's all I'll say. He's a late-Victorian British sort. Apparently I'm in my Oceanic Period these days. Been writing a lot of stories about the ocean. Because the ocean is cool. And terrifying.

Speaking of terrifying, I've been trying to eat better. Because I don't want to get the 'betus at 25 and be miserable the rest of my life. It kind of sucks. I've cut back drastically on carbs, am cutting out sugar almost completely, am cutting out caffeine tomorrow... And ramping up protein and vegetables. I'm hungry. Not all the time. Just around mealtimes. Like right now. I NEED to eat soon. Actually, I might be undereating. According to teh interwebz, I should be eating around 1700 calories a day. Yesterday, I ate 900. So about half. Yeah... Probably a bad thing, I reckon. 

I keep waiting for it to warm up so I can skateboard. Found a couple good spots to try. Soon. Sooooon. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Poem: "Wings Full of Gaps"

An intricate skein of lace,
Time slips away softly,
Falling out of step;
A south-bound goose
Straggles behind its flock.
Human memory fades sooner
Than ocean breakers crashing
Against the Moher cliffs.
But eagles remember
Old ways, bloody gods,
And the treachery of crows.

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

I haven't pimped my poetry/story collection Hallowed Ground lately. This is one of the poems therein. Available in digital and physical forms. Gibe me monah plz. (The digital version is free, actually. So that's an option). 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Music Roundup Monday: "Metal Mulisha (Is a Terrible Brand)"

Woo! It's Monday! Despite jumping from 50 tickets in our ticket queue to nearly 100, it was still a pretty good Monday! (I'm trying to be more positive--there's a poster on my door now that says "What a lovely day." Yes, it's the Nux quote from Mad Max: Fury Road.") So yeah! Let's talk about music! In particular, metal, since that's what I wanted to post last week.

Gojira - "Satan is a Lawyer"

Iron Maiden - "Fear of the Dark"

Metallica - "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

Judas Priest - "Pain Killer"

Megadeth - "Dawn Patrol"

Mastodon - "Blood and Thunder"

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cool Stuff Sunday: "The Atrocity of Snyder"

Getting real sick of Bandai Namco's shenanigans with Dark Souls 3's release date. It's like they're trying to kill all the hype I keep building up. Still. Dark Souls 3. Anyway. Cool stuff. Online. On Sunday. 

Zack Snyder is adapting Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead for...reasons? 

Trading games don't understand how trade works. 

Rowan Zorilla is a pro skater now, and dropped a suitably sick part

Remember Zack Synder? He's awful, and he killed a beloved Superman character, one you probably didn't realize

The combat in Dark Souls is more realistic than most, but could still be better. 

Out-of-context D&D quotes are the best. 

This Batman short comic is excellent. 

Medieval armor is probably not what you think it was

Wanted posters if Voldemort had won

First Bandai Namco wants people to stream Dark Souls 3, now they don't

Reddit has deleted its warrant canary. That means that the government has requested access to Reddit's servers, up to and including the IP address of every post by every user.

A juicer that can't juice things? Why? 

Shadow of Mordor 2 is going to be a thing, which I am 100% down with. 

Zack Snyder is still awful. And Batman Vs Superman ticket sales dropped 65% from one weekend to the next. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Backlog Blitz: Master System, Week Six, "Lord of the Snored"

So there's this local pizza chain in my area. I hate their pizza, but their garlic bread is TO DIE FOR. So I just ate a ludicrous amount of garlic bread. Mmmmmm. Kiss me, honey. *garlic breath of death* What, not interested? Let's talk about old games instead. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Last Month's Games: "Guns Don't Work Like That"

I, uh, need to read some books, or watch some movies, or something. I'm a bit low in the book and movie review department. Anyway. My eyes hurt. I think I'm straining them by staring at a screen too much. No, really. Anyway. Anyway. Anyway. Anyway. *hits record player* Let's talk about video games.