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Archive for July, 2009

Hard Cider & Death Race

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

That’s not the subject of tonight’s post. It’s what I’m going to do instead of writing.

So here is a bunch of things that other people made.

Best Ad That I Don’t Know What It’s For Ever.

Best Video Game Ad Ever

Best Condom Ad Ever

Best Sponge Commercial Ever

Best Paint Commercial Ever

Best Banned VW Commercial

Voodoo Farming #8: Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

It’s that time again! No, not Tool Time, it’s time for Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture.

The first game I reviewed was Zombies Ate My Neighbors, one of the classics and a hard game at that. Today I will be hitting up another classic SNES game and one of my favorites: Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts.


I can’t recall Capcom ever making a bad game.

Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts is part of the Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins series of games. Our protagonist is a knight named Arthur trying to save a Princess named Guinevere.

That’s right. You’re King Motherfucking Arthur. When I was a kid, damn near every boy on the block wanted to be King Arthur, because he had magic armor and an awesome theme song.

Threat Level:

As I’ve said many times, I play on “Normal” difficulty (or the best equivalent) to approximate the average experience of playing the game.

Let me be clear on this: SGNG is regarded as one of the most insanely hard platform/run & gun games ever – right up there with stuff like Megaman 2. Calling the medium difficulty “Normal” in this game is the sick joke of a very disturbed mind.

You can adjust some stuff since the series has its roots in arcades – you can choose how many lives you get (1-9) and which difficulty you’d like to play with. For the purpose of screenshots, I’ve put it on Easy with 9 lives. But for normal play, I usually go with Normal difficulty… and 9 lives.

I’m the sort of person who will drop $5.00 into Time Crisis 2 and play for over an hour so I can beat the damn game. Yes, I’ve done that before. So given the chance to have more lives, I’m gonna take it.

Armaments:

Arhur, a.k.a. Lance Armstrong. BA DUM PISH!

There’s a variety of weapons in SGNG. They all do roughly the same damage, but they do it in different ways. For insance, the lance (the weapon you start out with) just goes in a straight line. The torch flies forward in an arc and then creates a trail of flame on the ground where it lands. The bow & arrow shoots a couple arrows in an upward direction.

In true arcade style, you can upgrade your weapons with powerups. After your standard Iron Armor comes what I assume to be Copper Armor (since its green). Or maybe Arthur just made armor out of a dragon’s finger, because he’s that badass.

Note the awesome built-in mohawk on the armor.

When you get your green armor, your weapons get an upgrade. Typically, they just do more damage. They might behave slightly differently; for instance, the bow gets homing capabilities.

Gold Armor, however… that’s the shit right there:

I tried so hard to think of a Double Dragon joke so I could get a 34-hit K-Groove Nostalgia combo.

Your weapons get a little bit more powerful, but you also gain a chargeup ability. Once you charge your weapon you can unleash a super attack. The only limit on this is that you have to wait to charge it again – no mana bar, no “x amount of shots”. You might think it would make the game unbalanced, but the odds are stacked against you from the very beginning.

Cause of the Outbreak:

This is the Super Mario Formula, dead on. Evil baddies kidnap a princess. Hero hulks the fuck out and cuts his way through a few thousand bad guys just to get her back.

Co-Stars:

This is one of the many games where zombies are simply trash enemies – the simple thing that, if it hits you, means you have either fallen asleep or went into an epileptic seizure while playing the game. It’s pretty difficult to get hit by them unless you make a serious error of judgment.

Aside from that, you’ll come up against things such as dire wolves, fire skull dragons, bats, floating blob… thingies, a jester that turns you into things such as a baby or a milk maid (seriously), and all kinds of other fun monstrosities.

Odds of Survival: I’d have to invent a new word that means lower than low. So pretty bad.

Here’s how the game works. If you get hit, you lose your armor and you’re down to your skivvies. Literally:

Give him a cape and a shield, and he could be Leonidas.

If you had your fully upgraded bitchin’ Gold armor, well… Arthur is understandbly pissed.

Get hit in your undies and you die.

So basically, you get two hits until you die and have to restart the level. There are a few automatic save points, but knowing your luck you’re likely to just end up right back at the start.

Note the gold armor comes with a shield. While this won’t save you from a direct monster hit, it will save you from a projectile. You can upgrade the shield and take 2 hits from projectiles (so long as it hits the shield).


The Devilish Details:

SGNG runs very much like a first person shooter, except not first person. (I guess that’s how you define a 2-D “run and gun” game…)

After some initial experimentation, you are going to find a favorite weapon and go with it. All of the weapons seem very well balanced and they all have their pros and cons. (Personally, I like the scythe, just for those lovely screen-clearing tornadoes you pop out when you use the super.)

You’re definitely going to want to practice double jumping. It is a skill unto itself. If you’re off by half a second, you could drop into the ocean or come landing back down onto an enemy. While this does have a lot in common with Super Mario Brothers, you’re not going to be stomping on any enemies.

SGNG is all about precision movement and being very, very, very, very, very aware of your surroundings. When I was younger, it took me something on the order of a month to be able to beat the game on normal.


Wrapping It Up:

I’ve kept this one relatively short. This is not for lack of content in the game. It’s difficult to accurately describe the gauntlet that these sadomasochistic developers put you through in only a few short levels.

I definitely don’t have time to take all of the screenshots to show all the ways that they can fuck you over. I kept mental track in the first level of all of the devious traps, pitfalls, etc. that are thrown your way, and I stopped counting at about 50.

If you like insanely challenging games, Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts is for you.

If you’re prone to stress or heart trouble, this game is not for you. You’re going to want to try a more relaxing activity such as walking on hot coals or trying acupuncture with knitting needles.

What lessons can we take away from Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts?

Get a good burglar alarm, keep your princesses indoors, and definitely don’t fuck with King Arthur or you’ll catch a flying magic Lance up the ass.


Reader Mail:

Voodoo Farming #7: The Evil Dead

ineedhelpbad Says:
July 24th, 2009 at 12:15 am

Evil Dead is awesome, but no mention of the sequels evil dead 2 and army of darkness.

Well, I gotta save material for future editions!

If I did, say, The Evil Dead Trilogy instead of just the first movie, then that’s one long article instead of three shorter ones. I average 1,500-2,000 words and it takes me anywhere from 1-6 hours to crank one of these out – I definitely don’t want to spend 12+ hours writing.

I’m sure I’ll catch shit for this, but I’ve never seen Evil Dead 2 or 3. Lambast away, I’ll get to it eventually. Geez.

Minty Says:
July 24th, 2009 at 9:19 am

I recommend putting The Serpent and the Rainbow on the review list, if only because I can’t wait to see how you trash Bill Pullman assuming the “Girl Running Around Screaming in Her Underwear” cliché.


CCO Says:
July 25th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Here’s a book you may like: Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia.

Here’s the opening sentence:
On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.

Yep, then our hero goes on to get a job killing monsters.

I always appreciate suggestions from my readership and I’ll be sure to check those out in the future.

Once again, I have no idea as to what I’m doing next week. I can’t believe that I’ve been doing Voodoo Farming and staying on schedule for a whole two months! (I’m terrible with stuff like that.)

Before I go, I wanted to issue an apology to my readers. I had VF 6 and 7 prepared way ahead of time, but skippy was in the middle of a move and he apparently forgot to inform Michiel that VF goes up on Thursdays. They still went up anyway and I apologize for the delay. I’m a bit to blame for not checking up with Michiel that everything’s good to go. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next week!


Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

It’s been a while….

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Has it really been 4 months since I last posted?!?!

It’s either been the underground fight clubs, or the stupid army schools, but I haven’t had time to give you guys anything new from me in a while.

Did you know that there are undertaker conventions? One of my new workers told me that her family runs a funeral parlor, and that her father is attending an undertakers convention.

My first thought was of a bunch of 7 foot tall, superwhite wrestlers all getting together to check out new urns and caskets.

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Atheists In Foxholes

Monday, July 27th, 2009

note from skippy: As always, opinions expressed by people that are not skippy do not always reflect the views of skippy.

skippy is not afraid to go political, and neither am I. So I’m gonna go there, oh yeah.

I am a member of one of the most-despised, misunderstood, and vilified socio-political groups in the world: Atheists.

For the ill-informed or willfully ignorant, an Atheist does not believe in God. (Atheist is sourced from the Greek atheos, a = without and theos God, hence “without God”.) More on it from infidels.org:

“What is atheism?”

Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings.

Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Just lacking belief in Gods is often referred to as the “weak atheist” position; whereas believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as “strong atheism.”
Bringing up Atheism nowdays is akin to bringing up equal/civil rights in the 50 – there’s going to be people vying for both sides, a possibility of violence, and a huge shitstorm. I will not apologize for any potential shitstorms that result of what I say or believe (or rather, don’t believe) because I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion – no matter how much it may conflict with mine.

Since this is a military blog, I’m going to bring up a military-centric topic. An old adage states “There are no Atheists in foxholes”. It’s a phrase that’s meant to evoke the fear of soldiers in the battlefield that will drive them to a higher power.

Despite being shot at, blown up, wounded, and K.I.A., there are indeed Atheists in foxholes and there have been for hundreds of years – just as there have been Jews, Buddhists, Christians, and people of all sorts of religious, ethnic, social, and national backgrounds. To say otherwise is to do a disservice to all soldiers, not just the non-believers who have served their countries in battle.

“A Theist’s Nightmare” asks “Why are there so few famous ATHEISTS in the military. The comments range from sarcastic (“And why are there no great atheist inventors? Could it be they’re waiting for stuff to invent itself?”) to straightforward “(Because atheists realize war is stupid?”) to the extremely faithful (“Because athiests are afraid to die…If a religious person dies in battle,normally they go to Heaven…if a athiest dies, they just die…”) and to the unoriginal thinkers (“Because there are no atheists in foxholes.”). This small Yahoo! Answers thread is an example of the kind of discussion that can result.

Anyway, on to the military bit. Military non-believers have been in the news more and more lately, often because of some sort of discrimination from their peers or higher-ups:

TOPEKA, Kan. – Military officials in Iraq are investigating allegations that [Spc. Jeremy Hall] is being harassed for being an atheist but said Saturday that they cannot find an officer the soldier has named in a federal lawsuit.

. . .

In responding to the lawsuit, a Pentagon spokesman said the military does value and respect religious freedoms, but that accommodating religious practices should not interfere with unit cohesion, readiness, standards or discipline.

. . .

In the lawsuit, Hall said that his free speech and religious rights were violated a year ago when he sat down with soldiers to eat a Thanksgiving holiday dinner. When asked to join hands and pray, Hall declined, but sat as the other soldiers prayed over the food. A sergeant asked why he would not pray and Hall told him he was an atheist, meaning he does not believe in God.

The sergeant demanded that Hall move to another table and not sit with the other soldiers. Hall said he stayed and ate without speaking to the others.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20922106/

Another one, featuring Mr. Wayne Atkins:

On July 18th, 2006 Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, lumped atheists and agnostics together with bigots and in a paraphrase of an old untrue negative stereotype declared that there are no atheists in foxholes. It is ironic that such a bigoted remark would come during his speech about diversity to the NAACP. The National Guard received a number of letters complaining about his remarks and several atheist organizations denounced them. But the Army, despite how it defines unlawful discrimination in its own regulations, has decided that the remarks were not discriminatory. I disagree.

. . .

Army Regulation 600-20, section 6-2, paragraph a says “The U.S. Army will provide EO and fair treatment for military personnel and family members without regard to race, color, gender, religion, national origin, and provide an environment free of unlawful discrimination and offensive behavior. They have failed miserably at providing an environment free of offensive behavior for atheists. The regulation defines several terms in these sections which make it clear that the public comments of Blum and others constitute “unlawful discrimination”. Disparaging terms are defined as “Terms used to degrade or connote negative statements pertaining to race, color, gender, national origin, or religion”. Claiming that there are no atheists in foxholes implies that they do not serve at all which is patently false or that they all really do believe something other than what they say. It implies that all atheists are liars and cowards. That fits the definition of making negative statements about an entire group of people based solely on their religious identification.

The first response given when atheists complain is that atheism isn’t an organized or acknowledged religion and therefore atheists are not covered by the regulation. But the regulation defines the term “religion” as “A personal set or institutionalized system of attitudes, moral or ethical beliefs and practices held with the strength of traditional views, characterized by ardor and faith, and generally evidenced through specific observances”. The regulation’s definition of religion includes “a personal set” of beliefs and does not require organization or outside acknowledgement. The regulation also defines prejudice as “a negative feeling or dislike based upon a faulty or inflexible generalization (that is, prejudging a person or group without knowledge or facts)”. Claiming that there are no atheists in foxholes is both a “faulty” and “inflexible generalization”.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/17380

That is from 1st Lt. Wayne Adkins, who resigned from the military on grounds of discrimination.

WASHINGTON — A coalition of atheists and agnostics wants the new White House to protect young military members from what they see as rampant religious discrimination in the services.

The Secular Coalition for America held a news conference Monday urging new rules against proselytizing and more training for chaplains on how to handle nonreligious troops.

. . .

The coalition also wants President-elect Obama to develop a new directive for all chaplains and commanders that eliminates public prayers from any mandatory-attendance events for troops and ensures the Defense Department will not endorse any single religion, or even the idea of religion over nonreligion.

Jason Torpy, a retired soldier and president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, said his group isn’t opposed to Christianity or any other organized religion.

“We just recognize that religion and religious people get a lot of support from the military,” he said. “What about the rest of us?”

. . .

About one-fifth of current servicemembers identify themselves as having no religious preference, according to Defense Department statistics.

Only a small percentage of troops identify themselves as atheists or agnostics, but Torpy said that’s because they fear retribution. Without new rules, he said, there isn’t any guarantee they can avoid that kind of treatment.

“We’re as dedicated to the military as our Christian counterparts,” he said. “We just want to serve our country, too.”

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=58763

Related to the above story (and quite possibly my favorite):

A former evangelical Navy chaplain hopes that president-elect Barack Obama will not take actions aimed at completely removing any vestige of Christianity from the United States military.

The Secular Coalition for America recently held a news conference urging president-elect Barack Obama to, among other things, enact new rules against proselytizing and develop a new directive for all chaplains and commanders to eliminate public prayers from any mandatory attendance events for military troops.

Gordon James Klingenschmitt is a former naval chaplain who says, unfortunately, the Secular Coalition for America will eventually get its way. “There is a day coming in the end Gordon James Klingenschmitttimes when the military will be forced to be atheistic because, in order for the eventual man who is the man of sin — the Anti-Christ — as it is describe in the Bible, for him to come to power and to stamp out Christianity around the globe, he’s going to need a good strong atheist military,” he contends. “That is the first step toward Armageddon, and I’m concerned about that. And I pray that President (elect) Obama is not foolish enough to lead us down that road.”

Klingenschmitt notes he intends to watch the Obama administration very closely for the first sign of anti-Christian persecution, and when that time comes, he says he will blow the trumpet and sound the alarm.

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Security/Default.aspx?id=326370

But let’s not forget what is probably the most outrageous recorded incident involving an Atheist/agnostic/nonbeliever in the military to date: Pat Tillman.

Pat Tillman was what any layman would call a hero. He left a cushy job in the NFL for a slightly-less-than-cushy job as an Army Ranger.

He definitely considered himself “not religious”:

Shortly after, Ferguson received a phone call from Tillman. The Seahawks general manager hoped it would be regarding his open-ended offer. It was not.

“A company chaplain at Fort Lewis was hoping to get a Seahawks player to come down and speak,” Ferguson said. “And the chaplain had Pat call me.

“He said, ‘(Expletive), I hate calling you like this, Fergie, but this chaplain needs a favor. You know I’m not religious, but he’s a really nice guy, and I want to help him out.”

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2005-04-16-tillman-opportunity_x.htm

Pat Tillman did what many non-religious people have done over the years and enlisted. He was a poster boy for the military and the talk of the town – nay, the nation – when he enlisted. And for all that work, he gets shot to death by his own comrades.

Initially the Army lied out of their ass and said that he was killed by enemy fire. With recruitment dipping faster than tech stocks in 2001, one’s given to believe that they absolutely fucking loved the idea of a Real American Hero (TM) being K.I.A.

Except he wasn’t. Pat Tillman was apparently killed by friendly fire.

The government ruled it an accident. But since they bullshitted about how he died, and (according to the previously linked article) “No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene – no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck,” I’m inclined to believe that a guy who wouldn’t tow the company line got fragged and the military is glossing it over.

Pat was a student of many religious books (as many Atheists surprisingly are, including myself) and counted Noam Chomsky among his favorite authors. After details such as this were released via The San Francisco Chronicle, Ann Coulter “seethed”. The All-American football star who supported the war apparently didn’t support the war or the President at all. And to top it off, his evil liberal agenda included a distinct lack of belief in God:

Just when we thought we had a pure and simple hero, a millionaire athlete who gave up wealth and fame to become the ideal patriot, to make the ultimate sacrifice, his friends and family complicated everything. They turned Pat Tillman into a human being Monday, showing us what was really lost during that ambush in Afghanistan, insisting that we question every assumption we’ve made since he died an icon on April 22.

Yes, there were uplifting tales, moments when tears and pride swelled in everyone watching Tillman’s memorial service at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden. There were jarring moments, too, and they carried the message of the afternoon — “challenge yourself” — more powerfully than those laden with conventional inspiration.

Tillman’s youngest brother, Rich, wore a rumpled white T-shirt, no jacket, no tie, no collar, and immediately swore into the microphone. He hadn’t written anything, he said, and with the starkest honesty, he asked mourners to hold their spiritual bromides.

“Pat isn’t with God,” he said. “He’s f — ing dead. He wasn’t religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he’s f — ing dead.”

What? This didn’t happen for God, as well as country? A professional athlete turned soldier, and we’re supposed to believe that he’d have no use for piety? Robbed of a cliche, where does that leave us?

Challenge yourself.

His brother-in-law and close friend, Alex Garwood, described how Tillman handled his duties when he became godfather to Garwood’s son. He came to the ceremony dressed as a woman. Not as a religious commentary. He was doing a balancing act.

“We had two godfathers, no godmother,” Garwood explained. And what NFL player turned Army Ranger wouldn’t don drag to make that math work?

Who on earth was this guy?

He was the same person who often talked late into the night with his linebackers coach at ASU, prying apart stereotypes about college football players and future soldiers.

“He talked about gays,” Lyle Setencich, the former ASU assistant said. “He asked me, ‘Could you coach gays?’ ” Setencich told Tillman yes. He could, and he had. He repeated that at the memorial service, televised on ESPN, in front of the sports world, showing another side of a coach, another side of an American hero.

Challenge yourself.

Tillman talked about everything, with everyone. According to the speakers, he had read the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and he underlined passages constantly. Garwood recalled how he’d mail articles to friends, highlighting certain parts and writing in the margins: “Let’s discuss.” A quotation from Emerson, found underlined in Tillman’s readings, adorned the program.

It concluded with this: “But the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.’

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/04/SPG5K6FD091.DTL

Pat Tillman was loved by his team and comrades, and he will be sorely missed by his family. While we can all take guesses as to what happened, the Military will shitcan anything that could make them potentially look bad and we will never really know what happened to him.

Aside from the fourth and fifth of the five articles, let me go on with the one bit that pisses me off the most from the first three:

In responding to the lawsuit, a Pentagon spokesman said the military does value and respect religious freedoms, but that accommodating religious practices should not interfere with unit cohesion, readiness, standards or discipline.

“Unit cohesion” and “discipline” are the same reason that LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) people are discriminated against in the military via the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I’ve never served and I don’t intend to unless an invading force marches into America proper, but there are people with my personal philosophies who do.

As anyone who has served can tell you, the military is all about falling in line. The old Japanese adage “The nail that stands up gets hammered down” applies like a rock-solid rule to the military. If you don’t want to go to a foreign country and blow shit up, you’re un-American. If you don’t want to pray before meals with your fellow soldiers, you’re un-American. If you don’t make fun of the funny people with the camels and silly beards, you’re un-American.

According to the Pentagon’s statement, they say that “the military does value and respect religious freedoms”. Most Atheists just want to step out of the prayer circle, eat their food in peace, and generally be left the Hell alone, yet they are continually harassed and discriminated against by their fellow soldiers.

Thankfully, our non-believing boys and girls in the milly are not alone. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers fights for their rights to not believe. American Atheists, America’s foremost Atheist activism organization, has a Military Director who focuses on this particular prong of Atheist civil rights.

The most puzzling thing of all, though, is the statements of our former Navy Chaplain, Gordon James Klingenschmitt. Quoting again:

Gordon James Klingenschmitt is a former naval chaplain who says, unfortunately, the Secular Coalition for America will eventually get its way. “There is a day coming in the end Gordon James Klingenschmitttimes when the military will be forced to be atheistic because, in order for the eventual man who is the man of sin — the Anti-Christ — as it is describe in the Bible, for him to come to power and to stamp out Christianity around the globe, he’s going to need a good strong atheist military,” he contends. “That is the first step toward Armageddon, and I’m concerned about that. And I pray that President (elect) Obama is not foolish enough to lead us down that road.”

Regardless of what you believe, I can not fathom how someone could interpret these words as anything other than preposterous. The military will never “be forced to be atheistic”, nor will it become an army that will “stamp out Christianity around the globe”.

This all comes down to the crux of my beliefs about Atheism and government that’s seated in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

A common argument against Atheist rights in relation to the first amendment is that it states “freedom of religion”, meaning that you have to have a religion to be granted these rights. That is specious, ludicrous, and insulting reasoning and so very against the spirit of the Constitution. It’s not something that can be taken 100% literally; otherwise the second amendment would let us keep howitzers in our backyards (a discussion for another time).

So what do we want? Why do we fight so hard, and why do so many of us live in fear?

Why can’t we just shut up and leave the believers alone?

America is not a Christian nation. It’s not a Muslim nation, or a Zoroastrian nation, or a Satanist nation (despite what some of those people way out East say). We’re a nation of many cultures and religions, and our core principles are respecting all of those equally.

To many Atheists (and to myself), “In God We Trust” on our money is an affront to every agnostic, atheist, polytheist, and believer of non-monotheistic faiths. “Under God” in the Pledge of Alliegiance is the same, as is swearing on a Bible in court and the continual attempts to advance religious platforms in politics.

E Pluribus Unum (Latin for “From Many, One”, our original national motto) is way more uplifting than an affirmation of trust in a God that almost nobody can agree on how to believe in.

We want to be free of harassment. We want to be free to say that we don’t believe. We want to serve our country just as anyone else does without discrimination. We want our country to respect the principles it was founded on. And we definitely do not want to do it at the exclusion of any other belief system – we just want to be on equal ground.

Right now, we aren’t, and I truly hope that in my lifetime I will be able to see the day when we’ll get the respect we deserve as people – not because of the color of our skin, our nationality, our sexual orientation, or our belief system – but because it’s the right and fair thing to do.


Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

And I’m Back

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Thanks to Michiel for taking over while I was away.

So I have just just moved back to Dallas.  I was originally planning to write about all of the interesting things I saw on my trip.  But as it turns out, there isn’t a hell of a lot between Dallas and Phoenix.  It’s basically just rocks, dirt and El Paso.

While passing through El Paso I did manage to go through an immigration check point.  All of the INS agents manning the checkpoint were Hispanic.  Which seems like something that you would see in a Carlos Mencia sketch. Assuming of course that some other funnier comedian had made an identical sketch years earlier.

I got to sit in a line for about 40 minutes while cars creeped through one at a time.  When it was my turn an agent approached the car.

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Voodoo Farming #7 (07/23/09): The First Movie Review!

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Welcome back, dear readers, to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture.

So far I’ve covered a bunch of games and one book. I never intended VF to stick to any one particular medium – if it has zombies on it, then it’s potential material. So here we are at our very first movie review.

A lot of the material that I have covered so far has already been reviewed at one point or another. I don’t think I’m really doing anything particularly new here in the sense of reviewing games, books, movies, etc. – that’s been done for as long as these forms of entertainment have existed.

What I am doing different, however, is trying to present whatever I am viewing as if the situation really were to happen – as if the reader him/herself were there. I guess you could call it “Immersive Reviewing”. Sometimes I look at things from the perspective of being in the universe, and sometimes I look at things from an outsider perspective. (I find that if I don’t change things up a bit, I can get bored with a project quickly.)

Seven issues in, and I’ve already become bored with videogames and covered a book, music videos, and now, finally, a movie.

I wanted to pick a really good one, because if I mess this up than this is going to sully my reputation more than the time I ran down the street pantless, playing a flute and claiming to be the Pied Piper. So, I did.

Get ready.

Oh fuck yes, it’s The Evil Dead.

Five unassuming college students (Ash, Scotty, Cheryl, Shelly and Linda) decide to spend a little time in a cabin out in the boonies.

First, their car mysteriously tries to drive itself into an oncoming car, and Scotty just barely avoids an accident.

They then cross over a bridge that can only be described as ramshackle.

The preceding events happen in the first five minutes of the film. Slow, dramatic buildup this isn’t.

Despite the environment itself trying to off our five protagonists, they make it to the cabin just fine.

A cursory exploration of the place shows that the bridge was in much better condition than this house. It’s less of a cabin and more of a pile of wood that happens to be standing upright in the shape of a cabin.

The students all chill out. One of our ladies decides to sketch a picture, and her arm decides to flip the fuck out on her and draw a ragged picture of some kind of book.

So far, our heroes have had both their car and a bridge try to kill them. Now one of the girls is drawing something and not entirely under her own power. She is obviously freaked out by this.

At this point, any zombie movie aficionado would be gathering weapons, boarding up the house, never going anywhere alone, and sitting quietly on the floor in an outward-facing circle until daylight comes. Unfortunately, none of our protagonists seem to put the pieces together.

A trap door leading to the basement starts jumping up and down on its own. (Apparently, a severely crippled fight-or-flight response is a requirement for being a character in a horror movie.) After that, the lovable Ash heads downstairs and uncovers a book that has a cover that can only be described as “covered in flesh” and a tape recorder.

So of course, Ash does what any sane man would do: he cracks the mysterious book open, browses through it, and then starts playing the tape recorder. In the dead of night. In the middle of nowhere.

Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat, it killed a whole group of idiot college students.

Apparently, there were some demons who were taking a catnap for a few years or so, and they just woke them the fuck up.

Well, despite all the bad stuff that’s happened so far, at least everyone is smart enough to stay inside until the morning. I mean, nobody would be that stupi-

Oh son of a bitch. Hey, let’s investigate the mysterious, creepy sounds that are coming from outside! Surely this bathrobe and childlike curiosity will protect me!

After walking a fair enough distance from the cabin, the forest decides that it would like to cop a feel on Cheryl.

The Evil Dead may very well have the distinct pleasure of being the first horror movie that features tentacle rape.

Seriously. The forest grabs Cheryl, spreads her legs, and just outright rapes her. This is probably the most unpleasant scene to watch in the entire film, largely because of the mixing elements of crippling terror and sadomasochistic erotica.

If you believe another horror movie – or any movie – featured live action tentacle rape first, feel free to prove me wrong. I’m sure as hell not going to spend time searching online for tentacle rape, or watching movies to see if there’s tentacle rape, or even typing “tentacle rape” in Google. That’s the kind of shit that gets you put on government watchlists.

Cheryl smartly runs back to the house and tells her story to the other four housemates who have conveniently avoided being raped.

They think that she just got scared and freaked out a bit. Maybe she fell the wrong way on a whole pile of branches! Sure guys.

I have to step back from the movie a minute here. One of the most important things about a movie – or any story, for that matter – is suspension of disbelief. I have never in my life seen or met any people who possess such an extreme lack of common sense yet retain the fine motor skills to perform activities like driving, talking, and breathing.

To be fair, this movie was made in the early ’80s, so I’m just assuming that all five of these people are stoned and/or drunk out of their goddamned minds. That would certainly explain their very, very, very, very, very faulty reasoning up to this point. (Whoa, for a second there I channeled Commandant Lassard.)

So what does it take for them all to wake the fuck up and realize that shit’s getting freaky?

This.

When Cheryl starts guessing playing cards being held up (that classic test of psychic ability) with statistically improbable accuracy and turns into a fucking hellspawn demon, then the remaining four college students think, “Hey, something might be wrong here.”

Cheryl stabs Linda in the ankle with a pencil. Instead of immediately disabling, dismembering, and burning her body, they lock her in the basement.

Then Shelly decides to flip the fuck out on them. Scotty takes things into his own hands and disarms (and dislegs, and dishands, and disfoots, and…) her with a wood ax. Finally, the boys stop taking shit from some emo Sumerian demons who are pissed about being woken up early from their nap.

Interestingly enough, the women seem more susceptable to falling under the influence of the evil forces. However, it may just be that it was transmitted somehow by touch – first Cheryl (who was raped), then Shelly, and finally Linda.

The boys bury Shelly and Scotty decides to go and look for a trail that will get them out of there, completely ignoring what happened to Cheryl a short time earlier.

Of course, Scotty’s dumb ass gets fucked up proper.

It’s not explicitly stated whether or not he was raped, but I’m gonna say yes judging by the way he walked.

Now we have two confirmed zombiedemons, one woman halfway there and rolling along like a sleepy trucker down an exit ramp, one guy who got the shit kicked out of him by some trees, and Ash.

Linda (Ash’s girlfriend) finally turns and starts spouting out the creepy shit so prevalent in the movie. Ash has several opportunities to off her.

Instead, he wusses the fuck out and takes her outside. Then he tries to dismember her with a chainsaw, but he wusses out again.

Kudos are in order to this man for maintaining a modicum of civility amidst a crisis. Sure, civility is useless as hell when you need to fuck up hellspawn, but thankfully Ash learns his lesson eventually. You’ll get to read more about that in my inevitable review of Army of Darkness.

Ash’s formerly human friends – even though they’ve been beaten halfway to death – try to off him several more times. Ol’ Ash barricades the doors and goes into the basement to get more shotgun shells.

When everything starts going haywire and a film projector starts bleeding, no one is going to blame you for shitting your pants.

The one place that was marginally safe – the House – starts to come alive. Lightbulbs bleed from the inside. Window shutters slam open and close. Ash, for some reason, is compelled to touch a mirror on the wall. His hand goes through as if the surface were water, and he pulls it back screaming franitically. Shit is officially 100% fucked to high Hell.

The house is raided by a grand total of four zombies – everyone but Ash who hasn’t survived. Ash finally grows a pair and offs each one of those fuckers. I guess when it comes down to “us or them”, Ash has no problem choosing “us” (well, in this case, “me”).

Despite all the ass-kicking that he’s done, he gets laid out on the cabin floor. Cheryl beats his sorry ass with a fireplace poker. Ash smartly notices that while the naughty bad book is one fire, the zombies exhibit symptoms of burning as well. He manages to chuck it into the fire…

And the book proceeds to try its best to imitate the “surprise” emoticon ( i.e. O: ):

Ash’s former friends proceed to fall apart while demons try to give them a high five from the inside out:

After all he’s been through, Ash stands outside. He’s filthy as hell, his friends are dead, and he’s probably come closer to Hell than any living man ever should. But he’s alive. He survived.

And just as Ash lets his guard down, something comes out of the forest and presumably kills him:


Evil Dead is considered a classic, and rightfully so. It was banned in many countries when it first came out (largely for the infamous “tree rape” scene), and is still technically illegal in Germany. (It came out on DVD in 2001, but they were ordered to be seized in 2002.)

As much as I admonish the characters for their many, many, many, many, many poor choices (damn, I went a-Lassardin’ again), I think the horror movie genre would suffer a bit without this particular narrative technique. Even so, this particular element has been relaxed in recent years. In 28 Days Later, for instance, our hero Jim realizes that things are pretty fucked rather quickly. (You can bet your ass that I’ll be getting to that one real soon.) You can still create tension, pressure, and drama without making your characters complete fucking idiots.

It’s easy to look back on older works and criticize them heavily, and I did give The Evil Dead a pretty heavy whipping. If you didn’t pick it up from the review, I actually loved this movie. The special effects were pretty damn good, the acting was cheesy (which goes hand-in-hand with the horror genre), and despite our heroes’ lack of common sense the film does a really good job at drawing you in.

What can we learn from The Evil Dead?

If you find a creepy book with strange writing, leave it the fuck alone and run.

RUN.


Reader Mail:

Vooding Farming #6: Killing Floor

I can has reader mail?

Sai Says:
July 21st, 2009 at 7:38 am

About time this game gets some attention. Mainstream and underground alike, it’s pretty much ignore.

Nothing against L4D, but…it’s not THAT great a game.

I bought L4D, I played L4D, and I got bored of L4D. Waste of 40 bucks IMO. I’ll probably buy L4D2, but only when I can catch it on sale for like $25. Killing Floor has way more bang for its buck.

GBlair Says:
July 21st, 2009 at 8:14 am

Small note: some servers have upto fifty players on them but six is the normal amount.

Yeah, but you won’t get any perks on those servers. In patch… 1003, I think, it was hardcoded in where servers can only have 6 player slots or less (even though the game can technically support more).

See you guys next week!


Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

What I did today.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

I’m really tired, so this is a filler post about what I did while I was at work today. (I respect you enough to be honest with you). Between calls today I was spending my time at http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com/ making the following icons. These were from my Nightmare Factory photos, the haunted house Todd and I used to work at. Feel free to discuss.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Wii are such nerds.

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

I had no idea what to post, but I was watching interesting videos earlier today on http://www.ted.com/ and thought I would see if I could find something nerdy enough to present here. Most of the stuff on the site is nerdy to one degree or another, so I had to find the nerdiest thing I could.

How cool is this?

And if that wasn’t nerdy enough, then try this on for size.

Voodoo Farming #6 (07/16/09): It’s Not What You Think

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Welcome to Voodoo Farming: A Not-Quite In-Depth Look At Zombies In Popular Culture. Remember that you can e-mail me questions, ideas, etc. at ihmhi6@gmail.com or you can leave comments. They might just show up in the “Reader Mail” section that I’m including in every issue.

Last week, I mentioned that I would be reviewing a zombie game that I have been playing a lot lately, and asked people to venture guesses.

Leon Says:
July 9th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Zombie game on a PC? Gotta be L4D. If you’re doing solo play and want a challenge, up the max zombie spawns to 300, set it for permanent panic event and then trigger it. Now that’s a zombie rush.

Captcha: speeds peated – what I did the first time I saw a tank in L4D

Nope, not L4D. I do own it and I will be reviewing it in the future for its sheer popularity, but I actually haven’t played it all that much since I’ve been through the game. I’m not terribly fond of it, especially because the Campaign mode has a severe lack of “pick up and play it for 10 minutes before work”. As the difficulty goes up, the length of the campaigns goes into the hours mark.

ThandraK Says:
July 13th, 2009 at 11:31 am

I’m going to guess that it is not L4D, but rather a cheery little thing involving Plants.

(decay National. Well, that fits.)

I’m actually interested in buying Plants Vs. Zombies and checking it out. I’ve reached the point in my research where I’m actively buying zombie games that I wouldn’t have otherwise purchased as readily. (Hence why I own Left4Dead and the game I’m reviewing today.)

Those two guesses, while admirable, were wrong, because the game that I was talking about and that I’ll be reviewing today is Killing Floor.


Doubles as a possible advertisement for the South Beach Diet.

Killing Floor is a game very much in the spirit of The House of the Dead. I was a serious fan of those games (along with Time Crisis). When THOTD 3 came out and I couldn’t dual wield the guns (pump-action shotguns), I was truly dismayed at actually having to… ugh, cooperate with someone else. Dammit, I tried though. I got pretty decent at pumping the shotguns on my legs or the arcade cabinet, but eventually the pressure got too high and I couldn’t survive.

I am not a huge fan of co-op games, at least with people I don’t know. The games that have “working together” as a major component are the easiest to grief. You don’t see very much of it in an arcade because if someone kept purposefully shooting the survivors in THOTD I would pistol whip them with the little plastic light gun or strangle them with the cord.

Online, however – safe behind the anonymity of the Internet – people are free to act like jerks. That’s why I typically only play co-op games with people I know, because one person acting like a jackass can ruin the game. KF is no different.

Threat Level:

Killing Floor bears the distinct honor of being the first game on VF to get a 5/5 Threat Level, and damn it all if it doesn’t earn it.

Left4Dead has four player co-op. KF has six-player co-op. I am definitely one of those “more is better” kind of people, so naturally this game appealed to me a bit more than L4D.

You fight waves of monsters (referred to as “specimens” – more about that below). In-between rounds, you visit a trader who sells you weapons. This game definitely has the “Kill Stuff > Buy Guns > Kill More Stuff > Buy Better Guns” Counter-Strike element. Speaking of guns…

Armaments:

Hoo boy, well, the easiest way to do this is to show you the weapons in the game:

This must be what Wal-Mart is like in Texas.

There is a wide variety of weapons available to you (CHAINSAW FUCK YEAH), ranging from a machete to a rocket launcher.

KF has “Perks”, which is their fancy name for Classes. There are six classes: Field Medic (armor, speed, and healing bonuses), Commando (Bullpup, reload speed bonuses, can see life bars on enemies), Support Specialist (shotgun bonuses, can carry more stuff in general, better grenades and more of them as well), Sharpshooter (pistol/rifle bonuses), Berserker (melee bonuses, damage resistance), and Firebug (it’s all about fire – fire hurts you less and hurts enemies more, simple as that).

Each of the Perks has weapons that fit with them, and most players are going to develop a favorite. As you meet certain requirements with Perks (x number of damage, x number of enemies killed, x number of headshots, etc.), you level up those Perks for greater bonuses. A Bullpup in the hands of a Level 5 Commando is way more effective than one in the hands of a Level 3 Field Medic.

For new players, I definitely recommend with going for the Support Class. Your grenades do more damage (and grenades are your basic “panic button”), you can carry more stuff (more ammo, and you can try out multiple different weapons to see what works for you), and it’s damn hard to miss with shotguns. You’ll see a lot of people playing Support in Normal difficulty.

As you get to Hard difficulty, you’re going to see a lot more Medics and Sharpshooters. You can literally die in two seconds, so the more enemies you can take down the better. A good lot of players that get up to that difficulty play Field Medic because they don’t have to rely on their teammates as much – you can heal yourself, and the healing mechanic is a rechargeable syringe.

Suicidal difficulty… I haven’t touched it. I’m not high enough level or skilled enough. Having multiple Perks in a Suicidal game will greatly increase your chances of actually winning, because at this point you’re going to need people to fill out their roles – Berserkers stand in front of the big enemies and soak up damage, Field Medics keep everyone going, Supports do a shitload of damage, etc. Having a lot of people of the same Perk will work against you because they all have their weak points. In Suicidal, those weak points will get your team killed. Period.

As a general guideline, you should be Level 2 in a perk before you start playing Normal, Level 4 before you start playing Hard, and Level 5 before you start playing Suicidal. The enemies might seem pretty easy in the early waves, and while the later waves might still be suicidal, The Patriarch (the ultimate boss of every round) is very unforgiving.

Cause of the Outbreak:

There’s none really given. A biotech firm was doing some stuff with blah blah virus blah blah mad scientist (The Patriarch) blah blah Britain’s fucked up with Zombies. It’s like a mishmash of Resident Evil and 28 Days Later, but the zombi- er, specimens are definitely slower.

 

Co-Stars:

Lemme give you a rundown of some of the baddies. KF has a greater variety of enemies than L4D, and they all feel very fleshed out.

Hey fatty fatty fatty fatty.

On the right, your standard Clots. WoW players would colorfully refer to these as “trash mobs”. Almost never a threat, but they come in huge numbers. On the left, a Bloat. If you’ve played Left4Dead, this is the boomer. He hits you with screen-obstructing bile that does damage over time. It doesn’t attract the enemies towards you, though, because the enemies are always heading towards your team at all times. This is definitely more of a “zombies come to you” game.

That is the cheesiest Halloween costume ever. Wait, is that a real chainsaw?

Jumping up in the air at me is a Crawler. Crawlers go low to the ground and tend to hop around. Most of the more intelligently-designed maps have vents or roofs where they will be jumping down on you from above. If they surround you, well… Starcraft players know what happens when a swarm of Zerglings surrounds a larger unit like a Dragoon or a Siege Tank.

Dead in the center is a Stalker. Stalkers can go invisible and only appear when they hit you. You will be very familiar with being surrounded with these… ladies? and frantically trying to shoot them as they rip out your guts.

And the big dude with a Chainsaw? That’s a Scrake. I don’t know where the name comes from. I’ve seen players refer to them as “ScRAPEs”. They are the third-toughest enemies in the game, as they can soak up a fair bit of damage. Once they rage out and rush you, they do not let up until one of you is dead.

Not pictured: Gorefasts (red, faster clots with swords for arms) and Sirens (Area of Effect damage that penetrates armor). I’m not gonna spend all day taking screenshots people. d:

You won’t understand the fear until you’ve played the game.

This is a Flesh Pound. The name and picture alone should let you know how irrevocably fucked you are when you come up against one of these.

When Flesh Pounds take damage, they rage out:

Oh shi-

This is where you should start unloading your gun into him.

Hug? (I have the feeling that this is going to be a recurring joke on VF…)

This is where you are screwed.

Flesh Pounds are like amped-up Scrakes. They can and have wiped out entire experienced teams just because they could not take it down fast enough.

The tried-and-true strategy for taking it out is to throw a ton of your grenades at it until it is dead. If this fails, the gunfire will take it out. Inexperienced players, however, will die many times at the, er, hands of this foe. Hell, even experienced players get trashed by a Flesh Pound now and again.

These guys aren’t really the stars of the show, though. That would be The Patriarch, and we’ll be covering him in a sec.

Odds of Survival: Low-Medium

Whether you ultimately live or die depends on three things – your skill, your Perks, and your teamwork. This becomes more and more evident as you go higher up in the difficulty levels. The enemies aren’t all that bad – it’s The Patriarch that does your poorly organized, underleveled team in at the end.


The Devilish Details:

“One in the pipe!” means a rocket is coming your way. “This is the end of you!” means he’s going to shred you with the minigun.

The Patriarch is the mad-scientist-turned-zombie-overlord that is ultimately going to fuck you up after 4, 7, or 10 waves of enemies (depending on the game length). He considers the specimens his children, and you’ve just taken down about 2,000 of them. (Yes, over 10 waves you can face around that many enemies.)

The Patriarch has three main attacks. His rocket launcher will drop a fully-armored, full-health player down to “walking corpse” with one direct hit. Glancing hits will still do a lot of damage. His minigun will absolutely fuck you up at 10 meters or closer, and do pittance damage at range.

The worst thing he can do, though, is his melee. When he hits you with melee, it will do a good chunk of damage and knock you back. After that, he’ll typically finish you off with the minigun. If you don’t have cover that you can get behind in under 1 second, you are dead. Throw all your grenades and do as much damage as you can before you die, because you will and you may as well help out your teammates.

Aside from those nasty bits, well… see the syringe on his right leg? He can heal back up to full health up to 3 times. There is actually an achievement (“Straight Rush”) for killing him before he has a chance to heal. I’ve done it once by stunning him with a shotgun and dropping 5 grenades on him. Oh, and he cloaks, too. When he needs to heal, he’ll cloak, run to a corner to inject himself, and summon some trash to back him up. He’ll also cloak (and increase his speed, too!) to run down one of your mates.

When he does run off to heal, Firebugs (who can light him on fire) and Commandos (who can see cloaked enemies at a certain distance) can help track him down. As soon as he appears, if you hit him hard he’ll kneel down. This is your chance to kill him before he even has a chance to heal. If you mess up, then he’ll cloak and try again. The strange combination of a Commando with a flamethrower does a decent job of tracking him down while he’s cloaked.

I knight thee… Sir Fugly Uglybutts.

As I said before, when he takes a lot of damage, The Patriarch kneels down and is vulnerable. This doesn’t necessarily signal that he’s running off to heal, but this does signal HIT HIM WITH EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT.

Lower-level and new players will rely on the LAW (rocket launcher) to do the majority of damage to him, but as you get into the higher levels of perks (3+) you can do way more damage with your Perk’s respective weapons.

After you take him down, you’re treated to a slow-motion death scene that would fit right into an episode of Faces of Death:

DO

A

BARREL

ROLL!!!

Fuckin’ A. Screw Tanks in L4D – the first time you take down The Patriarch on Normal… nothing feels that awesome.


Wrapping It Up:

When I’m presented with a goal (collect trophies, level up characters, etc.) my OCD kicks in and I try to go all the way to a perfect game. GTA: San Andreas? I played Vigilante Missions for 3 hours in the Hunter (Apache Helicopter) to try to get my money to $999999etc., only to see the game add an extra digit. RPGs? I grind and try to go to Level 99, just because I can.

KF has that one “levelling stuff up” element that offers a modicum of replayability that, in my eyes, L4D just doesn’t have. The fact that the SDK has been out since the game’s launch (I believe) also means that there are a ton of great user maps out there, so it’s hard for the game to feel stale. The six Perks means that you can play the game basically six different ways.

KF is not without it’s downsides, though. The one guy who does all the male voice acting gets a little tiring after a while. (“Cover me, I’m reloading!” “I hate creepy-crawly things”, etc.) The Trader’s voiceovers are filled with so much sexual innuendo that The Todd would have a six hour erection just hearing one of them. (“Come get some big guns”, “I want you close to me, babe”, etc.)

A lot of maps have dark areas, and the only weapons with flashlights are the 9mm pistol (which everyone always has on them) and the shotgun. Granted, the Firebug makes his own light in a way, but the Sharpshooter, Berserker, Field Medic, and Commando are screwed for light unless they make use of either the 9mm or shotgun.

All in all, though, this game is really good, and at what Tripwire Interactive calls a “recession friendly price of $20″, it is worth absolutely every penny.

Lastly, a shameless plug. My gaming clan [AE] / AssEater is starting up a Killing Floor division and we are currently recruiting. Yes, that’s our name. We’ve had it for 14 years, and I believe at the beginning they had to have a disclaimer about it not being a porn site. If you’re looking to roll with an up-and-coming Killing Floor clan and get some good games going, then hit up the Join Form on our website.

What can we take away from Killing Floor should the dead rise?

Befriend all the gun enthusiasts that you can, and stay the hell outta London.


Reader Mail:

Voodoo Farming #5: The Zombie Survival Guide

schwal Says:
July 9th, 2009 at 3:54 am

Also worth a read is “World War Z, and oral history of the zombie war” also by Max Brooks. It is basicaly a bunch of interviews with survivors, and especaly cool in the audiobook version, with many well known actors as the inteviewees.

CAPTCHA: 64 vials. lets hope that number never goes down.

I’m reading it now, slowly. The 40 hours I’m pulling at work every week is really draining me every day. I wish I could say that it’s a full time job, but it’s only for 7-8 weeks. ):

So far it seems pretty interesting, and I enjoyed The Zombie Survival Guide, so I’m optimistic about it. I’ll be reviewing it in a future edition of VF.

Billy Says:
July 9th, 2009 at 9:38 am

What all of these fail to notice is one more type of zombie, a more likely type in fact, that would be much more difficult to kill than your standard brain zombie. The spine zombie. Most of your bodily actions that turn into instince ect, is in your spinal column, which is why if you cut a chickens head off it runs around for a while still. With that information, it stands to reason that a real zombie would probably have all of its motion put into is spine, and less into its brain, making them harder to kill with guns, and will catch most people by suprise as most people would base their stradegies off of old zombie movies.

For those kind of zombies, well… they would certainly be a lot harder to take down, I’ll give you that. I think the book would be significantly different if that were the case.

However, in the first part of the book, Max Brooks clearly states how zombies in his universe work. Destroying the brain is enough. Applying other possible zombie archetypes doesn’t really fit because they don’t work in his world. And if we ever did have a spine-zombie uprising, a lot of the tactics could be adapted from the book to fit it.

Thanks for reading guys. See you next week. What I’ll review, I don’t know. I’m thinking about doing a movie since I don’t want to just keep doing games again and again. I’d appreciate any recommendations for a good screenshot-taking program, because it is very much a pain in the butt to switch to a screenshot-friendly, slow playback mode for my movies/shows.


 

Ihmhi is a developer for Fortress Forever, a free, fast paced Team Fortress mod for Half-Life 2.

More Superhero Goodness

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Last week, I posted about Shadow Hare, the guy in Cincinnati that thinks he is a superhero, but is actually just a nerd who took comic books way to serious. But I will say his Tobey Maguire/Spiderman nerd voice impression is second to none.

So I was looking for more stuff on him and here is what I found.

I have to wonder how serious he is about what he does when he does interviews like this…

You have to wonder how serious people take him when you see things like this…

And this makes you wonder if anyone takes this seriously at all…

And this video is worth watching just to see Shadow Hare on his Segway…

This guy that wants to be the Shadow Hares’ sidekick.

I don’t know what to make of all this real life super hero stuff, but I have a feeling we are going to see more from Shadow Hare and many others. I look forward to more news and video that will amaze and amuse, and I am sure they will deliver.

Excelsior!