Sunday, January 22, 2012

We Won!

Congratulations, Internet! You guys did an amazing thing this week!

It was absolutely incredible to see the size of the response Google, Wiki, Reddit and many others pulled from all of us. It really shows a new and intimidating determination our population has. It showed our legislators that we will not simply stand by while our rights are being violated!

After Wednesday's protest, huge numbers of senators and representatives switched from being either neutral, or for SOPA/PIPA to being openly opposed to it.  After the amount of noise we made this week, Texas Republican in the House Lamar Smith stopped discussion regarding SOPA, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid postponed the voting on PIPA. This is a huge victory for the online community.

This doesn't mean it's over. We have been heard, we have ruffled feathers, and made some noise, but there is still a very real possibility that SOPA, PIPA or similar bills could be seen in the near future. Keep yourself informed, and when the time comes, we will be ready to strike again.

Good job everyone!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Resident Evil 6 Reveal Trailer

 It's no secret that Resident Evil has been going in a more action oriented direction. Some people love it, others hate it. Personally, either one is fine for me, as long as I get to move and shoot at the same time. Well, the trailer for 6 is out and it's pretty obvious that this is an action game. Oh, and Chris and Leon are BOTH in this one. The thing is, if you go into this wanting an action game, be prepared to be excited.

According to a press release from Capcom, the game takes place ten years after the Racoon City incident. While Leon seemingly has to deal with a zombie president, which is nowhere near as ridiculous as it is in Final Fantasy VIII, Chris Redfield seems to has his hands full in China. Both, however, seem to be dealing with T-Virus shenanigans again, which I'm kind of glad to hear. There also looks to be two new protagonists, one of which seems to have sought-after blood. Co-op will also be coming back.

While some might groan at the idea of zombies returning, no joke intended, I welcome it. After all, the T-Virus creates more than zombies, and some of the monsters look downright menacing. Especially that huge one and the one that can rip you out of cover. It also seems that you'll be fighting humans as well. And how about those new dodge maneuvers? Like I said, this seems to be pure action with some horror elements thrown in. The most exciting prospect, however, is that it appears to be coming out this year! And did you notice that the blond woman in the trailer looks and sounds like an older Ashley from Resident Evil 4? Here's hoping we'll find out more soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Hey guys, back with some SOPA/PIPA updates. Yesterday was phenomenal. The response from people's protests, messages, phone calls, letters, blackouts, and petitions caused quite a stir and has made a whole lot of noise regarding our dislike for SOPA and PIPA. I wanted to take this time to explain what PIPA/SOPA does, and why it would be so dangerous to the internet economy. Since my last article was mostly just a rabble rousing attempt to get you guys out there and looking around, I wanted to now give you a bit more detail, in hopes it will push you to start doing your own research. I gave you a ton of links, after all!

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP) are essentially the same laws. The PIPA being the Senate version of SOPA. Initially, SOPA was becoming way more popular than PIPA, but at this point, PIPA is growing faster and is just as dangerous.

Essentially what PIPA aims to do:
The obvious (and honorable) goal of PIPA is to stop online piracy on the web. Right. A worthy goal to be sure, the issue comes in how this is being done. Private corporations and copyright holders want to be able to shut down websites that are allowing illegal downloading of copyrighted content. Unfortunately for them nearly all of the big piracy websites are not based within the US. So a new approach must be taken. ISPs will be required to shut down domain names that infringe upon the rules detailed by PIPA. Furthermore, US based domains could be sued for their lack of compliance. The bill also gives our government the power to tell advertisers for sites breaking the laws to shut off their accounts, crippling the funding for those websites. Recently, the bill has received some massive additions, that place enormous penalties, for minor infringements. An entire website can be wholly removed and shut down for one singular link believed to break PIPA's rules. User based sites are going to be forced to censor each and every user. If a user posts something that isn't legal under PIPA, the website can be shut down. How awful would it be, how crippled would YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, be if every time someone posted something, it had to meet a huge range of ambiguous laws?

My favorite part.
Nothing would change. Under PIPA, you can still access websites, just by entering the IP address of the domain. Under certain Judges (perhaps a judge not fluent in the workings of the web) could rule to shut down any website found suspect of breaking PIPA. Start-up sights, with little power, and little money, could do nothing to stop this. Soundwave, early YouTube, etc. would be primary targets for this type of legislation. Sites that could provide new innovations to the online culture have to potential to be squashed out before they can grow. Simple things like a song playing in the background of your video, you yourself singing a popular song in a video, a picture from movie or video game, posted to your blog article (the kinda stuff me and Chris do everyday.), a video reenacting scenes from movies or video games, etc. etc. Any content involving copyrighted content is subject to shut-down under PIPA. Users found violating PIPA have the potential of serving up to 5 years of jail time, for something as harmless as lip syncing to your favorite song.

So what I want for you guys now, is this. Next week, call your Senator. Google who your Senator is, if you don't know, and call their office. Call them ever single day next week. Tell them to vote "no" on cloture. Go into their office (again, Google the nearest office) and show them, in person, to vote "no" on cloture. The more physical presence we can make, the more tangible our voice becomes. We have already made a huge impact on this process. Last week, 5 Senators openly opposed PIPA, after yesterdays protests, 35 Senators now openly oppose PIPA. However, the entertainment companies have so much money and pull these days, that they still have the ability to make this happen. The Senators realize this is unpopular, but they don't necessarily understand why. It's easy to imagine they're minds being changed by pretty words, and ambiguous re-wording. We can't stop now.

Post this video to your Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Forum, Blog, whatever. Get this message out to your friends, run a "call your Senator" article or post, get the word out. Let's end this!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Say No To SOPA/PIPA, boring ranting (please read!!!)

Hey kiddos. As I am almost sure you are aware by now, the US is currently sitting on a massive internet regulation bill that could severely hinder progress and growth in the online community.
Essentially, the bill would give any copyright holder the right to blacklist any domain they believed with reasonable suspicion to be in violation of their copyrights. Super power websites would be able to dominate the web, new and budding businesses could be shut down and killed based on speculation and loopholes, and (this is the best part) piracy and illegal downloading... you know... the things this is supposed to stop... would go nearly untouched.

Take Pirate Bay. They have been battered for years, even by their own country, and have managed to survive. What a lot of these Politicians fail to realize, is no matter how hard they try, the desire, the concept that creates websites like TPB will always exist. We have seen how well the DMCA works after all...
As long as crazy nerds who want to steal shit off the internet exist, there is nothing that can be done. Have you heard what those kids and Anonymous will do to you?! (I would typically, at this point, link you to a Wiki article. However, Wikipedia is currently blacked out in order to raise awareness against SOPA. Seems appropriate.) SOPA will make these things more inconvenient but little else. Let's be honest. Do you really see TPB going down? Didn't think so.

Anywhoooo, I've listed several links so you can learn up on SOPA and PIPA, make your own INFORMED decision and opinion over these topics. If you do decide to reject these, I have also linked convenient ways to contact your leaders, and sign petitions to let them know how you feel. See how easy this is?! I urge you to reject these bills, as they may be veiled with good intentions, these bills will for intense and purposes censor the internet. Which, by the way, feels an awful lot like a violation of my first amendment. This is my rant and my opinion, and I would love to discuss it with you in the comment section below.

Information regarding the bills.

1,2,3 easy mode contact your reps.

Also, this Google run petition.
Do this ^

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why Skyrim Didn't Win my Game of the Year: An Excercise in Nitpicking

A little over a week ago we wrote our game of the year articles. Based on all the awards Skyrim has gotten, it might have stood to reason that all of us would give Skyrim the same honors or at least mention it. I didn't. Not because I don't like the game. I like it. Love it in fact. I've poured about 300 hours into it. I just want to vent about my issues with it, and to give a differing opinion that contrasts the 10/10 we gave it. Also, there might be some spoilers. You have been warned.


Alduin is a world eater. He will (I guess literally?) eat your world. But, he never really DOES much. Sure, he resurrects the dragons, but they had a presence of their own. This is one of the few, but not only, step downs from Oblivion. The only times you see him early in the main quest are fleeting, and the only other times he shows up you either watch him get his ass kicked or you do it yourself. I know you never see Dagon throughout much of the game, but he still always felt present. And when you saw him at the end of the game it made things feel all the more hopeless. The Oblivion crises was always present and dangerous. Hell, at the beginning of the game the Emperor is murdered and you soon find out that a whole town has been sacked. Right from the start you see what Mehrunes Dagon is capable of. With Alduin you kind of just get told. Sure, he see him resurrect a dragon and eat some souls, I guess, but you also spend most the game devouring souls yourself. You never see him do any real world eating. With the Oblivion crises, almost everyone talks about how worried they are about the Daedra invasion. In Skyrim, some people still talk about the "rumors" of the Dragons returning. It just feels like less is at stake, even though this isn't the case. I'm not defending how tedious it was to go into every city oblivion gate, but you can't deny the coolness of going to what was essentially hell itself and kicking ass.  Killing Alduin in Sovngarde IS cool, but Dagon invades the Imperial City for Christ's sakes. And speaking of cities.

I'll devour you! Or something... I guess. Meeeeeh.


This one is, admittedly, a bit of a stretch. Both have their merits. I mean, Solitude sits on a giant natural arch. That's pretty awesome. And as a whole, the cities in Skyrim were better than the one's in Oblivion, but if Solitude was going to be the main Imperial presence I wanted something on par with the Imperial City. I know that the Imperial City, or at least the tower, as there before the current empire so this might not make complete sense, but it had actual districts. It was huge! I wanted another city like that in Skyrim and I didn't get that. I used Solitude for the comparison, because I felt it got the closest and it has the best homes, but it didn't feel as expansive.

See! There were districts! It was awesome!


This is kind of a problem with the series in general, but more-so here. My accomplishments don't resonate with anyone. When I became the leader of the Companions, I still had guards laugh at me over how I'm the new member of the Companions and I probably fetch their mead. People who see me destroy a dragon and absorb its soul only acknowledge it immediately and them seem to forget. The best example took place after I joined the Imperial Army and defeated the Stormcloaks. By the end of the quest-line I was promoted to a rather high rank in the army, but it didn't mean squat. Imperial troops still talked down to me and treated me like some common rabble. Being the Dragonborn aside, I outrank them! What's the point of being promoted if no respect comes with it. It irked me to no end.

And why do these assholes keep asking about fur in my ears? Is this a reference to being a werewolf? I CURED THAT! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!? WHAT DOES IT MEAN! TELL ME! TELL MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!


I loved my journal in Oblivion. If I forgot the point or progress of my mission I could just go read it. Now you just get a few sentences about the overall mission a mission marker for the current goal.

RIP Elder Scrolls journal :-(


This is the big one. The granddaddy of all problems. Yes, all games have glitches. The bigger the game, the more there will be. But some of the ones in Skyrim are absolutely unacceptable. I've seen glitches in big games before. Some of them are odd; some of them are funny. But in a AAA title like this one quest breaking glitches are inexcusable. When millions of gamers can't complete a quest because it doesn't activate correctly you've made a huge mistake. In my case, I can't finish the murder quest in Windhelm. Hell, some of the puzzle pillars in a ruin won't activate and I can't finish the quest to get the drum for the bards college. Then there's just general problems that have since been patched, but even those have no right to exist. Dragons not attacking, souls not absorbing; basic factors of the game didn't work and even AFTER the patch I'm still having those problems. Here's the underlying problem. Game companies, especially Bethesda need to stop releasing buggy shit that they can wave away with a day 1 or week 1 patch. You finish the game and then you release it. Patches are meant to fix smaller problems. In the case of Skyrim, it shipped with major ones and some of them aren't even fixed yet. And hell, PS3 players lost hours of progress when their save game data basically imploded on itself. Skyrim, you are a great game, amazing even, but you just had too many problems to be considered for my game of the year.

This exploit is kind of awesome, though.

I could also throw in my issues with the leveling system, but I honestly think I'm wrong on that one. I just miss gaining perks with leveling rather than having to choose them. The new system is a proven one and one I can appreciate it. Anyway, these are my reasons. I stand by them.

I am alive! Have some drawings as proof.

[crawls out of hole] Oh, hi! I promise I haven't forgotten about this dear ole blog. I just suck! Now that I've stated the obvious, let me state the even more obvious: Mass Effect 3 is less than two months away (March 6th). Do you know how excited I am? Excited enough that I wanted to type that in all caps but I didn't want to scare anyone off so I contained myself and drew some pictures instead!

A sketchy Garrus. Not necessarily sketchy as in criminal, although he is a vigilante.

Took away some lines in this one. Because I can.

Super rushed this one of Tali. Don't hate me, Talimancers!

After those sketchy Garruses (Garri?) I  wanted to draw a much cleaner Thane!

Wrex, why is your mouth so difficult to draw? Don't worry, I still love you. I know you were worried, big guy. DON'T CRY.
I didn't draw any humans because I basically never took them off the ship. And from the looks of this guy, that tradition will probably continue. But hey, maybe he will be some sort of kitten-saving intellectual with a heart of gold. Or maybe he will give Shepard free ice cream. I could live with that.

Anyway, I'll try to be more of a person and post here every once in a while. In the meantime, feel free to peruse my art blog. It is mostly geeky fanart because I have no life! And on that cheery note, I bid you good evening. Oh hey, it's morning now!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Outlaw's Game of the Year

Welp, it's the new year, and for video games it means two thing: Looking forward to a new year's worth of releases, and looking back on the best of the previous year. I'm a day late so let's not dilly-dally!


Surprise! I picked the Batman game! But it freaking deserved it! It had everything. The best combat, the best story, albeit not the best script (that honor goes to the runner up), and some of the best acting. Everything worked into making the Batman mythos feel incredibly alive. The villains, the allies: GOSH, IT WAS ALL SO GREAT! How they smoothed out the combat to near perfection astonishes even me. The addition of the quick-fire ability to so many of the gadgets makes fighting incredibly varied and still incredibly smooth. Stealth is still great and seeing your victims get more and more terrified is always incredibly satisfying. Mark Hamill gives the most chilling Joker performance Ive ever seen and Kevin Conroy is still the best Batman. Throw in amazing villain cameos, some of which I'm still finding, some actually difficult Riddler challenges, and the absolute best way of getting around an open world map in a video game ever add up to what has to be my game of the year. And as an added bonus, they also went ahead and wrote the best theme of the year, too.

Seriously... This is amazing.

Just like the title character, Batman: Arkham City can't be beat. (Don't read the comic Knightfall. It makes this final sentence make less sense)


 Portal 2 is absolutely one of the best games I've ever played. It's even better than it's prequel. The issue, however, is that it doesn't have the same impact. It does everything the first game did, but bigger and with even better writing. In fact, the writing is the best of the year, and Cave Johnson is the best new original character by far. The addition of mutiplayer puzzle solving was also great. Yet, for some reason, it just didn't do for me what the original did. When I played 1 I felt like I was playing something completely new and different. Now I just feel like I'm playing Portal. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense to anyone else, but it does to me, dammit! But I'm not insulting it. I'm giving it runner up!


That blank page should be the whole book. Also, don't look directly in the eyes of that troll child.
Oh, Duke. Duke, Duke, Duke. What the hell happened during that development cycle that lasted over a decade. Somewhere along the line, you forgot who were you. You threw old-school and new-school elements together that didn't mix and your jokes... well MOST of them fell flat. Not to mention the incredibly disturbing scene where women were essentially raped in the mouth and impregnated by aliens. It works in the movie Alien because it's a horror movie and the alien attacks members of both sexes. When the situation is pointed to as a joke it's just terrible. Yes, I did defend the game to an extent in an earlier article, but the main argument was that it wasn't as terrible as some where saying it was. It still wasn't great and it definitely didn't live up to Duke Nukem 3D. Of course, what game in the series since then has? Duke, I am disappoint. 


My face while playing Rayman: Origins
 This game needs some love. ALL OF YOUR LOVE! It was released at a terrible time, and it has sold like crap because of it. It deserves more than that, though. Way more than that. This, my friends, is the best 2-D platformer since Super Nintendo era Mario games. It's smooth, it has tight controls and physics, and gets insanely hard. It doesn't coddle you and you'll love every minute of it. Plus, it's gorgeously animated with beautifully hand drawn art and the level design is phenomenal. These factors make it special because it's a labor of love. It's a perfect throwback to an era of gaming I miss and for that, it deserves my special mention.

Game of the Year, From The Elitist.

So game of the year. Wait.. game..? You mean... just one game?

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