My last post ended with me being real bummed out over F1 games not being super great, and me contemplating picking up the new Codemasters F1 game at a certain point.
Well, days later, Humble Bundle is like, “hey, we’re giving F1 2018 away for free.” And then I’m like, “I’m there, dude!” Maybe several generations of hardware later, F1 will get a really good game.
I’ve been playing this for a few days now, and I knew that I needed to make a blog post about this. Because, holy shit, what a nice coincidence that this would fall right in my lap so close to my last post.
Now, did F1 finally get a good game? It did! 2018 feels so fucking good once you’re out on that track. Cars feel nice and rumbly (this is a word now). It’s extremely satisfying when you nail a corner perfectly, gaining that burst of speed so you can overtake the driver in front of you or set the fastest lap time. Even more satisfying when you’re overtaking Lewis Hamilton, who’s like my favorite driver right now. He goes out, gets in his car, gets a podium finish all the time, winning without a tyre, and then he makes assholes angry by doing stuff like this:
Anyways, the game. For the career mode, I joined McLaren, because of course. I mean, there’s a lot of history with that team and Ayrton Senna, and as someone way too nostalgic for that transition period of the late 80s-early 90s, McLaren is extremely appealing to me. McLaren is not “high-tier” team; Mercedes and Ferrari are, but they’re fine. Let me pick McLaren, then sit back while listening to some Casiopea, think about Sega, and indulge myself completely in being a piece of shit nostalgia mutant.
Cool thing is, you can make your own driver. This includes women, something that is, uh, a bit lacking in the real deal. Anyways. This woman (me) took 4th place in the Australian Grand Prix. Would have been 2nd, but I had to go and get a penalty for an accidental illegal overtake. I then moved up to 2nd place in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Would have been 1st, but then Lewis Hamilton suddenly got fast as fuck out of nowhere and overtook me on the final lap. Probably because I still don’t take corners as well as I should. But hey, getting a podium win while wedged between two Mercedes drivers is nothing to sneeze at, let alone be ashamed of.
I’m still pretty early on in the career, so I haven’t run into any kind of off-track drama, assuming that it’s there in the first place. No team owners throwing me under the bus. No cringe-inducing press conferences with that (I’m assuming) Danish guy that takes around an hour to ask a question. No ending a friendship with another driver because our (justifiably) large egos can no longer coexist. None of that. You just get that awesome on-track drama: screaming down a straightaway at 300 km/h. Narrowly avoiding collisions with drivers just as eager as you to win. Dealing with sudden technical issues, and having to make that heartbreaking decision to pit when you’re so close to the end. Just a driver and their skills, combined with their car, and the skills of their engineering team. The things that make F1 so appealing to me.
I’m going to keep playing this. I want to get further in and see where the season takes me. This games rules, and F1 is an good-ass sport, and I’m loving everything right now.
A couple months back, I watched this really good documentary on the career of Ayrton Senna, who is considered to be one of, if not the, best driver in the history of Formula 1 Racing. My appreciation for auto racing has been extremely casual at best, with me playing a bunch of Gran Turismo 6. I don’t know shit about cars, and I’m also a terrible driver in real life, prone to an anxiety attack if I have to do anything more complicated than going to and from the grocery store (and even then). But two months go by, and I wake up yesterday morning and I say to myself, “fuck it, today is the today I get into F1!” Do I have a team or a driver that I want to support yet? No, because I am a stupid person who decides to become interested in things on a whim. Right now, my level of fandom is “watching YouTube videos covering its history, then watching highlight videos of last weekend’s races and enjoying watching the cars go fast.” Car go vroom, baby.
Since I’ve sort of written myself into a corner and extensively talk about video games, I thought I’d put these two interests together, play a bunch of 16-bit F1 games, then do short reviews of them.
First one is Ayrton Senna’s Super Monaco GP II. Let me just go ahead and temper your expectations for this piece and tell you that this is probably the best of the bunch, and that’s not exactly a high bar to clear. It’s not terrible or anything; another game in line with Sega’s other Super Scaler stuff, like Outrun, Space Harrier, et al. You hold down a button and you accelerate. You hold another button to brake. You steer and change gear shifts with the D-Pad. It looks nice, had some good music. Very much a Racing Video Game By Sega. I suppose the biggest issue is that there’s nothing really special about it. Well, that and the fact that it’s hard to gauge what you can see (this game uses first-person viewpoint) vs where your car actually is on the track, meaning that it’s very easy to hit other cars if they’re too close to your peripheral vision. This is bad.
Otherwise, Super Monaco GP 2 is pretty solid. If you were a kid with a Genesis and this was the only game you had, you could absolutely have some fun with it.
Something I don’t find myself saying very often, but if nothing else, this game probably has the most stylish menu screen I’ve ever seen. A digitized, pensive Senna off the track, in repose.
Next game on the list is Final Lap Twin. Here’s the other good one I played. But I mean, it’s a racing game by Namco; those guys have to go out of their way to fuck that up. I did about ten seconds worth of research, and discovered that this was a sequel to a sequel to Pole Position. So this would be Pole Position 3. Or maybe Pole Position 4, since there was a Pole Position 2? Maybe I should have done eleven seconds of research.
It has another pretty cool menu. And I know you’re eyeing that “QUEST” option at the bottom. I’ll get to that. There’s some F3000 racing, but I don’t give a fuck about that shit, give me those expensive, elitist cars in F1!
Final Lap Twin has this split-screen view at all times, even if you’re playing single-player, which is kind of annoying. Not sure why Namco did this. It wasn’t for performance reasons, because doing two viewpoints at once like this would make the game run worse. It can’t be because the dev team wanted you to also focus on your rival/teammate, because they also show up on the minimap up top. The game plays well, and it’s fun, but I hate this.
So that QUEST mode? It’s a racing RPG.
The big problem? Unlike the rest of the game, it is entirely in Japanese. Unfortunately, my Japanese comprehension is still terrible; I only know that “cheesu” means “cheese.” As a result, I couldn’t get very far.
Then things start to get weird. A racing RPG? Yeah, sure, that makes perfect sense, actually. Driving is an acquired skill, and like all sports, you constantly strive to get better. An RPG is a fine, uh, vehicle for that. But in this mode, you aren’t driving F1 cars? Or even F3000 cars? No, you control a Mini-4WD. Notice I said “control” there. That is because, if you weren’t aware, Mini-4WD’s are toys. Remote-controlled cars placed on a small track. Think along the lines of the Pocket Circuit mini-game from the Yakuza series and you’re on the right track (need to stop with these inadvertent car puns). So instead of being the best Formula 1 driver in the world, you are now a kid who goes around beating other kids in a battle of who has the better toys. Don’t get me wrong, that could be a perfectly compelling concept for a game (again, Yakuza’s side-plot did it really well), but I wanted a role-playing game about F1 Racing, and I didn’t get it here. Might be worth looking into again someday if there’s ever a fan translation, or if I ever learn more than 10% of the Japanese language.
F-1 Dream is up next. Hell of a title. And hey, Capcom is involved. Surely, this should be good, right?
No. It really isn’t.
See, the thing is, for whatever fucked up reason, the PC-Engine was home to this strange and perverse sub-genre of racing games (F1 or otherwise) that were all 1) overhead, which is great when you’re controlling a fast moving object and can’t see what’s in front of you and 2) had weird control schemes where instead of moving left on the d-pad to move left and right to move right (you know, like if you were driving a car), you had to press the direction based on the course; if you were moving down, instead of turning left or right on the steering wheel to get into position, you press down on the d-pad. It’s stupid, and you will never get used to it.
The thing about this game is that you don’t start as an F1 racer. That is a right that must be earned. I must admit that I was not up to the F1 Dream challenge, because the shitty perspective and bad controls kept me from winning the very first race.
F-1 Pilot- You’re King of Kings is next. These shitty games need to stop having awesome titles, so as to keep easily impressed idiots like me from playing them.
Here’s what you need to know: this game sucks. It fucking sucks so fucking bad. This might very well be the worst game of the bunch. It looks like shit. It sounds like shit. It plays like shit. I fucking hate this game.
What’s the problem? Easy, there is no way of knowing where you are going. Even if you study the pre-race map screen, you are not going to know when or where to make a turn. Turns come at you in the blink of an eye, with no road signage, no mini-map, no pit crew radio in your ear, no nothing. You either drop your speedometer by about 150 km or you are going off that track, asshole. Every single time. It’s bullshit.
I hate having to shit on most of these games, because other than Super Monaco GP, these all on the PC-Engine, which we all know is the preferred gaming console of God, if He had a favorite video game system. But these games are really bad, and a stain on a system with an otherwise mostly stellar library.
This is F-1 Circus. Probably a mistranslation of F-1 Circuit. This game was almost good. It has some pretty cool aesthetic touches, like the cars being loaded onto the track before a race. And even though it’s another overhead racing game, it stick to a control of left going left and right going right. Problem? Controls are extremely fucking touchy. You either barely move in the direction you press, or you straight up turn 90 degrees on a dime and collide into a wall. Not helping matters is that game goes really fucking fast. Ridiculously fast. As in, I had to double check and make sure my emulator was not in fast-forward fast. I think you can see a problem here. I’m sure that if I really stuck to it, I can manage the controls and the speed and find something here, but I think I’d rather go back to Super Monaco, or for that matter, finally getting around to unlocking the F-1 races in Gran Turismo 6.
I had other games that I was going to write about, but this has gone on long enough, and they’re all bad, and I can only take so much. A real fucking shame that these games were, at best, kind of decent. Like, F-1 racing in Japan was a major deal throughout the late 80s until Ayrton Senna’s untimely death in 1994. And this was the best they were getting. That fucking sucks, dude.
Oh well, fuck it. I hear good things about that F-1 2020 game. Might check that out. Maybe by then, I’ll be a more knowledgeable fan.
Been digging through some boxes I’ve got in storage, and I found some things. So it’s time for another blog post.
I got some promotional lanyards. Yeah, I know, not that exciting. But they’re kind of neat, right?
This one is pretty generic. It’s just a lanyard promoting the PS3. It’s fine, I guess.
Now this one looks like another generic PS3 lanyard. But if you turn it around:
It’s actually a promo lanyard for Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. You know, the GT that everyone loved, and wasn’t a shameful, arrogant act of charging money for a fucking demo. The fucked up part is that I actually bought the thing, so I’m not really in much of a position to complain. Though I can at least say I bought it when it was discounted. Never really got far in the game (the demo), because I deleted it for hard drive space (this was on my old 80 gig system), and then I got GT6 and never looked back. A weird time for Sony, given that their executives had all suddenly decided it would be a good business decision to inject steaming hyena shit directly into their brains.
I actually used to have two of these. I gave on to a friend that I have not spoken to in over a decade. She reacted to me giving her the news that I had just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder by completely vanishing and never talking to me again. So, you know, thanks for that.
The last one I have here is a bit more unusual, mostly because of the game it’s promoting. And also because it’s a PS2 game, and this is when that system was being phased out.
But yeah, Rogue Galaxy. This was given to me by Sony themselves, so they had an interest in wanting people to play the game. Unfortunately for them, it was against corporate policy for us to actually wear any of these while on the clock, so their brand awareness strategy was a complete failure.
It even has this promo card with all of its marketing bullet points.
Never played Rogue Galaxy, but boy howdy, does “over 8 hours of cinematics” fill me with a sense of dread. I hear the game is good. Might try it out someday.
Look at this. Sony, or whoever, went out of their way on this thing. It even has these little molds of the characters. Okay, granted, they look like shit, but it wasn’t like the Gran Turismo one had a rubber car on it. Probably had to pay for another lanyard later on that had one. Their heart was in the right place, at least.
Something you’ve probably picked up on with all of these posts is that Sony really, really liked to give you free stuff. Microsoft might give you a button or a pen once in a while. Nintendo wouldn’t give you shit, except for the rudest asshole vendor who would mouth off to you if you tried to give him any kind of instruction, and because he didn’t work for you, you couldn’t fire his bitch ass. What I’m saying here is that I’ve hated Nintendo of America long before they fired Alison Rapp. Sony, though, they were nice and easy to work with. Which is a blessing when you’re stuck working a shit job as a retail manager. Still not all that interested in the PS5, I must say.
Holy shit, it’s been a little while. I meant to have some posts up on here, but I was way too fucking busy with life, so uh, I didn’t. Plus a lot of recent events put me in a bad mood, and I didn’t really feel like making another angry post. I’m a lot less busy/upset now, so here I go.
I don’t remember the context of it, but I was having a conversation with a friend about “light” trauma. I don’t mean trauma in the sense of abuse or seeing a dead body or anything. I mean “trauma,” in the sense of walking into a room during the worst part of a horror movie as a kid. Or, probably the most relatable one if you’re in my age group, turning the page in any volume of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and getting an eyeful of Stephen Gammell’s even-as-an-adult unsettling artwork.
There’s always at least one piece of media, whether it be a movie, book, TV show, video game, that you can look back at fondly and say, “yeah, this scared the fucking shit out of me as a kid!” Sometimes it’s something that, in retrospect, was kind of stupid. For me, it was the poster for Les Misérables. I could not see that poster on the street, or in a commercial, without completely going hysterical and crying. I could not for the life of me tell you why, exactly, this was the case, but it was.
I guess when you’re only five years old, and your eyes and brain haven’t fully developed yet, any otherwise innocuous image can be absolute visceral horror.
Then you have stuff that I absolutely should not have seen as a kid. For example: to any parents who are reading, don’t let your 7-year old rent a copy of Splatterhouse 2 from the video store. That’s not a good idea.
Also maybe don’t let your kids watch MTV. Probably shouldn’t let them watch that bullshit now, but definitely not in the mid-90s. The time period where MTV was actually willing to be experimental with its programming, mostly in regards to its animation. Of course, I watched a lot of Beavis and Butt-Head. No, it was not scary. I was way too young to understand most of the jokes, instead laughing at two idiots calling each other “fartknocker” and then getting into a fistfight. Aeon Flux? Way too complex for my simple brain to handle at the time. At that age, you can’t even spell “surreal,” let alone watch some high-concept animation full of it.
Then there was The Maxx.
The Maxx absolutely should have been right up my alley. A cartoon based on a comic book character? A character that looks like every other badass anti-hero of the day? Of course, I hadn’t actually read the books first. The Maxx, simply put, is a story of horrifically traumatized people, one of them an amnesiac who believes himself to be a super-hero, dealing with life in the big city, as well as a serial rapist with magic powers constantly stalking them. That shit is not for kids. In addition to the extremely heavy subject matter, Sam Kieth’s dreamlike art style can create some really fucked up looking visuals, which were recreated to the dot in the animated series.
Back on topic, though, holy fucking shit did this show ever take a toll on my small brain. I could have, you know, stopped watching after episode 2 or 3. But no, I watched every last one as a kid. I was not a smart child.
And even if I were to stop watching, MTV’s advertising department made sure you knew that The Maxx existed. In their campaign to promote the second half of the series, the commercial opened with a severed fucking head.
A bit of context: in episode 2, the primary antagonist, Mr. Gone, is killed, via his head getting cut off. However, due to his mystic powers and ability to travel between dimensions, he’s still able to exert his will, and gets his head sent to the apartment of the woman who killed him several episodes later. Now, because this is a rotting body part, the smell is bad enough that she discovers the package his head is in, and opens it, to her horror.
Now, before I continue, I want you to imagine something here. It’s 1995. You’re about 8-9 years old. You come home from school, and you turn on your TV in your bedroom. Because you’re impressionable and doubly susceptible to marketing, you turn on MTV. You’re watching some music videos. Maybe you’re watching Nirvana’s acoustic cover of “The Man Who Sold The World” (for my money, one of the greatest live performances of all time). About 2 or 3 videos play, before it’s time for a commercial break. You don’t think much of it; sometimes commercials tell you about something you want to watch, or toys you want for Christmas. This one, though, opens with this:
Be sure to watch new episodes of “The Maxx,” only on MTV!
It’s funny. I feel like I’m coming across as a media watchdog crusader, asking someone out there to please think of the children, because I definitely should not have been allowed to watch this. But I suppose I should also be thankful, because being exposed to all this weird, terrifying shit as a kid had a pretty direct influence on my art, and overall aesthetic choices. So uh…
Been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in the IRL since then, which has kept me very busy. Busy with things that frankly, the internet doesn’t need to know about. It’s nothing bad, but it’s no business of certain segments of the internet.
I’ve also been in a lot of physical pain as of late. Serious back pain that’s kept me up all night, in some cases even considering calling an ambulance, which I definitely cannot afford to do. My mobility issues with my knees and ankles have been acting up more than normal, barely able to walk the last couple weeks without wishing I was dead with every step I took. On top of that, I have a really shitty immune system that leaves me sick a lot, so even if I could, it’s still not a good idea to go out into large groups of people while the worst global pandemic since AIDS kicked off in the 80s is happening.
Needless to say, it’s been three weeks of stress and pain. I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m all beat up, covered in cuts and bruises and rashes that my allergies have caused me to break out into. I’ve been swarmed with paper work and phone calls and meetings with guys in suits to get real life shit worked out. I’ve barely had good internet; hell, didn’t even have power most of the weekend. I’ve been fucking busy.
These preceding paragraphs were to help illustrate the point of this post: in that, at least for some time, you’re only going to be seeing or hearing from me on this web site. No social media bullshit. Twitter has done everything in its power to drive every trans artist/activist worth their salt off the platform. The break-up of Black Dresses was the last straw for me, so I took a hike from that bigot-ridden sinking ship. The Mastodon “Fediverse,” something I would have sung the praises of last month, has since degenerated into an ableist shithole where rich white kids have spent the last three weeks yelling at every disabled person they can find for not “pulling their weight” when it comes to anti-fascist activities in American. In other words, calling disable people racist for having the audacity to take a break and play Animal Crossing for 10-20 minutes, instead of turning Super Saiyan and murdering every cop in the world with a sick-ass Kamehameha or some shit. Daring to have a personal life; to try and find some semblance of joy in this world, instead of becoming a human news ticker broadcasting a 24/7 feed of human suffering makes you a monster, apparently. At least in the eyes of performative, clout-chasing jerk-offs who got their concept of “justice” from a My Little Pony shipping blog on Tumblr back in 2011. And one of the people leading this charge literally said a year ago that places like Kiwi Farms “provided a good service,” so you know that this shit is all being done in good faith.
Just because someone is not talking about something all the time does not mean that they stopped caring about it, or that they never cared about it, or that they support the exact opposite position. Sometimes, it’s not about certain people, or even certain groups of people, putting in their two cents. Black Lives Matter means Black Lives Matter, motherfucker, not, “white people need to feel good about themselves in the most self-righteous way possible.” Something I learned long ago, when the stakes were significantly lower than they are now, is that you are not going to change the world by Posting Online. If screencapping Ian Miles Cheong everyday and saying “imagine being this much of a douchecanoe, ya’ll” actually solved racism, the world would look like this:
But it doesn’t. It’s on fucking fire. Yelling at people for having broken bodies and immune systems that could turn them into a living chemical weapon that will definitely not help Black people accomplishes nothing, especially when the opposition walks around with guns and lung-destroying tear gas. Who would I be helping in that situation? Nobody! Have I at least donated money to bail funds and programs centered on helping Black people? More than once! Do I wish I could give more? Of course! Do I wish I had legs that worked and a body that doesn’t break down like a used car so I could go out and do my part to dismantle centuries of unjust cruelty via my use of sick wrestling moves? Hell yeah! But realistically speaking, there’s only so much I can do. Only so much other people can do. And I don’t bring up giving what money I can as a way to feel good or to prove some sort of “cred.” I don’t need applause for helping someone; that’s the bare minimum that should be expected of you. It would be like me needing Twitter likes because I washed the dishes or took out the trash. These are just things that you do.
People who have actually protested, donated, or at least tried to help are not the ones harassing people for nearly a fucking month now. Which says a lot about the shitty nature of performative activism. Another thing I learned long ago is that I can’t change the world on my own, but I can maybe change the world for others by being a better friend. Someone who will listen. Maybe someone who can provide a light-hearted distraction for my PoC friends/followers, rather than an endless display of images reminding them just how cruel the world can be for non-white people. To my fellow white people: fucking shut the fuck up for five fucking minutes, motherfucker! It’s not about us. It never was, and it never will be. Video games and Star Wars lied to you.
Anyways. All of this just to say I’m sticking to my blog from now on. Or at least until people can learn to act like regular fucking human beings again. Maybe I’ll do a post about video games. I mean, I know that talking about games is more problematic than at least five Contrapoints videos according to people who think that Kiwi Farms provides a valuable service (but you know, racism is totally like, bad, and stuff), but whatever, it’s my site and I’ll post what I want.
Thought I’d break things up a bit, and post about something that wasn’t about video games for once. I’ve been watching a lot more TV lately. Lots of shows about trains in Japan. Something I’ve discovered recently is that I really fucking like trains. Not so much the internal specs; what engines they run on or fast they go or whatever, but simply watching them cruise along the gorgeous countryside, or even in a bustling, well-lit city. Don’t really know why it tickles that feel-good part of my brain, but it’s incredibly relaxing to watch a train go by. Of course, I know about the magic of television editing, and that trains and their stations and their passengers have problems. Well aware of that last one. But the core of locomotion is appealing to me. Spending 20-40 minutes at a time watching them ride the rails is a no-brainer.
There are two shows in particular I’ve been binge-watching, the way normies do with Netflix Originals: Japan Railway Journal, and Train Cruise. Japan Railway Journal is more of a “news” type program, focusing on new lines and the economic side of things, with the occasional “let’s have fun actually riding these things.” And now that Russell Totten is no longer the host, the show lost its personality; everything just feels so fake and put-on now. With the older episodes, it felt more casual, with the cast cracking jokes and at least looking like they wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. Like, for fucks’ sake, episode 2 was filmed in a bar, not some stuffy news room. That’s pretty cool, actually.
These days, there’s not much of a reason to watch this one, unless you’re really into the business side of things (and don’t mind some episodes being blatant advertisements for private train companies), and not like me, where my whole thought process is “train go vroom.” Or maybe you want to get really angry at the fact that some company thought it was a good idea to charge seventy-five fucking dollars for this:
Train Cruise, on the other hand, is the show to watch. It’s far more casual. A revolving door of hosts, each an actor or a musician, traveling down an entire line, all while showing off various sights/restaurants/museums/etc along the way.
It’s very clear that the hosts are having a good time on these trips, which in turn, is fun to watch.
There’s been at least one episode that was pretty serious. It covered how people and local businesses have recovered (or attempted to recover) from the devastating Tohoku tsunami of 2011. But for the most part, these are just some fun shows to watch and relax to. If you took a Benadryl for Summer allergies before watching, you will pass out mid-way through, thanks to all the lingering shots of scenery, and that ambient music in the background.
At risk of being one of those IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES dickheads, it is kind of a bittersweet thing watching all of these during quarantine time. Because with the way things are, travel is going to be a no-go for some time, if ever. I mean traveling between states, forget about international travel. Even though these shows are obviously edited for TV; riding a train is not nearly as magical in real life, it still looks like a lot of fun being able to go out into the world and see all the cool sights and eat at some hole-in-the-wall restaurant. I haven’t been able to do that in a number of years, and I might not be able to do that ever again. But at least I’ll be able watch these and live vicariously through the hosts, as sad as that honestly kind of sounds.
Tetsudo English is the YouTube channel where I’ve watching these. I’m sure there are plenty of other channel out there that can be found with a simple search.
I’ve been continuing my quest of finally being able to chill the fuck out. Keeping my head down and trying to relax. So naturally, this means I’ve been spending a lot of time playing competitive fighting games.
Normally, that just means playing a bit of Tekken 7. I’ve said numerous times that it’s the only fighting game I’m even remotely skilled at. Me trying other games has resulted in disaster. Playing Street Fighter 4, for example, and getting destroyed by teleporting Seth players and Dee-Jay cross-ups, not knowing how to react. Then searching Google turned up fuck all, instead telling me how to do a Hadouken, something I’ve known how to do since I was 8 years old. So I would give up, uninstall the game, and then repeat the next year. This would happen in other games, like Guilty Gear or Dragon Ball or Marvel or whatever. So to have any skill in Tekken was nothing short of a miracle.
But, in playing other games with friends who know what they’re doing, I’ve actually been able to sit down and learn their mechanics. I’ve even been able to win a few times! Convincingly, even! Which is, you know, great.
But what I’ve really been digging on is Dragon Ball Fighter Z. Or Dragon Ball FighterZ? Whatever. The one with Goku in it.
What I’ve liked about it (aside from being, you know, good), is the feelings of nostalgia it brings. I have not watched an episode of Dragon Ball in over fifteen years. But when I did, it was a big deal. I don’t talk about it much these days, mostly because I don’t watch a whole lot of it anymore, but anime was the thing for me as a teenager. Especially on Saturday night. By that point, my home life had gotten a lot rougher, so going out was not really something I could do without there being problems afterward. As such, I spent a lot of time staying in. And I stayed in during the big anime push in the US. Anime on TV. Manga in bookstores. The internet was getting bigger and better, and fansites and fan communities were thriving. For a lonely kid in a broken home, watching anime on Cartoon Network and downloading Japanese Mega Drive ROMs was the most fun you could have.
And of course, Dragon Ball Z was at the forefront of that big push. Not that I had never seen the series before; parts of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z had aired on Fox a few years earlier (6 AM Saturday mornings). But now it was a different, much more impressionable time. Sure, I liked stuff like Sailor Moon, Gundam, and Cowboy Bebop. But this was a show about big dudes screaming at each other for 30 minutes. Every five episodes, they would actually hit each other! It was very compelling at the time.
Anyways. My Saturday nights would see me watching long blocks of anime on TV (with reruns of Forensic Files and WWE Velocity in-between), while looking at anime fansites/forums, and playing ROMs on my shitty eMachines. Now, I definitely spent a lot of time with the Mega Drive Sailor Moon (a really awesome side-scrolling brawler), and Treasure’s 4-player YuYu Hakusho, but I also spent an inordinate amount of time with DBZ: Bu Yu Retsuden. I say “inordinate” because the game fucking sucks. It looks like shit, sounds like shit, plays like shit; a cynically made shitshow designed to take money from naive Japanese children.
Actually, Dragon Ball games of that time were all fucking garbage. That shitty NES game. The Super Butoden series on Super Famicom. The bad RPGs. Except for one, one very good standout. That was Hyper Dimension. That game was sick.
So getting into DBFZ is giving me all these warm and fuzzies from a different, maybe not better, but still formative time in my life. All the big screaming dudes are here, shooting huge fireballs at each other and obliterating mountains in the middle of an empty field somewhere. Makes me want to reinstall WinAmp, put on some skins that make it hard as fuck to see any of the text, and listen to some Malice Mizer while playing it. It’s great. Fighting games are great. Dragon Ball Z is great, at least in theory. Original Dragon Ball is actually great, and you should watch that.
Haven’t done a blog post in a bit. I’ve been meaning to do a write up on why I love Space Invaders as much as I do, but it’s been kind of hard to put together, mostly the format and how I want to go about it. So fuck it, I’ll just make a post for postings sake, as I’ve been way too quiet on here as of late.
It’s been fairly uneventful over here. Plugging away at my work; getting more work done on this Patreon-exclusive game, with bug testing and sound composition making things take longer than I’d like. Also been drafting up Girl Zone #3, the art/poetry zine that I’d like to make a monthly thing.
In-between all that, I’ve been dealing with my brain. I know I’ve been holding back on opening up like this, but I think I can do it once in a while: every so often, you’ll be doing fine, able to manage your symptoms with a nice bit of THC. Then you wake up one morning, and everything is bad and you want to crawl into a hole and wait for the world to die. Even if you vent privately, you still feel bad for having felt that way, and having your negative emotions take over like that, so then you spend a couple days feeling like shit about yourself. I’m currently doing okay.
I finally got a new Saturn controller. The ones that Retro-Bit make are fucking shit, to be honest, falling apart after a few months because they’re built with cheap plastic. So instead, I spent an extra $10 and got an 8BitDo M30. Only had it for a few weeks, but it seems to work a hell of a lot better. Time will tell if the D-Pad breaks after you look at it too hard.
Taken the time to get back into all the Sega Mega Drive/SG-1000 and PC-Engine stuff I’d been unable to play for several months. Need to start downloading some Saturn ROMs soon.
Really, that’s kind of been about it. Been pretty boring while doing my best to stay indoors because of all the shit going around. Maybe next time I’ll have something more exciting to talk about.
I’ll open this post with an admission: I’ve been torn on how I’ve wanted to go about writing this. The last few days have seen me writing, rewriting, scrapping and coming back to this space, trying to figure out the best way to talk about this past decade. There were a lot of great things that happened to me. There was also so much more terrible shit that went down. Things that have changed me, and not for the better. Making me want to be less of an “approachable” person, more of a recluse who doesn’t like to share their feelings. Because, for all of the great relationships I’ve made in this time, there’s still that part of me that knows how I came in to the 2010s as a relatively care-free dude making video game gif’s on Tumblr in an attempt at drawing a crowd towards the short stories and music reviews I was writing, and I came out of the 2010 a bitter trans person that everyone hates, and I hate twice as much. There are days and sometimes even weeks where I would love to drop everything and disappear into a fucking cave. And yes, I know it seems silly and maybe even hypocritical that I would make a post opening up about myself after making a big spectacle over never wanting to open myself again, but I feel like I can make an exception this one time.
I had dreams once. I had goals. I was idealistic. The desire to make things that people care about; to make my mark in a world that told me I would never amount to anything. Now? Now I just make shit because I’m too stubborn to quit now.
Let me go way back to the early 2010s for a moment. I had just left my shitty job with the weird hours that kept me from having any kind of social life. I had gotten back in touch with my old high school friends, several of whom were playing in bands. So for a good couple years or so, I would go to their shows, we would hang out, get drunk, and have a good time. Then I got the bright idea to write about the shows that I went to. Not just as music reviews, but as pieces of non-fiction about the things that went on at these venues. The people I met, the things I saw, or whatever was on display at the small art museum next to the concert hall. That’s when things started to change. I was no longer an old friend, but looked at as someone who would write glowing reviews to help make them more popular. And when I wouldn’t do that, my phone stopped ringing, and my calls were no longer answered. I was no longer useful, so I was cut out. My entire social network more or less evaporated immediately. My Bipolar diagnosis came shortly after this, so I was not in a good place around this time. One day, I stopped feeling angry and sorry for myself, and swore that I would never find myself in a position where my friendship was something to be exploited.
Then I met Zoe Quinn. And I think you all know how that particular story ended. I found myself in the same spot I swore I would never be in again. I’ll be carrying that particular guilt over being manipulated and used for a long time to come, I think.
Though, there is at least one thing that keeps me from completely losing it: unlike your Zoe’s, or Randi’s, or anyone else who thought it would be a good idea to exploit me and my friends for a few bucks, my name is not built upon pity. See, the thing about all of them, is that no matter they do, there will always be that specter of being “the Gamergate Girl” following them around. When people buy or support anything that do, it’s because they feel sorry for all of them. It’s why Goddess Mode’s sales dropped 53% in one month. My name is built on respect. When people support me, they do it because they actually like me as a person, or they think what I do is actually really fucking good. Nobody looks at my art, or plays my games, or watches my streams, or listens to my podcasts, or wears my shirt designs because they feel sorry for me. I will never rely on trying to sell my shit by saying “hey ya’ll! Play my game and trigger the alt-right today!”
It’s not much, but it is at least enough to hang my hat on.
The last five years alone have been an endless shitshow, the memories of which still plague me right fucking now. Nobody believes in anything. For all the grief that South Park (rightfully) gets for its “caring about things is stupid” message, there sure are a lot of people out there that have no problem with using it as their core belief. The people who will adopt socialist or communist language and ideologies in a cynical attempt at capitalist brand-building. People who will claim to be allies, but instead give $200 to some C-List celebrity to mumble out “uhh trans rights” on Cameo while ignoring the dozens of GoFundMe’s being shared around the internet on a daily basis. The same ones who will make empty platitudes about standing up for you, but then turn around and call Chelsea Manning a “monster” because she went to a couple of parties to try and dox Charlie Kirk. Or they stick up for Wil Wheaton after his bigoted ass got rightfully driven off of Mastodon. The same ones who will use their platforms to tell their audience to “shut the fuck up about Gamergate” and “pay attention to the real issues” while 8chan and Milo Yiannopolous are in the middle of targeting every trans women they can find en masse.
You got people who will yell, scream and carry on about sticking up for sex workers, and that SESTA/FOSTA was bad. These are the same people who gleefully turned their collective back on Alison Rapp, because she might have done some escort work in the past. Escort work, the “gross” kind of sex work; the kind that’s a bit more complicated than closing the PornHub tab after you’re done jerking off.
People who will demand that you put a content warning on a picture of your lunch, but will think nothing of sharing an uncensored video of a child getting his skull caved in by the butt of an M16, commenting, “this is like, bad, and stuff.” YOU THINK? Now, maybe I’m too old. Maybe I’m some outdated fuddy duddy who doesn’t know shit about how things work anymore, but I feel as though war crimes and police brutality are a little more distressing to look at than the grilled cheese sandwich you had today.
How about a recent thing that happened? How about having to watch a bunch of people that you care about panicking and freaking out after putting themselves on the line to try and expose Ben Judd and all the bullshit he was pulling off with Dangen Entertainment? How about seeing a bunch of notable names in the games industry immediately shit on it and say who fucking cares? We need to talk about Vinny Vinesauce! You know, because I guess doing a funny Super Mario voice in your apartment at two in the morning while playing The Legend Of Zelda is so much worse for marginalized people than abusing your position of power to expose your dick to women half your age.
Believe victims, except for these select victims, because some guy at Amazon none of them have talked to in about four fucking years said “Allyzone” once, and that’s enough to ensure that they should never be believed or supported for the rest of lives and beyond. Class solidarity, ya’ll…unless your podcast is funny or popular enough, in which case it’s totally cool to hassle retail employees on Christmas Eve; we all know that marketing and executive decisions are made by the miserable guy behind the counter. Corporations aren’t your friend, which is why we all need to strike back in the most radical of ways: buying a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 as soon as possible. Sure, the working conditions on that game were toxic and abusive as fuck, with all the profits immediately pocketed by its execs, BUT THE COYOTE PHYSICS ARE PROBABLY DOPE! And if you aren’t talking about every issue plaguing the world right fucking now, a bunch of rich white girls in the Bay Area will call you “privileged” before going back to dilating the pussies their dads bought for them and referring to anyone who transitioned in or after their 30s as “men in dresses.”
The decade is coming to a close, and I’m fucking exhausted. Ten years- ten years of being fucked over, used, treated like shit by abusive assholes, having my name and reputation dragged through the mud over things I’ve literally never said or done. Doesn’t matter if you’re a shitty pop-punk band in Denver, or a shitty game developer who’s biggest talent is dating the worst men, fuck you. I’m using this space to finally get all that anger out once and for all. And my goal for the next decade is this:
I just want to be left the fuck alone.
That’s it. Aside from a couple of exceptions, you probably noticed I wasn’t naming a whole lot of names in this post. This is because I don’t care about fighting anymore. I just don’t care. I simply wish to exist and continue making cool shit. You don’t like me? You think I’m an asshole? Great, I don’t care. All I ask is that you leave me alone. Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, don’t even think about me, and I’ll be more than happy to extend the same courtesy to you. I spent so many years waiting for an apology that would never come, and I don’t need the headache anymore.
All I ever wanted was a place where I could feel like I belonged; despite my web site’s title, being alone isn’t such a great thing. I have that now. I have my friends. I have my partner(s). I have the small communities I’m a part of. I have Black Dresses. I have Tsuchinoko Radio. I have Tekken 7. I have Bitsy. I have AEW. I have a sick new computer that runs Gamecube ROMs. I still have my creative spirit (Slimegirl Adventures 2020). I don’t need anything else. I definitely don’t need the constant bickering, or the performative bullshit, or the constant hypocrisy that gets people hurt. I don’t need the fighting, and the discourse. I don’t need the memories of the past haunting me anymore. I know I’ve said “time to move on” like a million times, but if there was ever a time to repeat it, it would be now. Will the world still be a shitty, festering hellhole? Yeah, it will. Can I do anything to change that? No, not really. I can’t be Superman, but I can at least try to do my part by being Ramona.
To everyone who has stuck by me all these years, thank you. I’m going to make 2020 and beyond my time.
Hello everyone. This is going to be a serious post. I know in my last post I was feeling pretty good, and looking forward to not being a dumb shit ass mentally ill mess. But a couple weekends ago, the shit flared up again. As always, stress is the trigger. What stressed me out was seeing some right-wing douchebag out in the wild, using my words and my thoughts about things that had happened to me involving Zoe as a way to dunk on the “SJW’s.” I know that I said that if anyone did end up doing that, it’s not my problem, and that’s true. That doesn’t mean, however, that I have to like it. Then, because I hate myself, I went down that particular rabbithole of alt-right misinterpretation. Let me tell you, it’s not cool or fun to see your abuse be ignored (and in a couple of cases, outright mocked), left to fester, and be reduced to a laughable right-wing conspiracy theory. Let’s be real here: what happened to all of us in that particular social circle was abuse. Just because I wasn’t physically assaulted doesn’t disqualify it from the term.
Of course, this all leads to my brain being a fuck, and telling me horrible shit and making me relive older traumas and not having a good time. But during all of that shit, something did come up in my tortured introspection that I can’t ignore. I’m sure that by even bringing this up can make me seem like I’m ungrateful or selfish, but you know what? Fuck it, I’m going to be selfish. I spent nearly half a decade sticking up and standing up for people. At great personal cost, even monetary, at times. People dealing with harassment. People dealing with doxxing. People dealing with swatting. All these terrible things. But when it was my turn, when my head was laid on that chopping block, I did not get a fraction of the support that I gave and continue to give. When I was getting doxxed, or all the shit that went down with Randi and Zoe. Maybe because I wasn’t the perfect victim; I’m sure (mistakenly) yelling at Scott Benson last year was the equivalent of me taking a sawed-off shotgun to what remains of my credibility. But it’s still shitty. Not even a solidarity “like” on a social media post? Again, it’s something I’ve accepted, but I also don’t have to like that, either. I am resentful about this, full stop. Putting myself out there, and getting fucking nothing in return is fucked. And you all know it’s fucked.
This next part may seem unrelated, but like every rambling post I make, it ties into a greater point. In addition to all of this shit that’s been happening, people- strangers, really, have been leaving some weird shit in my messages lately. Like, people I don’t know telling me about their day in my comments box, as if we’ve known each other our whole lives and not randos who follow me on Twitter. Real people, even, not some sophisticated bot. Getting weird ass questions at two in the morning about subjects I’ve literally never spoken about. It’s strange, it’s creepy, it annoys me. I’m getting tired of it. I guess I’ve put up with it for so long because I’ve been trying to be approachable; I didn’t want to be one of those people that comes across as intimidating. But now I’m starting to understand why people want to be intimidating.
The reason for being so approachable is because of my mental health. The shit that I’ve got? Very isolating. The kind of shit that makes you think that you need to be alone for the rest of your life, keep people away because why would you want to expose anyone to your bullshit? Of course, that’s not healthy. You need a solid support network, because you are in no position to know what’s the right thing to do. So I tend to be open, whether it’s here or otherwise, about how I’m doing, because I know how much it sucks to feel alone. And obviously, that has not been good for me. It invites a lot of bad shit my way. It’s either going to be the tranny chasing creeps with no boundaries like I mentioned earlier, or my dedicated group of stalkers that like to keep tabs on everything I do and say “look at this faggot being insane lololololololol” and posting a picture of like a rage comic or something.
All of this shit combined together has left me really feeling like, well, like shit. Like, opening myself up and showing vulnerability was clearly a bad idea that I ended up getting nothing out of. Or at least, no net gain to speak of, unless you count being left behind to eat shit and like it to be a positive. So it’s time to draw some boundaries. After this post (obviously), maybe don’t expect me to be so “out there.” Because, in doing all of this; the anti-gamergate bullshit and the mental health awareness bullshit, I ended up losing sight of who and what I really am.
I am a simple person. I like to crack jokes. I like to make cool shit. I like to talk about cool shit like video games, and music, and anime, and pro wrestling. I like having fun with my friends, even it if means being up until sunrise, which is probably a bad idea at my age. I don’t like getting into fights. I don’t like being angry and holding grudges. I don’t like being a sad sack that could only aspire to be inspiration porn. Being able to live life on my own terms, with the people I love and care for is all I really want. Obviously, I lost sight of that a long time ago. I think setting these boundaries of keeping my private shit private, in addition to actually maybe sticking to my plan of being away from places that seemingly only exist to show you upsetting and distressing things, keeping to my own website, or to any forums/discord groups I’m in, will help me in the long run. At least here I can control what goes out, and what comes in. Hopefully this helps.