I’ve been away from home for the last two weeks for work reasons. I have another half a week to go. At this point, I’m clawing at the walls and losing my mind. While I have consumed a lot of media to try and pass the time, and getting pissed that time isn’t going fast enough, my brain is so fucking drained that honestly, I have no fucking clue what to write this week. But I’m still dedicated to making my one post per week.
posting random images because i can
I am dying to get back home. You see, because at least when I’m cooped up in my house due to a number of different reasons, mostly a shitty immune system and a never ending plague outside, I have all my stuff. My high-end PC, my art making tools, my game collection, my movie collection, an external hard drive with 15 years worth of old memories and programs, comfortable furniture that doesn’t make my back hurt, and so on. I won’t be bored and sore. I can sleep, cook, and straight up live. Here, all I have is a decent at best laptop and an inability to sit still without needing to get up and take a pain reliever. It sucks.
Watching some an*mes and playing the same games I’ve written about before is only fun for so long. This is one of those times where I’m really missing the days of the old internet. The days when you could lose hours reading other people’s web sites, or even find a forum full of discussion. But because everything is fucking Twitter and Wikia, that shit stops being fun real quick. Like, I don’t want to read Twitter! Fuck Twitter! Fuck the endless discourse and “hot takes” designed for clicks and the intentionally designed doomscrolling. Why yes, I would like to read about some washed-up celebrity talking shit about minorities! I would like to also read the thoughts of that celebrities idiot fans. Let me hear about some con artist fuckhead who nearly hurt a bunch of my friends doing really well in life! Awesome! Cool! How about a fucking personal web page by someone who really wanted to talk about a TV show they liked?
Anyways. I’m bored. I’m grumpy. My back hurts. I don’t really feel like doing any reviews or essays right now. Not sure when I went into that sort of mode, when this was meant to be me just posting shit for the sake of it to begin with. But nothing interesting is happening other than me being miserable, so you know, hey. Well, see you. Here’s a screenshot of a gay porno from like 2013 that I thought was really funny, because it involved a femboy named Kevin Nash.
Confession: I retired this segment from the site for a while due to the Archive’s Twitter account doing some fence-sitting about cryptocurrency, and leaning towards being in favor of it. As a tyrannical SJW, or whatever idiots on Reddit call you when you say that their forest-destroying Monopoly money sucks ass, I didn’t feel like indirectly providing free PR to a site getting in on that racket.
But now that crypto’s value has completely plummeted to a level so far below rock bottom that it usually entails a Budd Dwyer-style public suicide, I’m a bit more okay with it. Regardless of any idiot in charge, the Archive still does provide a valuable service to culture. So it’s time to look up some cool shit that it has.
Video Games: The Ultimate Gaming Magazine
Video Games: The Un-Googleable Magazine is, like GameFan and Incite, one of those publications I remember reading when I was younger. Until I started looking at some issues for this post, I couldn’t really remember much aside from its import section. Back in The Day, I was in love with the import sections of gaming magazines. It was tantalizing; telling me about all these cool looking, weird games that I will never see because they were all on the Saturn and go fuck yourselfBernie Stolar. Fucking loser ass bitch.
Anyways. Japanese games. This issue in particular, April ’96, introduced me to the Megaten series. Specifically, Devil Summoner:
Read that first sentence. We very nearly had this in the States! Imagine a world where America’s first taste of Megaten was Devil Summoner, and not Persona. Imagine not having to wait until I’m in my fucking 30’s to play Soul Hackers! I’m not sure what stopped Devil Summoner from getting over here, but I will take this opportunity to blame Bernie Stolar for it anyway. Dogshit brain stupid idiot fucker. Kiss my ass, Bernie.
This particular page really caught my imagination. Back in the The Day, when there was no YouTube or The US Army Presents G4, that was all you had. Something that these old mags were really good at was using great screenshots. These days, I know that Megaten games involve you fighting static sprites where the animation is limited to shaking back and forth. But back then? Kid Me spent a lot of time daydreaming in class, imagining all sorts of different scenarios of how this game could have worked. Maybe I’ll finally learn more than 10% of the Japanese language and get around to playing this.
Oh wow, remember back when you could talk about killing nazis in video games without a bunch of weirdos sending you pictures of their gun collection in front of a sticky note with your home address? Feels so long ago.
Hold on, an inappropriate anecdote in a small blurb? Did I write for this magazine?
I don’t want to post every single page from this issue, but I will post a couple of reviews/previews that have that off-the-cuff writing that I’m actually pretty fond of.
you. damn. right.
yeah, there is definitely an alternate timeline version of me who wrote for this mag.
Check this shit out, they even covered fanzines! Or, at least the concept of a fanzine. That’s awesome.
This is a pretty good issue of a magazine that was better than I remember it being. But there is another reason why I thought it would be a good idea to talk about it. Let’s take a look at the masthead:
Now, editorial aside, there’s a name on the staff that’s really sticking out for me. See if you can find it. Give up?
Yes, that Larry Flynt. I very recently found out that, in addition to Hustler, Larry Flynt published a number of gaming magazines. In fact, he even published America’s #1 PC-Engine publication, TurboPlay! Video games and porn, truly a man after my own heart. A real shame about all the antisemitism and allegations of child molestation, though. Still good magazines; he only published the gaming stuff, and left his fucked up beliefs to his porn.
A couple weeks ago, I was laid out, sick as fuck with a stomach bug. This week, I’m laid out, sick as fuck from my second COVID shot. Combine this with YouTube randomly recommending me Conan clips, and this led to me checking the Archive for full episodes. Sure enough, they are here.
The thing is, I missed out on the whole Late Night train. Growing up, my parents were big fans of Jay Leno. For anyone who has never seen Jay Leno, he is a man made in a lab to see if science could create a being with no concept of humor whatsoever. Watching a painfully unfunny idiot look at typos in the newspaper was enough for me to write off the whole concept of a talk show. Got better things to do, like staring at the fucking wall.
As such, you’ll have to forgive me for delivering the world’s coldest take: Conan is really fucking funny. I mean, the dude was a writer on The Simpsons, back when that still meant something. Taking this format of interviewing famous people and making jokes about current events, and making shit that is completely off-the-wall and legitimately hilarious is awesome. Take this nine minute segment I’m about to embed here. There is more humor in this one, for lack of a better term, throwaway segment, than other shows have in an entire season.
In any event, I suppose that it’s better late than never when it comes to watching good TV.
Funky Horror Band
I have been looking for the Funky Horror Band’s music for a long time. FHB, for the uninitiated, are a fake band (think along the lines of The Gorillaz) made up of cool looking aliens that made some pretty nice music in the late 80s-early 90s. That kind of New Jack Swing inspired Pop music that only Japan could pull off. Gorgeous stuff.
Anyways. Of course the Archive has their stuff available for download, which I went ahead and did. It sounds awesome. Also, “Magical Trans Circle” lol.
That’s it for this month. So long as there aren’t any more NFT-related shenanigans in the future, I’ll keep this segment going. The Internet Archive is too important a resource to lose to a bull shit form of fake money that’s even more fake than the shit we have to use in our day to day lives.
I need to sit down and go on a rant about something that has been bothering me for quite some time now. It’s something that you, the reader, have probably also noticed.
As you all probably know, I like to play fighting games. I especially like to play them on a competitive level. Now, the thing about fighting games is that they are actually pretty fucking complicated; “getting good” is really hard. Sometimes I am stumped on how to respond to certain attacks, blockstrings, knowledge of frame data, and various other miscellaneous things. As a result, I need to hop on over to Google and type a query into its search bar. At risk of dating myself here, but back in my day, when you typed something into Google, you got the information that you needed. It was pretty fucking painless. You didn’t know something, so you asked a question, then you learned something.
These days, Google is completely fucking useless. I mentioned fighting games earlier, because that’s what kicked off me wanting to write this. I’m trying to get better at The King of Fighters 2002 and Virtua Fighter 5. No matter how specific my search query is, the result is the same: “The King of Fighters 2002 is a 2002 release for the SNK Neo-Geo arcade system.” “Press down, down-forward and punch to throw a projectile.” “Virtua Fighter Street Fighter Chun-Li Hentai Fuck Prada Bag.” Maybe I’ll get a copy/paste of the game’s Wikipedia entry from some place called cheesewheel.chgrz.notavirus.com. It is such bull shit. Like, huh, I am losing a lot of matches, and I need to figure out how not to lose so many matches, let me go to the internet for advice. Then the internet responds by being actively antagonistic about it. Sorry, I guess I should have been born with the wisdom of the cosmos.
Now, getting better at fighting games is not really all that important in the grand scheme of things, but it does help illustrate a bigger problem. Trying to look up anything these days sucks. If you are looking for help, you ain’t getting it! Google would probably save a lot more money if they changed their results page to a picture of a middle finger in front of a flashing, seizure-inducing background that called you a dumb ass idiot bitch moron retard clown shithead stupid motherfucker that doesn’t know things. Why not have your results posted to a Twitter account in real-time where Google doxxes users, like, “Dick Gosinya at 2487 Riverfuck Lane in Salt Lake City, Utah doesn’t know things!” Just go full-on insulting to my intelligence, why not?
I’m not sure what exactly caused this very quick decline. Is it capitalism? Tech bros desperate for Elon Musk’s validation? Because this is not just a problem with Google so much as it is a problem with the greater internet. A reason why I’m so adamant in my stance of making your own web site is because doing so is frowned upon by the people in charge of this new, shittier, internet. The Internet is supposed to be a tool for communication and information. It’s not anymore. It is a place where some blue check mark who makes way too much money says something asinine and inflammatory, gets dunked on hundreds or even thousands of times, and this is considered normal; profit is generated on outrage. It’s a place where you watch a couple of video on YouTube to have a laugh, then spend the next five years rolling your eyes and blocking a deluge of recommended videos where some white supremacist fuck sits in his bathtub for two hours and rants about pronouns or some shit. It’s a place where whether you are doing research on a serious scientific topic, or figuring out how to escape Orochi Chris’ corner pressure, you are instead served with ads. It’s a place where the individual no longer matters. Get on Medium. Get on Substack. Pivot to video. Become a “Content Creator.” Like, Comment, and Subscribe.
I don’t have any sort of answer on how to fix any of this; I am simply here on my own web site to complain about it. I’m almost 35 and I feel like a fucking boomer. I do not get, nor do I like, this new generation of the World Wide Web. My heart goes out to the younger generation, who don’t know how things used to be. Fuck, I was frustrated when I started writing this, now I’m sad.
Sorry in advance here. I was originally planning on doing my racing game round up just in time for the weekend, but something else has come up that is much more deserving of my attention. I’ve made my jabs in other posts talking about games writing, but maybe it’s time I dedicated a whole post to it. Much like my post on dealing with Crash Override and the fallout from that, you can choose to believe me or not, I don’t care. I’m simply putting my story out there.
Hello everyone. I figured that for this post, instead of talking about other people’s media, I would talk about my own. Specifically, how things are going, what I’m doing, and what you should expect to eventually come out during the year. I would normally reserve this my extremely neglected Patreon, but I don’t think anyone actually reads that, so it’s going here.
I’ve been hard at work on a number of things. One of those things is an action-RPG. The name of it is “Knights of Wardinia.” In it, you play as, well uh, a knight, and you fight monsters and explore dungeons and stuff. Good news is that the hard part of the game is done; I spent a good couple of weeks creating and debugging an experience system, so you become stronger and have more health after killing enough things, like in any RPG. Now I’m currently in the process of putting the actual world together, so that exploration makes sense and the difficulty of the combat is reasonable. Look forward to this coming out eventually.
Some of you may know that I’ve also been learning how to make things in the Unreal Engine. Sorry, I meant Unreal Engine 4: the noble and pedigreed middleware from Epic Games. I had been working on a cutesy, brightly-colored platformer that I had titled “Astro Smash.” I’ll go ahead and post some in-progress shots here.
Now, the problem with this game is that 1) learning Unreal is actually really fucking hard, given that I have almost zero programming knowledge to speak of, 2) every Unreal tutorial worth its salt is demanding that I make a shooter instead, and 3) I’m starting to realize that this game’s main gimmick would probably work better on a 2D plane. I’m not dropping or cancelling this game, but for the time being, I may put it on the backburner, or turn it into another 2D game.
Much as I loathe to give in to peer pressure, if I want to learn how this engine works, I may need to say fuck it and make a damn shooter like everyone wants. But I wouldn’t do any regular ass shooter. No, I plan on bringing back a long-forgotten FPS sub-genre: the mecha corridor shooter! I’m a pretty big fan of stuff like Kileak, Space Griffon VF-9, and the most awesomely titled IRON ANGEL OF THE APOCALYPSE. Games where you are in a large robot, moving down cramped, atmospheric environments, and shooting stuff. I want to make a game that still maintains the aesthetic of a PSX game, but without making yet another jump scare horror game. I can’t make humans in 3D to save my fucking life, but I’m at least half-decent at making vehicles and locations. This theoretical project would at least play to my strengths.
Something you may have noticed in my post about Valis 2 is that I’m bringing Slimegirl back. Slimegirl was already in one game I’ve made, and I had been working on a second, when a couple of things went down and halted development until recently. One, I fell victim to the dreaded “scope creep,” where as I learned new things, I would find a way to include them in the game, meaning that it would take longer and never get done. Two, some musician took the name “Slimegirls” and decided to be a sex creep late last year, which really turned me off from my own character for a time. But fuck that, the people love Slimegirl; it’s probably the most enduring design I’ve ever made. The fact that at least two people have worn Slimegirl t-shirts in public is pretty damn cool. So I think I’ll get back into working on that, but remembering to maintain the KISS style. I don’t mean Knights In Satan’s Service, I mean: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Have a goal, and run straight for it. Scrapping a lot of the cruft, and sticking to a fun platformer where you shoot stuff and the characters say funny and vulgar things.
Outside of games, I would like to get back into making poetry. Girl Zone was surprisingly popular and well received, and I thought it was rewarding to make them. We’ll see; I don’t want to stretch myself too thin, here. I’m working on a bunch of games, trying to make at least one blog post per week, being involved with streams and podcasts, trying to get tournament ready in fighting games, and also having an actual day job and real life obligations. Not to mention continuing to work on my own mental health. February was honestly pretty rough, what with the whole, “transphobic game journos who harassed my friends for years are now publicly comparing a rape victim they all exploited to Peter fucking Thiel, a literal blood sucking white supremacist” thing going on, bringing up a lot of bad memories that I’ve actively tried to get over. And by “get over,” I mean “completely ignore until my brain finally breaks.”
In any case, this was a post to let people know that I’m not just fucking around with old video games and wrestling pay-per-views, and that your support, whether it be moral or monetary, is appreciated. I am actively working on things. And I guess this post is more of a reminder to myself that, oh yeah, making big projects like this takes a little while, especially when you’re flying solo, and I probably should stop stressing that it’s not all done right fucking now.
There was a post I made a couple years back. In it, I told you all to get a fucking blog. To summarize that post, the reason you should do this is because in doing so, you can establish your own online identity without the information overload that comes with places like Twitter and Facebook. The ability to express yourself or an opinion without the constant bull shit discourse that gives you a headache at best and will literally destroy a persons life at worst is something that’s been lost lo these many years.
Something that’s been said to me whenever I beg people to get the fuck off of shitty internet holes that hurt you is, “Ramona, that sounds good, but I have no idea where to begin!” So here we go, part 2 to a post I did not realize needed a part 2; I will help you find a new home on The Wired.
PART 1- GET A BLOG
If you are someone like me who is clearly in love with the sound of their own voice, maybe you want a platform that encourages a long-form communication of ideas, and not being restricted to only 240 characters, leading to the dreaded and much-hated-by-me “Tweet Chain.” You want a Web Blog. If you have a little bit of money on you, you can spend a bit of money on hosting for your own domain name and even your own web storage, as this web site does. But if you don’t feel like spending $120 (or whatever other hosts charge) a year (and I don’t blame you), there are at least two good free options that can get you what you need.
The first one is WordPress. This blog uses WordPress software, so I can at least vouch for it working well enough. It looks like the free version does not have the range of features that something like this would have, and it is ad-supported (but we all have ad blocker, right?), but it should be enough for what you need.
There’s also Blogger. Looking around online, this might be a better option if you are not feeling like dropping some money on something you only plan on using to talk about which Touhou girls you want to have as a mom someday. I have not touched Blogger in literally over a decade, but when I did, it seemed easy enough to use, and it’s probably gotten better over time.
I was going to talk about Ghost, the other blogging software. But in the few years since I heard of it, the front page turned into some weird venture capitalist shit and I have no fucking clue if there’s a free option because the site itself is a goddamn mess. Maybe look into it on your own if WP and Blogger aren’t suited for your needs.
PART 2- WHAT ABOUT A PERSONAL WEB SITE, INSTEAD?
Alright, maybe you don’t want to write a bunch of words down all the time, but you still want to have a place to post stuff you’ve made or stuff you like. Sounds like you want a web site rather than a web log. These days, there’s only one option for that: Neocities. It is the closest the internet can get to the old days of Web 1.0 until there’s a massive overthrow of every tech company in America.
You can get a site on Neocities and make it look like some twenty year old Geocities trash, or make it look sleek as fuck. I’ve never used it myself, as I’ve never needed to, but from what I am told, it is extremely easy to use.
PART 3- THE FEDIVERSE STILL EXISTS
Now, what if social media still has its poisonous claws latched onto you? What if you want to get the hell off the bad sites everyone expects you to use, but you still want the endorphins from likes and retweets? Well, there is still a decentralized thing called the “Mastodon Fediverse.” Okay, I know that even mentioning the term “Fediverse” causes everyone to look at you as if you just murdered a dog and fucked the corpse in full public view, but hear me out.
I admit that process of joining is a bit on the complicated side. You have to find a good instance to join, and hope that either they’re accepting new members, or you know a guy who knows a guy that can get you an invite. There is no single “Mastodon” to join. That’s the hard part. But otherwise, it’s mostly Twitter but without the Twitter.
However, because this is still a social media outlet, it is still beholden to some of the problems inherent to the format; I mean, hell, I made a big post about leaving the site for a time last year because too many Twitter refugees turned it into a performative hell hole. Since that time, though, it has become much easier to ignore the bull shit discourse. As such, my account has mostly been “played a game today” or “watched a show and it was pretty cool” without having to see literal teenagers or mentally aged teenagers annoy me again. So, you know, tread carefully on this one.
Now you got no goddamn excuse. I want more sites to put onto my RSS reader! Make your own web site!
This is one of those weeks where I played a bunch of games and watched a bunch of movies, but I couldn’t really find anything worth a whole write up. I wanted to do a post about the Valis games, as I just finished replaying Valis 2 a couple days ago, but I felt that it would be in poor taste to talk about a series featuring scantily-clad high school girls right after I made a post about porn.
Instead, I think I’ll talk about observations about different aspects of the games…um…for lack of a better term, “community,” that I’ve picked up on lo these many years. So these aren’t necessarily new thoughts that I have, but I don’t think I’ve ever brought up my grievances outside of late night Discord calls before.
this will be another one of those posts where i put unrelated images in to break up the walls of text. this is a screenshot from “clockwork knight” on the sega saturn.
The thing about playing and writing about retro games is that the internet will give you lots of information that you don’t want. If I want to look up release dates and system ports? Google is occasionally good at that, when it isn’t trying to shove obvious spam links at the top of the query. Like yeah man, I bet I’ll find out all sorts of info on Hydlide from a URL like flyfishingwinelaw.shoes or whatever the fuck.
This bull shit carries over into the dread YouTube Algorithm. That evil thing that assumes you logged on specifically to watch 100% unfiltered white supremacist garbage after you watched three videos where cats did humorous things. Luckily, I’m getting a lot less “SJW’S RUINING STAR WARS!?” videos featuring some guy standing in front of a wall of Funko Pops. What I get now is video after video of people buying stuff. Retro collectors basically showing off how much money they have in the stupidest way possible.
I just want to say: first of all, collectors can go to hell. Because “collectors” also includes these motherfuckers hoarding all this rare, expensive shit, refusing to dump or scan these things for the rest of the world to appreciate, holding hostage the work of defunct companies and deceased artists. These anti-preservation sacks of garbage directly contributing to capitalism’s slow murder of art. I’m a person who doesn’t care if you play a game on original hardware or through a Retroarch core, or if you watch a movie on Laser Disc or in MP4 format, so long as you’re able to still enjoy it. These people are my enemy.
Second of all, you assholes are fucking BORING. I don’t know how to tell this machine that puts these garbage videos in front of me that I don’t give a fuck about some 40 year old idiot with no personality other than “I remember things I saw on TV as a kid” recording himself looking for 80’s shit at Goodwill, rubbing his hands all over the merchandise, which is definitely a good thing to do during a pandemic at a place frequented by lower income families, you selfish fuck, and going home with a bunch of Ninja Turtles merchandise to fix the hole in his heart left by his wife divorcing him. Or else you get these five minute videos about an old NES game that all follow the same script: “The game was good. The graphics are nice. The sound is an eight out of ten. All in all, I had a fun time. Like, comment, and subscribe.” You’re not going to tell me any of this shit in more detail? Not going to tell me what attracted you to the game or the Leonardo But With A New Hat action figure? Do any of you know how to think critically? Do any of you know how to think at all? Fuck! Get another Mario tattoo and drive to the store in your Dodge Dart that you customized to look like the car from Ghostbusters.
It can be very obnoxious, because I like to look for new voices. I like to find people who are creative with their thoughts. People with a fucking personality. People who can tell a joke that isn’t “the cake is a lie” or “arrow to the knee.” I mentioned before that I worry about being too normal. In my eyes, being a status quo Normie is the worst thing I could be. Being weird, traveling off the beaten path, having a little goddamned culture is where it’s at. I’m friends with multiple artists and free thinkers, I sometimes get a little self-conscious, because I talk about “normal” things like games. I’m developing games right now, games that are more in line with the mechanics-driven works I played when I was younger, rather than games steeped in a large narrative. I sometimes feel like I’m losing my touch; that spark of madness that makes me Me. Then I watch videos like this and it hits that no, me at my worst is still about a million times better then these clowns at their best.
But it could always be worse. They could be people who work on video game fan-translations.
Oh fuck yeah, bro, fan translations! A way for people to enjoy work in their native language for when companies don’t have the time, resources, or just straight up don’t exist anymore to do localizations themselves. And also at least 95% of the people who work on these (or at least work on the programing aspect of them) also happen to be, ironically enough, racist as fuck. Hey, thanks for translating this hours-long Japanese RPG, let me go to your web site or to your social media to see what else you’ve worked on. Oh okay, you seem to have some fucked up views on Black people! Hmm, yes, another joke about pronouns that got old ten years ago! Lots of Ben Shapiro and Mike Cernovich retweets you got here! You sure do have a wonderful theory that Trump can take back the White House from Joe Biden who stole the election thanks to the forced-feminization satellite laser owned and operated by Anita Sarkeesian! Nice sidebar on your website dedicated to showing a random Chuck Norris joke! A checklist of things anyone with any remote sense of empathy for another human being is beyond tired of seeing and hearing.
Shit like this is no secret; I’ve known about it for years. But I found out last night that one of these assholes did a bunch of Wizardry translations. It was bad enough that these motherfuckers tried to ruin the Ys series for me, now they have to go after goddamn Wizardry. What did those games ever do to you, huh?
I just want to grab one of these guys by the shoulders and shake them until they understood that YOU WORK WITHIN A REALM OF MEDIA THAT USES A LANGUAGE AND CULTURE THAT IS NOT RELATED TO WHITE PEOPLE IN ANY WAY, YOU STUPID ASS! Despite what your boy Hitler may have said about the Japanese back in the 30’s and 40’s, they are actually Asian. You know, the same people you blame for spreading the Coronavirus, assuming that you haven’t gone literally mask off and think that the virus is fake?
Now you, the astute reader, may think to point out Japan’s history of xenophobia and its own issues with right-wing bull shit, both in the past and at this very moment. I counter that with the following: do you actually think these fuckheads are actually smart enough to ingratiate themselves in the conservatism of another country? Let’s be real, these are guys who watched some an*me and assumed, wrongly, that Japan is this apolitical paradise where queers and women with their own autonomy don’t exist. Guys who think that their weird asses can simply stroll into the country and get the waifu of their dreams within moments of the airplane touching the ground. Guys who are dumb enough to believe that Metal Gear is not a political work. Hate the idea of the rest of us having to rely on the dice roll of whether or not a new translation of a piece of media that looks interesting was done by some shitheads that may or may not have tried to slide in their own bigoted beliefs into the text (see example: the Netflix version of Neon Genesis Evangelion). It’s fucking stupid, and if you’re going to be an alt-right fuckhead, at least be consistent and hate all of the races, not just some of them, and maybe the cognitive dissonance will get you the fuck out of game localization. And also leave things I like, such as Wizardry, the fuck alone. Jerks.
Despite all of this, I still love games. I love to talk about them. I love to make them. I love to find other decent human beings that can also do these things in a creative way. But fuck me if there isn’t also a lot of annoying and outright evil shit you have to deal with to get there. The reward is usually enough to make up for it, though.
posting random images to break up the amount of text
Hello. I took a week off for the holidays, but now I’m back. Just wanted to do a big year in review post this time. I’ll get back to games soon enough; look forward to me talking about the PS2 game “Michigan.”
2020 was a strange, complicated year. It was terrible for numerous reasons both big and small. Yet, on a personal level, was also really good? Feel like breaking all of it down to try and make some sense of things.
Let’s start with all the bad shit. A killer virus that ravaged the world’s population and, as far as the US is concerned, will still be a major problem for some time to come. The continued escalation of police and politicians abusing their authority, mostly at the expense of the marginalized. Watching, over and over, as so many amazingly talented trans artists were harassed to hell and back, ultimately driven out of public life; the fact that we see the name “Isabel Fall” as a cautionary tale of what happens when Keeping It Real Goes Wrong instead of an awesome new author to keep an eye out for continues to disgust me. Having to hear about something called “Blaseball” for months on end. Just terrible, horrible shit all around.
On a games-related level, because this is a gaming blog kind of, there was a lot of shit to deal with there, too. I admit that I let the Cyberpunk bullshit get under my skin and ruin my mood, but I think it’s at least a little bit understandable? It was an overhyped piece of shit that barely worked, exploited its employees to an unacceptable degree, appealed directly to the worst kind of people imaginable through its advertising, punched down on people of color and trans women, cast cops and billionaires in a heroic light, to the point of literally featuring Elon Musk as a character. Oh yeah, and it had a scene that was designed to literally give you a seizure. And, as I had predicted, games writers were willing to cast aside any semblance of dignity to try and wring out any degree of enjoyment they could get out of it, at the expense of literally every leftist belief they purport to have. Then you had another game: some shitty looking horror game walking sim made by an idiot who thinks you’re a privileged white dude for wanting games to be less buggy, transphobic, not made in toxic working conditions, or not literally try to kill you via a series of flashing lights, and his co-dev, who came into my blog’s comments section back in 2017 and made thinly-veiled threats about my “friends and family” while one of my closest friends just so happened to be her roommate at the time. Having to see that bullshit on everyone’s Game of the Year list was an exercise in biting my tongue and not wanting to put a hole in the fucking wall. You’ll find me playing Cyberpunk before I put down the three bucks or whatever for “what if Silent Hill sucked and had graphics that looked like the Harry Potter Playstation games?”
On a personal level, I was having mobility issues for a while. I’ve had issues with my knees for several years now, and I probably have a 50/50 shot of catching Neuropathy when I’m older, a condition where the nerves in my legs will slowly die, taking away my ability to walk without assistance, if even at all. Having my dog and my grandfather die pretty close to one another sucked too. I’ve never had much of a family, biologically speaking, and as time goes on, it gets smaller and smaller. Spent a lot of time these last several months thinking about mortality.
Oh yeah, and some dickhead took the name “Slimegirl” and decided to be a sex pest with it. Given that that’s the name of the title character in the game I’ve been working on, and that the plot was an allegory for the way trans people are treated like absolute dog shit by society, labeled predators for the slightest thing, it’s probably a bad idea to continue that path when there’s an actual “Slimegirl” (in quotes because fuck that guy, Slimegirl is my creation) who is allegedly being a predator for real.
But what about the good stuff? 2020 wasn’t all hiding from a respiratory illness, death, video game grudges, and continuing to be blamed for everything that’s ever gone wrong in cis people’s lives.
First, holy fuck, my art got a lot better. I’ve been looking at stuff I’ve been making over years, even 2019, and comparing it to 2020, and it’s like night and day.
Like, look at that. That sucks. This was from 2018.
So was this.
I think you get the point. I was not making good stuff.
Let’s look at 2020.
Much better. I guess if the creator of Space Funeral is hitting “like” on some of these, I must be on the right track.
2020 was the first time since 2008 where I started making poetry. I was honestly surprised that it took off the way it did. Didn’t imagine anyone would actually like it; maybe some pity clicks. But no, it turned out to be well received!
If it sound like I’m bragging here, well…I am! I am absolutely going to brag about myself in this post. This was a year where I improved drastically as a person. I, with a few missteps here and there, got a better hold of my Bipolar mood swings and PTSD-fueled meltdowns. I’m continuing to win my battle against addiction. I got better at art. I got better at fighting games, holding my own with and even beating tournament winners. I got better at streaming, back when I was still doing that (working/grieving/being sick/Twitch technical issues took the wind of those sails). I got into the sport of auto racing, and went for a ride on the emotional rollercoaster of F1’s 2020 season, in addition to looking into IMSA, IndyCar, Super Formula and Super GT. I had a really fucking good birthday. Managed to mostly keep a weekly update on this blog. Lots of great music and games came out. I met a whole bunch of new friends that I’m really grateful for. Got back in touch with older friends that I was a bit worried about, but I’m glad that things aren’t as catastrophic as they were in 2015 and The Band is back together. Even with all the fucked up shit that went down in 2020, I can’t bring myself to say that it was a bad year, when a lot of good things happened.
2020 was the transition point. A year where I took steps in becoming something great. When you grow up constantly being told that you are worthless and will never amount to anything, you tend to spend your adulthood proving everyone wrong and become something. I’m going to go ahead and predict that 2021 will be the year where I actually becomesomething. Hopefully, you all will, too.
My birthday was on Saturday. I’m 34, which means that I am now officially Too Old For This Shit. Be nice to me, or go to hell. Anyways, here’s how my day went.
I began my morning by watching some TV, while drinking my morning coffee and checking out the results of the Italian Grand Prix qualifying round. First of all, holy shit @ Lewis Hamilton setting the fastest lap time in F1 history, even after the FIA put his car at a handicap because he was winning too much. And shout out to Pierre Gasly breaking the status quo and winning the race itself today after all the shit he’s been through.
But back to my TV. I don’t watch a lot of it. Dynamite every week, and maybe some reruns of Bar Rescue. But I was flipping through the channels anyways, and what did I find?
MOTHERFUCKING TRAIN CRUISE
Granted, it was a rerun from last Summer, but still. Train Cruise on my big ass TV. And to top it all off, it’s not an episode that I was able to find online (I double-checked before I started writing this). Between the races and this, I was feeling pretty good about the way the day was going to go.
I also wanted to check out my Animal Crossing town before I left the house. I wanted to see what was in store for the Birthday Bitch.
It was a sweet little party with a cake and a pinata. But I wanted to walk around, and see what the rest of the town was doing that day.
K.K Slider holds a special concert for you! That’s cool! And as this happens, various villagers leave these sweet messages for you.
Now it was time to leave. The plan for the day was that I was going to go to this sort of new mall (rebuilt after getting fucked the fuck up in a hail storm) with my mother. I was going to get her to buy me the new Tony Hawk, and then we would have pizza, and then I would go home. I didn’t plan on being out all day, 1) mostly due to COVID; hell, I felt bad just being out there for non-essential reasons in the first place and 2) it reached 100 degrees outside, and it was way too fucking hot.
So of course I ended up getting Tony Hawk as a gift. I also bought myself a couple pairs of pants.
If I ever decide that I want to cosplay Leo Kliesen, I’ve got half the outfit ready to go. We can pretend that the stripes are the right color.
My thoughts on the Tony Hawk remasters are that they fucking own. Something I don’t talk about much, because the topic doesn’t come up, is that Tony Hawk 2 is one of my absolute favorite PSX games, and probably one of my favorite games ever. I was also a bit wary, not going to lie, because this would have been the third PSX game getting remade for the PS4 that I was getting, after Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII. Great news, unlike those two games, Tony Hawk 2 was not fucked with. It is exactly what it claims to be: Tony Hawk 1 and 2 with some extra stuff. Extra music, extra skaters, all sorts of cool new shit added to the custom skater and custom park modes.
I’ve finished all the Tony Hawk 2 levels (because of course). I’ll eventually make my way over to the first game, even with the downhill levels that nobody except for Hawk himself actually likes.
A neat thing about this game is that the custom skater option lets you make an exceptionally non-passing trans skater. This is not a complaint; I think it’s great that you can have women with masculine features, or men with feminine ones. I felt it was going against the spirit of skateboarding if I made myself look like some smoking hot model, instead of a grungy transsexual who doesn’t give a fuck.
I also bought myself a copy of F1 2020 on PC, because of course. It’s another awesome racing game with a fun new team management mode. The character creation isn’t as robust as Tony Hawk’s, but hey, being able to customize my livery and team uniforms is cool too.
Sad news: the pizza place we were planning on going to was closed. Instead, I ordered some noodles from a local Chinese place, and that was my dinner. Ate that, and some cake, while watching AEW All Out. All Out was a really fun show, aside from Matt Sydal fucking up his Shooting Star Press literally the minute he debuted, and Matt Hardy’s really scary concussion.
A really fun day, overall. Got some cool stuff. People were really nice to me, both on and offline. The racing was good. The wrestling was good. On top of all this, guess what? I’m now two whole years sober, motherfucker! Not a single drop of alcohol has touched me. Admittedly, it’s been hard as fuck, especially when you got assholes out there really testing my patience and willpower as of late. But I held strong, and pulled through. I have to remind myself of the good things I have in life, and fight the urge to go off on people who caused/continue to press old traumas. The best revenge is living well. Their bullshit shouldn’t be my business anymore. I don’t work in their industry. I’m not in their social circles. I should stop giving a fuck. As I said, I’m now too old for it. Be nice to me, or go to hell.