5/30/2018: the dark souls of blog posts

I got the Dark Souls remaster on Friday. And it’s a good game. It looks nice. The framerate isn’t a kneecapped nightmare. And, you know, it’s Dark Souls. Any excuse to replay one of the best games ever made is a-okay with me.

But, there is a problem with the remaster: in the seven years that Dark Souls has been out, and all the years where subsequent entries in the series have been released, From Software still cannot figure out how to not have incredibly shitty online components to these games.

Every Soulsborne game is the same this way: you’re going along, having a great time exploring the world, overcoming massive challenges and making progress in satisfying ways. Then the game sends you a warning

xXFUCKNUT-420Xx has invaded!

and the next thing you know, someone with a folder full of 4chan memes, clad entirely in Havel’s armor set teleports like Nightcrawler, instantly killing you with a critical hit from several feet away. And Lord Help You if you join one of the PvP covenants (shout out to the Darkmoon Blades) and fight other players intentionally. Gaining rank and increasing the power of the magic spell Gwyndolin gives you becomes an exercise in tedium and frustration, as an hour or so goes by and you only have two Souvenirs of Reprisal because getting into a duel where the latency is at least manageable is a rare find.

There comes a point where this kind of shit is inexcusable. This isn’t some small-time indie game: this is a guaranteed million seller, published by a major company, that can be bought at any major retailer in the country. You can buy Dark Souls Remastered at Wal-Mart; you don’t need to give your credit card number to a shady import retailer. And it was published by Namco, the same company that released Tekken 7, a game with netplay that’s probably as good as you’re going to find in a video game. And you’re telling me that they couldn’t pull out a couple of servers that aren’t barely held together with pre-chewed gum for Dark Souls?

You could’ve excused this back in 2009, when Demon’s Souls was a game that was on the verge of cancellation, and had to be shopped around to multiple publishers because nobody wanted to take a chance on it. The resources to make a major selling point of the game not a pain to deal with weren’t there. But not in 2018, with all the stuff I just mentioned in play.

And that’s what sucks, and brings down what is otherwise an awesome re-release: an entire aspect of the game is completely fucked. How can I make the guilty pay the price when the guilty have mastery over time and space?

Otherwise, the game is great. But seriously, FromSoft, fix your fucking internet.

5/16/2018

Shit’s been fucking weird, man. I’ve been having all these mental health flare-ups and depressive episodes and stuff. And then, through all of that, I somehow ended up with a girlfriend? Life makes no sense.

Yeah, you heard that right. The “Lonely Frontier” is now slightly less lonely. And anyone who has been following my exploits on social media (which will probably be all of you, since the only time anyone will see this post is when I inevitably post a link to it) will know that I have been a big, blustery, embarrassing mess of gay emotion. Like, yeah, hey, there’s a girl that I am in love with, and it’s pretty bitchin’. Go give her a follow, why not.

But I’m not here to brag about my romantic status. I’m actually here to bring down the mood, and be real. Real Talk.

Before all this, I was fucking miserable. I refused to date, because I was afraid of making someone else deal with my problems. Ironically, having someone here has managed to make things a little bit easier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suddenly cured of all my ills because of a girl, but that emotional support that I’ve been lacking for so long has been really great.

And, on top of that, it’s been years. Just, years of shit. Years of abuse. Years of not being able to trust people because they’ll probably stab me in the back, and then they did. Years of cultists telling the world how horrible and evil I am and that I’m literally Hitler if Hitler was even worse than Hitler. The fallout from all the Crash Override shit. I have spent all this time being utterly and thoroughly convinced that I was incapable of being loved. That my name was too toxic. That any association with me was fatal to a persons social identity, if not possibly their actual physical safety. That maybe I was just too crazy to be around. A person like me obviously doesn’t deserve love, right? In some circles, even contemplating that would be considered an offense.

When it became official; that I was now in a relationship, I did the dorkiest thing possible, and just broke down and cried. And not because I was sad, far from it. I wasn’t used to being so happy. I wasn’t used to thinking that I deserved better than what I had before. It still feels surreal at times. Talking to her late at night, and then my brain helpfully reminds me, “hey, that’s your girlfriend!” And then I get really happy.

Thank you, Madeline. I love you.

ARCHIVE: top ten video game dudes i want to bang me in the butt

[Ramona’s note: this was originally posted back in August 2017]

I read this list earlier in the week on some website that I already forgot about. It was a top ten list of hot male video game characters. It was obviously went to be in jest and not, like, a real thing, which is why it had a bunch of lame ass marks on it.

I’m going to make my own. But like, for real. Because I mean, fuck it, this is my website and I’m bored and I can post whatever I want on here. Let’s do this.

 

10. McCree

Despite getting a 100% completion in multiple Metal Gear titles, I’m not normally into the whole “gruff hairy dude who smokes” look. Smoking is gross as hell. But McCree is pretty, uh, pretty though. Like, he’s such an obvious poser; you can tell at a glance that his whole “cowboy” gimmick is just that, and that his knowledge of country music is limited to “Rhinestone Cowboy” and the soundtrack to Fallout: New Vegas. It’s endearing, and he’s definitely a sensitive guy underneath all that tough guy bullshit.

 

9. Dante (DmC)

I’m pretty sure nobody actually liked the Devil May Cry reboot except for me and like two other people. I don’t give a fuck, it was good. And the new Dante was multiple degrees hotter than Capcom’s original. This is like the one time I’ve ever made an exception for the whole “hot guy all beat up” look that’s all over Tumblr. Like, fuck dude, look at him. Personality wise, he’s probably the kind of guy that demands you watch “Eraserhead” on the first date and flips if you don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of Vampire Weekend, but it doesn’t matter because the dick is bomb and you’re not going to stick around for long.

 

8. Lee Chaolan

The last time I’ve actually played as Lee since like 2005 was the two rounds in Tekken 7’s shitty story mode. I should probably start learning his combos or something, because I like looking at him. I mean, he’s hot. He’s a hot older dude. A fucking DILF. He’s come a long way from his fucked up looking Tekken 2 renders, and his new outfit makes him look like the star of a local Host Bar. And I’m sure Lee is one of the only guys on this list that would totally eat your ass without you needing to say anything first.

 

7. K’

I’m not very good with K’ in any of the King of Fighters games I’ve played. Though, to be fair, I’m not good at KOF games in general. But of all the hot boy protagonists in that series, he’s the only one that isn’t boring as fuck or some sort of blood-thirsty weirdo who breathes smoke. Also the leather. I’m not a super leather freak, but that jumpsuit really does it for me.

 

6. Kuja

Confession: I never finished Final Fantasy IX, so I don’t know much about Kuja’s character. I did however, spend a lot of time during my trip to Santa Clarita back in 2012 playing Dissidia 012 and staring at his bulge. I don’t know, I want him to bang me in the butt.

 

5. Benimaru Nikaido

Yeah, I definitely main Benimaru when I play KOF. But I really got into him while playing a ton of Capcom vs SNK 2 on my PS2, even though he wasn’t exactly a high tier character. He’s got the crop top, the tight pants, the swimmer physique. It should start becoming clear that I have a type: wispy effeminate dudes who will totally scream uncontrollably after you starting putting your fingers into their buttholes. Benimaru seems like he would do that after the first finger goes in.

 

4. Alucard

My second video-game boycrush. He’s this elegantly-dressed, inhumanly beautiful man who doesn’t give a fuck. He’ll take you out dancing. You don’t even like dancing; it makes you nervous. You step on his feet all the time and look like a fool. But it doesn’t matter, because he looks you in the eyes, leans over and whispers some encouraging words in your ears, and the unintentional ASMR takes over and now you’re a human-shaped jello mold.

 

3. Leon Kennedy

You need to get yourself a man who can still make wisecracks and still even think of a love life, despite spending over a decade dealing with Cronenberg-esque body horror and weirdos selling him guns kept underneath their coats. Shit that would put a normal man into a lifetime of therapy and placed into a licensed persons care. He still has the GQ model hair, and (again) the swimmer physique and the form fitting clothes and I’m having a hard time typing because I keep looking up at this fanart I just posted above.

 

2. Raiden

Fuck the haters, Raiden is hot as fuck. He was hot in MGS2, and he was hot when got turned into a cyborg in MGS4, and then when he got turned into even more of a cyborg in Metal Gear Rising. He’s running around, grunting and sweating in that skin-tight suit that outlines every inch of his body. Raiden was literally designed from the ground up to be this smoking hot stud that made you want to lick ice cream off his chest. Plus, it’s canon that he has a large penis, even while flaccid. Now, I am no size queen by any stretch, but sometimes you just need to see a dick that intimidates you.

 

1. Cloud Strife

And here he is: Number One. It’s Cloud. Of course it would be Cloud; Final Fantasy VII is my favorite game of all time. It was the first time that Younger Me even gave consideration to a man being attractive. He is the reason I have The Type that I do. Plus, you could also be mean and domineering, making him wear the dress and have him do humiliating things that totally turn him on despite his protests. Besides, it’s not we all don’t already know that he totally moans like a girl when he cums, anyway.

 

Honorable Mentions:
Ash Crimson (King of Fighters)
Ashley Riot (Vagrant Story)
Pretty much every other Final Fantasy character
Soma Cruz (Castlevania)
Vega (Street Fighter)
Shulk (Xenoblade)

meteroids

I’ve been going through some of my old posts on here (remember, I have all of my original blog posts still in a private archive), looking for anything that had value. Things where I showed off some sort of creativity, or I was funny, or something that wasn’t just me complaining about things that give me PTSD nowadays. I’ll be reposting some of these entries over time, until they’re all done.

This one is from all the way back in June 28, 2011. Jesus, almost seven years ago (I have posts dating all the way back to 2008). Actually, this is two posts in one. The first part of this was a part of my “dream journal,” where I write about the crazy shit I dream about, and am able to clearly remember when I wake up, and then also remember to write down. So, let me just copy/paste the dream part in this block quote first.

I’ve been having these dreams lately. The events are always different, yet the setting is constant and the characters are always the same people, but with larger or smaller roles in the story each night. These dreams are not even remotely nightmarish, yet they still bother me for whatever reason. Here are a few of the more memorable ones.

I’m back at my old high school. Despite my age (twenty-three), I’m a student enrolled here. My classmates are either blank-faced extras who exist simply to exist; to fill empty space, or former co-workers. None of the actual students I went to school with have ever appeared. I have a schedule that I have to follow, with classes to attend and assignments to work on. Due to my inconsistent dreaming, I don’t actually know what my classes are, where they are, or what I’m supposed to be doing. I tend to just follow a group of people into the nearest room and play things by ear.

We’re in an English class now. We’re all asked to hand in a piece of writing. I manage to make a paper copy of something from this site at the last second and give it to our teacher. Confident, I turn to one of my classmates and ask her how well she thinks she did. She laughs at me and points to the teacher. The teacher tells me that what I have is promising, and that I have lots of potential. She is lying to me. I can see over her shoulder and see in large, bold red ink:

THIS SUCKS
FAIL

Classes have let out for the day, so it’s time for me to get to work at my new job: homicide detective for the NYPD. Strangely, the case I’m trying to solve is the murder of my own partner. My investigating prowess seems like it could use some work; I ask one witness the same question five times. It works though, and now I have a new lead at a small diner across the street from an elementary school. The only thing I find here is the ghost of my former partner, who only winks at me.

I’m back in school. This time the class (which I later said to myself, “is a class I don’t go to very often, since I can never remember where it is”) is going to watch a film for the entire hour. The “film” is actually just a breaking news story about the death of my partner, followed by a book review of The Great Gatsby. I have no interest in this, and I also notice that the teacher has vanished. I take this opportunity to take my leave. On my way out, the girl I spoke to in my English class bumps into me. It seems that she’s being harassed by a fellow student: some dumb kid with bad fashion sense who seems to think that he’s God’s Gift to Women. He tries to put his hand on her shoulder. Instead, I, uncharacteristically, violently grab him by the wrist and tell him that, “if you don’t leave her alone, I’m going to fucking kill you, you dumb prick!” He puts on a tough guy act, calling me a bitch and a faggot and trying to shove me. I ignore him and escort the girl away.

I run into this kid three more times. Each time, he has a new henchman with him. This henchman then tries to goad me into a fight. Instead of using my fists or my feet, I fight them with my brain. What I mean by this is I used my sense of humor and my cynical and sardonic personality to screw with their heads. One attempts to stop me after classes let out, to which I tap on the cover of a recently acquired copy of the first season of Astro Boy (the 2006 relaunch). I tell him that “Astro Boy is more important. Sayonara!” My walking speed creates enough distance between myself and the kicks this kid tries to throw my way.

The second one I manage to avoid in the restroom. This restroom is not like a regular one: it’s two stories, with an elevator and emergency slide in each stall. Each stall also comes with an installed monitor and joystick, complete with a copy of an old (fictional) arcade title, Meteoroids. Students like to beat the high score in-between classes (scores are kept on a school-wide online leaderboard), hence why there are so many stalls. I’m not very good at this game, so I never leave the top 8,000 player list. The bully and his two bodyguards try looking for me in here. Thanks to my speed and my knowledge of the emergency slides, I can duck into different stalls, confusing them in this porcelain maze. I resolve to play Meteoroids again, and this time actually winning.

The third one actually manages to get his hands on me. He grabs me by my bicep, like he’s a cop trying to arrest me. With my free hand, I grab his face and apply the old pro wrestling submission hold, the Iron Claw. I give him my terms: you let go of me, I let go of you. He’s not a very smart kid, but he complies. I eventually come to face all four of them. I flamboyantly saunter to all four of them, flick them on the foreheads with my index finger and give them each a new name: all of them are “Dick.”

I finally leave the school, where I run into a student (co-worker). An small Asian lady in her early forties, she not only still goes to this school, but has somehow gained horrible posture, walking at nearly a ninety degree angle. Not realizing her handicap, she asks me if I would like a ride home. I politely refuse. Although, without a car, how was I going to get back to the police station?

And that’s just, like, a weird dream.

Then, in 2011, I’m looking around some emulation sites for some ROMs to add to my MAME collection. And in doing so, I found the game I thought was a fictional game that my subconscious made up for a dream. Meteroids is a real game!

It’s also not very good! It’s a very obvious Asteroids rip-off, and is actually much uglier. At least Asteroids had that nice, very, very, lo-fi look to it.

Hold on, here’s what I said in ’11:

Yep. Meteoroids is a real game. Sadly, it’s only a pretty lame rip-off of Asteroids with dial controls (which, in emulation terms, means: “touchy as fuck”) and zero semblance of thoughtful design. Too bad.

But hey, there’s at least the personal novelty of only having heard about the game after having a weird dream involving it. I’ll go ahead and post a download link for it, too, so you can try it out yourself. Get it here.

3/28/2018: my ps3

Thanks to, uh, recent events (that’s all I’ll say for now), I had another emotional breakdown, and have been all fucked up and weird because of it. When this happens, and I manage to calm down a little bit, I tend to find myself having really hard nostalgia trips, and doing self-care by metaphorically traveling back in time to when things weren’t all fucked up. Because Laugh Out Loud at your bourgeoisie “affording to see a therapist” or whatever.

And my Playstation 3 tends to find itself played a lot more often when this happens. Especially now that the weather is starting to get warmer. See, I spent a lot of time back in 2011-2012 playing a lot of weird shit on that system during the Spring-Summer. I didn’t go out much then, and still don’t go out much these days because 1) I’m the only person in my remaining IRL friends group that doesn’t have kids and shit to take care of, 2) my allergies tend to strike really bad at that time of the year, and 3) I’m a recovering alcoholic (went from drinking six days a week back in 2012 to once or twice a year ever since). So I tend to stay in a lot, hence all the talk about gaming and the internet and why this website is called the “Lonely Frontier.”

So, as such, I want to nostalgia trip and talk a little bit about the stuff I binge on when I’m triggered to fuck and too insane to deal with reality.

 

Burnout Paradise

This is a game about driving around for hours, yelling at a radio DJ who sounds like the manager at my old job to shut the fuck up, and crashing into things intentionally and unintentionally. I recently 100% all of the events, so if I load this up, it’s to speed around, looking for hidden billboards to crash through.

Also this game supports custom soundtracks. I got a lot of really good driving tunes on my PS3 hard drive that I need to reupload onto here at some point.

 

Hakuna Matata/Afrika

This is a game that seemingly everyone but me hates. You go around this wildlife preserve in an unnamed part of Africa, taking pictures of the wildlife. It’s a fairly soothing game: you drive around in a jeep (while you have Toto’s “Africa” playing somewhere in your house, I would hope), you find a good spot to shoot, then you hide in some bushes or at the top of a tree, waiting for whichever animal you want to snap a photo of to come by without running away or trying to kill you (there’s no game over state, you just go back to base camp and repeat the day from the beginning). People will say that that’s boring, and say to them: suck my ass, bitch. This game fuckin’ rules!

 

Resident Evil 5

Speaking of Africa, there’s another game I like to play around this time of year. Though, unlike Hakuna Matata, which treated its subject matter with dignity and respect, RE5 is instead hella racist. And for that reason, it’s really hard for me to recommend it to anyone who isn’t willing to be problematic, simply because it requires me to say, out loud, “yeah, it’s great, if you can ignore the racist imagery.” And nobody should ever say that.

 

Gran Turismo 6

The antithesis to Burnout. Whereas that game was a wild, out of control joyride, GT6 is a much more reserved Driving Sim. That doesn’t make any less fun. It’s a game about getting behind the wheel of a large automobile that you will never be able to afford at any point in your life, and showing up other dipshits in expensive cars by driving not just faster than them, but smarter than them. And much like Burnout, I can listen to the custom soundtrack on my PS3, and scream my way through the Daytona Speedway in a Mitsubishi Lancer while listening to Demi Lovato’s “Two World’s Collide.” It’s a little something I like to call “being cultured.”

 

3D Dot Game Heroes

It’s a blatant Zelda knock-off by From Software. It’s fun as fuck, and you get to make your own characters. Not much else I can really say about that.

 

Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls

Yes, I know that they’re both wildly different games, but I play the two Souls games for the same reasons: I got them all memorized to the point of having very streamlined, but still very fun runs, with different builds and different weapons. From Software’s library pretty much dominates all of my Sony consoles.

 

Tokyo Jungle

This is a roguelike where you can be a Pomeranian and run around murdering Jaguars and shit if you’re strong enough. It’s about surviving in a radioactive environment, racking up points so you can put funny looking hats on a murderous housecat and finally get around to unlocking the robot dogs at the bottom of the character select.

3/24/2018

Hello Cyber Sluts. I made a promise to myself that I would make at least one (1) blog post per week, in an effort to keep things kind of flowing here, without big gaps of time where the site feels dead.

I got a copy of Bayonetta 2 last weekend. It turns that I’m actually pretty fucking bad at Bayonetta. I only ever finished the first game on “Normal” difficulty, and was not really ready to play the sequel on anything harder than that. This morning, though, I managed to finish it on “Hard” and get started on the “Infinite Climax” mode. Someday maybe I’ll be good at that.

But the real reason I like Bayonetta isn’t so much the challenge (obviously, I didn’t even really test it until now), but the character herself. She looks cool as fuck. She has this nice CLAMP manga-esque look going for her, anatomy wise, which I really love; like a grown-up magical girl. Which is definitely something to aspire to when it’s 1:30 in the morning and you can’t go to bed because the good ol’ dysphoria kicks in and makes you hate every single inch of your own body. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “BAYONETTA IS MY HERO.” She’s no CM Punk or Chelsea Manning. I mean, she’s fictional. But her look and her attitude? Definitely some fucking #Goals right there.

I’ve also been getting back into Phantasy Star Online. I actually had to make a new character, as I fucked up some meta stuff with a previous build, and missed the cut-off point to change it.

Not really much to say here other than PLAY PHANTASY STAR ONLINE

But what I’m really getting into, is back into doing some sprite work. I’m trying to come up with some neat things for people to look at. Maybe even a new game. A big goal for 2018 is to start making things that look like they came out of an MSX game. A very mid-late 80’s look. I think that would be cool. I have this thing for old Japanese computers, and the way that their games and software looked. It’s an aesthetic that’s been incredibly influential for me, and I would love to pay tribute to it.

Well that’s all I got. See you either when I got something to say, or I do a weekend wrap-up like this again.

Later, marks.