Oct 23 2014

Diablo III, The Ultimate Pavlovian Mechanism

Published by under Video Games


I was a little hesitant to pick up Diablo III for my console – I’d played the first two games on a PC, and I had trouble seeing how some of the finer points of using skills would transfer over – but it turned out to be loads of fun.  Great interface, good pace, really fun skill progression/modification/customization.

Of course I was aware of the slightly insane logic of games like this: fight monsters that drop items that make your character more powerful, so you can fight harder monsters that drop better items that make your character even more powerful, so you can… fight harder monsters.  I’m sure there’s a word for it.  Pretty much any inventory-based RPG has this mechanic working to some extent.  And it’s certainly not a problem on its own – after all, with games like this, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

But the more I played Diablo III, the more I was slightly disturbed at how incredibly slick it all felt.  From the visible experience bar (just a liiiiiitle further) and the way your character lights up when you make a Paragon level, to the aesthetically pleasing orange column of light and special, unique sound that plays when a legendary item drops, the more I played, the more I felt like the game was playing me.

Continue Reading »

One response so far

Oct 23 2014

The New Boondocks vs. Black Jesus

Published by under Debate,Television


As usual, the last year of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block didn’t pass without controversy. Given the lengthy gaps between seasons for Aaron Mcgruder’s suicidally-offensive animated racial satire The Boondocks, any new season has been cause to celebrate over the last ten years. After a four year hiatus the show returned for a fourth season, but it wasn’t quite intact. The man who created the legendary comic strip in college and eventually brought it to the small screen in an even more in-your-face form was no longer involved.

The exact reasoning behind this decision remains a mystery, but Cartoon Network wasn’t done with the radical satirist yet as McGruder was slated to return to television with a bizarre live action series, Black Jesus. The Boondocks has been one of my favorite animated shows since the day it premiered, but could such a unique project survive the loss of the man who built it almost entirely with his own blood, sweat, and tears? And could McGruder possibly duplicate his success in the animated medium in live action? Now that both seasons have run their course, let’s see which one got the better. Continue Reading »

One response so far

Oct 23 2014

The Morning Link: Matthew McConaughey Defends RomComs

Published by under Morning Link

true detective2

“What did we learn from Matthew McConaughey’s new interview with GQ? Well, a lot of things. For example, in the very first paragraph, we learned that he always carries a leather journal filled with “stray thoughts, doodles, visual diagrams of future roles, and whatever else pops into his head.””

Go here to see more.

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Oct 22 2014

The Final Countdown: Renee Zellweger, Batman Plot Holes and The Legend of Korra

Published by under Final Countdown


Go here to see why we care about Renee Zellweger’s face.

“Yesterday, people finally stopped freaking out about a US Ebola non-outbreak to focus on something far worse. “You mean,” you say, “like the still horrific and actual outbreak in Africa?” No, of course not—I mean Renee Zellweger’s face.”

The Countdown

50 huge plot holes from Batman Begins – [Cracked]

The sad, strange abuse of The Legend of Korra – [Insert Coin]

Johnny Depp is a wolf now – [FilmDrunk]

The most ridiculous Flash speed powers – [TVO]

2001 gets a brand new trailer – [GeeksAreSexy]

Toys R Us will open crazy early on Black Friday – [SheBudgets]

The highest grossing Will Smith movies ever – [CelebrityToob]

Manhattan penthouse on sale for $44M – [Worthly]

Good costumes and bad costumes – [TheChive]

The best news headline of the day – [WWIW]

No responses yet

Oct 22 2014

Great Power, Maybe…But Who’s Responsible?

Published by under Columns,Comics


I’m fairly new to comic books. I started reading because I’ve always wanted to write my own, and I’m a big fan of passing procrastination off as study. I’m also now within walking distance of new editions for the first time. But I’m no authority on the subject, and I look forward to comments filling any gaps I may leave. Despite my freshness to the medium, I’ve been left slighted by my mates at Marvel this week.

I understand there’s a whole lot of artists – pencillers, inkers, colourists, all that – in the industry. As Marvel’s characters criss-cross their way through the universe, it makes sense that artists will need to share timelines to an extent. And given that there’s a whole multiplex of Spider-Men (whom I’m only loosely familiar with), there’s need of an army of superhero sketchers to pull all the strings of that particular web into place.

This is fine, as long as there’s a logic to the madness. Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Oct 22 2014

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Digital Downloads vs Physical Copies

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

dig vs phys title

Invariably, when a video game console announces that it will be digital-only, all hell breaks loose on the internet. The vast majority of vocal gamers seem to loathe the idea of digital downloads. People generally allow exceptions when it comes to smart phones or tablets, but in regards to nearly every other venue, people come out on the side of physical copies.

Understanding why they have this reaction isn’t hard. I am firmly a member of the pro-physical camp. In fact, I own hundreds of copies of old cartridge games despite their rampantly free availability as ROMs online.

Despite my inexorable personal stance on digital games, I still happen to purchase digital copies surprisingly frequently. In fact, in the past year I have likely purchased many more digital games than physical ones.

Why have I done this in flagrant disregard of my on-paper principles? Why even have a stance against digital downloads of games at all? The sheer ambivalence of this discussion warrants laying some home truths out in the open. Doing so takes an explicit comparison between both the good and bad qualities of each medium… Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Oct 22 2014

The Morning Link: Creepy Video Game Easter Eggs

Published by under Morning Link


“When you’re caught up in a good video game, you’re usually in a pretty oblivious state: you can barely notice your bladder is about to explode from not taking a bathroom break in 15 hours, let alone pay attention to every little detail on your screen. What better time for a developer to go ahead and slip in an inexplicably terrifying Easter egg that most people will never see?”

Go here to see the list.

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Oct 21 2014

Casting the Amalgam Universe Movies Phase 2

Published by under Comics,Movies


Fire up your Tamagotchi and pop on The Spice Girls, we’re bring the 90s into today by casting Phase 2 of the Amalgam Universe comic book movies. For you Unrealtors who may have missed the first edition of this article, the Amalgam Universe was a once-in-a-True-Believer’s-lifetime event where the big two comic publishers, Marvel and DC, decided to throw their respective universes into one big blender and publish books with whatever came out. It was fascinating, it was fun, and it’ll never happen again.

However, happen it did and in this wild world of comic cinema who knows who will be trading quips on the silver screen. So, assuming we’re following the Marvel Studios system, let’s see who’d be donning tights, capes, and maybe a helmet or two for Amalgam Universe Phase 2. Continue Reading »

One response so far

Oct 20 2014

The Final Countdown: TV Halloween, Game of Thrones Snakes and Half-Life 3

Published by under Final Countdown


Go here to see fifteen Halloween costumes inspired by TV shows.

“If you read Pajiba, TV is probably your life, so you have no time to prepare for Halloween when you have five episodes of Nashville on the DVR. So here are some costume ideas from television shows ranging from easy to extremely difficult, if you’re up for the challenge.”

The Countdown

First shots of Game of Thrones’ Sand Snakes – [TVO]

The We Want Half-Life 3 ad campaign – [Insert Coin]

New trailer for Disney’s Tomorrowland – [GeeksAreSexy]

Key and Peele making a movie – [FilmDrunk]

Insane but convincing movie conspiracy theories – [Cracked]

10 DC comics movies coming out in five years – [TheChive]

Promo codes for costumes at Party City – [SheBudgets]

The worst new political ad ever – [WWIW]

The best Lea Michelle GIFs – [CelebrityToob]

Bag thief gets instant justice – [Izismile]

Nike will be designing jets soon – [Worthly]

No responses yet

Oct 20 2014

Evil Within Isn’t So Scary After All

Published by under Editorials,Video Games


My roommate was raving all summer about this video game called Evil Within. He wouldn’t shut up about how scary the trailer looked. Evil Within is the latest foray of Shinji Mikami in the genre of horror. Gamers know the man for his work on a handful of early Resident Evil games. I really missed how horror was subtle in older games wherein it was all about playing tricks with the mind. Modern survival horror titles tend to think that better graphics are advantage as they try to scare players overtly by making the most grotesque creatures ever. I don’t know about you, but I find the unknown a lot scarier. The Evil Within appeared to be a promising survival horror title. It’s not a bad game as a whole, but it fails to scare players in a memorable way that’ll make it an all time classic.

Read on for more.

Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Oct 20 2014

The Morning Link: What 32 Movie Characters Should Have Said

Published by under Morning Link


“We’ve all walked away from a situation wishing we didn’t make it awkward by saying that thing that made everyone uncomfortable and weary of us. Point is, surely movie characters have been in the same situation. Our readers went back and retconned our favorite movies to include what characters wish they could’ve said.”

Go here to see the list.

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