Category: Lists

brutal

System: XBox 360 (also released for the Playstation 3 and PC, but I’m only going to actually list the system I played it on)
Release Year: 2009
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Best Football Card I pulled in 2009: 2009 Bowman Draft Picks Platinum Malcolm Jenkins 1/1
Cool Heavy Metal Album From 2009: GWAR – Lust in Space

YOOOU GUUUUYYYYS. This would have been the most perfect video game possible when I was fifteen. I mean, if I had been fifteen around 1985 or so. And if 1985 humans could comprehend a video game that wasn’t just flat colored blocks that went BLEEP BLEEP BLOOP. And if whatever weird strain of autism I have didn’t make me wait until I was sixteen to start getting into The Metal. And if my appreciation for power metal didn’t start at some point in my twenties. But you get the point, I hope.

This game is basically Tim Shaffer’s intimate, filthy love letter to the very concept of heavy metal, and everything it might stand for in the minds of people who would dare to spell Heavy Metal with capital letters. Like the opening scene of the game involves downtrodden roadie Eddie Riggs (voiced by Jack Black, playing himself, because much like Danny McBride, that’s what he should always be doing) having to put up with the bullshit of a terrible, spoiled nu-metal band. (think pre-crisis Linkin Park, before the backstreetly-boyish sounding dude saw the writing on the wall, bought some thick-rimmed glasses, and started screeching the way Kid Rock fans think is what emo sounds like) And then, a bunch of insanity happens, the entire band is gruesomely killed, and Eddie is magically transported to A METAL LAND IN AN ANCIENT TIME. From there you join a ragtag group of hesher rebels trying to free the Brütal Land from the forces of evil, which includes glam rock posers, Hot Topic/Nightmare Before Christmas goth posers, and demons rocking a weird S&M/Catholic Church kinda look, led by a dude voiced by freaking Tim Curry. TWO THIRDS OF YOUR ENEMIES REPRESENT FALSE METAL, YOU GUYS, AND THE OTHER THIRD IS PENNYWISE THE CLOWN. In time, your ranks grow until your allies include Rob Halford, Lemmy Kilmister, and Ozzy Osbourne pretty much just playing themselves, and Lita Goddamn Ford playing some sort of black metal jungle lady who rides around on a fire-breathing gorilla/cat thing with Gene Simmons makeup. Holy shit. And as well as chopping hella dudes with a big ol’ axe, you can also kill people with guitar solos, which were recorded in real life by Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, and the pivotal parts of the game turn all Real-Time Strategy, where you command your Army of Metal on a field of glory, which is the most metal thing anyone can do in life. And this is all in addition to the crazy-ass metal-as-all-getout soundtrack, with over 100 songs, plumbing the depth of everything you’d ever want in a game about Metal, aside from Iron Maiden, which is a bummer, but still. It runs the gamut of everything from Mastodon to Diamond Head to Ministry to Def Leppard to Emperor to UFO to Carcass, Ratt, Enslaved, and all points in between, all playing while you run over shit with your car.  Everything about this game is beautiful and perfect.

eddielemmyBeautiful and perfect, just like Lemmy Kilmister.

The Case Against: The big problem people seem to have against Brütal Legend is the some pretty blatant false advertising this game got prior to release, where the battlefield strategy parts went completely unmentioned, and it was hyped up as a God of War-style hack-and-kill sort of game. And yeah, there’s plenty of hacking and killing, but the major “boss battle” parts are all Real Time Strategy. But hell, God of War already exists, and people not giving two shits about Dante’s Inferno kind of indicates that the world only needs one God of War series at this point. So fuck all y’all, the strategy parts just make this its own semi-unique game, and I’m sorry y’all are too dumb to do anything but run into a crowd of dudes, swinging your axe until you die again. My complaint is that the story mode is too short, to the point where once I finally got used to leading my army to glory, the game was over. But I guess “there should have been more of this game” is kind of like praising with faint damnation.

brutal_legend_200908151529281Which is probably the best kind of damnation, honestly.

(Since I have no interesting personal memories of this one) TOP TEN SONGS ABOUT HEAVY METAL OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD:

  1. Tenacious D – “The Metal”
  2. Metallucifer – “Heavy Metal is My Way”
  3. Death Angel – “Devil’s Metal”
  4. Metallica – “Metal Militia”
  5. Judas Priest – “Heavy Metal”
  6. Anvil – “Metal on Metal”
  7. Exodus – “Bonded by Blood” (these all having the word metal in the title was by coincidence, not by design)
  8. Sammy Hagar – “Heavy Metal”
  9. Venom – “Black Metal”
  10. Manowar – “Die for Metal”

Current Top Million Billion Video Games of All Time, as of 7-29-2015:

  1. Brütal Legend (2009 EA/Double Fine, Xbox 360)
  2. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (1987 Nintendo, NES)
    3-10,000,000,000,000,000. TBD

It’s that time again, when I start a new Internet project born of boredom that I’ll never finish or even get halfway done with. (See also that A Song of Ice and Fire / Heavy Metal thing that is probably dead for good, now that the TV show sucks and GRRM is going to die of old age before the next book is done) Over in real life lately, a lot of stuff has happened, where I’ve pulled the Nintendo 64 out of the garage, I remembered that I have a Playstation 2, and <Borat Voice> MY WIFE </Borat Voice> got me those little Colecovision and Intellivision emulator consoles for my birthday, so I’m having Video Game Feelings, and I’d like to share them with you. And since the only languages the internet understands are numbered lists and shithead nobodies speaking authoritatively, I’mma make y’all a list of the Top Vidya Games of now and forever.

There’s a scientific method I’m going to use here, where I’m not actually going to put together a list ahead of time, and I’m not even going to set any sort of parameters for how big or small the list will end up being someday. Basically, I’ll think of a game, write a paragraph, and then throw it on the list, one at a time, and just slot it relative to what’s already on there. This keeps me from burning out and potentially keeps this going forever. I’m super smart, you guys. Furthermore, some entries will be for more than one game, because some games are pretty much the same. So while ESPN NFL 2K5, Joe Montana Sports Talk Football, and NFL Prime Time 96 Featuring Deion Sanders are technically part of the same series, they’re different enough for separate entries, but Prime Time 96 and NFL 95 would share one, since they’re just the same game with a different roster. Trust me, it’ll almost make sense eventually. There will be lots of weird little rules I’ll be making up on the fly, the games I do for this will be mostly in an order coming right off the top of my head, and in general, this is going to be dumb as hell.

And I’m sure that if I was a dude whose opinions held any real importance to the outside world, there’d be some controversy here, (SPOILER ALERT: E.T. for the Atari 2600 is definitely going on here someday)  but if you don’t like whatever list eventually poops out of this, go make your own. And no, I don’t mean that in a shitty keyboard warrior/SAY IT TO MY FACE BRO sort of way; I sincerely want you to go start a blog, get on Tumblr, go see if Tripod still exists or do whatever you have to do, and make your own damn list of things. To hell with it, make a list of any damn thing, and how those things affected your little personal journeys here on Earth. The internet is too big for maybe five big-ass conglomerative portal sites to dominate every conversation with click-bait think-pieces, and working for a website with the highest-paying advertisers shouldn’t give you a more valid opinion than any other dickhead. Let’s Personal Web Page it all up in this bitch, and take the internet back to 1999, when it was still a fun place with more than like twenty voices lording over everybody, and we all wore an onion in our belt, because that was the style. Be the change, and get off my lawn. I’m so old, so very, very old. But anyway, here’s your de facto Number One for now, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out: (more…)

cellaphone

INTRODUCTION!

So a while back, I got a new phone. Then, I broke it and got another one along the same lines, but presumably better. I mean, the screen is bigger and it can do weird stuff with sending files into other people’s phones and your own computer and whatnot, but I guess the main thing is that it’s marketed well enough where you can get a case for it that’s something other than “generic single-color rubber slip-on thing,” sometimes even in actual stores, and not just those little mall booths where they go to Amazon, buy a bunch of cases for $3 each, then ask you $37 for them. Anyway, that information has nothing to do with most of this, but it provides texture for this little introduction, if nothing else. The world needs more textures. Anyway, as well as useless bullshit like making phone calls and allowing me to communicate with the outside world, it’s a pretty sweet MP3 player. And I got lots of MP3s. So many of them. Like a hundred, man. But seriously, at some point, I ripped every CD I had to an external hard drive, (oh man, remember when computers didn’t come with like 15 squillobites of storage, and you had to augment what you had internally?) plus added in all that illegal shit from the Great Downloading Binge of 2000-2004, (which totally didn’t happen, and they’re all hella-legal, seriously) and it all added up to too much crap, and in a spree of going “ooh, ooh, I’ll add this and this and this oh man,” I added way too much to my phone. Too much, as in 1,259 songs. Wow. On one hand, hey right on, variety, but on the other, I do my musical-type listening almost completely on the drive home from work, (I listen to podcasts on the drive up there, because in the darkness of three in the morning, still in the process of waking up and on deer-infested roads, I don’t need to get all Slayered up and have one of those “oh dang, I didn’t know I was going that fast” moments.) and I really don’t need to be reaching down, looking at tiny screens, and skipping stuff I don’t want to hear at 65-70 mph, you know? (Ha ha, oh man, I obey speed limits, what a DORK.) So, partly inspired by sitting on the toilet and  reading about Raven Mack’s JJ Krupert thing a while back,  and partly inspired by not wanting to perish in flames, I have devised a system to cull the herd.

HOW IT WORKS: First, I put the thing on shuffle, all the way home, without skipping a track. Then, I go back over my Last.fm recently played list (mentally adding stuff that it left off the list for some reason, like the Armored Saint track today) and pit each song against each other in the order they got played. So the first song fights the second song, etc. The winner of each song fight (the one I liked more, duh) stays on the phone, and the loser gets deleted. And just in case “Ace of Spades” goes up against “Breaking the Law” and it’s an awful thing for one of those to go, I’ll choose one song from each day to get a second chance. The second chance song stays on the phone until the next day, when it faces that day’s second-chance song, with the winner staying for good. Also, if two songs I can’t stand to lose end up that way, I’ll just keep them both, because fuck your rules, man. I’m a loner, internet; A rebel. But yeah, and then, I come home and type about them, and lost of people get pissed off when they click a Google link hoping for Rapidshare downloads. Suckers.

H and H  Pentagram_st

1. Black Sabbath – “Heaven and Hell” vs. Pentagram – “The Deist”

“Heaven and Hell” is pretty much one of the masterpieces of the heavily-metallic arts, and no matter how unaware of post-Ozzy Black Sabbath the average dude out in the streets may be, it has to get serious consideration as one of the awesomest things Sabbath ever did. And awesome things Black Sabbath did that involved either Ozzy Osbourne or Ronnie James Dio covers an awful lot of ground, you know? It’s just crazy good, and it still makes me want to punch that Coheed and Cambria guy in the face, because of those things he did to it last year. Anyway, this was a no-brainer, and out of all eleventy-million songs on the damn thing, there were very, very few that stood a chance here.
“The Deist” is the hapless victim here, a moderately deep cut from an album that’s actually on the phone in its entirety, thanks to me literally paying actual money for it, which in this case meant paying six imaginary digital dollars to Amazon for an imaginary digital copy. The Future is here. The bummer is that this is awesome.  It’s a killer song that mentions Satan pretty early on and has this crazy guitar sound that makes me think of what would happen if Thor had use for a lawn mower. Really is a bummer that the world at large (or at least a small portion of it) went completely unaware of this band until that documentary about Bobby Liebling being a crack-addicted real-life Gollum (although he’s cleaned up a lot lately and has been fully upgraded to Smeagol status) came out. I think I first heard of Pentagram when the Be Forewarned CD got reviewed in some magazine my brother had, but I’m not gonna lie, I never bothered to actually listen to them until some time late last year. So I’m a poseur, but not a complete one, maybe? Anyway, this is good and it’s a bummer that it has to lose, but no worries, as this album still has a few goddamn untouchable songs on it, so there will definitely still be a lot of Pentagram in the rotation.

WINNER: Sabbath.

ignorance  salvation

2. Sacred Reich – “Victim of Demise” vs. Armored Saint – “Warzone”

This was actually a tougher call that you might think. Like Sacred Reich, they’re my boys, you know, to the point where a lot of people I internet-know still think of me as “the Sacred Reich guy.” And “Victim of Demise” is one of their more killer songs, from the first album when they were still kinda like Baby Slayer, just going nuts all over the place, and hadn’t yet settled into that comfortable middle-of-the-road groove that a bunch of bands did between like ’88 and ’90, where they all ended up releasing their best stuff, but then either broke up, (Death Angel) fell off the end of the Earth, (these guys) or just turned into complete foolishness. (Metallica) Anyway, this is early Sacred Reich at their Slayerest, going on about rotting corpses and diseases and such, and it’s as awesome as you should expect.
But you know, I barely have anything by Armored Saint, (just this and a couple compilation tracks) and of all that, this is probably my favorite thing of theirs, so it would be messed up to knock it off there. Especially considering that if I ever saw this thing to completion, there would still be a ton of Sacred Reich on there, including at least two – maybe three or four – other songs from the Ignorance album. So in a shocking upset…

WINNER: Armored Saint. HOWEVER, “Victim of Demise” stays alive for now as today’s second-chance song, with apologies to Pentagram.

nwobhm  bigger

3. Diamond Head – “Helpless” vs. Stormtroopers of Death – “Raise Your Sword”

Oh man, Diamond Head. Those guys are awesome, and on one hand, it’s a bummer that they’re known solely as the band that’s had like five songs of theirs covered by Metallica at one point or another. On the other hand, I guess being that into Diamond Head earns points in Metallica’s favor. Anyway, you probably know the Metallica version, and this is a lot like that, except with singing and notes and stuff, plus the entire freaking final third or so of the song that Metallica refused to play, because at that point, they were still trying way too hard to act all, “grrrr, we are GRUFF and can’t enjoy things at all, including girls.” Same reason they left the “OOOOOHH BAAAAYBEEEE, I CAN ROCK AAND ROOOOLLLLL” part out of “Crash Course in Brain Surgery.” But yeah, awesome.
There was a window of a couple of years where S.O.D. was like my thing, and I got all super-pumped when Bigger Than the Devil came out and super-upset when people got all butt-hurt over it not sounding like Speak English or Die. Anyway, this was a bonus track on the deluxe version of the CD, or in real-life terms, one of the two songs I downloaded off Audiogalaxy with my 56K welfare internet, because buying two versions of the same CD is for chumps, suckers, and sucker-ass chumps. But yeah, this is from the dying days of the band, when Billy Milano decided that they should become the Weird Al Yankovics of heavy metal, which sounded like a really good idea until he put out that useless Rebel You Love to Hate CD. But yeah, this is S.O.D. making fun of Manowar, and even if it was completely terrible, it would be worthwhile just for the line, “Hack and kill, then kill some more, kill and hack, then hack and kill.” But man, the last few minutes are mostly just Billy screeching out high notes that no one thought he’d be able to hit, and it gets kinda tedious when you’re driving, and you’ve vowed to not skip to the next song.

WINNER: Diamond Head.

Deftones_-_Around_the_Fur  maiden

4. Deftones – “My Own Summer (Shove It)” vs. Iron Maiden – “Prowler”

Welp, this one was over before it started. One one hand, The Deftones were probably the most tolerable band to hit the scene when nu-metal hit and things got all Korny for a few years, but on the other hand, IRON MAIDEN. And man, the self-titled Maiden album is pretty loaded, and if I had to ditch something from it, this would have been the song I could have stood to see go, which opened the door for an Armored Saint-style upset. But really, I was only ever just sort of barely, marginally into this band, and while “My Own Summer” was like everybody’s summer jam of 1997 or whatever, the title track was like a hundred times better, and it was this band’s only chance to upset anything by Iron Maiden. Also, during the quiet parts, Chino’s whisper-singing is just disconcerting to me, like you can hear all his consonants extra hard, and it just sounds all wet and gross, like he’s singing in my ear as I’m tied to a chair in his rape-dungeon or something. Which might have a been a plus for all the folks who were rocking the XXXXL Jncos, six-foot wallet chains, and Adidas visors at the time, but I don’t cotton to it none, mister.

WINNER: FUKKIN MAAAAIDENNNN

EVERYTHING ELSE:

deleted

(Also, “The Warrior’s Prayer” by Manowar came up, but it’s not an actual song, so it went away automatically.)

king diamond shows up in season 4, honest

LAST TIME: We discovered that Ned Stark was probably a pretty good dad, but just too uptight to truly thrash, and that King Robert was so bad, baby, that he didn’t care, at least up until the point when he was killed by death. This time, we examine Greatjon Umber and Ramsay Bolton, and I tell you, those guys – SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS, DON’T CLICK ANYTHING IN THIS IF YOU’VE NEVER WATCHED THE SHOW OR READ THE BOOKS, DEAR LORD SAVE ME FROM ALL THESE SPOILERS.
(more…)

…Because the night is dark and full of terrors.

Here’s another one of those weird internet projects I’ll start and never finish, but which sounds like a pretty good idea, so I’m still starting it, even though I know damn well I’ll never finish it. Uhh, anyway. The third season of Game of Thrones ended not that long ago, and I actually managed to watch it in a timely manner for a change, through means that were totally legal, honestly for real, and I’m sure the NSA dude that’s assigned to my IP address will vouch for me, especially after I sent him that fancy cookie bouquet. (Of course, if I did manage to watch the show illegally, fuck you, I’m gonna end up buying the DVDs later, so you can go screw, Jack Valenti or whoever it is that sends the lawyers after people.) Anyway, in addition to watching the show, at least 75% of my toilet time has been spent reading the books that the show came from, so at this point it’s reacted with that weird, secret strain of autism I caught off a toilet seat at Kroger that one time, and I’m pretty well immersed in that world lately. So I think on this stuff a lot, at times when I really should be thinking about things like work or oncoming traffic, and something occurred to me. Lost somewhere in all the talk about this show that world has been ablaze with lately, no one’s been mentioning a very important thing: This show is FUKKIN METAL. Seriously, it’s like nothing But swords and knights and blood and death and corrupt politicians and  fell magicks and dragons and metal. It’s like George R.R. Martin sat there, typing all these books out, imagining that someday, somehow, the words he was setting to paper would eventually get turned into a television show that would someday magically cause a single tear to trickle down the cheek of a statue of Paul Baloff, at least in a more perfect world where there actually were statues of Paul Baloff.

BANG YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE STAGE AND METAL TAKES ITS PLACE
If only….

Anyway, partially because it seriously sounded like an interesting idea, and partially because I’m tired of having all my interesting ideas just sort of swirl around in my head for weeks and months until my brain magically erases them, I’m going to do one of those internet things I do, where I start a potentially long, ongoing project that only gets visited once or twice and dies unfinished. But the show’s not done and I still have roughly 2.8 and counting of the books left to read, this idea should pop back into my head from time to time. So I like its chances. I’m going to take the characters from this thing and think about them real, real hard and I am going to figure out who are the most FUKKIN METAL characters from this particular universe, and maybe someday twist it into a top 20 power ranking list, going to super insanely metal at #1 to just pretty darn metal or whatever at #20. And of course, the series isn’t finished yet and the books are nowhere near finished, so characters might rise and fall, depending on their actions and/or gruesome deaths. But to clarify, I’m not going to dork analyze the metalness of everybody. Some characters even in something like A Song of Ice and Fire are still just going to be obviously non-metallic, and all five million of the little background characters simply aren’t going to be worth the time. Like G.R.R. Martin is a dude who cranks out 1,000-plus page books on the semi-regular, and I’m a dude who seriously updates a pissant blog about thrice yearly, so if that guy couldn’t come up with more than a solid paragraph or so for Jeyne Poole or Ser Jacelyn Bywater, I ain’t gonna be the one to fill in that gap. Of course, this is the internet, and the internet is a sick and terrible place, so I’m sure that sooner or later, someone will send me links to some sort of “fuckyeahjacelynbywater dot tumblr dot com” blog or a three-thousand chapter pornographic fan fiction site dedicated to Jeyne Poole’s erotic encounters with Goku or one of the Animaniacs or whatever, and then I’m going to have to turn off my internet and start making bombs in the lawnmower shed out back. Dark and full of terrors indeed. But yeah, sticking to only the debatably metal and at least semi-major characters, and in no particular order. Also, in the event that you haven’t read a book or watched a show yet, you should probably just turn around right now, lest things be ruined for you forever. As in spoilers and whatnot. And in case anyone’s just skimming the introductory paragraph, the way I do with Cracked articles, I’m just going to say SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS OH GOD TURN AROUND THERE’S SO MANY SPOILERS, in bold capital letters. Anyway, I’m going to do this two characters at a time, both in the name of making sure these things don’t get too long and in the contradictory name of making sure these things aren’t too short. Let us begin:
(more…)

I'm somewhere in the upper-right quadrant.
The population density.
  1.  A house means no longer having to hide excess animals that aren’t on the lease from maintenance-type officials, all like some cat-based Disney adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank.
  2. If a neighbor decides to have some sort of social gathering that’s based entirely around loud gossiping and chain-smoking directly outside my open window, I can have them arrested.
  3. The view of a well-maintained school campus across the street beats the hell out of the current views of an electrical substation and shittier apartments than the one I live in.
  4. Walking the dogs first thing in the morning when I really, really have to pee will no longer be extended by five to ten minutes so I can let the next-door neighbor pet the  dogs, while he enjoys a relaxing smoke and a frosty brew. At five in the morning. In his underwear.
  5. If I really have to pee while walking the dogs, I can just go on the side of the house, bitches.
  6. If someone in their underwear is smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer directly in front of my front door at five in the morning, I’m pretty sure Oklahoma law allows me to shoot them at least twice.
  7. Not sharing a wall with someone else means I no longer have to listen to their loud rap music, domestic disturbances, disturbing sex noises, or pet opossums trying to dig their way into my apartment. (I am serious, that is a thing that has happened.)
  8. Not sharing a wall with someone else will allow me to listen to loud, pseudo-Satanic heavy metal without feeling guilty about it.
  9. Living next door to a Pentecostal church will allow me to listen to loud, pseudo-Satanic heavy metal with a strong sense of pride.
  10. If something breaks, I no longer have to wait two weeks for someone to come fix it, then another two weeks for them to come back and fix the actual thing that was broken, instead of the purely cosmetic thing they noticed while they were here to fix the real problem. Then another two weeks while they get in the parts they needed, which they probably could have just run to Home Depot or somewhere like that to pick up in ten minutes. Then, another two weeks after you have to remind them that the thing broke.Then another two weeks for them to come back and re-fix the broken thing that ended up even more broken by their half-assed repair job. Then, when it’s still broken, just giving up and taking cold showers or sleeping in the living room or brushing my teeth in the toilet or whatever.

By all means, not a complete list, but you get the picture.