Friday, 8 October 2021
Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Jon correctly assumes Garfield is overweight. Jon wrongly assumes he has bigger mental capacities than Garfield, leaving him with an inedible pile of ashes instead of a stereotypically cartoonish-looking steak that looks like it came out of 1940's Tom and Jerry, and a particularly grotesquely ugly and dumb look on his face.
Streak of food-themed Garfield strips: 4
Sunday, 14 April 2019
Previously on Lis, Max went to college (NOT university) and met her friend Chloe, who might or might not be a Schrödinger's cat after 5 years of ignoring her.
I don't think chapter 2 was about much in particular, but chapter 3 is where things get interesting. However, one cannot ignore the red herring in the room, namely how much of a loathsome Christian straight-edged CUNT Kate Marsh (more like Kate Darsh, am I right?) is. That despicable worm of a character single-handedly overshadows and ruins the middle part of the game (and the whining about her death doesn't stop til the end in fact). Face the facts, writers of this game: SHE IS NOT MAX' FRIEND!!! MAX GOT NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO CARE ABOUT HER. All she ever did for her was lend her a book! If there is anything else, we don't see it in the game AND neither is it ever stated anywhere. As for the negative side: Kate whines ALL THE TIME. "Max, do that for me! Max, answer my text! Max, do this. Max, do that." FUCK OFF KATE!!!!!
And as I hoped we can (indirectly) drive her into suicide. However, that triumph is all but ruined by the yammering and whining that follows. Everyone was Kate's friend all along, or so they say. Like, I don't give a shit! This should not have been part of the story whatsoever. The story is SOLELY about Max and Chloe's relationship. But more on that later.
So natural disasters happen (quite effective in building up atmosphere), Max and Chloe get closer again, Chloe's stepfather is annoying, Max' photography teacher turns out to be evil (another thing that should definitely not have been in the story as it cheapens everything with its mundaneness), some shit with timelines (the highlight being the trip to the universe with Alternative Chloe in it, which is definitely kinda touching but cheaply executed. Facing a LIFETIME of being a head is infinitely more scary than being already almost dead due to respiratory failure. Death would've been a blessing to her, so what is the big deal with speeding it up a lil? That's not a meaningful choice there. Would've been a hugely meaningful choice without the last-minute tacked-on "Oh I'm already almost dead" BULLSHIT.), and in the end a tornado destroys Arcadia Bay (really not surprising an end but nevertheless effective). Or you can choose the bad ending and let Chloe be shot by Nathan, but since the entire game (!) is about rescuing Chloe dropping her like a hot potato at the very end is completely retarded. Who the fuck would do that?! But apparently, 52% of players chose the Sacrifice Chloe ending - LOL
So what did and didn't I like about this game?
-) Kate Marsh ALL OF MY HATE
-) some other characters are also extremely stupid and/or confused/confusing (Victoria, Nathan, Frank (what the fuck is that character about?!?!? what is his purpose in the game?!)
-) all the bullshit and whining about Rachel Amber and then we get told in chapter 4 - "Oh, she's been dead all along, sorry about that." - FUCK YOU, WRITERS. Rachel should've appeared out of nowhere and turned the game on its head! Her appearance would've totally changed the dynamics of the Max-Chloe relationship! And to add insult to injury, she has been killed by fucking Nathan, the useless secondary villain character that adds nothing to the story. Major bullshit moment there.
-) Another huge stinker: this game is completely sexless! When I saw the penis of Michelangelo's David censored (!) in chapter 2, I knew we wouldn't get to see tits or anything more than a kiss in this fucking game! I have no clue what they were thinking. Fucking Americans and their hateful prudance.
-) We only get to see Max kiss Chloe in the bad ending. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU! I almost wouldn't have watched it at all before uninstalling after being done with the achievements, and that is their ONLY kiss in the entire game (the one in Chloe's room doesn't count, their lips barely even touch).
-) The writers let Nathan to use loaded right-wing insults (feminazi, libtard). And both of those don't apply to Max at all! This game is completely politics-free (unless you go up a meta level and question concepts like integration. And even the token blacks in Lis are barely even there and don't play a role in the story), so those terms were only shoehorned in in order to appeal to left-wingers, which is fucking disgusting. Apparently they go full retard in Lis 2 with major bitching about Trump - well I can't see myself playing that one anyway since, well, it doesn't have Max or Chloe in it, so how the fuck is it a Life is strange game then!
-) Ending is too inconclusive. This could have been prevented easily by: letting Max snap a picture of the tornado destroying the town (and therefore letting her win the contest and jumpstart her career as a photographer), and by letting us see the corpses of Chloe's mother, Warren and Frank at the destroyed Two Whales diner in the penultimate shot of the game. What we get is Max and Chloe driving off into the sunset and that is really not fucking much! Fanfic writers to the rescue! In fact, I can imagine entire fan games that refine the entire storyline by cutting out all the unnecessary bullshit and instead deconstructing the mechanics and tropes of the game (this is what chapter 5 and maybe even everything after seeing Alternative Chloe for the first time should have been about! Imagine if the remainder of the story would've taken place in that alternative universe! Now THAT would've been groundbreaking!) And the elephant in the room: does Max keep her rewind power?! WTF were they thinking not answering any of those gaping holes (Kate Marsh spreads for Jesus) when there is no sequel!
-) There is an attempt at deconstruction that also serves to make the "Kill Chloe" choice palatable to the players at all - but since all we see is repeats of the key moments in conversations with Chloe it is an utter waste of time. Writers were missing imagination there and clearly have never seen Evangelion.
-) In many cases, your choices don't matter much, don't matter at all or you aren't even given a choice in the first place! This is especially painfully obvious in the Kate Marsh situation.
-) No exploration. The scope of the entire game is waaaayyy too small. I wanted to be able to move around town freely and explore many different locations and talk to all kinds of people! This would've infinitely superior to the entire "rewind" gimmick - hey I already knew of that concept, but under the name QUICKLOAD! Oh my Satan. Yeah yeah I know full voice acting is expensive, but this is a triple A title and I'm sure episode 1 alone already made the money the entire thing cost back. This game could've been sooo much more than a (mostly linear) visual novel. What a shame.
-) Max is waaay too convinced the tornado is her fault. The very first scene of the game takes place at the lighthouse, during the tornado. And that is BEFORE Max gains her powers. Do the math.
-) Unskippable dialogue in 2015!?!
-) That puzzle with the doorways in chapter 5. Had to look up the solution and still have no clue what that shit is about. Once you even turn into Victoria? WTF
-) This game certainly doesn't reward you for sticking to your choices, and often you are even forced to rewind to be able to complete it at all.
-) Max. Maxine is great! I love her, I'd love to be her! Can't believe American guys could create such a likeable character in 2015! She is never obnoxious (unless she is being a do-gooder, which mostly happens in the Marsh situation), she actually cares about people; obviously very charismatic as for the people who actually care about her (or want something from her) she is always the centre of attention. Teacher's pet too. Most importantly she never ever mentions feminism, social justice warrior-ing or any other political bullshit. It's unfortunate she uses make-up at all, but one can easily pretend she just didn't get any sleep (seriously that make-up just makes her look very tired or sad all the time. Plus it's unrealistic it's even on her after showering, swimming etc.) She never wears anything but pants other than in the bad ending, where the choice of a dress can be forgiven. There's some similarity with Shiina from Narutaru but Max isn't *that* charismatic so she still gets shit from bullies like Nathan and Victoria, but other than that I really don't know any similar characters! To sum things up, she is a girl every normal person would like to be friends with, or more. Quite good-looking too, as I said in the chapter 1 review.
-) Chloe. The desire to see Max and Chloe end up together as lesbians kept me going ever since chapter 2 and made a lot of the bullshit elements mentioned above a lot more palatable to me. Chloe really isn't perfect, she's rough around the edges, whimsical to the max (PUN), doesn't really have any purpose in life, gets involved with stupid and banal people like Frank and she really (as the game suggests in chapter 5) takes advantage of Max (and her supernatural ability) all the fucking time (to the point of inevitably being killed unless Max rescues her). Plus that stupid dyed hair. (Is she actually a vegan? I swear I saw her eat the same thing as Max at the diner in like chapter 2, which is ham and eggs or something.) But Chloe is also the perfect counterpoint to Max! When Max is careful, cautious and introverted, Chloe is a guns-blazing risk taker who's always fun to be around with. The flashbacks we get to childhood Max 'n' Chloe are really touching. They are such great friends. I tried my damned best to save Chloe's father to make her happy. And they always played pirates, not princesses. What's not to love about those characters...
What we get to see in the true ending (as opposed to the things mentioned above that are painfully missing) is directed perfectly: Max and Chloe holding hands while watching the destruction of their home and certain death of all their friends and Chloe's mother and stepfather. Chloe accepting the terrible choice Max had to make and how highly her friend values her: "I'll always be with you. - Forever." Chloe touching Max' shoulder in the car while driving past the carnage. All of that was hitting very close to home. Great stuff there. I would trade my life with either of theirs in a second.
Warren deserves a honorary mention. Though he isn't any special in any regard, I wouldn't have minded Max ending up with him. They certainly have a lot in common. But in their final conversation in the diner during the storm, you can very tangibly see he's miles and miles away from hooking up with her. If the writers intended that scene to display that, kudos to them. He's just a nerd, and she is quite literally a supernatural being. But Warren deserved that hug, I liked him.
Graphics and sound:
Very good, high production values. Only the music is lacking and sometimes really really bad.
Nice, believable world full of life. Shame the boundaries are so small. Big corporations causing the decline of the small-scale fishing industry is a nice backdrop. I loved talking to all the townsfolk, which also means the writers did something right. Quite a high degree of realism, other than the supernatual stuff of course. With each day you come closer to apocalypse, the perfect storm, the end of the world (Max Payne 1 also used that element very effectively) - really a very well built scenario.
So while riddled with many flaws this obviously is a standout title and proves even Americans of the 2010s can still create great stories once in a while (sadly, the other 99.99% are disgusting propaganda nowadays, which is why I stopped watching new Hollywood movies altogether some years ago). There's a prequel I will get when it's on sale (not paying 16 Euros when I can also get it for 4). Lis 2, as I said above, doesn't look like something I'd touch but maybe I play through episode 1 when they make it free of charge (after all, this is also how I was sold on this game).
Btw, I didn't replay the game from the start or at least parts of it to make different choices to hear new dialogue pieces. I'm quite content with the choices I made. Only in a few select places I rewound to hear alternative bits.
Wednesday, 10 April 2019
60 minutes in and I was not able to BUILD A HOUSE. The game does NOT TELL YOU WHAT TO DO!!! When I have to rely on the wiki to be able to complete the first thing in the game, it has failed. And not even that worked. "Lay down a wooden foundation." Yet there is no "wooden foundation" item you can craft! The controls are so unbelievably finicky and there is no undo button, so my wooden walls or whatever end up in the wrong spot and I can't remove them! Which wastes the building spot! No customizable controls either - I do NOT want to have to do 100 million mouse clicks when I could just press a key instead - but the game doesn't allow me! I could literally go on complaining for an hour here, but I will only say I can't see how this ever made it out of alpha as it is an unplayable mess! Literally the worst game I've played on Steam. Note to devs: having neither a tutorial nor a manual IS NOT AN OPTION FOR A COMPLEX AND FINICKY GAME YOU DUMB FUCKS!!!
Wednesday, 27 March 2019
Life is strange is a visual novel (IN 3-D!) that sold a huge number of digital copies (limited edition digital copies to boot!) for some reason. As the first chapter was free and I mainly play video games for ShiTEAM achievements now (as I'm done with all the endless-type online games I used to play in the last 8 or so years for various reasons), and I was searching for a point & click adventure anyway I picked it up (as much as you can pick up a download - which is not at all because it doesn't physically exist!).
So in LiS you run around (or rather walk at a snail's pace - the couch potato main character clearly never exercises.) a small town campus. The main character, Maxine (wtf is that name?!), is studying photography MAYBE - I know nothing of the American university system - well, at least that is the only class she ever visits (1 out of 1 in the first chapter). Movement isn't the only thing at a crawling speed in this game, as gameplay consists of 25% walking (no kidding!), 25% dialogue cutscenes with various NPCs and 50% listening to Max describing various objects, landmarks and whatnot. Even with such a limited degree of interactivity, the controls are really not very good, as is typical for each and every console port I've ever played (granted, that's a very small number...). Invisible walls are really restrictive - there certainly is no exploring in this game.
Loner hipster girl 18-year-old Maxine Caulfield (note the really unsubtle and irrelevant reference to Holden Caulfield of The catcher in the rye fame) - wait does that make any sense? Being a hipster doesn't make any sense if you can't show it off to your hipster peers. Anyway, she is a massive photography nerd, exclusively using a Polaroid camera (which would clearly never be allowed at university). Her hobbies include not contacting her best friend, getting bullied and standing up for pathetic losers she doesn't have any relationship with in the first place (that is, if you let her do that - this IS an interactive novel after all. You can make some limited choices... but more on that later). She really isn't too interesting, but not offensively loathable either, and that already beats most women (both in fiction and in reality) by default. Also she got a pretty good body - however this is rendered pointless by the fact we don't see anything in that shower scene. BOO. In fact, it's quite hard to ever see her feet outside of cutscenes cause the camera is really rigid. Some fanservice really would've worked wonders there.
Anyway, so Max goes to class, lives at a dorm, has limited social interactions with her nerd and loser friends and uses social media. Note that "taking selfies" isn't on that list cause you can ONLY take "selfies" with a "smartphone" - and not with a Polaroid camera (don't listen to the game's lies). And BAM suddenly she develops the magical ability to rewind time to a limited amount. However, instead of using that power in a sensible way to e.g. take over the world, she merely uses her rewind to impress her hipster teacher (who she naturally has a crush on) and protect her loser friends. In fact, there is no reason for this supernatural bullshit to be in the game in the first place. It's a stupid gimmick that adds little to nothing - especially as your choices are really not important in the first place as they are way too limited in the moral sense. You can't kill the stupid bitch bully, you can't tell Chloe (again, WTF IS THAT NAME?! that's one of the stupidest non-black names in existence!) to FUCK OFF, even when she tries to make you take the blame for smoking a joint IN FRONT OF THE INSANE SCHOOL SECURITY GUARD (which probably would cost Max her scholarship), you can't even do small things like outright telling the pathetic CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALIST loser queen to leave you the fuck alone. So if you can't make meaningful (= moral) choices anyway, what's the point of being able to reverse them instantly instead of via reloading...?! Possibly the rewind gimmick will pay off later, but I can't see right now how it would be able to convince of its necessity in the story.
The storyline can be summed up in one sentence.
So we got Max, which is, like I said above, not too bad. She is actually interested in something useful (namely photography), and that's quite a likeable trait.
Chloe: is a massive bitch. Implied to be a vegan subhuman, doing nothing but blaming Max for not contacting her (note: that always goes both ways...), daddy's girl (too bad her father died in a freak triple penetration accident), confuses smilies for emojis (seriously, are the writers of this game that stupid?!) even though smileys predate them by 20 years, fake hair colour, nail dirt, hipster punk cunt. However even with all of those traits I don't actually *hate* her - something in this game actually works quite excellent, but I can't put my finger on it yet. Certainly it has to do with the high productions values. Oh and she gets murdered by one of her drug dealer peers at the beginning of the game but unfortunately you can't not reverse time there (as you can have EITHER full voice acting or large-scale branching in a visual novel. Guess which one I prefer...).
Bitch: rich bitch with short hair that likes to make fun of poor losers and outcasts. However, she doesn't do that with style so she's quite annoying. Maybe we can kill her in one of the later episodes...
|Not too hard to figure out the inspiration behind the Bitch character...|
Christian fundamentalist girl: one of the worst characters I've ever seen in video games and sadly you can't tell her to get lost once and for all. However I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can drive her to commit suicide in the course of the story.
Other characters don't matter in Episode 1 and never will.
Life is strange is doing many things wrong, but all in all it is quite playable. Ep 1 is really short though. At the end I expect a payoff that even might fill me with a slight warm and fuzzy feeling. LiS really only works as a visual novel as it doesn't have the substance to even fill a TV show. Technically it is really well made, graphics and sound are good. The music is godawful though (I especially HATED that "American girls" song!). In my eyes, the format works even if the content really isn't that good, and I can imagine much better games made with the same sophistication of production values. For example, imagine Higurashi married with this technology! Who says visual novels have to be static pictures for all eternity! Life is strange Chapter 1 at least disproved that idea for me once and for all and for that I'm glad I have played it...
PS: yeah, the title makes no sense. Nothing in this game is strange whatsoever. And while most of the references in this game mean nothing to me, some made me chuckle. Nekromantik, lol. And that literally one day after I had watched a different Jörg Buttgereit movie (namely Der Todesking)!
Jon, whose nose is so huge it puts most jewish noses to shame, tries to make his overweight cat exercise in one of his rare sensible moments. Garfield, whose life revolves primarily around feeding and sleeping, however devours the rubber toy, musing how salt would improve the taste, implying his regular diet includes salt.
Fun fact: Average-sized cats need about 21 milligrams of salt per day (so Garfield should have no more than 100 mg a day). Common signs of salt poisoning include walking drunkenly, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, and seizures.
1978-06-20 - #2
Garfield unsurprisingly is too immobile to chase after a live mouse (or rather rat, based on its relative size compared to Garfield compared to Jon), instead preferring to feed on human food and plastic toys. Naturally his owner Jon is to blame for his sad state of fitness, highlighting the issue of whether mentally handicapped people living on their own should be allowed to own pets.
Streak of food-themed Garfield strips: 3
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
Inspired by this guy: http://marmadukeexplained.blogspot.com/2008/04/marmadukes-impotent-neighborhood.html. Shitty comics, just like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, have spawned great derived fandom/hatedom material in the past. A more well known example of this phenomenon is Square Root of Minus Garfield (http://www.mezzacotta.net/garfield/), another I came across recently is xkcd sucks (http://xkcdsucks.blogspot.com/2008/11/comic-505.html), but obviously there are tons of projects wringing fun out of unfunny source material out there, including my own webcomic Charlie Down. Basic idea of this project is to get me to work on my blog more than 1-2 times a year again.
So ideally I would tackle Marmaduke (since the guy above just randomly dropped off the face off the earth eventually), but I wasn't able to find any online archive of the strip reaching back to the 1950s (or even to the last century at all), and for me beginning at the beginning really is the only way to do things, so the next best thing (or actually one of the few comic strips I even know) is a fellow member of the unholy trinity of pet-related comics... Garfield.
So after this hideously jumbled intro (I got rusty...), let's start with the very first strip. I'm afraid old Garfield is a lil better than what it became after the redesign however... but I really only read the first 5-10 strips so I have no idea what will await me.
So... Garfield explained in the vein of Marmaduke explained by Joe Mathlete.
1978-06-19 - #1
Jon Arbuckle, a cartoonist displaying pupillary distance hinting at a genetic disorder like lobar holoprosencephaly owns (and, in a juridical dilemma, is owned by) an enormously fat and unnaturally orange cat which has cheeks that put a hamster's relative oral storage capacity to shame. Jon's rambling to unseen forces and him imagining his pet talking can only be explained by his devopmental delay.
Note that the lamp from panel 1 goes missing in panel 3, indicating a sloppy start of a cartoon that isn't particularly hard to draw to begin with.