Friday, November 30, 2007

On Ze Frank, Post-Show (UPDATE)

If you don't have an RSS feed for Ze Frank (and you might not, since it's limited to Best-Of episodes now), you may have missed his three new post-show updates.

Strike Day


Strike #2



(If you don't know who Ze Frank is, you can just get out now).

Friday, November 23, 2007

On the cake, and what a lie it is

Portal has been out for a while now, so if you haven't played it yet, you must not be a gamer.

And that's fine. But this post isn't for you, then.

If you don't have Portal (and why don't you?), you can always play Narbacular Drop for free.

Narbacular Drop was a Digipen project, and is the game Portal is based on. You can download it, as well as a number of add-on maps, for free at the Nuclear Monkey Software site. Made by the same developers, the gameplay is very very similar (but not identical) to Portal.

Of course, there is no Weighted Companion Cube, so you won't understand the poignancy of what Jesus would do for cake.

And although you may not realize it, that brings us to Portal's strongest selling point: it's pitch-black humor. People that haven't played it can't understand it, and people who have can't explain it, so I won't even try.

Portal is short. I played it all the way through twice, the first time took about three hours, and the second, about one and a half. The brevity is a good thing, because you really should play it through in a single sitting. It's like a movie. Also like a movie, there's a commentary option you can listen to. There will probably be a lot of details you miss the first time around, so while you're running around the second time catching up, you might as well get the inside scoop.

In fact, after the first play-through, I considered Portal a good, but not great, game. After the second.... well, now I have Weighted Companion Cube wallpaper on my desktop. Part of the reason I missed so much the first time was because I played in low res, and didn't realize how much graffiti on the walls I was missing until nearly the end. Thankfully the PUB computers (which have Portal on them, gratis) aren't as lame as my three year old laptop.

Also, as a bonus, the song played at the end during the credits is written (but not performed by) the excellent Jonathan Coulton. It's almost worth it just for that. The song can be found online, but I recommend not looking for it if you haven't played Portal yet, because it's spoilerific.

Finally, and because he can say it so much better than I, I'll leave you with the previously mentioned Yahtzee's review of The Orange Box (Portal review at the end).


On The Awesomeness That Is Yahtzee

And I'm not talking about the deadly game of skill and chance.

I'm talking about Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw.

I first ran into Yahtzee's work with 5 Days A Stranger, a Home Of The Underdogs Top Dog. "One of the best freeware adventure games I have ever played," starts the review, and it's pretty spot-on. It has garnered a small cult following, and some fans are even remaking the game in 3D. All of Yahtzee's games, including 5DAS, are available on his website.

But if he just did games, he wouldn't be awesome enough for me to post about, would he?

He also did some webcomics, including "Yahtzee Takes On The World". Mad genius Yahtzee plots world domination from his hollowed out volcano (but laments that it's not a missile silo*).

He also did "Chris and Trilby", a comic about two guys that have adventures and aren't gay. Not my favorite, but it did have a nice comic where they meet God and talk about religious people.

Alright, enough beating around the bush, I'm really posting about Yahtzee because I want to talk about his phenomenal game reviews.

They're short, they're funny, and they're DENSE, if you know what I mean when I talk about density in entertainment. I recommend them highly, even if you're not a gamer.

Three YouTube videos on this page, start at the top and work your way down.

The rest are on The Escapist Magazine's site, here. Start at the bottom and work your way up.

Or you can go to this page with all the videos on it, if you want to crash your computer. Updated to play nicely

New videos are posted (almost) every Wednesday, and you can grab the RSS feed here if you're so inclined.

* Found here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

On The Weather, And How I'm Under It, Part 2

You know what sucks about having the flu on a major holiday?


So, it turns out that I didn't have a cold. I have the flu. Which is much worse. Normally, I would go to my brother's house for Thanksgiving, but he has a kid, so that's out. So how am I celebrating this wonderful feast holiday?

I'm stuck in my room, sipping Sierra Mist. Mmmm....sparkly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On Talking Cats

First, the cute cats talking to each other:

Second, the translation of what they were saying:

And a bonus:
I found these videos on the Internet. You don't know about the Internet? Perhaps you should order this 430-Part System. Fax them your e-mail address now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Weather, And How I'm Under It.

Hey, you know what sucks about being sick when you're at university?



Seriously, WTF?

(Wikipedia, which helps not at all)

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Front Fell Off

If you haven't seen it yet, you really should:

"A wave hit the ship."
"Is that unusual?"
"Oh yeah. At sea? [One] chance in a million."

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe