The Animal Farm

February 13th, 2005

Games & Videos Galore

Despite having an unimaginably large amount of work I was supposed to do this weekend, I decided to shirk my responsibilities and play video games/watch movies. I have a lot of stuff to talk about and a short time to say it, so let’s get started.

I can say without reservation that Amelie is the best French movie I’ve ever seen. I can say this largely because it’s the only French movie I’ve ever seen, and it’s bloody awesome. I can’t remember if Brotherhood of the Wolf was French, but Amelie is far far superior. The movie focuses on a rather abnormal girl and her unique way of thought. Really, it’s quite inventive and humorous.

I’m going to digress for a moment. I just heard people in the computer lab complimenting What Dreams May Come, and it threw me off kilter. First, these aren’t the types of people I’d expect to like a movie like that. Second, the movie was an assault on my senses that left me blind in one eye for two weeks - that is not a lie.

Back on topic. I also watced Voices of a Distant Star, which is by far the saddest Japanese film I’ve ever seen (and the shortest). It was, however, another work of art. I’m not going to dive into it because I’m afraid that if I told you anything, I’d ruin something, so just trust me when I say you should see it. If you don’t like it, you only lost about half an hour of your time.

Reno 911 is one of Comedy Central’s more noteworthy shows. Basically, it’s a comedic version of Cops. When I first heard of the show, I expected it to be something I could ignore without feeling any sense of loss. However, after watching a few episodes, I realized that there simply couldn’t be a funnier cop show. I rented the first season, and I happily watched a few episodes today. I’m going to be pushing through the rest soon.

Now on to games, of which I experienced two this weekend. The first game I cracked open was Front Mission 4. This game is a strategy game where you customize giant mechs (called ‘wanzers’) and take them into battle against other giant mechs. I really haven’t played enough to give a qualitative assessment, but so far the game seems decent - it’s not fantasically amazing, but it’s definitely fun. I have it for a week, so I’ll be giving it more time.

The second game I saw was Phantom Brave. I wasn’t the one playing - Doss was - but after about an hour I was pretty certain I should own this game. This is another strategy game created by Nippon Ichi, the people who brought Disgaea into my life. Again, they shine.

That’s really all I did this weekend. Now I’m going to give you a warning about next weekend - don’t look for me. Don’t IM me. Don’t call me. Don’t visit me. Pretend I don’t exist, because for all intensive purposes I won’t exist. Not to you, at least. Xenosaga 2 is finally being released Tuesday, and Zach and I are holing ourselves up and playing all the way through. It will be glorious.

I don’t care if your house burns down, your mother is kidnapped, a meteor lands on your toe, and your cat contracts AIDS. I don’t want to hear from you next weekend.

February 13th, 2005

Comics to Cure Your Boredom

Between this post and my last post, approximately 2 hours have elapsed. See, the thing is that I’m at work and I’m really bored. As such, it’s only fair that I post something that bores you for just as long. Prepare to read for the next two hours.

I thought I’d take this time to mention the web comics that make me smile because they’re funny. I’ve mentioned a few of them in passing, but they deserve more than that.

I’ll start with Penny Arcade, which is the gaming comic. Gabe and Tycho update with some kind of crazy goodness which is typically related to video games. There is no running storyline - indeed, they oppose the whole notion of “continuity.” This is good, because I find that when they delve into continuity the results are not particularly brilliant. However, when they stick to what they do best - mocking/making fun out of games/current events - they perform wonderfully. What’s more, the news posts that accompany every comic are genius - sometimes better than the comic itself. I probably look forward to this comic’s updates more than any.

Something Positive is another good comic. Unlike Penny Arcade, Something Positive dabbles solely in continuity. It follows the stories of a few vulgar, cynical, and brilliant characters as they live their semi-standard lives. I’m actually pretty engrossed in the characters, and Davin (who I consider the ‘main character’) is the type of person I’d like to befriend. I also very much look forward to these.

MegaTokyo is a pretty popular comic, having three books in book-stores. This comic follows Piro and Largo who have found themselves trapped in Japan and embroiled in all sorts of drama. Largo is by far one of the coolest characters in comics today. The story is interesting, although it moves painfully slow and that speed is only decreased by the number of times the artist is sick/tired/absent. If you don’t mind waiting around for developments, this comic is for you.

Sluggy Freelance is a one of the comics I’ve been reading on-and-off for a few years now, although admittedly I’m more “off” it than previously. Sluggy follows the lives of Torg, Riff, Zoe, Bun-Bun, and other distinct characters as they get themselves caught up in everything ranging from demonic invasions to computer possessions to alien excursions. Sluggy is the very thing MegaTokyo is not - the story moves fast and the artist updates daily (although sometimes he does take time off). Read it, because Bun-Bun will cut you in two if you don’t.

8-Bit Theater is a comic that fans of the original Final Fantasy would love. The comic features the characters from Final Fantasy as they travel the world performing quests. The characters are all given unique personalities, so there’s someone there for everyone. The author also has a new book out which I hear is quite funny.

Those are the comics that I read regularly. Penny Arcade updates every MWF, Something Positive every day, MegaTokyo every MWF, Sluggy every day, and 8-Bit Theater every TR and sometimes Saturday. Between all that, I’m typically kept pretty happy with my comics. That’s convenient, since the comics in the DA suck and I haven’t read Dilbert in quite some time.

Start reading.